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Old December 13, 2012, 08:45 AM   #51
CajunBass
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I can't think of any guns off the top of my head that DON'T fit the OP's bill. How many handguns are really hard to learn to use? Wear out after a few thousand rounds? Need to have a lot of parts replaced? Can't hit a paper plate at 25 yards (rather YOU can hit the ground with your hat is another question)? Think one can't get off fast repeat shots with Bob's S/A? Look up some of Bob Munden's video's. Sure, you probaly can't shoot like Bob, but that doesn't mean you can't off repeat shots pretty darn fast if you want to.

Personally I like standard 38/357 S&W, Colt, Ruger D/A revolvers, but most anything else will work just fine also.
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Old December 13, 2012, 08:59 AM   #52
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As someone said, most folks gravitate toward their favorite, but my two cents, you just described Glock:

- easy to learn - yep
- requires minimal complex thought...hard to forget - yep
- easy to clean - very simple to breakdown and clean
- runs dirty - certainly will
- reliable OOTB and after 1000 rounds with no parts changes - yep, several have exceeded that round count
- paper plate at 25 yards accurate - yep
- easy to shoot fast doubles on that same plate at 7 yards - don't know if its the easiest one, but it will perform with ease
- drop safe...not CA test, but in practice - yep
- meaningful SD or HD caliber - take your pick: 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP, 45 GAP, 357 Sig...
- could be CCW'd - yep, even the fullsize can and there are compact/subcompact models if that doesn't tickle your fancy
- popular enough to never worry about parts, finding a gunsmith, etc. - the market for aftermarket Glock parts is huge... second possibly only to 1911s.

I don't know if it's the best gun for you, but it certainly fits all the criteria.
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Old December 13, 2012, 09:15 AM   #53
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I can:

DA revolvers are super once learned, but that trigger stroke is something most newb's I deal with struggle with. Worth the effort IMO.

1911 - to be reliable, good 1911's need regular recoil and mag spring changes. Also, the "sport" $500- $900 versions, especially with short barrels are not reliable with most/all major JHP's OOTB. I do love my 1911's, but I have gone through them.

Kahr - mine is good, but some have not been reliable. Their trigger is great for me, but I get complaints when I show it.

SA revolvers - Love my Ruger, but not second shot quick.

Glock - pretty close since we're designed to be armorer serviced and cop owned, instead of gunsmith serviced and enthusiast owned. Still, kind of wide, blocky for CCW.

XD - too wide, but love the grip safety and stock trigger.

So, I'm not seeing a perfect match, but many good ones.
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Old December 13, 2012, 10:34 AM   #54
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RE: Easiest handgun to own

As your requirements stated:

- easy to learn
** a revolver

- requires minimal complex thought...hard to forget
** shoot six, reload, shoot six, reload, etc.
** no extra safeties, slide levers, decockers, or loaded indicators
** thumblatch opens cylinder, puch close to click, rotate cylinder till stop
** no magazine eject button, cylinder ejector rod finger operated

- easy to clean
** clean cylinder, clean barrel

- runs dirty
** can do

- reliable OOTB and after 1000 rounds with no parts changes
** reliable, and can take many rounds more

- paper plate at 25 yards accurate
** watch USAFMiller YouTube videos for supporting evidence
- easy to shoot fast doubles on that same plate at 7 yards
** see answer above

- drop safe...not CA test, but in practice
newer revolvers using transfer plate, no direct hammer/cartridge impact

- meaningful SD or HD caliber
** .38 Special, .357 Magnum, .41 Magnum, .44 Special, .44 Magnum, .45 Long Colt, .45ACP

- could be CCW'd
** either in four-inch barrel, or in J-frame snubnose

- popular enough to never worry about parts, finding a gunsmith, etc.
** Smith and Wesson, Colt, Ruger, Taurus, Charter Arms, and whomever I might have forgotten.

For home defense, a simple four-inch barreled revolver in any of the calibers would do, nicely. (I own .38 Specials.)

For Self-defense, the CIA in its infancy did debate whether to go with Browning Hi Powers in 9mm, or SW Model 10's in a J-frame. it was the J-frame, that won out.
YMMV.
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Old December 13, 2012, 12:17 PM   #55
Hal
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Come on guys....
Loading a magazine and racking a slide and thumbing a safety ain't rocket science & it's certainly no more complex than operating a D/A revolver's cylinder latch and ejecting the empty cases.

Matter of fact, I could make a very convinicng argument that ejecting .357mag. cases from a 1 7/8" barrled snubby is an aquired skill.

I went with the single action semi auto Hi Power over a D/A revolver for one simple reason,,,
What Nathan mentioned above about the D/A revolver's D/A trigger.


