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  #1  
Old 09-10-2013, 4:35 PM
James112 James112 is offline
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Default Looking for someone experienced to help me out at On Target gun range

Hi, I'm looking to buy a handgun (my first firearm) for home defense, and I know very little about guns. I just went into a gun shop today and felt pretty dumb. I was recommended by the owner and a calguns member whos username I didn't get to go to On Target and try out various handguns to get a feel for what fits for me, this sounds like a good idea, but I've been told I need a friend and after calling the range I have confirmed this. They also need one of us to demonstrate the ability to safely hold and load/unload. I took a class at Artemis Defense Institute, so I'm pretty sure I could pass that, but it really doesn't matter, because I literally have no friends in the area that are gun owners, and the only person I felt comfortable asking said he would prefer not to go to a gun range.

Anyways one of the patrons at the store recommended this site and I've been reading some threads with some really great help and this seemed like a good place to find somebody to join me at On Target. We can negotiate the specifics, but I'm not planning on firing a lot of rounds, and will happily pay for whoever helps me to have a gun rental and up to 50 rounds. I'll pay for all the costs for you to fire the guns I'm firing, I figure maybe a good number of rounds on as many handguns as they have to offer, I'd like to get a feel for a wide variety.

I don't know what the community norms are, so feel free to respond here or PM me if you are interested and we can talk about this further.

My name is James, I'm 28, and I live in Lake Forest.

Thanks,

James
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  #2  
Old 09-10-2013, 4:41 PM
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What models of guns are you interested in? Any specific caliber?
What are you looking to do with the gun you hope to eventually purchase?

Maybe someone with a large enough collection has certain guns you might be interested in and would go to the range with you so you don't have to rent so many different guns.
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Old 09-10-2013, 4:57 PM
James112 James112 is offline
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I've done a bit of research and the model I was looking into was the S&W MP40. Many have recommended against it, including the gun shop owner, due to .40 caliber being harder to come by, and have advised me to stick to 9MM or .45 caliber.

I am not getting a gun for sport, I am getting a gun for personal defense. Without detailing too much on the internet (I will be happy to discuss the entire story here with whomever helps me, in person,) somebody has threatened me and I want to be able to protect myself and my loved one should this person decide to break into my residence. This person is a criminal, I have a restraining order against him, and I do believe he owns firearms, even though with the restraining order and his history he legally cannot.

The patron I spoke of said that I should just get a 12-guage shotgun for this purpose, but I've talked with my one pro-gun friend who lives in another state and I have decided that I want a handgun for this purpose. And, also, as silly as it might sound, there is the slightly extra motivation of wanting something that I can use should the world go to complete hell and the rule of law entirely break down. I had a major life event occur last week and I want to be more prepared in life for unexpected situations.

After talking with the gun owner and patron, I definitely want to try a wide variety of handguns, and try out more calibers than just what have been recommended to me for this purpose - 9mm and .45 - and I would feel bad asking somebody who's willing to help me out here bring so many of their own weapons to a range. On Target has a flat fee and says I will be able to rotate out all the guns as need for their $8 flat fee, so I really think I would prefer just to pay the range for rental and ammunition rather than somebody else's equipment. If that is the person's preference however, that's fine I am flexible and will appreciate any help.
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Old 09-10-2013, 5:06 PM
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Gotcha. I understand your position.
Keep an eye on the forums. The regions of SoCal (LA, OC, and IE) have separate monthly "meet and shoots" at ranges in their area. That might be a good place to hook up with others.

Aside from the handgun you want, with some of the pending legislation, buying a cal complaint AR15 or AK might be a good decision if you think you might ever want one.

Good luck on your search and welcome to the community!

/my rambling.
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Old 09-10-2013, 5:16 PM
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Thanks for the advice, I found the 9/13 meet threat and got myself on the standby. I'll be there this Friday and it sounds like I can probably find somebody there to help me out with this.

Could you elaborate on the pending legilsation? I know about the 10-round magazine rule, but it sounds like you're referring to something else, is the window to buy an AR15 legally closing? If that window closes doesn't everybody have to return what they bought / modify what they bought before the window closes anyways? Or are you just saying that with the new handgun legislation an AR is an option with less hassle?

Much appreciated.
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Old 09-10-2013, 5:18 PM
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Hey, i suggest you talk to Tony a friend of mine at On Target. Tell him Konst said to ask him for advice, he is a really cool guy and should be able to advise you properly.

But with regards to your posts above, I personally like a 40 or 45, 40 has the one great distinction of always being the last caliber to disappear off the shelves in a crisis. The round also packs a punch very similar to a 10mm or .45. BUt, lots of people stick with 9mm as it has lower recoil and is cheap, which makes it a great caliber for the whole family, the missus can shoot it without any issues as can you.

