looking to buy my first gun!!!! very excited


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LIYAH
November 28, 2005, 03:39 PM
Greetings and Salutations!!!
i was wondering if you kind people would be able to help me, or at least steer me in the right direction. i am female, single and i hike alot (no this is not an advertisement!!) my father wants me to be able to protect myself when i'm out an about on my own, granted i have dogs but still (and hey he's buying so how can i say no). i am interested in something light weight, with not alot of kick; to kill a snake or anything that might attack my dogs and or to mame (sp) some very bad person if ever need. i would like a gun shop that also has a range so i can practise. any suggestions, and or advice would greatly be appreciated.--thanks o so much.
~Marie

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dracphelan
November 28, 2005, 03:44 PM
1. Hi Marie.
2. Based on your requirements, I would recommend a Springfield Armory XD9 compact model. However, I would aslo recommend you find a range that will let you rent one. Recoil is going to be higher in smaller weapons.
3. Make sure you have the legalities of carrying worked out before you carry.

CannonFodder
November 28, 2005, 03:45 PM
I myself purchased a Walther P22 for my first handgun and have been enormously satisfied with it. It's relatively inexpensive, feather-light, and way too much fun to shoot. The early models had some mechanical problems, but it looks like Walther QA finally licked 'em. I've put close to 3000 rounds through mine since June.

It's something to think about, at least.

itgoesboom
November 28, 2005, 03:48 PM
Marie,

Welcome to TheHighRoad. I am sure you will find all the answers you are looking for.

Might be a good idea to stop off at www.packing.org as well, to find out what the laws are in your state for carrying firearms, either concealed or open.

Everyone here has their own preferences for firearms, based on what fits our own hands, as well as other criteria.

Many different makers make excellent handguns that would probably meet your requirments: Glock, S&W, Taurus, Beretta, HK, Walther, Springfield Armory, Sig, Kel-Tec, etc etc.

Lots of choices out there.

My standard advice is to go to a gun shop, and get your hands on as many different pistols as possible.

When you find 3-5 different ones that fit your hand, come on here and ask for recommendations regarding those firearms, and narrow the choice down.

After you narrow it down, then see if you can rent each of them at the range and see how they feel.

In general, I would also recommend looking at .380, .38spc, and 9mm, if you are concerned about recoil. These are all fairly mild while still having the required power to (if properly used) to take down an assailant.

dracphelan is correct about small firearms having more recoil than larger ones. Weight dampens recoil. But there is other things you can do as well. Recoil is often a matter of perception, and if the pistol is very loud, it can make recoil *seem* worse. If you wear plug and over ear protection, it will help you learn the fundementals without a flinch.


Good luck.

I.G.B.

hso
November 28, 2005, 03:56 PM
Welcome Marie.

There are a few questions to be answered first before any useful help can be provided.

First off, what state are you in and what states do you intend to hike in?

Do you hike in national parks, national forrest, state or private lands?

If you want help on the range issue you'll have to tell everyone what city and state you're in so they can give recommendations.

What firearms have you shot in the past and what were you the most comfortable with?

If you hike with a staff why would you need a gun for snakes? Be warned that if your dogs are off leash or if they don't follow voice commands when they're excited they could easily get themselves between you and the legless varment.

Any 2-legged varment that you need to shoot you had better need to kill them. You never use a gun to "maime".

TooTaxed
November 28, 2005, 04:03 PM
You will want something light and fairly small, so it will be both easy to carry and not get in your way. Suggest you go to a gun shop or two, or gun show, and look at small, short-barreled .22 and .38-spl revolvers and semi-auto pistols no larger in size than a Makarov.

For your stated purposes you may consider a .22 LR...you can get shot cartridges for snakes, and a high-velocity hollow point is not bad as a defensive round at short range. It also has little recoil and ammo is inexpensive. A .22 is also the best for you to learn to shoot with...larger calibers can come after you've gained confidence and comfort with shooting.

Regardless of what you get, you should practice with it to get very familiar with its use and capabilities. When the time comes that you will need it, you want to instinctively grab it and have it do what you want without your conscious thought. You may be able to find a combat pistol short course in your area...try the police dept and gun clubs, especially on military bases. You also need to see if you can get a carry permit, or determine under what circumstances you can carry it legally without one.

AZ Heat
November 28, 2005, 04:09 PM
Any 2-legged varment that you need to shoot you had better need to kill them. You never use a gun to "maime".
+1

Find a gun range first so you can rent a couple and see which feels the best to you.

Gunpacker
November 28, 2005, 04:17 PM
I suggest a .38 caliber revolver. You can practice with very light target loads to start and work up to more powerful loads later. This is a true defensive weapon that is easy to learn with, light recoiling and can be loaded to levels sufficient to protect against fairly large predators. I suggest a 4 inch which provides sufficient weight to dampen recoil. Smith and Wesson makes good ones as does Ruger, taurus. You can get a .357 Magnum if you wish real versatility, since it fires .38 special ammo, but allows you to go into .357 magnum ammo later if you wish. You may find .357 mag revolver easier to find in the 4 inch.
DON'T get a small 2 in light revolver. They kick too much for a good learning experience. Get a revolver with adjustable sights, since if you can't adjust the sights, it is unlikely that you will be able to shoot accurately.
A revolver is the easiest, safest and most reliable to get into action IMO for a beginner especially. Very importantly, get some lessons from a reliable source, and avoid other beginners for your questions.
Best of luck with your learning experience. Welcome to shooting.

