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Advice from the pros please. Re: Handguns

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posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 06:58 PM
I would like a powerful handgun that is reliable and durable. I would like to stay around the 250 dollar range but would be willing to spend a little more if it made alot of difference. I dont want a bb gun, I want one with some nice stopping power behind it. I will mainly be using it at the range but in case of a home intrusion I would want one shot to be enough to stop them from harming my family. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I am well trained in firing guns but not knowledgeable at all as far as caliber, brand etc. Thanks alot in advance.

posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 07:22 PM

Thanks for your open mind and interest in firearms. In your price range I would suggest a Hi-Point brand pistol. They are ugly, heavy and cheap. However, they are extremely reliable and the company has the best customer service in the business. There is a no-questions-asked lifetime guarantee on all parts of there firearms and their staff is helpfull and freindly.(I sound like an ad) You would have the choice of 9mm, .40S&W and .45. If all you are interested in is stopping power, I would suggest the .45 caliber as it delivers the most energy to the target. 9mm is a fairly common, thus cheap, round and you can fit about 60% more bullets into the same size magazine. .40 S&W gives a good balance of capacity vs energy delivered, thats why most police departments in the U.S. use the .40.

People who own firearms generally hate the hi-point brand because of how cheap it is. Everyone who owns one or has shot one will tell you that although its cheap and ugly, its a great pistol.

If you are open to spending a bit more I would suggest a Smith and Wesson Model 9. They are really great guns and you can pick up a used one for about 300$ at a pawn shop or gun show.

Other than that, I suggest looking up your local shooting ranges and calling them to see if they rent guns out. It usually only costs about 8 bucks+ ammo to rent a pistol for some range time. Its a great way to "try before you buy". As an added bonus, if you find a rental that you shoot great with and you really like, the range will usually sell you the rental at a discounted price.

For home protection I would STRONGLY suggest a 20 gauge shotgun(you can pick up a quality one for 200$) loaded with birdshot. Birdshot is small and light and has much less energy after going through walls. Any of the above rounds will go through a bad guy, through a wall and possibly into a loved one. Birdshot will NOT exit the other side of the bad guy and will not cause as serious an injury to others in the house because of how fast it loses energy. The bad guy will actually be incapacitated faster due to the massive shock of a close range shotgun blast. On top of all that, just the sound of a shotgun chambering a round is usually enough to make the bad guy think," I'm getting the &^%$ out of here before I have to see whoever is holding that." Because you have family, I would also suggest a shotgun mounted flashlight to help properly identify what you are shooting at.

[edit on 4-2-2008 by Lotiki]

posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 07:32 PM
Glock 9mm. Reliable, Durable, Accurate. It may cost you a bit, but remember that you are talking about a gun, The most serious tool you will ever own. Not something you want to skimp on. It is NOT a toy after all. It is your life!!!

posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 07:37 PM
It may cost a bit more, but if you truly have your heart set on a pistol and you dont mind paying about 400$, I have to second the Glock 9mm.

It is accurate, durable as all hell,holds a lot of rounds, reliable, comfortable and simple. It is pretty much everything you could ask for in a pistol. It shoots better and more reliable stock than some 5000$ handguns.

Remember to keep out of reach of children.

[edit on 4-2-2008 by Lotiki]

posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 07:44 PM
Glock... Whatever caliber you chose it will serve you well, its the AK of pistols, The Glock 19 (9mm) is what I carry everyday. Its a compact model between the full size 17, and sub compact 26

I understand you want to spend a set amount, I suggest saving a bit more, your life is worth more then $250...

The Glock will not fail you.

[edit on 4-2-2008 by C0le]

posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 07:45 PM
For $250 bucks your best bet would be to get a used smith and wesson .357 revolver.

For $500 you could get a much better gun, like a CZ-75, or glock 9mm. If you get a Glock get the model 17 or 34, do not get a Glock that is chambered in a caliber other than 9mm.

For $750 you could get a springfield 1911, in .45 acp.

