What caliber handgun should I get?


Sevensecondsuv

New member
RBV's on Boost
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
1,140
Reaction score
7
Points
0
Location
Northern IL
Vehicle Year
Many
Make / Model
All Fords!
Engine Size
Many
Transmission
Manual
So I'm looking to buy my first handgun. I want something for all around use - home defense, plinking, powerful enough to stop a large animal within one cylinder / magazine at close range, and maybe even deer hunting.

Based on the above, I'm looking at 3 different guns:

A semi-auto in .45 ACP (seems the best for home defense, but not sure about stopping a bear with one or hunting...)

A .357 magnum revolver (a little more power than the .45 ACP, but I can get cheap .38 specials for plinking)

A .44 magnum revolver (definitely the most stopping power, but probably not a good idea to use it indoors, and ammo is expensive)

Let's hear some opinions please!
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: 173A8B749AB83C Expires: January 1, 2020

daniel3507

Well-known member
TRS Banner 2010-2011
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Messages
3,986
Reaction score
59
Points
48
Age
30
Location
Coweta, Oklahoma
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Seems like it would be hard to find a happy compromise for all those situations. Im interested in hearing what peoples opinions are though since i too am looking to get my first gun
 

crbnunit

New member
Solid Axle Swap
TRS Banner 2012-2015
Joined
Aug 8, 2007
Messages
6,545
Reaction score
247
Points
0
Location
Anchorage, Alaska
Vehicle Year
2019
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Automatic
That is asking a lot from one firearm. I would recommend a 12ga shotgun. That would easily fit the bill for all of the above uses. For up to white tail deer, the 357 would be fine. I'd draw the line at big, dangerous game though. If you are looking for bear, even small, lower 48 blacks, 44 would be the absolute minimum I'd consider. Nice thing about the 44, like the 357/38, you can buy 44 Special rounds for plinking and the full-on wrist breakers for heavier animals.
 

Sevensecondsuv

New member
RBV's on Boost
Joined
Aug 7, 2007
Messages
1,140
Reaction score
7
Points
0
Location
Northern IL
Vehicle Year
Many
Make / Model
All Fords!
Engine Size
Many
Transmission
Manual
I wonder how the .44 specials are for stopping a human at 10 feet? I should go look up some ballistics.

As for the shotgun, my family already has plenty of those. I agree though, the only guns with better stopping power than 00 Buckshot at 20 feet can't be fired from your shoulder. But it's time for a handgun.
 

crbnunit

New member
Solid Axle Swap
TRS Banner 2012-2015
Joined
Aug 8, 2007
Messages
6,545
Reaction score
247
Points
0
Location
Anchorage, Alaska
Vehicle Year
2019
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Automatic
If you handload, you can make the 44 do just about anything. A 44 Special should be much more than good enough to take down a man sized target. Hell, you can do that with a well placed 22. We are kind of fragile creatures.
44spc:
200 gr (13 g) Semi-Wadcutter HP ¹ 870 ft/s (270 m/s) 336 ft·lbf (456 J)
246 gr (15.9 g) LRN ² 755 ft/s (230 m/s) 310 ft·lbf (420 J)
38spc:
110 gr (7.1 g) JHP 980 ft/s (300 m/s) 235 ft·lbf (319 J)
130 gr (8.4 g) FMJ 810 ft/s (250 m/s) 189 ft·lbf (256 J)
148 gr (9.6 g) LWC 690 ft/s (210 m/s) 156 ft·lbf (212 J)
158 gr (10.2 g) LRN 770 ft/s (230 m/s) 208 ft·lbf (282 J
45acp:
165 gr (10.7 g) Federal Premium Low Recoil JHP 1,060 ft/s (320 m/s) 412 ft·lbf (559 J)
185 gr (12.0 g) Corbon DPX 1,075 ft/s (328 m/s) 475 ft·lbf (644 J)
200 gr (13 g) Speer Gold Dot JHP +P 1,080 ft/s (330 m/s) 518 ft·lbf (702 J)
230 gr (15 g) Speer Lawman FMJ 830 ft/s (250 m/s) 352 ft·lbf (477 J)
 

daniel3507

Well-known member
TRS Banner 2010-2011
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Messages
3,986
Reaction score
59
Points
48
Age
30
Location
Coweta, Oklahoma
Vehicle Year
1993
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
a 22. is one of the most dangerous guns to be shot with. It goes in you and doesnt come out. Just bounces around inside.
 

fordxranger

New member
Joined
Nov 25, 2008
Messages
244
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Washington
Vehicle Year
1989/1992
Make / Model
Fo Mo Co
Engine Size
2.9L....for now/4.0L
Transmission
Manual


magnum research desert eagle

comes in magnum calibers (.50AE!),semi automatic, new gen models have a picatinny rail (instead of the weaver on older ones) on top to mount accessories and you can buy the "component system" which gives you all caliber size barrels and magazines so you can switch from .357 .44 and .50 whenever you choose. plus its just plain badass.
 

skippy

New member
U.S. Military - Veteran
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Messages
4,901
Reaction score
37
Points
0
Age
63
Location
Georgia,USSA
Vehicle Year
1983
Make / Model
ford
Engine Size
2.8l durasparked rice killer
Transmission
Manual
I am biased as I own both a .45 and a .357,both are good platforms.If you are leaning toward the .45 you can research brands at this forum-

http://forum.m1911.org/

Lots of usefull information.Good luck and happy shooting!
 

