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  • Self Defense: Hand Guns

    I'll be purchasing a hand gun immediately for self defense due to a recent altercation. Please help educate me (opinions and facts welcomed). Also, if anyone is familiar with the Illinois strict gun laws and how one can legally carry an accessible hand gun in a vehicle.

    I'm looking for opinions on a hand gun that has 1)Man Stopping Power 2)Has one safety that can be reliably engaged and turned off 3)Follows the KISS form for construction and maintenance. I'm willing to throw down big greens for purchase and instruction.

    I'm also interested in alternative forms of self defense including mace/pepper spray, stun guns, or whatever. There will be a wait for me to purchase the hand gun and I want protection immediately.

    P.S. I have a FOID card.
    USAR

  • #2
    Re: Self Defense: Hand Guns

    Found this right away.

    http://www.packing.org/state/illinois/
    http://icarry.org/

    Mind sharing your experience that made you make this decision
    that sounds like a good idea trooper.
    -Vulcan

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    • #3
      Re: Self Defense: Hand Guns

      If you want sheer stopping power, a Desert Eagle .50Cal. Now, I have no idea if these are legal for civilian use anywhere.

      More reasonable options are Glock & Beretta 10mm (I beleive its more commonly called the .40CAL S&W now). I am not an advocate of the 9mm, as the lower grain (weight) allows for faster velocity, that isn't always transfered kinetically to your target (a good example is the old FBI story of one "drug crazed" idividual being shot multiple times with a 9mm and still being able to fully function, including killing an FBI agent after being shot)

      How ever, one cannot talk about stopping power without mentioning the tried and true .45Cal ACP. I'm sure you'll recognize them as the classic Colt M1911.

      If you're more a revolver type than a slide action semi-auto, the traditional "Dirty Harry" .44 Magnum is the way to go, but it's very large, and not easiliy concealed. Additionally, you can't go wrong with a .357.

      I would say for you, a small .40Cal S&W or .45CAL semi-auto would be good, something like this:

      http://www.sigarms.com/Products/Show...&productid=139

      Anyway, here's SigArms web site:

      http://www.sigarms.com/Products/Show...x?categoryid=1

      I'm personal to Sig, as I have used there weapons previously, and I do find them superior to Glock pistols (they feel better built).

      Hope this helps out!
      |TG-Irr|HatefullSix

      If at first you don't succeed, you need more firepower.

      There is nothing wrong with feeling something when you shoot your enemies... as long as that something is recoil.

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      • #4
        Re: Self Defense: Hand Guns

        Sig all the way.
        |TG|Melee
        Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose!

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        • #5
          Re: Self Defense: Hand Guns

          First off, I recommend that you purchase a book first. It's called "In the Gravest Extreme" and it's written by Massad Ayoob. Whenever someone asks a question like you have, enthusiasts often start right off with info like what I'll give in the following paragraphs. Well, this book goes over the REALLY important stuff that you need to think about if you make the decision to carry a tool that is designed to stop and possibly kill another human being.

          Packing.org is an excellent source of information. You live in one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to freedom to own and/or carry a gun.

          If I were you, I'd go with an inexpensive handgun in a serious caliber, and spend a significant amount of money on ammo and training at the same time. Quality new handguns usually run between $500 and $1500. Serious man-stopping calibers (avoid anything smaller, larger, or more exotic) would be 9mm (extreme low end), .38sp, .357mag, .357sig, .40s&w, .45acp, .45gap, and 10mm. For a beginner that might need to rely on it immediately, I'd suggest something in the middle. The .40 cartridge is not much larger than a 9mm, so you're going to be able to carry plenty of ammo in your pistol. The .40's performance at stopping people is almost as good as the .45acp, but without the punishing recoil that would certainly distract a beginning shooter. I would go with a .40 caliber pistol. The other option, would be to go with a revolver, which would certainly be easier to learn to shoot. In that case, I'd get a .357mag, which, in case you didn't know, shoots .357mag AND .38special cartridges.

