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First gun or guns -- buy one or multiple?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Mystery123, Mar 15, 2019.

  1. Mystery123

    Mystery123 Member

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    Hi,
    New user here. I never owned a gun.
    Now I am a family man with kids, I am thinking of getting gun for protection.
    I've read many threads and watched many videos.
    I'm looking for a gun that I can use at range for practice as well as carry and for home.
    I realize that is very hard thing as a very small gun is not good for practice and even a sub-compact may be too large to conceal if that's the only gun.

    Some suggested to get a 22 pistol for practice and get a same brand 9mm for carry.
    That's good idea but now we have two guns and they are of same size so doesn't serve any purpose except cost.

    Another option I'm leaning towards is getting two guns, a compact like Glock 19, Sig P320, M&P9C (or even full size) gun for range/home and get a very small gun like Ruger LC9 or LCP for conceal.
    This way, at least I have options for all situations and weather.

    On a side note, I'm also interested in small rifle for fun but that doesn't affect this question.

    I have small kids and very scared to bring gun home so I bought a small safe made for one full size handgun plus accessories.
    It may hold combination of two smaller guns.

    What do you guys suggest?
    From your experience of owning several guns to find one or two you keep, what would be a good option?
    Thanks
     
  2. Zendude
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    Zendude Member

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    Find out how small you need the gun to be for comfortable concealed carry. Then decide if you want a larger one for home defense. Many can comfortably conceal a gun large enough or with sufficient ammo capacity for both.
    For example, if you prefer to pocket carry then you might want a larger one for the nightstand.
     
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  3. George P

    George P Member

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    Colorado has some quirky gun laws, so check with what you are allowed to have as far as gun models, magazine capacity, etc.
     
  4. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    Not trying to be a wise guy here, but I'd suggest getting some real, live, one-on-one instruction first. Then going to a range that rents guns (maybe a few times) and trying several different guns before you make any decision(s) about which gun(s) to buy. Finally, stick around THR - there's a lot of friendly and knowledgeable folks here. But you have to understand we all have some pretty firm opinions and preferences about which guns we like, and which guns we don't like. Except me - I'm the most open minded person here.:D
    Welcome to THR by the way!:)
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  5. milemaker13

    milemaker13 Member

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    I second everything .308 Norma said.
     
  6. WrongHanded
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    WrongHanded Contributing Member

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    This is some good advice. Do this.

    Then consider buying a full-sized pistol first; selecting a carry gun later once you have more experience with safety and shooting, and a better idea of what might and might not work for you.
     
  7. guyfromohio

    guyfromohio Member

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    There are some great choices out there that are very good at both. Shield-size 9mm are not hard to shoot and conceal well. Walter PPS is my preference, but a Shield would do just fine. Both under $300 in many places.
     
  8. Telekinesis

    Telekinesis Member

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    I would probably start with just one gun, preferably in the Glock 19 size range (so p320 Compact, M&P 2.0 Compact, Sig 229, etc). There are some good deals on M&Ps right now so I might look there first. This will get you a gun that is large enough to be easy to shoot both for range and home defense, while also being small enough that you can reasonably conceal it. Also get some extra mags. Everyone has their preferred number, but it's nice being able to have extra mags when you're at the range.

    In my opinion, unless you have significant wardrobe constraints or you are carrying into nonpermissive environments, you don't really NEED to have a tiny gun for carry. If you do want that option though, something like a S&W Shield or a G43 would be a good choice.

    Note that the smaller a gun is, the more recoil it will have and the more difficult it will be to shoot well. Something like a J Frame .38 is significantly more difficult to shoot well than a gun in the Glock 19 size range.

    I would also recommend that you take the money you would spend on a second gun and put it towards good training and ammo. If you're just looking to just have a gun, collect away. But if you want to use the gun for defense, it is important that you learn to actually fight with your gun. Not to belabor the point, but there are a lot of things about fighting with a gun that just don't get covered in a basic NRA Pistol training class (nor should they be). You don't know what you don't know. There are a number of training schools throughout the country, so you should be able to find one relatively close by.
     
