Skip to comments.I want to buy a handgun...
Posted on 03/09/2009 4:50:02 AM PDT by masterbeaver
I want to buy a handgun and would like some opinions on to what I should be looking out for and what kind would be best for me.
I do not know much about the features of most handguns and what would best fit me.
I like to go to shooting ranges and would like to use my own gun. I would also like to have one in my house just in case.
I want a basic pistol that is easy for novice shooters. I don't need anything overpowering or too flashy.
What kind of mm do I need and what is the best type of gun to buy for recreational/protection purposes?
Thanks for your help.
Start with a revolver, a .38 would be fine. They are far simpler and easier to learn to shoot.
I would recommend a .22 or a 9mm gun. My dad has a Beretta 9mm, and my mom and girlfriend both have 9mm Glocks. Personally, I’m looking at a Sig Sauer P226, as Sig offers conversion kits to .22 ammunition (so target practice is cheaper); I don’t know if other companies do that though.
For a complete novice, the usual recommendation is a revolver for simplicity/reliability. On a misfire, you just pull the trigger again instead of clearing like an automatic.
If you want a compact handgun, stay away from the magnums and go .38 special, or if you can handle something bigger, .44 special. Try before you buy (rent at range).
If you’re after something for home defense, I’d recommend a 12-gauge shotgun instead of a pistol for most folks. Use #4 buckshot to limit overpenetration.
Hope it helped...
Forgot one thing, get a quality gun from S&W, Colt or another top-tier company. Don’t cheap out on something on which your life might depend.
A basic revolver (that fits your hand)is hard to beat. A .357 caliber will also shoot .38, so it’s versatile. Smith & Wesson, Ruger and Taurus make some nice stuff. Check out the Ruger SP-101 (small) and GP-100 (medium) models in 3-4 inch barrel lengths.
Welcome to FR.
Can’t recall anyone who wanted to talk about guns on their first post/day.
12 gauge and a revolver
masterbeaver, Vanity Posts since Mar 9, 2009. Not a good way to kick off your FR career, my FRiend. You will catch grief.
For the sake of argument, I'll post my opinions on your question.
1) Buy what you can afford and what you feel comfortable with (no matter what the caliber/size)
2) Practice, practice, practice. Doesn't matter what you buy, if you can't hit the target.
3) Once you buy it, you must be willing to use it. Doesn't do you an ounce of good to have a gun you are comfortable and proficient with for self defense, if you are not willing to shoot another person with it; should the circumstances arise.
All the rest is white noise, as you will get as many opinions over what to buy as there are makes of pistols out there.
IMHO stick with the .38.
.22 target practice is fun, but useless.
If you’re not anticipating and experiencing recoil and getting back on target for the 2nd shot, the “practice” isn’t worth much.
It is the control which requires practice.
And there’s not much control required with a .22.
Rossi .357/.38. Simple to use and maintain. Affordable at $352 MSRP. Exceptional quality. Rossi bought the Smith and Wesson factory in Brazil and hired all of the employees.
Forgot to say, I own the Rossi model shown and carry it often.
Proficiency comes with practice, and I would also reccommend training.
Keep it simple to start. Go to a gun shop, look at the firearms there, see what is comfortable for you, before you decide. If possible get to shoot firearms you are considering to get a feel for what is right for you.
The grip should be comfortable, and the pistol should 'point' naturally. Despite reccommendations, do not get hung up on a particular brand (I would avoid ones which are noted for problems), but get what is right for you. I would keep in mind that defensive power increases considerably as the caliber increases, and most consider .38, .357, and 9mm to be the minimum.
“Welcome to FR”.
My wife likes her Glock 19. My son likes his, too. They also enjoy .38 and .357 revolvers. However, for self defense, they prefer the Glocks.
For me, I like the reliability of my 1911A1 .45 cal semi automatics, with simple ball ammo and Chip McCormick 8-shot mags (for the crooks that can count).
The best advice...go to a couple of gun stores, pick up the choices, feel them in your hand. You want one that feels solid in your grip, fills the hand but doesn’t require extraordinary effort to hold or control. I would stick with lighter calibers, initially...probably no larger than 9mm.
Get educated. Ask the folks at the gun stores. I’ve found them to be very willing to spend time with new shooters, answering questions and providing advice. Keep in mind, too, that not everyone agrees on everything in the shooting world.
So, final advice...try out as many different types and sizes of handguns as you can. You will quickly get a ‘feel’ for what fits you and your abilities.
And yes, for home double barrel 12 Gage. We have one (old side by side)and sawed it off, per the legal limit for Texas and wah la, a great gun.