          My recommendations, knowing nothing else, would be for a Springfield XD in .40 or a Ruger SP101 in .357 and an equal amount of moola on ammo and training. These both have an MSRP of around $550 and you'll be able to find them for sale between $400 and $500. You're not going to get a new quality handgun cheaper than this. If money's no problem, then go down to the indoor shooting range and pick out 5 .40 caliber pistols and try them out. Buy the one that feels the best to you. Listen to people's advice, but be aware that personal preferences are similar to what people have for cars. Some people swear that Chevrolets break down all the time, others hate Dodge Rams, etc... Bottom line is they're all quality products and that everyone has preferences that have been formed by their own experiences. I've had a Beretta break in my hands and seen others break on the range. I'll NEVER buy a Beretta ever. TheFenix loves 'em. They make quality guns, but you'll never hear me say anything good about them. Keep that in mind when you're asking others for their opinion. And don't get hung up on whether or not the gun has a safety. You always treat every gun as if they were loaded anyway, right? The best safety is between your ears. I'm not telling you to avoid a gun that has a safety, just be open minded enough to not make that a requirement. Most handguns don't have manual safeties.

          You'll want to take a basic pistol class with around 10-16 hours of instruction and that should run you a couple hundred bucks. Then get yourself a couple hundred bucks worth of ammo. Try to shoot it all during or immediately after your class. Learn how to shoot your pistol and learn how to clean it. It might cost you a few more bucks to buy your pistol from a place that also has a shooting range, but it'll probably be worth it to be able to shoot it there and ask the guys behind the counter all the questions that you can think of...

          Once you've shot up a few thousand rounds, get yourself a box of self defense ammo to keep in the gun. This ammo will be more expensive, as it'll be fancy jacketed hollowpoint stuff that is designed to provide maximum stopping power with minimum recoil. I really like Federal's Premium Personal Defense ammo, but there are other good rounds out there, too. This is an excellent article (though a bit dated) that I suggest you take the time to read: http://www.chuckhawks.com/ammo_by_anonymous.htm Feel free to skip the parts about guns that you're not interested in...

          You might need to consider a place to store your gun, too. I'm really looking at getting a GunVault, as although my son knows not to mess with my guns, the friends that he's starting to bring over to the house might not be as well educated. Anyway, you can bolt this (or a similar product) to something sturdy and that'll keep all kinds of curious fingers off of it...

          If you're planning on carrying this with you all the time, email or PM me and we can talk further, but I'll tell you right now that I recommend the Blackhawk SERPA holster unless you're planning on spending over $200 for your holster.

          As for alternatives in the meantime, find out where your local cop shop is. Ask them for recommendations on pepper spray. OC doesn't do much to me, but CS messes me up, so I recommend carrying the stuff that has both OC and CS. Find out if they have trainer versions of the same model as you're going to be carrying. Buy one trainer to play with so that you can see how far it sprays, how hard it is to get it out of your pocket and in position to spray, etc... If they don't have trainers, consider buying an extra can for the same reason. Just make sure you're way away from anything that you don't want contaminated when you start playing around with it. I wouldn't mess around with stun guns or Tasers. Old fashioned stun guns don't work and Tasers are more expensive than a real gun and you'd probably end up waiting longer to get it anyway. You might consider taking a hand to hand self defense course somewhere, too.
          Become a supporting member!
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          TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran:

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          • #6
            Re: Self Defense: Hand Guns

            if you want sheer stopping power the .45 is cheap and easily available. One thing i remember cing saying was to call your local police station and see what caliber they use and if possible what gun they use. They also can help you with the laws and your options for self protection. And dont hesitate to ask as many "dumb" questions as you can think of. A smart gun owner is the best kind of gun control.

            And yes a .50cal desert eagle is legal but not practical for self defence



            Nice post cing, Ive actually learned alot about CCW from TGs site.
            that sounds like a good idea trooper.
            -Vulcan

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            • #7
              Re: Self Defense: Hand Guns

              My choice is the Sig 40.


