To keep things short, what should I consider and test for home/cc purpose gun options? Have been doing research for a few years and ready to purchase. Bersa 380 Thunder...S&W M&P 9M compact...S&W Walther PPS...S&W Bodygaurd series....is there anything in this list that you would add or delete? I guess this post may also benefit any of the TT ladies who also have these questions, as my wife is also starting to consider....it's like shopping for a car if you have never shopped for one before. Thanks in advance
Comments ... #
I carry a S&W M&P Compact 9mm or a S&W 9mm Sigma everyday in a paddle holster and forget it's even there. As far as home security goes I have a few shotguns.
Personally the smallest I would go is 9mm. That's just my personal preference though. I've heard to many stories about 380 or .22 rounds not stopping the threat. It's still possible to do it with those rounds but shot placement is key.
I thought a 9mm or bigger will just go through the body but a 22 will enter, but bounce around causing more internal damage. That's what I heard from an Intensive Care nurse.
They can do that. I've also read stories about people getting shot with 380 and .22 rounds that never even realized they had been shot until later on.
Anyone should carry what they feel comfortable carrying. It's just my personal preference not to carry anything below a 9mm.
9mm and above may go through but aiming center mass your still going to be going through vital organs, which will positively stop the threat.
I just traded my Glock 30 SF for the S&W M&P 40c. I find the 40c to be superior in several different measurements. The adjustable back straps are a godsend, plus the weapon just flat out feels better in my hand. It is slimmer (no double stack mag), lighter and more comfortable to carry. Glock has really set on their hands the last couple of years, the M&P is gaining ground. Some of my friends in Metro Detroit PD's have even been given the clearance to carry these as duty weapons.
dino what is your budget? If you are on a limited spend let me recommend the Taurus PT-145 24/7 Pro DS C (It's the subcompact 45). It's a great weapon for the price (around $275). I've owned two of these (angry I traded the first one away) and have never had failure to fire or failure to eject. Carries 10+1 and comes with a 13 round mag. Good size and weight for CC.
There are practical applications for .380 although I wouldn't go with the Bersa. I'm not a fan of fixed barrel guns and the Thunder I owned was very ammo picky. Lots of FTE and FTF issues. I love my Ruger LCP, could be my favorite gun. It isn't much bigger than a smart phone, and chews whatever ammo I put in it. I can drop in in the cell phone carrier case when I go jogging/biking or drop it in a pocket holster for a quick run to Kroger. In a close encounter at a gas station early morning I trust 7 rounds of .380 JHP up close and personal. And if you check gun & ammo sales, so quite a few people.
I suggest going to a range that has rental guns that you can test out, some people just are not ready for to jump into a high caliber round like 45 ACP.
First of all, thanks for the compliment. It's an honor to be consulted on an important decision such as this one. I also congratulate you on making a wise decision. We all hope that no one has to defend themselves from a criminal, but in the event that you do, you'll be able to defend you and yours.
Before I begin, allow me to issue the standard disclaimer. These are my own opinions which have been developed as a result of my personal life experience and guidance from others. Other people will agree or disagree with my conclusions based on their own experience. Please note that their opinions are no less valuable than mine, and that they are freely offered in the spirit of providing some help. Finally, we'll have one or more comments from the anti-freedom moonbats who do not want you to arm yourself, much less engage in any form of self-defense. This ends my standard disclaimer.
The answer as to what kind of handgun to use for concealed carry depends on the caliber and the way you're going to carry it. 9mm or anything close to .38 is perfectly good for self-defense as long as you use frangible ammunition (hollow point, Glaser, Federal Hydro-Shok, etc.). I, personally, would not carry a .380 because I think it's a bit light for self-defense, but that's just me. Generally speaking, larger calibers are better but with the use of frangible ammunition the advantage becomes marginal. You still have to hit the target on your second shot, and if you're trying to recover from the recoil of a .44 magnum that may not be easy. My personal choice for concealed carry is .357 magnum with hollow point ammunition. My second choice is either .45 ACP (automatic Colt pistol) with standard ammunition or 9mm (9×19mm Parabellum, also known as: 9mm Luger, 9×19mm, and 9mm NATO) with hollow point ammunition.
You must make a choice between the revolver and the automatic. I prefer a revolver because it is easier and simpler to operate, and it's generally a little smaller and lighter. If you need to defend yourself, you just point it, pull the trigger back smoothly and wait for all hell to break loose. The disadvantages are ammunition capacity (5 or 6 versus 10) and recoil – the automatic will have less recoil than the revolver. That said, if you decide that you will carry an automatic you absolutely must understand how it works, how to clear a jam and how you will get it out and get it working during a high stress situation. Will you carry your pistol with a round in the chamber? Such things matter. Here are a few suggestions for concealed carry firearms:
Model 1911 .45, carried in a shoulder holster with a round in the chamber and the safety on. Three extra clips of ammunition can be carried on the opposite side. The pistol is durable and the caliber is a proven man stopper. It is also easy to operate when compared to many other automatic pistols.
