If someone was to come to me with no experience, and no equipment, no ideal what he wants to shoot, but wants to get into competition on the Cheap, (maybe that's what you are doing),
I would recommend he go to J&G Sales (or something similar) and pick up one of those Model 64 police trade ins. They are about $200, they are durable, smooth, accurate, and ammo for 38's are relatively cheap. Also they fit the "no safety" requirement.
With the 38 revolver you can shoot just about any type competition. Most types have a revolver class. Then there is ICORE where revolvers are required.
Get some speed loaders, Fubus holster (about 25 bucks) ear muffs, eye protection and you're read to go. You can get in the game for less then $300 bucks.
With such a hand gun you can concentrate on your marksmanship fundamentals without worrying about jamming, (those little K frames with shoot anything). With practice you can load pretty quick. Some of the revolver shooters I shoot with can load their revolvers faster then I can load magazines in my semi autos.
I can shoot my 64 better then my autos but I'm not quite up to speed in reloading. (cause I don't practice like I should - my fault, not the guns).
The only modification I did to my M-64 was to put some bright orange paint on the front sight. Makes that puppy really stand out.
Going this route gives you something to work with on the cheap while you figure out what route you want to go.
CPT USAR Ret
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071