Author Topic: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie  (Read 6515 times)

Offline hensensnode

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Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« on: June 10, 2011, 01:04:31 PM »
I've taken a basic safety class and gotten a license to carry (I live in MAss), and been to the range a few times to practice. I'm looking for opinions on a number of issues from the experts here:

1) deciding between revolver and semi-auto. One thing I've been told conflicting stories about is storing ammunition in the clip for extended periods of time: if I have a clip with bullets in it and it sits unused for months, will the spring in the clip get ruined making it unworkable when you pick up the gun to use it? That is, do I need to empty the clips for storage and load them each time or can I leave a clip loaded for long periods of time without worrying that it will be ruined and unusable when needed?

2) deciding on model of handgun and ammunition type.  I know there's no one right answer but here are my parameters.  I'm 5'6", and 140 lbs, and I do surgery-like work with my hands, so I don't want a ton of recoil. I tried a small revolver the other day with 38 special bullets, and it was too much - I've got a bruise and a sore hand, which is fine if it's an emergency situation but I can't have that on a regular basis for practicing with this thing or it will mess with my job.  I then tried a bigger revolver and a 9mm, both of which were ok recoil-wise.  However, the smaller one would sure be easier to conceal-carry! Someone then suggested I try a 22, but as I understand, the self-defense aspect of the 22 is not great. So, I guess my questions are:
    - is there a compromise between something that's small enough to carry every day (and my clothes are light enough that a big gun will make a visible lump) and something that's big enough that it won't beat up my hand?
    - is there any 22 round that actually has significant stopping power?

Thanks in advance for any wisdom from you all.

Offline spartan

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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2011, 01:56:41 PM »
You will get a lot of responses on this I'm sure, in many cases from folks who can answer these in a more technical manner.

1.  The compression of a modern spring, like you will find in most magazines, does not lead to any concern for fatigue or damage.  You can load them up, throw them in a drawer, and be able to use them whenever you need to.  It is the working of a spring, i.e. adding and relieving tension by loading and unloading the magazines, that causes damage.  For most of us, this is not likely to be an issue for the life of a magazine.

That comes with some qualifiers however.  If the storage conditions lead to corrosion or damage of the spring or magazine it may not function as intended.  If in doubt, don't use it.  Even expensive magazines, in the grand scheme of things, are inexpensive insurance.  If you are concerned about this, I would look for a firearm with inexpensive and readily available high quality mags. 

2.  Yes, there is a compromise in any handgun for size, weight, and caliber.  My EDC is a very small .357 magnum revolver.  I don't shoot it for fun or often because of how much it beats up my hands.  However, I can carry all day, every day, in any clothing I would choose to wear so there is no reason to never have it on me.  I prefer this over something larger that I can't

When you ask if there is a 22 round that has significant stopping power, I'm going to make the leap that you mean some kind of .22s/l/lr/wmr. In that case, and all handguns, no there isn't a round that has significant stopping power.  All handguns are a compromise and are there for our defense so we do the best we can.

All kinds of recommendations can be made of what the great wonder gun is to carry, but even among those of us with years of shooting experience, there's no clear cut answer.  We are still arguing the point of "what's better..." when in the end the answer of "what's best" comes down to what works for you.  What gun will you get up each morning and carry all day, every day, so you are never without it?  If that means something in .22lr, I'd rather you have that than nothing at all.

Rather than start listing off a bunch of makes/models and calibers to try, here are some questions to ask yourself:

-How much can I afford?  This includes the conceal carry rig and practice ammunition.
-What feels good (gun and caliber) when I shoot it?
-How easy is it for my size, shape, and wardrobe to conceal this gun? (I have a friend a few inches taller than you but a few pounds lighter who could conceal a fullsize Beretta FS...)
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Offline Outdoorfury

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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2011, 02:08:55 PM »
To add on to Mr. Spartan's comments i would also suggest getting a quality gun belt. This is absolutely necessary if you are wearing them on your hip.
Also, do not skimp out and buy a cheap-o uncle mike holster. You want your gun to be comfortable to wear as you won't wear it if it is not comfortable. This will also go into consideration when choosing the gun size (not caliber).
I would also add, IMHO, that in a defense situation the bigger the caliber the better when it comes to handguns especially. As Spartan said, handguns are a compromise.
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Offline ZenGunFighter

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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2011, 02:32:38 PM »
1. the pistol has to be reliable. It has to go bang when you pull the trigger.
2. the pistol has to fit you. It needs to fit your hand/trigger reach, and be of a size that you can carry it.