  9. Whiterook808

    Whiterook808 Member

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    Shooting is a skill and more practice is better. That is why the .22 was a good suggestion because ammo is cheap and recoil is negligible. Some need to learn the basics without having to deal with recoil and muzzle blast. I would get something like a Ruger Mark IV, if you choose that route. In any case, don't start with the tiny little pocket pistol which will be hard to shoot and may even bite. I think the suggestions above for a Glock 19 sized pistol have merit.
     
  10. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    I think a warm weather carry gun and a cool/cold weather carry gun, and a large higher capacity gun for home defense is a good lineup.

    Prepare for them to multiply.
     
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  11. bullseye308

    bullseye308 Member

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    A Glock 19 sized pistol, or a Glock 19, would be a do-all gun to get you going. It is not hard to shoot or conceal, and will get you in the door so to speak. If there is a range nearby that rents guns, definitely try as many as you can and see what feels right. You can read years of magazines and reviews about every gun out there, but till you get it in hand, you won’t know what “feels right”. If it doesn’t fit your hand you won’t be able to shoot it well, and that is time and money wasted. If you have any friends with gun collections maybe they would let you handle some and could even help you shop.

    Beware, they multiply in dark places. You have been warned. :)
     
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  12. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I typically recommend new shooters start out with a quality .22, be it a revolver or semi-auto. Something like the Browning Buckmark, Ruger Mk.IV, S&W Victory, or Beretta Neos would make for a decent choice.

    Once you've become familiar with shooting a .22 (stance, grip, sight picture, trigger control), then I would move up to a .357 Magnum/.38 Special, full size revolver (like a Ruger GP100 with a 4" barrel), or a 9mm. (a Glock G17, SIG P229, S&W M&P, Springfield Armory XD 4" Service Model, Beretta Model 92, CZ 75, Ruger American Pistol). A number of these guns also come as somewhat smaller/more compact versions which might allow you to use the same gun for home defense and concealed carry.
     
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  13. milemaker13

    milemaker13 Member

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    A .22 is always a great gun to start with for so many reasons..
     
  14. Bill Raby

    Bill Raby Member

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    Ignore all suggestions of specific guns to get on here. They are all just telling you what guns THEY want to get. Best thing to do is to get the gun that you think will work best for you. But realize right from the start that it is mostly likely going to be the wrong choice. You have never owned a gun so you don't know what you like and don't like in a gun. You have no idea what will work best for you and you are the only one that can figure that out. There are so many different models of guns out there because each person wants to get something different out of them. Pick out which ever gun catches your eye. Once you get some experience with it you will start to get a better idea of what would be your ideal gun. Don't bother with two guns to start off. That is just making the wrong choice twice. No gun is ideal for all situations anyway. That is why people tend to have several of them.
     
  15. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    Just another opinion...

    I'd buy a polymer full size/duty size pistol in 9mm, Glock 17/34/(19 if you really like the smaller gun), S&W M&P 9, Beretta PX4, HK P2000/P30/VP9, CZ P07, etc. Then see if you even like shooting a 9mm pistol. You may find you don't like it, then you can just stop and don't go any further. If you like it keep shooting that gun until you are good with it.

    Determine if you'd carry that gun, if not, most of those listed above have smaller versions that may carry easier to carry such as the G19/G26, M&P 9C, Beretta PX4 Compact and SubCompact, HK P2000sk/P30sk that may be easier to carry.

    My point is, pretty much nobody likes shooting little-bitty guns. Get a full size gun and see if you like shooting. It will be easier to shoot, it can work as a home defense gun, and you can figure if you want to carry concealed later on.
     
  16. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    Rent guns for fun. Take classes. Get training. You will develop your own opinions and preferences based on your experience and your needs. That experience and knowledge will get better over time so it's better to gain more of that before you settle on one or more guns for your different purposes. The more you can try, experience and learn before you buy, the better informed your buying decisions will be. You might think that you really need to buy something to get started, to use for classes and so on. Probably, you can rent, but if you're determined to buy, get something that can be used for and works well for the purposes for which you'll be shooting the most. Hopefully that will be classes, training, and practice, and not self-defense. Hopefully you have some time before you need to shoot for that purpose. Don't buy a gun for concealed carry before you see if you can carry concealed the gun that's best for every other purpose. It's not as hard as you might think.

