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Thread: Another newbie

  1. #1
    kellyf is offline Junior Member
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    Another newbie

    I just got my LTC and had never fired a handgun before in my life until yesterday, so go slow with me here. I would like to purchase something for personal protection, but have had a couple people tell me that it makes sense to learn with something like a .22, before moving on to a larger caliber.

    A few questions related to the above:
    - Does the "training wheels" approach of a .22 make sense? (Or are you better off starting out and practicing with what you intend to use in the long run?)
    - If so, does it also make sense to look for a manufacturer who makes both a .22 and a similar model in a larger caliber, to retain some similarity between guns? (Or is the difference in caliber more significant than the manufacturer-to-manufacturer differences?)
    - Any recommendations on a manufacturer who does make a similar line of guns?

    Thanks for your thoughts.

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    Todd is offline Banned
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    Welcome to the forum! If you haven't already done so, please take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the Forum Guidelines

    You can't beat a .22 to learn on. No recoil and cheap ammo. But, it's not going to be a great self defense gun. If your budget allows the purchase of a .22 and gun in a caliber that would be good for self-defense, absolutely get the .22. However, if you're like most of us and the money tree is looking pretty sad these days, IMO, you should get a good all-around gun like a 9mm. Easy to manage, good SD abilities, and ammo is relatively inexpensive. If you tell us your budget, then we can make some recommendations as far as brands to consider in your price range.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd View Post
    ...IMO, you should get a good all-around gun like a 9mm. Easy to manage, good SD abilities, and ammo is relatively inexpensive. If you tell us your budget, then we can make some recommendations as far as brands to consider in your price range.
    [/FONT]
    +1 Todd....If I may add, CZ makes an affordable 9mm gun the CZ 75 in so many variations (all of which are excellent shooters), Also you can buy a 22LR conversion kit so you can practice with the same gunframe and trigger with the 22LR and enhance your shooting techniques as well.. But if your budget allows one gun, I definetly stand behind Todd's recommendation of a 9 mm for the exact reasons he explained. Good Luck..!!

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    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    Yeah a 22 can help with training and if you happen to have a 22 that is a lot like your protection weapon it can help a lot with grip , getting a sight picture etc. I use a Buckmark with a 2x scope to show me when I'm getting into a bad habit with my trigger finger. The scope amplifies and pushing or pulling so much that it's hard not to notice. My Ruger MKIII 22/45 is a lot like my 1911's also so I can shoot a weapon much the same and not be eating near the ammo expense.

    It's not always the best way but it can be if you choose weapons well. Bottom line is trigger time is trigger time. The more of that you get the more you can improve provided you are learning the right ways to handle the weapons for best accuracy. And it's a great excuse to get another pistol

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    unpecador is offline Senior Member HGF Gold Member
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    Welcome to the forum!

    IMO, a .22 is fine to start with but the sooner one learns to maintain steady trigger control while at the same time managing the recoil of a larger caliber to achieve quick and accurate follow up shots, the better. My wife and my 16 year old son both started with a 9mm and they have been progressing just fine.

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    BeefyBeefo is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome from Northern Colorado.

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    DJ Niner's Avatar
    DJ Niner is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by kellyf View Post
    I just got my LTC and had never fired a handgun before in my life until yesterday, so go slow with me here. I would like to purchase something for personal protection, but have had a couple people tell me that it makes sense to learn with something like a .22, before moving on to a larger caliber.

    A few questions related to the above:
    - Does the "training wheels" approach of a .22 make sense? (Or are you better off starting out and practicing with what you intend to use in the long run?)
    - If so, does it also make sense to look for a manufacturer who makes both a .22 and a similar model in a larger caliber, to retain some similarity between guns? (Or is the difference in caliber more significant than the manufacturer-to-manufacturer differences?)
    - Any recommendations on a manufacturer who does make a similar line of guns?

    Thanks for your thoughts.
    Welcome to the site!

