Home Main Category Personal Defense

Best pistol or revolver for novice

empress360empress360 New MemberPosts: 1 New Member
interested in learning how to use a firearm for self-defense. applying for a license, would like to know the best firearm for learning and using.
«1

Replies

  • BigDanSBigDanS Senior Member Posts: 6,992 Senior Member
    empress360 wrote: »
    interested in learning how to use a firearm for self-defense. applying for a license, would like to know the best firearm for learning and using.

    I wish there was a simple answer to your question, but there are a lot of variables that need to be determined.

    Carrying a revolver concealed would normally mean you want a smaller gun. However , this is not ideal for a first time learner, because they aren't as accurate as a longer barreled gun, and they typically have more recoil.

    Your budget is also a factor. You can buy a used revolver for $250 to $1000 and more for more advanced units.

    Hand size, ability, prior experience are all important factors.

    So fill us in and maybe we can help.

    D
    "A patriot is mocked, scorned and hated; yet when his cause succeeds, all men will join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot." Mark Twain
    Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.... now who's bringing the hot wings? :jester:
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    My recommendation is to skip the .22 route. They're fun but have little self defense zip. And unless you're disabled or impaired, you will easily handle the recoil of a .38 caliber, then move up to the .357 for higher power (it kicks more but it's manageable).

    I know lots of people say to start with a .22 but you can quickly learn to handle a larger caliber and it's probably better to put your money into a decent self defense caliber at the start. If you buy a .44 Magnum or .45acp, of course you'll have a huge handful (ha ha) but calibers like 9mm or .38 special, .357 Mag are not that much to learn with.

    So I suggest you look at a Ruger .357 Magnum revolver w. 4" or 6" barrel. These aren't small enough for a female to carry concealed but they're great for home defense.

    Rugers are rock solid revolvers and reasonably priced, even brand new. A .357 will also handle the .38 caliber, so you use the .38 (cheaper and less recoil) for most practice, then use the .357 caliber for maybe 10%-15% of your shooting.

    A good quality revolver is easy to clean, easy to use, and comparatively inexpensive. Rugers are among the best, and cheaper than, say, Colt or Smith & Wesson but of equal quality.

    For a pistol, take a look at the Kahr, maybe in 9mm. Kahr has gained an excellent reputation as a good quality, reasonably priced pistol. I bought my girlfriend a Kahr P9 (in 9mm) for Valentine's Day a couple years ago. It's easy to shoot, accurate, and the recoil is not at all harsh. The Kahr P9 (and other models they make of a similar size) is also reasonably sized and can be carried concealed. My girlfriend is petite but she can shoot a 9mm without strain.

    You might also look at the Springfield Armory XD models for autos. Good stuff.

    There are many other choices. But for a pistol (auto), you'll probably like the 9mm best. Take your time and look for something that's "right" for you.

    As far as ammo, use standard full metal jacket (FMJ) ammo for practice, brands like Remington, S&B, Winchester. This is called "whitebox" ammo -- a regular modest price ammo for practice. I would recommend against Wolf brand because it's too smoky.

    For self defense ammo, any good gun store will have several choices here. You want hollow point ammo that's specially engineered for that purpose. It will be about 2x the price of practice ammo.

    Keep in touch -- the folks in this forum are the best! and their advice is excellent.
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    "My recommendation is to skip the .22 route. They're fun but have little self defense zip. And unless you're disabled or impaired, you will easily handle the recoil of a .38 caliber, then move up to the .357 for higher power (it kicks more but it's manageable)."

    The reason to get a pistol in .22 caliber, such as the Ruger 22/45 is so you can get huge amounts of practice most people never get at a reasonable price, while a .22 is not good for personal defense, it is ideal for cheap practice that will apply to larger calibers.

    I also recommend classes with a qualified Instructor.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Doc, you're correct about the Ruger 22/45. It's a special case because it's the same proportions as the 1911 .45 and yes, allows lots of practice at less price.

