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    Buying a gun - first time owner

    I want to buy a handgun, but do not know anything about the many choices. Where do I start? Recommendations? I have large hands, does this matter?

    I realize that proper training and practice are essential.

    Thanks.
    Bob
    "Easy Living"
    2007 Discovery 246, 5.0L MPI, CC, B3
    Boating on the Rappahannock River, Virginia

    #2
    Get down to the local gun store explain your situation they can hook you up with a expert gun instructor.

    If your near me, pm me, I'll hook you up.

    And no I don't own any piece of any gun store or range.

    I urge you to get the training first, legal and the actual mechanics of shooting.

    Again get the training first. Won't hurt to get insurance.
    Be good, be happy, for tomorrow is promised to no man !

    1994 2452, 5.0l, Alpha gen. 2 drive. Sold ! Sold ! Sold !

    '86 / 19' Citation cuddy, Merc. 3.0L / 140 hp 86' , stringer drive. Sold ! Sold ! Sold !

    Manalapan N.J

    Comment


      #3
      Bob,

      First step is to define your mission. Home defense, target plinking, self defense open carry, CCW, etc. Will your wife be using the same gun?

      Go to several gun stores and ranges and talk to people. Learn about the differences between the types of handguns, revolvers, semi-automatics, double action, single action, calibers, etc. Most ranges rent all types of guns. Shoot the guns that initially appeal to you and fit your hand. Shooting the weapons will help you determine what caliber and features you prefer and the differences in safeties and how they work. Example; many do not care for the recoil of a 45.

      Inquire about the cost of ammo. 9mm is very common thus fairly inexpensive. Compare that cost with other calibers like .380, 357 and 45. That may influence your decision.

      Learn your State rules as that may very well dictate or limit the choices you have. As an example here in Kommiefornia handguns must be listed on the State roster to be available for purchase by non law enforcement.

      As you begin to narrow your search get on the internet and check the reviews for the guns you are considering. You will be fascinated and perhaps a bit overwhelmed by the amount of info online but it will be valuable to you.
      Jim Gandee
      1989 3888
      Hino 175's
      Fire Escape
      [email protected]
      Alamitos Bay, SoCal

      Comment


        #4
        Read, read, and read some more:

        http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/forum.php
        Simo
        2002 2855 350MPI Bravo III on Lake Champlain -> SOLD!
        Shameless lurking on Lake Keowee with a Harris Cruiser 210 Tritoon/Mercury 150XL EFI

        Comment


          #5
          Go to a local range and try out as many different models as you can. Have one of their instructors spend time with you to learn the fundamentals of safe operation. One of my earliest handgun purchases was a Ruger semi auto in 22 cal. I don't even shoot that gun any more, as it is not adequate for home defense or concealed carry. When I bought it, I thought it would be the only one I needed, your needs will change as will your interests, so spend time now to get some instruction and try lots of different models and calibers.
          1990 2755 - sold
          2005 275 - sold (now boatless)

          Comment


            #6
            Do you plan to travel with your handgun?

            If so, there are many places that you cannot possess certain guns because they hold too many rounds. Guns are much like fishing, you you need a pole for each species and location etc.
            Esteban
            Huntington Beach, California
            2018 Element 16
            Currently looking for 32xx in South Florida
            Former Bayliners: 3218, 2859, 2252, 1952

            Comment


              #7
              "green650" post=828874 wrote:
              Do you plan to travel with your handgun?

              If so, there are many places that you cannot possess certain guns because they hold too many rounds. Guns are much like fishing, you you need a pole for each species and location etc.
              I think VA is an open carry state. You need to check into getting a concealed carry permit if you plan to leave the state with any handgun. And whether or not you can travel to another state is based on state reciprocity laws. Your next door neighbor in Maryland basically won't allow anyone from out of state to carry within Maryland, permit or not. New York is the same way. They don't accept any other state permits. Go through a concealed carry course and get the state permit. It generally makes life last easier when you decide to buy your next handgun. I have a CC permit in SC and basically if I want to buy a handgun within the state, the seller doesn't have to put the transfer through the NICS system. Of course to get the state CC permit, you need to be fingerprinted and go through a background check by the FBI and take the required training course.
              1990 2755 - sold
              2005 275 - sold (now boatless)

              Comment


                #8
                If it feels good in your hand and fits comfortably it is a good choice! Then shoot that make and model!

                I recently took my Wife out to buy a hand gun and get her ccw, she looked at several hand guns and beleave it or not she took my advise and bought the gun that ai told her was the right one for her! And she loves it!

                As said above, get Training! Training ! and more training!

