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limaoscarlima
07-18-2010, 10:08 AM
I'm looking to get a handgun for home defense, probably .45 ACP or .40 S&W, and am trying to spend less than $700. The main reason for the price limit is that my friend made a good point that if/when you do end up using a handgun in a home defense situation, you probably won't see that gun again for a very very long time. I'd rather lose a $700 Glock than a $1200 1911.

I don't want to hear "Oh you should get a shotgun for home defense blah blah blah," because I've already thought about that, and I decided that the layout of my new place was better suited to a handgun for ease of draw and line of sight to the front door.

Basically I'm deliberating between the Glock 23 .40, Beretta PX4 Storm .45, and the Sig Sauer P250 compact .40 or .45. I thought about the XD compact .45, but the grip doesn't fit my hand properly. I'm leaning more towards the Glock, but I'm open to any other suggestions.

Rekrab
07-18-2010, 10:14 AM
PX4 in .45 is not available in our horrid state, but the .40 is and it's a spiffy gun if you're OK with the .40's recoil.

If you're already proficient with 1911s, you could also look at a RIA 1911. Dead reliable and completely accurate for less than $600.

DaveFJ80
07-18-2010, 10:17 AM
If you're looking at Glocks and 1911's that cost less than $700, then you can look at the G22/23/27 (.40), and the G21/21SF/30/30SF/36 (.45 ACP) if you want Glock. Or if you want a 1911 that won't hurt if it gets confisicated, look into an RIA 1911 .45 handgun. If you look around, you can find any of the mentioned handguns around $400-$600 range.

I myself am currently looking into a G21SF, G30SF, or a RIA 1911 strictly for this same purpose (and to have fun with at the range).

Turo
07-18-2010, 10:24 AM
The GLOCK 23 is a great gun and it's really fun to shoot! If you plan to carry it on your person though, I'd suggest going smaller (assuming your hands aren't too big to shoot the 27 comfortably.)

Also, don't be intimidated by the recoil in .40S&W. It only takes about 200 rounds before the recoil doesn't bother you any more.

Old4eyes
07-18-2010, 10:27 AM
If this gun is primarily for home defense, why do you need to go for a compact size model? Unless you're going to carry (California, good luck on that happening) the reason for a compact is not there. A smaller gun in .40 and .45 is going to be more brutal with respect to recoil and you will not enjoy the range time. Less range time means less proficiency.

As to having a $600 gun confiscated vs a $1200 gun after a home defense situation, that's just the beginning of the hit your wallet will take. Go with what you are very comfortable in shooting and has proven to be reliable. I'd say the savings of purchasing a lower priced gun that is applied to buying ammunition for practice is more of an incentive that confiscation.

limaoscarlima
07-18-2010, 10:31 AM
If this gun is primarily for home defense, why do you need to go for a compact size model? Unless you're going to carry (California, good luck on that happening) the reason for a compact is not there. A smaller gun in .40 and .45 is going to be more brutal with respect to recoil and you will not enjoy the range time. Less range time means less proficiency.

As to having a $600 gun confiscated vs a $1200 gun after a home defense situation, that's just the beginning of the hit your wallet will take. Go with what you are very comfortable in shooting and has proven to be reliable. I'd say the savings of purchasing a lower priced gun that is applied to buying ammunition for practice is more of an incentive that confiscation.

I have smaller hands, so compact and 1911 models fit me much better than full size models.

limaoscarlima
07-18-2010, 10:35 AM
Does Rock Island not have a website? I looked around and tried a bunch of different searches but nothing came up.

guitargeak99
07-18-2010, 10:36 AM
Your criteria is pretty wide open, so you can expect to get many opinions. The Sigs, Berettas, XD's, Ruger SR's, Glocks, S&W MP's (to name a few)...., are all great guns. Get the one that feels best to you. Personally, I'm saving for the PX4 in 9mm. Also, not to make this a debate on caliber, I have 3 .40 cal and 1 9mm. If I had it to over I would go with 9mm (I'm not LE, and if I was I would have .45 cal). With the HD rounds that are available (I like Speer Gold Dot 9mm +P), the lighter recoil for follow-up shooting, and the cheaper ammo for plinking, I believe that 9mm would have suited my needs.
Just my 2 cents.

