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Talking to friends and family about their 1st handgun purchase...

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by Goob469, Aug 17, 2016.

  1. Goob469

    Goob469 Loaded Pockets

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    I read the other day that firearm sales are up for the 14th month in a row - 2.2 million National Instant Criminal Background Check System for the month of July. Personally, I have had friends and family members, who have never owned a gun, asking for advice on purchasing their first gun. Some it's the fear of "political change" others it's the concern about crime in their area and/or civil unrest (i.e. what happened Milwaukee over the weekend).

    I thought this might be an interesting topic that we can all share and learn from each other - as "firearm ambassadors," how are you talking to friends and family who are interested in purchasing their first handgun?

    Below is my, for lack of a better term "spiel." I my jump our of order of what is listed but, this is generally the form it takes -

    I usually start the discussion off with, "what is the indented purpose of the handgun - home defense, CCW or plunking at that range?" This leads to discussion on full size vs. compact, rails vs. no rails and .22 target vs. self defense calibers.​

    Then I usually discuss budget - "how much are you willing to spend?" This leads to a discussion about quality of firearms, new vs. used and betting your life on a Raven .25 auto. ​

    Next is usually me opening up the safe for some hands on experience with discussions about SA, DA, DAO, Glock Safe-Action, revolvers and the advantages and disadvantages of each. We also talk about calibers with examples (getting individual rounds out and etc.). We talk about recoil, what "fits" in the hand and what is comfortable. Also during this time we are talking about some basic gun safety. ​

    Sometimes the conversation turns to, "I really don't want to kill anyone, I'll just shot a warring shot or shot them in the leg." My reply starts, "I am not a lawyer and what I say should not be considered legal advice..." and then we talk about shooting to naturalize the aggressive action(s).​

    Things usually end with a trip to the range and/or gun show/shop and an offer of working with them/teaching them about their gun and suggesting follow up training with a "professional." ​

    So, what is your "spiel?" As I said above, I think this would be a great opportunity to learn from each other and be better "firearm ambassadors." I look forward to hearing from everyone.
     
    Wishoot likes this.
  2. xICEMANx

    xICEMANx Loaded Pockets

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    All good points. I usually like to go to the range with them and teach them proper grip, stance, sight picture etc. More than anything to help correct bad habits. Typically a new shooter doesn't have many and I find them the most coach able. I really enjoy teaching and if I could I'd do it professionally. Just doesn't pay what my current career does so it's a on the side thing I do for free to help others out. I'm by no means a professional but I do shoot at least once a week and have attend quite a few training courses.
     
  3. Telstar

    Telstar Loaded Pockets

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    I am not a firearms ambassador... but I am willing to share my thoughts on how I choose firearms. Its pretty simply

    skill level/experience
    Caliber
    Cost
    Ergonomics
    size

    Generally speaking, I think a person should decide for themselves and find their own way in regards to what they are willing to do in the name of lawful self defense. I do not take part in that process which should remain intrinsically personal.
     
  4. Wishoot

    Wishoot Loaded Pockets

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    Goob469- Almost a carbon copy of your conversation. I'll just add that before I open my safe so they can fondle my unloaded firearms, I give them the spiel about gun safety.
     
  5. Goob469

    Goob469 Loaded Pockets

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    Wishoot - that's a good point about before you open the safe. The way I wrote it above, it kind of sounds like I am handing folks loaded guns then talking about safety - I assure that is not the case. It's more talking about it at the same time. I.e. "This is how you lock the slide back to check to make sure it's not loaded... you want to make sure you treat every gun like it's loaded."
     
  6. steviesterno

    steviesterno Loaded Pockets

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    I offer to take them to the range and try anything out. I have a sample of stuff, from small pocket carry, revolver, 22 pistol, 9, 45, 223, 12 gauge, etc. I let them know that I will pay for their whole day and include ammo. I used to make them bring ammo, but got some weird stuff so it wasn't worth it.

    This seems to be a good way to get acclimated with the different options and see which way they want to go.
     
  7. Wishoot

    Wishoot Loaded Pockets

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    Not at all. You seem like a very conscientious person.
     
  8. JoeLiberty

    JoeLiberty Loaded Pockets

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    With full realization that I'm probably getting flamed for this... I tend to recommend new shooters NOT get a Glock-type pistol, given that you have to violate one of the four rules to clean it... I personally find this to be an egregious design flaw. It's too easy to have an ND and I've heard too many sad stories. There are other striker fired designs that don't have this problem.
    As for caliber, I tend to recommend a 9mm for a first handgun. The defensive ammo is capable, the recoil is (almost always) manageable, and both cost and magazine size facilitate more practice. For most folks their first handgun will not be carried, so full to mid size.
    Other than that, if it fits your hand and budget, have at it.
    For storage, I strongly recommend a pistol safe with simplex lock like the Fort Knox; fast access, no batteries. I also like to take people to the range, covering the four rules thoroughly before we get there. When I'm done teaching them the fundamentals, they can often shoot nearly as good as me, which inspires confidence, and makes them want to come back.
     
