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Old September 23, 2012, 02:03 AM   #1
Internetlad
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Looking to get into the sport, seeking advice.

Hello! This is my first post here at the Firing Line forums, and I'd just like to post a quick hello and introduction before posting my questions/issues, if you'd like to get to the meat and potatoes of this post, check it out after the break. If you have a REALLY short attention span, i'll post a TL;DR at the bottom.

I just turned 23 this month, I was born and raised in northern Manitoba, Canada, but moved to Wyoming to get married about 3 years ago. I'm currently a citizen of Canada, but hold a U.S. permanent resident card and live in Wyoming. I have a broad sense of humour, and am hard to offend, so feel free to crack jokes if you want.

--------

Okay, here's the situation. I'm currently interested into getting a handgun and handgun training mainly because I have a general interest in firearms, and a likely would enjoy the sport.

I've done only a very small amount of shooting in the past, although my father was a hunter and owns a variety of rifles, I owned an air pistol and a couple air rifles growing up, and had done a small amount of shooting with a .22 bolt action rifle, although I did shoot a larger caliber rifle on one occasion, don't ask what it was, I really don't know.

Basically it's probably been a good 6-10 years (I really can't pinpoint the last time i've discharged a real firearm) since i've last done target shooting, and i'm looking to get "back" into the sport.

Being a resident of wyoming, the gun laws are pretty lenient, and If I really wanted to, I could probably traipse into a pawn shop, pick up some random handgun and shoot up cans in somebodies field, but i'd rather get some input on this, make an informed decision, and try to do it safely and properly. Being a hunter my father taught me to respect firearms, so i'm taking this pretty seriously. I've never owned a handgun before, so I want to make sure i'm not overlooking anything.

Basically the point i'm at now, is i'm shopping around for not only the handgun itself (i'll get to that in a bit) but also ample training to handle, condition, maintain and use it properly. My boss and I are fairly close, as it's a small mom and pop business and i'm one of about 5 employees across 2 locations, worked there for about 1 1/2 years, and he owns a WW2 Luger that his grandfather took off an officer, and a more recently made 1911, (among others, I would assume, those are the only two he's brought up.)

If my history is right, the luger is a 9mm and the 1911 should be a .45. He's offered to take me out shooting the next time he goes, maybe in a couple weeks or so, and i'm fairly eagar to try it out. He's got a pretty dry bread personality so I don't doubt it would be anything but shooting tin cans from x yards.

Another outlet I've been looking at for training/acquisition is a local tactical weapons shop, website is http://www.coderedtacticalwy.com/

I'm at the point in my life where money is a bit tight, i'm a young working father of 2, and my wife is in school so I'm also looking for cost-effectiveness. I've been looking at at a pistol chambered for .22lr cartridges, or possibly, If I can find one, a 9mm police trade in due to the relative inexpensiveness of the rounds compared to a .45. At the moment i'm open to any and all suggestions about what sort of handgun to look for, but some suggestions I've got have been a Ruger MKII .22lr, A trade in police Glock/USP and Ruger SP101, for example.

I'm prepared to put $300+ dollars into the handgun alone, as i'm told anything below that price point is not going to be worth it. I don't need or even want "the best", but rather the best bang for your buck, at this point.

TL;DR Basically i'm looking for suggestions for a beginner's handgun, mostly for target shooting/learning to shoot, and the best outlet to learn to safely own, operate and maintain firearms.

Thanks for checking out my thread, any and all input is greatly appreciated.
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Old September 23, 2012, 04:18 AM   #2
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Welcome aboard Internetlad! Hope to see you stick around and enjoy the local TFL scenery.

