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Planning on joining the armed in the near future and I am uninformed when it comes to guns. I come to you'all for your wisdom.

The weapon's primary purpose will be home protection. The wife needs to be able to handle it as well, I travel some for work. I am thinking a small revolver would work for this purpose. A friend at work has a .38 snub nose for his wife. I'd like to get something else down the road a bit, more for me. Glocks are popular and dead reliable from everything I read so that would be something I'd consider. Past that I am lost.

The second weapon may be a carry peice at some point, though likely concealed.

Of course price is a consideration.

Thanks,
Mike P
 

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Somebody with far more wisdom will answer beyond me, but revolvers are dead easy for novice gun users. A .357 revolver is not a bad choice as you can load it with .38sp personal defense loads and it'll be a gun that your wife can likely handle without any issue.

One thing to keep in mind, if it's JUST for home defense, don't be so quick to buy something super small. The smaller they are, the harder they are to shoot accurately IMHO. I had a charter arms .38 snubby that was so bad I probably couldn't have committed suicide with it because I'd miss. I sold it quickly.
 

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If it is for home defense I would recommend a 4inch 38. They are very easy to shoot with even +p load and reliable. Glocks are good guns but I would make sure you are comfotrable with your situation to have a gun with a lighter trigger pull and no external safetys.
 

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.38spl snubs are hard to shoot accurately. Short sight radius + long DA trigger pulls throw off novices. Get one of the plastic fantastics and go from there (your choice of Glock/S&W M&P/XD/XDM). Get it in 9mm, cheaper to practice with, higher capacity, lower recoil. Larger frame, longer sight radius, easier to shoot well for novice(s).
 

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RepeatDefender said:
.38spl snubs are hard to shoot accurately. Short sight radius + long DA trigger pulls throw off novices. Get one of the plastic fantastics and go from there (your choice of Glock/S&W M&P/XD/XDM). Get it in 9mm, cheaper to practice with, higher capacity, lower recoil. Larger frame, longer sight radius, easier to shoot well for novice(s).
See, I'm torn... I agree with accuracy, capacity & recoil, but the magazine function as well as slide action can be intimidating to new shooters.

If a person wasn't going to practice with it at least a few times a year, I'd still personally stick with a wheel-gun. That's just me though...
 

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JeF4y said:
RepeatDefender said:
.38spl snubs are hard to shoot accurately. Short sight radius + long DA trigger pulls throw off novices. Get one of the plastic fantastics and go from there (your choice of Glock/S&W M&P/XD/XDM). Get it in 9mm, cheaper to practice with, higher capacity, lower recoil. Larger frame, longer sight radius, easier to shoot well for novice(s).
See, I'm torn... I agree with accuracy, capacity & recoil, but the magazine function as well as slide action can be intimidating to new shooters.

If a person wasn't going to practice with it at least a few times a year, I'd still personally stick with a wheel-gun. That's just me though...
And I can agree somewhat. But if you're sticking with a revolver, get a 3" or larger barrel, with a larger frame. Better sight radius and easier to handle.

And at the same time, if a person isn't willing to practice, then they won't be prepared to use a handgun for self-defense anyway...
 

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Every gun owner should have a Glock 19 (or even 17) in their collection. That would be a good starting place. It's got enough capacity and firepower to handle the HD role and can be easily concealed with a cover garment should you want to carry it in the future.

It's also very reliable (stick to < Gen 3 until they get the kinks worked out of the new ones), easy to maintain, and easy for a novice to learn.

I personally prefer having a 17 and 26 as opposed to just a 19.
 

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RepeatDefender said:
JeF4y said:
RepeatDefender said:
.38spl snubs are hard to shoot accurately. Short sight radius + long DA trigger pulls throw off novices. Get one of the plastic fantastics and go from there (your choice of Glock/S&W M&P/XD/XDM). Get it in 9mm, cheaper to practice with, higher capacity, lower recoil. Larger frame, longer sight radius, easier to shoot well for novice(s).
See, I'm torn... I agree with accuracy, capacity & recoil, but the magazine function as well as slide action can be intimidating to new shooters.

If a person wasn't going to practice with it at least a few times a year, I'd still personally stick with a wheel-gun. That's just me though...
And I can agree somewhat. But if you're sticking with a revolver, get a 3" or larger barrel, with a larger frame. Better sight radius and easier to handle.

And at the same time, if a person isn't willing to practice, then they won't be prepared to use a handgun for self-defense anyway...
Of course with revolvers you can always thumb back the hammer before firing.
Sure its a hair slower, but it also gets rid of that whole long DA trigger pull.
 

