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Old 03-28-2014, 08:54 PM   #1
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Default Looking for advice

Sorry if reposted. I didn't think that it went through the first time...

First off, I'm new. I made this account specifically to make this request, one I'm sure you probably get quite a bit:

I'm looking for advice in purchasing a handgun.

Bit of info to maybe get you experts thinking- I'm not new to guns. I grew up with them, but have never bought one myself. The pistols I've used the most growing up were a S&W .38 Special, Glock 20 10mm AUTO and a .22 Browning Buckmark. I was very partial to the Glock.
I'm looking into getting a pistol now for defense. In two months I'm moving to Anchorage, AK. I'm going back to school there and have been thinking of starting up a freelance computer repair business. I'd be going out to people locales to work and would operate out of my house. Thing is, other people have told me, and I agree, that perhaps it would be beneficial to have a weapon in my car that I could put on my person should I be called out to a place that gave a bad impression.
Which isn't to mention, it [I]is[I] a city, has a relatively high crime rate, non-existent gun laws, and is... well... Alaska.
Alright, now you know what it is for, now let's see if you can tailor it to me! I want something that is able to be concealed on my person. I was thinking of a shoulder rig, but I don't know. I also need something that is made for large hands. I'm 6'6", 280 (hence why I've not thought about guns much until my next move). My hands aren't fat, no fat fingers. Just big with long fingers. I've a large frame, so take that into account for where I would keep such a weapon on my person. I'd prefer a caliber with some heft, just out of personal preference. I've always liked the weight of such things.
Other than that, I'm right handed. Prefer an automatic over a revolver. Is there an advantage to a double action pistol? Is the function the same as in revolvers? I'd also like to be able to practice with the weapon such that I don't have to spend a great deal on ammunition.

I'll update this if I think of anything else. Thanks in advance for your help in getting me started.

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Old 03-28-2014, 09:02 PM   #2
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I am not the biggest Glock fan, but they make many handguns known for their reliability and standardization; perhaps you could find one similar to the Glock 20 that uses a less expensive ammunition than 10mm? Alternatively, there are people who have the Glock 20 with its potent 10mm cabability but who have aftermarket barrels and magazines to allow them to fire less powerful calibers for practice or plinking fun. I believe one of our forumites has the Glock 20 with a 9mm barrel, a .40sw barrel, and the 10mm barrel.

I wouldn't think that even a full-sized Glock like the standard model 20 would be hard to conceal in cold weather wear.

You might also find the 10mm to be useful on the local ursine menaces.


"Double action" basically means that you don't have to "cock" the hammer of the firearm before the trigger will fire it; the gun does "double action" when you pull the trigger, cocking the hammer/striker and releasing it with the same pull of the trigger. This is most apparent in revolvers; cowboy-style single action revolvers require you to cock the hammer before pulling the trigger while more "modern" double action revolvers can use a heavier trigger to both cock & drop the hammer.

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Old 03-28-2014, 09:22 PM   #3
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Thank you very much for a prompt reply. I'm only partial to the Glock as it is the only pistol I've really fired more than once. My dad swears by that Glock 20. I am not closed to the idea of going to a different brand. What, if I may ask, would you suggest? I'm looking to spend somewhere around $500-$600US, but for something fantastic that would last me a long time, I could go higher.

Ah, yes, bears. I wasn't going to list that as one of my possible uses as to avoid the brigade of pepper spray people. It is a gun forum though...

Ah, so just like on a revolver, a double action pistol, when cocked, shortens the trigger pull?

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Old 03-28-2014, 09:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SurrealSymbiont View Post
Thank you very much for a prompt reply. I'm only partial to the Glock as it is the only pistol I've really fired more than once. My dad swears by that Glock 20. I am not closed to the idea of going to a different brand. What, if I may ask, would you suggest? I'm looking to spend somewhere around $500-$600US, but for something fantastic that would last me a long time, I could go higher.

Ah, yes, bears. I wasn't going to list that as one of my possible uses as to avoid the brigade of pepper spray people. It is a gun forum though...

Ah, so just like on a revolver, a double action pistol, when cocked, shortens the trigger pull?
In polymer pistols, I am fond of my XD45. For Alaska, though, I would really think the 10mm capability would be worth having, if not for bear then for better penetration of heavy and multiple layers of winter clothing. If you are familiar with that Glock 20, I would keep it as a front runner.

