ccw handgun question/ opinions

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MP-5, Aug 3, 2004.

  1. MP-5

    MP-5 New Member

    Jun 26, 2004
    i'm going to take the ccw course in s.c. but i dont have a handgun. what are some average handguns that would be good options. nothing outrageous in price, but not an el cheapo. i'm looking for the best BANG for the buck! thanks! :)
  2. 22WRF

    22WRF Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2004
    This ought to get you 40 or 50 different opinions :D :D :D

    The largest caliber you are comfortble with.
    Some where between .380 and .45 ACP

    For me it's .38 spl in a wheel gun and 9mm in an auto
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2004

  3. pickenup

    pickenup Active Member

    Sep 11, 2002
    Colorado Rocky Mountains
    EAA Witness ain't too bad. Fair quality, fair price. Or did you mean revolver?
  4. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

    Mar 27, 2003
    At SouthernMoss' side forever!
    There are as many options and opinions as there are people.

    It used to be that one needed to decide whether he wanteed a wheel gun (revolver) or a pistol, which several years ago meant either a 1911 .45 acp or a Browning in either .380 or 9mm.

    Now, its either wheel gun, traditional pistol or tupperware, (Plastic/Polymer guns). You need to try some of each and look at and shoot as many different ones as you can get access to and then decide for yourself what is best for you.

    I like S&W revolvers, the Browning and the 1911, mine is a Springfield. My tastes are those of an old man who likes traditional items. There are several of the newer Polymer guns that are good, too, so that's why you need to try them out.

    The decision on guns is not unlike cars; Some people like Chevy, some like Ford and others like foreign.
  5. CountryGunsmith

    CountryGunsmith New Member

    Jan 29, 2003
    Deep Piney Woods of East Texas
    Here's the start of our latest project. Just got through plating the frame. You should get the idea of my suggestion as to a CCW pistol...

    Attached Files:

  6. Jay

    Jay Active Member

    Mar 26, 2003
    If you were my son, (I'm probably old enough to be your dad) I'd suggest you NOT BUY ANYTHING until you get to the biggest gun shop you can find, and handle every handgun you can. Find one that "feels right" before you worry about anything else. The most expensive handgun ever made won't be much good to you unless it's comfortable, and fits your hand. It doesn't matter much what others shoot, including me. Many times a handgun will be available in several calibers, using the same basic frame, (Glock for example) but I'd suggest that the choice of caliber come after you find one that "fits".

    Enjoy choosing,

  7. Remington597

    Remington597 Former Guest

    Feb 24, 2004
    If you want to stay in the $250-$325 range, then there are four good choices.

    1. The Kel Tec P11 in 9mm.
    2. The Taurus Millenium in 9mm.
    3. The Llama Micromax subcompact in .45ACP
    4. The Bersa Thunder in .380ACP.

    I have all four. I alternate them during the week, with other choices for the weekend.
  8. Hydra Shok

    Hydra Shok Member

    Feb 17, 2003
    Chasing my Seven Year Old
    Welcome to TFF MP-5.

    I think the first question to consider is your preference between a revolver or an automatic. Will you carry the gun all day every day or just now and then? To me, if you choose a revolver get a J frame S&W or Taurus copy or similar size revolver. As to caliber, you may as well go with a .357 magnum, that way you can shoot .38 specials to plink with, not to mention the savings in money.
    If you prefer automatics, Remmy mention several good choices. Kel-Tec makes some of the lightest autos going today as in the P-11 and P-32. Also, the Millennium is a great carry gun in my opinion as I used to carry one. The Millennium PT-111 is a very "safe" pistol, it has a slide saftey, a locking mechanism on the slide that will completely lock the gun, and a heavy DAO trigger. This is a defensive pistol not a target pistol so don't be afraid of a heavy trigger. The only reason I don't have my Millennium anymore is because the grip was a little short for my taste so I bought and carry a Glock 19 now.
    I still carry my 1911 from time to time, depending on the situation or weather, but for an all day carry gun, think light.

    My Glock 19

    Attached Files:

  9. offeror

    offeror New Member

    May 17, 2004
    NE Indiana
    Given the MP-5 ID, I'm going to guess you prefer semi-auto. There is no shortage of good choices in "average" semi-autos these days, and for CCW you don't want to go too big or too heavy, and you don't have to.

