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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm just wondering what the best self-defense pistol out there is. My mom has a .38 special Rossi Revolver. I've heard .38 is one of best calibers out there for self-defense, and if you get the hollow points it doesn't kick badly, what's best bullets to use for home defense, I have heard hollow points are best, and can a .38 go through walls also, or is that just rifles?
 

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Thought this was a shotgun forum but... =P

There are thousands more opinions on the "best" pistol for self-defense than there are pistols... and there are hundreds of pistols out there...

There's not really a "best" but you'll want to find something that creates the best mix of reliability, accuracy, power, capacity, and affordability (both to practice with and purchase)
 

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Hey AustinX,

Yeah, you'll probably have better luck going to the Glock or SIG forums for a question like this, but...

I agree with 155mm, there are a lot of opinions on this subject, more so than with shotguns. Revolver vs semi-auto, 9mm vs 45 caliber. Hollow points, night sights, accessories, recoil... Any of these topics can start an entire thread by itself.

The old saying goes that the best self-defense handgun is the one you practice with. :D There's really no such thing as "best" because it differs so much from person to person...
 

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.38 special is fine and you already have it...hollowpoints won't make any less recoil but bullet weight will...a tried and true hollowpoint for the Rossi could be the LSWCHP (Lead Semi-Wadcutter Hollowpoint) 158GR...sometimes called the FBI load, sometimes the Chicago or Indianapolis load...carried by police for years and has an enviable record...it is a +P load meaning higher pressure...you won't get a lot of speed out of a snubbie if that's what the Rossi is but it will do...another great load to look at is the standard velocity 125GR Federal Nyclad...virtually no kick but still a decent stopper...MOST IMPORTANT WOULD BE TO HIT WHAT YOU AIM AT and worry about the load later...despite what some might tell you...generally...any of the more famous maker bullets will work for you just fine and I would stay away from the "specialty" bullets (magsafes and glasers)
Federal, Winchester and Remington or Speer are just fine...many others too...Gold Dot, Golden Saber, Silvertip, SXT, Hydrashok, you name it...all have their "whopper stories" but all function similarly...some just have a better marketing department.
My .02...
Bill
 

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Try posting these type of questions on the "tactical forum".
 

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Hello AustinX
Thanks for visiting Shotgunworld.com!
We really try to stick to shotgun topics on the forum. Thanks to the friendly folks here it looks like you got some good information. Please stick to shotguns next time :D

regards,
Jay Gentry
Shotgunworld.com
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, the 22 caliber pistol is responsible for more deaths in this country that any other caliber pistol. By that assertion, I would assume that anything larger than a 22 caliber pistol would work well as a self-defense pistol.

BTW, any time you use a firearm in, or near homes you are taking a chance of wounding an innocent person. It's just part of the territory that you must accept should you need to defend yourself.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My first choice would be a shotgun! If I were given a choice of handguns it would be a M29 S&W .44Mag with a 4" barrel,240 grain FACTORY hollow points. One shot and the game is over!!!!!
 

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The .38 Special can achieve approx 77% one stop shots in a 2"barrel, and into the 80%s with a longer one. The best rated one shot stoppers are the .357 Mag and .40 S&W at 96% with the right ammo, followed by the 10mm, 44mag., 45ACP, and 9mm in no particular order which can all get into the low 90% with proper load selection.
 

