New gun owners with questions?

Seeing as how the demand for firearms is at an all time high, and the number of new gun owners is exponentially increasing, I figured it would be good to open a thread for anyone new or inexperienced with firearms to throw out any questions they might have. So fire away (see what I did there?) I’m here to answer any questions and I’m sure Thomas can drop in as well


  • Comments (95)

    • 12

      Thank you for starting this forum thread. I am pretty new to guns and have many questions, so I appreciate you offering your knowledge. 

      I just bought my first gun, a Glock 19, which is a 9mm. 

      What are some accessories that I should buy with it? What ammo do you recommend (that is if I can ever find any…)

      I feel like on Pirates of the Caribbean where all of their guns have wet powder making them useless and then Pintel comments how they can still use them as clubs. Gun feels pretty useless without ammo.

      • 8

        First accessory i recommend is a good light and a holster. For a Glock 19 I love the the Streamlight TLR-7A. Can be had for $110-120 and is an excellent light for the size. The holster depends on how you plan to carry it if you’ve thought about that yet, but I personally use a T-Rex Arms Raptor and I highly recommend it for AIWB carry (Appendix Inside the Waistband) As for ammo, you’re best bet is to stalk the Sig Sauer website religiously, they’ve been doing restocks fairly often and are not that overpriced for the times. Their V crowns are a great self defense round. You can also create an ammoseek account and monitor it closely for any updates. Expect to pay 50cpr or more for 9mm right now, and at least $1 per round for hollow points. The good thing about pistols though is that a lot of the fundamentals can be tuned in dryfire. I’ll post a link to a great video explaining the basics of how to shoot a handgun, if you can learn the fundamentals he covers in the video you’ll be off to a great start.

        How to shoot a handgun in 10 minutes

      • 6

        Thanks for the suggestion on the ammo! I’ll have to keep an eye on that website. And thanks for the video, i’ll have to give it a watch later tonight 🙂

      • 6

        On the ammo front, be sure to check your local gun ranges or clubs, especially if they are also dealers.  I’ve found that my local range, where I am a member, still has most calibers available, though their stock fluxuates daily.  Higher-end gun dealers, ranges, and places that offer lessons typically have better relationships with the manufacturers than the discount chain stores or online retailers.

      • 9

        Also here is my personal carry setup. I’m running a shadow systems MR920, which is basically a gucci glock 19. As you can see the TLR-7A is a flush fit on it which makes it easier to conceal and more comfortable in the holster.20210116_192132

      • 11

        Nice looking gun!

        Do you mind showing a point of view picture of what it would look like looking down your sights? it obviously isn’t the stock sights, so I’m trying to see why you went with that upgrade.

      • 7

        No problem. I’m actually running a Holosun 507CV2 red dot sight on this handgun. Red dots are an absolute game changer on handguns and I highly recommend one if you can. Know how to use your irons and be proficient with them, but a red dot will greatly increase your speed and accuracy. The camera won’t focus on the dot, but it’s actually much bigger in person. You can change the reticle on this particular model from either a 2 moa dot, or a 2 moa dot with a 32moa circle around it. I’m currently running the circle with the dot reticle. But as you can see I can also use my irons as a backup through my dot should my dot ever fail16108477272427458928641008267764

      • 8

        That is super cool! Thanks for showing a picture. I have shot a friend’s rifle with a red dot before, and it felt like cheating. It really made a world of difference in finding your sight picture immediately and accurately shooting a bullseye every single time. Great choice for a pistol too i’m sure. 

        And that is good that you can still use your iron sights as well. 

        Follow-up question – how often do batteries last in that? Is the red dot always on, or do you have to toggle it on? If you have to hit a button to turn it on, that might not be the best for an every day carry gun right? Cause if you are at the point of pulling out and using your gun, you probably won’t have time to hit the button and turn on the dot.

      • 5

        Holosun rates the battery life at 50k hours on this one, but thats under perfect conditions. The cool thing about a lot of the holosun models though is the solar panel back up feature, which allows the dot to run off solar energy. I’ve tested mine without the battery in it and it will indeed run purely off solar power. They also have a shake-awake feature, so as soon as you move the gun at all the dot automatically turns on, and will auto shut off after 10 minutes with no movement to save battery. The shake awake is super sensitive though, there’s no way you could out draw the dot, so not a concern. I change my batteries once a year though just to be safe.

      • 5

        You have me sold! Backup solar power, shake to turn on, 50K hour battery life, that sounds awesome 🙂

        That still is smart to change out the battery every year. 

      • 5

        I run my Glock 19 with:

        • Talon grips, which wrap around the grip making it more comfortable and easier to hold
        • Glow sights. Mine came with them. I think they’re Trijicon, but I don’t remember for sure. The Glock sights are plastic and bend easily, so you want to upgrade those.
        • Streamlight TLR-1. It’s good to see what you’re shooting.

        As for holsters, I’m undecided. I have an Alien Gear IWB holster, which is okay. I recently purchased a Safariland 6378 that can accommodate the TLR-1, but the opening is so large that a little finger can reach inside and pull the trigger, so I’m not sure if I’m going to keep it. Otherwise it’s a great holster. If you opt for an OWB holster, be sure to get something with active retention.

        For carry ammo, I like Federal HST. I saw some ballistic samples and was impressed. For practice, shoot whatever.

        Another thing I’ll point out about the Glock 19: when you go to clean it, you’ll see some copper stuff inside. Don’t wipe that stuff out! It’s a long-lasting lubricant that’s meant to spread around the gun over time. Your manual should mention that.

        You might find the trigger to be a bit stiff. Don’t replace it, because that could get you in trouble if you ever have to use it. Gun mods are generally frowned upon by the law. The best way to loosen it up is to shoot about 1000 rounds through it, though that’s hard to do right now.

      • 5

        The Alien gear shapeshifter is a cool design allowing you to change holster types, and could be useful for some folks for that, but it is a little bulky. I’m not sure what you mean about the Safariland, do you mean that there is that much space between the weapon and the holster you can reach down in there when the weapon is holstered? Because that seems very odd for a safariland. 100% agree on the active retention if going OWB, but better yet would advise completely against open carrying unless you have to. Has a whole host of drawbacks and not really any benefits.

        HST is a pretty sweet round. Any if the FBI approved ones are really, Sig V Crowns, Hornady Crit Defense, Speer gold dot, all great for self defense. Avoid gimmicky rounds like the RIP and Liberty civil defense though, they don’t have enough density behind the round to penetrate deep enough to cause vital damage. The RIP makes cool patterns in ballistic gel, but all it really does is cause a nasty superficial wound. It doesn’t deliver enough critical threat stopping power, which is lacking in handguns enough to begin with. 

        As for triggers, that’s actually a bit of a myth about replacing the trigger. The only way it can get you in trouble is if you’re LE and it’s on your service weapon against department policy. For a civilian it’s not anything they can stick on you in court. “Oh no your Honor, my client upgraded their weapon in order to better defend themselves” Just doesn’t really hold water legally and any good lawyer can sweep right past it. That being said people also don’t need to think you have to upgrade a stock trigger on a glock to be accurate. The Gen 5 triggers are actually pretty good out of the box. Mine has a little over 3k on it now and it’s really starting to get smooth. All a good trigger does is allow a good shooter to be a little bit better. The fundamentals don’t change no matter what, and having a fancy Zev trigger won’t magically make you stop shooting low and left. If after you’ve mastered the fundamentals and decide you want to upgrade your trigger to help make those sweet 100yd shots, then just make sure it’s a reputable trigger with a proven track record, such as a Zev.

      • 9

        Good suggestions here but I’d also like to suggest nightsights. Glock standard sights we’re always terrible in my book. 

      • 6

        I was cheap and bought some high quality glow in the dark paint and using a tooth pick filled in the stock glock sights with the glow in the dark paint. I then took a small amount of clear fingernail polish and painted over the top to seal it in. It turned out great, looks clean because I took my time, and doesn’t look like anything is there during the day. You do have to shine a really bright flashlight on the sights for about 5 seconds to charge it though. 

        Then there are the real night sights that came with my wife’s gun. Those glow bright even after being in a dark drawer all day and not getting charged at all. 

        Don’t be cheap like me, get some real night sights.

    • 6

      I have handled firearms most of my life.  I don’t shoot much anymore, for multiple reasons such as hearing loss and ammo scarcity, but I do have plenty options for self defense still.  I just wanted to throw in my two cents on this topic.  The best advice I can give to any inexperienced person considering buying a firearm is to take a safety class before anything else.  Way too many are injured and killed by mishandling and accidental discharges.

