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Old 12-21-2012, 07:44 PM   #16
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My wife chose a Bersa Thunder 9 Ultra Compact for the ease of the controls and it fit her hand better than my 2022. She didn't like the selection of Taurus models because the controls were too small and difficult for her to handle.
Bersa is an underated pistol IMO. Good idea on taking her on a "range date".
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Old 12-21-2012, 09:23 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Kenny D View Post
My wife chose a Bersa Thunder 9 Ultra Compact for the ease of the controls and it fit her hand better than my 2022. She didn't like the selection of Taurus models because the controls were too small and difficult for her to handle.
Bersa is an underated pistol IMO. Good idea on taking her on a "range date".

I've got a .380 Thunder and, while I acknowledge that is not the best defensive caliber, I cannot complain at all about that gun. It eats absolutely everything and throws very decent groups and has since Day 1. I run a couple mags through it every once in a blue moon these days to stay familiar with it, but danged if I have any intent of letting it go. I can run that gun fast and accurate, and it's a pretty nice size for a tuck gun.

If you don't mind carrying a wheelgun with five, the Ruger LCR also is pretty nice, IMO.

I have Crimson Trace grips on both my Bersa and my LCR.
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:10 AM   #18
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Mike,several have chimed in on various weapons. All are correct,but that is like asking some one to pick you a wife.
I have a bunch of SIGS ,a Glock,a ruger wheel gun,a kimber 1911,and various other stuff.Every thing I own I would trust my life with including the BERSA THUNDER 380. It is the most under rated pistol out there.Evey bit as good as my SIG 232. Maybe even more accurate.Bottom line is get and use what YOU are comfortable with.Glock,NOTHING wrong anywhere with it.To copy SIGS motto To hell and back reliable.Period,and as safe as anything made.
Go to the range,rent all wannabes,shoot em and then decide.You may be surprised on just what you actually like.
Stay safe and happy shooting!!! Merry Christmas!!!
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:53 PM   #19
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Go find something that fits you and you like. The others before me have offered good advice and weapon platforms to look at. I will add mine: ruger sr9c. My very first pistol and my daily carry. Bought mine for $375 new, so alittle more than you want but your getting a good platform for conceal carry. They are very accurate right out of the box.
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:14 PM   #20
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Well first off, glocks over any is a hell and back firearm. There have been so many types of torture tests done and they function time after time. Dropped from helicopters chambered and not discharged, water, sand, mud, buried for a year rusted to hell and still functioned. Sigs pretty much follow the same guidelines but they have more mechanical parts and more possible things to go wrong imo. However, they are used, trusted, and tested by many military branches, law enforcement agencies, and security forces that their reliability speaks for themselves.

A 9mm bullet will pretty much have the same effect out of any firearm however the ballistics change per firearm. Bullets will vary in any caliber depending on the type of bullet and grain that is in the bullet. From my own experience and what other members on here carry for SD, we like to use Hornady Critical Defense ammunition.

Hope this helps.
Glocks dont shoot in water, they fail every time.(dont believe me? look at all the weapon tests online) Buy the Beretta PX4 storm compact 9mm, its what my wife carries and she loves the recoil with the rotating barrel design DA/SA, easy to carry with 1 in the chamber. Has decocker and safety. 15+1. Beretta is the first and last name in gun design. 480 years doing it says everything too me. Sig is the only other pistol and rifle mfg I would trust my life too. Get a glock, buy what all the cool kids have or buy a Sig or Beretta to trust with your life. PX4 9mm compact, $480.00

My carry, the PX4 .45 SD and the wife's Compact 9mm, bought her the viridian C5L for christmas with taclock holster, shhh!

