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Advice on my first handgun

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by TJM22, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. TJM22

    TJM22 New Member

    Hi all...

    I am relatively new to handguns and am looking to purchase my first. I have fired six different guns (with my grandpa and range rentals) at various times but by no means do I have an idea as to what I would like to purchase. My goal is to develop sound fundamentals. With that said, it seems as though a .22lr is absolutely the way to go. Beyond that, I am hopelessly lost. From what I've seen, people seem to have good things to say about the Ruger single six, ruger mkiii, s&w 617, browning buckmark, and so on. However, I don't know if I would be better off with a semi auto or revolver. If I went with a semi auto, would something like the buckmark be good for practicing or would I be better off with something like the sig mosquito (that looks more like a "normal" gun... if that makes sense)? I think if I went revolver (which I have never fired one), I think I would like to have SA capability in order to avoid a long/heavy trigger pull, if possible.

    I suppose I am looking to hear any and all opinions. Whether it's just one of those "whatever suits you" things or if there are pros/cons to each, I'm all ears.

  2. JROC

    JROC Well-Known Member

    Are you just loooking for something to plink and target shoot with? If so then yes I recommend a .22LR but I personally don't own one so I won't recommend one. I will say that I know people Ruger MK II/III's that like them.

    For an all around gun the can also be used for SD, and is easy enough to carry I would recommend a Glock 19. A 9mm is about the next best plinking gun for cost of ammo. Hit up a gun store with a big selection, and just look and handle some of the guns to see what you like is what I recommend.
  3. BYJO4

    BYJO4 Well-Known Member

    The choice of a revolver versus a semi auto 22 is strictly a matter of preference. I own both and love shooting them. I've been shooting for many years and the 22 is the best and cheapest way to learn all the mechanics. Another thing to keep in mind is that good 22 will last forever and provide you with hours of fun. Whatever you start with, besure to get a decent one that has a good reputation for accuracy and trigger pull. That said, my choice for a first gun would be a S&W model 617 (or a nice used model 17). Good luck and enjoy whatever you decide to buy.
  4. TJM22

    TJM22 New Member

    Thanks for the responses. Just to clarify, this gun will be strictly for plinking. I suppose it would be there if, God forbid, I was in a self defense situation, but that is not what I have in mind for this purchase.
  5. creeper1956

    creeper1956 Well-Known Member

    Hello TJM22 and welcome to the forums...

    Forgive me, I am a bit confused. You indicate that you've fired 6 different guns, but do not list them. You name 5 guns you want opinions/information on... but going back to the first comment, you don't say that you've test fired any of them.

    So... with that in mind, what exactly have you test fired at any length, and what, if any are your preferences at this time?

    Next, what do you have an interest in, that you have not yet handled or shot, but intend to?

    I'm not trying to be difficult, it's just that you are new here and a relatively new shooter, so before someone convinces you that their favorite .22 should also be your favorite .22... let see if we can provide a bit of objective knowledge before you or a relative drops coin on your first, in a hopefully long line of shooters. ;)
  6. Chicken-Farmer

    Chicken-Farmer Well-Known Member

    Just my opinion

    I love the 22 for plinking! Definitely a good choice on your part. I think you're going about learning in the right way. Learn the proper fundementals first before jumping in with both feet. I personally like the Buckmark pistols and have always had good luck with the design. Another choice would be the Ruger Mk II or MK III series of pistols. I am not a big fan of the Sig Mosquito. Several of my friends have owned them and they always have problems. The Mosquitos seem to like the premium ammo. My Buckmark and Rugers all shoot fine using bulk 500 rd brick ammo. Choose your flavor, but i like the copper washed federal champions myself.
    The Ruger SR22 has a large fan base and in general the pistols seem to work well.
    .22 ammo is really dirty and after awhile the actions start to gum up and require cleaning, same as any other firearm. I have found dry lube works the best to keep things slick longer.
    Enjoy reading about all the different pistol designs and find the one that calls to you. Don't be afraid to buy used and save yourself some money as well.
  7. TJM22

    TJM22 New Member

    Of the .22's I listed, I have handled none of them. I was merely pointing out that those are guns of which I may have interest due to their reputation. Sorry for the confusion.

    Here are the guns that I have experience with:
    Walther PP (.22)
    S&W Model 41 (.22)
    Beretta 21 Bobcat (.22)
    Beretta 84 (.380)
    Beretta 92 (9mm)
    Taurus 100B (9mm)

    Basically, what I am looking for is any info you could provide from your personal experiences with .22's. For instance, if you've owned a buckmark and markiii, which did you prefer? Why? Is one picky about ammo? Did you have issues with one? etc. etc. Also, what do you believe the pros v cons are of semiauto v revolver for my first handgun? Just things of that nature. I am kind of looking for a starting point in my search.
  8. snakeman

    snakeman Well-Known Member

    sound advice here: i like my buckmark and my single six pick one you won't be disappointed
  9. creeper1956

    creeper1956 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the clarity. Of everything you've actually fired, you fired one of the finest .22 pistols ever made... the S&W Mod 41. If that's on your list of "buy guns" then not only are you financially better off than first considered, but unless you want to drop quite a bit more money on a Euro target pistol such as the Walther GSP/SSP, Sig/Walther Hammerli, Benelli MP etc etc, you won't get a better .22.
    If you came across a Browning Medalist in good condition, that would be most excellent as well.

    Now, on the other hand, if your budget is considerably less than the price of a Mod 41 or Medalist, I'd also lean towards the Ruger Mk or Browning B-mark .22s. Heavy barrel, target sights... which ever one feels good in your hand.

