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Old November 5, 2010, 11:12 AM   #26
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Best advice I ever got and didn't take:


Good luck, be safe, and have fun!
Shooting more, typing less
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Old November 5, 2010, 03:36 PM   #27
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We can all tell you what our favorite guns are, but the only thing that matters is which of all these fine guns feels best to you. Buying a certain brand and model of gun because a few more people favor it on some internet forum would not be advisable.
Absolutely! But folks here have been a big help in suggesting a place to start.

9mm's are definitely on my list now, as is a Glock and a .38 special. And now I know that the GP100 comes in both 3" and 4".

I'll try as many as I can at the range. Thanks to this thread, I have a better idea of where to begin, and when I narrow down my choices, I'll more easily be able to group them with other similar models.

I still don't know if I'll go with a conversion kit or a second gun, a .22 dedicated to practice. I'm reading more about kits to learn.
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Old November 5, 2010, 04:23 PM   #28
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The advice of others will rarely be as beneficial as your personal experience. Try walking up to the counter and letting the person helping you know right off the bat that you're new and looking to get an idea of what you like. A good dealer will be more than happy to help you out and have plenty of knowledge to share with you. Try a few revolvers, a few striker fired autos, a few da/sa autos, and some other types as well. Find out what your dealer likes and why and see what is selling well. Determine what fits your hand well in a proper grip. If you haven't learned a proper grip, the dealer should be able to show you. Determine which weapon type suits you best keeping in mind how much you plan on training with it both with ammo and dry fire drills and after narrowing down the type, check out similar pistols and pick your favorite. Most of all, don't be afraid to leave and come back later to do it all over again so that you can be sure you're getting what you want.

Basically, act like you're buying a car.

As for specific weapons I would reccomend looking at, here is a short list:

SIG Sauer
HK P30
1911 style autos
CZ75 line pistols

Then I would look at similar offerings from other brands to hold up to those and use a process of elimination to decide what I like best.
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Old November 5, 2010, 05:19 PM   #29
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My advice is to buy a good .22lr pistol. Then after you've run a few hundred rounds through it, and mastered the basics, you can sell it and move up to something better suited for hd.

I favor mid size revolvers. The S&W K frame is a great gun in my opinion. I like the weight. I also like that if you have a failure to fire all you have to do is pull the trigger again.

You could get a used S&W model 64 for $239 plus transfer fees. So for about $300 you could have a .38spl+p revolver. If you still want a .22lr you can pick up a Ruger MKII for another $300. For $600 you have two range pistols and a great hd weapon.

Of course I recomend going to a local gun shop and trying them out before you drop any cash.

Model 64 for $239
Here's my credo: There are no good guns, There are no bad guns. A gun in the hands of a bad man is a bad thing. Any gun in the hands of a good man is no threat to anyone, except bad people.
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Last edited by MikeNice81; November 5, 2010 at 05:26 PM.
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Old November 5, 2010, 05:47 PM   #30
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If I was to do it all over … my first handgun would be a revolver. Here is why;

Short of chaos, five rounds is enough

You can use lesser rounds to get practice without producing a flinch. Eg. a .38/.358 combo or a .32 H&R/.327 Mag. + it’s generally cheaper using these rounds.

There are less things to go wrong with a revolver (generally). They are just reliable.

You don’t have to pick up your shells (even better if you intend to reload)

Less shots makes you (me) focus more

If you decide or need to take a hiatus from shooting, you don’t have to worry about the springs weakening in your clips etc … leave it loaded wherever, and when you’re ready …

This is all subjective of course. I am sure there are just as many good reasons to go semi first, such as faster to shoot well, firepower, some prefer the feel, etc, etc …

But if it was me, and I was to do it all over again … I would go the revolver route. Besides – once you start – eventually you’re going to have to have one anyway lol!

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Old November 5, 2010, 11:41 PM   #31
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Being a new shooter. I would buy a Smith & Wesson. They have a fantastic warranty. You have a problem. Call them and your pistol will be taken care of with no out of pocket expense.

Getting a .22 is a good idea and they can be a lot of fun to shoot. But if you shop right you might be able to find say a new SD-9 and a J-Frame revolver.

I purchased a Smith Model 60 Pro for my wife in Sept. She is a new shooter and loves it. She can shoot .38/.38+P/.357 with it. I can hit milk jugs with it at 100 yards. And honestly,,, I like it as much as my 686P. But I would not get a J-Frame snub. 3" barrel is very shootable.

