I would recommend a S&W J frame or a Ruger SP101...
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; Hi folks, I am new to guns and looking into getting my carry permit in Upstate NY(Buffalo). I know very little about how they operate ...
I am new to guns and looking into getting my carry permit in Upstate NY(Buffalo). I know very little about how they operate and I've never shot a pistol before. I will be taking the class before I get the permit obviously, but I'm wondering which carry handgun you would recommend for someone very new to guns. I want something that has enough oomph to take down an attacker but is not so heavy and hard to operate that it will be a disadvantage to carry it. I would also like to be able to conceal it in my pants(around the crotch area I guess, and not inside a pocket). I wear a lot of t-shirt/shorts outfits in summer so I want something that can be concealed even under an outfit as revealing as this. I was looking at something like a Glock 26 and I wonder if this gun would be feasible or if I should consider others.
Thanks very much in advance for any advice.
I would recommend a S&W J frame or a Ruger SP101...
Without knowing anything about you or your proposed future training...I would suggest a snubby revolver of some type in the .38 caliber category...Smith & Wesson has a number of potential candidates in which you might be interested.
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The Glock 26 is definitely feasible, and it's very reliable, as well as a great weapon. Plus, you can practice, practice and practice even more with out breaking the bank. And they are a very good weapon:
Go to a range that rents guns and rent a Glock 26 and shoot it for yourself... I think you will love it.
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Current: DW V-Bob 1911, S&W 442, Springfield XD9sc, XDm9,
and Glock G26, G19, G23C, and SIG P226-40 TT, and Ruger GP-100, and Beretta 92FS
Former: Taurus 92SS, SIG P220 TT, S&W 360, SIG P239-40, Ruger 22/45 MKII
I would recommend a semi auto because they are thinner than any revolver. Thin means easier to conceal. I would carry inside the waist band IWB because IWB conceals better than anything other method. I would not try to carry around the crotch but would go 4o'clock just behind the hip. Now, what weapon. A revolver is simpler but it's wider. see above, and you limit yourself to five or six rounds. Also, unless you go with .357 caliber your stopping ability is limited. If you do go with .357 caliber the gun will be wider than .38 caliber. So what's the answer.
I would go with 9mm. The ruger sr9 is thinner than most and holds 17 rounds. Kahr makes thin 9mm's that will hold eight rounds. 9mm weapons have plenty of punch with modern jacketed hollow points JHP ammo and 9mm ammo is the cheapist ammo out there. It takes a little longer to master the manual of arms for some of the semi autos but it's worth the trouble.
I see nothing wrong with a good 9mm but you must practice with it and learn to clear a malfunction,the best way is by practicing different types of failures,also I would recommend a weapon you shoot well and can handle well which like other people have said rent different guns til you find a "fit"
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I know you're getting many, many opinions... all good too! My two cents is that you should look into the new Ruger LCP .380. They are lightweight and easy to carry/conceal.
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S&W 642. It is light and simple to operate. Yes some SA are thinner, but some are not or not enough to make a difference. I suspect the 642 is about as thin as a Glock, and much lighter when the Glock is loaded even with a 10 round magazine.
My Kahr P9 is thinner, and about as light although I have not weighed them both when loaded.
I would not recommend a Glock or any other SA until you get some instruction on the gun, and learn safety rules. If you did decide on a SA I would get a double action such as the Kahr which has a long trigger.
A Glock does not have a very heavy trigger nor is it a long pull. Yes, I have a G26 so know how they work. It is not a good carry gun unless in a good holster, and since it does not have a safety I would not recommend it as a first carry gun unless you want to wait awhile and get instruction and become very familiar with it.
I am a Glock fan, but not for a new handgun user for CCW. Others will disagree so if you can get someone to take you out and teach you safe gun handling and maybe try out a Glock or other SA that one might have access to.
Any modern handgun is simple enough for an average person to learn very quickly. Each have advantages and disadvantages. Revolvers are simpler, especially for cleaning/maintenace because you don't have to take anything apart, but in a carry/self defense senario, the revolver has less capacity and harder to quickly reload. Really autos are not much harder to "get to know" and I don't think you should restrict yourself because of lack of experience. If you have any friends that carry or just shoot at the range or whatever, get together and go shoot. If not, go to your local gunshop and have someone explain how they work and how to field strip(autos) etc. Fondle some of the guns and see what shouts "Take me home". Thats the way all of my pistols(auto loaders and wheel guns) found their way into my home and my heart. They are all easy enough so get what appeals to you and what sounds like it would meet your needs the best.
You options are vast, The 26 your considering is a great gun!! If you asked every member here what they carried during summer, I bet 65-70% would say a .38 snubnose revolver . There stupid simple to operate, cheap to learn on, very small+easy to conceal, and after 6 months of carrying and listening to us ramble you will know which semi-auto you want!!
There will always be a place for a 442 S&W in your safe.. It is almost a must own, so why not start there!! .38 +p will make whatever stop doing what they were doing that caused you to shoot them!!!!
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There are a lot of very good handguns out there. The Smith and Wesson 642 revolver is a great choice. It is a "J" frame revolver (that means small) and is very reliable. They are very simple to operate and maintain. Semi-automatic pistols, like the Glock 26, are a little more complicated (not a lot though), but tend to be easier to shoot. Any gun model will have its positive and negative aspects.
So, get to a gun store/shooting range, and handle some weapons. One of the most important factors is how well a handgun fits in your hand! You may not find one you like on your first outing. Do a little reading, and ask questions here.
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If it's at all possible to rent or borrow some different weapons to try that'd be the best way to start. Get some instruction too so you don't have to un-learn bad habits later.
Carry what you like to shoot and will practice with.
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Now you say you would like to carry IWB maybe around the crotch area. Again you really need to think about your physical stature, as that area of carry for some may be very uncomfotable. Some things you should think about before you buy a holster is, Your physical stature, the climate where you live, is it hot or cold most of the time? and your style of dress, also are you an active person or not. Remember when you carry ccw you must dress around your gun not vise versa. Alot of things to consider I know, but I'm just trying to help. IMHO I would look at a strong side OWB holster with a rear muzzle rake for your first handgun holster and buy others as their need arises. Remember there is no one holster for all tasks as holsters are task-specific. OWB holsters are by nature comfortable to wear, but you give up some concealability, IWB holsters give you an edge in concealment over the OWB holsters but can be uncomfortable for some people. Go out and try some. Be safe and have fun.
Hope this helps.
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If you've got the cash, I would HIGHLY recommend getting a full size .22 semi-auto to practice with. You should be able to find one for less than $300. Ruger and Browning make the best mainstream models IMO. I'm partial to the Ruger MK II. The reason you need a .22 is so you can afford to shoot it. With ammo prices where they are now, most of us can't afford to shoot a centerfire enough to develop good marksmanship skills. You can still blast through 2000 or more rounds of .22 a month without breaking the bank, and the accuracy and familiarity you develop doing that will transfer over to whatever you decide on as a carry weapon. My accuracy improved drastically after I started shooting .22 a lot. It seems like an unnecessary expense until you do the math on what centerfire ammo costs. Then you realize how cheap it really is.
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+1 on going to a range that rents guns. As each one of us is different, it's best for you to try as many as possible to find one to your likings.