I hate to bother you all with this, but here is my "which gun for a n00b" thread.

Discussion in 'Semi-Auto Handguns' started by Iam99x, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. Iam99x

    Iam99x New Member

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    Ok, I'm completely ignorant about most things when it comes to firearms. I'm here to learn and make friends. So far everyone is kick ass on here.

    Anyway, let me cut to the chase...

    Basically, I want a semi-auto pistol that's reliable and that I can have fun just shooting crap with. I want to better my accuracy and be prepared to use my gun in any situation that calls for it. Hopefully never on a human.

    I've been eye-balling a couple of cheap, but good brand, pistols. Here's a couple of links to check out my choices:

    Question: I was wondering how much more powerful a .38 is over a .22. Also, is the volume of a .38 much louder than a .22?


    http://www.gundealeronline.com/Taurus-Model-PT-22-8-1-Round-22-Long-Rifle-w-Nic-p/1220035r.htm



    http://www.gundealeronline.com/Bersa-Thunder-380-7-1-Round-380-ACP-Pistol-w-Duo-p/thun380dt.htm


    Which would you own over the other, and why?

    Pre-thanks to anyone who contributes to my knowledge. I really appreciate it.
     
  2. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    The .22 is (IMHO) NOT a serious defensive sidearm. At best it should be relegated to a "deep cover" or third gun. .22's in general are nice plinking guns and (maybe) small game hunting arms. The model in question will likely dissapoint you for anything but the deep cover role.

    The .380 (it is not a .38) is a decent concealed carry weapon. They tend to be far more accurate than they "should" be. The .380 ACP cartridge is a very inherently accurate cartridge. It gets fired through some very inaccurate guns but the Bersa Thunderer is NOT an inaccurate gun.

    If you are looking for a plinking gun, pick a larger .22 like the Browning Buckmark or Smith and Wesson 22A.

    If you are looking for a home defense handgun that you can also "plink" with, go with a decent 9mm from EAA, Taurus or a used one like a S&W 5906/5904.
     

  3. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    First off, Welcome to the Forum.

    You seem to want to fill two slots with one weapon, and I am afraid in this case, there isn't a "cheap" and easy solution.

    For general plinking, and getting to a point of familiar and comfortable with a handgun, a .22 is a great choice. They are fun, they are cheap to shoot, and you don't have to worry about a big thundering boom everytime you pull the trigger.

    Anyone I teach to shoot, starting out, we always start with a .22

    For a defense purpose the .22 is a horrible choice. It could drop someone if you hit them right in the eye, but you could also be killed by a jet engine dropping off an overhead plane. It's just not very likely to happen.

    The .380 is a nice little gun. I agree with Robo that the weapon and the ammo are pretty accurate right out of the box. They aren't expensive and the ammo won't break you, so you can practice with it.

    That said, I don't like the .380 as anything more than a back up piece to my standard sidearm. It just lacks the ability to stop a man sized attacker should the need ever arise. It's just not powerful enough, in my opinion, to do the job you would be asking of it.

    One thought is that you could get a 1911 in a caliber you might be comfortable with, like 9mm, and then get a .22 caliber conversion for it so you can practice and train with cheap ammo. But, you will be looking at more expense than the weapons you are currently interested in.

    Best of Luck -

    JD
     
  4. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  5. Iam99x

    Iam99x New Member

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    First off, let me say that my budget for this first gun is set around $300 MAX.

    Robocop, good information. That makes me ONLY want to get the Bersa 380. Any idea of the difference in volume? This doesn't matter TOO much, but I'd rather not have something insanely loud while I practice. My mom's .44 Mag Snubnose is epic loud...

    Dillinger, I'm pretty sure that I won't be aiming to kill someone trying to attack me. I'm pretty sure it would scare the piss out of them if I pulled the .22 out and fired, anyway. Since I've heard/read that the Bersa 380 is pretty damn accurate, I may very well just go with it. Again, my only concern now is the volume. Oh! I just remembered to ask, what kind of prices do the 380 bullets cost?

    Matt G, man, that's alot of money!
     
  6. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Active Member

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    Let me put in my own .02 worth. Dillinger is almost ALWAYS right, so naturally I get a kick out of the rare opportunity of being able to clarify or 1 upping him LOL:D!!! Of course you by ALL MEANS need to start out with a .22LR. The .22 is best by far of all to start out on. Cost of ammo, lack of recoil, allow you to practice and learn proper grip, trigger control, and sight alignment. Once you have mastered the basics of good shooting form, only then will you be fully prepared to move up in size and realize your potentional with an larger gun. Choose a somewhat larger .22 than a tiny pocket pistol. Some of the best include Ruger mk2/mk3, Browning Buckmark, and others. They will be EXTREMELY accurate, and about the most fun guns to shoot. It IS very possible to kill a human with a .22-it's happened THOUSANDS of times. Does that mean it's a good defensive weapon?-OF COURSE NOT! Let me explain-while you could easily shoot someone fatally with an underpowered cartridge as .22, the KEY word is stopping them. In other words, they MAY be shot fatally (usually not), but nobody will bother to inform them of it. That means they MAY take quite a bit of time to expire, and god only knows what they're capable of in the meantime until they DO finally drop. They are only halted in ALL further acts of agression when stopped/dropped immediately. That's the difference between killing power, and stopping power. Just about any gun may kill, but what we NEED when defending ourselves, is stopping power. Stopping power is best measured by how fast 1 shot will stop somebody from being able to perform ANY further acts of agression. Naturally I'm not going to cease the timeless discussion of which bullet style/weight, caliber, velocity is BEST for ALL defensive situations, as they do change. I will tell you that my personal carry guns shoot about the biggest darn bullet available for that size firearm. To me-that transulates to .45acp with 230 gr +P, or my .41 magnum. So get a good shooting regular size .22, learn to shoot it WELL, then move up to a defensive gun later after you're a decent shot. If you try to start out with a full power good defense gun, you'll never be quite as good a shot due to recoil, ammo cost, and the increased noise level. ALWAYS wear hearing protection when shooting ANY firearm-even a .22.
     
