Best Beginner Handgun

Discussion in 'Guns, Knives, Tools, Etc.' started by Koala, May 30, 2017.

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  1. Koala

    Koala Well-Known Member
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    I have been doing some research on handguns because I'm trying to find one that would fit my needs. I'm looking for something that's not too big, still, packs a punch, and is ''suitable'' for women to handle. I'd also like to add that I'm a beginner when it comes to guns and that I have shot before but it was a while ago at a shooting range.

    I don't know if a handgun is the right option? or should I maybe consider something bigger/more powerful?

    I know a lot of you have extensive experience in this area so I'd appreciate all the help I can get.

    (I mainly plan to use it as a self-protection tool for when I'm alone on the property).
     
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  2. Bishop

    Bishop Master Survivalist
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    If I was you I go to a range where they let you rent the handguns to shoot and have them help you and see what gun you shoot the best if you got a 357 revolver you can shoot both 357 rounds and 38 rounds 38 having less recoil and not as loud.
     
  3. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    I have used & carried a variety of handguns over the years Koala, but I find it difficult to advise on what type would suit you. If you are going for a regular handgun I think Bishop's suggestion is a good idea, try some different types yourself. A .22 semi-auto is light & easy to shoot, head shots will stop most people. But your safest shot for stopping someone coming at you is center body mass, a chest shot with a larger caliber. I have used revolvers & semi-autos, I found the 9mm Glock to be very accurate & great to use.
    If there is no law against cutting a firearm down where you are may I suggest a sawn off .410 shotgun. They make great little handguns for snakes & humans. In fact you may even find a .410 handgun on the market, I seem to recall seeing one. Very little chance of missing your target using a .410 with shot.
    I do NOT advise purchasing a snub nose revolver, they may be okay for very close work, but personally I never found them very accurate.
    Keith.
     
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  4. Koala

    Koala Well-Known Member
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    Thank you both so much for such extensive information! Exactly what I needed.

    The problem here is that we have far more strict gun laws compared to countries like America. It is, therefore, harder to test the guns out or find a good shooting range in a close proximity of where I live.

    The 9mm Glock seems like a good fit to me, at least from what you've written. I imagine it isn't too hard to handle? it doesn't look very heavy... how is the recoil? also if I'd fire the Glock at the upper body of a person would that be enough to stop them? sorry if I asked anything dumb :p
     
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  5. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    I do not recall much recoil, but then I an used to firing handguns. I used a 9 mm Glock on the last proficiency course I had to do many years ago, I scored the highest marks with this gun. Yes a 9 mm round will stop a person if hit center body mass. The Glock is a semi-automatic, so of course you can fire again if the first shot failed to stop a large person. As far as I know, the police here are still using the Glock 9 mm.
    Laws on handguns are very strict here too Koala, that is why I chose the easy option of getting myself an antique. Plus of course I do love the flintlock & for me in a wilderness situation it is a better option. I would however get a 9 MM Glock as well if I could.
    Keith.
    [​IMG]
    Single barrel, single shot .70 caliber flintlock pistol with a brass cannon barrel & a left hand lock. This can use bird shot, buckshot, round ball or a combination of shot & ball. I can also use it to make fire without using any gunpowder. This pistol feels great in the hand.
     
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  6. Koala

    Koala Well-Known Member
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    Wow, Keith. That's a really beautiful pistol. I assume it's antique then? Are they much more expensive compared to a normal handgun?

    I like the one you showed. It seems not too heavy and like it's pretty easy to carry around. Doesn't need much space at all. Thank you for suggesting that I look into the antique kinds. I didn't realize those have different laws.
     
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  7. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Yes it is an antique. Not all antiques are expensive, this one was. A percussion pistol is usually less expensive. You can also check out reproduction black powder guns. Here they are restricted like other handguns, but not so in all countries. Even here we can get cap & ball antique revolvers, & replicas of these are very popular.
    Keith.
     
