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Posted: 1/31/2006 9:03:58 PM EDT
I am often asked, by those interested in aquiring the means and ability to defend themselves, what pistol they ought to buy first. To address this, we must first define the mission and the requirements of the weapon.

The mission is for personal self defense and use in training. It must be ergonomically suited to the user, safe, reliable, have sights and a trigger that are usable, as well as be chambered in a caliber suitable for self defense. This means 9mm caliber or larger.

For the sake of brevity I will skip the discussion of revolvers. Due to their limited capacity, slow reloads and long, heavy trigger pull, I think that revolvers are poor choices for beginning shooters.

On the matter of calibers, I personally find no use for the .40 caliber pistol round. It is, in my opinion, a combination of the worst attributes of the smaller 9mm and larger .45 caliber rounds. Its noise and recoil are more abbrasive than that of either of the other rounds, the capacity is not on a par with the 9mm nor is its ability to incapacitate a man on a par with the .45 (although it is close). On a technical note, .40 caliber is loaded hot and there is no other common caliber that is as likely to suffer case failure and resulting damage to the weapon and users hands. Also, as a matter of safety a range, school, safe or collection that lacks .40 caliber ammunition has a slight safety advantage over those that have all three of the common defensive calibers. A 9mm may be chambered in a .40 and fired, and a .40 may be chambered and fired in a .45. Both of these will result in, at a minimum, a firearm that is rendered inoperable until the chamber can be cleared of the failed case, and possibly with injury to the shooter and the destruction of the firearm.

Because of the difficulty involved in accurately firing a double action first shot, I will not recommend DA pistols to novices. I recommend only two action types. I use only two action types. The single action auto and the Glock Safe Action* striker fired auto. My personal preference is for the Model 1911. I find the ergonomics, trigger and controls to be incredibly well suited to my hand and shooting style. I also shoot Glocks from time to time, and I find that the grip angle is less than complimentary to me, but the guns work, and work, and work. The Glock is, out of the box, one of the most reliable pistols ever made.

So, my recommendation is this: A new shooter should go to a range and rent a Kimber or Springfield Armory 1911 in .45 and a Glock 19 in 9mm. Shoot 50 rounds through both, return the rental, walk over to the new guns under the glass and purchase whichever one fit your hand better.

On the subject of training. As Colonel Jeff Cooper famously said, "A man is no more armed for haveing a pistol than he is a musician for owning an instrument." When, if ever, you need to defend your life with a firearm, you will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training. Your fine motor skills will disappear, and you will rely not on the fine concentration that you can summon to operate your pistol on the range, but on whatever muscle memory you have developed with your weapon. To operate effectively in a gunfight, you must be trained. While many, many people have survived lethal encounters without training, they are walking the earth only because their oponents were no more trained, or they were just plain lucky. It is the responsibility of all armed citizens to learn to safely and effectively utilize their weapons.

The ideal solution is to seek out an "away school." The best training is aquired at overnight shooting schools, where you have use of their ranges, "kill-houses" and other facilities. The second best is to attend a traveling class at a nearby range. For these, I recommend the following instructors and schools: Pat Rogers of EAG Consulting, Jeff Gonzales of Trident Concepts, Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, and Tactical Response of Camden, TN. Lastly, if you cannot afford the time or money required for the first two options, you should at least seek out NRA training at a local range or gun club. This is usually only a few hours to a day long, and concentrates mostly on saftey, rather than tactics or mindset.

I cannot overestimate the importance of training. If you attend a course, you will have the same epiphany that I did when I first received instruction. Whatever you thought you new about shooting, there is always more to learn. I learned more in five days than I had in the decade before.

Peripherals: I learned a while back the importance of accessories. A weapon is not useful on its own. It is part of a weapons system. You need good quality ammunition, a strong belt (1" or greater leather, up to the 1 3/4" Wilderness nylon instructors belt) to hold your sidearm effectively. You need a good holster. This is where a lot of people go wrong. A $500 gun does not belong in a $5 holster. Uncle Mikes Nylon is to be avoided. I recommend products from Lou Alessi, Milt Sparks and, if you must have kydex/plastic, then Blade Tech. Expect to spend at least $100 on a holster and belt. Also, buy at least one, if not two mag pouches. You should always carry a spare magazine. While you are unlikely to ever need to reload in a civilian gunfight, the possibility cannot be ruled out. Also, if you must clear a malfunction, it is possible that you will lose control of and drop your primary magazine. You should have a second one ready and immediately insert it. Also, buy a good flashlight. I like SureFire products. I carry an Aviator or 6P everywhere, even in airports. If you are on a budget, the G2 Nitrolon is a high quality, no frills flashlight.