    Oh, almost forgot, don't be afraid of the Ruger take-down process. If it causes you to pull hair, there is a kit available by Majestic Arms that makes take-down a breeze.
  10. ricebasher302

    ricebasher302 Well-Known Member

    I had a Walther P22 that worked perfectly (unlike many). I enjoyed it and it was very unforgiving of poor shooting habits (which is great for developing skills). However, after several thousand rounds, I sold it and purchased a Browning Buckmark. While the Browning may not look like a traditional auto pistol, its ergonomics, weight and balance are much more similar to a full-size centerfire auto pistol. If you were able to find a SR-22/ Mosquito/M&P 22 etc, that worked well for you, it would be a perfectly viable option for obtaining good pistol skills, but I think you'd enjoy a Browning or Ruger MK because, as your skills develop, the pistol will "keep up." It will be very accurate and when you're good enough, it will still perform to your expectations, where a smaller, lighter gun becomes less viable as an accurate hunting/plinking/target pistol, because they may not offer great accuracy when you've come to expect accuracy that matches your skill level.

    As far as revolvers go, they're just plain cool. While the ergonomics are way different than an auto pistol, a revolver can teach you the fundamentals of pistol marksmanship as well as anything.

    Regardless of your choice, you're DEFINITELY on the right track using a .22 to learn on before moving to a centerfire.
  11. Reefinmike

    Reefinmike Well-Known Member

    I have a beretta 21a and would not recommend it as a plinking gun. sights are hardly visible, and the short barrel extremely accurate. I got a chance to borrow a buddys walther p22 the other week and really loved the look and feel of it along with it shooting real accurately.
  12. Black Knight

    Black Knight Well-Known Member

    There is nothing wrong with a 22 to help develop the basics. If your gun is going to double as a defensive handgun I would like to recommend a good medium frame 38 Special or 357 Magnum Revolver. Don't let the word Magnum scare you. The 357 Magnum will also fire the 38 Special. The 38 Special with wadcutters is a mild recoiling handgun that can be mastered with a little proper practice. With +P ammo it is a very respectable defensive handgun. In a 357 Magnum revolver you also have the use of a wide range of magnum rounds that can be used for antyhing from target shooting to hunting medium/large (white tail deer) sized game.
  13. needmorecowbell

    needmorecowbell Well-Known Member

    I would definitely stick with the .22 if plinking is what you are looking for. And that is the best way to learn the trade and shoot a lot. You can't go wrong with a MKII/III or a Buckmark or a S&W revolver or most any of the others from reputable companies. It's all personal preference. You'll have more issues with occasional finicky rimfire ammo than you will the guns themselves. My suggestion is shoot them if you can or at least hold them and pick the one YOU like best. I chose the MKIII 22/45 because I liked the grip angle and 1911 type feel of it. You may like something a bit different. Honestly, if I were to do again today, I might go with an actual 1911 style .22 like a Colt/Umarex, Sig or GSG. I kind of wish a bit that I had gone with something more like a "normal" semi-auto as you mention in your post. I get what you are saying. Maybe would be good for you to check out some of these 1911 types.
  14. TJM22

    TJM22 New Member

    Thanks guys. I really appreciate all the responses. For me, I'm leaning towards Ruger 22/45 Lite. Who knows... I'll have to see how it feels in the hand and what not.
  15. dirtengineer

    dirtengineer Well-Known Member

  16. gazpacho

    gazpacho Well-Known Member

    I have a lot of 22lr handguns. I have also sold or traded a lot of them also. For the most part, I have never hand a semi-auto 22lr that I have been satisfied with. On the other hand, I've kept every 22lr revolver I have ever owned, and I like them all.

    This is a personal preference.

    The 2 semi-autos that I haven't owned yet, that I have interest in are the Beretta 87 (non-target) and a Ruger Charger.

    If I were to choose a single 22lr revolver to own for everyday/plinking use, it would be the Ruger Single Ten. This is a revolver that is built to enjoy the heck out of it, and still be solid enough for when your children pass it on to your grandchildren.
  17. hentown

    hentown Well-Known Member

    Get a Ruger pistol, not a revolver. You don't want to set yourself up for a disappointment, do you? :cool: The Rugers are reasonably-priced, accurate and reliable.
  18. otasan56

    otasan56 Well-Known Member

    Glock 17 or 19

    I'd get either the Glock 17 or 19. They are good for plinking (9mm is cheap) and self defense. I have my G17 with me 24/7. :D
  19. imsobored

    imsobored Well-Known Member

    Ive had good luck with shooting the GSG, fit the hand pretty well. Loved my last gun, EAA tanfoglio witness in 9mm/.22 I had very few issues with the .22 slide and zero issues with the 9mm. Two guns in one, cant go wrong. Mine was the full sized all steel, so not the greatest carry gun.

    CZs kadet is supposed to be very good

    Sent from Samsung Galaxy using tapatalk2
  20. mdauben

    mdauben Well-Known Member

    As others have said, the choice between revolver and semi-auto for your purposes is purely personal. Pick whichever one appeals to you. That said:

    • Semi-Auto: There are lots of choices, but I think they really boil down to two; the Ruger MkIII or the Browning Buckmark. Both are great target pistols and fun plinkers, available in several different configurations. IMO you won't find a better semi-auto .22 than these two for less than $1000
    • Revolver: There are less options for a revolver, especially if you want a new gun but for my tastes there's just one choice; the Smith & Wesson Model 617. Its not a cheap gun, but you can't really do better. I'd say the Ruger Single-Six (or Single-Ten) is a close second, if you are satisfied with a SA-only gun.

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