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What is a good caliber to start out with? A good friend of mine is wanting to buy her first gun this weekend. shes wanting to buy a .45. I was told when i bought my first gun that i should start of with a 9mm and work my way up. Do you think this is good advices for my friend?
 

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xdGIRL;

what Pete said id good advice and heres why IMHO.
I have owned and operated an indoor range for over 20 years and have helped countless people with your same question and needs.

I will ask first the experience of the person with handguns and if new I try to get them to spend time with a 22 cal in either revolver or semi auto. I have a rental counter so they can spend as much time as necessary or even buy a good one as the value if purchased right will always be there and you will never wer it out.
It will remain a joy to shoot for all your life and then be passed down to your kids.

Now having said that, get the person to go to a quality gun store that will spend some time and answer questions without caring whether you buy or what you buy. Ask a lot of questions and especially if they have a rental program or go to a range that does. It will save your friend more heartache and wasted money than anything that you or anyone else can do to help them.
I have over 60 guns in my rental and if the person when deciding to buy then gets their gun from me we discount their rental charge. But the important thing is your friend can actually try the guns to see how they fit her specifically.
She can feel for the right fit and then see which calibers she is most comfortable with. Then have her choose the largest caliber that she is comfortable with.
These few things will do more than anything else to help you and your friend.
Remember when it comes to guns and buying new or used it has to fit the person who is going to own it in every way and that includes physically, initial purchase price, ease of maintenance, and cost of ammo to practice and or shoot through it.

Good luck and stay safe, always.

UncleFudd
www.caswells.com
 

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Start with a 22 and learn to shoot . Low noise and very little recoil. The blast and recoil from large Cal pistols will make the the best of first time shooters gun shy. Most kids started out with 22s and so should first time adults.
 

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+1 on the .22. I made a conscious decision to get a very accurate .22 (SIG/Hammerli Trailside) so I knew that everything on paper was my shooting, and not a failing of the gun.

If she needs one do-everything gun (target shooting, defense, etc), then a 9mm or .38 may be a better bet. If she can spare the resources, though, having both a center-fire gun and a rimfire gun is a good set-up (in the longer term).
 

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I'd go with the 22 as well especially to start. There are a lot out there that are relatively inexpensive. They're fun to shoot and cheap to feed.

I always take mine with me when I go to the range. I usually spend more time shooting that than my normal carry gun.

UF has some good advice about trying the rental program if you can.
 

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You just can't beat a good .22. If you continue to shoot, you will own one eventually. It is cheap to practice, so you can afford to practice more. This will make you more familiar and comfortable with the weapon. If you want a larger gun, try and find a .22 that is close to the same size as the larger gun.
I have a model 19 S&W in .357 mag. and a model 18 S&W in .22. They look and feel the same but the .22 is a lot cheaper to shoot. If you are thinking about a .45. There are many companies that make .22 conversion units For them and some 9m/m models.
The bottom line is that a good .22 and a brick of shells, and some fun targets, is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.
 

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My wife has a 2" 32 mag that she can access easily, and has practiced some with it. She recently decided to get more active in pistol shooting with me at the range (video she saw about the ability to defend your family). We have some great 22 pistols for her to practice with, and she will. So we decided on a center fire range gun, a S&W 686 4" ported in 7 shot 38/357. Its on order now. I reload and plan on a mid range 125g lead hard cast flat point in 38sp as a decent range bullet and also defensive load. This will be most interesting as we have 3 daughters who hunt and fish with their husbands.
Who would have thought?
Jim
 

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.22 all the way. Great to learn with, and will always be fun and ammo is super cheap! If you cant/dont want that small, go 9mm or .38, if you go revolver think about .357 Mag, shoot .38's in it untill you can handle more then step up to magnums. :twisted:
 

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Absolutely get a 22, good for training and great fun to shoot.
:D
 

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Buy what you damn well want..!! Most new shooters get bored with the .22 rather quickly anyway. I have been through this silly argument so many times before. Now you have to go find another firearm to replace the .22. At Front Sight we had dozens of very dainty, feminine young ladies show up packing 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP and even a few .357 SIG's. With abit of careful instruction and dry practice, they were ALL able to handle the noise, flames, recoil and all else just fine in short order..!!!
 

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Re: re: What is a good gun Caliber to start out with?

