Selecting a Handgun for Defense: Part 1. Semi-Automatics

This is a discussion on Selecting a Handgun for Defense: Part 1. Semi-Automatics within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Not only informative, but good writing, as well. I may have to borrow this line at some point- [a smaller gun on the person beats ...

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Thread: Selecting a Handgun for Defense: Part 1. Semi-Automatics

  1. #61
    Member Array MustangGT's Avatar
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    Not only informative, but good writing, as well.
    I may have to borrow this line at some point-

    [a smaller gun on the person beats the larger gun left at home, if all you can conceal well is a smaller .380, it beats a sharp stick in the eye and harsh language]

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  3. #62
    Member Array dnilson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueNinjaGo View Post
    Welcome to DC.com!

    I'd be wary of recommending Taurus pistols to people...especially new shooters. Why? I've read so many stories about "lemons" from Taurus. If you do a search on here, you'll see what I mean. I do not own one, but I did fire several Taurus revolvers and a Taurus Pt111. I started to consider one, until one of the snubbies FTF 3 factory rounds. It was soft striking every few rounds. I know the rounds were good because another revolver fired them without issue. Taurus have great prices, but it looks like their QC isn't up to great standards. I'd hate for a new shooter to get turned off because he/she got a "lemon."

    Just my opinion. I'm no expert, I just read a lot.
    Hi everyone,
    I'm new to the forum, but not new to guns. My primary carry is a Glock 30 (.45 ACP). The Glocks are bulkier, but it's a subcompact, I'm a woman and it fits me like a glove! Depending on the situation, I might also take my Ruger SP101 .357 revolver. I also have a Judge and I LOVE it. I keep it under the bed, next to the 12 G. I too was hesitant to buy a taurus, but spoke with several people who all said the company has REALLY upped their game and improved their quality control. I don't know if that's true, but I really like my Judge.

    Regarding buying your first handgun, my Dad taught my sisters and I to shoot when we were really young. However, I didn't start shooting again until I bought my Glock 6-7 years ago. It had been 2-3 decades since I'd last shot a gun, but I practiced with a rented .45, found that I handled it just fine, so I bought the Glock. Now I don't know if my past experiences helped, but I find it hard to believe they helped that much (we only went shooting a few times and I think he did it more to teach us respect for the guns than how to shoot well). So I wouldn't just automatically go with a .22. I'd rent several different guns/calibers and choose the largest you can comfortably handle. As long as you can hit the target SOMEWHERE, you'll get much better with practice. It took me no more than 300-400 rounds before I went from being on the outer edge of the target to dead center! Not everyone has to shoot thousands of rounds to become proficient. Just my $.02.
    rawdawg1217 likes this.

  4. #63
    Distinguished Member Array Toorop's Avatar
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    I like to reread this and share it with friends who are getting into guns. Once again thanks for a useful thread and a great resource to new shooters.

  5. #64
    Ex Member Array rambosky's Avatar
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    Awesome work JD, thanks.

  6. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnilson View Post
    Hi everyone,
    I'm new to the forum, but not new to guns. My primary carry is a Glock 30 (.45 ACP). The Glocks are bulkier, but it's a subcompact, I'm a woman and it fits me like a glove! Depending on the situation, I might also take my Ruger SP101 .357 revolver. I also have a Judge and I LOVE it. I keep it under the bed, next to the 12 G. I too was hesitant to buy a taurus, but spoke with several people who all said the company has REALLY upped their game and improved their quality control. I don't know if that's true, but I really like my Judge.