I know Wyo is kind of a big place, but have you scouted around for State Rifle Associations, Clubs, etc? Just a quick peek turned up this: http://www.wwra.us/

As for your desire for a firearm. There is nothing at all wrong with going the used route, and lets face it- the less spent on the firearm allows more for instruction, ammo, cleaning supplies, etc- right? Places like J&G Sales and Buds Gun Shop have really good deals on used and/or Police turn in Smith & Wesson Model 10 .38 Special revolvers. Sounds old school? Learning the ways of any firearm is an art, and many of those tips and techniques will transfer over to other types of firearms. The .38 is still more than capable of putting food on the table (within reason) and defending your home. Plus, there's not many cartridges that are easier to learn reloading on when that time comes. Another plus for the Model 10- it's easy to learn on, for both you and your spouse. Going the "one size fits all" route isn't ideal for both you and your significant other, but it beats the heck out of shaking pointy sticks. Just have faith that times and your financial situation will get better sooner ruther than later.

A whole lot of folks recommend new handgun shooter start out with .22's- even I myself quite often. But I see here the value of good home defense measures in a home with no handgun, and I also see that you have shot before, I see that you're not a wet behind the ears kid, and I see you seem to have a level head if I may judge only by your post. To my knowledge, none of the military branches start new pistol shooters out on .22's- so it must not be total flawed logic that you could start out with something larger too.

I don't know prices for used firearms in your area, but here's a thought. If you wish to buy locally, give post a line about what you've found. I don't know how many active members are here at TFL, but I bet it won't take long at all to get some ver sound information to help guide you along. Folks here can offer all sorts of tips on what brands, styles, conditions, etc to look for and avoid.
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Old September 23, 2012, 05:56 AM   #3
Internetlad
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Thanks for the feedback. I just realized that my username totally doesn't sound like the kind of person who you'd want a firearm in the hands of, but i've been using this handle for years haha.

Anyways, to the point. I've got absolutely no issues buying used. If I did buy a used handgun, I'd most likely either want to get it from a local shop, or have it maintainanced the first time there.

To be frank, I'd never considered a revolver. Whenever I think of the .38 special revolvers, my mind immediately jumps to those 40s themed cop and robber flicks, which is probably why I never really considered it.

I have read that police trade ins are a good find for insiders because they're often worn on the outside, properly maintained and serviced, and rarely fired. Is the "difficulty" of maintaining a revolver lesser, greater or comparable to that of a semi-auto?

As far as reloading goes, I neither have the skill, equipment, nor space at the moment for that. As time goes on and means expand I might be able to set up a reloading station and learn the art but until then it's going to have to be boxed ammo for me. That said, I'm a bit of a tinkerer by nature and would like to learn how to do it. I know my dad does it too so i'd have a good outlet if I had any questions.

EDIT: Speaking of, is there any easy way to differentiate a simply "used" handgun or a police trade-in? Are they often marked as such, or is it just a toss up when you're buying?

Are there sites/events that will offload a large number of these units at once, such as police auctions (I've never been, admittedly, but I believe that they are held in the area as my brother in law got a car to use in demo derby from one)

EDIT 2: I had heard references for Bud's before, so that was the first thing I checked. Sort of answered my own question about the police trade in section, found it lol.

Found this unit in there too.
http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...FIED+PRE+OWNED
Evidently there's a difference between the "old" SIGs and the "new" SIGs in quality, so i'm not sure if this is desirable. I know this particular unit is out of stock but that's a lot more what I had "pictured" (despite being a .357 rather than a smaller round.)

Last edited by Internetlad; September 23, 2012 at 06:13 AM.
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Old September 23, 2012, 06:08 AM   #4
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Good idea, moving from Canada. We did in 2003, living on pensions, my Wife of 20 years helps out in my Son's Security Co. as an accountant, two days (two half days!) a week. Keeps them on the straight and narrow.

Your situation, a used Glock 19, is a 9mm pistol that you would never be able to wear out, would cover home defense (with small children safe storage a must) find an IDPA club close at hand. You have a Computer, read a lot!

With home invasions becoming a national pastime, the sooner you have the means to defend your home, the better, the suggestion to go the revolver route, a used Model 10 S&W .38 Special, not a bad one as a first gun either.