    Now, you can get a proven compact design in a GLOCK like the G30 (.45) the G26 (9mm) or the G27 (.40S&W). You can save $75-100 if you can find a used one in near new condition -- I'd guess you'll pay around $350-400 used, closer to $500 new. Trigger pull on a Glock is light and adjustable; I'd go with 5 to 8 lbs. The Springfield XD is as good a gun, probably, and can be had in compact form too if you ask for it. The Glock has the virtue of fewer levers and buttons to learn, and it's easier to find used guns, but the XD is undeniably handsome.

    The TAURUS MILLENNIUM line is also light and very compact. These are semi-auto "snubbies," with a lot of bang per buck. The PT145 at $345 (maybe a bit less) is my personal favorite because it is a .45ACP, and a compact weighing only around 27 oz. with a fairly light trigger pull around 8.5 lbs. And these little guns still hold a full 10 rounds in the magazine.

    The KEL-TECs are popular as well, and less expensive; the new .380 model called the 3AT is extremely light, the overall design is proven, and it has a trigger pull under 8 lbs. as I recall. Price is maybe $100 less than my first two suggestions, if you're on a tight budget. But this may be just as good a value and it won't get heavy in your pocket.

    The above suggestions are "space-age" polymer frame guns, for light weight and all-weather strength -- light and comfortable against the body when carried. They still travel best in a good concealment holster, and of course you want the trigger properly covered if you carry with a round in the chamber.

    But there are excellent carry guns with light ALLOY (metal) frames as well, including more traditional and very fine 1911 compacts from various makers, as well as the excellently designed CZ and WITNESS which include compacts in their 9mm and .45 lines.

    If you are sensitive to recoil, or you need a deep concealment pocket gun, you may want to start as low as a .380. They generally have smaller frames and slip into many pockets without too much trouble. The 9mm is a good "average" concealment gun round but even most compacts will benefit from a concealment holster. Those like me who prefer a big bore compact will choose the .45ACP chambered gun, still in a compact form, and with a concealment holster like a hi-riding belt or paddle rig.

    I agree that looking at everything in the gun shop is a great way to find what appeals to you. But you asked for some "average" suggestions and these are some of mine. There are more of course. In fact I just saw a new mini-compact 9mm on the cover of a gun magazine the other day that I need to go read about. Looks like another pocket 9 may have come onto the CCW market.
  10. rosierita

    rosierita Active Member

    Mar 13, 2004
    South Carolina
    :) these are some great suggestions! :) i'll take one of each! LOL! ;)

    i'm taking the class w/ troy. :D & i'm gonna need a handgun too. :p i prefer something w/ not so much recoil & a revolver.... :cool: heehee. is that possible? :confused:

    all we got round here are rifles & a shot gun, oh & some bb guns.... :cool:
  11. punchie

    punchie Active Member

    Apr 27, 2004
    Chesterfield, VA
    Get the one the YOU are comfortable with and can shoot competently. Doesn't really matter if it is a wheel gun or semi, steel, alloy, or plastic if you are not comfortable with it and can not shoot it competently it is just baggage.




  12. offeror

    offeror New Member

    May 17, 2004
    NE Indiana
    rosierita -- Sure it's possible. Concerns for a concealment revolver are that the barrel not be too long, the hammer not snag clothing or purse on a quick draw, and the trigger pull not be too heavy for the owner to operate.

    Personally, in a concealment revolver I like a snubby with a barrel between 2" and 3-1/2," or 4" at the very most. It should have a "pocket hammer," which to me means the hammer is either "bobbed" to a smooth contour, or internal (enclosed in the frame and out of sight).

    You really need to dry fire a revolver in the shop to be sure you can pull the trigger comfortably, and that your hand is physically strong enough. Some may snicker at this, but the typical double action revolver has a 12-pound pull (note the 5-8 pound pulls on the semi-autos described above), and in my own experience I have seen people who could not pull the trigger on certain double action guns, as if the trigger was locked tight -- but of course it wasn't. Your hand must fit the grip too, of course; smaller or larger grips can be used to make a small frame revolver fit any size hand -- your index finger should not have to stretch to put the second joint over the trigger (in the opinion of many). When using a revolver for protection, it is highly unlikely you will be cocking the hammer back before a shot.

