What would be your general recommendation for CCW?


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Skribs
November 27, 2012, 04:51 PM
I'm not asking for myself. I'm not asking for answers like "it depends on the shooter" or "what fits your hand". I'm asking, if someone wanted to know what they should buy for a self defense pistol, with no other qualifiers, what would your catch-all recommendation be? Would it be what you carry, or would it be something more newbie-friendly?

Personally, even though I don't own a Glock, my catch-all recommendation would be a Glock 19, because it has a decent balance of traits, and lots of aftermarket support (including parts, training, gear, etc).

So what would your catch-all answer be?

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beatledog7
November 27, 2012, 04:58 PM
My catch-all answer is make sure the proposed CCW holder has his or her mindset squared away first. Then get training. Then select a firearm.

Teachu2
November 27, 2012, 04:59 PM
Sorry, I don't give catch-all answers to questions like that. If someone insists on a specific answer without any other parameters or effort to explore on their part, the answer would be a Hi-Point...
...and serves 'em right!

Cee Zee
November 27, 2012, 05:16 PM
Are you just here to post your own opinion or are you looking for suggestions for a purchase? Personally I don't see how anyone can ignore the things you said to ignore in order to suggest a handgun. I can tell you what I bought. It wasn't a Glock although I actually intended to buy one. I couldn't find one to fit my hand. Hmmm... I bought a Taurus PT-145 which is a 10+1 round .45 ACP that is no thicker than many single stack .45's I've seen and is as accurate and dependable as the day is long. I've never had a single issue of any kind with it. It's fired every bullet I put in it and it shoots them accurately out to about 30 yards which is plenty for a CCW handgun.

I have other guns I use for CCW but for truly a carry pistol that's the one I would suggest. My other guns I sometimes carry are much bigger and harder to conceal. Well some are much smaller actually. For the most part I limit myself to my SA XDm in .40 because it holds a LOT of ammo and has more punch than a 9mm or my Ruger LCP .380 because it will fit in any pocket I have even in the summer. I carry the SA in the car most of the time and I carry the Ruger in my pocket a lot these days just because it's easy to conceal.

mljdeckard
November 27, 2012, 05:16 PM
I tell my students if they don't know anywhere else to start, look for a used G-19 or J-frame .38.

Old Dog
November 27, 2012, 05:24 PM
There's no "catch-all" recommendation for a handgun.

And recommending a Glock to a person brand-new to guns? Without knowing whether that person has been exposed to or understands the Four Rules? Ever watched someone new to guns the first time they handle a firearm? Seen where the trigger finger gravitates to?

if someone wanted to know what they should buy for a self defense pistol, with no other qualifiers, I'd tell 'em what beatledog7 answered with (good post, btw). There just HAVE to be "qualifiers."

Apachedriver
November 27, 2012, 05:38 PM
Without any other considerations??

Pepper Spray

Kimber has one that even grips like a pistol so you don't need considerations.

Skribs
November 27, 2012, 05:42 PM
And recommending a Glock to a person brand-new to guns? Without knowing whether that person has been exposed to or understands the Four Rules? Ever watched someone new to guns the first time they handle a firearm? Seen where the trigger finger gravitates to?

Unless they have a DAO pistol, this is likely to be an issue in most firearms. Safety off, even a bigger problem on a SAO (or DA/SA after the first trigger pull) than it is on a Glock.

I'm not asking for myself. I'm not asking for answers like "it depends on the shooter" or "what fits your hand".

I'm not sure if you guys are arguing with these points or if you're just ignoring them. I was mainly asking what the best generic suggestion would be. Maybe a different scenario would have been better - if you were writing an advertisement for a gun shop, what would you choose as the symbolic self defense pistol? Or if you were scheduling a training class, and were going to have a rental option available for folks who do not yet have their own pistol, what would it be? Or if you are writing an article and wanted to conclude it with a concrete option, in addition to the generic "find what works for you", what option would you suggest?

I know it's not going to be perfect for everyone, but I think the G19 is a nice balance that would be a decent option for a number of reasons. I was just curious if others thought there was a good catch-all to start from.

Naybor
November 27, 2012, 05:48 PM
Wow!!
Sorry, but the most realistic answer to your questions are the answers you don't want to hear. If everyone had the same thoughts and requirements there would be only one make and model out there to buy.

It's been said many times, "Let them buy what THEY like and will use" and to do that the individual must settle that matter for theirself.

Apachedriver
November 27, 2012, 05:55 PM
In the event of an ad, a 1911 model would always catch my attention.

For a rental option scenario, I'd go with the Glock line-up. I've got a Glock shop near me that has every model in the lineup for rent. That's where I took my wife and several friends for the first time to shoot. She was able to learn safely while trying the various calibers and handgun sizes. I find it's much easier to demonstrate using one model style across various calibers than several different styles of handguns with varying control set-ups.

If you're thinking revolvers, then the above reasoning works for me as well except I'd start with a K/L frame size and work my way down to a J-frame.

For an article, I have no idea.

1911s are my preference for function and just look plain sexy to me as an aside.

Oh, and I've used a Beretta M9 for years and I can't stand them. I just don't shoot them well. My wife on the other hand, fires it very well.

JohnBiltz
November 27, 2012, 05:58 PM
My answer would be get a compact or subcompact Glock, S&W M&P or a Ruger in 9mm and a couple of thousand rounds. Get some training and shoot it, a lot.

If they are asking a question like that then they do not know enough to make an informed decision. After shooting a few thousand rounds and carrying for awhile then they can make an informed decision. Experience costs money.

Teachu2
November 27, 2012, 06:27 PM
Quote:
I'm not asking for myself. I'm not asking for answers like "it depends on the shooter" or "what fits your hand".

I'm not sure if you guys are arguing with these points or if you're just ignoring them. I was mainly asking what the best generic suggestion would be.

Doctor, I'm not feeling well. No, you can't take my vitals, draw blood, or run any tests - or even ask questions. What do you prescribe?

HoosierQ
November 27, 2012, 06:39 PM
Given the few parameters you give, something the size of a Glock 19 is probably the best answer. That obviously included the 19 itself, several Sigs, a couple of 1911s, and quite a host of other models.

I think, using Glock as the size exemplar because most everybody has shot them, the 17 is going to be too big and the 26 too small.

I, for one, went with the Glock 19. It fits, it works, it's relatively cheap, there are a million holsters that fit it, and you can get one just about anywhere. It is not perfect...but none of them are. It is just a simple, easy, tool for the job. I have no attachment to pistols...they're all just tools to me. I really don't need a pretty gun.

The only "cool" gun that has much interest for me is one of two or three I am not likely to ever own: An HK P7, a S&W Triple lock, or a vintage mint S&W Victory Model in .38 special.

psyopspec
November 27, 2012, 07:59 PM
I tell my students if they don't know anywhere else to start, look for a used G-19 or J-frame .38.

I don't have students, but if I did my recommendation would be similar.

tubeshooter
November 27, 2012, 08:03 PM
For someone who wants something reliable, low-maintenance and with an easy manual of arms, it's tough to beat a quality snub revolver of some kind.


I like the .38 Special for non-enthusiasts, or anybody else who just wants to keep things mild. I still carry one myself most days.

smalls
November 27, 2012, 08:15 PM
I think having a catch all answer is a huge mistake.

Choosing a gun is very personal, and it must fit the owners body and lifestyle, in which everyone is different.

BYJO4
November 27, 2012, 08:36 PM
To me, one first needs to consider hand size and length of pull for the trigger finger before doing anything. You cant shoot if you are unable to grip the gun or reach the trigger.

tarosean
November 27, 2012, 08:39 PM
A revolver. With no other info.

Plan2Live
November 27, 2012, 09:22 PM
Because there are many great options out there, I prefer to tell them to try as many guns as possible. And even though I am personally fond of two specific handguns, who's make and model are irrelavent to this discussion, the only firm recommendation I make is please, please, please, don't let someone talk you into a snubby revolver until you have tried other options. If you do that and come back to the snubby then you have my full backing.

I do recommend they concentrate their search on the major brands in common calibers. And I do recommend they approach the decision from a holistic standpoint meaning gun, holster, belt and attire. It goes without saying that the best handgun is the one you actually carry.

