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Do you carry, what and why?

PaulLovesJamie

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My fiancée has a handheld taser "zapper" and thinks that's protection. I keep telling her it doesn't stun them unconscious like they show on TV and in movies.
Mucho congrats on your pending nuptials :)

I've seen a handheld taser tested as the result of that same argument. Definitely messes you up, but did not incapacitate. If drugs had been involved, "slowed down" would be the way I'd describe it. NOW, I'm not an expert, so dont take that as definitive advice (disclaimer disclaimer!), just my personal experience. Afaik it was a pretty good unit, but not top of the line.

taser or grizzly spray is definitely better than a gun if shes not prepared to pull the trigger though
 

MEP001

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And because I'm old and traditional, I'll be the one to say it: real men shoot a 1911. :)
That was actually my first thought, or an M&P 45.

btw, you did not ask a simple question with a quick answer. Most people spend years and years searching for the perfect one. Not sure if anybody said it yet, but having any one of them is much more important than which one you get. Its hard to make a mistake and get a bad one, and its extremely hard to get the ideal one.
I totally understand that, I just thought I'd ask around as well as research. I was more worried about getting the wrong one than finding the perfect one.

After an incident at the wash last night, I'm going to pick up an M&P Shield as soon as I can. I'll have to worry about a LTC later, but I fully intend to take safety and license courses. I can concealed carry at the wash without a permit. I can always start building a gun collection later too.

The incident: a woman pulled in and parked by a vacuum, and about five minutes later another car pulled in and parked next to her. The passenger got out and started talking to her, it didn't look like a drug deal, and at one point I heard them all laughing about something together so I ignored it. After about ten minutes I hear one of the men shouting at her in a VERY angry and aggressive tone. I listened for a minute to see if things calmed on their own, but they didn't. I was concerned for the woman's safety and was just about to call the police but the two men got in their car and left. If I'd been armed I would've dialed 911 and then asked her if she was okay.
 

OurTown

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I can always start building a gun collection later too.

I was going to say that there is no reason to restrict yourself to owning only one. You could get a full sized duty pistol and outside the waistband carry but still be concealed (longer un-tucked shirt) for night time. Then get your smaller pistol and carry IWB for "safer" hours. I love 1911s but the training and practice is very different because it is usually carried "cocked and locked" and compared to striker fired guns have a trigger with a short and light pull. You can get just about any size 1911 these days in most of the popular calibers. They are heavier and have lower capacity though.
 

Axxlrod

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MEP, you're about to go down a rabbit-hole as far as learning and research go.

Might want to spend some time reading and learning on Calguns.

Don't just go and buy a gun. Go to the range and rent a few first. They all handle/feel differently.

First gun I bought was a Springfield XD-S. After I got a few more, the XDs is my least favorite now. Too snappy. Much prefer the Shield, but my HK VP9 fits my hand like a glove. It's my fav.

I'm not a Glock fan. Most either love them or hate them.

But no matter what you do, most important is training and practice.
 

MEP001

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I went to a local gun range this evening and registered for their LTC course, and hefted a few guns. The Glock 43 with the extended mag felt all wrong in my hand, and my little finger was completely off the grip. It felt like it would just fly right out of my hand. The M&P Shield with the extended grip fit like a glove and felt really well balanced.
 

OurTown

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I went to a local gun range this evening and registered for their LTC course, and hefted a few guns. The Glock 43 with the extended mag felt all wrong in my hand, and my little finger was completely off the grip. It felt like it would just fly right out of my hand. The M&P Shield with the extended grip fit like a glove and felt really well balanced.

It does not surprise me that you did not care for the way the Glock felt in your hand. Did you handle any others besides the Glock and S&W?
 

MEP001

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Yes, they handed me several larger guns (Either trying to upsell or thinking I should have more stopping power) and none of them felt good at all. I also held one much smaller than the M&P Shield that felt okay but didn't have the capacity and just seemed too small. My fianceé loved it though.
 

JustaGuy

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I also held one much smaller than the M&P Shield that felt okay but didn't have the capacity and just seemed too small. My fianceé loved it though.
Be sure to have her shoot anything before you or she buy it - those tiny guns have a *lot* more felt recoil than their larger counterparts, even if they are a less powerful cartridge. She may hate it and never want to shoot it enough to become proficient with it.
 

OurTown

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Be sure to have her shoot anything before you or she buy it - those tiny guns have a *lot* more felt recoil than their larger counterparts, even if they are a less powerful cartridge. She may hate it and never want to shoot it enough to become proficient with it.

There are other issues with the tiny semi-auto guns. They are much easier to "limp wrist" making them less reliable for a novice shooter. Most full sized autos are much more tolerant of that because they are heavier. They can also be harder to rack the slide because there is not much to grab and it seems like the spring is stiffer on them.
 

Greg Pack

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A Glock 19 is a great all purpose handgun and not too difficult to carry. If I could just have one pistol, it would likely be a G19. It's mid size makes it not too hard to conceal but it has decent capacity. Its larger size than the subcompacts make it quite controllable and more accurate. They are extremely reliable. Most Glocks that malfunction have been monkeyed with by someone.

In a gunfight, mo is betta. Modern gun fighting tactics involve throwing a lot of lead downrange. That's why the officer involved shooting look so bad. The tactic is to shoot until the threat is stopped. The G19 holds 15 rounds IIRC.

Proper ammo selection is also an important factor in lethality. Look at federal HST for carry ammo.
 

