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Thread: University student new to guns -- Tucson

  1. #1
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    University student new to guns -- Tucson

    I will be turning 21 soon and am considering purchasing a firearm. I have no experience with guns and have only once shot a rifle when I was a 10 year old Cub Scout. Can anyone recommend steps I should take once I turn 21? I know very little right now about guns in general and would like to start learning more.

    I live a mile away from U of A and always see locals OC. I feel safe during the day but know how dangerous Tucson can get later in the night. If I owned a gun, I would mainly OC when buying groceries, eating out, going for a walk, etc. I know I can never OC near U of A.

    Please offer any advice possible. It would be especially helpful if someone could recommend a shooting range/school when I can take some classes. Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Regular Member azcdlfred's Avatar
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    For a start, don't take anything you read on any Internet forum (including this one) as Gospel.

    Your best commercial source for Arizona's gun laws is the Arizona Gun Owner's Guide.

    Since you are new to guns, you are the perfect student. Most males think they know everything about gun handling because they watch television, so it's not a good idea to let your buddies or family members show you how to shoot.

    If you can afford it, go straight for a Gunsite or Front Sight defensive pistol class. The beauty of Front Sight is that you can pick up a certificate for their 4 day class on eBay for about $200.

    If you can't afford that, there are plenty of NRA instructors in the area and most gun shops have firearms classes, and some rent guns. Chalres Heller (Tucson), one of AzCDL's directors is a CCW instructor and runs regular classes.

    Since you live in Tucson, contact me offline at treasurer@azcdl.org. I spend a couple of afternoons a month volunteering as a line safety officer at one of the Pima County ranges. Most of my time there is spent helping people learn to shoot properly. I am an NRA instructor.

    Fred
    Last edited by azcdlfred; 10-19-2011 at 05:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by junedog47 View Post
    I will be turning 21 soon and am considering purchasing a firearm. I have no experience with guns and have only once shot a rifle when I was a 10 year old Cub Scout. Can anyone recommend steps I should take once I turn 21? I know very little right now about guns in general and would like to start learning more.

    I live a mile away from U of A and always see locals OC. I feel safe during the day but know how dangerous Tucson can get later in the night. If I owned a gun, I would mainly OC when buying groceries, eating out, going for a walk, etc. I know I can never OC near U of A.

    Please offer any advice possible. It would be especially helpful if someone could recommend a shooting range/school when I can take some classes. Thanks for your help!
    You are fairly close to the Marksman Range on Prince. http://www.marksmanpistol.com/ They also have one on 29th St. I haven't taken any of their classes yet, but they have lots, and they have rental guns so you can find out what you like.
    Last edited by PavePusher; 10-19-2011 at 01:18 PM.

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    I haven't personally been to any of the classes taught by Warrior School, but they seem very much like Gunsite and Frontsite, though the former are very well known for their quality of instruction. Fred are you a line officer down at SERP? If so, I would LOVE pointers. I've had some training, but I am always willing to learn more.

  5. #5
    Regular Member azcdlfred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahwg View Post
    Fred are you a line officer down at SERP? If so, I would LOVE pointers. I've had some training, but I am always willing to learn more.
    I do my volunteering (line officer) at TMP (the "other" Pima County range near the Tucson studios). I'll be there this Sunday (10/23) afternoon. I switched from SERP to TMP after they spruced up the 55 year old range. It's closer to home. No electricity or running water, but a great view and a relaxed setting.

    Look for the guy in the orange hat and shirt, white hair, beard and handlebar mustache.

    I'll be glad to help!
    Fred
    Last edited by azcdlfred; 10-20-2011 at 02:40 PM.

  6. #6
    Regular Member me812's Avatar
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    If you're a gun novice, I recommend a double action magnum revolver of at least .357 caliber for the following reasons:

    1) DA revolvers are simpler, and therefore safer. There's no hidden chamber for rounds to go disappearing into, which is probably the number one cause of accidental shootings.

