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I need help picking out a new handgun.

bfunkbfunk MemberPosts: 113 Member
Hi guys and gals,

I've found myself in an agreeable predicament. My wife and I are expecting our first child in late August. In her pregnancy and hormone induced happiness she has agreed to let me purchase a reloading setup so I can start making my own ammo at home instead of having to rely on friends to roll my own. I'll be addressing this need in the next few days/week.

ALSO....she seems to be just fine with me buying a new pistol in the spring or summer! I'm blown away, but I think I need to strike while the iron is hot, so to speak, but I'm somewhat at a loss as to what to get. I own a Browning semi auto .22, and an XDm 9mm.

The requirements are: Less than $800 total cost. There's no sales tax here so I can run all the way up to this limit. Full size gun, no tiny things. Revolver or auto loader, I can't decide, but I think auto. Adjustable sights are a MUST, this is non negotiable unless a deal of a lifetime happens by, but this really is important. I already have a 9mm, so I'd like something different, and more powerful. The likely candidates are .40, 10mm, .45, .38/.357, .41 mag and maybe .44 mag, but doubtful. I would also like something that is not a polymer defensive pistol like my XDm, I want to test out some different types of guns.

I have to say, and don't hate me because of it, but I'm really not sure about 1911's, but I'm coming around, and I held a Springfield Range Officer today, and it felt like a really nice gun. I held it side by side to a Kimber Grand Raptor II, and the feel and trigger pull felt fairly similar, but the fit and finish of the Kimber were nicer, but it was $600+ more than the Springfield. But I am totally willing to look at all options and types of guns. I want something to informally target shoot with, and thats really about all. I'm not going to hunt with it, and I'm probably not going to carry it. I just want something really fun, a good shooter, reliable and accurate.

I'm willing to entertain any suggestions.

Brian
Bigslug wrote: »
There is no shame in opting for The Hammer of Bob.

Replies

  • bruchibruchi Senior Member Posts: 2,581 Senior Member
    Would you be interested in a revolver? A 357 magnum would round up nicely your "armory", perhaps one with a 6" barrel for target shooting, same dies will reload 38 special or 357 magnum, both rounds work fine on that platform, a 1911 which you are already looking into would be a great gun to own as well, both Kimber and Springfield make very good guns, I always tell folks that if they are going to have only one 1911 to get the original one, a Colt 1911, ideally one made in the 80's or earlierwhich most probably be a used one in good condition and in your budget but I am a Colt fan so I am biased there.

    Not what you are looking into but as you are into target shooting and already have a 22LR handgun, a 22LR rifle would be a fun thing to have and a great introduction to rifles but no point in reloading that, with your budget something like a CZ 452 with a decent scope and a lot of ammo could be the thing.

    One word of caution, rifles, accurate ones as the ones made by CZ can be addictive!
    If this post is non welcomed, I can always give you a recipe for making "tostones".
  • bfunkbfunk Member Posts: 113 Member
    I would totally entertain a revolver, and the .38/.357 is a really nice combo for power, affordability and flexibility. I do have a .22 rifle, and a pair of shotguns, a 12 gauge pump and a 16 gauge bolt.

    My main interest, due to the availability of a nice indoor range that I belong to is handguns. I plan on a rifle in the future, but that can and will wait.
    Bigslug wrote: »
    There is no shame in opting for The Hammer of Bob.
  • NCFUBARNCFUBAR Senior Member Posts: 4,324 Senior Member
    Following the above posts, a S&W 686 in stainless with a 6" barrel and adjustable sights ... $725ish. You can run everything from puff .38 wadcutters to heavy .357 Magnum Buffalo Bore. The 686 will last your lifetime and you can tell your kid it has the same birthday as they do as you passed it on them.
    “The further a society drifts from truth ... the more it will hate those who speak it."
    - George Orwell
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,330 Senior Member
    No help here. Just buy what rings your bell. Advice is useless. MANY, MANY choices out there and most of them are good. I suspect we will project our own wishes upon you in this very personal, and permanant (hopefully) choice.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 8,753 Senior Member
    Well, if it helps at all, your U.S. citizenship is :banned:DENIED:banned: until you get a 1911.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • 30-30shooter30-30shooter Member Posts: 224 Member
    NCFUBAR wrote: »
    Following the above posts, a S&W 686 in stainless with a 6" barrel and adjustable sights ... $725ish. You can run everything from puff .38 wadcutters to heavy .357 Magnum Buffalo Bore. The 686 will last your lifetime and you can tell your kid it has the same birthday as they do as you passed it on them.

