New shooter (sorta) looking for advice


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zookrider
July 20, 2005, 10:04 PM
I'm finally moving out of this GFW state (Hawaii) and moving to Texas. When I get there I'll be purchasing some new (to me) guns. I'm a proficient shooter though I currently own no guns (I regularly qualify expert on both the M16 and M9.) Given about $750 to work with, I'm looking to aquire at least one pistol (for daily carry) and one rifle (for hunting). Reccomendations?

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Preacherman
July 20, 2005, 10:09 PM
Welcome to THR! Nice to have you on board.

It's a bit difficult to make recommendations without knowing what you want the guns for. What will you wear to conceal the pistol - heavy clothing, or something light? Pocket carry, waist carry, etc.? As for hunting, what sort of hunting - type of game, likely range over which you'll be shooting, etc.? All of these factors make a big difference in what to get.

Give us a bit more information, and I'm sure you'll get plenty of good suggestions. At least your military service has given you a good introduction to the basics.

zookrider
July 20, 2005, 10:56 PM
Pistol - Typically I'm a jeans, tee shirt/golf shirt and cowboy boots kind of guy. Texas being Texas my clothing will be quite light most of the year but heavy in the winter. I've never carried on a daily basis so I'm not sure about belt/pocket, etc. though I'd guess belt since I don't see a pistol fitting in the pocket of my wranglers. I'm a big guy if that's a factor (6'3" 200+) with pretty big hands. Also, I have no affinity for 9mm.

Rifle - I plan to hunt deer, mostly whitetail or mule.

Standing Wolf
July 20, 2005, 11:12 PM
My best advice would be to find a range that rents pistols, and try some of everything. Nothing takes the place of hands on experience.

neoncowboy
July 20, 2005, 11:41 PM
Right on!

I left Maui for Georgia back in 12/04 after 14 years in Hawaii.

I was in your shoes and wound up with several different 1911s, one of which I always carry (either commander or full size).

Like the above poster said, shoot a bunch of different guns and buy the one you like best. Note though, don't skimp on a carry gun/system. Spend the money to get something reliable, accurate and lightweight along with an excellent holster. That's the only way you'll actually carry it.

zookrider
July 21, 2005, 04:22 AM
I would think that a full size (5" barrel right?) would be cumbersome for daily carry. Is this not the case? What do you typically wear to afford good concealment? Does the weight become an issue?

Also, I'd love to hear some opinions on brand differences (Kimber vs Spingfield vs Para, etc) I'm quite enamored with the 1911 though by no means limiting myself to that choice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
www.sgtpundit.blogspot.com

neoncowboy
July 21, 2005, 08:23 AM
I would think that a full size (5" barrel right?) would be cumbersome for daily carry. Is this not the case? What do you typically wear to afford good concealment? Does the weight become an issue?

The full size and the commander size conceal about the same. The only real difference is the slight bulge under my wallet (right butt pocket) produced by the muzzle of the full size gun. If sitting for long periods (like in the car or plane), the commander is more comfortable.

I have several 1911s, the all steel ones are definitely heavier, but with a good belt I can carry comfortably all day without limping. The guns with the aluma/alloy frames are definitely lighter though.

The concealability is excellent due to the thin, single-stack design. A good belt/holster pull the butt of the gun into the hollow of my back and it just disappears under a T-shirt or polo.

I wear shorts in the summer, pants in the winter and am very fond of the Carharrt line of pants/shorts. They're sturdy enough to really be great gun pants. Obviously, I can't always wear them. When I need to dress better, pleated khakis seem to offer about the same concealment.

As far as brands go, I have a couple of Kimbers and a couple of Springfield Armory. They all work well, but they all require a little tinkering here and there (they are 1911s after all). The commander size Kimber CDP Pro is my favorite carry gun.

As far as rifles go, I have been lusting after that new Ruger frontier rifle. Short barrel, .308, scope way out on the barrel for eyes open target acquisition. I really want one! It looks like a perfect rifle for taking whitetail or larger out to several hundred yards.

TarpleyG
July 21, 2005, 08:39 AM
Well, given your budget, this is what I'd look for.

