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· Happiness is 2 at low 8
1,396 Posts
i have done alot of research..... still don't know, i need to get a 'feel'. where i use to live, in NJ, you can rent guns at the range, where i live now, PA, there doesn't seem to be any place to rent 'firearms', so i don't want to buy a gun on a 'crapshoot'.
Pennsylania is a big place. I'm sure there are ranges around that will rent, perhaps not close to where you live, but how far are you willing to travel to keep from buying the "wrong" gun.

Another, less desirable option, is to go to the gun shows and "fondle" lots of different guns in the category you're looking for. You should be able to find one that "fits". For target shooting AND self-defense at .38spl/.357Mag or a 9mm is probably your best bet. The ammo is on the cheaper end of the scale as compared to .380/.40S&W or .45acp. At the gunshops and gunshows you should be able to pick up and mess with a variety of handguns in these calibers. Once you've narrowed the choices down to 2 or 3, then start asking questions about those specific models. Folks in here and other gun friendly sites can give you the pros and cons of each. Ultimately you'll have to take that leap of faith and pick one... Hopefully it will be a good one (may not be the best, but at least it will be good.)

Good Luck,

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