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  1. #1
    GT25 is offline Junior Member
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    Cool Another which first gun thread...

    Hey guys,

    First off, thanks in advance for your input and advice. Having being recently bitten by the gun bug, I'm really enjoying learning as much as I can about my new found hobby/obsession.

    I apologize for yet another, "which first gun is for me thread," but I am having a little trouble, *pulling the trigger* (see what I did there ) on my first gun purchase.

    As I do research and gather as much info and experience as I can I have seemed to narrow the search down to two options: The EAA Witness and the Ruger SR9. Understanding these two guns aren't necessarily in the exact same class, makes this decision a little more difficult as I try to determine the most practical and best value option my broke college student self can afford.


    As for my requirements

    I am looking for a first gun I won't quickly outgrow, so room for expansion and the ability for me to be entertained with it for some time is important. I also realize it will be my first gun, and as such, I know I am going to love it regardless; I just want to make as educated decision as possible.

    Specifically I am looking to compare the following components, in order from highest importance (1) to lowest.

    Price 4 (looking to spend less than $450)
    Accuracy 2
    Feel 1
    Cust. Svs. 6
    Style/Looks 3
    Durability 5

    If you guys could, being far more experienced, rate these categories from 1-10 for each gun (10) being highest, I could then put the data in an Excel table and help visualize the better choice of the two.

    Another thing to consider is I would like to own this gun for life, is the EAA a lifetime-type handgun?

    Use

    I will primarily use the gun for target shooting, and to gain as much experience as I can in this new found/exciting hobby. A second and fairly removed 2nd use will be home defense.

    I am mostly convinced to go with 9mm because of the easier ability to shoot and slightly cheaper cost of ammo, but haven't completely ruled out .40 cal with the motto, go big or go home, if you guys still suggest it as a good place to start.

    From what I've read, the real way of determining the right gun for you is to go out and rent/try some so I will definitely be doing some of that in the meantime.

    Ok. I think that's a good start...again, I appreciate any insight or first-person experience in advance.

    -Kurt

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  3. #2
    shouldazagged is offline Junior Member
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    Please do yourself a favor and don't rule out revolvers. There are a lot of excellent used Smith & Wesson and Ruger revolvers, and somewhat fewer Colts, within your price range. They are extremely durable given reasonable care. Most are more accurate than most people can shoot them. Smith customer service is excellent, and from what I hear Ruger is good too. A revolver in .357 Magnum gives you the option of shooting .38 Special ammo.

    The manual of arms and maintenance routine of a revolver are very simple. They are fine guns for a beginner to learn with. Their reliability is legendary. They can be a lot of fun to shoot.

    When you're doing your research, give the wheel guns some thought as well.

  4. #3
    paratrooper is offline Senior Member
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    Ditto to not ruling out a good revolver.

    An excellent handgun to learn on, and after you've gotten the bug under control, it's always good to have a revolver in your collection.

    S&W Model 66 comes to mind. A .357 Mag. that you can shoot .38's in.

  5. #4
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is offline Senior Member
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    One thing that may help you in making your choice would be to drop your requirement for Accuracy, which you have listed as #2, second in importance.

    Any modern pistol that you buy will be more inherently accurate than you will ever be.

    My personal belief is that your #1, Feel, is indeed the one most important feature to seek, when buying a pistol.
    But I suggest that you eliminate your #3, Style/Looks: If it feels right in your hands, it is right, and it will eventually look right to you.
    That leaves you with (from most-important down) Feel, Durability, and Customer Service.

    OK. So now go to a local gun shop or shooting range where they will rent you time on their assortment of pistols, and try as many of them out as you can.
    Another poster here suggested trying no more than five different pistols in a given day. I have come to agree with that. Otherwise, you could be swamped with too much input.
    Shoot at least two magazines- or cylinders-full from each, so that you will know how easy, or difficult, each is to reload. Don't worry about accuracy: It's you, not the gun.
    Then buy the gun which feels the best. Um, well, except don't buy a Taurus, because their QC and customer service are both bad. And don't buy a Hi-Point unless you are willing to replace it pretty soon, because they seem to wear out quickly (but still, it would be a good beginner's gun, I believe).

    Good luck!

  6. #5
    GT25 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by shouldazagged View Post
    Please do yourself a favor and don't rule out revolvers. There are a lot of excellent used Smith & Wesson and Ruger revolvers, and somewhat fewer Colts, within your price range. They are extremely durable given reasonable care. Most are more accurate than most people can shoot them. Smith customer service is excellent, and from what I hear Ruger is good too. A revolver in .357 Magnum gives you the option of shooting .38 Special ammo.

    The manual of arms and maintenance routine of a revolver are very simple. They are fine guns for a beginner to learn with. Their reliability is legendary. They can be a lot of fun to shoot.

