Please Recommend a First-Time Defensive Pistol


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SR9
February 19, 2010, 10:27 PM
Im new to the whole concealed defense firearm thing. And since i know zilch about what is on the market much less about where the best place to get something from would be, so i seem to have made the happy mistake of stumbling upon this forum. I would like to purchase a handgun preferably semi-auto,nice looking,decent stopping power, i dont care if its new or used and heres the kick...all for under 200 bucks..Possible? or am i dreaming? Thanks for any input any of you provide

-Cody

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cyclopsshooter
February 19, 2010, 10:28 PM
hungarian pa-63

but i think its ugly

oh yeah, get a hi-point,they are sexy!

welcome to thr :)

Robert
February 19, 2010, 10:33 PM
It can be done but I would save up $800 or so and get a quality firearm. You can get a High Point for around $200, but I would only go that route if i had no other choice. They are not horrible pistols but better can be had with a little patience and saving.

slabuda
February 19, 2010, 10:38 PM
I dont think you need 800.
200 hundred can get you a used pistol but if you save just a bit more you can get a police turn in glock.

Im not for or against glock. Yea they are not pretty but they work and work and work...Other options are a Keltec. good guns for a good price. I am considering a p3at (.380 acp) or a bit bigger and more powerful PF-9 (9mm)

Both can be had for 250-300

And welcome, you asked a good question and will hear LOADS of different advice.


The best bit I can give you is get some gun safety training at a shop/range and try out some different guns to find out what you like.

SR9
February 19, 2010, 10:47 PM
any suggestions on where to purchase from? all the gun shops around me are notorius for trying to make to much profit..if you get my meaning

MedWheeler
February 19, 2010, 10:48 PM
Don't listen to the "$800" club. They'd rather run off newcomers to our sport/culture than let you start out the way you can afford to, develop more interest, and upgrade later.
Two bills will get you one of a number of quality defensive guns, but you do have to look. Pretty much any one you find will be used. Might find a Kel-Tec in either 9mm or 380ACP for that, or a Bersa Thunder. There are some CZ models in those calibers that shoot quite well, and fall into that price category when sold used.
Heck, I'd rather see you get a beater Davis or Lorcin and learn to rock it than see you turned completely off by "gun snobbery."

slabuda
February 19, 2010, 10:54 PM
SR9 where are you at. put your location in your profile. Just needs to be close IE like mine SW Idaho. Some one nearby can help yopu find a good shop.

As far as figuring out prices check out www.budsgunshop.com for new or www.gunbroker.com for used at the auctions where something actually sold and not some of the silly asking prices. Once you have this you are forwarned and forearmed and will know if they try to screw you on the price
They are competive (buds gunshop) and carry most brands. If you cant find a shop with good prices see if they can doa transfer for about $25. Should be no more than than IMO. They can ship to you. At the shop/ffl they ship to you will fill out your 4473/backgrond check

SR9
February 19, 2010, 10:56 PM
im not tryin to be cheap..i just have to very young daughters and a girlfriend in college so our money isnt for my "toys" i believe she said...I would give my left testic&% for a 1911 or a ruger sr9 but i cant afford either one around here

kingpin008
February 19, 2010, 10:57 PM
First, welcome to THR. We're glad you're here, and hope you learn a lot.

Second, please try a few searches. There's been many, many discussions here on exactly the issues you're wondering about. Plenty of info for the taking.

SR9
February 19, 2010, 11:01 PM
one of which is sleeping on my lap to explain the lack of details in my profile and responses and also the reason why i havent really gotten to take a look around here so i apologize for any repeated questions..im not to lazy to look for myself i promise ;)

slabuda
February 19, 2010, 11:02 PM
Hey a self defence gun isnt a "toy" its a tool ;) actually im quite serious.

Even though you cant afford much you deserve the best you can afford. You have two daughters and a girlfriend to look after and protect right? A good gun is no more unreasonable they buying quality brakes or tires for your car. All three can save your life some day.

Mooseman
February 19, 2010, 11:04 PM
I would look at the keltec p11, they sell for around $300 new. I carry one regularly. They are inexpensive, easy to conceal, and have decent capacity. The high point 9mm compact is cheaper, heavy, bulky, and a bit crude but function fine. Neither one of those is a great range gun though.

since your new to the hobby I'd suggest renting a few guns at your local range to see what you like shooting before plopping your money down.

Welcome to THR

SR9
February 19, 2010, 11:04 PM
id never consider a weapon a toy but she does..personally im 6'6" 225 I have NO need for a gun but she feels more comfortable with me having one here...so im shopping

SR9
February 19, 2010, 11:06 PM
to be honest i dont think we have any ranges within a reasonable distance from here..

SR9
February 19, 2010, 11:08 PM
oh and i also have rather large hands so those snap gun sized things arent gonna cut it

General Geoff
February 19, 2010, 11:13 PM
personally im 6'6" 225 I have NO need for a gun

Gun always trumps body size. You have no need for a gun, unless and until someone ELSE with a gun is assaulting you. I don't care how strong you are, fast-moving lead goes through muscle just as easily as fat.