Biker
November 28, 2005, 04:19 PM
Hey Marie...
For your purposes, a .38 revolver with a 2 or 3 inch inch barrel would be a great first gun.
Biker

nfl1990
November 28, 2005, 04:22 PM
Are you talking about a pistol for CCW purposes or rifle, or shotgun for when you are hiking.

loose cannon
November 28, 2005, 04:25 PM
i wouldnt exactly rule out a standard or service size handgun either one of the advantages a lady has is the socialy aceptable use of a purse which depending on size easily acomodates fullsize guns.to sum it up the largest gun i can carry unless i have a coat on is a subcompact glock26,my wif carrys a fullsize glock17 all the time(she never has her purse out of reach).

fullsize guns are far easier to shoot well than compacts or subcompacts,and ill go with the others on 9mm/38special being a good minimum caliber and trying a bunch of guns b4 u buy 1.

mindpilot
November 28, 2005, 04:37 PM
Get a Walther P22 if hes buying!! Excellent gun for starters and great reputation.

Black Majik
November 28, 2005, 04:52 PM
Welcome to THR Marie,

Buying a first gun can be quite an experience. Dont be intimidated by all the guns out there, you have your whole life to buy them all :D

itgoesboom has given sound advice. Stop by a gunshop and find a gun that fits your hand, points naturally, and is light and comfortable enough for you. Now, as a general rule, you dont want something too light, because the lighter the gun, the more the gun will recoil. So you'll have to find, (and try out multiple guns) to find the compromise between weight and recoil.

For a self defense gun, I'd usually recommend an autoloader in 9mm or a revolver in .38 spl/.357 magnum. The .357 can also shoot .38 spl. so you can practice for cheap, and shoot the .357 for defensive purposes when you feel comfortable with it.

For a autoloader, I'd recommend a Glock 19, Springfield XD-9 4", SIG P225 (what i would pick :D), SIG P239, CZ Rami, CZ PO1, and the HK P2000 9mm

Take a NRA safety course, this will teach you how to properly shoot a firearm, as well as instruct safety issues and allow you to fire multiple firearms. Owning a firearm is a big responsibility, so I'd definitely get some instruction before going out to the range. Take your time, and find the gun that fits you. It shouldn't be too difficult since theres so many guns out there to try out.

Again, dont feel intimidated by the choices. Also, dont let the sales person behind the counter to tell you to own so and so gun. Buy the gun YOU want. Tell the salesperson it'll be your first gun. He/she should be helpful in finding a gun that'll fit you, and show you a range of guns. Dont be afraid to ask questions. When you find a few guns you're interested in, come by again and ask us our opinions of each firearm. Most likely someone here has had experience with that particular firearm.

Most of all... have fun and shoot safely! :)

VacuumJockey
November 28, 2005, 07:06 PM
You may also find Janice Cortese's firearms page (http://www.io.com/~cortese/firearms/index.html) useful. Good luck with your search. :)

Topgun
November 28, 2005, 07:23 PM
I would suggest .22 in either a revolver or a rifle. If the rifle is too large then get the revolver. The barrel should be a four incher. Wear earplugs if you shoot a .22 pistol. The rifle would be far quieter and if it isn't a hindrance to your hikes, would be the way to go. Rifles are far easier to hit with than ANY handgun.
For ...protection... (if that's the CHIEF thing you want it for) then get a .38 Special revolver or a .357 Magnum revolver.
Revolvers are far easier to check to see if loaded and are very intuitive to operate.
If you get the .357, get .38 Special ammunition. Both will fit in the .357 but the 38 will be far easier to learn to shoot ....well. And "shooting well" is what you want your FIRST GUN to do.

:)

akodo
November 28, 2005, 07:49 PM
In many places a standard Ruger Bearcat is a common hiker's gun. The Ruger is one hell of a gun, and the Single Action Revolver is both quite safe and quite non-intimidating as far as ease of learning and safty. Plus it is mechanically straightforward and easy to understand, great things to help you build selfconfidence. .22LR will not stop a charging grizzly, but it will take care of snakes and skunks, works as well as any other gun if you get lost and need to signal for help by firing 3 shots in the air, and while it is not a great manstopper if you are threatened by a human, most humans don't want to get shot by ANY gun. THE MOST COMMON USE OF A HANDGUN IN SELF DEFENCE IS SIMPLY SHOWING THE ATTACKER YOU ARE ARMED, THEY THEN FLEE. Doesn't mean a .22 cannot kill a person, because the can and will, and should be handled with no less respect than a .357

Another good suggestion would be a Walther in 380 or even in 32. A more modern gun very much in the same design as a Walther would be the Sig 232.

cslinger
November 28, 2005, 07:59 PM
Like everybody said it comes down to what fits your hand the best. A better approach might be to go to a local gunshop and handle several firearms find a few that could "work" for you and then come back to ask us specific questions as to whether they are reliable, have lots of "kick" etc.

