Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Why do I hate Memphis? Also, suggestions needed.

This article in the local paper outlines just ONE of the problems.

Our crime rate is ridiculous. I felt safer walking down the street at 2am in Queens, NY than I do walking across my campus in the evening. I've been harassed so many times by thugs in this city that it's become a game of tug-of-war with myself to get out and actually do anything. Beale Street? Hah. Only if I'm with a group that includes at least one guy. Midtown? Same thing. Even certain parts of Collierville and Germantown are pretty scary after dark. They only come out at night, y'all. The days are much too bright.



For those of you who didn't read that article, or don't feel like reading it, let me outline something for you: 11 rapes in Memphis over Mother's Day weekend. Memphis is a pretty large area, but compared to someplace like Atlanta, it's small. While 11 rapes in a larger city would be considered a good day, in a place like Memphis, IN TWO DAYS' TIME, 11 rapes is horrendous.


I'm very much looking forward to my gun purchase now.


Speaking of which, I don't know if I've asked anyone here: How do you guys feel about a Ruger SP101 .357? That's the gun I've got my eye on. I'm going to shoot it first to get a feel for it (yay, gun range!), but I like the size and the heft, and I want something that's not just going to make someone pissy if I shoot them with it...I want it to get results. I have larger hands, but a weak right shoulder (nerve damage), so I need something that doesn't have TOO much kick, but that I can hang onto easily. Suggestions are welcome.

36 comments:

John McElveen said...

Bonnie-

again thanks for the comments on post about Falwell and Christians! No offense taken and I truly Love and respect you as a person. No John You Dumbass as a Leprechaun...Duh sometimes I amaze myself at my own stupidity. It also has given me some ideas to post so my on-line friends won't go to hell. See- I and I alone have the answers..but wait don't send money yet, If you can draw Jesus you may have an aptitutde to be a Born Again Christian in the Close Cover Before Stricking School of Bible Prophecy and Miracle Working!!
LOL

B- I have ofeten thought of a gun prurchase as almost like a Digital Camera, Computer etc. There are so many brands and models and the specs on sevearl different models are so similar & tough to choose from. Like a digital camera- you know what megapixel you want, what you will be using it for etc....same with a gun.

You want to knock someones arse down, put a world o hurt on them etc. So it really becomes a matter of personal taste as to which gun feels.. RIGHT to you. Shoot several models makes and calibers in the range that you want- 9mm, 357, possibly a .45 just to see it's kickass potential.

Of course price, Name recognition etc all come into play...think of the cost of shells so that you can Practice, Practice, Practice. I think a 357 is an excellent choice because you can also shoot .38 caliber rounds in it (cheaper for lots of practice)----and say for dusting off Midgets and small stuff!

I'm sure a lot of gun afficionados can give you much better specs and input but I try to keep it simple. Buy what Bonnie wants...

PS: Hammer and Poop- DO NOT--I reapeat DO NOT give Bonnie my address- she is pissed that She knows I know that she knows that she really liked Jerry Falwell and sent him 1000's of dollars over the years.

Bonnie- did the prayer cloth, Holy water Napkin, and Jesus rosary come in the mail-I sent them to you last week to cast Satan out o you butt!! LMAO- tongue in cheek wink!!!

Love ya Gal,

J

PS: Cola SC has one of the highest per capita murder rates in the US- I do know why I'm surprised about Memphis beacause their are many similarities to SC. A DIVERSE population, Poverty, Drugs, and believe it or not-Hot weather! It really brings out the crime in people!!
J

John McElveen said...

Correction--I don't know why surprised... not Do..

J

TD said...

The Ruger SP101 is a solid gun, definitely. The great virtue of .357 revolvers is that you can practice with cheap, low-recoil .38 Specials and then switch to full-power .357 ammo for carry. We can talk about it next time we chat.

Strings said...

the SP is a good choice. I used to have one... sold it under protest (needed cash). Spoon's insisting I get her one to replace it...

Only drawback to the SP (over, say, a Smith K frame, which is a similar size) is capacity: don't know if that one round will make THAT big a difference though...

Tam said...

If it fits your hand, the SP101 would be a fine choice.

You don't even need to load it with magnums; there are excellent .38 Special +P (extra power) loads on the market that will work just fine.

