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Old 07-10-2008, 02:24 AM   #11
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+1 on the Henry - I have their cheapest one - the H001 - and it is one of the most accurate .22's I own. The action is smoother than any lever gun I own and the stock is simply the most BEAUTIFUL piece of black walnut I have ever seen on a .22.
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Old 07-10-2008, 02:30 AM   #12
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Well, a couple of things... Guns are like ice cream- and that's why Howard Johnson had 31 flavors. Some folks like revolvers, others are convinced that only a 1911 is a real gun. And DO expect to get different opinions.

For a first gun, would heartily reccomend a 22 rifle. They are inexpensive, and 50 rds of 22 ammo is about $12- as opposed to $20 per 20 rounds of .308. There are a couple of on-line gun auctions sites I frequent-, and Any gun you buy WILL need to be shipped to a dealer in your home state, so be sure to include shipping and your receiving dealers fees when figuring how much you want to bid. On the other hand, I just picked up a very nice old Stevens 22 auto for $79 from a local dealer. Not a real serious target rifle, but a great hunter/plinker. Add a middling scope for about another $40-50, and you have a lot of cash for ammo. Very few decent quality guns ever wear out- worn, yes, worn out, rarely.

For a handgun, again, .22. You could do a lot worse than the Browning Buckmark, or a Ruger auto. Personal favorite is Ruger, but then, I like pistachio ice cream. For a self defense arm, you CAN use a .22, but would strongly suggest something bigger. A .357 revolver is popular beacause you can also use .38 Special ammo for practice- cheaper, less recoil.

Carrying on your bike- consider an inexpensive hard case (Walmarts everywhere) that you can bungee to the bike. You may want to check if an instructor holds NRA certification. Not a guarantee, but a start. Also, check local ranges that may RENT handguns for use on the range- gives you a chance to try them out. Also, contact your state rifle association- usually some friendly folks that can offer suggestions.
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Old 03-10-2010, 04:31 AM   #13
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My experience is all military so I can't say what to look for technically. Lots of old gunshop "experts" will talk about things like hammerless, rebus springs, frabis breaks, dremus plates and other gobbledygook that is all Greek to me. I had a unit armorer to handle parts and repair. My issues are simply range, accuracy, and reliability. Beware of the experts who will go into lengthy dissertations of history, parts, technical development, etc. They can be very confusing and they love to hear themselves talk.

I'm new to owning my own guns and my primary concern is defense. With that in mind I'd just share my own thoughts on what and why I bought:
1.) Ammo Type - Avoid non-military or non-cop ammo. Lots of people advocate 6.5 or 6.8 for example. With a few very limited exceptions, these rounds have been rejected by the military, so I'd steer clear. They might be hard to find in the future. I'd stick to NATO standard 223, 7.62x51 (NOT 7.62x54 or x 39). 22LR is a great round too, mainly due to low cost.
2.) "Layered" defense - Long range is best. That means 308. I have an M!A which is not for the cost conscious. But I also have a Saiga 308, which is the "sporter" version of the AK-47, chambered in 308. You can add all sorts of accoutrements as you see fit and as your budget grows (pistol grip, forend, stock, rails, etc. In the $350-$500 price range, it may be the best bang for the buck around.
3.) Reliability - You can abuse an AK/Saiga and it keeps on ticking. Store it in a mudbank and it will still be there for you at trigger pull.
4.) Training - 308 ammo is expensive. 22LR isn't. I looked around and settled on the GSG-5. It looks great (MP-5 clone in appearance), is fun to shoot, and has great reliability and accuracy. GSG-5 runs about $500 but if you can find one fast, it will be a great investment. H&K has sued the manufacturer and won, meaning they can no longer be imported. I have already seen these great little guns on the internet for $2,000, but my local gunshop is selling its existing stock for $499.
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