Newbie Needs Advice


Urban Werewolf
July 1, 2005, 04:04 AM

I'm a newbie both to the forum and to shooting in general, but I'm looking to get started and I'm wondering if any of you fine folks would be willing to help me out.

I've gotten some advice on what to look for in a first rifle and/or handgun and some info on average pricing and such. What I'm looking for now is where to go locally. Anyone here live in or near Eugene, OR and could reccomend some good gun shops and or ranges to go to? Anyone else have any random bits of advice they'd like to hand to the new guy? I'd love to hear some thoughts. Thanks in advance.

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July 1, 2005, 04:07 AM
Handgun=Glock 19
Rifle=M1 Garand or AK47

July 1, 2005, 04:16 AM
Some things I've learned over the last few months.

1.) Don't buy a Remington 710!
2.) Don't buy a .40 S&W Glock, They go Kaboom!

Follow these simple things and you'll be alright.

Welcome aboard!

I will recommend the following


Springfield Armory 1911
Kimber 1911
Springfield Armory XD Series
Glock 30 Series


Remington 700 Series (Yes this is very different form the 710)
Savage Arms w/Accutrigger
And Wheatherby seems to make some fine firearms.


Remington 870's
Mossberg 500's
Winchester (don't remember the series)
Benelli (Pretty Expensive, but worth it.)
Beretta (Again don't remember the series)
And last but certainly not least, Browning.

July 1, 2005, 04:36 AM
I second the nomination for Glock pistols, but do try to avoid the .40 S&W ones...according to information I've read, they tend to kaboom quite a bit more than others. I have a Glock 19 in 9mm, and am exeptionally satisfied. In fact, it's on my hip right now.

As for rifles, I'd advise the SKS -- it's inexpensive, semi-auto, very simple to learn, simple to disassemble and clean, very tolerant of new shooters who may not properly maintain it, uses dirt-cheap ammunition, and is reasonably accurate out to 100-200 yards. A fine rifle to start on, if you're looking for centerfire. For rimfire (and everyone needs at least one), I like the Ruger 10/22 -- it's inexpensive, fires the literally-cheaper-than-dirt .22 Long Rifle cartridge, is semi-auto, and has tons of aftermarket parts (I paid for more parts than I did for the gun itself).

I have a Mossberg 500 shotgun, and couldn't be more satisfied. Again, simple, reliable, etc. It has the distinct advantage of having an ambidextrous thumb-safety, instead of one by the trigger guard. As a lefty, this means a lot to me. The loading slot on the bottom also doesn't have the annoying Remington shell-elevator, which would horribly mangle my finger when I loaded shells. :cuss:

Before you buy anything, see if you can rent some of the guns at a local range (many rent shotguns/pistols, not so many rent rifles), or convince some people at the range to let you fire a few rounds through their firearms. This will allow you to get a feel for what you're looking at. Also, take anything said in a gun shop with a grain of salt -- it could be the Best Rifle Ever(tm) according to the shopkeepr, but not fit comfortably with you, recoil too hard, or use uncommon, expensive ammunition. Buy a gun that fits you.

That said, welcome to The High Road, and to the world of shooting. It's really fun, but you must be sure to always follow the safety rules. Start out simple and inexpensive -- I really advise you try out a .22 first -- your skills will improve in time. Crawl before you walk, walk before you run.


July 1, 2005, 04:36 AM
Search function is your friend

July 1, 2005, 05:13 AM
First of all what do you want a gun for? Hunting? Target shooting? Self/home defense?

If you're just starting out, a good .22 rifle is a good starting point.

Cost? How much do you want to spend? Suggesting you get a rifle that costs X, and a handgun that cost Y, isn't much help if you've only got Z numbers of dollars to spend.

Urban Werewolf
July 1, 2005, 05:48 AM
First of all what do you want a gun for? Hunting? Target shooting? Self/home defense?

Potentially all of the above. That and to prepare for the hordes of zombies which I will soon unleash upon the unwitting populace from... damn, shouldn't have said that out loud.

In all seriousness though, guns have become a large part of our world, and knowing that, I want to know about them, how to use them and to have one in the event that it winds up being needed for protection or hunting. I'll be starting out with target shooting and seeing if I enjoy that as recreation, which I've been told I probably will, while I learn about the ins and outs of different styles of guns and their safe operation. From there I might move on to hunting if I find I still have the desire.

As for cost, I'm still unsure how much I'll be willing to spend. It's going to depend on a lot of factors, because I'm not sure how much I'll have open for this in the near future. Though some of the advice I've already been given has helped, I'm always open to more suggestions.

And of course if anything I've said sounds stupid (other than the geeky zombie joke) feel free to let me know. I can handle it. :)

July 1, 2005, 06:20 AM
Welcome to THR

As for cost, I'm still unsure how much I'll be willing to spend

Advice ................

