Looking for 1st Gun
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Thread: Looking for 1st Gun

  1. Looking for 1st Gun

    Hi,
    I am considering my first gun purchase.
    I've gone to the range and tested a few guns out.
    The gun I am most comfortable with is a 22 for different reasons; one being strength.
    I have been looking at a 22 mag revolver.
    I've also found that the ammo is difficult to purchase.
    I want to know if anyone has any recommendations or feedback.
    Thanks

  2.   
  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    TN
    Posts
    4,253
    Hi, welcome to the forum.

    Buying your first gun tends to be an overwhelming and complicated decision as you do not have the experience yet to make a well-informed decision. That's why relying on expert advice, such as from defensive firearms instructors that train hundreds of students a year, is quite important. You have already done the right thing by going to a range and testing a few guns out. Your decision on a .22 Magnum revolver is certainly based on your current level of experience and hopefully also based on some expert advice.

    There are two schools of thought: 1) any gun is better than no gun, and 2) you need to get the right tool for the job. The "any gun is better than no gun" argument is more concerned with the fact that most confrontations using a firearm in self defense involve zero shots fired. Therefore, any caliber handgun is good enough. The "you need to get the right tool for the job" argument centers on the efficiency of the handgun and its caliber when you actually need to fire the gun in self defense. Therefore, service-caliber semi-automatic handguns (9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP) are preferred. There is also the grey zone in-between both arguments that tries to balance the shooters skill with a firearms properties.

    So, why am I talking about this in this long post? I personally only recommend a .22 Magnum revolver as a last resort. .22 Magnum is a rather anemic caliber when it comes to stopping power, i.e., the ability to stop a threat quickly by creating damage and blood loss. Most attackers simply run away when you point the firearm at them or when you fire a single shot. For those instances, a .22 Magnum revolver is fine. However, in those rare instances where the attacker continues, because he is determined, out of his mind, on drugs, or simply doesn't realize yet that he has been shot, a .22 Magnum revolver is not the right tool for the job. Note that a .22 Magnum revolver can eventually stop the threat, if you have the time. A 9mm or .45 ACP semi-auto handgun will simply stop it faster.

    Now, if you simply can not handle a service-caliber semi-automatic handgun, such as due to a disability, then the .22 Magnum revolver is certainly better. However, I have seen my fair share of new shooters of any age that come to the range and simply lack in skills, and therefore chose the wrong firearm. A good training class, which doesn't even have to be long if there is enough one-on-one time with an instructor, fixes that. After such a class, most new shooters chose a service-caliber semi-automatic handgun, as they now know how to handle it. Note that my comment is not only directed toward you based on the limited information you posted, but also for other forum members and newbies that happen to read this thread.

    .22 Magnum JHP ammunition seems to be difficult to come by in big box stores as it is not a commonly used self defense caliber. Try buying online if you live in a free state that does not prohibit you from doing that. Look for hollow point ammunition at 22 magnum ammo rimfire. As for a .22 Magnum revolver, look at the Ruger LCR (good trigger and snag-free due to internal hammer, but only 6-round capacity in .22 Magnum though) or S&W Model 351 C (snag-free due to internal hammer and 7-round capacity in .22 Magnum, but slightly worse trigger).

    Read The Cornered Cat.

  4. #3
    A .22 is not much good for personal protection. Little stopping power. And, you need to stop an attacker or they will keep on coming, don't you know?

  5. #4
    Go take a begining shooters class where they will let you use their guns. You can shoot a couple of different guns and learn what you like there.
    "Lets Be Careful Out There!"

    Ron

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Sin City....Las Vegas
    Posts
    19
    My opinion(for what it's worth)..... I HATE .22s Im a Critical Care RN...worked many years in Trauma ICU....those .22 cal bullets bounce around inside the body. A trauma surgeon's nightmare.
    I have fat pudgy hands. Bought a Ruger LC9S...carried it for a while...then I fell in love with the G43. The LC9S is sorta like the red headed step child...I take it to practice but always carry the G43 now.

