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Interested in picking up my first firearm

Hey fellas,

I'm relatively new when it comes to guns, but I've recently been bit by a gun bug and am interested in purchasing my first firearm. I've fired a few weapons before and tend to prefer handguns (I'd like something practical for home defense other than a shotgun).

I've fired a Colt 1911 and remember liking it. I'm also in love with the body style and weight. I've been told to save my money and just purchase a Glock instead. I've fired one (although I'm unsure which model), and don't really have anything negative to say except that it feels too much like a toy.

I don't really have large hands, however I don't want a small gun to compensate. I feel an M&P Shield look too small with the shorter barrel.

Does anyone have any suggestions of pieces to look at? I'm really open to anything, and have a few gun shops and firing ranges in my area where I can hold one or test one out. I don't really have a price range either, more looking for the best *bang* for the buck.
 
I have a Colt Government model but I shoot best with my Glock 26. Try as many as you can...if you have buddies who own guns that is a great resource instead of renting from a range.
 
I like the colt and any 1911 style firearm. However I find them to be terribly over priced for what they are. I personally have an EAA witness in .45 and enjoy shooting that more than my fathers colt gold cup. Best thing to do is look and hold as many as you can. I don't like glock period.
 
I like the colt and any 1911 style firearm. However I find them to be terribly over priced for what they are. I personally have an EAA witness in .45 and enjoy shooting that more than my fathers colt gold cup. Best thing to do is look and hold as many as you can. I don't like glock period.
The EAA Witness Elite looks nice, what kind of prices are they?
 
I got mine for 460 with the .22lr conversion kit brand new. They have a bunch of different calibers and are based off the cz-75/browning high power design. Great guns.
 
Hit the range with a friend and rent as many guns as they have (bring a friend because they won't rent to a single unless you are a member, they're tired of cleaning up suicides).
Then go to a different range and rent some of theirs.

Anything 9mm, .357, 10mm, .40s&w, .45ACP, or .500s&w will get the job done.
What matters is what is comfortable and what you like. A gun that is no fun to shoot, you won't practice with it, and then crap hits the fan, you will not be proficient. That was the case for my wife with the Ruger LCR. It was a snappy little .38 and hurt her wrist to shoot. I sold it to a friend looking for a backup gun and bought her a Beretta 92fs.

Temper that with... IF crap hits the fan and you are forced to use it, the gun will be taken into evidence and it could be months before you get it back, and it will not be well cared for while in custody.

Personally, my night stand guns are my Ruger SP100 snubbie in .357 (backup gun, only 5 shots), and my Glock 26... 9mm compact. 10rds, and a spare magazine next to it.
Downstairs, my desk drawer gun is my RIA 1911. It's a nice 1911, but it's still "just" a $500 gun, no sentimental attachment... if it ends up rusting in an evidence locker, it's no big loss.

The only gun that I own that my wife is under directions that it is "absolute last resort and I'd really prefer that you grab the broadsword first" is my grandpa's Colt 1903, made in 1917.
All other guns (including my rifles) are loaded and chambered at all times unless they are being transported.
 
I would try to hold as many as you can before you commit to one. Shoot them if you can. My wife held and fondled a ton of different handguns before picking the M&P9C. After a couple range trips, she stole my Glock 23. Don't hate them until you have shot them. That said, I will own a 1911 someday. They are very nice weapons, but may be a bit complex to take apart and clean for someone new to firearms.

Check out www.calguns.net You will be able to find the answers to any questions you may have there, as well as California specific laws.
 
Hit the range with a friend and rent as many guns as they have (bring a friend because they won't rent to a single unless you are a member, they're tired of cleaning up suicides).
Then go to a different range and rent some of theirs.

Anything 9mm, .357, 10mm, .40s&w, .45ACP, or .500s&w will get the job done.
What matters is what is comfortable and what you like. A gun that is no fun to shoot, you won't practice with it, and then crap hits the fan, you will not be proficient. That was the case for my wife with the Ruger LCR. It was a snappy little .38 and hurt her wrist to shoot. I sold it to a friend looking for a backup gun and bought her a Beretta 92fs.

Temper that with... IF crap hits the fan and you are forced to use it, the gun will be taken into evidence and it could be months before you get it back, and it will not be well cared for while in custody.

Personally, my night stand guns are my Ruger SP100 snubbie in .357 (backup gun, only 5 shots), and my Glock 26... 9mm compact. 10rds, and a spare magazine next to it.
Downstairs, my desk drawer gun is my RIA 1911. It's a nice 1911, but it's still "just" a $500 gun, no sentimental attachment... if it ends up rusting in an evidence locker, it's no big loss.

The only gun that I own that my wife is under directions that it is "absolute last resort and I'd really prefer that you grab the broadsword first" is my grandpa's Colt 1903, made in 1917.
All other guns (including my rifles) are loaded and chambered at all times unless they are being transported.

