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Old 03-19-2010, 11:54 PM   #1
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Default Handgun Recomendation....

So I was never really a pistol fan. Untill a freind got a nice .45 and a .357. And I removed my moms old dishwasher, fortuitously on the same weekend. You can see where that went.

The .357 was awesome, though the .45 was a much better gun overall, due to being much newer.

Looking at hand guns, they dont depreciate all that much if you take care of them. Especially compared to car stuff. So while I was dead certain that I would eventually get a shotgun (I love skeet shooting) I am leaning toward a pistol now.

So my question is this: If you could buy one gun with the following factors in mind:

1) I dont mind 'kick' overly much. People who do are pussies. A medium or small frame .45 is supposedly a hard gun to handle and my novice *** enjoyed it and I was halfway decent with it by the time we were done. I am not going to be engaging in tactical exercises where I need to be a force reconaisance level baddass and shoot groups the size of a silver dollar from 50feet in the dark while under fire. And I will get comfortable with whatever gun I purchase.

2) I would like something that does not cost 5 bucks a round to shoot. Something that uses readily available ammo.

3) A automatic would be nice, the .357 was a revolver, but its nice to have 10+ rounds before having to reload.

4) I would also need this to have some decent power because I do a lot of hiking and camping in bear country.

5) Something economical, as in under 500 bucks-ish. Under 400 would be great.

My thinking goes toward a .357, so that if I just want to shoot cheap ammo I can use .38, and I have .357 if I am going to have a bit more fun or if I am out in the boonies and need to make a big bang or a worst-case a big hole to discourage a bear. But I am not at all set on that.

Any recomendations at all? Any suggestions appreciated, from caliber to brand to style/action type of gun.
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:08 AM   #2
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Black bears are one thing, but for Grizzlies or brown bears, I'd be uncomfortable with anything less than a .44 magnum. A .45 ACP won't cut it, nor will a .357 (though a hot .357 load out of a rifle barrel might).

So....I think you should consider the possibility that your first pistol will ultimately not be a good choice for bear.

Bears aside, I'd be looking at Glock G21SF and G30SD's, and also at Springfield Armory XD-45's. All of those are .45's. If recoil isn't an issue, then I see no reason to mess around with 9mm. All three are polymer frame, semiautomatic, super reliable, and easy to handle. The G21 is Glock's full size .45, the G30 is the same pistol with a shorter barrel and grip. The SF designation is for "short frame", meaning the grip distance (front to back) is shorter. Many with even large hands find the regular G21 and G30 too big in the grip.

My G30 goes with me every day. 10+1 rounds of .45 230gr Golden Sabers, with another 10 rds in a spare mag.
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:38 AM   #3
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I would not recommend shooting a bear unless you have a death wish at least with anything less than an Alaskan .50 or a 450 Casaul Both of which are revolvers and any highpower gun you will pay through the nose for ammunition. If your looking for something cheap and fun to shoot look at a 9mm. But unless your willing to spend some cheese don't use one to shoot a bear because he will be very very pissed at you in a very short time/distance
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:40 AM   #4
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Good to know, thanks!

My chances of encountering a Grizzly are very small, where my chances of coming accross a smaller variety or a lion are very high. The black bears come into town semi-regularly around my home (Colorado Springs) and they get plenty of scraps from tourists in the trails that I am on all the time west of town. Not to be underestimated, but we are talking about animals not much larger than a man. Maybe 300-400 LBs. Right now I have a can of bear mace, but not much faith in it. I would really rather have something that can make a big noise too, as that will be enough with a lot of animals. If it isnt a .357 or .45ACP will be enough IF I am a competent shooter. Which is where getting comfortable comes in.

I dont really need a compact, as the only reason I will get a CCW is so that I can go hiking with it. I wont be carrying it around town etc. So if the grip is OK, its probably good for me. A 6"ish barrel is fine.

.45 ammo is not too pricey as I recall either, being so common. I will check those out.
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:52 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by mgeoffriau View Post
My G30 goes with me every day. 10+1 rounds of .45 230gr Golden Sabers, with another 10 rds in a spare mag.
Do you CCW?

If so, where do you keep the spare magazine? I've been looking for a good IWB solution to carry a spare magazine but haven't really found anything acceptable. About the best solution I've come across so far is something like a small niteize cell phone pouch with magnetic flap..

Sorry for the threadjack..
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:55 AM   #6
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This will be my next purchase due to the high number of positive reviews and price.

rock island armory (RIA) satin nickel tactical 45



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Old 03-20-2010, 01:01 AM   #7
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Do you CCW?

If so, where do you keep the spare magazine? I've been looking for a good IWB solution to carry a spare magazine but haven't really found anything acceptable. About the best solution I've come across so far is something like a small niteize cell phone pouch with magnetic flap..

Sorry for the threadjack..
Bandoleirs. Be the awesome. I would love to just have a nice 12 guage and like 30 rounds on me, but thats going to scare the **** out of someone. Hell, If I saw a guy dressed that way on the trail I would be a bit leery.

"Badges? We dont need no steeenkeeeng badges! HAHAHAHA!"- Best Movie Ever.
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Old 03-20-2010, 01:03 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by djp0623 View Post
This will be my next purchase due to the high number of positive reviews and price.

rock island armory (RIA) satin nickel tactical 45



That is awesome.

I really wish there were just old beat up 1911s around, but they are all soaked up in the market. I ust looked those up though, thats a really low price!
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Old 03-20-2010, 01:33 AM   #9
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I need a Ruger LCP.
This thread is going to blow up tomorrow.

edit: I want a crimson trace too. Badass..

Last edited by turotufas; 03-20-2010 at 03:42 AM.
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Old 03-20-2010, 03:00 AM   #10
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Old 03-20-2010, 03:28 AM   #11
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I have an XD-9 EXCELLENT gun!
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Old 03-20-2010, 03:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djp0623 View Post
This will be my next purchase due to the high number of positive reviews and price.

rock island armory (RIA) satin nickel tactical 45



How much does that gun go for?
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Old 03-20-2010, 03:42 AM   #13
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I shoot better than I drive.
I hope you are kidding about 300-400LB bears. you don't shoot a bear with hand gun anything less than 44 Magnum. even then, I believe it just get them mad. it is more of a noise that scare them away.

for the price range you mentioned, sub $500. you will be missing out on the premium brand, HK, Sig comes to mind. Your best bet would be low end Glock, low end Berreta, Ruger, any revolvers.

revolver is almost always a good choice if budget is low. cheap, powerful (357) and reliable, and in general more accurate. if a round misfires, just pull the trigger again. there is no reliable 1911 in your price range, not even close.

caliber is not as important as you think. 45 is powerful, but I can shoot a 9mm twice as fast. 9mm is plenty cheap. 40sw is a great ammo, probably with most stopping power, up there with 357.

most important thing is just feel of a gun. pick it up, aim it with your eyes closed, open your eye, is it pointed correctly. does it fit your hand well, I have a small hand, most double stack don't fit my hand well. Again, can't emphasize this enough, you have to like the way it feels in your hand.

if it were me hiking in black bear country with $500 budget. it would be a .357 revolver if need to double as CCW.

for CCW. thin (vs. length and height of a gun) is more important, for concealability and comfort.

I used to shoot competitively, and reload my own ammo.
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Old 03-20-2010, 07:22 AM   #14
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I have to second the idea that a $400-$500 budget is going to be tough to hit. I would highly recommend that you save up a little more and have about $700 to spend. This will open up a far larger range of guns.

Next you need to find a local range that rents pistols and try out a few. Find one that you are comfortable with shooting and then go from there. Do not buy a pistol that you think looks badass or because ammo is available in its caliber. My first pistol was a Glock and after a few trips to the range it came down that it was just not comfortable shooting in my hands. It ended up being a $600 mistake.

So go with what you are comfortable with shooting and do not be afraid to spend a little bit more on it. It will be well worth it in the long run.
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Old 03-20-2010, 09:47 AM   #15
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If I were to buy another handgun (or could do it over) I would take the above advice....it's very hard to find a good gun in your price range, and the $700 quality guns are exactly that...quality. They are usually more comfortable, dependable, accurate, and better designed for the everyday parts of gun ownership like cleaning and storing (important, consider built-in safeties or a lock box).