That said, 200 for a "semi-auto,nice looking,decent stopping power" pistol is asking a lot. Drop the "nice looking" part, and you have some options. Otherwise prepare to spend 400+. Of course, aesthetics are subjective. If you like the way a Hi-Point looks, far be it from me to dissuade you.

Robert
February 19, 2010, 11:20 PM
I only said $800 because if he were to save that much he would have many, many more choices. And as far as trying to run people off, I take offense to that remark.
Heck, I'd rather see you get a beater Davis or Lorcin and learn to rock it than see you turned completely off by "gun snobbery."
Lorcin, Jennings and Bryco are utter and complete junk. If they work for you fine. But do not call me a snob because I like a firearm that is not made from pot metal. And yes I handled many of them. They are ALL junk. Thanks for calling me anti new firearms owner and a gun snob in the same post.
$800 might be a touch high, but at that level you have your pick of many firearms that are not made with zinc slides. And as I said if $200 is all he can afford then get a High Point and learn to use it... sheesh what a snob I am. SR9 if you are ever out Colorado way give me a pm, I'd love to take you to the range sometime. Heck I'd even let you shoot any of my firearms you like.

SR9
February 19, 2010, 11:23 PM
hi points are ugly..the gun i buy will be for home defense only as i live in VERMONT...if that doesnt tell you something then you have never been here..but i bet as long as i heard you enter my house i wouldnt need a gun...my favorite gun ever..lousiville slugger..ill cave your head in before your brain registers pull the trigger...but youre very right and im not trying to inflame the gun community against me at all if a person carrying a gun saw me first or heard me or any number of things that would alert the assailant to my presence im up sh^&s creek without a paddle

SR9
February 19, 2010, 11:26 PM
I very much appreciate the offer gus and if any nafa meets bring me out that way ill "shoot ya a note" no pun intended

SR9
February 19, 2010, 11:27 PM
If i said it didnt have to nice looking what would you recommend?

Robert
February 19, 2010, 11:28 PM
If only for use as home defense have you given thought to a shotgun over a pistol? There are many schools of thought on the issue, but a shotgun for HD seems to work well. You can find a decent used shotgun in any pawn shop.

slabuda
February 19, 2010, 11:29 PM
If you got big mits look for one of those glock police turn ins I think they can be had for around 300-350 tops. I know its more than you have but you cant beat em. I find glocks dont fit me well due to my smaller hands.

I couldnt afford much after I came back from overseas. I got a Taurus PT145 milpro. Not the best gun in the world but I have had no problems with it and for $350 it was a good deal.

Like i said if I could get comfortable with a glock Id have one, especially at the turn in prices. My local cableas has them come in from time to time and even they sell them cheap (Cablas is not known for great prices)

SR9
February 19, 2010, 11:30 PM
i live in a apartment at a college...shotguns wont work

SR9
February 19, 2010, 11:31 PM
my future father in law is a police sergeant...maybe he could help?

mljdeckard
February 19, 2010, 11:32 PM
If you're willing to go $3-350, you should find a used Glock or Ruger P-series in a variety of calibers. They would work fine for anything you want to use them for.

Robert
February 19, 2010, 11:32 PM
A used Glock would work great, as would a CZ.

slabuda
February 19, 2010, 11:33 PM
If you dont want it fo rcarry and only fo rthe house a shotgun isnt bad. You can get a used mossberg 500 20 gauge for under 200. Heck I got a field model for 210 from walmart.

A 20ga with buck shot is all you need. But dont belive the hype all you need to do is point it in the general direction as in most home all the shot will open up to is about 4-6 inches. They still need to be aimed just not as precisely.

SR9
February 19, 2010, 11:34 PM
i would also love to come upon a mini 14 for a reasonable price...any suggestions?

mnrivrat
February 19, 2010, 11:37 PM
I'm going to just inject my 2 cents worth in that I would not be close minded regarding a revolver for your needs. There are some police trade ins still coming onto the market that give one a chance to buy a quality & brand name side arm for under $300 .

If your concerned about a local shop charging to much, then do some research on the interent. Look at what is availabel on Gunbroker and other places to compare prices with. Look into a local dealer who will receive a gun for you ,and what their fee is. This will give you the option of buying on line , but don't forget to pay attention to the shipping and FFL transfer costs when doing it that way.

Another source is the forums for sale section whewre private folk sell off a firearm they no longer need or want. They have to also go through an FFL , but sometimes the price is worth it.

Justin
February 19, 2010, 11:41 PM
Heck, I'd rather see you get a beater Davis or Lorcin and learn to rock it than see you turned completely off by "gun snobbery."

