Newbie here with some questions :)

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by infiniteloop, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. infiniteloop

    infiniteloop New Member

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    So I am a complete newbie when it comes to firearms, but lately i have sparked an interest in firearms. Think it would be a fun hobby and skill to have. I've been doing a bunch of reading about what needs to be done, steps to take, things to consider, but still have some questions. I've kinda outlined what I've learned in regards to finding the right gun...

    1. Determine the reason to buy a firearm
    - Home/self defense, ccw, new activity, and use my second amendment of course!

    2. Research the models/calibers
    - Someone recommended starting with a .22 (Cheaper to practice)
    - Possibly get a conversion kit if wanting to go to a .45
    - Consider used for starter
    - Need to have ambidextrious safety (I'm a lefty)

    3. Before buying, take a safety class, and learn acuracy
    - Safety: http://www.nrahq.org/education/training/find.asp
    - Accuracy: i was told to search for The US Army Marksmanship Unit Manual

    4. Go to a local range and rent a variety of models/calibers to see what feels most comfortable
    - Located one in my area, check!

    5. Then consider buying.
    - Some brands I've seen mentioned are Beretta, Kimber, Springfield, S&W, Colt, Ruger, Marvel

    And now for some questions...

    Is it really recommended to start with a lower caliber? I was told that this is best because you'd be able to practice accuracy better since a .22 would have less feedback.

    Are conversion kits worth it? Say its best to start with a .22, but in the end I'd rather have a .45. Would it be better to buy each separately?

    I read that exposed hammers make the gun more reliable, true? I've been real interested in the 1911 because of its history to the USA, but read that glocks are more reliable?

    What do you recommend for a starting gun? .22? .45? specific model? It would be nice to keep it as inexpensive as possible, since I'd rather not spend a huge dollar on something that I've never done and am not completely sure if it's my thing. (when renting and testing guns I should be able to figure out if its in my interest though...)

    What do you think of these models, as far as quality, cost, worth its cost? These have either been suggested to me or I've seen mentioned a lot:
    Ruger .22 rimfire auto pistol 5 1/2"
    Marvel .22 top end conversion for 1911
    Wilson Combat CQB 1911 .45 w/ ambi. safety
    Kimber Compact II 1911 .45

    Hopefully my rambling post make some sense here, haha! Please point out anything you think I may be overlooking, or maybe some facts you wish you knew when you were a newbie like me. Thanks for any input you can give!

    Steve
     
  2. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Well, that is quite a post there.

    It would appear you have been given some good advice. Before you plan what you want to buy, you really do need to go to the range and rent a few guns. Only holding it and shooting it is going to tell you 1) If you like shooting, and 2) if that particular model is for you. Nobody on an internet forum board is going to know your hand size, your grip, what eye dominant you are, what kind of sights you are going to like and not like, etc. There are a lot of variables, so I would definitely go and rent the all day pass at the range, try as many guns as you think you can handle and see what you like...

    Now, as for a starting caliber - I start everyone I train on shooting with a .22 cal. Both for rifle and for pistol. Shooting is something that can be very intimidating to someone who has never done it before. You are holding the infamous "gun" for the first time, and when you pull the trigger, if the damn thing wants to jump out of your hands, or kicks so hard into your shoulder you can taste blood in your mouth, that really isn't going to be fun. :rolleyes:

    .22 are cheap, ammo is cheap, you can shoot them all day and you won't break the bank. To this day, I still warm up with one or two mags through my little reliable .22 before I unleash my 1911's at the range. It's a great way to see if you have "it" today or not. Believe, even after years of shooting, there are still going to be days when sh!t just isn't playing out right for you. Your mind is off, you didn't get the best sleep, whatever - and your groups are going to suck... LOL

    As for the 1911 vs. Glock and the whole "is it more reliable" arguement. Don't waste too much time with it because it's not an apples to apples comparison and really, there is no definite answer.

    A striker fired pistol, like a Glock or an XD, in theory has less moving parts therefor is more reliable. There is less that can "go wrong". They also have long trigger pulls, have trigger safeties and tons of other things that some people, me included, don't like...