      • 8

        If someone is brand new to firearms I would highly suggest going to an actual gun store (Not like an Academy, Bass Pro shops, etc.) And talking to some of the staff there when looking to purchase your first gun. At any good local gun store they will be more than happy to teach you the basic rules of firearm safety and how to handle your chosen firearm. If anyone is local to the north GA area (metro Atlanta/Athens area) I would be happy to recommend a few good local stores to check out.

      • 5

        Great advice classes are amazing and the instructors really know their stuff. I would definitely take a class as well as finding a friend that is knowledgeable with guns and that you know respects guns and their safety can be a very valuable resource as well. You may feel more comfortable asking questions that you may think are dumb to a friend vs in a class room setting. But just know that there are no dumb questions when it comes to guns, and if you hesitate to ask a question because you are shy or you think it is dumb, you might put yourself or others in danger. Ask everything and become extremely comfortable with your new tool.

    • 10

      What are the steps to cleaning a pistol? I think everyone seems to do it very differently and would love your (and anyone else’s) input on what you do.

      • 4

        Not all pistols are the same, so there is no one answer.  For example my Sig P226 takes down completely differently than my Colt 1911.  I suggest you Google cleaning your specific gun, watching several videos, then giving it a try.

        Now since I rarely run a lot of ammo thru my pistols, I will usually do just a basic field strip. 

      • 7

        I agree with looking up how to take apart your gun. I went on YouTube and found a video of someone doing a detail strip and downloaded it for offline use just incase the power/internet was down. I do a detail strip every two years but just a field strip after each use.

        Guess I should have been more clear with my question. Do you guys use nylon/brass/steel wire brushes? Do you use a bore snake? What cleaner do you use? Do you lubricate the slide?

        I do a field strip, spray everything down with CLP which is a cleaner, lubricant, and preservative. (Don’t buy on amazon, way too expensive. It is like $4 at Walmart.) I use a brass bore brush on the barrel and nylon brush on the spring, slide, and body. I find that I don’t really need to use more than a nylon brush because I clean immediately as soon as I can after shooting. Wipe everything down with cotton squares. I don’t think there is much use for a specific gun lubricant that you put on the slide or spring, the CLP seems to do everything for me.

        About every three months or so I’ll go through and wipe down the outside of my guns and knives with a disposable oil wipe just to wipe off my oily hand grease from touching it throughout the months and prevent any rust. 

      • 8

        The process you described is pretty standard procedure, nothing wrong with it at all. Fwiw, modern service handguns (Glock, Sig, M&P, HK, etc.) Don’t have to be cleaned as often as you’d think and can actually go thousands of rounds between cleanings without malfunctions. I have a Glock 17 and a Sig P320 that are both over 1K without cleaning now. My buddy hasn’t cleaned his new 19 Gen 5 since he got it and he’s almost at the 3K mark. I’m not saying to not make a habit of cleaning your weapons, that’s still a very good habit to have, just like maintaining any of your gear. But if you’re in a situation where you are unable to clean your weapon for long periods of time (like a SHTF scenario) don’t fret too much about it, a quality handgun won’t let you down even if it is dirty.

      • 5

        Thank you for saying that. I always wondered what I would do if there was a run on gun cleaning supplies and I didn’t have any left. Looks like I can go further than I thought before I really need to clean it.

      • 6

        I use bore snakes for all my guns.  Since I clean after every shooting, there is not a lot to clean anyway.  I too use CLP but I just have to use Hoppe’s #9 gun oil.  The smell of it just reminds me of shooting with my dad.

        To me, field stripping a gun & cleaning it is as fun as the shooting.  Yes, I lubricate the slide.  I actually prefer a well oiled gun & like it on the wet side… except for parts like the trigger assembly & the firing pin.  Those I keep dry with just a bit of graphite.

      • 5

        I’m sure that is a great memory of shooting and cleaning guns with your dad. I’m glad you can still relive those when you clean.

    • 7

      I know that a light is important on a long gun (AR15) but how important is a pressure plate toggle? I’m deciding whether or not it’s worth it to get one.

      Second question: what’s your opinion on red dot optics on pistols? I’m considering milling the slide on my Glock to add one, but it comes at considerable expense. It might be worth it for speed and accuracy.

      Thanks, I just signed up to this forum and it is phenomenally useful.

      • 5

        To answer your first question: Not super important, they’re more of a useful tool for activating the light depending on your setup. Some guys actually prefer to run button only. To effectively run your light using only the tailcap button usually requires having a shorter rail and running the light on your support hand side, so that you can simply roll your thumb forward to activate the light. Not too hard if you train for it. Like I said some guys prefer to run that way because they feel the pressure pad is another failure point. So that one is totally up to you and what feels more comfortable. Some lights, such as the new Cloud Defensive Reign, actually have a tailcap with a button built in but can also accept a pressure pad, so you have the option of both. They’re actually running a sale on their website right now, I ordered one earlier today. 

        For the second question: Red dots on pistols are definitely the way. They help you shoot faster, more accurately, and greatly improve target transitions and shooting on the move. That being said, it is pricey to have your slide milled and then buy the actual dot, but it’s well worth it IMHO. However if your glock is your primary carry weapon and you don’t have a backup, I wouldn’t recommend sending it in right now, as it will be out of commission for at least a few weeks while being milled. You can always get a stripped aftermarket slide and just transfer the internals over though if you don’t want to have to wait on machining time. There are some more affordable options for aftermarket slides coming out now, such as the Brownells glock slides and the new Zev Duty slides. But even these are subject to the overwhelmed market right now and are more difficult to find.

        So to summarize, red dots are awesome, slides milling has a turnaround time, aftermarket slides are dope but pricey and hard to find. 

        If you have the coin and time to spare though I would highly recommend getting one, they can greatly improve your handgun shooting with proper training. I can post more photos/videos of mine if folks would like to see more of what a red dot looks like

      • 4

        Thanks for the feedback, I think milling the slide I have might be the best option since I’m dealing with a 19x which apparently isn’t compatible with gen4 aftermarket slides. As a less important point, having a black slide on the coyote frame would be a bummer, and cerakote costs a lot. What I’m trying to do is find a local place (I’m in the DC area) which can mill the slide so I’m not waiting a long time for shipping and such.

        I would love to see photos of your pistol with red dot, though.

    • 5

      Great thread!  I am not a new gun owner, but I do have a question I’ve been struggling to find a straight answer for.  I am looking to purchase a small and lightweight pistol or revolver to take on backwoods hiking trips. I have no inclination of “stopping a grizzly,” but I do hope to be able to scare off a cougar. I’m trying to keep this as lightweight as possible, every ounce out there adds up.

      Historically I’m a semi-auto guy, but for this I think I want a small hammerless (more correctly an internal hammer) revolver, which I basically have zero experience with.  My question boils down to this: how does .38 Special ammo compare to 9mm and 357?  I know it’s not nearly as powerful as 357, but looking at these little hammerless revolvers, it seems that those chambered for .38 are often a couple ounces or more lighter than those chambered for .357.  How does .38 compare to 9mm?  Is it worth going down the revolver road or should I just consider a subcompact 9mm?  I’ll also note, that from a size and weight perspective, the Taurus .380 ACP Ultralight is tempting as well, but then I know I am definitely going down a couple steps in power.

      Like I mentioned, I’m not looking to kill anything, and likely (hopefully) won’t even bump into a grizzly.  But black bears and cougars are a plenty in these parts, and when I’m out alone I’d like to feel a little less helpless.

      • 4

        My personal recommendation would be the Sig Sauer P365, and let me elaborate why.

        First off, the P365 is extremely easy to carry, and is so slim and lightweight you forget you have it on. I carry mine whenever I’m wearing clothing it’s harder to conceal my 920 in, or clothing just not as suited to carrying that size handgun, such as dress clothes or really lightweight clothing. If you are planning on using this for hiking it would be no problem to carry one either on your body or even in an easily accessible pocket in your bag or jacket.  It weighs in at around 18 ounces unloaded versus a Smith and Wesson ultralight revolver at 14.4 ounces, so very minimal wight difference. The 365 is only 1 inch wide though unlike a J frame revolver, so much easier to conceal when you want and less bulk in a pocket or holster.

        As for ammo, I’d much rather have 10+1 rounds of 9mm then 5 rounds of .38 While the .38 is just a little more hot than 9mm it’s really not enough to make that much of a difference ballistically. Having 11 rounds of 9mm in a smooth shooting automatic like the P365 would be preferable to me than having 5 rounds in a revolver with more recoil. When it comes to actually stopping things, putting multiple rounds in critical areas is what counts, having a more powerful round is not always the answer.

