First Time Buyer

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by tylerd, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. tylerd

    tylerd New Member

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    Hello all,

    My name is Tyler. I am a junior in college, and will be turning 21 in December. I am starting to research which handgun I will be purchasing soon after my birthday.

    Please note, I am not new to shooting. I have shot sporting clay competitively since I was 14. I have also passed a few handgun safety courses, and have spent time at the range. Unfortunately, it was always with a rented gun, or when I've gone with a buddy. So, I am unsure as to where to start on finding the right handgun for me.

    I intend to get very very familiar with the handgun before I begin applying for CCW permits, but I do plan on concealed carrying eventually, so this is a factor in my decision.

    Any other advice on where to start for a beginner? I am honestly starting fresh, even though I do have some experience. Thank you all for your help. I appreciate it.
     
  2. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    best suggestion, start hitting the gun stores and pawn shops and trying some out until you find one that fits your hand the best.
     

  3. oscargabriel911

    oscargabriel911 New Member

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    Glock 19 gen 3 or 4 great starter,range and self d...cant go wrong
     
  4. jimogden1984

    jimogden1984 New Member

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    Don't get something so big its not easy and convenient to carry. compact or subcompact, you might not mind a full size but a smaller gun that's on you is better than a larger gun left at home. Pocket carry is probably the easiest way to conceal but it does limit your options. You may not want something that looks like a brick on your hip. a good holster is key, iwb works pretty well for me but I carry owb.
     
  5. Doc3402

    Doc3402 New Member

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    I always suggest a good quality revolver for first time hand gunners. In your case, even with your prior long gun experience, that doesn't change. I would suggest either a S&W or a Ruger.
     
  6. gr8oldguy

    gr8oldguy New Member

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    Get a nice revolver with a 4" in 38 or 357. It will be a gun you can keep forever and it's a good one to start with. Welcome to the forum and good luck.
     
  7. vincent

    vincent New Member

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    ^^^This^^^ is great advice. If I had it to do all over again, I'd have started with a SA/DA wheelgun.

    Very simple to operate and maintain...

    If you can get proficient at shooting in DA, the transition to a semi-auto will be much easier...

    Rugers are high quality, S+W, Colt ($$$;)) are great, as well as several other manufacturers...

    Carrying concealed is admittedly easier with a semi-auto but lots of folks carry revolvers (me included) with no problems...

    If I were to recommend a specific caliber, it would be something chambered in .357. That will allow you to shoot .38 at first, then work your way up to .357...

    Keep in mind, you can shoot .38's through a .357 but you can't shoot .357's through a .38...:cool:
     
  8. TheSadPanda

    TheSadPanda New Member

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    Same. If I could do it again, I would get the revolver first. Find one that is comfortable to hold and aim. Your hand size will affect what guns you'll like. I personally dont hold large grip or glocks very well. There's nothing wrong with those guns, but they dont work for me. You need to find out what works for you and what you're willing to spend. More money is more options. Decide on a caliber and use for the gun. Trust me, the more research you put into your purchase, the happier you will be with it.
     
  9. orangello

    orangello New Member

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    Good advice in this thread! "Try on" as many different pistols as you can to find one that is comfortable and not so large as to be impossible to conceal.

    I do love my Ruger GP-100 revolver and would think it would make a great first handgun. The .38's are soft-shooting for target work, and the .357mags provide a bit more kick when desired or needed.

    I have also found the Bersa pistols to be a great "bang for the buck". I enjoyed the Bersa Thunder 380 I owned, and it would be great for concealed carry (not big) if you like the .380acp round. My Bersa Thunder 9UCP has a bit more punch but is bigger and not as good looking as the smaller Bersa.
     
  10. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    i have to agree as well that a revolver is a good pistol to learn and hone your skills on. the 357 Mag. would be a good choice as you can shoot the lower powered 38 Spl. loads for practice, and many times they are much cheaper to shoot as well. as your skill level goes up, then move to higher powered Magnum loads.

    a good revolver, like a S7W or Ruger will serve you well for many, many years. even a good revolver in a 22lr or 22 Mag. would be a good option to try out.
     
