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Buying my first handgun - help needed!

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by RadekSkylark, May 8, 2016.

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  1. RadekSkylark

    RadekSkylark Member

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    So Sig Sauer P230 only has a decocker to drop hammer if it is in single-action ready mode? If so, it really seems to be yet another pro to the Sig compared to Mak in my situation...

    I can go around ranges and stores. I will definitely go to ranges and try to get acquainted with gun owners when I'll get my permit and buy my handgun.

    Law only says that one must carry a handgun in such a way to not draw any attention to it. From that I think there would be no real problems if someone sees the gun in such a short period of time as we are also allowed to carry blank pistols which use gas cartridges for self defense (instead of gas spray) - these do not require any permit, if you're 18 you can just buy and carry one - so I think major part of local population on a glance would not be able to tell a difference between real hand gun and a blank gun...

    Also if I will get the permit I can own up to 10 guns (I have to get separate permits for buying each one of them, though) without needed a gun collection permit, so if I'll get my CCW permit I may apply for another permit for purchase of another handgun.
     
  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Get acquainted first.
    You might be invited to try out different guns.
    You might encounter something desirable for sale.
     
  3. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    I was just thinking... the whole empty-chamber and safety-on thing means no revolvers, huh? :rolleyes:

    Do your police also carry this way? I think there might still be some countries in which they do.

    Oh, and by the way, excellent English here, too. Was just talking about this thread to my wife, who was born and raised in the USSR/Russia, and she said Latvia is big on English education.
     
  4. RadekSkylark

    RadekSkylark Member

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    Interesting observation... really, law doesn't state anything specific about revolvers, which means that revolvers are allowed. Double standards :)

    As far as I know yes, our police also carries like that (if only there are no police specific laws and rules that allow them to carry chambered rounds and without safety on).

    P.S. Thank you for kind words. One might say that Latvia is. In general Latvians know english pretty well, although not everyone of course. If I remember correctly we start learning english in kindergarden.
     
  5. Iron Sight

    Iron Sight Member

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    Consider a good revolver. Especially for your 1st handgun.
     

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  6. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    If the law said I had to carry a gun on safe and with an empty chamber, but revolvers are legal, I would absolutely pick a revolver. And I don't even particularly care for revolvers.
     
  7. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    ^^ Unless it says they have to be unloaded. :D
     
  8. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    RadekSkylark

    A double action revolver would make for a great choice if you're just starting out new to handguns. What's the market there like in terms of manufacturers, selection, ammunition, and prices?
     
  9. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Considering the carry condition restrictions, your best bet is a double-action revolver. Even if the law concerning carry with an empty chamber (the one aligned with the barrel) applied, no extra action is required to fire-just pull the trigger. I wouldn't even consider a semi-auto pistol with such restrictions in place.

    But, since you are, from your list, I'd recommend the cz82 as a first choice and the Sig P230 second; the rest are good choices also. I owned and carried a cz82. Bought mine after shooting a friends' and found it was very accurate. My Dad had and carried a Sig P230 which I also shot; again very accurate, and better ergonomics than the PPK. Those always bit the web of my hand. The only reason I sold my cz82 was to help pay for a car; I do miss having it.


    Bad idea. A gun is not a magic talisman, it is a tool. That tool needs to be usable when needed. A blank gun or tear gas gun is unsuited for the task, not something I would bet my life on.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2016
  10. sheila.marie

    sheila.marie Member

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    I would say find a range where you can try different weapons to see which one will fit you. Get an instructor to help you with proper use is a good idea also. People will tell you what works for them and that choice may not work so well for you and once you make the purchase you are stuck with possibly a gun you hate.
     
  11. RadekSkylark

    RadekSkylark Member

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    Revolver really seems to be a valid option for my situation. Although, isn't it harder to shoot accurately compared to a usual semi-auto pistol?

    Will have to look around for revolver options. So far it seems that they are not really popular around here - can't find and real options for sale (which meet size and caliber requirements).
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2016
  12. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    I didn't realize the situation you were in with having to carry with chamber empty. With that little fact in place, I have to agree that a revolver starts to look better and better.
     
  13. Wanderling

    Wanderling Member

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    I don't see the value in carrying a semi auto pistol for self protection if you can't carry it loaded with one in the chamber. No criminal is going to wait for you to load, and you may need your other arm to fight off the attacker, or have someone grab you by the arm. Get a revolver.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2016
  14. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    Yes, look into revolvers. From what it sounds, though, you'll have a few concerns to check out, such as:

    Popularity and availability of revolvers. In a country still developing the idea of civilian carry of firearms, semi-autos will certainly be far more common.

