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Tower4726
03-28-2005, 10:59 PM
Hey guys,
Im interested in purchasing a handgun and start going to shooting ranges. Theres only one problem in that I know nothing about guns. Can you guys give me suggestions on whats a good starter gun and where I should purchase one. Also what is the law in california for purchasing handguns.

Tower4726
03-28-2005, 10:59 PM
Hey guys,
Im interested in purchasing a handgun and start going to shooting ranges. Theres only one problem in that I know nothing about guns. Can you guys give me suggestions on whats a good starter gun and where I should purchase one. Also what is the law in california for purchasing handguns.

CraigC
03-29-2005, 1:46 AM
Welcome to the boards, and to the world of shooting sports.

As for the legal hoops you need to jump through in the state of CA, there are a few things.

1) 21 years old
2) Valid HSC (Handgun Safety Certificate). You can obtain the certificate at any shop that sells handguns. Multiple choice test involving basic safety rules. Valid for 5 years, and required whenver you buy a handgun, either new, or through private party transfers (PPT).
3) Proof of CA residency. Examples include DMV car registration, notarized copy of a rental agreement, utility bill (anything hard-wired to the house: phone, power, water, cable, but not cell phone). Utility bills must be dated within the last 90 days, and the address must either match the one on your drivers' license, or the address you put down on the 4473 form.
4) CA-Approved gun lock or a safe. Sometimes the gun comes with a CA-Approved lock.

All the legalese you can stomach can be found at the Firearms Division of the CA DOJ website. (http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/)

"a good starter gun"

Well, it all depends on what you're going to use the gun for. If you're just going to be plinking around, a Ruger Mk II or Mk III .22LR will last you a lifetime and is very inexpensive to shoot.

For a self- or home-defense piece, you'll need a much more substantial caliber.

Without backing one manufacturer or model specifically, the most important thing in a gun is how it feels in your hand. Is it comfortable to shoot? Does it point naturally?

Since you said you were new to handguns, you should find a friend and go to a range with rental guns, and try a few of them. A gun may look good on paper, but there's no telling whether it fits you. There's nothing worse than plunking down a wad of cash on a gun that gets rave reviews and recommendations from others, only to find out that it's uncomfortable to shoot.

You didn't mention where you were located, but there's a lot of Calgunners distributed across the state, and I'm sure many of them would be happy to show you the ropes.

BigAL
03-29-2005, 6:00 AM
Hey Tower4726, where are you from in Cali?

Tower4726
03-29-2005, 9:01 AM
Im in irvine california. Thanks for the warm welcome guys http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

dwtt
03-29-2005, 8:21 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Tower4726:
Hey guys,
Im interested in purchasing a handgun and start going to shooting ranges. Theres only one problem in that I know nothing about guns. Can you guys give me suggestions on whats a good starter gun and where I should purchase one. Also what is the law in california for purchasing handguns. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
My suggestion is to go to a range that rents handguns and shoot a few to figure out what you like and what you don't like. Revolver or auto? .45 , .40, 9mm, 357? Just shoot and have fun

jmlivingston
03-29-2005, 8:47 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> My suggestion is to go to a range that rents handguns and shoot a few to figure out what you like and what you don't like. Revolver or auto? .45 , .40, 9mm, 357? Just shoot and have fun </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

If you're in Irvine, just scoot down I5 to Avery Parkway and hit up On-Target Shooting Range. They've got all the above and more available to rent, with gun rental I think there rates are around $21/hr plus ammo and targets. You will need to take somebody with you, their house rules won't let them rent guns to people alone....

They're mostly good folks there, though I haven't been in but one time this year so far.

John

snwnme@realguns.com
03-29-2005, 10:37 PM
When you do go to the range to rent and decide it's time to buy a gun, bring along someone whose opinion you can trust to help you and your gun store select the right piece for you. Remember, like in most male dominated activities, the shooting world is full of arm chair quarterbacks (we call them gun shop commandos) so you have to tune your BS detector and separate the wheat from the chaff. One thing I urge you to stay away from out of the gate are those snub nose 38/357 revolvers. They're compact and light and feel nice in the shop, but are pretty unpleasant and difficult to shoot. Definitely not a beginner's gun.

