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  1. #1
    twomode is offline Member
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    Narrowing choices

    So I've spoken to a good friend who's been a gun owner for years and he had a lot of good advice. His thoughts were for a first weapon for both myself and Laurie go with a revolver. Reliable, no jams or other mechanical problems, reasonably priced for a quality manufacturer and so on. Seems to make good sense.

    He had me over last night, had 8 different weapons out from a .380 through .44, 2-3 autos and the rest revolvers. One, his prize was a 1964 S&W 38 blued, never fired, in all it's original packaging. Even a beginner like me can appreciate that one. Years ago someone had dry fired it one time leaving one scratch between chambers. Anyway that and the .44 were just sweet. He showed me alot of different stuff, and I sucked it all up. And the hunt continues.

    Right now, we've landed on a .38 for Laurie, and a .357 for myself. Any thoughts?

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  3. #2
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    what will you be using them for? Put yourself in every imagineable situation...

    Will these guns sit in a small safe, or drawer in the dresser and get taken out to shoot occasionally, or is this something you would reach for if you heard a crash downstairs in the middle of the night? Think about everything you might depend on it for??

  4. #3
    truman565 is offline Member
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    Hey Twomode welcome to the forum. I don't have very much experience with revolvers because I don't own any but I can say that for a new guy like yourself the search button at the top of your page is going to be your new best friend. It allows you to search the archived threads on this site and see what kind of questions have been asked in the past and what kind of answers have been given. I am saying this because it seems like there are a ton of new owners and members these days, which is awesome, and they generally ask the same questions about how to pick a first gun. This is a great forum and you will find a lot of help but sometimes people won't participate if they just answered the same question a few days a go you know what I mean. Don't be afraid to ask questions but don't be afraid of the search button either. With over 160,000 old posts in the archives there is a wealth of knowledge to be found. Good luck with your search.

  5. #4
    Todd is offline Banned
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    I think your friend has given you some very sound advice and set you on the right path. Now see if he'll let you shoot them so you have a feel for the recoil and overall handling of the gun. If not, find a range that rents guns. That might make the decision process easier.

  6. #5
    tekhead1219's Avatar
    tekhead1219 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd View Post
    I think your friend has given you some very sound advice and set you on the right path.
    +1...your friend appears to be a wise man!!

  7. #6
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    Bisley is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by twomode View Post
    Right now, we've landed on a .38 for Laurie, and a .357 for myself. Any thoughts?
    Here's another idea, if you are going to buy two handguns. Buy one .357 magnum, first, which will also shoot .38 Specials just fine. When you are comfortable with it, buy a 9mm semi-auto. You can easily become proficient with both, if you can afford the time and ammo.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by YFZsandrider View Post
    what will you be using them for? Put yourself in every imagineable situation...

    Will these guns sit in a small safe, or drawer in the dresser and get taken out to shoot occasionally, or is this something you would reach for if you heard a crash downstairs in the middle of the night? Think about everything you might depend on it for??
    YFZ is right. I am not 100% sure what to recommend to you or even comment on because it's unclear if this is going to serve as a range gun, home defense gun, or carry gun. Each of these can drastically change viable options. Be sure to tell us what you'd like to do with it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bisley View Post

    Quote Originally Posted by twomode View Post
    Right now, we've landed on a .38 for Laurie, and a .357 for myself. Any thoughts?
    Here's another idea, if you are going to buy two handguns. Buy one .357 magnum, first, which will also shoot .38 Specials just fine. When you are comfortable with it, buy a 9mm semi-auto. You can easily become proficient with both, if you can afford the time and ammo.
    If I may, I'd like to further clarify on Bisley's recommendation as it sounds like you may not know. Both the 357 magnum and 38 special use the same caliber bullets, the only difference is the length of the casing. In other words, as far as [most] revolvers go, if it can shoot 357 magnum, it can also shoot 38 special. Keep this in mind as it sounds like you might be able buy a single weapon to serve both your wife and yourself for the range or home defense. You also have the option of shooting 38 special +p ammo out of the same weapon, which would be a ballistics compromise between 357 magnum and plain Jane 38 special.

  9. #8
    twomode is offline Member
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    Thanks for the replies everyone. My purpose for buying weapons for us is primarily personal protection. We plan on applying for CC permits, cause it's our right. I'm not going to say at this point when I (we) might or might not carry, but I want the option.

    My bud Phil did tell me about the ammo issue with the .357, and it became an important consideration. As for Laurie, she had never fired before saturday, so in order that she makes decisions she's comfortable with, aside from pointing out possibilities, I'm staying quiet. Under no circumstances is she going to do or choose something because I thought it was a good idea. To me gun ownership/use is an extremely personal and important choice. I won't be going out and buying T-shirts with gun logos, or putting macho stickers on my truck windows. We've decided we want a higher level of security/protection and that's all.