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RepeatDefender said:
And I can agree somewhat. But if you're sticking with a revolver, get a 3" or larger barrel, with a larger frame. Better sight radius and easier to handle.

And at the same time, if a person isn't willing to practice, then they won't be prepared to use a handgun for self-defense anyway...
Definitely agree on both comments.
 

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Honestly, the best gun for you and your wife is one that you both think is good-looking, a good fit for your hand, and one you enjoy practicing with.

A person with a .22 magnum revolver they love and shoot every month is going to be in a better position to defend themselves than the person with a large-caliber gun that they don't like using and which gets very little range time.

Assuming that you and your wife could learn to like a compact semi-auto as much as a revolver, that's the better option.

A 9mm is deadlier than a .38 special shot per shot, AND the 9mm might hold 10-18 rounds in the magazine, while the .38 revolver will only hold 5 or 6.

The sights on most small revolvers suck. Period. They are only useful for slow fire shooting under good lighting conditions. Most modern semi-auto defensive pistols have much bigger sights with colored outlines or dots. That's a huge improvement.

BOTTOM LINE: If you're all set for a revolver, try to find one with a 4" barrel and good grips that fit your hand and better sights. If you would consider an automatic, there are dozens of models that you should consider. Try a couple. Rent them or go shooting with somebody who has one and test fire it.
 

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gunsmoker said:
BOTTOM LINE: If you're all set for a revolver, try to find one with a 4" barrel and good grips that fit your hand and better sights. If you would consider an automatic, there are dozens of models that you should consider. Try a couple. Rent them or go shooting with somebody who has one and test fire it.
Big, bright target sights would also be a requirement for a home defense revolver for me. I also agree renting as many as you can is a great way to find out what kind of grip angle you like, what caliber you shoot best, etc.
 

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If a revolver works for the time being for you and your wife, then go with that. I'd agree with the others who've recommended either a 3" or 4" barreled revolver.

However, me personally, I'd recommend a semi-auto.. something along the lines of the Glock, M&P and XD. Something in a compact/mid-size gun category. Try starting off with one chambered in 9mm. 9mm has lots of choices for defensive/hollow point ammo and full metal jacket rounds for range practice are relatively inexpensive.

The reason I'd recommend a semi-auto is that while it's operation is a bit more involved, ( compared to a revolver's ) once you have it loaded up and ready to go, you'll have a weapon with around 3 times the capacity of a revolver. Keep an additional loaded magazine or two next to your home defense pistol. Reloading a semi-auto pistol when its fired empty is as simple as 1.) drop empty mag, 2.) firmly insert loaded mag and 3.) release the slide to go back forward. Zap! You're now reloaded and ready to go again.

Reloading a revolver, even with speed load devices, is a more complicated process even under calm and ideal conditions, let alone a highly stressed/adrenaline pumping situation.

Now, it's not as likely a person will need to reload any firearm in most self defense situations. However, factors like a new/inexperienced shooter in the midst of defending their life, being attacked by multiple criminals, etc, having a higher ammo capacity defensive pistol as well as being able to quickly and easily reload it, will put that person in a much better postion to protect their life and loved one's lives. This goes for both home defense and concealed carry situations.

Go out to the nearest gun range that rents various handguns. Handle them first to see what works best in yours and your wifes hands; can you reach all the guns controls like mag release button, slide catch lever, cylinder release, etc. Does your hand fit on the grip ok? Does it point naturally for you? Can you see the sights on it ok?

Once you find one or more possible handgun options, take them out to the range and try them out. How controlable is it for you? Etc, etc.

Do your homework on this and keep asking questions! :)
 

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If you're sure you want a revolver, how about one like this:

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=210352184

It's a S&W Small-frame .357 magnum with a round butt and finger-groove rubber grips.
It has Hi-Viz sights that seem to glow as long as there is at least some light in the room or area.
(But for really dark conditions, you'd need a tactical flashlight, laser, or radioactive night sights).

3" barrel, stainless steel construction. But since it's a small-frame gun, even in stainless steel it's not too heavy.

Only downside on this gun is the limited ammo capacity (5 shots).
 

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Glocks are popular and dead reliable from everything I read so that would be something I'd consider. Past that I am lost.
And yet no Army has them. :shattered: Too many noobs with ND's in training that perfect finger control.
US armed forces will always require a safety and always will.
 

