Looking to purchase my first handgun.

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by Old_sweetpea, Jun 26, 2010.

  1. Old_sweetpea

    Old_sweetpea New Member

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    I've recently become interested in acquiring a handgun and I've got a few questions about where good deals can be had. I've read that people have found guns at pawn shops for as little as $20 before and I'm telling you folks, that's right around my price range. A friend told me that if I have an idea of what mode, brand, etc. that I'm wanting I should just save up and get what I'm really after. I have experience with firing guns, but have little experience with cleaning and maintaining them, so any suggestion on what I should look for in my first time purchase would be appreciated as well.

    Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from anyone on this matter.:D
     
  2. General_lee

    General_lee New Member

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    Thank you for your post.
    Before I give my two cents, please go to the introductions section and tell us a little about yourself.
    First of all, I would be VERY suspicious about a $20 gun.
    If you want a good, reliable gun, you will pay at least $300 for a new gun, maybe slightly less for a used one.
    Are you looking for a semi-automatic, or a revolver? Any particular caliber?
    We want to help you decide what's right for you but, we need to know a rough idea of what you're looking for.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2010

  3. Old_sweetpea

    Old_sweetpea New Member

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    I'm definitely going to be looking for quality in a fire arm, after all it could possibly save my life one day. I'd just been doing some google searches and came across another forums site where a member had claimed to have purchased $20 and $40 guns and that he'd had them for several years, having no trouble with them.
    When it comes to preference, I've fired both revolvers and semi-auto pistols, but haven't had prolonged use with either. I've fired weapons of friends such as a .38 special and my brother's jennings .22 semi-auto (which jammed constantly) and as far as rifles go I've shot some .22's and an ak.. I've always liked the classic look of revolvers but recently saw a Colt 1911 and thought it looked pretty impressive. I've read for concealed carry, that I should look for a pistol I can easily operate with either hand, fits good in my hand, and I can fire accurately. I live in a smaller town, the closest gun shop is a few towns over, and I've heard they're pricey over there. I know I'll want to fire it before I purchase it. Revolver is more my style I think though. Sorry if I rambled. Thanks for reply and look forward to more.
     
  4. sweeper22

    sweeper22 New Member

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    Entry level for most higher quality handguns is typically near $300. Pawn shops can be great sources, so long as you know your way around the piece in question. If you like shooting and want to actively shoot your gun, plan on spending $400+. If you learn a bit about the guns and forecast your own needs, it's easy enough to whittle it down.

    Figure out what you want first:

    1) Revolver/Semi-auto
    2) Steel/Polymer
    3) Full frame/Compact
    4) Caliber choice (9mm, 40sw, 45acp, & 357mag are far and away the most practical options)

    This is just my opinion, but I feel pretty strongly about it: among the four options listed above, there are no wrong answers! Personally, I think 9mm is the ideal launching point for first time owner/shooter. It's a an adequate defense round and reasonably cheap to practice with. Others could make a great case for 357m/38sp. 40sw and 45acp will also work just fine for some. So figure out what you want, and invest enough time (and money) that you end up with a gun worth keeping.
     
  5. Old_sweetpea

    Old_sweetpea New Member

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    What about buying from swap meets and such? Is that illegal or what?
     
  6. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    no, but it is definately buyer beware. guns bought like that can be stolen, used in a crime, or broken. the first two can be confiscated by law enforcement the last can cost more repairing than the thing is worth new. when i buy at gunshows or pawn shops or from private sale i never spend money i can afford to lose if something isnt a square deal. for someone not familiar with firearms i recommend new purchase. its just a lot safer if its a first gun, especially if there isnt a lot of discretionary money. sometimes its better to save a little longer and avoid the risks till more experience is gained

    just my two primers worth
     
  7. Dizzll

    Dizzll New Member

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    $20 guns.. LMAO. I smell a troll... BUT, if you are serious then get serious. I wouldn't buy a shotgun for $20. Read up on all the posts here. There are very knowledgable people on here. No matter what gun you choose, quality is important. Look to spend 300 or more for a handgun my friend...
     
  8. Old_sweetpea

    Old_sweetpea New Member

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    Quality and overall satisfaction with my purchase is what I'm after. I don't want to end up spending the money and going home with a gun I'm not completely happy with. I know that I want a grip that doesn't feel small in my hands for sure, the .38 special of my friend's just felt small and I didn't feel comfortable with it.
     
