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Thread: What to bring home first?

  1. #1
    Regular Member
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    May 2011
    Flint, Michigan, United States

    What to bring home first?

    I know its got to be the most common thread ever, but I have really been going round and round. I am getting my first handgun for the following reasons:

    1. To support and exercise my 2A rights.
    2. For Personal and Home Defense. High crime area)
    3. For sport of range shooting and collecting.

    I have been all over the board looking at heavier .40 semi-automatics to thinking that it would not be a good choice for carry and looking at Rugger LCR's (.357) but then reconsidering how bad they would be for range shooting. I have recently been sold on the idea that maybe I should find a mid-size to make use of the range as much as possible (preferably 9mm for cost effectiveness of ammo).

    Since accepting that 9mm actually had some benefits (originally I was trying to stay away from it), I have really fallen in love with the idea of a Sig P226 Navy (Navy vet that worked close to SEALs that carried these). This however is pretty steep in price and from what I understand, impossible to find locally.

    So.... I have been tossing around the idea of a Ruger SP101. Could this be my middle ground until acquiring something that fits better into specific roles? I know its quite heavy compared to a Ruger LCR, but not much larger for conceal carry. At the same time its big enough to make target shooting much easier and/or enjoyable. It also seems big enough to make a statement in defusing a situation before having to fire if God forbid the rare event to defend myself or my home would ever arise. What does everyone think? Am I on the right train of thought? How is this weapon been to those that have Conceal Carried it? I plan to boot carry at first, maybe inside pants waist at some point. Normally a tee shirt and jeans kinda guy but i where western boots every day of my life.

    For the record, if it makes a difference, I intend to acquire at some point a sub-compact for daily carry, a larger .357 revolver for home defense (ala Ruger GP-161?), a Sig P226 Navy for range shooting (maybe carry), and eventually spend some money on a NICE Special Edition 1911 (Maybe Colt or Para) for sport shooting / bragging rights lol.

    I originally went into this saying I really wanted to stay American, but I think I have learned that I am willing to bend in some cases as you can see. (SIG and Para-Ord) That being said, I do give a lot of extra points for an American manufacture. (Especially the historic) For the record, I am not a Taurus fan at all. I would be willing to spend the extra for the real deal and quality over a knock off. (forgive me if they are or are not as I am new, but that is the impression I get when I place similar guns beside one another.).

    Thanks in advance for any input. Any input is valued as I am already all over the map and 99% of you are far more experienced then I am.

    Flint, MI

    Thanks in advance for any input.
    Last edited by Tom Lange; 05-30-2011 at 08:06 PM.

  2. #2
    Regular Member 230therapy's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    People's County of Fairfax
    It's best to try before you buy.

    1) Attend gun safety training if you have not yet done so. NRA Basic Pistol or NRA Home Firearms Safety are good courses that focus upon safety.

    2) Borrow or rent various handguns in various calibers.

    3) Attend a two day "Level 1" self-defense handgun course since your stated goal is self-defense. You don't know what you need in a gun (and gear) until you have learned to run one. The instructor will have various guns and gear available.

    If you don't do #3, then at least buy several private lessons at the local gun range.

    The SIG P226 Navy is going to be hard to come by. It's really more of a collector's piece.

    Para Ordnance...avoid them. Every friend of mine who has had a gun from them experienced reliability issues.

    Revolvers are a whole different game. They require much more diligence and training to learn to run properly. Some people on the 'net and OCDO will claim revolvers are "easier" to use. Running a revolver is far more difficult. You'll need to so some research. Also keep in mind there are few trainers who are proficient in training people in the use of revolvers.
    Does anyone here actually believe that the Founders were sitting around in John Adams' tavern UNARMED because they believed a bar should be a gun free zone?

  3. #3
    Regular Member wow6599's Avatar
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    May 2011
    Wildwood, MO
    The "only have one gun" is, IMHO, a 3 1/16" Ruger SP101 in .357 Magnum. You can easily CC it with a good holster, plink with .38 Special all day, carry 125 gr. .357 for personal protection or 180 gr. HC Buffalo Bore for woods carry. You can get one for around $450 +/- and it will outlast you and your kid's kids.

