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Posted: 7/20/2010 3:48:05 PM EDT
Seriously.

WHY in the world does everyone seem to point novice gun owners to a handgun?

I own a lot of handguns.  I am good with them, but I have been shooting for over 30 years.

Frankly, a handgun is the HARDEST firearm to master.  Most firearms novices are looking for a home defense weapon.  The ability to conceal the weapon really does not come into the picture there.

I ALWAYS point a novice to a shotgun, either a single shot or a pump.  No, not because the sound the slide makes turns burglars to jelly.  Because a shotgun is very effective, accurate at room distances and much easier to learn than a handgun.

Link Posted: 7/20/2010 3:54:59 PM EDT
You point them towards a single shot shotgun for home defense?
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 3:59:10 PM EDT

When should they be 'allowed' to finally learn? After learning long guns?

Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:02:56 PM EDT
Originally Posted By shadesofgrey:
You point them towards a single shot shotgun for home defense?


A novice, who has never held a firearm before?

Yes, I do.

Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:04:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/20/2010 4:04:25 PM EDT by Dave_A]





Originally Posted By Cpt_Kirks:



Seriously.





WHY in the world does everyone seem to point novice gun owners to a handgun?





I own a lot of handguns.  I am good with them, but I have been shooting for over 30 years.





Frankly, a handgun is the HARDEST firearm to master.  Most firearms novices are looking for a home defense weapon.  The ability to conceal the weapon really does not come into the picture there.





I ALWAYS point a novice to a shotgun, either a single shot or a pump.  No, not because the sound the slide makes turns burglars to jelly.  Because a shotgun is very effective, accurate at room distances and much easier to learn than a handgun.








A pistol is the most universal gun you can think of, for most folks purposes...





The shotgun is OK for inside-the-house defense, but if you need to take it with you in the car, or decide you need to CCW, it doesn't fit...





For most people, if you are going to have only ONE gun, it should be a modern DA/SA 9mm or .40 S&W service pistol.





 
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:04:44 PM EDT
I think it has to do with a small handgun being more mobile/carryable/concealable for personal defense.  Self defense is not for only "at home" applications.  If a person is getting only one gun, the shotgun is not versatile enough.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:05:14 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Dave_A:

Originally Posted By Cpt_Kirks:
Seriously.

WHY in the world does everyone seem to point novice gun owners to a handgun?

I own a lot of handguns.  I am good with them, but I have been shooting for over 30 years.

Frankly, a handgun is the HARDEST firearm to master.  Most firearms novices are looking for a home defense weapon.  The ability to conceal the weapon really does not come into the picture there.

I ALWAYS point a novice to a shotgun, either a single shot or a pump.  No, not because the sound the slide makes turns burglars to jelly.  Because a shotgun is very effective, accurate at room distances and much easier to learn than a handgun.


A pistol is the most universal gun you can think of, for most folks purposes...

The shotgun is OK for inside-the-house defense, but if you need to take it with you in the car, or decide you need to CCW, it doesn't fit...

For most people, if you are going to have only ONE gun, it should be a modern DA/SA 9mm or .40 S&W service pistol.
 


Hear hear!
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:05:28 PM EDT
Originally Posted By echo_5:






When should they be 'allowed' to finally learn? After learning long guns?


How many hours at the range does it take to become effective with a handgun?  How many novices will spend that amount of time there?

And yes, learning to fire a long gun needs to come first.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:06:06 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Cpt_Kirks:
Originally Posted By shadesofgrey:
You point them towards a single shot shotgun for home defense?


A novice, who has never held a firearm before?

Yes, I do.



Whatever works, I suppose. A single shot breech-loader will still put a bad guy on his ass.

However, I usually recommend a side-by-side for those who don't want a pump or autoloader.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:06:41 PM EDT



Originally Posted By Dave_A:

A pistol is the most universal gun you can think of, for most folks purposes...



The shotgun is OK for inside-the-house defense, but if you need to take it with you in the car, or decide you need to CCW, it doesn't fit...



For most people, if you are going to have only ONE gun, it should be a modern DA/SA 9mm or .40 S&W service pistol.

 


I agree with Dave except you need to have a safety that completely deactivates the trigger. So S&W or Walther semi-autos in SA-DA...



 
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:07:15 PM EDT
Originally Posted By RayGunz2:
I think it has to do with a small handgun being more mobile/carryable/concealable for personal defense.  Self defense is not for only "at home" applications.  If a person is getting only one gun, the shotgun is not versatile enough.


