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  1. #1
    marcodo is offline Junior Member
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    need help on my first handgun

    I bow in front of the Gods of Hangun Forum and respectively ask for advice:
    I have searched and read many old threads.
    Here's the issue...I am new to shooting in general. I am taking it up to spend more quality time with my teenage son who has expressed a big interest in shooting in general. I bought a ruger 10/22 lr, joined a local range, took a certification course and we are loving it. I am set to take the NRA basic pistol course in a couple of weeks (with my son). It took over 6 month here in NY state but also got my handgun permit recently.
    I would love to start shooting a handgun...almost exclusively target and plinking (we are not hunters). Most (not everyone) has suggested that the first handgun should prob be a .22. Gander mt this week has listed ruger mark III 22/45...S&W 22lr...Baretta U22 Neos 22 LR target...each at $199.99. I eventually would like to upgrade to a 9mm gun for fun..home (?carry?). I wonder what gun, at this price people would choose, or should I just start with the 9 mm? I cant say I am particulary mechanically inclined and ease of teardown is a issue (concerns about the 22 A). Cost isn't a huge issue but I think I will be able to convince my wife into 1 gun for now. It probably makes sense for me just to wait until after the basic pistol class which apparently will allow me to shoot many different ones. Love to here the guru's thoughts.
    Submitted with all due respect!

  2. #2
    Wandering Man's Avatar
    Wandering Man is offline GM HGF Gold Member
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    .22s are inexpensive guns and the ammo is cheap. If all you want to do is shoot at targets with your son, then that is the way to go.

    If you are thinking about self-defense at all, then you probably want to go ahead and invest in a larger caliber. 9mm is probably the cheapest ammo, and so that caliber would make sense for target/defense.

    You've read the old posts, so you know what most of us will advise: go to the range often and rent different guns. Rent them in different calibers, too.

    You will find one that you shoot better or that feels better in your hand. That is the one you will want to buy. Enjoy the research part of this, it can be fun, and a great way to continue to bond with your son. You might even talk your wife into going out to the range to get her opinion about the guns you are interested in.

    Know that there is going to be no "bad decision" here. Whatever gun you end up with will be great, will be fun.

    Oh yeah, it will also only be your "first" gun, not just your only gun.

    That is my opinion, but I'm not a guru. I'm sure you will get more words of wisdom from the really great folks on this forum.



    WM
    Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

  3. #3
    Shipwreck's Avatar
    Shipwreck is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    Well, first, read our "sticky" on the subject here:

    Newbie to guns? Need help? Where to start?

    Also, as Wandering Man said - unless your plan is to buy BOTH, I don't see a problem with geting a 9mm now. Just don't buy one of those super compact models. Buy a fullsize 9mm.See if you can borrow, shoot with others or rent some various ones to see which you like best.

    Undoubtedly U will get a bunch of suggestions on particular models after my post - but you want to find the best gun for YOU - not someone else's fav gun. So, I will refrain from telling you my fav

    Some polymer guns don't have much recoil, depending on the design. But usually metal framed guns absorb the recoil better and might be a good idea as a compromise from a 22.

    Also, I wouldn't get anything above a 9mm for now. 9mm is powerful enough for self defense despite what some of the 40 cal fanatics will tell you. Shot placement is what counts in self defense.

  4. #4
    SigZagger's Avatar
    SigZagger is offline Member
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    Well I was going to suggest the .22 caliber Ruger 22/45, but I see you mentioned some concern regarding teardown. Some complain about it. But if you place the instruction book in front of you during disassembling and reassembling, it will work out out fine. My take on your post is you are not interested in a revolver. I'm not going to steer you towards one brand or another. If you've done your research, you know the major brands. For any new shooters the .9mm caliber is best for mind recoil and factory ammo costs. I have to agree with the other posters who recommend you stay away from the smaller compact models. Also, most important find the model that fits "your" hand. Select two or three brands, lie them side by side, handle, point, pull the trigger and work the slide. You'll know which is best for you. One final thing. Before you enter the gunstore showroom, do research. Some (not all) gun store employees have their favorites. They like this and hate that for personal reasons. No different than shopping for a new car. Use the internet for your benefit. Good luck.

  5. #5
    2400's Avatar
    2400 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcodo View Post
    I am new to shooting in general.

    I bought a ruger 10/22 lr, joined a local range, took a certification course and we are loving it.

    I am taking it up to spend more quality time with my teenage son who has expressed a big interest in shooting in general.

    I am set to take the NRA basic pistol course in a couple of weeks (with my son).

    I would love to start shooting a handgun...almost exclusively target and plinking (we are not hunters).

    I eventually would like to upgrade to a 9mm gun for fun..home (?carry?).
    Quote Originally Posted by Shipwreck View Post
    I don't see a problem with geting a 9mm now. Just don't buy one of those super compact models. Buy a fullsize 9mm.See if you can borrow, shoot with others or rent some various ones to see which you like best.
    I don't think that starting with a 9mm is a good idea based on what you said.

