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I've got a few rifles, but currently no pistol or revolver, and I feel kind of naked without one. There's been a lot crime in my area, and I really need a good carry gun for self defense. One with good reliable stopping power and yet that is concealable if need be and easy to carry. Needs to be a weapon I can take with me, in car, perhaps work, anywhere. Don't have a specific one in mind, I just know it has to be US made, I won't have a Taurus. I know more about revolvers, and how to use them, but I like semi autos capacity and more streamlined. A few I'm considering, a 32 magnum revolver by charter arms, a north american arms 32 acp, maybe a s&w bodyguard 380 or a 442 revolver. I also like the 44 special Bulldog, although that might be a bit large for carry. Budget is a bit limited, would prefer under 400. I'm open to ruger, s&w, or charter arms or n. american arms, and I'm also open to either semi auto or revolver, I just want it to be the perfect combination of deadly caliber/concealment/ergonomics. Thanks for any and all suggestions!
 

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HD or carry?

Charter is ok but 32 anything ammo wont be cheep unless you get lucky on 32 long so bear that mind .
NAA has been talked about recently dont know them
BG not a fan rough trigger/safty laser is unless




Frankly if you are just to carry it get a 642 no lock so ok grips on there call it good

You want a HD gun get a used Police model 10 HB and call it good

Ammo will be cheep and the guns run good
 

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You might want to check out the Ruger LCP2. Since its release last fall I would guess there are have been LOTS of them sold for concealed carry, especially with the improved trigger, slide lockback and improved grip texture. It hides well inside the waistband and in a pocket. Load it up with Hornady Critical Defense 90 grain hollow points with the FTX bullets (not STP). If you need some more affirmation on that round, check out the Lucky Gunner website under the Labs menu ... great penetration, consistent expansion. A fine combination for a first handgun that is well known for being reliable and accurate. They sell for less than $300 out the door in my neck of the woods.
 

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An alternative to the S&W J-Frame is a Taurus M85 ($261 @ Buds).

The issue with revolvers is getting used to the double action trigger pull, and also ultralite .38 specials are pretty snappy to shoot, so you won't want to practice a whole lot!

If you want an auto, we were just discussing in another thread that the Taurus 709 is a subcompact 9mm that in a 1000 rd torture test outperformed many higher priced guns. $209 at Kentucky Gun Co.

I neither own stock nor work for Taurus!

Really, this thread that is currently ongoing has a lot of good suggestions and links to great prices.
 

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alexk7 Hard to tell anyone what makes for a good defensive carry handgun . Personally I will not carry a 32acp and today there to many great semi autos to limit your self to 5 shots and a S L O W reload with a snub nose . You could buy a 0mm 3.5" semi auto from number of different companies and have the same power level as 38+p fired from a snub nose short 2" barrel and more rounds available before reloading with quicker reloads and have a better trigger pull . Also easy to conceal under even a t shirt tucked or untucked . How about you see what you can shoot free from friends or rentals even to help define a carry handgun .

Bottom line is you can research the power level of a cartridge in a certain size handgun or barrel length and help you to deci9de what you may want to shoot . A have a wife and two daughters that do have a small 380's for when noting else works well or as a back up but all have ether single stack 9mm in the 17oz range or 3.5" double stacks 12 rounder cap from 20 to 26 oz they carry daily . I carry a p320 compact 40 or a s&w 669 . I have a not carried a smaller 9mm pistol for years and a daughter has it now . I retired a snub nose 12 years ago when polymer semi autos have proven dependable .

For 400 dollars you could buy a Taurus 709 or a pt111g2 and buy 100 rounds of federal hst ammo and 250 rounds of practice ammo or a M&P shield from some dealer .
 

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I read pretty clearly in the OP "I won't have a Taurus."

You can't go wrong with any of the S&W J-frames for reliability and carry. Consider J-frame .357s as you'll have two caliber options. They are easy to carry.

For semis- your options open up. But you cannot go wrong with any Glocks. G26 is easy, as is the G29 (10mm). The Glock compacts in bigger calibers are phenomenal in terms of stopping power and concealability. Even still, a full size G17 or G19 isn't bad for EDC either.
 

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I prefer 9mm, but if you're on a budget for a gun to function as both carry and home defense. I can't think of anything better than an M&P 40c with night sights from CDNN for $360.
Has a rail, so can always throw on a TLR4 light/laser for home defense duties. Small enough to carry. Factory Tritium sights. Powerful round.
 

