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Handgun Choice - Help Please
2oakes

Posted on 01/06/2003 10:27:26 AM PST by 2oakes

I am trying to choose a handgun for a variety of purposes - target, practical pistol and also for home defense.

I used to shoot a bit when I was in the UK until they took our guns away, but since moving to the US and gaining citizenship, I wish to take up shooting again.

I have been pointed to the Sig Sauer P226 which fits my hands just fine (the Glock 21 is just too big) but would like to seek the opinions of other Freepers before buying.

Thank you

David


TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: banglist; defense; handgun; sport
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1 posted on 01/06/2003 10:27:36 AM PST by 2oakes
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To: 2oakes; *bang_list
Here you go.
2 posted on 01/06/2003 10:29:06 AM PST by TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig
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To: 2oakes
Where do you live?
3 posted on 01/06/2003 10:29:45 AM PST by TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig
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To: 2oakes
I don't know much about handguns, but I figure it's important to buy one that is really big, scary and military-looking, just to pi** off the gun grabbers.
4 posted on 01/06/2003 10:31:05 AM PST by dirtboy
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To: 2oakes
I've been shooting for over 27 years. I'll give you my personal choice then tell you what you should do.

I love SIG's. I feel that I can rely on them at any time in any conditions. I carry a SIG 226 as my CHP gun.

Now, I would recommend that you go out to a gun store and check out various handguns. Find what feels comfortable and if you have the opportunity, try that particular model out before you buy. Make sure the recoil is okay and the gun feels good when shooting it.

Personally, I'd recommend you stick with the 226 if it fits your hand good.

Mike

5 posted on 01/06/2003 10:31:58 AM PST by BCR #226
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To: big ern
Michigan - currently with a white top-coat
6 posted on 01/06/2003 10:32:04 AM PST by 2oakes
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To: 2oakes
Seems from your post you are interested in an automatic. In a 9mm/.40 I would reccomend either the Walther P99 or CZ75. In .45 the venerable 1911 Government Model (or variant thereof). All these will fit medium sized hands.

PS: Betcha this thread goes at least 400 replies. You might want to be a bit more specific on the main intended use of the weapon.

7 posted on 01/06/2003 10:33:44 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: 2oakes
Try the Glock 27.. It's referred to as the Mini Glock. Have had one for years and love it. My son who is a Deputy Sheriff uses one as an off duty weapon and my other son the Pilot got one for when the Pilots will be armed.. ( soon I hope) My hands are small and I can't handle the larger weapons. If you want to go really small I would recomment the Baretta Tomcat. I have them both. Both are good as a Concealed Weapon.
8 posted on 01/06/2003 10:35:30 AM PST by Texas Mom
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To: 2oakes
I have been pointed to the Sig Sauer P226

Got my vote

9 posted on 01/06/2003 10:36:02 AM PST by paul51
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To: 2oakes
For target practice, .22 ammunition is much cheaper than what you will need for home protection. The "Hydra-Shock" ammo in .38 or .357 Magnum ain't cheap.
10 posted on 01/06/2003 10:37:05 AM PST by snopercod
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To: 2oakes
You just can't go wrong with a 1911-A1 unless you live in a very warm climate such as Florida where the clothes get smaller and the weapon gets harder to carry concealed.

It also offers what some of the newer weapons do not and that is the thumb safety which takes no extra time to use but offers an extra level of safety should you have your weapon taken from you and the loser perp isn't familiar with the weapon.


Others know much more than I and I don't carry the 1911 everyday but I do carry a weapon that has the thumb safety: the .45 cal Taurus PT145 but it's trigger is very long and not as smooth as a 1911's.


This thread is going to be at least 100 replies on a slow day and will go over 200 normally. Could go 500 if enough folks are homebound today.
11 posted on 01/06/2003 10:37:24 AM PST by TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig
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To: 2oakes
Man, you are in the U.S. of A. now! Don't limit yourself. Get SEVERAL. A gun for every occasion! Shotguns, semi automatic rifles, bolt action rifles, pistols, revolvers.

Is it possible that a person who will not shoot it very often will be needing it for self defense when you are not around? If so consider getting a double action .357 revolver with a 4" barrel.

