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What's the best handgun for self defense? My .02 Cents from Experience

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posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 10:01 AM
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What's the best handgun for self defense?

I am a conceal carry instructor in the midwest and students constantly ask me this question. If we don't have a lot of time I tell them to go to a gun store with a range and try some out. I say to buy the one that they can shoot the best and feels "right". If they have some time, I share the principals below with them, so here's my 2 cents from being asked that a million times. but first some statistics.

1. Most self defense shootings occur within 10 feet, closer to 5.
2. In most cases, when you draw, you will already be too late. They will have a knife, gun etc. already pointed at you. What does this mean? You will have less than two seconds once you decide to draw and fire while, hopefully moving.
3. 85% of the people shot with a handgun survive. No pistol cartridge statistically is better than any other. So all the talk about .45 knocking people off their feet is bull#. See this study by a coroner (www.buckeyefirearms.org...) It's true.

And now the four rules of gun safety (I would be remiss to not include these)

1. EVERY gun is LOADED. If it leaves your hand, it is loaded. Always check the chamber for a round, always when you pick up or set down a gun.
2. Only point the gun at something you want to kill or destroy.
3. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot!
4. Be aware of what's down range from your target.

So, let's continue!!!!!

So now you know some basic statistics, you can see that cartridge caliber is mute. What matters is
1. Reliability - does it go bang when you need it too?
2. Capacity - Does it hold enough rounds to deal with 2-3 threats? (contrary to popular belief, you will be accosted probably at night by a gang).
3. Concealment - Can it be concealed? Is it too large?
4, Training and mechanical safeties- What's your training level with the weapon? If you have no training, simple is better (i.e . a revolver) Mechanical safeties are bad. They fail, you will forget to disengage it unless you train, train, train. If you carry a Springfield XD, XDm, XDs same thing.. that grip safety is a tradition to 1911 carriers, but if your shooting arm is injured or you choose a non traditional grip, you will be screwed and will die. My point is simplicity is better in a gun fight.
5. Preference of carry - Do you want to use an inside the waistband holster (IWB) like a crossbreed super tuck? or do you want to carry outside the waistband (OWB)? Like a Raven concealments, Crown, etc.?

KEY NOTE: During a gunfight, you WILL lose fine motor skills, your vision will be like a tunnel. Your hands become seal flippers. So if you have a 1911 and don't practice, you will forget to disengage the thumb safety and you will die. It happens.

So what does this leave?

Well, it's pick and choose. Pick between 2,3 and 5 above.

So MY preferences (I own and carry these as well as train with them regularly).

Summer in the midwest, or where I can wear a T-shirt, polo, etc.

1. Glock 19 - 9mm - 15 round magazines. This is a double stack striker fired weapon (sometimes still to bulky for me). I like to carry this in an OWB holster. Raven Concealment holster. I have tritium night sights, a glocktriggers trigger (a stock trigger that’s tuned, available online) in it, stippled grip. I also put cutouts at the bottom of the grip so I can rip the magazine out easier. I carry 2 extra magazines everywhere (that just makes me feel better). I used to carry a Glock 23, but changed from .40 caliber to 9mm. Either is ok. Just shoot the caliber you train with. Some people like the Glock 26/27, but these are stubby double stack guns. May as well have the extra barrel length of the 19/23. But a great weapon of course.
2. A Walther PPS – 9mm – 7 or 8 round magazine, this is a single stack striker fired weapon. Capacity is lower, but it conceals great and is comfortable in a cargo pocket of my pants, IWB or OWB holster. I have Tritium night sights on it and a Hogue grip sleeve. Excellent weapon.
3. S&W Shield – 9mm – 7or 8 round magazine, this is a single stack striker fired weapon. Pretty much the same as the Walther, but has a thumb safety. For some reason, doesn’t seem as accurate as the Walther and has more recoil??? Go figure. Nice weapon though.
4. S&W 642 Revolver – 5 shot .38. A problem with semi auto’s is that they will not fire well through clothing, if the slide moves back slightly. It will go out of battery and not fire. A revolver fires ALWAYS. So, never fired a gun? GET THIS! With a crimson trace laser. My wife shot this when she started and now shoots the Shield (she has more experience now).

Notice there are no Springfield XD’s or variants. They are great guns and I started 3 years ago with them. The slide is too wide for carry and the grip safety is a weakness for the above mentioned reasons. My opinion for my personal situation.

Winter in the midwest, or where I can wear a jacket, fleece, sweatshirt

1. Glock 19 - 9mm - 15 round magazines. This is a double stack striker fired weapon. I like to carry this in an OWB holster. Raven Concealment holster. I have tritium night sights, a glocktriggers trigger (a stock trigger that’s tuned, available online) in it, stippled grip. I also put cutouts at the bottom of the grip so I can rip the magazine out easier. I carry 2 extra magazines everywhere (that just makes me feel better). I used to carry a Glock 23, but changed from .40 caliber to 9mm. Either is ok. Just shoot the caliber you train with. Some people like the Glock 26/27, but these are stubby double stack guns. May as well have the extra barrel length of the 19/23. But a great weapon of course.
2. STI Tactical 4.0 2011 – 9mm – 19 round magazines. This is like the typical 1911 model, but a double stack. The most accurate gun I own and my go to handgun in the house. In the house I mount a tactical light. For carry, I use a OWB holster.

