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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a 43yr old guy 5ft 11in, 190lbs. Good shape & health. I have 3 choices in a handgun for self-defense and conceal carry. I have shot all 3 at the range with mutual feelings towards all 3. I would like to get some opinions on choice for ccw.

(1.) Bersa T380 (2.) Taurus 357 M650 CIA (3.) Taurus 9mm PT111 Millinium

Any opinions are greatly appreciated. Thanks
 

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Welcome to the forum! My personal opinion is that a decent revolver, especially in .357 magnum, is your most reliable option. With a bobbed hammer and short cylinder they can be very easy to conceal and draw quickly. I like that there is no safety to remember in a dangerous situation. In my opinion the only drawback is the capacity limit. My feelings are that if you need more than five or six shots you're probably in over your head anyways. The flexibility of being able to shoot .38 special and .357 magnum with the same gun is a great asset especially if you want to practice with affordable ammo.

I would carry a .380acp if I had to but many self proclaimed experts claim it does not always penetrate reliably and in my area .380 is more expensive than .38 or 9mm. The .380 has more limited ammo options than .357 or 9mm. I do want a .380 but more for fun and collecting purposes than carry.

I just did a quick search on the PT111 Millenium. Having 11 round capacity and light weight are both desirable traits in a carry gun. There are 9mm loads that are very effective for self defense purposes so I personally don't disparage the 9mm for such uses. It is also very affordable to practice with.

I obviously prefer the revolver myself but the most important thing is which one you shoot best with and what fits your taste and budget. I hope I was at least a little helpful and I'm sure others will chime in. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Re: re: Need CCW Advise

Fuelburns2 said:
Welcome to the forum! My personal opinion is that a decent revolver, especially in .357 magnum, is your most reliable option. With a bobbed hammer and short cylinder they can be very easy to conceal and draw quickly. I like that there is no safety to remember in a dangerous situation. In my opinion the only drawback is the capacity limit. My feelings are that if you need more than five or six shots you're probably in over your head anyways. The flexibility of being able to shoot .38 special and .357 magnum with the same gun is a great asset especially if you want to practice with affordable ammo.

I would carry a .380acp if I had to but many self proclaimed experts claim it does not always penetrate reliably and in my area .380 is more expensive than .38 or 9mm. The .380 has more limited ammo options than .357 or 9mm. I do want a .380 but more for fun and collecting purposes than carry.

I just did a quick search on the PT111 Millenium. Having 11 round capacity and light weight are both desirable traits in a carry gun. There are 9mm loads that are very effective for self defense purposes so I personally don't disparage the 9mm for such uses. It is also very affordable to practice with.

I obviously prefer the revolver myself but the most important thing is which one you shoot best with and what fits your taste and budget. I hope I was at least a little helpful and I'm sure others will chime in. Good luck.
What in your opinion is a good sd round for the 357 >
 

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In truth I'm not all that knowledgeable about ammunition. I would stick with hollowpoints for SD to minimize overpenetration but as far as ideal bullet weight, manufacturer and such that just isn't something I know much about.

There are others here who could be much more helpful in the area of ammunition selection.
 

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I'll echo the wheelgun for CCW sentiments. As I've said before, once you go round, you never go back.

Particularly with the .357 mag, any decent hollowpoint will work fine for SD, and I would imagine it would be the same with .38Spl+P (which I actually prefer to the magnum in a lightweight snubby). For regular .38Spl, I'd opt for the better hollowpoints out there. Hydrashoks come to mind, as do Golden Sabers. I'd even carry a jacketed softpoint, to be quite honest. Again, I prefer this to the .357 magnum in a snubby. With a medium or full frame revolver, I'll shoot magnums all day, but it's no fun in a J-frame. Besides, with a 2" barrel, you don't get magnum performance anyway.
 

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Another vote for the wheelgun! Like others have said earlier,I'd stick with 38spl ammo in a HP.Some of these smaller 357s can cause ya to develope a REALLLLY BAD flinch problem.

The best SD gun is one that YOU shoot well , but isn't too bulky or heavy.

HWD
 

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Check out a J-frame Smith in .38 Spl or a Ruger SP101 in .357.... either one is a superb CCW firearm.

