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Thread: New to OC.org First Handgun Suggestions?

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    New to OC.org First Handgun Suggestions?

    Hey everyone!

    I know you probably get lots of posts from newbies like me looking for their first handgun however I find myself in a tight situation. I'm 20 years old and I'm looking for a potential handgun to buy (or get my dad to buy). I'll just list the requirements I'm looking for.

    1) Ambidextrous. I'm a left handed shooter.

    2) Uses inexpensive ammunition. I enjoy the fire power of a .45 but I'm not made of money and I would be fine even with a 9mm.

    3) Use for open carry.

    3) Hammer or striker? I don't know anything about the difference between these two mechanisms. I assume an exposed hammer would be more robust. Maybe someone could help me with that.

    4) Full length grip. I don't understand those short grip handguns especially when they just add a grip extension to the magazines.

    5) Under $500 if possible. I know that might sound cheap but lower caliber firearms tend to cost less.

    One handgun I liked when I first saw it was the Ruger P95, the only downside was it isn't ambidextrous.

    Thank you so much for your help!

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Don't let being completely "ambidextrous" make or break a deal.

    A Ruger P95 is ambidextrous for the both the magazine release and the safety. The slide release being ambidextrous is quite rare, actually, and not needed to manipulate under pressure.

    The Ruger is an exceptional value, and its size is just fine for OC. I don't think you can go wrong with this choice if it is on your list.

    You can also find used Beretta M92's, M96's, S&W 5906's, etc for around $350, not much more than a Ruger P95. A Sig P6 (P225) can be gotten for less than $400.

    Where in AZ are you? We might be able to recommend a good shop where you can check out some good deals. J&G Sales in Prescott will have some surplus stuff for decent deals.
    Last edited by MAC702; 10-06-2012 at 03:11 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC702 View Post
    Don't let ambidextrous make or break a deal.

    However, a Ruger P95 is ambidextrous for the both the magazine release and the safety. The slide release being ambidextrous is quite rare, actually, and extremely rare to need to manipulate under pressure.

    The Ruger is an exceptional value, and its size is just fine for OC. I don't think you can go wrong with this choice if it is on your list.

    You can also find used Beretta M92's, M96's, S&W 5906's, etc for around $350, not much more than a Ruger P95. A Sig P6 (P225) can be gotten for less than $400.

    Where in AZ are you? We might be able to recommend a good shop where you can check out some good deals. JG Sales in Prescott will have some surplus stuff for decent deals.
    Thanks for replying so quickly. I'm in Tucson and I found a place http://www.marksmanpistol.com/ They seem really promising and I was planning on taking their basic handgun course there. I was thinking about buying used as well so I'd probably stop buy their store to see what they've got.

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    IMHO revolvers make excellent "first guns", particularly used Smith & Wessons in.38/.357

    Shoot a few of them. I think you like 'em.
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    Regular Member Eeyore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mozer! View Post
    ..... I'll just list the requirements I'm looking for.

    1) Ambidextrous. I'm a left handed shooter.

    2) Uses inexpensive ammunition. I enjoy the fire power of a .45 but I'm not made of money and I would be fine even with a 9mm.

    3) Use for open carry.

    3) Hammer or striker? I don't know anything about the difference between these two mechanisms. I assume an exposed hammer would be more robust. Maybe someone could help me with that.

    4) Full length grip. I don't understand those short grip handguns especially when they just add a grip extension to the magazines.

    5) Under $500 if possible. I know that might sound cheap but lower caliber firearms tend to cost less.
    Here's a discussion of left-handed friendly guns: http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...ls-for-Lefties

    Some that meet all your criteria are:
    - Smith & Wesson M&P9--striker fired
    - Walther PPQ--striker fired
    - Sig P250--hammer DAO
    - CZ85--hammer SA/DA (probably hard to find)
    - STI GP-5 or -6--hammer DA/SA (even harder to find)
    All are fully ambidextrous, full size grip, cost just under $500, and available in 9 mm so economical to shoot. I highly recommend the first 2.

    The advantage of a striker fired gun is that every trigger pull is the same--usually in the 5-7 lb range. The disadvantage is that if the round doesn't fire, you can't pull the trigger again--you have to cycle the action to eject the dud round and cock the striker. (There are exceptions, but they don't apply to the M&P or PPQ.)

