Thursday, April 23, 2009

Notice to all current owners of handguns...

EDIT TO ADD:: All future readers of this post, disregard the "(note: concealed/open carry is not an option in my State)" part of the following post.

In other words - I'm looking towards your opinion regarding your recommended "carry" weapons (be the concealed or open); or otherwise.


In any case, here's the original post ------
... that means YOU AD! And LawDog! and... all others :-)

My permit has finally arrived.

Here's the deal -- I'm having a SUPER hard time picking out what I'd like to own (note: concealed/open carry is not an option in my State).

I'm looking for something self-defense-ish (but not limited to). I've shot/tried the following -

* S&W 14 6" barrel 38 special
* S & W M&P (both the 9mm and 0.45 - I prefer the 9... didn't like 45 wasn't too comfortable)
* Colt M1911
* Springfield XD
* Sig Sauer P220 (have to re-evaluate this one)
* Glock 19

That's about it... I have a 90 day window period.

Please recommend your favorites and why.
Oh and anyone who can recommend a place I can get my hands on a good M1 Garand, please let me know!



HugeMD said...

My hubby (cop) LOVES his new Ruger LLP (hope I got that right) for his backup/off-duty weapon. Says it's small and shoots great.

EE said...

I'm a huge fan of my newish S&W .38 snub nose.

I'm also a huge fan of this gun:

I've had it forever.

HugeMD said...

LCP, sorry.

Sevesteen said...

(EE sent me...)

If this is a first gun, and carry isn't an option, I would go with a 9mm, with a barrel around 4 or 5 inches. 9mm is the cheapest centerfire ammo, and the most likely to be available. While I prefer .40 for self-defense, it isn't by much, and with a longer barrel the difference is less. A slightly larger gun in the same caliber will be easier to shoot, and less likely to cause flinching and other bad habits. If you can afford it, I'd also get a .22 of some sort--both for cheaper practice, and to help kill off flinching. (my choice was the Ruger 22/45-grip angle similar to my other guns, and a decent price)

I'm partial to the XD--I carry a subcompact .40, and my main range gun is a 4" 9mm. I'd have gone with the 5" 9 for a non-carry gun, but the deal I got on the 4" was too good to pass up.

I don't particularly like Glocks, but this is prejudice, rather than anything wrong with the guns. I owned a Glock 34 for a year of heavy shooting, and it was accurate and perfectly reliable. It just didn't feel right--I don't like the grip angle, and the trigger isn't as good as the XD. I sold it off to buy my 9mm XD, and I'm happy.

If I were to go with a revolver for a home defense or double duty gun, I'd go .357 rather than .38--you can still shoot .38 at the range, but have the capability for one of the best self-defense rounds at home. I'd stick with S&W or Ruger.

I'm not a fan of DA/SA guns like (I think?) the P220.

Brian said...

I'm a big fan of the full size Glock 17. It's 9mm, handles well and is very accurate. I've just recently bought the Para-ordnance Carry 9 but that is for concealed carry which you say is not for you where you are.
As for the Garand have you ever been in the military? If so, check out which is the website of the Civilian Marksmanship Program, a government run program that sells older surplus M1 Garands that we've bought back from all the countries we gave them to when trying to stave off world communism. Seriously. I've got one that lived in Turkey for years and years. This of course is only if you want the older world war 2 style which are chambered in 30-06 Springfield, vice the new Garands chambered in .308


KD5NRH said...

Well, my first suggestion would be to spend a few bucks on out-of-state newspapers for the real-estate ads.

If you're determined to stay, though, go ahead and get the XD. It's a comfortable and reliable gun. My first choice would be the 1911, but they tend to need a bit more attention than the XD to get everything just the way you like it.

tracy said...

Go for the Gloc, because i loved the way " Lenny" (RIP) used to say that on "Law and Order". Loved the way he said anything....
i'm so helpful...

Anonymous said...

Adore my Beretta PS4 ("Storm") 9mm--light as a feather (meaning I can handle it as a female type person, although I am also a vet) but it is big and hefty enough for my big brute of a hubby. The side recoil action is super...

