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a few ?'s about buying my first handgun

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by shopping for a first, Jul 22, 2007.

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  1. shopping for a first

    shopping for a first Member

    Jul 22, 2007
    Hello all,

    As I was searching around the net looking for reviews on handguns I came across your forum and found the information on it very useful. I am in the market to buy my first handgun and thought maybe you folks could help me out.

    Ive been shooting/hunting since i was very young and consider myself to be a pretty good shot with a rifle and shotgun, but it seems I cant hit the broad side of a barn with my fathers handguns. Although it could be any number of things, I thought it may be the firearms as they all have fixed sights.

    If someone could please explain the advantages/disadvantages of having fixed Vs. adjustable sights it would be greatly appreciated.

    Aim true and shoot safe,

    Scott from Pittsburgh

    P.S Any tips or suggestions on purchasing a accurate, reliable handgun for personal defense would be great.
  2. Outlaws

    Outlaws Member

    Apr 10, 2006
    Valley of the Sun
    Tips for aiming accurately.

    Start small and work up. 22LR, then maybe a 9mm if whatever you are doing right now isn't working.

    Focus on the front sight. The target and the rear right (closest to you) should be a bit out of focus.

    Fix sights are nice for self defense, but adjustable is nice too. Adjustable is almost a necessity for a target pistol though. Its just whatever you end up preferring.
  3. Guy B. Meredith

    Guy B. Meredith Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Salem, Oregon
    Fixed sights prevent snagging on draws, one option on sight picture and usually do best with one particular type of ammo load. Adjustable allow you to adjust for different types of ammo, different conditions, can snag on clothing when being used for concealed carry.
  4. Majic

    Majic Member

    May 3, 2003
    The only difference is the adjustable sighted handgun allows you to sight in for various loads used. Being a "pretty good shot with a rifle" you should have known that because very few rifles have fixed sights. Also there is no difference in how you use the two sights.
    Shooting a handgun is much harder than shooting a long gun. You have to concentrate a lot harder on your basics and will need lots and lots of practice.
  5. glockman19

    glockman19 Member

    Mar 16, 2007

    Welcome to THR. First some questions. What is you intended use of the gun? HD/SD/Carry/etc...? Second are you looking at revolvers or semiauto pistols? Third, If you have a renge that rents guns go shoot as many as you can and that wil help you decide without wasting alot of timeand money. Finally, Caliber? depending on use will dictate caliber in most cases. Targeting/Plinking & Fun on the Cheap a .22 Ruger makes a nice pistol. I'd personally skip up to a 9mm or .38 as my lowest SD/HD rounds. In a 9mm I'd get a Glock 19, IMHO the best 9mm ever made. Easy to shoot less expensive ammo. In a .38 I have a S&W 642/442 & 686. The 686 is also capable of shooting .357. I wouldn't rule our Ruger SP 101 & GP 100 in this catagory either in Revolvers. moving up in caliber a HK and/or sig is a great .40 caliber gun. Both IMHO best of class. moving up to .45 I would get nothing other than a 1911 style. Colt, Kimber,Springfield are the first that come to mind there are many others but these three are IMHO the best bang for the buck. Next you get into .44mag 460 & 50 caliber guns,someting to think about later down the road after you've been shooting a short while.

    As far as sights, I don't care if they are adjustable as long as they shoot right in @ 25 yards. I prefer night sights and on smaller guns laser grips.

    Lastly for accuracy it's practice, practice, practice.
  6. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Because of the smaller sighting radius it takes a lot more discipline to shoot a handgun accurately.
    It takes more practice, better technique, and trigger pull control is critical.

    The standards for distance and accuracy is also different for handguns. If you pick up a handgun and expect to starting popping tin cans with it at 50 yards you are going to be disappointed real quickly.

    Start at distances measured in feet or single digit yds. for self defense a 7 yd average (21 ft) is a normal practice range.

    edit PS: Welcome to THR

    Adjustable sights are no better than fixed sights that are adjusted properly. Good fixed sights are better than poor ones, and more stable than adjustable ones.

    Deciding between auto pistol or revolver is another personal choice you will obviously have to make. If the handgun is for SD and you plan on doing concealed carry, then you have to make some choices regarding size and weight as well as caliber.

    Keep reading through the site here and perhaps that can continue to help guide you toward what is right for you and your needs.
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