Pistol (well, revolver actually) - S&W J frame - look for an Airweight like the 642. Great carry gun. Take a look here (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=138658) for oter comments. Price - <$300

Rifle - Marlin .30-30 will work just fine for Texas deer. Price - <$400

That'll leave a few bucks over for tax and maybe a little ammo.

Greg

HankB
July 21, 2005, 08:42 AM
Given about $750 to work with, I'm looking to aquire at least one pistol (for daily carry) and one rifle (for hunting). Reccomendations?. . . I have no affinity for 9mm. Rifle - I plan to hunt deer, mostly whitetail or mule.Your budget and requirements make things a little tricky unless you choose off-brands, which are sort of a hit/miss proposition; for everyone who has a Taurus or Norinco that works 100% of the time - and there are some on this board - there's probably at least one person who's found the same make/model to be a lemon.

A significant percentage of 1911s - IMHO, the percentage is well into double digits, particularly with the cheaper ones - need help from a competent gunsmith in order to get them working correctly. Lots of used 1911's are on the market because of reliability issues.

As for specifics . . . .

For deer hunting, just about the cheapest suitable rifle you can get is an SKS - with iron sights, you should be able to find one for under $200. If you're lucky, you *might* find a well-used .30/30 lever action for that . . . kick the rifle budget up to maybe $300, and milsurp bolt actions like the M48 Mauser (there are some very nice ones on the market) and SMLE come into the mix. All of these use easy to get ammo.

This reduces the budget for a handgun to $450 or so . . . since you don't want a 9mm, at that price, you can certainly find a very good S&W K-frame .357 on the used market. With money left over for a good holster, speedloaders, etc.

Be aware that if you try to save TOO much money on something cheap, the annoyance it gives you will last long after the savings are forgotten.

El Tejon
July 21, 2005, 08:44 AM
Welcome to THR! :)

For advice, see my signature. :)

mountain_cowboy
July 21, 2005, 08:57 AM
You can get a used Glock 21 or 30 (both .45 double stacks) that, off the shelf, will be far more reliable than any off the shelf 1911, while being comparable, maybe lighter, in weight. I love 1911's, but for beginning carry, you can't go wrong with a Glock, despite what all the haters say. I have several competition-worthy 1911's that are fantastic, utterly reliable (after some work), accurate pistols, but if I knew there'd be a firefight, I'd pick up my Glock 21 every time.

That should leave you enough money to pick up a used Remington 700 or a new Savage Model 10, 110, 12, etc. in your choice of caliber (my all-around would be .308), either of which should shoot 1" groups and are endlessly customizable as you see fit, and can be worked on by you or any gunsmith in the country.

zookrider
July 21, 2005, 11:49 AM
Does the double stack decrease concealability of the Glock?

also (and I might be opning a can of worms here) :evil:

is there any good reason to consider a rifle caliber other than .308/30-30/30-06?
(I'm not being a wise ass, I've been led to believe that for deer hunting they are the best, if that's not so I'd like to know.)

only1asterisk
July 21, 2005, 12:19 PM
is there any good reason to consider a rifle caliber other than .308/30-30/30-06?

Many folks would be better off if they stuck to on of those 3.

I would think that a full size (5" barrel right?) would be cumbersome for daily carry.

They can be, esp in the heat, but lots of us do/have done it.

Given about $750 to work with, I'm looking to aquire at least one pistol (for daily carry) and one rifle (for hunting). Reccomendations?

That's a tough one, brother. Better give me a few to think.

David

Polishrifleman
July 21, 2005, 12:35 PM
On the hunting end of things get to know some of the guys who hunt Texas (or wherever you are going to hunt).

The caliber you choose will depend on the game as you have noted and the terrain/area. Open range vs. thick brush will almost have a greater impact on caliber choice than the game. Open terrain you are going to want something that shoots flat and fast for longer shots, thick brush you will want something with more stopping power.

I hunt open terrain for whitetails with a model 70 .243, this is a great caliber for that and varmit but questionably too small for muley's and definately so for Elk and Black Bear. Large Bear and Moose are the top of the line. For a do it all rifle that will give you years of service and you can pack to Colorado or Az. for that Elk hunt of a lifetime you should end up in the .30 range and then fashion it to the terrain heavy hitting bullet or fast. Hopefully you will find something and can include optics too.

