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Old December 12, 1999, 04:14 PM   #1
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I'm shopping for my first handgun which I'll keep at home most of the time but will want to have the option of carrying it concealed. I'd like to get a semi auto that has reasonable stopping power, is reliable, and light weight enough that my wife would be able to handle it. I can see from reading prior posts that there is lots of experience on this forum and would appreciate getting some opinions.


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Old December 12, 1999, 06:22 PM   #2
Jeff Thomas
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twogood, you'll get more responses on this over in the Handgun forum.

However, while you're here, let me offer a few words of advice. First, spend a good deal of time reading various posts in this forum, as well as in Shotguns and Handguns - also, use the TFL Search feature. As a matter of fact, in some localities / situations the right rifle can be an excellent home defense firearm. Firearms are simply tools, and different types have different uses. You wouldn't want to use a screwdriver to hammer a nail, right?

So, for home defense, especially for your wife's use, you might want to investigate 20 gauge shotguns. Try various kinds - perhaps you have a friend or two with firearms?

Regarding something you can carry concealed when necessary, to some extent this depends on how you would have to carry - if you wear a coat all day you can conceal more than if you wear just golf shirts and slacks. Handguns are usually easy to rent at indoor ranges, and this is highly advisable - try before you buy whenever possible. And, keep researching to make the best possible choice for you - this is an important investment for you, and it should last a long, long time. Note that if you will have the gun in deep concealment it will be more likely to rust - stainless steel and polymer construction types are less likely to suffer.

For smaller semi-autos, many people like small Glocks, Kahr's and Kel-Tec's, in 9mm and .40 caliber. Many people also like revolvers for concealed carry, due to their simplicity and durability - Smith & Wesson and Ruger are common choices. Regarding reasonable stopping power, you'll see a lot of debate about this, and when you boil it all down it seems to result in: (1) shot placement is obviously the most important thing (so, you have to be able to hit what you're aiming at, no matter what firearm you buy), and (2) most people seem to feel that 9mm and .38 Special are the minimum calibers for stopping power - smaller certainly works, but generally is not advised.

You'll get a lot of different opinions over in Handguns, but try to begin narrowing down your questions.

Good luck.
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Old December 14, 1999, 11:19 AM   #3
Byron Quick
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Pretty good advice there, twogood.

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Old December 17, 1999, 07:08 PM   #4
D Crockett
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Join Date: November 30, 1999
Location: AL,USA
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The above is good advice. From much experience and experimentation w/ pistols,
I would advise you to buy a used Glock G17
fullsize or G19 Compact, both in 9mm. The
subcompact are harder for beginners
to learn well on. These are easy to use,
extemely dependable, well made and accurate
pistols that you wont go wrong with. They
also have good resale.
You can buy these for $350 to $400 used and
in good condition.
There are other good brands and styles too,
most of which I've tried, and I feel this
would be a safe and very good choice.
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Old December 18, 1999, 12:41 PM   #5
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JEFF & CROCKETT offer sound advice. While I've always carried a Colt .45ACP I am liking Glocks more and more. My daughter is about to get a G-26 (9mm subcompact) along with her CHL, but she has fired quite a few handguns over the years--so the transition to a smaller one shouldn't be too difficult. Best to start w/a G-17 or 19. Shoot much and often. Watch your six!
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Old December 18, 1999, 03:31 PM   #6
Steve Smith
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Twogood, The lighter the gun is, the more recoil your wife will have to deal with, unless you go with a wimpy cartridge. Even though I'm a 1911 fan ("colt .45 style autos) I definately wouldn't suggest it (from any maker) for a first handgun. It requires too much understanding and technique to be handled safely by anyone who isn't all that interested in mechanics (wife maybe). Ruger makes excellent autos, that while big and heavy, offer low recoil and top-notch reliability at a low price. It would make a great house gun. I can't believe I'm saying this, but for your uses, a Glock would work out too. No manual safeties to fool with, and quite reliable, and lighter...and the price still isn't bad. Gun snobs don't like them because the trigger is kinda "crunchy" (which you'll probably never notice), and there are no manual safetier (this is obviously a good/bad thing depending on use and users). Revolvers are certainly good also, with Ruger typically making the best, but recoil is higher because there's no slide to absorb some of it. Taurus makes a nice revo these days, and while they're not a Ruger, they do have a nice porting (recoil reduction) system that helps a lot. Let's keep this thread going, and ask more questions, Twogood!
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Old December 18, 1999, 03:54 PM   #7
Art Eatman
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Nothing above for me to argue with, so I'll just "add to".

Many gun stores will let you and your wife "feel and fondle" their various handguns. How a gun feels in your/her hand will affect the ease of mastering the needed skills. You can narrow down the possible choicew, and then rent the same gun at a range to see if that's really what you want.

The other item has nothing whatsoever to do with guns. It's "scenarios". What sort of problems can you realistically expect? Jeff Thomas touched on this, by implication, with his comment about shotguns for home defense.

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