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Old July 7, 2012, 05:24 PM   #1
LStetz
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hand gun to start with



Hello everyone:

I am just starting out, i have been researching for a few months now, a friend and i will be taking a course in the mid to end of aug.

i have gone to a store and held 3 diffrent semi -auto 2 bretta and a smith and wesson, the standard i liked and i also had compact that i thought was to small, i was not given the chance to hold some revolers.
i most have had 50% of people say because i never shot a hand gun I should get a revolver and others says what feels good to you????

i keep hearing this and i have to say that it seems like i like the semi- auto, now i know in the class i will be taking i will get the chance to shoot both, what kind i do not know?

Lisa
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Old July 7, 2012, 05:32 PM   #2
Lost Sheep
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Lisa, welcome to the forum and thanks for asking our advice.

Congratulations for going about this in a thinking manner.

If you share with us what your goals are (self-defense, home defense, target shooting, "just because", etc.) and what your intended uses are, we can advise you better. Do you live in an urban, suburban or rural area, for instance. Will you carry it outside the home? etc.

My recommendation is for a 22 rimfire. Below my recommendations list is my reasoning.

semi-automatics:
Ruger Mark I, II or current model III
or Browning Buckmark or
Smith & Wesson Model 41

Revolvers that come immediately to mind are:
Ruger SP101
Ruger Single-Six of Single-10
Smith & Wesson's K-Frame K-22 "Masterpiece" (I had one a while back)
Smith & Wesson 617
Taurus 990 or 94

Here's my reasoning:

1 Practice is important for becoming a good shot. Practice (beyond dry firing) takes ammo. Ammo is cheaper for a 22 than for any other caliber. Example: 22 rimfire costs (around here) $20 - $30 per 500. 500 rounds of 9mm (a very inexpensive round) is at least $100 to $150 per 500.

2 Practice with a round that has almost no recoil makes concentration on sight picture, breathing and trigger control much easier without the distraction of recoil and excessive muzzle blast. You can add those elements later after you have gotten the basics ingrained in your subconscious. If you start out with a hard-recoiling round you are almost certain to develop anticipation (usually characterized by a flinch) which is devilishly hard to cure. Prevention is much easier to, especially while you are learning.

3 Having a good, accurate 22 will put you on the range (if you go to a formal or informal shooting range) where you will get acquainted with other shooters, see their gun handling practices and see their guns. Most gun owners are proud of their hardware and if you exhibit good safety practices, a modicum of shooting skill and a little bit of polite interest, they will very probably let you handle their guns and even send a few rounds downrange. You can get to try out a wide variety of guns that way and collect testimonials from people other than salesmen when you go to a store.

4 Most (accurate) 22 rimfire guns are cheaper to buy than similarly accurate centerfire guns and hold their resale value well.

I also recommend you visit a web site owned by one of the administrators on The Firing Line, "Pax". It is principally written for women new to guns, but most of the information there is EQUALLY applicable to either gender. "New to guns" is "new to guns" whether male or female.
http://www.corneredcat.com/Contents/

Good luck. Thanks for reading.

Lost Sheep
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Old July 7, 2012, 05:33 PM   #3
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A Smith & Wesson Model 10 .38 Special is what I always suggest to new shooters. A good .22LR is truly best but alot dont want to go that route. A model 10 is perfect for new shooters and is still venerable and will last forever.
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Old July 7, 2012, 05:42 PM   #4
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For law enforcement and military use, semi auto pistols have taken over the landscape because they have higher ammo capacity and quick reloading from extra magazines.

But for pleasure shooting, hunting, home defense, and carry for some civilians, revolvers still get a lot of love.

Revolvers are simpler operating, smoother operating and more reliable, plus the stronger construction is better suited to the heavier cartridges that can be used for hunting deer, wild boar or black bear.

Semi-autos have the aforementioned advantages and are best suited to a scenario where you might need to take on multiple human adversaries.
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Old July 7, 2012, 05:46 PM   #5
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P.S. Most beginners don't want to get a .22 because they feel like they want to get a "real gun"...

