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So here's the thing...

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by tadbik, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. newtothis

    newtothis Loaded Pockets

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    First timers should stick with revolvers. If it does not go bang pull trigger again. Semi's need practice and failure drills that first timers don't normally have. Once they get comfortable they can move on to the semi's. 20yrs talking

    T
     
  2. mercop

    mercop Empty Pockets

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    Glock 19 or 38 SPL Revolver.- George
     
  3. Impunitus

    Impunitus Empty Pockets

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    Methinks a heavy load of irony got lost upon you...

    Cheers.
     
  4. greenLED

    greenLED Empty Pockets

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    Once again, I will have to disagree on this type of general statement. Shooting is so much more than simply mastering gun clearing drills!

    When I first tried shooting, revolvers did not work at all for me. I hated shooting with them. Laid my paws on a G19 and I was hooked instantly! I still don't find revolvers easy to shoot.

    Like a lot of other things in the firearms world, we all come in different sizes, colors, and preferences. What works for me, possibly won't work for the guy next to me.
     
  5. tadbik

    tadbik Empty Pockets

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    He has never fired a weapon before as far as I know. I get the feeling the weapon will probably never see the outside of it's box!
     
  6. tadbik

    tadbik Empty Pockets

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    Thanks, I've looked at these pistols and added the p9 to the short list (KP9094 (3.5" Barrel))
     
  7. tadbik

    tadbik Empty Pockets

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    Thanks, I'll stick with my Galil SAR!
     
  8. heathah

    heathah Loaded Pockets

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    I'd recommend that he/she go to a gun show, pawn shop, sporting goods store, etc. before making any decision. I would also recommend that he/she visit multiple stores, never just one to see a wide variety of options available.

    He/She can handle each firearm first-hand and decide, based on how it feels, what he might want to use. Exercise caution, however, in the recommendations or information volunteered from over the counter as it can occasionally be incorrect.

    The purchase of a firearm is no simple matter and I would expect your friend to understand this and want to explore all the options available to him/her.

    I've always thought first-hand experience can yield the best results.

    Heath
     
  9. shrap

    shrap Loaded Pockets

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    Relying on "racking the slide" to scare anyone away is silly and gives away your position. Plus you just lost another round of ammunition. Nor does it really have enough "spread" for an untrained shooter to actually hit anything.

    No, shotguns are good for home defense because:

    - they are cheap compared to handguns and usually have fewer regulations
    - they are much easier to point and shoot (longer barrel)
    - they are much more controllable for follow up shots (stock)
    - they do more damage
    - they can be used for non-people killing purposes, like hunting or clay shooting

    That's beginning to sound accurate - in that case I would steer your friend away from buying a gun at all. Having a gun in the home and definitely carrying it concealed is serious business, it should not be undertaken by "weekend warriors".
     
  10. JPTP

    JPTP Empty Pockets

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    Glock 19.
     
  11. Kabong30

    Kabong30 Empty Pockets

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    It's silly if you're trying to hide. If you're trying to dissuade an intruder from whatever he might be doing instead of just trying to waste him, not so much. And I didn't say that accuracy was irrelevant, but "not as big a factor" You really took me down a peg, though. You are truly awesome.
     
  12. deeker

    deeker Loaded Pockets

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    There was another thread that was pondering the demise of the .22 round. I think for this new-to-shooting friend the best suggestion might be get a nice .22 handgun. Learn to shoot it properly with no bad habits. Learn to safely carry it. Learn, and not spend a fortune on centre-fire ammo.

    If it turns out that this person enjoys shooting handguns, can justify one for home defense, and hasn't hurt themselves or someone else in the process then by all means move up to a bigger calibre gun. Selling a .22 handgun shouldn't be too hard, but more than likely one would want to keep it for practice and fun shooting.

    Or maybe just disregard this post...
     
  13. RobertPCS

    RobertPCS Empty Pockets

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    Second on the .22. It may sound crazy, but in my humble opinion the absolute most important thing is for the shooter to be VERY familiar with his gun and shooting in general. I always recommend the same thing to all new and potential gun nuts....buy an inexpensive but high quality .22 auto such as

    http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=11101&storeId=10001&productId=14712&langId=-1&parent_category_rn=15710&isFirearm=Y

    The point being to shoot the heck out of it. Shoot it at the range, getting used to the noise and even smell. Shoot a few thousand rounds out of it over the first few weeks, let your family shoot it safely. Let it get out of your head that its too loud and you have to jump while squeezing the trigger. Shoot it out in the country, without worrying about ammo costs.

