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Thread: Choosing your first gun / The official gun thread

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    Consider this a warning Dead Lesbian Goat's Avatar
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    With more than a few members here seeing the light and waking up to the possibility that bad guys are not always 500 miles away, and some PM'ing me for advice, I thought a little guide for newbies might be in order.

    First, This is not some saftey speech, nor is it a reason to own or carry, or even a concealed or open carry post. I am assuming that you for whatever reason have chosen to buy a gun and you would like to know where to start. I will give it a try here.

    The most important thing to remember is a gun is only useful if you know how to use it. The best gun you can own is the gun that YOU can shoot well. Just because Mel Gibson had a Beretta 9mm in Lethal Weapon, doesn't make that some kind of benchmark weapon. I would much rather have two well placed small rounds than 2 large rounds miss the target all together because I couldn't handle the weapon. You can ask 10 different people what the best gun is and get 10 different answers. The same goes for caliber(bullet size and load) choice. That's because everyone has different priorities and intended uses. For example, some who carrys a weapon daily concealed may choose a smaller frame light weight weapon while someone else who will use it strictly for home defense may choose a full size weapon or even a long gun. Someone who is sensitive to recoil may want a .38 or 9mm, while someone who is accustomed to the shock may go for a .40 or .357. For most of us, it's compromise and placing value on our priorities. Someone who has large hands will hate a Ruger LC9 but will love a double stack compact, and the opposite applies for a small handed person. Some people like the simplicity and built in saftey of a revolver while others are drawn to the higher capacity automatics. Sight picture, grip angle, weight, cost to shoot...it all can figure in.

    I don't want to get into calibers here either since it's a long and very debatable subject. I can say the more you learn and shoot, the better off you are to make a correct decision as to what's right for you. If you are planning your first gun purchase, probably the best first move is swing by a local range and just go shooting. Most ranges offer rental guns and you can try different weapons af different calibers to get a hands on feel for them. The range will also be able to steer you in the right kind of gun you need for your intended purpose. I can say this...don't go cheap. This is not a slam against cheap weapons at all. A Hi Point is actually a very good gun for the money, but for an extra 150 you can do a LOT better.

    We all make compromises if we are going to own just one weapon that "covers all the bases". If you plan to carry this weapon concealed AND use it for home defense, then you wouldn't want a big gun, nor would you want a pocket pistol. There are just so many factors to weigh it is really overwhelming for someone new to guns. When I started to get my carry permit a few years ago, I started life with a Smith Wesson SD40. It was wrong for me, but I didn't know it until I started learning and shooting regularly. I realized it was pretty good for home defense, but a little large and heavy for carry, and I couldn't handle the caliber very well either. After a while I finally found what works for me.

    Since most of you are considering a carry gun, lets focus on that. I like a gun small enough to conceal, but (and this is important for me) I want to be able to grip it easily and that means getting all three fingers on the grip, not a short grip where the pinky just hangs there. For me, that's half of my recoil management. Also (for me) the number of rounds is not that critical. I don't think the chance of me needing more than 10 outweighs the thicker profile of a double stack mag....compromise. I like a short crisp trigger, but that keeps me accurate, where you may be better off with a longer pull. I love the grip angle of my Shield but you may hate it. I like my weapon in a smaller 9mm caliber because I think it's a good compromise between stopping power/penetration and recoil management but you may be better with a .40, or with a .380.

    Ammo choice is almost as important because you could take a relatively small round with a +p rating have a gun kick harder than duty sized .40. A really small cute gun may look un intimidating, but that large more ominous looking 1911 will probably be a pussycat compared to those small pocket guns. Recoil pretty much has it's way with these pocket guns and that can be quite a handful which it's important to shoot a lot of different weapons before making a decision like I did at first.

    Don't listen to recommendations about specific guns, go with what works for you and be prepared to spend between 325.00 and 550.00 for a quality weapon. Feel free to spend more, just don't spend less and don't go out looking for used guns until you know what to look out for.

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    Uncensored Hypocrite stevedmc's Avatar
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    Choosing your first gun / The official gun thread

    Now some nut job killed a bunch of people in California.

    When I get home from this trip I will be purchasing a hand gun.

    I have very little experience. Michael, what do you recommend for a beginner? I'd like to keep the cost down to a few hundred bucks if possible.
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    Consider this a warning Dead Lesbian Goat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevedmc View Post
    Now some nut job killed a bunch of people in California.

    When I get home from this trip I will be purchasing a hand gun.

    I have very little experience. Michael, what do you recommend for a beginner? I'd like to keep the cost down to a few hundred bucks if possible.
    So let me see if I am understanding. You went all out for a bicycle, but you want to go cheap on a instrument that your life and that of your wife's may depend on?

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    Uncensored Hypocrite stevedmc's Avatar
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    Pretty much. Academy has stuff for less than $300 http://www.academy.com/shop/browse/p...iceMobile=true
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    Uncensored Hypocrite stevedmc's Avatar
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  6. #6
    FWIW: Statistically, if you have a gun in the house it is more likely to injure or kill yourself or a family member than an intruder.

    Numerous scholarly studies all over the Internet, such as this one: http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/160/10/929.full

    FBI doesn't keep statistics on "home invasions", but other crimes that could reasonably fall under that moniker such as burglary and violent assault peaked in the early 1990's declined every year until the mid 2000's, and have fluctuated slightly up and down since.

    Bill Robertson
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevedmc View Post
    That one has a bad rep for having a looooooooog triger travel and hard to pull at that, otherwise a nice piece for the price.

    The absolute best thing you can do is get out try a few...

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    Uncensored Hypocrite stevedmc's Avatar
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    Yeah. That's what I was reading. Other than that it's a good gun and will shoot about anything you putin it.

    It will be a good learning experience and I can get a kit to replace the trigger.
    Rest assured, we have a backup of Farrar's car blog and it will be restored in the near future. (Steve Rice - March 2016)
    Rest assured, we have a backup of Shep's posts and all of them will be restored in the near future. (Steve Rice - March 2017)

  9. #9
    Correction: violent crime upticked in 2005-2007, then continued its downward trajectory from the 1990's: https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/uc...tables/table-1

    Violent crime rates are now basically half of what they were in the early 1990's.

    Bill Robertson
    #5939

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    If you'd like to borrow one of mine, Steve, let me know. I can bring you about 5 or 6 for you to try out.
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