Guns, guns, guns!

Yeah, I suppose it’s hardware.

Just wondering who here has a handgun, and what make and model and, and why that particular make and model?

I’m really thinking about going to a gun range for some target practice (which means sitting in on some safety classes, too.) I don’t own a handgun.

I don’t own any firearms, but if I did, i would own a .22 Ruger, a .30-06 M1 Garand, and an FN FiveSeven.

The Ruger for target shooting, the M1 for distance target shooting, and the FiveSeven as a conversation piece. Note the lack of home defense anywhere in there. If I were worried about that, I’d have a shotgun already.

We have a Walther P99 9mm. My wife can’t handle a gun with more recoil than that due to neck and shoulder injuries suffered in a hit-and-run collision. It’s fairly light, accurate (for a pistol), and it replaced Bond’s old Walther PPK, so it looks cool :-). I plan to pick up a shotgun sooner or later, too, but it’s not a high priority at the moment since we live in a much safer neighborhood now than we did 5 years ago when we bought the Walther.

I recommend you start with a .22 caliber handgun if you are new to shooting. The .22 has virtually no recoil, so you won’t have to worry about developing a trigger flinch that could ruin your accuracy. Ammo is also very cheap so you can practice more often. When you are comfortable with the .22 then you can move up to a centerfire like a .45 or 9mm.

I’m not familiar enough with specific .22 handguns to give you a recommendation, but I hear good things about Ruger’s offerings like the 22/45.

Glock 30: .45 cal subcompact, 10+1 double stack magazine, with trigger safety* and two internal (eg you can’t drop it and have it go off) safeties, as opposed to button or switch safeties that I don’t particularly like on handguns. It’s reliable, takes <5 minutes to clean (and learn to clean), and is practically indestructible. My wife is small and has no problem handling it, since 9/10 of it is form and practice. I’ve had no problem using it to teach men and women of all shapes and sizes how to shoot.

At the time I bought it, it was a real no brainer, since I wanted a combination between 10 round magazine (the Clinton ban was in place), the biggest round we could safely and cheaply manage, 100% reliability, and a moderate level of concealability (if only because I have a concealed carry permit and I would rather carry it on my person when I took it to the range, since I used to go by bicycle). Despite the first factor disappearing, I’m still extremely happy with it, and it is my home defense weapon of choice.

Kahr PM9: Glock clone, 9mm, no trigger safety but similar internal safeties as above, 7+1 single stack extended grip mag (one of the two that came with it, the other is too small for my hand) . With high grain JHP rounds I have absolute confidence in its stopping power and penetration, and it is very concealable year round. Mostly we bought it due to the false belief that anything above a 9mm would be unmanageable for my wife, but it ended up working out in terms of what I end up carrying on the rare occasions when I feel I need to.

semiautomatic only m16 version, homemade, 5.56, 30 round magazine, etc. Because I didn’t want to lose all of the skills I worked on in the Marine Corps, and it’s a really fun intro weapon for friends and new shooters. And for me, of course. Not practical in any sense for home defense unless there is a zombie apocalypse, but when that day comes I’m ready. Also, ammunition is particularly expensive thanks to wars.

I’m not going to argue about it much, but for me at least a shotgun is not a particularly compelling home defense weapon. It builds a false sense of security with respect to wall penetration and ricochets, it’s not particularly easy to handle around corners, and for anyone who has practice a point fire weapon is superior in any situation where you care about collateral damage. Many people who have practice and are far better shooters than I am will tell you otherwise, but unless I was also a hunter or simply enjoyed shooting them recreationally as well, I don’t think a shotgun is worth it. You’re not going to get anything but a taste based conclusion in the end, so try it out and see if you like it. I don’t, at all.

Finally, if you are just learning how to shoot, see if you can find a friend or acquaintance who you think has their head on straight to teach you. Better yet, take a class. You can learn with virtually any standard model of handgun, but bad habits are a real pain in the dick to unlearn later and they stick really fast.

