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The Best Handgun?

Updated on October 30, 2012

Finding the best handgun for you!

Everyone wants to know "What is the best handgun to get"? My advice is not complicated nor is it intended to be followed like scripture. First, lets get in the mindset that a handgun is your last line of personal protection, handguns are sorely underpowered for the job we want them for, however, they are the most compatible for legal carrying purposes, and there are ways to improve upon their deficiencies. Finding the best handgun for you may be easier following these simple steps;

1. Go to your nearest gun store ( they will have various makes and models of handguns) and ask to hold them one at a time. You are looking and feeling for the right fit. Since we are a little different, your selection will be different from that of someone you know.

2. Once you find the handgun that feels natural in your grip, go and shoot the largest caliber you can handle ( I recommend starting off with .45 ACP). If you find the recoil is intimidating move down from there to a .40 S&W, then 9mm. Remember, every handgun will fire and recoil a little different so it is important for you to choose the one that feels right and natural for you. Also, ladies or gentlemen, if you intend to carry in your purse or bag then look for a revolver with internal hammer or a semi automatic that has few snag points (when you reach into your purse/bag to remove the weapon, snagging it on anything is the last thing you want to happen). STAY AWAY FROM the following manufacturers please: Bersa, Bryco, Jennings, and Hi-Point, ALL JUNK. These guns look and feel cheap! Since a handgun is designed to control and explosion, I highly recommend you to AVOID them. CRAP IN = CRAP OUT!

3. Now that you have selected a handgun for purchase, the next thing is to practice, practice and practice. Shooting is a perishable skill once it is learned so practicing is of paramount importance. Snap caps are cheap and a great way for you to practice pulling the trigger and chambering dummy rounds without hurting you or anyone else. Use them!

4. Practicing the engagement of paper targets is not strongly recommended since my preference is practical shooting and paper targets are good for aiming and zeroing your weapon (zeroing refers to sight adjustment of the adjustable sights, if any). Find a place (range or firearms academy) that focuses on practical shooting. This includes shooting from a parked car, a hallway, lying on the ground, anyplace you can think of that you may find yourself compromised in, that's where you should focus your firearms training. Also, with an empty weapon, practice walking around your home with the lights off (your environment = your advantage) train that way. This allows you familiarization with your surroundings in the event of a break-in and puts the intruder at a severe disadvantage. Having a small, bright flashlight also adds to your advantage since it can work for you in two ways: 1. You can see when and what you want. 2. Lights can blind/incapacitate an intruder. Advantage = YOU.

5.Ammo is of course another important factor. Ammo can be expensive and the prices tend to fluctuate, especially during an election year. I tell everyone I know to get a handgun chambered for common bullets like.45ACP, or 9mm and to stay away from .45 GAP, .50, .454 Casull or anything not of a military caliber. The reason for this simple, military calibers are plentiful and made by dozens of companies so the prices are reasonable. Also, you can find military surplus ammo in bulk that is far more affordable to shoot than exotic calibers and great for storage. Then shoot ALOT!

6. Personal defense ammo is your next purchase and I suggest JHP or jacketed hollow points (JHP rounds expand upon contact delivering devastating kinetic energy over a wider area, thus giving you more stopping power). Corbon +P ammunition is what I carry(+P loads have a little extra powder giving them more muzzle velocity) and keep loaded in my pistols. Additionally, I also recommend shooting some of the personal defense ammo (or Corbon +P) every once in a while to familiarize yourself with the added recoil, and it's a good idea to rotate your real world scenario ammunition.

7. Select a good carry holster for your hip, shoulder, ankle or bag. I fully recommend hip or shoulder since these are more readily accessible than your ankle or a bag in times of duress. Then practice your draw form that area over and over. You will train your mind and your muscles to react when necessary.

8.Find or call your local or state police training academy. Most will offer a civilian course that you can take and receive excellent, and experienced instruction from professional trainers. I also do not recommend that spouses train each other since men and women have a tendency to "Tune Out" their significant other.

My personal favorites are the Rock Island Arms 1911's. These handguns are quality made, true 1911 design, reliable, and most of all....affordable.

There are tons of opinions out there about what the best gun is or the best manufacturer of handguns are, but the only opinion is the one that you have. Once you have gone through the above steps, you will be far more educated on what YOU like and YOU prefer because this is about YOU not someone else's opinion. Enjoy!

This is a 1911 chambered in .45 ACP. The design is from John M. Browning and was designed and issued in the year 1911. This pistol design is still copied and used to this day because of it's rugged operation and ergonmic design features. I recommend!
This is a 1911 chambered in .45 ACP. The design is from John M. Browning and was designed and issued in the year 1911. This pistol design is still copied and used to this day because of it's rugged operation and ergonmic design features. I recommend! | Source
This is the Ruger LCR or Light Compact Revolver. Excellent for concealed carry in a bag, ankle or other snag prone area. Comes in various calibers.
This is the Ruger LCR or Light Compact Revolver. Excellent for concealed carry in a bag, ankle or other snag prone area. Comes in various calibers. | Source

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