Advice for a first-time gun buyer...


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MakitaDiesel
January 18, 2008, 04:24 AM
Hello all, first post here. I'm a lifelong firearm enthusiast since my mom's ex from back in the day shared his knowledge and arsenal w/ me as a teen. IIRC, he had a Colt .45, couple .22 & .223 rifles, a Remington 7mm Mag Sendero for long range, 870 pump for small critters that fly, and my personal favs being the SKS w/ bayonet and Mak-90. Since then I've waited patiently until I would one day start my own collection. I've narrowed it down to a few candidates, consisting of a full size pistol and all purpose shotgun. I plan to use both occasionally for a weekend range/skeet shoot to keep up my skills, then keep them as home defense the rest of the time. I was first excited over the Sig P226 & P220, but the price tag is a bit steep for a full-time student and part time work status, so maybe one day. I've settled instead on the CZ 97. The shotgun was an easier choice, as the Remington 870 Express 7-shot Folding Stock w/ pistol grip has my eye. I guess my only question, is where to buy each at a fair price in my area? I live in Winston Salem, NC, the nearest FFL dealer listed in the phone book is a pawn shop but no real suppliers besides Wal-mart and Dick's. I could always go the online route, but I am not familiar with the best (most reliable) sites to go to and I don't feel comfortable sending 2 weeks worth of pay to a place w/o a solid referral. So what do most of you use? Meet and greet, shops, gun shows, or online, auction, classifieds? Thanks in advance, Mak

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Bitmap
January 18, 2008, 08:47 AM
I would check out all the places you suggest and most important: Go to gun shows!!! Take your time and you will find what you want at a price you can afford.

For something like a standard shotgun you shouldn't have to order one and wait. I would think any decent gun shop would have one. Try Academy Outdoors, Oshman's, Sports Authority, and places like that. Have you got a Gander Mountain, Cabela's, or Bass Pro?

41magsnub
January 18, 2008, 08:57 AM
This is purely my opinion and feel free to disregard it, but for shotguns I think a person should start with a normal wood (or synthetic) stocked normal shotgun.

Skip all the tacticool folding stocks and pistol grips. Learn the shooting fundamentals in the traditional way and then decide if you want all the fancy stuff. An 870 is a good start, you could get a normal one now and then mod it out to your hearts content later.

Waywatcher
January 18, 2008, 09:05 AM
I also agree that a better first shotgun would be a a traditional stocked longer barreled 870. Cheaper and more useful. Should be able to get one for less than $300 OTD brand new, and even less used.

I don't know much about CZ 97's, I would probably get something more mainstream for cheaper and easier to find magazines, holsters and accessories. Take a look at a Beretta 92, or a Glock 17, or an XD, all should be available for under $500 and have readily available accessories.

RKBABob
January 18, 2008, 10:12 AM
Never had a problem with gunbroker.com (http://www.gunbroker.com/), just check the seller's feedback prior to bidding. You can usually tell the professional dealers that also have a brick-and-mortar shop from the fly-by-nights. ALSO, here is a tool to find a transfer dealer in your area DealerNetwork (http://www.gunbroker.com/User/DealerNetwork.asp)... but you can also use it to check out gun dealers you might want to visit in your zip code.

Chindo18Z
January 18, 2008, 10:18 AM
"I've settled instead on the CZ 97. The shotgun was an easier choice, as the Remington 870 Express 7-shot Folding Stock w/ pistol grip has my eye. I guess my only question, is where to buy each at a fair price in my area? I live in Winston Salem, NC, the nearest FFL dealer listed in the phone book is a pawn shop but no real suppliers besides Wal-mart and Dick's."

CZ-97: Good pistol. Make sure you have physically handled one before buying. It is a rather large handgun in the grip area. Some folks without large hands (like me) find this one difficult to wrap around. Any of CZ's 9mm or .40 versions would be great alternatives if the 97 doesn't fit your hand (especially the CZ75, CZ85, CZ-SP01, PCR, or PO1 versions in 9mm...9mm ammo being less costly than .45 ACP)

870 w/ folding stock & pistol grip: They look cool, but do yourself a favor...save the money and get a standard stock (wood or synthetic). Folding stocks & PGs are highly over rated (except for vehicle transport) IMHO. Accuracy, recoil management, and shooter comfort blow compared to a standard stock arrangement. Just get a standard version with the same extended magazine tube.

WalMart/Dicks: Any FFL should be able to order what you need (including these guys). Either of these two should be able to order you the 870 at a lowball price. WalMart may not be willing to order in "assault" configuration...can't recall seeing any folding stocks in their special order book.

Pawnshops: Keep your eyes peeled. Good used 870s inhabit most pawn shops year round.

Good luck.

xsquidgator
January 18, 2008, 10:21 AM
I've bought C&R firearms from Classic Arms (don't recall where in NC he is), I had a good experience and will probably buy from him again. You could do an FFL transfer with him shipping to your nearest FFL, even the pawn shop.

He has Mossberg shotguns, a bunch of rifles, and some pistols including Rock Island Armory 1911s for a good price. May not have exactly what you had in mind but it can't hurt to look, and I think it's worth something to deal with a trustworthy merchant also.

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