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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Almost 50 now. And buying my first pistol. Never wanted or needed one. Was always the other sportsman, football, baseball, etc. Too old for that now and I have other things to worry about now. Family

My question is..Looking to buy a semi-automatic by next week. Have no idea what I want. I know what I don't want...a cannon.
Always been scared too shoot. was a small kid and shot a .357 magnum, was turned off ever since. But the cousin enjoyed me shooting it as he laughed because it about put me on my butt.
I'm looking at somthing that will protect my family from intruders and coyotes that are working their way close to my house. Was told the RugerLC9 would be a good bet for me. I'm looking at the least amount of recoil possible. Was also told about some .45's out there that have better knock down power.
Like I said, first time owner/shooter...any advice...please help
 

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Welcome to the forum. And be prepared for LOTS of answers to this question. Everybody seems to have at least two opinions as to what the BEST gun would be for whatever circumstances.

And don't be too put off by your memory of shooting too big a gun when you were younger. You will no doubt be able to handle things better now. But if recoil is a concern, then an auto pistol will do better than a revolver since the slide action seems to soak up some of the felt recoil when shooting.

It sounds like you want something mostly for home defense rather than carrying. In that case I would recommend a full size pistol as opposed to a smaller one like the LC9. If carrying and concealing is not a concern then you have lots of good affordable options. And if it is for just home defense then you might just want to stick with a small semi-auto rifle. That would have better knock-down power and frankly be easier to shoot than a handgun, though of course it wouldn't fit into your nightstand drawer very easily :).

See, I'm up to two opinions already :D.

My personal go-to home defense gun is a CZ 75B, a full size 9mm. It is quite a bit heavier than a smaller one such as the LC9 which will help reduce your felt recoil. It can hold up to 15 rounds in the magazine, is very accurate and totally reliable. Plus the CZ line of guns are pretty reasonably priced for what you get.

I don't own any Ruger autos other than the LC9, but Ruger makes some good full size pistols as well, and I am certain that other posters here will fill you in on those soon.

Before you buy anything, try it out if you can. Some gun shops with ranges will have some guns you can rent to try out. But you may not have that luxury where you live. The ones around here seem only to rent Glocks or Smiths and not much else. At the very least try them for fit to your grip. If it doesn't feel good when just holding it at the sales counter you will likely not enjoy shooting it either.

And don't let yourself be too influenced by any one person's opinions. Some will tell you that such-and-such a brand or caliber is the only way to go, and that might not necessarily be right for you. So don't rush into anything.

But do check out the CZ line. I highly recommend them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks so far you too.. Especially you Wheely. Son has a few rifles so thats not really a problem there. Think his 270 would do the trick. But something I could carry works best., The wife and I walk alot with the 3 pooches. You can hear the coyotes at night off in the distance. I live in BFE, no neighbors just camps. So I want something she can handle too. More me though..lol

also, 1 more thing. I doubt very much if I'll be taking it to the range to blow through 1000 shots a day. Who knows. May get hooked. So price is also a concern. $400 may be the max, maybe a little more but not much..

see...I trully have no clue what I want..
 

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Welcome to the Forum, jtckf! A full-size 9mm auto sounds like the correct gun for your needs/wants. You mentioned that you haven't done much shooting; it might be a good idea for you and your wife to take an introductory handgun course or get some training from a trusted friend/family member. It's really important to be comfortable and safe with your weapon.

There are lots of really nice 9mms on the market. For new guns in the $400 range you'll find the Ruger SR9 and P95, Sig SP2022 and P250, Taurus 809, and FN Herstal FNP-9. Great resource I used when looking for a 9 last year is The Best Nines - Best 9mm Pistol Site handgun review test gun dealer auction. (I ended up with the SR9 and am very happy with it!).

Good luck and have some fun!
 

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Welcome from Florida...it is never too late in life to start buying firearms and once you buy one you'll want another. If your looking just for home defesne & coyotes I reccomend a shot gun as the sound for the shell racking coupled with buck shot make it an intruders nightmare & you can use slugs as well. I own the Ruger LC9 and love it, also like the Glock 26 either one of those are great for carrying, if you ever want to do that. But if it is going to stay in the home a nice .40 cal has stopping power with minor kick.