OneSevenDeuce
07-18-2010, 10:48 AM
Hmmm, yeah not wanting to lose your expensive pistol for a long period of time isn't a great way to choose a home defense pistol in my mind. If you have a $2000 Kimber that you shoot really well with, and a $300 sigma that you shoot OK with, I'd reach for the Kimber. Don't waste your time thinking about "What gun will I miss the least if I have to use it for self defense?" Why? Because chances are very high that that day will never come. And if it does, and you grab the pistol you shoot the best with and survive, it is a small price to pay.

limaoscarlima
07-18-2010, 10:52 AM
Hmmm, yeah not wanting to lose your expensive pistol for a long period of time isn't a great way to choose a home defense pistol in my mind. If you have a $2000 Kimber that you shoot really well with, and a $300 sigma that you shoot OK with, I'd reach for the Kimber. Don't waste your time thinking about "What gun will I miss the least if I have to use it for self defense?" Why? Because chances are very high that that day will never come. And if it does, and you grab the pistol you shoot the best with and survive, it is a small price to pay.

True, but there are guns that cost less than $1000 that I can shoot well enough with to take down a target at close range. The Glock is an obvious choice to me because of the lack of external safeties and therefore the quicker action in a combat situation.

OneSevenDeuce
07-18-2010, 10:55 AM
True, but there are guns that cost less than $1000 that I can shoot well enough with to take down a target at close range. The Glock is an obvious choice to me because of the lack of external safeties and therefore the quicker action in a combat situation.

Oh you are right, and I totally agree. My home defense weapon is a $500 dollar gun, and I have guns that cost much more than that locked away. A less expensive gun can be as, or more accurate and reliable than guns costing much more. My point is just that you should just choose the gun that you shoot the best, in an appropriate caliber, whether it costs $300 or $3000 (assuming you can afford a $3000 gun of course :D).

limaoscarlima
07-18-2010, 11:06 AM
Oh you are right, and I totally agree. My home defense weapon is a $500 dollar gun, and I have guns that cost much more than that locked away. A less expensive gun can be as, or more accurate and reliable than guns costing much more. My point is just that you should just choose the gun that you shoot the best, in an appropriate caliber, whether it costs $300 or $3000 (assuming you can afford a $3000 gun of course :D).

Well that's another thing, I don't have the capital to afford a $1000+ gun. I've got a hookup from a buddy at a gun store, but it's still not a huge discount.

OneSevenDeuce
07-18-2010, 11:09 AM
Well that's another thing, I don't have the capital to afford a $1000+ gun. I've got a hookup from a buddy at a gun store, but it's still not a huge discount.

Not a lot of people CAN afford to spend that kind of money on a gun for home defense right now. Myself included. In that case my advise is very simple. Buy the best gun that you can afford. By "best" I mean the gun that feels the best, and shoots the best TO YOU. Don't worry about losing money if it gets taken away to investigate a shooting. The call is yours, and only you can make the right choice for you.

Fishslayer
07-18-2010, 11:34 AM
The P series Rugers are a good bang for the buck. I have the KP90 (.45ACP) but it might be a bit bulky for smaller hands. Have a look at the 345 or a used P97 if you don't mind plastic.

For HD wheelguns it would be hard to beat a 4" S&W M625, pre lock, of course. That would easily be under $700 (used) and when it absolutely, positively HAS to go bang...

IrishPirate
07-18-2010, 11:49 AM
First, your guns won't be taken away for a long time if they shooting is 100% justified.

Glock 23's are great, So are SIG's. I'd suggest looking at the SIG P229. You can probably find a used one for about $700 or less. The P250 is nice too though if that's what fits you best. Taurus Millenniums are good, but the .45's have magazine problems (i have one, it was a pain getting good mags!!!), the .40's don't have any issues that I've heard of, and they are less than $500. Rock Island Armory (http://www.armscor.net/) and Armscor are the same thing....the link will take you to their website. They are great guns too.

If you've got $700, you'll be able to get a damn fine gun. Go to ranges and rent some, or find friends that have them, and figure out before you buy one which gun fits you best, and allows you to put 5 shots on center mass in a group no bigger than your hand, in the shortest amount of time.

PS. If a handgun is going to be your primary HD weapon, you'll need to make sure you practice alot. The only bad thing about handguns is they aren't as easy to shoot accurately as rifles and shotguns, and during a home invasion, you want to be as accurate as possible. if you practice, you can get them to be that accurate

hockeeplayrr
07-18-2010, 11:55 AM
[QUOTE=limaoscarlima;4635960]Does Rock Island not have a website? I looked around and tried a bunch of different searches but nothing came up.[/QUOTE

Armscor manufactures the Rock Island Armory 1911

http://www.armscor.com.ph/home.htm

RTE
07-18-2010, 12:00 PM
I lean toward the 45
I dont even own a 40

If the Police are going to take your gun after Protecting your family....
The 2 parts they could match to the fired round be the barrel and firing pin.

