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Old 01-21-2011, 03:20 PM   #11
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If you go the route of a revolver, you can jump right into the most versatile chambering made, the .357 magnum. With a .357, you can shoot light and inexpensive .38 rounds for practice and plinking, and then load one of the most proven man-stoppers for self defense or .38+P for in between power.

Keep in mind there is more felt recoil with a revolver as compared to a semi automatic. And although the revolver is simpler in some aspects, I found the double action trigger on a revolvers is more difficult to master most semi auto triggers.

By the way, what do you want this new gun for? Is this going to be a self defense weapon?

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Old 01-21-2011, 03:22 PM   #12
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Add something to the budget for handgun class.
What is your intended use for said gun?
Assuming HD/range/misc: CZ75B and the Kadet .22 Adapter kit for it. Good reliable & accurate platform. With a bit of luck and good shopping skills, you should be able to bring the total in near your price cap. You get 2 very good guns this way.
Then practice, practice, practice.

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Old 01-21-2011, 03:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo da Plumbr View Post
For simple and reliable look at revolvers.

Best bet is to go to a range that rents and try different kinds. Only you can decide what works best for you.
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Originally Posted by danf_fl View Post
+1 on a revolver as the first.
It may not be fancy, may hold only so many bullets (that maybe a good thing), some say it is out of date, but you can't beat it.

Learn the basics with the revolver, then transition to the semi-auto.
I am very new to guns but I recommend a revolver as a first gun, too. They don't jam and when you open the cylinder to see if it's empty, there is no 'forgotten' round in the chamber (excuse me if I'm not using the right terminology). I agree that a pistol probably makes a better self defense weapon but if I were a 'bad guy', I wouldn't laugh at a .357 pointed at me, either. I suggest starting with a revolver then eventually get a semi-auto pistol as your second gun........because you're going to want more guns eventually.
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Old 01-21-2011, 04:25 PM   #14
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The folks that will steer you toward a 22lr or .357 revolver have valid points. I currently have neither. At some point I will (because their advice is in fact very sound), but for now I only have auto-loading centerfire pistols. I don't possess a 1911 yet either, but that'll change at some point too.

Since you're posting this in the semi-auto forum and seem to be pointing toward a centerfire, all I can tell you is what works for me. Probably this will point you in a positive direction, but that's hardly a certainty. I've found the following pistols to be great fits for me, and generally good values:

1) CZ- Almost any model that is even loosely affiliated with the '75' series. Outstanding value. Based on my limited experience CZ is about the best bang for your buck out there.
2) Sig Sauer 220/226/229- Great guns. But shop around, as it's easy to overpay for these models. There are some great deals to be had in the used market.
3)Springfield XD- Just pick the caliber and frame that fit you. While I have little personal experience, observations imply the S&W M&P line warrants similar endorsement.

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Old 01-21-2011, 04:36 PM   #15
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Here's a vintage S&W wheel gun in 357 Mag. A great starter gun.

S&W Smith & Wesson 357 model 19 : Revolvers at GunBroker.com

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Old 01-21-2011, 06:50 PM   #16
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As lucky stated, go out to a range with gun rentals (if you have one nearby) and try out some guns. The only real way to find a good gun is to shoot it yourself.

If don't have a range with rentals, then find a friend who goes out to the range frequently. He probably knows alot of people willing to go out with you and they'll happily let you shoot their handguns.

and if you can't do that, go to your local gun dealer and hold each and every handgun they have. Dry fire the handguns if the dealer allows it so you can get a feel for the trigger pull. Work all the mechanisms on the gun, play with it, see if you like the way it works overall, many guns have many different features on them. Talk to the Dealer, if he is unbiased, he'll usually find what might be best for you.

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Old 01-21-2011, 07:15 PM   #17
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I love my XD45, my CZ75b, and my Ruger GP100 .357mag revolver. My first pistol was a .22 semi-auto similar to the Ruger Mark something.

Personally, i would AT LEAST rent a .357/.38 revolver and a CZ75b or XD series semi-auto.

If your state limits capacity, a smaller semi-auto might offer some advantages if concealed carry is a probability.

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