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Thread: Pistol for daughters B-day

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    Regular Member DEROS72's Avatar
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    Although being ex army and familiar military weapons,I have found that alot of you guys are extremely knowledgable in handguns and carry weapons muchmore so than I am.

    My daughter asked me for a handgun for her birthday in Nov. for protection and before obama becomes pres.I was thinking a .380,.25 ,.32 something of that nature.Would a weapon of those calibers really stop an intruder or just piss him off?Any input on what makes I should look at or stay away from in those calibers.I taught her to shoot years ago with a mini 14.My Tanfaglio witness is a little hard for her to handle .Also if anyone has a weapon like that on the market I would be interested ,and I amlooking for another mini 14.

    Her job and way out where she lives makes her a little vulnerable not to mention being pregnant for the first time.Just want to make sure I get her something she can handle and do some good if needed.

    Thanks

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    Regular Member shad0wfax's Avatar
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    Ask 100 gun-owners this question and you'll probably get 100 answers, so here's my long-winded $0.02.

    If you want the short version, get a 3" (if you conceal more often) to 4" (if you carry open more often)barreled .45 auto or a .357 magnum and just take my word for it.

    If you want the logic behind that statement, read on.

    Personally I feel that .380 auto is the absolute minimum for terminal performance and even then only if you have excellent shot placement and often times multiple rounds into the target. The .380 auto only generates about 200 ft-lb of energy at the muzzle. The .25 auto and .32 auto really aren't worth considering at all unless you're after an ultra-concealable pocket-gun. The .25 auto only puts out 100 ft-lb of energy and the .32 auto only puts out 128 ft-lb at the muzzle.The9x19 Parabellum (Luger, or just 9mm) generates 360 ft-lb of energy is a decent performer, but there is some argument that the wound channel from a 9mm is often inadequate. If you ever had to fire your M9 in combat while serving the Army you can relate to people's lack of trust in the cartridge. The .40 S&W is better, delivering480 ft-lb of energy at the muzzle, which is definitely good for terminal performance, but in my experience, most .40 smiths have a very snappy, sharp recoil and this can lead to control problems in less experienced shooters. The .40 smith is not much bigger than the 9mm in terms of diameter, but because of the increased velocity and bullet weight, the terminal performance is quite a bit better.

    The king of the autos (within reasonable cartridges for a carry gun) is the .45 ACP, which is a nice, wide, heavy bullet delivering just over460 ft-lb(edited) of energy with good self defense ammo. There really isn't much better out there. For a practical carry auto the .45 is hard to beat.

    Don't overlook revolvers though. They're more reliable than an auto and arguably safer as well. (Not to imply that autos are unreliable or unsafe, but revolvers are a small amount more reliable and safe.) They do have a reduced capacity and are a bit thicker so concealment and carry comfort may suffer. (Yes, I know this is an open carry forum, but concealment should be considered when purchasing a handgun.) The .357 Magnum delivers 540 to644 ft-lb of energy and is a proven performer. It's considered to be one of the most lethal cartridges in use. The downside to the .357 mag is that the recoil can bequite strong andthe cartridge really doesn't perform up to its potential in shorter revolvers,like the little snubbies that are so popular. Many argue that shooting .38 Special +P or +P+ ammo in the sub-2" barrels is identical to shooting .357 Magnum from the same barrel, but with less recoil. The .38 Special +P+ ammo is supposed to get around 260 ft-lb of energy.

    There's a new cartridge called the .327 Federal Magnum and Ruger makes a compact revolver chambered for it called the SP101. Barrel lengths are 2-1/4", 3-1/16" or 4" and they claim that it delivers equal terminal performance to the .357 magnum with much less recoil. The .327 FM gets about 430 ft-lb of energy and that's definitely worth considering, although I haven't personally fired any revolvers chambered for it. The nice thing about the .327 SP101 is that it gives you a full 6 shots in the cylinder, vice the 5 that most of the compact revolvers have. (The SP101 chambered in .357 mag is a 5 shot cylinder.)

    As far as I'm concerned, a nice shortened frame 1911 style .45 autowith a 3" barrel or a compact revolver chambered in .357 Mag (or perhaps .327 Federal Mag) with a 3" barrel is ideal. I'm not a big fan of the sub-2" barrel revolvers because they have too much muzzle flash, are not very controllable or accurate, and aren't very efficient in terms of energy actually delivered to the target. I think the 3" barrel is an ideal compromise between portability and concealability vs.accuracy, controllability, andefficiency.

    I would love to get one of the Kimber Ultra Carry II in .45 ACP (7+1 mag), but I can't justify the expense right now. The Smith J-Frame with a 3" barrel in .357 mag is what I carry. I lose 3 shots, but I have the ultimate in reliability and just a tad more energy delivered. The Ruger SP101 in .327 would be fun to get, but it would fill an identical niche to what I already use and only give me one extra round. It's not worth the expense, even though the SP101 is muchless expensivethan a comparable Smith and also much less expensive than the Kimber. (There are other .45 options available: Taurus, Para-Ordnance, HK, Sig, Springfield, Smith, etc)



    The threegunsI chose are based on a pistol I would carry concealed more often than open. (I know, I know, open carry forum...) If I was getting a strictly open carry gun, I'd love to get an HK Mk 23.