    Hammer-fired guns are available in single-action (they act just like the striker-fired described above), double-action only (DAO, every pull is the same, but it's longer and heavier), or double/single action. DA/SA can be carried with the hammer down, so a long, double-action pull is required on the first shot (or for a second strike on a dud round). Subsequent shots will be single action, with a shorter, lighter trigger pull. The double-action first shot has advantages (it's sort of a safety feature) and disadvantages (long, heavy trigger pull = less-accurate first shot; 2 different trigger pulls to learn).

    If you prefer a revolver, Charter Arms makes the Southpaw--a left-handed revolver.
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    Regular Member SovereignAxe's Avatar
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    Lefty here. Just doing a quick browse of the interwebs and my memory we've got...

    Full ambi, hammer fired:

    -FN FNX
    -H&K P30
    -H&K P2000
    -CZ85
    -H&K HK45
    -Bersa Thunder 9
    -Sig P250

    Full ambi, striker fired:

    -Walther PPQ
    -S&W M&P
    -FN FNS
    -Caracal Pistol

    Mostly ambi (usually missing the slide stop. Not a big deal if you train to slingshot the slide. Usually have at least an ambi mag release and safety/decocker), mixed actions:

    -Ruger P85, P95
    -Walther P99
    -Walther PPS
    -Ruger SR9
    -1911 (I think most modern ones not only have an ambi safety option, but can have the release reversed and I'm sure a competent gunsmith can fashion on a slide stop)
    -Beretta Px4, 92, 90-Two (ambi safety/decocker, reversible mag release)

    AFAIK, all Glocks, all XDs, most Sigs, and the FN Five-seveN have reversible mag releases, but none of the other controls are. Also, all of these are available in 9mm except the HK45. I'm not sure all of them fall within your budget, but I'm sure you can at least find all of them used for your price except maybe the H&Ks. Same deal with the 1911. You'll find it for your price, but the mods wills push you over your budget.
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    EDC = Walther PPQ 9mm

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    Regular Member Wolfstanus's Avatar
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    You don't need a ambi slide stop on a 1911.

    Last round or other malfunction that causes the slide to lock back.
    Load new mag or clear jam or mag caused the slide to stop as if it was the last round.
    Grab ass end of slide. Pull on slide. Release slide.
    Ambi manual safety is all you need and maybe a custom made mag release. Again not needed with training yourself.

    And M&P model can be made for the left. Did so for my brother. I'm a righty he's a lefty.

    If thinking about a 1911 get a ria tactical.
    Last edited by Wolfstanus; 10-06-2012 at 10:44 PM.

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    If you prefer a revolver, Charter Arms makes the Southpaw--a left-handed revolver.
    I had one, never again.
    Problem #1 You can not use a speed loader with it.
    Problem #2 The trigger reset required me to all but remove my finger from the trigger.
    Problem #3 Many of the edges were sharp enough to draw blood.
    Last edited by jeeper1; 10-18-2012 at 04:18 AM. Reason: spelling

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    Regular Member Gil223's Avatar
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    Glocks are easily adaptable for the left-handed shooter. The magazine release catches are enlarged and reversible for southpaws, and the "safety" (trigger) is already ambidextrous. However, I know of no mass-produced autoloading pistol that ejects to the left side for anywhere near your $500 ceiling, so you may have to dodge ejected cases no matter what semi-auto you buy. Pax...
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    Quote Originally Posted by SovereignAxe View Post
    ...
    AFAIK, all Glocks, all XDs, most Sigs, and the FN Five-seveN have reversible mag releases, but none of the other controls are. Also, all of these are available in 9mm except the HK45. I'm not sure all of them fall within your budget, but I'm sure you can at least find all of them used for your price except maybe the H&Ks. Same deal with the 1911. You'll find it for your price, but the mods wills push you over your budget.
    This is true of the Gen 4 Glocks. To to this on a Gen 3 or earlier, as I understand it, requires after-market modifications.

    And, to the OP, I would recommend the Gen 4 version of either Glock 17, Glock 19, Glock 22, or Glock 23 (full-size 9mm, compact 9mm, full-size .40 cal, and compact .40 cal, respectively).

