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
A hard thing to learn is to never pick up a gun with your finger on the trigger. We’ve all played with squirt gun toys and its natural to automatically put your finger where it shouldn’t be. Find an indoor range because it is less stressful than firing for the first time in a rural area where you feel like you’re attracting unwelcome attention. Suggest to your wife that she spend some time learning how to pull back on a semiauto pistol. A revolver is a good first gun but it hurts a beginners hand.
Typically six shots, just like the old west.
These usually take a clip. The number of bullets in the clip can vary.
Shoots buckshot or slugs. Typically used for hunting (like here in MA) or home defense.
Same as pistols. Semi-automatic that’s clip fed.
Can range anywhere from a small .22 caliber rifle for small game hunting like squirrels to a 30-06 (think M1) to an AR-15. Can be single shot bolt action, clip fed or tube fed.
Squeeze the trigger. Pulling it will pull the barrel off target.
Get a halographic sight.
I agree with those that suggest a .357 revolver. Those can be loaded with .38 Special (less expensive and kicks less) when practicing at the range. Don't buy the alloy-framed "airweight" type of revolver. It may be more pleasant to carry in a holster, but the lighter weight gives those a sharper kick. The Ruger SP-101 is a great choice for men and women alike.
If you do choose to supplement the handgun with a shotgun, stay with a common semi-auto (Remington, Mossberg). When not using that as a home defense tool, you can put the longer hunting barrel on (easy, tool-free swap) and go shoot clay targets across the lake at Tallow Creek (just off of I-12, west of Covington).
I am not sure if this will help you compensate for lazy eye, but training for cross dominant eye shooters may also work for you. Below is a link for one such discussion, but there are many. Hope it helps:http://pistol-training.com/archives/433
Pistol = Handgun : Type of firearm designed to be fired with one or both hands, held away from the body.
Revolver: A type of pistol/handgun which uses a revolving cylinder to hold -- typically 6 -- cartridges.
Semi-automatic: A type of pistol/handgun fed by a magazine. (There are semi-auto rifles and shotguns too...)
My reason for the breakdown I use: There were pistols way before either the revolver or the semi-auto handgun were invented. Single-shot smoothbore handguns have been called "pistols" since the 1500's, so in my mind the word is synonymous with "handgun".
Just my $0.02 worth...
I strongly disagree with your comments on shotguns, but whole heartedly agree with your choice of handgun for the reasons stated.
1) Shotguns: Winchester makes several configurations of their Defender. It's a pump that has choice of stocks, an 18" barrel, 3" chamber, and holds 7 shots with 1 in the chamber. (It's good to leave the chamber empty and still have 6 in the hole so you make the unmistakable sound of racking the beast.) That's a gun which is easy to learn, aim/use, maintain, and will stop anybody without shooting up the neighborhood. Plus, you can buy a longer barrel and target shoot or hunt with it.
2) Pump vs semiauto: I've used a Browning 12 GA semiauto for 40 years and I can't tell you how many times I've had misfires or jams that required me to clear the chamber - but it's my skeet gun that I've used since I was 10, so I stuck with it - plus it's a Belgian Browning. I've had the same problems with my semiauto Colt .380 handgun, but never my S&W .44 revolver or pump Defender. Jams are frustrating when target practicing, but it's NOT what you want in an emergency. It's also more complicated to clean a semiauto. With a pump, as with a revolver, you don't have to worry about awkwardly clearing a misfire or jam. That's a BIG deal for a defensive weapon.
I'm up in North Louisiana. Congratulations on your decision to purchase your first firearm! Shooting is just a great skill to have.
This is a Taurus .38 special. It was my first revolver and I still love it. To me, you just can't get more simple than this. Here are some of the things that made me feel very confident and comfortable with this gun right from the start.
easy and fast to load
lightweight (which makes it fun to shoot!)
nothing to snag in a pocket or other clothing
consistent means of operation and trigger pull
It's point and shoot. Mine is loaded with hydra shok hollow points and is always ready to rock.
Perhaps this is something that your wife would also like.
If you’re gonna give gun information out maybe you might want to learn the difference between a magazine and a clip?
Oh, and the .30-06 is WAY more powerful than the .223 or even the 5.56 mm.
Beretta 92FS...sweet piece. I love mine.
One suggestion; If she buys the 92FS, get her one of these. The EZ Rail. It will give you a rail on which you can mount a laser sight in front of the trigger guard. I found a very inexpensive and very small laser on eBay to fit it. It was about 25 bucks. Very nice setup.
I would suggest letting your wife try out and choose the gun. It it fits her hand size well and she if comfortable with the fire power, you’ll both be able to use it. I did this and chose a 9mm that my husband, of course, can handle easily. Anything larger was hard to control and seemed to jam more frequently.
Our local gun shop/range had a ladies night where I could “rent” the gun for free, paying only for the ammunition I fired on the range. It took several weeks of trying different calibers and types to decide. It also took that long to get over being girly and get over being afraid of the gun. Didn’t want one in the house if I wasn’t a hundred percent sure I’d use it if threatened.
“Select a self defence load, though. Don’t use bird shot (#6 - #9).”
What do you consider a “self defence load”?
Agree. And that reminds me to mention that it's best to start shooting with a low recoil gun to learn safety and accuracy first.
My step dad started me at 10 years old with a 12 GA Browning semiauto skeet gun that kicked like an Army mule. I developed a flinch because of the kick. Some smart instructors would load my gun with duds to see how smooth my action was - almost always reacted to whatever punishment I thought I'd take from the gun (but managed to still hit my target with a real bullet somehow).
Mount a laser sight on the bottom of the barrel with a trigger on the back of the handle activated by your palm grip.
Let me add a vote for training. A simple handgun safety course goes a lONG way to you being happy and safe with firearms. Most courses also teach about the various types of guns, how they operate, and why you might want one versus another. Well worth the money.
I would plan on buying at least two guns. One for self defense, the other for a practice/learning gun. The .22lr caliber is perfect for practicing. Easy to shoot, cheap rounds, and you can get a .22lr with the same type of action (pump, semi auto, or double action revolver) as your self defense gun.
A lot of people start out learning with larger caliber guns, and end up with a huge flinch.
It's the same for the pump. Both types have a safety, etc.
For a gun owner like the OP, someone who won't even look at the gun after he buys it and fires it, a revolver is the only choice.
As far as size, even a shotgun w/18 inch barrel (one of my bedside guns is a Remington 870 express HD) is still a big gun. Fine for someone who takes the time to get and stay proficient, but that's not going to be the OP. He'll buy it, shoot it, and store it.
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