                Don
                1995 Maxum 2400 SCR LUNA DE MIEL
                1988 Bayliner 2455 (sold)
                1976 Tahiti 16.5 I/O (sold)
                10 ft livingston (lost in fire )
                1987 18ft. Seaswirl cuddy (lost in fire)
                "Is it better to be on a boat thinking about God, or be in church thinking about boating?"

                Comment


                  #9
                  Here is a link to a good website when it comes to reciprocity.

                  https://www.usacarry.com/concealed_c...city_maps.html

                  Just click on your state and it will show you which other states you can legally conceal carry in.
                  Rick Grew

                  1981 Carver 3007 Aft Cabin

                  2004 Past Commodore
                  West River Yacht & Cruising Club

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Like everyone said go and try what feels good in your hands and ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable buying what you need. The more questions you ask the more confident you will be with your decision. Personally I like Glock, due to the double stack. Wider grip.
                    79 25' Catalina sail boat.
                    Saving up for a VR6
                    Lake Erie Sandusky area

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Do a web search for, "Selecting first handgun." You will find a lot of good articles with useful information.
                      1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
                      2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
                      Anacortes, WA
                      Isla Verde, PR

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Lots of good advice here. The only two things I would add: 1) Since you are in VA, GET THE CONCEALED CARRY PERMIT. If you don't have one, the difference between legal open carry and a jail sentence is whether the hem of your jacket or shirt covers your holstered pistol (as I understand it).

                        2) if you are considering a weapon for self defense, DON'T GO CHEAP. Go RELIABLE. Some will say revolvers are the only way to go for reliability, others will say only Glock, H&K, Sig, etc. Everyone has their favorites. But assuming that you are ever in the tragic situation of needing to pull out your gun to legally defend yourself, that means that you are in imminent danger of deadly harm. You certainly wouldn't want some Hi-Point or other cheapie to go "click....." It might be the last sound that you ever hear......

                        Of course if you just want a plinking gun or a sport pistol, then the calculus is a bit different (but why go cheap, anyway).....

                        Comment


                          #13
                          "6104696" post=828938 wrote:
                          Lots of good advice here. The only two things I would add: 1) Since you are in VA, GET THE CONCEALED CARRY PERMIT. If you don't have one, the difference between legal open carry and a jail sentence is whether the hem of your jacket or shirt covers your holstered pistol (as I understand it).

                          2) if you are considering a weapon for self defense, DON'T GO CHEAP. Go RELIABLE. Some will say revolvers are the only way to go for reliability, others will say only Glock, H&K, Sig, etc. Everyone has their favorites. But assuming that you are ever in the tragic situation of needing to pull out your gun to legally defend yourself, that means that you are in imminent danger of deadly harm. You certainly wouldn't want your some Hi-Point or other cheapie to go "click....." It might be the last sound that you ever hear......

                          Of course if you just want a plinking gun or a sport pistol, then the calculus is a bit different (but why go cheap, anyway).....
                          In my experience, you will never be satisfied with a cheap gun. You will end up being frustrated with it and not wanting to trust it. Spend the money and get a quality gun the first time. You will not be disappointed. It won't be inexpensive but considered over the years you will own it and be able to rely on it, it will be well worth the investment.
                          1990 2755 - sold
                          2005 275 - sold (now boatless)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            If the handgun is going to be use for personal defense, I recommend that you regularly target practice with it. You can use inexpensive ammo for most of the practices, but make sure that you also do some practice with whatever ammo you decide to regularly carry in the gun. There are two reasons for this: 1- Different ammo will shoot differently in a gun. You want to make sure that you know the point of aim and are comfortable with the recoil of the the carry ammo. 2- Some guns are finicky as far as ammo is concerned. You want to ensure that the gun shoots the carry ammo reliably, with no stoppages. Also, keep in mind that some pistols will need a break-in period of a few hundred rounds before they shoot reliably.

                            If the gun is to be used by more than one person (spouse, for example), make sure the other person is comfortable with it. This includes initial selection, practice, etc. For example, I am very comfortable with both, pistols and revolvers. On the other hand, my wife has a lot of shooting competition experience with revolvers and is not that experienced with pistols. As a result, our home defense handguns, and her personally carry handgun are revolvers. My carry handgun is a pistol.
                            1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
                            2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
                            Anacortes, WA
                            Isla Verde, PR

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Never see this mentioned but if you happen to be left handed, your choices for an automatic may be limited because of safety location.

                              Doug
                              Started boating 1955
                              Number of boats owned 32
                              Bayliners
                              2655
                              2755
                              2850
                              3870 presently owned
                              Favorite boat. Toss up. 46' Chris Craft, 3870 Bayliner

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