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Buying my first handgun seeking advice.

tazxrulz

Regular Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Messages
69
Location
Saco, ME
So I am buying a gun this week and I need some advice. I am using it mainly for home defense as my home was recently broken into while I sat on my couch! Luckily I was able to overpower the psycho! I will admit I am ignorant when it comes to caliber and all that. I am looking for something that both myself and my 125LB fiance can handle. I want to be sure it can take down a intruder as well. I am looking for something that will be good to open carry as I plan to carry openly daily until I get my CCW. Recommendations on LVL2 holsters would be good too. Where can I get the best deals? I was planning on going to Cabellas in Scarborough.. I am very excited to get my first firearm!! My fiance and our families always told me "You don't need a gun in Maine nothing happens here" they thought I was crazy for wanting on.. Now that my home was broken into while my newborn son was sleeping feet away from a intruder they have all changed their tune and can not come up with a logical reason as to why I should not get a gun..
 

Sorcice

Regular Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2011
Messages
381
Location
Madison, WI
Depends on what you want to spend. A handgun and holster can range Anywhere from 4-1500. Your size doesn't really matter as long as you don't get a hand cannon like a desert eagle or a 44/357 magnum. Pretty much anyone can handle a 9, .40, or 45acp.
A lot of people swear by certain calibers and gripe about others. Few key points:
9mm:
-cheapest of the big 3 defense calibers
-almost always 1-3 more capacity than a 40 and twice that in a 45 mag.
-less muzzle flip than a 40.

.40:
-a happy medium in size between 9 and 45.
-decent capacity (more than 45 but less than 9mm)
-I have found specialty defensive rounds like EFMJ(expanding full metal jackets) easier to get a hold of than 9 or 45
-the only draw backs I know of are slightly more muzzle flip than a 9 and because its a high pressure round you tend to wear out slide springs a bit faster.

45:
- if you want a 1911 it's much easier to find it in 45 than any other caliber.
-lowest of all capacity magazines.
-love the recoil because it pushes back into your hand vs flipping up I've found.
-makes a slightly larger hole than 9/40.
-Costs the most per/round

For your first gun especially self defense of suggest a glock 19. It's on the cheaper side with extremely good reliability. The model 19 is a 9mm so it has the best capacity/price and you can get a 33roumd mag as a spare. If it doesn't come with night sights its a good investment to get. With a holster and a new glock 19 with night sights your looking at 550(plus tax)+100 for nights + 35-50 for a holster. So figure 700 before tax.

If you are paranoid about not having an external safety then don't get a glock. Honestly if you goto a local shooting range and shoot a few different models and calibers you will find what fits right.

I personally own a sig 229 sas gen 2 in .40 as my main open carry wep and a "baby" glock 26 in 9mm as my backup. The sig 229 was 1200 and came with night sights. The glock was 499 and came with contrast sights.

Hope this helps!
 

WalkingWolf

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
11,912
Location
North Carolina
If you do not have a lot of experience with handguns a revolver is a good choice. For home defense actually a pump or auto shotgun is best, 20 gauge will do the job and be no problem for someone slight of frame. There are a lot of choices for semi auto handguns, some not so expensive, some very expensive. I believe SARCO may still have surplus Star modelo, around $200, you will have problems finding a holster with these guns they are slimmer than a colt 1911. SARCO also had Israeli Hi-Powers at one time, around $275, a very good choice for a first semi auto, no problems finding holsters.

If I was doing it for the first time with a semi auto I would go for the Hi-Power.

If you go with a Star I have one and I can use it to wet mold a leather holster for you. Also I have made PVC IWB holster for a PA-63, I can do it with any gun that I have on hand. I don't have a Hi-Power though. PVC which is what kydex is made of is inexpensive if you want to attempt it yourself. It is easy, and you can paint the holster any color you wish as long as you use proper prep.
 
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Haoleb

Regular Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2012
Messages
30
Location
Maine
I think everyone here has had good advice. From your original post you do not sound very experienced with firearms so before you think about buying a gun I might suggest taking at least one of the safety courses offered. You will need it to get your CWP anyway and it will also give you the opportunity to shoot and become familiar with different types of handguns to see which you are most comfortable with before you walk into a gun shop. Cabelas has a decent selection.. or did anyway last time I was there some 9 months ago... But also check out Kittery trading post, which I think has an even better selection and better prices to boot.
 

ADobbs1989

Regular Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
465
Location
Alabama
Guns are really a personal choice that your just going to have to figure out for yourself. And it may take you years to figure out exactly what you like the best. I'm a Glock fan, so I would suggest the G19 since your fiance will also be using it, otherwise I would suggest the G21 just because the .45 is a beast. If you know absolutely nothing about guns and aren't going to try out a lot of different guns to see what you like, I would personally lean towards either a Glock, or a GOOD 1911, good as in not a super cheap off brand. The only reason I would lean towards these two is because they have a great proven track record of being extremely reliable. Again though it's personal preference so take my advice with a grain of salt. As for a level 2 holster, I've enjoyed my Blackhawk Serpa. Not super expensive, IMO they look good for a plastic holster, they come with a paddle and belt loop attachment, super comfortable, and the manual retention works great for me.
 