Good luck.
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Old September 23, 2012, 06:19 AM   #5
Internetlad
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I agree about the safe storage. I've seen handgun safes available for only 30-50 dollars, would that be a good solution? At the moment it would be a simple matter of figuring out how to store it so it's accessible in an emergency, but only by "authority figures"

On top of the oldschool tumbler lock and key units, I've seen safes with passcodes, and I assume they also have biometric models as well. I think safe storage is just as important as safe use so feedback on this would be welcome as well.

You've been great help so far guys, and very welcoming. Thanks!
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Old September 23, 2012, 07:19 AM   #6
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In my mind, purchasing a firearm should be approached with near the same mindset and getting a new pet, or having a child, or taking on a tenant, etc. It should include a mindful decision to commit to at least a degree of a lifestyle change. I know, seems bothersome maybe. But, if you don't carry full time, the weapon should be accessible anyway. That's where the lifestyle change (however minor) comes in. You'll need to decide for yourselves when to lock it up and when to have it accessible- and to make a routine of it.

I just haven't read a lot of good reviews on the various touchpad type lock boxes. I'm kind of leary of circuit and battery failures. I have a regular box with hinged lid and a barrel key. I can index the little bump when needed in pitch dark. The trick is to mount it to wall studs so it can't be walked off with. I don't want it on the floor so my young child can stuff the lock full of crayolas or whatever. Like the pistol, tinker with a few, look at your home, and build your own feel for what will work best for you.

Edit- The Sig 2022 and well, just about all new Sigs have a really good track record. For the few internet nay-sayers and reporters of bad tidings- there's thousands or tens of thousands who have had nothing but stellar results. 9mm will deffinitely be the affordable way to go.
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Old September 23, 2012, 08:25 AM   #7
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To Start With,

What part of Wyoming? I ask this because I might be able to guide you to a group or area where you can get some good training.

For example if you live in the NE part of the state, I would recommend you get with the people who shoot at Spearfish SD.

Every other week we have some sort of pistol shoot every other Sunday, (today for example we're shooting "Mouse Guns" or 22s).

It's a great group of people and they put on some fun shoots. They are more then willing to help new shooters get started right and safe. We have some National Quality shooters also. Cheap to shoot, the match fees are $5.

I'd recommend waiting to get a gun until you know what you want. The people who shoot at Spearfish will be more then willing to let you try their guns ( I have several you can try myself).

You mentioned revolvers. I have several guns, some rather expensive but the one I shoot the most, and can shoot the best is an old used Model 64 Smith (38). The gun was cheap and ammo is cheap.

If you live in the NW check out the Cody Shooting Complex, They have great programs, as does Worland. If in the SW, check out the Lander Valley Sportsman's Club.

They also have a bit of shooting in Cheyenne and Laramie but I don't know so much about those programs.

Just about all will provide some sort of training, most low cost, some, no cost.

Wyoming's full of friendly gun people that are more then willing to help new shooters get started.

I live in Newcastle, if you're close, PM me, I'll help you get started.
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Old September 23, 2012, 08:34 AM   #8
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As a side note:

I know I said wait, to see what type of gun that would fit you but:

You mentioned the Ruger MK II/III. That would be high on my list as a recommended starter pistol (and keeper).

The are quite popular as a competition pistol, they are cheap, reliable and accurate. They'll even work after you get more experienced.

As I mentioned the Spearfish club. Regardless of what style of match they are shooting on any given weekend, they have a 22 category, or will let you shoot your 22 in what ever event that's going on.

Not to mention they are about as cheap to shoot as you can find.
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Old September 23, 2012, 10:06 AM   #9
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My opinion: to learn the basics, start with a double-action .22 revolver.
This will teach you sight alignment. Ammo is cheap, to encourage practice.
The cylinder swings out for easy loading and unloading, cleaning and checking (no hidden surprises in the chamber, a la semi-autos).
Revolvers can accommodate a wide range of types of ammo. They're not dependent upon ammo working within a narrow range of pressure, or prone to jamming.
Revolvers may also be fitted with a variety of grips of different shapes and sizes, to accommodate different hand sizes. True, revolvers are limited somewhat by their frame size and shape, but not to the extent that semi-auto handguns are.

