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Chris M
06-23-2010, 12:43 PM
I have several long guns. I reload 30-06, 12ga, & 20ga. I shoot occasionally, and I hunt. I don't yet have any handguns, but would like to buy one mainly for use as a side arm while hunting, but hopefully it'll spend a lot of time at the range.

I'm not quite sure what I want just yet, but I haven't really shot a whole lot of handguns, either. Three, actually - Ruger Mark III .22lr, S&W 629 (44mag), and a 44cal cap & ball revolver (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3597/3588107914_e63b5b48db.jpg).

I've been leaning toward a Taurus 44mag revolver, or a Glock 20 (10mm), but the Springfield XD 40s&w recently caught my eye. I don't want to spend a fortune on the gun ($500-$600 is OK), and whatever caliber I choose, I'll be handloading.

Help sway me toward a decision.

Cochise82
06-23-2010, 1:08 PM
All I can tell you is that I own a Springfield XD9 and it's a terrific gun. If you're looking at the XD series guns make sure you note that there are XD's and XD(m)'s. The XD(m) series guns have different grips and also a manual safety.

davhed
06-23-2010, 1:21 PM
<Insert Obligatory "Go Try Them All" Post Here>

But really, you should shoot them and decide based on your experience.

You've chosen calibers that are going to be rather range "unfriendly" because of their cost. My feeling is that if it's for the range get something that will let you afford putting 10k rounds down the tube. If that's not a factor (and based on you reloading it may not be); go for fit, style, and features that work well for you.

As much as people discuss various safety features, if it's a range gun and not to be used for much else... do safety features really matter? If you're not drawing, cocking, de-cocking, and holstering are you ever going to be in a position were a simple frame mounted safety won't be enough?

I may be off the mark, but I think you would be best suited getting a handgun that is beautiful, simple, and your style. Personally I prefer auto loaders to revolvers. Also after shooting about a dozen different makes/models I realized that I prefer a full size all metal frames over compact and/or poly. I was certain I would love the Glock because of all I read, but I just thought the feel of a full metal frame was better in my hands.

Anyhow... my 2

We're all different, so the best we can do is tell you our preferences and give you suggestions that you should field test prior to your purchase.

dkthree
06-23-2010, 1:32 PM
It's all preference. I went to a gun show to buy a Ruger GP100 and came home with a Sig P220.... Think of it as starting a collection, it will make it easier to choose.

Ricky-Ray
06-23-2010, 1:37 PM
I think a little more info would help. You say you wanna carry it with you when hunting. Do you want it as a backup gun or to hunt with? Bear protection? More as a self protection gun?

Smithereens
06-23-2010, 1:45 PM
all i can say is that my impression of handguns changed tremendously after shooting them. I started going to the range and renting one or two pistols at a time, I got an idea quickly about what I liked and disliked.

RedDawn
06-23-2010, 1:56 PM
If it's going to be a field gun, get the Glock G20.

Chris M
06-23-2010, 1:57 PM
I think a little more info would help. You say you wanna carry it with you when hunting. Do you want it as a backup gun or to hunt with? Bear protection? More as a self protection gun?

Side-arm...non-hunting weapon. Used for self protection and/or finishing shot on a wounded animal.

Weight and size are definitely a consideration. I don't want an 8"+ 'Dirty Harry'. Eventually, I may get into handgun hunting, but I will purchase a dedicated handgun for the job if/when that time comes.

Z ME FLY
06-23-2010, 2:02 PM
I would skip the Taurus.. Yeah you might get a good one but chances are you will get a bad one and it will need some repair work. If you want a .44 maybe one of those single action blackhawks might work?

usctrojan
06-23-2010, 2:08 PM
Glock 17... great gun and a piece of history in how it changed the gun world. Berreta 92 has no shortage of great history and is a solid performer. Either of these two guns you can bet your life on. 9mm means you can practice a ton at a reasonable price. Which since you are newer to handguns is good. Lets face it chances are you are the limiting factor in a defense situation... not your bullet.

If you want self protection consider a Glock 21SF (45 caliber). If you want a gun that is so good you will think you are cheating get a 1911. My personal vote is the SA Loaded... but that is going to ask for around 900.

I know you said you are reloading but seriously... spend money on ammo/range fees/training.. forget the 44mag and the 10mm. The cost of your gun is negligible in the life of the firearm.

sonico
06-23-2010, 2:14 PM
You know what sucks about a hunting sidearm? If you're in the condor zone, i.e. most of california, you must have it loaded with lead-free bullets.

orangeusa
06-23-2010, 2:16 PM
Yup, really think about ammo costs (see my sigline!!)

