Questions about questions

Discussion in 'The Club House' started by DFENS, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. DFENS

    DFENS New Member

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    Wasn't sure where to post this, so I figured I'd post it in General.

    What questions should I ask when looking at a potential purchase?
    I kinda peeked around the pawn-and-gun shop next to one of my jobs today; didn't talk to anyone, just kinda walked around checking it out.

    When it comes time to break into my piggy bank, should I go for a rifle first, or handgun?
    I'm wanting to eventually have one or more of each, possibly a shotty as well. I plan on getting a permit to carry, as well as taking plenty of classes (Possibly a marksmanship class at the local University if I can fit it into the schedule). Here's the issue - My only means of transportation (except for possibly 2 or three months of winter, if I can't get some heated grips and or gloves) is my motorcycle. I'm sure seeing iron strapped on a sportbike would look strange, even if just on my way to the range. If anyone is familiar with Carter County, TN, I'll be heading the the firing range near Watauga Range, and possibly a friend's field in Johnson County, TN. Some can and target shooting, the closest thing to a living target would be a scarecrow in pal's field.

    What should I look out for in case of a "phony" class?
    I saw a thread where someone actually got up and left a class because of some of the teacher's actions... Any bits of rubbish and mis-teaching I should look out for?

    It'll be next year before I make any purchases, but I'm just looking around before I spend the money... I work danged hard to get the little bit I make (currently pulling 70+ hr weeks between 2 near-min.wage-jobs).

    Thanks All :D
     
  2. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    I think you should start by calling your local pistol licensing bureau, generally the Sheriff's Dept. issues pistol permits, and ask them who they recommend for the training course. Many localities require a pistol course be taken before issuing a permit.
    As far as the type of handgun for your first purchase that is a very subjective decision. Personally I bought a .357 revolver. Looking back I probably should have bought my Ruger 22/45 MkIII .22 cal first. I would have learned more much faster due to the economics of shooting cheap .22 ammo instead of $8 per box of 20 .357Mag ammo. I was primarily concerned with concealed carry however, so the .357 mag was my choice. If you are just into plinking and target shooting with some small game hunting thrown in, you would be better served with a quality .22 auto or revolver. Ruger Mk.II and MkIII and Browning Buckmark pistols are very accurate and reasonably priced.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2008

  3. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    DFENS - As you are new, and we haven't had much interaction, what are you looking to do with your first firearm?

    Obviously learning to shoot with a small caliber firearm is the best advice that most would agree upon.

    If you are looking to learn to shoot at range, then a rifle, either a boltgun or a semi auto in a caliber like .22lr would be a good choice.

    If you are looking for close, personal defense, then a small caliber handgun like the one recommended by my esteemed colleague would be recommended.

    JD
     
  4. DFENS

    DFENS New Member

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    As far as I can tell, my accuracy is rather good, but I'm not so skilled on the art of shooting - I've never owned, just borrowed.

    I've thought about rifles moreso than handguns... I was eyeing the Ruger 77/22 a year or three ago, but dang that price-tag... Maybe after a few years, but not while I'm in school.

    I'm hoping to learn as much as I can, while on the Ramen-diet budget :D

    If .22LR is the cheapest ammo, then that'll be the caliber I'll look for (I'm pretty sure it is, I've been googling ammo for the last few minutes).

    As far as handguns go, I'd prefer something with a clip... I'm not a fan of revolvers.

    Really, I don't care what I shoot, so long as I'm not one of those M4/M16/etc.-clone wielding guys who hogs the whole range, acting like no one else is there.

    I'm eager to learn, and if I say something bone-headed or make a mistake, I'll take no offense at being corrected.

    *bows* thanks :D
     
  5. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    Okay, we have a direction. It would appear that you would like to start with a rifle and work from there.

    What kind of budget are you looking at keeping?

    JD
     
  6. Chester

    Chester New Member

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    I really like your attitude Defens, The first step to learning is to admit you don't know everything. Everything after that is so much easier.

    What ever you decide to do, learn from other peoples mistakes (beleive me I've made plenty). Good luck and we're here to help when possible.
     
  7. DFENS

    DFENS New Member

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    Ramen-diet... I'm in college right now, working 2 jobs to save up for winter. Kinda like a squirrel, but nuts in a different way. I've not got much disposable income right now, but when the time comes, I'll be looking for something anywhere from 100 to maybe 600 top-end.

    I'm very ignorant on the whole topic, so I'll take any suggestions gladly. I know I'll not be getting any scopes with this budget, I'm just looking for something rugged, that'll shoot as straight as I can coax it into doing, and not tear up on me too often.

    I'd prefer a bolt-action over semi-auto, but either way works for me.
     
  8. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    You know - +1 on that. The worst thing about firearms is that EVERYONE is a god damn expert. Believe it or not, there are people out there that can teach you something....

    Excellent point...

    JD
     
  9. Righteous

    Righteous New Member

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    Get you one of the AR platforms in a .223, you can add uppers for different calibers once ya get it. It will do anything you would ever want to do and is always a good investment as you never know who might be in office will want to ban them or try again.
     