It's not gun snobbery to dissuade someone from purchasing a defensive firearm from a company who's products have a reputation for being unreliable, inaccurate, and made of components that are not built to last. Poorly built guns will ingrain poor shooting habits. It's much better to start off with something from a quality manufacturer that costs a bit more than to try to learn to shoot with, and rely on, a firearm that isn't worth the zinc alloy it's made of. In the long run, saving up money to buy a decent pistol from the start saves you more money anyway, as you'd only end up dumping the cheap gun for something of better build.

$200 is at the extreme low budgetary limit for a centerfire gun of reasonable quality, and if that's all that is available, then one has to make purchase choices very carefully. You'd probably be looking at used S&W revolvers, surplus Makarovs, or possibly a Kel-Tec.

On the other hand, if you can save up another $100, more options open up. At the $400-$600 range, you're at the prime price-point to pick up a used gun made by a reputable maker such as Sig, Glock, S&W, CZ, etc.

Also realize that you will need to budget for other accessories to go with your gun. In order of importance, this will include hearing protection, eye protection, cleaning supplies, ammo, spare magazines, holster and magazine carriers (if you intend to get your CCW.)

SR9
February 19, 2010, 11:41 PM
a revolver would be fine as well

SR9
February 19, 2010, 11:43 PM
i can carry a concealed or unconcealed weapon in Vermont without a permit..

HighStrung
February 19, 2010, 11:45 PM
I know there's some bad press about them, but consider a used S&W sigma. Easy to operate, clean, etc and used prices are rock bottom. The newer models (ve's) aren't near as bad as the one's that much of the bad press comes from. I've got one and though it's not my favorite, it's always done what I've asked of it, goes bang everytime I pull the trigger and has been plenty accurate. Glock turn in's would be another great alternative. SR9, you mentioned that you have a relative in law enforcement. Even if he/she can't get you a deal on a turn in, you should take them with you when you go shopping. Possibility of getting a better deal with them there, plus it's someone who knows a good deal more than you may about the subject. *Please note, I was not saying that you weren't well informed about this subject, just the fact that people who live and breath firearms tend to be better informed*

Justin
February 19, 2010, 11:50 PM
i can carry a concealed or unconcealed weapon in Vermont without a permit..

Even though a permit is not required in Vermont, you should still consider taking a basic pistol course from a certified NRA instructor. What you will learn will help you to build a solid foundation on which to build your skills.

SR9
February 19, 2010, 11:56 PM
im not trying to be rude or anything im asking an honest question..Ive hunted my whole life so im not new to guns by any means..would the pistol course be still helpful? I know how to hold them...aiming what else would a teacher show me?

slabuda
February 20, 2010, 12:08 AM
I havent had a pistol course before but my father let me shoot with him during a qual or two when he was a cop. I learned a bit there.

As far as basic gun safety/marksmanship maybe not much.

But they may help you out with pistol tactics etc depending upon the course, just as a good huntng mentor could teach you to follow through with a shotgun etc...

Robert
February 20, 2010, 12:38 AM
Hunting with a rifle and defensive hand gun use are totally different worlds. If you are comfortable with the basics maybe look into a defensive hand gun course.

mljdeckard
February 20, 2010, 01:03 AM
Not only would the pistol course be helpful, you need to commit yourself to continuing training pretty much forever. Look up Massad F. Ayoob. If he takes a week off of every year to train, you need to train too. There is no such thing as a soldier who is too good for training.

Dimis
February 20, 2010, 01:14 AM
seriously SR9 and absolutly no offense meant here at all but even a louiville slugger is no match for a firearm toting baddy

when you in a home defense situation you are the "RE"actor and reaction is ALWAYS slower than action

im not trying to bash your size or skills but NEVER underestimate anyone i knew of a 98lb woman that cut an officers chin with a box cutter in half a second because the officer didnt take her seriously she almost got his throat

as for handguns for defense in the 200 range you could get used charter arms revolvers around that range also a few used glocks turn up every now and again (not often but they do) on gunbroker and a few other places

if it were me i would try to save a little more money for something like a used rock island 1911 (around 300-350 used sometimes less) or something of that nature

YES take a pistol course handgunning is an entirely different world than rifle hunting
i know many guys that claimed they were king of the hill shooters because they were hunters and the second they had a pistol couldnt hit a barn from the inside

if your serious about HD then you need to find a range and PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE

learn not only how to shoot your firearm but every aspect of it to the best of your ability
shoot it clean it maintain it to the best of your ability memorize not only mentaly but physicaly (muscle memory) every aspect and function of the firearm you choose loading unloading charging slide release (opening the cylinder on revolvers) make it all second nature

that may sound a bit overboard but seriously in the time of need (may it never come) you will not have the stable environment and time to think about what need to be done you just need your body to "do it" kind of like swirving away from a car accident you dont think about it you just do it

i hope any of this has been a help and again i dont want to discredit your abilities as they stand but Bill Jordan was right there are no second place winners and IMHO there is no limit to our skills as shooters the only cap is how little we train because we can always be better than we were yesterday

atakawow
February 20, 2010, 05:55 AM
$200 will be next to impossible to find a reliable pistol. Sorry man, but even if you were lucky enough to find one, you also have to factor in the costs of ammo, a holster, and a safe place to keep it out of your daughter's reach.

