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View Full Version : Buying my first handgun!


SupermotoChick
07-10-2010, 11:42 AM
I'm very excited to say I'm going to buy my first handgun next week! I'm considering a Walther P22.

I wanted to jump in and buy a .45 a year ago, but decided to take it slow and read a bit and go shooting with friends and family when possible. I shot what I THOUGHT I wanted several times and the size of my hands made it very awkward to maneuver. Then I shot my uncle's Walther PK380. :D I fell in love with the feel of it in my hand, so the similar P22 seems like an affordable choice for a newbie. Any feedback? Recommendations?

Robidouxs
07-10-2010, 12:02 PM
What I would actually recommend is to buy a 9mm and incorporate into the handgun a 22lr conversion kit. It would enable you to have a 9mm on hand to defend yourself while providing you the option of shooting 22lr at the range all day. You could even by a .45 and purchase a conversion kit for the pistol later on. I have a conversion kit on a Beretta FS92 and it is already paying for itself. I can train without the fear of breaking the bank and do not mind giving the 22lr conversion kit Beretta to newbies to try.

SixPointEight
07-10-2010, 12:05 PM
What I would actually recommend is to buy a 9mm and incorporate into the handgun a 22lr conversion kit. It would enable you to have a 9mm on hand to defend yourself while providing you the option of shooting 22lr at the range all day. You could even by a .45 and purchase a conversion kit for the pistol later on. I have a conversion kit on a Beretta FS92 and it is already paying for itself. I can train without the fear of breaking the bank and do not mind giving the 22lr conversion kit Beretta to newbies to try.

Do this. Most .22 handguns aren't exceptionally reliable. On one hand that sucks, on the other hand you'll get good at clearing malfunctions. Also remember, if you get a 9mm you can convert down to .22, but you can't convert a .22 up to 9mm.

SupermotoChick
07-10-2010, 12:19 PM
Oh that is a GREAT idea! Thank you so much. I knew you guys would have great input for a newb :)

CrippledPidgeon
07-12-2010, 11:36 AM
Do this. Most .22 handguns aren't exceptionally reliable. On one hand that sucks, on the other hand you'll get good at clearing malfunctions. Also remember, if you get a 9mm you can convert down to .22, but you can't convert a .22 up to 9mm.

However don't forget that most quality 9mm handguns are going to be substantially more expensive than your run of the mill Ruger MkIII or Browning Buckmark. If you're just getting into the sport you might not want to be spending $700+ as an initial investment. On top of that, most conversions that I've seen also tend to be just about as ammo sensitive as the P22s and the Sig Mosquitoes.

My vote goes for either the Ruger MkIII or the Browning Buckmark (I suppose the Beretta Neos is fairly reliable too, but not nearly as popular. And that grip angle is ungodly). Entry level versions of those guns can be had for around $300, and I've only seen a few examples that are ammo sensitive. I've been shooting my Buckmark for three years now and it runs almost everything that I've tried feeding it (the one exception was Winchester's wax coated ammo, which was oversized for the chamber). It also runs just as well lubed as it does dry and dirty.

If you want a gun right away, I'd get a dedicated .22, and spend the next month practicing and trying out as many other handguns as possible. That would shorten the process of trying to figure out which handgun you want to get next ;) That, and it just looks more impressive when you show up at the range and plunk down two guns, rather than just one :P

masameet
07-12-2010, 9:04 PM
I think I shot a Walther .22. Or something very similar to one. Didn't really like shooting it.

Have you tried any other .22 semi-automatics at nearby gun stores or indoor ranges with rentals?

I've a Buck Mark .22LR (Camper model with UDX grips), which I bought new. Love it. Fit is great and balance is perfect. If I were to buy another .22LR pistol, it would either be a Ruger Mk II Competition, which is stainless steel and a work of art, or a Hammerli Trailside, which is also stainless steel and incredibly accurate (the current Trailside is made and sold by SIG Arms).

As to moving to the 1911, that was my transition too -- from a .22LR to a 1911. I've medium-large hands so gripping a 1911 .45 (or any pistol) isn't an issue. Getting over my fear of the huge recoil was! When you find your 1911, you can modify it with slender grips. Lots of grips on the market for the 1911. Haven't got a new pair yet, but every so often I take a peek at Esmerelda's offerings (http://www.esmeralda.cc/) and think about which ones might fit my needs.

