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Thread: Gun for defense

  1. #1
    kalgatha is offline Junior Member
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    Gun for defense

    Hi! I'm new to the forums and am looking for a gun that i can use for defense as well as possibly hunting. There have been many robbery's lately and i don't particularly want to be caught with my pants down. I have a few years untill i can register for my concealed weapons permit, but i like to plan ahead. i've been looking around and i do like the Sig p220, but i also see many good things about the Sig p226. My dad speaks very highly of Glock and he has a G27. I just want to know what would be a good gun for what i need. I want something that is very reliable and won't fail when i need it. I plan on doin some bear hunting this fall with my bow and would need something to defend myself in worst case scenario. Also, what caliber should i try to get? My dad is very partial to the .40S&W, but if you guys think a different caliber would suit me better than please let me know. I'm 5'9 180lbs athletic build. so i could probably handle just about anything if i had to, but something smaller for defense is what i had in mind. thanks guys!

  2. #2
    Todd is offline Banned
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    This is no way intended to sound rude, but I suggest you scroll through the New To Handguns section first and read the posts there. You should get a lot of good information and help you narrow down your choices or get a better idea of what you are looking for. Once you do that, hit us up with specific questions. Right now, you're just setting yourself up to get a bunch of brand and caliber biased suggestions, for example, "I have a Sig/Glock/XD/M&P, they're great, you should get one too.", which isn't really helping you out.

  3. #3
    kalgatha is offline Junior Member
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    alright thanx!

  4. #4
    PhilR. is offline Member
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    If you are hunting black bear, then a four or six inch-barreld .357 magnum would do, as long as you are running some of the higher-powered rounds such as the ones from Buffalo Bore. Some believe that the 10mm would suffice as well, but I've not ever used that caliber. You can get many different semi-autos in 10mm.

    If you are hunting bigger bear than blacks, then a .44 mag. would be the minimum, and truth be told I would not even go that low. I would feel much more comfortable with a .460 or .500.*

    Of course all of these could be used for defense, but they present additional problems. If you live in an apartment or in a house that is closely surrounded by other houses, you run into the problem of overpenetration. Second, these rounds are very expensive and you will most likely not train very much, which is bad when you own a handgun for defense purposes.

    I view hunting handguns and defense handguns to be two different and mostly separate areas of handgunning, and there's not a lot of overlap. Better to get yourself something that is suited for each purpose, i.e. a high-capacity Glock in nine or forty, and a large-bore revolver.

    Welcome to the club...

    PhilR.


    *Come to think of it, if I were in the possible need to defend myself from a Grizz, I would be carrying a shotgun w/slugs or a large-bore carbine such as a Marlin .45-70, and not a handgun.

  5. #5
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    gmaske is offline Senior Member
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    We had this discussion a while back. You are dealing with two types of critters. The thin skined ones that can shoot back and the thick skinned ones that can eat you! A 357 revolver would work for both but I don't think I'd want to take on a bear with it. If you are only dealing with black bears I'd go bigger otherwise I would suggest a tool for each. Actually a tool for each is most likely the best option.
    Last edited by gmaske; 04-12-2009 at 08:45 PM. Reason: Brain FART!!!

  6. #6
    Teuthis is offline Member
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    I do not believe there is any more versatile handgun than a .357 revolver. If you want it for home self defense, then perhaps a 4" barrel is best. It will also give you field defense too. You can vary the level of power projected by using 38 Special rounds for home defense so as not to over-penetrate walls and buildings. In the field you can use high-powered .357 rounds.

  7. #7
    jeb21 is offline Member
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    For a revolver I recommend a good mid sized 38/357 such as the Smith Model 19 or 686. The Ruger GP100 is also a nice revolver. If you are going to be be carrying this weapon on your person, then you may want to consider a J-Frame revolver (snub nose) in 38 caliber. I like the Smith Model 60 and the Smith Model 642.

    In pistols I like 9mm, 40 caliber and 45 ACP. Sigs are excellent weapons as are Glocks. The 220 is a very nice handgun but very expensive for a new weapon -$750-900 depending on a variety of factors. Glocks usually run for around $550 where I live and will do the job very well.

    The most important component of a self defense firearm is not the caliber or the platform, but the shooter and his or her skills. I would go to a range that rents guns and try out several different brands and calibers to see which one you like to shoot. Each weapon and each caliber has its advantages and disadvantages. You will have to decide what works for you. Then practice practice practice.

