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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, 10:35 PM   #4
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My favorite is a Glock 9mm. Very user friendly.
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:24 PM   #5
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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, 11:34 PM   #6
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Like Smurf I too am partial to the M16. Easy to keep in good working order. Lots of them around very common round. Light weight. Plus I know it very well.

Although most of the world prefers the AK47

Last edited by baja; 06-04-2012 at 11:37 PM..
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:44 PM   #7
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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   #8
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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..  
Good post
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:18 AM   #9
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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   #10
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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, 12:43 AM   #11
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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, 12:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
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, 12:49 AM   #13
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knuckle draggers
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:54 AM   #14
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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, 01:05 AM   #15
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Good idea. its obvious the Zombie apocalypse is starting.

Get some machetes and you my friend are ready to rock.

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Old 06-05-2012, 01:06 AM   #16
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knuckle draggers
Nope, highly trained professionals and occasionally death dealers protecting you sensitive types from the ravages of the radicals who would do you harm. Enjoy that nap tonight under the blanket of security provided by guys and gals like us, weather you know it, like it, or acknowledge it or not...we know. When you get ruffled, and puffy, and all high on that intellectual/academic horse... it makes us laugh....hard......honestly, it really does.
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:18 AM   #17
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Good idea. its obvious the Zombie apocalypse is starting.

Get some machetes and you my friend are ready to rock.

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Old 06-05-2012, 02:10 AM   #18
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Sisterhellfyre,
If you are a gal (and you probably are, so here is the assumption), take a look at the Smith & Wesson model 60 "Ladysmith" 357 revolver:
http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/w...layErrorView_Y
My wife has one, and she loves it. Grip scaled for a woman's hand, 5 rounds instead of 6 to reduce heft. Great gun, and she is spooky good with it. "Point like a finger, and shoot" she laughs.....dead black, 90% of the time. She doesn't score as well with anything else we own, with the possible exception of the Walther PPKS (380) and the 357 has more punch.

Last edited by Dutch; 06-05-2012 at 02:13 AM..
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:28 AM   #19
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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!
Gun advice: Statistics show that it is far more likley your handgun will be used to shoot someone you know and love than any intruder that comes into your house.
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Old 06-05-2012, 04:28 AM   #20
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Gun advice: Statistics show that it is far more likley your handgun will be used to shoot someone you know and love than any intruder that comes into your house.
Statistically her gun is far more likely to never shoot anyone.

Me and my Family have always been revolver shooters for the simplicity and reliability. They are just so easy to maintain. I belueve it was dutch that suggested the .357. I think that's a great place to start, you can shoot .38 rounds, but when you need a real punch you can switch up to the .357. Ruger has a very good selection.

Of course I say that, but I have been spending all my time with a Springfield XDm 40.

Also, the .223 is a waste. If you are going to get a rifle or an AR, go .308.
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Old 06-05-2012, 04:48 AM   #21
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I have many guns. I believe that the best handgun to start off the hobby with is a double action revolver, such as a Ruger GP100 or one of the large frame Smith and Wesson's. The best caliber to get is 357 magnum. The reasons are that, starting off, it's more rewarding to be about to point and shoot, and not have to think about racking the slide or fiddling with a safety, or removing a magazine, or making sure that there is not a round in the chamber after you have removed the magazine. A revolver is point and shoot -- you can practice getting really comfortable handling it, always pointing down range, never pointing it in an unsafe direction, etc.

I say this from experience -- get a full sized revolver as your first weapon, and a semi-automatic pistol as your second. You will always be able to use both anyway (a revolver makes a great weapon for the home to keep loaded in a hand safe, no magazine springs to wear out, and you don't have to decide whether to rack the slide in the dark if you ever hear something).

If you get a semi-automatic, I'd get a Sig Sauer. They are premium quality, and I like the rare de-cocking mechanism that Sig's have. You can chamber a round, de-cock, and then fire them with a double action (full trigger pull). Sig's can fire from un-cocked double action, and then each subsequent shot is single action. (Or you cock and the first shot is single action).

I'm not a fan of Glocks. Don't get that as your first.
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Old 06-05-2012, 04:50 AM   #22
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The reason I think the best caliber revolver to get is 357 is that (1) the 357 has superior stopping power for self defense, better than 9 mm, and (2) you can fire 38 specials through it for less recoil. This comes in handy if you want to shoot with a girl (train her), or just take it easy in your trips to the range. It's easier to get a girl or young person comfortable with the weapon if you can shoot 38 specials. The recoil of a 357 is kind of a turn off to a newbie.
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Old 06-05-2012, 05:26 AM   #23
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357- practice with 38 specials. Keep it loaded for defense with 357. Its what I do.

Tauras tracker I believe.
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:13 AM   #24
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Statistically her gun is far more likely to never shoot anyone.

Me and my Family have always been revolver shooters for the simplicity and reliability. They are just so easy to maintain. I belueve it was dutch that suggested the .357. I think that's a great place to start, you can shoot .38 rounds, but when you need a real punch you can switch up to the .357. Ruger has a very good selection.

Of course I say that, but I have been spending all my time with a Springfield XDm 40.

Also, the .223 is a waste. If you are going to get a rifle or an AR, go .308.
You can't compare the .223 and the .308 ARs. Apples and oranges man. Completely different applications not to mention the extreme difference in price point for both the gun and the ammo.
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Old 06-05-2012, 06:16 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.
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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