Last edited by fjscott73; 12-22-2012 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:40 PM   #21
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We decided on the Ruger LC9 with the laser site. Although it doesn't have ambidextrous features it will be my wife's carry so I will only be shooting it at the range anyways. It has an external safety which is a feature we were looking for and the indicator on the top when a round is chambered is another nice feature even thought it is kind of ugly. I found one at a small gun shop for $399 new which was $50-$100 cheaper than the other two stores in town. I have heard nothing but good things about it and the only complaints were personal preferences and not quality or function issues. We haven't picked it up yet but we are looking forward to getting her home cleaning her out and taking her to the range. Don't love that it only came with one magazine and a soft pouch for it instead of a hard case but that can be remedied for a small price. Thanks again for the feedback.
PS we looked at the Bersa Thunder and the Glock 27 as they didn't have the 26 and they both were a bit bigger then my wife wanted. She has gotten use to the small size of the P938.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:03 AM   #22
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I think the point you are missing is, and your instructor is correct, is to focus on PRACTICE. Your weapon needs to be comfortable in your hand, comfortable to carry, and comfortable to operate based on hand size, carry location and hand strength. THE KEY to any gun is practice. NO gun make, model or action type negates the need for practice, practice, practice, to become proficient in its use and safe carry. You should not start to carry until you practice so much with what you are going to carry, that its use becomes second nature. Then you continue to practice every month. Get some snap caps, and practice drawing, racking, firing,reloading, reholstering and handling misfire situations, so you are really comfortable with its use, then go to the range and do the same with live ammunition. NO one day course prepares you to strap on any gun and carry it every day, I get a little nervous with folks who take a one day CPL class, then start to carry right away without the hours and hours it takes to become familiar with their gun and its safe use regardless of what kind of action it uses.
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:15 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Mikebambam View Post
We decided on the Ruger LC9 with the laser site. Although it doesn't have ambidextrous features it will be my wife's carry so I will only be shooting it at the range anyways. It has an external safety which is a feature we were looking for and the indicator on the top when a round is chambered is another nice feature even thought it is kind of ugly. I found one at a small gun shop for $399 new which was $50-$100 cheaper than the other two stores in town. I have heard nothing but good things about it and the only complaints were personal preferences and not quality or function issues. We haven't picked it up yet but we are looking forward to getting her home cleaning her out and taking her to the range. Don't love that it only came with one magazine and a soft pouch for it instead of a hard case but that can be remedied for a small price. Thanks again for the feedback.
PS we looked at the Bersa Thunder and the Glock 27 as they didn't have the 26 and they both were a bit bigger then my wife wanted. She has gotten use to the small size of the P938.
I picked up the LC9 and they are nice weapons. They are not range guns, but aren't designed to be. Slim, lightweight, decent sights and accurate at defensive distances. After I put a couple of hundred more rounds through mine, it will be my occasional pocket carry weapon.
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Old 01-02-2013, 01:48 PM   #24
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If I can jump in. I get where your instructor is coming from, but quite humbly disagree. Yes there is 1 extra step involved in shooting your 938 (just like the 10,000's of people carrying 1911's). You must learn to swipe the safety off as you draw the weapon. something you don't have to do with a glock or xd type firearm. That being said, you and your wife can certainly learn to do this and be proficient at it. Just go practice. Many of the guns suggested here I would consider much more complicated to use than your 938. The Bersa, Ruger, and even the Beretta all have thumb safeties that will require the same amount of practice. In addition some of these have de-cockers (operated with the same lever) further complicating the use of the weapon, in my opinion. Any of these options would require you to go rent and shoot them to decide what you like and don't like, then purchase them and train with them. Why not just get busy practicing with the 938 you already bought?

I bought a 938 Extreame about a month ago to use as my primary carry weapon. Thus far I've been nothing but pleased with it.

Whatever your going to carry, you need to practice and become proficient. Right now you have no habits to unlearn, so just start fresh with the 938. You'll be fine.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:04 PM   #25
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If I can jump in. I get where your instructor is coming from, but quite humbly disagree. Yes there is 1 extra step involved in shooting your 938 (just like the 10,000's of people carrying 1911's). You must learn to swipe the safety off as you draw the weapon. something you don't have to do with a glock or xd type firearm. That being said, you and your wife can certainly learn to do this and be proficient at it. Just go practice. Many of the guns suggested here I would consider much more complicated to use than your 938. The Bersa, Ruger, and even the Beretta all have thumb safeties that will require the same amount of practice. In addition some of these have de-cockers (operated with the same lever) further complicating the use of the weapon, in my opinion. Any of these options would require you to go rent and shoot them to decide what you like and don't like, then purchase them and train with them. Why not just get busy practicing with the 938 you already bought?

I bought a 938 Extreame about a month ago to use as my primary carry weapon. Thus far I've been nothing but pleased with it.

Whatever your going to carry, you need to practice and become proficient. Right now you have no habits to unlearn, so just start fresh with the 938. You'll be fine.
There's a lot of truth to this. I've carried a 1911, and I've carried revolvers and SIGs and Glocks. None of them are worth a damn unless you train with them; and by the same token, you can use anything effectively if you train and learn the weapon system.

Pick what you like, then shoot the hell out of it. None of them will do you any good otherwise.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:01 AM   #26
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Wow...A Lot of Info.

