Whats a good Pistol to buy?

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stev
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Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by stev » Fri Mar 20, 2015 12:57 pm

Nothing fancy. But a good brand.
Something to carry in my Motorhome when I travel.
Like a 38 or 40 cal.
A revolver/ double action/ external hammer.... for example.
I know nothing about guns. I am in CA.
Any recommendations/ comments. Thanks.

betterinvestor2012
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by betterinvestor2012 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:02 pm

This is not the right website to ask that imho

Gropes & Ray
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by Gropes & Ray » Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:04 pm

I know from experience that Smith & Wesson and Ruger branded products are well made and reliable. I personally recommend a double action revolver to most people because they are very simple to use and aren't likely to jam or get damaged. I suspect you won't be spending hours at the range practicing tactical reloads, clearing jams and racking the slide one handed on your thigh. Some people think they need more than 5 bullets. I think you'll be better off with 5 well aimed bullets than 17 bullets going God-only-knows-where. Many people are going to disagree with me.

Follows Closely
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by Follows Closely » Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:10 pm

Given that you are in CA limits your options. I would go with a Glock 22.

EnjoyIt
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by EnjoyIt » Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:12 pm

If you know nothing about guns, then I recommend something reliable and easy to maintain. Also since it is not concealed carry I would recommend a full size gun and not a compact.

Smith and Wesson M&P 40 caliber
http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/ ... rrorView_Y

or

Glock model 22 40 caliber
http://us.glock.com/products/model/g22gen4

I personally prefer the Glock as you can really beat on the gun and it will still fire.

The most important thing is that you practice and train with the gun. Having a gun and not knowing how to use it, is more dangerous than having no gun at all. Go to the range, practice until you can consistently hit the target 100% of the time at 8 yards away. Then, practice some more.

DFrank
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by DFrank » Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:18 pm

You might ask this question over on http://www.calguns.net - you'll find many knowledgeable people over there that will be able to help you.

The first priority is to get something that fits your hand well. Without that, you won't be able to shoot it well. My standard recommendation for people who have little/no experience with handguns is this:

1) Find and take a handgun class first. Most will be able to provide you with a handgun to shoot for the class. This is a good way to learn about safety and the basics of shooting a handgun, and you get the chance to shoot at least one model/brand handgun.

2) Find a range in your area that rents handguns, and go shoot a few different models to see how they feel in your hand. Fit is the top priority when selecting a handgun IMO.

As far as revolvers vs. pistols, the common wisdom is that the advantage of a revolver is simplicity and hence very high reliability, and the advantage of a pistol is they hold more rounds but being a somewhat more complex firearm they may not be quite as reliable as a revolver. That said, I think most good quality modern pistols are very reliable, particularly if you exercise reasonable care to choose good quality ammo and make sure it works well in your pistol. I would probably tend towards choosing a pistol as a first choice.

As for caliber, in a revolver you are most likely looking at .38/.357, and in a pistol I'd recommend 9mm. I have a pistols in both 9mm and .40 and shoot them both often. 9mm has a little less recoil and most people will find they shoot it more accurately as a result. It's also a little cheaper to purchase ammunition.
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Atilla
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by Atilla » Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:22 pm

Revolvers are easy to figure out for people with little/no gun knowledge. No safety, no failure to eject, no failure to feed. Pull trigger go bang, repeat as needed.

Ruger just came out with an LCR with a 3" barrel. Stone cold reliable, lightweight and not so pretty you'll worry about it.

Throw a Crimson Trace laser on that sucker and you're good to go!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEn24xPyIVw

I carry an original LCR with the 1.78" barrel all the time. The trigger is super sweet.
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camper
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by camper » Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:23 pm

I'm a fan of Ruger revolvers.
Check out the GP100 or the SP101.

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N1CKV
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by N1CKV » Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:39 pm

You've got several good suggestions above.
I prefer the striker fired pistols (Glock, S&W M&P series, Sprigfield XD), but there is also a strong case for a revolver sometimes.

Mainly I'm posting to suggest that you read gun laws for any state you plan to travel in. What may be legal in one state could be a serious felony in another.
A good reference is: http://www.handgunlaw.us/
The map is hot linked, just click on the state and get there laws, especially carrying in a vehicle.
I have met a lot of people that claim to love money, but they also seem to be the same people that are in the biggest hurry to get rid of it.