    1. Ambidextrous: the magazine release is reversible. Like someone pointed out earlier, you never have to use the slide release button unless you are intentionally wanting to lock the slide back (say, to check it before cleaning).

    2. Inexpensive ammo: check (note that 9mm is a little cheaper than .40 cal; but many argue that .40 cal is a better defensive round).

    3. Open carry: check. I actually OC and CC the subcompact Glock 27 (you won't want the 27, though, since it doesn't have the full grip length). Law enforcement usually open carries one of the above guns that I mentioned (usually the 22) as their duty weapon. Plus, it is extremely easy to find Glock holsters.

    4. The Glock is striker-fired, with no external hammer. But, my philosophy is that fewer moving parts (including external hammer) is better.

    5. Full-length grip: check. All models I listed have a full-length grip.

    6. Under $500: The Glock 27 sells around here for $499; the models I listed sell for comparable prices (yes, that's under $500, but only by $1; whether it is a good option will depend on how far under $500 you're looking for).
    "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."
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    Michigan Moderator Big Gay Al's Avatar
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    I shoot with either hand, and as I've been experiencing problems with my right arm, I've been carrying more often on my left side. I have the RIA 1911-A1 Tactical, which has ambi thumb safety. What I've discovered is this. First, I never use the slide release, I always release the slide by grasping the rear part, pulling to the rear and releasing. The mag release doesn't need to be ambidextrous. I can reach it easier with my left trigger finger than I can with my right thumb anyway. The safety, it's already covered.

    Now, for other firearms, I know Bersa makes a line of pistols in .45 and 9mm that have all controls fully ambidextrous, including the slide stop. I've often thought about getting one. I'm just concerned about my choices as to an OC type holster for them. But I'm told they're very reliable, and are even in use by some South American police and military agencies.

    When in doubt, Google Bersa Thunder reviews.
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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    I OC a CZ85 quite frequently. I like the HK45 also...The CZ85 is less expensive...Average maybe $350 used, $500 new. The HK is quite a bit more expensive.

    Choose the one that will fit your hands and style. Both are full sized.

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    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    I'm a south paw too

    I recommend blocks, they don't have ambi controls but the mag release button is pretty large and easy to hit with the index finger when holding left hand. I never use the slide release, when reloading I slap in the mag and give the ever so slightest tug on the slide itself and it slams home. Glock are extremely easy to operate lefty. Personally my favorite is the 19 which is a compact 9mm glock. I shoot these in competition all the time.

    The glock 19 can be carried openly or concealed is a happy medium for both.

    As far as price if you have been a member of glock shooting sports foundation or know someone who is you can get one at LE price. My dad got a glock 17 this way.

    I think you can pick up an m&p shield from smith and Wesson for that price too.

    Rogers are nice pistols. But don't let lack of ambi controls get to you, I'm left handed and have no problems whatsoever operating a right handed gun
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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMNofSeattle View Post
    I recommend blocks, they don't have ambi controls but the mag release button is pretty large...

    Rogers are nice pistols. But don't let lack of ambi controls get to you, I'm left handed and have no problems whatsoever operating a right handed gun
    Gen 4 Glocks have reversible mag release buttons.

    Rugers are ambidextrous for both safety and magazine release.
    Last edited by MAC702; 10-18-2012 at 03:26 AM.
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    ***** ******Language there is some wrong info on Glocks in this thread.

    Anyways, get a Glock 19 Gen 4, and you're done - this WILL meet your needs. PLEASE research this for yourself.

    And while not popular advice on this forum, if you carry concealed (at least in more urban/suburban areas), you won't have 95% of the problems that people that post on this forum have.

    Again, while not popular advice on this forum, once you get your firearm, please get some basic training that will educate yourself on the laws regarding carrying in your state.

    Then seek out more advance training, so when something goes down, you'll actually be able to react in a real situation.
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 10-18-2012 at 05:04 PM. Reason: Language
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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottE View Post
    ***** ******Language there is some wrong info on Glocks in this thread.

    Anyways, get a Glock 19 Gen 4, and you're done - this WILL meet your needs. PLEASE research this for yourself.