        In summary, I’d go with a P365 for concealment, holster options, and firepower while still maintaining a low weight option

    • 8

      If I wanted to store a rifle and pistol in my house and not touch them for a year or two what would you do to prevent rust and corrosion? How about storing ammo for long term storage as well?

      • 6

        It somewhat depends on which region you are in (humidity is the most important factor) but I would put your guns and ammo into a waterproof storage container with a silica packet like this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NBQEYTJ/

      • 4

        Great idea! I’ll buy some of those silica gel packets and throw them in with my guns and ammo. 

        Do you have to rotate those silica gel packets every so often? or probably just if there is exposure to air. If I keep my ammo in an air tight ammo can, I probably won’t need to replace them as no moisture is getting in.

      • 5

        While prepping for unimaginable scenarios. . . .

        I had the same question after I purchased my .22 Marlin.  It’s intended for small game and hopefully I’ll never need to use it (or clean it).  I contacted Marlin.  I asked if vacuum sealing my new Marlin rifle in a plastic vacuum food storage bag, complete with desiccants, could be a viable solution for long term storage.  Marlin replied that they had not heard of that before but thought it to be a great idea.  So I took a sleeve from my vacuum food storage bags.  Cut to length, added desiccants, the manual, and an extra piece of paper towelto protect the bag from protruding firearm components and vacuum sealed it.  It’s been 2-years.  I check during my semi-annual inventories to make sure none of the protecting lubricant has had an adverse effect on the bags.  It had not.  Since it is sealed in clear plastic I look for any surface rust.  So far so good.

        Vaced Marlin

      • 7

        That’s a great idea to vacuum seal your gun. I should get one of those and seal up many different things like a fire kit, toilet paper, clothes, and some important documents. That would keep them all water proof and compact until I needed to cut them open and use them.

      • 7

        If you are looking to store your firearm for many, many years, and are confident you won’t be using it, vacuum sealing it could be a great idea.  But in my opinion it’s overkill for storing it 1-2 years as you mention.  Unless you live in a high humidity area, simply give your gun a good cleaning and lube job and store it in a location were it will not be exposed to moisture or significant temperature fluxuations.  Plus, I suspect that since this is a prepping forum, you also desire some decent access to said firearms in case of an emergency.  I’m not sure I’d want to mess with removing the vacuum seal from my firearm in an emergency situation.  Far better to be able to inspect your guns every so often, even if only once a year.

        Now the most important thing is to store your guns and ammo in a location that only you and those you trust have access.  I don’t want to go on a safety rant, but keeping your firearms out of the hands of kids and bad guys is priority number one.

      • 7

        I know this isn’t a section on vacuum sealing, but it is a great Prepper tool, not just for food items but for storing ‘stuff’ as well.  As you pointed out, our BOB has our clothes vacuumed sealed to reduce space.  Some disinfectant soaps, medical supplies and more.  We like the idea of water proofing what we can and the space reduction.  When I vacuum seal a firearm it is put away safely & securely. It is not a firearm I plan to use anytime soon. Having said that, easy tear open and cheap & easy to reseal.  It takes 4-minutes out of your day to vacuum seal after cleaning (more on that below).  Oh, and unless you notice that the vacuum bag is leaking (no longer tight around the interior components) the desiccants are good to go until after you open the package (also good desiccants can be reused after heating).

        As Matthew correctly pointed out, your home/personal protection firearm should be easily accessible, but secure from kids who may be up and around in the night.  Safe storage is inversely proportional to accessibility for most people.  A semi-expensive digital safe, securely mounted to a wall stud, by your bed and in your most commonly occupied room, offers a potential solution for both.

        But I digress, this question & forum is about Prepping & storage:

        I’m 67 years old, a good Prepper with 22 years military service.  I’m been flooded, lived through several hurricanes (we live on the coast) and had a very larger tree fall on our home making everything inside a miserable mess.  As a Prepper, I prep for the worse case scenario (that I can afford) and hope for the best.  Everything I have water sealed remained dry.  Transporting goods in a ferocious rain to bugout can leave a person & goods soggy indeed.  Never know, it might be good to have more items watertight, even for the short term, just in case.

        Vaced Clothes

      • 5

        Great information from everyone here. I have to agree that vacuum sealing your firearm is a little overkill for basic storage. If you were going to bury it, yes, but for normal storage not needed. My grandfather has guns that have been in his safe for over 40 years and are still in great condition. Like mentioned above just make sure to keep everything dry. Keep fresh silica in your safe and ammo cans and you should be good to go.

      • 1

        I was using baggies. This is a fantastic idea!!! We already have a vacuum sealer. Just never thought of this. Thank you!!

    • 7

      I’m not new to firearms, but I could use some help if anyone out there has a Beretta 1301 (Tactical or Competition) shotgun with an older complete manual. I have always felt that an intimate knowledge of the firearm is essential to ensuring proper longevity, reliability and functionality.

      Does anyone have an OLD Beretta 1301 (any model) manual with illustrations which I might obtain a copy?  The new manuals offered by Beretta do not have any illustrations past page 7 (Beretta Service Center admitted there was an issue with their transfer to digital publications).

      This is my first Beretta. My first gas operated semi-automatic shotgun. All the manuals offered digitally by Beretta are incomplete. I wrote to Beretta for a hard copy. Got that Friday and it too is void of any illustrations past page 7. I watched the Beretta videos and they are a bit outdated as well and don’t answer all my questions.

      Now, I’m working it out using two illustration-missing Tactical and Competition manuals, but I don’t like the idea that I am making a SWAG on some of the instructions. Seems pretty straight forward, but that goes against everything I’ve learned about firearms in 22-years of military service. For $1200.00 I kinda thought a functional manual might be customary. . . .

      Beretta 1301 Tactical Generation 2


      • 3

        I would maybe see if you can get someone from Beretta on the phone and ask if they can get you a nore detailed manual copy. If that fails maybe see if they can get you in touch with an armorer who could answer more detailed questions. If there are any dealers near you who are certified Beretta dealers they may have a gunsmith who’s a certified Beretta armorer.

    • 6

      what are your thoughts on the kel-tec p50?141591395_2727941584136555_8691239264405047919_o

      • 4

        haha that sure is an interesting gun! Kel-Tec sure knows how to make some unique guns. But i’m a fan.

        I’ve been wanting to get a Kel-tec sub 2000 for years. I’ve thought the take down design was super cool and works with Glock mags that I already have. But alas, I have to be a grown up and my Kel-tec money that I was saving up for went to medical bills. One day though!keltec

      • 5

        Personally I avoid Kel-Tec like the plague. Their guns are more gimmicky than useful really, with the sub 2000 being possibly an exception. This gun definitely falls in the gimmicky category. 5.7 looks cool and sounds cool as a cartridge but is really not that effective. Everyone wants it for the “armor penetrating” capabilities, but the AP rounds are restricted to Government sale only. Regular rounds for it were expensive before the rush on ammo, and are even more expensive now. Having a 50 rd magazine is also cool, but those P90 are expensive and trickier to reload than other PCCs. If you want a good, dependable PCC that doesn’t break the bank then get a CZ Scorpion, Foxtrot Mike AR-9, or a PSA AK-V. Maybe a Stribog A1 on that list as well but the mags have had some reliability issues. The whole PCC vs SBR or AR pistol is an entirely different discussion within itself too, but we can talk about that as well if you’d like.

      • 4

        My thoughts  on the Kel Tec p50 below ,and also, what purpose would you want this model for?

        I don’t don’t own a Kel Tec product, but some of my friends do, and have had good luck with them. They are long time firearms owners, one friend picked a pmr30 (22 magnum) for magazine capacity and prefers it to his 9 mm.

        I like the 5.7×28 round, much lower recoiling than 9mm or 45 ACP. I find it very easy to shoot and maintain accuracy.

        Most models on the market have large capacity magazines. Most models were also more expensive than guns in other calibers before the release of Rugers 57 model.

        Shooting Gallery on the outdoor channel, just had an episode on the 5.7 round at gunsite academy where the round was discussed at length. Do check this video clip for the comments one of the gunsite instructors made about the 5.7 round.

        gunsandammo review of the P50.

        P50 mechanicals look similar to FN PS90 to me. P50 is on the expensive side I think , though not as expensive as the PS90, or the CMMG ar platform 5.7 products.

        All of these rifles (pistols) would still need an optic IMO.

        I would agree with a number of folks  on this forum that have good fire arm experience , that 9mm handguns guns and ar 15 platform guns are the most common, the easiest to get parts and service for, and until recently the easiest and most affordable to get ammo for.