You can pick up a model 94 30/30 for a couple Hundred for the stopping power pack rifle or a remmy 700 in .270 for $350 for the distance shots giving you $400 for a handpiece and some optics, ammo, etc...

only1asterisk
July 21, 2005, 01:39 PM
Is $750 your whole budget? Does that include scope for the rifle? Holster for the handgun? If not, you have some options. If so, you're looking at watching the classifieds for bargins and taking what you can get.

David

zookrider
July 21, 2005, 02:56 PM
Is $750 your whole budget? Does that include scope for the rifle? Holster for the handgun? If not, you have some options.

No, I have a seperate budget for accessories, $250 or so for optics, holster, and ammo. I thinks it's safe to say that if I spend more than $1000 on this initial investment they had better be some curvacious and cuddly guns because I'll be sleeping with them on the couch as opposed to in my bed with my wife. :D

Vern Humphrey
July 21, 2005, 03:40 PM
Given the budget you've stated, I'd say that a revolver is your best bet for a carry gun.

If you're stuck on an automatic, full size M1911 is actually easier to carry and more comfortable that a revolver. Check out http://paul.desertskyone.com/gunstuff.html for instructions on how to make my IWB for the M1911. This concealment holster is designed for comfortable carry of the M1911 even under a T-shirt. Making it yourself will save $$$.

A .30-30 is a nice deer gun. You might look for a Savage in .30-06 -- they are well made, accurate rifles (if not so "pretty" as Winchesters and Remingtons.

Another thing you can do is make friends with your local pawn dealer. Most will charge $10 to $25 to do the paperwork on a firearms transfer. Shop www.GunBroker.com or www.gunsamerica.com and you will often find some real bargains in guns.

one-shot-one
July 21, 2005, 03:42 PM
well maybe,
for my $0.02 i'd go with:
ruger sp101 .357 about $325
leaving $425 for a decent bolt action and a budget scope in .308/.270/30-06 or what ever flavor you want. savage, howa and a few others should keep you in the ball park.

Taurus 66
July 21, 2005, 04:56 PM
I'm finally moving out of this GFW state (Hawaii) and moving to Texas. When I get there I'll be purchasing some new (to me) guns. I'm a proficient shooter though I currently own no guns (I regularly qualify expert on both the M16 and M9.) Given about $750 to work with, I'm looking to aquire at least one pistol (for daily carry) and one rifle (for hunting). Reccomendations?

I'm not entirely sure if you can just move to Texas, just start purchasing guns, then go toting without first becoming a Texas citizen. Doesn't citizenship require that you live in the state for a minimum of one or two years? (establish a residency/also change drivers license). Fellas help me out on this one.

neoncowboy
July 21, 2005, 05:01 PM
All I had to do in Georgia was have a local address. I think they used my driver's license as ID but I'm not sure if that was a requirement.

I applied for my permit within 6 weeks of moving here and encountered no real hassle.

zookrider
July 21, 2005, 05:02 PM
I'm not entirely sure if you can just move to Texas, just start purchasing guns, then go toting without first becoming a Texas citizen. Doesn't citizenship require that you live in the state for a minimum of one or two years?

I'm already a legal Texas resident. When I was stationed at Ft Hood in the late '90s I changed my home of record and obtained a TX Drivers License which I have maintained ever since. Also, as an active duty military member, many of the rights of a state resident would be extended to me even if I weren't one.

Vern Humphrey
July 21, 2005, 05:16 PM
I'm not entirely sure if you can just move to Texas, just start purchasing guns, then go toting without first becoming a Texas citizen. Doesn't citizenship require that you live in the state for a minimum of one or two years? (establish a residency/also change drivers license). Fellas help me out on this one.


You need to check the local law on this. Technically, all you have to do to be a citizen of a state is declare your intention of living there. The controlling case involved California, which had a law saying if you move to California, you can't get California welfare benefits until you've lived there a year. For that first year, you get only the welfare benefits you'd be entitled to in the state where you used to live.

The Supreme Court struck that law down.