    And while not popular advice on this forum, if you carry concealed (at least in more urban/suburban areas), you won't have 95% of the problems that people that post on this forum have.

    Again, while not popular advice on this forum, once you get your firearm, please get some basic training that will educate yourself on the laws regarding carrying in your state.

    Then seek out more advance training, so when something goes down, you'll actually be able to react in a real situation.
    What is not popular on OCDO is constant sniping and negative insinuations. You should take heed to that regard. Pushing the limit on what is acceptable here is not a way to insure your continued enjoyment of this forum.

    It has been said countless ways that educating and training are good - one can never have too much. Even at that, the lack of same should not preclude anyone from the right of self- defense.

    Also continued misdirection/sidetracking/highjacking of a thread is bad form. In this thread the OP has asked for "first handgun suggestions" - the rest is off-topic.
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    Michigan Moderator Big Gay Al's Avatar
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    I've been OCing for over 3 years. I've never had a problem with the police. Then again, maybe it's my charming personality.
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    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottE View Post
    ***** ******Language there is some wrong info on Glocks in this thread.

    Anyways, get a Glock 19 Gen 4, and you're done - this WILL meet your needs. PLEASE research this for yourself.

    And while not popular advice on this forum, if you carry concealed (at least in more urban/suburban areas), you won't have 95% of the problems that people that post on this forum have.

    Again, while not popular advice on this forum, once you get your firearm, please get some basic training that will educate yourself on the laws regarding carrying in your state.

    Then seek out more advance training, so when something goes down, you'll actually be able to react in a real situation.
    OK well I'm sorry that I've never owned a gen4 and my competition gun is a Gen2 G17 and I can sometimes borrow my mothers Gen3 G-19. I've never owned or fired a gen4 and my advice is 100% correct for a gen2 or 3.

    Thanks for playing.
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    Re: New to OC.org First Handgun Suggestions?

    If you don't mind shooting steel ammo, you can get .45 ammo for 13 bucks at wally world buying Tul ammo. I normally shoot brass, but I have put 500 rounds of it through my pistol, with no problems.

    It's dirtier, but I break my gun down every shooting and clean it. I do try to shoot brass, as I'm saving for a re-load kit this spring.

    Best thing is to go to a range/store and spend the rental fee, and find what you want. Do yourself a favor and spend good money on a quality holster and belt when you buy your gun. Your milage may vary.

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    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottE View Post
    #1 While not popular advice on this forum, if you carry concealed (at least in more urban/suburban areas), you won't have 95% of the problems that people that post on this forum have.

    #2 Again, while not popular advice on this forum, once you get your firearm, please get some basic training that will educate yourself on the laws regarding carrying in your state.
    #1 That could be, you see ScottE, this is an open carry forum. It's what we do.

    #2 You could be incorrect on that one. I think the "search" program would verify that.

    #3 I believe your perceived attitude is "not popular advice on this forum". I, for one, am tired of your negativity.

    I apologize to the rest of the forum for my rant. Somtimes I just get tired of it.
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    What is not popular on OCDO is constant sniping and negative insinuations. You should take heed to that regard. Pushing the limit on what is acceptable here is not a way to insure your continued enjoyment of this forum.

    It has been said countless ways that educating and training are good - one can never have too much. Even at that, the lack of same should not preclude anyone from the right of self- defense.

    Also continued misdirection/sidetracking/highjacking of a thread is bad form. In this thread the OP has asked for "first handgun suggestions" - the rest is off-topic.
    Sorry for the negative posts. I think its the overall mindset of most OCers that drives me nuts and brings out the total ***** in me. It's weird how carry method can create two different mindsets/tactics, or lack there of. Because I don't OC, I really haven't learned a whole lot here, since this forum is restricted solely to something I don't do. So I may not stop by too often. I used to post here, then stopped for a little while, then came back for another try. But in all honesty it's a waste of my time. Yeah I know, don't let the door hit ya in the ass on the way out.
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    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottE View Post
    Sorry for the negative posts. I think its the overall mindset of most OCers that drives me nuts and brings out the total ***** in me. It's weird how carry method can create two different mindsets/tactics, or lack there of. Because I don't OC, I really haven't learned a whole lot here, since this forum is restricted solely to something I don't do. So I may not stop by too often. I used to post here, then stopped for a little while, then came back for another try. But in all honesty it's a waste of my time. Yeah I know, don't let the door hit ya in the ass on the way out.
    This forum has never been restricted to OC only issues, there are plenty of convo's about CC and general RKBA issues, the deal with you is that you made yourself an expert on everything.