The Smith & Wesson Model 19 .38 Special is a fine revolver. I have one myself and enjoy it. But I enjoy even more my S&W Model 15 with 4" barrel. It is essentially the Model 10 but with adjustable sights, so I may adjust my sight picture to where the bullets are hitting on target. This enhances accuracy and builds confidence.
The Model 10 is fine, but has fixed sights. It is factory regulated to shoot with the front sight covering the area where 158 gr. lead bullets at about 800 feet per second will impact, at 25 yards.
My adjustable sights are set so the bullets are hitting just above the front sight. This allows me to see the target, rather than having it covered by the front sight.
This setting is commonly called the "6 o'clock hold" and is used by target shooters. But I also used it in the U.S. Air Force when I carried a Smith & Wesson Model 15 .38 Special. Being able to see the tin can or bullseye hovering above your front sight, and knowing that the bullets will go into the area just above it, is a distinct accuracy advantage.
Should you decide to use bullets lighter than 158 gr. lead (say, 130 gr. Full Metal Jacket ammo currently popular for plinking), you'll find that these bullets hit below the point of aim of a Model 10 and its fixed sights. You'll have to compensate by aiming above the tin can or target, to raise the bullet impact up to hit the target.
This gets frustrating, especially for a newcomer.
With the Model 15 and its adjustable sights, you simply elevate the rear sight a few clicks and the group of 130 gr. bullets are hitting just above your front sight.
Adjustable sights are worth the extra money.

I still suggest a good, .22 double-action revolver with adjustable sights. Ammo is cheap, and the adjustable sights encourage greater accuracy.
Plus, it's a gun you will never outgrow. A good .22 revolver remains a useful tool for the rest of your life.
Later, you can go onto a .38 Special if you wish.
And don't overlook the .357 Magnum. Many new shooters don't know that you may safely fire .38 Special cartridges in .357 Magnum revolvers. The .357 Magnum is essentially a .38 Special with a brass or nickel case 1/10th inch longer than the .38 Special. This was done, when the .357 Magnum was created in the 1930s, to prevent the more-powerful .357 from fully chambering in .38 Special revolvers. The longer case won't go fully into the cylinder, so the cylinder cannot be closed into the frame.

The .38 Special or .357 is a very versatile cartridge. You may purchase shotshells for it: they carry small birdshot in a plastic housing, creating a mini-shotgun effect. So little shot is held, however, that these cartridges are only good for small animals (snakes, rats, rabbits) at no more than 15 feet or so. Still, loading your revolver so the first shot fired is a shotshell is a good practice in rattlesnake country (in which I live, and employ the same practice).
However, I don't shoot snakes on general principal. I just walk around them. They have their place in the scheme of things, too.

The .38 Wadcutter bullet typically weighs 148 grs. and looks like a miniature oil barrel. These are meant for target shooting, but can be useful for self defense in the home, where you don't want to penetrate multiple walls and perhaps hit an innocent person in another room, next apartment or outdoors.

Perhaps the best-documented self defense .38 Special cartridge is the 158 gr. lead semi-wadcutter hollowpoint +P, as made by Winchester, Federal or Remington. It's also called the "FBI Load," "New York Police Load," or "Chicago Police Load." This full-power load has a good reputation for stopping bad guys, especially from revolvers with barrels of 4 inches or longer (the longer barrels helps to burn the extra gunpowder, thereby increasing the velocity over a 2" snubnose).

I own numerous semi-autos and revolvers. I shoot both. Through the years, I've taken many people out and introduced them to the basics of pistol shooing. Invariably, they like the .38 Special with mild, 148 gr. wadcutter loads or 158 gr. lead bullets at standard velocity (850 feet per second or so).
They also like .22 revolvers. Many get confused with the operation of a semi-auto, and some are distracted by the slide coming back during firing.
The revolver is more "user friendly." And of all the revolvers, the double-action with its swing-out cylinder is friendliest of all.
Of all the cartridges, the .22 is the most "user friendly" for beginners -- and experienced shooters.

