inexpensive bedside handgun for my wife


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futureranger
February 19, 2010, 07:31 PM
there have been a number of house robberies around where i live in the last month or so and i would like to get a inexpensive bedside handgun for my wife, for the last few weeks she has had my 1911 but she has a lot of difficulty working the slide, plus i cant carry it when she has it at home during the day. i just need something that goes bang if she needs it too it doesnt have to be pretty, i need something under 200 bucks (tight budget with a baby on the way and pawn shops never have anything that cheap). i was looking at P64's and other surplus sidearms, maybe put on some durracoat or something. any suggestions?

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MikePGS
February 19, 2010, 07:36 PM
If you could stretch it a bit you could probably pick up a S&W model 15 at http://www.jgsales.com/product_info.php/p/smith-wesson-model-15%2C-38spl-4in%2C-dao-very-good-plus-condition/products_id/4123?osCsid=d75294e37d3622c75ce336c2d8c6250b. You wouldn't have to worry about the slide in that case, but I understand money is tight when a little one is on the way so not sure what a good backup suggestion would be.

Oyeboten
February 19, 2010, 07:39 PM
1858 Remington from 'Cabalas'...


May have to open the Windows and run some fans after use, but, it'll do the job alright.


Well...even though it would, if you want a newer design, I'd say, shop around locally for Police or Security Guard Turn ins or Trade ins which often show up in batches at Sporting Goods Stores or smaller FFL guys...and, consider an S&W Model 10, .38 Special, which, when having enough bluing loss from a lot of carry, and battered Stocks ( may be seldom shot and perfect and lovely mechanically ) can be priced around $200.00 sometimes.

futureranger
February 19, 2010, 07:42 PM
thanks for the help, ill take a look at some smaller gunshops around and ask, i guess 200 is a little low, but i dont think i could spend anything over 350, how much does that open my window of selection?

MSC
February 19, 2010, 07:55 PM
I've been at two shops in the last week that had the following:

Kel-Tec .380's and .32's - $175
Kel-Tec PF11 9MM - $175 (Kicking myself for not grabbing that one!)
Ruger LCP - $225

When you bump it to $350 you could go to any of the above new, or (my preference for home defense) a used S&W .38, as the others mentioned. Semi-auto's often make those who aren't around guns a lot, a little nervous. Not to mention, any of the above can fail to cycle with a limp-wristed shot. And, the .380's above do "bark" a good bit.

Save for the higher end and get a .38 revolver. Load it with wadcutters, and your wife will be VERY comfortable shooting it. Wadcutters have surprisingly good ballistics for self-defense. And better her to shoot them confidently, than holding the gun with her head turned away and missing, due to the fear of the hot +P loads. As they say, it's all about bullet placement.

Big Bill
February 19, 2010, 08:44 PM
Look for a used Charter or Rossi snub 38 special.

hirundo82
February 19, 2010, 08:47 PM
I'd go with the used S&W's that Mike linked to--you should still be around $300 after shipping and FFL fee. A 3 or 4 inch K-frame .38 is nearly perfect for your wife's need.

The guns MSC mentioned are all good guns but I wouldn't recommend them in this application. They are all smaller guns, which would make them harder to shoot well and increase recoil. Since it sounds like this will be a dedicated HD gun, there is no reason not to get a larger gun.

shockwave
February 19, 2010, 09:17 PM
I'd go with the used S&W's that Mike linked to--you should still be around $300 after shipping and FFL fee. A 3 or 4 inch K-frame .38 is nearly perfect for your wife's need.

Strong agreement here. And... Gosh I sure hope nobody takes this the wrong way but, well, automatics come in different flavors - the rugged functionality of a Glock, the sexy purr of a Beretta that melts in your hand - but whatever the design, holding a revolver just feels different from an auto. They inspire confidence and that's something that's an intangible to quantify, but is a point in favor of the K-frame for this application. Simple, easy to aim, and cocking one is almost as good as running the slide of a Mossberg.

268darts
February 19, 2010, 09:18 PM
Academy has the Rossi 38 special 3" barrel on sale thru tomarrow. $199.00. It has a really nice feel to it and very compact. I read about a man that fired a .357 mag in a hallway. He is now deaf in one ear and very little hearing in the other. 38's are a little easier on the hearing.

