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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone. I've recently become interested in target shooting as well as the self defense aspect. The problem I'm having recently seems to be cutting through the hype and misinformation to be able to form a good opinion on what caliber would be good for self defense.

Now I'm about to move to california with my parents and am a little discouraged about their concealed carrying laws. That aside I'm still looking for advice on a good self defense caliber. I know it's mostly about bullet placement on the target not to mention chemicals natural or otherwise that may keep them going after being shot. However, at the moment I'm leaning towards .45 and the 1911 style automatics. Before I make any decision or large purchases I want to try out a lot of different guns to see what would work best for me.

To outline the point I'm just looking for advice from anyone about thier opinions on caliber, gun, brand, and anything else to help out someone new to this.

Thanks in advance for any help.
 

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Welcome Aboard, 1911 Colt or clone, sorry you are going to CA, Hope it works out for you!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Slider said:
Welcome Aboard, 1911 Colt or clone, sorry you are going to CA, Hope it works out for you!

Well the only reason I'm with my parents is school didn't work out so well, so I'm refocusing and getting back on my feet. I've always enjoyed shooting but never got too many chances to do it so I'm renewing my interest in it.

My uncle personally swears by his 1911 .45, but also said I need to do what works best for me. So obviously before I make a big purchase like that I want to be dang sure it's what I want. :tongue:
 

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Caliber and platform that allows you to put the most lead on target fast. That's the one.

For the budget, you might look more at ammo pricing than pistol pricing. You only buy the gun once, if you shoot much, the ammo price makes a bigger dent in your budget. 9mm is cheap, and a fairly effective devensive round.

I shoot mostly 9mm, .22lr (not a defensive round), and .38spl. Cheap rounds. I recently picked up a budget .45 1911 (Rock Island) from Moore Outdoors, ammo is higher, but it's a good gun at a good price. I won't likely be carrying it, but it makes a great range toy :)

Oh, welcome to the board :)
 

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See if you can't find a range that rents various guns. Try out all the ones you're interested in. Make your decision from there.

But.. You can't go wrong with a .45 ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Taking a trip up to Colorado Springs this weekend to go shooting with my uncle. Basic learning, safety, and experiance with a few different weapons. He has a Beretta 92FS a .38 revolver, a 1911 .45 and another .45 that I don't think he mentioned if it was a revolver or not.

So this weekend I'll get my feet wet with a couple different ones. Thanks for all the input so far. =)
 

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My opinion is that anything from .380acp and up is good as a primary carry weapon. This includes 380, 9mm, 38 special, 357 Magnum, 40 cal, 357 SIG, 41 magnum, 10mm, 45 gap and 45 acp. My personal favorites are 9mm and 45 acp. For backup or deap concealment I'd carry anything from 32acp to 9mm. As for self defense ammunition I'd say any jacketed hollow point from any premium brand will work fine. My list would include: Federal, Winchester, Hornady, CCI, Speer, Black Hills, Remington. My favorites are the Federal Hyrdashok, Hornady TAP FPD, and Speer Gold Dots.

As for weapons, I'm more of a semi-auto fan. Any weapon you like from any major manufactorer should be good. Some guns fit certian people like a glove while others just don't work for that person. For concealed carry I like Kahr the best. Other than that I like SIG, H&K, GLOCK, Springfield Armory, Kimber, CZ, Beretta, and Ruger.

Keep in mind the different types of actions in semi auto pistols.

There is Single Action Only (SAO) where the trigger pull only drops the hammer and the gun is usually carried "cocked and locked" with the hammer back and a manual saftey engaged. In order to fire SAO pistols a manual saftey must be disegauged first. Nearly all 1911s are SAO. There are other platforms in SAO: Browning HiPower, some CZs, some SIGs, some H&Ks.

Then there is Double Action Only (DAO). This is where each trigger pull is the same and the hammer or striker is cocked and then released. The trigger pull is heavier and longer than SAO pistols. There usually isn't a manual saftey to disegauge due to the longer, heavier trigger pull. GLOCK, Kahr, Springfield XD, Beretta, SIGs in DAK version, and some H&Ks, CZs, Rugers.

