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  1. #1
    Hexeir's Avatar
    Hexeir is offline Junior Member
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    I turned 21 yesterday and I'm buying to conceal.

    I'm looking for a good concealable gun. Honestly, I love the .357 magnum. I love the power, and the unbeatable stopping power of a .357. However, since this is my first gun, and I have the money to afford only one gun right now, I'd like to kill 2 birds with one stone.

    I'd like to choose a gun that I can shoot at 25+ yards reliably, and also be able to conceal. I really want a 4" barrel .357! But they're all huge!

    Also: I do like the idea of a semi-auto, but I honestly love the simplicity of a revolver. I can't decide between I should stick with my original instinct, the .357 mag revolver, or go with something semi-auto, like a .45. But like said before - I'm in love with the stopping power of a .357.

    I'm asking for your help.

    Oh yeah - meant to add: Trying to stay under $450, and I've been thinking of an SP-101 in .357

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  3. #2
    tekhead1219's Avatar
    tekhead1219 is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome from southeast Texas. As mentioned in many posts, go to range, rent and shoot handguns (as many as you can for the niche you want to fill), buy the one that feels best, you shoot well, and in your price range. You really need to decide which platform you want (revolver or semi-auto) before you plop down the cash. just my .02.

  4. #3
    tekhead1219's Avatar
    tekhead1219 is offline Senior Member
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    Doubling your post for more answers? Same as New to Handguns post.

  5. #4
    TOF's Avatar
    TOF
    TOF is offline Senior Member
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    You can conceal revolvers as well as auto's if you choose to.

  6. #5
    Blackmagic14 is offline Junior Member
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    I wouldnt choose a 357 as a first handgun I would go with some sort of 9mm

  7. #6
    Ditch Doc is offline Junior Member
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    Trying to conceal a .357 is going to be like trying to conceal a Toyota Prius. May want to opt for a 9mm or a .45.

  8. #7
    coondog1069's Avatar
    coondog1069 is offline Junior Member
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    Hexier,
    I am not a preacher nor a counselor, I need to say that first. What I believe is the most important thing to think about is the responsibility that you will have after you receive your permit. I am in law enforcement and carrying a firearm is first nature to me, but I never forget the responsibility that comes along with possessing a firearm. Consider yourself fortunate that you are able to take advantage of your constitutional right to bear arms. If you have not joined, consider joining the NRA. Good luck!

  9. #8
    JeffWard's Avatar
    JeffWard is offline Senior Member
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    I'd suggest you do a LOT of research here, using the term "stopping power" in the search field.

    I know... you're 21. I was 21 a few (17) years ago... I'd have bought the biggest baddest gun I could have too. Enjoy.

    Just make it a priority to practice. Practice safe gun handling at all times. DO NOT hand your gun over to irresponsible friends... (good way to get shot). And be a good steward of gun ownership.

    And then practice more...

    Enjoy and good luck!

    JeffWard

  10. #9
    kev74's Avatar
    kev74 is offline Member
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    Don't get all hung up on your first gun. There will be a second...and third..and... etc.

    Have you considered buying used? You can stretch you $$$ a lot further and if you buy from a shop you trust, you can minimize your risk. I've got 3 handguns 3 rifles and a shotgun that were all bought used and none has given me any trouble.

  11. #10
    PhilR. is offline Member
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    I think a .357 revo is a great choice for a defense handgun, and the Ruger will certainly do fine. You might also look for a good used S&W J-frame in steel. These aren't too large, but will still have enough weight to shoot .357's without difficulty. Of course you can also use .38 specials for practice too.

    Shooting at 25 yards is not something that a conceal-carry handgun is specifically designed to do, so if you want to do both, then I think you will indeed need a four inch (or thereabouts) barrel.

    Let us know what you end up with.....

    PhilR.

  12. #11
    Gearheart's Avatar
    Gearheart is offline Junior Member
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    I remember looking at 5 shot .357s for cc. The SP 101 with a spurless hammer would have been my first choice. The bulkiness of revolvers and speedloaders was what eventually convinced me to go with a semi-auto.

  13. #12
    James NM's Avatar
    James NM is offline Senior Member
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    Turned 21 and looking for protection... Advice?
    Actually, I think that's a question for your dad.

    OK, I'll take a poke at it.

    How about an STI? I would suggest the Trojan.

  14. #13
    Todd is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by tekhead1219 View Post
    Doubling your post for more answers? Same as New to Handguns post.
    Problem fixed.

    To the OP, please don't double post to increase your chances of more responses; double posts get merged or deleted.

  15. #14
    jeb21 is offline Member
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    You have just voiced the concern of most gun owners - how to get a powerful, compact, reliable, accurate, inexpensive gun that can do multiple chores for you. There is no easy answer.

