First Gun

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by Big_Ben, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. Big_Ben

    Big_Ben New Member

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    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?
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2010
  2. orangello

    orangello New Member

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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?
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2010

  3. Missileman

    Missileman New Member

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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...
     
  4. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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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.
     
  5. Big_Ben

    Big_Ben New Member

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    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.

    I defiantly want to avoid doing that.

    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.

    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.

    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.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2010
  6. ta1588

    ta1588 New Member

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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.
     
  7. Big_Ben

    Big_Ben New Member

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    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.

    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.
     
  8. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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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! :D

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

    diggsbakes New Member

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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. ;)
     
  10. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    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.
     
  11. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    Well... getting a .22 first will give him more time to figure out if he's going to join the 9mm gang, the .40 clan, or the .45 mafia.

    God forbid that he chooses to become a 10.
     
  12. Big_Ben

    Big_Ben New Member

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    Alright y'all, consider me convinced that I need to get a .22 rifle. Now I just need to decide what kind. I looked into the Ruger 10/22 and the Remington 597 and called Academy and Walmart and the prices are pretty good. The local gun stores are closed for the day, but I'll call them tomorrow and check with them because I'd rather support them if their prices are the same (or especially if they're lower!). I'll also ask the gun stores, Academy and Walmart about the Marlin Model 60.

    Right now I'm poking around on the internet trying to figure out what kind of reliability issues I would get from each one. This is kinda hard since people have different experiences and opinions, but I am finding some commonalities. The consensus seems to be that there is more of an after-market market (is that redundant?) for the 10/22 than either the Marlin or the Remington. Some also said that the Remington would be better out of the box than the 10/22. I also read that the Remingtons had some sort of issue with the magazine, but that it had been fixed in the new ones. Also, I saw that the 10/22s need at least 200-300 rounds through them before they are reliable. This is all a lot to consider. On top of this, I don't know anything about the Marlin Model 60 except that some say it's junk and some say it's more accurate out of the box than a 10/22.

    It is difficult to wade through all the different opinions. I don't think I'll be interested in a ton of customization with this first gun, so I'm leaning away from the 10/22. I just don't know if I should go with the Remington or the Ruger (or maybe the 10/22 if I'm missing something). I just don't want to buy something that jams every two rounds if it's even slightly dirty.

    And all this is only for the semi-autos. Missileman suggested looking into bolt actions, and I don't even know where to begin with those. To him or anyone else who knows: Wwhy do you suggest the bolt action? Because of the simplicity or what?

    I know I just wrote a book, and I'm sorry, but I want to avoid buying something I'll regret. Thanks again to all of you.
     
  13. Gojubrian

    Gojubrian New Member

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    Your post already stated what I was going to say. I chose the Remington 597 and have not looked back. It is reliable and accurate far beyond my expectations. I'm still planning on getting a volquartzen hammer and extractor for it to make it more accurate.

    I had a marlin 60 for a long time as well. Very nice and accurate guns, I just don't like the tube feed. :)
     
  14. zhuk

    zhuk New Member

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    hello Big Ben, welcome to the forum.

    I commend you on trying to amass all possible info before purchasing; and you seem very happy to take advice and listen up - which is great because there is a true storehouse of knowledge and experience among the members here :)

    You say you're looking to get into target shooting - this may well be why Missileman suggested bolt actions; they are simple to operate, uncomplicated (no gas systems to worry about) and less moving parts in operation means they are more accurate than semi autos. Why sniper rifles tend to be bolt action.

    Semis, I can have no possible knowledge of :D but have read many positive remarks about the 10/22. I know you said you weren't interested in customisation...but once you get into shooting more the bug may well bite! Of course, you can go completely tac-ed out heh:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2010
  15. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    The Ruger, Remington, and Marlin are all excellent and well proven rifles. I would not be dissuaded by any of them at all. Probably the best option is to find the rifles and put your hands on them and see which feels "best" in your hands.

    Now if you do have a little more budget... ok, something that can be stretched to around $500... go put your hands on a Smith & Wesson M&P AR15-22. You'll will be ruined for anything less. heh-heh-heh :cool:

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4WI_IrPDMc]YouTube - Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22[/ame]
     
  16. ta1588

    ta1588 New Member

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    IMO the AR-22's and the tac-ed out 22's are really cool but a bit much... for a few bucks more you could have an ACTUAL tactical rifle (AK-47 with some toys?). I also am not a big Fan of the fixed tube mag on the marlin. In the end it's all up to you :)
     
  17. Missileman

    Missileman New Member

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    My bolt action recommendation was mostly from a safety/new shooter standpoint. With a bolt you must take positive action to reload following a shot--with a semi-auto it is ready to fire immediately, and I've seen too many new shooters forget that they have a live round in the chamber, accidentily fire, and/or lose muzzle control. That's why I never recommend a semi-auto as the first weapon, regardless of caliber, purpose, etc. You are young and have plenty of time to add a semi-auto to your arsenal later on once you are super safe and sufficient proficient. Just an old NRA coach's opinion...
     
  18. ninjatoth

    ninjatoth New Member

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    My Ruger Single Six is a pretty easy target shooter,and it comes with both .22LR and .22 Magnum cylinders.It's reliable and easy to operate,and although a .22 LR isn't good for home defense,the .22 magnum cylinder will have some potential for home defense if it's all you got.
     
  19. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    Total cost, well you can pick up a decent pump shotgun for a few hundred dollars, less if you don't mind a used one. I picked up a Mossberg 500 with some cosmetic challenges for $100 back in college; it is still working just fine. I'm sure you could find a decent Mossberg 500 in the $250 range Gander MountainĀ® > Mossberg 12 Ga/28 Blue Barrel w/Accu Choke Set & Wood Stock . I picked up a shorter barrel (18.5") for easier hallway maneuvering & faster shot spread in the home defense role, for about $85 at a gun show. If i want to go dove hunting, deer hunting in brushy areas, or shooting at the clay pigeons, all i have to do is swap barrels. I do have a pistol or two, but the shotty is closer to my pillow than my snooze button, just in case. Target ammo is cheap & easy for you to buy.

    I learned to shoot on a bolt action .22 rifle. I still have a marlin 60 at one of my nephew's homes; i found it a bit ammo picky but darn accurate. A .22 rifle will teach you how to aim & handle a rifle and will allow for some very inexpensive target shooting. A few of my buddies have 10/22's & seem very happy with them. For home defense, they would be better than nothing certainly; if you crank off three or four rounds from a high capacity .22 rifle, i would think most people would be leaving any thoughts of aggression behind as they run for safety.

    If your primary desire is target shooting, go for a .22 rifle; if you think home defense may be more important, go for the shotty; if you don't mind buying used, get a friend or family member more familiar with evaluating the condition of firearms to help you pick out a used .22 rifle & a used pump shotgun. The economy has been tough lately, and some people are getting rid of firearms they can live without, perhaps a .22 rifle they have "outgrown" or the old pump shotgun they haven't used in years. Good Luck!
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2010
  20. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    But then it costs 10x as much to shoot. :(