I don't recommend revolvers. For a number of reasons I won't get into right now.
I like Autos that are reliable and have a simple 'manual of arms' and are ergonomic.

Take a look at Smith & Wesson's M&P line. I'd stick with a 9mm. With the current crop of hollow point ammo available, it is about as effect as a handgun cartridge gets.

Ruger's SR-9 and Kahr's 9mms are others that would be high on my list, given your criteria

Also, check out neshooters.com  for good training in your general area.
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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2011, 03:29:23 PM »
...One thing I've been told conflicting stories about is storing ammunition in the clip for extended periods of time: if I have a clip with bullets in it and it sits unused for months, will the spring in the clip get ruined making it unworkable when you pick up the gun to use it? That is, do I need to empty the clips for storage and load them each time or can I leave a clip loaded for long periods of time without worrying that it will be ruined and unusable when needed?...

This question has come up a few times.  See this topic: Magazine springs: tension & lifespan (merged topics)  (Replacement springs, by the way, are cheap, and easy to install.)

Offline Frank S.

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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2011, 03:55:46 PM »
Wow - amazingly GREAT answers here.

I have nothing to add. :)
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Offline Bolomark

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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2011, 05:09:28 PM »
I've taken a basic safety class and gotten a license to carry (I live in MAss), and been to the range a few times to practice. GOOD.
2) deciding on model of handgun and ammunition type.  I know there's no one right answer but here are my parameters. ... I've got a bruise and a sore hand, (you can try a padded shooting glove)...
  I then tried a bigger revolver and a 9mm, both of which were ok recoil-wise.  However, the smaller one would sure be easier to conceal-carry(how do you want to carry,under arm on belt left or right side.,in a carry bag?)
 Someone then suggested I try a 22,( you can practice with a .22 which is cheaper just remember to get used to the feel of your edc weapon).
 - is there a compromise between something that's small enough to carry every day (and my clothes are light enough that a big gun will make a visible lump) and something that's big enough that it won't beat up my hand?([i]yes there is always a compromise, i want to carry a pistol, shotgun and a rifle with a sword thrown in in case i run outta ammo,but that's not gonna happen[/i])
    Keep trying the different models calibers and style,the gun ranges around here rental pistols to try them out before you buy.

just for info I carry 9mm glock..45acp glock and .44 magnum revolver.i like the .45's 9mm is cheap to shoot. But when the .44 talks everyone listens.still getting used to it.
good luck in your search.
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Offline donaldj

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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2011, 06:08:56 PM »
I've taken a basic safety class and gotten a license to carry (I live in MAss), and been to the range a few times to practice. I'm looking for opinions on a number of issues from the experts here:

1) deciding between revolver and semi-auto. One thing I've been told conflicting stories about is storing ammunition in the clip for extended periods of time: if I have a clip with bullets in it and it sits unused for months, will the spring in the clip get ruined making it unworkable when you pick up the gun to use it? That is, do I need to empty the clips for storage and load them each time or can I leave a clip loaded for long periods of time without worrying that it will be ruined and unusable when needed?

2) deciding on model of handgun and ammunition type.  I know there's no one right answer but here are my parameters.  I'm 5'6", and 140 lbs, and I do surgery-like work with my hands, so I don't want a ton of recoil. I tried a small revolver the other day with 38 special bullets, and it was too much - I've got a bruise and a sore hand, which is fine if it's an emergency situation but I can't have that on a regular basis for practicing with this thing or it will mess with my job.  I then tried a bigger revolver and a 9mm, both of which were ok recoil-wise.  However, the smaller one would sure be easier to conceal-carry! Someone then suggested I try a 22, but as I understand, the self-defense aspect of the 22 is not great. So, I guess my questions are:
    - is there a compromise between something that's small enough to carry every day (and my clothes are light enough that a big gun will make a visible lump) and something that's big enough that it won't beat up my hand?
    - is there any 22 round that actually has significant stopping power?

Thanks in advance for any wisdom from you all.

I've read that the magazine springs get more wear and tear from actual use (loading and reloading) than they do remaining under one steady rate of tension or another. It kind of makes sense, since moving metal is more likely to fatigue than stationary metal.

