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Old 06-04-2012, 10:29 PM   #1
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Default Looking for Gun Advice

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!
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:32 PM   #2
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It's hard to conceal, but bazookas are fun.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:33 PM   #3
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M16 or GTFO.
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:24 PM   #4
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M16 or GTFO.
damn right!

zombie apocalypse happens and I am busting domes open with an M16.
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:44 PM   #5
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Not sure what the purpose really is..

if your going to shoot targets at a distance the smaller the caliber will keep your shooting costs down..

If you have a hand gun do a conceal carry permit for many reasons, mostly so you can transport it without going to the trouble of carrying it in your trunk and ammo elsewhere..

The added benefit is they are great courses for gun safety and the pros teach you how to shoot..

Most folks do not just target shoot, have a brother that uses a 22 and a 17 for hunting varmints on his ranch.. he loads the 17 with a LR high power 22 shell that has the 17 as the slug.. he is hitting ground squirrels at in excess of 300 yard.
The crows follow him when he goes out in the hunting truck.

If your thinking of hunting bigger game 30-06 is a super weapon.. Been around forever and you can reload the brass.

Hand guns again depending on what you want to do with them. from 22 to 45 caliber.

I keep a 45, Glock 9 and 380 in the house.. mainly practice with the 380 as the ammo is way cheaper than the 45..

Since I do not hunt or figure I'm going to be shooting anyone more than 35 feet away I do not have and long rifles anymore.. but do have a nice 12 gauge..

I figure that anyone coming into my house un announced, if they get past the 90 pound Weimaraner will not get past the 45 or 12 gauge..

My advise is going to gun shows and talk to the old farts that have guns.. See what they use them for and then study up on ammo and read all you can about the various brands.

Then go to a smaller gun store and trust the owner you may pay more for a gun but it will be well worth it when you have questions and I guarantee you will have questions, hard to get good answers from the snot nosed kid at walmart..

also make sure if there are kids in the house they take a gun safety class and get yourself a gun safe..

Since I have no kiddies around anymore not to worry..  
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by lonestar View Post
Not sure what the purpose really is..

if your going to shoot targets at a distance the smaller the caliber will keep your shooting costs down..

If you have a hand gun do a conceal carry permit for many reasons, mostly so you can transport it without going to the trouble of carrying it in your trunk and ammo elsewhere..

The added benefit is they are great courses for gun safety and the pros teach you how to shoot..

Most folks do not just target shoot, have a brother that uses a 22 and a 17 for hunting varmints on his ranch.. he loads the 17 with a LR high power 22 shell that has the 17 as the slug.. he is hitting ground squirrels at in excess of 300 yard.
The crows follow him when he goes out in the hunting truck.

If your thinking of hunting bigger game 30-06 is a super weapon.. Been around forever and you can reload the brass.

Hand guns again depending on what you want to do with them. from 22 to 45 caliber.

I keep a 45, Glock 9 and 380 in the house.. mainly practice with the 380 as the ammo is way cheaper than the 45..

Since I do not hunt or figure I'm going to be shooting anyone more than 35 feet away I do not have and long rifles anymore.. but do have a nice 12 gauge..

I figure that anyone coming into my house un announced, if they get past the 90 pound Weimaraner will not get past the 45 or 12 gauge..

My advise is going to gun shows and talk to the old farts that have guns.. See what they use them for and then study up on ammo and read all you can about the various brands.

Then go to a smaller gun store and trust the owner you may pay more for a gun but it will be well worth it when you have questions and I guarantee you will have questions, hard to get good answers from the snot nosed kid at walmart..

also make sure if there are kids in the house they take a gun safety class and get yourself a gun safe..

Since I have no kiddies around anymore not to worry..  
Good post
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:49 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by lonestar View Post
Not sure what the purpose really is..

if your going to shoot targets at a distance the smaller the caliber will keep your shooting costs down..

If you have a hand gun do a conceal carry permit for many reasons, mostly so you can transport it without going to the trouble of carrying it in your trunk and ammo elsewhere..

The added benefit is they are great courses for gun safety and the pros teach you how to shoot..

Most folks do not just target shoot, have a brother that uses a 22 and a 17 for hunting varmints on his ranch.. he loads the 17 with a LR high power 22 shell that has the 17 as the slug.. he is hitting ground squirrels at in excess of 300 yard.
The crows follow him when he goes out in the hunting truck.

If your thinking of hunting bigger game 30-06 is a super weapon.. Been around forever and you can reload the brass.

Hand guns again depending on what you want to do with them. from 22 to 45 caliber.

I keep a 45, Glock 9 and 380 in the house.. mainly practice with the 380 as the ammo is way cheaper than the 45..