Chap

Regular Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2011
Messages
213
Location
Greenville, MS
You can check out all the guns on YouTube. People review each gun and show you how to disassemble them.

I prefer and CC the Springfield Armory XDM - 45ACP. It has great safeties as well as a 13 round magazines which makes the pistol similar to the round count of the 9 & 40 cal pistols. Just wanted to point that out. Incase you thought .45ACP pistols were only in 1911 style pistols which have 7 round magazines.

I agree take a safety class and shoot each style pistol from revolver to semi automatic. Feel the weight of the pistol on your hip, notice how it looks while carrying Canceled under a shirt. Check out the price of ammo. Buy what feels right. Enjoy your new gun and shoot often.
 

MSG Laigaie

Campaign Veteran
Joined
Jan 10, 2011
Messages
3,166
Location
Philipsburg, Montana
Guns are really a personal choice that your just going to have to figure out for yourself.
A great deal of good advice from experienced weapon carriers. As ADobbs said, it's personal. Go to as many gun shops as you can and put the weapon in your hand. If it does not fit your hand, you will find it uncomfortable and you either will not carry it, or carry it badly.
My EDC is a CZ82 in a fobus holster. Inexpensive, good fit in my hand, and ammo is cheap (for now). My Sweet Baboo carries an S&W revolver when she conceals, but carries a Ruger p85 to OC (big gun). Fit is everything.
 

WalkingWolf

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
11,912
Location
North Carolina
My problem with a rifle for home defense is wall penetration, a rifle is good for out in the boonies, but in town with homes stacked withing a 100 feet, not for I. While defending oneself is good and honorable, going to prison for shooting the child a couple houses over not so much. I keep a shotgun loaded with birdshot. The shot holds together for 20 ft or more, and does extensive damage on the target, ensuring one shot stops.
 

SPOProds

Regular Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Messages
464
Location
Orono, ME
VMax bullets or Hornady TAP.

VMax will barely make it through 2 pieces of sheetrock due to fragmentation. The ammo available today greatly decreases the chance of over penetration.

Rifle recoil is easier to handle shot after shot. Which may not be a big deal for the man of the house, but what if the Mrs or son/daughter needs to use the gun?

Muzzle blast is much worse from a shotgun. Waking up in the middle of the night I'd rather go partially deaf and blind than completely.

But i think I'm taking this off topic.
 

shastadude17

Regular Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2011
Messages
150
Location
United States
I'm going to make this short and sweet:

A Glock 19 with a Blackhawk Serpa level 2 holster will do you just fine. Now in my opinion, paddle holsters are quick and convenient, but it kind of kills the point of it being a retention holster if they can theoretically just grab your holster out of your pants. I wear mine with the belt loop thingy, but to each his own.

If you're looking for something a little more oomfy when your booger flinger catches the bang switch, and you don't mind paying twice as much for ammo, I'd go with a Glock 21SF, and no I'm not joking.

Glock 19 Pros
- Easy enough to conceal, big enough to be considered a duty weapon
- Accurate
- Reliable
- 15+1 capacity flush mag, 17+1 with a +2 extender or Glock 17 magazine, 19+1 with a Glock 17 magazine with +2 extender...extenders can be found for around 10 bucks, and will fit on your .40 and .357 SIG mags too
- Very low felt recoil
- Easy to field strip and clean
- No extra switches, levers, or flux capacitors
- Gen 3 and newer can mount lights

Glock 19 Cons
- None...at all...if you think there's anything wrong with this firearm you need to re-evaluate your life

Glock 21SF Pros
- Puts half inch holes in bad things
- 13+1 capacity which is pretty damn good for a .45
- Gen 3 and newer can mount lights (I think all SF's are at least Gen 3)
- VERY low felt recoil...in my honest opinion it has lower felt recoil than a Glock 19 9mm with standard pressure loads. This opinion is also held by my buddy at St. Pete PD which just switched to them from Glock 22's, and my buddy who is at De Soto S.O. with a G21 duty weapon. It almost defies physics how soft it shoots...definitely 125 lbs fiancee material.
- Accurate
- Reliable...why am I even saying it's accurate and reliable its a frickin Glock
- blah blah blah

Glock 21SF Cons
- Much bigger than a Glock 19...THAT being said... I have baby hands. I mean freakin tiny. It's sort of embarrassing when girls say "OH MY GOD YOUR HANDS ARE SO CUTE" and proceed to compare your hands to theirs. If you employ a proper grip, you and your fiancee will have no issues firing the 21SF. I've also fired a regular 21 with no issues.
- Good luck concealing it unless you're wearing a dress and ratchet strap it to your inner thigh

TL;DR version:

If you are looking for a great home defense gun, you can afford to pay a little more for ammo, and open carry is legal where you live, buy a Glock 21SF bro. All day. I miss mine dearly. If you don't believe me about the felt recoil, ask anyone here, or better yet go rent one at a range. It's unbelievable.

