Help me buy my first firearm!

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by willywonka, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. willywonka

    willywonka New Member

    Jan 27, 2010
    I'm a total newbie here. I've never fired a firearm in my life. I did shoot a beebee gun once when I was a kid though!

    In any case, I need something for home defense. I understand that I will need to practice and get profficent. I also know that the best option is to try out a bunch of different firearms and see what works for me.

    However, there's a lot to choose from, and I'd rather from some protection sooner rather than later. So I'm hoping you guys could help me narrow down a list of what I should try out.

    So here's the basics of what I'm looking at.

    First I need this for home defense. I might use it for conceal carry, but the primary thing I need is for home defense. So something I can use quickly is ideal. For that reason I'm looking at semi auto handguns. Nothing against revolvers, I think I would just prefer the option of a magazine.

    Something that's fairly affordable and reliable is important. Reliability is the more important factor.

    I injured my left wrist a few years back lifting weights (I'm right handed), so I'm a little concerned about kickback. The less the better. Need enough firepower for home defense, nothing more.

    The cost of ammo is a concern since I'll have a lot of practice I'll have to do to get profficient.

    Good balance is preferable to light weight.

    Any suggestions for what I should take a look at?
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2010
  2. zkovach

    zkovach Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2009
    The best thing you can do is go to a local gun shop. put a couple in your hand and see how they feel. Many gun shops have target ranges so you can try different guns as well. hope this helps.

  3. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    SW Fort Worth
    Sig P6 is a solid performer and economical for a 9mm. You can find them on the surplus market readily.

    that's my .02c based on what info you provided. If you hadn't mentioned that you may carry, I would say to get a solid 12ga for home defense and bypass handguns altogether.

    What kind of a budget are you looking at? Have you seen anything that catches your eye so far?

    btw - Welcome to TFF !! :cool:
  4. Gabob

    Gabob Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2005
    I agree. But on the suject of handguns, I like to see an inexperienced or new shooter start with a revolver and progress to an auto when more familiar with safety etc
  5. 21bravo

    21bravo New Member

    Oct 29, 2008
    wilkes county, nc
    Willy, like was mentioned above go to a gun shop... try some out...

    To your question of reliabilty.. I prefer Glocks.. I prefer the Glock 19 over any of the others. but other firearms are just as reliable. You say you want something with manageable recoil... so I might suggest a 9mm or a .380... both, to me, are very controlable.

    If you are going to go the Concealed Carry route, you need to find a class. your local gun stores more than likely have someone who teaches it.. in it you learn the rules and regulations of carrying a firearm on a daily basis. It is a very important decision that should not be take lightly.

    I might also suggest that you take a class on basic pistol instruction before you take a CCW class.. that way you have the functionality of your chosen firearm and know the fundementals of shooting...

    in the end its your money buying the firearm that YOU like.. so.. take your time and explore as many options as possible. ;):cool: ...may I ask why the sudden intrest in firearms and owning a weapon for self defense? ......if its not too forward of me that it.
  6. navis128

    navis128 New Member

    Sep 15, 2009
    I did a bunch of research...there were so many.

    After trying all came down to the size of the hole it made in the target!
  7. willywonka

    willywonka New Member

    Jan 27, 2010
    I actually just took a class that should qualify me for conceal carry in my state. I'd like to get a conceal carry permit mostly "just in case". I might be naive, but I live in a pretty safe area, so I think I will be good on that front. But you never know when things might change, especially in a recession.

    I used to rent a room in a very upper class neighborhood. It was the kind of area where people felt comfortable not locking their doors, even though it's not exactly rural. But I finally was able to buy my first home, but I had to move to a more middle class neighborhood, and it's not nearly as safe as where I used to live. Recently, I had an incident where someone was trying to break into the house, but luckily he ran off. All I had to do this was a lot of shouting and a baseball bat. I don't want to take a 2nd chance on that, so I got to do this for the safety of my family.
  8. willywonka

    willywonka New Member

    Jan 27, 2010
    If you mean 12 ga shot gun, then, yeh, I don't think that would work very well. I'm not very familiar at all with them, but I think any long gun would be just too unweldy, takes too long to load, and if I have to use it I'd like to not have to buy some new drywall. ;)

    I really hope I don't offend anyone, but revolvers just seem too well..cowboy to me. I'm pretty mechanically profficient, so I don't think I should have very much trouble with the mechanics of a semi-auto. As far as I can tell, it's just a question of being able to shoot well.
  9. willywonka

    willywonka New Member

    Jan 27, 2010
    Thanks woolley! Just from looking at them, I like the Beretta Px4. I figure if I can get something that is reliable, I might as well get something that's nice to look at too. Of course, that's not a deal breaker.
  10. bizy

    bizy New Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Marlow, Ok
    When you are protecting your life at home, I suggest nothing smaller than a 40 cal. Your 357 and 38 and a few others will go through people and walls. A 45ACP with hollow points will knock down a very large target without going through walls. It's not a matter of power and size of the bullet it is the kinetic energy delivered to the target..
  11. ARB

    ARB New Member

    Jan 23, 2009
    Mid Missouri
    No offense intended, but if you have no experience with firearms, maybe a scattergun is your best bet. You, seem pretty amped on getting a pistol for home defense. Why? It's just a better chance of missing your intended target. And with a pump shotgun, the racking of the slide may scare the perp away before you have to unload on them.
  12. navis128

    navis128 New Member

    Sep 15, 2009
    He wants a pistol...he doesn't "sound" stupid...

    I was told by an "old guy" about my size..."even if I hit him in the arm he's not going to get up and I'm too old to run."

    Make sure it feels good in your hand and go for a .45
    If you want to carry, consider barrel length, I've got a four inch barrel that fits well in the small of my back and is comfortable for me just to stick it in the waistband of my jeans, but I don't have the squatting down problem either.
  13. i do not want you to be misinformed but............any handgun or rifle will go thru walls,some more than others.shotgun with #8 SHOT,not so much.they have well advised you on the small framed revolver but i understand you think thats too cowboy.i disagree but thats my opinion.i suggest you purchase whatever gun that feels good in your hand,your the one that has to shoot it.i also advise you to check out ammo prices and supply.dont purchase a gun you cant afford to shoot or cant find ammo for.i only have about 53 years of experience so i reserve the right to be wrong. old semperfi
  14. todd51

    todd51 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2009
    Central, Ohio
    Oh, so many options. Listen to Old Semperfi. For my 2cts. I would suggest a .38spl revolver and use some of the special defense ammo. If the budget permits get a similar revolver in .22 rf. I am concerned about your comment about your left wrist and the potential problem of racking the slide. There is the issue of safely securing your defense arm and it is easier with a hand gun. I have many to choose from for my own situation but the home defense arms around my home are all .38 spl. revolvers. Easy and fast to operate and easy to determine their ready condition. Just an opinion from another old guy.
  15. graehaven

    graehaven Well-Known Member

    May 26, 2007
    Rochester, NY
    Very good advice.

    Do NOT discount the effectiveness of a .38 +P defensive round in today's 38s or 357s.
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