What is the best handgun for beginner?

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by 4safety, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. 4safety

    4safety New Member

    Jun 1, 2010
    I'm wanting to get a gun for self-defense, concealed carry. I have looked at semi & pistols and think I like a hammerless pistol best, mainly because I'm not strong enough to handle the slide mechanism on the semi-auto. What is the most reliable manufacturer and what calibar should I start with?

    I only have experience with trap and upland game shotguns. My husband left me a few shot guns that I thought I would sell or trade to get a hand gun as a shotgun is a little conspicious as a concealed weapon.

    Thanks for any info you can share.
  2. roaddog28

    roaddog28 Member

    Jul 28, 2009
    Hi and welcome,

    First I would try as many guns with the features as you described. Here is one suggestion. A Ruger SP101 in a 3 inch barrel. You can buy this revolver hammerless. You are wise to want a hammerless revolver because then you will learn how to shoot double action only. This in my opinion is the only way to shoot for self defense. This is a excellent revolver and won't set you back a lot of money. And Ruger is one of the best gun makers around.

    Good luck,

  3. navis128

    navis128 New Member

    Sep 15, 2009

    Keep at least one of those shotguns for your house.

    It's all about personal preference...that's what it comes down to. It's going to have to feel comfortable in your hand...your hand...no one else's

    I would go to a range that had pistols you can use. Choose a variety of calibers and grab one of the associates to help you out.

    Then I'd start haunting the gun shops...I found the established local guys are an encyclopedia that will be more than happy to help you...don't be surprised though if it comes to seeing something in that case that you just have to have.

    Take your time, don't rush...

    I have a 4 in barrel .45

    Luck to you and let us know.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  4. hogger129

    hogger129 Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2009
    I've heard quite a few people that have a .22 revolver for their first pistol. If you're using it for CC, I'd probably get a .357 Magnum and shoot .38 Special +P out of it. More controllable than .357 Magnum from what I hear. You might also want to look at one of the smaller Berettas. I forget, but I think there's one called the Stoeger Cougar, which I've heard is just a non-name brand Beretta. Pretty sure it's a .380. From what I've heard, Berettas are supposed to have some of the smoothest slides on them. If it's hard for you to rack the slide, I'd definitely at least give one of these a try before you make your final choice.

    My first gun was a Rock Island 1911A1 .45.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  5. navis128

    navis128 New Member

    Sep 15, 2009
    I wouldn't dismiss a .45...

    Just pull and push at the same time to rack it.

    Keep it close to your chest and push both ways to engage the slide lock

    I think it's about "English" an not so much strength.
  6. the suggestion about the shot gun for home defense bears considering,however i would rethink about hammerless.taurus makes a model 85 in both stainless and ultra light.these pistols are plus p capable and better handled with smaller hands.the ability to have a hammer makes it available to shoot both single and double action.the trigers on these guns are on the smaller side and not likley to interfere with pulling them out of a concealed position.if money available you might also look into their 22 revolers in ultra lite.they are nine shot and have adjustable sights,ammo is very cheap and you need to be proficiant if you are going to carry. old semperfi
  7. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    4safety, first welcome aboard. I vote for keeping one of the shot guns as a home defence weapon. Revolvers are, by design, very reliable. As for a self defence weapon in revolvers, I don't think I would go below the 32 Magnum. Read this short article: http://www.gunblast.com/Taurus_UltraLite32.htm Good luck in your search, and please let us know what you decide.
  8. tcox4freedom

    tcox4freedom Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome to the forum!

    You've gotten some good advice here.
    1. Don't rush
    2. Try out (handle AND shoot) as many handguns as possible before you buy.
    3. You may even want to take a class so you can learn proper technique BEFORE buying. (\
    4. An NRA "Women on Target" event is another GREAT way to gain expeience and get "good" information.

    The MAIN thing to avoid is too SMALL of a handgun. There are "men" out there who will patronaize people like you; and suggest small calibers and small handguns. (Small handguns are "specialized" weapons that usually require a little more skill and experience to operate.)

    Most of the women I've seen that started with a small SC/UC handgun in a small caliber soon seek a larger caliber compact model.

    My wife started with a Bersa 380 (A Great Hg btw!); within 3months she had graduated to a Taurus 24/7 Pro Compact 45acp. I later bought a 24/7 ProC 40s&w which she really likes and carrys now.

