Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Site Notices
Posted: 7/1/2004 1:13:54 AM EST
I've been shooting bolt action .22's and AR-15s for a while, and I'm considering purchasing a handgun in the next 6 months or so, and I'm not really sure what I should be looking for. I don't want to spend too much money on it (under $500 at least, preferably under $400). Most of my time shooting is spent target shooting at the range, and where I live (Woburn, MA) I can't get a concealed carry permit.

I was thinking about a Springfield 1911 GI, but those can't be sold into MA (consumer protection bull), and I saw that glocks have a trigger pull length of 0.5", which seems a little long.

Any suggestions? Also, do you know of any books that provide a good overview of handgun shooting [because the state-required training course was useless]?

Thanks.
Link Posted: 7/1/2004 4:57:15 AM EST
I'd personally start with a .22. If you like the 1911 style pistol, see if the Colt 1991A1 is approved in your state. Well made, and not a whole lot more green than the springfield. Then add a ciener or marvel .22 adapter. Voila! Two guns in one. A .22 to play with and a .45 for when you're ready. Check out the NRA online store for some excellent marksmanship guides.
Link Posted: 7/1/2004 5:03:33 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/1/2004 5:08:09 AM EST by Bear_B]
For the price range you are mentioning your best bet would be a Springfield XD. It comes in 9mm, .40 cal, .357 SIG and later ths year in .45 GAP.

They come in Compact (3 inch), Duty (4 inch) and Tactical (5 imch).

I own the Tactical 9mm myself and LOVE this gun. Its not great for ccw due to the length of the slide, but I shoot it at local matches. This is one GREAT shooting pistol, and has won over MANY Glock fans. Just take a look around at even some of the threads here.

I paid 450.00 for mine brand spanking new in the box. I have got around 1.5 K rounds thru it in a 7 or 8 week time frame without a single hiccup or malfunction. And with the inexpensive prices of 9mm practice ammo its a GREAT range gun. I also like the idea of the Lifetime Warranty.

If you want something a little bit less expensive than that try any one of the Ruger 9mm series... also great range guns.

As are the Taurus 92/99 series (based on the Beretta design). Not a great carry pistol due to its size and weight, but Taurus also has a lifetime warranty, and is less expensive than most others. Especailly used.

Of course the CHEAPEST pistol going is the Hipoint. Usually priced at less than 200.00, (but still has the lifetime warranty), its pretty much the cheapest thing going. But, like one person said, Hipoints are like FAT CHICKS... Lots of fun until your buddies see you with one. I have had occasion to shoot a Hipoint at the range. It shot well enuf for range purposes, and didnt give me any problems. Just WAY too big for ccw. But they do have kind of a cool space age look to them.

You may also want to consider the Walther P22. I have one, and once I figured out you need hi vel ammo for it to shoot properlyl, its a LOT of fun. Winchester Wildcat 22lr, and Federal Lightning lr, both can be had at wal-mart for less than 1$ a box. This nice little pistol can usually be had for just over $200.00.

Since you said it was not for carry purposes, and price was the primary concern, I belive any of these pistols would serve you well.
Link Posted: 7/1/2004 5:05:19 AM EST

Originally Posted By wolffie:
I'd personally start with a .22. If you like the 1911 style pistol, see if the Colt 1991A1 is approved in your state. Well made, and not a whole lot more green than the springfield. Then add a ciener or marvel .22 adapter. Voila! Two guns in one. A .22 to play with and a .45 for when you're ready. Check out the NRA online store for some excellent marksmanship guides.



Very true but not likely to be found for the under 400 price he is looking to spend.
Link Posted: 7/1/2004 5:05:46 AM EST
I've helped two newbies this week shooting hand guns for the first time. Without fail both pulled all their shots below the paper after the first shot with the ceterfire handgun (anticipating the recoil, "flinch"). This isn't the first time I've introduced a newbie to handguns and it isn't the first itme I've seen the pulling shots low problem. I always start them out on a .22 and then go to the centerfire to show hitting things w/ a handgun isn't quite as easy as they make it look on TV.