Since I do not hunt or figure I'm going to be shooting anyone more than 35 feet away I do not have and long rifles anymore.. but do have a nice 12 gauge..

I figure that anyone coming into my house un announced, if they get past the 90 pound Weimaraner will not get past the 45 or 12 gauge..

My advise is going to gun shows and talk to the old farts that have guns.. See what they use them for and then study up on ammo and read all you can about the various brands.

Then go to a smaller gun store and trust the owner you may pay more for a gun but it will be well worth it when you have questions and I guarantee you will have questions, hard to get good answers from the snot nosed kid at walmart..

also make sure if there are kids in the house they take a gun safety class and get yourself a gun safe..

Since I have no kiddies around anymore not to worry..  
Agreed with everything West Texas says in this one....mark that down, I think it's a first...
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:49 AM   #8
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Most folks do not just target shoot, have a brother that uses a 22 and a 17 for hunting varmints on his ranch.. he loads the 17 with a LR high power 22 shell that has the 17 as the slug.. he is hitting ground squirrels at in excess of 300 yard.
The crows follow him when he goes out in the hunting truck.

 
I'd love to know more about that load as even 250 yards is pushing it for the 17.

We have a redtail that follows us out many times. Very effective clean up though.
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:13 PM   #9
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ok I will bite on the caliber war. I own:
glock 17 9mm
H&K USP compact .40
Sig p220 ST .45
Remington 870 12 gauge
an AK and a few others.


Since this is your first gun I would vote 9mm. Mostly because ammo is cheaper and you are going to want to practice as much as you can. Shot placement is the key no matter what major caliber in a handgun. That said when I carry I dont carry my 9mm and choose the .40 and .45. I have been shooting since I was a child and 100% confident I am going to hit what I am aiming at no matter which of my platforms I am carrying at the time.

The reason I recommended the FN's FNX (perfered) is because you are left handed, gun has a decocker, and they have a safety. Also its in your price range. As much as I love my Glock I cant recommend it to a new gun owner for the simple fact it does not have a safety. Same thing with my p220. I am not saying they are bad guns far from it, I am saying the features dont lend themselves to new gun owners. Feel free to flame me here but I dont care and stand by my opinions. Sig, Glock, S&W, H&K, FN, and Ruger make wonderful guns. As I read in another post stay away from Taurus and kel-tec.

The real question is: Is the main duty for this gun home defense or range gun. If you are serious about the HD thing skip handguns and go get a Remington 870 or a Mossberg 500 or 590. Done. If you want a range gun get a good solid 9mm shoot the piss out of it and enjoy.
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:59 PM   #10
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I'd love to know more about that load as even 250 yards is pushing it for the 17.

We have a redtail that follows us out many times. Very effective clean up though.
I'll try to get the info I know he has a scope on both his varmint rifles that cost more than his rifles do.. I shot it and the 22 last christmas and I was good from about 100 yards.. it is a 22 hi performance LR load that has the 17 as the round.. the 17 was more accurate and was easier to feel at home with..

Something he got for his wife for Christmas was the JUDGE 45-410, All I have to say is do not enter their house without permission..
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:18 AM   #11
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Here we go, and boy did you open a can of worms on this one without even knowing it! You need to narrow things down a bit. Do you want something to go to the range and shoot (ie. targets with)? Do you want a home defense weapon? Do you want to be able to carry/conceal? Honestly, those are such different requirements...you need to think about more than one piece. For home defense, shotgun. No question, no debate. Anyone who argues with this has no clue. 12 guage would be good, 10 is better. I use a Benelli Supernova Tactical :http://www.benelliusa.com/shotguns/b...a-tactical.php with pistol grip. 18" barrel is easy to maneuver around in close quarters, but they are now making a 14" that would be even better. 3.5 inch shells in a deer slug will go through a fridge, or anything else the idiot hides behind. No where to run, no where to hide. Load it buck shot, deer slug, buck shot, deer slug all the way down, and get the magazine extension that will give you one in the pipe, seven in the mag. Buck shot sends them for cover, deer slug finishes the job. Home defense, done. Can be had for around 4 bills, and can change barrels to longer versions for skeet, birdhunting, rifled hunting, etc. Read a nice review here: http://www.shootingillustrated.com/i...lli-supernova/. Shotguns are the bomb for home defense. Not only that, name me a sound that will make your insides turn to water faster than the sound of a pump shotgun chambering a round if you are doing no good. Unmistakable. The Corps is using the Benelli M4 semiauto for urban fighting, and they love it. Good enough for me. My wife has a 1966 Ithica 16 gauge Featherlight (awesome trap gun) on her side of the bed that was my Mother's and we have an attack plan that will keep me from being hit by her line of fire. Woe be it to the poor bastard who chooses our place for a hit.

