Sidearms: looking for input

StogieStogie New MemberPosts: 7 New Member
Okay, looking to buy a sidearm for myself and my wife. Instead of asking specific questions, I thought it would be better to ask everyone what they think is a good first sidearm. What calibers would you suggest? And why?

I am not buying a 44 mag just because someone says it is good. I want reasons and better yet proof. If I wanted to be told what to believe, I would vote for Obama.

Thank you
Stogie

Replies

  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,551 Senior Member
    Stogie wrote: »
    Okay, looking to buy a sidearm for myself and my wife. Instead of asking specific questions, I thought it would be better to ask everyone what they think is a good first sidearm. What calibers would you suggest? And why?

    I am not buying a 44 mag just because someone says it is good. I want reasons and better yet proof. If I wanted to be told what to believe, I would vote for Obama.

    Thank you
    Stogie

    Go ahead and ask some specific questions, and define 'sidearm,' please. Concealed carry? Experience levels, etc., etc.
  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,740 Senior Member
    a side arm for what?.....You do have to be more specific if you want relevant answers to what your needs are
  • SirGeorgeKillianSirGeorgeKillian Senior Member Posts: 5,458 Senior Member
    We need a LOT more info... Is this going to sit on the night stand in case something goes bump in the night? Used daily for a CCW? A truck/camping gun? How much will size be a factor? How much shooting experience do you and the misses have? Is this going to just be a fun at the range gun? Do you have an idea of price? Do you like gladiator movies? Do you need something left hand friendly, or are both shooters right handed/right eye dominate? Need info!

    Welcome to the forum!
    Unless life also hands you water and sugar, your lemonade is gonna suck!
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    I'm in love with a Glock
  • EliEli Senior Member Posts: 3,074 Senior Member
    We need a LOT more info to make a relevant choice.

    That being said, you can't go wrong with a 9mm Glock. They come in four different sized (smallest to largest) models.....26, 19, 17, 34. IMO they are pretty much the best "all around" handguns made.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,891 Senior Member
    Would you wear it on your side?

    You must be military or ex.
    A Veteran is someone that served in the Military, it does not matter where they served.
  • StogieStogie New Member Posts: 7 New Member
    -CCW preferred, but my wife will likely keep hers at home most of the time. This works out for her as she works from home. For myself, I want CCW.
    -I have experience mostly on rifles and shotguns. I haven't held a sidearm in twenty years. My wife on the other hand is a neophyte on weapons, although we have no doubt that if threatened, she will fire. Some neighbors will be taking her shooting to try out a few different sidearms and get her comfortable.

    NN-Never served, but about 95% of my friends have. I have a tendency to soak up their wording. I assume you have, and I would like to thank you for your service. Around my house, superheroes wear olive drab, and my kids know it.

    So, loaded question probably, what does everyone think of Hi-Point?
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Hi-point is okay, it being a large size pistol for 9mm caliber. There are plenty of more advanced design pistols (including newer versions of the great 1911) that are either smaller and more compact 9mm, or full size with larger caliber (.40, .45).

    Glock has been recommended. I happen to like Glocks but I also like other brands. Plusses for Glocks: 1- very nice price for a totally reliable pistol, 2- accurate enough for a handgun, 3- come in a multitude of sizes and calibers. Negatives: 1- grip is a bit "clubby" and some find the grip angle uncomfy, 2- no external safety (some think this is a good thing, you pull the trigger, bang, but some prefer an external safety). All these points are valid either way, your choice of course.

    You may wish to look at a full size 1911-style .45, and if you do, check out the Springfield line.

    For more conventional autos, there's Kahr, a very good quality but nicely priced brand. Upscale brands would include Sig-Sauer, pricey but superb.

    You've got nearly an endless menu of brand names, calibers, and size. Take notes from the suggestions here, then check various brands and models online, and go shopping at a reliable gun store. Take your time and please ask lots of questions. Good luck.

    Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read. - Groucho Marx
  • SirGeorgeKillianSirGeorgeKillian Senior Member Posts: 5,458 Senior Member
    Stogie wrote: »
    -CCW preferred, but my wife will likely keep hers at home most of the time. This works out for her as she works from home. For myself, I want CCW.
    -I have experience mostly on rifles and shotguns. I haven't held a sidearm in twenty years. My wife on the other hand is a neophyte on weapons, although we have no doubt that if threatened, she will fire. Some neighbors will be taking her shooting to try out a few different sidearms and get her comfortable.

    NN-Never served, but about 95% of my friends have. I have a tendency to soak up their wording. I assume you have, and I would like to thank you for your service. Around my house, superheroes wear olive drab, and my kids know it.

    So, loaded question probably, what does everyone think of Hi-Point?


    Alright, now we are getting somewhere! So we are looking for 2 guns now? Lets start with the easy one, the one for your wife. Take a fool's advice on this one, let her pick out her own gun. No matter how much thought, logic, or research you put into it, it will be wrong. Best bet is to take her out shooting, find an indoor range that lets you rent guns. Start out with a .22 pistol, and it may be worth your time and money paying for an instructor or at least taking a trusted buddy that likes shooting along. Get her started with the fundamentals, and let her go at her own pace. Let her decide what she likes, and put emphasis on her accuracy relative to stopping an intruder. My wife was frustrated with large groups until I showed her that it was a very lethal group in relationship to the target at ranges that were further than anything she would have to do in our home. Praises like this build confidence, and generally speaking makes it fun. Make this fun for her, and you will get much better results!
    As for you, a similar logic applies as far as gun selection. I could name you 10 great guns that you may be happy with, but you won't know till you try them out. I am a very big fan of the 1911 myself.
    As far as the hi-point? From a reliability point, it will do the job. That is about the only nice thing I can say about it. They are cheaply produced guns at best. They use a blowback system that in order to work on the larger calibers they build them in, they have to have a lot of otherwise unneeded mass on the slide. They are clunky, and clumsey. You can buy a used Glock or even a Smith and Wesson for not much more, and even used, are a much better starting point than a hi-point.
    That is my humble opinion, your mileage may very.

    Now, about those gladiator movies?
    Unless life also hands you water and sugar, your lemonade is gonna suck!
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    I'm in love with a Glock
  • bobbyrlf3bobbyrlf3 Senior Member Posts: 2,465 Senior Member
    I don't care for Hi-Point at all. IMHO, it's not even fit to use as a club.

    You've been getting some solid feedback from the members here, so all else I will say is "follow it".

    Welcome to the jungle.
    Knowledge is essential to living freely and fully; understanding gives knowledge purpose and strength; wisdom is combining the two and applying them appropriately in words and actions.
  • StogieStogie New Member Posts: 7 New Member
    I need to get the wife to go out shooting with my neighbors. They already said they would take her and they have a few different pieces. I want to stay out of it at first, and avoid getting her out of sorts.

    Personally, I have always like the 1911, but they don't seem inexpensive. I have not seen any used sidearms lately, but new Hi-Points go around 180, while Rugers are 400+. I have't seen any Glocks, but just started searching. I do want to get something by my bday at the end of the month so I can get some range time around July 4th.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 14,830 Senior Member
    Stogie wrote: »
    but new Hi-Points go around 180, while Rugers are 400+. .

    Have you ever heard they saying "You get what you pay for"?...in this case it applies....Get a decent quality handgun to begin with and you won't be discovering six months down the road that it's time to buy another. There are entry-level 1911's out there in the $400.00 to $500.00 neck of the woods... Start hitting the gun shops and look in the used gun cases,,,a used S&W M&P, Glock, Springfield XD , even something by Taurus have it all over the $180.00 mystery metal special... A visit to a range that rents handguns would be worth your while as well...that way you can try them out and find something you like.
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • JasonMPDJasonMPD Senior Member Posts: 6,102 Senior Member
    Hi-Points are garbage. Whether or not they are reliable is moot to me. I would never own one much less trust one with my life.

    You know who buys cheap firearms? Drug dealers. Know how many Hi-Points we pull off of street-level drug dealers? None. Even they don't buy them!