Learning the basics of sight alignment and trigger control doesn't need to be complicated by learning to conquer a flinch at the same time. Start with a .22. It may not be as cool but it will make you a better shooter faster and for less money in the long run.

Kent
Link Posted: 7/1/2004 6:01:01 AM EST
Ruger MKII .22 w/bull barrell is a great target pistol and a fine 1st hand gun.

It was the first one I purchased by myself over 20 years ago and I still shoot it. I have taught more than a few people to shoot with it. .22 is cheap and not recoil to speak of with the bull barrel.
Plus its a fine looking pistol.

Price now I think is less than 300.00
Link Posted: 7/1/2004 6:30:43 AM EST

Originally Posted By u-baddog:
Ruger MKII .22 w/bull barrell is a great target pistol and a fine 1st hand gun.

It was the first one I purchased by myself over 20 years ago and I still shoot it. I have taught more than a few people to shoot with it. .22 is cheap and not recoil to speak of with the bull barrel.
Plus its a fine looking pistol.

Price now I think is less than 300.00



I agree, but I would add that the 22/45 model has the same basic grip as the 1911 so if you are anticipating going that route I'd go with the 22/45 bull bbl. I think they are a bit cheaper too.
Link Posted: 7/1/2004 6:34:35 AM EST
If you want a "real" gun and not a .22lr then I'd pick a good quality 4", .357Mag Revolver, stainless would be a plus. You can load it with .38spl for plinking/training and move up to Mag ammo for serious work. After you're used to shooting a handgun then you can pick up a 1911a1(or which ever semi-auto you like) and still have a good revolver for home defence or teaching others to shoot. You can NEVER go wrong with a good DA Revolver.
Link Posted: 7/1/2004 6:39:01 AM EST
Get a 9mm Glock and practice trigger pull until you don't anticipate the shot. Then move up in caliber if you want (I prefer 9mm though).

Glocks are great guns. You can run over them, drop them, freeze them in blocks of water, soak them in mud, etc. They fire every time.
Link Posted: 7/1/2004 7:00:31 AM EST

Originally Posted By wedge1082:
Get a 9mm Glock and practice trigger pull until you don't anticipate the shot. Then move up in caliber if you want (I prefer 9mm though).

Glocks are great guns. You can run over them, drop them, freeze them in blocks of water, soak them in mud, etc. They fire every time.



Glocks are all that...And more, HOWEVER they are not for Newbies. IMHO
Link Posted: 7/1/2004 10:55:28 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/1/2004 10:55:55 AM EST by u-baddog]

Originally Posted By TNFrank:
If you want a "real" gun and not a .22lr then I'd pick a good quality 4", .357Mag Revolver, stainless would be a plus. You can load it with .38spl for plinking/training and move up to Mag ammo for serious work. After you're used to shooting a handgun then you can pick up a 1911a1(or which ever semi-auto you like) and still have a good revolver for home defence or teaching others to shoot. You can NEVER go wrong with a good DA Revolver.



This is a good point

A Colt .357 was my second pistol purchase. I agree you cant go wrong with a DA revolver but I did grow weary of it when I got a 1911, so I sold the Colt .357.

I still have the Ruger MKII it is still a joy to shoot and teach others with .
Link Posted: 7/1/2004 11:07:08 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/1/2004 11:31:05 AM EST by Green_Canoe]

Originally Posted By u-baddog:

Originally Posted By TNFrank:
If you want a "real" gun and not a .22lr then I'd pick a good quality 4", .357Mag Revolver, stainless would be a plus. You can load it with .38spl for plinking/training and move up to Mag ammo for serious work. After you're used to shooting a handgun then you can pick up a 1911a1(or which ever semi-auto you like) and still have a good revolver for home defence or teaching others to shoot. You can NEVER go wrong with a good DA Revolver.



This is a good point

A Colt .357 was my second pistol purchase. I agree you cant go wrong with a DA revolver but I did grow weary of it when I got a 1911, so I sold the Colt .357.

