Next step up from .22LR?


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WeedWhacker
July 9, 2006, 03:45 AM
I'm doing my best to introduce one of my friends to the world of shooting (for fun and serious work) in a wise manner. After starting out on a .22LR Ruger rental (I don't own a .22 autoloader), my friend wanted to shoot a round out of my 9mm G17 - and didn't like the result. That set me back a bit, as I was planning, likely fooloshly) to hit the basics of handling and operation with the .22LR Ruger before stepping right to the G17.

I'd love to find a pistol or a carbine which fires pistol rounds which is acceptable and fun for my friend, but in something better than .22LR - even .22WMR would be better.

I know of the following:
Excel Arms' Accelerator .22WMR pistol
Grendel/Gremmel/G-something (reported as not reliable)
AMT's .22WMR pistol (supposedly *very* dependant on ammo type for reliable function)

Anyone have experience with the Accelerator, specifically in terms of reliability? Any other comparable offerings I'd missed? Which carbines with a ".22LR-pistol-like" recoil are out there in a better calibre?

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telomerase
July 9, 2006, 04:05 AM
I'd forget about the .22 magnum... they're really loud in any pistol and hard to make reliable in autos.

Any of the decent carbines will be very mild in 9mm. You might also consider a .38 revolver, as some people just don't like the slide moving. There have been some good reviews of the CZ83 in .32, maybe someone will chime in here (but you'll have to avoid rimlock).

Fit is usually the main problem, though. If the grips really fit and the person is comfortable with the action, they'll tolerate a lot more noise and recoil.

All that said, maybe they should just shoot .22s for a few months so that they get good habits and never develop a flinch.

Wastemore
July 9, 2006, 04:10 AM
I'm not a big Ruger fan, but the 10/22 mag has proven itself. If you don't mind spending a bit more a 77/22 would be a solid choice. A Single-six convertable is an enjoyable firearm to shoot and it will shoot .22 lr and .22 WMR.

I honestly don't like Ruger much, but they really do offer reliable/affordable rimfire guns.

WeedWhacker
July 9, 2006, 04:10 AM
I'm seriously reconsidering dismissing the .22LR out of hand. Sure, it's not what I'd choose, but then again, I don't mind the recoil of a 9mm.

I was disappointed with the Ruger .22LR pistol of unknown generation we rented though (I know rentals get abused) - jammed three or four times out of 100 rounds, NOT something which impressed me when we were discussing pistols for a self-defense role.

If I were to suggest a .22LR autoloader, it would *have* to be stone reliable. I'm reading up on the Browning Buckmark now. BTW, what's "wrong" with the Ruger MkIIIs? Folks seem to prefer the MkIIs which aren't made anymore...

AJAX22
July 9, 2006, 04:12 AM
I believe beretta makes a dandy little carbine in .22, if you just are looking for a step up cartridge for a handgun don't overlook .32 auto, its a good inbetween round. .380 can be ok, but I'd prefer a .32 over a .380 most times, try a colt pocket pistol, they are great.

for 22 pistols, its very hard to beat a ruger mkII autoloader, they just plain work. browning makes a benchmark that is pretty ok. and if you can find a colt woodsman, those are the cats pajamas, (so to speek). most of the carbines in 9mm are pretty decent, they don't make many of them that are junk anymore, even the hi points don't have too bad a rep.

the longer barrel and higher mass of the rifles should make up for the louder pop and the recoil should be manageable.

Lupinus
July 9, 2006, 04:19 AM
Start with .22lr

then if you are working with handguns step up to something with mild to moderate recoil like 9mm, .38, or .32 (the .32 to me is good because it offers pop but not a lot)

If rifles step up to a .223 or pistol caliber carbine, if you want to get into larger calibers a 30-30 is nice, it recoils but not as much as say a 30-06

k_semler
July 9, 2006, 04:22 AM
"Graduate" him to a rifle, and shoot 5.56x45 out of an AR15. It has pretty lame recoil, and can easily be handled by novices. I imagine you could fire it out of a pistol if you wanted, (if you could find one that actually fires it safely), as the recoil is so light.

WeedWhacker
July 9, 2006, 04:28 AM
Start with .22lr

then if you are working with handguns step up to something with mild to moderate recoil like 9mm, .38, or .32 (the .32 to me is good because it offers pop but not a lot)

We did that. The .22LR was described as "fun", which I found encouraging. I didn't have anything else other than 9mm, which was "not fun". I'm wary of .32 ACP due to rim-lock problems, but may have to look at it anyway. Lastly, the .38 is a revolver round, and while I recognize the value of revolvers, I am heavily biased in favor of modern semi-autos. Obviously, I could suggest a .380, and I'll do so if I'm able next time (I don't own a .380).

