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First handgun suggestions?

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by electricpainter, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. electricpainter

    electricpainter Vancouver, Washington New Member

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    I'm interested in buying a handgun but i'm not sure exactly what to get. I have a few things in mind, but i'm not sold on anything. I'm looking for something cheap and reliable that will be good for a first gun. Thanks for you suggestions in advance!
     
  2. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner You'll Never Know Well-Known Member

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    How Cheap? Generally speaking, Cheap and Reliable don't go well together. My recomendation would be a Colt or Springfield Armory 1911 in .45 ACP.
     
  3. M67

    M67 NW Oregon Active Member

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    Do you have experience with handguns?
    Do you prefer revolvers or auto's?
    What calibers would you be interested in?
    How much would you be willing to spend?

    If you know people with handguns, see if you can go shooting with them, to see what you like.

    If you don't have friends that shoot, there are ranges that rent handguns, for you to try.

    A bit more information, will help you make a choice best suited for you and give us an idea of what you are thinking of.
     
  4. greedy bastards

    greedy bastards Multnomah Village New Member

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    I couldn't agree more vehemently. Others have their preferences but go with what feels good in your hand and $ ammo for shooting might be a factor for you.
    Is it to obtain CHL?
     
  5. Sun195

    Sun195 Pugetropolis, WA Well-Known Member

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    Find a range that rents handguns and shoot as many as you can afford to shoot. It's a good investment to see what you like and don't like.

    For some variety, I'd try whatever .22lr semi-auto they have available (maybe a Ruger), a 4" .357/.38 revolver (S&W or Ruger, shooting .38's to start), a 9MM striker-fire-type handgun (like a Glock or M&P), a double-action handgun (Beretta or Sig Sauer) and a single-action 1911 (in .45acp, any brand they've got). That'll give you a good tour of what's out there, and from there you can zero-in on caliber that you like and other subtleties.

    Good luck - let us know what you get.
     
  6. keb4

    keb4 Sherwood, OR New Member

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    Ruger P95. Comparatively cheap and, in my experience, extremely reliable.
    I have often considered selling it to fund something else, but I can't bring myself to do it. It was my first handgun and it just means too much to me....even though I now have so-called "better" guns to choose from.
     
  7. drew

    drew OR Well-Known Member

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    What are you looking to do also? Plinking? A .22 is great. Self-defense? Look at a larger caliber. Sun's advice is a good start.

     
  8. jluck

    jluck Really,Really, Close to Newport Oregon 97365 Voted #1 Member

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    First handgun?....

    I'd look at something like a Taurus nine shot double action .22 revolver. Great fun, cheap to shoot and easy to hone skills with.
     
  9. Heidland

    Heidland SW Washington Active Member

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    First question: do you know which eye is your sight eye? That's pretty important for shooting.

    Second question: are you right or left handed? While it isn't all that applicable to handguns a lefty shooting a handgun that ejects casings to the right can be a bit of a pain (from experience)

    Once you've asked and answered those for yourself, follow the recommendation above: go shooting with friends or visit a range where you can rent different weapons to try them out. If you're a complete newby I'd stick away from any .45 ACP unless you have some fairly good forearm and upper body strength already. Try some .22, .380, or 9MM. My first handgun (many moons ago) was the Taurus 92F 9mm and it was a great first sidearm.

    Remember that revolvers and semi-autos behave very differently, so try both and see which works better for you.
     
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  10. drew

    drew OR Well-Known Member

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    I can shoot with either hand but some pistols designed for right-handed use are cumbersome to use left-handed because of how the safety, mag release, and other controls are oriented.
     
  11. raindog

    raindog Portland, OR Active Member

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    Wow...mine would not. And I love 1911s. I wouldn't recommend a 1911 as a first handgun. They're wonderful but finicky, take more work to maintain, require more knowledge (multiple safety w/SA trigger vs. something like a Glock), etc. And frankly you can get a gun just as (or more) reliable for a lot less money. Quality 1911s (Kimber, Springfield, Colt) are $1000 guns...Glocks are $500 guns.

    Again, nothing against 1911s...love 'em...but it's like saying someone's first car should be a Corvette when maybe a Cavalier would fit their needs.

    OP, what is your purpose in owning? Concealed carry? Home defense? Fun at the range? Bear defense? Hunting? That will determine.

    Sun's advice is excellent. Try one in each major category.

    My own preference for a first handgun would be a Glock if you are looking for a semi-auto. Easy to maintain, very simple to shoot, legendary reliability, available in common calibers, etc.
     