  7. Thanks for the feedback. The forum has a lot of great information.

  8. Are you looking to own a gun to keep at home, or to carry? Because that makes a difference.

    You'll hear a lot that a .22 is worthless, and that you need to get something heavier duty if you want to make an impact, but you really can't go much bigger than a .22 for carrying and then actually, well, carry. I carry a .22, and even it weighs down my purse quite a lot. It is true that a .22 won't be the same deterrent as a larger caliber, but you have to pick something you can use. The first gun I shot was a .40. It was SO comfortable, it felt like it was made for my hand. But I never once mastered shooting it without it flying backward from my careful grip. And I'm not dainty.

    I would recommend going to a Gun Show, if one is nearby, just to handle different guns. Whatever you choose should be something you're comfortable with.

    I carry a Ruger SR22, and I love love love it. I bought it mostly because it just fit my hand so well, and was extremely comfortable for me to hold. As for carrying, not only is it fairly small and compact, but it is soooo easy and accurate to shoot. In shooting other guns of various calibers before this one, I definitely always felt like I needed a lot more practice to get comfortable with them. With my Ruger, I was hitting the bullseye in the first magazine. Love it. Even men at the gun range were coming over and complimenting the choice and saying it was a great piece. Lastly, the magazine holds plenty of rounds, so in an emergency situation, or some drugged out crazy coming straight at you who won't go down, you're less likely to run out before it's done any good.

    One other thing is just an idea I have. I haven't tried it, so I can't recommend it, but it might be worth looking into. If you're looking for larger caliber for higher impact, but don't want to carry a huge, heavy gun around, you might look into a Bond Arms Derringer. They are pretty tiny, and only 2 shot, but my understanding is that you can swap out the gauge to hold bullets of different sizes. 2 shots with a .45 might be more effective than 12 shots with a .22. But, again, I haven't used one and can't speak for them.

    Good luck!

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    TN
    Posts
    4,253
    Quote Originally Posted by CoveringBases View Post
    Are you looking to own a gun to keep at home, or to carry? Because that makes a difference.

    You'll hear a lot that a .22 is worthless, and that you need to get something heavier duty if you want to make an impact, but you really can't go much bigger than a .22 for carrying and then actually, well, carry. I carry a .22, and even it weighs down my purse quite a lot. It is true that a .22 won't be the same deterrent as a larger caliber, but you have to pick something you can use. The first gun I shot was a .40. It was SO comfortable, it felt like it was made for my hand. But I never once mastered shooting it without it flying backward from my careful grip. And I'm not dainty.

    I would recommend going to a Gun Show, if one is nearby, just to handle different guns. Whatever you choose should be something you're comfortable with.

    I carry a Ruger SR22, and I love love love it. I bought it mostly because it just fit my hand so well, and was extremely comfortable for me to hold. As for carrying, not only is it fairly small and compact, but it is soooo easy and accurate to shoot. In shooting other guns of various calibers before this one, I definitely always felt like I needed a lot more practice to get comfortable with them. With my Ruger, I was hitting the bullseye in the first magazine. Love it. Even men at the gun range were coming over and complimenting the choice and saying it was a great piece. Lastly, the magazine holds plenty of rounds, so in an emergency situation, or some drugged out crazy coming straight at you who won't go down, you're less likely to run out before it's done any good.

    One other thing is just an idea I have. I haven't tried it, so I can't recommend it, but it might be worth looking into. If you're looking for larger caliber for higher impact, but don't want to carry a huge, heavy gun around, you might look into a Bond Arms Derringer. They are pretty tiny, and only 2 shot, but my understanding is that you can swap out the gauge to hold bullets of different sizes. 2 shots with a .45 might be more effective than 12 shots with a .22. But, again, I haven't used one and can't speak for them.

    Good luck!
    Welcome to the forum. A few comments.

    I assume you meant "but if you really can't go much bigger than a .22". There are a number of medical reasons why a low-recoiling handgun would be a good option.

    The caliber itself is really not the deterrent. Nobody will look at a firearm that is pointed at them and start laughing because it is an inefficient caliber. Caliber comes into play when you actually are forced to shoot an attacker. The more damage each single shot causes, the faster the threat is stopped.