Of course, the 2nd Amendment is only a civil right, mentioned in the Constitution, so it doesn't have the same protection as welfare "rights." :barf:

wdlsguy
July 21, 2005, 06:29 PM
You do need a Texas DL or ID to request a CHL application:

ftp://ftp.txdps.state.tx.us/forms/cr-80.pdf

It is no longer necessary to live in Texas for six months before applying for a CHL (see page 5 of 5 below):

http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/ftp/forms/cr-84-87.pdf

So the process is 1) get a TX DL / ID, 2) request an application, 3) take the course, 4) mail in the application, 5) wait.

only1asterisk
July 22, 2005, 07:52 AM
Zook,

Stevens Model 200 265
H&R Ultra Rifle 215
NEF Handi Rifle 245

Sightron S1 130 3-9x 40mm Plex Reticle Matte
Burris Fullfield II 165 1.75-5x 20mm Plex Reticle Matte
Weaver Classic V-Series 165 3-9x 38mm Dual-X Reticle Matte
Leupold VX-1 180 2-7x 33mm Duplex Reticle Gloss
Bushnell Elite 3200 190 2-7x 32mm Multi-X Reticle Matte
Burris Fullfield II 190 3-9x 40mm Plex Reticle Matte

Leupold 1" PRW Rings 35 (for NEF or H&R)
or
Leupold 2-Piece Base 20 (for Stevens 200)
Leupold 1" Rings Gloss Low 20

Bottom Line: $375-500
Still need ammo, cleaning supplies, and case.

The handgun is harder. A quality carry gun >9mm for $350 +/- is a tough one.

There are some compact 40 S&W's made by Star, and can be found new in the $300-350 range. They are a good compromise between size and price, but I don't have personal experience with them. You can get a new Beretta 96 Compact for $350 from CDNN, but the Compact isn't really. You might find a used Kahr K40 for about $400. It's a near perfect carry gun, but will bust the budget. Used Springfield XD or P9 Compacts are under $400, as are used Glocks. Compact Baby Desert Eagles can be had new for uder $400.

For the money it's hard to beat a used Ruger revolver. The SP-101 are available with 2" or 3" barrels. The old Ruger Six revolvers were offered in 357 with 2 3/4 barrels. There are dozens of models of J and K frame S&W revolvers out that fit the bill. Prices range from $225-425 with lots to choose from around $300.

The handgun is the wildcard. I'd wait until after you shoot a few to get serious.

A quality belt, holster and mag pouch will run about $125-150

You will still need ammo, cleaning supplies, and a case (provided your gun doesn't come in one).


David

Brian Williams
July 22, 2005, 08:51 AM
Win or marlin 1894 in 30/30
S&W 642
That is a start


Also look at the Savage combos for good basic bolt action and scope.

mountain_cowboy
July 22, 2005, 09:08 AM
I'm not sure I understand some of these suggestions. It seems a lot of folks are suggesting really cheap firearms, when $750 seems to me like a great amount of $ to work with. If Zook buys used, especially at one of the auction sites, he should be able to get a lot more for the money than some are suggesting. He's already said he has a separate allotment for optics and accessories. Why settle for a HandiRifle when you could get a Savage or Remington bolt? Why buy a Star, when you could get a Glock, Springfield, or Smith? You can purchase used, big name, bolts easily for under $350. I can buy Glock, Smith, and Springfield autos all day long for $375 each. Not that there's anything wrong with NEF's or Star's, but you always want to buy the best you can with the money you have available. That will also be important if the time comes to sell them and upgrade. The better guns will keep there resale value and be easier to move.

As for the suggestions of .30-30 for the rifle caliber, why not pick a cartridge that can at least do 250 yards? If he's gonna get one gun, don't limit it to a 125 yard brush-buster. A 20 inch barrel .308 can be just as handy as a Marlin 336, plus afford you the opportunity of more accuracy, longer shots, and cheaper ammo.

only1asterisk
July 22, 2005, 11:38 AM
I'm not sure I understand some of these suggestions.

Let me help you understand.

Our man Zook says "I need a carry gun and a deer rifle." "If I spend more than $1000, SWMBO is going the go ballistic."

To some guys that means a SIG and a Remington 700 and they'll by the rest later a bit at a time (so as not to alarm the Mrs.). My approach is to fit the whole package in the budget, while buying every bit of quality you can.

