First time buyer

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by h2disciple, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. h2disciple

    h2disciple New Member

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    Looking to buy a handgun for self/home defense. Just wanting something reliable but not overly expensive. Any ideas for caliber or manufacturer? Would appreciate any help. Thanks.
     
  2. Olympus

    Olympus New Member

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    Are you planning on concealing it? Or is it strictly a "nighstand" gun? What's your top end on price?
     

  3. Glockpotion23

    Glockpotion23 New Member

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    This is such a broad question but this is what i would do. Since you didnt say anything about carrying, i take it its just for HD. Me personally, i would look at a .45acp because of the stopping power. Now with that being said, you have many manufacturers out there. IMO, i would look at Glocks, Springfield XD's, Rugers, Smith&Wesson M&P etc. If i had my pick, of course i choose Glock just because i know them personally; although im sure the others are very reliable. Now, im pretty sure all these are in the $500+ range. What i would recommend first and foremost is find a range and practice with different ones. You may feel like the 9mm is the way to go, or perhaps the .40 cal. Once you find the caliber for you, then focus on manufacturer. Keep us posted:)
     
  4. Glockpotion23

    Glockpotion23 New Member

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    Forgot to mention the safety feature. If your a true beginner, you may want safety features and the Glock doesnt really have any IMO. Now the XD has plenty; very safety friendly. Just do your homework and you will be fine.
     
  5. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    Price range will determine a lot. You should try to "test drive" or at least hold as many different pistols as possible. The Ruger P95 can usually be found fairly inexpensive, in the $300 range. http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/21_49_75/products_id/18161 Not exactly pretty, but reliable according to those i've known who owned one. There is also a 30 round magazine available for range fun. :)

    Also, don't rule out a lightly used firearm; i have a couple i really like.
     
  6. frontsightarmory

    frontsightarmory New Member

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    I agree with the guys on here and their advise. It has always been my advise to people who are looking for their first handgun to take your time and find the firearm that fits you and your needs. Like has been suggested here the Glock or Springfield XD are hard to beat for a first gun. The double action only is simple to master and both are reasonable in price. One other suggestion,invest in a quality set of night sights. You cant shoot accurately in the dark of your home if you cant see the sights.
     
  7. charobeans

    charobeans New Member

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    I second the P95...I've owned one kick myself for selling. Cheap and reliable!
     
  8. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    Find yourself a used S&W or Ruger .357 revolver. You can practice with .38's and keep it loaded with .357 magnums for defense.
     
  9. HOSSFLY

    HOSSFLY New Member

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    Take a look at the Ruger SR line- Bit more investment but simple safe design :)
    The P series are great too but butt ugly :p
     
  10. nccinstaller

    nccinstaller New Member

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    I agree with the revolver idea for a beginner. Very simple build design and simple to use. And as stated before if you get a 357 you can practice with 38. And as far as stopping power the bad guy wont be very happy with a 357 shaped hole in him
     
  11. h2disciple

    h2disciple New Member

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    Thank you all for the replies. I will definitely do my research and get hands on as many different models as i can. As far as concealing it I was considering it just so i could carry while traveling. Do any of your opinions change if I decide to conceal? Thanks again.
     
  12. frontsightarmory

    frontsightarmory New Member

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    If you might carry it on you go with a compact. Will be easier to conceal.
     
  13. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    I don't carry concealed; i only car carry (legal without permit in MS). It is my understanding that traveling with a concealed firearm takes some planning when you will be crossing state lines. As far as the choice of firearm, yes, carry firearms are generally smaller, lighter, and/or flatter in profile than range guns. I had a little Bersa Thunder .380 that was light weight, flattish in profile, and smaller than my other firearms; it would make a good carry pistol. Many say that the smaller 1911's are so flat in profile that they make good carry pieces for those wanting most of the characteristics of a larger, more accurate range-type pistol; i don't own a 1911 myself. In general, a smaller, lighter-weight pistol will recoil a bit more and have a shorter sight radius, and this can have a bad impact on accuracy.
     
  14. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    The recommendations as you can see from these posts are very numerous. If you haven't yet taken a basic firearms class, then do so. Check with your local gun shop or this site at the NRA can help...

    NRAInstructors.org - Portal for NRA certified Instructors, NRA Education and Training

    Next, go to a range that rents guns and try everything you can get your hands on. It's fun and educational. :D

    If I was looking for a single handgun for home defense, I would stick with one of four calibers: 357, 9mm, 40, 45.

    357 is the revolver of that group. You can shoot everything from low power .38's up to bone shaking magnum rounds through them. They are probably the most versatile handgun chambering available.

    The other calibers are all semi-auto's.

    9mm is the most prevalent round out there, and because of that will be the least expensive of the four. And that means you can shoot more for your dollar and get more proficient.

    40 is the in between round. That's the round I started with. It can sometimes be a little snappy depending on the pistol you have, but it is effective. I think 40 is the most common round carried by law enforcement.

    45 is big and slow compared to the others (that's not a bad thing). It is one of the most effective hand gun rounds ever developed.

    As for pistol makes? We could go on and on and on. Myself, I like Springfield, Ruger, and Smith & Wesson. But there are plenty of others worth considering as well.

    If you plan on concealing, pay close attention to the width of the gun. Width is probably more of a factor than length in concealability.

    How much do you want to spend?
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  15. fmj

    fmj New Member

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    I keep reading folks giving advice about buying a .357 and using .38's to practice with.

    Maybe its my gun...

    ...but in my experience owning and shooting a S&W .357 you CANNOT practice with .38's!!

    Point of Impact is COMPLETELY different using the 2 different rounds!

    My gun is sighted for the .357, it hits VERY well with tight groups but if i throw some .38s in there, the point of impact is WAY higher!

    I would have to readjust sights moving between the two.

    Not saying to not look into the .357....its an awesome caliber....but you have to make a decision between shooting 38's or 357's and stick with it.
     
  16. nccinstaller

    nccinstaller New Member

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    I have a ruger gp100 and understand what you saying about sighting to be true. But if he is using it and only practice shorter distance (self defense ranges) about 7yards or under i dont it would make a huge difference as far as practicing with 38s and packing 357. But it will be important to practice with the 357 sometimes also so you know what to expect in a self defense situation
     
  17. Jeepergeo

    Jeepergeo New Member

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    It would be hard to go wrong with a Ruger 357 Magnum Revolver, either a GP100 or SP101. A 3" barrel would be a good starting point. Both will chamber 357 Magnum, 38 Special, and 38 Special +P - the 38 Specials are a good place to start getting use to the gun, then move up to 357 Magnum to get the feel for the load.

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  18. chucksolo69

    chucksolo69 New Member

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    Yep, I agree with the revolver too. I recently got my wife, a first time shooter, a Colt Detective Special. She loves it and it is quite controllable with .38 special loads. She keeps it in her night stand.
     
  19. Twospot

    Twospot New Member

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    I am a novice in this area so I have been doing a lot of research. for when I get my FID and Pistol Permit (I'm from lame NJ). The only gun I have actually shot was a .38 revolver. It was fun as hell. However in all my research I keep reading, although small, the .22lr's are the best place to start. Great for training, getting comfortable with recoil and noise, etc. I know its not a stopper but if you're new it may be a good place to start. Rounds are cheap as hell. .38 special is a bit pricey. $18 - $20 a box for 50 rounds where you can get 500 rds of .22lr for under $30. Just a suggestion.

    Eddie