You might be able to find some sort of deal on a revolver that is more powerful than a .357, but .44's and the like are usually more expensive, like $400 plus.

posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 07:48 PM
Just a note here:

I have no problem at all with what Lotiki just told you..
I normally don't get involved in these threads, choosing instead to just read all the suggestions..

But, you sound sincere so...

I just want you to consider one thing...

If you choose an Automatic for home protection consider this scenario...

It's dark, your door gets kicked in, you pull your handy dandy Auto pistol, pull the trigger and "Click", no bang, just a click... You happened to have won the "Cupie Doll" prize and loaded your weapon of choice with the one in 10 thousand "bad" bullet. Yep that's right, they are out there. That scenario is called Murphy's Law...
Now what do you do?. Well you have several options, none of them good... 1. Clear the jamb.. Hard to do on the range, impossible in a stress scenario unless you are highly trained. I am, are you? Also what is your attacker doing while you clear the gun? Stopping politely and waiting? HA..
2. Throw the gun at your attacker... Hmmmm OK No
3. Give up and hope for mercy...
All bad

Now imagine you have a revolver, same scenario, same bad bullet...
You pull the trigger and "click", then what? You pull the trigger again and you go BANG... The chance for two is exponentially high... So you get two, so what? Pull and go bang again...

Revolver for home protection PERIOD... Unless you are willing to spend a lot of time on the range (Expensive), or risk your families welfare on a bullet, cheap gun etc...

First off I am the firearms instructor for my department and have been teaching firearms since 1988 when I attended the FBI firearms instructor school... I am also certified to teach, Basic Submachine Gun, Submachine Gun Tactics, Advanced Handgun Assault Tactics, Basic SWAT, Combat Shotgun etc etc..

So please consider my advice...

Either get a good quality revolver, save the money and get a good one.. Smith, Taurus, Colt, Dan Wesson...

Or dedicate yourself and attend many many practice sessions with an Auto, good quality also...Colt, Smith, Beretta, Glock, Para-ordinance etc etc..

Don't risk your life or the life of your family on a discount gun or inadequate training...


posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 07:52 PM
Fantastic answers and all much appreciated. Especially the first response that educated me a bit. Thanks so much guys. I CAN spend more, money is not that big of a problem, but I have a shotgun in the closet. I want one for the bedside at night. Dont worry about the kids, Im probably more protective than I should be. Seems like everyone likes glock but you guys lost me with some of the caliber and chamber talk. Which glock would be the best as far as power goes without spending a fortune. Lets raise the limit to 600 bucks.

Again, thanks so much for the info.

posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 07:56 PM
reply to post by semperfortis

No sir I am no expert as my OP makes note of. A jam would be the end of it, period, with my current level of training. Revolver makes sense to me, I would LOVE to hear which one you would recommend for a modest budget. I understand spending more gets you more (quality especially) I just dont want to spend that much. If I lived in a bad neighborhood I would (maybe my thinking is flawed but I am just stubborn sometimes) so please if you have time elaborate on make and caliber you would suggest for a modest price tag.

Thanks so much for replying, you obviously know what your talking about, as do the others who replied.

[edit on 4-2-2008 by shug7272]

[edit on 4-2-2008 by shug7272]

posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 08:06 PM

Left to right are: 22, 25, 32, 380, 9mm, 357 SIG, 38, 357, 40, 45, & 223 rifle ammo for comparison


The 9mm is the round that the Glock was designed for. The Glock 17(Full size) can hold 17 rounds in a magazine. The glock 19 (compact) can hold 15 rounds. The subcompact Glock holds 13(I think, I dont have one yet).

You can find Glocks in a pawn shop listed anywhere from 400-500$. No matter what they are asking, they did not pay more than 350 for it so offer 400. If they say no, go to another pawn shop, as one of them will sell at that price. I got my last 17 for 395$ brand new at a pawn shop. It still had the factory copper lube and the 2 fired cases with it.

9mm is great because it is such a common round. 9mm is a NATO round meaning gun manufacturers will always provide a steady supply of both ammo and pistols for it. Many manufacturers have made "more powerful" 9mm loads that are safe for glocks. These are called +P or +P+ rounds. When combined with modern hollowpoint and expanding bullet design, its about as effective as most larger calibers.

