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OT: Handguns.

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  • OT: Handguns.

    I thought about putting this in the Gunsmithing forum but it's not really appropriate there so I put it here as an Off Topic.

    I sort of have a 'need' for a handgun but I don't have a 'want' for one. I've been around long guns all of my life and have no irrational fear of guns ... just respect. My problem is I just don't like the idea of owning a handgun. I've shot them in .22 up to .44 Magnum. I shoot pretty well for as little as I've shot one. I just consider them useless except for self-defence, thus I sort of have a need for a handgun.

    I could put a .22lr semi-automatic pistol to good use at times while out on the property and I wouldn't mind having one of them so much but it doesn't get rave reviews when it comes to self-defence. (Ruger Mark III Hunter in stainless steel with a 6 7/8" barrel comes to mind. Sweet! )

    I have a silly request. Can you tell me anything that will convince me to get one?

    (I have a permit to acquire and I'm scheduled to take a permit to carry class in 5 days that I'm half way tempted to cancel out of.)

  • #2
    Any handgun that you can't or won't use, or are not familiar with is useless in a self defense situation. A 22 is better than nothing, a 38 Special or larger is better yet.

    I do prefer a shorter barrel, say 4", in a carry gun. It is handier and quicker to bring into action. You give up little in accuracy or performance. If the Ruger holds your interest, get one and become familiar with it. You will find that it is more convenient than a long arm, and offers opportunities in plinking and casual shooting if it is readily at hand.

    Once you get accustomed to owning a handgun, you might find the idea of a heavier caliber more appealing.

    If it is a total no go, you can usually sell a good gun for close to the new price, so there is little economic downside in changing your mind.
    Jim H.


    • #3
      The starting question is your location.
      The followup question is whether you intend to carry or just keep it at home.

      .22lr is not something you want to get hit with, does okay with most critters, but is not considered a self defense round. For that, the minimums would be .380 auto or .38 special unless there is a special circumstance.


      • #4
        IF (and that's a big if) I buy one I'm currently considering the Ruger mid-frame (GP100) 6-shot stainless steel revolver with a 4" barrel in a .357 Magnum with adjustable rear sight.

        Would that be a good choice for self-defence/carry? Might be a bit heavy to carry but I weigh about 220 lbs and could probably hide it fairly easily.


        • #5
          Originally posted by 2ManyHobbies
          The starting question is your location.
          The followup question is whether you intend to carry or just keep it at home.
          I live out in the country but work in the city. It would be easier to transport if I have a CCW permit. I'd keep it in the truck while I'm at work so I can carry it to the house when I get home at night. It also might be handy to keep with me while doing chores or in the out building, day or night, especially when I'm the only one on the property.

          I *might* carry it more later...IF I get one.


          • #6
            In a true self defense situation with another human that was pointing ANY gun at me...I "personally" would want to he holding a revolver. I want a semi-auto with 15 rounds in a clip and a worrysome sound when you chamber a round in the dark....

            I hope you never have to get into that situation because whatever's all downhill from there...
            Last edited by Kenwc; 11-29-2010, 05:49 PM.


            • #7
              I built a single shot 12 guage pistol. Barrel is 4" long. You can't miss at close range. It has a pattern the size of a garage door at a distance of about 12 to 15 ft. It would not be good for snakes or bear. If 2 or 3 guys are trying to rob you this would take them all out.
              Last edited by gary350; 11-29-2010, 05:51 PM.


              • #8
                Along with a 2 legged critter that caused an incident about 2 weeks ago I've also seen a 4 legged critter near the house twice in about a year - a mountain lion.

                I've had a neighbor warn us to keep a gun handy while taking our walks around the place because of mountain lions. My take has been that if a mountain lion attacks me I'll probably never know what hit me but then again???


                • #9
                  Would that be a good choice for self-defence/carry?
                  I suggest you find a GOOD gun shop with a range (if near you, wherever you are) and rent several guns to get a feel for what's right for you. Grip, balance, recoil, load and other factors all play a big part, more so than the long guns you're familiar with. Then you want to get very proficient with it. Carrying a firearm without proficiency is a disaster waiting to happen.