Telling someone that a G-Lock, Walther, M&P, CZ, XD/XDm, Kahr, Striker Fired, Hammer Fired, Semi-Auto, Revolver or whatever is the "best place to start" is ludicrous. For some people, a pocket pistol or as my son calls them, "hooker guns", might be the best place for them to start. For others, an SP101 might be the best place.

psyopspec
November 27, 2012, 09:32 PM
Telling someone that a G-Lock, Walther, M&P, CZ, XD/XDm, Kahr, Striker Fired, Hammer Fired, Semi-Auto, Revolver or whatever is the "best place to start" is ludicrous. For some people, a pocket pistol or as my son calls them, "hooker guns", might be the best place for them to start. For others, an SP101 might be the best place.

But how do they know where to start, without having yet started?

FMF Doc
November 27, 2012, 09:33 PM
This is akin to aking a carpenter "What one tool would you reccomend for building a house?" and then expecting an answer like hammer, saw, drill. A firearm is a tool. One should select the correct tool for the correct job. Home defense is different from CCW, is differnt from deep woods protection. I have several handguns. If it is summer and I am going to the corner store, I take my light, easily concealed M&P Shield. If I am traveling to a larger city with a significantly higher violent crime rate in the fall, I strap on my G19. There is no one catch all firearm out there for anything, and especially not for something as important as defending your life. Pick the right tool for the right job.

smalls
November 27, 2012, 10:07 PM
But how do they know where to start, without having yet started?

They go to a gunshop and hold every gun within their designated price point. Shoot whatever you can.

Then they go home and research.

holdencm9
November 27, 2012, 10:14 PM
This is akin to aking a carpenter "What one tool would you reccomend for building a house?" and then expecting an answer like hammer, saw, drill.

Sorry, Doc, but that is absurd.

One tool hammers, one tool cuts things, one tool uses torque to drill things.

A gun does one thing...it shoots projectiles.

How it does that, the manual of arms, and the way it feels in the hand all vary. So yes, it is personal and all, but that isn't the premise of the question. I understand you are just trying to make a point, but let's not get carried away. A much more apt comparison is cars (yes, I know, ubiquitous to the point of being cliche) because a Honda is usually a solid recommendation for almost anyone, it isn't BEST for everyone. If a car "feels" good and "looks" good but has TERRIBLE track record for reliability, is that the right gun for you? Methinks not.

My catchall would be a S&W M&P9c. It shoots/feels like a much bigger gun, interchangeable backstraps so it can fit most anyone's hand, and great reputation. And a bunch of ammo. They can shoot it a lot and decide if they like it after a few hundred rounds.

MedWheeler
November 27, 2012, 10:21 PM
Pointless question with the disqualifiers, but, if I had to, I'd suggest a .38 Special double-action revolver. Actually, though it's not my EDC (which is a Kel-Tec 9mm pistol), I'm wearing one now, but mostly out of nostalgia. It's one of two Charter Arms Undercover 38 revolvers I own, the one carried by my dad before he died.

Plan2Live
November 27, 2012, 11:04 PM
But how do they know where to start, without having yet started?
Answer: Because there are many great options out there, I prefer to tell them to try as many guns as possible. Go to a rental range and rent several guns. Go to a public range, watch other shooters and ask questions. You might be surprised at how many offers you get to shoot various guns. Or, seek out someone who offers one-on-one introduction to firearms sessions allowing you to try various style guns for a fee.

Or you can follow the fanboy parade and never know what else is available.

JohnBiltz
November 27, 2012, 11:59 PM
I don't think I've ever heard so much bull in a single thread before. Here is a simple truth, its the archer not the arrow. The NYPD all 34,000 of it manages to make a G19 work. The US military manages to make a M9 and M16 work quite well. All kinds of police departments manage to get by with what they issue. Its not rocket science.

Here is another simple truth almost everyone chooses wrong the first time. I doubt one in ten of us who carry are still carrying their first gun. If you add in first gun in first holster and belt and I doubt its one in five hundred.

Buy something reliable in a decent caliber that is small enough to carry. After that everything is just is just options.

rswartsell
November 28, 2012, 12:07 AM
My mindset and skillset equated to Colt Detective Special. I feel real good about that. Whaddaya know? My first choice.

Cee Zee
November 28, 2012, 12:13 AM
1911s are my preference for function and just look plain sexy to me as an aside.


This is why I think this whole thread is based on a flawed premise - that there is a starting point for looking at guns. Personally I think a 1911 is a century old design who's time has come and gone everywhere except the target range. The capacity is limited. The size is too big. The weight is too much. And the operation is too complicated. All of those things are wrong for a first time shooter. These are the reasons a Glock comes to mind early. They hold a lot of rounds. They are light. They aren't too big. And when you pull the trigger it goes bang without a lot of thinking going on between seeing danger and reacting to danger.

CCW guns should not be full size pistols. They should be simple, light weight, and accurate enough to get the job done. There are many pistols that fit that bill. Glock is just one of them. I have a Taurus that I wouldn't trade for any Glock made though. It's a fabulous concealed carry piece. It's the gun I bought when I went looking to buy a Glock in fact.

But I have to say that "looking sexy" has nothing to do with why I would buy a gun. If I wanted something that looked sexy I'd buy the latest issue of Playboy but I don't think those mags hold enough ammo.

Guns clearly must be bought to suit the shooter. An accomplished shooter can make a 1911 work but for a beginner? No way. I don't mean to step on toes here but I can hear the flame guns warming up as I type. I actually own a very nice pistol that resembles a 1911 in many ways except it's an improved design. It's a Sig P220. I carried it for years. I don't carry it now because other guns are MUCH better as a CCW gun. But if I want to shoot tiny groups on targets I'll take the Sig with me. It's the same with a 1911. In 1945 they were great pistols compared to what else was available around the world. But most people saw them as not that great in those days. People wanted German guns FWIW. But the Swiss were making the masterpiece gun within a few years after the war, a Sig P210. Since then the 1911 has become a shooter's gun. It is not a CCW gun IMO. Other guns do that job MUCH better especially for beginners.

Again a gun should be bought to fit the owner. I can see me telling my daughter she needs a 1911 when she can't even rack the slide on a .380. Maybe I should have told her a .44 magnum was a great concealed carry piece. Guns should fit their owners just like clothes fit their owners. Show me a person who wants to buy a gun and I'll work with them on what to get. But a catchall gun? Those only exist in the minds of fanboys to be honest.

psyopspec
November 28, 2012, 12:36 AM
They go to a gunshop and hold every gun within their designated price point. Shoot whatever you can.

Precisely. But out of those guns, the G19 would be what I would point to and say, "You might give this one a try first." It's a gun, not a marriage.


Go to a rental range and rent several guns. Go to a public range, watch other shooters and ask questions. You might be surprised at how many offers you get to shoot various guns. Or, seek out someone who offers one-on-one introduction to firearms sessions allowing you to try various style guns for a fee.

Or you can follow the fanboy parade and never know what else is available.

Since you've resorted to name calling, I have to ask what parade I've thrown by suggesting a certain gun might be a good place to start? For the record, I don't carry a Glock 19, nor do I start a new shooter off with one. That's what the .22 is for. In the past, I've given dozens of one-on-one introductions to firearms. Not only without a fee, but I joyfully supplied the ammo simply because I care that much about responsible firearms ownership and enjoy teaching others.

You've provided some great answers, but they were to a question that wasn't asked. The OP didn't ask what the best way to get into handgun shooting was. He didn't ask what the best way to find the best handgun for a given person was. He asked for a catch-all recommendation, which I agree we can interpret as "good starting point." He gave us the purpose of the gun. To entertain the hypothetical exercise, I gave an answer.

I reiterate that it's a gun, not a marriage. They try the Glock, they don't like it, they move on having gained knowledge about what doesn't fit, which makes the search for what works that much easier. And if it happens to work out, that's great too. But at the end of the day, this is a hypothetical question on the internet. :)

holdencm9
November 28, 2012, 01:04 AM
I don't think I've ever heard so much bull in a single thread before. Here is a simple truth, its the archer not the arrow. The NYPD all 34,000 of it manages to make a G19 work. The US military manages to make a M9 and M16 work quite well. All kinds of police departments manage to get by with what they issue. Its not rocket science.