If you can't afford to practice with .45, or being able to easily conceal or not is a deal breaker, get the Glock 19. They're both great guns and you can't go wrong either way. Oh, also forgot to mention, a lot of people say you'll shoot yourself and you're an idiot if you use a Blackhawk Serpa...practice proper trigger discipline and keep your index finger along the receiver of the weapon and you won't have that problem. Everyone who says they shot themselves with a defective Serpa and it's dangerous is an idiot and shouldn't be trusted around firearms.
 
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Maverick9

Regular Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2013
Messages
1,404
Location
Mid-atlantic
So I am buying a gun this week and I need some advice. I am using it mainly for home defense as my home was recently broken into while I sat on my couch!
Sorry that happened. But bear in mind you're jumping ahead of yourself.

I would analyze why your home was broken into while you were there. Did you have a good door lock and was the door locked? Do you have motion sensor lighting? Do you have an alarm system? Do you have illegal substances in the house? Who attacked you? A burglar, a crack-head, a person known to you?

I would fix the above before going out and spending money on a firearm that you do not know how to use.

Good luck and sorry you were attacked.
 

WalkingWolf

Regular Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
11,912
Location
North Carolina
Sorry that happened. But bear in mind you're jumping ahead of yourself.

I would analyze why your home was broken into while you were there. Did you have a good door lock and was the door locked? Do you have motion sensor lighting? Do you have an alarm system? Do you have illegal substances in the house? Who attacked you? A burglar, a crack-head, a person known to you?

I would fix the above before going out and spending money on a firearm that you do not know how to use.

Good luck and sorry you were attacked.
Are you honestly trying to blame the victim?
 

MAC702

Campaign Veteran
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
6,337
Location
Nevada
...I would analyze why your home was broken into while you were there. Did you have a good door lock and was the door locked? Do you have motion sensor lighting? Do you have an alarm system? Do you have illegal substances in the house? Who attacked you? A burglar, a crack-head, a person known to you?....
Good questions. Active defense should only be necessary after passive defenses have failed or are unavailable. And passive defenses involve a lot less paperwork and cleanup.

OP: But good for you for realizing that after a breach of passive defenses, a firearm is the most effective tool you can have for an active defense. Waiting for police to arrive is NOT an active defense. For many people, it is a death sentence.

The advice to get something that FITS you is important. Shootability and controllability are more important than "stopping power."
 
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EMNofSeattle

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
3,671
Location
S. Kitsap, Washington state
I'd get a revolver.....

.38 special, well get a .357 and then when your fiance carries you can remove the .357 rounds and load it with .38 special if she's recoil sensitive (to be honest that's a crock anyway, women can learn how to shoot a magnum caliber just as well as men)

if you're looking for concealed carry a ruger LCP357 or Taurus 85 will be good, also there's lots of used .38 special model 36 S&Ws out there.

if you intend to mostly OC/carry at home, Ruger SP-101 or a used Ruger Service Six (or Security Six) are affordable and can be had cheaply.

revolvers have many advantages, is ease of use and the way you can effectively handle more powerful ammo. also used ones can be cheaper. yes you are limited to 5 or 6 shots.... but still they're a viable option.

also for home defense, while not ideal you can cheaply buy a semi auto .22 rifle like a Ruger 10/22 with a 25 round mag, CCI Mini-Mag hollowpoints and mounting a simple optic, can probably get you an effective HD rifle in less then 500 dollars.
 

skeith5

Regular Member
Joined
Sep 19, 2012
Messages
357
Location
United States
Forget what everyone has said, especially emn.. (a 10/22 for home defense?? Really??)

Find a range that rents guns or someone in your area that has a wide selection and shoot them all. Don't listen to any of the fan boys who only tell you one brand. Get what you enjoy shooting and can shoot well. Take a safety class or two. I have a 12 gauge setup for home defense. It has a recoil absorbing stock (knoxx) and I use low recoil buck shot. My wife shoots it with no problems. I do like revolvers but they have some drawbacks, mainly limited ammo capacity. Try different calibers as well. A nice 45 has plenty of stopping power and much nicer recoil than a .40.
 

EMNofSeattle

Regular Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2012
Messages
3,671
Location
S. Kitsap, Washington state
Forget what everyone has said, especially emn.. (a 10/22 for home defense?? Really??)

Find a range that rents guns or someone in your area that has a wide selection and shoot them all. Don't listen to any of the fan boys who only tell you one brand. Get what you enjoy shooting and can shoot well. Take a safety class or two. I have a 12 gauge setup for home defense. It has a recoil absorbing stock (knoxx) and I use low recoil buck shot. My wife shoots it with no problems. I do like revolvers but they have some drawbacks, mainly limited ammo capacity. Try different calibers as well. A nice 45 has plenty of stopping power and much nicer recoil than a .40.

Yes 10/22 is great for home defense if you're on a budget. Find me someone willing to get popped with 25 mini mags in a row, exactly.....
 
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ADobbs1989

Regular Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
465
Location
Alabama
.40 does not have lighter recoil then .45 auto, anyone whose fired both knows that, the .40 fires at much higher pressure then .45 auto. Even a quick forum search on multiple gun forums shows most people perceive greater recoil from .40
Isn't that what he said?
 
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