    Regarding buying your first handgun, my Dad taught my sisters and I to shoot when we were really young. However, I didn't start shooting again until I bought my Glock 6-7 years ago. It had been 2-3 decades since I'd last shot a gun, but I practiced with a rented .45, found that I handled it just fine, so I bought the Glock. Now I don't know if my past experiences helped, but I find it hard to believe they helped that much (we only went shooting a few times and I think he did it more to teach us respect for the guns than how to shoot well). So I wouldn't just automatically go with a .22. I'd rent several different guns/calibers and choose the largest you can comfortably handle. As long as you can hit the target SOMEWHERE, you'll get much better with practice. It took me no more than 300-400 rounds before I went from being on the outer edge of the target to dead center! Not everyone has to shoot thousands of rounds to become proficient. Just my $.02.
    I sold my Judge "Public Defender" before I ever fired it even once and it was NIB! The stupid locking mechanism kept partially setting itself without my ever using the key. To me if that happens in a self defense situation that's going to result in a death: MINE. OTOH, I too love my Glock 30. I first got one when they initially came out and carried it for years but it felt too blocky for my smallish hands so I sold it and I got another when the SF (Short Frame) version was introduced. But the issues with my Public Defender happened just last year so I'd say that QC over at Taurus is headed downhill rather than the reverse. I even sent it back to them which was another hassle even though their HQ is located right here in my home of Miami FL. They had it and sent it back with an enigmatic note stating an issue had been identified and "fixed." That was suspicious to me as well, so I saw it as another incentive to sell the piece and not look back. Too bad, I'd spent some considerable time before I bought it in buying ammo for the gun in preps. So when I sold it, I kept the ammo just in case. Good thing because I just took possession of a GOVERNOR from Smith & Wesson and it's performance at the range yesterday was nothing short of STELLAR. I got the model that came with the laser grips and they were awesome as well. Came already perfectly zeroed to the front sight (itself a tritium specimen). But that's a story for it's own thread.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  7. #66
    Ex Member Array RayBar's Avatar
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    Excellent,well thought out,nicely put together on the mechanics and choosing of a gun.Concerned about shifting the gun in the hand to manipulate the controls with thumbs and fingers.In my humble opinion,simple is better for a defensive gun.Extreme stress and the effects on the mind and body should be part of the decision making process when buying a gun for defense.Stress causes the loss of fine motor skills,complex motor skills,needed to do those finger tasks on the safeties,slide releases.A gun you can manipulate well using gross motor skills will serve you better when things get ugly.pull it, point,sqeeze trigger.Keep it simple,effective.How many people will remember to manipulate all those little gizmos when cognitive processing is all but gone.You must train to depend on gross motors,thats all you will have,unless your super human.

  8. #67
    Member Array Aphdmansoc's Avatar
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    Hey JD, would you...ah...please repeat that

    Nice job

  9. #68
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    Good, informative, and balanced piece.

    When I started my search last spring, I found this piece from Army Times useful:

    Pistols with a shot at replacing the M9

    By Lance M. Bacon - Staff writer Posted : Sunday Aug 28, 2011 8:56:27 EDT

    ...

    “The M9 is at the end of its lifecycle,” said Maj. Art Thomas, small arms branch chief at the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Ga. “It is an old weapon. We can do a lot better with what technology can provide us now.”

    Lethality is among the M9’s several “limitations,” said Daryl Easlick, project officer for close effects. The requirement for a new pistol calls for “an increase in permanent wound channel,” which suggests something more powerful than a 9mm may be on the horizon.

    Other limitations the new pistol must overcome include:

    • The slide-mounted safety. When soldiers rack the slide to alleviate a jam or stovepipe in the M9, they often inadvertently engage the safety — and won’t realize this until they reacquire and squeeze the trigger.

    • The open-slide design, which allow contaminants and dirt into the system.

    • The lack of a modular grip, integrated rail and night-sight capabilities.

    • The inability to suppress.

    • Limited service life — replacement should have a service life of at least 25,000 rounds.

    ....

    It was interesting to see what the military percieves the shortcomings of the sidearm they've been using for a quarter of a century.

  10. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skookum View Post
    Good, informative, and balanced piece.

    When I started my search last spring, I found this piece from Army Times useful:

    Pistols with a shot at replacing the M9

    By Lance M. Bacon - Staff writer Posted : Sunday Aug 28, 2011 8:56:27 EDT

    ...