Last edited by Dutch; 06-05-2012 at 12:23 AM..
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:43 AM   #12
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M16? Ugh. I hated that rifle. Fire one round, and you are cleaning it for an hour. Get one speck of sand in it, and it jams. The M16A1 was a bit better, but still pretty crappy. It's why I preferred to be the M60 gunner.. just so I would have a solid weapon to fire. The M60 I could drop in a swamp and it would fire just fine. Only issue I ever had was bent firing pins.. so kept spares.

The AK was vastly superior.. loved it. Although, a bit inaccurate in comparison to the M16. Can't have it all though.

For a pistol, can't go wrong with a Glock. Also liked Walther - you can use it and tell people "I'm Bond. James Bond."
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:54 AM   #13
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M16? Ugh. I hated that rifle. Fire one round, and you are cleaning it for an hour. Get one speck of sand in it, and it jams. The M16A1 was a bit better, but still pretty crappy. It's why I preferred to be the M60 gunner.. just so I would have a solid weapon to fire. The M60 I could drop in a swamp and it would fire just fine. Only issue I ever had was bent firing pins.. so kept spares.

The AK was vastly superior.. loved it. Although, a bit inaccurate in comparison to the M16. Can't have it all though.

For a pistol, can't go wrong with a Glock. Also liked Walther - you can use it and tell people "I'm Bond. James Bond."
You're just an old 'Nam fart. The new M16 A4 is a badassed killer, Bro'. Lightweight, fast, adjustable to any body frame...and no more jamming issues. Ak's rock for reliability and punch, but they never...ever touched the 16's for accuracy and now they don't for reliability either, plus we can hump twice the ammo.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:00 AM   #14
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Here we go, and boy did you open a can of worms on this one without even knowing it! You need to narrow things down a bit. Do you want something to go to the range and shoot (ie. targets with)? Do you want a home defense weapon? Do you want to be able to carry/conceal? Honestly, those are such different requirements...you need to think about more than one piece. For home defense, shotgun. No question, no debate. Anyone who argues with this has no clue. 12 guage would be good, 10 is better. I use a Benelli Supernova Tactical :http://www.benelliusa.com/shotguns/b...a-tactical.php with pistol grip. 18" barrel is easy to maneuver around in close quarters, but they are now making a 14" that would be even better. 3.5 inch shells in a deer slug will go through a fridge, or anything else the idiot hides behind. No where to run, no where to hide. Load it buck shot, deer slug, buck shot, deer slug all the way down, and get the magazine extension that will give you one in the pipe, seven in the mag. Buck shot sends them for cover, deer slug finishes the job. Home defense, done. Can be had for around 4 bills, and can change barrels to longer versions for skeet, birdhunting, rifled hunting, etc. Read a nice review here: http://www.shootingillustrated.com/i...lli-supernova/. Shotguns are the bomb for home defense. Not only that, name me a sound that will make your insides turn to water faster than the sound of a pump shotgun chambering a round if you are doing no good. Unmistakable. The Corps is using the Benelli M4 semiauto for urban fighting, and they love it. Good enough for me. My wife has a 1966 Ithica 16 gauge Featherlight (awesome trap gun) on her side of the bed that was my Mother's and we have an attack plan that will keep me from being hit by her line of fire. Woe be it to the poor bastard who chooses our place for a hit.
Wow, he takes his guns seriously.
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Old 06-05-2012, 08:29 AM   #15
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Wow, he takes his guns seriously.
Sure do....by the looks of the replies to the OP, I'm not alone. A great range of replies and advice in this thread that should get you where you want to be and into a weapon or 2 that will meet your needs. Didn't see a bad recommendation out there. I'd stay away from the semiauto shotguns simply because there really is no need for the added expense. You can get a good 12 gauge for under $400 (hell, your buddies might be able to help get you into one for half that). Then you can address the handgun. I'd put the bulk of the money there and go for quality.

Last edited by Dutch; 06-05-2012 at 08:37 AM..
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:01 PM   #16
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damn right!

zombie apocalypse happens and I am busting domes open with an M16.

My M-14 will destroy a zombies face
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:03 PM   #17
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My M-14 will destroy a zombies face

Machetes and knives. They dont need to be reloaded. Save the ammo for other people who try to raid your reserves.

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Old 07-08-2013, 06:09 PM   #18
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Machetes and knives. They dont need to be reloaded. Save the ammo for other people who try to raid your reserves.

Better yet, get a sword. Works pretty well for her.