    An external hammer pistol, like a 1911 or a revolver, has the supposed down side of "what if your coat get's caught on the hammer and you can't get it to engage?". Never seen it happen. Also the old "What if you drop it in the mud and it get's jammed up?" Punch that person in the face - you don't drop a weapon in the mud, and if you did, the 1911 would still run, as would the revolver. :rolleyes:

    A 1911 can be safely carried in Condition 1 ( a round in the chamber, hammer is back, safety is on - ready to rock ) because it has both internal and external safeties.

    I believe the new generation XD's have that feature as well, and they have gone to an external, frame mounted safety.

    A nice thing about a 1911 is that you can get a conversion kit and shoot both .45 and .22 out of the same gun. Then you are training with the same weapon you will be using, so therefor, you will be more familiar with the weapon and not breaking the bank on ammo.

    Plastic/Polymer guns are cheaper - hands down. A good 1911 is going to cost, probably, 1.5x to 2x what a polymer gun is going to cost.

    If cost is a factor, the 1911 is probably not for you...

    Most 1911's are single stacked magazines. That means they have a narrow grip.

    Most of the polymer offerings have a double stacked magazine, so they hold more ammo, but they have a wider grip.

    There are a couple of 1911's that now come with double stacked magazines. I personally never felt the need for one, but that is just me....

    Ambi safety is not a problem in either model. The Glock/XD styles are grip safety ( some ) and trigger safety ( all ). The 1911's are grip safety and you can get an ambi safety model.

    Kimber makes a great product and you can order from them, their own drop in .22 conversion kit to fit your gun, so you have one stop shopping.

    Personally? I have shot just about every handgun out there. I own (4) 1911's, two revolvers for special purpose use and a Sig that never sees the light of day anymore.

    What do you think I would suggest you look at? :rolleyes:

    JD
     

  3. BigO01

    BigO01 New Member

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    If you're an intelligent , honest person there is so much to consider in this comparison it is one that's completely impossible unless you restrict it to only those weapons made in the same years and by the finest of 1911 makers and magazines .

    The 1911 has been around for so long and manufactured by so many companies some under license from Colt and many not the quality control is all over the place .

    The 1911 has also lived through many improvements in metallurgy over the years , bullet design changes , and major changes in the mass production process and the basic elements and processes used to make various parts .

    Glock didn't live through the introduction of using less expensive casting from forged for the slide and frame , Colt and the 1911 did . Glock didn't live through the switch from using all metal components to plastics for the magazines like the floor plates , the 1911 did . Glocks standard magazines haven't gone through an industry inspired redesign of accepting more rounds as the 1911 did with going from a standard 7 to a more modern 8 or more the 1911 has .

    To put it mildly if it wasn't for the genius of John Browning and his 1911 and P-35 designs I doubt the Glock would be here today .
     
  4. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    +1 on that well thought out and historical post BigO - Those are some very good points. Very well stated.

    I personally don't think that John Browning was human - I think he was placed here by the All Father himself to advance the world of firearms.

    There are so many firearms that wouldn't EVEN EXIST today if it wasn't for the 100+ patents of the great John Browning.

    Every auto loading pistol in the world owes a tip of the their collective hat to John Browning.

    For me, there is one GodFather of Modern Firearms and that is John Moses Browning.

    JD
     
  5. infiniteloop

    infiniteloop New Member

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    Dillinger,

    Thank you for the response. Good to hear some of the advice I've been hearing is good!

    I bet you'd suggest I look at a 1911! :)

    I've never held a pistol before, but right now with everything you said, I think I am going to save up for a 1911. Even though they are the expensive range, I always think you pay for what you get.

    And also consider getting a .22 conversion kit. I'm looking at the sti .22 caliber conversion kit, listed for $350
    http://www.stiguns.com/Products/index.php?pid=182

    And the springfield armory .45
    http://www.springfield-armory.com/armory.php?version=3

    This is all before even shooting a .22 or .45 at a range.
     
  6. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Well, I would have to say that you really need to go and shoot a few pistols before you make any real "decision" on what you want to purchase.

