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Q:
So I am looking into buying a handgun for my 21st Bday. I was wondering on any suggestions for caliber and make. It will be used for personal defense. I know I want a automatic not a revolver and I would like something that is concealable. I have no idea were to start on brands but I am thinking of either 9mm or .40 caliber. My price range is 500-700$ and I am wanting to purchase a quality item that will last.

from holgreg on 12.02.12

Answers (8)

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from 6phunter wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I agree with officerdom1987on leave out the 9mm .380 BEFORE you buy a glock see if the trigger safty suits you.I didn't care for the xtra squeeze.THE .45 ACP WAS and is once again becoming the standard caliber for many law enforcement and military around the world.A GOOD 1911 MODEL SHOULD RUN AROUND $6OO.00

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from WSU in NM wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Huntfishtrap, I wasn't suggesting that a .22 is the best self defense round, I was suggesting that a .22 might be the best first pistol. You can get 500 rounds of .22 ammunition for the price of a box of 50 cheap 40 S&W ammo. It doesn't matter how big of a pistol you carry if you don't shoot it well. Learning on a .22 can help develop good shooting habits and confidence so when you do get a larger caliber firearm you will be a better shooter. One of my best friends used to pack a North American Arms 4 shot .22 long rifle revolver and I have seen him shoot rattle snakes and grouse with it. While not an easy gun to shoot with a lot of practice it can be somewhat useful. Some of the smaller 9s,40s and 45s while convenient to carry, might be a little difficult to learn to shoot if it is one's first experience with a hand gun.

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from Sven_Katur wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

The reason why I'm so enamored with this little pocket pistol is because I realized that 95% of the time I went "out" I didn't bother with carrying because it was too inconvenient (I own a Ruger SR9C and Featherweight S&W as well). Now, whenever I'm walking the dogs, bikeriding, running a quick errand or just out on the river I just clip it or slip it into the pocket of my shorts or swimsuit and I'm off. What it lacks in knock-down power and accuracy it more than makes up for in convenience -which is what has enabled me to carry virtually 100% of the time I leave the house. My only point was that if everyone felt comfortable carrying an axe there wouldn't be a market for hatchets.

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from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

@Sven_Katur, Have you ever shot that gun yourself? I'm wondering because my brother-in-law has that North American Arms .22 Mag, only with the standard grip, and it is a TERRIBLE gun. I'm not exaggerating here, it literally won't consistently hit a 2ft. diameter trash can lid at 7 yards (the standard self-defense practice distance). On average, you can expect maybe 2 or 3 hits out of 5 at that distance. We have no idea why it's so inaccurate, we've tried multiple kinds of ammo, and several people have shot it, all with the same results. So I would definitely not recommend that gun!

@WSU, the .22 LR is not a good self-defense caliber. Yes, it CAN record one-shot stops on a human, but only if the bullet's perfectly placed, and that ain't easy to do when you're in fear for your life!

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from Sven_Katur wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I'll throw you a curve and suggest that if your primary intent is a "true" 24/7 concealed carry weapon that something like North American Arms .22 Mag with Holster Grip would be an excellent option ...

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from WSU in NM wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

You didn't mention what, if any, experience you have shooting pistols and for a first pistol I suggest a .22.I have Walther P22 and really like it. An article in a recent American Rifleman stated that every caliber has recorded one shot stops on people. If you are planning on defending yourself against animals, go revolver. Starting with a .22 will allow you the oportunity to afford to shoot enough to develope good shooting habits. They are usually light enough to have with you when you need one and the ammunition is still cheap enough to have fun with. You can always get another pistol later. With the new ammunition available now days don't discount a 9mm.

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from CoyoteHunterBlake wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

try a colt 1911 or other makes also I second every thing that officerdom1987 says and if you want a mid powered pistol with 15 rds in the mag try out the berretta 92fs(9mm). they are what the military uses but it is the civilian version I think the only difference is that it is less shinny than the m9 the military uses also I think they make a .40 s&w version obviously it will have less ammo in the mag but it should be a very nice gun. (it is not the 92fs but its the px4 storm.)

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from officerdom1987 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

First thing is where do you plan on concealing the weapon? If you wear jackets, you may consider getting a full size pistol. In that case, I would highly consider a Glock pistol or a Sig Sauer. I carry a .40S&W at work and it carries 15 rounds, which is plenty. Sig Sauer is the Cadillac of Pistols; however, you'll pay for it. If you are looking for something year round concealable, consider a sub-compact. The new XD single stack (meaning the magazine rounds stack on top of eachother not staggered) is a fantastic piece. Also Glock makes plenty of sub-compacts. I would avoid 9mm and .380s and stick to a .357sig,.40S&W, or go big or go home with a .45acp. Also, I know being 21 you want your gun with all the bells and whistles. NOT NESSECARY. Keep your gun bare bones. No reason for lighter trigger pulls or lasers or crazy tactical stuff. Try going to a range that lets you rent firearms and see what fits in your hand the best. And of course, the most important,be sure you understand COMPLETELY the laws of concealed carry for your state and neighboring ones as well.

