I voted for the "for self defense, but also for fun" category, because truthfully I fun for me also involves a hobby that has spanned the past twenty or so years.
In my years of collecting and shooting, it has been difficult me to articulate to others what handguns represent as an evolution of technology, historical benchmarks in our continued development of our culture and also as a medium or pallette for aesthetics and modern design. And that is being succinct.
Although as I have gotten older and wiser, and as society dictates that self-protection and defense is incumbent upon the individual, I have relied on handguns for that reason-the protection of family and home against real threats from within the community.
At the same time as articulated in another post, I have owned handguns "for no good reason" except that they are just plain fun to shoot and a challange for me to shoot well as my skill level changes.
My first handgun was a Ruger Single Six. I learned to shoot it then killed things with it. It served as a hunting backup to my Winchester 9422. It also served to plink when fitted with the .22lr cylinder. So- serious first, fun second.
My second handgun was a Hi-Point 9mm. It was a good gun, albeit cheaply made. I shot it to be sure I could hit with it then strapped it on. Now and again I would play with it at practice. Serious first, fun second.
Third handgun- Taurus 92. You know the story. Only this one is very serious and is only occasionally used for fun.
Fourth handgun- Phoenix Arms .22lr. Serious only. It played backup to the Taurus and later the revolver below. It was too dang loud and inaccurate for fun.
Fifth handgun- S&W M19. Serious first but I did some trick shooting with it.
Sixth handgun- Taurus 85 which I foolishly traded away before even firing it. It was intended for serious only- backup to the Taurus- but was gone when a longgun deal came along. But... everything functioned fine and I loaded and carried it. Serious only.
Anymore if I want a fun gun I usually head for the .22 rifle. I honestly don't think there's anything fun inside 25 yards that I've not worn out doing. I therefore go for 50-100yds and the .22 for fun.
I too voted for "Self Defense and Fun." I am confined to a wheelchair but have excellent upper body strength and mobility (i drive, go to the supermarket, etc., etc.) So long arms can be a bit awkward with little means of support.
Handguns on the other hand, I can easily support with one to two hand holds, bring into action fairly quickly and there is such a variety... Lets face it, they are FUN!
SAC, I didn't vote because I became interested in handguns because I couldn't shoot them well. I have always been a good rifle shot but with handguns I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn from the inside. It bugged me and I became fixated with my inability to hit anything. I gave up for 10 years and then 44SpecialDave rekindled my interest. That was 26 years ago and under Dave's tutelage I became a descent shot with pistols and revolvers. Regards, Richard
I shoot and I collect handguns. Although I'm a much better shot with a long gun, handguns are much more interesting to tinker with. I rarely modify anything on any of my firearms. Anything I do change is always non-permanent: grips, springs, etc.
I prefer "original" just as it was designed and came from the factory.
I fall within the 1. for self-defense but also 2. for fun category.
1. I refuse to allow myself to be a victim for lack of the ability to defend my life (or my family's) with deadly force, if deemed necessary.
2. I grew up in the 1950s when our role models were Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Hopalong Cassidy, The Lone Ranger, etc. I had great admiration for these TV cowboy heroes and I wanted to be just like them. I first emulated them with cap guns, then with BB guns. The next logical step was to "real" firearms of all types. Gun collecting, shooting and handloading has given me great enjoyment for many years. It's a passion with me.
I guess, why I am a fan of handguns relates to how I became involved with them. My father taught me to shoot when I was 12...and the two things he taught me to shoot were a .22 rifle and a .22 pistol. I did ok with the rifle considering the range was 50 meters and it had a scope. Surprisingly though, I did great with pistol.
I've always found pistols to be more fun and relaxing to shoot. But I also found that I enjoy the personal security that I get from owning and knowing how to use a firearm for self defense. In fact, I also enjoy learning and discussing the self defense side of handguns, along with the fun side.