Without knowing anything more I personally would suggest something along the lines of a Ruger SP101 revolver with a 3+ inch barrel and exposed hammer. This is a .357 magnum revolver that is small enough to easily carry around while being heavy enough to absorb recoil pretty well. I would suggest you load the gun with .38 Special ammunition instead of .357 as the recoil will be less. This makes a great gun that can fit many rolls and one you can grow into. I suggest a revolver due to it's ability to shoot just about any type of ammo chambered for it, such as snakeshot.....which is like an itty bitty shotgun shell for killing snakes afield.

Once again take everybody's advice about looking into what feels good to you and take the time and small amount of money to get some proper training.

Other things to think about when buying your first gun include.
-ammunition.
-some kind of secure storage to keep kids and irresponsible adults away.
-cleaning supplies.

Also if you purchase a gun practice alot. Have fun with it go to the range and challenge yourself. Shooting is not like riding a bike but is a skill that must constantly be honed in order for you to continue to be proficient.

Welcome to the family. Shoot safe and have fun.

By the way I liked your, "This is not an invitation" because when I was reading your post I chuckled thinking...."and I like long walks in the park and sunsets....etc." :D I am not making fun of you it just struck me as funny........and well I am weird, ask around.

Chris

Chrontius
November 28, 2005, 08:00 PM
Don't forget about Kel-Tecs. They're inexpensive, but not quite cheap, small and light, and very easy to take apart to clean. (on the other hand, if he's buying, this would make a better second gun :D ) They seem pretty reliable to me, though like everything, there are lemons. (Mine is normally completely 100% reliable, and even reasonably (80%) reliable when missing pieces!)

cslinger
November 28, 2005, 08:03 PM
One other thing your age may have a bearing on this conversation. Are you at least 21 years of age? Also remember that one can generally not just carry a gun around legally without a permit of some kind.

Not trying to pry just thinking of various things that may affect your decisions.

Chris

GoBrush
November 28, 2005, 08:34 PM
Marie:

Lots of good info above. I agree that a 38 special revolver is a good choice unless you are willing to hit the range once a month then I would move you to a 9mm. If you want to start with a 22LR then I would recommend a Browning Buck Mark you simply cant beat them.

Here is something else to think about. I think your Dad must be a smart man recommending that you carry a gun to protect yourself while in the back country. I do the same but I think it is even more important to protect yourself in the urban area's as well. More thugs, rapists, robbers, murderers etc.

Listen to advice above and KNOW THE LAW!

Good luck and spread the 2nd amendment word expose others to safe and responsible gun ownership.;)

Standing Wolf
November 28, 2005, 08:37 PM
Whatever gun you get, I hope you'll do three things:

1.) Practice, practice, and practice some more. Do you remember learning to ride a bicycle? It takes awhile to master one's firearm.

2.) Join the N.R.A. It doesn't do much good to buy a gun if you're just going to let government disarm you. http://www.nra.org

3.) Hang around here at the High Road. You'll not only learn all kinds of useful stuff, but will soon find yourself being able to share what you know with newbies.

Welcome, eh?

HighVelocity
November 28, 2005, 08:44 PM
Howdy Marie,

I recommend a Smith & Wesson model 640.

1) It's small so it's easier to grasp with smaller hands.
2) It's made from stainless steel so less likely to rust and requires less cosmetic maintenance.
3) Hammerless so it won't snag the interior of your pocket, purse or day pack, etc. when you have to get it out in a hurry.
4) Chambered in 357 magnum but you can also shoot all 38 spl loads including snake shot shells. You can load it with 357 magnum ammo after you become proficient with it if you so choose.

Being a new shooter and given your selection criteria, I feel the Smith & Wesson 640 would be an excellent choice.

http://www.horstheld.com/SW-640.jpg

GoBrush
November 28, 2005, 08:49 PM
[QUOTE=akodo]if you get lost and need to signal for help by firing 3 shots in the air, and while it is not a great manstopper if you are threatened by a human, most humans don't want to get shot by ANY gun. THE MOST COMMON USE OF A HANDGUN IN SELF DEFENCE IS SIMPLY SHOWING THE ATTACKER YOU ARE ARMED, THEY THEN FLEE.QUOTE]

Marie:

Couple of DANGEROUS suggestions here:banghead:
First of all if lost you dont fire 3 times in the air what goes up must come down just fire into a dirt hill or a dead log or something will do fine.:D

Secondly "showing a gun to an attacker" is another DUMB idea:banghead: . If you reach the point where Deadly Force is justified (Study your State Law) Pull the gun and double tap two shots into the center of your attackers chest if he or she is still standing after that shoot them with a well placed shot to the head.

