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View Full Version : Rookie going to try some handguns, want some recomendations.


FordGabe
05-04-2009, 4:56 PM
Hey guys. I'm going to head to Target Masters in Milpitas to try some handguns. I'm still pretty new to firearms, and have mostly just tried various rifles and shotguns, as well as my ruger 10/22. I'd like to try out a couple hand guns, and was looking for a couple recommendations on what to try out, because it's something I would like to invest in within the year. I have a fancy for revolvers, but obviously don't have much experience with different models - I've shot a .22 ruger pistol, a 9 mm pistol and a .45 Glock. Pointers appreciated! Thanks

Ishoot
05-04-2009, 5:04 PM
Try a 1911, Kimber or a Springfield. Great guns that's affordable (kind of :))with a lot of aftermarket parts if you feel the need to tune em.

Miltiades
05-04-2009, 5:11 PM
I have a fancy for revolvers, but obviously don't have much experience with different models.

The primary US revolver manufacturers now are Smith & Wesson and Ruger. Colt is pretty much out of it. I'd recommend starting with something in .357 magnum, shooting .38 special ammo. A 4 or 6 inch barrel is easiest to shoot. For the S&W the model 686 is very good. In Ruger the GP100 is the corresponding gun. If you want a thrill you can try the full magnum ammo later.

Gator Monroe
05-04-2009, 5:13 PM
Ruger Mk 1 standard, Glock 17 Gen 1 or early Gen 2

loosewreck
05-04-2009, 5:17 PM
Yeah, 1911 and full size .357 revolver, also high end euros like HK or Sig.

Sam
05-04-2009, 5:31 PM
Try a 1911, Kimber or a Springfield. Great guns that's affordable (kind of :))with a lot of aftermarket parts if you feel the need to tune em.

I agree.

Z ME FLY
05-04-2009, 7:36 PM
I know you are in San Jose right next to Targetmasters but if you are going to try out a bunch of guns, I would go to Bullseye in San Rafael. They charge you one rate and you can rent all the guns you want. Last time I was at Targetmasters, they charge you different amounts based on what guns you want to shoot. I think it is like $15 to rent at Bullseye and at Targetmasters it's $10+ to shoot per gun. Just my .02cents, trying to save you some money!

Greg-Dawg
05-04-2009, 7:56 PM
Take a class.

kermit
05-04-2009, 8:35 PM
I'd recommend a 4" or 6" S&W .357 revolver as an example of a generic DA revolvers. If they have any single action revolvers like the Ruger Blackhawks, they can give you an idea of the different fit and recoil action of the plowshare handles.

Black Majik
05-04-2009, 8:42 PM
A few models to try out:

Ruger GP100
Ruger SP101
Smith and Wesson 686
Smith and wesson 66/19
Smith and wesson 625
Smith and wesson 629

Glock 17/19/34
Springfield Armory XD9
CZ75
CZ SP01
Smith and Wesson M&P
SIG P226
Walther P99
H&K P2000
H&K USPf / USPc

Springfield Milspec/Loaded/TRP/PRO
Kimber Custom II/Tactical II/ Gold Combat/Supermatch
Dan Wesson PM7/CBOB
Smith and Wesson 1911PD/PC1911
Colt Government NRM/XSE
Les Baer PII/Custom Carry/TRS/Supertac
Wilson Combat CQB/Professional/ Stealth
Nighthawk Talon/Predator/GRP
Ed Brown Kobra Carry/Executive Elite

Sinixstar
05-04-2009, 10:12 PM
I think everything has generally been covered.
I'd say just for kicks see if you can get your hands on a .44mag or .45 long colt. They're fun to shoot, but do it at the end of the day - the recoil can be a bit much for a lot of people not used to shooting handguns. They are a blast though, no pun intended. If you're looking for something practical, generally speaking - these ain't it.

nikki#2
05-04-2009, 11:43 PM
Since you have a fancy for revolvers, check out the Smith & Wesson 617 (.22LR) and 686 (.38/.357). These two revolvers are a match, and are very High Quality.
Both come in 4" or 6" barrel lengths, both with full-barrel underlugs, so balance is very similar, and except for early No Dash models, both frames are Round Butt,
so you can get the same grips (they're interchangable). In fact, one of the advantages of the revolver over the automatic is the vast range of grip choices
to custom fit to your hand. You buy one holster for both guns, etc...