    Learn to shoot in every position, not just in the perfect position at a range. Shoot it at dusk, in the blinding daylight (all of this safely of course), but put yourself in as many situations to shoot it as possible. And yes, it is lethal. One exsperienced tallented marksman can put dang near a full clip of .22 rounds into your head within a spit second. Half of those I know with only one gun only have shot about ten clips through it total.

    The best part is....after you shoot exactly two bricks of .22 shells out of your $275.00 gun you will have a MUCH better idea of what you want. Why? You will end up at a range for multiple hours...and by doing so shoot LOTS of different guns. You will find out you hate one thing about a gun and love another. Grip type, texture, sight type and overall balance. Everything.

    To me trying to buy the perfect gun up front based on others opinions is like buying the perfect EDC bag by asking a similar question. Point is, despite all the best intentions of all (myself included) only a little exsperience will tell you what you really want. So.....buy something that will be fun to use long after you find out what you REALLY want.

    Have fun.
     
  14. scríbhneoir
    • Administrator

    scríbhneoir Uber Prepared
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    Let's keep it civil, folks.

    :peg2:
     
  15. Kabong30

    Kabong30 Empty Pockets

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    Understood.
     
  16. mercop

    mercop Empty Pockets

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    My favorite gun in the wold is my bull barreled Ruger MK II. I used it as a gateway drug to get people addicted and bring them over to the dark side. My daughter just used it in a fun shoot on SAT. As an instructor it is a great tool. Here is how I choose any tool-

    Selection- what is it for? It is a toy you will use once in a while or an EDC item?

    Carry- what is the best carry option for you based on needs, wants and your environment/lifestyle.

    Deployment- How do you get it out under the conditions it will be needed.

    Use- Having Tang in your refrigerator does not make you and astronaut. Do you know how to use what you have?
     
  17. charlie fox

    charlie fox Loaded Pockets

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    For a new shooter always start with a gun they are comfortable holding and that fits. Next, something that will not be intimidating or they'll never shoot it. Last, something that fits their needs and their budget.

    My suggestion; stay away from the uber-cool super tactical autos until the basics have been mastered. Start with a medium frame 3-4" .38 Special revolver loaded with 148gr wadcutters and move up from there. But practice, practice, practice!

    Once the basics are second nature move to the simplest, easy to operate semiauto as possible. My choice is the Glock. There are many flavors but mine's a 19 in 9mm, why? Because I can keep all 15 rounds inside a paper plate sized target at 20' as fast as I want to shoot consistently. Glocks don't have a lot of levers, buttons or doo-dads to confuse a dumb old guy like me...KISS, remember?

    Good luck!
     
  18. Dirty Bob

    Dirty Bob Loaded Pockets

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    I would also recommend a .22LR to start with. It's the most user-friendly gun for learning the basics, and he'll be able to afford enough ammo to develop some skill. A centerfire comes after the .22 has helped him learn how to shoot and what he likes.

    I love revolvers for beginners, and it would be great if the person could at least try a few. The Ruger SP-101, for example, is a good compromise in size/weight/caliber/strength. With .38+P lead hollowpoints, it's fairly effective without being punishing. Additionally, .38 Special is one of the cheapest (and most common) centerfire calibers. It is also easy to reload, for even more savings.

    No matter what he chooses, I think 9mm and .38/.38+P are the best calibers to start centerfire shooting with, in terms of accuracy, controllability, effectiveness, and cost. I could understand .380ACP for those who have serious problems with recoil, but I think .38 wadcutter target rounds in an SP-101 are more effective, with similar (or less) recoil.

    Ultimately, it's his choice, but I hope he opts for a .22 to start with. He'd be better off defending his home with a .22 that he is expert with, than with a compact .40 that causes him to flinch with every shot.

    Regards,
    Dirty Bob
     
  19. hso

    hso Loaded Pockets

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    I agree with Charlie Fox that the "fit" is critical if you're going to purchase one gun for SD. I don't recommend a specific make/model of handgun for first time gun owners until after fit is determined.

    Instead of telling you to tell him to get a 9mm or .22, I recommend taking a little time and working with him to find out what he points naturally.

    "points naturally"???

    Yep.

    We spent decades pointing at things. We stick our index finger out, extend our arm and point. The milk, the bird, the car, that girl over there. We get to be pretty good at it (well, most folks do).

    Then when we decide to get a handgun we forget about all those years of "training" and start to squint at sights and fiddling with how to hold a gun to make the sights line up.

    Start out finding out what points naturally for you so the sights line up without moving the sights up or down, not forcing you change the way you hold the gun to make the sights line up on a gun that doesn't fit. If the gun doesn't point naturally for you then it will not align with the architecture of your hand/wrist/forearm and you'll have to learn how to aim it quickly and accurately by shooting hundreds or thousands of rounds to retrain your body (an expensive and time consuming process just to make holes where you want them in a distant object).