None of that OH LOOK AT MY GUN AND RUN CRAP:banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

Sheldon J
November 28, 2005, 08:53 PM
Hey Marie...
For your purposes, a .38 revolver with a 2 or 3 inch inch barrel would be a great first gun.
Biker
I agree a revolver for an unexpierenced shooter is a excelent idea, no jams, stove pipes, failure to feeds, dropped clips, easier to clean, if you pull the trigger and it goes click just pull it again, but I would go for a .357 in SS then you can shoot .38 spl but still have the ability of the higher powered round for home defence

Travis McGee
November 28, 2005, 10:34 PM
Put me down for the .38/.357 revolver as well. It will be easy to learn to shoot effectively, it will do everything you will need it to do (snake shot, home defense, target practice fun etc) and it will not cost an arm and a leg.

If you later decide to "upgrade" to a pistol, you will be solidly grounded in the fundamentals.

But for a neophyte who is realistically only going to shoot a few times a year, revolvers rule!

With pistols, there are too many mental obstacles for amateurs to overcome during high stress. "Does the safety go up or down to shoot? Did I chamber a round last month? Should I jack the slide just in case, to make sure?" These mental obstacles can get you killed by causing brain lock during extreme stress, such as when someone is breaking into your house at 2AM, or is grabbing you on your way to your front door!

With a revolver, none of those mental obstacles will impede your firing. Pull the trigger, gun goes bang, period.

Hypnogator
November 28, 2005, 11:01 PM
+1 on the .357 snub.

Fairly easy to shoot with .38 target wadcutters, the .38 shot caps give good snake protection, and as you learn to shoot, you can graduate to full-power .38 Specials, .38 +Ps, and .357 Magnum loads, which stand an excellent chance of quickly stopping all 2-legged varmints, and even a fair chance against the 4-legged variety of the bear persuasion. :cool:

magyvor
November 28, 2005, 11:14 PM
Im no expert, but a gun you should consider is a revolver chambered for 32HR MAGNUM. Based on what you wanted, its not too big, has light recoil so its easy to shoot, and holds 6 or 7 rounds. You can even load it to hold a bird shot in the first fired cylinder for snakes, small critters. Its also a decent round for Self Defense.

Thats my suggestion......BUT!!!!!!!!...... Before you buy anything, go to a shooting range and get some instruction. Contact a local Concealed Carry Instructor and take a class, even if you dont plan on using this gun for concealed carry........because this class will inform you as to laws regarding guns in your area, or at the very least give you the resources to find out what you need to know.

Congrats on your future purchse, Im excited for you :)

Waitone
November 29, 2005, 12:29 AM
Welcome
Advice here is plentiful and inexpensive.
You'll determine the value.

My 2 cents: Take an NRA introductory course before shopping. Take the course then head off to shop. Fact of life--you have to have a base line of knowledge in any subject before you can ask a meaningful question. The NRA basics course is how to get smart quick.

Eye protection is required and so is good ear protection.

Keep us posted on your progress.

mnrivrat
November 29, 2005, 12:41 AM
Hi Marie - Welcome !

You will soon notice that there will be no clear - this is the gun - concensus amount the members here. You will have to sort through the idea's and come to something that fits your needs.

The recommendation to handle a number of guns to see what fits comfortable in your hands I think is a good one.

I will also recommend a revolver rather than an auto . I will also go along with anything from a .22 LR to a 38 Spl . (or .357 with plans to shoot 38 Spl at least at first). The already mentioned .32 H&R magnum is also something I recommend as you can shoot 32 shorts, 32 longs as well as the .32 magnums. That gives you a range of soft to moderate recoil in a fairly light gun.

A J-frame size revolver and maybe even an airweight J-frame size revolver should be light to carry, fit well in a smaller hand, and will still be pleasant to shoot if in a smaller caliber, or you shoot lighter loads.

But it all depends on what feels right for you - good luck , and once again - Welcome !

middy
November 29, 2005, 10:32 AM
Secondly "showing a gun to an attacker" is another DUMB idea
Horsefeathers.

Most (90%) encounters involving criminals and armed citizens are resolved without a shot being fired. The citizen pulls out the gun, the bad guy goes away. This is a perfectly acceptable outcome, and much less complicated than shooting someone and the legal entanglements that follow.

Of course, one can't count on the bad guy being scared away. One must be prepared to shoot, and keep shooting until the threat is stopped.

hso
November 29, 2005, 02:56 PM
Even though I'm a semiauto person I'll support the .357 revolver consensus.
I would advise a 4 in instead of a snub for a backpacking gun.

LawDog
November 29, 2005, 03:22 PM
Dear Marie,

You state that the pistol will be used to shoot snakes and "anything that might attack your dogs." Can we get an idea of what might consider your dogs fair game?

'Possums? Coyotes? Bears?

'Possums and coyotes would be easily handled with a .32 magnum. Javelinas, you might want to upgrade to a .357 or maybe a .41. Bears...umm.

Are you located in a very rural area, or is it more urban? Rural, you can carry a pistol with a longer barrel, giving you more accuracy, lower perceived recoil and less muzzle blast. Urban, you'd probably want to stick with a snub or a compact pistol, giving you more muzzle blast and less practical accuracy.

