Need help deciding on carry/home defense gun

This is a discussion on Need help deciding on carry/home defense gun within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi folks, It's been awhile since I last posted and I am in need of some advice. I am looking for a good carry/home defense ...

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Thread: Need help deciding on carry/home defense gun

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    Member Array Texspeech's Avatar
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    Need help deciding on carry/home defense gun

    Hi folks,
    It's been awhile since I last posted and I am in need of some advice. I am looking for a good carry/home defense gun. I have my CHL but I don't so much carry it on me but more so in the car and sometimes computer bag. I am looking at either a Gen. 3 Glock 30, S&W 686 2.5 in., GP100 3in., or S&W640. If I go the revolver route I want something that has the capability to shoot .357 but when carrying I will probably use .38+p's. Any advice, opinions, and suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    I really like my Smith & Wesson revolver and carry it all the time. But the recoil, especially with .357 loads, won't be everyone's cup of tea. I am curious why you want the capability to shoot .357 but only want to carry .38's though. I'm just the opposite. I carry with the heavy load but like the option of being able to practice with something lighter.
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    "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come." ~ Confucius

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    VIP Member Array joker1's Avatar
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    GLOCK 30 if you want .45 acp and decent capacity. GLOCK 19 if 9x19 and large capacity are what you want.
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    Senior Member Array hardluk1's Avatar
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    You are sort of all over the place with handguns. Your also looking at 357/s .38sp +P and 45's.

    There is not any real difference between the stopping power of a 39sp +P, 9mm, 40sw, 45, 357sig and so on. Do Not plan on one round doing the job so for a handgun, look for something you can carry as much of your out of the house hours as you can and can afford to buy enought ammo to practic with regularly for some time.

    Now if you can only buy one handgun for now, pick it well. You will hear about so many type of handguns you will be even more corn-fuzzed before this is over. If you have friends with handguns that CC try to shoot theres . Pay attention how they CC. Make notes to what you like and don't like, Be honest. Figure out how you will CC so you can do all the time . Even if just wearing a t-shirt and shorts if thats part of your normal clothing on . Try to find a pistol that you don't have to dress for to carry. Many compact to mid-sized pistols can be CC'd like that. You can find most standard defence cartidges now in some very light firearms , under 21oz. Just start off at a gun store fingering firearms to see what you like and don't . Try not to get all over the board on types like a 686 or g-100 are faaar from light or thin for CC. 5 shot revolvers and mid sized pistols maybe for now. Its all give a take . I would rather have a 9mm that I can shoot quickly on target than egualy as light 40sw that you find you can't control. If you want basic 357 power look at the 357 sig cartidge. There are several pistol chambered in it.

    I carried a 5 shot revolver for 20 years. Now a compact single stack pistol and still a DA type trigger pull. Even how and were I carry has not changed in 26 years. I have much larger handguns for home ,fun and hunting but my choice is based on what I am comfortible with that works 356 all hours I am away from my home. If you have someone in your life besure you buy something they to can become confident with it too.

    Lets say right now you end up with some 18 to 22oz pistol , you may find down the road when dollars allow you could buy a larger vertion of the same pistol for home or play. Then for when in gym shorts and tank top is all you can wear pick up sub compact micro for those times.

    Bottom line you have to deside whats best for your life style.

    Just learn to not carry in different locations depending on weather ,temp or how your dressed any more than is required. Keep as much the same as possible.

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    Member Array DustyBottoms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texspeech View Post
    I am looking at either a Gen. 3 Glock 30, S&W 686 2.5 in., GP100 3in., or S&W640. If I go the revolver route I want something that has the capability to shoot .357 but when carrying I will probably use .38+p's.
    Two of your choices are full sized, heavy 6 or 7 round capacity revolvers made for .357. You want to carry them with .38 special +P's, which is roughly equivelent to 9mm+p. Why would you carry a gun with only 6 rounds that weighs over 40.oz's when you could carry a compact poly semi-auto in 9mm that weighs much less, and has more than twice the capacity in 9mm of about the same power as your .38+p's and conceals much easier? Not a logical choice, but more power to yah! Neither of the 'snub' versions of either the 686 or the GP100 are small by any standard. I'd take a harder look at a Glock 19 before I bought either of those revolvers. The G30 is awesome, but the G19 is the same basic size, 'cept thinner, and holds four more rounds. Also, 9mm ammo is almost half the price of .45, and if you look at the performance of quality SD carry ammo, like Gold Dots, the performance difference between 9mm and .45 is very small. If your dead set on one of the choices you named, my vote would definitely be for the G30.