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Austin X

This is one question that I deal with 90 percent of the time while being a Police Officer and Firearms Instructor. During my career I have formed several opinions in this area. (1) A 38 special is a very good round even though some believe that it is inferior. When they are loaded with a quality hollowpoint and driven to a velocity of at least 1000 FPS they will normally expand and have very good results. I have a model 10, 15 and 36 loaded with CCI 110 grain hollow points in a plus P rating. (2) Don't ever under estimate penetration qualities they will pass through walls and even car doors if properly loaded with a high velocity load.
(3) There is not such thing as a magic bullet, shot placement is the most important factor in any shooting tactical situation, a hit from a 38 special is a lot better than a miss with a 44.
(4) Choose a handgun based on how it fits your hand. Most new shooters that I have trained do better with a simple double action revolver because there is no safety to deactivate in stressful situations and every time you pull the trigger it goes bang. Cylinders are easily reloaded and the gun normally points very well.
(5) Practice,Practice Practice - A handgun is the hardest firearm to hit with in a firefight, that is the reason that most tactical situations dictate using a rifle or shotgun. I know anytime there is a possiblity of serious danger my first instinct is to grab my shotgun which is loaded with 00 buckshot.
Now don't get me wrong I love the 1911,Hi-Powers and several of the other handguns on the market but even though I have several of them and shoot them well, my carry gun right now is a 624 smith revolver in 44 special, loaded with 210 grain golden sabers. My primary off duty gun is a 4 inch Smith model 10 loaded with 110 grain gold dots in plus P rating. :wink:
 

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sgtdw wrote:
"Most new shooters that I have trained do better with a simple double action revolver because there is no safety to deactivate in stressful situations and every time you pull the trigger it goes bang. "

Agreed. DA's are better for shooters looking for a self defense weapon.

Yes, .38s will go through walls, several if they dont hit solid studs within the walls. I've done investigations where .22s and 9mms seem to travel more then you'd ever expect through walls - interior AND exterior.

Consider this too, most first shots by innocent homeowners/victims towards an assailant are done so with adrenalin pulsing on overload. This means shaking hands. Consider a shotshell as a first shot to stun the attacker with a backup shot of a good lead HP slug.

I've seen dead folks shot by .22s. And I saw a guy walking around who had been shot point blank center mass by a .45. Powder burns were on his shirt. It hit the lower tip of his sternum and traveled downward through his abdominal area. He survived. Strange things happen.

Most of all, practice, practice, practice.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
i agree with use what your comfortable with,what you PRACTICE with!! i personally am very confident with my 9mm ruger p-89. at the pistol range i am very accurate with it, but i've fired probably 5,000 rnds through it! i know the feel of it, know what to expect out of it. i think that the bottom line is if you know your weapon it will suit you well. hopefully i'll never have to find out how i'd shoot under life threating pressure. if i do i only hope i do half as well as i do at the local range.

btw,anyone know of a pistol forum that is as good as this one is for shotguns? this site is great, and the members seem to be very respectful and helpful.
 

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Kimber .45 1911 is the way to go. For an out of the box gun it is very smooth and a nice trigger pull. I keep mine loaded with 8+1 of the talons in a wilson combat mag. As far as stopping power the .45 has it and is what i use as my carry gun. I carry the full size and have no trouble concealing it. A carry gun should be comforting not comfortable and i like knowing if i need to use it i have the proper tool at hand to get the job done quick and right.

Steven
 

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Some folks have hands that are too small for full size .45s and so many law enforcement agencies do not use them. The gun you shoot the best is the best gun for you. Has anyone examined the new .45GAP yet?
 

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There is no "best" self-defense pistol. That is kind of a riduculous term. There are too many variables to consider. Shooters hand size, is it going to be concealed or not. Urban or rural area. Revolver, auto, single or double action. Some folks swear by certain guns. Some folks hate other types(me and Rugers for example).
After trying several different guns I went to a LW Commander. Fairly light, shoots 45ACP, great trigger and it is pretty easy to conceal with the right gear. But there are a zillion other choices out there.

This is my opinion. Your opinion may vary.

ZM
 

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Well, maybe I'm just an aging duffer, but I can't help feeling that if you're unable to defend yourself with a 12-ga shotgun, you deserve your unkind fate. For myself, I can't hit the broad side of a barn with any kind of handgun. No doubt almost anyone on these boards can do better. But I'd hate to risk my family's well-being on my crappy handgun skills :D

Just my .02!

All the best,

Jeff
 

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Oski,

The 22 kills at a rate all out of proportion to its size and power...but many days after the wound. Often a victem of a 22 appears fine for a day or so, then just drops dead! This is something that baffles the medical world and scientists. The 22 is NOT a STOPPER...its a killer.
 
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