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jhol

Handgun Question

33 posts in this topic

I am thinking about spending some money on a handgun and I am wondering what most of you guys have or like for brands and caliber. I am getting it for home protection and also something I would like to take out to the range and shoot a little. Probably not going to use if for any kind of hunting, I usually just bowhunt and muzzleload. I am definetely trying to stay under a $1000 and would like a semiauto not a revolver.

Thanks for all your input.

jhol

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Home protection in a semi automatic? Look at a glock. 40 cal or 45 acp. I have a friend with a CCW and he got rid of his 9mm and picked up a 380 auto, but that is concealed weapon.

Another friend has a glock subcompact in 10mm. Those things kick in the small package. I have a Taurus 1911 and I love it. I don't leave guns laying around the house, they are always locked up in the safe, but the 1911 is stored with the action open and two loaded magazines lay next to it in the safe. I can open the safe in under 5 seconds, but if I have time to run down the stairs to the safe, I can just as easy grab the 8" kitchen knives from the knife block.

the 45 acp is a proven stopper at self protection range. BUT if you are serious about home protection, get a shotgun. Just the simple cycling of the action will scare the bejesus out of anyone trying to enter your home.

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boy is there a lot of room for answers here...

Personally, I think a 9mm is a very adequate self defense round and cheap and easy to shoot. Many will say 9mm isn't enough and if you believe that, then I'd go to the .40 cal. However, it is a heavier duty shell and its going to give you more felt recoil and it costs more to shoot as the ammo isn't as prevelant.

As for brands, you'll find lots of Glock lovers out there although I wouldn't be caught dead with one. Terrible safeties and I personally know a gun who had one explode in his hands as he shot a reload through it which you aren't supposed to do I guess. Fortunately for him he wasn't hurt. I loved my Beretta 92FS although I sold it now as I was cash strapped and it was expendable. I've shot Rugers too although their grips did not fit my hand very well. Sig makes an excellent handgun too.

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A few quick questions, are you experienced with a handgun?

If not and looking for a home defense weapon go with a revolver.

Many times inexperienced shooters in a stress condition drop magazines or have ejection failures in low light and do not realize it.

Caliber wise if your inexperienced start with no more then a 9mm or .38 until your comfortable shooting then decide.

Again for home defense I also recommend a shotgun using bird shot not slugs or buck shot especially if your family is on the other side of the wall. If you choose a handgun as your choice go with low velocity rounds to prevent over penetration especially in apartments or other occupied rooms.

Do not get into the Chevy vs. Ford mentality. Shop around and find the one that fits you best for your purpose.

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I picked up a Springfeild XD in a .40 cal. I talked to a few of cops that had 9mm Glocks, and they are starting to transition to .40 for better wall/door penetration. You can't beat a .45 ACP for penetration, but the ammo is so much more expensive and I wanted to shoot it recreationally, too. There are 3 guys at work that have XDs (2-.45s and a 9mm) and have had great luck with them, so I followed their lead. I like that it has a grip safety in addition to the trigger safety, plus a firing pin block that pulls out of the way when the trigger is pulled for an extra step in safety. Glocks are good guns but I liked the ambidextrous features of the XDs (I'm left handed) that the Glocks don't offer. Just so you know, all of these guns (XD, Glock, M&P) are hammerless semi's, so they are missing that safety feature.

Another good semi is the Smith and Wesson M&P for different grips and ambidextrous features. It was a tossup for me between the XD and the S&W M&P, but the S&W was so new I wasn't going to take the chance, especially after all of the mediocre reports of the S&W Sigma handguns.

As far as personal home protection, there is nothing better than a short barreled shotgun for the visual scare factor and actually hitting a target when it counts. That will be next for me!

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If I could afford one right now I would get the "Judge" made by taurus. I believe it is a .38 but can also chamber .410 shells. I think that would be fun.

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I have said this before here and will say it again! A handgun is a very personal choice, do not buy into "I have this, a buddy has that." Go to a gunshop and handle every possible gun that looks attractive to you, DO NOT look at the price tag or brand name until you get it nailed down to a few finalists. Don't let the salesperson push you into any particular one either until you have specific questions. Then go somemhere you can shoot them, there are a few ranges around the area that have a nice selection of rental guns. Next, get a safe that can be mounted in an easy to reach spot and has a quick system to access it, don't skimp here, and don't go too complicated(gunvault style comes to mind). Good luck and have fun! Shop around and take your time to get what YOU like!

PS the Judge is 45LC or 410.

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Smilin Bob said it right. Its YOUR choice.

I will add, stick with a reputable manufacturer, find one that fits your hands, you are comfortable with the sights, and find the controls easy to operate.

As far as caliber, 9mm is plenty adequate no matter what anyone says. Todays bullets are way better than the past (as seen in deer rifle calibers). 9mm is readily available, most people can handle the recoil, and it will be one of the cheapest to shoot. You will shoot more when its cheap, also honing your skills. Enjoy you choice!

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I agree with everyone that a shotgun is a great for home defense and there is one a few steps away, I guess I am also considering getting my Conceal to Carry.

