Skip to comments.What Is The Best Handgun For Personal Defense?
Posted on 03/15/2008 5:12:16 PM PDT by ExpatCanuck
What is the best handgun for personal defense? I need reliability (it had better work when I need it), and safety - I don't want it blowing my b*lls off if I need to pull it out of the holster or waistband fast. I am 5'7", 150 lbs, very fit, and small framed so I am looking for something that won't break my wrist or throw off the aim of shot #2 if I have to fire it. I own property in some unsavoury parts of town and have actually witnessed 2 gunfights up close and personal. Although I have a property manager (he is also well armed) that makes the rounds I do so myself sometimes as well. I'm looking for a CCW that will also double as a good home defense weapon. I would appreciate any advice fellow Freepers can offer.
Sounds like a 9mm.
Check my profile. FReep mail me if you have questions.
I’m still a revolver fan. They can’t really goof-up on you, but if they do, pull the trigger again. Taurus makes some good guns that are similar to Smith & Weson, with a lower price. .357 is good because one may use .38 specials as well, and they’re cheaper for target practice.
What kind of experience do you have with firearms?
Springfield XD40 here, but you need get whatever you are most comfortable with expat.
I think the best choice for a novice, or a non-enthusiast who doesn’t spend a lot of time shooting is a double action revolver. They are inherently simpler and safer to learn to handle and shoot effectively. A four inch .357, will permit the use of lighter .38 Special loads, and it’s barrel is a practical compromise between ease of shooting and ease of carry.
Why a semi-auto? You want to CCW, and you live in a sketchy area, and a gun battle is a reality. Because of that, I suggest the higher capacity of the double-stack 9mm, holding 16+ bullets. Otherwise, I'd recommend a revolver, for its simplicity and shorter learning curve, but then you are limited (in general) to six shots.
The three semi-autos I mentioned are all like a revolver in that you just pull the trigger to shoot them: the safety is on the trigger. Keep them holstered at all times, until you are ready to shoot.
I might recommend a .40 or .45 caliber version of the same 3 pistols, but you don't sound like you want to deal with a lot of recoil. Plus, the 9mm will be slimmer, for better concealment. WIth modern high velocity "+P" jacketed hollow point bullets, 9mm is plenty effective, with much less recoil.
Just my opinion. Go to any large gun store and ask to handle a wide variety of pistols. Fit and feel is also very important. The one that fits your hand the best and just feels right, may be the one for you. All 3 of the pistols I mentioned will be extremely reliable right out of the box, and will set you back between 500 and 600 bucks.
Cute......do yourself a favor and search using the same topic you posted.......You'll find thousands of replies.......
My handgun of choice is the Glock 19:
It's a 9mm, and a smaller version of the Glock 17, also 9mm.
We're about the same size, so a nice fanny holster, (my choice), or something similiar would hold this 15 round semi-automatic pistol just fine.
A good wheelgun is ultra reliable/safe, but capacity is limited obviously.
anything at least 9mm/.357 [bigger holes are better] imo for human sized varmints, but it must be comfortable to carry and fire... which ultimatley means 'trying on' a bunch to find a good fit...
Be safe and familiar with it and shoot enough to be comfortable as second nature...
not much help, sorry...
Yep, I agree. This plus a 12ga pump with pretty much handle any social situation. Include a .22 rifle and your set for TEOTWAKI.
If you are "mechanically inclined" and plan to spend some time at the range getting familiar with shooting, I'd get a 9mm semi auto, probably either a Glock 19, Springfield XD-9, or S&W M&P 9mm...
+1. I'm looking at the Springfield XD 3" sub-compact in 9 mm myself.
Whatever you get, make sure it has multiple safetys like the M1911 45 cal. That is one reason I have that as my personal sidearm. Can’t really beat it on knockdown power either.
Disagree, to much gun for a newbie, plus expensive ammo. Stick with the .357/38 revolver, 4 inch barrel. Taurus, Ruger, Smith, etc,
I’ve sent a mail your way.
You can’t go wrong with a Glock 19. Just keep that sucker in a holster, and keep the finger out of the trigger guard until you want it to go bang. (Comment directed to the thread author, not you.)
The XD and M&P do have loaded chamber indicators though, and that is a nice feature the Glock doesn’t have. That is, when a round is chambered and the gun is armed and ready, a little nipple pops out that you can actually feel in the dark. This lets you know she’s loaded, without having to pull the slide back and check. This is a nice feature if you might not remember in the middle of the night, or after a long period of time.
But otherwise, the Glock 19 is a superb choice, and many shooters could not give a hoot about the chamber indicator anyway.
Just noticed you said CCW. I carry a KelTec PF9 and happy with it. It will take more practice that a revolver though. PS, less than 300 dollars.
But hardly a candidate for concealed carry!
anybody got a good link to a deep conceal holster for a full size 1911 ? maybe lower leg/high ankle ?
Speed isnt the concern [ itll be faster than runnin to the car ] ... the local shop guy pretty much said I was s o l and needed to buy another pistol. If I could I would, but the holster will prolly be more than I really have extra at this point to spend...
Thanks in advance and hope all is well with you and yours...
