I shot a .357 Magnum and I have Questions.


Posted on June 10, 2022 at 4:38 PM by The Biker Lawyers

What To Look For In A Hand Gun

I am looking to fulfill my interest in weapons by starting a collection soon.  Still not sure what to start with, a handgun or a long gun.

How am I supposed to know which gun to buy? Is it better to have a .357 or a 9mm? What are the best guns for self-defense?  Am I making the right choice buying a revolver?  Could this gun protect me at home? What about on the street? What size of bullet did I need? What caliber?

All valid questions and all of these get answered in this blog (and video). I am going to give my personal experience as I research buying my first firearm.

What Gun Should I Get?

My interests right now are target shooting and personal protection.

Side note- While at a station event- a fishing tournament, I happened to notice someone concealed carrying, something I wouldn’t have noticed before I took the short guns class at Midwest Shooting.  I was going to ask the carrier of said weapon about it, but being a newbie, and not knowing proper etiquette, I passed on that opportunity.

As you will see in the video, I went to my favorite Range and gun shop to get some sales advice on handguns.  What are the most popular?  What might I consider as a first-time gun owner?

Adam, the very patient sales associate gave me a tour of some of the most popular handguns I should consider and the following is the rundown of what he showed me and the descriptions from I gleaned from their websites.

These descriptions follow the order of the accompanying video.

Springfield XD-9mm  

The Defend Your Legacy Series XD® 4″ Service Model 9mm offers superlative XD attributes like an excellent grip-to-frame angle and both striker status and loaded chamber indicators along with a single 16-round magazine and lower price. The Ultra Safety Assurance Action Trigger System combines with the extraordinary SA grip safety to make the XD a safe and smooth striker-fired defensive pistol. A full-length guide rod ensures reliable slide cycling.

Verdict: I loved the Grip Safety on this weapon; very comfortable and not something you really have to think about.  In my past limited shooting experiences, the white, 3 dot sight, worked very well for me.

Sig Sauer P-226 Legion  

The Sig P226 Legion Full-Size DA/SA 9mm Luger Handgun features a solid build with improved maneuverability. This Sig Sauer 9mm is built with a unique P-SAIT trigger that offers an intermediate reach and a relatively short reset for smoother shot-to-shot performance.

X-RAY3 day/night sights on this 9mm pistol offer a clear sight picture in most light conditions, making target acquisition fast and precise. As a plus, the rear sight features a rackable ledge that allows one-handed slide manipulation.

To improve the grip and feel of the handgun, the Sig P226 has aggressive checkering on the front strap and underneath the trigger guard, as well as front cocking serrations on the slide. A durable Cerakote Elite Legion Gray coating protects against corrosion and wear. Perfectly balanced, the Sig P226 Legion Full-Size DA/SA 9mm Luger Handgun offers quick pointing and smooth performance with every shot.

Verdict: This was a very nice piece. We’ll put it in the maybe category.

Kimber Raptor (which I called a Tinder Raptor in the video  – Oops)

Micro 9 Raptor pistols are beautiful and concealed carry combined.

Modeled after the 1911 pistol family of the same name, these models boast patented scaled grips, slide top, and mainspring scalloping, slide and front strap scaling and an ambidextrous thumb safety.

Verdict: I found this to be the best looking of the bunch with the stainless steel and the really good-looking grip which you can see in the video and above.

Smith and Wesson 686 Revolver .357

Smith & Wesson L-Frame revolvers are built to suit the demands of the most serious firearms enthusiast.

Available in six and seven-shot cylinders, the L-Frame has a strong, durable frame and barrel built for continuous Magnum usage. As police officers and hunters will attest, this firearm is made to withstand heavy use.

Verdict: I like revolvers for some reason, but I think a .357 might be a bit much for me.  What do you think?

Smith and Wesson 442 Snub Nose revolver:

Smith & Wesson J-Frame revolvers have had your back since 1950.  These small revolvers were designed to fire a full power round and are as simple and easy to use as they are reliable.