Patriotme
February 20, 2010, 06:34 AM
Make sure that she can operate easily under presure when things go bump in the night. If she's not a regular shooter then a revolver may be the best choice. If it's only going to be for home defense then a 4" revolver might be the way to go as it gives you a longer sighting radius then a snubbie, the extra weight helps with the recoil and the larger size is more intimidating and inspires a bit more confidence. Of course if she's going to be carrying it around the house regularly instead of just keeping it in a nightstand then a snubnose is probably the best choice.

Kingofthehill
February 20, 2010, 07:19 AM
Ruger P95 is my girls gun of choice and i have a hefty collection... she like just cheapest gun hahahaha... she shoots it well. Its the softest shooting 9mm ive come across, it has a rail for the light, can be shot DA/SA, night sights available. Dependable and it holds 17+1 (i beilieve thats right).

you can find them from 225-250 fairly common. I would and do trust my life and my loved one's life to it.

JOe

D!rty H@rry
February 20, 2010, 07:52 AM
ruger p95


bingo!

BlkHawk73
February 20, 2010, 08:28 AM
Concerned enough to feel the need for a firearm for the wife and yet there's a low $200 budget? Can certainly understand the baby costs and such but there are times NOT to cheap out.

That said, I'd look at a revolver rather than an auto (less complicated to operate) Bottom line is to let HER make the choice AND have her practice with it. Needing it for it's purpose and being unfamiliar makes as much sense as putting such a low price on her safety.

Mp7
February 20, 2010, 08:32 AM
wow... the 259$ on those S&W .38s ... sound like an awesome deal.

definitely a revolver.
And like someone said ... shes at home,
so why not pick a good sized revolver?

( or get a 200$ short shotgun?)

hhb
February 20, 2010, 08:43 AM
I was in my favorite shop yesterday, and the owner showed me a handgun he had just purchased in a big group buy. It a LNIN New England Firearms model R73, round butt .327 mag, either 2.5" or 3" bbl, believe it comes both ways. I wouldn't try the .327 mag in it, but it will shoot the whole downward range of .32 revolver cartridges; .32 H&R mag, .32 Long, short, etc. I asked him what he was going to put it on the shelf for, and he said; "$225".

frankiestoys
February 20, 2010, 09:05 AM
Both under $300, both work fine for a house gun

MikePGS
February 20, 2010, 09:21 AM
if you bump it up to 350 you have a few more options. )ou can probably find a ruger speed six for around that price or if she prefers auto's the forementioned Ruger P95. summitgunbroker.com has a great deal on a S&W 4043 for just 269 if she likes ,40. Since she is pregnant you should make sure to ask her physician if its ok to shoot. Both the sound and potentially the lead could be a cause for concern and you should make sure practicing with a new gun won't cause the little one harm. Congratulations, by the way :)

1911Tuner
February 20, 2010, 09:27 AM
There are still a lot of Smith Model 10/M&P revolvers out there for cheap. Many police agencies turned theirs in for auction when they went over to other platforms...and a good many are in remarkable condition, aside from holster wear.

Not long ago, I picked up a heavy-barrel Model 10 from a local dealer for 150 bucks out the door...because it looked like it had been dragged up the road behind a pickup truck.
It's the slickest, smoothest piece of work you could hope for without being specially tuned by a good revolver smith. Still tight and shoots like a house afire, I suspect that it was stored long-term in a leather holster, which accounts for the appearance...but underneath that ugly skin is a fine revolver. It's fast becoming one of my favorites.

Refinish it? Nah. Pretty is as pretty does.

futureranger
February 20, 2010, 10:18 AM
talked to the doc today and shooting guns is a no-no as far along as she is (sharp noises like that are stressful and can induce labor... thats not good)... so i guess were not going to the range today to try-out my buds taurus 357/38... i guess her trying out different platforms will have to wait a month or so, but ill still get her to some gun shops to handle some different things. thanks for all the help and great advice.
-Pat

Al LaVodka
February 20, 2010, 12:04 PM
P-64 is a very good choice after springs are changed, especially for a man if you are "carrying" -- for the money, not much better.
Here, find a small, used, QUALITY named 5-shot .38 revolver.
Please, PLEASE, do not rely on a new Taurus -- a 15 year old one or more, fine!
Al

D!rty H@rry
February 20, 2010, 03:04 PM
talked to the doc today and shooting guns is a no-no as far along as she is (sharp noises like that are stressful and can induce labor... thats not good)... so i guess were not going to the range today to try-out my buds taurus 357/38... i guess her trying out different platforms will have to wait a month or so, but ill still get her to some gun shops to handle some different things. thanks for all the help and great advice.
-Pat

the DR. should have also warned you about her exposing her and the baby to heavy metals, contaminates, ect...


very bad for the unborn!