Here is another simple truth almost everyone chooses wrong the first time. I doubt one in ten of us who carry are still carrying their first gun. If you add in first gun in first holster and belt and I doubt its one in five hundred.

Buy something reliable in a decent caliber that is small enough to carry. After that everything is just is just options.

Exactly. There is no "right" gun for me, or anyone. Some are better than others, but I like to think I could make just about anything work, therefore reliability/durability and other factors like cost, capacity, company, CS, size, etc. come into play. So "Whatever feels good in the hand and you shoot best" is not always the best advice. And there is this concept that they have to get it right the first time. I have friends who stress and research every little thing and then go back and forth and just can't decide...just buy something already, and start practicing!

Shadow 7D
November 28, 2012, 01:15 AM
GO TO THE RANGE (or better, go to a gun store with a range)
and fondle some guns, shoot them,
cause you need to find something you like and are accurate with
then you have to figure out how to hang it off you....

and that my friend is a COMPLETELY different can of worms......

smalls
November 28, 2012, 01:22 AM
The US military manages to make aM9 and M16 work quite well


They don't have a choice. Thankfully we do, because I can't stand the feel of an M9. This is exactly why there are thousands of different makes and models of guns. They each have different qualities, and certain people like certain grip angles, widths, sizes and other features.

Texan Scott
November 28, 2012, 01:29 AM
Rosary beads. If you don't know jack about handguns, and don't really care to put thought or effort into it, get a good swiss army knife and an led light- both of the size that fit on a key ring- for small problems, and a good chunky rosary for everything else.

Apachedriver
November 28, 2012, 01:35 AM
This is why I think this whole thread is based on a flawed premise - that there is a starting point for looking at guns. Personally I think a 1911 is a century old design who's time has come and gone everywhere except the target range. The capacity is limited. The size is too big. The weight is too much. And the operation is too complicated. All of those things are wrong for a first time shooter. These are the reasons a Glock comes to mind early. They hold a lot of rounds. They are light. They aren't too big. And when you pull the trigger it goes bang without a lot of thinking going on between seeing danger and reacting to danger.

CCW guns should not be full size pistols. They should be simple, light weight, and accurate enough to get the job done. There are many pistols that fit that bill. Glock is just one of them. I have a Taurus that I wouldn't trade for any Glock made though. It's a fabulous concealed carry piece. It's the gun I bought when I went looking to buy a Glock in fact.

But I have to say that "looking sexy" has nothing to do with why I would buy a gun. If I wanted something that looked sexy I'd buy the latest issue of Playboy but I don't think those mags hold enough ammo.

Guns clearly must be bought to suit the shooter. An accomplished shooter can make a 1911 work but for a beginner? No way. I don't mean to step on toes here but I can hear the flame guns warming up as I type. I actually own a very nice pistol that resembles a 1911 in many ways except it's an improved design. It's a Sig P220. I carried it for years. I don't carry it now because other guns are MUCH better as a CCW gun. But if I want to shoot tiny groups on targets I'll take the Sig with me. It's the same with a 1911. In 1945 they were great pistols compared to what else was available around the world. But most people saw them as not that great in those days. People wanted German guns FWIW. But the Swiss were making the masterpiece gun within a few years after the war, a Sig P210. Since then the 1911 has become a shooter's gun. It is not a CCW gun IMO. Other guns do that job MUCH better especially for beginners.

Again a gun should be bought to fit the owner. I can see me telling my daughter she needs a 1911 when she can't even rack the slide on a .380. Maybe I should have told her a .44 magnum was a great concealed carry piece. Guns should fit their owners just like clothes fit their owners. Show me a person who wants to buy a gun and I'll work with them on what to get. But a catchall gun? Those only exist in the minds of fanboys to be honest.

Interesting post.

No flames from me for your opinions. We all have our own.

However, you're contradicting yourself in it as well as stating some things as reasonable fact when they're just opinions. The writeup also makes me wonder as to what experience your basing them on. Peacetime Military, Combat Vet, LEO, Private Citizen, Contractor?

The last part is just rhetorical.

gbw
November 28, 2012, 01:55 AM
I'm asking, if someone wanted to know what they should buy for a self defense pistol, with no other qualifiers,

Just another opinion, if this is truly the extent of their knowledge, interest, and level of responsibility towards owning a gun then they have no business owning one - in their own and the public best interest.

ArchAngelCD
November 28, 2012, 02:55 AM
I don't think I've ever heard so much bull in a single thread before. Here is a simple truth, its the archer not the arrow. The NYPD all 34,000 of it manages to make a G19 work. The US military manages to make a M9 and M16 work quite well. All kinds of police departments manage to get by with what they issue. Its not rocket science.

Here is another simple truth almost everyone chooses wrong the first time. I doubt one in ten of us who carry are still carrying their first gun. If you add in first gun in first holster and belt and I doubt its one in five hundred.

Buy something reliable in a decent caliber that is small enough to carry. After that everything is just is just options.
I couldn't have said it better so I won't try.

I carry a S&W M442 J frame in a pocket holster. I carry it daily and every day.

I agree not many carry the first handgun all the way through their life. I am carrying a different revolver today than back then but all 3 handguns I've carry concealed have been Airweight J frames.

JohnBiltz
November 28, 2012, 04:32 AM
I carry a S&W M442 J frame in a pocket holster. I carry it daily and every day.

I'm sure there are more like you. I've been carrying a G26 since I started carrying and have no plans to change that. Most people are not like us though.

mljdeckard
November 28, 2012, 08:51 AM
I have been carrying full-size pistols since 1995. That doesn't mean it's a good option for everyone.

Training and an understanding of all safety rules is important no matter what kind of gun you use.

I can't imagine telling anyone that a pocket gun is a good first gun option.

I overall agree with what John is saying in post 26, except to point out that just because the army issues something to a lot of people, it doesn't mean they use it well. Army pistol training is ghastly, and a lot of my female soldiers can't even reach the safety with their strong-side thumb.

hentown
November 28, 2012, 08:55 AM
First question I'd aske would be why would the OP assume that my choice of carry isn't user-friendly?? :cool: Although I think this is a nonsensical question, I'd most certainly recommend a G26 to anybody.

jimbo555
November 28, 2012, 09:27 AM
I agree with shadow 7d,go the range try them.And start with the full size don't automatically try to find the smallest.It's worth the effort to carry a full size pistol.

BullfrogKen
November 28, 2012, 09:49 AM
I overall agree with what John is saying in post 26, except to point out that just because the army issues something to a lot of people, it doesn't mean they use it well. Army pistol training is ghastly, and a lot of my female soldiers can't even reach the safety with their strong-side thumb.


Hear, hear!

The M9 is a huge gun. Fits a man's hand if you wear large size gloves. Other people have to adjust their grip to reach the safety, then the trigger, then the mag release.

Glocks are the same way. They're big, thick guns that just don't fit most people. Given NYPD's terribly abysmal marksmanship record and hit ratio I hestitate to say that their officers "make them work". Shortening the barrel does nothing to make it fit better.


I don't have a "catch-all' answer to this question. And I'm not going to try making one up now.

I have certain qualities and characteristics that I try to keep in mind when suggesting a half dozen different guns for someone to look at when I get this question. And I try to consider the totality of who that person is when I make those suggestions.

beatledog7
November 28, 2012, 10:05 AM
Trying many different guns is the right way to choose a gun, no argument. But I'm amazed how many posters keep overlooking that we are making a "general" CCW recommendation for a person about whom we know nothing. We have no idea if this person (real or hypothetical) has engaged in any sort of self-analysis to determine how he or she perceives what it means to go about armed, the responsibilities attached, etc. Nor have we any idea why this person would suddenly want to get a CCW or whether he or she has ever held a firearm let alone fired one. Yet most of us are suggesting a process that begins with going to a range and trying different guns. Why aren't we pointing out that nobody should be thinking which gun until he or she has fully dealt with the questions:

"What drives me to want to provide for my own defense rather than relying on someone else?"

"What are my non-fiream SD options, and will they suffice?"

