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Old 10-02-2010, 05:03 PM   #11
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One more thing, on a single action pistol, If I were to fire a round do I have to manually pull the hammer back before firing again?

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Old 10-02-2010, 05:29 PM   #12
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One more thing, on a single action pistol, If I were to fire a round do I have to manually pull the hammer back before firing again?
Once the first round is fired the automatic movement (recoil) of the slide cocks the hammer for each subsequent shot. The pistol, once cocked, can be fired by pulling the trigger once for each shot until the magazine is empty. The Browning Hi-Point, M1911, Smith & Wesson M&P, and the Springfield XD are single-action pistols that function in this manner. Single action revolvers require the hammer to be cocked by hand every time the weapon is fired.

A single action trigger performs the single action of releasing the hammer or striker to discharge the firearm each time the trigger is pulled. Single-action semi-automatic pistols require that the hammer be cocked before the first round can be fired, although most designs cock the hammer as part of the loading process, inserting the magazine and racking the slide to chamber the first round also cocks the hammer or striker into the ready-to-fire position.
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Old 10-02-2010, 05:45 PM   #13
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1) Something I can afford to learn how to shoot, I want to become a good shot
2) Something to defend against the bad guys (I pray I never need to, but just in case)
3) Something I won't need to replace, but can still be a useful part of a collection down the road
4) This may sound weird or at least people in Kalifornia (thats what you guys call it right?) think its weird. In case "the war every comes to america" I would like something that is still useful.
9mm is an ideal launching point for all the reasons listed. The one caveat being that one of 9mm's selling points is capacity (generally 14-20rds in a full framed gun), and California has a 10rd max I believe...which means some of these firearms are off limits to you, but most are available with Cali-legal 10rd mags.

Nothing wrong with a 45acp. It's as easy to handle as 9mm given the right platform, it's just more expensive to feed.

If cost is an issue, browse around in the $300-600 price range, as it seems to be where you get the most bang for your buck.

If I was to recommend something that would fit me if I was in your shoes, I'd look at something like this. But if you can afford it, another option might be a Sig P220 w/ 22lr kit. I believe it's Cali legal, a fine gun, and will shoot both 22lr and 45acp...but will require an investment of about $900.
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Old 10-02-2010, 06:28 PM   #14
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A couple other things to keep in mind...

Although the .22lr is not designed as a self-defense round, and I would not carry or keep one for those purposes; you can likely get more hits on target faster with a .22 that any other round because of its ease of control. So it's not a pea-shooter.

If shooting is something you want to do more than just buying a gun and throwing in a nightstand, I can pretty well guarantee you that one of your first two guns will be a .22. Gun enthusiasts will argue till doomsday about the merits of individual rounds. But if there is one thing everyone agrees on, it's everybody needs at least one .22.

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Old 10-02-2010, 06:34 PM   #15
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A couple other things to keep in mind...

Although the .22lr is not designed as a self-defense round, and I would not carry or keep one for those purposes; you can likely get more hits on target faster with a .22 that any other round because of its ease of control. So it's not a pea-shooter.

If shooting is something you want to do more than just buying a gun and throwing in a nightstand, I can pretty well guarantee you that one of your first two guns will be a .22. Gun enthusiasts will argue till doomsday about the merits of individual rounds. But if there is one thing everyone agrees on, it's everybody needs at least one .22.
Everyone needs one because they are cheap to feed and easy to control?
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:03 PM   #16
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As has been stated previously, take a class or two and get to where you are competant in handling firearms.
The question I have is: do you think that firearms will become a hobby for you? There are hobbiest/enthusiasts (i.e. this forum) and there is the more "casual" gun owner. For the more casual type who is interested in a gun as simply a tool and nothing more, I would concur with the recommendation of the .357 revolver. Fewer things to learn/forget. No magazines to fail, fewer external moving parts. No levers to overlook, no takedown procedures for normal use, limp-wristing doesn't doesn't cause feed problems. If someone has experience with firearms and/or wishes to feed the new addiction, them the Semi-auto will be fine. But for a Non-hobbyist, the revolver is is a better starting point IMHO.

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Old 10-02-2010, 08:52 PM   #17
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Everyone needs one because they are cheap to feed and easy to control?
And because they are just a lot of fun.
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Old 10-03-2010, 02:12 AM   #18
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Am I right in my understanding that anything smaller than a 9mm is not considered a self defense round?
This statement is basically true when one is considering semi-automatic pistols. Mant consider the .38special the "minimum" caliber for SD purposes, but that round is only fired out of revolvers.

And the difference between pistol and revolver is a pretty big one. There are lots of threads here considering the differences between revolvers and pistols. Just like one "should" have a .22 in their mix, one should probably have both a revolver and a pistol in their collection.

I purchased a 9mm pistol first, personally. And a revolver is my next purchase. Actually, a 12gauge shotgun was my first firearm, but that's a different question that you didn't ask.
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Old 10-03-2010, 09:12 PM   #19
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Thanks everyone,

I located some classes in my area and an indoor range that will allow me to try out some different guns.

Can someone explain to me the advantage or disadvantage of single action and double action. I understand that the functionality but just wondering why someone would prefer one over the other.

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Old 10-03-2010, 09:50 PM   #20
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The term applies to revolvers and pistols a little differently.

Revolvers:

Single action: Pulling the trigger ONLY releases the hammer. After each shot, you have to cock the hammer back. Since the trigger doesn't travel (it "breaks" when you squeeze hard enough), it is somewhat more accurate, making a single-action revolver good for hunting or target-shooting. Example: Ruger Vaquero

Double action: Pulling the trigger begins by BOTH turning the cylinder one round and cocking the hammer, then the final movement backward releases the hammer. During the trigger pull, it is a bit more difficult maintaining correct aim, especially with long ad heavy triggers. Example: S&W Model 60

NOTE: Many revolvers are in the middle (DA/SA) and allow you to manually cock the hammer and fire in single-action, but still act in double action if you don't cock the hammer. Double-action only (DAO) revolvers don't allow you to manually cock the hammer. Example: Ruger LCR

Pistols:

Single action: Same as a revolver in that the trigger ONLY releases the hammer. The force of the cartridge firing, though, forces the slide backward which cocks the hammer back AND loads the next round as it comes back forward. For this reason, it is also somewhat more accurate for aiming because the trigger doesn't travel before it breaks. The shooter doesn't usually have to ever cock the hammer since loading the first round cocks the hammer and each round recocks the hammer. Example: Colt M1911A1

Double action: Most (but not all) double action pistols don't actually have external hammers, they have internal hammers. The trigger pull both cocks the internal hammer and releases the firing pin. Some designs require the shooter to completely release the trigger to reset and some allow the shooter to only slightly release the trigger to reset (which allows for faster shooting). Example: Glock 17

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