Many "double action" semi-automatic pistols use a striker that cannot be manually cocked, like the Glock 20; effectively making them "double action only". Some semi-auto pistols offer the option to cock a hammer for a lighter trigger pull; they call these SA/DA or single action/double action, like the 1911 pistols.

http://www.slickguns.com/category/hand-guns This is a link to a popular website listing firearms on sale at different online and brick-n-mortar retailers.

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/15616
That one fits your budget and allows for caliber options, but I have no first-hand experience with that brand. The design is remarkable similar to that of a CZ-75b, a fine pistol.
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Old 03-28-2014, 10:12 PM   #5
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Cut me a break Glock-haters!

1) A Glock 23 in .40 S&W can be retrofitted with a Lone Wolf 40- 9mm conversion barrel, holds 13+ rounds and can also be converted to a .357 Sig, with the right conversion barrel, if you think .40 S&W wont handle the vermin you'll have to deal with.

The G23 is a compact, but not tiny, is concealable 12 months a year in AK. 9mm ammo is second only to .22lr in affordability and the Glock is known for reliability and has nearly as many after-market mods as the AR-15.

2) A Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan in .44 mag. has a 2 1/2" barrel and is a CC cannon. You can practice with .44 spl. and pack magnum rounds when needed.

Besides this is just a badass gun!

There's something to think about, and good luck in you adventures in Alaska!

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Old 03-28-2014, 11:28 PM   #6
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If you're going to Alaska, and since you're the size of a small tree, get the 10MM Glock. The 10MM is a little more common in Alaska because it's common for people there to use them in self defense against some of the larger wildlife found in that state. The Gen 4 10MM and .45 ACP models fit my hand perfectly, but you may want to use the backstrap replacements that come with the gun or a Gen 3 model.

As far as advantages are concerned, full power 10MM is equivalent to a standard .357 Magnum loading. You have 15 in the magazine with a Glock 20.

Don't expect miracles against an angry bear when all you have is a 10MM. A .44 Magnum revolver will work better.

I realize there are larger caliber revolvers out there, but the ammo for them is insanely expensive, rough on the hands, and may be difficult to obtain.

Anything large enough to reliably take down a bear will be sub-optimal against humans, so decide which one you're most likely to have to come to terms with.

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Old 03-28-2014, 11:51 PM   #7
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You have a glock 20 now. If you shoot it well then your covered or maybe a glock 29 . Your big enough to wear it how ever you wish to maybe even appendix carry . You walk inside you will atleast unzip and its then at the ready. You could ware iwb or owb cross draw or straight up at 2;30 set high and cover easily with a shirt.

This is a very good 10mm ammo to -
http://www.underwoodammo.com/10mmAuto220GrainHardCastFlatNoseBoxof50.aspx

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Old 03-29-2014, 01:54 AM   #8
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Good posts so far everyone. Just a couple notes:

- Gello, 1911s are not SA/DA. They are single action only. The hammer must be cocked in order for them to fire.

- Hardluk1, unless I misunderstood the OP, he himself doesn't have a G20. His father does. But he has trigger time on it.

- OP, all the previous suggestions are reasonable given your specifics. I have a few thoughts:

1) Go to a gun store and handle various models. See what fits your hand the best. Rent and shoot some that are on the short list if possible.

2) Will you be a resident officially of Alaska? If so, I believe no permit is required to conceal carry a firearm. In this regard, I recommend ALWAYS carrying when it is legal to do so. A gun in your car does no good if you need it and you aren't in your car.

3) If your main concern is bears, a 10mm with deep penetrating ammunition would be an ok choice. The problem is, in my opinion, that even hollow points in 10mm might over-penetrate against two-legged attackers, thus causing a potential danger to innocents. Just something to think about. I agree that you might need to decide which is more likely to be a danger to you.

4) There's no perfect choice. Handguns are always a compromise in some regard.

5) Be familiar with the law in Alaska, always. Even if it means taking a concealed carry course when you get there.

Good luck!

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Old 03-29-2014, 10:53 AM   #9
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Keep a can of bear spray for grizzly's handy. Its does work. Then buy what you like best for human issues. The 10mm is still a good choice as people tend to be dressed heavier up there year round. Maybe a 45auto version. May depend more on what ammo is available more often . All firearm companies make good and bad handguns too. Its part of the luck of the draw.

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Old 03-29-2014, 01:49 PM   #10
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I think the glock 20 or 21 would suit you well. The 21 in .45 acp would be cheaper to practice with and may be better suited for use in populated areas, but the 20 in 10mm provides more firepower, either way, you won't be disappointed. Maybe buy both if the budget allows as holsters will fit both guns and I'd advocate a second gun over a conversion barrel or kit any day.

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