    The .22 conversions you listed appear to have adjustable sights on them, which is a waste of money for a feature you are probably not going to use, to be honest. If you were a real, outdoor competitor, maybe, but for your average indoor range, shoot a couple of boxes on a Saturday type of shooter, you won't need them. Look for a conversion that is a little cheaper by finding one that is a drop in with regular sights. Just a thought.

    I will say this, jumping right into a 1911 in .45ACP without ever shooting is going to be like throwing the keys to your '67 Shelby Mustang big block to your 16 year old who just his license. We are talking about a lot gun, a lot of expense upfront for a really good one, in the hands of a brand new user. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as the user is willing to put in the work, do the right amount of practice and go at it with the mindset of learning all you can about the weapon and it's abilities.

    It's not a final solution for you, it's a key feature, but it will still require you to do more than your "fair share" up front to get up to speed and make the most of it.

    JD
     
  7. BigO01

    BigO01 New Member

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    infiniteloop as much as I dearly love the 1911 anyone who says they haven't even held a pistol before isn't ready to buy one or honestly to even shoot one especially a brand new one .

    I always suggest a 4-6 inch barreled 357 magnum revolver for a new handgun owner now let me explain why .

    I've seen to many new folks with autos that are distracted by the moving slide and ejecting brass , and if they have an empty get tossed down the front of their shirt or if it lands on the rim of their safety glasses this only magnifies the problem tremendously .And don't scoff at this I've had it happen to me and seen it happen to several others with many different autos .

    It takes experience and discipline to not jump around unsafely with a loaded gun in your hand with a hot brass down your shirt especially if it is tucked in and can't fall through quickly .

    The basics of pistol craft can be learned on a revolver and used on an auto if you can't it is a failing of yours to learn the basics not a failing of the type of weapon you were trying to learn on .

    Starting out with a 357 with 38 loads is perfect for any adult as the 357 makes for an ideal home defense round once you have acquired the skill to use them .

    I've never once heard of a home defense shooting where the homeowner needed to reload .

    When you've gained some skill and maturity with the revolving handgun then consider a 1911 with the knowledge of the basics and if the slide movement or empties flying distracts you you will be able to understand and identify the problem and not proclaim the 1911 a "Difficult" gun to shoot .

    Understand that I said getting hit with ejecting brass is common but I never said it is normal a 1911 with erratic ejection needs a minor tweak done to the extractor and the problem will be solved .

    I've had to have this done to a gun and when done correctly your ejected brass will all land in a fairly small pile making retrieval for reloading easy .

    If you're on a tight budget when ready and want a quality 1911 I suggest the Armscor RIAs and then the Taurus PT 1911 both come with after market features that cost extra as standard on their guns , and come with excellent customer service on their products .
     
  8. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    I will agree that a 1911 in 45acp is not a beginners pistol. I have to agree with BigO01
     
  9. Mark F

    Mark F New Member Supporter

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    You are a "beginner" only once, and that's for about an hour, give or take. So, if you LEARN to shoot the pistol you "really" intend to carry or shoot, then you are miles ahead! Don't waist money or time on a pea-shooter. I'm sorry, but starting with a 22 or similar and then working your way up to a bigger caliber is a bunch of CRAP.

    I taught my 14 year old daughter how to shoot pistols using a .357 Magnum. In about two hours she was shooting my CZ75B (40 cal), and my S&W 629 44 Magnum. She is now a pistol fanatic, having her own Conceal Carry.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2008
  10. bgeddes

    bgeddes New Member

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    This past year I bought a S&W 22A for practice, and a RIA 1911. I shoot both regularly. It may seem that a .22lr does nothing for shooting large caliber but I know it helps me. Fine tuning stances and mechanics are one area shooting a larger framed 'peashooter' has helped me.

    For the record, I would carry my RAI 1911 anywhere, it's never missed a beat. I may buy another, more refined 1911 in the future, probably Colt or Kimber, but my budget gun shoots fine.
     
  11. glockfire

    glockfire New Member

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    Wow, a newbie who does his homework!

    In my experience, which is limited, starting out with a .357Magnum revolver such as Taurus or S&W is very good for a beginner. It gives you the option of training with the low low recoil .38 and shooting the powerful 357 for defense. A revolver is tough, accurate, and reliable, and usually cheap too.

