new world of opportunity


July 3, 2008, 12:03 PM
Hi, I've just recently begun thinking about purchasing a gun, due to the crime rate in Florida, and having personally been robbed at gun point on three different occasions. I'm looking for a handgun for a first timer; definitely something that will fit a budget, simple and reliable. I'm interested in revolvers, but I understand that they might not be what I'm looking for at this step in becoming a firearm enthusiast, but maybe they are...

That's why I'm here. I'd greatly appreciate any advice anyone could give on purchasing my first gun.


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July 3, 2008, 12:13 PM
having personally been robbed at gun point on three different occasionsShould have done this earlier, but at least you're doing it now.
A revolver is the perfect first gun, and I'd personally recommend a Ruger sp100. Small enough for carry, reliable as it gets, completely simple operation, and built like a tank.

July 3, 2008, 12:15 PM
Smith & Wesson makes what are probably the most popular 'carry' revolvers, the Airweights. The Models 637, 638, 442, and 642 are all in the same series. They are all excellent quality, very compact guns.

The qualification here is that these guns will require a LOT of range time and generally are not recommended as a first gun. I think you should try to find a range that would rent some guns and try a few out. You will also need to consider your budget and whether you will be getting a concealed carry permit.

I'm a big revolver fan and there is nothing wrong with a revolver as your first gun; what matters is how much time you are willing to put into getting comfortable with the gun.

July 3, 2008, 12:17 PM
I agree, I don't think I'd recommend an Airweight as a first gun. I'd stick with all-steel.

July 3, 2008, 12:20 PM
The Ruger SP101 is a very nice gun. However, the ONLY issue I see with that gun is that it may be a bit heavy for some as a carry gun. Other than that, you can't go wrong with an SP101.

July 3, 2008, 12:31 PM
it may be a bit heavy for some as a carry gun.

I'm about 6'6" 300lbs with a much larger hand than most, so should I perhaps seek out heavier(larger) guns?

July 3, 2008, 12:33 PM
I wouldn't seek them out, but I wouldn't say it'll be a big concern for you!

July 3, 2008, 12:47 PM
No, don't go looking for something bigger. The Ruger SP101 will probably be a very good fit. I'm 6'/200lbs and I carry a Walther PPK/S, which weighs only an ounce or two less than an SP101. It's not a problem for me. However, I wouldn't want to carry anything much heavier or larger, as I would definitely run into problems with concealment and it would just be plain heavy. So, if you look at the guns in the size/weight range as the SP101, you will be happy. Can't remember what Smith & Wesson has in that range; maybe the Model 60? It's stainless steel. There is also the Model 40, which I believe weighs a little less. Depending on your budget, though, it'll be hard to beat the SP101 for value.

Vern Humphrey
July 3, 2008, 01:00 PM
I'm about 6'6" 300lbs with a much larger hand than most, so should I perhaps seek out heavier(larger) guns?
You don't need a gun. Anything that could hurt you is extinct.;)

July 3, 2008, 01:16 PM
There are a few more things to consider when comparing the S&W Airweight series and the Ruger SP101. First and foremost, in my opinion, is caliber. The Ruger SP101 can be had in .357 magnum. The S&W 637, 442, 642, etc. are chambered in .38 only. S&W does make ultra-light .357 snubbies, but I would not recommend these for a first-timer. It sounds like this will be your first firearm, so I don't know how much knowledge you may or may not have regarding caliber and guns in general. There is a wealth of information on this forum regarding all calibers, their history, their main purposes, their positives and their negatives.

I'll just say that any .357 magnum revolver will also shoot .38 special, but a .38 revolver cannot shoot .357 magnum. So in the Ruger SP101, you can practice with the less powerful and less expensive .38 special ammo, and once you get comfortable, carry it loaded with much more potent .357 magnum ammo. Or you can carry some very effective .38 special +P ammo. +P designates higher-pressures and are only recommended for firearms that can safely handle these loads. The S&W revolvers mentioned above are +P rated. I feel like I'm starting to ramble, and I could go on forever, so I'll just say do your research, handle as many guns as you can to find one that feels great in your hand, research some more, and then practice as much as you can. Also get some professional firearms training if possible. Good luck.

