posted on Jul, 10 2005 @ 11:05 AM
The interesting thing here is that everyone is discussing their favorite hahdgun (And if I had to pick, I'd probably go with Tinkleflower and his
Ruger GP100, although my present revolvers are both 4" Taurus .357 double action).
But it seems to me that, unless you're a person who wants a gun just because (and there is nothing wrong with that; I have several "just
because" guns myself), then, if we're going to be advising a newbie, we should look at what we want the gun for before recommending it.
If the potential user does not have any experience at all in owning a gun, does not have the hours and hours to invest in using one, does not have an
unlimited amount of money to spend for it, and is the least bit concerned with the problems of lots of moving parts to operate and fail, then buying
an autoloader pistol is about as sensible as buying a heat-seeking missile.
I will admit, when I was younger and thus much smarter, I was a big autoloader fan; and I would talk learnedly about the advantages and disadvantages
of Glaser Safety Slugs, Black Talons, etc. as though it actually made any difference. However, I married a girl with a six-year-old son, and all of a
sudden I now have a full fledged family -- and I was doing a bit of business travel at the time!
I took my bride to a range prior to signing her up for an NRA course and let her shoot my two current sidearms, a Ruger P-85 (an autoloader in 9mm)
and a Colt 1911 MK !V Series 70 (the last single-action .45 ACP Colt made).
She hated them both.
It was practically impossible for her to chamber a round in broad daylight with no outside stress at all; imagine what it would be like to try to do
so at three in the morning pitch dark with the belief that there is a Bad Guy intent on breaking in and doing Evil Things to her and our kid!
So I did one of the few smart things I have done in my shooting career: I contacted the range and asked to speak with a woman firearms
instructor. I am not an instructor (although I have been a black powder merit badge counselor in the Boy Scouts). I do know that most instructors
are men and most seem to take a real macho approach to shooting, as though they were instructors in Parris or Lejeune. I didn't enjoy that for
myself; I certainly didn't want that for my wife.
Well this woman was about 45, had a soft voice, and she and Dawn hit it off immediately. She suggested that Dawn try her sidearm, a Taurus 4".357
double-action revolver which she had loaded with .38 spl wadcutters. It was love at first sight, and within two weeks I'd sold both of my
autoloaders and picked up two Taurus revolvers.
Now I know that an autoloader has a lot of advantages to someone who know how to use one, but a low-tech sidearm which someone will use beats a
high-tech sidearm which someone will not use any day. The reason I got rid of my two sidearms was to pay for the revolvers, and because I'd
just bought a Dillon 500 reloader and did not want to buy four sets of dies when two (.357 and .38SPL) would do.
My point here is that there's nothing wrong with talking about the esoterica of benefits of this caliber over that caliber and muzzle velocity and
expansion coefficients and all that stuff; I do it myself once in a while, if there's nothing good on TV.
But in the real world, if you want a handgun for home defense (which, as I mentioned, doesn't seem to make much sense anyway), the least you should
do -- if you're an experienced user giving advice to a newbie who trusts you ...
Is to give them sensible, real-world advice.
Edited to say: I just read Kinglizard's post above, and he makes a VERY good point about a pistol grip on a 12-gauge shotgun. If you have a pistol
grip, throw it away.
[edit on 10-7-2005 by Off_The_Street]