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I have a few first-timer questions. Some the usual, others maybe different than usual

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Hegemon, Jul 3, 2006.

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  1. Hegemon

    Hegemon Member

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    Is there any reason for me to not get a handgun?

    Stuff about me:

    College student, turning 21 in September. I would keep the gun at my parents' home, as I cannot have it on state property. Once I move off campus next year I'd just take the gun with me.

    I live in California, and would probably try to convince the Orange County sheriff to grant me a CCW (good luck). I'd want a semi-automatic handgun and probably spend $300 - $500... Ideally I'd get my dad to come out to the range with me and we could take lessons together.


    Frankly, with all the bull surrounding accidents/liability, it's maybe an arena I don't want to enter, but on the other hand, I have a right to self-defense, and I don't want to be on the wrong side of a gun in 10 years if I have a wife/kids and some asshat tries to break in.

    My dad told me our cousin in Texas takes his everywhere he goes, up to ATMs, etc.

    Are the odds better of me having an accident and killing myself/someone, or of me actually using the gun correctly and saving my life / family's lives in the process? I'm actually a pretty responsible person, and when I've been to the range in the past (.40 revolvers edit: .357 not .40) I haven't felt scared/nervous.

    ---

    If I do get a gun, what should I be looking at? I would prefer something that can take a 9mm load (if it can take 9mm and a larger load, that's fine) and that is concealable so that if I do get a CCW (or if/when I leave California) I can carry it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2006
  2. cambeul41

    cambeul41 Member

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  3. jamz

    jamz Member

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    Hi Hegemon, Welcome to THR! :D

    In a nutshell: Get the gun, your chances of accidents are dependant entirely on how you treat it. The quote you are thinking about of being 42% more likely to kill a family member or whatever has long been debunked in not only the gun community, but the statistical community as well. Google for "Kellerman" to get the full picture.

    Hope you stay a while!

    -James
     
  4. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

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    First off, welcome to THR, a lot to learn here.
    Are you sure? I've never heard of a .40 S&W revolver. I could be wrong though.
    Almost without exception (a couple of those being .38 Special/.357 Magnum or .44 Special/.44 Magnum) handguns are chambered for one specific cartridge, especially autos. A 9mm Parabellum handgun will fire 9mm Parabellum ammunition, and nothing else (safely).
     
  5. geekWithA.45

    geekWithA.45 Moderator Emeritus

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    Accidents/liability, eh?

    The canonical 4 rules:
    ----------------------
    1) Treat every gun as if it were loaded. There's no such thing as a "safe" gun. (If it can fire at all, it can be made to fire at the wrong time, while pointing at the wrong thing)
    2) Do not allow the muzzle to point at anything you don't want destroyed.
    3) Do not allow your finger inside the trigger guard until your sights are upon your target, and you have decided to fire upon it
    4) Know what your target is, what will stop the travel of the bullet, and everything in between.


    Most folks agree there's a 5th rule:

    5) Store your firearms responsibly. What that exactly means varies by circumstance.
     
  6. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    "Are the odds better of me having an accident and killing myself/someone, or of me actually using the gun correctly and saving my life / family's lives in the process?"
    ===============================================

    Odds are you won't ever need to use a firearm in self defense. But it isn't the odds that matter- it's the stakes. What's at stake are your life and health and that of your loved ones. There is flatly no way to predict an answer to your question. But if you ever DO need a firearm, you're going to need it awfully badly and awfully quickly. Unless you have worked out a way to schedule your emergencies, the only way to have a gun when you need one is to carry one 100% of the time. That is the unavoidable answer that all of us who ask ourselves that sort of question eventually come to.

    Read, study, and learn as much as you can. Become a perpetual student. Learn that there is a lot more to self defense than a firearm alone, that the best way to win a fight is to avoid it by seeing it coming first.

    There is a lot to this decision, a lot of aspects and considerations. You may decide that owning/carrying a firearm is not for you- that is a decision only you can make. But it sounds as if you want to take responsibility for yourself and your loved ones, and that means more than always being prepared to dial 911.

