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Thread: New to forum & guns looking for advice

  1. #1
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    New to forum & guns looking for advice

    Hello all,

    I came here to look for some advice and help on getting into the world of guns. I have fired a few handguns and shotguns in the past but now I am looking to buy a handgun of my own. The gun will be used primarily by me but I would also like to have my wife use it in case of emergency. She already has agreed that it would be a good idea for us both to take a class so we are comfortable and familiar with the gun. From talking to my friends who own guns I believe I am looking for a 9mm. My questions are; where in the Fredericksburg area could I find a good gun training class and do you have an suggestions for which gun to get.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Good morning, and welcome!

    Kudos to you for seeking training. We offer our full course schedule at the Bass Pro Shops in Ashland, just down the road from you.

    Please visit our website, www.ProactiveShooters.com for details.
    James Reynolds

    NRA Certified Firearms Instructor - Pistol, Shotgun, Home Firearms Safety, Refuse To Be A Victim
    Concealed Firearms Instructor for Virginia, Florida & Utah permits.
    NRA Certified Chief Range Safety Officer
    Sabre Red Pepper Spray Instructor
    Glock Certified Armorer
    Instructor Bio - http://proactiveshooters.com/about-us/

  3. #3
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum!
    Proshooter would be good for training.

    Gun choice is difficult depending on your physical ability (and complicated by your wife), and the amount of training and practice you're willing to undergo. Shooting is not an inexpensive sport unless you handload.

    I hate 9mm's but that may be the best fit for you. Don't get gun advice from the internet or for that matter, friends.

    Go to a range that has rentals and try a few.

    I would recommend a revolver. I would recommend against Glocks but there again, Proshooter will disagree. So will others. Pay attention to safety.

    Last, remember that you do not need a permit to open carry in Va.

  4. #4
    Regular Member coondog22554's Avatar
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    It's great your wife wants to attend a training class with you! You want to do all you can to make it a positive experience. That's why I think Proactive Shooters use of the classroom at Bass Pro Shops works in your favor. From your wifes perspective it combines the training with shopping and dining.

    "The Range" in Stafford rents both revolvers and pistols to help you with your decision. Know what you want before you go to a gun store because you don't always want to take advice from the guy behind the counter. Your first handgun purchase should be whatever your wife is comfortable with.

    And since you asked...Glock 19, although a revolver would make a good choice as well.

  5. #5
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Welcome to OCDO. Since nobody else has mentioned it yet, you will also want to check out VCDL, at vcdl.org. They are the premiere grassroots pro-gun organization in the state, and maybe in the country. They have a free newsletter you can subscribe to by e-mail.

    There are two actual stores in Fredericksburg where you can go look and feel a wide selection of handguns. Gander Mountain on Route 3 west, and SSG Tactical in the Westwood Office Park. Gander Mountain has terrible prices, at least the last I checked, and... well, I'm not overly fond of SSG for a handful of reasons that go back to the CHP training class I took at one of the prior business adventures of one of the owners, as well as their apparent indifference toward supporting newspapers that publish CHP lists.

    There is also Old Town Firearms, located downtown in a tiny second floor office on William Street. I know nothing about the owner, or how much stock he keeps on hand. His business is run entirely out of an office that is literally about 80 square feet. I think he can order most anything you want, however. Not sure on his prices, but his overhead appears to be fairly low.

    As noted by ProShooter, Bass Pro Shop is only about 35 minutes down the road, they always have an excellent selection and seem to beat Gander Mountain in pricing. And of course, if you go that far, you might also go about 3 miles further down Route 1 to Greentop. They have a good selection as well.

    Here are websites for the two locals:

    http://www.oldtownfirearms.com/
    https://www.ssgtactical.com/

    TFred

  6. #6
    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    To the OP. Have you taken the class to get your CHL? There's one offered out of Gander Mountain which focuses on the four laws and the components of a handgun.

    I'd suggest you look into getting your permit for the additional coverage it provides.
    A gun in a holster is better than one drawn and dispensing bullets. Concealed forces the latter. - ixtow

    Hi, I'm hypercritical. But I mean no harm, I just like to try to look deeply at life

  7. #7
    Regular Member Baked on Grease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    To the OP. Have you taken the class to get your CHL? There's one offered out of Gander Mountain which focuses on the four laws and the components of a handgun.

