questionswhat is a good first home defense/conceal carry…

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If you want something simple, easy to use, and reliable, get a revolver. They are easier to maintain and operate. I used to have a .38 special snub nose, and it was accurate enough at 20 feet, which for self defense is going to be what you need. It was compact, held 6 rounds, and had a pretty easy to pull trigger. Revolvers take a bit more pull to get it to fire as well, so it's harder to accidentally fire, therefore making it safer.

A pistol type will tend to jam more frequently than a revolver, and be more touchy to fire. Also, there are more steps to go through than a revolver. Having fired and owned both a revolver and a Beretta, I would say I prefer a revolver for my go to gun for self defense at home. The Beretta is too much hassle, and too much to think about in a high stress situation unless you have handled it a lot. Good luck, I hope this helps, and I hope you never have to fire your gun outside of a firing range. :)

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Hi-Point makes a good compact 9mm that is very affordable. You could probably buy one and a revolver for the price of a Glock. They have a lifetime, no-questions-asked warranty too. I agree with @meikat, I hope you never have to use it for self-defense.

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For self defense I carry a Ruger LCP. Good little gun.

Easier to carry and conceal than a revolver.

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Home defense: The Judge by Taurus. Doubles as a .45 cal revolver and essentially sawed-off .410 ga shotgun.

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I suggest you go to a range where they will loan you various guns and give you a chance to try them out. Also get some instruction from a professional. Gun selection is very personal. One has to consider hand size, ease of use, kickback, ammo selection, method of concealment and storage. Become very familiar with your weapon of choice. If you are afraid of it, you won't use it.

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If you're only using a weapon for home defense rather than concealed carry as well, I would urge you to consider a shotgun. Check out the thread here; specifically the last few posts:

http://deals.woot.com/questions/details/bbcfaca5-d931-4f41-aa42-3b6d418d1198/any-suggestions-for-a-home-security-system#10

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Home defense get a 12-gauge shot gun and don't buy the buckshots (more power = more holes in your walls).

I keep an empty shell in the chamber of my 12-gauge pump-action shotgun.. The sound of me cocking my shot gun and the empty round dispensing and falling to the ground is VERY unique and should deter any intruder.. If not I feel sorry for them.

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@stupimlico: I'm a big advocate of the High Points as trainer guns, but they're way too bulky for concealed carry.

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@nortonsark: This is solid advice. Shoot everything you can, they after you've picked out a couple favorites, come back and shoot them again.

If I was starting out, I'd look for a used Sig 226. They're the most commonly used sidearm throughout the world. They're accurate and easy to shoot. Both frangible and hot hollow point defense loads are easy to find in 9x19.

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I like to make a statement with a .50 cal Desert Eagle. Now, people rarely cut me off in traffic anymore.

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@matt1976: thanks for that info, I know they are good starter guns, never really considered that they were too bulky for cnc.

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@captainsuperdawg: But the rounds are so freaking expensive, you almost don't want use them on stupid people.

I prefer the Springfield XD .40. It's comfy, and compact. But no one will argue with the judge, and I agree that the sound of a shotgun being racked will pucker most rear ends.

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@captainsuperdawg: I have a .50 DE and I would never use it for home defense.. I don't want a hole the size of an apple in my wall/my neighbors walls/my next neighbors walls..

They are fun to shoot, but for home defense definitely stick to shotguns or 38-colt revolver.

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I have carried a glock 23 for a long time ive used many guns (that includes the little 380's that have their place), and while i agree with the revolver comments above (fewer things to fail), I'm just not a carry a revolver guy. I also agree with going and "renting" guns shooting them and seeing what you like, what you shoot best etc etc. Then go buy a lot of ammo and practice practice practice. A gun you wont fire is a gun the other guy will. Everyone talks about dropping/stopping power, I'm more of a shot placement fan, if you hit them in the right spot it will stop them just the same.

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@nortonsark: I wish I could give you multiple upvotes.
You hit the nail on the head.

If you're not a shooter, go try a bunch out. Find the one that fits you like a glove.

I'm naturally a dead-eye shot with a revolver, but I had to practice many, many hours to become proficient with an auto.
Strangely I don't have any revolvers right now, but that's due to how my divorce shook out.

I've currently got a 1911model .45acp "cocked & locked" (condition 1) that's in reach of my bed & my desk, and a glock 33 in .357sig for carry.
I'd rather have everything in 1 caliber, preferably with interchangeable mags, but I've got what I've got right now :(

If the Glocks fit you well and feel okay, one of the neat things is that you can take most of the .40cal & .357sigs and switch barrels out to make them the other caliber (40/357) or you can do a barrel (and I think a spring) swap and make it a 9mm.

