Best Handgun for Rookie Gun Owner?

Discussion in 'All Other Discussions' started by InTheLight, May 25, 2015.

  1. InTheLight

    InTheLight
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    Am thinking of buying a hand gun for home protection and practice shooting. I have next to no experience with firearms. I've fired a rifle and a shotgun when I was in my 20's, am now in my 50's. Suggestions?
     
  2. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Single shot shotgun and a revolver ...... probably a 38 special. A semi automatic 'anything ' is prone to jam. A small caliber revolveris easy...just fill a chamber. The bullet, I feel anyway is all important. I perfer hollow points to conventional rounds. Listen, even a 22 calibur revolver with hollow point bullets will drop an intruder.
     
  3. kyredneck

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    I love the simplicity and dependability of a double action revolver, even better if it happens to be stainless steel. I'd go with .38 or 357 mag. (357 magnum will also chamber .38 ammo but will be bigger heavier frame) There's some sweet little hammerless SS revolvers out there I've been tempted to scarf up, but enough is enough...sigh.
     
    #3 kyredneck, May 25, 2015
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  4. McCree79

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    Glock model 22 .40cal.
    Glocks are dependable and simple.
     
  5. kyredneck

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    Got one of those but the .44 Charter Arms Bulldog is still my 'go to' pistol whenever something is amiss. It also fits nicely into back pants pocket.
     
    #5 kyredneck, May 25, 2015
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  6. Don

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    Revolver. With semi-automatics, you need to put some serious time into familiarizing yourself with shooting, re-loading, taking it apart and cleaning.
     
  7. Earth Wind and Fire

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    I agree...only I need something that's easy and dependable for my wife.....I want a single shot shotgun for that job. BUT AGREED 357 mag......with a 6 in barrel is fantastic. I have my eye on one in S/S made by Smith and Wesson ......but its expensive.
     
  8. just-want-peace

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    You should think long and hard about this.
    Should you NEED protection, are you sure you could kill an intruder??
    If after serious thought, you can definitely accept that you MAY have to actually kill someone, and you are willing to do the deed, then I agree that a double action revolver is the best bet.
    But do not think that you can just SCARE someone and they'll leave, or that you could just wound them to stop them - either is a possibility, but neither is guarenteed, so having a defensive weapon could be worse than no weapon at all UNLESS you are committed to taking the other's life if absolutely necessary.
    Oh, practice, practice, and then practice some more. That weapon should just become an extension of your arm when used.
    I know your feelings, as I went through this before I bought mine.
    Good luck!!
     
  9. JonC

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    I'd suggest a revolver. For the home...I also like 38 Special.
     
  10. TCassidy

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    Go to a gun range that rents handguns and shoot several different models in different calibers. Then buy the one that felt best in your hand and you could shoot most effectively.

    I would recommend you start with a smaller caliber for two reasons.

    1. Smaller caliber means less recoil which means you are going to be less likely to flinch from the recoil or miss your target due to healing - pushing forward on the grip in anticipation of recoil.

    2. A smaller caliber fires less expensive ammunition. Cheaper ammunition means you can spend more time at the range practicing with your new handgun. And the old adage is right, "practice makes perfect."

    Proficiency with a handgun is a perishable skill. If you do not practice frequently you will lose your shooting skills. I shoot at least once per week, usually 100 rounds per pistol, and always practicing every week with my every day carry pistol (a Walther PK).

    There are several .380 and 9mm pistols available that are quite inexpensive. I would try those first to see if they fit your hand and suit your requirements.

    In choosing and shooting handguns there is no "one size fits all." :)

    Just FYI, I have 40 years experience as a firearms instructor. Military. Law Enforcement.

    I am an NRA Certified Pistol Instructor
    NRA Certified Range Safety Officer
    IFPO Certified Close Protection Agent
    State of CA Department of Justice Certified Firearms Safety Instructor.

    I spent the last five years prior to my retirement as a Firing Line Instructor and Safety Officer at the San Diego Police Range teaching young officers, many of which (due to California's draconian gun control laws) had never even held a firearm let alone shoot one. :)
     
  11. InTheLight

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    Everyone, thanks for the advice. A Glock 9 mm and a .357 were also the top two suggestions I've received from gun enthusiasts I know (those not on BB).

    TCassidy, a friend of mine is the president of a gun club and his suggestion mirrors yours - - come out to the range and try some out for size.
     
  12. padredurand

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    A single 2 3/4 inch 12 gauge 00 buckshot shell will put nine to twelve .30 caliber rounds down range with a single trigger pull. My Remington 1100 will hold five rounds -one in the chamber and four in the tube. Do the math. 45-60 rounds down range in under three seconds.

    I believe in gun control. Use both hands.
     
  13. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Yea but that could go through 2 walls, perhaps injuring someone on the other side.
     
  14. padredurand

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    Where do you think the 9mm and .357 are going?

    Check out this ballistics test. It even has pictures.

    And the shotgun will go through 4 walls according to this same site.
     
    #14 padredurand, May 25, 2015
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  15. Rolfe

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    Second TCassidy's advice.

    Along with what he said, and my opinion only:

    1. I think that 9mm is a good handgun caliber to start with. Inexpensive-ish with relatively enough power.

    2. Revolvers (DA) are a good choice because they are simple to use, but the cartridge capacity of many semiautos should be a consideration.

    3. Home location and orientation should be a consideration. Close neighbors or rural home. Example: Neighbor's bedroom in line with your hallway. Shot at invader passes through wall, across driveway, and enters where they sleep.

    4. Pump shotguns are a good option. Stay away from pistol-gripped ones.

    5. Buy what is comfortable, enjoyable to shoot, and easy to feed. Put a minimum 50 rounds per month through it to stay familiar with it. Proficiency requires much more than that, of course.

    Be warned. Guns tend to multiply. :laugh:
     
  16. InTheLight

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    I guess so. My friend at the gun club says he's got over 300.
     
  17. Revmitchell

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    The best handgun is the one you are most comfortable with with, practice with regularly and are so familiar with you can take it apart, clean it, and put it back together with your eyes closed. It is the gun you have spent countless rounds out of at target practice, it is the one you have received training with.

    Owning a gun is a commitment well beyond just having it sit in your drawer.
     
  18. Rolfe

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    Become his good friend... :laugh:
     
  19. Bro. Curtis

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    My favorite close in self defense weapon is the lowly 1911 .45. Mine is a stainless Springfield Armory. It is a lot of fun to shoot and you get a lot of stopping power.
     
  20. Revmitchell

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    I have a Taurus 45. I may get rid of it and get a 1911. I miss it.
     

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