Ranger Sport Honduras

Zoom Zoom
OTOTM Winner
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Nov 16, 2008
Messages
15,076
Reaction score
196
Points
0
Age
33
Location
Honduras
Vehicle Year
2003
Make / Model
Mitsubishi/Ford
Engine Size
3.0/2.3
My credo
Fortune Favors the Brave
kinda funny how u can save your ass from a 9mm or .40 bullet if it doesnt touch vital stuff inside, but u cant be safe with a 22 shot.
thats why we have various calibers
22, 38 special, and .40
depending on target lol
 

Southern_Trendkill

New member
U.S. Military - Active
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
818
Reaction score
7
Points
0
Location
Jacksonville, FL
Vehicle Year
1961, 2010
Make / Model
Mercury, Mitsub
Engine Size
144 "Thriftpower", 2.4 MIVEC
Transmission
Manual
A .357 is terrible for home defense. First off, it will punch through a person or wall, so it's going to cause a lot of collateral damage, and you may hit someone on the other side of the wall. Also, if you fire it at night, you will be blind for several minutes. The muzzle flash is terrible. You will also be deaf if you fire it indoors. It is just way too loud. The .45 ACP is the best of the above choices for home defense. Personally, though, I would go with a .38 SPL.
 

4x4fun

Active member
U.S. Military - Veteran
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
1,433
Reaction score
8
Points
38
Location
delwhere
Vehicle Year
2011
Make / Model
really?
Engine Size
4.0L
Transmission
Automatic
So I'm looking to buy my first handgun. I want something for all around use - home defense, plinking, powerful enough to stop a large animal within one cylinder / magazine at close range, and maybe even deer hunting.

Based on the above, I'm looking at 3 different guns:

A semi-auto in .45 ACP (seems the best for home defense, but not sure about stopping a bear with one or hunting...)

A .357 magnum revolver (a little more power than the .45 ACP, but I can get cheap .38 specials for plinking)

A .44 magnum revolver (definitely the most stopping power, but probably not a good idea to use it indoors, and ammo is expensive)

Let's hear some opinions please!
can i ask what kind of hand gun experience you have. i pick guns on there performance and how they handel before i pick the caliber.

Iv shot everything from .50 on down 17hmr. As i see it frame size and slide function have been my turn off/on for different types of guns. a frame thats two small can hurt to shoot and have bad accuracy. even when its a .22. also having a large or heavy slide can feel very "funny" to shot. and the slamming forward of a heavy slide can mess up the next shot. when you get good enough with a hand gun that it becomes an extension of your hand caliber wont matter.

you best bet is to try and shoot the three guns you have in mind. try and see what feels best to shoot. then buy.

how i see it:
one well trained guy with a k bar. can take out all 5 guys manning the M198

having said that. you let a 50 bark in your house. and the intruder wont be the only one to shit him self

:beer:
 

Ranger Dave (B25)

Well-known member
U.S. Military - Veteran
Joined
Oct 7, 2007
Messages
4,440
Reaction score
131
Points
63
Location
RFD/BNA/PHX
Vehicle Year
'10
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
My credo
Don't vote Democrat.
Don't ask a handgun to do ALL of the above. Pick two: home defense/animal control and practice.

.40 cal is my sidearm of choice. You can buy frangible rounds for home defense/animal control, and ball ammo for practice/plinking. Plenty of stopping power, without excessive recoil. My S&W .40 Sigma is a nice balanced piece, polymer frame. LMK if you want to look at it.

And yes, a .22 is a very dangerous round.
 

4x4fun

Active member
U.S. Military - Veteran
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
1,433
Reaction score
8
Points
38
Location
delwhere
Vehicle Year
2011
Make / Model
really?
Engine Size
4.0L
Transmission
Automatic
BTW, i carry the M60, or the 240 (depending) and i have a m9 on my side. ill drop my 60. and even leave it loaded for you. but ill drop a hell of a lot more people with my m9 then i will with my 60.
 

02RangerXLT

New member
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
2,694
Reaction score
53
Points
0
Location
NE
Vehicle Year
2002
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Automatic
Get the .357... can use .38spcl for plinking, and .357 for defensive purposes...

Another caliber that is becoming more popular for woods guns, is the 10mm...

Join: http://forums.gunsandammo.com/
 


Top