        All ammunition is expensive and hard to obtain currently and the 5.7 round is probably one of the hardest to get. Prices have also gone from 40 to 50 cents per round to over a dollar per round currently.

        P50 is more compact than an ar  platform pistol.  I like it, but wish someone would manufacture a pocket sized 5.7 pistol with say…. 15 round capacity.

        I bet they would sell everyone they could make.

        That’s my ramblings on this gun and cartridge. I’m very accurate with the 5.7 products I’ve tried.  I’d encourage people to try a 5.7 cartridge gun if they can find one.

        Good luck finding ammo currently if you don’t already have some.

    • 8

      Just wanted to post up this video from WPS, it’s a great video about training with limited ammo and including dynamic real life scenarios into your training. Real life is messy, and your training should reflect that and help prepare for it. I know ammo is super expensive and hard to find right now so using drills like these that incorporate a lot of skill building into one drill is a great way to capitalize on what ammo you do have. 

      Training with only 50 rounds

      Stay safe, stay alert, and protect innocent life.

      This is the way 

      • 6

        Next time i’m out at the range, i’ll have to implement some of these techniques. Thanks for sharing.

        -Be Prepared-

      • 6

        Great drills. I signed up for WPSN with some friends, it’s totally worth it for all of the pistol and rifle training content alone.

    • 7

      Hello I Purchased my first Gun which is a XD-9MM Defend your legacy Series XD 4

      and i had questions about the magazines because with my purchase i only received 1 mag but at the bottom it says 40sw .10rd, So my question would be is this gun interchangeable when it comes to magazines? and also What is the best self defense ammo and range ammo for this gun

      • 4

        Did you purchase this from a gun store or a private individual? Very odd for new handguns to only come with one magazine from the factory, most come with at least 2. And no, 9mm and .40 are different size rounds and should not be interchangeable magazines. Have you tried loading the magazine yet? It could be they just put the wrong baseplate on the magazine and it is actually a 9mm magazine.

        As for ammo, range ammo is anything you can find right now. 9mm is the round in most demand currently so finding it is a challenge itself, and when you do find it expect to pay a premium for it.

        As for SD ammo, I personally use 124gr Sig V-Crowns or 124gr Hornady Crit Defense. Speer gold dot and Federal HST are also solid rounds. Sig restocks their website pretty frequently with ammo, can snag 9mm hollow points for around $1 a round on there. 

      • 1

        Well, I don’t know about your own experiences, but I often buy new handguns what come with only one mag.  Very annoying and I always give the company crap, an sometimes refuse to buy a new pistol with only one mag–particularly since they cost so much.  

    • -1

      I very strongly object to your site, and many of your ‘experts,’ in recommending any striker fired pistol for beginners, or for anyone else for that matter.  The ‘Glock hysteria’ can get people killed.  I am a United States Marine Corps veteran and have been a Nurse Practitioner or over 40 years.  So many accidents happen with the striker fired pistols because in an anxiety or panic situation, folks grab the firearm and, as there is no safety, there are unintended discharges.  This is especially dangerous with younger shooters.  And if you are injured or disabled, or are forced to use the off hand, it can be  very difficult to draw the pistol without using your strongest, most accurate grip–the pointer finger.  I am disabled in the right hand and arm, and I always carry hammer down with any handgun, I know from my own experience, as well as my professional experience in Emergency Rooms and ICU.  You are free to recommend any pistol, of course, but I personally will not.  And I have been teaching many new shooters on my private range.  I’d rather be safe than sorry I bought a pistol just because it is “the flavor of the week,” if you get my drift.  Just had a mother shot in a Walmart when her 7 year old drew her Glock from her purse and shot her by accident.  Think it over, please!

      • 3

        So many accidents happen with the striker fired pistols because in an anxiety or panic situation, folks grab the firearm and, as there is no safety, there are unintended discharges

        Thank you for your service.  I am an Air Force veteran.

        First of all, I will say the safe usage of any gun is incumbent on the user.  You have a responsibility to use your weapon wisely & a responsibility to train with your weapon so that you can use it safely.  

        I have several pistols, including a prized 1938 Colt 1911A1 that was worn by my father-in-law in Europe during WWII.  My go to handgun is my German made Sig P226, which has no external safeties.  All its safeties are internal.  

        Some might say that makes it unsafe and they are welcome to their opinion.  I happen to disagree.  It was designed that way so that there is never a question if the gun will shoot if you pull the trigger.  Some folks foolishly handle guns because they think the gun is on safe… when it is not.  Some folks fail to fire the gun when needed because the gun is still on safe & they panicked during a crisis situation.  I prefer my service weapon, that I use for home defense, to fire when I pull the trigger.  Then & only then.  It is incumbent on me to train so that I use the gun properly & safely.  I do my training on my home firing range.

        This gun is in a pistol safe next to my bed, with a round in the chamber and the hammer down.  When I carry it around the farm or to go do some shooting, I carry it hammer down with no round in the chamber.  But no matter, I was trained that a gun is always loaded.  I was also trained that any gun is a weapon and not a toy to play around with.  Too many folks get hurt by playing around with guns or trying to act cool.

      • 2

        Redneck really nailed it here, NDs happen as a result of poor or improper training and holster usage, not because of the weapon.

        “Glock hysteria”? Glocks have been around since the 80s, they’re not a new thing, and there’s a reason they’re the most common handguns in the world (Not to mention all of the other major striker fired hanguns) 

        Exactly like Redneck said, you want your duty weapon to fire when you pull the trigger every single time, and no other handguns are as ridiculously reliable as striker fired handguns, that’s been proven time and time again in both military and civilian trials. A draw stroke is a gross motor skill that you can still retain under pressure, but disengaging a safety is a more fine motor skill that is more likely to be botched when under pressure. In a Defensive situation you want to remove as many variables as possible in the time it takes for your weapon to be ready.

        Not meaning any offense here, but that opinion about striker fired hanguns is very outdated and has been disproven many times. There’s a reason that the overwhelming majority of law enforcement carry striker fired handguns and the US military (as well as many others) have transitioned to having a striker fired hangun as their main sidearm. To go even further than that, the Sig P365 and Glock 19 (as well as the many glock clones) are the most common CCW weapons in the US. Polymer framed striker fired hanguns are not “the flavor of the week.” They’ve been around for over 30 years and are what more people carry to defend their lives, both personally and professionally, than any other kind of handgun period.

      • 0

        @Caliber Carpenter,

        I don’t disagree with what you are saying but frame-mounted safeties have saved many lives in gun-retention fights.

        I carried a 1911 for many years but transitioned to a revolver when I am leave my house.

      • 2

        I would argue that’s what retention holsters are for, and why most all police departments require officers to use a lvl 3 or at least a lvl 2 holster on their duty belt. If someone has a hand on your handgun outside of your holster you are already off to a horrible start. 

      • 0

        I’m going to agree with Doctor Tom on this one, with the gentile reminder that he is not replying to the question “what is the best gun” but rather “what is the best gun for beginners.” Glocks and other striker fired guns are excellent guns, I don’t think anyone is debating that, but I agree with Tom that they can be both tricky and intimidating for the beginner shooter who does not have military or LI training and/or access to frequent training opportunities. 

        “…no other handguns are as ridiculously reliable as striker fired handguns, that’s been proven time and time again…” – can you point me to any of these trials you are referencing? This is the first time I’ve heard anyone suggest a striker-fired handgun is more reliable than a revolver. Again, nothing against striker fired pistols, but in my experience nothing beats the reliability of a good revolver.

        For what’s it’s worth, IMO, a revolver is the best handgun for new gun owners – maybe not the best gun long term, but it’s an excellent safe and simple platform to learn on. If you are looking to start with a long-gun, my suggestion is a 22LR rifle; there’s an excellent reason why those were likely the first guns our granddads taught us on when we were kids!

      • 2

        I’d have to say the exact opposite, revolvers are unwieldy, harder to shoot, have more recoil, and can potentially hurt the shooter if they get a finger in front of the cylinder while firing. Striker fired hanguns are stupid simple. Insert magazine, rack slide, pull trigger. It really is that easy, especially if the gun has a red dot. My best training gun is my Sig P322 with a red dot, it teaches people how to hold a handgun and track their sights while having minimal recoil. Handgun shooting doesn’t require military or LE training to be good at it, I’ll post a great video below that gives all of the basics in 10 minutes, highly recommend it for new shooters.

