as a rookie, one of the things ive struggled with are some of the definitions, such as single action, double action, and double action only.
the sticky was really helpful up until i didnt understand the definitions and hadnt shot enough to have any preferences
1. Take a basic handgun safety course. They will tell you the basics and will explain the different types of handguns (revolver, semi-auto, single action, double action, etc.) and the different calibers available. The instructor will be a gun nut and will be willing to spend a lot of time answering your questions.
2. Join the NRA (or other like minded organization). There is a lot of "chatter" going around that our 2nd Amendment rights are going to be under attack for the next few years. At the very least, add your name to the list of those who support our right to arm ourselves.
3. No matter what caliber your dream gun is, you're not going to only get one. If you're like most people, you're going to amass a nice size collection in short order. Make your first or second handgun a .22. The ammo is dirt cheap and you'll learn all the basics without the distraction of heavy recoil. You'll also be more likely to practice if the ammo costs $15 for a brick of 500 instead of $30 for 50 shots.
4. It doesn't matter what kind of hand cannon you've got in the night table to take care of intruders if you can't hit them. So PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!!!!!
5. If you've got little, curious fingers (kids) playing with all your cool stuff when you're not looking, GET A SAFE! Even if you think they won't touch it, they will! If the gun isn't in your hands or on your hip, it gets locked in the safe!! All the time!!
6. Any time you pick up the gun, check to see if its loaded. Every time!!! If you don't think that's important, check out this guy's web site: Negligent Discharge
7. Don't mess with Todd. He means business!
Last edited by kev74; 11-30-2008 at 10:00 PM.
Reason: Forgot to mention "Don't mess with Todd!"
7. Messing with Todd has developed into one of my pleasures here.
Originally Posted by kev74
5. The solution I use to protect my visiting grandchildren is the Secure-it (Center of Mass) gun safe. I now own three.
Last edited by js; 11-30-2008 at 10:25 PM.
Just wanted to say thanks to all who have posted so far (and give the thread a little bump).
I was thinking of a spreadsheet with a series of drop downs for a newbie to chose from before they post the results and ask for help. The results could spit out a report that could be posted for experienced shooters to review and recommend on. You could have drop down boxes for many factors already listed (including "don't know") such as:
peripherals desired (lights, lasers...)
availability (where to buy)
$ to spend after gun purchase
where they will shoot...
This would allow us to see a quick profile of the newbie's intentions so we can assess and make recommendations without a ton of back and forth questions.
I don't think the software will allow for drop downs, but I like the idea of a standard questionnaire. Definitely something to think about.
Originally Posted by Dsig1
Last edited by BeefyBeefo; 12-01-2008 at 12:50 PM.
It would be pretty easy to add a definition of terms portion. Someone looking for information than seeing a have you taken a class if not go will go..To another place to obtain the information they are looking for. That alone would lead me to want to preface your guide with a little paragraph or two giving the would be reader something to back track to or a readme first type thing to get a handle on the "lingo".
Then when they see the if you have not go portion they are more inclined to read on thinking there is something to learn and they will be able to understand better the guide as a whole.
Maybe a short definition of terms for the chapter that is being read at the time. That could keep the needed info more fresh in the mind of the reader and not overwhelm the reader with a bunch of terms all at once. Like talking about caliber/ammo one can have a JHP= Jacketed Hollow Point etc.
Last edited by DevilsJohnson; 12-01-2008 at 01:16 PM.
Reason: Added Info
Too many posts about possible format, not enough posts about actual content.
Content is more important than format.
Very true. Without enough content, this thing won't get off the ground.
Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1
One suggestion is to keep "join the NRA" stuff out of there. I think this project is a great idea but let's make it about guns and not gun rights. I worry that new members can be scared off by a lot of political talk etc. Let them make up their own mind about stuff like that.
Revolver vs. semi-auto for a novice shooter
The pros of choosing a revolver for a novice shooter are many. Many new gun owners are intimidated by the seemingly complex multi-step process of loading a semi-auto pistol. Loading the magazine, inserting the magazine, racking the slide, in some cases de-cocking the weapon and/or engaging the safety seems like an awful lot to master. In comparison, the task of swinging out the cylinder, inserting the rounds and closing the cylinder shut again would appear to be much simpler. The fact that the revolver has no magazines to lose and drop is also appealing.
The revolver can be stored loaded for years without any worries about springs being compressed as none of them are under tension when the hammer is not cocked and a revolver is also relatively easy to maintain as it does not require disassembly for cleaning.
Another benefit to the revolver is ammunition choice. This refers both to the fairly limited selection of “mainstream” calibers and the various loads available in each caliber. The most common calibers will be the .357 Magnum and the .38 Special. The beauty of weapons chambered in .357 Magnum is that the .38 Special round can also be fired with them. NOTE: .357 Magnum rounds cannot be fired in a weapon chambered for the .38 Special.
Since a revolver does not rely on a round being fed into the chamber in order to fire, the shooter does not have to worry about finding a round that functions in their particular gun. This makes ammo selection much simpler for a new shooter as he/she only needs to locate a round in the appropriate caliber without having to worry about confusing matters such as grain and bullet design.
