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Old September 28, 2009, 08:38 PM   #1
look2thehorizon
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Good first handgun for HD

I'm new to these forums, and new to handguns. I don't own one yet, but I need some advice on my first purchase.

I own a shotgun, but I want a good, reliable, affordable handgun for HD. I realize affordable means different things to different people, so let’s just say I don't need any bling, just reliable bang!

My dilemma is that I would like to get a gun that my wife and I could both use in an emergency if necessary. The problem is I'm 6'5" - 240lbs with large hands. My wife is 5'2" - 125lbs. with small hands.

Is there one gun that could work for both of us and still have "stopping power?"

Help a new guy out!?!
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Old September 28, 2009, 08:56 PM   #2
rockway
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look,

Welcome. The best thing to do is both go to your local gun store, or gun show, and handle as many as possible to see what feels right. I have a Ruger P95 that both my wife and I are comfortable with. She's not to comfortable with anything over a 9mm, your wife may be different. Try them out and see. Also, if it was me I would go with what she was most comfortable with and just get used to it myself. If she is willing to use it and feels comfortable doing it then go with it. You have the shotgun for yourself, which in my opinion is the best HD choice, and as the husband you should be accommidating on this one. Just my two cents.
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Old September 28, 2009, 08:59 PM   #3
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Wow, you're probably going to get a lot of answers to this question. What it will boil down to is "get a gun that fits you and your situation. Take recommendations with a grain of salt. Shoot everything and decide what fits."

This is certainly true. As far as the grip issue goes, some of the newer guns, the S&W M&P and the Springfield XDm have interchangeable backstraps that may be a good option. It won't do you much good in an emergency situation, but for training, you could probably change them around easily enough. Both of these guns would be very good for home defense.

Also, try a 1911 or a Browning Hi-Power. Both of these guns fit my smallish hands really well and I would assume they fit larger hands just fine as everyone and their dog has one and they love them. Both guns are quite comfortable to shoot. The only thing I don't like about my father-in-law's Hi-Power is the trigger. It seems awfully heavy for a single action. Love the 1911 trigger though.

I also love the grip on my XD45. My wife and I have basically the same size hands and we both shoot this gun very well. She also likes the recoil far better than my CW9. I don't buy that women are automatically recoil sensitive. I think that if they have a reasonable expectation of what's coming, then it isn't a problem.

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Old September 28, 2009, 09:41 PM   #4
ranger dave
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hand gun

you need to remeber that you may very well be fast asleep 2 sec. before you put your hd hand gun into play . i keep a 4 inch s&w mod 10 in 38 spl on the night stand. and remeber 9 times out of 10 you will lose the gun to the cops. do you realy want to give up a glock or a sig . a good wheel gun with good ammo
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Old September 28, 2009, 09:50 PM   #5
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if conceal carry isnt an issue, or carry for that matter, get a Beretta CX4 that uses PX4 mags or 92f mags



you can get a 9mm at buds for 699. its ridiculously accurate out to 25 yards. you barely have to try. get a front grip. since it shoots 9mm, it has very light recoil for a rifle, but it does 100 more fps than a 4" hand gun cause the longer barrel allows for more powder to burn in the barrel and not ejected and burned outside the gun.

I love mine, and i shoot it every time i go to the range, but i only shoot 40 rounds out of it, cause i group so well, i dont have to spend 100s of rounds perfecting my aim.

btw this is with iron sights. if you were to put a red dot on it, i bet itd be more accurate and shooter friendly.

and this is something both you and your wife can use
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Old September 28, 2009, 10:02 PM   #6
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A heavy all steel .357 revolver, loaded with .38 for the wife.
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Old September 28, 2009, 10:03 PM   #7
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Can't go wrong with a good revolver loaded with .38spl hollow points. Pretty much foolproof and can be handled by anyone in the household without hurting from recoil and will stop 99.9999% of the bad guys in their tracks.
When you get more comfortable with shooting hanguns then expand your inventory.
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Old September 28, 2009, 10:06 PM   #8
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Glock 19.

Can't get any less blingy or more reliable than that.
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Old September 28, 2009, 10:21 PM   #9
CWPinSC
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The "best" gun is the one YOU like, not anyone else. It will be a compromise of:

1. Fit - It should fit in your hand like you were born with it there.
2. Reliability - It should go BANG about 99.8% of the time you pull the trigger.
3. Accuracy - In YOUR hand. It's how well YOU shoot it.
4. Concealability - It should be comfortable enough to wear and easy enough to conceal so you won't leave it laying on the dresser at home.
5. Cost - You don't want to scrimp on your "life protector" weapon, but you probably don't need a $1,000 Kimber, either.
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Old September 28, 2009, 10:28 PM   #10
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S&W K-Frame revolvers have a reputation for fitting a wide variety of hand sizes well. Models to pay particular attention to include the 10, 14, and 15 in .38 Special and the 13, 19, 65, and 66 in .357 Magnum.
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Old September 28, 2009, 10:48 PM   #11
cougar gt-e
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Yep, 357 revolver with 38 spl in it for range practice.
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Old September 28, 2009, 11:17 PM   #12
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A trip to the gun shop sounds good. If you go the Glock 19 route, be sure the little woman can cycle the action. I think the revolver is a good idea for joint husband/wife use. You can always expand later. I think a .38 Special revolver might be just the ticket for a first HD handgun.
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Old September 28, 2009, 11:31 PM   #13
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I think your wife would love the Ruger SP101 .357mag/.38 spl for size. It has good weight (24oz), but I don't think it would be to heavy for your wife.