    This is a frustrating topic for me that you claim this is for self-defense, yet you are looking at the cheapest (not least expensive) option. You don't pay for cut-rate insurance or take your brand new car to a shade tree mechanic. Do not buy a derelict firearm. But something with a reputation for excellence.

    You can buy police trade in Glock 17, Glock 19 and Glock 22 pistols for under $400. And as I mention the Glock 19 it may be the best firearm Glock ever devised.

    You need to go with that neighbor of yours and shoot with your wife. Sounds like you need to get your hands on some different pistols, too and decide what you like.
    “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers
  • 104RFAST104RFAST Senior Member Posts: 1,262 Senior Member
    If you are thinking auto loaders you must make at least one decision early on, single stack or double stack. Although I have
    several double stack auto's I lean towards my S&W 39-2 single stack for CCW because of its slim design & lighter weight.
    Actually, I stumbled across the gun at the local pawn shop for around $200.00 and just liked the way it felt in my hand!
    Pawn shops can be a good source for used guns depending on where you live, Florida requires pawn shops to run S/N's through
    local police before resale,however, be careful, you must be able to access the guns serviceability yourself!! BTW, hand guns are like potato chips!!
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,255 Senior Member
    I don't quite subscribe to the "hi Points are junk" mindset- - - -a former administrator of this site gave one a horrendous torture test, and it absorbed a lot of abuse and kept on shooting- - - -but they are definitely the bottom of the barrel in the way of looks and they're far too heavy for their power factor. The guns are made of diecast metal, and the slide has to be massive to handle the recoil of the ammo. You end up with a medium-power gun that's virtually impossible to conceal, as well as being so heavy you'll need a wide belt and a heavy-duty pair of suspenders just to keep your pants up. For a bedside gun it might be adequate, but if you're willing to bet your life, or the lives of your family on a bottom-of-the-line gun, how about coming to my house to play some poker? You'll probably bet on an inside straight, too!

    With even moderate care, a quality handgun like a Ruger, Glock, or Smith & Wesson virtually never wears out. They get a little ugly in the finish department if neglected, but gunshops have a lot of good-condition, serviceable used guns to choose from. There are some bargains out there if you shop around a little. A full-sized 9MM or .357/.38 Special police department trade-in gun would make a good stay-at-home piece. You might want to consider a downsized model for CCW, maybe a 9MM/.40 S&W/.357 type piece with a couple less rounds of capacity and a smaller frame for better concealability. Lots of choices, just try to shoot as many as possible at a range where you can rent guns before making a decision. A few bucks spent on rentals might save you a big chunk of change by avoiding buying something you don't like after owning it for a while.
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • StogieStogie New Member Posts: 7 New Member
    Thanks guys. I been thinking along similar lines and just wanted to hear the same. I was wondering about the Hi-Point as it is so inexpensive. Doing my own research the powder coating got me wondering. I use powder coated parts at work and they are durable, but they can also fill in imperfections of a casting. I was not sure if they were cast until Teach/Jerry brought it up. I am not completely off my rocker, so I do know some about sidearms, but not enough. I wanted untarnished opinions.

    We had looked at a couple Rugers and did like the feel, but want to see what else is out there. I forgot about Glock, and no I have no clue why. I am more familiar with rifles like I said, so that may be part of it. We have only had time to look in one store so far, so I think this weekend calls for a day of gun hunting, cigars and Wegmans.

    Please feel free to list anything you want to suggest, but I think we will stay with well known companies, Ruger, S&W, Glock and maybe Colt. I need to see what is available. I was talking to a buddy today about this and he said nothing less than 4" barrel as well as some reasons. Does anyone have a reason why a shorter barrel would be worth having? I know accuracy is limited by shorter barrels.

    Also, I have seen Taurus guns, but I feel biased as they are a Brazilian company. Are they worth considering? Who else makes poor guns that we should avoid or just concentrate on the known brands?

