The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: General Handgun Forum

View Poll Results: Read post, THEN which type of pistol for the first bought/owned?
Revolver - 22lr 25 26.32%
Semi - 22lr 31 32.63%
Revolver - Centerfire 21 22.11%
Semi - Centerfire 17 17.89%
Break (COntender types) 1 1.05%
Milsurplus (usable, not pure collectors!!!) 0 0%
AR/Ak conversion pistols. 0 0%
Voters: 95. You may not vote on this poll

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 23, 2009, 02:49 PM   #1
Junior member
Join Date: May 16, 2008
Posts: 9,996
New Pistol Scenario

Put your self in the feet of a new shooter. Very little to no pistol experience. You are looking for a pistol to get started. What would you buy? Consider all the financial, maintenance, retail, use longevity issues involved with a firearm.

Depends on the primary use.
You are looking for a pistol to get started.
This isn't necessarily the only pistol you will own. This is the start. You want to familiarize yourself with pistol shooting and get out to the range a little.

Compare this to the first pistol you bought/owned and whether that was a good starting pistol. Why, excluding any sentimental value, you would have preferred the pistol you chose in this poll. I left the poll to general design, but feel free to list your specific make and model in your post.

My first pistol was a P22 it was a lot of fun to shoot. It allowed me to familiarize with characteristics of centerfire pistols not always found on .22s.
After about 1,000 rounds and a year(was in college so I couldn't shoot as much), I felt like its limitations were holding me back and went for a Ruger MK II hunter. Although the P22 was a good starter and looked cool, the MK II allowed me to work on my shooting a lot more due to it's accuracy.

I might go with a buckmark also. It would be one of the two though. Would never regret the purchase and would allow me to put alot of rounds down range for very little additional money.

Last edited by johnwilliamson062; December 23, 2009 at 03:10 PM.
johnwilliamson062 is offline  
Old December 23, 2009, 02:52 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: April 9, 2008
Posts: 972
S&W 648, 617, 647, or 686. Depends on the primary use. If it was to be used in CCW or home defense the 686 would be it. If not then any of the other three. My first was a Ruger Blackhawk in 357 mag.
mnhntr is offline  
Old December 23, 2009, 02:54 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: December 5, 2009
Location: South
Posts: 110
.22lr in an auto pistol.

That way you don't learn bad habits like flinching.
Chalupa is offline  
Old December 23, 2009, 03:32 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: July 25, 2000
Location: Central TX
Posts: 1,502
I'm not going to vote, at least not yet. My recommendation to most new shooters interested in handgunning is to buy a .22 in the same action as they will want their first centerfire. So if they want a centerfire revolver to hunt with, start with a .22 revolver. If they are intending to buy a centerfire semi-auto for self defense, I recommend a .22 semi-auto. If they just want a plinker, stick with the .22 ... and generally, a semi-auto, because you can get a higher quality semi-auto than revolver for the same price in a .22.

First pistol I bought was a Browning Buckmark, and I bought it with the intention of practicing sight picture and trigger control with inexpensive ammo prior to buying my first defensive handgun. Still have that Buckmark and don't intend to ever sell it.
Cogito, ergo armatus sum.
Legionnaire is offline  
Old December 23, 2009, 03:42 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: August 17, 2009
Location: milwaukee
Posts: 128
Taking those parameters into consideration, I would get either a revolver in .38/.357 caliber with a 4 inch barrel or a 9 mm auto (either striker fired or DA). And then become as proficient as possible with my selection.
Furminator is offline  
Old December 23, 2009, 04:01 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: July 23, 2005
Location: Luxembourg
Posts: 1,324
I think a good 4" .357 magnum DA revolver is the perfect handgun for a beginner. Or a .22 if ammo cost is a big issue. But I would prefer the .357 due to the fact that you can also use it for some serious purposes (home defence or for carrying). You can stard with .38 wadcutters which don't have much more recoil than a .22lr. and move up to standard or +p .38 or .357 magnums if you think you need the power or just enjoy recoil

