Best option for a first time buyer/low-mid budget?


Rice8644

New member
Hey everyone...I gave up my prints yesterday and got my permit today. I don't have a pistol yet, but I plan on buying one soon. Any advice on a first time purchase? I have up to $500 to spend. I also have really big hands (6'7" 280). Also, I am brand new to this sight and look forward to some interesting debate/convo!
 

HootmonSccy

New member
Hey everyone...I gave up my prints yesterday and got my permit today. I don't have a pistol yet, but I plan on buying one soon. Any advice on a first time purchase? I have up to $500 to spend. I also have really big hands (6'7" 280). Also, I am brand new to this sight and look forward to some interesting debate/convo!
1st, Welcome to the forum from Tampa Bay, Floriduh...

You have lots of options at the $500 mark..

You did not indicate your present level of experience with handguns, so it's a little hard to give you the answer you are looking for..

If you have little exposure to handguns previously, I would highly recommend finding an NRA instructor in your area that has multiple guns at his disposal.. Your other option is to find a gun range that has several guns to choose from..
Since you have your permit, I will assume you will be looking to carry, so I would suggest a compact gun, it may be a little small for your hands, but will be much better to carry around all the time and easier to conceal..
Then you have to narrow down whether you want a revolver (goes bang every time/less bullet capacity) or a semi-automatic (more complicated/higher bullet capacity)...
Guns are a very individual thing, so being exposed and handling as many as possible (since you are on a limited budget) will help you make a better decision..
Gun shows are another great way to handle a bunch of guns and get an idea of what feels good to YOU..

Take my advice above, narrow your choices down to 2-4 guns, then come back and ask again between the guns selected.. HOWEVER, remember whatever answer you get will be based more on peoples OPINIONS and sometimes on experience.. What they like, may or may not be BEST for you..

Hope it helps!!!
 
W

wolfhunter

Guest
That's good advice.

Check out as many guns as you can wrap your hands around. Figure out what appeals to you, what feels right in your hand, then come back and ask which of a "short list" we'd recommend.

For example, there is nothing wrong with a Glock, but the sight picture and aim-point don't naturally line up for me, so I prefer a double stack 1911. My wife was uncomfortable aiming any revolver I showed her, but liked a Kahr CW-9 and a Tangfolio 9mm.
 

Rice8644

New member
I suppose I did leave out some crucial info. I've been around guns my entire life. My dad carries a Glock 19 which I have fired a multitude of times, and I have fired a Dan Wesson .357, and a full size semi auto .45 (can't remember the make).

So I have an innate familiarity with Glocks, but not much experience with any except the 19. I'll try to plan a trip to the range soon (a little spendy for a college student these days) and provide a narrow list for some more input.

$500 would come just short of breaking the bank, which brings up another topic: Any advise on buying from a pawn shop?
 

HardCorps53

New member
$500 would come just short of breaking the bank, which brings up another topic: Any advise on buying from a pawn shop?

Welcome to the forum.

I would advise agaist pawn shops unless you can determine the quality and know retail prices. Here in Utah, most pawn shops are selling beat up guns for about $50 less than new. That's not a bargain in my book.
 
W

wolfhunter

Guest
If you really want to consider a used handgun, check out a regular gun dealer with a consignment counter, or guns they've taken in trade.

There are quite a few guns in your price range. A coworker recently picked up a full size 1911 for $425
 
Rice, do you want to learn to shoot, or you just want something fun, that makes noise?
Rice are you a marksman? If not, I suggest getting a .22 long barrel revolver.

some 22 wheel guns, have two cylinder's 22lR and 22MAG.
The 22MAG makes a louder pop, and is a better performer. It is also more $$ then 22lr.

Ammunition is cheap compared to any other caliber. A wheel gun will fire all .22lR, not just the better made $$ stuff usually reserved for semi-auto's.
You can buy 200 rounds of 22 for less then 50 rounds of 9mm.
With a 22 You will learn all the ins and outs of the care and feeding of your firearm.
You will get plenty of practice.
Harvesting small game, and taking down varmits is possible with a .22

A long barrel pistol is necessary for practice.

You can get a very nice one, and customize the grips to fit your hand for $500. You may have to go used, but nothing wrong with that.

You will crave more firepower to test your marksmanship with.
You will buy many more pistols to test your marksmanship that was developed with a .22.