My particular favorite is the 3" SP101 (with Hogue grips - I didn't care for the factory originals, but your mileage may vary)
 

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Of the 3 guns you are looking at I would put the revolver at the top ( size, reliability, stopping power, etc ). The 9mm you chose would be my 2nd choice of the guns you picked and the Bersa would be the last of the 3. I'm not a big fan of a 9mm for self defense - but it'll work.

If you haven't - I'd also look at the SIG offerings ( 239 models probably ) based on what you've selected above but I'd look at one of the models in a .40 S&W to give you a little more punch.
 

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I was just looking thru some of my notes - as one of my buddies and I were discussing which way to go on a new carry gun in the last few months too - and the SIG 229 2 tone as an example is 7.14" overall, 5.1" tall, 1.5" wide, 3.9" barrel, weighs 32oz and holds a clip of 12 in .40 S&W . The smaller model - the 239 is a single stack - so you get 7 rounds of .40 S&W and overall it's 6.6" long (about 1/2" shorter, 5.2" tall (so it's a hair taller ), 1.2" wide (so 1/4" narrower), a 3.6" barrel and weighs 29.5 oz ( or 2.5 oz lighter ). My buddy carries a 239 with an extra mag vs carrying a 229 with no additional mag.

But the 229 2 tone with a 12 rd mag in it - is about 1 1/2" shorter overall than a 5" barrel 1911 in .45 ACP, has 4 more rounds in it and is about 14 oz lighter .... so I still think the 229 is a good compromise carry gun as well. But there are some nice 1911's out there in 3" or 4" barrels as well that will carry 7 rounds in .45 ACP. ( which is why I own so many guns, I can't decide what to carry, what to shoot .... so I just keep buying things ...... and honestly I feel the best when I'm shooting a 5" barrel 1911 in .45 ACP or a good revolver in a 6" barrel ( but at 6'4" and 275 lbs ... I can conceal them pretty well except in the summer ..) and if I'm carrying them in my car or in a brief case an extra inch of barrel or 12 oz doesn't matter. But it's also why most of us have so much trouble answering your question with a straight answer. Good luck to you - buy what makes you feel the best ! and what you shoot the best !
 

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I'm not a Taurus fan but of the three you've listed I would go with the M650 first with a slight nod to the PT111 over the Bersa. In the price range you list I would also look at a used S&W or Ruger revolver or a S&W or Ruger semi-auto. Ruger doesn't really have a true compact semi-auto but S&W has quite a few. A used M-39, 59, or 69 can be easily found well under $400, at least up here. The Bersa in .380 has been pretty reliable from what I've seen, like Kel-Tek a good value for the price.
For ammo my preference in .357 mag is a 125 gr hollowpoint followed by the 110 gr hollowpoint. Anything else is too heavy and/or does not expand well at short barrel velocities. In .38 Spl I used to like 125 gr hollowpoints like the Hydra-Shocks and Silvertips but now have gone back to the 158 gr lead semi-wadcutter hollowpoints. Too many example by too many sources have shown this round to be the best stopper in this cartridge. My own use of them on deer (putting down those hit by cars) has paralleled this though I was too dense to see it back then. In 9mm I liked the Federal 124 gr Nyclad hollowpoints with their 115 gr hollowpoint close behind. The Winchester Silvertip has also been very popular and I would not expect the Speer Gold Dot, Hydra-Shock, Remington Golden Saber, Hornady XTP, or other self-defense bullet to be a poor choice. I carried a .380 as an off duty/back up gun for many years and it served me well when called upon. It's been a good 15 years since then but from what I've seen and heard the Federal hollowpoint is the better round out there. I think it is 88 or 90 grs in weight. I carried Super-Vels in mine but even back then they had been discontinued for quite a while and there are much better choices today.
 

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I forgot to mention but self defense ammo for the 38 Special and 9mm I strongly recommend the use of +P ammo. For general practice, standard pressure loads are fine and even most aluminium framed guns can stand a few rounds of the +P stuff when needed. I also don't like .357 mag ammo in snubbies as there is a tremendous amount of muzzleblast and flash with the majority of these rounds, especially those commonly found at the box stores and many true sporting goods stores. This is likely to cause you to see spots in anything less than full daylight. The recoil can be pretty bad too but that can be alleviated somewhat with good grips, physical conditioning, and plenty of practice.
 
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