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Discussion Starter #1
so, I turn 21 this comming up year and instead of the useal Drunken vomitting ongoings most new 21 year olds go through, I'm using that special day to purchace my first handgun and obtain my licence. (maybe not All in the same week, but definitly within the same month)

so as this will be the first firearm I'll purchace I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions on a good stable first handgun?

I've never owned of even operated a firearm before (other than air rifles, Co2 and such, I mostly prefer knives being previously too young to legally carry gun) so I want something...I guess a good way of putting it would be, with "training wheels" something afforadbale, easy to use, but still good for practical self defence.

I'm already looking into shooting ranges in my area and I've read and reviewed Firearm care and safty manuels, now all I need is a good idea of a first gun...

my plan thus far is just to visit local pawn shops until I find a sutible one...as I know nothing about guns...:comeandgetsome:
 

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First, let me commend you for your level of maturity at such a young age and showing that you have your priorities straight.

I think that you should find a decent gun shop/range and get some one-on-one training; rent a few handguns and start getting "comfortable" with them.

If I were to give you a suggestion for a first handgun, it would be a revolver due to the simplicity, reliability and, sometimes, affordability.
 

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Yep,shoot a few different guns,check prices on what they sell for so you don't end up paying $400.00 for a hi-point
 

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Two Basic Rules

  1. Fits your hand
  2. 9mm or bigger
As you analyze weapons, use the following:

  • Be methodical about the process
  • Test fire as many different weapons as you can
  • Read as many reviews as you can, so you can get some ideas on more subtle differences in types and models
  • Develop of list of things you like and don't about the weapons you test
  • Develop a list of what you need and what you don't in a weapon
  • Look at prices
Don't rush!!!!
 

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Yep,shoot a few different guns,check prices on what they sell for so you don't end up paying $400.00 for a hi-point
This is on the lines of what I was going to say...
 

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First, welcome!

Now on to the meat and potatoes;

Take your time and do your research. Do not fall into the "it looks cool" trap. Far to many new shooters buy what looks good rather than what actually is. When you have a question, ASK! Right here is an awesome place to do that. You will get accurate and honest answers here.

When going into your local shops, be honest about your situation. Tell them it is your first gun, you just did or are about to turn 21 etc. Shops love newbies that are honest about there level of knowledge and that ask intelligent questions. DO NOT pretend you have knowledge that you do not.... you wont get anywhere. Shops hate the guy who pretends he knows everything. That guy will always get sub par service.

Stick with a major brand and with a model that has been around for awhile. You dont want your first pistol to be some manufactures basturn child that has no support from the manufacture or the aftermarket.

Do Not buy a micro or sub compact. You are asking for trouble at this point. Get some experience under your belt, then worry about the pocket rockets. There are plenty of mid size or full size guns out there to choose from. Start out with a bigger frame size, you will end up a better shooter because of it.

I highly recommend you forget the bigger calibers for now. If you want an semi auto, 9mm is the way to go. If its a revolver you're after, 38/357. There is nothing wrong with the bigger calibers down the road (so no caliber wars please) but, the 9mm or 38 are cheaper to shoot and you will be able to shoot more. They are also a little more forgiving with the typical newbie problems. Iron out all the newb problems shooting cheaper ammo. Throwing a 9mm low and left is a lot cheaper and easier to fix than throwing 50AE low and left.

Thats about all I can think of right now. I'm sure I'll add stuff later.
 

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I agree with six and also add that some gun stores employees have their own " agenda". You need to get a variety of opinions from different sources before making a commitment.

P.S. Most pawn shops are overpriced and ill informed about handguns and weapons in general.
 

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Learning Toll

Get yourself a high quality .22 (Ruger, Browning, Sig, Walther, etc...)and a ton of .22 LR's then go shoot a couple of thousand rounds.
You can get a Full Brick 1000 Rds. of 22 LR for under [email protected] most places including WallyMart.
A CHEAP case of 1000 9 mm FMJ's will run you over $300and thats a GOOD deal!
PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE!
BTW / Welcome to the club!:hand10:
 

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Welcome.