        As for your question about reliability, look up any of the various handgun trials the US Army and Marines have conducted. All of the top contenders are striker fired hanguns, and as we know a P320 won the contract. I can also speak from personal experience on this, I have over 10k rounds between my glocks and sigs and I’ve never had an issue, and I rarely ever clean my guns, once every few thousand rounds at most. If you’re still not convinced, just go to YouTube, type in glock torture test, and watch hours upon hours of people abusing Glocks and other striker fired hanguns. I’ll post a link to a few of my favorites below. As a side note, many malfunctions on automatic handguns are caused by the user limp wristing the weapon, which is a result of improper grip.

        Please understand I’m not trying to be condescending about any of this, but what I’m recommending is straight from some of the best instructors in the industry. Check out videos from John Lovell at WPS, Lucas at TRex Arms, Ronin Tactical, Sage Dynamics, Travis Haley, there’s tons of great instructors out there and many of them give out a lot of knowledge for free across their platforms. The WPS paid network is also very much worth it, they have entire pistol and rifle classes available on there. 

        How to shoot a handgun in 10 minutes

        TFB Torture test

        MAC Reliability Test

      • 2

        I should also mention revolvers are not good as a first handgun as they leave no room to grow. They’re slow to load, meaning shooters are less likey to shoot them as much. You can’t buy more mags for them other than moon clips, which are nowhere near as good as a magazine. You can’t upgrade the sights, trigger, or any internals on a revolver like you can on an automatic, and very few revolvers are red dot capable. Many shooters will outgrow the gun very quickly as they look to upgrade or increase their capabilities. 

      • 2

        I am perfectly content with my S&W 357 purchased in the 1960s.  Nary a malfunction in 60+ years and I know it pretty well…..

        In preparedness/survival, firearms have a role, but other considerations are far more significant

      • 3

        As for your question about reliability, look up any of the various handgun trials the US Army and Marines have conducted. All of the top contenders are striker fired handguns, and as we know a P320 won the contract.

        I think this is very sound advice.  Who has the money & resources to completely test a weapon better than the military?  What handgun do many police use?

        Years ago, when I was researching which handgun to purchase, I decided reliability was the most important feature… and I consider weapon safety part of reliability.  I rely on my handgun to fire when I pull the trigger.  I rely on my handgun to not discharge unless the trigger is pulled, especially when dropped.  I personally didn’t want external safeties, because my greatest concern was forgetting to unsafe the weapon when under maximum stress.  I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve witnessed shooters pulling a trigger and nothing happened… because the safety was on.  I personally have done it multiple times shooting ARs.  If folks do it when on a range, what do you think can happen when under extreme stress?

        I purchased my Sig P226 from a FBI agent who also had a license to sell guns on the side.  He & his buddy, a higher up in the Memphis Police, were neighbors of my dad on a trout river in Arkansas.  They both told me the 226 was the weapon they and other law enforcement trusted.  Was also the weapon Navy Seals used.  If you’ve read the news, the Navy Seals have switched to a Glock too.  Nothing wrong with the Sig but the Glock is lighter and cheaper to make and they actually wanted a striker trigger saying the striker fire design offers a lighter, more consistent trigger pull when compared to hammer-fired designs.

      • 0

        Did the military include revolvers in these trials? I seriously doubt it, as a revolver would not be the ideal sidearm for a soldier today. This is literally the first time I have ever heard anyone remotely suggest that a semi-automatic pistol is more reliable than a revolver. Please be careful about the information that is being shared here. By no means am I suggesting a revolver is a “better” overall gun than a striker-fired pistol, but if we are strictly speaking of reliability, I believe that 99% of gun experts would agree you can’t beat a revolver.

        What I think is being overlooked here is the context of this discussion. We’re not talking about “the best hand gun” or “the best sidearm for militiary or law enforcement,” we are talking about the best gun for absolute beginners who are interested in obtaining a gun for reasons of preparedness. In this very thread we have people stating that they don’t plan on shooting the gun more than a couple times a year, one poster even asked about vacum-sealing a gun. The people coming to this website for information about firearms are not ex-military or gun enthusiasts, they are people who have likely never fired a gun in their lives and are interested in purchasing a gun for “just in case” scenarios. It is very important for us to keep that audience in mind.

        I recently demonstated different handgun platforms to my 75 year old mom, who had not fired a gun since she was a teenager. We started with dry-fire and dummy rounds. She struggled with loading a magazine, struggled with racking, and was terrified at the idea of not being 100% sure whether a round was in the chamber and really struggled with the process of both checking to see if a round was in the chamber and ejecting an unwanted round. Concurrently, she intrinsically understood how a revolver works and pretty much picked up its various functions immediately. At the range, she struggled with recoil accross the board, but found .38 Special no worse than 9mm.

        So, for any readers here who are decidedly not gun enthusiasts, and who don’t have the time or interest in spending 100s of hours training but still feel compelled to have a handgun for reasons of preparedness, I strongly encourage you to consider the good old-fashioned revolver. It’s not the sexiest, fanciest, or deadliest handgun out there, but it is unquestionably the simplist to understand.

        Additionally, I want to advocate for the overall idea that the first gun that a beginner purchases need not be the only gun that person ever owns. When you learned to ride a bike, you likely started off with a single-speed bike with coaster breaks. Of course you outgrew it, but just think of how many additional crashes you’d have experienced had you immeditately started out with a 21 speed mountain bike. There are ample reasons to start with a simple platform, and then with time and practice expand to more complex ones.

      • 0

        Gun arguments. I swore I would never get into another…

        I carry semi-autos and revolvers. I really, really like my Colt 1911/45.

        I used my 1911 during a 40-hour Combat Handgun course (LFI-1) with Masaad Ayoob. Most students used semi-autos.

        Most of what is being discussed here is the reliability of the gun on the range – in general. And that is very important.

        I have a friend that was in a special unit in the military and he and I shot 1911’s all the time. But he carried a revolver.

        I asked him why and he said ‘I’m not on offense any more and most defensive shootings are at grappling distance. And if your muzzle comes into contact with a bad guys’ body it will go bang once and then out of battery. But you can continue firing a revolver’.

        Reliability under likely conditions is another part of the equation. It all depends on the risk profile. Maybe you need 2 guns (you do); a semi on your hip and a revolver in a jacket/pants pocket.

      • 3

        I hope this isn’t an argument… but a respectful discussion.

        My only experience with a 1911 is the 1938 given to me by my father-in-law.  Since both serial numbers match, slide & frame, it is a very valuable gun.  Too valuable to shoot anymore.  He wore it when he crossed Normandy beach, so it also has a lot of family value too.

        But I find it much harder to master than my modern Sig.  I struggle to take it apart & reassemble since I only do that once a year when cleaning.  I really struggle to prevent the idiot scratch.  🙂

      • 1

        I don’t think I would shoot that gun either. It’s nice to have a gun with that kind of family history.

        After I bought my 1911, I found that after almost 1,000 rounds, I still tended to shoot low/left (7 oclock). Ayoob watch me shoot and then asked for my gun and 3 mags. All bullseye. He told me to have a gunsmith put an extended trigger in. Fixed the problem.

        I guess it depends on the person. My wife is very small (5’3″/105#) and she has a SIG 239 but shoots my 1911 better.

      • 3

        I like revolvers and I guess you can say they are simple.  One of my sons carry one.  I don’t understand what is so hard about a semi auto?  In the case of preparedness, your gun should already be loaded.  Mine has a round in the chamber.  To use it, I simply pull the trigger.  I don’t have to worry about where the safety is or is it engaged.  Don’t have to remember what action puts it on safe & what action un safes.  And as opposed to 6 available shots, I have 15.  What can be simpler?  Same with a revolver.  Your gun should be loaded, with maybe the hammer sitting on an empty chamber.  To use, simply pull the trigger.  Still simple.  The danger or complexity, IMO, has little or nothing to do with what type of gun but how the gun is handled.

        Sorry, I don’t think anyone should have a gun for preparedness if they aren’t prepared to practice with it.  ALL GUNS are dangerous when in the hands of the untrained.  Dangerous to yourself & dangerous to others (family?) nearby.  This applies to revolvers, semi autos, rifles, etc.  I personally twice have been in the immediate area when an unintended discharge happened.  Had nothing to do with the type of gun.  Had EVERYTHING to do with the idiots handling the guns.

        This article regarding revolver vs semi auto is interesting:

        A Critical Look at Revolver Accuracy and Reliability

      • 1
      • 2

        Great article and great response Redneck, thanks for sharing. You are 100% right about having a gun for preparedness and training with it. Tools are nothing without the skills to use them. I can have all the carpentry tools in the world but if I don’t know how to use them I can’t build so much as a birdhouse. 

      • 2

        Going to reiterate what Redneck said below, and I’ll lay these points out one at a time so this doesn’t just turn into a big word jumble. 

