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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am currently looking to buy my first handgun. It's purpose would be to defend my home from intruders. It should have enough knock down power for that reason, but I also want my wife to be able to use it. If that's a factor.

Neither one of us have any experience with handguns. I grew up in Germany, where the only guns you're allowed to have... are pellet guns. So once we purchase this gun, I would like to take some sort of class with my wife, to really know what we're doing. Wonder if there is a class for home defense out there!?

Another factor is that my budget is rather small right now, since the economy in CA is still bottoming out. Which is another reason to get some sort of home defense. You never know when one of those crack heads decides that there's gotta be something of value in your house...

Any suggestions on what to buy? I'm looking forward to your responses!!


TheGermanGuy :sniper:

God bless America!!
 

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Nothing better than a good wheel gun. I love S&W, you can find then used for less. Tarus us pretty good too. I would say a 4in 357mag would be best. You can start out with lite 38 special loads. Work you way up to 38+P's. Which would not be a bad place to stop for the wife. Or move onto 357mags. There are even lite loads for them. 110grn med. vol. loads. The best 38+p hit with about 278 foot pounds. A full house 357mag hit at about 578 fp. The 110grn runs at about 410 fp's. More pop, but less punch. The Smith K frame is a good size. A lot of folks like semi auto's. And they are good. But you say you and your wife are starting out. A wheel gun is the easyest to learn to use. And seldom jam. If it does not go bang, most times pull the trigger again and it will work. If a semi jams, its not as easy to clear. I have many of both types of hand guns. But my travel and house gun is a six shooter. A Smith mod 66 with a 4in bbl. Both my kids and my wife know how to make it work. With all that said, I think the best house gun is a pump shotgun. You can pick up a 20ga and with a little work every one in the house could hit a bad guy. With a shotgun, you do not have to be exact, sometimes, close is good enough. As the old saying goes. A shotgun speaks louder to a croud. I hope this helps a little and I hope you never need to use it.
 

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I am not sure of the cost against an S&W, but my vote for both a weapon that you and your wife can handle is the Glock 23. This is 40 cal. and will have knock down power. It is a very light weapon and yet has very good qualities and durability. The females (and detectives) on our department carry this weapon and have no problems in handling them. We just returned from the firing range and had 16 Glocks firing. We fired over 5000 rounds with one stovepipe. That’s a pretty good report. The weapon is a single action, so it acts just like a wheel gun,(course the wheel gun will not stovepipe) but is still just as safe as a double/single action semi-auto.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Camera Man and Coyote for the quick responses!

Currently I own a 10/22 and a Luger 12ga Shotgun. I'm not sure if either one of those would be a good choice to defend my home. We have very narrow hallways, to where I would actually have to maneuver my shotgun around the corner. It's got a 28" barrel. Great for trap shooting though!? :D


TheGermanGuy :sniper:
 

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1st let me say that the best self defense weapon is the one you have in your hands at the time you need it. After that, My first choice would be a Colt 1911A1 with hydra-shock bullets. There is a reason that it has been around for damn near 100 years.
 

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All this is true. But Coyote hit the nail on the head. A wheel gun will never have a stove pipe. And if it happeneds at the right/wrong time, your dead. And you must remember, law inforcement folks are highly trained on how to use a semi. These are comon folk. And searcher5 is right about the one in your hand is the best. But you must be able to use it, with out thinking. As for the 1911, I love mine, but in a dark hall with a bad guy coming is not the time to try to clear a jam. I know that a wheel gun only has 6 rounds, but the average house firefight only last a total of 3 rounds. 6 will do just fine in most cases. And the wheel gun has been around about 150 years. That has to mean something. A nice 100 pound pit bull works real good too : ) It would slow the bad guy long enough to get a nice clear shot.
 

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I have a Glock 21 for carry and for when things "go bump in the night". If it is only for home use maybe you should look at a light-duty shotgun like a 20ga with an 18" barrel. In close quarters, a shotgun will stop an intruder quite reliably. A good 20ga should provide knockdown power without the brutal recoil of the 12ga. If you want a handgun, I'd opt for a Glock 40/45 caliber fullsize pistol or a good revolver, both are good choices for people who aren't very familiar with guns and would be hampered by complicated controls and safeties.
 

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Like the germanguy, I too am looking for my 1st handgun. I see that you guys are recommending a .40/.45 gun. How anout 9mm?

