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Posted: 8/9/2003 11:34:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2003 11:41:23 PM EDT by macho99957]
I'm turning 21 in february and I'm planning on getting my concealed carry permit. I'm moving away from home in about a week into an apartment and I'm mainly looking for something to protect myself and my property. Since I'm going to be in college I dont think I can carry it with me all the time but I'm mainly concerned about someone busting in my apartment or maybe getting mugged at some place I have to stop on my way home to visit the folks.

I have very little knowledge of handguns besides basically knowing how to shoot them and clean them. I dont know where to start as far as what caliber or brand. Being a poor college student I can probably spend around 600 and I dont care how nice it looks or if the special forces use it or anything. Any suggestions as to what make or caliber would be a good place to start would be much appreciated. Thanks.
Link Posted: 8/10/2003 12:01:54 AM EDT
How large of a handgun are you willing to attempt to conceal?

How familiar are you going to make yourself with its operation and safe handling?

Link Posted: 8/10/2003 12:07:29 AM EDT
I'm not exactly sure how large I want. Maybe not something as big as a 1911 but it doesn't have to be tiny.

I'm sure I can handle any handgun safely, I'm new to handguns not firearms. I follow the four rules religiously. Im not sure if that's what you were asking but as far as learning my weapon and practicing with it, I make that a top priority.
Link Posted: 8/10/2003 12:22:03 AM EDT
Just getting a feel for what you're considering. If you were looking at occassional use and carry, I probably wouldnt recommend a single action pistol like the 1911 or a Browning since cocked and locked carry involves a certain level of dedication.

Find a place to handle as many of them as you can. Decide what your priorities in a handgun are. Do you feel more comfortable with 6 shots of .38, 8 shots of .45 or 16 or 9mm etc. More importantly, find one that fits your hand and points well for you. Once you do that, stick to the major brands - Colt, Springfield, Glock, SIG, Beretta, S&W.
Link Posted: 8/10/2003 12:28:53 AM EDT
I would want as many shots as possible. What do you carry and what caliber do you recommend personally?

The only handgun calibers I have ever shot have been .357 mag (def. not my 1st choice) 9mm and 10mm
Link Posted: 8/10/2003 12:39:47 AM EDT
The gun I carry concealed usually is a 1911 .45.

Occassionally I'll carry a Browning Hi-Power or a SIG P226 9mm.

The gun Im GUARANTEED to have on me no matter what is a S&W 642 Airweight .38.
Link Posted: 8/10/2003 4:43:05 AM EDT
I would suggest two things before the pistol. Get a copy of Massad Ayoob's "In the Gravest Extreme", and take a class in safety and possibly concealed carry. These two things will go a long way in both what you learn(and you will learn something, reguardless of your experience with firearms.)and showing that you were responsible enough to educate yourself for when you go to court if, god forbid, you shoot someone. That being said, I would try as many different types of pistols as you can and then make a decision as to what you like and are most comfortable with. They all work for the most part, the only thing limiting them is your willingness to take the time to learn how to make them work.
Link Posted: 8/10/2003 5:16:57 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AK103K:
I would suggest two things before the pistol. Get a copy of Massad Ayoob's "In the Gravest Extreme", and take a class in safety and possibly concealed carry. These two things will go a long way in both what you learn(and you will learn something, reguardless of your experience with firearms.)and showing that you were responsible enough to educate yourself for when you go to court if, god forbid, you shoot someone. That being said, I would try as many different types of pistols as you can and then make a decision as to what you like and are most comfortable with. They all work for the most part, the only thing limiting them is your willingness to take the time to learn how to make them work.



Yeah, Do what He said, then go get yourself a .45, 1911 style.
Link Posted: 8/10/2003 7:37:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By chaos4570:
Yeah, Do what He said, then go get yourself a .45, 1911 style.



Aside from agreeing with the suggestion to read Ayoob's book, this is bad advice. Find a range that rents handguns and then take Lumpy's advice: find one that fits your hand and that you can shoot accurately. If you ever have to defend yourself with it, shot placement (read: accuracy) is by far the most important thing.

