Starting Teenage Son and Wife with Handgun Shooting
I am researching handguns to start my teenage son and wife on some shooting lessons. I am looking for advice from those that have traveled this path before on what I should get (i.e. revolver vs. semi) and the caliber. My son has shot a few handguns before but my wife has not. If possible I would like to get a handgun that would fit both their needs at least initially.
For starters for multiple persons....a .22, probably a semi-auto. The Ruger MKIII and 22/24 come to mind as great starter guns. I would also strongly advise enrolling each in an NRA Basic Pistol Course at some time, especially the wife. At times trying to instruct your significant other can be trying.
I agree with VAMarine. Instructing your significant other is just psychologically wrong, for both of you during that initial phase. There will be plenty of time for y'all to shoot together later.
Thanks guys. VAMarine has answered another question of mine in another thread so I appreciate the help on multiple fronts. I will be in a location in January where I will have plenty of options for instructors for both the wife and son. I was leaning toward a semi auto in .22. I was doing some research on the SIG Mosquito and have heard mixed reviews. I will check out the Ruger though.
I am currently in New York and really haven't even tried to do anything with handguns due to laws and length of timelines. But moving to NV and will be taking advantage of opportunities and great shooting facilities in and around Vegas. That's the background on my sudden interest in handguns outside of military service. Thanks again.
You every think about putting your son in a juniors 4-H class. Or if his school has JROTC there. He will make a lot of friends in 4-h.The cost is just ten dollars every quarter. Or just pay the forty dollars for the year. And they have every thing for him to use for free.
And you never know,Your son can be here one day. ( Junior Olympics )
Let your son know, The sport of shooting go's all the way back to the ( Egypt Military 1450-BC ).
One of the oldest sport in the world.
You can read all about it here.National Matches
I recommend starting both out with a 22 cal and as they progress up with skill move them up in a caliber once they get the firearm safety drilled into their head. and learn control and grouping then bump them up a caliber, same thing once recoil isn't a problem move them up again. but remember SAFETY is number one, with firearms then just let them decide after they move up a few different calibers , some firearms may not be good to some people. And as always NRA offers basic pistol courses and they also offer advanced courses. but one thing I will say is You sir have alot of patience with your wife and son as they will depend on you for guidence and instruction. dont yell or say your doing that wrong just explain to them how to hold it where the safety is at and make sure they point firearm down range at all times explain the reason behind that. Another words if you are calm and understanding, then they will be more out to follow your guidence.
Happy Shooting and Good Luck to you
This is strictly my opinion, and has worked in many years of firearms training, and for men and ladies alike. Buy a handgun just like you would buy a pair of shoes. If Ol' Joe over here says he likes Charlie China tennis shoes, and you're looking for a new pair of shoes, do you run out and buy Joe's pick, just because HE likes 'em? Probably not. If a new shooter is asking what to buy for a carry gun, it doesn't matter what works for me, or anyone else. I suggest telling that new shooter to go to many gun shops, and/or gun shows, and handle all the guns they can get hold of. Just like they would try on shoes. Before long they'll be able to make a list of guns that feel ok, pretty good, real good, and "that really feels great in my hands". The last two are the ones to pursue, and here's why I say that....
If a given handgun doesn't feel "right" in your hands, you'll not shoot it enough to become proficient with it, because it's not comfortable, and you won't like shooting it. Just like you rarely wear shoes that are UNcomfortable. If you're not gonna become proficient with it, save your money, and buy a ball bat to carry. With proper training, and fundamentals, he/she can learn to shoot almost any handgun, or any caliber. Very few folks can re-train their hands to make just any handgun feel comfortable. The last suggestion.........proper shooting techinques, practiced slowly, but proficiently, will breed speed. Do it slowly, and do it the right way, every time.......If you practice speed first, and introduce less efficient techniques into your training, you'll have to do it all over again to get it right.
By the way..... anyone who introduces a new shooter to our pastime by having them start with a large-caliber handgun, makes a very poor decision. Yes, some folks do ok starting out with large calibers, but the vast majority will not continue to shoot if their very 1st experience is with .50 S&W. Start with a .22 caliber something, and as your technique/accuracy improves, work up from there. Caliber doesn't count until after you can hit your target.
