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  1. #1
    Veteran Member Will_C's Avatar
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    Default Handgun Advice

    I'm in the process of acquiring my New York state handgun permit. I thought I would get some advice from you folks about what handguns I should consider buying.
    I have a lifetime of experience around long guns. I reload centerfire rifle ammunition, and would feel comfortable giving advice regarding shotguns, rifles, and muzzleloaders. Handguns are new to me. I have shot .22's, .38 specials, and fired a Colt .45 ACP.
    I plan on buying a .22, probably a Ruger or Browning Buckmark. This should serve to give me some practice learning to shoot a handgun. My main question is regarding a centerfire handgun. I am looking for a gun to practice with, carry during deer season (if I become a decent shot, maybe use to shoot a close range deer, but I am not planning on being a dedicated handgun hunter) and carry it when I am working and hiking about outdoors, to use if I see a groundhog, coyote, or edible small game.
    What caliber? I was thinking a .357, so that I have the option of practicing with .38 special ammo. Reloaded, this should be very cheap.
    Action type? Here I am confused whether a single or double action would serve me better. I understand the mechanics of both, but don't know why I should choose one over the other.
    Barrel length? Am I correct in assuming a 4-6" would be in my best interest?
    Gun make? I have been researching both Smith and Ruger revolvers. Any recommendations?
    Thanks in advance for any advice,
    Will

  2. #2
    Veteran Member jimg's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
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    Default Re: Handgun Advice

    Given your use 357 sounds like a good plan. Another caliber to consider is 45Colt. Im fairly certain theres a good selection of dbl action weapons made in that caliber. If you plan to hunt w/ it though youll want something w/ a longer bbl for better velocity and sign radius. 45Colt is also easy to load and there are many good published loadings for it.

    In essence single action reqs you to manually cock the hammer for each shot...the trigger wont do that. W/ a dbl action you can manually cock the hammer but it isnt necessary b/c it can also be done via the trigger. The only catch w/ dbl action is that some triggers can be long and heavy when the trigger isnt already cocked. Also Id watch for dbl actions that once cocked dont have a real light trigger (to drop the hammer). You should try them out at the store and see what might suit you.


  3. #3
    Gold Member
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    Rutledge, GA
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    Kubota L3710DT, Case 1845C, Takeuchi TB015

    Default Re: Handgun Advice

    Will;
    You're on the right track. A .22 semi-automatic is a great way to get started with handguns. The .357/.38 is good idea also. You can practice with cheaper .38s and hunt with the .357. I don't think the .38/357 would work too well "edible small game". Those calibers would likely do some major damage to small game. As far as manufacturers, you can't go wrong with either Ruger or S&W. I favor the Ruger .22 over the Browning and I like the S&W for the .38/357. A 6" barrel would do fine for close in white tails with the .357. Go for the double action because you can always run it single action for hunting and double action for target practice, etc. Should be great fun for you. Good luck.

    SimS

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
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    YM2000

    Default Re: Handgun Advice

    I will also chime in with the .22 for starters.. Great caliber for fun and small stuff(snakes included)..

    As for the larger, I like the .357/.38.. Good cal, very versatile.. However, you may want to look at the .44mag as you can also fire specials( .44special )as well... If your only looking at one gun, make it a double action w/6"(min)bbl length, for all the same reasons mentioned above..

    Oh, BTW, I'm also a Ruger guy, the Super Redhawk would be my preference....

    Happy shooting.... [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  5. #5
    Super Member
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    Shingle Springs California
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    New Holland TC40D

    Default Re: Handgun Advice

    Go try a few. Some ranges around here have rental guns. One has a nice selection of revolvers and semi-auto's(they also rent shotguns). Note this is only for the single use at thier range...

    Also, check on a handgun class. Many shops and ranges will have them. They can be pretty informative, even for expierienced shooters(I was in the same boat a few years back...)

    Start there, and then refine your search.

    Personally, I like the venerable old 45acp in either a 1911a1 or a Glock 21/30.

  6. #6
    Elite Member CurlyDave's Avatar
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    Grants Pass, OR
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    Default Re: Handgun Advice

    The grip of many single-action revolvers has a slightly different shape than that of a double-action.

    In my hands, at least, the shape of the Ruger single-actions reduces perceived recoil substantially. This is something to consider in a .357, and definitely something to consider in .44 magnum.

    We have ranges here in CA which will rent you a gun for an hour. If you can find one nearby, go try a few different makes & models, especially if you can shoot some of the heavier loads. This is where slight differences in the gun can make a real difference in how well you shoot.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    jd 970, JD GT235

    Default Re: Handgun Advice

    If you dont want to conceal carry then hands down no doubt about it S&w 686 357 6" barrel DA revolver. But after you wound that first deer that you couldnt wait on you'll be shopping for 44mag minimum.

    Hi-standard is back in biz if you want to look at another 22 pistol maker.

  8. #8
    Silver Member AL_Josh's Avatar
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    Mobile, Alabama
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    Cub LT 1046, 2000 Honda Rancher, 2004 Carolina Skiff

    Default Re: Handgun Advice

    I agree that .22's are the place to start getting used to shooting a handgun. I bought my wife a Walther P-22 because she had not ever shot anything and was afraid of shooting. It is small and not intimidating to first time shooters. She has now moved up to a 9mm. So I got to make the .22 my target pistol. Fun to shoot and cheap to shoot. I also hunt with a .45 Long Colt. I have only taken a bobcat at about 30 yards but he did not run after taking a hollow point to the body. I have a Kimber Tactical Custom II in .45. I use it a my conceal carry.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: Handgun Advice

    Do you plan to actually carry the weapon on your body? Make sure you get a decent holster and belt to support the weight of the weapon. You don't want it bouncing around if you are running or at a fast walk. You want a reliable weapon, so don't buy a low quality weapon. Choose a caliber with some power to stop. As for double or single action, I would go with whatever you are comfortable with.

    Of course, these are just my opinions but I hope it gives you some ideas of things to look for when picking a carry style weapon.

    Joe

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: Handgun Advice

    About Single/Double Revolver/Semi-auto: Don't know about NY, but here in TX if you qualify w/ a revolver ,that is all you can carry. If you qual w/ a semi-auto you can carry either one. Just something to check on.
    Personal opinion: I carry a Sig 225 9mm auto. It is slim and not too heavy. and I am pretty confident in its use.
    Home defense is handled by a Colt .357 Mag revolver. Wife is more comfy w/ a revolver. Also, think about this... a revolver sits on the shelf loaded and all springs are in a state of rest, no tension on anything till you get ready to fire. An auto has at least that pesky mag spring under tension (and wearing out) the whole time it is loaded.
    Once again, my opinion. Try several out before you make your choice. Also remember, no ONE gun will do all things well. They are tools and there is a correct tool for every job. But also remember the old saying "beware the man w/ only one gun, he probably knows how to use it".
    Good luck.

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