    what he said except i would go for a 4 inch barrel personally.
    A woman who demands further gun control legislation is like a chicken who roots for Colonel Sanders.-Larry Elder I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it.-Clint Eastwood
  • shootershooter Senior Member Posts: 1,186 Senior Member
    what he said except i would go for a 4 inch barrel personally.
    :agree:

    I have 3 S&W 686's, 4", 6", & 8 3/8" and the one I'd recommend to somebody as most versatile is the 4" model. You appear to be in need of a revolver. :love:
    There's no such thing as having too much ammo, unless you're on fire or trying to swim!
  • HakkonenHakkonen Member Posts: 251 Member
    I hear the Heizer DoubleTap is pretty badass. :rotflmao:
    "If money is speech, then no money means no speech." --Bill Moyers

    Money is not speech, corporations are not people, and wealth does not trickle down.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    shooter wrote: »
    :agree:

    I have 3 S&W 686's, 4", 6", & 8 3/8" and the one I'd recommend to somebody as most versatile is the 4" model. You appear to be in need of a revolver. :love:

    Exactly what I was thinking. It's well within your price limit, you can reload both cartridges with the same dies, adjust power accordingly, and I promise that you will love owning a revolver. Not only that, but there are a million and one gunsmiths who can tune the trigger into magic. I own a 4" 686 that was worked over by Cynlinder & Slide and I will never, ever sell it.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    For that kinda money a Glock would be good, but you can get a new Springfield Armory 1911 in 45 ACP. I don't think you'd be sorry. I have one and I shoot it better than any handgun I have except my 586 S&W Revolver. But that's real hard to beat and maybe more expensive than you want to spend.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • TugarTugar Senior Member Posts: 2,350 Senior Member
    I have to chime in with the others. A nice revolver should make an excellent house gun for wife. You can load it with low power wadcutters until she gets more use to it and throttle up through full house loads. The 6 inch tames the recoil more and seems to balance better for me.

    I was doing that with my stepdaughter and taking it slow. She wanted to try the magnum and thought the full house fire breathers were cool.
    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
  • jbohiojbohio Senior Member Posts: 5,600 Senior Member
    NCFUBAR wrote: »
    Following the above posts, a S&W 686 in stainless with a 6" barrel and adjustable sights ... $725ish. You can run everything from puff .38 wadcutters to heavy .357 Magnum Buffalo Bore. The 686 will last your lifetime and you can tell your kid it has the same birthday as they do as you passed it on them.

    I was thinking the same thing. Either that, or a 1911.

    Check out Springfield, other (lower priced) Kimbers, maybe a Colt. If you can find one, the Ruger 1911 is really nice for the price.
  • tv_racin_fantv_racin_fan Senior Member Posts: 661 Senior Member
    Poossibilities are endless here. Just the same I think I would agree that a 357 mag revolver would be a great choice. A 4" would be a bit handier but I like my 6" GP 100 and my wife prefers to shoot it over any other handgun we have. Took a bit to convince her to try it but as soon as she did she was hooked. She even tried some Buffalo Bore 180 grain rounds and they are pretty warm.
  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,953 Senior Member
    You've gotten a lot of 686 recommendations
    I am an N-frame junkie and will say go with a Model 28.
    4" or 6" is up to you

    IMG_0231-1.jpg

    IMG_0273-1.jpg
  • ilove22silove22s Senior Member Posts: 1,467 Senior Member
    some comments.

    > why not a long gun?

    > why not go to a gun rental range and try what tickles your fancy? then go from there.

    > even w/reloading, your going to spend $$$$ on components. So the larger calibers will set you back more.

    > youre not going to find alot of Semis in 44mag or 45 LC in your price range.

    My suggestion is to head on over to a range and try or borrows friends and try. but i would opt for a 357. You can always light load them to 38 for fun and less recoil.
    The ears never lie.

    - Don Burt
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    As suggested, a good .357 and the "L" framed S&W model 686 is hard to beat. I have a 6" model and seem to hit much better with the longer barrels than I do with 4" and below.

    Plenty of good ones on the used gun market and with what you save from the cost of a new one, a Ruger MK semi-auto .22 pistol can be had or almost. Then you have all the basics covered.........a .22, a .357 and the 9mm you already have is a trio of handguns that will give you plenty of SD/HD/Plinking/Target Shooting service for years to come.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • MichakavMichakav Senior Member Posts: 2,877 Senior Member
    For that amount you could get 2 used handguns. Maybe a Ruger Security-Six and a no frills 1911.
  • bfunkbfunk Member Posts: 113 Member
    Ok, thanks for the suggestions guys.

