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    Andy

New shooter

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#1
Hello my name is Al,

I'm completely new to shooting, I was invited to go to a gun range with a friend and shot a gun for the first time in about 20+ years, a .38s I had blast and I was hook even thou I only hit the target a couple of times but never a bull eyes,I did shoot 22 as a kid. But never as adult. I know not very manly. I hope to learn a lot as looking forward to getting my buying my first gun to work on my marksmanship. I will need advice about getting a good starter handgun for target shooting mostly not looking to carry atm. I prefer a America made gun in about the $500 range.
 

ADulay

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#2
Ooooh. Ooooooh. Oooooh. I've got the answer but I may be in the minority on this one.

Let's assume that you don't want to spend a lot of money to purchase or shoot this sidearm.

Let's assume that sooner or later, on down the road, you'll be much more comfortable with your sidearm and decide to carry it. No need to purchase another one as you bought the correct sidearm the first time!

Now let's assume that you decide you want to maybe "add some stuff" to your new sidearm as it's kind of plain and you want to personalize it at a minimum cost.

Wait, there's more! What if you decide you even want to shoot this sidearm in some of the local shooting sports? USPSA, Steel Challenge, IDPA, etc.

What if you decide to change holsters to something more fitting your current lifestyle? Change ammuntion supply? Can you do this quickly?

You really outght to have something "mainstream" so that parts (when needed) are just around the corner or at least available on Amazon.

Would you like this new sidearm to be easy to clean so that you don't mind shooting all afternoon knowing that cleaning is a mere 5 minute job?

Hmm, we're attemping to fit one single sidearm into multiple openings and doing it relatively on a budget.

Cost effective. Good for range or daily carry. Small enough to carry but large enough to be comfortable to shoot. Something that's had ALL the bugs worked out of it before you finally wind up with it.

A full sized (5") gun? Compact sized (4") or even a sub compact (3" or less) might fit into your mix.

Remember that a sidearm that is not comfortable to shoot will just gather dust in a drawer under the socks at home. Fun guns get shot. Bad ones look good in the gun safe but rarely get used like they're supposed to be used.

Do any of your friends have sidearms? Can they answer any of the previously posted questions about your new purchase?

Can you borrow any of their guns to shoot? Is there a range where you can rent a potential sidearm? Take a lot of what you'll hear with a grain of salt and try to get the facts from somebody who actually knows of what they speak!!

I'll let you pour over those previous thoughts and when I get back from tonight's match, I'll add my recommendation on your initial sidearm for somebody coming into the shooting scene as a relatively new person.

Hopefully others will chime in with their ideas and WHY their choice is a good one for you.

AD
 
Joined
September 5, 2012
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#3
Stay away fromt he Glockity Glock Glocks. Since you shot a 38 get yourself a 38 revolver. You can even get a used one that someone traded in on a Glock. Easy no magazines and break downs to clean. Once you shoot some targets and get familiar with the revolver, and can be consistant in your shots. Only then move up to a semi auto. I see .38 special revolvers all the time, in fact Rock Island has a brand new 38 Revolver for under 400 bucks. Most places sell them for under 300.

It is about the same size as a Smith or Ruger in 357 magnum. But the recoil would be low and you could get proficient.

 
Joined
December 23, 2012
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#4
Rock Island-Armscor-Philipines.
Not +P rated.
Nice AND inexpensive

The OP preferred an American made gun in the 500 range
what part of the state are you in ?
 
Joined
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#5
I would go with a revolver your first gun. Or at the very least I would shoot your friends auto for a while before diving into any gun. Once you buy a gun and leave the store its yours and you may take a lost if you don't like it.
 

diesel

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#6
I would definitely recommend a "J" or "K" size framed .357. Something in a 3 or 4 inch. Also take into advise all the things AD spoke of as he knows his stuff. A smaller sized .357 is easy to handle, rarely malfunctions, and is quite easy to get ammo for. They cost but a $100 to $150 more than a quality .38 Spec. You could start out shooting .38 Spec. through them as they handle both .38 and .357. The recoil is minimal with .38 ammo which should help you get close to you point of aim. Once you get comfortable with it, you could move up to some lightly charged .357's.
Also take into account Mikes advise on a Ruger or Smith and Wesson. If you decide you don't like shooting or want an auto loader, you won't loose your money as they hold there value quite well.

