View Full Version : First gun for non-gun guy?

September 22, 2005, 10:45 AM
Got a buddy who is not into guns but wants one for home defence. I told him to look at CZ or Glock. He has a guy at work selling a (shot once, $350) Beretta 9000. Any good?
I think he should go with a full size. Better grip, more rounds? Plus, not being a gun guy it will most likely not get cleaned well. Maybe a Glock would be the best pick? Any thoughts?

September 22, 2005, 10:49 AM
I think most "experts" would strongly suggest a revolver as a first gun for home defense, especially if it isn't going to be practised with frequently and isn't going to be cleaned well afterwards. Squeeze trigger, gun goes bang. Easy, pleasy, Japanesey.

September 22, 2005, 10:55 AM
Mossberg 500 + 00 buck = excellent home defense


September 22, 2005, 10:55 AM
No brainer, revolver. The SP100 would be perfect!

September 22, 2005, 11:01 AM
I second the revolver notion. Next to that a Makarov: Cheap, accurate and utterly reliable.

September 22, 2005, 11:17 AM
I think the nongun person should handle a few weapons.

A shotgun is a great homedefense tool if the person is good with it.
A good shotgun course is something any beginner should take.

Shotguns are rather big and clearing around a corner becomes a task because someone can grab the gun from around a corner.

A pistol, semi/wheel can also be good HD weapons, alot easier to clear around corners, but doesnt pack the punch of the shottie..

People should test a few weapons out, attend a few classes.

Home defense classes, for handguns and shotguns, knives... you name it and theres a class for it.

September 22, 2005, 11:19 AM
Your friend could go to a range and try some borrowed pistols or rent a few range pistols.

He needs one he can shoot often without breaking his bank. That means probably a .22 LR or a 9mm if one is only considering semi-auto pistols. People will say neither are appropriate for home defense. If I was a home invader, I'd just as soon stay away from a neophyte practiced at rolling cans with a .22 rather than an enthusiast with a virtually unused "deathray" featured in gun magazines.

September 22, 2005, 12:43 PM
Only 1? A non-Gun Guy?

I'd suggest a good medium frame revolver, either S&W or Ruger (newer Taurus is Ok), chambered in .357 Mag or .38 Spl, and get it in a 3" - 5" barrel. A police trade-in S&W Model 10 with a 4" barrel would do the trick nicely, and those can be had for a song.

The suggestions for a Makarov are not bad, but ammo availability may be an issue. Yes, it is widely available over the 'net and cheap, too, but you can't just go down to WallyWorld and pick up a box on the way to the range.

A nice .22 (wheel or auto) has much going for it -- cheap and easy to shoot. But all too often a first gun ends up being an only gun, and I'd question the wisdom of having one's only SD firearm being a .22. Yes, it is better than nothing but only just. Now, if your friend is considering getting a 2nd gun as well (one with more SD potential), the .22 goes to the top of the list.

September 22, 2005, 02:16 PM
Got a buddy who is not into guns but wants one for home defence ... not being a gun guy it will most likely not get cleaned well.Pete -

This may be more advice than you asked for but I assume that;

1) Your buddy came to you looking for good advice
2) You came here to TFL for good advice

… with that in mind, here goes.

Your comment about him not cleaning it often scares the bejeezus out of me. In other words, he may not be a "gun guy" now, but the moment he buys a gun, he becomes one and accepts all the responsibilities that come with that -- including keeping his weapon clean -- ESPECIALLY if it's for HD.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not some crusty old fart complaining about "you young, irresponsible, whippersnappers." I just started shooting last year. That said, I have gotten some excellent advice (on TFL and other places) regarding the necessary attitude/responsibilities of being a gun owner. I think your buddy needs to hear that same advice before he buys ANY gun.

The Beretta will do just fine for him, assuming:

1) He learns how to properly operate and handle it.
2) He learns how to properly care for it
3) He learns how to safely store it in his house

At the end of the day, a HD gun needs to go BANG when it's needed but not cause any tragic accidents in the meantime. To make that happen, he needs to get some instruction (preferably a basic firearms course) and make a commitment to be responsible about being a gun owner.

As his friend, you need to have this particular chat with him before he buys a gun. If he isn't ready to step up to being "a gun guy," he doesn't need a gun.

I'm sorry for the mini-rant but that's my .02.

