Mistakes when purchasing a defensive handgun - Page 2

Mistakes when purchasing a defensive handgun

This is a discussion on Mistakes when purchasing a defensive handgun within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The Walther would be good. Also, anything made of stainless steel, with "Ruger" in it's name, will be something that will work and become an ...

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Thread: Mistakes when purchasing a defensive handgun

  1. #16
    Member Array rglyons's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    South East Oklahoma
    The Walther would be good.

    Also, anything made of stainless steel, with "Ruger" in it's name, will be something that will work and become an heirloom to be passed down a few times.

    I didn't really understand this until my wife took an interest in weapons and bought two Rugers, a .357 stainless SP101 revolver and a Ruger Mark III stainless .22.
    Those are really well built guns, she lets me carry the .357 at times, and I am impressed with them.

    Whatever you buy, try it out first. There is a weapon out there that has your name on it and you will know it when you find it.
    Yeah, My old CCW 9 MM is nicknamed "Barkey"
    New CCW LCP is "Elsie"
    and my 12 Ga S x S Coach gun is "Boomer"
    Wife's weapon is "Miss Pearl" (SP101 .357 w/mother of pearl inserts)
    We're old so we can get away with that.

  2. #17
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    Nov 2007
    First off, welcome to the forum.

    As for mistakes to avoid. As others have suggested, find a range that rents guns and try different ones before deciding what to buy. For a first gun, try to avoid something that is considered "ultra lite". While a little easier to carry due to the weight, they are normally not fun to shoot. The weight will help adsorb some of the recoil. Choose your caliber wisely. Generally speaking in a revolver .38 caliber or in a semi auto .380 (preferably 9MM) are going to be minimum caliber you want for a defensive weapon. Price range wise, there are many good quality guns in the $400-600. available. Invest in a good carry rig, gun belt and holster. Be leery of gun store guru's. There are a lot of gun store sales people who could care less if the gun fits you. They want to push the high dollar items.

    If your not familiar with handguns, find someplace that holds a basic handgun class. They'll help you with the mechanic's of shooting, and the safe handling of guns. In all honesty expect to spend at least 1-1 1/2 times what you paid for the gun for your rig, training and practice initially. As you progress in shooting the cost will decrease.

    Good luck in your search.
    Freedom doesn't come free. It is bought and paid for by the lives and blood of our men and women in uniform.

    USAF Retired
    NRA Life Member

  3. #18
    VIP Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    My advice is also to buy something you like.
    I must live in a deprived area, there isn't a gunshop around that will let me "try" a gun before I buy it... not with a live round anyway. They call it a used gun if I do. So I buy what catches my eye, feels good in my hand and is quick to sight, and has a good trigger pull. The only mistake I have made so far is buying a gun for "under the counter" use and walks around the property... then deciding to carry it. It was too heavy and bulky when I kept it on my person longer than expected. Keep that in mind for future purchases ;^)

  4. #19
    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    Costa Rica
    I think the biggest mistake that people make when buying their first defensive firearm is to buy a gun only because it was recommended to them and not because they researched all the options available on the market, handled the firearms that fit their criteria and if possible, fired some of them at a local range. Also, a huge mistake is for first time buyers to acquire an "ultra lite" pocket handgun in a smaller caliber (.22, .32, .380 or .38) thinking that the recoil won't be bad and that they can shoot it well. They mainly purchase the handgun because it looks cool, it seems convenient for concealed carry and it is inexpensive but in the end they end up selling it or trading it in at a loss for a better option. Finally, another common mistake is that people don't account for the main intended use of the firearm (open carry, on duty, off duty, concealed carry, combat, hunting or home defense) and they acquire a firearm that is inadequate for its intended purpose.
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

  5. #20
    Senior Member Array GlockJS's Avatar
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    May 2010
    Miami, FL
    Something I think not pointed out here yet. Once you go through the process of shifting through the guns and the belts and the holsters and the defensive rounds.......CARRY YOUR GUN!!!
    This might sound wierd but it's gonna be an adjustment putting a gun on your hip or in your pocket or on your ankle every day. But don't worry, it gets easier with time.
    Glock 26 9mm, Ruger LCR .357mag

    "Protect yourself at all times."

    "Don't forget, incoming fire has the right of way."-Clint Smith

  6. #21
    Member Array kinoons's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    I'll also echo the need to try before you buy if at all possible. Also consider the use of the gun. If for home defense then size is not as much as an issue compaired to every day carry.

    I routinely carry a walther PPS as well. I absolutely love it. I do occasionally carry a hk p7m8 and can say that the weight difference is very noticeable between an almost completely polymer gun and metal one.

