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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Something way overdue. I feel somewhat stupid asking, being a male I'm supposed to know guns. But I don't. Never grew up around them and certainly never shot one. Completely opposite from my brother who has his FFL and knows about everything when it comes to firearms. Yes I know I can ask him, but I want different opinions.

I live in a large metropolitan area. Every time I turn on the news, someone has been shot, robbed, or beaten. I feel safe in my apt now, but we plan on getting a house soon and that will change. This is what we want. My gf drives alone allot in the dark and I worry.

We each want a handgun. It will be used as self protection first, then home protection. We would also like to visit the range and goof off together sometimes.

I was thinking revolver for a beginner for it's simplicity and yet power. Then maybe a semi later? Her concerns are I suppose normal for a woman. Recoil and trigger ease. She wants something that will, and I quote "go pow pow pow pow" fast. lol She is concerned about jamming and simplicity, which is why I thought a revolver? She likes the look of the Charter Arms Lady Chic? I believe it is a 38. Would this gun be ok for her? She likes the one with the longer grip.

As for me. I am a little concerned about recoil (not a real lot), only because it is my first gun and I don't want it to be a distraction and affect my aim. I was considering a 357 and use the 38 rounds in it until I get used to it and then the 357 rounds? Does that make sense? I would also want something that would be sufficient if we ever have to bug out.

Please know we will be taking a beginner course together as well as our class to be able to conceal. I will make sure we are both comfortable with our choice and we will practice.

I suppose we should just go into any gun shop and ask them for help but I dont want to go in looking like a complete moron. I'd at least like to go in and ask to see a few specific models.

Any advice without being too harsh?
 

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Revolvers are not just for beginners many prefer them. You have many question to ask first .
1.budget what can you afford
2. are you also going to use it as a CC
Answer those two first. As for a 357 revolver and firing .38 in it Very common . The 357 is a heavier frame and when .38's are fired from it you have a more manageable recoil. You learn to manage recoil by getting your grip right and putting rounds down range that simple. Some Shops with in door ranges rent weapons you can then get the feel for some before you spend the cash.
 

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There are many choices and even more opinions on "what" to get. I would suggest seeing if your brother would take you and your GF to the range to try out some different hand guns. Some choices (depending on your budget) that I would look at would include Glock, S&W M&P, Springfield Armory XD, Bersa and Ruger. These are all roughly around the same price point and all reliable guns. If you have a little more money to spend you can look at H&K's and Sig Sauer.

If you're looking for a revolver then I'd go with S&W or Taurus. Revolvers, although requiring less maintenance overall and are a great gun for first time shooters, do limit you on the amount of rounds you are able to carry.

So many great guns and so little time.:)
 

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DonP, welcome to the forum, and I have to say that you don't have to feel stupid asking, this is what this forum was made for, asking the simplest questions so you can learn. Nobody knows everything and were all learning. Being a male myself, I'm supposed to know tools, but I couldn't build a birdhouse if my life depended on it, but I have learned, simply by doing and researching before hand. I highly praise you for asking this question since a lot of people don't ask for fear of someone laughing at their comment. This will not be the case on this forum.

Personally, some gun ranges let you rent out guns to try, which is what I would recommend at first. Do note, in my area it was costly to do this $5 rental for the gun, but they priced the ammo 2X more than what it was on the shelf they sold and I called them out on this. I know they have to clean them, replace parts etc, but the way they did this was they didn't tell me the price before I shot even though I asked them and they fumbled through saying "price of what ammo costs here". This was my personal experience and not all gun ranges will be like this, but for shooting a 357 with 2 boxes (40 rounds total), cost me around $85. Remember that was only $5 for gun rental, so they charged me $40 a box of ammo. $2 a shot. Hmmm.....

If you have a friend that has a gun, I would ask them if they would let you go with them to see what their gun they talk about is "all about" when they are talking it up to you. You'll learn some tips and have a good shooting partner as well.

For recommendations, there will be a lot of users on here that will tell you different things, which is good and might guide you in the right direction. Personally, I started out with a rifle .22 when I was younger, moved up to a 12guage and the rest was history.

Have fun and be safe with whatever you do.
 

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LOL!!! I love this question.