A SD-9 will get you into the world of semi auto's. It has a good enough trigger, a good feel with a front night site.

Or you could do the same thing with Ruger. Say a small revolver and one of there semi auto's. The Ruger's would be cheaper to purchase new. But there warranty isn't as care free as Smith & Wesson's.

The 9mm and .38's are about the cheapest ammo one can buy today retail. And you will need to shoot. A firearm will do you no good at all if you can't hit a target with it.

Most important,,,,, HAVE FUN!!!!! And let us know how it goes.
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Old November 7, 2010, 04:49 PM   #32
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As many have said, shoot before you buy - shoot as wide a variety of pistols as you can find.

Consider taking a class, and ask the instructor for advice, particularly if he is a LEO.

You probably are going to end up sticking with a 9mm for defense purposes (ammo cheaper, and practice is your best friend).

I'm going to second the idea of a 22LR conversion kit; gives you even cheaper practice than a 9mm, and gives you the same feel, weight, and control mechanism as your defense gun. Given that, a few to look at include:
One note - many of the links above mention MSRP pricing. Don't despair if you see high pricing on the links; it's the retail price you want to go by, which can be often significantly cheaper. Here's a link to the Shooter's Depot Davidson portal, where you can get more realistic pricing - not necessarily the absolute lowest you can find, but it'll give you a better idea than the manufacturer sites.
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Old November 7, 2010, 08:42 PM   #33
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The advice of others will rarely be as beneficial as your personal experience
Definitely. But this Thread is a great help. Now I know more useful questions to ask at the dealer, and I have some specific models to at least try.

don't be afraid to leave and come back later to do it all over again so that you can be sure you're getting what you want.

Basically, act like you're buying a car.
Good advice, thanks. I'll also try what I can at the range, and that'll help me decide between the three choices of 1) single gun for HD and practice, 2) HD choice w. conversion kit for practice, or 3) separate HD choice and .22 rimfire for practice.

Consider taking a class
Already signed up. Two, actually.

Gah! I'm already sliding into another hobby. I can tell this will be addictive. Why couldn't I like something simple and cheap, like basketball?
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Old November 7, 2010, 10:01 PM   #34
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I'm not sure how being an LEO makes a shooting instructor more able to give advice on buying a first gun.
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Old November 7, 2010, 10:19 PM   #35
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I agree with icemonkey but mainly dont go to the store tunnel visioned on I want a revolver or I want a semi. I hear from gun dealers this is what happens. its ok but be openminded to thoughts while asking at the counter. I would go with a ruger or smith&wesson .357 revolver. otherwise I would buy a smith&wesson .44magnum. I think you should kill 2 or maybe three birds with one stone here. example: buy a nice weapon you can use for homedefense also. maybe also buy a firearm you can also use a 'carrying concealed weapon'. this will probably make the barrel size shorter. I prefer about 6" barrels 6shot revolvers(maybe little longer) and 2" for concealed. the 2" concealed works better for me than a 3". more great advice a dealer gave me: what feels right to you. don't buy it if it doesn't feel right. I think you'll be ok not shooting it first but that Might just be my impatient nature. also, revolvers suit beginners more in my opinion and that advice came from a dealer too. I didnt listen the first time but he was right
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Old November 8, 2010, 04:19 PM   #36
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I am partial to the Sig 226, its a well balanced user friendly gun that you can put almost an unlimited amount of rounds through. If you're going to use it for home defense as well I would recommend you get it chambered in the 40 Caliber. Its still user friendly with a little more punch.

I also just picked up a Beretta 92 FS, I'm actually going to go try it out today. The nice thing about the gun is it has an option for a .22 LR conversion so you have the benefits of a home defense gun along with the option of firing cheap rounds at the range. The gun is 600-800 dollars and the conversion kit is about 300. The nice thing is you basically get two guns for about 1100 dollars.
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Old December 8, 2010, 09:33 PM   #37
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At the risk of resurrecting an old thread, I wanted to offer my thanks for the good suggestions here, and to give an update. I've taken a class, tried a bunch of models, and I'm down to two choices: Glock 19 or CZ-P01/PCR.

I've posted a question about them in this thread, and here, what a great help this has been. No, I'd never buy a gun based solely on what someone says on the Internet, but the thoughts here gave me great ideas of what to consider and why. Thanks!

Last edited by DougNew; December 8, 2010 at 09:46 PM.
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