Break it down and get a receipt so you can get your parts back.

limaoscarlima
07-18-2010, 12:07 PM
Honestly one of the best-shooting .45 ACP guns I have used was the H&K USP Compact, but they're so ridiculously expensive that I can't afford one. I am pretty comfortable with the Glock, so I will probably pick one of those up and use JHP ammo. I'm trying to avoid going to the gun store here in town because gun shop guys are generally super opinionated.

OneSevenDeuce
07-18-2010, 12:09 PM
gun shop guys are generally super opinionated.

Everyone has one, don't they? That can be a good thing, but when you couple that with a superior attitude it's not so good.

limaoscarlima
07-18-2010, 12:18 PM
Everyone has one, don't they? That can be a good thing, but when you couple that with a superior attitude it's not so good.

Well I just remember being in Bullseye in San Rafael one time and the guys were completely ripping on the Rock Island 1911s. I understand that they're trying to up sell everyone, but still...

OneSevenDeuce
07-18-2010, 12:26 PM
Well I just remember being in Bullseye in San Rafael one time and the guys were completely ripping on the Rock Island 1911s. I understand that they're trying to up sell everyone, but still...

Maybe they were, but did they have RIAs under the counter too? I have spent a lot of time in the so called "gun community" and know a lot of gun owners, both novice and highly experienced. It seems to me that at some point some people have what I call "knowledge induced jack@ssery". Which means that they read every article in G&A, American Handgunner, etc, and form an opinion that may or may not be based in practical experience.

limaoscarlima
07-18-2010, 12:36 PM
Maybe they were, but did they have RIAs under the counter too? I have spent a lot of time in the so called "gun community" and know a lot of gun owners, both novice and highly experienced. It seems to me that at some point some people have what I call "knowledge induced jack@ssery". Which means that they read every article in G&A, American Handgunner, etc, and form an opinion that may or may not be based in practical experience.

Yeah, they had a basic RIA GI 1911 in OD in the case. Wood grips, extended beaver tail, solid trigger...it was pretty sweet actually. Tag was $600.

Anyone have an opinion about the Sig 1911s? I have heard from most that they are utter crap.

SixtyDashOne
07-18-2010, 12:59 PM
Out of the choices listed I would go with the Glock. Me personally though, I'd shell out a few more bills for a USP with LEM trigger.

orangeusa
07-18-2010, 1:03 PM
The P series Rugers are a good bang for the buck. I have the KP90 (.45ACP) but it might be a bit bulky for smaller hands. Have a look at the 345 or a used P97 if you don't mind plastic.

For HD wheelguns it would be hard to beat a 4" S&W M625, pre lock, of course. That would easily be under $700 (used) and when it absolutely, positively HAS to go bang...

At least look at the P90 and shoot one. Very inexpensive ($430 NIB IIRC), and accurate as heck. Nice trigger also. Stainless barrel.... And S&W revolvers are awesome, reliable... Either gun could be bought used without worry. Both built like tanks.

As usual, you should really try renting what you are leaning for at a range...
Maybe you have, but you'll know right away which ones work for you and which dont.

.

Old4eyes
07-18-2010, 1:21 PM
Small hands, that's a pretty good reason for going for a small pistol!

Smith M&P and Beretta PX-4 have adjustable palm swells.
A HK P2000 will work well for small hands, but be advised that the POA is different than most guns. It has different palm swells, and it is going to be more expensive than M&P and the Beretta. I don't know if the .40 is on the dreaded Safe Gun list, the 9mm is.

JonM
07-18-2010, 1:27 PM
To the poster who said pick the gun that can shoot a group no larger than your hand, is that at 7, 15, or 25 yards? And I assume you mean rapid fire? What do guys think is a minimum benchmark for home defense proficency with a handgun?

OneSevenDeuce
07-18-2010, 1:32 PM
To the poster who said pick the gun that can shoot a group no larger than your hand, is that at 7, 15, or 25 yards? And I assume you mean rapid fire? What do guys think is a minimum benchmark for home defense proficency with a handgun?