Pax also mentioned that same thing here in another thread. How many of her students struggle with a D/A revolver, but, have little difficulty w/a semi auto.
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Old December 13, 2012, 12:20 PM   #56
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To be honest, I think CajunBrass hit the nail on the head here. There aren't many modern handguns (revolver or semi) that don't at least partially fulfill the requirements. And where a revolver excels in some areas, a semi excels in others.

It seems like a specific list, but really, it's not. Guns in general aren't rocket science. And an extra safety or decocker doesn't make a gun all that more difficult to operate.
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Old December 13, 2012, 02:07 PM   #57
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Quote:
It seems like a specific list, but really, it's not. Guns in general aren't rocket science. And an extra safety or decocker doesn't make a gun all that more difficult to operate.
Totally agree. With practice, most of these things can be learned. Same with a DA revolver trigger.

I think the struggle with the DA trigger with people I work with is that they have to keep aiming as they pull....and actually pulling becomes more passive while aiming becomes the driving focus. I like that, but most see themselves struggle to hit and give up.

I also think that sweeping a 1911's safety after 2nd hand contact is easy too, but people feel 1911's are ND's waiting to happen.

So, don't get me wrong....learning your weapon system is job #1. I try to keep proficient with all mine, but I find SA revolvers to be the hardest.

I do find it funny that the last 2 guys I help start up seemed to dismiss my subtle S&W M13 3" suggestion and jump into M&P 9 or 40. I'll have to push harder next time!
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Old December 13, 2012, 02:10 PM   #58
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Hi-point.

You can send it back to them and they will clean it and send it back to you. No joke. Although I guess they recommend you do this only every 5,000 rounds.

If you neglect it and it rusts or something you send it back and they send you a new one.

Just run a couple hundred rounds through it to make sure it functions when you first buy it. If it doesn't mail it back and they WILL fix it and send you an extra mag, which more or less cancels the shipping cost.
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Old December 13, 2012, 02:29 PM   #59
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Hal wrote:
Quote:
Matter of fact, I could make a very convinicng argument that ejecting .357mag. cases from a 1 7/8" barrled snubby is an aquired skill.
That was the reason for existance of the .38 Special +P rounds.

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Old December 13, 2012, 03:49 PM   #60
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Perhaps I am an oddball, but I am old enough to be comfortable with my opinions, and I find cleaning the individual chambers of a revolver to be tedious, so I don't put them in the "easy to clean" category. And if we are talking about a beginner, the point about a double action trigger being heavy and difficult is also well taken. On those bases, I have to put in a vote for a Glock or another similar semi as the best fit for these particular criteria.
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Old December 13, 2012, 09:50 PM   #61
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I'm surprised that no one has brought up malfunctions. Whether from crud, bad ammo, or no discernable reason, for a beginner the semi is more complicated if something goes wrong.

We can go back and forth all day with different scenarios, plusses and minuses for revolvers vs auto, and the fact is that anything mechanical can and at some point will fail. From a basic simplicity standpoint, the common malfunction of failure to fire, caused by a bad round, not a bad gun, is easier to deal with in a DA revolver than it is in any autopistol.

Factory ammo is very good, usually, but its not perfect, and the non enthusiast often tends to buy the cheapest ammo around. Tap, rack, bang may be second nature to you, but its a lot tougher for a beginner to learn (and REMEMBER under stress) than just pulling the trigger again.

I also will not recommend a GLock (or any other SA type auto that has a "safety" on the trigger. Again, because beginners have a really strong tendancy to put their finger on the trigger when they shouldn't. A safety there is, to me no safety, but rather a trigger activation switch.

I think the gun that is the best blend of all the things the OP wants is a medium frame DA revolver in .38spl or larger. Lots of other guns do some of the things better, but I can't think of any other that does all of them as well.

Plus, I never hear anyone bring up "limp wristing" issues with DA revolvers...
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Old December 13, 2012, 11:21 PM   #62
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.22 cal Smith and Wesson revolver.
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Old December 13, 2012, 11:41 PM   #63
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My recommendation is a Colt Detective Special or the equivalent steel framed 38spl made by S&W. Yes, I know that Colt may not have parts to repair the Det Special eventually... but that may be 20 years from now or could be 1 year. I am willing to take that chance as you can always buy another one just like it.

All qualities of the firearm chosen are transcended by a single one; a practical carry piece in a caliber that is big enough but not too big for someone that is inexperienced. Snubbies are harder to shoot accurately, but easier to conceal.

My first thought was a Glock 19 or 23. But they do require some basic knowledge to shoot and clean. I guess that would be my second suggestion.
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Old December 14, 2012, 12:17 AM   #64
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I would pick the GLOCK 23 in .40 caliber.

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Old December 14, 2012, 02:45 AM   #65
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Nathan says he wants something, 'fun'. Lost magazines and wondering if one is in the chamber or wheather or not the safety is on/off is not my ideal of fun.

