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Old 06-15-2011, 01:54 AM   #1
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Default A good handgun for beginner's?

I'm new to firearms and have always been wanting to get one for a long time. I have a specific interest in handguns, just as something to take to the local firing range to shoot off, get to know etc

So I was wondering if someone could make a suggestion? As I have very limited overall experience with firearms.

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Old 06-15-2011, 02:19 AM   #2
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What are you going to use it for? Practice & range only or will it double as a defensive firearm as well? If you're just wanting a firearm to learn how to shoot with, and since you have very limited experience with handguns, I'd recommend a .22. The .22 will serve you VERY well to train you with sight alignment & trigger control. The advantages of a .22 is very small report (noise) and almost non existent recoil. Also a .22 is cheaper to shoot than ANYTHING out there. A .22 WON'T serve very well as a defensive firearm however. Sure it's better than a sharp stick, but I wouldn't trust my life to 1.

If you want a bigger caliber or if it's going to serve as a defense gun as well, I'd recommend a good .357 revolver. With the .357 revolver you can use magnums for defense and plink with cheap, low recoiling .38 specials. I don't know of anybody that's willing to stand in front of you & let you shoot them with a .357.

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Old 06-15-2011, 02:33 AM   #3
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I don't know of anybody that's willing to stand in front of you & let you shoot them with a .357.
LOL...neither do I. But same can be said with a .22LR or even a .177 airgun (just saying).

I agree with the 22LR but will also recommend you check 9mm semi-autos. Talk to us about budget, since it will dictate your choices.
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Old 06-15-2011, 03:32 AM   #4
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If you do not have a specific need for a "major" caliber, then I'd start with a .22lr.

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Old 06-15-2011, 03:37 AM   #5
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I always try to recommend a 22 for someone just starting to learn. But if your looking for a self-defense weapon then IMO it is best to start with either a K frame 38spl/357mag revolver or a 9mm Service-size pistol depending if you want a revolver or a pistol.

Be sure to find a range that has a few guns to rent and try as many as you can. Only you can decide which is right for you.

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Old 06-15-2011, 03:51 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by stalkingbear View Post
What are you going to use it for? Practice & range only or will it double as a defensive firearm as well? If you're just wanting a firearm to learn how to shoot with, and since you have very limited experience with handguns, I'd recommend a .22. The .22 will serve you VERY well to train you with sight alignment & trigger control. The advantages of a .22 is very small report (noise) and almost non existent recoil. Also a .22 is cheaper to shoot than ANYTHING out there. A .22 WON'T serve very well as a defensive firearm however. Sure it's better than a sharp stick, but I wouldn't trust my life to 1.

If you want a bigger caliber or if it's going to serve as a defense gun as well, I'd recommend a good .357 revolver. With the .357 revolver you can use magnums for defense and plink with cheap, low recoiling .38 specials. I don't know of anybody that's willing to stand in front of you & let you shoot them with a .357.
yep. what he said
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Old 06-15-2011, 04:16 PM   #7
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I think the .22 is the best learning platform. Some people take that the wrong way. They think that because they are new to guns, I'm recommending a "wimpy" caliber. But a .22 is cheap to shoot, and a good .22 pistol can be fairly cheap to buy (though there are plenty of very expensive ones). With a .22, you can get a lot of trigger time for reasonable cost. With all that time shooting, you'll have a better idea what you'll want out of another gun.

And when you do buy another gun, the .22 will still offer a lot of cheap trigger time. I take my Ruger .22 with me on every range trip, along with one or more larger-caliber guns, and I shoot at least as many rounds of .22 as I do other calibers on each trip.

If you have access to a range that rents guns, by all means, rent some.

Whatever you do buy, take it to the range a lot. Fairly often, when I go to the range, there's someone nearby shooting something interesting who will invite me to shoot a few rounds, and I return the favor. I've tested more guns that way.

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Old 06-15-2011, 05:47 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by stalkingbear View Post
What are you going to use it for? Practice & range only or will it double as a defensive firearm as well? If you're just wanting a firearm to learn how to shoot with, and since you have very limited experience with handguns, I'd recommend a .22. The .22 will serve you VERY well to train you with sight alignment & trigger control. The advantages of a .22 is very small report (noise) and almost non existent recoil. Also a .22 is cheaper to shoot than ANYTHING out there. A .22 WON'T serve very well as a defensive firearm however. Sure it's better than a sharp stick, but I wouldn't trust my life to 1.

If you want a bigger caliber or if it's going to serve as a defense gun as well, I'd recommend a good .357 revolver. With the .357 revolver you can use magnums for defense and plink with cheap, low recoiling .38 specials. I don't know of anybody that's willing to stand in front of you & let you shoot them with a .357.
I just want to start off by thanking everyone who has responded so far for the recommendations and advice.

Again I was just mainly looking into a handgun which I could take to the range, and something that would be cheap to buy, supply, and maintain especially since I'm a beginner to the hobby.

However, something for self-defense purposes isn't very high on my list, as I live in a relatively safe area(even though crime rates have sharply increased in recent years). But then again most criminals where I live don't carry firearms. So if I needed it for that purpose I figure deterrent factors would work out just fine.
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Old 06-15-2011, 05:56 PM   #9
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As I've posted quite often regarding new shooters......

This is strictly my opinion, and has worked in many years of firearms training, and for men and ladies alike. Buy a handgun just like you would buy a pair of shoes. If Ol' Joe over here says he likes Charlie China tennis shoes, and you're looking for a new pair of shoes, do you run out and buy Joe's pick, just because HE likes 'em? Probably not. If a new shooter is asking what to buy for a carry gun, it doesn't matter what works for me, or anyone else. I suggest telling that new shooter to go to many gun shops, and/or gun shows, and handle all the guns they can get hold of. Just like they would try on shoes. Before long they'll be able to make a list of guns that feel ok, pretty good, real good, and "that really feels great in my hands". The last two are the ones to pursue, and here's why I say that....
If a given handgun doesn't feel "right" in your hands, you'll not shoot it enough to become proficient with it, because it's not comfortable, and you won't like shooting it. Just like you rarely wear shoes that are UNcomfortable. If you're not gonna become proficient with it, save your money, and buy a ball bat to carry. With proper fundamentals, he/she can learn to shoot almost any handgun, or any caliber. Very few folks can re-train their hands to make just any handgun feel comfortable. The last suggestion.........proper shooting techinques, practiced slowly, but proficiently, will breed speed. Do it slowly, and do it the right way, every time.......If you practice speed first, and introduce less efficient techniques into your training, you'll have to do it all over again to get it right.

By the way..... anyone who introduces a new shooter to our pastime by having them start with a large-caliber handgun, makes a very poor decision. Yes, some folks do ok starting out with large calibers, but the vast majority will not continue to shoot if their very 1st experience is with .50 S&W. Start with a .22 caliber something, and as your technique/accuracy improves, work up from there.

Again, just my ramblings.... but they work for me...

Shoot Safely....

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Old 06-15-2011, 10:09 PM   #10
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Well said, Jay.

Someone had posted once that practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. 22lr is perfect for that perfect practice

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