  7. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    It's just your life, why not try to save a buck. Also, a quality piece is an investment and if taken care of will be around for generations.

    Have you looked at High Points? You can pick up one of their 9mm pistols for about $150. I bought my wife one of their .380s as a trainer gun. It's been nothing but reliable, never a fail to feed, fire or extract. They carry a lifetime warranty too, so if you do ever have problems with it, it gets fixed for free.

    QFT. This helps explain my reasoning for the 1911 and conversion slide. I recommend the 9mm, only because you didn't state your level of experience in the first post. The .45 ACP 1911 slinging 230 gr. Hydrashocks is my choice.

    RIP little buddy.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  8. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Dammit - I forgot to clarify my response. Kudos sir, well played. :D

    JD
     
  9. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    I am pretty sure most of the guys on this board are going to be in agreement on what I am about to tell you.

    The purpose of a firearm is NOT to be pulled out and scare someone off. When it comes time to pull a firearm, hoping the sight of your weapon to stop a violent act, is not going to be the reason.

    When it comes time to draw your weapon, it is time to be prepared to fire your weapon. Period. If you are going to fire your weapon, you need to have a round that will end the threat. Rounds are target is what matters - not the sight of your shiny chrome plated death magnum.

    Nobody on here wants to pull their weapon and take a life - but several of us here are prepared to do so IF the need ever arises.

    JD
     
  10. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Active Member

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    I realize this won't make me popular to you, BUT if you have justification to use deadly force-you better damn well shoot to stop somebody. The BEST way of stopping somebody is by using deadly force IF justified. IF you're NOT justified in using deadly force, you better not have it out in the 1st place. The ONLY time you would be justified is drawing/firing your weapon is if somebody is attacking you, or about to attack you with weapon in sight. If you DO fire just to scare them, you'll likely be killed and/or it being taken away from you. See what I'm saying? ONLY draw/use weapon when CLEARLY justified, and then use deadly force. If you're not ready to defend you and yours, to the level of deadly force if neccesary, don't have a gun. TRUST ME-if someone has a weapon, and is willing to use it, they're NOT going to be scared away-if anything, it'll scare them into shooting you before they are shot. Therefore, if you're going to use a firearm only to shoot & scare somebody away, it'll get you shot/stabbed even quicker.





     
  11. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    True. The pistol shouldn't even considered unless it is to protect someone's life, limb or eyesight for an attacker. You need to be absolutely committed to killing an individual before you draw.

    Using a firearm to "scare" someone is stupid and dangerous. At close ranges, it is very easy to strip a pistol from someone who hasn't been trained in weapons retention. Once that pistol is stripped from you, you can almost guarantee that you're going to get shot by it. Also, you run the very likely risk that everyone else involved in the fray will be shot also.

    Here's a fun scenario to wrap your head around: You and your girlfriend are on a double date with a buddy and his woman. On your way out of the restaurant/movie theater/bar, a random individual approaches your buddy's girl and starts hitting on her. Doing the right thing, you try to avoid confrontation and tell the guy to leave her alone and start off on your way.

    He becomes more aggressive and grabs your buddy's girl by the arm and starts talking about how she is going back to his place with him.

    This would be the point that you'd decide that you're going to scare this guy. You draw and brandish your piece. He throws your buddy's girl to the ground and in one quick and takes your pistol from you, because you weren't committed to using it. In the same movement used to strip you of the pistol, he drops 2 bullets into your chest and, because your buddy lunged for him when he grabbed your pistol, your buddy takes 3 to the gut.

    This causes the girls to begin screaming, so one gets a bullet to the head and the other gets hit in the thigh, severing her femoral artery.

    All 4 of you are now dead. This exact same scenario happened in the city I live in about a month and a half ago. This is also the reason to use a proven man stopper round like a heavy .45 ACP hollow point. Had you waited until the proper time to shoot, the attacker is likely going to be pretty pumped up. A .22 LR is going to do nothing to stop him. You'd be very lucky in a .380 would even.
     
  12. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Deadly force that is not intended to be deadly is a bad idea. If you are not willing to KILL the attacker, you should not shoot him/her. Deadly force is a last option that is intended to SAVE a life (yours). "Wounding" intentionally will negate the life or death rationale for shooting in the first place.

