Skip to comments.Soon to be first time gun owner (newbie questions)
Posted on 01/08/2013 10:49:42 AM PST by stuck_in_new_orleans
Wife and I are looking into buying a gun for the sole purpose of self defense/home safety. Neither of us has owned a gun nor know anything about guns. Silly question but do gun shops usually have ranges to rent/test guns? Also, any recommendations for guns for home safety? Thanks
Some gun shops also have ranges and will rent you different firearms to try out on the range. Call and ask, you will quickly be routed to a gun shop that will meet your needs.
Yes, One for you and one for her. And soon!
For home use only, get a Mossberg 500 shotgun. 2nd choice = a Ruger GP100 revolver.
Check one of my threads on purchasing a gun. I received great information.
This thread is going to get big, fast.
For home safety: Keep the part of the gun where the bullet comes out pointed away from things/people you don’t want to shoot.
Depending on your state you may have several nearby ranges which have rental guns.
Since you are a newbie, I would recommend a revolver. They are much easier to shoot and care for than a semi auto.
.38 special is a good caliber to start with. Good luck!
This thread’ll go 150 replies.
Check these guys out. Most gun shops LOVE to show Newbies the ropes: http://www.armsdealer.net/businesses/category/gun-shops/louisiana/new-orleans
If you expect to get information about firearms on this forum then I’m afraid that you are out of luck. There is little interest in the subject at FreeRepublic.
Bass Pro Shop.
Some will have test ranges, most will not. I’d recommend joining the local rod and gun club. Not everyone has the space that I do and can just set up a range on their own property.
Everyone will have different opinions on what is best. Most agree on a few things. 1. A Marlin model 60 .22 caliber rifle is a must have. 2. A good pump action 20 gauge shotgun is a must have. 3. Optionally a larger caliber scary “assault rifle” I consider a must but that’s me. I have a Saiga 7.62x39 but good luck finding anything like that now.
Anyone who tells you a hollow point .22 can’t do damage doesn’t know what they’re talking about. I personally plan on getting at least two more of them, one for son and one for wife. Tube feed. They always get under the ban radar, even Feinstein’s new bill.
Oh, and by the way, I gave all my guns away, uh, to my brother in law, yeah. That’s the ticket.
Once you buy the gun, make sure you and your wife put in some practice time on a gun range. (A lesson or two wouldn't hurt, either.) A gun you haven't learned to use properly is more of a danger to you than a bad guy.
I don’t know the answers but you are sure as heck asking the correct questions. As a group, gun store owners are very knowledgable and will help you probe your needs. It’s not like shopping at Best Buy where the sales kids don’t know dick. Speaking of which, don’t go to Dick’s.
I lost all my guns and ammo in a horrible boating accident
Beginners should start with NRA Certified training
I would recommend training
from an NRA Certified Instructor inRefuse to be a victim
NRA training for women
Personal protection in the home
and the newly released
Personal protection outside the home
NRA Gun Safety Rules
Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction
Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot
Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use
As a starter
Go to a reputable (indoor) gun range.
They usually have guns to rent so you can try different models/calibers before you buy. What you might like, your wife might not (and vice versa).They often offer shooting and gun handling courses. And I’m certain they will have an opinion on what you need or want the gun for (but remember - they are also sales people,,,)
For home self defense I like a shotgun with a load that will not penetrate a typical wall in the home. there is less chance of getting someone in the next room. pump action is scary sounding to.
Lots of shops have ranges where you can rent weapons to try them out.
People seem to like shotguns for home defense. I don’t actually have a shotgun, though.
For an all-purpose handgun, get a 9mm — Glock, Walther, S&W, Heckler & Koch. My personal choice is the HK P30. A little expensive, but extremely reliable.
I like .45s a lot — particularly 1911s — but, since you’re getting one for the both of you, get a 9mm instead. The .45 is just not a womens’ caliber — too much bang for her small frame. My wife doesn’t like the .45 at all.
Don't know if the chaos of the past few weeks have effected revolver prices as most experienced shooters are going the high capacity semi-auto pistol route.
Every gun I used to own got stolen too.
Some gun stores will have ranges but most do not. Get instruction first and then rent some different guns to see what feels comfortable. I think a long gun, especially for a new shooter, in a house is not the best idea in a house. They can be hard to swing in hallways and other confined areas. I would recommend a Glock G19 in 9 mm. The manual of arms for the Glocks, once a round is chambered, is the same as a revolver: Point gun at target and pull the trigger. I have had 6 Glocks and all of them, except one I bought used, have been completely reliable. The gun is also small enough to carry concealed if you go that route eventually. My daily carry is a Glock G23, .40 caliber version, in an in the waistband holster and it’s comfortable enough I can forget it’s there. Whatever you get practice with it all you can and get instruction.
Two shotguns for close-up (in or near home) defense. One for you, one for her. Blast does damage to target, but is less likely to go through walls and harm your neighbors. Aim for center of mass. Go with 12 gauge, a common size.
Two hand guns for close-up tactical defense. One for you. One for her. Easier to conceal and carry if you have to be on the move. Go with 9 mm, a common size.
Make sure that both you and your wife practice with each firearm.
Do NOT get a concealed firearms permit. You do NOT want to inform your enemy that you have firepower.
Store the firearms in separate locations. Primary and backup. Split up your ammunition as well.
Buy as much ammo as you can afford. You can use it for barter is necessary.
My soon-to-be 16 year old daughter begs to differ. She knows her way around a 1911.
Thanks for asking this I find myself in the same situation.
Every time I see this I giggle like a school girl.
