New to CCW, need help :)


The Unknown User
April 28, 2007, 02:55 AM
Hi everyone,

This is my first post here, so I hope I'm not breaking any forum rules or anything like that.

First, let me introduce myself. I'm Rob (you never would have guessed, would you?), I'm 19, and I'm turning 20 in less than one month. I can't apply for a license yet, as I have to be 21, if I remember correctly, but I'm still debating whether I should apply or not.

Carrying a weapon is a big responsibility, and you have to know your weapon and the applicable laws inside and out. I've been doing as much reading as I can without actually taking the class to see what I'm getting into. I've even looked at the forms I'll have to fill out to apply for a license.

Now, I'm still not completely sure whether this is honestly something I want to do, but I really think that I'm responsible enough to handle a weapon. I think it's a great thing that my biggest focus was on safety and learning about the laws, and less about how big of a gun I can carry without drawing attention.

So, let's just assume I'm going to apply for my license, and let's assume I get it (I probably will seeing as I have no history of crime, mental illness, etc.).

Where do I start? I've never shot a firearm in my entire life, and so I honestly have no idea where to start out. I know I need a specific license to carry a concealed weapon, but I don't know about the others things I need to accomplish, and what order to accomplish them in. If someone could guide me through that, I'd appreciate it.

Okay, so let's just say I get approved for everything. What should I carry? Some people have recommended to me small 5-shot revolvers like the S&W M&P, and the Ruger SP-101 (I found this forum Googling a picture of the SP-101), and others have suggested all sorts of tiny little auto-loading pistols.

Frankly, I don't know what makes a weapon a "good" carry weapon, or how to choose one.

At first, I figured I'd just go with something tried and true, like a 1911. Springfield makes a beautiful 1911, that isn't too expensive. So I figured, hell, it can't be a bad weapon. I'll just get the 4" model, and get a decent holster.

Oh, wait, what? They're illegal in MA? Well then.

Well, how about the Sig P220 Carry? It's a nice big .45, and it's specifically designed to be carried. What? That's illegal in MA, too? Crap.

Fine, I'll go with a Kimber. They seem decent. Yeah, those are illegal, too.

Screw that, then. Glock it is. Too bad those are illegal, too.

So yeah, I basically have no idea what the hell I'd want to purchase now. As of right now, I'm basically looking at the Sig P232, the Walther PPK/S (these two are awfully similar, are they not?), the Walther P99, and the Ruger SP-101.

In addition to any advice you can offer on what to carry, I'd also love to hear any stories about what you personally choose to carry, why you chose that weapon, and how you carry it (hip, small of the back, etc.).

I keep having this recurring "nightmare" where all of a sudden my concealed weapon will "reveal" itself by falling on the floor and then everyone goes completely silent staring at me as if I'm some kind of mass murderer or something. :P

Thank you in advance if you can offer any advice. Again, I hope a topic like this is okay here; I didn't see anything that would suggest otherwise.

p.s. What are the laws on carrying a knife? I tried to look up the law myself but I didn't understand a word of it. :/

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April 28, 2007, 03:10 AM
first thing i reccomend is taking a basic firearm safety class, learn the 4 rules and make sure they stick with you. this should be done before you take any action in getting a CCW. next off, shoot some different pistols and figure out what you like and what works best for you. learn as much as you can about all the aspects of firearms and carrying. Ask any questions here and i guarantee someone will know the answer. good luck.

April 28, 2007, 04:29 AM
Welcome to THR!

I wouldn't worry too much about it, many people get their CCL's without a lot of gun experience so youre not alone. The course is very easy and you don't need to be an expert shot, or even a good shot in order to qualify for a CCL.

However I can't stress enough how important it is to take carrying a gun seriously and to practice, practice, practice once you get your permit to carry. The idea of armed citizens doesn't scare me, the idea of armed citizens that can't hit the broadside of a barn does.

Find a gun that fits you well and that is easy to shoot. The M&P is a good choice, I carry the fullsize .40 as my primary CCW and I find it to be very accurate, reliable and easy to handle. But there are many other really great choices out there. If you have a place to go where you can rent guns do that and see what you like. You'll get many CCW suggestions on here, so don't rush into anything take your time and find the right one.