I have shot a few handguns including a glock 40, a kimber 40, and a smith and wesson(don't remember the caliber). I am leaning towards the 40 caliber, I think I should get out to a few gunshops and handle a few more brands and calibers. I would also like to shoot some recreationally so maybe the cost factor could push me to a smaller round.

As for the gunsafe, my wife is onboard with a new handgun as long as the new gun safe comes with it, we do not have kids but they are in the future and that is a huge concern.

thanks for the responses

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Picksbigwagon already mentioned the handguns I would recommend.

The only other handguns that I have shot are hand-cannons in .308 and 7mm-08 single shots and a .44 mag S&W.

My next handgun purchase will be intended for hunting and I'm looking at the .460 Magnum.

Do I dare say it would be a little overkill for home protection?

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I also agree with the post by "SmilinBob". There are so many choices of handguns that you really need to do some hands-on homework. IMHO, a 9mm is all that you'd need for home defense. I got my Permit to Carry in early 2000's because I could. I didn't plan to actually carry. However,I did start carrying regularly in late 2007. Personally, I carry a Taurus Millenium Pro 9mm or sometimes a Taurus 38 special. The 9mm was purchased was based upon size, performance, and carrying comfort. (Some are critical of Taurus but I have 3 from that manufacturer with no complaints.) Plus, with a 9mm, you won't break the bank when practicing at the range...something you must do to become familiar and comfortable with any handgun.

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I purchased my first handgun about 3 years ago... At that time I was not sure about what I wanted. I visited a local gun shop and handled alot of different handguns. The one I walked out of the store with was the Browning Hi Power 40 S&W. The reason I purchased it was that it was a good fit for my hands as well as well balanced. We determined that it could be used for hunting as well as target practice. Since that time I have purchased a Ruger 22/45 22 cal handgun and a Hi Point 45 cal handgun... Between them all the Browning is my favorite although I do use the Ruger more for my farming operation. The Hi Point was an inexpensive gun to purchase but the handling is rather clumsy.

The most important thing to remember is to purchase a handgun that fits your hands and is comfortable to use...

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I would recommend buying a revolver if you're useing it for home defense. As far as calibers go, I would recommend maybe a .357 mag. I say that because when you want to go to the range, you can also shoot .38 specials in the gun, saving some cash and your arms while getting a feel for the gun. I like revolvers for home defense, because if the gun sits too long without being fired, it will be fine, whereas a semi auto has a very good chance of developing memry in the magazine when not used on a regular basis and sits for a long period of time, and if the time comes to use it, you will have problems feeding new rounds into the gun. Not with a revolver.

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If you gun sits so long that you give a spring "memory" you better not intend on using it for anything,especially in an emergency, you need to practice regularly. The modern metals used in guns and springs also makes that a non-issue. Caliber is not as big of deal as one may think, there are a lot of dead people that will argue a .22 won't do the job. There again, pick what you like and are comfortable shooting. Now that the pot has been stirred, I miss my XD45, but the Colt Defender that replaced it is a beautiful piece. I like revolvers also and a 357 is very versatile, recreation with 38's, hunting and personal defense with the magnums, and it's hard to beat the romance of a nice wheel gun. As far as shotguns go, the pattern you will get, even with a short barrel, in a typical house of 10-15 foot rooms will only be about 4-6 inches in diameter, maybe 10 if you are using trap loads, you still need to aim, and movement with possible physical contact in less than a seconds time will put you at a significant disadvantage. If you don't believe it, pattern one, then when no one else is home, try moving tactically around your house, You will learn a lot, and find a lot of your pre-concieved ideas need revisiting. Remember, a home invasion happens very fast, and you are the one being taken on in a defense role with the bad guy having the element of surprise and desire to obtain something or do harm on their side. This will thankfully never happen to the vast majority of us, but there is no prediction of who or where is next, don't be paranoid, but as the experts say, be alert and prepared. Practice, Practice, Practice!

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I was going to post about choosing a revolver over a semi because of accidental magazine drop, but I must have omitted that. I have a Taurus 38 spec. / 357 mag with a 6" barrel. very intimidating to be looking at that from the wrong end of the gun (I actually looked in a mirror and pointed it at myself, the barrel looks ginormous). It points very natural for me and is pretty darn accuate out to 50 yards with Hornady Leverevolution (almost as hard to type as it is to say)

If you can find a gun range that rents them out, it is worth your time to do that. I think Bill's Gun shop in Robbinsdale and I believe there is another bill's in Circle Pines MN. They have a HSOforum and a lot of guns listed to rent to use on their range.

Good luck and good decision on the gun safe. Funny, my wife said the same thing before we had kids. "You need to get a gun safe or keep them in the garage." Hello gun safe

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Good luck and good decision on the gun safe. Funny, my wife said the same thing before we had kids. "You need to get a gun safe or keep them in the garage." Hello gun safe

umm.....duh!?!?!?!?!

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I hesitated to include this in my first post, but I'll say it now in response to the "intimidation" comments.