You'll pay about $20 for 500 .22 cartridges. That same $20 will get you about 50 .38 Special cartridges. The ammunition savings is significant and will allow you to practice more.

I have never met a beginner who didn't like, and take to, a .22 double-action revolver. They're simple to operate and easy to check for status.

Sorry for prattling on so much, but it's a topic dear to me because I've introduced many beginners to pistol shooting.
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Old September 23, 2012, 10:39 AM   #10
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I picked up a S&W 5906 9mm SS police trade in last year. Holds 15 rounds and was in excellent condition. They are built like a tank and in 9mm you can buy cheap ammo for a lot of practice. I think it is one of the better buys out there in the used market and would fill all the needs you listed. I got it here, page 31 in their catalog:
http://site.cdnninvestments.com/CDNN2012-4/index.html
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Old September 23, 2012, 12:44 PM   #11
Internetlad
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@kraigwy I'm currently located in the central northern Wyoming, to be specific, Powell WY. A stone's throw away (20 min) from Cody, WY. It's also close to Lovell, WY where Code Red Tactical is HQ'd, that's where I was thinking of taking my basic pistol safety and handling/concealed carry course once I had the necessary equipment.

It' 5 hours and some change away from both Spearfish and Newcastle.

@Gatofeo Thanks for the input! I'm still weighing my options. The non-adjustable sights on the model 10 is some very useful information. Althought I don't see any reason why i'd need to use anything but standard ammo, It would be a huge downside if you can't actually SEE what you're shooting at haha. I'll certainly add a .22 revolver to my list of considerations

@rightside Like I said, at this point i'm taking everything into consideration, so thanks for the input!



I think the next big step here is to actually TRY OUT some of these handguns to get a feel for what I like most. I think the Cody Shooting Complex would be the next logical step as it's close and accessible. I can't find any information, however, on if they do rentals. I think that if I could find a place that did rentals and either a worker or acquantaince who could basically shadow me and make sure i'm not doing anything stupid, or making the obvious rookie mistakes.

I took the time last night to lightly peruse the repository here and I think the best and most consice article i've read so far is the 4 rules for safe handgun handling. I probably would have made the mistake of walking around holding it in a death grip like an idiot, truth be told.

As I said, I did do some shooting as a kid, but it was very light stuff, and it was most all with rifles rather than handguns, so i'm pretty much green on what i'm looking at getting into. Don't feel like you'll insult me by telling me something that would seem basic, all input is appreciated.


A thought for the future, once I do purchase a handgun, Would it be possible/worth it to get a service manual for that model to learn how to properly disassemble, maintain and clean it?

Last edited by Internetlad; September 23, 2012 at 01:09 PM.
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Old September 23, 2012, 06:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
I agree about the safe storage. I've seen handgun safes available for only 30-50 dollars, would that be a good solution? At the moment it would be a simple matter of figuring out how to store it so it's accessible in an emergency, but only by "authority figures"

On top of the oldschool tumbler lock and key units, I've seen safes with passcodes, and I assume they also have biometric models as well. I think safe storage is just as important as safe use so feedback on this would be welcome as well.
You really do get what you pay for in handgun safes. The inexpensive thin sheetmetal boxes with electronic locks can be compromised very easily and sometimes without any real tools. Probably will keep a toddler out though. Look for boxes with a mechanical pushbutton lock. These locks are fast, simple, reliable, and easy to open in the dark. You will probably spend $130.00 and up but it's an investment in your family's safety and will last many years.
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Old September 23, 2012, 07:51 PM   #13
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First thing... read, and educate yourself.

You need to learn the types of pistols and their actions. Single action, double action, SA/DA, DA only, Hammer fired, striker fired... Its not hard to learn, and you may already have a good handle on it.

Double action revolvers are overall simpler to use. Open the cylinder, load some rounds, close the cylinder, aim and fire. No safeties to worry with, no manipulation of slides, magazines or jams/malfunctions. They are also easier to maintain. You rarely need to get into the guts of them, and the cylinder and barrel are easy to clean.