    Here is a pic of mine with a Simply Rugged holster; it also has a front night sight.

    Last edited by wow6599; 05-30-2011 at 08:43 PM. Reason: added pic
    “A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity”

    - Sigmund Freud

  4. #4
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    May 2011
    Flint, Michigan, United States
    @230 I guess I should have clarified, I do have experience with handguns, I just have not been a gun owner myself. I am a military vet with sharpshooter medals actually. I do however realize there is a lot more to self-defense then target shooting and I have registered and plan to attend CPL and advance defense classes with a well regarded facility.

    I am however overwhelmed with the vast selection out there, and wish to make purchases that I will be pleased to keep for years to come and not just get me by until I get something better. Get it right the first time if you will. That being said, thanks on the Para info. I was not familiar with them over reading about them in a gun encyclopedia and loving there look. When I go for my 1911 I would like to get something with great looks as it seems there are many options and special editions like the anniversary colts.

    @wow OK, then maybe I am on the right track. Maybe it will fit my jack-of-all-trades bill after all.

  5. #5
    Regular Member 230therapy's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    People's County of Fairfax
    I am however overwhelmed with the vast selection out there, and wish to make purchases that I will be pleased to keep for years to come and not just get me by until I get something better.
    The solution is to go shooting with different handguns!

    Get it right the first time if you will.

    I'm on carry handgun #2 gazillion and still haven't found the right one. The Glock 19 and Glock 26 do adequately meet my requirements.

    The Glock 19 gets the gold star for best balance between shooting ability, concealment, size, capacity, maintenance and accessories. If you use this as a standard, you will find:

    1) Height: 4.75" is easy to conceal while providing enough grip for the hand.
    2) Slide Width: Very flat, but not as flat as the Browning Hi-Power.
    3) Slide length: About right for accurate shooting (distance between the sights). Barrel is long enough for decent performance.
    4) Grip Width: Wider than many single stack guns, but narrow enough for carry.

    5" height is the practical limit for many people (as measured from bottom of the magazine to top the slide--excluding the sight). The 1911 typically measures 5.5"...which makes it print too easily with my body style. I used to carry a SIG P220 around, but it was too much work to maintain concealment. Clothing had to be baggier and I had to take more care in how I moved.

    You will find the M&P 45 Compact is very close to Glock 19 dimensions. The XD 45 Compact is wider, but has a similar height and slide length. Other companies have guns that are similar, such as the Browning Hi-Power.

    If you look at the M9 / Beretta 9x series, you'll see they're very large guns.

    I have found that a "one gun for everything" doesn't really work out for me. Friends tend to agree. I classify my carry handguns as "Discrete", "Average", and "Full Size/Open Carry". The Glock 26 is an example of a discrete handgun. "Average" is the Glock 19 and means I can generally hide it under a Polo-type shirt. "Full size/Open Carry" means it's a large gun that I'm not going to bother to hide. Examples include the SIG P220, Glock 21, or S&W N-Frame revolvers. I can hide them; I just have to be more careful to prevent printing.

    When I go for my 1911 I would like to get something with great looks as it seems there are many options and special editions like the anniversary colts.
    Be prepared...they're different beasties. It won't be cheap either. Use good mags from Wilson and Tripp Research.

    If you really want a revolver, look at the S&W 686 and 686+ in 357 Magnum. They currently make a 686+ with smaller grip, 7 shot capacity, and 3" barrel. The 386 Nightguard has 2.5" long barrel and 7 round capacity. Ruger offers the GP100 with 3" barrel (and you can get boot grips for it).
    Last edited by 230therapy; 05-31-2011 at 01:43 PM.
    Does anyone here actually believe that the Founders were sitting around in John Adams' tavern UNARMED because they believed a bar should be a gun free zone?