Good luck on whatever you choose and welcome aboard.:):flag:


Here are a few photos of a S&W "K" framed .357 Mag. Model 66.

sampwmod66.jpg sampwmod66-2.jpg
 
Joined
December 23, 2012
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#7
welcome to the world of handgun addiction. You had a blast,that's how it starts. My first was a S&W M10 4" 38 special, then a S&W M19 6" 357Mag,, then a S&W M36 3" 38 special, then a S&W M29 6.5" 44 Mag, and so on. Being that I go to all the shows, a S&W M64 4" Stainless steel 38 special typically are in the $350 range used, a S&W M65 4" stainless steel 357 Mag are in the $450 range used.
 

whitewolf68

Army
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#8
Hello my name is Al,

I'm completely new to shooting, I was invited to go to a gun range with a friend and shot a gun for the first time in about 20+ years, a .38s I had blast and I was hook even thou I only hit the target a couple of times but never a bull eyes,I did shoot 22 as a kid. But never as adult. I know not very manly. I hope to learn a lot as looking forward to getting my buying my first gun to work on my marksmanship. I will need advice about getting a good starter handgun for target shooting mostly not looking to carry atm. I prefer a America made gun in about the $500 range.
Welcome to the community Tora, we are small but caring here. The members here have lots of good information to share. Hopefully you don't get overloaded.

Let me know if I can be of ANY help or assistance what-so-ever.

Cheers,

whitewolf68 (Andy)

P.S. Sorry I didn't post sooner, been busy trying with work and tweaking the forum and sorry to say I've been focused a bit too much. Welcome!
 
Joined
October 12, 2015
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#9
Thanks guys, for the reply. I'm from Blanchester, Ohio. I was thinking I just might get a 38 revolver. Can't make up my mind between a SA or DA. May just come to a last minute when I'm at the shop. I. Sure a be like a kid at a candy store
 

ADulay

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#11
Double action, of course.

Like Oldman stated, you can shoot it in both DA and SA as needed.

So the boys on the forum have convinced you to go with a short barrel revolver?

Have you made any decision on just what you'll be doing with this new firearm?

Fun gun? Serious gun? Home protection? Self protection? Squirrel annihilation? Dry wall redecoration?

It kind of makes a difference depending on what the MAJORITY of your future shooting will be.

Make sure you test out whatever you're looking at. Some really nice guns shoot really, really bad.

AD
 
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#12
Double action, of course.

Like Oldman stated, you can shoot it in both DA and SA as needed.

So the boys on the forum have convinced you to go with a short barrel revolver?

Have you made any decision on just what you'll be doing with this new firearm?

Fun gun? Serious gun? Home protection? Self protection? Squirrel annihilation? Dry wall redecoration?

It kind of makes a difference depending on what the MAJORITY of your future shooting will be.

Make sure you test out whatever you're looking at. Some really nice guns shoot really, really bad.

AD
Just a fun gun, I can take to the local range to practice. Not looking for CCW for time being. Just more of a new hobby. I'm sure I be looking into bigger guns as I get more confident as my skill improves.
 

ADulay

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#14
Guys,

I think we're missing the big picture here.

We're all looking at this from OUR perspective and not from that of a relatively new shooter who wants to get into the shooting world.

While a six inch Ruger would be nice for most of us, it is not really appropriate for a brand new shooter.

Sit back and think about a new shooter and how they think about getting a first time, new gun. The mindset is completely different than those of us who already have a background and information.

The 6" Ruger (nice gun by the way) would be fun to shoot at the range running 38spcl and it would probably keep you happy for a few months until you got a little bored with just standing there and putting holes in paper. I've got a 4" Ruger GP-100 and really like it but I don't think I'd like a steady diet of shooting it.

Al said that he was just going to basically plink and practice. Very good. We've narrowed down the intended use of the gun! He also stated that he'll probably get another gun once he's comfortable with the new one and feels like he needs something else. In this case, the revolver would work just fine. As we all know, it is a learning experience along the way and our choices and values change as we gain experience. I'd still vote for the 4" over the 6" revolver, if not for anything other than the fact that he's not riding the range in Arizona on horseback, so the 4" would feel much better overall. Yes, I own the 4" but get to use my neighbor's 6" from time to time. He never shoots it. I wonder why that is?

Now that we have some idea that Al may be buying another gun down the line, the choice of a medium sized revolver is a good one.

AD (see new thread on "single gun" in another area)
 

diesel

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#18
What ever you choose, pick up a couple o quik-loaders and practice reloading while shooting.
Efficiency here may help you out of a bad situation later on.:flag:
 
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#19
Al do you hunt if so a 6'' barrel will work . And are you X military if so you would have picked a auto. Speed loaders do help and practice is a must. All though a longer sit length is good for my tired eyes you my not need the extra 2".
 
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#20
Going to be a gun show in Wilmington soon I might come down to a last minute. I rented a few guns at the local range I like the s&w 38 forgot the model