    Some additional web places you should visit:

    http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/
    http://www.claytoncramer.com/gundefenseblog/blogger.html
    http://www.corneredcat.com/TOC/TOC.htm#Gun Safety
    http://www.nrahq.org/education/training/basictraining.asp

    Good luck, and stay safe-

    lpl/nc (53 now, been carrying since I was 21 and still training)
     
  7. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Member

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    I'll just throw an oversimplified simple scenario that isn't necessarily reflective of the majority of situations in the real world or catches all the possible "what if'" and "what about" but those details can be ironed out as you give the subject more serious consideration.

    a) By choosing to carry a firearm, you have immediate access to, and can excercise lethal force, as a last resort in the unlikely event it is necessary to save the lives of yourself, your family, or any human being(s). You do not have to depend on others such as a police force which, even in realistic top-notch response time, will take several minutes to arrive. A man intent to kill your party (or plain insane) can do a lot of damage in several minutes. The downside is that you will have to live with the possibility of criminal charges brought against you. If you escape that, you might also have to deal with ramifications brought on by the civil court system which might leave you in financial ruin. That, and the popular demonization of your actions by the media whilst they attempt to get the general public to sympathize with the "victim", which is in fact the bad guy you killed.​

    b) By choosing not to carry a firearm, you have no immediate access to a (almost) guaranteed source of lethal force. Improvised weapons (knife, club, bat, 2x4, lamp, etc) are nice ideas on paper but they might not be designed as weapons for stopping a human aggressor and you have definitely not trained to become proficient with it as, by definition, they are improvised and not ideal weapons. They are in fact, inferior, and I see no reason why one should not use the most lethal and guaranteed means of defending your loved ones.

    You will by default have to depend on others. You will have to depend on others such as civilians that might be nearby and might be carrying firearms or a phone to come to your aide (or even give a cursory glance your way). You will have to depend on your abilities to call 911 and get out your message, location, and situation to the operator if no help is nearby. You will have to depend on a speedy response time from the police. By choosing not to defend yourself actively, you are risking your life on a large set of unknown variables and any of those falling short can lead to grave consequences. In such a case, you might end up as a statistic with the CDC as a homocide victim. If you escape that, you might get to live the rest of your life without some of your loved ones. Lastly, the media will likely demonize the situation by making another public outcry and that you fell victim to the evils of firearms.​

    As much as it angers me to see families of druggies and criminals successfully suing people that rightfully defended their loved ones in civil court from a force willing to take away everything in their lives (or just their lives), I would gladly choose a fate of prison, financial ruin, media demonization, and taking someone's life. The alternative is living the rest of my life knowing I was apathetic and did not do everything in my power to protect those close to me and they are now gone forever (assuming I did not perish along with them).

    Again, its an unrealistically simplified presentation of "A or B" scenarios which have infinite variables and conclusions and I am not stating these are the only choices as that would be a logical fallacy, but it might get the ball rolling for your big decision.
     
  8. Hegemon

    Hegemon Member

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    No, you're right. I was spacing... I've been shooting .357's
     
  9. Hegemon

    Hegemon Member

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    And to all of you, I appreciate the posts re: liability, etc. That pretty much responds to all of my reservations.

    Do any of you have strong suggestions about particular guns I should consider?
     
  10. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

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    .45 ACP in a 1911 pattern gun. There are no other alternatives.

    *Runs and hides*
     
  11. Hoploholic

    Hoploholic member

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    You need to go out and shoot a variety of handguns and see which you use the best. In the $300-$500 range I would suggest Glock, Springfield Armory XD series, Taurus, used Sigs and Walthers. If you have $1500 to spend then look at some of the millions of 1911's out there. Do take the safety course and do commit to memory the four rules of firearm ownership...see geek's post.
     
  12. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Member

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    single-stack 1911 .45ACP fan here, but go out to a local gun range and shoot as many types of revolvers and autos that you have time/money for. You need to find a model/brand/caliber that you are comfortable with, and can live with. Also check the forums extensively (this and others) for pros/cons, personal reviews (which are sometimes more helpful than "professional" magazine reviews), and comparisons.