I have gone through this process with my wife, three daughters and two daughters in-law, you have my heart felt sympathy. That said, some hard learned lessons and the biggest... if they want it in pink just get it. Now the smaller issues. First find a gun range that will let you rent and let her shoot what she thinks she likes AND hates get some experience to form an opinion with. The Questions: SA/DAO/SA-DA, Semi Auto/Revolver, Cal. 380 vs 9mm, Fit - what seats best in her hand or grip (control), Conceal-ability on her BODY - in a purse? What if her purse was stolen? Each one of these is a book of questions to be worked through for you and her. Finding THE gun and carry platform is a long journey because it is individual, mine's been winding along for almost fifty years of active shooting and each time I say this is it, something comes along that is cause to reexamine what I thought would never change. Talk to range hounds that shoot a lot (typically the guys w/ shooting bags, glasses, hearing protectors and mucho ammo shot very slowly and methodically), not those with 50 and gone. Visit a lot of gun stores and talk, talk, talk. Avoid salesmen and find an enthusiast. That person will offer better advice-experience and help to steer you both. A gun is a BIG deal because it is Life or Death. Take your time. I presently carry a Kimber Ultra CDP II .45 and B/U Sig P938 both "cocked & locked" very safe 1911 platform. My Boss prefers a Taurus 85 .38 revolver, a pull and shoot no fuss arrangement. Good luck and be well.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:15 AM   #27
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Having read EVERY post in this thread, I feel myself being edumicated more and more. I had to learn all this stuff first hand. This is what I have learned SO far from a collection of research and much reading, in respect to the above question.

If I remember correctly, the damage caused by a 9mm shot is negligibly less than that of a .45. The reason is that, even though the .45 carries a higher payload, the 9mm travels at a higher velocity. The higher payload will put a person down, but the higher velocity does about the same. The higher payload and increased amount of power also increases recoil and causes a somewhat more difficult target reacquisition. Higher alibers increase payload. Payload and muzzle velocity are inversely proportional. I chose a 9mm for recoil and target reacquisition reasons.

A JHP tends to limit collateral damage as opposed to an FMJ as the JHP tends to stop within a target as opposed to fully penetrating the target. The JHP also tends to expand much more, thereby increasing the overall circumference of the permanent cavity. I chose JHP for self-defense, but FMJ for range time and target practice.

A full-sized HG has a higher muzzle velocity overall than a compact, which is higher than a sub-compact. A sub-compact is easier to conceal, for obvious reasons. A full-size generally has less recoil due to increased weight and also has a higher magazine capacity than compacts, which, in the same fashion, is lower and higher than a sub-compact, respectively. A full size also tends to be more accurate because of a longer barrel and more rifling, allowing the bullet to spin just a little longer. A compact is more accurate than a subcompact for the same reason. When carrying, a compromise must be made in the size. You cannot carry a sub-compact and expect a high magazine capacity, or carry a full size and expect to conceal it easily. Also, consider overall weight and how long you are going to carry it daily. For this reason, I would choose to sit in the middle, at compact. I own a full-size.

People tend to prefer DA/SA because they have the choice of using the DA for the first shot and SA after that, at the cost of a longer and heavier initial trigger pull, but lighter follow-ups. DAO is sometimes preferred because you need only master 1 trigger pull. SA has more steps involved in firing and is generally not preferred for self-defense. Safeties are a toss-up. Some prefer them for added security, some don't for a more point-and-shoot interface. I choose a DAO only, but would switch to DA/SA with a safety as a backup, and so my wife doesn't freak out, when I get the opportunity. I would still carry my DAO as my primary. I own a DAO.

A holster is all personal preference. Most people CC with an IWB because they are easier to draw from. Some people use shoulder holsters and some people use ankle holsters. The new trend is appendix, at least I think its new.... I go with behind the hip IWB.

My information may be wrong, and if it is, someone tell me.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:08 AM   #28
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Having read EVERY post in this thread, I feel myself being edumicated more and more. I had to learn all this stuff first hand. This is what I have learned SO far from a collection of research and much reading, in respect to the above question.

If I remember correctly, the damage caused by a 9mm shot is negligibly less than that of a .45. The reason is that, even though the .45 carries a higher payload, the 9mm travels at a higher velocity. The higher payload will put a person down, but the higher velocity does about the same. The higher payload and increased amount of power also increases recoil and causes a somewhat more difficult target reacquisition. Higher alibers increase payload. Payload and muzzle velocity are inversely proportional. I chose a 9mm for recoil and target reacquisition reasons.

A JHP tends to limit collateral damage as opposed to an FMJ as the JHP tends to stop within a target as opposed to fully penetrating the target. The JHP also tends to expand much more, thereby increasing the overall circumference of the permanent cavity. I chose JHP for self-defense, but FMJ for range time and target practice.