*a trigger safety is a lever in the midst of the trigger that has to be fully depressed before the trigger can be pulled. It is my favorite handgun safety.

I have a 9mm CZ which I bought during military service 18 years ago. Its a simple and very reliable gun. I take it to the range every 2 years (mandatory for maintaining the permit) and never take care of it. It never jammed.
Before that I had a Taurus revolver I bought used. It had an extremely short barrel and I couldn’t hit anything with it. It also had a big crack and I always thought it will eventually explode in my face so I replaced it with the CZ.

Most gun stores that have a range attached will rent handguns and possibly offer a class or two. Best way to try different things out and see what works for you. Go with a friend though because most (competent) ones won’t rent to lone customers due to (tragic and terrible) suicide risk.

Man you guys are lucky! I live in NYC and can’t even look at a handgun without a license :( I do have a ruger 10/22 though, nice fun plinker.

H&K USP 45 compact. Not much to say, I can’t really recommend it… I’ve come to conclude that H&K is mostly just overpriced German pretentiousness. My 10/22 is a lot more fun.

Kimber Stainless Custom .45, because I like the 1911A1 geometry and mechanism a lot more than new fangled stuff (get off my lawn!).

I’ll second LK’s comments on a shotgun for home defense. I have a Benelli M1 Super 90 I’m probably going to sell* since it’s basically nigh on near useless for all things barring zombie apocalypse and looking cool. Shotguns SUCK for home defense. Over penetration, can’t corner, and the spread you get in a home is negligible.

  • Once I figure out HOW to sell it – man, all the normal ‘selling’ type places have hard bans on gun sales, so I guess I have to go a gun show?! But gun shows are scary places (and not because of the guns…)

Some stores will do consignment. Gunbroker is also a popular choice, it’s basically Ebay 4 Gunz.

You could try gunbroker, though I’ve only bought on the site, never sold, so I can’t tell you how easy it would be or what fees they charge.

Best bet might be to just take it to a few different gun shops and see what they will give you for it. Check out gunbroker first for an idea of what the gun is selling for so you don’t get cheated.

Way to move to Seattle before trying to sell a gun, when you could have done so in an elementary school bake sale or something here in Georgia.<–I know this isn’t helpful.

I live in San Fran, which isn’t exactly gun-friendly; I remember a newspaper story about 5 years ago when they ran the last gun store out of town. Thankfully, there are gun shops and gun ranges just a few miles down the peninsula.

My experience with firearms is limited mostly to long rifles; M16s, G3s, Kalashnikov. I did fire an MP3 once.


Actually Texas would have been a good place too, since apparently there are gun shows every weekend there. But I’ll figure something out, I literally haven’t fired the thing in 10 years and I’m not sure I intend to ever fire it again, would rather have cash in hand than a theoretical zombie apocalypse helper tool.

You mean the Knights Armaments M110 iPod Touch mount?

Can you activate your Taser with that?

Am I the only one here with a revolver? I have a Ruger model SP 101 .357. Simple, reliable, deadly. Not made really for a gun fight but it’s perfect for personal protection. It’s small and easily concealable for a large caliber pistol. It’s expensive on the range if you don’t reload your own. I often shoot .38 because of the expense.

Ask yourself why you are getting the handgun. It will help you determine which to buy. I wanted something I could take with me on trips or keep on my person without it being obvious I was carrying a weapon but still be a heavy enough round that it could stop just about anyone or anything at 20 feet.

No. I have a Smith & Wesson Model 19, which is beautiful. It’s also a lot of fun to shoot. It’s huge, though, so it doesn’t appeal to the sort of people that want to have a gun for concealed carry.

I also have a Walther PP, which is another beautiful pistol and easy to carry, but the ammo is a little exotic (.32 ACP) and the slide can and will bite your hand, so it can be both expensive and literally painful to shoot over time.

I only buy firearms that I consider to be attractive, so I tend to go for older weapons. That’s all the justification I’ve ever needed. The overwhelming practicality of modern pistols is, in my eyes, an unfortunate aesthetic. Fortunately old firearms last for a long time.