I'm looking into purchasing a gun to target with and use for home defense if necessary. Does anyone recommend one over the other. I have been looking and narrowed it down to 2. Keep in mind I would like my wife to be comfortable with it as well. I was looking at the Bersa Thundercat 380 or the Kel-Tec P-11.
Are those pea shooters? aka .22's?
The Bersa is a .380 and the Kel-Tec is a 9mm
For that price range I'd consider looking into a cz75 (9mm) or a glock 17 (9mm). The kel-tec is good and so is the bersa( I've heard) but a 380 just isn't enough for self defense IMO . Good luck in your search.
Kel-tec of the two you choose...
Glock is really the pistol you should go for...
Honestly: How experienced are you, at shooting pistols?
(Your question makes me think: "Not a lot." Is that correct?)
In the hands of an experienced pistol shot, a .380 would be an acceptable defense gun. But since it is "underpowered," its user needs to be experienced and practiced, and should work to maintain a high level of shooting skill. To use one for self-defense, one must be able to hit quickly and accurately with it. Can you do that?
The Kel-Tec P-11 is a small gun. In the hands of an experienced shooter, a small, powerful pistol can be extremely effective. But in the hands of an inexperienced shooter, it will be painful to use and it will cause you to be inaccurate. Self-defense requires quick, effective accuracy. If you are not very experienced and well practiced, your P-11 will not do the job.
Therefore, I strongly suggest that neither gun will be the better choice, particularly if it is to be fired by your wife.
That leaves you with three possible choices:
1. Take your wife with you to a shooting facility where you can "rent time" on a wide assortment of pistols. Both of you should try as many of them as you can. Don't worry about accuracy, since every gun you choose will be more accurate than you are. Instead, look for shooting comfort and hand-fit. Buy the most comfortable gun you can find, and then pay a teacher to instruct you in pistol shooting.
2. Buy a large-size .22 rimfire pistol, which will be completely inadequate for self-defense. Learn to shoot it well, both of you, all on your own. When you are pretty good pistol shooters, sell the .22, and buy something else that will be appropriate for defensive use.
3. Buy a full-size, full-weight, all-metal pistol in .45 ACP. The full-weight 1911 is ideal, because it features the most comfortable and controllable recoil of any self-defense-worthy gun. Both of you learn to shoot it well, preferably taught by an instructor.
Good luck. Let us know how you're doing.
I have shot rifles all of my life and still hunt. My wife shoots rifles with me as well just not very often. I go to the range about once a month with a friend and use one use his older guns it's a Taurus 38 snub nose but my wife has never shot a handgun. I had been looking at smaller .22's like the taurus PT 22 just to get my wife comfortable with handling a pistol but unfortunately I don't have enough money to buy a small .22 and another gun. I have a Mossbeg 12 gauge in my room that I would ideally use for home defense I guess this would be more of a secondary weapon I would use. I've looked at other guns like the Glock they are just not in the price range I can afford. Especially for a gun I am just going to use mainly to target with. Thanks for all the help guys I appreciate it.
With that 12 gage you have home defense covered. So I think you may be better off with the .22 rimfire as a first pistol. Least expensive ammunition as well as the lowest recoil. A good combination to learn the differences between rifle/shotgun and a handgun while being comfortable learning how to shoot pistols well. The Kel Tec P-11 is a good high capacity pocket pistol in 9m/m, but it is one of the least comfortable pistols to shoot. I carry one when size dictates what I can carry and I regularly run the drills with it as with all my CCW pistols, that P-11 is the only one that leaves me with a sore hand when done practicing. Just my thoughts. And worth what you paid for them.
...Or, buy a used pistol. That'll get you the most gun for the least money.
Kentucky has gun shows right? Used pistols everywhere from private dealers. That's what I do here in the great state of Ohio .