So, there ya have it. This is not meant to be all conclusive, just my 2 cents from my experience, I hope at least it’s a good started guide for someone.
edit on 20-7-2013 by ArcAngel because: took out bolding

edit on 20-7-2013 by ArcAngel because: (no reason given)

edit on 20-7-2013 by ArcAngel because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 10:06 AM
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Go to the range. Try out a bunch a guns. Buy the one the feels right, looks right, sounds right, cost right. There ya go. No one can tell YOU what gun you want and please dont get information regarding such responsibility from randoms on the Internet.

Edit including my advise but it is still pretty sound info.


edit on 20-7-2013 by marbles87 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 10:07 AM
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Great thread, had to add in some Bill Burr might be good for a couple chuckles.



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 10:10 AM
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Thanks for the positive feedback and adds. Good stuff!



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 10:16 AM
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If I might add something I'm seeing develop with my wife to the point of a deal breaking factor. Think about personal health and physical abilities. She once had the skill and natural ability to out shoot most people she came across on the range. After years of diabetic neuropathy, she can't chamber a round in our little .25 Raven automatic anymore.

She can, however, fire both the Smith and Wesson Model 19 Revolver and the .38 Chief's Special. In her case, again by the diabetic issues, there is an additional benefit with that. Through a simple change of grips, the whole feel and handling of the gun changes for her, unlike anything that can be done with an automatic, IMO.

Just a couple things to consider, depending on who is shopping.



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 10:22 AM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


Excellent point Wrabbitt!!!!

Always try the guns out and shoot them.



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 11:49 AM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Jul, 20 2013 @ 11:54 PM
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reply to post by ArcAngel
 


I did plain clothes security work, we were given a few options for holsters (inside the waistband or the external paddle holsters) and what firearms (s&w .38, glock 17and the glock 23) we wanted to use, i preferred the glock 17 for its weight, accuracy, concealment and the number of rounds it carried. I thought it was ideal for the work i was doing, and never really had to worry about it jamming. If Australia had the laws for firearms conceal carry in normal everyday life, it would be my choice!



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 01:55 AM
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well the Marine Corps doesn't agree. about the .45



An order last month of new M45 Close Quarter Battle Pistols for the Marines is the first purchase of any Colt handgun in almost three decades by any branch of the U.S. military, though .45-caliber Colts were a trusty sidearm of the Army and Marines for most of the 20th century.


from the stars and stripes

After 30 years, the Marines are returning to the Colt .45 pistol

and i guess you forgot the reason they went to back to the .45 during the philippine-american war to begin with.



American units fighting Moro guerrillas during the Philippine-American War using the then-standard Colt M1892 revolver, in .38 Long Colt, found it to be unsuitable for the rigors of jungle warfare, particularly in terms of stopping power, as the Moros had very high battle morale and frequently used drugs to inhibit the sensation of pain.[9] The U.S. Army briefly reverted to using the M1873 single-action revolver in .45 Colt caliber, which had been standard during the late 19th century; the heavier bullet was found to be more effective against charging tribesmen.[10] The problems prompted the then–Chief of Ordnance, General William Crozier, to authorize further testing for a new service pistol.[10]


from this wiki.
M1911 pistol

i think i'll stick with my .45 or maybe a raging judge with #4 and .45 every other chamber, just to add insult to injury. i would say go with .454 but that would be just a little over kill.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 02:37 AM
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S&W 6906 (9mm) for my CHL most of the time however, the 1911 (45ACP) goes on occasion especially if I am hunting but also need a side arm.

I owned a Glock and they are simple and good shooters. Mine was a Glock 23..... growing up with mechanical safeties the Glock was not something I chose to carry...personal choice. ..Sold the Glock...I run cocked and locked when the 1911 is with me....and have always felt safe doing so.

Stopping power of the 45 has been demonstrated for many years but if it is a poor shot you can expect poor results...

22 cal has killed many people yet I would not want to have to depend on it to protect my life unless, it was all I had....and I absolutely love the caliber for many things just not CHL carry....

Shot placement with any caliber is my #1 consideration unless it is a spray and pray event; then extra rounds are a definite plus. I don't see that as much of a possibility for most CHLs so like you I would tell them find a centerfire weapon they are comfortable with and can hit what they aim at out to at least 15+ yards.

A few (2) retired LEOs I know now carry a .357 revolver...go figure?

