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; One thing i personaly disliked about the SR9 was that the slide is kind of a bear to pull back. Grated i had just cleaned ...
January 22nd, 2011 07:31 PM
One thing i personaly disliked about the SR9 was that the slide is kind of a bear to pull back. Grated i had just cleaned a couple guns and had some residue from my silicone cloth on my hands...
My first impulse pistol purchase was a M&P 45c. Things started of a bit shakey but it was entirely my lack of skill. I also talked myself into thinking it ws too big to carry. After some training and getting a good IWB holster along with a gun belt, I absolutely love it.
I also bought a LCP for those special circumstances were i need deep concealment, and a Glock 19
because 9mm ammo is really cheap. Which is definitely nice when a training course requires you to bring 500 rounds. Sometimes i do think i should have bought a M&P 9c but i like the Glock too! Probably end up buying one eventually anyway.
January 22nd, 2011 08:20 PM
I just remembered...doesnt the PPS in Mass have a special trigger? Its like a mandatory trigger just for your state. I believe it makes the trigger much heavier. Someone will correct me if Im wrong on this.
Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it ......
January 22nd, 2011 08:56 PM
All MA handguns have a mandatory minimum 10 lb trigger pull. I understand the safety aspect of this, but it means that some people may struggle with accuracy more than others. I wouldn't think that this would be desirable for people with less hand strength that may want to defend themselves such as smaller build women or older folks (i.e., two groups of citizens often targeted by BGs.) But you have to remember, "logic" is not a mainstay of Massachusetts legislative thinking.
Originally Posted by hihosilver
January 22nd, 2011 10:55 PM
First of all, Welcome Aboard from Missouri.
Wow, buying a first gun for defensive purpose can be a daunting task. Add a little obsessive compulsive disorder and you'll spend 3 years just researching which type of gun you want, and then another couple of years deciding on which caliber. So, take a deep breath and relax.
There is nearly an infinite number of guns, types, calibers, shapes and sizes for a reason. Everyone has a different taste as to what they like, or what they think is the best. You'll be no different.
The very best thing you can do is to try as many different types and calibers as you can. This means you may have to spend some money at gun ranges that rent guns and buy ammo for them as well. Again, that is best way to start. Now, that isn't always possible to do either. Some people don't live around gun ranges which will also rent guns. Obviously the more different gun ranges you can get to, the larger the variety of guns you can select from. But many places which rent guns stand a good chance of not renting the particular one you'd really like to try out. Another option is to visit any close friends you know who have several different guns and offer to help pay for the ammo.
Another mistake people make is that they think they can carry a gun, and not know they are carrying a chunk of steel around. Or in many cases, a chunk of steel and plastic. Guns have bulk and weight. You can not get around that. Some people seem to believe they won't be able to notice they aren't carrying anything and the fact they have to put up with something that weighs 23 oz - 35 oz is a cramp in their lifestyle. A famous defensive instructor named Clint Smith aptly wrote, "Carrying a gun should be comforting, not necessarily comfortable."
Like others have said, it's going to be a balancing act between something which is large enough in physical size and dimensions in which you can handle and shoot accurately, and one which won't be too big to carry. I have personally found that the smaller the gun, the harder it is to learn how to shoot well, and will also be harder to handle as in the amount of felt recoil.
Also, one of the biggest mistakes I think new people make is the fact that they are willing to drop anywhere from $500 - $1500 on a new gun, then they don't want to spend more than $20 - $30 on a holster. Then they don't understand why it's so damn uncomfortable lugging that $1500 custom 1911 around. A Gun Rig consists of the gun, the holster and the belt, at a minimum. You should be willing to shell out some jack for a decent holster and belt combination. It's the difference between leaving that gun at home, or being able to carry it around all day every day and still be happy as a clam. I have three holsters that cost over $120 each, and a couple $85 gun belts. And many other holsters in the $50 - $75 range, and without a doubt, the more you pay, the easier it is to carry a full sized gun all day, every day and not feel like you're lugging around a refrigerator at the end of the day. I've had a few $20 holsters which were literally a waste of money.