I may just need to give the .22LR pistol round time to grow on my friend, thinking that later, a bit more recoil won't be a problem after the .22LR has been gotten used to... A pistol form-factor is preferable at this point, due to self-defense of a home with fairly tight corridors being a primary consideration for its use.

Tim Burke
July 9, 2006, 09:23 AM
.380 ACP might be a viable option, IF you use a locked breech gun, for instance a Colt Government 380. In a blowback pistol, like a PPK, or a SIG 230 or 232, your student will likely think it is worse than the Glock.

LoadedDrum
July 9, 2006, 09:38 AM
4" Ruger SP101 in 32H&R would be something to consider

CajunBass
July 9, 2006, 09:46 AM
BTW, what's "wrong" with the Ruger MkIIIs? Folks seem to prefer the MkIIs which aren't made anymore...

I tihink the things most people say they don't like about the Ruger MK III are the magazine disconnect, and the loaded chamber indicator. I can't think of any other differences, but someone else may know of some. They say the trigger isn't as good on the MK III because of the mag disconnect, and they either don't like loaded chamber indicators in general, or they specifically don't likke the one on the MK III's.

I've got one of each. For shooting I don't see a dimes worth of difference. YMMV of course.

I suspect that the range guns you were shooting are dirty. My Rugers very seldom jam, even with cheap bulk ammo. The Ruger 22 isn't a very good self defense pistol anyway, because of it's size, although I suppose it coiuld be used as a house/car gun. My wife has a Bersa 22 Firestorm that is "Ivory Snow" reliable (99 44/100%) with CCI mini mags. It will jam with cheaper bulk ammo though.

9mm and 38 special are about as mild a recoiling handgun as you're going to find I would think. The 32 and 380 guns generally are so much smaller and lighter that they tend to kick just as hard, or harder than the heavier guns in a more powerful cartridge.

hksw
July 9, 2006, 10:26 AM
...my friend wanted to shoot a round out of my 9mm G17 - and didn't like the result.

What was it about the 9 mm that he and you (coming off of a .22 lr) didn't like? Was it the recoil? Accuracy? Noise?

3-4 rounds out of 100 isn't too far off in failures from what some of the very low end .22 lr ammo out there will produce, couple that with a range gun. What ammo were you using? IMO, the failures could be used as good exercise in knowing what to do when dealing with failures and how to quickly clear them in the event they occur. Every gun, even ones you will rely you life on, will eventually fail. It would be good to know what to do and do it quickly.

Vonderek
July 9, 2006, 10:35 AM
I dunno, if 9mm bothered him that much and he's comfortable with 22LR, then why push him? Maybe let him decide if and when he wants to move on to something bigger.

Tom C.
July 9, 2006, 10:46 AM
There are several issues here. One is increasing the caliber. The other is power if the rounds chosen in the larger caliber. After getting comfortable with the .22, the IMO, next logical step is to 9mm, .38. Which ever you prefer, begin with very mild ammo. If you don't reload, there probably is a wider selection of mild loads in .38. Weight of the gun is also a factor. If you have a choice, a heavier (within reason) gun would be preferred. I would prefer my S&W Model 27 over a Ruger SP101 or GP100.

45Badger
July 9, 2006, 11:03 AM
Start with a S&W Model 18, .22 cal, 4" barrel

Move up top a Model 15, .38 special, 4" barrel

Plenty of good learning to be had in those two guns. Usually very relaible, very accurate, and purty to look at!

OldSchooler
July 9, 2006, 11:09 AM
There isnt much beyond .22 LR/.22Mag in an autoloading handgun until you hit things like the .30 cal Tokarevs, .32 ACP. Alas, such things as the Toks and ACP's are either in guns that are small and/or quite sharp in terms of recoil for a neophyte.

There is the .25 ACP, but it normally is in lilliputian arms that are no better than what youve had up till now and often even worse. They can be hard just to hold onto, let alone fire with any result.

Have you tried a revolver? For many folks this is the ideal way to go. Simple to operate, reliable and with enough heft to tame a lot of recoil, they often have enough oomph to make some people outright blush.

On that note, I lke the .32 Mag, which will fire the .32 S&W, much as a .357 will happily digest .38 Specials; and, here, then is something Ive always wished for...

