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Best Personal Defense Weapon(s)

Started by Grendel, Jan 31 2010 02:47 AM

#1 Grendel

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 02:47 AM

This includes non-lethals.  Actually: I'd like to consider non-lethals first and foremost.  Sprays, Tasers, Batons...

It's all fair game.

I have to deal with the lowest-grade, scum-sucking vagrant vandals on a daily basis, commuting to work.  Police are spread so thin that they don't even respond to the reports.  As such, I have to depend on myself for my own safety.  One of these scumbags attempted to hold me up today, and all that I carry is a small razor knife (not ideal for defense, obviously) and a blinding LED light that acts as a 'roll of quarters' in a pinch.  Again, not so great.  But after many, many years, this is the first issue I've run into.  Unfortunately, this piece of ###### is almost always around, lately.  

Luckily, I diffused the situation by explaining that I don't carry cash or valuables on me.  I'm worried that one of these days, some ###### is going to pull a knife, and won't be satisfied with that answer.  Normally, I'd just say, "###### this job, I'm not going to deal with this ######", and work in a better part of town.  As it stands, those luxuries don't really present themselves at this time.

So, I plan on getting my CCW and finding a nice sidearm at some point.  For now, I'd like to look more into non-lethal weapons.  Tasers (like the X26 and the M26) look interesting.  And to be honest, I could care less if it gives my target a heart attack.  If I have to use it, it's within good reason.  My philosophy is: "If you're prepared to put someone in danger, even for property theft, you had better be ready to die."  I'd obviously like to avoid the paperwork and court visits associated with a death in the name of self-defense (and would be as responsible as humanly possible in deployment of said weapons), but I shed no tears for dirtbags.  That's my main point, here.  If the dude had a bum ticker, that's his problem.  I'm aware of the controversies associated with the weapon, and I've made my decision.  I'm mostly curious about performance and results.  I want to know if this is a good option, besides putting lead 'down range'.

When someone is zapped, how long does it take them to fully recover?  Are they disoriented and weakened for a period of time, or are they back on their feet as soon as the voltage stops?  Does it vary from person to person?

The cost of a taser worries me, some.  But there are so many hoops and regulations with carrying a handgun, that it seems to be an appealing alternative.  Has anyone here had to deploy a Taser on a suspect?  If so, how are the results?  Do they vary based on bodyweight?  How long can you subdue a suspect on a full battery?  Are the barbs easy to remove?  If I subdued someone, would I be able to keep him on the ground for 10 minutes, waiting for the coppers to show?  What's the SOP on using one, provided you aren't wearing a badge?  Are the batteries rechargeable from home, or must you repurchase battery mags?

A million questions...

Now, sprays?  How many in Law Enforcement (or otherwise) have had any success in diffusing a fight with high-grade pepper sprays?  What's the success rate, and what are the best 'brands'?  I've always been of the opinion that pepper spray just pisses people off.  It doesn't seem like it would have any incapacitating abilities; more of an irritant that convinces a suspect to 'listen up'.

Batons/Nightsticks/Tonfas?  An old-fashioned MagLight (baton)?  These seem much safer than a knife, when push comes to shove.  I have friends that refuse to leave their homes without a knife, but I feel that it's more of a survival tool, than a weapon.  Good to have for when the car breaks down on a long trip -- not so great for a bar fight.  Things can quickly go south with a knife.  I figure it's not very easy for someone to mess up with a tonfa -- if the dude tries to stop you, he's still breaking his hands.  I'd prefer to keep my distance, but I'd like to know more about this option.

How about collapsable batons?  Are they study enough?  Are the spring-loaded ones cheaply constructed, or are they reliable?  Physical weapons are handy, but I feel like they only antagonize and provoke.  I imagine that whipping out a baton on someone is only going to cause them to draw their knife or whatever they're carrying.  Any differing opinions or results from those who have had to use them?

Gun feedback on CCW (with external safety) would be appreciated as well; but like I said earlier: I'm really curious about non-lethal options.  If I go with a new handgun (and I probably will, either way), it will probably be 9mm and either full-sized frame, or compact (not a fan of sub-compact).  

