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  1. #1
    bdp2000 is offline Member
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    Advice on first new gun

    Hello everyone. I am new to the forum, and fairly new to handgun ownership. By that, I mean I am looking at my first purchase. I need advice on the first timer syndrome.

    My primary reasons for ownership are personal protection and range practice (as a hobby/steam blowoff). I live in a really safe area of town in a very nice neighborhood and really don't feel the need for having a home protection device. But I am a bartender and leave the restaurant 3 times a week by myself after midnight, and I would want something that I could carry both on my person but also use at the range consistently as a hobby gun.

    I have heard that revolvers are a good choice for a first timer. I could be cofortable with that, but the guy at the local gun shop said that nowadays there are many reliable semi's out there to choose from.

    I'm kind of wide open, and am looking in the $300 range.

    Thus open the floodgates! Advice?

  2. #2
    [DJ] is offline Junior Member
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    In the same position (aside from the CCW / Self defense aspect) I would suggest going to a range, and hiring / firing as many as you are able, once you get the feel for something - you'll know further what you are looking for.

    Good luck, I am envious.

  3. #3
    DJ Niner's Avatar
    DJ Niner is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    Given your budgetary restraints and intended uses, I'd first recommend a used S&W .38 revolver. It ain't all that sexy and "tacti-cool", but it'll do the two things that you want your handgun to do. You may have to look for a while to find something decent in that price range, but I think it's do-able.

    The only reliable autoloaders in serious personal defense calibers (9mm/.40/.45) that can be had for around $300 would be Rugers. Lots of folks look down on them because they are a bit bulky, not all that sleek, and perhaps a bit rough in the action; but they are also bull-strong, reliable as the sunrise, and can be VERY accurate once you find their favorite load and get used to their particular shooting characteristics.

    So -- revolver recommendation would be S&W .38 (maybe a model 10, model 15, or stainless models 64 or 67). For an automatic, try the Ruger P89 or P95 (9mm), P90 or P97 (.45 ACP), or whatever Ruger .40 that you might be able to find locally (I'm not a fan of the .40 cartridge, so I don't waste brain cells memorizing those model numbers).
    Last edited by DJ Niner; 04-24-2008 at 04:34 AM.

  4. #4
    JeffWard's Avatar
    JeffWard is offline Senior Member
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    Save a your tips for a few weeks, and buy up. Any good used XD, Glock, or M&P might be had for around $400. Revolvers are fine too, but don't by a wheel gun simply on reliability. I (and many others here) have owned at least 5 semi-autos (2 current XDs, a Glock, a Sig, and now a KelTec) that have NEVER had a failure of any sort. Period.

    If you're looking for a pocketable, inexpensive, reliable, from the bar to the car gun... get a KelTec P-3AT. No fun at the range, but nothing beats it for concealability, and convenience. And price, at under $300 NEW.

    That said... make sure you have the legal right to carry concealed. Get your permit.

    JW

  5. #5
    kenn's Avatar
    kenn is offline Member
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    Howdy.

    Welcome to the forum from DFW Texas.
    I would rent some guns or better yet, go to the range with your gun nut friends. Everyone has a gun nut friend. (except around here - WE ARE the gun nut friend.)

    Since you are going the concealed carry route, I would definitely look into a Keltec PF9 - single stack 9mm (use low weight bullets) - for around $279.
    little bigger than a p3AT, but you will be shooting a 9mil bullet. Shoot enough to be proficient, but please note though that this gun IS NOT for range use.

    Also, since you are leaving a place at night that serves alcohol, I would check your state's CCW laws.

  6. #6
    Joeywhat's Avatar
    Joeywhat is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenn View Post

    Also, since you are leaving a place at night that serves alcohol, I would check your state's CCW laws.
    He should be OK with that, as it could be said it was being used as part of his job...I know some bouncers that are legally allowed to carry despite working in a bar.

    But yes, check the local laws.

  7. #7
    hideit's Avatar
    hideit is offline Senior Member
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    new gun - semi auto - $300
    then that would have to be the pf9 keltec in 9mm or the .380s of kel tec or ruger lcp
    used is a different story
    as mentioned above revolvers of S&W
    personally - i'd spend ~$500 for a glock or and xd from springfield

  8. #8
    Kyle1337's Avatar
    Kyle1337 is offline Member
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    I purchased about 6 months ago a rossi aka taurus .357/38 special 2" barrel for 150 used, it's awsome, however .357 will do you no good in a barrel that short, I load .38 +p JHP rounds in mine when I pack it, however I usually only carry my XD now. I'm a recent XD convert. Back to your thread, (Granted your basing your purchase on your financial constraints.) if not, then get a glock/XD/Taurus 24/7 all relatively inexpensive and good weapons. If money is the main issue, go with a used revolver or bersa/taurus 9mm/380's.
    Last edited by Kyle1337; 04-24-2008 at 05:55 PM. Reason: forgot to add

  9. #9
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    Welcome! I'd save up a bit longer and go for an XD-9 3" subcompact or Glock 26. Great carry guns, as reliable as semi-autos get, and plenty of holster options. They won't throw you any surprises. Just don't get suckered in on a brand new Hi-Point 9mm for $150...those things are crap.

