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A friend and I were discussing handguns today and we got on the topic of his nephew who’d bought a .357 Magnum revolver (the only handgun he owns) but can’t shoot it worth a damn. It made me think about the husband of one of my employees who’s a retired firefighter, stands about 6′ 4″ has a WWE wrestler’s build and whose only gun is a compact .380. Which he never shoots. In both cases they were out with the guys and got a recommendation from someone as to what gun they should buy. In both cases that recommendation was wrong . . .

We’re assaulted by recommendations from all manner of “experts” who are only too happy to tell anyone who will listen about their idea of the perfect gun. The problem is those who are less knowledgeable often follow this advice without really understanding the implications. Until it’s too late and they’ve plunked down their hard-earned cash for a gun they hate.

I’ve been down that road myself.  I’ve probably purchased something north of a couple of dozen handguns over the last few years in search of the “right” gun for me. I still own about half of them, but the ones that ended up sold provided some valuable lessons (as well as hits to the pocketbook) as to what I like and — just as important — what I don’t.

Lesson One:  There is no such thing as a perfect gun

Anyone who tells you otherwise is full of shit. Up to their baby blues in it. For most people a perfect gun would be small and easily concealable, lightweight, have a large capacity magazine (at least 15 rounds), have grip big enough to be held comfortably and have less recoil than a .22 while firing a massively potent round.

Absent some sort of Dr. Who-like space/time dimensional warp effect, there isn’t any way to pack all of those characteristics to be in a one gun. A firearm that is small and light will, by necessity, be limited in ammo capacity as well as (to some extent) caliber.  A gun that fires a powerful round needs to be larger and heavier to absorb the recoil, or it would be too difficult to shoot accurately for most people.

And as I’ve said in the past, I prefer the DA/SA firing system over the the SAO, DAO, Glock Safe Action varieties. Any gun that doesn’t have a DA/SA is simply not the perfect gun. For me.

Lesson Two: The right tool for the job

Once we’ve established that there’s no such thing as the perfect do-everything gun, most people are better off getting more than one, each of which is good for its intended purpose. This beats the hell out of settling for one gun that does nothing particularly well.

This is why I own a couple of large frame combat/target pistols for when I don’t need to worry about concealability and want large capacity magazines. I also own a mid-size heater, a Sig P229, that I can conceal in the colder months, but still has a respectable round count. And then there are my compact guns such as my S&W J-Frame that, while lacking in capacity, are much easier to conceal. I choose my gun depending on my situation each day. Sure, there’s always a compromise involved, but such is life.

Lesson Three: Understand the context of the advice

James Yeager, the guy behind the Tactical Response videos, is famous for saying, “Every gun should be a Glock, every Glock should be 9mm, and every 9mm should be a Glock 19.” Again, bullshit. He may say that partly in jest, but in my mind such advice undermines his credibility as an instructor.

The good instructors I’ve known don’t give a damn what you shoot. They’ll talk with you and offer suggestions based on what your situation, but they won’t presume to tell you what you need. Everyone’s different and they know it.

Since I have a fondness for DA/SA guns and since Glock doesn’t make a DA/SA gun, I’m damn glad the industry hasn’t taken Yeager’s advice. Check the display case at your friendly neighborhood gun store. Not everyone wants or needs Gaston’s brainchild. Horses for courses.

Another key to filtering the noise: consider the background of the person giving the advice. Ask a SEAL what the best gun is and he’s going to give you the benefit of his experience using the guns he had access to. The problem is that unless you’re planning to hunt the Taliban in the desert, chances are that his view of the best gun won’t be yours.  On the other hand, if you’re looking to carry concealed, people like your fellow CCW holders or police officers with experience working undercover might provide you with better suggestions since their experience is a lot closer to your situation.