Any help is appreciated. :thumbsup:
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#2 zack991

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 03:00 AM

View PostGrendel, on Jan 31 2010, 02:47 AM, said:

This includes non-lethals.  Actually: I'd like to consider non-lethals first and foremost.  Sprays, Tasers, Batons...

It's all fair game.

A million questions...

Now, sprays?  How many in Law Enforcement (or otherwise) have had any success in diffusing a fight with high-grade pepper sprays?  What's the success rate, and what are the best 'brands'?  I've always been of the opinion that pepper spray just pisses people off.  It doesn't seem like it would have any incapacitating abilities; more of an irritant that convinces a suspect to 'listen up'.

They are not a bad choice but anything that it lands on it will contaminate. If your a guy do not, i repeat do not take a pee when its on your hands. It makes IcE hOt on the balls seem like Disney world. They do work with the correct brand and application, if not you might as well cut your own throat.

Batons/Nightsticks/Tonfas?  An old-fashioned MagLight (baton)?  These seem much safer than a knife, when push comes to shove.  I have friends that refuse to leave their homes without a knife, but I feel that it's more of a survival tool, than a weapon.  Good to have for when the car breaks down on a long trip -- not so great for a bar fight.  Things can quickly go south with a knife.  I figure it's not very easy for someone to mess up with a tonfa -- if the dude tries to stop you, he's still breaking his hands.  I'd prefer to keep my distance, but I'd like to know more about this option.

How about collapsable batons?  Are they study enough?  Are the spring-loaded ones cheaply constructed, or are they reliable?  Physical weapons are handy, but I feel like they only antagonize and provoke.  I imagine that whipping out a baton on someone is only going to cause them to draw their knife or whatever they're carrying.  Any differing opinions or results from those who have had to use them?

STAY AWAY FROM ANY OF THE NIGHT STICK STYLE OF WEAPONS. Your asking for a law suit. I am OPOTA state licensed and us armed guard are forbidden to even carry one with out further training from the state.


Gun feedback on CCW (with external safety) would be appreciate as well; but like I said earlier: I'm really curious about non-lethal options.  If I go with a new handgun (and I probably will, either way), it will probably be 9mm and either full-sized frame of compact (not a fan of sub-compact).  

Any help is appreciated. :thumbsup:

I would advise a police military grade mace and a handgun period. If you have to shoot, shoot to kill every-time. Never ever shoot to wound. Non lethal is a huge market and if your not careful many maces that are not made right or expire many of times can take up to 60 seconds to work or not at all.

Night sticks or tazers that shoot probes are a lawsuit for sure and is why we are not allowed to carry them. I Our isurance company will not insure us if we do and we can go to jail for using them if we are not certified by the state, which takes months of BS paper filing to get them approved. If you want to protect yourself learn how to shoot and shoot well Get a quality gun and very good ammo.

I consider Non leather tools as a complete joke in defense of yourself and others, if you want true defense invest in a firearm that will stop the treat permanently. All on lethal does  if you can stop them for police to arrive is put them back in the system where they WILL GET OUT and hurt others again. I will admit there are some sweet things on the market today, but non have the scare factor of them staring down a barrel of a gun. 80% of the time they will run at the sight of a gun, they see mace they will charge you every time. I know a person will ask then why do the police carry them, simply the have a duty to try and save their lives just as they try to save our lives from "them".

Like my sig says below, life is finite.  The end comes no matter what, the only thing that matters is how do you wanna go out, on your feet or on your knees? If you feel at all that you will not be able to take a persons life with a firearm then do not even waste the money on one or the training. Invest in only non lethal protection.  If you want your ccw then you must understand that you can not be hesitant to take another life to save yourself or others, I am a big supporter of gun rights for those who take it seriously and fully understand the huge responsibility it comes with.

It rubs me wrong when people who want protection go out and buy a firearm but have zero intentions on using  them or having the will to do so to protect others or themselves. I am not saying you are that type of person but you must make peace with this fact of being a gun owner.

Sorry for going on a little rant but i see and hear it way to much not to make my feeling known on this fact. If your a gun owner and you do not have the ability to use them in protection of others, then you need to find other means to protect yourself. Do not give false hope to others that you will be there to save them when you yourself are not willing to do so. Sorry for my ###### poor grammar, it is late and I am heading to bed.