I have a bazillion handguns in all kinds of calibers, but the one on the nightstand is a .38 snubnose.

Kevin said...

My wife found herself choosing between the SP101 and the Smith and Wesson 686. Both are fine guns. My wife went with the S&W because of the way it felt in her hand... it's just down to what feels right, and .357 mag is a good choice.

Angus Lincoln said...

Bonnie, the SP101 is a Ruger and therefore built like a tank;rugged as hell and will make a fine carry choice, but don't rule out a Smith and Wesson J-frame as it will be quite a bit lighter and more concealable for those times when you are not able to conceal anything bigger. Mine fits in my right front pocket without printing. However, if it's not a good fit for you and is not comfortable to shoot, then perhaps the SP101 will be. I have a stainless GP100 and wouldn't trade it for the world.

Porta's Cat said...

The SP-101 is a very fine choice. I know personally of a lady-friend who was quickly able to shoot one handed with full magnum loads to center mass at 6 feet, which would quickly lay to ruin any myths about the fairer sex having difficulty with anything bigger than .38 Specials in the thing, although the .38 Special +P may be the overall most practical load for carrying in it.

At some point in time, after all the thinking and talking and asking, you just have to go and buy one and start shooting it. It would be hard to go wrong with the little Ruger, and worst case scenario and you did not like it, it would be as easy to get rid of for something new as could be.

Hard to see anything wrong with your plan.

staghounds said...

For someone who wants a basic carry pistiol, that's a fine choice. Simple, easy to use, powerful and smallish.

Definitely shoot with it first. Try some other d/a revolvers, S&W or Taurus or Colt might fit your hand better.

Stainless is always a good choice. Being able to use light recoiling, cheaper wadcutters for practice is good too.

I will say that you might pay less attention to kick than to weight and convenience. You'll carry it a lot and not shoot it much. If you have to shoot for your life, you will never notice recoil.

Once you get it, PRACTICE until you feel confident. Not just confident that you can hit reliably, but confident that you can bring it into action quickly and without much conscious thought.

When trouble happens, "Oh hell, where is my gun" should NOT be in your mind.

DW said...

Bonnie,
I can't disagree with any of the comments posted here, so let me add a few facts.

Unless you use jacketed .38 bullets in your .357, you could build up lead and powder deposits that would make loading the longer .357 rounds difficult.

A pure .38+P is alwully close to a .357, and a really good choice. A long time friend, a Navy Seal with two tours in Vietnam, sheriff deputy and training officer for his department requests those because of the increased accuracy, due to decreased flinch.

A lighter weapon means more felt recoil and more possibility of flinching.

The only way to shoot good is to shoot a lot. Cheap is neat. As a practical matter, two rounds in the chest of an attacker will just about cure his problems no matter what you use.

If you can hit what you are shooting at, anything will work, if you can't, nothing will work.

My carry gun is a SIG P230SS in .380 with Hornady hollow points. I highly recomend satinless handguns as I am a sorry bastard and hate to clean guns.

Peter G said...

The SP101 is a great little firearm. Some object to its greater weight compared to S&W snubs, but if you plan to shoot .357 Magnum ammo that weight soaks up some of the recoil, which is Never A Bad Thing. Consider the Speer 135gr. loading in either .357 Magnum or .38 Special. It works well in either caliber, but the .357 gives it an extra 200 fps or so, without the wrist-wrenching recoil of the traditional 125gr. or 158gr. loads. 'Street' results with this round are exceptionally good, particularly in the .357 Magnum version.

BobG said...

If you can, try both 357 and 38 loads in the revolver; remember that perceived recoil tends to diminish somewhat with practice, so you may notice more recoil at first, but it becomes easier to handle later on.
For more information, you cannot do better than to do some reading here.

GeorgeH said...

Try shooting one of the small .44 or .45 pistols. While the recoil is a little greater, it is not nearly as sharp, and many find it easier to control.

And they make such a nice hole.

Paul said...

There are a lot of great comments here. I own a Taurus 85 which is a clone of the S&W J-frame snubby in .38 spcl. I've shot a SP101. either is a decent carry choice.

At some point it's going to come down to personal preference anyway. Only you can feel how the recoil will affect your shoulder and how the gun will fit your hand.