    I'd suggest you look into getting your permit for the additional coverage it provides.
    Lol coverage...CHP... Get it?

    OP: As said ad nasuem in these forums, go rent and shoot a wide variety of handguns at a local rangw to get a good feel for what works for you.

    One thing I haven't seen mentioned is some tips for what to look for, but ProShooter will cover that in better detail in his classes. In short, the main two things to look for after price(if price matters to you) is how it fits in your hand and caliber. Fitting in your hand is probably of most importance, because if it doesn't fit you (and your wife consequently) well then uou can't fire it well, or worse could get hurt.

    One thing I did, is buy my wife a Walther PK380 for her first pistol. Small molded grip fits her hand nicely, but not too small for my beefy booger picker. It's a .380 caliber and a larger than the average 380 sized pistol so it nearly has no "kick" when firing, great for her to learn proper use but not killing her wrist. Eventually she wanted something with more oomph so we are shopping for a 9mm for her now.

    We did end up buying seperate pistols, she the PK380 and I got the Springfield XDm 9, and for us even though I spent more than intended originally, it worked better for us in the long run. Originally she fired my 9mm but found it too powerful for her because she was not used to it. Total cost for both pistols at the gun show was about $1000 and well worth it. I know some pistols out there get to $1000 with just the one gun >.<

    Another thing to think about to support getting her her own gun, is if you leave for the day carrying the pistol you buy... is she left defenseleas at home? That's the main reason I got her one of her own to start out... But these are my reason, you may have your own.

    Side note, XDm is an awesome line of handguns, and the Walther PK380 hasn't given me a single failure to date. Only two downsides for me was you need a special "key" to field strip to clean, and the mag release is sorta cumbersome till you get used to it.

    Sent using tapatalk
    "A Right Un-exercised is a Right Lost"

    "According to the law, [openly carrying] in a vehicle is against the law if the weapon is concealed" -Flamethrower (think about it....)

    Carrying an XDm 9mm with Hornady Critical Defense hollowpoint. Soon to be carrying a Ruger along with it....

  8. #8
    Regular Member MilProGuy's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum!

    You'll find that some very knowledgeable people hang out here, who are willing to help you with your questions about handguns, ammunition, and methods of carry.

    Since you mentioned that you are leaning towards the 9mm, I'd recommend that you take a close look at the Taurus PT111 MilPro (Millennium Pro) 9mm. I've had one for a couple of years and it has performed flawlessly and is very accurate at self-defense distances.

    Taurus also offers a lifetime service warranty on their handguns.

    There are many other very fine options out there for you, too, so take a good look around before you decide which brand is best for you.

    Proud Veteran ~ U.S. Army / Army Reserve

    Mississippi State Guard ~ Honorably Retired


  9. #9
    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    I hate 9mm's but that may be the best fit for you. Don't get gun advice from the internet or for that matter, friends.
    ... and then says...
    I would recommend a revolver. I would recommend against Glocks but there again, Proshooter will disagree. So will others.
    I hope you know I'm not doing anything but ribbing on you. I just found the contradiction humorous.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
    Novos ordo seclorum ~ Mustaine

    Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

  10. #10
    Regular Member The Wolfhound's Avatar
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    Welcome to the OCDO forum

    A few small things to remember:
    First, as has been said, get training.
    Second, Join VCDL
    Third, shoot before you buy. Be sure that your choice works for you and your wife. If it is unpleasant to shoot, you won't shoot it and you won't stay in practice.
    Friends will usually share their handguns giving you a chance to try someting out. Forum members often will do the same. Many ranges have loaner guns you can try out. The right firearm can tame a potent cartridge or the wrong one can make a wimpy one punative.

    Just remember most of all that this advice is worth exactly what you paid for it. We may or may not know what we are talking about but we are definitely opinionated.
    Last edited by The Wolfhound; 12-07-2011 at 01:30 PM.

  11. #11
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wolfhound View Post
    ....snip....

    Just remember most of all that this advice is worth exactly what you paid for it. We may or may not know what we are talking about but we are definitely opinionated.
    IMHO I am not opinionated in the least.

    Regarding brand, model and caliber - one size does not fit all.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  12. #12
    Regular Member paramedic's Avatar
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    First of all welcom to OCDO.

    I am by no means an expert, but I have learned so much from the great people on this site.