If you want a shotgun for home defense, get one of the short barreled Mossberg's, something like the Cruiser, they pack hell of a punch and will be very very effective in a close area scenario. I do not recommend loading with 00, as that is too much power and hard to control, not to mention the pain your wrist will experience. Bird shot will be sufficient for home defense and keep your neighbors safe too (mostly).

Look out for the monthly Calguns shoot at On Target, there are lots of really helpful peeps out there, and I am sure you will find what you need

hope that helps
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  #7  
Old 09-11-2013, 6:55 AM
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Sorry to hear about your situation. I'm an attorney and deal with restraining orders pretty frequently, and I know from experience (contrary to what some may think on this board) that obtaining a permanent restraining order (as opposed to one that is temporary) is not taken lightly by the court. Must be pretty bad. I'm also glad to see you taking your security seriously. I've done Artemis and they offer good training.

My .02, I prefer the .40 (SigSauer P229) and it is what I rely on for personal defense. It's the FBI round, which some people live and die by. It is more expensive to shoot, but +1 as Konst mentioned above about finding the .40 in a crisis.

9mm is more popular and harder to find as a result. The reason is that 9mm is cheap, plus I think many people like it because a 9mm has a higher magazine capacity. Of course, the magazine capacity advantage is lost in California since we cannot have more than 10. And .40 gets you 10 in most cases anyway. Although I practice a lot with 9mm because of the cost, I don't rely on it for defense because it lacks stopping power compared to .40 and .45. You almost have to rely on "+P" ammo for adequate stopping power, which many manufacturers (including Glock) will say that this will void your warranty.

.45 is an excellent round, though you generally sacrifice on magazine capacity (you generally only get 7 or 8). For home defense, this may be adequate IMHO. But out and about, I would prefer more.

I'll be there on Friday and would be happy to let you try some things out. If nothing else, introduce yourself (my name is Brandon) and perhaps we could make a return trip. I have a membership at On Target, which gets you as my guest on the lane for $4 plus unlimited free gun rentals.

You may want to consider looking into getting a CCW as well. I can't speak for the sheriff since they exercise absolute discretion, but I would think having a restraining order would constitute good cause under their criteria.
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DISCLAIMER: The information contained herein is general in nature, which may not apply to particular factual or legal circumstances, and is intended for informational purposes only. Consistent with Calguns policy, the information does not constitute legal advice or opinions and should not be relied upon as such. Transmission of the information is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. Readers should not act upon any information in my posts without seeking professional counsel.
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  #8  
Old 09-11-2013, 2:02 PM
James112 James112 is offline
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Thanks BumBum and Konst for weighing in, I appreciate all the advice I'm getting here. I am definitely going to be there on Friday, looking forward to meeting a lot of you. Up until now I've only fired a glock with a c02 cartridge in a virtual simulation, so I'm also looking forward to actually trying out the different calibers, hopefully I can find something that feels right for me.
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  #9  
Old 09-11-2013, 6:03 PM
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Some Velvet-Fisted Brute Some Velvet-Fisted Brute is offline
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yo james, If you're willing to take the drive up to Stanton I'd be glad to show you the ropes at Field Time. They don't have the membership/qualifacation rules On-Target does but they do have a slug-only rule for shotguns (and my minimalist style 12 is brutal with slugs. Bird and buckshot, no prob, all day long, though)

As for the other advice, a 12 gauge is very versatile. I agree with the recommendation of an 18"Mossberg 500 (or variant thereof) as a very capable home defense weapon. I would recommend #4 buck or 00 buck loads. If recoil is excessive (probably won't be) look for 1oz loads rather than 1 1/8 or 1 1/4 oz. (the weights are the amount of shot. #4 is about 27 pellets per ounce and 00 is 9 per ounce. Birdshot is like 150+ if memory serves). I would not recommend bird shot for home defense. At near point blank ranges, it could be adequate but penetration will generally be lacking. I would recommend the youtube video on a channel called Demolition Ranch where bird,buck, slug, and PDX1 rounds are tested at close range against beef. The differences are quite dramatic.

A handgun in a major self defense cartridge is also a great home defense weapon. With modern hollow points, a 9mm is about as effective as a 45 ACP round nose ball round. (of course, all other things equal, bigger is generally better for stopping power). 40 is a good choice for magazine capacity, stopping power, and availability. I was never unable to source some last winter, even as 9 and 45 supplies dried up. 40 does tend to have a much more "flippy" recoil profile. Like it's a sharper impulse or something. 9 and 45 both shoot "softer." It's worth trying a glock in whatever your preferred caliber is. They are simple and functional. I'd recommend sticking with the SF models, as they're more comfortable. That said, a glock wouldn't be my first choice. I have one, and can shoot it, but prefer a more upright grip angle and a true, crisp single action trigger. If you like the M&P, strongly consider a springfield XD. My friend has one and I want to hate it for the long trigger pull but truth be told, I shoot it better than my own full size semi-autos.

Revolvers are also a good choice for home defense. Reason being, bad ammo and limp-wristing won't stop the next round from going bang. Also, 38 is mild enough that virtually anyone can shoot it, quiet enough (with at least 4 inches of barrel) that a few rounds probably won't permanently affect your hearing without protection in place, and if needed, most revolvers shot as 38 special are actually chabered for 357 magnum which is sometimes said to be the most lethal of traditional handgun cartridges against a man sized target.

Bottom line is, anything in 38/357, 9mm, 40sw, 45 acp, 44 special, 45 LC, 20 ga, or 12 ga would be totally reasonable for home defense. And unless you need to shoot beyond 10-12 yards and/or outdoors, a moderate power handgun is in no way inadequate. Higher power than what's listed above is generally not necessary and can be detrimental. Lower power should only be considered for special purposes (usually recoil aversion or otherr handling difficulties or if concealability is a necessary consideration)
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  #10  
Old 09-11-2013, 6:08 PM
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When can you be at on target ? Evening, lunch, weekend?
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Old 09-11-2013, 6:50 PM
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Hi there James,

My brother & I go out there just about every weekend! Let me know, I'd be glad to help out!
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:46 AM
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Wow thanks everybody for the advice and offers. Brute I'll definitely be checking that youtube channel out tonight, and thanks for your thoughts on the different calibers.

California, I have a day job, so for me it would be weekdays after about 6, and anytime on the weekends.

And tal3nt, thanks for the offer very much, I will take you up on it if needed. But I think there's a good chance that I'm going to find everything I'm looking for at the meetup tonight at On Target. If I don't leave the shoot tonight with a good idea of what feels right to me, I'll post here again and we can arrange a time to meet on one of the upcoming weekends. If my instincts are right though, I'm not going to have trouble trying out a wide variety of handguns tonight. If I find one that feels right, I'm going to be starting the purchasing process tomorrow, hopefully.

Thanks again all, I'll let you know how I'm feeling after the meetup tonight.
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Old 09-13-2013, 1:07 PM
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Sounds good. Good luck & have fun!
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Old 09-13-2013, 1:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James112 View Post
Thanks for the advice, I found the 9/13 meet threat and got myself on the standby. I'll be there this Friday and it sounds like I can probably find somebody there to help me out with this.

Could you elaborate on the pending legilsation? I know about the 10-round magazine rule, but it sounds like you're referring to something else, is the window to buy an AR15 legally closing? If that window closes doesn't everybody have to return what they bought / modify what they bought before the window closes anyways? Or are you just saying that with the new handgun legislation an AR is an option with less hassle?

Much appreciated.
James - just come by tonight and perhaps go to diner with us afterwards and we will clue you in on EVERYTHING you need to know.
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Old 09-13-2013, 8:43 PM
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Alright, here's the rundown of my experience at the meet tonight. Everybody was amazing and I am happy to have found this community. Overall I was able to try out 8 different handguns, one clip each. Here's what I felt about each:

  1. FNP9 (9mm) - rating 1/5 - The grip felt okay, albeit a bit small. But I hated this gun. I think maybe because it was the first one I fired, literally the first gun with live ammo I've fired in my life, but the recoil was just massive. I felt like I had no control, and really didn't like how much the gun moved upwards every shot.

  2. Steyr M9A1 (9mm) - rating 3/5 - The grip felt much better, although I couldn't figure out how to place my left hand over my right, so this felt really awkward. Turns out I was holding it entirely wrong and I wouldn't know until the next gun, so this rating is probably unfair. This had way less recoil than the FNP9, though, and to me just felt more manageable.

    From this point on I didn't notice much difference in recoil, so looking back I'm guessing the first one felt so bad simply because I wasn't used to shooting yet. I started focusing more on the grip feel and the trigger feel. Now enter David, who gave me an excellent handgun 101 training on how to hold it, and how my posture / arms should look. From this point on I think I was holding the gun properly, and my left hand didn't feel super awkward anymore.

