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Posted: 1/4/2005 1:43:15 PM EDT
I really want to start learning more about handguns and to become comfortable shooting one. Do any of you have any suggestions about what type gun I should start with? I'm a pretty good shot witha rifle, but want something that I can use to protect myself and my son with if we go on a hike in the mountains or get into another dangerous situation. I've only used a pistol a couple times and I hate to say, my aim was horrible. I'd appreciate any help or suggestions you all have.

Thanks a lot!

Dana.
Link Posted: 1/4/2005 1:53:28 PM EDT
First:

find a well-respect instructor who has a good reputation amongst females.

Do NOT ask your boyfriend/husband/father/son/brother for instruction.....all they can teach is their own bad habits, most of the time.


(this advice coming from a son/brother/boyfriend....)

Link Posted: 1/4/2005 2:29:53 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/4/2005 2:30:28 PM EDT by GabbasaurusRex]
My (now) boyfriend taught me to shoot. He did a good job, as far as I'm concerned.

All I can really think to tell you is that shooting a handgun, like most other things, is only something gets easier over time. Do you remember what kind of gun you were shooting?

For next time, I recommend something with little recoil, like a SIGSauer 226 (start with 9mm). The weight of it may be hard to get used to, but with little recoil it makes it much easier to get back up on target.

I'm not sure any of that helped. Sorry.
Link Posted: 1/4/2005 2:45:05 PM EDT
I second the idea that boyfriend/husband as a teacher isn't always a good course of action.I would recomend the NRA basic pistol course,which is heavy on safety,(a good thing)It also will give you an overview of all the basic handgun types and how to opperate them.Here in CT it is the coures one takes to qualify for a pistol permit.(concealed carry and to purchase)
Handgun selection is a very personal choice,Revolver,semi auto ,rimfire or centerfire,size and weight,stainless or blued steel,adjustable or fixed sights,budget concerns,new or used.It is kind of like chooseing a car,any one model or brand can not be everything to everyone.
Keep thinking about what use you expect to put this gun to,sounds like you have started and this is good.
Try to go to a club or rental range so you can try different types .
Don't be afraid to ask,most folks love to show off their toys and let others shoot them.
Get yourself your own personal eye and hearing protection that fits and you are comfortable with.
My personal recomendation for your consideration is two guns. 1) a 22LR semi auto-ruger mark II or browning buckmark. with one of these the ammo is dirt cheep and noise/recoil is tiny so you can concentrate on useing the sights and trigger to teach yourself to shoot well.Do not attempt to use this for self defense,not much power.
2) A good centerfire .357 revolver. I like the Smith & Wesson model 686,it comes in several barrel lengths and a variety of aftermarket grips(to fit any but the smallest hands).It is simple to load/unload'/opperate.You can use full power .357 loads for possible self defence use or it will also accept without changes any .38special loads which are cheeper and much less power.The .38 loads can be very accurate for practice.
Lastly-try to find a way that after basic instruction you can go by yourself and shoot by yourself. A lot of shooting is finding out what works for you.
Good luck !
Link Posted: 1/4/2005 3:01:43 PM EDT
Just say no on anyone other than an instructor teaching you .... your life is on the line here you feel the need to have a gun to protect you then you should be able to master the use of that firearm otherwise carry a spaghetti noodle. Most people are horrible pistol shots and guys dont learn how to shoot well because of machismo.... I DO IT THIS WAY attitude which my wife also suffers from sometimes I do not know why people that have not ever done something before try it and suddenly think they are an expert....... anyways remember shooting should be FUN and you should learn from it a good instructor can be hard to find so do some research. Good Luck I suggest starting with a 22 lr by the way either a revolver or an auto depending on what you will graduate to later
Link Posted: 1/4/2005 3:32:00 PM EDT
From experience... I eventually learned to shoot from my husband, but I'd recommend an experienced, non-related, teacher.
Link Posted: 1/4/2005 4:11:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By arowneragain:
First:

find a well-respect instructor who has a good reputation amongst females.

Do NOT ask your boyfriend/husband/father/son/brother for instruction.....all they can teach is their own bad habits, most of the time.


(this advice coming from a son/brother/boyfriend....)