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from officerdom1987 wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

First thing is where do you plan on concealing the weapon? If you wear jackets, you may consider getting a full size pistol. In that case, I would highly consider a Glock pistol or a Sig Sauer. I carry a .40S&W at work and it carries 15 rounds, which is plenty. Sig Sauer is the Cadillac of Pistols; however, you'll pay for it. If you are looking for something year round concealable, consider a sub-compact. The new XD single stack (meaning the magazine rounds stack on top of eachother not staggered) is a fantastic piece. Also Glock makes plenty of sub-compacts. I would avoid 9mm and .380s and stick to a .357sig,.40S&W, or go big or go home with a .45acp. Also, I know being 21 you want your gun with all the bells and whistles. NOT NESSECARY. Keep your gun bare bones. No reason for lighter trigger pulls or lasers or crazy tactical stuff. Try going to a range that lets you rent firearms and see what fits in your hand the best. And of course, the most important,be sure you understand COMPLETELY the laws of concealed carry for your state and neighboring ones as well.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from 6phunter wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I agree with officerdom1987on leave out the 9mm .380 BEFORE you buy a glock see if the trigger safty suits you.I didn't care for the xtra squeeze.THE .45 ACP WAS and is once again becoming the standard caliber for many law enforcement and military around the world.A GOOD 1911 MODEL SHOULD RUN AROUND $6OO.00

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from CoyoteHunterBlake wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

try a colt 1911 or other makes also I second every thing that officerdom1987 says and if you want a mid powered pistol with 15 rds in the mag try out the berretta 92fs(9mm). they are what the military uses but it is the civilian version I think the only difference is that it is less shinny than the m9 the military uses also I think they make a .40 s&w version obviously it will have less ammo in the mag but it should be a very nice gun. (it is not the 92fs but its the px4 storm.)

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WSU in NM wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

You didn't mention what, if any, experience you have shooting pistols and for a first pistol I suggest a .22.I have Walther P22 and really like it. An article in a recent American Rifleman stated that every caliber has recorded one shot stops on people. If you are planning on defending yourself against animals, go revolver. Starting with a .22 will allow you the oportunity to afford to shoot enough to develope good shooting habits. They are usually light enough to have with you when you need one and the ammunition is still cheap enough to have fun with. You can always get another pistol later. With the new ammunition available now days don't discount a 9mm.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sven_Katur wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

I'll throw you a curve and suggest that if your primary intent is a "true" 24/7 concealed carry weapon that something like North American Arms .22 Mag with Holster Grip would be an excellent option ...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

@Sven_Katur, Have you ever shot that gun yourself? I'm wondering because my brother-in-law has that North American Arms .22 Mag, only with the standard grip, and it is a TERRIBLE gun. I'm not exaggerating here, it literally won't consistently hit a 2ft. diameter trash can lid at 7 yards (the standard self-defense practice distance). On average, you can expect maybe 2 or 3 hits out of 5 at that distance. We have no idea why it's so inaccurate, we've tried multiple kinds of ammo, and several people have shot it, all with the same results. So I would definitely not recommend that gun!

@WSU, the .22 LR is not a good self-defense caliber. Yes, it CAN record one-shot stops on a human, but only if the bullet's perfectly placed, and that ain't easy to do when you're in fear for your life!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sven_Katur wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

The reason why I'm so enamored with this little pocket pistol is because I realized that 95% of the time I went "out" I didn't bother with carrying because it was too inconvenient (I own a Ruger SR9C and Featherweight S&W as well). Now, whenever I'm walking the dogs, bikeriding, running a quick errand or just out on the river I just clip it or slip it into the pocket of my shorts or swimsuit and I'm off. What it lacks in knock-down power and accuracy it more than makes up for in convenience -which is what has enabled me to carry virtually 100% of the time I leave the house. My only point was that if everyone felt comfortable carrying an axe there wouldn't be a market for hatchets.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WSU in NM wrote 1 year 20 weeks ago

Huntfishtrap, I wasn't suggesting that a .22 is the best self defense round, I was suggesting that a .22 might be the best first pistol. You can get 500 rounds of .22 ammunition for the price of a box of 50 cheap 40 S&W ammo. It doesn't matter how big of a pistol you carry if you don't shoot it well. Learning on a .22 can help develop good shooting habits and confidence so when you do get a larger caliber firearm you will be a better shooter. One of my best friends used to pack a North American Arms 4 shot .22 long rifle revolver and I have seen him shoot rattle snakes and grouse with it. While not an easy gun to shoot with a lot of practice it can be somewhat useful. Some of the smaller 9s,40s and 45s while convenient to carry, might be a little difficult to learn to shoot if it is one's first experience with a hand gun.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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