Hard to say. There are a lot of opinions on this one. In my mind if you can hit a paper plate sized area at 15 yds then you are going to be alright. But just remember that accuracy is only one part of the equation. Can you fire rapid controlled pairs? Change mags quickly if you need to? Recognize and clear malfunctions quickly? Fire from unbalanced positions? There really is a lot that goes into being proficient with a defensive weapon. Highly unlikely that you will have to shoot at someone from 25 yds away in a defensive situation. Unless you live in Versailles or something.

bsg
07-18-2010, 1:33 PM
if you are interested in a .45 ACP check out an older sig w german/german P220. try one; see if you like it.

den888
07-18-2010, 1:48 PM
The Glock 23 is awesome, and reliable.

NIB
07-18-2010, 1:51 PM
Check out the S&W MP series!

puropuro
07-18-2010, 1:59 PM
Check out the S&W MP series!

+1!

I have little girly hands and my full size S&W MP .40 fits perfectly with the adjustable backstrap. It also balances very well and points naturally in my hand.

BunnySlayer
07-18-2010, 2:00 PM
I have smaller hands, so compact and 1911 models fit me much better than full size models.
I too am cursed with smaller hands. However most compact handguns don't have a smaller grip profile, they simply lop off slide length or frame length. For home defense a full size gun would be much easier to handle. The grip of the Glock 23 for example is no smaller around than the glock 22. It's just shorter and a bit tougher to handle well.

S.A.
07-18-2010, 2:05 PM
You'll need two HD guns! Your gun will be confiscated till verdict/trial over, then returned after you submit required paperwork.

Legasat
07-18-2010, 2:08 PM
Your logic seems sound to me.

I chose the M&P to fill that role in my house.

Go shoot a bunch of rental guns, then pick the best one for YOU!!

SJgunguy24
07-18-2010, 2:11 PM
I would lean towards getting 2 sig p6's. They can be had for under 400 each, while the 9mm isn't the 40 or 45 your looking at, you can have 1 hidden and carry the other while at home.

If you were to defend yourself, you have a back up with the same controls and muscle memory.

P1X4R
07-18-2010, 2:13 PM
You'll need two HD guns! Your gun will be confiscated till verdict/trial over, then returned after you submit required paperwork.

if you owned more than one firearm wouldn't the police confiscate those as well? just asking since i've heard differing opinions on this subject.

S.A.
07-18-2010, 2:38 PM
if you owned more than one firearm wouldn't the police confiscate those as well? just asking since i've heard differing opinions on this subject.

I believe they won't. My case was a home self defense scenario, only the one gun used was confiscated and later returned, about 6 months later, we were the victims. Different types of cases probably different results. I only speak from my experience, I am not a lawyer.

bigthaiboy
07-18-2010, 2:42 PM
Your logic seems sound to me.

I chose the M&P to fill that role in my house.

Go shoot a bunch of rental guns, then pick the best one for YOU!!

+1. Please get some range with the pistols you are considering. A friend of mine wanted to buy his first handgun for HD, and had absolutely CONVINCED himself he wanted a Glock 34. He asked me to take him to the range and we tried my pistols and rented the rest. He shot everything from a 9mm to a .44Mag.

He rented the Glock 34, and didn't like how it felt in his hand, and didn't shoot particularly well with it. He tried a Kimber Eclipse, and fell in love with the way it felt in his hand, and he could shoot very accurately with it. He had assumed a 9mm would suit him better than a .45ACP, and the reverse turned out to be true. He has now decided to look at other 1911 options, such as the Kimber Tactical II or Colt Commander.

What I'm saying, is try before you buy. Other people's opinion on what you need, may have little bearing on what actually suits you.

jdg30
07-18-2010, 2:45 PM
Basically I'm deliberating between the Glock 23 .40, Beretta PX4 Storm .45, and the Sig Sauer P250 compact .40 or .45. I thought about the XD compact .45, but the grip doesn't fit my hand properly. I'm leaning more towards the Glock, but I'm open to any other suggestions.

Of the 3 guns you have listed, I would personally choose the Glock 23. You really can't go wrong with any of them though. The Glock is simple, reliable, easy to maintain and isn't real expensive. My personal favorite is the Glock 19 which is the same size as the G23 but in 9mm. That is the gun I have when I'm around the house and at night next to the bed.

bigthaiboy
07-18-2010, 2:53 PM
if you owned more than one firearm wouldn't the police confiscate those as well? just asking since i've heard differing opinions on this subject.

