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If I were to carry a gun, which one(s)?

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by FalconDance, May 12, 2007.

  1. FalconDance

    FalconDance Neighborhood Witch

    Monkeyman warned me not to ask that very leading question [dunno] but who else to ask for honest opinions and recommendations?

    At present: (waiting for the permit to process) Own and adore an older .22 6 shooter which is really too big to 'conceal'. I'm really most comfortable with a revolver (altho Titmouse's 9mm is a sweet gun) and don't want anything that will put me on my ass if I do need to shoot in an emergency. Also, budgetary restrictions are rather tight (as in, any new expense must be carefully planned for and would not meet "immediate acquisition" standards ;)).

    So what does that leave me? What would you guys recommend?

    Please, don't rattle off a bunch of specs because quite frankly it makes my eyes cross and my brain scramble. Keep it simple. Pros and cons.

    Thanks! :D

  2. andy

    andy Monkey+++

    we have to carry the M9 berretta i don't care for it too much, while i'm not well versed in the area of fire arms i have to believe there is something better out there...[dunno] so i'm interested in figuring this out too.
  3. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Adventure Riding Monkey Founding Member

    This is a question with as many answers as folks on this forum! Some will be based on personal experience, some based on a starry-eyed wish list.
    First thing is to lay down some ground rules.

    1) Primary purpose. Defense, hunting, plinking, other?

    2) Type of action. Okay, you are partial to revolvers. Good choice! Simple and reliable.

    3) Ammo logistics. Can you buy ammo at Wally Mart, or will you need to order/reload? I like a common caliber that I can get most anywhere.
    . . . so, .22LR for sheer amount of ammo that can be carried and price
    . . . Or .38 Special/.357 Magnum for better knock-down - good for
    . . . defense and hunting. Regular .38 Spcl is easily handled by women
    . . . and smaller guys - won't put you in the dirt!

    A good revolver, .22 rimfire or .38/.357, will run in the $200 and up category. If concealability isn't an issue, I favor a six inch barrel. My 6" Smith&Wesson Model 17 in .22LR is accurate enough to pop treerats within twenty yards. My Ruger Security Six 4" in .357 Magnum is better for defense.

    I'd suggest visiting a good gunshop and see what you like, what fits your hand and budget. If more than one family member will be using it, make sure all get a chance to 'test fit' it before buying. A gun is a very personal and subjective thing.
  4. Mortis

    Mortis Snake Eater

    I have to agree with the points SeaWolf made.

    You certainly have to determine what the purpose then fit the handgun to it.

    But it is vital that you are comfortable with what you carry. This has nothing to do with exterior ballastics of the ammo or what 10 dozen gun experts say about a firearm. If it does not fit you hand comfortably, then it will perform poorly in that same hand. Regardless of caliber.

    I've been carrying for 37 years and you would be surprised what you can conceal if properly outfitted. Contrary to popular belief, it is not all that difficult to conceal a 1911 or a 4 inch N-Frame S&W during the summer if you pay attention to the details of concealment.

    Only thing I will say on concealment is..... stay away from Middle of the Back (aka Small of the Back) carry, unless you are wearing a long, unfastened jacket. You have to bend over and that sucker prints against clothing like a neon sign. And yes, I have 2 holsters of such design for both my 1911 and the wife's Browning BDM.

    As SeaWolf said... head for your nearest gun shop and finger the dickens out of the handguns till you determine a proper fit.

    Good Luck......
  5. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Assuming you are talking about carrying for personal defense, I'll put in my 2 cents.

    I have always been a revolver guy myself (although that may be changing).

    A 357 magnum (all of which also shoot less powerful 38 special) with a 4 inch barrel is pretty much the standard. If you find the 357 rounds too hard to handle you can always just use 38's. And 38's make good, cheap practice.

    A Small framed Snub Nose revolver 38/357 (2 inch barrel or less) can also be extremely handy as it can simply fit inside your pocket, so it's real easy to carry wherever you go.

    I own both the above mentioned revolvers and I end up carrying the snubbie 90% of the time just because it's so easy to stick into my pocket. (BDU pants or loose fitting jeans like painters pants). If the gun is "hammerless" it's an added bonus for carrying in the pocket (doesn't snag). Here's a thread w/ pics of my 38/357's. http://www.survivalmonkey.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4973

    For the money, Taurus is tough to beat. Here is their pages of carry revolvers. http://www.taurususa.com/products/gunselector-results.cfm?page=2

    Smith & Wesson has a line of ultralights that are great (Taurus has Ultralights as well though at half the price). http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/...ING&attributeValueOperator1=EQUAL&isFirearm=Y
  6. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Smith&Wesson Model 10 38 spl 200.00 tops
  7. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

  8. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

  9. BigO01

    BigO01 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I want to say first off the SP101 is a fine weapon and have considered buying one myself many times but , it is in the $400 price range new , not exactly a first choice on a tight budget .