What I also like about the DA revolver is the fact that you can learn to handle different trigger styles. You can learn to shoot DA as well as SA. IMO if you master the DA trigger of a revolver (I personally love the DA trigger on my model 19 S&W, I never shoot SA) you can shoot almost any other kind of pistol as well.
Silvanus is offline  
Old December 23, 2009, 04:08 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: December 23, 2008
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 608
My first pistol shooting experience was with my mom from a Ruger Mark II. Accordingly my first pistol was a Ruger Mark III 22/45. It's hard to beat a solid .22lr as your first gun, the ammo is plentiful and cheap, giving one little excuse to not practice.
Let not a man guard his dignity, but let his dignity guard him. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
pacerdude is offline  
Old December 23, 2009, 04:50 PM   #8
Join Date: April 19, 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 24
With no experience with handguns I would opt for a reliable 22 revolver. Easy to operate and reliable. No recoil to speak of and no feed and ejection issues common to semi-auto's. Next choice would be a semi-auto Ruger.

My first pistol was a Taurus 24/7 Pro DS 9mm. But I had experience with handguns from my youth (a long time ago)!
Doom is offline  
Old December 23, 2009, 05:09 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: May 27, 2009
Posts: 3,968
First pistol was a S&W revolver in .38spcl

It is a simple design to operate, most reliable and easy to shoot affordable catridge that is still good for more than target practice.
Sic Semper Tyrannis
EdInk is offline  
Old December 23, 2009, 05:58 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: November 16, 2008
Posts: 1,555
22 lr revolver 4in covers all the basics .
No Gun Big Or Small Does It All
mrt949 is offline  
Old December 23, 2009, 10:14 PM   #11
Senior Member
Join Date: May 14, 2009
Location: Rocky Mountains
Posts: 122
+1 for Legionnaire's post. My first was a Ruger single six, .22 / .22Mag and gave me good practice for the S&W 686 I bought several months later. The Ruger single six is still probably my favorite shooter!
"Today my jurisdiction ends here. Pick up my hat." Sheriff Langsdon
Silverado is offline  
Old December 23, 2009, 10:31 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: May 27, 2006
Location: Ozarks
Posts: 1,837
The first modern firearm I bought for myself was a Colt Trooper MKIII, 4" blue, 357 Magnum. Sold it to a friend. Wish I still had it. That was a nice pistol.
"A Liberal is someone who doesn't care what you do, as long as it's mandatory". - Charles Krauthammer
jhenry is offline  
Old December 23, 2009, 10:40 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: April 13, 2008
Location: Sunshine State
Posts: 313
My first handgun was a single action .22 revolver, and it taught me lots. It was fun and inexpensive to shoot, and helped me develop good shooting skills. After that, I went in several different directions, but I owe what success I've had to the learning years....

Ruger Super Single- 6 revolver
Sig-Sauer P226 9mm semi-auto
Smith & Wesson model 65 revolver in .357 magnum
Smith & Wesson model 642 revolver in .38 special
Walther P1 semi-auto in 9 mm
Dan Wesson Commander Classic Bob-Tail 1911 in .45ACP
Genepix is offline  
Old December 23, 2009, 11:07 PM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: July 26, 2005
Location: The Bluegrass
Posts: 8,600
.22 double action revolver. Caliber .22 because ammo is cheap and you can practice a lot. DA revolver because you can practice both single and double action to learn trigger control.
KyJim is offline  
Old December 24, 2009, 07:43 AM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: November 6, 2009
Posts: 360
My first 22 hangun was a Ruger Mark II and I still have and shoot it. I also have two S&W 22 revolvers and two S&W model 41's.
fyimo is offline  
Old December 24, 2009, 07:44 AM   #16
Don P
Senior Member
Join Date: December 17, 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 5,916
In my opinion, as I voted a revolver. Either in single or double action. Double action would be a little better for learning about trigger pull and control. The revolver would be the least confusing for a new shooter and difficulties with regards to feeding problems non existent. A problematic semi-auto could very well turn off a new shooter to the sport and give him/her a bad taste for bottom feeders and shooting all together
NRA Life Member, NRA Range Safety Officer, NRA Certified Pistol Instructor,, USPSA NROI Range Officer,
ICORE Range Officer,
,MAG 40 Graduate
As you are, I once was, As I am, You will be.
Don P is offline  
Old December 24, 2009, 09:35 AM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: June 18, 2004
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 2,566
My first handgun was a 1911, . . . purchased in Saigon in 1966, . . . worked for me.