    My two cents worth is just to say that my wife is a shooter and open carries as well. We did have to do alot of research on what would be the best option for her. She has very small hands and do to very serious injury to her arm several years ago, has lost quite a bit of strength. What we found the works best for her was the Taurus PT709 slim, it is a 9mm. It has been a great gun, especially for her. And do to its size(I am gonna be in so much trouble for this next part), it makes a great conceal carry gun.

    And one more thing that has not been mentioned by any of the great advisors on here, is keep an eye out for OCDO meet and greets, it is a regular thing for groups to meet for meals through out the day, and there is usually a really enjoyable family pic nic in the summer time.

  13. #13
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wylde007 View Post
    ... and then says... I hope you know I'm not doing anything but ribbing on you. I just found the contradiction humorous.
    Like I told Ed once, you'll never find a post where I claim to be fair.

    As a matter of fact, even my own wife doesn't listen to me. I gave her the choice of a couple dozen revolvers I own.....and she bought the Taurus Milpro showed, except in 45ACP. (Thank heaven for small favors)

    Oh, if you get a CHP as Badger sugguested

    I'd suggest you look into getting your permit for the additional coverage it provides.
    Please don't discuss it here. This is OCDO not get a permit so you can hang around the OC'ers.org.
    Got too many of them already.
    Last edited by peter nap; 12-07-2011 at 03:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    As a matter of fact, even my own wife doesn't listen to me. I gave her the choice of a couple dozen revolvers I own.....and she bought the Taurus Milpro showed, except in 45ACP. (Thank heaven for small favors)
    I'm so sorry. One of my coworkers had one of those in 45ACP, and no one could hit the broad side of a barn with it (even as we all got great groupings with 1911s and Glocks). We still joke that the safest place to be with that gun would be right in front of it, because you can't hit what you point it at.
    Last edited by grylnsmn; 12-07-2011 at 03:10 PM.
    Alma 43:47 - "And again, the Lord has said that: Ye shall defend your families even unto bloodshed...."
    Self defense isn't just a good idea, it's a commandment.

  15. #15
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grylnsmn View Post
    I'm so sorry. One of my coworkers had one of those in 45ACP, and no one could hit the broad side of a barn with it (even as we all got great groupings with 1911s and Glocks). We still joke that the safest place to be with that gun would be right in front of it, because you can't hit what you point it at.
    He/she just got a bad one. I posted a video of Jane on her first outing with it and she was shooting fist sized groups at 25 yards after she got the feel of it.

    She's put around 7000 handloads through it with only 3 stovepipes that I know of.
    Taurus is like that. They are either very good or very bad.
    The Titanium 44 ultralite I have, is a great gun, if I remember to put a little extra crimp on the cartridges.
    I hear horror story's from others.
    Last edited by peter nap; 12-07-2011 at 03:19 PM.

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    As a matter of fact, even my own wife doesn't listen to me.
    I hope you don't think you're unique in this case...
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
    Novos ordo seclorum ~ Mustaine

    Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

  17. #17
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wylde007 View Post
    I hope you don't think you're unique in this case...
    What's really scary Wylde, is that she looked at every handgun in a hundred miles and came within a hair of buying a Desert Eagle at Greentops.

  18. #18
    Regular Member Steeler-gal's Avatar
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    Welcom and Check out the Shooting Divas.

    Welcome!
    Have your wife check out "She Can Shoot: The Shooting Divas of DMV" We have several different firearms courses and several instructors. You have to be a woman to join, but the classes are open to men and women.

    http://www.meetup.com/The-Shooting-Divas/

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    What's really scary Wylde, is that she looked at every handgun in a hundred miles and came within a hair of buying a Desert Eagle at Greentops.
    <facepalm>
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
    Novos ordo seclorum ~ Mustaine

    Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

  20. #20
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    I would recommend a revolver. I would recommend against Glocks
    +1
    Carry On.

    Ed

    VirginiaOpenCarry.Org (Coins, Shirts and Patches)
    - - - -
    For VA Open Carry Cards send a S.A.2S.E. to: Ed's OC cards, Box 16143, Wash DC 20041-6143 (they are free but some folks enclose a couple bucks too)

  21. #21
    Regular Member MSC 45ACP's Avatar
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    if you're "new to firearms" and learning about "all this stuff", you may want to "KISS"...
    Keep It Simple, Stupid. I'm not implying that you are stupid, You don't know enough to be considered "stupid".
    You are actually quite intelligent for seeking advice and wisdom from others before dropping your hard earned money on the table and buying a pistol you may grow to HATE later.

