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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, i have put a lot of thought in to this. it is time to add to my arsenal with a pistol. My question is which one. I want something bigger that a .22, but not over a .44 mag. I want this for small game hunting as well as a gun i can use for self protection, and perhaps, concealed carry. I prefer a semi-auto, and would like to buy used. Any suggestion would be welcome. Thanks.







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If love is blind, why is lingere so popular?
 

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Well you opened up a can of worms. Some are going to say to get a .45 1911 auto, 9mm, 40 S&W etc. The best thing to go is to go to your dealer and handle different pistols. They will feel different. Everyone hand shape palm shape and finger length is different. I know this sounds like a cheap answer but it is very subjective.

I like the 40 S&W and the 45 ACP cartridges

Hcliff
 

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While everyone has a different tolerance for recoil, I cannot agree with the standard answer of start with a 22 so that someone can learn to shoot and not develop bad habits. My first handgun was a Contender in 35 Rem. It took me right at 200 shots before I ever got a group out the gun, but 10 years later I can still hold my own shooting a pistol. If the recoil is too much for a shooter, they are going to develop bad habits anyway. Some ways I think if you start with something bigger and learn to shoot it, you do not need to work you way up the scale with the thought of "I hope I can handle this, it will kick more than my 22". I do however agree that those learning rounds cost more, but I always found shooting something bigger than a 22 more fun.

Anyway, I know this is not the most popular opinion, but thought I would let it be known.
 

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A 357 Magnum revolver with a 4" barrel and adjustable sights might not be a bad way to go. The 4" will carry, even though it's a little big, and you can still hit something at a moderate distance. You can use the lighter 38 reloads for target practice. They are usually priced reasonable. If you do any reloading, you can make some pretty light loads to start :roll: and work your way up to the full magnum loads. :eek:

With a revolver, you can always check for a flinch by leaving one or two bullets out of the cylinder. If the hammer drops on an empty chamber and the gun jerks, you have a flinch. :(

That being said, I also want to agree with the 22 supporters in the above posts. I have 2 autos and a revolver. Fun to shoot and cheap to shoot. Execellent gun for practicing the basics. When I go to the range, I always take one of the 22's no matter what else I may be taking.
 

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my 2 cents

Anytime you ask any one tool to do too many things, it won't do any of them well. Handguns are no exception. While you can get a mid sized semi auto in a mid caliber it will probobly be too big to conseal carry (comfortably) , have to much recoil ( for a novice ) to shoot accuatly ( especially for small game.) It's kind of like playing golf with one club. It can be done but your probobly not going to like teh process.
My opinion, get a .22 cal with a 5"-7" barrel and learn to shoot it well. ( Don't overlook revolvers!) Cheap ammo, good accuracy/sighting radious and low recoil will help you learn the basics. Then go out and get a .38-45 cal 2-3.5" barreled gun for carry/ protection. If you stick with this, your going to end up with more than one gun anyway. It's much better to have two guns tailored to specific tasks than one that is disapointing.
How do Iknow?
I started just like you with a " do all" 3" .38/.357. Still have it but it rarely gets used.
 

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I'm assuming that the .44 Mag limit is power wise, not a bore diameter limit, right? You prefer an autoloader, so we'll start there.

Find a semi-auto that fits your hand properly, regardless of what it is chambered for. Shoot before you buy if at all possible to see if it fits as well under recoil as it does when you just pick it up. After you've decided on your platform, pick a semi-auto cartridge that rings your bell (for a beginner, I say 9 or .45, but if you dig the .40, go for it), and that will decide which model of gun you actually get. Now, before you buy this gun, see if there is a .22 conversion kit available for it. The dealer may not have one, but should know if they are available. If there is, get the gun and the .22 kit. Shoot it with the .22 kit first, until you're used to the feel of the gun, then switch back to the main round and fire a few through it. For hunting small game, you can use the .22 unit, and for self-defense, you can use the primary cartridge. Just an idea...

Ultimately, the gun has to fit YOUR hand and be something YOU can handle. Now, you say you're adding to your arsenal, so I'll assume you've got some long guns and are not a novice shooter. If you're a novice handgunner, you still want to put in a lot of time with smaller stuff, even if you've been shooting a .300 Win Mag for 20 years.
 

