Intro / New Firearm Purchase
Hello everyone. I am new to this forum and wanted to first say that from reading a lot of the newbie threads and faqs I feel more confident about many things being new to firearms.
I recently renewed my pistol license and finally settled into a new firearms one on one class which was much better for me than a group setting. My instructor really helped me feel much more comfortable than I had been before when I first took the basic firearms course to qualify for my license. After working extensively with the SIRT Training Pistol, I finally felt comfortable enough to work with the real thing. I went to a firing range for the first time in my life a few weeks ago and fired four different guns that my instructor brought along:
22LR (Ruger MK3)
9mm (Glock 17)
38 Spl Revolver (S&W 686)
He said these would be good introductory guns to fire for my first time and give me an idea of different calibers and recoil.
The Ruger Mk3 was the first gun I fired and it was an easy feel. My groupings were really good and I felt pretty confident holding it and firing it. The second was the S&W. Revolvers scare the crap out of me - I am not sure why honestly - I think the size and kind of "open aspect" to the design. Firing the S&W was difficult. I don't have a lot of arm or hand strength at all and the gun felt huge and unstable in my hand. I was gripping quite hard. The third was the Glock 17 which I think is the gun I hear most about when people talk about guns. It was a scary gun to fire and I can't say why. I did fairly well with that grouping on the target as well but I really became fatigued. The 1911 was a nice feel but the recoil was so unexpected and it was quite loud as well. It was the last gun I fired and I believe my arm and hand was quite fatigued by then. I couldn't fire more than a couple of rounds before needing to stop.
My instructor was really pleased with what I did. Looking at the targets I brought home I am surprised as well. He recommended I spend more time at the range and really getting more comfortable but he seemed very confident that it wouldn't be long before I might consider purchasing my own firearm based on my skill of shooting and class testing. I know there are many more types of guns out there and the range I went to did have a variety of rentals available. While the idea of going back there by myself intimidates the hell out of me, I would like to continue practicing to get more confident with firearms. I am not sure where to begin since I really don't know much about the types of guns ... should I just pick one and try it? The folks at the gun range are ... hmmm ... less than friendly or approachable and I didn't want to hound them with questions so I thought I might ask here ...
Are there any recommendations people have for someone like me who is new to shooting? What kinds of guns should I try?
Thank you all for your time.
The recommendations would have to be based on what you intend to use the firearm for as there are so many choices. A .22 is an excellent pistol caliber to train, practice and learn with. The next step up might be a 9mm which is an excellent caliber for a number of uses. So take some time and give it some thought and send us more information we'll be here to help....JJ
Thank you so much for your reply. Ideally, I would like to have guns for home defense. But right now I would like to learn more about guns, the different types, etc. I am reading as much as I can find. Also I am still really "gun shy" and I feel like I want to get my practice just with target shooting. I don't think right now my arms are strong enough to fire a 1911 for a long period. I am doing workouts to build up more strength and muscle. I also felt it was a large gun for my hands. What other .22 or 99mm pistols would be good for me to try? Any recommendations would be great. Thanks again
Originally Posted by chessail77
A 99mm pistol? Wow, you think that your arms got tired with a 1911 model? I'm sorry, I couldn't resist.........sounds like you might want to try one of many compact firearms available.....Beretta, Sig, H&K, Smith and Wesson, they all make nice compact firearms in polymer, but keep in mind...they will be a bit more difficult to be accurate with because they are lighter, smaller, and have a bit more recoil......
Since you like the Ruger 22,it wouldn't be a bad idea to handle a few of the other 22s to see if one may feel better.Buy a 22 and practice with it so your safety and handling are in place,then worry about recoil.The worst way to learn is with recoil distracting you and instilling bad habits,few people can start with recoil.
You lean to semi autos,revolvers seem oldschool nowadays.What intimidates you is they are violent because of the open design as you said.The gap between the cylender and barrel lets out a fireball of gasses that is quite spectacular,but will tear up anything like flesh and clothing that's near it.I like revolvers and started out with them,but they are a whole different animal than an auto.Auto is used alot for semi auto in the handgun arena,FA or full auto is used for real automatics until you get into select fire weapons like sub machine and machine guns.
Thank you everyone for your responses. Everything is very helpful here. My instructor told me the larger the gun the less recoil which I did experience with the revolver. For some reason though the Glock and 1911 really felt so unstable in my hands. I work on a computer all day and have never done any kind of manual labor so my arms are really weak. My hands as well. I know this and I am working on exercises to help strengthen them. I hadn't realized how difficult firing these kinds of guns would be. Now I have a much better understanding.
