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Going to be getting my first gun soon. What do I get?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by dtwebb44, Apr 6, 2014.

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  1. dtwebb44

    dtwebb44 Member

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    I live in Worcester, Massachusetts, where it's pretty difficult to get a LTC, so it's possible I won't even need this info. But, I own a small business and do want to carry.

    I'm not really sure what I should be asking. I wear a tshirt and jeans most of the time, if I could avoid changing my attire too much, that'd be nice, but I'll understand if that is unavoidable. Cost isn't my biggest concern, if I'm going to do anything, I might as well do it right. What do I need to figure out about this? I'm researching different common carry guns, and holster styles. I'm thinking I'd prefer IWB for ease of access, but up to suggestions.

    If there's already a place this is generically answered, better place to ask this, please let me know.
     
  2. weblance

    weblance Member

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    Not knowing the exact Ma. laws, I would consider a Ruger SP101, or Ruger LCR. Both appear to be Ma approved, and make great guns for Concealed Carry.
     
  3. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Yikes! That is a question with many answers. Ok, first things first. I'd look for a range near you that will rent guns, and try several out. You really need to figure out if you prefer to carry a revolver or semiauto first. Then you can start narrowing things down.

    If you do choose to carry IWB, a thinner gun is easier to carry. As a rule semiautos are narrower. So keep that in mind. That however does not make them the right choice for you.

    Be advised that with a proper holster, one can conceal a host of different guns.

    Also, what size gloves do you wear? What are your hands like? Skinny, meaty?

    Gotta start somewhere?
     
  4. moxie

    moxie Member

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    Hi,

    I grew up in Leominster and went to college in Worcester but I'm glad I live in Texas now.

    For a small, effective, pretty easy to conceal gun the Ruger LCR in .38 spl. +P is hard to beat. I carry one in an Uncle Mike's #3 holster in my right front pocket a lot of the time. There's a bulge there but it could be my wallet. It also goes in an IWB holster easily. Any bigger gets hard to conceal with jeans and t-shirt. Any smaller and it's worthless. The LCR is simple, dead on reliable.
     
  5. xXxplosive

    xXxplosive Member

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    S&W "J" Frame.............that's it and you'll have it forever.
     
  6. RussB

    RussB Member

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    Welcome to the forum, neighbor. I work in Auburn.

    Take a ride to Woburn and check out Four Seasons Guns,


    http://www.fsguns.com/
     
  7. Stevel

    Stevel Member

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    I don't thnk you need to read past post #2 with a preference in the order listed. The for thought was an SP101 in 2.25. It has enough heft to shoot 38's without fear of flinching for a newcomer. And while I'd suggest getting a box of 357's after you learn on 38's, it's just to satisfy your curiosity, not to carry. You'll see why after you touch of the first round.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
  8. RustyShackelford

    RustyShackelford member

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    My 2 bits.....

    If $ isn't a issue, Id ask what kind of skill training or marksmanship classes you might have.
    If you are brand new or entry level, Id opt for a new .38spl or .357magnum revolver. Top choices would include the Ruger SP101(DA only) 5 shot .357magnum, the Ruger LCR .38spl or larger .357magnum, the S&W 686+ 7rd .357magnum, the Charter Arms .44spl Bulldog DA only. The limited ed Ruger Talo Clapp GP .357magnum with a 3" barrel has a lot of good features & offers good sights.
    You can start with a .38spl +P for defense/carry then go up to the potent .357magnum. You can shoot target loads or cheaper .38spl FMJs then get a solid carry load.
    Id suggest only use of factory made LE type ammunition, no reloads or hand loaded types.
    A DA only(spurless) SP101 5 shot was my first handgun in 1993. It worked well for home protection. I used Golden Saber 125gr JHPs & sometimes MagSafe SWAT .38spl rounds.
    With some snubs you can add a CT lasergrip, www.Crimsontrace.com . It projects a bright red laser but doesn't add a lot of bulk.
    The LCR & SP101 have them. The GP revolver series had it too but they may be discontinued in 2014. The same for the Charter Arms .44 Bulldog.

    Take a few safety & tactics classes if you can. Buy high quality gear & holsters too. Don't be the guy who spends $1200.00 on a pistol then grabs a $5.00 nylon holster in the bottom of gun shop rack. :rolleyes:
    There are many custom & high end holster firms you can use. A decent holster will serve you well for many years.
    Keep your weapons & equipment clean too. Dirty guns or sidearms covered with crud or gunk are not going to save you in a lethal force event.
     
  9. Ramone

    Ramone Member

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    I'd suggest a Kahr PM9, or the less expensive CM9

    it's small enough to be easily concealable, large enough to spend some time on the range without beating your hands up 9mm is a capable caliber, and the price is right.

    the PM9 breaks down easily, is accurate, and has a great trigger for a safety less striker fired pistol.