Anyway, welcome aboard, and I wish you good luck in your quest.
"The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."
January 22nd, 2011 11:35 PM
I think the biggest mistake anyone could ever make is not buying a G19 right away. :)
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
January 22nd, 2011 11:45 PM
Be sure you don't get too swayed by internet Lore. In order to use an carry a weapon effectively it can't be too heavy or too light. It can't be too large a caliber or too small. What feels good in the gun store dosen't necessarity feel good on the hip after a full day.
i think people buy too large caliber's without realizing how hard it can be to shoot a .45 or even a .40 effectively. they also make the mistake of thinking that squeezing off shots at a range is "effective".
Many make a mistate of getting a gun that is too thick or two big because they read how a guy can pocket carry a 5" 1911.
Unfortunately, many of us don't live anywhere near a place where you can rent and try before you buy.
I'd recommend something in 9mm to start because it's a decent defensive round that has relatively mild recoil and you can afford to shoot it.
January 22nd, 2011 11:51 PM
Defensive has several meanings.
Mistakes when purchasing a defensive handgun
Defensive as in: "I want a gun to keep in the bedroom in case of a home invasion."
or Defensive as in: "I can carry a firearm that will keep me protected, a .45"
or Defensive as in: "I can't carry a .45 every day. I need a gun I can slip in my pocket. The .45 is nice, but it sits at home all the time."
I have what I consider a nice variety. I settled on a fine "small" carry gun. a Seecamp. It's not for everyone. But it does what I want, and it is very high quality.
First, decide what you want. Then try out a lot of different guns. Your hands are different than mine. I hate when people (well meaning) say, "Get a Sig, or Get a Glock." You should get what feels good in your hand, and only you can tell that.
The good news? The research is a lot of fun. I've shot guns belonging to strangers at a range. I've let them shoot mine. It's all good.
January 22nd, 2011 11:58 PM
Stilll like my S&W 640 j frame and will never part with it, like the power and feel very safe with it. Husband has a glock, wonderful and smooth.... he also likes the power of the 640. Fortunately where we purchased these firearms, the staff was extreemely helpful and very interested in what we had gathered on what we wanted.
January 23rd, 2011 01:41 AM
x2. That is what I love about my M&Pc
Originally Posted by sgb
G22 .40 S&W and G23 .40 S&W Sig Sauer:
P938 9mm Smith and Wesson:
Model 437 .38 Spl, Model 65 357 Mag, and Sigma SW9VE 9mm
January 23rd, 2011 04:05 AM
Truth be told, I'm kinda stupid. I'm too dumb to realize that a G21sf is too big to be carried everyday.
All my guns are .45acp. I am now looking into getting a 9mm just for the price of ammo alone.
In other words, you're ahead of the curve!
It's too bad that you don't have anywhere to rent a gun prior to purchase (if I read correctly). Still, just getting your mitts around a few grips and sighting in should give you some idea as to the "feel" of the weapon.
I will add volume to the many voices who recommend finding what feels right TO YOU. Although there are many great brands that will be recommended, it could end up being the last thing anyone, yourself included, could expect that sends down rays of light and inspires the Angels to sing when you hold it in your hands.
In regards to "rigs". I guess that I would include (beyond the stated minimum basics of gun, belt, and holster) a magazine pouch, a knife, and a flashlight. Be advised, these have their notorious "el cheapo" brands and varieties as well. It may take a while to collect everything and I certainly would recommend the purchase of cheap but effective versions in the meantime, but you may want to look into getting good, solid, and reliable versions of each in the nearest possible future.
I will also second Guantes as per the serious introspection. If you cannot see yourself taking a life in self-defense, I would not advise carrying, or even owning, a defensive handgun. The law being what it is, and listening to the advice of many an LEO, in a last ditch, no kidding, self-defense scenario, you should shoot to kill. It's not an easy thing to come to terms with, but it is the harsh reality...
