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Old October 9, 2005, 11:15 PM   #1
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I am a newbie! and Please read....

well i'm a newbie with flamesuit on.

here's the situation. I live in los angeles, and my car got broken into last 3 days in a row in my own apartment garage which has a automatic gate, and there were several incidents where strangers just follow you into the garage and try to hide. My car has a two way paging alarm so I knew when they were breaking into my car. Even today at about 4:00am it went off and when i went down to the parking lot with a golf club. i found out that they were back again and my passenger door was open and the battery's cut. To tell you the truth, I was scared -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED-less knowing that my only protection was a lousy golf club. And i didn't know what i was up against. i guess the elevator sound scared the thieves away, but I decided I needed some kind of protection not for a mean to hurt others.

So I'm asking you guys' advice on purchasing a gun not for hunting or not for sporting but for only means of protection. What kind of gun should I buy?

thanx for reading this long post.
Have a great day.
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Old October 9, 2005, 11:30 PM   #2
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I'me guessing your young

No one with and experience would go after any one with a golf club.
I suggest a Glock 26.Its small;a nine mil;it's light and easy to shoot.Good luck with the theifs;In tennessee they would already be bagged and tagged.
B J Maner sr
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Old October 9, 2005, 11:41 PM   #3
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Screw small size. Seriously. You do not want a small pistol

You want a big shiny revolver.

I am not kidding, here is why.

You want silver so the bad guys see it and run.
You want to be able to see the very large silver sights to take aim. Autos tend to have small useless usually black sights that will be hard to see in a dark garage.
Revolvers are reliable with no fussy safeties.
You want a long barrel. At least 6". Short barrels lead to the equivalent of parallax errors. A long barrel is much easier to aim.

Good luck.
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Old October 9, 2005, 11:46 PM   #4
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First, welcome to TFL!

Second, don't worry about your post length... everyone here has seen posts that require multiple posts because they outrun the max allowed number of characters.

Third, it may help if you could tell us how much experience you have with guns... judging by your request (no sporting, no hunting, etc.) I'm going to assume that you are a novice. If you're not, then my apologies.

OK, the classic "starter" gun for self defense (SD) is a .357 magnum revolver with a 4-inch barrel. There are a number of reasons for this:

For the most part, revolvers are simpler to operate than autoloaders. You point, you pull the trigger, gun goes bang. No safeties to switch off or slides to cycle.

A neglected revolver is more likely to still work than a neglected semi-auto. Revolvers in general tend to be less finicky and require less maintenance to obtain a basic level of functionality. Notice, I didn't say you could treat it like crap and still expect it to work... they do require some care.

A .357 magnum is usually chosen largely because it is versatile. A .357 magnum revolver can also fire .38 special and .38 special +P. It is general practice to load with .38 special (spl) for beginning shooting and regular range practice, and then load it with .38 spl +P for SD. Once you're comfortable with the .38 spl and have weighed other factors, you can move on up to the .357 magnum loadings if you wish, though it's not necessary.

A 4" barrel is usually easier for a novice to shoot than a 2" snubby. It is heavier, thereby reducing recoil. It reduces muzzle flash, and it increases the velocity (and thereby power) of a bullet in comparison to a shorter barrel. A 6" barrel is going to buy you a little more velocity than the 4", but you have to factor in concealibility (if you're going to be carrying... otherwise I wouldn't worry about it).

I'd imagine a lot of members are going to tell you to get a 4" .357 magnum revolver. You should look at Smith & Wesson, Ruger (if you're on a more limited budget), and Colt. There are others as well... Taurus, Charter Arms, etc... All kinds of stories about quality control and whatnot, and of course most folks have made up their minds about them one way or the other already... you could post in the Revolver forum for a more specific idea of what to look for.

A few things...
A gun is no good if you're not willing and able to use it. Don't buy a gun if you expect it to be a magical talisman, or if you intend to use it to "scare away the bad guys"... you'll end up being shot with your own gun. Also, make sure you practice with your gun at least enough to know how it works and any little quirks about it, and be able to hit what you aim at. Buy the gun, practice with it, be prepared to use it, and hope you never have to do so.

Another important thing you should consider, especially since you're in California, is the legality of owning/carrying/using a firearm for self defense... other members who have actually lived there should be able to tell you more about that.

Sorry to hear about your car. Stay safe and good luck!
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Old October 9, 2005, 11:46 PM   #5
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I would go with a 12 gauge. You don't even really have to load it the sound alone will scare the S*** out of them. When they see you pump the shotgun they will run like hell.

the shiny revolver would work too. but for what you are looking for I would get a 12 gauge shotgun.
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Old October 10, 2005, 12:00 AM   #6
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What if he rolls up in an M60 Tank? The mere sight of it would kill them all instantly!
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Old October 10, 2005, 12:09 AM   #7
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But if he had a tank, why would he bother protecting his car? You know the tank gets da chicks!
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Old October 10, 2005, 12:10 AM   #8
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BMWs get chicks. Tanks get IEDs
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Old October 10, 2005, 12:12 AM   #9
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Risking your life or a lethal encounter over a car is a bad plan. If you plan to chase them down with your gun rather than your golf club, I'd say you are hunting.

