This is a discussion on Best carry weapon for someone new to guns? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by JonInNY I know you're getting many, many opinions... all good too! My two cents is that you should look into the new ...
Gun holsters concealed by SmartCarry concealed holsters. Very flexible with respect to clothing choice and weapon choice. I carry a 4.5" barrel 45 without difficulty. Anything smaller will work also.
With respect to a weapon, I chose the M&P because it felt right when I shoot. The interchangable grips helped here. I chose a 45 because I liked the way it felt when I practiced with it. With the price of ammo and what I have learned since, I'd be inclined toward the 9 mm these days. I like the 17+1 capability.
Best weapon? The one you shoot well and love...and it may not be your only one. When you discover your best method of carry you may rearrange your wardrobe (buy bigger size pants, shirts) or try several holsters (most of us have a dresser full of experiments). I've owned over a dozen firearms in my life and I stopped selling/trading them in years ago, so I've got a few now.
I've owned glock and I may again, you'll read plenty of opinions on all of your questions. Welcome to the forum and to the world of gun ownership and taking responsibility for your own and your loved ones protection. I'm using a smart carry with a revolver right now, but I also carry a 4" xd45 when with family.
Short answer: love what you shoot and shoot what you love. You can find away to "hide" almost any weapon it's doing so in a way with SOME comfort. Just remember that caring a gun isn't supposed to be comfortable as much as comforting.
A J or K -frame snubnose is a perfect starter gun.
"If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking" - George S. Patton.
If you're new to guns and want to carry a gun... that's a process that will take some time.
For example, I've been shooting for over 50 years and I wouldn't put any gun in my carry rotation until I felt it was absolutely 100% reliable. That means I have to shoot it for several hundred rounds under several different conditions to prove it.
You're just starting, I'd go very slow. Get a .22 and learn to put steel on target everytime. When you feel competent, get a small revolver like a Ruger SP101 or one of the wheel guns mentioned above. Then more practice.
And, I would take the NRA's basic firearms course.
When you can prove to yourself that you are competent with gun handling and gun safety, then get your carry license and join the club.
Best of luck to you!
strange - everyone is recommending the j frame snubbies - great guns but difficult to shoot well until you have had some practice... (I EDC a 2" barreled revolver in 357)
if I were starting with a wheel gun (ease of use, reliability) I would start with 3 or 4 inch barreled 38 or 357 say smith model 10 or 13, (65 or 66 in stainless) get used to the longer sight picture (and practice with 38s in any of the 357)
the Glock is not a bad choice either - but it has to fit your hand 9mm will get the job done, (although many of us strongly prefer our semi-autos to begin with a 4)
ranges that rent (or friends who share) a variety of guns will make the right choice a lot easier
IMHO - been shooting handguns most of my life, carrying for 26 years (on and off) and these folks on this forum will generally give you GREAT advice
Find a pistol range that allows you to try a variety of kinds. You can play with revolvers with different barrel lengths. You can compare different pistols. Each gun can behave differently, have its own issues, fit your hand or not. You won't know until you try.
Folks, here, can recommend any sort of gun that might be suitable, but only you will know after handling and shooting one. Each can handle differently, "kick" differently, present different minor challenges if carried daily.
- Head to a range where you can try out shooting numerous guns.
- Patiently do that until you've thought through the ramifications of living with that on your person every day.
- Realize that, like as not, 12mos from that first purchase you might well be changing to something else that fits better, once you learn the realities of carrying every day.
Each gun can have a surprisingly different "fit" for you.
You'll need to decide on caliber, as one first step. Not all guns are available in all calibers. If considering the 9mm or 38/357 flavors, then here are some to consider, as a first gun for daily carry:
- A 3" bbl revolver in 38/357, since they're simple and reliable. A Smith 10 might be a good choice, as would a Ruger SP101. Snubbies can have sharp recoil, and not everyone likes that.
- A smaller Glock semi-auto (such as the G19 or G26). No external safety, but reliable and durable.
- CZ 2075 RAMI.
- HK P2000SK.
- HK USP Compact, though this is a larger gun.
- Springfield XD Sub-cumpact.
- Walther PPS.
- The new Beretta PX4 Sub-compact that's coming out in a couple months.
- KelTec P11 or PF-9.
- Kimber Aegis Ultra 9mm.
- Springfield EMP 9mm.
- Para Ordnance PDA 9mm.
If you're considering .45ACP, then strongly consider a quality 4" bbl 1911 style pistol. Some would argue it's the finest semi-auto pistol made. It does require a bit of training, up front, to introduce you to safe/reliable usage. But, the 1911 is flat, concealable, powerful, can be as reliable as anything out there. It's a timeless design that works for many folks.
Most ranges aren't likely to have many of these, to test. But finding a shop that has them for sale will allow you to at least handle them.
Good luck in the hunt.
Can't add much, my first weapon is a J frame S&W model 60, 3 inch barrel, 38/357. Stainless steel, yeah it's got some weight to it, better to control recoil, and only carries 5 rounds, but see below.
IIUC, if in a situation that requires firing, it will be close range. So I practice with cheaper .38 specials, and otherwise keep it loaded with .357 Hollow Point hydra-shocks, less recoil.
Good luck with your decision.
I would not recommend a revolver, they have their place but I don't think it should be your first nor do I feel it should be a primary EDC (except in very specific circumstances).
"Appendix Carry" (crotch area just to the right of the belt buckle for a right-handed shooter) should work very well with the 26. I often carry the 26's big brother (the 19) in that manner and have no problems with comfort or concealment.
just my $0.02
"Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina
If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.
A lot of good advice, especially trying guns at a range that rents. My suggestion is to try a Ruger sp101. Good balance of size/weight and controllabilty, esp. with .38 special loads, fairly inexpensive both in terms of initial cost and cost of ammunition, good selection of holsters available, reliable, and easy to conceal, either inside the waist band or with a belt holster. The trigger smooths up with use, and there are 'smiths who do some good work on Rugers. Good luck with your search. Get what works best for you.
Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.
Thanks so much for all your responses. I had no clue that I'd get so many. Rhome, to answer your question that jumped out at me I am of small stature with a slight build. I am 5 foot 9 inches tall and 151 pounds with short arms and legs and small wrists. I would say that my hands are average sized for a guy but my fingers may be shorter than average and my thumbs may be wider than average. Does this affect the handgun selection?
I think going to a range and trying out a few different calibers and styles (semi auto, revolver) is an excellant idea to narrow down what works for you. In my case the first gun I bought was a Glock 30. I have never been comfortable carrying it. However, the second gun I bought was a Kahr P9. It has been my EDC for the past year and a half. It is slim and very concealable, easy to carry concealed. The G30 is used as a home protection gun now. I think you will likely try a few different guns until you find what works for you.