Finally, get some good training, learn how to shoot accurately and from a draw. God forbid you should ever have to draw your weapon, but if you do you want to make sure you hit the threat and not any bystanders in the background. I see far too many people get their CCL's and think they never need to practice, that just the idea of having a gun will protect them. This is not really the case, in a high stress situation where you may have to use deadly force you need to be trained to react and think at the same time and in a split second. If you can't train yourself to hit the target on the range, then you stand little chance of hitting your target in life or death senario.

I would reccomend going out shooting a few times and see how you like it, getting a CCL is a great freedom that we have and I say take full advantage of it! Start shooting different guns, different calibers and different styles, its great excuse to meet fellow shooters and be involved in a great community. I meet people all the time when I go to the range and they are always willing to let me put a few rounds through their guns. I fired someones Sig GSR 1911 the other day and now I want one sooooo bad! In any case don't let getting your CCL be your only excuse to start shooting, I shot guns for many years before going for my permit. As far as knife laws go, I don't know abou MA but I have always carried a tactical folder, even before I got my CCL since the law permitted me to. I still carry one every day and when I go into places where I can't carry my gun its nice to have something to defend yourself if needed. However like guns, if you plan on using a knife for self defense its a good idea to get some training, I've been doing martial arts for about 18 years so I'm pretty confident with a knife and hand to hand. But even without training a knife can be a powerful defensive tool to have.

Good Luck!

Check out this link for more info on your states gun laws.

At first, I figured I'd just go with something tried and true, like a 1911. Springfield makes a beautiful 1911, that isn't too expensive. So I figured, hell, it can't be a bad weapon. I'll just get the 4" model, and get a decent holster.

Oh, wait, what? They're illegal in MA? Well then.

Well, how about the Sig P220 Carry? It's a nice big .45, and it's specifically designed to be carried. What? That's illegal in MA, too? Crap.

Fine, I'll go with a Kimber. They seem decent. Yeah, those are illegal, too.

Screw that, then. Glock it is. Too bad those are illegal, too.

They are? Are you sure about this? I'm no expert on MA gun laws but I hadn't heard of this.

April 28, 2007, 04:45 AM
If i had a say, Practice practice practice, get the rules down (they are rules not options if you ask me - meh dad had a hand in that)

I've been through a few guns since i started buying them, they didn't all "fit" me... you will find a gun that suits you... for me it was my HK USPcompact, w/ a close 2nd runner in the Walther P99 in 9mm.. but all guns don't fit all people - my GF likes the HK, but could do w/o the P99 :)

get used to doing certain things, if you think about something and practice it often enough it becomes 2nd nature, and w/ guns you think (should think) about it even when its 2nd nature, so in my head that makes you doubly careful. Finger off the trigger less yer fireing the gun, where is the gun pointing, is it loaded, did you check for sure, even if you just checked 10 minutes ago, etc etc etc...

Once you get a handle on how yer handling guns... that is when i'd consider CCW, i know there are a lot of people out there w/ little to no training or familiarization (the class i attended was full of them...) but i wouldn't suggest it personally, i think with any task you are going to ask yourself to perform you should try it on for size as much as possible before you consider yourself "ready" to do it.

Just my thoughts tho - get out there and fire some guns at things that can't be hurt by a littel extra lead content... it will be fun and also give you more background on what you are considering to do - aka - carry a gun in case you have to use it. :)


April 28, 2007, 07:38 AM
Where to start?
NRA basic classes.
From there, take some more advanced training (ask the instructor). Then, come back and ask how to get your CFP (Concealed Firearms Permit).
oh, and after the basic class, go practice on your own. Alot.

April 28, 2007, 09:52 AM

Look for a gun club in your area. Preferably one that more-or-less specializes in pistols. Or look for a range that rents guns on for on site use. If you can find a club within a reasonable distance for you, they'll most likely welcome you with open arms. :D


Joe the Redneck
April 28, 2007, 10:39 AM
Wel, Rob, you've gotten good advice so far. I hope I keep the trend up.

Seld defense is really more of a mind set. The questions that you ask your self change. Imagine this nightmare: yo go to your local corner store for a soda. As you walk up to the counter to pay, you see a man pointing a gun at the cleck? What do you do? Yor heart is going to start ounding, everything will slowdown, fear will come welling up from your feet to the top of you head. If you are unarmed, all you can do is try to retreat quietly to the back of the store.

But if you have a gun, everything is different. Your life and the life of the clerk depend on what you do. Look at the robber. Does he seem calm, like a professional thief? Would it be best to just let him finish the job and let him get out of here? Is he sweating and screaming like a maniac? Could he be a strung-out junky about to flip his lid? Do you thik he's going to get what he wants and start shooting anyway? Are you running out of time? Is this the moment where you will have to take a human life or perish, or watch someone else perish?