As First Sergeant just said, revolvers aren't just for beginners. As a matter of fact, they are not for beginners. There is more technique with them due to the trigger action. It is a lot easier to shoot to the side of the bad guy with a revolver. A lot of these old timers were probably born with one in their hand, so they don't remember this. Danged thing about revolvers is they like to shoot when the trigger is pulled. Not a bunch of clearing drills with a revolver.
I was looking at a Charter Arms .38 revolver the other day. I was extremely impressed; the action was as smooth as silk! I have a Taurus .38 ultralite I carry in my pocket when I'm not carrying the Taurus TCP 738 .380, there. If I had it to do from the beginning, I'd have bought the Charter Arms revolver.

People love autos, nowadays. I had to warm up to them, but never did when I was in the army with the 1911 .45ACP (automatic centerfire pistol). I bought a couple of Taurus autos that really got my attention, though. The Taurus PT145 .45ACP compact pistol and the Taurus 24/7 .45ACP full frame auto were the first two. I really enjoyed them, so I bought the Taurus 1911AR .45ACP, and I love it! She is my baby.

Now, another little gem I recently caressed is the Smith and Wesson SD .40cal. when thrown up to shoot, it seems to fall naturally on target. Talk about a handy feature, huh?

Yes, I have a .357 revolver. My first revolver was a .357, as well as the second and third. The thing keeps the socks company as it protects my underwear. Why? Because I do not need to punch through a little weasely crack-head and kill granny, who is behind him on the sidewalk.

Get a weapon you are going to carry all the time. If it isn't with you, it is something that will be fought over by your children after you are dead. A .38 revolver is easy to carry and easy to conceal. .38 ammo is cheap enough to where you and the GF will get plenty of bonding time at the range while becoming crack shots with the weapons.

Oh! And, take a course or two. You can't tell me S.A. doesn't have plenty of instructors who will give you fantastic tips - a lot better than a bunch of Internet Rangers can offer!

Last thing...have a blast! It is some of the most fun you'll have, and, unlike golf, getting good at this past time could save your life.
 

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My recommendation is to check out the Ruger LC-9 or Smith and Wesson M&P in 9mm.

Since your brother is an FFL, I'd shoot everything he owns. If you don't like anything your brother has then I would find a local gun range that rents some of the handguns you are interested in.

As for the GF, let her decide what she likes, if she likes and feels confident with the handgun, she is more likely to carry and have the handgun with her at all times.

Training: You guys could always attend a NRA pistol course (NRAInstructors.org - Portal for NRA certified Instructors, NRA Education and Training)
 

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I have a rather diverse collection to chose from when I leave the house. More and more the big boy weapons stay home and I carry a simple small revolver. I am a very good shot been at this awhile that makes a difference. Short of an all out Zombie invasion if I can not Take care of basic SD with 5 shots from my little .38 then I am likely dead . Big difference in SD and a gun fight. The problem with buying the wrong SD CC weapon is after awhile it will stay home more and more.
Men and women have different issues with a CC weapon . Where do you carry it? Grip fit ect. My wife was forced to go to a revolver issues with her grip made it to hard to work the slide.
As the OP does their home work and narrows down the question we can show how to deal with those things they can then research what works for them
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Wow. Such excellent advice and replies. I don't feel so bad asking now. I guess everyone was new at one time? Funny thing though, most of you was new at like age 11. I am 47. lol But I see the need now. When I was younger and living in a small town, I just didn't feel the need. Times and situations change.

Thank you all, and to Survival for the warm welcome. I like the idea of renting a few at the range. But I certainly will look into the fees beforehand. That $85 seems steep.

Ok, to answer a few questions.

I will be carrying it with me, so yes on the CC question. I am thinking the need may arise to bug out, and I want something that will protect my family. This is one reason I was thinking of the 357. I could get used to the 38 rounds, then always have the ability to use the 357 in a bug out situation. I hope that is good reasoning?

My brother lives in Pa. so I can't play with any of his stock. :( He is very gun knowledgeable, and I will be asking him but I still like to get others opinions.

Budget? Well. I was thinking this is going to cost me about $1000 for us both. For the weapons, classes and transfer fees. So Im thinking I will have about $400 for each of us for the gun itself. I know that is not allot but remember I will be buying from my brother and he wont make any money off a sale to me. I will probably buy it off my brother and have it sent to a local FFL. I don't know many people here yet to try theirs.