    Buy what feels good and shoots well. (but the pps is a great choice if it works for you)

  7. #22
    sgb is offline
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    You don't need to know
    The biggest thing is that the gun has to fit, it has to fit your hand, your budget, and your use requirements ............. choosing a self defense handgun has to be a well thought out process. Are you going to carry concealed? How do you dress? How are you willing to change your dress to accommodate concealed carry? What is your budget for the firearm, holster, belt and ammunition? Have you established a budget to acquire proper training? Have you located a range that will allow you to try different guns, different calibers?

    The biggest mistake many folks make is rushing into a purchase that they haven't really thought through.
    "There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you." William Hazlitt (1778 - 1830)

    Best Choices for Self Defense Ammunition

  8. #23
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    May 2010
    Do an honest internal evaluation to determine if you have the disposition and mental fiber to extinguish a life on a moments notice. Many do not. If you fall into that catagory, you will spend a lot of money on what amounts to a paper weight.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  9. #24
    Member Array rustynail's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    Different things work for different people, what i did was purchased a H&K usp compact 357sig and a 40cal barrel around $1000, nice gun felt good, just didn't like it, a little to heavy did not like the mag release never shot it very well. Got a glock 29 10mm liked it, just a little to wide and heavy for EDC ended up with a glock 26 9mm comp-tac minotaur holster for EDC works for me also have a S&W 340M&P .357 J frame with Mika pocket holster very easy to conceal.
    My addvice would be go straight to Glock 26,27,33[same size] and a J frame airwieght 38 or .357. JMO

  10. #25
    Member Array Buckj's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    Worst mistake i see is when someone buys a gun too big to carry comfortable & leaves it home...research & try, try, try & try again numerous guns & find the one you will carry EVERY day...a gun left at home will not keep you safe while away from home...

  11. #26
    JPP is offline
    Member Array JPP's Avatar
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    May 2006
    South Central Kansas!
    +1 on what some folks have said.

    1. I bought some nice guns..... but they were TOO Dang big IMHO to carry
    (After four years of carry, I carry a Sig P238 in a Desantis pocket holster the most and G36 OWB 2nd most)

    2. Buying crap holsters. Spend the Money the first time and do it right.

    Sig P239
    Sig P238
    Glock 17
    Glock 36
    S&W 60

  12. #27
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Biggest mistake ...... letting someone else talking you into a gun that "they" think is great for you, and you don't. Or, talking you out of a gun you feel comfortable with you because of their preferences for you.

    Don't buy any gun that you are not comfortable you can operate safely.
    I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. --- Will Rogers ---
    Chief Justice John Roberts : "I don't see how you can read Heller and not take away from it the notion that the Second Amendment...was extremely important to the framers in their view of what liberty meant."

  13. #28
    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    Go to every gun shop you can find. Handle and shoot all you can get away with. Stick with known brands...Walther, Glock, Smith, Ruger, Sig, Kahr etc. There is a reason they are so well known and have a big following. Set yourself a reasonable price. A decent handgun will run from 350-800 dollars sometimes. Allot money for a good quality holster 50-100 bucks, plus some quality practice ammo and good SD ammo. The investment up front will be worth it in the long run.

    Do NOT listen to the gun store commandostelling you what to buy or not buy. Research what youlike and go on instinct.
    Friends don't let friends be MALL NINJAS.

    I am just as nice as anyone lets me be and can be just as mean as anyone makes me. - Quoted from Terryger, New member to our forum.

  14. #29
    Array gatopardo's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    Oklahoma City

    A gun too big to carry

    My first mistake was to purchase a gun too big to carry around, bought another one, and another and another.

    Live and learn, now I carry a Keltek pf9 everywhere I go.
    Can't complain anyway, I have guns ready to use in every corner now.

    Bigger guns are relatively stable while shooting, small ones are snappy and jumpy, find what feels good, like the other guys say, a balance between both extremes I'd say.

    Welcome to the forum, express yourself and let us know you.

    Last edited by gatopardo; January 22nd, 2011 at 02:02 AM.
    Go with the glow

  15. #30
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
    you can carry anything that you want, IF you put some effort into your carry system.

    Lots of folks will drop nearly $1K on a pistol, but then cry about buying a holster and belt system that could set them back a few large bills...

    You can learn to shoot anything, if you'll splurge for some good training; and you can carry anything if you'll splurge for some good leather/kydex.

    Whatever you do, don't skimp on it. If you're serious about carrying for self-defense, then spend the coin to get some reliable gear from a reputable source
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

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