The most ordinary type of revolver is the double action revolver, which is fired by simply pulling the trigger. No safety etc. to worry about. By pulling the trigger the gun is cocked and fired in one motion. Due to the fairly long double action trigger pull, the weapon can safely be carried and/or stored loaded and can be brought into action very quickly. The common double action revolver can also be fired single action, meaning the hammer can manually be cocked for a shorter and lighter trigger pull for any or all shots. This gives the shooter the ability to use the same gun that can safely be carried loaded due to the long trigger pull as a target/range gun capable of precision shots when shooting it single action.
Last but not least, learning how to shoot a handgun utilizing a double action revolver and the double action trigger pull teaches the novice shooter very good trigger control. Once a shooter has mastered the long double action trigger pull of a revolver, other trigger system will be relatively easy to learn afterwards.
Caliber choice for the novice shooter
The new shooter should consider several factors when deciding on which caliber he/she chooses for his/her first handgun. Too many new gun owners fall victim to the urban legends, movie myths, and bad advice that surrounds the various handgun calibers. The reality is that there is very little difference in the performance of handgun calibers with the modern ammunition technology on the market today.
One must first determine what the gun will be used for. If it will be strictly for target shooting, the .22LR caliber is an excellent choice. Both revolvers and semi-auto pistols come chambered for this round and the ammunition itself is among the cheapest on the market today. If the handgun will pull double duty as a defensive weapon, the shooter would be well advised to consider one of the calibers larger than the .22LR.
If the shooter has decided on a revolver, the choice can be fairly simple between the two most common revolver calibers, the .357 Magnum and the .38 Special. The even better news is that a revolver chambered for the .357 Magnum will fire both calibers. My recommendation is always that the new shooter picks the .38 Special whether it is fired from a .357 Magnum or a .38 Special revolver. The round is pleasant and easy to shoot and performs well as a defensive caliber with the right ammunition selection. If the shooter has obtained a .357 Magnum chambered handgun, the option of “moving up” to the magnum load later on still exists.
If the shooter has decided on a semi-auto pistol, the caliber selection becomes a bit more complex. The most common semi-auto calibers on the market today are the 9mm, the .40S&W and the .45ACP. Calibers such as the .357SIG, the 10mm and the .45GAP are less prevalent but viable options nevertheless.
My recommendation is that the novice shooter starts with the 9mm. The round is easy to shoot and very easy to find at reasonable prices nearly everywhere ammunition is sold. In most guns it an easy round to control and nearly everyone can handle the recoil without much difficulty. The 9mm is an excellent defensive round should the gun be needed for that purpose.
My second choice for a new shooter choosing a semi-auto is the .45ACP. In most pistols the .45 will present the shooter with significantly more recoil, which may not be a good idea for someone learning how to shoot. The ammunition is easy to find but costs quite a bit more than the 9mm for example. Again, should a defensive load be necessary, the .45ACP had a long history of grand performance in that area.
My third choice would be the .40S&W, which was offered up as the compromise round between the 9mm and .45ACP. In my experience this caliber offers less controllable, yet not unmanageable recoil compare to the .45ACP and the performance with premium defensive ammunition does not offer much, if anything over the 9mm. The fact that the ammunition cost more than the 9mm does not make it an ideal choice for anew shooter who wishes to practice on a regular basis.
My personal view is that the .357SIG is a poor round considering the increased noise and muzzle flash it produces when compared to the performance of the round. The ammunition is often hard to locate and expensive. It does not offer anything over a well loaded 9mm or .40S&W round and if the shooter desires the performance the .357SIG was designed to duplicate, he/she would be better off getting a .357 Magnum revolver.
The 10mm round is a great round and it performs very well. Cost, availability, and recoil, however, make it a poor choice for the new shooter.
The .45GAP was designed to duplicate the performance of the .45ACP and seemingly does so, however, at the expense of costly ammunition that can be very hard to find in most places.
Somewhere in this collection should be the fact that shot placement (accuracy) is paramount. This will emphasize education and practice, as well as the idea that hitting your target with a small caliber is better than missing it with a hand cannon. Get the gun that shoots well in YOUR hands.
Originally Posted by 3/325
That's exactly why my very first suggestion was to either find a mentor or to go rent as many different guns as possible. Trouble was, I forgot to include the reason why one should do this!
Thanks for correcting my error.
(Jean and I will be in Lost Angles until the 11th, closing up a recently-deceased aunt's apartment, and settling her affairs. See you on the 12th, or maybe a little later.)
Just was thinking about all the times I've tried explaining things to people using "lingo" that they might not understand. Tends to get people bot reading and making posts asking the questions I figured you were trying to avoid more hence the guide. Dealt with it in computer forums and the bajillion hours I spent doing live chat and phone tech support. Figured that little tidbit of info work in this situation. as to content It appeared most all that was covered...My bad
Originally Posted by BeefyBeefo
I'll go back to my corner now..
I'll come with...
Originally Posted by DevilsJohnson
I really feel this is a project worth adding to. I am really surprised that no one else has anything to add.
In another day or so I'll start to organize what we've got and see if we can't make something out of it. I'll leave it open for a while longer just in case anyone has anything else they would like to add.
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