    OC= you're a bunch of attention ****** who get in fights with cops
    OC= tactically unsound, concealed carry magically grants you an advantage
    SERPA= a bunch of morons who are waiting to shoot themselves

    me describing my mommy's gen3 Glock to spec= I don't anything about glocks because apparently I have to own a gen4 to know what I'm talking about.

    You haven't exactly been friendly in how you communicate your ideas. I'll admit I have that same problem, but I make efforts to get along here, you seem to believe you automatically know everything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by EMNofSeattle View Post
    This forum has never been restricted to OC only issues, there are plenty of convo's about CC and general RKBA issues, the deal with you is that you made yourself an expert on everything.

    OC= you're a bunch of attention ****** who get in fights with cops
    OC= tactically unsound, concealed carry magically grants you an advantage
    SERPA= a bunch of morons who are waiting to shoot themselves

    me describing my mommy's gen3 Glock to spec= I don't anything about glocks because apparently I have to own a gen4 to know what I'm talking about.

    You haven't exactly been friendly in how you communicate your ideas. I'll admit I have that same problem, but I make efforts to get along here, you seem to believe you automatically know everything.
    I agree.

    Although my comment about Glock misinformation wasn't targeted at you. Your info was spot on.
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  24. #24
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Grapeshot

    What is not popular on OCDO is constant sniping and negative insinuations. You should take heed to that regard. Pushing the limit on what is acceptable here is not a way to insure your continued enjoyment of this forum.

    It has been said countless ways that educating and training are good - one can never have too much. Even at that, the lack of same should not preclude anyone from the right of self- defense.

    Also continued misdirection/sidetracking/highjacking of a thread is bad form. In this thread the OP has asked for "first handgun suggestions" - the rest is off-topic.
    Quote Originally Posted by ScottE View Post
    Sorry for the negative posts. I think its the overall mindset of most OCers that drives me nuts and brings out the total ***** in me. It's weird how carry method can create two different mindsets/tactics, or lack there of. Because I don't OC, I really haven't learned a whole lot here, since this forum is restricted solely to something I don't do. So I may not stop by too often. I used to post here, then stopped for a little while, then came back for another try. But in all honesty it's a waste of my time. Yeah I know, don't let the door hit ya in the ass on the way out.
    Part of the problem ScottE is the apparent ridicule/low esteem in which you seem hold us. We do not demand that everybody OC or even for that matter own a gun. What we do ask is that we be allowed to choose for ourselves that method of carry that best fits who and what we are. Do we promote OC? Without a doubt, but we use facts, not emotions, to make our point. We are by and large very responsible people and we believe in obeying the laws.

    We are from all walks of life: business men, housewives, tradesmen, been there and done that guys, young and old. Me I've got more than a few years under my belt, experienced much in life, but never been frightened by the sight of a gun on the hip of a LAC. We accentuate the positive and it is working/succeeding across this country.

    Contrary to what you might think, there is no intention to run you off. There is no personal vendetta, but we will keep the forum as clean as we can from unwarranted attacks. You might learn something from us if you give it a chance. Whatever you do, I wish you well with your life choices.
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  25. #25
    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottE View Post
    ...And while not popular advice on this forum, if you carry concealed (at least in more urban/suburban areas), you won't have 95% of the problems that people that post on this forum have.

    Again, while not popular advice on this forum, once you get your firearm, please get some basic training that will educate yourself on the laws regarding carrying in your state...
    Uh, I realize you are making a habit of showing your ignorance around here, but don't you think it matters that the OP is in ARIZONA?

    As for training, it is usually highly recommended. It is also acknowledged that it is not a requirement for a RIGHT guaranteed (not granted) in the Constitution.

    Perhaps you should get some training in free speech, while you are at it, though it's not popular to recommend such.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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