NOTE: TOPIC DE-RAIL AHEAD

I would like to see our makers revisit the concept of a .28-.32 cal round done up in a pot/camp revolver, perhaps even in a .32 rimfire, as blasphemous as that sounds. H&R was down that road with their .32 Mag, but now they're sadly defunct and there arent many guns in the chambering to be had that fill the bill. Ruger has a SA, in their Single Six (which are not widely available), and Taurus makes a snubbie. That's it for current production. You're going used if you want anything else in the caliber...and are in for a search.

The trend nowadays is to ever faster - note the emergence of things like the .17 rimfire and WSM's. But a moderate bullet at moderate velocity has always been useful and there used to be any number of them, back in great-granddads day. There actually was a .32 rimfire back then. In a 6" DA, it would suit well. Now, BTT...

Perhaps your friend needs a mild .38 target load or something like that, in a revolver. While you seem to be devoted to the autoloader-is-better idea, perhaps a wheelie is called for.

Something else to address is that some peple are put off by recoil in the beginning and the bark and flash so close to their face is disturbing.

If handguns are in the offing, then a mild .38 load sounds right. And make you work on basics like grip stance, etc. and be sure he understands what is going on, why it makes all the noise and kick and use good ear and eye protection.

Hawkmoon
July 9, 2006, 01:08 PM
We did that. The .22LR was described as "fun", which I found encouraging. I didn't have anything else other than 9mm, which was "not fun". I'm wary of .32 ACP due to rim-lock problems, but may have to look at it anyway. Lastly, the .38 is a revolver round, and while I recognize the value of revolvers, I am heavily biased in favor of modern semi-autos. Obviously, I could suggest a .380, and I'll do so if I'm able next time (I don't own a .380).
The range where I shoot has a couple of Bersa Thunder .380s that they rent. Apparently novices, especially female, really like them because of the lack of recoil and muzzle blast. The owner says he sells a lot of them, and they are extremely reliable.

I think .380 ACP is the logical step beyond .22LR if your friend didn't care for 9mm. .25 auto and .32 ACP are less common and, as already pointed out, are typically found only in "Lilliputian" guns that were never intended to provide exceptional accuracy, only to make noise and throw small bullets a short distance in the general direction of an adversary.

Another possibility is a 1911 in 9mm. The recoil of a 9mm 1911 is neglibible (at least compared to a .45) because of the weight of an all steel pistol.

Pistol Toter
July 9, 2006, 03:03 PM
If your range has one, how about a .32 SW Long. They're mild, easy to fire and accurate. Standard Vel. .38 spl is pretty mild too.. Maybe your friend is not ready to progress; let he / she tell you when there ready to try something different. I they see you firing something else then they will eventually want to try it, just make them aware that it will be different. My youngest son kept after me to let him shoot a SxS 12ga, he was somewhat small in stature and I kept telling him, son that thing will kick the stuffings out of you. Finally one day I said OK, just be prepared, he was, and there has been no stopping him ever since. When your friends ready, they'll tell you, and won't matter if it's a howitzer.

Vitamin G
July 9, 2006, 03:30 PM
When i bring newbies, i also start with a .22lr pistol (Ruger mk II) and when they feel ready, i let them hold both a browning hi-power and a 1911, and let them shoot whichever feels more comfortable. For the BHP, they get WWB. If they pick the 1911, they get 200grSWC over 4.0gr of bullseye.

dfaugh
July 9, 2006, 03:52 PM
Seriously consider a carbine. I start with a .22 bolt (safety first, they have to work the bolt and/or load each shell) then we go to a .22 autoloader, THEN we go to the 9mm Hi-Point carbine (which has almost NO recoil). I've found that recoil isn't always the problem, but the louder (even with hearing protection, of course) 9mm cause them to want to a "back off"...Not nearly the problem with the carbine. THEN, when they are comfortable, transition to the handgun.

moredes
July 9, 2006, 03:59 PM
I like Vitamin G's advice. I've been teaching my wife to shoot over the last 6 weeks. We've been out about once a week. She hates guns, but she knows they're a necessity. She stands no chance unarmed and she knows it, so her dislike/distain to shooting practice is outweighed by her realization of her vulnerability. So she practices, grudgingly. She hates recoil almost as much as she hates guns.

I started her out on a Ruger Mk II. She's run about 500 rounds through it over 6-7 sessions, and has just been introduced to a 9mm BHP. She has small hands and the HP is a challenge to manipulate, but she's getting used to it, and her aversion for practice is slowly melting away. I start her off at every sesson with the Mk II first-- she's only shot about 75 rounds of 9mm over the last two sessions, but what was once completely objectionable is now a challenge, and she almost "contends" with it all. If she can deal with it--noise, recoil, weight, I think your friend can too, if the approach is right.

