Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: A brand-new-to-guns person would like advice...

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2

    Default A brand-new-to-guns person would like advice...

    Hello. I am interested in owning a small but effective hand gun for people & animal protection (a mother with two daughters), and probably target practice. No interest in shooting animals for sport. Anyway, I know nothing about guns and would be open to any advice. Don't even know where to start. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction AK
    Posts
    4,055

    Default

    I strongly suggest attending an NRA "Women on Target" event or ADFG's "Becoming an Outdoors Woman" class.

    They'll have range instruction, advice, a selection of arms to try out, etc. Well done and every lady I've talked to that attended gave them high marks. My wife and I have been involved with BOW in the Interior for several years.

    As much as folks will give all sorts of internet advice on guns, cartridges, etc....ultimately "hands on" experience will be worth more.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Sandpoint, ID
    Posts
    1,969

    Default

    Agree!!

    I teach NRA pistol and home protection classes for women and always get very positive feedback. Get the safety and handling fundamentals and try out a variety of different guns before you buy anything. I start the ladies with a .22 LR revolver and semi-auto since each have their own advantages and are easy and cheap to shoot which promotes confidence and improves shooting skills. I strongly suggest to NOT move up to a more powerful handgun until you are comfortable with the .22.

    For the uses you mention, don't discount a 20ga pump shotgun...much easier to shoot well than a handgun and with the proper ammo, more effective and cheaper.

    Good luck, be safe and enjoy!!
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

  4. #4

    Default

    As with everything most have some opinion, here's mine. With a handgun it's not always size that counts, proficeintcy with a firearm goes a long ways toward effecientcy.

    Start with 22 lots of practice cheap, get the mechanics down and utilize safety. There are hundreds of handguns available test fire as many handguns as you can before you decide which firearm suits you best. The KISS (keep it simple stupid) principle seems to work best.
    Most confrontations happen at night or in low light coditions, so don't fail to practice at night or in low light. Most confrontations don't require more than 3 shoots so a 19 shot handgun may not be what you want to carry. If you plan to carry it make sure it's not too heavy or bulky or it'll only live at home in the dresser drawer. Train the children that it's not a toy and to either shoot it also OR if they're to young not to touch it without pernission. DON"T trust safeties they are mechanical devices that can and will fail, sometimes with catistrophic results. GOOD LUCK !!
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

  5. #5
    Member RainGull's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    The S.E. of the N.W.
    Posts
    950

    Default

    The first thing to do is head down to the range and spend some time watching and talking. You will find a great many friendly folks willing to talk, teach, and let you get a feel for what you like and don't.

    When I met my wife she had been abused as a child and would rather just take it. She grew up shooting though and sat in on my CCW class but was pretty passive. When kids entered the equation she decided to get her CCW and a handgun and take a little ownership of it. We shopped a long time and she ended up with a Lady Smith 38 special revolver. When she qualified she had to use an auto and her revolver. That was the last she used the Lady Smith. She liked my carry gun much better when all was said and done.

    Theory and practice are different and practice will be refined over time. The only way to get that is experience. The only way to get that is to jump in with a positive attitude.

    Spend some time at the range and you'll make friends and get experience fast. Add in a good women specific defense class and you'll be answering questions for others in the forums before you know it.

    If your budget allows get a cheap or even used 22 revolver like the single six or new single ten and take it with you to the range. It's a great way to develop your fine motor skills and wade into things. re-sell on these firearms is great so you won't be out anything, but in reality you'll keep it and love it, because it is so fun to shoot. Then trade it in when you decide on a carry gun or keep it.
    Science has a rich history of proving itself wrong.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Arizona Baby!
    Posts
    485

    Default

    A six shot revolver chambered for 357 Magnum is a good choice because as a revolver it is simple to use and you can also shoot 38 Special which has much less recoil when shot in a revolver, specifically a revolver with a 4" barrel which is fairly compact but also has some heft to counter act the recoil and the 38 pecial round is not very loud, but it is louder than a .22
    I suggest shooting both the 22 and 38 and then making your decision.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,121

    Default

    The advice previously posted is good and true. One thing I may add is that you should seek professional instruction if possible. Unfortunatley many people are 'taught' by friends who sometimes do not have the best interest in the beginner and may end up scaring them with a larger gun than they should be shooting until having a good grasp on the fundamentals. Not always the case but does happen.

    I start all new shooters with a .22 and then work up as possible. They are fun to shoot and affordable and many are the same weight as larger weapons of similar design so adapting from one to a larger is easy.

    There are good instructors (male and female) locally including some who have women's only classes.

    Shooting is fun so enjoy it and welcome to the community!
    BEE

  8. #8
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,431

    Default

    I've taught hundreds of folks handgun basics. I've never charged for basic classes but I'm not in your area. I would strongly advise you to seek professional instruction for you and your household. Then find a local area/ range where you can shoot. The advice for the 22 caliber is good then look for mid caliber center fire (9mm, 38 special/357).
    There will be many well meaning, helpful shooters at any range unfortunate so many posess bad habits and little in the way of handgun skill set. They would not make for the best of instructors. You should seek good basic instruction, for safety and marksmanship, then some level if advanced skills to enable you to be effective in a defensive situation.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



  9. #9
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tanana Valley AK
    Posts
    7,216

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    I strongly suggest attending an NRA "Women on Target" event or ADFG's "Becoming an Outdoors Woman" class.