July 3, 2008, 01:24 PM
As a fellow big guy I would caution you that a larger size gun can be more of a challenge to conceal comfortably if you have a belly and wear your pants below said belly. Also, since larger folks tend to wear their pants lower on the hips a good gun belt is even more important because it tends to be the only thing holsding your pants up, add a 30+ oz gun to the mix and you can see where I am heading.

After years of concealed carry I have fine tuned my practices to be able to conceal almost anything but for just starting out if you meet the criteria above you may want to consider a light weight gun.

Back on topic..

I think a revolver is an excellent starting point for casual shooters because basically the only thing you need to master is drawing and firing (accurately). This can be done easily by most dedicated casual shooters.

There's more to learn and think about with a semi-auto even though recoil with them is a little lighter for most people.

Personally, I say get the Airweight and be prepared for the recoil. (which may not bother you at your size)

IMO, you will be wishing you had bought a lighter gun long after your felt and gotten use to the recoil of a lightweight 38. You can also start out with some lighter loads and work your way up to full house SD stuff with experience.

Not exactly "budget minded" but here is one of my favorite carry combo's..

July 3, 2008, 01:26 PM
Freshbrewer, as big as you are, and as much as you desire a revolver, I will be the voice of dissent among the High Roaders here.
I am 110 pounds lighter, and seven inches shorter than you, and I have NO PROBLEM carrying a full-sized weapon all day, all the time.
I do like airweights for ankle carry, but I only use them as backups.
I STRONGLY recommend the GP-100 3" stainless revolver for you.
It is smaller/lighter than it's 4" bigger brother, it is very affordable, it has the best factory grips that combine CCW with really serious shooting, and it will hold up to generations of use. I carried one for a long time, and never had a second's problem with it. The 3" version has fixed sights, and they seem to be well regulated for 158 grain loads, but at combat distances, the 125s only shot slightly lower. This gun will fit big hands (I wear a size 14 glove) and will conceal well. I applaud you for your enthusiasm, but I would caution you against any snubby or airweight for a first gun, as you will want to SHOOT the thing a lot, making you more comfortable CARRYING it as well.
For the record, I would not be mugging a guy your size, I'd be worried I'd screw it up and you'd get your hands on me. This will give you a tactical advantage for carry, since most thugs will be more afraid to get close to you.
Good luck, and let us know what you get!

July 3, 2008, 01:59 PM
I would suggest that first, you take a Safety Course and or CCW classes. You can obtain this info at your local gun stores or gun club.

You need to get educated both on the saftey and /legal side as well as getting familiarized with the models that best fit your intentions. Just as in the cliche as "the right tool for the right job."

During this time I would fondle every fun toy possible. Only you, know what feels comfortable to you. Additionally, if you plan to ccw then I would expect that you do realize that comfort is very much at issue as well as gun size, weight and caliber.

My choice and suggestion for a revolver would be a Smith & Wesson in 38 Special (J Frame model). New or used will be up to your budget but remember, a used Smith & Wesson revolver is great bang for the buck.

For Semi Auto's, again you will have to see what feels good in your hands. You need more training and exposure in order to know how they operate and function. In your case I might recommend 9MM. Which is also the same thing a 9x19, 9mm Parabellum or 9mm Luger. Avoid large blocky tactical guns.

Remember that you are in the Florida where you normally dress for hot temps. You need something powerful enough, but at the same time does not leave and imprint of a gun through your clothing.

How much you want and can afford is up to you. But don't buy on the cheap. Save up till you can get a good quality weapon.

Oh & one more thing. a 357 fired in the dark or fired indoors will render noise and penetration issues (not that I don't consider that myself). The good side to the .357 is that you can also fire 38 Spl in them. Which saves you $$ when practicing, its kinda like two guns in one. Giving you the choice
of ammunition best tapered to you surroundings.

Seek out answers from the numerous local gun stores and let them demonstrate. Do your research & become very familiar with your purchase.

Good Luck

July 3, 2008, 07:29 PM
cpirtle post is good advice-I'm a big guy also, but a small rvolver is a good carry;

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