    A pistol safe is a good start. When you buy that long gun, you can get a security cabinet for it like a Stack-On brand. They're a little over a hundred dollars and are easy to move. They'll keep the guns safe from the kids until they're old enough you've had a chance to train them. Kids aren't a reason for a costly and difficult to move gypsum-lined "Residential Security Container" that costs many times more.

    Storing guns safely is one important practice, but so is avoiding accidental or negligent discharges. At all times this means following the basic rules of firearm safety as codified in the "four rules." When you carry, this can also involve choosing an action-type, holster, and method of carry that helps prevent unintentional discharges. You'll need to learn and decide for yourself what that involves because others will argue about whether Kydex or leather is better, whether you need a manual safety, whether appendix carry is safe, whether you need double-action, and so many other things. They have their opinions, but you're the one who will need to live by your decisions. That's another reason why training in firearms safety and basic marksmanship is worthwhile.
     
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  17. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    What is your shooting experience? Have you shot handguns previously? This can be a big influence on what may work best for you.

    What part of CO do you live? There are many good indoor ranges, most with rentals. I live and work in the Boulder/Golden/Littleton corridor.
     
  18. Mr_Flintstone

    Mr_Flintstone Member

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    I could recommend several that I like (as could everyone here), but because they are right for me doesn’t mean they’d be right for you. I think you got some good advice earlier when it was suggested that you go to a range and rent a gun (or two or three) and see if it suits you. I went through every caliber from .25 to .45 in a range of sizes and shapes before I found what I felt was right; and I spent a significant amount of money in the process.

    Another thing that hasn’t been asked is whether your wife (if you’re married) will be using the gun as well? If so, and this is the only gun you will have in your home, consider something that she would be comfortable with (both being in the house, and possibly using if the need ever arises). My wife can’t rack the slide on most of my pistols, so I keep a couple guns that she is comfortable with and able to use effectively.
     
  19. FL-NC

    FL-NC Member

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    The first thing you should purchase is some training with someone who really knows how to instruct. Plus points if this person has access to several different guns you can try.
     
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  20. bds

    bds Member

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    There is a saying, "Beware of the man with one gun, he knows how to use it." Which translates to if you want to protect yourself and family with firearm, you should be proficient with it. Having two guns means twice the effort to become proficient and maintain practice.

    And before you buy any pistol, I would highly recommend you shoot different pistols first and choose the one you can shoot most accurate and fast.

    As many suggested, I would recommend starting with one gun until you are proficient, then adding a second gun, if you feel the need.

    For 9mm, I think pistol like Glock 19 would not only provide capacity of 15 rounds but small enough size for concealment. I replaced Glock 17/19/26 with Glock 22/23/27 and practice with cheaper 9mm using 40-9 conversion barrels. For me, G19/G23 is a good compromise between capacity and size for carry.

    There is a similar thread for a new shooter you may want to check out as I suggested to OP to actually shoot different pistols before making a purchase and I would recommend the same for you to actually shoot different pistols and pick the one that you feel most comfortable and can shoot most accurate with - https://www.thehighroad.org/index.p...for-first-handgun.848681/page-2#post-11079519
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  21. Mystery123

    Mystery123 Member

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    Thanks for all the replies.
    Appreciate the info.

    As I said earlier, I'm new to guns.
    Recently, I took a pistol class offered by a range and have shot only 22 pistols in couple of ranges few times.
    I really liked how the M&P 22LR felt in my hands and I was surprised to the first 10 shots I ever fired were all in the first circle of the target.
    There was only one other guy that had same groupings.
    Maybe beginner's luck. :)

    That is exactly my route. Littleton to Boulder via Golden.
    Maybe we work at the same place. :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
  22. ontarget

    ontarget Member

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    I recently became a convert to revolvers. I haven't fired any of my semi autos in months. In my opinion a Ruger SP 101 is a pretty well balanced choice if you can find one with a 3 inch barrel. It is chambered in .357 mag so you can also fire 38 specials in it which keeps the cost of range time lower. I also like the simplicity of revolvers for carry. Simply draw and fire no safety to remember and very difficult to have a negligent or accidental discharge.
    And welcome aboard.
     
