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First Handgun - need advice

Discussion in 'Guns & Hunting' started by wilsonpj, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. Jul 12, 2010 at 1:20 PM
    #1
    wilsonpj

    wilsonpj [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I'm thinking about purchasing my first gun and need some advice.

    Such as, where do you even buy guns, a gun sotre, wal-mart, sporting good store?

    What are some good brands - thinking about the $500 range for home protection and protection while in the mountains and such.

    I have heard stories that a 9mm is not enough pow, but don't think I would want a 45cal for my first go at it.

    Any suggestions for safety classes, training...?

    Any advice would be great. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Jul 12, 2010 at 2:14 PM
    #2
    Zombie Runner

    Zombie Runner Are these black helicopters for me?

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    get ready for everyone to say glock and XD...
    I have a XD40 and like it a lot. I had a glock 9mm before that and didnt really care for it. 40cal ammo isnt that expensive, 9mm is even cheaper. .45 is pretty pricey if you plan on shootin often.

    I got several prices from online vendors and took them to my local gun store and they got me a decent price. $495 for my XD.40 service model
     
  3. Jul 12, 2010 at 2:24 PM
    #3
    brow

    brow Well-Known Member

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    If you are seriously getting it for carrying in the mountains for backpacking or back woods type activites I would not go smaller than .40, and .45 would be your best bet. Anything less is not going to bring down an angry bear/moose before it gets to you. (and honestly, even with a large caliber, its probably going to die on top of you).

    I have been looking at some lightweight .45's for backpacking, and everyone is going to jump on me for saying this, but I am probably going to end up with a Taurus .45. Yes I know it's made south of the border, and yes I know the finish is going to go to hell, but I don't really care what it looks like, I just want it to work when I need it to. And I have seen some abused Taurus's that shoot perfect despite being dragged through hell.
     
  4. Jul 12, 2010 at 2:25 PM
    #4
    jspadaro

    jspadaro Well-Known Member

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    Making an informed purchase! :)

    All of the above, and gun shows. I generally go with whomever has the best price. For example, to buy my Remington 870 shotgun I went to Dick's Sporting Goods and Gander Mountain, got their prices, and got a local gun shop to match it. Just go with wherever you can get the best deal. Small gun shops are generally able to negotiate. Be careful buying a used gun if you don't know what you're looking for.

    I would pick a caliber and then a gun. There should be at least one gun range that rents handguns; I would personally see what you think feels good in your hand at the store, then rent some guns you think you might like, and then make a decision. Also, try .45, 9mm, and .40 S&W and see how they compare to you. (Also don't throw out .357, it could be a good caliber for what you want.)

    Reputation depends on what you're looking for. Example: Smith and Wesson and Taurus both make pretty good revolvers, but their automatics leave something to be desired. The Springfield XD-40 and Glock are both very popular in .40 cal. Glock is reputable in 9mm. The 1911 is a frontrunner in .45.

    It is probably best to settle on the caliber that you can shoot accurately that also fits your needs first, and then figure out whose gun you like.

    You said you're looking for protection in the mountains. My cousin lives out near denver and has a springfield 1911 in .45 with FMJs for the mountains. I personally believe this is probably not even sufficient. If bear, mountain lion, etc are really a concern look at .357 magnum, .44 magnum, and on to the really big guns (well, you probably actually want a rifle :D) Stopping large animals with a pistol is difficult.

    For general personal protection and carry, 9mm/.45/.40 are good choices.

    For home defense, consider an 18" barreled shotgun with 00 buck. Won't go through walls as easily, you point it rather than aim it, and it will stop somebody more effectively than a pistol.

    So like I said, all depends.

    The NRA offers at least 3 courses that are somewhat decent, being basic pistol, defense inside the home, and defense outside the home. Additionally, since you're in Colorado, to get a concealed-carry permit there, you need to take a state-approved class. I would look up which classes that fulfill that requirement.

    Congrats on being a prospective new gun owner, and especially on actually learning about what you're doing before you jump in and make a purchase.
     
  5. Jul 12, 2010 at 3:05 PM
    #5
    Incognito

    Incognito μολὼν λαβέ

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    Great post!
     
  6. Jul 12, 2010 at 5:18 PM
    #6
    Primersinmyshoe

    Primersinmyshoe Old Sheepdog

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    I would suggest a 44mag revolver. Plenty of power, easy to use, no levers, safeties, decockers, etc.