That being said... they have disadvantages to semi autos. Less rounds and slower reloads, are two big ones.



Get your hands on several different pistols of all types and see how they feel in your hand. If you can... shoot them. Some ranges rent a variety of pistols.

Semis, revolvers... either works... but here is a few suggestions of where to start as a beginner.

A good 22lr pistol is always a good buy. I have been shooting since young and I own one, and want another. Ruger makes semis in 22lr that are some of the best. The Mark III in standard or 22/45 configuration are both excellent, and are less than $300 in their basic versions. Ruger also has the SR22 pistol, it is more modern looking, and is probably one of the most reliable 22lr semis available today. A little less accurate than the Mark pistols, but easier to disassemble and clean and it costs about $330. Ruger has revolvers in 22lr with double or single action. They even have some with conversions that allow 22lr and 22WMR (22 mag) which offers a little more punch. The revolvers cost $400 or so depending on model.

And 22LR is very cheap to shoot. 500 round bulk packs for $15-20... not to bad. Even the premium ammo is cheaper. CCI Velocitors are $7 for 50 and Mini Mags are $7 for 100.

A 22 might not be the best round for defense in the home... but if its all you have, its way better than nothing. More so if loaded up with some quality high velocity rounds like the CCI Velocitors, or round nose Mini Mags. Plus if you get the revolver with the 22 mag conversion, it offers more punch in such situations. Use Round nose for proper penetration in 22 mag. Same with the 22lr Mini Mags, use round nose not hollow point. Velocitors are only hollow point but act like round nose out of a pistol. With a 22 penetration is what you need the most, and 22 hollow points do not penetrate enough in a person. You also want to use the quality stuff for this situation as the bulk stuff is generally less reliable.

Another good option, a 38 spl revolver Get a standard steel frame and the recoil is pretty light. The 38 is not too costly to shoot, though a little more than 9mm. 38 spl is also effective as a defensive round with the new hollow points like Gold Dot, PDX1, and some others.

Related to this is the 357 mag revolver. The 357 can shoot 38 spl for cheap practice with less recoil, then load up with more powerful 357s for defense.

Another option is a good 9mm semi auto. A good one at a good price is the Sig 2022 about $350 online if you shop around for the basic black version. (if you can not find it on sale, $400 is the average)

Most other pistols in 9mm that are considered very good tend to be $400-450 or so or more. Like the CZ 75, Springfield XD, and others. (I own the CZ and have owned the XD, and consider them great choices) There are some good ones around the $350 mark like the Sig I mentioned and a few Rugers.

9mm is the cheapest of the full sized service calibers, around $10-15 for a box of 50rds, depending on brand and where you shop.

And a final suggestion, a used pistol in the options I gave above. This comes with caveats...

One... something that happens often is that someone gets a problem gun, then sell it off. So you may buy a used pistol and get a problem prone firearm. Sometimes these problem guns were really caused by a bad magazine or poor ammo, and therefore actually good. So care must be taken when buying used.

Two... Abused or improperly maintained. It happens, Even police trade ins are susceptible to this. Not all police officers are shooters with good firearms knowledge. Some are not firearms people and just do the minimum required, and this may lead to poor maintenance, some which make cause damage.

Revolvers tend to be safer bets in the used market. There are a few areas to look over on a revolver to determine if it was abused. Semis are harder to know if they have issues just by looking at them.

Buying from a reputable dealer who has an employee who is a competent gun smith, or a lot of knowledge, who can look the firearms over is always the best bet. If they are honest, they will not sell a pistol they feel is sub par.



If you get used, some companies have transferable warranties, others have a good reputation for helping out even when the gun is bought used.