  11. vincent

    vincent New Member

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    What the hell is a S7W? :D :p

    Must be some new fangled gun on the market huh? :p (Axxe's keyboard runs afoul...;) )

    Seriously, a .22 revolver is the cat's pajamas and that is a GREAT suggestion...lots of fun and inexpensive to shoot...(if you can find .22 :mad:)
     
  12. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    thanks Vincent! Correction: S&W!!!!!!!:D
     
  13. vincent

    vincent New Member

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    Stupid shift key!!! :D
     
  14. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    yeah, yeah! my brain was working faster than my fingers that time!:p
     
  15. txpossum

    txpossum New Member

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    Okay. Nobody ever listens to me when I give this advice, but I'm going to say it again: buy a quality .22, like a Ruger Single Six if you like revolvers, or a Ruger MK I, II, or III if you like autos. It takes a considerable amount of practice to become proficient with a handgun (I'm talking at least a couple of thousand rounds, usually more like four or five) and unless you are independently wealthy, the only way you can afford the practice is by getting a .22. Furthermore, a good .22 will be a joy to shoot forever.
     
  16. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    Possum,did you say something?:eek: JK!!!!:D

    i can agree with the 22 being a good beginners pistol for learning and way much cheaper to shoot and learn with.

    i started out on 22's when i was a youngster learning from my father. just got back into owning and shooting 22's again a couple of years ago. 22's are not just for youngsters by any means. i enjoy shooting my Ruger Mk III and my Marlin 60.
     
  17. therukh

    therukh New Member

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    I'd find an NRA instructor in the area and ask who has various types of revolvers & pistols that you could try. I would also find a gun shop/range that rents various types and try them all. Get to know which feels good in your hand, which one shoots the best for you and which one you "like." Visit some local USPSA or IDPA matches and watch the guys shoot. It is easy to pick out the guys who are experienced and others talk to for advice. Talk to them! You may buy a handgun that you will end up not wanting to carry, but you will learn. People carry all kinds of handguns for all kinds of reasons but you need to build up some experience of your own before making the plunge. Try many before buying one. You may end up with several that you'll carry. I carry different types in different situations; deep cover, light cover, summer, winter, formal attire, casual, etc., etc. You will find one for you. It may not be the first one, but you will find one!
     
  18. JW357

    JW357 New Member

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    OP, welcome to the forum. If you plan on sticking around, please make your way over to the Introduction section and tell us a bit about yourself.

    I agree. When someone recommends a specific handgun for a new shooter, in my opinion it is the most arrogant (or maybe ignorant) thing you can do. Don't get a Glock 19 or an M&P or anything else unless it fits your hand well and you shoot it well.

    The first step is to go to as many gun store (or pawn shops) as you can and ask to hold everything that strikes your fancy. Let them know you're in the market but want to find what fits your hand best first, so you won't be buying immediately. If you're upfront with them about that, you shouldn't have any problems. So pick a couple that fit your hand well and see if you can rent the same models. Then find the one you enjoy shooting the most and that you shoot the best. And buy that one.


    Now, all that being said, I have to agree that the revolver suggestion is a good one. You can change revolver grips easily, so one fitting your hand isn't as big of a concern. In my opinion, S&W or Ruger revolvers can't be beat for new shooters. I enjoy mine more than my semi-autos, and I'm not a brand-new handgunner.

    Regarding the suggestion about a 22. I love shooting 22s, and I understand the reason behind suggesting it. But if you're hoping to "get it right" on the first try (HA, good luck), then you probably won't want a 22 for carry purposes.

    If you can afford more than one, then one should definitely be a decent 22 of some sort. Bear in mind many semi-autos nowadays have "trainer" guns, which are the same size and usually controls as the full caliber models, but are chambered in .22 LR. An example of this off the top of my head, which people seem to like, is the M&P22.

    Good luck.
     
  19. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    I heard you fine. You said "Blah blah blah, 22, blah blah blah." I completely agree. :D

    The one thing we all pretty agree to on here is everyone needs a 22, or two, or three.

    Beyond that, try the videos in this thread:
    http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f14/choosing-handgun-mike-seeklander-58208/
     
  20. tylerd

    tylerd New Member

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    Everyone,

    Thank you for the advice! I appreciate the help. I will definitely go and talk to a knowledgeable gun store and just keep trying everything until I find something comfortable.

    I'm honestly not that interested in revolvers. I have access to a S&W .357 that I've shot a few times. It's definitely a fun gun to shoot, and I will make sure I take it to the range a few more times before I buy anything, but it's not something I was set on spending a lot of money on. But it never hurts to try it again before I buy anything.

    What are your opinions on a .22 conversion kit? My buddy has one for his Kimber. As a college student, a .22 is definitely a good budget conscious idea! But I want a more powerful caliber, as this will likely be the only handgun I purchase until I'm settled into my own home and career. I already put too much money into my shotguns and my jeep! A .22 conversion kit might be a nice compromise that will definitely help my training and my wallet, but allow me to buy a gun I can continue to grow into.

    Thanks again everyone. I appreciate all the advice.