Buying a Gun

WolfofWSO's picture
Rank: Neanderthal | 3,860

After an old man was murdered in my neighborhood during a robbery gone wrong (suspects still at large), I've decided to get a gun.

Do we have any gunslingers on WSO whom can give some guidance? I'll be going about this the correct way by obtaining my permit and registering said firearm accordingly.

The police press release was laughable. The crime was highlighted with the caveat, "We do not believe there is a threat to the public and suspect(s) are still at large."

EDIT
I'm looking for brand/model recommendations for a handgun for someone who is hoping to never have to shoot it outside of a range.

Comments (52)

Most Helpful
Mar 25, 2019

love guns, do not own any personally, but have been shooting on and off for years. guns should be respected for what they are, dangerous killing machines that can be incredibly fun if used for target practice/hunting, but can turn south very fast if in the wrong hands.

  • do not buy a gun...yet. go to the range, spend an afternoon, plan on spending a decent chunk because you'll want a lane to yourself as well as to rent several guns. get a friend who shoots to go with you (someone cool). do not drink before you go, after is fine, but never before
  • when you buy a gun, don't go crazy, anymore than a 40 cal is overkill, don't get a desert eagle or a 45 magnum just because you heard it in a rap video, a 9mm will stop just about anyone and have less recoil so you can put more shots into them if the situation turns serious.
  • when you buy a gun, be sure you understand how it works and how to clean it. a gun does you absolutely no good if it's jammed, so be sure you clean after every long trip to the range or every hunt.
  • never, ever, ever, ever travel with the gun loaded. have a case that only you have keys/access codes to, keep the ammo separate, and do not have it in reach unless you're doing a drug deal in tijuana (in which case you probably know more about guns than ted nugent)
  • I have mixed feelings about keeping guns loaded in the house. on the one hand, it's incredibly dangerous if there are kids/drunk people around, on the other hand you need quick access if shit goes down. I would tell your instructor what you're trying to do (protect yourself at home but also be a responsible gun owner) and they will likely give you some pointers. the common theme I've noticed is that only you should know where you keep your gun and it should not be obvious. if it were me, I'd keep both the gun and the magazine separate, but ready to go in case I had to defend my home in a hurry.
  • practice practice practice. the most dangerous guns (aside from ones owned by crazy people) are the ones owned by inexperienced handlers. a gun held by someone with trigger panic or terrible aim is no better than your fists (maybe worse). be comfortable around your gun and be confident you can hit something if shit goes down.

most everyone I know who owns a gun has one for the purpose you describe. none of them have ever had to use it on a person since they bought the thing, they just now have an expensive hobby and sleep better at night, so if you're doing this hoping you get to shoot someone, you probably should not buy a gun.

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Mar 25, 2019

This is great stuff, thank you.

I should add a friend of mine is a police officer and gave me some crazy recos when I floated this by him. I explained I want a gun in a locked bedside safe with fingerprint access in the event I hear the front door kicked open. I don't intend to ever need to shoot it, but want a justified shot if it comes to that. I live in a crazy county where someone called 911 after catching an intruder and had them lying on the floor with their weapon drawn. The 911 operator had the audacity to ask, "But can you flee? You should flee if you are able." Flee from your own home...wow. Apparently the burglar was free without bail after getting arrested making said homeowner very nervous about retribution.

I'll go to the range on occasion to stay current and clean the gun as needed.

And I agree about only getting the firepower needed. I've shot my cop friends gun and was shocked at the recoil.

Array

Mar 25, 2019

Dude.

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Mar 26, 2019

Not to be argumentative but 9mm doesn't stop shit outside of an obvious head shot (which nobody is aiming for in a defensive situation). At a minimum, if you insist on a pistol, then at least a .40 S/W caliber for sure. Then you can get into the ins and outs of bullet weight which you are looking at 165 or 180 grain. Winchester Supreme Elite 165 grain hollow points will absolutely stop anyone with a couple rounds in the torso.

That said if you are really focusing on home security only then forget a pistol and get a pump 12ga shotgun. If you are truly put in a life or death situation the adrenal response alone means you want the largest margin of error and the shotgun gives you that. Also, should you hear someone outside that you are worried about as soon as they hear you rack that shotgun 99% chance that person runs from your house and never returns.

To go back to 9mm for a second it just simply lacks the necessary impact to stop someone. Talk to any police officers who work the streets and they will tell you the minimum they feel protected in is .40 and strongly prefer .45 ACP. Does .45 have more recoil than 9mm? Yes, but generally this is only applicable to female shooters.