United States, or elsewhere? In the U.S., we can give you an idea about the laws regarding pistol carry in your area, and an idea of might you might be faced with on your hikes. Overseas, it may be more than a bit difficult to get a pistol, and would definently limit what you would be able to purchase.

Have you ever handled or fired a pistol before? If so, what type, and did you feel comfortable with it? If you've been shooting your fathers M1911 or S&W 629 and feel comfortable with it, then that changes things a bit vs. if you've only ever fired a Ruger Mark II, or have never fired a pistol before.

LawDog

loose cannon
November 29, 2005, 03:42 PM
im gonna advise against the 32mag due to ammo availability,a 38 or a 357 would be much better.practice ammo is alot cheeper and across the board the ammo is far easier to find.

if you carry a large purse and open carry in the woods is legal in your location a 4"barrel is good.a 3"barrel is ideal for a all purpose ccw/home defense gun.except as a last resort stay away from 2"bbls they are far more difficult to shoot well.

some ideas,ruger gp100 3"357mag 6shot.s&w mod 60 357mag 3"bbl 5shot.these should run less than $500 brand new.speedloaders are available for all of these or you can use the flat easy carrying bianchi speed strips for extra ammo carry.

akodo
November 29, 2005, 06:00 PM
Marie:

Couple of DANGEROUS suggestions here:banghead:
First of all if lost you dont fire 3 times in the air what goes up must come down just fire into a dirt hill or a dead log or something will do fine.:D



yup, i'll admit shooting in the air will result in the bullet comming down, hence firing for noise is best done into the ground.



Secondly "showing a gun to an attacker" is another DUMB idea:banghead: . If you reach the point where Deadly Force is justified (Study your State Law) Pull the gun and double tap two shots into the center of your attackers chest if he or she is still standing after that shoot them with a well placed shot to the head.

None of that OH LOOK AT MY GUN AND RUN CRAP:banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

However, I am sticking with my point here.

Most common use of guns in self defense is simply to brandish them. What's that relatively recent study that HCI conducted then tried to supress? Something like 2 million incidents of people using a firearm without firing it to drive off criminals. Most criminals don't want to mess with armed people. Also a brandished gun is a lot different than using deadly force. Hell, what's the ratio to a police officer's # of times a gun is drawn and aimed at a suspect vs actually making the decision to pull the trigger?

Now, i am not advocating running around with an unloaded gun, nor am i arguing for 'warning shots' or such nonsense.

Maybe i am misreading your message but it sounds like you are saying "Oh i am in trouble! I reach for my gun, the guy sees it and begins to retreat, well, I might as well shoot him because I already have my gun out!"

Hawkmoon
November 29, 2005, 08:39 PM
Good advice, but let me add my thoughts to the mix anyway.

First, of course, I absolutely agree that you need to investigate the legal issues. In the wrong state, carrying a firearm on a hike could be a felony, and that could haunt you for the rest of your life. I'm hoping you live in a free state and not in California or Massachusetts.

As to what to buy: It sounds like you are not accustomed to firearms, and therefore I agree with those who suggested revolvers rather than semi-automatics. Revolvers seldom jam, and if there is a mis-fire you just pull the trigger and it moves on to the next cartridge. Some semi-automatics won't try again unless you manually cock the hammer, and those that will try again are trying to fire the same round that didn't fire the first time. If the problem is a dud cartridge, obviously that isn't likely to succeed.

So ... buy a revolver. Any gun is better than no gun, but 35 years or so ago when visiting a cousin in Arizona who (at that time) owned a gun shop, I recall my cousin telling me that he would not allow his wife to carry anything smaller than .38 Special, because nothing smaller was likely to deter an assailant. So unless there's no choice, you should probably avoid the "mouse caliber" guns. .32 Magnum is okay, but .38 Special is a tried-and-true cartridge that provides reasonable stopping power without excessive recoil.

Smith & Wesson makes a pistol designed for women. It's called (cleverly) the LadySmith. That's what I suggest you look at.

Best of luck with whatever you choose. Once you have it ... practice. Shooting a handgun is, for most people, not instinctive. Even police officers miss an astonishingly high percentage of their shots, so it is important to shoot enough that you feel comfortable with your gun and that you can actually hit an assailant before he gets so close that it's too late.

GoBrush
November 29, 2005, 08:44 PM
[QUOTE=middy]Horsefeathers.

Most (90%) encounters involving criminals and armed citizens are resolved without a shot being fired. The citizen pulls out the gun, the bad guy goes away. This is a perfectly acceptable outcome, and much less complicated than shooting someone and the legal entanglements that follow.

middy:

I dont disagree with the numbers you have shared I was just trying to make the point that you do not simply show your gun hoping to scare some one off if you are not justified to use deadly force and "Show your gun" you may be faced with brandishing charges. Bottom line if you are not justified in using deadly force do not "Show your gun" You are right however that many encounters are resolved this way and it would be a beter out come. One last point the hesitation between showing your gun and firing your first shot may get you killed!