    If you are dead set on an auto, I would start with a Glock because of newbie simplicity. Lots of rounds, easy to clean, and fun to shoot. A glock 23 is a great HD gun and the .40 is a beautiful round.

    But, if you dont want to spend alot of money on a wheel gun or a plastic handful, by all means invest in a 1911 and a class on how to use it. Ive shot 1911's for years and used to own one (will soon own another) and they are absolutely amazing weapons. When you really learn how to use it, it will seem like an extension of your godgiven arm and you will be happy you bought it. If I could suggest a 1911 for you, I would suggest a Kimber Pro Custom II or a Kimber Compact Custom II, the latter being easier to conceal.

    Please dont start with a .22. If you buy a .22 pistol you will have wasted your money. If .22 training is what you want, then buy the Kimber .22LR conversion kit and practice away.

    Whatever you get, train train train, and when youre done, practice practice practice. Oh yeah, take a pic for us too.
     
  12. Mark F

    Mark F New Member Supporter

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    Yeah, my daughter carries a Glock 17. (I think it's a good choice). But she still loves shooting my high powered six-shooters and she's very glad she learned to shoot on them.
     
  13. billdeserthills

    billdeserthills New Member

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    Infinate Loop,
    As a Gun Dealer I see guys who wish to purchase the perfect gun all the time. As a guy who owns 4 large gun safes that are full of different styles and makes of guns I cannot see the point. I have loved weapons since I was a young tyke, I don't really discriminate. I encourage you to step off the rational curb and try any gun. I have owned cobras (cheap-junky) and STI's (paid $2,000 for the last one) I have enjoyed them all, and I'm sure you won't have too much trouble getting rid of one you don't like, you might find that you have quite a lot of fun with it!
     
  14. Mark F

    Mark F New Member Supporter

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    ATTENTION ALL GUN NEWBIES,

    The problem is... WHEN you discover the joy of shooting, you will quickly discover that ONE gun will not cut it. It "may" hold you for awhile... but trust me, you'll head straight back to your favorite gunshop and start the "looking" process all over again! Once you're hooked, you're hooked for life! Three or four years from now, you'll have a collection of ALL KINDS of guns... Auto-loaders, wheelguns, and even long-guns!

    That's just the way it is...
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2008
  15. infiniteloop

    infiniteloop New Member

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    Resurrecting my old thread. So im finally going to the range today to try some guns! Better late than never at all. They have about 100 or so different guns to try. One time fee for the hour and can try as many as I want, have to just pay for ammo. Ill let you all know what i try and like. Wish me luck!
     
  16. infiniteloop

    infiniteloop New Member

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    Here is the list of guns that I can try from their website. Any ideas which ones I should definitely try?