I chose the centerfire semi, . . . because:

1) it really did work for me, . . . even as a new shooter with it, . . . it only took a little while and I was fairly proficient with it (could have had something to do with the environment at the time )

2) with the cost factor vs. disposable income a lot of folks have to contend with, . . . it could be a while after the .22 purchase that they could then afford a real HD weapon, . . . suggest going for the HD weapon first if finances are a problem and there is a perceived "today" need for HD weapon

3) it will also get them over the "won't the recoil bash in my skull and rip off my arm when I shoot it?" syndrome that so many non-shooters have picked up from too many movies.

4) anticipating flames from the revolver community, . . . I'll just go ahead and say it, . . . "If you are a new shooter, . . . forget the old West, . . . forget Sgt. Callahan, . . . get a modern, up to date, efficient firearm. Oh, and if it has a rotating cylinder, . . . that is not one of them. Get one that feeds like Mr. Spock, . . . it just gets beamed up into the chamber from the magazine " There is not one production revolver that is as overall safe as a standard 1911.

May God bless,
If you can breathe, . . . thank God!
If you can read, . . . thank a teacher!
If you are reading this in English, . . . thank a Veteran!
Dwight55 is offline  
Old December 24, 2009, 10:02 AM   #18
Senior Member
Join Date: November 26, 2006
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 579
Center Fire Revolver

Specifically a 6" Security Six. I was 21 and living in Texas at the time so CCW wasn't an option back then. I figured the .38 specials were light enough to practice with and the .357's were suitable for home defense. The 6" barrel could put the gun into a deer hunting category. It just seemed the most versitile handgun at that time. If CCW was an option a 4" would have been the choice.

I still think the basic logic is sound for me anyhow.

Oh and back when the dinosaurs roamed the earth (1981) a revolver was still considered a modern firearm. It took several years before I was comfortable using a semi-auto. Maybe my age but to me a handgun is a blued revolver.
John M.
Mesa, AZ
johnm1 is offline  
Old December 24, 2009, 12:46 PM   #19
Tony C
Senior Member
Join Date: January 6, 2007
Location: Oregon
Posts: 293
.22 Revolver

I chose the .22 Revolver, believing that I would be the only one that did. It is difficult to chose between a .22 pistol or .22 revolver, either is good and ultimately depends on what you lean to as a shooter.

I would start with a revolver because they do a better job teaching trigger control, slower to burn through ammo, and a little safer to new shooters.

Having said that I started with a .45ACP 1911.

Merry Christmas,
Tony C.
NW Oregon
Tony C is offline  
Old December 24, 2009, 01:05 PM   #20
Senior Member
Join Date: August 20, 2009
Location: Dallas / Fort Worth Area
Posts: 678
Get a good used revolver in 22 lr from Colt / S&W / Ruger.

You'll learn a lot and have a ball shooting it.

Don Davis
dondavis3 is offline  
Old July 12, 2010, 01:05 PM   #21
Junior member
Join Date: May 16, 2008
Posts: 9,996
Since I originally started this thread I have picked up a single six from Ruger.
I haven't actually fired it yet. I bought some snap caps though.
Dry firing might be as much fun as I have actually firing any of my other pistols.
johnwilliamson062 is offline  
Old July 12, 2010, 01:27 PM   #22
Senior Member
Join Date: August 22, 2006
Posts: 836
Semi-Auto .22 LR

My first pistol was a Walther P-22. It was affordable and I was able to practice the trigger type and skills of a centerfire of similar ilk. It is concealable if needed and light enough to enjoy on a backpacking trip. Perhaps it's price and versatility is what attracted me to it as my first.

Of course, it all depends on where you want to go with your next pistol when it comes to better determining your first.