Advice above is very good. Rent at a range. Try other guys guns. Since you have long guns, you MUST have buddies who can let you try theirs. Is this for defense while hunting (i.e. humans or ferile dogs?) or just hunting?

Stay away from the SA revolver - just my opinion. They take forever to load, shoot fast, and forever to unload. And if a magnum round or Long Colt, cubic $$. I sold a very desirable Single Six for this exact reason. Fun to look at, not fun to load and unload.

If hunting, a DA revolver would be really nice (S&W 686). I know I said ammo costs, but was thinking this was for target and as sidearm while hunting.

If defensive sidearm, with occasional target:
....Ruger centerfires get no respect but are very very strong, and inexpensive. A P90 is for sale (on CG) for $350!! (.45 cal) and it'll out last YOU!!
...Wondernine - Sig/Beretta/CZ/Browning many more... Get stainless if you can. Or Glock...

And I have to put in my obligatory, self indulging - 'Getta Beretta'. 92/96 series..

Man, this is a FUN problem, eh?
.

OneSevenDeuce
06-23-2010, 2:20 PM
You might consider the Ruger .480 Alaskan revolver. It packs a punch, and is perfect as a defensive sidearm for hunters.

Chris M
06-23-2010, 2:49 PM
Yup, really think about ammo costs (see my sigline!!)

Advice above is very good. Rent at a range. Try other guys guns. Since you have long guns, you MUST have buddies who can let you try theirs. Is this for defense while hunting (i.e. humans or ferile dogs?) or just hunting?



I got into hunting with my brother. He doesn't have any handguns either. My father has a very, very large collection of guns....but he lives in Virginia. None of my friends are into shooting, although I've taken many of them to the range to bust some clays.

Stay away from the SA revolver - just my opinion. They take forever to load, shoot fast, and forever to unload. And if a magnum round or Long Colt, cubic $$. I sold a very desirable Single Six for this exact reason. Fun to look at, not fun to load and unload.

If hunting, a DA revolver would be really nice (S&W 686). I know I said ammo costs, but was thinking this was for target and as sidearm while hunting.

Yeah, I definitely was not leaning toward Single Action revolvers for the purpose of a hunting side arm.

If defensive sidearm, with occasional target:
....Ruger centerfires get no respect but are very very strong, and inexpensive. A P90 is for sale (on CG) for $350!! (.45 cal) and it'll out last YOU!!
...Wondernine - Sig/Beretta/CZ/Browning many more... Get stainless if you can. Or Glock...

And I have to put in my obligatory, self indulging - 'Getta Beretta'. 92/96 series..

Man, this is a FUN problem, eh?
.

Thanks for the info...and yes, this is definitely one of the few good problems to have. :D

usctrojan
06-23-2010, 2:50 PM
I am sorry, I misread personal protection. I am really thinking wheel gun 44mag or .45colt ... here is my reason. cheaper to practice and enjoy at the range when compared to the 480, 454, 500, etc (albeit these calibers are a ton of fun!)

Maybe you want to hit up the hunter forum?

Chris M
06-23-2010, 2:51 PM
You know what sucks about a hunting sidearm? If you're in the condor zone, i.e. most of california, you must have it loaded with lead-free bullets.

I live in the SF Bay Area. So far, just about every time I've gone on a hunt, I head north...so I probably won't have that problem. For the times that I do head into a condor zone, I'll have some lead-free ammo loaded and set aside for just that purpose.

sonico
06-23-2010, 3:17 PM
I live in the SF Bay Area. So far, just about every time I've gone on a hunt, I head north...so I probably won't have that problem. For the times that I do head into a condor zone, I'll have some lead-free ammo loaded and set aside for just that purpose.

Good deal, just wanted to give you a heads up in case you didn't know. Warden's field check and it's an expensive and easy mistake to make.

Also I like grumbling about the $75 for 50 9mm I would have to buy if I wanted to carry a sidearm out there.

robcoe
06-23-2010, 3:53 PM
It all depends on what you are doing.

If you think you might actualy need to rely on that gun to work in a bad situation, I would look hard at a Ruger or a Glock. Both have reputations for never failing. Colts, S&W, and Beretta's are also all good, solid guns.

Wherryj
06-23-2010, 6:04 PM
I have several long guns. I reload 30-06, 12ga, & 20ga. I shoot occasionally, and I hunt. I don't yet have any handguns, but would like to buy one mainly for use as a side arm while hunting, but hopefully it'll spend a lot of time at the range.