  3. HK45 (.45) - rating 4/5 - This grip was really nice. It was larger than the rest, and it felt so much better that I immediately decided that I desire a larger, heavier gun. I found the triple dots very helpful for aiming. I either didn't notice them on the first two guns because they hadn't been pointed out to me yet, or they were simply more pronounced on the HK45, but the aiming pegs had small green circles on them and this helped my aiming a lot. This was by far the best feeling gun yet. Didn't notice a change in recoil, but because the grip felt better, and probably because I was holding it properly, I felt like I had a lot more control.

  4. Sig SP 2340 (.40) - rating 5/5 - Amazing. My hand rested on the grip a bit lower, much lower from the slide than the previous guns, and I liked the way that felt a lot better. I really felt like I had some great control, and my aim was definitely best so far on this gun. Just amazing.

  5. Walther P22 (.22) - rating unknown - I went to shoot this gun and I jammed it. I felt pretty bad. Not the best first impression. Nobody could get the bullet out.

  6. Glock 19 (9mm) - rating 2/5 - This gun didn't feel right for me, the handle felt too small and I was worried that my grip was insufficient.

  7. Sig P229 (.40) - rating 5/5 - Amazing. This grip felt even better than the Sig 2340, which I thought basically impossible. This felt basically perfect. Trigger seemed like the nicest, smoothest thus far. After this one, I decided that I was in love with Sig Sauer.

  8. CZ 75B (9mm) - rating 5/5 - Amazing. The grip didn't feel quite as perfect for me as the P229, but was really close and felt very natural. Kevin had a special competition trigger and hammer, and it was the trigger that gives this one a 5/5 rating. This was by far the best trigger feel thus far, I barely had to push it, and I liked that. This was the first time I felt like there was another noticeable difference in recoil, the recoil seemed just a little bit less / more manageable than all the previous ones.

So yeah, I really liked the Sig Sauers and the CZ 7B. Now I am going to do a lot of window shopping for these two manufacturers. I enjoyed this more than I thought I would, and will be looking at getting a rifle card there and hopefully trying out some rifles at the next meet. Next time I will be brining my own ammo . Huge thanks to everybody for helping me out today, I really appreciate it. If I make a final decision about my purchase I'll try to remember to update here.
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Old 09-13-2013, 8:57 PM
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Good thread james112! Welcome to calguns, I see your settling right in.
Nothing to add, your in good hands now.
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Old 09-13-2013, 9:49 PM
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i am going to push the boat out here, and suggest you try a 1911, in my opinion, still one of the greatest guns money can buy. I particularly like the Sig versions (please no flaming). Also see if you can try a Springfield XD, or XDM, and one of my all time 9mm favourites, the Beretta 92FS. I personally have an old Ruger P94, with a Hogue grip on it, which is the most "comfortable" gun I have ever shot. The Hogue grips can be fitted to most guns and generally improve the feel over factory.

and when you are done with Semi's, there is always the rather enchanting world of the revolvers........
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KON5T View Post
Also see if you can try a Springfield XD, or XDM, and one of my all time 9mm favourites, the Beretta FS9.
I think you mean Beretta 92FS.
And that will be my recommendation after seeing the OP likes a heavy gun as well as he seemed to shoot the 9mm better or felt it had more manageable recoil compared to the .40/.45.
Definitely try and get your hands on a beretta 92 FS before you make your purchase decision, OP. I love mine and it is very reliable.

Glad to hear you got some trigger time as well as awesome help from the group! Calguns rocks!
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Old 09-14-2013, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba951 View Post
I think you mean Beretta 92FS.
And that will be my recommendation after seeing the OP likes a heavy gun as well as he seemed to shoot the 9mm better or felt it had more manageable recoil compared to the .40/.45.
Definitely try and get your hands on a beretta 92 FS before you make your purchase decision, OP. I love mine and it is very reliable.

Glad to hear you got some trigger time as well as awesome help from the group! Calguns rocks!
whoops typo, i thought i corrected that..........
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Old 09-20-2013, 10:01 PM
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Just it throw in another opinion, I suggest a .45.

Since you are limited to only 10 rounds in Kalifornia and since you're male, the bigger bullet the better.

I myself am a huge proponent of 1911, but considering your situation, if you had to use it for self defense, it will be seized as evidence and you may not see it for an extended period of time. Therefore, I suggest one of the Tupperware guns. M&P, XD, Glock, or Ruger. They all run about $500 and are reliable and ubiquitous. Get the one that fits and is comfy.
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Old 09-28-2013, 12:57 PM
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Get a sig. You can buy a used 2022 in 40 SW on Calguns for around $400.00

I can't feel any difference between my sig 226 and the 2022 except the 2022 is easier to disassemble.
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Old 09-29-2013, 6:18 AM
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Just my .02

There is a lot of good advice here. I would like to point out one thing. As a new person to the world of handguns, there are some serous manipulations and safety drills you need to learn when dealing with semi-automatics. I did not see a lot of mention of all the failure drills you must master and be proficient at in order to have a weapon that will save you when you need it. When you are stressed. When you have not picked up the weapon a practiced in a while.

