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Discussion Starter #1
I don't have a handgun at this time and don't know much about them at this time but have shot a friend of mine's and rather enjoy shooting it. Thinking about purchasing one and wonder if you guys have any recommendations. Have gotten a lot of good advice from this forum in the handloading section and hope to get the same here. thanks
 

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Ruger 44 magnum. You'll wish you would have bought one if you by a 357, at least I did. You can shoot 44 specials to get used to it. 5.5 inch barrel.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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What have you shot to date?

By the way, a good .22 rimfire is always the most cost-effective way to learn to shoot a handgun. No substitute for practice.
 

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Cochran,

I have more Ruger handguns than all others combined. Get the Single Six (22 rimfire) and a 44 Mag or 45 Colt Blackhawk. The Single Six will pay for itself in reduced ammo costs. If you're concerned about recoil, get some of the ammo sold for Cowboy Action competition, as they're reduced loads. Enjoy yourself!!

Lobo in W.Va.
 

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Nawth East Moderatah
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Well now...

You leave yourself open to tremendous options!
I'll echo Mike G. in saying a .22 is a good way to start and get real good, but then so is a .38 of any variety. Fun for plinking, great for target work, but the down-side is limited hunting use for both calibers. If'n your going to use it for target/plinking and plan on a little small game/critter hunting, either will work fine.
BUT BEWARE......ONE LEADS TO TONS>>>>>:D

Chris~
 

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What do you want it for? Informal target? Self defense at home? Concealed carry? Makes a big difference. I shoot at an indoor range where people can rent a gun and try it. Narrow your field down a little bit by defining what you want to do and then rent or shoot with a friend who will let you try one. A handgun is a lot like a hat or a pair of gloves: one size does not fit all. Someone who is 5'2" and 105 pounds probably won't appreciate the finer points of a .44 mag; someone who is 6'7" and 245 pounds may not have enough grips to wrap his hands around a little .38 snubbie. Also not all sights work with all eyeballs, I can swear to that one from experience. Once you think you know what you might like to have ask in this forum if anyone has a report good or bad. Good luck & good shooting.
 

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What kind of pistol should I buy ?

Hi,
The answers you have received so far were excellent, but I'd like to add my 2 cents worth.
Semi automatic pistols are interesting. Single action, cowboy-like guns are interesting. Single shot handguns are interesting.
The safest, most dependable, the less complicated and the most fun for a beginner handgunner will be a double action revolver.
The caliber should be one whose ammunition will not cost so much as to restrict your practice shooting it. The more shooting time you get for your dollar will be a .22 long rifle caliber.
I reccomend that you get the best quality double action revolver that you can afford. Check the web sites of Smith & Wesson.com , Taurus. com, and whatever else strikes your fancy. Because every Taurus I ever owned had not been as accurate as the Smith and Wesson, they have all been a lot cheaper !
I recommend a Smith and Wesson, kif you can afford one.
Check other websites selling guns and then decide.
Good luck and Happy Holidays.
csward


:) :)
 

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No one handgun can do it all - you will need several!

Seriously, if I was to only own one handgun it would be a .357 Mag revolver with a 4" barrel. I would chose one made by a quality manufacturer (Colt, S&W, Ruger). That one gun will make a fine defense weapon, you can plink with lighter loads, teach your wife and children to shoot and have a quality handgun that will last several lifetimes. Ammo variety in the .38 SPL and .357 Mag is almost infinate in factory loadings and every little place that sells ammo has .357 Mag in stock.

For myself I would want a .22 in several barrel lengths, a couple of .357's, at least one .41 Mag, 4 or 5 .45 Colts, a 1911A1, ........
 

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I would go with a good (ruger, colt, S&W) 4 inch .357 magnum. My first handgun was a the same, a retired police gun S&W Mod 19, and there are still plenty of these former duty guns on the used market for short money (usually around $200-$250). As other have said, you have the option of shooting cheap, low recoil .38 or knock-down .357s. They are simple to use, and are small enough to carry but not too small to make shooting hotter loads a problem.
 

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I recently purchased a used S&W 617 to add to my collection. I really enjoy this revolver and I seem to shoot the bigger ones better after I set it down. With a .22 you will not develop a flinch or other bad habits, and you can shoot it a ton for almost nothing. You'll improve your shooting alot more at the range than at the loading bench if that is a requirement for you. That said, I've got a couple dozen handguns, all of which see the range at least once a year. My first centerfire revolver was a .357, it's fun to shoot, but very easily mastered in a full size revolver, and becomes a bit boring, buy you'll likely never regret buying one in a quality piece.
 

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Hi Cochran,
Pay strict attention to kciH, because he definately tells you the truth. I agree 100% with him. I've owned every caliber of pistol and every type of pistol that has been made.
The S&W Model 617 is a very fine, very BEAUTIFUL and very accurate pistol that will last you the rest of your lifetime and those of your protegeny. I've mounted a scope on mine and it will shoot 7/16ths of an inch groups at 25 yards ( from bench rest) even with this old man's eyes and body!
Locally, I can buy right now, today, 525 rounds of Remington hollow points for only $8 plus tax ! A box of .38 spl. is now $10 for 50 rounds ! Anyone will be a better shot after they shoot 525 rounds than after shooting only 50 rounds.
Hopefully, you'll live a long, happy and prosperous life and will be able to safely go in any direction ( shooting-wise) and buy any new guns your heart desires and add to your pistol collection.
Unless you live in a ghetto or don't have your fun by entering high crime areas, you won't need much for self protection. But even then, fast and accurate shots from the .22 Long rifle bullets that are well placed will stop any bad guy immediately.
Check out http://smith&wesson.com and peek at the galore of fine pistols--paying attention to the Model 617. Save your money until you CAN afford the best, lufe-long investment you'll ever make.
Merry Christmas and God bless you.
csward
 

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Starter Gun

You got a lot of good advice in the preceding mail but personally after watching many,many new shootistscome and go, I would advise you to start with a 22 and you will more than likely keep one always. Shoot it for at least 6 months and then work your way up in caliber.When and if you do buy a magnum, start with the lightest loads possible and gradually work up to a top end load.By this time you will be or should be reloading. Good luck to you and welcome to a wonderful sport and pastime.----------------------------------------------------------------Old Man Tom----------------------------
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Cochran,

First question to ask is what do you want your handgun to do?
Will it be a target gun? used for deer hunting? or concealed carry? among a huge number of things one can do with pistols.