I still have the Ruger MKII it is still a joy to shoot and teach others with .



I agree with the .357 loaded with .38 specials sugestion. With a 148 gr wadcutter load (target) it recoils only slightly more than a .22 and you have the option of stair stepping up thru mid range loads and then to the magnums. My wifes 2nd centerfire was a GP-100 .357 after we traded in the compact 9mm that fit her hand but gave too much recoil for her. Now after stair stepping the loads she can shoot my 1911 .45 ACP competently.

If you don't think a revolver is cool just look at what Jerry Miculek does with one or read about Ed McGivern or Elmer Keith and what they could do with a revolver.

Kent
Link Posted: 7/1/2004 11:31:27 AM EST
Another plus is that if you're going to get into handloading it's eaiser to police your brass with a revolver. My buddies and I have spent hours looking for our brass when we shoot our semi-autos. No such problem with a revolver, just open the cylinder and dump the brass into a bucket and you're good to go.
Link Posted: 7/1/2004 11:46:40 AM EST
Get a Glock 21. .45ACP, always goes bang. You can depend on it to work when you need it, and it is a low maintenance pistol unlike some of the 1911's on the market in the under $500 range.
Link Posted: 7/1/2004 11:52:42 AM EST
[Last Edit: 7/1/2004 11:54:03 AM EST by HardShell]

Originally Posted By jtw2:

Originally Posted By u-baddog:
Ruger MKII .22 w/bull barrell is a great target pistol and a fine 1st hand gun.

It was the first one I purchased by myself over 20 years ago and I still shoot it. I have taught more than a few people to shoot with it. .22 is cheap and not recoil to speak of with the bull barrel.
Plus its a fine looking pistol.

Price now I think is less than 300.00



I agree, but I would add that the 22/45 model has the same basic grip as the 1911 so if you are anticipating going that route I'd go with the 22/45 bull bbl. I think they are a bit cheaper too.



+1 The 22/45 is a great "primer" for a future 1911 owner IMO.

(Not just grip size/shape/angle, but also control location & operation...)
Link Posted: 7/1/2004 2:27:19 PM EST
Any of the Ruger .22's would be great. They are reliable, accurate and don'd cost a furtune(Well maybe some of the top ones do).

As for lager caliber handguns for a beginner A revolver wouldn't be a bad idea. Something like a Ruger GP100 in 4". Could practice trigger/sight control shooting in double action.

As far as autos go, there are many that are good. I would suggest something like a CZ-75 B. It is inexpensive, accurate, HI caps are easily found and it will last. The XD, glock, Beretta all are good guns as well. Like I said many will fit your needs, and if you get them used they will meet your price as well.
Link Posted: 7/1/2004 3:04:05 PM EST

Originally Posted By Bear_B:

Originally Posted By wolffie:
I'd personally start with a .22. If you like the 1911 style pistol, see if the Colt 1991A1 is approved in your state. Well made, and not a whole lot more green than the springfield. Then add a ciener or marvel .22 adapter. Voila! Two guns in one. A .22 to play with and a .45 for when you're ready. Check out the NRA online store for some excellent marksmanship guides.



Very true but not likely to be found for the under 400 price he is looking to spend.



Well, this is true, I neglected the price ceiling. At that price you'd barely get the Colt. Of course that may be easier to overcome than the fact that "a good carry gun" isn'r really useful for a guy who can't get a carry permit either. OK, so the first thing to do is move out of Kennedytopia.

I could get on board with the afore mentioned revolver idea. A GP100 would be an excellent gun, as would any of a number of Smith and Wessons. Find someone who you trust, who knows guns who can go with you and pick out a good second hand revolver.

There are also several good .22lr revolvers out there that are a lot of fun. I've got a Smith and Wesson 617 that's a LOT of fun! A single six could be a fun gun too. Or a MKII, or a browning buckmark,... Man, I need more money! Point is, there are a lot of fantastic guns that will work as excellent range guns. Just start out with a .22 and move up later.
Link Posted: 9/16/2004 2:57:37 PM EST
Well, I just found own the Colt, Glock, and Springfield Armory are all banned in MA.

