What should my first firearm be (using for home-defense)
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Old 06-08-2008, 04:10 AM   #1
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Default What should my first firearm be (using for home-defense)

Hey guys,
After a neighbor was robbed while their entire family was home, I decided that I needed to step up and take the role of protector of the household, so I've decided to buy a handgun (I'm totally new to firearms, so don't hesitate to make suggestions or correct me if I'm wrong; that' how I learn!)
I've been searching for a good home defense handgun (parents were scared to death of shotguns.) My price range is $600 or under. Here's what I was thinking: .40 S&W, 12 rd. or greater capacity, at least a 4in barrel, and, most importantly, AMBIDEXTEROUS CONTROLS (or at least the ability to have a gunsmith switch them.) Here's what I've come up with, in no particular order:
1. Beretta PX4 Storm
2. S&W Sigma
3. S&W MP 40
4. Steyr M-A1
5. Springfield XD 4"
6. FN FNP-40
7. Glock 22 (maybe 23)
8. EAA Witness
First of all, are all of these ambidexterous? I'm a lefty. Which one(s) do you guys recommend? Anything I'm forgetting? Since it's for home defense, should I go DAO? Should Picatinny rails be a deciding factor? Anything bad about polymer frames? Would a ported gun really blind me if I fire it in the dark? Any suggestions would be great. Thanks!

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Old 06-08-2008, 06:07 AM   #2
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Buy a shotgun.

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Old 06-08-2008, 07:52 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Ninj A. Cat View Post
Hey guys,
After a neighbor was robbed while their entire family was home, I decided that I needed to step up and take the role of protector of the household, so I've decided to buy a handgun (I'm totally new to firearms, so don't hesitate to make suggestions or correct me if I'm wrong; that' how I learn!)
I've been searching for a good home defense handgun (parents were scared to death of shotguns.) My price range is $600 or under. Here's what I was thinking: .40 S&W, 12 rd. or greater capacity, at least a 4in barrel, and, most importantly, AMBIDEXTEROUS CONTROLS (or at least the ability to have a gunsmith switch them.) Here's what I've come up with, in no particular order:
1. Beretta PX4 Storm
2. S&W Sigma
3. S&W MP 40
4. Steyr M-A1
5. Springfield XD 4"
6. FN FNP-40
7. Glock 22 (maybe 23)
8. EAA Witness
First of all, are all of these ambidexterous? I'm a lefty. Which one(s) do you guys recommend? Anything I'm forgetting? Since it's for home defense, should I go DAO? Should Picatinny rails be a deciding factor? Anything bad about polymer frames? Would a ported gun really blind me if I fire it in the dark? Any suggestions would be great. Thanks!
One night I was all alone. I had maybe 7 or 8 guns in my room... heard a sound in the living room... I looked around at all the handguns (.22, 9mm, 45, etc) to my trusty ak-47.... but the choice was crystal clear.... without hesitation.... Mossberg 500 pump shotgun. *

Get one... it is what you need for self defense in a house. Depending on what you shoot, you won't have to worry (too much) about shooting through walls or killing someone the next house over.

Shotguns are easy to shoot... easy to clean.... easy to maintain... hard to miss someone in the hall.

Anyway, whatever you do... do one thing: TAKE A BASIC FIREARMS CLASS!!! Depending on your location, it might cost $25 to $100 but it is money well spent. Whenever I move to a new state, I take a local class... you learn not only about how to shoot, clean, and maintain your gun, but you also learn about gun laws in your state.

*Now, if you want a handgun... which I recommend against for home defense (but who am I?)... I'd recommend the glock 22 or glock 17. That is if you are never going to carry the gun. If you might get your concealed carry license, I'd get the 19 or 23.

These are easy to shoot and maintain firearms at a reasonable price. Ultra reliable... glocks are the standard out the box.

But go down to a local range and ask to rent a gun... well, since you don't know guns, I'd guess you would need to take a class first.... Anyway, rent both guns and fire them.... study about ammo... they will teach you about ammo in class.

That is all I can think of right now... oh, and NEVER tell anyone in your neighborhood or even close friends that you own a gun... it is nothing to brag about... and bragging can get you killed since most people who get robbed are robbed by someone who knows them. lol

Have the element of surprise.
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Old 06-08-2008, 04:56 PM   #4
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Default Home Defense Gun

I would get a shotgun, honestly man. I have a New England pump, they're new to making pumps, it would be a good home defense weapon cause it's got a short barrel with no choke. Riot Gun. I got it brand new for $180 at a local gun store.

