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First handgun-?

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by craigstuart, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. craigstuart

    craigstuart Empty Pockets

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    contemplating purchasing a handgun, have experience with rifles.
    What is a good model for a beginner, not too expensive, easy upkeep, easy to learn with, etc..
     
  2. ethernectar

    ethernectar Empty Pockets

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    Buy a .22 and shoot the hell out of it. Ruger, Browning, Sig, etc all make great pistols and ammo is cheap. Run through a couple thousand rounds of ammo, then graduate to a more substantial caliber. When you're ready for that step up shoot everything you can get your hands on and decide what meets your needs and what feels good to you.
     
  3. J_C
    • In Omnia Paratus

    J_C Loaded Pockets

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    I agree. A .22 LR pistol is the way to go for a first gun. Browning Buckmark: http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/family.asp?webflag_=006b or one of the Rugers (Mark III or 22/45 models). http://www.ruger.com/products/2245/firearms.html would be my personal choices.

    The long-term cost of handgun ownership (assuming you like to shoot it for fun) is the cost of ammo. Plus you can develop all of your good shooting habits (sight picture, breath control, grip, and stance) and aren't as likely to pick up the bad ones (flinching, jerking the trigger).

    Back in the day when S&W K-frame revolvers were in their heyday, I would have suggested getting the K-frame .22 revolver before moving up to a .38 or .357, since the grips and frames were identical.

    That Ruger 22/45 gives you nearly the same benefit. The grips are shaped the same as a 1911-model .45 auto, so if you get used to shooting that one you'd have an easy transition over to a 1911.
     
  4. lexmedic157

    lexmedic157 Loaded Pockets

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  5. fugazi22

    fugazi22 Loaded Pockets

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    Another vote for the Ruger 22/45 Mark III - my first pistol. Also recently purchased a S&W Model 686.
     
  6. Bullzaye

    Bullzaye Loaded Pockets

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    I agree with what most everyone else has said...get yourself a quality .22LR pistol. You can step up to the centerfire later.

    Tim
     
  7. HOMELAND SECURITY HAM

    HOMELAND SECURITY HAM Loaded Pockets

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    Hi craigstuart,

    Your question does not have an easy answer. There are many questions, such as where do you live? Is there a chance you might want to carry it for self defense? If so what type of clothes do you usually wear (shorts/ t-shirt, a suit and tie, etc...) Would your primary threats be of the 2 or 4 legged type? Is your area more prone to a multiple threat confrontation (from gangs to packs of wild dogs)? Is your area prone to home invasions and might this play into the guns role. The list goes on.

    I am more of a reliability person; there is nothing worse than buying a gun that could be a potentially poor decision. If you are looking to start with a .22 (in semi auto I would only steer you towards one of the Ruger variants). If you are looking for a revolver, the list is long. Just about any of the variants from S&W, Colt, Ruger, Charter Arms and some others will fit the bill. I don't know how your finances are. If you are not into acquiring several guns there are some with conversion barrels where you can have several calibers in one gun. There is also the possibility of getting a fantastic self defense piece and a .22 conversion kit for it.

    You will see a lot of referrals towards a .22 caliber for a first gun. The .22 will save you the price of the gun in a very short time just in ammo costs alone when it comes to practice expenses. A .22 may or may not be the correct referral for you, without knowing your circumstances; it is unfair for any one to just steer you toward their favorite gun when it might not be the best choice for you.

    The Ruger variants are probably the most bang for the buck in a .22. I would not however recommend any of the Ruger center fire handguns for a first gun. If you are not a handgun person, PM me and I will see if I can help you narrow your list of options. I have been an avid firearms enthusiast for over 40 years. I have been involved in Emergency Services (Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Services, and Search and Rescue since 1975).

    I have responded to hundreds of shooting calls (with gunshot victims both dead and alive). My area continues to have these calls nightly, and I am currently my police department’s armorer.

    If you are willing to start with a great plinker in .22 and defense is not a primary concern, the Ruger Single Six convertible is a blast and gives you a lot of bang for the buck, although it is single action (cowboy style), it has interchangeable cylinders, one for your basic .22 Shorts, .22 Longs, .22 long rifle's including the hot .22 CCI Stingers as well as the .22 CB caps and the .22 BB caps. For more serious shooting you can swap in the .22 MAGNUM cylinder in just a few seconds and have ballistics that according to the reloading manuals, rival some of the 9MM's in muzzle energy. CCI also makes .22 shot shells in both .22 long rifle and .22 MAGNUM.

    Although a single action would not be my first choice for defense, the Single Six can be enjoyed and relied upon for plinking, putting meat on the table and in a pinch defense.

