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

New to firearms

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If portability and concealability is a concern you would want to go with a revolver or semi auto pistol. The revolver is easier to learn for a beginner. Semi autos offer extra capacity(usually) faster reloads and a slimmer design that would help with concealment, but take more practice because of the extra variables associated with them.

If extra range and power are a bigger concern a long arm(rifle or shotgun) is the way to go.

A shotgun definately offers the most versatility as pistolwhipped has mentioned, with a 12 ga. pump being the standard for which all others are judged. The 12 ga. may be a little intimidating for a new shooter though, depending on the type of shells you use. Shotguns can cover ranges from point blank out to about 125+/- yards.

Rifles are usually for the intermediate to long range or when extreme power is needed at close range. Depending on the setup rifles can be effective past 1500 yards.

For me I started shooting with a .22 rifle as I would bet the majority of shooters did.

Jack did a show on the advantages of the .22 and there is a good thread about them by some knucklehead. ;D

My best advice is to find a local gun range or other shooting club in your area and make a friend or two.
Most folks would let you try their guns to see if you like them if you explain that you are new to guns and are looking to get into them. Even folks who have been shooting all their lives will disagree on what is best. All that matters is what is best FOR YOU, nothing else matters, if it's right for you, it's right.

Goober Pyle:
A .22 rifle.

Directly from my friend near Minneapolis.

--- Quote ---Bill's Gun Store and Range - - two locations in the area.

They have the Minnesota CCW course and some other safety courses as well.

They also have range rentals for handguns. The staff at Bill's is really helpful, even if they can be expensive at times. He may or may not want to buy from them, but they'll be more than willing to help him learn guns, even if he's not buying the same day he's learning.

If he's looking at just basic firearm safety like for hunting (which can be applied elsewhere), I could look up where some of the Minnesota DNR firearm safety classes are held - they're more of the hunting/firearm safety survival courses, which has some useful things and a lot that isn't needed if you're already used to the outdoors.

--- End quote ---

There is a list of classes on the left side of that site.  As I hear, they are good guys.  They should be able to point you in the right direction.

IMO there are 3 guns you should try to acquire as soon as possible. Opinions will vary greatly as to the order, but I think all three are important. My personal preferences in order would probably be:

1. A centerfire handgun (probably a 9mm Glock, or a S&W .357 revolver- whichever you feel more comfortable with)

2. A pump shotgun (either a Remington 870 or Mossberg in either a 12 or 20 gauge)

3. A 22 semi auto (a Ruger 10/22- first choice by far, maybe a Marlin 60 as a second choice)

Prices would be around:

1. $500 for the Glock
2. $250 for the 870     (a little cheaper for the Mossberg)
3. $200 for the 10/22  ( a little cheaper for the Marlin )

Total -$950 for an excellent basic battery

The next step would be to add a good centerfire rifle, but then you really have to think about what you want/need the gun(s) for. The first three I listed are very general purpose.

A great article about a basic battery:

Thank you all for your feedback.  It is great to hear everyone's opinion on a good starter gun.

I will definitely be checking out Bill's Gun Store and Range in my local area.


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