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Old 10-10-2011, 04:08 PM   #11
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Personally your best bet is to try out a bunch of different options. Do you have a local range near by that you can rent firearms for a reasonable price so you can get some hands on activity before you fork out the cash to make a purchase that you may not be happy with?
That's the plan actually. Hoping to come up with a list of 3-4 good options and take the wife to the range to see what she's comfortable with.
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:16 PM   #12
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I just bought my better half a SW642 in .38. +p. Regardless of what people will say, a .38 has plenty of stopping power, and easily managed.

I recommend shooting more than a couple times a year though.

My Beretta Px4 in .40 would be her first choice in a HD/SHTF. Despite it's size it is very manageable for her ( she's about 110 soaking wet) and has a great (IMO) safety.
It ran me 450 with two mags and a holster.

But for what you describe I would get a revolver. If you go .357 you can pack it light with .38spl for her. Taurus has a snubbie for around $ 240 and will do fine. Same with a charter arms. Everyone, including they guy selling you the gun, will tell you to buy a Smith or a Ruger or something "high end". But truthfully, a Taurus is a fine choice especially if your not a 'gun guy' and just looking for something to defend against earthquakes.

I'm ignorantly assuming California?

And do you have children in the house?

I ask about kids cause that will determine your ease of access. A revolver with no safety ready to go is a great choice if no kids.

A shotgun should be on your list too. Look At it this way, for the price of a Smith or like gun you could get a Taurus revolver and a shotgun... Just saying

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Old 10-10-2011, 04:21 PM   #13
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Just noticed you are in the same horrible city I am. ( I hate this entire state) You actually have some good options though.

There is a couple ranges I can recommend with a good rental selection, very fair prices and excellent friendly service, depending on where in the basin you are. And a couple good shops where you won't get hosed on a gun too.
PM me and I'll hook you up.

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Old 10-10-2011, 04:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forestwalker

That's the plan actually. Hoping to come up with a list of 3-4 good options and take the wife to the range to see what she's comfortable with.
I hope all goes well for you. Looking forward to seeing what you decide to go with. I'm sure others on this site will gladly shed some personal input on what has worked well for them.
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:28 PM   #15
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That's the plan actually. Hoping to come up with a list of 3-4 good options and take the wife to the range to see what she's comfortable with.
I'd take the wife first. The ladies tend to be pickier, and half the stuff we pick simply won't meet their standards.
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:30 PM   #16
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And do you have children in the house?

I ask about kids cause that will determine your ease of access. A revolver with no safety ready to go is a great choice if no kids.
No kids of our own yet (soon hopefully) but kids are frequently at the apartment.
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:38 PM   #17
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Plan on spending $500. There are some decent options for closer to $300, but $500 or so will afford you the opportunity to land a reliable pistol in almost any category.

First choice: Revolver vs Semi-Auto. It's a personal choice, guided by caliber preference, size/weight, ergomonomics. Semi-autos do have greater capacity, but that advantage is somewhat tempered by California law.

Revolvers
357mag/38sp- The 357m is a first class heavy hitter and a 38spl is an adequate defense round comparable to a 9mm. 357/38 is easily the most practical revolver caliber for you.

327mag- For your specific sitatution this might not be a bad choice. You can shoot multiple 32cal rounds through this gun, but the 327mag is the only practical defense round. These also offer an extra round or two of capacity in the cylinder. 327mag ammo can be tough to come by and it's not cheap. It's certainly not a caliber you want to have to scavenge for when the fan's already been struck. But for having a wife-friendly gun&ammo around "just in case", it could be practical.

Revolver brands: Focus on Ruger or S&W, with a barrel longer than 3".

Semi-Auto
Caliber/Size: A medium/compact framed 9mm seems like your most practical option.

Metal frame: I like a lot of them, but I think CZ 75 offers the best value for $500 or so. A used SW 5906 or new Bersa Thunder9 are solid options for under $400. And were I in your shoes, I'd also look at a Sig P239 (slimmer, female-friendly grip)...though it'll take you into the $600-800 range.

Polymer frames: Most of the options you'll find at $350+ are great guns. Simple, light, and easy to maintain. IMO you should steer clear of Taurus.

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Old 10-10-2011, 05:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forestwalker

No kids of our own yet (soon hopefully) but kids are frequently at the apartment.
I recommend, then, a revolver locked up ( loaded and ready to go) in a thin bedside safe. One of the thin ones that has buttons on the fingertips of your hand.

Gun locks are a pain and finding a key in a hurry is not opportune. So a small easily accessed gun safe big enough to slide your hand in slim enough to squeeze between a mattress and the bedframe or bolted close on a wall.

Find your nearest Turners. There is one in
Norwalk with a great selection, good prices and a very worthy staff.

Look into a Taurus M461 in .357 they have it for $ 299.

Or a smith 642 in.38spl they have it for 399.

If you went with an auto the Ruger LC9 for under 400 is easily concealed and simple. Just don't go to Reseda, they have some stupid ban on smaller pistols including the ones I just recommended.

The safe I recommend is a Micro Vault 500 Standard. 100 bucks but when kids are present, it still offers good accessibility to you and the misses
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Old 10-15-2011, 03:29 AM   #19
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I'd suggest a Glock 19 9mm. There is no safety. It's very reliable. It's moderately sized for concealment. It has good capacity. 9mm is effective enough for home defense and cheap enough to let you stock up on ammo and practice without breaking the bank. I'd keep it loaded with some good hollow point +P ammo after you make sure your gun will cycle it reliably.

Edit: I forgot that you have a 10 round limit on magazines. G19 is still a good choice, but there may be a smaller 9mm that will just hold 10 rounds and fit your needs just as well. My Kahr CW-9 holds 7+1. It's my every day carry. There are dozens of options in 9mm alone.

After renting a few and deciding on a caliber, research your options on that caliber and rent some in just that caliber to compare. Maybe you can find a local gun club or gun forum meet and greet and try out their guns and get advice in person.

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Old 10-15-2011, 05:13 AM   #20
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I'm going to be another fan of the 357 in this case. You can load 38's if recoil is a problem and you don't get much more reliable than a revolver. Look at the Smiths or maybe something like a Ruger GP100. A 38 is not a bad choice I just like the ammo choices with the 357 more.

But you should get your hands on a few different weapons and see what fits you (and the Mrs) best. THe best in the world to me might not work well for you. And a bad fit can (and will) cause you problems if the need for that weapon ever arises.

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