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zanizh
10-15-2009, 05:23 AM
Please keep in mind that this is in the research forum and not the rejection forum so no one need worry. ;)

I don't know nothin' 'bout no guns. I could use some help.

I need the name and caliber of a hand gun.

The scene: My MC is talking with a woman who's husband killed himself with said gun almost twenty years ago. While she is talking to her, the woman pulls out the gun; it looks like she may shoot my MC but she actually turns it on herself.

I don't know what would be practical for this.

Thanks in advance.

hammerklavier
10-15-2009, 07:08 AM
Twenty years ago, for semi-automatics, the 9mm was becoming quite popular. The .45 ACP was on the decline, but sill popular. .380 was popular as a smaller gun and backup for police (no longer for that second role).

In revolvers, the .38 special was the most popular (and continues to be), .357 if you wanted something with a lot more power, and .44 magnum if you wanted a "hand cannon".

Let us know a little more background, was he in the military, police, a country boy, etc? From a foreign country, perhaps?

zanizh
10-15-2009, 05:57 PM
He was a southern man, grew up and stayed in Alabama. He was from a blue collar background before he killed himself. He wasn't affiliated with any military or law enforcement organizations. He was just your regular Joe. When he killed himself, it was enough of a blast that it left a fairly horrible mess. I see him more of a revolver kind of guy.

Impressive knowledge. Thank you for your help!

jeseymour
10-15-2009, 07:45 PM
I had a Ruger Security six revolver in the eighties. It was made in 1976. That'd fit your bill. It fired .357 or .38. I think it had a six inch barrel. There's a picture of one here:

http://www.chuckhawks.com/ruger_security_six.htm

Duncan J Macdonald
10-15-2009, 08:42 PM
He was a southern man, grew up and stayed in Alabama. He was from a blue collar background before he killed himself. He wasn't affiliated with any military or law enforcement organizations. He was just your regular Joe. When he killed himself, it was enough of a blast that it left a fairly horrible mess. I see him more of a revolver kind of guy.

Impressive knowledge. Thank you for your help!


Common and dirt-cheap. Easy to conceal. Smith and Wesson Model 40.
http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson/upload/images/firearms/SW150222_thumb.jpg

Caliber: .38 S&W Special +P
Capacity: 5 Rounds
Barrel Length: 1 7/8"
Front Sight: Integral
Rear Sight: Fixed


All information from the Smith & Wesson Web Site (http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10001&catalogId=11101&langId=-1&productId=64978&tabselected=tech&isFirearm=Y&parent_category_rn=48302)

More to the point, it's a fairly easy weapon to use, and easy to maneuver if you want your character to turn it on themselves.

Kathie Freeman
10-15-2009, 08:53 PM
Common and dirt-cheap. Easy to conceal. Smith and Wesson Model 40.
http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson/upload/images/firearms/SW150222_thumb.jpg

Caliber: .38 S&W Special +P
Capacity: 5 Rounds
Barrel Length: 1 7/8"
Front Sight: Integral
Rear Sight: Fixed


All information from the Smith & Wesson Web Site (http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10001&catalogId=11101&langId=-1&productId=64978&tabselected=tech&isFirearm=Y&parent_category_rn=48302)

More to the point, it's a fairly easy weapon to use, and easy to maneuver if you want your character to turn it on themselves.

If she isn't used to a gun, this is a good one, I've fired one myself. An automatic takes some getting used to, can be complicated to fire. A revolver is just "point and shoot".

Wayne K
10-15-2009, 08:57 PM
A woman would have a small caliber weapon. .38 is even a little big, but it will do.

Richard White
10-15-2009, 09:18 PM
You know, when I say, "I need a gun" at work, I get a lot of weird stares.

Maybe it's just me.

*grin*

zanizh
10-15-2009, 09:39 PM
Common and dirt-cheap. Easy to conceal. Smith and Wesson Model 40.
http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson/upload/images/firearms/SW150222_thumb.jpg

Caliber: .38 S&W Special +P
Capacity: 5 Rounds
Barrel Length: 1 7/8"
Front Sight: Integral
Rear Sight: Fixed


All information from the Smith & Wesson Web Site (http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10001&catalogId=11101&langId=-1&productId=64978&tabselected=tech&isFirearm=Y&parent_category_rn=48302)

More to the point, it's a fairly easy weapon to use, and easy to maneuver if you want your character to turn it on themselves.