Be sure to visit this web site for buckshot for your shotgun, useful info.
The sig p226 is a good weapon and I may get one but if I were you, I'd pass on the conversion kit. For the same cost(roughly $300), you can get a good .22 pistol.
you have to say....He knows where to get good info
Get in this order:
1, Lessons at an organized range from someone who will teach you how to shoot right
2, Good defensive ammunition
3, A Glock
True but, fishy.
Get a Ruger SR9 ( 9mm) semi-auto . Great price , Great grip, Made in America, Lifetime warranty , and built like a tank . Good for carry also .
Don’t forget the double (00) buckshot.
This is exactly what I was going to post today.
I am going to a gun store this week to buy a handgun.
I already have a Mossberg 20-guage shotgun but want a handgun.
I see most people are recommending revolvers. Yesterday on a reply I mentioned that I was going to get a concealed carry permit and then someone replied to my reply saying don’t do it, that it merely puts me on record with potential gun-grabbers.
However I live in Texas and that is not too likely right now.
Also I see a lot of people are recommending Glocks. I have two women friends who have Glocks.
My brother keeps telling me to get a .38 revolver. Well, whatever is simplest is best for me, I think. I am an amateur at this.
This is what I always tell anyone looking for a gun. FWIW. This is in addition to the excellent comments made previously.
1. Before you plop down any cash, go to a store, and do some research. Buying a gun is like buying a car or a set of golf clubs. *YOU* have to find the BEST fit for YOUR HAND. Pick up a few, heft them, see if it is comfortable in your hand and you like the grip. Can you grip it quickly and easily? Does it have a smooth feel to you?
2. Line up the sights at a target. Be sure you are not pointing it at anyone! Can you get on the target swiftly and compfortably? If the gun is right to you, you should be able to line up on a target quickly, with no fidgeting or excess movement. If you can’t, find another one. After all, your life may depend on this ability.
3. Get something ubiquitous. While the Glock Automatic Pistol is cool, rounds are hard to come by. Find a weapon you can get ammo for in Walmart, and not at a gun shop. Good choices are .45 and .357
4. Make sure you get something that has knockdown power. The 9mm is great, but law enforcement teach you to double tap with this round because it is so small. You want to be able to neutralize, not wound.
5. After you find what you like, PLEASE get training from a licensed firearms instructor. It is like golf again, perfect practice makes perfect shooting.
6. MOLON LABE!:)
Let me know what you get. Always glad to meet another well-armed citizen.:)
.357 mag. You can practice all day with .38spl. All you have to do with revolvers is point and click.
I second that choice. We have two XD’s in our home. The Marines have now tested them again the Glock. The Marines pick the XD.
...that way I can use the same ammo for my sidearm and primary weapon ;-)
My advice is to stick with a revolver because it's just point and shoot. No issues regarding magazine feed, stovepipes, jams or all the rest of it. Once you are proficient and comfortable with a good revolver, then you can get a semi-auto if you like.
.38 Special just isn't sufficient for self-defense in my opinion (I worked for the Atlanta P.D. when they carried .38s and "Reggie pellets" and they were definitely undergunned). The .357 Mag will shoot .38s for practice, and if the recoil doesn't bother you it's adequate. I would get .44 Special myself, the Charter Arms Bulldog is back in production and it's a nice little carry gun. Little hard to find ammo but it's available (if more expensive than .38s). You do NOT want a .44 Magnum for any reason - that was the big recoil gun that macho types bought, put 6 rounds through, and never fired again, until even more extreme monsters like the .454 Casull became available.
I carried a .32 S&W revolver (a/k/a 'the mouse gun' - not recommended) when I was a teenager, then carried a .45 ACP Combat Commander for years and years. Recently switched to the Sig-Sauer P245 because it's double action. But, like I said, I would stick to revolvers until you get plenty of practice.
I tend to agree with the revolver idea. And as mentioned if you get a .357, you can shoot .38 ammo for practice. You might want to consider one with a durable stainless steel finish. You may actually be able to find some deals in the used market but you would need someone experienced to go with you.
As for an automatics, they tend to be a bit more expensive and do require more maintenance. The classic full size Beretta 92, which is the standard military sidearm is pretty easy to break down and maintain. Plus it has a 15 round capacity and 9mm ammo is still fairly plentiful and easy to obtain. Again try shooting a variety of the types mentioned and see what you like. Look for a price of mid $500 for this Beretta.
For effective home defence on a budget, I have a Maverick/Mossberg 12 gauge pump which can be had for $200 or less. For a good quality, new handgun, remember you are looking at about twice that.
