Advice on first new gun
Hello everyone. I am new to the forum, and fairly new to handgun ownership. By that, I mean I am looking at my first purchase. I need advice on the first timer syndrome.
My primary reasons for ownership are personal protection and range practice (as a hobby/steam blowoff). I live in a really safe area of town in a very nice neighborhood and really don't feel the need for having a home protection device. But I am a bartender and leave the restaurant 3 times a week by myself after midnight, and I would want something that I could carry both on my person but also use at the range consistently as a hobby gun.
I have heard that revolvers are a good choice for a first timer. I could be cofortable with that, but the guy at the local gun shop said that nowadays there are many reliable semi's out there to choose from.
I'm kind of wide open, and am looking in the $300 range.
Thus open the floodgates! Advice?
In the same position (aside from the CCW / Self defense aspect) I would suggest going to a range, and hiring / firing as many as you are able, once you get the feel for something - you'll know further what you are looking for.
Good luck, I am envious.
Given your budgetary restraints and intended uses, I'd first recommend a used S&W .38 revolver. It ain't all that sexy and "tacti-cool", but it'll do the two things that you want your handgun to do. You may have to look for a while to find something decent in that price range, but I think it's do-able.
The only reliable autoloaders in serious personal defense calibers (9mm/.40/.45) that can be had for around $300 would be Rugers. Lots of folks look down on them because they are a bit bulky, not all that sleek, and perhaps a bit rough in the action; but they are also bull-strong, reliable as the sunrise, and can be VERY accurate once you find their favorite load and get used to their particular shooting characteristics.
So -- revolver recommendation would be S&W .38 (maybe a model 10, model 15, or stainless models 64 or 67). For an automatic, try the Ruger P89 or P95 (9mm), P90 or P97 (.45 ACP), or whatever Ruger .40 that you might be able to find locally (I'm not a fan of the .40 cartridge, so I don't waste brain cells memorizing those model numbers). :)
Save a your tips for a few weeks, and buy up. Any good used XD, Glock, or M&P might be had for around $400. Revolvers are fine too, but don't by a wheel gun simply on reliability. I (and many others here) have owned at least 5 semi-autos (2 current XDs, a Glock, a Sig, and now a KelTec) that have NEVER had a failure of any sort. Period.
If you're looking for a pocketable, inexpensive, reliable, from the bar to the car gun... get a KelTec P-3AT. No fun at the range, but nothing beats it for concealability, and convenience. And price, at under $300 NEW.
That said... make sure you have the legal right to carry concealed. Get your permit.
Welcome to the forum from DFW Texas.
I would rent some guns or better yet, go to the range with your gun nut friends. Everyone has a gun nut friend. (except around here - WE ARE the gun nut friend.)
Since you are going the concealed carry route, I would definitely look into a Keltec PF9 - single stack 9mm (use low weight bullets) - for around $279.
little bigger than a p3AT, but you will be shooting a 9mil bullet. Shoot enough to be proficient, but please note though that this gun IS NOT for range use.
Also, since you are leaving a place at night that serves alcohol, I would check your state's CCW laws.
He should be OK with that, as it could be said it was being used as part of his job...I know some bouncers that are legally allowed to carry despite working in a bar.
Originally Posted by kenn
But yes, check the local laws.
new gun - semi auto - $300
then that would have to be the pf9 keltec in 9mm or the .380s of kel tec or ruger lcp
used is a different story
as mentioned above revolvers of S&W
personally - i'd spend ~$500 for a glock or and xd from springfield
I purchased about 6 months ago a rossi aka taurus .357/38 special 2" barrel for 150 used, it's awsome, however .357 will do you no good in a barrel that short, I load .38 +p JHP rounds in mine when I pack it, however I usually only carry my XD now. I'm a recent XD convert. Back to your thread, (Granted your basing your purchase on your financial constraints.) if not, then get a glock/XD/Taurus 24/7 all relatively inexpensive and good weapons. If money is the main issue, go with a used revolver or bersa/taurus 9mm/380's.
Welcome! I'd save up a bit longer and go for an XD-9 3" subcompact or Glock 26. Great carry guns, as reliable as semi-autos get, and plenty of holster options. They won't throw you any surprises. Just don't get suckered in on a brand new Hi-Point 9mm for $150...those things are crap.
smith and wesson airweight 38 special+p is a great first pistol for self defense and ccw. it is cheap to shoot and is easy to learn to shoot well. add a good set of laser grips and it is accurate to 25 yds.
Well, after much deliberation, I decided that I want something to learn on and become comfortable with before I carry anything or buy a large HD weapon.
So I went for the............Walther P22.
So far great gun. Spant a few days on the range along with half a day with the father in law at his gunclub and I am very happy with it.
Part of the crew now, I guess.
Congrats, that's a GREAT first gun, you'll be ready for an XD45 real soon! You know .22LR is a tiny round, not great for self defense, but I sure as hell wouldn't want to get shot by it, especially not 10 times in a row!
Get yourself an H&K P7M8!:smt1099
I think a .22 is a very good way to start. Cheap but effective way to learn the basics of handgun marksmanship. Once you have some experience under your belt and more knowledge in your head, you will be able to figure out what sort of handgun to buy next. And buy you will, as this is an incurable disease.
Although the .22lr isn't a great personal protection caliber, it can be used as such until you decide what centerfire caliber to get next. Keep it loaded with CCI Quick Shoks when you aren't at the range.
The P22 can often be fairly troublesome. If you have problems, let me know and I'll try to find the site of a very expansive knowledge base about this pistol.
As for part of the crew -- well, you can't be part of the crew until you ask here which is better, Glock or XD.....:mrgreen:
Originally Posted by Alaskan_Viking
Since one cannot purchase a P7M8 for a price within the OP's budget, how does the statement above help someone who only wants to spend $300?