She could shoot .38spl's (+Ps) all day long in it, and probably shoot some milder .357s in it to.

It might be a little small for you but I think you still could handle it. After all, you have to look after her first. Right?

You could load the first four shot's .38s, and the last if needed, with a .357 magnum.
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Old September 28, 2009, 11:37 PM   #14
thirdeagle
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My vote goes for a SW K-frame. The Model 19 has enough heft to tame the wildest .357 loads and even your wife could handle a good range session with .38s. Just swap out the target grips for something that accommodates both you and your wife.
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Old September 28, 2009, 11:46 PM   #15
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S&W 19 or ruger sp101 for revolvers. Semiauto HK usp 9, sig p239(might be a little small for you), browning hi-power(only single action), glock 17, 19, springfield xd9. The s&w m&p might be the best choice in 9mm with or without safety (interchangeable grip panel allow more of a custom fit).
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Old September 28, 2009, 11:51 PM   #16
Glenn Dee
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K-Frame Smith, or similar revolver by Ruger, or Colt. Someone made an interesting statement that if you did have to use this firearm you might lose it to the evidence never-never land. Maybe a used K-Frame revolver. In .38 Special... But everyone already said that...lol
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Old September 29, 2009, 07:47 AM   #17
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K-frame!
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Old September 29, 2009, 08:39 AM   #18
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A Smith or a ruger, in 38spl or 357
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Old September 29, 2009, 09:04 AM   #19
Chettt
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Six foot five with a shotgun oughta cover home defense pretty well. Why not get a .22 as your first hand gun? Shoot all day for little money, hunt small game etc.
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Old September 29, 2009, 04:23 PM   #20
look2thehorizon
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Looking at a S&W 686 2 1/2" 6-Shot or the 3" 7-Shot. Good choice? A lot of you mentioned Model 19. I'm assuming that it is no longer produced and evolved into another model? Perhaps the 686? Hope I'm not sounding stupid here...

I am by no means married to buying a new gun, but if I do, I want to compare apples to apples...

So how 'bout them apples?
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Old September 29, 2009, 05:19 PM   #21
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Another vote for a wheel gun, 38 spcl almost any flavor will work as well as the next and you use price as your determining factor not specific brand or model. If you can get a 357 mag and load up with 38's that is better but the 357 may get a little more pricey and I would rather have the money for practice ammo.

158 grain LSWC bullets are what I have in my Dan Wesson 357 at my bedside. I am primarily a pistol man 45 in particular but I'm old and old doesn't wake up as fast as young did so i want something simple and intuitive in my hand till I get up and get my shotgun. Point and pull trigger is as simple and intuitive as you can get at dark thirty in the morning. If for some reason the 357 isn[t available I have my 44 mag loaded with 44 spcl, still easy to shoot and makes a bigger hole to boot but getting pricey again.

A lot of 38's out there for not much money, check it out with a knowledgeable gun person and if its shootable get it and start shooting. If wife is small handed and recoil shy like mine was use 148 gr wadcutters. Not optimum but they can get the job done better than a stick.
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Old September 29, 2009, 08:13 PM   #22
ChCx91
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I also believe the Glock 19 will serve you great! Very versatile gun.
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Old September 29, 2009, 08:43 PM   #23
Elvishead
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Quote:
look2thehorizon:

"Looking at a S&W 686 2 1/2" 6-Shot or the 3" 7-Shot. Good choice? A lot of you mentioned Model 19. I'm assuming that it is no longer produced and evolved into another model? Perhaps the 686? Hope I'm not sounding stupid here...

I am by no means married to buying a new gun, but if I do, I want to compare apples to apples...

So how 'bout them apples?"
That's what I'd call a Medium size gun. If your going to get a six, why not go 7 shots. Not much difference in weight. It may or may not be a little big/heavy (36+oz) for your wife, you'd have to have her hold it for feel, and for up to 30-60 seconds and be able to pull the trigger easily, but the grip (Hogue*) can be change for better fit, and the trigger can be lighten buy a gun smith for a fee.

I know, your wife would like the SP101 (24oz), but you might not like that "orange", to small maybe. Also the trigger pull can be lighted by changing springs for very little money.

PS: I think the 686 7 shot 3" is pretty cool! I'd buy one if I didn't have enough .357s already.
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Old September 29, 2009, 08:57 PM   #24
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I also wouldn't rule out a S&W Airweight snub .38 "+P" AKA High powered .38 (642,637, or 638 at about 14-15oz )

Easy to handle, and less likely to be disarmed with such a short barreled gun.

I actually use my little 638 (6'1" 220+) as my main HD/CCW gun and I have many choices of variances of different sizes to use from big to pretty small (Not tiny).
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Old September 29, 2009, 09:00 PM   #25
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I'd say a 4" 686 would be a good choice. Perfect for both of ya'll. Growing up, my father had one and my mom loved it.
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