Wanna become an NRA Expert Marksman and Competition target shooter? Then a Single Action pistol with a 6" barrel is the best place to start.

I personally very much enjoy rimfire/centerfire pistol combinations and find it ideal for training new shooters and ideal inexpensive practice for old ones.
The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.
predecessor is offline  
Old July 12, 2010, 01:48 PM   #23
Senior Member
Join Date: May 4, 2010
Posts: 5,073
You said "to get started"

I'm going to make a couple of assumptions. First, that there is an ability to follow up this purchase as soon as desired, with purchase of another weapon. Second, that the buyer is serious in wanting to learn how to shoot, and not just have a gun and make noise with it. Third, that this is going to be a keeper, and not something that will just be dumped when the next purchase is made.

You can't learn to shoot with a .45 or even a .38, as ammo cost and even availability are not conducive to the number of hours of training and practice necessary to become even fairly proficient. So, I'm going with .22.

With a semiautomatic, so far, I have yet to see a beginner who didn't start out with sloppy techniques, and spend far too much time rapid firing, and occasionally just emptying a clip into the general vicinity of a target, not really caring where the bullet went, just having fun dumping a lot of rounds. That is SERIOUSLY counterproductive to learning pistol skills.

my preference, at this point, is a double action .22 with a 4-8 inch barrel, from a good maker like smith, ruger, colt, so forth. I admit reality, in that a good DA revolver usually costs far more than another .22 that can offer equal accuracy and reliability, like the buckmark or ruger.

Seeing all the limitations, I'm going to have to say that the choice is narrowed down to a single action .22 revolver, because of simplicity of design, accuracy potential, low cost, low cost of ammunition, and many other strong benefits to really learning to shoot.

The only thing I can think of off hand would be a ruger single in a six inch barrel. My experiences with the cheap H&R, and any of the other $100 turds on the shelves are that a squirrel at 50 feet would laugh hysterically at anyone who had the audacity to take such a ridiculous piece of garbage into the field. I own 1 (inheritance) and have fired others, and other than a high standard, none of them were worth the steel that they were made of. I was more accurate with a bow than I was with the inherited .22.

So, If it were me, I'd suggest a SA .22, then either a mid bore centerfire, either a 9mm, a DA .357/38 or a .22 semiauto. Whatever order you buy, I think that every real shooter needs to have one of each of these, at least. A proficient shooter can branch into more powerful and specific pistols, like a contender, a .44 magnum, 10mm, so forth. These cover any basic needs. Paper punching, plinking, home and self defense, some phases of concealed carry, and training and practice.
briandg is offline  
Old July 12, 2010, 02:08 PM   #24
Senior Member
Join Date: August 27, 2008
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 321
First pistol was a Colt Commander in 9mm. At the time (1973) is was disapointed in this selection because: 1) I couldn't hit anything consistently, 2) it threw brass everywhere making it hard to find and I intended to get into reloading soon. Traded it off for a 7 1/2" Blackhawk in 45 Colt (still three screw at that time) and enjoyed shooting much more. In hind-sight, I would have been better off with a 22 rimfire. Could have learned more about basic skills and wouldn't have worried about brass. Wish I still had that old Ruger. How was I to know they would only make it for 2 years before changing over to the "New Model".
Jimbo-Indy is offline  
Old July 12, 2010, 02:49 PM   #25
Senior Member
Join Date: April 12, 2006
Location: NKY
Posts: 12,079
I grew up around guns so it's hard to be objective, but just by seeing firearms on TV, I think you can tell that a revolver is simpler gun to operate.

I'd start with a revolver and from a cartridge standpoint, I'd be tempted to go .357 or .38 because all revolvers seem to be chambered in that right? A salesman might talk me into .22lr, but, I'd likely still want the .357 / .38.

Now, the actual first pistol I bought was a Glock 22. The first handgun I likely shot was a .357 mag.
"He who laughs last, laughs dead." Homer Simpson

Last edited by Kreyzhorse; July 12, 2010 at 02:59 PM.
Kreyzhorse is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:04 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.14148 seconds with 8 queries