Cost of ammo is also a factor for if they do not train and practice with the weapon then their results may not be what they intended when needed. Luckily most will never need a weapon to protect themselves....better to have and not need, than need and not have....IMO etc etc



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 07:03 AM
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The best weapon for self defense is the one you take from your assailant, shove up his nose, and blow his brain pan open with. Its the one you find lying around, and it doesnt have to be a handgun at all. Could be a half brick, a length of discarded pipe, a can of beans, a litre bottle of booze, fire extinguisher, anything that either increases your reach or swing power, and if the worst comes to the worst, every human being ever born healthy, can kill man with his bare hands. This last one either requires training or a hard life, and there is nothing to pick between these two. Either way, you dont kill an opponent with your fists, or anything you can put in your hand. You kill with your mind.

If you arent prepared to destroy someone, then when the crap hits the rotary airflow regulator, you are going to be just as boned if you are carrying a good pistol, than if you showed up with a bunch of roses and a box of chocolates. And, before we get into the "well you would say that, you are British hur hur" thing, yes, I am British, which means when the crap has hit the fan for me in the past, I havent had the luxury of relying on a gun. I am however, still alive, and there have been plenty of moments where that was not necessarily the most likely outcome of events.



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 07:27 PM
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reply to post by hounddoghowlie
 


Keep in mindNATO has to use FMJ ammo. They cannot use hollow point munitions like we can, go figure, huh? So in the case of FMJ, you are correct sir! force is equal to mass times acceleration. More mass, more force. With hollow points, we are talking about wound channels and incapacitation to stop a threat.

Thank you for your excellent post though!



posted on Jul, 21 2013 @ 07:29 PM
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reply to post by 727Sky
 


Wow, I cannot believe I forgot to mention shot placement over caliber, duh! I feel so silly now.

Thank you for bringing that up. I absolutely agree.



posted on Jul, 24 2013 @ 07:12 PM
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Now-a-days?

Anything you can find ammo for
The most important factor in the decision process.

Otherwise all you got is a small hand held club or a cool looking paperweight.



posted on Jul, 25 2013 @ 08:53 AM
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reply to post by ABNARTY
 


Sadly, not too far off the mark. Ammo is still scarce here. Might as well be non-existent.



posted on Jul, 25 2013 @ 09:13 AM
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With a lot of proper training any gun will be good for self defense.
If you know how to shoot a handgun properly. It wont matter what handgun you use.

PS. It is noe easy to become a good shooter With any handgun, unless you know how to shoot properly.



posted on Jul, 25 2013 @ 09:34 AM
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I have a Springfield 1911 given to me by the SWAT team leader who taught me everything I know and I've always wanted to carry it with me (in my truck at least) but I'm a little paranoid about accidental discharges. I've always wondered if you guys always keep a round chambered with the hammer down (if its got one) or what?

Just curious. I'm thinking I might be being too paranoid about the whole thing.



posted on Jul, 25 2013 @ 09:42 AM
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reply to post by PlausibleDeniability
 


In some states, there are different laws regarding a stored firearm in your car, and chambered rounds, so will want to check your state's laws. A simple Google will suffice, as the Wikipedia entries for it are pretty good. I keep a loaded revolver in my locked center console, which is perfectly legal in FL.


Vehicle carry without a license is permitted.

Handguns – must be either "securely encased" or not immediately available for use.[12] "Securely encased" means in a glove compartment, whether or not locked; snapped in a holster; in a gun case, whether or not locked; in a zippered gun case; or in a closed box or container which requires a lid or cover to be opened for access.[13] Carry of a Handgun on one's person inside a vehicle without a license is not permitted (except in the case of open carry in accordance with the law outlined above). Once a handgun is securely encased, it can be stored anywhere inside the vehicle and is not limited to just the glove compartment/center console.




edit on 25-7-2013 by Gazrok because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 25 2013 @ 09:57 AM
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reply to post by PlausibleDeniability
 


1911 is meant to be carried in condition 1.

Attempting to carry, store or transport it with the hammer down on a live round is inadvisable for a few reasons:
-Should you need it you have to remember to cock the hammer
-Dropping or hitting the hammer in that state may result in a negligent discharge (though not likely)
-To arrive in that state you have to lower the hammer onto a live round (super inadvisable)

The safest way for you to keep your 1911 in your car and useable is condition 1 and in a holster mounted to some part of the vehicle: console, dash, glove box, etc...

If you want to carry it without a holster the best way to retain some useability while remaining safe is Israeli style: loaded mag inserted, no round in chamber.

Ideally that 1911 is in condition 1 and on your person/under your control at all times. I dont like leaving guns in cars for both safety reasons and theft reasons. Look into a cross-draw rig to get at it while driving.

1911's are carried everyday all day by thousands if not tens of thousands of individuals in condition 1. It's the way they were designed to be carried. Trust the design. It's over 100 years old after all.



posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 03:03 PM
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What's the best handgun for self defense?

The kind that goes boom... Just my $.02

You are welcome to disagree but I doubt you would volunteer to let me shoot you with even a .22



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