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How do I choose a firearm?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by neo 7, Jan 24, 2013.

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  1. neo 7

    neo 7 The bass player doesn't get a sandwich

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    So I've decided to buy a gun while I still can. I will do this legally and take safety/training classes ASAP. My brother and I are going gun shopping next week, but I have no idea what I should be looking for. I have fired guns before, but I never got real passionate about them. I'm not really into hunting, but that doesn't mean I've ruled out rifles or shotguns. This will be used only for personal protection. It seems there are a fair amount of gun enthusiasts on TBOT, so I'm hoping you guys can help me out before I deal with some slick talking salesman. So help me out, ask me questions, give your opinion, I'm a total noob.

    I have $800 to spend on 2 guns, on for me and one for my brother.

    And, please, let's not turn this into a political debate.
  2. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic Commercial User

    Aug 6, 2005
    Southwest Michigan
    Owner/Builder: HJC Customs USA, The Cool Lute, C G O
    8 bills is going to be a little tight, but you should be fine. If you are looking at handguns, probably your best personal protection choice, you can get into a pair of Smith and Wesson Sigma 9mm or 40 cals in your price range. The 40 SDVE HC is the top line sigma and comes with a laser sight which can help novices with target acquisition. Also can look to imports which can be had for less money. You could get into Smith or Ruger used 9's in your budget also.
  3. much like basses...go to a number of shops and look to buying used.

  4. steamthief


    Jan 25, 2006
    Mentone Beach
    If you're shopping for a pistol, I'd go to a range and shoot as many different rentals as you can. Just as certain basses feel right while others don't, the same principle applies to guns.
  5. neo 7

    neo 7 The bass player doesn't get a sandwich

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    Thanks for your suggestions Musiclogic and Steamtheif. But can you give me some kind of starting point?
  6. i don't know about that, but steamthief makes a lot of sense about trying out different models.

    how will you be using it...for example, will you get a carry permit and carry it...there are different criteria depending upon your proposed use.

    again, as with basses, your shop can be a big help. go and talk to them and try some at the range (if possible)

    you should plan on spending a lot of time at the range, anyway, if you have not shot very much...shops and people at the range are always glad to help newb's and you might make some friends there.

  7. Are you looking for an everyday carry gun or something for home defense?

    If you're gonna carry, I would say a custom 1911, glock 26, s&w J-frame(my personal favorite), Springfield XD and XDM, and others

    For home defense, It depends on where you live. But I'm assuming you live in a subdivision or apartment, so i would say Remington 870 or a mossberg 590.

    $800 will get you somewhere, but IMHO, spend some money, it is LITERALLY a life or death situation.

    Also, what state are you living in? So we can get a feel for the laws of the area so we can ell you make the best choice.

  8. neo 7

    neo 7 The bass player doesn't get a sandwich

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    I had to edit that post, Steamthief posted while I was writing that reply.

    Probably for home defense, but Erie is becoming very crime ridden, so I may apply for a concealed weapons permit.

    I live in Pennsylvania, in an apartment, in a pretty quiet neighborhood, but the ghetto keeps spreading and getting closer to me.
  9. How are you using it? If a concealed carry, you'll definitely want handguns. They can be expensive. My parents just bought Smith and Wessons for their concealed carry weapons and they were about $550 each. However, they both got raving reviews and everybody who holds them or sees them loves them. I've been told a .380 is considered the smallest to be used for personal defense.

    However, if you're keeping it in the house as an "under the bed defense" situation, I would second looking at a shotgun. A decent shotgun, from what I've seen, can be had for cheaper than the handguns.

    I have little experience myself but I'm an enthusiastic beginner and I think these are good general questions.

    Also, many people will say they use a rifle for home defense, but unless you're going with an SBR or something compact like an M4 (which can cost a lot of money) I wouldn't feel comfortable trying it. There's also a little room for compact lever action rifles, but if it were me I'd either want a shotgun or a handgun assuming equal skill with the 3.