Thank you, Mr. MacHamster! This actually looks exactly like what I had in my mind's eye when writing this scene.

Thanks to all for the help!

Mark G
10-16-2009, 02:34 AM
My advice would be to check out wikipedia and the manufacturer's website for the gun you pick. Details count.

A recent book I read mentioned a character having a German Glock Revolver. Glock doesn't make revolvers, and they're based in Austria. Double whammy!

One thing that I've noticed is that some people confuse "revolver" with "automatic", or think they're synonymous. So, here's the Reader's digest version of the differences:

Revolvers use a rotating cylinder with spaces for each shell+bullet (aka "round"). Think "old west" gunslinger type movies. These guns were king of the handgun realm in the mid-late 1800's. Pulling the trigger (in a double-action revolver) causes the hammer to come back, the cylinder to rotate so a bullet is in position, and the hammer to come down on the back of the shell - hitting the primer cap to ignite the gunpowder, shooting the bullet out. If the chamber is empty, you get a "click" and no shooting.

With (most) semi-automatic pistols (aka "automatics"), the gun loads by placing a magazine (loaded with bullets) in the chamber within the handle until it latches in, and sliding the slide (top of the gun) towards the rear. This also pulls the internal hammer back, ready to strike a firing pin. Once the first bullet is chambered in the barrel, it's ready to fire. If you never slide the slide, it's not loaded. Most people who don't want to accidentally shoot themselves will either 1) not chamber the first bullet, or 2) use the safety switch if a round (shell+bullet) is chambered. Firing the gun is done by pulling the trigger, which releases the hammer against the firing pin, which hits the primer cap, which ignites the powder, shooting the bullet. The recoil from the explosion is used to move the slide back against a recoil spring (or springs). The empty shell catches on a hook and gets tossed out, the hammer gets pulled back again, and the slide moves forward to chamber the next round.

It's fun to watch in slow motion :)

Automatics started appearing in the late 1800's. The Colt 1911 .45 caliber pistol has had a long and glorious career in the U.S. Military since that time (from 1911 to 1985). It was replaced by the Baretta 92F (9mm).

If a guy is going to kill himself with a gun, he wouldn't wuss out and use a .380 because it might not do the job. A .45 would be a good choice. Baretta's model 92 9mm semi-auto may be popular, but the firepower doesn't match the Colt .45.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semi-automatic_pistol
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolver

hammerklavier
10-16-2009, 07:15 AM
The smith looks good, only thing is... did they have +P back then? If not, it would just be the previous model. It wouldn't make a huge mess, for that you'd need the .357 or the .44 mag. A big pool of blood yes. Gray matter splattered everywhere... maybe, but probably not.

Rowan
10-16-2009, 02:19 PM
A woman would have a small caliber weapon. .38 is even a little big, but it will do.

Huh? :D

jeseymour
10-16-2009, 03:59 PM
Huh? :D

Yeah, you know, I ignored that little bit of stereotyping. A few years ago I was taking a concealed carry handgun course. Whole bunch of big tough guys all said, "You don't want to shoot that" when I brought in my husband's Delta Elite. (Colt semi auto in 10mm.) "We'll find you a nice .22." I took that Colt and grouped very nicely, thank you very much, including a double right in the center (two shots in the same hole.) Had one guy insisting I had missed the paper, but we went and looked at it and you could tell both shots hit the same hole. Nobody gave me a hard time after that. ;) I did choose a smaller weapon for my own personal carry gun (Colt Commander in .38 super,) but that was more for the weight and size than the caliber.

Oh, and regarding the title of this thread, when I saw it, my first reaction was, "Don't we all?"