:(

billdeserthills
February 20, 2010, 03:08 PM
So, get your wife a TASER!

brassdog
February 20, 2010, 07:49 PM
How about a big dog!

+1 on the 38 revolver. Keep it simple. Plus it's easier to dry fire for practice. I'm not sure I would risk the wife's pregnancy at the range but dry firing is still good practice.

MikePGS
February 20, 2010, 07:57 PM
+1 on the big dog. Maybe you can borrow one :D

wtfd661
February 20, 2010, 08:10 PM
I would go with either a nice used Ruger P series or a used Ruger SP101 or SW revolver.
Look also at a used SW 5906 9mm they are some great, easy shooting guns

The shotgun suggestion is a great one also, since you said it was for home use.

jakemccoy
February 20, 2010, 08:25 PM
Is a shotgun an option? If not, read no further.

You can get a decent used shotgun for $200. Personally, shotguns are much easier for me to shoot, especially when I haven't practiced in awhile. Is your wife likely to practice? For me, it takes WAY MORE practice to shoot a target 30 feet away with a handgun. Shotguns are also more powerful than any handgun you'll buy for your wife. At night, when I know I'm not going to be carrying a gun, I definitely prefer to have one of my shotguns next to my bed.

Maj Dad
February 20, 2010, 08:30 PM
The only drawback to the P-64 for me is the weight - all steel, and can drag your pants down (at least mine) carrying concealed. Beyond that, it is small enough that the recoil is very sharp and an inexperienced shooter may well be unable to control, or hold it. I put a Hogue Hand-All Jr on mine that helped immensely. That and practice could make it a realistic option for your wife. Mine is very accurate at 15 yds and would be a good bedside piece. I see them going for under $150 now, so with shipping & FFL transfer fee you could come in on the money... :cool:

cjl8651
February 20, 2010, 08:33 PM
What about one of those Hi-Points that people seem to have a love-hate relationship with?

oldfool
February 20, 2010, 09:27 PM
well, if it's not going to be shot a lot
(and sounds like it would not be)
then a Hi-point is just maybe a real good choice
( cannot believe me saying that, but it is what it is)
used guns, like used cars, you never know until after you paid for 'em

(used Charter revolver in good condition, that was also a good suggestion)

not clear if she is an inexperienced shooter or not, but if not, very simple shotgun is a lot better choice than you might suppose.. if she hardly ever actually shoots that hard-to-rack-for-her pistol, don't mean she will hit with it like you can, and you won't be there if/when she has to

"pointable" counts for a whole lot in such cases, and long points easier than short
even an NEF single shot smoothbore in 20 gauge is real serious and plenty loud enough "inside" if/when, and depending on the "enclosed environment", be it loaded with a turkey load or a slug, not many will just walk on thru a hit at close range, and not all that many will stick around to find out if it can be fired more than once, even if not hit

PS
fine for folks to say "save up for better or stretch your budget", but they ain't stretching their own budget with a young wife alone at night whist "saving up"

Onward Allusion
February 20, 2010, 09:27 PM
+1 on S&W 15 or 64. Also consider the Taurus 82 (6 shot .38 4" barrel). There were quite a few of them a few months ago on Gunbroker for around $200. Also, practice with snap-caps.

kingmt
February 20, 2010, 10:44 PM
Concerned enough to feel the need for a firearm for the wife and yet there's a low $200 budget? Can certainly understand the baby costs and such but there are times NOT to cheap out.

That is rude. When I started out I had close a decent car & a full belly. Everything else I had to had to earn. My to be wife & I went to work & got a hotel that you paid for by the week ($200) She went to work as a waitress so we got so small cash fast then found a room in a house to rent for $200 a month (hole) & we eat a lot of generic mac & cheese. It was hard to come up with an exter $5 not alone $200. I still don't have much money being the farther of three but I buy smart & live in our means & at 34 I own everything I have & just paid off all but one note last year & the last one this year. The loard has treated me well.

All of that said to explain you don't know where someone is. $200 to one person is like acquiring $20,000 to another. It just doesn't make since to save $500 for a gun & starve doing it.

OP
I have seen some good suggestions here but I would stay away from used since you need a gun that you know will work now & only have enough money for one. The Highpoint sounds good & you can add a rifle that matches it later that I think uses the same mags. You could also look into a small .22 that fits the pocket comfortably & she would be more likely. All should fit the budget of $200 & for the $350 you could go with something a little more stylish like a Taurus PT111 Millennium-Pro that I just seen for $353. I just bought two Taurus's though & had to send them both in for 4 weeks then one of them back for 2 more weeks. So even new you might not have one good to go out of the box. I would lean to the Highpoint for a fast affordable gun. I think the Highpoint even has a lifetime warranty.

