First handgun: .22lr or 9mm?(specific models)


July 6, 2008, 06:27 PM
I'm hoping to expand my range of guns and a handgun is next on the list. Should I start off with a .22 or do you think I could start with a 9mm? I could shoot a 9mm semi and a .22lr revolver at my grandma's, but I probably won't be able to go for a while. I have held some .22's and the Beretta Neos fit me best. I'm pretty sure i'm going to get a semi, so do you think i should get a 9mm or a .22lr to start? (i have smaller hands (10 glove size))

Has to be under $300 new or used, doesn't matter. Mainly for shooting little targets here and there, possibly for rabbits, and occasional range days

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July 6, 2008, 06:32 PM
22's are cheap to practice with..... that would be my first choice.

July 6, 2008, 06:38 PM
Ya, i was kinda (really) leanin towards a .22 b/c the gun is cheaper, and the ammo is wayyyyyy cheaper. I just wish i could buy sooner...

July 6, 2008, 06:54 PM
You didn't say how much money you are willing to spend or the primary use for the handgun. That makes all the difference.

If you are only using this handgun for plinking, get a .22 cal. Nothing comes close to the ammo price.

If you want a home defense/CCW piece, get a 9mm. Some 9mm's, like Glock, have .22 conversion kits available from Advantage Arms for an extra $250. It might be worth it if you shoot frequently.

Luis Leon
July 6, 2008, 07:37 PM
If you want to do a lot of shooting go with a good .22. Half the fun is making the choice of which to buy. Just decide on a price range and shop/research/read... then finally buy. I always take a .22 or two the range, good fun, inexpensive to shoot.


Luis Leon

July 6, 2008, 09:00 PM
There are well-known and evidently well-liked .22 top-ends for Czs and Witness pistols as well; I plan to get one for my yet-to-pick-up Witness .45. On the other hand, there are some excellent .22 autoloaders (esp. if you watch sales) that might cost you no more than one of these half-a-gun conversions, and which in the event of a problem with the internals leave you with at least one functioning gun.

Shooting .22 is undeniably fun -- it's eyebrows-on-the-ceiling fun, and cheap enough to get in a lot of real practice. However, to me it's more satisfying to shoot a larger caliber at least part of the time, even if it means fewer shots to savor the cost of the ammo.

So whichever you choose, your next step is to start saving for the other ;)


July 6, 2008, 09:02 PM
Everybody needs a .22 or four.
Some day when you move on to something bigger and you need some trigger time its always good to pull out the .22 for some cheaper practice.
If I am kinda out of practice I will use a .22 to get back in the game before I start burning up the expensive stuff.

July 6, 2008, 09:27 PM

For a range gun, a .22LR autoloader can't be beat. Ammo is still relatively cheap, and 500 rounds at $22.00 can go a long way through a couple of range sessions, at least. Now compare that to 5 boxes of WWB at $22.00 a piece, and I think you'll be able to see the savings pretty quickly. The Beretta Neos is very nice pistol; I'm also partial to the Browning Buckmark series as well.

July 6, 2008, 10:50 PM
Last I checked ammo prices at WMT 9MM Winchester white box [100 rounds] was $18.42 and FEDERAL "VALUE PACK" .22 [36 GR HP/550] was $11.97. If you are just starting out and want to shoot a lot need one say more ? I recommend a Ruger MKII or MKIII pistol; I have a plain Jane MKIII678 with a red dot scope that works for me. :)

July 8, 2008, 10:11 AM

July 8, 2008, 10:14 AM
Any modern CZ-75 variant plus the .22 converson Kadet Kit.

Luis Leon
July 8, 2008, 03:27 PM
I will second what many say about a conversion kit for a full-size 9mm like the CZ.

I own the following .22 rim fire handguns, S&W K22 (circa 1947), model 63, model 41, and a p22. The .22 that always comes to the range is the kadet kit that fits all three of my 9mm CZs, (P01, 75b and 75bd). I will always love shooting .22s.


