If you are going for the small size guns, you might be interested in a Beretta 9000. Polymer, very compact, and can be found new for under $500.
I don’t know anything about the Taurus Millenium line, but I have a PT92, which is a Beretta 92F knock-off, and it’s rock-solid. I like it almost as much as my S&W 686.
Regarding bullets, if you’re worried about over penetration, consider hollow points over frangibles. Frangibles are nice,but they happen to not work well if a perp is wearing leather. A hollowpoint will punch right through, but the expansion will keep it from coming back out.
Howdy Ogre. I’ve got some input but it may run a bit counter to what you’ve been hearing. For home defense I agree with Montana Cricket and Crafter Man that a 12ga shotgun is an excellent choice. You can get a Mossberg 500 or a Remington 870 at any Wal-Mart in the US and it will serve you well. Simple to use, extremely effective and just the sound of racking the action is enough to make a bad guy piss himself.
If you decide to use a handgun for defense you must become very proficient at it. That doesn’t mean you can hit a bulleseye more often than not that means you can shoot accurately and fast under extreme stress and you still have the awareness to only shoot when it is your last option. Using a gun for self defense is serious fucking business and I won’t sugar coat it. You are talking about making choices that may lead to taking a human life so you better take it seriously.
I’m not clear if you have a lot of handgun experience or not. I’m going to assume not but please take no offense if this is not the case. IMHO if you aren’t already really proficient you need to practice a lot, thousands of rounds. Unless uncle pennybags is your sugar daddy pimp you’l probably want a good .22 so you can afford to practice. Lots and lots of practice develops so-called muscle memory. When you get into a tight spot you want to concentrate on the situation, not try to remember how your gun works.
There are a lot of good .22 pistols and two of my favorites are the Browning Buckmark and just recently the Walther P22. The Buckmark is a target pistol and a very good one. TheLadyLion has appropriated mine and she’s on her way to becoming an extremely good shooter with it. I just got the Walther and it’s really growing on me. The Walther is not a “target” pistol per se with a light trigger pull. It’s more like a duty pistol, like something police or military would use. It’s got some quite sophisticated safety features but always remember that you are the most critical safety mechanism. Neat little gun. It’s what 007 would use to shoot rats at the dump.
Here is your complimentary copy of the four rules (Jeff Cooper version)
- Every gun is loaded
- Never allow the muzzle to cover anything you do not wish to destroy
- Keep your finger out of the trigger guard until you are on target and ready to fire.
- Know your target and what is beyond.
FWIW my own carry piece is a Sig P245 It’s a compact .45 ACP, a slightly shortened version of the Sig P220 that carries six rounds in the magazine. I’m not familiar with the Taurus models you mentioned but I was always pleased with the quality of the PT92 I had.
Thanks for the advice, Padeye, but the stern warnings are quite unnecessary. I’ve been handling guns since I was able to hold one in front of me. My dad is a shooter, and he taught me gun safety along with my alphabet.
I understand where the caution is coming from, however, so no offense is taken, and I appreciate the concern.
As it turns out, after some more research, I went to a local gun dealer, looked at one of their Taurus Millennium PT-145 pistols (as well as quite a few others…including a Kahr K40 and a Kimber ultra-compact .45). Course, I loved the Kimber from the word ‘go,’ but couldn’t afford the damn thing.
I ended up getting the PT145 (.45), and I stepped around to their indoor range to put it through its paces. I shot 100 rounds through it pretty much without pause, and had 1 failure to feed. The gun itself is a polymer-frame with a steel slide, is very light, and I was able to shoot very accurately at 25 and 50 feet. Recoil is not really terribly severe (surprisingly,) and it fits comfortably in hand. It sights very naturally for me. Hell of a lot of fun to shoot, too, except for the trigger which ain’t refined, by any means. It’s a double-action-only pistol, and the trigger pull was very long to pull back the striker. I was disappointed to hear that the PT145’s used to have a frame-cracking problem, but I was assured that those problems are long in the past. Anyhow, the price was right at $375, and it’s light, concealable, high-capacity (10+1), and has all the power of a .45.
I’ll shoot a few hundred more rounds through it to see if any problems come to light, but my feeling is that this is going to be a good carry weapon.
Thanks, guys, for all your help!