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Old September 11, 2012, 07:54 PM   #1
chrisintexas
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Best Handguns for defense for newbie user

I am completely new to guns of any kind. What handguns would be suitable for me for personal and home defense? Thanks
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Old September 11, 2012, 08:04 PM   #2
Zhillsauditor
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Many of them.

By which I mean, we need more information about you and your situation.
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Old September 11, 2012, 08:14 PM   #3
chrisintexas
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which ones? guy , 220 lbs. what information?
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Old September 11, 2012, 08:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
I am completely new to guns of any kind. What handguns would be suitable for me
The ones you use in the training class you should attend!!!
After you have been trained on basic firearms safety, shooting, maintenance, etc you will be getting a better idea of what suites you best. Then try to find a range/gunshop in your area that rents guns. Try each that have proven interesting, and acceptable to you.
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Old September 11, 2012, 08:17 PM   #5
chrisintexas
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okay. But still which handguns should I start at shooting range?
hold on, Do I need a shooting class to learn all this? Thanks
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Old September 11, 2012, 08:26 PM   #6
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ok
do you have any gun experience at all?

if not consider the following
1. the use of this weapon
You ask about home defense. Fine reason
Do you want a pistol or a long gun?
Shot guns make excellent home defense guns. Pump action
is universal sound of your maker knocking on your door.
2. your budget for this weapon
handguns can get pricey choose one that is rite for you
caliber of the gun, not all ammo is equal
for defense a minimum of 9mm also the cheaper of the ammo most days
Shotguns, average around 250 dollars, you can pick up a shotgun
not a lot of aiming for home defense, spray an pray covers a lot of ground
3. what kind of home are you defending
condo, house, apartment
these will dictate your ammo choice and probably your weapon as well
4. Does your location limit gun ownership or require any special permits?

as you can see lots of things you need to let us know
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Old September 11, 2012, 08:30 PM   #7
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Hi from Austin

Chris,
where are you at? There are a lot of Texas gun toters here. It's easy to find a range that can ask you the right questions and get you the right weapon, then let you select from several different appropriate choices.

I hope that helps, there are quite a few guys on this board in most every county in the State.
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Old September 11, 2012, 08:30 PM   #8
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He's right, knowing more would help.

However, in general I'd recommend a revolver for someone totally new to guns. A .38 Special or .357 Magnum revolver, with a barrel length of 3-6 inches. Good all-around home defense gun for someone new to guns
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Old September 11, 2012, 08:40 PM   #9
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Suggest you go to a gun club, hook up there, try some guns and find out for yourself what feels good and shoots good for yourself.
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Old September 11, 2012, 08:43 PM   #10
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Paraphrasing good advice from Gary: If it feels good buy it.
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Old September 11, 2012, 08:55 PM   #11
chrisintexas
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I am in North richland hills near Ft worth, tx.
Home defending
want a pistol
budget about $800
I don't know if location limits gun ownership
But this is Texas
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Old September 11, 2012, 09:10 PM   #12
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Get a Glock 19 9mm. They are reliable and so idiot proof. Thats why most police departments use them.
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Old September 11, 2012, 09:17 PM   #13
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With that budget, you'll have quite a few options. Many newer shooters might prefer something chambered in 9mm, because those guns will tend to have less recoil than guns of similar size that shoot larger bullets such as .40 S&W or .45 ACP. And 9mm ammo is also cheaper, meaning you can get more practice for your money (which may be more important than the gun itself).

This doesn't mean you couldn't start with a bigger caliber. I'm only recommending what I might do in your situation.

Here's a link to some popular 9mm handguns that might interest you.
http://www.best9mm.com/
This list only reflects a certain person/group's opinions, so the actual ranking is debatable, but it does include some of the most popular choices.

