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Old December 20, 2012, 04:05 AM   #26
weblance
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What is your budget? If you are looking for reasonably priced, Ruger P95(9MM), or Bersa Thunder 380. Either will be just under $300 NIB. Dont let someone tell you a 380 isnt going to be effective. Depending on where you live, over penetration can be a concern, so I would keep that in mind. For that reason, I think a .380 is better than a .45
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Old December 20, 2012, 06:50 AM   #27
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You're NOT going to get over-penetration from a 45.
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Old December 20, 2012, 07:34 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost Sheep
There, you will get to see a variety of arms and if you demonstrate good gun handling skills, are likely to be offered the chance to try a few out. (Most gun owners are proud of their hardware and love to show it off to anyone they think might appreciate it.)
I've found this to be true. At first I was hesitant at the range, preferring to keep to my own affairs. But a smile and a handshake go a long way toward getting you access to interesting guns you'd like to try. A much wider variety than what you can rent and most shooters are happy to discuss the pros of their weapon of choice.
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Old December 20, 2012, 08:43 AM   #29
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I finally decided on a .38 for general home defense. I, like a lot of folks here, have a choice of several calibers. Still, for my wife, mother, younger son, a .38 is best in my opinion. There is no safety to remember, no racking required for weaker hands, no separate magazine, and no scary recoil. The bullet is large enough to do what you want it to do. I have a 3 inch barrel S&W and two snubbies made by S&W. I use wadcutters because of the low recoil and the softer lead bullet. I really would like to use the +p but the others who may need to grab a pistol do better with the wc. I read about these on this and THR websites over the years. My wife can easily control the snubbie with these bullets. We both have become accurate with these.
I purchased a police trade-in Model 10 S&W in the past and really like those. They have a 4 inch barrel and hold six rounds. They were carried a lot and shot a little.
The new S&W pistols are good pistols and you have several to choose from.
Whatever you get, you owe it to yourself to practice until you feel comfortable. Get a holster for it just in case you need to walk around armed but with free hands.
After getting a pistol, or simultaneously, get a Mossberg or Remington 870 home defense shotgun. They are simple guns to operate with a little practice. My opinion only! There are lots of good ideas on this thread. You may get hooked on guns, as many are on this forum, and buy more than you really thought you would.
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Old December 20, 2012, 09:50 AM   #30
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Being retired Navy,you should be familiar with either the Colt 1911 45,or the Beretta 92FS, either one would work well for home defence.
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Old December 20, 2012, 11:07 AM   #31
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Any steel framed 357mag is a perfect gun or a 9mm from Walthers or Glock.
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Old December 20, 2012, 11:11 AM   #32
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Any full size .357 or .38 Special.
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Old December 20, 2012, 11:48 AM   #33
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AndyWest--to your point about reloading being an impractical consideration for a HD gun, I disagree. I do not anticipate that a HD situation will entail a prolonged firefight requiring reloading. However, there are certain types of jams resulting from a whole host of potential factors that may require the magazine to be removed to clear. Hopefully, if the weapon jams the user does not just hit the mag release and then begin a search for it on the floor in the dark. Proper training would entail knowing how to remove the mag, clear the jam and reload all in one smooth movement.....especially if there is limited light. Most people can't do this.

The point made another member about a lock box is ABSOLUTELY on target. Looking into my crystal ball, I would anticipate some laws concerning safe keeping of firearms. The tragedy in CT was not the result of the current system failing to keep a gun out of the hand of a nut. The nut got guns due to failure by a lawful owner to secure her weapons from the nut.

Obama keeps repeating "most gun owners would agree that assault weapons of war should not be in the hands of criminal". I think what most would agree with, is that NO weapons should be in the hands of criminals. I also think that most would agree that gun ownership has responsibilities to keep it secure so it does not get stolen by criminals and those who should not have it.

However, now I am getting off the topic, but I think you get my point.
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Old December 20, 2012, 11:52 AM   #34
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I thought about this long and hard before I bought it. I bought a used S & W model 28 Highway Patrolman .357. It will shoot .38 special also, no problem. I bought it, shot a very few rounds, took a class to qualify for a CC shot a few rounds then. Observed that it was pretty accurate. Put it in my rather secure hiding spot to awaite a bad guy I hope never shows up. I felt I was set.