Let us know what you buy and flash us a pic. Good Luck!
 

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We decided on a SR9 and never looked back. The 9mm is heavy enough to protect you while being less expensive to shoot than other center fire rounds. The polymer frame soaks up recoil which is less than a .357 and is comfortable to shoot even for my 14 year old grandaughter. The slides on semi autos can be difficult, so be sure and handle whichever design you may like.

You might want to also consider a revolver as it is easier to work than a semi auto. A 4" barrel .38 special either mild load or plus p would not be a bad choice. A 2" barrel snubby would possibly have more recoil than you might like unless it was steel framed.
 

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I’ll take a quick moment and welcome you as well. The folks who have replied so far are all giving great advice. You can debate calibers, stopping power and many other such points but the seeming consensus amongst my peers is the 9mm and I would agree. I also agree with the recommendations for a full size as a large mass firearm will normally present less recoil to the shooter. 9mm is a common and lesser expensive ammo and you can purchase nice self defense rounds for your personal protection and buy cheaper bulk ball ammo for practice.

Looking at your price range and in conjunction with the recommendations to rent and try, look at the Ruger P95 for a full size manageable, reliable possibility. It can hold 15 rounds and will handle coyotes and 9mm is a good SD (self defense) round. Watch the arguments ensue after that statement! I have one and it has been a great member of my small collection. I have the .45, the .357 and a .22 as well. The 9mm gets the most time in the night stand. The .22 is not quite powerful enough for my taste, the .45 (1911) isn’t bad but it takes a tad more time to get back on target for a beginner especially, the .357, even with .38 ammo, would travel through the walls of my California home and end up in a neighbors house which may not be a problem for you but you should always know your target and anything beyond so stray bullets is not a safe practice plus, again, it takes longer to get back on target. That leaves the 9 and it’s good enough for me.

You may not have intentions of much range time but I would encourage a lot of range time with your new firearm to get very familiar with the firearm, it’s accuracy, it’s recoil and your ability to operate it with attention to how long it takes you to get the sites back on target. Remember, the less you need to concentrate on the operation of the firearm, the more you can focus on the danger! You should try as many different models, regardless of manufacturer, to see which ones fit your hand best (important attribute) and which ones are easiest for you and your wife to operate and control.

Whatever you buy, please take the time to understand the safe ownership and operation of a firearm and practice with it often when new so you become familiar with it. Shooting is safe when done by responsible folks and responsible folks know their firearms, all safety procedures, practice routinely to stay on top of the feel, keep their firearms in top condition and know the local laws.

Good luck and, once again, welcome aboard!
 

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My question is..Looking to buy a semi-automatic by next week. Have no idea what I want. I know what I don't want...a cannon.
While in my opinion the 9mm is a great choice I would probably not suggest the LC9 after reading some of your remarks. The LC9 is not a pleasant little bugger to shoot. Great little gun for what it's intended for, but for most people it's not a fun gun. I have one and love it ... for what it's intended for.

My favorite is the Ruger SR9C. Sorta Ruger's the next step up from the LC9, but a huge step in terms of accuracy [for most shooters] and fun to shoot. It's not that much larger than the LC9, but fits the hand much better. Also, since the barrel is a bit longer it sends the message downrange at a higher velocity .. which translates to more energy on target and more penetration. More firepower [10 +1 or 17+1], your choice since it comes with both magazines! The SR9c is still a great CC choice in case you'd ever decide to go that route ... not much harder to conceal than the LC9. The SR9C will handle the +P ammo much better than will the LC9.

Just some things for you to mull over.
 