    I had no issues with my lightly used PM9, though I understand a few hundred rounds of break in is required to make it reliable. The one issue I had was quickly resolved with Kahrs Customer Service by phone.

    edited to add:

    and the factory is in Wooster, which might make any issues even easier to resolve.
     
  10. Teachu2

    Teachu2 Member

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    Mindset, skillset, toolset.

    Start with mindset. Are you mentally prepared to use deadly force on another human being at a moment's notice?

    Skillset: What is your experience with handguns? How do you plan to gain experience? Working with an instructor is best - you will learn faster and develop better skills with a good instructor.

    Toolset: What gun should you carry? This may or may not be the gun you initially learn on. Many folks learn basic skills on a .22, then train on their carry gun once they have mastered the basics.

    Ideally, in my opinion, you should end up carrying the biggest, most powerful handgun that you can shoot rapidly and accurately and still conceal comfortably. Some people choose .38/.357 revolvers, others choose 9mm, .40S&W, or .45acp semiautos. There are others that choose other calibers, but the majority are within those few. There are many, many different handguns within those calibers, and each has it's own following.
     
  11. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    See if you can find a NRA Basic handgun class... They should have rentals or loaners for you to use.

    Truth be told, carrying a concealed handgun is trial and error as to what works best for you and your body type. You will probably go through a few different guns and holsters till you find the perfect combo. $$$$$$$$$$
     
  12. Hickok44

    Hickok44 member

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    Well to be a smart A-- . You may want to get a Daisy Red Rider :)
    As for where you live. All I can say is God Bless, and be careful.
     
  13. Waveski

    Waveski Member

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    "S&W "J" Frame.............that's it and you'll have it forever."

    I second that motion. I really like my SP101 , BUT , nothing is as time proven for small carry than a Smith J-frame. Absolutely nothing.
     
  14. RustyShackelford

    RustyShackelford member

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    Classes; NE road trips.....

    Smith & Wesson offers customer training classes and a big retail store/custom shop. They are in Springfield MA.
    SIG Sauer; www.SIGsauer.com offers classes & customer support too. They are in NH. :D
    A bonus is that SIG Sauer cadre & school instructors can provide students SIG pistols for ranges. :D
    They even do shotgun & revolver(snubs) training.
    If you are in MA, Id honestly lean towards a snub revolver in .44spl or .38/.357 for carry-defense. Pistols are "better" in a few tactical ways but you can start with a simple, robust, safe stainless steel wheel gun.
    Kahrs, Glocks, 1911s, PX4s, M&Ps, HKs, etc can come later.
    Don't think you need to "customize" or bling out your weapon either. Factory made sidearms have saved 1000s of armed citizens, cops, service members etc for decades.
    Do some features help? Sure.
    Do you need it? no
     
  15. sappyg

    sappyg Member

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    ^^^^ this.

    I'm guessing the mindset has been determined by the OP.

    Skillset maybe not. Get a good 22 lr and shoot the pee willy out of it. Doing this will expose you to a lot of shooters and different firearms. Enjoy the journey.

    Tools: other than a good 22lr ....can't help you. Stay with accepted name brands and you won't go far wrong.
     
  16. hartcreek

    hartcreek member

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    Look at you states regs for BP. In many states BP is not considered a firearm so do not need a CCW to carry conceiled. If this is the case in your state go to your favorite store and pick out the largest BP revolver that you can handle.
     
  17. Teachu2

    Teachu2 Member

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    Surprisingly, about one in three people who ask me about getting a home protection firearm tell me that they could NEVER kill someone. They want a gun to scare 'em off. :what: I discourage that.

    Many people aren't very good at thinking things through, and they end up over their heads. The OP may have already considered all the responsibilities involved, and the awful aftermath of a shooting, but it bears asking.

    Situational awareness is a huge part of mindset, and is often the difference between a normal day and a very, very bad one. Simply buying a gun doesn't make anyone safer, and I suspect actually increases risk of injury or death for many new gun owners from a false sense of invulnerability (10 feet tall and bulletproof), unintentionally escalating volatile situations, and accidental/negligent discharges due to lack of training and practice.

    I think anyone who makes an informed decision to carry deadly force should be supported in that decision. The OP is seeking general information on toolset, and that always prompts me to determine mindset and skillset to help them reach an informed decision that works for them.

    I have taken several friends and co-workers to the range for their first experience firing a handgun, simply because they expressed a willingness to try the experience. If the OP is local, I'll be happy to do so for them. We cover the four rules before they ever see a gun, then they get to shoot anything I own. Some really enjoy it, others not so much, but all learn that a gun is just a tool. Many decide they want to own one, but even those who don't seem to quit thinking that the gun is the cause of gun violence - just as knives don't cause stabbings.

    I am pro2A, pro-gun, pro-carry all the way. I also believe in education being key to informed decisions, and spent many years as a salesman before I became a schoolteacher - and I was a LEO once upon a time. So I gotta ask....

