What is a good gun Caliber to start out with?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by XDGirl, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. XDGirl

    XDGirl New Member

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    What is a good caliber to start out with? A good friend of mine is wanting to buy her first gun this weekend. shes wanting to buy a .45. I was told when i bought my first gun that i should start of with a 9mm and work my way up. Do you think this is good advices for my friend?
  2. southernshooter

    southernshooter New Member

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    Ideally all shooters need to start off at 22lr just to make sure they don't develop flinch shooting. But a 45 will be a fine choice if that is what she wants.
  3. Jay

    Jay New Member

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    She should ( in my opinion ) refine her technique with a 22, as southern said. Then she should shop for a handgun just like she shops for shoes. Getting her hands on as many guns as she can, will show her which ones "fit" her hands just right. As with shoes, she'll know when she picks up the "one for her ". The caliber decision should be made after she becomes more proficient, and has had a chance to sample various calibers. I would vote against starting out with a .45 unless she's already fired one, and knows she can handle it.

    Welcome to the forum..........
  4. Ursus

    Ursus New Member

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    As said above
  5. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    I agree that she need to start with a 22 and become proficient with it before jumping intot a big, heavy recoiling gun like a 45ACP. Once she is ready for a larger caliber she needs to go to a range that rents guns and try whatever gets her fancy in all calibers. 45 ACP's are big intimidating guns. Trying to learn to shoot well with a 45ACP is an uphill battle and the shooter may not get there before getting weary of the beating and the poor performance of the combo of her and the big gun.

    I found while learning to shot well some 20+ years ago that you have to have some level of accomplishment or your focus on shooting is dimmed and you loose interest. Taking a 22 to the range and shooting it well just makes you want more. Taking a hard kicking, heavy 45ACp to the range and getting scatter targets that look like a shotgun pattern is frustrating and you will loose interest.

    I shot a 22 and a 9mm and a 38 revolver at first and the accuracy was just not getting there. I put a red dot on the 38 and the accuracy increased but still not fast enough for me. So I bought an adult air pistol (match quality...for about $200) and practiced every day for about 15 minutes in my garage. I read the books and practiced the techniques spelled out there and low and behold my 22, 38 and 9mm scores improved remarkably.

    So its practice, practice, practice, that makes for a good shooter. Starting out at 22LR and later moving to bigger cartridges is the way to go and an air gun practiced regularly every day goes even farther!

    That's my experience and yours may differ.

    LDBennett
  6. Haligan

    Haligan Well-Known Member

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    Hold the phone !!! I said Hold the Phone !!
    All new shooters need to start out with a revolver.
    Single action in 357 is my opinion.

    The reason why is it is a much safer firearm to be introduced to and here's why.

    When you pull the trigger on a semi, we all know how easy it can be to get a double tap if the recoil isn't what your expecting. The action can be a little confusing. Remember most of us know what the heck we're doing a new shooter doesn't.

    A single action gives the new shooter clear 123 step by step this is how to fire a gun safely and purposefully.

    Now some may say start out with good ol 22 LR. No and here's why.

    357 is a great self defence round for the home and you can practice with 38's till the cow's come home. If 38's are too much for a new shooter than I don't know what to tell ya.

    Thank you I yeild the floor and withold the balance of my time. :)
  7. Jay

    Jay New Member

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    I've been helping others learn to shoot for many years. I ALWAYS start with .22 LR firearms. It takes much longer to correct the flinch that usually accompanies a new shooter, after the first round they fire comes from a .357, than to teach them without scaring them. That's just silly.

    I've spent many hours re-learning wives of friends, who gave were told by hubby, "try this, it's noisy, but it won't hurt ya",

    You don't teach a kid to drive using a semi tractor, but there are some who will try it anyway. :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2008
  8. Haligan

    Haligan Well-Known Member

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    Jay
    Will you at least acknowledge that

    1) Not all new shooters are going to have a big collection of firearms so the first should be the most versitile.
    2) Revolvers are safer to learn than semi's.
    3) I am a genius.
    4) The New England Patriots are way overrated.
  9. Jay

    Jay New Member

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    No sir, I won't acknowledge any of those items.

