Hey THR: n00b here...I have Questions!


June 26, 2006, 02:03 AM
Hello all,

name is Brian, i'm 22 and from Connecticut, recently a college grad, and am in the CT state police process.

Just got into the whole shooting thing. I've always been interested, but now I finally took the initiative. My dad and I completed the NRA Basic Pistol Safety Course (8-10 hours or so) in which i received much classroom setting instruction and about 50 shots off of various guns.

first handgun i shot was a Beretta .22 rimfire
then we moved up to the .38 special revolver
the 9mm beretta
and finally a Kimber 1911 .45 :evil:

here is my final target from the day, disreguard the bottom holes from the instructors .45 (dunno what he was doing anyways)



I seemed to do well with the .22 beretta and the .45 1911 (with a 3lb trigger, which was the instructors personal competition piece)

about 5 days ago a friend and I went to a CT range and rented a Glock 19, a Sig 226 and a Springfield XD-9.

the gun i was best my 2nd session shooting seemed to be the XD noted here...

(dont' know if it was the XD tactical, or if it was even 5 inches, now that i think about it, and the Sig '2' was me not knowing whether to write Sig 226, or 239...but i found out it was the sig 226)



i guess with practice and time i'll get better. I'd like to probably rent one more time before buying a handgun, but i'm leaning toward the XD just based on my 2nd session's perfomance with it.

the main reason i'm posting, is to say hello, to show an interest, but also, ask if any member here made a n00b guide to handguns or FAQ or tutorial on gun basics or techniques? if so, could someone direct me to such thread, because I couldn't find it with a search

thanks all :D

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June 26, 2006, 05:02 AM
Welcome, nice to see someone close to my age around here.

You seem to be proficient with the XD as well, I assume it was in 9mm?

Welcome to THR!

Brian Williams
June 26, 2006, 09:10 AM
Welcome to THR, Not to bad for a noob, keep shooting with this in mind as you squeeze the trigger. Front sight, Front Sight, Front sight. The idea is with a proper grip and good sight alignment, you focus on the front sight as you steadily squeeze the trigger. The shot should suprise you. If you are working for accuracy, set a specific group size you are looking for and shoot a group at the closest distance that you can consistently be within that size then moove back from the target until you are shooting just larger than that group. Example: Say you are looking to shoot 4 inch groups and you can consistently shoot 3.5 inch groups at say 10yds, move back to 12 yards and see what your grouping is. If it is 4 inches, move back to 14 yards and check it there, if it is 4.5" stay there and practice until you can hit under 4" groups. Once you become proficient with 4" groups, look to decrease the group size and start all over.

You can do the same with speed of firing, look at the time it takes you to fire a mag full or 5 rounds. look to get just a little faster and a little more accurate each time.

Also do a Web search and find the Army Marksmanship manual.

Henry Bowman
June 26, 2006, 09:14 AM
Aim small, miss small.

In other words (in addition to what Brian said above), aim at a small target and you will instictively shoot smaller groups than if you are aiming at a larger spot.

June 26, 2006, 09:19 AM
You were very smart to get a .22

I find that the more I practice with .22's, the better my marksmanship gets including my marksmanship with larger calibers. Shooting a lot of .22 encourages good habits and generally sets you to have high expectations of your accuracy.

Pick one of the larger caliber handguns you want to get proficient with, and shoot that gun 25% of your practice time. Shoot the .22 75% of your practice time.

June 26, 2006, 09:23 AM
Nice to see that we still have young people inetersted in guns up here:)

June 26, 2006, 01:38 PM
I wanted to become comfortable around guns so I could be proficient with them.

or is that the other way around (proficient so I can be comfortable) ;)

anyways, it is probably 1 year from this month before i'm an actual CT state trooper, and that is assuming I pass all the steps leading up to the academy, and then stay the full 6 months for the academy without quitting!

I should be alright though.

shooting is damn expensive, especially when you have other monetary obligations like bills, rent, student loans :(

El Tejon
June 26, 2006, 01:40 PM
Welcome to THR!

In a fight, think front sight.:)

June 26, 2006, 01:42 PM

I only used the .22 in the NRA pistol safety course. Otherwise, I do not own one :o

i'll probably go for the XD when I get money, but by that time, i'll probably be in the Academy :)

June 26, 2006, 01:51 PM

Like you said, shooting can be expensive, so I'd suggest going with a .22 at first to get really comfortable with the "basics" You can get a block of 500rds of ammo cheap! (I've seen bricks of 500 for like $8-$9)
Worry about the larger caliber later since $$ is tight, especialy if the academy supplies the weapons for range time. And if they don't though it adds to your cost consider looking for a weapon that has a .22 conversion kit available for it, so you will still be able to shoot cheap.
Best of luck with what ever you decide and welcome to the forum. :)

Vitamin G
June 26, 2006, 02:29 PM
I found that a .22 handgun and an inexpensive rest in which i could focus on trigger control (and alot less on breathing, etc) helped me immensely. After getting where I wanted to be on the bag, I began shooting normally and focused on both trigger (which I had "mastered" in my eager eyes) and now the other variables.

