First gun - .22 or 9mm?


October 28, 2007, 10:26 AM
I just shot my first gun a couple of weeks ago, have shot a number of them since, and have now decided that I'd like to buy one. I will likely buy either a Glock 17 or 19 (9mm) or a .22. My question is...does anybody have any advice one way or the other? Eventually I'd like to get both (and a number of other guns), but right now that's not so feasible. If I get the .22 then I can go to the range all the time and spend a total of $5 to shoot for a long time; however, I imagine that I wouldn't want to even try using a .22 for self-defense so it would just be for fun. If I get a 9mm then I can still shoot for fairly cheap - say under $20 for 100 rounds, but needless to say it won't be even close to as cheap as the .22. It'll also be about twice as much to buy the 9mm. Of course the advantage is that it would serve as a good self defense gun and be more practical (as opposed to just for fun).

Any advice on what to do? I'm a student so money is very much a consideration, but I can afford the 9mm...I would just end up shooting less. Also, please don't try and steer me away from the glock...I've tried a number of different guns and really prefer the Glock. Thanks in advance for any advice.

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October 28, 2007, 10:39 AM
Go with the .22, IMO. You'll shoot a lot more what with money being a factor, learn the basics of marksmanship faster and avoid some of the pitfalls of entering the hobby with a mid-range gun such as flinching.

Welcome and good luck. *Shoot a lot*, be safe and have fun.


October 28, 2007, 10:40 AM
Well, for a first PISTOL, I like the GLOCK 19. For a first rifle, I suggest a Ruger 22. Keep both of them forever!

October 28, 2007, 10:45 AM
I'd recommend the 22. As Biker said, with a 22, learning the basics of safety & shooting skills would be much more economical and there just isn't anything more fun to shoot than a 22. I'm 60 & a 22 turns me into a boy again, every time. You can graduate to larger calibers as interest, need, and proficiency dictate later on.

October 28, 2007, 10:50 AM
I'd recommend the 22. As Biker said, with a 22, learning the basics of safety & shooting skills would be much more economical and there just isn't anything more fun to shoot than a 22. You can graduate to larger calibers as interest, need, and proficiency dictate later on.

Exactly what he said! Get the fundementals down first then progress. It's hard to unlearn bad habits engrained from recoil and the anticipation of recoil. Get that taken care of with the .22lr and move on from there.
I think many bypss the .22 as a startng point because it's seen as "uncool" or "un-tactical". I'd much rather be proficient and have proper techinique that having the "look".

October 28, 2007, 11:14 AM

-low recoil
-dirt cheap ammo
-you will always love to shoot it, even after you move up to center fire

One thing i might suggest, buy a glock and get the Advantage Arms 22lr Kit. Then you can practice with your carry gun, and save some money. Plus the price of a quality 22lr pistol has went through the roof. A nice SS ruger is just as much as their center fire pistols now.

October 28, 2007, 11:16 AM
Get the .22 and practice good habits!

October 28, 2007, 11:16 AM
Well the arguments for a 22 have been pretty well presented.

My point would be what are your honest requirements for a self defense weapon at this time? Keep in mind too, a 22 might not be the best choice in case of a zombie attack, but it can kill, and the mere sight of a gun is often enough to scare away many intruders. I wouldn't want to get hit with one.

As for choice in a 22, Rugers are far and away the most popular. BuckMarks come in many configurations and are also very good (be aware tho the Camper model may still come with a plastic sight base which causes problems). The Beretta Neos is an odd design and grip angle that either appeals to you or not, but quality wise it is still a bargain and one of the easiest guns to take apart and clean. The S&W 22a had problems in the past but currently seems to have a lot of fans. The Sig Mosquito and Walther P22 are not my cup of tea and user reviews seem more hit or miss than normal. Plenty of other options but those are probably the most common

October 28, 2007, 01:10 PM
Are you only restricted to one hand gun?

Can you go for a .22 and a less expensive 9mm to have both? Something like a taurus...
You can get a Bersa .380 for < $250 which isn't the worst SD gun.

