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Thread: Testing a gun before buying?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Manchester State Forest, SC
    A friend of mine carries one at... school. Shhhh.

    As a deep concealment belly gun it should work okay. I sure as hell wouldn't stand in front of one.
    "I believe we should achieve a national standard on gun control, and that standard should be none whatsoever."

  3. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by cam9910 View Post
    I know there has been a lot discussed here on if a .380 is enough for a concealed carry (and I don't mean just as a backup gun) As I am just taking my CCW class tomorrow, I'm starting to think what I would want to carry. I see both sides of the arguments as to why a .380 that you are able to carry all the time is better then the .40, .45 etc that is home, but the knockdown power of a more powerful cal is important as well. I've only have experience with my H&K full size 9MM.

    I'm torn between a .38 or a .380. or possibly a 9MM. Ideally I'd like to have a table in front of me with all my top candidates to shoot for what I think i would like to have as a carry, but I am having trouble finding local shops that offer "test or demo" guns, and none of my friends have any for me to try.

    I guess my question is did many of you buy without trying? I'd really rather not do that. Thanks.
    Cam: will not get into the caliber debate but might I note that there are many 9mm's that are essentially the same size as some .380's....

    If you do go with .380, please consider Cor-Bon DPX. Look up ballistics reports to see why.

    I have a 9mm Kahr that is about the same size as my friend's Walther PPK, which kicks like a mule by the way. The Kahr is very smooth and very accurate.

    I test fired my first gun, but not my 2nd and 3rd guns. I think was extremely LUCKY since I ended up LOVING the 2nd and 3rd guns. I have a friend who bought a gun without test firing, sold it within weeks, and bought another one without test firing...luckily, he is happy with the 2nd one but it cost him about $300 or so.

    Even though I have been lucky (partly because I research things TO DEATH), I would recommend to EVERYONE to TRY the gun before you buy it. If you have to travel 60 miles to a range that has guns, it will be worth it.

    Best of luck in finding a gun that FITS YOU.

  4. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    My first purchase, a Glock G19 was made without any test firing. It is a fine weapon to be sure but a tad more than I wanted to carry. In fact I was not yet thinking about carry weapons at the time of that purchase. It is now my Home Defense weapon and I love it.

    My second purchase, a S&W .38 snub nose J Frame Airweight .. I could drop it in my front pocket and it would disappear. Light weight also. I loved to carry it, but after shooting it at miscellaneous targets out in a gravel pit, I became concerned about "firepower" and about having only five rounds.

    Then came the Glock G26 (subcompact, 9mm, 10 rounds + one in the chamber). I found I loved to shoot it. Firepower is certainly adequate. For me, it is not a pocket gun. So the search for a holster began for me and two of my friends who had also settled on the Glock G26 or G27 for CCW.

    After too many dollars and holsters (including some quite well known brands) that were just not comfortable or didn't actually conceal well, we all settled on a cheapie ($15) KNJ canvas holster for Inside Waste Band carry in the appendix position. Or, in my case in the 9 o'clock (left side) position which, since I am right handed, is 'cross draw".

    It hides and hides well under a light T-Shirt. Simply turns the carry weapon into invisible. It is hard to believe the difference in comfort and concealability until you try it. Now, when I say I forget it is there, I actually mean it.

    I picked mine up from a dealer in a Tucson gun show. Then, when I found how very well it worked for me, I bought two more as did both of my friends. I pass this info along for you to try .. a very nice solution at a very reasonable cost meaning there won't be a huge downside if for some reason it won't work for you.


    KNJ also has a recommendation for a G26 with a Crimson Trace LG436 laser (my configuration) that works well.

    Just be aware that these holsters ride and carry the Glock 26 low. This is much of the reason they conceal so well, but it is not a holster for those into speed draws. Me, I figure I may have to draw to defend my life at the worst, maybe once in my life but I want to carry comfortably and conceal flawlessly every day of the year for many years. So if, when that day comes, and it takes me an extra second or two to get off that first shot ... as least I'll know I didn't leave my weapon at home because it was uncomfortable to wear or impossible to conceal.

    Good luck in your search.
    I no longer trust my government to act on my behalf.

  5. #14
    If it's between choosing a .38 and a .380, I'll take a .38 everytime. It's hard to beat a J-frame or LCR. I've got a Ruger LCR in .357 as my BUG. It gives me the option to shoot +P .38 loads or full blown .357 mags. Love it.

    Don't get me wrong. A good .380 (P238, P232, S&W Bodyguard 380, LCP, Kel-Tec) would be nice to have. I just find placing a .357 the same place I can put a .380 much more comforting to me and much less comfortable for the BG.

    As far as testing before you buy, most definitely yes. Like a previous poster stated, if you have to drive 100 miles to test what you want to carry, the tool you may someday have to depend on to save your life or the lives of your loved ones, then it's worth every penny.

    Also, check out back issues of Gun Reports and research reviews online of guns you are considering. Resources are out there.

    Good hunting.

  6. The right caliber is the caliber you are comfortable with. As far as testing out a gun thatís great if you have a spot that has all the firearms you want to test. That isn't always the case. I just bought a Kel Tec PF-9 it was hard to find let alone find a range that rented one. This is a learn as I go gun before I even think about carrying it. I will buy snap caps and practice with it even before I fire it. Then I will take it to the range where Iíll practice carrying it and of course again with snap caps. Lots of times we don't have the ability to have 10 or 15 guns that we are considering at our disposal to fire and get a feel of. I did my research and read reviews and think this is going to be a great little backup gun or even a main carry gun when the time and clothing are at a minimum aka the summer time. So take your time fire as many guns as you can but, again not always a luxury.

  7. #16

    Testing pistols

    Don't know where you live, but Silver Bullet Firearms in Grand Rapids (MI) has a whole wall of rental pistols you can try out at their range and get a feel for how they shoot. I wouldn't want to buy a weapon I didn't get a chance to at least hold in my hand.

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