General assistance

General assistance

This is a discussion on General assistance within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I will soon be a new and casual owner of a semi auto or revolver. I have 2 questions I hope I can get some ...

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Thread: General assistance

  1. #1
    New Member Array Casual User's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    Vancouver WA

    General assistance

    I will soon be a new and casual owner of a semi auto or revolver. I have 2 questions I hope I can get some help with. Is a semi auto better or a revolver better for me? I am most concerned with keeping a magazine full so long that 1) the ammo goes stale, if this is possible, and 2) will this practice make the spring lose strength? I know one answer will be to shoot a lot but I just do not have the opportunity to do this so I need these questions answered so I can make the best decision about which firearm to buy. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Member Array BigBear's Avatar
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    May 2009
    North Carolina
    I'm no expert, but if you go with the semi-auto, here's a suggestion:
    Get a couple extra magazines, and just swap them out from time to time. I usually shoot the ammo I keep in my self-defense weapons once a month, but that may not be necessary. I have shot pistol ammo at the range that was many years old, and it caused no problems. It had been kept dry, and had no apparent corrosion, and the gun functioned just fine. I know it's not what you meant, but owning a gun is not a casual thing. Be safe, get as much practice as you can, and good luck!
    " In theory, reality and theory are the same. In reality, they are not."


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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    Mar 2006
    West Virginia
    Number one...springs get wore out by flexing up and down, not being compressed. Number two...Ammo should be shot regularly but your range ammo and carry ammo will be different shoot FMJ and carry HP. A quality ammo will not go "stale", if you shoot even once a year, IMO. As far as revolver vs. auto, depends on your skill level, ease of operation. etc. Go to a range and rent as many as youcan to get an idea of what you like better. Only you will truly know what is right for you and your lifestyle. Don't trust the gun shop ninjas.
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  5. #4
    Member Array JGglock's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
    welcome to the forum!! what gun is best for u is just as u asked, its whats best for u!! what might be good for me might not work for u!! personally i carry semi-auto!!I love haveing the rounds u can carry with the semi auto!! and ive never had or heard of ammo goin stale in the mag. not unless u keep it in there for years. and yes the mag spring can get weak but thats usualy only a concearn with cheap guns!! so my advise to u is go and pick up and hold and get the feel of as many revolvers and semi autos as u can in the store and if possible rent some at the range and see what u shoot the best and what feels good to u !! so good luck and hope u find the right one
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  6. #5
    Member Array Ananael's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    My advise would be for you to head down to The Place To Shoot in North Portland, get a 1 year membership, and rent some of their guns to try different things out. Figure out what calibers work for you, what guns fit your hand, etc. One of the basic pistol classes they offer might help you out a lot. Julie is really nice, talk to her and let her help you out!

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    It sounds like you are just looking for a house gun and not necessarily a carry gun, but correct me if I am reading that wrong. Do you have your carry license, or are you looking to get one?

    One other thing that I seem to get from you post is that you plan on very limited use of this gun. As others have stated, ammo if kept in relatively good conditions won't go stale, and keeping loaded magazines will not make the springs go bad. Those being covered, I will add that if the gun is going to be left unused/unattended to for long periods of time, I would be more inclined to steer you towards a revolver than a semi auto, for the simple reason that with revolvers there are less things that can go wrong, therefore less chance that when and if you do need the gun it will be functional.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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  8. #7
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    Welcome to the forum.

    Springs and ammo are not a problem. What gun is best for you is hard to answer. If you are new to guns, and don't have the time to go out shooting often, I'd recommend a revolver. They are simpler to operate and not much to go wrong with them.

    Whatever you go, with you need to make the time to practice and become proficient with it. You also need to make sure you take a gun safety course.

  9. #8
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    from Central Florida!

    Head up to a few gun shops and start asking some questions.

    Proverbs 27:12 says: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”

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  10. #9
    Member Array ScubaDuba's Avatar
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    Winston-Salem, NC
    I regularly shoot ammo that was made in the 60s
    Healthy children will not fear life, if their parents have integrity enough not to fear death.