  8. #8
    Guest is offline Junior Member
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    I have also heard that revolvers in 357 are some of the most reliable defense and hunting guns around. Otherwise I would guess that you would need to different guns

  9. #9
    kalgatha is offline Junior Member
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    i recently saw a couple vids for the ruger sr9. Does anyone have any opinions on this gun? also if i do use the gun while hunting it'd just be for self defense against a black bear more than likely. I'll be bow hunting, but if i get in a bad situation i'd like to have something there.

  10. #10
    PhilR. is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalgatha View Post
    i recently saw a couple vids for the ruger sr9. Does anyone have any opinions on this gun? also if i do use the gun while hunting it'd just be for self defense against a black bear more than likely. I'll be bow hunting, but if i get in a bad situation i'd like to have something there.
    Everything that has been posted has pointed you towards a more powerful handgun, and now you are asking about a 9mm for bear defense? Did you actually read what others have so kindly posted for your benefit?

  11. #11
    kalgatha is offline Junior Member
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    bear defense is a very minor concern. hopefully i won't get in a bad situation. black bears aren't as aggressive as grizzlys or nearly as hard to take down. hopefully i'll be in a tree whenever i encounter one. but i like the idea of having 17 shots. 9mm have been mentioned. I also like the fact that the ruger is a little lower in price compared to the glocks, XDs, and Sigs. as well as being a fairly new gun with cheaper ammunition. My dad says i should get a .40 S&W and my g/fs dad (state trooper) says i should get a .380 I was just asking about it because the videos i saw looked enticing. I'd like to stay away from revolvers, i've never really liked them. I dont' mean to come off as rude, and i apologize if i have. I'm just giving my reasons for asking about this gun. but even you said that i should get a high capacity glock in a 9 or 40.

  12. #12
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    As many have stated, if you're looking for a handgun to serve roles of defense and hunting, well, it is my humble opinion there's not much that is sufficiently designed to handle both. The glaringly obvious and most practical solution is the 357 mag (again, as many have stated), which can shoot 38 special +p for the badguys and a 357 magnum with heavy bullets would serve as a hunting round for SOME wildlife. Hunting with handgun calibers is somewhat regulated in the state of Missouri and I assume this goes for most states. If you are serious about hunting with a handgun, you'd do well to look into this. As far as hunting goes, authorities want to make sure you can make a clean, lethal shot and I don't think it's wrong for them to expect as much. Frankly put, 357 mag is NOT lethal, or at least isn't consistently lethal out of a handgun against larger creatures....ballpark figure off the top of my head is anything over 400lbs. Accuracy and range just make it all the more complicated. Basically, unless you're a seasoned hunter, jumping into the fray with a handgun could very well be a mistake.

    I am no hunter. I am making no claims of being a hunter. I just happened to have run into a lot of literature regarding the 10mm and its use. In doing so I also happened to run into a lot of comparisons against 357 mag, 41 mag, and 44 mag. The simple fact is, as you travel further into the spectrum of high-powered handgun calibers, the more likely it is you will overpenetrate your target and possibly hit an unintended recipient.

    Overpenetration alone can be bad because the mythical element of "stopping power" is less likely to take effect. Sure, the badguy might bleed to death in the next few minutes, but a state of shock, some really good contraband, or a nice amount of adrenaline could be enough for the badguy to keep coming, even with a hole in his chest, and he may be the end of you.

    Also consider a shot which simply passes through your target will deliver the rest of its remaining energy into who-knows-what. This should be of grave concern to you as the shooter since you're responsible for every bullet which leaves your handgun. And this is assuming the recoil of the weapon has been generous enough for you to land the shot in the first place. We members like to bicker about "oh this caliber can do this" and "oh my 500 S&W can beat up your 9mm" but [hopefully] we can all agree shot placement comes before anything else in both defense realm and the hunting realm. Firearms with more recoil are less likely to allow a good followup shot. I'm sure this is a big deal hunters, and it may very well save your life in a self defense situation.

    Gmaske said it best: get a tool for each.

  13. #13
    PhilR. is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalgatha View Post
    bear defense is a very minor concern.

    A rational person would make the decision as to whether or not bears are a real concern, since there is no such thing as a "minor" concern. IOW, either you need the protection, or you don't. If you don't, then you really should not have mentioned it in the first place.

    I dont' mean to come off as rude, and i apologize if i have.

    Nowhere in your posts have you been rude, so no need to apologize. However, I do find it amazing that people are steering you in the right direction as based on the information that you have provided, and yet you continue to go in the opposite direction. This makes it seem like you have not read a thing that others have taken the time to provide.