Another consideration is what level of future training you're going to get. Many handgun schools stress the semiautomatic over the revolver. You're likely to get more readily available training on the semi-auto. Not to say that there aren't revolver experts out there.

To me, you definitely should look at a defense intent cartridge, since this seems to be your primary function for the firearm. So, if you want a smaller size, less recoil, and decent stopping power, you're essentially left with the weight of the gun to absorb recoil.  In this case, you might want to look at an all-steel gun like a Beretta Tomcat or a Walther PPK/S.  Both small, both concealable, and both chambered in something better than a 22. 

Between the two, I'd look at the Walther. You'll need to shoot it a lot, with reasonably hot loads to ensure reliability, and possibly take it to an aftermarket gunsmith for some tweaking. The Tomcat I had was ultra reliable, but the .32 ACP was a bit underpowered for my tastes. However, the lighter round, with some souped up hollow points, and the heaviness of the Tomcat might make a decent combination for what you're looking for.

D
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Offline d0j0w0

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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2011, 09:08:49 PM »
Cops carry loaded mags all day everyday.  Using the hand gun you finally settle on will ensure that you will be proficient; if you need to use your weapon; and that your weapon is functioning properly.

You may not want a bigger gun but a heavier gun man help with felt recoil.  And maybe consider a ported gun. 
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Offline ZenGunFighter

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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2011, 09:30:31 PM »
  In this case, you might want to look at an all-steel gun like a Beretta Tomcat or a Walther PPK/S.  Both small, both concealable, and both chambered in something better than a 22. 


D

Those haven't been viable choices for close to a decade. Much better choices in that weight/size bracket.

Kahr PM9 is very slightly smaller and lighter than the PPK, fires a 9mm rather than .380, is a locked breach so recoil isn't as abrupt, has a simpler manual of arms, has a consistant trigger pull.
I'm surprised anyone buys PPKs anymore.

If you want the Tomcat size you can get the Ruger LCP, same size but .380, not .22/25/32. Kahr is making a nifty .380 too.

We've been really blessed with some great developments in concealment pistols in the last few years.
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Offline OldManSchmidt

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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2011, 09:39:14 PM »
I have recommended a .38 revolver more often than any other firearm for a self defense / carry gun.  In fact, I carry one as my back up.  Mine has aftermarket grips that help greatly with recoil.  I recommend the .38 revolver so much because it is arguably the most reliable type of handgun which is up to the job of self defense without relatively brutal recoil.

What I mean by this is that the round is big enough and powerful enough to be a reliable threat ender with reasonably good shot placement.  The revolver platform is the simplest to operate and maintain.  That means those who are not going to practice as much as they should, for whatever reason, will be most likely to have a functional weapon if they need it.

A longer barrel, say a 4" or so, is still concealable and will help with recoil.  A heavier frame is also greatly desired to reduce recoil.

Autoloading pistols in the 9mm family generally have very forgiving recoil.  All of the reputable arms companies that produce handguns make a good 9mm.  It is personal choice beyond that.  For instance, I lean toward Glock, Ruger, and Taraus...in that order for autoloaders.  They require a bit more practice to stay familiar and proficient with them, and there are a few more things that can go wrong with them; but are just as good a choice.

Autoloaders are sometimes slightly easier to conceal than revolvers, but there is not a lot of difference.

I'm not really a fan of any round smaller than .380 ACP for a defense round and even that is too light for my taste.  I would have to be life and death desperate to use anything smaller.

I don't have mag troubles with my modern magazines.  I have had problems with old mags, and I mean 20+ year old magazines, in the past.  I keep my carry mags loaded all the time.  I only unload them when I change out my carry ammo for my range ammo in practice.

For the record, it sounds that you are doing fine all by yourself in making these decisions.  You had the sense to get training in firearms safety and you passed a CDW permit.  You are well on the right track.  I hope what I and the others here have said helps, and we are glad to help, but I think you would have worked it all out on your own given a little time.
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Offline donaldj

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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2011, 09:19:18 AM »
Those haven't been viable choices for close to a decade. Much better choices in that weight/size bracket.

Kahr PM9 is very slightly smaller and lighter than the PPK, fires a 9mm rather than .380, is a locked breach so recoil isn't as abrupt, has a simpler manual of arms, has a consistant trigger pull.
I'm surprised anyone buys PPKs anymore.