LIYAH
November 30, 2005, 02:50 PM
WOW!! thank you all so very much this is truely awesome. Ok i guess i did not give enough info ( i didn't realize the large response!!)
1- I just turned 30
2- I live in Phoenix, AZ
3- I will be hiking in state and national parks
4- I have large dogs ( a pointer and a mutt) besides snakes we have coyotes, havelina, they farther north i head the bigger the animal could be..
5- no purse involved i would carry either on my hip or in my hydrapac


~Marie

mnrivrat
November 30, 2005, 03:46 PM
Well there's good news and bad news !

The bad news is I'm too old , too fat , and too far away to join you for a hike.

The good news is that AZ is an open carry state so if you keep a firearm in view on your hip there will be no legal problem . You will have to check on carry within the parks however. I don't think it is allowed in the national parks, and not sure about state parks. BLM land should be OK and not a problem.

Havelina can be some nasty little critters and here is where I think your need for power is above the .22 RF cartridges. Therefore I recommend a 357 mag revolver. You can shoot 38 Spl's in it , but will also have the cabapility of working up to the magnum loads. There is a wide range of 357 wheel guns available from Ruger, Smith, and Taurus. There will be a trade off to decide how light of a gun VS recoil . I think you should be able to handle about anything you make up your mind to use. Ruger SP 100 ? pops to mind as something to take a close look at.

The first round or two could be shot loads for snakes, and the rest for bigger critters.

BothellBob
November 30, 2005, 05:26 PM
Firearm education is never wasted time. Advice to sign up for one of the NRA classes is very hard to argue against. You live in Arizona, so if you decide to get a CCW you will need the course anyway. Trying a number of handguns is another activity that is never a waste of time. Finding a range in the Phoenix area that rents guns should not be a problem, but can get mildly expensive if you want to try a lot of them (you can NEVER try too many guns, even after you own so many that you have lost count). Put out the word to your friends, co-workers, neighbors (you live in one of the most gun friendly parts of the nation). I suspect you will be amazed at who offers to take you shooting, and from people who have more handguns than you can reasonably try in an afternoon. (There are lots of us around who keep a very low profile.)

And...even though you want a handgun (and for very good reason), start your training with a 22 rifle, then go to a 22 pistol/revolver, and work yourself up to the larger calibers.
-BothellBob

f4t9r
November 30, 2005, 05:29 PM
Marie:

Lots of good info above. I agree that a 38 special revolver is a good choice unless you are willing to hit the range once a month then I would move you to a 9mm. If you want to start with a 22LR then I would recommend a Browning Buck Mark you simply cant beat them.

Here is something else to think about. I think your Dad must be a smart man recommending that you carry a gun to protect yourself while in the back country. I do the same but I think it is even more important to protect yourself in the urban area's as well. More thugs, rapists, robbers, murderers etc.

Listen to advice above and KNOW THE LAW!

Good luck and spread the 2nd amendment word expose others to safe and responsible gun ownership.;)

I agree try a 38 in 4" so you do not miss one of those snakes

GoBrush
November 30, 2005, 08:38 PM
Marie:

You are probably tired of all this advice but it is a very interesting thread and 99.9999% of all gun owners love to help new people in the sport as long as they are safe and willing to learn.

I am sticking to my guns here :D go with the 357 revolver but shoot 38's to begin with you are a full grown up and should easily be able to start with 38's no problem just get good instruction.

I realize lots of people like snake shot for snakes but you should be able to get good enough to step back and still hit a snake with regular ammo. I just dont like the thought of my first shot being snake shot if serious danger needs to be dealt with. You can always walk around a snake but might not be able to avoid a havelina I vote for sticking with regular ammo and recommed that you carry Got Dot for your regular carry ammo.

Good Luck

mnrivrat
November 30, 2005, 10:31 PM
I realize lots of people like snake shot for snakes but you should be able to get good enough to step back and still hit a snake with regular ammo.

My thought :

If you have the time to safely step away then you don't need either shot or slug . I been close enough to feel I had to shoot rather than move and believe me when I say that you don't want to depend on being that accurate . Now that's just my opinion from the two or three encounters I have had . Getting a quick kill shot with a single slug means head shot to me, and that head ain't standing still !

I've also encountered more snakes at close distance than I have Havelina and feel that second cylinder with a slug can come up right quick if need be. Again - just my opinion.

1911Ron
November 30, 2005, 10:42 PM
Howdy and welcome Marie, You have gotten some good advice so far so i'm going to give some different advice, go to Shooters World and rent some different types of pistols.
When you have found one you like,go over to GunsPlus in Surprise and talk to Ken(the owner)or Kelly(his wife) and they will hook you up on a gun and a basic pistol class. My wife and two boys went thru this class and really enjoyed it.
Shooters World if you didn't know is south of IndianSchool on 28th ave GunsPlus is north of Grand ave on Dysart on the right hand side(east side). PM me if you have any questions or go shooting with me and my family:D

22-rimfire
December 1, 2005, 08:17 AM
Thoughtful advice so far, I think. My recommendations fall into two groups (357/38spl or 22 LR), both with revolvers for their simplicity of operation and safety. I would suggest you go to a nice gun shop and look at revolvers manufactured by Ruger (SP101 and GP100 models), and Smith & Wesson (J-Frame) in 357 mag or 38spl+P. I would shoot 38spl's through whatever revolver you buy whether it be rated 357 or 38spl. The 357 just gives you more flexibility in ammunition, but at a price of an increase in the overall bulk and weight of the firearm. Your choice will be to buy something that is small (with short barrel) that is concealable or buy a larger gun with a 4" barrel that is less concealable but easier to shoot accurately.

