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Old 07-17-2014, 03:13 AM   #1
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Hello all,

I am currently shopping around and researching different handguns for home defense and general range shooting. I do not intend to use this weapon as a concealed and carry firearm, more just for something to protect myself and my loved ones inside the home and on my property. The problem I'm facing is the overwhelming amount of firearms to choose from. I am new to handguns but not new to firearms (I own multiple rifles and a shotgun) and know there are some old standard names S&W, Colt, Ruger, etc., but am unsure of where to start. I'd like a reliable pistol for under $1000 and am not particular on wether it is a semi-automatic or a revolver. I understand there are pro's and cons to both. I also understand that there are pros and cons between the caliber choice as well. That being said I know this is a very loaded question and any advise would be very grateful. Thank you for the time.
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Old 07-17-2014, 03:29 AM   #2
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I would recommend going to your gun store and handling as many handguns as possible, narrow it down ATP a couple that suit your needs and if at all possible shoot the few you select.
Let me also recommend a glock 19 that is just one of my personal favorites but is not the end all be all pistols.
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Old 07-17-2014, 03:32 AM   #3
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my two top recomendations are the beretta M9 with 20 round mecgar mags or the springfield armory xdm in 9mm. 9mm is a great round to learn with.

go wrap your mitts around a bunch of different types narrow it down to five and research from there
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Old 07-17-2014, 04:19 AM   #4
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As Jon suggested, 9MM is good choice to start with for a SD/HD handgun.

If you later feel the need for a heavier caliber cartridge, you can trade up, but realize that ammunition for those calibers is more expensive and availability may be an issue. There are other issues as well, but I don't want this thread to be a caliber debate.

As others here already know, I prefer striker fired pistols with minimal controls (no "safety", just like a revolver), but that's a personal choice (I favor simplicity in operation and design over connotations of "safety" that thumb levers provide). Glock, S&W, and others all make pistols that fit that description.

No amount of money spent on gadgetry like competition triggers and such can make you a better shooter and I discourage modification or replacement of factory components with aftermarket parts that have not been subjected to the same testing as the factory components.
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Old 07-17-2014, 04:30 AM   #5
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There are plenty of reliable designs for under $1000.

If you have a place that rents guns, I would highly recommend trying some out. While this is going to add to your overall cost, it will give you a chance to find out what you truly like.

Also, highly recommend 9mm like the others. It is a good starter round but is still a decent caliber for defense.
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Old 07-17-2014, 04:40 AM   #6
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Where to start-S&W alone makes a
lot of good ones.
You can get 1911 types in 9mm caliber.
There's the Browning High Power,
CZ75, Beretta 92, and many more.

Try as many as you can before you buy.
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Old 07-17-2014, 04:51 AM   #7
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You say you have rifles and a shotgun. Save yourself the money and use what you already own.
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Old 07-17-2014, 05:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8oldguy View Post
You say you have rifles and a shotgun. Save yourself the money and use what you already own.
I keep all my rifles and shotguns locked up in the safe. I have one handgun in a drawer under my bed for unexpected, immediate defense. I have children in the house and neighbors within range. Must be careful of over penetration.


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Old 07-17-2014, 05:14 AM   #9
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If you are set on a handgun and since it is not for concealed carry, stick with a full/service sized gun. They will have more capacity with less felt recoil and a longer sight radius. Try some guns and see what system you like best. If there are kids around, consider a quick open pistol safe. If your wife might have to use it, make sure it is something she can handle and gets proper training in the safety systems what ever they may be. My 70+ year old petite wife can rack a slide but some people just cant. Some slides are easier than others and revolvers dont have slides so consider that factor in choosing your handgun.
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:15 AM   #10
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Caliber: In my opinion, 9mm would be option #1. It works great for defense and the range, allows for high capacity, quick handling, you can find a gun that fits any shooter, and the ammo bill is rather forgiving on the wallet. For survival/defense senarios, a hit with 9mm is about 90% as effective as the rounds many will tell you are dramatically superior, while being way quicker with follow-up shots. 45acp and (if revolvers work for you)357mag would finish a close second. 40sw, 357sig, 10mm, and 44mag are all fine enough options, but they can come with drawbacks depending on your budget, abilities, and expectations.

Brand- I like CZ's 75b as the best range/HD for under $800 (they're $500-600). Great gun. Easy to be quick and accurate with, and a nice looking/feeling firearm for most tastes. I also like 1911 45acps, 9mm BHP, and Springfield's XD/XDm lineup.

But those are just my tastes for my hands. If they fit you, I'd fully endorse several others. Example: There isn't much better range/HD pistol for under $1K (or even $3K) than an alloy Sig P220/226, provided they fit you right. If they fit me perfect, that'd be my choice.

My best advice is that you test drive as many pistols as possible, and confine your search to the following brands:

CZ
Springfield
Sig Sauer
Glock
Browning
FN
S&W*
Ruger*
Beretta
H&K
Walther

*- also offers excellent revolvers
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Last edited by sweeper22; 07-17-2014 at 09:29 AM.
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