Like RebelRabbi said, get a .22 first if you've no experience with guns. After putting 1000s of rounds through it try other out (via friends, gun clubs, store ranges, etc.) and basically enjoy the ride.
 

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Start light with a 22cal. (My first handgun was a Ruger mk2 Government model back in the early 80's I still have that gun, and love it even today!)A 22 Caliber well teach you the basics and is by far more economical to shoot then anything else on the market today.Then move up to something larger later...

Good Luck .
 

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Hahaha... You beat me to it by this " much.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
well other than a pawn shop, I'm sorry to say that there are not really any stores in my general area that DO sell guns, not handguns anyways...not even my local Wally world carries Guns, not even rifles. they did once upon a time, but for some legal mumbo jumbo or something of the sort the store has removed all leathal weapons from thier shelves...

from the looks of it a good .22 seems to be the general option here as a good starter gun, I was personally looking into maybe a beretta 9mm as my uncle had a similar gun that was pretty stable and reliable for him. as far as cost goes .22 is best, but from what I've HEARD (not know) they have little more kick than a high powered Co2, of which i have servarl...I'm not 100% unexperienced, I'm a great shot, just haven't used an Actual gun before, lol.

I've always been a sucker for a good looking revolver, I just don't want a snubby, I can't stand the look of them, and I know it's function before fashion, but still...

I aprechiate all the advice, my 21st is still a bit of a ways off so I've got some time to look around, I may go ahead and purchace a gun before then if I find a sutiable one as it's legal for me to OWN if not Carry a hand gun.
 

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I disagree with the .22 opinions. Although the .22 is a great training and learning round, I would say that your first handgun should be a defensive handgun, and to me the .22 isn't that.

I am not a big fan of the 9mm round, but it is a better choice for a defensive handgun. It will (as SIXTO said) give you a less expensive round to practice with, yet still be enough to be effective if needed in a defense situation.

Lots of good advice here, shoot what you can, decide what you like, decide what manual of arms you want and stick to it.

Best of luck, sigmanluke
 

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*WARNING* BEFORE you go shooting, purchase ear and eye protection! USE THEM EVERYTIME YOU SHOOT! HEARING DAMAGE IS PERMANANT AND ACCUMULATIVE.

The posters advocating a 9mmP or larger are thinking of a first defensive, or first concealed carry gun, not a FIRST handgun. Your very FIRST handgun should be a .22LR revolver, either single action or double action. Ideally, you want one with a six inch or six and a half inch barrel--this will help you with placing shots precisely, which will be encouraging for you to keep shooting, as you will be successful in accurately hitting your target. A shorter handgun is handier, but harder for a newbie to shoot.

Perhaps an ideal beginners handgun is the Stainless Steel New Model Super Single Six Convertible by Ruger (KNR6).
Ruger New Model Single-Six Convertible Single-Action Revolver Models
It comes with a .22LR cylinder for target shooting and plinking (shooting cans) and also a .22 Magnum cylinder that you can switch to for a little more "punch" if you take up handgun hunting (out of a revolver, the .22 Magnum has about the performance of a .22LR out of a full size rifle). Getting the gun in Stainless Steel will help you have a gun that is more forgiving as far as care goes, as you begin to learn how to care for your gun. You will never "outgrow" this gun, you will love to shoot it when you are an old man. Now, that isn't to say that you won't want to shoot other guns, or buy other guns, because of course you will--different tools for different jobs. But, this particular handgun will always provide you with good accuracy and above all FUN!! And a .22LR is always a "cheap date". :wink: Ammo for a .22LR will likely always be the cheapest ammo you can shoot--I think the days when you could reload a .38 Spl. for about the same cost as .22LR cartridges are now over. :frown:

Best wishes to you in your future life of shooting enjoyment! Always remember though, SAFETY FIRST!