Luis Leon

July 8, 2008, 05:25 PM
Any modern CZ-75 variant plus the .22 converson Kadet Kit.


GREAT combination!

July 8, 2008, 06:04 PM
Any modern CZ-75 variant plus the .22 converson Kadet Kit.

how much would that setup cost?

July 8, 2008, 06:56 PM
Everybody needs a .22 or four. or six or seven or eight:D

If you are starting with handguns, start with a .22 for all the reasons above: low cost ammo, great learning tools, inexpensive ammo, low recoil, etc. Besides for punching holes in paper or bunnies, a .22 is a fine addition.

In the under $300 range the S&W 22A, Ruger MKIII (blued) or some of the base Buck Marks are good starter pistols. All are accurate, reliable and well built. When I decided to start shooting after a very long time of either not shooting or shooting only for military qualifications, I started with a 22A. Two of my next three handguns were .22lr's. Although I shoot a fair amount of centerfire, I shoot 5 times the number of .22 rounds. Just plain fun to shoot.

July 8, 2008, 08:02 PM
I held both the 22a and the neos and the neos fit me better and was lighter (+for me), and since it seemed like they were pretty much the same gun, besides a few things, i figured i would like to spent the 10 or so dollars more on a gun that fits better. I still haven't bought one yet, am hoping to hold out till i can go to the range, but i figured i like the look of the neos better than a buckmark, MKIII, it fits me well, is cheaper, is a beretta, and haven't heard any real problems (people complain about the look, but i prefer it over the others mentioned). Really, it's between the neos and the 22a, and i'll probably hold each a few more times, then buy the one that i like better. But i still like to hear from yall.

July 8, 2008, 08:06 PM
My first handgun was a .45; I initially skipped getting a .22 because I needed one gun that could pull duties for HD, learning to shoot a handgun, and CC. If I could have afforded it, I'd have started on a .22. However, if HD/CC aren't in your plans, and you're just buying a handgun to learn to shoot handguns, the .22 will be fine.

July 8, 2008, 08:11 PM
cc isn't in my plans. Neither is hd, but if need be, i'll use what i have. but i'd probalby grab the 12ga before a .22 pistole. I just want a pistol to have cheap fun with.:D:D:D That's safe fun, of course;)

July 8, 2008, 08:18 PM
Ruger Mark II or III

July 8, 2008, 08:21 PM
Any modern CZ-75 variant plus the .22 converson Kadet Kit.


July 8, 2008, 09:14 PM
I agree on a CZ 75 with the Kadet kit.
Im sorta kicking myself for not buying a CZ 75 SP-01 Tactical last weekend.

But unless he finds some good deals on used guns, its gonna be hard to do that on a $300 budget. Atleast from the prices Ive seen.

Oh yea, my first handgun was a 9mm.(XD9) Now I have another 9mm(Kahr PM9) and am looking for my 3rd,...and 4th 9mm. rofl
I wouldnt mind a .22lr in the collection tho. I could buy 5 or 6 thousand rounds of 22lr for what I paid for 1Krds of 9mm Saturday.

July 8, 2008, 10:05 PM
Get yourself a good quality .22 - Ruger MK, Colt Woodsman, Browning Buckmark, Smith K-22, Colt Trooper or maybe a Ruger Single Six.
You will have a ton of fun and do it cheaply. You can get a 9mm later.
Everybody needs a .22 handgun.

Old Grump
July 8, 2008, 10:16 PM
Reason for the single six is it is almost bomb proof. It has more accuracy than you will know what to do with until you get really good. By restricting yourself to a single action your practice will be slower forcing you to take more time with your shots. The discipline of sight, trigger and breath control will transfer to every gun in your arsenal long or short.

July 9, 2008, 04:30 PM
I agree on a CZ 75 with the Kadet kit.

Would that stay in my budget?