Case in point: I’m a big cigar smoker and I used to blindly follow the advice of cigar reviewers. After smoking my way through more than my share of crappy stogies, I began to understand the individual tastes of the various cigar reviewers figured out who had tastes that are similar to mine. Now, I only pay attention them and rarely end up with any dog rockets.

The same approach has merit where gun advice is concerned. I’ll never listen to a guy who spews the one gun to rule them all ethos (Glock honks, SIG or Beretta fanboys, etc.)  I own handguns from five different companies and like them all. So get your advice from people who understand that the reason there are so many options is that there are just as many different preferences out there, each of which has some merit to the individual shooter. It’s usually the best way to avoid plunking your money down for the firearm equivalent of a dog rocket.

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  1. I could not agree more. I have 5 different guns that I carry regularly. In the winter months I tend to carry larger guns in the summer I opt for the larger guns. I also gravitate to guns that are easier to shoot and have higher round counts.

  2. Wait a minute. Brother John Moses Browning designed the perfect gun back in 1911! (Just kidding, though one of my two carry guns in a full size 1911, for the three months a year I wear a jacket in Texas.)

        • Nope. Living (and have lived) in MN since I started posting on TTAG. Was thinking about moving to the Pac NW, but a local manufacturer scooped me up. Here’s two hints:

          1. Central MN
          2. I can’t carry at work, but I will never worry about needing a gun and not being able to get one.

          I’ll also have to be a bit more judicious in my posting.

    • I’m in Arizona, my only carry is a Colt 1911, Gold Cup National Match. Fits my hand perfectly, and with the double safety feature, I can carry one in the tube and not have to worry about shooting my leg off. Now that I have put few rounds through it I can put a full magazine in an 8×10 area at 25 yds. with no problem. Beyond that they have a tendency to stray a little, but in self defense, the range is going to be shorter, so the groups tighten up.

      • Everybody’s got a favorite, for sure. Advice is cheap and free in most cases. I’ve got a good one for conceal/carry that’s relatively inexpensive, as is the ammo to shoot it.
        Pertaining to the author’s criteria above, this pistol meets most of those. It’s an unusually slim, medium frame gun so it conceals well. The round is very hard-hitting and flat shooting. It’s great for folks with small to medium hands so it handles and controls well. Constructed entirely of metal, except for the grips. Few moving parts, so it’s easy to disassemble and clean. The ammo can be had at about $80 bucks for 440 rounds, around $160 for 880 rounds. The surplus rounds WILL penetrate kevlar. It’s a surplus gun that costs around $200 bucks. They are also still very plentiful.
        The negatives? Ammo supply is sporadic. It can be had, but the surplus rounds need to be purchased when shipments show up. It fires corrosive ammo, so it must be cleaned soon after every use. It has an older firing pin design, so dry-firing without the benefit of snap-caps is a no-no, but the caps are cheap enough. Has an 8 round clip, so extra mags must be toted along.
        I’m talking about the Tokarev TTC. There are Russian, Polish, Romanian, and Yugoslav, and even I believe a Chinese version of the gun, but all are built essentially the same. Like most eastern bloc stuff, it’s built in a very no-nonsense style. It’s primary function is singular; to make sure that whomever you shoot does not get up. For a $200 dollar firearm, they are definitely affordable, and they deliver.
        Like the author stated, there IS NO perfect pistol, especially for conceal/carry applications, but if you want something slim and concealable, and fires a hard-hitting round, this is definitely a pistol worth enquiring about. Literally ALL the folks i’ve recommended this pistol to that have bought it absolutely love it. One fellow, after purchasing one and putting it through it’s paces, went and ordered 2 more!
        I bought one for my 14 year old daughter for her birthday. She fell in love with mine, so I got her her own. The grip is perfect for her hands, and she’s a good shot now. We don’t get out to the range as often as we used to for practice, but the gun is simple enough that one could awaken from a dead sleep, grab the gun, and get down to business in a hurry if need be.
        Advice is cheap, I know. But if you are looking for a pistol that meets MOST of the author’s criteria, this milsurp eastern bloc pistol will most definitely do the job at a price that won’t clobber the pocket, and will perform reliably for many years to come.