    Make Model Caliber
    BERETTA 90-2 9MM
    BERETTA 92FS 9MM
    BERETTA CX4 STORM 9MM
    BERETTA CX4 STORM .40 S&W
    BERETTA NEOS .22 LR
    BERETTA NEOS .22 LR
    BERETTA PX4 9MM
    BERETTA PX4 9MM
    BERETTA PX4 .40 S&W
    BERETTA PX4 .45 ACP
    BROWNING BUCKMARK .22 LR
    BROWNING BUCKMARK .22 LR
    BROWNING BUCKMARK .22 LR
    BUSHMASTER AR15 .223 / 5.56MM
    COLT AR15 9MM
    FNH FS2000 .223 / 5.56MM
    FNH PS90 5.7X28
    GLOCK 17 9MM
    GLOCK 19 9MM
    GLOCK 21 .45 ACP
    GLOCK 22 .40 S&W
    GLOCK 23 .40 S&W
    GLOCK 26 9MM
    GLOCK 27 .40 S&W
    GLOCK 30 .45 ACP
    GLOCK 32 .357 SIG
    GLOCK 33 .357 SIG
    GLOCK 34 9MM
    GLOCK 35 .40 S&W
    GLOCK 36 .45 ACP
    GLOCK 19C 9MM
    HECKLER & KOCH MP5 (FULL AUTO) 9MM
    HENRY BIG BOY .357 MAG
    HENRY LEVER .22 LR
    HENRY LEVER .22 LR
    HENRY LEVER .22 LR
    KAHR CW9 9MM
    KAHR P380 .380 ACP
    KEL-TEC P3AT .380 ACP
    KIMBER CDP II .45 ACP
    KIMBER CDP II .45 ACP
    KIMBER PRO CRIMSON CARRY II .45 ACP
    KIMBER TLE .45 ACP
    M.S.A.R. STG-556 AUG .223/5.56MM
    MARLIN 60 .22 LR
    MASTERPIECE MPA930T-A 9MM
    ROCK ISLAND ARMSCOR 9MM
    RUGER 345 .45 ACP
    RUGER 22-Oct .22 LR
    RUGER 22/45 .22 LR
    RUGER GP100 .357 MAG
    RUGER LCP .380 ACP
    RUGER LCR .38 SPL
    RUGER MARK III .22 LR
    RUGER SP101 .357 MAG
    RUGER SR9 9MM
    RUGER SR9C 9MM
    RUGER SUPER RED HAWK .44 MAG
    SIG SAUER 5.56 .223 / 5.56MM
    SIG SAUER MOSQUITO .22 LR
    SIG SAUER P220 .45 ACP
    SIG SAUER P226 9MM
    SIG SAUER P226 .40 S&W
    SIG SAUER P229 9MM
    SIG SAUER P229 .40 S&W
    SIG SAUER P238 .380 ACP
    SIG SAUER P239 9MM
    SIG SAUER P239 .40 S&W
    SIG SAUER P250 9MM
    SMITH & WESSON 10 .38 SPL
    SMITH & WESSON 60 .357 MAG
    SMITH & WESSON 617 .22 LR
    SMITH & WESSON 617 .22 LR
    SMITH & WESSON 617 .22 LR
    SMITH & WESSON 617 .22 LR
    SMITH & WESSON 637 .38 SPL
    SMITH & WESSON 642 .38 SPL
    SMITH & WESSON M&P CRIMSION TRACE 9MM
    SMITH & WESSON M&P 9MM
    SMITH & WESSON M&P .40 S&W
    SMITH & WESSON M&P .45 ACP
    SMITH & WESSON SIGMA 9MM
    SMITH & WESSON SIGMA .40 S&W
    SPRINGFIELD 1911A1 .45 ACP
    SPRINGFIELD XD 9MM
    SPRINGFIELD XD 9MM
    SPRINGFIELD XD .40 S&W
    SPRINGFIELD XDM 9MM
    SPRINGFIELD XDM .40 S&W
    STI GP6 9MM
    STI SPARTAN .45ACP
    TAURUS 94 .22 LR
    TAURUS 24/7 9MM
    TAURUS 709SLIM 9MM
    TAURUS JUDGE .45LC-.410
    TAURUS PT111 9MM
    TAURUS PT140 .40 S&W
    TAURUS PT145 .45 ACP
    TAURUS PT1911 .45 ACP
    TAURUS PT92 9MM
     
  17. General_lee

    General_lee New Member

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    I would try the Springfield 1911A1, Glock 17, Beretta 92FS, Bushmaster AR-15 (to get a feel for one of the long guns you WILL eventually buy:D ), Ruger GP100 and maybe A Sig or XD.
    That'll give you a feel for some of the most popular firearms out there and will probably help you with your decision.

    Good luck and welcome to a very addictive hobby!
     
  18. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    And try the .22's. You will buy one soon.
     
  19. BlackWidow

    BlackWidow New Member

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    You must shoot the S&W 617. It's a 6 or 10-shot .22 revolver with a 4" or 6" barrel. You can learn a lot about trigger control, breathing, stance, sighting, etc with this gun, and it won't be loud, won't hurt your hand, and won't spit hot brass on you.

    Definitely also shoot the Glocks and 1911s. For pure fun, try shooting a lever-action rifle.
     
  20. ScottA

    ScottA FAA licensed bugsmasher Lifetime Supporter

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    My favorite .22.