If you really want a handgun, I would go with a Rock Island Armory 1911. They can be bought for around $370 new, and they can be easily modified for ambidextrious shooters. They are also the same highly reliable design that was used by our fighting men up until the 1980's, except Special Forces who still use it. So you don't have to worry whether or not it will load and fire when needed. I carry this weapon on a daily basis and I really like the knockdown power of the .45 round. The ammunition is a little more expensive than 9mm but I think it's worth it. I'm left-handed as well, but I hold the gun in my right hand, cause I was taught how to shoot by my dad and a cop friend (both of which are right-handed). Take a look at my pistol in my pics gallery if you want, I've got two pics of it, one left and one right.

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Old 06-08-2008, 06:10 PM   #5
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If you really want a handgun, I would go with a Rock Island Armory 1911. They can be bought for around $370 new, and they can be easily modified for ambidextrious shooters. .
Just be ready to spend another $1,000.00 to get it to shoot reliably.

I gave up on my 45 springfield... I'd never recommend them for someone as a first gun either... unless I wanted to get them killed. lol
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Old 06-08-2008, 08:18 PM   #6
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I have to agree with everyone as far as the shotgun goes. Just the sound of a slide being racked has thwarted many a night time home invasion! Also, if you are new to handguns I would recommend a revolver as your first gun, a course (like someone else mentioned) and membership in an indoor range for a while, unless you can shoot in your backyard like some of us real lucky folks! The revolver will NEVER jam, it will teach you about SA/DA trigger pull in a safer platform, and depending on what you get, you can even mount a scope on it and use it for hunting! If you get a .357 Mag you can shoot relatively cheap ammo with less recoil in .38 spl out of the same gun, so you have two choices of ammo with one gun as well as a variety of bullet styles and weights for almost any situation. If you buy a handgun, sooner or later you will have to start reloading.....or go broke!

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Old 06-08-2008, 09:01 PM   #7
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I have to agree with everyone as far as the shotgun goes. Just the sound of a slide being racked has thwarted many a night time home invasion! Also, if you are new to handguns I would recommend a revolver as your first gun, a course (like someone else mentioned) and membership in an indoor range for a while, unless you can shoot in your backyard like some of us real lucky folks! The revolver will NEVER jam, it will teach you about SA/DA trigger pull in a safer platform, and depending on what you get, you can even mount a scope on it and use it for hunting! If you get a .357 Mag you can shoot relatively cheap ammo with less recoil in .38 spl out of the same gun, so you have two choices of ammo with one gun as well as a variety of bullet styles and weights for almost any situation. If you buy a handgun, sooner or later you will have to start reloading.....or go broke!
From your name, I'd guess you are partial to 357s.... although I've never owned one, I agree 100% with your post. I've known a couple of people with them and fired a couple... not a bad gun at all.... if the OP must own a handgun.

Simple to shoot, easy to maintain, etc.... revolver should be in the mix.
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:13 AM   #8
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One thing you don't want to do is go to a gun shop unprepared. First, have an idea what type of gun you want. Second, check them out on the internet to see what other people say about them. There will be biases, but you should still find good information. Third, stay away from guys hanging around the shop dressed in camo clothing if they aren't working there. They usually don't know anything but like to think they can tell you how stupid you are for wanting product A over product B.

Ok, the third step is a joke...or is it???

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Old 06-09-2008, 12:20 AM   #9
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Third, stay away from guys hanging around the shop dressed in camo clothing if they aren't working there. They usually don't know anything but like to think they can tell you how stupid you are for wanting product A over product B.

Ok, the third step is a joke...or is it???
No that's no joke! When I used to shoot at a range I used to run into those camo=clad weekend warriors all the time. They were usually the ones that loaded their magazines with more ammo than was allowed, would get yelled at by the range officer for shooting the target frames and other people targets, had the highest incidents of "accidental discharges", and were the last to step away from the firing line when a "cease fire" was called and the first to shoot when the "commence firing" was given. And they almost always were shooting "assault rifles"...lol
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:28 AM   #10
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From your name, I'd guess you are partial to 357s.... although I've never owned one, I agree 100% with your post. I've known a couple of people with them and fired a couple... not a bad gun at all.... if the OP must own a handgun.

Simple to shoot, easy to maintain, etc.... revolver should be in the mix.
lol - yes..I admit it...I am partial to the .357. It was my first gun also and while I don't carry it much anymore it taught me a lot, and I always felt secure carrying it. It's what got me started reloading also, because after a while I couldn't afford to buy the factory ammo, and that was 15 years ago. Today I hardly shoot any factory ammo in any of my guns because the stuff I can reload is 30% cheaper, made with better components (Sierra & Hornady bullets), and is far more accurate.
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