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XtremeIdiots
CaptDumprope

Looking to own my first firearm.

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So, as I've turned 21 about 6 months ago I've always wanted to own my own firearm, preferably a compact handgun. I just want to know what everyone has tried and liked and didnt like, I'm right handed, somewhat experienced with guns, and my parents already have a few that Ihave used. I just want to know whats out there.

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source: https://www.reddit.com/r/guns/comments/1hrh0y/so_youre_going_to_buy_your_first_gun/

 

Great! Shooting can be a lot of fun, and a good gun in well-trained hands is one of the best self-defense tools around.

You're probably thinking about hardware right now. Lucky for you, there are already manymanymanydiscussions about good first guns (which you no doubt found when you read the FAQ), and I've even written one of my own.

Finding your perfect firearm is fun and interesting, and is an important step in the process, but there's a lot more to responsible gun ownership than just picking out a gun!

Let's talk about the other considerations that are often ignored in these "First time buyer" threads, and that often cause new gun-owners pain and unexpected expense:

 

1) Safety.

Know the basics of gun safety before you walk into a gun store to even look. Once you're there, treat every gun in the place as if it were loaded, always point it in a safe direction, and keep your finger off the trigger unless you're ready to shoot. If the employees aren't doing the same, find a new store.

 

2) Think about the rest of your personal security first

First, realize that a gun is not a magic talisman. Just owning a gun won't make you safer, and if you're actually forced to use it, even in the most clear-cut self-defense imaginable, severely injuring or killing another human being is going to mess with your life. Legally, emotionally, and financially, if you have to defend yourself with deadly force, right or wrong, you're not going to enjoy the fallout, and that's assuming you come out alive and relatively intact. So you need to look around at other parts of your life that make that exceptionally crappy situation more likely.

If you need a gun because you're moving to a crappy neighborhood, don't move there, or at least spend some cash on window bars and reinforced door jambs. If you're being stalked or threatened, get the cops involved too, document it. If you're banging a heavily armed biker's wife/husband/mom, well, stop.

Buying a gun while ignoring other risks in your personal security plan is like having a diet soda with your triple-decker burger and chili-fries. Sure, having a gun (with the proper training to use it) will increase your personal safety, but do everything else you can to ensure you never have to use it.

 

3) Be honest with yourself about how you'll be using the gun

First, you've gotta figure out why you're in the market, and be honest with the answer. The right gun for home defense is different than the right gun for fending off polar bears, and those are both different than the right guns for putting holes in distant paper (or distant deer) on a Saturday afternoon. The right gun for carry in Minneapolis winters is the wrong gun for carry in Miami summers. There's nothing wrong with any reason you have (even "because they're fun!"), but don't whip yourself up in fear of polar bears when you really want a gun for Miami-carry, and don't buy a super-compact carry gun if you're north of the Arctic circle.

 

4) Learn the laws and rules at the federal, state, local, and really local levels

Every country, state, county, and city has laws, and the interactions between them can be even more complicated, especially for carry. Learn them for where you live, work, and travel often. Handgunlaw.us will get you started, but it's no substitute for talking to a lawyer specializing in gun and concealed carry law about the oddities of your particular jurisdiction(s).

Equally importantly, think about the rules and regulations that are specific to your life. Does your apartment/condo complex ban guns in residences? How about your employer? Will your insurance company cover gun theft? How about liability with regards to gun accidents?

Even think about really local issues. There's no shortage of posts on here along the lines of "My girlfriend/boyfriend/roommate/cat said they'd move out if I buy a gun, what do I do?". This is not a conversation to have while your safe is being delivered.

 

5) Get enough training to be more of a danger to bad guys than you are to yourself

If you've never really shot guns, or you've only shot your granddad's replica muzzle-loaders, it's worth a few hundred dollars to get some training with a real instructor. A good course will cover safety, mechanics of guns and ammo, basics of shooting, basic laws in your area, and ideally, maintenance and cleaning. Most also have a live-fire portion so you can shoot, and more importantly, so you can shoot with an instructor who can point out your own individual issues with marksmanship. Most will let you rent or borrow a gun for the course so that you can start your training before you've made a purchase.

Many states require training to apply for a concealed carry permit, but keep taking courses and practicing well beyond that limit. If you're only an "OK" shot at the range, you'll likely be a mess when Herbie the Polar Bear is chasing you across the tundra (or in any other self-defense situation). Remember, a gun is not a magical talisman, it is a tool foryou to use to keep yourself safe, and you need training to use it well.

Finally, even if you're already a Navy Delta Ranger Tactical SIGINT SEAL SWAT Operator, your husband/wife/BF/GF/BFF/roommate/SO/cat should get some training too to learn to safely handle and use your home defense weapon. Even if they show no interest at all in guns and "couldn't possibly use one for defense", they at least need to know how to safely move, unload and secure the weapon without you present, for that one day you leave it on the bedside table and they've got to dust. As an aside, that knowledge alone might make spark a bit more interest and address some of the issues in #4.