    “The M9 is at the end of its lifecycle,” said Maj. Art Thomas, small arms branch chief at the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Ga. “It is an old weapon. We can do a lot better with what technology can provide us now.”

    Lethality is among the M9’s several “limitations,” said Daryl Easlick, project officer for close effects. The requirement for a new pistol calls for “an increase in permanent wound channel,” which suggests something more powerful than a 9mm may be on the horizon.

    Other limitations the new pistol must overcome include:

    • The slide-mounted safety. When soldiers rack the slide to alleviate a jam or stovepipe in the M9, they often inadvertently engage the safety — and won’t realize this until they reacquire and squeeze the trigger.

    • The open-slide design, which allow contaminants and dirt into the system.

    • The lack of a modular grip, integrated rail and night-sight capabilities.

    • The inability to suppress.

    • Limited service life — replacement should have a service life of at least 25,000 rounds.

    ....

    It was interesting to see what the military percieves the shortcomings of the sidearm they've been using for a quarter of a century.
    The FNP-45 was a big contender as an M9 replacement back when they started reviewing pistol designs about 5 years ago. However, the military quicky canceled the procurement program for some reason and the public was the beneficiary of several very innovative pistol designs from companies such as FN, HK and Sig Sauer.

  11. #70
    Member Array Hedimitrius's Avatar
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    Your info has changed my view on carry guns for concealment. I was leaning towards a full sized 40 now I'm hoping for a mid sized 9. Thanks for the valuable info!
    JD likes this.

  12. #71
    Member Array WarMachine's Avatar
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    This is a very useful thread. I'm looking to buy my second gun for CC. I know I want a Glock now I'm trying to figure out what model. I have experience with 9mm and 45ACP but I was thinking of trying the 40 S&W. Decisions decisions.

  13. #72
    Distinguished Member Array Hodad's Avatar
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    You touched on ammo briefly, but I think it is something that is very important in a CCW. In my humble opinion your defensive carry ammo should be JHP's.

    For some reason certain semi auto's love certain types (brands) of ammo. From my readings and limited experience this has a lot to do with the
    feed ramp configuration and the stiffness of the recoil springs. It is also important to note that many guns require a "break in" period before
    they reach their full potential.

    The only way to determine which one your weapon likes is to get to the range and run them through your weapon.

    Also guns are like cars or any mechanical device. You can get a Mercedes that is a lemon and you can get a Chevy that is flawless. You just
    don't know until you leave the lot and drive it for a while. That said warranties and customer service are very important also.

    The most important advice provided in the lead article for this thread is that for a defensive handgun to be effective you have to have it on you.
    rawdawg1217 likes this.
    "Life is tough but it's really tough if you are stupid"

  14. #73
    Distinguished Member Array squid86's Avatar
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    alot to read but very good info, sucks im a slow reader, lol. thanks for sharing it. crazy that you did this long writeup for a friend looking to buy.

  15. #74
    Distinguished Member Array alachner's Avatar
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    Excellent writing and a perfect article for a novice looking for advice on purchasing a defensive handgun!
    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. That's ridiculous... If I have a gun, what in the hell do I have to be paranoid for?" [Clint Smith - Thunder Ranch]

  16. #75
    JD [OP]
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    Quote Originally Posted by squid86 View Post
    alot to read but very good info, sucks im a slow reader, lol. thanks for sharing it. crazy that you did this long writeup for a friend looking to buy.

    It just kind of grew from discussion via Facebook and texts.


    On a side note, the friend in question decided on a Dark Earth M&P 9mm "range package" for his first gun and has picked up several others since, a Beretta 92FS being his most recent purchase.



    I turned him onto the Gomez videos and he's been practicing some holster work and other fundamentals.

    He's planning to come out to Iowa from Michigan in May and we'll be doing his first range work from the holster and I fully expect him to get the IDPA bug.

    Sent via Tapatalk 2, and still using real words.


    ...ETA


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