"What training would I need to operate an SD firearm effectively and without harming someone I didn't mean to harm?"

"Could I inflict potentially lethal injury on another person, even in self defense, and live with myself afterwards?"

"What are the legal ramifications of using a gun on another person, and can I and my family deal with them?"

"After sorting out all the above, do I still want a gun?"

These answers will help in the eventual selection process, and ought to precede it or at least run in parallel with it.

The RKBA is firm, and this person, assuming he or she is not under age, a felon, etc., certainly may own a gun. I'm no fan of government mandated training or psychoanalysis as a prerequisite for gun ownership, but I am a big believer in the firearms community encouraging people who own or want to own a self-defense (or any) firearm to get proper training and engage in some deep thought about the potential ramifications of what they're planning to do.

Shouldn't we discourage a newbie, even a hypothetical one, from putting the cart before the horse?

BSA1
November 28, 2012, 10:13 AM
As so many of the posters have tried to point out it is better to fit the gun to the user than to try to fit the user to the gun.

However to avoid continuing to pile on small frame revolvers enjoy strong sales with many ccw users. Although I believe it takes a experienced shooter to really take advantage of its accuracy it enjoys small size for easy concealment, powerful, controllable round for it's size, mechanically simple to operate, relatively lightweight and the grip design allows it to be used by a variety of shooters.

Cee Zee
November 28, 2012, 10:34 AM
However, you're contradicting yourself in it as well as stating some things as reasonable fact when they're just opinions. The writeup also makes me wonder as to what experience your basing them on. Peacetime Military, Combat Vet, LEO, Private Citizen, Contractor?

The last part is just rhetorical.

Gee it would be nice if I knew what you think I'm basing on "just opinion" as if there's anything else to base anything on here. Your post is about as clear as mud friend. Be specific please. Where do I contradict myself? What do you think is just opinion? I'm pretty sure I have my name right. The rest is almost certainly opinion actually. I just wonder what you think is "fact" and what is "just" opinion. And what makes an opinion "just" an opinion? You make opinions sound like a bad thing. I don't see how anyone could answer the questions at the heart of the OP's post without posting opinion.

I don't wish to flame either. I'm just making a point or two. I knew this thread would quickly descend into a brand war with the fanboys trumpeting their favorites and bashing everything they see that makes another brand look good. Those that say that everyone can use a Glock for example are just saying you can make a square peg fit a round hole if you bash it with a big enough hammer. In short you can train anyone to use any gun fairly well. But that doesn't change the fact that some people use certain guns far better than others.

Like me for example. I have nothing against Glocks but I have yet to find one that fits my hand at all. I tried to buy one and couldn't. They just do not fit my hand. My hands are large and thick and I've had several broken fingers with some being broken repeatedly. That's what football will do for you or at least it did that for me. A short grip just will not work for me if the gun is bigger than a .380. The recoil just doesn't have the right mechanics in my hand. Every short grip gun pivots in the middle of my hand which makes it hard to get off more than one shot without getting a whole new grip on the gun. So one of those NYPD Glocks would definitely be a square peg in a round hole for me. The grips are far too short for me. Trust me I've tried to make them work for me. Why should I buy one when other guns work far better for me?

Yet the fanboys are here telling us that we can all use them. Yeah we can all drive Honda Civics to hear the tree huggers tell it but try fitting in one of those things if you're 6'5" and weigh 350 lbs.. No I am not that big but I'm too big for a Civic. I'm only 6'1" and the only way I can fit in a Honda is to lean the seat back to where my head is in the back seat. One size does NOT ever fit all despite what people will tell you. And I've seen people that couldn't see over the dashboard in a Escalade too. People come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and one size just will not fit all despite people trying to tell you "ignore all that stuff about size and a Glock will work for you". It won't because you can't ignore that stuff. And it was obvious from the start that this thread was about trying to make that fact go away so that Glocks can "totally rule".

Again I wanted to buy one, I tried to buy one, I had the money in my pocket and went to every gun shop I know and zilch. None of them fit me well enough to work. It wasn't really even close and I must have tried at least 2 dozen different models. Glocks are NOT for everyone despite what the fanboys say.

BTW pretty much everything I said here is opinion except for the fact that some people work better with certain guns while others work better with different guns. That's not opinion. That's a fact.

wlewisiii
November 28, 2012, 10:38 AM
My catch all: Go get training. If you don't know how to shoot properly or when to shoot legally you're too big a danger.

If you must, pepper spray or a 4" Model 10.

Queen_of_Thunder
November 28, 2012, 10:47 AM
A S&W model 25-5 with 4 inch barrel. The business end of this weapon and the size of the openings of the cylinder the threat will see will cause one to run away.

Godsgunman
November 28, 2012, 10:50 AM
Just like most have already said, there is no "catch all" answer, way to many variables. I guess the closest in my mind would be some small caliber of revolver since I believe they are easier and simpler for newbies. I was started by my grandfather on a .22 revolver and thus began my love for guns. Thank God he didn't give me a Glock to begin with since I hate those things and would never have owned a gun. (maybe my wife wishes that would have happened though) :p

BullfrogKen
November 28, 2012, 12:06 PM
The nice thing about a revolver for new shooters is it's very easy to learn on. Very easy to tell when it's unloaded. No safeties, loaded chambers to clear. The only "button" needed to make it work is the cylinder release.


The other nice thing is the grips can be changed. Have big hands? Get big grips. Have small hands? Buy slim, compact ones. Or anything in between.


Still, it wouldn't be my "catch-all" to recommend to someone.


There isn't one any more than there could be a "catch-all" for what sort of shoe someone should wear everyday.

psyopspec
November 28, 2012, 12:47 PM
I knew this thread would quickly descend into a brand war with the fanboys trumpeting their favorites and bashing everything they see that makes another brand look good.

Do you have an example of this? A couple of us suggested a Glock 19 as a starting point, and with that suggestion along the lines of "As a starting point, you might try this," I see neither trumpeting one brand nor poo-pooing another.

Those that say that everyone can use a Glock for example...

Again, you're straw-manning. No one said that.

...some people use certain guns far better than others.

I agree. And one more time, please provide an example where anyone denied this.

Apachedriver
November 28, 2012, 01:11 PM
Cee Zee
Quote: 1911s are my preference for function and just look plain sexy to me as an aside.

This is why I think this whole thread is based on a flawed premise - that there is a starting point for looking at guns. Personally I think a 1911 is a century old design who's time has come and gone everywhere except the target range. The capacity is limited. The size is too big. The weight is too much. And the operation is too complicated. All of those things are wrong for a first time shooter. These are the reasons a Glock comes to mind early. They hold a lot of rounds. They are light. They aren't too big. And when you pull the trigger it goes bang without a lot of thinking going on between seeing danger and reacting to danger.


I agree with you; the thread is based on a flawed premise. But the flawed premise is actually the belief that anyone can receive/give a recommendation for a specific CCW without any considerations. There are always basic considerations. There is also always a starting point when looking for firearms but that point is different for each individual. I stated my reasons for preferring a Glock or medium frame revolver as an introductory/comparison point. One that I didn't mention is the fact that those are among the most familiar for most non-shooters and non-owners due to societal exposure. That doesn't make them an end all/ be all starting point.

I also don't really see where this has become a brand war. I certainly haven't turned to a "brand war with the fanboys trumpeting their favorites and bashing everything they see that makes another brand look good." The person I saw doing that here was you (with Glock vs 1911), which is why I replied.

On separate note, you took exception with the 1911 as a CCW although there wasn't a recommendation in my post, which you quoted. The 1911 is my choice, and as an aside I stated that I think it's sexy. I don't buy work guns because they're sexy but if I find them to be sexy, then so be it. I also find an AH-64D with a combat load to be sexy.

You state a 1911 is now relegated to range use only, but there are more than a few modern 1911s in use in daily life and death matters apart from concealed carry. It's a tool that has it's place in my lineup.

Complicated? While the thumb safety is an additional step when compared to a Glock, I fail to see where that makes the 1911 complicated. The grip safety? That's a complete non-issue to anyone that knows how to hold a firearm properly. In your case, I can see the potential physical issue based on your other post but that's a personal fit issue. That's not a design flaw. The rest of your 1911 opinions might be applicable to the older military M1911/M1911A1s. But then again, those are different due to the technologies of the time and the conditions they were made to operate in.

