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Old October 10, 2012, 02:49 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Polinese View Post
I'd say a used CZ 75/85 series. Or a Rock Island Armory 1911 in 9mm.
You can get a brand new cz 75b for $462 from the site.

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Old October 10, 2012, 03:42 PM   #52
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"I don't think I would call that superior, do you?"
I figured you might go to tiny bullets to increase energy. I was comparing a lighter 9mm 147 grain to a heavier 158 grain .38 Special which is a better comparison. The 115 gain 9mm might go 12" to 14" in ballistic gelatin while the 158 grain flat point will go three feet. Comparing apples to apples, as close as we can get, .38 Special is way more gun. With small bullets and small sectional density you greatly compromise penetration. Since the 9mm has to shoot smaller bullets, the best comparison is with the 147 to the heavier 158 grain .38.
Based on the information specified by Buffalo Bore, I will concede the loss on this point based on the energy figures with the light, low sectional density bullets. I bet you did not know there was a .38 Special Outdoorsman lurking out there. I didn't until I looked. Buffalo Bore continues to amaze.
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Old October 10, 2012, 03:52 PM   #53
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If I could only have one gun, I'd have a T-Series Hi-Power. I know, it's over the $500 limit (closer to $1,000), but you can just tell your wife "it's rare and strikingly beautiful, just like you, honey".
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Old October 10, 2012, 04:18 PM   #54
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Another Dad In Kind Of the Same Boat

Although I'm not limited to just one gun my wife HATES when I carry with her and the kid. Thats kinda my point OF CARRYING, HELLO! Anyway, the CZ P-07 is Pretty cheap but great track record for a rather new design, same with the FN. For God sakes some other than the Glock! M&P, Sig 2022 (I had one and if you have small hands they are awsome), the sig P250 (ugly as sin but they work aparently). Go fondel some guns, have fun with your shopping. You dont have to have it next week do you?! I would look to the 9mm, cheap to shoot is really the only reason, other than that, go big or go home .45ACP.
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Old October 10, 2012, 04:23 PM   #55
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This thread reminds me of a bunch of kids jumping up and down yelling ME,ME,ME!!!!

9mm has more energy than a 38 special, so what, they both work about as well on a threat. A 357 magnum fired from the same gun as the 38 beats both of them.

Go to a good gun store, what feels better in your hand? My suggestion for a first gun is a quality revolver, I am partial to Smith and Wesson's myself.

The reason I say revolver is an easier manual of arms. If you want an auto I would say Glock 17/19 they are like the ever-ready bunny of guns.

The bottom line is YOU have to be happy with your purchase.

Either way get some quality training.
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Old October 10, 2012, 04:33 PM   #56
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You sound like a perfect candidate for a Glock 19. If you can have only one, it should be simple, reliable, versatile, and purposeful. The Glock 19 is a great first gun that fits all of these categories. You'll be able to afford shooting it, it's big enough to have fun shooting and small enough to carry, you can find a stupidly large amount of aftermarket accessories out there for it... I could really go on and on. For a one and done handgun purchase, I really can't see you doing much better.
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Old October 10, 2012, 05:07 PM   #57
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You might consider a convertable pistol,,,
One that can change back and forth between a .22 and a centerfire.

I only mention this because you said recreation and defense.
Aaron hit the nail on the head!

You can acquaint yourself with the gun and your kids can learn to shoot very economicly with the .22 set up. AND should your wife seize the opportunity, the .22LR is the ideal starter round bar none for anyone. Preferably get the whole set up at once as a package deal even if you build your own "package deal" at your LGS.

Switch back to CF parts and you have your HD needs covered too. All under the one gun rule.

If your feeling brave your LGS would probably be happy to set up a "package deal" with a S&W M&P or Ruger SR series CF pistol along with it's .22LR counterpart. He might cut you a little price break so they're "on sale" too!
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Last edited by treg; October 10, 2012 at 05:17 PM.
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Old October 11, 2012, 08:19 AM   #58
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New shooter.
Just one gun (for now)
Mostly range and nightstand duty.

