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Old September 13, 2012, 05:42 AM   #26
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Buy used.

Guns handed back by LE agencies are usually in great shape, a good brand, and come with manufacturer warranties.
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Old September 13, 2012, 06:00 AM   #27
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I highly and most undoubtably agree with cheapshooter. Learn A: the safety rules and ethics of firearms owner ship. And B: Shoot a few good HD or SD firearms. Now for HD i recommend a good 12 gauge, They can be cheap to relatively cheap. Ammo is cheap, Easy to find and can bring alot of firepower to a fire fight. Best bang for buck would be a mossberg 500 pump in an 18 inch factory barrel runs around 250-300 new. But as for a pistol you def wanna get somethings thats good in the hand fit and isnt too much recoil. Im a 1911 guy but some people hate 1911s and like glocks or berettas so on and so forth. But start out in baby steps and work your way up.
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Old September 13, 2012, 10:33 AM   #28
Join Date: September 10, 2012
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With that budget, I'd recommend going for two guns.

A .22 pistol (your preference) to help develop and maintain your skills and, at a minimum, a 9mm (again, your preference) for home/self defense.

In both cases......shoot as often as possible!

There's LOTS to choose from!

My $.02!
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Old September 13, 2012, 02:13 PM   #29
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You actually interested in shooting as a hobby? Or, just want to keep a gun handy to defend yourself?

If you are ready to do some serious practice and learn the skills necessary, there is pretty much no limit to what guns you may be interested in and, at an $800 budget, you can choose some of the best. (But, add a few hundred more to the budget for ammo to develop and mainainn proficiency).

If you just want a handgun, that can do it all and, requires the minimum amount of care, training and added costs, my stock answer is get a stainless Ruger or Smith .38 special or .357 Magnum revolver.

Sent you a PM.
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Old September 13, 2012, 04:08 PM   #30
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I suggest a 357 Mag with 4" barrel (unless you like the 6" better!). It is a great simple gun and easy to learn on with mild 38 Specials, then later you will never outgrow it, just shoot some 357 Mag loads.

And a 22. Automatic, revolver, whatever you like. Everyone needs a decent 22 pistol. Perhaps a 22 revolver like the new SP101 4.2" barrel. It operates almost identical to the bigger 38/357 you'll have.
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Old September 13, 2012, 04:13 PM   #31
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There won't be any local restrictions to worry about and a range close by that I like is Shoot Smart by 35W and Golden Triangle.

As far as what to buy, that is really a heck of a question. If you don't have kids in the house, the best pla, by far, is to stay put and have a shotgun aimed at the bedroom door. Having kids you have to get to changes things. Imo, it is tough to beat a good 4"-6" double action 357 magnum revolver. They are extremely simple to operate and very reliable. They are also flexible in that you can shoot powder puff 38 target loads or full power magnum loads and a wide variety in between.

If you want an auto, you get the benefit of increased capacity but a little more knowledge and practice is necessary and you don't get the same flexibility with ammo which may or may not be an issue. I would not recommend less than a 9mm for home/self defense. I am not a big fan of the 9mm but I have to admit that it has a lot to offer a new shooter. It has soft recoil which makes it easier to learn to shoot well and allows faster follow up shots while still being an effective round. It is also considerably less expensive which allows for more practice and that is very important.

I will second what others have said about taking a class and trying at least a few different guns to see what you like. There really is no substitute for actually trying them out and learning basic safety and gun handling is definitely important.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- Benjamin Franklin
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