I hate to bother you all with this, but here is my "which gun for a n00b" thread.
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Old 01-02-2009, 07:14 AM   #1
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Default I hate to bother you all with this, but here is my "which gun for a n00b" thread.

Ok, I'm completely ignorant about most things when it comes to firearms. I'm here to learn and make friends. So far everyone is kick ass on here.

Anyway, let me cut to the chase...

Basically, I want a semi-auto pistol that's reliable and that I can have fun just shooting crap with. I want to better my accuracy and be prepared to use my gun in any situation that calls for it. Hopefully never on a human.

I've been eye-balling a couple of cheap, but good brand, pistols. Here's a couple of links to check out my choices:

Question: I was wondering how much more powerful a .38 is over a .22. Also, is the volume of a .38 much louder than a .22?


http://www.gundealeronline.com/Taurus-Model-PT-22-8-1-Round-22-Long-Rifle-w-Nic-p/1220035r.htm



http://www.gundealeronline.com/Bersa-Thunder-380-7-1-Round-380-ACP-Pistol-w-Duo-p/thun380dt.htm


Which would you own over the other, and why?

Pre-thanks to anyone who contributes to my knowledge. I really appreciate it.

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Old 01-02-2009, 12:34 PM   #2
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The .22 is (IMHO) NOT a serious defensive sidearm. At best it should be relegated to a "deep cover" or third gun. .22's in general are nice plinking guns and (maybe) small game hunting arms. The model in question will likely dissapoint you for anything but the deep cover role.

The .380 (it is not a .38) is a decent concealed carry weapon. They tend to be far more accurate than they "should" be. The .380 ACP cartridge is a very inherently accurate cartridge. It gets fired through some very inaccurate guns but the Bersa Thunderer is NOT an inaccurate gun.

If you are looking for a plinking gun, pick a larger .22 like the Browning Buckmark or Smith and Wesson 22A.

If you are looking for a home defense handgun that you can also "plink" with, go with a decent 9mm from EAA, Taurus or a used one like a S&W 5906/5904.

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Old 01-02-2009, 01:48 PM   #3
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First off, Welcome to the Forum.

You seem to want to fill two slots with one weapon, and I am afraid in this case, there isn't a "cheap" and easy solution.

For general plinking, and getting to a point of familiar and comfortable with a handgun, a .22 is a great choice. They are fun, they are cheap to shoot, and you don't have to worry about a big thundering boom everytime you pull the trigger.

Anyone I teach to shoot, starting out, we always start with a .22

For a defense purpose the .22 is a horrible choice. It could drop someone if you hit them right in the eye, but you could also be killed by a jet engine dropping off an overhead plane. It's just not very likely to happen.

The .380 is a nice little gun. I agree with Robo that the weapon and the ammo are pretty accurate right out of the box. They aren't expensive and the ammo won't break you, so you can practice with it.

That said, I don't like the .380 as anything more than a back up piece to my standard sidearm. It just lacks the ability to stop a man sized attacker should the need ever arise. It's just not powerful enough, in my opinion, to do the job you would be asking of it.

One thought is that you could get a 1911 in a caliber you might be comfortable with, like 9mm, and then get a .22 caliber conversion for it so you can practice and train with cheap ammo. But, you will be looking at more expense than the weapons you are currently interested in.

Best of Luck -

JD

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Old 01-02-2009, 04:16 PM   #4
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Get a 1911 chambered in 9mm and buy a .22 LR conversion slide. That gives you the best of both worlds, cheap plinking and serious self defense.

http://www.kimberamerica.com/pistols/custom/stainless_II/164/
http://www.kimberamerica.com/shop/product.php?xProd=157&xSec=19

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Old 01-02-2009, 05:19 PM   #5
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First off, let me say that my budget for this first gun is set around $300 MAX.

