Handgun Purchase...

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by raiderofthelostcrotc, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. raiderofthelostcrotc

    raiderofthelostcrotc Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Okay...in January or February I am going shopping (oooOOhhh...shiny new things YIPPEE :D )
    and I am shopping for a personal firearm for self-protection. I have not owned one for over 10 years because of my marriage to a convicted felon.


    I want something compact, in case I go for a CC permit. Lightweight, because I am too lazy to carry anything heavy, heh. Also, if I do get CC, a heavier weapon would ruin the lines of my clothing or make my purse sorta sag badly...

    Before I always did the basic...S&W .38 in a shoulder holster and a small derringer my dad gave me neatly tucked in my purse. Just *in case*, don't cha know.

    I want to get out of that mold this time and get something different.
    Concentrate on stopping power (my dad always instructed us to "shoot to STOP, not kill...if they are stopped, the threat is over and if stopping them kills them...thats their problem", mind you, Dad did concentrate on teaching us body mass and head shots! )

    I thought I would pick the brains of you guys on here and the girls that carry as well. Especially the girls (What works well for you?)

    Just good basic personal protection...keep in mind that I am opening a store soon, so I think it would be prudent to have some kind of decent weapon to protect myself and my inventory and cash drawer...
  2. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Can't go wrong with a S&W. I prefer the semi-autos over revolvers for most cases, but I also enjoy a good old revolver on my side once in a while.

    I don't know what to tell you. Most people have their own tastes, and end up using what they are most comfortable with. Some people like using a .45 for stopping power, while others believe themselves to be a good enough shot to use a smaller caliber 9mm.

    There is one thing that is all important, however...if you DO shoot somebody in self defense, you had better kill them.
  3. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    That .38 would work very well. Ckeck out the newer Sprindfield XD's as they have smaller sizes in 9mm and .40. I carry a aluminum frame 1911 and it's noticably lighter than it's steel framed brother - Kimber Compact CDP.
  4. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Is this a firearm that you are going to practice with a lot, and develope muscle memory with, or just something that you will carry and not shoot much? If you aren't going to shoot much, then go with the revolver. No safeties. Just pull the trigger. If you really want an auto, then ......well I almost hate to say it, buy an auto like a Glock, or maybe a double-action-only Beretta, Smith, etc. These auto's don't have safeties, you just pull the trigger. Most of the DAO (Glock excluded as it does not have a DAO trigger) have a long trigger pull and for those that don't shoot frequently, they can prevent negligent discharges. What you really need to do is find a range that will let you try out several different models. You need to find out what fits you and feels right too.

    Good luck.
  5. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Well, one of the first questions to go along with the info already provided would be what kind of price range are we loking at? One of the big reasons I say that is that if its on a budget then skip the semi autos for self defences since there are VERY few low cost ($200 range) semi autos that are really reliable. I learned that the hard way with a Lorcen then a Jennings and then one that (IIRC) was Hi-Point or some such. All were around $200 or less new and all 3 jammed with decent ammo before could dump the first clip and after a few hundred rounds hadnt improved any, on the other hand you can get a real decent used revolver a lot of the time in that price range and revolvers dont jam. One that might be real nice for that would be a S&w chiefs special or S&W modle 10 both are 5 shot revolvers in .38 spl and IIRC you can also get the chiefs special in .357. I know my dad used to have one of the chiefs specials in .38 that he carried in a holster that clipped in his boot and its one Im considering for CC in the warmer months when a shoulder holster would be harder for me to pull off. If you can find one I think they made the Bulldog in .44 also which should have plenty to put 'em down. If you're looking for something particularly small and not worried about cappacity you can also get the 2 shot derrengers in .45 with a longer barrel that will also fire a .410 shotgun shell, a .410 with 00 buck (IIRC) holds 5 .32 call balls which at close range should do a considerable job with 1 shot back up.
    So how small are you thinking and how much $$$?
  6. CRC

    CRC Survivor of Tidal Waves | RIP 7-24-2015 Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I carry a S&W 9mm all the time....and have a small Beretta 25 in my car...Someone gave me the latter and I just got used to it...

