Need help deciding on first pistol
Okay here is the deal. I am turning 21 in less than a month, and I want to get my conceal and carry. I know a little about guns but not a lot. I am more use to rifles. I want to get a pistol to carry, and I am having a hard time deciding what to get. I want something small, probably a revolver. I would like it to be pink, and probably an 9mm. I don't know a lot about the different brands, so if anyone has any ideas about a good starter gun that kind of matches what I am looking for let me know please. Thanks!
"8mm"? "Starter gun"?
It's obvious that you know very little about pistols and pistol shooting.
I strongly suggest that, before you even attempt to buy a pistol, much less carry one, you take a class in which you will be taught the fundamentals of pistol safety, handling, and shooting.
You might ask about such a class at any nearby gun shop or shooting range. The concealed-pistol-licensing agency in your county might also be able to help.
There are gun shops and shooting ranges where pistols are rented by the hour. You might try as many of these as you can afford to rent and for which you have the funds to buy ammunition.
Look for comfort in your hand, and how well you can reach the gun's controls. Accuracy is not an issue because self-defense is not a high-accuracy application, and because you are a beginner who cannot be expected to place bullets well yet.
Do not be suckered-in by neat-looking little pistols in pretty colors. Small handguns are very difficult to shoot effectively and well. The smaller the gun, the more it's going to hurt your hand.
Beginners should start with full-size, full-weight pistols because the size and weight absorbs enough of the gun's recoil to make the shooting experience pleasant, and not a turn-off.
The 9mm "Luger" cartridge is the most popular nowadays, but I prefer to start students off with the .45 ACP instead. A full-size, all-steel, .45 ACP pistol is the easiest of all beginners' guns to control.
Another possible choice is a revolver in .38 Special, but it, too, should be all-steel and it should have at least a 4"-long barrel (and 5" is better). The revolver should also have a hand-filling grip (handle), maybe even made of rubber. (However, I suggest against the Taurus and Rossi brands, since their quality control is not consistent.)
The very best value for your money would be a used pistol, rather than a new one.
Last edited by Steve M1911A1; 02-16-2012 at 02:07 PM.
Reason: I corrected grammatical and spellong errors.
Oops I did mean 9mm. Not 8mm. I do have a 8mm Mauser and that's definitely not what I want to carry. I have done plenty of shooting. My bf has a Springfield XD 40 and a Taurus p something (I don't know for sure what number) 40. I have shot both of them quite a few times and am comfortable with them. I do plan on taking a course as soon as I can. My bf does know some stuff about guns, but I just want some extra opinions. I did think about getting a .38. I'm just not sure. We are going to be going to gun shows, so hopefully I can find something that works for me. Thanks
Sorry meant 9mm, not 8mm oops
There you go Bobbiejo. Welcome, CC is a huge responsibility and as Steve has suggested classes and training and instructors. If you have family, friends, and ranges(renting) where you can shoot different handguns and calibers that would be an excellent option. Steve's advice is priceless. Again, handguns are the most challenging of all firearms to master proficently. It's basically a small or depending on the caliber a big explosion going off in your hands and in order to become proficient one must learn with good training and at least a little practice. I'd amke sure i felt comfortable shooting handguns first before jumping into something easily concealed. The ilk of a S&W M&P subcompact in 9mm is a good semi-auto to ponder. My girlfriend really likes her PX4 subcompact as well. However, if you have no handgun experience a Lady Smith model 65 would be a great option. Of course in my opinion and experience.
Last edited by denner; 02-16-2012 at 02:05 AM.
A .38 is a good caliber. I would suggest if you get a revolver especially a snubnosed go with a .357. The little extra size and the little extra weight will help with recoil when shooting a .38 round as compared to the .38 snubnosed. Also with the .357 you have the added ability to going to the .38 +P or +P+, which is better because of the guns ability to handle the much larger .357 round. Then if you get comfortable with that you can also start to shoot the .357. Much more options that route. If you decide to go that route I strongly suggest the S&W M&P .357 and the Ruger LCR .357
Originally Posted by Bobbiejo_14
Stop by a local gun shop, and find out about any local firearms instructors, and/or ranges. Professional training, at least in the basics, will be well worth your money.
Stopping power comes after hitting your target. Hitting your target, comes after becoming proficient with your handgun. Proficiency comes after practice. Practice comes after selecting a handgun that is comfortable in YOUR hands. Just because it's "great" for someone else, doesn't mean it will be "great" for you. Shop for a handgun like you do for shoes.... TRY 'EM ON... handle as many as you can... THEN start a list of possibles. If you can, rent, or shoot one that you're interested in before you buy. Start out with buying a used .22 to develop fundamentals, THEN move up in caliber. Do NOT get wrapped up in the caliber wars. Caliber doesn't count until your bullet hits your point of aim. A hit with a .22 beats a miss with a .45. Remember there is a trade-off with handguns... longer barrel, larger weapon, more weight... translates to less perceived recoil. Small weapon, short barrel, light weight... translates to more perceived recoil.