Browning HiPower (a nice used one perhaps).
Walther PPQ or P99 (a little over budget)
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Old October 11, 2012, 09:00 AM   #59
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Glock 17 if for HD and range. If you added to be able to carry, I would say Glock 19. Night sights would be a plus for home defense and you could always add a light if you wanted.

Don't forget to store it where it is accessable to you in just a few seconds, but secure from anyone else that doesn't have permission. That will probably make your wife a little more comfortable as well.

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Old October 11, 2012, 10:12 AM   #60
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Among the several good suggestions that you have received, the Beretta 92/M9, Beretta PX4, and CZ ideas stand out in my mind. 9 mm is cheap ammo, easy to learn to shoot well, and still performs well as a defensive round. Your wife might be pleased with a thumb safety. The CZ can be hard to find in some areas, but is very well thought of. The 92 is usually not hard to find, but may be a bit over your budget; very fine pistol, though. The PX4 can be had new for less than $500 if you shop a bit, and its rotating barrel makes it extremely soft to shoot. My daughter has the PX4 Compact in 9 mm, and it is a little gem.

As others have said, though, your decision can ultimately be made only by getting your short-list pistols in your hands, and preferably by shooting them.
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Old October 11, 2012, 11:12 AM   #61
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When it comes to used guns, Strafor Gott pointed out that the metal-framed S&W autos are good value, especially the 3rd-generation (4-digit) models. I have some 1st-Generation models that are extremely good as well. The quickie photo below shows both an S&W and the Beretta 92FS. The S&W pistol was purchased for under $400.

Beretta 92FS (top) and a 1st-Generation S&W Model 39-2 (bottom)

When it comes to revolvers, you can find some excellent deals on "previously owned" specimens. All of these, except
the 2.5" stainless Model 66, were bought used for under $475. Most were under $400 (in California, no less!)

Note: The three Model 19's to the right and the stainless Model 66 are .357 Magnums. All others are .38 Special.
The stainless .38 Special serves as my preferred home defense gun.

If simpler is better, there's hardly a revolver that's simpler than the Smith & Wesson Military & Police Model 10.
Rugged, reliable, no frills and nothing to get in the way of projecting lead into away far places.

S&W Model 10 - Old style 5-inch tapered "Pencil" barrel.

The point is, there are a lot of choices out there for good guns in your price range. If a used gun looks good, take along someone who is knowledgeable about firearms to help you evaluate it's condition before committing.
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Old October 11, 2012, 03:39 PM   #62
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GLOCK. That simple. There is a good reason why they are so popular. Quality, dependable and price. Test one and make sure it feels right in your hands. You should easily be able to pick up a G17 or G19 out the door including tax between $500 to $550.

Also stick to major manufaturers. This is for customer service training etc.
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Old October 11, 2012, 04:35 PM   #63
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Man that FNX looks great!

Agree w the 3rd Gen S&W as well.

If I could just have one gun though...would be a shotgun. Just saying.

OP you've got lots of great options. Find some rentals. Shoot your friends guns. Definitely handle and shoot before you buy. Might think you'll love a certain gun...until you handle it let alone shoot it.
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Old October 11, 2012, 04:54 PM   #64
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9MM-Beretta 92fs
38/357-Ruger GP100
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Old October 11, 2012, 05:13 PM   #65
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I agree, that if you can only have one it should be 12 gauge. The gold standard of home defense and you can shoot skeet with it, which is also lot's of fun.

