A connundrum:

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by FalconDance, May 4, 2008.

  1. FalconDance

    FalconDance Neighborhood Witch

    Ok, monkeyman told me I should just come right out and ask - so blame him if this seems incredibly silly to you ;).

    I have a .22 revolver. I love my revolver. I'm a decent shot with my revolver. HOWEVER, my revolver is rather large and heavy for concealed carry, even with the leather holster monkeyman carefully crafted for me.

    So, I need to start looking for a scaled down something to carry. Budget is super-scrunched like everyone else's, and a firearms purchase needs to be carefully saved for. While I really prefer revolvers (ok, so in some ways I'm a Luddite), I realize that semi-automatics are more efficient in the amount of rounds available and size/range.

    Recommendations on what to look for / what to avoid are needed, please. It needs to be something small enough I can carry in the waistband of a skirt or apron pocket (could make it more interesting and say it needs to be carried in a sarong, but don't want you guys to implode :lol:), inexpensive enough I don't pauper the family by the purchase or the ammo.

    Oh, and since I am not savvy in gun-lingo, please explain what you're recommending! You guys have this tendency to rattle off guns by their calibers or their nicknames - which is fine if everyone knows what the hell you're talking about! - but it leaves others of us in babble-land trying to translate!
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member


    I have no direct experience with Bersa, but they are getting pretty good press lately. This one will fit under a sarong or almost anything else short of a bathing suit. 380 is not a one shot stopper by any stretch, but if handiness and concealability counts, it works. For the purposes you indicate, I think an auto loader is the way to go. (At least after you've put enough rounds thru it in practice to assure function when the chips are down.) There will be some argument over reliability of wheel guns vs. semi-autos, I personally think revolvers are the more reliable, and have one for go to situations. (But my 1911 is more fun when it is running right.)

    Rent one, see if it fits your hand. If it doesn't, don't buy.
  3. MbRodge

    MbRodge Monkey+++

    Well, I can't vouch for fitting under a sarong, but I bought my wife a Charter Arms Undercover .38 and she is able to carry it with any outfit. I load it with Federal HydraShok ammo and have no reason to question it's stopping power.

    It cost about $300. out-the-door in Texas five years ago. Don't know where the price has gone since then, but I would imagine it is still pretty affordable on any budget. If you are truly worried about ammo capacity, you can look into speed loaders for it. We have fired several hundred rounds through it, to get her comfortable and accurate with it, and have yet to have any problems. IMHO it is a good gun for the price.
  4. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

  5. FalconDance

    FalconDance Neighborhood Witch

    Thanks, guys, for the recommendations so far. Monkeyman suggested I look at the Bersa Thunder, as well. I notice the Charter Arms has a .22LR ;). The Kel-tec P32 looks to be the least expensive in general, but until I see it in person (and the others), there's no way of telling which, if any, would be better for me.

    He also mentioned the Firestorm semi-auto. Any thoughts/experiences on those?

    (Our son has monkeyman's comp. hostage, fixing it right now, so he can't pipe in :).)
  6. BigO01

    BigO01 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Well Falcon first off do you , have any experience at shooting anything more powerful than your 22 revolver especially one designed for concealed carry ?

    If you do not MM says he owns a Bersa 380 and Firestorm 9mm I would suggest you get with him and fire those 2 guns and see how comfortable you are with the added recoil of a centerfire round in compact weapon .

    One thing to keep in mind is once you get into the realm of compact guns there will be a trade off between concealment-power-and controllability/accuracy .

    A very concealable powerful gun is NOT designed with shooting comfort in mind , for instance one of the newer hyper lightweight 357 snubbies make for a great concealable and effective weapon but it wont be a gun you would want to fire many times at a range due to excessive recoil with effective defensive rounds .

    Another factor to consider is intimidation of a person , when you pull a very small gun there is a very real chance that some fool might just laugh at you . If you insist on using one of these you must present yourself as 100% confident in your demeanor in using it .

    If you are comfortable with revolvers there are many nice 38's and 32's on the market with 2 inch barrels , Taurus even makes their model 94 a 22 rimfire with a 2 inch barrel and a 9 round cylinder .

    The Taurus 94SS2UL comes in at only 18 ounces in 22 rimfire and the 941 can be had at 24 ounces in 22 magnum which is slightly more powerful than the 22 LR round .

    Here is a Taurus 94 at GB for a tad over $300 new

    Taurus has an extensive line of concealed carry weapons from revolvers to semiautos in calibers running the gamut from 22 long rifle to 45 ACP , I own two of their guns and highly recommend them for value and quality .

    Here is a link to their page


    you will find many of their products for sale on Gunbroker .
  7. FalconDance

    FalconDance Neighborhood Witch

    I think I've shot most of monkeyman's and Titmouse's arsenal by now. In fact, I fired those two a couple weeks ago --- was a lot more accurate with the 9mm though I did not prefer it. (And keep in mind "accurate" is a relative term here.)

    Here's a pic of a revolver like mine:
    Unholstered and unloaded weigh-in: solid 2 lbs [stayback]
  8. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    I'm a revolver person too..... when kept in a pocket, I firmly believe revolvers to be superior as lint & such in your pocket can cause a problem with autos jamming.

    Both Taurus and Charter Arms make very good/inexpensive "snub-nose" (2" or less barrel) lightweight revolvers in 38 special that fit nicely in a jeans front pocket.

    Charter Arms even makes them in 32 magnum for a little less recoil than the 38 while maintaining some stopping power. And they have a new 38 spc called the PINK LADY!
    It weighs in at a mere 12 ounces and packs 5 shots of 38 special +P.