Mr-et-Mrs-R
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by Mr-et-Mrs-R » Fri Mar 20, 2015 1:54 pm

First and foremost- if you've never owned, or shot a gun, take a gun safety course. Refresh yearly.
Here's your Google search for classes.
This is NOT a toy, this is NOT for flash, this is a weapon for killing.

Second, your best prevention is a cell phone- if you think you're going to need to use your gun, call the police first.

Third, train and educate.
Learn how to keep calm and collective while carrying.
Learn how to avoid ego traps.
Learn how to fire while under stress or duress.
Keep your weapon in a gun box, unloaded.
Learn how to keep your weapon is proper working order.
And if you're ever pulled over by the police, the very first thing to say is "Officer, I have a licensed weapon in a lock box in the rear of my vehicle. It is unloaded, with a trigger lock engaged.", and keep your hands on top of the wheel so they can see them at all times.

Now that that's out of the way, a 9mm is your best bet. Glock is good, simple, and about what you're looking for in a weapon.

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TxAg
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by TxAg » Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:37 pm

All the replies so far have been good


Most brand name guns these days are quality made. I woud suggest going to a sporting goods store/gun store and holding many different makes and models in your hand to see what is comfortable.

Since you are new to guns, you might want to stick with 9mm in semi automatic pistols and 38 in revolvers

EnjoyIt
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by EnjoyIt » Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:42 pm

I mentioned 40 caliber in my above post since that is what you asked for, but everyone recommending 9mm is correct. Slightly easier to use, and the ammo costs less.

whomever
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by whomever » Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:45 pm

1)As others have said, only certain models are approved in CA. You can search or get a list here:

http://certguns.doj.ca.gov/

2)I second the notion that double action revolvers have a shorter learning curve. Since it doesn't sound like you intend to carry it, I'd think about a four inch barrel (the longer sight radius makes it easier to sight), and avoid the ultralight models (because the recoil is much more severe). S&W and Ruger are good brands. S&W makes a 686 Plus that holds seven rounds, or if you have large hands they even have 8 shot revolvers.

3)Speaking of hands, guns are like shoes - they aren't one size fits all. You can change grips to suit, but frame size affects your choices. If you have small hands, you might look at the longer barreled models of the S&W J-frames or the Ruger SP-101. But by all means try different kinds.

4)This is assuming a new purchase, but double action revolvers haven't changed much in quite a while. You might find an older one for a lot less. Unless abused, they don't really wear out.

5)If traveling, check the state laws carefully. Gun laws can have draconian penalties for minor infractions.

6)I also second the 'take a class' - or several - chorus.

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timboktoo
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by timboktoo » Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:48 pm

Glock 19 gen 3 is my own pick. But in my opinion, you should pick what you're most comfortable with.

(Edit: Sorry, just realized the OP asked about 40 cal. The above is a 9 mil. My bad.)

- Tim

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HomerJ
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by HomerJ » Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:52 pm

Mr-et-Mrs-R wrote:Learn how to fire while under stress or duress.
How does one learn this?

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jhfenton
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by jhfenton » Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:58 pm

timboktoo wrote:Glock 19 gen 3 is my own pick. But in my opinion, you should pick what you're most comfortable with.

(Edit: Sorry, just realized the OP asked about 40 cal. The above is a 9 mil. My bad.)

- Tim
I agree with the general advice above. (1) Get some quality training and practice. (2) Learn the laws both in California and the states you travel to and through. And (3) There's no substitute for shooting and learning what feels good to you. I have modestly-sized hands, so some really large-gripped pistols don't feel great in my hands. I've shot a few HKs in particular that I found very uncomfortable despite being very well-made and fitting my buddy to a tee. Small concealed carry pistols, which by necessity have stiff springs, can also be difficult to manipulate. You need to figure out if that's a problem before you buy one. (Although you sound like you want something larger.)

I also like mid-sized Glocks (19 in 9mm or 23 in .40S&W) better than the full-frame Glock models. The balance just feels better in my hand. Plus, my G23 is more concealable than a G22 would be. So it can serve a dual-purpose.