There always will be a trade-off..... light weight, more recoil...... shorter barrel, more recoil... just sayin....
Again, just my ramblings.... but they work for me...
I would say the Walther P22 would be a good start. The SIG Mosquito would be good too.
Originally Posted by abngriz95
I favor a mid-sized framed revolver in .357 magnum, and a 4" barrel. Here are my reasons:
- It is a simple weapon to make safe.
- It is a simple weapon to clean (safely).
- It is dead reliable.
- You can start shooting with .38 light loads (target wadcutters), and still feel like you are shooting a "real" gun.
- You can then move up to .38 standard loads. This will have more recoil, but should be easily managed.
- You can then move up to .38 +P. This is a serious load and will have significant recoil.
- You can then move up to .357 loads. This is a very powerful round and has very significant recoil.
- If you get one with target sights, it will be a very accurate weapon.
- You will get used to a quality double action trigger which will serve well with most DA, and DAO autos.
- You can train using single action, which will ready you for the single action trigger on autos.
- There is no additional hardware to buy--no magazines--so you buy the weapon and a holster and you are done.
- Even if you move on to an auto later, this makes a fine home protection weapon.
By working up the pyramid like this you can avoid recoil/noise induced flinch. Once you reach .38 +P you can pretty much handle any recoil from anything less than a magnum. Once you shoot the .357 magnum, there will probably be no defensive handgun that will induce a flinch.
Down side: They don't carry very well. They are thick in the cylinder area, and the square butt grip is thick too. They are fairly heavy, which is good for taming recoil, but not so good for comfortable carry.
For a first weapon to train on I think the revolver is a superior choice.
It's gonna be tough to avoid flinch by starting a new shooter out with a .357 Magnum. Let's face it, they're most likely NOT gonna be favorably impressed with trying to achieve a decent stance, grip, trigger pull, and sight alignment, while dealing with the noise and recoil of a .357....... Start with something in a .22 they both feel is comfortable FOR THEM.... and go from there... slowly.
I specifically said that the shooter should start using the .357 revolver loaded with .38 target wadcutters which have a reduced powder charge. The recoil from a 4" steel revolver using .38 wadcutters is easily managed by most people. The noise is still there, but it is something that you need to get used to, and you cannot get used to it really well with the relatively quiet .22s.
Originally Posted by usmcj
If you want to be able to handle a service caliber and you are an adult, then I think the .357/.38 is the route to travel.
The .22 will not allow you to progress gradually towards a service caliber.
I disagree. The quiet little .22 will allow a new shooter to develop and become proficient with stance, grip, trigger control, and sight alignment, and less cost..... and THEN progress to larger calibers. If a new shooter doesn't reload, reduced charge .38's may not be readily available. There are those folks out there who can jump right in with a .38/.357, but I believe them to be in the minority.
Originally Posted by Packard
Opinions differ, and that's fine. Best of luck with your method, but I've found mine to work better for many more folks over the years.
The .357 as described in my post, is the weapon I learned to shoot with. I would start with a .22 revolver for a child. But I would start with a revolver regardless. I believe it is a safer weapon in a neophyte's hands; easier to make safe, and easier to clean. Less intimidating to learn to use too.
Originally Posted by usmcj
A neophyte should be under the supervision of a qualified instructor. By your logic, A qualified "two wheeled vehicle" instructor would likely start a neophyte out with a 250cc dirt bike, with a governor and a really good muffler on it, rather than with a bicycle...
Originally Posted by Packard
Sorry, we're not going to agree on this. I truly wish you much success in your teaching endeavors. I'll continue to have students start small, and become proficient in fundamentals with a .22, then move to larger calibers.
Another alternative to the Ruger, Walther, and SIG when considering .22 semi-autos is the Browning Buckmark. All good starters. Personally, I started with a .22 revolver, but I would not have any reservations starting someone with a .22 semi-auto.
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