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  1. #26
    Ptarmigan is offline Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    If you are set on getting a semi-auto pistol, take a look at the Glocks in 9mm.

    I would, however, suggest that you consider a revolver for your first handgun. Also, if your wife is anything like mine, she will like a revolver better due to the simpler operation.

    Also, I think you will both find that learning on a double action revolver will make it very easy to learn to shoot a semi-auto later on.

    In my opinion the .38 Special is a good home defense caliber and it is fun to shoot. If you want the option of "moving up" in the caliber department, you can get a revolver chambered for the .357 Magnum and shoot either .38 Special or .357 Magnum rounds out of it.

    If you take the revolver route you can't go wrong with a Smith & Wesson. I personally love the K frames but if you buy a new one, get a L frame like the model 686.

    Good luck and thanks for your service.

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  3. #27
    bompa is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Western Mass
    As I stated earlier that a 22lr is a great starter gun but if one must have a larger caliber the 9mm just might be the best available..As to platform no one has mentioned the S&W m&p..I think that it is the ideal polymer pistol..
    It feels better in hand than anything else I have handled,and you should handle them all to see what feels best..If possible shoot them all and then decide..
    After thought,, Try a CZ75b in 9mm,it is awesome and a 22lr conversion kit is available for less expensive training and as a fun gun at the range..

  4. #28
    ImCrazy is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    In my humble opinion you don't want to use a handgun for home defense in an urban situation especially an apartment. If you like hand guns great get one and enjoy it. Personally my HD weapon is a mossberg 12ga shotgun with a 20" barrel loaded with #6 game shot and then two rounds of buckshot just in case. the #6 isn't very likely to penetrate the wall and kill your neighbor. If u miss with a 9mm .40 or .45 its goin through the wall and killing your innocent neighbor. Id prefer my sigma 9mm for HD cause its easier to wield but the shotgun is just more practical for me. You can shoot it from the hip or shoulder and its reliable.

  5. #29
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Arizona, baby!
    #6 birdshot will go through at least one wall. But the real problem with birdshot is that, being designed to kill little birds, it doesn't penetrate deeply enough in human beings except at practically muzzle-contact distance. Even #4 buck is questionable in regards to penetration depth in humans, and it digs much deeper than #6.

    Anyway, any gun that requires two hands is ungainly in tight quarters, and can be more easily wrested away from someone who is not trained in weapon retention. Additionally, it is difficult to operate door handles, light switches and telephones when holding a shotgun. By contrast, doing those things while holding a handgun is a cinch.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - / Veteran OEF VIII

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    All opinions, particularly those involving politics and Glocks, are mine and not Galco's.

  6. #30
    JagFarlane's Avatar
    JagFarlane is offline Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Norfolk, VA
    Quote Originally Posted by PhilR. View Post
    Although the XD is not my cup of caffeinated beverage of asian origin, they are a very good pistol and would indeed make a good choice. As for other types - you might look at the Glock 19, the FN9, the S&W M&P9, the Walther P99, and the Sigs in their many permutations. One nice thing about the S&W and the Walther are the interchangeable backstraps, which might help to fit the wifey a bit better. I think there is also a newer Sig that does the same thing. All of the above also comes in smaller versions, in case you plan to one day carry (the XD does as well).

    +1 on the 9mm suggestion as well.....

    As a followup on the SIg, there is a new pistol in their offerings, the P250. It allows you to buy parts to convert it from a compact to subcompact to full size pistol. It also allows you to swap it out from a 9mm to .40 to .357 Sig to .45. It was mostly designed to meet the needs of police departments, where an officer can be a 100lb woman to a 300lb man and thus adapt to the differing requirements in grip size and calibers. As a note, if you want one that can convert to .45, you have to buy it in .45 first, as the magazine is slightly larger.

  7. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    North Georgia

    Apartment Envoronment and thin walls. . . .

    I use a .40 for carry and home defense and live in an apartment setting. I use the Federal Hydrashok 135 gr JHP and as I am in the building materials sales business have tried several loads to determine which one I will use. With the 2x6 wall studs required for a multi-level housing code and the use of fire retardant sheetrock (read 5/8" wetrock) with James Hardie siding on the outside and brick on the front along with the insulation packed into our building a 135 stops in the wall every time, no exceptions I've found so far from a 10'-15' range. WWB sails through without thinking about slowing down or so it seems. Older apartment homes will vary in construction and composition of wall area. Certainly if I were to shoot a the window, nothing to impede the round so far. I carry 155gr. JHP for CCW carry and have no fear of a substandard round. If I am confronted with a car being used as a weapon, the Mossberg comes out immediately. I have trained approximately 25 females to date with the .40 S&W and so far the weapon of choice for purchase has been the S&W M&P 40. Some have opted for the 9mm and some still for the Airweight style shrouded hammer revolver. This in preference to racking a slide. Your wife will be able to respond with a .40 due to adrenaline if in an actual situation, range time will be more cost effective and productive with the 9x19mm as stated earlier. In home defense there is no substitute for a 12ga. pump shotgun, rack one and listen. We even have a burglar alarm company locally that has a recorded sountrack of a 12 ga being racked when the alarm initializes. Cannot say whether it works or not, just sounds real and close. The best answer to any caliber/weapon is shot placement, not size. A head shot with a .22lr will be far more effective than grazing a leg with a .50 GI. Okay, I've rambled on for too long, thank you for your service from a former Marine, you as well Mike. Use what fits you and what you shoot the best with and practice, practice, practice, practice!!

  8. #32
    Vanguard1987 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Take a class...both of you

    I don't own a handgun yet but I did just complete a 12 hour NRA course for pistols. If your wife is new to guns (like me) she has no business touching one until she completes a course. You could probably benefit as well. You'll learn a lot, shoot lots of guns of various calibers, see the drywall test (an amazing penetration demonstration) and walk out feeling a lot better about chosing the right gun and actually using it. Your military training will be more than sufficient but your wife should not be grabbing a handgun at 2:00 AM that she has only shot a few times with you.

    Get up to speed on how to operate a handgun and also when to use it. The consequences of your decision will be lifelong and criminal and civil liability must be considered when you are reaching for your widow-maker. Don't shoot some two-bit criminal and end up supporting his family for the rest of your life. Save your shot for the violent criminal who you feel may take your life. Shooting at someone is a moral and financial risk as well as a risk to your personal freedom (or at least your ability to own a gun). Your life is worth defending, your stuff is not. Take a class buddy, you won't regret it.

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