    Afterall, you wouldn't purchase a car or wife without taking a look around or giving it a test drive first, would you? ;)
     
  13. Majic

    Majic Member

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    Yes there is a .40SW revolver. The SW Model 646 is chambered in .40SW and the Model 610 which is a 10mm can also shoot the .40SW (though both are now out of production).
     
  14. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    Let me just say this: I was in the Army , spent time in all the supercool units and fired all kinda weapons and high speed expiremental stuff. Even got to shoot some stuff that has since come on line. when i got out, I did not shoot/carry a weapon again for 15 years. when my boss took in some work trade instead of the money, but instead firearms ,from a very respectable dealer here in Houston(collector's firearms) I said, okay ill take a pistol instead of my cut of money.
    Since then, the declaration of indepedence has taken on a much more classical meaning for me, truly meant for the self aware- and self reliant. It was never meant to protect the Sheeple, and it should not. Kinda like , animals have no rights if they can't claim them. this may sound harsh, but i assure you, this was not lost on our citizenry 225 years ago, when all our documents, plus thomas Paine, Paul Revere, and other's writings were read publicly, every day , in the public square, making sure that even those who could not read, were kept up to snuff , and squared away.
    you will come to realize, how important, those first ten are, which were actually the first 13, narrowed down to 10. 2 combined into 1, which became our Second. That they are individual rights, not group rights, not government rights, not militia rights, etc. But yours, mine, the guy on the range line next to you. And you will find yourself become more perterbed at two people, the ones who don't think you need some of your individual rights, or that others are antiquated, and those who think eww yicky or hey it 's not gonna affect me, why should I care?
    I now love rifles, and shoot pistols, but am really interested in the crafstman ship and the beauty of the old rifles. I once had a ww1 enfield with beautiful dark almost red wood, looked like mahoganny. it had a 600 yds zero on it, and the front site was peened in place. made me think of the ww1 sniper who had it, to fire a long way out against the Hun , across those impossible trenches, thick with heat , and mud , and rats, deatha and disease all around him. Did this man make it? Did he shoot many guys with this rifle? He was a Brit, probably a fine young man, fighting for freedom. should i think of My Declaration any less?
     
  15. Technosavant

    Technosavant Member

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    Now Larry, whyever would you run and hide? You should be able to say that loudly and proudly. It was my first gun.

    However, I might recommend a Springfield Armory XD9 or Glock 17- I failed to take into account ammo prices, and it seems that no matter where I go, 9mm costs half as much as .45ACP. That's a fair amount of shooting.

    As for the statistics, stakes, and decision to be responsible for the protection of yourself and your loved ones, I think the others have made it plenty clear. Just follow the 4 Rules as though they were chiseled upon stone tablets by God Himself, and always be eager to learn (but do use discernment when it comes to what opinions you accept as gospel).
     
  16. CB900F

    CB900F Member

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    Hegemon;

    Then there's the Ruger convertible Blackhawk that can, and mine does, shoot both .357 and 9mm ammunition.

    With that out of the way, I'll second the suggestion to try a lot of different calibers & types of actions, & get what suits you best. However, many people just getting into handguns & the self-defense concept find that the classic double action revolver is an excellent first gun.

    900F
     
  17. Cesiumsponge

    Cesiumsponge Member

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    Also as a worthy sidenote, purchasing a .22LR conversion kit for a 1911 would ensure you could shoot, train, adjust, and perfect most every aspect of handling the 1911 on the cheap. You can shoot a brick of .22LR, then finish a typical range day with a several hundred rounds of .45ACP to get used to recoil and follow-up shots. That shouldn't fatigue you out either.

    And if customization and individuality plays a factor in your decision, there are more 1911 variants, options, custom smiths, and accessories than there are people on the planet.
     
  18. Hegemon

    Hegemon Member

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    Do any of you have opinions about the Springfield XD-40 subcompact? I looked at the H&K USP just now, but that's out of my price range, it seems. The place I went to didn't have the XD-40, though.
     