You will buy several more firearms in your lifetime.

The bad parts.

It's a .22. It only goes "pop".

It's like riding a moped. Fun, until your firends find out.

A 22 is not a defensive handgun unless in the hands of an expert. However, it is not a toy. It will KILL.
More civilians have been killed by a .22 then all other calibers combined.


The other alternative?

A 38, or 357 4 inch or more wheel gun.

Fire 148g wad cutters for practice.

For $500. you can get a nice used or new.

Remember long barrel.

Some say taurus brand is great. I avoid them.

Ruger will work also.

I say smith and wesson is the best wheel guns there is.

Avoid the ruger, and browning semi-auto's. 22;s You will be sorry when you want to clean one.

IMO, Semi auto center fire pistols, are wrong for beginners.

Avoid the pawn shop circut.
 

joghotrod

New member
For $35.00 you can join GSSF (Glock Sport Shooting Foundation) and when you get your membership card you can buy a new Glock for the same price as a LEO. Somewhere around $425 plus tax. That would blow your $500 but you would have a new Glock of your choice. For more info go to gssf.com or Glock talk forum and look for the GSSF section. Good luck whatever you decide to do.

Jimmy
 

texasnative46

New member
Rice8644,

imVho, as a retired army officer, longtime rangemaster & "life master" MP pistol instructor, may i suggest a fixed sight, 4" barreled REVOLVER, .38special or .357MAG "police trade-in" by Colt, Smith & Wesson or Ruger.

my guess is that you can find a NICE revolver, used but in great shape for about 200-250.oo. - fwiw, i've seen numerous "trade-ins" in gunshows around here recently, for 199.oo + sales tax.
(recently, i bought a REALLY NICE, 4" barrel, S&W model 65 with "duty holster, as a gift for my nephew, for 200.oo out the door - he was DELIGHTED! )

load your revolver with 148 grain hollow-base wadcutters , get yourself PROFESSIONAL LESSONS & practice shooting a LOT.= you may never "outgrow" your revolver, but should you later wish to sell it & get a semi-auto pistol, you will easily recover most/all of your investment!

BEST WISHES.

yours, TN46
 

HootmonSccy

New member
Any advise on buying from a pawn shop?

Here is my thought.. IT may be totally unfounded, but it's my thought.

IF you bought a gun, and it had some real issues.. What would you do with it???
Many people take them to Pawn Shops.. They hope the Pawn guy doesn't know as much as a gun shop and they may get less, but the Pawn Shop is less likely to notice the problem..

Now you walk in to the pawn shop, Oh... Nice gun.. I think I'll buy it..

When you have the same issue with the gun, do you think the pawn shop guy is going to stand behind it??
The Gun shop MIGHT.. (Ask before you buy, and get it in writing!!!)
 

father-of-three

New member
"A 22 is not a defensive handgun unless in the hands of an expert. However, it is not a toy. It will KILL.
More civilians have been killed by a .22 then all other calibers combined."

I believe I heard that the infamous Mr. Brady was shot with a .22.
Though I read that the World War I shot that killed Archduke Ferdinand was a .380.


There's some OK inexpensive guns that are great for target shooting, but like with anything else, you get what you pay for.

If you're looking for a gun to bet you life on, a colleague recently put things in perspective by saying that there's brands that police carry, and there's brands that police don't carry.
In most cases, an extra hundred bucks will get you a better quality gun.
 

Ropadope

eHarmony Reject
First, don't worry about what firearm. Take an NRA basic pistol and safety class.

You can borrow or rent a pistol for most of these classes.

My first pistol was a Mil Spec 1911 many, many years ago, but it wasn't for carrying concealed.

Don't fall into any traps with what firearm is your first. Glock or an XD may not be for you, yet. Are you concerned about having a frame or slide mounted safety ? Develop some experience with a caliber that you may actually carry. When I first started shooting pistols I can honestly say that even 9mm Luger was a bit more than I could safely put into the paper plate on a target, let alone the .45 ACP that was my first handgun.

YMMV


Good luck !
 

Couzin

New member
Rice8644, imVho, as a retired army officer, longtime rangemaster & "life master" MP pistol instructor, may i suggest a fixed sight, 4" barreled REVOLVER, .38special or .357MAG "police trade-in" by Colt, Smith & Wesson or Ruger.

