First Gun Decision

This is a discussion on First Gun Decision within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I see a lot of first time gun buyers, and a common thread is the one-gun-for-all-purposes. It's not easy to find one gun fun for ...

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Thread: First Gun Decision

  1. #16
    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    I see a lot of first time gun buyers, and a common thread is the one-gun-for-all-purposes. It's not easy to find one gun fun for range use that's also a good CCW gun, that's also a good trail gun. Some people are reluctant to admit they want a defense gun. I hear the whole " I want a gun for target shooting.... Oh yea, and maybe for SD". By all means go to the rental range and try out a bunch of different guns. Everything you mentioned is of good quality, stick with those and figure out what job is most important for you. Start with that purpose in mind when you choose.

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  3. #17
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    First off, Welcome to the forum...
    Are you only concerned with two legged predators or is there a concern about four legged ones also, or maybe snakes? 9mm is a fine all around caliber, but may be on the light side if you are concerned about four legged predators.

    I don't have personal experience with HK, but everything they make is quality... Glock's, XD's, M&P's all have their own merits and you need to handle them all and decide for yourself... You should try renting some of the guns you're interested in before you buy.

    This may be considered outdated .... but I still consider the best gun for the beginner, or non gun enthusiast, the .357 revolver. Easy to maintain, reliable, cheap to shoot at the range with .38's, plenty of power, the ability to carry shot shells, etc... but thats me. That's what I carry when I go camping, hiking or for any outdoor activities...
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  4. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibesarcasm View Post
    LOVE the pythons and king cobras!! BUT, dang sure don't want to carry one around all day!! Not to mention a revolver is bulkier, and ammo reloads are bulkier.......not sure this would be a good all purpose carry gun for the OP......
    I'm considering a SP101 with a 3" barrel as my go to outdoor gun... fairly light, can handle any .357 round, small enough to carry without much bulk.... it's no bigger than anything the OP is considering...
    "Texas can make it without the United States, but the United States can't make it without Texas!".... Sam Houston

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  5. #19
    Senior Member Array itschuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pir8te View Post
    I have a collection of 9 mm and this would not be my choice if I still lived back east

    If I were in your shoes and was only getting 1 gun that I did not plan on concealed carry as a primary use "Travel only" ,,,,but wanted something that is fun to shot and could use on the range as well as trail (bears/boars and mnt lions)

    I would not make my choice a 9mm

    I would look at a revolver in 4-6 inch
    • 38 special/357 mag
    • 44 special/44 mag

    38 special/357 mag for fun shoot 38 and for stopping 357

    Pretty cheap to shoot 38 special and I have taken a fair bit of game with 357 mag
    Maybe a sentimental choice for me, as this was my 1st hand gun a python that I still have 35 yrs latter never felt undergunned


    44 combo little more expensive to shoot but better bear gun in a pinch

    Just a thought
    As he said, but I would add that a Ruger gp100 with the 4inch barrel would make a great trail gun/ home defense weapon plus its fun to shoot. They are built like a tank and will take the abuse of being outdoors and will probably out last all of us on this forum. Revolvers are a nice simple weapon for first time buyers.
    Current collection: Too many according to the wife...

  6. #20
    Senior Member Array jca1's Avatar
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    I'm with itschuck and pir8te on this one. One gun....it would have to be a wheel gun in .357
    If I gave a crap about what you think about my guns.....it was early this morning and I already flushed it!

  7. #21
    New Member Array snappca's Avatar
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    Holy crow, I should have been keeping a closer eye on the thread! I got distracted by some visiting family and wasn't expecting such a huge number of responses.

    First off, thanks to everyone for the warm welcome.

    Secondly, and let me preface this by saying my intent is in no way to be rude, but perhaps I shouldn't have posted my "short list". :) While I'm certainly grateful for everyone's input, as everyone in here has more experience than myself, I suppose I was beginning to feel pretty set on the HK P30 and was just wondering what variant I should go with (LEM or DA/SA and what trigger weight) and whether I should wait for the P30S. Buuut....if there was a particular reason I SHOULDN'T go with an HK and should go with something else I'd be all ears.

    Now take this with a grain since I'm so lacking in experience, but when shooting my brother-in-laws service Glock 23 he was poking fun at my inability to get a decent grip on the thing. I'd never thought of myself as having short fingers, but apparently I do. At 5'10" and 160 pounds I'd figured I was average, but for the life of me I just didn't feel like I was getting a proper grip on it. Not that it was horrendous or anything, it just felt off. Now I have not had a chance to handle the P30 (no one seems to carry it around here), but with the adjustable grip and all the great reviews I was thinking I'd be ok.