*Note to self, don't show up to Rich's house un-invited :blink:
 
I recommend a .22 cal for a first firearm. Light recoil. Inexpensive to fire (means you will use it more often and become more familiar with a firearm).

If you don't want to get started shooting and only want/need a single home defense firearm, invest some time and look at as many as you can. Try to handle and fire as many different types of firearms a you can before making a decision.

It is way too easy to end up with too many firearms if you only set your sights on one or two brands.

When thinking of a home defense weapon consider the construction of your home. Wood built means a round may enter your neighbors home should you fire inside yours.
 
What do you want to use it for? If it's a gun to keep in the nightstand and do some shooting with at the range, I think revolvers are a great way to go. A used S&W 19 or 66 (from before the hammer locks) is a great gun. You can have fun with relatively inexpensive .38 rounds and load it up with .357's too. You can also get a range of grips to make it fit your hands.
 
What do you want to use it for? If it's a gun to keep in the nightstand and do some shooting with at the range, I think revolvers are a great way to go. A used S&W 19 or 66 (from before the hammer locks) is a great gun. You can have fun with relatively inexpensive .38 rounds and load it up with .357's too. You can also get a range of grips to make it fit your hands.
Home defense and range shooting. I was looking for either 9mm or .45. I've shot some .22's and feel they're a bit small.
 
Yeah, .22's aren't really ideal for a home defense gun. Great for plinking, lots of fun, and good first guns too.

9mm and .45 gives you lots of choices. I don't like having a semi-auto as a nightstand gun personally. Revolvers are really reliable. You don't have to worry about mag springs relaxing. Misfire? Just pull the trigger again. And my wife has trouble pulling the slide back on any semi-auto. IMO the only home defense gun better than a revolver is a shotgun.
 
Don't count out revolvers. Go to a big gun store and try everything, see what fits your hand the best. Then go to a gun range and see if you can't rent that gun. If not that specific gun try to get same caliber size and weight, no sense getting a gun that makes you flinch every time you shoot it. The big 3 calibers are 9mm 40 S&W, and 45 ACP , 9mm will have the least recoil and 45 the most, 40 falls somewhere in between, but I think a 45 has a very managable recoil. Having used both 45 ACP and 9mm in an actual self defense situation I can never recommend a 9mm. 45 I highly recommend, I know a lot of people who have used 40 in self defense and swear by it but thats only second hand knowledge. Don't discount a 380 ACP because its a sub caliber, if thats what you feel comfortable with then get that the mouse gun you use is much more valuable than the hand cannon you won't use. If you are using the gun as home defense go to the gun store and get a round called glasier safety slugs. They come in packs of 6 and they are very expensive so don't practice with them. What they are is steel shot suspended in oil. When they impact it is a total transfer of energy and they are very lethal, but they will not penetrate 2 layers of drywall, so you will not have to worry as much about over penetration hitting family members. No ammo is a replacement for common sense and knowing what is behind your target, people move and you may miss. But its another tool to keep your family as safe as they can be given the situation, and I'd certainly say that people in the house are safer if you are taking out the unwelcome trash that breaks in than with you cooperating with said unwelcome trash.

When you finally decide on a gun, practice, practice, practice, I can't emphasize that enough, don't be the guy that gets an AR15 in 458 SOCOM and never even sights it in, then when he needs it is clueless how to operate it and gets beat to death with it instead.
 
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If you want a good revolver which was my first and favorite pistol. It's my go to gun for everything from plinking, home defense and even carry. I would look for an older dan Wesson model 15-2 in .357 magnum. The kick is easily handled with a set of hogue rubber grips, and you can buy barrels in lengths from 1.75 to 10". I personally have a 8 3/8 barrel and it had out shot quite a few auto loaders. The nice thing about a .357 is that you can use .38 special rounds in it. Feel free to pm me about any gun related questions, I used to run a gun store.
 
When you finally decide on a gun, practice, practice, practice, I can't emphasize that enough, don't be the guy that gets an AR15 in 458 SOCOM and never even sights it in, then when he needs it is clueless how to operate it and gets beat to death with it instead.

Exactly. And when I do end up getting one SWMBO is learning too, whether she likes it or not. It's important that she's comfortable using it as well.
 

BigFoot

Turkeys Have Awesome .........
The biggest concern I have with recommending a .357 is the velocity. I own several, but if I have one loaded up for personnel defense it is always Glasers. Great cartridge, you just have to be very careful. The other downside is it will kick like a mule in a sub, not a good thing for the new shooter.
 
Very true. I find that normal .357 isn't bad when you have a 6"+ barrel. I wouldn't get anything less than 3, never been a fan of snub nose.
 
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