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What would you guys recommend for a first handgun? I'm thinking of getting one sometime in the near future, and I'm open to suggestions as far as caliber, brand, revolver/semi auto, etc. My only requirements would be that it would have to be large en

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  • #31
    357 Mag is a bit lite in my book even with 170-180's. I have loaded 200 gr casts with excellent results but it doesn't come close to my Ruger Super Blackhawk 44 mag 7 1/2 barrel shooting 250 grain Keith style casts with 21.0 grains of 2400. If you have a 45acp 1911A1 you can get a 45 Rowland drop in kit that should work just as good.

    I remember those days as Range Master at Eielson AFB Alaska watching those with 454 Casull hitting everything except paper. I would walk up and ask if they where going to use it for bear protection all said yes. "You know State and Federal Law requires for you to remove the front sight do you?"

    O'That look I get like this is my baby are you sure?

    Well you going to shoot a bear with that right?

    yes? (shacking voice)

    Well that Brownie is going to swipe that hand cannon out of your hand (by this time the range is silent all is listening in) and shove it where the #$%^& don't shine and that front sight is going to hurt!

    The entire line erupts in laughter!

    WELCOME TO EIELSON AFB ALASKA !

    I sure miss those days I do

    Go with the Super Blackhawk 44 mag you'll be glad you did!

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by jcarlin View Post
      I'm not going to go in for the "what's the best" end. I'm sure I don't have any experience with hunting handguns to know.
      Of the things discussed, I own but one revolver, and it's a Taurus 605, .357 with a 2.5" barrel. Cost me around $350 new 15 years or so ago.
      I believe you can get it in up to a 6" barrel.

      On the topic of a .357 revolver, they're not giants, but they do pack a wallop, typically about 20-25% more energy than a .45 acp at the muzzle, and carrying it's velocity advantage down range, though the velocity and energy gap starts to close at 100 yards according to the charts.
      Being able to practice with less expensive and less punishing .38 Special is a big plus.

      On Taurus. I carried that gun on my person and shot it for years, but it probably hasn't been out of the safe in the past 12 months.
      My one gripe with it is that the crane arm seems to have developed some wiggle and play, and I'd swear that the gap between the cylinder and barrel also has more play than it originally did. I'm sure Taurus would fix it if I sent it in. However, there's still no timing issue, nor excessive blast, or any shavings coming out of the side. It fires clean and works reliably.
      So you normally carry a .45 ACP? That's one of the calibers I've been looking at. I've shot my brother's .45 auto a number of times, and it's pretty shootable. Adequate for deer with +P loads at close range too. I'm not a big fan of 9mm. It might be okay for a self-defense gun, but that would be a secondary consideration for me. Don't worry about wandering off topic jcarlin, I'd love to hear anything you have to say about handguns.

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by jcarlin View Post
        I'm not going to go in for the "what's the best" end. I'm sure I don't have any experience with hunting handguns to know.
        Of the things discussed, I own but one revolver, and it's a Taurus 605, .357 with a 2.5" barrel. Cost me around $350 new 15 years or so ago.
        I believe you can get it in up to a 6" barrel.

        On the topic of a .357 revolver, they're not giants, but they do pack a wallop, typically about 20-25% more energy than a .45 acp at the muzzle, and carrying it's velocity advantage down range, though the velocity and energy gap starts to close at 100 yards according to the charts.
        Being able to practice with less expensive and less punishing .38 Special is a big plus.

        On Taurus. I carried that gun on my person and shot it for years, but it probably hasn't been out of the safe in the past 12 months.
        My one gripe with it is that the crane arm seems to have developed some wiggle and play, and I'd swear that the gap between the cylinder and barrel also has more play than it originally did. I'm sure Taurus would fix it if I sent it in. However, there's still no timing issue, nor excessive blast, or any shavings coming out of the side. It fires clean and works reliably.
        BTW, this might be a stupid question, but I've always wondered - how can you shoot a .38 Special out of a .357 Magnum? Aren't the bullets different calibers?

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by jcarlin View Post
          I'm not going to go in for the "what's the best" end. I'm sure I don't have any experience with hunting handguns to know.
          Of the things discussed, I own but one revolver, and it's a Taurus 605, .357 with a 2.5" barrel. Cost me around $350 new 15 years or so ago.
          I believe you can get it in up to a 6" barrel.