Patrick L
10-16-2009, 04:28 PM
The Ruger Security Six, medium sized, was extremely popular in the 70's and early 80's, and you don't hear much about it any more. Anyone who knows pistols would probably approve of this choice.

http://www.chuckhawks.com/ruger_security_six.htm

jeseymour
10-16-2009, 05:50 PM
The Ruger Security Six, medium sized, was extremely popular in the 70's and early 80's, and you don't hear much about it any more. Anyone who knows pistols would probably approve of this choice.

http://www.chuckhawks.com/ruger_security_six.htm

I posted this exact same link further up in the thread. :D

Patrick L
10-16-2009, 06:29 PM
I posted this exact same link further up in the thread. :D


My bad! Saw revolver and got excited. You have a great mind! :)

Rowan
10-17-2009, 12:36 AM
Yeah, you know, I ignored that little bit of stereotyping. A few years ago I was taking a concealed carry handgun course. Whole bunch of big tough guys all said, "You don't want to shoot that" when I brought in my husband's Delta Elite. (Colt semi auto in 10mm.) "We'll find you a nice .22." I took that Colt and grouped very nicely, thank you very much, including a double right in the center (two shots in the same hole.) Had one guy insisting I had missed the paper, but we went and looked at it and you could tell both shots hit the same hole. Nobody gave me a hard time after that. ;) I did choose a smaller weapon for my own personal carry gun (Colt Commander in .38 super,) but that was more for the weight and size than the caliber.

Oh, and regarding the title of this thread, when I saw it, my first reaction was, "Don't we all?"

I hear you! My carry weapon was a Sig P220 (.45) and my concealed carry for running (etc.) is a Walther PPK. :)

Tiger
10-17-2009, 05:40 AM
You don't like the P232? I tried out a P239 once... I was very impressed with it.

Rowan
10-17-2009, 05:51 AM
You don't like the P232? I tried out a P239 once... I was very impressed with it.

I bought the full sized P220 back in 1998 and loved it, bought the P220 Carry this year (love it even more) and I just picked up the P229 Equinox (below). Never fired the P239/P232...will have to check them out. I love Sigs!
http://www.sigsauer.com/upFiles/catalog/product/P229-Equinox-detail-L.jpg

jeseymour
10-17-2009, 06:10 AM
I bought the full sized P220 back in 1998 and loved it, bought the P220 Carry this year (love it even more) and I just picked up the P229 Equinox (below). Never fired the P239/P232...will have to check them out. I love Sigs!
http://www.sigsauer.com/upFiles/catalog/product/P229-Equinox-detail-L.jpg

If you're ever up at the Sig academy, I'm within hearing of their range. :)

Rowan
10-17-2009, 06:21 AM
If you're ever up at the Sig academy, I'm within hearing of their range. :)

Are you really?? Have you visited the site? :)

jeseymour
10-17-2009, 04:12 PM
I'd love to take some courses there, but they're very expensive. I took courses at Smith and Wesson when we lived out there. Just haven't been able to cobble together the funds to go to Sig. Too many horses!

Edited to add - to the OP - this is the way to get real hands-on experience for your writing. Take a course. Most academies will loan you a weapon. Many of your local ranges will offer NRA courses too, those are less expensive than something like the Sig Academy or Smith and Wesson. I write crime fiction, that's one of the reasons I first picked up a gun. Then I found out how much fun it was. My one regret at this point is that I have not yet fired the actual weapon my character uses most often - a Remington 700 in .308.

The instructor for one of my courses asked why we were there, I told him I write crime fiction, and he started telling me stories. I use him in one of my books. His only request was that I not make him a bad guy (he's a detective on a police force near Smith and Wesson.)

Rowan
10-17-2009, 05:25 PM
Edited to add - to the OP - this is the way to get real hands-on experience for your writing. Take a course. Most academies will loan you a weapon. Many of your local ranges will offer NRA courses too, those are less expensive than something like the Sig Academy or Smith and Wesson. I write crime fiction, that's one of the reasons I first picked up a gun. Then I found out how much fun it was. My one regret at this point is that I have not yet fired the actual weapon my character uses most often - a Remington 700 in .308.

The instructor for one of my courses asked why we were there, I told him I write crime fiction, and he started telling me stories. I use him in one of my books. His only request was that I not make him a bad guy (he's a detective on a police force near Smith and Wesson.)

You know, that's great advice for everyone with the gun questions (esp those who've never shot a firearm). You meet some interesting characters at the range.... :)