Save up a bit more before you take the dive.

Patriotme
February 20, 2010, 06:11 AM
I don't recommend a semi auto (at any price) for someone that is not going to shoot it a lot. Operating a semi auto is not rocket science but if you are on a budget and only buying a $200 gun then it's not likely that you will shoot it enough to really get familiar with the gun or even break it in. Sooner or later all semi autos will jam if you shoot them enough. You need to put about 300 rnds (Kimber says 600) through most of them before they are considered broken in. Some are picky about magazines. Others are ammo picky. How many rnds of ________ hollowpoints are you going to shoot through your new gun to be sure that it is reliable with this brand? Are you going to shoot it enough that the operation becomes second nature when things go bump in the night and your heart is pumping? How about your wife? Is she going to put in the time?
Generally when you hear about somebody accidently shooting themselves it's because they don't know what they are doing with a semi auto.
You are obviously smart enough to research your purchase so you are on the right track but do you have the time and money to really master a semi auto? Does the wife? Again, it's not rocket science but we all read stories about cops shooting themselves with their own guns and I remember case after case of accidental discharges in the Marines when we were switching over from the Colt's to the Beretta's. This was due to lack of training.
You cannot go wrong with a revolver. Pick it up, squeeze the trigger and it goes bang. Speedloaders are cheap and fast. The only reliability issue I can remember seeing about revolvers is a very small number have the cylinder fail to rotate when they get dirty. This is an easy fix.
But back to semi autos. Some mentioned CZ and Bersa. I would second their opinions. Kel Tec seems pretty reasonable and a quality brand as well. Perhaps some owners can give you an opinion on Makarovs. I see them at the shows for a reasonable price.
By the way, there seems to be a shortage of .380 ammo out there. Should you buy a gun in that caliber expect to pay more for target shooting and breaking it in. It might be worth it to look at 9mm. As it's going to be a concealed carry gun (small, lightweight) and you're a new shooter you may not want to get a larger caliber than 9mm.
Good luck to you and let us know how it works out.

Patriotme
February 20, 2010, 06:21 AM
I know there's some bad press about them, but consider a used S&W sigma. Easy to operate, clean, etc and used prices are rock bottom. The newer models (ve's) aren't near as bad as the one's that much of the bad press comes from. I've got one and though it's not my favorite, it's always done what I've asked of it, goes bang everytime I pull the trigger and has been plenty accurate. Glock turn in's would be another great alternative. SR9, you mentioned that you have a relative in law enforcement. Even if he/she can't get you a deal on a turn in, you should take them with you when you go shopping. Possibility of getting a better deal with them there, plus it's someone who knows a good deal more than you may about the subject. *Please note, I was not saying that you weren't well informed about this subject, just the fact that people who live and breath firearms tend to be better informed*
I agree with you on the Sigma. I had a .40 cal Sigma for years (sold it last year to buy new toys) and it was a decent, reliable gun. I see them at the gun stores for a little under $300 when they have S&W specials. I don't know why I didn't think about them earlier.....too early and too little coffee. I was also thinking about small, concealed carry guns too.

SR9
February 20, 2010, 10:18 AM
thank you for all the opinions and recommendations its all very helpful..who cant benefit from some constructive criticizm? Ok so it seems the consensus is recommending a revolver...any suggestions?

joe_security
February 20, 2010, 10:21 AM
Consider a revolver as a good starting point, and work your way up to an auto if you feel more firepower is an advantage.

Al LaVodka
February 20, 2010, 12:02 PM
Find a small, relatively inexpensive, used, QUALITY name revolver. Best part is, as it is already broken in and worn, you won't care about maring it...
Al

MedWheeler
February 25, 2010, 11:54 PM
Guns McRae wrote:
Thanks for calling me anti new firearms owner and a gun snob in the same post.
$800 might be a touch high, but at that level you have your pick of many firearms that are not made with zinc slides.

You're right. The $800 remark is what threw me off, since there is so much leeway between that and the lowly $200 the OP offered up. Pouncing so quickly on that high a number as the least acceptable starting point for a HD/SD firearm just came across as elitist (I appreciate that you acknowledge that it was probably too high as well.)
It's not just you; I get weary of so many people here responding in similar fashion, and they trash all the "low-end" guns, such as Bersa, Taurus, Charter Arms, Kel-Tec, etc., many of which offer quite satisfactory options well south of 800 bills. I also acknowledge and appreciate your mention of the High-Point. They do it with caliber choice, too.
If you had said three or four hundred bucks was a better starting point, I would not have responded the way I did, and those amounts get many suitable options added to the list (for most of us, at least; there will always be gun snobs, even if you aren't among them.)
By the way, I don't consider "gun snobbery" to be a bad thing. I don't have contempt for any one who likes products of a "higher" grade than I do.. not with cars, clothes, guns, or anything. I can understand the appreciation. I didn't mean any offense. I apologize.

