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Old December 2, 2013, 11:05 AM   #26
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Not sure anyone mentioned a .22 conversion kit, but they're available for a number of centerfire pistols. You can have both a .22 for cheaper practice, and your centerfire for SD/HD. Advantage Arms comes to mind quickest, but there are others.
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Old December 2, 2013, 11:49 AM   #27
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I am as baffled as several other posters by the advice you have received.

For most people, I recommend a 9 mm as a first pistol. The differences in effects in ballistic gel between 9 mm, .40, and .45, are so small as to make accuracy more important. Most people shoot a 9 mm best among those choices, with fastest and most accurate followup shots, making it a good choice. But note that "most" and "all" are not synonyms; if you shoot one of the other centerfire calibers better, then it is the best choice for you.

A .22LR is a great choice for a second pistol for learning and practice, but for most people the first pistol is the only pistol at least for a while, and the other calibers are far better for defensive purposes.

Beretta 92FS is a widely respected pistol, but a little large for a lot of people to carry. For range use and home defense it is hard to beat by much. (ETA) Glocks are also well made pistols. You may like or dislike them or any pistol, but that choice should be yours. Personal preferences should not be dictated to you by anyone.

Please get some training from someone besides your friends. Based on the quality of their advice as you relate it, I fear that they may not have a good enough basis of knowledge to teach you well, and good safety practices are essential in handling firearms.

Last edited by TailGator; December 2, 2013 at 12:14 PM.
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Old December 2, 2013, 12:19 PM   #28
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To the OP,
You had mentioned in your two posts that you like the simplicity and reliability of a revolver and you have more fun shooting a revolver. But, then you are worried about the "what if's".. like what if I run out of ammo and there is still a threat and so on...

Question. How long have you made it on this earth with zero rounds?

Buy the gun you like and the gun you are going to like to shoot. Because if you like to shoot it, you will shoot it often. If you shoot it often, then you will become proficient with it. If you become proficient with it, then you will have less to worry about.

If you like a revolver, buy a revolver!

If you like a semi auto.. then buy a semi auto!

Once you figure out what type of platform you are drawn to, then you can start considering caliber.

I say look into a .357 mag for a revolver. They come in all sizes and you have a wide variety of rounds you can feed it. Anything from mild .38 specials, to hot .38 specials and all the way up to .357 magnums. Prices for .38 specials is very light on the wallet.

For the Semi's, I say 9mm is hard to beat. They come in a lot of sizes and the market is flooded with lots of different types. Accurate, powerful and ammo prices are not hard on the wallet either.
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Old December 2, 2013, 01:11 PM   #29
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Get your self a FNX-40 comes with 3 14rd mags ambidextrous safety decocking lever and mag release. You can look it up at www.FNHUSA.COM this gun is made here in the good old USA.
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Old December 4, 2013, 09:39 PM   #30
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I used to own an FNX 40 and miss that gun like a loyal dog. It was smooth, had quite a bit of capacity and handled recoil amazingly. I do own it's big brother and it handles recoil better than any other polymer 45 I've shot (and it has 15 rounds).

I think you'll be fine with a 45 for home defense. I've read stories of police departments using the 9mm and because of how fast the round travels it has hit innocent bystanders but that was years ago. I also understand with you living in a neighborhood and that's where I would suggest you get a shotgun with a shortened barrel (I know you were thinking handguns). I've got a Mossberg 500 in 12 guage with the shortened barrel and it is very easy to manage going around the house. The guy that did my CHL class recommended having that with .00 because if you are facing a threat and they're hiding around a corner you've got enough to go through your sheet rock and possible stud to get their attention.
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Old December 5, 2013, 04:15 AM   #31
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In general, I've always seen that someone should go with the highest caliber gun you can easily manage, which for me would be a .45.
I once thought the same way, but I have learned better...
You should go with the caliber/gun that you will be willing to actually carry.

If you can manage a .45 ACP pistol, but hate the size and weight of a .45 ACP pistol, then the .45 ACP pistol is not for you.

In other words...
The 380 LCP in your pocket is better than the .45 1911 in your glove compartment.

However, one thought I had as well is that I live within 150 feet of numerous houses, and if the worst case scenario happened and there was a firefight with a BG, a 45 would have the highest chance (compared with a .22) of going through a wall or window and into a neighbors house if I missed,...
Not necessarily.
The 9mm Para in FMJ actually penetrates more than the .45 ACP in FMJ with the same same barrel length pistols.
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Old December 5, 2013, 05:17 AM   #32
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Based on you preferences for a caliber suitable for defense but cheap enough to practice:

In semiauto- 9mm. Quality defensive round, cheap enough to be able to not break the bank with a few hundred rounds. I personally prefer the full steel single/double action pistols, but for a first pistol, a double action only or striker fire would be fine. I'm a big believer in buying quality used guns from quality manufacturers (Ruger, Smith and Wesson, Springfield, Beretta, etc).

I will echo the suggestions about not getting a 1911 for a first gun. They often take a little more knowledge/experience before jumping into that pool. I spent a year or so studying and shooting before getting a 1911, and I'm glad I did. I also have nothing against the larger calibers, but you did express concerns for the cost.