Taurus was working on a revolver that chambered 38/357/9mm (like the Medusa) but stopped :(

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Yeah, I don't like guns

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@meikat: I disagree. I think the SIG series of pistols are just as reliable as any revolver out there. And probably one of the easiest to shoot and hit on target every time.

If money isn't to big of a deal I would say go with a SIG that is .38 or bigger caliber. If money is kind of an issue I would say go with a Glock .40 caliber or larger. I have a Glock 21 (which is a .45 caliber) for my home protection. I have the full size version but Glock also make a compact and a sub-compact of many of their models.

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@segafanalways: i think he meant that revolvers have less of a chance to fail during a critical situation than do SA pistols. fewer moving parts = more reliable. if you experience a jam or a stovepipe with a SA, you have to manually clear it, whereas if a round misfires in a revolver another pull of the trigger will take you to the next cartridge.

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@pinchecat: Maybe when i comes to a jam/misfire a revolver has the advantage but I was in the military as a Gunnersmate and I have worked with the SIG and Beretta for many years and I have had very few problems with the SIG. Almost all issues that I experienced while training people at the firing range was user error. Both in terms to them doing something wrong or if they were issued the weapon for extended periods of time and they wouldn't clean or oil the pistol properly.

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Oh and a word of warning with the Glock is that you should put grip tape on the grips. I find that the pistol tends to rotate ever so slightly with my .45 because the pistol grip on it is smoother then others.

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As a 1911 fanboy, I do have to suggest that you try a couple of the middle range 1911s. Nothing else shoots like a well built 1911.

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@segafanalways: i'm not doubting the reliability of sigs...i carry a p239 after all. unfortunately i can't do anything (aside from maybe weighing every self-defense load i carry) to prevent factory loads that aren't powdered properly, or perhaps a malfunctioning primer. in the grand scheme of things, it's unlikely that you'll experience such a problem with your SA, but mechanical problems are far fewer with revolvers.

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@okham: You don't need to use them. Just put on a really really tough face and make them think you're crazy enough to use it.

@devexityspace: I don't own a DE. I actually don't even own a gun. I actually prefer knives because it's harder to accidentally stab someone than it is to accidentally shoot them. I have no problem with people owning guns, as long as they're not completely crazy (mini-guns, armor piercing rounds, etc) it's just that I don't trust myself with them enough to actually own one yet.

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I have a Sig Mosquito (22) that I am teaching my daughter to use, and I carry a Glock 9mm. I find it essential to be able to protect yourself.

@captainsuperdawg: Never bring a knife to a gun fight. :) I did learn to fight with a Katana, though.

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@pinchecat: I carry a P239 as well. I bought it used from a police officer in 1998 and after many many (many) thousands of rounds every malfunction, maybe 20 in the 14 years I've owned it, could be traced back to cheap bulk ammo I bought just to plink at the range.

I fitted it with a Hogue Monogrip and keep it loaded with Cor-Bon +P hollowpoints. Of all the guns I've bought/sold/traded over the years this one is mine forever.

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@professore: nice. agreed; you gotta have the hogues with the 239 to avoid slippage. is yours chambered .40 s&w or .35 sig?

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@pinchecat: Actually mine is a 9mm. I was considering the .357 SIG just for something different but this one was on consignment for a great price. I'm really glad I went with it.

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@professore: i see. its been so long ago since i got mine that i'd forgotten they have both the 9 and 40/357 setups. i got mine in 40 so i could swippy swap with a 357 barrel. 40 for range work...357 for carry :)

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dang liberals....

The one thing that I can say about a revolver is there are less parts to malfunction and easier to clean and repair that a semi auto clip fed pistol and won't jam hardly at all. However, the one thing about a shotgun is that they are very difficult to get between you and a target if they are close by when you wake up or realize that they are there.

Though for the ultimate in home security I would recommend a fully automatic auto targeting sentry gun with friend / foe recognition. Designs can be found here: http://www.eecs.ucf.edu/seniordesign/fa2008sp2009/g08/Group8SeniorDesignDoc2.pdf

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Revolver. 5 shot or 6, whatever or however small you like. I own 2 5 shots. 1 is a Ruger and the other an S&W. I don't carry "cocked and locked" because unless I practice weekly, I forget what switch to flip. A revolver is simple. Pull the trigger and it goes boom! A revolver is MUCH easier for one hand operation, allowing me to have a bright flashlight. I would try to blind an intruder with the light. Then if I decide to fire, the noise alone should scare them off. If not, well I have 4 more shots. Also keep a shotgun in the closet. Nothing is like a shotgun. :) 12 gauge, 20 gauge or 410. Just having one is a good thing. Thanks Martha. ;P