    Price. Most good contenders may well be imports from the west, and these will be expensive. Quality revolvers are more expensive here as well.

    Availability of ammunition. Calibers such as .38 Special, .357 Magnum, and .44 Special, are likely to be extremely uncommon as there are few semi-autos chambered in them. There are revolvers chambered in 9mm Luger, but you'll have to see how easy they are to come by.

    Holsters and other carry gear, such as a means for carrying spare ammunition.

    Legality. Verify for certain that revolvers having a double-action mechanism are indeed legal when carried loaded.

    Snub revolvers can be challenging to shoot accurately, but no more so than short-barreled semi-autos are. The intrinsic accuracy isn't affected by barrel length, but by the shooter's ability to align the sights and control the firearm under recoil. You have the advantage of being inexperienced, so you're not so used to one type of platform as to have difficulty learning the other.
     
  15. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Not at equivalent barrel lengths. However, a 4" barreled revolver will be longer than a 4" barreled semiauto.

    Snubnose revolvers (2.5" and under) are hard to shoot accurately at distance, but are accurate enough to do the job, if you do yours, at the usual self-defense distances.

    Medwheeler makes some very good points. Usually I recommend a 4" barreled .38 Spl. revolver, but as he mentions, ammo availability might be a problem, whereas 9mm wouldn't be.
     
  16. RadekSkylark

    RadekSkylark Member

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    All the revolvers I have seen for sale have been either .22LR or .357 Magnum, which is what I think I should get if I go for a revolver. Also to mention - we are not allowed to carry caliber beyond 9mm (.357 being essentially 9mm in diameter).

    It could definitely be a problem to come by good gear options, although, if needed I could buy those from internet (ship from US or something) which wouldn't be ideal as I wouldn't be able to test them out, but it is what it is.

    I will check even more, but law said that revolvers are allowed. I don't know, maybe, if not all the revolvers are double-action and with a round effectively in a "chamber", law may be referring to those particular revolvers, which still might mean that double-action revolvers which have no external safety (does all revolvers lack external safety?) and are effectively chambered are illegal to carry.

    I was more referring to double-action trigger which should be harder to handle in terms of holding the gun stable just before the shot is made...?

    P.S. Just as a question - do you all really think that it is impossible to do a quick draw of a semi-auto pistol, disengage external safety and chamber a round fast enough if one practices this movement?

    Thanks for all the good information!
     
  17. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    Not impossible, it's just more thrown in to stack the deck against you. Whether or not you could do it quickly enough is totally dependent on the situation. Certainly could be done in some, quite likely could not be done in others.
     
  18. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    No, as long as both hands are available. You should be able to do it just like in the video you watched.

    The .357 Magnum round, when fired from a self-defense-sized revolver, is a beast. You will not enjoy it, and you'll probably be less inclined to practice. Those revolvers can handle the lesser-powerful .38 Special round, but I don't know how available that is there. I'm guessing the Magnum round is more common because it's also frequently used in hunting.

    And, no, the revolver's trigger, while indeed longer a pull, is no harder to master, especially for someone who has not yet mastered any other. Because I was extensively trained with them in my early days in law enforcement, I still shoot them better than most "modern" semi-auto pistols.
     
  19. Anna's Dad

    Anna's Dad Member

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    Given that 9x18 is cheaper for you, I don't think you can go wrong with a Makarov (especially at that price). I used to own a number of them. I'm down to just my East German now, but it is a nicely designed and well made gun.

    Edit: I just read the discussion on the safety/one in the chamber issue. If you can carry a loaded revolver, that would get my vote. If not, the Makarov.
     
  20. Wanderling

    Wanderling Member

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    As the others said, it entirely depends on a situation. Most self defense occurs at very close range, which means that your other arm may simply be unavailable (e.g. someone grabbed it, or you're trying to fight them off).

    E.g. imagine that you got attacked by a large vicious dog, and it got hold of your left arm (it's a natural reaction to put your arm out in front of you for protection) how are you now going to load the round into chamber ? It's not impossible to rake the slide one handed, but highly improbable in the heat of the moment. Also if someone kicks you to the ground and begins stabbing or hitting you with something heavy, you likely won't be able to use both of your hands.
     
  21. PabloJ

    PabloJ member

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    He is from Latvia a country that does not have socio-economic problems facing United States. I would take $100 Makarov over everything else listed. The only two pistols that have never jammed on me were Russian Makarovs.
     
