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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

TOPICS: Chit/Chat
KEYWORDS: banglist
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To: prisoner6
Get a handgun with a Crimson Trace laser light. Put the red dot where you need to hit, and pull the trigger. Something like this:

61 posted on 01/08/2013 11:56:26 AM PST by Mr Rogers (America is becoming California, and California is becoming Detroit. Detroit is already hell.)
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To: stuck_in_new_orleans

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.

62 posted on 01/08/2013 11:57:55 AM PST by Mamzelle
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To: parisa

> revolvers

Typically six shots, just like the old west.

> pistols

These usually take a clip. The number of bullets in the clip can vary.

> shotguns

Shoots buckshot or slugs. Typically used for hunting (like here in MA) or home defense.

> handguns

Same as pistols. Semi-automatic that’s clip fed.

> rifle

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.

63 posted on 01/08/2013 12:03:36 PM PST by TheRhinelander
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To: Mr Rogers
pull the trigger.

Squeeze the trigger. Pulling it will pull the barrel off target.

64 posted on 01/08/2013 12:03:41 PM PST by Alaska Wolf (Carry a Gun, It's a Lighter Burden Than Regret)
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To: prisoner6

Get a halographic sight.

65 posted on 01/08/2013 12:05:34 PM PST by TheRhinelander
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To: stuck_in_new_orleans
Jefferson Indoor Shooting Center (David Drive in Metairie, at the corner of Saints Drive - between Veterans and Airline) is worth checking out. It's a small shop (a former Time Saver convenience store, IIRC), but they have a small indoor range in the back. They've got a website that lists the guns they have available to rent.

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).

66 posted on 01/08/2013 12:11:57 PM PST by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
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To: prisoner6

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:

67 posted on 01/08/2013 12:12:47 PM PST by Truth29
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To: Disambiguator
Wow, nice! I am strangely attracted to the .50 GI myself. What is it about those .50s?
68 posted on 01/08/2013 12:17:32 PM PST by jboot (This isn't your father's America. Stay safe and keep your powder dry.)
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To: TheRhinelander; parisa
I have to disagree with your definitions... Maybe I'm off base, but here's what understand for these words:

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...

69 posted on 01/08/2013 12:18:09 PM PST by TChris ("Hello", the politician lied.)
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To: LouAvul
"Stay away from pump shotguns."

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.

70 posted on 01/08/2013 12:36:08 PM PST by uncommonsense (Conservatives believe what they see; Liberals see what they believe.)
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To: stuck_in_new_orleans
Hi New Orleans :)

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.

•5 shots
•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.

71 posted on 01/08/2013 12:36:29 PM PST by Casie (Chuck Norris 2016)
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To: TheRhinelander

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.

72 posted on 01/08/2013 12:41:42 PM PST by MtBaldy (If Obama is the answer, it must have been a really stupid question)
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To: fatboy
Mrs fatboy almost puicked up a Baretta 9 mm to add to her collection.

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.

73 posted on 01/08/2013 12:45:23 PM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts (Humans have eliminated natural selection. Morons are now a protected species. They breed and vote.)
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To: stuck_in_new_orleans

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.

74 posted on 01/08/2013 12:54:56 PM PST by Conservamum
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To: jboot

“Select a self defence load, though. Don’t use bird shot (#6 - #9).”

What do you consider a “self defence load”?

75 posted on 01/08/2013 12:58:51 PM PST by AFPhys ((Praying for our troops, our citizens, that the Bible and Freedom become basis of the US law again))
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To: jboot
"Tolerance for recoil is difficult to predict and isn't always related to build or sex."

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).

76 posted on 01/08/2013 1:01:26 PM PST by uncommonsense (Conservatives believe what they see; Liberals see what they believe.)
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To: prisoner6
"But there must be some way people like me can learn to sight a handgun or rifle."

Mount a laser sight on the bottom of the barrel with a trigger on the back of the handle activated by your palm grip.

77 posted on 01/08/2013 1:09:48 PM PST by uncommonsense (Conservatives believe what they see; Liberals see what they believe.)
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To: stuck_in_new_orleans

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.

78 posted on 01/08/2013 1:12:04 PM PST by CodeToad (Liberals are bloodsucking ticks. We need to light the matchstick to burn them off.)
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To: stuck_in_new_orleans

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.

79 posted on 01/08/2013 1:12:56 PM PST by Tier
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To: uncommonsense
Shotguns aren't for the novice/inexperienced shooter. Practically speaking, the shotgun owner has two choices, the pump or the semiauto. The semiauto is unwise for the reasons I specified. It's too complicated for Harry Homeowner who likely won't even look at the gun after he buys it. It'll just be there, and if he needs it in a hurry/crisis he won't remember how to operate it.

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.

80 posted on 01/08/2013 1:17:11 PM PST by LouAvul
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