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What Is The Best Handgun For Personal Defense?
Vanity

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.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: banglist; ccw; handgundefenseccw
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My apologies if I posted this in the wrong place or subject. I'm sure I'll get the standard responses from the anal retentives among us, telling me where it should be, instead of here. I apologize in advance for compromising their special time in the happy place they have in the basement of their mom's house. :)
1 posted on 03/15/2008 5:12:20 PM PDT by ExpatCanuck
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To: ExpatCanuck

Sounds like a 9mm.


2 posted on 03/15/2008 5:16:23 PM PDT by dadgum (Beware the refritos)
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To: ExpatCanuck

Check my profile. FReep mail me if you have questions.


3 posted on 03/15/2008 5:17:37 PM PDT by Pistolshot (Remember, no matter how bad your life is, someone is watching and enjoying your suffering.)
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To: ExpatCanuck

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.


4 posted on 03/15/2008 5:18:16 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (http://www.fourfriedchickensandacoke.blogspot.com)
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To: ExpatCanuck

What kind of experience do you have with firearms?


5 posted on 03/15/2008 5:19:28 PM PDT by EdReform (The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed *NRA*JPFO*SAF*GOA*SAS*RWVA)
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To: ExpatCanuck; Joe Brower

Springfield XD40 here, but you need get whatever you are most comfortable with expat.


6 posted on 03/15/2008 5:20:23 PM PDT by stainlessbanner
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To: ExpatCanuck

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.


7 posted on 03/15/2008 5:20:53 PM PDT by VR-21
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To: ExpatCanuck; Squantos; Joe Brower; Eaker
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.

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.

8 posted on 03/15/2008 5:22:15 PM PDT by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: ExpatCanuck
I'm sure I'll get the standard responses from the anal retentives among us,

Cute......do yourself a favor and search using the same topic you posted.......You'll find thousands of replies.......

9 posted on 03/15/2008 5:23:00 PM PDT by Hot Tabasco (There's three ways to skin a cat but not one is worth the effort.......)
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To: ExpatCanuck
You will probably get a lot of replies on this one!

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.

Good Luck!

10 posted on 03/15/2008 5:23:12 PM PDT by PROCON (Al Qaeda's Unanimous Choice in 2008: B. Hussein Obama)
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To: ExpatCanuck
any ranges around that you could try some 'rentals' ???

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...

LFOD...

11 posted on 03/15/2008 5:25:36 PM PDT by Gilbo_3 (Choose Liberty over slavery... the gulag awaits ANY compromise with evil...LiveFReeOr Die...)
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To: VR-21
A four inch .357, will permit the use of lighter .38 Special loads

Yep, I agree. This plus a 12ga pump with pretty much handle any social situation. Include a .22 rifle and your set for TEOTWAKI.

12 posted on 03/15/2008 5:27:25 PM PDT by MrPiper
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: Travis McGee

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.

14 posted on 03/15/2008 5:31:43 PM PDT by EdReform (The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed *NRA*JPFO*SAF*GOA*SAS*RWVA)
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To: ExpatCanuck

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.


15 posted on 03/15/2008 5:32:37 PM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (Both dim candidates promise change and/or hope. I don't think the USA can afford their message.)
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To: Baynative
You can't beat THIS ONE!

Disagree, to much gun for a newbie, plus expensive ammo. Stick with the .357/38 revolver, 4 inch barrel. Taurus, Ruger, Smith, etc,

16 posted on 03/15/2008 5:34:01 PM PDT by MrPiper
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To: Pistolshot

I’ve sent a mail your way.


17 posted on 03/15/2008 5:35:08 PM PDT by cva66snipe (Proud Partisan Constitution Supporting Conservative to which I make no apologies for nor back down)
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To: PROCON

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.


18 posted on 03/15/2008 5:35:26 PM PDT by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: MrPiper

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.


19 posted on 03/15/2008 5:36:14 PM PDT by MrPiper
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To: Baynative

That’s cool!
But hardly a candidate for concealed carry!


20 posted on 03/15/2008 5:36:42 PM PDT by ROLF of the HILL COUNTRY ( Terrorism is a symptom, ISLAM IS THE DISEASE!)
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To: Travis McGee; Squantos; hiredhand; Eaker
hey guys, as long as we're gun pornin',

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...

21 posted on 03/15/2008 5:36:59 PM PDT by Gilbo_3 (Choose Liberty over slavery... the gulag awaits ANY compromise with evil...LiveFReeOr Die...)
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To: Travis McGee
and many shooters could not give a hoot about the chamber indicator anyway.

Give the man a prize... all guns are ALWAYS loaded. period.

22 posted on 03/15/2008 5:38:27 PM PDT by MrPiper
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To: ExpatCanuck
And after you have made your choice, check out these people: International Defensive Pistol Association (IDPA)
23 posted on 03/15/2008 5:40:04 PM PDT by NonValueAdded (Who Would Montgomery Brewster Choose?)
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To: EdReform

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.


24 posted on 03/15/2008 5:41:54 PM PDT by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: MrPiper

+1 on KelTec for everyday carry! Mine is a P-11, my wife’s is a .380 P3AT.


