Chosing a handgun, my experiences

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Sept - 2009)' started by JonB, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. JonB

    JonB Guest

    Warning: LONG post.

    I'm really new to shooting, so I ask a lot of questions on this forum. Maybe someday I'll have a little more wisdom to add, but until then, one of the only things I can offer is the experience of a relatively new person going through the process of choosing a first and second handgun.

    After some thought, the first gun I bought was a Hi-Point 9mm. Some people here in the forum helped me with my decision. I am glad that I bought the Hi-Point because the price tag was right, and it got me into shooting, but I am not as pleased with the Hi-Point as I should be. I am about to send one of my mags back for at least the second time. Hi-Points make good guns for the money, but I'm not sure that they make good first guns because many of them require a little fiddling. If it is a first handgun, you probably don't have the confidence to fiddle for yourself, so your first gun should probably be a little more reliable out of the box. Again, just my experience with Hi-Point.

    I decided I wanted a second gun, so I decided to look for another semi auto. I looked at several types of guns and several calibers. In the end, I decided to stick with 9mm until I was proficient, which I would recommend to any new shooter. 45's are starting to run almost double the cost of 9mm, so that means you'll shoot half as much and probably have less on hand. We could debate this forever, but as far as semi-autos go, I'll be a 9mm man for awhile.

    As I started looking for a second gun, I realized that if I'm buying a gun to have a way to protect my wife and family, then I need to help my wife learn to protect herself. I started to bring her with gun shopping with me. At first she was a little hesitant, and I didn't push. Every couple of months I would find a reason to stop buy a gun shop and I would invite her to look with me. She showed a little more interest every time. I left her at the gun counter the other day, and when I came back she had no fewer than 8 guns out and had a look of sheer pleasure on her face. This brings me to another thing I learned. Your wife might be a little nervous looking at guns with you watching her every move. If you find a helpful, respectful person at the counter, find an excuse to leave her alone for 10 minutes. You might find a gun nut when you come back!

    I was still in the semi-auto mindset, so I started looking at 9mm's with my wife. She really liked the Taurus 24/7, which was one of my favorites as well, except for the trigger (I think I prefer a hard trigger pull to a long one). I came close to buying that gun a couple of times, but I still wondered if 9mm was a little too strong, so I started looking at the Bersa in .380. I also considered starting her on a .22, but the only problem I found was that after I bought a .22, she still wouldn't have a gun that she could use to protect herself, and it might be a couple of years before she did. Buying 2 quality guns was just too much $$.

    While we were shopping, I asked my wife if she wanted to try a revolver. She hesitated a bit and then she held one. She was hooked. Even though I fought it for awhile, I decided that our next gun should probably be a revolver. The more I think about it, the better that option seemed. Here's a few reasons I recommend revolvers, especially if you want to encourage your wife to shoot with you.

    -They're simple to operate. Nothings more automatic than a revolver. Point and shoot. This was a huge one for my wife. I don't think she had confidence that she would remember to disengage the safety, rack the slide, etc. if she ever had to. If you're not going to practice with you gun regularly, a revolver is probably the way to go.
    -They're reliable. No jams to clear, and limp-wristing is a concern with a new woman shooter.
    -Since there's no safetly, decocker, etc., the handles are all about ergonomics. It's hard to convince someone that a gun will be fun to shoot if it's not fun to hold.
    -They almost never jam.
    -How often are you going to need more than 5 shots?
    -Plus, on a personal note, I have never had a gun line up more automatically than my new Ruger.

    So last week, I bought a Ruger SP101 with a 3" barrel. No buyer's remorse, and as you can see, I thought it out a lot. I haven't taken it to the range yet.

    So in a nutshell, here are some of the things it took me about a year to learn.

    -If you want to protect your wife and family, encourage your wife to learn to shoot. You won't always be with her. But, don't scare her into it.
    -If you can only afford one gun for both of you, consider a revolver. Sharing a gun might not work for everyone, but my wife and I aren't "Yours" and "Mine" kind of people.
    -If you're wife isn't too interested, encourage her to go with you to look for your gun. Invite her to look as long as your there. If she seems interested but always looking to you for advice on everything, find a reason to slip away. The bathroom works great.

    I warned you, long post. I don't expect people to agree with it, but hopefully there's something valuable for some of you newer shooters who are maybe going through the same process.
  2. I do long every once in a while too, so NO issues there. I learn the most by reading what folks are thinking and the why behind it. Your post is really laid out well and I liked your input and reco's. I wouldn't consider a revolver, but not sure what she'd want - DOH!!! Leave her alone????? Wow, that's a cool one - I never woulda thought of that one either.

    I've been thinking more and more now of my wife getting gun involved. Our family is changing and there will be times my wife is alone. So this just makes sense, and I have to invest some more time here.

    I thank you for taking the time to post! Well done.

  3. Z28Driver

    Z28Driver Member

    Good point JonB. We often forget the advantages of traditional revolvers. Probably the best choice for a new or infrequent shooter.
  4. Ari

    Ari Guest

    Hey that is just what a good trainer would tell your wife to get. My wife has two wheel guns.... Nothing wrong with them at all! You did good.... 38, 357 are good rounds. On this forum you will hear folks talk about the 38 and that it is a worthwhile round, It sure is not sexy and sleek.. But it works
  5. elguapo

    elguapo Guest

    That was a good post.
  6. I have to agree with Elguapo on that one JonB, great post. I love how you "nudged" your wife into guns instead of pushing her into it. Wow, that was good stuff. I am glad that you have found a good solution to your SD gun. Way to go bro!
  7. +1. I have hadto do some "nudging myself". :)