I’m wondering how easy it is to find a good handgun and the ammo to go with it right now? Again 9mm and 12 ga is fairy easy to come by but I’ve had real trouble finding anything in .380ACP.
Good luck. Whatever you do, I suggest you do it quick. I do think semi-automatics in any form could be targeted by the commies in charge at any moment.
I am considering buying “The Judge”. Its a 45 cal revolver that also shoots 410 shotgun shells.
I agree, my first was a Security Six by Ruger. It has a five pound trigger pull and a sliding firing pin. The five pound trigger pull makes it real hard for young hands to accidentally pull the trigger. The sliding firing pin is great for preventing the round under the trigger from firing prematurely. There is no safey as most gun accidents occur when the safety is “on” or when the gun is “unloaded”.
Never point the gun at anyone, never, never, never. Even when you are cleaning it and have checked to make sure it is unloaded. Never joke with anyone about shooting them or anything like that.
It is stainless which makes it more rust and corrosion resistant. The stainless makes it easier for the bad guy to see, and he may just give up saving you a massive clean up effort and cost. It is always better not to have to shoot. Mine is a 357, but I can always load it with 38s. 38s are cheaper to shoot. A 357 is a more powerful load.
Have fun. The first day I got my 357, I picked it up at lunch. Then decided to take it home rather than bring it into my government office. When I arrived at my rental house, the front door was wide open. For the first time in my life there was no reason to call the Copperooskis. I sat down on the front steps and took the gun and ammo out of the bag and calmly loaded it. I shouted into the house that if anyone was in there they could leave if they wanted with no harm, otherwise... Luckily there was no one home. Luckily for them.
I agree with those that would recommend a revolver for a first pistol.
Along the same note - can anyone suggest a good small concealable 9mm I’m considering for my wife? Thanks.
I like the 12 ga constellation round for home defense. It has a .65 cal slug and six double 00’s in a star patteren. Hard to find as most online sellers are out of stock.
I can relate to your question, as a few years ago I was exactly where you are now. I did considerable research, and I eventually chose my firearms based on these criteria:
1. The ability to find cheap, plentiful ammo to stock JIC
2. Ease of operation & to a certain extent, maintenance
3. Absolute, when it all hits the fan, rugged dependability
4. The ability to not only defend my home & family, but also suitability for other uses such as hunting if need be
With these factors in mind, I have purchased several guns, but these are my favorites...
1. Handgun- Glock 9mm
2. Shotgun- Mossberg 500 12ga
3. Rifle Marlin 336 30-30
Hope this helps
CZ makes an awesome 9mm subcompact in solid metal (no plastic guns for me) about $450 and fits a woman’s smaller grip perfectly!
I’ve been where you are...
I made my decisions based of these criteria, with a balance of all four entering into the purchases:
1. The ability to find plentiful & cheap ammo
2. Ease of operation & to a certain extent, maintenance
3. Absolute ruggedness & dependability
4. The ability not only to defend my home & family, but to use the weapon for other things if need be (i.e. hunting)
With these criteria in mind, I have purchased several guns, but my three faves are:
Handgun- Glock 9mm- while some poo-poo on these for various reasons, 9mm ammo is cheap & plentiful, their knock-down power is adequate, and they are virtually indestructible. The reason I chose 9mm over .45 is I want my wife, 16 YO son & 18 YO daughter to be comfortable & proficient in using it as well....
Shotgun- Mossberg 500 12ga- versatile easy to supply and very dependable pump shotgun. Have also purchaded 100 rds Centurion home defense shells in addition to various numbers of buckshot, birdshot, & turkey loads
Rifle- Marlin 336, 30-30- The king of the brush guns...rugged, lethal on anything up to brown bear, and easy to shoot, with scope or without. While ammo is pricey relative to the 9mm or 12ga, this is a fantastic gun and well worth having & supplying
Hope this helps....
Why do I doubt your integrity?
Sig is fantastic - if you can get the new 250, they sell the kits to change calibers. I’ve heard they are hard to find though and mostly 9mm right now.
I recommed 20mm for "newbies" (Oerlikon makes a nice one) ... and GE makes a wonderful 30mm Revolver for more advanced shooters.
Go to www.sportsmansguide.com...they have it!
Read some of these chapters.
I bought the same gun for my wife for Christmas except her’s is stainless steel. It’s is a good gun except shooting .357’s in there really gives your hand a jar. I have a Ruger blackhawk that I shoot .357’s thru with no problem but it is a heavier gun with a longer barrel.
Some revolvers aren't as easy to conceal as semiautos. I prefer a "Noisy Cricket," myself: