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Demonicspire
04-27-2012, 8:58 AM
Maybe this is not the right place for this, but I looked around the site and couldn't find an answer to this. So how exactly do you go about initiating getting your HSC, are there gun shops that do it? Or is it something you can do by mail?

Once I have that squared away, can anyone recommend a good first pistol in the 300$ range?

JCM
04-27-2012, 9:01 AM
any gun store will do it. $25 I think.

Just study up (or use common sense) and take the test. It's really easy.

Kodemonkey
04-27-2012, 9:11 AM
$25 for the HSC. You can check out the study guide here:

http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/forms/pdf/hscsg.pdf

But honestly, you could go into the test blind and should be able to pass it.

As for a handgun in the $300 range, I'd be looking at used. My best advice is to go to a range and try a bunch of different handguns and see what fits you best. Also, I HIGHLY recommend a 1 day training class to learn how to be proficient and safe with the gun if you have no experience with firearms.

If you are in the LA area I can recommend a few different instruction classes. My wife just took the TAC-1 Pistol 1 course http://tac-1.org/enrollment/ and I have to say that they were very helpful and professional. I plan on taking a class from them next month as well.

EDIT: Tac-1 also can get a gun rental for you for the course for a small fee at Oaktree Gun Club, if you want to try a gun in a course first. Again, if you have little or not firearms training I would really recommend a class. My wife had been shooting and even competing in IDPA without any formal instruction. Her proficiency catapulted to the next level in only 4 hours of live fire training.

paul0660
04-27-2012, 9:19 AM
any gun store will do it. $25 I think.

Just study up (or use common sense) and take the test. It's really easy.

Gun stores are not required to give the test. Some save the tests (for which they have paid) for customers who are purchasing from them. Call and ask.

As for a $300 gun, a new Taurus revolver, a used revolver of another make, or a Bersa automatic. I would not trust a $300 used semi auto unless I could bang on the seller's door to complain when it fails.

Also, $300 gun means going on $400 with gun, tax, fees, and a little ammo. Hopefully you have a secure place to store it already.

Kodemonkey
04-27-2012, 9:29 AM
Paul has got a point. $300 is not a lot for a handgun. Unless you are looking at a 22...

frankDmole
04-27-2012, 9:35 AM
any gun store will do it. $25 I think.

Just study up (or use common sense) and take the test. It's really easy.

Check with the store first, some will only give the test if you are purchasing the gun from them.

As for the price, with taxes and fees you will have a small selection of revolvers, unless the store sells used guns.

Squid
04-27-2012, 9:37 AM
But I'd get the Ruger in either 4 or 6" barrel. Classic and can't go wrong and you will be wanting to do a bunch of cheap shooting.


Bersa is cool, like a mini-Euro version of 1911, an old school piece of neo-post industrial art-deco metal sculpture. But 380 basically sucks compared to 9mm and COSTS more, and the mags are expensive (but you can get slightly extended 8rd for 2 more bullets and better grip).

Here is a nifty 'starter package' that gets good reviews.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=284106948

Review also say there are a few things that benefit from easy Bubba gunsmithin' with a file or something. Go for it! It only costs $200.

How cool is it that it has both two lengths of barrel AND a 'extended'(pinky finger grip) and a small "concealed carry" mags, both in the CA max of 10rds.

SouperMan
04-27-2012, 9:41 AM
Paul has got a point. $300 is not a lot for a handgun. Unless you are looking at a 22...

OP, save up some cash so you can have some more option. Its worth it. :)

Demonicspire
04-27-2012, 11:27 AM
Thanks for the advice. $300 was a starting number just to get an idea how much would put me solidly in the midrange. I do have gun experience, I own a rifle and shotgun, just no handgun. Would any of your recommendations change upon learning that I'm a pretty big guy with big hands? Are some of the smaller CCW handguns an issue if your hands are large?

Thanks.

MyGlock17
04-27-2012, 11:53 AM
save a few more you can get a XD, M&P, Glock, RIA 1911, Sig :)

curtru
04-27-2012, 1:42 PM
You could buy a hipower for that price range and it comes with unconditional life warranty it may be ugly to some but its a good working pistol but that's my 2 cents

Kodemonkey
04-27-2012, 3:11 PM
Thanks for the advice. $300 was a starting number just to get an idea how much would put me solidly in the midrange. I do have gun experience, I own a rifle and shotgun, just no handgun. Would any of your recommendations change upon learning that I'm a pretty big guy with big hands? Are some of the smaller CCW handguns an issue if your hands are large?

Thanks.

I have large hands. I had a M&P compact and it was just a little too small for me to shoot and be comfortable.

I changed for a Glock 23 and it's still just a little too small but there was a few things I can do to make it more comfortable:

1) I got slide bite pretty bad. So bad I have a permanent scar on the top of my right hand. I finally got a $20 beavertail and that fixed it.

2) Now I can get the high grip I want, but now I get "Glock knuckle"(shooting hand middle finger gets sore from the bottom of the trigger guard). I am considering sending it to Glockworx to fix it for my IDPA gun (they can notch it to give me more room).

I could shoot either of them fine. But spend 4-5 hours shooting in a class and it's pretty uncomfortable.

What feels good in my hand is an HK USP. It's a large gun (heck their "compact" is pretty much a full size by most people's standards). But it's not in your price range. In fact the HKs are probably the most expensive polymer guns out there.