If new, a good warranty is a good thing, just in case, as no manufacture has a perfect track record for flawless firearms. You want to know that they stand by their product. (Ruger does not have a written warranty, But don't let that put you off. They have a reputation of great customer service and of fixing the problem, sometimes above and beyond, even for used guns years down the road)



If you think you will use this pistol for defensive roles... remember that you need to use quality hollow points. Keep in mind the quality stuff costs about 2-3 times more than the FMJ you practice with. (this does not apply to the 22LR as I mentioned above)

If you get a semi-auto, you need to shoot a couple 50rd boxes of your chosen hollow points through the pistol to ensure that it feeds them reliably. most modern semi-autos of reputable make should, but on occasion you get one that does not like a certain brand. Not all hollow points are the same, shape/design, they all feed a little different. So that is why you must test with your chosen brand. (some would say you need to shoot at least 300rds of hollow points through the gun, and more is better... but price and budget are a concern for many)



Remember, the choice is yours, as you will be the one buying, shooting, and maintaining it.

Hold as many as you can, manipulate the controls, work the action, and pull the trigger a few times in both DA and SA mode if the pistol has it. (and only if the shop allows you to dry fire) Remember it is usually a bad thing to dry fire a 22, so do not dry fire those. One thing you can do if it is a 22 or the shop does not allow dry firing... if the pistol is hammer fired, you can use your weak hand thumb to control the hammer as you pull the trigger. This will allow you to get some feel for the trigger without actually dry firing it.



If you live in a rural area with plenty of land, or know someone who does, you can shoot there safely if you are smart about it. I do it all the time at my friends house. He has 30 acres of land surrounded by woods, a few houses, but you just be aware of their location and do not shoot in the general direction of them.

The instruction manual will have all the info you need for basic maintenance and basic field stripping/disassembly. No need for an armorers book for it. If you need to get that deep into the pistol, a smith is probably a better option. It takes a lot of skill and knowledge to break down a firearm into its individual parts.

Oh... and if you are looking for a good cleaning kit... Otis make very good ones. You can get a basic kit for not much more than the kits at Walmart, and they are much better quality.

Last edited by marine6680; September 23, 2012 at 08:29 PM.
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Old September 23, 2012, 08:08 PM   #14
stu925
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I really like the Ruger Mark III for a new shooter working on the basics. It's a low cost round which translates into a whole lot more shooting. I would also recommend looking into the new Ruger SR-22 or SP-101 in .22 LR. If you're looking for something larger that could double as a home defense gun the S&W Model 10 would be hard to beat and could be picked up used for under $300. You might also be able to find an older Ruger P series 9mm in your price range.

Stu
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Old September 24, 2012, 03:58 AM   #15
Justice06RR
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First, welcome and good to hear your interest in firearms.

My recommendations for a first pistol is a Ruger P95 semiauto (9mm) or a Ruger 357 Revolver. The P95 is around $300 brand new, so could be a bit less used if you can find one. I'm not sure on the price of the 357Revolver, but you can look online at Buds to see the best prices.

I would also recommend a good 22lr rifle like a Ruger 10/22. Should be less than $300 and ammo is very cheap.

If you are looking for an affordable safe, you can get a basic one for $130 5-foot standing model at Bass Pro shop. If you just want a pistol safe, there are plenty of choices under $100.

Good luck and have fun with your journey!
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Old September 24, 2012, 07:13 AM   #16
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You've had some good advice, but they are all wrong as far where to start. You need to talk to your Banker first, you'll need to be on his good side!

Shoot often, have fun and be safe!
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Old September 24, 2012, 07:27 AM   #17
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If money is tight, a 22 is the way to go since ammo is so much cheaper. The last thing you want is to get a gun then not be able to shoot it because you can't afford ammo. Revolvers and semi-auto are both good choices and others have already recommended good ones, so I don't need to add.

22 ammo is about 3-4 cents per shot. The next cheapest is 9mm at roughly 18-20 cents per pop(for the cheapest stuff). Everything else goes up from there.

Shoot as many guns as you can before buying and get what you like.
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Old September 24, 2012, 02:17 PM   #18
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@quiksdraw

In this situation, "Banker" and "Wife" are synonymous. I've already went over the expenses and she didn't seem to balk at the cost once she had warmed up to the idea of the family owning a firearm.