Absolutely 'Ditto'! Your limited budget could then stand to buy a good solid holster (used or new) plus something for extra ammunition (pouches or speed strips (my choice)). I suggest you make it to one of the gun shows in your area (or nearby) so you can handle various weapons and check holsters etc - check this website Link Removed for anything coming up in your area. And, if you have a shooting range that rents guns, take a little of your cash and try out several other handguns. If you are a big person, carrying a large frame handgun should not present a problem. I have progressed over the years from large Colt, to GI 1911, to Glocks, to compact 1911, to Walther, to KelTecs, and finally am most comfortable with a Smith airlite 357 (certainly not for everybody).
 

jtg452

Member
Hey everyone...I gave up my prints yesterday and got my permit today. I don't have a pistol yet, but I plan on buying one soon. Any advice on a first time purchase? I have up to $500 to spend. I also have really big hands (6'7" 280). Also, I am brand new to this sight and look forward to some interesting debate/convo!

Keep your checkbook in your back pocket and find out what gun you can shoot well.

Take your time making the decision because it's a shame to waste money on something you can't shoot well. Forget all the stuff you read, hear or see on TV or the internet. What fits YOUR hand and what YOU can shoot and conceal well is all that matters.

As big as you are, a medium to large gun should be a snap for you to hide if you can find the proper cover garments, so size of the gun isn't a big deal in your case. Try out every gun you can get your grubby little fingers wrapped around, preferably by shooting a few rounds out of it. Going to a gun shop or a show and picking stuff up will narrow the field a little if you pay attention to the details of how it fits your hand but how a gun acts under recoil in YOUR hand is the big deal breaker. What felt good at the counter may feel like crap on the firing line.
 

Ed Hamberger

New member
Hey everyone...I gave up my prints yesterday and got my permit today. I don't have a pistol yet, but I plan on buying one soon. Any advice on a first time purchase? I have up to $500 to spend. I also have really big hands (6'7" 280). Also, I am brand new to this sight and look forward to some interesting debate/convo!

Rice8644; Go to Gun, Handgun, Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, At Cost, Cheap, Firearm Accessories and have a field day for $500! I quarantee you will find something you like. All your going to get from here is what the other guy/girl likes... :pleasantry:
 

texasnative46

New member
Rice8644,

fyi, just this afternoon, my "brother of the heart" (Richard) found & promptly bought:
a 1975 vintage BLUED,
2-inch "snubnose" barrel,
S&W Model 10 revolver in .38SPL,
with a perfectly acceptable/used OTB holster
&
a full box of 125Grain JHPs
for "the princely sum of" 182.oo ( including tax), from a small local gun shop.
(the Model 10 had been carried a LOT by a detective, but shot LITTLE! = i'll have it throughly cleaned, polished & "touched up", looking like new, for less than 10.oo.)

your 500.oo budget would then have plenty of money for targets, cleaning supplies, a pistol case AND still have the money for PROFESSIONAL shooting lessons!

do some looking around at local gun stores and/or gun shows & i predict that you'll find a BARGAIN, in a "perfectly suitable" police department "trade in". =====> any of the revolvers, that i mentioned, will outlast YOU, if taken care of.

BEST WISHES!

yours, TN46
 

xzeler8

9mm Faithful, Glock Lover
Rice8644,

fyi, just this afternoon, my "brother of the heart" (Richard) found & promptly bought:
a 1975 vintage BLUED,
2-inch "snubnose" barrel,
S&W Model 10 revolver in .38SPL,
with a perfectly acceptable/used OTB holster
&
a full box of 125Grain JHPs
for "the princely sum of" 182.oo ( including tax), from a small local gun shop.
(the Model 10 had been carried a LOT by a detective, but shot LITTLE! = i'll have it throughly cleaned, polished & "touched up", looking like new, for less than 10.oo.)

your 500.oo budget would then have plenty of money for targets, cleaning supplies, a pistol case AND still have the money for PROFESSIONAL shooting lessons!

do some looking around at local gun stores and/or gun shows & i predict that you'll find a BARGAIN, in a "perfectly suitable" police department "trade in". =====> any of the revolvers, that i mentioned, will outlast YOU, if taken care of.

BEST WISHES!

yours, TN46

nice find...i wish i would come across a deal like that
 
J

JSDinTexas

Guest
Glock 23 - right size, right caliber, right price, and most of all dependable!
 

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