Rex I did like the Ruger ... it felt really good and I know it's pretty basic. I know I need to work up. But it was easy to handle and I did very well with the sights and lining up my shots. The Glock I did very well with as well. The 1911 was just like a cannon to me. It felt like I couldn't control it at all but then again I was really fatigued by then.
Thank you all for your help with this. I am really appreciative.
Just an idea......if your arms and hands are weak, did the instructor load the firearms for you, or rack the slide for you? My wife has danced and taught dance for over 35 years...although she is phyically very strong, she has weak wrists...if you ever decide that you would like something larger than a .22 cal., you might want to check out a H&K P30....it's the only semi auto that my wife can rack the slide on, and she's handled a lot of firearms...just a thought.
berettabone: I practiced also loading magazines. Oh that was sad ... The 9mm rounds I had a hard time after maybe only 5 or 6. It was so difficult. My instructor had a tool for helping to load the magazines. At first I had trouble racking the slide on the Glock with my left hand. I did eventually get it though - it was just a strange angle for me. I have to turn the pistol on it's side to get a good grip.
I may start with the .22 for practicing and getting comfortable. I was looking at the SIG Mosquito ...
I've been out of the 22 scene for a while,so these guys can help you better when it comes to brands.I had a Ruger MKII 10" barrel I still regret parting with,and replaced it later with the discontinued Sig Trailside.Both are/were excellent guns,but that's it for me.Some of these things can get ammo sensitive,so researching a model will probably pop up any concerns there.
Your instructor was basically right about size and recoil,meaning heavier tames recoil.That's in the basic sense that the same round through a 2lb gun will recoil softer than in a 1lb gun.That is based on the exact same load being used,light target loads have minimal recoil while a hotter self defense or hunting load will recoil a bit nastier.
Plastic guns can go either way and throw a hitch in it.The plastic absorbs some of the recoil impulse,but they are also quite lighter.The Glock recoils worse to me than my Beretta,verifying the weight issue,but even though my HK weighs over a 1/2lb less than my 1911,it shoots unbelievably soft.It's the opposite,but the gun was engineered to behave that way.
You appear serious about learning this so don't fret or get ahead of yourself.You'll ingrain the needed basics with the 22 as you learn more and work your arms up,then you'll try a few guns and step into centerfire rounds with recoil.Having an instructor or shooting with knowledgeable people will help you slip through the process fairly quickly.Just remember safety is always paramount,and enjoy it.If it gets to where it isn't enjoyable or things are going backwards,just stop and come back later.There is work involved but it should be a enjoyable learning situation.I have had bad days shooting,but I always enjoy shooting.
Thank you Rex
Reading your replies I think getting a .22 for your first is an excellent idea....ammo is inexpensive and they are a great training tool you keep for a lifetime....having said that I might also inject that for the next step when you are ready to get a heavier caliber for home defense etc, take a hard look at the S&W m&p series or Sig SP2022 in 9mm both have changeable back straps (grips) for different size hands and are soft manageable shooters......JJ
Thank you so much! I had no idea there were things like that. I will absolutely look into that when I get ready to advance. I am going to go to a local gun shop today and see what kind of pricing they have on some of the .22s I have been researching.
Originally Posted by chessail77
I thought this may help you after gun safety came up in a conversation with a friend.I know you were taught the safety rules,but God knows they are forgotten and broken all the time.I tell people the 4 rules follows the natural progression of shooting a gun.1 and 2 happen at the same time.
1. The gun is always loaded
2. Don't point it at anything you want to shoot and destroy
When you pick up the gun,you open the action to see if it loaded-anytime you first touch the gun.An exception would be,say, knowing the carry gun is loaded and being transfered from the nightstand to your holster.Since the gun is in your hand now,from this point on know where that muzzle is pointed and safe.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger
Until the sights are on target,there is no need to touch the trigger until it's time to break something.This is actually the A#1 rule to prevent a negligent discharge (ND) which accounts for the majority of mishaps.Accidental discharges (AD) are mechanical and out of our control along with rare,but many NDs are tried to be pawned off as ADs.Even if the first 2 rules are ignored,only an AD can cause a problem.It does happen occasionally and tragically,so that's why this isn't #1 and is #3.