What he said. Good instructor and not the bf, hubby, Dad.
Link Posted: 1/4/2005 4:20:15 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/4/2005 4:32:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ARWife:
I really want to start learning more about handguns and to become comfortable shooting one. Do any of you have any suggestions about what type gun I should start with? I'm a pretty good shot witha rifle, but want something that I can use to protect myself and my son with if we go on a hike in the mountains or get into another dangerous situation. I've only used a pistol a couple times and I hate to say, my aim was horrible. I'd appreciate any help or suggestions you all have.

Thanks a lot!

Dana.



I initially learned from friends, but eventually took some classes (including LFI-I). No one class will teach you everything, nor will everything they teach work for you. I would suggest getting some basic ideas on your own, by reading books - Combat Handgunnery by Massad Ayoob is a great book for someone new to combat handguns, I HIGHLY recommend this book as a first step before going any further - then reading online, etc.

Join your local IDPA. If they offer a new shooter clinic, DO IT. The people there are usually very knowledgable and helpful. I went to a new shooter clinic before I even had a gun, and some people loaned my fiance and I a couple of 1911s.

As for firearms, do some research. Find a range where you can rent some and try them out. Different makes, calibers. Get something good - don't cheap out on a handgun. Get a good kydex or leather holster too. Generally, smaller calibers seem to be better to start with b/c of less recoil and they're cheap to shoot! However, you may find you like the thump of a .45 more than the snap of a 9mm. You'll really just have to try out some different guns. If you really can't shoot them, go to the dealer and see how they fit your hand. You can always buy one, shoot it for a while, and then sell it and get something else.

Shooting handguns is HARD. It takes A LOT of practice to get really good. I remember the first time I shot, I figured I could just point and shoot like in the movies... man, I sucked. Mas goes over all the basics in that book I recommended. You'll want to make sure you get the basics down: a solid stance, grip - focus on the front sight, smooth trigger roll....

A few things that really got me over the hump - building more upper body strength - helped me control the wobble and dry fire practice - helped me stop flinching. Dry fire 1000 at least times for each 100 rounds you put down range. Seriously.

So, in a nutshell. Do some reading, and when you get an idea of what you're getting into - find an instructor and take a class, then practice and figure out what works for you. Hope that helps a little.
Link Posted: 1/4/2005 7:06:34 PM EDT
Wow, you guys really gave me a lot of info! Thank you very much! It's funny that the number one suggestion was to not have your SO teach you. That's exactly what I had planned. I will do some research and look into all of your suggestions. And hopefully post back here with some good results!

Thanks again!

Dana.
Link Posted: 1/4/2005 7:58:03 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/5/2005 3:31:43 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/5/2005 3:44:30 AM EDT
NRA 10 hour Basic Pistol Course,

Click below for upcoming classes in your state (CO).

www.nrahq.org/education/training/find.asp?State=CO&Type=BPistol
Link Posted: 1/5/2005 6:26:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DoubleFeed:
If the men in your life presently understand how to properly teach something (the teacher has to connect with each student's way of learning, so as to teach properly), then he would make a good choice of instructer. He has to have the understanding of a professional instructor.
The "Hey Lil Lady, shoot this .357. It's a good starter gun, though a little underpowered" stuff is just stupid.



I must add that even if your SO is an experienced teacher, it is probably better to get another teacher... it goes with advice like "Don't work with your in-laws or parents. Don't represent yourself in a court of law, and Don't doctor your own wife." Some might get away with it, but...

I do not like learning from my husband nor he from me. I don't know or care what Freud would say about that; it is just so.
Link Posted: 1/5/2005 7:31:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/5/2005 7:34:41 AM EDT by Colt45guy]

Originally Posted By Green_Ammo_223:

Originally Posted By arowneragain:
First:

find a well-respect instructor who has a good reputation amongst females.

Do NOT ask your boyfriend/husband/father/son/brother for instruction.....all they can teach is their own bad habits, most of the time.


(this advice coming from a son/brother/boyfriend....)




What he said. Good instructor and not the bf, hubby, Dad.



+ another for instructor vs significant other. I've been told me I'm too competitive and too critical...sorry Butterbiscuit

I also highlighted the most important part. We all know there's entirely too many (Green, what was the term you used for Bill?--oh, yeah) ASSES working in the firearms instruction industry. You want to have a good time, not develop a complex or be groped while 'learning'.
Link Posted: 1/5/2005 7:56:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By npd233:
NRA 10 hour Basic Pistol Course,

Click below for upcoming classes in your state (CO).

www.nrahq.org/education/training/find.asp?State=CO&Type=BPistol



Very cool site! Thank you so much. There were a lot in my town, practically one a week.