        • I to carry a surplus but mine is a CZ82, w/12 round double stack it is DA/SA and is very accurate. The 9×18 is just shy of the 9×19 but with 13 rounds (one down the pipe), I am comfortable with the weapon, and it conceals quite well.

        • And along those lines of design and style is the EAA Zastava M88 in either 9mm or 40S&W. I own the 9mm version, haven’t seen the 40 version yet.
          It is based off of the Tokarev TT33 and is all steel, slim and handles 124gr JHP 9mm like a dream. Easy to carry, slim and all around good, reliable pistol for less than $300.
          Have two of them and have shot thousands of rounds thru them with no problems. Very easy to strip and clean and the parts from one 9mm to another 9mm are pretty well interchangeable!!!

  3. Good ideas.

    Overall I get tired of the tacti cool crowd on both rifles and pistols. Some who say you must have a Glock or a carbine AR or some Eurogun crap im sick of. Some of my past co workers ex cops used S&W .357 revolvers and id be more scared of them than some idiot with a Glock and 33 rd mag. Skill always over comes the hardware. In a competition a Glock lover gave me crap of my M-92FS Beretta over his G-19 yet I kicked his but and out shot him every time with my M-92. I know of some who would do well with a Glock. Im tired of know it all who think he must pic what carbine/rifle and pistol and caliber we must use its up to you.

  4. I carry a Tardis 1911. Absolutely great for what I need.

    Anyway, when people ask me what they should get, I tell them what I like and why. I recommend some things to keep in mind. Then I tell them to use their Google-Fu to see what is out there. Where I live has a grunch of ranges where one can rent guns and I encourage them to go try a variety. Sometimes they try my guns but most of my guns are .45ACP.

    I believe telling them where to find information is the best way to go. Then I try to answer their questions after telling them I have plenty of opinions but not all of the answers.

  5. The best advise for people getting a new pistol is they are like cars, you would buy a car off the lot before a test drive a research would you? Go out to the range and shoot a few you like before you buy it!! Plus there is never one gun that is right for everything !!!

    • I absolutely agree. Although range guns may be beat to death and dirty, they still offer the same ergonomics and sight picture. If someone i know takes an interst in one of my selections, I’ll let him or her shoot it. Testing conceal ability is also a big matter of bolster selection, build, and clothing style.

      And kudos for the recognition that no gun is perfect – no gun has the stopping power of my .45-70, the capacity of my AR-15, and the concealability of my 340 PD.

      • You being a Kali LEO, you can be sure that nobody else’s gun has the capacity of YOUR AR-15, amirite? 🙂 nothing but love; couldn’t resist

  6. Speaking of my own experiences, I’m very glad that I’ve gone through about 12 odd handguns in as many months.

    Some might say that’s a waste of money. I think of it as an invoice paid in avoiding future mistakes. Unless you shoot a Sig, how do you know it won’t fit you better then the gun on your hip right now? Unless you’ve shot a Glock , you cannot comment on how well they may work for you. The concept that one gun fits everyone is a load of bull, as is the truckload of manure that everyone needs the most tactical, polymer framed wonderpistol to defend themselves.

    Using myself as an example, my idea of the perfect pistol is a S&W 5906. There’s not a tactic-cool high speed operator on the planet who has ever carried one, and I don’t care.My fellow 20-somethings might be gaga for Glock, but im an American steel frame fan. I had to find that out by trying , buying, searching, and shooting a lot of good guns before I discovered the S&W. Unless a voice from above commands that your perfect gun is “BRAND X” , you’ll have to find handgun enlightenment the hard way-and its a path only you can walk. James Yeager can’t do it for you.

  7. Why can’t your friend’s nephew shoot his .357? Maybe instead of a new gun he needs to use ear plugs and muffs together. Shooting is shooting, unless the gun is so small or the caliber so large that it’s actually painful to shoot.

