Can someone help me out....

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jessikisses, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. jessikisses

    jessikisses New Member

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    :) Hey all, Well heres the deal, I just recently started looking for my first handgun....and I dont really know what to purchase... Dont recommend the Lady Smith though its grip is just too small for my hands...:( Any way....I was thinking about a revolver...one to carry for my protection being I live near Reading Pa, where a woman was shot for no reason working at a McDonalds....so I really just need something to help me feel safe... I was looking at a .357, the Ruger sp101 I like the 3in barrel but that doesnt come in the hammerless version...but my local cabelas told me I could take it to a smith if thats the one I buy and have it done.....but I really dont know....Its going to be my first one so if anyone has any suggestions or any ideas that could help me out...Oh I was also looking at a few 9mm auto barettas.....:p Well thanks for the help beforehand...
  2. In my opinion, a revolver is an excellent choice for the use you describe, Jessi, and your caliber choice is a good one as well. I can understand why you find the Lady Smith uncomfortable, but keep in mind, you can easily replace the grips on that revolver with Pachmayr compacts that will increase the gripping surface considerably. Another one to look at, if you want a .357, would be the Smith Model 60 or one of its many variations, some of which are offered in hammerless versions. You're likely to have a problem of sorts if you insist on a hammerless (DAO) revolver and want a weapon larger than the J-Frame. Most Smith K-frame revolvers--the next size up--sport hammers. Seriously consider replacing the grips as a solution, Jessi. I often carry a Smith Mod 637 J-frame, but like you, the original grip is too small for my hands. I put the Pachmayrs on (they run about $20.00) and the problem was solved, yet the revolver is still easily concealable and light in weight.
  3. catfish83861

    catfish83861 Active Member

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    Well Jessi, Pistols moniker isn't "Pistol" for nothing. I agree with him one hundred percent on the packmeyer grips. I would strongly suggest that you look up one of the local indoor gun ranges in your area. They normally have pistols for rent pretty reasonable and that would allow you the opportunity to fire test them prior to purchasing one. Remember even though it may feel "Good in the hands". When fired, now that may be a different item altogether. A Lady Smith with 38 special hydra-shocks loaded is a formable item on thin skinned varmints. Recoil is also very minimum with this load. Should you not mind the somewhat sharper recoil of the 357 round by all means use them. No matter which caliber you chose, in my opinion the most important items are.1) Your comfortable with the weapon. 2) Practice, Practice, Practice. Good Luck on your quest. Love to see these ladies armed.:D catfish
  4. The old catfish has it right, Jessi. Don't sell a .38 special short as to its effectiveness if it is loaded properly. One caution I would give you, along the same line as Cat mentions, is DO NOT carry a .357 in a small-frame revolver for self-defense unless you have shot it extensively and KNOW you can handle the recoil. Trust me, it is considerably harsher than a .38 special +P! One of the advantages of buying a .357 in preference to a .38 special though is that you can carry .38s (or at least practice with them) instead of .357s if you choose to do so. Personally, I dislike .357s in small-frame revolvers because they recoil so harshly and interfere with control and accuracy for repeat shots. Besides, they hurt to fire in a light revolver! ;) In a self-defense situation, the relatively minor pain of firing them is totally irrelevant, but control is not. For what it is worth, if you decide to use .38s, I recommend the Speer 135 grain Gold Dot round. This round was specially designed by Speer for the bullet to function reliably when fired from a shot-barreled revolver. Even with a 2" barrel, the bullet will penetrate well and expand properly.
  5. Jay

    Jay New Member

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    I'd suggest you shop for a handgun just like you do for shoes. It shouldn't matter what I have, or anyone else. The handgun MUST FIT YOUR HANDS. If it doesn't reel "right" in your hands, you'll never shoot it enough to become proficient with it. Get to gun shows, and/or gun shops and handle everything you can get your hands on.... you'll find several. Start with a .22 of whatever make. Work up to what you are comfortable, and PROFICIENT with. A hit with a .22 beats a miss with a .45.
  6. Bruce FLinch