Shopping is good... have fun....
Go here and find an NRA pistol class in your area
NRAInstructors.org - Portal for NRA certified Instructors, NRA Education and Training
Many things to consider - first is can you safely and accuratley fire the weapon? A 357 has one hell of a kick to it - hard to get a second shot and at practice the recoil may make you flinch, it won't be fun to shoot so you won't want to practice, so when it comes time to use it you will hesitate, or miss when you flinch.
Bigger/more powerful calibers are great for chest beating hairy testosterone filled bragging, but accuracy counts most - a bullet that misses does you no good. Bigger guns have less recoil do to their weight - but if you're gonna carry it you want small and light....YOU have to decide where to place your priorities. As for stopping power, ultimately a 357 is the best choice, but a 9mm with +P ammo and twice the number of rounds is a better choice in my opinion. Now 9mm is only available in a semi auto like your BF has - same for 40 and 45.
I like the XD and you can get a 3.8" barreled one in 9 or 40 (same size gun). A 45 will be bigger. The 9 holds 13 rounds, the 40 a couple less I believe. Very reliable gun, easy to use, no safety to think about (same as a revolver). Faster to get into action and one less thing to be confused about. (the alternate argument is if it's taken from you the perp can just shoot -he need not fumble to get the safety off - but I say that only applies if he takes the gun before you get it out and have teh safety off...so i'd rather be ready faster).
For every inch of barrel length you get about 75fps more bullet speed, and therefore more energy at impact. A 2" snubby 38 won't have the power of a 3.8" 9 or 40.
How do you like your BFs XD40? How does it fit your hand? The XDm (current model) has changeble backstraps to adjust the fit and short and long magazines (for carry/practice). You could also look at Glocks.
The S&W Model 625 is a revolver that shoots the .45 ACP cartridge.
Originally Posted by prof_fate
Product: Model 625 JM
May I ask why you'd prefer a revolver?
Originally Posted by Bobbiejo_14
For what its worth ruger makes a pink LCP pistol, my wife has one and the color precludes my borrowing it....good advice to take a good handgun course before you buy or carry and then you can rent and try different handguns to see what you prefer...JJ
Honestly just because they are simple, and easier to load. I don't have my mind set though.
Thanks for the advice everyone!!!!
Just because a revolver is functionally "simpler" than a semi-auto, doesn't make it any more of a ladies gun than any other firearm. To assume that a lady must "love guns" before being able to cope with a mechanical safety, is silly. Personal preference is one thing, and gender bias is another. You don't have to love guns in order to carry one, but if you carry without being proficient with your chosen firearm, you're a fool....male or female.
The age-old "trade-off" in handguns is especially applicable to the ladies..... short barrel, light weight, only 5 or 6 rounds equals much more perceived recoil. REGARDLESS OF GENDER. That being said, once proficient with the fundamentals, anyone can learn to shoot any caliber, as well as learn to shoot either a revolver, or a semi-auto. If the safety is that much of an issue, consider a double action only semi auto..... same basic function (point and pull the trigger) but you get 4 more rounds..... Just sayin' ..... most of 'em have a double-action trigger that is far superior to most ANY out-of-the-box revolver.
Shoes...... when you buy 'em, you try 'em on first...... if they don't feel good, you don't buy 'em..... if they feel good, and you buy 'em, chances are that you still might need to break in the shoes, and your feet.
Guns..... try 'em on first...... if they don't feel good, you don't buy 'em......... if they feel good, and you buy 'em, chances are that you still might need to practice with it, and enhance your ability to use it.....
Buying a handgun simply because someone else has one is just foolish. If there were a "best" handgun, we'd all own it, and there wouldn't be the huge selection of handguns to choose from.
GO SHOPPING ... but suit yourself, not anyone else...
I just can't imagine every carrying a revolver with my wardrobe. I was just curious. I've heard a lot of women say they prefer revolvers. I've never used one myself, so don't take my advice!
Although they can be a little snappy w/ +p loads the S&W 637 38 Special airweights and those in that genre are very comfortable concealable carry pistols, ergonomic, thin, short and lightweight. If you carry it in a good IWB holster you barely perceive it is there. I really like those little pistols.
Originally Posted by Holly
Last edited by denner; 02-16-2012 at 09:59 PM.
Yeah, Jean likes hers too.
Originally Posted by denner
But they're hellacious on beginners. The recoil is much too snappy and hard to control.
They are not guns to learn to shoot with. No J-frame is.
Steve, I agree, especially the 15 ounce airweights. They do make some relatively light shooting 38 non +p loadings, but for the beginner, the bigger heavier frame is the better option as you suggested. I was just commenting on the ergonomics, fit and feel and lightweight benefits for CCW. The one we just recently bought is a very accurate pistol as well. I was shooting whole on top of whole with it at 12 yards. Not an ideal beginners pistol, but once you get past beginner it's definately a winner.
Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1
Last edited by denner; 02-16-2012 at 10:48 PM.
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