ColoradoKid said:
Buy what you damn well want..!! Most new shooters get bored with the .22 rather quickly anyway. I have been through this silly argument so many times before. Now you have to go find another firearm to replace the .22. At Front Sight we had dozens of very dainty, feminine young ladies show up packing 9mm, 40 S&W, 45 ACP and even a few .357 SIG's. With abit of careful instruction and dry practice, they were ALL able to handle the noise, flames, recoil and all else just fine in short order..!!!
Getting bored with a 22 is a fair statement and training is even a better piece of advice. All the same you can't promote a first time shooter to buy a 45 for there first pistol? If you want to promote the sport you have to be fair when giving advice to those entering the sport and a 45 isn't a good starting point and in my opinion neither is a 22.

A 22 is a lot of fun but for a person wanting to purchase a pistol for personal protection it has no value. Once again I would suggest a 9mm with instruction at a local pistol rangte.
 

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I fail to see where I suggested, anywhere in my post that a new shooter rush out and buy a .45 pistol, if he or she wants to learn to shoot a firearm. What does "fairness" have to do with suggesting someone shoot any caliber pistol? My main point was that we trained hundreds of new students at Front Sight with the caliber pistol they brought to class. By the by....we did NOT allow them to bring or shoot a .22..!! .380 was the smallest caliber allowed and I can count on one hand the number of students I trained in this caliber. This whole silly notion as to which caliber is the best to start a new student out with boils down to what weapon and caliber THEY are comfortable learning with...NOT what we as an instructor or teacher may feel best suits them..!! I am presently teaching three students. Two female...both beginning students. One is starting out with a .22, the other a 9mm. With input from me....they chose the caliber and make of gun they wished to start with. The male student has had some training prior to enlisting my help and owns a Glock Model 22 in .45ACP. We are simply tuning up his trigger control...alot..!! The point here being...it really should be the students decision on the caliber and make of the gun. We as teachers and instructors can offer up assistance in this selection process, based on our experiences with previous instructional activites, but should reframe from pushing our own personal preferences on them.
 

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Re: re: What is a good gun Caliber to start out with?

ColoradoKid said:
I fail to see where I suggested, anywhere in my post that a new shooter rush out and buy a .45 pistol, if he or she wants to learn to shoot a firearm. What does "fairness" have to do with suggesting someone shoot any caliber pistol? My main point was that we trained hundreds of new students at Front Sight with the caliber pistol they brought to class. By the by....we did NOT allow them to bring or shoot a .22..!! .380 was the smallest caliber allowed and I can count on one hand the number of students I trained in this caliber. This whole silly notation as to which caliber is the best to start a new student out with boils down to what weapon and caliber THEY are comfortable learning with...NOT what we as an instructor or teacher may feel best suits them..!! I am presently teaching three students. Two female...both beginning students. One is starting out with a .22, the other a 9mm. With input from me....they chose the caliber and make of gun they wished to start with. The male student has had some training prior to enlisting my help and owns a Glock Model 22 in .45ACP. We are simply tuning up his trigger control...alot..!! The point here being...it really should be the students decision on the caliber and make of the gun. We as teachers and instructors can offer up assistance in this selection process, based on our experiences with previous instructional activites, but should reframe from pushing our own personal preferences on them.
I'm a bit confused, you stated Front sight does's allow a student to bring or shoot a .22, then in the same statement said your have three students and one is starting with a .22? Beside that confusion I noticed that the two females are shooting a .22 and a 9mm the other student (in your own words has some prior training) is shooting a 45. I believe that lends to the simple understanding that a 45 isn't the right firearm to start with. The point of fairness is simple, an instructor has the obligation to assist a shooter to find a handgun they can manage well on the range and in the home. Let me know if I miss read your post or didn't understand what you were trying to express.
 

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WD,
You are grinding on this one way too hard. First of all, I am no longer associated with Front Sight, having resigned in 2004. That should clear up that bit of confusion. Secondly, I now work one on one with students, both experienced and new. I think of myself as their personal firearms instructor..!! The male student with the Glock 22 has had prior training and came to me with a trigger control issue that he wanted fixed. I am comfortable with him training with that gun. He is progressing nicely and his groups are getting much smaller. The two females chose the respective firearms that they are presently training with. I have no serious issues with their decisions and they are both progressing rapidly with their gunhandling skills at the present.
Your notion that the instructor has this "moral obligation to assist" the NEW student in the selection of his or her training weapon is fine and I have stated the same..!! However, not all new students need this kind of input from their instructor. Here is a question for you. What if the student is perfectly comfortable with a weapon and caliber of choice, which you are not in favor of, do you step in and "assist" them in making a change simply because you do not like their choice..? If you are an "absolutist" like you...you probably do..I prefer to respect my students decisions. Todate, I have had NO reprocussions with any of my students in persuing this policy. I am sure there is no "hard fast" answer here and if there was ...You and I would more than likely not agree on it.
 
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