If you buy a Glock with the regular, non-night sights, you need new ones. The plastic ones are delicate and eventually tend to deform and fall off. I like Yost-Bonitz Glock sights, but if you want night sights the Heinie Straight Eight sights are excellent.

Shoot a lot. Uncle Sam might have his little nephews shoot 10,000 rounds before they go to Iraq. Uncle Elmo thinks the 20 rounds it took him to sight his deer rifle in last year was way too much. A serious shooter should fire his weapon at least once a month, several hundred rounds in a session, using all techniques and manipulations learned thus far, if he is to keep his skills. In order to improve, you should shoot weekly, at a minimum, and try to fire 1,000 rounds a month. I know this sounds like a lot. It is. Nobody ever said this gun thing would be easy or free.

Back to training. It does no good to practice skill that you have not perfected. Whoever said "practice makes perfect" was wrong. Practice makes permanent, perfect practice makes perfect. However you do it in training, you will do it in real life. If you jerk the trigger and don't look at the front sight when you shoot paper bad guys, so you shall do the same in the a gunfight.

I feel that I have pontificated on the matter enough for the time being, so I shall leave this as it is. If anyone wants to reproduce this, feel free to but don't pass it off as your own. Questions, comments and corrections may be sent to me and I will address them.

*Safe Action is a registered trademark of Glock, Inc.
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 9:05:35 PM EDT
Mods, may I suggest a tack and a lock?
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 9:11:46 PM EDT
I couldnt agree more with what was written in your post. Good work.
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 9:15:04 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/31/2006 9:16:30 PM EDT by Combat_Jack]

Originally Posted By Msokol13:
I couldnt agree more with what was written in your post. Good work.



I was bored and thought I would try to get ahead of the noobs questions
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 9:21:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Msokol13:
I couldnt agree more with what was written in your post. Good work.



+1

Link Posted: 1/31/2006 9:24:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/31/2006 9:25:15 PM EDT by Colt_SBR]
Very good advice. Thanks.



___________________________





Link Posted: 2/1/2006 2:21:45 AM EDT
Outstanding
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 7:14:09 AM EDT
While I agree with the need for training and can't find fault with any of the recommended trainers and training centers, I feel that your pistol recomendations are way off.

Some people just don't want to master the manual of arms for a semi auto handgun. For someone keeping a pistol in the bedside table, a revolver is as maintenance free as it gets. Add a speed loader and you already have over four times the number of rounds expended in the average shootout.

On the subject of round count, and before the SHTF crowd jumps in on this, the primary use of a pistol is to fight your way to your rifle, (or shotgun if so inclined). If six rounds don't make you feel safe, maybe a high cap auto is for you.

The recomendation of 1911 or Glock just dosen't take into account all those people that don't like single actions or Glocks. Sig is in business for a good reason. So is S&W, H&K, Beretta, and CZ. I personally can't shoot a plastic pistol well, no mater who made it.


Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
For the sake of brevity I will skip the discussion of revolvers. Due to their limited capacity, slow reloads and long, heavy trigger pull, I think that revolvers are poor choices for beginning shooters.

Because of the difficulty involved in accurately firing a double action first shot, I will not recommend DA pistols to novices. I recommend only two action types. I use only two action types. The single action auto and the Glock Safe Action* striker fired auto. My personal preference is for the Model 1911. I find the ergonomics, trigger and controls to be incredibly well suited to my hand and shooting style. I also shoot Glocks from time to time, and I find that the grip angle is less than complimentary to me, but the guns work, and work, and work. The Glock is, out of the box, one of the most reliable pistols ever made.

So, my recommendation is this: A new shooter should go to a range and rent a Kimber or Springfield Armory 1911 in .45 and a Glock 19 in 9mm. Shoot 50 rounds through both, return the rental, walk over to the new guns under the glass and purchase whichever one fit your hand better.


Link Posted: 2/1/2006 7:55:50 AM EDT
I agree on the revolvers. They are reccomended far too often as a first handgun. Modern semi autos such as the GLOCK, Kahr, and XD are as simple to operate as a revolver, as well as offering more capacity, better concealability, and less recoil/muzzle flip. Quick reloads with a revolver would be a nightmare for an inexperienced shooter. It takes a great deal of practice to manipulate a speed loader quickly under stress.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 8:46:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sgt_Gold:
While I agree with the need for training and can't find fault with any of the recommended trainers and training centers, I feel that your pistol recomendations are way off.