Here's another case. It's dark, your walking to your car, and a really scary looking man askes you for change. Is he a thief pretending to be a bum? Is he really a harmless homeless guy? How do you react? In San Francisco, I thought noting of talking to homeless people, buying them food, and giving them money. There was no fear what so even. You do that in the bad part of San Antonio, Texas, you'll end up dead. Sometimes the rules change depending where you are.

If you do decided that you have to shoot, can you live with it? Even if you were justified in shooting a bad guy, even if it was you or him, it's still a hard thing to live with.

As far a what to carry, well, all thing being equal, I'd carry a bazooka. But all things aren't equal. You will be very self aware when you first start carrying a gun. If you holster carry, you will find yourself wearing you shirt untucked, wearing an over shirt, or a light jacket all the time. Will that work for you? Here in Florida, anyone wearing a "comfortable light vest" in June might as well carry a sign that says "HI! I'm wearing a gun." You will also have to learn to squat down rather than bend over, because if you do, the gun will show. If you pocket carry, no more tight jeans, no more light colored pants. Learn to love dark colored dockers with slash pockets.

Smaller guns are much easer to carry than large ones. They do require more practice. With a 32 or 380, you margin of error goes way down. That will mean more range time. Frankly, I like your idea of the PPK/s or the little sig. I believe these are about the perfect compormise between size/ power/ and recoil. Get either one.

Once you get your head together, what you carry really won't matter that much. A man with a 22 you is prepaired to use it is a lot more dangerous than a gunshop commando with his special whoopie-do 45 mega-magnum that has no idea what he's doing.


The Unknown User
April 28, 2007, 12:10 PM
Thanks for all of the help so far.

I'm curious, though, what weapons do you guys carry and where on your body do you carry it? How does this affect your wardrobe choices?

I've always liked darker colors and I wear shirts untucked (unless it's with a tie), but can a t-shirt really conceal a holstered pistol?

Edit: What licenses and classes do I need to complete? I guess I'm still not sure on the specifics. I know I need an FID card, and an LTC (different name in MA), but what classes do I need to complete for either? Which NRA courses do I need to take? Just the Basic Pistol class? And do I need to have a pistol for the class? I've read that some courses require a carry weapon.

Edit: They are? Are you sure about this? I'm no expert on MA gun laws but I hadn't heard of this.I'm not completely sure, but I'm pretty sure. Here's a list of weapons that aren't legal in MA:

April 28, 2007, 12:17 PM
it can if it's IWB, or a small J-frame snubby in OWB.

And why would you think that certain handguns are illegal in MA while others are not? I don't know MA laws, but i am 99% sure that's not right. (although I've seen dumber things be true before)

April 28, 2007, 12:27 PM
Welcome to THR and welcome to the club! My self I usually carry a
full size 1911 in a thin inside-the-waistband holster behind my right hip.
At the right angle it stays close and doesn't stick out. A slightly large
tee shirt untucked will suffice in warm weather. Colorado is technically
an open carry state except for the Peoples' Republic of the City and County
of Denver, but we have an influx of Kalifungans.
You might give some thought to coming over to the free-er America side
of the Mississippi. I voted with my feet many decades ago and haven't
been back since.

April 28, 2007, 01:28 PM
p.s. What are the laws on carrying a knife? I tried to look up the law myself but I didn't understand a word of it. :/

Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you! I thought I was the only one!

But seriously, knife law is a morass --not that gun laws aren't.

The laws vary from the Federal level down almost to the level of the block on which you live, and are highly muddled and even contradictory. You didn't say what the source was for your "understanding" or lack thereof, but if you navigate around in you will find a rather extensive discussion of knife law, the upshot of which is: "consult a local attorney. "

Alternatively, one good source which is localized would be a cutlery or edged weapons store in your area. But talk to the owner, whose business it is to know what's up. And get a variety of opinions. I am sure that my following misunderstanding of knife law will be challenged by more knowledgeable aficionados on this site --but that will only demonstrate my point.

Let me give you a short example, which was the reason I started to research knife law awhile ago.

A couple of years ago a local dollar store was selling very inexpensive switchblade knives. It was owned by a Russian couple. I thought "switchblades" (however defined and operated, by gravity or centrifugal force or by spring action) were just plain illegal.