Robocop, good information. That makes me ONLY want to get the Bersa 380. Any idea of the difference in volume? This doesn't matter TOO much, but I'd rather not have something insanely loud while I practice. My mom's .44 Mag Snubnose is epic loud...

Dillinger, I'm pretty sure that I won't be aiming to kill someone trying to attack me. I'm pretty sure it would scare the piss out of them if I pulled the .22 out and fired, anyway. Since I've heard/read that the Bersa 380 is pretty damn accurate, I may very well just go with it. Again, my only concern now is the volume. Oh! I just remembered to ask, what kind of prices do the 380 bullets cost?

Matt G, man, that's alot of money!

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Old 01-02-2009, 05:44 PM   #6
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Let me put in my own .02 worth. Dillinger is almost ALWAYS right, so naturally I get a kick out of the rare opportunity of being able to clarify or 1 upping him LOL!!! Of course you by ALL MEANS need to start out with a .22LR. The .22 is best by far of all to start out on. Cost of ammo, lack of recoil, allow you to practice and learn proper grip, trigger control, and sight alignment. Once you have mastered the basics of good shooting form, only then will you be fully prepared to move up in size and realize your potentional with an larger gun. Choose a somewhat larger .22 than a tiny pocket pistol. Some of the best include Ruger mk2/mk3, Browning Buckmark, and others. They will be EXTREMELY accurate, and about the most fun guns to shoot. It IS very possible to kill a human with a .22-it's happened THOUSANDS of times. Does that mean it's a good defensive weapon?-OF COURSE NOT! Let me explain-while you could easily shoot someone fatally with an underpowered cartridge as .22, the KEY word is stopping them. In other words, they MAY be shot fatally (usually not), but nobody will bother to inform them of it. That means they MAY take quite a bit of time to expire, and god only knows what they're capable of in the meantime until they DO finally drop. They are only halted in ALL further acts of agression when stopped/dropped immediately. That's the difference between killing power, and stopping power. Just about any gun may kill, but what we NEED when defending ourselves, is stopping power. Stopping power is best measured by how fast 1 shot will stop somebody from being able to perform ANY further acts of agression. Naturally I'm not going to cease the timeless discussion of which bullet style/weight, caliber, velocity is BEST for ALL defensive situations, as they do change. I will tell you that my personal carry guns shoot about the biggest darn bullet available for that size firearm. To me-that transulates to .45acp with 230 gr +P, or my .41 magnum. So get a good shooting regular size .22, learn to shoot it WELL, then move up to a defensive gun later after you're a decent shot. If you try to start out with a full power good defense gun, you'll never be quite as good a shot due to recoil, ammo cost, and the increased noise level. ALWAYS wear hearing protection when shooting ANY firearm-even a .22.

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Old 01-02-2009, 06:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iam99x View Post
Matt G, man, that's alot of money!
It's just your life, why not try to save a buck. Also, a quality piece is an investment and if taken care of will be around for generations.

Have you looked at High Points? You can pick up one of their 9mm pistols for about $150. I bought my wife one of their .380s as a trainer gun. It's been nothing but reliable, never a fail to feed, fire or extract. They carry a lifetime warranty too, so if you do ever have problems with it, it gets fixed for free.

