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Old 06-02-2010, 08:46 PM   #1
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Default First Gun

Hello. I am new to both this forum and guns in general. I am trying to figure out what kind of guns I should be considering to use for target shooting. Since I have never even shot anything besides a BB gun (hard to imagine for a southern boy, I know, but I fish, I don't hunt), I am going to take a basic shooting class. I want to buy a handgun, but I have many limitations. First of all, I am only 18, and in TN you have to be 21 to get a carry permit. So I won't be carrying anything for a few years. Secondly, I want something that won't break the bank with either initial purchase price or cost of rounds. If I remember correctly, I think I read that .22 ammo prices are good, so that sounds like something to consider. Third, I want something that will be somewhat effective for home defense, but I don't think that will be too much of an issue. I have only basic knowledge of the inner workings of a semi-auto pistol, but I'm sure I could pick up such knowledge fairly easily. Therefore, I am open to considering both revolvers and semi-auto magazine fed guns. Any suggestions?

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Old 06-02-2010, 09:17 PM   #2
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A .22 won't have much stopping power for home defense, but it would be very inexpensive to target shoot with (or squirrel hunt). Why not look for an inexpensive or used .22 for your target practice & handgun familiarization AND pick up a 12 guage pump shotgun for your home defense needs? If you pick the right 12 guage, you may be able to get some hunting use out of it as a bonus. If that is too much to spend all at once, consider which need/desire is more important to you & go after that.

I enjoy plinking with my SKS, but i don't know how good of a home defense choice it would be. Those rifle rounds can go through a wall or two & hit an unintended target.

Does anyone here think a carbine, maybe a pistol caliber carbine could be a decent compromise? I hear the Highpoint 995 9mm carbine is quite affordable & can be fun, but i haven't owned one.

Also, if you search for "first gun", you will find a number of threads similar to this one; there might be some good info in them for you.

Maybe a bit more info about your situation like: do you live alone or with a dozen small children, will you be using this more for home defense or target shooting, & are you thinking about long-distance target fun?

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Old 06-02-2010, 09:25 PM   #3
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I know you're posted this in the handgun section, but for a first gun I'm not sure I'd start with a handgun--I always recommend a .22 rifle as the first gun because of the inexpensive nature of the weapon and ammunition--it is a great training aid to learn firearm safety, handling, shooting, accuracy, etc., plus you're going to want one anyway eventually--everyone needs a .22 rifle. I'd start with a bolt action, such as a Marlin/Stevens/Mossberg or other brand and go from there. After you have mastered the .22 rifle and feel comfortable, then look for a .22 handgun to complement the rifle.
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:17 PM   #4
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you cannot buy or own a pistol until 21. you can fire one that is owned by someone else under supervision.

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Old 06-02-2010, 10:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by orangello View Post
A .22 won't have much stopping power for home defense, but it would be very inexpensive to target shoot with (or squirrel hunt). Why not look for an inexpensive or used .22 for your target practice & handgun familiarization AND pick up a 12 guage pump shotgun for your home defense needs? If you pick the right 12 guage, you may be able to get some hunting use out of it as a bonus. If that is too much to spend all at once, consider which need/desire is more important to you & go after that.
How much total cost am I looking at here? (I know it depends, I just want a range if that's possible). Also, one of my initial concerns was how difficult it would be to move from room to room with something with a long barrel. My hallways aren't narrow or anything, but I don't have any experience with this sort of thing so I just don't know.

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I enjoy plinking with my SKS, but i don't know how good of a home defense choice it would be. Those rifle rounds can go through a wall or two & hit an unintended target.
I defiantly want to avoid doing that.

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Originally Posted by orangello View Post
Also, if you search for "first gun", you will find a number of threads similar to this one; there might be some good info in them for you.
When I try searching this forum with "first gun", it tells me those search terms are too common. However, I used "beginner" and am looking around using Google as well. It's just difficult because I am not at all familiar with gun manufacturers and their lines of product, so I thought making a thread and detailing my specific situation would be helpful.