  23. Mystery123

    Mystery123 Member

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    Yes, I'm planning on getting training classes.
    Those can add up pretty fast as each class is over $150 and there are dozens of them.

    I'm checking different indoor ranges to get a membership as there's no outdoor range close by.
    I have narrowed ranges down to three.
    I went to all of them and wanted to summarize what I felt.
    All these have retail area and offer training classes.
    I've listed few things in addition to help myself decide.
    Let me know if anyone here is a member.

    1. Centennial Gun Club:
    Good: Well maintained and huge facility, lots of lanes (28), lots of members (over 5500), dedicated area for sales and gunsmith etc...
    Offers IDPA and other competition matches such as bowling pin.

    Bad: Very expensive initiation fee ($347).
    No discounted annual rate.
    Only 25 yard ranges.
    Not too close to my place.

    2. BluCore:
    Good: Pretty decent club. Only one indoor around here with 100 yards indoor range so that's great if you are into rifles.
    Low (currently waived) initiation fees and free gun rentals (current promotion) for members. redface.png
    Offers membership for training as well.
    Range is in the well ventilated basement.
    Pretty close to my place.

    Bad: Not a lot of lanes (5 100 yard lanes and 12 pistol lanes) so gets busy in the weekend.
    No discounted annual rate.
    Looks little old, dim and crowded compared to other two.

    3. Bristlecone:
    Good: Well maintained and clean facility, member lounge, dedicated area for sales and gunsmith etc...
    Can watch the range from the shop.
    Offers different plans, monthly with initiation fee, annually, weekdays only etc...
    Offers USPSA classes and other competition matches such as bowling pin.
    Pretty close to my place.

    Bad: Initiation fee is pretty high ($225)
    Not a lot of lanes (14).
    Only 25 yard ranges.

    I'm only thinking about semi-automatic so revolvers are out for 1st gun.
    I may try them later on.
    On top of that, I'm leaning towards getting one with external safety so that pretty much excludes Glock.
     
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  24. Mystery123

    Mystery123 Member

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    Thanks for suggestion.
    I'm focusing on 9mm as a first gun mainly due to size/recoil of bigger calibers and "It's better than a sharp stick" comments for small calibers.
    I know that's a can of worm but 9mm is a middle ground from what I read.

    That's a good suggestion to try different guns.
    There's a class called handgun evaluation for $100 that includes 10 guns with 10 rounds each.
    I may sign up for that.

    $22 range fee + $20 gun + double priced ammo (100 rounds of 9mm was almost $30 at the range) adds up pretty quick.
    Getting my own $400 gun and half priced ammo will pay for itself in few visits.

    Yes, I'm married and have small kids.
    I don't think my wife will ever touch a gun but I can buy another if she's interested.
    Guns are cheap. I have bunch of unused stereo receivers costing more.
    I just don't want to buy to try and trade endlessly nor want to have a dozen in house.
    Starting from something that is decent will at least last a lot longer.
     
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  25. bds

    bds Member

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    No, you have not picked up bad habits or been brainwashed ... yet.

    Think about it, guns were designed and made to toss tiny projectiles at rather small targets.

    When I help people defensive shooting, especially those who never shot before, after we cover basic grip and trigger control, I have them shoot with their eyes closed to establish "natural point of aim" vs actual point of impact.

    Many are surprised they can consistently hit at or around the intended point of aim, even with their eyes closed. But then they start anticipating and push shots down, jerk/pull/push trigger left or right, etc. and produce flyers. Once they correct those factors that cause flyers, their group return back to small.

    As I usually recommend to people, it's best to actually shoot the pistol before you buy as different pistols can shoot different for different shooters.

    Also, be sure to shoot different mix of ammunition, preferably the ammunition you may be using because different ammunition can shoot differently in different pistols.
     
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