    I'm just giving my reasons for asking about this gun. but even you said that i should get a high capacity glock in a 9 or 40.

    Yes, for DEFENSE. Not for BEARS, and my earlier post was explicit in that. I think you should re-read my earlier post. I think you should also decide on whether or not you want something for personal defense, or for protection against bears.

    It is my sincere hope that you will make a decision as to what your real needs are, and purchase something that is appropriate. In the end though, it's your life, and you are free to stupidly risk defending it from bears with a 9mm if you want to.

  14. #14
    kalgatha is offline Junior Member
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    thank you both very much for your detailed help and information for me. The main purpose of my handgun purchase is for personal defense. the only reason i mentioned bears is because i hope to do some bow hunting for black bears in northern arkansas this upcomming fall. hopefully i won't ever get in a situation where i would need it, but i also know that it very well could happen. two guns for the job appears to be the best option without a doubt, but i dont' have just a whole lot of money. so i'd like to get a gun that is reliable and will last me awhile mainly geared toward self-defense. whether it makes much of a difference or not i kindof like the idea of haveing so many rounds available in case of any encounter where i would need to use it. also i've read that the ammo is much cheaper, so i would be much more likely to practice with it and be a better shot, as well as have a faster follow up shot since its should have less recoil. i'm not goin to go huntin with this as my primary weapon, or lookin for a fight with a bear. most of the time they are more skiddish than people think, the biggest threat would be a mother with her cubs, other than that the bear would most likely run away even if i just shot into the ground. i'm tryin to be cautious in my decision for my handgun and with my life, thats the only reason i even mentioned bears.

  15. #15
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    tekhead1219 is offline Senior Member
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    Sounds like you have convinced yourself that the 9mm will fit both issues. Although in the woods I personally would be carrying the .357 Mag. Even a small possibility of a bear meeting is too large a possibility in my thoughts. Get your 9 and hope Yogi is the only bear that will be aggressive. As a side note, earlier you mentioned that you would be in a tree idf a bear got aggressive. Research and experience tells me that black bears CAN climb trees. Just my .02. Your choice.

  16. #16
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmaske View Post
    We had this discussion a while back. You are dealing with two types of critters. The thin skined ones that can shoot back and the thick skinned ones that can eat you! A 357 revolver would work for both but I don't think I'd want to take on a bear with it. If you are only dealing with black bears I'd go bigger otherwise I would suggest a tool for each. Actually a tool for each is most likely the best option.
    I'm with you here. The 357 might work OK but i it was me I'd not want to find out I was under powered at the wrong time. People weapons and animal weapons are just not the same for me. Guess a man could do it with a shotgun too. I don't know..It was me I'd want one that worked for one and one to work for the other.

  17. #17
    jeb21 is offline Member
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    Frist of all, you have been amazingly pleasant given the tone of some of the previous posts. My compliments to you.

    The 9mm is a good choice for self defense. The ammo is relatively inexpensive, and the recoil is light. There are a variety of quality of handguns chambered for this round.

    As for the SR9s, the initial run of the Ruger SR9 had some recalls. http://www.ruger-firearms.com/SR9Recall/ Hopefully, all new SR9's have the upgrades in place, but you should check to make sure.

    The new Sig 250 looks interesting. http://www.sigsauer.com/products/Sho...&productid=183. In my area they are also very affordable. The trigger pull is sweet and in time you can swap out certain parts and gain the ability to shoot different calibers out of the same platform.

    As for bears, I am not sure that there is any handgun that is the best option for a determined bear attack unless you get a 44 magnum, .454 Casull or a .500 magnum. If you don't like or want a revolver, then there is no point in debating this issue. I will say that the ballistic performance of a .40 cal does rival that of a 357 mangum. There are some +p 9mm loads that can zip along very fast as well.

    In conclusion, if you find a 9mm that you like, are willing to carry and practice then go for it. I predict that this weapon will serve you well. I also predict, that like most of us, you will still get a hankering for another handgun or two as the years roll on. There is no such thing as a perfect handgun, and for that I, and most gun store owners, are eternally grateful.

  18. #18
    nailer is offline Member
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    Of my handguns, the one I trust the most is my S&W model 60 revolver with a redone trigger for easy control. It is extremely accurate and with 38+p or 357 ammo is plenty powerful. With only a 2 1/8 inch barrel, you would think it difficult to be accurate, but not so. The almost hair trigger pull makes accurracy unbelievable. My semis and other revolvers are good, but this is pleasure to shoot.

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