tips and advice needed for starter gun

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May 9, 2003
Fayetteville, NC
ok guys,
i am thinking of owning a gun (pistol) for the 1st time.
Never owned, and never learned to shoot.
Purpose will be just my own safety.

What would be a good, dependable starter gun for me, which is not too $$$ and easy to shoot, yet effective, and can be used also by wifey if needed?

I am not a big guy really, but have strong fingers and hands for my size I think.

any info/feedback and tips are very welcome.
PS: oh, I like German things. so a German make would be an added bonus, if it fits other criteria i mentioned above.
Take a some basic shooting classes including a couple that deal specifically with self-defense. Maybe rent a pistol at the range to get a feel for the different types and rounds. It will also help you to determine if your plan for self-defense is the correct one for you and your wife.

I recommend you buy a .22 and learn to handle and shoot it well as a start. You can shoot thousands of rounds through it for practice for less than $50 in ammo. At that point you should be very comfortable with safe handling and operation of the firearm.

Another option would be to buy a pistol of larger caliber and use a .22 conversion kit for practice.

I recommend these because you have no experience with firearms. a .22 is less than optimal for self-defense but you need to learn how to become a safe and comfortable shooter first before being proficient at self-defense. When you are ready you can step up to a self-defense sized round.

I will warn you that firearms can be a slippery slope. They are a heck of a lot of fun to shoot and are a great way to challenge yourself to become better. before long it won't be which "one" pistol but which one "next".
THANKS a lot...good, sensible tips.

I kinda like this one... (i know, it's not a 22):

Don't overlook revolvers for simplicity. Good first guns. You won't accidentally drop the clip when trying to thumb off the safety, nor forget about the live round in the chamber after removing the clip.
Load the wheel. Close it. Squeeze off five or six.
(If you need more than that, your're not likely in a home defense situation. You're in a running gun battle like on TV.)
So that's what I keep in the nightstand, so me or my wife won't have to think too hard at 3:00 AM.
Besides, I've had so many laughs describing the big bulging eyes on this guy trying to get in when he saw all those shiny hollow points in in the cylinder a foot from his face.
My 2 cents worth.
You do not want a .380

Underpowered, and has just as much recoil as 9mm, and in some cases more. That's because the round doesn't have enough power to cycle a locked breach, so they usually have to be a blowback design. That makes the recoil much more harsh.
Originally Posted By: river_rat
You won't accidentally drop the clip when trying to thumb off the safety, nor forget about the live round in the chamber after removing the clip.

Magazine. There are only a few handguns that use clips.
One word. Glock.

Get training and practice in. A good starter round is 9mm.
Look at the Glock 19. Perfection in the palm of your hand.
The P95 isn't a terrible choice, and can be found under $400. You can get them for $300 (plus shipping and transfer fees) if you buy from one of the gun auction sites.
Originally Posted By: 97tbird
How about Glock 19?
ah. we posted at the same time :)

I feel, and many law enforcement departments, people, countries feel Glock makes the best semi-auto firearm.

You CAN NOT go wrong with a glock. The simple, fail safe design has been tested and proven effective countless times.

Do your on research, look on youtube. There are many reviews on many guns.

But as a gun owner I can not recommend anything higher than a Glock.
I prefer my HK USP, thats a German make, but thats out of your price range. I got mine for $500, used. :/
If I was looking for a starter gun for that range I would probably get a revolver in 357 Magnum. Nice thing about buying the 357 magnum is you dont have to run .357 through it if you dont want, since it can accept and fire 38 special.
It is tough to beat a good double action revolver. They provide good value and are generally a good deal cheaper than an autoloader.

Since you are new to handguns, I would suggest something in .22 long rifle would be a good place to start. You can probably find some used Smith & Wesson .22 caliber handguns that would be within your price range or you can pick up a new blued Taurus Model 94 with an MSRP under $400.00. If you are set on an autoloader, you can pick up a new Ruger Mark III blue steel which has an MSRP under $400.00

Any of the mentioned guns should be satisfactory and inexpensive to shoot.
How can I carry a rifle around though?
I need something that I can have on my bedside table and carry in the car when needed, and concealed, when I am outside, too.
Originally Posted By: chevrofreak
Magazine. There are only a few handguns that use clips.

Thanks, dad.
I was referring to the cartridge called 22 long rifle, not to a rifle itself. The .22 rimfire cartridge has a long history dating back to the 1850's in its first form the .22 short. By about 1890, Stevens rifle company came up with the .22 long rifle cartridge which used an elongated case (as compared to the .22 short) and a 40 grain bullet. This combination developed a reputation for accuracy and is the most widely available rimfire cartridge today compared to its siblings the .22 long and .22 short.

A large number of arms, both handguns as well as rifles are available in .22 long rifle from moderate priced guns to expensive specialized target pieces.

If you are interested in cartridge development and history, try to obtain a copy of frank Barnes "Cartridges of the World". An entire chapter of the book is devoted to the .22 rimfire.
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