Pattie, RN

Rick R. said...

Came over here from Amubulance Driver's. . .

1. I would NOT recommend a revolver with adjustable sights for self-defense as it's primary purpose. Any old "cop .38" (or .357) will work -- I'm particularly fond of S&W K-frames with 3" barrels myself. I would recommend the .357 Model 65LS as a REALLY good one to look at. It happens to be my bedroom/travel gun for a good reason (and I'm a "cocked and locked" 1911 fan for daytime CCW.)

2. The Springfield XD is an EXCELLENT weapon. If you get the XD in .40 S&W, you can purchase a 9mm conversion barrel, use the 9x19mm XD mags, and that allows more options, especially for casual practice. It's hard to beat Winchester "White Box" 9x19mm FMJ 100 round "Value Packs" for price. NOTE -- you can get a 9mm barrel for a .40 XD, you CANNOT get a .40 barrel for a 9mm XD.

My wife just got a Springfield XD 4" 9x19mm. Feels great, no extra buttons to sweat, one of the best handling service autos I've ever messed with -- and (see above) I am a guy who has a shrine in which I brun incense sticks to John Moses Browning. [chuckle]

3. If it feels good in YOUR hands, and you feel comfortable with it and it's level of complexity, ignore everyone else. The gun that purrs in YOUR hands is YOUR gun.

Rick R. said...

Oh, and I'm NOT a regular reader -- if you want me to clarify something, hit me at rick DOT randall AT gdit DOT com.

tracy said...

Hee. "The gun that purrs in YOUR hands..." meow.

BangBangMedic said...

Of the ones that you tried, which did you like the best? Which felt good in your hand and which shot the best? I second the notion of a 4" .357, but they can be big for carry unless it's winter.(you did say that now you might be able to carry it right?)

Anonymous said...

for an m1 garand, ive heard is great, and have spent time eyeballing them, but not yet.

The Lost Goat said...

I personally carry a Glock 36.

I carry a Glock because I am not a fan of fiddly mechanical things that break at inopportune times. However, I know a lot of people who derive great satisfaction from the greater customization allowed by platforms like the 1911. For them, making the fiddly mechanical stuff go perfectly is part of the charm, and they are justifiably proud of the individualized works of art that they own and maintain. I have also met revolver people who consider all semi-autos "fiddly mechanical things." Your personality will determine where you come down on this spectrum.

When thinking about a concealed weapon, in my opinion, the number one criteria should be "am I going to carry it in the places that I planned to do so when I purchased it?" I don't know you; I carry as often as my state laws allow, so I need something that I am willing to strap on almost every day. For me, that means something relatively light with a small footprint.

Once you know when and where you are going to carry it, choose whatever fits your hand and personality. Modern firearms are so well made that it is very hard to make a truly bad choice.

That said, you may "outgrow" your first carry choice, no matter how well regarded by others. This is my third primary carry gun in the 4 years I have been trying to live the 24/7 lifestyle. There are some real downsides to concealed carry, and the trick is to find the platform that has the downsides you can live with. And the only way to find out what those are is to get one, carry it for a few months, and then evaluate. So I guess my final tip is to buy something with a reasonable resale value.

Farm.Dad said...

Ad sent out a bleg so here goes .

IIRC your state prohibits hollow point ammo so for you a bigger bore is going to be better in a defensive situation . I would look at about anything in .40 or .45acp . My top recommendations for a first pistol in line with this would be either a Sig or a Kahr in above calibers as you can find both brands in sizes that are big enough to shoot well and small enough to carry fairly conveniently . Neither brand is cheap but quality seldom is .

Ian said...

Sent over by AD as well, and a new owner in NJ myself.

Get what you like to shoot. Down in Lakewood Shore Shot rents, as does Brick Armory in Brick.

The permit should be renewable for another 90 days if unused, then it expires for real.

Hollow Point ammo is legal to posess at point of purchase, home or place of business, or while being transported between with no diversion.