Greg Pack

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A lot of people call what are really "stun guns" tasers. A bona fide taser that fires the prongs outward via tether is actually much better choice. The law enforcement versions fire for five seconds and I can assure you it is a most unpleasant experience. The civilian version fires for thirty seconds. If good contact is made with the prongs and the perp is given a thirty second ride my guess is he's gonna be done for the night. Real tasers are not cheap $400-500 for civillian models, but if she is not willing to use deadly force in defense of self this is an option. A good can of OC spray is only $20 and is a decent deterrent and is much better than being completely unarmed. fox labs and freeze+P are good ones.
 

MEP001

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A good can of OC spray is only $20 and is a decent deterrent and is much better than being completely unarmed.
I've been telling her for years that it's better than a taser since it sprays a good 12 feet so she doesn't have to come in contact with the person. At any rate, we talked about it and she said she'd rather be armed.

FWIW, I picked up the M&P9 Shield 2.0 9MM yesterday along with a case of 500 rounds of range ammo and a box of jacketed hollow point, Remington because that's what my dad always used. The range near me has some 50 handguns to rent (Free if you buy their range ammo) so she can pick something she can handle.
 

OurTown

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I've been telling her for years that it's better than a taser since it sprays a good 12 feet so she doesn't have to come in contact with the person. At any rate, we talked about it and she said she'd rather be armed.

FWIW, I picked up the M&P9 Shield 2.0 9MM yesterday along with a case of 500 rounds of range ammo and a box of jacketed hollow point, Remington because that's what my dad always used. The range near me has some 50 handguns to rent (Free if you buy their range ammo) so she can pick something she can handle.

Great! Time for some practice and a good holster but there are a ton of them out there. This is the one I bought after doing a lot of research several years ago:

https://stealthgearusa.com/holsters/ventcore-concealed-carry-holsters/

I'm sure there are many others out there now.
 

JustaGuy

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A Glock 19 is a great all purpose handgun and not too difficult to carry. If I could just have one pistol, it would likely be a G19. It's mid size makes it not too hard to conceal but it has decent capacity. Its larger size than the subcompacts make it quite controllable and more accurate. They are extremely reliable. Most Glocks that malfunction have been monkeyed with by someone.
Very true - I'll throw the Smith & Wesson M&P 9 Compact into the same category as far as reliability, accuracy and capacity go. Shoot both and see which perfoms better for you.

Proper ammo selection is also an important factor in lethality. Look at federal HST for carry ammo.
+1 for Federal HST - that's my go-to ammo choice as well. Their 124gr standard pressure ammo is a top performer in 9mm. It can be had online in boxes of 50 for around $0.50 per round making it an affordable choice as far as Self Defense ammo goes. Run at least a box through your gun before carrying it as your SD ammo of choice to make sure it functions reliably (although it is rare that a gun won't handle it well, it does happen.)
 

Greg Pack

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In the last 20 years or so handgun ammunition has evolved considerably. One of the reasons the FBI and many local departments are going back to 9mm is the evolution of hollowpoint ammo. The old knockdown power myth of larger calibers has been dispelled and modern gun fighting tactics revolve around making the bad guy bleed out asap. Old generation hollow points are essentially obsolete. As justaguy said, find one that feeds reliably. I would buy two fifty round boxes. Shoot one box, several double or three round strings. I would also include at least one "mag dump" test to ensure reliability.

Check out these ammo for defensive options. I like the 147GR HSTs. However, my department issues Hornady critical duty for duty guns because it performs more consistently through minor barriers. Thats something not likely to be needed by a person in a defensive situation.

https://www.luckygunner.com/labs/self-defense-ammo-ballistic-tests/#9mm
 

PaulLovesJamie

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Thats something not likely to be needed by a person in a defensive situation.
All good advice, but be a little careful - shooting thru something might not be self defense. Which is a good segue to this: I strongly recommend a little bit of reading about how the courts determine what is self defense. I'm not saying that should change your behavior or decisions, but acting without knowledge of the likely consequences is, well, fill in the blank :)

For example, here's a link to the armed citizens legal defense network org -- I dont know anything about them per se, but I just did a 30 second read of their free pdf that they link to at the bottom of the page "What every gun owner needs to know about self defense law," there's some very good basic info in there.
 

PaulLovesJamie

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Also, since Pat didnt bite on my suggestion that we do a distillery tour out in his area, here's another suggestion - next years show is in san antonio, heck with a forum dinner, lets do a forum event at a range! Or better yet, go out after some javelina...
 

Greg Pack

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Agree with the liability of shooting through something is quite high in most situations. Most States have stand your ground laws but if there is a locked door between you and an intruder you are going to have to successfully articulate why you saw this person as a deadly threat and felt the need to shoot through any barrier.

I'll say this too. Shooting is a last resort in my option where I feel my life is truly in jeopardy. I'd much rather hand over a bag of cash than shoot someone. The legal implications of shooting are just far too great.
 

MEP001

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I'll say this too. Shooting is a last resort in my option where I feel my life is truly in jeopardy. I'd much rather hand over a bag of cash than shoot someone. The legal implications of shooting are just far too great.
If I'm armed and one guy with a knife or a bat tries to rob me, I most likely won't have to shoot him unless pointing a gun at him doesn't stop him from coming at me. If I'm pulling money and two or more guys come at me, I will absolutely shoot. The original owner of this wash told me his mother was there alone one afternoon checking the vendors when two guys approached her and asked for money. When she told them no, one of them punched her in the head, she fell and hit her head again, and they left her for dead. Luckily she was fine.
 
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