If you want the Tomcat size you can get the Ruger LCP, same size but .380, not .22/25/32. Kahr is making a nifty .380 too.

We've been really blessed with some great developments in concealment pistols in the last few years.

I agree they are not the best options for modern day carry, but the OP specifically desires recoil control in a relatively compact form factor. That means:
  • Advancements in the semi-auto action, which have had some progress in minimizing recoil.
  • Weight- Inertia absorbs recoil.

I would not suggest these to a general person looking for their first concealed carry gun. I would suggest them for someone with a very specific set of needs, as the OP was clear on.
Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — "No, you move."     -Captain America

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Offline Mastoo

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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2011, 10:06:32 AM »
I'll add, get something you'll carry.  It won't do much good to get something that you end up only carrying when it is convenient.  That "compact" might seem compact holding it at the range, but maybe not so much when you try to hide it on your person.

Offline ZenGunFighter

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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2011, 04:56:33 PM »
I agree they are not the best options for modern day carry, but the OP specifically desires recoil control in a relatively compact form factor. That means:
  • Advancements in the semi-auto action, which have had some progress in minimizing recoil.
  • Weight- Inertia absorbs recoil.

I would not suggest these to a general person looking for their first concealed carry gun. I would suggest them for someone with a very specific set of needs, as the OP was clear on.

agreed. But both of the tomcat and the ppk are blow back. a locking system that is totally dependent on slide weight and the recoil spring to keep the breach closed. Blow backs are notoriously hard kickers.

I really noticed it, when after carrying a PPK for a while, and shooting it weekly, I shot my wife's Government model .380 which was short recoil operated. The difference in recoil was remarkable. The locked breach of her Colt was much smoother and easier.

No blowbacks for recoil sensative people.
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Offline hensensnode

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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2011, 08:33:48 PM »
Thank you everyone! I knew I'd get rational, helpful advice here. I really appreciate it.

Offline hensensnode

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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2011, 08:53:15 PM »
I don't recommend revolvers. For a number of reasons I won't get into right now.

  just out of curiosity, why? I thought (and someone on this forum agreed) that revolvers have fewer potential problems. Just looking to learn.

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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2011, 08:54:32 PM »
I personally recommend a GLOCK 19 but if that isn't small enough, a Sig Sauer P239 is a lot thinner. They fire the well-established 9mm. I don't like the GLOCK 26 as it is just as wide as the 19 and width is more of a problem with CCW than length IMHO.  I do not recommend a .380 for ballistic purposes, but agree they are very concealable and having a gun is better than not having a gun, of course.

Reconsider the revolver. It is as simple to operate as you can get. The malfunction drill is the easiest one there is...pull the trigger again. Simple works when the Reaper is hovering nearby. If a snubbie is too painful then look at a 3 - 4" barrel 38/357. It can be fired more than once from inside your coat pocket. An auto will likely malfunction in those conditions. An auto can easily be limp-wristed under stress, a fact not discussed often enough. 6 rounds is more than enough for 95% of gunfights.

If you plan to train a lot and stay pretty current, then an auto is probably the way to go.

Whatever you get, get good with it and don't second-guess yourself. Gunfighting is more of a "how" than a "what." 

Happy hunting!

Offline hensensnode

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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2011, 08:54:41 PM »
You may not want a bigger gun but a heavier gun man help with felt recoil.  And maybe consider a ported gun.

   sorry, what is a "ported" gun?

Offline ZenGunFighter

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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2011, 09:59:08 PM »
  just out of curiosity, why? I thought (and someone on this forum agreed) that revolvers have fewer potential problems. Just looking to learn.

How many militaries are issuing revolvers? there's a reason.

Not many rounds on board. Slow, awkward reloading. A delicate mechanism. A LONG trigger reach and Heavy trigger pull, both contra-indicated for a 5'6" 140 person. High bore line above the hand gives more muzzle flip. When revolvers malfunction, and they DO malfunction, it is a Big Deal to fix. High primers, pulled bullets, unburned powder under the extractor star, ejector rod unscrewing, barrel unscrewing, main springs breaking. I've seen all of these happen with revolvers. And they are Out of Action for quite a while.