 

6) How are you going to keep your gun(s) safe?

As you're shopping around for your gun, include the cost of a safe place to keep your guns. Your needs will vary. Actual, secure gun safes are expensive. "Security Cabinets" are less so. A locking closet door, less still. Some areas have laws (see #4) about how you can store guns, make sure your plan jives with them.

If you've just bought a pistol, you may want one of those quick-access boxes. Many of them are easily defeated. With these, remember to think about the "Backup" method of opening when you're considering safes, as that's usually easier to attack than the keypad. If it's got a tubular lock as a backup access method, you can likely do better, as they're easily picked with basic tools. Go to a few lock shops in your city to see what they recommend (as they tend to have more secure options than gun stores). Secure quick-access boxes can be had for the same price as cheap ones, you just have to look harder. $150-200 is not unreasonable for a secure quick safe, and remember that unless you've bolted it down to something, it doesn't need to be opened to be stolen.

Again, think about your needs. If you're just trying to keep your toddler out, that's one thing, but if you've got teenagers, roommates, or criminals around, you might want to spend the money when you can. And if you live alone (or with a trusted spouse), in a safe neighborhood, and the rest of your security is good, well, a bedside cabinet or book safe may be good enough. But think about how much security you need, and whether each solution will provide it.

 

7) Can you take care of it?

You'll need to clean your gun. Some tolerate more dirt than others before failing, but a day at the range takes even the nicest gun from pristine to dirty, and if you're going to rely on your firearm, everything you can do to keep it reliable and in good condition is time well spent. Your training course (you did take one, right?) should cover the how-to of cleaning, and your local gun store (or YouTube) can show you how to break down whatever you buy, but expect to spend $50 or so on basic cleaning supplies for a handgun, likely more for rifles. Also, /r/guncleaning.

 

8) Can you feed it?

Ammo is not cheap, and can be hard to find (at the moment, at least). But you'll need to practice, and practice needs ammo. So, expect to spend another $200-300 on the ammo it'll take to get proficient, more so if you're shooting a huge, rare or obscure caliber.

Also, realize that you'll spend more on defensive ammunition than practice ammo, and that you'll want to know the difference. But it's OK, because they talked about that in that class you took (see #5).

 

9) Where can you shoot it?

Few are lucky enough to have large amounts of safe land and tolerant neighbors, such that they can shoot at home. Gun ranges aren't terribly uncommon in most places, but know where your closest ranges or places to shoot are, and then call to see if members of the public can shoot there. My nearest 2 ranges are members-only, with 2 and 4.5 year waiting lists, respectively, so despite living on the edges of a major metropolitan area, I drive around 45 minutes to shoot at a place I like. It's also worth Googling or checking Yelp when you're looking at ranges, because that's where you'll find out about the bad ventilation, sketchy customers, and/or crazy owners.

If your only range is too far, expensive, or trashy for you to practice effectively, that's something you need to know now before you end up with a $500 tool you can't learn to use.

One other thing to keep in mind is that you need to wear eye and ear protection every time you shoot. Most ranges have it free to rent, but if you shoot someplace that doesn't (or if you want to wear both plugs and earmuffs, get electronic earmuffs, etc), you'll need to bring (and buy) your own, around $50. Remember, every gunshot you hear unprotected permanently robs you of some of your hearing, and you cannot get it back.

 

10) How much will this really cost?

There's a lot more to buying your first gun than walking into a store and plunking down cash for hardware, and even if the gun you're looking at is only $500, you'll also need be paying for:

  • Governmental Costs (Background Checks, Licenses, FFL fees, Sales Tax)
  • Training
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Gun Safe/Quick Access Box
  • Defensive Ammo
  • Practice Ammo
  • Range Fees for your first outing (if it's not part of your training)
  • Eye and Ear Protection
  • Other accessories (like holsters, extra magazines, a decent case, snap-caps for practice at home)

These things together can easily cost $400-500 on top of the price of your weapon of choice. Luckily, many of them are one-time costs, and won't be repeated for future purchases, but you need to know that these expenses are there before you plug the price of your favorite gun into the "Becoming Armed" category in this month's budget and think you're done.

OK, now go buy a gun!

Shooting is a lot of fun, and in a terrible situation in which a gun is necessary for defense, it's an excellent thing to have around. Just think long and hard about these issues, questions, and expenses, and realize that there's a lot more to buying a gun than running into your local gun store with a wad of cash and a clean background check.

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im looking into one of the Springfield Armory XD guns.  a bunch of options to choose from and not too pricey  

shot a couple of the XDs and like them.   