Smith and Wesson Model 686 revolver in .357, again carried in a shoulder rig. Extra ammunition can be carried in speed loaders on the opposite side or in your pocket. This is easier to operate than the 1911 but has a much heavier recoil.
Smith and Wesson Model 649 Revolver revolver in .357. This is my favorite as it can be carried almost anywhere, and in fact you could hold it in your jacket pocket and shoot some S.O.B. without drawing your gun. There is no hammer to snag on your clothing and five shots is very likely all your going to need.
These are my preferences. Out of all the pistols you suggested, the only one I'd pass up is the Bersa. I just don't care for the brand. Other than that, they are all good pistols.
The ideal weapon for home defense is not a handgun, it's a shotgun. Get a 12 or 20 gauge shotgun and use high power shells with number four or five shot. You could also use double ought (“00”) shot if you prefer, but number four shot has an advantage in that it will not go through the wall of your house and liven up your neighbor's evening. Think about the litigation problems surrounding a case like that for just a minute. Most people seem to prefer a pump action shotgun for home defense, but I don't agree. I much prefer an auto-loader (semi-automatic) over a pump shotgun. The pump action shotgun is a two handed weapon while the auto-loader can be used one handed, meaning that if you want to carry something in your other hand, such as a flashlight, you can. Also, if your arm is injured you can still put some lead in the air with your auto-loader. An auto-loader reduces the recoil by a considerable amount, which is significant for a 12 gauge shooting red hot home defense loads. Finally, you can fire your auto-loader just as fast as you can pull the trigger. The down side is that like an automatic pistol, you have to learn to operate your shotgun. If this is a concern, then I'd recommend getting a coach gun with open hammers. This is the good old 12 gauge shotgun you'll see in old westerns. They make for a very safe and easy to operate shotgun which can be a real advantage. You have two barrels, two hammers and two triggers, so your sequence becomes: load load, cock cock, boom boom. Repeat as necessary. Add a bandoleer of shotgun ammo and a flashlight, and you are all set to repel home invaders of all sorts.
That said, there are all kinds of auto-loading shotguns and not all shotguns are created equal. If you decide on an auto-loader, make sure that your shotgun will cycle the ammunition you intend to use for home defense without jamming. Most modern shotguns will shoot anything you care to load up, but the more inexpensive shotguns may be finicky and only cycle a few types of ammunition reliably. Test fire your shotgun and see what happens.
Here are two suggestions for a home defense shotgun.
I would also encourage you to have the number of your attorney readily available, and not just the office number. If you are ever directly involved in a shooting your very first call is your attorney. After that, the litany that you must repeat to the police is:
He tried to kill me.
I have done nothing wrong.
I want my attorney.
Just relegate yourself to the fact that you are going to jail no matter what. The sooner you get your attorney next to you, the sooner you'll get out of jail. Don't take my word for this, though. Talk to your attorney and see what he or she has to say about the matter. While you're at it, find out if your attorney is the sort that swings into action at three in the morning to protect his client, or if the ringer on his phone is turned off and he'll eventually get around to listening to his voice mail messages late Monday morning.
Best of luck to you and your family.
From DBW8906: ...the weapon just flat out feels better in my hand.
This is worth noting, as it really sums up how you chose your pistol. What DBW8906 is comfortable with is not necessarily what I'll be comfortable with, or what lfrost2125 will feel better with. It doesn't make his selection a better choice; it makes his selection a better choice for him.
Billy the S&W 642 is fine firearm, but if you are in the market I would suggest the S&W Model 340. It is a .357 but you can load 38 special rounds into it if you don't want the kick from .357 rounds. It's a couple of bucks more but gives you the flexibility in loads.
Thank you !! This helps with my research...I have been consulting with others as well and appreciate the feedback.
Bobo - Cheaperthandirt.com has decent prices on 380 jhp and fmj. I grabbed a box of 380 Remington Golden Sabers and 2 boxes of Hornady SST 12 Slugs (that I could not find at the gun show) and shipping is pretty reasonable.
cleland's did, but that was at the old place before the fire. dont know if the new place across the street does - I was under the impression the place across the street was a temporary accomodation
Cleland's still has a few rental guns, but the range isn't anything to write home about. The Bullet Stop click here has a slightly better range and selection of rentals. If you decide to buy anything from either place, don't be afraid to ask for the brother-in-law price. Gun sales are not what they could be, unlike ammo sales which skyrocketed once The Anointed One redecorated the White House.
The Bullet Stop is a great shop, if you are ever in the Detroit area check out Top Gun http://www.tgssinc.com/
Thanks DBW8906. I think I'll drive up and try Top Gun. I've shot at Blackwing and it's an excellent place.
Let me know what you think about Top Gun, could be my favorite place to shoot. The dudes who work here are not your typical alpha male gun guys and the range is nice.
MJ - I just picked up a M&P 40c but I've been drooling over a BERETTA PX4 Storm Sub-Compact 40 cal. You ever shot one?
I've never shot either one, but I'd like to shoot the Beretta. Then again, I don't want to shoot the Beretta because if I do, well... I might end up shooting myself in the bank account.