I'm no firearms expert, but I've been trained to understand (and believe) that a handgun if a self defense tool. If brandished, you had better be prepared to fire the weapon, to kill. Chances are that you'll be dealing with a low light situation where nobody is going to be able to see well and the display of a shotgun isn't necessarily going to help. Find safe cover, give verbal commands, and be prepared to fire if you or your family is in imminent danger. If you do fire, be prepared to be treated like a criminal, keep your mouth shut until speaking with your attorney, and get out the checkbook for your legal defense. This is serious stuff.

If your true intent is to simply intimidate a bad-guy who has broken into your house by showing them that you have a weapon (shotgun or other), leave the gun locked up and find a baseball bat and hope that the bad-guy doesn't have an itchy trigger finger.

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while you make good points dellfin, I might disagree a little bit on the point that if most intruders see a weapon brandished at them, especially a gun be it a handgun or shotgun, will try to hightail it out. Not all, but a good percentage will.

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Possibly. But, they need to "see" it. Again, darkness is against you. Maybe you have Fort Knox in your basement and the bad-guy breaking in will be professional wearing night vision goggles to see your cannon. I'm just a common guy with a few TVs and some fishing tackle.

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I think Bigdrift had a goodpoint about the simplictiy of a revolver in low light conditions. You give up magazine capacity for simplicty.

The articles I have read on Home defense typically say the same thing about "Chambering a round" in a shotgun. It may very well scare some...but it may also show that you are ill prepared.

I would never have any loaded gun in my house..I feel the risk of a child getting shot is greater than the risk of someone breaking in...if I was to have a shot gun...the round would be in the chamber...I would "grab and go"...it gives you just a small andvantage..and some stealth...it is your house..you know it better then a would be burglar.

For the hand gun..I would go with a Springfield Arms XD 45. ACP...it gives you 14 rounds vs. a revolver.....use the Military mentallity...scared soldiers need more rounds...that is one reason they went to the 5.56x45 over the 7.62...soldiers could carry more ammo which they were burning up when scared.

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Yes, in most cases darkenss would be against you. Not all break ins occur at night. Just this last Saturday, my parents house was broken into at 1:30 in the afternoon. They have an alarm system that went off, and the burgler, who happens to be a neighbor, was smart enough, or dumb enough (however you want to think about it, to actually sit and wait for the cops to show up. I don't have Fort Knox in my basement, and like you am just a common guy with a few TV's, some fishing and hunting things and a few other things that may not be worth much on the street, but mean something to me. As far as gun safety goes, there are things on the market called trigger locks. You can get them with either a key lock or combonation lock. They work. Or, do what I do and have a trigger lock on the gun, and have the gun in a small safe that requires a combo.

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I won't get into caliber or brand. But check ammo prices they very dramatically based on caliber and popularity! Ballpark $10/50 smaller calibers to $40/50 on .44Mag.

Your covered with a ~$100 handgun safe able to function by feel in the dark. This should be close at hand while sleeping of course to be useful. I believe there is a federal law that requires all handguns to be secure if minors are around in, like in your future?

What I find just as important to home defense is my Crimson Trace laser grips. Spendy ($200+) but well worth it for me. No more need to pull the gun up traditionally and aim (if you can't)! Just put the bright red dot on target from behind cover or whatever awkward position you might be in and your good to go. I think it gives you an extreme muzzle awareness from a safety aspect also. Handguns can be inherently dangerous to handle for new shooters you need to think SAFETY at all times!

From the sounds of it you might be describing several purchases for your wants and needs. Join the club! Just remember you don't NEED all of them at once. One here, one there, next thing you know you got it all covered until you see another one you just need smile

You will need to go to your local law enforcement and apply for a permit to purchase (free). I think it takes a couple weeks to process. An important note is if you go through the permit to carry class ($100) and receive a permit to carry another $100. You can purchase handguns over the counter after they call the FBI to see your a good guy.

Good ear muffs are essential for handgunning $20 on up. you'll only forget them once...hehe!

Don't forget to practice, shooting is fun for the whole family and bring friends! By all means involve your wife in your training and shooting so she isn't afraid to have a handgun around.

Good luck,

Ferny.

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As always there is a ton of good info from everybody. I did some online research from brand to brand today and I think there are a lot of good options. I think after the holidays I am going to start making the rounds to different gun shops and talk to people and shoot a few.

I have never regreted buying a firearm and I think they are a great investment and I am sure handguns are no different.

As far as the permit to purchase, you cannot go do a gun store and buy a handgun without one and just wait for your background check???

As for anybody that has done the conceal to carry did you like the class and the info, and how much do you really carry your weapon???

I will let you all know what I decide, thanks for all the advice.

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No, you cannot purchase a handgun in MN without a "permit to purchase." The P2P is available at your local law enforcement agency, and there is a form that you will have to fill out. There will be a week or so long wait to receive your P2P, and from there you can purchase a handgun (or handguns) for up to 1 year (or is it 2?) from the date of issue in MN.

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