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I read pretty clearly in the OP "I won't have a Taurus."

You can't go wrong with any of the S&W J-frames for reliability and carry. Consider J-frame .357s as you'll have two caliber options. They are easy to carry.

For semis- your options open up. But you cannot go wrong with any Glocks. G26 is easy, as is the G29 (10mm). The Glock compacts in bigger calibers are phenomenal in terms of stopping power and concealability. Even still, a full size G17 or G19 isn't bad for EDC either.
You're right, I missed that though I do think most folks need to give Taurus a second look.

That said, the thread I linked to has links to killer deals on 9mm S&W M&P Shields and Ruger LC9s, so it's definitely worth reading.
 

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The S&W Shield for $299 is a no-brainer. You won't touch a better pistol at that price.
 

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Best all around gun that's reliable and concealable? Probably Glock 19. It's aroun $550 new in Texas but you can find old/used Gen 3 models for $400-$450. I'd honestly check some out from the range and see what you're comfortable with and pick the top 3 to compare side by side. For me I'd choose a Glock 19, Sig P320c, or M&P MP9c.
 

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You said you wanted a gun made in the US. And you said you are on a limited budget. The S&W Shield in 9mm seems like it very well might be the answer for you. Like all guns, the price varies from place to place, being considerably under $400 at some on line stores. Add to that shipping and whatever transfer fee your local FFL of choice charges.....but realize that in most cases you won't be paying sales tax and it can even out as far as total expenditure.

Figure on buying a GOOD sturdy gun belt. They can be had for around $60.

Like Glocks, the Shield is so popular that there are tons of after market things for it - specifically holsters. 9mm ammo is the best priced ammo right now of any caliber (per round) except .22lr and that is NOT a SD round unless through a rifle. I'm told. 9mm is a good self defense round.

I am a Glock Girl, with S&W revolvers. My best friend has a Shield in 9mm and I've shot it. It shoots for me pretty much like a Glock 26, the main difference being the initial price and fewer rounds in the gun. The Shield is an easy to conceal carry gun but not a pocket gun.

It at all possible, borrow or rent one and try it. A lot of gun stores with ranges have a "try before you buy" program where you don't even have to pay a rental fee. AND get some instructions on handgun shooting. It is quite different from long gun shooting. One of my students is a great trap and skeet shooter but had not ever shot a handgun. It took a while and quite a bit of reminding for her to learn the "new skill" of how to stand when shooting a handgun. And that was aside from how to grip it, line up the sights, etc. etc.

For what its worth -- Granny has spoken.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks all! It will be a double duty HD plus carry gun, so kinda need something good for both. That I'm comfortable with. In the past, I bought a couple revolvers that I liked initially but they were either just too awkward to handle, or too heavy, or cumbersome. Oddly I've shot rifles like my AK a ton, and can handle it pretty well, but still real inexperienced with handguns. In the past I bought a couple revolvers that I fell in love with but they were impractical for me and I won't make that mistake again. Whether its a revolver or a pistol as long as it feels comfortable and I think I can naturally use it, then that'll be the one I choose. I'll try the s&w m&p..see how it feels. Still pretty unsure about how to use semi autos though. Have hardly used any at all, but I like their capacity.
 

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If you're willing to put the time in to learn to shoot autos well, I think the Shield is a great choice. If you prefer to stick with revolvers, look closely at a Ruger LCR in either .38 or .357. They're more expensive, but they have excellent DA triggers (in my opinion, I know some folks don't care for them). They also come with very ergonomic and recoil-absorbing grips.
 

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Consider the Shield 45 ACP. Very easy to conceal, plenty firepower. If you want something a little bigger for concealed carry and HD, hard to beat a Glock 19.
 

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The S&W Shield for $299 is a no-brainer. You won't touch a better pistol at that price.
+ 2 or three - wherever we are at now.

I would include Glock, but you said Made In America was a thing, so Glock is out (as far as I know anyway).

Besides, if the Shield really can be had for < $300, that's a good thing because a semi handgun without a good holster is about useless in my books. And that'll run you about $60.00 or so. A good gun belt comes in a close second if you are going to carry 24/7. That'll cost more.

You talk about stopping power and caliber and state quite the range of calibers, from .32 ACP to 44 Mag. That's about as extreme a spread as it comes. Not many are going to advocate for either if it's your first pistol I'm thinking, though I could live with either. 9mm isn't a bad place to start.
 
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