I really think I will go to a shop and hopefully get someone that will guide us even though they wont be making a sale other than maybe the transfer fees. I personally will get used to anything. I just want my gf, as gemoose23 mentioned above, to be comfortable with her choice. If it scares her she wont use it or practice.

Anyone have any experience with the Chic Lady? (she loves pink!). I think I am leaning towards the 357 for the reasons I mentioned. Maybe the Charter Arms if it's in my budget.

I will read these replies over and over. Thanks so much.
 

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First thing I would do is for get how a weapon looks. As for brand Revolvers are different than autos in that most on the market work fine. If you buy a lower cost one it may not hold value as well.
Revolver must fit you and provide you with a good grip. What fits you may not fit her. Larger frame 357's are a bit bulky and harder to Conceal.
Once you begin to narrow it down and know what the ones your looking at should sell for shop the used market, many revolver are traded for new weapons and can some times be had at a good discount.
If you settle on a revolver do you want Single action double action or shielded hammer ?
Example of a shield hammer .38 I use often. an example not an endorsement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Well I was thinking of the Taurus M605 .357 Magnum 357 2" Barrel, 5 Round, Fixed Sights (Blued) for me. And the Charter Arms Pink Chic Lady for her. She loves pink and I think it would help her want to practice more (crazy I know but true)

I can get both of these new and still have enough for transfer and classes. But I will certainly be reading the advice posted and taking suggestions.

Revolver Gun barrel Trigger Gun accessory Metal
Trigger Air gun Gun barrel Revolver Gun accessory


*Edit. Yes Smitty that does matter to me. So, cross the Taurus off my list. I will think of something. I will always buy USA products if I can. Thank you!
 

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As all ways your call Taurus makes a good revolver. However they are not a US company. Very few of their products are made here There are better same price range made here by a US owned company. May not madder to some but high on my list.
 

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Charter is made in the US, and are very accurate for a snubnose. The "Lite" weighs in at 12.7 oz, and because of the larger grips, felt recoil isn't as bad as a S&W 642/442 AirWeight which is around 15OZ.

Unlike S&W who warranty is covered to the original owner only, Charter warranties any or their revolvers regardless of the owner on anything made after 2000.

Forget Taurus

In my Charter I used Gold Dot 135 gr Short Barrel +P, in my 642 I used Federal Hydra-Shok 110 gr JHP in Low Recoil and Federal 148 gr Wadcutters

All .38 caliber BTW
 

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After rereading your opening post, I'd like to point out a couple things.

Don't get hung up on the .357. As I said, I've always had them, I love them, but they are overkill when it comes to carry, and, as with handguns in general, underpowered if the time comes when you have to bug. Matter of fact, Unless you (and you alone) get some sort of 24hr advanced notice, S.A. is going to be very inhospitable and a revolver is going to be overwhelmed, as is an auto. Even a rifle and 20,000 rounds is not going to save you and the GF.

No tool is perfect for every job. What is it that you want the tool to do? Personal protection for every day scenarios?
 

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Guns are tools. What is the job you want to cover? Many trainers say carry the biggest gun you can master and carry. But as a prepper you should consider it's utility. What is ammo availabilty gonna be? Consider reloading. I have several handguns, a .357 revolver, a .40 auto and a couple of .45 autos. If you are considering for light huning in a SHTF situation the .357 wouild be hard to beat. A .357 as you know can run .38s. One of my favorite handloads is a hot .38. The .357 platform is very flexable.
As far as auto loaders the .45 AP is my favorite but the .40 has more utility when reloading.
Ther is no easy answer but many choices.
 

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Sometimes you use the SWAG system and jump in a year down the road you decide you want a different weapon, you either trade it or end up with two. I used to think the only handgun I wanted was my .45 full size 1911. Have not carried it in some time .
At least your armed during the learning curve.
Took a quick look locally Pink Lady 399
Taurus 85 329
S&W 642 399 Shield hammer Plus IMO for CC
All .38's P+ IMO best deal would be the S&W but any of them would do the job.
 
