New to CC; Handgun Suggestions?
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Thread: New to CC; Handgun Suggestions?

  1. Question New to CC; Handgun Suggestions?

    Hi everyone,

    I'm looking for my first concealed carry handgun, and I'd like some feedback on options. Here's a few things to note:

    1. I'm not exactly swimming in cash right now, so my absolute maximum price is gonna be around $400.
    2. I'm a little on the small side: 5'9, 115 lb., so a full-size 1911 is out of the question. It needs to be small enough that I can actually conceal it on my skinny frame.
    3. Recoil is a big concern. Quite frankly, I'd feel most comfortable toting a .22 with an extra mag, because I know for a fact that I can shoot it rapidly, accurately, and precisely. But I'm open to anything.

    Backstory:

    I'm joining the Georgia State Defense Force, an all-volunteer branch of the Georgia DoD (that serves alongside the Air National Guard and Army National Guard). As a serving member of the state military, I'll be allowed to carry a concealed weapon during personal business under Georgia law.

    I don't have much experience with handguns. I was given a Ruger 22/45 Mk III, but I have no centerfire handgun experience worth mentioning. I'm planning to take my county's handgun safety course, which is run jointly by the Sheriff and Police Department, and I'll try to budget in a good self-defense course too. So any tips or suggestions are welcome.

  2.   
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    TN
    Posts
    4,255
    Go to a range that rents handguns. Talk to a professional firearms instructor there and take a basic defensive handgun class. During the defensive handgun class, try out different types, models and calibers. Start with larger handguns and easy-to-shoot calibers and work yourself up toward a handgun size and caliber that fits your needs. This can all be achieved easily within one day. Then, either return to the range a week or two later and practice with rented handguns again, or purchase your weapon of choice and return to the range a week or two later and practice with it. Practice every one or two weeks.

    Most people have zero or not enough training and make their choice based on a lack of knowledge and myths. You talk about recoil and rapid/accurate firing being a concern, but that is really a training and practice issue. The same way buying a guitar doesn't make you a musician, buying a gun doesn't make you a marksman. You need to learn how to grip the firearm correctly, how to draw it correctly, when to draw it, how to aim, and how to use it successfully as a self defense tool. That requires training.

    Since you are talking about carrying a firearm for self defense, I highly suggest additional training classes beyond a basic defensive handgun class. In an actual gunfight, one hand or arm may get wounded or otherwise incapacitated (such as by an assailant holding it). Can you draw and shoot one handed? You would learn that in an advanced training class. What about medical training? You survived the initial gunfight, but got wounded. Now you need to survive the minutes until you get medical help. Basic medical training is available at many gun ranges as well.

    At the end, you will spend more money on training and ammo than on the gun itself. Where does that leave you with your tight budget? Set your priorities right and save money for the stuff that can save your life one day. Realize that you also need to spend money on a decent belt and a decent holster.

    "Amateurs talk about hardware, professionals talk about software." Don't focus too much on which gun you should carry, but on the how and why. Mindset, skills and gear are important factors for successful self defense with a firearm. Most people ignore the first two and go all out nuts on the last.

    Lastly, as for a recommended handgun, use something that has proven reliability, is big enough to fight with and small enough to carry. For me, that would be a Glock 19 or Glock 26, a compact Sig P320 in 9mm, or a S&W Shield 9mm without thumb safety. Recommended holster: NSR Tactical LC-4. Recommenced belt: SOE Tactical 1.5" Rigid Cobra Duty Belt With Velcro Liner. Yes, this gear is way beyond your budget and has features that you probably wouldn't know what to do with it. However, I learned early on, buy once cry once. Buy quality gear based on range experience with loaner gear and recommendations from professional firearms instructors, instead of the cheap gear that you are going to replace over and over again because it doesn't work the way you want it to or it wears our early.

  4. #3
    I will second all the great advice bofh has offered you, particularly regarding getting professional instruction if possible before you make your choice/purchase. You can then make an informed decision that will serve you much better and will save you money and time.

  5. Great points! You mentioned allot of things that I hadn't given much thought to -- I'll be looking into ranges and training programs today. Thanks!