    Smith & Wesson is pretty good with smooth DA trigger pulls, and the Ruger SP 101 is well worth considering in your dealer's shop as well. Luckily, even S&W .38 revolvers are not terribly expensive since the popular trend for defense guns is to semi-autos -- giving you a price advantage.

    As for recoil, revolvers may have a little more muzzle flip because there is no slide or recoil spring to absorb anything; but I'd say that a .38 Special is a good "average" defense cartridge without excessive recoil, and it is common and widely available. You could even get a lightweight, compact alloy or titanium .357 Magnum revolver -- and load it with .38 Specials, at least for practice. Some revolvers marketed to ladies have been chambered in .32 rimmed cartridges, by the way; big bore fans like me prefer the .44 Special or .357 Magnum, or even the .44 Magnum. These are interesting options, but necessitate larger frames in general and of course have progressively more recoil.

    There are a lot of nice small-frame revolvers in .38 Special, with non-snag hammers, to choose from. The best defensive loads in .38 Special are quite effective by now, having been developed for decades.

    This is not a complete picture, nor the only opinion, just some suggestions.
  13. Woodman

    Woodman New Member

    Jan 11, 2004
    Da' Keystone State
    As to Offerer's mention of the SP-101, the 2.25" BBL model he suggests is the KSP-321 XL

    It has a 14# trigger, but is very accurate and solid. 25 ozs. unloaded; you can find one for half that weight, but I don't think it would last forever, the way the SP is engineered. Quite a kick, that .357. If I wanted a revolver for full time carry, I'd take a 5-shot "airweight" .357.

    I took mine off the "list" for a flatter semi-auto in polymer, and will soon add an identical piece in stainless, both 9mm.

    When I return to colder climates, it will be a 4.25" BBL slim 1911 for me, especially around the holiday times when Jack has to go shopping for the family, and he picks me as his personal ATM.
  14. bambihunter

    bambihunter New Member

    Dec 29, 2003
    Oklahoma City, OK
    If you're on a budget the Witness line as mentioned are great guns for the price and can be had in several powerful choices including the powerful 10mm. I use 10mm Glocks for both CCW (a Glock 29) and home defense (Glock 20). The 10mm is (depending on the load) at least equal to the .357 mag on power and some loads get up to .41 mag levels. If you figure several 10mm guns can pack quite a few rounds in the mag there really isn't another gun you can carry which has the firepower they can bring to bear. If you want to read some of the specs on them of one of the premium 10mm ammo maker the address is: DoubleTapAmmo
    I also have a Kel-tec P3AT (.380) for those rare occasions I don't want to take my normal CCW gun out with me. With its very small size, very light weight and concealability, there's absolutely no reason to go out unarmed! I'd maybe even consider this as a first gun simply because you'll eventually want a very small gun for those times when nothing else will work and it's better than going out unarmed...

    I agree with the comment above about handling all kinds of guns before you buy. If possible, spend some money at a gun range that rents guns and try out various models and see what you think.
    If you're in my area I'd be glad to let ya try out mine, maybe someone will be close to your area (if I'm not). Good luck and congrats on making the choice to get your CCW.
  15. 358 winchester

    358 winchester *TFF Admin Staff*

    Apr 25, 2004
    Pensacola Fl. area
    Jay says alot here :) I agree with him DO NOT buy until you have handled all handguns that you may consider. Find the one that fits your hand best then find someone that will let you shoot one just like it! I have many different guns and over the years have found some that I liked alot until I got to the range, it is hard to get the ture feel of a handgun until you have shot it.
    my carry guns are
    1911 Springfield 45 cal
    S&W Model 19 357 cal
    Keltec 3AT 380cal
    Taurus 92AF 9mm
    not all at one time either ;) different guns for different reasons
    And this will get some good comments but one of my favorite carry guns is an older S&W Lemmon Squezzer in 38S&W hammerless small DAO but packs a good punch in the 1st 10 yards.
    read Jay's comment over again and again it is very good advice
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