But no!

It is only illegal from a Federal standpoint to ship them across state lines. And guess what? These el cheapos were flown in to our state directly from a foreign country! (Or at least according to the owners' broken-English explanation which was later sort-of confirmed at the site I mentioned.)

On further research, I found that there were several local laws which banned them. But in some cases. only to carry, not to simply own.

I think.

And these laws themselves were contradictory, and full of muddled definitions. They would cite a blade length, for example, but without defining how and to what precision this length was measured. To the hilt? To the hinge pin? To the blade side of the hinge pin? To the handle side of the hinge pin? And what of the "automatic knife," whatever that is, without a hinge pin at all?

And many of the definitions depended largely on "intents" and "capable ofs." Under one definition I read, even a sewing needle or a toothpick could be defined as an illegal knife by an aggressive prosecutor.

The upshot was that I stayed away from these el cheapo automatic knives altogether, and to keep myself in the clear, I just carry a manually-operated two-bladed Swiss Army knife.

Who could object to that?

Well, the answer is, "any aggressive prosecutor who wants to build up enough charges that you can't afford to fight and will drop if you cop a plea to lesser charges."

That's who.

And let's remember that knives are "arms," just as firearms are, and are therefore, to my mind, included under the protections afforded by the Second Amendment.

My belief is that many of the laws regarding knives (and swords and bayonets and numchucks, etc.) are written with a wanton disregard for this fact.

But that's for another time, another place, another forum... in a land far away...

The Unknown User
April 28, 2007, 03:01 PM
And why would you think that certain handguns are illegal in MA while others are not?Well, I think that because that's what I'm told. :(

The blued Sig P232 is not available in MA, whereas the stainless model is. The Sig DAK models are not legal, nor is the P220 Carry, but the other P226 models and the full-size P220 are legal.

The MA laws are very strict on both safety types and trigger pull. The trigger pull has to be at least a 10 lb. pull, and I don't know the technical information about the safeties, but it would appear that the type of safety that's used on the Glock is illegal. From my understanding, there's no external safety.

To be completely frank, I'm glad the laws here are strict. There are no nutjobs running around with legal weapons that are unfit to own or carry such.

Edit: Is it a good idea to call my local police station and ask them about the knife law? If you go to and look up the MA law for carrying a knife...well just go look and you'll see what I mean. :( I'm considering just calling the police station, but I'm afraid I'll arouse suspicion. "Who's this nutjob calling about knives? Flag his phone number."

April 28, 2007, 03:20 PM

The MA laws are very strict on both safety types and trigger pull. The trigger pull has to be at least a 10 lb. pull, and I don't know the technical information about the safeties, but it would appear that the type of safety that's used on the Glock is illegal. From my understanding, there's no external safety.

To be completely frank, I'm glad the laws here are strict. There are no nutjobs running around with legal weapons that are unfit to own or carry such.


To be completely frank, if you think such laws are a good thing… well I won’t even go there.

But if you think fellow concealed permit holders are “nutjobs” running around with their scary “legal” weapons that are "unfit to own or carry" because of a certain pound trigger pull or those “dangerous” Glock safeties which go off on their own all the time ( :scrutiny: )…

Is it a good idea to call my local police station and ask them about the knife law? If you go to and look up the MA law for carrying a knife...well just go look and you'll see what I mean. I'm considering just calling the police station, but I'm afraid I'll arouse suspicion. "Who's this nutjob calling about knives? Flag his phone number."

Believe me, police officers are generally not the best source of legal opinions. Sometimes they’ll just state what they believe is the law, not what always is. An attorney is your best bet.

I can only reiterate what many have said. Take a class and get to know the rules of firearm safety. Rent some guns and find what you are comfortable with. And lastly, find a gun that Massachusetts, in all their eternal wisdom, actually allows you to own.

April 28, 2007, 03:37 PM

I just wanted to add, I do apologize if I seem a little hostile. Believe me, I wish you all the best in acquiring your permit, learning about guns and gun safety, and most of all, enjoying the shooting sports.

Like you, I am also young. I am only 21; and I just recently acquired my PA LTCF, which I see as a sort of testament to our great country. Our rights to keep and bear arms are unlike any in the world. Laws such as the state of Massachusetts passed only infringe on and erode your rights, both in terms of making YOUR decisions, as well as your gun rights.