  6. Since you are on a limited budget which you made clear. Some people just do not read and understand. Glock 19 & 26 are great choices but will cost around $530. I have read a few articles about cc guns for under $400. I believe Guns&Ammo is one. Unfortunately you get what you pay for when it comes to low cost firearms. Also with your body structure the size of the firearm for you is an issue. So here are a few suggestions Kahr, Taurus PT 111, Glock 42, Smith&Wesson Shield, SCCY 2. Do your research and you will find it. When start looking for a holster eBay is the best place. Most of the time you can get free shipping. Good luck!

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    TN
    Posts
    4,255
    A used Glock 19 or Glock 26 is typically around $400 and is reliable. All OEM Glock parts are easily serviceable and replaceable at low cost, if needed. A new S&W Shield 9mm is around $320-350. Holster options for Glock and S&W handguns are plenty. If you develop a relationship with a gun range that also has a gun store, you may be able to get good discounts on gear and services. The SCCY CPX-2 9mm is a reliable option, but it has a long trigger reset:


  8. Quote Originally Posted by WildCard1791 View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I'm looking for my first concealed carry handgun, and I'd like some feedback on options. Here's a few things to note:

    1. I'm not exactly swimming in cash right now, so my absolute maximum price is gonna be around $400.
    2. I'm a little on the small side: 5'9, 115 lb., so a full-size 1911 is out of the question. It needs to be small enough that I can actually conceal it on my skinny frame.
    3. Recoil is a big concern. Quite frankly, I'd feel most comfortable toting a .22 with an extra mag, because I know for a fact that I can shoot it rapidly, accurately, and precisely. But I'm open to anything.

    Backstory:

    I'm joining the Georgia State Defense Force, an all-volunteer branch of the Georgia DoD (that serves alongside the Air National Guard and Army National Guard). As a serving member of the state military, I'll be allowed to carry a concealed weapon during personal business under Georgia law.

    I don't have much experience with handguns. I was given a Ruger 22/45 Mk III, but I have no centerfire handgun experience worth mentioning. I'm planning to take my county's handgun safety course, which is run jointly by the Sheriff and Police Department, and I'll try to budget in a good self-defense course too. So any tips or suggestions are welcome.
    The advice you received was good. I'll just toss in my ideas as well. There are really good single stack 9mms that do quite a fine job. My EDC is a Ruger Lc9 s pro and I use a Crossbreed bellyband with a kydec holster as part of the band. I've worn this for two years straight and am quite comfortable. Now....I do train with this gun and it is both reliable and accurate. I find the pinky extension (seven round) magazine to be the best fit in my hand and I do carry one in the chamber. Even when I shoot for fun, I end the session using my EDC so my brain and muscles are in tune with it. I have a double stack, but prefer single for daily carry. It is slimmer and weighs less than my Ruger Sr9c which is also a great gun. The key to whatever you select is total familiarity with it via practice including practice drawing. Shoot from different positions, hands, and distances. I'm happy to say that my one-handed shooting is as good as when I use two. One never knows how situations will present themselves, so being well prepared is the key. Good luck and let us know how things work out.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  9. #8
    Try to shoot as many calibers as possible in handguns. But for a first handgun I recommend trying a .32 acp. because it has light recoil but at close range will work well. After you are used to shooting it you can always try another caliber.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Penn's Woods
    Posts
    178
    The GSDF is (as you know) an unarmed civil emergency task force that serves mostly as auxiliary manpower for Georgia's Army and Air National Guard units. Your most logical choice for a civilian handgun that corresponds to the (still) current Army-issue Beretta 92 would be the civilian Beretta Model 92FS.

    I understand that you don't know how to skillfully handle a pistol. I teach people how to use pistols well; and I do not see your specific lack of experience with centerfire handguns to be, even anywhere close to, an insurmountable problem. Right now you require familiarity with:

    (1) weapon handling, and

    (2) safety procedures, as well as

    (3) mechanical features and operating characteristics.

    After learning proper safety procedures and handling routines comes: (4) live fire management, control, and (5) accurate shooting skills.

    It's difficult for me to suggest what handgun you should either begin with, or carry; but I can tell you that a novice pistol shooter (and I strongly suspect that, in spite of your experience with a 22 Long Rifle handgun, you are still very much a novice) should always begin pistol shooting by using a pistol with as long a sight radius as practical.