Give the man a prize... all guns are ALWAYS loaded. period.
Why not the 4” standard service XD?
For more compactness, I’ve got an everyday carry KelTec P-11. That’s got a 3” barrel, is only 5.8” long overall, and is under 1” thick. It weighs only 18 ounces unloaded, costs significantly less than the subcompact Glock or XD, and holds 12+1 rounds if you buy the now-legal “law enforcement only” magazines.
It has a true DA trigger, so you really have to “mean” to shoot it. Less likely to go bang by accident than an everyday carry Glock or XD imho.
The “subcompact” Glocks and XDs are still FAT little suckers. Hold a KelTeck P-11 in one hand and a subcompact Glock or XD in the other to compare size and weight.
+1 on KelTec for everyday carry! Mine is a P-11, my wife’s is a .380 P3AT.
Wow. .410 in a pistol. Cool.
You TREAT all guns as if they are loaded, for safety.
But that doesn’t mean all guns ARE loaded, at 0300, when the window breaks.
It’s nice to be able to feel that bump, and KNOW she’s got a round chambered.
A robber won’t be impressed if the gun don’t go bang.
The XD & M&P are excellent choices too, I agree!
When you find something that works for you, you stick with it.
Kind of like Ford vs. Chevy!!/LOL
You need to go try a KelTec PF9, I had a P11 and sold it after buying and carring the PF9. Skinner than the P11~!
Remember,(unless your a drug dealer) the majority of defensive shootings only use two rounds. The rest are dead weight.
Exactly! What’s the best truck, Ford, Chevy or Dodge? Hey, they ALL haul the stuff!
The “best” handgun will be different for everybody, since we all have different needs, comfort levels, likes/dislikes, etc. when it comes to firearms. The best advice I can give is to go to your local gun shop/shooting range and try out different guns and see what feels comfortable for you personally to shoot and to carry.
Don’t worry too much about the wrist - I’m a fairly petite woman and firing a .45 doesn’t hurt my wrists at all. If you want something that doubles as a concealed-carry weapon, however, it’ll probably be easier to find a compact, easy to conceal gun in 9mm or .38.
Some of the guys I’ve dated didn’t grow up around guns, and I like taking them to the range and introducing them to the gun culture.
I carry my wife’s P3AT if I’m in skivvy shorts. Otherwise, CCWing my P-11 is a piece of cake, even in shorts and a baggy t-shirt. I just like having 11 of 9mm ready to go. Plus, you can use S&W model 59 mags for even greater capacity. (I like how KT designs guns around existing mags, when possible, such as their .223 rifles taking common AR mags.)
no argument if that make you feel better. All my guns are always loaded, (except the ones in the safe and I still treat them as if loaded) I bet my life on it. No kids in the house. Remember, this is for a NON gun person.
Yep. For a non-gun person, I’d probably go with a .38/.357 first, and then move up to a semi auto if he really digs it. But for entry level, simple, works everytime, you can’t beat a wheel gun.
Hard to carry that 45 in a coat pocket. I do like Colt 45’s, but, I like the model 70 combat commander the best. Get one throated out, and; really worked on by 45 expert.
Sounds like a Walther PPK 380 would suffice for the man.
Poor deprived guys! I'll bet they are impressed when you whip out the pistola. That'll make an impression! Good on your for breaking them into our world.
Nothing wrong with another gun discussion.
By the way, this is an 8 shot double action only 9mm semi auto. No safety, none needed. Long trigger pull. Double action only (DAO) means no cocking is necessary if one is in the chamber. No button, no levers or switchs. Just pull and bang. The long trigger pull is there for safety. With practice, it gets easy. Its also lighter by far than a .38 snub nose.
Galco Royal Guard in the waistband holster. Stay away from their Summer Special which is a horrible mistake on their part.
Take a look at a HK USP.It’s as reliable as any gun ever made.I figured if it’s good enough for the Navy SEALS then it’s darn sure good enough for me.
BTW, I’ve been reading your book and I love the scene where Ranya casually displays her gun to Brad to see what his reaction is.
That PF9 is near perfect in its CCW niche. I just can’t convince my household CFO that we need another Kel Tec right between her .380 P3AT, and my P-11.
I vote for a revolver in 357 Magnum. You can always use lower powered 38 Special cartridges. Get a hammerless Taurus or S&W so that it doesn’t snag on your clothing when you pull it out.
You’re only up to that first night on the boat scene? What did you think of the part where she’s digging up the cache, and as soon as she pulls out the .45 and loads it, relief washes over her? At that moment, she’s the equal or better of any man or men. True empowerment! I really wrote a lot of that book for women, to drive in that sense of empowerment and personal security. I hope some women bought their first gun after reading it.
Rent a couple of guns at a range and see what fits. Stay away from Glocks because they are a bad choice for people who are uncomfortable with carrying.
My choice is on my profile page but that’s just me. A Browning or FN HighPower is great if you have small hands. That’s what I’m using in that IDPA picture.
In cold weather, my son slips a little Smith and Wesson .357 mag in the pocket of his winter coat.
Not according to the website, “Box of Truth”.
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