                  I wish you luck in your decision.



                  • #10
                    I would say you don't need one. Statistically (and you all are going to hate me and argue this point), you are more likely to be shot and killed if you carry a handgun than if you are unarmed.

                    Furthermore, the psychological impact of taking another person's life can be great. I understand defending one's self or one's loved ones, but I would much rather hand over my wallet than risk either killing or being killed.

                    If you live in a rural area, a rifle of some sort is almost a neccessity just to deal with wild (or rabid) animals, etc. But a hand gun doesn't seem very practical. They are fun to own and shoot, though.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gary350
                      I built a single shot 12 guage pistol. Barrel is 4" long. You can't miss at close range. It has a pattern the size of a garage door at a distance of about 12 to 15 ft.
                      I keep a Mossberg 500 12 gauge hidden in the house. It has an 18.5" barrel and a pistol grip. Plenty of shells handy too.

                      I don't want to carry that while doing chores but it does have a strap so it wouldn't be too inconvenient.

                      Transporting might be an issue though. And forget about carrying.


                      • #12
                        The .357 magnum is a quite capable self defense round. A bonus is that you can train and practice with .38 special rounds should you find a full .357 magnum a little much for extended use.

                        The GP100 is moderately concealable. You probably won't find the size to be the issue and you can be creative with a weighted pouch to see if the weight would be. If you carry in a belt holster, you'll need to invest in a good stiff belt.

                        I was trying to narrow down your location by state (if USA) to send you towards groups and other web boards with locally relevant information.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Pherdie
                          Then you want to get very proficient with it. Carrying a firearm without proficiency is a disaster waiting to happen.
                          Exactly. Sadly, the majority of people who carry are not proficient. I'll see if I can dig up those statistics that I saw. Typically, the "success" stories where carrying a concealed weapon turned out to be beneficial was when the individual was highly trained - either military or law-enforcement, etc.


                          • #14
                            Common knowledge - and it has been well-summarized here - is that the best handgun is the one that you shoot best. Given your size, the GP-100 is a great choice ! You can easily and inexpensively load it down to .38 special (or less) and shoot cast SWC for practice. While large magazines in a semi-auto are definitely attractive, I've always felt that the ability to simply squeeze the trigger again (in the event of a misfire) makes the revolver a great choice.

                            I have the earlier version (Ruger "Speed Six" with 2-5/8 inch barrel), purchased further back than I like to remember. It's had several thousand rounds through it - the wife shoots it, my son and all the nephews - it's still as tight as the day that I bought it. It's my "camping gun", every other chamber carries a shotshell for snakes.

                            Because of the short barrel, it's sort of like holding a cherry bomb in your hand when shooting full power loads. I have a lot of handguns and if I had to pick the one that I felt most comfortable with, it would be Grand-Daddy's S & W hand-ejector in .32-20. But for reasonable accuracy and stopping power, I take a Colt Government Model in the conventional caliber.

                            The ideal - for me but I haven't yet found it - would be the Government Model in .38 Super.

                            Cheers and good luck !
                            Randy C


                            • #15
                              Not to discourage you, but have you ever had to keep track of a 3 year old in public? Same mindset. If you are carrying, you need to know where the gun is at all times. You also need to know where you are and where you are going. You don't want to forget and carry it into some place where guns are prohibited.

                              Even then, you don't want other people to see it when you are in a public place. I remember hearing on the police scanner about a guy who was (later determined to be) carrying legally, cause a tense situation for a few minutes in a department store. A "concerned citizen" with a cell phone reported him.

                              I've never carried, perferring to try to avoid the social occasion that make such things necessary.

                              That said, I always felt that if you needed a gun then you should have a GUN. As big as comfortable and practical. My taste runs to .45 - large hole equals sudden stop.
                              Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
                              ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~