First Ever Handgun


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mozart3100
April 12, 2008, 12:51 PM
Since I am so new at this, I have done a lot of research on handguns; but so
far have not actually shot any. In my search for a gun for targets and another for self defense, I have narrowed the chase down to two weapons ,tentatively: Ruger Mark II for targets and Bersa Thunder .380 for self defense.

I would certainly appreciate any advice about these two, and if you should have other suggestions please let me know as I am more than willing to listen.

Unfortunately I can only buy one gun at a time, and I had to save several months for that. Which one should I buy first to begin? Thanks for helping an old man and a new gun enthusiast.

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AMBASSADOR
April 12, 2008, 01:34 PM
Motzart:I too just last March had the same opportunity to buy my first handguns ever.based on my limited knowledge onthe subject,I asked around.I spoke with a ret I.C.E. Agent whom I had recently met and who is also a firearns instructor when he was on the job.I've spoken to people that have had handguns for years and have reloaded many thousands of rounds.The choice is totally up to you and what you like and can afford.Try to shoot as many different calibers and types of guns as you can jones up or can afford to rent,before you lay down the cash on the actual buy.
F.Y.I.My choices were #1,Ruger Mark III Hinter
#2-S&W 686+ 357 Mag 7-Shot
#3-Walther PPK/S .380
Would have bought the Bersa but could not locate any.
Enjoy the hunt!

benatilstate
April 12, 2008, 05:20 PM
I would say start with the Ruger, they have an outstanding reputation and they are pretty cheap to shoot. Then when you get good with that, start looking at something with more oomph.

CPLofMARINES
April 12, 2008, 06:11 PM
Welcome!! The Ruger MK-II is an excellent pistol. I own one myself.
However, for SD you might want to consider at least 9mm. My carry
pistol is a Glock 26 (sub-compact 9mm.) Take a look at them, they go bang
every time. Good luck, but let me warn you, if you get a Glock you can not
own just one.



Semper Fi!!

bannockburn
April 12, 2008, 07:28 PM
mozart3100

I would say start with the Ruger Mk. II, as it will be much cheaper to begin with shooting .22LR's than to begin with a .380. Practice as much and as often with the .22, and work on getting the proper sight picture and on your trigger control. As you eventually master these skills, then consider moving on to a centerfire autoloader. The Bersa's a good, reliable pistol for CCW.

1SOW
April 12, 2008, 09:28 PM
bannockburn +3

After you get familiar with the .22; and when you go to the range to practice, rent some 9mms AFTER you shoot the .22.

kamagong
April 12, 2008, 10:49 PM
+1 on the Ruger .22. A .22lr was my first pistol and it is still the only gun that always goes with me to the range. The Ruger is a good way to get lots of trigger time in without breaking the bank. It also allows you to work on your technique should you develop a flinch.

FireArmFan
April 12, 2008, 11:00 PM
I vote for the .22 first. You can shoot for cheap and get proficient with a handgun, then move up to a bigger caliber. I myself personally wouldn't get anything smaller than a 9mm for primary defense but it really is all about shot placement. And the 9mm minimum is just my personal choice.

neviander
April 13, 2008, 01:11 AM
Welcome mozart3100! I am by no means a veteran here, but I also have recently re-upped my enthusiasm for our beautiful gun culture here in America.

These guys will definitely give you plenty of good advice. Anything .22 is a blast to shoot (no pun intended) As far as your firearm choice, any of the above comments would be much more merited than anything I would have to offer. Good luck in your endeavors!

AMBASSADOR
April 13, 2008, 06:35 PM
These are to of my three first ever handguns

CPshooter
April 13, 2008, 06:57 PM
Glock 19, XD9, M&P 9

Joe the Redneck
April 13, 2008, 07:17 PM
Neither, get a revolver, get a nice 22 and learn how to handle a handgun like a pro.