    In revolvers a Taurus 85 in 38 special "under $300 new" or a new Rossi "Now made by Taurus and under $300 new" would be a good choice , in Autos a Bersa 380 or a Taurus 380 or 9mm would all run new under $400 .

    While the 380 and 38 special are often looked down on they will be small and easy to carry "If thats what you want/need" and the gun you have with you will be of more help than the custom built super zapper that can shoot dimes at 50 yards yet is left at home because it is uncomfortable to carry .
  10. FalconDance

    FalconDance Neighborhood Witch

    Now see, this is exactly what I was looking for - solid advice from folks who know what they're talking about!

    I've seriously considered the little 38 special but (since I'm rather, ok really, ignorant of handguns, I figured I'd better see if there were any other viable options.

  11. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I recommend the .38 special, even if you buy a .357 magnum, shoot .38's out of, especially for practice. Then find a +P .38 special hollow point to carry in it for defensive purposes. The .357 Magnum loads are not pleasant to shoot.
  12. BigO01

    BigO01 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Was a bit tired when I made my first post and neglected a few important things .

    If you go with a snub revolver especially a magnum make sure the grips are hand filling and not the tiny wooden ones for easy concealed carry . If not look for after market Rubber grips B4 you buy the gun .

    Houge and Pachmayr make the best grips in this configuration .

    The worst gun I ever fired was a 2 inch S&W magnum with magnum loads and the factory wood grips and even with 38s it wasn't too comfortable because the grips were so tiny and slick .

    Rossi's grips are a bit small but manageable "I have a 972" even the wife wants a larger grip but you can't find them , there are after markets for Taurus guns as well as S&W's .

    FalconDance I don't know where in MO you are but , if you know where Mike's Guns in St. Charles is they have/had a nice selection of Taurus 38/357's snubs new running from just under $300 to about $350 and they have a lay away if needed .

    Another dealer to try in St. Charles would be Mike Blank at St. Louis Arms , 118 North Second Street , Suite 215 , Saint Charles, MO 63301 .
    phone: 636-410-0371 , cellular: 636-236-2490 .

    A S&W model 60 with a 3 inch barrel would be ideal but they run nearly $600 new and finding them used is tough to do .
  13. phishi

    phishi Psy-Ops Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Here is my .02: Unless you are sold on the .357, you should consider an auto.

    Here is why: .38 special, even ramped up, is no better than a 9mm. If you are going to go with a round that is considered by many to be the basement in terms of self defense (While the 9mm is, the 38 Special even loaded hot rarely is considered), you might as well have as many as you can get in the grip. A .38 special gives you 6-8 rounds tops. An auto gives you 15+.

    Revolver recommendations: Get a .357, practice with full loads and master it. Or, get a Ruger SP 101 in 9mm (They made some in the 90s) and load with some +P ammo, practice and master.

    Auto recommendations: Glock 19 with multiple mags. (Say what you want about combat tupperware, it is easy to learn coming from a revolver and goes bang every time you pull the trigger.)

  14. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Biggest point: You've made a decision you want "something" to carry. Stated above you really need to define your reasons(espercially to yourself) for "carrying".. just carying a weapon for no good reason ( or real need) can get you in trouble with the law and idiots ( predators)who recognize you aren't trained, physically, or mentally prepared to actually use it. Bluffing is a really bad idea. Just carrying "something" can give you the false confidence to wander where you normally wouldn't. Don't take the thought of comitting a homicide lightly.Yes, every killing is a homicide, it is up to the ct ourt to decide if it is also "Murder".If you apply lethal force in a situation it better be a situation that is worth going to the big house with blackjack and the boys.

    oH YEAH, Nothing wrong with a .38 for a civilian. The NYPD stood behind their( "wimpy") 4".38's for alot of years after other departments went flocking to hi capacity autos.They relied on their tactics and training.a fast sure hit with a .38 is worth 3 misses with the latest plastic wunder guns.
  15. FalconDance

    FalconDance Neighborhood Witch

    Tango, I appreciate your comments, I truly do. And I understand and agree with most of your points. (Assuming you're speaking of human environs) But the thought of me up and deciding to "wander where normally wouldn't" just because I'm carrying a gun and think I'm invincible is nearly too funny. There are places I have no intention nor desire to wander, armed or not - and never will unless it is an absolute necessity. And then there are places that I might consider only if armed, but likely not because feeling as if I have to be armed rather ruins the desire to explore for me.