    "fit" is all about grip-angle, grip-width and reach to the trigger. The most important is the angle the grip makes with the bore of the barrel. This determines whether the front sight has to be lifted or lowered to make them line up with the rear sight when you grip the gun and extend your arm to point it at the target. The good thing is that it is easy to determine what fits the shooter. Just focus intensely on a small point about 20 ft away. Point at it 3 times (yes, it sounds silly and looks silly also) by thrusting your finger at that point as if you were going to stick your finger in it. Then while still focused on the distant point pick up the handgun you're interested in and with your finger along the frame pointed forward, point the gun at the point. Just thrust your arm forward like you're sticking the barrel into that point and check the sights. If you have to raise or lower the front sight to align it with the rear sight set the gun aside. The grip-angle isn't going to work for you. Try a different type of gun and repeat (along with the silly looking gun-less pointing) until you find that one suddenly doesn't require any adjusting to line the sight up. Grab a Glock and try. If that doesn't work, try a 1911. If you have to move the front up or down to align the sights, try a CZ75 or a High Power or a ... . Repeat the process until one requires no, or nearly no, adjustment. If the sights do align that tells you which "family" (1911, CZ, Glock, ...) of handguns to work with to determine whether the grip width fits or not.

    If you have to move left or right to align the sights it means the grip is too "fat" or too "thin" for you. The grip-width doesn't fit the size of your palm/fingers and you're having to twist the grip in your hand to get the gun to point "straight". That means the gun will twist in your hand when you fire it if the grip-width is wrong. It also means that it will point off to the left or right when you try to fire it in a hurry (say, when you're trying to keep some guy from killing you and the family). Again, point the gun. The bore of the barrel should align with your forearm when your arm is extended. A line should go right down the middle of the barrel and across your wrist and right down your forearm in a straight line. If the barrel points to the right (for a right handed person) it usually means the grip is too wide and you're opening your hand to get around the thing. This causes you to misalign the wrist. Switch to a slimmer grip in the same handgun. If the thing points to the left it means the grip is too slim. A grip wrap or wider grip scales can fix this. If you point a 1911 and find that a 1911 grip is too thin you can add width to it OR you can get one of the polymer pistols that uses a 1911 grip angle. They have wider grips because of their higher capacity. If the thing is too fat, try going to a single stack version to get the slimmer grip.

    The next thing to look for is reach to the trigger. Since people have different palm sizes and finger lengths you try to fit the grip and reach-to-trigger to accommodate. The nice thing is that if you have a handgun with the perfect grip-angle and grip-width for you it is trivial for a good gunsmith to alter the trigger reach to accommodate almost anyone that doesn't have exceptionally stubby fingers.

    Once you have all this worked out you can decide on what caliber and how much money you want in the gun. Caliber becomes easy since a properly fitting handgun will allow the shooter to fire it much more comfortably with higher momentum/energy ammunition. I've had 5' petite women pick ParaOrd P13SA in .45 because the handgun fit them perfectly and set 9mm CZ75s aside because it didn't. So you can decide on almost anything but the heaviest recoiling rounds when the gun fits you. Price is just up to you. Spend enough to get a gun that will go BANG every time you pull the trigger since CLICK isn't the sound you want to hear while the aforementioned Bad Guy is coming through the door. Pretty doesn't count, but BANG every time does.

    One more thing. There are poly pistols from manufacturers today that allow you to alter the grip angle, width and trigger reach. They're designed to be made to fit the shooter. What a great thing!

    Another recent development is that manufacturers are making .22 uppers for your handgun. CZ has been doing it a long time. 1911's have had aftermarket uppers. Glocks have them also. This makes for a great combination since you can shoot cheap and then put the full power upper back on.

    Good luck.
     
  20. tadbik

    tadbik Empty Pockets

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    Thanks to all those who posted. Well my brother-in-law is no longer a gun virgin as he was at the range this morning. It was his first time firing a weapon and I'd taken him to a range where a friend of mine is the instructor. He started with a CZ, shakily but managed to keep it on the target! He next moved onto a Beretta, a Jerico, then my S&W 99 and finally the instructors Glock 26. He has a much better idea of what it's like to fire and what to look for when buying his first pistol. The instructor has trained police forces and army from all over the world and gave him plenty of pointers as to what to look for when deciding what to buy. The instructor told him that he's got to fire the weapons before you make a choice.

    He really liked the Glock, which had the magazine with the finger extension (can someone tell me what this is called?) and definitely on his short list is the Glock 26 and 19 but he also like my S&W and will probably try out the S&W M&P in 9mm and also the compact version.

    Thanks again for all the tips