If anyone wants to have a more granular discussion of various hotter rounds (+P, etc.) I'm happy to go through the pros and cons. Like many things you can over engineer a problem and most certainly this is applicable in firearms. You can have a $3,500 Wilson Combat custom pistol but if you have poor fundamentals in properly shooting the firearm then it doesn't mean a damn thing and someone will inherit a fine custom firearm.

But whichever route you go keep the firearm ARMED in your house and secured where only you have access. If you are trying to load a firearm as an intruder enters your home you are in a very bad position..

Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.

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Apr 11, 2019
3200fps:

Not to be argumentative but 9mm doesn't stop shit outside of an obvious head shot

@3200fps You seem well informed on this subject but this is an outdated belief that has largely been proven to be incorrect. The FBI did a study on this and released a report (summarized here). Long story short "there is little to no noticeable difference in the wound tracks between premium line law Auto enforcement projectiles from 9mm Luger through the .45 Auto." If you're shooting hollow points anything 9mm and up will put someone down. Less recoil means more accurate shots and smaller bullets equals more rounds in the magazine.

Mar 25, 2019

There are a lot of laws and regulations that vary wildly from city to city. You'll likely get a lot of advice on them from the interwebs, but the best place to go would be to a local gun store and ask about them. They'll give you the no bs rundown.

Other than that, I can only advise you to really think it through. I don't live in the best part of town, by no means the worst but we have our annual reminder that violent crimes still exist. Because of this, I went down the road you are going down and obtained my concealed carry permit. I was all set to buy a handgun to keep with me, either in the car while about town or at home. I'm in my young 30's and a lot of the times that I'm out and about, there's a brewery involved or a large event (theater, festival, etc) where guns are prohibited. I came to the conclusion that I would probably slip up and have my gun while under the influence or try to take it into a place it wasn't allowed. For this reason, I didn't purchase a handgun. You have to make the decision that you're responsible and mature enough to carry the burden that comes along with owning a firearm.

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Mar 25, 2019

Don't have a gun, but go to a range with friends time to time.

The thing with guns is that it's very dependent on your geography. Local laws and customs make it unpractical to give any advice beyond general suggestions:

  1. Get your license straight. Depending on location you might need two - one for ownership, admission to shooting ranges on your own. Second - for concealed carry. Regardless on how far you want to go with it, you have to have to get it right.
  2. Take concealed carry classes if you have a spare weekend, even if you don't need the license itself. The point here is they'll teach you the nuances of local law. Some of my friends got the licence, but eventually decided that having a gun in this state is so painful and risky that it's not worth it.
  3. Practice a lot before buying. Recommend inquiring about range memberships to limit the cost of the fun. Try different guns, see what you're comfortable the most. Don't go for crazy guns, 9mm are fine for self protection. Try small guns that are designed for concealed carry. Those might be more practical for storage at home and actual self defense.
  4. If you need the gun only for self protection at home consider having a shotgun.

Overall, try it first. Talk to the people at a range, take the classes. Once you are comfortable with the guns and still think you need one after all you learned - only then buy one.

Mar 25, 2019

Totally understand. I grew up without guns but have gotten more familiar with them as I've matured. They are lethal, and I hope to never use one. But I will not put myself or my (future) family at a disadvantage by not having a gun. I'm going the route of getting a fingerprint safe to store in my bedside drawer. Will have the magazine in a close, but separate, location. No kids to worry about.

Be safe. Get some experience. The local gun store will be more than willing to work with you and help you go through the right channels. Also, I've met some cool dudes who helped me get more comfortable with guns as well.

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Mar 25, 2019

.

Funniest
Mar 25, 2019

Just an fyi, getting a carry license in the city is next to impossible... but if you have a park-anywhere permit, you're on the right path to getting one

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Mar 26, 2019

hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

Mar 25, 2019

unless you are going to keep access to your weapon at-the-ready then it will most likely do you no good for self defense. In which case, i strongly suggest you get a set of taser guns, and pepper spray, which you can easily keep at your bedside, and at multiple places for convenience (plus, cheaper than guns).

For self-defense, most situations come by surprise...and the most effective self-defense weapon is the one you have immediate access to at all times.

A handgun in a lockbox is just as useful as a shotgun (which you can get with no permit in most states). Some states require a permit to buy a taser (no idea why...non-lethal tasers should be encouraged..not the other way around).

Go ahead and get a handgun that has simple operation if you want, and store it in a gun safe, but get a taser gun for when you would have your gun locked away (which is probably the more common scenario).

just google it...you're welcome

Mar 25, 2019

Respectfully, what good would a taser be? At best you'd disable your intruder for a short while, who then would be pissed off when they came to ready to cause you or your family harm.

