Welcome to “TheGaGG.com Answers…” series. In this series, we present answers to the questions that we are asked from various media sources. Some of these questions may become longer articles that we will provide a more thorough answer to at a later time.
For those of you who are not aware, we have a presence on Quora.com (https://www.quora.com/profile/Gun-and-Gear-Guy). Quora.com is a public forum where questions are asked and the expertise within the community attempts to answer these questions.
Quora Question#1: I have been around firearms and dealt with them my entire life, but have never owned one, What would be a good first rifle and handgun to purchase?
The handgun recommendation is pretty simple… I recommend that, if you can handle a semi-auto, you start with a 9mm. It is a more universal “hand size” fit, it is easier to handle the recoil and it has a cheaper entry price point for purchasing. With modern loads, the 9mm is a reasonable self-defense option. Generally, I recommend Glocks or S&W M&Ps (Note: only no thumb safety models). They are:
- more reasonable $$
- easy to learn
- better fit for all hand sizes (for smaller hands, use the M&P)
If you do not feel that you have the hand strength to reliably move the slide on a semi-auto, then you will need to consider a revolver. The 38 Spl is an option, albeit a less preferred option.
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My recommendations for rifles will vary greatly… Here is my topical choice list:
7mm-08 – Why? They are easy to shoot, with a truly longer ranger caliber, they have less recoil and they can do anything that a 308 can do. Personally, a lot of other calibers (30–06, 270, etc) exist purely because bullet technology sucked and they are just overkill for the current era for most hunting. I am not hating any of those guns – I have killed a lot of critters with them and I would not hesitate covering a wide range of critter hunting with the 7mm-08. Platform choices: Savage, Winchester and Mossberg have really nice and decent priced lines and Tikka’s are probably the best bang for the buck these days.
For Plinking and Playing…
.22 caliber. The Ruger 10/22 is a good choice, but honestly I have noted their quality has diminished. There are several other choices, but it depends on how much $$ you want to spend.
For Self/Home Defense…
The rifle is not the best choice for a starter. You need to know some tactical shooting before you begin or even think of using a rifle for home/self-defense. Where walls will often stop pistol rounds (or slow them down significantly), taking a shot with a rifle at a criminal breaking in your front door could result in a neighbor that lives across the street ending up dead.
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Note:will be posting a full and complete article on this topic in mid October. Please check back for those…
That said, here is the protocol/process that we recommend and has successfully worked for many shooters:
- Get training.
- Go to a range and shoot 9mm semi-autos.
- If you have the hand strength to function the weapon, stick with semi autos. If you do not, then you will need to consider revolvers.
- Go back to the range and shoot the semi/revolver that you think will work for you. Put at least 200 rounds through it and see how you handle it. Figure out what is not working: grip, muzzle flip…
- Go to a gun show and handle every gun and style of the semi/revolver that you can and see what (if any) feels better for the issues that you discovered in (4).
- Go back to the range and shoot 200 rounds through that gun.
Generally, we recommend a 9mm (semi) or the 38 Spl (revolver) for new gun owners… They are both easy to manage and the ammo is cheaper.
My personal list that I have seen to be the most successful for new gun owners and, also, have versatility:
- Glock 17/19
- S&W M&P Shield or 2.0 (no thumb safety versions)
- Springfield Arms XDS/XDM (heaviest on my list and tends to have less muzzle flip)
We do strongly recommend avoiding:
- Guns with extraneous safeties, such as the thumb safeties (these are not needed in the modern era and they screw up your learning curve).
- Double action for a first gun.
Sorry, but that eliminates many of the guns some of the other responses provided (Ruger, Beretta…).
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More questions and answers just like these can be found on Quora, so click here to read all of them…If you like what you read, please upvote our answers!
Stayed tuned next week for more “Answers” from TheGaGG.com