Autos have to may "Oops, I forgot" features. Oops, I Forgot it could/coudln't fire without the mag, forgot to take off the safty, forgot to unload the chamber.

But, since I know revolvers have no street apeal these days and you dont want one, I would go with the Ruger. They are great guns and a lot of fun to shoot.

Never saw the point of the Bersa, I've seen too many used Walthers in the $350 range. But I never had much use for clones. But that said, never really heard a bad thing about Bersas, most folks that have them like them.

JTR

woad_yurt
April 13, 2008, 08:20 PM
Welcome to THR. Look seriously at a Makarov in 9X18 before you go for that Bersa. There's even one for sale in THR classifieds (mine!) I'll haggle.... :rolleyes:

sdj
April 13, 2008, 08:43 PM
Welcome; be careful, this sport can be habit forming. ;-)

if you get a Glock you can not
own just one.

+1 On that.

I'd encourage you to consider 9mm, as the ammo is much less expensive than .380.
G19, G17, XD... there's lots and lots of good ones out there.

If you are on a tight budget, the used market is something to consider.

Good luck.

antsi
April 13, 2008, 09:21 PM
I don't think you will regret picking up the Ruger. A nice .22 is a "lifetime gun" that will continue giving good service as long as you (or your kids) keep shooting.

It is also good advice to shoot a lot - and get professional instruction if possible - before purchasing your centerfire pistol. After you become proficient you will have a lot better idea what your preferences are.

Another good option for starting out is to get a pistol that has a .22 conversion available. My favorite pick for this would be a CZ 75 - a great pistol in 9mm and also a nice .22 with the Kadet kit installed.

Compared to the CZ, the Bersa would be a lot smaller and easier to carry concealed - if your state allows that and you are planning to carry. If you are not planning to carry, I see little advantage to the Bersa.

TTR
April 13, 2008, 10:20 PM
I have a Bersa Thunder 380 Duo Tone. It's actually one of my favorite pistols. Shoots straight and goes bang everytime I pull the trigger. Its the best bang for the buck pistol I have.

mozart3100
April 19, 2008, 09:43 PM
Thanks to all of you who took the time and effort to respond to my plea for help. So many good recommendations, and so many good and (not so good) guns to choose from. Soon I'll be headed for my first gun show (first one with the thought of actually buying that is). If any of you have suggestions about gun shows, please let me know. If I find nothing there, I'll move on to a gun shop near my hometown. Not quite as confused as I was, but my head is still spinning with all I need to learn.

Lupinus
April 19, 2008, 10:09 PM
If I could change one thing about my pistol line up I would have started with a .22 pistol and got good with that first.

For SD I'd go with more then .380. My personal fav is the .40 S&W

lee n. field
April 19, 2008, 10:35 PM
I have narrowed the chase down to two weapons ,tentatively: Ruger Mark II for targets and Bersa Thunder .380 for self defense.

I would certainly appreciate any advice about these two, and if you should have other suggestions please let me know as I am more than willing to listen.


Start with the Ruger. They're at Mark III now, but a Mark II shouldn't be too hard to find. There's a confusing multitude of models to choose from. Chances are good that's one gun you will never sell.

Ghost Tracker
April 19, 2008, 11:16 PM
Here's a old dog telling you the truth. You WILL eventually buy a good .22 autoloading pistol. There's simply no way around it. You, as you grow in experience & skill-level, may or may NOT eventually buy a Bersa Thunder .380 because there are literally THOUSANDS of options in a self-defense handgun.

Get the Ruger. Gain knowledge & trigger-time. Get good at shooting it. THEN decide what CCW is best for you. You'll be in a MUCH better (and wiser) position to make that very important selection. Welcome to The Club. Enjoy The Sport.

Floppy_D
April 19, 2008, 11:30 PM
I shoot a Ruger MkIII 22/45 at the range. A lot. Some times, I don't tell my Sig or S&W that I'm going to the range, and me and the Ruger sneak out.

They are tons of fun, a cheap as fun gets.

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