But you won't find many experienced shooters without a quality .22 simply because they are the best and most cost-effective way to improve your skills.
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Old July 7, 2012, 06:17 PM   #6
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A good 22 revolver or auto is a great place to start. A 22 is not a toy and while not the best choice for defense it is not useless either. There are some center fire guns that have 22 conversion kits that let you shoot 22 and switch back to the center fire round (Glock, CZ, Sig, Colt and some others). If possible rent a number of guns that you think you might like and see what works best for you. All too often a revolver is recommend to a women, it may or may not be best. A hand gun is a personal choice and we all have different preferences, gender does not automatically dictate what that is.
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Old July 7, 2012, 07:08 PM   #7
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You came to the right place as there's lots of great advice in the forum.

However, I agree that if you have access to a range that rents guns to try that first (or borrow a buddy or two's handgun). This in conjunction with the aforementioned advice in the thread (I particularly would second the advice on a .22lr gun) will more than suffice. Good luck !

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Old July 7, 2012, 08:02 PM   #8
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+1 on getting a 22LR first. You will get lots of quality practice for cheap. I have both revolvers and semiautos and like them both about the same. I shoot 2 to 3 times more 22LR than I do centerfire and I've been shooting for 40 years now. No matter what type of action you get one of the Rugers is always a good solid value. I guess if I was to narrow it down I would look for a Ruger MKII Standard and just use the manual when you break it down for cleaning.
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Old July 7, 2012, 09:01 PM   #9
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If you haven't shot a lot before, I also highly recommend starting with a .22LR handgun. That's really the best way to get into shooting and I learned on a 22 long before I touched a larger caliber.

A .38 Revolver is a good solid choice for home defense. They're easy to use, have minimal problems, and they're not intimidating for new shooters. They may not be as "sexy" as a big black automatic, but buy for function and not for image.

Semiautomatics come with their own set of problems. Frankly, I love semiautos and have never owned a revolver other than a .22LR, however I accept some of the limitations of a semiauto. Semiautomatics can be picky about ammo, depending on what you're using, and a poor grip can cause a jam.

For a new shooter, I would only recommend 9mm. A lot of people get hung up on .45 ACP (My personal preference), .357 SIG, and 40 S&W. There is nothing wrong with any of these calibers. However, the 9mm is a good solid round that is perfectly adequate for what you intend.

Good guns to look at (That won't kill your budget)
Glock 17 (or Glock 19 if the grip on the 17 is too big)
CZ-75B
Magnum Research Jericho 941 (Usually called the Baby Eagle these days)

I like the Beretta just fine, but there are other guns that are cheaper that shoot just as well. It's a popular choice thanks to Hollywood. That said, I do know many police officers that make the Beretta 92 their personal carry weapon.

I'm not a Glock fan personally and don't care for them. However, they do make good guns. Keep in mind there is no mechanical safety on them. That does have the advantage of always being ready, but you'll need to learn and practice good trigger discipline.
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Old July 7, 2012, 11:42 PM   #10
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Purchase a good quality .22 Long Rifle. A couple of options (not all inclusive) in the semi-auto are the Ruger MK II or MK III or Browning Buckmark. For a revolver - either Ruger or Smith & Wesson can be very good choices.
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Old July 7, 2012, 11:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
A Smith & Wesson Model 10 .38 Special is what I always suggest to new shooters.
what he said^
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Old July 14, 2012, 03:13 PM   #12
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If no one has mentioned The Cornered Cat, I suggest starting there as it is from a woman's point of view.

That being said, I started with a Ruger .22 but quickly 'outgrew' it and got my CZ 9mm, which I still use on a regular basis.
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Old July 14, 2012, 04:48 PM   #13
Coltman 77
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Quote:
If no one has mentioned The Cornered Cat, I suggest starting there as it is from a woman's point of view.
I was thinking the same thing. Cornered Cat is a great resource for any shooter regardless of gender.

Please check it out LStetz. Good luck and continue post questions, everyone here is happy to try to help you in any way.

Here's a link : http://www.corneredcat.com/Contents/
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Old July 14, 2012, 05:01 PM   #14
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Another +1 for a 22LR. I've been shooting for a long while and still love a good 22 rifle or pistol. It's probably the best learning tool there is, I've started all of my family with them and I'm watching my kids teach there kids with them now. I don't think you can go too far wrong with any quality 22. Good Luck with your quest.
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Old July 14, 2012, 08:07 PM   #15
danez71
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Welcome Lisa.

Quote:
i most have had 50% of people say because i never shot a hand gun I should get a revolver and others says what feels good to you????
I say "what feels good to you".