NJ does have a duty to retreat before use of deadly force per the judge's instruction to the jury I sat on for an assault with a deadly case. is an interesting place

George said...

Of the guns you listed, my favorite is the M&P. I've got small hands, and the .45 is a bit too big for me, as well. But the 9 or the 40 are EXCELLENT choices.

Don't overthink this one. Buy what feels good in your hand, and that you can shoot well. Shoot the heck out of it. It's awfully hard to buy a bad gun these days.

I do strongly suggest that you add Crimson Trace lasergrips to your new gun. They are useful both for shooting as well as dry fire practice. You can dry fire and watch the laser to see if you a jerking the trigger, etc.

Good luck with your new purchase!

Ross said...

Hello, Spook.

Just came over from AD's blog. I'm an escapee from NJ - moved to the People's Republik of MA in '87.

The BEST place to get an M1 Garand is the CMP. You need proof of marksmanship activity and membership in a CMP affiliated organization. One great way to do that is to attend an Appleseed Shoot - I know that we have upcoming ones in NY, PA and CT, and we are TRYING to get one scheduled in South Jersey, down in Winslow. Check the Appleseedinfo site for the schedule.

Jason said...

If you're looking at the Glock 19, might want to consider the Glock 26. Adding the mag extention to the standard 26's mag w/ the added capacity brings the magazine capacity up to 13 rounds, adds the third finger back to the grip, but maintains most of the subcompact concealability of the "two finger" original config.

I was in your same shoes very recently myself, and after several trips to the gunshows, mostly for the purpose of interrogating the locals, its what I decided on.

If you're stuck on the frame of the 19, consider the 22/23 as well? Steps up to the .40 cal round, and shoots like a wet dream. However you go, good luck and happy shooting.

Ian said...

Careful on magazine size; the Great Garden State has an "assault magazine" ban on magazines with a capacity of 16+ rounds. Which is why my new toy came with 10-round mags...

Mr. Fixit said...

Came over from AD's place.

I would say to anyone thinking of buying their first handgun;

The only rule is to stay with the big names at first.
Glock, Springfield, Taurus, Smith and Wesson and the like. The reason is they generally make a good reliable product. If your only getting one, and it's the first, and you have no experience with other brands to build on, if you stay with them you should get a decent firearm no matter what you get.

After that, just try to find what fits your hand and feels best. If you plan to shoot alot, I would suggest 9mm in an auto, or a .357 in a revolver since you can shoot .38's in it for practice.

On a personal note, I like Glock, and carry a G26 as my daily CCW. It is dead solid reliable and as accurate as I am.

Mr Fixit

Melissa said...

I have a CZ 9mm, which I and my daughter really like. I purchased it, rather than a larger caliber as some of the salesmen I dealt with made them seem like they would be too much for me to handle. That said, I got a second handgun and I have to say the XD .40 is a great pistol! I had a difficult time finding 9mm ammo for a while, but I have started ordering my ammo from a couple of different sources. Found plenty of ammo for the .40

Go with what feels right in your hand.

Anonymous said...

Visiting from AD's as well...

Buy what you enjoy shooting and you shoot well, and what feels good in your hand. It's all personal preference, but I like my Glock 19 (some will argue a larger caliber would be preferable for self defense, but I bought it primarily for taking to the range for shooting enjoyment, and perhaps a bit of USPSA competition) and know several people in CCW-friendly states who do use them as carry guns.

As you probably know, once you have a NJ FID you can buy rifles and shotguns without additional permits (in NJ, and also PA, nto sure about others, as I live in the northern part of the state). Also, if you have applied for and recieved multiple pistol permits, you may be able to renew them for an additional 90 days after the initial 90 days.

Do you know about the ANJRPC( Great pro-2A organization in NJ, with lots of member benefits including having attorneys on retainer to answer member's rirearm related questions. They also have a nice, affordable range in northern NJ!

Anonymous said...

Traded in My XD 9mm subcompact for a Beretta PX4 to have common magazines with my CX4 carbine, but think the XD is a fine weapon.