    I am very proficient with the S&W...practice, practice, practice.......

    But I am looking at a 45 now...and will have it before the end of January...Want something with just a little more stopping power...

    I atttend the gun shows down in Jax when my schedule allows it and can usually find a decent deal...One is better than the other..and one of the top dogs is a buddy...He teaches the CWP class here and also the self defense course that allows you to use the LEO's firing range out in the country,just off the island...

    Right now looking at the Springfield 1911....We'll see what feels right when i go serious shopping.......
  7. raiderofthelostcrotc

    raiderofthelostcrotc Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Well, my budget will probably limit me to the 200-300 range. There are several ranges around here where I can practice, practice, practice...including two indoor ranges. They also have instructors there for the novice or out of practice. So, I will be putting in a LOT of range time. One of them has various weapons there you can *try out*, so I may go there before I do my actual shopping.
  8. magnus392

    magnus392 Field Marshall Mags Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I have a used Ruger P-89 in 9mm that was in yoru price range that I really like:) Maybe you find something like that.
  9. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Yeah if you can go up to $300 or so then you may be able to get into a decent used semi auto for that. Main thing is to be sure you know what you are getting on them cause like I say, a lower quality semi auto will jam on you a lot which is the last thing you want for personal protection. If you can get a good reliable one then they can be fine though, just cant shop them so much if price has to be a decideing factor.
  10. TLynn

    TLynn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    At $300 you are limiting yourself in what you can get quality wise so you need to shop wisesly (especially if you go a semi-auto).

    And much as I hate to admit it you don't want to even look at the 1911's in Colt, Kimber, Springfield because right out of the box they rarely are going to perform the way you want, let alone will you necessarily be comfortable with them. Most need to be tweaked and new ones are not to be found at $300.

    Don't have a clue about Glocks - they are not my thing (they just don't fit my hands right, don't feel ergonomically right to me so I won't even try them).

    You really might want to consider sticking at the moment with a revolver at least until you can save up a bit more money and pick up a decent semi-auto. And until you get out there and try some it's a hard call knowing what will work for you. What I like and feels good for me - you might absolutely hate and vice versa.

    Plus you are talking compact and light weight...so that's really going to rule out a 1911A1 style handgun (especially considering the price range) and considering the smaller you go in the 1911's the more kick they have and that's hard on wrists (especially if you are slight frame or female or both). Plus the smaller 1911's have inherent problems built into them - and unless you go custom you usually end up paying to have them fixed ... so more $$$

    So what are you comfortable with??? You say you've done the .38 special...anything heavier before this? Have you ever shot a 9mm, .357 magnum, .45, etc? Need more info!!!!!
  11. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    As always, excellent point, TLynn.

    The smallest-lightest 1911 I have ever seen was the new S&W model 1911. It is significantly lighter and thinner than standard models. For prices, you will not find a new 1911 under $500 unless you are very lucky. For example, this past gun show I was at had the Springfield US Army model 1911 for only $440 on sale, and that is a significant price drop. Although the 1911's are rugged, dependable, and all around better weapons than many semi-autos out there, you can check into a revolver for the $300 price range you are limited to. A .357 revolver is actually a very nice weapon, and I do believe that Taurus makes some nice ones that are right around your price range.