Zundfolge
February 26, 2010, 12:17 AM
Ok so it seems the consensus is recommending a revolver...any suggestions?

Considering your budget, one of the police trade in S&Ws at J&G are a good place to start.

click here (http://www.jgsales.com/product_info.php/smith-wesson/revolver/p/smith-wesson-model-15%2C-38spl-4in%2C-dao-very-good-condition/cPath/16_211_431/products_id/4122) and click here (http://www.jgsales.com/product_info.php/smith-wesson/revolver/p/smith-wesson-model-64-38spl-4in-stainless%2C-square-butt-w-bobbed-hammer-very-good-plus-condition/cPath/16_211_431/products_id/3809)

Of course you'll have to add a few bucks for shipping and a few more for your local dealer to transfer it to you (you can't have guns shipped across state lines to your home, you have to go through a dealer) so add $30-40 to those prices for all that.

You might hit the local pawn shops and gun shops and see if there is any local online trade ... then its just cash and carry. In that case I highly recommend you read this thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=1430) first to learn what to look for when looking at used wheel guns.

S&Wfan
February 26, 2010, 12:34 AM
Hi SR9, and welcome to the forum!

I whole-heartedly recommend a good revolver for your SD needs. At my age, (50's) I've finally got plenty of guns, and I shot competition for years with all types. That being said, my favorite handguns are S&W revolvers. My high capacity autos, and 1911s usually stay in the safe, but my revolvers go everywhere with me.

My "always" CCW gun is a 1971 S&W Model 37 "Airweight" snubbie. It was virtually brand new and unfired so I paid a premium price for it a year ago ($400) but one with some honest wear could be had in the $200-$300 range. Also, the 4" S&W revolvers from the 80s' can be had for the $275-$350 range if you look hard.

Another suggestion . . . and really my favorite for your needs right now . . .

A Ruger .22 Automatic. Ammo prices are high today but .22LR ammo is still relatively cheap so you can practice a LOT for very little money! It can also save your life in a pinch, especially a big fella like you.

Why the .22? With very low recoil and noise, you AND your girlfriend will truly enjoy shooting the handgun. Plus, these guns are very accurate! Low noise and recoil, plus cheap and plentiful practice ammo will allow you to avoid handgun flinch, which ruins so many people from becoming a fine handgunner.

Plus, after you've shot a bunch of .22, you'll have time to be exposed to which type of centerfire handgun to choose! AND . . . the kids will have a wonderful introduction when the time is right to shooting handguns via the .22.

IMHO, everyone's first handgun should be a .22 and . . . since .22 autos are cheaper than .22 revolvers . . . they are the best way to go! A local shop offered me two new Rugers last Christmas for my two sons for $250 each.

Food for thought!

jakemccoy
February 26, 2010, 04:14 AM
Whatever gun you decide, add at least $300 for practice ammo, carry ammo, range fees, a lesson, hearing protection, eye protection, replacement parts, holster, cleaning supplies, etc. The lesson will actually save you money because you won't waste 200 rounds on the wrong grip and wrong form. That additional $300 is just to get you up to a minimal level of proficiency. You're betting on your luck if you don't reserve sufficient money for these things.

You'll need even more money for a small safe or other locking device. You have a kid and you'll be a new handgun owner. Handguns are not a part of the culture in your house (right?). I recommend locking the handgun whenever the handgun is not under your immediate control. I highly recommend NOT using something like a shoebox under the bed. No offense, but it seems that in all the cases involving kids shooting themselves, there are parents that went half-ass on everything.

For a first timer, I recommend a new gun if you can. That way, you'll have no question if everything is there. Unfortunately, I don't know anything new and good for under $200.

Thinking through the budget here, it's highly unrealistic to expect to get started, the right way, with only $200. That's bad advice to say you could get started, the right way, with that little amount of money. But then again, plenty of guys max out their credit cards on everything gun related, don't track their spending, and don't tell their wives what they've bought. They may be the ones who are saying you can get started for $200.

LOL...OK

In total, we're talking $700+ to get you started the right way. That's not exaggerating at all. By the way, if you're actually NOT going to carry this gun, then I recommend a shotgun for you, but that's a different thread.

EMT40SW
February 26, 2010, 09:10 AM
You can get any new 9mm or .40 Glolck for $399 by joining Glock Shooting Sport Foundation for $30. Great way to get a Glock at cost!!!

Zerodefect
February 26, 2010, 09:19 AM
Glock 19, 23, 32 for compacts
Keltec pf9, Walther PPS, Kahr Pm9, Smith and Wesson 442 revolver or M&P revolver for a subcompact.


The Keltec PF9 is near your price range.