25 posted on 03/15/2008 5:43:37 PM PDT by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: Baynative

Wow. .410 in a pistol. Cool.


26 posted on 03/15/2008 5:45:04 PM PDT by dadgum (Beware the refritos)
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To: MrPiper

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.


27 posted on 03/15/2008 5:45:14 PM PDT by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: Travis McGee
You can’t go wrong with a Glock 19.

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

28 posted on 03/15/2008 5:45:25 PM PDT by PROCON (Al Qaeda's Unanimous Choice in 2008: B. Hussein Obama)
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To: Travis McGee
Hold a KelTeck P-11 in one hand and a subcompact Glock or XD

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.

29 posted on 03/15/2008 5:46:11 PM PDT by MrPiper
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To: ExpatCanuck
Check this little bugger out...
30 posted on 03/15/2008 5:46:46 PM PDT by Mr. Mojo
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To: PROCON

Exactly! What’s the best truck, Ford, Chevy or Dodge? Hey, they ALL haul the stuff!


31 posted on 03/15/2008 5:47:25 PM PDT by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: Gilbo_3; Travis McGee; Squantos; Eaker
Oh boy! You started it now! :-) You're going to get everybody's opinion here, and I'm only going to give you mine! Just remember that it's usually worthless, but free! :-)

I carry a Colt Series 80 .45ACP daily, and I use a Uncle Mike's cross-draw shoulder holster. I'm built "slightly" and only top out at about 150lbs now, so more than a few of my shooting buddies think I'm NUTS for carrying a full sized semi-auto. However, they're ALWAYS surprised to discover that I'm carrying concealed. I think the holster rig simply does a good job of concealment.

The rig that I use has a mag pouch on the opposite side of the weapon and is "switchable" for south-paw shooters.

This holster is a horizontal holster and one of the things I LIKE about it is that it's "relatively" easy to draw using my left hand, even though the weapon is under my left arm. Another benefit is that when driving, the weapon is very easy to access.

I'll try to find a link for this holster, but I will tell you this... The weight of a full sized semi-auto takes some getting used to and I got over it by simply carrying the "boat anchor" until I was used to it! I've had to run with it on as well, and it's a lot easier than a belt holster!

I think I paid about $50 for it, and like I said...I'll try to find a link. :-)
32 posted on 03/15/2008 5:47:51 PM PDT by hiredhand (Check my "about" page. I'm the Prophet of Doom!)
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To: ExpatCanuck

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.


33 posted on 03/15/2008 5:49:43 PM PDT by JillValentine (Being a feminist is all about being a victim. Being an armed woman is all about not being a victim.)
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To: MrPiper

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.)


34 posted on 03/15/2008 5:50:00 PM PDT by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: Travis McGee
It’s nice to be able to feel that bump, and KNOW she’s got a round chambered.

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.

35 posted on 03/15/2008 5:51:24 PM PDT by MrPiper
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To: MrPiper

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.


36 posted on 03/15/2008 5:53:07 PM PDT by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: Arrowhead1952

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.


37 posted on 03/15/2008 5:53:57 PM PDT by Lumper20
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To: JillValentine
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.

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.

38 posted on 03/15/2008 5:54:48 PM PDT by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: Hot Tabasco

Nothing wrong with another gun discussion.


39 posted on 03/15/2008 5:55:04 PM PDT by JillValentine (Being a feminist is all about being a victim. Being an armed woman is all about not being a victim.)
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To: Gilbo_3
I found it. The holster I use is at -

http://www.unclemikes.com/products/propak_vert_holsters.html

It looks like this -

Holster
40 posted on 03/15/2008 5:56:27 PM PDT by hiredhand (Check my "about" page. I'm the Prophet of Doom!)
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To: MrPiper
You need to go try a KelTec PF9

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.

41 posted on 03/15/2008 5:57:27 PM PDT by MrPiper
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To: Gilbo_3

Galco Royal Guard in the waistband holster. Stay away from their Summer Special which is a horrible mistake on their part.


42 posted on 03/15/2008 5:58:54 PM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (NRA - Vote against the dem party)
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To: ExpatCanuck
This is worth looking at
43 posted on 03/15/2008 5:59:04 PM PDT by monkeycard (There is no such thing as too much ammo.)
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To: ExpatCanuck

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.


44 posted on 03/15/2008 6:00:19 PM PDT by Farmer Dean (168 grains of instant conflict resolution)
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To: Travis McGee

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.


45 posted on 03/15/2008 6:00:30 PM PDT by JillValentine (Being a feminist is all about being a victim. Being an armed woman is all about not being a victim.)
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To: MrPiper

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.


46 posted on 03/15/2008 6:01:37 PM PDT by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: ExpatCanuck

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.


47 posted on 03/15/2008 6:02:16 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (G-d is not a Republican. But Satan is definitely a Democrat.)
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To: JillValentine

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.


48 posted on 03/15/2008 6:04:11 PM PDT by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: ExpatCanuck

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.


49 posted on 03/15/2008 6:04:14 PM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (NRA - Vote against the dem party)
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To: Baynative

Not according to the website, “Box of Truth”.


50 posted on 03/15/2008 6:05:51 PM PDT by Shooter 2.5 (NRA - Vote against the dem party)
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