    • I tried shooting an LCR with 158 grain .357 rounds. It was no fun to shoot at all. If he had something small like that and insists on .357 rounds, he definitely bought the wrong first gun. Unless he switches to .38 specials.

      • I shoot 125 grain rounds out of mine all day long without a problem, but yeah 158 grains have a lot of recoil.

    • My first actual handgun was a .357 snub nose. While the snub nose was a mistake (the gun prints too big to conceal on me anyway, should have just taken an extra 2-4″ of barrel length) the recoil isn’t particularly bad from it.

  8. First rule of being in a gun fight: Have a gun.

    Second rule of being in a gun fight: See Rule #1.

    There’s all manner of guns in the marketplace. Too many “gun experts” place a great deal of emphasis on the perfect tool rather than on a mindset that maximizes the utility of the tool(s) at hand.

    • If I may add/amend the list:

      Rules of a Gun Fight
      1. Bring a gun.
      2. Bring enough gun
      2a. More than enough is also acceptable.
      2b. The gun you have is infinitely preferable to the one you don’t.
      3. Avoid a fight at any cost, so long as you are in no actual danger.
      4. The fight is over when your attacker is no longer able or willing to continue. How you bring about this turn of events is up to you, subject to the provisions of Rules 1, 2, 2a & 2b.

      In my (not-so-humble) opinion, though, this is all secondary to the Rules of Any Fight:

      1. Avoid fights at any cost, so long as you are not in actual danger.
      2. The only determining factors in a fight are the ability to use violence and the willingness to escalate.

      YMMV. But not by much.

      • Any gun is “enough gun” if your shot placement is good. A “more than enough” gun is usually too much gun, esp. if you miss when you shoot it.

        • Joe makes a good point, but the major calibers allow just a bit of leeway in the shot placement department. Is the 9 better than the .45? Depends. Depends on what, you ask? Depends on which you practice with.

      • I agree solidly with all your points. For my rule(s), I was assuming that the fight had already started and now academic discussion of “the perfect gun” was over as the actual practical exam was beginning.

      • My first rule to any fight is: You can lose. Don’t engage in combat you can avoid if it’s not worth your life.

        I think this is kind of what Gen Patton meant by:
        “Don’t fight a battle if you don’t gain anything by winning.”

  9. When people are looking at the Smith & Wesson counter at my LGS, I offer them a chance to shoot my M&P to see how they like it.

    -> This post was going to be much more helpful, but I accidentally hit refresh and lost it.

  10. This column has great advice. What works for one person may not for another and there are a lot of great guns to choose from.

  11. Good avive.
    Being a “know” shooter of a lot of guns weekly. I mostly shoot .22lr and get asked about them the most. But I do shoot just about everything. At my range we do swaps all the time(“hey check this out”).

    Today a shooter asked me what he should get for his (new CCW) carry gun???

    I always ask if they have shoot much??? He has.
    So then I ask what is the best hand gun you ever shot? Then what is your favorite gun to shoot?

    They usally know what DA/SA is all about. So that’s not a problem.
    Where and how are you going to carry it??? What do you want too do with it???
    They usally are not sure.
    This is where it gets hard to suggest something to buy.
    Do you want accuracy? 100% say yes.
    Do you want reliability? 100% say yes.
    Do you want something small and compact to carry. 100% say yes.
    So new CCW guys want something accurate, reliable, and small.
    Nothing new.
    Then question caliber and how much do you want to spend??? . I remind them if they ever use their carry gun, they are going to lose it to the law(for some time).

    About everyone who hasn’t had a .40, has bought into the fad!!!
    I always ask if they have ever shot a compact .40??? Mostly no.
    I don’t know about ya’ll but I hate recoil. Recoil makes me miss.
    Fact: The smaller guns with bigger calibers are going to have high recoil. (Physics 101). No matter which brand.