ETA: I reread your original post. IMO, a first handgun is not really compatible with a defensive handgun. You have to learn the basics of handgun shooting first, and the best way to do that is with the .22LR. Now you can kill someone with a .22LR, as shot placement is the most important factor in defensive shooting, but it is not the ideal caliber for a defensive gun. Once you have your initial training done with a .22LR, then you can look at getting something different. For home defense you are better off with a .223/5.56 caliber carbine loaded with a fast fragmenting cartridge like the Hornady 60 grain TAP round than a handgun, as pistol bullets are more likely to penetrate the walls and hit someone you don't want to hit. For concealed carry, anything .380 ACP and on up in caliber and power, depending on how you will carry it, should be good. 9mmP is a good "minimum" caliber, but if your lifestyle won't work with that big a gun, then a Ruger LCP or Kel-Tec P3AT in .380 ACP or a S&W "snubby" in .38 Spl. is better than nothing.
 

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I understand what Goodtime Charlie is saying about first handgun, not first defensive handgun. However, at 21, your protection is up to you, the time to be buying your first handgun (such as a .22 or .22MAG), is gone. You need to be able to protect yourself if the need arises. This is why I say YOUR first handgun should be a defensive handgun.
 

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Sixto usually knows what he speaks of....Boiled down, good brand, established model and moderate caliber. You wont get points from the bad guy for having a coole gun with a bigger hole to shoot him with. The biggies like Smith., SIG, Glock, Walther, Ruger, etc. should serve you well.
 

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I will echo what others have said: read about the handguns you are interested in, try to rent them or otherwise shoot them before hand. Try to avoid a pawn shop if at all possible, better to drive a little out of your way to a sporting good shop or gun dealer. I also would not go down "route .22" for a defensive handgun; a .38 special revolver or 9mm pistol will serve you just fine
 

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.22 for CC :blink: .................:gah:

If you are planning as you stated regarding getting your CC permit and your first pistol. My suggestion to you would be, get yourself a good quality 9mm for CC with a simple manual of arms like a Glock 26 or if your wallet can handle it a 9mm Sig. Do yourself a favor for the long run. Don't go to cheap, or you'll find yourself wanting to replace the pistol asap. :hand5: If you start out in the moderate range and plan to buy for your CC needs i.e. deep concealment, IWB, OWB and so on, you'll come out ahead in the long run. The cheap starters end up costing more over time due to trading up and or selling low to gain funds for the better quality pistols.

If you are totally unfamiliar with firearms I'd say steer away for the autoloaders and buy a good revolver like the S&W 642 or maybe even a Taurus .38 that is rated for +ps. Sites like DC are great for information, but the caveat to that is, you find yourself inundated with information some good and some not so good that may pertain to your choice for CC. The negative stuff may have you rethinking your purchase and spur on the lack of confidence in your pistol. If you go with quality straight off, and the opinions shared by others will have little to no affect on what ever you end up with. FWIW

GBK
 

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If possible, get marksmanship instruction from a qualified NRA instructor.

Those of us who have been shooting for a while (I started in 1958) see the same thing every time we go to the range. Shooters put up a full-size silhouette at 15 or 20 feet and blast away. They're happy to hit the paper every time. They can't shoot worth a damn and that's because they never actually learned how to shoot well. They don't know what trigger control, follow-through and calling the shot means. They sorta line up the sights, close both eyes and yank.

There are lots of good books on how to shoot a handgun. Go here:
Brian Enos's Forums... Maku mozo! (Powered by Invision Power Board)
for good advice.

Also, for basic through advanced pistol marksmanship training, I strongly recommend a good pellet pistol. One of my favorites is the Daisy 717, but there are several good ones available.
You see, in order to become a really good pistol shot, as opposed to the people we see at the range who are happy with an 8" group at 20 feet, you have to master trigger control, follow-through and calling your shots. It's much easier to aquire those skills if the gun you're shooting has no recoil, is super quiet and is very cheap to shoot. A pellet pistol is all those things and you can shoot it in the house or garage. All you need for a backstop is a box of newspapers. Ammo is almost free.
Pistols like the Daisy are pump-up (one pump) and there's no Co2 cost. Make sure you get one with adjustable sights.
 
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