July 9, 2008, 05:20 PM
I would opt for a .22 for my first pistol. Fun as heck to shoot and cheap too.....I think any of the big names will do fine....Ruger, Browning, S&W.....I chose the Neos and really love it.....This model can be had for around $250 or so....It's very easy to clean and will eat up almost any type of ammo

July 9, 2008, 06:22 PM
This model can be had for around $250 or so

Which model is that?

Should I go for a 4.5" or spend a little more money and get the 6"? Also, is stainless just for looks or is it actually better?

July 9, 2008, 06:32 PM
It's the 6" Inox model

lee n. field
July 9, 2008, 06:41 PM
Has to be under $300 new or used, doesn't matter. Mainly for shooting little targets here and there, possibly for rabbits, and occasional range days

.22 fits the fill just fine.

July 9, 2008, 07:38 PM
In the early 60s, at age 12 or 13 I had the use of an Uncle's
Hi STandard Dura-Matic .22 LR Semi-AUto. It also got the pistol
out of his house until his son was a little older. I saved up after no
longer having the Hi-Standard and got a S&W Model 18
'with adj.rear sight, 4" Bbl. with a plain ramp front sight. It served me
well on the farm, accurate and economical.

I just sold a T/C G2 Contender and will buy a Kadet Conversion
kit, $300 to go with a recently acquired CZ 75B $500, so those are
a bit over budget for the O.P.

I think the Ruger SIngle SIx or a Mk II/III as well as the
Browning Buckmark are fine choices and
within budget.

My 617 10 shot cyl. .22 LR almost always seems to
find it's way to the range since It's so much FUN and great
DA Double Tap practice x 5.


July 10, 2008, 09:47 AM
So, I'm looking at the 6" models. Is there any reason, other than looks, to get the Stainless version over the black?

July 10, 2008, 09:52 AM
I would pick up a good used Ruger or Browning .22 There are a lot of them around and they are good to learn with. If you don't get hooked on .22's you can always turn around and sell them and get a 9mm.

July 10, 2008, 01:49 PM
another +1 for cz75 and kadet kit

July 10, 2008, 01:52 PM
9mm 22lr gets boring.

July 10, 2008, 03:46 PM
another +1 for cz75 and kadet kit

If only it were under $300

July 10, 2008, 05:48 PM
T-Ray.....I like the way way the stainless model looks....that's why I got it. No real advantages to the stainless model except for it's ability to resist corrosion. The blued model is a few bucks cheaper.....I think if you got the blued model you could put a decent red dot on it and still stay around 3 bills. I have shot most of the other pistols that others have mentioned....they are all quality weapons.....I don't regret my decision to buy the Neos one bit. Plus you can get different barrels for it if you want a longer or shorter one.......

July 10, 2008, 05:53 PM
I would go with the 22, great fun, cheap to shoot, and easy to work with. Just my .02 :)

July 10, 2008, 06:00 PM
I think if you got the blued model you could put a decent red dot on it and still stay around 3 bills

I don't plan on scoping it any time soon (maybe never)

July 10, 2008, 07:35 PM
Everybody needs a .22 handgun.

That's why I have a dozen!

July 11, 2008, 02:43 PM
so, i think, what i'm more than likely going to do is get the neos 6" SS. I should be able to get it around $250.

July 14, 2008, 01:28 PM
so, i think, what i'm more than likely going to do is get the neos 6" SS. I should be able to get it around $250.

Actually, i just went to academy again and looked at them and the 4" looks like it would do great, and that the 6" might be too big

July 14, 2008, 01:43 PM
how much would that setup cost?

It would be above your $300 budget. If you can get a used CZ-75 for $300 - $350 and get a Kadet Kit for around $250 I think, so if you can save a bit more you get two guns in one. So all in $550 - $600 can probaby get you set up.

If you absolutely need to stay in your $300 budget, then a Ruger MK II/III is a great choice in a .22.

July 14, 2008, 06:21 PM
T......get what you feel is right for you....As I mentioned before you can get another barrel down the road if you want a longer one.

