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Old Yesterday, 11:39 PM   #1
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What do you tell a friend...

In talking to a friend recently, he asked me to recommend a gun that he and his wife can both use for personal defense and have fun at the range with. And it needs to be concealable for when he goes out of town. And not take up too much space. And did I mention his wife needs to like to shoot it? And it needs to have a Safety, don't forget that!

I know what I think and what I want to tell him, but I want to hear from you guys first. Have YOU had this type of conversation, and what did you tell them?
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Old Yesterday, 11:55 PM   #2
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Along those lines, I think a Bersa Thunder 380 would be the right gun to recommend. It is not as small as others, but it does have a safety and holds 7 +1. It is very accurate and mild to shoot because of it's blow back operation and fixed barrel. It is not as light as some so recoil management is very good.

They are reliable, concealable and accurate. And do not cost an arm and a leg.

The 380 is the center pistol.

If you want to recommend something in a larger caliber Bersa also makes the newer design Thunder Ultra Compact 9, 40 or 45 Pro. The pistol on the right is the 45 Pro but the gun is basically the same for the 9 mm or 40 S&W.

You could recommend the CZ 75 compact (gun on the left), but they are more expensive and harder to find in the stores.

Good Luck and Stay Safe.
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Old Today, 12:52 AM   #3
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The wife and I asked the same question. The answer was...

Four pistols: one CCW and one full size for each of us. It's not what we planned on, it's what reality turned out to be for us: a "do-everything" didn't exist.
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Old Today, 01:38 AM   #4
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I'd like a small maneuverable car with a LOT of horsepower for quick acceleration, a fairly high top end, great gas mileage, very, very, very low maintenance, more room inside than a minivan and enough power to pull a big trailer.

I think you're looking for at least two guns here...after all, when he goes out of town what is she to use?
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Old Today, 02:46 AM   #5
Join Date: February 12, 2001
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Just be aware that if you recommend a gun to someone who doesn't know anything about guns, they will have a tendency to seize on that recommendation and run with it because they have nothing else to go on.

Anything else you tell them will likely be forgotten or ignored because it doesn't mean anything to them. Now you've given them a make and model and they're going to go put their money down because you've told them what their Excalibur is.

If you really want to help them, take them to a number of gun stores and have them both try guns off the list of firearms that you know have a good chance of being suitable. Make sure that they can both reach the controls and operate them easily.

I gave a friend a recommendation for a particular pistol as one they should go try in a local shop to see if both he and his wife could operate it. He went and bought it without his wife. I later dropped by to show them the basics of how to operate it and found that she couldn't reach the double-action trigger when holding the pistol properly.

Everything else I had told him about firearms and how to select them was wasted once he had the name of a particular pistol.
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Old Today, 04:54 AM   #6
Join Date: August 11, 2014
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Smith and Wesson 500 magnum 12" barrel, good defender! Fun at the range! Easily concealed............? Depends what you call easy, so yes this opinion is rubbish but I'd get one anyway!
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Old Today, 06:40 AM   #7
big al hunter
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If possible, take both of them to a range that rents handguns. They can handle the guns and decide what to shoot. Then after shooting the guns that fit, they can choose based on actual experience with the gun and cartridges available.
You can't fix stupid....however ignorance can be cured through education!
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Old Today, 09:26 AM   #8
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Your friend and his wife first need some education on guns, and shooting. Take them to the range. Let them shoot some of your guns, or rent some if that is possible at a range you can go to. Maybe the insistance of a safety can be alleviated if they learn there are many forms of a "safety" that don't involve some sort of thumb or finger operated lever. Sounds like a little more knowledge, and some confidence would be of great value before any choice is made.

1. he and his wife can both use for personal defense and have fun at the range with.
Where the Bersa mentioned, or any 380 would be OK for defense, a 9MM would be better. Also, as for the second part, range use, a 9MM would be more affordable with most 380 ACP ammo costing about a nickle per round more than good range 9MM
2. And it needs to be concealable for when he goes out of town. And did I mention his wife needs to like to shoot it?
This could be another potential problem. Is she already a shooter? Thinking the answere is no. Would the recoil of an easily concealable, sub compact, or even compact 9MM be more than what is comfortable or her?
3. And did I mention his wife needs to like to shoot it? And it needs to have a Safety, don't forget that!
All modern handgund have some form of a safety mechanism to help avoid negligent dischage. Some require an additional opperation by the shooter to be disengaged. All perform the safety function if the shooter is properly trained, and follows safe gun handling practices.

Just a few ideas to add to your thoughts. But I think the most important advice is that your friends would benefit greatly by some firearms training classes to begin with. An educated choice is always the best choice.
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Old Today, 10:44 AM   #9
old bear
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As others have suggested, have your friends rent handle several different makes and styles of handguns, all of these must be chambered in a defense caliber. Then have them shoot several that make the first cut, and go from there.
For whatever it's worth I lean to revolvers if for no other reason than ease of use.
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