Lastly, if money is NO issue, get a nice 1911 and then the .22 conversion kit.

Also, you can get a .22 Conversion Kit for the Glock (and coming soon, the XDs).

good luck!

October 28, 2007, 01:25 PM
I'm not restricted by anything except money (and my wife!). At this point I'm leaning toward getting a 22 now and then maybe a 9mm six months down the road. It sounds like Rugers are the way to go for 22 pistols....what about for rifles? What reasons are there to choose a pistol over a rifle or vice versa?

October 28, 2007, 01:45 PM
Wow, focus shift. A Handgun is one type of shooting, a rifle another. Both offer accuracy competitions. A rifle is usually a poor choice for home defense. A rifle won't prepare you for using a 9mm. A handgun is not the typical choice for hunting (yes I know, some people do hunt w/ a handgun)

You really need to decide what you really want a gun for.

As for 22 rifles, again Ruger is very popular and has many available accessories. The Marlin 60 has been around forever and is a classic tube feed (no need for expensive ammo clips). CZ makes a beautiful 22 that is very accurate right out of the box. Remington, Savage, Taurus all make semi-auto rifles. Maybe a visit to is in order.

October 28, 2007, 02:28 PM
Different tools, different applications. Buying used, you could get one of each in 22 caliber fairly reasonably. Ruger handguns are good, in both the semi-autos & the single six revolvers, as are Browning Buckmarks. Savage, Marlin, & Ruger 22 rifles are reasonably priced, plus with the Ruger, there are a ton of aftermarket items available that can turn them into a real tack-driver. has a wealth of 22-related info. First pic is a <$300 mod I made to a Ruger 10/22 15 years ago . . .

The next is of the same original parts recently modified, but at a significantly higher $$ amount . . .

Both were/are capable of <3/8" 5-shot groups at 50 yards with match ammunition.

The last is a Ruger Mark III Hunter . . . capable of far greater accuracy than is the old operator anymore.

Enjoy the sport!

For starters, use whatever you decide on "as is." Learn, refine your technique, and decide from there in which direction you would like to go.

October 28, 2007, 02:54 PM
Go with the .22

Yes, indeed...

Look around for a NIB or LNIB Ruger MKII - they are still around and hard to beat. I have 5 of them in various configurations, and they have become my constant range companions...

October 28, 2007, 05:01 PM
I'd recommend an inexpensive .22 rifle, marlin makes a semiauto that is pretty nice and inexpensive and then get the glock handgun as well. Bring them both to the range, shoot 50 rounds of 9mm and then 500 rounds of 22

October 28, 2007, 05:02 PM
I think you should get a 9mm.

Ala Dan
October 28, 2007, 09:36 PM
My vote also goes to a quality .22~! :scrutiny: ;) :D

October 28, 2007, 09:54 PM
We only have one handgun atm and it's a 9mm (it was a gift). My husband and I carefully rationed out a box of ammo today and we both feel like we didn't get enough practice.

I *really* *really* want a .22 handgun. I have a .22 rifle, not the same. Ime, having anything else and no .22 is an exercise in frustration unless the money is endless. Get the 22, or be prepared to spend $20 bucks (at least) everytime you want to shoot.

October 28, 2007, 10:11 PM
+1 .22LR

lower cost initial practice, less likely to develop flinch while learning.

October 28, 2007, 10:12 PM
9mm. You may tire with the .22 quickly, wanting more gun. However, .22 is super cheap and still enjoyable to shoot for the challenge of it. I hardly shoot my .22 anymore. It's fun, but I prefer the 9mm.

I'd go Glock 17 for my first if you think it will be just a range gun. My guns have come and gone, but I still have my Glock 17. But, Glock 19 definately if you want more utility as you can carry it better than the G17. The Glock 19 offers more options of use and I think is the perfect balance of size and performance for the 9mm. It's a toss up depending upon use.

