The "my first gun" question answered.
I have noticed a lot of people asking about what to get for there first gun so I thought I would type out the method that my Dad used with me and countless others who have had this question. I have modified it a bit and if you notice something that you would do differently or something you think I missed let me know.
When ever anyone asks me to help them understand guns I get really excited, because I am a gun enthusiast however, there are several issues that stand in the way of someone simply explaining, the biggest one being bias. So I have adopted a procedure when people ask me this question that not only helps enhance and accelerate the learning process it also helps weed out the people who just watched Die Hard and think they want a gun. Here are Nichols six steps to your first gun.
Step one: Go to your local library find a book call “Handguns and Rifles” by Ian Hogg. Read it, don’t just look at the pictures read it. This book will give you a bit of everything you need to know about handguns.
Step two: This is where I actually get directly involved. We go to the gun store and hold everything… like everything. Within a few guns you will have found a few that you like both revolvers and autos. We write down what it is you like and if they will let you take your digital camera and grab pics. Tell the sales person we will be back.
Step three: Get online look at everything you can on the guns you held that you liked. Most importantly finds the worst reviews, as this will give you an idea of the worst case scenario. Also look into the company’s warranty standards and practices. This should help you narrow it down a bit more.
Step four: Take a certified NRA beginner’s handgun class.
Step five: Range time. Armed with the basic knowledge of basic handgun holds and operation we go to a range where you can rent the guns on your newly narrowed down list. As you fire the guns one will begin to stand out as the best, this part of the process may take some time but in the end is very much worth it.
Step six: Go buy your gun and go put at least 200 rounds down range that day then go back to my house slap in a good movie (I like to watch band of Brothers) as we spend at least an hour cleaning you new best friend.
The way I see it purchasing a firearm is a big commitment and nothing to be rushed into I actually like to take a good six months to go through the steps so that you can really know that what you are getting is what you want. It is hard to resist the urge to just go buy but in the end you will be better equipped and when you go to buy your second you will already have done the research.
That’s just my method
joeshwa24: sir; your dad has pointed you well. Sir; consider adding;
don't be self-conscious with questions.
Don't be afraid of learning.
Don't be afraid of failure.
Don't be intimidated with the so-called experts.
Give consideration to all thinking weighing the thought accordingly
Understand well; Many Many have die hard belief that they are absolutely correct.
joeshwa24: Sir; your father taught you; "go for it" while chasing a bear with a .22 be proud.
Well I don't think he will be going bear hunting with a .22 but he listen to his dad. Very good son with a very wise dad.
I just buy the ones that look cool.
Ha... I think that actualy happens with alot of people... I know a guy at our range who just went out and got a desert Eagle .50 because it was the gun from the Marix...
Originally Posted by Spartan
I know a guy that bought a PS 90 because it was cool.
Originally Posted by Spartan
I bought a Glock as my first gun, because I knew it was an established "benchmark". A G23C. (Why: .40 Cal: believed the FBI hype, 23: "smaller" for carry, "C": for recoil control, and 'cuz it was different)
I could afford only one gun, and lerned the 23C was too big to carry concealed in FL.
I traded it for a Kahr PM40. Great concealed carry gun. S__ty range gun. Found out I LIKED shooting!!!
Decided I wanted a 45... tested EVERYTHING... Bought an XD45 Service.
Loved the XD, and decided AGAINST the .40 for CCW, due to recoil.
Traded the PM40 for a XD9SC... Small enough to carry, much better "shooter" than the Kahr. All in LESS than a year.
Moral of the story... Often, you have to buy the wrong gun, to learn what really suits your tastes and needs. Then you trade, take your lumps, and evolve your preferences.
Now I own a Buckmark 22LR for plinking, because the $40/100 ammo is too expensive... I shoot 100 rounds in about 20 minutes. That's $120 per hour...
Your "first gun" is like your first car. Most guys who still own their first gun, own it for sentimental value, not practicality...
How many guys HERE still carry their "first gun" every day? Newbies don't count. 6-month gun-owner minimum...
I would be still carrying my first gun but still trying to figure out how to conceal a harrington & richardson 20ga. You are 100% correct. I started out with a Taurus model 605 in .357, because i thought it was best. Then i found something that worked better for me in a Ruger P95 9mm and then something that worked alot better than both in a Dan Wesson Bobtail 1911. I think you get the best possible gun for youself that you can afford and then you upgrade from there when u find out what you don't like. Maybe sometime soon i will be able to convince my wife that i need to upgrade to an Ed Brown. Crossing my fingers. I do still own all three guns but i own the first one just as a backup only because it bucks like a baby jackass.
I have to humbly disagree with the last two comments, not meaning any disrespect, however, I think if you are careful and thoughtful about what you get you can save yourself hundreds of dollars on trading guns. I have followed this formula with almost every gun purchase I have ever made and I have only ever traded 1 gun and that was because it was ridiculously in my favor. Now I do know a lot of people who view gun trading as a hobby and that’s cool but I don’t think you necessarily have to buy a few things you don’t like before you get to that “one gun”. I actually think a lot of people have unrealistic expectations of there abilities with a gun, if you are expecting to find a gun that gives you 3 inch groupings at 25 yards with in your first 4 trips to the range you will not find that gun (in fact a lot of people shoot for years and cant do that). What I have found about these people is that over the life of 4 or 5 gun trades they actually learned how to shoot, and now they get that 5th or 6th gun in and they can get descent groupings and it’s not the gun it’s the fact that they have been consistently going to the range to try out that new gun and that range time has vastly improved there gun handling abilities. Just my opinion, no disrespect intended.
Step 4 and 5 are the best advice for anyone looking to own a handgun, especially first timers and as a refresher.
Originally Posted by Joeshwa24
Great post Joe!
Thanks my friend, I agree that those are the two most important and if you can only do those 2 steps you will be miles ahead of most people.
Originally Posted by Glockamania®
Tell me about it. A lot of folks I know who bought their first handguns (before trying them out) end up with regret and sell it off for another one.
It definitely saves time and money when trying one at the range through a handgun class.
What really surprises me is how many people seam to be against gun classes... I mean they wont say they are but the attitude is like "I can handle this my self, I just need to shoot more" what most people don’t get is that it is 10 times harder to train yourself out of a bad habit than to train yourself into a good one from the start. Its funny how a lot of guys try to combat this by bringing someone who is equally ignorant, the proverbial blind leading the blind.
Yup. And those that teach other of these bad habits are prone to more unsafe gun handling skills. NRA certified classes are up to date on lesson plans.
Originally Posted by Joeshwa24
Also, I just hate to see young newbies learn through the movies and hold a handgun via "Charlie's Angels" style.
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