    Otherwise, however, assuming the next step up isn't a 1911, the 22/45 is still just a .22. Yes they're fun to shoot and economical, but imo, the value gained for having a step-wise weapon where the next might be, oh, a 9mm, is really not such a biggie. Yes, I have a Ruger .22 and yes I shoot it. My point is this: a "first gun" can just as easily be a 9mm or .38, saving money by allowing the buyer to put all the gun funds into one better quality firearm. If there's plenty of budget money, sure, go with the .22 first.

    And yes, having a proper instructor is essential. Good luck with your gun selection!
  • lightkeeperlightkeeper Member Posts: 168 Member
    Lots of good advise here.
    Not to beat the horse - but - .22. Easy & cheap to shoot & get resonably proficient at. If you are looking to have only one gun - still .22,because once you start shooting it won't take you long to up grade/caliber. One is none etc,,etc,,.
    Welcome to the forum.
  • glockman0422glockman0422 Member Posts: 216 Member
    I would recommend starting with a Glock19. Its by no means the "Best" gun out there but it does everything very well. Its the perfect size Glock. Small enough to be carried concealed while still being big enough to be very enjoyable at the range. 9mm ammo has very mild recoil and is relatively cheap compared to other bigger calibers and with todays hollowpoint technology, its still a formidable choice for self defense. Another good thing about the Glock is simplicity. There are no extra safeties or controls to fool around with. The best thing to do would be to visit your local gun range and rent a few guns and see which feels good for you. The glock is just my personal favorite but there are many other great offerings by Smith and Wesson, Springfield armory, Ruger etc. Hope this helps
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Glocks are another good brand of pistol, very well made, accurate, totally reliable, and not expensive. They may feel a bit "boxy" to some people but testing out various models at a range where you can rent -- most good ranges will do this -- is a good suggestion.

    I'm definitely not dissing the .22 as a first handgun. My point is that it's not really necessary because even the beginner can quickly learn to handle say, a 9mm without every having shot a smaller caliber. This is a choice for the new gun owner and thankfully you have plenty of sizes, calibers, and styles to choose from. So read some of our advice, then instantly toss all of it (ha ha) and go for professional advice next..... ha ha.
  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    I'll cut to the chase and exclude the fliff-fluff......Get a Bersa Thunder .380......Next choice would be a Glock 19 or S&W M&P (in 9mm). However...FIRST! Have a talk with your instructor.....then rent at the gun range if you can. Try out pistols like you're buying a car. YOU have to like it and feel comfortable with it for you to want to carry it all the time.
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • TugarTugar Senior Member Posts: 2,423 Senior Member
    I have to disagree with 5280 on a couple of points. The .380 can be more expensive to feed than the slightly larger 9mm AND harder to shoot as it's smaller.

    Here is what I advise. Get what fits your hand. I would lean more towards one of the more main stream 9mm pistols or a 357 revolver. Cheaper to feed than anything more exotic, .380, .45acp, .40 S&W. Which means you can afford to train more.

    Then practice with it until using it becomes second nature.
    Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
    Winston Churchill
  • DoctorWhoDoctorWho Senior Member Posts: 9,496 Senior Member
    "Then practice with it until using it becomes second nature."

    Very true.
    "There is some evil in all of us, Doctor, even you, the Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say, you do not improve with age. Founding member of the G&A forum since 1996
  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    Tugar, I see your point.....get what fit's your hand....that's why I said it's like buying a car.....get what YOU the handler likes. .380 ammo here may be cheaper than where you are......but it's cheaper than 9mm/.38-.357/.40 cal.

    Taking several women to gun shows....and this is anecdotal...but 9 outa 10.....the Bersa was a good fit for size 7-8 hands...with the Glock 19 and S&W tying for second place.

    Also, the Bersa is a pretty hefty pistol for a .380.....its not a pocket-rocket like some of these newer Kel-Tecs and Rugers.
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • 104RFAST104RFAST Senior Member Posts: 1,281 Senior Member
    Keep it simple. Warning! guns are like Potato Chips
  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    I'm getting a leery feeling about these first-time "female" posters looking for advice, then don't show up again.
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • tv_racin_fantv_racin_fan Senior Member Posts: 661 Senior Member
    I'm going to suggest you buy the Ruger SP101 in 22lr to start with and add a 2 1/4" Ruger SP101 in 357 mag to your list.