    Right now, I'm probably going to be looking at the new market. A lot of my guns were used, so I'd like to have something new, that has only ever been mine that I can pass down. That said, I won't turn down a good deal on a used gun it one presents itself.

    You all have me thinking about the .357 options. It seems that the two that keep coming up are the S&W 686 and the Ruger GP-100. What are the pros and cons of each? As I see it, the Ruger is quite a bit less expensive, but very rugged and reliable, but maybe not as easily tuned up. The 686 is more money, but it is a proven design, also rugged, more easily tuned up, and there are possible more options for holsters, grips and sights.

    Anything else? I'm still considering a 1911 or some other auto loader. I'm a little hesitant on the .357 because I have easy access to a S&W model 10 and 14 that I can shoot almost whenever I want, but neither are mine, they are just in the family. I love the .38/.357 family, but other than my 9mm, .38 is the only other centerfire handgun I have considerable experience with, so I guess I've been there and done that so to speak.
    Bigslug wrote: »
    There is no shame in opting for The Hammer of Bob.
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 32,995 Senior Member
    bfunk wrote: »
    Ok, thanks for the suggestions guys.

    Right now, I'm probably going to be looking at the new market. A lot of my guns were used, so I'd like to have something new, that has only ever been mine that I can pass down. That said, I won't turn down a good deal on a used gun it one presents itself.

    You all have me thinking about the .357 options. It seems that the two that keep coming up are the S&W 686 and the Ruger GP-100. What are the pros and cons of each? As I see it, the Ruger is quite a bit less expensive, but very rugged and reliable, but maybe not as easily tuned up. The 686 is more money, but it is a proven design, also rugged, more easily tuned up, and there are possible more options for holsters, grips and sights.

    Anything else? I'm still considering a 1911 or some other auto loader. I'm a little hesitant on the .357 because I have easy access to a S&W model 10 and 14 that I can shoot almost whenever I want, but neither are mine, they are just in the family. I love the .38/.357 family, but other than my 9mm, .38 is the only other centerfire handgun I have considerable experience with, so I guess I've been there and done that so to speak.

    Generally speaking a S&W has a better trigger pull and an edge in the accuracy department over a Ruger. This used to be quite the debate, especially in the .44s years ago, that is, Ruger Redhawk/Super Rdhawk vs S&W 29/629. I haven't seen any side by comparisons lately or specifically a Ruger GP-100 up against a S&W 686, but again if I remember correctly the 686 had the edge.

    I have fired both and hands down would recommend the 686 over a Ruger. The "L" frame seemed like it was heaven-sent when it was introduced in the 80s. The "K" framed .357s were too light, basically on a .38 frame or the same one and the "N" framed were too heavy on a .44 frame. Kinda too much or too little choice for some shooters. So a compromise was introduced in between the two that seemed to make a perfect balance of weight/shoot-ability designed around the .357 cartridge.

    Opinions will vary, but I suspect not many on here would refuse a trade of their Ruger GP-100 for a S&W 686, if offered.

    I don't know of many Ruger GP-100s that have won or even used in competition shooting or as a base gun to "Comp" out. But if you want rugged reliability and want to shoot balls to the wall loads from a gun that is built like a tank, go with the Ruger.

    BTW, A Ruger GP-100 cylinder is slightly shorter than a S&W 686's as I found out when shooting one of my brother's GP-100's when the cylinder would not close on some hard cast Truncated Cone bullets because they protruded out the cylinder face slightly. Not the case with any factory spec ammo or most reloads using hard cast SWCs. Same thing with a Colt King Cobra, cylinder is slighter shorter.
    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • TugarTugar Senior Member Posts: 2,350 Senior Member
    Like Big Chief said, the S&W has the edge in smoothness, and the Ruger a slight edge in durability. The nice thing about the Smith is you can get a variation on the old six shooter. The 686+ has a 7 round cylinder, and there are versions of the Model 627 that have 8.

    The best analogy I have is Ruger is the Timex, the S&W is the Swiss equivalent. The N frames have the best triggers around. Back when I was younger, 100 yard shots were not out of the realm of capabilities on something the size of a soda can. With iron sights.

    Nothing wrong with the Ruger, I almost owned several, but the L&N frame S&W's are hot wheelgun love. I actually had to cajole my buddy into shooting my 629 .44mag. He is a class 3 dealer. "What do I need a revolver for?", he said. After shooting it, he bought one the next day.

    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
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