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jhfenton
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by jhfenton » Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:01 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Mr-et-Mrs-R wrote:Learn how to fire while under stress or duress.
How does one learn this?
Training and competitions. It's not the kind of thing a normal range will let you practice. Most don't even like you to draw from a holster. But you can take training focused on real life situations. You can also compete in pistol competitions (IDPA, IPSC, USPSA, etc) to get practice under stress (a different kind of stress, but it's still stress).

For example, we have an excellent firearms school in south central Ohio: http://tdiohio.com/ I've taken several classes very practical classes there. (In one advanced concealed carry class, we even pulled our cars up to the range and practiced shooting out of our cars.)

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deanbrew
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by deanbrew » Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:11 pm

Like many of the replies here, I'd first look at Smith & Wesson and Ruger revolvers. They both make many varieties, with lots of different barrel lengths. For your stated wishes, I'd go with a 4" barrel. Easier to point and aim than a snub-nose, but handier than a 6" barrel. You can get a 4" revolver in several weights, depending on materials used. You can go smaller and lighter if you stick with .38 special, than if you go with .357 (which can also fire .38 special, but is typically larger and heavier to handle the higher pressure of .357 magnum ammo).

You can go cheaper than S&W or Ruger, but quality goes downhill. For your purposes, that might not be critical. Taurus handguns are hit or miss. Some are OK, and some are crap. I can't think of another brand that I could really recommend.

I would not recommend a semi-auto pistol, such as a Glock, or any other brand, as a first handgun. I think a revolver is the way to go to learn about shooting handguns. They are simpler, and it's easy to tell if they are loaded or unloaded. I wouldn't buy a semi-auto pistol until/unless you become an experienced shooter. My 2 cents, of course.

I second the advice to check out calguns, as well as take a class on gun safety and cleaning.
"The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

texaspapas
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by texaspapas » Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:36 pm

This guy is obviously not a gun guy and he wants advice on what revolver to keep in his motor home for self defense. He also lives in California. Therefore I think it is inappropriate to recommend a Glock to him. A Glock is automatic with no visible "safety", that's difficult to tell if it's loaded or not for the uninitiated. Remember the famous video where the DEA agent literally shoots his own foot with a Glock during a demo in front of elementary school students?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7ufT_6Kgy0

You want that happening to this guy in his motor home? Or worse?
And all Glocks that I know of actually have a magazine capacity that is illegal in California.

To the OP, if you're still reading. Simplicity in firearms, as in investing, is not a bad thing. Just go to a local gun shop where you live and explain that you would like a simple revolver. They will get you everything you need. Also, I really like deanbrew's brand-specific advice above.

One other comment about some of the recommendations above: Keep in mind, the smaller the caliber the less incapacitating the shot will be. People who are familiar with this sort of thing say it's very surprising how little damage can be done with calibers like 9mm and lower. Just something to consider if you're looking for a weapon for self defense.

jonbois
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by jonbois » Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:46 pm

I know you asked about a pistol..My choice is a 9mm Glock, 17,19,26 but a revolver is also a good choice simple and reliable. A 12 gauge shotgun pump action defender is, in my opinion, the best home defense weapon especially for the unskilled individual. You'll have to try real hard to miss close range and it intimidates most people.

JB

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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by jebmke » Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:47 pm

betterinvestor2012 wrote:This is not the right website to ask that imho
There seem to be plenty of knowledgeable gun owners who frequent the site so I think the OP will get good advice here.

I'd be interested to hear from owners what the OP needs to consider when rolling through a state that may have tough permitting regs like Maryland (my state). Can anyone who owns a gun just roll into the state legally with a loaded firearm in their vehicle?
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

dennis30
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by dennis30 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:51 pm

Why 40cal? Not necessarily more effective than 9mm, more expensive and heavier.

Glock 19 is my firearm of choice tho I frequently carry a bodygaurd 380 because it is so darn small.

Before all else training traing training.

I am not overly familiar with CA law but here in MA standard cap mags must be preban, glocks are one of the few double stack pistols with preban mags widely available.

jackholloway
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by jackholloway » Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:56 pm

Answering your direct question, I enjoyed shooting my Ruger Mk II target pistol. It would not be my choice, though, for combat. For combat, I choose my cousin the police officer with vest, tactical radio, and two weapons that he practices with weekly. That gets back to the earlier advice of using a cellphone and dash cam as your primary weapon.