    I liked the feel of the Sig P250, even though I've just dry fired it, but as I said earlier there are lots of people online mentioning that it hasn't "proven" itself yet and similar to the XD I'm not really sure there would be a good enough reason to go with that over the P30. Granted the modularity is interesting and perhaps I should consider it more, but I'm concerned about the "newness" of it and the complaints of getting hit in the face with cartridges.

    Keep in mind this gun would be for both myself and my wife, hence the additional value placed on the reports of minimal recoil in the P30 and the exchangeable grip pieces. I understand that one gun can't be ALL things (i.e. perfect range, ccw, trail...etc.), but I was hopefull that the P30 would meet most of those requirements with average or slightly above average quality.

    I am currently leaning toward the P30 DA/SA since I don't have much experience and I don't think I'd have too much to overcome as far as learning to deal with a longer tougher first shot. But with that said, I am definitely intrigued by the upcoming P30S that would have DA/SA but also a manual safety thus allowing me to use it in a "cocked and locked" SA mode. My biggest concern was whether I was missing something and the P30 was somehow not as safe as "the others".

    As for the holsters I'm woefully ignorant of what brand/style is best (I'm new to this), and I totally agree with gasmitty and have no intention of going all in on a decent gun and cheapo on the gear. As I was mentioning earlier, I'm not overly concerned about price, just quality. I can rationalize the price since I only intend on owning one gun for quite some time. If someone could point me in the direction of some decent chest and IWB holsters I'd greatly appreciate it. The chest holster would just be for attaching to my backpack which is a ridiculously large 6710 cubic inch trekking backpack (I usually carry all the gear for the family). But as I was saying earlier I'd like the option of concealed carry at the 4 o'clock position in some level of comfort.

    My main focus with the weapon was for defense against some nutcase preying on campers on the trail. With the secondary purpose being self-defense at home and while on travel and the tertiary purpose being enjoying a day at the range with my wife occasionally. I'm not quite so concerned about bumping into some overly aggressive four legged animal that I would need to take down. While I understand a revolver certainly would do the job, for some reason I like the idea of a semi-auto handgun. I suppose it is mainly because of the added capacity, especially when taking it to the range.

  8. #22
    Member Array ibesarcasm's Avatar
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    I'll try to find the card for the chest holsters....don't see it right off hand, but it might be at work.... I'll post the website when I find it......
    Sarcasm - Just one of the many services I provide!
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  9. #23
    New Member Array snappca's Avatar
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    Anyone made use of this "safepacker"? They advertise it as something that can be slipped over a backpack's straps but I'm wondering how well that'd hold up, or how secure it is.

    Here's a link:

    - Wilderness Tactical Products, LLC

  10. #24
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    Actually I don't believe Glocks are a DA/SA pistol, and remember Plaxico Burress shot himself with a Glock. If you keep your finger off the trigger your gun will not go off. JMO but if your going to be using the gun primarily for back packing, I'd go with a 4" revolver in .357 mag (like a Ruger GP-100), over a 9mm. While a 9mm is fine for defensive purposes against a person, I wouldn't want to have to rely on it to stop a bear or big cat.

  11. #25
    New Member Array snappca's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm not too sure, but I think a Glock is considered a SA even though it is only 40% cocked and you still have a bit of additional pull before you get it all the way. Hope I'm not too far off on that one. It still seems like the main reason the dude shot himself was because he didn't have it in a trigger covering holster.

    As for protection against animals, I'm not that concerned about that for the areas I'll be trekking in. I suppose I'm not married to the 9mm, but I just can't see going to a big gauge if I'm looking for a general purpose defense weapon. I'm more concerned about the loonies that have been prowling the trail near my area.

  12. #26
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    snappca -

    From the standpoint of you have to start somewhere, I think you have some good instincts. You're focused on a handgun that both you and your lady can handle and shoot acceptably well. As you get more experience, you can specialize... in the meantime, a mag full of serious hollowpoints will at least slow down 4-legged critters on the trail and will be a major deterrent to the 2-legged predators.

    H+K makes some fine weapons and I support your approach of getting a high-quality gun to start with. The only H+K I've ever handled is a P7 (squeeze cocker), so I confess I'm not familiar with the trigger-action variants (DA/SA, LEM, etc.) In accordance with other posters, I urge you to look around for either a range that has 'em to rent, or a friend who will let you shoot his. The variation in trigger pull on "traditional" DA/SA guns like my Sig 220 is a bit tricky to master, but not insurmountable; but a consistent trigger from shot to shot is certainly an asset.

