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DFENS 07-10-2008 12:13 AM

Questions about questions
Wasn't sure where to post this, so I figured I'd post it in General.

What questions should I ask when looking at a potential purchase?
I kinda peeked around the pawn-and-gun shop next to one of my jobs today; didn't talk to anyone, just kinda walked around checking it out.

When it comes time to break into my piggy bank, should I go for a rifle first, or handgun?
I'm wanting to eventually have one or more of each, possibly a shotty as well. I plan on getting a permit to carry, as well as taking plenty of classes (Possibly a marksmanship class at the local University if I can fit it into the schedule). Here's the issue - My only means of transportation (except for possibly 2 or three months of winter, if I can't get some heated grips and or gloves) is my motorcycle. I'm sure seeing iron strapped on a sportbike would look strange, even if just on my way to the range. If anyone is familiar with Carter County, TN, I'll be heading the the firing range near Watauga Range, and possibly a friend's field in Johnson County, TN. Some can and target shooting, the closest thing to a living target would be a scarecrow in pal's field.

What should I look out for in case of a "phony" class?
I saw a thread where someone actually got up and left a class because of some of the teacher's actions... Any bits of rubbish and mis-teaching I should look out for?

It'll be next year before I make any purchases, but I'm just looking around before I spend the money... I work danged hard to get the little bit I make (currently pulling 70+ hr weeks between 2 near-min.wage-jobs).

Thanks All :D

RL357Mag 07-10-2008 12:18 AM

I think you should start by calling your local pistol licensing bureau, generally the Sheriff's Dept. issues pistol permits, and ask them who they recommend for the training course. Many localities require a pistol course be taken before issuing a permit.
As far as the type of handgun for your first purchase that is a very subjective decision. Personally I bought a .357 revolver. Looking back I probably should have bought my Ruger 22/45 MkIII .22 cal first. I would have learned more much faster due to the economics of shooting cheap .22 ammo instead of $8 per box of 20 .357Mag ammo. I was primarily concerned with concealed carry however, so the .357 mag was my choice. If you are just into plinking and target shooting with some small game hunting thrown in, you would be better served with a quality .22 auto or revolver. Ruger Mk.II and MkIII and Browning Buckmark pistols are very accurate and reasonably priced.

Dillinger 07-10-2008 12:40 AM

DFENS - As you are new, and we haven't had much interaction, what are you looking to do with your first firearm?

Obviously learning to shoot with a small caliber firearm is the best advice that most would agree upon.

If you are looking to learn to shoot at range, then a rifle, either a boltgun or a semi auto in a caliber like .22lr would be a good choice.

If you are looking for close, personal defense, then a small caliber handgun like the one recommended by my esteemed colleague would be recommended.


DFENS 07-10-2008 01:04 AM

As far as I can tell, my accuracy is rather good, but I'm not so skilled on the art of shooting - I've never owned, just borrowed.

I've thought about rifles moreso than handguns... I was eyeing the Ruger 77/22 a year or three ago, but dang that price-tag... Maybe after a few years, but not while I'm in school.

I'm hoping to learn as much as I can, while on the Ramen-diet budget :D

If .22LR is the cheapest ammo, then that'll be the caliber I'll look for (I'm pretty sure it is, I've been googling ammo for the last few minutes).

As far as handguns go, I'd prefer something with a clip... I'm not a fan of revolvers.

Really, I don't care what I shoot, so long as I'm not one of those M4/M16/etc.-clone wielding guys who hogs the whole range, acting like no one else is there.

I'm eager to learn, and if I say something bone-headed or make a mistake, I'll take no offense at being corrected.

*bows* thanks :D

Dillinger 07-10-2008 01:11 AM

Okay, we have a direction. It would appear that you would like to start with a rifle and work from there.

What kind of budget are you looking at keeping?


Chester 07-10-2008 01:13 AM

I really like your attitude Defens, The first step to learning is to admit you don't know everything. Everything after that is so much easier.

What ever you decide to do, learn from other peoples mistakes (beleive me I've made plenty). Good luck and we're here to help when possible.

DFENS 07-10-2008 01:28 AM

Ramen-diet... I'm in college right now, working 2 jobs to save up for winter. Kinda like a squirrel, but nuts in a different way. I've not got much disposable income right now, but when the time comes, I'll be looking for something anywhere from 100 to maybe 600 top-end.

I'm very ignorant on the whole topic, so I'll take any suggestions gladly. I know I'll not be getting any scopes with this budget, I'm just looking for something rugged, that'll shoot as straight as I can coax it into doing, and not tear up on me too often.

I'd prefer a bolt-action over semi-auto, but either way works for me.

Dillinger 07-10-2008 01:30 AM


Originally Posted by Chester (Post 31159)
I really like your attitude Defens, The first step to learning is to admit you don't know everything. Everything after that is so much easier.

What ever you decide to do, learn from other peoples mistakes (beleive me I've made plenty). Good luck and we're here to help when possible.

You know - +1 on that. The worst thing about firearms is that EVERYONE is a god damn expert. Believe it or not, there are people out there that can teach you something....

Excellent point...


Righteous 07-10-2008 01:48 AM

Get you one of the AR platforms in a .223, you can add uppers for different calibers once ya get it. It will do anything you would ever want to do and is always a good investment as you never know who might be in office will want to ban them or try again.

ScottG 07-10-2008 01:55 AM

Well, in my expert opinion....oh wait, I'm not an expert either, I just have opinions..... :p

Anyway, what would be wrong with a nice rifle scabbard that matched your leathers? Do you ride with saddlebags? Seems a good place to store your handgun when riding. Of course, you should check the legality of that. Carrying concealed should work under your riding gear.

I'm going to go another way and suggest a Henry rifle. The lever action .22 can be found for around $200. Gives you fifteen rounds of long rifle goodness. I've had no trouble from the mechanics, just a few ftfs that were ammo problems. It's always cycled and it's very smooth. If you're after a handgun, I would say the Browning Buckmark Camper is a nice little pistol. I paid about $240 a year ago at Bass Pro for mine. And don't be fooled by the golden trigger, it's not a pimp gun. :D

As to what you should look for, if you're buying used from a pawn place or dealer, make sure you have an inspection period. Most dealers should let you have one, but if you fire the gun, it's yours. Take a used gun to a gunsmith and let him check it out for you. If the gun isn't obviously damaged, or rusted, or loose in the mechanics, you'll probably be ok. You won't usually have a warranty. A new purchase will, and the manufacturer will stand behind the gun and perhaps do repairs for low or no cost, shipping excluded of course.

Because you said you borrow guns, you should have some familiarity with what you like already and don't like. Go with that, anonymous people on the internet can't know you. If a gun fits your hand, and you'll know it, someone else's recommendation for a different gun isn't going to do you much good. Don't go by what someone else says if a gun feels right to you, it's probably the right gun.

Good luck with your purchases.

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