Then I started finding excuses to buy another and another and another, etc. Good luck.
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Old December 20, 2012, 12:18 PM   #35
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My CWW

One of my 1911's the SIG 1911 XO.

If I feel weird and or something is happening in my area, my AR-15
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Old December 20, 2012, 04:22 PM   #36
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Quote:
dont call 911 call .357

get yourself a .357magnum wheelgun
Now there is someones advice that is plain scary
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Old December 20, 2012, 04:29 PM   #37
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I have read many of the posts in the forum pertaining to first time handgun purchases. I have also read many of those threads pertaining to home defense weapons. But my situation is slightly different from most, I am retired and need a handgun strictly for home defense. No target shooting, no competitive shooting and no conceal carry. I am also retired U.S. Navy, can somebody help me with a suggestion.
Nope, you do not supply any real information.

Did you shoot the 1911 or the Barreta in Service?

Did you like it? Feel good or awkward. How much adjustment are you willing to make? A revolver is simpler than a semi auto but you have to practice with either one.

Ownership does not occur in a vacuum, it its going to do you any good, you have to target practice with it. Ergo, for HD a range gun is an excellent option as concealability is not an issue.

While I will not offer a gun choice, I do recommend you find a range that offers a choice of various revolvers and semi autos and find out what works for you and then if you do not get a recommendation come back with what seemed to suit you.
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Old December 20, 2012, 05:33 PM   #38
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.380acp....

I'll tell you, don't get a .380acp.
It's small, the factory self defense rounds are expensive & may be hard to find, the semi auto pistol may jam or misfire, and it's power level is low compared to 9x19mm, .40, .357sig, .38spl +P.

Many US gun owners like the .380acp but it's not a good pick for home defense. Don't let 007 movies fool ya, .

Clyde
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Old December 20, 2012, 06:04 PM   #39
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I have many handguns to choose from, both revolvers and autos, but the one I've settled on as being my perfect (no, it's not a Glock ) "nightstand" gun is my SIG Model 226. Sixteen 9mm rounds, night sights that came on the pistol and a Streamlight light/laser makes for a formidable home defense weapon if you limit yourself to a handgun. If you decide to get a revolver, I'd recommend a Smith & Wesson Model 686 + with a 4" barrel.
And welcome to The Firing Line.
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Old December 20, 2012, 06:15 PM   #40
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.357 Magnum loaded with .38 Special +P.
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Old December 21, 2012, 02:37 PM   #41
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Home Defense Handgun

Post #2

Quote:
A 12 gauge pump action shotgun!
Wow, who makes 12ga shot guns, Taurus?

Did he ask for a shotgun? NO!

Your search is over.

Sr. I believe a used S&W service model 10 or15 (.38spl revolver) will be more than adequate, they're good guns at a good price. You'll never hear a bad thing about them.
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Old December 21, 2012, 02:54 PM   #42
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Quote:
I have read many of the posts in the forum pertaining to first time handgun purchases. I have also read many of those threads pertaining to home defense weapons. But my situation is slightly different from most, I am retired and need a handgun strictly for home defense. No target shooting, no competitive shooting and no conceal carry. I am also retired U.S. Navy, can somebody help me with a suggestion.
To clarify my short post replying to your question. Which in fact shouldn't need any clarification, but obviously someone thinks so. Do you have a particular need for a home defense weapon being a handgun? Your statement said you have no intention to carry concealed, and also you mentioned "no target shooting". Even those quite proficient with handguns practice (target shoot) often. You indicate that this will be your first handgun. How much practical experience do you have with a handgun? My simple suggestion was based on the fact that for home protection, a shotgun is by far the best choice for someone who isn't completely familiar with, and well adapted to, the use of a handgun. And that takes a lot of "target" shooting to accomplish.
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Old December 21, 2012, 02:59 PM   #43
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Quote:
Any steel framed 357mag is a perfect gun or a 9mm from Walthers or Glock.
Why limit the choice of a semi-auto to just those two makes? Ruger, Smith & Wesson, Springfield Arms, Beretta, CZ, Sig, and many more make excellent 9MM semi-auto pistols for self defense.
If the OP is serious about a handgun, he needs to rent several from a local range to try. But that of course would involve "target" shooting which he indicated he wasn't going to do.
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Old December 21, 2012, 03:35 PM   #44
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So, this is my SA. . .Tell me if it sounds like yours. I live in a normally secure neighborhood . . .which is secure because the whole community is roughly the same income level and we have a fine Police force. Still, there is no active security of my home, except me.