    (I don't mentionthe .44 mag, .460 smith, .480 ruger, .454 casull, and .500 smith even though theyare much better terminalperformers because they're ridiculously impractical to carry in most cases and the recoil is very stout. The .50 American Express, which the Desert Eagle fires generates over 1200 ft-lb of energy, but it's a ridiculously large gun to carry and the recoil is again, on the ridiculous side for a defense application.)

  3. #3
    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    Bersa makes some quality firearms at reasonable prizes in .380. 9mm, 40SW and 45ACP.
    Taurus also makesreasonably priced concealable guns.
    Keltec makes a few decent affordable9mm's.

    If you're considering getting her a .380make sure it is Breech Locked not Blow Back operated.
    The recoil in BB operated guns is magnified vs Breech Locked.

    Another thing to consider is most guns chambered in .380 (except the difficult to shoot pocket pistols)are almost the same size as a small 9mm with less power and more expensive ammo.

    http://www.handloads.org/misc/stoppi....asp?Caliber=0
    The info in the link is a little old but still pretty accurate.

    Just make sureshe feels comfortable with what ever you guys choose, that it is reliable and she can indeed shoot it properly.

    A decent revolver is always a good place to start, I prefer 3" barreled, DAO revolvers chambered in .357mag, .38spl and the +p/+p+ counterparts can also be used if desired for practice.
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


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    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    shad0wfax wrote:
    The king of the autos (within reasonable cartridges for a carry gun) is the .45 ACP, which is a nice, wide, heavy bullet delivering just over 640 ft-lb of energy with good self defense ammo.

    SNIP/bold
    What factory load is this??
    In .45 Super yes,but not .45ACP.
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


    ~Alan Korwin

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    Regular Member shad0wfax's Avatar
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    Agent:

    Great link of relative stopping power. It supports what I wrote when I placed the .357 magnum and .45 ACP as the top two handgun cartridges.

    Good point in mentioning Taurus and Kel-Tec for reasonably priced handguns. I'm not familiar with Bersa. Also, good point in making sure she's comfortable with and able to properly shoot the handgun you choose. Practice, practice, practice, until it's second-nature!

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    Regular Member shad0wfax's Avatar
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    Agent19 wrote:
    shad0wfax wrote:
    The king of the autos (within reasonable cartridges for a carry gun) is the .45 ACP, which is a nice, wide, heavy bullet delivering just over 640 ft-lb of energy with good self defense ammo.

    SNIP/bold
    What factory load is this??
    In .45 Super yes,but not .45ACP.
    Sorry, bad typo, meant 460. There is some +P stuff pushing close to 500 (like the Hornady 200gr TAP). I'll edit my original post. Thanks for the catch.

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    Regular Member Mainsail's Avatar
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    Take her to Mary's Pistols and let her try a few on. She may also appriciate Mary's [female] input as well.

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    What Mainsail said, but also: Mary's doesn't have a shooting range, so it would be wise to also take her somewhere she can try out various models and find one that feels good to her for actual shooting.

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    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    Another gun/caliber to consider is FN's 5.7x28.
    The guns are a little pricey.
    http://www.brassfetcher.com/5.7x28mm.html
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


    ~Alan Korwin

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    Regular Member shad0wfax's Avatar
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    Agent19 wrote:
    Another gun/caliber to consider is FN's 5.7x28.
    The guns are a little pricey.
    http://www.brassfetcher.com/5.7x28mm.html
    I've always been curious how their terminal ballistics is. I know they're great with 400 ft-lb AP rounds against lightly armored targets, but that's Military/LE only.

    They have great magazine capacity andeasily controllable recoil. They do develop significant energy (300-340)with commercial ammunition. butdoes the high velocity and relatively light bullet weight make the projectile prone to surface fragmentation or tumbling and deflection like the .22 rimfire ammunition can be? Are they prone to ricochet like the .22s can be?

    Do you know of any reports on their terminal ballistics?

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    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    shad0wfax wrote:
    Agent19 wrote: I've always been curious how their terminal ballistics is. I know they're great with 400 ft-lb AP rounds against lightly armored targets, but that's Military/LE only.
    The SS190, 191 and 192are restricted by FN not illegal to own.

    It is available although it is pricey.
    The link (above)has gelatin performance for several calibers.
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


    ~Alan Korwin

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    I agree with the posters on the 3 to 4 inch .357. A beautiful Smith & Wesson will last forever. The caliber permits 38 or 357 ammo of any flavor and will not jam like a auto if a weak grip is used.

    Comfortable leather is probably more important than an exact model. I would avoid the ultra lightweight weapons as the kick with 357 is a bit much for an inexperienced lady.



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    http://www.charterfirearms.com/produ...ver_53830.html



    a pink pistol for a girl, might get made fun of for buying it though.