    Yes you could start with the 357 magnum and shoot 38 special out of it. BUT the ammo for the 22 starts at about $3 per box of 50 compared to around $20 per box of 50 for 38 special, thus you could shoot far more with the 22 for the same amount of money. Also I specified the Ruger SP101 for both the 22 and the 357 because the weight and operation is nearly identical, whereas if you got the Ruger 22/45 and then got something like the Kahr CW9 there are differences.

    My wifes SP101. Stabilized Maple Burl grip panels.

    EDC2_zpsc735f98d.jpg

    P1000166_zps841c4400.jpg
  • rootbrainrootbrain Member Posts: 75 Member
    I'm getting a leery feeling about these first-time "female" posters looking for advice, then don't show up again.

    Perhaps with all the differenciation(?) she was overwhelmed. Let me add my 2¢. Springfield 9m sub- compact. Conceals easily, good fit for smallish hands, little recoil, very reliable.

    Pointed like a finger, deadly accurate at 10 yards with HP rounds. Sighted in with laser, same results to 40 yards. For someone who doesn't panic. That's my CCW. For unconcealed I have other options.

    Even have a 22mag as last resort. Very small and surprising stopping power.

    Rootbrain
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    I'm getting a leery feeling about these first-time "female" posters looking for advice, then don't show up again.

    So what? Even if the first poster may not have returned (she still may), we had some good discussion and listed some excellent handgun choices among us. Someone will come along and find the info valuable.
  • Fat BillyFat Billy Senior Member Posts: 1,813 Senior Member
    I think any new shooter should start with a revolver. The wheelgun is easy to understand and is simple to operate. Take a new shooter and show them an auto and a revolver and how they work and what is involved in cleaning them and THEY will pick the wheel gun. Proper training is the most important thing for a new shooter. New shooters don't need 15 rounds and multiple magazines and how to clear a malfuncton. Bad guys pick on people they can overcome easily because they are cowards and don't expect a hostile responce. If your female friend is attacked would you want her to drop the hammer on an empty chamber or to hit the magazine release instead of the safety? The caliber must be something the newbie isn't afraid of due to recoil or report. Placing 22lr hollow points in the bad guys chest is better than missing with a 45. The noise and the bad guys responce will allow the person to escape. Yes a drug crazed mugger may not be stopped but if you shoot 'em with your 1911 they may not stop either. I've shot a deer through the heart with a 308 and had it run almost a mile, yes it was dead when I shot it but no one told the deer. Bottom line starting with a revolver in a comfortable caliber is the way to go. After all would you buy your 16 year old son a GT500 Shelby? They newbie will move up when they are ready but you got to get 'em shooting first. :applause: Later,
    Fat Billy

    Recoil is how you know primer ignition is complete.
  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    So what? Even if the first poster may not have returned (she still may), we had some good discussion and listed some excellent handgun choices among us. Someone will come along and find the info valuable.

    It's a "gut" feeling Sam.....the shared info is good, I'll give you that....but there's something wonky here....like we're being felt out by the antis'.....Woodsrunner has had the same feeling about some people...I could just be wrong though. This years polling had led to much suspicion as to the other side's agenda...I want us to be open and forgiving.....ever to right a wrong situation and to teach....but don't like being used for a flash-dance....granted you don't need to join a forum to get a question answered.....and hope our forum is inviting enough so someone can walk in outa the blue and ask away to get their itch scratched. Just a feeling of paranoia I guess.....my bad!
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    Agree with you there Billy....start on a revolver.....see too many women wrapping their support-hand thumb over to where a semi-auto's slide would rip it to shreds......if they're gonna do that....stick with a wheel-gun!
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,877 Senior Member
    Agree with you there Billy....start on a revolver.....see too many women wrapping their support-hand thumb over to where a semi-auto's slide would rip it to shreds......if they're gonna do that....stick with a wheel-gun!
    Seen guys do it, too. Because they haven't been taught properly. If someone has that poor of technique, they're probably doing other stuff wrong, too.

