Originally Posted by sisterhellfyre
I went to a shooting range on Sunday with a bunch of friends and had a great time. Over the day I fired several guns: a .22 bolt-action rifle, a semi-auto .22 pistol, .357 magnum revolver, .38 revolver, and a .30 cal M1 carbine of WW2 vintage. That last was a real treat cuz I've been a history buff since grade school. Unfortunately, I didn't have opportunity to try the .45 and 9mm pistols.
The rifles were fun, and I put down decent shot groups (esp considering it was my first time shooting since high school!), but I really liked the handguns more than the long guns. I'm thinking about picking up shooting as a hobby, but I really don't know where to begin. Just because it's the off-season, I thought I'd ask you guys what you have, what you like, and what you'd recommend for a beginner.
* I'm not likely to buy before next winter (Jan-Feb '13), so I have plenty of time for research.
* Shooting will primarily be a hobby, but defense is also at the back of my mind.
* My projected budget will be between $600 and $800 (not including other usefuls like a lockbox).
* I will be taking firearms safety classes, so that's a given.
* I'm left-handed and left-eyed, in case that makes a difference.
* Concealed carry permit is a definite "maybe." I haven't decided yet whether to seek it.
I'd love to hear your suggestions. Thanks in advance!
If you have to choose one gun, and it's going to be both range and concealed carry, then my suggestion would be a Glock 9mm (G17 or G19) or S&W M&P 9mm (full size or compact).
However, the best thing to do is to find a range in your area that rents guns and then try some. Some people love Glocks (probably the most popular gun overall civilian and law enforcement), while others find they don't shoot them accurately. Many that don't feel they shoot Glocks well, shoot the M&P well, which is the second most popular gun among police (based on a recent survey).
Regardless of what gun you choose, get the class(es) you talked about. Safe gun handling and storage (especially if you every have kids/teens/irresponsible people) in your house is THE most important thing. You don't want to live with the aftermath of an accidental shooting, not to mention the legal issues.