LRS_Ranger
February 20, 2010, 11:04 PM
I have the same issue with my wife. She's kinda a hippy, (I'm slowly bringing her around tho) and so never really was comfortable with firearms. The one gun that she feels really comfortable with is my Ruger SP101. I got it for $270 a few years ago, I don't know what they go for now. She likes it because "I just pick it up and pull the trigger and it will go bang". Plus she can practice with 38's and use .357's for HD. I'm thinking of getting her a little stoger coach gun in 20 Ga tho, as she refuses to shoot the Benelli M3..

John_galt
February 20, 2010, 11:19 PM
Watch this site. This g sells good used guns pretty cheap. Some great deals if you watch. (I've no connection w him. )

Onward Allusion
February 21, 2010, 12:00 AM
$200 is do-able in the used market for a top tier and second tier brand like S&W and Taurus.

One other make that you may want to look at is Armscor. From what I've read, their .38 Special revolvers are inexpensive but decent shooters. You'll have to do your own research but ~ $200 you can get new (plus shipping & FFL transfer).

Keep in mind that Armscor is the same company in the Phillippines that makes the Rock Island Armory 1911. The same 1911s that a lot of folks use as the base for their race guns.

futureranger (http://www.thehighroad.org/member.php?u=59061)
thanks for the help, ill take a look at some smaller gunshops around and ask, i guess 200 is a little low, but i dont think i could spend anything over 350, how much does that open my window of selection?

C-grunt
February 21, 2010, 03:34 AM
http://www.jgsales.com/product_info.php/smith-wesson/revolver/p/smith-wesson-model-64-38spl%2C-4-inch%2C-stainless%2C-round-butt%2C-good-to-very-good-condition/cPath/16_211_431/products_id/3592?osCsid=fbebbfa53e31ab2a71da4d053c74c5ae

Used police trade in Smith and Wesson model 64 for $230. Used by PDs through out the country for decades. I have a model 15 which is very similar and would have no qualms about letting my wife use it for home defense.

Ragnar Danneskjold
February 21, 2010, 04:20 AM
The Ruger P95 is a good choice, just make sure you have her hold on at a store first. She may not like the size or trigger pull. Rugers can take some getting used to.

Noxx
February 21, 2010, 05:07 AM
Going to chime in on the revolver vote here. For those folks who have neither the time nor inclination to train muscle memory for the proper firing of a bottom-feeder, the revolver presents a great advantage in that in can be fired one handed, off-handed, from odd positions, etc. without any increase in risk of failure. By contrast, the possibility of a stoppage in an auto is greatly enhanced by these factors.

My wife prefers an auto on the nightstand (226 CT), but she trains to roll out and operate that firearm daily (her choice, not mine, she's a little scary). Without the trained, unthinking proper grip however, definitely go with the wheelgun.

You might be able to find a used Ruger or Charter in your price range, which are both perfectly serviceable. I can't recall the last time I saw a used smith under $350, but then I pay the California premium out here.

Best of luck, and stay safe.

madwell
February 21, 2010, 05:49 AM
Like many others have said i would recomend a used full sized revolver my wife shoot/likes them better then anything else i own. good luck.

Confederate
February 21, 2010, 03:05 PM
I also recommend you try Cold Steel's Inferno pepper spray, which is the best on the market, as it incorporates both red and black pepper.

Go to Cold Steel's website to see demonstrations on how it works. The spray makes a good defense in that your wife can easily carry it on her or have cannisters in various rooms, including bathrooms/showers.

As for handguns, I'd try to find an old banged-up, but functional S&W or Ruger. Also, ask co-workers and friends if they have any guns they want to sell. You're not likely to find any guns for that price at a gunstore.

It's also a good idea that your wife take a self defense course or, lacking that, buy a good book.

I recall a magazine years ago that featured a woman who had captured and held a rapist for police using her new Ruger 6-inch mag. She was sensible enough not to get in a conversation with the guy, nor give him any chance to interact with him.

Let us know how you fare!

Kingofthehill
February 21, 2010, 04:00 PM
Academy has a 3" 38 special Revolver right now on sale for $199...