I'm hoping to get to the point where I can move her into and through .45acp 200 SWC 4.4 - 5.4 WW231 someday. I've got a 6" comped 1911 in mind that hopefully, will get her to the final stage--WW 230 Rangers in a 5" steel 1911.

Otherguy Overby
July 9, 2006, 04:42 PM
Next trip to the range, do take some form of evil black assault rifle, too.:what:

Just bring it out to the range and say something about yourself just shooting it later. Let 'em shoot the friendly .22s and something else reasonably tame. If one of the newbies asks about the EBR after shooting abit, reluctantly agree to let him shoot it. You might find they all want to shoot it and like it... :)

ARs are cool!

learn2shoot
July 9, 2006, 05:02 PM
I think this depends on your student. If he is comfortable with a .22 and does not want to graduate, pushing him into a larger caliber before he is ready may do more work to put him off guns, than anything else.

But... If he is bored with the .22 I would reccomend a light .38 Special in a large frame .357 gun (perhaps a 686+ 6 inch barrel) I would stay away from a .380 because (as stated by a previos poster) I have a SIG and the felt recoil in the 230 is greater than the recoil in the 92FS in 9mm. If you decide the .380 Colt might be the way to go try it before handing him the gun.

RustyFN
July 9, 2006, 06:15 PM
I am new on the gun scene. I bought a Ruger Mark III about a month ago. Out of 1500 rounds I had one fail to load that was my fault and one FTF that was a bad round. I don't have any experience with the Mark II but I have let some experienced shooters shoot my gun and they were surprised how nice the trigger was. I went to the range with a friend and he let me shoot his Walther P99 40 cal. It was an awesome gun but I thought it was to much for me right now. I want something more than my Ruger and have been looking at the CZ 75 SP-01 in 9mm. I guess the point I am trying to make is your friend will know best when it is time to move to a bigger calibre. Hope this helps.
Rusty

ilbob
July 9, 2006, 06:21 PM
I tihink the things most people say they don't like about the Ruger MK III are the magazine disconnect, and the loaded chamber indicator. I can't think of any other differences, but someone else may know of some. They say the trigger isn't as good on the MK III because of the mag disconnect, and they either don't like loaded chamber indicators in general, or they specifically don't likke the one on the MK III's.

I do not own a MKIII but am told the main reason they are not as popular as the MKII has to do with getting them back together after field stripping them for cleaning. I am told that it is not obvious how to get it back together.

michael_aos
July 9, 2006, 06:32 PM
My wife had no problem going from .22LR to a full-size 9mm.

She has kind of adopted the CZ75B as "hers", but lately she mostly shoots the Springfield 9mm 1911 I bought for steel matches.

I recently purchased a S&W Model 67 (38 Special) and we're each having a lot of fun plinking with it. I think its a great gun for beginners and just "fun" to shoot.

http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson/upload/images/firearms/162802_large.jpg

Old Griz
July 9, 2006, 07:01 PM
I'm not a big fan of Ruger .22 automatics. I had one that wouldn't shoot anything reliably except CCI Blazers. However, in their defense, .22 autos can be very finicky with what they like to eat. One can come off the line like mine, and the next one will shoot anything you feed into it. That's just life with .22s. Most folks love 'em, and I hazard to guess that more Mk.I & Mk.IIs have been sold than any other .22 pistol on the market, so I'm sure mine was an anomaly.

You said you were heavily biased toward automatics. All I can say is, get over it. If a wimpie little 9mm is too much for your friend, let him or her rent a good sized .38 Special (or .357 and shoot .38s in it) the next time you go to the range. Make sure you don't get +P loads.

It's going to be hard to find a centerfire gun with less recoil than a 9mm, or a .38 Special. Small caliber guns are usually small guns, period. Therefore, they are not going to be pleasant to shoot. .38 revolvers are terrific training guns, and have been for many years. Start him or her off with a K-frame or L-frame S&W, or a Ruger double action.

I never told my wife about recoil. She knew nothing about it when she started shooting, never worried about it, and even today she pretty much ignores it. The words, "Focus on the front sight" stuck in her sweet little brain, and when she shoots that is what she does. If recoil is your focus, you'll never shoot well. She carries a .357, and loves to shoot .45 ACPs. I haven't pressed my luck by giving her a .44 mag . . . yet. I'm afraid she might like it, and then I'm out another gun!