While it is true that there are nicer rifles than I suggest, those on my list should be adequate to kill game at ranges to and beyond 300 yards with regularity. My suggestion includes glass adequate for the intended purpose and well matched to the quality of the rifles. The mounts budgeted are quality as well. I saved $100 on the rifle and put it to the purchase of better glass and good mounts. A rifle is only as accurate as its sights.

Why a $300 handgun instead of a $400 one? So long as the $300 gun is reliable and otherwise adequate, the additional money can be better spent on leather. Concealing a handgun in Texas heat is made much easier with a quality holster and belt. I donít know where anybody else shops, but my world is short on Glocks in the $300-350 range.
I certainly donít think spending $125 for a belt, holster and magazine holder is out of line. I wouldnít think anyone wrong for spending more, but $125 gets better than decent leather.

The Stars strike me as being esp. appropriate for our friend. Very compact for their time, and with a reputation for quality beyond their price, the various small Stars seem like a good place to start. I can get used Glocks or S&W autos (and SIGís too), sometimes at very good prices, but only the S&Wís routinely drop under $350. The 4006 is not likely to be something Iím going to carry anytime soon (of course, I can afford to say that). If the man decides to carry a bit bigger gun and/or make spending a little more money on a handgun his priority, GOOD.

Mr. Cowboy, I believe in buying quality, but that doesnít stop with the gun. I want a quality scope, quality leather, quality cleaning rod, an extra magazine or two and a selection of decent ammo and I want to bring it in under budget.

Buying a Remington 700 and putting a $50 scope on it smacks of false economy, like Wal-Mart tires on race car.


David

GEM
July 22, 2005, 12:14 PM
Hello from TX:

1. Glock 27 - $450 at a gun show
2. A lever action 30-30 at Walmart - $280

Thus, we are in at $730 - not really as we have tax but close.

Brian Dale
July 22, 2005, 01:30 PM
is there any good reason to consider a rifle caliber other than .308/30-30/30-06?Sure. First and foremost would be that you liked a particular one. Maybe you like .243 Win or .257 Roberts or .300 Savage, and you find a nice used rifle in one of those calibers, or another. No problem.

However, the answer to the other side of that question:

"is there any reason NOT to choose either .30-30, .308 or .30-'06?

would be NO, for almost all of us. They work, and you can get ammo for them everywhere. The .308 and .30-'06 will give you more reach than the .30-30 and they'll have more recoil, but pick the one that you like best.

Vern Humphrey
July 22, 2005, 01:41 PM
And if you handload, it's no trick at all to download a .30-06 or .308 to .30-30 velocities and recoil level.

chopinbloc
July 22, 2005, 09:41 PM
at first, i thought your budget would make it all but impossible to get want you want, but after consideration, i realized you can do pretty well for about $750. to start off at the bottom of the price range, a mosin nagant can be had for under $100 "new" and the 7.62x54 cartridge will take care of anything in texas. ditto for turkish 8mm mausers. the ruger p series pistols can be had for around $500 new. glock can be had for about the same used. that gives you plenty of room in your budget. you mentioned you're a big guy, so i'd lean towards the p series as they tend to fill the hand better for a big guy than most other pistols. a double stack glock in .45 does a pretty good job too. revolvers are cheaper, ruger and taurus both make high quality, inexpensive revolvers. stay away from 1911's unless you're willing to keep throwing money at them until they work. i love my 1911's but it wasn't cheap to get them running right. bottom line? i recommend ruger p-90 and turkish mauser (i think the mauser has a better trigger)

hobbeeman
July 23, 2005, 12:34 AM
I shop the pawn shops and often find many deals better than the ones on this thread. (I currently have a Marlin 30-30 with a Leopar scope from CDNN on layaway at a pawn shop, price before tax, $225. I also bought a Daly DDR .45 for $260) It is not uncommon to find a shop owner that is easy to make freinds with and he then will make you a better deal on multiple purchases, especially when he finds out that you have served your country! There are even some shops that have their own firing range to test the weapon before you purchase. Welcome back to Texas! :D

Wedge
July 23, 2005, 09:50 AM
Is your budget just for the guns or is ammo included in your budget? You don't want to have guns that you can't afford to shoot. I would lean towards the pistol and shotgun combo as well. You can get a nice combo shotgun (Mossberg $260, Remington $350) that will have both a slug and a bird barrel.