I agree with these choices, but with the caveat that you need to make sure your wife can handle them, too.
That means the shotgun might be a 20 gauge instead of a 12 gauge, and the revolver might be a Ruger SP101 instead of a GP100.
The post about getting some good training is excellent advice, too.
Almost every person you meet at a gun store will bend over backwards to help you get comfortable with using a gun safely.
Just go, tell them exactly what you told us (that you are newbies) and you will get all the help you ever wanted or needed.
There are ranges which will allow you to rent and fire a variety of guns. I would also recommend a class on basic firearms for both of you. Also consider, if you are not ready to shoot someone and kill if you have too don’t buy a gun.
As for a firearm, if it is solely for home defense and there are no children in the home I would recommend a S&W or Ruger .357 magnum revolver with a four inch barrel. Don’t let the term magnum scare you. You can fire P+ .38 spl. rounds from this gun and with it’s heavy weight it will take away most of the recoil from the .38 rounds.
If there are children and you want an semi-automatic pistol any 1911, Beretta 92, or Ruger P series. I didn’t mention a Glock simply because of its unique safety which might be an issue for a new shooter, but if you intend to train a bit go for it on a Glock.
You might also consider a potent man stopper for home defense as well the pump shotgun. I would suggest a limb saver accessory and a 18 to 24 inch barrel would be my suggestion. A Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 will do nicely.
Above all learn and practice the four rules of shooting and you will be fine.
The only thing better is to have your local newspaper print a list of armed homes so criminals know who isn't armed.
If you must have a pistol, go with a standard size revolver (not a snub or "airweight" with a 4" barrel in .357 Magnum. The kick isn't bad in a standard frame gun and it hits much harder than .38 Special. Taurus and Ruger make inexpensive revolvers. Smith & Wesson makes expensive ones. They all work well. Fixed sights are preferable for home defence.
I personally recommend 9mm. Big enough for stopping power and still controllable for a woman.
I have a Mossberg, bolt action, 410 I got as a young lad in 1965. I will not be using it for hunting. I have been thinking about cutting the barrel and stock down, but since it is bolt action don’t know is this is a good idea.
What do the experts here think?
A couple of good rules derived from my experience and others:
1. If it feels good in your hand it is a candidate.
I have never handled a revolver that did not fit my hand. The conical grip is designed to fit your hand as well as your wife’s hand. Semi auto fit to my hand is not good as most of the grips are too large.
2. Recoil is subjective and it is also affected by the position of your hand. .38 has pretty low recoil and is a good learning tool.
3. The gun you buy now will probably not be the gun with which you finish. Your needs will change as you progress in your skills.
4. Revolvers can use wax bullets (google it, very cheap ammo) semis can’t. They probably can but getting the wax out of a semi auto would be problematic to say the least.
5. Used revolvers may be a good deal for you. They are generally well maintained and will continue to shoot well.
Never said they can’t use them. Most women just find the 9mm a lot easier to handle than a .45. That’s especially true for the uninitiated, like the wife of the guy asking the question.
I’ll second that Mossberg 500 tactical suggestion. Just the sound of racking the weapon will make most criminals run.
Colt Agent .38spc revolver for her.
I was in Cabelas (Hamburg PA) on Sunday (The Lords Day) and there was not one (1) single box of 00 buckshot in 20 gauge on the shelves. Quite a bit of 00 buck in high brass 12 gauge though so I had to settle.
Right before Christmas in that same store there was a full pallet of PMC 223 (REM) at the checkouts for $6.49/box. Saturday not a single round of 223 or 5.56 of any manufacturer in the entire store. I would imagine (but I’m sure someone here knows exactly) that a pallet of 223 is what, half a million rounds or more?
They did have a reasonable supply of pistols available. Mrs fatboy almost puicked up a Baretta 9 mm to add to her collection.
Actually, stay away from shotguns altogether. In the typical residence, in hallways, etc, there's just not enough room to maneuver. Plus, you typically would enter a room barrel first, which, given the length of a shotgun, would allow the bad guy to grab the barrel, wrest it out of your hands, etc.
There will also be semiauto weapons recommended. Again, stay away from these because for the novice/occasional shooter, the whole process of loading a magazine, pulling back the slide, safety/no safety, etc, can be kind of daunting for the novice/occasion shooter.
I also saw the Ruger GP100 revolver recommended. It's a 357 magnum and is an excellent choice. That revolver, or any quality revolver, is perfect for your circumstance. The average gunfight is over after about 3 shots, and the Ruger holds six. Once it's loaded, all you have to do is point and pull the trigger. No worrying about pumping the action, pulling back a slide, safety/no safety, etc.
Also, with a 357 magnum revolver you can practice with lesser expensive 38 special rounds, then load the gun with plus P 38s, or even 357 magnums, for home defense.
FN Five Seven handgun - high capacity, low recoil, light, good penetration but not too much, highly accurate
S&W .357 revolver - can use high power mags, .38 specials, or .38 wad cutters for practice
You too? There's a lot of that going around...
For home use nothing sounds like a pump shotgun.
Maybe my daughter is wired differently. She has shot .45 ACP, 45LC, and now she wants to try .454 Casull.
Good thing I reload. :^)
I am also totally new to guns although I have my permit now and am planning to buy my first for protection and spite. So here it goes, my 1st dumb question: revolvers, pistols, shotguns, handguns, rifle, what’s the difference between all these??
A real deal-breaker for anyone are the sharply checkered grips common on older handguns. Even shooting a .380 can get tedious if the grips are biting. I mind shooting a checkered .38 far more than shooting a smooth .45. I guess you eventually get used to it, or get gloves.
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