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Old October 3, 2012, 02:24 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: May 8, 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,163
What have you handled so far? What have you shot? What did you think of those you became familiar with.

Your choices are quite different from each other. You will get recommendations for each one, no doubt. Rather than make a specific recommendation to you that only reflects my own prejudices, I would like to offer some corrections to some misconceptions.

First, no handgun round guarantees a one-shot stop. The performance of 9 mm, .40, and .45 in ballistic gel (the only standardized test we currently have) is not substantially different from one another. Second, any round that causes enough damage to an assailant to effect a stop even with two or three rounds will penetrate the typical interior wall. Part of your preparation needs to be a consideration of possible lines of fire and what risk they will have to other occupants of your home. Third, while it is true that .45 is often described as more of a push than a snap, the vertical component of recoil, often referred to as muzzle flip, often has more to do with the design of the pistol (the height of the bore axis above the hand and grip, in particular) than it does with what round the pistol is chambered for.

Choosing a handgun is actually a chain of decisions: revolver vs pistol, caliber, capacity, trigger type, manual safeties, weight and size. The best thing is to make educated, thoughtful decisions about each of these factors, then to find and try out a short list of handguns that fit your criteria and choose the one that feels most comfortable to you. The wide variety of your choices makes me wonder if you have considered these factors.

I hope this helps. It isn't meant to sound grumpy or grouchy, honest.
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