Unfortunately , the only revolver I own is a colt peacemaker and would definatly NOT be my first choice for home defense. I can't offer any advise on revolvers other than my mother carried a S&W .38special hammerless snubbie and its a freaking JOY to shoot. I think she paid about 550$ for it

edited to fix pic

[edit on 4-2-2008 by Lotiki]

posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 08:06 PM
I personally keep a Colt Python in my bedroom, no children in the house...

But they are expensive..

Look for a nice used Taurus, good quality at a good price...

I understand the Rossi just got bought out by Taurus... If so, they are reasonable, but make sure it is not the "Old" Rossi... I have seen them shot apart..

For home protection buy a 357mag., you can shoot the lower priced 38specials on the range and load with full power 357 for home protection..

I have taught firearms all over the country, De, VA, MD, SC, DC, CA, and Canada, To police and civilians, and still recommend the 357 revolver for home defense, even to trained police officers... Makes sense to not have to think in a stress situation about clearing, jams, etc...

The Glock is a wonderful weapon, again if you have the time and money to spend on training... Most don't..Get a jam and die if you are not trained, and I mean HIGHLY trained...Especially in an environment like a house...

Glocks will jam... Been there, done that...

Hope it all works for you..


posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 08:10 PM
9mm Carbine Kel Tec Sub 2000. Carbine length barrel gives it more velocity and accuracy for decent home peremeter defense. At 50yds 9mm impact is equivelant to a .357Mag due to increased velocity.

Cost about $300

posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 08:13 PM

Originally posted by semperfortis
I personally keep a Colt Python in my bedroom, no children in the house...

But they are expensive..

A Python? My girlfriend thought I was funny because I kept the DE on my nightstand for a while. Glad to know I'm not the only one.

posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 08:16 PM
Remember this...

Just because someone likes it, does not mean it is meant for you...

I happen to carry off duty the Para ordinance P10, 45 ACP... It is a 1911 style and requires a lot of training and expertise to use effectively when your life is on the line...

I carry the Glock 22 on duty...

I used to carry the Glock 21 and the Beretta 92f at different times... And before that, the S&W 66...

All good guns, all dependable and all require different levels of training... I was never "Out Gunned" in any situation and I had to "use" them all at one time or another.. Even the "66" was a good choice... It's all about the person and not the gun...

Also remember that "Flash" is just that, flash... Autos are flashy and popular, no more or less effective, just popular and requiring a LOT more training..

In the thousands of Police Officers I have trained on the force and in SWAT, I have even run across some that could not effectively use the Auto. No insult to them, they just could not get clearing exercises down to an effective time..

Although many will recommend autos, few will be truly proficient with them.. And it is all about you and the safety of your family....

Again, look for a good used Smith and Wesson or Taurus.. How much you spend depends on you.. I would not pay more than 500 for a good used one, but I will readily pay that for a Smith.. 400 to 450 for the Taurus..

You can find better deals, just make sure it is not all shot out and of good quality... Go to your local police department, ask for the firearms instructor and ask him for help.. If they are not terribly busy, I bet they will help you...

Tell them I sent you there..


posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 08:19 PM

I guess you just get used to something...

I used to compete with the old girl... Just feels right in my hands..


[edit on 2/4/2008 by semperfortis]

posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 08:32 PM
Lot and Semper you guys have been great. Lot thanks a TON for the pic. I will use this info and continue my research. I dont want to get burned on a used gun and dont know how to tell if it is "shot out" or in bad shape. Thanks guys, from the wife and girls too.

posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 09:11 PM
When it comes to buying guns for protection, their not like watches, where a 500 dollar watch will do the same thing as a 10 dollar watch. Dont go the cheap route. You get what you pay for, Save your money until you can get a good gun like a glock (600 and up), I paid (after taxes) about 670 for my glock 26, and about 1100 for my kimber 1911. I could have bought a 400 dollar 1911 but I wanna know every time I have to pick up a gun that its gonna have my back 100% of the time. Dont go cheap when it comes to this stuff, Like I said you get what you pay for.

posted on Feb, 4 2008 @ 11:02 PM

The Kimber is a GREAT gun...