#3 Grendel

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 03:07 AM

Aren't there 'civilian models' of Tasers that don't require an operator's license and all of that madness?  They are allowed to be worn (or concealed) in certain states.  I'm unfamiliar with the details, but I assumed that you could legally carry at least one model without much fuss.  I don't mind having to take a training course, if need be.

So what are some good sprays, then?

I have no qualms with 'shoot to kill'.  My issue is, more or less, that you cannot wear your weapon to work, to the bank, in a Federal building, and so forth.  It's just very restricting.  What's the point of a CCW firearm, when I have to leave it in my car?  So I'm just looking for something I could wear to work, without having to worry about the ###### associated with the old CCW route.
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#4 Nemesis

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 03:37 AM

I would suggest taking a self defence class...a good one at that!!

When I was 19 I was jumped outside our local hospital after having my rght hand treated for dislocated fingers (long story but I punched a lamp-post in anger after leaving my then girlfriends house). My hand was all bandaged up. The guy stopped me at he rear entrance to the hospital & wanted monies or he was going to stab me. I just fronted the guy explaining that I have nothing worrth taking & that he better know how to use the knife...cos I certainly do! That prompted him to take a wild swipe, which I blocked, grabbed, rolled & disarmed the guy. Needless to say he was on his toes running away when I fronted him after disarming him.

I`ll admit it was a risky occassion & the only time since & maybe I was lucky but when your taught these things it comes second nature & often you can take control of a situation. If a guy had tried the same thing with a gun... I dont think Id have been so lucky though.

A quick swift kick to the balls is also a good deterrent & often unexpected...but youve got to be quick first with the kick & secondly to evade the situation.

Here in the UK we dont have the luxury of a handgun or even a knife without risking prosecution, so you have to learn how to defend yourself in otherways. The stupid thing over here though is if your licensed as a trained or training in self-defense, you are then scrutinised for having used it in self defence!! What a meesed up country I live in!!
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#5 Grendel

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 03:50 AM

That's a crazy story!  Glad you made it out of that one without a split gut...

No, I agree: a solid martial art and defense course is a smart (albeit, expensive and timely) option.  I will definitely look it into, further down the line.  For now, I need something immediate.  I know how to handle a pistol, and I assume that handling and deploying a Taser device isn't much different.  My point is, I don't want to be in the situation where I have to say, "Oh, I'm sorry -- I haven't gotten to that part in my class, yet."  I want to be able to point a weapon, with confidence, and deter that way, if at all possible.  If the idiot is still dumb enough to try his best, then so be it.

I will probably order a few cans of police-grade Mace and see about the most cost-effective Taser, before hunting down the perfect CCW handgun.  Still, he's a drug-dealing, threatening street urchin.  One has to imagine that he carries some sort of knife or weapon.  I'd like to have something a bit stronger than spray, for obvious reasons.

But like I said, I'm currently researching all options.


Don't mind any silly typos...I've been awake for bloody hours, now.  Time to pass out...
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#6 Nemesis

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 04:10 AM

Good luck with whatever option you chose.
Its hard for me to relate to the situation as I dont live the experiences you have over there. Those that are just threatening usuallly work off of fear...the fact that your startled, off guard or simply afraid. If you can control that & they can see that....the process is normally reversed so that it is they that are off guard etc.
Fronting with a "device" could enrage the situation...or so I was taught, especially if they are carrying a concealed weapon...before you know it you have a stand-off which is going to go nasty.

Go safely, especially if you confront this situation on a daily basis!

...enjoy the rest :)
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#7 Witzbold

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 04:35 AM

View PostGrendel, on Jan 31 2010, 06:50 PM, said:

That's a crazy story!  Glad you made it out of that one without a split gut...

No, I agree: a solid martial art and defense course is a smart (albeit, expensive and timely) option.  I will definitely look it into, further down the line.  For now, I need something immediate.  I know how to handle a pistol, and I assume that handling and deploying a Taser device isn't much different.  My point is, I don't want to be in the situation where I have to say, "Oh, I'm sorry -- I haven't gotten to that part in my class, yet."  I want to be able to point a weapon, with confidence, and deter that way, if at all possible.  If the idiot is still dumb enough to try his best, then so be it.