12 posted on 01/06/2003 10:38:32 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants
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To: 2oakes
Here are some previous threads asking the same question you might want to take a look at.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/757093/posts
http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3aa8d6d10b79.htm
http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3b2637e14c11.htm
13 posted on 01/06/2003 10:39:21 AM PST by snippy_about_it
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To: 2oakes
I have an older (pre-ban) Smith & Wesson Sigma SW9F (full size) in 9mm with two pre-ban 17 round mags and an internal lasermax sight I'd let go for about $450.
14 posted on 01/06/2003 10:39:32 AM PST by P8riot
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To: Tijeras_Slim
"You might want to be a bit more specific on the main intended use of the weapon."

Semi-auto - yes.

I would like to become proficient at the range. I would like to take part in Action Pistol / IDPA (International Defense Pistol Assoc) events which are staged defense situations, but I dont want something that would not be of use in a home defense situation.

Some IDPA divisions require stock weapons, with a power floor which requires at least a 9mm. Others can have more custom parts.

I would hope 100% for plinking / practice / competition and 0% for personal defense, but you never know.

Many thanks for your help

15 posted on 01/06/2003 10:40:11 AM PST by 2oakes
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To: 2oakes
Practical pistol and home defense? Glock 22 or 23 would be my first choice for "one gun".

Nothing wrong with SIGARMS but if you want a DA pistol consider the HK USP series, probably my second choice for "one gun".

You'll get a bazillion recommendations for the venerable 1911 .45, which is a fine choice if you don't mind considerable recoil and the sometimes finicky reliability of production 1911s. Kimber and Springfield make affordable 1911's with decent reputations.

16 posted on 01/06/2003 10:40:29 AM PST by xsrdx
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To: paul51
Can't go wrong with a SIG. If you want a little more power than 9mm, on some models of 226 you can get a 357 SIG barrel as an upgrade. Check around at http://www.sigforum.com/ for more info.
17 posted on 01/06/2003 10:41:12 AM PST by cryptical
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To: 2oakes
I strongly recommend going with the .45 ACP, either a Colt Model 1911A1 pistol ("Old Slabside"), a Kimber if you're flush with funds, or the Sig-Sauer (either the full size P220 or the compact P245.) (I don't have a Kimber but I have the other two . . . I've shot a Kimber but can't justify the expense right now!)

The .45 ACP cartridge is accurate and easy to reload, and the Colt pistol is a natural pointer, accurate, easy to strip and clean, and impossible to destroy. It can be left in its natural "rattle trap" military state so that it will fire even if doused in mud, or it can be fine-tuned and tightened up to superior accuracy (at the cost of some reliability), and just about any level in between. When tuned up, there is no better large caliber target pistol (I competed with one of mine for several years), but I understand a lot of the combat pistolero crowd have gone to the DA pistols since my time. If you prefer a DA, I tried the Sig and the Glock but preferred the Sig.

I am not a fan of 9mm, never have been since my WWII vet dad told me that he saw a number of American GIs in N. Africa and Italy merely wounded by the 9mm Lugers and Walthers, not necessarily dangerous wounds either . . . but he never saw a live German with a .45 hole in him. To be absolutely accurate, this could have been because any German able to ambulate was leaving the vicinity as fast as he could hobble, but I don't think so. . . . Besides, the tapered case on the 9mm makes it a bear to reload.

18 posted on 01/06/2003 10:41:12 AM PST by AnAmericanMother
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To: 2oakes
1911A1 !
19 posted on 01/06/2003 10:42:28 AM PST by 1stFreedom
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To: 2oakes; Dan from Michigan
Well then, you should hook up with dan from michigan and get active in getting a CCW in your state because your long white coat is very effective for concealing your new pistol.LOL

Also, use this URL to find gun related topics in FR. You reply to Bang_list in the reply column like my first reply and it bumps that thread to the bang_list.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/fr/involved?group=152
20 posted on 01/06/2003 10:42:40 AM PST by TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig
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To: 2oakes
Purpose is key.

Self Defense - H&K USC Compact in 9mm or .45 is my top choice, followed by the Glock 26, 27, 28 or 31 in 9mm, .40 s&w, .45 & .45 rexpectively; followed by Para-Ordinance in LDA; followed by everything else.

IDPA / IPSC / PCP match shooting - H&K USC match grade in .45; Kimber Custom Match in .45 or the Glock 21 (also .45). For IPSC, Para Ordinance in .45.

.22 Pistol (i.e., bullseye matches) - Ruger .22, heavy barrel, price limited only by how hard you want to compete.

Plinking and shooting beer cans off your fence rail - Ruger .22 is far away the best, followed by browning buckmark.