    Some folks on the board will disagree with me when it comes to revolver vs. auto, but I stand by my choice. I think when you consider all the issues..... concealability, ease of use under stressful conditions, reliability under less than ideal circumstances, firepower, I think that the revolver comes out on top..... Especially for people who don't get to practice regularly with the weapon.
  9. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    I also saw somebody once with a Smith & Wesson Ladysmith revolver in 22LR. Very cool little gun, fit nicely in the pocket and packed (I think) 9 rounds. Might be worth looking into if you decide to stay with a 22.
  10. BigO01

    BigO01 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Ummm Falcon please forgive me here but that gun is perhaps the worst thing you could count on for any type of defense .

    Even with established and agreed upon defensive weapons in much more substantial calibers than the 22 rimfire firing no less than 2 rounds quickly and accurately is always suggested .

    With the old Single action Cowboy guns that just isn't real possible unless you practice allot and I mean almost daily here .

    I classify those SA guns as either A a toy play kinda gun or B a hunting gun especially in the ultra powerful rounds like the 454 Casual .

    I have to say your need for a good defensive gun isn't just a need but a desperate one .

    I would strongly suggest buying at the very least a 9 shot DA 22 rimfire even if it meant selling off what you have to get the money .

    I would much rather check out any "Bumps in the night" with a DA "double action" revolver in my hand and finger off the trigger than a SA "single action" weapon in any condition .

    As far as "relative" accuracy goes try this , get a card board box and open it up and glue/staple /nail it to some sort of frame have your son or hubby stand against it and draw a line around his torso and head and then practice bringing you gun up one handed and firing a fast pair center mass . Measure the distances in your home and use them as a guide as to how far to shoot .

    You need to be able to fire 2 shots accurately in no less than 2 seconds with whatever weapon you choose at the longest distance you would in all probability need to defend yourself . Beyond about 20 ft use two hands .
  11. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Agreed, if her's is single action. Her current pistol could be one that just kinda looks like that, although I bet it is probably a Ruger Single Six or something like that.

    Regardless...... an upgrade is in order ;)
  12. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    My wife's daughter carries a Beretta .22 semi-auto with tip-up barrel. I can't remember if it's the Bobcat or Tomcat or something like that. Very nice little gun, kinda spendy. I was also shown a S&W .22mag at the gun store - veeerrrrrryyyyy light but very expensive.
  13. FalconDance

    FalconDance Neighborhood Witch

    Sweetie, you use what ya got - and it's certainly better than a spatula, dontcha think?
  14. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Guys, all so far is good scoop. No way a single action is suitable for defensive work, and I have to agree that 22, even 22WMR is not a good choice. I wouldn't go less than 380, and 38 is better. One of the reasons the Bersa comes to mind is size, less than even a Ladysmith, thus better for hideout (even it it is a sarong) and more than 5 on tap if needed (which it likely would be in 380.) Other than the size advantage, I have to agree with the double action wheel gun in 38. But at the end, 38 in +P is worthless if it hurts to practice, which is of paramount importance. And again, a trip to a place to try out the recommendations would be well worth the effort. Many ranges have that option.

    PS - I've never seen a brass framed Ruger. FD, what is it?
  15. FalconDance

    FalconDance Neighborhood Witch

    ghrit, it's a Tanfoglio TA-22 I was given several years ago when I moved the kids to a property called The Lost 20. We had been severely harassed by townspeople and singled out by the sheriff's department to the point that I didn't feel safe living where we were (yeah, there's a long story and we were the victims but no one cared until later - just gotta love election years). If I gave you directions to the property, there was a 98% chance you'd still not be able to find it (wish it were available now!) - even the sheriff couldn't find us.

    At any rate, it was the only pistol my uncle had that he knew wouldn't be traceable if I had to use it. He couldn't remember where he'd bought it, even. I practiced and practiced with it, got used to it, grew to enjoy shooting it. Walnuts bobbing down a moving creek make good targets when you're bored.

    It has a barrel safety (don't know what else to call it - plate that goes between hammer and round when engaged), thumb guard and suits me quite well. It's just really clunky when trying to conceal. Can you say pink elephant in the corner of the room trying to blend in?
  16. RouteClearance

    RouteClearance Monkey+++

    Understand how feel. It would be a long time before I was able to purchase the firearms that I really wanted, but I still have my 22 SAA Heritage Arms. As you said It beats having a spatula to defend yourself with.
    As for my 2cents worth , buy the most with what you can afford.
  17. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I don't like .22 either for defense but "you got to dance with the one that brung ya" and if I could I'd give my wife's daughter a .45 but she wants .22. I wouldn't want that Beretta unloaded at me, much as I don't like the caliber. But even 38 Special would be a huge step up.
  18. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

  19. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Tanfoglio has a good rep for inexpensive firearms. Yours was probably imported by EAA, maybe as early as the 70s. I wasn't able to find technical details on line. Keep it, but do consider upgrading to something with a bit more snort.

    I think the "plate" you mention is a transfer bar that drops out of the way when and only when the trigger is pulled. I'll try and look it up and confirm that unless someone else knows for sure.
  20. FalconDance

    FalconDance Neighborhood Witch

    No, it is a true safety. It must be manually put into place and manually disengaged. Monkeyman told me what it's called, but the terms don't stick in my brain.......ask me about wool or spinning or herbs (or a few other topics) and I can tell you the most obscure nonsense, but gun stuff just floats straight through.

    I've been giving serious thought to 'upgrading' lately; this is why I finally asked you guys for recommendations and ideas.
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