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Offline ZenGunFighter

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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2011, 10:03:02 PM »
I personally recommend a GLOCK 19 but if that isn't small enough, a Sig Sauer P239 is a lot thinner.
But Sigs have the Double Action/Single action thing going on... LONG trigger reach.... and then short ones. You have to remember to hit the decocking lever.
Sigs are reliable, well made, accurate. but have an out-dated fire control system.


Quote
Whatever you get, get good with it and don't second-guess yourself. Gunfighting is more of a "how" than a "what." 

Happy hunting!

Amen Brother!  Most any gun will do, if you will.

But its always nice to have tools you are comfortable using.
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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #20 on: June 11, 2011, 11:36:14 PM »
But Sigs have the Double Action/Single action thing going on... LONG trigger reach.... and then short ones. You have to remember to hit the decocking lever.
Sigs are reliable, well made, accurate. but have an out-dated fire control system.


Amen Brother!  Most any gun will do, if you will.

But its always nice to have tools you are comfortable using.

Outdated? I guess the Feds and Military that are using them are just trying to save our tax dollars by not upgrading to something more modern. Do you honestly let the single/double affect your accuracy? I don't. Besides, the P239 was available as DAO as is its replacement, P290. P220 and P229 are other examples of Sigs that are available DAO.

http://www.sigsauer.com/CatalogProductDetails/p290.aspx

Decocking isn't a complex task anyway. It is performed without thought as you holster, no remembering to it, as long as you've practiced...which brings us back to why a revolver IS a good choice for someone that doesn't shoot a lot. 

You make the revolvers reliability sound like a Yugo with 400k miles on it. I could name at least that many things that can go wrong with an auto pistol and scare the OP back to the longbow. The revolver, as a class, is far more reliable than the auto, it just isn't as sexy.

As far as a revolver being wrong for a person that is 5'6" 140lbs...what the hell, I teach plenty of 5'2" 95 lb folks to shoot far larger caliber weapons accurately and to a high standard. Trigger time is what makes a person competent. I would never handicap someone because of their size. With those standards I ought to be a pretty crappy shooter, but somehow I managed to win everytime.

In the summer, shorts and Tevas weather, I carry a S&W Airweight that no one can see and has a very proven round. I carry a semi-auto compact the rest of the year, yes sometimes a Sig Sauer. I don't feel undergunned or outdated.

OP, rent or borrow several different guns and go with your heart and wallet. Remember that a gun may be a great price but the ammo for it may not. .380 is an example of this.

Enjoy the journey.

Offline phuttan

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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2011, 12:19:31 AM »
As for keeping magazines loaded, I don't worry about it. I'll keep magazines loaded for months between inspect. Just inspect the mags on a regular basis. Check for corrosion, spring breakage and weakening. If they look and feel right, keep using them.

As for which handgun and caliber, choose what works best for you. Go to a range that rents handguns. Decide what size and weight you will carry all day. Then shoot as many as you can. Pick what you are comfortable and accurate with. I usually suggest the hardest hitting caliber than you are comfortable and accurate with. If you need a light gun then a lighter round may be in order. Hard hitting misses are worse than soft hitting hits.

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Offline donaldj

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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #22 on: June 12, 2011, 07:49:52 AM »
I then tried a bigger revolver and a 9mm, both of which were ok recoil-wise.  However, the smaller one would sure be easier to conceal-carry! Someone then suggested I try a 22, but as I understand, the self-defense aspect of the 22 is not great. So, I guess my questions are:
    - is there a compromise between something that's small enough to carry every day (and my clothes are light enough that a big gun will make a visible lump) and something that's big enough that it won't beat up my hand?

I'd also like to add that conceal-ability is as much a function of the pistol size as it is the holster. There are a number of holster types out there, with a number of ways to carry. In a class, generally strong-side holsters are all that's allowed. Strong-side means the pistol is in a holster on your belt, on the same side as your handedness. So, if you're a righty, then it's worn somewhere on the right side on the belt or in the pants.

Most people go through a few holsters before they find the one that's right for them, and opinions vary wildly. I carry a H&K P30 in a Crossbreed Supertuck. It's a reasonably large size gun, but when I get it at the 10 o'clock position (I'm a leftie), I can conceal the pistol very well. Of course, at first I wanted the all-business full kydex type thing because it was recommended to me, but after a time I found what works best   -for me.