Have you considered moving to a better neighborhood? If you are going to consider a firearm, look at a full sized semi-auto or revolver. Better yet, consider a 12 gauge. Then keep it in your house for home(!) defense.
Play hard, shoot often, leave well worn guns!
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Old October 10, 2005, 12:15 AM   #10
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Even me, "Mr. no-carry" think that if your car is broken into 4 times you ought to be carrying a pistol at the ready from your car to the apartment and back again. And you should be looking for a new place to live.
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Old October 10, 2005, 12:16 AM   #11
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I'm inclined to side with AAshooter here; the next time your car alarm beeper goes off, DO NOT go down into the garage, call the police. Justification for shooting someone after you've walked down into your garage rather than in defense of your life in your own home are two different things.
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Old October 10, 2005, 12:34 AM   #12
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A gun is useless unless you use it.

To use it effectively you shoot COM of a threat.

If you shoot COM of a threat, you are very likely to take a life.

If you take a life in California because some scum broke into your car, you will serve time.

Considering these realities, your options are:
Get better security through locks, whatever.
Get a ratty pick-up truck and leave the windows rolled down.
Sell the car and take the bus.

If you choose to move, then make it a gun friendly state.

Welcome to TFL. If you still want to stay and get a gun make it a pump shotgun. Make sure you understand the laws of your state concerning lethal force, and how they are interpreted in your county. It could end up meaning a lot to you.
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Old October 10, 2005, 01:02 AM   #13
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I think XB covered it pretty well.

IMO, you need security patrolling the lot, or you need to move. If they're not damaging your car, just don't leave anything in it. You can't legally protect property with a gun.

"Get a ratty pick-up truck and leave the windows rolled down." Sounds like my old strategy. I had a '73 Electra with a busted window. I used to work nights at a grocery store and if I had something I was throwing away I'd leave it in my car to see if someone would take it. They got a lot of broken CD players, VCRs,TVs, etc.

BTW, nothing wrong with keeping a gun for self defense. Somebody from CA will probably chime in pretty soon with the info on what and where you can carry.
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Old October 10, 2005, 02:03 AM   #14
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thanx for chime in on this guys. I really appreciate it.
And first let me be more clear. I am not considering buying a gun because i want to "chase" and "hunt" those thieves who are after my car or my property. I just want to have protection for myself in case those thieves pull out a knife or a gun before I call the police. I studied laws a little before I dropped out of law school. I know it IS against the LAWS to go after thieves or anyone with deadly forces unless you or your property are in grave danger. I simply want one in order to scare them away. I really really don't want it to come to a point where I have to point a gun at anyone.
One of the person who replied said, "a gun is useless unless is used" I think that statement is absurd. Think about how many people keep their guns at home in this entire nation. Did they buy their guns to just shoot any trespassers in sight? I think it's more likely that they just keep the guns at home to scare them away.

I just don't want people here to think of me as some lunatic who's out to chase and hunt those thieves and start blasting all over the place.

thanx for all the concerns.
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Old October 10, 2005, 02:14 AM   #15
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A gun is useless unless you use it.
Let me elaborate for you. You might use your gun by producing it in an attempt to scare away your bad guys. That is using a gun. It might work. It might not work. If it does not work, and your bad guys are still there, now aggressively encircling you, you will have to make the decision of whether or not to pull the trigger and take a life. You will be making this decision under a great deal of stress that you brought on yourself by showing up with a gun. When you show up with a gun, you are taking your fate out of your own hands and placing it in the BG's hands, because you must react to his response to protect yourself. When you show up with a gun to defend property in a state that requires you to retreat from a lethal threat prior to using lethal force, you will serve time if you employ lethal force, no matter what the BG has in his hands. YOU came onto the scene with a gun to defend property. California is California. Texas is Texas. If you like Texas, then move to the Lone Star State.

Your delusion that all evil befalling your automobile will melt away when you produce a gun is what is absurd.

I know it IS against the LAWS to go after thieves or anyone with deadly forces unless you or your property are in grave danger.
This shows you have not studied the law concerning lethal force very well. I recommend a refresher before purchasing a gun for self defense.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to protect your property, or your own life. Everyone here advocates just that. The trick is doing it and remaining a free man. Welcome to The Firing Line.
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Old October 10, 2005, 02:37 AM   #16
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Buy a revolver like others have said, sleep in your car that way when someone breaks into your car you will be defending yourself.