I had one for a long time, used it in some competitions.. Extremely accurate and reliable after I had the feed ramp polished...

I sold it however when I was offered the Para ordinance P10 I now use for carry...

Still the 1911, single action style I am so comfortable with, but I like the 11 round capacity when carrying a small gun...

It's also every bit as accurate as the Kimber at 15 and under... Loses big time at 25 of course, but I have no business shooting anyone past about 10 yards anyway.. LOL (Hopefully this is one gun that will go unused in real life anyway)


posted on Feb, 5 2008 @ 12:15 AM
Glock .45

A lot of people are saying 9 mm, or .357. And Semperfortis makes a good point about revolvers; however, keep in mind that with a .357 or a 9mm, the bullet might over-penetrate, and the worst place that could happen is within your home, for obvious reasons.

Glocks are simple and proven. Unless you get a double feed which is extremely rare with a Glock (at least I've never seen it), a gun jam is as easy to fix as tap&rack. PLUS you don't need to worry about it overpenetrating as much.

They now also have all kinds of rounds you can get to help prevent that from happening as well, but I doubt you want to put a bullet through an invader, and then have it keep traveling into another house member's room.

Overpenetration should be a major concern in your home.

Glock .45

[edit on 2/5/2008 by bigbert81]

posted on Feb, 5 2008 @ 12:36 AM
Whether it is from a Glock, or 1911, the performance data for the 45 and the 357 is very similar..

Compare these two sites..

357 Mag


Yes the full blown 357 penetrates a couple of inches more, but you will find with the 357 FAR more bullet configurations and choices especially factoring in the very light and low penetration of the 38sp in an urban environment..

Also to note:

I have seen dozens of Glocks double feed, stove pipe and jam... They are a good weapon, no doubt about it, but they are just that, a weapon and fallible as all the rest.

As for a Tap. Rack.

Yeah on the range that is fun drill....

Real life bites you in the butt, never forget that. During a real encounter, especially the first time, the body goes into a "Fight or Flight" syndrome. It is at that time the body loses the ability to perform "Micro" tasks.. Guess what clearing a weapon is? Yep, a Micro task... Now with experience and training, one learns to handle that, to react properly and perform those tasks using a martial arts concept of Muscle memory.. But again, that is with EXPERIENCE and TRAINING.. LOTS OF IT...

In a shooting incident, I have seen Marines and Officers that could not tell you their names.. They could almost alway still pull a trigger, thank the Lord, but clear a jam... HAHAHAHAHA No way.. After their 2nd or 3rd firefight, they got better... Most people just want to live through the first one...

If you are a cop, military or some such, go with the Glock, Beretta or 1911... You have the experience and the training.. Trust me, they are all fine weapons and what you will hear about each one is personal preference and that means little about which is the best...

I like a safety on my weapons, and I like a single action trigger pull, so that is why my personal choice is the 1911.

I own an original Italian made Beretta 92 and consider it my most reliable weapon... I carry the Glock as it is issue, but also consider it a fine weapon. My carry gun has jammed on me one time, which is not bad considering I shoot several thousand rounds a year through it alone.

Find what your comfortable with, that you can be accurate with and most of all effective, then find a bullet that matches your environment.

I was not going to mention this because there are new shooters on here, but I'll make a note here..


I keep 3 rounds of "Rat Shot" and 3 rounds of Jacketed Hollow points in my home gun. I keep the rat shot as the first rounds, then on to the big stuff... I have cats and could not live with myself if I killed one accidentally ...

I am also experienced and very good... I have also seen what happens to people shot with rat shot at close range...



Just saying, don't get caught up in the "This is better than this" BS... The fact is it is all personal preference...

In point of fact, I have never been beaten in competition by a Glock.. I've been beaten MANY times, just never lost to a Glock.. Doesn't make them a bad weapon, in fact I consider them in the top three, again this is just personal preference... All depends on the person...


[edit on 2/5/2008 by semperfortis]

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