    Unless I missed it, you never said whether you were leaning toward an autoloading pistol or a revolver. Although I agree with most of what has been said about how great the .22 is for beginners, it is very difficult to find autopistols in both rimfire and centerfire calibers that have similar enough characteristics to make the practice skills transfer realistically. Popular and reliable rimfires of the Ruger MK-III and Browning Buckmark type have no close centerfire matches; effective centerfire autos used for defense can often be changed-over to rimfire with a special adapter kit (offered by the manufacturer or another company), but the weight and balance are often quite different, not to mention the recoil sensation. CZ is making the Cadet .22 rimfire version of one (or more?) of their centerfire defensive autos; I've not shot one, but the weight and balance seemed to be very close to the bigger sibling. I think SIG is also offering a series of pistols to fill this need.

    Revolvers can be had in .22 rimfire that are virtually identical in feel and trigger action to the larger centerfire calibers like .38 Special and .357 Magnum in the same company family. Of course the recoil will be different for the larger vs. smaller calibers, but centerfire revolvers also allow the shooter to use very low-powered ammunition for practice, unlike autopistols which require a certain amount of energy for the ammo to reliably cycle the action. Light-loaded factory target wadcutters in .38 Special generate very little kick in larger guns, allowing practice with the same gun used for defense without the thunderous noise and more substantial recoil of the premium defense ammo. Of course, the centerfire factory target ammo is MUCH more expensive than the cheap .22 ammo, so that advantage is lost when using this approach, and that is a factor; practice makes for familiarity and confidence as well as accuracy. Smith & Wesson has made lines of J-frame and K-frame revolvers that share grips (within each frame size) and many characteristics; see if your local gunshop has a few you can handle side-by-side, and keep in mind that the grips can be changed easily.

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    Welcome from North Carolina.

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    tekhead1219 is offline Senior Member
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    Welcome from southeast Texas. Good, sincere recommendations from all above. My .02, if you can afford two, by all means learning on a .22 is recommended, then move to a larger caliber, i.e., 9mm. If you can only afford 1, go with the 9mm. If you want to use it for EDC. I sugggest something along the lines of a campact size with the ability to use higher capacity magazines with extensions, ( XD9SC for example). With that, you practice with the extended mags (so you have somewhere to put your little finger) and you learn the trigger action and sight picture of your EDC. Again, just my .02.

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    Todd is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by tekhead1219 View Post
    Welcome from southeast Texas. Good, sincere recommendations from all above. My .02, if you can afford two, by all means learning on a .22 is recommended, then move to a larger caliber, i.e., 9mm. If you can only afford 1, go with the 9mm. If you want to use it for EDC. I sugggest something along the lines of a campact size with the ability to use higher capacity magazines with extensions, ( XD9SC for example). With that, you practice with the extended mags (so you have somewhere to put your little finger) and you learn the trigger action and sight picture of your EDC. Again, just my .02.
    FYI to the OP, EDC = Every Day Carry

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    tekhead1219's Avatar
    tekhead1219 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd View Post
    FYI to the OP, EDC = Every Day Carry
    Thanks Todd...sometimes we take to much for granted...

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    Todd is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by tekhead1219 View Post
    Thanks Todd...sometimes we take to much for granted...
    I've done it too. A while back a friend was asking what kind of gun I have and I said, "Well, my EDC is a Sig P229, but sometimes I carry a P3AT." He looked at me like I had two heads.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd View Post
    ...if you're like most of us and the money tree is looking pretty sad these days, IMO, you should get a good all-around gun like a 9mm.
    Definitely. I wouldn't bother with a .22 unless you plan on shooting competitively or have extra cash lying around. Get the weapon that feels right in your hands and become best friends with it. The 9mm serves as a great defensive caliber and a sufficient training caliber due to its relatively low cost. Keep it simple, IMO.

    I also stand by jimmy's recommendation of a CZ, preferably a compact-or-smaller size, although there is a very wide variety of 9mm's for carry...G19/G26, XD9SC, M&P9C just to name a few.

    Looking for anything in particular?

  15. #14
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    Get the .22LR, in any capacity.
    They are simply fun and super easy to shoot, and cheap to shoot as well!

    You can get a ton more practice in with a .22LR than any centerfire...the ammo is literally 10 times cheaper.

    Then- if firearms is something you think you'd like to get into, get a .38spl snubby and practice with that. The capacity is lower than a 9mm auto but the oompf is totally there and it's easy to conceal. Ammo is easier to get as well. And, if you get one in hammerless, you can shoot through a coat pocket etc...