October 29, 2007, 12:23 AM
I don't plan on carrying the G17 or 19 at this point. I would likely get a subcompact in the future if I decided to carry. I was considering the 19 because my wife has small hands. After checking both out I was leaning toward the 17 as it was fine for her and felt more comfortable for me. I'm thinking more about a .22 for now though.

October 29, 2007, 12:30 AM
I have a S&W 22A .. I love it ..

October 29, 2007, 12:30 AM
Here's another vote for a quality 22...if I had listened to this same advice when I started, I would have had a much steeper learning curve ;) Then after you get down your basics, a slightly used Glock 19 would be a smart 2nd choice.

Chem Geek
October 29, 2007, 12:53 AM
If it's about money and your wife, get the .22. That way you can practice more, and hopefully get her involved (addicted). Then you'll have more freedom for your next purchase.

22LR is much better to learn on as has been stated. Learn trigger control and avoid flinching. Then when you switch to centerfire you'll be doing well. :)

October 29, 2007, 01:15 AM
How about the Glock 17 with a .22 conversion?

October 29, 2007, 01:18 AM
I checked out the G17 .22 conversion and it sounded great, until I looked at the price! That's just too much for me right now so it's either one or the other.

October 29, 2007, 01:56 AM
One more voice for picking up a quality .22 pistol. I have a Ruger MK III like the one pictured above, and absolutely LOVE it. I'm currently sitting on more than 10K rounds of .22, which cost me right around $200 bucks. (bulk packs from wal-mart)

Think about that. 10,000 rounds for less than three bills. That's a hell of a deal, and will allow for a TON of shooting. I agree that a 9mm might be more suited for self defense, but the most important part of using a gun in defense of one's life is HITTING one's target! And what will help with that, is PRACTICE. Also - a .22 in the hand is still better than nothing, if you ask me.

The MK III (or MK II) pistols are extremely well made, and will last longer than you will, given proper care & maintenance. There is a bit of a trick to taking them apart, but once you get it down, it's simple as can be.

October 29, 2007, 05:23 AM
I have both and think it's a great combo. I bought my .22lr pistol first to practice the basics etc. I practice technique, grip, stance and whatever I want and shoot a lot of rounds with my .22lr,

Then I switch over and practice with my 9mm at a much more conservative pace with my .22lr learnings transferring over. If I develop some bad habits with the 9mm I weed them out using the .22lr.

All in all, the .22lr pistol allows me to practice, practice, practice.

I use the 9mm for gun courses and competition as the .22lr isn't powerful enough.

Here's my .22lr pistol:

October 29, 2007, 05:50 PM
I'm also a new shooter and had the same dilemma as you. I ended up buying a Firestorm FS22 and a 9mm Sig P6. I got both for under $700 total, and that includes transfer fees.

October 29, 2007, 06:02 PM
Get the 9mm, you'll be happy you did.

October 29, 2007, 07:10 PM
I was in the exact same position as you a few months ago. I ended up getting both 9mm and a .22. I bought a Glock 17 and Sig Mosquito.

I bought the .22 for all the reasons mentioned here, but honestly, I have much more fun shooting the glock, and shoot it more often. I'm a new shooter and recoil is not an issue for me. The mosquito is nice, but I only got it because I got a good deal on one. I found it to be a bit fussy with ammo, but once I found a brand that it likes it runs flawlessly.

IMO, I would get the glock. If you have any plans to carry, and the 19 fits your hand well, get the 19. I love my 17, but its big and not that comfortable to carry.

October 29, 2007, 07:30 PM
get the .22, a (remmy 597:D) I have one and LOVE it I would never get bored shooting that thing. I just slapped a 3-9 power scope on it and it will shoot some darn good groups at 25 yards, good groups at 50, and still some pretty good groups at 100yards. I will burn through at least 500 rounds in one 2-3 hour session with that thing. I have only had one jam and that was because my rest stopped the action from sliding back so it wasnt even the guns fault. I just got my second gun about 2 weeks ago, it is a remmington 870 pump shotgun, I love that thing just as much as my .22! I would say get the .22 first unless you are very comfortable with a 9mm.

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