Array

Mar 25, 2019

taser guns are also contact stunners. after you fire the taser, the receiver will be paralyzed for ~15-20+ seconds. You can walk over to them and stun them again to keep them incapacitated. You can take their weapon from them (if they have one)...you can tie them up with zip ties and then call the police. I suppose you could stomp on their hands and throat, and gouge out their eyes, if you were so inclined.

How long would it take for you to incapacitate somebody who is paralyzed on the ground? i think anybody could incapacitate somebody stunned in under 10 seconds. How long would it take for you to gouge out your attackers eyes if they were on the ground? 3 seconds? Stomp on their throat? Stab their hands with a kitchen knife?

You can easily maim or kill your attacker if they are incapacitated for 15 seconds.

The question is not "what happens after you stun the intruder".....the question is "will i be able to stun the intruder" and that all has to do with access to your weapon. If you can carry with a holster, then sure, get a gun and carry responsibly. However, if you can't reasonably carry at all times, then you will be able to carry a stun gun more, and more is better.

Personally, i'd suggest both, and use whichever is more convenient at the time.

just google it...you're welcome

Mar 25, 2019

All the above advice is spot on, heed all of that stuff. If you do decide to pull the trigger and go with a gun:

I recommend the SIG P365. Better than a normie's glock (glocks are amazing but there are better options out there if you care) becuase it is more compact and comes with a 12 round mag.

The most recent batch fixed a tiny problem previous versions were having and they are truly amazing now.

Mar 25, 2019

love sigs, so smooth

Mar 25, 2019

My favorite weapon manufacturer by far.

Mar 26, 2019
thebrofessor:

love sigs, so smooth

Beautiful right out of the box. I have a 226 chambered in .357 sig, quite the violent little cartridge :).

Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.

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Mar 26, 2019
champagnepaki:

All the above advice is spot on, heed all of that stuff. If you do decide to pull the trigger and go with a gun:

I recommend the SIG P365. Better than a normie's glock (glocks are amazing but there are better options out there if you care) becuase it is more compact and comes with a 12 round mag.

The most recent batch fixed a tiny problem previous versions were having and they are truly amazing now.

I recommend Glocks over other pistols to folks who will not be meticulous in the cleaning/oiling process. Glocks will work under the worst of conditions.

Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.

Mar 25, 2019

Have you ever seen what a .44 Magnum will do to a woman's p****? Now that you should see. What a .44 Magnum will do to a woman's p****, that you should see. edit: it's a quote from taxi driver

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Mar 25, 2019

I think any good quality 9 will do you just fine. Makers like Glock and Sig immediately come to mind, as other people have said. Sig's are generally a better gun but Glocks are cheap, incredibly fuckin reliable, and are fairly high capacity in states that allow them to be. 17 shots will be plenty if you ever need it.

I also will say, on a side note, I have heard from a lot of people that shotguns are good for home defense. Especially, if you have other people (family, etc) in the house, since buck or birdshot is less likely to rip through a wall and hit someone else, whereas any type of rifle, and in a lot of cases handguns, can have this unintended effect.

Also, on a side note, I tend to believe that if someone breaks into your home and you fire off a couple of shots, the majority of intruders would bail. I doubt many people want to risk dying for what you keep in your house. Could be wrong of course, but just my opinion.

Mar 25, 2019

Firearms are dope. Just don't get one if you are mentally ill. I lived with a friend in college who was on so many SSRI's and continued to drink. One day I confronted him about not paying me the $200 he owed and he straight up brought that shit out, and was close to pointing it right at me. I've never felt so much fear before god.

Ty

Mar 29, 2019
Pierre Ortiz:

Firearms are dope. Just don't get one if you are mentally ill. I lived with a friend in college who was on so many SSRI's and continued to drink. One day I confronted him about not paying me the $200 he owed and he straight up brought that shit out, and was close to pointing it right at me. I've never felt so much fear before god.

How brown were the drawers?

Array

Mar 25, 2019

Bought a gun a few years ago, kind of a similar situation. Was never really a massive gun guy(still am not), but kind of had a self defense mindset and I figure the ability to handle a gun safely and competently is a skill most people should have. Couple of things I did:

Took a few gun safety courses
Bought a lockable case and a safe for the house
Never keep the gun loaded and store ammo away from the gun
Practice fairly regularly at the range
Tell very few people I own a gun

I ended up buying a Springfield XD 9mm. It was ~$500, 9mm ammo was cheap, and I've had no issues with it over the past few years.