July 14, 2008, 11:59 PM
i'm really changing what i want lately, what i'm going to do is my grandma has my great-grandma's revolver, but we don't remember what caliber it is, either .38spl or .22lr, but i'm going to go to her farm and shoot the revolver and my grandma's 9mm semi (more than likely 1911, it's been a while so i don't remember) and if i like the revolver, i'll buy it from her and if i like the 9mm better, i'll up the budget and get like a .38spl or .357 and use .38's. (btw, i'm kinda a recoil addict, at least with long guns. that's why i moved up to 12ga, so we'll see how that carries over to handguns)

July 15, 2008, 09:10 AM
For fun and general plinking go with the .22. I prefer the Ruger MKII. Great pistol for the money. Least expensive ammo.

My next choice would be the 9mm. A Witness would be my choice. S&W Sigmas are fairly inexpensive as are any of the Ruger line. Other posters have also suggested good alternative choices. A used 9mm may be the way to go.

Take the time and do your own cost of ammo comparison. This might crack your eyes wide open?


July 15, 2008, 10:40 AM
9mm 22lr gets boring.

I've been waiting for that to happen for about forty years. I'll let you know when it does. :D

I'm a Ruger guy, but I can't argue with anybody who's recomended anything else either. Get one you like and go have fun with it.

July 16, 2008, 09:55 AM
ya, i love .22's but like i said, i like recoil, so i'm kinda hoping the revolver is a .38spl but i still might pass it up for a newer gun, just b/c i don't want to ruin the gun learnin on it

July 16, 2008, 11:13 AM
If it's an older revolver, make sure it is a .38 Special, and not a .38 S&W. They are different cartridges and ammo for the S&W is quite a bit more expensive.

July 16, 2008, 11:32 AM
9mm 22lr gets boring.

I'll get with the minority here and second this suggestion. I followed the traditional advice and bought a Ruger MkII 6 7/8" model thinking .22lr would cut down my ammo budget for longer range sessions, but I always end up leaving once I run out of centerfire ammo. Shame too, it's my most accurate pistol, and I'll never be able to sell it. IT's just not near as much fun to shoot as centerfire to me, especially if I try AFTER a session of .45 A.C.P. At that point I'd almost just assume be shooting my air pistol indoors.

I'd say get a GLOCK, Sig, or H.K. in 9mm. J.M.O. and Y.M.M.V.

July 16, 2008, 11:42 AM
The CZ 75 and Kadet will not be in your budget, but if you can save up some the Kadet Kit is fantastic. And it is a conversion that has an identical finish to the host gun. It takes some very light filing (or not, I probably didn't have to file mine if I had just tried it with the PCR slide stop) to fit it, and it has some really nice adjustable sights. I will be taking mine to the range for the first time this afternoon, can't wait!

July 16, 2008, 12:20 PM
I opted for the CZ 75 Compact and a Kadet kit for cheap shooting. Then I bought a CZ P-01 and now leave the Kadet slide on the Compact frame all the time. The P-01 gets about all my 9mm target practice and the Kadet gets a great work out too. Mike

July 16, 2008, 01:20 PM
I opted for the CZ 75 Compact and a Kadet kit for cheap shooting

Have any pictures?

July 16, 2008, 03:42 PM
I just picked up this Neos yesterday at Gander for $229.99 NIB. They were passing out $20 off coupons, and I had a $10 gift card they sent me in the mail for buying my Firestar M45 there a couple of months ago. So, I only paid $199.99.