September 22, 2005, 03:03 PM
You are 110% right. I have already had that chat. However, my hands are tied as to how he takes care of this gun (that was his idea to buy). He may take care of it great, he may become a huge gun guy, but I would like to advise him to get a gun that may function well with little maintenance.
He seems to be firm on the idea of a semi-auto 9mm handgun(which does not seem to be a problem). I believe that CZ is one of the best values out there today, and Glocks are one of the most durable. So, that is what I have recommended to him. I started this thread to hear about the Beretta 9000 which I know nothing about. I have since told him to pass on this gun.
He also has a friend with a FFL and who teaches classes for CCW. So, I feel good about him getting some good leasons there.
Thanks for the help and advise, Pete

T. O'Heir
September 22, 2005, 03:06 PM
"...some crusty old fart..." I've been called that, DoItRight and I agree with you. Well, except for the Beretta part. Only because it may not fit the guy's hand and training is required. An untrained "non-gun guy" is more likely to spray and pray with the resulting mayhem. If he even manages to get the thing running. Not to mention the extreme danger of shots going who knows where.
If the guy will not get some training with a handgun that fits his hand, he(and everybody else) is better off with an HD big dog.

September 22, 2005, 03:58 PM
I agree with those who suggest a revolver as a first gun. Simple to use, long heavy trigger pull. After you gain some experience and range time you may want to concider other options.

September 22, 2005, 07:44 PM

If you are still reading this thread . . .

1. Experience with ANYTHING, especially the type of firearm to be used.
2. Mr. Gauge.
3. A .38 revolver.
4. Mr. Gauge AND a .38 revolver.
5. Mr. Gauge and a .38 revolver AND a second .38 revolver in a strategic other room.

Remember, Mr. Gauge is not a miracle-worker, but he can sure work miracles, especially for the inexperienced.

This is good, too . . .


Ha, ha, ha! Not really . . . unless there is no one else home and no neighbors within .223/5.56mm range! If not, then 30 rounds down the tube in 4 seconds will certainly tend to discourage an intruder! (This is a totally impractical firearm in a civilized society, but it is more fun to shoot than you can imagine. I just posted the picture for gratuitous porn reasons.)

--seal killer

September 22, 2005, 07:48 PM
I agree on the revolver for a new gun owner but you are just assuming he will not clean it good. If it were my first, I probably would over-clean it. ;)

September 23, 2005, 09:33 PM
+1 with DoItRight

Your friend has to first deal with the single most important question when even mentioning a handgun, or any gun for that matter, as a means of self-defense. What he has to ask himself before he even thinks about getting any firearm is...

Can he take a life? If he or a member of his family are faced with mortal danger, can he shoot another person to save himself or his family?

If he believes that he could do that, than he needs to learn everything he can about his local laws concerning self defense and when he can and can't use it, find a basic or introductory firearms course dealing with how to safely handle, shoot, and care for his weapon, and THEN decide what type of firearm suits him best after researching and hopefully test-driving a few different choices.

If your friend truly believes he can't answer that important question with a "yes", than a gun only becomes an empty threat that is more likely to bring more harm than good. The gun is just a tool. It takes confidence and fortitude to make it a lethal tool with the ability to keep you from harm.

September 25, 2005, 01:45 PM
If it's only for HD, a nice 12 or even 20 gauge. Nothing wrong with a double barrel either (if you need more than two rounds of shotgun blasts call Special Forces!) - SAFE, effective, minimize overpenetration with the right load, EASY to clean, LOTS of ammo choices, LESS training/practice than a handgun, MORE likely to hit BG, Cheap, etc.

Even though you say this guy isn't a "gun guy" a lot of newbies want a handgun because it's sexy. For HD, I prefer a shotgun. If he planned on getting a CCW too and could only afford one gun, that's different.

IF he insists on a handgun, I'd recommend a S&W .38 +P, a CZ, Glock or a Ruger. A Ruger P90 or a Glock30, IMHO, recoil like a 9mm and are accurate; there's nothing like a .45...
Good luck,

September 25, 2005, 02:02 PM
+1 for revolver.

But I was a non-gun-guy until I decided to go into law enforcement career.
In fact, my parents hates guns and I was raised with their fear HOWEVER I decide to become a law enforcement officer I had to choose my on duty gun. So I started to research, read magazines on-line surding.... Now I am a gun nut. You never know this guy may become one, too. :D