Surely you've heard the saying, "Beware the man with one gun. He usually knows how to use it"... Well, you get the idea. ;)

I had the 617 in both 4" and 6" (sold the 6" on here last week). Off bags, @ 25 yards w/ scope, the two were equals in accuracy. Perhaps the 6" was a bit more accurate
w/ iron sights, because of it's increased sight radius (???). I preferred the balance of the 4" better, and you can shoot a 4" 686 in IDPA SSR competition, which is excellent training and a boatload of fun! Check it out, you might like it! :thumbsup: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nP0kkrOKEyo


http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa178/surfdog_photos/617-2-1.jpg
http://i202.photobucket.com/albums/aa178/surfdog_photos/Image2.jpg

ontmark
05-05-2009, 4:35 AM
IMHO and $.02 worth
I am old school.

I really believe anyone’s first handgun should be
a wheel gun in 357 with a 3 to 4 inch barrel
3 to 4 inch good for the range, packing camping,
and home defense.

Why a wheel gun?
You take so much out of possibilities of error.
1. Very easy to unload when needed
2. A lot easier to clean for the new shooter.
3. Can practice both double action and single trigger pull.
4. A lot less malfunctions to deal with while shooting.

The semi auto issues for new shooter
1. Harder to clean
2. Time to shoot. Magazine in, pull slide back off slide stop and let slide forward to load, tries to shoot. Nothing happens. Slide did not go into full battery. So new shooter thinks ok pistol didn’t strip round from Magazine. Cycles slide to load pistol and finds live round being ejected from pistol. First response usually from new shooter is go pick up live round, Sets loaded pistol on shooting bench while looking for live round. This is a no-no.
3. Range officer calls cease fire, magazines out action locked open. New shooter drops magazine opens action and locks it open. Again there is a live round somewhere on the ground, New shooters first response usually is to find live round. Is it in front of the bench, on the bench, or on the ground? None of which is usually behind safety line away from the bench.
4. What do I do if I have a fail to eject (stove pipe)?
5. What do I do if I have a fail to feed?
6. New handgun shooter’s main concern should always be the full control of the loaded weapon that is why I feel it is best to start with a wheel gun!!
7. I have seen all of these through my years of shooting.

Why a 357? 38 special wad cutters can be bought pretty cheap. Practice, Practice, Practice. Wide range of loads to try 38 special, 38 special+P 357 Magnum. Get use to shooting a hand gun. Then let’s get through the Semi Auto issues.

Sorry for the long replay.

nikki#2
05-05-2009, 9:24 AM
Good points, Ontmark! Practice, practice, practice... and competition can give you an added edge. Check out this video featuring Jerry Miculek: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBAPEs5gaaM

jasonnorcal
05-05-2009, 1:33 PM
IMHO and $.02 worth
I am old school.

I really believe anyone’s first handgun should be
a wheel gun in 357 with a 3 to 4 inch barrel
3 to 4 inch good for the range, packing camping,
and home defense.

Why a wheel gun?
You take so much out of possibilities of error.
1. Very easy to unload when needed
2. A lot easier to clean for the new shooter.
3. Can practice both double action and single trigger pull.
4. A lot less malfunctions to deal with while shooting.

The semi auto issues for new shooter
1. Harder to clean
2. Time to shoot. Magazine in, pull slide back off slide stop and let slide forward to load, tries to shoot. Nothing happens. Slide did not go into full battery. So new shooter thinks ok pistol didn’t strip round from Magazine. Cycles slide to load pistol and finds live round being ejected from pistol. First response usually from new shooter is go pick up live round, Sets loaded pistol on shooting bench while looking for live round. This is a no-no.
3. Range officer calls cease fire, magazines out action locked open. New shooter drops magazine opens action and locks it open. Again there is a live round somewhere on the ground, New shooters first response usually is to find live round. Is it in front of the bench, on the bench, or on the ground? None of which is usually behind safety line away from the bench.
4. What do I do if I have a fail to eject (stove pipe)?
5. What do I do if I have a fail to feed?
6. New handgun shooter’s main concern should always be the full control of the loaded weapon that is why I feel it is best to start with a wheel gun!!
7. I have seen all of these through my years of shooting.

Why a 357? 38 special wad cutters can be bought pretty cheap. Practice, Practice, Practice. Wide range of loads to try 38 special, 38 special+P 357 Magnum. Get use to shooting a hand gun. Then let’s get through the Semi Auto issues.

Sorry for the long replay.
:iagree:
My first gun was a .357 w\ 4inch bbl and rubber grips. Super safe and reliable + fun to shoot. Then I got my SU-16ca rifle, then a mossy 590, and finally CZ-75b. Now to start my 1st AR build:thumbsup:

greybeard
05-05-2009, 2:51 PM
First question what to you want to use it for Punch holes in paper, self defense or shooting sports? I am also old school and feel you cannot go wrong wit a revolver.