  10. #10
    mnhntr's Avatar
    mnhntr is offline Junior Member
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    smith and wesson airweight 38 special+p is a great first pistol for self defense and ccw. it is cheap to shoot and is easy to learn to shoot well. add a good set of laser grips and it is accurate to 25 yds.

  11. #11
    bdp2000 is offline Member
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    Well, after much deliberation, I decided that I want something to learn on and become comfortable with before I carry anything or buy a large HD weapon.

    So I went for the............Walther P22.

    So far great gun. Spant a few days on the range along with half a day with the father in law at his gunclub and I am very happy with it.

    Part of the crew now, I guess.

  12. #12
    themayer78's Avatar
    themayer78 is offline Member
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    Congrats, that's a GREAT first gun, you'll be ready for an XD45 real soon! You know .22LR is a tiny round, not great for self defense, but I sure as hell wouldn't want to get shot by it, especially not 10 times in a row!

  13. #13
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    Get yourself an H&K P7M8!

  14. #14
    PhilR. is offline Member
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    I think a .22 is a very good way to start. Cheap but effective way to learn the basics of handgun marksmanship. Once you have some experience under your belt and more knowledge in your head, you will be able to figure out what sort of handgun to buy next. And buy you will, as this is an incurable disease.

    Although the .22lr isn't a great personal protection caliber, it can be used as such until you decide what centerfire caliber to get next. Keep it loaded with CCI Quick Shoks when you aren't at the range.

    The P22 can often be fairly troublesome. If you have problems, let me know and I'll try to find the site of a very expansive knowledge base about this pistol.

    As for part of the crew -- well, you can't be part of the crew until you ask here which is better, Glock or XD.....

    PhilR.

  15. #15
    PhilR. is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan_Viking View Post
    Get yourself an H&K P7M8!

    Since one cannot purchase a P7M8 for a price within the OP's budget, how does the statement above help someone who only wants to spend $300?

    PhilR.

  16. #16
    Mike Barham's Avatar
    Mike Barham is offline Senior Member
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    Congrats on an intelligent purchase for your first gun. Sometimes I do not know where people come up with the oddball recommendations I see for first guns. You chose well.

    As far as defense, a quick magazine of .22s to the face will deter most attackers.
    Employed by Galco Gunleather - www.galcogunleather.com / Veteran OEF VIII

    Donate to the Christian and Stephanie Nielson Recovery fund: http://www.nierecovery.com/.

    All opinions, particularly those involving politics and Glocks, are mine and not Galco's.

  17. #17
    hideit's Avatar
    hideit is offline Senior Member
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    great choice for a first gun
    i bought one in january and my wife, son and i love it

  18. #18
    bdp2000 is offline Member
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    Thanks for the support.

    I have done both research and now personal observation on the pickiness of this gun on the ammo issue. Hi-velocity ammo and cleanliness = performance. CCI mini mags have bbeen the most reliable so far. Federal copper jacket have been close (but a few more FTE after the gun got dirty [a few hundred rounds in a short sitting]) I'll stick with the mini mags, because every time you shop at Wally-World, America dies inside just a bit more (that is for another thread)!

    I know this purchase is a teaching tool for me for both the expansion into a bigger gun for the home, and eventually a smaller gun to carry. For now, I will keep learning and chatting and reading this board for info.

    Thanx again!

    PS the guy at the shop gave me (I think) the best advice about caliber, "I love a .22! You are not a cop. The reason for defense is to stop the person from doing whatever it is that they were doing. No one wants to be shot by anything. Don't let anyony tell you that you need to blow a hole in a wall to stop a robber."

  19. #19
    BeefyBeefo's Avatar
    BeefyBeefo is offline Senior Member
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    I think you made a wise choice and I will just say, if my Ruger .22 was all I had, I would have no problem relying on it in a HD situation. You can fire off the 10-round mag (in the Ruger atleast) in a second and that could definitely do some damage. Enjoy the .22 and learn what you can. When you're more comfortable and/or have the money then get something bigger. Enjoy the cheaper ammo while you can!

    -Jeff-

  20. #20
    Fred40 is offline Member
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    One of the best decisions I've seen yet! Best way (and cheapest ammo wise) to get started. You will be hard pressed to EVER beat the fun of a good .22 at the range. Sure big calibers can be fun, but that fun is usually much shorter lived due to recoil, inaccuracy (compared to what most .22's can do) and expense (compare .45 ammo to .22 ......YIKES).

    That being said it probably won't be long before you add a nice 9mm, .357 or .45 to your collection.

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