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  1. #1
    UNCTEP's Avatar
    UNCTEP is offline Junior Member
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    Size matters? (sounds bad, I know...)

    This may be a dumb question... but, here to learn, so just color me dumb!

    When you're considering a handgun, what are the pros/cons of choosing a 4" or 5" model? Would one be better than the other for a first time gun buyer?

  2. #2
    tony pasley's Avatar
    tony pasley is offline Senior Member
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    A 5" barrel has a longer site pattern than a 4" barrel. What is the purpose of the gun? a target pistol the 5" would be better, carry and self defense most like a 4" better.

  3. #3
    UNCTEP's Avatar
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    I'm intending the main purpose to be self/home defense. I'm not going to be applying for a carry permit for a while I'm sure, but probably will eventually.

  4. #4
    unpecador's Avatar
    unpecador is offline Senior Member HGF Gold Member
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    Either length should suit you fine for a home defense weapon.

  5. #5
    Todd is offline Banned
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    If you have budget restraints like I do (aka the wife and kids), then I will suggest the 4". That way if you do decide to carry you can use the same gun. If you go with the 5" and then decide to carry, then you may be begging to make another purchase.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by UNCTEP View Post
    This may be a dumb question... but, here to learn, so just color me dumb!

    When you're considering a handgun, what are the pros/cons of choosing a 4" or 5" model? Would one be better than the other for a first time gun buyer?
    As many have already stated, it's a question of accuracy versus concealability. It should be pretty obvious the smaller a gun is, the easier it is to keep it from view of others, and of course, the longer the barrel is, the more accuracy and range you will get on the shot.

    For a home defense weapon, I think any size will work, provided it's not so large/powerful that it'll punch through every wall in your home, or worse, condo/apartment....more to the point...any 9mm/40S&W/45ACP would be an excellent choice of home defense handgun PROVIDED YOU ARE USING HOLLOWPOINT AMMUNITION (sorry New Jersey folks).

    Throw any myths you've heard about hollowpoints out the window. They are not designed to maliciously kill. They are designed to:

    -deliver maximum energy to the target, i.e. "stopping power"
    -deliver minimum energy to anything behind the target (if it gets that far)

    I can think of no better scenario where hollowpoints serve their intended purpose than within a household, so I figured I'd bring it up.

  7. #7
    UNCTEP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by literaltrance View Post
    For a home defense weapon, I think any size will work, provided it's not so large/powerful that it'll punch through every wall in your home, or worse, condo/apartment....more to the point...any 9mm/40S&W/45ACP would be an excellent choice of home defense handgun PROVIDED YOU ARE USING HOLLOWPOINT AMMUNITION
    Good point to bring up... I do live in an apartment, so having something that could potentially go through a wall and do harm is a concern for me. The hollow point ammo description makes perfect sense to me... they are made to do expend their energy at impact and not continue, correct?

    Along the same lines of size, I've learned one thing for sure. Everyone has a different opinion as to what would be a good defense weapon. I've been looking at 9mm. One person at work told me today to go at least .40, another says .45 minimum. I don't want to end up with a hand cannon.

    As far as budget restraints, I do have them (no wife and kids), but am willing to spend to get quality. I just sold my house, so I'm putting some of the proceeds towards this purchase... could afford pretty much anything right now, but don't want to go overboard either. Decisions, decisions...

    I'm considering getting 2 guns right now, a 22 for just target shooting and "fun" use, and something stronger for a more serious situation (of course all the while hoping I'm never in a "serious" situation). Good plan? Bad plan?

  8. #8
    Todd is offline Banned
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    Any round that can penetrate skin, muscle, bone, and organs will easily go through sheet rock. Remember that you are legally liable for every bullet that comes out of your gun, so it pays to practice so you don't miss the BG and hit your neighbor watching TV.

    9mm is a perfectly good defensive round, if you are so inclined. I went from a .40 to a 9mm and do not feel "undergunned". Do not get hung up on caliber. Shot placement is the key.

  9. #9
    unpecador's Avatar
    unpecador is offline Senior Member HGF Gold Member
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    A shotgun is also an option (or addition) for a good home defense weapon.

  10. #10
    truman565 is offline Member
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    Concerning bullet penetration through sheet rock there are a couple of options. I too live in an apartment and the thought of a missed shot passing through a wall and striking someone else unintended is also a concern of mine. As such I choose to carry what is called the Air Freedom round manufactured by Extreme Shock Ammunition. According to Extreme Shock this ammo was designed for use by air marshals. It is designed to not pierce an aircraft fuselage or the backing of an aircraft chair. Basically an air marshal could shoot a bad guy in his seat and the bullet would not pass through the seat he was in. It is a frangible design that dumps its energy in soft targets but breaks up when contacting hard surfaces. Apparently it is also tested to break up in normal sheet rock. I am sure there would be some bullet fragments that would pass through but the idea is that they would not have the mass or velocity of an intact round. One would think that such a round wouldn't be as effective as a regular hollow point but the testimonials on the website seem to prove otherwise.

    Bear in mind that any information provided by Extreme Shock regarding its ammo is going to be biased towards its sale as is any claim by any manufacture. I have not independently verified the results claimed by Extreme Shock. I do plan on testing the ammo soon though and will let everyone know my results.

    I would check out Extreme Shock ammo and I would also check out Glaser Safety Slug ammo. Ammo technology has come a long ways. There are many options for many scenarios.

  11. #11
    truman565 is offline Member
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    After my last post about the Extreme Shock ammo and the Glaser Blue ammo I was compelled to do a little more research as I realized I was promoting the ammo without a lot of knowledge of it. I found some interesting links. I suggest reading them and deciding whether the round is still suitable for your needs. I have not found any data on the Air Freedom round but the results on the Glaser Safety Slug do not seem good. Hope this helps.

    http://yarchive.net/gun/ammo/glaser_ss.html
    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=237381

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