Many pistol owners have 2-3 holsters per gun while they figure out what works best for them...

So, that being said, you might be able to get into a larger pistol than you think you can. That means better mechanism inside it and a far better grip/support surface on the pistol. All this contributes to less perceived recoil as well.





Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — "No, you move."     -Captain America

See my Examiner.com articles on Emergency Preparations: http://www.examiner.com/detroit-emergency-preparedness-in-detroit/donald-alley

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Offline ZenGunFighter

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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #23 on: June 12, 2011, 09:30:24 AM »
Outdated? I guess the Feds and Military that are using them are just trying to save our tax dollars by not upgrading to something more modern. Do you honestly let the single/double affect your accuracy? I don't. Besides, the P239 was available as DAO as is its replacement, P290. P220 and P229 are other examples of Sigs that are available DAO.

http://www.sigsauer.com/CatalogProductDetails/p290.aspx

Decocking isn't a complex task anyway. It is performed without thought as you holster, no remembering to it, as long as you've practiced...which brings us back to why a revolver IS a good choice for someone that doesn't shoot a lot. 

You make the revolvers reliability sound like a Yugo with 400k miles on it. I could name at least that many things that can go wrong with an auto pistol and scare the OP back to the longbow. The revolver, as a class, is far more reliable than the auto, it just isn't as sexy.

As far as a revolver being wrong for a person that is 5'6" 140lbs...what the hell, I teach plenty of 5'2" 95 lb folks to shoot far larger caliber weapons accurately and to a high standard. Trigger time is what makes a person competent. I would never handicap someone because of their size. With those standards I ought to be a pretty crappy shooter, but somehow I managed to win everytime.

In the summer, shorts and Tevas weather, I carry a S&W Airweight that no one can see and has a very proven round. I carry a semi-auto compact the rest of the year, yes sometimes a Sig Sauer. I don't feel undergunned or outdated.

OP, rent or borrow several different guns and go with your heart and wallet. Remember that a gun may be a great price but the ammo for it may not. .380 is an example of this.

Enjoy the journey.

Yeah, the government is a good example of 'state of the art' :DDD
The military issues the M9 because they WANT it to be difficult to fire. They are more worried about ADs than a soldier's ability to
use it to defend himself.

Are good revolvers good? Sure.
Are good DA/SA pistols good? Sure.

But they aren't 'state of the art'.


My cap and ball revolvers work too....

It's called 'progress'.


Eastern Thought meets Western Gunfighting

Offline d0j0w0

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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #24 on: June 12, 2011, 05:21:05 PM »
Please define "state of the art" and give an example of a gun that fits that definition.  I just want to know what I should replace my obsolete Sigs with.  Tuesday night is garbage night if anyone wants to pick up some expensive paper weights, I'll have no need for.

On a side note S&W makes an Scandium frame, .357 mag, 8 shot revolver that  uses full moon clips and was designed for modern day SWAT teams.  If I hand the money I would take one in a second. 

The revolver has evolved,  just like the 100 year old 1911 which can't possibly be "state of the art". 
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Goatdog62

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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2011, 06:47:56 PM »
Yeah, the government is a good example of 'state of the art' :DDD

When it comes to weaponry, I'd be hard-pressed to find a better equipped force than the Feds and the U.S. Military.

The military issues the M9 because they WANT it to be difficult to fire. They are more worried about ADs than a soldier's ability to
use it to defend himself.

The M9 is a Beretta, it's the M11 (Sig) I think you may be trying to refer to. It is more than a little insulting to the military to say they would rather see a soldier die than have an ND. I shoot the M9 and M11 pretty well I think.

Are good revolvers good? Sure.
Are good DA/SA pistols good? Sure.

But they aren't 'state of the art'.

Ignoring my previously stated fact that many Sigs are available DAO, Double Action Only


My cap and ball revolvers work too....

And, provided you trained with them, would make one the winner in a gunfight against an untrained shooter with the latest wonder gun

It's called 'progress'.

I'm pretty sure I don't need you to define "progress" for me. I do know that just because another way exists, it doesn't make previous versions obsolete. I feel no need to jump on the latest thing to prove anything, my skills with the Jurassic Sig Sauer and the archaic revolver will likely be enough to see me through.





But maybe you should write a letter to all the agencies that use the Sig Sauer. They really could use some advice from a leading firearms guru. To make it easy I'll list them for you.