Some people just don't want to master the manual of arms for a semi auto handgun. For someone keeping a pistol in the bedside table, a revolver is as maintenance free as it gets. Add a speed loader and you already have over four times the number of rounds expended in the average shootout.

On the subject of round count, and before the SHTF crowd jumps in on this, the primary use of a pistol is to fight your way to your rifle, (or shotgun if so inclined). If six rounds don't make you feel safe, maybe a high cap auto is for you.

The recomendation of 1911 or Glock just dosen't take into account all those people that don't like single actions or Glocks. Sig is in business for a good reason. So is S&W, H&K, Beretta, and CZ. I personally can't shoot a plastic pistol well, no mater who made it.


Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
For the sake of brevity I will skip the discussion of revolvers. Due to their limited capacity, slow reloads and long, heavy trigger pull, I think that revolvers are poor choices for beginning shooters.

Because of the difficulty involved in accurately firing a double action first shot, I will not recommend DA pistols to novices. I recommend only two action types. I use only two action types. The single action auto and the Glock Safe Action* striker fired auto. My personal preference is for the Model 1911. I find the ergonomics, trigger and controls to be incredibly well suited to my hand and shooting style. I also shoot Glocks from time to time, and I find that the grip angle is less than complimentary to me, but the guns work, and work, and work. The Glock is, out of the box, one of the most reliable pistols ever made.

So, my recommendation is this: A new shooter should go to a range and rent a Kimber or Springfield Armory 1911 in .45 and a Glock 19 in 9mm. Shoot 50 rounds through both, return the rental, walk over to the new guns under the glass and purchase whichever one fit your hand better.





In my experience, new shooters have a difficult time shooting double action revolvers accurately, and the reloading procedure is hard to master. The problem I have with capacity is probably subjective. In my simunitions experience I fired eight shots to keep the hostile role player down. There were two more that I didnt have ammo for. Things like that occur in the real world too.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 9:36:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2006 9:37:39 AM EDT by triburst1]

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
In my simunitions experience I fired eight shots to keep the hostile role player down. There were two more that I didnt have ammo for. Things like that occur in the real world too.



Yep. I hate it when people say "if 5/6/8/ rounds won't do it, you need to practice more." I think these people are assuming a single assialant standing still and waiting to be shot.

I carry a minumum of 35 rounds on my person for my primary weapon.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 9:40:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By triburst1:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
In my simunitions experience I fired eight shots to keep the hostile role player down. There were two more that I didnt have ammo for. Things like that occur in the real world too.



Yep. I hate it when people say "if 5/6/8/ rounds won't do it, you need to practice more." I think these people are assuming a single assialant standing still and waiting to be shot.

I carry a minumum of 35 rounds on my person for my primary weapon.



+1

when our store got robbed a couple of yrs back (strong arm, through the front door, rifle present) there were 3 bad guys...better to have too much ammo than not enough
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 10:13:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ALPHAGHOST:

Originally Posted By triburst1:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
In my simunitions experience I fired eight shots to keep the hostile role player down. There were two more that I didnt have ammo for. Things like that occur in the real world too.



Yep. I hate it when people say "if 5/6/8/ rounds won't do it, you need to practice more." I think these people are assuming a single assialant standing still and waiting to be shot.

I carry a minumum of 35 rounds on my person for my primary weapon.



+1

when our store got robbed a couple of yrs back (strong arm, through the front door, rifle present) there were 3 bad guys...better to have too much ammo than not enough



Definately. I live in a small college town with a fairly low crime rate. A year and a half ago, three masked, armed robbers ran into the Taco Bell about 9:00 PM. Not only did they rob the registers, they made all of the customers and employees go in the back and lay face down on the ground. That's a tough situation, even more so with nothing but a J-frame in your pocket or an 8 shot .45 on your belt.

This was right after a college ball game, and I was in the Hardee's a block away getting some carry out when it went down. Now, I have no intention of putting my ass on the line for the what's in the till at a fast food place, but I would not be rounded into the back and put on the floor to lay there and hope I wasn't executed.

If I was forced into that type of situation, I would be damn glad for the 16 rounds in my pistol and the 19 or 33 round spare mag.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 10:36:41 AM EDT
I couldn't agree with you more Combat Jack.