Last edited by HILife; 07-08-2013 at 06:18 PM..
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Old 07-08-2013, 08:44 PM   #19
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Machetes and knives. They dont need to be reloaded. Save the ammo for other people who try to raid your reserves.

Guns are too loud. Will bring the living and the dead right to you. Your best bet is one of these:

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Old 06-04-2012, 10:35 PM   #20
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My favorite is a Glock 9mm. Very user friendly.
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:43 AM   #21
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My favorite is a Glock 9mm. Very user friendly.
Also way too soft on punch (I know this from experience, after shooting a F'er in the shoulder with a 9mm that he shrugged off like it was nothing. I started carrying my 44 Mag S&W, no more problems (Desert Storm I). I'd go with the Glock 10mm (40 cal, and what I'm using now), or a 45 semi (still hard to beat, but rounds cost more). If you hit 'em, you'd like to know they are out of the fight ( ie shoulder shot = no arm). You cannot be sure of that with a nine. The 10mm is a great compromise between the muzzel velocity of a 9mm, and the punch of a .45.
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:16 AM   #22
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Also way too soft on punch (I know this from experience, after shooting a F'er in the shoulder with a 9mm that he shrugged off like it was nothing. I started carrying my 44 Mag S&W, no more problems (Desert Storm I). I'd go with the Glock 10mm (40 cal, and what I'm using now), or a 45 semi (still hard to beat, but rounds cost more). If you hit 'em, you'd like to know they are out of the fight ( ie shoulder shot = no arm). You cannot be sure of that with a nine. The 10mm is a great compromise between the muzzel velocity of a 9mm, and the punch of a .45.
Totally agree with this. I shoot 9mm in competition purely because of the low recoil. My carry pistol is .40 for the reasons you list above. Also you have a higher round capacity in a .40 than a .45.
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:27 PM   #23
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.357 ruger blackhawk ..... any occasion.

.45 llama subcompact 10rnds. good for concealment but a cheap gun. I needed slide and trigger work to have it not stove.
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:47 PM   #24
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It's good that you're thinking lessons and safety. If I ever got into owning I would go that route also. Now that I'm older I've learned some things the hard way.

Age 17 - got shot in the face with a BB gun. Damn thing hit me right between the eyes and went lodged just on the side of my nose. That was back in the day. I was a military kid so I went to the base in Colorado Springs and they actually tore it lose with a pair of pliers. I never knew it had lodged in there. After I got shot there was swelling and we all thought it just hit me and riccocheted off somewhere. A few weeks later I was playing around with a magnet and I could feel the pull when I put it close to my nose.

I've shot a 44 Redhawk before. MF'er that was one powerful gun. No headset, just off in the desert with 2 friends. We also shot a few shot guns one handed because we wanted to be like Rambo. I don't recommend that. It hurts your hand like a b****. And then to make matters worse, friend got a flat, so we're hitch hiking back from the desert in Phoenix with shotguns in our pant legs to conceal them and revolvers in our pockets. We never got a ride. I'm actually glad we didn't. I can only imagine what could have happened if somebody stopped and saw those things. lol
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:56 AM   #25
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Also way too soft on punch (I know this from experience, after shooting a F'er in the shoulder with a 9mm that he shrugged off like it was nothing. I started carrying my 44 Mag S&W, no more problems (Desert Storm I). I'd go with the Glock 10mm (40 cal, and what I'm using now), or a 45 semi (still hard to beat, but rounds cost more). If you hit 'em, you'd like to know they are out of the fight ( ie shoulder shot = no arm). You cannot be sure of that with a nine. The 10mm is a great compromise between the muzzel velocity of a 9mm, and the punch of a .45.
If it was Desert Storm, I'm assuming you were military (also from your avatar) vs. a civilian contractor and therefore you were using FMJ with the 9mm (thanks for your service to the country, by the way). If using quality, newly designed (last decade or so) self defense/police duty (really no difference) ammo, the actual results from any of the common duty pistol calibers is the same -- both in gel tests and OIS (officer involved shooting) reports.

There has been a great deal of science that has gone into ammo development in recent years, and in large part the difference in calibers is marginal. That's why a lot of departments/agencies around the country that had moved to .45s or .40s in the '90s and '00s, are now choosing to move back to 9mms, because the effectiveness is similar, the ammo is cheaper, their officers should better qualifying scores with the 9mm (which means they will shoot better when using them for real), and the gun failure rates are lower.

The best place on the net for one stop shopping to learn about the terminal ballistics of modern ammo: http://www.m4carbine.net/forumdisplay.php?f=91

Last edited by tnedator; 06-05-2012 at 07:01 AM..
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