Enjoy your purchase whatever it is and shoot it every chance you get. Welcome to DC!
That which does not kill us leaves us broken and bleeding...
Donít mess with the guy who can barely stand up. His remaining options for self-defense don't include your survival.
Convenire Volui Spectatus
January 23rd, 2011 07:43 AM
Important point. It's almost worth a separate discussion.
If you cannot see yourself taking a life in self-defense, I would not advise carrying, or even owning, a defensive handgun.
The selection of the firearm is only one step along the path. Education, training, maintenance, and carry skills don't come in the box. You have to acquire those, too. The mental preparation and development required should be taken very seriously.
"It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first."
January 23rd, 2011 09:40 AM
After buying all your pistols you will soon find that you will only be happen with a Wilson Combat 1911. So skip all the others and go straight to the top.
January 23rd, 2011 10:05 AM
I agree with most of the comments above, except perhaps for the those that caution against buying something that is too big. Very concealable guns generally hold fewer rounds and due to light weight and shorter barrels are more difficult to shoot well than larger, longer heavier guns. People accept this compromise and carry smaller guns because having less ammo in a more difficult to shoot gun, is preferable to not carrying a gun because it is so large, heavy and difficult to conceal that you leave it at home. So, if you are like most people, you will end up keeping the 'big' gun at home where you can use it for home defense and not need to worry about its size or weight and you will acquire a second, smaller, lighter pistol that will become your EDC. That is what happened to me. I started with a full size HK USP and then acquired a Kahr PM9, a Smith and Wesson M&P, an ISSC 22, a shotgun and am still itching to get a 1911 and an AR. In summary, I have come down with GAD...Gun Acquisition Disorder, a malady that is known to drive wives and Anti's crazy while bringing great satisfaction to the afflicted one
January 23rd, 2011 12:53 PM
Size does matter
Too big and too heavy it will sit in the safe.
Small guns are for experts. That is true to a point. They take more practice to shoot well.
Something in the middle is usually a very good place to start. If it were not for the fact that you live in the Peoples Republik of Mass, I would suggest a Glock 23. I don't think you can own a Glock in Mass unless it has been there since before the laws went into effect. My sister lives there and recently bought a 26 from a cop. She has the MAP compact and likes them fine. I think the Walther is a good coiuce for the moment. I don't own one so I don't really know. I do know that there are sevral 1911s that you can own, though probably not all of them. My sister has an S&W 1911 SC and loves it. Any lightweight commander length 1911 is a good choice for carry as long as it works. I don't normally recomend 1911s to newbies, they take some getting used to, but they are great carry guns. As much as I love my G23 and G32, I only carry 1911s now. Take a look at the Smith Pro series 1911. They are available in 9mm and 45. Great little gun.
January 23rd, 2011 06:46 PM
I have been buying and carrying for over 40 years now, and have owned many guns. I have made very few "bad" purchases, because I research then try the gun first.
1. Because someone else really likes a certain gun, it may or may not be right for you. Example: A 6'4" 225# guy carries a 1911 in an IWB holster.
You are 5-7, 170# ( I am). No way you can conceal it, even though its one of the best for raw power.
2. You don't try a gun first, under the guidance of someone experienced. YOU have to like it, have confidance in it and your ability with it, and shoot it well. Nobody else.
3. Buying a gun which does not fit your hand. This is very important!!! Thry this. Without gun, look at something across the room. Then close your eyes, and point at it just like a gun is in your hand. Your hand will be very close to what you are looking at. Now, try the smae thing with an unloaded gun. If it is not pointing where your arm is, it does not fit you. Take this inot account in a self defencse scenerio. You have to extract the gun from your holster/pocket and point at the BG and shoot in one move. You may not have time to use the sights.
4. You let price dictate your purchase. just remember, the gun is for saving you ( or your family's life. If it does not work the first time, you may not get a second chance.
5. After purchase, put at least 3 boxes of ammo thru it. Then, clean and oil it per instructions. This proves reliability and hines your skill/confidance with it.
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