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Old October 10, 2012, 08:20 AM   #26
Wishoot
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For fun plinking, the 9mm wins hands down (unless you reload). I love .38spl, but the cost of ammo, even the cheap plinking ammo, is much higher than 9mm.

9mm is inexpensive if you buy bulk and a potent defensive handgun if you buy a good JHP.
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Old October 10, 2012, 08:23 AM   #27
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My wife was against guns, but I'm against high heel shoes. So, she keeps her high heel shoes and I keep my guns. Been happily married for 31 years.

You're the man of the house. Your job 1 is to protect your family and I congratulate you for taking the responsability seriously. Explain that to her and she will come around.

After your first one the second one is much easier.

Back to the gun, I'm all for a G19 because it is so versatile. But you need to hold a Beretta 92FS. You can't get one for $500, but you're in luck, you can get a Taurus PT-92FS which is a licensed copy for $400.

See what Wikipedia says about the Taurus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taurus_PT92
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Old October 10, 2012, 08:27 AM   #28
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For me thats a pretty tough choice. I own a variety of firearms and in my mind they all have a specific role they play well. If I could only have one and thats knowing what I know, it would be between a Sig P229 in 9mm or my SP101 in .357mag. Around here ammo for either is pretty much the same price.

I guess it would depend on where I live and what percieved threat I could have. If the threat is high (bad neighborhood) I would go with the P229 for the capacity, low threat would be the SP101, low capapcity, high power could also use to hunt if needed.

Either gun will last a lifetime with proper care. Good luck.

BTW I had a few anti-gun folks change their way with a trip to the range and let them shoot, they usually enjoy it very much.
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Old October 10, 2012, 09:38 AM   #29
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My suggestion is a glock 17. Fits your price range, has a rail for a tactical light, ultra reliable, no external safety to get used to. Take a handgun class with it to get some training and experience. You wont regret it.
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Old October 10, 2012, 09:39 AM   #30
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Purchasing a handgun when (a) your wife is anti-gun and (b) you have children at home can be a challenge.

1. Buy new with warranty... don't buy a used gun, it can be a headache someone else is getting rid of. Springfield Armory have an excellent warranty, excellent 1-800 support, if bad will fix fast, and pay the shipping both ways. Highly recommended ... they should have something at your price-point.

2. Buy a handgun with a good safety, (ie 1911, CZ, etc) your wife will appreciate your good sense and responsibility.... buy a Walther PPS, Glock, etc at your peril.

3. Invite your wife to a range session, I drag my wife about once a year, to the range ... she comes under protest, and despite the fact that she is a good shooter, she is still anti-gun... as are her liberal yuppie friends.

Good luck
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Old October 10, 2012, 10:05 AM   #31
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Dont kid yourself. An external safety is not an alternative to keeping your finger off the trigger and your gun out of reach of the kids. If you have one in the chamber, your gun should be on your person in a holster. If it is not on you in a holster, you should take the round out of the chamber and put the gun somewhere out of reach or in a safe.
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Old October 10, 2012, 10:20 AM   #32
Eppie
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Just a Dad

I sent you a private message with more info.

If you go through with a gun purchase, you need to lear how to use it. There are lot's of videos out there.

The NRA has a video called "Personal Firearm Defense Series" great training that you can learn at home.

Even cheaper is go to YouTube and search for "Todd Jarret" he has a video on how to properly grip a pistol.
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Old October 10, 2012, 10:26 AM   #33
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Quote:
1. Buy new with warranty... don't buy a used gun, it can be a headache someone else is getting rid of. Springfield Armory have an excellent warranty, excellent 1-800 support, if bad will fix fast, and pay the shipping both ways. Highly recommended ... they should have something at your price-point.
I disagree. My first gun was a used one and it was fine. Certain manufacturers, Smith and Wesson is one, don't care if you're the original owner and will take care of you regardless. I think I've had more issues with new pistols than ones I bought used.
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Old October 10, 2012, 10:30 AM   #34
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FNX 40 or FNX-9. It does everything well and is tough as nails. Reliable accurate and built in the USA by a true military arms company. It also can be carried in any condition making it more versatile to your training and experience.

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Old October 10, 2012, 10:40 AM   #35
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Only one handgun for plinking fun and home defense, I would go Beretta 92 in semi-auto, unless you have very small hands.

But honestly better would be a Ruger or S&W 4" barrel revolver, particularly for a novice shooter

Revolvers are easier to use (except reloading under stress), are easier to shoot in single action accurately, can shoot .38/.357, don't look as "scary" to some people, less susceptible to poor technique, and if you can get well practiced at controlling the double action trigger pull, you can shoot any handgun well.

