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What is a good caliber to start out with? A good friend of mine is wanting to buy her first gun this weekend. shes wanting to buy a .45. I was told when i bought my first gun that i should start of with a 9mm and work my way up. Do you think this is good advices for my friend?
 

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Depends on her body size, arm strength, etc. I know plenty of women who jumped right in to a .45 while others had to start with 9mm and work their way up(more expensive in the long run unless she sells the 9mm) Another option would be to try a .40. I rented two springfield XD's, a 9mm and a .40.
I found no noticeable difference in recoil between the two.
 

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i agree with supergus. My friend's wife is about 4'9'' and as big around as a stick, she has no problem shooting his taurus .40 and she carries a taurus .38 special. so i'd say take her somewhere that rents out guns a tell her to shoot away!
 

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Depends on your skill and experience. That's something you really need to be honest with yourself on too.

1911s are good choices, as you can get them with .22 LR conversions. You can shoot them all day and not get recoil shy, but once you get off of the range, you swap back on the larger barrel and slide. This way, your defense piece is still 9mm, .40 S&W, 10mm or .45 ACP.

Most people should be able to comfortably handle a .38 Super or 9mm though and Kimber, among others, is making 1911s in those calibers.
 

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Never having shot before? The .22 is probably the place to start. A .22 pistol will begin the familiarization of guns and be easy on the body too. I didn't start with one, but I'm certainly going to start anyone I introduce to shooting on that ubiquitous cartridge.
 

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There's a big gap between a beginner shooter and a first time gun owner , where exactly does your friend fall ?

Also someone who has extensive expierence shooting a steel 1911 and then going out and buying a plastic frame Glock , XD etc. etc. might hate the gun .

Will it be a home defense gun or a carry gun ?

Too many variables to make a solid recomendation without knowing these answers .
 

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:) When I was dating my tall and slender 115# wife, I took her to a pistol match where she did me the extreme favor of picking up my 45 acp Colt Mark IV off the bench and posted a higher score than I did. After 35 years of marriage she continues to shoot well and handles a full house 357 magnum revolver almost - almost - as well as I do. :p

There is a difference between 9mm and 40 caliber recoil; if you do a lot of pistol shooting - especially rapid fire pistol shooting - this should become apparent by the increased difficulty and concentration required to, 'settle-in' the front sight between shots.

As certain pistol shooters will tell you, the endearing feature of 45 acp is that it's an easier caliber to control under recoil - In fact, it's the easiest caliber to control. This is because the bullets are big, heavy, and relatively slow moving. The recoil characteristic is more like a slow heavy push than the sharp fast crack you get from either a 9mm or, especially, a 40 S&W.

My suggestion would be for you to take your friend to a rental range and actually try a few different makes and calibers of pistols before you buy. It may end up coming down to how the pistol fits into the hand as well as how much the ammunition is going to cost in order to become proficient with that new gun.

For whatever it's worth, in my little corner of the world, more women seem to prefer the Walther P99QA over any other semiautomatic design.

Walther
 

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As my family members start shooting I get them a Ruger 22 Bearcat. A revolver is the safest to start with and with no recoil they don't develop any flinching or jerking. Then as they progress and go to larger calibers they will always have a fun cheap plinking gun the rest of their life.
 

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:) No matter what the caliber, if a shooter is going to flinch, then, he's going to flinch. The cure is proper coaching and training - NOT whatever gun or caliber a person is shooting.

I've known plenty of young shooters who qualified with a 22 caliber rifle in the morning and, then, moved onto using a 12 gauge shotgun, successfully, on the trap line, all, during the same day!

As far as I'm concerned it's more a matter of how much emotional fear a new shooter brings to the range with him. There's the, 'little engine that could'; and there's the, 'little engine that couldn't'.

Give me a new shooter who either listens well, or isn't afraid of the gun going; 'bang!' and, I'll give you a competent marksman with whatever firearm in record time. ;)
 

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Never having shot before? The .22 is probably the place to start. A .22 pistol will begin the familiarization of guns and be easy on the body too. I didn't start with one, but I'm certainly going to start anyone I introduce to shooting on that ubiquitous cartridge.
Particularly with the current price of ammo, a .22 is a good, inexpensive place to start. If you plan things, you can get a .22 and a similar centerfire so there is a minimum of difference in grip, controls, trigger, sights, etc. between the two to maximize training potential of the .22 as a sub for the centerfire.
 

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I'm not in total agreement with this, although there is merit to starting with a small caliber. I taught my wife and daughter how to shoot handguns. They both learned on a S&W 686. However, instead of Magnums I used 38 Specials. They both learned fast and enjoyed shooting very much. They both shot about 36 rounds of 38 SPL's then I switched to .357 Magnums. We shot nearly 300 rounds of Magnums before the day was over. Today, my wife has her own S&W 629 44 Magnum, and my daughter carries a .40 S&W.

Now I'm waiting for my grand son to get old enough to hold a gun...
 

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My first handgun was a .357Magnum - Most people select a gun that has some knock-down capability for their first gun with the intent of learning how to handle it. After all, most people applying for a CCW permit do so with the knowledge that they may need it to defend themselves. At least that was my intention.
 

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To this day I still favor my Colt King Cobra .357 Magnum over all the guns I own. It's 21 years old, and it has shot tens of thousands of rounds. Its never given me a problem. I taught my wife & daughter to shoot with it. Someday my grandson will learn to shoot my .357 and he will probably inherit it one of these days. The Colt King Cobra is a genuine shooting heirloom.
 

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Particularly with the current price of ammo, a .22 is a good, inexpensive place to start.
.22 ammo might be inexpensive, but quality .22 handguns are NOT.

Dubious quality .22 handguns manufactured by obscure manufacturers aren't a good option. Buying used isn't a great idea either, because you don't really know what you're getting, and may very well end up with somebody else's lemon.

Buying a new, good quality .22 made by a reputable manufacturer is really the only option, and they are fairly expensive. Since many people in the market for a handgun can't afford to buy two of them, their best option is to start with a new 9mm.

9mm ammo is widely available, and is about the least expensive centerfire ammo out there. Noticeably cheaper than other common calibers like .380, .40, .45 etc.

Recoil is completely manageable even for rank beginners.
 

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MY humble opinon is to start someone out on a service-grade caliber (i.e. 9mm, 40 cal, 45 cal, etc....).

This will get them used to the muzzle flash and recoil right away, which may help get rid of the flinch relfex common among most shooters.
 

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MY humble opinon is to start someone out on a service-grade caliber (i.e. 9mm, 40 cal, 45 cal, etc....).

This will get them used to the muzzle flash and recoil right away, which may help get rid of the flinch relfex common among most shooters.
Yes, flinching and BLINKING!!! I taught my wife on a Colt King Cobra .357 Magnum. After about 1/2 box of 38 Specials, she was shooting a 2" group at 10 yards with 158grain Magnums... no flinching... no blinking... no missing. I can't hardly PRY that gun from her hands!
 

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The first firearm I remember shooting was my dad's old 30-06 pump action rifle.

I was five years old at the time.

Talk about being thrown into the fire...............:eek:
 

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My first firearm was a S&W mod 19 4" and that was back in 74/75 the .38 Spl/.357 mag is a great caliber to start out with, as I recomend to any first time gun buyer... revolver, get a revolver.

JMHO
 

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I was about 8 years old, and my Dad let me shoot his 300 H&H Magnum, once...
 
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