I'll soon buy my frist pistol


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i was thinking of a rev. in a .357 or .38
but i haven't had a lot of experience with many diff guns, and the .357 kicked hard, it didn't seem like a controllable round in a pinch.
i was wondering if some of you veteran shooters could recommend a decent ccw pistol.
any suggestions will be helpful. thank you


Glad to see you have made the choice to protect yourself and those you love, I am pretty new to this myself, and I dont carry a wheel gun (ruger P345 45acp) but the ruger SP101 seems popular as a carry gun. with the 357 you can allways shoot the 38sp for more controlability. Also the ultra light guns are easy to carry, harder to shoot, If you dont mind the weight a hevyer gun will be more fun to shoot. look at and shoot as many as you can. find what works for you. Dont let anyone talk you out of the revolver if it fits you, but I would look at autos too their are so many options Good luck!

ps next purchase will be a compact 9mm for my wife to carry taurus 24/7 c has passed the mill pro as first choice
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Burchesss makes many good points. Specially, do not let anyone else tell you what gun is best for you. We are all different and you have to find the one that best fits you. I personally think a revolver is the best first handgun for someone. They are less complicated and less likely to have a failure of some sort. As Burchesss said you can shoot 38 specials in a 357 magnum revolver. Which opens some options for you. Supposedly they loose a little accuracy with the 38sp, but for personal defense who cares. You will not be defending yourself from someone 75 yards away. The Ruger is supposed to be a very fine handgun. My wife has a Taurus 85 38sp snub nose. The fit and finish is not perfect, but it is a very nice little revolver for the price.

Good luck.
I like an auto but a revolver is much more simple. A good one for concealed carry is the Smith and Wesson 642. It is DBL action only with no exposed hammer. That fact along with it's small size makes it easy to carry and conceal. My wife,son and daughter all carry this for their protection. Being a lighter gun will mean that the recoil will be a little greater that a heaver one but it should not pose that much of a problem. It would be a good idea to go to a range that rents different guns and try some out before buying.
As stated in a previous post the .357 is a more versatile weapon than a standard .38 since you can fire either round. The main thing is to handle the guns you're interested in, fire them if there's a dealer that has that option and pick the one you are most comfortable with. Afterwards practice will make you more comfortable with whichever you choose.
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Ditto on much of what has been already mentioned.

A good place to start is with a revolver. They are easier to manipulate with more inherent safety than most semi-autos. The calibers you mentionaed are also good choices. A .357 weapon is more versatile since it will shoot .357's & .38's. Ammo is plentiful and affordable. Many good revolvers are out there, usually for a good price if you shop around.

Shoot as many different types of revolvers as you can. Try different grips, if possible, too. One gun might be uncomfortable with factory grips, but much better with a different set. I personally like Hogue or Pachmeyers, depending on the gun and/or design.

How do you plan to carry this gun? Concealed? In a car? In the house? All these are important considerations when selecting the type/style/size of the gun. For concealed carry, go with something small and light. For carry in your car, or in your home, you can go with something larger. Generally larger guns with longer barrels will transfer less recoil to the shooter and will be more accurate with higher muzzle velocities.

My best advice, go to a firearms trainer and have him/her help you select the best choice for your needs. From there, select the gun that you like best in that category.

Good luck. :smile:
I also consider the revolver to be the ideal first gun. The reasons have already been mentioned.
Bear in mind that while the small framed 5-shot revolvers are nice to carry, they're also difficult to master. The small size and light weight make them hard to control. I prefer a medium framed gun such as the S&W K-frames, Ruger SP101 or similar. A little bigger, but much easier to shoot well.
Barrel length is another question. Will you be carrying the gun or is it for house duty? 2 to 3" barrels are easier to carry, but for a house gun I consider a 4" to be just right.
I'd also recommend sticking with the .38 Special. Nothing wrong with the .357, but guns chambered strickly for the .38 are generally a bit cheaper. You might want to consider that.
As far as brands go, I consider a good used pre-lock Smith & Wesson to be the best, with Ruger second and Taurus third. I would not consider other brands.
I left out Colt because 1.- they're no longer made and getting hard to find. 2- Good used ones are quite expensive. Of course if you should run across a nice Colt in your price range, certianly give it consideration.
As others have stated, shop around and find what feels right to you and fits your budget.
Only you can decide what is a good caliber for you to shoot. You should take a trip to the range and shoot several different calibers until you settle on one that you shoot well. After that, you should decide on other factors, such as DA/SA, DAO, the glock style safe action system, or something else.
A snub-nose revolver is a good choice, simple to operate and ammunition is easy to obtain in .38 special or .357 magnum. Taurus which is an inexpensive Smith & Wesson clone makes good products. At one time S&W and Taurus were owned by the same parent company so there was a lot of exchange of designs with respect to the revolvers. As was mentioned before if you opt for a .357 you can shoot .38 special through it just be sure to clean the cylinder thoroughly after shooting it so you can properly load .357 magnum rounds in it if you so choose in the future.

I would not get a .38 special only revolver unless you find a really good deal as they are not quite as durable as a .357 magnum revolver and you lose the option of shooting the more powerful .357 magnum rounds should you elect to go that route in the future. If you get a .38 special revolver, you may end up with one that is not +P rated (hotter .38 special rounds) in which case your personal protection ammunition choices are somewhat limited as most personal protection ammunition is for .38 special +P not standard pressure .38 special. If you get a .357 magnum, you know it will handle .38 special +P without issue.
You might be the perfect candidate for the .327 magnum. Ruger makes one in the SP101 series. It's got almost as much punch as the .357 but not as much recoil.
You might be the perfect candidate for the .327 magnum. Ruger makes one in the SP101 series. It's got almost as much punch as the .357 but not as much recoil.
My bias against the .327 Federal Magnum is the following;
  • Ammunition availability; only Federal and Speer make ammo for it.
  • Firearm availability; only Ruger makes a revolver chambered in it.
Until we see a broader availability of ammunition and firearms available in .327 Federal Magnum, I would pass on getting one.

I also have a political bias against Ruger. If I ever get a FFL, I will refuse to sell new Ruger firearms for that reason. I also will never own a Ruger firearm for the same reason.
I agree with you on the current state of ammo availability. Rumor has it that Freedom Arms is planning a .327 magnum. That would be great.

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