CCW guns should not be full size pistols.
Guns clearly must be bought to suit the shooter. An accomplished shooter can make a 1911 work but for a beginner? No way.
Again a gun should be bought to fit the owner.
Guns should fit their owners just like clothes fit their owners.

In my opinion, a CCW gun should be the highest quality one can effectively afford, effectively conceal, effectively maintain, and effectively fire in practice and in defense, should the situation ever arise. In my experience, there aren't any limitations or pre-requisites based on model, brand, or size/weight other than those of the individual choosing the CCW.

Oh, I can also comfortably and effectively conceal carry/use an HK USPF .45 and HK USPC .45 due to their fit and 1911-style ergonomics. But that's just me. I don't assume that of anyone else.

Skribs
November 28, 2012, 01:17 PM
Well I'm glad a few people see the question I'm asking, instead of trying to disect the question and use it to "enlighten" me. I'm well aware that there are different hands and preferences, I just wanted to see what the starting point would be that you would build off from.

Psyop might have said it better than me. If someone walks into a gun store, which one would you hand him first and say "how does this feel?"

Here is another simple truth almost everyone chooses wrong the first time. I doubt one in ten of us who carry are still carrying their first gun. If you add in first gun in first holster and belt and I doubt its one in five hundred.

So true! I started on a XDm compact in .40, but I've since changed to an M&P compact in 9.

I'd also like to point out that most of the easily-concealed pistols (such as the Ruger LCP, for example) do not fit the hand very well at all (too small to get a comfortable grip) and do not shoot very well due to sharp recoil and the poor grip. So I agree, it isn't always "what fits". Although I don't carry my LCP much anymore because I don't like practicing with it at the range.

mdauben
November 28, 2012, 02:08 PM
I honestly think many of the previous posters are way overthinking this. The OP was obviously not looking to actually base a first gun purchasing decision for himself or someone else on the results of this post so all these qualifications and counter arguments seem pretty pointless. Its just a hypothetical question as to which gun we might chose, all other factors being equal. :rolleyes:

So what would your catch-all answer be?
I'd probably agree with you on the recomendations for the Glock 19. Its got a lot going for it, small enought to be easier to conceal but not so small as to be hard to handle, good capacity, chambered in a competent SD round, reasonably easy to shoot to combat accuracy. With proper training and assuming the hypothetical individual didn't have especially tiny hands it should serve anyone reasonably well. :cool:

For someone who wants something reliable, low-maintenance and with an easy manual of arms, it's tough to beat a quality snub revolver of some kind.

Unless the carrier had a specific need for a pocket gun, I would not recomend a snub nose, particualarly as a first or only gun. Even with normal pressure rounds they can be tricky for new shooters to handle and the short barrel and minimal sights make them hard to shoot accuratly. Now, a J-Frame with a 3 or 4 inch barrel and good sights (like the S&W Model 60 for example) is another matter. ;)

BullfrogKen
November 28, 2012, 02:19 PM
If someone walks into a gun store, which one would you hand him first and say "how does this feel?"

I'd answer the same way I'm answering here.

I begin the conversation with several direct questions.


How will you carry it?
How often will you carry it, and for how many hours at a time?
How much experience do you have with shooting, or even any at all?
Let me see how big your hands are . . . How strong are they? Any hand or wrist issues?
How mechanically inclined are you, and how much effort are you going to put in to learning how it works and maintaining it?
Will you practice with this gun every month? How many rounds?


Depending on those answers then we’ll actually start looking at guns.


Don’t take this the wrong way, but only the young and inexperienced think a big question like this can be answered simply and easily.

Once you get out, meet people and do this sort of exercise with regular folks you’ll find people who have really small hands, arthritis, mothers who have kids hanging all over them during the day – you know, just basic life stuff – then you’ll understand there is no universal starting point.

Its just a hypothetical question as to which gun we might chose, all other factors being equal. :rolleyes:

Yeah, except that we're not all equal. We're all different.

JustinJ
November 28, 2012, 03:20 PM
Like others i don't agree with the premise of the question but i would have to say a small .38 revolver is hard to go wrong with.

PabloJ
November 28, 2012, 04:35 PM
I'm not asking for myself. I'm not asking for answers like "it depends on the shooter" or "what fits your hand". I'm asking, if someone wanted to know what they should buy for a self defense pistol, with no other qualifiers, what would your catch-all recommendation be? Would it be what you carry, or would it be something more newbie-friendly?

Personally, even though I don't own a Glock, my catch-all recommendation would be a Glock 19, because it has a decent balance of traits, and lots of aftermarket support (including parts, training, gear, etc).

So what would your catch-all answer be?
1. S&W Model 12
2. Colt Cobra
3. Glock, S&W M&P, Spr. XD or equivalent Ruger pistol.

AFDavis11
November 28, 2012, 06:53 PM
I would recommend a snub nose revolver and emphatically point out the stupidity and danger associated with any Glock.

That has always been my advice.

If I get a few more parameters, such as prior experience or safety skills, then I typically point out that Glocks are simply a bad choice, but an option for the well trained.

I usually emphasize safety for the first carry gun. Revolvers first, then heavy double action pull autos, if they have some gun experience.

The lack of safety is the second most likely point that will remove my personal right to carry, so it's important to me.

grptelli
November 28, 2012, 09:01 PM
I test shot alot of ccw guns before I purchased. I started with a pps 9mm, then got a jframe and just olast week a shield 9mm. Do I need 3 ccw guns -nope, but the wifey said go for it so I did. I have also taken conceal carry classes and and additional/enhanced shooting classes to sharpen my skills. I also shoot weekly....


Posted from Thehighroad.org App for Android

orionengnr
November 29, 2012, 12:58 AM
Okay...first off, make a list of the handguns that appeal to you for whatever reason. Just a wish list. May include revolvers and semi autos.

Next, go to a gun show or a gun shop where you can at least handle some of these handguns and see if they feel "right" to you.

If you can narrow that list it down a bit, perhaps you can spend some time at the range, and if possible, try a number of different handguns to see if any of them really work for you.

If you have to pay a nominal fee per gun, and buy ammo, that will still be the best money you will ever spend.

It is unrealistic to expect that you can root through hundreds of guns to find "the one" in one day's research.

If you can find something that fits your comfort zone for manual of arms, you shoot it reasonably well, and you can see yourself being able to conceal it...you are well down the road to success.

There is a good chance that you may later see something else, try it, like it better, and move in that direction. IMHO, that is fine, and is a natural progression. There are a lot of temptresses out there. :)

When I got my CHL I had a Glock G23. I shot it fairly well (qualified easily) but never found a way to conceal it effectively or carry it comfortably. My CHL instructor was a big fan of J-frames (and their equivalents) so I went on a j-frame spree for the next year, trying a number of j-frames in .38 Spl and .357 Mag, steel, alloy, Scandium...Spent a fair bit of money on that experiment, but in the end, j-frames were not right for me.

Found a Kahr PM9 and all was well for a while. Then I found a Kel-Tec P11. Four extra rounds in a similar sized gun...what could go wrong? Maybe the fact that it was heavy, had a terrible trigger and was unreliable....for starters.

Went through Kel-Tecs, tried more Glocks, tried revolvers in larger calibers in Scandium and steel frames...tried more of this and more of that.

I won't try to add up all the money I spent trying this and that for a period approaching ten years...but for the most part, I bought used at reasonable prices, so when I subsequently sold them, I didn't lose a lot.

The search For The Perfect Carry Pistol has been, for the most part, enjoyable. I can tell you where I am today, but a year or two from now, circumstances may lead me somewhere else. What works for me is immaterial to you.

And unless you have a fair bit of time and money to spend, my method may not be viable for you.

What you really want is what works for you. How do you get there? Again, the best advice I have is to try everything you can lay your hands on. Buying ammo is cheap compared to buying firearms. Find friends or other THR members to shoot with, swap pistols for a mag, do what you can to experience as many options as you can.

