First handgun?


November 14, 2004, 09:45 PM
I am planning on aquiring a first handgun pretty soon, and since I'm on a pretty tight budget (Thinking about a cheap AK too) I need something pretty cheap. What are your recommendations for a first revolver? What length barrel is long enough to give a good sight radius but still be concealed if necessary (age at which I can legally conceal is a bit far off, but you never know) Caliber is widely open, but preferably more potent than .38 spl.

Thanks in advance!

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Ala Dan
November 14, 2004, 10:06 PM
Tight (restricted) budget = one 4" barrel Rossi 971, blue steel w/adjustable
target sights. Price = $279.88 + sales tax. Weapon is NIB.

Lots of good used, but not abused S&W's running around in about the
same price range; give or take $25 either way.

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

November 15, 2004, 01:08 PM
How about a Taurus in .38 special? I know you said "more potent"--Taurus handguns will take 38+p, which is decent firepower.

My first firearm was a Taurus Model 66 in .357 Magnum, which set me back a whopping $159 (retail) nearly 20 years ago. I'd recommend that handgun to anyone. I have no idea what they sell for these days--probably about double, though.

A 4" barrel should give you enough length to practice to respectable accuracy. It got me started okay.

November 15, 2004, 04:17 PM
Any Smith and Wesson Mod 13, 19, 65, 66, 581, 681, 686 will deliver a .357 mag in 3 or 4". Good all round mid sized guns that will carry in a pinch and still be accurate on the range. ( Bear in mind that it will be acompromise both ways.) A .357 will also allow you to practice with (cheap).38 special and shoot .357 when needed. You should be able to get something decient in the $250+/-$50 range. Be Safe and Stay Legal

November 15, 2004, 04:44 PM
Is a Taurus in +P .38 special as powerful as a 9mm or what else might it be compared to? drf

November 15, 2004, 07:09 PM
Read the "checking out a used revolver" post then go around to nearby gun shops and describe that you are looking for a first revolver and trying to get an idea of what is out there. Look at their used inventory. Even if you wind up buying new it will be good experience. Don't be afraid to ask if there is anything that came in and is not out yet. I got a like new 4" GP100 for $265 a couple of years ago. And don't think you have to buy the first nice example you see, there are always good deals out there. Take your time and see what fits.

The 38 spl is plenty powerful. especially if you are new to shooting. Get a good pistol and spend extra $ on ammo and maybe a lesson or two. Once you get an idea of what you like and don't you will be able to make a better choice on your next gun. I too bought a used Taurus Model 669 (66 with full shroud) for @$170. It is a nice gun. If you find a nice one give it a try. I have also seen some nice 3" GP100 police trade-ins at gun shows for $225 and 4" for a little closer to $300. I believe the new Rossi's are built by Taurus which would make them a good buy at the above listed price.

Good Luck,


November 15, 2004, 07:27 PM
As age is a problem then no need to consider concealment (nothing is going to change in that aspect). Not knowing your experience I would suggest you try shooting all the various calibers. By saying more potent than the .38sp leaves a lot of room on the power chart. You need to know what you can and can't handle right now. Just by reading how you wrote the post you are going to be quite surprised when you actually touch off certain rounds. A .38sp may be exactly what you need right now.

November 15, 2004, 08:16 PM
The only problem is that I can't see myself buying a .38 spl when I could just buy a .357 magnum and use .38s in it. I just don't see the advantage of buying a dedicated .38. Anyway, thanks for the responses and keep them coming!

November 19, 2004, 08:41 PM
You have to be 21 to buy a handgun from a FFL holder, is what I heard.....

November 19, 2004, 09:29 PM
Yeah, you have to be 21 to buy from an FFL.
Private transfers of handguns to individuals over 18 are perfectly legal, barring separate state laws, of course. Which basically means you can go to a gun show and pick up a revolver but you can't buy one from a shop. Messed up, no?

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