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Novice shooter: Is it better to start with a rifle or a handgun?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Cole Dedhand, Aug 10, 2019.

  1. Flintshooter

    Flintshooter Member

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    None of the many shooters I know started shooting and reloading at the same time. Reloading is a whole separate game by itself. I would guess 99% did start out with some kind of .22. Some of them are damn good shots with anything they pick up so those .22s must have taught them something.
     
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  2. George P

    George P Member

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    Meaningful recoil? For a NEW shooter, NO recoil is meaningful as the person learns first about sights, trigger, breathing, etc. Too much recoil introduces flinching; not something anew shooter also needs to be thinking about
     
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  3. guyfromohio

    guyfromohio Member

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    A shotgun would be another choice. It serves a self defense need and also is tons of fun. Nothing like seeing a clay pigeon, lump of dirt, soda can, milk jug....explode.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
  4. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    That's strictly a matter of personal preference.

    Due to physiology, it's easier to learn to use a rifle at a minimal level.

    On the other hand, depending upon where you live, it may be much easier to learn to shoot a handgun.

    Where I live, there's NO convenient place for me to shoot a rifle, even a .22. I have multiple places where I can shoot a handgun most any day of the week.
     
  5. newfalguy101

    newfalguy101 Member

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    Pretty hard to go wrong with a .22 rimfire rifle of some kind.

    Ruger 10/22s are very good and there are aftermarket goodies galore.

    I personally prefer the Marlin model 60, also very good guns but virtually no aftermarket goodies.

    .22s are a great way to learn trigger manipulation and sight alignment with minimal recoil and relatively inexpensive to shoot
     
  6. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Normally, I'd be with the majority here and say .22 LR rifle, and In essence I will be, if you bear with me. You can become a better shot quicker with a rifle than with a pistol, and the skills are less perishable than pistol.
    You have had the basic fundamental safety training, and some shooting experience. That's good, and it increases your options. Do you have a range near you that rents guns? If so, it's a good way to learn what you like and don't like.
    I believe the best first gun for you would be an AR in 5.56 (or 9mm, since you mentioned it) , and a .22LR adapter or whole upper in .22LR. Reacquaint yourself with the basics of trigger, then breath control from the bench first with the .22LR, then work on hold and stance for offhand shooting. Put the 5.56 upper on, and (having triple-checked that the rifle is empty) learn to do 'dime drills'. (again, no ammo! the reason you don't want to do it with the .22LR unit on/in is because it will damage the firing pin by peening the end.) This refines the trigger control. When you feel comfortable and confident with live ammo with the .22, pop the 5.56 upper on, and try some from the bench at first; take time to get used to the difference in noise (Wear good ear protection!) and recoil (not a huge amount), then try some offhand (standing) shooting. There! You now have the best 'contingency' gun made, a good trainer/plinker, (as well as another ammo option in a 'contingency' ),and the start of a 3-gun competition set.
    Then it's time to think about a handgun, and a shotgun. ;)
     
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  7. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

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    I will agree that a lot of folks start out on a .22 rifle of some sort but based on the interests you listed I would suggest a .22 handgun of some sort.

    I'll add that if you start out seeking some basic training and try some different guns a 9mm handgun certainly shouldn't be out of the question.


    Either way good luck and WELCOME.
     
  8. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    Yes you can. Not many novice shooters reload though.
     
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  9. stillquietvoice

    stillquietvoice Member

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    First of all welcome to the forum. I started out with a 22 lr as well and have taught many new shooters with them as well. My 10 yr old grandson is the most recent. He shot my m 60 Marlin first one shot at a time while I gave instruction on skill sets. Within a couple of hours he was chewing the centers of the targets with my bolt action 223 rem.

    I like bolt actions slot most have better triggers. But as entropy stated a duel purpose AR 15 would work well. That platform has terrific aftermarket support and parts lime the trigger group are easy to swap out.
     
  10. skeeterfogger

    skeeterfogger Member

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    One of each.
     
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  11. Arkansas Paul

    Arkansas Paul Member

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    Welcome aboard Cole.

    I like starting new folks on a .22 rifle as well.
    The noise and recoil are so negligible they won't be spooked, and for the vast majority of people, it is easier to shoot long guns than handguns.
    The pistolas take a lot more work to be proficient, at least for me.
    Getting them hitting their target sooner will likely build confidence and make it fun.

    Happy shooting.
     
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  12. I6turbo

    I6turbo Member

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    I'd recommend a decent quality .22 LR bolt action. IMO, the rifle vs. handgun question for a first gun is somewhat akin to car vs. motorcycle for learning to drive. In most cases for most people, the rifle and the car make more sense for getting started.

    Good luck, and if you have a decent place to shoot, I'll bet you're going to enjoy it. If at all possible, find an outdoor range that isn't too crowded, or better yet, a place to shoot on private land.
     