That said, here's where I am at right now.
I bought the 85 based on price and because it was my first gun I thought I wanted an exposed hammer so I could use it for carry in Double Action and cock the hammer at the range for Single action accuracy. It works well for that and is my every day pocket carry even when I have another full sized gun in an IWB holster on my strong side.

What I'm looking for now is much more specific to my carry needs.

I'm looking to get a S&W for accessory availability. primarily grips. It's amazing the difference a small change in grips can have on your comfort, accuracy, end enjoyment of shooting.

I'm looking for the bodyguard or centennial frame styles to get away from an exposed hammer. The idea is to eliminate anything that could snag on draw from my pocket or a bag or whatever. The bodyguard frame has a shrouded hammer which can be cocked to shoot SA. The centennial frame has no exposed hammer and is Double Action only. I'll probably go with the Centennial because it's a pocket carry gun. I have other range guns.

I'd like to upgrade from .38 Special to .357 Magnum for the power the round offers and the flexibility of choice.

I'll probably end up with Crimson Trace Laser grips to aid in shot placement., I figure if I am forced to use the gun, it could be from an awkward position or in the dark. Every little bit helps.

The gun that meets my needs is probably the Model M&P 340 CT Revolver - Centennial.It's their Scandium framed .357 Centennial with the laser grips from the factory.

But that's probably a bit of a handful and recoil is going to be fierce given it's weight. The lighter the gun, the more felt recoil, the heavier / more mass guns can soak up or dissipate some of the felt recoil.

Going up the line a bit in weight is the Model 340 Revolver which is the air weight frame and to me a nice balance of weight for carry and recoil abatement. Your Mileage may vary of course.

If recoil was still a consideration, I would go up to a Model 640 Revolver which is the all steel version. It's also available as a Model 649 with the bodyguard frame style.

Anonymous said...

Bonnie,

I’d take a different approach, it’s too soon to discuss the specific model of handgun. I don’t know you so I may miss this completely, but I don’t sense that you have a lot of range time under your belt and a closet full of weapons.

The gun is just part of the equation, other aspects are how you carry and store, willingness to whip it out, instinctive firing (vice slow aimed shots), how carrying fits your lifestyle, your time and opportunity to practice regularly for maintaining proficiency and comfort, practice for surety with gun handling, your body size and strength, and caliber. You pretty much need to work through all those issues in your head before filling out the yellow form.

Caliber. I fire .45 ACP weekly and can’t get enough, but .357 in my short barrel Smith Mod 66 is a wrist breaker. .38 Spl and I’m punching cloverleafs; with the same gun firing .357 I’m having trouble keeping it on the silhouette. Like Tam says, there’re a bazillion guns out there, take the time to find what works for YOU. Despite the press, 9mm, .38, .40, .45, and .357 will all work for your purpose, but only if you can handle the firearm and hit the target. Start your firing with a .22 cal, please. Once proficient, then move up the scale in caliber size.

Then you’re ready to select which model. Go to a gun show or a big store and handle bunches. Then, Tam says, “if it fits your hand.”

Direct Fire

1894C said...

+1 to the SP101.

Solid (it will outlast you), dependable, affordable (both to own and practice with).

The only potential downsides might be capacity and weight.

Capacity is not that much of an issue in my opinion any problems that can't be solved with 5 rounds of this:
http://www.gunblast.com/MilesFortis-AKChurch_BuffaloBore.htm
probably can't be solved with 6 rounds.

Also note that contrary to conventional wisdom I find the heavy weight .357's more pleasant to shoot that 125 grain bullet .357's a bigger "thump" sure but less "sharp" at least to me. The takeaway is to try several configurations to find what you like.

The same holds true for grips, the gripframe on the sp101 is well suited for aftermarket grips houge and pachmar both have nice choices.

1894C said...

Consider this ammo choice.

http://www.buffalobore.com/ammunition/default.htm#tactical357

Buffalo Bore’s new Tactical Short Barrel, Low Flash, Reduced Recoil 357 Magnum



Typical full power 357 magnum loads offer several tactical problems for use in self defense and duty applications, especially when used in the shorter/lighter revolvers that are typical of concealed, defensive and duty carry. First, the muzzle flash can be blinding, especially from short barrels. Second, felt recoil can be a life-threatening drawback if fast follow-up shots are required. Third, the level of report can be deafening and cause permanent hearing loss, especially if fired indoors.

