Welcome to the forum.
A big howdy from Texas, ye reader of my post
Where to start. Well...I'm a bit of a gun n00b, forgive the gamer slang. I shot my first .22 rifle at the age of twelve, but it never really held much interest for me. My first rifle is currently sitting in the shed covered in rust. Four years exposed to elements will do that :P
My interest in guns was perked again last year, when I was up at my grandparent's place. Both of my uncles had brought their borderline armouries of guns and were plinking at the junkyard near the back of the property. I decided to go and watch for a while. No sooner had I gotten down there than my younger uncle, an off-duty military sergeant, pulled me over, showed me his guns and asked with a grin, "So, which one are you gonna shoot?"
Being seventeen and adventurous (re: stupid) I decided that I'd start off with his snub-nosed .44 magnum. Keep in mind I'd never shot a handgun before in my life. Needless to say, after firing it, I experienced a discouraging amount of pain and had to check to make sure my hand was still attached to my arm. So, I moved down to a Smith & Wesson .357 revolver (I forget what make it was) loaded with .38specials and I loved it. I put every round he gave me through it.
But anyway, to cut my ramblings short....I became addicted. I've wanted a handgun of my own ever since, but have contented myself with firing my uncles' guns whenever I see them. Now, though, at eighteen, I can legally own one so, I'll be getting myself one as soon as I can scrounge the money together.
This looks like a good forum, so I plan on stickin' around. Adios for now!
Welcome aboard. Take your time and don't rush into any rash or hasty decisions. That way you're more likely to get something you really want. That and the fact that you're restricted from buying through an FFL so any purchase is going to have to private sale... assuming there are not laws in your state against this.
The .44 Magnum is a fine caliber for what it was intended (handgun hunting), but not the best choice for casual plinking or defense. Not that you can't do either but there are better choices to be had.
Good luck in your search and keep us informed.