This is boma, you and a bunch of other helpful members replied to my newbie gun thread on ranking which brand of pistols.

I
I finally went to the range yesterday with an experienced shooter (60 year old with many guns; grew up with guns).

He spent a couple hours at his house showing me several semi-autos and a revolver and all the details to them, as well as safety measures and the differences.

It was different when I finally got a chance to shoot at the range.

I was scared when I shot the .22 the first time (ruger euro style pistol). Later I shot the 9mm (springfield xd), .40 (springfield xd), and .45 (1911) . I also shot a .38 special and .357 magnum out of a smith & wesson revolver.

I know alot of people say get the revolver, even the guy I was with said that if you don't want to learn how to shoot and take the time to learn all the features of the semi auto, then the revolver is the way to go.

Of course I'm the person that doesn't mind learning and training. Guns are already becoming a new hobby for me even though I still don't own a gun yet.

You are so right about what you said Combat Jack, at least in my case.

The 22 ruger was a fun gun. I asked my teacher to take the first shot so I could see how loud and how much recoil it had. It scared me at first, but I found it was easy to shoot and had almost no recoil. It became more evident after I shot the other calibers. her
Then he loaded and gave me the S&W revolver with 38 specials. I could shoot the revolver in single action fine, but the hard and long trigger pull in DA turned me off. It was a good gun still, no doubt.
I then shot .357 magnums and It kicked more but barely.

Then I shot the .40 cal with a springfield xd. Nice gun. The recoil to me was about the same as a 9mm. I would like to add that all the guns I shot were not sub-compacts. They were at medium in size. I could feel the added power of the .40 cal and to me recoil was a sign of power, not something meant to scare me.

Lastly I shot my teacher's 1911 .45. I shot a kimber 1911 and another brand (i forgot). Very strong gun. But again I couldn't tell much of a difference in recoil and loudness between the 9mm, .40, and 45. ( I was wearing ear protection of course) The 1911 was a single action I think (meaning the trigger pulls are equal all the way)? My teacher also had a trigger job done that lightened it. I really liked that gun alot. Easy trigger pull, strong power, yet the recoil was about the same as the 9mm, and .40.

To be honest, I liked all the guns I fired and respected all of them. Even the .22 ruger. I couldn't pick a clear victor.

I will most definately get a semi-auto with a safety. I didn't get to shoot a glock, but I am positive I want an extra safety now (besides trigger). I am 100% sure I would want a single action (or striker fired) gun.he
The 9mm, and .40, .45. 38special, and .357 magnum had about the same recoil and loudness. Atleast I couldn't tell a difference.

I'm just a 5' 6 and a half inch guy that weighs 141lbs. If I could shoot the .45, anyone can.

My hits on the target were far from perfect, but atleast I hit the paper! I even got a few bullseyes!!!

Training and practice is important. You can't train right if you don't have an experienced shooter helping you out. He thought me the importance of breathing, not anticipating, and just letting the gun recoil. I learned not to fight the recoil. Of course I'm still a newbie, but I learned so much from spending 7 hours with an experienced shooter.

Link Posted: 2/1/2006 11:09:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By triburst1:

Originally Posted By ALPHAGHOST:

Originally Posted By triburst1:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
In my simunitions experience I fired eight shots to keep the hostile role player down. There were two more that I didnt have ammo for. Things like that occur in the real world too.



Yep. I hate it when people say "if 5/6/8/ rounds won't do it, you need to practice more." I think these people are assuming a single assialant standing still and waiting to be shot.

I carry a minumum of 35 rounds on my person for my primary weapon.



+1

when our store got robbed a couple of yrs back (strong arm, through the front door, rifle present) there were 3 bad guys...better to have too much ammo than not enough



Definately. I live in a small college town with a fairly low crime rate. A year and a half ago, three masked, armed robbers ran into the Taco Bell about 9:00 PM. Not only did they rob the registers, they made all of the customers and employees go in the back and lay face down on the ground. That's a tough situation, even more so with nothing but a J-frame in your pocket or an 8 shot .45 on your belt.

This was right after a college ball game, and I was in the Hardee's a block away getting some carry out when it went down. Now, I have no intention of putting my ass on the line for the what's in the till at a fast food place, but I would not be rounded into the back and put on the floor to lay there and hope I wasn't executed.

If I was forced into that type of situation, I would be damn glad for the 16 rounds in my pistol and the 19 or 33 round spare mag.