All three Buffalo Bore Tactical Short Barrel loads address the above problems and make the 357 magnum ideal for concealed, defensive and duty carry in smaller revolvers.

Muzzle flash: These exciting new 357 magnum loads utilize a flash suppressed powder that will not blind you, should you need to drop the hammer in a low light situation. It is estimated that over 90% of all defensive civilian shootings in the U.S. happen in low light—that is when the criminal element is at work. Wouldn’t it be horrible if you fired at an assailant, in the dark, to protect your family, only to find that you missed the bad guy and you are now blind due to your own muzzle flash? This is a scenario that has happened many times in the real world with the 357 magnum. Through the use of our non-canister, flash suppressed powder, the tactical problem of blinding muzzle flash is now greatly reduced with Buffalo Bore’s new Tactical Short Barrel loads!

Recoil: Felt recoil is exacerbated by the use of shorter barreled, smaller framed, lighter weight 357 revolvers, typically used for concealed and duty carry. The new Buffalo Bore Tactical Short Barrel 357 loads are not the normal full power “barn burner”, 357 magnum loads we make and as such, felt recoil is substantially reduced, although they remain very powerful. Hence, deadly, and faster follow-up shots are more possible.

Your ears: Most folks don’t think of the level of “report” as being a problem during a life threatening/defensive shooting and that may be correct for the actual moment of conflict. However, to lose some of your hearing for the rest of your life, following the shooting incident, is unnecessary and undesirable. Full power 357 magnum ammunition is deafening, even more so when fired from short barrels and even worse if you are required to shoot from an enclosed area such as a vehicle or indoors. Buffalo Bore’s Tactical Short Barrel 357 magnum loads are not as hard on your hearing as full power ammunition. Although the use of hearing protection is still desirable, if possible, when using this ammo.

For those who wish to carry a 357 magnum revolver for potential “conflict resolution”, these new Buffalo Bore loads put an end to the “tactical” draw backs associated with our regular 357 magnum ammo. These loads are great for use in longer barreled firearms too.

Michelle said...

I agree with all said here. Handle and shoot as many as possible before choosing what you want to own. Consider your carrying needs. My needs were to have the gun on me. I am very small and needed a small lightweight gun. I went with and S&W 637 and love it. I have been able to conceal it in nearly anthing outfit I wanted. Plus since I can shoot .38+p, it has some stopping power. It fits my hand. I tried others and this worked best for me. That is the most important part. We need to be totally selfish when it comes to our guns, especially our carry guns.

DesertRat said...

The SP101 is a great gun, but a bit heavy. So before you finalize your purchase consider what it would be like to lug it around all day.

Perosnally I do prefer a .357 Magnum for a carry gun, but when weight is an issue, or I need something I can keep in a pocket. I do like a lot of others and reach for an Airweight J-Frame in .38 Special. While it's not as powerful as a .357 Magnum if you make solid hits with good ammunition the bad guy is going down.

That will be the most important thing to learn, how to hit your target consistently under stress. I think it was Bill Jordan who said "You can't miss fast enough to win a gun fight." So no matter what you get, practice, practice, practice.

Good luck!

Zendo Deb said...

I have the Ruger .357 (or a Ruger .357)

This is a great house gun, but it is NOT something you might want to conceal and carry with you.

If you like revolvers, there are many out there. Some even shoot .45 ACP ammo.

As for concealment, you can buy small 9mm autoloaders. And many people conceal 1911s. I think it would be tough to conceal an SP101.

Tennessee does have concealed carry, No? If so, get your permit.

molonlabe28 said...

Bonnie-

I grew up in Memphis and went to law school there (many years ago).

My wife and I also have a home near midtown, and we get back quite a bit.

I like the SP1, and I don't think that you will go wrong with it.

It is a fairly heavy carry gun, so you may also want to consider something lighter like a Smith & Wesson scandium or a Taurus titantium revolver.

You may also want to look into buying a light-weight semi-auto, such as a Glock or a Springfield XD.

I would go to Guns & Ammo on Summer to talk with them about what best suits your needs.

Although I pretty much carry everywhere I go here in Knoxville, I certainly do in Memphis.

My sister, who lives in Germantown, just got her permit, and I hope that my wife gets hers soon.

Good luck with your decision.

Sevesteen said...