Straight from Sig website:
'
We are known by the "Company We Keep." SIG SAUER pistols are used to protect our President (USSS), our Skies (FAMS), our Coasts (USCG), The Pope (Papal Guard) and by prestigious Military organizations such as the US Air Force (M11), US Army (M11), SEALs (P226), Canadian Military and the British Military in Iraq.
 
U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (largest U.S. non-military contract)
U.S. Navy SEALs
U.S.Navy SWCC
U.S. Federal Air Marshals
U.S. Secret Service
U.S. Coast Guard
U.S. ATF
 U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security
 U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS)
U.S. Army 902d Military Intelligence Group (M11)
U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Divison (CID)
USAF OSI (M11)
U.S. NAVY Aviators (M11)
1/3 of all U.S. State & Local LE
 UAE Police Force
 Federal Protective Service
British MOD and SAS
Canadian Military (P226)
 Chile PICH
Colombia CNP and Army
 Egypt Presidential Guard
 Egypt Army
 France pistols and rifles in use by Police Nationale, Gendarmerie and Douanes
German Customs and Border Control
8 German SEK units
 GIGN French Special Force
Hong Kong Police – P250
India NSG & various Police
 Indonesian Defense Forces
 Jordan - KASOTEC and SF
 Kurdistan PSS
 Netherlands National Police
 Norwegian Special Forces 
Saudi Arabia SF Academy
 UAE Force 7


Offline Pathfinder

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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2011, 06:48:30 PM »
The magazine issue is a non-issue, as others here have stated.

Get training. Lots of it, from different instructors if possible.

Practice. And practice with your carry load. You can use FMJ but if you are shooting JHP for self-defense, practice with whatever brand you are carrying to make sure the gun "likes" the ammo and won't crap out and stovepipe or something every 3 rounds.

Talk to a local lawyer who has experience in gun cases - preferably winning them - so you KNOW what the local gun laws are, how they are applied by the police and prosecutors. DO NOT talk to a cop about this - odds are they are wrong. Talk to a successful lawyer. And pay him, get his card. God forbid you ever need it but have it with you just in case.

Get more training. And practice some more. What's that old saying? You revert to the level of your training mastered.

CCW is a trade-off between stopping power and concealability. I have carried a .380 only because the Ruger LCP is so small and light, you can carry it in a DeSantis Nemesis in a shorts pocket and no one will know. Not exactly a huge round. The joke with the .380 is that if you shoot someone with a .380 - and they find out - they will be pissed!  ;D

OTOH, a Beretta 92 is not exactly the most concealable of sidearms. And of course it is a 9mm.

Understand, however, that NO pistol caliber is considered a man-stopper. Clint Smith jokes that he carries a pistol to be able to fight his way to his rifle which he should never have set down in the first place!

With that, bigger is better - in caliber and in mass if you are sensitive to recoil. How big has no right answer, only personal preferences. You have to decide how you will carry, what makes the most sense in your specific circumstances.

So you want to carry the largest caliber you can comfortably carry and conceal 100%. I doubt seriously that the MA cops will give you a pass for inadvertently "brandishing" the weapon, even if all that means is that your shirt got blown up by the wind showing part of the weapon on your belt. Some of my friends who are LEOs when off-duty will wear their badge right next to the holster under their shirt so if someone sees the gun, they see the badge too. But LEOs typically don't need to worry about "brandishing" charges - civilians do.

Based on your body size and shape, and the clothes you normally wear, decide on whether you're going to use an inside the waistband (IWB) or outside (OWB) holster, pocket or ankle holster, or - be careful here - off-body carry using something like a Safepacker. Off-body carry is useful in specific circumstances (driving in a car, bicycling, etc.), but carries even more risk, namely leaving the off-body case somewhere and forgetting about it.

Gun shop people are generally knowledgeable, but they are human and have preferences too. So using the criteria above and in this thread, decide what works for you, and do not be afraid to change it if it is not working as you expected.

Good luck, and congrats on the CCW. In MA of all places!!!!
I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these to others, and I require the same from them.

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Goatdog62

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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #27 on: June 12, 2011, 06:59:00 PM »
Excellent post Pathfinder and back on topic to boot.