It was between that and a Glock and I could have gone either way.

Do some google research on self defense handguns. In general, it always seems to come down to the Glock being one of the cheapest and most reliable guns. With that being said, I'm sure someone with more gun knowledge/experience could tell you otherwise(like the guy above recommending a Sig).

Lastly, I'd go by a store and ask then for recs too. Maybe hold a few of the models you're contemplating. Maybe even go rent a few at the range and try shooting them before. Feel in the hand is a subjective thing and you might find one gun fits a little better than another just based on your hand size/shape.

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Mar 25, 2019

Don't get a pistol. Get a shotgun. Pistols are easier to conceal and carry but much easier to miss with and depending on where you hit someone they could be still able to get away. The point of a gun is to stop anything in its tracks. Especially in a house or apartment, you aren't gonna have very much room to miss with a shotgun. One shot in a hallway should hit pretty much anyone in it.

Also contrary to popular belief pistols are actually harder to control. You don't have the stock to brace against so the recoil to someone that isnt trained might be harder to deal with. Unless you're a 100lb 5ft tall girl, just get a shotgun. It isnt gonna blow you away.

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Mar 25, 2019

First, where do you live? That's the most important question to answer regarding potential gun ownership.

Second, what is your living situation?

Irregardless of the two questions above, I'll make this easy: Get a 9mm Glock. When you're comfortable with that, maybe to branch out (Hint: you likely won't because it's near perfect). I've been through dozens of guns and have come back to one of these over and over.

But please do try out as many guns as possible before deciding. Then if/when you get it, practice as much as possible too. It's live driving a manual car: you'll always sort of remember how to do it, but if you don't practice you'll likely lose the fine details. That's not the position you want to be in should you ever have to use it. Such a responsibility requires mastery in my opinion.

I keep seeing the following so I have to comment: keeping a gun unloaded and especially seperate from ammo is useless. It's a paperweight in that scenario. Don't listen to that. You, like most gun owners will only ever use it one of two places: the range and in self-defense. Do you have full and complete confidence in your ability to scramble for the gun and magazine in two different places while you're scared, confused, full of adrenaline, and half asleep? If its going to be at home, just keep it loaded but in a safe. Don't tell anyone about it, simple.

Mar 25, 2019

i've shot lots of guns for fun....In the realm of "which gun should i buy"? i'd argue it makes more sense to get a low caliber .38 pistol, the smaller the better. These have minimal recoil, and the smaller options can be easily concealed. You don't need to worry about accuracy at 100 yards (that's a football field)...in self defense, the max you need to worry about is ~60 feet...usually much less...usually less than 30 feet.

Beyond that, if you just yell "i already called 911 - the police are on their way...you probably have less than 3 minutes to get out of here" most intruders will just run away, to rob another day. Remember that your intruder will have the element of surprise...you most likely won't know they are there until its too late to run to your gun safe.

The primary concern when facing an intruder is "do i have access to my weapon". The smaller and slighter the weapon, the easier to carry on yourself at all times.

You aren't gonna be walking around with a shotgun...and if you are sitting on your couch or lying in bed watching TV or sleeping, i doubt you will have access to your gun safe in time to be effective. You need to have your weapon on your person for it to be effective for self-defense. Will you really carry a loaded gun all the time? My brother in law is in law enforcement, and he does...i'm not, and i don't. Its more likely that you'll carry a taser. Its more likely that you'll keep a taser sitting out on your nightstand, on your desk, or on the coffee table. You won't do that with a loaded gun, for obvious safety reasons.

A shotgun buckshot blast will have a cone of max force impact about 40 inches wide at 30 meters from the barrel...so almost 4 feet wide 90 feet away...narrower as you are closer. That's great if you have 2 intruders standing side by side 90 feet away....but that is rarely the case.

Also, suggest you get one of these laser sights, since in self defense, you will have adrenaline pumping, and high probability of missing your target.

just google it...you're welcome

Mar 25, 2019

If you are looking for a gun that you can also CC, here's a quick list:

One of the Glock compacts (19 or 43)
Walther PPS
Smith and Wesson M&P Shield

Depending on how "simple" you want your gun to be from a mechanical perspective, might also wanna consider a revolver.

Mar 25, 2019

for concealed carry, the Beretta Pico .38 is also a good choice. very small, easy to conceal, low recoil.

just google it...you're welcome

Mar 26, 2019

Or a Springfield XDs in 9mm

Mar 26, 2019
CHItizen:

If you are looking for a gun that you can also CC, here's a quick list:

One of the Glock compacts (19 or 43)
Walther PPS
Smith and Wesson M&P Shield

Depending on how "simple" you want your gun to be from a mechanical perspective, might also wanna consider a revolver.