    1. I've never heard of anyone buying an automobile BEFORE they learn how to drive.

    2. A revolver being less complex than a pistol does not make revolvers safer. Safety is a function of the shooter, NOT the firearm.

    3. It's most often best to keep silent and have folks think you a fool, than to speak without knowledge and prove them right. (not sure who said that, but it's accurate )

    4. New England was at the center of a cheating scandal, weren't they?
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2008
  10. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

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    For whatever its worth, I would recommend a .22 for starters. In a revolver, the S&W 617 is about the best. In an auto loader, I would lean to the Ruger 22/45 since it has the same feel as a 1911. :)

    A revolver is great for beginners in that it can be used either as a repeater or as a steady single shot. I learned years ago on an old IJ .38 S&W that had been a duty gun for a policeman in Bangor. Wouldn't trade the experience for the world.

    Whether one tries or buys first is their choice but it still remains wise to start with a calibre that won't scare them away from our great hobby.
  11. Definitely start with a .22. To start a new shooter with anything heavier often results in developing bad shooting habits at the start, mostly due to recoil and noise. I've found that progressing beyond a .22 to a center-fire does not usually take very long, at least for the average adult. I usually progress next to a 9mm with those I've instructed, and then to a .45 auto if the student adjusts easily to the added recoil. Many do. I have no quarrel with a revolver to start out either, though I think a .22 is still the best caliber to use at the beginning, be it a revolver or an auto. The idea at first is to teach the fundamentals of safety and proper shooting techniques such as sight alignment, hold, and stance, not to impress the new shooter with how hard a weapon can kick. Investing in a good .22 is never wasted money in any event, even after one has progressed to more powerful handguns. That .22 will still be just as pleasant and inexpensive to shoot 10 years from now as it was during the learning period.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2008
  12. PPK 32

    PPK 32 Active Member

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    Jumping on the 22 bandwagon as well. For all of the above. Also, since it takes lots of practice its gonna take lots of ammo. The cost of a brick of 22s is way cheaper than the larger guns. I can peel through a brick in two weeks, thats a lot of shooting and it only costs 15 bucks.
  13. 312shooter

    312shooter Active Member

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  14. Xaiver56

    Xaiver56 New Member

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    I learned to shoot on a 9mm, and I thought it was a good platform for me. I have introduced many new shooters to firearms, often starting them out with a .38 special or 9mm and I have had great results. That being said, I believe the fundamentals of shooting can be taught on many different calibers, but the .22 does have many advantages.
  15. doug66

    doug66 New Member

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    I launched many lbs. of BB's out of a Daisey before I ever touched a firearm. Can your friend afford to buy a 22 for practice? If so look for a Ruger MI or MII they are inexpensive and reliable. If your friend just has the funds for one handgun, then I say let her get whatever the heck she wants.
  16. artabr

    artabr New Member

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    I'm on the .22 band wagon. Semi-auto or revolver both can be used as a single shot intill the user is ready for the next step in training.



    Art
  17. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    there has been some solid gold advice posted here, and i cannot think of anything to add, except that ear protection in an invaluable training tool, always wear it, it only took 2 days with a compact .45 and corbon loads to completely destroy mine, i was 21 and didnt know crap but how to pull the trigger...
  18. user

    user Active Member

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    Why does your friend plan to have a gun? What's it for?
  19. Popgunner

    Popgunner New Member

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    I wonder if the .22s are any softer in the noise dept? I can see a case for them if one is available but I wonder if light 38 spl loads in a 6" barreled .357 aren't a little easier on the ear than .22s shot from a handgun with that sharper small caliber report? way louder than a .22 rifle.

    Best option I can see & what I've recomended to folks I've taught is to go to a range that'll rent/loan various types of guns & try out a few. Or I let them shoot a few of mine.

    The .22 is sure the cheapest for ammo:)
  20. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    right on pop, i have a single six that shoots .22 mag, that damn thing is way louder than most of my other handguns, including the .44 mag and the .480 ruger...
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