The 22LR revolver makes a very suitable gun to carry in the woods for general purposes. You aren't going to kill a bear with it, but it is great for snakes, target practice, or just plinking. I would suggest you look at the Smith & Wesson line of 22 revolvers and get something with a 4" barrel. There are lots of very fine used 22 revolvers. I lean toward Colts and Smith & Wessons for overall reliability and fit.

No one gun provides for every possibility. If ultimate flexibility is your purpose, I would lean toward a 357 mag revolver and then shoot mostly 38spl ammunition through it. But it gives you the ability to shoot the higher powered 357 loads which have a fair amount of recoil. Smaller the gun, the more recoil.

I believe that you will discover that you are not "legally" allowed to carry a gun in National Parks even in a backpack. Many hikers do for protection, but they keep a low profile and have the guns in their backpacks concealed. Concealed means illegal unless you have a concealed carry permit; but guns are still illegal in National Parks regardless of a carry permit.

CatsDieNow
December 1, 2005, 09:07 AM
Well, I am young and female. I can tell you how I got started - all this took place over about three years:

1. Trusted friends of mine from college (who are coiencidently members of this board) took me with them to the shooting range.
2. I declared the .22 target pistol "mine" after shooting it for a couple hours.
3. Actual owner of said pistol suggested I buy my own - which I did several weeks later. I was not interested in carrying a gun at this time.
4. Eventually, while living alone in a new state, I bought my first 9mm pistol and took the concealed carry class (from a member of this board).

I suggest you take an NRA beginner class first, find a range that rents guns next, then take a concealed carry class (if AZ requires one).

As for the guns, I am a big fan of Kahr (http://www.kahr.com/pistols_PM9093.html). More expensive than others suggested above, but it is a very solid little gun. The link is for a PM9, which is a lighter polymer frame. I have an MK9 which is the same size, but a steel frame. Kahr makes full size ones as well. I have little hands and Glocks and others just don't fit me - the Kel-tecs always felt like cheap toys. I personally never cared much for revolvers, but they are good guns too.

Besides, Kahrs are just good looking. We girls must have cute guns, right? :D

middy
December 1, 2005, 09:30 AM
I prescribe a Ruger SP101 in .357 mag with a 3 1/16" barrel.

It's small enough to conceal, yet heavy enough that you should be able to shoot magnum rounds in relative comfort, and the 3"+ barrel will wring a few more fps out of your loads.

Also take a look at the 4" GP100, the extra round and extra barrel length are worth it if it's not too big for you.

hso
December 1, 2005, 10:24 AM
Marie,

Thanks for providing additional information.

As to National Parks, you can't carry a firearm. Get a BIG bear sized pepper spray and a stout staff if you want to comply with the legal restrictions.

I can't speak to AZ state parks rirearm carry.

You don't need to shoot a snake if you're not paralyzed;). Just walk away. I've encountered plenty of rattle snakes while hiking and never needed to kill one to avoid being bitten.

If you're going to carry hiking, carry in the open and don't stuff it into your pack. If you need to use the gun, you don't want to be fumbling around in your pack for it.

beaucoup ammo
December 1, 2005, 10:41 AM
Not having read the entire thread, I don't know if this suggestion has been offerd up: Get a .357 revolver (perhaps a "Lady Smith"?) and load it with .38 Caliber rounds.

Arrange the sequence so the first round fired is "Snake Shot"..(addressing the maim, hurt request) with subsequent rounds being 38 Special +P 125 Gr. Semi-Jacketed Hollowpoints.

Enjoy the great outdoors with your K-9 pal AND the added peace of mind a concealed weapon affords you!

Above all, check your state's CCW laws before heading out armed.

Take Care

Ichiro
December 1, 2005, 10:55 AM
Here's one more vote for an all-steel, SA/DA .357 mag revolver for the simplicity and the versatility.

Ruger SP-101 or GP-100.

~Ichiro

JamisJockey
December 1, 2005, 11:01 AM
I'm another one for a .357mag revolver. You can feed it .38 spcl ammo if you don't like the recoil.
Go to the gunshop and handle as many as possible. See what you like, whats comfortable, and then get some training.

LawDog
December 1, 2005, 01:00 PM
Okay.

First, find yourself something along the lines of:

www.caswells.com

They have gun rentals and Ladies Day. Go, with a friend if necessary, tell the employees that you're new and ask questions. Try any gun that looks interesting, and ask more questions. I'd plan on spending an afternoon.

Lot's of folks here suggesting .38/.357 revolvers. Rent one, and try it with both the .38 Special loads and the .357 magnum loads. If they have a .32 magnum, rent that one and give a whirl. If the .38/.357 seems light, give a .44 special or even a .45 Colt a try.