I would also HIGHLY recommend some type of training. The NRA basic pistol course is an excellent course and a prerequisite for the home protection course which was, IMHO, outstanding.
Link Posted: 8/10/2003 10:50:03 AM EDT
I Would reccomend the new SA/XD9 or XD40.
These guns are easy to shoot, Concealable, and cheaper than guns of similar quality. Equal to a Glock in perforemance and reliabilty with a 1911 type grip safety. Laso has a loaded round indicator so you know for sure if one is in the chamber.
Best 1st handgun I can think of. If you want to go and xtra hundred , Get a glock, but for the money...XD's are hard to beat :)
Link Posted: 8/10/2003 11:28:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/10/2003 11:31:27 AM EDT by tivoli410]
If there is a gun show nearby you should go to it. That way you can handle basically any gun made. Before you go get some ideas going though on what caliber, brand and size. By far the easiest to work guns out there are Glocks. I'm sure anybody who has over 4-5 handguns has a Glock. I think this is the way for you to go. Glock makes a full-size, compact, and subcompact model in every caliber(.45,9mm,.40,.357sig, and 10mm). They basically have any type of semi-auto handgun in their lineup.

Another thing, how big are you? height,weight Some people can conceal a Desert Eagle comfortably and others can only conceal a Kel-Tec P32.

Edited to add: The Springfield XD which is mentioned above is a good choice but they are limited in caliber and size. Only available in a 4" model in 9mm or .40 s&w, unless you go to the sub-compact ones which I think are too small for any type of shooting.
Link Posted: 8/10/2003 10:18:41 PM EDT
You might want to consider a Glock 23 - .40 Cal.
The combination of size/weight, power and capacity is hard to beat, although 13 round mags will cost you.
If you like 9mm, look at the Glock 19. (same problem with high cap mags)
Link Posted: 8/10/2003 10:51:07 PM EDT
I pretty much have one of everything and what I would recommend for your situation is a Walther P99. It comes with multiple back straps to make it virtually one size fits all, It's fairly compact and conceals well. It is available in 9mm and .40 and (in the smith and wesson variety - sw99) in .45
I would NOT get a 1911 unless you are willing to spend a lot of time with it. In fact I wouldn't recommend ANY pistol with a safety unless you are willing to spend a lot of time practicing drawing and flicking off the safety. That's pretty much the first thing you will learn in gun school.

Anyway check the P99s out. I got my military .40 for $527 so it sounds like it's in your price range.

As always YMMV.
Link Posted: 8/10/2003 11:04:07 PM EDT
I dont want to open up a huge can of worms here but any recommendations as to a good caliber? I'm not wanting a cannon but not a bb gun either, or are most of them basically the same?
Link Posted: 8/10/2003 11:18:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/11/2003 12:33:55 AM EDT by jtw2]

Originally Posted By macho99957:
I dont want to open up a huge can of worms here but any recommendations as to a good caliber? I'm not wanting a cannon but not a bb gun either, or are most of them basically the same?



You are really getting into preferences here, but I carry 9mm, .40 and .45 depending on the gun I want to carry/fits the situation. I find .40 to be just about the perfect ccw chambering because of the blending of the stopping power of a .45 with the increased mag capacity of a 9mm. It's right in the middle and I like it a lot. I have 5 pistols chambered in .40.
Link Posted: 8/10/2003 11:22:01 PM EDT
Thanks I will definitely look into the .40, I had never really heard of it before. Most people I know carry 9mm .45 or .38 I still have a lot of time before I can buy a handgun but Im pretty excited and want to narrow it down as soon as possible. Thanks for the replies everyone.
Link Posted: 8/11/2003 6:22:12 AM EDT
The S&W .38 442 Centennial is my "American Express" of CCW guns. Far more comfortable to carry than anything I've seen short of a P32.
Link Posted: 8/11/2003 7:12:45 AM EDT
As far as caliber goes,...Let me say this. Ithink in a life and death situation, ANY caliber is better than NO caliber :)
The key to CCW is delivering a swift fast ACCURATE respnose to your attacker. Shot PLACEMENT and no Caliber is CRUCIAL to this.
A good hit with a .380 is better that a poor hit with a .45 This of course requires practice and traing. My wife carries a Bersa Thunder .380 with her and is quite deadly with it..she practices every month with it to stay that way. I carry a 9mm in the summer due to easier concealability and a .45 in the winter. But I have confidence in my shooting skills to no I will only (in most cases) need one shot to stop someone. Remember now, I am active in USPSA& IDPA and shoot 1000+ rounds a month.
Train with your gun at least twice a month if your going to carry and gain that confidence and the caliber question is moot :)
Link Posted: 8/11/2003 7:38:46 AM EDT
I never recommend 1911s or Glocks to new handgun buyers. I sell both, but IMO a new user to handguns should have both a DA/SA action and a manual safety. After several thousand rounds, then go with a DA or SA only handgun. I love and carry a 1911 in Winter, and a Glock 36 in Summer. But I have been shooting sidearms for over 30 years. I think all the suggestions above are great for experianced users. There is always the argument for learning on what your going to shoot forever, but I'd still go my route. There are lots of very good guns in your price range.
Link Posted: 8/11/2003 8:00:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/11/2003 8:03:03 AM EDT by sloth]
Let me be the first one to try and sell you on a wheel gun. I haev fired all types of autoloaders (sig, beretta, kimber, really crappy smith sigma, etc) and one thing became very clear to me...I love revolvers.