I will probably order a few cans of police-grade Mace and see about the most cost-effective Taser, before hunting down the perfect CCW handgun.  Still, he's a drug-dealing, threatening street urchin.  One has to imagine that he carries some sort of knife or weapon.  I'd like to have something a bit stronger than spray, for obvious reasons.

But like I said, I'm currently researching all options.


Don't mind any silly typos...I've been awake for bloody hours, now.  Time to pass out...

Krav Maga is something Id suggest. Im sure HF would also if he was here. Thats only bout the h2h type of deal though.

In regards to firearms or any of the other types of deterrents out there try waiting for info from other folks.

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#8 Tactical Jerky

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 07:29 AM

Definitely at least go for a good type of pepper spray. It allows you to keep some distance, doesn't rely on the user's physical condition, it's quick and dirty, works on multiple attackers, and less likely to cause irreversible trauma you can't undo that's associated with firearms.

The first two speak for themselves. Than there's effectiveness, I've seen grown man on TV screaming in pain after getting sprayed. Yes there are situations where pepper spraying certain individuals proved to be ineffective but I don't think they're the norm. And for your situation it should likely be sufficient.

If you can legally carry one, a pistol likely is the most effective. However think about the possible consequences, not trying to start a debate just saying.  

I wouldn't go for a taser because as far as I know they can only be fired once, so useless against multiple attackers, and good luck getting your first and only shot on target. Also what if one of the darts bounces off? Too risky if you ask me.

Also something completely different that you might consider is to carry a dummy wallet. Take an old wallet make it look real by filling it with some change, a few bogus cards, etc, and always carry this with you. Than in case you get mugged act all dramatic while saying something like "here this is all I've got, but please don't hurt me I've got a wife and 2 kids!" and let him have your dummy wallet.

#9 Grendel

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 11:06 AM

Yes, I understand that martial arts are great.  But to be honest, I really don't see this happening.  Not right now, anyway.  The courses are too expensive and I simply don't have the time for it.  I have experience in dealing with firearms, so I figure anything in that category (of pointing something and shooting) is a safe bet.

Dummy Wallet is a trick I used to employ years ago, heh.  Never had to actually use it, though.

Yes, completing the circuit is a risk with the Taser.  But it can be used as a hand-to-hand weapon, by applying the arc to the neck or crotch.  Not as ideal as keeping a 15ft. distance, but at least it's something.  I would have to practice with the spread of the prongs, but I like the idea of being able to wear something that looks menacing, at all times.  As I was mentioning earlier: there aren't the same restrictions with Tasers over here, as there are with handguns.

I imagine, that in pulling out a pistol-shaped Taser, with a laser, the idiot isn't going to understand that it's not a pistol.  I suppose it's safer to have a pistol drawn (multiple shots, lethality) but it's quite likely that I won't be allowed to carry it onto the premises.  So what's the point, then?

I've been reading a lot and watching the training films from Taser.  If I'm not mistaken, there's a model that supports cartridges with multiple discharges?  That could be rather handy.  The X3 model, I believe?  I'm not even sure if it's available for civilian purchases, though.  It doesn't appear to be...

I would normally just go the CCW pistol route, but there's little point if I'm forced to keep it locked in my car.  What am I supposed to say?  "Oh, you're trying to start a fight and rob me?  Okay, well, let me just unlock my glove compartment to grab my pistol..."

If worse comes to worse, I'll just keep a makeshift club up my sleeve, when leaving the car.  At least for the time being.

And so, pistol-shopping begins!  Pity I don't know anybody in the business anymore.  I could really use an 'at cost' discount.  Gun shops are a rip-off. :(
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#10 Whisper_44

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 11:30 AM

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Gun shops are a rip-off

Shop online and pay for a transfer..

are you still in the Pac-NW? Try Rainier Arms...

#11 jwp1223

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 11:33 AM

Either take a Self Defense/Martial Arts class and/or get your CCW Grendel.