    Bruce FLinch New Member

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    You might try the Smith mod 42. Hammerless, 5 shot .38 sp+p revolver. It works ok in my LARGE hands. Pracetice w/ wadcutters or std .38's. Carry w/ some hollowpoints. Good Luck. :)
  7. SouthernMoss

    SouthernMoss *Admin Tech Staff*

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    Jay is right on the money.
  8. LurpyGeek

    LurpyGeek Active Member

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    Good advice from everyone above. I would suggest looking at something like a Bersa Thunder 380. Small weapon, very concealable, manageable recoil for a beginner, and a price tag that just about can't be beat.
  9. If you decide on an auto in preference to a revolver, Jessi, there are a lot of good choices. The 9mm is a fine caliber, a very decent self-defense round, and it is available in many excellent autos. My own #1 choice, given the criteria you described, would be a Glock 26. Some people like Glocks, and others do not; it just depends on the person. The G26 gives you 10 rounds of 9mm +P in a small, very concealable package. You can purchase a grip extender for them as well (Pierce makes them) that adds another round or two and makes the relatively small grip much more comfortable. Try one out first though. As I said, some people (myself included) love the Glocks, but others despise them.
  10. jessikisses

    jessikisses New Member

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    Well I dont really like the look of the Glocks, my boyfriend was trying to get me to look at them but I dont really like them. I know that I can test fire a few pistols of my mom's but her Lady Smith is just not comfortable....she has tiny hands. I just think that I need to look around a bit more just to see what I like....:p
    Oh and I dont really think that there are many indoor ranges in my area....so I'm stuck just finding family that has some to practice till I purchase my own....
  11. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    I agree with Jay and SouthernMoss......start with a .22, not as a defensive weapon, but as a learning tool.

    Shooting a handgun is not the same as shooting a rifle! It's an entirely different technique.

    .22 rimfire is fun, the caliber has low recoil, is accurate, fun to shoot, and inexpensive.

    Starting with a large caliber can cause problems. The recoil can build a "flinch" into your shooting, and it can be expensive (thus limiting practice).

    So.....get yourself a .22 (either revolver or semi-auto pistol) and practice, practice, practice. When you've learned to shoot it safely and accurately, then move up to the bigger stuff. :)
  12. rosierita

    rosierita Active Member

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    ITA w xracer & jay! :) & since you have limited experience w/ handguns, i'd stick w/ the revolver. revolvers are easy to care for & use.

    like jay said, shooting accurately w/ a 22 is far better than missing the target w/ a 45. shot placement is key.
  13. jessikisses

    jessikisses New Member

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    Well I know that I should start small but I really dont like the area where I live....so I wanted to get a decent handgun early, and I've held my dad's .22 and I just really dont like how light they are. The guy at the gun counter at Cabela's told me that I have the hands and the strength for a .45 I dont really want to go that big...I know that with the .357 that I could practice with .38 which has less recoil, at least thats what he said....
  14. arkyboy

    arkyboy New Member

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    I have a Tarus model 85 five shot in 38 special that me and the wife dearly love. Small and light, but has rubber fingergroove grips that fit both of our hands. Very accurate for a compact revolver, and super reliable. Great for plinking with standard 38 special ammo and fairly impressive with +P ammo. I think I gave about $250. for it new at a local shop. One of my favorite small pistols, and Tarus has a lifetime warranty.
    arkyboy
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2007
  15. rosierita

    rosierita Active Member

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    :confused: how could he tell that from the other side of the counter?? seriously, i would NOT start out w/ a 45.... start out small. you dont have to stick w/ a 22 forever, but i'd suggest you start out w/ 1. the last thing you want to do is start out w/ too big of a caliber & start flinching in anticipation of the recoil from the shot being fired!

    if you dont want to purchase a 22, go to a range & rent 1 & then build yourself up to what you want to purchase. IMHO you are setting yourself up for problems if you buy a caliber that is too much for you to start out with.