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    uncoolperson wrote:
    http://www.charterfirearms.com/produ...ver_53830.html



    a pink pistol for a girl, might get made fun of for buying it though.
    I like that one except that +P has quite a kick on that lightweight gun. Unless your daughter has man paws try shooting lighter loads for practice. It's not fun for extended shooting.

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    I am of the view that nothing beats a Glock. They are easy to operate and durable. I would not have anyof the calibers you mentioned. If the weapon is for protection then use a round with enough stopping power, .40 cal. or higher. If she is properly trained in shooting the weapon, the recoil is completely manageable. Whether to go full size, compact or subcompact depends on how and whether she intends to carry.

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    XD's are nice and I like the grip angle and size better than the glock. Sounds like a trip to the GS for some fitting.



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    I have nothing against the XD, I just train on the Glock.

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    I shoot and like both. Sometimes people get stuck on the name GLOCK when there mayor may not be a better fit on a XD,M+P, Sig, etc.



  19. #19
    Regular Member DEROS72's Avatar
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    Well you guys are a wealth of info.Being my experience with military I was thinking M-60 but wouldn,t fit in her purse.That was my personal carry gun for about 6 mo.Anyway I am very impressed with the knowledge I find on this sight.My experience in handguns was limited to .45 .38,.44and a.357.'s I have used in the past.Peronally I don,t carry anything less than a .45.Tanfaglio Witness.I basically picked from Jarheadfor 100.bucks.(Gunner gave me 250 for my old blown up Para and I gave Jarehead 350 for the Witness)

    The pink pistol won't work because my son in law Kiddingly said hedoesn't want to be seen carrying that.Shadow fox answered my concerns in that I felt also the smaller calibers where not adequate in their stopping power.My .45 makes her nervous and is a little heavy for her.I was at Mary's in Tacoma and it was the 3 makes that Agent 19 mentioned that I was looking at.Leaning toward a Bersa or Taurus 9mm.Idon't have any experience with Bersa ,are they a good ,reliable make?

    The super snub nose revolvers seem that they would be a little jumpy.Dan and Marys ,now that is a gun shop, awesome people and their prices seem very good in comparison with some of the others.Love going in there.I have a somewhat difficult time teaching my daughter as she is left handed.I actually was going to take her down to Champion and let her try a few of the different makes and calibers.You guys are extremely helpful ,thanks.

    My Wtness ,LOve this pistol!Just to big for my little girl.

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    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    DEROS72 wrote:
    Idon't have any experience with Bersa ,are they a good ,reliable make?
    The people I know that own themlove them.
    I have shot the Thundar 9 and would consider buying one if I were looking for a small to medium, reasonably priced 9mm.

    http://www.bersafirearmsusa.com/

    Other guns to consider


    Beretta 92 Compact (single stack)
    Sig Sauer 225 these are excellent and inexpensive
    Beretta/Stoeger Cougar
    Kahr
    FEG High Power compact
    Para Ordnance PDA
    Sig 239
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


    ~Alan Korwin

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    Although I've never shot one, I would seriously consider a .327 Magnum, probably in a Ruger SP101 due to their heavier weight. Then she could shoot much lighter loads to get used to the gun, and move up to the full power as she became comfortable. With a 3" barrel, this would be a good all around gun, for home, purse carry around town, or on a belt holster for trail use.

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    IMO the calibers you mentioned, ".380,.25 ,.32 something of that nature." are just not enough gun for anyone's defense. My wife is less than 5'6" and shoots 45 ACP regularlyand carries a 44 SPL for self defense. Woman can shoot the bigger and better for S.D. calibers if properly trained. But mouse guns are not the answer. 9mm should be the minimum you consider. As to what gun, you need to take her to a range than rents guns and let her choice which one she likes best. You choosing for her is not a good way to go. Women has a lot different requirements than men when it comes to guns. This I know thisfrom learning the hard way, the ones I chose are all gone and the ones she chose are still here.

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    Regular Member shad0wfax's Avatar
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    Given the OP's response I'm inclined to agree with olypendrew: go to a range that will allow her to test-fire a Ruger SP101 with the 3-1/16" barrel chambered in .327 Federal Magnum and see how she likes it.

    I wish I had fired one, so I could recommend it personally, but I haven't so I can only suggest it. (You never know, she might be ok with a J-frame 3" in .357 magnum if it has nice grips.)

    I don't know if reloading equipment is available for the .327 yet, so if you handload, the .357 would be a better choice because you can shoot factory .38 special +P or +P+ ammunition or handload lighter .357 loads for her. I don't think you'd need to use reduced loads in the .327, from what I've read.

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    Regular Member DEROS72's Avatar
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    Thanks agent I will take a good look at the ones on your list .

  25. #25
    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    shad0wfax wrote:

    I don't know if reloading equipment is available for the .327 yet, so if you handload, the .357 would be a better choice because you can shoot factory .38 special +P or +P+ ammunition or handload lighter .357 loads for her. I don't think you'd need to use reduced loads in the .327, from what I've read.
    The .327 magnum can be reloaded.
    It is a longer/stronger .32 H&R magnum casing.
    http://www.chuckhawks.com/327_federal.htm
    There is plenty of info out there about this new loading.
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


    ~Alan Korwin

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