Do you guys think that a S&W 9VE or 40VE would be a good choice?
Link Posted: 9/16/2004 3:34:11 PM EST

Originally Posted By Iram:
Well, I just found own the Colt, Glock, and Springfield Armory are all banned in MA.

Do you guys think that a S&W 9VE or 40VE would be a good choice?



If you want to spend $250+ on a gun that you'll only get $125-$150 out of and that'll be broken all the time the yes. Personally, having owned 3 of them and losing a bunch of money when I sold them I'd say NO, don't get either. Keep looking.
Link Posted: 9/16/2004 4:46:14 PM EST
I agree that the NRA is a great source for books and guides.
Semi auto's can be a handfull for the nubie and if you are on a budget ammo can get costly.
If you can't carry anyhow you might as well get a ruger mark II or a buckmark .22LR semi auto.
If you want more bang for your buck, you could get both a .22 semi and a .38 or .357 revolver if you
buy used . There are great deals on used pistols out there. They don't really get worn out or shot out.
I myself am a great fan of the S&W revolvers,pick the frame size that fits your hand,38 or 357 is the smart move for your first.Ammo is reasonable and factory reloads are cheep,if you reload yourself all the better.
I like a .22 revolver but recomend a semi auto for your first .22 pistol
Link Posted: 9/16/2004 4:53:36 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 4:44:17 AM EST
Another vote for a Ruger GP100 .357 revolver. As stated above, .38 spl has absolutely no recoil and is a great, inexpensive training round. Once you feel comfortable with that load, step up to +P, then to full house .357 magnum loads. In general, revolvers are a lot easier to learn on as they tend to have better triggers, and they force you to take a little more time at the range since you can't pop off 15 rounds in 10 seconds. They may not be as "sexy" or cool as a semi-auto, but they are versatile and the .357 is an excellent all around cartridge for home defense, hunting, etc. If you are dead set on an auto loader, I would recommend the Browning 22 or Ruger 22 as an excellent first pistol. Like Green Canoe said, it is definitely not as easy to hit something with a pistol as Hollywood leads you to believe. Start small, focus on fundamentals like sight picture and trigger control, and build your confidence as you move up to larger calibers. Take it from someone that has wasted a lot of money on ammo not taking the time to learn to shoot correctly. Good luck!
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 6:03:32 AM EST
If you want to go with a stainless auto, I would suggest the S&W 4006 and it's variants. Good feel to them, reliable, and are priced about $400 in the used market.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 7:23:19 AM EST
Since this thead is actually 2 and a half months old, I wonder if Iram ever bought a pistol? Iram?
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 10:58:55 AM EST

Originally Posted By kitestir:
As far as autos go, there are many that are good. I would suggest something like a CZ-75 B. It is inexpensive, accurate, HI caps are easily found and it will last.



+1

CZs are nice pistols, and are excellent for the money. They are pretty dang accurate out of the box, and they are reliable. To me, they're like a HiPower style.. they look very nice like a HiPower. Standard cap mags hold 15 and should be very available now that the ban is bye-bye.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 4:14:30 PM EST
I too live in Mass., which means you have limited choices. My suggestion would be to look for a good used SIG 226 in 9mm. Recoil will be a little more than a .22, but with practice is definitely managable. Will also have a gun that you can actually use for self-defense. And it's Mass. compliant.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 5:04:19 PM EST

Originally Posted By Iram:
Well, I just found own the Colt, Glock, and Springfield Armory are all banned in MA.

Do you guys think that a S&W 9VE or 40VE would be a good choice?



Run away.... fast.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 6:24:46 AM EST
I would definitely go with a Glock, its impossible to hurt it without tools or intense heat, idiotproof to use, and will only hurt you if you neglect to demonstrate proper firearms safety.
Top Top