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Old 10-05-2016, 01:41 PM   #21
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One other comment on shooting, its a perishable skill that demands regular practice. I used to shoot USPSA before my eyesight deteriorated, and would shoot 2X per week.

Also, learning tactics, if for home defense, is equally as important.
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Old 10-05-2016, 01:48 PM   #22
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Thanks for all the replies. Just found a local gun shop and range, the first training session is on this Friday.
Super. DW wants to go to a "first shots" course, so I'll be joining her for that at a local range in a few weeks. I've always enjoyed shooting, but haven't been in a while.
There's a range near me that rents handguns for $10/hour. The sweet part is that there's no limit on the number of guns you can shoot in that hour for that same $10, they'll keep swapping 'em out as long as you like (some poor schmuck has a full-time job cleaning all that hardware!). I've got my eye on a couple different models, and this looks like a great way to try out a lot of different things before making a commitment. There's no substitute for actually shooting a weapon to determine if it is the right one.
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Old 10-05-2016, 01:51 PM   #23
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Thanks for all the replies. Just found a local gun shop and range, the first training session is on this Friday.


(get some ear protection)
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Old 10-05-2016, 01:58 PM   #24
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My first recommendation would be to get a semi-auto .22 LR, but that depends on the availability of .22 LR ammunition in your area. My reasoning is that you can shoot a lot of rounds through your weapon at a cheaper cost. For a larger caliber weapon, I went with a 9mm Beretta PX4 Storm because of less recoil than a larger caliber round. I have shot a 1911 .45 ACP model and actually had good first round accuracy, but I found accuracy degraded by the 4-5th round. Where as, my 9mm had consistent accuracy through out the shooting session. That said, I'll likely get a Glock with a caliber of .40 or higher as my next gun.

While training is recommended, it may not be readily available in all areas (my area a few years back). In lieu of or in addition to training, there are several good youtube instruction videos available. Make use of them and when you think you've found a gun you want, look at reviews/videos specifically for it. It also helps if you can go to the range an experienced shooter. Also, I've gotten useful advice from others at the range.
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Old 10-05-2016, 02:05 PM   #25
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all my handguns except for the .357 revolver are 9mm because cheap ammo
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Old 10-05-2016, 02:18 PM   #26
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(get some ear protection)
+1 on that, and don't skimp on it. The range will probably (and should) require that and eye protection as well.

After decades of qualifying at least annually for work I have what the audiologist called a "notch" of hearing loss consistent with being exposed to gunfire. She didn't say that was the cause but did say it was characteristic of it.

I did always wear hearing protection but I guess it wasn't enough.
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Old 10-05-2016, 02:20 PM   #27
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all my handguns except for the .357 revolver are 9mm because cheap ammo
Funny.. 9mm is one of the ones I do not have.. I have for handguns .380, .38, .357, 10mm and .45. For rifles .22, .223, .308

But, to the OP, get the training first, talk to you instructor and let them know what you plan on doing with the gun and when/where you will be using it, that info will determine what is best to get. A great gun is no good if it is big and uncomfortable and you never take it out of the safe (you are planning on a safe right?)
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Old 10-05-2016, 02:21 PM   #28
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Not to mention lead dust.
I've had some pretty high lead numbers, doc wanted to know if I'd been eating it. Based on the research and what brought my numbers down, shooting indoors had little to do with it.

What did make it go down was after range routines such as a shower and change of all clothes after shooting. I'd suggest doing those for shooting indoors or outdoors.

The biggest contributions seemed to be from my reloading of the empty brass. Tumbling the brass indoors and the multiple touching of the brass while reloading seemed to be a big contributor. I'm careful not to eat or drink while reloading as that's a huge contributor.


OP, have fun. You have a good plan. I'd recommend a decent semiautomatic pistol, revolvers are not as much fun to me anyway. Someone mentioned a Springfield XD, nice pistol, I use my subcompact 9 for CCW. For plain old fun it's hard to beat a Ruger Mark II. Accurate, easy to shoot and if you can find 22 ammo it's cheaper than a 9. Favorite, would be a classic 1911, but you can spend some serious money on that addiction. For fun look at Wilson Combat.
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Old 10-05-2016, 02:29 PM   #29
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Just replying so I'll be alerted to other replies. This is something I am considering as well.
To subscribe to a thread without having to post in it, just look to the top of the thread, to the drop-down menu labeled "Thread Tools". Under that drop-down menu, you'll find an option to subscribe.

PS - Once you have posted in a thread, that option changes to "Unsubscribe from this thread".
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Old 10-05-2016, 02:35 PM   #30
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Funny.. 9mm is one of the ones I do not have.. I have for handguns .380, .38, .357, 10mm and .45. For rifles .22, .223, .308

But, to the OP, get the training first, talk to you instructor and let them know what you plan on doing with the gun and when/where you will be using it, that info will determine what is best to get. A great gun is no good if it is big and uncomfortable and you never take it out of the safe (you are planning on a safe right?)
I don't have a safe - otherwise I'd have to have a safe in every room
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Old 10-05-2016, 02:49 PM   #31
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Favorite, would be a classic 1911, but you can spend some serious money on that addiction.
You got that right. Not exactly what I would term a classic 1911, but this was my competition gun:
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Old 10-05-2016, 02:51 PM   #32
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I hesitate to make this post, as it does not answer the OP's question; but it sort of fits, and doesn't merit its own thread.

I always wonder how much training and practice the people have had, who manage to shoot a home intruder in the middle of the night. (Something I would have absolutely no remorse about doing).