    ETA ~ your mentioning the weight of the 22 being too light..... you may want to consider something lightweight for carry purposes. lugging a gun around all day (& concealing it) is way different IMHO than just holding 1 at the range. sure, you want them to be comfortable in your hand, but you dont want it weighing a ton by the end of the day either.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2007
  16. SouthernMoss

    SouthernMoss *Admin Tech Staff*

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    Or borrow your Dad's. ;)

    You don't have to stick with a 22 forever, but I do think it's a good idea to start with one, for three reasons:

    1. Less recoil while you're learning, meaning you're less apt to develop a flinch
    2. You can shoot longer without tiring
    3. Ammo is cheap, so you can shoot lots of it

    After you're proficient with the 22, then you can go for the .38 ... and the .357 ... and the .45 .... and the 9mm ... ... :D Hey, you can't stop with just one! ;)
  17. Huck Finn

    Huck Finn Member

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    The Thunder 380 is the first one that came to mind when I read your post. Can't add much to what Lurpy said other than I own one & have found it to be 100% reliable, easy to carry & easy to shoot. I think you should look at one before you make your final decision. Let us know how this turns out.
    Huck
  18. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 New Member

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    It depends on so many things that suggestions are hard to give per type and brand/caliber.
    Find something that fits you in a caliber you can handle. Revolver or semi doesn't matter except in a major shoot out.
    Once you have your gun then practice, practice, practice until your comfort level is high.
    Have fun and be safe always.
  19. neophyte

    neophyte New Member

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    jessikisses: Ma'am; given we have never met; I'll pose questions as I would if we were standing side by side.
    1. what is the primary purpose
    2. how do you plan to carry
    3. do you plan to practice
    4. do you have littles ones around
    5. are there any [legal probabilities]
    6. will you be comfortable with a weapon
    7. would you or could you pull the trigger in defense

    Mundane the questions, and yes there are others. Thinking FIRST

    Personally; again; standing beside me; LETS GO SHOOTING [bring your family and friends] of course
    At the firing range I would let you have a go at what-ever I had loaded
    [revolver, bottom feeder, break-action, single action] and me a grinning.

    Maybe we could go at another time [new wears off quickly for some folks]

    This simple exercise isn't to prove anything other than YOUR experiencing
    a difference; without my trying to figure out what you want. At the end of said exercise you will have had opportunity of experiencing.

    Again; at the end of said experience; My question; did you have fun; were you scared, did you feel comfortable, How did xyz fit/feel, did you like one better than the other.
    From the git/go I like your choice sp101; I like the fact that you know that a .38, .357 have the same diameter. I like your question.
    Ma'am I don't have anything to sell, Yes I do have preferences, ultimately
    the experiences you gain from a gun range/rental friend will dictate your decision.
    The folks here have some good thinking/average thinking/brilliant thoughts/
    and definite opinions; with your best interest in mind.
    Your basic purchase is minimal give the over-all life changing responsibility
    that goes with ownership.

    Without practice: 'YOU WILL END UP WITH A BOAT ANCHOR.'
    Purchase and practice. Learn about the Law in your state; get legal
    CCW

    Thanks for making me think.

    Craig
  20. jessikisses

    jessikisses New Member

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    Ok the primary purpose is for my own personal protection and safety.
    I want to carry concealed, just like my mom does.
    I do definately plan to practice as practice gets you to damn near perfect....there is no such thing as absolute perfection.
    There are no little ones around...not yet at least.
    Only thing I need to do is get my permit to carry concealed weapons.
    I plan on being comfortable with it of course, thats why I said no to the lady smith, and anything too light, it just feels wrong.
    Definately depends on the situation but I feel that I would definately be able to pull the trigger in a derensive situation.
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