A full-sized HG has a higher muzzle velocity overall than a compact, which is higher than a sub-compact. A sub-compact is easier to conceal, for obvious reasons. A full-size generally has less recoil due to increased weight and also has a higher magazine capacity than compacts, which, in the same fashion, is lower and higher than a sub-compact, respectively. A full size also tends to be more accurate because of a longer barrel and more rifling, allowing the bullet to spin just a little longer. A compact is more accurate than a subcompact for the same reason. When carrying, a compromise must be made in the size. You cannot carry a sub-compact and expect a high magazine capacity, or carry a full size and expect to conceal it easily. Also, consider overall weight and how long you are going to carry it daily. For this reason, I would choose to sit in the middle, at compact. I own a full-size.

People tend to prefer DA/SA because they have the choice of using the DA for the first shot and SA after that, at the cost of a longer and heavier initial trigger pull, but lighter follow-ups. DAO is sometimes preferred because you need only master 1 trigger pull. SA has more steps involved in firing and is generally not preferred for self-defense. Safeties are a toss-up. Some prefer them for added security, some don't for a more point-and-shoot interface. I choose a DAO only, but would switch to DA/SA with a safety as a backup, and so my wife doesn't freak out, when I get the opportunity. I would still carry my DAO as my primary. I own a DAO.

A holster is all personal preference. Most people CC with an IWB because they are easier to draw from. Some people use shoulder holsters and some people use ankle holsters. The new trend is appendix, at least I think its new.... I go with behind the hip IWB.

My information may be wrong, and if it is, someone tell me.
Pretty good summary over all, but I would suggest a couple revisions.

SAO has LESS steps involved if you are separating out safeties for its own discussion. The only thing that adds steps to a SAO is that they will (almost) always have a safety whereas other action types may or may not have safeties. With DA/SA the first DA pull often IS the safety(Sig 226, 229, 220, etc). That's why its there. Just like a DAO that doesn't have an external safety(Sig 290, Kahr PM9). Some DA/SA guns will also have an external thumb safety (Bersa Thunder 380, Beretta PX4, FNX-9, etc...)

IWB holsters are not going to be easier to draw from, but are easier to conceal.

Last edited by T34C; 01-04-2013 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:17 AM   #29
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Pretty good summary over all, but I would suggest a couple revisions.

SAO has LESS steps involved if you are separating out safeties for its own discussion. The only thing that adds steps to a SAO is that they will (almost) always have a safety whereas other action types may or may not have safeties. With DA/SA the first DA pull often IS the safety(Sig 226, 229, 220, etc). That's why its there. Just like a DAO that doesn't have an external safety(Sig 290, Kahr PM9). Some DA/SA guns will also have an external thumb safety (Bersa Thunder 380, Beretta PX4, FNX-9, etc...)

IWB holsters are not going to be easier to draw from, but are easier to conceal.
Thanks for the corrections. I am not very well versed in SAO actions, so that is a big help.

I also did mean that IWB are easier to conceal. I think I was halfway into saying that OWB are easier to draw from, but combined the two. Classic "brain faster than fingers."

Last edited by hwarang54; 01-04-2013 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:24 AM   #30
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I have gone through this process with my wife, three daughters and two daughters in-law, you have my heart felt sympathy. That said, some hard learned lessons and the biggest... if they want it in pink just get it. Now the smaller issues. First find a gun range that will let you rent and let her shoot what she thinks she likes AND hates get some experience to form an opinion with. The Questions: SA/DAO/SA-DA, Semi Auto/Revolver, Cal. 380 vs 9mm, Fit - what seats best in her hand or grip (control), Conceal-ability on her BODY - in a purse? What if her purse was stolen? Each one of these is a book of questions to be worked through for you and her. Finding THE gun and carry platform is a long journey because it is individual, mine's been winding along for almost fifty years of active shooting and each time I say this is it, something comes along that is cause to reexamine what I thought would never change. Talk to range hounds that shoot a lot (typically the guys w/ shooting bags, glasses, hearing protectors and mucho ammo shot very slowly and methodically), not those with 50 and gone. Visit a lot of gun stores and talk, talk, talk. Avoid salesmen and find an enthusiast. That person will offer better advice-experience and help to steer you both. A gun is a BIG deal because it is Life or Death. Take your time. I presently carry a Kimber Ultra CDP II .45 and B/U Sig P938 both "cocked & locked" very safe 1911 platform. My Boss prefers a Taurus 85 .38 revolver, a pull and shoot no fuss arrangement. Good luck and be well.
it's nice to have an employer that supports carrying at work.
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