  19. FTF

    FTF member

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    If you're any bit skittish around firearms, I would stay away from a 1911. I like them, personally, but wouldn't really recommend one as a 'first gun'.... especially given your limiting caliber of 9mm. CZ-75's are GREAT guns.... very few people here will disagree. I wouldn't want to carry one, but I guess it meets your requirements. Home defense I would get a shotty, but a CZ-75 is pretty darn accurate, cheap to shoot and a solid pistol, and in your price range.

    As far as safety/liability... it's not that much a matter of probability as it is awareness. You can have 5 different safeties, double action triggers and 3 dummy rounds in the magazine, it still comes down to responsible firearm handling and not putting your finger on the trigger until you are ready to shoot. You can have the best and brightest 'safe' gun, and an old colt SA, and neither will fire unless you pull the trigger... therein is the safety factor. common sense prevails. Keep your finger off the trigger, don't play with it, and keep it locked up/away from kids. CZ's are 9mm, easily controllable, high-capacity *not in CA lol*, and shoot well.
     
  20. Hegemon

    Hegemon Member

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    Anything smaller than the 75 from CZ? Well, maybe I should ask, how small is it?After looking around today, I want a compact /subcompact. I hope to eventually carry and want something manageable. Plus, I want my GF/fiance(soon) to be able to heft the thing if there's a problem when I'm not around. Poor girl is like 5'3" with baby hands and there's no way a full-size weapon would do her any good in an emergency.
     
  21. Hegemon

    Hegemon Member

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    How was it when you bought your first gun at my age? Any regrets or things you'd do differently? Advice for someone so "young"?
     
  22. deadin

    deadin Member

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    S&W M610 will handle 10mm Auto and .40S&W with moon clips. (The 10mm can be loaded without the moons, but they have to be pushed out with a stick. :p )

    Dean
     
  23. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    yep cz's are not only fantastic, but for the money you pay, the are double more so. i have 2 rifles and two pistols from cz. the cz makes several smaller models, the compact , the compact bd, the compact d, and the RAMI. all are very good for conceal carry, the rami being the smallest, with all smoothed out corners and the like. Plus everybody carries extra mags for cz now, and they are not too expensive.
     
  24. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    I'll try to keep this short, I have no idea how likely you are to actually get all the way through the thread.

    Buy The Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery (Paperback)
    by Massad F. Ayoob. Read it three times. He has been there and done that more than anyone else. He writes in brutally simple detail.

    If you want to start with a pistol because of its price, that's ok, but over time, decide to get the one you want, regardless of the price. It is entirely possible that the one you will want will still be a less expensive model. (Ruger, Glock, and Springfield Armory XD are all economic models you might find a cop using.) You do get what you pay for, but don't buy more than you need. You can buy a Kimber 1911 starting at $610, which is more or less the same gun L.A. county SWAT carries, which is 2" accurate at 25 yards. (Far more accurate than most of us can shoot.) You can buy a 1911 from one of the custom shops for close to $3000, (Like Nighthawk Custom,) and it is 1" accurate at 25 yards. Are you serious enough to spend $2400 for one more inch, when you can't really maximize 2"? I'm not.

    Don't let someone tell you that a heavy round like a 10mm or .45 is harder to shoot. If you are serious about defense, don't get anything smaller than a 9mm. Find a shop with a rental range that will let you shoot a lot of different pistols in a lot of different calibers.

    Someone beat me to it. A S&W 610 can shoot .40s or 10mms.

    Learn a Glock. Work your way up to a 1911. Get night sights.

    Since you aren't in your own place, get a small safe, and be reasonable about keeping it secure. When you have your own place, with no kids in the house, you can exercise more judgement about keeping it out in the open.

    Something I did for both my Glock and my 1911, was get a .22 conversion kit. You switch out the barrel, slide, and magazines, and you can shoot .22s. You can shoot all day without spending your whole paycheck.
     
  25. Stickjockey

    Stickjockey Member

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    Another 1911 fan here. Carry one almost daily. That being said, I'd not feel undergunned with a CZ or maybe a Browning HiPower. And as for the gun-for-girlfriend/fiance thing, the only way to be sure is to have her come with you and try them out. Make no assumptions about what she can and cannot handle. There's a lot of petite ladies out there packin' full-size 1911's.
     
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