    (This means that a pistol like a Beretta 92FS, a Springfield XD(M), or a Glock Model 17 would be ideal!) 'Practical' to me means that a student should begin with nothing smaller than a COMPACT FRAME pistol — Something typified by the likes of, say, a Glock Model 19, or a 4" Springfield XD. (Revolvers are out, right? Because, for your use, if they aren't then they should be.)

    Now, a word about recoil: For the rest of your time with pistols I want you to remember that,

    RECOIL IS A TOOL THAT YOU MUST TEACH YOURSELF HOW TO USE IN ORDER TO SKILLFULLY MANAGE AND AIM A HANDGUN.

    Recoil is not something to be afraid of; it is not mysterious; it is not uncontrollable; and neither is it difficult to learn how to use. I'm going to make only one — ONE — cartridge recommendation for your current use: 9 x 19mm, period! (Which isn't a, 'caliber'; it's a, 'chambering' instead.)

    What are the most common mistakes I see new pistol shooters make?

    (1) They show up for their first time at the range with way too small, or too light of a handgun. (You do NOT want to have to learn pistol handling and shooting with a 380 Auto — You do not!)

    (2) They show up with the wrong caliber. Now, in an effort not to, 'ruffle any feathers' I'm going to categorically state that there are only two calibers for a novice to learn centerfire pistol shooting with: The two best cartridges for most people to learn centerfire pistol shooting with are 9 x 19mm, and 45 ACP.

    Nowadays you can log onto the NRA's Online Basic Pistol Course, sign up, pay your dues, and proceed to learn many of the basics of proper pistol shooting while you're still at home; and before the first time you show up at the range. Finally, let's talk about holsters: You're going to need TWO (not only one) holsters, and a STRONG GUN BELT to hang your holster and spare magazine carrier on. One holster will be for training and range use; it should be an open-topped OTB polymer design WITHOUT and sort of internal frame lock. (No SERPA, or ALS holsters — OK!) Now whether you're male, or female the other holster should be an ITB/IWB design. (You choose!) The idea is to keep the pistol's butt tucked in as tight to your body as possible.

    The rest of successfully concealing a pistol involves knowing how to move while you're wearing it, as well as knowing how to, 'dress around the gun'; and these are all things that you can learn how to do well. Somebody should also tell you that you're going to have significant ammunition expense. What am I talking about? I'm talking about expending a bare minimum of 500 rounds each month until you begin catching on; and, thereafter, every, 'serious pistolero' I know fires between 1,000 and 2,000 rounds per month throughout most of the year.

    Am I scaring you off? I hope not. Set your personal goals high at the beginning of your shooting career; and, trust me, you'll be a better pistolero for the rest of your life! I spend a lot of time on various firing lines; and (Ready?) I can tell you for a fact that 85 or 90% of the people I watch shooting pistols aren't able to handle their pistols, 'worth a damn'; and, although I don't (usually) know for certain, I suspect that the average person's self-defense pistol shooting skills are either the same, or only a little better.

    If — IF — you want to, 'stack the deck in your favor' and push yourself along then I would strongly recommend that you search out the names of local IDPA, or USPSA, and/or IPSC clubs in your area; AND learn Cooper's Four Rules Of Firearm Safety before you do anything else.

    Over the years (and I've been doing this for a while) what are the most common safety violations I see over and over again? There are two: (1) Dropping the magazine and, then, assuming that the pistol is empty WITHOUT clearing the pistol's chamber; and (2) turning the muzzle of the pistol sideways the moment any sort of stoppage or mechanical problem occurs.

    Ideally the slide on a, 'cleared' pistol should only be dropped on an RSO's command, and/or the slide should remain locked back as a shooter comes off the line; and, whenever the pistol is out of the holster the muzzle should ALWAYS remain pointed at the targets. That's it! Outside of the range's, usually supervised, 'Weapon Safety Area', no other handling procedures are allowed.

  11. Nice thing about the first steps...If you're a duck in water, you'll never be satisfied, and will go more tactical.

    Holster comment....Yeah, you might as well get an empty drawer ready. You'll get a few.
    Belt comment....Yeah again. Steel core belt is my regular. .38" thickness, but doesn't give at all. I do a CQC & Safari 578 on OWB, and use a Jackass harness when needing a more formal dress code beyond jeans, tee, and sweatjacket.

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