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  1. #1
    juxtaposer is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Buying first handgun

    I'm new to shooting and recently completed two NRA classes and applied for my CPL. While I'm waiting for the process, I wan to do some research into what kind of handgun I should buy.

    We practiced defensive shooting, and I used a Taurus Millennium I believe. I found that one to be fine, but I'd also like to look at something that I would be able to practice accuracy with. Nothing fancy as this is just my first purchase, but I'm wondering if there is a general frame to work around if I'm looking at a first handgun, and looking to use for concealment/defense but also to use in practicing longer range shooting?

    Very very new to all of this so please forgive me if I'm not making too much sense here!

  2. #2
    ronmail65 is offline Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Richmond, VA
    Congrats on completing the NRA classes -- that is putting first things first!

    In terms of your hand gun selection, you've got a couple of potentially conflicting priorities. A full size long barrel gun (5" or more) is going to deliver better accuracy for the range, but it is also going to be more difficult to carry and conceal. Weight (meaning both gun size and frame materials - poly versus metal) are factors here as well -- for both concealment and accuracy / handling.

    Regarding gun brand... First I'd say that Reliability should be your top priority. From what I've read, Taurus does not fit that profile. But do your own research, check your budget and come to your own conclusion in terms of reliability.

    Lastly determine your budget for gun and ammo (meaning caliber) -- keeping in mind what type of ammo you desire for defensive purposes.

    I'm resisting giving specific recommendations for guns. I'd recommend you consider these points, do some research, and most important -- shoot as many different guns as you can. Then you can solicit specific input and opinions. Otherwise, people are just going to make recommendations based largely on their personal preferences.

    It's fun looking and experimenting!

  3. #3
    hud35500's Avatar
    hud35500 is offline Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Southern CA
    You are off to a good start. I concur with ronmail65. Whatever you decide on, I think the most important thing is that you like what you buy. It needs to work for your needs. Reliability, accuracy, concealability, budget, etc, won't count for much if you end up with something you don't like. If the Millenium works for you, buy one, or something comparable. There are alot of knowledgeable folks on this site who will offer good advice, but one gun won't work for us all.

    The best part is, you can buy more than one gun. I recommend owning as many as you can ! Keep us posted.

  4. #4
    cougartex's Avatar
    cougartex is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Jefferson County, TX
    The best advice I could give is go fire as many of the guns you are considering as you possibly can. Rent at the range or borrow from friends, if you can. It's difficult, at best, to try to make a decision solely based on reading literature, getting free advice on the internet or even handling pistols in a store. Being able to actually fire a gun is the best way to determine what feels best and shoots best for you. Everyone has a different opinion about which guns are the best. It will ultimately depend on your intended use of the gun, how it feels in your hand, amount you want to spend, etc.

  5. #5
    Kharuger's Avatar
    Kharuger is offline Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Since you're new to shooting, you might want to think about 2 basic handguns to start...
    1) A .22 for working on your skills at the range because .22 rimfire ammo is SO cheap... something like a Ruger Mark III for example.
    2) A solid middle-of-the road entry-level self-defense carry gun. For this, I'm recommending a Kahr CW9 (7+1 capacity) 9mm because it's light and thin for easy comfortable carry but is also a sweet shooter for range fun. Very similar alternatives are the Ruger LC9 and the Walther PPS.

    If you prefer a revolver for either of these 2 categories, that's cool. But I recommend paying a lot of attention to low weight for your first carry gun so that you don't become weary of lugging around too big of a gun. If you don't have a lot of $, category 2) should be your main priority so you at least have a good carry gun. (As you probably know, a .22 isn't strong enough for self-defense.)

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