October 15th, 2012 11:36 AM
I'd rather be lucky than good any day
There's nothing that will change someone's moral outlook quicker than cash in large sums.
Majority rule only works if you're also considering individual rights. Because you can't have five wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for supper.
October 15th, 2012 11:51 AM
There's a lot of good advice here.
Depending on your budget, you might want to consider starting off with something like a Ruger SR22 as your first training gun to help you in your learning process. You can get this gun and over 1000 rounds of .22LR ammo for around $400. The SR22 comes with two magazines, adjustable sights and ambidextrous controls as well as two interchangeable grips to help with comfort.
A gun like the SR22 will help you to get familiar with shooting a semi-automatic gun, operating the ambidextrous controls as well as care and maintenance of a semi-automatic. You might find that you want certain ambidextrous controls or you might find that you don't need them when you go to buy your primary self-defense weapon. With the .22LR ammo being inexpensive, you will be able to train with a firearm that won't break the bank. A .22LR handgun like the SR22 is a great training tool for the new shooter. Use the SR22 to get your mind disciplined in proper technique and handling so that it is second nature to you before you move up to a larger caliber primary self-defense weapon.
I look at it as like hitting a baseball...What are the chances of hitting a ball thrown by major league pitcher going 90+ MPH while using a long heavy bat? Do your chances increase if you first learn how to hold the bat properly? Do your chances increase if you first learn how to use proper technique? Do your chances increase if you first learn how to hit with a lighter shorter bat? Do your chances increase if you first learn how to hit a stationary ball? Do your chances increase if you first learn how to hit a ball traveling slower?
You should find that your progress will advance more rapidly if you concentrate on making proper technique and handling a priority instead of trying to purchase the "perfect" self-defense weapon for you on the first gun purchase. Once you become more experienced and are more comfortable with shooting, you will soon be in a much more informed position to choose a gun that is right for you to use as your primary self-defense tool. You may have to rely on this tool to save your life one day, so make an informed decision when you make your purchase.
NRA Life Member
GOA Life Member
Behave Like Someone Who is Determined to be FREE!
October 15th, 2012 11:59 AM
Others have pretty much summed it up!
Welcome from So Cal! Good luck, way to be proactive! Stay safe and please keep us updated on your journey.
"Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt" ~ Mark Twain
October 15th, 2012 12:11 PM
Luvsunderdogs.... First off, Welcome Aboard!
What a first post right out of the 'chute' too! You already seem to have a a great idea of what your looking for, just seeking advice to clear a more defined path towards your ultimate choice.
Much of the advice you've received here so far is excellent...... our group of members are a good, experienced bunch and you found this site, which is in my opinion, one of the best.
I'll jumo on the 9mm bandwagon here as well. It's an excellen and proven defensive round for home and personal defense. Many of the guns chambered for this caliber can be found in sizes that, I believe, will 'fit' you. It's a fairly easy to shoot, learn, and handeled/carried. Limatunes and corneredcat website, blogs, and youtube videos cover a LOT of info that you may find useful and very helpful.
As for a perticular gun, they've been addressed in the previous posts, the S&W shield, Kahrs, M&P, Glock 26 (and the 19). Renting is a GREAT way to feel a few of these guns 'firsthand', but with the recent event at your local range, that may very well present a problem. There may be other ranges in your area.......
Again, welcome and by all means utilize this site when a question presents itself. Even a 'search' of previous posts may help find the answer you need as well. Chances are good someone already asked the same question.... and by all means, ask away! Learning all you can will help in making the best informed decision when the time comes to 'pull the trigger' on your final choice.
"Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008
(Sometimes) "a fight avioded is a fight won." ... claude clay
October 15th, 2012 02:06 PM
Lot to think about and some good input above. To that, having introduced two sisters, a daughter, and a niece to concealed carry, I'd add:
Originally Posted by Luvsunderdogs
Looking for guns for home defense and concealed carry with one gun to do both complicates things. In my opinion, the home defense gun needs the ability to mount a rail light. Not everybody agrees with that, but having the light on the gun so it can be flashed with the thumb and give you a positive ID before you shoot at a shadow in the dark that might not be an enemy seems like an essential feature to me. You can't call the bullets back.
- There are two parts to self defense. The first is situational awareness. Conducting yourself in public and at home to minimize the chance of becoming a victim. The first step, while you are working through the whole gun thing, is to learn to recognize and avoid situations where you might need a gun. On the rare occasions when you can't avoid it, learning to recognize it developing sooner will give you and advantage of more time to react. I'd recommend the book, "Strong On Defense" by Sanford Strong. I don't agree with what he says about armed self defense, but the rest of it is right on.
- I'd also recommend getting "The Concealed CArry Manual" by Chris Bird and Kathy Jackson's "The Cornered Cat: A woman's Guide To Concealed Carry."
- And finally, Massad Ayoobs excellent book, "In Gravest Extreme."
- Find and take an NRA Handgun Safety Class.
