New to Handguns

Discussion in 'Concealed Carrying & Personal Protection' started by EmilyATL, Jul 17, 2009.

  1. EmilyATL

    EmilyATL New Member

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    Hi all, I've never owned a handgun and am looking to buy one for personal protection. We've had a few break-ins in the area and I'm home alone quite a bit at night. I know I need to go to a range and just practice with a few different guns to try to get a feel for what I want, but does anyone have any recommendations for a "Ladie's" gun (no, I don't want anything pink)? I really like the Sig P229, but I'm not sure if I want to spend that much on my first purchase. What are your thoughts on the Ruger P95? It's a pretty reasonably priced gun and I've read some good reviews about it. Any other recommendations?

    Thanks in advance for your help!!
     
  2. Jo da Plumbr

    Jo da Plumbr New Member

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    Welcome to the FTF. I can't give advice on a "ladies gun", I'm not a lady. But my SO likes a mid size 9mm. The 9mm is a good stopping round but not so strong it scares her. As for which one that's up to what fits you best and shoots most comfortable in your opinion.

    PS after you choose and buy get some training and lots of practice.
     

  3. IGETEVEN

    IGETEVEN New Member

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    The Ruger P95 is a pretty decent and reliable choice of a handgun, and many people own and swear to their reliability, but to be honest, I have never played with one. As you stated, the best thing would be for you to do is visit a range and try out a few different makes and calibers. But I do think the 9mm would be a great choice for you in any brand, until you shoot a .40 then all the rules change.

    Jack
     
  4. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    I have a Sig 229 and it's a great gun - but they are not cheap as you said. I know a lot of folks with Ruger P95s and they are a real workhorse of a gun. A 9mm is a good all around choice for a 1st handgun and Rugers are built like tanks and are generally very reliable...
     
  5. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    Does it need to be an auto-loader?

    This is a great CCW wheel gun:

    [​IMG]

    ^ Ruger LCR .38 Special +P
     
  6. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    My wife is deadly accurate with her Smith & Wesson model 60 .357 revolver. She shoots .38 hollow points.

    Revolvers are great first handguns. They're dependable and simple. Unless you are completely against a revolver try a few and see what you think.
     
  7. EmilyATL

    EmilyATL New Member

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    Thanks all for the tips!

    Canebrake - no, it doesn't have to be an auto-loader. I have considered a revolver from a reliability standpoint. The only handguns I've ever fired were a 22, .380 and 9mm - and I preferred the 9 out of the three, so that's why I was leaning towards a 9. I'll have to try out a revolver too.

    Jo - I definitely plan on training/practice. I've already registered for a gun saftey class that includes range time.

    Anyhow, thanks all - I'm definitely looking forward to it!
     
  8. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    You really need to experience the trigger of the LCR.

    You will become a 2stage believer!

    It is so much improved over the standard stacking trigger!!
     
  9. SWAirweight

    SWAirweight New Member

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    The Only objections that I have with a revolver for a first gun is that most of them do not have a safety. I'm not ashamed to say that my first gun was a .22 Pistol. I used to carry that thing around as if it where .50. But for a first gun I would look for something that has a safety feature, not everyone is the same but some people just have that odd feeling sometimes, But I have to say that My favorite peice is the Smith&Wesson .38 Caliber Airweight. Thus the avitar. But guns never go to waste you buy one and don't like sell and buy yourself a new one, the are a wide variety of guns to match a wide variety of people. Go to a local firearm retailer and palm a few guns get a feel for them ,aim put the gun in holster, try it a few times and go from there.


    P.S Buy Smith and Wesson. When you start looking at prices just remember, how much is your life worth.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2009
  10. Stormbilly

    Stormbilly New Member

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    I personally think that a wheel gun makes a perfect first gun from a simplicity standpoint. Something like a ruger gp-100 4" would be my first choice in home defense if I were using a revolver. If that were too big, then I'd look at the ruger SP-101 or ruger LCR. And as long as C&C was not a thought, then I'd go with the SP-101 simply because it would have less felt recoil.

    If you're looking for a 9mm, then I'd highly recommend looking into a CZ. something like the cz compact or compact P-01 would be fantastic. They are every bit as good as a sig, but $200-300 less. (at least) Though they are still more expensive than a ruger 9mm.

    Whichever you choose, make sure to get some good instruction and lots of practice. I would also highly recommend investing in a good .22 so you can practice a lot without breaking the bank. Something like a ruger mk.III would be great, and are around $270. So, if you have the money for a sig, buy the cz P-01 AND the ruger mk.III for the same price as the sig alone! :D

    Just my thoughts.
     
  11. Gojubrian

    Gojubrian New Member

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    Welcome here Emily!

    Great job on getting the training. All the 9mm's out there are largely personal preference.

    +1 for the CZ's.

    Springfield Xd's
    S&W's M&P's

    Let us know how it goes!
     
  12. AsmelEduardo

    AsmelEduardo New Member

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    A Ruger P95 is an exelent choice, the best bang for the buck, 9mm is a exelent defense caliber...
    A revolver is a very very good choice for a home firearm and for the first time shooter.... I would recomend you a Taurus Model 66, is a .357 caliber revolver, with its 7 round capacity is an exelent home defender... you can shoot 38spl rounds for training and practice, once you bacame proficient with it you can step-up to the most powerful .357 remington magnum, you still can use 38 spl +P for defense too... and the best is the price... run around less than $400...

