View Full Version : Firearms for Preparedness and Survival Part 3:The centerfire handgun

07-15-2010, 11:02 AM
Ok so you've checked your local laws and you've obtained a .22 or two for training and target practice what now?

Well in my opinion the most important firearm on your list should be the center fire hand gun.

Wait why not a rifle like an AK-47 or AR-15?

Well the fact is UNTIL the SHTF the gun you are most likely to use in a defensive situation is the one you'll be carrying on your person or in your car.

Handguns are smaller, lighter, and much more easily concealed and carried than a long gun. Even in open carry in a holster is easier than a rifle slung on your back.

So what should you get? Well there are dozens of different kinds of hand guns, models, and calibers to choose from. What works well for a farmer in Idaho is going to be different from what works for a stripper in Miami.

1st examine what is your number one possible threat? is it man or animal?

2nd examine what your local environment is. You probably won't want to CCW a 6.5 inch Model 29 in .44 magnum even though it made Clint Eastwood look awesome. But that same gun might be perfect for that farmer in Idaho in a hip holster.

3 buy enough gun. All to often I see people buying little small caliber pistols for CCW. .380 acp should be your minimum caliber with .38 special being a much better choice in my opinion. Don't agonize too much over caliber. Buy the one that works for you, is a member of the big 3 (.45 acp .40 and 9mm) feed it good ammo and go out and train with it. There are many diffrent compact 9mm and .40 pistols for self defense. I carried a Glock .36 in .45 acp for a year it was a great gun in my opinion. Compact, light weight, threw a large bullet and i could shoot it well.

Buy your pistol in a caliber you can afford to shoot. I owned a 10mm glock at one time and I loved it!

But a box of ammo ran $35 per 50. Nine millimeter runs $10-15 a box right now. I can buy almost 4x the training ammo with 9mm and 2x the training ammo if I go to .40. I sold the .45 and the 10mm and bought a second 9mm pistol. I and my wallet have been happier. I get alot more trigger time with the 9mm that I get with a 10mm.

Avoid the "you gotta buy this" trap. Gun people can be total fanatics. Some people might say "buy hand gun X and only hand gun X or your stupid" or some other such non sense. Buy the gun that works for YOU and YOUR situation. Many indoor range/gun shops will let you rent guns to try out. I suggest you find one that does this and try out as many different hand guns as possible. Most gun stores with a range offer concealed weapons courses so that you can get your permit.

Don't buy cheap crap. Your life isn't worth it. That doesn't mean you need to spend $1500 on a custom 1911. There are alot of good quality hand guns in the $400-800 range. Sig, Glock, HK Springfield Armory, Smith and Wesson, Beretta, CZ are all very good brands.

When picking up and reading a gun magazine do so with some reserve. If you see XYZ handgun got a great review, check the advertisers index. If they are a big advertisers in the magazine take the reviewers opinion with a grain of salt. I've literally seen a great review and at the end a full page ad for the gun on the very next page.

Again go out and tray as many different guns as possible. If you have been diligent in your gun shop selection they can help you too.

07-19-2010, 01:19 PM
How abouta shotgun? It you may not be able to carry it in your car, but you don't know when the S will HTF, so if you have that, and some one (like a gang) wants to take what you have, you can help yourself to there firearms after they have failed to lower your core temperature. If not, then you don't have much to worry about. So, like the SGM said in "We Were Soldiers": "If we need em, there will be plenty lying around." Shotguns are probably the most versatile, econimcal, and supported by your first firearm, the .22, would put up a fight from any urban setting with well aimed and not so well aimed delivery while not depleting recources to much...
But, until the SHTF, who knows...

07-21-2010, 10:16 AM
I'll cover the shotgun in part 4.

08-18-2010, 08:54 AM
Glad to see someone mentioned shotguns. Also, never underestimate the power of a .22. Although illegal in many states (because of crappy marksmem/hunters) I have personally seen my father and uncle take whitetails with a .22 LR. Both are superb marksman and both took the said deer with a perfect headshot at less than 20 yds from a tree stand. That warning on the side of the ammo box is there for a reason. .22 LR lethal out to 1.5 mile range. My Dad is famous for saying, "if someone is shooting at you, are you not going to duck and hide if it is a .22?" I myself would be more afraid of my daughters if they pulled out their .22s than I would of the "man" with his big .50AE that never practices with it because of ammo cost or even worse, wrist pain. Now granted, my daughters know I would not allow them to hunt big game as my father and uncle do, with .22s. I know they are great shooters, but there is always that chance that the animal flinches for whatever reason, and then a .22 is so insufficient as to leave the animal wounded and most likely you never finding them until they die a slow painful death. Something I never want them to have to live with. But in survival, it is more than enough to "put food on the table".