  9. skullcrusher

    skullcrusher New Member

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    Just because your friend's .38 spcl felt small to you does not mean all .38s will. As far as someone claiming they have found great guns for 20 or 40 bucks, then I bet you can as well. :rolleyes:

    This smacks of TROLL all the way around. Good luck with your search, and you can bet the best info you can find is on the interwebz.
     
  10. dunerunner

    dunerunner New Member

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    Go to a gun store that has a rental range. Don't know if they have those in Indiana, but it will give you the opportunity to fire several handguns and determine which fits you best.

    Then save your money and buy a new weapon or a used handgun from a reputable shop.

    You will spend all of $300, perhaps more. By all means, get some formal weapons training if you're this unfamiliar with handguns before you hurt yourself or someone else.
     
  11. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    If you want to go with a revolver, I'd recommend planning on a .357. It is by far the most flexible caliber... revolver or semi-auto. You can shoot cheap .38's for practice and plinking, and carry .357 or .38+P.

    For semi auto, I'm partial to the .40 myself, but I'll eventually pick up a 9mm. The cost of shooting 9 is about as inexpensive as you can get this side of .22.
     
  12. skullcrusher

    skullcrusher New Member

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    But, but, those $20 guns that guy on another forum got are working just fine for him. Why should I spend more than that?
     
  13. dunerunner

    dunerunner New Member

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    Skully........Now I have snot to clean off the keyboard!!


    Damn, you couldn't find a BB gun for $20!! :D
     
  14. Old_sweetpea

    Old_sweetpea New Member

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    There's Don's Guns,"I don't wanna make any money, I just love to sell guns!" I know that they have indoor ranges where you can fire any of their firearms for a rental fee. But, that's in Indianapolis. I'm definitely going to need some "training" in cleaning and maintaining the firearm once I have it. Like I've said, I've shot other people's guns before, know how to shoot, just don't have any experience with buying, cleaning, all that shiz. Who wants to chance their weapon malfunctioning on them when they may need it most? Who would offer safety courses and such? The Police? Conservation clubs?
     
  15. Pat-inCO

    Pat-inCO New Member

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    Yea, right.

    I'll bet you can find guns for $20, if the guy just finished his tenth armed robbery with it, having left shell casings and spent slugs at each robbery location, after he acquired the gun by theft. - - The other alternative is to find a time machine so you can go back about one hundred years.



    You still - have not - indicated what type of gun you want. Some options are:

    1) Rifle, shotgun or handgun
    For rifle:
    2) Bolt action, lever action or semi-auto.
    For handgun:
    2) Revolver, single shot (Thompson Center) or semi-auto.
    For shotgun:
    2) Semi-auto, pump, double barrel, or single shot

    What is your intended use? Punching holes in paper, breaking clay targets, punching holes in aluminum cans, or what?

    As mentioned above, sounds like a troll.
     
  16. JoeB1987

    JoeB1987 New Member

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    But but... Is everything you read on the internet true? I understand you could probably buy one for $20 of a crackhead on the corner, but that's as close as you'd get.

    My advice, try many different handguns first to get a feel for the correct caliber for your needs and price restraints. Remember you'll need to run 300-500 rounds in it before being 'familiar' with it. Try using friends or renting from the range.

    Also, forget anything that takes a 22LR or 22MAG round, you'll just piss the attacker off.

    Can't think of anything else right now...
     
  17. skullcrusher

    skullcrusher New Member

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    Another big time troll question. Face to face sales of guns are legal as long as they are in the same state as your residence. *DISCLAIMER* Know your state laws as they vary. If you don't like your state laws, then that is what the voting process is for.

    Look, sweetpea, there is a ton and a half of information to be had on this site that is offered by those in the know. Heed the advice or not, it is up to you.

    Personally, the last swap meet I went to, I could not find the MG40 I was looking for. :rolleyes:
     
  18. Old_sweetpea

    Old_sweetpea New Member

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    A few of my posts ago I had said that I like the idea of a revolver because it's like a classic, and at the end of that post I'd said I think I'm more of a revolver guy. The title of this thread is looking to purchase my first handgun. Therefore I'm probably looking to get a handgun. Intended use ranges from self defense to target practice.
     
  19. Old_sweetpea

    Old_sweetpea New Member

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    I could get a gun of a crack head no problem I'm sure, but I feel like I should go about this the right way, by that I mean the legal way.
     
  20. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    Search the pawn shops and local gun forums. Brands to avoid are:

    Jennings, Bryco, Lorcin, RG, and any other "Saturday night special". Be prepared to spend at least $200 for any reasonable quality used gun...