This is a discussion on Pick a gun for me! within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by BelaOkmyx I live in CT which is a state where showing a print can be considered an act of intimidation so it ...
When I was looking to purchase my first weapon for CC I was like you. I wanted the smallest package with the biggest punch. I was determined that I wanted a Taurus LCP .380 that I could carry in my pocket and nobody would know I have it. Then a very wise firearms instuctor told me that a small weapon like that is (A) hard to control, especially for a new shooter, and (B) not much fun to shoot at the range. You said that you were looking for something that you can take to the range frequently and little micro pistol like that isn't what you want because if it isn't fun to shoot, then you simply won't shoot it. I finally settled on the SIG Sauer P250 compact. a little larger and heavier than your requirements but it's fun to take to the range and practice with so I am accurate with it. I carry it in a good OWB belt holster and it virtually disappears even under a t-shirt. My point is, don't think that just because a weapon is a little larger or heavier doesn't mean it isn't just a concealable as a small micro pistol.
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Something else to consider is the manual of arms; as in what is required to get your gun ready to fire the first round after it is drawn and on target. Do you feel that you would practice enough with a gun that requires the safety to be swiped off as part of your draw stroke so that it becomes automatic/second nature? In a very high stress situation where your adrenaline is high and all you can think of is getting your gun drawn and pointed at the threat; will your muscle memory/second nature be there to swipe the safety as you draw? If not, then a non-manual safety gun where it's draw, get on target, pull the trigger might be what you want to look at.
This is strictly my opinion, and has worked in many years of firearms training, and for men and ladies alike.
Get some basic training FIRST. At this point you need fundamentals, not run and gun, or force on force. Reputable instructors will provide a host of handguns and holsters for you to experience in class. That will give you some idea of where your preferences might lead you in handgun selection. Then.....
Buy a handgun just like you would buy a pair of shoes. If Ol' Joe over here says he likes Charlie China tennis shoes, and you're looking for a new pair of shoes, do you run out and buy Joe's pick, just because HE likes 'em? Probably not. If a new shooter is asking what to buy for a carry gun, it doesn't matter what works for me, or anyone else. I suggest telling that new shooter to go to many gun shops, and/or gun shows, and handle all the guns they can get hold of. Just like they would try on shoes. Before long they'll be able to make a list of guns that feel ok, pretty good, real good, and "that really feels great in my hands". The last two are the ones to pursue, and here's why I say that....If a given handgun doesn't feel "right" in your hands, you'll not shoot it enough to become proficient with it, because it's not comfortable, and you won't like shooting it. Just like you rarely wear shoes that are UNcomfortable. If you're not gonna become proficient with it, save your money, and buy a ball bat to carry. With proper fundamentals, he/she can learn to shoot almost any handgun, or any caliber. Very few folks can re-train their hands to make just any handgun feel comfortable. The last suggestion... again....get some training......proper shooting techniques, practiced slowly, but proficiently, will breed speed. Do it slowly, and do it the right way, every time.......If you practice speed first, and introduce less efficient techniques into your training, you'll have to do it all over again to get it right. Most gun shops have a box of used holsters that you can experiment with after you've chosen what gun works best for you. There are many options for concealed/open carry.
By the way..... anyone who introduces a new shooter to our pastime by having them start with a large-caliber handgun, makes a very poor decision. Yes, some folks do ok starting out with large calibers, but the vast majority will not continue to shoot if their very 1st experience is with .50 S&W. Start with a .22 caliber something, and as your technique/accuracy improves, work up from there. Caliber doesn't count until after you can hit your target.
If you're buying a handgun for home protection, and you choose to NOT have it on your person, you should consider where in your home you might be if someone kicks the door in. I don't see a person in a position to be able to ask an intruder to "hang on a sec, while I get my gun"
There always will be a trade-off..... light weight, more recoil...... shorter barrel, more recoil...I've known more than a few gents who didn't care for the recoil of what's often called a "ladies gun"... just sayin....
Again, just my ramblings.... but they work for me...
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I would recommended glock 19,26 or lcr/ j frame. I have a glock 19 and a lcr love both guns.
I am not big and manly, I'm 6'2" and weigh 160lbs and I conceal a glock 19 in a remora holster just fine. I bought the 19 because 9mm is pretty cheap to shoot (compared to a .45) and I can shoot 200 rounds without my wrists hurting.
I also just ordered a kahr CW9 for summer carry or when I need a thing gun, because its about half as thin
I agree with usmcj's advice:
"Get some basic training FIRST. At this point you need fundamentals, not run and gun, or force on force. Reputable instructors will provide a host of handguns and holsters for you to experience in class. That will give you some idea of where your preferences might lead you in handgun selection."
The NRA offers many classes for beginners as do gunshops and private individuals. Take advantage of them. Good luck.
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The Glock-26 would serve you well, and the Glock-19 is probably the best all round 9mm.OMO
If you like the bigger holes, the Glock-36 (.45) is something to look at...again, OMO.
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You need to figure it out for yourself. Read up on them and at some point go to a local range that rents them out and try some. Whats I like or somebody else likes is personal preference.
And regarding my weapon choice in general, the consensus seems to be "Got to try them and find out what works for you" and that's just what I'm going to do. The light weight is important to me though, this is something I'm going to have to carry in a pocket sometimes and I don't want my pants falling down, or for someone to bump into me and realize I have a gun.
Concealed, being the operative word... Sig P238 would be good in .380 for pocket carry, along with the Ruger SP101 .357 stainless or even better, the new LCR in .357 with the polymer frame/titanium cylinder. Also, the Kel-tec P32. Little bigger that won't fit in the pocket are the Glock 19 for accuracy & concealing. The Ruger P95 is about same size and about $200 cheaper and almost as accurate, plus mags are cheaper. I would also check the Ruger SR9C for Compact... You can shoot the full size mags in it as well and it will also almost disappear in a big pants pocket like Dockers or carpenter jeans. Rumored by lots of people posting it has the BEST trigger of any gun on the market right now and accurate as you can get with a 9mm. If money were not object I would carry the Sig P238 all time in pocket, along with a Ruger SR9C on the IWB hoster.
If you want to carry a Revolver I will go with a Ruger SP101 2' barrel. It is well built and hits what you aim at.
i just bought a new g23 gen 3, .40. set me back 500$ but well worth it. i use it for concealed carry with a 13 round mag and home defense with a 22 round mag just so be safe.i love it, and im a little guy only weigh about 150 soaking wet and i'm pretty accurate with it and the recoil for me is managable