Or become a 6'4 300lb monstrosity like myself, and you won't have to worry about it.
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View PostWhiteKnight77, on 16 June 2012 - 12:38 PM, said:

When the trolling memes start appearing, you know you have stepped over the line and lost all credibility.

#12 zack991

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 12:16 PM

View PostGrendel, on Jan 31 2010, 03:07 AM, said:

Aren't there 'civilian models' of Tasers that don't require an operator's license and all of that madness?  They are allowed to be worn (or concealed) in certain states.  I'm unfamiliar with the details, but I assumed that you could legally carry at least one model without much fuss.  I don't mind having to take a training course, if need be.

So what are some good sprays, then?

I have no qualms with 'shoot to kill'.  My issue is, more or less, that you cannot wear your weapon to work, to the bank, in a Federal building, and so forth.  It's just very restricting.  What's the point of a CCW firearm, when I have to leave it in my car?  So I'm just looking for something I could wear to work, without having to worry about the ###### associated with the old CCW route.

Yes you can get tazers, but even with training the liability is very high. That and you have to get closer then I care to get to the assailant.

Here is what I trust and have be advised to used by cops who I work with at many different sites.

Sabre Red Magnum Pepper Spray

SABRE RED provides you with the following advantages:

    * Lab results show SABRE RED is 8% to 86% hotter than any other civilian red pepper spray.
    * 5x more shots per canister - most key chain sprays contain five (5) shots, SABRE RED contains twenty-five (25).
    * Contains UV Marking Dye for suspect identification.
    * 4 year expiration date is up to 2 years longer than most other sprays.
    * Guaranteed Heat - Security Equipment Corporation's High Preformance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) Laboratory scientificaly ensures heat specifications are met in every canister. No other manufacturer provides on-site HPLC technology to guarantee the strength of their sprays.

http://www.copsplus....prodnum8649.php


Cool-It MK-9 Just in case you get any on yourself.

Cool-It spray dramatically reduces the time it takes to decontaminate personnel, relieving them of the effects of OC, CS, CN or blended contaminants. A natural herbal extract, Cool-It is sprayed and blotted on the affected areas of the skin to reduce irritation quickly and effectively.

http://www.copsplus....prodnum2213.php

I would advise for you to buy this with any spray you get, I have gotten OC on my man area and I am not joking when i say it will burn hot enough to make any man cry in pain.

View Postjwp1223, on Jan 31 2010, 11:33 AM, said:

Either take a Self Defense/Martial Arts class and/or get your CCW Grendel.

Or become a 6'4 300lb monstrosity like myself, and you won't have to worry about it.
  I would advice this as well. Defense/Martial Arts class that is. Krav Maga  is a very good defensive arts class and I have gotten back into it since I left the military. I am playing on returning to the military due to finale issues.  My one year course membership ran me around 180, you progress at your own pace and only when your ready do you get tested to go to the next level.

#13 Jsonedecker

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 04:16 PM

View PostGrendel, on Jan 31 2010, 01:06 PM, said:

And so, pistol-shopping begins!  Pity I don't know anybody in the business anymore.  I could really use an 'at cost' discount.  Gun shops are a rip-off. :(


Not to start a debate about this or that weapon, but a solid choice, and one that has a good reputation and can be had cheap in Columbus is the Springfield XD. Sure there are better guns, but you can get one in 9mm at Vance's for $419. A good solid piece and a good price. Not sure if you changed over you DL, most likely have...... Just saying.  :thumbsup:

#14 jwp1223

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 05:32 PM

I would agree with John's opinion. The Springfield XD is an awesome weapon...I prefer the .45 variant though :).
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View PostWhiteKnight77, on 16 June 2012 - 12:38 PM, said:

When the trolling memes start appearing, you know you have stepped over the line and lost all credibility.

#15 Witzbold

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 06:13 PM

Grendel back in the US of A this was the pistol I got some training on and really do like it. The Smith & Wesson 3913TSW Pistol.

http://www.gunshopfi...sson3913tsw.asp

Its a great little gun to have with all the extra safety features if you are going to be in close encounters and worry about the chance of your firearm being taken from you. Though other folks might not like that since it can act as a double edged sword in high stress situations. So its all personal prefs. Also folks do make fun of the S & W guns calling them "boat anchors" but personally Ive had no problems with it and did once again like how it felt and fired. Plus good size for CC also according to my trainer former LE officer who used to carry his on the job. Though we are both around 6'1-2 in height to give you an idea of body frame and such.

