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looking to buy my first gun!!!! very excited

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by LIYAH, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. LIYAH

    LIYAH New Member

    Nov 28, 2005
    Greetings and Salutations!!!
    i was wondering if you kind people would be able to help me, or at least steer me in the right direction. i am female, single and i hike alot (no this is not an advertisement!!) my father wants me to be able to protect myself when i'm out an about on my own, granted i have dogs but still (and hey he's buying so how can i say no). i am interested in something light weight, with not alot of kick; to kill a snake or anything that might attack my dogs and or to mame (sp) some very bad person if ever need. i would like a gun shop that also has a range so i can practise. any suggestions, and or advice would greatly be appreciated.--thanks o so much.
  2. dracphelan

    dracphelan Active Member

    Oct 15, 2005
    Garland, TX
    1. Hi Marie.
    2. Based on your requirements, I would recommend a Springfield Armory XD9 compact model. However, I would aslo recommend you find a range that will let you rent one. Recoil is going to be higher in smaller weapons.
    3. Make sure you have the legalities of carrying worked out before you carry.
  3. CannonFodder

    CannonFodder Member

    Sep 22, 2005
    I myself purchased a Walther P22 for my first handgun and have been enormously satisfied with it. It's relatively inexpensive, feather-light, and way too much fun to shoot. The early models had some mechanical problems, but it looks like Walther QA finally licked 'em. I've put close to 3000 rounds through mine since June.

    It's something to think about, at least.
  4. itgoesboom

    itgoesboom member

    Dec 24, 2002
    By the River

    Welcome to TheHighRoad. I am sure you will find all the answers you are looking for.

    Might be a good idea to stop off at www.packing.org as well, to find out what the laws are in your state for carrying firearms, either concealed or open.

    Everyone here has their own preferences for firearms, based on what fits our own hands, as well as other criteria.

    Many different makers make excellent handguns that would probably meet your requirments: Glock, S&W, Taurus, Beretta, HK, Walther, Springfield Armory, Sig, Kel-Tec, etc etc.

    Lots of choices out there.

    My standard advice is to go to a gun shop, and get your hands on as many different pistols as possible.

    When you find 3-5 different ones that fit your hand, come on here and ask for recommendations regarding those firearms, and narrow the choice down.

    After you narrow it down, then see if you can rent each of them at the range and see how they feel.

    In general, I would also recommend looking at .380, .38spc, and 9mm, if you are concerned about recoil. These are all fairly mild while still having the required power to (if properly used) to take down an assailant.

    dracphelan is correct about small firearms having more recoil than larger ones. Weight dampens recoil. But there is other things you can do as well. Recoil is often a matter of perception, and if the pistol is very loud, it can make recoil *seem* worse. If you wear plug and over ear protection, it will help you learn the fundementals without a flinch.

    Good luck.

  5. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    0 hrs east of TN
    Welcome Marie.

    There are a few questions to be answered first before any useful help can be provided.

    First off, what state are you in and what states do you intend to hike in?

    Do you hike in national parks, national forrest, state or private lands?

    If you want help on the range issue you'll have to tell everyone what city and state you're in so they can give recommendations.

    What firearms have you shot in the past and what were you the most comfortable with?

    If you hike with a staff why would you need a gun for snakes? Be warned that if your dogs are off leash or if they don't follow voice commands when they're excited they could easily get themselves between you and the legless varment.

    Any 2-legged varment that you need to shoot you had better need to kill them. You never use a gun to "maime".
  6. TooTaxed

    TooTaxed Participating Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    Columbus, Georgia
    You will want something light and fairly small, so it will be both easy to carry and not get in your way. Suggest you go to a gun shop or two, or gun show, and look at small, short-barreled .22 and .38-spl revolvers and semi-auto pistols no larger in size than a Makarov.

    For your stated purposes you may consider a .22 LR...you can get shot cartridges for snakes, and a high-velocity hollow point is not bad as a defensive round at short range. It also has little recoil and ammo is inexpensive. A .22 is also the best for you to learn to shoot with...larger calibers can come after you've gained confidence and comfort with shooting.