  12. iamme

    iamme Lane County Well-Known Member

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    I pretty well agree with this. I LOVE 1911's- but I think there are better options to cut your teeth with.
    Find what fits you well then go with your choice revolver or any of the standards- Glock, M&P, etc

     
  13. electricpainter

    electricpainter Vancouver, Washington New Member

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    This is a plinking gun for me. Just something for fun. I have experience with handguns, but have never owned one yet. I'm not a big fan of revolvers. I've been looking at getting something low caliber cause they're cheap to shoot. Not so much self defense.

    Also my budget is around 300 dollars. Again not looking for something "amazingly reliable" or anything. Something fun for a low price and easyish to maintain.
     
  14. jluck

    jluck Really,Really, Close to Newport Oregon 97365 Voted #1 Member

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    Browning Buckmark .22.
     
  15. bax

    bax Portland New Member

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    Ruger and Taurus make good inexpensive handguns. We have used both and are happy. Be aware that Ruger does not have a written warranty with a new gun. That said, they are really good at fixing any problem.
     
  16. civilian75

    civilian75 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    + 1 on the Buckmark.

    Or a Ruger MkII, or SR22.

    Avoid imports. Buy American.
     
  17. Iceman04503

    Iceman04503 Portland, or Active Member

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    My first handgun was a ruger sr9c. I still have it and its still my cc gun. Ive bought, used, and sold p238, 1911, sr22, shield, sw9ve and some others but I still have my sr9c after 2000+ rds and it still shoots like a champ.
     
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  18. electricpainter

    electricpainter Vancouver, Washington New Member

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    Thanks a ton for the info guys. I'll take a look at the Buckmark .22. I'm heading to the Expo center gun show on the 15th in portland, oregon. Hopefully i find something! Any portland/vancouver residents have idea on how the turn out is with one of those shows?
     
  19. blankman32k

    blankman32k Peoples Republic of PDX Member

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    Hi, I have been going through this in the last few months so maybe I can give some perspective that folks who have been handling guns for years have forgotten.
    Years ago I had a Ruger Mark II 22 (a pretty nice plinker) and a Tarus 92 (a full sized military handgun with external hammer and safeties). I sold these as a condition when I married my Quaker ex-wife.
    After going to gun shops to handle guns and reading, I decided to get a .22 that was patterned off of other higher caliber guns. For example a .22 1911 if I wanted to get a .45 1911. Other .22s seem to have very different controls for racking in rounds, safety and general operation. There are a lot of great training .22s and I selected a S&W M&P .22. It pretty much handles and works like the higher caliber M&Ps and has almost no recoil. When shooting, I could focus more on safety and handling. I took me awhile to introduce and practice good handling skills. (I'm still learning on every outing).
    Later I went with a friend to the Clackamas County Shooting Center. These guys there are great. Even though I had been handling guns in the stores, there seemed to be a lot of attitude towards a newbie and not a lot of patience. "How can you not know how to de cock a 1911?" The Center has the full spectrum of rental guns and the staff will really work through each one to ensure that you can work the controls. They also keep an eye on you on the line and are quick to point out any infraction. In short, a very good, controlled place to be. After an hour with a 1911, I knew that was not the gun to start with. Way too much involved in decoking the gun. I also like a gun where I can see the hammer and instantly tell its condition without having to squint to see an indicator of some type. The gun I seemed to like the most was my friend's sig 229. I really liked the decoking lever, it had a hammer and the gun just felt very intuitive to operate. Stopped by the store on the way home and bought one that afternoon. I felt like working up to the defensive gun, gave me the knowledge and insight to make the choice that was right for me.
    Since then I have been an active learner. I have been going to the range at least once a month, watching a ton of different Youtube videos, reading some books and took a great class at Oregon Fire Arms Academy. As I said, I am learning something new all the time. My future plans are to take a couple more classes, join a club and develop a circle of like minded shooting friends.
    I do plan on getting that 1911 and a M&P 40 but I am really glad I cut my teeth on the .22 and the Sig 40. I’ll be much more ready to deal with the complexities in operating a 1911 and carrying a hot Glock/M&P.
    Hope this experience helps. Cheers
     
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  20. mud

    mud brush prairie, wa Member

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    ruger 95 is a great gun not just for the price but all around but english pit rents guns sells ammo you need to call ahead to get guns on site look at web site pick a few your intrested in test drive them the right one is one you can hold well,controll well, and you can depend on. for me p95 nobrainer you dont see alot of used ones getting sold cause there worth alot more than they cost