You have also gotten good advice about training. If you carry a weapon with intent to use in anger, get solid training and practice regularly. My minimum practice for when I had a weapon was at least a session a week, with at least one box of ammo. More if my accuracy dropped.

I encourage you to look up the statistics on violence where you intend to travel, and the likelihood of encountering trouble for which a weapon is the appropriate response. Also look up the likelihood of injury to you and yours, or liability resulting from ownership. You may get different answers than I did, and whatever answer you get, the debate probably belongs on a gun owner site.

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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by hicabob » Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:57 pm

jebmke wrote: I'd be interested to hear from owners what the OP needs to consider when rolling through a state that may have tough permitting regs like Maryland (my state). Can anyone who owns a gun just roll into the state legally with a loaded firearm in their vehicle?
The average Joe can't drive around legally with a loaded handgun in CA.

"California Penal Code section 25610 does not prevent a citizen of the United States over 18 years of age who is not lawfully prohibited from firearm possession, and who resides or is temporarily in California, from transporting by motor vehicle any pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person provided the firearm is unloaded and stored in a locked container.

The term "locked container" means a secure container which is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, key lock, combination lock, or similar locking device. This includes the trunk of a motor vehicle, but does not include the utility or glove compartment. For more information, refer to California Penal Code sections 16850."

dennis30
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by dennis30 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:01 pm

If you plan on traveling interstate look up and understand FOPA. Also understand that some blue states may disregard federal law and charge you with something protecting by fed law. MANY irrational gun laws on the books.

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Fletch
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by Fletch » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:07 pm

stev wrote:Nothing fancy. But a good brand.
Something to carry in my Motorhome when I travel.
Like a 38 or 40 cal.
A revolver/ double action/ external hammer.... for example.
I know nothing about guns. I am in CA.
Any recommendations/ comments. Thanks.
Not trying to be a smart a$$. Pistols are semi-automatics, Revolvers are, well, revolvers but are not actually pistols. Just trying to help you if you go to a gun site and ask questions. Some thoughts: first you need to decide what you are going to use it for, then how much you are willing to practice, and third, are you only going to travel in one state (legal stuff), and are you willing to get thoroughly trained in safe use.

... Fletch
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deanbrew
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by deanbrew » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:13 pm

jackholloway wrote:For combat, I choose my cousin the police officer with vest, tactical radio, and two weapons that he practices with weekly. That gets back to the earlier advice of using a cellphone and dash cam as your primary weapon.
So, your cousin is available and nearby 24 hours a day?

Even though I am a strong supporter of gun rights, and know the laws in my own state quite well, I would do quite a bit of research before simply bringing a gun into my RV and hitting the road. RVs are a strange bird, legal-wise, as they are part residence and part vehicle. I'm not sure there are absolutely cut-and-dried legal conclusions out there.

I suggest the OP visit:

http://handgunlaw.us/ Note the section on RVing.
http://www.usacarry.com/

Do a google search of "carry gun in rv" and see lots of threads discussing the topic in gun forums.

As for California, it has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, so make sure to learn what is allowed and required in CA first and foremost. Calguns.net would be my first stop in that regard.
"The course of history shows that as the government grows, liberty decreases." Thomas Jefferson

tim1999
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by tim1999 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:20 pm

Smith & Wesson revolver. A simple gun that is good for the novice who will use it infrequently.

texaspapas
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by texaspapas » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:32 pm

dennis30 wrote:Why 40cal? Not necessarily more effective than 9mm, more expensive and heavier.

Glock 19 is my firearm of choice tho I frequently carry a bodygaurd 380 because it is so darn small.

Before all else training traing training.

I am not overly familiar with CA law but here in MA standard cap mags must be preban, glocks are one of the few double stack pistols with preban mags widely available.

I think it has more to do with the type of ball you end up using actually (e.g., hollow vs FMJ, and their respective weights), but again, I've heard that 9mm does a surprisingly poor job of incapacitating a target.

Regarding interstate travel, they tell us in Texas that it's on us to make darn sure we are compliant with the laws and regulations in any place we might be traveling to. I recall being encouraged to call local law enforcement in the area of travel if there is any doubt whatsoever. There's absolutely no leniency for "well I didn't know that...".