Lastly there are Double Action/Single Action (DA/SA). This is where the first pull of the trigger is double action, longer and heavier, and the remaining trigger pulls are single action, lighter. This allows for the best of both worlds however, I find this type of pistol more difficult to master. Mostly SIGs, I'm sure there are others but I don't know any off of the top of my head.

Now if you budget allows I'd suggest either a Kahr, GLOCK, SA XD, or SIG. These are my favorites. And I'd go with 9mm. The cheaper range ammunition will allow for more frequent practice and I believe a good JHP round in 9mm is adequate. It's the Full Metal Jacket 9mm rounds that have a poor reputation as man stoppers.

Remember that just because I or anyone else says that they have a personal favorite doesn't mean you should choose that particular gun and round. Pick what fits your hand and a caliber you are comfortable with.
 

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Welcome To The Forum

That's great...shoot as many different firearms as possible before you plunk down your hard earned cash for a personal carry gun.
 

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Before I make any decision or large purchases I want to try out a lot of different guns to see what would work best for me.
Indeed yes - as others have agreed with - way to go.

Sounds like getting the feet wet soon will be a great start. Do not be only caliber oriented - way more important IMO to find something that you like and shoot real well.

Welcome to CC :smilez:
 

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Welcome to the forum. I'm with the masses on this one...shoot as many as you can get your hands on and buy/carry the one that feels the best in your hand. It will probably be the one you can shoot the best with. If not, you will be more comfortable spending time practicing with it.

Good luck in your search and your move.
 

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I too would recommend shooting as many different guns as possible as what works for one person doesn't work for another. However, if you are on a budget I would recommend going with the 9mm. The ammo is cheaper and the top of the line factory stuff is good for self-defense.
 

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Don't get something cause someone else says get it. chose wisely what will work for your needs and skill level. A 1911 is a bit of a experienced shooter kind of gun for CCW. Realistically , I would look for a simple operating semi or revolver with a full size frame and barrel for ease of learning the basics. Good luck to ya.
 

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I encourage you to do what you said and try out a lot of different platforms. It is all about what YOU feel comfortable with. I have mentioned this on a couple other threads but feel it is important so I'll say again....pro's of 9mm include significantly cheaper ammo that will enable you to shoot/practice more. Practice is paramount----especially just starting out. Good luck and safe shooting!
 

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Welcome and you need to pick a gun that feels and works good for you, don't rush and try as many as needed, until you know it's the right one for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I guess budget may have been the wrong wording. While it's true that you buy the gun once and have to continually buy the ammo for practice and such, I'd rather it not be the deciding factor in my purchase or the advice.

Thanks for everything so far though, and I look forward to any more. :wave:
 

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I'll concur with the consensus; try as many as you can and decide what works best for you, especially if you are going to be limited to one handgun.

The 1911 is a great design, and contrary to what some people think, it's not unpleasant at all for a new shooter, IMO. On the range, at least. But I'd have to agree with Rocky: it's probably not the best choice for CCW until you have a good deal of practice/training.

Good luck and have fun!

-Paul
 

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Welcome! Choices, choices. .45 and 9mm are going to be cheapest, overall. You're on the right track: try a couple or three (4,5,6.....:smile: ) different weapons, in a couple or three calibers, and see what handles best.
 

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I would shoot as many different guns as possible. Have fun with the selection process and then go get a Colt 1911 and be done with it!:yup:
 

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For shooting a lot on a budget, consider 9mm.
Glock if you like the feel, or Browning Hi-Power for single-action.
Try 'em.
 

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If you're going semiauto, I would go with either 9 mm or 45 ACP.

If you want to do a lot of target shooting, I would go with 9mm, as it will be much cheaper than 45. Then, for defensive purposes, spend a little more and get Corbon 115 gr +P, or Federal Hydrashoks, also in +P loading. Of course, just about any premium round from a major manufacturer will give good performance.

For primarily defensive purposes, with low to minimal target shooting, then I would go with 45 ACP. While there are the 1911 guys, there are very good 45s in much cheaper form. I bought the Springfield Armory XD 45, for $509 a few weeks ago ( a good 1911 will usually run much more). It's a polymer frame pistol, and gives you 13+1 capacity.

To save money on ammo, consider buying in larger quantities. I buy a lot from Ammoman.com, and usally get good deals (he has a 5 box minimum on orders, but not only has decent pricing, but free shipping as well). I do usually shop around though, before any purchase.
 
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