    Most only want to spend around $300.00 for this accurate, reliable, and small gun.
    So I never say buy this one. If you have shot one of mine and like it. Get one.
    I do give suggestions for brands to look at:

    • Definitely agree about the (alluded to, anyhow) compact .40’s. Got a buddy who bought a Walther PPQ in .40 for his carry gun the day he got his permit to carry in the mail. I asked him if he shot it before buying it. His response, and I sh!t you not, was “Why?”. He doesn’t carry it. This is the same guy who bought my full-size Kimber a few weeks ago when I needed some scratch to pay for the kids’ hockey. Guess what’s keeping his hip warm this winter…

  12. Great article. I could not agree more. Many times when people give advice about what gun a friend should buy, they are really just thinking about the gun that they want for themselves (or already own). One size does not fit all.

    • I say “Go to a gunstore, don’t buy anything, but ask and hold as much as you can. See what you like. Then go to a range with someone who owns said gun, or anything along those lines, or where they rent it, and try it. Then buy.”

      If sensible thought doesn’t work, I suggest they buy something I would want to see up close and try myself. If I like it and they don’t, at least I can buy it cheaper second hand, right? 🙂

  13. Myself I have a S&W model 67 .38special, an ATI FX Titan 1911 compact(3.18″ bull barrel), an Auto Ordanance 1911 Government model(both 1911’s are .45acp), an EAA Zastava M88 9mm, 2 Heritage Rough Riders .22lr/.22mag revolvers and last but not least a 1910/14 Mauser Pocket Pistol in 6.35mm(.25auto).
    All get carried either in and around the house and daily as ccw’s, they all get shot regularly, except for the Mauser, and I feel comfortable carrying any of them on any day. What I carry depends on where I am going to be and time of year/ how I am dressed.

  14. My neighbor told me one day recently that he wanted to buy a HD gun. When I asked him what he had in mind, he said he wanted something like a compact semi-auto. I have no idea how he decided that was what he wanted. We talked about home defense for a while and I showed him my Beretta 92FS and GP-100 just to give him some ideas, since those are the kinds of guns I prefer for HD. He kinda looked at them without much interest. I invited him to a range that has a great selection of rentals and offered to go shooting with him. While he said he wanted to go, he’s never found the time. In the end I loaned him a couple good “Guns for Dummies” type books. Without the most basic knowledge of guns and getting a chance to shoot different models, the potential new gun owner is going to struggle figuring out what is going to work for them.

    I haven’t given up on him but I don’t want to pressure him and turn him off to the whole idea either. I’ll get him to the range one of these days.

  15. Great article.

    Guns for different purposes:
    A Les Baer 1911 for making tiny groups on paper at the range.
    A Glock for a light weight, durable and reliable carry gun.
    A big bore revolver for camping.

  16. Since I’m known as the “gun guy” in my social and professional circles, I am often asked, “Which gun should I get?” Of all the questions about guns, it is the most difficult to answer…. Because, IT DEPENDS. Unfortunately, the newbies want a quick, pat answer. The truth (as explained in this blog post) is that there isn’t a pat answer.

    Funny… I’ve been working (on and off) on a very similar article for my own blog.

  17. I recently had to deal with this myself. My dad is not a shooter, at all. There have been guns in the house since before I was born (and I am old now), but his guns make me cry when I see them because some of them are nice but none of them get used or cared for. Whenever I visit him I bring my cleaning supplies and clean them for him. Whenever he visits me I plead with him to bring them and shoot them at my range, but he never does.

    So a little over a year ago while cleaning his 9mm I had to inform him that in my opinion it was no longer safe to fire due to pitting and other results of 20plus years of sitting in a humid environment without being oiled once. The extractor is in such bad shape I am afraid it will fail and possibly cause the gun to have a catastrophic failure. So he told one of his buddies, who has a new son in law who is a cop, and he and his buddy decided they were going to go to the next gun show and buy guns. His buddy has never owned a gun before and so they decide to bring the new son in law along for advice. Realizing this was possibly a bad thing I drove 3 hours to go to the gun show with them as well.