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My favorite is the Ruger Sp101, I bought one for my wife in .327 federal, it will also shoot .32acp, .32 S&W shorts and longs, .32 H&R mag. You have a wide spectrum of choices regarding power and recoil. They also sell some pretty pink grips for them. The Taurus Model 85 is also a good choice in .38spc, CDNN has a blue 3" for $279 they also sell pretty pink grips for them. If you are just starting out I would avoid any barrels shorter than 3" just because they are harder to hit with and may cause a new shooter to become discouraged. I put the crimson trace laser grips on my wifes and feel they are great for a new shooter (or an old one for that matter) because you can see any bad habits like a flinch just by leaving a random chamber empty.
 

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Well I was thinking of the Taurus M605 .357 Magnum 357 2" Barrel, 5 Round, Fixed Sights (Blued) for me. And the Charter Arms Pink Chic Lady for her. She loves pink and I think it would help her want to practice more (crazy I know but true)

I can get both of these new and still have enough for transfer and classes. But I will certainly be reading the advice posted and taking suggestions.

*Edit. Yes Smitty that does matter to me. So, cross the Taurus off my list. I will think of something. I will always buy USA products if I can. Thank you!
You might want to consider taking a handgun class 1st, I googled San Antonio, Texas, and this range came up with classes, The Bullet Hole Shooting Complex San Antonio's Best Range and Concealed Carry Resource. Included with the class is the loan of a handgun + 100 rds of Ammo to complete the class.

This will give you and the GF a feel of handguns, safety practices etc. Then you'd also build a relationship with a place of business for future gun rentals etc.

I'd relate buying a 1st handgun like this too buying your 1st car. Most people get driving lessons before they ever buy their 1st car. Maybe get a lesson where they loan you a handgun might be the ideal, before you start looking at types and calibers of handguns.

Then after the lessons.. you'll be ready to race some "racecars"!

Ruger are USA made. :mrgreen:

Ruger LCR :)
 

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I would suggest you go to a range that rents guns and try a variety. See what feels good to you, what fits your hand, what you shoot well. The same for your girlfriend. What fits you may not fit her, and vice versa. I'm not sure about TX, but here in Ohio, some CCW classes do not require you to bring your own gun to the class. They have guns at the range that you can use for the live fire part of the class. Your instructor should be a good source of information on the various types of guns, calibers, makes and models, etc.

A snub nose revolver is small, easier to conceal, easier to carry, but more difficult to shoot accurately than most full size autos. My little .38 S&W 642 with standard .38 ammo, not the Plus P self defense rounds, "bites" more and has more felt recoil and is more difficult to shoot accurately than my full size .45ACP 1911. The 1911 is more difficult to conceal and is much heavier--but that is what I carry 99% of the time in cooler weather when I can wear a cover garment, such as a jacket or an unbuttoned shirt. I carry the 642 in the summer when I'm wearing cargo shorts and a T-shirt or Tanktop.

There are pros and cons to every choice. Talk to your instructor, talk to the people at a good gun shop, talk to your brother. Do your research, shoot as many different guns as you can afford to rent. Best of luck to you. Also, guns are like potato chips. You won't be happy with just one! ;-)
 

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There are always lots of opinions and preferences when someone asks this kind of question. Take into mind that firearms are kind of like a pair of jeans. No one can really tell you how they fit you and you'll only know when you try them on. As other have suggested, go to shops, both you and her and try the different choices. Shoot what you can and like best. If you go revolvers, there still great firearms, but take this into mind also. This is a semi and full automatic world now. This is not the 1800's when everyone else armed out there had a revolver and leveraction. If you want to be on more even ground than semi automatic pistols are it as far as pistols go. More capacity and faster to reload for the average user. 9mm is the most common defensive round in America right now pretty much, so as a prepper, you might take that to mind also if commonality is a concern. It's also standard issue for our and many other military forces. Even better would be for you and her to buy one of the same pistol, that way you'd have not only common ammo together, but magazines, holsters and parts too. I also find it's most comfortable for new shooters to buy a first pistol that has a manual safety so they can disengage the trigger. Too many without one won't load a round in the chamber otherwise and that's dangerous. You never know if you'll have the time and free hands to do it when your life depends on it. Hope that helps.
 
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