Hide the wallet and credit cards. :banghead:

Guns are addicting! :D

July 1, 2005, 06:26 AM
"Advice ................

Hide the wallet and credit cards.

Guns are addicting!"

LOL!!! So True!!!

cracked butt
July 1, 2005, 06:32 AM
There are many directions you can go.

For starters, I would get a Ruger 10/22 for general plinking/practice/small game hunting. This is a rifle that can grow with your interests as it has a myriad of aftermarket parts available so that you can pretty much turn it into anything from a truck rifle with a folding stock to a precision benchrest rifle.

If you want to do big game hunting I strongly reccommend a bolt action made by winchester, remington, savage, or CZ (not necessarily in that order), like someone else said, stay away from the remington 710. Have it chambered in a popular cartridge like .308, 30-06, or 270 as you won't have to scour the entire countryside looking for someone who sells ammo for it. Later, if you take up handloading, a less common cartridge might become more attractive.

If you just want a centerfire rifle for more firepower than a 10/22 for defense, a SKS is cheap and reliable and AKs aren't too badly priced either.

Remington 870, Mossberg 500, Browning BPS, Ithaca 37- everyone should have a pump shotgun, the first two being the least expensive and more versatile.

Handguns are very personal. Some people like plastic, others like metal.Some like revolvers, others like autoloaders. You need to find this out on your own.

July 1, 2005, 06:44 AM
It depends what you want to do with it... home defense, concealed carry, hunting, plinking... :)

July 1, 2005, 06:58 AM
I would start off with a 22 rifle and a handgun. They're both releativly inexpensive, and shoot inexpensive ammo that you can get most anywhere. You'll be able to shoot at any range that is safe to shoot anything. 22's are great for learning the fundamentals of shooting, and if on the off chance that you don't like shooting, you're not out of a lot of money. They'll also do for defense in a pinch, but certainly are the best tool for that job. The above mentioned Ruger 10/22 is a good starting point for all the reasons mentioned. Personally I like the Ruger 22 pistols too. Revolver or semi-auto would be up to you. 22's also have almost no recoil, another good point for a beginner.

From there, pretty much the sky is the limit. How much money you got?

July 1, 2005, 10:11 AM
I agree on the Ruger 10/22 as a starter rifle. I also agree with the SKS - I have several SKS's and *love* them...easy to maintain and very cheap to shoot. Ammo runs about $90-$110 per 1000 rounds at the local gunshows.

For a pistol, I'd go with a 1911, especially if you're 'new'. Multiple safeties are built in and they're extremely reliable.

For shotgun, the Remington 870 is a great choice - I have the 870 Marine Magnum pump.

Welcome to the shooting sports & be safe!

Dave R
July 1, 2005, 10:29 AM
Anyone here live in or near Eugene, OR and could reccomend some good gun shops and or ranges to go to? To answer this other question...

Sorry, I don't know. Big help, aren't I?

But my standard technique for solving this problem is to look up gun stores in the yellow pages. Or visit "Big Box" sporting goods stores that sell guns if there aren't any gunshops available. I buy a couple of boxes of ammo, then ask the clerk where's a good place to go shoot. And specifically, are there any places to go "out in the desert", or any "improvised" ranges around. Employees are pretty good at answering those questions. They want you back to buy more guns and ammo!

Travis McGee
July 1, 2005, 10:34 AM
FWIW, in handguns, start with a revolver to get a solid foundation before moving to pistols. You won't regret it.

July 1, 2005, 10:40 AM
Travis McGee

Good idea. Build on the fundamentals first, and then progress.

As for staying away from the .40 short & weak? :scrutiny: I've been carrying one for 5 years, and never had it go KABOOM! I have although had my Glock 21 do that, ( previous owner I might add ), and my Springfield 1911. I must say though that I believe it was ammo, and not the gun though. Follow the guides, and you should have no problem grasshopper.

July 1, 2005, 11:16 AM
Just my opinion:

I have owned and carried Glocks both on and off duty since '90. I love 'em. They are well made and reliable, realatively inexspensive, and accurate. But I would not recommend one as a first weapon to a newbie.

Because they have no manualy-engaged safety, they require absolute safe handeling abilities on the part of the operator. You should learn and know gun safety skills and be comfortable with using similar pistols before messing with a Glock. I've seen and heard about many accidental discharges involving Glocks- with both new and experienced shooters.

I would instead suggest a well made entry-level 1911 variant, SigSauer P229 .40, or H&K USP .40. These all feature manual safety(s), are proven performers, and will fuction for the variety of tasks. Ditto on the previous recommendations of the Mossberg 500 series pump-gun. Very simple, very reliable, very easily accessorized, and very cost effective protection & FUN.

Everyone needs a good .22 rifle and or pistol! The ammo is cheap enough that you could shoot every day, all day. This would also provide lots of safe-handeling practice. :)

**Hint** put the three underlined words above in order and live by the phrase.

Godd luck, welcome aboard, and enjoy this freedom responsibly.