    Since you already have a 10/22 rifle, my recomendation would be for you and your son to go look at 22 handguns. Don't worry so much about the take down, find one that both of you like and are comfortable holding. You will be able to learn to strip anything you buy with a little practice.

    They (22's) are fun to shoot, inexpensive, a great way to learn trigger control, sight alignment and good shooting habits in general. After you and your son have some practice time take your wife with you so she can shoot.

    After you shoot the 22 for a while and both of you have confidence in your gun handling and shooting skills then try some different 9mm's or whatever you're interested in by that time.

  6. #6
    Baldy's Avatar
    Baldy is offline Senior Member
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    +1 with 2400. With the .22 you can get all the basics down and have a lot of fun doing it. Don't forget to include Mom and make it a family affair. Buy a couple of the Rugers and you will be able to teach your grandkids how to shoot with them. I did. Good luck.

  7. #7
    joker1 is offline Junior Member
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    Good idea to shoot as many types of pistols as possible before deciding. Just a word of caution. Lots of target ranges don't take the best care of their rental guns i.e. they may be extremely filthy inside and may tend to jam. Often. I've seen guys at the range get very frustrated with a pistol they rented because it wouldn't function reliably. These are pistols that are normally of excellent quality and function.

    Do you know any shooting enthusiasts? Most guys would enjoy taking you out and letting you try a few of their's and get you accustomed to their favorites.

  8. #8
    tharmer's Avatar
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    For my first gun, I bought a Browning Buck Mark 22 LR. It felt good in my hand and had been recommended as a reliable and accurate gun. I like it very much. If you plan to let your wife shoot it, a .22 is a good choice due to its quieter sound and gentle recoil. If you use Aguila sub-sonic rounds, it is even quieter and they work the slide on my Buck Mark.

    With this hand gun you can shoot all the paper and tin cans that you find. I've found that my .22 is deadly on an old refrigerator .

    My 18 year old daughter has just discovered it and we went to the range last week. She shot better than I did and loved it. We're going again next week.

    -terry

  9. #9
    marcodo is offline Junior Member
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    Thank You all...very helpful place to start. Unfornunately my new range...and pretty much all (if not every) range here in this city has no rentals. I may have a distant friend I may be able to ask but then I am at their mercy of whatever they have. I have been able to try a guys walther p22 at the range. The best I will be able to do is handle the others at the store/shop. I think I am leaning towards one of the .22. I dont like the look of the ruger (although this seems to get very high reviews). The S&W 22 A seems nice. The walther p22 was fun to shoot but seemed small in my hand and the accuracy (in the hands of a newbie) seemed less than optimal....anyone with any experience with this gun? If I do go with a 9mm first any recs on guns to look at...again mostly range fun with possibility for home protection and perhaps once in a blue moon concealled carry. What does 9 mm ammo cost these days?

  10. #10
    joker1 is offline Junior Member
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    Walmart has Winchester range ammo (commonly known as WWB/Winchester white box) for $12.98/100 rounds.

    I bought a p22 for my daughter to shoot(small hands). Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of this gun. Finicky about what ammo it will cycle and the barrel shroud that holds the barrel in place keeps loosening up. The slide feels like pot metal to me. I also don't like the mag release in the trigger guard. seems like a set up for a ND to me.

  11. #11
    Shipwreck's Avatar
    Shipwreck is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    I don't think its mandatory to start with a 22 - especially if U also want a gun for self defense. Unless U want TWO guns, I'd get a 9mm to start with. I have been in CHL classes with old ladies shooting agun for the first time ever IN the class, and they are shooting 9mms

  12. #12
    falshman70's Avatar
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    I guess I'll add my $.02.
    You can have a lot of fun target shooting with a .22. I have the Ruger 10/22 MkIII and it's a great shooting .22. You have to be really "by the book" in reassembling it after cleaning. Get one thing wrong and you may have a mainspring stuck and the trigger doesn't fire it. One gun store owner I spoke to laughed and called it the "brown bag" gun - in that that's how so many new owners brought theirs back to the store. However, it is accurate, eats any brand of ammo and feels good in the hand. Just don't have a drink before cleaning it.

    My wife has the P22 and it's just OK. The slide is pot metal, but it works OK most of the time. It has a tendency to spit brass back in the shooter's face. The guys over at Rimfire Central describe a fix, but I haven't attempted it. It's kind of a pain to take down and reassemble, also. It only works reliably on CCI Mini Mags.

    I think a 9mm is a reasonable choice. It doesn't have so much recoil that you wouldn't enjoy shooting it, and ammo isn't very expensive. Many of the softest shooting guns have polymer frames. Walther, H&K, S&W, Beretta, FN, and (of course) Glock. Almost all offer these at reasonable prices (except H&K). See how they feel in your hand. I agree with Shipwreck that to start you don't want anything with less than a 4" barrel.