    You get what you pay for (and that includes advice). Start reading everything you can get your hands on.
    Massad Ayoob writes a lot of stuff that really "wakes you up" and makes you think about things.
    He's written so many books, I can't even begin to tell you WHICH one to read first. Start on the Internet.
    Its free (for now).

    I would probably get a revolver for my first pistol.
    A minimum of moving parts and usually goes "bang" when you press the "bang-switch".
    No safety to worry about, except the one you were originally issued. The squash between your ears.
    Don't buy ANYTHING that hasn't first been inspected by a competent gunsmith. Not Uncle Billy-Joe-Jim-Bob.
    A gunsmith.

    Take a class (more than one is a good idea). Start with basic safety & marksmanship classes and go from there.
    You will also want to take some classes about state laws, self-defense with a firearm, etc.
    ProShooter is a competent fellow and has a good reputation in his field.
    Stay away from self-professed "experts" in the field.
    Just because a guy owns a pistol (or shotgun, rifle, etc) doesn't mean how knows how to handle or shoot them.

    Hopefully during your research, you'll come across some good advice like "Rule # 1 to a gunfight: Have a gun."
    This is important, but doesn't mean you should carry a .22, .25, .32 or .380 around with you unless that is all you can afford or hide (with a CHP of course).
    You should take the safety of your family and yourself seriously. I wouldn't carry anything smaller than .38 cal (that includes .380 AKA/ 9mm Kurz).
    I'm a .45ACP kinda guy, but some aren't comfortable with .45ACP. If you're afraid of something, you shouldn't carry it.
    I'm also quite fond of .357 Mag & .38 +P. They have proven track records and if you are looking for a small-frame revolver,
    there are quite a few in these calibers on the market.

    You've gotten a LOT of advice in these pages. You already know that opinions are like ( ) * ( )...
    Everyone has one and most of them smell funny.
    Welcome to OCDO. GO take a class (or three) and be careful out there!

    Mike
    "If I know that I am headed for a fight, I want something larger with more power, preferably crew-served.
    However, like most of us, as I go through my daily life, I carry something a bit more compact, with a lot less power."
    (unknown 'gun~writer')

    Remington 1911 R1 (Back to Basics)
    SERPA retention or concealed...

    "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." ~Thomas Jefferson
    (Borrowed from "The Perfect Day" by LTC Dave Grossman)

  22. #22
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    ...snipped.... you'll never find a post where I claim to be fair.

    As a matter of fact, even my own wife doesn't listen to me. I gave her the choice of a couple dozen revolvers I own.....and she bought the Taurus Milpro showed, except in 45ACP. (Thank heaven for small favors)
    Should change that to be fare consistent with the age in which you were borne.
    How's that for a pot and kettle thing.

    As to her selection, she's a very smart lady. She knows that she already owns half of everything you claim as "yours" ....She was just adding to "her" collection with something that didn't require wheels.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  23. #23
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steeler-gal View Post
    Welcome!
    Have your wife check out "She Can Shoot: The Shooting Divas of DMV" We have several different firearms courses and several instructors. You have to be a woman to join, but the classes are open to men and women.

    http://www.meetup.com/The-Shooting-Divas/
    You al' been hidin' your light under a basket or I've been stayin' inside too much - first time I've heard of your group.

    Nice web-site and love the "ammo" depicted there. Bookmarked your page, adding it my resources.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  24. #24
    Regular Member scouser's Avatar
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    Instead of a general 'what should I buy?' think about what features you want on the firearm, then find one which matches the closest. For various reasons when I was looking I wanted no external hammer and a grip safety. I looked around and found the XD and XDM and tried holding each of them to see which one felt more comfortable (the XDM won that contest), so all that was left was picking a caliber and barrel length. I opted for the compact, in 9mm so that I could practice cheaply (don't hate on me peter, I've since bought an XDM in 45 as I liked the 9 so much)

  25. #25
    Regular Member Steeler-gal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    You al' been hidin' your light under a basket or I've been stayin' inside too much - first time I've heard of your group.

    Nice web-site and love the "ammo" depicted there. Bookmarked your page, adding it my resources.
    Thanks! We celebrated our 1 year anniversary in October so we're not that old but we do have quite a following.

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