Not unless you committed a crime. Generally, if it was a legit self-defense shooting, only the gun used is held as evidence. How long it takes to get the gun back depends on the complexity of the case and whether the bad guy survives the shooting, if there is a trial, appeals etc. Could take years, before the police decide that there is no chance they will need the gun for evidence in any further legal proceedings.

ElToro
07-18-2010, 2:57 PM
i got this CPO 229R .40 with nite sights for $650. light was used for $100. this happens to be my bedside piece as its my only gun with a light rail.

you can get a really good gun for under $700.

ive seen many barely used glocks under $500, new under $600

in fact id say just about every handgun in my collection (approaching 40 handguns) was bought for under $700. just need to shop hard and often.
http://i870.photobucket.com/albums/ab266/tims_albums/100_1410.jpg

gef
07-18-2010, 3:20 PM
If you like the 1911 then take a look at Springfields MilSpec 45 it right in you price range and they are well thought of.

mrlightning559
07-18-2010, 3:20 PM
Go find a nice .357 .38 wheelgun perfect for HD

P1X4R
07-18-2010, 3:30 PM
Not unless you committed a crime. Generally, if it was a legit self-defense shooting, only the gun used is held as evidence. How long it takes to get the gun back depends on the complexity of the case and whether the bad guy survives the shooting, if there is a trial, appeals etc. Could take years, before the police decide that there is no chance they will need the gun for evidence in any further legal proceedings.

that's good to know. i'm also speaking from a home defense type situation. like the OP i have thought of using a dedicated "less expensive" gun to use. a gun that i would regularly train with proficiency. with that said my go to gun is a Sig P220 Combat. my Sig wasn't exactly cheap but i wouldn't mind as much since i have complete confidence knowing it will serve me well should i need to protect my family one day. however, since my first gun purchase (like all hobbies) i've bought quite a few. all are safely stored away but i'd be quite unhappy if my entire collection was taken.

S.A., glad to hear you got your gun back.

turbogg
07-18-2010, 7:25 PM
First, your guns won't be taken away for a long time if they shooting is 100% justified.

If there were to be a 100% justified shooting with one of your handguns, will the LEO's take all the other remaining firearms in the house?

Super Spy
07-18-2010, 7:58 PM
Absolutely go to a range that rents the models you are interested in. I have a Glock 30SF as my primary go to gun. I just started shooting tun and gun and plan on getting something more suitable although I didn't do too bad my first time out with my G30SF. It is a bit of handful being small light with a host barrel and firing a relatively potent cartridge. If you will never carry the gun concealed I'd buy something like a Glock 21SF as it's easier to shoot. Nothing wrong with 40s&w either but I prefer the extra knockdown of a heavier projectile.

Steve1968LS2
07-18-2010, 8:08 PM
I have smaller hands, so compact and 1911 models fit me much better than full size models.

Yea, then look at some of the single stack offerings.. chances are that you wont need more than 6 rnds anyways.

I love my Glock 36.. I think they make a larger .45 Glock single-stack as well.

The price would fit your budget and Glocks are very reliable.

Lead-Thrower
07-18-2010, 8:32 PM
None of the above, go HK. :cool: USP or HK45 are what I would recommend.

Sobriquet
07-18-2010, 8:46 PM
I'm firmly in the HK camp, too, but since that may be out of your stated budget, I think the M&P may be the way to go. If I had to trust my life on something that wasn't an HK, I'd reach for an M&P.

That said, you may be able to find a gently used USP, USP Compact, or P2000 with a LEM trigger that would fit your needs quite nicely and within your budget.

Steve1968LS2
07-18-2010, 8:53 PM
None of the above, go HK. :cool: USP or HK45 are what I would recommend.

Love my USP .45 ... but it's not really a "budget" weapon..

Personally I would have no problem trusting my life to a Glock, Sig, HK, M&P, or any number of weapons.

As stated a wheel gun isn't a bad choice either. Something like a GP or SP Ruger maybe.

MrMarco
07-18-2010, 8:56 PM
Another vote for the Glock 23... It's a great little gun that's relatively cheap, very reliable and there are tons of aftermarket parts and accessories.

Steve1968LS2
07-18-2010, 9:09 PM
Another vote for the Glock 23... It's a great little gun that's relatively cheap, very reliable and there are tons of aftermarket parts and accessories.

Since he has small hands I would suggest the Glock 30.. the thinner grip might just fit his hand better and that translates to better accuracy.

http://www.glock.com/english/index_pistols.htm