Not bad until the revolver part. Besides limited number of bullets the trigger pull on revolvers is quite substantial and tend to be more difficult on accuracy versus shooting semi-auto's.

Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.

Mar 26, 2019

hence the Berreta Pico .38

just google it...you're welcome

Mar 26, 2019

Why don't you change your place of living? Anyway I think you would better to go to the gun store rather than to ask here about guns

Mar 26, 2019

The amount of blowhard and often flat out wrong responses on this thread is hilarious. I would expect nothing less from the finance bros of WSO.

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Mar 26, 2019

Ya I love how 50% of the responses start with "I own zero guns but let me give you advice on owning a gun"

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Mar 26, 2019
dsch:

The amount of blowhard and often flat out wrong responses on this thread is hilarious. I would expect nothing less from the finance bros of WSO.

Was thinking the exact same thing. Debated on flaming the entire thread but you pretty much covered it.

Mar 26, 2019

as one of the non-owner respondents, I'm curious where myself and others are off base. care to share?

Mar 26, 2019

As someone well versed in the art of sun zoo and gorilla warfare, i recommend getting a mounted gatling gun. now before you throw monkey shit at me, u never know when G-Unit will pull up in your crib and barrel to face, ask you to put together a pitch for a negative ebitda software company looking to raise $5mm for 5% equity. times like this you need a puppy u can rely on.

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

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Mar 26, 2019

Having a gun won't keep you from getting robbed, if someone gets the drop on you (like a robber is likely to) it's done. Pulling out a gun to try and quick draw yourself out of the situation will only get you killed. For home protection? I am all for it.

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Mar 26, 2019
champagnepaki:

All the above advice is spot on, heed all of that stuff. If you do decide to pull the trigger and go with a gun:

I recommend the SIG P365. Better than a normie's glock (glocks are amazing but there are better options out there if you care) becuase it is more compact and comes with a 12 round mag.

The most recent batch fixed a tiny problem previous versions were having and they are truly amazing now.

I recommend Glocks over other pistols to folks who will not be meticulous in the cleaning/oiling process. Glocks will work under the worst of conditions.

Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.

Mar 26, 2019

In all honesty, I haven't read all the comments, but I would just say, if you want a gun to protect your house, go with a shotgun. Unlike a pistol, it can't travel through two walls and kill a family member in another room and you don't need as perfect of aim (which you probably won't have in the heat of the moment). There is a gun called the Taurus Judge that is a revolver that can shoot .410 shotgun shells. It was designed as a home defense gun, and my parents had one, seems like a good choice.

If you just want a pistol to learn to shoot at a range, a 9mm is a solid choice.

Mar 29, 2019
QE_Infinity:

In all honesty, I haven't read all the comments, but I would just say, if you want a gun to protect your house, go with a shotgun. Unlike a pistol, it can't travel through two walls and kill a family member in another room and you don't need as perfect of aim (which you probably won't have in the heat of the moment). There is a gun called the Taurus Judge that is a revolver that can shoot .410 shotgun shells. It was designed as a home defense gun, and my parents had one, seems like a good choice.

If you just want a pistol to learn to shoot at a range, a 9mm is a solid choice.

Solid. Will look into this.

Array

Apr 11, 2019
QE_Infinity:

In all honesty, I haven't read all the comments, but I would just say, if you want a gun to protect your house, go with a shotgun. Unlike a pistol, it can't travel through two walls and kill a family member in another room and you don't need as perfect of aim (which you probably won't have in the heat of the moment). There is a gun called the Taurus Judge that is a revolver that can shoot .410 shotgun shells. It was designed as a home defense gun, and my parents had one, seems like a good choice.

If you just want a pistol to learn to shoot at a range, a 9mm is a solid choice.

Sweet fucking name for a gun - "The Judge"

Mar 29, 2019

Smith and Wesson shields are a fantastic gun at a great price.

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Apr 10, 2019
MonopolyMoney:

Smith and Wesson shields are a fantastic gun at a great price.

I concur here. You can easily adjust the trigger too, makes for a very smooth pull on an already accurate gun. I also like Glocks, but each person's hand size, shape, and muscle movements will make them prefer specific types of handguns over others.

"Life is like a song, you are supposed to dance while the music is playing."

Apr 2, 2019

Gas station inside of a mile from my home held up last night. Employees were locked in the cooler while the thieves put in work.
Maybe I should just move from the hood.

Array

Apr 2, 2019
Comment

just google it...you're welcome