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Buying advice

Discussion in 'Guns & Hunting' started by Snake~, May 11, 2010.

  1. May 11, 2010 at 10:39 AM
    #1
    Snake~

    Snake~ [OP] Big Member

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    A little background: I know very little about guns. I have shot at a range a few times with a buddy, but that's the extent of my experience. I'm considering buying a handgun for home protection. I did a little research online and I'm leaning towards a revolver, but I don't really know what to look for, what to avoid, etc. Can ya help a brother out?
     
  2. May 11, 2010 at 10:42 AM
    #2
    jspadaro

    jspadaro Well-Known Member

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    Does your range rent guns? That's what I did before making my purchase. Then you can try out different calibers and see what you're comfortable with.

    I found out some things I didn't expect when trying out guns with my girlfriend when she was interested in getting one - for example, a .38 revolver is not necessarily any more pleasant than a 9mm or .40, and actually the taurus .38 we shot was worse, despite the size difference. What you're comfortable with and what you shoot well with is what you should go with.
     
  3. May 11, 2010 at 10:46 AM
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    NraFan

    NraFan Join the NRA! Protect your freedom!

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    Go with a good, trusted brand. Smith & Wesson and Colt make the best revolvers, but they are pricey. Ruger and Taurus make a decent revolver too. I would get a .357 magnum for home defense. The good thing about a revolver is you can keep it loaded without any wear on magazine springs which may cause potential misfeed. Less moving parts and takes less action to operate under stress. Drawback is there is less ammo. Depending on where you live, most Semi auto's can hold 15 rounds vs. a revolvers six or seven ( sometimes 8 ) For a fist gun get a Double action revolver like a S&W. .357 magnum with a 3 or 4 inch barrel. Shoot it a lot and get good with it. Night sights or Hi-Viz sights are a nice option as well. And with a .357, you can shoot cheaper and less potent .38 special at the range. But you may also want to consider a 12ga shotgun for home defense. Can't beat a Remington 870. The most imporant thing is to find a gun that fits you and you are comfortable shooting. Try some out at a local range or ask your buddies. I keep a Glock 19 next to my bed, but that's my choice.
     
  4. May 11, 2010 at 5:21 PM
    #4
    thinkingman

    thinkingman Well-Known Member

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    good responses above.
    A 22lr revolver would be an excellent trainer.
    38/357 is the obvious choice as you progress.
    Remember, smaller and lighter means sharper recoil.
    Smith and Wesson would be a good mid to high $ brand to consider.
    They make 4 different size frames, fit your hand differently and hand recoil differently.
    Try them all.
    Don't rush to make a purchase.
     
  5. May 11, 2010 at 11:44 PM
    #5
    renmauzo

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    For a first gun, I'd honestly recommend something that isn't a revolver.

    If the weapon is for home defense, a semi-auto will allow you to keep the weapon in condition 3 (loaded magazine in, no round chambered). The sound of a slide racking is something that can seriously freak someone out, so if you do need to grab your weapon, making a situation where an intruder would HEAR that you mean business without actually seeing you could keep you from needing to pull the trigger, which is a great outcome. You might need to clear your floors afterward, though.

    You'll see all over the internet people fighting with each other over caliber. It's a crock of shit, so don't listen. Any service caliber (9mm, .40 S&W, .45) in a semi-automatic handgun, or other common caliber (.38 special, .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum) in a revolver will defend you if you can do the job of correctly acquiring and firing accurately at your target.

    The most important thing I will say about home defense is to be absolutely sure that you buy defensive ammunition, read: jacketed hollow point. A full metal jacket has a lot of penetration power, so over-penetration can be a huge issue, especially when living in an apartment building. The last thing anyone would want is to harm an innocent in a situation where you have made the decision that deadly force is required. A decent hollow point (Federal, Hornady, etc.) is designed to penetrate ~12 inches and stop, which is very crucial in my opinion.

    But, regardless of all of that, the most important thing is that you become familiar with and properly maintain your weapon. None of this matters if you can't shoot due to lack of skill or lack of a functioning/reliable weapon.

    Also, remember that guns aren't a dick-showing contest, so don't get caught up in the "my $9000 1911 is cooler than x" thing that I see so much of. I carry a polymer gun. It's chambered in 9mm. I'm completely okay with it and there are a lot of other people that are, too. Why?

    Because a weapon is a fucking weapon. You can dress it up however you want, but in the end it is just an instrument of death. Treat it appropriately and keep in mind that if you pull that trigger, you could be ending many years of life and wasting many years of potential.
     
  6. May 11, 2010 at 11:44 PM
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    MOT

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  7. May 12, 2010 at 1:28 AM
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    rhodehard09

    rhodehard09 sometimes nonsense is the only sense someone has

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    X2.....Well said.
     