Chris M
 

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Don't forget the 357 mag. It has a higher 1 shot stopping % than eather. A 45 hydra shock has a 92% one shot stop and a full house 357 as about 96%. But after the 357, I would take the time proven 45. As for a 9mm, don't let people fool you. There are thoes who hate it. But with all the new bullets out there, a good 9, like the Fed. personal defence load is very good. A few PD's are going back to them. But thats probley due to the lawers telling them that there is less of a chance of being sued if they do. I would and have bet my life on a 9, but it has to be the right 9.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well this is great! Tons of input! I love it!!

TheGermanGuy :sniper:
 

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Chris:

Like the germanguy, I too am looking for my 1st handgun. I see that you guys are recommending a .40/.45 gun. How anout 9mm?
The 9mm is not a bad weapon. But from experience go with the 40/45. Those are stopping rounds. Remember you are NOT trying to kill anyone. Your just trying to stop their actions. (This is a must when going to court, and if you shoot someone, you will go to court.) After a incident in my area, where a bad guy was shot numerous times with two different 9mm, and still was able to take out two LE officers (he was shooting a 44 mag.) , I have lost my faith in 9mms. He was finally stopped with one shot from a 45 cal weapon. Guess what he was wearing.........a very heavy leather jacket.
 

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Thanks,

I looked at a springfields armories XD-9 today along with a Sig 226 and a Glock. I know the Sig is pretty well rated, but is $150 more than the Springfield. Anyone know about the Springfield as far as accuracy and reliability?

Thanks

Chris M :usa:

Semper Fi
 

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I owned a glock 17 for 15 years, I liked the gun but hated the 9mm. Even with heavy European rounds, you could pick up bullets on the back side of an empty a 5 gal. bucket. The 40 S&W is just as easy for women to handel and much more dependable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
In case there are any other californians that are wondering what you can buy or not in CA:
Effective January 1, 2001, no handgun may be manufactured within California, imported into California for sale, lent, given, kept for sale, or offered/exposed for sale unless that handgun model has passed firing, safety, and drop tests and is certified for sale in California by the Department of Justice. Private party transfers, curio/relic handguns, certain single-action revolvers, and pawn/consignment returns are exempt from this requirement.

Here's a link where you can see all the approved handguns: http://justice.doj.ca.gov/safeguns/safeguns_new.taf

TheGermanGuy :sniper:
 

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I am L.E. and have many years experience with S&W .357 and Glock 9mm. I own 2 nines and a 45. For a Newbie I would recommend the wheel gun. Like others have said, you don't have to worry about possibly needing to clear a jam or a misfire. With the revolver you just keep pulling the trigger until it's empty. And with a .357 or higher if the round doesn't get em the noise will scare the s**t out of them.:ar15:
 

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I can get Y'all the name of a good real estate agent here in Kansas whenever you get tired of "Kommiefornia"
 

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Hey German Guy.

My personal recommendation like the others have said is a 20 gauge pump shotgun for home defense. But if it has to be a handgun I would get a 9mm Beretta. 15 in the clip one up the pipe. With hollowpoint ammo of course. I own two. The reason for the nine is less recoil for the wife. If its for yourself only get a Para-ordance P14-45. 14 in the clip one in the pipe. Only problem is finding the high caps for it. Forget the .50AE Desert Eagle, too much recoil, no fast follow up shots.etc. It just looks good in the movies, for real life encounters its worthless.

Good luck. :usa: :cool:
 

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German Guy,

The best handgun loads unfortunately pale in comparison to carbine rounds or shotgun loads. That being said, the wheelgun is great for beginners IF it has good sights. Some of them are too hard to see and index well.

I use a .45 (200gr +) or a 9mm (124gr only), but usually grab a 12 or a .223 when something seems wrong around here.

As for a wheelgun, Taurus makes VERY comfortable .357s - I'd buy one but stoke it with .38 Specials (maybe +Ps, maybe not).

My mother uses a snubbie .38 loaded with 125gr. XTP hollowpoints and I don't hear he complaining... hits what she points it at.

My preference in any caliber is to get the best shooting round first (accuracy is a fickle thing) and the hardest hitting round second. I'd rather score a hit with a .22LR with CCI Stingers than miss with a 240gr SWC from a .44 Magnum.

Good luck -

Mughi-14
 
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