If you're in Michigan, the best place for a combination of price and selection is Jay's Sporting Goods in Clare. I've never been in Guns Galore in Fenton but it's supposed to be pretty good too. Don't buy at a gun show - prices and guns generally s&ck.

21 posted on 01/06/2003 10:43:11 AM PST by FateAmenableToChange
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To: dirtboy; Lazamataz
Where's that "Laz special"?
22 posted on 01/06/2003 10:43:23 AM PST by Eagle Eye
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To: snopercod
What .22 would you recommend?
23 posted on 01/06/2003 10:44:10 AM PST by 1Old Pro
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To: 2oakes
You might consider the Glock 30 - it's a compact version of the 21. I own one, and I found it to be more comfortable to shoot than the 21. The grip might still be too fat for you, though - the magazine is interchangeable with the 21's. There's also the 36, which is a single-stack .45ACP, thus has a narrower frame and much more compact structure.
24 posted on 01/06/2003 10:44:17 AM PST by mvpel
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To: 2oakes
I would like to take part in Action Pistol / IDPA (International Defense Pistol Assoc) events which are staged defense situations, but I dont want something that would not be of use in a home defense situation

IDPA founder Bill Wilson's intent was to run pistol matches for defensive handguns, so you should be ok.

Glocks are de rigeur for IDPA, but you'll see a few SIGs and HK's, as well as plenty of custom and near-custom 1911's.

25 posted on 01/06/2003 10:44:52 AM PST by xsrdx
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To: Blood of Tyrants
Get a Smith and Wesson revolver in .22 cal for practice. I like the older kit guns...mod 17 or mod 34 w/ 4 inch bbl. Ammo is cheap and if a ladyfriend would like to give it a try, it won't scare her with noise and kick.
I like the mod 22 Glock .40 cal for serious stopping power. It shouldn't be too big for small to medium sized hands. The .40 has more punch than a 9 mm in about the same size weapon.
26 posted on 01/06/2003 10:45:19 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: FateAmenableToChange
.22 Pistol (i.e., bullseye matches) - Ruger .22, heavy barrel, price limited only by how hard you want to compete. Plinking and shooting beer cans off your fence rail - Ruger .22 is far away the best, followed by browning buckmark.

What's the approx. price range of these?

27 posted on 01/06/2003 10:45:30 AM PST by 1Old Pro
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Comment #28 Removed by Moderator

To: 2oakes
In that case I'd get something that can have a .22 conversion kit put on it. (CZ and the 1911's and some Glocks fit this description) That will allow lots of range time with little expense with the same gun you will compete with. A brick (500 rounds) of .22 can be had for $7-10 on sale. And get assistance from a more experineced shooter in the IDPA. Practice makes permanent, so learn good habits early on.
29 posted on 01/06/2003 10:46:07 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: snopercod
For target practice, .22 ammunition is much cheaper than what you will need for home protection. The "Hydra-Shock" ammo in .38 or .357 Magnum ain't cheap.

A good arguement for getting a 1911-A Colt in .45 cal, with an ace conversion kit for firing .22 LR, allows you to do lots of cheap practice with very nearly the same feel as the big bore...

30 posted on 01/06/2003 10:46:39 AM PST by null and void
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To: 2oakes
If you are a real Newbie to handguns then you should buy a .357 revolver which will also shoot .38 Special(s) as well. S&W(new owners), Taurus, Rossi, and Ruger all make fine models some of which are quite lightweight or have a high capacity cylinder that will take 8 rounds which is approaching 10+1 Semi-Auto post ban mag capacity. Revolvers are quite simple and reliable....point and shoot....very good for nightstand self defense with Glazer or Black Hills style "human target ammo".

That is just a start. If you insist on a semi-auto then by all means the Sig is a good choice. I doubt anyone here would argue with that.

Buy what feels good to your hand and shoot a few rounds first at your dealer's indoor range if possible.

For protection I would not go below .38+P in revolver or 40MM in semi-auto. (maybe 9mm or .380 in semi-auto if you are a small handed female...but with mankiller ammo)

Good Luck...take an instruction course while you're at it.
31 posted on 01/06/2003 10:46:40 AM PST by wardaddy
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
What about Ruger or Browning, why S&W?
32 posted on 01/06/2003 10:46:45 AM PST by 1Old Pro
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To: 2oakes; Blood of Tyrants
Man, you are in the U.S. of A. now! Don't limit yourself. Get SEVERAL.