One thing though is you might tear up your thumb a little when "sweeping" the decocking lever or when doing a tap, rack, sweep the slide the grooves on the end of it bites into the thumb a little. Though that just comes with getting used to the gun I suppose.

Can keep the 8 rd mag in the pistol and carry "state legal" standard cap mags for backup.

In regards to it being a 9mm dont really want to get into any sort of arguments with anyone since am not an expert at all on the issue and Ive just been taught accuracy over caliber is whats going to save ones ass in a bad situation.  :yes:

If you can find a place that has it or knows someone who does try checking it out and even more so if possible give it a test run on the range.

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#16 Grendel

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 10:02 PM

Yeah, thanks for the suggestions, guys.  I'm probably going to head down the range and rent a few handguns to test them all out.  I've been eyeballing the SIG Sauer P226 for a while (recommended by a friend).  I haven't been obsessing over buying a new weapon for a while, so I'm a bit behind on the features of all the models.  Are there any P226 models with external safety?

Ideally, I'm interested in a firearm with:
  • External safety (not 'trigger safety' -- I don't care for that)
  • Decocker
  • Night Sights and possibly a standardized rail system
  • Easy Operation (solid, ambidextrous controls)

I haven't messed around too much grip safety; but considering my dislike for heavy trigger pull ('trigger safety'), I dont' think I would care for it.  But I will definitely give the 1911 a fair shake, again; as well as the XD.

9mm is what we're going with.  It's cheap, light, controllable (I dislike the kick on higher caliber rounds), and it will kill a person to the extent that I need them to be dead.  I know that a .45 is going to create a bigger exit wound (and make them 'more dead...er'), but a few rounds of 9mm should get the job done.  I'm more interested in being able to accurately place multiple rounds, than I am playing Dirty Harry.

So far as size is concerned:  I actually prefer the feeling of a full frame in my hands.  Compact is as small as I'd like to go -- sub-compacts are too awkward and small.  Magazine size, I don't believe is limited where I am.  It's certainly not limiting as it is in California.  If anyone has a nice little guide that shows limitations per state, that would be nice.  But so far, everything I've found says I'm in the clear.  But I'll talk to some officers, I'm sure.

Anyway, let the recommendations commence!  Remember the requirements! :thumbsup:
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#17 jwp1223

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 10:17 PM

XD

Smith & Wesson M&P (no decocker though...external safety though, does have night sights)

Sig P226 (Good choice)

H&K USP

Glock

(most of mine don't have a decocker)...if you're wanting a decocker

Go with a Beretta M9 or something similar.
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View PostWhiteKnight77, on 16 June 2012 - 12:38 PM, said:

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#18 Grendel

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 10:24 PM

I like the M9, but it's just a tad bit too large.  Wearing it on the hip, I could do it.  But this is going to be in an underarm holster.

Do you own a P226?
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#19 Witzbold

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 10:34 PM

Grendel that pistol I mentioned the S&W has almost all of the things you want. Though you may not like the initial trigger pull unless you ###### it first.

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#20 Livo

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 11:26 PM

Do you feel you have enough hand to hand experience to deal in order to gain space to actually deploy your weapon safely, whatever weapon you choose? If they have half a brain, your attackers be wrestling and striking you with everything they've got, and getting out your pistol under those circumstances will be difficult to say the least.

Look at videos of police officers arresting resisting suspects. A lot of them have the ###### kicked out of them because instead of dealing with the attack (and then getting their weapon out), they try over and over again to pull out their pepper spray/baton/pistol whilst being beaten.

Not to sound like a jerk, but if hand to hand combat training is too expensive, then doesn't that mean you don't have enough money to visit the range and fire off enough rounds to be proficient with your firearm?

Firearms are a great equalizer, but the issue with them (and batons/sprays/tazers/knives) is that you tend to become far too weapon focused; all you can think about is using the weapon, as opposed to reacting to the situation, like the example with the police I gave above.




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