  8. May 12, 2010 at 8:09 AM
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    Snake~

    Snake~ [OP] Big Member

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    Cool, thanks for the advice guys. At first I was thinking 9mm semi auto, but to be honest, after my wife and I take a gun training/safety course, the gun will probably rarely see the light of day. Like I said, it will strictly be for home defense so hopefully I won't have to use it much. And I don't see myself going to a range often. I know there is a certain amount of maintenance involved to keep any gun in working condition and from what I've read semi autos require more care than revolvers. That's why I'm thinking a revolver would be best for me. It seems to be the most low maintenance, reliable, user friendly option. Do you agree?
     
  9. May 12, 2010 at 8:13 AM
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    jspadaro

    jspadaro Well-Known Member

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    If you aren't going to practice with it, i'd reconsider getting a gun, man. You have to know how to use a handgun, they aren't easy to shoot without plenty of practice. Maybe a shotgun would be a better fit?

    Actually, after considering what you want, I would get a pump-action shotgun with a folding stock and an 18" barrel. Portable, easy to maneuver, much much easier to shoot than a pistol, and low-maintenance except maybe the magazine spring. (To leave loaded, I mean.) Leave 00 buckshot in the magazine, unchambered, and cycle it every 6 months to make sure the spring is still working.
     
  10. May 12, 2010 at 8:16 AM
    #10
    jspadaro

    jspadaro Well-Known Member

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    A good mossberg 500 or remington 870 with a pistol grip + a folding stock attachment will be cheaper than a handgun too. You're looking at maybe $300 new, and they're very available used, vs a decent pistol being more like $400+
     
  11. May 12, 2010 at 8:16 AM
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    tacomakid89

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    Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum. Cant go wrong with that.
     
  12. May 12, 2010 at 8:48 AM
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    thinkingman

    thinkingman Well-Known Member

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    Also, remember that guns aren't a dick-showing contest, so don't get caught up in the "my $9000 1911 is cooler than x" thing that I see so much of. I carry a polymer gun. It's chambered in 9mm. I'm completely okay with it and there are a lot of other people that are, too. Why?
    Good Point

    This whole website is a dick-showing contest.

    I still think a revo is the better choice for someone who doesn't shoot much and wants self defense, but the points made are thoughtful and intelligent.
     
  13. May 12, 2010 at 9:51 AM
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    aficianado

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    i would go with a revolver. the revolver is a fantastic study in simplicity. with a .357, you can go and buy bulk. .38 special rounds and shoot ALOT for relatively little $$. bonus that .38 kick very little, and make a significanly little "BANG!". i agree with the above poster, that said you must practice, alot. shooting should be second nature in a hostile enviornment.

    in my experience, it is not easy to find a pistol that is super easy for a female to shoot. this applies to non-gun toting women. with my sig 226, my wife cannot even work the slide back to put a round in the chamber. not that she isnt strong enough..it is a mental thing with her..i think. squeezing of a revolver round in a double action gun, may be an issue with a smaller woman too.
     
  14. May 12, 2010 at 10:09 AM
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    NraFan

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    I agree with an above post. You need to practice. Buying a gun, sticking it in the night stand, and cleaning it every six months won't do you any good when a bad guy shows up. You're gonna pull that thing out at 2am in the dark, take six shots into the night, then get whipped over the head with it when the bad guy grabs it from you. Practice! Practice! Practice! Make sure you know the ins and outs of the gun you buy. Know how it works. Know how to deal with a jam or misfire. Be able to hit your target. It will do you no good if you don't know how to use it. But yes, they are generaly lower maintenance, easier to clean, less moving parts, and easier to operate.
     
  15. May 12, 2010 at 10:14 AM
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    jspadaro

    jspadaro Well-Known Member

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    Get a shotty, seriously. Point and shoot, much easier to shoot accurately than a pistol due to it's longer barrel, and you have a much reduced risk of overpenetration with shot compared to an actual bullet. It's the way to go imo if you just want something to put in the closet and leave be. Also, 00 buck will put the hurt on.
     
  16. May 12, 2010 at 1:38 PM
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    Snake~

    Snake~ [OP] Big Member

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    You guys are right. What I should have said is I don't see myself going to the range often after I get comfortable with the gun. I know that will take some practice. And I see your point about a shotgun. I hadn't considered that, but now you've got me thinking about it.
     
  17. May 12, 2010 at 1:47 PM
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    jspadaro

    jspadaro Well-Known Member

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    There's nothing wrong with not wanting to go to the range, but you should be going pretty often if you intend to get and stay proficient with a handgun.

    However, you can hit anything 30 feet away from you with a shotgun in a coupla practice sessions, no problem.

    The only reason I use a handgun over a shotgun for home defense is that I have a very small apartment with an odd configuration, and maneuvering a shotgun through it is unrealistic. This is somewhat of an extenuating circumstance - when I buy a house, I'll get an 18" barrel shotgun.

    Also, I love going to the range, and go every chance I get, so I get plenty of practice. :D
     
  18. May 12, 2010 at 2:35 PM
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    Incognito

    Incognito μολὼν λαβέ

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    X2.

    And since you said you weren't going to the range very often, be sure to clean your gun thoroughly after every time you shoot it... Best insurance policy to keep a gun working is to clean it good.
     
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