InvictusManeo
05-05-2009, 6:23 PM
OP: I applaud your statement that you're planning to go RENT things and want guidance as far as what to try first. Never pay more attention to what someone on a forum tells you over your own experience.

That said, I highly recommend the Ruger GP100. In my opinion, the 4" model has flawless balance, is easy to operate, and accurate enough for any reasonable purpose. Also, there is no more solidly built firearm in existence. This claim can not be proven, but good luck disproving it.

mala in se
05-05-2009, 6:55 PM
my first pistol was a sig P229. i think i was spoiled, but in retrospect i would have saved myself some $$$ and bought a G17. go full size for your first pistol whether you go revolver or auto.

your collection will eventually grow... you can buy the rest later.

Twinspool
05-05-2009, 7:04 PM
Rent a good revolver, preferably a S&W, the triggers are excellent.

You've already shot a Glock, now try a Sig. (Sigs are wonderful if you're a fan of revolver triggers)

1911s are good to shoot just so you can say that you have. They're ok, but highly overrated.

TheBundo
05-06-2009, 1:56 AM
The primary US revolver manufacturers now are Smith & Wesson and Ruger. Colt is pretty much out of it. I'd recommend starting with something in .357 magnum, shooting .38 special ammo. A 4 or 6 inch barrel is easiest to shoot. For the S&W the model 686 is very good. In Ruger the GP100 is the corresponding gun. If you want a thrill you can try the full magnum ammo later.

I agree with the revolver recommendation. Far more reliable. I have a Ruger GP100 now, and in over 35 years of gun ownership, have never had a gun I loved as much as several of the revolvers I've had. That even includes an AR-15, etc.

WokMaster1
05-06-2009, 7:09 AM
Keep trying out various handguns at the range. Narrow it down by which one you shoot well with & most importantly which one feels great in your hands. A handgun should feel like an extention of your hand. The ammo consideration comes to play. Do you just want a cheap plinker? Home/self defense? Ammo price & availability?

Another thing is also to start off with a smaller caliber, say a 22lr revolver & work your way up. Get some NRA lessons & have fun. Everyone has an opinion & it can get confusing fast but if you stick to the basics & build from there, you can't go wrong.

Good luck & keep us posted on your adventure.

FordGabe
05-08-2009, 8:20 AM
Thanks for all the pointers everyone! I'll aim to try the S&W preferably the 686, and a GP100 I wish I could make it up to that range is San Rafael because the way they charge sounds a lot better for what I'm doing, but it's just too far so I'll have to settle with Target Masters, which like stated charges per gun rented - unless someone knows of a range in the south bay that charges once to rent and you can try different ones.

FordGabe
05-08-2009, 8:22 AM
BTW, for my purposes, does anybody have a recommendation on whether I should go to either Reed's Indoor Range in Santa Clara vs. Target Masters in Milpitas? I'm closer to Reed's but I've never been there.

Turbinator
05-08-2009, 9:25 AM
You going in alone? I don't think they'll rent to you if you're alone. Good luck!

Turby

walter
05-08-2009, 10:10 AM
go with somebody who knows what they are doing.. if you go by yourself without a gun they wont rent to you and they will try to make you buy a "beginners course" in which you will be shooting 22s lol.

what I did my first time was I went to the gun store and talked to the people there, they help me pick out a pistol then I took it to the range and told them this is my first time. as long as you act humble and willing to learn it should be all good

but in terms of what gun to get. you should narrow down caliber first. I'm partial to 9mm cuz its pretty standard and relatively cheaper although I would pick .45 if i could afford to shoot it. I just hate .40

for a beginner you can't go wrong with a s&w 686 .357/38. dont get the ruger.

for semi you should straight up get a glock. its real basic, retains its value, makes you practice human safety, cheap and simple and shouldnt jam as much

i started with a PPK and it turned me off of semis for a long time lol

DLaw
05-08-2009, 10:33 AM
1911

cineski
05-08-2009, 12:05 PM
1911's are a platform with which one must dedicate themselves for self defense. If SD is your intention, do not go with a 1911. Yes, they're great guns, but you must hone your motor memory to flip the safety off. Not the best gun for a beginner. Stick with something with no external safety and hone your mind to be the safety.

Black Majik
05-08-2009, 12:35 PM
There are plenty of Calgunners around you who may be willing to help. Head over the to the shoot and meet section on here, start up a range session with the locals around you and see if you can try some of their stuff out, of course BYOA.

Z ME FLY
05-08-2009, 12:39 PM
SW 686 is a good choice also the ruger gp100 is a good gun too. I think the 686 looks better but I know the ruger is like a tank.