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Maybe a bit more info about your situation like: do you live alone or with a dozen small children, will you be using this more for home defense or target shooting, & are you thinking about long-distance target fun?
I am still in high school and live with my parents (only child). However, we don't have a gun in the house, which I think is terrible, and I stay at my house alone sometimes as my dad works out of town during the week and my mom goes with him sometimes. (Hence the consideration for home defense). Honestly, I think I would want to place more emphasis on my target shooting wants, but it would still be good to have a weapon besides my knife in the house "just in case". We were considering finding something for my mom to carry, but I'll address that in another thread if needed. And about what kind of target shooting I'll be doing: I'm not exactly sure yet. I'm pretty sure it will include shooting targets at the end of a range (Not really sure what you call this- maybe it's the long range you speak of?) and if I get something that is able to do it, maybe some clay pigeon shooting (not sure if you can do this with a handgun or not). Other than that, I hope to discover on other types of sport shooting I enjoy and maybe get some suggestions from here.

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I know you're posted this in the handgun section, but for a first gun I'm not sure I'd start with a handgun--I always recommend a .22 rifle as the first gun because of the inexpensive nature of the weapon and ammunition--it is a great training aid to learn firearm safety, handling, shooting, accuracy, etc., plus you're going to want one anyway eventually--everyone needs a .22 rifle. I'd start with a bolt action, such as a Marlin/Stevens/Mossberg or other brand and go from there. After you have mastered the .22 rifle and feel comfortable, then look for a .22 handgun to complement the rifle.
Just one man's opinion...
That does sound like a good idea, and that's two votes for having a non-handgun weapon. Y'all are starting to make me consider that. I am just concerned with maneuverability during home defense as I mentioned above, but I'm guessing that's not too much of an issue since two people mentioned larger weapons. And I think you were talking about more of a gun to use to get introduced to guns and not home defense. And I like the "everyone needs a .22 rifle". That made me laugh.

Thank you to you both for the info and suggestions.
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:34 PM   #6
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12 gauge is an awesome first gun as is a .22 rifle (everyone does need one!). I live in tennessee also and you wont even be able to purchase ammo for a pistol caliber carbne until you're 21 so that may not be the way you want to go. I would reccommend a remington 870 (or a pardner pump but theyre kinda heavy) or a ruger 10/22 or remington 597.

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Old 06-02-2010, 10:51 PM   #7
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you cannot buy or own a pistol until 21. you can fire one that is owned by someone else under supervision.
I knew I couldn't buy one, but what if my parents bought one and gave it as a gift? From what you said it sounds like they would have to accompany me to the range every time I went. That would be a pain.

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12 gauge is an awesome first gun as is a .22 rifle (everyone does need one!). I live in tennessee also and you wont even be able to purchase ammo for a pistol caliber carbne until you're 21 so that may not be the way you want to go. I would reccommend a remington 870 (or a pardner pump but theyre kinda heavy) or a ruger 10/22 or remington 597.
My parents would buy ammo for me, as long as that's legal (I don't wan't anyone getting in trouble).

Also, what could I use a 12 gauge for? I thought those were more for close range hunting (doesn't the shotgun shell spread out into a wide spreading bunch of small projectiles?), and I'm not a hunter.

Thanks to all.
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Old 06-02-2010, 11:52 PM   #8
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Everyone does need a .22, so let's settle that this new gun will be a .22. Now you just need to decide if you are getting a rifle (all kosher there), or your dad is buying a pistol that you'll be shooting the heck out of.

For a pistol, Ruger .22's are always a good choice. I have a S&W 17, but it's a fairly expensive revolver.

For the rifle, I'd recommend an S&W AR15-22!!! HOOWAH!

Or for the more budget conscious, a Marlin Model 60.

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Old 06-03-2010, 01:24 AM   #9
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Huh all .22s for first guns eh?

I do recommend a .22 for practice and familiarity, but for HD get a 12 gauge. It doesn't have to be fancy, but a .22 can't guarantee your protection. Mossberg makes great HD pump action shot guns for very reasonable prices, or find one used.

As far as the handgun/supervision thing. I don't know the laws, but I grew up shooting a single six in .22/.22 mag unsupervised since around the age of 10.

That would be a great first handgun, but the shot gun will protect yourself.

Any way you go, LEARN SAFETY FIRST (and last and in-between). If you can't handle a gun safely, it is more harm than good for you and your folks.

BE RESPONSIBLE! and have fun.

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Old 06-03-2010, 03:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
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you cannot buy or own a pistol until 21. you can fire one that is owned by someone else under supervision.
Absolutely not true under Federal Regs and most State laws. You cannot purchase a handgun from an FFL dealer until your 21st B-day. Nothing I have seen outside of some of the more Draconian States prohibits you from owning or even purchasing a handgun as long as you are at least 18 YOA. The 21 rule applies to FFL purchases. Texas prohibits selling to someone under 18.
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