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Best 1st Handgun for home defense?


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32 replies to this topic

#1 vg1390

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Posted July 01 2020 - 03:25 PM

looking to purchase my first gun. Would like something light and comfortable grip, accurate. Any ideas?

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#2 pequa1

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Posted July 01 2020 - 03:38 PM

My favorite is a CZ75.   But what you really need to do is handle as many as possible.   Light and accurate can be mutually exclusive though.  Why light ?   (Somehow I didn't get the vibe that you are approved for concealed carry.)    Plus, if you are new to handguns you need to consider a .22 as one of the first purchases, if not the first.   


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#3 cprstn54

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Posted July 01 2020 - 04:33 PM

Ruger LCRx 38 Spl +P, 1.87"

 

Why? It is a lot with hot Buffalo Bore +P cartridges, but not too much with standard 38 Spl.

 

Also, with the Buffalo Bore ammo it is one of very few mouse guns lethal for SD that you can really carry concealed because it is so small and light.

 

If you will never carry concealed, a .357 magnum 4" is an all round good performer. Even the wife can use it with 38 Spl ammo.



#4 mvphilly

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Posted July 01 2020 - 06:43 PM

I think a nice revolver say 22 win mag. A auto for a first handgun maybe a bit confusing to a novice firearm owner and the maintence is more intensive.In close quarters a 22 Win mag is easy to control will not kill the neighbors and will stop a threat.


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#5 Dakhath

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Posted July 01 2020 - 07:07 PM

The best handgun for home defense is the one you can use well.

 

Find what is comfortable for your hands. If you want an optical site, optic cut is need, if you want a weapon light/laser then rail is needed. Grips and sites can be done after the fact for a variety of budgets


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#6 boosti

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Posted July 01 2020 - 08:44 PM

The minimum caliber for self defense is 9mm using a proven round like the Winchester SXT, Speer Gold Dot and Federal 9BPLE in +P+ .
A Glock 19 is usually the easiest to learn and fits most hands. More training courses are teaching students to use a weapon light or flashlight since most shootings are in a dark environment.
Shooting indoors is extremely loud and can cause hearing damage. I wouldn’t recommend an AR style pistol in .556 or short barrel .357 as the noise and flash are very difficult without eye and hearing protection.
I would stop by South Shore Sportsman and ask them you are looking for a first handgun for home defense.
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#7 Charlie-NY

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Posted July 02 2020 - 08:25 AM

A 357 mag revolver sounds old fashion but has merit for a first home defense handgun.

 

1. It is much easier to master a revolver. No jams, misfeeds, chambers to check, etc

2. You can use very inexpensive and low-recoiling 38 special ammo to learn/practice with

3. Once you're confident with the revolver you can use the time tested & proven 357 ammo if you care to

4. No safety is needed. In a life & death situation, will you think to remove the safety from an auto? 

5. Your spouse can also use the handgun in a self defense situation because very little instruction is needed for basic (emergency) use

 

Just my 2 cents


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#8 vg1390

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Posted July 02 2020 - 09:21 AM

Thanks all. You've given me much to think about. Yes, pequa 1 not concealed. So as a rule, lighter is usually not as accurate? A friend is going to let me try his Springfield xD and a few others to see what feels comfortable.



#9 grifhunter

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Posted July 02 2020 - 09:53 AM

Go to a gun shop with a good selection.  Whats best for one guy, is not best for the rest of the world. 

Pick up several different ones. (In NY you have to have your pistol license before anyone will let you handle the pistols).   Get a feel for the grips and weight.   Ask permission to try the trigger.   Ask the dealer to show you the difference between single action vs double action.  

Don't fuss over caliber:   what everyone considers as "minimum" or "manstopper" may be difficult to shoot accurately or fast.   Misses won't save your life, no matter what round you fire. 

Watch your budget:  you need to save money for ammo, cleaning kit, storage device, targets, ear protection and range fees.  Search out "long island gun clubs" for more info and advice.


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#10 cprstn54

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Posted July 02 2020 - 11:13 AM

The decision pistol/revolver is not simple.

 

Most folks agree that the pistol should have a live round in the chamber, because the 1/2 second you lose to rack it can be fatal. If the gun sits in a holster, that is probably OK. If it is left outside the holster the risk of accidental discharge is just too great.

 

The Israelis leave the chamber empty because the extra 1/2 second does not come into play that often. I.e. the gun is already drawn and racked in most danger situations. So, they opt for safety the 98% rest of the time.

 

Most folks prefer the Ruger LCP2 (works like a Glock) to the LCP (double action -only- striker).

 

A revolver, in addition to requiring almost zero training, is much harder to accidentally discharge due to the high trigger pull in double action.

 

Every time I take my family to the range, I have to re-explain how to load and fire the Glock. No such issue with revolvers.

 

The pistol is even less attractive under the Safe Act. Ten rounds versus six is easier to decide than 15 rounds versus six.



#11 pequa1

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Posted July 02 2020 - 12:25 PM

Thanks all. You've given me much to think about. Yes, pequa 1 not concealed. So as a rule, lighter is usually not as accurate? A friend is going to let me try his Springfield xD and a few others to see what feels comfortable.