        1. If you don’t train with your firearms, you may as well not even have them. This is probably the biggest flaw I see with guns in the prepping community. Just because you have a gun and shoot one box of ammo twice a year at the indoor range at 7yds does not mean you are prepared. There is often a huge gap between what people think they can/should be able to do with firearms and what they actually can/should be able to do. It’s like thinking that because you made a fire with flint and steel one time you can make a fire in any conditions with anything. If anyone wants a very sobering test of their handgun or rifle skills I’d encourage you to run this test

        2. Yes, revolvers can jam. Cylinders can jam with debris, cylinders can fire out of alignment, if they have an exposed hammer the hammer can be blocked by debris or clothing, things can still malfunction just like with any handgun. And if in a panic the shooter gets a finger in front of the cylinder, they’re very likely to drop the gun from the pain. I won’t argue that a .38 revolver is a great gun for grandma to carry in her purse. That’s its ideal use actually. But for someone who wants to own a gun for prepping? You want something you can actually have multiple magazines for and the ability to attach a light and red dot. A revolver is going to pigeon hole them into a gun with one specific use, with no ability to upgrade it down the line, and that’s a waste of time and money. And like Redneck said below, having over double the capacity is a huge benefit, not to mention being able to reload significantly faster. If we’re talking only about a pocket rocket gun to get somebody off you then sure, but for actual prepping? No way. You would be easily outgunned. Like I said, a revolver is great for someone who can’t understand a semi auto like an elderly woman, but for anyone who could operate one they should have one. Btw if you need to check if a round is in the chamber you perform a press check, although many automatics these days have a loaded chamber indicator built into the weapon. 

        3. Semi automatic handguns are simple. They really are. The video I posted above will teach you the basics of a semi auto and how to shoot it in 10 minutes. I really don’t know what else to say to that, they’re just not very complicated, and so long as it’s not someone like the example you gave with your mom they’ll be fine. I’ve taught dozens of new shooter how to shoot on a semi auto, it just takes a little bit of instruction and they’re good. 

        I’ll be honest the fact you’re telling me to be careful about what info is shared on here while you recommend people buy a revolver has really struck a nerve, so I’m going to try to not be insulting and emotionally charged in my response here. 

        Lots of people are gun owners. Not a lot of people are shooters. If any of these apply to you, you are a gun owner, and not a shooter. If you shoot less than 1,000 rounds a year. If you’ve never practiced your draw while under pressure such as a shot timer.  If you’ve never shot a hangun past 25yds. If you’ve never done malfunction practice. If you can’t shoot with both eyes open. If you’ve never done a reload while timed. If you’ve never shot on the move. If you consistently shoot low left. 

        I’m not trying to be a jerk about these things, but I want people to realize there is a massive gap between owning a firearm and being proficient with a firearm. If you truly want to prep for the worst situations possible, you need to be proficient with your firearms. There are guys out there with a lot more skill, more gear, and way less ethics than me who will kill you and take your stuff if you’re not prepared. 

      • 1

        I wrote that whole thing and forgot to link to the shooting drills. 

        Here is the pistol drill I was referring to, I would encourage everyone to run it and see what you score, then use that as a building point for where to improve.

      • -1

        I agree with everything you are saying about the need for training, and in many ways that is what is motivating my suggestion of a revolver. Considering the context of this discussion we are having – on a website devoted to preparedness in a thread dedicated to new gun owners – I suspect there are a lot of readers who don’t have the time or capacity to do the type of training you refer to but will still insist on purchasing a handgun. I don’t advocate for this, but I think we both know this happens far more than it should. For that individual, who has never owned or fired a gun in their lives, and doesn’t have the capacity for hundreds of hours training, it is my opinion that a revolver is a simpler and safer gun to learn on. Hopefully they do train, and they do outgrow it, but at least they might not end up in Doctor Tom’s ER. One thing we agree on 100% is that those people likely shouldn’t be gun owners in the first place.

        Striker fire pistols being more reliable than revolvers is news to me, and conflicts with everything I’ve read or been told over the years. The article linked to above does poke some holes in the revolver’s reliability reputation, but even it seems to come down on the side of agreeing that revolvers are more reliable, just maybe not to the extent their reputation suggests. In my personal experience, I’ve never encountered any problem with a revolver, while I have had more than one jam with my semi-autos. I encourage anyone reading this to do some additional research before deciding what’s best for them.

        Furthermore, I’d like to encourage you not to refer to elderly women as “grandmas,” that’s just plain disrepectful. It’s this type of attitude that keeps many people away from the gun community, while also pushing others to acquire firearms that are frankly too much for what they are capable of handling. Someone reading this might think “I’m not a grandmom, so I better not get a revolver or people will laugh at me at the range” and then proceed to purchase a firearm they shouldn’t, and then end up in Doctor Tom’s ER room. 

        This whole discussion has reminded me exactly why I stopped posting in this forum. I wish you all the best.

      • 2

        If the term grandma offends you,  then I really don’t know what to tell you…..

        Your point doesn’t make much sense anyway as automatics have less recoil for caliber than a revolver, so you’re less likely to be unable to control it. But the great thing about the internet is we can disagree and go on with our lives. Have a good one.

    • 1

      I want to show a little love for revolvers as a prepping gun.  I recently purchased a .357 revolver.  My reasoning is that it shoots both .357 and .38 Special rounds.  It’s good to have options when ammo is short.  Also, it will be a companion to my lever action rifle that is also .357.   In my state you can only hunt deer with pistol cartridges in a rifle.  Mind you I also have semi autos, but I think revolvers have a place.  

      • 2

        I don’t disagree at all that revolvers can have a place in prepping, especially like if in your scenario where you’re required to run a common revolver cartridge in a rifle anyway. Our argument is over the best gun for beginners, which I’ll make a separate comment elaborating on in a minute. 

    • 3

      So there’s been a lot of discussion on here about revolvers vs automatics and the best first gun for beginners. I’d like to take a second to clearly lay out my argument here as to why revolvers are not the best choice for someone new to firearms and looking to get a gun to prep with, as our lat conversation got off into the weeds a bit, and I’d like folks to have clear information on the subject. I’ll preface this by saying that anytime I refer to automatic handguns, I am referring to a modern, duty grade, striker fired automatic handgun, such as a Glock 19/17, Sig P320, Smith M&P 2.0, HK VP9, etc. 

      1. Revolvers are no safer than automatics. In fact, they can often be less safe if they have an exposed hammer or are single action. (Such as the Alec Baldwin case) an external hammer can catch on clothing or other obstructions and cause an ND (Negligent Discharge) This is not an issue with an internal hammer gun, however it’s not an issue with an automatic either. Both guns will go off when the trigger is pulled, and they won’t when it isn’t. It really is that simple. You can punt a glock across a concrete floor and it will not go off. Same thing with a revolver. The four basic rules of gun safety are what keep people safe, having a revolver or an automatic makes no difference. 

      (One of the only major exceptions to this are the first generation P320s, before Sig made the trigger adjustment. If you have a first Gen 320 Sig will upgrade your trigger for free.)

      2. Revolvers do not shoot as smoothly as automatics. And by smoothly, I mean in terms of recoil control. Revolvers by nature have a high bore axis, which means the axis along which the recoil of the gun travels sits higher above the shooters hand than it does with an automatic. This means there is more recoil leverage against the shooter. Automatics also have recoil springs thay re designed to absorb some of the recoil of the gun, part of how an automatic pistol functions. Revolvers also often have much heavier and unpredictable triggers than automatics, at least when shot in a double action configuration (which is what all internal hammer revolvers are) Revolvers in a single action configuration can have a much smoother trigger, but this requires an external hammer and for that hammer to be manually cocked. 

      3. Revolvers are no more reliable than reputable automatics. They are more reliable in some areas, and less reliable in others. For example, a revolver has the benefit of being able to just pull the trigger again and move on to a new round if the first round is a fail to fire, where as an automatic requires you to rack the slide to chamber a new round if you have a fail to fire. Not a hard procedure to do and it should be trained for, as things do happen with ammo, but it is an advantage to revolvers. However, the open nature of a revolver means that it is easier for dirt, mud, and other debris to get into the cylinder, under the hammer (on external hammers) and onto the rounds themselves. In a normal daily carry scenario this isn’t really an issue, but in a scenario where you may have to have your firearm on you at absolutely all times in any and all conditions for days, weeks, or months at a time, (Such as what many of us are prepping for) this can absolutely be an issue. The closed action nature of automatics is what makes them less susceptible to elements and debris. (Glocks can use a modified barrel and shoot underwater. People have actually fished with them before)

      Revolvers can be stopped in a gun retention battle just like automatics can. What I mean by this is that if someone grabs the slide on an automatic handgun, you will be able to get off one shot before needing to manually rack the slide to reset the weapon, or possibly not be able to shoot at all if they are applying enough rearward pressure to the slide. The same thing can happen to a revolver. For a revolver operating in a double action mode, (the trigger pull both rotates the cylinder and cocks the hammer) someone grabbing the cylinder and preventing it from rotating will prevent the weapon from firing. For a revolver operating in single action mode (hammer is already cocked, the trigger just releases the hammer) then if an assailant gets a finger beneath the hammer the gun will not be able to fire.

