buying a gun for the first time EVER
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Thread: buying a gun for the first time EVER

  1. buying a gun for the first time EVER

    My husband want to buy a Ruger 357 revolver. I know nothing about guns and I have never shot one before. Would this be a hard gun for someone like me to shoot? What kinds of things do I need to know about? What would be the best gun to start with?

    Any help would be great.

    Thank you

  2.   
  3. #2
    handgonnetoter Guest
    That depends on what type of revolver he buys. You may find the recoil a bit much, depending on your size and hand strength, but with practice you would probably be able to handle it. Remember, you will be able to shoot .38 Special loads in that .357 revolver too. You might find those much more pleasent to shoot, and they still have the power to defend yourself with.

  4. Ideally you will want several pistols. Different pistols for different uses. But money doesn't grow on trees.

    I've always thought that everyone would be better off getting a .22LR or a .22 Magnum revolver for a 1st Pistol. They're cheap to shoot. You can afford to shoot all day, every day, as often as you want.

    Plus no matter how many pistols you buy in the future you'll always be able to shoot tin cans with the .22.

    I recommend a short barrel. That way at some point in the future you can use it for backup carry.

    If you want a self defense or carry pistol; a .357 Magnum is a great choice because of the wide variety of ammunition available. If the magnum loads are too uncomfortable; there are still a large choice of .38 Special. And .38 Special +P ammunition in different bullet weights available.

    But for a first pistol you'll never afford to shoot the .357 enough to both have fun and be comfortable and confident enough to carry it or defend your life with it.

    I don't really think a .22 is suitable for self defense. It's just not powerful enough.

    But:

    If I were only permitted one pistol: I'd rather have a .22 magnum I knew I could handle and afford to practice with than a .357 magnum I was afraid of.

    I've purchased about a dozen pistols over the last 30 years. I carry a .45 or a .357. But my .22s are the ones I shoot most because of the expense. Ammunition just isn't cheap anymore.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by lanna View Post
    My husband want to buy a Ruger 357 revolver. I know nothing about guns and I have never shot one before. Would this be a hard gun for someone like me to shoot? What kinds of things do I need to know about? What would be the best gun to start with?

    Any help would be great.

    Thank you
    A .357 isn't a horrible choice, you can practice w/ .38s (as mentioned previously) and load .357s for defense.

    Who is the psitol for if it's for you husband and he wants a .357 fine , if it's for you then you need to be involved in the purchase. You need to handle and fire several guns and find what fits you.

    As for the .22 it beats having no gun at all and a hell of a lot of people have been killed by that round that "just isn't powerful enough for defense"
    See, it's mumbo jumbo like that and skinny little lizards like you thinking they the last dragon that gives Kung Fu a bad name.
    http://www.gunrightsmedia.com/ Internet forum dedicated to second amendment

  6. #5

    From a Womans Perspective

    Everyone that has posted has very valid points to consider. In addition to those, you should consider a few other things.

    Picking a gun, especially your first, should be something you do personally. Letting someone else pick out your gun for you is like letting him pick your dress and shoes to for an important event without knowing what colors they are or if they fit ( I know it's a really girly analogy and I may get a lot of flack for that but anyway...).

    First, you've never fired a gun? There are so many different stlyes out there, you really want to have a personal feel for what you may like. You should really try out some different kinds before you commit to one. You should know how it feels in your hand (grip size and texture vary tremendously and will affect your shooting) and how you feel about it when you fire it. Many (not all) women like to start small, with a .22, and work their way up. A 357 can be pretty powerfull for a first time shooter. Then again you may love it, but you'll never know until you try it first. Also, a revolver operates very different from a semi-automatic and you should at least be familiar with both before you decide.

    What do you want it for? Are you going to carry it for personal defense (conceal carry), home defense, just want to have some fun plinking or at the range, or a combination? If you're going to carry it on you then you have to consider the size, comfort, and concealability which is also very personal (your size, stregnth, and personal habits come into play). As another poster stated, ammo is expensive. The higher the caliber the more money you're spending. If you're going to shoot on a regular basis then you need to make sure you consider the cost of ammo in your budget. Even if you're only carrying it for personal defense, you're going to need some practice with it so that you are familiar with your firearm and can get take an accurate shot.

    Picking the wrong gun can turn you off completely to the idea of shooting. If you plan on shooting it regularly then you should have one that you love. Treat it like picking a dress for a big event. Try it on, make sure it fits and is functional for the event. Then if you love it, commit to the purchase.

    Good luck to you and happy shooting!

  7. #6
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    You should do OK with it. My wife's first handgun was a Ruger SP101 .357. She started out with .38 Special "Target & Range" cartridges from Wally World for about $32 per hundred. (I think they are lower power) ~ s She's now up to Federal .38 Special + P Low Recoil Self Defense cartridges and says her hand just begins to sting after shooting a cylinder's worth of shells. She's getting very good with it, both single and double action and is happy with it.

    Her second purchase was a Ruger Mark III Stainless Standard .22 LR model and two boxes of Remington Bulk Packs of shells (550 cartridges per box) at about $18 per box. MUCH CHEAPER to practice with and improve your weapon handling.

    BTW, Welcome to the forum! You'll like it here.

    "A free people should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from anyone, including their own government. ~ G. Washington

  8. #7
    handgonnetoter Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by ImAShootingDiva View Post
    Everyone that has posted has very valid points to consider. In addition to those, you should consider a few other things.

    Picking a gun, especially your first, should be something you do personally. Letting someone else pick out your gun for you is like letting him pick your dress and shoes to for an important event without knowing what colors they are or if they fit ( I know it's a really girly analogy and I may get a lot of flack for that but anyway...).