Ooops... I almost forgot. I think there are two types of people out there.
Type A buys what he likes best, but keeps reading magazines and online reviews, and is forever looking at the next greatest thing.
Type B buys (for example) a 642 and is happy for life.

I think you know where I fall in that example. :)
If you are a type B, you are blessed, because you will have peace of mind, which I will never have.

Not that I am complaining. :)

Happy hunting, Rich

Shadow 7D
November 29, 2012, 01:34 AM
been at it a while
have a CZ82 that floats in and out of rotation

have a P32, yeah, it's a bug, but it's also the one gun I have on me when I leave the house for sure, no matter which holster or gun I have, it's in my pocket.

JohnBiltz
November 29, 2012, 02:48 AM
I would recommend a snub nose revolver and emphatically point out the stupidity and danger associated with any Glock.

That has always been my advice.

If I get a few more parameters, such as prior experience or safety skills, then I typically point out that Glocks are simply a bad choice, but an option for the well trained.

I usually emphasize safety for the first carry gun. Revolvers first, then heavy double action pull autos, if they have some gun experience.

The lack of safety is the second most likely point that will remove my personal right to carry, so it's important to me.
And I would say get a Glock and a snubbie is what you carry when you can't carry a better gun. Which I guess pretty much explains why there are gun forums and so many different gun makers.

Rexster
November 29, 2012, 03:00 AM
I do not do catch-all recommendations. One thing I do is ask how of their own auto maintenance is performed themselves. A person who cannot change their own car's oil and spark plugs would probably not keep an autopistol properly maintained, IMHO, so that indicates a revolver.

Some folks have little hand strength, so would be poorly-served by a heavy DA trigger pull, whether auto or revolver. If hand strength is not due to a chronic health issue, of course, I recommend strength training.

ArchAngelCD
November 29, 2012, 03:01 AM
Like others i don't agree with the premise of the question but i would have to say a small .38 revolver is hard to go wrong with.
Actually that's both true and false to a point. While I agree a J frame is a very good carry handgun it's not for the novice for several reasons.

The DA trigger on a small revolver is hard to master.
The very short sight picture multiples mistakes and the novice will make mistakes.
Light revolvers enhance felt recoil making follow up shots more difficult.
Because of the enhanced felt recoil many won't practice as they should.

There are more but I think you get what I mean. While the revolver is simple it's not easy to shoot. Like I said, they are difficult to shoot well leading most who don't shoot them well to believe they are not accurate, not true of course. IMO J frame revolvers are not for the novice but for a more experienced shooter.

justice06rr
November 29, 2012, 03:30 AM
But I have to say that "looking sexy" has nothing to do with why I would buy a gun.

What is wrong with buying a good looking pistol that also serves as a CCW?

For example, IMO a H&K USP, Beretta M9, or Smith&Wesson M&P pistol is very sexy. They also happen to be very good CCW handguns. 1911's are great pistols too, but may require a bit more knowledge and experience to use as a first CCW pistol.

On the flipside of that, if we didn't care about how our CCW's look then we should all carry Glock's, Keltec's, Taurus, or Hipoint's. Nothing against those brands, but some of us can agree they are not the best looking.

Going back to my very first CCW pistol purchase a few years ago, I had a choice between 3 guns: Glock19, M&P9, and XD9sc. I went with the M&P because it looked great, fit in my hands well, very well-balanced, high-quality and finish, and is American made. I'm sure the same can be said about the Glock and XD, well except they are not American made.

It took me about 3years to warm up to a Glock. I now carry a Glock19 and also shoot it in 3-gun. But if someone gave me $500 to buy another pistol right now, I would buy and M&P9 in a heartbeat.

---

So on the topic, I would recommend in random order:
1. M&P9 (with ext safety)
2. Ruger SR9c
3. XD9sc
4. Glock19/26
5. USP9c
6. 38Revolver

psyopspec
November 29, 2012, 09:35 AM
Don’t take this the wrong way, but only the young and inexperienced think a big question like this can be answered simply and easily.

I took someone shooting last night who had never touched or fired a gun in her life. We started with a .22, then tried an M&P that was too large for her hands before renting CZ-75 which was much more comfortable for the shooter.

She held my Gen 3 Glock 19, but the grip was too large so we didn't fire it; it was still a starting point, just one that was quickly dismissed. Point being there's a huge swath of difference between this thread, which is narrow in scope with certain unrealistic parameters, and the real life business of introducing a new shooter to firearms.

I would recommend a snub nose revolver and emphatically point out the stupidity and danger associated with any Glock.

I take back what I said earlier about this being a civilized discussion with no one coming into the thread and bashing on another brand. It's interesting that as long as it's directed toward Glock it's okay, but multiple posters were complaining about non-existent comments where those of us who suggested that brand got smacked down for non-existent bashing of 'everything else.'

elrowe
November 29, 2012, 10:01 AM
Hopefully other states are the same, but in KY CCDW courses, we're actually legally required to teach a block of instruction on choosing guns for carry students and prohibited from making an endorsement of a particular selection. Without looking at the book at the moment, we have to discuss and display (at least diagrams of) 1911s, S&W semi autos, revolvers, and Sigs (I may have missed one or two) as part of the class.

That way the guys that typically say J-frame for every woman or Glock for every man don't lead as many folks down a bad first choice (for them) path.

Tcruse
November 29, 2012, 10:55 AM
A couple of comments:
1) No matter how careful you are, your first gun will probably not be the one that you stay with long term. (My first purchase was KelTec P11 - exactly what I thought that it was, worked fine, however, after extended range time uncomfortable hand from harsh re-coil and long hard trigger hampered accuracty)
2) I have tried wheel guns on numerous occasions and they are just not something that I would ever want to own or carry. Too front heavy, having to manually remove spent shells, low round count, and uncomfortable grip shape.
3) 1911 pattern guns are easy for beginners to shoot at the range, but there is a lot of things to remember for safe carry and lots of things needed to keep the gun in best condition. Also, probably not really best choice for ccw. So, not on my recommendation list.
4) There is a lot of different opinions on what is best gun for people with small (or fat hands with short fingers). I have tried a lot of different guns, including CZ75B (least best fit), Barretta 92FS (good), Tarus PT92 (good), M&P 9 (OK), Styer (OK), Barretta PX4 (good), Ruger P95 (very good), and Glock. Glock G3 26 and Glock G4 17 are my current best of breed picks. Suspect that Ruger SR9 and Caracal C are also good choices but have not shoot either.
5) I am in the "simple" no extra manual safety or other distractaction for a SD weapon. At best case you will be under a lot of pressure, and the fewer things that can go wrong the better.
6) Practice with .22LR (like Ruger MKiii 22/45 or SR22) is a very good place to start the shooting habit/training. First make shooting fun and peasurable experience so that the new user will actually practice after the "new" wears off.
7) Find a range that is a friendly place for new shooters and offer classes, shooting leagues, fun events ..... (Locally, ShootSmartTX.com is one good example). Renting a lane by itself is only one part of the equation.
8) Stay with 9 mm. Smaller gives you more expense (ammo price) and no real difference in recoil. Larger gives you more expense and need for more skill to carry and only marginal (if any) more stopping power. A DE 50AE is not a good choice for carry.

tacxted
November 29, 2012, 10:59 AM
The whole time I would be talking to the "customer" I would (in my head) be thinking of a sub-compact 9mm or a compact .38 special. S&W and Glock come to mind.

walnut1704
November 29, 2012, 09:49 PM
So what you're really asking is.."What gun is so universal that anybody could shoot it". Duh. A .38 revolver. Anybody who's watched TV knows how to load it and fire it. An expert could do very well with one, a beginner would probably get a shot, or two, off.

Shadow 7D
November 30, 2012, 04:08 AM
Um, except, I won't touch one, not for CCW, my curve is nonexistent
I learned on autos, what I know, wheelie guns aren't even on my horizon

*well, except maybe for a 'Hand of God' or an inexpensive brass frame C&B (these are BP guns BTW..)

1911 guy
November 30, 2012, 06:19 AM
Another answr you don't want to hear. The perfect carry gun is one that fits your hands well, is the largest caliber you can comfortably manage in the largest frame size you will consistently carry and be able to conceal. All this varies with body shape, effort put into carrying the gun and willingness to learn to control recoil.

beatledog7
November 30, 2012, 08:35 AM
We just can't shift this discussion from hardware to mindset, can we. So be it.