    Even though my dad knows I am an avid shooter, active in the shooting scene, and know more than the average bear about guns, guess whose advice he followed? Yah, apparently because a cop uses a gun as part of his job, he knows more about them than someone who actually visits a range several times a month to practice. Who knew?

    The cop wanted them both to get a compact .357 sig of some sort. Both are well over 60 and neither is in good health, and that would have been a really bad choice for them. I pointed out that neither of them wanted to CC so a compact was pointless, and tried to convince them to get a smaller caliber like 9mm or a .38 and a bigger gun with enough weight to reduce recoil but not enough that they can’t lift it.

    Several times that day I had to say “there are a lot of guns here and you can touch all of them, try a different one before buying this one, it will still be here if you don’t find something better.” Then, being weak in willpower when it comes to a short list of things, I spotted the first SCAR-H I had ever seen for sale, and thus began a series of events that lead to my dad buying the wrong gun for him. As I guarded that SCAR-H while on the phone pleading with the wife to let me put $2800 on the credit card (she never agreed sadly) my dad’s buddy got talked into a FN FNP-40 and so my dad figured he would get the other FN FNP-40 that dealer had. While I have lots of .40 guns myself and love the round, and the FN FNP-40 is a really nice gun, it was not the right gun for my dad or his buddy. They have both shot their guns, neither of them can get it in the circle at 30ft, and neither likes shooting their gun because it is too much gun for them.

    So the lesson I learned is when going to help someone buy a gun, make it impossible to buy one yourself so you are not distracted by that obscure object of desire that will inevitably be there. The best way is to only have one form of ID, that way you can still buy ammo when your buddy is buying ammo for his/her new gun, but you can’t pass the background check for a gun.

    • You make a good point. My father in law is a pretty good shot and still has a steady hand, but because of a hand injury from working on pipes in the cold, he can’t rack the slide on a Glock 17. If he were to buy a handgun, it would pretty much have to be a revolver.

  18. I see a lot of talk about caliber, which is a major point. I haven’t seen talk on cost. I have a 9mm and a 22lr pistols I like shooting them both. They are at home and range guns. Both are low cost. Now the point is which would you rather give up to the police in case your involved in a shooting. A gun on the low end of the price scale or a high priced gun worth around $1000? Most gun manufactures make all caliber of guns. After choosing what you want to use the gun for. Cost and feel are the biggest issues.

    • Police seizure is a tertiary consideration. The point of the gun is to protect your life, not (just) be an object of desire. A SIG will go bang where a Bryco may not. On the other hand, price is a primary consideration because you can only buy what you can afford. A Raven is better than nothing.

      • Police seizure is a tertiary consideration, right up until your only gun is confiscated. Having two economical and reliable guns is preferable to having one expensive and reliable gun, IMHO.

  19. My co-worker (a young woman) has been much “advised” in her quest for a personal protection firearm. When she told me this, I answered, “Let me guess — .38 special revolver.” She thought I had ESP. I took her to the range instead and let her try out whatever she wanted (including a revolver).

  20. I’m a 1911 fan, but encourage new shooters to seriously consider a stainless, 4″, .357 revolver on the grounds that they’re simple to operate, big enough to control, small enough to conceal if you’re determined, handle low-recoil .38spl for practice, .38+P hollowpoints for “business purposes” and offer the “sexy” option of loading magnum rounds if desired. An ideal combination for a first handgun for someone who really doesn’t yet know what they want.

  21. I like guns that can take different grips so fit can be achieved. Some, like the XD, come with backstraps and different grips allowing it to be fitted. Some guns are just made for certain hands, trying as many as possible makes a difference.
    Some guns I have had to grow on me. I learned to like them after a few sessions.