At the time bad things would happen, normally I'm in bed. I would likely be wearing a shirt and PJ pants or a shirt and undies. Sorry for the visual.

So, here are my HD specs. I need something which I can grab and go with 2 hands and have a gun, light and ~25 rounds of 40 S&W or 45 Auto. The gun should be ambidextrous and usable by anyone in the house who is trained. The gun should be of the universal pick up and shoot type. A 1911 is not the best here as some people in my house will always be less trained. Pull trigger = bang is simple and reenforced on family shooting day. The trouble with DA/SA and thumb safety guns is that they usually are not used in DA or with the safety up during family shooting day type range time. If a shooter has small hands in your castle, find a gun which they can use in a pinch also. Find a gun which at least the primary shooter can deliver VERY fast fire with paper plate accuracy to 10 yards.

So, I use an XD 40. I have a paddle holster, but it really doesn't clip onto undies or pj's well. It has a weapon light and I also keep a spare mag ready to go. Night sights are good too. I have TFO's but ideally would like something smaller that fills the front dovetail. I also have a Glock 21, but it needs to be run through it's paces and the wife and needs to be qualified on it.

Ever let non-shooters plink with your autos? Do they ever jam? This is a pretty good reason to think revolver. Basically, they never jam. . .IME.
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Old December 21, 2012, 05:41 PM   #45
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Quote:
I also have a Glock 21, but it needs to be run through it's paces and the wife and needs to be qualified on it.

Ever let non-shooters plink with your autos? Do they ever jam? This is a pretty good reason to think revolver. Basically, they never jam. . .IME.
There's an auto pistol in my nightstand and a revolver in my wife's nightstand. She is very competent with it. My point is that there needn't be one answer for everybody. Each person should make their own decision in terms of which firearm is most appropriate for them, predicated on their individual circumstances, needs and level of skill.
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Old December 21, 2012, 05:52 PM   #46
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I would go with a 12 or 20 gauge shotgun first.

Walther PPQ or a Glock 17 would be great choices.
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Old December 21, 2012, 07:15 PM   #47
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If you are set on a handgun, go to a range and try a variety of guns, revolvers or semis, personally I don't buy this revolver is more reliable mantra. I have a gp100 and with enough rounds th cylinder binds , additionally the trigger is much more difficult to master then say a 1911 or safe action type. Pick th weapon you feel most comfortable with then sort out the cartridge. You will find ample cartridges in either a semi (40 or 45) or revolver (357, 44). But what is most important is confidence, pick something you are confident handling first.
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Old December 21, 2012, 07:20 PM   #48
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If all you are going to use the firearm for is home defense I recommend a short barrel 12 gauge shotgun loaded with 00 buckshot.
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Old December 21, 2012, 08:01 PM   #49
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Since you don't mention budget....
.38/.357mag.

.38 spl is a good cheap practice round.
.38 spl w/the right load is also a good defensive round.
.357 magnum is hard to beat for sheer versitlity.

On the semi auto side,
A CZ75b in 9mm Luger is one fine piece of machinery...
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Old December 23, 2012, 11:38 AM   #50
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I think that a S&W or Ruger .357/38spl revolver makes a great HD gun. If it is not going to be shot or maintained much, it should still be reliable if ever needed. I also like the 3rd generation 9mm DA/SA S&W semi-automatics. I have found them to be very reliable, and they are higher capacity. A good used 6906, 5906, 915, 910 can usually be found at a reasonable price.
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