Episode-599- The In’s and Out’s of Handgun Selection

Photo Credit to bk1bennett

I have had a lot of requests to do a show bout handguns and selection there of.  I have actually been reluctant to do it for a few reasons.  First that no subject is more full of opinion and more opinions that don’t really matter than this subject.  Many guns and many calibers are so close in performance that debating one over the other has little meaning.

Next is that Eric Shelton does a great show almost exclusively devoted to handguns called The Handgun Podcast.  With more than 130 episodes of that show odds are you can hear more about handguns then you need to know, more importantly I don’t like to just redo the work of others.

Lastly is that to me choosing the right handgun is in many ways highly personal, yet after much consideration about how to make this show more than just explanations of a few common calibers and the difference between a revolver and a semi auto I think I am ready to do what I can to help you on your quest for the right handgun for you.

Join me today as we discuss…

  • What no gun can ever do for you
  • Why we carry a hand gun or use one in the first place
  • T.V. ain’t even close to reality
  • How bullets kill (overly simplified but what you really need to know)
    • Penetration
    • Shock
  • Hunting isn’t self defense and self defense isn’t hunting
  • Thoughts on common calibers, 380, 9mm, 38 Spc, 357 Mag, 40 S&W and 45 ACP
  • The situational requirements
  • The personal requirements
  • The lethality requirements
  • Capacity – over rated at best, more often a useless crutch
  • Used vs. new
  • Cheap, mid priced, expensive what makes sense
  • Practicing deployment and firing
  • Using airsoft guns for personal training
  • Getting professional training
  • In the end, a gun is only a tool

Resources for Today’s Show

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK and you might hear yourself on the air.

21 Responses to Episode-599- The In’s and Out’s of Handgun Selection

  1. Your poscast said “January 2nd…Ground Hog day”
    You meant February 2nd…right ?
    Good show.
    Thanks

  2. They do make a 10mm revolver it,s called the S&W nightgaurd.And before that they made the model 610. here is some info on the nightgaurd http://www.auctionarms.com # 10160449

  3. Pingback: Fishing Line: Allen Company Suede Leather Handgun Case | Fishing Line

  4. RUGER RUGER RUGER – You didn’t say Ruger!! – just kidding Jack, great show! You had a lot of good advice for everyone. Here is a little nugget of info. A town near me has a city ordinance the makes it illegal to shoot ANY projectile using air, springs, or tension (such as a bow string). Strictly enforces it makes nerf guns illegal, airsoft too.

    • outdoorwolfsurvival

      get a cap gun i dont think that violates any of the terms listed above i think thay have them at gas stations

  5. Modern Survival

    @outurst402, wow what a bunch of assclowns. BTW I know you are just kidding around but I did mention Ruger twice sort of.

    1. When I mentioned shooting two main handguns as a kid a 1911 and a Ruger Single Six in 22.

    2. When I mentioned by 44 Magnum Blackhawk I use for deer hunting.

    I have to admit though when I was naming brands I just drew a blank for a second, sometimes it happens. Annoying when it does.

  6. PistolWhipped

    Great show. I really only disagree on one point you mentioned.

    “Capacity – over rated at best, more often a useless crutch”

    Capacity isn’t a real issue. Use as a crutch is a psychological and a training issue, not a hardware one.

    More bullets provide more options, point blank. This is coming from a Old School/Wheelgun & 1911/Cooper fan. Only hits count, and if you can’t hit, then 14 misses do the same as 8 misses. But if you can hit 14 times before a reload, then it gives you more options than hitting 8 times before a reload. You might not ever need it, but it’s there if you do. Of course, it also increases width of the weapon however, so everything has tradeoffs.

    It’s a balancing act that each person needs to evaluate themselves. A point that I think you hit on pretty well.

  7. Modern Survival

    @PistolWhipped but in the real world if you hit 8 times or for that matter 4 times you are done. Life ain’t like the movies.

    • PistolWhipped

      I am quite aware of that. Chances are you might not get to shoot all those rounds. Against one person you probably won’t need even close to that many, if any shots. Most times the sight of a gun ends the matter.

      However, if you are in an area known for prevalent gang violence or the like, it wouldn’t hurt to have the option to hit multiple assailants at a time more than once, as it is a distinct possibility. As you mentioned, handguns are pathetic fight stoppers, so one or two might not cut it.

      I personally work in a rough spot in town. I see many groups of unsavory characters wandering around in groups of 4 or more. I am good on a reload. I can land a good 3 or 4 shots in center mass in about the time it takes to read this sentence. I’d personally be perfectly comfortable with a single stack 1911 or wheel gun, even a .38 snubby (though I’d prefer a .357 in a wheelie). But for some people, who would rather not reload in a stressful situations, something with a few more rounds might make sense in their particular situation.

      It’s each person’s decision, and they have to balance the pros and cons. I am driving at the same point you were, that “everything is situational”. Just that situations might include more than one attacker.

      Again, GREAT show though.

  8. Great show! got a 22 rifle and a shot gun but looking for a hand gun and hunting rifle to finish up our gun collection so we have what we need. working with neighbors to build a prepared neighborhood. Most already have the guns but we don’t yet. I’ve been teaching them about food storage and how to survive without electric. Make commitments on who is taking care of what in future endeavors like who’s raising hogs and learning to smoke meats and who wants to have a dairy cow and make cheese, butter, ect. Most have guns and chickens already so just need to bring me up to speed with the guns. Got a gun range next to us so they can teach me and let me practice. We are way out in the boondocks but their are 22 families who are working together so we can secure our piece of the world and hopefully survive.