  11. #10
    Member Array Blue Jacket's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    I'd suggest for a brand new shooter to start with a good size (4" barrel) 38 revolver. Or, even a 22. Learn the proper shooting techniques. If you are set against a revolver, get a 9mm auto. The recoil is less, the ammo is cheaper and you'll probably find yourself at the range longer. Renting before a purchase is always good. As suggested by another member, hang out in gun stores. Listen to others at the counter, some of your questions may be answered. Talk to different salesmen. Not all gun store salesmen are created equal. Use your internet search for questions regarding specific models. Many have been reviewed by independant, neutral gun experts. One final note, don't buy cheap junk. No one wants to fire a potentially hazardous cheap firearm.
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  12. #11
    VIP Member Array OldVet's Avatar
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    Ammo will last for years if properly stored. The trunk of your car or your attic is not the place. As long as it's inside and not exposed to dampness, it's good to go. They still shoot surplus ammo from WWII. Moisture and corrosion, both caused by exposure, are the biggest threats, followed by long-term exposure to heat.

    Most modern magazines have few spring problems. Would I leave a mag full in storage for ten years? No, but keeping it loaded for months at a time shouldn't be one a problem either. And if you'll hit the range every couple of months, you'll keep your ammo and mags rotated regardless.
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  13. #12
    GM is offline
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    If a semi-auto is better than a revolver or vice versa? I guess it depends of whom you ask to. I prefer semi-autos, and then my answer will be that they are best. The mag spring does not get wore out because it is compressed, and if you buy quality ammo it does not go stale. The only you have to remember is to keep track or the round you have in the pipe; do not chamber the same round more than two times (for example after cleaning the gun). I put all the rounds that have been chambered two times in a can, and I shoot them first next time I go to the range.
    "The Second Amendment: America's Original Homeland Security"

  14. #13
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    Array TX-JB's Avatar
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    Since you stated that you will be a casual shooter, I'm going to assume at this time you are not getting a CC permit. For years the standard answer for new shooters has been a .38/.357 revolver with a 4" barrel... That advice is as good today as it was 30 years ago...

    Many people are not 'into guns' and shooting as most of the members here are... There's nothing wrong with that... If you're interested in a gun that requires less regular maintenance, yet is still reliable, you need to look at revolvers...

    Stay with the major brands like Smith and Wesson or Ruger. They are a little more expensive, but they are miles ahead in quality...take a gun safety course and practice enough to become proficient...
    "Texas can make it without the United States, but the United States can't make it without Texas!".... Sam Houston

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  15. #14
    Distinguished Member Array Rugergirl's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    OK, good info posted so far here, BUT, I have to chime in with something I haven't seen mentioned.
    No matter if you get a revolver or a semi-auto, you should clean it periodically, even if it just sits stored in a safe place and never used.
    Wipe it down, and lubricate it regularly, to make sure it is ready to fire, should you ever need to.
    Depending on where and how it is stored will determine how often to clean it. I love my children, oops I mean my firearms and once a month they all come out of the safe, for a clean-up. I put on some cotton gloves and wipe them down and oil them lightly, making sure I remove any fingerprints and skin oils that might mar the finish.
    It's not necessary to get as carried away as I tend to do, but making sure they are clean and in good working order is a great practice.
    Disclaimer: The posts made by this member are only the members opinion, not a reflection on anyone else, nor the group, and should not be cause for anyone to get their undergarments wedged in an uncomfortable position.

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Welcome to DC.

    I see more and more first time gun owners and casual shooters in the gunshop lately than I ever have before. We used to call them " non dedicated shooters" but I like casual.

    The classic answer to your situation is a stainless steel medium frame revolver in .38 or .357 but a bunch of people on the internet can't really pick for you. You'll be better off hitting that rental range and putting a few dozen pistols in your hands and finding what you like.

    Just promise to try to let us know. All us experts love feedback on our advice.

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