 

http://www.springfield-armory.com/explore/concealed-carry/

 

 

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Best thing you can do is spend the money and go rent and shoot different guns at the range. A lot f indoor ranges have a good variety to choose from. In semi autos you need to figure out what type of system you like. DA/SA. Striker fired DA or a SA. I have all styles and all fit a different need and shooting style. As for caliber you need to figure out what you want to use it for. For paper punching and shooting a lot of targets 22 and then 9mm works well. For defense 40sw and 45acp. There was s a lot of choices out there. For revolvers for competition I shot 44 magnum with downloaded ammo that made it a lot softer to shoot while maintaining performance and volocity. 357magnum is a good cartridge and you can use 38 speacials in it to keep the cost down for paper punching. I also have some in 45 long colt and 32.

And as always 22s are just flat out fun to shoot and cheap

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I carry  a .380 concealed most of the time. I also have a large frame double stack .45 but it is bulky and winter is about the only time I can carry without it showing.  There is some good advice given here from the guys.  Once you have made your choice of weapon, become familiar with it and practice, practice, practice. 

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We all started with .22s as kids. The first centerfire gun (handgun) was the .38 in various forms, because they were numerous and easy to reload.

Reloading is another venue to consider, but it'll slurp up any budget you have.

A small frame .38 is easy to handle, and easy to conceal. Great gun to graduate up from.

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I agree with the others. You should go to a good Dealer preferably with a range and try several to see what feels good to you.  I have many ranging from .38 on up to a really fun to shoot but not practical to carry .44 Mag "Dirty Harry" as my wife calls it. Right now my daily carry piece is a S&W M&P Shield in 9mm but I also carry a. .357 S&W revolver from time to time.

 

http://www.smith-wesson.com/firearms/mp-9-shield-0

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You would probably enjoy watching some of the many videos from my friend hicock45. He has many reviews of firearms on his page. I have had some great times shooting at his place and yes, I can hit the gong with pretty much any weapon...

 

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/user/hickok45/videos

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You would probably enjoy watching some of the many videos from my friend hicock45. He has many reviews of firearms on his page. I have had some great times shooting at his place and yes, I can hit the gong with pretty much any weapon...

 

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/user/hickok45/videos

Wow ! It's cool you know him. I watched a lot of his videos when I was looking to buy. Very helpful and fun to watch. Now, I only wish I could shoot like him. Unfortunately, my hands are a lot smaller than his grappling hooks.

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@@Magnus He lives in Middle Tennessee about 1hr away from me.  I Met his son John at a private outdoor range in Nashville that I go to with my neighbor, who is a TN State Trooper.  A bunch of those guys have their own place to shoot so it is always a lot of fun.  John invited us up to his dad's place that afternoon to shoot some vintage AK's and that is where I met Greg. Really a great guy to just hang out with and as a bonus, he gets tons of different firearms from dealers and manufacturers so we get to shoot some cool shit from time to time.

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There is some great advice above....

1. What is the main purpose of this firearm

2. Price

3. Make sure your hand fits the firearm...do you have a big, medium or small hand

4. Will you have children in your home?

5. If you use this for home protection? If so I would push you toward hollow point ammo verses full metal jacket

 

My wife has a Smith & Wesson 38 with a laser sight...perfect for her dainty hands...not so much for my monster paws...also a easy and quick point and kill pistol

 

I carry a XD 45...fits my hand well with it "double stack" mags...multiple safety's...in my night stand I keep a 1911 45...very safe gun...multiple configurations with hammer and safety's making it impossible for a child to shoot.

 

PM me with the answers above and I will be happy to give you my advise...

 

johnny

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You can't go wrong with a Glock. There is a wide variety of calibers and sizes available. They are cost-efficient, reliable, easy to maintain and can be customized.

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You can't go wrong with a Glock. There is a wide variety of calibers and sizes available. They are cost-efficient, reliable, easy to maintain and can be customized.

Yes you can...if you have kids in your home where you keep your gun...way to easy to shoot....

 

Perfect example of someone recommending a gun that is right for them but not you....Glock is a great pistol...but toss a loaded glock into a playpen and a 1911 both chambered and unholstered and see which one kills the baby first...

 

johnny

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What all said above... First any good gun shop small or big should let you shoot store demo before you buy... You need to ask your self why are you buying it.. CCP or just to have one or tinking.. My last purchase is my daily carry a Walther ccp 9mm,I love it!! BUt all others are fun to shoot too as you can see GG and I and son like to shoot.

 

 

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hehe..Have fun, enjoy.. My only advise.. If and when you decide to carry a firearm for protection, Know and learn this.. You don't pull it unless you have decided to use it and know you are taking a life, and know whats beyond that target... Good luck be safe..

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eb1440d447a3b2b99f1c8d16aa1f4d5a.jpg

 

This is my favorite pistol I used when competing in silhouette shooting.

Chambered in 35 Herret I could hold a 2 inch group at 200 meters. More than that it was fun when some jack ass at the range came up thinking they were tough with a dessert eagle in 50 cal. Usually it would only take two shots till they moved way way from me. Nothing like a muzzle break going off next to you. Without it though it would make a mess out of your wrist after a few shots

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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