+1

Offline donaldj

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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #28 on: June 12, 2011, 08:14:57 PM »
agreed. But both of the tomcat and the ppk are blow back. a locking system that is totally dependent on slide weight and the recoil spring to keep the breach closed. Blow backs are notoriously hard kickers.

And both have plenty of mass. I have over 1000 rounds downrange with both and have taken defensive handgun classes with each. Because of their mass, recoil has never been an issue with either.

I stand by my recommendation on either, considering the very narrowly defined  parameters the OP suggests. Are there other options; yes. Are there newer options; yes. Are these viable options; yes.

Hensensnode, the best advice you'll get on this thread is to go to the range and get plenty of rental time with your choices. I would also suggest to you that a concealable gun is not going to be that fun to shoot, it's ergonomics are designed for concealability, not all day range comfort. Bear that in mind while evaluating your choices. You may be better served getting a nice full-size practice gun for classes and drills, and do some reduced-time shooting on your concealable gun, just to make sure you have proficiency in it as well.

For what it's worth, I just got some trigger time on a Walther PPS in 9mm this weekend. Fired one a while back and liked it. Got more time with it today and liked it. A decent balance between stopping power and concealability. You might want to check them out as well.

As you can see in this thread, there are many opinions, from many different paradigms. While I am not vying to be the End All and Be All Forum Gun Expert like some others would like to think themselves, I do have some decent trigger time on a lot of different handguns. 

Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — "No, you move."     -Captain America

See my Examiner.com articles on Emergency Preparations: http://www.examiner.com/detroit-emergency-preparedness-in-detroit/donald-alley

See my Examiner.com articles on martial arts:  http://www.examiner.com/martial-arts-in-detroit/donald-alley

Offline Frank S.

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Re: Some basic questions on handguns from a newbie
« Reply #29 on: June 12, 2011, 08:18:03 PM »
Sig has acknowledged progress by introducing the 250 (non-decocker) pistol in answer to customer requests and police contract stipulations. There isn't a PD in the US right now that wants decockers - why? Because they have found that with the elimination of the decocker police accidents go down 30%. That's a no brainer for bean counters, and it should say something about the training required to fully understand how decocker equipped firearms operate.

I agree 100% percent that anyone with a decocker can be trained to use it. But I completely disagree that it is a matter of simply decocking when holstering. I teach decocking to happen anytime the trigger finger breaks contact with the trigger. Why? So the trigger finger finds the trigger in the same place it is used to finding it on the first shot. As many of us have noticed, decocker equipped guns generally have two different trigger positions, and I have witnessed too many students (while under stress) reach into the trigger guard, slam into the lighter pull weight, and AD.

I also won't suggest that two different trigger pulls will automatically cause accuracy to suffer, but it generally makes the first shot a little slower, and it certainly creates a completely unnecessary addition to training.

And personally, I don't buy any firearm based on being "The Choice of the Military!" If anyone thinks military procurement is in any way based more on finding the proper tool for the job than it is on politics, budget and creating ridiculous specifications for manufacturers to meet (such as the lanyard loop and the serations on the front of the trigger guard on the M9), then they are living in fantasyland.

I'll say this for the M9, it runs. It's a reliable pistol. And that's actually almost good enough when it comes to my personal choices of pistols. However, it has so many faults, I'm not sure they could have picked a worse pistol to train 18-year-olds with. 1- it's huge. It has one of the largest grips on the market, as well as one of the longest trigger reaches. It is simply not a gun that most people with mid to small size hands can operate with any ease. 2- the gun has a decocker, which translates to extra training and lots of accidents. 3- the decocker lever/safety lever is located in just about the dumbest spot you could place it, and it operates in about the dumbest manner you could design. It is directly in the way when performing a tap rack, and it is very easy to sterilize the pistol when you grasp the slide to rack it. It's also a two stage decocker, so not only do we have to manually press it down, we also have to manually push it up, and anyone whith small hands has to struggle with it. 4- It has an exposed barrel - that means after about 20 shots on a sunny July day the heat mirage wafting off the barrel blurs your front sight 5- The locking blocks break ALL THE TIME. Any serious use of that pistol results in that part breaking - so much so, if I teach a class with M9's, I carry a half dozen replacements.

So, it just sounds like the perfect gun to send an 18-year-old female MP off to Iraq with! Lets hear it for that brillant bunch at the Pentagon!
It's not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential. -Bruce Lee