Amen to that. If you try to find one weapon for all your various purposes, you'll be compromising some qualities at the expense of others.

I'd start with a 1911A1 and then choose two others specifically for IDPA and for target competition. And then there's metallic silhouette, and handgun hunting, and just plinking, and collecting, and . . .

And yes, our house is overrun with firearms! As far as I'm concerned, they're like potato chips. :-D

Finally broke down & acquired the Sig P245 because of the DA feature, but my favorite carry gun is still my Colt Lightweight Commander in stainless. And don't let anybody tell you the .45 ACP cartridge has "too much recoil" -- I'm a 5'6" middle-aged matron and it doesn't bother ME. (g)

33 posted on 01/06/2003 10:47:01 AM PST by AnAmericanMother
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To: AnAmericanMother
I agree with you. A .45 is a man-stopper, no matter how big he is. The same cannot necesaarily be said of 9mm or .38s.

AS for Magnums, they are too big, too noisy and too expensive, unless you want to kill engine blocks or somebody in the next county.
34 posted on 01/06/2003 10:47:40 AM PST by ZULU
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To: Tijeras_Slim; 2oakes
I would recommend you buy what fits your hand most comfortably. Find a public range in your area where one may rent guns for practice and if there is one gun that you shoot accurately and instinctively with choose that. I recommed at least .380acp or above for a minimum of stopping power. The larger and more powerful a gun you choose the better the stopping power as a general rule.

The reason I am including Slim in this post is because he recommended the Cz-75 in 9mm. These or clones of these are also available in .357 Sig, 40 S&W, .45acp and 10mm. There are a number of absolutely exellent sidearms available out there.

I do not prescribe but I will be happy to further expand upon the principles of self-defense with a sidearm. I note the following 9mm is probably the least expensive of the reasonable definsive calibers to shoot and practice is most important. Personally I prefer .45acp but each must make up his/her own mind.

Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown

35 posted on 01/06/2003 10:48:16 AM PST by harpseal
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To: 2oakes
I am trying to choose a handgun for a variety of purposes - target, practical pistol and also for home defense.

You are buying a weapon for home/personal defense.
Everything else is a supporting disipline.
Ergo, you want a Colt model 1911. A service piece with minimal competition mods; Bevel the magazine well for better reloads, put on a pair of grips that work for you. Port it.
Anything else is destined to eventually break. You can stand that on the range, but not at 0200 with a big guy between you and your wife.
Load it with a brand of hollow point that you have tested IN THAT GUN and with which you don't get a single feed failure in a box of ammo.
Compete in Tactical class. Let others spend a gazillion dollars on a space gun. Practice and compete with 200 grain reloads boosted to make major, but put a box of ball through it occasionally so you don't forget what you're holding.
Practice, practice, practice. If you don't fire 100 rounds a month, you're better off with a shotgun.

36 posted on 01/06/2003 10:48:56 AM PST by grobdriver
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To: 2oakes
CZ-97 in 45acp aka Jericho and the Baby Eagle.

You can get it for about 400-500. Double action on the first pull and then SA the rest of the way and it holds 10.

37 posted on 01/06/2003 10:49:47 AM PST by Centurion2000
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To: 1Old Pro
Rugers with bull barrels run from ~$300-500, with the competition model being most expensive (although already drilled and tapped for red-dot mounts). You can get lots of after market stuff like better triggers, hammers, barrels, etc from Volquartsen. Some fully customized Ruger MK II's from an after market gunsmith can run close to $2000.
38 posted on 01/06/2003 10:50:17 AM PST by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Tijeras_Slim
Smart man ;^)
39 posted on 01/06/2003 10:50:17 AM PST by null and void
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To: 2oakes
I will get flamed for this, but I would avoid a 1911 like the plague. There are much more reliable and accurate handguns to be had for much less money. If you do not mind a single action, the browning Hi-power is far superior to the 1911. I like my Tarus PT92 becuse it has the DA for safer home defense, but I can use it cocked and locked for IDPA pistol matches. For those who belittle the 9mm, shot placement is much more important than caliber chioce anyway. If you must have a .45, Sig, Ruger, and S&W make fine choices. I also have a Sig 220.
40 posted on 01/06/2003 10:50:32 AM PST by FNG
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To: 2oakes
davd, imho sig is the best handgun made...BUT... consider your potential use. if you consider a possible breakdown of society,rather than an isolated assault upon yourself, a 1911 is dependable, magazines and parts are interchangable. if something happens to sig you may not be able to get parts or mags. 1911's are everywhere so you could conceivibly pick up someones gun for parts mags ammo.
needless to say there is gross argument vis-a vis caliber. 45 stops someone . what use is 2x mag capacity if it takes 2 or 3 shots to put someone down??
just my opinion.
people will say get revolver because is is simpler. if you are afraid of weapon... dont buy it. what you do buy TRAINNNNN with so that its fuction and use is reflexive to you.
41 posted on 01/06/2003 10:50:34 AM PST by SCARED
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To: Tijeras_Slim
In that case I'd get something that can have a .22 conversion kit put on it.