  13. labnoti

    labnoti Member

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    I suggest that a novice shooter begin by reloading. In the past, every shooter reloaded. With factories loading cartridges for people, they tend to remain ignorant for as long as they don't reload themselves. That's no proper course for a novice expecting to gain knowledge. This is another reason rimfire is a poor choice for beginners. I recommend a beginner, if they're not interested in black powder, to start by reloading with Trail Boss.

    Recoil is very meaningful to a new shooter. Recoil does not cause flinching. The shooter's autonomic nervous system causes flinching and the only way to overcome this is to practice not flinching or blinking during a recoil event. A beginner needs a safe amount of recoil to train this behavior -- not so much that they risk losing control of the gun, but enough to train themselves not to flinch.
     
  14. Jack B.

    Jack B. Member

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    .22lr rifle. Get yourself 2 of them. A bolt action and a semi- auto you'll learn a lot. Shotgun next. Then maybe a pistol.
     
  15. DoubleMag

    DoubleMag Member

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    WELCOME ! ! ! hehe


    It's all been said I'll just echo it

    22LR. Bolt action or semi-auto, your flavor. Although if you buy a good semi-auto such as additionally suggested a Ruger 10/22, all you have to do to single shot it...is load one cartridge:thumbup:

    I would then buy a handgun, either in 9mm or again, in 22

    Round it off with a decent pump shotgun in 12 or 20 gauge


    Let us know what you get!!
     
  16. Obturation
    • Contributing Member

    Obturation Contributing Member

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    Most ammunition has some element thats toxic, if thats a concern i should be dead 1000 times over. Ventilation and hand washing eliminates any concern i could imagine. As far as not being the best tool for the job, what cartridges is better for minimal noise, recoil and making a soup can bounce around without gobbling it up in a couple shots?

    Ever met someone who has never owned a gun that reloads? I load several cartridges with TB, yes even a 38 sp with trailboss has more recoil than a 22 lr. What carttidge did you have in mind thats milder?
     
  17. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I started with a .22 rifle as it was the perfect choice at the time for plinking, target shooting, and small game hunting. It was also very affordable to shoot for a kid just starting college and working a part time job.

    Nowadays I offer new beginners their pick between a .22 rifle or a .22 hangun and most of them go with a handgun.
     
  18. guyfromohio

    guyfromohio Member

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    Ok.... I ask this forum.... did any of you reload before shooting your first round? Best way to say “forget this”.
     
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  19. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    I'd get an AR, before you can't.

    @entropy has an excellent plan.

    Labnoti usually isn't wrong, per se, this time he is. No one is going to fundamentally change the sport by yelling the sky is falling trying to scare men that already know bullets are made out of lead.


    Starting out anywhere other than the beginning is counterproductive.
    The beginning is rimfire.
    And everything learned on a rimfire completely translates to any other firearm. Especially the safety part. And the cleaning.

    A used rimfire rifle will be an inexpensive education.
    Shooting it at 200 yards is the same as a .308 at eight hundred.
    There is a lot you can learn from it.

    A rimfire pistol is as much a joy, too.
    (Buckmark, Ruger MK4)

    Really which to start with is a personal choice. I started with pistols.
    A Chiappa 1911-22. (I wouldn't recommend them. Not terrible, not good either.;))

    Welcome to the forum. And to a new hobby/sport.
    And definitely look into competition.
    "Practice" is a great excuse to go shoot.

    And be a pest.
    Some of us have a broken shoulder from ditching a bike and can't shoot anything right now. Let me... I mean them, live vicariously through your posts, for a few more weeks...:)
     
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  20. Flintshooter

    Flintshooter Member

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    I had been shooting .22, shotgun, muzzleloader, and a SMLE dad bought from Sears for $12 prior to the GCA of 68 for at least a decade before I loaded the first cartridge for the SMLE. And for a long time, all the reloading was done with a Lee loader. Even with that very basic method it didn’t take long to buy the first accessory, a hand primer.
    I gradually progressed to a RCBS single stage press, and finally to a second hand Hornady progressive press. I suffered a devastating burglary in 1999 and sold most of wasn’t stolen, including the Hornady press.
    The only guns I now have that shoot reloadable ammo are a couple of heirloom shotguns and a 9mm pistol. Even with years of reloading experience and around sixty years of shooting behind me I have decided it’s easier to buy the ammo for for the little amount of shooting I do with those guns than setup to reload again.
     
  21. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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  22. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    I started with a rifle in .22 LR, the a pistol in .22 LR, then a .45 ACP pistol, then onward and upward.
     
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  23. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    OK, this has to be trolling.
     
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  24. Scrapiron45

    Scrapiron45 Member

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    Old school here. Single shot 22. Learn to make the first shot count. Learn the basics of open sights, scopes and red dots can come later. I see new shooters at the range empty their new ar or hi cap 9, can't hit a bucket at 25 yards.
     
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  25. EIB0879

    EIB0879 Member

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    .22 rifle but I'm biased.
     
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