Find the gun, and the load that you are comfortable with.

Once you find one that you like, sign up for an NRA class and get that under your belt.

Take the NRA class(s), then go back and test guns again -- you may find that your taste in guns may have changed -- then buy yourself your first gun.

Please be aware that you will not be allowed to carry your new pistol on Federal lands, and are in danger of going to jail if you try.

Call your Arizona State office that is in charge of State Parks and enquire as to the legality of carrying a pistol on State Park land.

And, please, take as much training in firearms as you can.

Welcome to THR.

LawDog

Hemicuda
December 1, 2005, 04:21 PM
I'd say a pure stainless one (the airweights like my 637 are nice, BUT...) the all stainless ones are a bit heavire, and recoil is better due to the fact...

also stainless for ease of care, and preferrably one which is chambered for .357 mag, because then you can shoot anything from light .38 loads, to full-bore .357's, all in the same weapon...

My GF carries a Mod. 640 every day, and it is a FINE choice...

LIYAH
December 1, 2005, 11:32 PM
:) ok first let me again thank every one for the information.
i do have a couple questions, (again)
1 - snake shot, from what i am reading it is not one single bullet but more like pellets for a lack of a better word, so you don't miss?
1a- can snake shot be used against others, 2 or 4 legged?
1b- can snake shot only be used in a revolver?
2 - Arizona question- if i am hiking in a State Preserve is that considered a state park (i think so? but if anyone knows?)
2a- would i need to carry it in my hydra-pac

i believe there is a gun show this weekend, i was going to try and go down armed with my list of guns that everyone suggested, and a notebook.:)

i will let you know what happens- again thank you so very much
-will keep in touch

~Marie

cslinger
December 1, 2005, 11:52 PM
Snakeshot is indeed a series of small pellets. They do make it slighty easier to hit a target such as a snake but you still have to aim. They are not nearly enough to deter a determined predator two or four legs.

Snake shot tends to not feed well in semi auto handguns due to its bullet shape and is typically recommended for revolvers.

Call your local authorities to find out your local laws. Don't rely on anything but that from the horses mouth, preferably in writing.

Arizona is an open carry state if I remember correctly so where legal you shouldn't need to put it in a pack. See above suggestion about local laws though.

While you are at the show handle as many guns as possible but don't buy right away come back with specific questions and if at all possible find a place locally where you can rent and try.

Good luck and take care.

Chris

Nightfall
December 2, 2005, 12:06 AM
Start your journey into the world of guns right here: http://thehighroad.org/library/rules.html

The Four Rules of Gun Safety

1.All firearms are always loaded.
2.Always keep a firearm pointed in a safe direction.
3.Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
4.Always be sure of your target and know what is behind it along the bullet's trajectory.

JamisJockey
December 2, 2005, 09:37 AM
Snake shot is a bad self defense round. It doesn't carry any whollop nor stopping power. If you're carrying the gun outdoors on hikes and what not, its a good round for dispensing with wayward snakes and small critters.

LawDog
December 2, 2005, 09:43 AM
Marie,

Snake-shot can be found here:
http://www.cci-ammunition.com/default.asp?menu=1&s1=3&pg=14&prod_id=24
It's a load of very small pellets. There are snake-shot rounds designed for semi-autos, but the ability of snake-shot rounds to cycle a semi-automatic pistol is iffy at best.

I personally would only use snake shot in a revolver.

Snake-shot is best used at less than 10 feet on nothing larger than a snake or a small rodent.

Your best bet to find out if a State Preserve is considered a State Park is to call (or e-mail) the governmental unit that oversees Parks and/or Preserves.

If you are allowed to carry your pistol, I would strongly advise that you carry your pistol in a holster on your person. If you find yourself needing your pistol, more than likely you will need it now, and you will have neither the time, nor luxury, to dig through your pack to get it.

LawDog

LIYAH
December 2, 2005, 09:51 PM
Greetings!!! i could not stand the reading and no handling, so i drove around during my lunch break until i found a gun shop!!! they had a Smith and Wesson 640, very nice, nice feel, nice look. Also a 38 special a little heavier but not to bad i liked them both. now i must shoot them. but first find a range someone mentioned caswells and shooters world.
another question, i am left handed, easy or hard to find left handed belt holsters?

~i'll keep you updated
~Marie




ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?

cslinger
December 2, 2005, 11:16 PM
Finding a left handed holster for something like a J-Frame revolver, like the 640 should be relatively easy since they are very popular guns.

Once to consider being a lefty are the gun's controls. Are you able to open the cylinder easy or in the case of a bottom feeder (Semi-Automatic) can you work the magazine release, slide release and or safeties. Once again it all comes to to tinkering with and playing with many models to make sure they work for you.

The Smith and Wesson 640 is a hell of a good gun by the way.

Chris

ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?

Billy, have you ever seen a grown man naked?
Have you ever been to a Turkish prison?

Sorry I know it is a Batman reference but it just reminded me of that for some reason. :D

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