When I decided to carry a gun, I didn't shoot a whole bunch of guns or study ballistics tables; I did my kind of research--talking to experienced CCW-ers. After a couple of months of contemplation about why I wanted to be armed and realizing I had my head in the right place, I bought a 642 and applied for my Virginia CHP. I guess I'm the one guy in 500 somebody noted; I still carry that 642 almost exclusively.

Still, I recommend now that new shooters try as many guns that meet their criteria as they can get their hands on, but note they need to know their criteria first. Trying guns that will prove ill suited to a given shooter's needs is a waste of time and too often leads to an inappropriate choice.

Tcruse
November 30, 2012, 10:31 AM
In Texas you will want to qualify for ccw using a semi-automatic, since if you do not you can not carry a semi-automatic only revolver. With a Semi-Automatic qualification you can carry either.
As far as maintenance I do not think that you will ever find a gun that requires less or is easier to maintain than a Glock Gen3 or Gen4. Fewer parts than most (all?) and very easy to field strip (or complete disassembly, using one small tool). Also, Glocks can take a lot of abuse and still work every time.
Now, I agree that you probably will never show your Glock to your friends to brag about how good it looks or how much it costs.

Dave P.
November 30, 2012, 06:07 PM
If they really want a carry gun either a Glock26 or a Ruger LCR.
Want a handgun for the house then it's a Glock17 or Ruger GP100.
And I'd push in the direction of the revolver, to me they are somewhat more
idiot proof...at least for a firearm.
Dave

Hit_Factor
November 30, 2012, 06:18 PM
5 shot 38 revolver or sub-compact 9mm semi-auto.

EBK
November 30, 2012, 08:21 PM
my answer would be just a vage as the question is.

I would simply say anything between .22 and .45 and from a company with a good reputation. With more info we could narrow it down from there.

Plan2Live
December 1, 2012, 10:09 AM
Because the title on this thread would tend to attract new shooters or people new to Concealed Carry, I thought a quick re-cap was in order. Based on my review of the above posts, here is how it breaks down so far…

25 Generic Suggestion or No Suggestion

23 Glock

14 Revolver

5 Other Specific Brand

8 N/A – mostly squabbling replies to posts

Let’s face it, a Glock doesn’t do anything significantly differently than a M&P, XD, XDm, H&K, Taurus, Kahr or other compact or subcompact semi-auto striker fired pistol. Pointing to Glock’s widespread use among law enforcement agencies as proof of their superiority is like claiming that a Ford Crown Victoria is the best car on the road or the best car for a new driver because of it’s widespread use among law enforcement agencies.

The fact remains that not all shooters have the same likes, dislikes, needs or hot buttons. There are numerous manufacturers making very reliable, very accurate products. As a result, there is no across the board answer as the best handgun for any purpose. Giving a one size fits all answer is simply arrogant, irresponsible and overtly biased.

Buying a gun, holster, belt, accessories and ammunition is a very large investment for most people. New shooters or new carriers should try as many options as possible before making a purchase.

Sock Puppet
December 1, 2012, 01:11 PM
Well said.

mljdeckard
December 1, 2012, 05:39 PM
The advantage that a Glock DOES have over some of the newer ones, is that is is much more widely used and much more standardized. You are much more likely to find them used than the others, and because there are so many, they are usually cheaper. Also for things like holsters, magazines, etc.

I won't say that a Glock always has a quality advantage over the newer polymer framed guns, or that you can't find a deal on the others. (I just got my wife a like-new XD-9 for $300.) But they are in wider use, they have been around longer, and they are more standardized.

larryh1108
December 1, 2012, 06:55 PM
If I was in charge of marketing for a new gun shop and was trying to reach the CCW market, I'd have a picture of a Kahr PM9, Ruger LCP, a Sig .380, a J frame snubbie and a Boberg. Of course there are as many guns as there are companies that make them that work but this is what pops into my mind when advertising for a CCW. Small yet discreet and easy to carry.

It amazes me at how many people just can't get the concept of just throwing thoughts out there without all of the posturing, finger pointing and other deep insight you wish to share. Some times you can just toss out a thought or idea just for the sake of a good discussion. That never seems to happen here for whatever reason. Anyone who posts knows skribs is not a newbie and he asked a simple question for which a simple answer could be given but, of course, that just can't happen here. It's amazing.

JohnBiltz
December 1, 2012, 08:54 PM
I don't know what people think a "recommendation" means. Its something to look at, maybe try. It doesn't mean if the grip is too large to hold buy it anyway. Concealed carry is a very personal thing. Its also something very different to live with than to imagine and surprisingly different from individual to individual. Even Glock guys will argue about whether its better to carry a G26 or the larger G19. Then you can make a very informed decision based on logic, research and testing and discover you just hate carrying it. You really can't pick a carry for someone. But recommend one, sure why not?

I've been asked a few times and my answer is always the same, "I carry a G26". That is not being a fan boy. Its the only gun I've ever carried, how could I answer anything else? I suspect there is little difference between carrying a Glock, M&P or the Rugers because they are all pretty similar in size and all are well made handguns from quality manufacturers. All follow my carry philosophy of having a handgun with at least ten rounds of major caliber rounds in the magazine and being reliable.

Inebriated
December 1, 2012, 09:25 PM
Glock 26.

460Kodiak
December 2, 2012, 02:03 AM
Ruger SP-101

Easy to handle, easy to learn, .357 will do most jobs we need to worry about in a SD scenario, and affordable to buy, and practice with. The grip usually fits most hands at least good enough to shoot acurately.

A "catch all" is a bad idea though, as others have stated. A spingfield XDs is actually a better option IMO, but not easy to shoot for a beginer.

capcyclone
December 2, 2012, 11:46 AM
*Compact
*Reliable
*Widely used

Dr.Rob
December 2, 2012, 03:58 PM
Being as 'generic' as I can be:

One they can afford to practice with a LOT. That would steer me towards 9mm or .38 Special in caliber.

One they will actually carry. A lot of folks compete with a full sized gun but actually carry a j-frame. You don't see too many competitions for 5 shot snubbies. Snubies are not a great choice for a beginner, they can be downright unpleasant to shoot. The 3 inch SP 101 is a good choice in a small frame as it has enough mass to tame recoil. Not many people like the stock grips.

A reputable manufacturer. I would never point someone to less than reliable handgun.

One that can be customized to FIT the shooter. While this is a relatively 'new' option in auto loaders having various backstraps and grips can really help a new shooter right out of the box. Pick one with a wide selection of grips, sights and gunleather available. Everyone has a box full of holsters they've tried and tossed.

I know Glock makes a good pistol I just haven't found one that fits my hand. While I am a fan of the BHP and 1911 I'm not sure I'd send a 'new' shooter in either direction.

The new 'crop' of single stack 9mm pistols is what I suspect I'd steer someone to at least TRY out. They are affordable (Kahr and Ruger with poly frames are certainly available on a budget) and controllable.

I like the 3-4 inch 357 as a starter as well. A shooter can 'train up' to 357 while getting in a lot of practice with 38's. The big downsize to revolvers is carrying a fast reload (speedloader) is bulky. Fast reloading is trickier with a revolver. The smaller the revolver, the trickier it is.

Alnamvet68
December 2, 2012, 04:31 PM
The one handgun that is always in my pocket, or on my hip is a S&W J frame...either the 442 or my most recent acquisition, the Model 42 Classic. That said, any handgun weighing less then a pound and can shoot atleast a 38 Special round is, in my humble opinion, the best option for CCW.

MCgunner
December 2, 2012, 04:43 PM
A gun you like, can shoot well, carries with extreme comfort and conceals well so you'll have it on you as long as you're dressed during the day.

That's it.

For me, most of the time, though I have other options, it's a Kel Tec P11.

Charlie1022
December 14, 2012, 08:06 PM
As an instructor I would recommend the proper training first and learn the knowledge, skills and attitude first. With proper training they can then make an edudicated decision on the best hand gun for them.

allin
January 19, 2013, 07:00 AM
J frame 3" stainless 5 shot 38 special. goes bang every time, accurate, proven round, easy CCW.

