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$3,000 to start my collection...

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by oysterwirefly, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. oysterwirefly

    oysterwirefly New Member

    Dec 26, 2011
    Southern Oregon
    Hey all, this is my first post. I have been reading the forum for a month or so now, trying to learn what I can from you all. I have a question that I know will generate many different answers, but I am looking for some guidance anyway. I am finishing up an overseas deployment and have set aside $3,000 for the purchase of firearms. Currently, I have nothing at all that belongs to me, though I am experienced with shooting by way of the military and my grandfather. I am unsure as to the best way to pursue spending my $3,000.

    What “essential” calibers, models, etc. would you all recommend for the beginning gun collection? I would like to eventually have a wide range of firearms, but if you only had $3,000 to start brand new, what would you purchase?

    Note: I am interested in quality over quantity, if that is a consideration. I also have other money set aside for a safe and ammunition. The $3,000 is strictly for firearms. My main interest would be for target practice at the range and in the woods. I would like the versatility of being able to target practice, defend my home, and take down a regular sized deer. In that order.

    Any help is much appreciated, and thank you all for the knowledge that I have gained from reading all the other posts on this forum!
  2. gp911

    gp911 Participating Member

    Oct 30, 2005
    Pistol, rifle, shotgun, and a pair of 22s. Pick your platforms based on your preferences and research which are considered the top models for each one. We don't know if you like leverguns, bolt actions, pump shotguns, single shots, revolvers, etc. The pair of 22s should be a handgun and a rifle. Beyond that there are tons of choices that will serve you well. Something old, something new, etc. Enjoy your search!
  3. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Senior Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    West GA
    You may be better off to purchase one or two and then see what you want after shooting for a while. .308 bolt gun and a full frame pistol (auto or revolver) would be a good start. Thanks for your service!
  4. gp911

    gp911 Participating Member

    Oct 30, 2005
    I should add that it's okay if you don't get it "perfect" the first time. For example you may buy a Glock and find you prefer 1911s, or you may buy a snubnose 357 and hate the long DA trigger pull, etc. That's part of the fun. Enjoy!
  5. RaceM

    RaceM Active Member

    Apr 12, 2011
    Target plinking- 22LR, semi-auto rifle (unless you're into tack driving, then you'd prolly want a bolt action)

    Home defense- 12 GA pump shotgun, 870 Remington or Mossberg 500 (both proven platforms)

    Deer slaying- The 12GA will do for that, but you might want a 30cal rifle instead because of its longer range

    Additionally you might want a handgun. Ruger Single Six gives you both 22LR and magnum. A .357 wheel gun gives you oomph when you want it, but lets you practice with 38 Special (lots of ammo choices as well). On the auto side you're already familiar with the Beretta 92 (stay away from the Taurus version), many on here like Glocks.
  6. Hawthorne2k

    Hawthorne2k Member

    Aug 29, 2009
    .22 pistol, .22 rifle, a 1911-sized centerfire pistol or smaller (revolver or semi-auto), a pump-action shotgun with interchangeable barrels) and an AR-15 (Me, I like 16" flat-topped receivers, but your YMMV).

    The .22's will let you shoot for cheap, the pistol allows you to practice personal defense, the scattergun is for birds or deer or home defense, and the AR is because, well, BECAUSE. :)

    Added guns would be a bolt gun with scope suitable for medium-sized game and bigger, and a smaller pistol for daily carry when you can't carry the bigger pistol.
  7. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Elder

    Aug 11, 2005
    Elbert County, CO
    Well, it would help to know your particular interests. Do you hunt? Range only? Is home defense a large factor? $3k can go a long way, but we need to know what sort of collection you want.
  8. Mr.Blue

    Mr.Blue Active Member

    Aug 21, 2011
    1. Colt 6920 - you are probably very well trained on this platform. You could get one for just under $1k.

    2. Remington 870/mossberg 500 12 gauge pump. The quintessential self defense gun. Both are bulletproof and inexpensive.

    3. CZ 75B 9mm - all steel and you can get one for under $500. In my opinion the best 9mm out there. I've yet to find a more accurate 9mm pistol platform, unless you spend 2-3 times more. For another $100-$150 more, you could get the CZ SP-01 9mm. It's just a newer version of the 75B. It's my favorite handgun. I use it in action pistol shooting. It has a capacity of 19+1 too.