And ++ on the Smith and Wesson revolver, serves Jerry Miculek quite well:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzHG-ibZaKM

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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by DFrank » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:34 pm

jebmke wrote:
betterinvestor2012 wrote:This is not the right website to ask that imho
There seem to be plenty of knowledgeable gun owners who frequent the site so I think the OP will get good advice here.

I'd be interested to hear from owners what the OP needs to consider when rolling through a state that may have tough permitting regs like Maryland (my state). Can anyone who owns a gun just roll into the state legally with a loaded firearm in their vehicle?
I'm not familiar with MD laws, but in general the answer is no. There are plenty of states where you can't carry a loaded handgun in your vehicle without a concealed carry permit. Not all states recognize concealed carry permits from other states, so even if you have a permit from your home state it's not necessarily good out of state. This is a complex area, and you need to do your research thoroughly before traveling. http://www.handgunlaw.us is a good resource in that regard.

As a general rule, in most states (emphasize: MOST) you can carry an unloaded handgun in a locked container in your vehicle without a concealed carry permit. Double check the laws in the states you plan to travel through beforehand.
Dave

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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by Professor Emeritus » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:35 pm

Fletch wrote:Pistols are semi-automatics, Revolvers are, well, revolvers but are not actually pistols

sorry NO

Pistol is a noun It is a hand held firearm
Revolving, automatic, semi automatic, horse,wheel-lock, rifled, flintlock, double barreled, machine, navy, Colt, Browning, Lugar etc are all adjectives that can be used to modify the noun "pistol"

Origin
mid 16th century: from obsolete French pistole, from German Pistole, from Czech pišt'ala

dennis30
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by dennis30 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:41 pm

texaspapas wrote:
dennis30 wrote:Why 40cal? Not necessarily more effective than 9mm, more expensive and heavier.

Glock 19 is my firearm of choice tho I frequently carry a bodygaurd 380 because it is so darn small.

Before all else training traing training.

I am not overly familiar with CA law but here in MA standard cap mags must be preban, glocks are one of the few double stack pistols with preban mags widely available.

I think it has more to do with the type of ball you end up using actually (e.g., hollow vs FMJ, and their respective weights), but again, I've heard that 9mm does a surprisingly poor job of incapacitating a target.

Regarding interstate travel, they tell us in Texas that it's on us to make darn sure we are compliant with the laws and regulations in any place we might be traveling to. I recall being encouraged to call local law enforcement in the area of travel if there is any doubt whatsoever. There's absolutely no leniency for "well I didn't know that...".

And ++ on the Smith and Wesson revolver, serves Jerry Miculek quite well:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzHG-ibZaKM
In general handguns are tools to fight your way to a rifle or out of a fight. The stopping power in between 9mm-40 and 45 is not really that different.

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4nursebee
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by 4nursebee » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:47 pm

I am not a pistol guy.

If you are paranoid enough to feel like you need a pistol, take a methodical approach to things.
If you ever need it, your adrenaline is gonna be HIGH and your functioning will be P poor.
You need to have something easy, minimal steps, easy to operate, comfortable.
Then you need to train, train, TRAIN
Practice over and over, make it automatic.

If I ever get a pistol, I'd look long and hard at the versatility of a "Judge" by Taurus.
4nursebee

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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by jebmke » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:50 pm

DFrank wrote:
jebmke wrote:
betterinvestor2012 wrote:This is not the right website to ask that imho
There seem to be plenty of knowledgeable gun owners who frequent the site so I think the OP will get good advice here.

I'd be interested to hear from owners what the OP needs to consider when rolling through a state that may have tough permitting regs like Maryland (my state). Can anyone who owns a gun just roll into the state legally with a loaded firearm in their vehicle?
I'm not familiar with MD laws, but in general the answer is no. There are plenty of states where you can't carry a loaded handgun in your vehicle without a concealed carry permit. Not all states recognize concealed carry permits from other states, so even if you have a permit from your home state it's not necessarily good out of state. This is a complex area, and you need to do your research thoroughly before traveling. http://www.handgunlaw.us is a good resource in that regard.