I'm not quite sure what I want just yet, but I haven't really shot a whole lot of handguns, either. Three, actually - Ruger Mark III .22lr, S&W 629 (44mag), and a 44cal cap & ball revolver (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3597/3588107914_e63b5b48db.jpg).

I've been leaning toward a Taurus 44mag revolver, or a Glock 20 (10mm), but the Springfield XD 40s&w recently caught my eye. I don't want to spend a fortune on the gun ($500-$600 is OK), and whatever caliber I choose, I'll be handloading.

Help sway me toward a decision.

If I can get another firearm past "the committee", it would be the Glock 20 in 10mm. I have always like .357 mag for a revolver and 10mm for a semi-auto. Anything more and it seems a bit punishing, anything less and I'm not sure if it fired.

map
06-23-2010, 6:16 PM
If I can get another firearm past "the committee", it would be the Glock 20 in 10mm. I have always like .357 mag for a revolver and 10mm for a semi-auto. Anything more and it seems a bit punishing, anything less and I'm not sure if it fired.

I agree! Especially the anything less part.

bsg
06-23-2010, 6:34 PM
for a revolver a .357 might do you well; perhaps a S&W 686 model. for a semi auto in harsh weather i believe a glock would serve you well. i would have my old w german sig P220 .45 ACP on board with me.

FUBAR
06-23-2010, 6:50 PM
If your gonna reload get the 10mm Glock 20. then get the 6inch hunting barrel.

bjl333
06-23-2010, 9:16 PM
I have several long guns. I reload 30-06, 12ga, & 20ga. I shoot occasionally, and I hunt. I don't yet have any handguns, but would like to buy one mainly for use as a side arm while hunting, but hopefully it'll spend a lot of time at the range.

I'm not quite sure what I want just yet, but I haven't really shot a whole lot of handguns, either. Three, actually - Ruger Mark III .22lr, S&W 629 (44mag), and a 44cal cap & ball revolver (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3597/3588107914_e63b5b48db.jpg).

I've been leaning toward a Taurus 44mag revolver, or a Glock 20 (10mm), but the Springfield XD 40s&w recently caught my eye. I don't want to spend a fortune on the gun ($500-$600 is OK), and whatever caliber I choose, I'll be handloading.

Help sway me toward a decision.


You will do a lot of range time, you will reload this round, you need a reliable backup hunting handgun ...

Conclusion - You need a handgun powerful enough for mountain lions and the occasional bear. Yet range friendly enough to shoot a lot and have enough cheap componants available for reloading !!!

My suggestion: Smith & Wesson 686 4" 357 magnum revolver ...

1) I have shot one for 15+ years and they are very accurate for range work.
a) This is my 2nd 686. I sold my 1st & regretted it !!

2) You can shoot 38 spl loads in it. They are real cheap to reload and the componants are very cheap. There are tons of data out there.

3) Its a revolver, so the empty casings are right there. You don't have to chase down ejecting casings.

4) Its a 357 mag. You can load it with full house magnum loads for your hunting self-defense needs. Just make sure you use solid bullets and not the fast expanding rounds, because against wild game you'll need more penatration.

5) Its a stainless steel gun. You can fall in a stream in the wild and not worry about cleaning it right away, you'll still need to clean it later.


Edit: I personally have a 6" model, but I don't need it for wild game self-defense. The autos are all very good guns, but you mention your handgun experience is limited. The revolver is simple enough for a new handgun owner to operate. Also the autos won't serve you in the wild, none of the LE auto have the load for bear penatration. Good luck on your quest !!!

GunLover
06-24-2010, 9:14 AM
keepbchecking marketplace section. i hot a lot of great deals on there

GunLover
06-24-2010, 9:16 AM
sorry about spelling ans stuff. i am doing this from my cell

Chris M
06-24-2010, 9:54 AM
Find a nice, used 357 revolver with a 4" barrel to carry hunting.

Then get a Ruger MarkIII for some range fun.

Both are fairly cheaper to shoot and will last a lifetime.

I shoot at Chabot. PM me if you want to try out some different guns.

Thanks for the offer. I may just take you up on it. I haven't been to Chabot yet.

gaucho750
06-24-2010, 9:26 PM
+1 on the .357. Ammo is usually cheap, especially since you can shoot .38 special out of it. I have a Ruger GP 100 and it has not given me any problems.
Edit: If you get a Ruger revolver get a trigger job done on it.