    I've seen lots of people who have no handgun experience shoot a semi-auto well. They learn the malfunction drills (rarely needed in a good semi-auto these days) and are quite happy with their "wrong" first handgun. On the other hand, if a revolver - which has way more moving parts, longer and heavier trigger pull, more complex reloading, and a more complex mechanism overall - has a malfunction, you're in deep stuff. My advice: get quality training, and see about getting a Glock, XD, or the like.
    I'm just here for snark.
  • CMWCMW Member Posts: 53 Member
    I would suggest a charter arms in 38 special
    "Life is tough, it's tougher if your stupid." - John Wayne
  • loosygrassoloosygrasso Banned Posts: 4 New Member
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,428 Senior Member
    Zombie thread! Get out the green-tip ammo!
    :guns:
    Jerry
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    empress360 wrote: »
    interested in learning how to use a firearm for self-defense. applying for a license, would like to know the best firearm for learning and using.

    A pretty good choice would be a 9mm pistol from Kahr. They are of good quality, reliable, and fairly inexpensive. I bought my girlfriend one and she really likes it. The model I got her is the P9.

    The Kahr 9mm pistols fit nicely in the hand, are easy to shoot, and the 9mm recoil is easily manageable for new shooters. The 9mm cartridges are relatively inexpensive and self defense 9mm is quite effective.

    Although a .22 is much lighter recoil, it's really not applicable to self defense and you'd soon be moving up to a larger caliber anyway. Sure, the 9mm is heavier recoil but it's not at all difficult to manage. My girlfriend is quite petite and she easily handled her Kahr P9 9mm.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Agree with you there Billy....start on a revolver.....see too many women wrapping their support-hand thumb over to where a semi-auto's slide would rip it to shreds......if they're gonna do that....stick with a wheel-gun!

    Er, how to prevent this? Newcomers learn to not do this because they've been instructed such. My girlfriend was quite inexperienced in shooting but she learned fast. I simply cautioned her to not put her thumb around the rear action and she didn't. We went through basic stances and grips prior to loading the weapon. It's not hard to learn: "Keep both your thumbs together, pointed forward."
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,877 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    A pretty good choice would be a 9mm pistol from Kahr. They are of good quality, reliable, and fairly inexpensive. I bought my girlfriend one and she really likes it. The model I got her is the P9.

    The Kahr 9mm pistols fit nicely in the hand, are easy to shoot, and the 9mm recoil is easily manageable for new shooters. The 9mm cartridges are relatively inexpensive and self defense 9mm is quite effective.

    Although a .22 is much lighter recoil, it's really not applicable to self defense and you'd soon be moving up to a larger caliber anyway. Sure, the 9mm is heavier recoil but it's not at all difficult to manage. My girlfriend is quite petite and she easily handled her Kahr P9 9mm.
    Uh, Sam... you've already given this same advice. In this thread. I think it's post 4.

    This thread dates back to 2012...
    I'm just here for snark.
  • LMLarsenLMLarsen Senior Member Posts: 8,337 Senior Member
    And the OP is long gone after this single post.
    “A gun is a tool, no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”

    NRA Endowment Member
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,877 Senior Member
    LMLarsen wrote: »
    And the OP is long gone after this single post.
    They could return.

















































    Eventually.
    I'm just here for snark.
  • jbp-ohiojbp-ohio Senior Member Posts: 10,666 Senior Member
    Uh, Sam... you've already given this same advice. In this thread. I think it's post 4.

    This thread dates back to 2012...


    attachment.php?attachmentid=35900&d=1396408578
    "The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." Thomas Jefferson
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,877 Senior Member
    jbp-ohio wrote: »
    attachment.php?attachmentid=35900&d=1396408578
    I hate cats, so don't tempt me...
    I'm just here for snark.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Advertisement