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  8. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    I suggest a hipoint combo a pistol and carbine in same cal eihe 9mm or 40 cal would work well for you and the mrs my mrs took over the 9mms i have she loves them
     
  9. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    My wife actually couldn't pull the slide back on the High Point so I took it for a truck gun. For home defence I used to make and sell a single shot 12 gauge shotgun that I sawed off to the legal limit and then added a 5 shell stock bandolier and a sling on sling swivels. I sold it with five rounds of Number 4 shot game loads. In a house you don't need buckshot. At most across the room shots the load hasn't totally cleared the wad and hits as a solid load. The good thing about it though is that it won't go through windows and walls and kill a neighbor. If you live in the country add a couple of #4 buck and a slug to the bandolier and you should be able to handle anything that you might run into. If your wife is recoil shy get her some mini-shells. They don't kick at all but work on pests and if you shoot a pest, be it on two legs or four, in the face they WILL leave if they survive.

    If you want a handgun then I agree with the above advice to go with a 357 mag and train with 38 special loads. If you want an automatic look into the taurus line of smaller 9mm. My daughter bought one yesterday for right at 200 dollars and it is a really nice and simple weapon that you can just point and pull the trigger. It is a lot like the Ruger LC9 pro auto that I use for concealed carry. It is a great size for your pocket or for a laddies smaller hands.
     
  10. Tom Williams

    Tom Williams Moderator Staff Member
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    My mrs rock and rolls that combo she loves them. I like the fact they are made in ohio of good steel come with lifetime warranty the 10round mags interchange and the price of both was under 500 bucks for them. In house shooting i use 12g 2 3/4 in 8shot puts a hole about fist size from acrooss the room thr a improved cly choke
     
  11. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Master Survivalist
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    If you are a beginner, stick with a revolver until you become experienced.

    If you are an average female or male with small hands, the revolver frame you want is a J-frame Smith and Wesson / Ruger SP101 - sized. These are good brands, however I'm just using them as representatives of the frame size you'll be looking for. In .38 Special, such smaller revolvers carry 5 rounds of ammo. Note that if you find a revolver you like, however it is chambered in .357, note that .38 Special ammo will fire in a .357.

    If you are recoil sensitive, you can fire full-wadcutter target ammo in the revolver (I'm not talking semi-wadcutter). Full wadcutters cut holes through targets or through living creatures. They do not push blood vessels aside, they cut blood vessels and make bad guys bleed bleed bleed. Dump all five rounds into the bad guy and run. Get several speed-loaders for your revolver.

    Wadcutters are often made out of soft lead, good. Bad thing is that they can lead the rifling of the revolver. You'll have to soak the inside of the barrel with bore cleaner then use a bristle brush to dig the lead out of there. OR you can get some serious reloader to gas-check the wadcutters and load them a bit hotter, but not hot, hot; maybe I should say "warmer". A copper gas-check fits onto the base of a lead bullet to keep the bullet from leading the barrel when fired at higher velocities.

    Barrel length: A "snub-nose" has a 2 inch barrel. That short of barrel in a lightweight handgun will result in more recoil. May I recommend that you NOT buy a lightweight revolver. Buy a regular weight / steel frame revolver. The mass of the revolver soaks up some recoil. The optimum barrel length for a small revolver is 3 inches, however it is difficult to find this length anymore. I like a 4" barrel even in a small revolver. To get a 4" barrel, you may have to buy a .357 and then shoot .38 Special ammo in it. Regular small frame (i.e. steel) + 4" barrel + .38 Special ammo = low recoil.

    Rare ammo / rare-ish: .327 Federal Magnum (no, not .357; .327 = 32 caliber) is a hot number and a small revolver will chamber six (6) rounds, not just 5. Recoil is bad, however you can also fire the .32 H&R Mag in these revolvers. The H&R round is not so fast, thus less recoil. Speaking of which, you can also fire .32 S&W Long in these. The S&W Long is much lighter in load -- actually it is rather puny and may not get the job done, so maybe the .32 H&R mag is the best compromise for low recoil, yet possessing effective stopping power. Wadcutters are available in .32 S&W Long = practice ammo / target ammo, ammo to get used to then work up to the .32 H&R Mag.