July 1, 2005, 11:35 AM
+1 on the recommendation for the Ruger 10/22, if that's not too expensive. Very versatile, and you can fit them with pistol grip stocks, folders, larger capacity magazines (they come with a 10-round magazine), scopes, etc. etc. (overview) (least expensive version, $258 suggested retail--you can probably find one even cheaper) (whole range of 10/22 options) (here's a 10/22 configured with an aftermarket folding stock and larger magazine).

Personally, I think if you are going to start with just one gun, the 10/22 is perfect. .22 rifles are much easier to shoot than handguns, and they are not very loud at all compared to centerfire firearms (do wear ear protection when shooting, though; if you are noise sensitive, wear both earplugs and earmuffs, especially if the person next to you at the range has a hunting rifle or 16" barreled AR or something...) Ammunition is about $10 to $15 for 500 rounds, which is a LOT cheaper than anything else.

Once you get comfortable shooting the rifle, you may want to add a centerfire handgun like a .38/.357 revolver (any .357 revolver can also shoot the much milder .38 Special ammunition, so it's like having two guns in one), or even a self-loading (semiautomatic) pistol if you are comfortable with the operation of one; they are a bit more complicated than a revolver, but offer somewhat higher magazine capacity and easier reloading. But I'd get the .22 rifle first.

BTW, a 10/22 with a 25-round magazine (with or without a pistol grip stock) would be a decent defensive firearm, too, if you are looking for that. Not as powerful as a centerfire handgun or rifle, but certainly nothing to sneeze at. For defensive purposes, I'd go with some of the more expensive CCI Stinger ammunition rather than ordinary target rounds, not only for the extra kinetic energy but also for increased reliability. They're still only about $4 for 50 rounds, though.

An AR-15 is a good first centerfire rifle, IMHO (or an SKS or civilian AK lookalike if you're on a budget), BUT if you are new to shooting in general then I think the greater noise and recoil of a centerfire rifle (compared to a rimfire .22) may slow your learning of the basics of marksmanship. Some people do fine (my first rifle was a Ruger mini-14 in .223 Remington at age 18, FWIW), but I was not new to shooting, either.

July 1, 2005, 03:38 PM
If you're buying with learning how to shoot in mind, start with .22's. Ruger makes nice ones (10/22 rifle, 22/45 or Mk. III pistol). I'd go with the CZ 452 for .22 rifles, though. It's an affordable bolt action .22, great quality and accuracy for the $$. Why bolt? Because the 10/22 is semi-auto, and everyone who's shot my 10/22's has commented that it's too much fun blasting away with it. Bolt action will slow you down, make you concentrate more each shot. The CZ has good iron sights, too. Pretty much any .22 pistol will do. They'll all familiarize you with firearms handling and teach you proper sight picture and trigger control. You'll get a lot of Browning Buckmark and Ruger 22/45 suggestions, and with good reason--they're both excellent and affordable pistols.

If you're looking for a general purpose pistol (practice, personal defense), I'd go with a compact-sized 9mm pistol or a 4" .357 revolver (you can practice with .38 special ammo). It's enough firepower for zombies, yet recoil is tame enough for beginners to learn with. I personally like the Glock 19 and CZ P-01 for 9mm and the S&W 686 for a revolver. All three should cost you no more than $500 per new in box.

If you're looking for a longarm for personal defense, I'd look more to a shotgun than a rifle.

Good luck, and welcome. :)

July 1, 2005, 07:50 PM
Oh goody a new one :D :

Where to start where to start????
Hunting rifle: 7mm Remington Mag. In a mod 700 ought to kill anything in the United States and is equally good as a target rifle.
Military Semi-auto: Springfield SOCOM 16 in .308
Pistol: Kimber 1911 for .45, Browning Highpower for 9mm, Ruger MKIII for a .22
Revolver: Colt Python .357, Ruger Blackhawk for hunting .44 mag
Shot Gun: Remington mod. 1100 semi-auto, Winchester mod. 12 for a pump.
Lever action: Winchester 94 in 30-30,
Single Shot: Ruger mod. 1 in 405 Winchester.

Any of these will serve you well and give you years of fun and thrills.

DarthBubba :evil:

July 1, 2005, 08:28 PM
1) Find a range that rents handguns

2) Buy a 22 pistol/revolver

3) If available, take a training class

4) Go to range with your new gun and a lot of 22 ammo, also rent one of the range rentals and run a box of ammo through it.

5) Repeat #4 above untill you have tried most/all the rentals. Also be friendly and ask questions without out being annoying while at the range, a lot of people will let you try their guns.

After awhile you will know what you like and will gravitate towards it naturally.

July 1, 2005, 11:09 PM
Urban Werewolf,
Check your email.

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