          On the topic of a .357 revolver, they're not giants, but they do pack a wallop, typically about 20-25% more energy than a .45 acp at the muzzle, and carrying it's velocity advantage down range, though the velocity and energy gap starts to close at 100 yards according to the charts.
          Being able to practice with less expensive and less punishing .38 Special is a big plus.

          On Taurus. I carried that gun on my person and shot it for years, but it probably hasn't been out of the safe in the past 12 months.
          My one gripe with it is that the crane arm seems to have developed some wiggle and play, and I'd swear that the gap between the cylinder and barrel also has more play than it originally did. I'm sure Taurus would fix it if I sent it in. However, there's still no timing issue, nor excessive blast, or any shavings coming out of the side. It fires clean and works reliably.
          I do carry .45.but if I was starti n over might have gone 9mm instead. I am uncertain.

          .357 v .38.
          You playing with me now?
          Someone correct me jf I say something more dangerously stupid than normal.
          They both have a .357 diameter bullet. My understanding is that for some reason the .38 special is named after case diameter. I sometimes wonder why we americans use any numbers in our chamberings at all.
          I ever develop a wildcat cartridge regardless of size I'm calling it a .49 because that sounds big but not irrational like .500.
          Or a .22Carlin because people are suckers for a new .22 chambering.

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by jcarlin View Post
            I'm not going to go in for the "what's the best" end. I'm sure I don't have any experience with hunting handguns to know.
            Of the things discussed, I own but one revolver, and it's a Taurus 605, .357 with a 2.5" barrel. Cost me around $350 new 15 years or so ago.
            I believe you can get it in up to a 6" barrel.

            On the topic of a .357 revolver, they're not giants, but they do pack a wallop, typically about 20-25% more energy than a .45 acp at the muzzle, and carrying it's velocity advantage down range, though the velocity and energy gap starts to close at 100 yards according to the charts.
            Being able to practice with less expensive and less punishing .38 Special is a big plus.

            On Taurus. I carried that gun on my person and shot it for years, but it probably hasn't been out of the safe in the past 12 months.
            My one gripe with it is that the crane arm seems to have developed some wiggle and play, and I'd swear that the gap between the cylinder and barrel also has more play than it originally did. I'm sure Taurus would fix it if I sent it in. However, there's still no timing issue, nor excessive blast, or any shavings coming out of the side. It fires clean and works reliably.
            Of course I'm not playing with you - you should know that I'm always completely serious! I figured the .38 Special had to be .357 diameter, but I wasn't sure where the name came from. Didn't know anything about the case business.

            Comment


            • #36
              Any of you guys know anything about Rock Island Armory handguns? They're about in my price range, and the reviews I've seen have been quite good.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by huntfishtrap View Post
                Any of you guys know anything about Rock Island Armory handguns? They're about in my price range, and the reviews I've seen have been quite good.
                Rock Island is manufactured by Armscor in the Phillipines, So is the Cimarron brand, that makes western style revolvers. I have one 1911 by them. Blah.


                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by jhjimbo View Post
                  .357mag is marginal for deer unless you are hunting from a tree stand and taking 20 to 30 yard shots.
                  With your budget I would think used. Check Gunbroker.com when you decide on a model.
                  I would say a revolver for first gun, but you say you like the looks of the 1911's. I have a 1911 clone and it functions fine but I would not bang away with it all day long - not like you could with a Springfield or Colt. Plus, .45ACP is not the best hunting caliber.
                  I would consider a .44mag in something like a used Taurus or maybe a .45Colt in a Ruger that would fit your needs and budget. Then reload for it to keep cost in line.
                  Good luck.
                  I've purchased a few used revolvers with good luck. Gunbroker is a good idea.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    My first handgun to carry into the woods was a Ruger Blackhawk single-action in .45 Colt, 7.5 inch barrel. It was good on deer to 50 yards with +P handloads but cumbersome holstered while sitting in a stand. I traded it for a Ruger Vaquero also in .45 Colt, 5.5 inch barrel. Killed a few deer and pigs with that one too. My load is a 250gr Hornady XTP at about 1000fps.

                    The last few years I've carried a Ruger SP101 in .357 Magnum but haven't used it on game. Get a 4-inch barrel if you get a .357 mag.

                    Comment

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