    There are revolvers chambering the 9mm automatic ammo. The ammo sometimes requires a moon clip in some revolvers. Let's not spend any time on this topic of 9mm in a revolver (even though it is one of the best cartridges for a small handgun -- long, involved story).

    Go with the .38 Special. The ammo is everywhere.
     
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  12. watcherchris

    watcherchris Master Survivalist
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    I have recommended to women to get a revolver...a wheel gun as the olde saying goes. Many women have a difficult time racking back a slide in normal times...much less in a panic. Wheel guns are simple by comparison.

    Mostly .38 Special.. as Olde Geezer aptly stated ..the ammunition is indeed everywhere.

    I do not want to get a gun in a caliber for which I cannot get ammunition .. or make my own if need be...and .38 Special can be found coast to coast. .38 Special is also one of the most commonly reloaded cartridges.

    What I recommend to them if they can afford it is to get a .357 magnum in a two to four inch barrel and load .38 Specials into it. Do not get one of these Air Weight guns..the recoil is horrible in them. Their choice in either five , six, or even seven shot capacities.

    The .357 wheel guns usually have some weight to then and therefore the recoil is more manageable particularly in .38 Special.

    I often carry a GP 100 with four inch barrel..blued and like it very much. I practice with .38 Specials and occasionally .357s too.

    Carry is 158 Grain Hornady HP's...in .357 Magnum.


    I've only used gas checks and recently in one caliber and to my surprise it works well in keeping the leading down. I use them in a 41 Magnum revolver...using 250 grain cast wide nosed gas check bullet. This is a petty heavy bullet in cast lead in this caliber.
    Recoil is fairly stout in this revolver and I have downloaded the power somewhat for more controllability.

    I have never used paper patched bullets but theses gas checks caused me to think of the olde days of paper patched bullets and leading.

    Thanks,
    Watcherchris
     
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  13. TexDanm

    TexDanm Shadow Dancer
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    There are actually so many more GOOD choices out there now than there used to be. Automatics used to be so complicated when compared to a double action or single action revolver that they just weren't a good choice for a novice shooter. That really isn't true anymore. Basically the double action only or double action on the first shot automatics are every bit as instinctive as revolvers. You simply point it and pull the trigger. No carrying it cocked and locked or having to jack the slide to load it, they are safe to carry with one in the pipe. I wouldn't have any fears of training a novice in a weekend to safely carry and shoot one of these new autos.

    I prefer more power than is normally in an automatic pistol but even in that they have come a long way in the last 20 years with better bullets and better loadings AND the new pistols will eat things that aren't FMJ so that helps.

    In general, I never felt the least bit under gunned when I carried single action. My first handgun was a Ruger Single Six. I loved that little gun and was deadly with it. My Second handgun was a Ruger Blackhawk 357 mag. I actually owned several of them over the years and a Ruger Security Six as well. I would rather see someone with a gun that they were comfortable with and competent with than them feeling uncertain or intimidated by a bigger more powerful weapon.

    My wife is very attached to her Taurus 85 in 38 special. I load for it so it has almost 357 punch, 38+P+ 125 grain half jacketed hollow points sitting on a max+ load of Unique. I just can't sell her on an Automatic.
     
  14. Morgan101

    Morgan101 Master Survivalist
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    Koala: I would start with a .22 caliber revolver. The recoil is low. The ammo is cheap. It is easy for both a man and a woman to handle. It would be sufficient for self defense use. Revolvers are easier to use and easier to clean. The initial cost is usually less than higher calibers.

    Learn on a .22, and make sure all of your family members are comfortable with it. When you are all proficient you can move up to higher calibers.
     
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