Last edited by idek; September 11, 2012 at 09:27 PM.
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Old September 11, 2012, 09:19 PM   #14
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you still didnt say what you were defending
home
condo
apartment

will make ammo choice for you

a pistol in the 800 dollar range very doable
home defense means its not for concealed carry
so it can be bigger
you will want a front rail for a flash light mounted
bad **** usually happens at night not in the day light

best bet find a local range like Shoot Straight (national chain) and hit the rental section try a **** load
you are looking for grip fit on your hands
trigger distance for the size of your hands etc
just general "feel"
the hitting what you aim at will come with practice
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Old September 11, 2012, 09:26 PM   #15
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may i suggest you find a friend who knows how to use a gun. if they are anything like me, they can't wait to share their knowledge of guns with their friends. a lot of ranges offer classes if you don't have any friends with gun knowledge. while not the best class for a beginner, the concealed carry class will give you the basics of operation, safety, and handling. i'm sure the instructor would be happy to help you out.

that being said, buy this or this
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Old September 11, 2012, 09:26 PM   #16
chrisintexas
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dave its a home.

Any shooting ranges near North richland hills in texas or close by?
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Old September 11, 2012, 09:32 PM   #17
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chris with out too many details

close by neighbors? or miles apart?
interior walls made of stone or dry wall? over penetration is the problem. If I shoot bad guy in the living room, does the round pass through him and into the next 2 or 3 rooms? the house next door? all things to consider before you discharge a fire arm in a home.
Me personally, my first home defense choice is a 20 gauge pump action shot gun with game shot #8 in it. Enough to knock you on your ass, and not go into my kids bedrooms down the hall. I have a 9mm baby desert eagle II, along with others but that's my daily conceal carry pistol.

for a pistol home defense, again, go to a range and try a few on. Texas is a big gun state, you should have no trouble finding a range to rent a few guns. My local place has a Mens day on Friday, all rentals free, you just buy the ammo from them. So, you buy a box of 9mm and hit every gun on the wall!
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Old September 11, 2012, 09:33 PM   #18
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Quote:
budget about $800
Either add a hundred or so, or consider $100 or more of your budget for ammunition. The absolute worst thing you could do is buy a gun, maybe shoot it a few times, then load it and put it away for home defense. You didn't just buy a car, get in, and drive away. As you stated you have absolutely no experience with guns of any kind. You will need to learn, not just go out and shoot a couple times, but learn, and practice....A lot!!!

As to suggestions for your purpose, there are many quality handguns in the $500 range from Ruger, Smith & Wesson, Beretta, and more that would fit your needs. I'n not sure I would suggest a Glock for a person completely unfamiliar with firearms. Not a condemnation of Glock, but with the only safety being the safe action trigger it may not be as safe for a complete newbie.

Please, I didn't mention the Glock to start a Glock argument. I like Glock, I have a G20 that is one of my favorite guns. A G17 is on my short wish list because it was the one that started it all, and you can never have too many 9MM's. I just think that for a beginner a mechanical safety on the gun would help lead to better safe gun handling practices.
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Old September 11, 2012, 10:00 PM   #19
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For $800, get 2 pistols. A pistol in 22LR like a used Ruger MK and something in a SD caliber like a S&W M&P or SD series in 9mm. Practice a lot with the 22LR and keep up the skills with the SD caliber.
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Old September 11, 2012, 10:10 PM   #20
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new & entry level firearm owner...

Hello & welcome to TFL forum, ;