Learning Tap-Roll-Rack for a failure to fire is important. Double feed jam. failure to extract. horizontal stovepipe. spongy trigger. All of these are issues which are part of the semiautomatic and must be practiced. Regularly.

For a person new to guns, a revolver is hands down the easiest and most fail proof weapon of choice. When this gun fails to fire, the solution is to pull the trigger again. It can be more complex like a broken hammer or firing pin which cannot be fixed in the field but that is far from likely. Most failures come from bad ammo and the solution is to pull the trigger one more time.

Another opinion provided here was the shotgun. Great advice. In my experience, the sound of chambering a round is universal and bag guys understand what is about to happen. I have a good story to tell behind this one. Make you laugh. But seriously, for interior personal defense, the shotgun is without equal. It is probably the least expensive option here as well. Transportation is a pain but that was not what was being discussed.

In conclusion, as a layperson, I wouldnt suggest getting the newest and coolest gun that is being recommended by experienced gun owners based on the gun THEY and their experience would buy. I wish you well on your journey and safety in your home.
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Old 10-02-2013, 2:04 PM
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Check out the sig 2022 island view enterprises in Ventura has it for 399 or 440 for night sights just picked one up myself. Every sig I have ever had in my hand I loved, which I could say the same about their ar15 but Im I'n love with my sp2022 already
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:15 PM
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I second melliw. Good advice!

My $0.02 for new shooters is to buy a .22 pistol first; my favorite is the ruger mark III. Get all your fundamentals down including stance, breathing, balance, trigger control, and follow through. Once you've got a few thousand rounds under your belt, buy a revolver or semi-auto pistol. I prefer revolvers for home defense because they are simple to operate and user friendly.
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:58 PM
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i am CZ biased and admit it, sweet gun. the right gun for you is the one that you look forward to shooting, one that feels "right." sounds like you found a few options. you are going to have some expense in ammo (understatement!) getting yourself up to speed then maintaining your new skills so be careful not leave yourself cash poor after purchase.
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Old 10-04-2013, 7:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smith629 View Post
I second melliw. Good advice!

My $0.02 for new shooters is to buy a .22 pistol first; my favorite is the ruger mark III. Get all your fundamentals down including stance, breathing, balance, trigger control, and follow through. Once you've got a few thousand rounds under your belt, buy a revolver or semi-auto pistol. I prefer revolvers for home defense because they are simple to operate and user friendly.
That is another good suggestion, Either a Ruger Mk III or a Single Six/Ten
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Old 10-27-2013, 2:23 PM
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Really good advice been given here. I was in the same boat as you a short time ago. I did a gun safety course (Highly Recommended) then started researching what gun I wanted. I thought I wanted a Beretta ps4, but after shooting it, it just didn't feel good to me & I didn't shoot it as well as others. I have really big hands & so again it didn't fit well in my hand. I came to the conclusion I wanted a 9mm so I kept researching, asking questions & shooting different 9mm at the range. It's really a feel thing so what works for me may not work for you. I ended up with a CZ 75B & love it. Don't go by what the sales person at the gun stores tries to sell you. That will just confuse you, because they all have their different opinions based on many factors, including what they have on the shelf to sale & what kind of perk the manufacturer may be giving the sales force for selling their gun. Again it's very personalized, so shoot several guns & go with the one that feels best to you that you can afford.
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Old 10-28-2013, 2:30 PM
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repo4sale repo4sale is offline
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I have almost 100 pages of documents stating the 40 & 45 is the best hand gun caliber for self defense. Many Attorneys, Doctors, coroners & Judges say the 40-45 will put the bad guy in the morgue vs. the emergency room. A $2000 casket bill goes to the family of the bad guy vs. a $150,000 emergency room bill goes to the tax payers!

In the "printouts" the Glock is the most "police" owned weapon. Based on my research & these 100 pages, I own Glock27's & Glock23's. All my mags interchange and I have owned a Glock since 1991.... Attorneys advise to keep the gun "stock" as to not show an owners intent to make the weapon "deadlier" in case you kill the bad guy & end up in court defending your "justifiable homicide" actions. I also carry an umbrella policy of $1-5-10 million depending on your "net worth". PS: I'm a vet of over 117 court cases in California as a Landlord.
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