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  1. #1
    coolbikeguy is offline Junior Member
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    new handgun ( semi ) ..... suggestions ?

    hey guys. a little background ... i have been around rifles, shot guns,pistols ( revolvers.. not many semis ) for most of my life. i am interested in getting a handgun... for personal safety as i sometimes carry a decent amount of cash to the nigh box at the bank ... family protection ... and i do alot of motorcycle riding in the mountains of pa so i need something with some power incase of a break down ( black bear and mountain lions ) i also want to get a concealed weapons permit. i have shot semis before ... a 9mm, .45 .22 and if i remember there was a 38 in there to maybe. heres what im looking for. not to be a cheapo but i am looking at an entry level gun. something easy to break down and out back together for ease of cleaning, cheap shooting ... i know some of the bigger bores get very expensive to shoot.. a solid feel and im thinking around a 6 inch barrel.... all suggestions and reasons for your suggestion will be appreciated. thanks a million guys, scott

  2. #2
    exavid is offline Junior Member
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    I carry a Ruger LC9. It's my favorite carry pistol. Small and easily concealed, it's been utterly reliable, not bad recoil for a subcompact, not choosy about ammo, and surprisingly accurate. I wouldn't want to take a bear on with it, when I ride in the woods I carry my Ruger P345 .45 or my old S&W model 29 .44 neither of which are all that great for concealed carry. Take a look at the LC9, it carrys easily in a small IWB or pocket holster and will dispatch a wild dog or pretty well discourage most other two and four legged aggressors.

  3. #3
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    I'm not sure that I'd take on a bear with a 9mm pistol, and I don't think I'd be comfortable doing it with a .40 or a .45, either. Well, maybe if it were a small bear...
    So much for "normal" semi-auto pistols.
    But the high-power semi-autos and the powerful revolvers all use ammunition that's pretty expensive, even if you do your own reloading.
    Also, they're not "entry level," nor easy to break down and clean.

    How many bears do you think you'll ever come across?

    Maybe you first need to reŽvaluate your priorities.
    Maybe "entry level," cheap ammunition, and easy breakdown and cleaning are more important than protecting you from bear-size critters? (Any pistol used accurately and effectively will be satisfactory for use against two-legged adversaries.)

    Another note about priorities: A six-inch barrel is uncomfortable in concealment. I suggest that a four-inch barrel is quite long enough.

  4. #4
    rjrudolph is offline Junior Member
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    I agree with Steve, there aren't too many semi-auto pistols that would be powerful enough to stop a bear. The only thing I can think of that is some what small that could be used for that is the Smith and Wesson .460 snub nose revolver. Not too many other pistols have the stopping power for something that big. This revolver isn't too big but is still going to be heavy. Sounds to me like your going to need more than just one handgun for what you're wanting to do.

  5. #5
    Tip
    Tip is offline Junior Member
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    new handgun ( semi ) ..... suggestions ?

    Now now just about any semi will stop a bear IF you have enough time and rounds!! Problem isn't stopping s bear -- its stopping a charging bear BEFORE he comes in paw's reach!

  6. #6
    sgms is offline Member
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    As to price of ammunition the 9m/m is currently the lest expensive of what is normally considered acceptable as a defense round with the .38 special, .357 magnum, .40, and .45 acp all being more to a lot more expensive. For concealment Steve is correct, 6 inch barrels are hard and uncomfortable to hide. A 3, 4, or 5 inch barrel is easier. As to the bear or large cat, the above mentioned calibers are fine for 2 legged trouble but not such a good idea on the 4 legged kind. If you break down make lots of noise, lets them know where you are, usually they don't really want to meet you and they will go off somewhere else. Now as to a good entry level pistols there are a lot of good ones, go to you local gun shop see what's in the budget handle them see what feels good in your hand then come back, ask questions on specific one and get the information you need on them.

  7. #7
    rex
    rex is offline Senior Member
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    As Steve points out,you're kind of in a dillema adding in the bear.Black bear aren't the bad boys of bears,but a big pissed off one is something I don't want to rely on most auto rounds.I also wouldn't want a 9 for a mountain lion,but it's do-able.

    I can't believe I'll say this but a Glock 9 sounds right up your alley,except for Yogi.Your likelihood of needing the gun is going to run more toward someone watching your bank drops,then I'd say the cat before the bear.The animals will depend on population and available food to sustain them,so talking to Fish and Game can give you an idea of the situation there.The 9 is also your cheapest bet for ammo.

    If I had to cover everything you said,I like the 45 and have shot it the most for decades.An upgrade to 45Super is the easiest,but that's just a hot 45 +P.The 460Roland is a bad little beech,and isn't hard to convert to,but you want a strong gun for it because it will beat on you and the gun.A Steel frame gun is all I'd use,no plastic,even though a few HK USPs have been done.When you ride you can swap the barrel and recoil assembly for critters,then swap back for normal life.There are a few rounds filling in the gap between the Super and Roland but I can't remember them.The downfall here is these rounds are expensive for what's made,you almost have to handload for them to save a little money.

    Ideally,you need a bigbore revolver for riding,and pick up a Glock 9 cheap for everyday carry.Down here I'd do a Blackie with a good,stout 44mag,but I'd prefer more.Your bears are bigger so I'd be looking for something that can really spit out a 300gr hardcast truncated cone,minimum, or real good jacketed/solid.You want to be able to punch hard through bone so you can get in there and tear him up good.I haven't kept up on the big bore in a few years so others here can help there.

  8. #8
    rex
    rex is offline Senior Member
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    Grrrr,it doubled again.

  9. #9
    coolbikeguy is offline Junior Member
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    thanks for ALL the info guys ... its all great. the bear and cat deal were thrown in as a far end of the spectrum deal. i guess you cant have one handgun and expect it to do EVERYTHING. im more concerned about self protection doing bank drop and in general and i do want to get my concealed permit and carry. im going to take the advice of going to a shop and handle a few diff guns. see how they feel. handle diff calibers too. i think ill look for something in a 5 inch barrel ... and may lean toward the 9 or .40. im gonna troll around the site and gather more info before making a shop visit ... dont want to look like a total newbie lol

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