I don't liek worrying about mag. spring fatique, i don't like worrying about haveing to try and rack the slide in case of a jam, i don't like the way a pistol "flips" in recoil.

I simply love the revolver...

45 acp as the caliber...let me sugegst that you look into the taurus stellar tracker. you can get it in various barrel lengths. its chambered in 45 acp and come with full moon clips that will make reloading easy and fast.

seriously, i think you should look into the wheelgun for your needs...
]
http://www.gunweek.com/2002/feature0801.html
http://www.gunblast.com/Taurus_Tracker.html
[url/]
Link Posted: 8/11/2003 10:00:01 AM EDT
Like Xwing, I'd also recommend the Springfield XD. If you want something bigger than the service model, you might check out their 5" Tactical variant in .40 S&W. Someone else mentioned their reluctance to suggest Glock as a first gun, but a Glock was my first handgun. I guess I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum. I think guns with gadgets require more training to deploy in self defense, and when you have an external safety, you may depend on it rather than your brain to prevent your firearm from firing. You follow the rules of handgun safety, and you shouldn't have to worry, regardless of the firearm. Like others have said, handle as many firearms as possible before making your decision. Don't be afraid to shop around for the best price.
Link Posted: 8/11/2003 4:32:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By macho99957:
I dont want to open up a huge can of worms here but any recommendations as to a good caliber? I'm not wanting a cannon but not a bb gun either, or are most of them basically the same?



I recommend 9mm.

PRACTICE is of paramount importance. Check out ammo prices. You will be able to practice with a 9mm FAR mor than any other caliber for the same ammount of money.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 8/18/2003 7:02:03 PM EDT
I think a good 4" 357 magnum revolver is still one of the best choices.
Link Posted: 8/18/2003 9:08:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/18/2003 9:12:37 PM EDT by Zoub]
What a flashback. My younger brother was 21 in 1991 when he used his handgun to deter a career criminal that broke in to his college apartment. He caught the guy sitting at the table eatting a sandwhich he had made, while 5 guys were home sleeping! He had already cleaned the place out of alcohol, perscription drugs and food. Career crook all the way.

My Brother bought Ayoobs book. He then bought a used police trade-in Glock 17 to save money. He still has it along with a ton of other Glocks. A used Glock is very reliable. So are other used guns.

The Glock was easy to use. 9mm was easy for him to use and he could afford to shoot it when I was not around to feed him ammo. 9mm or a .357 so you can practice with 38 special is a good affordable way to start. Plenty of good used guns in those calibers. Plus if you are not a great shot, 9mm will be easier to master. Something like a Glock 17 or 19 also gives you a full sized sight plane.

Stress, even a college kid can afford to shoot 9mm, and you need to get 1 to 2k shots under your belt.

That same year we bought our mom a used ruger .38 in stainless. A real workhorse.
Link Posted: 8/18/2003 10:38:34 PM EDT
I rarely stop by here, but for "ALL PRACTIAL" purpose's get a lightweight/airweight .38, even I can handle one
Link Posted: 8/19/2003 6:02:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/19/2003 6:24:08 AM EDT by Cross_Steel]

Originally Posted By dnra:
I rarely stop by here, but for "ALL PRACTIAL" purpose's get a lightweight/airweight .38, even I can handle one



One thing in college you want is maximun conceilment. If you've picked up some hottie college girl you don't want to have to "unstrap your shooten iron." That could be distractive. Pocket carry is best. In all likelyhood if you won't be in a "Wild Bunch" shootout. If five shots of .38 +p or 7 to 8 shots of 9mm or .380 won't get you out of the jam your in you had better be calling a swat team.

FYI if your going to any establishments that serve alcohol check the laws concerning CCW. If you plan on drinking anything in volume lock the gun in your safe at your apartment and give someone else the key along with your carkeys. BTW you can have a good time in college without making a fool of yourself. Plenty of people end up screwing up in college and screwing themselves for life.
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