    Quotes from Bud's website:

    Ruger P95 with SS slide: $321 (S&H included)

    Taurus Model 66 in matte SS and 4" barrel: $414 (S&H included)
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2009
  13. UnderFire

    UnderFire New Member

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    EmilyATL,

    1st- Welcome!!

    Since you're new to firearms I also recommend a revolver.
    Can't go wrong with Smith & Wesson or Ruger products.

    I also recommend .38 caliber and that the revolver have some weight behind it. Although a heavy gun has some inconvenience in the carry aspect, but it has more of a controlable recoil than a light-weight revolver such as an "Airweight" design. When we were looking for a self-defense firearm for my wife, we decided to go with a revolver for simplicity and dependability; aim & shoot. She wanted an "Airweight", but I suggested a heavy model due to the fact that the Airweight's recoil could hurt her hand/wrist, because the recoil is greater on a lighter gun than a heavier gun. I feared if my wife's gun hurt her when practicing with it, she would most likely be reluctant to use it when it was necessary. Definitely Try before you Buy. Good to hear you're getting training.
    Good luck on your quest. :)
     
  14. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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    I would think a revolver in .38 special would be perfect.Not too overpowered to practice with,not too underpowered to get the job done.Yes,it has no safeties,but in a moment of fear,I'd rather know there isn't any,and it takes a really hard trigger pull to set a revolver off,that's why It don't need a safety.Get a revolver,keep it loaded and in the same place everyday so you know where to run to to get your gun if needed
     
  15. EmilyATL

    EmilyATL New Member

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    Ok, so I ended up shooting quite a few and think I have it narrowed down. I did try quite a few revolvers (all 38)- a S&W 637 airweight, a Ruger LCR, and a S&W 686. The 637 I tried didn't have a hammer, so it was a REALLY long trigger pull - I didn't like this one at all, but I'm sure I would have liked the model with a hammer. I liked the Ruger LCR the best of the revolvers.

    For the semi-automatics, I tried a Ruger P95 9mm, a Sig P232 380, a Sig P229 9 mm, and a Sig P239 9mm. The Sig P229 was way to big for me, so that one is definitely out. I liked the Sig P239 better than the Ruger P95 (I just shot much better with it and it felt better to me). My favorite of the 4 was the Sig P232 though. I don't know if the guy at the gun store was just trying to get me to spend more on a 9, but he told me several times a 380 doesn't have much stopping power and is not good for home defense. Is that true? Granted, I hope I never have to use it on an intruder, but even if I did, I'm certainly not hoping to kill someone. I just want to stop them. Is the 380 really not a good choice?
     
  16. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    Emily - the .380 with proper ammunition (Speer Gold Dot HP) provides plenty of firepower, particularly in a semi-auto with 7-8 rd capacity. However, as stated previously, I would start out with a revolver for simplicity and reliability. In the heat of the moment it's easy to forget if the safety is on or off, where the safety is, or how to clear a jam. As far as not wanting to kill anybody, I would advise you to either get used to the fact that this is why you own a handgun, or to consider not even buying one. If you ever need to use it, you should shoot to kill - not to wound, that's movie crap and it doesn't work in real life, and may get YOU killed. Two shots to center of mass, or shoot until the threat is down - this is what is taught in ALL self-defensive shooting courses. It is also more than likely that you will be sued if you shoot someone. A practiced criminal trial lawyer can turn a criminal into a victim and a victim into a criminal!
     
  17. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    My wife finally chose my Walther PPK/S as her gun of choice. Loaded with good ammo it will do the job just fine at normal defense distances. The Sig 232 is a great gun as well as I've owned a few. A bit cheaper alternative is a Bersa Thunder...

    [​IMG]
     
  18. EmilyATL

    EmilyATL New Member

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    I completely agree - I am prepared to kill someone if it's them or me, but I just meant that I don't WANT to kill someone...

    I guess I'll have to shoot a few more revolvers. I just wasn't nearly as comfortable shooting the revolver. The place I'm taking the class has a bigger selection of revolvers to practice with, so hopefully I'll find one that works better for me.
     
  19. IGETEVEN

    IGETEVEN New Member

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    Indeed, well said Mag, owning a handgun comes with some serious responsibilities to one's self and others. If you are buying a handgun for self protection, that is exactly what it will do when you point it at someone and have to pull that trigger. The second part of one's responsibiliy comes after the incident is over with. The first part is usually the easy part for most, it's the second part that sucks big time. You will need to continue on with practice, practice and more practice and stay current with gun laws and legislation in your area and if you can afford it, take any offered defensive shooting courses that will continue your reaction time and shooting skills. Good luck and I hope you find the handgun you are wanting, no matter what you choose.

    Jack
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2009
  20. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    Especially in gun-unfriendly states, like mine! Any a$$hole that breaks into my home or threatens me or my family will never see the inside of a court room! We do not have a "castle doctrine" in NY, but I would still rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6...