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Originally Posted by stalkingbear View Post
Let me put in my own .02 worth. Dillinger is almost ALWAYS right, so naturally I get a kick out of the rare opportunity of being able to clarify or 1 upping him LOL!!! Of course you by ALL MEANS need to start out with a .22LR. The .22 is best by far of all to start out on. Cost of ammo, lack of recoil, allow you to practice and learn proper grip, trigger control, and sight alignment. Once you have mastered the basics of good shooting form, only then will you be fully prepared to move up in size and realize your potentional with an larger gun. Choose a somewhat larger .22 than a tiny pocket pistol. Some of the best include Ruger mk2/mk3, Browning Buckmark, and others. They will be EXTREMELY accurate, and about the most fun guns to shoot. It IS very possible to kill a human with a .22-it's happened THOUSANDS of times. Does that mean it's a good defensive weapon?-OF COURSE NOT! Let me explain-while you could easily shoot someone fatally with an underpowered cartridge as .22, the KEY word is stopping them. In other words, they MAY be shot fatally (usually not), but nobody will bother to inform them of it. That means they MAY take quite a bit of time to expire, and god only knows what they're capable of in the meantime until they DO finally drop. They are only halted in ALL further acts of agression when stopped/dropped immediately. That's the difference between killing power, and stopping power. Just about any gun may kill, but what we NEED when defending ourselves, is stopping power. Stopping power is best measured by how fast 1 shot will stop somebody from being able to perform ANY further acts of agression. Naturally I'm not going to cease the timeless discussion of which bullet style/weight, caliber, velocity is BEST for ALL defensive situations, as they do change. I will tell you that my personal carry guns shoot about the biggest darn bullet available for that size firearm. To me-that transulates to .45acp with 230 gr +P, or my .41 magnum. So get a good shooting regular size .22, learn to shoot it WELL, then move up to a defensive gun later after you're a decent shot. If you try to start out with a full power good defense gun, you'll never be quite as good a shot due to recoil, ammo cost, and the increased noise level. ALWAYS wear hearing protection when shooting ANY firearm-even a .22.
QFT. This helps explain my reasoning for the 1911 and conversion slide. I recommend the 9mm, only because you didn't state your level of experience in the first post. The .45 ACP 1911 slinging 230 gr. Hydrashocks is my choice.

RIP little buddy.

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Old 01-02-2009, 06:05 PM   #8
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Let me put in my own .02 worth. Dillinger is almost ALWAYS right, so naturally I get a kick out of the rare opportunity of being able to clarify or 1 upping him LOL!!!
Dammit - I forgot to clarify my response. Kudos sir, well played.

JD
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Old 01-02-2009, 06:09 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Iam99x View Post
Dillinger, I'm pretty sure that I won't be aiming to kill someone trying to attack me. I'm pretty sure it would scare the piss out of them if I pulled the .22 out and fired, anyway. Since I've heard/read that the Bersa 380 is pretty damn accurate, I may very well just go with it. !
I am pretty sure most of the guys on this board are going to be in agreement on what I am about to tell you.

The purpose of a firearm is NOT to be pulled out and scare someone off. When it comes time to pull a firearm, hoping the sight of your weapon to stop a violent act, is not going to be the reason.

When it comes time to draw your weapon, it is time to be prepared to fire your weapon. Period. If you are going to fire your weapon, you need to have a round that will end the threat. Rounds are target is what matters - not the sight of your shiny chrome plated death magnum.

Nobody on here wants to pull their weapon and take a life - but several of us here are prepared to do so IF the need ever arises.

JD
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Old 01-02-2009, 06:23 PM   #10
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I realize this won't make me popular to you, BUT if you have justification to use deadly force-you better damn well shoot to stop somebody. The BEST way of stopping somebody is by using deadly force IF justified. IF you're NOT justified in using deadly force, you better not have it out in the 1st place. The ONLY time you would be justified is drawing/firing your weapon is if somebody is attacking you, or about to attack you with weapon in sight. If you DO fire just to scare them, you'll likely be killed and/or it being taken away from you. See what I'm saying? ONLY draw/use weapon when CLEARLY justified, and then use deadly force. If you're not ready to defend you and yours, to the level of deadly force if neccesary, don't have a gun. TRUST ME-if someone has a weapon, and is willing to use it, they're NOT going to be scared away-if anything, it'll scare them into shooting you before they are shot. Therefore, if you're going to use a firearm only to shoot & scare somebody away, it'll get you shot/stabbed even quicker.





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Dillinger, I'm pretty sure that I won't be aiming to kill someone trying to attack me. I'm pretty sure it would scare the piss out of them if I pulled the .22 out and fired, anyway.
!
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