My parents both come from the UK, where the government regulates just about everything anymore. All of my family lives there, and it is sad to see such a great nation slowly give their freedoms back to the government. I, like many others here, do not ever wish to see the United States come remotely close the way the UK has become.

Good luck and all the best,

The Unknown User
April 28, 2007, 04:14 PM
You're entitled to your opinion. Don't worry about appearing hostile; to each their own. Thousands of Americans have died since this country was founded defending you right to tell me, on an internet forum, that you do not like my state's laws. To each their own.

However, I think I might have poorly worded what I was saying.

But if you think fellow concealed permit holders are “nutjobs” running around with their scary “legal” weapons that are "unfit to own or carry" because of a certain pound trigger pull or those “dangerous” Glock safeties which go off on their own all the timeThat's not what I'm saying at all. Actually, I'm saying quite the opposite. I apologize for not being clear.

The MA gun laws are strict. You have to prove to the local police department that you are not a criminal, mentally-stable, and responsible to own, handle, and carry a concealed weapon before you license will be issued. Then, when you go to purchase a firearm, you will undergo multiple background checks before the dealer will be given the "okay" to sell to you. The waiting period deters people who don't want a firearm for a legitimate reason, as someone who wants to go on a shooting spree probably doesn't want to wait 30 days to do so.

The MA gun laws ensure that almost all firearms owners are responsible, and are going to be safe with said firearms. This means that in MA, you can't buy a gun if you're a complete nut.

I understand the point of view that if everyone has a gun, nobody will commit a crime, but the unfortunate fact of the matter is that many people are not fit to own a firearm.

As far as I'm concerned, the MA gun laws do not infringe on my rights as an American at all. If anything, they allow me to exercise my rights as an American safely. I can be sure that anyone else in MA who is carrying is probably knowledgeable, responsible, and knows the laws well enough to not draw their weapon unless they have every legal right.

April 28, 2007, 04:47 PM
The reason those guns are not for sale is because MA doesn't want you to have any handguns. The manufactures not on the list don't want to jump through MA AG's hoops. All of those guns are solid safe guns. It is about control. If Ma could regulate when you go to the rest room, they would.
Get out of Dodge and come to FREE AMERICA.

Semper Fi

Redneck with a 40
April 28, 2007, 04:54 PM
Rob, I think your comments are a little naive and mis-guided. You're state can pass all the laws they want too, until they are blue in the face. The fact is, criminals will always have methods of obtaining firearms, regardless of the law. All someone has to do is get into the classified ads, they can buy guns no questions asked. I don't know what the law in your state is pertaining to this, but its legal in Colorado. The only people background checks, fingerprinting, fee's, ect, affect are the law abiding citizens. By the way Rob, the crime rate in MA is 4X that of Vermont. Vermont = relaxed gun laws, MA = draconian gun laws. Outlawing certain handguns because of the design of the safety, be it external or internal is absurd. Whatever happened to personal responsibility, be completely familiar with what you are shooting. My opinion, gun owners that support draconian laws such as these are not doing us any favors, quite the contrary. I believe that law abiding citizens should be able to carry firearms without a permit. Why do we have to license a right? Concealed carry should be covered under the Second Ammendment.

Now for the subject at hand, I agree with everyone else here, go rent some guns at a shooting range, take a good safety course, and practice, practice, practice. What to carry is largely personal preference, there are dozens of quality pistols out there. I for one am a big fan of the compact 40 S&W auto's. They have good knockdown power, good capacity, mine is 10+1, and they maintain good velocity in short barrels. This is something the 45 lacks in short barrels. I carry a Taurus Millenium Pro in 40.:D

Why do you believe we should have to ask a police dept for permission to carry a firearm?? This is a backdoor gun ban, all they have to do is say "no", and you have no recourse. Giving police this kind of discretion with your personal defense rights is extremely dangerous! I'll fight tooth and nail with the rest of the gunnies out here in Colorado to ensure this never happens in our state. That is rediculous.

The Unknown User
April 28, 2007, 05:03 PM
I think the discussion on the gun laws should be left as is. As tolerant as I am, this thread will quickly be de-railed by the discussion of gun laws. To each their own.

Like the MA laws or not, I still have to work around them. I can't afford to move out of state, so no, I'm not moving just to avoid a law. I'm a law-abiding citizen interested in obtaining a weapon for self-defense. I have every legal right to do so, and even the "draconian" laws of MA will allow me to do so. The laws do what I agree with: keeping guns out of the hands of those who would use them maliciously.