But if you only want to scare them a 12 guage pump shotgun will work the best.
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Old October 10, 2005, 05:22 AM   #17
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I simply want one in order to scare them away.
Completely wrong attitude. If you confront a criminal with a firearm you better be ready to use it. Hopefully the sight of the gun will scare them away. But what if it doesn't? Are you prepared to take a human life?
Before you buy a firearm I strongly suggest you do some serious soul searching. If you're not willing to use it, confronting a criminal with a gun will only get you killed.
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Old October 10, 2005, 06:08 AM   #18
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As a fellow 'newbie' to this site, please read on because my experience with firearms is not 'newbie'.
Let's tackle this systematically:
1. Get trained - there are a pleathora of shooting venues and training establishments in your area [been there]. I imagine that they all run introductory courses in firearms usage - so enroll and learn how to safely handle a pistol. Once you can do so confidently and accurately, take a look around at what is in your budget.
2. Chose a pistol - forget revolvers; the effective ones are too bulky and carry too few rounds, pistols are compact and reliable [despite what the revolver supporters say]. The advice about getting a Glock is good, but know that Glocks require discipline to handle because of the lack of a safety catch. In the UK the Police use Glocks and many of them have shot themselves in the thigh, because they holstered their Glock with their finger on the trigger! It comes down to poor training; anyone who trains you should first show you how to hold the pistol and that means your index finger is straight and outside the trigger guard.
Glocks aren't expensive, they are very reliable, accurate and have a healthy magazine capacity. Stick to a 9mm or a .40; above that they are too thick to carry effectively. Learn how to use it and look after it; keep your skills current and have muscle memory.
3. Having become proficient and armed yourself, know the law! In the Army in Northern Ireland we were placed frequently in situations where you had to know the rules of when you can or cannot shoot! We call them 'rules of engagement' (ROE) - know yours. If the ROE fall into place you can shoot with confidence that the law will back you up; if you are in a grey area then you might hesitate and the criminal will not! He doesn't give a -CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED--CENSORED- about the law. You must know the law regarding 'self defence' because often this is outside any ROE; in the British Army we have the absolute right of self defence written into military law. No matter where we are we can shoot to protect ourselves.

I hope this strikes a chord; keep it simple and know what you are doing. A pistol is all you need, even against well armed opponents, if you are skilled with it and have the mindset, which is gained from confidence that you are in the 'right'.

Take care of yourself.

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains
And the women come out to cut up what remains
Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.

Rudyard Kipling.
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Old October 10, 2005, 10:41 AM   #19
Rob P.
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I read this thread as if S2kuick wants to confront the BG's first, then call the cops and desires lethal force against the posibility the BG's dont' want to be disturbed.

I suggest NO GUN. Get some pepper spray and some self defense training instead. The training will teach you to call the cops FIRST, then stay away from the scene until they get there. The pepper spray is in case you're walking to your car while the BG's are breaking into someone else's car and you stumble across them.

Second, pitch a bitch to your apartment manager about the poor security in the parking area. If the scum are able to consistently get in, security is non-existant and the complex may be liable in the event a serious security lapse happens. This might get them off their butts and fix their security holes. Then, again, it might not.

Last suggestion I'll echo the other comment(s) - Move.
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Old October 10, 2005, 10:54 AM   #20
john in jax
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s2kuick I like to be prepared for everything - - I think the guys are rihgt on that a 4"-6" bbl revolver is the perfect starter gun. BUT if I knew my car was being broken into I'd probably take a gun, my big can of Fox Pepper Spray and an loud as heck air horn (as in marine supply store).

I hope the pepper spray is self explanatory, the air horn is a great way to get bystanders attention if you need help (as in you are holding menacing bad guys at gun point and want someone to call 911)
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Old October 10, 2005, 06:51 PM   #21
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you might indeed need that flame suit.

My advice would be to read here a bit, look through the archives, and pay attention. An awful lot of what you hear here will get ya killed in the real world, but you can sift some nuggets from the trash if you use your head, and use common sense.
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"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so.".........Ronald Reagan
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Old October 10, 2005, 08:53 PM   #22
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Sounds like you are wanting to purchase a gun to protect your car, not for your Home/Self defense. In that case, I would suggest that you not purchase one...confronting unknown number of thieves with unknown motives that are breaking into your car...with a gun, sounds way to dangerous and too much trouble to me. Being armed conotates too much and may get someone killed, even yourself. Are you really willing to take a life over someone breaking into or trying to steal your car??
Get the attention of your leasing agents, ask other tenants to chime in about the safety issues and try to get them to put up for patrol or for the placement of better lighting or a gate. Personal and property safety are issues that will allow you to break your lease and move and there are local agencies and the internet that will allow you to place opinions and concerns about specific complexes that have problems. This unfortunately will not be the end all to your problems, as crimes will most likely continue...but may not be as frequent.
Now...if you are asking about what kind of gun you may want to make as your Home/Self defense weapon...this is certainly the right place to be and will no doubt create any number of different personal opinions.
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Old October 10, 2005, 10:39 PM   #23
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real man of genius

Ok dress head to tow in black or asphalt grey and find a good vantage point like a rooftop. Then use a fully suppressed 22 rimfire rifle with night vision scope and start popping people as soon as they get within 50 feet of the car--thugs, joggers, old ladies, dogs--you drop em if they even give a passing glance from 150 yards...

Well, instead of a gun to protect a piece of metal in a parking lot, why not get a video cam, hide it and catch the suckers on film. Then let the police take care of them.
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