I almost mentioned this, but I bought mine so long ago that I was afraid they might have stopped making it . . .

They work pretty well (though I find that mine is not as accurate as the .45 rounds through my particular pistol). Another alternative is to reload and back the rounds down for target practice (but not so much that they don't cycle the action!)

(Y'know, I just realized for a first-time pistol purchaser this is a bit much too fast . . . .22 conversion kits and now I'm recommending you start reloading. Gee! I sometimes forget that we got into this hobby a little bit at a time!)

I also concur on the "try before you buy" and "get some training" recommendations by wardaddy & others here . . .

42 posted on 01/06/2003 10:50:38 AM PST by AnAmericanMother
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To: 2oakes
The best practical shooters on the planet hang out here: Brian Enos Shooting Forums.

Its worth a look around if you're interested in the sport.

43 posted on 01/06/2003 10:51:03 AM PST by xsrdx
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To: big ern
It also offers what some of the newer weapons do not and that is the thumb safety which takes no extra time to use but offers an extra level of safety should you have your weapon taken from you and the loser perp isn't familiar with the weapon.

Or an extra level of danger if you find yourself in a life-or-death situation, with adrenaline pumping through your veins, your mind tunnelled down on the threat, your fine motor control shot to hell, and you thereby forget that you have to click the safety off. I gather there've been some cops who were killed in shootouts found to have a full magazine and a round in the chamber, but the safety on.

If the perp takes your gun away, odds are you either drew it too late, waited too long to shoot, or weren't mentally prepared and serious about shooting in the first place and telegraphed that to the perp. That is, unless you're a cop who's forced to carry openly out where they can grab it.

As for "loser perps" - it's a mistake to underestimate them. They don't have anything to do all day in prison except work out and practice disarming techniques on each other.

44 posted on 01/06/2003 10:51:05 AM PST by mvpel
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To: big ern
I don't have a problem hiding a .45 1911 Commander under a t-shirt. Just stay with smooth grips, a IWB holster with a cant and a good belt.

If he has small hands I would recommend a CZ75 or Browning Hi-power in .9MM.
45 posted on 01/06/2003 10:52:12 AM PST by Shooter 2.5
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To: 2oakes
It's hard to go wrong with a Sig or a Gloch. If you're on a budget, get a Taurus; the quality is still quite good. Stick with 9mm or .45 if you're going to get a semi-auto, or .380 if you want a slightly underpowered, but smaller and lighter gun. Have fun and practice often. Enjoy the land of the Free.
46 posted on 01/06/2003 10:52:36 AM PST by arm958
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To: 2oakes
I have a Sig P226 in .40 cal....great pistol, easy to clean, lots of fun to shoot. An excellent choice.
47 posted on 01/06/2003 10:52:45 AM PST by Cuttnhorse
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To: grobdriver
....... If you don't fire 100 rounds a month, you're better off with a shotgun.

Good advice

48 posted on 01/06/2003 10:53:27 AM PST by Fiddlstix
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To: xsrdx
Hang out with Americans best pistolsmiths
49 posted on 01/06/2003 10:53:52 AM PST by joesnuffy
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To: mvpel
Or an extra level of danger if you find yourself in a life-or-death situation, with adrenaline pumping through your veins, your mind tunnelled down on the threat, your fine motor control shot to hell, and you thereby forget that you have to click the safety off.

That's why in the quick access safe I don't leave it on, but in the holster I've trained (hundreds of hours) to drop the safety just after I pull the pistol clear of the holster.

Consider this a free plug for Front Sight Firearms Training Institute. They can take a newbie and turn them into an excellent handler in 4 days.

50 posted on 01/06/2003 10:55:05 AM PST by TheErnFormerlyKnownAsBig
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