Which gun REALLY won the West?

And, like I mentioned, concealability is not much of a factor in the home.

Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:07:25 PM EDT
I thought you are supposed to start with 50 cal's and work backwards?
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:09:03 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Vicinity:
I thought you are supposed to start with 50 cal's and work backwards?


.79 cal.

Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:09:23 PM EDT
I always think handgun first because I'm inherently a handgun guy.  
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:09:41 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Cpt_Kirks:
Originally Posted By shadesofgrey:
You point them towards a single shot shotgun for home defense?


A novice, who has never held a firearm before?

Yes, I do.



Range day and some ammo and they'd be better off with something that is faster once they get the hang of shooting.

Single shot would never be something I'd recommend to a new shooter who wants something for home defense. They are less likely to make that one shot a good one and a pump shotgun can be short stroked if they don't practice a lot.

Handguns and mag fed rifles are going to have faster follow up shots and reloads and can carry more ammo.

Handguns also are easier to hide from kids and lock up and just generally easier to deal with and store when not shooting.

Single shot shotguns aren't fun for me to shoot so if it's all I had I doubt I'd practice much at all, fun is also a factor in keeping new shooters interested and dedicated to practice.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:09:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/20/2010 4:10:08 PM EDT by flyfishnepa]

that's why there's the judge, a shotgun/handgun combo

best of both worlds

Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:10:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Cpt_Kirks:
Originally Posted By Vicinity:
I thought you are supposed to start with 50 cal's and work backwards?


.79 cal.



1 Cal

Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:12:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/20/2010 4:13:59 PM EDT by 10mmPatriot]
Originally Posted By Cpt_Kirks:
Originally Posted By RayGunz2:
I think it has to do with a small handgun being more mobile/carryable/concealable for personal defense.  Self defense is not for only "at home" applications.  If a person is getting only one gun, the shotgun is not versatile enough.


Which gun REALLY won the West?

And, like I mentioned, concealability is not much of a factor in the home.



No. But portability CAN be a factor inside of a home, depending on the design of the house.

In my house (farm house built in the early 1940's), a shotgun is too much bulk to maneuver around with. The only possible (non-NFA) exceptions would be a coach gun or "stake out" style shotgun. A handgun fits my in-house needs better.

EDIT: For clarity.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:13:09 PM EDT



Originally Posted By flyfishnepa:




that's why there's the judge, a shotgun/handgun combo



best of both worlds





If you're shooting rats & snakes...



For shooting people, the only effective load the Judge has, is the regular handgun one...



Even .410 slugs don't get moving fast enough out of that short barrel to achieve sufficient penetration...





 
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:13:46 PM EDT



Originally Posted By Cpt_Kirks:




I ALWAYS point a novice to a shotgun, either a single shot or a pump.  





And they will never shoot it.  Handguns are "cool" enough that even novice shooters like to take them to the indoor range on occasion, in addition to being good self-defense weapons.  Self-defense shotties often aren't very good for trap or skeet, and shooting them at an indoor pistol range is pretty pointless.  Much better for them to have something they will use, enjoy, and learn from than a shotty that will sit in a closet, unmaintained, for years at a time.  



 
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:15:22 PM EDT



Originally Posted By RayGunz2:


I think it has to do with a small handgun being more mobile/carryable/concealable for personal defense.  Self defense is not for only "at home" applications.  If a person is getting only one gun, the shotgun is not versatile enough.


That sums it up pretty good.



 
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:15:25 PM EDT
For someone who has no firearms familiarity, and has no plans to get any, I would recommend a break open double barrel 12 or 20 guage. If my liberal democrat in laws ever move into the country, that is what I would buy them.

For someone with no firearms familiarity but wants a handgun, then it would be a revolver, probably .38.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:15:40 PM EDT
My mom, who is 75 and has never owned a gun, decided she wanted a home defense weapon last year. I gave her a 38 special snubby DA for christmas because it is easy to handle and will go boom everytime.  Yes, a shotgun is an excellent HD weapon but for a smaller lady it can be difficult to handle.  She doesn't feel as comfortable dealing with one.  Me and my brother had her comfortable with her handgun in an afternoon of shooting and I also bought her range lessons to get even more comfortable with it.  Comfort with a weapon is key IMO.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:16:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/20/2010 4:17:55 PM EDT by Blivalbloval]

To hell with the ability to conceal the weapon doesn't come into the picture. It sure does. I know I don't answer door without a pistol in my belt and I don't know who it's going to always be. And I don't want them to know I'm armed. I can't count the number of times there was some loud bang to be investigated whether inside or outside to only find it was the pets late at night with a pistol in my hand or belt because it's the easiest have with me at all times. It's the most easy to manuever with in tight spaces also where a shotgun or other long gun can be damn near impossible.