I would first have to fumble my glasses onto my face. Then uncramp my osteoarthritic hands enough to handle the gun without shooting myself or someone I care about. And be able to aim in the dark. All while being scared and furious at the same time.

How the heck do they do it??
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Old 10-05-2016, 03:04 PM   #33
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I hesitate to make this post, as it does not answer the OP's question; but it sort of fits, and doesn't merit its own thread.

I always wonder how much training and practice the people have had, who manage to shoot a home intruder in the middle of the night. (Something I would have absolutely no remorse about doing).

I would first have to fumble my glasses onto my face. Then uncramp my osteoarthritic hands enough to handle the gun without shooting myself or someone I care about. And be able to aim in the dark. All while being scared and furious at the same time.

How the heck do they do it??
Training helps. Also, a good idea to know the laws in your state. Some insurance to defend yourself in court is also a good idea as you could get sued.
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Old 10-05-2016, 03:12 PM   #34
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I hesitate to make this post, as it does not answer the OP's question; but it sort of fits, and doesn't merit its own thread.

I always wonder how much training and practice the people have had, who manage to shoot a home intruder in the middle of the night. (Something I would have absolutely no remorse about doing).

I would first have to fumble my glasses onto my face. Then uncramp my osteoarthritic hands enough to handle the gun without shooting myself or someone I care about. And be able to aim in the dark. All while being scared and furious at the same time.

How the heck do they do it??
They often have a narrow field of view like through a doorway or down a hall to shoot, pretty hard to miss anything. Also they empty the gun as they are in panic mode, who wouldn't be ?

Watch: Woman shoots dead armed intruder in Georgia, US

After I got my bear spray for hiking, I realized that it was also a great home defense item, easy to spray, no aiming required, no wind to blow it back at me, and I can flood the hallway with it. But I doubt it would have worked against 3 armed criminals.
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Old 10-05-2016, 03:12 PM   #35
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I hesitate to make this post, as it does not answer the OP's question; but it sort of fits, and doesn't merit its own thread.

I always wonder how much training and practice the people have had, who manage to shoot a home intruder in the middle of the night. (Something I would have absolutely no remorse about doing).

I would first have to fumble my glasses onto my face. Then uncramp my osteoarthritic hands enough to handle the gun without shooting myself or someone I care about. And be able to aim in the dark. All while being scared and furious at the same time.

How the heck do they do it??
Depends on how drugged or stupid the intruders are, I suspect. I hope I never find out personally, but I keep a pair of glasses and a small flashlight next to the "grab it fast" option. I hunt enough that a lot of it would be muscle memory.
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Old 10-05-2016, 03:14 PM   #36
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Some insurance to defend yourself in court is also a good idea as you could get sued.
no doubt - I need to get prepaid legal
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Old 10-05-2016, 03:20 PM   #37
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I join the chorus saying try out a bunch of guns.

I also recommend 9mm as you will shoot a lot more $$$ than any gun you buy if you practice.
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Old 10-05-2016, 04:04 PM   #38
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Another minor point:

Most newbies make the assumption that a small gun will be more user-friendly, but in fact the smaller the gun the greater the recoil (hurts your hand when you fire it). Larger guns are easier on your hand and wrist because the greater mass of the gun absorbs the recoil better. You'll always have that tradeoff between smaller (easier to carry but hurts) and bigger (harder to carry but easier on your hand). There are compromises, but you have to try out a lot of samples as others here have said.
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Old 10-05-2016, 04:06 PM   #39
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I hesitate to make this post, as it does not answer the OP's question; but it sort of fits, and doesn't merit its own thread.

I always wonder how much training and practice the people have had, who manage to shoot a home intruder in the middle of the night. (Something I would have absolutely no remorse about doing).

I would first have to fumble my glasses onto my face. Then uncramp my osteoarthritic hands enough to handle the gun without shooting myself or someone I care about. And be able to aim in the dark. All while being scared and furious at the same time.

How the heck do they do it??
We both did CCW training, it's good to understand the laws.

We were shooting a combined 300 rounds weekly. After 6 months we took a two day tactical training class(600 rounds apiece). After the 2 days our confidence soared. Like someone else said it's practice and repeat, expecially under the obvious stress of a home invasion.

Definitely an understanding of the laws is critical. Then it's time to become very diligent with continuous training.
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Old 10-05-2016, 04:41 PM   #40
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Depends on what you really want a gun for. Home defense? Hunting? Target Shooting? Concealed or open carry? Other? All of the above?

First talk to a reputable gun shop owner about your areas of interest. Also ask for and get some training. Often, state licensed concealed handgun instructors will offer individual training and advice (for a small fee). One or two sessions should get you well on your way. Buy and wear hearing and eye protection when practicing and do so in a safe area and manner. (e.g. supervised gun range is a good start) If you are going to own a handgun, considering taking a CHL or right to carry course even if you don't plan to carry. (Good education on state and federal laws - at least it is in my state)

For home defense and/or concealed or open carry, you'll find most shooters have an opinion on what's best. (Some have several opinions ) Some people are intimidated by semi auto's and will opt for a revolver. IMO, if you are going to be an infrequent shooter, then a revolver may be a better choice. Also, don't buy a cheap (poor quality) gun for any reason. Guns are dangerous, poor quality guns are worse.

Without knowing more about why you want a handgun, it's hard to make any recommendations or give advice on makes, models and calibers. PM me if you what to share more about your needs and interest and I can probably advise.

I shoot a lot (have two ranges on my property). But my basic home defense and carry gun of choice is a Ruger SP101 357mag.
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