Lighter often means smaller and neither will generally contribute to accuracy as lighter could increase recoil and smaller will usually mean a shorter barrel and therefore a shorter sight span.  I would recommend at least a five inch barrel.

.22 caliber is not for self defense but is best for learning shooting skills as there is no recoil and less of a "bang."  Dakhath above makes some great points.    cprstn54 makes great points as well for a revolver.   while I have both the aforementioned CZ75 in 9mm is my HD gun.   (I readily admit that I do not use safeties on my semi-autos.  I feel that is what my brain and an educated finger is for.   the only time I use a safety is if a range requires it and while hunting deer with my shotgun.)



#12 mason852

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Posted July 02 2020 - 01:52 PM

The one that goes BANG! when you need it too


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#13 boosti

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Posted July 02 2020 - 02:34 PM

The one that goes BANG! when you need it too

“BANG!” When it comes to self defense. Training, become familiar in the use of Article 35 and be prepared. No warning shot!
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#14 mrprovy

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Posted July 02 2020 - 03:03 PM

The minimum caliber for self defense is 9mm using a proven round like the Winchester SXT, Speer Gold Dot and Federal 9BPLE in +P+ .
A Glock 19 is usually the easiest to learn and fits most hands. More training courses are teaching students to use a weapon light or flashlight since most shootings are in a dark environment.
Shooting indoors is extremely loud and can cause hearing damage. I wouldn’t recommend an AR style pistol in .556 or short barrel .357 as the noise and flash are very difficult without eye and hearing protection.
I would stop by South Shore Sportsman and ask them you are looking for a first handgun for home defense.

I 99.9% agree, and I only say that because for HD, I think the G19 MOS (or G45 MOS) with a good red dot (Trijicon RMR, Aimpoint, Leupold, etc) would be easier for someone to learn to shoot accurately.



#15 rvc-ny

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Posted July 02 2020 - 08:45 PM

As cool as they are, one thing I learned from a federal officer and very experienced CCW instructor was that, under pressure, you'll have no time to think about red dots.  Find a gun that you can point naturally as an extension of your hand.  Those tiny safety levers on M&P pistols may seem nice to most people, but my advice is to avoid them.  They take fine motor skills to disengage, and you need to focus on not shaking, pointing at the target and pulling the trigger. Even 1911s take lots of practice to keep it with the hammer back and remember to disengage the safety.  That's why so many people suggest a revolver or Glock, especially if limited to 10 rounds.


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#16 Patty O

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Posted August 10 2020 - 03:38 PM

I would stop by South Shore Sportsman and ask them you are looking for a first handgun for home defense.

South Shore Sportsman was (is) an excellent source of information for me. The staff is very knowledgeable and all have been extremely helpful. They have a really good selection at both store locations and before Covid their Islip store had a range & some rentals. 



#17 minuteman1970

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Posted August 10 2020 - 04:25 PM

My vote is for a revolver in .38 or maybe .357 Magnum. Simple, but effective.


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#18 Strat688

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Posted August 10 2020 - 06:14 PM

If you ask 12  different people, you’ll get 12 different answers.  I use a s&w model 10 revolver in the nightstand.  Although I’d prefer to use my sig226, the revolver is better for my wife to use if need be.  She’s not trained to clear jams or misfires in a semiauto, so I’d rather have the revolver at her disposal.


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#19 only7rounds2

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Posted August 10 2020 - 09:59 PM

The decision pistol/revolver is not simple.

 

Most folks agree that the pistol should have a live round in the chamber, because the 1/2 second you lose to rack it can be fatal. If the gun sits in a holster, that is probably OK. If it is left outside the holster the risk of accidental discharge is just too great.

 

The Israelis leave the chamber empty because the extra 1/2 second does not come into play that often. I.e. the gun is already drawn and racked in most danger situations. So, they opt for safety the 98% rest of the time.

 

Most folks prefer the Ruger LCP2 (works like a Glock) to the LCP (double action -only- striker).

 

A revolver, in addition to requiring almost zero training, is much harder to accidentally discharge due to the high trigger pull in double action.

 

Every time I take my family to the range, I have to re-explain how to load and fire the Glock. No such issue with revolvers.

 

The pistol is even less attractive under the Safe Act. Ten rounds versus six is easier to decide than 15 rounds versus six.

The Israelis had the empty chamber with the old Browning Hi Power, which was never meant to be carried cocked and locked. I doubt they don that with modern pistols


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#20 only7rounds2

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Posted August 10 2020 - 10:03 PM

Glock 19 or it's little brother the G26. Max load (10 + 1) for civilians, easy to handle, totally reliable. No safety to forget under stress, low recoil. Once you become an experienced shooter you may well want something else, but the Glock is essentially a semi automatic revolver. Just aim and pull the trigger. And a hell of a lot faster to reload.

For the revolver guys, yep revolvers are nice, .357 is an awesome round, but doesn't it strike you that there is a reason why no law enforcement or military agency uses then anymore?






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