July 16, 2008, 03:52 PM
Okay, T-Ray, where's the update? What, if anything, did you buy? :D

July 16, 2008, 04:11 PM

July 16, 2008, 05:25 PM
i haven't bought anything yet. I'm swayin so much i'm gettin sea sick. I like the looks of the cz, the price of the beretta, the sentimental value of my great grandma's (lol even though i don't know what caliber it is). this will be a tough decision, unless i fall in love with the revolver

July 17, 2008, 08:47 PM

July 22, 2008, 10:43 AM
ok, another option i've found is the taurus 94. I've heard the da trigger pull is really heavy, but the really knowledgeable (sounding) people say that it has to be to consistently fire rimfire rounds. I like the looks of the matte stainless with the 5" bbl. Also, i hear most people saying that it is the gun they use to introduce people to handgus, which is what it will be for... I get to see my great grandma's revolver this coming weekend (finally) and will also get to shoot it :D:D.If i don't buy it from my grandma, the 94 will definitely be an option.
BTW, i probably would step up to a s&w, but considering the taurus is 1/2 the price...
Aside from the family piece, the standing order is: taurus 94 matte stainless 5"bbl, s&w 22a camo:D or the blued, beretta neos (starting to like the looks of the others better), and then a sa revolver not already in family.

July 22, 2008, 11:07 AM
From the sounds of it, a .22 LR pistol is what your looking for.

July 22, 2008, 11:17 AM
Go with a .22. I like the Ruger Mark 3 or find a Mark 2 used in good condition.

July 26, 2008, 07:21 PM

Ok, i'm at my grandma's, and first things first, she's got dial up so my posts are gonna be long and there's going to be a lot of time in between them.

so, i asked to see my great grandma's pistol, and i also said we bought a box of 9mm for me to try her gun out also, so she got out both (she couldn't remember what caliber hers was ;), so she got hers out first and she has a Colt "All American" Model 2000. She also told me it was a double action and had a long pull. I was like, wow that's nice (probably under 50 rounds through it and she's probably had it for 12+ years). We then pulled out my great grandma's gun. When she was pullin the box out, i saw a box of .32 s&w bullets, so i'm excited that it's more than a .22, b/c like i said, i'm addicted to recoil. So she gets it out and it's an H&R "Guardsman" Model 732 6shot .32 S&W 2.5" bbl blued d/a. My dad then proceeds to swing the cylinder out and it's still tight (probably from the fact that it too probably has less than 50 rds through it, and it's at least 25 years old) It was in like new condition, probably about 99% just b/c of it's age it can't be 100. So my dad and i take it out in a field and he shot the first shot, just to make sure it would fire :D and then i got to shoot the next 5 rds (that's all we had time for) i liked how it shot, but I kinda want a longer barrel and i need a bigger grip, one that at least goes 3/4 of the way down my hand :D. So we get back to the house and my grandma asked how it shot, and i said it shot really well and i really liked it. She then says that she might want to keep it and sell me her colt b/c she has trouble pullin back the slide to load it, and she doesn't think that she could even pull the trigger back b/c of her arthritis and how it's gotten worse since she's shot it (probably at least 6 years) i know she could pull the trigger on either one, but i doubt she could cock her colt, seeing as she tried to shoot a skunk a few years back and she jammed the gun b/c she couldn't pull it back far enough. So, i'm probably going to show her how easy it is to shoot the revolver, at least if she shot it s/a, and i'm going to get to shoot the colt tomorrow (bought a new box on the way down here). She and my dad will probably talk, and i'm more than likely going to end up buying one, and theres probably a good chance it'll be her colt.

My questions:
1. What's some info/feedback on the two different guns?
2. What's a good price to pay her for the revolver (99% overall)?
3. What's a good price to pay her for her colt (99% overall)?
4. How much is a box of .32 S&W (cheap remington or winchester type stuff)?
Keep in mind i don't want to rip her off, but she won't sell either to me for too much. Also keep in mind that they're both in like new condition. I'm on dial up so i can't really search the web.

Also disregard the original price range i set in my first post.

July 26, 2008, 09:16 PM
I just saw one on GunsAmerica for $150.00. I also checked on the price of ammo for the S&W .32 at Midwayusa. They want $16.99 (on sale) for 50 rounds. Shipping is extra of course. Other brands not on sale are running around the $28.00 mark, because it's just not as popular a round as some of the others. .22 is still the way to go for quantity shooting as others have pointed out. The gun you buy should feel good to YOU. You'll be the one shooting it. Might as well have something comfortable! :D

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