  22. I used to work in a family owned gun store. When people asked what gun to buy I told them that a gun is a tool and you need to buy the best tool for the job. So, instead of picking a gun first, we had to define the task first and then find a gun that would optimally do that job for THEM. We had to consider what they could safely hold and aim. How willing were they to learn and practice failure drills. There are many aspects to work through. The bottom line becomes what can you effectively use to defend your life. That is the best gun……..for you.


  23. The power of marketing. Many come to me, not so much to ask me which gun to buy. Rather they want me to confirm the decision they’ve already made. And, that decision is increasingly in favor of the “Judge” type guns (.45-ACP / .45 Colt / .410-ga)) “do-it-all” guns.

    I don’t own one, nor have I ever even fired one. But, I have found that any device that claims to do it all, usually does a mediocre job of any one of the multiple tasks it’s designed to do (see combo fax/printer/scanners). So, I’m unimpressed with the concept on its face. However, I understand why it seems so popular.

    Newbies naturally want to buy ONE gun and be DONE. The rest of us know why we may need more than one (and make phone calls home from the gun show begging to buy a SCAR-17S). 😀

  24. IMO, the perfect gun is:

    1. one that does what it needs to do in a given situation
    1. is on hand when the need arises
    1. always goes bang when needed
    1. you can shoot proficiently

    There are guns that are perfect for specific scenarios, but none is perfect for everything. And there will certainly be differences in which is perfect for one shooter but insufficient for another. However, if you realx the standards to “good enough” then the field becomes much wider. Since my tpical needs are shooting at the range and HD, I don’t need a gun that is perfect. I need one that is good enough to put lead on target whenever I ask it to, which all of mine do consistently.

  25. My son-in-law teaches CCW classes (he’s NRA certified). Most of his students are new to guns. He brings a variety of guns to the class, so his students can try different guns. He told me that he gets a lot of students who bought a gun for the class, but didn’t shoot it until they got to the class. He says, their usual reaction to the gun they bought, after firing some of his samples is, “how do I get rid of this thing.” Whatever it was they bought, it doesn’t fit them or it recoils too much or something. I always advise people who ask about a gun is, try several. Go to a place that rents them, or at least try several in a gun store and see how they fit your hand. No gun is perfect for everyone. Within my own family, everyone has a different preference: 1911, Glock, Ruger revolver, Browning Hi-Power, Bersa .380. I’m not about to tell any of them they’re wrong.

  26. In a country where the average BG has a diameter of 1 yard use a .357 Magnum and shoot twice into the same hole!

    In a country where the average BG has a diameter of 1 ft…well… a .380 IS sufficient!


  27. For 40 years i have carried a Hi Power. Nothing feels quite like this piece in the hand. The 9MM is sufficient, and a caliber that has probably killed more folks than any other in the world. Far northern MN , in a shoulder holster with a strap under the hammer, it is a safe piece. In the three warm months, a PPK in the pants with a Desantis inside the belt. Both equipped with a Crimson Trace, this alone can be a great deterrent from getting you into trouble. You really do not want to use a gun! Criminals today have more rights than you. Be careful

  28. And then you can start out with a gun you hate and with some changes, end up loving it.

    My first “bought” gun was a Ruger 38 LCR with crimson laser grip, stock sights and monster recoil shooting + P ammo

    Was ready to put it up for auction. Decided to really think about everything I hated about it first. Recoil, changed out Crimson grip for Hogue LCR™ Bantam/Boot Grip, used standard .38 ammo and changed out stock front sight to XS std. dot.

    It’s now my home carry weapon, loaded with Federal .38 Special hollow-point and have it in the car when traveling back county roads. a sweet small revolver. Fits in my jeans pocket.