    Regards,
    Stogie
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,255 Senior Member
    Taurus is basically a Smith & Wesson clone with poor quality control. It's sort of a crapshoot whether you'll get a serviceable gun or a piece of junk. Barrel length decisions pit a full powder burn against concealability and accuracy. The longer the sight radius, the more accurately you'll be able to aim, but the shorter barrels make guns easier to conceal. A .357 with a pretty standard powder charge needs 5" of barrel to develop full velocity, but there are a lot of 2" snubby revolvers out there chambered for .357. There's lots of muzzle blast and flash with them, and powder that torches off outside the muzzle does nothing for velocity. A short barrel makes any gun a strictly close-range item, unless you're willing to put thousands of rounds downrange learning to point-shoot accurately. Personally, once the range gets much over 25 yards, I'm prone to reach for a rifle, not a handgun. I think it was the late Jeff Cooper who advocated using a handgun to fight your way to your rifle. Lots of wisdom there!
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • glockman0422glockman0422 Member Posts: 216 Member
    Stogie wrote: »
    Also, I have seen Taurus guns, but I feel biased as they are a Brazilian company. Are they worth considering? Who else makes poor guns that we should avoid or just concentrate on the known brands?

    Regards,
    Stogie

    I would suggest you go with the well known and proven brands. Taurus is proven.............to be awfull. As you may see from my screen name, I Prefer Glocks. They are very reliable, accurate and reasonably priced. Plus the availability of both factory and aftermarket parts make it very easy to customize them to your hearts desire. Some other pistols have very limited aftermarket parts which limits your options. If you are planning on carrying it but still want it to be accurate enough to have fun at the range, i would suggest the Glock 19 which Is the "Compact" 9mm. Dont be fooled by people who say 9mm is inadequate for self defense. Pretty much all pistol calibers are not consistent man stoppers. With the right type of ammo and good shot placement the odds of stopping the threat increases. My choice for 9mm carry ammo is 147gr Federal HST +p. hope this helps.
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,551 Senior Member
    Stogie wrote: »
    My wife on the other hand is a neophyte on weapons, although we have no doubt that if threatened, she will fire. Some neighbors will be taking her shooting to try out a few different sidearms and get her comfortable.

    Letting neighbors introduce your wife to shooting sends up flags for me, but that's probably because none of my neighbors are very competent with firearms. :tooth:

    After nearly 40 years of disagreeing with each other about the use of firearms in defensive situations, I am very slowly introducing my wife to firearms and shooting. The aging process and the thought of possibly having to defend seven grandchildren is slowly bringing her around closer to my way of thinking, regarding self defense.

    All I'm teaching her are the cardinal rules of safety, proper grip, and sight picture and follow-through, so as to avoid any situation where too much information at one time causes her to lose interest. Presently, I have her shooting wasps and bugs with an Airsoft. When the timing is perfect, I'll move her up to .22 CBs through a S&W revolver, with good ear protection, out in the garage. When she gets bored with that, I'll take her to the range and let her shoot a variety of .22 semi-autos with full power ammo. Then I'll move her up to 9mm and .38 Special practice loads in a full size platform. By that time, she will be probably be capable of handling anything I have that she wants to try.

    At least, this is the plan - it could take a few sessions, or a year, depending upon her own interest level. Once she has the basics from me, she can get professional instruction if she wants, or shoot with other competent people. But it has been a long process to get her to be even moderately interested, so I'm not pushing her. It is enough of a challenge, at present, to teach her safety and a proper grip, because she is kind of a natural shooter, who can do everything wrong and still hit the target with some regularity.

    Your situation is probably different, so the one piece of advice I'll offer is to make sure she has very good ear protection and wears it any time a gun may be fired, and don't let anyone put some boomer in her hand that she isn't ready for, yet.
  • StogieStogie New Member Posts: 7 New Member
    Thanks guys. Your help is appreciated. Glad my first instincts on Taurus mesh with your comments.