As a general rule, in most states (emphasize: MOST) you can carry an unloaded handgun in a locked container in your vehicle without a concealed carry permit. Double check the laws in the states you plan to travel through beforehand.
Thanks. Not a gun owner. I was just curious. I live in MD on a main route between DC and the beaches. State police and sheriffs make a lot of stops of out-of-state vehicles looking for drugs and whatever. I was just thinking about all those RVs that I see rolling toward the beach every season and what they go through when they get stopped.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by AZAttorney11 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:56 pm


hicabob
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by hicabob » Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:01 pm

4nursebee wrote:I am not a pistol guy.

If you are paranoid enough to feel like you need a pistol, take a methodical approach to things.
If you ever need it, your adrenaline is gonna be HIGH and your functioning will be P poor.
You need to have something easy, minimal steps, easy to operate, comfortable.
Then you need to train, train, TRAIN
Practice over and over, make it automatic.

If I ever get a pistol, I'd look long and hard at the versatility of a "Judge" by Taurus.

A neighbor of mine is an FBI agent. He used to be a San Jose cop and was for 10 years or so. All around macho man nice-guy type. He was telling me he had to shoot his weapon at someone only once while a cop. This was after he realized he was being shot at - he said he was shaking all over and popped a few rounds off in the general direction but that they wouldn't have hit the side of a barn. Apparently in that sort of situation with the adrenaline pumping it's not at all like Dirty Harry drawing a bead on the bad guy. I'm not so sure being cool and collected in such a situation is trainable for most people although we all like to think we could.

jebmke
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by jebmke » Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:09 pm

I have worked with a couple of retired Baltimore police officers who have said the same thing.
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ddurrett896
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by ddurrett896 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:34 pm

Anything Glock.

The 43 should be here shorty. Single stack 9mm easy to conceal.

Rich Cape Cod
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by Rich Cape Cod » Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:43 pm

stev wrote:Nothing fancy. But a good brand.
Something to carry in my Motorhome when I travel.
Like a 38 or 40 cal.
A revolver/ double action/ external hammer.... for example.
I know nothing about guns. I am in CA. ....
Stev, this is a tough one. I have 41 years as a law officer (+20 NYPD, +20 Chief of Police small MA town), now retired. You might well ask, "What would be a good car to buy? Never drove one, so make it simple...".

You're traveling in an RV. Every state you enter will have it's own set of laws in regard the carrying/possessing handguns. The northeast, generally, is the toughest region to deal with in this regard. Google "Handgunlaw" and research each state you intend to enter with the sidearm.

For the occasional firearms users you would be best off with a used police service revolver in .38 Special caliber. Having said that, I must tell you that if you do not get yourself some decent professional training in the use of the handgun then you are creating more potential trouble for yourself than you are solving with this purchase.

For the record, as a sgt and lt in the NYPD I served with the Firearms and Tactics Section, ran the NYPD Police Firearms Instructors School, Heavy Weapons Training Program and Research and Testing.

Best of luck,

Rich
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pshonore
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by pshonore » Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:36 pm

DFrank wrote:As a general rule, in most states (emphasize: MOST) you can carry an unloaded handgun in a locked container in your vehicle without a concealed carry permit. Double check the laws in the states you plan to travel through beforehand.
Connecticut is one of the exceptions

"Effective April 1, 2014 you will be required to have either a pistol permit, eligibility certificate for pistol or revolver or a eligibility certificate for long gun in order to purchase firearms and legal magazines. Hunting licenses and 14-day waiting periods for long gun purchases will be obsolete."

The pistol permit runs about $200, eligibility certificate (which I think lets you buy a pistol to keep at home or long gun) is around $140 and an eligibility certificate just to buy ammo if you don't have a permit is $35. In order to get a permit or certificate you need to take an approved handgun safety class, get fingerprinted, have a background check, etc. No carrying handguns anywhere without a permit. The Northeast states can be tough.

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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by PoppyA » Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:43 pm

Revolvers are the Chevy trucks of guns. Dependable & easy to drive.
Semi automatics (ie:glocks) are high performance vehicles. More persnickety.

As for cleaning gun....yeah you should clean and oil your revolver, but it is fairly forgiving if you don't get to it until later. It should still fire. No disassembly needed to clean a revolver.

