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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife and myself want to get a pistol for home defense and ccw. We know we want something with some stopping power and a semi auto no revolvers. Something my wife would feel comfortable shooting for sure she's a little thing. We both have limited experience shooting pistols but have shot a few here and there. So what are your suggestions? And something that won't break the bank.
 

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First, even though you may have a limited budget, I would suggest in the very strongest terms that you not buy a cheap firearm..... what is your life worth?

That said, why do you not want a revolver? Unless you are very familiar with firearms, a double-action revolver is by far the simplest handgun to operate..... aim it and pull the trigger. Should it fail to fire, pull the trigger again. If you have the time to carefully aim and want a lighter trigger, it can be fired in single-action mode.

Something like a Ruger SP-101 in .357 Magnum will handle everything from very light .38 Special target loads to golly-whomper .357 Mag loads. No autoloader will do that.

A Smith & Wesson J-frame is also a revolver consideration, but will not handle the heavy loads. It will still shoot the "FBI Load", though... a .38 Spl +P with a 158 grain semi-wadcutter. If the FBI considered it an adequate stopper for many years, it ought to fulfill your requirements.
 

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Here are a couple links on the SP-101:

http://www.gunweek.com/2001/feature0101.html

http://www.gunblast.com/Ruger_SP101.htm

The reviewer on the "gunweek" link complains about the recoil, while the "gunblast" reviewer says that the recoil, even with heavy loads, is very manageable.

I agree with the second guy.... I have a 3" .357, and replaced the factory grips with a Hogue Monogrip (which I believe is now standard), and I can fire a really hot 180 grain load with no problem.

Current street price on an SP is about $400
 

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Do you have any friends that have any handguns? If so, then you might want to try and shoot what ever they have. If not, some ranges rent different pistols, your choice of make and caliber. Try several.

As far as CCW goes, a semi-auto is a little more comfortable (thinner) to conceal than a revolver. Revolvers are a bit bulkier in my opinion. Now remember, these are just (MY opinions)....
When I first joined the dept. back in 86', I carried a Smith and Wesson .357, model 586 in nickel with a green ramp. Awesome weapon, still love it, but it was a bit bulky for me as a ccw, but that is what our Chief at the time allowed us to carry... for some reason, he was against semi-auto's.
Now, we carry semi's. I choose to carry a Springfield XD .40 service model for Duty and for ccw.
I've carried glocks in the past, but didn't like them, they didn't fit my hand right. Now that was the glock 22 in a .40 cal.
My Wife ccw a glock 23 which is a little bit smaller .40 cal. than the glock 22, and I have to agree with her, it is a NICE pistol, but I would still take an XD over it.
You and your wife need to go to your local gun store, ask to see several types of guns, explain to them what you want it for. They will be very helpful in trying to fit you to a good gun that will last a long time with proper care.
Don't go "CHEAP".... you will regret it... If money is an issue, then ask if they have lay-a-way. Most gun stores do, usually 90 days or so, and if you cant pay within that time, then talk to them and they will work it out with you, but don't go cheap....
I would go with a glock or Springfield XD. NO smaller than a 9mm, but .40 is better.... :D
Good luck.
 

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grillmaster -

The .38 (.38 Special) is a rimmed revolver cartridge. It's a very old caliber, and is loaded quite mild, as it may be used in some very old revolvers. For use in a newer revolver, made with modern, high-strength steel, the .38 +P offers higher operating pressure, resulting in a higher velocity. The .38 +P+ is even higher pressure, and comes pretty close to the .357 Magnum.

The .380 is a rimless autoloader cartridge.... a shortened version of the 9x19. Most folks regard it as "not enough" for a defensive caliber. That said, I still wouldn't volunteer to be shot with one.

Regarding the brands you mentioned.... run away. Add the High Point to that list. As I said early on, and as xd.40 repeated, don't buy a cheap firearm. It just isn't worth it.

For a revolver, Ruger, Smith & Wesson, or Colt are the only brands I would consider. For autoloaders, I'm not as knowledgable.... I'm a 1911 guy..... but if I had to recommend brands, it would be Ruger, Glock, Sig, Beretta, Colt, Springfield Armory, or Smith & Wesson.
 

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Stick with a name brands like what wwb recommends.

If you have to, go for something used in those brands ..... You can often get a very good deal ....especially on LEO trade ins that usually haven't been shot very much but often have some holster wear.

Better to spend a few bucks more for something you have confidence in than have the wondering doubt in the back of you mind if the gun will actually go bang if you need to pull the trigger.
 