    First, I really think that a good DA revolver would be an excellent choice for you, especially a 38/357. I would practice mostly with 38s ammo at first and then move up to the magnums.

    Second, how likely are you to regularly carry? If the answer is not often then get a good 4" barrel weapon. It will be easier to learn with and easier to shoot accurately out to 25 yards. If you plan on carrying often, then you really should consider the 5 shot Smiths or the SP101 - or take a look at the new Ruger Sp101 in the .327 magnum, but recognize that hits out at or past 25 yards will be difficult to achieve, especially at first.

    Though I really like revolvers, especially for new shooters, take a look at Glocks and Springfield XDs in 9mm. Both of these weapon platforms have been out for a while so there are plenty of holsters and other accessories available at reasonable prices (especially the Glocks). The price will be about $100 more than your target price but you will recoup that initial outlay of money because 9mm ammo is about 2/3rds the price of 38 ammo and about 1/2 the price of magnum ammo.

    The Glock 19, for example, is one of the best all around handguns going. It is light, easy to field strip, resistant to the elements, easy to carry, accurate, reliable, and holds 15 rounds. Like all pistols the manual of arms for a Glock is a little more complicated than a revolvers manual of arms, but anyone can learn it quickly with the proper instructions.

    Another option is the refurbished Sig pistols. Around here (Florida) they are selling for just under $500.00. I just bought a lightly used Sig 239 in 9mm for $450.00. So good deals are possible on top quality weapons if you look for them (and at times get lucky).

    Anyway, welcome to the wonderful world of hangun ownership and the neverending but often enjoyable search for the perfect handgun.

  16. #15
    Black Metal's Avatar
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    Don't forget to take in to consideration the the ability to conceal a longer barreled semi auto when talking about "Stopping Power"

    .357 out of a snubby

    9mm out of a 3.5" barrel

    Both links are directly off Speer's website

  17. #16
    TOF's Avatar
    TOF
    TOF is offline Senior Member
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    Revolvers can be concealed and 25 yards is not to far for a snubby. If you want to shoot 1/2 inch groups consistantly more barrel is better.

    I challenge any of the snubby naysayers to stand at 25 yards and give me a crack at them with my Taurus 605 .357 Snubby. I will warn you, I practice at 40 yards with 12"x14" steel plates. The plates are all beat up.

    Longer barrel Revolvers and Autos when worn IWB tend to stay closer to the body than short ones.

    I admit to being larger than some but have no trouble concealing a Ruger GP100 4" .357 using Pachmyer Compact Grips.

    The 3 1/16" SP101 in .357 (KSP-331X) sounds to me like what you know you want and it will serve you well.

    Enjoy what you get and stay safe.

  18. #17
    TOF's Avatar
    TOF
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew_Rami_P View Post
    Don't forget to take in to consideration the the ability to conceal a longer barreled semi auto when talking about "Stopping Power"

    .357 out of a snubby

    9mm out of a 3.5" barrel

    Both links are directly off Speer's website
    Drew, that data is valid for the loads shown but you are comparing a souped up 9 (thats what +P means) to a watered down .357.

    I have chronoed Winchester .38Spl +P 's in my Taurus 2 1/4 " snubby at 1000 + Fps.

    True .357's are a bit hotter than shown and every bit as effective as the 9 +P shown.

  19. #18
    Black Metal's Avatar
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    I simply showed the loads avail from speer. I know what +P ratings are. I reload my practice ammo and I realize that you can load to higher velocities than either of those loads show. I choose Speer because it seems to be one of the more prevalent ammunition manufactures used by forum members. Hot +P .38 spl will barely break 1,000 fps with a low gr bullet coming out of a snubby. With a 6" barrel and a 135 gr you can achieve 1800 fps from a .357 pretty easily. The .357 is by far superior to 9mm I was making a comparison for someone that might go to the store and buy some defense ammo.

  20. #19
    ZO6Vettever is offline Junior Member
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    I used to carry a six shooter but a late night motel thing with 5 gang banger looking guys told me "get a hi-cap semi-auto". Nothing came of the encounter except I now carry a 16+1 9mm. With good ammo I feel OK with the 9mm. I use Federal HydraShoks premium 124 grain JHP. A lot of LEO's still carry 9's. My neighbor is a retired NYPD and carries an M&P 9C.

  21. #20
    Chester is offline Junior Member
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    Hexeir:

    I don't want to sound too much like a smart-ass, but judging from the way you express yourself, I'd say you really do need protection mostly from yourself.

    I'm surprised you're not opting for a .30 caliber machine gun plenty of power there!

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