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Old December 23, 2012, 12:09 PM   #51
XtremeRevolution
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I cannot stress how incredibly important it is to go to a range and actually fire a gun. My wife and I went yesterday for the first time and she shot my 1911 .22 and a Beretta 92. She couldn't even hit inside the bullseye target with the 1911 because she had such a hard time holding it while firing. Holding it in the store was fine. With the Beretta 92, she hit inside the target and hit the edge of the center bullseye almost every single time. Everyone's hands are different and you really need to not only hold, but shoot the gun you want to get.

I highly recommend a full metal, full size handgun in 9mm like the Beretta 92A1 or CZ-75 SP-01, with a rail for a tactical light.

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Old December 23, 2012, 02:25 PM   #52
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Quote:
easy6

Home Defense Handgun
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.
Ok, you have decided that you want to limit the discussion to handguns.
Consider your level of skill with both handguns and defensive tactics.
Generally speaking it is easier to become competent with a revolver than with a semi-auto.
Consider how much time, effort, and money you are willing to invest and what level of skill you seek to attain and maintain. Keep in mind the rule of "If you don't use it , you lose it."

Since you have ruled out target shooting, competitive shooting and conceal carry; that opens your selection to the larger more massive handguns which can be a plus to control recoil.

If you consider the range of defensive cartridges available to you, you may think about .38 special, .357 mag., 9mm para, .357 Sig, .38 Super, .40 S&W, 10mm auto, .41 mag. (reduced loads), .44 special, .44 mag (reduced loads), .45 GAP, .45 ACP and some others I have overlooked. There is not a huge difference in the ability of the above referenced defensive cartridges to cause incapacitation in a determined attacker. All defensive handgun rounds are under-powered, that is why we are trained to fire twice to center of mass, assess and proceed as necessary. Cost per rounds can be a deciding factor. Difficulty of accommodating recoil can be a deciding factor.

There are dozens of quality handguns available which chamber the above mentioned cartridges. There are many loads with different hollow point bullets and non-hollow point expanding bullets available in the above cartridges.

You do not mention your location. Depending upon your level of skill and knowledge, you may want to consider taking some instruction which covers not only the physical skills used in defensive shooting; but also the legal considerations in your state. Some municipalities add more restrictions.
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Old December 24, 2012, 12:58 AM   #53
easy6
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Home Defense Handgun

I'd like to thank everyone out there for the many suggestions that were submitted. I didn't give you enough information to make a thorough evaluation and I'm sorry about that. I should have let you know that my budget was $500.00 and that I had extensive experience with military small arms. My handgun experience was with the Colt .45, the Browning Hi-Power 9mm, and the military .38 caliber. But I must admit that you guys still gave me the information I needed to formulate a plan. I'm going to try and purchase a used Tarus or Smith and Wesson 8 shot 4 inch .357 magnum. That way I can practice with the cheaper .38 caliber ammo if I decide to go to the range.
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Old December 24, 2012, 10:44 AM   #54
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Good choice. This can be debated for days, but I think you will sleep better with a decent revolver. If you need more than that, well it just wasn't your day.

My home defense gun is a 4 inch .357 (with .38s since I share a wall with a neighbor and don't want to shoot him).

I don't have experience with S&W, but have heard a lot of bad things about Taurus. You might want to add Ruger to your bake off with S&W as Rugers - ugly as they may be - are solid.
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Old December 25, 2012, 09:39 PM   #55
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hand gun 38 or 357 I long ago gave up on the shot gun. I went to the AR -15 like many others are doing .
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Old December 25, 2012, 11:06 PM   #56
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dont call 911 call .357
Silly me I miss dialed and called 1911.
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Old December 26, 2012, 03:44 AM   #57
Redhawk5.5+P+
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I hate to push Taurus, But I had a 608 4" 8 shot .357, it turned out to be a very good gun. I had no problems with it. I sold it to my brother only to update to a S&W 327 R8 also bought S&W M627 V-comp both over $1100.

I'm sure the 608 is in your budget. The S&W isn't.
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Old December 26, 2012, 04:11 AM   #58
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My .44 magnum, 330 grain flat nose GC bullets on the night stand, my go to if needed would be the benelli super nova loaded with 3" no 4 shot turkey loads propped up in the corner
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Old December 26, 2012, 07:01 PM   #59
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IMHO, the buckshot loaded shotgun is the best....however...being an old 6-shooter fan...I also have either a .44 Special or a .41 Magnum on the nightstand....both Blackhawks...whichever one I grab first....
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Old December 27, 2012, 10:55 AM   #60
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This is a good forum. These are good people. Lots of good advice. Don't buy Taurus.
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Old December 27, 2012, 03:20 PM   #61
MR.G
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For a HD gun that is not going to be shot and mainained often I think a revolver in .357 or .38 is a good choice. A revolver seems to be more tolerant of neglect than a semi-automatic.
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Old December 27, 2012, 07:32 PM   #62
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I'm sure its been said already but if you are going to trust your life to a firearm then you owe it to yourself to take it to the range and become proficient with it. Not become a master, or even competitive shooter, but good enough to make the shot if ever needed. Familiarity leads to comfort and that pistol should be as familiar as your tv remote.
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Old December 27, 2012, 08:46 PM   #63
yetavon
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Here the HAND gun of choice is the 1st one you can get you hands on should the need arise....
The one left out for that purpose is a 12 pump with 3" magnum turkey rounds.
A 9 Mak awaits the left overs....the Wife hates the 3Ms but is effective....and can rapidly put the full clip in center mass with the Mak...
its all practice and preperation
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Old December 28, 2012, 09:21 AM   #64
chaim
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Quote:
I'd like to thank everyone out there for the many suggestions that were submitted. I didn't give you enough information to make a thorough evaluation and I'm sorry about that. I should have let you know that my budget was $500.00 and that I had extensive experience with military small arms. My handgun experience was with the Colt .45, the Browning Hi-Power 9mm, and the military .38 caliber. But I must admit that you guys still gave me the information I needed to formulate a plan. I'm going to try and purchase a used Tarus or Smith and Wesson 8 shot 4 inch .357 magnum. That way I can practice with the cheaper .38 caliber ammo if I decide to go to the range.
Good choice, an 8-shot .357mag, for a home defense handgun. I would counsel you to drop the "if" in "if I decide to go to the range", you should go to the range at least once every couple months to stay familiar with your home defense weapon.