That said, take a look at Taurus. I have not been disappointed with my PT111 Millenium Pro 9mm. They make the exact same gun in .40 and .45 as well, although it's a medium frame and the .45 may make it hard to get back on target. I had originally intended to at least get a .40, but had to find one fast before my CC class and this is what the gun store had. I really don't regret, as the proper ammunition (grain and muzzle velocity) can get pretty close to the stopping power of a .45, although their characteristics after hitting your target are debateable. I don't mind spending more on my defense ammo, and range ammo is still cheap.

Looks like they changed the model numbers a bit, but you can find what you like amongst their vast selection of frames, calibers and finishes.

Taurus International Manufacturing Inc

They MSRP just over $400, but look for local shop deals. I think mine was $389 with two mags (12rd cap) thrown in. Accuracy can be better, but they are precise. This means they don't hit exactly where the sights are, but hit the same spot every time. It's good enough for a panic situation, and still fun at the range. Ruger and Smith&Wesson 9mms are much better if you end up being a range rat though, and will get frustrated by not being able to hit the 10 ring when you're on form. Mine doesn't bother me because I bought it to carry, and it's great for that.

Great thing about being single is you can always buy another one later. I have to explain the deficiencies of mine to my wife, sale it, and talk her into another.
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Old 03-20-2010, 11:36 AM   #16
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How much does that gun go for?
Low 400s
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Old 03-20-2010, 11:49 AM   #17
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Thanks for the info folks!

Some time at the range is in order

A revolver is fine by me, the extra capacity of an auto is great, then again there are 8 shot .357 revolvers out there. I think Taurus makes one actually. If it comes down to a low quality auto or a relatively high quality revolver I will get the revolver.

With the .357 I was impresed with its ability to go through anything. The dishwasher has decent thickness metal sides all around. One round from the beat up old pawn shop .357 revolver ran parralel to the side for like a foot and still punched a hole at the end of it, which was impressive. None of the .45 rounds did that. I found several inside the washer where as near as I could tell not one .357 was stuck in there. Looking at the .357 round I can see why. It looks like a similar amount of powder to the .45 ACP, but a smaller round. Lookng at a bunch of mag articles last night I saw a ton of comments loving the sig .357, which seems to be what all the .357 autos use.

Good points on the shooting a bear thing. I guess I am underestimating an animal like that. I really wish I could just carry a shotgun. (Did I mention I live shotguns?)

So what about Hi-Points? (Ducks and runs away)
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:17 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by turotufas View Post
I need a Ruger LCP.
This thread is going to blow up tomorrow.

edit: I want a crimson trace too. Badass..
There is absolutely ZERO reason to pick an LCP over the KelTec P3AT. The KelTec is pretty much the same gun except not as heavy, it doesn't have any recalls, and it has a lifetime warranty. Oh, it is cheaper as well and has a larger user base. Now, if you want it to say Ruger on the outside you could probably pay someone to engrave it on there somewhere.


edit: I have a crimson trace on my KelTec. Yes, it is nice.
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Old 03-20-2010, 01:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elesjuan View Post
Do you CCW?

If so, where do you keep the spare magazine? I've been looking for a good IWB solution to carry a spare magazine but haven't really found anything acceptable. About the best solution I've come across so far is something like a small niteize cell phone pouch with magnetic flap..

Sorry for the threadjack..
I don't CCW the G30 -- it goes in my bag (in the car, into work, in my desk). If I'm carrying on my person, it's with one of three pistols:

S&W 38-2 Airweight Bodyguard, carried IWB w/ Barami Hip Grips

Kahr P9 Covert, carried IWB in a Comp-tac MTAC.

Kahr P45, carried IWB in a Crossbreed Supertuck.

In each situation, my Blackberry moves from my normal left front pocket to my right front pocket, and the spare mag (or speed strip for the .38 snub) goes in my left front pocket. Both Kahr's are single-stack, so the width of the spare mags (or speed strip) isn't an issue in my pocket.
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Old 03-20-2010, 01:50 PM   #20
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Good points on the shooting a bear thing. I guess I am underestimating an animal like that.
Indeed. You don't need an excuse to buy a gun, you can just buy one for fun if you want.
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