Help a first time gun owner pick a handgun

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by Yabadaba, Apr 23, 2018.

  1. Yabadaba

    Yabadaba New Member

    Hey there, this is my first day on the forum. I will be moving out of my parents place in roughly a year and living aboard a sailboat (yes, I know it's crazy). But I don't want to be out on a boat on my own where no help would be able to come for a while if I got into trouble. So I would like to feel secure in knowing I would have a way to defend myself. My fists wouldn't do it, I'm 5'8" and only 150 lbs. What would be a good hand gun for a first time gun owner interested in self defense? I was thinking of getting either a 1911 or a glock, although I am open to suggestions and more than willing to trust someone else's expertise on the subject since I know very little about guns.
  2. regload

    regload Active Member

    Since a sailboat is involved, I would look for a SS revolver, which is relatively immune to corrosion and supremely reliable, if a name-brand model was chosen. I would never trust a semi under those conditions (unlike a lawman, you're not going home to a clean dry bed on land each night).
    buckhuntr and headspace like this.

  3. harkersislandnc

    harkersislandnc Well-Known Member

    Get a Glock. They can take a ton of abuse and are fairly easy to shoot well.
  4. Bigcat

    Bigcat Well-Known Member


    I also live in Virginia.
    (currently Richmond but may go back up to NoVa soon)
    I do a certain amount of teaching new shooters also...

    Some gun ranges have very reasonable instruction and you can rent different styles of guns.
    Where in VA are you at?

    Among the simplest to use gun are Revolvers.
    Even though they are not the cheapest handguns i tend to recommend them for new shooters.

    A 4 inch .357 Magnum (which can also shoot the cheaper/softer 38SPC) is a great beginners gun.
    If you do decide to go with a magazine fed handgun as a new shooter I strongly recommend you pick one with an external safety (not all of them have those).

    Since you are in VA, is a great resource for used firearms..

    Also in Virginia Green Ops is an excellent resource.
    Some of the best instructors out there..

    Tell them you are a new shooter and they will take extra care for you.
    Who knows they might even rent u a gun or direct you where to rent one..

    Coming up in a week:

    PS: for a first time gun owner I do not recommend either a 1911 or a Glock.
    The 1911 needs TLC and is not cheap and on the heavy side... the Glock lacks an external safety which for someone new to guns is probably a good idea on an striker fired handgun where the firing pin is always under tension if there is a round in the chamber..
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2018
  5. 303tom

    303tom Well-Known Member

    Get a Hi-Point 9 and keep it greased up good !...............
    rockratt likes this.
  6. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    Rex in OTZ likes this.
  7. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

    Oh, welcome to the forum.
    I noticed you posted this twice. Maybe an admin type could "combine" these threads.
  8. Minorcan

    Minorcan Active Member

    Welcome to the forum. Since you are talking water, probably saltwater, I would go with stainless steel. It sounds like you are only thinking about defense form humans. You may find an occasion where other game may be involved. I would choose a round that has a long flat trajectory and lots of damage potential. I would go with a 357 magnum. I would get a way to secure it. You may want to carry if where you are going would allow it. Get the proper permits as needed and a good holster and belt. Buy some defensive ammo and some extra in case you can’t get it where you are going. Always check ahead and obey the riles, don’t end up in a foreign jail.
  9. Rex in OTZ

    Rex in OTZ Well-Known Member

    I can tell you that even stainless steel firearms of any type utilize steel springs in their actions and frames, just because its stainless steel dont mean they still dont need oiling.

    Back in the 1980's on Alaska's Coleville River, a hunting camp was abandoned due to injury of one the hunting party and chiefly bad weather they made it out just before a series of blizzards struck.
    4 years later the hunters paid a pilot to fly out to that campsite and retreve their gear, one item was a stainless .44mag Ruger Redhawk that though looked fine on the outside had badly rusted springs inside that needed replacing in order to return it to a functional condition.
  10. towboater

    towboater Well-Known Member

    Id go with a polymer type. Dont have to be glock. Look at glock and see if you like their type of safety. There are many plastic guns with different types of safeties. I prefer the safety of a long double action.
  11. Dakota1

    Dakota1 Well-Known Member

    I'd choose a Ruger GP-100 in stainless steel. It's safe for a first-time gun owner without a safety, has a wide power range (light target 38 Special - 357 Magnum). If your boat is on salt water, I'd keep a film of oil on it. Stainless steel can rust; it just takes longer.