Vern Humphrey
July 9, 2006, 09:09 PM
I'd recommend a used Smith and Wesson or Colt in .38 Special or .357 Magnum. You can shoot light .38 Specials in this revolver, and then progress to stiffer loads.

In fact, invest in a reloading kit and you can tailor your loads and shoot very cheaply. I like a 148-grain cast wadcutter (cast from wheel weights and lubed with liquid Alox) over 2.7 grains of Bullseye. This is very accurate in all my .38s and .357s, is dirt cheap to reload, and kills small game like the hammer of Thor.

akodo
July 9, 2006, 10:02 PM
something is not right here.

Starting out and going through a 100 rounds of .22, then moving to a mid to fullsized handgun in 9mm or 38 special should be all the bridge that is needed.

I am very suspicious that something else is going on here. Did you use a superhot 9mm loading? Did the slide bit him/her? Was enough hearing protection worn? Are they extremely weak, frail, arthritic, or some other non-normal thing?


but as far as your question, Beretta makes a wonderful line of .380 pistols that are nearly identical to the 92 series. They are probably the largest of the 380s, around the size of a kahr k9, and 2 out of 3 are build on single stack mags, so this means they are thin enough for small hands, yet long enough for big hands, and heavy enough to be a step down from a standard 9mm. A superlight 380 can sometimes be pretty equal to a standard 9mm in recoil.

But still, something else is going on here

Glockman17366
July 9, 2006, 10:21 PM
I'd try a couple .32ACP guns like the Beretta Tomcat.
.32ACP isn't a great round, but it serves it's purpose.

I've got a Tomcat. Don't use it much (I also prefer carrying a snubbie .38 or 9mm), but it's a reliable little beast. I will caution you or your friend not to hold too high on the grip. That will get you bit by the hammer!

BTW, I think Taurus makes some .32 H&R revolvers.

WeedWhacker
July 10, 2006, 01:05 AM
akodo, that's what I thought, and that's why I was suprised enough to write a post looking to see what I could have done different. Here's a few more details:

My friend is/was a total newbie to firearms and thought they would be of no value for a few reasons. We rented a Ruger .22 of some sort (looked like a MkII/MkIII) and bought 100 rounds of range ammo (premium CCI). We covered all the safety basics (four rules, trigger discipline, knowing the state of the firearm at all times, etc.), then operation basics (trigger, slide, slide release, magazine, how a round is chambered, etc.), then basic handling (stances, dominant eye, grip, finger disipline to keep from getting bitten, etc.). There were no problems, and within the first 20 rounds, my friend even scored a *bullseye* on the 1:1-scale human silhouette at four yards. We then started loading more than one round in the magazine, etc., until all 100 rounds were gone, and it was about time to go. My friend then asked to shoot one round from my G17, which is, in hindsight, a rather light full-sized 9mm. I unloaded my 124g Speer Gold Dots (NOT +Ps) and loaded a single round of Wal-Mart WWB ammo (my practice round, a normal not-hot round). I watched the pistol, and my friend let it jump up fairly high, and immediately pronounced dislike for it. The recoil was the problem.

The solution? Yeah, as folks are pointing out, may be to rent a heavy revolver and load some light .38 rounds. There's interest in moving beyond the .22, but I do NOT want to spook my friend. I do hope, however, that a "better" round than the .22LR will be acceptable. If the light .38 rounds are too much, then I'll definitely look at a small carbine.

As for an EBR, my .308 Galil is a bit much, I think. ;D We'll definitely take out my SKS next time, along with some recoil pads, just in case. Sorry, I've just grown to love those commie rifles more and more as time goes on. :)

MCgunner
July 10, 2006, 10:25 AM
.22 is about the WORST of all cartridges to chamber an autoloading pistol for. I prefer revolvers in the caliber. I have a little Rossi M511 that wasn't expensive and is a super accurate shooter. I have fond memories of my Uncle's K22, nickeled, beautiful gun that was accurate and easy to shoot. I started with a Hawes single action with a magnum cylinder that never got used. I'm a .22LR nut I guess.

Next step up in rifle calibers, beyond the obvious mag or .17 rimfire would be the .22 Hornet, to me. I've often thought a .22 hornet would be neat in a contender barrel. You could load it light like a rimfire or hot enough to reach out to 100 yards and maybe a little beyond if you were hunting varmints. It'd be a nice 150 yard coyote gun with hot loads in a rifle. I've always fancied the little hornet as a hand loader, but never got one. I guess if you cannot or will not get into handloading, well, the Hornet isn't for you.

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