I'd look closely at a S&W Airweight in .38+p. I just bought one as my third carry gun, and it is the most versatile gun I own. As far as I can tell, these are the most popular carry gun among just about everyone with lots of gun experience. The .357 is a more potent round from a full-sized gun, but the difference between it and a .38+p is less from a snubby--Much of the magnum power is wasted on muzzle flash. A less powerful gun you will carry is better than a cannon back at home because it's too heavy.

For the record, my other two carry guns are an XD40 subcompact, and a Kel-Tec P3AT. I like them all, but if I had to have only one, it would be the Airweight. The Keltec is easier to carry but only a .380, and fairly unpleasant to shoot. I absolutely would not recommend it to a beginning shooter. The XD is easier to shoot, more powerful and higher capacity, but much heavier and awkward to carry.

I don't know your experience level--If it's minimal, doing most of your practice with a carry gun is likely to develop bad habits and flinching. If you can afford it, I'd recommend a .22 as well--long run the ammo is far, far cheaper, much more fun to shoot, and less likely to reinforce bad habits.

Angus Lincoln said...

One more thing to consider Bonnie, if you make your purchase and then decide that maybe it was the wrong gun for you, don't fret. Used guns can be a terrific value and you will not lose much if anything should you decide to trade for another choice. If you buy a brand new gun, and decide to trade it for another, you will likely take a $100 hit or so on a trade in. I know many who trade up every few months to continually try something new; eventually, folks will end up with a gun that is right for them.
Good luck with your choice

Oleg Volk said...

No one can pick a gun for you. Borrow or rent every kind and try them. Rank you favorites, then get info on their reliability and longevity record. Then take a class with the gun of your choice: that will help you figure out potential problems.

pdb said...

Oleg Volk speaks the truth. Get your mitts on as many guns as you can and see what fits you. Don't forget to dryfire them and see if the trigger is manageable.

That said, Ruger makes damn good wheelguns, and if that's what you run with, you won't regret it.

Also, was everybody paying attention? DW said something VERY important! If you feed your .357 wheelygun a steady diet of .38 Specials and then fire .357s in it, you WILL run into trouble. The ring of debris from shooting short rounds is baked on there and is impossible to clean out with ordinary cleaning supplies. I had a S&W M65 with this problem. It shows up most obnoxiously when you're trying to extract cases after firing them.

If it is a weapon you will stake your life on, I would strongly suggest running with EITHER .38s or .357s exclusively.

G'luck!

t3rrible said...

B-

I live and carry in memphis. I Also have several of the guns metioned above, although not the 357. I would be glad to meet at Range USA and let you shoot several of your choice. I am a big beliver in making sure the gun you decide to carry is a gun you will carry all he time. Comfort is a big issue in Memphis weather.

Let me know.

Sigivald said...

Agreement with most of the posts!

If you like the feel of the SP (and don't find it annoying to carry), it'll do very well for you. They're a solid gun.

(If you don't mind the size, of course, you could do what George says and try, say, a Bulldog .44 Special, but at that point we're basically quibbling, and the Ruger is probably cheaper and easier to find.)

(My personal revolver of that sort is a Rossi 971, which I'd recommend just as heartily, except they haven't been made in probably a decade now.

Though I think the Taurus equivalent is the same gun, as there was some sort of merger or acquisition or other.)

AlanDP said...

The factory grips are not all that comfortable for the stouter .357 loads. Put some Hogue grips on it and it will be a lot more comfortable, even with the big loads.

My regular carry gun is a SP-101.

Anonymous said...

While I definitely agree with Oleg, another good option would be a Bersa Thunder .380. Slender little thing (if you have small hands, a plus) and easy to conceal. Many will deride the .380 for defense, but if you put one in a goblin's eyeball, there's really no further argument necessary. Try all you can before you drop the cash on one.

Jay said...

Very hard to beat a .357 for a carry gun. Small, simple, effective.

Jay said...

Very hard to beat a .357 for a carry gun. Small, simple, effective.

Anonymous said...

