Newb in need of all sorts of help...

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by 1984, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. 1984

    New Member

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    Please help out a newb who is excited and eager to get into handguns but knows just about nothing about them and not even sure where to start. Any guidance is greatly appreciated. I have been to a gun range a total of 3 times with 3 different friends where i have shot 9mm and 45.

    I have had some great desire to get a gun on my own but never really put an actual effort into it. Recently, i have purchased a new house and during summer i find myself doing certain activities where i wouldnt mind to carry.

    About 3 weeks ago i have applied for a concealed permit(which is yet to come in). Few of my friends have offered to take me back to the gun range and give me an intro so to speak but perhaps i would like some professional help. One of those friends is fairly experienced(from his military days and armed security work) so i could use him to take me under his wings or take a class or maybe you have something else to offer?

    One of the classes i been looking into is offered at Kenmore gun range called NRA Basic Pistol(link: <broken link removed> )
    What do you think of this class? Perhaps suggest a different classes, i'd like to stay North of Seattle.

    Also, what and why would be a good first carry gun? Should i buy a used or brand new as a first gun?

    Is it OK to buy online or stick with a local store? What are some good online sites to buy from?
    So far, i have checked out but it appears most of the sellers on there would require me to still work with someone that has an FFL(is this common practice and how would i find someone with an FFL)?

    Any cons to buying from a private party? What if any issues could i have from buying privately?

    Sorry to write a novel here but thats where i'm at as of now.

  2. oknow

    amboy wa.
    Well-Known Member

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    well you covered a couple good points, first you should get some training. fiends are good but they will pass on some habits that are not always good. the best thing to do is to find an instructor or a school to get the basic's then you will have a better understanding to some of your questions. as to the question about the kind of gun to get the best thing to do is o go to a gun show or a few (more the better) gun stores and handle a bunch of guns, you will find a lot of them are a no way some will be an yeaaaa kinda and a very few will be wow this fit's great then you have thinned the selection a bunch then some info from the training will help you on your decision on which one will work best for you. but the most important thing is to get training and more training.
    you will have a couple good schools n of Sea.
    good luck and have fun.
  3. PX4WA

    Tacoma, WA
    Active Member

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    Stick with a local store..

    Outdoor emporium has a good selection...

    A good carry is one you are comfortable with...

    Factor in external safety or no safety... Also budget matters as you need to leave money for a thousand rounds of ammo so you can get used to shooting your gun... 9mm is cheaper
  4. mjbskwim

    Well-Known Member

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    Get to one of the rental ranges over there and see what gun fits you best.
    Don't get hung up on one caliber until you have shot abunch and can make that determination some what intelligently.
    Caliber is less important than having a gun you can shoot well consistently.

    Good luck
    Izzy and (deleted member) like this.
  5. pdxPope

    East Multnomah Co. (the DMZ)

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    M, I would offer some advice (and it's worth exactly what you paid for it): get a decent .22 semi auto first.
    Learn how to shoot it well, clear malfunctions, clean it, etc... Put several thousand rounds through it and get comfortable and competant in gun safety and handling before you jump into the 'deep end' of carying and operating a compact or sub-compact, larger caliber pistol. Meanwhile, learn as much as you can about different manufacturers, calibers, bullet designs, action types, etc.. And shoot anything and everything you can get your hands on.
    Make an informed decision when the time comes to take the next step.

    I would highly recomend a professionally taught class, also. Range time with your buddies is great, and it's one of the reasons why we all enjoy shooting, but it's easy to pick up someone else's bad habits when you are just starting out.

    As far as purchasing; stay local. Better customer service (usually) plus it's hard to test fit a gun over the internet. There have been several guns I have been interested in over the years, until I actually had one in my hand (Browning Hi-Power, I'm talking to you!). Also, any transaction that crosses state lines, or goes through a business MUST involve an FFL (Federal Firearms License) holder. So anything you are interested in on one of the online gun sites will require this.
    You can find an FFL that will do the 'transfer' of the gun at any gunstore and many pawnshops. They will charge a fee for this, in addition to the shipping and background check. Figure spending an additional $25-$75 for something you get online.

    mjbskwim and (deleted member) like this.
  6. Tim K

    Tim K

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    This is excellent advice, and precisely what I have advocated to many new shooters in your position. It's going to take many thousands of rounds to become proficient, and a .22 will let you get that practice affordably. In addition, the reduced muzzle blast and recoil will allow you to concentrate on the two fundamental skills of sight alignment and trigger squeeze.