I'll explain why using cars as thats something most can relate to.

Saying you should start on a revolver is similar to saying you should start driving using a stick shift.

Sure, if you can drive a car with a stick shift than you can certainly drive a car with an auto transmission and not necessarilrly the other way around.

But with so many good cars with auto transmission out today, why force yourself into starting off learning on a stick?

A revolver will help with trigger control but it will also be harder to learn on.

If a revolver is good to learn but not needed.

If a revolver is more comfortable for you... then by all means.... start off on it.


Oh wait... I just remembered something.

As my wife put it....

Would you teach your kid how to walk on a comfortable shoe or an uncomfortable shoe?



As far as the .22 goes.... I agree.

Car analogy: Learn to drive using a 4cyl (a .22) or a Camero/Mustang (9mm or .38..357)

The .22 / 4 cylinder will allow you to get comfortable learning and be cheap to shoot / drive.


You will out grow it but will likely never want to get rid of if.

At that time, when you're good and comfortable, step up in caliber.
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Old July 14, 2012, 11:03 PM   #16
Gdawgs
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Unless money is not concern for you, you should get a 22. Some have suggested a 38 spc, which is a great caliber, but ammo is expensive. Figure $20-$25 for a box of 50. And 50 rounds doesn't last very long. You can go down to Wal Mart and get a box of 550 22 shells for about $18. You can do a lot of shooting for less than 20 bucks.

So in other words, if you don't get a 22, you will go look at your gun every day and say to yourself, "I really wish I could go shoot you, but I can't afford any ammo. "

I do not agree with the analogy of revolvers=stick shift, or the uncomfortable shoe thing. Revolvers are simpler to operate than semi-autos. Hold a few of each type(semi-auto and revolver) or better yet get out there and try a few. Go out to a range and start talking to people. Most shooters are more than happy to let new people try their guns. Then get what you like and are most comfortable with.

Good luck.
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Old July 15, 2012, 01:54 PM   #17
danez71
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Quote:
I do not agree with the analogy of revolvers=stick shift, or the uncomfortable shoe thing.

Revolvers are simpler to operate than semi-autos.

Hold a few of each type(semi-auto and revolver) or better yet get out there and try a few.

Then get what you like and are most comfortable with.

Many will disagree with revolver being more simple than all semi autos. But its an opinion really that the poster needs to decide for her self.


But .....

1st you say that you dont agee with the uncomfortable shoe thing - That you dont agree with picking a comfortable shoe/gun to learn to walk/shoot with.

Then you say "get what you like and are most comfortable with".

A bit contradictory dont you think?

What am I missing that allows both sentences to be true while coming from the same post?
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Old July 15, 2012, 05:29 PM   #18
Gdawgs
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No it's not contadictory. If someone has never shot before, a revolver is simpler to operate and takes less training. But neither a revolver or a semi is hard to learn how to operate. If she goes out to the range, gets some instruction, likes a semi and is comfortable with it, then go for it. That's where I'm coming from.

What I don't agree with is saying that revolvers are uncomfortable or more difficult than autos. Yes, if we were talking about my 454 Casull or 460 S&W then I would agree with you, but I'm talking a 22. One that is either single action only, or single/double. Not double action only.

I really do feel that revolvers are simpler. Start with loading. What's easier to load, a revolver cylinder or a magazine? Give a young lady a ruger Mark X magazine and they will probably give up before they get it full. Load em up a couple times, and you have a pretty sore thumb. My 4 year old could easily load up a revolver. I know she couldn't load up a magazine.

Once the magazine or cylinder is loaded, which is easier load? A revolver. If it's a double or double/single action, you just close the cylinder and it's ready to go. If it's a single, you just close the gate. An auto you have to load the mag, then rack it. Which is simple enough, but to a new shooter, it's not always so. I see someone fumbling with an auto pretty often out at the range. Not so with revolvers.

Then comes the issue with clearing jams on autos. Not difficult to those who are fimilair with guns. But to newbies, this can be tough. I have seen many times where someone has a jam and can't figure out how to clear it. Then all the sudden that muzzle is pointing all over the place. Revolvers don't jam. Well I shouldn't say that, but it is rare. It can happen but it's usually a high primer caused by a reloader who isn't paying attention to detail.