    Bisley,
    I have three neighbors that are exceptionally pro-arms. The neighbors I was referring to have a small collection and I think the wives would do better together at first, then I would. Spouse don't always make the best teachers/students, and I don't want my wife to get a negative opinion. My street is a bit of an abnormality in a modest town. of the five house between the corner and the alley, four are likely to come out packing if a neighbor is in danger. I have a vet, current service member and a couple from N. Carolina. All with good experience handling a variety of weapons. When the wife is ready and comfortable, we will likely take a training class to reinforce her training.
  • TeachTeach Senior Member Posts: 18,255 Senior Member
    Let me reccomend some reading material to go along with the hands-on training. Just knowing the mechanics of making a gun go bang and hitting your target consistently does nothing to develop the psychological concept known as "combat mindset". This, in a very over-simplified form, is the process of having the willingness to shoot, without hesitation, when confronted with a dangerous situation. Massad Ayoob is a longtime law enforcement officer who has written extensively on the subject of close-quarters combat. His book "In The Gravest Extreme" should be required reading for anyone contemplating arming themselves for self defense. He deals with the details of deadly confrontations, and more importantly, the after-action encounters with law enforcement, prosecutors, etc. The act of defensive shooting doesn't end the trauma for the shooter, it begins it. Before someone makes the decision to take responsibility for his/her own safety, they need to be aware of the potential legal and financial consequences of their actions.

    These comments are not intended to discourage you from preparing to defend yourself, but "Forewarned is forearmed" is always a good thing.
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    ASK-HOLE Someone who asks for advice and always does something opposite
  • FantomazFantomaz Banned Posts: 2 New Member
    Your comment is very good:)
  • StogieStogie New Member Posts: 7 New Member
    Jerry,
    Thanks. I have heard of the book but have not had the time to hunt it down. I will be looking for that as well.
  • ApexxApexx Member Posts: 111 Member
    To make it simple for you...
    Go to gun store. Handle Glock 17, Glock 19, Springfield XD 9mm Compact Service (4" barrel), and the comparable S&W M&P 9mm. If you could shoot them even better. Get one of those that feels most comfortable to you. You can't go wrong with any of these. These models are kind of the low (starting) price point for very reliable semi-auto's.
  • 41magnut41magnut Senior Member Posts: 1,158 Senior Member
    Seems like we got enough info to offer some worthwhile advice.

    Caliber - Advice I have read or heard and consider it relevant, and wish I could give proper credit. Shoot the largest caliber that you can shoot accurately. Having said that, I wouldn't shy away from the 9MM. With advances in powders, and projectiles I don't feel one gives up enough in performance from other suitable cartridges to make any real world difference. Go below 9MM and you start to get into niche calibers that require careful consideration. Also the price of ammo goes up, sometimes considerably.

    Handguns - Goodness we are fortunate to have a plethora of firearms to choose from. If you are near a range that offers rental guns, take advantage of such and try out what catches your fancy. This will save $$ in the long run.

    My personal favorite for just shooing fun are "L" frame S&W revolvers. My preference for everything else is H&K USP-C. They are expensive but worth the $$. I have had mine since 2004 and shopped keeping track of rounds fired after 21000 (220 rounds/ month average - not that many really). In that time I had one (1) failure to eject. That was with steel cased lacquer coated European ammo. I discontinued using such ammo until they went to a polymer coating and have never had a problem since.

    A Glock is always a good choice if it fits your hand. I own a Model 19, really like it and shoot it a lot. Especially sine factory ammo has gone up in price. 9MM is less costly than 40S&W. Also my Glock 19 cost 1/2 as much as my H&K.

    I like the S&W M&P, Springfield XD, Rugers.

    Goodness, Pistols are like airplanes and motorcycles, All are fun to Shoot / fly / ride, just some are ore fun than others.

    Finding a f/a that your wife will enjoy shooting (i.e. practice with) is harder. I highly recommend professional training, for you as well as your wife. I consider myself a pretty good trigger puller and I get professional training regularity. Not your B.I.L., cousin, neighbor, or Joe Blow, unless they are an experienced f/a safety instructor. Irreparable damage can be done! I have seen it happen more times than I care to remember.
    "The .30-06 is never a mistake." Townsend Whelen :iwo:
  • Sig SauerSig Sauer New Member Posts: 1 New Member
    Stogie, My wife and I carry a Sig Sauer P239 9 mm. It's a perfect size for her and easy to conceal for me. You might find it somewhat pricy, you do get what you pay for. I had to replace the recoil spring at 3,000 rounds. Now at 5,000 round and still no problems. I did add a short trigger reset kit. I also carry a Sig P226.
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