Semi auto's must be cleaned & oiled. They have a lot of moving parts. Oh, and you need to know how to disassemble the semi auto to clean it.....but more importantly, you need to be able to put it back together correctly. This takes practice!

I recommend to novice shooters a revolver.

For personal defense, I recommend a .38 caliber or above. You never know when your assailant is going to be hopped up on drugs. You need good stopping power.

The recoil of a gun is something to consider as well. A polymer (aka plastic) gun is going to have a lot of "kick" with a .38 or above.

The recoil of a semi automatic handgun can cause jams of you do not use proper shooting form. If you are carrying a semi auto for personal protection, you should learn how to "combat un-jam the weapon." Revolvers do not have this problem.

Just make sure what ever gun you choose fits in your hand, and you have the strength to pull the trigger. Try it out in the store. If you go with a semi auto, make sure you can "rack" the slide. Some people don't have the strength.

I recommend a colt detectives special. It is a metal revolver in the .38 caliber. Very simple and dependable. It is also concealable if you want to carry it on you.

If you are carrying the weapon concealed many states will have Reciprocal carry agreements. For states that don't allow you to carry concealed you can still traverse the state with a weapon in your vehicle. It must be unloaded, and in a locked case stored in the furthest back portion of your vehicle ie: the trunk, or behind the seat of a truck. You must pass through the state, no spending the night!

Some states require you to inform law enforcement if you are pulled over and have a gun in the vehicle. What sates are those? I can't keep track, so as a courtesy to law enforcement if I am ever pulled over, I tell them there is a gun in the vehicle.
Last edited by PoppyA on Sat Mar 21, 2015 6:40 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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glock19
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by glock19 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:58 pm

PoppyA wrote:Revolvers are the Chevy trucks of guns. Dependable & easy to drive.
Semi automatics (ie:glocks) are high performance vehicles. More persnickety.

I recommend to novice shooters a revolver.

For personal defense, I recommend a .38 caliber or above. You never know when your assailant is going to be hopped up on drugs. You need good stopping power.

The recoil of a gun is something to consider as well. A polymer (aka plastic) gun is going to have a lot of "kick" with a .38 or above.

Just make sure what ever gun you choose fits in your hand, and you have the strength to pull the trigger. Try it out in the store.

I recommend a colt detectives special. It is a metal revolver in the .38 caliber. Very simple and dependable. It is also concealable if you want to carry it on you.

If you are carrying the weapon concealed many states will have Reciprocal carry agreements. For states that don't allow you to carry concealed you can still traverse the state with a weapon in your vehicle. It must be unloaded, and in a locked case stored in the furthest back portion of your vehicle ie: the trunk, or behind the seat of a truck. You must pass through the state, no spending the night!

Some states do not require you to inform law enforcement if you are pulled over and have a gun in the vehicle. What sates are those? I can't keep track, so as a courtesy to law enforcement if I am ever pulled over, I tell them there is a gun in the vehicle.
After reading the posts above, most recommending good quality handguns in several calibers, your post strikes me as by far the most sensible. The OP admits to having no experience and little knowledge of handguns.

I can't begin to count the times I have seen first time gun owners, both men and women, come into a gun shop and handle handguns with the intention of buying. You can just sense that many of them will purchase, go to the range and shoot a box of ammo at a paper target, then put them up in the closet to have available should a burglar break down the front door. This is scary!

I strongly second your suggestion of a metal revolver in the .38 caliber. Good stopping power, reliable, moderate recoil, and in general more forgiving to the beginning shooter.

I admire the OP for taking the initiative to protect his/her family but I hope before or shortly after the purchase they will master firearm safety, and realize this is much more important than the decision on a specific brand or caliber.

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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:30 pm

To be clear, firearms are on-topic as a consumer issue. See: Forum Policy
Personal Consumer Issues

This subforum is focused on making informed decisions about consumer goods and services (other than investing or financial).

Acceptable topics include:

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Note that topics must be directly connected to your (or your friend's or family's) life as a consumer. General comments or complaints about these topics will be removed.