That novice in my experience is likely only going to own one firearm for a while if not forever and a pistol is the most valuable firearm there is in my opinion since you can conceal and carry it with whatever road life takes you. People definitely benefit from training. That's not an argument, but I feel I'd be doing them a disservice for someone wanting a defensive weapon and pointing them towards a single shot shotgun or even a pump alone. The pump is certainly the next step to me for a novice though.


Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:18:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/20/2010 4:21:35 PM EDT by Seansworth]
I usually take them to the range and let them play with my guns for a bit, then let them decide where they want to start (shotgun, rifle, or handgun).  Most want to start with a rifle or shotgun and I try to talk them into as small of a round as I can (to start with) that will get the job done.

One guy was determined to start with 18.5" barrel 12 gauge with 3" buckshot and slug loads.  After he bruised his shoulder I showed him where he could buy light recoil birdshot loads to practice with
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:25:35 PM EDT
I'm with you for the most part.  I was introduced to guns with a BB rifle, 22lr rifle, then shotguns, and bigger centerfire rifles.  I had been shooting for 10 years before I bought my first handgun.  There is a lot more to learn with a handgun that a novice without a good mentor can easily pick up.

Even for those saying a handgun is easy to start with, I think a revolver is a better learning tool for fundamentals.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:45:39 PM EDT
I started on handguns and shoot them better than my rifles
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:48:47 PM EDT
a handgun is simply more of a universal weapon than a long arm (easier to conceal and travel with)
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 4:58:51 PM EDT
Not factoring in what they're going to buy, when I'm teaching someone to shoot who has never shot before, I prefer to teach them on a .22 bolt action rifle first.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 5:44:06 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Cpt_Kirks:
Seriously.

WHY in the world does everyone seem to point novice gun owners to a handgun?

I own a lot of handguns.  I am good with them, but I have been shooting for over 30 years.

Frankly, a handgun is the HARDEST firearm to master.  Most firearms novices are looking for a home defense weapon.  The ability to conceal the weapon really does not come into the picture there.

I ALWAYS point a novice to a shotgun, either a single shot or a pump.  No, not because the sound the slide makes turns burglars to jelly.  Because a shotgun is very effective, accurate at room distances and much easier to learn than a handgun.



Because they say they want a handgun and are looking for advice on handguns.  "Have you considered a shotgun for these reasons..." is usually met with 'Yes, and I want a handgun".

They're interested at that point in discussions of safeties, calibers and brand reliability.   Not in being talked into a shotgun.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 6:22:59 PM EDT
A shotgun is generally what I tell people. It's probably going to be the most capability for the price.  The $160 12 gauge Maverick 88 at Walmart is hard to beat for value.  The barrel is a little long, but that can be changed for $0-100 depending on how willing they are to do some sawing.
Link Posted: 7/20/2010 6:58:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/20/2010 6:58:50 PM EDT by VBC]
Originally Posted By mjcOH1:
Originally Posted By Cpt_Kirks:
Seriously.

WHY in the world does everyone seem to point novice gun owners to a handgun?

I own a lot of handguns.  I am good with them, but I have been shooting for over 30 years.

Frankly, a handgun is the HARDEST firearm to master.  Most firearms novices are looking for a home defense weapon.  The ability to conceal the weapon really does not come into the picture there.

I ALWAYS point a novice to a shotgun, either a single shot or a pump.  No, not because the sound the slide makes turns burglars to jelly.  Because a shotgun is very effective, accurate at room distances and much easier to learn than a handgun.



Because they say they want a handgun and are looking for advice on handguns.  "Have you considered a shotgun for these reasons..." is usually met with 'Yes, and I want a handgun".

They're interested at that point in discussions of safeties, calibers and brand reliability.   Not in being talked into a shotgun.


I was going to say that it's because novices suggest handguns for themselves, but I see that's been covered.

Link Posted: 7/20/2010 7:00:06 PM EDT
I've had a hell of a lot more trouble with aperture sights on a rifle than I have a handgun.

Link Posted: 7/21/2010 5:40:50 AM EDT
Like one of the other posters stated a revolver is a good start.  I got one for my Mom, .38.  I want to get her a good shotgun for the house and I think a side by side double would work well for her.  Cleat
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