    First, you've never fired a gun? There are so many different stlyes out there, you really want to have a personal feel for what you may like. You should really try out some different kinds before you commit to one. You should know how it feels in your hand (grip size and texture vary tremendously and will affect your shooting) and how you feel about it when you fire it. Many (not all) women like to start small, with a .22, and work their way up. A 357 can be pretty powerfull for a first time shooter. Then again you may love it, but you'll never know until you try it first. Also, a revolver operates very different from a semi-automatic and you should at least be familiar with both before you decide.

    What do you want it for? Are you going to carry it for personal defense (conceal carry), home defense, just want to have some fun plinking or at the range, or a combination? If you're going to carry it on you then you have to consider the size, comfort, and concealability which is also very personal (your size, stregnth, and personal habits come into play). As another poster stated, ammo is expensive. The higher the caliber the more money you're spending. If you're going to shoot on a regular basis then you need to make sure you consider the cost of ammo in your budget. Even if you're only carrying it for personal defense, you're going to need some practice with it so that you are familiar with your firearm and can get take an accurate shot.

    Picking the wrong gun can turn you off completely to the idea of shooting. If you plan on shooting it regularly then you should have one that you love. Treat it like picking a dress for a big event. Try it on, make sure it fits and is functional for the event. Then if you love it, commit to the purchase.

    Good luck to you and happy shooting!
    +1 on this post and all of the above. Shooting should be fun, not brutal. Clint Smith says a gun should be comforting, not comfortable. I think he was talking more about the carry, not so much the shooting aspect. You have to be able to put the bullets on target efficiently, or your wasting time and endangering others. Like said above, if you are happy and love to shoot the handgun you bought, you will carry it and generally shoot it well. JMHO.

  9. #8
    Happened to come accross this article on choosong a handgun, thought it would be helpful as well:

    Guest Post: How to Choose a Handgun | Girl's Guide to Guns

  10. Buying a gun is a very personal thing. It has many similarities to buying any sort of high performance sporting gear. There is a reason there are hundreds of types, weights, and lengths of golf clubs, tennis rackets and baseball/softball bats. What is ideal for one person may not work for another.

    Or consider the simple bicycle, there are bikes for everyone from small children to adults and for every purpose from riding around the neighborhood to high performance racing.

    Similarly the handgun comes in many shapes sizes and calibers. The only way to really find out what is right for you is to try out a few. My wife thoroughly enjoys shooting. She is of a small frame, is left handed and has long fingers. She puts 200 rounds downragne about every 2 months or so for practice and carries regularly.

    When she started learning to shoot she learned the fundamentals on a .22 high standard target pistol, then tried a variety of pistols until she found one she liked and felt comfortable shooting. The 4-5" .357 Magnum with .38 special rounds was one of her favorites to shoot. She also liked the .380 and 9mm. She HATED the .40S&W but really fell in love with my grandfather's 1911A1 in .45ACP. (Her carry piece is a single stack LDA)

    The point is that you really must first learn the fundamentals on a pistol you are comfortable with. Then try as many as possible until you find something that is right for you. If your husband has settled on the .357 Magnum that can be an excellent choice but it will take your going out and practicing with it to know if you will feel comfortable with firing it.

    A word about practice ammunition, the army has an addage: "train as you fight". If you are going to fire .357 for defense I recommend using .357 for practice as the "feel" and performance of the pistol using .38 special is quite different. That difference and unexpected change in performance in a threatning situation may cause difficulties in an already tense and stressful situation.

  11. Quote Originally Posted by lanna View Post
    My husband want to buy a Ruger 357 revolver. I know nothing about guns and I have never shot one before. Would this be a hard gun for someone like me to shoot? What kinds of things do I need to know about? What would be the best gun to start with?

    Any help would be great.

    Thank you
    It could be a very good choice but that depends on YOU and your husband.

    You've found the most versatile type of gun on the market-the medium size double action revolver chambered in .357 magnum. Every manufacturer that makes revolvers has made one over the last 100 or so tears for a reason.

    It's big enough to shoot comfortably (it's weight will help tame any recoil it has) without being too heavy to hold up and shoot.

    The grip frame is small enough that, with the proper stocks, a wide variety of hand sizes can shoot it comfortably.

    It is chambered in a medium bore size (.357" is about the middle of the common range) that is known for being accurate. The .38 Special reigned supreme in target competitions for decades. As a beginning shooter, you need accuracy to see what you are doing right and to help you figure out what you are doing wrong. The .357 Magnum has a similar reputation but has a longer range.

    Feeding it is about as cheap as you can get. The gun is a big one time investment. Shooting it is where you can get nickel and dime'd to death. Since the ammunition is cheap and widely available, you can afford to shoot more than it would be possible with some other cartridges. The more you shoot, the better you will get.

    It can safely shoot a VERY wide range of ammunition that is loaded as light or has heavy as you want or need. For example, a .38 special target load (light bullet, low velocity) will give you a light recoil while still being accurate. On the other hand, if you need it, you can load a full power .357 Magnum round in the same gun that is more than capable of being used in self defense or even hunting big game if it is necessary or so desired.

    Physically, the grip size could be an issue if either of you have small hands. If a gun's grip are too big, it is harder to hold onto and control. The good news is that you are talking about a long established, very popular gun made by a VERY reputable company. There are a wide variety of stocks and other accessories that are readily available.

    Here's a bit of advice, it's easier to shoot a gun that has a grip that's a bit too small than it is to shoot a gun with a grip that's too big. If you have smaller hands, find a grip that will fit YOU. If your husband's hands are bigger, he can more easily adapt to the smaller grip than you could to a bigger one. I learned this the hard way with my first .357. It came with a set of oversized target grips that were too big for my hand (they were big enough for a pro basketball player's hand big). Once I put a different set on it, I found that I could shoot it VERY well and it quickly became one of my favorite range guns.

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