First handgun - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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First handgun

Allright...maybe I have beat this one a little much, but here goes again...

I have been stewing over the idea of getting a pistol for some time now and have decided that there's no time like now to get one. I have kinda come up with the following criteria (correct me if I'm wrong or off base): If I am going to buy a revolver, it needs to be large enough to hunt with, and if I am buying a semi-auto it needs to be cheap eanough to shoot, and small enough to carry well.

My problem is that I am torn between which way to go, and espcially what gun to buy. Would it be better to learn to shoot with a semi-auto, in a cheaper round, or go right to the revolver?

Any suggestions on a decent gun either way that won't break the bank (I'm thinking like $400 max)?

I appreciate all your help guys!!

Micah
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 02:21 PM
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Re: First handgun

I would start with a .22 revolver to see how a handgun and you get along. After that you could move to a .357 and shoot .38's out of it or go to a 9mm if you want a semi.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 04:50 PM
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Re: First handgun

Each person has different reasons for owning a handgun/s. For me; I hunt,fish, and I used to trap; a .22 handgun was great for cheap practice and use on the trapline. I like to have a 6" .357 revolver around as well (S&W 686/586 would be great). It handles low recoil .38's and .357 mags work well on short range deer if you can hit well. It would do well as a protection weapon as well but would prefer something smaller for concealed carry if that's what you need.

I personally never cared for the semi auto type weapon but I own mine for hunting reasons not protection. For home protection I think a shotgun is prefered.

Centerfire handguns eat ammo quick and they get expensive. I don't use mine much anymore but don't want to part with them either.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 05:07 PM
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Re: First handgun

REVOLVER for HUNTING

Semi 22 Ruger Mark Series for cheap plinkin ($10 for a 550 ct brick of ammo = .02 a shot).

IMO - there is no "one gun" to fit both.

To stay near your budget (or not too far above) Try looking around for used S&W revolvers & Rugers - they are bombproof and a used one of each will outlive you...
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: First handgun

Thanks for all the input gentleman! Keep it coming as well...the more the merrier.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 08:57 PM
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Re: First handgun

I'm gonna say .357 as well, just looking into factory loads for .38/.357, you have 100's of choices. If you want to reload later down the line, you've opened the load choices into the 1000's. I have a .22, .380, .40, and a .357, and the .357 gets the most use(for me), just tinkering with different loads, and practicing to use it hunting.

If you do get a revolver, get a good one, I ended up with a SS Ruger GP100 with a 6" barrel. Absolutly fun to shoot all day with light .38 or heavy .357 loads. For me, I can burn through semi-auto ammo quickly, but with a revolver, I tend to take my time and make each shot the best I can, so in the long run its cheaper for me to feed the revolver.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-02-2012, 10:54 PM
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Re: First handgun

Most guys serious about handgun hunting for big game step up to the powerhouse rounds and long barrels, like the 460 S&W, 454 Casull etc. The 44 mag is at the low end and the 357 is marginal. This is the opposite of what you would want for a carry gun. Now if you're just looking for a sidearm while hunting, that's a different animal. A 357 would serve, I favor the 44 mag, and you can shoot the 44 specials for a milder round. I believe you can carry a semi if you have a LTCF but not hunt with one. For a first one I'd say revolver, they're simple, reliable, and I would want a 3-4 inch barrel which would make it easier to carry for self-defense should you choose to. If deer are on the menu then the smallest I'd consider would be 357 and shoot 38s to practice. If we're just talking a small game gun then 22 is the way to go and I think I would go 22 mag even though it would be more expensive to shoot. JMO
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-03-2012, 01:16 AM
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Re: First handgun

There are hunting guns, and there are carry guns, it"s hard to cover all the bases. The 44 mag is a good place to start, it can be loaded mild to hot and there"s the 44 special,for a carry gun a snub nosed 38 is fine.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-03-2012, 01:31 AM
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Re: First handgun

For all around to what your criteria is, I'd have to agree with the Revolver .357 either a S&W or a Ruger. Lots of choices for ammo .38 special 38+P .357 mag.

Unless you are planning on getting into gun battles with bodies piled up around you a 6 shooter will be plenty of firepower, plus they have these handy inventions called speed loaders LOL!!!

Revolvers are simple reliable and (no offense) idiot proof ... point and pull trigger.

As for hunting you'd want a 6+inch barrel, and for CC no longer than 4 inch. You'll have to decide which one will take precedence. Maybe you could compromise with a 5 inch barrel???


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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-03-2012, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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Re: First handgun

The more I think about it and take in everyone's advice I am thinking of going the hunting route and getting a revolver. For me, they seem like a much simple route and a better way to start out learning the ropes.I am leaning towards the .357, but the .44 mag isn't out either. The .22 or .22 mag also echos off in the distant recesses of my mind...
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