    With regard to safe storage at home, take a look at Gun Vault products here: GunVault - Gun Safes for Home or Office - Home I'm not 100% convinced of the reliability of safes needing batteries, but these are pretty popular and I'm just offering this as an idea of what's out there.
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  13. #27
    Senior Member Array usmc3169's Avatar
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    To add to gasmitty's comments - there are "GunVault"'s available (like the one I have on my night stand) that plug into the wall and only use the internal batteries to keep some one from resetting it by unplugging it. I would look into the line of safes. I dont think you would go wrong with the H&K - I dont recomend them for the simple reason that I have never shot one, nor have they ever really caught my interest. Everything that I hear about them is that they are top of the line guns, up there with Sig's even! lol. I would again tell you that I think for backpacking and concealed carry another good option is the fanny pack holster. Something that you dont have to put down if you drop your pack.
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

  14. #28
    Senior Member Array cagueits's Avatar
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    One 9mm can kill you, especially away from EMS/hospitals. To stop an attack you'll proabbly need to shoot several times, doesn't matter if its a 9mm, 40, 45, ect. Do not underestimate any round.

    Both your wife and you would benefit from some formal firearms training before purchasing a gun. Find an instructor, don't settle on a friend/family member to teach you firearm safety. Rent as many guns as you can, if you can find a P30 rental or someone who lets you shoot it, the better.

    I use the Safepacker with a strap (just swing the strap over all your gear and your gun rests chest hight, by your thight, or wherever you want it as you adjust reposition the strap - and it doesn't swing about due to the weight of the gun). Works fantastic, even when hiking for hours - no rubbing/chaffing, etc. When you take a break, drop your gear and swing the strap over your head again. Just be aware not to leave the gun behind or laying around - something that can happen in off body carry (unless you were in the combat arms military and have seen/experienced dearly what happens to you when you loose a weapon). If you plan on attaching a light to the gun, the center stiching can be removed if you special order from the manufacturer.

    As far as I know, the P30 is drop tested and should not fire (its man made and things can break so nothing is 100% sure). HK states the P30S will come out late this year - I've heard that a lot from them, expect maybe middle of next year, or 2011. (I used to own a HK USP45C - HK customer service is terrible)

    Make sure the gun you buy fits (read the article on the link) your hand, as well as your wife's hand. Be aware there are different parts you can interchange on some guns (like the grip on the P30). If you can't reach the trigger properly, try a shorter trigger (look at the difference on the two trigger styles on the link) or a different gun.

    Get two GunVaults, both with the vanity light, one for home (the big model - delux I think it is called) and a small one for your vehicle. The ones with the fingerprint are better. Get the cable for the vehicle one and attach the cable to the frame (if you can bolt the safe down the better).

    Get a copy of Ayoob's "In the Gravest Extreme: The Role of the Firearm in Personal Protection". Find out where you are legal to carry or be ready to littigate a la Heller Vs DC + spent some time in jail/prision, loss of wages, property, etc.

    Always shop around and compare prices.
    I can no longer keep track of threads as I used to. If you need to contact me, PM me instead of asking me something in the thread. Disclaimer - No legal advice issued anywhere. Take care.

  15. #29
    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX-JB View Post
    This may be considered outdated .... but I still consider the best gun for the beginner, or non gun enthusiast, the .357 revolver. Easy to maintain, reliable, cheap to shoot at the range with .38's.
    +1

    That would be my suggestion for the casual shooter and for hiking in the woods. The .357 will take care of all vermin, two and four legged.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

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  16. #30
    New Member Array snappca's Avatar
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    @usmc3169
    I like the idea the Safepacker, but I hear you on the advantages of the fanny pack holster. Do you have any in particular that you think I should look at?


    @cagueits

    We definitely will be taking a class or two. I was planning on just taking the basic gun safety course at my local gunshop, I figure it'll look better getting my CCW permit than my DD214 from the Navy :) Apparently some NRA instructor comes in once a month for that one. But I'm also interested in finding out if there are particular courses I should look into. Part of this entry into the gun world is out of an interest to replace my motorcycle hobby and become familiar with a useful tool at the same time.

    As for the HK comments, I've heard similar comments made about customer service and that they have made promises in the past that only come much later. I'm not locked on the P30S so if they do take too long to release it I'd likely just grab the current P30 instead.


    Those are excellent links, thanks a lot. I've bookmarked the gun fit check link and my wife is already scouting the library to snag the book.


    @all

    One thing I may have forgotten to ask.....is there any disadvantage to having a spurred hammer? Being new to guns I was surprised to see the Sig P250 had a hammer with no spur. I wasn't sure I understood what the advantage to that was vs. striker fired like the Glocks. Then I see the P30 and it looks rather "old school" with a full blown hammer.

    Thanks very much to everyone for all the great info. I hope I haven't dragged this thread all over the place with my constant questions. Even with all the researching online I've done, it still helps to get direct feedback about some of the questions I've got bouncing around in the head.

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