    And- you'll still have the .22LR shooter for fun and practice. Or as a spare shooter for others to plink with.

    For combat and tactical stuff the auto-loader's have the edge for a few reasons.

    But for down and dirty, up close and in your face (like press fire, can't do that with an auto) nothing beats the 'burner'.

    My 2" .357/.38pl snubby seems to get the call a lot more than the rest.
    They are fun, super concealable, have a lot of pop and are way more accurate than one might think or most can hold.

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    kellyf is offline Junior Member
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    I really appreciate not only the advice, but the friendly welcomes from everyone. I've been in forums for other topics (photography, computer issues, etc.) that were unfortunately infested with a lot of folks who were rude and/or ignorant (usually both). It's good to know that people who are armed have better manners.

    To address the budget issue, I certainly don't want to imply that money is no object, but I guess I'm starting out from the perspective of what is the better way to go, if money were no object. It seems as if things are fairly evenly split between folks who lean towards a 0.22 for practice versus those who lean towards just getting what I would intend to actually use (or hope to not use, I suppose).

    I guess a split answer at least tells me that either approach is not a complete mistake. Now I just need to figure out what they still allow me to buy here in Massachusetts.

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    Todd is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by kellyf View Post
    To address the budget issue, I certainly don't want to imply that money is no object, but I guess I'm starting out from the perspective of what is the better way to go, if money were no object. It seems as if things are fairly evenly split between folks who lean towards a 0.22 for practice versus those who lean towards just getting what I would intend to actually use (or hope to not use, I suppose).
    The .22 is good for practice and to help you learn trigger control. But no matter if you have a .22 or not, you will need to practice and become proficient with your carry gun. Remember that you are legally responsible for every bullet that comes out of your gun, so you have to be able to hit what you aim at. Being good with a .22 does not automatically equate to being good with a larger caliber. It will help, but it is not the same. So if you can afford to feed two guns, go for it. If not, get the gun you're going to carry and practice, practice, practice with that one.

    Quote Originally Posted by kellyf View Post
    Now I just need to figure out what they still allow me to buy here in Massachusetts.
    As someone who grew up in, and spent most of my adult life in the liberal la-la-land known as Massachusetts, you have my pity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kellyf View Post
    I really appreciate not only the advice, but the friendly welcomes from everyone. I've been in forums for other topics (photography, computer issues, etc.) that were unfortunately infested with a lot of folks who were rude and/or ignorant (usually both). It's good to know that people who are armed have better manners.
    Yes, this site is a much tighter community than most. I think the mods to a good job of keeping trolls and other nuisances at bay.

    Quote Originally Posted by kellyf View Post
    To address the budget issue, I certainly don't want to imply that money is no object, but I guess I'm starting out from the perspective of what is the better way to go, if money were no object. It seems as if things are fairly evenly split between folks who lean towards a 0.22 for practice versus those who lean towards just getting what I would intend to actually use (or hope to not use, I suppose).
    What did you shoot when you qualified for your carry permit? As much as I understand the reasoning behind a .22, I still wouldn't bother getting one. It's just one of those things that would end up stuck in my safe for years, and even a used .22 handgun at $100, that's $100 which would only get used once or twice. If I had any children, however, I would heavily reconsider the decision.

    Quote Originally Posted by kellyf View Post
    I guess a split answer at least tells me that either approach is not a complete mistake. Now I just need to figure out what they still allow me to buy here in Massachusetts.
    Window shopping never hurt [directly] I'd make some trips down to your local gun shop(s) and hold a few, just to see if any stick out. I'm a big proponent of comfort so I find a lot of value in holding guns, lining up the sights, working the decockers/safeties, that kinda thing. Anyhow, if you happen to find anything you like, come back here and mention them. I think most of us enjoy discussing the details of handguns, what makes them great (usually reliability), and anything which may be less than desirable (usually price or lack of reliability).

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    mels95yj is offline Junior Member
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    Might I also highly suggest to take an NRA Pistol class. I hadn't shot a handgun in over 20 years and that was a .22LR. I took the class and was pleasantly surprised how in-depth the material is. You'll learn to handle, shoot and clean different types of handguns. Also, you don't have to actually own and bring a gun to the class. Definitely worth the $$$ IMO. You can search for a local instructor in your area on the NRA website.

    Mel

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