Hit_Factor
January 19, 2013, 09:01 AM
9mm semiautomatic, small, a Glock 26 or Kahr PM9 are good exampled.

I have found that depending on weather, attire, planned activity, that I have 7 or so different guns that I carry regularly.

Glock 26 or 19
3" 1911 9mm
4" 1911 45
5" 1911 45
2" J-frame .357
3" L-frame plus .357
Diamondback 380

TFIT
January 19, 2013, 01:30 PM
I'm not asking for myself. I'm not asking for answers like "it depends on the shooter" or "what fits your hand". I'm asking, if someone wanted to know what they should buy for a self defense pistol, with no other qualifiers, what would your catch-all recommendation be? Would it be what you carry, or would it be something more newbie-friendly?

Personally, even though I don't own a Glock, my catch-all recommendation would be a Glock 19, because it has a decent balance of traits, and lots of aftermarket support (including parts, training, gear, etc).

So what would your catch-all answer be?
Glock 19 Gen4. Of course, like you said, depending on the shooter, but for the general answer I'd start with the 19. Best pistol you can buy for the money. Key there...for the money. The G26 subcombact is also a nice choice to look at. I carry the G17 Gen4, but have carried the 19 and love it. Also have a look at the S&W M&P models. They have a VERY nice selection of pistols and a lot of LE agencies are starting to go with these weapons over Glock. I have one myself, the M&P 45. They have a good selection, so I definitely recommend having a look at them.

There are a lot of selections out there, but I've heard most professionals recommend to stay with proven brands like S&W, Sig, Glock, HK, etc. I've worked with a lot including the aforementioned as well as Steyr, Springfield, Keltec, Ruger, etc., but at the end of the day, peace of mind is most important when carrying a pistol. What I like most about the Glock and M&P is they are striker fired pistols with constant trigger pulls which means you don't have to get used to a long trigger pull then convert to the short pull (DA/SA system) like double action/single action pistols offer. Some folks like that, but I really don't. With the striker fired system, you can just pull and shoot immediately without having to contend with the DA/SA system or fool with an external safety. Also they are a couple hundred less than other great pistols like Sig & HK. Try a few, pick what you like best and go with it.

As far as caliber goes, I recommend getting a 9MM. I use Hornady Critical Duty. Check it out. However, one friend recommended getting the biggest caliber you can conceal and control meaning what you can get the most hits with. Shot placement is the most critical issue when it comes to shooting and defense. Also, practice...A LOT!!! Work on precision shooting and site shooting (pointing and shooting with both eyes open without taking the time to "aim"). You can rest assured if you're faced with a real threat you won't have time to draw down and aim carefully. The more comfortable you are with the point/shoot procedure the better off you are. I will also add this. A lot of agencies are going to 9MM or .45 and getting away from the .40. Why? They have found their officers score better hits with those calibers than with the .40. Just what I'm told. :-)

Glock and M&P...great weapons for the money. That's where I'd start! Good luck!!!

orionengnr
January 19, 2013, 02:53 PM
The best advice I ever received regarding CHL-type handguns was:

Carry a gun chambered in the largest caliber that you can shoot well.

Of course, that assumes:

--that the shooter has received adequate safety and operational instruction.
--that the shooter is capable of and committed to actually carrying.
--that the shooter has already shot everything (s)/he can lay his hands on.

Of course, I received that advice quite belatedly, so had to fumble and find my way through the wilderness. :)

larryh1108
January 19, 2013, 02:57 PM
Be it 380 if you can settle for just having a "bluff"

Obviously you don't know a thing about firearms and bullet calibers.

doc2rn
January 19, 2013, 09:47 PM
Gonna go with a Ruger MK II or III or Browning Buckmark. Gotta learn the basics and both of these are fine choices for a first sidearm.

Ford
January 19, 2013, 10:03 PM
Kahr PM9

BLB68
January 21, 2013, 07:25 PM
I'm not asking for myself. I'm not asking for answers like "it depends on the shooter" or "what fits your hand".

It depends on the shooter. They should get what fits their hand.

So what would your catch-all answer be?

There is no catch-all answer, just a set of criteria. You gave two of those. Two more are reliability and acceptable accuracy. Many, many guns on the market fit the bill. Then it gets down to individual preferences, including recoil sensitivity, size limitations, any physical issues, etc. Also, fit can't be stressed enough for newer shooters, IMO.

ZeSpectre
January 21, 2013, 07:54 PM
if someone wanted to know what they should buy for a self defense pistol, with no other qualifiers, what would your catch-all recommendation be?

My recommendation would be for that person to go out and locate a certified safety instructor and get some lessons and some mentoring on firearms from someone with some real experience before they even begin to attempt the selection process.

BLB68
January 21, 2013, 08:34 PM
I don't think I've ever heard so much bull in a single thread before. Here is a simple truth, its the archer not the arrow. The NYPD all 34,000 of it manages to make a G19 work. The US military manages to make a M9 and M16 work quite well. All kinds of police departments manage to get by with what they issue. Its not rocket science.

How well did those guys shoot at the Empire State building shooting? Having been in the military, I know exactly how well they make the M9 work, which isn't very well at all, unless you have large hands. As someone else stated, the military's pistol training isn't very good at all. I was an MP, carried a pistol all day, every day, and we received pathetic training on pistol marksmanship.

For a new shooter, hand to gun fit is important. Doubly so, since in the heat of the moment, whatever training they've had is likely to dissolve. Good fit means that the gun will point more naturally, and in many cases, that's exactly what's going to happen: untrained point shooting.


Here is another simple truth almost everyone chooses wrong the first time. I doubt one in ten of us who carry are still carrying their first gun. If you add in first gun in first holster and belt and I doubt its one in five hundred.

While true, that doesn't mean you throw out basics like gun fit. Most folks don't have a lot of money to waste, so it's important to get them something that's at least mostly right the first time out.


Buy something reliable in a decent caliber that is small enough to carry. After that everything is just is just options.

Three things to look for, but the rest aren't "just options."

ApacheCoTodd
January 21, 2013, 08:46 PM
Stainless
Thin
Safe to handle in a potentially fumbling scenario
Grippy
.32 or greater
Limited snag points
Built to withstand regular familiarization shooting (unlike say, Ravens, Lorcins and the like)

giggitygiggity
January 21, 2013, 11:47 PM
I have two that are excellent for concealed carry: 1. Ruger LCP and 2. S&W 360PD in .38/.357. They're light, slim, reliable, and accurate.

Wilbert
January 22, 2013, 10:00 PM
Glock, S&W, Ruger, Colt, FNH, Browning, Sig Sauer, Kimber, Springfield, Taurus, Remington, Steyr, CZ, Beretta, Stoeger, Magnum Research...

Dang, I know I didn't catch them all! Somebody help me :p

Deer_Freak
January 23, 2013, 12:19 AM
I carry everything from a a Kel Tec P-3AT to a Ruger Super Blackhawk with a 7.5 barrel. It depends on where I am going and the level of the threat.

Stevie-Ray
January 23, 2013, 06:29 PM
Personally, even though I don't own a Glock, my catch-all recommendation would be a Glock 19, because it has a decent balance of traits, and lots of aftermarket support (including parts, training, gear, etc).
And mine is generally a Glock 26, because I personally know of several that sold their 19 in favor of a 26, but none of the reverse. I also have a 26 and a 29, both of which I carry at certain times, but my primary EDC is a 3" 1911.

larryh1108
January 23, 2013, 07:32 PM
I think anyone new to guns should start with the Glock 19 before going to the Glock 26 because of the grip size. As you noted, people went from the 19 to the 26, meaning they had experience with the Glock before converting. Shorter grips can be harder to handle for beginners due to 1 less finger on the grip and more recoil. Once they are proficient with the 19 they can then move smaller.

Jack19
January 27, 2013, 04:59 PM
What do you shoot best?

With what gun do you get consistent hits?

Anything else, caliber, frame size, magazine or cylinder capacity, etc etc etc is, pretty much, meaningless.

If you can't hit with a full house 44 magnum, choose something you can hit with.

Misses don't count.

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