Bonnie,
My wife & I are both experienced instructors and she is a certified Texas CHL instructor. We are both 58 years old and I have been shooting all of my life. We specialize in teaching women beginners and we have had many become very adept with handguns. Most of the advice you have received here is sound, but take a friend with you with a baseball bat and if you even consider purchasing a S&W J frame or a like weight and size handgun have them club you with the bat to get you to refrain from purchasing one. Likewise refrain from buying anything that is not of good quality. Quite often we have a young woman show up for a beginners class that her dad, brother, or husband has bought her a piece of junk that he thought was small, light, and just right for her (and cheap while he owns a handgun that is 3 times as expensive). I tell them to mount it (the piece of junk) in a glass case with an engraved plate that says, "this was my 1st gun given to me by my daddy, husband, brother, etc. on such & such date", then hang it on the wall and never touch it again. Bonnie, try lots of different handguns and find one that fits your hand and does not hurt you to shoot it. If it hurts your hand to shoot it, you will flinch and close your eyes AND MISS and eventually give up on trying to shoot it and carry.
I would also refer you to two women instructors, Vicki Farnam & Diane Nicholl of DTIPublications (www.DTIPUBS.COM) Vicki & Diane teach thickheaded police instructors how to teach women police officers to shoot. They have two books, Teaching Women To Shoot and Women Learning To Shoot. I have spoken personally to Vicki and she agreed with me about men buying a piece of junk for the women in their lives. My wife has been to Thunder Ranch when it was in Texas and she indicated that Clint Smith had about the same opinion also.
Agpilot77

Will said...

The main problem with the snubbies is recoil. Even the sp101, which is the heaviest for its size. It will be too heavy for pocket carry, also. If you can't carry the sp101 in a holster, forget it. You'll end up leaving it in the car or at home.
If you can't shoot a box of 50 rounds minimum per practice session (of the same power level you will be carrying) pick a different gun.
Do NOT practice with light loads, and then stick higher power ammo in for carry. This is what cops used to do. After enough of them died in shootouts, they finally wised up and started buying practice ammo equal to their duty ammo. In some cases they decided to lower the power level of the duty ammo to enable everyone on the force to be able to handle the recoil. Practice for real.
Normally, an auto pistol is easier to handle recoil. Easier to conceal, in most cases (when in a holster). Go rent or borrow as many different handguns as possible.

Will

Anonymous said...

Bonnie,
As an afterthought, we let our beginner women shooters try as many different handguns as we have time for. They get to try my wife's two handguns that she qualifies for her TX CHL instructors renewal. A S&W M66 2 1/2" BBL with Uncle Mikes grips & her Glock M17 Compensated. At her last renewal she shot 249 out of 250 points with her M66 and a perfect score with her Glock M17C. Can't argue with success. We also let the students shoot a Browning Hi Power. Without fail though, every stinking time (with the exception of the wife), young or old, strong, or skinny, frail and timid, "ALL", and I repeat "ALL" of the beginning women prefer the Kimber Custom TLE II with a 3 1/2 lb trigger pull. It's large, heavy, and pricey, but all of the women love it. It's accurate, easy to operate, reliable, and has a very low felt recoil. (don't like using the word "kick") If it's in your budget you can't go wrong with it. The last woman beginner we had went straight from the beginners class to the CHL class two weekends later and scored 249 out of 250 with her new Kimber.
Agpilot77

Anonymous said...

I must disagree with some about and SP being disagreeable to carry daily. I have an SP in .357 snubbie that I carry in a smartcarry daily and have for a few years now. I also shoot 50 rounds or more through it in a week. I am a relatively small woman and I wear casual clothes. Definitely consider the Ruger, Houge grips are GREAT! Good luck. And have fun trying all those good guns. Makes me want to go shopping again.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bonnie,

I found your blog from the link from Tamara's blog. I'm a NRA instructor and I primarily teach CCW classes.

The SP101 is a great gun. It is solid and reliable and shoots well. It is a little large and heavy for a five shot revolver though. The similiar sized S&W "K" frame revolvers are about the same weight and hold six shots instead of five. They are also good choices.

The SP101 is much easier to shoot then the S&W 5 shot J frame guns though. That extra size and weight and the better grips give it to edge there.

I'll repeat what Oleg and others have said. Get some training and try as many different guns as you can. You'll learn more about your likes and dislikes and find the gun that is right for you.

The Ruger SP 101 is a great gun, but it may or may not be the right gun for *you.* the only way to tell is to shoot it and shoot as many other guns as you can to compare.

Good luck!

Trebor