    I have the Ruger SR22 myself and use it to introduce people to handguns. The slide is easy to rack, it has a manual safety, and it has very low recoil. These are all excellent handgun properties to train a new shooter.

    For self defense, however, I would recommend a .22 Magnum revolver. One issue with .22 LR rounds is that it is a rimfire cartridge, thus prone to misfires. On a semi-automatic handgun, misfires fail to cycle the slide and manual slide operation is required to get the handgun back into action. With a revolver, you just pull the trigger again.

    The .40 S&W cartridge is well-known to be snappy and nothing really for new shooters. I train new shooters to have the right grip with the Ruger SR22 and then move on to the 9mm Glock 19. Proper grip is everything when it comes to recoil management.

    The gun show recommendation is certainly interesting. It is a good way to see a lot of different handguns and check how they feel in your hand.

    I say NO to the Bond Arms Derringer for new shooters. The recoil is hefty, the sort barrel makes the cartridge less efficient and the gun is tiny. Small guns are nice if you don't have to use them. However, when you need a gun for self defense, you want something that you can handle easily, no fiddling around required (such as cocking a tiny hammer).

    I am not a fan of purse carry. There are inherent risks to off-body carry, such as the firearm gets stolen when your purse gets stolen. Letting your purse go when someone tries to steal it from is a better option than getting stabbed while holding on to the purse and trying to find the handgun. The purse should at least have its own easy-to-reach zipper compartment for the handgun. NEVER lose control of your purse, EVER. It has to be ON YOU AT ALL TIMES.

    Anyway, this is just food for thought.

  10. #9
    Bikenut Guest
    There is lots of info out there about what caliber is best for stopping an attacker but most of that info is based in the assumption that the shooter won't miss yet any bullets that miss, or miss important parts, because of recoil are simply ineffective regardless of the size of the bullet.

    Get the gun in the caliber that you can shoot most accurately. Doesn't matter what the caliber is... what matters is what you personally can shoot the most accurately so you don't miss and your shots hit important parts. Period.

  11. Thanks for the welcome.

    I actually meant the sentence as written. What I was saying was if she went much bigger than a .22, she wouldn't be able to realistically carry it, so she can't go much bigger than a .22 and still be able to carry. (you really can't go much bigger than a .22 for carrying and then actually, well, carry.)

    She is looking for her first gun, so the fact that you use the RugerSR22 for introducing people to guns should mean it could be a good choice for her. It's a good beginner piece. I'm not sure, then, why I feel like you're disagreeing with me.

    I'm confused. 11 days ago, you said "I personally only recommend a .22 Magnum revolver as a last resort," but now you're saying that's what you recommend over the Ruger?

    I knew there was something about the Bond I had heard that was negative, but I just couldn't recall what it was last night when I wrote that. Yes, I have heard they are painful to shoot - so much so that you might not even get the second shot off.

    I don't love carrying in my purse, and I definitely always have that fear that if someone tries to steal my purse, what I c/would do. Luckily, my purse is enormous and heavy, so that alone might startle the would-be thief! And no, my gun isn't in that convenient and easy of a place to reach it, but neither would it be easily found by someone who grabbed my purse and ran, dug out the wallet, and then tossed it aside. Unless they tore the purse apart, they may never actually even find the gun. I have it well-hidden. I don't carry it for the immediate threat so much as I carry it for the possibility of being in the vicinity of a mass shooter. Also, I live in a super liberal state where practically every place is "gun free," and people immediately think you're a criminal if they realize you have a gun. No one ever knows I'm carrying, so the only time I have to leave my gun at home is if I'm going to be going into a building like a courthouse or police station. I even had my purse searched as I was entering a concert, and it was handed back to me and I was waved in without issue.

    I would LOVE to carry on my body, I just haven't yet figured out a way to do it. I'm EXTREMELY hot-blooded, and I wear tank-tops year round. I can't imagine being able to easily conceal something on my body without changing how I dress, and I just can't. That said, I am presently looking into a career where carrying on my person would make a lot of sense, so I'm looking into ideas. I'm certainly open to hearing them.

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