      3. Revolvers do not concealed carry on body as easily. Even the widest automatics are more narrow than a revolver, and some of the newer microcompacts, such as the P365, are barely an inch wide. The translates to less room in the waistband for IWB carry, especially appendix, and less printing OWB, such as if carried beneath a shirt or jacket. While many people may like a revolver for pocket carry, I have spoken at length on here before about why I do not recommend pocket carry at all if you can avoid it. It is the easiest method to ND yourself by far. 

      4. Capacity and capability matter. You’re on defense until you’re not. The recent Indiana mall shooting is a perfect example of this. For those who don’t know about that shooting, a gunman walked out of a bathroom with an AR-15 and began shooting up a busy food court in the mall. He got off 24 rounds before a 22 year old named Eli Dickens stepped up with a Glock 19 and put 8 out of 10 rounds fired in the shooter from 40 yards in under 15 seconds. His shooting under pressure was so exemplary that many people have created a drill named “The Dicken Drill” in honor of him. A 6 shot revolver may be fine if it’s just you and one assailant at point blank range, but what happens if you’re in a scenario like this and need to engage at distance where it’s likely going to take more rounds? Or what if there’s more than one assailant like we’ve begun to see more commonly in home invasions? Having a higher amount of rounds at your disposal and being able to reload those rounds quickly matters when you look at things besides your classic mugging defense scenario. If you want to truly be prepared, you need to be prepared for scenarios that are not in your favor, and will require capacity and capability to overcome. 

      5. And last but most certainly not least, training absolutely matters. More than anything else really. And it is most certainly easier to train with an automatic. On average, ammo is cheaper for automatics. I’m using the comparison of 9mm vs .38 special here, which is what I recommend people buy. (There’s no reason to use a .40 or .45, but that’s an entirely different debate)

      It’s also much easier to shoot more rounds with an automatic in a training session, thanks to magazines. You can shoot a lot more rounds in a session with 15 round magazines than you can loading 6 individual rounds at a time, and this matters when people may only have an hour or two to dedicate to range time. 

      You can also buy gas powered airsoft guns that are near exact replicas for most of your major gun brands. These are an excellent training tool and although they may require a bit of an initial investment, they can absolutely help you build very high levels of skill for much cheaper than actual ammo. The video below is an excellent example of this.

      Can Airsoft Translate to Real Firearm Skill?

      If you made it all the way to the end thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings, and please feel free to respond with any questions or comments, I’ll try to get to them as quickly as I can. My entire goal in being in this forum is to help people get accurate firearms information and to be more prepared to defend innocent life with firearms should the need arise. 

    • 2

      I personally do not have a light on my carry gun.  I do on my home one.  I carry a seperate flashlight.  Just a personal preference.   I really like the Crossbreed Holsters.  For my EDC, I carry a Springfield Hellcat in the Crossbreed Reckoning System.    I really like the extra magazine attachment.  


      • 1

        Nice Boker, those are great knives for the money

    • 3

      I just finished reading this post and I really appreciate—and heartily agree with—what @Caliber Caprpenter and @Redneck have to say.

      Striker fire guns are reliable and in a prepping scenario they are superior. Training to proficiency, then continued regular training is a must. Again that doesn’t just mean shooting at a range, it means being pushed and trained by someone knowledgeable.

      Is there a place for revolvers? Sure? I own a couple and appreciate them for what they are. But they’re not as much fun to shoot, they’re harder to reload (does anyone develop proficiency with speed loaders anymore??) and thus I just don’t shoot them as much. But it’d take a lot of practice for me to be able to shoot my 2” .38 as quickly and accurately as my P365 9mm.

      There are some, not as many as we assume, but some preparedness items that you can buy—never practice or train with—and forget about until the SHTF, ie shovels, maybe water filters, sleeping bags, warm clothes, etc. But firearms are not one of these things.

      • 2

        Thanks for the kind words Trace. You make a great comparison there, firearms are not something you can just pick up and expect to use well. Firearm proficiency is a skill that will quickly degrade if not honed and maintained regularly. And unlike a shovel or an axe, you can’t afford to not be competent with it should the need arise.

        Also great choice with the P365, it’s my backup/lighter clothes gun. Can’t beat it for capacity and size. I’ve shot all the other micro compacts made to compete with it and none shoot quite as well as it does imho.

    • 1

      I haven’t bought my first pistol yet, as I won’t be turning 21 until 2024, but I do have a question I want to ask.

      The pistol I’m looking to buy for training purposes is a Taurus TX22, due to it’s price and the 16 round magazine. What I want to know is whether the TX22 is too big for concealed carry purposes. Yes, I know .22 LR is not the best round for self-defense, but I’ll upgrade once I’m no longer on a college student/minimum wage budget. 

      • 4

        IMO, that is a really fine starter pistol.  I’ve never shot one before but the reviews for it are all good.  Seems to be a good size too.  I find some really small pistols that are great for concealed carry, don’t fit my hand properly.  The reviews state this gun fits their hands fine.  Also the reviews I’ve read state it is very reliable, which is impressive for a 22LR.

        As far as caliber, you state this is for training and I highly recommend 22LR for that purpose.  I shoot way more 22LR than any other caliber.  It is cheap ammo, isn’t terribly loud and doesn’t kick.  And as far as self-defense you understand that it is not the best caliber but if that is all you have… it is better than a knife or using your fists.  I personally have no problem with using 22LR for self-defense.  In my book, accuracy trumps caliber.

        I’ll tell you a true story.  A few years back, a group of us were shooting out in a pasture.  I was shooting my 22LR Buckmark at some smallish targets and was hitting rather well.  All of a sudden, the dad of one of the shooters drives up.  He joined in the target practice using his big magnum pistol.  He was ex law enforcement.  Well his gun was impressive and a rather large caliber but he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn.  He never once hit a target.  Sure his pistol could make some big holes but it was so loud and kicked so bad that he couldn’t control it.  Me with my 22LR could double tap my target every single time.  IMO, two 22LR in the heart will stop a bad guy better than a large caliber that misses or wings him.  That being said, I find 9mm to be the perfect caliber for self-defense.  With the proper ammo, it has good stopping power.  It kicks very little so it is easy to control and shoot accurately.  Something for you to consider down the road.

        If you learn anything from this discussion, learn that practice makes perfect.  Using a gun properly & safely REQUIRES lots of practice.  If all you have or can afford now is 22LR, that is perfectly fine.  Shoot it a lot.  Have lots of fun but always be safe.  Your gun is always loaded even if you checked it was empty multiple times.

        That gun comes with a threaded barrel.  IMO, there is nothing better than shooting 22LR suppressed.  Maybe one day you will be able to do that too.

      • 3

        As usual great advice from Redneck here. I’ve actually been encouraging a lot of newer shooters to get a TX-22 or a P322 if they can, as they make excellent training weapons for a fraction of the cost. The TX-22 is definitely not too large to carry, it’s about the same size as a Glock 19 actually. As for reliability, my buddy has one and we’ve run hundreds of rounds of all kinds of .22 loads through it and no issues. Same with my P322. If you must carry a .22 for self defense just be aware of the limitations of the round. .22 doesn’t have the power to penetrate through bone and tissue like higher calibers, although it can make for very deadly headshots. My advice would be to train for headshots if you intend to carry it in a serious manner, the low recoil of it makes it very easy to stack rounds inside a headbox. 

        9mm against ballistic dummy

        .22 Vs Human Head

        These 2 videos are a great example of what I’m talking about, .22 can be quite deadly if it punctures the skull and bounces around inside. As for ammo, I’d recommend carrying CCI Stingers as your defense load, they’re a very hot load with some pretty nasty ballistics for the caliber. But like Redneck said, use the cheap ammo to build up those valuable skills until you can afford something better for carrying. Slight bias here as I own one, but if you can spare the extra change to go for the Sig P322 (they’ve gone for as cheap as $360 in my area) then I would recommend it as it has several upgrades over the TX-22 and is a better shooter imho. But like I said I own one and it’s one of my favorite guns I own so heavy bias there. Was actually shooting it earlier today in the rain. 20230122_134924

      • 3

        I’ve heard good things about the Taurus but don’t have any direct experience. There is a recently announced TX22 Compact now as well if you feel the full size if larger than what you’d want to carry.