  13. #13
    Mystro's Avatar
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    Just an idea -
    Why not shop for a pistol with your son? Get his opinion as well. I'm sure that both of you will bring honest and truthful opinions about the guns you look at and you may decide on two different guns!?!
    He may like a .22 revolver - you may like a 9mm auto???
    If price is not a big issue, it may be a good solution to get two guns and learn to shoot both!
    Keep an open mind and just make sure the gun fits your hand. Having a correct and comfortable grip is of utmost importance to good shooting.

    Best of luck to you and be sure to let us know what you decided.
    Regards

  14. #14
    Revolver's Avatar
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    I came from upstate NY(foothills of the Adirondacks), so I can relate in some aspects. Surprised yours was so quick. They can often take a full year. Depending on where you live and your connections to your local judge, you may be able to jump some serious hoops to get a permit to carry(very difficult to do if not impossible in most circumstances). I don't know which "the city" you're talking about but I really pity you if it's in the Southernmost region. In the SRNY(Socialist Republic of New York, as if you didn't know) a .45ACP or a single-stack 9mm is a great in defense in an automatic. No need to limit yourself to 10 rounds of 9mm in such a fat package or rely on limited supply of smuggled or pre-ban magazines in a double-stack 9mm nor take on the extra bulk of said pistol. It's just wasted space.

    Just glad I got outta dodge before Elliot Spitzer got a chance to take over.
    Last edited by Revolver; 12-08-2006 at 09:52 PM.

  15. #15
    marcodo is offline Junior Member
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    Thank You all for the replies. I live in upstate NY (rochester). Believe it or not my son can't HANDLE (let alone shoot) a handgun legally in NY since he is 15. I am told that a relatively new law has come around that does allow him to shoot in the presence of an NRA certified instructor (which I am not). I have brought him to the stores (Gander + shops) all of which say something to me about him if I ask him just to hold it to feel the weight and balance of the gun. I have stopped having him come with me because he feels uncomfortable when someone says something to me about it. Also, perhaps "Revolver" knows the laws in NYS. My pistol permit does not have any restrictions and says "License to carry" on it so I assume that it is legel for me to conceal carry (outside NYC which has its own rules). I think there are other restictions including off limits on school grouds...but are there other off limit sites? Also I thought there is some 10 round mag limit law???here in NYS. I feel really limited where I am...no where to rent...can't have my son's input or have him shoot it (legelly that is )...leaving me only to handle, dry fire, and spend all day looking at forums hoping for the best.

  16. #16
    str8stroke is offline Junior Member
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    Oops, I clicked the "report this post" button! and typed away! lol. I am new to the form. Oh well.

    I wrote that I would start with the Ruger .22 MK gun. What a cheap and easy way to learn basic shooting skills on the cheap. With a gun that will last a lifetime. I still have the one my father bought me 20 years ago. After about 10 years it becomes easy to clean and put back together.

    Regards,
    Str8

  17. #17
    str8stroke is offline Junior Member
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    I forgot to add that the mag is kinda hard for small to hands to load. The spring is hard to depress fully. I remember having trouble as a wimpy 13 year old! This might not be a bad, "safety" feature too?

  18. #18
    Revolver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcodo View Post
    Thank You all for the replies. I live in upstate NY (rochester). Believe it or not my son can't HANDLE (let alone shoot) a handgun legally in NY since he is 15. I am told that a relatively new law has come around that does allow him to shoot in the presence of an NRA certified instructor (which I am not). I have brought him to the stores (Gander + shops) all of which say something to me about him if I ask him just to hold it to feel the weight and balance of the gun. I have stopped having him come with me because he feels uncomfortable when someone says something to me about it. Also, perhaps "Revolver" knows the laws in NYS. My pistol permit does not have any restrictions and says "License to carry" on it so I assume that it is legel for me to conceal carry (outside NYC which has its own rules). I think there are other restictions including off limits on school grouds...but are there other off limit sites? Also I thought there is some 10 round mag limit law???here in NYS. I feel really limited where I am...no where to rent...can't have my son's input or have him shoot it (legelly that is )...leaving me only to handle, dry fire, and spend all day looking at forums hoping for the best.
    The "Assault Weapon ban" really restricts the hi-cap(over 10 rounds) magazine supply in the state. Legally, you can only have the grandfathered or "pre-ban" magazines. (HintIt's a hard law to enforce as they have to actually determine if the magazine was produced before a certain date which isn't possible on many magazines. The magic date is Sep 14, '94.

    As for the permit/license to carry...
    Most allow for possession to and from a range as they're "restricted". The minority allow actual carry("unrestricted"). You may be in possession of such a permit, you lucky dog.

    As I said, I lived in a rural area where many laws forced onto the people of upstate New York by the dump to the South weren't followed very closely.

    Good luck.

  19. #19
    Shipwreck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by str8stroke View Post
    Oops, I clicked the "report this post" button! and typed away! lol. I am new to the form. Oh well.
    Yes, I prev got a "report" via email, but I figured itw as a mistake

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