Some general questions from a beginner.

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by Krahis, May 26, 2009.

  1. Krahis

    Krahis New Member

    Hey all, first off I wanted to say thanks in advance for any direction or advice I get from you guys. I appreciate it.

    I'm in my mid 20's and looking to purchase my first firearm. I was thinking about a handgun for personal protection/home defense/range shooting.

    Obviously my first question would be a recommendation for a gun, but I think I'll be able to browse around the forum later and look for an answer to that. :)

    My biggest questions are about cost. I'm looking to do things properly and want to know what you guys would recommend. Take an actual gun safety course (I've fired a rifle and a pistol perhaps a handful of times each), or just spend time at a range? How much time would you recommend spending at a range per month (obviously it's relative to how much you want to shoot)? And really, how much would you say you spend monthly on ammo? I don't want to buy a gun and then never use it except for the one time I actually need to.

    I'm moving to Florida and from what I've read the gun restriction laws there are fairly lax so I'm not sure I'll have any issue on that front.
  2. skullcrusher

    skullcrusher New Member

    +1 on a safety course

    All else I can suggest is to go to a range and rent a few different pistols. Try them out and see what you like and feels good to you. I prefer at least .40 cal minimum for hd/pp.

    Safety is #1 with any firearm.

  3. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

    Buy a quality 1911 chambered in .45 ACP. Expect to spend about $1k

    Learn to use it properly and study writings of the masters, like Massad Ayoob and Col. Jeff Cooper.

    Burn at least 200 rds. per month at the range to perfect marksmanship techniques as outlined by Ayoob and Col. Cooper.

    Never forget what common sense is and never fail to use it. A gun is a device that is designed to kill and the .45 ACP round does it very well. Never forget this fact, regardless of everything else.
  4. WDB

    WDB New Member

    The safety course is a great idea and also find a range that rents pistols. Shoot as many as you can and then find the one that fits you the best. What works for me may not work for you. After you narrow it down to four of five pistols you like I think the members here will be better able to help you out. After you find your pistol practice is important, I shoot at least twice a month and go through 200-300 rounds per trip. Some members shoot more/less often and shoot more/less rounds, again it's what works for you but consistant practice routine makes a good shooter.

    I hope this helps and please take the time to introduce yourself on the new members thread
  5. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

    Welcome here and welcome to the world of firearms. You're in for a great adventure. :cool:
  6. franklin67

    franklin67 New Member

    Hello to ya, fellow newbie. Im kind of new to the world of handguns too, and the above posters gave some good advice. After shooting several and handling a couple dozen more in gunshops, I settled on the Kel Tec 9mm. Price was a big concern--a buddy sold me a used one with holster and ammo for 150). But it feels good in my hand, its very compact for carrying if I so choose, and I can consistantly hit headshots from 15 yds out, so Im pretty happy with it. If money wasnt an issue, Id go with the Glock 19--what a great gun! Feels great in your hand and those bullets go right where youre pointing! hehehe. Good luck. I wish there was a range around me that rented out handguns though.
  7. RevDerb

    RevDerb Member

    Welcome to the world of serious addiction. :D
  8. kcolg

    kcolg New Member

    welcome,maybe Bersa if you are on a budget..
  9. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

    Well, this is why Breyers makes 31 different flavors. Different opinions.

    For a first handgun, you may look at a decent 22 auto- Ruger or Browning Buckmark. Good gun to learn basic pistol marksmanship, 22 lr is cheep to shoot. However, not enuff gun for effective defense.

    while a .40 or .45 IS enuff gun, any gun so bulky/ heavy that you leave it at home is not effective (Gunfight rule 1- Have a gun)

    You may want to consider a small framed .357 REVOLVER, such as a S&W Mdl 60. Light and small enough to conceal, enuff power to deal with bad guy, able to use .38 Special wadcutter target loads to reduce expense of practice. A revolver has another strong feature- there are fewer individual steps that are taken to shoot one. When things get dicy, they work.

    +100 on find a range that will rent guns. Find what works for you. But reliability- works 100.000000% of the time is the MAJOR criteria.
  10. BILLYBOB44

    BILLYBOB44 Active Member

    Krahis first firearm??

    C3shooter touched some on my rec. on a first gun/handgun. I most always suggest a 4" .357 Mag. revolver. If me, I would stick with S&W,Colt, or Ruger. I think the med. frame 6 shot fits most people the best, and will not give excessive recoil, to the new shooter. You can find good quality used ones for the $3-400.00 range. Of course, you can do 80% of your target shooting with .38spl. loads. This is my 2cents worth for a first gun.
  11. Franciscomv

    Franciscomv New Member

    -Taking courses is always a good idea, a bit more knowledge can't hurt and you get to meet other shooters.

    -I try to practice a couple of times a week, once a week at the very least. To keep costs down I shoot lots of .22, I don't know the prices in the US but in Argentina a box of 50 .22 rounds costs about $5. You can practice the basics (breathing, trigger control, sight picture) on a .22, and you can afford to practice them a lot. That's why I think it's the best caliber for a first gun, either in a good semiauto (like a Ruger MKIII) or a nice revolver (like a S&W 617).

    -For a defensive firearm I think you need at least a 9mm or .38 special. I'm a big fan of revolvers, and would recommend a good .357 magnum revolver with a 4" barrel as an ideal gun for a beginer. You can shoot .38s in it, so it's pretty versatile. The double action takes some mastering, but it's quite satisfying once you get it right. If autoloaders are your thing, there's nothing quite like a nice 1911 (chambered in .45, of course).
  12. jeepcreep927

    jeepcreep927 New Member

    Hope you get some good info here. I would agree that plenty of range time with live ammo is important, but if you're new to handguns, or firearms in general, more important is dry fire and empty weapon practice.

    It takes approximately 3,000 repititions to commit a movement to "muscle memory". Assuring you do everything right everytime before putting a live round in the chamber assures you'll do it right then too. For defensive purposes, this is utterly paramount. You don't want to be thinking about your holster or safety at all. When you pick up or draw your handgun, it should feel as natural as putting your hands together. No shifting your grip, changing wrist position etc. I instruct that when you pick up a handgun, pick it up the way you will grip it if firing. Don't place it in your firing hand with your non firing hand, pick it up by the slide, barrel or wherever you please. It has a grip for a reason.

    If you're self concious, this may take some getting used to, but practice in front of a mirror. Practice proper stance, proper presentation from a holster, proper grip. I stress proper. Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.

    And there's nothing wrong with a lower priced firearm, but I would strongly urge you to avoid bottom line bargain guns, no offense to Hi Point owners. Stick with a major manufacturer, S&W, Colt, Springfield, Glock, Beretta, CZ, etc. You can find something suitable in a reasonable price range from any of those and a few other manufacturers. I wouldn't purchase a parachute that's dirty, rat chewed and has twisted lines that will *probably* get me by, because it's cheap.

    The safety class is an excellent idea. First off, no matter what you think you might know, or what you think you won't learn, you'll find something out that you didn't know. Second, it refelects your commitment to responsibility. Any woodchuck or gang banger can sling lead, but then again that's why some of them shoot road signs, another hunter, or themselves in the a** in a night club... There no such thing as a firearms related accident. If you soot someone you didn't intend to shoot, it's your fault. If someone shoots you and didn't intend to, it's their fault. This is not a matter of opinion. Most states WILL attribute a degree of negligence to a firearms related death, and the trigger puller is held accountable through prosecution. And third, many states require one to obtain a CCW.
    Just my opinion of course, good luck.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2009