FWIW, if you are ever held at gunpoint and moved to a second location, like a freezer or bathroom, the fight is ON. Statistically speaking, that movement is a very good indicator of an execution about to commence...
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 11:24:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2006 11:34:27 AM EDT by triburst1]

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:

Originally Posted By triburst1:

Originally Posted By ALPHAGHOST:

Originally Posted By triburst1:

Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
In my simunitions experience I fired eight shots to keep the hostile role player down. There were two more that I didnt have ammo for. Things like that occur in the real world too.



Yep. I hate it when people say "if 5/6/8/ rounds won't do it, you need to practice more." I think these people are assuming a single assialant standing still and waiting to be shot.

I carry a minumum of 35 rounds on my person for my primary weapon.



+1

when our store got robbed a couple of yrs back (strong arm, through the front door, rifle present) there were 3 bad guys...better to have too much ammo than not enough



Definately. I live in a small college town with a fairly low crime rate. A year and a half ago, three masked, armed robbers ran into the Taco Bell about 9:00 PM. Not only did they rob the registers, they made all of the customers and employees go in the back and lay face down on the ground. That's a tough situation, even more so with nothing but a J-frame in your pocket or an 8 shot .45 on your belt.

This was right after a college ball game, and I was in the Hardee's a block away getting some carry out when it went down. Now, I have no intention of putting my ass on the line for the what's in the till at a fast food place, but I would not be rounded into the back and put on the floor to lay there and hope I wasn't executed.

If I was forced into that type of situation, I would be damn glad for the 16 rounds in my pistol and the 19 or 33 round spare mag.



FWIW, if you are ever held at gunpoint and moved to a second location, like a freezer or bathroom, the fight is ON. Statistically speaking, that movement is a very good indicator of an execution about to commence...



Exactly.

If I saw them coming through the door with weapons drawn and they announced themselves, I think I would have taken cover and started shooting right away. Entering in a take over style indicates a proclivity for violence, and a good chance of assaulting/searching the patrons. If they frisk you and find your weapon, there is a good chance you would be shot. You have a better chance against mutliple assailants when they are in a tight group at the door instead of waiting until they hand spread out and take control the entire room. Also, they would not likely be expecting to be fired on as soon they walk in.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 11:51:30 AM EDT
Great post. However, I wouldnt rule out trying a Browning HiPower as a first handgun either. Superior single action trigger + hi capacity 9mm firepower.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 11:57:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2006 11:58:17 AM EDT by triburst1]

Originally Posted By CFII:
Great post. However, I wouldnt rule out trying a Browning HiPower as a first handgun either. Superior single action trigger + hi capacity 9mm firepower.



Hi-Powers are nice, but I had to spend quite a bit of $$$ to get a good trigger pull.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 12:06:44 PM EDT
Please stop with the Hi Powers and revolvers. If someone asked you what car to buy would you tell them a 1935 Plymouth was the only way to go?

G
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 12:15:15 PM EDT
I only really see one problem with your choice of a 1911 for a first time shooter and that is that some people may be intimidated with the disassembly/assembly.

My first gun was a Walther P99 and after 2 tries I could break it down and reassemble it in literally seconds. That is the kind of assembly/disassembly you want in a first timer. The 1911 on the other hand took me quite a while to figure out exactly how to work it. Now through practice I'm able to do it plenty quick but it does take some getting used to.

Aside from that, gotta say that was a quality write-up!
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 12:15:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2006 12:16:32 PM EDT by npd233]
Revolvers are not good for beginners or for self defense?

Malfunction drill:

PULL TRIGGER AGAIN!


Link Posted: 2/1/2006 12:19:01 PM EDT
I can't agree with the gun advice, but I do totaly agree with the training part.

Link Posted: 2/1/2006 12:45:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2006 12:47:57 PM EDT by SGB]
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 12:51:26 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SGB:
I wonder how many of those giving advice are qualified to train new shooters? Being able to shoot and being able to teach shooting are two vastly different things.

........... and yes I teach, professionaly.



I don't teach profesionaly(I am an NRA certified instructor though), but I do teach new shooters a lot and I work with shooters who are experianced and they still learn something from me so that must mean I'm teaching it in a way that it makes sence and they understand.

Link Posted: 2/1/2006 12:58:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2006 1:02:24 PM EDT by HardShell]
Well-written and well said, IMHO. (Esp. re: training.)


Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
... So, my recommendation is this: A new shooter should go to a range and rent a Kimber or Springfield Armory 1911 in .45 and a Glock 19 in 9mm. Shoot 50 rounds through both, return the rental, walk over to the new guns under the glass and purchase whichever one fit your hand better...



While there is no "one (or two) size fits all" solution IMO, a first-time could do far, far worse... and untold many have.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 1:01:10 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 1:10:50 PM EDT
Fantastic post brother. This is the kind of stuff I come to gun sites to read. Top notch recommendations on instructors as well , by the way.

The problem with posts like these, is that a lot of what was written here will only become clear after actually taking some professional training from someone as esteemed as the gentlemen you listed above. Not to say that this is a wasted effort by any means, quite the contrary. Concepts like shooting a thousand rounds a month were impossible for me to fathom until I actually got some schooling. Most people just don't know how to shoot a few hundred rounds in a session. After learning a fwe drills, it's pretty easy. Once someone understands that the road to self defense has barely begun after buying a pistol, they are ready to consider taking the next step. This article lays it all out.

Very well written.

2IDdoc
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 1:14:44 PM EDT
It has been one of my continuing goals is to teach 4 or 5 new people to shoot every year. I plan to be a state certified CCDW trainer this year.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 1:31:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2006 1:36:47 PM EDT by SGB]
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 2:03:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2006 2:06:13 PM EDT by NoAim]
While I don't agree with all your points (ammo, pistol selection, etc.) I very much agree with your emphasis on training.

However, the "several hundred rounds per session" is a bit excessive. I noticed the other day as I was doing some dry fire, that my hand just "wore out". I couldn't get the DA completed with a single hand. Add on top of this the noise, recoil, and general fatigue and you have the shooter starting to practice bad habits.

I personally feel that about 4 mags/month is sufficient to keep your skills in place. That's about 60-70 rounds.

Otherwise good write-up.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 2:12:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By HardShell:
Well-written and well said, IMHO. (Esp. re: training.)


Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
... So, my recommendation is this: A new shooter should go to a range and rent a Kimber or Springfield Armory 1911 in .45 and a Glock 19 in 9mm. Shoot 50 rounds through both, return the rental, walk over to the new guns under the glass and purchase whichever one fit your hand better...



While there is no "one (or two) size fits all" solution IMO, a first-time could do far, far worse... and untold many have.



I just find it easier to recommend two quality weapons systems to someone, compared with sorting through a huge list of them and saying "this one works, this one jams a lot." It seems that 90% of shooters pick either a 1911 or a Glock anyway. What weapon a new shooter picks has nothing to do with what they shoot later. I started on Glocks and then to HKs, finally settling on 1911s.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 2:14:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SGB:
I wonder how many of those giving advice are qualified to train new shooters? Being able to shoot and being able to teach shooting are two vastly different things.

........... and yes I teach, professionaly.



I never tried to teach professionally, but I have seriously improved som peoples shooting on a pro bono basis. Besides, the concepts in there are not exactly mine, although the wording is. This is a compilation of advice that I have been given in the past two years, and refined through my own trial and error. It is not perfect, but it is better than half of the crap floating around the internet.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 2:14:48 PM EDT
I think revolvers are an excellent choice for teaching new shooters, especially females. It is damn hard to get someone interested in firing a gun if they have a hard time charging the weapon and then have to go through the entire manual of arms that an auto pistol requires.
If someone is really really into learning then fine, start them with whatever, but if the interest is mildy and you want to concentrate on enjoying their first trip to the range so as to get them hooked, then make it fun and easy. Worry about the advanced stuff later.
I.E. it is best to learn to crawl before you walk.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 2:19:27 PM EDT
Good post, SGB.

While I am not an instructor by any means, being in the same peer group as Combat_Jack, I have often noticed that my guests usually lack the grip strength to adequately control a .45 and flinching quickly sets in. I let them shoot 9mm instead (cheaper for me too). I would prefer they shoot a .22, but I don't have one.

I strongly agree that being a good shooter and being a good teacher are two very different things. I've taken classes, shot a bit, and can even regurgitate some of the 10-8 lingo, but I know better than to pass myself off as an authority on shooting. I will sometimes offer advice to my guests, but I always make it very clear to them that they should seek a qualified instructor.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 2:22:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2006 2:29:02 PM EDT by ASU1911]
There are several schools of thought on how to select a handgun for a new shooter. I come from the perspective that a 9MM is just fine. Stand on the three yard line, adopt a proper position and commence firing, concentrating on the front sight, trigger press, and follow though.