    Since that “first” gun, I’ve added Chiappa Rhino 2″ .357 revolver, Bersa semi auto .380, .32 & .22 pistols (sold .22 to sister-in-law) replaced with Ruger SR .22

    I didn’t approach semi automatics until I was comfortable with revolvers. That had the advantage of building strength in hand, using a proper grip/stance to resolve recoil fear. Racking a slide that previously too difficult, is now easy and I owe it all to a woman instructor at a Ladies Shooting League I joined.

    There is something about shooting off 100 to 150 rounds twice a month a the range that will build accuracy and confidence.

    I don’t make recommendations on weapons, I invite a new shooter to the range to try some of mine and range rentals.

  29. All good constructive observations, I agree that choosing a weapon is a personal thing….as no two people are the same.
    My idea and likes may not fit your same perspective, for me I love the Ruger P-90 DC {.45 ACP},for normal CC the Makarov 9×18 works well and easily concealed,enough rounds and fire power to get it done,and really quite accurate.
    At home,well a Mossberg 935 for home defense works quite well…hunting and other hobbies require more special equipment….to sum it up I would suggest as others have to seek out and try out the range of weapons you are most interested in and find the one best for you and your needs.

  30. The author should follow his own advice. He’s telling people that he doesn’t go for glocks, sao, dao, etc. and he doesn’t like anyone telling him what to buy yet he’s doing the very same thing in his article. Get a reliable gun that you can handle, easily conceal on your person, learn to shoot it with a good instructor and practice, practice, practice under as many different scenarios as you can. Standing at the range, holding the gun with both hands and shooting at a paper target won’t help you win a shootout on the street. Accurate shooting beats the bad guys anyday regardless of the caliber gun you’re using.

  31. Winter time I carry a Rugar 1911 full size 45 acp . Summer I carry a small compact Khar 45 acp. I own 5 handguns but sometimes I switch around . Depends on what I am doing .But one thing for sure I never leave home without one.

  32. Just do not trade your guns for a Big Mac.! Things are changing fast with this Marxist in the white house. He will go for the guns, much like in Austria in 1938. First the autos and Hi Cap, they registration, and then total confiscation. We are well on the road to tyranny.

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  35. just as Josephine responded I am dazzled that a stay at home mom can earn $9272 in 4 weeks on the internet. have you seen this link wow92.COM

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  37. just before I saw the check ov $9272, I be certain …that…my mom in-law was realie earning money in their spare time at their computer.. there aunt had bean doing this 4 less than six months and by now cleared the morgage on there cottage and purchased a new Saab 99 Turbo. we looked here, wow92.COM

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  39. Your post seems to hit the nail on the head. I have come across far too many folks who bought a handgun based upon the blind advice of one of their “gun guy” friends or the guy behind the counter just trying to make a sale. Whenever someone asks me what kind of gun they should get, my first question is “What do you want it for?”. At the very least that will give me a frame of mind to make a recommendation of a few things to choose from. The next thing I tell them is to go to their local range and rent as many of their offered rental guns as possible to get a feel for what they are looking at. I’ve seen far too many people just blindly buy a particular handgun just based upon the hype that surrounds it *cough…Glock….cough….cough*, when it’s features simply do not match what they need or their capabilities.

    A major part of the problem that is feeding into this “good idea fairy” issue at hand is that gun shops are just so bloody busy now that, even a dedicated and honest gun store employee simply isn’t given the time to take a customer through the paces to get them something they need. Questions go unanswered and the grandma that wanted the purse gun will walk out of the gun shop with a tool she doesn’t know how to use or worse, simply isn’t capable of using.

    It is the responsibility of us in the industry to fight this issue constantly and work to bring the integrity back to getting people what they actually need versus what you can sell them….or what your favorite gun is. Something that works for me simply isn’t going to work for the 64 year old grandmother who has never shot a round in her life, and now she’s stuck with a several hundred dollar investment that is of zero use to her. Please folks, if someone asks you what gun to buy and you don’t have something useful to offer them find someone who does and can take the time to provide the help.

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