    Shoot center of available mass and repeat until the threat is no longer a threat. Unfortunatey, the end result is frequently death of the attacker. There is not reliable way to stop/incapacitate a determined attacker with out also causing death.

    If you are unwilling to take a life, do not own/carry/possess/display a firearm for self defense. Hesitation can and will result in your own death.
     
  13. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

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    It's incredible how many people just don't get this little nugget of information. It's astounding how many people think that just because they're the one holding the gun, that they're the one in charge of the world at that moment. It's dumbfounding how many people fail to realize that their own gun can kill them.
     
  14. SGT-MILLER

    SGT-MILLER New Member

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    Here's what I always start off my CQC training with when I teach the troops in my unit.

    "The gun, in it's many shapes and sizes is designed to do one thing, and one thing only. It is designed to kill. It is designed to kill a living thing by delivering a piece of steel at a high velocity into the vital parts of that living thing, rendering it into a dead thing. If you cannot deal with the fact that guns are made to take life, you should not be holding a firearm at this time."

    If you decide to draw your weapon, you had better follow through with it. Trying to display a "show of force" by just pulling the weapon out is dangerous to you and everyone around you.

    Fighting for life is not meant to be fair. You do not have to give the threat a warning. You do not have to "square-off" with the threat for the sake of honor. If the threat is endangering your life or others, all you need to do is pull your weapon (quickly), put your sight picture on center-of-mass, and squeeze the trigger until the threat is gone (i.e. one the ground either screaming and immobile or dead).

    That person is trying to take away your right to go home to your family at the end of the day. You can either let the threat win because you decided not to protect what is rightfully yours, or you can have the mindset of "You WILL NOT take my life, I WILL take yours!"

    Here's a clip of Marines in training. This clip gives a good idea of what attitude you should take when it comes to defending your life and your loved ones.

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zuctkYYywZ0[/ame]
     
  15. sgtdeath66

    sgtdeath66 New Member

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    ive seen clips of leo getting disarmed and shot by their own gun. that goes to show that just because you have the gun you are not incharge, no matter what degree of training you have under your belt
     
  16. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    Decide NOW to always be aggressive ENOUGH, quickly ENOUGH.
    The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.
     
  17. kdog

    kdog New Member

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    I don`t know the prices in the US, but here in good old germany, you can get a CZ75 or CZ85 im 9mm Luger for about that budget you have.

    http://www.egun.de/market/item.php?id=2059105
    (Beware, german websight)

    [​IMG]

    The CZ75 is a very reliable pistol, that will also last a long time.
    Buy a 22 conversion kit (called Kadet on the CZ75) and if I may quote, you will have best of both worlds).

    The CZ75 is pretty accurate and very reliable pistol, that feeln fine wusing almost any brand of ammo.
    The CZ75 accually is one of the most copied pistols on the market and has been around since 1975/1976 and was continously made better.

    I bought mine from a gunsmith for € 80 plus € 20 for an extra mag, that got a load of about 8 CZ75 pre B`s in from a big security company. These have only been laying in the companies safe for I think 15 years and have hardly been shot at the range.
    Since it is the tropical versin, the finish is not blued but like painted, that made it moisture resistand for use in areas whith high humidity (jungle). The paint has chipped off, but the function is great and the feel is very nice.
    The paint chipping off is from carrying them in the holsters.

    [​IMG]

    Ken
     
  18. sgtdeath66

    sgtdeath66 New Member

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    that reminds me of a time, the only time ive had to draw my gun for protection.i lived out in the country with no houses close for atleast 200 yrd in every direction, i was going outside to the car to get something and heard a noise right behind me, you know one of those sounds that sends chills down you spine that tells you "something aint right" kinda sounds, well before i knew it i was turned around with my glock drawn in 1/4 of a second and there it was!! a big azz dog, did i shoot, no it ended up bein a freindly stray. it was my test of nerves as it couldve been shot if i wouldntve waited that half sec. the point of this story is you dont take the shot unless you have to. its all about taking in allyour surroundings and realizing your threat. its hard to tell if you should shoot first then ask ?'s or wait till its too late
     
  19. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Active Member

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    There's been plenty of instances where firearms being produced HAVE defused/desclated the situation, BUT if you're not totally comitted to using deadly force if NEEDED, stick with a Taser or pepper spray.

    Another thing-you'll NEVER hear of somebody bragging they took a life-even in self defense, you WILL hear of them being happy to have survived the situation, or of SAVING lives stemming from it. Sadly to say, anyone who has ever survived a REAL firefight-wether civilian, law enforcment, or military, comes out of it permanently changed-even IF it was totally justified. It WILL dominate your thoughts and dreams for some time afterwards-even permanent to some degree! I'm POSITIVE some members will back me up on that.

    Also, you WILL be questioned later as to the tiniest details as to wether it was justified or not. ANY act that was uneccesary could likely land YOU behind bars. Everything pertaining to the occurence, and a LOT that don't, will be gone over with an fine tooth comb.
     
  20. SGT-MILLER

    SGT-MILLER New Member

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