    Thanks for all your help, I'll try to be as helpful when called on.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by twomode View Post
    Thanks for the replies everyone. My purpose for buying weapons for us is primarily personal protection. We plan on applying for CC permits, cause it's our right. I'm not going to say at this point when I (we) might or might not carry, but I want the option.
    Ok, if these are going to be for concealed carry then I'd like to take a moment to recommend something contrary to your friend Phil, no disrespect of course.

    I don't own any snub-nosed revolvers because, simply put, I shoot them like crap. I've got nothing against revolvers and I fully accept responsibility for not being able to shoot snub-nosed revolvers very well. Still, I've heard and seen plenty of people who suffer from this same problem, and I think you'd do well to rent one at a local range, alongside a compact or subcompact semi-auto 9mm and see if you have accuracy issues with either. I'd make a small wager that either you or your wife will shoot noticeably more accurate with one over the other. Just something worth investigating if you ask me.

  11. #10
    twomode is offline Member
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    If I carry, it'll be something small like a compact 9 or 40. The 357 will be the home weapon. These are my first two thoughts/choices. For Laurie, we're still looking and trying different options. Since my local range doesn't rent 38's I'm going to have her shoot 38's from a 357, to see how she feels. If it looks like a match, we'll reduce the odds and buy her a 38. I know they offer a short-barrel version of the 357, but here I'm looking a little more toward accuracy and balance than anything else.

  12. #11
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    Just my personal opinion, but I would seriously look at the wide array of semi-autos availably in common, easy to find, and reasonably priced 9mm(.40 cal or .45 if you want something larger). Like Literaltrance, I am not a fan of revolvers. I've shot a few, and that was enough for me to be glad that I own semi-autos. As you stated, gun ownership is a very personal thing, unique to the individual. What is the right fit for one may not apply to the other, so I'm not bashing revolvers, just not for me! side note- as far as reliability goes, many semi-autos are extremely reliable and don't require a break in. Springfield XD, Glock, Smith M&P, etc, etc will easily go the first 1000 rounds without jamming.

    The point is, just as your friend recommended going the route of the wheel gun, you will find a dozen others with a dozen other opinion on what route should be taken for a first handgun. Hands down, the best thing you can do at this point is, go to a range that has a good rental selction... and shoot everything! ...... Well, maybe not everything, but you could go with a few common calibers and shoot several guns both revolvers and semi-autos.

    Good luck, my friend. Don't let this thread die, we wanna hear your impressions, and final decisions!

  13. #12
    nailer is offline Member
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    You should begin by looking at S&W lightweight 38s. They are easy to carry. Accurrately shooting one depends on distance. If you think that you need a ccw that shoots accurrately over 10 or 15 yards, a small revolver is not the one you want. Personally, I think a ccw is something for close up and is easily concealed. Remember, that revolver can and will shoot well over 15 yards. It just won't be as good as a larger 9mm.

  14. #13
    Spokes is offline Junior Member
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    I have racks of revolver's and semi auto's. I started on revolver's some 55 years ago. My first was a 22 my second years later was a S&W model 19 in 357 4". I learned how to shoot with those two gun's. Started off shooting my 19 with thousands of 38 specials and then graduated to magnums and heavier weight N frame's.
    Now I shoot mostly semi's.
    Only problem I have now is bending over to pick up empty brass.

  15. #14
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    Wheel guns, semis, I love them both! I have mostly semis now but I do have an N frame Smith and my Redhawk that will dig out and get dirty when the wheel bug hits me. Get what you're comfortable with. Do your research, put as many different weapons in your hands as you can to help make the choice the best for you. You'll know it when you you put it in your hand. THe right weapon just....fits.

  16. #15
    ringingears is offline Junior Member
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    Good thread twomode. Responses helped me a lot.

    Question. Are we supposed to clean new guns that have not been fired? I have a couple semis that are sitting in case that haven't been touched since I bought 'em.
    I apply the protectant oil now and again but do I (we) need to break 'em down and clean?

    Oh crap...putting it back together scares the hell oughta me. M-S-F-I-R-E.

    No intention of hijacking the thread but some of us might be clueless.
    Cheers.

  17. #16
    DevilsJohnson is offline Senior Member
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    Any weapon should be cleaned before using it. New weapons have heavy grease, metal filings and who knows what else. It's best to take a new weapon down and clean and re lube it. Used weapons same thing. you don't know what's in them until you take it apart. Even a weapon that has sat a while has a way of getting dirt in them.

    It's always best to be on the safe side when you are trying ot create a controlled explosion in your hand.

  18. #17
    twomode is offline Member
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    I started a new thread titled "And the winner is" hoping to generate more responses. Maybe that wasn't the best idea, but it's done now.

  19. #18
    Todd is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by DevilsJohnson View Post
    Any weapon should be cleaned before using it. New weapons have heavy grease, metal filings and who knows what else. It's best to take a new weapon down and clean and re lube it.
    +1. New guns always have some amount of crap on them, from mild to insane amounts, that will affect performance and function. You may also want to disassemble the mags and give them a good cleaning too.

  20. #19
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    Glad too see someone else looking at similar items.

    You also might look at the S&W 315 Night Guard for Laurie. It's a .38.

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