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Go to a range with a good rental selection. Some ranges have safety classes where you can try a variety of guns to get an idea of the differences. Shoot a bunch of guns in a bunch of different calibers. Keep a log book. If it is smaller than a .38 special, discard it for self-defense purposes. If you cringe or wince when you are about to pull the trigger, strike that off as well.

Next, take your wife to the range (or back if she went with you the first time) and repeat the above experiment with what you are still interested in. You'll have narrowed the field by caliber and weapon size. You may or may not have solved the auto vs wheelgun debate at this point.

At this point your purchasing research starts. There will be guns that are similar that you read about that you haven't seen in person. Now you visit a gunshow or three. Hold 'em, pet 'em, price 'em. The top contenders you either shoot again or post back here to find out where to shoot them. You might have some people volunteer some of their guns for that effort if you have something specific and uncommon that you'd like to try.

Now you've reached the point where you have chosen a gun or two to purchase. Check Gunbroker to get a ballpark on good prices, then start checking with local FFLs. You may or may not luck out on a specific gun at a show, but good prices and that kind of availability do happen.

For a first home-defense gun, I would recommend a coachgun with exposed hammers or a pump shotgun. 20 gauge youth models work good for smaller folks, 12 gauge models for the more durable among us. You should be able to find something new around $200. As far as used prices, you should be able to get the shotgun, some ammo, and some change back from $200.

Handgun choices are all over the map. Size and weight trade for concealablity, capacity, and effectiveness. Caliber and capacity are their own trade-off. My advice is to find the caliber, maximum weight, and maximum dimensions that you are willing to carry and that will be 90% of narrowing down your choices. Budget will probably nick one or two that you really like but couldn't justify spending the money on. .38 snub-nose revolvers and small 9mm autos make good first carry guns. 380 autos make good pocket guns and are good guns for when nothing else would work, but larger guns can be more accurate and more rewarding during the learning process. You can probably find decent deals on a 9mm auto or a .38 snub-node in the $200-$300 range, though the guns that feel best in your hand and are the most comfortable to shoot are going to be more expensive. :shattered:

Plan to try a half dozen different holster options for any daily carry. You'll eventually wind up with a drawer or box somewhere that has the lesser contenders and you'll have one or two you always depend on.
 

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if this hasnt been said before go to a range and rent different weapons get the feel and then decide
 

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dcannon1 said:
Every gun owner should have a Glock 19 (or even 17) in their collection.
Meh.... :roll:

45_Fan said:
Go to a range with a good rental selection. Some ranges have safety classes where you can try a variety of guns to get an idea of the differences. Shoot a bunch of guns in a bunch of different calibers. Keep a log book. If it is smaller than a .38 special, discard it for self-defense purposes. If you cringe or wince when you are about to pull the trigger, strike that off as well.

Next, take your wife to the range (or back if she went with you the first time) and repeat the above experiment with what you are still interested in. You'll have narrowed the field by caliber and weapon size. You may or may not have solved the auto vs wheelgun debate at this point.
There you go. :righton:
 

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A wheel gun worked for him. :righton:

(yes I know this adds nothing to the discussion)

Ok, so I'll echo everyone else....rent some different handguns/different calibers....let your wife try them too (if she wants to) and see what you both like.....I think everyone should own (and practice with) at least one good double action revolver in a reasonably powerful caliber.....38 or bigger (I like .357's because you can shoot .38's as well). I have a .44 spl but wouldn't recommend that for most people who don't shoot a lot. 3" or 4" barrel for HD and you could still carry it w/ the right rig (I carried a 4" Colt Trooper knock off for a while).....most of all while you are looking...have fun!

Good luck and BTW when you post a thread like this it is an unwritten rule that you must post pics of whatever you decide to go with. :)
 

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dcannon1 said:
Every gun owner should have a Glock 19 (or even 17) in their collection...
PHhhffffipt! I am very well armed. Don't have one.
 

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Puffyfish said:
Glocks are popular and dead reliable from everything I read so that would be something I'd consider. Past that I am lost.
And yet no Army has them. :shattered: Too many noobs with ND's in training that perfect finger control.
US armed forces will always require a safety and always will.
You might need to fact check that one Boss. They are issue weapons to all military or specialized military units in 36 countries. Not to mention how many police forces world wide use them. The Glock 19 and 17 are the most widely issued pistol on the planet. What American military units choose to standard issue is one thing...the whole world is another.

PS..I know many US Army operators that were issued and carry Glock 22's with suppressor packages, so it's only a matter of time.
 
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