@Gdawgs

Yeah, for that reason i'm leaning heavily towards the MKII/MKIII. Anything to say about the difference between the two? Is one preferred over the other?

I think i'd like to spend a little more and get one brand new for my first handgun, and then I know that if something is going wrong, it's either the manufacturing process, or something I did.

If anybody knows a gun range that does rentals in northern wyoming/southernmost montana, that's what i'm currently looking for.

Also if anybody has references to any specific books, media or articles that would be helpful for a first time handgun owner, they would help greatly. I can always google it but you never know the quality of the information you get online. It could be gold or garbage, which is why i'm wary to just learn everything by reading blogs/articles and watching youtube videos.
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Old September 24, 2012, 04:51 PM   #19
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The Mark II and Mark III are basically the same.

The Mark III is the newest version... It differs from the Mark II by having a loaded chamber indicator, a magazine disconnect, and changed from a European style magazine release on the bottom rear of the hand grip to a more common in the US style button behind the trigger guard. (though the button has become the most common around the world, the European style was big in the early part of the 20th century in Europe)

Both are good, but the Mark III is all you will find new.

They have several versions, from basic to tricked out fancy, and also a version with a more 1911 style hand grip/frame called the 22/45.

Another good option is the Ruger SR22 pistol. It is more modern and easier to disassemble and clean.

A 22 rifle was suggested as a good purchase in the future as well... the Ruger 10/22 can be had for $200 in the basic model. Lots of fun as well. Ruger made 25 round magazines are available for it, and are much better than the 3rd party versions.

Here is Hickok45's youtube. He has a lot of good info, and several videos aimed at beginners. He has a playlist of all his beginner videos. "Basics" and "Gun safety" are good playlists to start with.

Last edited by marine6680; September 24, 2012 at 05:05 PM.
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Old September 24, 2012, 05:35 PM   #20
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Yeah, I've seen Hickok's stuff before, he seems like a pretty cool guy!

To be honest, after looking at the MKII enough times, I've become a little taken with it's charm. It's got a unique look, and it gets great reviews as a plinking/training handgun. Apparently after you strip it a couple times, maintaining it gets pretty easy as well.

For reference, it's pronounced "Em Kay Two" not like "Muk Eye Eye" or "Mark Two" something weird right?
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Old September 24, 2012, 07:37 PM   #21
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The MK II has a better factory trigger due to the magazine disconnect in the MK III. The MK III magazine disconnect is pretty simple to get rid of, head over to the rimfire central forum and find SamLam and order one of his hammer bushings then you can remove the disconnect. I did mine in about 1/2 hour and it's the single best thing I could have done. I think the bushing cost me $10 and the trigger feels a bit better now also.

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Old September 25, 2012, 04:47 PM   #22
Internetlad
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Would that not void the warranty?
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Old September 25, 2012, 06:49 PM   #23
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Keep the old parts in case you need to send the gun back. Ruger from what I understand will still work on the gun with the replacement bushing in it but you can expect them to remove it and replace it with their bushing and mag disconnect. Better to keep the old parts and throw them back in the gun in case it needs to go back to Ruger. Ruger is notorious for removing any modifications you make to their guns and returning them to factory spec.

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Old September 26, 2012, 04:46 PM   #24
Internetlad
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Well, I watched Hickok's "suppressor" video on the mkIII and I think that's what i'm leaning towards (the handgun, not the suppresor). It's not much for self defense but apparently you never outgrow a plinking .22, and with the ammo being so cheap comparatively, I can get a lot more shooting in for 20 bucks, which is a respectable price for a fun saturday night.

I've also got two sons, 3 months and 3 years respectively, so some day they could learn to shoot with it so long as it still works!

Thanks for the help guys! I look forward to conversing with you all in the future, and i'll keep an eye on this thread in case anyone has anything else helpful to add!
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Old September 26, 2012, 05:30 PM   #25
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The mkIII is a great choice. You don't need to worry about wearing that out before your kids will be able to shoot it. It will still work when you pass it on to your great grandchildren.
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