Nathan looks like he is one step away from catching the, 'Reloading', disease. Chasing down brass ain't fun anymore.

Glocks are better business guns. They work best with a timer in pursuit of tin trophies.

Nathan already has a K frame. So a 4 inch S&W N Frame M27 or M28; or better yet, a 4 inch early 1970s Colt Lawman, a 1960s Colt Trooper or 1950s Colt Official Police. Then Nathan will have the chance to discover the reason why Apprx. 1% of revolvers shooters shoot Colt.

What...? Opinioned? Me? No Way.
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Old December 14, 2012, 05:56 AM   #66
Hal
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Quote:
I'm surprised that no one has brought up malfunctions. Whether from crud, bad ammo, or no discernable reason, for a beginner the semi is more complicated if something goes wrong.
That's not what the general consensus is.
General consensus is that malfunctions happen more often with a semi auto, but, when a revolver malfunctions it's a real show stopper.
I can't even begin to count the number of threads here that have dealt with that subject in the last dozen years.
We could go back and forth on this all day long - or - simply start or reopen a thread on the subject and let it run it's course to the inevitable conclusion...malfs are a wash.

Quote:
.22 cal Smith and Wesson revolver
Nice guns..I have two of them..
OP said something for concealed carry though. Nice as a .22 S&W revolver is, it's way down on that list.

Quote:
Plus, I never hear anyone bring up "limp wresting" issues with DA revolvers...
Two things on that.
I specified a Browning Hi Power 9x19. You really have to work hard to get a BHP 9x19 to suffer from "limp wresting". Clones, maybe, .40 S&W BHP, maybe.
BHP in 9x19? Nearly immune.
D/A revolvers may not malfunction due to an improper grip - but - they do move down in the hand. One malady can be cured with a change of technique and the other with a change in equipment. I'd call that a wash also.

I'm not knocking a revolver. Not in the least. Change the wording on a few things the OP asked or add somthing to his post & I'm 100% there with a revolver - K-frame S&W .357 to be specific.
I just don't see a revolver fitting better than a BHP with the questions the OP posted...
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Old December 14, 2012, 07:20 AM   #67
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Quote:
That's not what the general consensus is.
General consensus is that malfunctions happen more often with a semi auto, but, when a revolver malfunctions it's a real show stopper.
Such is not always the case in my experience as I've seen revolvers have problems that were quickly and easily remedied and semi-autos lock up so tight that they had to be disassembled to get them running again. Case in point, my dad's Ruger SP101 once seemingly locked up for no reason. As it turned out, one of the primers had backed out and was binding against the recoil shield. Simply opening the cylinder and ejecting the offending case cured the issue. One the other hand, I once had a grossly out-of-spec 9mm round (factory, I don't reload 9mm) jam so tightly in the chamber of my CZ-75 that I had to fieldstrip the gun in order to get it out. So, in my experience, the "semi-auto is easier to clear" argument doesn't hold water.
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Old December 14, 2012, 07:54 AM   #68
Hal
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Web!!
Good to see you chime back in bud. Always a pleasure to share different points of view w/you.
(seriously - I'm not just yanking your chain here. It's nice to share opposing points with someone that keeps things on a friendly basis)

I'll counter that w/my pride and joy S&W M19. I was at the range one day shooting some reloads I'd put together using Red Dot powder.
It was early on in my reloading/shooting days so I wasn't all that up on some things....such as what can tie up a revolver .

Long story short, after a dozen shots or so, I found it impossible to close the cylinder. The bottom of my gut just fell out thinking somehow my handloads had screwed up my gun.
I packed up and went to pay the bill for the brief range time. The guiy at the counter asked why I'd only spent such a short time and I told him it was because I broke my gun.
He asked to see it, saw the cylinder wouldn't close - the pushed the ejector rod and blew under the star - problem solved.

I can honestly say I've never had anything really stop any of my semi autos with the exception of one - my Kimber Target. And that only because it was due to a crummy Kimber magazine that wouldn't accpet any rounds. It was defective right out of the box. Since Kimber only gave me one magazine, I'd chalk that up to a failure. If I were a newbie and the Kimber was my first or only 1011, that would have been a show stopper.
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Old December 14, 2012, 07:54 AM   #69
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Any Ruger revolver from the Bearcat to the Blackhawk to the Alaskan.....just pick a size & a caliber....
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Old December 14, 2012, 08:23 AM   #70
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Quote:
So, the qualifiers are:
- easy to learn
- requires minimal complex thought...hard to forget
- easy to clean
- runs dirty
- reliable OOTB and after 1000 rounds with no parts changes
- paper plate at 25 yards accurate
- easy to shoot fast doubles on that same plate at 7 yards
- drop safe...not CA test, but in practice
- meaningful SD or HD caliber
- could be CCW'd
- popular enough to never worry about parts, finding a gunsmith, etc.
Glock, or S&W M&P in 9mm
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Old December 14, 2012, 09:36 AM   #71
Nathan
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Quote:
Nathan says he wants something, 'fun'. Lost magazines ...