I do not like revolvers. Since I don't even own one, I find them absolutely irrelevant.

As to high round count sessions. There is a point where you have reached maximum. Firing more will not help. This is perhaps 200-250 rounds during a normal practice session, for me. When I want to really work on different skills or concepts, I can drag that out to about 800 or so before I start to wear out.

Picking the handgun is relatively important, because many people will end up with 3 or 4 pistols that don't work, as opposed to one that does. A solid 1911 or Glock 19 is perfet for the new shooter. I have a problem with DA Autos. They bring no advantage to the table. they were designed in the days when the military carried its handguns unloaded. Since a well trained individual can be counted upon to carry a Condition One pistol, DA is an obsolete feature, and one that complicates learning and using. Reference Paul Howe's article for a discussion on proper triggers for social encounters.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 2:57:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GaryM:
I think revolvers are an excellent choice for teaching new shooters, especially females. It is damn hard to get someone interested in firing a gun if they have a hard time charging the weapon and then have to go through the entire manual of arms that an auto pistol requires.
If someone is really really into learning then fine, start them with whatever, but if the interest is mildy and you want to concentrate on enjoying their first trip to the range so as to get them hooked, then make it fun and easy. Worry about the advanced stuff later.
I.E. it is best to learn to crawl before you walk.



The intended audience was motivated people.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 3:00:36 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Vinh:
Good post, SGB.

While I am not an instructor by any means, being in the same peer group as Combat_Jack, I have often noticed that my guests usually lack the grip strength to adequately control a .45 and flinching quickly sets in. I let them shoot 9mm instead (cheaper for me too). I would prefer they shoot a .22, but I don't have one.

I strongly agree that being a good shooter and being a good teacher are two very different things. I've taken classes, shot a bit, and can even regurgitate some of the 10-8 lingo, but I know better than to pass myself off as an authority on shooting. I will sometimes offer advice to my guests, but I always make it very clear to them that they should seek a qualified instructor.



For the record, I will not pretend to be an instructor. Note that I did not address shooting techniques at all, merely told the audience what equipment to take to gun school. People come here and ask questions, and the people that are here to answer them are not the people who run the classes, but rather the students. If I can pass on some of the things I have been taught, perhaps it can help someone.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 3:11:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By NoAim:

I personally feel that about 4 mags/month is sufficient to keep your skills in place. That's about 60-70 rounds.




Aie I could never shoot just 4 mags/month! I usually shoot 200-250 rounds per session (1-3 times/month). Which takes about hour and 1/2 to 2 hours. That is unless I'm going out with some friends and I'll bring more.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 3:44:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2006 3:46:53 PM EDT by MonkeyGrip]
Why have you not recommend USPSA and/or IDPA? Not as a replacement for handgun defense classes (which are most important), but as a valuable way to gain gun handling and shooting skills as well as tons of gun knowledge through direct interaction with defense oriented, experienced shooters?

Our local Sherrif's dept. has, and recently stated to our USPSA group that the added skills aquired through USPSA helped in a recent defense shooting incedent.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 3:53:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MonkeyGrip:
Why have you not recommend USPSA and/or IDPA? Not as a replacement for handgun defense classes (which are most important), but as a valuable way to gain gun handling and shooting skills as well as tons of gun knowledge through direct interaction with defense oriented, experienced shooters?

Our local Sherrif's dept. has, and recently stated to our USPSA group that the added skills aquired through USPSA helped in a recent defense shooting incedent.



A better solution is a motivated training session, with an RO that ensures all weapons manipulations and tactics are combat oriented. There is a wide chasm between what IPSC has become and the way that you should train to fight. Best thing to do is get a group of guys that you know and run your own drills, preferably sopmewhere where you won't get hassled by range nazis.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 4:11:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MonkeyGrip:
Why have you not recommend USPSA and/or IDPA? Not as a replacement for handgun defense classes (which are most important), but as a valuable way to gain gun handling and shooting skills as well as tons of gun knowledge through direct interaction with defense oriented, experienced shooters?

Our local Sherrif's dept. has, and recently stated to our USPSA group that the added skills aquired through USPSA helped in a recent defense shooting incedent.



I personally haven't participated so I am not qualified to speak on that matter. I do plan on getting involved sometime this year though, probably in IDPA.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 4:31:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By sysfailur:

Originally Posted By NoAim:

I personally feel that about 4 mags/month is sufficient to keep your skills in place. That's about 60-70 rounds.