    OTOH, if the OP has done all the self-reflection and research into laws, insurance, religious and moral issues, and still wants to get a gun to carry upon his person, he can just buy a Glock 19 and not be too far off! :neener:
     
  18. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Welcome to the forum. You already got a lot of good advice above. Like already said, it's not possible for us to know what gun will be best for you but we can tell you what we use and why.

    I pocket carry a S&W J frame daily and for me that's the way to go. With a good pocket holster no one will ever know you're carrying a gun in your pocket.

    As for IWB carry, again like said above a flatter gun is more comfortable although my 26 year old son carries a J frame IWB with no problems. When I carry IWB I like to carry a 1911. It's flat and it's a good reliable platform. A good holster is necessary like from CrossBreed. Over the past 10 years many companies have made smaller 1911's and made them in 40 S&W and 9mm too so if the 45 Auto is too much recoil for you there are options.

    Those are just two suggestions I have but there are other ways to go. You have to decide what is best for you but please don't fall into the trap many new to carrying a gun do and try to find the smallest and lightest gun because light guns kick a lot and many find it hard to practice with them.

    There is a lot to decide and I think you are doing yourself a favor asking around for suggestions before you jump in... Good luck finding something you will like.
     
  19. Manny

    Manny Member

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    When it comes to deciding what to carry, I think a key point to keep in mind is that should you ever need to use your weapon it will be a high stress situation and is very likely to occur suddenly, unexpectedly and often in darkness or poor visibility. As such, the simpler you can keep things the better off you're likely to be. K.I.S.S. is my guiding concept.

    As far as what gun to carry, it's a highly personal decision that involves deciding what your priorities are. For carry, the smaller and lighter the gun, the easier it is to carry & conceal, but the harder it is to shoot. My choice is a Ruger KLCR, loaded with .38 Special Remington 125gr +p ammo and equipped with a Crimson Trace laser grip. The KLCR has a stainless frame and a bit more wight than the alloy framed LCR, but is still plenty light. I find it to be my ideal carry weapon. A good smooth trigger pull, very compact and easy to carry but still large enough to shoot reasonably well with practice, and enough weight so recoil isn't too bad. The only upgrade I want to do is to have a tritium from sight installed for better visibility, especially in low light.

    The CT grip may be controversial, with many traditionalists not liking them, thinking they are a crutch that you might lean on instead of skill, but I find it an invaluable training aid to help improve my shooting of the little snubby, which are not easy guns to shoot well. It gives instant visual feedback as to where your point of aim is plus visual feedback of how well you are managing your trigger. If you jerk the trigger which can cause pulled shoots, there is no denying the dancing laser beam, you can see it pulled off target. I use it primarily for dry fire practice which can be done anywhere at any time, no need to go to the range, no need to expend expensive & sometimes hard to find ammo. If, as traditionalist's often worry, the laser doesn't work in a shooting situation, it still would have helped you develop proper trigger control and a feel for proper point of aim. If it does work with no problems, as is the more likely scenario, it gives an you an edge in a dangerous situation.

    That's my take on the matter and worth every penny you paid!!
     
  20. HexHead

    HexHead Member

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    Those people really should just get a dog. And as for the Glock, IIRC, you can't buy a Gen3 or Gen4 in MA, so old worn out Gen2 Glocks sell for around $600 there.
     
  21. Teachu2

    Teachu2 Member

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    According to the February 2014 (most current on the MA DoJ website) MA roster: http://www.mass.gov/eopss/docs/chsb/firearms/approvedfirearmsroster02-2014.pdf

    There are a lot of Gen3 and Gen4 Glocks listed, unlike my home state of CA, which specificly excludes all Gen4 and USA-made Glocks.
     
  22. powder

    powder member

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    Glock 36 and a CrossBreed IWB holster. Check it out.
     
  23. boatdoc173

    boatdoc173 Member

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    depends on what size carry weapon you like

    compacts like S-W shield are great striker fired handguns (I shot the 9mm and 40 cal minimal recoil on each--real nice),glock also has the g19 a striker fred weapon--it is supposed to be real nice too

    I really love the size and looks(have not shot yet--hard to find a rental) of the cz rami-- in the end you need to get what feels the best in your hands

    also nice sig 2022,walther ppq m2,springfield xd service or the xds(a single stack)--happy shopping

    ps you ar e not alone--my anxiety waiting for my permit in CT is getting worse by the day. I have no clue how long this will take. I am week 5--I was told 8 weeks some say 12-15..who knows?
     
  24. boatdoc173

    boatdoc173 Member

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    for what it s worth-- I read a review by someone who seems to be"in the know"@ www.best9mm.com - check out the compact 9mm reviews(upper left corner)--he loved the cW9--it costs less too and being made in Mass should be legal there IMHO
     
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