    Also, are you talking every day home defense or SHTF/ Without Rule of Law scenario? That's a little different, and maybe even a little more fun to talk about :D

    I guess like others have said, just give us an idea of how you want to use it.
  10. neo 7

    neo 7 The bass player doesn't get a sandwich

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    The SHTF scenario is definitely a concern, but mentioning that on TBOT will only prompt more posts like #2

    Home defense is my primary concern, but something tells me that I'd be more comfortable with a pistol, but then again I'm a noob so what do I know.
  11. For a home defense weapon, I have and recommend a shotgun. Can be had for $300ish brand new, has a light on it and the sound will make a mans heart stop. The reason I picked it, the spread is wide and with a small enough shot, I can totally pepper some one up and not worry about blowing through the walls and injuring any one else in the house.
    wide shot pattern
    cheap ammo
    different choices of ammo
    easy to "outfit"
    its default mode is a usable bludeoning tool
    easy to clean and so on and so on.

    not a good choice for CCW
    not as fast as a semi auto (pumps only)
  12. One Drop

    One Drop

    Oct 10, 2004
    Swiss Alps
    Watching the dog chasing its tail ...
  13. sandmangeck


    Jul 2, 2007
    Spend that money on a decent security system, and some steaks. Statistically speaking, you're living in the safest period in history.
  14. bass12

    bass12 Have you seen my tonsils lately? Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Well, unless you're one of those steaks... :smug:
  15. ?????????????????

    yeah, we may be living in "safest period of history", but why do you suppose that is? go ahead, follow the advice on this thread, and buy multiple guns (while you still can)....if nothing else, they're fun to shoot

  16. Anemic_SluG

    Anemic_SluG Supporting Member

    Dec 1, 2009
    So much like basses not one right answer. When I went shopping for a handgun I entered the store and the associate took every 9mm out of the case and I held it with no pre conceived ideas on which was the right one for me. I held them and finally picked. Most of the $500-800 guns are great quality. At $400 it is going to be a bit of a challenge. At the end if the day if I am choosing a firearm to protect my family it's shotgun first and if that didn't do it at least I own a handgun.

    So.... To answer your question. If I were to want a gun for personal protection, and the ability to go to the range for practice and who is the better shot bragging rights I would choose a handgun in 9mm (cheaper ammo). If u wanted it for personal protection and it lived next to the bed for that shtf moment. It's a Remington 870 shotgun.

    Good luck on your purchase and again just like basses. There is no 1 firearm that meets every task perfectly
  17. atomicdog


    Jun 18, 2011
    Smith & Wesson Governor (45 cal/410 shotgun shells). I settled on it for a couple of reasons. Mainly, I'm not comfortable with semi-automatics: can't feel comfortable not know with certainty that there's not a shell in chamber, even if the magazine is out. Also, so many moving parts that there's a lot of wear on the metal, so it can jam etc. The S&W is a six shot revolver; no doubt when there's a shell in the chamber, easier to clean, and more old school (I like that). I suggest going to a firing range and renting a few guns till you find one you like.
  18. I'm gonna look in to that^ Sounds like Its simillar to the Taurus Judge
  19. neo 7

    neo 7 The bass player doesn't get a sandwich

    Aug 22, 2011
    Erie, PA
    Thank a lot, guys! I'll probably go with a shotgun, and I'm definitely going to ask about rentals. Who knows, I may even pick up a hand gun in a few months.

    And of course: SAFETY FIRST! Classes taught by a professional are in the near future.
  20. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    Read your state's gun laws before doing anything. Also, know that you have specific responsibilities regarding what you need to do in the event of a break-in. If the invader leaves, you won't want to shoot if you want to remain free- shooting a fleeing person isn't "defending" yourself.

    The number I have seen WRT the cost of legal defense/investigation if you shoot at someone and hit them is $40,000/shot fired. Not only will you pay a lot of money, you may not be able to get liability insurance after the event.

    You rent- wouldn't it just be easier to move?
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Mar 6, 2021

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