DO NOT put a cheap scope on a shotgun (or a rifle). I missed a nice deer because the zero had changed and the scope was shooting about 14" low at 50 yard (where I had zero'd the stupid thing). I got with the scope should cost about as much as the rifle. The rifle sights on the slug barrels are pretty good, and you don't have to use sabot rounds...I just used the standard foster slugs in my rifled barrel...good accuracy (when the scope was in the proper place in the garbage) and they were cheap so I didn't mind shooting a few of them. The biggest downside was the severe leading that required a lot of elbow grease and chore boy.

$750 is a hard combination especially for a carry gun. When I bought my first two guns I was pretty hard up on cash and I bought a $260 - Mossberg 500 and then about 8 months later I bought a $360 - Ruger Blackhawk .45 Colt/.45 ACP. Total about $620 leaving money left to buy a holster, belt, sling and ammo.

If I had to do it over I probably would have bought the Remington 700 Combo and bought a Glock 19 - but now the package price is closer to $850 (figure $350 for the combo and $500 for the Glock).

There is another option. Buy a nice pistol, belt, holster, magazines, ammo and some range time. Find someone who can loan you a rifle for deer season. I hunted with a loaned shotgun for 2 years. That way you will have a nice handgun for now and can save up for a rifle that you really want later on. I am done rambling on...have fun!

bearmgc
July 23, 2005, 08:17 PM
Its hard to beat a Ruger SP101 in .357 for a well built but reasonably priced carry gun- $325, maybe cheaper. Then consider a bolt action in 30-06 for anything from prairie goats to elk to hogs. A used Savage, Ruger, Howa could get you in the $300 ball park. Then time to look for a used Bushnell scope like the Trophey, or a Weaver. That would cover all the bases. Of course, it wouldn't hurt hurt to consider a used Marlin lever action in .444, or maybe a used Remminton 760/7600 pump in 270 or 30-06. Found a great 760 in 30-06 last year for $250. Took an antelope with it, using a Bushnell Trophey scope that I got for $79.00 new. It pays to shop around. There is a Witness .45 semi auto handgun in the local pawnshop for $225 in pretty good shape, and a Rem 788 in .270 also in good shape for $299. My pawnshop dealer is always willing to dicker on price.

zookrider
July 26, 2005, 05:11 AM
There is another option. Buy a nice pistol, belt, holster, magazines, ammo and some range time. Find someone who can loan you a rifle for deer season. I hunted with a loaned shotgun for 2 years. That way you will have a nice handgun for now and can save up for a rifle that you really want later on. I am done rambling on...have fun!

After reading all of the great advice I'm leaning toward this approach. I arrive in Tx in Jan and that gives me a while before deer season. I think I'll spend the $1000 on my carry piece and accessories and just wait (I hate that word) on the rifle. Probably be happier in the long run.

only1asterisk
July 26, 2005, 05:36 AM
Now you're talking!

David

ozarkhillbilly
July 26, 2005, 01:27 PM
You should have no problem at all finding a good name brand handgun and rifle for $750 in Texas. While I do not live in Texas I can not believe the gun prices are that much more then Missouri or Colorado were I have bought guns. What works for me is to have the money on hand to buy when a good deal comes along and they do more often then you would think, get to know some local police officers they always have guns to sell or know someone that does. Some of my recent good deals, a third gen glock 22 .40 cal with 3 15rnd mags $375, a beretta tomcat .32acp never been fired $195. a colt 1991 comander for $400 turned it down I already had one, I've kicked myself for not buying and just having two. Also turnd down a Sprindfield XD .40cal for $350, these within the last year from private trasactions no tax no ffl fees.

I have seen alot of like new winchesters and marlin 30-30s go for $200 to $250. Right after deer season you can buy bolt action Rugers, Savages and Remingtons all day long for $250 to $350. There is nothing wrong with mil surplus either I have a Enfield 303 $150, a Russian sks $110 would not sell it for anywhere near that price, mosin nagant $95, plus alot of others.

What Iam saying is that you can find good guns at great deals if you keep ears open and put in alittle effort. Skip the scope year one and get a real good one year two but only then if you get a good name brand rifle. Good holsters can be had for around $50 if you look.

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