Shot my first handguns today

This is a discussion on Shot my first handguns today within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'm 46 years of age and had never before shot a handgun. I had planned on buying a shotgun for home defense and was on ...

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Thread: Shot my first handguns today

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    Member Array K9Buck's Avatar
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    Shot my first handguns today

    I'm 46 years of age and had never before shot a handgun. I had planned on buying a shotgun for home defense and was on my way to a gun store/range to buy one and had a change of heart. I decided it would be better to get my cc license (Florida) and get a handgun to have with me at all times. There are too many nutsos running around to NOT be carrying all the time.

    Anyway, I was a little astounded at how busy this place was (located on South Orange in downtown Orlando). It was PACKED! Both men and women were there looking at guns or waiting their turn for the range. There were people there with an assortment of some scary looking guns. I saw a couple of very attractive girls (20's) shooting which, for some reason, took me a few moments to compute. Yea, I know.

    Anyway, one of the guys working there was very helpful and seemed happy to answer all of my stupid questions. I told him I wanted to buy a gun and shoot some of them. Upon entering the range I was startled by the sounds of gunshots. Wow, were they loud! We started with a Glock something-or-another and I was nervous. He was correcting me on how I should grip the gun. I was shaking a bit too. lol. I fired one and then he'd help me some more. To be truthful, I was a little rattled. I was in awe of the power of the gun and a little intimidated by it too. I shot off some more rounds and then we switched to a Beretta (don't ask me which one, lol again!) and I shot off some of those too. Then, I tried a Khar PM9 and I was sold so I bought one, new. It was smaller, lighter and seemed more fun to shoot. I'm taking a cc class there on Wednesday, at which time I can take the gun home with me.

    I had a couple of epiphanies while shooting. Even though the target was virtually in front of my face, hitting the human form on the paper was HARD! I have a greater appreciation of why that shotgun might be a good idea for the home. I think that will be my next purchase.

    Anyway, I'm happy to be joining the cc club. Everyone should carry. We don't have to be victims. Thanks for reading!

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    VIP Member Array Ksgunner's Avatar
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    Look around for some pistol training while your at it.
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    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Congratulations. It is a huge responsibility and it takes a commitment to safety, training, and becomming proficient. Like you said, it isn't easy, but with time and practice (and some good instruction) you can become very proficient. I also highly recommend studying the laws with regard to firearms and use of lethal force. Knowledge is your best friend in that regard. The journey is just beginning, and coming to this forum is a GREAT start. Lots of experience, knowledge, and most of all, WISDOM to be found among the thousands of members. It has helped me from a frame of mind standpoint. My goal when I leave my house is to come home safely. De-escalate, get the heck out of dodge. When at home, my goal is to protect my family and myself. Have a plan and be prepared. I wish you the best on your endeavors and welcome aboard!!! It's always good to have another good guy out there able to protect themselves and their family...not to mention protecting our right to bear arms.
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    Member Array K9Buck's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. I will definitely learn the law and learn how to proficiently shoot that gun and then hope I never have to use it on another human being. I can't fathom the thought of shooting another person but I will if they're in the process of doing the same to another, especially to my son or daughter.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K9Buck View Post
    I'm 46 years of age and had never before shot a handgun.
    Late bloomers are fine. Glad to see you're "blooming." Welcome to the wonderful world of shooting.

    ... had a change of heart. I decided it would be better to get my cc license (Florida) and get a handgun to have with me at all times. There are too many nutsos running around to NOT be carrying all the time.
    Yup. This sort of realization should be occurring with everyone, these days. After all, it's not as though anyone isn't aware of how risky it is out there. The streets of Orlando aren't any different.


    Anyway, one of the guys working there was very helpful and seemed happy to answer all of my stupid questions.
    Really and truly, the only stupid question is the one not asked. It's a deadly weapon, after all. And you're pursuing your right to be armed at all times. It can be a bit intimidating, until you realize how many folks there are who'd love nothing more than to help you do it right. Blowing it can be your worst day; nobody wants to do that, or to have you do that; and they'll likely be all too willing to help you avoid it if they're able. Most everyone enjoys talking about (and showing) their guns, and seeing what you've got. It can be a great way to get to know folks on the next lane.


    To be truthful, I was a little rattled. I was in awe of the power of the gun and a little intimidated by it too.
    Realize that a handgun is fairly low-powered, as a man stopper, all things considered. Many, many people survive being shot by a bullet, even multiples. As ugly as being shot can be, there's nothing magical about being swatted with 1/3oz of lead, nothing that dictates a violent person must instantly drop to the floor if touched by one (other than Hollywood's insistence that folks do just that).

    Keep that in mind, when evaluating just how much force might well be required if you ever find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to defend your very life against someone coked up, livid (at you), probably fairly experienced at this "suck up the pain" routine. Think about it. It'll help do wonders for your accuracy and determination, too.

    Mantra: shoot to stop the threat, until the threat no longer exists.

    Consider: The Deadly Force Triangle, A.O.J. (ability, opportunity, jeopardy).

    Think through the reasons you're becoming armed, what you're prepared to do, what you're not prepared to do. Know the enemy; try to understand him/them. Address those weaknesses, holes in your knowledge/training.


    Even though the target was virtually in front of my face, hitting the human form on the paper was HARD! I have a greater appreciation of why that shotgun might be a good idea for the home.
    Congratulations on the new PM9. Get a good, heavy country ham, or a big frozen turkey. Take it to an outdoor shooting spot (ie, BLM/public land), and see what the 9mm is capable of. It'll help you get a feel for what your PM9 is, and isn't, really capable of.