Tower4726
03-30-2005, 11:24 AM
Thanks for the responses guys. If anyone is in orange county and would like to meet up at a range sometimes I would be more than happy to pay for their gun rental. Also i suffer from tinnitus (ringing in the ears) so loud noises to tend to make it worse. Are ear muffs provided at the range? Also are they effective or is it still pretty loud with them on? Thanks guys

rkt88edmo
03-30-2005, 11:58 AM
Ear and eye protection are usually provided for free or for a very low fee. However, if you think you will be purchasing a firearm in the future, I strongly suggest buying your own. Most drug stores sell earplugs (Longs, Walgreens) and you can buy earmuffs at most sporting goods stores (Big5). I also recommend buying and using both, aka 'double plugging'

The higher the dB rating the better (29 to 33). Howard Leight makes good products in both plugs and muffs and Hearos also has good plugs. They are often the same in different packaging. Proper usage of plugs definitely maximizes their protective abilities, so follow the directions.

imported_Telpierion
03-30-2005, 12:01 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Are ear muffs provided at the range? Also are they effective or is it still pretty loud with them on? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Just my two cents here but you should go with earplugs. IMO they are more comfortable. Ear muffs can move around and you can end up with less protection if the seal around an ear is disturbed. You pick up a cheap pair at Walmart. Even the yellow foam deposable ones work well.

snwnme@realguns.com
03-30-2005, 7:13 PM
Eyes and ears are an essential part of a shooter's range kit. Bring an extra set. http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

BigAL
03-30-2005, 8:23 PM
Earplugs are usually enough, but if you are very sensitive and shoot indoors you might want to try earplugs and earmuffs at the same time. Hearing loss sux.

delloro
03-31-2005, 8:36 AM
for your first gun I recommend a .357 magnum revolver with a 4" to 6" barrel in stainless steel.

revolvers are durable, simple designs. SS cleans up easier and does not rust like blued steel does. you can shoot a wide variety of .38 specials through it and .357s as you please. a very flexible platform.

and, no matter how jaded you get with handguns, the .357 always has enough poop to be fun.

you can always get an auto later.

buy Taurus or S&W as they are on the right side of the gun control debate. while ruger makes a quality gun, they promote gun control and I have no use for them.

I would recommend this as a good gun to start with:

http://www.taurususa.com/imagesMain/H_65SS4.jpg

click here (http://www.taurususa.com/products/product-details.cfm?model=65SS4&category=Revolver)

atham@earthlink.net
03-31-2005, 9:35 AM
I'd be happy to help you at the range and choosing a gun, but it would have to be on the weekends. I've got a pretty tight schedule. When you go to the range, they'll have ear muffs available, though if your ears have problems, I suggest you get some plugs and use those along with the muffs. Delloro made a good suggestion about starting with a revolver. Good luck.

icormba
03-31-2005, 2:28 PM
an even better suggestion...
sometimes taking a new shooter to an indoor range can be a negative experience! I recommend trying an outdoor facility... I start all my newbie friends at the outdoor first, mainly because of the noise & it's easier for them to hear instruction and positive reinforcement. First time I shot a handgun was about 15 or more years ago at an indoor range. Never tried it again until a buddy took me to a outdoor range & I got HOOKED! 8 years later & I have more handguns than I ever thought I could afford! (ok, I can't really afford them http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif but at least I'm passing on my pleasure with "newbie" gun friends.

kalibear
03-31-2005, 4:25 PM
Welcome to Calguns, looks like all good suggestions here http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Old Fud
04-02-2005, 7:53 AM
If you want to have fun making loud noises until the money runs out, by all means look at .357 magnums, .45's and the like.

But if you want to become a competent shooter and enjoy the sport for a lifetime, you will buy a .22. It's as simple and as black-and-white as that.

I would recommend a revolver because you can gain experience in both double-action and single-action triggers with the same piece, but I admit they are not quite as much fun as a semi-auto can be. Whichever you choose, buy a bunch of snap-caps and mix your loads when you shoot. There's nothing like pulling the trigger on a dud and watching your pistol fly all over the place to cure the inevitable flinching problem you WILL have to deal with.

Own the .22. Rent the boomers. That way you can have both worlds at the same time and, I assure you, you WILL be happier.

Fud