  9. Pingback: Please One Person

  10. Pingback: Tweets that mention Episode-599- The In's and Out's of Handgun Selection | The Survival Podcast -- Topsy.com

  11. Hey Jack,,, man for one show, this was outstandingly comprehensive! Thanks for another good episode.

    I have one thing I might add, that I believe fits with your attitude toward the value of choosing a gun that “fits you”:

    If a gun is more comfortable, whether because of caliber, form, or esthetics, you will probably be more likely to shoot it more often. If you shoot it more, you are going to be better with it,,, and in my opinion, skill is far more important than, say, the difference between a 9mm and a 45acp, or a GLOCK and a Colt.

    On a different note – I think it would be great if you could get Eric Shelton on the show as a guest sometime. For those of you that are reading this, who are not familiar with him, he is the guy that does The Handgun Podcast (which Jack spoke about at the beginning of the show). Ever since I started listening to his podcast about a year ago, he has struck me as one heck of a great guy, who really has some very insightful things to say (and not just about guns but also about society in general).

  12. @cherlynn “finish up our gun collection” tickled me. I just need one more to finish mine. Been saying that for years.

    Jack good show. The only handgun that my gal likes that I have is a 1911. Her hand is about 3/4 the size of mine. She doesn’t like the feel of a full size glock but is fine with the compact version. I don’t like the feel of the compact version, having a pinky under the mag just doesn’t feel right. We’re going to be getting her a pistol in the near future for concealed carry. She just need to decide what she wants (she really likes the 45).

  13. A little piece of history for everyone.
    Back in the old days of yesteryear, the self defense caliber of choice for ease of carry & concealment was the .32 caliber. The revolver was used by many for a pocket gun & when the semi-auto .32 ACP arrived it was widely used as a carry gun. The Colt 1903 Pocket Hammerless was used by gangster John Dillinger. There is an old magazine ad for them showing an armed citizen on the street and a bank robber fleeing a bank and the ad reads “Do your Civic Duty”.
    Your gun doesn’t have to be big. It doesn’t have to look nasty. It only needs to be in your hand when you need it & you may not ever need to fire it. Just the fact that you have a gun can be enough to make most bad guys think twice.

  14. Great job Jack, you’re a brave man for tackling this topic!

  15. Great show, Jack. Other ways to practice drawing from concealment and shooting, shooting on the move, shooting from behind cover and shooting under pressure is to participate in IDPA (www.idpa.com) matches. IDPA matches are a lot fun. In addition to professional training IDPA matches are another way to improve one’s handgun skills.

  16. Great show Jack. I’m relatively new to hand guns but I’m improving steadily. One thing I’d recommend to all new hand guns purchasers is to make sure you know and have the proper grip and stance before you start testing calibers and pistol. Grip and stance have a huge impact on recoil control. If you have the proper grip and stance, you’re selecting process with be alot more objective.

  17. Wow I wrote a huge response to this Podcast and forgot the CAPTCHA code and lost it all! So I have had a couple days to think about this Podcast and will make a couple responses to it. Jack this is a first. This is the first Podcast where I feel I didn’t learn anything new. I was disappointed because I learned a lot with your shotgun podcast and when I first saw that this Podcast was on Handguns I was like WOO HOO. Between long guns and Handguns by far my weakness is Handguns which is frustrating because I have put more money, time and energy into Handgun training. So at first I was pretty disappointed and even was going to make a smart@ss comment.

    Then I realized something VERY VERY COOL! I have listened to hundreds of your Podcasts and this is the first one, THE VERY FIRST ONE, that I felt I didn’t learn something. I have come to expect and appreciate learning so much from each Podcast that I just took it for granted that I would learn tons of new stuff regarding Handguns. I have learned so much from your podcasts and have had the expectation that I would continue learning with each one and was frankly surprised and disappointed at first by this Podcast. However it is pretty cool that it took literally hundreds of Podcasts, with thousands of new, interesting or different thoughts, ideas and twists, along with very useful knowledge, to finally have this happen for the first time.

    This is a good Podcast and I agree with you on most of your points. Keep up the good work Jack.

  18. Now I would like to make one general comment regarding Handgun carry/conceal. I carry a Kimber custom classic 1911 style .45 and I carry everywhere I can carry legally(schools, federal buildings etc where you cant carry). Other than Law Enforcement and one Gang leader I dont believe anyone has ever noticed that I was carrying. In fact most of my family and friends were surprised to hear that I carry. So this tells me 2 things: You can carry a large frame gun and most will not notice it, and it is important to know what to look for when others are carrying. I am not worried about citizens in good standing carrying. In fact when I do notice it I feel proud that there are others excercizing their right to carry. I think most of us would agree that Gang Bangers and criminals should not carry.

    So here is something to look for. Unusual bulges around the waist line, groin area and small of the back. Those are the areas most likely to find a gun on a person. I have never heard of a Gang Banger using a holster-typically its either “crotched” or in the small of the back. Another thing to look for is either the Gang Bangers girlfriend (AKA Baby Momma)will carry the gun in her purse or one of the newer guys will carry the gun for the leader or more senior members. Just wanted to add those little bits of information for those who listen to your Podcast. Keep up the good work Jack.

  19. Hi Jack, great episode. I have some advice on Hi-Point pistols. I agree with you that they are not good carry weapons because they are heavier and bulkier, and (for those who care) uglier than other platforms. However, they are awesome guns for the money. I own a .45 JHP model; it’s quite accurate and the trigger pull is very smooth. The only the reliability issue have experienced is with the magazines. When they are brand new, they need some breaking-in before they can feed reliably. I have purchased 3 extra factory magazines for my pistol and I had to put about 100 rounds through each mag before it would feed without a jam. I don’t know if the tolerances are too tight, or if something else is wrong, but once they’ve seen some use, these pistols are some of the best buys out there.