In a revolver- get a 357 revolver with a 4" barrel. The only time I reccomend a 38 spec revolver is for deep concealed carry. As has been said, a 357 revolver will chamber and safely fire a 38 special round (but not vice verca). Further, the added size and weight of a 4" barrel revolver will absorb more recoil. Personally, I reccomend looking for a used Ruger, Smith and Wesson, or maybe a Colt (not likely based on their price).
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Old December 17, 2013, 11:22 AM   #33
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If you haven't purchased a pistol yet. Can you go to a gun range that rents them? Try all 3 out and the one that feels the best and you shoot the best is the one to buy.
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Old December 17, 2013, 10:27 PM   #34
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my first gun was a budget 9mm budget dao(double action only), i dont recommend going that route for your first gun, very hard to train with and shoot accurately due to the long trigger pull and lightweight

second gun, a full size 9mm striker fired(glock style)pistol, much better to learn on

third, taurus 357 605 poly protector revolver, by far the easieast gun i have ever shot and in my opinion the safest, i prefer to shoot 38spl with it and my wife and i are both very accurate with it, she was really bad with the first gun btw

i like 9mm ALOT and can shoot them confidently now, but if i could go back i would have started with the revolver, even if its a 9mm revolver like the taurus 905

please dont let your buddies sell you on the 9mmdoesnthavethestoppingpower bullcrap, i cant tell you exacty what percentage of murders and SD situations were pulled off with the 9, but as a paramedic, i can tell you its just about all of them, and they kill just fine i promise

ps, i like to shoot 22s but ammo is still hard to find and i dont really feel it is a realistic training gun, it will teach the basic mechanics of a gun, but not representational of the techniques needed to shoot an actual centerfire pistol, in my opinion anyways
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Last edited by skizzums; December 17, 2013 at 10:39 PM.
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Old December 18, 2013, 12:32 PM   #35
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I've done A LOT of shooting with 22 lr, and I must say it is perfectly capable of stopping an attacker. In fact I think it could go straight through a persons skull, through a person all together if it doesn't hit any major bones. However a 9mm or a 45 would be a better choice, just because it's more of a shock to be shot with it. Based on the reviews I've heard, glock, ruger, and sig seem to be the most reliable brands out there as far as pistols go. If I was you I'd choose a ruger sr45 or a glock in 45 caliber. Hope this helps.
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Old December 18, 2013, 01:30 PM   #36
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If you have shot a "Carry" 45 and like it that is what you should get.

A .22LR is not a carry gun.

If you want smaller than 45 get a 9mm

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Old December 18, 2013, 01:50 PM   #37
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I do not know how good of a thing open carry is. Sometimes, I think that it can attract bad guys who might like you pistol or induce panic on some who do not know the law or just not use to seeing guns.

So, SD to me is more Conceal Carry or In Home/Car. If I am to only have one gun for both purposes, I would opt for something that I can conceal. Thus, my main SD gun is my CC gun, a Kahr K9. It has minimal external controls for simplicity.

So , things to think about:
1. revolver or semi
2. how you plan to keep an SD pistol; Semi - loaded with 1 in the chamber? cocked & locked? Revolver - first chamber empty? in a holster?
3. Size -- is this pistol for Open Carry/Home/Range or do you plan to CC?
4. Caliber -- .380 and up are good for SD (I like 9mm and 38 then .45).
5. dedicated .22 handgun for practice or conversion.

Have fun shopping.
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Old December 18, 2013, 04:55 PM   #38
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my first rodeo

I always recommend a "first gun" be a Ruger KGP-141 4" stainless steel 357 revolver (or its S&W counterpart, the L-frame choices).

I recommend this gun for its ease of disassembly and cleaning, its ability to launch easy-recoiling 38 Special 'target' loads or hard-hitting 180g hunting loads, or the proven 125g JHP man-stoppers.

And revolvers are easy to determine when they're 'safe', and when they're loaded.

As you grow, your GP100 will never be sold due to its versatility.
"all my ammo is mostly retired factory ammo"
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Old December 18, 2013, 11:09 PM   #39
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Glock 19.
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Old December 18, 2013, 11:49 PM   #40
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Biggest question in my mind. How much do you really plan to shoot?

If you really want to get into guns, a semi auto will be good. In 9mm. .40. .45. Whatever caliber you want. But, particularly if it has safeties, decockers or other knobs or switches to make it work, you need to shoot it fairly often to become proficient. You must learn to clear jams. Keep it properly lubed.

If you just want a gun, that you will occasionally shoot, get a revolver. .357 is great, you have the options from mild .38 Specials to full house Magnums. A dedicated .38 Special would be fine too. It requires the barest of routine maintenance, a simple manual of arms and the odds of a malfunction occurring right when you need it are very low.

Just be honest with yourself.

I am a real "gun guy". I have some of the finest handguns made. Both revolvers and autos. I have carried the same S&W 642 .38 special revolver for 20 years as a backup and often carry a 3" S&W 65 .357 Magnum off duty.

There a reason good revolvers have been around as long as they have.
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Old December 20, 2013, 05:30 PM   #41
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I also like the Ruger SP101 in 357 mag. It is a very versatile gun. Because you can shoot everything from mild 38 Specials to fire breathing 357 mag rounds, it can be used for many different things. I would also suggest a 3" or longer barrel.
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