    Regardless of what you get, you should practice with it to get very familiar with its use and capabilities. When the time comes that you will need it, you want to instinctively grab it and have it do what you want without your conscious thought. You may be able to find a combat pistol short course in your area...try the police dept and gun clubs, especially on military bases. You also need to see if you can get a carry permit, or determine under what circumstances you can carry it legally without one.
  7. AZ Heat

    AZ Heat New Member

    Oct 25, 2003

    Find a gun range first so you can rent a couple and see which feels the best to you.
  8. Gunpacker

    Gunpacker Active Member

    Jan 24, 2004
    Tampa, FL
    I suggest a .38 caliber revolver. You can practice with very light target loads to start and work up to more powerful loads later. This is a true defensive weapon that is easy to learn with, light recoiling and can be loaded to levels sufficient to protect against fairly large predators. I suggest a 4 inch which provides sufficient weight to dampen recoil. Smith and Wesson makes good ones as does Ruger, taurus. You can get a .357 Magnum if you wish real versatility, since it fires .38 special ammo, but allows you to go into .357 magnum ammo later if you wish. You may find .357 mag revolver easier to find in the 4 inch.
    DON'T get a small 2 in light revolver. They kick too much for a good learning experience. Get a revolver with adjustable sights, since if you can't adjust the sights, it is unlikely that you will be able to shoot accurately.
    A revolver is the easiest, safest and most reliable to get into action IMO for a beginner especially. Very importantly, get some lessons from a reliable source, and avoid other beginners for your questions.
    Best of luck with your learning experience. Welcome to shooting.
  9. Biker

    Biker Mentor

    Mar 10, 2005
    Hey Marie...
    For your purposes, a .38 revolver with a 2 or 3 inch inch barrel would be a great first gun.
  10. nfl1990

    nfl1990 Member

    Sep 17, 2005
    Are you talking about a pistol for CCW purposes or rifle, or shotgun for when you are hiking.
  11. loose cannon

    loose cannon Member

    May 9, 2004
    southwest missouri
    i wouldnt exactly rule out a standard or service size handgun either one of the advantages a lady has is the socialy aceptable use of a purse which depending on size easily acomodates fullsize guns.to sum it up the largest gun i can carry unless i have a coat on is a subcompact glock26,my wif carrys a fullsize glock17 all the time(she never has her purse out of reach).

    fullsize guns are far easier to shoot well than compacts or subcompacts,and ill go with the others on 9mm/38special being a good minimum caliber and trying a bunch of guns b4 u buy 1.
  12. mindpilot

    mindpilot member

    Nov 6, 2005
    A Black Box
    Walther P22

    Get a Walther P22 if hes buying!! Excellent gun for starters and great reputation.
  13. Black Majik

    Black Majik Mentor

    Sep 13, 2003
    Orange County, California
    Welcome to THR Marie,

    Buying a first gun can be quite an experience. Dont be intimidated by all the guns out there, you have your whole life to buy them all :D

    itgoesboom has given sound advice. Stop by a gunshop and find a gun that fits your hand, points naturally, and is light and comfortable enough for you. Now, as a general rule, you dont want something too light, because the lighter the gun, the more the gun will recoil. So you'll have to find, (and try out multiple guns) to find the compromise between weight and recoil.

    For a self defense gun, I'd usually recommend an autoloader in 9mm or a revolver in .38 spl/.357 magnum. The .357 can also shoot .38 spl. so you can practice for cheap, and shoot the .357 for defensive purposes when you feel comfortable with it.

    For a autoloader, I'd recommend a Glock 19, Springfield XD-9 4", SIG P225 (what i would pick :D), SIG P239, CZ Rami, CZ PO1, and the HK P2000 9mm

    Take a NRA safety course, this will teach you how to properly shoot a firearm, as well as instruct safety issues and allow you to fire multiple firearms. Owning a firearm is a big responsibility, so I'd definitely get some instruction before going out to the range. Take your time, and find the gun that fits you. It shouldn't be too difficult since theres so many guns out there to try out.

    Again, dont feel intimidated by the choices. Also, dont let the sales person behind the counter to tell you to own so and so gun. Buy the gun YOU want. Tell the salesperson it'll be your first gun. He/she should be helpful in finding a gun that'll fit you, and show you a range of guns. Dont be afraid to ask questions. When you find a few guns you're interested in, come by again and ask us our opinions of each firearm. Most likely someone here has had experience with that particular firearm.