Then moved onto 9mm
Then .45
Then 10mm
Then 44mag

Then repeated the process with rifles...

June 26, 2006, 02:49 PM
Learning to shoot really well, is usually dependent on actually shooting. The
.22 rimfire is the cheapest, quietest, and has the least recoil. And a good quality .22 is relatively inexpensive to buy. You can usually buy a brand new Ruger Mk series or similar for LT $300. Spend another $200 putting ammo through it and you will be amazed at how you shooting will improve. Once you learn to shoot then you will be able to make a much better/more informed decision on what you will want to actually use and shoot long term. Shooting the .22 will allow you to develop proper shoot form and habits, so that when you move up to something larger you will have the skills necessary to do it well.

June 26, 2006, 08:47 PM
what kind of prices am I looking at for a used .22 handgun? (or should I get a new one)

and what kind of guns do you guys recommend?

the cool thing about the 1911 is the conversion kit to make it .22 barrel/slide

but that gets pretty darn pricey

June 26, 2006, 08:56 PM
Coupla points. You're off to a good start. Remember this--the only thing they can't take away from you is your skill, and the only thing that will save you when you need it is your skill. The skill is much more important than which gun you have. The best shots I know can shoot any dog of a pistol well. Whatever you get, shoot a lot--not necessarily a lot of rounds per session, but shoot as often as you can to ingrain good habits.

My experience--some days I like a 1911. Other days I like a Glock, or a SIG, or a High Power, or an XD, or a Smith. Whatever you get, in 6 mos you'll probably want something else. This is not a problem, it's how most of us get into this as an avocation.

Good luck.

June 26, 2006, 10:08 PM

this site is a pretty good one to show what new and occasionally used guns are going for. It is actually an internet sales site. This lists stuff from many shops in just about every make and model. You can look and see what you want to get and get a pretty good idea what it will run you.

June 26, 2006, 10:22 PM
If you like the feel (heft / grip angle) of the 1911 (the XD's is similar if not identical, I believe, and not by coincidence), you might consider a Ruger 22/45.

- 22: it fires .22 long rifle, which is cheap
- 45: though you'd never mistake it for one, it bears certain resemblances in feel to the 1911 .45ACP pistol. (Magazine release in similar place, and the mentioned grip angle.) Someone will correct me if this is a marketing lie by the Ruger folks, but I believe this model was developed in order for the army to get recruits inexpensive and confidence boosting handgun training before letting them use actual .45 ammo.

They're not "cheap" but they're not all that expensive, either; figure $280-400 depending on what kind. (My prices may be a few years worth of optimistic, though.) I have one with a 4" bull barrel, and it's a blast to shoot. Just about zero recoil, super accurate, feels good in the hand.


June 26, 2006, 10:47 PM

thats a nice one, the next state over from me

325 for a Ruger P85 9mm

http://www.thehighroad.org/images/icons/icon14.gif or http://www.thehighroad.org/images/icons/icon13.gif

July 6, 2006, 01:55 AM
any suggestions on what to do, besides start saving up :o

July 6, 2006, 03:45 AM
any suggestions on what to do, besides start saving up

Welcome to THR.

Suggstions, huh? Invest some time and money in another range trip or two and see if anything else catches your fancy - as in it fits your hand well, you shoot it well, it's cool to you. If what you like is little more expensive save the money and get that, you won't regret it. You may also look into what the CT State Police issue and at least try it out. If you're only a few months away from the academy I'd get a nice 22 for practice and wait on getting a larger handgun until after the academy. While there you'll be using the gun they issue. When you finish you can decide if you want something like what they issue or something different; for example state LE agencies in Ga. issue The Glock Model 22, full size 40 S&W. Many officers get a Glock 23 or 27 as a personal piece. Each of those gets shorter in both grip and barrel length, but they're the same width as the larger gun and all the controls like mag release, slide release, are in the same place. They all have the same "manual of arms" as its called. Another advantage to waiting until after the academy is that most companies give a discount to LE officers on personal weapons. You simply call up Glock, SIG, Springfield, etc. and ask about LE pricing. They'll tell you what dealers in your area participate in their LE pricing program, what ID to bring, and what paperwork you'll need to fill out. The savings can be substantial. Many times you'll also get 3 mags instead of two, lower pricing on night sights, or other perks on top of discounted pricing. Get a 22 and practice, practice, practice. Then get a larger caliber handgun with your improved income and LE discount after the police academy.

July 6, 2006, 03:23 PM
The CT State Police duty weapons are Sig Sauer P229 in .40 S&W.

July 6, 2006, 07:41 PM
Hi Superbri007

I actually think the second taget the sig has a better shot grouping.

It may be a little to the left but they are more togethor - although as a new shooter it may be you and not the gun.

Anyway, if they issue a sig you can't go wrong with a sig - or maybe something as a BUG?

July 6, 2006, 09:21 PM
Welcome aboard!

But I'll warn you:

shooting is damn expensive, especially when you have other monetary obligations....

It only gets worse. I dropped about $300 on ammo alone over the weekend, some of it for the new pistol I spent $950 the week before. It would seem any hobby worth indulging is spendy. Oh well. Happy shooting!

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