Ben86
February 26, 2010, 11:58 AM
I would give my left testic&% for a 1911 or a ruger sr9 but i cant afford either one around here

You could actually get a lot of money selling your left nut. Just saying. :)

If you really can only spend about $200 bucks you need to be searching your local supply of used guns. It is best to buy a used quality gun rather than a brand new el cheapo. Check out some used Glocks, , Rugers, XDs or M&Ps. Look at the plus side, if its used its probably already broken in so that saves you the initial break in period ammo expense.

brassdog
February 26, 2010, 12:15 PM
Don't forget the cost of incidentals. Like ammo, cleaning supplies and a secure place to store it.

hawk45
February 26, 2010, 01:35 PM
Buy something older and used... beleive it or not.. most of the older stuff was built better than the stuff today. It doesn't have to look pretty.. it just has to do its job and work 100% of the time. You can get Glock Police trade in's all day for $350. I'll take a good ol' used glock over anything new for $350. And if the extra $50 is too much.. they how are you going to afford to buy ammo to practice with? Buy once.. cry once.

xjmox14x
February 26, 2010, 01:52 PM
personally im 6'6" 225 I have NO need for a gun

If you think that's big, take a look at IFBB pro Kai Greene.

http://muscle.persiangig.com/image/CharlesGlass/new/CharlesGlass-KaiGreene-2.jpg

He used to live in a bad neighborhood in Brooklyn. He once said in an interview that he has to wear extremely baggy clothing around town because all it takes is for one insecure knucklehead with a gun and that's the end of little ol' him.

A 3'-6" 87lb midget with a .357 is a hell of a lot more dangerous than an unarmed you.

Deanimator
February 26, 2010, 03:24 PM
but i bet as long as i heard you enter my house i wouldnt need a gun...my favorite gun ever..lousiville slugger..ill cave your head in before your brain registers pull the trigger
There was an episode of the "true crime" show "Cold Case Files" on A&E about a guy who thought exactly the same thing. After he was stabbed to death, the home invader who murdered him raped his wife and set the house on fire. Years later, the rapist/murderer was captured and convicted. The wife says she wishes she were dead.

Don't bring a bat to a knife fight. Don't bring a knife to a gun fight.

As far as where to buy a quality used handgun on the net, I've bought concealed carry guns from both CDNN (http://cdnninvestments.com) and Summit Gun Broker (http://summitgunbroker.com). Both of them are honest and have very reasonable prices on used police guns. Summit almost always has great deals on used Glocks.

mljdeckard
February 26, 2010, 03:43 PM
^^Exactly what he said. If you want to diddle with less-lethal force, don't enter deadly force at all. If you are serious about defending your life, you should always cheat and always win. Use overwhelming force.

Deanimator
February 26, 2010, 03:55 PM
If you are serious about defending your life, you should always cheat and always win. Use overwhelming force.
That is my nonnegotiable approach.

And I don't have a family. If I did, I certainly wouldn't essentially trust to luck when family members are involved. I don't know what that doctor in Connecticut did to defend himself and his family from the two degenerate monsters who invaded his home, but we DO know that neither was shot, he was savagely beaten, and his wife and daughters were raped and burned to death.

Don't give your wouldbe assailant a "fair shake". You can be sure he won't give you one.

jad0110
February 26, 2010, 03:59 PM
I agree with jakemccoy. I would honestly discuss this with our wife, slow things down and save up $750 or so to pay for the gun, ammo, cleaning supplies, small safe (like a Gunvault) etc.

On a tight budget, a revolver has some big price advantages over autos when you consider the number of test rounds you need to fire with your chosen defensive ammo is MUCH less with a revolver. Good hollowpoint ammo gets pricey (an average of $1 per round), and firing 100 to 200 rounds of it in an auto to verify feed/extraction reliability obviously gets expensive. That's assuming you can find that much hollowpoint ammo in a single brand to test these days. OTH, with a revolver you can get by with only a cylinder or two full just to make sure the cases don't stick in the cylinder.

As for makes/models, I picked up this 4" .357 Magnum Ruger Police Service Six for $275 a few months ago. I recently saw a TON at a gunshow selling for $280-300. These come from LE agencies in Canada, as I think they just did a big trade in. I love mine, and wouldn't hesitate to buy another to pass down to my son when he turns 21. This is a very versatile gun, as it can shoot everything from 200 grain hardcast .357 Magnum loads for hunting big scary animals all the way down to 38 Special wax bullets for cheap (if messy) practice (a primed case with no powder punched into a bar of parifin wax). I'm about your size (6'7" and 210 lbs), and find the gun remarkably easy to conceal carry with a good belt and holster, should you decide to go that route one day.


http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q139/jad0110/Ruger%20Service%20Six%20357%20Magnum/DSC00542.jpg


Other options include used S&W Model 10s and 64s (fixed sight .38 Specials, blued or stainless respectively) which can be found for low $200s if you are very patient. Either makes an excellent, reliable home defense gun for beginners and pros alike.