  9. Djs105

    Djs105 Loaded Pockets

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    Goob, I pretty much have the same exact talk. I've actually gone as far as printing out the "golden rules" and giving copies to people I take for the first time. Everyone of them thanked me.

    Funny thing is some of the people I've taken shooting for the first time went on to own A LOT more guns than I do, and shoot A WHOLE LOT BETTER! :) I guess I'm a good teacher :p
     
  10. toddbe

    toddbe Loaded Pockets

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    Lots of people have negligent discharges with pistols with multiple safeties. Dry firing an unloaded gun in a safe direction does not violate any safety rules.
     
  11. JoeLiberty

    JoeLiberty Loaded Pockets

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    It's not the lack of a safety that bothers me. And maybe I mispoke, you don't have to violate a safety rule, it just tends to cause people to violate it. New shooters (even old ones) won't line up their sights in a safe direction to break down their pistol. You want to run a glock, that's fine by me. If you treat them right, it's perfectly safe. But you have to admit there is an extra level of vigilance required for that one step. The step that does not exist with most designs.
     
  12. steviesterno

    steviesterno Loaded Pockets

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    oh one of the extra rules I go over with new shooters, is if you point a gun at me, I will point mine at you. And it's not my first time at the range...
     
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  13. jame

    jame Empty Pockets

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    That's not a rule of safety by any means, but rather one of machismo and intimidation. There are far better ways to get your point across. I've been at it for over 40 years, with dozens of people taught, including my daughters.

    Pointing a gun at someone to teach them a lesson is most certainly NOT a method of teaching firearms safety.
     
    Last edited by jame, Aug 25, 2016
  14. jame

    jame Empty Pockets

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    I'm not understanding this "rule". How do you "line up the sights in a safe direction to break down a pistol"?

    Do mean, "point in a safe direction"?
     
  15. JoeLiberty

    JoeLiberty Loaded Pockets

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    stevie's rule sounds like something a cop would say. During a traffic stop, I informed an officer I was carrying and he says 'well if you don't draw yours, I won't have to draw mine.' Sure officer, same to you.
    Btw, if you don't know the four rules of gun safety go read them immediately. You should always line up the sights before putting your finger on the trigger. That way you can pick out a solid backstop. Even if it's just to aim at the floor. Maintain this consistency in shooting, dry-firing and cleaning. A mental preparation develops to say "ok, this gun is about to go off. What am I about to hit?" Every time. As a nice bonus, you get one more dry fire repetition that's not wasted. Similarly, every time I remove my gun from it's holster, I follow through with the drawstroke, ending with sights lined up on a target. Never waste a draw stroke, never waste a dry fire either.
     
  16. baccar-3

    baccar-3 Loaded Pockets

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    The number 1 rule for owning and carrying a pistol:
    Check the way you drive---if you're cool and composed while dealing with those who aren't you're a good candidate for owning and carrying.

    I would reccommend starting with a small hammerless .38 revolver. I like the Ruger LCR.
    Picture is copied from the Ruger site.

    [​IMG]38 2 by ?, on Flickr

    Get training from a very experienced firearms expert.
     
  17. steviesterno

    steviesterno Loaded Pockets

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    in my years of teaching people how to shoot, being a 3 gun competitor, or ROing national matches it's never been done. It's a reminder that this is serious business, all the time, and I don't tolerate being swept. I've also told people (not with me) at the range the same thing. Same with idiots at gun stores that wave them all around trying them out.
     
  18. jame

    jame Empty Pockets

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    Just because you don't tolerate "being swept", there is absolutely zero reason to point a gun at someone, unless your intention is to shoot them. Competing don't mean diddly to me. I'd bet you wouldn't pull that crap in front of a judge or a ref in competition, and there's a reason why. One of those reasons is that you'd be tossed off the line, and (I'm betting) disqualified.

    It looks like you need to brush up on safety a little. Here you go.

    http://concealednation.org/2013/11/the-4-rules-of-gun-safety/
     
  19. jame

    jame Empty Pockets

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    Sorry, Joel. I misread you and thought that you meant that you line up the sights before tearing it down for cleaning.
     
  20. Rodewaryer

    Rodewaryer Empty Pockets

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    I like the first post, good stuff generally. I have been involved in helping others with their first time buying and shooting several times. Safety being first, it is pretty simple to make a newbie develop a routine and stick with it. I take them out in the sticks, where one on one (I've never taken 2 newbies at once) can be taken at our own pace and without distraction for a first time out.
     
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