    When you're doing your research, give the wheel guns some thought as well.
    Appreciate the insight guys. While I've certainly considered a beginner wheel gun, my problem lies in being able to find one within my price range...as there is only one firearm dealer around , and they don't sell many used handguns...also with my lack of experience, I wouldn't really know what to look for when inspecting a used option.


    I also have a few questions about revolvers; how would the ammunition cost of say a .357 (using 38 special ammo at first) compare to 9mm?

    What would be some of the key differences in a wheel gun vs. say an EAA witness aside from the aesthetics and simplicity of design? And why are they often suggested as a good beginners handgun?

    Thanks!

  7. #6
    GT25 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    One thing that may help you in making your choice would be to drop your requirement for Accuracy, which you have listed as #2, second in importance.

    Any modern pistol that you buy will be more inherently accurate than you will ever be.

    My personal belief is that your #1, Feel, is indeed the one most important feature to seek, when buying a pistol.
    But I suggest that you eliminate your #3, Style/Looks: If it feels right in your hands, it is right, and it will eventually look right to you.
    That leaves you with (from most-important down) Feel, Durability, and Customer Service.

    OK. So now go to a local gun shop or shooting range where they will rent you time on their assortment of pistols, and try as many of them out as you can.
    Another poster here suggested trying no more than five different pistols in a given day. I have come to agree with that. Otherwise, you could be swamped with too much input.
    Shoot at least two magazines- or cylinders-full from each, so that you will know how easy, or difficult, each is to reload. Don't worry about accuracy: It's you, not the gun.
    Then buy the gun which feels the best. Um, well, except don't buy a Taurus, because their QC and customer service are both bad. And don't buy a Hi-Point unless you are willing to replace it pretty soon, because they seem to wear out quickly (but still, it would be a good beginner's gun, I believe).

    Good luck!
    Thanks Steve.

    I definitely agree with the whole accuracy thing, especially considering my lack of knowledge and experience, I'm sure the gun will be farrrr more accurate than I will so I will but less of an emphasis on this feature along with the looks, as your right, if it feels right, it will eventually look right as well.

    I am going to try and get to a shooting range this weekend and try some different options, such as the previously mentioned, and a revolver of some sort. Aside from feel, what other attributes should I pay close attention to/would be good things for a beginners gun to have?

  8. #7
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by GT25 View Post
    ...Aside from feel, what other attributes should I pay close attention to/would be good things for a beginners gun to have?
    When I coach a beginner, I generally suggest that it is much easier to learn to shoot a full-size, full-weight pistol. When it comes to "felt recoil," mass and inertia are your friends.
    Later, when you've become proficient, a full-size pistol is still easy enough to conceal for self-defense use...but also you could trade it in toward something smaller and lighter.

    I have had very good results, teaching beginners to shoot the Government Model .45 (M1911). Here's why:
    • The .45 ACP cartridge, loaded with 230-grain bullets at about 850fps, recoils with a mild-feeling "push," rather than a .38 Special's (or 9mm's) "jab."
    • The inertia of a full-weight M1911 seems to "soak up" recoil, and can be fired by anybody over the age of 10—including my own tiny, lightweight wife.
    • The M1911 has a single-action (SA) trigger, which is simple and uncomplicated for a beginner to learn how to control.
    • The M1911 has an obvious safety lever, so both student and coach always know the safety-lever-related condition of the gun.
    • A reasonably-well maintained M1911 will almost never malfunction, given good-quality ammunition and a firm shooting grip.
    • The Government Model is very easy to strip, clean, and maintain, and anybody can do it with very little instruction.

    Although you don't have to begin with a SA trigger, I strongly suggest that your first pistol have a consistent trigger action. It can be SA or Double-Action Only (DAO). I strongly believe that Traditional Double-Action (TDA: first shot DA, subsequent shots SA) is a very poor choice for a beginner, because you are confronted with that trigger-action change.
    Although it is very easy to control the (almost nonexistent) recoil of a .22 rimfire pistol, you will still have to someday switch to something stronger. Therefore, I believe that it is counter-productive to begin with a .22 pistol. (Your mileage may vary.)

    When you're learning, go for slow and smooth, rather than for quick. Quickness comes "automatically" after lots of slow and smooth practice.
    Practice carefully, so that you do not make yourself learn bad habits or bad technique. A coach is very useful.
    Do some "dry-fire" practice (no ammunition at all) each and every day. Aim at a blank wall, and focus on trigger control. Practice for 10 minutes, and then stop—every day.
    Once a week, fire at least 50 rounds in one session, paying attention to sight picture and trigger press (press, not squeeze: don't squeeze). Try to make one single hole.
    If it's possible, start at five or seven yards, or even less. When you're making one big hole, move back three to five yards and start all over again. When you're at 20 yards, stop.

    When you're doing well at making that one big hole, start learning how to use a holster. But that's a whole new and different thing.

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