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$3,000 to start my collection...

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

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  1. oysterwirefly

    oysterwirefly 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 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 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 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 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 Member

    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 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 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 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 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 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 Member

    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 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 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 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 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.
  21. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Member

    Jan 23, 2011
    Birmingham, Alabama
    Like some others have said, I'd go with at least a rifle that you're used to, so that means an AR 15. It's easy to get carried away with them (especially when you start adding all the toys like optics, rails and stocks) and dump the whole 3 grand there, so just keep that in mind as you're buying everything. I would recommend anything from Colt, LMT, DD, BC or any other company of that caliber. Those are all top of the line manufacturers, so don't be surprised if you're spending over a grand on the gun itself.

    After that, I'd put an aimpoint on it and make sure I have some good BUIS on it and leave it like that. Though if you really want to get it ready for a HD situation, I would recommend a good weapon light. This can cost anywhere from $100 with mount to $300+ depending on which model you get. In my opinion, its hard to beat a standard Surefire handheld in a mount based on the price and usefulness. The nice thing about those rifle manufacturers is sometimes they'll already have a good stock and/or rail so you won't have to upgrade it later. That'll put you about 1.5-2K.

    If you want to get away from the AR platform, I would go with an Arsenal AK. My personal preference is for 7.62x39 and the side folding stock (very secure when shooting). Then I'd throw a set of XS Big Dot iron sights on it, a Ultimak rail, and a aimpoint micro. The AK itself will run you about $700-1,000 and the rail and optic will add about $500-700 to that.

    If you really want something different, I'd recommend a DSA FAL or maybe even a Springfield M1A, but be prepared to drop $2,000 on the rifle itself, with no optics and very few (if any) factory accessories.

    My next recommendation would be a good combat pistol that can be carried easily. I would probably recommend a Sig 229 or a Glock 19, though a 226 or 17 could be concealed adequately, its just a bit more difficult. I would definitely recommend a good set of night sights with either. Night sights usually run about $100/set and I usually prefer to get aftermarket sights as opposed to the "factory" night sights so that I can choose exactly what I want for the gun.

    Depending on exactly which models you choose and how you outfit everything, that could easily be $3,000 right there. You did say quality over quantity, right? :neener: If you have any more room, you may want to pick up a Remington 870 or Mossberg 500. They're practically bulletproof pump shotguns and (someone correct me if I'm wrong) usually run about $300.

    Something else to consider is accessories for the guns themselves. Do you have money budgeted for mags, holsters, belts (for ccw), slings etc? Those can EASILY add up to a lot of money, and that's not even including if you want to set up your own plate carrier/chest rig to use when taking carbine classes. Depending on the gun, mags usually go for about $20-25 each (for the common models like Sigs, Glocks, AKs, and AR P-mags) and that adds up fast. I'm working on this myself with goals of a minimum of 10 mags/rifle and 5 mags/pistol (useful for long range days, shooting classes, and on the off chance that you have a mag fail, you have an extra right there).
    My rule of thumb for a carry holster is it'll usually cost around $100, and a good belt is about that same price. And depending on what type of sling you want (cheap 2 point of really nice tactical sling) you can easily spend between $20-80 there as well.

    I'm finding out the hard way that there's more to using guns than just the gun itself and am working to pick up all of these things after I've gotten several guns. Its easier to budget it right in with the weapon purchase than it is to realize you really need to get set up for all of your weapons at once.
  22. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

    Feb 26, 2011
    se fla i love claymores 01/sot
    berreta 92
    ruger scout rifle
  23. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer member

    Apr 10, 2010
    Kodiak, AK
  24. Aiko492

    Aiko492 Member

    May 24, 2011
    A nice walnut Ruger 10/22 .22 rifle is a great classic and should be included, inexpensive on top.
  25. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

    Jun 5, 2006
    Tacoma, WA
    My opinion

    Surf the want adds to pick up lightly used firearms. Better than buying new unless there's a rebate or great sale.

    If I were starting my collection with $3,000, here's what I'd do:

    Apply for CCW - that will take some time and about $200.

    1. Carry piece. Suggestions are a compact Glock, CZ, S&W M&P, XD, or Ruger SP101 or similar. About $500 for the gun. Don't skimp on a cheap holster. Get one of nicer ones for about $100. Years of experience - take my word. Buy 1000 round for practice for about $300.

    2. Home defense primary and/or secondary. You can use your carry piece, or a dedicated home defense handgun. Large frame pistol or revolver. Suggestions - larger framed version of your carry piece (for familiarity) - e.g. Glock 27 for carry, Glock 34 for home defense; Ruger SP101 for carry, GP100 for home defense. Cost about $600. Buy 1000 rounds for practice for $300. Ammo commonality with your carry piece will make it more affordable to buy in bulk and practice more.

    3. Home defense shotgun. This is a fundamental and essential and affordable tool. Most common are the Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 or 590 models. Commonly found for anywhere from $150-$300. I suggest 00 buckshot. Buy a bulk box or several for about .30 cents a shell. Practice. Also for cheaper practice, buy a box of birdshot and head to the skeet range.

    4. Long guns:
    **.22lr rifle like a Marlin 60 or Remington 10/22 for cheap plinking.
    **AK74 platform from Saiga for about $400, and a ton of bulk 5.45 ammo @$120 per 1000 rounds OR if you want to hunt medium game, you could pick up any number of common scoped hunting rifles for $500 - Savage, Ruger, Remington, etc. Or a C&R Mauser or Mosin Nagant for under $300.

    That plan will run you about $3000 and cover a lot all of your basis.

    Any extra money later on could be spent on training, ammo, and specialty guns for hunting, smaller CCW, or a more expensive battle rifle like the FAL, M1A, or C&R guns like an M1 Garand.
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