    2) DA revolvers are simpler, and therefore easier to use. There's no safety or hammer to be fumbling around with. They're the ultimate user-friendly firearm. When you're awakened by something going "bump" in the night, you won't have to do anything except pick it up, point it and pull the trigger.

    3) Revolvers work, period. They don't jam and are not sensitive to varying ammo pressures. Automatic pistols can be finicky about what rounds they'll eat. With an automatic pistol, most experts recommend that you cycle about a hundred rounds of your chosen carry ammo through it before carrying it loaded with that ammo to make sure that it's reliable with that particular load. In case you didn't know it, premium quality personal defense ammo is expensive (about a dollar a round, at least), so plan on spending at least $100 more than whatever the price of your automatic pistol is to get up and running. With revolvers, you don't have to deal with any of this crap; you're good to go right out of the box. This is a major advantage, especially if you're on a limited budget.

    4) A magnum revolver will allow you to shoot cartridges of many different power levels. It's like getting several guns for the price of one.

    5) 125-Grain JHP in .357 Magnum is widely considered to be the gold standard of handgun stopping power, with a one-shot stop rate of 96%. This is a revolver round.

    As azcdlfred noted, The Arizona Gun Owner's Guide is an excellent resource. If, for some reason you can't get a copy, then check out this excellent video by Marc Victor, the Attorney for Freedom. It's an excellent, no-bull$hit crash course on what not to do with your shiny new gun if you want to stay out of jail:

    http://www.attorneyforfreedom.com/in...adly-force.htm

    Here are some other good videos featuring Mas Ayboob:

    Judicious Use of Force - Part 1

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qW_xa...eature=related

    Part 2:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGJIy...eature=related

    Part 3:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNCRL...eature=related

    Part 4:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJazm...eature=related

    You can find lots of good stuff on the 'net. Hope this helps.
    Last edited by me812; 11-01-2011 at 05:37 AM.

  7. #7
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by me812 View Post
    If you're a gun novice, I recommend a double action magnum revolver of at least .357 caliber for the following reasons:

    ....

    You can find lots of good stuff on the 'net. Hope this helps.
    You work in a gun store and specialize in helping women buy their first gun, don't you? About the only thing you left off was recommending it be an airweight snubbie.

    There is a lot of good and accurate information in what you suggest, but I'd rather send a newbie to http://corneredcat.com/Contents/ and have them read "Choosing Firearms" than make a bold statement that there is only one gun they should even think about getting. Using a gun is dependant on so many factors that it is just about impossible to make as decent recommendation on what to get until either you know an awful lot about the person or they have had the opportunity to at least handle, but preferrably to fire, a decent selection of types, sizes and calibers. Even the difference in frame size among the various models of the same gun can make a big difference.

    And besides, by recommending one gun right off the starting line deprives the OP of the fun of trying out everything in the store.

    junedog47 - if you know someone who already has a gun ask them to take you to the biggest gun store in town. Ask to see everything in the showcase - pick it up and see how it feels. Then find a gun range that rents handguns and spend the $$ trying out what they have that mastches (or comes close to matching) what you liked in the gun store. Don't be afraid to try different calibers in the same model design - if nothing else it pays to learn why the "wimpy" .380 is described as having a "snappy" recoil while the "monster" .45acp feels so much softer than you were led to expect. And yes, do try a few magnum offerings, especially in the snubbie versions. Seeing as how this is going to mean spending some serious dollars, take your time and take nots. You may need a few months to complete your research. But at the end you are more likely to own a gun you like and can shoot well.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

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  8. #8
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    Thanks everyone for your help. This thread has some great posts that I'll be using later on. I just need to start saving up money first. For now, I'll begin by reading up on the laws and watching those videos posted by me812.

  9. #9
    Regular Member Malcolm's Avatar
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    Welcome.

    I commend you for wanting to step up into the responsibility of being a gun-owner/carrier. It's a big decision that many people can't do. My only advice. Join the NRA and AZCDL if you haven't already. Good luck.

    ...You might want to check out NUTNFANCY on youtube. He does gun and knife reviews. very informative person.
    T.V. brings on a whole new meaning to thinking inside the box.

    -M

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