    Just my 2¢
     
  7. Jul 12, 2010 at 5:27 PM
    #7
    moto932

    moto932 What's the matter, Colonel Sandurz? CHICKEN?

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    i would go to a range and rent different guns and see which one you feel comfortable with
     
  8. Jul 12, 2010 at 5:30 PM
    #8
    MT Madman

    MT Madman Senior Citizen

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    I've got a XD45 and love it, I got it when I lived in Montana because I spent a lot of time in the mountains. Shop everywhere before you buy one and don't forget to look for a FFL, here's a website: http://www.auctionarms.com/help/fflnetwork.cfm ask the local dealers about a CCW or safety class, they're not a bad thing to go through because they'll help you learn your gun.
     
  9. Jul 12, 2010 at 6:12 PM
    #9
    Lane Cypert

    Lane Cypert Well-Known Member

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    Please consider Sig Sauer's as well! I have several of them and like them better than Glocks or Xd's!
     
  10. Jul 12, 2010 at 7:14 PM
    #10
    zanodave

    zanodave Well-Known Member

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    I have xdm40,and love it, however I would decide on (cal)first to narrow your search down.
     
  11. Jul 12, 2010 at 7:25 PM
    #11
    tbturner47

    tbturner47 Well-Known Member

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    x2. I have the black and stainless bi-tone XDM 40.
     
  12. Jul 12, 2010 at 7:34 PM
    #12
    daleewat

    daleewat Member

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    xdm 40 is what i bought after talking to a match shooter very happy with it.
     
  13. Jul 12, 2010 at 7:38 PM
    #13
    misterquad

    misterquad Well-Known Member

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    Step 1 - Take a safety course.
     
  14. Jul 12, 2010 at 8:05 PM
    #14
    wilsonpj

    wilsonpj [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Awesome advice, thanks a bunch, I have a future uncle in law that is big into guns, I talked him into taking me to a range and trying out his set and some others.

    Thanks for all the advice everyone.
     
  15. Jul 13, 2010 at 9:22 AM
    #15
    thinkingman

    thinkingman Well-Known Member

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    You've gotten two helpful posts and a bunch of garbage ones.
    Tell your UIL to bring a 22 handgun for your first range session.
    EVERYONE should start on a 22.
    Low recoil and muzzle blast.
    You can shoot lots of rounds and it doesn't break your bank.
    Next, before you consider what cartridge, consider the type of handgun you think is appropriate.
    I would suggest a mid size 357magnum revolver in stainless steel or alloy.
    You can shoot 38special for practice and not have to tolerate heavy recoil, and then take 357 with you for more serious work.
    357magnum has it all over most other defense handgun cartridges for bullet types and power.
    180gr hardcast lead out of a 357 magnum is a much better heavy critter round than .40SW or 45acp.
    I carry a revolver in the woods and a 9mm autoloader in the city.
    I never feel undergunned.
     
  16. Jul 13, 2010 at 9:47 AM
    #16
    Packman73

    Packman73 ^^^^ 3%er ^^^^

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    It is true that you should learn the basics on a .22 first. Then I would start looking at used 9mm pistols.
     
  17. Jul 13, 2010 at 9:50 AM
    #17
    scottri

    scottri Well-Known Member

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    I try to buy most of my guns from reputable private parties, less paper work and less government intrusion. I really like Ruger, Glock and Sigs. I wouldn't use a handgun for home protection. I like a shotgun for that, point and shoot interface. Just aim in the general direction and you will hit the intruder without sending a round through the wall and into the kids room or the neighbors house. I like handguns for having in my truck, camping and the like. For a basic starter gun buy a revolver. Easy to load, they don't jam. Then buy an auto. Caliber will come down to what you can shoot well with. A .454 or .44 won't do much good if you can't shoot it.
     
  18. Jul 13, 2010 at 9:53 AM
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    Packman73

    Packman73 ^^^^ 3%er ^^^^

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    :facepalm:
     
  19. Jul 13, 2010 at 9:54 AM
    #19
    jspadaro

    jspadaro Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, facepalm. You do have to actually properly point a shotgun, it won't just hit anything. Shot does NOT spread more than an inch or two at such short distances.

    However, it isn't aiming, it's pointing. :) Hence what I said earlier.
     
  20. Jul 13, 2010 at 9:56 AM
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    Packman73

    Packman73 ^^^^ 3%er ^^^^

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    Yes, a shotgun needs to be treated like a rifle in close quarters.
     
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