I agree with an above poster though, I think a .22LR is a better 1st gun by a long shot. (Pun intended)
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Old October 10, 2012, 10:51 AM   #36
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For this situation I have a slightly different approach.

The guns I would recommend are:
Glock 17/22 [if you live in a 'free state'] or 19/23
CZ75

You'll notice I left 9mm or .40S&W as options for the Glock.

Both are respectible guns and both can be found in your price point, used. You may find one or the other close to $500 new, but I'd be surprised if the 'out the door' cost was under $500 for either of these new.


The reason why I suggest either is your wife. You identified having one gun is one gun too much for her. This means one gun. But with either of the two I mentioned above you can purchase a .22lr conversion kit for that gun and be able to shoot .22lr ammo from the same 'gun': giving you a 'plinking' caliber for general fun and basic mechanics training and the more serious caliber for defense and big boom fun.

If you are new to handguns training is critical. That said, 9mm is cheaper to use and is less likely to cause you to develop a bad 'flinch' from the recoil. However, if you are not concerned about the recoil and your shot placement is equal in either caliber, a .40S&W is generally more powerful than a 9mm [same ammo maker and type compared, no Buffalo Bore +P comparisons to Winchester White Box ammo]. Shot placement is key. I personally don't care for the .40S&W and would recommend the 9mm.


If you will only be allowed to own one handgun, you can be 'tricky' and have a second slide for it that allows you to shoot .22lr.

IF you go with a .40S&W Glock you can buy a conversion barrel to shoot 9mm from it, and you can buy a .357Sig barrel to shoot that caliber, AND you can buy a .22lr conversion top end: giving you 4 calibers from one handgun.

If this intrigues you, keep in mind that you can buy a conversion barrel for a Glock 22 or 23 to shoot the 9mm and .357Sig, but you can't do that if you buy a Glock 17 or 19. If you get a Glock 17 or 19 you'll have to buy a new slide and barrel, which can run up to $400+. Versus a $150 Glock 9mm conversion barrel.


I don't like Glocks that much due to how they fit in my hand, but they are reliable enough that law enforcement loves them. And they are not incredibly expensive.


The 1911 does have a .22lr conversion kit available for it also. If you planned on the conversion top end for the 1911, then you'd be able to have the .45acp 1911 for defense and .22lr for every day fun. I like the .45 more than the 9mm in my hand, but I like the 9mm price of ammo better.

Just my $.02
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Old October 10, 2012, 10:59 AM   #37
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Gentlemen, let's not forget the third generation Smith's. It rocks my socks to see how inexpensive these gems are. They cover the range of light(6906) to heavy (4006) are easy to shoot, have external safeties, excellent reliability, and are goood looking!
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Old October 10, 2012, 11:04 AM   #38
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1 gun only primarily for range use, then 1911 9mm.
9mm - cheapest centerfire ammo.
1911 - great platform.
For range use, I usually opt for adjustable sights to allow for POA=POI.
========
The only 9mm 1911 I can think of in the $500 range would be an RIA --- I would look at RIA tactical 9mm.
========
Another one to consider maybe an EAA Witness Match 9mm.
========
There are also many good used guns: Sig P6, Pxxx, 3rd Gen S&W, etc.
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Old October 10, 2012, 11:10 AM   #39
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Quote:
My wife was against guns, but I'm against high heel shoes. So, she keeps her high heel shoes and I keep my guns. Been happily married for 31 years.
This sounds like the right answer.

Compromise is the name of the game.
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Old October 10, 2012, 11:16 AM   #40
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That magic $500 mark is a tough point. To be honest, there is only 1 gun under $500 that I like a lot. That's the Stoeger Cougar (can usually be had for about $400 on sale). Move a little over $500 though and there are several I like a lot. For range and home defense a full size is a fine choice and my personal all time favorite the Beretta 92FS is getting close to $500 on sale now. The CZ75B and 75B Compact are also only a little over $500 and they too are great guns. BTW - you'll have to decide on the mechanism you like best ... I prefer hammer guns myself (over strikers) and I like DA/SA trigger actions. Hence the guns I suggested.