  22. entropy

    entropy Member

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    .....and another one that didn't read the whole thread before commenting.

    PabloJ, he cannot carry a pistol with a round in the chamber. Many European countries required this of their police forces, Latvia still does, as well as of it's licensed carry citizens. Still want to recommend the Makarov over a DA revolver? He is still researching exactly where a DA revolver falls into the carry requirements, whether an empty chamber is required under the barrel or not. Even if it is, all that is needed to fire the revolver is to pull the trigger, much easier than having to retract the slide while drawing, particularly if your other hand is engaged in fending off an attacker.
     
  23. Wanderling

    Wanderling Member

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    Looking at the intentional homicide rates data on Wikipedia, Latvia and the US are about the same - 3.5/100K for Latvia and 3.8/100K for the US.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

    Moreover, you're correct about socio economic differences, but this actually works the opposite way from what you're implying. In the US, the areas with high crime rates are very localized and isolated - i.e. the bad hoods of Detroit and DC are going to have sky high homicide rates, while the suburbs will be pretty peaceful and safe, producing the average of 3.8 homicides per 100k of population. In Europe, there's very few ghettos in the US sense, and the ones that I heard of or seen were all in the Western European cities with large immigrant communities. So in Latvia, that same murder rate will be much more evenly spread geographically. And with murder rate being nearly equal, an average middle class person would be more likely to witness a homicide (or be on the receiving end of one) there than here.

    Also, if you carefully read the thread, you'd see that they are forbidden from carrying a pistol with a chambered round, which makes revolvers a far more viable option.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
  24. RadekSkylark

    RadekSkylark Member

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    Hallo guys!

    Just a quick update on my options. It seems that revolvers can be carried, the only problem is that there are not many options available and because of their unpopularity ammo prices are noticeably higher that for usual 9mm rounds (.38 Special is aroun 0,40$/1pc, instead of 0,28$/1pc for 9mm).

    I'm not 100% sure, but I think this is the gun I saw in a shop today:

    http://www.rossiusa.com/product-details.cfm?id=136&category=1&toggle=&breadcrumbseries=

    If I remember correctly this costs 345$ new.

    Also, there were two Taurus revolvers, one of them is a .38 SPL - this was 260$ - if I remember correctly this one had 6 round capacity and was a bit bigger than the Rossi posted above. The second one was .357 Mag - this was 345$ - and also was bigger then that Rossi revolver above and had 5 round capacity if I remember correctly.

    Also I saw and held Beretta FS84 and FS85 Cheetah - I really liked these pistols. The FS85 was totally new with two mags and cost 460$ and the FS84 was used (but not much - looked almost as new), had only one magazine and costs something like 440$. I have to say, these pistols felt really good in my hand. I haven't used and held pistols often, so I'm still getting a little nervous when I hold them (at least when I held Makarov the other day in the shop and in my guns exam), but these Beretta's felt so good in my hand - I felt so good holding them, didn't feel nervous at all, they were like a glove.

    Also, this shop had Sig Sauer P232SL for 345$ in good condition.

    So, these are few other options I came up today and I would be really glad if you guys could give me some information on Taurus revolvers and that Rossi revolver I mentioned. Also, if I do go for semi-auto pistol in the end I would like to consider those Beretta's. I would also appreciate some info on them and how you think they compare to the rest of the bunch I have available. Also which of these Beretta's would be better for me (FS84 or FS85) and why?

    P.S. It seems that I won't be able to find a lot of revolver holster options here locally. Also I think I will have problems to get a hold of those thing (don't know how they're called - would appreciate if you could tell me) which are used to hold the bullets together so fast reload could be possible - this is one thing I should also consider if I'll decide to buy a revolver, as the ones available to me are only 5 or 6 rounds and I would definitely need to practice and be able to reload fast. Also, don't remember if I mentioned, but we are allowed to carry only two magazines of ammo, that is, one in the gun and another in a holster, so total capacity of my choice also matters (correct me if I'm wrong).

    Thanks guys, you've been really helpful so far, don't know what I would do if I wouldn't have such amount of advice in these subjects.

    Cheers
     
  25. Spats McGee

    Spats McGee Moderator Staff Member

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    I can think of two things that fit that description:
    Speedloader

    and

    Speed strip

    Let me also say, as a guy that has had to work in a foreign language before, . . . if "speedloader" is the word that's giving you trouble, congratulations on some outstanding English!
     
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