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Very good advice given already. I agree stay away from the bargain brand guns. I myself do like Taurus guns though and many people don't. Still I would suggest you stick with Beretta, Colt, S&W, Springfield , Sig, and Ruger. If the Mrs. is going to be shooting it do what I did. Take her to go handle them. Make sure it fits her hand and she can rack the slide and pull the trigger. It was not easy finding a handgun my wife liked. We settled on a Taurus Millennium in 9mm. That is her gun. We have also found she has no trouble pulling the trigger on my Beretta from the de cocked double action position. She has yet to actually shoot it though.
Guns I would actually recommend would be the Smith and Wesson compact M&P in 9mm. Almost bought one myself till I decided to buy a Beretta Mini Cougar. What can I say I like Beretta's! The M&P has three different back straps so fitting it to your wifes hand then changing it to fit yours would be a nice feature. I would not recommend a .40 S&W even though I have a Glock 23 chambered in .40. In my opinion the .40 has to much snap for a woman new to shooting. Get her started on a 9mm. She can move up later. If I had started my wife on my Glock or a Taurus in .40 she would have stopped shooting the first time out. She still don't like to shoot but knows she needs to be able to defend herself.
 

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Actually if you have Proper grip control on the .40, it doesn't have that much recoil to it at all. My 11 yr. old Daughter shoots my xd .40 all the time and loves it. The Glock seems to have a little more recoil than the xd, but I think that has a lot to do with the design of the xd. The xd has a more Natural grip to it, than that of the glock. With the XD you have better wrist control.

I have approximately 7500 rounds through my xd, without any problems or jams at all.

I have a friend that has 5 different 1911 models. (a .45 cal. NUT) He just bought an XD .45 acp and Loves it. It is now his Main CCW weapon of choice. He still loves his 1911's, but prefers the xd.

If your wife has a hard time pulling the slide back on any one of the pistols she tries out, have her make sure she has a good high grip on the frame as she pushes forward with her strong hand, as she pulls back on the slide with the other hand.... a PUSH PULL effect, rather than just trying to pull back on the slide alone....

Again, there is nothing wrong with a 9mm either... a little less recoil than the .40, and ammo is cheaper too... of course now a days, it seems NOTHING is cheaper to shoot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well guys we have thus far settled on the XD 40 iin subcompact form for her. She handled a few guns and thats the one she liked the most it felt the most natural. She has shot a pistol or two so i'm not too worried about her bieng able to handle it for the most part. She also did 4 yrs in the Army so she handled bigger weapons. I have found two places offering the gun for the same price will probaly buy locally. $434 is the best i have found everyone else is higher. Thanks for the advice guys i greatly appreciate it.
Chris
 

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Good choice... Love the XD... although the glock 23 isn't bad either...for being close to the same size.
Thank you for letting us know what you got (or will get)... I'm sure you'll both be happy with it...and the price is good too.
Remember that the XD has the grip safety, so when trying to pull the slide back, she'll have to grip it up high and tight...also, the push-pull method for pulling the slide back until she get use to it....
Oh ya, almost forgot.... always remember, TFOOTG.... Trigger Finger out of Trigger Guard....until ready to shoot....then Sqeeeeze the trigger... :wink:
Have Fun... :p
Stay Safe.
 

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Good deal glad you found something she liked. I am fond of the XD's myself. I really like the XD45 Tactical. Just don't like the fact they are made in Croatia. Step Dad is Croatian so it is a personal thing. I rag on him about Croatia so much if I buy a gun from their he will never let me live it down. I like the S&W M&P tactical also and it is made in the U.S. so if I get a .45 that will be the one. I did shoot an XD 40 though I did like it better than my G23.
 

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Grillmaster, If you want a weapon for home defense, I'd sure recommend a semi-auto like the Glock, (or a good revolver) without all the decockers and levers and switches you move before you can shoot the guy trying to kill you.

The Glock is a point and pull the trigger pistol, safety is in the trigger itself, they are a very safe gun. Like any other firearm,
KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER UNLESS YOU ARE GOING TO FIRE !

When I took my last CHL proficienct test, there was a lady with a new Smith SA, she had a lot of problems with the decocker, which she had to utilize during the test. Her pistol went "click" a lot.

The nice thing about a Glock and a revolver is they have no levers, knobs, slides or pull strings. You pull the trigger and they shoot. Not sure of the Springfield XD, it looks like a Glock somewhat, may or may not have a decocker.

Main thing is, whatever you two decide on, BOTH of you need to go to the range and get totally familiar with the weapon. How to load it, unload it and make it go "boom". If you have kids int he house, you also have to decide where to keep it safely locked up.
 

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Re: re: CCW and Home Defense suggestions

Beretta Guy said:
Good deal glad you found something she liked. I am fond of the XD's myself. I really like the XD45 Tactical. Just don't like the fact they are made in Croatia. Step Dad is Croatian so it is a personal thing. I rag on him about Croatia so much if I buy a gun from their he will never let me live it down. I like the S&W M&P tactical also and it is made in the U.S. so if I get a .45 that will be the one. I did shoot an XD 40 though I did like it better than my G23.
I'm responded to a post far late but if you haven't alrerady purchased a S&W M&P 45 I'm here to tell you that's the pistol to have. I've had mine for a few months and it is the most perfect 45. I bought mine with night sights and added a light/laser combo on the bottom rail. It's lighter than most 9mm and while the mag only holds ten, it comes with three so that is more than enough. It's hard to find a shoulder rig for but if your intrested I can tell you a rig that fits well with out custom order.
 
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