  6. #6
    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    Yorktown, Virginia, USA
    No gun is perfect for all uses. Just like different sized screw drivers the perfect one for your need changes with the circumstances. I would start with a full sized gun Sig P226 or Sig P220 is great start but over $700 new. The full size allows for home defense and practice will be more enjoyable. After becoming comfortable with the full size you can start looking for a BUG/CC gun.

    I prefer semi-auto's over revolvers for capacity and ease of reloading but several will argue that training can remove the differences. I wouldn't count out revolvers just my personal preference leans toward the thinness and convenience of a semi-auto model.

    Another approach would be to get a shotgun (remmington 870) for around $300 for home defense and then get a smaller CC pistol. I say get them all!!! :-) In this day and age and the state of the world I would recommend at minimum every able bodied man should own:

    1) .308/30-06 rifle (ar-10 or bolt, m1a1,etc)
    2) ar-15
    3) .22lr rifle (for hunting small game & target practice)
    4) pump action shotgun (remmmington 870, mossberg 590a1)
    5) a full size pistol (Sig, S&W, Ruger, Springfiled, Colt, Glock, etc)
    6) a BUG/CC (khar, ruger, keltech, or some compact version of #5)
    7) 2000 rounds of ammo

  7. #7
    Regular Member cbpeck's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    Pasco, Washington, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Lange View Post
    I am however overwhelmed with the vast selection out there, and wish to make purchases that I will be pleased to keep for years to come and not just get me by until I get something better. Get it right the first time if you will.
    Fortunately, most guns hold their value pretty well. New purchasers take a small hit sometimes, but a used gun you buy at fair market value today will command about the same market value in a year (provided you don't abuse or neglect it). I say this to ease some of the pressure of finding the perfect gun right off the bat, because odds are you won't. This is partly because there really isn't a perfect gun. That's why there are so many choices.

    I appreciate the desire to do your homework, purchase the right gun & carry it forever, but almost everybody who has carried for more than a few years has changed their carry weapon at least once. I know I have, and I've only be carrying for 4 years. My previous carry gun still sits in my safe, and I'm glad it's there. It only gets shot a few times a year, but it is nice to have, and I don't plan on selling it any time soon, even if it I don't ever carry it again.

  8. #8
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
    In my opinion, your best first firearm will be the one you enjoy firing the most. Visit a firearms range and fire as many different makes and models as you can get your hands on. Take notes!


    1. Reliability

    2. Accuracy and Handling

    3. Price

    4. Conceal-ability or portability

    5. Stopping power

    Those are my big five, anyway.
    I no longer have any confidence in the moderation or administration of this forum. Nonetheless, the First STILL protects the Second, and the Second protects the First! Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and other founding documents. If you're going to do anything at all, do it right!

  9. #9
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    Mar 2011
    My typical carry gun is an XDM40 with the 3.8" barrel. I CC it at the 11o'clock position (belly button being 12) and so long as I cant it forward a bit I generally have no problem concealing the full grip. The bigger issue is in the size of shirts I wear. While recently I purchased several casual button up shirts (so ones you don't tuck in) that easily conceal it, my wife prefers to get me less baggy t-shirts. This leads to the issue of it printing due to the width of the gun (even the XD-9SC will print in these shirts). When wearing these types of shirts (which includes my military work shirts on those days I don't feel like changing shirts after work) I have a Taurus TCP that I can easily conceal even in these tighter fitting shirts. But the TCP is a pain to shoot at the range because it isn't overly accurate (good enough for self defense, but target practice is bleh compared to any other handgun I've shot) and because it's so small that it has more kick than any 9mm or 40 I've shot (for me a .357mag was more comfortable to shoot even though it had more kick) and I need to use more of my trigger finger to prevent the finger from getting banged around and bruised in the trigger guard after firing it. But I would rather carry the TCP and be armed than at times not be able to carry any weapon at all (since OC is illegal in OK).