I'd also strongly suggest considering a long gun. Long guns are better for home defense. They generally have better stopping power, they have a longer sight radius so they are easier to shoot accurately (important when you are tired or freshly awakened from your slumber), and you have no concealment requirements that would limit them in a home defense situation. Shotguns, .223/5.56 and handgun caliber carbines are best for home defense as they don't have the over penetration issues other rifles would have. Carbines and 18.5"-20" shotguns are best to be more manageable in the confines of a home. Shotguns do have a lot of recoil, so for the recoil adverse, I tend to suggest .357mag lever guns or .223 carbines (I like the Mini-14 for home defense, and I plan to own a Mini and a .357mag lever gun for that purpose in the future).

Handguns for home defense have the advantage that you can buy a holster and have it on you whenever you are awake. In case of someone breaking down your door while you are up, you won't have to get to wherever you keep your long gun stored. If you won't carry it around the house, the handgun loses its main advantage over the long gun for home defense and the advantage clearly goes to the carbine or shotgun.

Just a thought.
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Old December 28, 2012, 11:15 AM   #65
SteelChickenShooter
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My idea of a good home defense handgun, which I think is a good match for the original post, would be a larger bore, higher capacity, semi-auto. Such as a 10mm or 45ACP. A Glock or one of the XD models.
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Old December 28, 2012, 11:22 AM   #66
BigD_in_FL
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Any high velocity, high pressure round, like a 357 is going to really hurt your ear when fired indoors - something to consider. The muzzle flash will be blinding if the room is dark or only has a minimum of ambient light. If you need more than one shot, you might want to reconsider your ammo chioces
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Old December 28, 2012, 06:13 PM   #67
sirviveme
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Make mine a G21 Gen4.
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Old December 28, 2012, 06:17 PM   #68
RamItOne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Sneaky Steve)
Might as well go for an eight round .357 magnum. Like the Model 327 Night Guard. Comes with fancy Tritium night sights too.
Looks even meaner in person

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Old December 29, 2012, 11:12 AM   #69
bbrian
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Say, is that a loaded gun pointed near your face?
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Old December 29, 2012, 12:31 PM   #70
thedudeabides
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Any cheap Glock will do.

Shoot it to make sure you can hit what you're aiming at.
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Old December 29, 2012, 02:04 PM   #71
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bbrian

Why yes it is, I also super heated the ammo and cocked the hammer and took the pic during and earthquake...
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Old December 30, 2012, 05:26 PM   #72
lefteye
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The OP specified a handgun strictly for home defense, so the handgun should be chambered for a cartridge appropriate for self defense shooting inside a home. This suggests a 9mm, .38, or.38+P. Since the handgun won't be carried in a holster in public, mid-sized handgun with a 4" to 5" barrel would be good, perhaps a 1911, or a revolver chambered for .357 or .38+P. If ammo capacity is a concern, a double stack 9mm semi auto or a revolver with a cylinder holding more than 5 or 6 rounds would be good.

A shotgun is a good home defense firearm, but was not included as an option being considered. In any event, a 12 gauge 3" magnum shooting any 3" magnum bird/turkey load is not right. The recoil from any 12 gauge 3"
magnum shot will make a rapid second shot very difficult. The best shotshell for self defense is a 12 gauge 2 3/4" #1 buckshot; second best is 00 buckshot. Bird/turkey pellets will create a horrible but shallow wound that is much less likely to stop the attacker.
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Last edited by lefteye; December 30, 2012 at 05:44 PM.
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Old December 31, 2012, 01:59 AM   #73
easy6
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Final Decision

Thanks for all the suggestions. I have decided to buy the S&W 327 Night Guard in .357 mag. It will set me back a little in my budget but I think it's a wise investment. I also will be going to the range at least once a month.
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Old December 31, 2012, 04:16 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bentonville
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 was thinking the same way. My own personal home defense gun is a Sig 226 9mm. I also have a Sprinfiled 1911 45acp. However, my wife has trouble pulling the slide back on them so I bought a Ruger Security Six .357 6" barrel that I keep loaded with Corbon DPX .38spl +p.
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Old December 31, 2012, 04:42 PM   #75
RamItOne
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Congrats easy6

The DA is ok/good no complaints, the SA breaks like glass, it's great. Can comfortably dump all 8 in .357 quickly and accurately.

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