I'd definitely go with 9mm, not only is it the cheapest round, it just plain rocks. After trying everything else, I still love 9mm the best of all for everything.
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Old October 10, 2012, 11:23 AM   #41
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BTW - I'm feeling lucky. My wife has never been against guns but she's never been for them either, just ok with them. She's never shot one ... she just recently said she'd kind of like to try shooting one. We're going to the range this weekend (with the Marlin .22 magnum as the gun is mild and I think one of the nicest funnest guns I've ever shot). Over time you may be surprised. Don't push it fast, start with one like you are and then if you want more, mention you'd kind of like a second one after you've had the first for a while. After 2, it gets much easier and she'll get more comfortable and if your lucky ... curious too. It seems just yesterday I was in your boat (but I started with that .22 magnum rifle). The handgun was a big step but i had always wanted one. Now the drawer is full and she just rolls her eyes if I want another.
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Old October 10, 2012, 11:55 AM   #42
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Quote:
"The best rounds in .38 are not equal to the best rounds of 9mm"
I'll send a memo to Buffalo Bore and tell them you disagree with their data.
9mm Luger +P+ Pistol and Handgun Ammo - (+P+) 147 gr. Jacketed Hollow Point (1,175 fps/M.E. 451 ft. lbs.)
38 Special +P OUTDOORSMAN - 158 gr. Hard Cast Keith @ 1,250 fps 548 ft lbs
Quote:
^ I would have ignored the facts as well.
Sorry Jmortimer, I think you might be ignoring some of the facts yourself.

From BB Website:

Quote:
9mm Luger +P+ Pistol and Handgun Ammo - (+P+) 115 gr. Jacketed Hollow Point (1,400 fps/M.E. 500 ft.lbs.) - 20 Round Box

Item 24A/20 (+p+) 115gr. Jacketed Hollow Point

Browning Hi Power MK111, 4.6 inch barrel---------1426 fps
Beretta 92F, 4.9 inch barrel-----------------------------1402 fps
Glock 19, 4.0 inch barrel--------------------------------1389 fps

Quote:
38 SPL +P OUTDOORSMAN - 158 gr. Hard Cast Keith 1,250 fps - 20 Round Box

1255 fps -- Ruger GP 100, 6 inch barrel, 357 mag.
•1186 fps -- S&W Combat Masterpiece 6 inch barrel, 38 SPL (circa 1958)
•1146 fps -- S&W Mt. Gun, 4 inch barrel, 357 mag.
•1167 fps -- S&W Mod. 15, 4 inch barrel, 38 SPL (circa 1968)
•1112 fps -- Ruger SP 101, 3 inch barrel, 38 SPL
•1043 fps -- S&W Mod 66, 2.5 inch barrel, 357 mag.
• 989 fps -- S&W Mod 340PD, 1 & 7/8 inch barrel, 357 mag.
•1027 fps -- S&W Mod 642 (pre dash), 1 & 7/8 inch barrel, 38 SPL
Comparing a 6" bbl revolver muzzle energy to a 4"-5" barrel service auto is a little disigenious don't you think?

Rounds coming out of a G17L or some other 6" bbl automatic would be a better comparison, but since the only data we have that is comparable is the G19 and the S&W revolvers as provided by the BB website, both with 4" bbls.

Even rounding up 33 FPS (for the best performing 4" revolver) and giving 1,200 FPS out of the comparable 4" revolvers, you still only get 505.1 Ft/lbs of muzzle energy.

If you round up only 11 FPS and give the Glock 1,400 FPS you are sitting at 500 Ft/lbs of energy.

So at best, well within the standard deviation of both rounds.

However, if you did the calculation with the available data provided by Buffalo Bore themselves:

38 Special - 158gr @ 1167 = 478 Ft/Lbs
9mm -115gr @ 1389 = 493 Ft/Lbs

I don't think I would call that superior, do you?

Quote:
here is no 9mm +P+ or otherwise that compares to Buffalo Bore .38 Special Outdoorsman
Except BB's own 9mm +P+.....

Quote:
Sorry you were wrong on this point.
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Old October 10, 2012, 12:03 PM   #43
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Nobody seems to have mentioned the SIG 2022. It comes in under the $500 mark, and - according to everything I've heard about them - are quite good.

I also agree with the Beretta 92 - if you like the grip.
Glock 19 - also if you like the grip

I'm a big fan of the PPQ, but it's a little over $500.

Remember you're going to want to spend a minimum of a hundred or so on ammo just to get used to a new gun.

9mm is going to cost less, and is going to be available in a wider variety of good range/defense packages than .38spl. A snub nose is not particularly fun or easy to shoot.
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Old October 10, 2012, 12:12 PM   #44
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You might consider a convertable pistol,,,

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.