Thanks for the great forum and website.

03-03-2011, 07:59 PM
The .40 caliber round is perfect for anything that you may encounter. With this round you are basically shooting a .357 but with more rounds in the clip than in the cylinder. The ballistics are very similar between the two. I own a S&W M&P .40 caliber and I can not recommend it enough. Along with the weapon being almost exactly like a glock it comes with two 14 round mags and mine even came with a trijicon front sight post. The round has great knock down power and is still quite accurate at ranges a little beyond 25 yards. Shooting from 25 yards is long, long range for a normal hand gun however and most situations where you would use it are going to be within 7 yards or closer. It is a very easy round/weapon to handle also. The .40 caliber round's kick is comparable to a 9mm (I carry a glock 17 at work). I like the .40 caliber as a choice because it is a great round and is also pretty good on the wallet when buying the ammo for it. If you can, try one out and see what you think. I think you're going to like it a lot.

03-03-2011, 10:03 PM
I agree 100%. I have a S&W 4006TSW that never leaves my side. The ammo is very affordable and your right, cant go wrong with a S&W

03-10-2011, 09:40 PM
absoulty wiseowl. when i say I have grabbed a smith and wesson auto and headed out expecting to have use it, I really mean I was expecting to use it, I didn't have to though.

06-01-2011, 11:25 PM
I agree 100%. I have a S&W 4006TSW that never leaves my side. The ammo is very affordable and your right, cant go wrong with a S&W

Can't beat those 3rd gen smith and wessons. Law enforcement used them for a long time

06-02-2011, 12:03 AM
Yeah man , all my buddies love it. Always want me to trade. Nope.....ole cannon ball launcher stays in my Galco. The one thing I love about it is it doesnt have heavy recoil, I guess because it is a real heavy pistol

06-04-2011, 05:16 PM
I've been wearing my eyeballs out on the GunsAmerica website and noticed a revolver chambered for .410 shotgun or .45 bullet (the Taurus Judge). I'm thinking that having a short .410 might be handy in the event of a home invasion -- lethal at the expected distances of just a few feet but not likely to kill the neighbors, too.

Any comments about that combination?

Matt In Oklahoma
06-04-2011, 06:58 PM
I've been wearing my eyeballs out on the GunsAmerica website and noticed a revolver chambered for .410 shotgun or .45 bullet (the Taurus Judge). I'm thinking that having a short .410 might be handy in the event of a home invasion -- lethal at the expected distances of just a few feet but not likely to kill the neighbors, too. Any comments about that combination?
I shot several models at a show where they were there to sell them. At 10yds, 3 experienced shooters could not keep all the rounds on an 8x12 piece of paper with the 45LC with any of their models. The 410 shells can be awesome, especially the buckshot round, at short distances and I think it's Federal that makes a 410 shell specifically for the revolver.

06-04-2011, 09:34 PM
I have owned the Taurus Judge for a little over two years.
After becoming use to the grip..which is an odd spiral, cushiony and mid size. The pistol performed very well.

I have the 2.5 inch .410 model.

Long colt .45- Like I said, after getting accustomed to the grip I had little issue (other then a few bad habits I learned I have after taking a pistol course :D )

.410 1/2 oz. "game" or bird shot- I load this when I am out in the tall grass at the farm, especially if near the creek. I have shot and killed three snakes, one which I almost stepped on.

Winchester Rifled slugs, hollow point. 1/5 oz- I haven't shot as many of these rounds as the others but at the get-go I was not really satisfied with my grouping. I have not shot the slug for some time and this post reminds me I need to.

Federal .410 4 pellets of 000 buck shot- It does what buck shot is suppose to do. Not as devastating as it's bigger brother's but it was quite effective on my target block.

And my favorite: Winchester PDX1 that delivers 3 plated cylinder discs in front of 12 plated BB's. It is a distinctive black hull, black oxide round. Devastating at close range....Fun stuff :)

My humble opinion.

06-29-2011, 12:20 AM
I like the .357 magnum in 4 barrel, good self defense and in a crunch you can hunt with it.
You can take small to medium game with it and it's proven it's self in self defense.

07-23-2011, 05:47 PM
the animal thing is bs, even in Alaska. Men are many x more likely to attack you than animals are, and men are many times more dangerous when they do attack, too. I will use my pocket 9mm with the same ammo in it, everywhere, cause it is the best all around answer to defensive needs. It is out of the way of the rifle and the backpack. If you truly have reason to worry about bears, you should be carrying a used, $400 308 Remington autorifle, not a .44 or 454 pistol. Only brain or spine hits will reliably stop a charging animal, and spine hits are luck hits. The autorifle can begin hitting the moving brain at 50 ft, as the animal charges 50 fps, and get off 4 controled shots in that final second. the 454 will get off only one shot, the .44 only 2, because you can't reliably hit the brain with a pistol, as the critter charges, beyond 30 ft.