        I own an M&P 22 Compact. It has been completely reliable and is a good size for a carry gun (though I don’t use it that way). The rear sight elevation screw tends to shoot loose, but a dab of low-strength threadlocker takes care of that.

        Try to get your hands on as many as you can and see what feels best. For any of the 22 autos, it may be somewhat challenging to find a quality holster as they tend not to be purchased for carry, but then again I haven’t looked so maybe more are being made than I would expect.

        For defensive use, forget expansion in .22lr and look at penetration. There’s an article here that might be helpful. Also Federal makes a defensive .22 round in their “Punch” line that is too new to be in the comparison, so I would check that out too.

        Hope that helps. 🙂

      • 2

        Emcee makes a good point on the holster availability, I don’t know of any of the big holster companies that make one off the top of my head. If you can find someone local who does custom kydex work that might be your best bet. 

        Also interesting article from lucky gunner on .22 ammo, I’ve seen CCI Stingers do some absolutely nasty things to squirrels but then again that was out of a rifle barrel.

        Like I said, I’d recommend training for headshots. 22 just doesn’t have the penetration needed to hit deep into vitals and the CNS, which is what ultimately stops threats quickly. 

    • 1

      Opinions on the new Smith & Wesson M&P 2.0 5.7?


      • 3

        The gas operated rotating/locking barrel action is interesting. You can see the patent that explains it here: https://uspto.report/patent/app/20220120524

        I personally don’t think I have a real use case for 5.7 that justifies the high price of ammo.

      • 2

        With AAC starting up production of 5.7 ammo this year I’ll be interested to see what the prices do. If 5.7 gets down to 50cpr or lower I’ll probably buy one of the PSA Rocks just to mess around with. The round itself tends to be a little overhyped in general but there’s no denying it definitely has some benefits over 9mm, namely the fantastic magazine capacity. It’s good to see so many big manufacturers jumping on board with making handguns chambered in the round though, for so long your only option on the market has been the overpriced FN FiveSeven.

    • 1

      Hi Im Steve. Im in process of getting springfield armory xdm elite. Ive been reading alot on subject for a bit. Im 66 & disabled. Just wanted for home defense. Its just me.ive always got questions. Every time I go to you tube or google it leads to other questions. Im on fixed income so Id like to have just basics. That seems to be growing at every search. To start, I was lookin to see about range bag wat material and wat to fill it with? One thing I saw was shot timer. This confuses me. I havent touched pistol yet and now i should get fast? I dont have any plans to compete. I just want to be able to use it and have basics. Are snapcaps good idea for home training? Wat would be a good amount of ammo to have? Defense & training? There is a range close by but my back pain limits me alot. If I lived or had friend in the woods that would be great cheap way to train. Salesman at gun shop wasnt much help. He was kid. I plan on having cleaning kit, loader. Eventually getting flashlight prob an optic. Its got high sights. Had a issue this morning having successful transfer. I got question wrong. He told me where to go on line to figure out wat i answered wrong. Goin back tomorrow to try again. Hopefully i correct it. He cant tell me wat it is. Makes me feel like dumdum. I think i got it. Anyway thats it for now im sure there will be more. Thanx

      • 2

        Hi Steve, sorry for the delayed response, I didn’t get an email notification about new posts on this thread for some reason. You have a lot of questions so I’ll try to answer them in order and hopefully not miss anything. 

        So first off I don’t usually recommend Springfield Armory as their XD series of guns are made in Croatia and even their US made stuff tends to have issues. My buddy just got one of their DS Prodigy 2011s, it’s a $1400 gun and his has already gone down hard in barely 300 rounds. Was having failure to extracts every single time and he’s had to send it in to Springfield for warranty work. That being said if it’s what you have it’s what you have, train with it and learn the gun, don’t run to go sell a gun because someone on the internet tells you it’s bad, they’re just not my preference. Anyway on to your questions….

        1. For a range bag I’d recommend something like a Primary Arms Range Bag they go on sale for around $30 fairly regularly.

        The first thing you should buy for it is a Maglula Loader; this will save your thumbs and lots of time at the range loading mags

        I’d also recommend picking up some electronic ear pro, such as the Walkers Razor slim or the Howard Leight Sports, either can be had for roughly $40 but will make your range time much more enjoyable

        Besides that, I usually keep a water bottle, stapler, targets, extra batteries, oil, gloves, cleaning rag, and eye pro in my range bag. 

        2. Shot timers are an excellent tool for training, however they are somewhat expensive and are not a necessity to learn how to shoot well. Master the basics before trying to add speed to your shooting. 

        3. Snapcaps are nice, but not necessary for training, just dryfire the weapon. 

        4. You can never have too much ammo but to start out with I’d try to pick up at least 500 rounds of training ammo and at least 50 rounds of SD ammo. I recommend Sig V crowns, Speer Gold Dot, Hornady Crit Duty, or Federal HST. 9mm Prices are stable right now, and much lower than they had been, so I’d recommend stocking up while you can, ammo prices always jump during an election year, and I’m sure 2024 will be no exception. 

        5. If you’d like land to shoot on in the woods look for local BLM (Burea of Land Management) Land plots. Lots of BLM areas have public ranges on them or just common areas that people use for shooting. 

        6. I cannot recommend a flashlight and an optic enough for a handgun. You can’t shoot what you can’t see, and not being able to properly identify your target can lead to some very bad situations. I recommend a streamlight TLR-1 for a handgun light, stay away from OLight. Optics are an absolute game changer on handguns, especially for older eyes. They take all of the complexity out of sighting a handgun. See dot, pull trigger. They also allow you to shoot with both eyes open much easier, which is a massive advantage. I’d recommend a Holosun 407C or Trijicon RMR if you have the budget, if not there are more affordable, although not as durable options on the market such as this Primary Arms Red Dot. The suppressor height sights on the handgun are made so that you can cowitness them through the optic. 

        I’ll post the usual video I recommend for anyone new to handguns, it’s called How to Shoot a Pistol in 10 Minutes

        If you have any further questions please just let me know, I’m glad to answer what I can and provide resources to help guide you. 

      • 3

        Great and appropriate answers. I even took notes on a couple of your recommendations. And maybe it is time for me to get a red dot. I’ve debated it for a couple years and the eyes aren’t getting any better. 

      • 2

        Red dots are an absolute game changer on handguns, especially if you’re cross eye dominant like me. They really shine when it comes to target transitions and shooting on the move, as you only have to track a dot instead of aligning 2 sights. More and more handguns are coming optic ready from the factory now, in fact all of the major players (Glock, Sig, S&W, HK FN, Walther, CZ) are offering their flagship hanguns in optics ready models, which shows you just how prevalent they’ve become. 

      • 2

        Thanx Caliber Carpenterfor all ur suggestions. I ended up getting glock19G5 roughrider, 9 round, lr&mag cylinders & today hopefully purchasing 22 wmrlifecard just for the conversation piece mostly. Ive been getting all kinds of accessories. Doin lots of reading. New question, between snap caps and or ttrigger dryfire mag. Is one better than other?Is using both good practice? Any suggestions or input will be greatly appreciated. Thanx and have great weekend.

      • 1

        Snapcaps can be useful for malfunction practice during your dry fire, but for just learning your trigger press and reset you can simply dry fire the gun empty. Glock triggers become much smoother the more you dry fire them, so go at it. It’s one of the best things you can do to help refine the muscle memory of your trigger press.

    • 1

      I just want to ask you i bought a Molot Vepr 12 12 Gauge 10-Round Polymer Magazine from ordergunmagazines.com can you please recommend me the best subscription store for this magazine?

      • 1

        I’m confused by your question, are you simply asking for the best place to order magazines from? Or specifically where to find mags for that weapon in particular?

      • 1

        thats the magazine i bought from here:

        but they are not offering any monthly or weekly subscriptions, so i need some recommendations to purchase subscriptions at the best affordable price.

      • 2

        I’m sorry I’m still confused, what kind of subscription are you looking for? Like for deals on magazines? Or an actual monthly subscription for magazines? Because I’ve never heard of anyone doing the latter, at least not for magazines. They are certain sites you can buy a subscription to in order to gain a discount, like a Costco membership for gun stuff. I have one to Sportsman’s guide and if saves me a few bucks on things.