Thanks for sharing that site!

Dana.
Link Posted: 1/5/2005 8:04:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MrsGloftoe:
You might see if you can find a .22 to start out with, so that you can learn the mechanics, stance, and grip without having to worry about recoil. I have a sweet Ruger Mark II which is really heavy, but shoots .22. There's just about no recoil, and it's relatively quiet compared with larger calibers. Once you're comfortable with holding and shooting, then move up to a bigger caliber. And have fun!



+1
Link Posted: 1/5/2005 1:30:52 PM EDT
As far as what particular handgun to use for self defense, I would suggest a Smith and Wesson stainless .357 revolver, either a 66 or a 686, with a 4" barrel. And heres the important part, add Houge rubber grips to it! Two of my buddies have taught their wives/fiances to shoot a handgun set up like this, as have I in the case of a couple other females, and the combo works. Recoil, even with .357 loads (the smaller .38 special is optional in .357 guns) was very low. Accuracy with a Smith revolver is boring, and the weapon is very suited to self defense, against critters two and four legged.

If you prefer a semi automatic pistol for any reason (higher capacity, easier to reload, etc..), then I suggest going to a sporting goods store and grabbing a set of grip strengthening exerciser things..thats the technical term, because the double action trigger pull and the action of racking the slide will require a little more grip/forearm strength than you might be used to exerting. But once you can comfortable work the action and first shot of a semiauto pistol, look for a used Sig P225 or P228. Great pistols. Hope this helps!
Link Posted: 1/5/2005 3:59:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By drew5337:
As far as what particular handgun to use for self defense, I would suggest a Smith and Wesson stainless .357 revolver, either a 66 or a 686, with a 4" barrel. And heres the important part, add Houge rubber grips to it! Two of my buddies have taught their wives/fiances to shoot a handgun set up like this, as have I in the case of a couple other females, and the combo works. Recoil, even with .357 loads (the smaller .38 special is optional in .357 guns) was very low. Accuracy with a Smith revolver is boring, and the weapon is very suited to self defense, against critters two and four legged.

If you prefer a semi automatic pistol for any reason (higher capacity, easier to reload, etc..), then I suggest going to a sporting goods store and grabbing a set of grip strengthening exerciser things..thats the technical term, because the double action trigger pull and the action of racking the slide will require a little more grip/forearm strength than you might be used to exerting. But once you can comfortable work the action and first shot of a semiauto pistol, look for a used Sig P225 or P228. Great pistols. Hope this helps!



+1 on the info about semi auto. I recently helped a female friend buy a gun and learn to shoot. She insisted on buying a semi auto, even though at first she couldn't rack the slide. The malfunction drills for a semi-auto are known to leave even the most calloused hands shredded, as opposed to the malfunction drill for a revolver (wait for hangfires, then pull the trigger again).
Link Posted: 1/5/2005 6:33:54 PM EDT
My father and husband taught me how to shoot. Both remained as objective as as they could and made sure that I knew safety first. I wasn't allowed to shoot anything until I understood how to be as safe as possible with a firearm. I have a S&W .357, three 1911s: one Gold Cup, a Govt model in 9mm and a stainless Commander, among others. My favorite is the Govt model--it's lighter, I can pull the slide back with no problem and I love to shoot it. It took me awhile to find a gun I really liked that I was comfortable with. My advice to you is go to a range that has rentals and just rent a few different pistols and see if you like them. You'll know when you shoot it if it's the right one for you.
Link Posted: 1/7/2005 8:24:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ARWife:
I really want to start learning more about handguns and to become comfortable shooting one. Do any of you have any suggestions about what type gun I should start with? I'm a pretty good shot witha rifle, but want something that I can use to protect myself and my son with if we go on a hike in the mountains or get into another dangerous situation. I've only used a pistol a couple times and I hate to say, my aim was horrible. I'd appreciate any help or suggestions you all have.

Thanks a lot!

Dana.



I am new at shooting, too. I know a lot of people have said to go to someone who's not your husband/bf, etc. but my bf is teaching me and if you are the least bit nervous about shooting or whatever, i think you should ask someone you trust. personally, i get a little timid at first (something i am trying to overcome) but it helps to have someone you trust and feel comfortable with (as compared to a stranger) to "have your back", literally.
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