Let's shift the topic more towards the discussion of caliber. Isn't the 9mm really weak? Wouldn't a .380ACP be weak, too? I'm concerned that if I go with a Walther PPK/S or Sig P232 (which one is regarded as "better"?) it will be too weak to stop an aggressor if my life is threatened. That's why, for a while, I was leaning towards a snub-nose .357 magnum revolver, like the SP101.


Redneck with a 40
April 28, 2007, 05:35 PM
Well Rob, I'm glad you support gun control.:barf: :barf: I'll leave it at that.:banghead:

The Unknown User
April 28, 2007, 05:43 PM
(Edited out my original post because it was rather rude.)

Redneck, you're entitled to your opinion but you can state it in more polite terms that doesn't sound so intolerant.

April 28, 2007, 05:49 PM
Well an SP101 is great. I love revolvers for a lot of reasons, and a lot of people her on THR carry them. A lot of people here will tell you that a revolver is a great starter weapon. I happen to disagree. If you want to learn to shoot well, you may have a hard time with that double action (DA) triggger. Still the revolver is the most reliable type of handgun out there. The snubbies are great for concealment, and they have a simpe manual of arms. I'd go with a semi auto though. Its just easier to learn on and takes a shorter amount of time to be proficient with. Those are my thoughts.

The Unknown User
April 28, 2007, 06:06 PM
I've been told numerous times that a revolver is awesome because it requires less attention, whereas with an auto-loading semi-automatic you really have to learn how it functions inside and out.

Judging by the surveys over at, the majority of people carry a .45auto-loader, but I can understand why a revolver is a great choice.

April 28, 2007, 06:25 PM
Rob87, you should probably go to and look through the videos they have entitled "CCW demystified" (look under "now playing" at the top and there will be a menu with it on it), there is a lot of good information on there and I certainly wouldn't fault anyone for going with a snubby revolver. I haven't gotten one yet, as purchases have been directed at autoloaders.

The Unknown User
April 28, 2007, 06:41 PM
Thanks for the link. I'll check it out. :)

April 28, 2007, 06:54 PM


Yes CCW is a big responsibility. You have recieved good info so far. I would recommend reading the 642 club thread @

The S&W J frame is a great gun to CCW. Many of us have one or two.

The Unknown User
April 28, 2007, 07:12 PM
What about the S&W Model 60 ( I think it looks cool, seems "better," (I dislike the idea of all five fingers not being able to grip a firearm) and it's in .38 or .357.

By the way, how come I hear .357, .38, .380, and 9mm used "interchangeably in some situations? Are the calibers not really that caliber or something?

April 28, 2007, 07:15 PM
As ambassadors for the firearms community, we should be cultivating a learning spirit in this individual. A young adult from MASSACHUSETTS is asking how to go about carrying, and it degenerates into an argument on MA laws? The man doesn't even have his first gun yet, give him a break.
Do you honestly think you need to convince him that the 30-day wait is a bad idea? He'll figure that out himself when he buys his second gun: "I already own a gun, if I wanted to go kill someone I could be using THIS one. . . Why do I have to wait 30 days for my second one?"

Cultivate, cultivate, cultivate.

"Focus!" as bogie would say.

Welcome to THR. I apologize for the derailment on this thread. We are all excited for you and proud that you have made this adult decision.

As others have mentioned, it is important for you to get some firearm experience, or "trigger time" as we say. A good safety training program is a must. Try calling sporting good stores and police departments, ask for any gun safety courses you might take. If you are ever in the Syracuse area, I would show you myself how to safely use various firearms. Perhaps another member who is closer to your location would make a similar offer.

Second, you really should stick around here on THR since there is a LOT you can learn from this site. Please pardon the occasional MA-bashing, as I pardon the occasional NY-bashing. It's not us, it's the laws of our states which people don't like.

That's pretty much it, get some safety training and stick around here, you will learn much.

PS. I think GLOCKs can be owned in MA depending on the date that they were manufactured.
PPS. Can you buy a long gun at your age in MA? Might be good to learn the safety rules with.

April 28, 2007, 07:21 PM
Oh, another thing about revolvers, not sure if the conversion is legal in MA (I don't live anywhere near there, don't travel there so I don't know what the laws are), but provided it is, a moon clip conversion is always a good bet. Faster reloads, and assurance that all rounds leave the gun.