A pistol like the Sig Sauer P-226 Classic .22 comes to mind,,,
The thing about this is .22 ammo is so danged cheap,,,
So you get to shoot for recreation inexpensively.

Later you buy a X-Change Kit that converts the pistol to a 9mm, .40S&W, .357SIG, or .45ACP,,,
Unfortunately this drives the price way above the $500 limit.

Another option is to buy a CZ-75B in 9mm for about $500,,,
Then later buy the Kadet Adaptor Kit to make it into a .22 pistol.

This option isn't for everyone,,,
But at least it's worth considering.

An argument to go this way is by saying,,,
But Honey, it's only a .22 plinker.

Aarond

.
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Old October 10, 2012, 12:16 PM   #45
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make the wife happier and stay away from 357 magnums - too expensive for the range. For a semi-auto that you won't have to worry about CC I'd look at full-size ones like

Ruger P95 or SR9
Beretta Px4 pr 92FS (they might be over the $500 by a little)
Sig 2022
CZ-USA P-07 or a 75 if you can find one in the $$ ballpark
S&W M&P (sometimes on sale around $500)
Stoeger Cougar (basically a older model Beretta Px4 - Beretta owns Stoeger I think).

These are ones that are more likely to be found in your $$ ballpark and have pretty decent reputations. Only differences are striker-fired vs hammer (and so maybe DAO vs DA/SA) and different safeties/decockers. I have the Px4 compact which I like. Just pick the one that feels best in the hand and seems to point more naturally for you. Otherwise they all pretty much shoot the same.
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Old October 10, 2012, 12:31 PM   #46
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I'd also recommend moving the thread over to revolvers and getting a 357, 4" barrel. 3" is better for concealed carry, but 4" is more versatile and while I normally carry the 3" I have carried the 4" a lot.

9mm might be cheaper where you live but with revolvers you can recycle *all* the brass... does your wife have issues with reloading equipment? :-)

My wife was also mostly anti (out of ignorance) when she met me, but she's a bright cookie and figured that guns are actually not an issue after observing me for the six months or so we knew one another but before she introduced me to the kids... yea, it was sort of facebook-it's-complicated for a while. So maybe you end up with one gun only, maybe it's the thin edge of the wedge -- don't push it, I find that vehemently anti-gun people are the first to scream "do you have your gun?" when things go pear shaped.

But if it turns out to be your only gun, a 357 revolver is IMO the best all-rounder.
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Old October 10, 2012, 12:37 PM   #47
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My wife was in the same boat. Two weeks ago I wanted to try out the M&P Shield in 9mm, she shot it and suggested we buy two lol.....SCORE!!!

I would check some variety out at the range and find one you enjoy shooting. Get comfortable with it, get confident in it, show interest in it and if you're lucky, the wife may justcome around and enjoy it as well!
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Old October 10, 2012, 02:13 PM   #48
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Quote:
Two weeks ago I wanted to try out the M&P Shield in 9mm, she shot it and suggested we buy two lol.....SCORE!!!
Cracked up when I read that. Same exact thing happened a my house. I buy my first service caliber pistol (Glock 23), the little lady is invited to shoot it and she wants on too! Awesome happening!
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Old October 10, 2012, 02:19 PM   #49
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I'm kind of partial to my Colt Gold Cup. Not as cheap as my Ruger MKIIs to shoot, but if I had to stick with only one gun in my current battery for fun AND self/home defense, this would be it.
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Old October 10, 2012, 02:46 PM   #50
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Only one gun for Fun/SD. I would recommend a New Ruger P95. These can be had in Stainless for around $350, even less, depending where you live. I dont think there is a better 9mm for the money, period. Research and read about this gun. It comes with an absolutely stellar reputation, and from arguably the best arms manufacturer in the USA. 9mm ammo is the cheapest of any factory loaded centerfire ammo, so you can practice at the range more often. Its a safe firearm, with an exposed hammer, and a safety/decocker. For home defense, its excellent. For the range, Its accurate and dependable. The recommendation of a 4" revolver is good, but they will top you out at your $500 limit. I just bought a new Ruger GP100 4" Stainless and it was $600. If you shoot .38 specials at the range in a .357 revolver, the cheapest I have seen for factory ammo is $16/50. 9mm ammo is $12/50, so I recommend the 9mm. Buy an electronic lock box for your handgun to keep the kids away from it, and to keep it loaded and ready quickly. They arent absolute protection, anything can be compromised, but for what they cost($60-$100) its cheap insurance to help in avoiding a tragedy.
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