Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > Firearms Advice For Beginners

New to firearms

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I have long been interested in survivalism, but with recent events in the economy, the country, the world, and my life, I am seriously making plans to live off grid and become as self-sufficient as possible.

I view gun ownership and efficiency as an important aspect to survival.  However, I was raised in a family who did not believe in guns, so I have very little familiarity.  I have never been hunting, and only shot a shotgun once at my uncles years ago.  So as far as firearms are concerned, I am a complete novice.

What is a good gun to purchase for my first firearm?  Is it best to begin with a handgun or rifle?  Where is a good place to go for proper education on how to use, maintain, and store a firearm properly?

Thanks for any advice!

First you need to decide what you want to be able to do with the firearm.
Will it be used mainly for defense? Two or four legged?
Hunting? large or small game?
Short range or long?
Honestly how much time are you willing to invest in practice?
What's your budget?

Not trying to be mean, but it's kinda like asking which golf club is best...a lot depends on the situation.

Before you buy a potentially lethal weapon GET TRAINING!  Find a friend who is knowledgeable, or go to a local gun club and pay for training.  Many offer various rifle, pistol, and hunting safety courses.

And as a first weapon, a 12 gauge pump action shotgun, such as a Remington 870 or Mossgerg 500/590 series, is hard to beat.  Great for defense and hunting of both large and small game.  So you can take doves and squirrels with birdshot, defend your home with buckshot, and take deers, elk and even up to bears with slugs.

Edit: Also, where do you live?  Local laws will influence availability and choice of firearms.

Thanks so much the response.  I am so new, I don't even know the correct questions to ask.

I guess the main reason for owning a gun is for defense.  Primarily 2 legged (more important), but also four legged (more frequent).

For budget, that isn't the largest concern.  I am not in a rush and if it costs more, I'll just take longer to save up for it.  I guess I'd prefer a lessor expensive one to start with to keep the investment small at first until I really know what I am doing.

I currently live in a suburb of Minneapolis MN, but plan on moving to outstate MN a few hours north of the cities.  Definitely Bear Country, but not the largest concern.  Would be nice to shoot a pest gopher or rabbit eating at my garden.

Long term, I envision owning several guns of different types.  But now, I am really looking for a place to start.  Is it best to learn the basics of safety and proper handling of a firearm with a handgun or a rifle?  Or does it really not matter?  Where is a good place to get Proper Training when I don't know anyone personally who can teach me?  Are there any particular models are at good for novices because of their ease in maintenance or other factors?

I'll stick with the pump 12 gauge then.  Takes MAYBE 2 minutes to take down, another 3 to clean, an another 2 to oil and assemble.  It is about as reliable as weapons get.  With rifled slugs (or sabot slugs in a rifled barrel) it is a great bear gun, and is good for deer and elk too.  With the right size shot, it'll take any critter you run across.  And with buckshot it is the premier manstopper.  Police and the military have used pump actions for  long time due to their reliability and second to none power at short to medium ranges.  Good to start with.

For training, look for a local gun club.  I have a friend in the Minneapolis area, I'll ask him for some recommendations.  Most offer some level or training.


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