In short, I suggest learning more about handguns(firearms), taking a few classes or work-shops with a respected/qualified instructor. Not a guy you met in a sports bar or in a Bass Pro Shop parking lot. Know & understand the firearm/use of force/concealed carry laws of your area. The NRA, www.nra.org , is a great resource. You should join & support 2A/gun owner issues.
I'd suggest renting or shooting a few well made(high quality) handguns first before you spend a lot of $. For a new gun owner, I'd buy a new .357magnum 3"/4" stainless steel revolver(med frame) or a LE trade-in .38spl revolver(5/6 shot). A good model like a Ruger GP100 4" or a S&W 686 L frame(7 rounds, 3" barrel) can teach you the basics like marksmanship, recoil management, gun cleaning, proper use of sights, etc. You can start with .38spl training rounds then move on to powerful .357magnum loads for carry/protection.
Stainless handguns are easy to clean and hold up to rough conditions. As you get more training & feel able to move up, you can buy a modern DA only pistol like a HK P2000 LEM or a SIG Sauer P229R DAK pistol. These pistols are issued by many police agencies because they are safe, robust and avoid false claims of "cocking hammers" or misuse.
Only use FACTORY made ammunition for carry/defense. No reloaded or hand-loaded rounds. Your statements & actions will be reviewed in a lethal force event. Be smart and be ready to address any legal issue.
Keep your firearms clean and check them often. Don't allow grit, gunpowder, dust, etc to cause a problem or jam. Many well made gun oils & cleaning items are available. Good brands include; Hoppes #9, Mpro7's LPX, Ballistol, Weaponshield, Gunzilla.
For more details see these websites;
www.natchezss.com www.mpro7.com www.gunlawguide.com www.brownells.com www.gunsamerica.com www.policehq.com www.handgunlaw.us www.boatmanbooks.com www.paladin-press.com www.berettausa.com www.gunvideo.com www.shopcorbon.com www.gunzilla.us
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Old September 12, 2012, 03:44 PM   #21
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Your question is the equivalent of saying, "I don't know how to drive, so what kind of car should I buy?"
First learn how to use them, then decide what to buy.
The type of gun is the least of it.
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Old September 12, 2012, 08:16 PM   #22
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I wrote a long letter to a friend about selecting a handgun. It's too long for a forum post, so I'll send a copy to you by PM.
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Old September 12, 2012, 10:27 PM   #23
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Quote:
Your question is the equivalent of saying, "I don't know how to drive, so what kind of car should I buy?"
First learn how to use them, then decide what to buy.
The type of gun is the least of it.
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Old September 13, 2012, 12:40 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TailGator
I wrote a long letter to a friend about selecting a handgun. It's too long for a forum post, so I'll send a copy to you by PM.
I an quite good at long posts. Feel free. I have been shooting for a while, but I am always on the lookout for new information, myself.

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Old September 13, 2012, 12:48 AM   #25
Lost Sheep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisintexas
Best Handguns for defense for newbie user
I am completely new to guns of any kind. What handguns would be suitable for me for personal and home defense? Thanks
Thanks for asking our advice and welcome to the forum.

In general a shotgun is superior to a handgun for home defense, especially if you chosen tactics involve stationary defense (which is best if inexperienced in combat tactics). Training in firearms and martial arts will give you that experience in time. Long arms are MUCH easier to hit with than handguns.

A 22 rimfire has been mentioned before. Here are my arguments in support of that choice for your first handgun.

1 Having a good, accurate 22 will put you on the range (if you go to a formal or informal shooting range) where you will get acquainted with other shooters, see their gun handling practices and see their guns. Most gun owners are proud of their hardware and if you exhibit good safety practices, a modicum of shooting skill and a little bit of polite interest, they will very probably let you handle their guns and even send a few rounds downrange. You can get to try out a wide variety of guns that way and collect testimonials from people other than salesmen when you go to a store.

2 Practice is important for becoming a good shot. Practice (beyond dry firing) takes ammo. Ammo is cheaper for a 22 than for any other caliber. Example: 22 rimfire costs (around here) $20 - $30 per 500. 500 rounds of 9mm (a very inexpensive round) is at least $100 to $150 per 500.

3 Practice with a round that has almost no recoil makes concentration on sight picture, breathing and trigger control much easier without the distraction of recoil and excessive muzzle blast. You can add those elements later after you have gotten the basics ingrained in your subconscious. If you start out with a hard-recoiling round you are almost certain to develop anticipation (usually characterized by a flinch) which is devilishly hard to cure. Prevention is much easier to, especially while you are learning.

4 Most (accurate) 22 rimfire guns are cheaper to buy than similarly accurate centerfire guns and hold their resale value well.

I also recommend you visit a web site owned by one of the administrators on The Firing Line, "Pax". It is principally written for women new to guns, but most of the information there is EQUALLY applicable to either gender. "New to guns" is "new to guns" whether male or female.
http://www.corneredcat.com/Contents/

Here are a few choices to consider

I think you have overlooked some factors and an alternative choice. 22 rimfire.

semi-automatics that come to mind:
Ruger Mark I, II or current model III
or Browning Buckmark or
Smith & Wesson Model 41

Revolvers that come to mind are:
Ruger SP101
Ruger Single-Six
Smith & Wesson's K-Frame K-22 "Masterpiece" (I had one a while back)
Smith & Wesson 617
Taurus (I forget the model #)

Good luck. Thanks for reading.

Lost Sheep
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