  10. ScottG

    ScottG New Member

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    Well, in my expert opinion....oh wait, I'm not an expert either, I just have opinions..... :p

    Anyway, what would be wrong with a nice rifle scabbard that matched your leathers? Do you ride with saddlebags? Seems a good place to store your handgun when riding. Of course, you should check the legality of that. Carrying concealed should work under your riding gear.

    I'm going to go another way and suggest a Henry rifle. The lever action .22 can be found for around $200. Gives you fifteen rounds of long rifle goodness. I've had no trouble from the mechanics, just a few ftfs that were ammo problems. It's always cycled and it's very smooth. If you're after a handgun, I would say the Browning Buckmark Camper is a nice little pistol. I paid about $240 a year ago at Bass Pro for mine. And don't be fooled by the golden trigger, it's not a pimp gun. :D

    As to what you should look for, if you're buying used from a pawn place or dealer, make sure you have an inspection period. Most dealers should let you have one, but if you fire the gun, it's yours. Take a used gun to a gunsmith and let him check it out for you. If the gun isn't obviously damaged, or rusted, or loose in the mechanics, you'll probably be ok. You won't usually have a warranty. A new purchase will, and the manufacturer will stand behind the gun and perhaps do repairs for low or no cost, shipping excluded of course.

    Because you said you borrow guns, you should have some familiarity with what you like already and don't like. Go with that, anonymous people on the internet can't know you. If a gun fits your hand, and you'll know it, someone else's recommendation for a different gun isn't going to do you much good. Don't go by what someone else says if a gun feels right to you, it's probably the right gun.

    Good luck with your purchases.
     
  11. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    +1 on the Henry - I have their cheapest one - the H001 - and it is one of the most accurate .22's I own. The action is smoother than any lever gun I own and the stock is simply the most BEAUTIFUL piece of black walnut I have ever seen on a .22.
     
  12. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Well, a couple of things... Guns are like ice cream- and that's why Howard Johnson had 31 flavors. Some folks like revolvers, others are convinced that only a 1911 is a real gun. And DO expect to get different opinions.

    For a first gun, would heartily reccomend a 22 rifle. They are inexpensive, and 50 rds of 22 ammo is about $12- as opposed to $20 per 20 rounds of .308. There are a couple of on-line gun auctions sites I frequent- auctionarms.com, and gunbroker.com. Any gun you buy WILL need to be shipped to a dealer in your home state, so be sure to include shipping and your receiving dealers fees when figuring how much you want to bid. On the other hand, I just picked up a very nice old Stevens 22 auto for $79 from a local dealer. Not a real serious target rifle, but a great hunter/plinker. Add a middling scope for about another $40-50, and you have a lot of cash for ammo. Very few decent quality guns ever wear out- worn, yes, worn out, rarely.

    For a handgun, again, .22. You could do a lot worse than the Browning Buckmark, or a Ruger auto. Personal favorite is Ruger, but then, I like pistachio ice cream. For a self defense arm, you CAN use a .22, but would strongly suggest something bigger. A .357 revolver is popular beacause you can also use .38 Special ammo for practice- cheaper, less recoil.

    Carrying on your bike- consider an inexpensive hard case (Walmarts everywhere) that you can bungee to the bike. You may want to check if an instructor holds NRA certification. Not a guarantee, but a start. Also, check local ranges that may RENT handguns for use on the range- gives you a chance to try them out. Also, contact your state rifle association- usually some friendly folks that can offer suggestions.
     
  13. AARguy

    AARguy New Member

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    Choice

    My experience is all military so I can't say what to look for technically. Lots of old gunshop "experts" will talk about things like hammerless, rebus springs, frabis breaks, dremus plates and other gobbledygook that is all Greek to me. I had a unit armorer to handle parts and repair. My issues are simply range, accuracy, and reliability. Beware of the experts who will go into lengthy dissertations of history, parts, technical development, etc. They can be very confusing and they love to hear themselves talk.

    I'm new to owning my own guns and my primary concern is defense. With that in mind I'd just share my own thoughts on what and why I bought:
    1.) Ammo Type - Avoid non-military or non-cop ammo. Lots of people advocate 6.5 or 6.8 for example. With a few very limited exceptions, these rounds have been rejected by the military, so I'd steer clear. They might be hard to find in the future. I'd stick to NATO standard 223, 7.62x51 (NOT 7.62x54 or x 39). 22LR is a great round too, mainly due to low cost.
    2.) "Layered" defense - Long range is best. That means 308. I have an M!A which is not for the cost conscious. But I also have a Saiga 308, which is the "sporter" version of the AK-47, chambered in 308. You can add all sorts of accoutrements as you see fit and as your budget grows (pistol grip, forend, stock, rails, etc. In the $350-$500 price range, it may be the best bang for the buck around.
    3.) Reliability - You can abuse an AK/Saiga and it keeps on ticking. Store it in a mudbank and it will still be there for you at trigger pull.
    4.) Training - 308 ammo is expensive. 22LR isn't. I looked around and settled on the GSG-5. It looks great (MP-5 clone in appearance), is fun to shoot, and has great reliability and accuracy. GSG-5 runs about $500 but if you can find one fast, it will be a great investment. H&K has sued the manufacturer and won, meaning they can no longer be imported. I have already seen these great little guns on the internet for $2,000, but my local gunshop is selling its existing stock for $499.