Note that this subforum has a much lower threshold for locking or removing posts than the financial and investing subforums. In general, controversial, offensive, pointless, divisive or mean-spirited posts or topics may be locked, edited or deleted (with or without notice) at the discretion of the moderating staff even if they do not otherwise violate forum policies.
For example, here's a recent thread: Guns for hunting/defense
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:31 pm

stev wrote:...I know nothing about guns. I am in CA.
Any recommendations/ comments. Thanks.
Before you do anything, please read the last part of zapluken's post here: Re: Guns for hunting/defense. Then read my follow-up post, 4 down from there.
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by jhfenton » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:37 pm

Professor Emeritus wrote:
Fletch wrote:Pistols are semi-automatics, Revolvers are, well, revolvers but are not actually pistols

sorry NO

Pistol is a noun It is a hand held firearm
Revolving, automatic, semi automatic, horse,wheel-lock, rifled, flintlock, double barreled, machine, navy, Colt, Browning, Lugar etc are all adjectives that can be used to modify the noun "pistol"

Origin
mid 16th century: from obsolete French pistole, from German Pistole, from Czech pišt'ala
Well in Fletch's defense, there is a large part of the American firearms community in which a pistol is defined as a firearm with a single chamber integral to the barrel designed to be held unsupported in the hands. Per this definition, a revolver is not a pistol, as it has multiple chambers, none of which are integral to the barrel. But a pistol need not be semi-automatic. You can have a single-shot pistol or a fully-automatic pistol, just not a "revolver pistol" according to this exacting definition.

I will admit that this definition is not universal, but it is a widespread technical distinction made by those of us who scrupulously use magazines in our pistols rather than "clips."

leod
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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by leod » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:42 pm

We are already in tech age, no need for a pistol

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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by bottlecap » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:56 pm

If you know nothing about guns and want or need one, do take a class. It will give some knowledge and familiarity with gun safety and gun law (in California, I suspect there are lots of things to comply with). I don't think anything will truly prepare you for a high stress situation, but being familiar with guns and having knowledge will help.

Your instructor may be able to assist you in deciding which one to choose, as well. Or, you might decide it's not your cup of tea altogether.

Ultimately, a revolver would be a good choice for simplicity's sake. S&W and Ruger make good ones and Taurus is a good manufacturer if you have a bit of a budget. If you went with a .357, you could shoot the lighter .38 loads. But this is putting the cart before the horse. Take a class or two and rent some at the range before you decide what to buy.

Good luck,

JT

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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by ingenue » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:27 pm

I recommend you find a reputable defensive handgun training course that will cover all the bases with classroom instruction in firearm safety; weapon familiarization, cleaning, and operation; fundamentals of shooting; carry and storage methods; and legal considerations for use of lethal force. Then live fire practice at a range, too.

If you don't get this kind of training, it doesn't matter what kind of pistol you buy, because you won't have the knowledge or skill to use a pistol effectively for self defense.

Firearms instructors are also usually a good resource for discussing the merits of different makes and models of firearms. Revolvers are less complicated for beginners, but not necessarily safer. Following firearm safety rules plays a much bigger role in keeping you safe than a visible "safety" toggle. Revolvers and semi-automatics both need routine cleaning and maintenance to be durable.

As others have said, Smith&Wesson and Ruger make solid workhorse revolvers. Glock, Sig Sauer, or Beretta are good for semi-automatics.

-ingenue

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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by kjvmartin » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:28 pm

From someone with a LE background a fair bit of training/experience -

The gun for Bogleheads is a 9mm Glock. Affordable rounds, good capacity, varying sizes. It's built like a Toyota or Honda - extremely reliable, extremely easy to maintain and clean. In fact, they recommend minimal cleaning. I've honestly never seen one at fault for going wrong in thousands of rounds fired by multiple people training with me. Those who bought other brands would be more likely to hold up the entire session by having to stop for jams or misfires. Mine is a 2007 model carried on duty & for training since I bought it new. Never one issue.

I think the Sig brand is about as reliable but is *far* heavier and has more parts.

It's all about the maximum chance of success when one pulls the trigger to make a bang in the appropriate direction. I don't feel the same way about other brands I've run in to.

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Re: Whats a good Pistol to buy?

Post by Stupendous » Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:06 pm

If you plan to shoot a lot for practice then pay attention to the cost of bullets. For that, a 9mm is good. However, it won't do as much damage as my .45. I wouldn't recommend a revolver simply because it only can carry 6 bullets and I'd prefer to carry more.

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