But for home protection, it's tough to beat a good pump shotgun. I know you said you live in an apartment, but then again something like #4 buckshot from a 12 or 20 gauge actually penetrates fewer walls (typically) than many medium and big bore handgun rounds. The only big drawback is the need for a bigger, pricier gunsafe, being that you have very young kids around that don't understand concequences yet.

In the end I have both options. I most certainly prefer a shotgun though, a 12 gauge Mossberg 590 pump loaded with 00 buck. There is just something extra comforting, knowing you can hurtle 9 .33 caliber lead balls at a badguy threating your life and the lives of your loved ones with the single pull of a trigger. God forbid it ever comes to that.

Deanimator
February 26, 2010, 04:15 PM
But for home protection, it's tough to beat a good pump shotgun.
It depends entirely on YOUR apartment.

Where I grew up in Chicago, a shotgun (or a Mauser GEW98 with fixed sword bayonet) would have been great.

Where I live now, any non-NFA long gun is nearly worthless.

Rainman76
March 2, 2010, 06:15 PM
Has the CZ 82 been mentioned? It is top notch and can be had at CDNN for around 170 plus shipping/ffl or AIM (220 and better quality). The 9x18 is nothing to sneeze at and it is a quality handgun albeit a little heavy. I carry that more then my glocks except for my work (LEO).

An to caveat on what others have said about size, I have been to several shootings where the big tough guy got laid low by a 380 or smaller due to him thinking he didn't need a gun, but the other guy brought a gun. Remember better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

Stay Safe.

Rainman76
March 2, 2010, 06:20 PM
Ok your right that the classes might not teach you much about how the gun works but tactics, techniques, and procedures are vital to any mission/outing/use of force. Right now you sound alot like my brother in law when he first was looking at a gun for the home. I took him out to my PD range and after some familirization fire with a couple hand guns (types SA/DA, striker, revolver, one with safety) I ran him through scenarios like no shoot ones, and multiple targets, gun jams/FTF (random snap cap), and that is when he saw that just having a hand gun is not enough. It could be but one should always be ready for Murphy to step in and kick you in the balls. :)

FMJMIKE
March 2, 2010, 07:57 PM
CZ-82 would be my choice.

NMGonzo
March 2, 2010, 08:54 PM
Get a Bersa ... it is more money but it is worth it.

Confederate
March 2, 2010, 09:42 PM
Hi, SR9, and welcome.

If you can, breeze on over to YouTube and do a search for the History Channel's production entitled AFTER ARMAGEDDON. There are any one of a number of disasters that can cause a societal meltdown -- some major, like a global pandemic, and some less so, like a major hurricane or earthquake -- and people who can't fend for themselves and their families can be in bad shape. In fact, the bigger and more intimidating you are physically, the more likely someone is to take you out before viictimizing your family.

There are many people in the U.S. who have guns, but relatively few have adequate amounts of ammunition.

Firearms maintain their value very well, and if you buy a Ruger or S&W, it makes an excellent investment. You'll always be able to sell it for what you paid for it, if not for more, especially if you find one used for a good price.

Revolvers are much more troublefree than autos, and you don't have to mess with buying new extractors or recoil and magazine springs like you do with autos.

Take a look at the video and discuss it with your intended. You buy home insurance, health insurance and life insurance. Remember that in New Orleans during Katrina, and in the Gulf States during Andrew, that there was no law enforcement, no emergency services of any type. Like it or not, guns are becoming increasingly necessary. In a major national breakdown, prisons would be opened and everyone would essentially be on their own.

A great first gun would be a Ruger Mark II/III. It's firepower and ability to use cheap, easily transportable ammo.

tactikel
March 2, 2010, 10:55 PM
Starting out I would recommend a 9mm. Springfield XD-m, any Glock, S&W MP, or Taurus, all are fine semi-autos for you needs. Try to handle as many as you can and buy the one that fits your hand. Used can be an economical way to start out.

Free2game
March 2, 2010, 10:59 PM
If you've never shot a pistol (from the sound of it this is the case) I wouldn't recommend getting a conceal carry gun till you're generally decently proficient with a handgun.

Free2game
March 2, 2010, 11:00 PM
Starting out I would recommend a 9mm. Springfield XD-m, any Glock, S&W MP, or Taurus, all are fine semi-autos for you needs. Try to handle as many as you can and buy the one that fits your hand. Used can be an economical way to start out.If he wants a semi-auto for carry and doesn't own any other handguns I wouldn't recommend something you're going to have to send back to the shop within the first six months of buying it.

JoeSlomo
March 2, 2010, 11:06 PM
Save your cash and get a good gun

Glock, Smith & Wesson M&P series, and the Springfield XD series are all outstanding firearms that are proven in LEO circles, and in competition. They are simple to operate, and they won't break the bank.

While you COULD find a $200.00 gun, I wouldn't want one, as most have not been put through the ringer as have the above mentioned firearms.