              18th SF Operational Detachment Delta

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              • #8
                Re: Self Defense: Hand Guns

                Originally posted by Trooper[SNPR] View Post
                One thing i remember cing saying was to call your local police station and see what caliber they use and if possible what gun they use.
                Yeah, this isn't a bad idea. Cops use good guns and, allah forbid, if you're ever in court because you had to use your gun, it'll be difficult for the prosecutor to paint your gun as being some evil implement of death and destruction if it's the same thing the local law has on their hip.
                Become a supporting member!
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                • #9
                  Re: Self Defense: Hand Guns

                  Originally posted by TG_Bubba View Post
                  My choice is the Sig 40.
                  The 2340 ?

                  DB

                  «That looks like a really nice house except for that horrible bathroom.» Donrhos

                  | |





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                  • #10
                    Re: Self Defense: Hand Guns

                    Handgun preference is such a personal thing, but generally I think it is safe to say certain manufacturers are known to make "better" (more reliable, more accurate, etc.) handguns then others.

                    All the makes listed by previous posters are great suggestions. My personal preference is a Sig P229 chambered in the .40 S&W. I like the Double Action/Single action configuration, it feels great in my hands with the hogue grips, after over 2000 rounds it has never jammed or misfunctioned ONCE, recoil is more managable for me then a .40 in other guns (like Glocks), and the thing is more accurate then I am.

                    With THAT said, no one size fits all. I really think that any new gun buyer willing to put down the $$$ for a quality firearm owes it to themselves to find a range that will rent guns for use on site. That way, you can try a bunch of the more popular ones out and see what fits you best. We even have a range nearby that charges a flat fee if you rent three or more guns at one time.

                    Also, I want to strongly second Cing's reccomendation that you really study up on the legal consequences and resposibilities of using deadly force - Especially in a state like IL... or any state for that matter actually. And, like he said, once you get your gun spend the time and money nesc to get the training to become proficient and safe with it. The best gun in the world isn't much good if you aren't competent with it in a stressful situation.

                    Hope this helps a bit.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Self Defense: Hand Guns

                      Originally posted by Dick Blonov View Post
                      The 2340 ?

                      DB
                      No, the P229R DAK! Now that's a fine pistol! Not as nice as my HK USP, but still nice.
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                      • #12
                        Re: Self Defense: Hand Guns

                        Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
                        No, the P229R DAK! Now that's a fine pistol! Not as nice as my HK USP, but still nice.
                        I've never had the chance to try any of Sig's new DAK pistols yet. I'm not really been a big fan of Glock's quick action triggers... is the DAK much different/better?

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                        • #13
                          Re: Self Defense: Hand Guns

                          Thanks for the replys, I'm busy reading Cings novel atm. ;)
                          USAR

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                          • #14
                            Re: Self Defense: Hand Guns

                            Great info and advice, Cing. Beyond that, I can only offer my input regarding Glock pistols.

                            Among a few other pistols, I have two Glocks and like them pretty well. They're reliable, simple to operate, easy to maintain, and reasonably priced. Think of a Glock as the semi-automatic version of a revolver -- every pull of the trigger is the same; you don't have to click off a manual safety while under stress; it goes bang when you pull the trigger. I own the Glock 21 and the Glock 36, both of which are .45 ACP guns. The Glock 36 is great for carry, as it is small and slim.

                            Good luck, and let us know what you end up doing.


                            EDIT: Oh yeah -- I'd also recommend Speer Gold Dots for self defense ammo.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Self Defense: Hand Guns

                              Originally posted by Fuzzy View Post
                              I've never had the chance to try any of Sig's new DAK pistols yet. I'm not really been a big fan of Glock's quick action triggers... is the DAK much different/better?
                              Operationally, it's the same as Glock's trigger, or HK's SafeAction trigger. But it's much longer, like a Beretta's double action trigger, and much, much smoother. Silky smooth. Baby's butt smooth. It's probably just as smooth as my uncle's highly tuned and polished .38.

                              I still prefer the two stage feel of my HK, though.
                              Become a supporting member!
                              Buy a Tactical Duck!
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