This is my Glock 19 with the rail light on it:
The light can be operated with the thumb of the support hand while using a good solid grip on the gun like this:
So if it is to be a dual purpose gun, it would be good if it had a rail that would hold a light. The smallest gun I've seen a rail on that would be good to carry is the new XDs which happens to be a .45 as well and might be a bit much for a first gun for you. I tend to agree that 9mm is a good first cartridge and frankly, it's a good only cartridge as well. If one is going to own one gun for everything, 9mm, with today's highly developed defensive ammo, is with in a couple of percentage points of both .40 and .45ACP.
The guns one would like to carry mostly don't have rails for lights. M&P Shield (an outstanding pistol, good trigger, very reliable, easy to live with and not too expensive), Beretta Nano, SIG P938, Roarbaugh, Glock 26, Kahr's (most of which also have very hard to manipulate slides).
However, the guns one size up from that, Glock 19, M&P 9C, for example, have rails but are are bigger and are going to be harder to conceal.
You might want to compromise in favor of something easier to carry and add a home defense gun with a rail for a light later. In that case the HD gun can be a full size gun like a Glock 17, or one of the Duty M&P series.
When it comes down to making a choice, there is no substitute for hands on time. If you have friends that shoot, see if they will let you try their guns at the range. You furnish the ammo and pay for the range time. Or rent guns. The only way you will minimize costly mistakes is to try them.
My youngest sister ended up with a Ruger LCP because she 'knew' she would carry it because she could hide it. She wasn't in love with the gun, but she knew she wouldn't take it with her if she couldn't hide it, so she struggled with it till she mastered it. She wears a glove to practice with it but always fires the last clip bare handed.
My wife loves her SIG P238. It's easy to conceal, pleasant to shoot, reliable as gravity, and has excellent sights. The P938 is it's very slightly larger 9mm younger brother. The P938 hadn't been released when she nd I got our P238's or we might have P938's.
If you get a chance to rent or try an XDs you might find it works for you if you have strong hands. The slide is easier to manipulate than the Kahrs, it's small enough to be concealable almost all the time, has an excellent trigger, good sights, and it has a rail that will accept a light. You could add a grip sleeve to it if that doesn't make the grip too big for your hands.
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety), by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” by H. L. Mencken
October 15th, 2012 02:24 PM
First, welcome to the Forum. Next, we're glad to offer help & delight in spending OPM (Other People's Money). I'm going to suggest you FIRST spend it on quality training. Because of your self-professed hesitancy, IMHO, there are some general handgun basics that you need to address & master BEFORE you spend time & money on your EDC choice. No offense intended, but you need some practice & confidence in lesser shooting situations before you inadvertently slow your own learning curve with trying to wade through dozens of handgun recommendations without any trigger-experience. So let your instructor evaluate your skill level, strength, and mindset. That's where you're most effective suggestions should come from. Good Luck & Be Safe!
There are only TWO kinds of people in this world; those who describe the world as filled with two kinds of people...and those who don't.
October 15th, 2012 03:04 PM
OP, remember, the weapon that's best for you is the one that you find the most comfortable to use. Don't let someone try to force their opinion of what you should carry on you... (not referring to the posters here... more for your experience with the local gun stores...)
Try to find a range that rents firearms to test before you buy. There's no sense in dropping several hundred dollars into a Glock only to find out that it chafes your thumb or that you don't like it...
In addition to finding a local range, try to find a local group of ladies that shoot. There might be a plethora of them around that can help give you good information on what works and what doesn't for them... you'll have to take your own experiences into account as well.
You said you've been shooting in the past. Are you able to remember what you fired? Were you pleased with anything that you've already handled?
October 15th, 2012 09:48 PM
I am about your size although a little shorter so you are probably better off to conceal a longer gun than I am.
Definitely try whatever you can get your hands on. But don't feel that you must find the perfect one before getting something. If you find something else later on you can always sell yours...I am only second this year.
My first was a Bersa Thunder 238. It is very inexpensive but very well made (don't listen to the gun snobs that down play the gun because of its price - it is a very accurate gun that is a lot of fun to shoot). Downsides are that .38 is expensive to shoot and it does have some kick but overall I loved it. Problem was that as a newbie who doesn't have a woman to learn from I struggled to conceal it...not that it is big but the handle was a little long for my torso.
I sold the Bersa and bought a Sig Sauer P238. They are pricey and I would prefer the 938. However I was able to find a great deal on mine, and the 938 was still impossible to find around my shops at the time. It is on the large side of the pocket pistol category of handguns but is still very small and easily concealable even for a clueless newbie like myself. I love the gun. It fits my hand well and points great. The trigger is a little harder than I think it should be but that can be lightened by a gunsmith if it bothers you.
As others have said...what is important is how it feels and fires for you and what your preferences are.