    Having said that, the only place I'd gleefully arm myself to explore would be wilderness.

    I know how to shoot - I cannot rattle off all the pertinent info on guns including the velocities, barrel sizes, etc. There is a big difference. I would have far less difficulty shooting someone who is threatening me or mine than I would a problematic stray dog - and I have absolutely no use for problematic stray dogs although I realize they do not have the intelligence level to make informed decisions sometimes and really shouldn't lose their lives because they're following the scent of something or are just plain obstructive. That is not false bravado, that is fact. I do not believe in shooting to kill unless there is no other viable choice and in that case, the die is cast already, now isn't it, regardless.

    Do not think that since I have not clearly delineated my reasons in print here for you to peruse that I have not taken all this into consideration. I had a simple question, and it did not require a detailed analysis of my psyche to ask it.

  16. DesertDawg

    DesertDawg Monkey+++

    Like Mortis, I've carried for 37 years....as a LEO and a retired LEO. Mortis was also correct in saying that you might be very surprised at what can be totally concealed. I wouldn't want to carry a bulky Desert Eagle around all day, though!

    The only thing I will add is....DON'T SCRIMP! If, while looking around for a handgun that will suit you, you find one with, say, a price tag of $800 on it. If it's what you WANT, go for it! If you stay within your budget, and buy, say, a $200 handgun, that $800 one might haunt you forever!

    Do some "creative financing" to afford the BEST! Cut back on some "luxuries" for awhile (dining out, going to movies, taking long vacations, etc.). Do you have a birthday coming up soon? Spread the word that you'd rather have CASH than a "personal" gift! Same for Christmas and Father's Day....if you're a daddy! Work some over-time, if possible. Re-cycle aluminum cans. Maybe even ask relatives for a short-term loan! You might be amazed at how fast and relatively easy you can come up with some extra money!
  17. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Don't forget that you can often rent a pistol of any particular flavor at a range. Do so, and find one that you can shoot comfortably and can be concealed moderately easily. Worth the price of rental. Or, borrow one from a friend that you think might do, and see if it will. I'm with DD, by the way, get a good one that fits you, you'll never regret the expense.
  18. night340

    night340 Monkey+++

    I agree with Blackjack and EL.
    Cant go wrong with a good revolver Taurus ,S&W , Ruger
    2 or 3 inch barrel 38 special.
    Mine is a Taurus Model 85
    I carry it everyday 24-7 and have done so for over 10 years. Have other choices but this is the one that is most comfortable.
  19. poacher

    poacher Monkey+++ Founding Member

    DD, I agree to a point. A good pistol is a must but the best pistol in the world isn't going to do spit if you don't practice and shoot well with it. I could go out and buy a Kimber custom or go and get a Gunsite custom but, at what price? If I were to buy that 2000.00 pistol and then not shoot it more than once every six months chances are I'm going to suck when it comes to range day and God help me and anyone around me if I was to get into a shooting.
    Now I realize that the above post is the extreme but the gun doesn't make the shooter. Get a good gun made by a reputable company, one that fits your hand and you shoot well with and then put many, many rounds downrange with it. I have a 300.00 S&W that I would and have put my life on the line with.
    If I understand your meaning of your post then yes I agree don't go and buy a Jennings .22 because the gun is junk. I've also saw a guy show up at one of my clubs shoots with a Tokarav. He heard and saw everyone (well almost everyone) drooling over a kimber custom and next shoot guess what he showed up with.? He couldn't shoot it well, hell he couldn't shoot it poorly but by God he had a Kimber custom.
    Well thats my opinion and we know what those are like so I'll shutup now and go back to my coffee.
    Take care Be safe Poacher.
  20. oldteacher

    oldteacher Monkey+++

    A visit to the grandchildren means 40 miles of isolated back roads. A worried neighbor convinced me to carry a gun. Knowing I would probably shoot myself in the foot, he recommended a 22 revolver with hollow points. My offsring muttered, "Paranoida," but when a ragged looking character in an old car stayed behind me for the forty miles, speeding up and slowing down when I did, I was very happy to have it. Interesting times when Grandma packs a tootbrush, curling iron, pepper spray, and a handgun, isn't it?
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