I'm kind of glad that I don't have my FOID card yet, because I'm still not 100% sure what I want to do.
I'm heavily debating getting two guns now instead of just one. While 9mm is cheaper
to target practice with, it's still not cheap
. From what I can tell, it will still be $0.20-$0.30 a shot unless I reload my own rounds, which, not including the cost of the equipment, will bring me to $0.12-$0.18 a shot. Interestingly enough, if I save my brass and re-use it at least 5 times, I can reload .45 for about the same price.
Which brings me to a potentially different game plan and set of choices. I've accepted the fact that I will need two calibers in order to make it truly inexpensive to target practice all I want and become proficient at it. My current thought process is to start off with a .22. Something like this:
I will have the means to buy something like that by the time my FOID card comes in, and it would allow me to start practicing immediately. After that, I would save up for something larger; either a 9mm or a .45. I would decide on which one of those I want based on whether or not I want to get into reloading. It's still a decision I need to make. That would also put the 1911 back as an option as the .45s can be had for fairly decent prices compared to the 9mm.
I guess to sum up, I'm now thinking of buying a .22 first to start practicing, while saving up for either the CZ-75 or the Beretta 92 that are already among my choices, or a larger caliber in full metal, perhaps a 10mm, .40, or .45.