But he said he wanted a pistol.
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Old October 12, 2012, 10:26 AM   #66
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Kind of a bummer that you can only have one about getting her into shooting, that may change her views and be something fun for u guys. But if i could only own one gun to range shoot, home defence, or go to war with it would have to be a gen 3 Glock 17, or 19. This gun is relatively inexpensive, indestructible, reliable, and safe. Ready to run right out of the box. Custom upgrades are endless to.Id sure hate to give up my 1911s though.
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Old October 12, 2012, 11:34 AM   #67
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You probably aren't going to own just one for very long if you want to practice much. When I was in your shoes some time ago I bought a .357 Magnum. However, I quickly found out I could burn through $80 of ammo at the range in one trip. I quickly ended up buying a .22LR pistol which is what I shoot more often at the range to save money. I do most of my shooting with .22 and still fire off about 20-30 rounds through the .357 each time out.

Two guns can actually be cheaper to own than one.

Like the man told me: Guns are like shoes; dress for the occasion. You wouldn't wear your sneakers to a business meeting or your flip flops to go hiking in the mountains.

9mm or .357 Mag are good choices for what you want to do, but realize that you might end up with two guns quicker than you think.
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Old October 12, 2012, 11:02 PM   #68
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If you decide to go with a 9MM there are many suggestions in this thread that are very good. If you can find a CZ-75B in 9MM I would get that then get the Kadet kit later for cheap .22 practice. Other than that I would look at the Stoeger Cougar, that is one fun little gun for the range and it can work as a house gun.
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Old October 13, 2012, 12:20 PM   #69
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Generally speaking I would say the 9mm is superior to the 38 special.

However I have shot the 38 special +P lawman from my Coonan Classic and they are indeed pretty stout for 38s. In my 6 inch Coonan they where clocking in at about 1330FPs.

Sorry I dont have any pictures like I do of the 357s so you will just have to take my word for it. That said the Coonan is famous for shooting faster than simular length revolvers.

I have pictures of it shooting the Bufflao bore 357 magnum 125 grain rounds at 1800FPS.

Why did this become a my caliber is better discussion?
Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

all 25 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple

Last edited by Deja vu; October 13, 2012 at 12:26 PM.
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Old October 13, 2012, 01:22 PM   #70
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6 rounds Of capacity is yet another reason to steer clear of the .38. If youre going to be owning a full sized pistol for self defense/range gun, I always recommend a glock 17 or 19. I see them go for 350/400 used often.
A hit with a .22 is better than a miss with a .44
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Old October 13, 2012, 02:24 PM   #71
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6 rounds Of capacity is yet another reason to steer clear of the .38. If youre going to be owning a full sized pistol for self defense/range gun, I always recommend a glock 17 or 19. I see them go for 350/400 used often.

I am a revolver guy but I do agree. Capasity is a huge bonus. There are 8 shot revolvers that would shoot a 38 but they are big guns and an automatic would hold at least that many rounds if not more.
Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

all 25 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple
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Old October 13, 2012, 04:04 PM   #72
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Glock Model 17/19 is the best thing in your price range.

Uber reliable 9mm pistols.
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Old October 13, 2012, 04:57 PM   #73
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Don't discredit her opinion on it.

Everyone here loves guns to go shooting (myself included). But this doesn't mean they aren't extremely dangerous with the slightest slip of judgement.

Make sure to stay with your wife on everything. A wife is more important than a gun.
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Old October 13, 2012, 06:02 PM   #74
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May I suggest LE trade-ins. Check your local gun stores to see if they handle LE/Corrections Officer trade-ins. I've purchased two 9mm's, a S&W 3913 and SigSauer P229 for $330.00 and $500.00. Both have worked flawlessly and I still own them. Now, keep in mind such a firearm has been holstered, used and maybe abused. But, they will shoot and have not had thousands of rounds down the barrel. For required police qualification purposes they may have 250 + or - rounds fired a year. Common makers are Glock, S&W and SigSauer. Now, if you're a nice shiny and cosmetically concerned gun person, forget looking at LE trade-ins. But, remember a proper hardy cleaning can do wonders. If you elect to buy a revolver, I recently saw a couple S&W M10, 38 specials for $200.00. They were from a local corrections facility. Good luck.
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Old October 13, 2012, 08:49 PM   #75
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357 mag revolver and practice a lot
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