    4. Ruger Scout rifle. For $800 you get a SHTF/hunting/range gun. I like the 10 +1 capacity in .308. Mine is accurate and built like a tank. The Mauser action is a time tested design.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  9. Paris

    Paris New Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    I might take some flack for this opinion but so be it.

    Since you have been trained on and are proficient with the AR15 rifle and the Beretta 92 pistol those would be my first two purchases. This way you know that the money you are spending will provide at least the ability to defend yourself reliably and plenty of shooting fun as well. I think once you have those two down move on to something else.

    It's easier to "take risks" with firearms when you already have a baseline so to speak with what you know will work. That way if the risk doesn't work out you aren't left high and dry with something that doesn't work for you or that you can't stand.
  10. Hacker15E

    Hacker15E Participating Member

    Jul 1, 2005
    Recommend that, instead of jumping in both feet first and trying to buy an entire "collection" in one fell swoop, you pick one type of firearm (pistol, rifle, shotgun) and figure out what you like, then learn to use it well.

    That means using the military experience you have currently, add in a bunch of reading on many different types within the category you're looking at, and go find a place to shoot many different types (like a range where you can rent, or go shoot with acquaintances and try out their firearms).

    You won't find the "right" answer just reading about it on the internet. Looking at pictures and reading the wide range of equally valuable and worthless banter on the internet won't be able to seal the deal. You HAVE to go shoot them to know what you do and don't like.

    Take your time and, most of all, enjoy the ride as you figure out what you like best.

    Once you have figured out one category, move on to the next!
  11. ShawnC

    ShawnC Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    No. Va
    Pick one gun with a great scope.

    Really, when are you ever going to get another chance to own a $3000 rifle? :evil:
  12. essayons21

    essayons21 Participating Member

    Aug 4, 2008
    Down by the rivah, VA
    Start with a quality .22 pistol and .22 rifle. Shoot them alot, figure out what types of shooting you are interested in. Spend time in gun stores and more importantly, at the range. Talk to people, they will probably let you try their guns. Figure out what you really want before you plunk down your hard earned money.

    If you shop around you should be able to pick up a Ruger MkIII or 22/45 and a 10/22 for around $600. I have spent many thousands of dollars on my gun collection, and had an equal amount gifted or inherited, and I still shoot .22s about 3/4 of the time, and have a ton of fun doing it.
  13. minutemen1776

    minutemen1776 Active Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    If I were in your shoes, I'd start by getting a quality AR15. You can easily get into a really good one (without an optic) for $1,000 or so. For target shooting, you cannot beat a good .22 Long Rifle. In a rifle, it's hard to beat the Ruger 10/22, and you can get into one for $200-$300 depending on the particular model you like. For a pistol, I like the Browning Buckmark, followed closely be the Ruger Mark II/III, either of which can be had from $300-$400. After that, either a pump shotgun or a centerfire handgun is essential for home defense. If you'll carry a handgun, I'd suggest a 9mm for reduced ammo costs. There are lots of good ones under $500, so pick one you'll be comfortable with. If you opt for a shotgun, I prefer the Mossberg 500/590 platform. A milspec 590 can be bought for $400. If you want a regular 500, you can get a combo set (with a long hunting barrel and a short HD barrel) for under $350. Next would be a mid-range .308 bolt-action rifle with a great scope. I have a Remington 700 with a Nikon Monarch scope that I got into for around $1,000 total. These four purchases (AR15, .22, HD, .308) should eat up most or all of your $3,000. If you have anything left, buy an HD handgun if you took the shotgun first, or vice versa. Later it'll be easy to add a second .22 if you want one.
  14. X-Rap

    X-Rap Mentor

    Sep 23, 2006
    Don't let that 3K burn a hole in your pocket. You can buy a 10/22 for under $200 NIB and Cabelas has been running used Glocks for $350. That takes care if immediate fun and personal defense. Keep the rest in the bank and jump on the deals when you find them. I find the hunt for my guns almost as fun as the shooting and ownership.
    I am a big advocate of buying used and often find quality guns for far under nib retail.
    Bolt guns with Leupold scopes (ruger 77's) for under $400
    Quality shotguns (870 rem, 835 moss, benelli nova) under $300
    AR 15 (s&w, dpms, bm, colt) $850 and under
    CF revolvers (s&w 19, 66, 686) $250-400
    RM pistols (mkI/II, buckmark) $200
    These are actual purchases of used guns through storefront FFL's not some back alley deals and you still have some left over.
    Good luck hunting and thanks for your service.
  15. m1911.10mm

    m1911.10mm New Member

    May 14, 2011
    Victoria TX
    I'm sure you know you've asked an impossible question. Impossible - yet fun.