Aie I could never shoot just 4 mags/month! I usually shoot 200-250 rounds per session (1-3 times/month). Which takes about hour and 1/2 to 2 hours. That is unless I'm going out with some friends and I'll bring more.



I do 400-600 roundws a month and go at least once a week.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 6:05:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2006 6:06:16 PM EDT by jollyroger]
Good post Jack.

Thanks for the input SGB, posts like these are much appreciated and useful...even to experienced shooters.

Link Posted: 2/1/2006 6:10:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By glock23carry:
Please stop with the Hi Powers and revolvers. If someone asked you what car to buy would you tell them a 1935 Plymouth was the only way to go?

G



Only? No. I said its a good pistol. Great, in fact. And with a bit of work its downright superb.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 6:31:19 PM EDT

Originally Posted By CFII:

Originally Posted By glock23carry:
Please stop with the Hi Powers and revolvers. If someone asked you what car to buy would you tell them a 1935 Plymouth was the only way to go?

G



Only? No. I said its a good pistol. Great, in fact. And with a bit of work its downright superb.



I love Half powers. Never shot one though. I have dry fired them quite a bit, and the stock trigger is abhorent. I also tend to get my hand between the frame and the hammer.

When I have Ted build me a Half Power, hopefully next year, it will have his trigger work and beavertail.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 6:43:38 PM EDT
Bah....you fuckin kids these days...where you ever got the idea that.....a lot......grumble....

<­BR>




Hey, shit...I agreed with 100% of this post. What are the odds of that??


Good job, CJ. One or two more like that and Someone might let you Write An arTicle for publication.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 7:44:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By glock23carry:
Please stop with the Hi Powers and revolvers. If someone asked you what car to buy would you tell them a 1935 Plymouth was the only way to go?

G



And a 1911 is ok? That's another 24 years earlier.

Good post combat jack. I'm not sure I agree 100% with your pistol selection either but you can't really go wrong with those two. It does depend on the shooter though. My wife cannot pull back the slide of a 1911. She can on my Beretta. Probably could on a glock too I would imagine.

I agree with starting them on a .22, at least for the first session. Or first part of the first session.

ASU1911, what does a DA/ SA action have to do with not being loaded? They're designed so that they can be loaded for carrying. Just like any of the other pistols. You lost me on that one. I understand why people don't like that first DA pull though.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 8:20:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JJREA:
ASU1911, what does a DA/ SA action have to do with not being loaded? They're designed so that they can be loaded for carrying. Just like any of the other pistols. You lost me on that one. I understand why people don't like that first DA pull though.



That little fucker thinks just like me, so I know what he meant to say. Until the advent of double action autos, most autopistols in military service were carried unloaded. DA autos came about as a "safety feature" to allow military men to carry their weapons fully loaded. That should be a training issue, but the military has trouble bringing its pistol shooters up to proficiency. Especially in the 1930s and 1940s.
Link Posted: 2/1/2006 9:20:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/1/2006 9:21:45 PM EDT by Combat_Jack]
.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 5:50:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MonkeyGrip:
Why have you not recommend USPSA and/or IDPA? Not as a replacement for handgun defense classes (which are most important), but as a valuable way to gain gun handling and shooting skills as well as tons of gun knowledge through direct interaction with defense oriented, experienced shooters?

Our local Sherrif's dept. has, and recently stated to our USPSA group that the added skills aquired through USPSA helped in a recent defense shooting incedent.



Because those are games.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 7:44:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/2/2006 7:52:48 AM EDT by MonkeyGrip]

Originally Posted By photoman:

Originally Posted By MonkeyGrip:
Why have you not recommend USPSA and/or IDPA? Not as a replacement for handgun defense classes (which are most important), but as a valuable way to gain gun handling and shooting skills as well as tons of gun knowledge through direct interaction with defense oriented, experienced shooters?

Our local Sherrif's dept. has, and recently stated to our USPSA group that the added skills aquired through USPSA helped in a recent defense shooting incedent.



Because those are games.



The only thing that's not "a game" is real life gun-play which is almost non-exsistant even for LEOs and miltary. All there is is "games". By offering no alternative to readily available USPSA and IDPA you are by default advocating a "DO NOTHING" approach to defense training. No game is perfect, but play you must. I'd feel safer if everyone with a handgun took some good defense training classes AND participated in USPSA or IDPA for a year or more.
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