Edit: As for .357 and .38, the .357 is a longer version with stronger brass so a .38 special can be fired in a .357 mag gun, but not the other way around. As for 9mm and .380, for those to be used in a revolver it has to be made to use moon clips, and the .380 is a strait walled case, unlike the 9mm which is tapered. Pictures shortly of the 4.

April 28, 2007, 07:25 PM
don't even think about getting a carry gun yet. You're doing great by reading up on the laws and getting your carry permit when you turn 21.
from now until you're 21, find a gun store in your area that sponsers a gun rep show. That where reps from many pistol mfgs. gather with their guns and you get to try as many as you want... for free. You'll probably have to purchase the ammo from the sponsering shop so they can make something but it's by far the best way to try 10 or 15 calibers, styles, sizes and makes before you buy.
When you start to carry, don't go by looks (no one should ever see it while you're carrying) or what someone else's idea of the perfect carry gun is. Buy a small, very dependable, very dependable, fits-YOUR-hand, very dependable weapon. If it's big - you won't carry it very often. If it's not 100% dependable - it's a club.

The Unknown User
April 28, 2007, 07:25 PM
I think it's legal to own a long gun at my age. I had a friend in a computer class in high school that owned his own 12 gauge for sport shooting at 15. Maybe I should look into that?

April 28, 2007, 07:38 PM
Yeah, with a 12-guage, you could get into trap shooting, which is a fun game where you yell "PULL!" and a round clay target shoots out into the air like a frisbee, then you shoot at it, watch it sail on and then finally break when it hits the ground. Every once in a while, for some reason the clay breaks into two pieces right after you shoot at it, and very rarely it explodes into tiny pieces.

It is a lot of fun!

Also, a 12-guage is a very good home defense gun, which will at least keep you covered when you are home until you can get your carry permit and a carry gun.

The Unknown User
April 28, 2007, 08:09 PM
Thanks, VA, but I still don't understand how a bullet that a firearm designed to fire a .357 inch in diameter round can also take a .38 inch in diameter bullet, which is .02 inch wider. Is a .38 bullet really .38 inch in diameter?

Let me put it this way:

How wide is a .357 round? A .38? A .380? A 9mm? It sounds like there's some overlap or that one of the bullet caliber designations has nothing to due with how wide that bullet really is.

Dallas Jack
April 28, 2007, 08:13 PM
Here is the link to approved fireamrs in MA
Dallas Jack

April 28, 2007, 08:13 PM

.380, 9mm, .38 super comp, .38 special, .357 magnum

It's because the ".38" isn't .380 inches, but really .357 inches as is the .357 magnum. The 9x19, and .380 ACP are .356, and the .38 super is .355. I don't know why...someone may give why in a later post, but that's how it is for some reason.

April 28, 2007, 08:16 PM
Just to return to the "attitude adjustment" issue for a second, I can fully undertand where Rob87 is coming from. I moved out to Colorado in 1963 from New York City and was absolutely shocked to find that one could buy a handgun by just showing one's driver's license to prove residency.

I can still remember the clerk's amusement at my questions: "Do you have to be a cop? Do you need a permit?" etc.

I was also shocked to learn that handguns were sold in hardware stores, drug stores, at Sears, and of course, through the mail (this was pre-GCA 68.) And to learn that the streets were not slick with blood.

So as soon as I'd established residency, I bought one.

It took me about a year to feel completely comfortable about the idea that any Colorado resident could buy a handgun. I still had that subtle feeling that I was somehow breaking the law.

It was just a question of attitude adjustment from that in which I was brought up: New York's infamous Sullivan Law --which even then was much worse than the MA laws are now.

Rob, you are in as isolated a situation as I was in New York. Hang in there.

Remember that most of the people here regard firearms ownership as a right to be revoked, and not a privilege to be granted.

Redneck with a 40
April 28, 2007, 08:18 PM
Hey Rob, I'm not trying to sound intolerant, If I do, then its unintentional. You gave your opinion as to why you're ok with the laws in MA. I gave my reasons why I would oppose them. Sometimes I come across as rather blunt, its not intentional. I'm just very passionate about my firearms rights and the shooting hobby in general. I'm not holding any hard feelings, we can agree to disagree. I apologize for sounding like an ass.:o

Welcome to THR, there is a wealth of information here. I'm sure once you start getting involved in shooting, you will become hooked on it, its very addictive and fun. Regardless of your views on the laws, anytime we can add another shooter to the ranks, its a good thing.

