Originally Posted by alnorth
I decided that I would get a handgun this year for home defense. I've never owned a gun in my life so after some research I figured I'd start with just a 9mm and see where I go from there. So, I bought a Glock 19 tonight and I'll pick it up on Tuesday. I'll probably try to find some sort of handgun use and safety course sometime this summer so I'll know what I'm doing. Not sure if I'll get a CCW license or not.
My question: since I don't know a damned thing about guns (my family was never big on guns at all, I think my dad had a rifle that he got rid of when we were born) is there anything I should look for in ammo? Are they all basically the same? Use cheap ammo for practicing at a range and something else for home defense? I'm lost.
Also, I'd like any comments on whether the Glock 19 is a good choice for a first gun or if I'm wasting my money.
I'm sure the Glock is a fine choice for a first gun. A number of people love them. That said if your intent was home defense AND you've never had guns before I would have simply said buy a 12 gauge. Low over penetration risk and hard to miss with at close range.
If people who've never had guns before tell me they bought a handgun for self defense I simply say well ok...then at least the first year go target shooting monthly. You want to get intimately familiar with every aspect of your handgun and how it shoots so that when you need it, it will be muscle memory. Shoot as much as is practical. Most people tend to enjoy it so it's more an ammo cost issue.
Pistols can be fine for Home Defense but aren't ideal, if you intend to use it as one then you have to put more effort into accuracy and familiarization. Shotguns really tend to be an idiot gun at close range they are difficult to miss with and even if you do miss most bad guys are going to be thinking GTFO when faced with a shotgun.
Practice enough and you'll be fine, BUT you do need to practice and even when you are comfortable and accurate you still need to refresh your skills regularly.