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Tacoma Said IT best As Far As One Gun goes..

The most versatile handgun is the TC Contender because of barrel options but it sure isn't a concealed carry weapon.

I like those, because they are in my experience the easiest to shoot accurately.

If you stick auto, go .22. You don't want to use a handgun for anything else until you are proficient anyway. Maybe by then you'll be in a position to purchase another.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok, then

Ok, i like the feedback you are giving, but, (I may be wrong), i see a 9mm, .40 and a .45 as more of a safty round. i would use this mostly for hunting. i see the .45 as to slow. Uh, just to see what you think, what do you all think of the .25 auto? thanks
 

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Too Slow

I don't think much of the 25 auto for hunting.

When I say 45, I mean 45 colt, not acp. You can make them babies cook if you want to.

Push a 250 grainer or something along those lines to 1,000fps and you'll have no problem taking any whitetail. Put a whoopin on a black bear too.

I been down the 'speed' rode. It is overrated. On game performance is what counts and the 45 colt has that down real well.
 

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A good choice would be the 4" S&W or Ruger in .357. However, as you prefer autos the .357 Sig would come as close to performing all of the required tasks you outlined as anything I can think of. Glock mdl 22s are plentiful and inexpensive on the used gun market. An aftermarket barrel for about $70 and you then have two caliber capability. It gives you a lot of choices in .40 S&W and .357 Sig with a 10 second barrel change.
Can't imagine a .25 performing any of the roles you outlined.
Stay Safe,
Savage
 

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If you are hunting there are many more choice designed for that in a revolver or single shot. I love the GP-100 357 mag idea. (That was my first handgun.... I know I should have got the 22 first) That neat thing abotu the 357 is that you can shoot light weight 38 special in it . The 22 is still a great gun if you have never shot much because it is so much cheaper. If you want to hunt very few auto give that option for big game

Hcliff
 

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I can't think of a single gun that would do all you ask. The 25 auto (in my opinion) is inferior to the 22 long in every respect. Too little caliber for self defense/carry. OK for small game though. I agree with the other posts that if one gun must do the 38/357 would be the caliber. This was my first caliber but again, like the other post, I rarely use it any more. My suggestion would be to not try to get one gun to do it all. Get one that you would enjoy shooting inexpensively - like a 22 - and get good at it. Later on, get another that fulfills another purpose.
 

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I agree with HoCoMDHunter in suggesting that you're asking too much out of one handgun. I would treat the self defense and hunting requirements separately.

Since hunting seems to be your priority, I would follow Bulleye's advice about the Contender and CKnight's comments about the .22. I feel that a Contender with .22 LR barrel is a great place to start -- zip recoil, extremely accurate in a Contender and terrific medicine on squirrel.

The next Contender barrel I would recommend would be a 7-30 Waters if you handload or 30-30 if you don't. If you can find a 35 Rem barrel that goes boom every time that would be a good choice also. People have reported misfires with some 35 Rem barrels.

I have the 7-30 Waters and it is wonderful. I use 100 grainers on groundhogs and 120 to 139 grainers on deer. The 7-30 Waters is extremely accurate and a pleasure to shoot.

Blessings!

ShootnStr8
 

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My formula Exactly Shootnstr8

That's exactly how I handled breaking into handguns; the TC route

One difference to note. YOU DONT need to handload for the 7-30 IMHO. My TC custom shop 7-30 shoots factory Federal premiums extremely well and I've heard that from quite a few other 7-30 shooters.

That load was downright lethal on two whitetails this past season.

Also, Corbon now manufactures a load with spitzers.
 

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SingleFan,

Thanks for your helpful comments. I should have mentioned that 7-30 factory ammo is available though limited. I too have heard good reports of the 120 grain Federal loads on deer. Did you get decent wound channels and exit wounds with them? Also do you know what loads Corbon is offering?

The Federal loads average around 1.5 inches @100 yards out of my factory Super 14 barrel with velocity around 2350 fps. By way of contrast, my barrel will generally offer .75 inch groups and better at 100 yards with handloads.

Of course the advantage of the 30-30 is that there are SO many options when comes to factory ammo and Bubba's General Store is likely to have it.

Blessings!

ShootnStr8
 

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I have to agree with Savage about the 357 sig. It will do everything you want.
 
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