I'll diverge from some sound advice on .22's. If you're looking for cheap plinking, they're fine. But I quickly learned long ago that they lose much of their initial luster. In my opinion it would be better to get something like a S&W K-frame .38 Special. You can handload or buy ammo that is so light you'll have as easy a time learning as with a .22LR. Then you also have the capability, with the right ammo, to hunt small game, do some serious centerfire target work, and protect you and your family rather well.
 

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HI COCHRAN,
WHAT I DO AND HAVE DONE OVER MY 69 YEARS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS PERSON WHO IS BUYING HIS FIRST HANDGUN.
I ATTEMPTED TO PLACE MYSELF BACK IN TIME AND GIVE THE BEST ADVICE TO THIS NEW HANDGUNNER THAT WOULD HELP HIM MOST.
THERE ARE AS MANY IDEAS OF ADVICE AS THERE ARE ADVISORS. I DIDN'T MEAN TO INVOLVE THE WHOLE MEMBERSHIP OF THE FORUM AND PRESENT THE IMPRESSION THAT I'M BETTER AT ANYTHING AT ALL. AT MY AGE THERE ARE FEW THINGS IN LIFE I'M EVEN PASSABLE AT.
IF I INSULTED ANYONE, I AM DEEPLY SORRY.

CHUCK
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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Chuck, don't sweat it, everyone's entitled to their opinion!

Personally I can't see how ANYONE could function without a Ruger MKII .22, but hey, that's just me. Gotten a few rabbits with my and a rattlesnake once.....
 

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Mike G,
My first handgun of any kind was a Ruger MarkII Target with the 6 7/8" tapered bull barrel, I still own it after 16 years. I've been shooting that gun since I was 15, and I still love it. I'll agree with you on how you can't see how anyone could be without one. The first handgun I bought for my wife was a Ruger 22/45 stainless, now she's hooked. The reason I suggested the 617 is that is is a damn fine revolver, and if your asprirations go further than plinking, revolvers are it (with a few very noteworthy exceptions, if you can fit them in your hand). Don't get me wrong, I love 45 autos, even if they're a 9mm, 38 Super, 10mm :), but revolvers on the whole are where the affordable accuracy and power is. The graduation to more real power, once you actually know how to shoot, will likely steer you towards a revolver. Hence the 617.
 

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HI kciH,
i'm glad that you reinforced my own suggestions to a beginner handgunner.
With few exceptions, i've traded all my blue guns to stainless guns or i'd still have lots of guns that would still be accurate, still be serviceable and dependable after 30 or 40 years.
I hope our advice to beginner handgunners ascross the USA has some effect.

chuck
 

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Discussion Starter #19
thanks!

Many thanks to all who contributed on this thread. I purchased a used Ruger Mark II, stainless with target sights. It is a "slab side". Don't know much more about it but do know I went through my first 100 rounds with it in no time!! Had a blast and even got the wife to shoot it and I think will get her to shoot it again!! She is not a fan of handguns. Once again, thanks for the advice. The plan is to just shoot this as much as I can and wait at least 6 mos. before I decide to whether or not to puchase a larger cal. I do think as many said, however, I will likely have this little gun for the duration. Seems like a well built unit and fun as heck! john
 

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WHICH ONE

HI COCHRAN,
AM GLAD TO HEAR FROM YOU. AM GLAD YOU BOUGHT THE SAME, EXACT MODEL THAT I HAVE. MINE CAME WITH A RUGER, BLUED, SCOPE MOUNT BUILT INTO THE REAR SIGHT. I HOPE YOU GOT THE SCOPE RINGS WITH THE GUN. A SCOPE IS NOT NECESSARY FOR SHOOTING AT 25 YARDS AND MAYBE OUT TO 50 YARDS WHEN SHOOTING AT POP CAN SIZED TARGETS. BUT IF YOU WANT TO, AFTER YOU HAVE MASTERED BREATH CONTROL, FINGER-BRAIN CONTROL, ETC...AND YOU WANT TO SHOOT 4 INCH GROUPS AT 100 YARDS WHILE AIMING AT TARGETS NO LARGER THAN SIX INCHES, YOU'LL FIND A SCOPE MOST HELPFUL. THERE ARE MANY PEO0PLE WHO DO NOT EVEN REALIZE THAT SMALL GROUPS WHILE AIMING AT SMALL TARGETS ARE EVEN POSSIBLE. I'M HERE TO TELL YOU THAT THEY ARE POSSIBLE ON WINDLESS DAYS AND THAT DOING SO WILL GIVE YOU GREAT SATISFACTION.
AM GLAD YOU ARE GOING TO SHOOT A LOT. DON'T BOTHER CLEANING YOUR GUN UNTIL YOU BEGIN TO EXPERIENCE ONE OF THE FAMOUS FAILURES: FAILURE TO CHAMBER, FAILURE TO EXTRACT, FAILURE TO EJECT OR FAILURE TO FIRE.
IF I CAN BE OF FURTHER HELP OR YOU JUST WANT TO TALK, I'M HERE ON THE FORUM.
CHUCK
:)
 
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