    On top of all that I want something in .22LR with a good capacity for plinking at the range (why must the keltec PMR30 be in 22WMG instead of LR) simply so that I'm not burning through $70+ in ammo whenever I decide to go to the range (since I can easily shoot 200+ rounds of .40 per trip to the range). So really there is no single best gun and you just have to weigh what you plan to do with the gun against the gun's features.

  10. #10
    Regular Member The Wolfhound's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    Henrico, Virginia, USA

    Get what feels good in your hand!!!!!

    The "wrong" gun is one you do not want to shoot. The "right" gun is one you will practice with and become and remain proficient. The 9mm offers many, many options of platform and is a good starting point. Get to the gun shows and your local gun shops and wrap your hand around as many different grips as you can find. You may find some of the less expensive options are a good fit, you may find that Glock is your thing, you may wrap your hand around a Sigg, or Berretta, or an H&K and go "Ahhhhhh". It is your hand that must be satisfied. If the revolver is what feels best, then that too will tell you which way to look. Then just be sure to get a larger gun safe than you think you will need. Guns multiply.:-)

  11. #11
    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
    Quarryville, PA
    The first handgun I bought was an XD45. It is still one of my favorite guns to carry and shoot.
    "When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."

  12. #12
    Regular Member SovereignAxe's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
    Elizabethton, TN
    I realize I'm reviving a weeks old thread, but I figured weigh in. I hasn't been updated and I recently went through the same process you did trying to find that multirole gun, and think I found it.

    When I bought my handgun I was looking for something I could CC, OC, and something that wouldn't break the bank when I wanted to spend a morning at the range with it. That meant 9mm. I'd love to have a .45 down the line some day, but that's not ideal for CC.

    After looking at several different models I eventually narrowed it down to three, and these are the three I wanted to mention (it ultimately got narrowed down to these because I'm a lefty and these have ambi controls-except slide releases): Beretta Px4 Storm, Glock 19 and Walther P99. I had my heart set on the Walther from the get-go, but I seriously considered the other two, but went with the Walther anyway because that's what I really wanted. When choosing the Walther I had to make some sacrifices. One was money-it's a german made gun with a good name, so it carries a slight price premium (I paid about $480), but I still think that less than $500 for this gun is an awesome deal. The other is accessories. It doesn't have the market share that Glock or Springfield's XD line has, so has less accessories made for it (that's not to say it doesn't have any, just that Glock and XD accessories are EVERYWHERE).

    I really like the Glock19, but was turned off to Glock the first time I used one. I have a friend who owns a G22 and I hated it. I couldn't hit anything with it and hated the grip. I think a lot of it had to do with the ammo in question: .40 S&W, and probably the cheap stuff. Still, I didn't like the feel of that gun at all and have been turned off to Glocks and .40 ever since. I realize you can give grip covers that make them a lot more comfortable, but IMO, I shouldn't have to modify my gun to make it pleasant to shoot. Glocks: you love 'em or you hate 'em-but they're worth checking out.

    The Px4 Storm is a very new handgun, and I wasn't able to get a hold of one before I made my purchase. I didn't even get to hold one until I saw one in a store about a week ago. Everything I've read about it says that it's a great pistol, and it's actually the only pistol of the three that has a safety/decocker (just like the M9/92FS). Without actually comparing specs, the Px4 FELT bigger than my Walther, but don't hold me to it. It might have just been the grip size. It was definitely lightweight.

    So like I said, I went with the Walther-it's small enough to conceal with the right clothes, big enough that it doesn't look ridiculous OCing, more than accurate enough to make a day at the range fun, and shoots 9mm which is cheap and plentiful. It's MY does-everything-gun. I just wish accessories were more plentiful/cheaper.

    Now, before I end this post, I want to mention a gun I didn't consider, simply because I want a full size match grade model in .45 ACP: The Springfield XD. The XD comes in a variety of sizes to suit anyone's taste, and comes in 9mm, .40, and .45 ACP (and I think .45 GAP, but who cares?). So unless you're like me and want one in a particular configuration that's not 9mm, you should add it to the list of pistols to consider.

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