    Just throwing that out there!

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    I would carry what I shoot best, and what is best suited for your situation.

    I like revolvers and I shoot them well, so that it what I mainly carry
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    Senior Member Array Chevy-SS's Avatar
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    If I was shopping for new HD pistol, I'd want something substantial, reliable and with a laser. IMHO, the laser is a great tool for assisting in aiming, plus a red dot on the perp's chest just might defuse the situation quickly. Better to not shoot, if possible.

    Good luck, and let us know what you end up purchasing.......
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    Any would serve you well, while I love my GP-100 I think for carry in a computer baag, it is probably going to be on the heavy and bulky side. I know that doesn't help much in making a decision.
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    Member Array Texspeech's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone for their input. I guess I should have been a little clearer about what I want. The reason I mentioned the revolvers was because of financial constraints I really would like a gun that can cover many bases. Home defense, carry, woods gun. Believe me, if I could afford two (or a S&W night guard) I would get two.

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    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    Go ahead & start with a revolver (the S&W 686 or Ruger GP100). Everyone needs a midsize .357 mag anyway & it covers as many of the bases you mentioned as anything else. If $$$ are a concern, stretch your budget with a lightly-used model. It's a rare 686 or GP100 that's been "worn out"! People wear-out & die before those two particular guns do.
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    Senior Member Array Dennis1209's Avatar
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    I don't want to get into a pistol vs. revolver or caliber debate, I'll just tell you what I have, use and why.

    On my night stand sits a S&W 686 plus, .357, with a 6" barrel and CT laser sites. This is not my everyday carry gun for obvious reasons but, I do carry it around my property on occasion to shoot field rats & mice (we're over run with em). I also have a Remington 870 Express 12 gage at bedside.

    Revolvers can and do fail but, in my experience they're still more reliable than a pistol. A .357 or .38+P is an adequate round for personal defense. The 686+ is a seven round revolver. The six inch barrel is more accurate than the four or two inch barrels. My son has the exact same 686+ with the four inch barrel and we both shoot more accurate target shooting with mine. The six inch barrel greatly reduces muzzle flash in low / no light conditions.

    When my ADT burglar alarm siren went off at 3:00 A.M. a few months ago, I was sure appreciative of the CT laser sites. I'm an old fart, and getting awakened suddenly from a deep sleep requires a little time for me to function 100%, so simpler is better for me.

    The Ruger SP101 and GP100 are excellent revolvers and would make a great HD weapon and CCW gun. The only consideration would be ammo capacity. I personally carry either a Glock 26 or Kimber Pro Raptor .45.

    If I only had the money to buy one gun for both home defense and CCW at this point in my life, I'd buy the Ruger SP101 in .357 DA/SA.

    Just my 2 quid worth.


    Last edited by OD*; July 23rd, 2012 at 09:53 PM.
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    Member Array Dutch1951's Avatar
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    Something that fits your hand...... people forget that. 9mm or larger as long as you can handle it. My two cents is pistol as they have a larger capacity and faster reload times and something that is concealable. After that the most important thing is practice, practice, practice and remember this is a lifestyle change.

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    Member Array stroguy's Avatar
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    Find a gun range or gun store and they will have plenty of local contacts for qualified NRA instructors. For a small fee the instructor will take you to a range with a selection of guns, show you proper techniques and you can make a better informed decision. Nobody on here is going to be able to tell you what is good for you. You need to experiment.

    Please don't leave your gun in a computer bag, carry it. Please don't leave a gun in the car, carry it. These are all situations where you are giving away guns to bad guys. Computer bags are prime targets for thiefs. Car break ins happen everyday with smash and grabs. You have a CCW permit, use it. But please don't leave the guns where the bad guys can take them more easily than on your body.
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    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Comments on steel revolvers and Glocks

    I like revolvers and have a number of them, including the 686 snubby you mentioned. It is a wonderful gun for shooting, but I don't really carry it because it is quite heavy and wide, going about 34 ounces empty. When I do carry a revolver it is generally an airweight J frame .38, the model 642. It only weighs 15 ounces empty and can be concealed very easily. But of course it doesn't meet your .357 magnum requirement.

    Of your choices I would probably focus on the .45 caliber Glock model 30, which is reasonably lightweight and gives you plenty of firepower. I often use the .45 caliber Glock 36 myself, along with a spare magazine. I like the 36 because it weighs 20 ounces empty and is pretty thin for easy concealment.



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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Get something you will actually carry on your body.
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