Congrats on an intelligent purchase for your first gun. Sometimes I do not know where people come up with the oddball recommendations I see for first guns. You chose well.
As far as defense, a quick magazine of .22s to the face will deter most attackers. :mrgreen:
great choice for a first gun
i bought one in january and my wife, son and i love it
Thanks for the support.
I have done both research and now personal observation on the pickiness of this gun on the ammo issue. Hi-velocity ammo and cleanliness = performance. CCI mini mags have bbeen the most reliable so far. Federal copper jacket have been close (but a few more FTE after the gun got dirty [a few hundred rounds in a short sitting]) I'll stick with the mini mags, because every time you shop at Wally-World, America dies inside just a bit more (that is for another thread)!
I know this purchase is a teaching tool for me for both the expansion into a bigger gun for the home, and eventually a smaller gun to carry. For now, I will keep learning and chatting and reading this board for info.
PS the guy at the shop gave me (I think) the best advice about caliber, "I love a .22! You are not a cop. The reason for defense is to stop the person from doing whatever it is that they were doing. No one wants to be shot by anything. Don't let anyony tell you that you need to blow a hole in a wall to stop a robber."
I think you made a wise choice and I will just say, if my Ruger .22 was all I had, I would have no problem relying on it in a HD situation. You can fire off the 10-round mag (in the Ruger atleast) in a second and that could definitely do some damage. Enjoy the .22 and learn what you can. When you're more comfortable and/or have the money then get something bigger. Enjoy the cheaper ammo while you can!
One of the best decisions I've seen yet! Best way (and cheapest ammo wise) to get started. You will be hard pressed to EVER beat the fun of a good .22 at the range. Sure big calibers can be fun, but that fun is usually much shorter lived due to recoil, inaccuracy (compared to what most .22's can do) and expense (compare .45 ammo to .22 ......YIKES).
That being said it probably won't be long before you add a nice 9mm, .357 or .45 to your collection.
Give me a bit. I'll get there eventually.
Originally Posted by PhilR.
I look down on rugers not because of the bulk but simply because they're rugers :smt033
Originally Posted by DJ Niner
haha all kidding aside I've heard a lot of bad things regarding reliability in their pistols with the exception of the 9mm, everyone who I know that has the 9mm ruger loves it and swears by it. I personally have had many bad experiences with rugers, from jams to takedown/cleaning problems, thus i stay away.
Look for a used Glock? Or perhaps raise the spending price a little bit. For a first time handgun, especially if you intend to shoot it a lot I'd recommend a 9mm, you can find fairly cheap practice loads and some really hot defensive loads. Defensively the most important thing is practice practice practice.
Mostly, go to local shops/ranges. Handle/shoot a variety of makes and models. When you find what you like, you will definitely know it. :smt023
Good luck and welcome aboard.
Apparently, when one "times out" then logs in again while posting, the system actually completes the post, then takes you back to the edit page... I'll have to remember that and not continue "tweaking" the message w/o being sure I'm not double posting. (Two of my posts duplicated back to back would be like "double-tapping" with a .50 BMG :) -- Sorry!)
I have several thoughts here:
Originally Posted by Mike Barham
1) Most people who try a variety of firearms over time will find one that "just works." Your "perfect fit" may or may not be a make and model that anybody else can shoot well; it may or may not be the "model of your dreams"; but, the important thing is whether or not it works for you. True, most anybody can (within reason) learn to shoot most any gun well, but when you find that "magic moment" when a particular gun feels like an extension of your arm and you can shoot as well by "pointing your finger" as you do with the careful aim of another firearm, you'll know what I mean. So the folk who advised "go rent or borrow guns and try them" are on the right track -- I'd just add "take your time." You can miss something good by getting in too much of a hurry to try the 15 other pistols on your list today ;-)
2) Way too many people underestimate the power of a .22! I once stopped 300 lbs of packaged porcine pique, bent on spoiling my day, with a single "snap shot" from a Ruger Mark II -- at about 30 feet. Mr. Piggy dropped like marionette with his strings cut; he didn't even kick. You can bet, properly placed, a .22 will do the same thing to an attacker. (Back in the '30s, before they passed laws requiring larger calibers, my Dad used to hunt deer, quite successfully, with a .22 Special.)
3) If you are going for defense purposes, you might as well play to the .22's strengths -- which are several.
A. Neat thing about a .22 jacketed solid point is that it will penetrate a number of vests that reliably stop larger calibers. So, you have a semi-auto with decent-sized magazine? I would make the 2nd, 4th, et cetera rounds good quality SCC rounds. (Note: JSP or FMJ would be better; but, to my knowledge, are available only in .22 mag.)
B. For speed of second and third shots, the low recoil of a .22 semi-auto allows you to nail a second and third target very quickly. Practice follow-ups -- to second targets if possible.
C. Ammo is dirt cheap which equates to easy-on-the-wallet live-fire practice. I do suggest, though, if you buy the large "bulk" boxes, you pay a buck or so more and get the "coated" or jacketed bullets -- they deform less rattling about in the box which means better accuracy when you shoot. Also, for actual defense purposes, buy (and practice with) some ammo that is packaged in 50 round boxes and chosen because of its special characteristics, not the price on the sale flyer.
So, yes, congratulations on your first pistol! Use it to learn everything you can about the proper care, feeding, and use of firearms. And, if it happens to be the one that "fits" you, don't get badgered into "upgrading" just because someone "looks down their nose" at a .22; you just learn to "look down your sights" and remember that one well-placed .22 round beats a whole clip of .45s that barely missed.
Nice pick, that was my first handgun as well and it's in my pocket as we speak.
Originally Posted by bdp2000