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Thanks so far you too.. Especially you Wheely. Son has a few rifles so thats not really a problem there. Think his 270 would do the trick. But something I could carry works best., The wife and I walk alot with the 3 pooches. You can hear the coyotes at night off in the distance. I live in BFE, no neighbors just camps. So I want something she can handle too. More me though..lol

also, 1 more thing. I doubt very much if I'll be taking it to the range to blow through 1000 shots a day. Who knows. May get hooked. So price is also a concern. $400 may be the max, maybe a little more but not much..

see...I trully have no clue what I want..
What are the laws concerning carry in PA? Can you open carry without a permit? If so, then a full size 9mm in a belt holster would be the most comfortable way to carry while walking in the country. Even if that is not allowed, and you have to have a permit and keep it concealed, a belt holster with a covering garment could work as well since you really won't have to concern yourself too much with being in crowds and really taking pains to make sure no one "makes" you as being armed.

And if you live in BFE then you probably can easily get to an area where you can set up your own targets and have a nice private, nearby range. I sure wish I could do that. I think you might find under those circumstances you will start practicing more than you anticipate. And you certainly want to practice enough to be able to hit a scrawny, moving coyote if it comes down to that. If one gets close enough to you to be concerned then it might very well be rabid of have some other nasty disease. But you probably already knew that.

If you want a smaller pistol, then try to check out the Smith and Wesson M&P 9 compact or shield (if you can find one). I read nothing but good things about the shield, but they are a little scarce right now. And may be a little out of your price range.
 

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Hi jtckf. First welcome to the the forum.As others have said I would go with a full size semi auto like the SR9 or one of the P series guns. The LC9 being small and lite you'll feel more recoil also the lager pistols have a little longer sight radius. Which will make that a little more accurate when sighting your target.Go to your local gun store and pick some guns up to see how they feel in your hands. I love the way my SR9 feels are 17 rds gives you plenty of shots.

i just looked at your post again and see you're a first time shooter. I would stongly reccommend you taking a gun safety class. Most good gun stores offer them. Just remember every bullet you shoot is your responceablity. I don't want to put you off. I just want to stress how important safe gun handling is, and as others have said practice practice parctice.

Welcome to the world of shooting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I do appreciate all your thoughts and comments, it helps me tremendously. And for most who mentioned it, I will take a safety course. I made my son when he got his rifles, I'm no better than he was. Hes excellent now. 1st place in his trap league 2nd year out...
By the way you've all mentioned, I'm thinking the SR9 might be my best bet. Did like the laser site on the other, But after markets are out there. And practice I will...Thank you all very much..
 

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Welcome from the Texas Panhandle.
 

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Thanks so far you too.. Especially you Wheely. Son has a few rifles so thats not really a problem there. Think his 270 would do the trick. But something I could carry works best., The wife and I walk alot with the 3 pooches. You can hear the coyotes at night off in the distance. I live in BFE, no neighbors just camps. So I want something she can handle too. More me though..lol

also, 1 more thing. I doubt very much if I'll be taking it to the range to blow through 1000 shots a day. Who knows. May get hooked. So price is also a concern. $400 may be the max, maybe a little more but not much..

see...I trully have no clue what I want..
Welcome aboard, jtckf. You may just get hooked. There are lots of great guns out there like the SR9, Glock 17, and my first, the Springfield XD9. I got one for social work when I lived in the hood and target shooting was so much fun it became my primary hobby. I agree that 9mm is a good place to start. Some ranges have rental guns that will give you a feel for what you may like. A local range had a class I took to start that offered a number of different pistols and revolvers to shoot and helped me make my first choice. Good luck and be safe.
 

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Welcome from mid-coast Maine. Good luck in selecting the right pistol for your first one (I'll bet there will be a second, and a third...) Enjoy.
 

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Greetings & Welcome to the forum from the "Tar Heel" State of North Carolina.
 

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I'll be the first to suggest what will be an unpopular view. Being that you are leery of guns from a past experience and don't want recoil. I would suggest starting with something like the SR22. The .22LR is enough to kill a man or coyote, regardless of what others will argue. Benefits - Almost no recoil, Cheap ammo, and fun to plink! If you buy a .22LR and build up a comfort level with handling, owning and firing a pistol then buy a larger caliber pistol.

If you are set on a larger caliber handgun, I agree the SR9c/SR9 is a great choice. I own the SR9c and LOVE it. My wife had never shot a gun and the SR9c was her first. She did not like the recoil, so I bought myself a SR22 for her to use. She LOVES the .22LR.
 
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