    However I would prefer that you contact me for some honest consulting where I can look out for your best interest. The variables from the many types, styles, sizes and uses vary way too much to just spit out you want this or that. If you want to bend my ear, I look forward to hearing from you. The posts above that tell you to try everything to help you make your decision, I support. If your local gun range rents handguns ask to hold all of them and see how they fit your hands, rent them and see how they feel to shoot. Unfortunately some of the gunshops are like bad car salesmans, so also ask your friends check the message boards and ask your local police officers. Espically ask them what the local and state agencies ARE NOT ALLOWED TO CARRY, this will give you an idea on what is junk and what is not.

    Cliff
     
  8. Snow and Ash

    Snow and Ash Empty Pockets

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    Agreed.
     
  9. captainamerica

    captainamerica Loaded Pockets

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    Buy a Ruger P model 9 mm. They are built like a tank, very reliable, and 9mm has light recoil. If Browning 9's were closer in price I'd recommend one of them first.
     
  10. FreestyleAssassin

    FreestyleAssassin Empty Pockets

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    If you haven't jumped the gun and purchased one already I would HIGHLY advise a bit a reading in regards to the matter first things first. The Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery 6th Edition by Massad Ayoob will take you from A to Z in regards to all things an individual in your position must take into consideration and undertake to utilize the weapon effectively. I don't believe on a personal level that there is such a thing as a handgun for beginners, there is only such thing as a handgun that fits the parameters that you wish to fulfill through owning one. What ever handgun that may be, it is up to you to undertake the responsibility of doing all that is necessary to know the weapon and to operate it safely and effectively.
     
  11. saniterra

    saniterra Loaded Pockets

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    I agree on the .22 - learn to aim and shoot without flinching and get a lot of practice cheaply. Ruger MKIII (or MKII if you can find one), Browning Buckmark, even a Tarus model 84 (I believe that's the correct model) 9 shot .22 revolver.
     
  12. Firedrow

    Firedrow Loaded Pockets

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    The .22 is a great idea, especially if you want to train yourself not to flinch. My first gun was a S&W Model 66 Revolver, still go out shooting when I can. But I did a lot of .38 through the revolver to not flinch since the weight of the Model 66 more than compensated for .38. Now it's a great .357 Mag shooter too, just too heavy to carry all the time in my opinion.

    Has no real important info
    When I went to qualify for my CCL, we have to shoot auto and revolver, the instructor inspected everyone's guns and said my Model 66 was a beauty then asked for the price since I told him I bought it second hand and I was told I had stolen it for the price.
     
  13. jwhite75

    jwhite75 Loaded Pockets

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    A good 22 is an excellent training tool, but that being said, a 9mm Glock 19.
     
  14. jehan60188

    jehan60188 Loaded Pockets

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    what do you want to do with it?
    plinking: used ruger mk ii
    hunting: s&w 500
    self defense: at least a 9mm, but whatever you shoot best
     
  15. chaosmagnet
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • In Omnia Paratus

    chaosmagnet Loaded Pockets

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    After you've shot a bunch of .22, you'll want to move on to a centerfire handgun. The real trick then is to buy the gun that works for you. Different people have different hands. I shoot 1911s, M&Ps, and Springfield XDs very well. On the other hand, I don't shoot Glocks or H&K USPs nearly as well. Rent guns and try them out. I think it's a function of grip angle in my case. Make friends with gun owners who will let you try out their guns. You may find that a Glock works great for you, but then again you may prefer an M&P, or a Sig, or something else.
     
  16. saniterra

    saniterra Loaded Pockets

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    The good thing about a .22 is you never outgrow it. Even after you've learned how to shoot a pistol propertly, learned how to handle it in accordance with range and safety standards, etc., and moved on to a centerfire pistol or revolver, you'll never outgrow the .22. They're just so cheap to shoot and so much fun for plinking, etc.

    I like a powerful handgun myself and I own .357's, .44 magnums, 9mm, 40 S&w, .357 Sig and .45 acp. But don't let anybody kid you about the .22 not being effective as a weapon. After all, it's a favorite with both professional hitmen and the Mossad.
     
  17. FerFAL

    FerFAL Loaded Pockets

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    +1, as many posters will say as well.

    If you consider the slightest chance of using it for self defense as well as plinking and general targrgt practice, you can't beat the Glock 19/17.

    FerFAL
     
  18. Rquagliata

    Rquagliata Loaded Pockets

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    my thoughts exactly
     
  19. Pointman

    Pointman Loaded Pockets

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    I'm picking up a S&W 22A this Monday and will post a little feedback once I shoot it.

    I agree that a .22 is a great training weapon and just so easy to shoot both in terms of learning those good marksmanship skills, but also on the pocket.
     
  20. Yikes!

    Yikes! Loaded Pockets

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    Start with a revolver. They are simple and safe for a beginner. Work your way up to an auto. Read and shoot. Shoot and read. Did I mention shoot? Teach you muscles to shoot so your brain won't distract you from the task at hand. Shoot some more. Repeat.