 Available in various calibers and with three diverse hammer designs, it is no surprise that the Smith & Wesson J-Frame has become the most popular, small-frame, defense revolver on the market.

The Model 442 is a variation of the Model 42 Centennial Airweight® that integrates the time-tested features of the original with modern advancements.

• Lightweight alloy frame for easy carry
• Stainless steel barrel
• Carbon steel cylinder
• Snag-Free enclosed hammer
• Rated for continuous +P Use

Verdict: Small and, as such, lots of recoil so probably not for me but love the look.

Smith and Wesson Victory .22 

The SW22 VICTORY® is constructed on a single-action, enclosed hammer-fired, blowback semi-automatic design.

Chambered in .22 LR, the SW22 Victory comes highly featured with innovative design qualities that include a match-grade, interchangeable barrel for superb accuracy on the range or in the field along with a simple one-screw takedown design.

The pistol’s high-end features, modern styling, and enriched functionality place the SW22 Victory in a category of its own with an affordable price to match.

• Removable Interchangeable Match Barrel
• Steel Reinforced Polymer Thumb Safety
• Picatinny-style Rail Included
• Fiber Optic Front Sight
• Adjustable Fiber Optic Rear Sight
• (2) Ten-Round Magazines Included
• Adjustable Trigger Stop
• Stainless Steel Frame
• Textured Grip Panels with Finger Cuts for Easy Magazine Removal

Verdict: This gets very high marks as a preferred gun for range shooting. Great modern look which I like.

And last but not least…

Ruger SR-22 

Light double-action and crisp single-action trigger pull. The external hammer is designed with a rounded spur for easy cocking and single-action shooting.

Polymer frame and two interchangeable rubberized grips with angled serrations allow shooters to select either a slim or wider palm swell option (no tools required). The aerospace-grade aluminum slide has serrations on both the front and rear for better grip and slide manipulation.

Verdict: I enjoyed (and did well when) shooting a .22 so I’m giving it serious consideration. Unfortunately, Adam said .22’s are not the best for personal protection because of lack of overall power.

Next week we’ll be on the range firing the ones I like best and checking out some long guns. Subscribe to this blog to stay tuned!

About Russ: The biker community’s Ambassador of Ammo

Known as a professional Radio Gypsy, Russ is the voice of “crazy stories and bad behavior” on Rock 108 every weekday from 10 AM – 2 PM (CST). After a shooting expedition with friends, Russ found a new passion for firearms and is now searching to find the perfect fit to match his needs. Join him as he tests and reviews various guns and targets, learns gun safety, and occasionally blows stuff up every week right here!

Make sure to subscribe to this blog for email updates when Russ posts a new experience!

Russ, This is just my two cents for what it’s worth. I’ve carried firearms professionally for almost 20 years between military service and law enforcement. This is the advice I give everyone that asks about buying their first handgun. Go to a store and hold as many guns as you can. Does it feel comfortable? Can you manipulate the slide? Even better, go to a range that rents handguns and shoot a wide variety of models and calibers. Whatever handgun feels the most comfortable and that you can accurately and consistently hit the target with is what you should buy. After buying your handgun; go get some quality training from a good instructor. Best of luck finding the right handgun for you.
David | 6/16/22 at 11:29 AM
I have carried firearms professionally for almost 20 years in both the military and law enforcement, and this is the advice I give everyone looking to get their first handgun. Go to a store and hold as many as you can; even better if they have a range and you can rent and try out various guns. Don’t get fixated on a certain caliber being the best; it doesn’t do any good if you can’t shoot the gun. Whatever gun and caliber you feel comfortable with and can consistently hit a target with is what you should buy.
Dave | 6/16/22 at 11:19 AM
Russ, I have a few hand guns I carry a LCP II 380 in my pocket it’s comfortable and easy, I also have a hellcat 9mm that is very fun and carry’s easy, I have a revolver but they are alittle dangerous to carry I think. Hope this helps-Collin
Collin Brinkman | 6/11/22 at 4:19 PM

15 + 8 =

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