Big Bill
March 2, 2010, 11:16 PM
With the rebates on right now, you could get a S&W Sigma 9 or 40 for around $250. They are a great buy with the rebate. Or, look for a good used 38 special revolver. Your $200 limit is unreasonable. I wouldn't trust my life or the lives of my family to a $200 gun.

ttushooter
March 2, 2010, 11:47 PM
CZ-82 may fit your bill. Aim surplus has them for $219 and some change.

Free2game
March 2, 2010, 11:52 PM
Save your cash and get a good gun

Glock, Smith & Wesson M&P series, and the Springfield XD series are all outstanding firearms that are proven in LEO circles, and in competition. They are simple to operate, and they won't break the bank.

While you COULD find a $200.00 gun, I wouldn't want one, as most have not been put through the ringer as have the above mentioned firearms.Didn't the Atlanta PD send back their M&P autos lately or something?

Fly'nBuff
March 3, 2010, 10:18 PM
Your price point makes things a bit tricky. If you can save up another $100-$200, then the world will be your oyster. However, you should be commended for sticking within your budget. I know someone mentioned it previously, but a used S&W Model 10 .38 Special will serve you well. They are in your price range and are everywhere. The M10 (Heavy Barrel is my preference) is easy to carry and certainly capable of handling bedside duties. Although I'm a proponent of the .45 ACP, a .38 is nothing to sneeze at. Besides, learning to tame a double action revolver will pay dividends down the road. When finances free up in the future, then move on to a Glock, SR9, or a 1911; but don't feel outgunned with a tried and true S&W revolver. Good luck with your search and let us know how you make out.

Cheers,
FnB

JoeSlomo
March 4, 2010, 06:36 PM
Didn't the Atlanta PD send back their M&P autos lately or something?

I don't know, could very well be.

I am basing my opinion on friends I shoot with in USPSA and IDPA. They shoot way more than the average gun owner, their M&P's (9mm in production and either S/ESP) have held up well, they like them, and they do well in competition. And while we all have our opinion about duty weapons, LEO agencies do test them to meet some kind of standard.

Perhaps the APD bought .40's?

.40's tend to be more finicky than 9mm's and .45's when it comes to load, mags etc. This is what alot of .40 shooters tell me that have owned and shot 9's and .45's prior to switching.

While I am a die hard 1911 .45 guy, I wouldn't hesitate to carry any of the "big 3" nines for defense if I had to, as they have all been proven to be reliable guns, and they aren't that expensive.

YMMV

xXxplosive
March 4, 2010, 08:56 PM
S&W Model 36 Snubbie................Great Gun for begginners as well.

vaupet
March 5, 2010, 05:39 AM
For a beginner and not wanting to shoot very much, I would say take a revolver and don't let you talk into heavy caliber, a 38 sp would do just fine (limited recoil and blast-flash)

A nice article is to be found on the next link:
http://www.chuckhawks.com/handgun_home_defense.htm

If you are realy set on pistols, get some instruction, go get some test shooting with rented guns or borrowed one's, don't choose a pistol, let the pistol choose you.

greetz

Peter

Ben86
March 5, 2010, 08:40 AM
S&W Model 36 Snubbie................Great Gun for begginners as well.

Snubbies are not the easiest guns to shoot, I wouldn't recommend them to beginners.

OldCavSoldier
March 5, 2010, 03:27 PM
Hey a self defence gun isnt a "toy" its a tool ;) actually im quite serious.

Even though you cant afford much you deserve the best you can afford. You have two daughters and a girlfriend to look after and protect right? A good gun is no more unreasonable they buying quality brakes or tires for your car. All three can save your life some day.
+1 slabuda!

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
March 5, 2010, 06:54 PM
Under $200, you're pretty much limited to a PA-63 (9x18mm Mak), Hi-Point (your choice of caliber), or a find a GOOD deal on a used Bersa Thunder (9x19mm Luger), used Taurus/Rossi/Charter Arms .38 Spl snubbie, used Star Firestar (9x19mm Luger), or a used Makarov (.380 auto or 9x18 Mak).


You are NOT gonna find a S&W .38 under $200.

Honestly, on that budget, I'd snag the PA-63 - it's ergo, fairly light, reasonably functional, much smaller and better than a Hi Point, and shoots a moderately powerful round (9x18). Only drawback is the ammo is slightly more scarce/expensive than the other more common ones in the same family (.38 special, .380 auto, and 9x19mm).

EDIT: Know whut, you also might be able to find a used Kel Tec P11 9x19mm under $200 if you search around - if you can, that'd be my choice. I don't think there's any way you'd find a PF-9 under $200, so it's outside the realm of the given criteria.

smallbore
March 6, 2010, 06:39 PM
SR9. .If the prices are steep in your area, why not come on over to NH and buy one. No sales tax and decent prices.

Arkansas Paul
March 6, 2010, 06:44 PM
Used Smith and Wesson Sigma, maybe.

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