    There's always that one poster who will suggest something that he, himself does not own. Today I'll be that guy.

    Three thousand bucks? Forget the semi-customs. I went that route and sometimes wish I hadn't. With the cash you've allotted, I like a couple of the suggestions already made. I'd tweak them just a little, though.

    92FS - sure, but go for the INOX

    CZ-75b - sure, but get the Shadow T Duotone

    I don't own either of those, but once worked for someone who let me borrow their 92 for a few years.

    It's kind of funny how in your first post here, you tried to head off the "spend 10 bucks on a nice gun and the other 2990 bucks on ammo" business. And of course it didn't work for you any better than it does for the rest of us.

    I'm always curious where the deployed people are.

    Stay safe.

  16. 230therapy

    230therapy Active Member

    Aug 10, 2008
    You prioritized fun over defense.

    Fortunately, there is much overlap there. Many combat grade firearms are useful for hunting, target shooting, and action sports. $3,000 isn't much though and you can burn through that very quickly.

    1) Pistol: Revolver or semi-auto? If you don't know, just get a Glock 19 (or equivalent from S&W, HK, Springfield Armory, etc). Avoid any pistol with a slide mounted safety.*

    Budget $600 or so for the gun alone. Attempt to get one with night sights. You should check J&G Sales and CDNN Investments for used guns.

    If you go with a revolver, try to get one with either a removable front sight (such as the Ruger GP100). These are pinned in. If it's solid, your options are fewer.

    2) General Purpose Rifle

    You can get an AR-15 with a 5.56x45mm upper. Consider either the Colt 6920 or Bravo Company Mfg Midlength Mod 0 ($1050ish). Then get a heavier caliber upper in 300 Blackout or similar.

    You can use either for hunting or defense, though you'll have to check your local hunting regulations to see if there are magazine capacity limits.

    You could also get a lower end AK-47 in 7.62x39mm. Add an Ultimak Rail and either an Aimpoint Micro or long eye relief scope. Add a cheek riser. Plink with Wolf FMJ ammo, hunt with Federal Fusion and defend yourself with either.

    3) Ruger 10/22

    Just go buy it along with several extra magazines and two boxes of Remington Golden Bullets. Done.

    * Slide mounted safeties belong in the 70's with long collars and bad hair. If you insist upon getting an "M9" pistol, get a DAO version without the slide mounted idjit switch. The rest of my criticism for this silly design is not High Road.
  17. TwoWheelFiend

    TwoWheelFiend Member

    May 15, 2011
  18. RoboDuck

    RoboDuck New Member

    Dec 21, 2008
    Glock 19 9mm
    Rem 870 12 gauge
    Rem/Ruger 308. bolt action rifle with a 3X9X40 scope
    Colt 6920

    With taxes you may have gone a little over your $3000 limit but these would serve you well.

    TXSWFAN New Member

    Jan 1, 2008
    I would go this route.

    Armalite AR-10 20"-$1400
    Good quality AR-15 lower with a .223/5.56 and .22 upper-$1025
    Glock 19 w/NS-$500
  20. chevyman097

    chevyman097 Member

    Jan 30, 2010
    Are you most interested in just target shooting or hunting as well? That little info could be important. But at the same time maybe not. Just curious.

    IMO id start with a shotgun, handgun and at least 2 rifles. One in .22, a ruger 10/22. Then a rifle for target/hunting. Caliber could depend.

    a shotgun for bird/small game hunting and sport shooting(clays or what not).

    A handgun for target/fun shooting and home defense.

    3 grand can add up fast though. For a first time buyer dont forget to budget in ammo and basic accessories(cleaning stuff, holsters, whatever might be a must have). Then add guns on later. Just remember you wont get everything you want with 3 grand so just get what is at the top of the list then work your way down as you get more spending money.

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