My wife has an M&P9 and it fits me very well and it is $500-$550 (about $50-$100 less than a Glock). It has interchangeable backstraps that accommodate different sized hands. It also has a HUGE beavertail that lets you get nice and high on the gun without any fear of slide bite. You might be able to find one used for a few $$ less, but it is a newer pistol and there are a lot of people buying them right now.

The only small CCW gun I have found that fits me is a Springfield EMP, but that is $1100.

Are you wanting this for a CCW? Home Defense? Range Gun?

Demonicspire
04-27-2012, 5:19 PM
I have large hands. I had a M&P compact and it was just a little too small for me to shoot and be comfortable.

I changed for a Glock 23 and it's still just a little too small but there was a few things I can do to make it more comfortable:

1) I got slide bite pretty bad. So bad I have a permanent scar on the top of my right hand. I finally got a $20 beavertail and that fixed it.

2) Now I can get the high grip I want, but now I get "Glock knuckle"(shooting hand middle finger gets sore from the bottom of the trigger guard). I am considering sending it to Glockworx to fix it for my IDPA gun (they can notch it to give me more room).

I could shoot either of them fine. But spend 4-5 hours shooting in a class and it's pretty uncomfortable.

What feels good in my hand is an HK USP. It's a large gun (heck their "compact" is pretty much a full size by most people's standards). But it's not in your price range. In fact the HKs are probably the most expensive polymer guns out there.


My wife has an M&P9 and it fits me very well and it is $500-$550 (about $50-$100 less than a Glock). It has interchangeable backstraps that accommodate different sized hands. It also has a HUGE beavertail that lets you get nice and high on the gun without any fear of slide bite. You might be able to find one used for a few $$ less, but it is a newer pistol and there are a lot of people buying them right now.

The only small CCW gun I have found that fits me is a Springfield EMP, but that is $1100.

Are you wanting this for a CCW? Home Defense? Range Gun?

thank you for the advice. Ideally I'd want to both use it at the range and for HD or self defense (gotta work on getting a CCL). If I had to make a compromise, I'd say I'd err on the side of one that is a better defensive gun than a range gun. I'm willing to up my price range a bit, but I'm not looking for any uber expensive polymer piece. The price range isn't a hardship thing, more of a "this is about how much I'm looking to spend", since I'm finding that to get a competent weapon I might have to go a bit up, I'll go a bit up.

jmpgnr24k
04-27-2012, 5:21 PM
Save up, stop playing and get a .45acp. It's the only way to go.

Kodemonkey
04-27-2012, 5:33 PM
thank you for the advice. Ideally I'd want to both use it at the range and for HD or self defense (gotta work on getting a CCL). If I had to make a compromise, I'd say I'd err on the side of one that is a better defensive gun than a range gun. I'm willing to up my price range a bit, but I'm not looking for any uber expensive polymer piece. The price range isn't a hardship thing, more of a "this is about how much I'm looking to spend", since I'm finding that to get a competent weapon I might have to go a bit up, I'll go a bit up.


In that case, a 22 is pretty much out. At least it is in my book for a HD gun. You can debate all you want about which caliber is better for stopping power. But you can't debate which is cheaper to shoot, and 9mm wins that one (reloading aside - I'm assuming you don't reload.)

I know nothing of Hi Points, so I can't speak for them. I'd probably go with a M&P, XD, Glock, SigPro if I were trying to go with something that is on the less expensive side and I would still trust my life with.

Where are you located? Oaktree has a big rental wall in Los Angeles. One of those will probably "speak to you". My tastes have changed over time as well, and I wouldn't sweat it if yours do too. You can always sell a gun and you won't lose your butt like you would like a car for instance. My wife spent 3 range trips before she got it down to a Sig P226 and an M&P. She went with the M&P. Later she bought the Sig. After that she bought a Colt 1911 series 70. It's an expensive hobby :D

keenkeen
04-27-2012, 5:38 PM
Check with the store first, some will only give the test if you are purchasing the gun from them.
As for the price, with taxes and fees you will have a small selection of revolvers, unless the store sells used guns.

This^^^

p.s.
If you happen to find one of those shops who won't let you take the HSC test unless you are purchasing a gun from them that day please make sure and take your business to another, better shop.

Moonshine
04-27-2012, 5:52 PM
Up you budget by $100 and you can have a nice Sig PRO 2022. In general though you're looking at $500 minimum to have an effective handgun. If you don't have more than $300 save more and wait you'll be glad you did!

Demonicspire
04-27-2012, 6:22 PM
I live in Davis, near the university and a veritable minefield of gun free zones. The only gun shop in town is the Big 5, and they are only really secondarily a gun shop. I know there are some shops in SAC, but unfortunately I don't have a car at the moment.
In that case, a 22 is pretty much out. At least it is in my book for a HD gun. You can debate all you want about which caliber is better for stopping power. But you can't debate which is cheaper to shoot, and 9mm wins that one (reloading aside - I'm assuming you don't reload.)

I know nothing of Hi Points, so I can't speak for them. I'd probably go with a M&P, XD, Glock, SigPro if I were trying to go with something that is on the less expensive side and I would still trust my life with.

Where are you located? Oaktree has a big rental wall in Los Angeles. One of those will probably "speak to you". My tastes have changed over time as well, and I wouldn't sweat it if yours do too. You can always sell a gun and you won't lose your butt like you would like a car for instance. My wife spent 3 range trips before she got it down to a Sig P226 and an M&P. She went with the M&P. Later she bought the Sig. After that she bought a Colt 1911 series 70. It's an expensive hobby :D