    If you choose carefully, you can find a .22 that will also serve well as a carry gun until you feel competent with a centerfire pistol. Remember, a high powered miss is useless. A well placed shot from a .22 is often a fight stopper. You can always transition the .22 to a backup role if your local regulations allow carry of two weapons.

    Make sure whoever teaches you actually knows what they are doing. It will be difficult for you to evaluate your friends capabilities, so I'd echo the poster above and recommend at least one intro class from a certified instructor.
  7. 1984

    New Member

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    Thank you all that responded. You have given me some additional ideas. Those of you in Seattle area(forget the North Seattle part) where would be a good place to go to get that 'professional' help?

    Here is whats offered by Kenmore gun it good enough?

    NRA Basic Pistol
    A 14-hour class in basic pistol safety and marksmanship. Approximately 1/2 of the class consists of live-firing on the range. Firing will be done with .22LR pistols.

    Upon successful completion of the class the student will know:

    The 3 Rules of Gun Safety
    The Nomenclature and Parts of the 3 Different Types of Pistols
    Pistol Shooting Fundamentals
    Cleaning and Safe Storage of Pistols
    Recreational Opportunities Available

    This two day class is conducted on the second Saturday and Sunday of each month from 9:30am to about 4:30pm each day in the Pistol Range classroom and on the range.

    Cost: $75.00 per student. Course fee includes use of firearms, ammunition, eye and ear protection.

    Students under the age of 21 MUST be accompanied by their parent.

    Required Materials: a bagged lunch each day. You may bring your own .22LR pistol if you wish.

    There will be an opportunity for students to fire larger caliber pistols upon successful completion of the class.

    Quick Edit: Called Kenmore folks and they all booked thru April...
    mjbskwim and (deleted member) like this.
  8. ATCclears

    North of Seattle
    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Intro classes can be found at Kenmore, Shooting Sports NW in Bothell, and Insights in Factoria.

    Don't be afraid to ask questions here either. You might search the forums first, but never be afraid to ask.

    On a pistol, as mentioned try several. Find the one that YOU shoot best and meets your needs. You can rent at Wade's in Bellevue, Shooting Sports NW in Bothell, and more. Call and ask.

    mjbskwim and (deleted member) like this.
  9. 1984

    New Member

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    Kenmore class booked all the way till gotta find something different..

    I been to a store there in Mill Creek and held buncha guns, i never mentioned that but the plan was to find the gun that fit me first before i bought it.

    Thanks for the input.
  10. 1984

    New Member

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    We can skip the class part now...i registered for one @ InSight...this one here

    Basic Handgun Safety & Responsibility
    $215 per student

    New! This class is now available in a three-part series taught on three consecutive Wednesdays from 7PM until 10PM.

    Join the thousands of students who have gotten a safe and responsible introduction to firearms training from InSights Basic Handgun class. This hands-on gun safety class is a good mix of shooting and information, conducted in a fun, supportive environment. Whether your goal is gaining solid knowledge of safe firearms handling or preparing to purchase a handgun, Basic Handgun Safety & Responsibility will give you the information you need.

    In this class you will learn to handle handguns safely, load and unload them properly, shoot accurately, understand the laws concerning their use and ownership, and make a more informed decision as to whether you want to own a firearm.

    Basic Handgun Safety & Responsibility should be considered a minimum for anyone who owns a firearm or lives in a household that has firearms. Teenagers are welcome if attending with an adult.

    Subjects Covered:

    Gun Safety - The proper way to handle a handgun, loading and unloading a gun safely, and storage of a firearm in the home
    Marksmanship - The proper way to hold a gun, aligning the sights, and pressing the trigger
    Familiarization with Different Types of Handguns - Students will be able to shoot a variety of handguns in different calibers (both semi-automatics and revolvers)
    Handgun Maintenance - Disassembly, cleaning, and safe storage
    Washington State Law - Ownership and possession, transportation, and concealed carry permits
    Justifiable Self Defense - When is a gun legal to use in self defense, use-of-force considerations, dealing with the police after a self-defense confrontation
    Angie, mjbskwim, ATCclears and 3 others like this.
  11. nwwoodsman

    Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer

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    A .22 was once the preferred gun of hitman due to the way it bounced around the inside a mans head, destroyed the brain and usually didn' leave an exit wound. Too small a round to be a viable option for self defense. Also the preferred caliber of a 12 year olds first rifle, squirrel hunters, and 43 year old guys who want a tactical rifle but can't afford an AR15. Ruger makes a good .22 pistol but it's only effective on chipmunks and beer cans.
    .380, also referred to as the 9 mm kurz is a popular CCW round due to it's light recoil and and the fact that a lot .380 pistols have a high carry capacity. If you carry a .380 you will be on the receiving end of many homophobic and chauvinistic insults. Only women carry .380 because it's no more deadly than being slapped by a daisy. Bersa makes an accurate and reliable .380 for under $300 but lately the Ruger LCP has been popular even though it's accuracy starts to deteriorate after 3 ft.
    9mm is the most popular concealed carry round. Routinely carried by law enforcement and it's also the NATO standard. More CCW's availible in 9mm than probably any other caliber. But you need something bigger because the 9mm just doesn't have enough stopping power like the 40S &W
    40 S&W is kind of an obscure round. Some people claim that it has more stopping power than the 9mm, some people would prefer you insult their grandmother than to make such a claim. While not the NATO standard the DHS just purchased 460,000,000,000 rounds of 40S&W so they can shoot down women and children when they resist being loaded into rail cars made at Gunderson to ship us all off to FEMA run concentraion camps in expectation of the New World Order coming into power.
    The .45acp has more stopping power than all of the before mentioned rounds. It is known for it's use in the ever popular and historically significant 1911, dating back to World War 2. It was so poplular with members of the military as a combat weapon that when the army tried to transition away from it in the 60's, many resisted. It's extremely reliable and accurate, however it's also outdated and it'd be easier to haul a cinder block around in your holster.
    The .45 Long Colt.......Forget it. You're not John Wayne.
    The 500S&W is the largest mass produced handgun on the market available today. It is larger round and has more stopping power than any of the other guns mentioned. It is popular in Montana, Wyoming and Alaska for it's ability to stop Grizzly bears. However you also need arms that rival the size of a Grizzly bears arms in order to manage the recoil. It would be an adequate means of stopping an armed criminal and is easily concealable with a 2 inch barrel.
    My conclusion is that the only reasonable CCW for any new gun owner is the 500S&W
    Squidly, pdxPope, yurik and 3 others like this.
  12. Mikej

    Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer 2017 Volunteer 2018 Volunteer

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    One thing I don't think was mentioned.....A mistake the wife and I made when we got her FIRST gun. We thought inexpensive and small, mistake! A small carry gun makes a poor gun to learn with. A small gun is harder to be accurate with. A small 9mm gun has a bite. A small inexpensive ($350.00) is likely to be double action only, it takes a fair bit of practice to shoot accurate with DAO.

    For me the most pleasurable guns to target shoot with are a full size 1911 a full size CZ 75 in .40, and a 4" .357 revolver, all three guns are all steel. Once you get the feel of you fire arms THEN get a CC gun and practice with it too.

    The wife took a all day class here in PDX, it made a WORLD of difference, and was well worth the money spent! I'm glad you signed up, you'll come out with new knowledge and confidence.

  13. 1984

    New Member

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    Visited a few stores, held about 10 different guns so far. Some of them fit my hand better than others but i havent shot any of them yet. Will wait to do shooting after my class.
    nwwoodsman and (deleted member) like this.
  14. Blitzkrieg

    Well-Known Member

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    I'd recommend a high quality 9MM of some sort for your first handgun. Ammo is cheaper than larger calibers and that means you'll shoot a lot more. Recoil is less so you will hit better. As suggested go to a range that rents and try a Glock 19, a Sig Sauer, a Springfield polymer and so on. I would not recommend a Browning Hi Power or 1911 for your first semi auto (single actions)

    .22s are small game and plinking rounds.. they have little stopping power and many attackers don't even realize they were hit until afterwards.. imagine what they can do to you in the meantime. 9MM +P is the lowest power primary carry caliber in an auto. They can get the job done with the latest hollowpoints such as Speer Gold Dots. Later you may want a more powerful gun like many of us that moved up

    Take a firearms safety course (many ranges offer them) and yes the NRA class is a good idea afterwards

    Finger always off the trigger unless you are going to shoot

    All firearms should be considered loaded and you never, ever , ever point it at anything you are not planning to shoot. This includes sweeping others or yourself at any time. This takes practice. I would recommend you buy a similar airsoft pistol and practice not sweeping, at home
  15. Mrand55


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    As pdxPope stated, my advice is also worth what you're paying for it and I think you'll find this out as you shoot more and get more experience, you probably won't want to spend much time or money on a .22 pistol. While they are cheap to shoot and good to learn on, from what it sounds like you want the handgun for (home protection, CCW, target shooting) I would look seriously into atleast a 9mm. I relate it to boating in a way, if you start off with a 16', it'll be fun for a little while but you'll soon wish you went a little bigger but like I said, just my opinion. Good luck to you on whatever you decide and good for you for signing up for a training class.

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