    I have a Taurus PT 24/7 in .45 auto. I had never thought that a hand gun with a poly lower could be so fantastic until I tried it out. I purchased it on sale for around $400 brand new, and retail prices aren't much more than that. It is very reliable, sturdy, lightweight, accurate to all hell, and comes with a tactical mount rail. I really can't stress how excellent this weapon really is. I have fired hundreds of rounds through it without any problems, with exception only to faulty ammo. On top of all this, I bought the hand gun because it is warranteed for life, no matter what -every part. How many gun manufacturers can do that? Not many. This hand gun has become my main side carry for a tactical situation, and it stands up to all my tests.
  12. ghostrider

    ghostrider Resident Poltergeist Founding Member

  13. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Im not sure what they offer in the way of smaller ones but I know I like my Rossi in .357 with a 4" barrel. That is one thing that IMHO would be an excelent choice in calibers is the .357 since you can target shoot with .38 specials a lot cheaper than most ammo (exception being 9mm with bulk or surpluss ammo but thats generaly always going to be a semi thats hard to get quality in the budget) and then can load it up with a good .357 defensive round which will give you considerably more energy.
  14. raiderofthelostcrotc

    raiderofthelostcrotc Monkey+++ Founding Member

    My dad had me shooting a .357 and a .44 when I was 10, lol. Yup, hurt my lil developing pre-pubescent wrist bones. Got comfy with them by the time I was 16...but never really liked them. I actually was most comfortable with rifles and shotguns, to tell the truth.
    But I want a handgun. Not really efficient to have a rifle tucked under the counter of the store and they may frown on a *cough-cough* shorter than average shotgun under the counter or tucked beneath my coat...
    My dad was a collector of S&W and Colt handguns. When he passed on, my larcenous brother-in-law got to the house first and cleaned out the gun safes. All 10 of them. I never threw a fit about it as I was not in the mood to put my mother through more grief than she was already experiencing. So, now I embark on getting my own collection...not just for me, but to properly pass on to my 7 kids. I am starting a bit late at age 49, but I am going to be extremely picky.
    My first purchase is simply going to be for home/business protection. I want smooth operation, reliability and reasonable price. I will be trying out several firearms at the indoor range within the next month. Hopefully, I will find one that suits me.

    Thanks to all that have given suggestions....I really appreciate the help!
  15. TLynn

    TLynn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Well, that's why I had to ask was because I didn't know. First handgun I shot was a .357 magnum. Of course I ended up looking at the sky after I shot it but oh well.

    And like you I've spent more of my life shooting rifles than anything else but like you said you can't really have those under the store counter as easily (besides anything under 18" get you into trouble)...though a nice little AK isn't too bad in a store...oops they might frown on that though (but an underfolder or sidefolder would make it small enough to fit). Yes I'm evil.

    So do your testing and discover which handgun you do like (you are lucky in that you have a place you can rent handguns...I didn't so had to go buy them). Makes it dang hard to decide what I want. I buy them, try them and oops well I don't like that one so I have to get rid of it (I'm truly hating that part).

    I've heard elsewhere that a lot of ladies tend to like Glocks (god knows why) but they do. Check them out. Personally, if you can handle it don't go for anything less than .45acp. Stopping power is the key and no point in just pissing the scumbag off, might as well drop them in their tracks.

    Good luck and let us know what you find. I wish you well in your hunt.

    Broker, sometimes when looking for a handgun it's also where you are geographically that helps. I picked up a barely used 1991A1 for under $500 and a Series 80 Colt Commander on a Caspian frame (tricked out-the one in my avatar) for under $800. While I've got a little work to do on the 1991A1 the only thing I have to do on the Commander is hold on to my hat because that gun never misses (provided I remember to shoot left handed). He is a total sweetheart and my carry piece (I just have to remember that it has a hair trigger since it was obviously set up for competition shooting originally).
  16. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Very true. ;)

    Wow, I wouldn't be comfortable with that. I wish I could afford a Colt Commander. I will keep my eyes peeled, as I have been for about 7 years, lol. They are terriffic. My dad has one, and although he prefers revolvers, he loves his Colt.
  17. TLynn

    TLynn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Broker, it's amazing how fast you can get used to something. I for one expected the trigger to be very light because of all the other modifications on the gun. So after several hundred rounds I don't even think about it and shoot accordingly.

    It's just annoying to switch to another handgun and realize they are not the same. :lol:
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