4. Know your target and backstop
This sounds simple but isn't.As an example,you're sitting at your hunting spot all day and it's about quitting time and dusk.You hear something and get a glimpse of something large and brown through the brush.Looks like a deer,it's moving like a deer,boom.Upon arrival you discover a guy wearing a jacket that appeared brown in the twilight.He was a dipsit for wearing it but you didn't identify the target.Bullets pass through targets,and you're still liable until it stops.On the range you have backstops,outside of there you have to be aware.A ricochet can really cruise a while,going into a house,person,etc,and same with a miss.In a defensive situation,a miss is likely to cause collateral damage-not good.But,if you must defend yourself and get a shootthrough,anything after the exit wound isn't your fault.Sad,but the perp is responsible for causing the situation.If it's an unjustiable shot,or a hunting,target shootthrough or riccochet,you are still responsible for anything the bullet does.
Anyway it's easier for people to remember as soon as they touch a gun and ingrain a subconscienious habit.Pick it up and it's loaded so watch the muzzle,don't touch the trigger until you need to and if it goes bang you're responsible for the bullet and outcome of it.Hope it helps.
Rex my instructor went over all of the safety aspects in both the group and private lessons. He went into more detail during the one on one and we talked about how people don't think about the distance ... the backstop. I don't think I had thought about it as extensively either. He was telling some stories about incidents that happened locally at these incredible distances and it just really gave me a lot of pause. The treatment of the gun as always loaded is something I do by default I think because I'm so terrified of them. My instructor told me how people get comfortable after owning guns for many years and make mistakes. I can't imagine ever being comfortable with a gun. I would like - through practice and empty handling - just to feel like I'm not going to have an anxiety attack. I'm building up slowly. I hope someday I will feel better about it.
I just got back from the gun store where I purchased a Ruger 22/45 Lite as my first firearm. Even seeing it sitting there in the box with a lock on it is intimidating ...
Farfignugen,or however it is.You have more situational awareness than most so don't appoligize,he instilled the non thought about stuff off the bat to make you think-good on him and you.Kick back,absorb knowledge,and improve your zen.Sounds like you would be one I'd like to have covering my back or vice versa in a year or so.Keep it up man,you're learning quicker than most
How do you like the Ruger 22/45 Lite? I just purchased my first handgun this week a Taurus PT-22 & I don't love it. Sounds like we have similar strength issues. I am very weak! I can eventually rack a few guns that I have tried but it isn't pretty or quick.
I'm not sure if all Sig Mosquito are pink but the ones I've seen images of are & my local gun shop talked me about of getting a pink because he was worried that someone might not believe it was a real gun plus he wanted me to get something more intimidating. I know a .22 isn't intimidating but I'll have to work up to that.
The only thing I may add is not be scared of the weapon.This is a tool that can bring you alot of pleasure.Of course you need to use common sense as with most other items.You are definitely headed in the right direction and have been given good advice.A .22 can be a great way to enjoy an afternoon and learn skills that will last a lifetime.
Obtain and use high quality ear protection. The big boom is what many if not most new shooters have to get over to lose their fear of the gun. Some use a combination of ear plugs and muff's to truly quiet things down. Compact guns many times are more difficult to rack the slide on than larger ones. It is possible to use lighter than stock recoil springs if racking is difficult. Just dont fire +P rounds if using a light spring. The M&P Stealth was mentioned earlier. I would reccomend the standard M&P because it has a small grip insert whereas the Shield was supposedly designed to equal a medium size grip insert. M&P's can be shot without a grip insert for the smallest possible grip size. If weight poses a problem you can always load less than full capacity.
Enjoy the search and journey.
AubieGirl: I love the Ruger Lite. It's AMAZING and so so so light. Seriously, I think it's a great gun if you are weak in the arms and hands. It's NOT remotely heavy and to rack it is cake. Plus it has an adjustable rear sight which is a great thing to have. My second time at the range (first time without instructor, first time firing the Ruger) was an amazing experience. Firing the .22 is not intimidating for me at all and I was able to work on my stance, my sighting, and trying to keep myself steady in the arms. I really had a great time at the range and I absolutely LOVE the Ruger. I think it was an excellent choice for my first gun. I don't care for the gold coloring on the top but honestly, it's feather light so it's ok with me I can't wait to get back to the range. It's just a matter of cost right now. But I will be going back. I found a great range at Hoffman's (Hoffman's Gun Center - Indoor Shooting Range). The range officer there is a sniper trainer and he gave me some really good advice on aiming and breathing.
Originally Posted by AubieGirl
Thank you. I think I will always have a fear of guns but I am developing a respect for them which is different. I don't think I ever want to become too comfortable with them but I want to be able to handle them with respect and control and understanding.
Originally Posted by skullfr
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