    They'll have range instruction, advice, a selection of arms to try out, etc. Well done and every lady I've talked to that attended gave them high marks. My wife and I have been involved with BOW in the Interior for several years.

    As much as folks will give all sorts of internet advice on guns, cartridges, etc....ultimately "hands on" experience will be worth more.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lowrider View Post
    Agree!! I teach NRA pistol and home protection classes for women and always get very positive feedback. Get the safety and handling fundamentals and try out a variety of different guns before you buy anything. I start the ladies with a .22 LR revolver and semi-auto since each have their own advantages and are easy and cheap to shoot which promotes confidence and improves shooting skills. I strongly suggest to NOT move up to a more powerful handgun until you are comfortable with the .22...
    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    I've taught hundreds of folks handgun basics. I've never charged for basic classes but I'm not in your area. I would strongly advise you to seek professional instruction for you and your household. Then find a local area/ range where you can shoot. The advice for the 22 caliber is good then look for mid caliber center fire (9mm, 38 special/357).
    There will be many well meaning, helpful shooters at any range unfortunate so many posess bad habits and little in the way of handgun skill set. They would not make for the best of instructors. You should seek good basic instruction, for safety and marksmanship, then some level if advanced skills to enable you to be effective in a defensive situation.
    + 1 to the above. Best advice you're gonna get I reckon.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

  10. #10
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction AK
    Posts
    4,055

    Default

    Here's some links:

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm...reducation.bow

    http://ttp://www.adfg.alaska.gov/ind...ion.bowclasses

    Don't have any to the NRA events but I'm sure somebody will post them up.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    SwampView AK, Overlooking Mt. Mckinley and Points Beyond.
    Posts
    8,805

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KIS View Post
    Hello. I am interested in owning a small but effective hand gun for people & animal protection (a mother with two daughters), and probably target practice. No interest in shooting animals for sport. Anyway, I know nothing about guns and would be open to any advice. Don't even know where to start. Thanks!
    I think you wanna keep it simple, so I'll keep it simple.

    Choice of cartridge, if you choose a revolver, should be 38 Special.

    (If you end up with a 357, shoot 38s in it. All the time, not just for practice.) (Factory Loads with 125 grain Hollow Point bullets.)

    (You can shoot 38 Special cartridges in a 357 handgun.) (The 357 is a longer cartridge, more powerful because it has a longer case, and is loaded to higher presures.)

    The problem is,,, that most 38 Special, and even 357, revolvers have snub-nose barrels, as in "very short", barrels, which isn't the best idea for pleasant and accurate shooting. (You might hafta look long and hard to find an older model small revolver with a 3" or longer barrel.)

    If you chose an Auto handgun,,,
    Choice of cartridge, 9mm, or at a minimum, 380 ACP, is probably the best choice, but there are more powerful cartridges commonly chambered in Autos, like 40 S&W, and even 45 ACP, if you don't mind the recoil.

    The issues with Auto Pistols is, they are a bit more complex, depending on the type of Automatic action. I think you would want one that is Double Action, for the first shot.

    Don't get a TINY one, and if it is too beeg to conceal, you won't want that, unless of course, you only carry at Home.

    MVS has a Basic Pistol course, that I've taken, and I reccommend it. You will learn all about the different handgun types, and how to use them confidently, and safely. (There were ladies in the class, I was in, so you probably would not be uncomfortable.

    It was a ONE DAY course, on a Saturday, and they still teach it. If you take that course, you WILL "Know where to start".

    The cost is minimal, and all ya gotta do, is find when it's tentatively scheduled, and sign up.

    Owning a firearm for protection is a wise decision for most of us, and I hope you will follow through on it.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    SwampView AK, Overlooking Mt. Mckinley and Points Beyond.
    Posts
    8,805

    Default

    MVS is the Matanuska Valley Sportsman, Range in Palmer Alaska.


    http://www.mvsrange.com/

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Arizona Baby!
    Posts
    485

    Default

    One thing I didn't address is removing the ring of carbon that gets left in the cylinder of a revolver after a session of shooting.
    Since a 38 Special has a case which is a little bit shorter then a 357 Magnum if you put a 357 round in the cyliinder after shooting a hundred or so 38 Special rounds it may be a little harder to push the 357 round in because when the 38 Special round is shot there will be an amount of burt powder that builds up in the cylinder where the 38 Special case ends.
    This "ridge" will make the 357 round fit tighter and can raise the pressure a little bit.
    Just something to be aware of but it is easily corrected by running a brush and some solvent through the cylinder prior to shooting the 357 rounds.
    BTW, it is always a good idea to wear safety glasses and DO NOT cup the cylinder in your weak hand as when the round goes off the escaping gasses between the front of the cylinder and the barrel will give you a serious burn and can cut into your skin.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    505

    Default

    Welcome, and thanks for asking our advice.

    To start with, check out this site

    http://www.corneredcat.com/Contents/

    Owned and written by Kathy Jackson who is a moderator on TheFiringLine.com, it is a wealth of information and applies to men as well as it does to women.

    Good luck

    Lost Sheep

  15. #15
    New member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2

    Default

    I have taken too long to thank all of you for your advice. I haven't taken action yet, but i will look at this thread when I am ready to do so. Again, thank you so much for all your great advice.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •