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  1. #1
    newguy07 is offline Junior Member
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    buying first hangun

    am looking to purchase my first handgun but know very little about them. I am looking for a gun that could be used for self defense but also good for taking out and target shooting. I really have no idea what size or caliber. I do not want something that kicks really hard and obvious want something that can shoot somewhat inexpensive bullets so I dont have to spend a fortune to target shoot. Also looking for something fairly inexpensive (350 dollars or less) but good quality. Doesnt have to be the best thing out there but something that is decent and not the cheapest POS around. Suggestions please.

  2. #2
    Maximo's Avatar
    Maximo is offline Supporting Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by newguy07 View Post
    am looking to purchase my first handgun but know very little about them. I am looking for a gun that could be used for self defense but also good for taking out and target shooting. I really have no idea what size or caliber. I do not want something that kicks really hard and obvious want something that can shoot somewhat inexpensive bullets so I dont have to spend a fortune to target shoot. Also looking for something fairly inexpensive (350 dollars or less) but good quality. Doesnt have to be the best thing out there but something that is decent and not the cheapest POS around. Suggestions please.



    For $350 you may want to go used, and if that is not a problem for you there are a lot of great choices for that. I would suggest a 9mm, the least expensive to shoot next to a .22 and is plenty large to do the job. Like is said there will be a lot of great choices but one suggestion on the gun itself I would recommend a Ruger P89. I am sure others will give you their choices. I no longer have one but it is a great reliable and accurate gun with soft recoil and is not much more than $350 new.

  3. #3
    Spenser is offline Member
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    I'd look for a used Smith & Wesson Third Generation 9mm.

  4. #4
    noproblem5671 is offline Member
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    Well...

    Choices new are pretty limited, but I'd second the Ruger P89. All Rugers are excelent guns. The EAA Witness is something else to consider for that price. It is a CZ clone, but supposed to be decent quality. The real CZs tend to go for $50 more, but there are some minor things people seem to like better about them.
    Most of the Bersa talk is about the .380 which has a great reputation, but plenty of people like their other models as well.
    Used is a great way to go to get a quality gun cheap, but if since you are new to guns I'd make sure you get it from someone who you know you can trust. Used semi-autos are harder to evaluate for condition and botched tinkering.

    No question about 9MM being the best choice for capable defense and cheap target shooting. Opinions vary a lot for defense calibers, but 9MM is the cheapest ammo that is viable for defense.
    Last edited by noproblem5671; 02-09-2007 at 02:52 AM.

  5. #5
    fattsgalore's Avatar
    fattsgalore is offline Junior Member
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    Theres a bunch of gun in your criteria.


    Bersa Thunder .380=$220 new if not cheaper.(this model Bersa none of the others)
    S&W Sigma 9mm or .40cal= $320 and less.(As low as $289 locally)
    Some Ruger= wheel and deal.
    Theres a bunch of other guns but none I've had personal experience with.

    Oh yeah. S&W revolver in .38 sometimes there on the clearence rack for $350 and less.

  6. #6
    Shipwreck's Avatar
    Shipwreck is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    I'd pick a Ruger P89, P95 (polymer) or Stoeger Cougar. Beretta owns Stoeger, and they transferred the equipment to Turkey and they let Stoeger make the guns there. It's almost identical to the Beretta Cougar. U can get those from $320-$350, depending on where ya shop).

    Be aware that the trigger on the Sigma is very heavy, and is not conducive to super bullseye shooting.

  7. #7
    newguy07 is offline Junior Member
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    Thoughts on Ruger GP141 .357 magnum revolver. MSRP is 575 how much would it actually sell for? Or how about a ruger p8915 9mm. MSRP 475.

  8. #8
    Wandering Man's Avatar
    Wandering Man is online now GM HGF Gold Member
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    The Ruger P89 is a great gun for what you describe. Mine has been 100% reliable, has good external safety features, and I am able to shoot it more accurately than a lot of other 9mm that I shot while searching for my first gun. Because its a relatively heavy gun, there is less recoil than on a lot of the polymer or smaller 9mm's.

    WM
    Never argue with drunks or crazy people.

  9. #9
    bangbang is offline Member
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    Go to your local gun range, and fire some of the different guns.

    I think you should get a 9mm, but I am biased and partial to that caliber. After firing 9mm, .40S&W, and .45ACP...it was clear to me that 9mm was the way to go.

    I really liked the .45ACP much more than the .40S&W...but the cost of those .45ACP bullets scared the heeby-jeebies outta me.

    9mm all the way...becuase you will want to practice a lot as a newbie... .45ACP is expensive to practice with.

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