The gun choice is important for concealing on your particular body, but just as important is the holster. There are many out there. You will quickly learn from reading this forum that many people end up with a drawer full before finding something they like. I did a lot of research and tried a lot on before picking any and love all three of mine. An IWB (inside the waistband) is ideal for concealing. I have an Old Faithful Holster but there are other companies that make the same style such as Crossbreed. I also have an OWB (on the waistband) by Clament Custom Leather that I use when wearing a sweater and tighter jeans that I can't wear IWB. Not saying those are what you should get... I like that style of IWB because the cant (angle of the gun positioning in the holster) can be adjusted for your particular need. For my OWB I looked carefully at the angle of the gun in the pictures of the holsters. I need a pretty serious cant which limits my options. Try out a few styles, angles, positions with holsters at the shops near you then search online for others with the characteristics you are looking for.
As mentioned by others, some good resources are Limatunes on YouTube and Cornered Cat | If you have to fight, fight like a cornered cat.. Another good resource is faliaphotography who has a web page and YouTube videos for women.
I am wanting to add a M&P Shield to my arsenal for winter carry but still feel more comfortable with my Sig for summer clothing...maybe after I have done this longer I will be willing to branch out more as Limatunes does.
Best of luck in your search!
"The LORD is my light and my salvation--whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life--of whom shall I be afraid? " Psalm 27:1
Keeping my eternal hope in the LORD while still using the mind He gave me and the tools at my disposal to act with wise judgment...
October 15th, 2012 09:59 PM
Many have provided you with good advice. I will note my thoughts.
Originally Posted by scorpion12
1. Only carry what you can shoot accurately
2. If using a holster to carry on your person buy a good one (will make you be more comfortable and it is safer).
3. If you are new to carrying make sure you are familiar with the local laws and regs in your state and also the states you are going into.
The worst thing in the world is when a bad guy takes someones weapon and uses it against them. I recommend training courses for all whom decide to carry and do not have an LEO or military background. Stay safe and welcome to this forum. I in my short time here I have found the members to be very knowledgeable!
Former US Army SFC
LTC-Class A HC: MA
AG License: RI
October 16th, 2012 02:46 PM
Welcome from South Carolina...
1. Read and LEARN the laws of YOUR state of residence as pertaining to Concealed Carry.
2. As one other person has already said, get some PROFESSIONAL Training PRIOR to choosing your EDC (every day carry weapon). MOST reputable, professional trainers, will offer the option of several weapons that you may use to train with, and only charge you a minimal fee for their use while training, and the purchase of ammunition. This affords you the potential of training with a weapon that, perhaps, you may consider carrying.
3. I too am on the 9mm semi-automatic bandwagon, however, some folks, male and female, are quite comfortable carrying a .380 semi-automatic for self defense.
Bottom line, only YOU can determine the weapon that you are most comfortable with, the weapon you are most accurate with, the weapon that is easiest for you to carry and conceal. There is NO need to purchase a weapon that you really don't like, but purchased based on recommendation, IF you are only going to let it remain in the safe or drawer at home.
Good luck in your journey, read, prepare, train train train...JMO
Sometimes in life you have to stand your ground. It's a hard lesson to learn and even most adults don't get it, but in the end only I can be responsible for my life. If faced with any type of adversity, only I can overcome it. Waiting for someone else to take responsibility is a long fruitless wait.
October 16th, 2012 02:55 PM
Definitley check this YouTube channel out.
Originally Posted by SKW
October 17th, 2012 12:28 AM
Definitely try to find a range that will allow you to rent a Smith & Wesson Shield. Oh, and 9mm are not starter guns. That's many peoples preferred round.
October 17th, 2012 01:04 AM
Welcome from Savannah
Others here have given some great advise, as is the norm on this site.
At the end of this quest for YOUR gun, it comes down to:
What are YOU comfortable with ?
What can YOU handle, manipulate, and shoot well ?
What can YOU conceal given YOUR lifestyle and manner of dress?
Unfortunately, no one else can come up with the right answer for YOU. Only YOU can chose YOUR GUN.
At some point, we've all had to find our own answers to these same questions. It's just part of the process.
The situation will NEVER BE THE WAY YOU WANT, it WILL BE THE WAY IT IS. You must be FLEXIBLE ENOUGH TO ADAPT and just "DEAL WITH IT".
October 17th, 2012 03:57 AM
One consideration is starting with a full size or compact 9mm, like the M&P, one of the XDs or Sigs, a Glock, but not something that starts into the sub-compact category like the Kahrs, Kel-tecs, new M&P Shield, PPK, etc. Nothing against them...I am hoping to get a Shield myself.
But developing shooting skills will be easier with a larger (not 'large') firearm. Less kick, more stable to hold, more grip options, just easier to shoot in general. And they are (the ones I mentioned) conducive to carry for most people.
And of course the Corned Cat was an excellent recommendation.
Fortune favors the bold.
Freedom doesn't mean safe, it means free.
The thing about "defense" is that it has practically nothing to do with guns. (As passed on by CCW9MM)
October 17th, 2012 11:46 AM
Almost forgot. Don't worry so much if it is hard to pull the slide back on a gun. With practice your hand will strengthen and it will be very easy to do.
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