Nathan looks like he is one step away from catching the, 'Reloading', disease. ...

Glocks are better business guns. They work best with a timer in pursuit of tin trophies.

Nathan already has a K frame. So a 4 inch S&W N Frame M27 or M28; or better yet, a 4 inch early 1970s Colt Lawman, a 1960s Colt Trooper or 1950s Colt Official Police. Then Nathan will have the chance to discover the reason why Apprx. 1% of revolvers shooters shoot Colt.

What...? Opinioned? Me? No Way.
I do lose a mag once! In my night stand. Now I have 4 Kahr mags.

I do like my new Glock 21. With a 7.5 lb trigger, it is still easy to shoot fast. Tim trophies???

Why do 1% of revolver shooters shoot Colts? When they were plentiful, they were as good as S&W's but I would be afraid to lay $1500 down on one and shoot it. YMMV.

Based on this thread and my life experience, I will continue to suggest the 3" S&W 13 or 65.

When my friends go M&P, I'll continue to accept it, hoping they see the error of their ways!

Maybe I need to get a 3" 13....Can I DAO and bob the hammer simply, or better yet buy a replacement to fit as such?

For those who CCW a K frame, what speed loader and holder do you use?
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Old December 14, 2012, 12:03 PM   #72
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Quote:
I'll counter that w/my pride and joy S&W M19. I was at the range one day shooting some reloads I'd put together using Red Dot powder.
It was early on in my reloading/shooting days so I wasn't all that up on some things....such as what can tie up a revolver .

Long story short, after a dozen shots or so, I found it impossible to close the cylinder. The bottom of my gut just fell out thinking somehow my handloads had screwed up my gun.
I packed up and went to pay the bill for the brief range time. The guiy at the counter asked why I'd only spent such a short time and I told him it was because I broke my gun.
He asked to see it, saw the cylinder wouldn't close - the pushed the ejector rod and blew under the star - problem solved.
I would argue that, had you known what the range guy knew, your problem would have been quickly and easily remedied and thus not a "show stopper."

As I see it, most if not all the malfunctions that render a handgun completely inoperable (as in it cannot be quickly rectified by the shooter) are attributable to one of two conditions: damaged/broken parts or grossly out-of-spec ammunition. Neither type of handgun is immune to these conditions as a stuck bullet from a squib or a broken firing pin will render a semi-auto inorperable just as quickly and easily as it would a revolver.

I've also seen nothing to make me think that a good quality revolver is more prone to parts breakage or bad ammo than a comparable quality semi-auto or vice-versa. I think that "show stopper" malfunctions seem to be more prominent amongst revolvers because "lesser" malfunctions are simply far less common amongst revolvers than semi-autos. The "show stoppers" that happen with semi-autos are mixed in with a plethora of less serious malfunctions like failures to feed or eject while the "show stoppers" with revolvers stand out by themselves. You see, it's not that a revolver is more likely to malfunction catastrophicly, it's just that the catastrophic malfunctions are the only ones we hear about.
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Old December 14, 2012, 01:13 PM   #73
Hal
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Quote:
I would argue that, had you known what the range guy knew, your problem would have been quickly and easily remedied and thus not a "show stopper."
True - and that's something I know now. Back then I didn't though.

Quote:
I think that "show stopper" malfunctions seem to be more prominent amongst revolvers because "lesser" malfunctions are simply far less common amongst revolvers than semi-autos. The "show stoppers" that happen with semi-autos are mixed in with a plethora of less serious malfunctions like failures to feed or eject while the "show stoppers" with revolvers stand out by themselves. You see, it's not that a revolver is more likely to malfunction catastrophicly, it's just that the catastrophic malfunctions are the only ones we hear about.
I couldn't agree more.
Malfunctions in a revolver are not anywhere near as common place.
That's both good and bad. The good goes w/out saying.
The bad is that (IMHO) far too many people believe a revolver is immune to malfunction simply because they aren't as common.
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Old December 15, 2012, 06:43 AM   #74
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Any revolver, well, any well made revolver like a S&W J frame; very forgiving when neglected, left dirty, even when growing rust. They never stove pipe, go bang everytime you pull the trigger, are highly concealable, never eject brass into your eye, and if a round fails to go off, the fix is a simple pull of the trigger.
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Old December 15, 2012, 07:40 AM   #75
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At least with a revolver you don't nead a magazine in it to fire .Like some with mag disconects .
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