I'm not an auto basher, I like, have and shoot both revolvers and autos. But typically if a new shooter asks me what to get, I will steer them toward a revolver. But like I said, with a little training, nothing wrong with either.

Last edited by Gdawgs; July 15, 2012 at 05:35 PM.
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Old July 15, 2012, 07:28 PM   #19
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Also prefer autos, but for the reasons above I'd recommend a revolver to a new shooter.

My son was getting frustrated because he keeps forgetting to turn the safety off, or he racks the slide with the safety on and the gun is not in SA. We tried a Browning BDM which has all kinds of reverse controls and I think it further frustrated him because he was just getting used to the Jericho.

A revolver is simple. Maybe not simpler to reload, but simpler to shoot. Once the gun is loaded, just pull the trigger. For home defense and a new shooter, it doesn't get any easier then that.
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Old July 15, 2012, 07:35 PM   #20
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I say there are no absolutes as a valid argument can be made for either handgun platform for the beginner. No need to elaborate or debate it out IMO--Just take shooter to a range that rents them out and have him or her try both a semi and revolver. Or better yet, save some money and let them use one of each of a friend's or family member. In my book and by doing so, you can both supervise and provide advise and support. Life is good.

-Cheers
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Old July 15, 2012, 07:43 PM   #21
danez71
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Quote:
What I don't agree with is saying that revolvers are uncomfortable or more difficult than autos.

Oh... ya. I wasnt saying that either.

She had mentioned that 50% say get a revolver and the others say get whats comfortable.

I say get whats comfortable and poopoo anyone that says you should get a particular type; whether that revolver or semi auto.

In fact, my 1st post said:

Quote:
If a revolver is more comfortable for you... then by all means.... start off on it.

The uncomfortable shoe comment was just saying/questioning 'why would you ever purposely learn to walk using an uncomfortable shoe?'.

Same for learning to shoot. Why would anyone purposely learn to shoot by buying and using an uncomfortable 1st gun?

We're on the same page. I think you must of not read my quote above the 1st time.
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Old July 19, 2012, 03:04 PM   #22
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Walther/Colt Umerex 1911-22

I consider the best starter pistol because of 1911 platform, but cheaper ammo. Some parts even interchange with the 1911A! 45 ACP.
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Old July 20, 2012, 01:37 AM   #23
MarkDozier
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First off - Botswana is wrong. Revolvers are sexy
2nd -- A good 22 caliber pistol is a must. I prefer starting folks on wheel guns (revolvers) to teach firing discipline. Sight picture and trigger control seem to be better learned on wheel guns because you do have the thought of lots of rounds got to shoot them all before I stop.
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Old July 20, 2012, 07:59 AM   #24
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My first gun was a 4" SP101 that I bought 45 days ago for home defense and misc use. 15 days ago I bought a Mark III, because I couldn't afford to be spending $60 in ammo every time I go to the range. It's much, much easier to focus on good technique with the .22 when starting out. The .22 pistol is a good recommendation. I will be doing 80-90% of my practice with .22 for years to come.
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Old July 20, 2012, 09:46 AM   #25
loose_holster_dan
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definitely go with a 22LR to learn, but i find that most NEW shooters prefer a semi over a revolver. the grip is just more intuitive and comfortable for MOST people who haven't been handling revolvers for years. yes it is slightly more complicated to operate, but if some drugged out gangbangers can figure it out, so can you. to slightly simplify the semi, i do recommend going for a striker fire if you are going to be using it for self defense. this way you have the point and pull simplicity that a revolver offers in a more comfortable weapon with a higher round count. there is a reason that no law enforcement or military currently use revolvers. my opinion is that they are an inferior platform for the purpose of self defense.

as to models to try, this will depend upon personal taste and genetics. obviously you need to be comfortable with it, but it also needs to fit your hand. some semis have larger grip frames than others. depending upon your hand size, this can make it difficult to comfortably hold the gun and reach the trigger. this is especially true of striker fire. my list below are models i recommend. i will put a * by options with narrower grip frames and a # by options that easily conceal. at the end i will put an S by striker fire models. i will limit the choices to models that i believe will be good for self defense.

sig p226
sig p229 #
sig sp2022 *
walther ppq * S
walther pps # * S
cz 75b
cz 75d compact (pcr) #
S&W M&P * S
S&W M&P compact # * S
Ruger SR9 * S
Ruger SR9c # * S
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