07-30-2011, 05:16 PM
I've been wearing my eyeballs out on the GunsAmerica website and noticed a revolver chambered for .410 shotgun or .45 bullet (the Taurus Judge). I'm thinking that having a short .410 might be handy in the event of a home invasion -- lethal at the expected distances of just a few feet but not likely to kill the neighbors, too.

Any comments about that combination?

The Judge is a solution looking for a problem.

Almost a complete waste of money

Matt In Oklahoma
07-30-2011, 07:39 PM
I would go to the local gunrange and rent one or borrow one first. i was disillusioned with the lack of accuracy in the 45lc. The 410 was GTG as far as i was concerned, it is what it is but the inability to hit targets with the pistol round defeated the purpose of the gun

Briar Wabbit
07-30-2011, 08:45 PM
I have a .410 revolver ... they stopped making them ... I cant even remember what it is called ..
... Right now, it is hidden behind a box on top of one of my Canon Gun Safes (in case someone tries to force me to open it) ... Wicked devestating, at close range, with #3 buck ! ... Impossible to miss.

The pattern, for a 3" shell, is 14", at my feet (and as far in front of me!).

... But ... That is why I *DO* recommend a .410 derringer, as a "get off me" gun ... It is flat and can fit behind the pad in yer BoB ... when my hands are on my hips ? ... it takes a split second to deploy.

Like I said ... for close-up work ... any assault where someone is getting right up in yer grill? ... end of story.

A derringer chambered for WMR? ... can be hidden ANYwhere.

=Elmer= (BANG!)

08-02-2011, 10:17 AM
judge is a good hiking gun for snakes. just last week twice in 3 days i came upon a snake on the property i live on fortunatly neither were venoumus (a king snake which gave me fright in the dark till i identifited it as not a coral snake, and some sort of large greenish water snake) a few months ago I did read of a car jacking victim who sent their attacker to Allah (the perp was a muzz) with a judge at close contact distance. Federal and Winchester now make defensive loads in .410 due to the populartiy of the Judge.

08-05-2011, 01:36 AM
Sgl21-61 what is your thoughts of a .22 revolver loaded with snake shot (shotshell)? When I worked at the gunstore in MD, everybody that bought theJudge had nothing but BAD things to say about it the next time they came in...

08-05-2011, 02:02 PM
i've shot a rat with a winchester .22 shot shell.

the stuff is useless. i tried numerous times to kill a rodent with it and succeded once. past about 6-7 feet its useless. the shot size is #12 so its like a tiny charge of sand. the one rodent I did manage to drop was a juvinele rat or large field mouse and it went down instantly. all others ran off.

you'd be way better off with a shotgun or a larger bore revolver with snake loads.

08-14-2011, 03:57 AM
Pistols are great equalizers and a great defensive tool...I think caliber and make is what you are comfortable with...remember if you cant shoot well or handle it well it does you no good...also remember that the pistol was originally a secondary go to gun with the rifle being the primary weapon to use...the pistol was a in close weapon and a 2nd when they got to close...having said that I carry one for a living...I chose the 9mm glock 17..I like having a lot of BB's on my hip!..also its easily controlled and ammo is cheap!

09-06-2011, 09:11 PM
I have recently purchased a Smith and Wesson Govner for the wife to carry around the ranch. Unlike the Judge the S&W comes with severl full moon. half moon and 2 shot 45ACP "clips". The revolver is badged for 45 Colt, 45ACP and 410. This revolver shoots the winchester cowbay loads EXTREAMLY WELL, the groups I got out of Winchester 185 Silver tips was outstanding as well, the moon clips allow you to Mix and Match loads in the revolver as you see fit like 5 of the 45 ACP with a 410 bird shot as the first up hole, or 4 ACP and 2 of the 410's and of course any combanation you want with 410 and 45 Colts.

The ladys at my house all liked the 45acp loads and shot them well. The Federal self defence 410 loads worked well on 1 inch plywood as a test surface. Now the bird shot is useless past 6 to 7 feet (the spread at 7 feet was more than 2 feet wide) The Governer is a 2and 1/2 inch only gun with the 410 loads and costs about $100 more than the Judge but the ability to use moon clips was worth the extra cost to me and any of the 45 ACP or 45 Colt loads I tested at 25 yards held very tight groups as in under 2 inches off a sand bag rest. I am saveing for a second unit, this one worked so well.

02-25-2012, 07:12 PM
I now have the capability to cast my own bullets. That makes me less likely to run out of things in preparedness.