GunNutz
07-13-2010, 5:19 PM
If you got the conversion route, don't get a 9mm, get a .45 and put the conversion kit in that. Shooting a 9 is like, well...shooting a .22....

bjl333
07-13-2010, 5:39 PM
If you're just getting into the sport you might not want to be spending $700+ as an initial investment.

Ruger MkIII or the Browning Buckmark

+ Ruger 22/45

I'd get a dedicated .22, and spend the next month practicing and trying out as many other handguns as possible.


^ THAT ^

OHOD
07-13-2010, 7:56 PM
Smith and Wesson M&P 40

Trapper
07-13-2010, 8:08 PM
+1 for the Ruger Mk II or Browning Buckmark. Either will allow you to do alot of shooting with out spending too much on ammo. There is no substitute for consistant accuracy.

masameet
07-13-2010, 8:25 PM
Too late, guys and gals. SMChick bought her first pistol (see the Handgun Wait Support thread), and :eek: it's not a .22LR, a 9 mm or a .40! :p

bjl333
07-13-2010, 9:00 PM
She got a real gun and went with a 1911 ?!?!?

j1133s
07-14-2010, 11:00 AM
She got a real gun and went with a 1911 ?!?!?

If she bought a 1911 for her first gun, then I'll predict she'll not be a decent shooter for the next 2 years due to lack of practice. Way better to get a .22LR (or Glock 9mm if you need SD).

SupermotoChick
07-18-2010, 10:02 PM
Sorry forgot to update in this thread. Thanks for the support/suggestions guys!

Kimber Pro Carry .45 4"

Kimber Rimfire .22LR conversion kit on order :)

Masameet- great link on the grips!! Thanks :D

J1133s- I really enjoyed the feel of the 1911's I've shot in the past and was not a terrible shot.

I'll keep those Rugers in mind if I decide to get a dedicated .22 :)

laika
07-18-2010, 10:06 PM
I absolutely love my buckmark. It's so balanced and made me so much more comfortable with handguns! It's also easier to clean than the rugers although I've heard good things of them also.

Truly I think the buckmark is a good choice IF you can find one. Cheap cheap cheap to shoot also and 22lr is easy to find. Just my two cents.

SupermotoChick
07-19-2010, 4:02 PM
Thank you laika :)

masameet
07-19-2010, 4:23 PM
I was going to suggest you get a bushing wrench for your 1911. But then I looked at the specs for your Kimber. lol

Do you use reactive targets?

I think they're great in helping shooters focus on their front sights. (Too bad the Bad Guys won't have any on their chests!)

XS40
07-21-2010, 10:07 PM
Sorry forgot to update in this thread. Thanks for the support/suggestions guys!

Kimber Pro Carry .45 4"

Kimber Rimfire .22LR conversion kit on order :)

Masameet- great link on the grips!! Thanks :D

J1133s- I really enjoyed the feel of the 1911's I've shot in the past and was not a terrible shot.

I'll keep those Rugers in mind if I decide to get a dedicated .22 :)

Looks like you're ready for some fun times at the range. :)

FWIW before you open the conversion kit, I have a 45 and conversion kit and quickly tired of having to swap back and forth. For home defense, you'll have to have it lubed up in 45, reassemble each time to use the conversion and then reassemble again immediately afterward to get back to 45. If I had to redo it, I would have gotten a Ruger 22/45 (mimics a 1911's controls) instead of the conversion.

SupermotoChick
07-25-2010, 9:11 PM
Masameet, I have used them before! I loved them when compared to paper targets.

XS40, good info... I can see how it could be impractical. I already switched the kit back and forth a couple of times and am at least getting faster at it!

I can't say how great it was to find a really friendly shop that loved teaching me and working with me to find what I wanted. I visited a couple other shops that could give a **** if I spent my money there, so I was so glad to spend my money at a great shop.

I took it to an outdoor range Friday... FREAKING LOVE IT!

CrippledPidgeon
08-03-2010, 7:00 PM
Next step is to buy a bag of snap caps to help deal with the inevitable flinch :P Seriously tho, that's a good gun that you got your hands on.

No kidding, I bought my buckmark, got my fundamentals down and then lost them all with my Springfield. It took quite a lot of dry firing and mixing snap caps into live mags to get my groups back to center