    Most of all... have fun and shoot safely! :)
  14. VacuumJockey

    VacuumJockey New Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Copenhagen, Denmark
  15. Topgun

    Topgun member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Anywhere necessary
    I would suggest .22 in either a revolver or a rifle. If the rifle is too large then get the revolver. The barrel should be a four incher. Wear earplugs if you shoot a .22 pistol. The rifle would be far quieter and if it isn't a hindrance to your hikes, would be the way to go. Rifles are far easier to hit with than ANY handgun.
    For ...protection... (if that's the CHIEF thing you want it for) then get a .38 Special revolver or a .357 Magnum revolver.
    Revolvers are far easier to check to see if loaded and are very intuitive to operate.
    If you get the .357, get .38 Special ammunition. Both will fit in the .357 but the 38 will be far easier to learn to shoot ....well. And "shooting well" is what you want your FIRST GUN to do.

  16. akodo

    akodo Senior Member

    Aug 31, 2005
    In many places a standard Ruger Bearcat is a common hiker's gun. The Ruger is one hell of a gun, and the Single Action Revolver is both quite safe and quite non-intimidating as far as ease of learning and safty. Plus it is mechanically straightforward and easy to understand, great things to help you build selfconfidence. .22LR will not stop a charging grizzly, but it will take care of snakes and skunks, works as well as any other gun if you get lost and need to signal for help by firing 3 shots in the air, and while it is not a great manstopper if you are threatened by a human, most humans don't want to get shot by ANY gun. THE MOST COMMON USE OF A HANDGUN IN SELF DEFENCE IS SIMPLY SHOWING THE ATTACKER YOU ARE ARMED, THEY THEN FLEE. Doesn't mean a .22 cannot kill a person, because the can and will, and should be handled with no less respect than a .357

    Another good suggestion would be a Walther in 380 or even in 32. A more modern gun very much in the same design as a Walther would be the Sig 232.
  17. cslinger

    cslinger Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    Like everybody said it comes down to what fits your hand the best. A better approach might be to go to a local gunshop and handle several firearms find a few that could "work" for you and then come back to ask us specific questions as to whether they are reliable, have lots of "kick" etc.

    Without knowing anything more I personally would suggest something along the lines of a Ruger SP101 revolver with a 3+ inch barrel and exposed hammer. This is a .357 magnum revolver that is small enough to easily carry around while being heavy enough to absorb recoil pretty well. I would suggest you load the gun with .38 Special ammunition instead of .357 as the recoil will be less. This makes a great gun that can fit many rolls and one you can grow into. I suggest a revolver due to it's ability to shoot just about any type of ammo chambered for it, such as snakeshot.....which is like an itty bitty shotgun shell for killing snakes afield.

    Once again take everybody's advice about looking into what feels good to you and take the time and small amount of money to get some proper training.

    Other things to think about when buying your first gun include.
    -some kind of secure storage to keep kids and irresponsible adults away.
    -cleaning supplies.

    Also if you purchase a gun practice alot. Have fun with it go to the range and challenge yourself. Shooting is not like riding a bike but is a skill that must constantly be honed in order for you to continue to be proficient.

    Welcome to the family. Shoot safe and have fun.

    By the way I liked your, "This is not an invitation" because when I was reading your post I chuckled thinking...."and I like long walks in the park and sunsets....etc." :D I am not making fun of you it just struck me as funny........and well I am weird, ask around.

  18. Chrontius

    Chrontius Member

    Jan 16, 2005
    Don't forget about Kel-Tecs. They're inexpensive, but not quite cheap, small and light, and very easy to take apart to clean. (on the other hand, if he's buying, this would make a better second gun :D ) They seem pretty reliable to me, though like everything, there are lemons. (Mine is normally completely 100% reliable, and even reasonably (80%) reliable when missing pieces!)
  19. cslinger

    cslinger Senior Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Nashville, TN
    One other thing your age may have a bearing on this conversation. Are you at least 21 years of age? Also remember that one can generally not just carry a gun around legally without a permit of some kind.

    Not trying to pry just thinking of various things that may affect your decisions.

  20. GoBrush

    GoBrush Member

    Nov 26, 2005
    The Good Ole USA

    Lots of good info above. I agree that a 38 special revolver is a good choice unless you are willing to hit the range once a month then I would move you to a 9mm. If you want to start with a 22LR then I would recommend a Browning Buck Mark you simply cant beat them.

    Here is something else to think about. I think your Dad must be a smart man recommending that you carry a gun to protect yourself while in the back country. I do the same but I think it is even more important to protect yourself in the urban area's as well. More thugs, rapists, robbers, murderers etc.

    Listen to advice above and KNOW THE LAW!

    Good luck and spread the 2nd amendment word expose others to safe and responsible gun ownership.;)

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