    Don't let anyone tell you you need a "expensive" handgun for SD. (You don't!)

    My wife and I love our 24/7 ProCompacts; and we trust them daily to protect our children and ourselves. So, I can highly recommend a Taurus 24/7 ProC in 9mm. I can also highly recommend the Springfield XD Sub-compact in 9mm. (another GREAT firearm!)

    Good Luck and feel free to PM me with any questions. I'll even let you talk to my wife.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2010
  9. pinecone70

    pinecone70 Active Member

    Jul 30, 2008
    Minnesota Gal!
    I'm not very big and not particularly strong, but I rack a pistol like Navis describes. I can rack any pistol, and favor the .40S&W compact semi-auto and the .38Special revolver. You will probably get information in concealed carry class when you go for your permit to carry.
  10. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Active Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Imperial, MO
    Almost any gun with a few exceptions can be racked if done properly unless you have very weak or arthritic fingers. There are techniques that can be used. My main concern is some of these semi autos require a strong wrist and control, especially the compacts otherwise your first shot will be your only b/c on a limp wrist the gun will FTF. I have a guy that was so dead set that him kimber ultra carry was miss feeding. I went to the range with him to only find that this rather large man was allowing the gun to flip on him and then the slide would never lock. When held firmly the gun functioned perfectly. No matter what way he held the gun he always went back to the old way which is no good under pressure. He was better off with a Revolver such as a S&W 642 or Ruger SP101. Revolvers are more forgiving.
  11. Terry_P

    Terry_P New Member

    Mar 23, 2008
    I agree with the Ruger SP101 or the Ruger LCR. To me the SP (of my two) is the best choice for new shooter and it is built like a tank and will last a lifetime. You can shoot 38's in it and the recoil is mild. Good luck.
  12. Mosin_Nagant_Fan

    Mosin_Nagant_Fan Active Member

    Jan 18, 2007
    Montgomery, AL
    The best beginner round for practice is the .22lr, the best round for an absolute beginner would either be the .38spl (.38 Special) or the 9mm Luger/Nato/9x19. (Right now, the 9mm is cheaper then the .38spl.) I recently got a box of 100 9mm FMJ (full metal jacket) for $27 while a box of 50 .38spl LRN (lead round nose) was either around that price or higher.

    I only made it sound technical for any other newbies wondering what some of the acronyms meant. Not trying to say no one here doesn't know what is what or belittle anyone.
  13. hogger129

    hogger129 Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2009
    I'd definitely give the 1911 a try. I think it's one of the best designs out there. Try out the Commander size .45. I tried out quite a few before I got my RIA and then my Springfield Loaded. Tried some 9mm, some .40 S&W, even a .38 Special. I decided the 1911 was the gun I wanted.

    Whatever you can do, just think of a few that you like the look of, and that feel comfortable in your grip, and go out to the range, rent these ones you like and try shooting a few.

    If you want my recommendation on a round... for CCW, I personally would stick by the .45ACP. I mean the .40, 9x19, they're both good defensive rounds, but the .45ACP is a proven stopper. If you go with a revolver, I'd really suggest a .357 Magnum. If you don't have trouble carrying a longer gun, check out the Colt Pythons or the S&W Model 19 - both with 4" barrels. .357 Magnum JHP is statistically the best defensive round in the book, so you can't go wrong with it. Listen to these guys and try out the Ruger revolvers too. I'm not that big on the LCR. For me, a gun's gotta look good, too.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2010
  14. Mosin_Nagant_Fan

    Mosin_Nagant_Fan Active Member

    Jan 18, 2007
    Montgomery, AL
    Assuming their is a range with rental and doesn't make you join a club. :S

    A lot of people would tell you to go with one desing or another, but it's the personal choice and what feels good that matters. I like the Sig P6, it feels good and can take P+ rounds. (durable) I've held the 1911, and it feels great, but I'm not convinced it's the right choice for me. (Sorry guys :eek: )

    If you can find a rent'n'shoot range with no commitment-club thing, do try 'em all out and see what fits you best. (No two sets of hands are the same, even for identical twins.)
  15. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    North Florida
    The ruger LCR is a hot item right now. Its the first poly frame revolver made. It is lightweight and easy to conceal. It shoots the 38 special and is designed for the +p load which is a hotter than normal bullet load. Good luck!
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