JOe

SleazyRider
February 21, 2010, 04:43 PM
I certainly don't mean to trivialize or make light of your concerns, but you did say burglary was the problem, so you might be better served to invest that money in a deadbolt or two, heavier strike plates with shims and longer hinge screws, an extra cell phone with a written emergency script, and maybe an inexpensive security camera and decals.

A review of Castle Doctrine in your state may also be in order, along with perusing some of Ayoob's work, perhaps Combat Handgunnery or In The Gravest Extreme.

Assuming those precautions may already be in place, however, I like Confederate's suggestion about pepper spray and a defensive course, and C-grunt's suggestion regarding a S&W police trade-in from J&G. Those double-action only guns are reliable and tough as nails. In the meantime, assuming she is proficient with defensive use of the 1911, you might consider simply leaving it behind in condition 1 (so she doesn't have to rack the slide).

I wish you well!

Ben86
February 22, 2010, 09:21 PM
There are many good suggestions for cheap handguns already one here so I'd like to suggest something different. A ruger 10/22 rifle. My wife hates shooting my 12 ga, and I haven't gotten around to obtaining a decent assault rifle yet, so the 10/22 with a 25 round mag (butler creek steel lip is the only aftermarket mag I trust) is her go to long gun. The .22lr out of a rifle is a formidable self defense option. The recoil is nil and a rifle is much easier to shoot for the inexperienced. They can be easily had for about $200. Load it up with some cci velociter hollowpoints and she'd be set.

Colton White
February 23, 2010, 02:04 AM
+1 on the Ruger P95 and its a 15+1 FYI not 17+1

OldCavSoldier
February 23, 2010, 02:37 AM
I've been at two shops in the last week that had the following:

Kel-Tec .380's and .32's - $175
Kel-Tec PF11 9MM - $175 (Kicking myself for not grabbing that one!)
Ruger LCP - $225

When you bump it to $350 you could go to any of the above new, or (my preference for home defense) a used S&W .38, as the others mentioned. Semi-auto's often make those who aren't around guns a lot, a little nervous. Not to mention, any of the above can fail to cycle with a limp-wristed shot. And, the .380's above do "bark" a good bit.

Save for the higher end and get a .38 revolver. Load it with wadcutters, and your wife will be VERY comfortable shooting it. Wadcutters have surprisingly good ballistics for self-defense. And better her to shoot them confidently, than holding the gun with her head turned away and missing, due to the fear of the hot +P loads. As they say, it's all about bullet placement.
+1 MSC!!

You can get a nice used S&W M64 or M10 for around $250-$300. Wadcutters don't recoil much, are inherently accurate, and WOW! do they ever do damage on tissue!!!

futureranger
February 23, 2010, 08:06 AM
hey thanks for all the helpful tips, pepper spray is a good idea, i think ill get her some for her purse, but just being the over cautious type id like her to have more punch than that for our house especial now with a baby a few weeks away. revolvers seem like a great choice for her, i have never been a big wheel gun person (probably cause i cant hit jack with one... which doesnt make much sense cause i shoot expert with the m9...) but my wife is a pretty impressive shot even though she has only shot a few times. maybe she can fair better than me with a 38. again thanks for all the help.
also she straight up refuses to shoot a shotgun or a rifle bigger than a 22lr... go figure so it looks like if im gonna get her to practice it will be with have to with a handgun

MCgunner
February 23, 2010, 08:34 AM
Fairly easy to find a good gun at the 300 dollar price point. 200 narrows things. The little Rossis are decent, but she might not be able to handle the trigger if she lacks hand strength, might have to shoot it SA. They generally run 250 unless you can find a sale.

Only other gun I can think of is a Makarov, might find one of those for around 200. They are very reliable, amazingly accurate, and small while not being tiny like a P3AT.

Rex B
February 24, 2010, 12:25 AM
I'd get her a .22, either handgun or rifle. the 10/22 suggestion is a good one.
Model 60 Marlins with tube mag hold more than 10

DA revolvers can be had in .22 mag from Charter or Rossi

Any of these in your price range.

wrs840
February 24, 2010, 12:37 AM
S&W M64 4" police trades for $279 plus $10 shipping. No regrettable "DAO modification" compromise:

http://www.chestnutridge.com/products/firearms.asp

Les

Fisherman_48768
February 24, 2010, 09:55 AM
Take a look at these at J&G (CZ82), made by CZ for the Czech military/police. They are in your price range and usually come in new to very good condition, I have two both in 9x18 Mak cal. http://www.jgsales.com/index.php/handguns/cz-surplus/cPath/16_155
http://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a149/Fisherman_48768/CZ82LEFTSIDE.jpg

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