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Old July 9, 2009, 09:36 PM   #26
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I usually agree with Big Ugly Tall Texan, but if i'm to be honest I learned to shoot handguns with a 6" Colt Python loaded with .38 specials. I do agree that a revolver is a much better choice for learning the fundamentals of shooting as opposed to an auto. With the 6" barrel and loaded with .38s there was no real recoil to deal with and I could concentrate on sight picture, proper grip, trigger control, and all the safety aspects that you are just learning starting out. I probably put 1000 rnds of .38s through it before I fired my first .357 in it.
"Good...bad...i'm the guy with the gun."- Ash Wells
"The nine millimeter is for killing europeans, for truely dangerous people you need a .45."- Jeff Cooper
"George Washington did not use his right to free speech to defeat the British, he shot them."
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Old July 11, 2009, 06:45 AM   #27
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I'd suggest a S&W K-frame or a Makarov. Personally, I don't have much use for a .357 at the range or in my house, so I'm good with a plain ol' .38 SPL Model 10. Both .38 SPL and 9X18 are good medium power rounds and the guns I mentioned above will give one reliable, accurate service for generations. I reload for the Model 10 so I can shoot quite a bit cheaply. The thing is a true naturally comfortable shooter. The Mak is also a great shooter but, since I have to buy store-bought ammo, I don't shoot it as much and am therefore not as "fluent" as I am with the S&W. But, newbies always have the best results with the Mak. It's very easy to master and to maintain. If I were to only have one handgun around the house, either of these would do very well.

Note about the Makarov: It's the only semi-auto I consider to be as reliable as a decent revolver. It also breaks down for cleaning in less than 20 seconds.

A Makarov? Simple, easy and works perfectly every time. ¡Vale!

Last edited by woad_yurt; July 14, 2009 at 05:12 AM.
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Old July 11, 2009, 02:52 PM   #28
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And to add how do you feel about used guns, should I be worried about wear.
There is a sticky at the top of the revolver forum which explains how to inspect a used revolver. It's worth looking at.

imho getting a used gun is the most sensible thing to do. Most modern semi-autos from major gun makers will work fine for thousands of rounds. If you buy one that is clean and rust free the odds a greatly in your favor that it will be a good shooter.

Single action revolvers are really simple mechanisms that you can learn to take apart and put back together in an afternoon. Once again the odds are in your favor if you buy one from a major gun maker.

Double action revolvers can be problematic. These types of guns can look real nice but have cylinders that are out of whack or have bent cranes from to much horse play.
While I would be confident buying a used double action I'd worry about someone not familiar with guns buying one. The odds are still in your favor but being wrong could lead to some unpleasant event.
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Old July 11, 2009, 07:04 PM   #29
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I think the 1911 is the safest model out there, for beginner or otherwise. Everyone can shoot a 1911 with a little training. And, after learning that, you can probably shoot everything else without too much trouble. Most people can't hit the broad side of a barn with a snub nose revolver, much less when the adrenaline gets pumping with the stress of an armed confrontation.

Saw a guy with his wife at the range today with a snubby. Rounds were hitting 10 feet in front of the target stand. Now, you might say that's normal for a new shooter, but that was the man shooting, not his wife. I don't know where her rounds were going.
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Old July 11, 2009, 09:15 PM   #30
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I didn't get a .22 as my first and am really glad I didn't. In addition to some interesting suggestions others have made, consider a S&W M&P 9mm.
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Old July 12, 2009, 07:53 AM   #31
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My first handgun was a Ruger Single-Six convertible and I still have it 20 years later.
To a much greater extent than most mechanical devices, firearms are terribly unforgiving of any overconfidence, complacency or negligence.
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Old July 12, 2009, 12:46 PM   #32
Bill DeShivs
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If one learns to shoot with a small/short handgun, that person will be a better shot with bigger guns.
I learned with a Browning .25.
Bill DeShivs, Master Cutler
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Old July 12, 2009, 01:08 PM   #33
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If it was my first gun I would go with a revolver.

How about a .38 special..not airweight
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