A 357 snubnose would be an excellent choice for concealed carry. A huge plus to this gun is the fact that you can shoot 38 specials in it, which is good for practice and there are some good 38 defense loads as well.

April 28, 2007, 08:35 PM
There's a note on the MA AG's website about glock handguns (as well as any others that fall into the following predicament like the 1911s) are not legal for sale because they lack having a 'loaded chamber indicator' (LCI) or a 'magazine disconnect "safety"' (MD"S"). This would be why people that don't know anything about guns shouldn't make laws regarding required safety features. Both of them are dangerous for the reason that they promote laziness when handling a deadly weapon, the LCI can interupt feeding reliability and you can't dryfire the gun without a mag in if you have a MD"S".

The Unknown User
April 28, 2007, 09:06 PM
One thing I need to point out: the approved roster list is not a list of firearms legal to sell in MA. That list is basically the firearms approved to be...approved by the attorney general. There are many firearms on that list that are not legal for sale because the AG says so.

For example, the Sig P226 DAK is not legal, but is on the approved roster list. :( I don't like it, but I have to follow it.

Redneck, no hard feelings. More often than not, emotion is not conveyed well through just words. I have sense of your tone of "voice," so to speak, nor do I have any sense of your body language. We can agree to disagree. :P

And VA, thanks for the photo. It really helps to see them all lined up. It seems like the .3x calibers are all almost the exact same size, haha. Although, I've seen 9mm translated as .355 caliber, and when I did the math, I got .354, and you said it's .356. :O

It honestly sounds like a .357 revolver would be good, as I get the impression .38 special ammunition is rather cheap.

Just to gauge your guys' (and you girls, too) opinions on things:

S&W Model 60 vs. Ruger SP101 (.357 2")
Walther PPK/S vs. Sig P232 (.380 ACP)

Right now those are the four I'm looking the most at. Are there better choices for a S&W? I'm more attracted, I've found, to pistols that have a full-size grip but have a shorter barrel, rather than a shorter grip and a shorter barrel, so I tend to like the Model 60 over the other S&W revolvers I've been pointed to.

April 28, 2007, 10:13 PM
The .356 diameter is per

The Unknown User
April 29, 2007, 12:15 AM

And I think I'm removing the PPK/S from the list of firearms I want to check out. I found a thread on another firearms forum where a lot of people said they were having a ton of trouble with them, even going through multiple models trying to find a working model.

A lot of people speak very highly of Sig, so I guess right now the P232 is the only auto-loader I'm currently considering.

Curious: is the .357 Sig comparable to the .357 magnum round?

April 29, 2007, 10:41 AM

Here's another consideration that you want to try out before you buy. Revolvers tend to be more uncomfortable to conceal. Just a fact that they have this built-in bulge called a cylinder. The semi-auto's, being more-or-less flat sided (or at least much smaller bulges) tend to be more long-term carry friendly. A lot of this is going to depend on your build and carry method. IWB, Inside WaistBand, is usually the best for concealment. However, IWB heavily depends upon the holster for comfort. Mine is a Milt Sparks Exec's companion, not cheap. But, it's been in continual use since 1997, ie, comfortable.

The better semi-auto's are honestly just as reliable as revolvers. I'm not sure what's available to you in Mass., but here's a short list of things you may wish to look at/try out. SIG P239, H&K USPc (compact), P2000, Kahr, or the new S&W M&P.

Is the .357 SIG comparable to the .357 magnum? Yes, it's comparable, but it doesn't compare well. The magnum is a far more versitile round capable of producing much more energy. The SIG is limited to it's platform, meaning that it absolutely has to be constrained to what will function in a semi-auto firearm. Or, to put it another way, the magnum will function flawlessly with bullet weights from 110 grains to 180 grains, & sometimes heavier yet bullets. A 180 grain bullet in a .357 SIG is pretty much fantasy land.


The Unknown User
April 29, 2007, 11:45 AM
Thanks for the help, 900F. That's the biggest reason why I was looking more at semi-autos more than revolvers. I figured the cylinder would get in the way after a while, whereas a semi-auto is fairly flat and could at least hug my body better.

April 29, 2007, 01:02 PM
Rob, on the CCW demystified series it puts an arguement forward as to why a J-frame sized revolver is better for pocket carry than a semi-auto because of it's shape. A semi-auto prints like a gun, but a revolver would print like a bunch of junk in your pocket. But...if you can't shoot a revolver well, then you shouldn't carry one period.

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