    In terms of accuracy, being new to shooting is probably your greatest liability at this point in your progress. Accuracy will come. It does take some saddle time, for most of us. Pursue good trigger discipline, so you're not jerking the barrel around as you're squeezing, not pulling the gun off-line. Pursue a firm and controlled posture and way of holding the gun (ie, get into an "athletic stance").

    Suggestion: Start slow, without fast strings of shots. At 5yds, you ought to soon be capable of striking nearly all of your shots within a fist-sized (or at least hand-span) wide zone (even with the PM9). As you get consistent being able to do this, ramp up the speed a bit until you can retain that same basic accuracy. Try single shots from the draw, then two-shot or three-shot sequences, trying to retain the same basic level of accuracy. Become basically competent at firing with either hand. Then, move the target out to 7yds, 10yds. With the PM9, likely your accuracy will find its limits not too far beyond that distance.

    Go after some quality, intensive training. Consider not only a firearms handling/safety type course, beyond whatever CHL required training you need to do in order to cover the statutes. Consider a defensive course that will help you think through and manage the various situations you might encounter. (Many training organizations have Handgun 1, Handgun 2, Defensive Handgun Tactics, Advance ... you get the picture.) Consider the value of force-on-force style training, as well, which is one of the few ways to decently cover things like weapons retention (when someone's trying to disarm you), close-in defensive techniques, disarming an assailant, defense against knives, and other skills.


    For some light reading, I'd recommend a couple of books:



    Welcome to DC and shooting.
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    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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    VIP Member Array sixgun's Avatar
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    Congrats and welcome to the world of handguns. Take your time and be safe and have fun.
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    Member Array K9Buck's Avatar
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    Thanks again, friends! By the way, are there many women on this forum? Just curious.

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    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    Be safe. Stay aware.
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    Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around laws. Plato

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    Sounds like you had a very good day.
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    Senior Member Array NCSoxFan's Avatar
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    Beware, it's addictive. Good for you to take it slow and knowing your limits. Stay safe, keep learning and have fun.
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    Member Array Yarg28's Avatar
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    Welcome to the club. One thing you will learn; people who know guns are always willing to help.

    Now prepare to spend more time than you could imagine learning about types of ammo, grain, velocity, adequate penetration, actions, striker vs hammer, etc. you will add about a thousand new terms to the vocabulary.

    Then you will realize that the gun you have just isn't enough. You will research hundreds of guns, manufacturers, youtube reviews, etc. then you will buy a new gun. That won't be the right one either. Then you'll do it all again. But this time you'll keep the gun because,hey, having a backup is cool. Then you will be on the road to multiple guns. Rationalizing all the while how you have one for "hot weather" and one for "cold" or some other excuse.

    Then you will decide that the first gun..was the correct one all along.

    Then a new "revolutionary" model will come out!

    Then...you will decide that you have the wrong caliber....the entire process begins over......

    You've been warned. You'll love all of it though.

    I will say, on a serious note, please understand that there is a LOT to learn relative to safety. It's not just "keep your finger off the trigger and never point at someone". Every gun has its own nuances.

    Good luck.
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    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K9Buck View Post
    Thanks again, friends! By the way, are there many women on this forum? Just curious.
    Yes, there's a fair number ladies who are moderators and regulars. Limatunes is a moderator and she has a youtube channel with a lot of great educational and informational videos.
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    Know Guns, Know Safety, Know Peace.
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    Guns are like sex and air...its no big deal until YOU can't get any.

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    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yarg28 View Post
    Welcome to the club. One thing you will learn; people who know guns are always willing to help.

    Now prepare to spend more time than you could imagine learning about types of ammo, grain, velocity, adequate penetration, actions, striker vs hammer, etc. you will add about a thousand new terms to the vocabulary.

    Then you will realize that the gun you have just isn't enough. You will research hundreds of guns, manufacturers, youtube reviews, etc. then you will buy a new gun. That won't be the right one either. Then you'll do it all again. But this time you'll keep the gun because,hey, having a backup is cool. Then you will be on the road to multiple guns. Rationalizing all the while how you have one for "hot weather" and one for "cold" or some other excuse.

    Then you will decide that the first gun..was the correct one all along.

    Then a new "revolutionary" model will come out!

    Then...you will decide that you have the wrong caliber....the entire process begins over......

    You've been warned. You'll love all of it though.

    I will say, on a serious note, please understand that there is a LOT to learn relative to safety. It's not just "keep your finger off the trigger and never point at someone". Every gun has its own nuances.

    Good luck.
    ^^^ This ^^^ He speaks the truth here.

    18 handguns and a huge safe later...
    Know Guns, Know Safety, Know Peace.
    No Guns, No Safety, No Peace.


    Guns are like sex and air...its no big deal until YOU can't get any.

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    Member Array K9Buck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yarg28 View Post
    It's not just "keep your finger off the trigger and never point at someone". Good luck.
    Lol on your post! Yea, the guy in the range kept having to tell me to take my finger off of the trigger as he was trying to explain things to me.

  16. #15
    Member Array K9Buck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BugDude View Post
    Yes, there's a fair number ladies who are moderators and regulars. Limatunes is a moderator and she has a youtube channel with a lot of great educational and informational videos.
    Thank you!

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