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Firearms question

Old 11/25/15, 03:58 PM
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Firearms question

Are there any good books or on-line resources that are geared for beginner firearms owners?

I've just applied for a NJ Firearms Purchasing permit. I'd like to get a handgun and perhaps an AR-15 or similar semi-auto rifle when I'm legal.

I'm a total newbie. I've never fired a handgun before, and the last time I shot a rifle was when I had to qualify with an M-16 in the Air Force back in the mid-70's.

I plan on taking NRA safety course, and have been doing some basic research, and over the winter some friends who own several types of handguns have offered to take me to a range and try theirs. I'm far from decided yet, but am leaning towards something 9mm due to ammo cost and availability.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11/25/15, 04:08 PM
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I went through the research before I applied for my concealed carry permit. I read '10 best' articles and read/watched reviews and settled on the Sig Sauer P320 Subcompact in 9mm. I've put 100 rounds through it so far and really like the way it feels in my hands and the way it shoots. The capacity is very good at 1 plus 12 in the magazine. A step up in size (.5" longer and .6" taller) is the Compact with a 3.9" barrel (rather than the 3.6" in the Subcompact) and capacity increases to 1 plus 15 in the magazine.

I don't know about books but I am a member of the SIG Talk forum and there are some very helpful folks on there. sigtalk.com
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Old 11/25/15, 04:09 PM
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9mm is a good choice for ammo choices and cost. I prefer Sig Sauer hardware. IMO books won't do much for you but friends and range time certainly will. Good luck. It is an expensive hobby (habit?) lol.
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Old 11/25/15, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by tom281 View Post
It is an expensive hobby (habit?) lol.
Can't be more than modding a Mustang....I hope.

For now I'm just assessing my needs. I'd like something light and easy to handle, have fun with it as often as possible so that I can improve my skills over time. I plan on shooting it often so reliability is a must. A few people have recommended a Sig or a Beretta and both of those seem to be available in a general $600 price range. But there are so many choices, it's mind boggling.

My cousin insists I get something with stopping power and recommends a .357 or a .45, but I think he's nuts. He feels that a 9mm isn't powerful enough to stop a home invader with one shot. Hell, if that ever should happen, I don't need to explode the bad guy...I figure a 9mm would be enough to get his attention.

NJ doesn't have conceal/carry, and even if we did, the last thing this world needs is a newbie like me carrying around a loaded gun....in a V8 Mustang.
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Old 11/25/15, 04:40 PM
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The debate about stopping power is endless, but the fact is that shot placement is WAY more important than caliber. A 9mm jacketed hollow point is plenty adequate. For carry or home defense you definitely don't want full metal jacket rounds as they may pass through flesh and injure an innocent bystander.

The pistol I mentioned weighs just under 2 lbs fully loaded. I've seen it for $438 on-line. If you buy it that way it will be shipped to a federally licensed shop and they will process your background check and deliver the weapon. I checked on that recently and my local shop charges $45 for that service and they collect state sales tax as well. It would have been about $75 cheaper than buying it from the local shop. Check out Vizard's Guns.
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Old 11/25/15, 04:46 PM
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If I was worried about stopping power in a home invasion scenario I'd just carry a short stock 12 gauge. He's right above, placement is where it's at (no pun intended) lol.
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Old 11/25/15, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by tom281 View Post
If I was worried about stopping power in a home invasion scenario I'd just carry a short stock 12 gauge. He's right above, placement is where it's at (no pun intended) lol.
I watch The Walking Dead, so I know all about placement!!! When that apocalypse comes, I'm going to need to put those pesky zombies down with accurate head shots.
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Old 11/25/15, 05:06 PM
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When I get on a computer I'll shoot you a message. Was a gunsmith for about 4 years, and have 200 hours of firearms training under my belt. I can help as I am able. I should still have a number of resources on ballistics I can send your way, if you want to read through it all (spoiler alert, caliber doesn't matter, hitting your target does).
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Old 11/25/15, 05:24 PM
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Funny that this thread has three Toms.
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Old 11/25/15, 06:14 PM
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No matter what caliber your using if you hit the bad guy they won't want another. :-)
P.S. If I shot an intruder with my pellet gun I'm pretty sure they wouldn't want a second one?
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Old 11/25/15, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Mustang Freak View Post
No matter what caliber your using if you hit the bad guy they won't want another. :-)
P.S. If I shot an intruder with my pellet gun I'm pretty sure they wouldn't want a second one?
I wish that were true. I've seen accounts of several interactions between bad guys and police where the bad guy took over a dozen hits and was still shooting back.
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Old 11/25/15, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by tukatz
Funny that this thread has three Toms.
Thought the same thing !
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Old 11/25/15, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by tukatz View Post
I wish that were true. I've seen accounts of several interactions between bad guys and police where the bad guy took over a dozen hits and was still shooting back.
Then it comes down to the drugs their on...! :-)
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Old 11/25/15, 06:54 PM
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Triple, as a NRA Life Member since 1975 I suggest you get in touch with the closest NRA affiliated Range and they can put you in touch with an instructor who can answer any questions you have. Additionally they can also provide hands on instruction in weapons handling. And you may want to join the NRA to take advantage of the hundreds of years of experience and the benefits they offer.
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Old 11/25/15, 07:28 PM
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Good suggestions. I joined the NRA after applying for my carry permit. There are so many people trying every way they can to take our guns away from us that I HAD to support the one organization that does the most to prevent that from happening.
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Old 11/25/15, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by TripleBlack14 View Post
Can't be more than modding a Mustang....I hope.
Depends on how taken with it you become. Ammo and range time is way more expensive than gas. Buying hardware can be addictive too.

Originally Posted by TripleBlack14 View Post
NJ doesn't have conceal/carry, and even if we did, the last thing this world needs is a newbie like me carrying around a loaded gun....in a V8 Mustang.
So no concealed carry NOR open carry? That's ridiculous. Remember, you'll only be a newbie for six months to a year tops. It's literally just point and shoot. Then you'll be pissed at Jersey for being so oppressive.

So my recommendations:

+1 on 9mm if you are sure you want a semiautomatic handgun. Take that more as "if you are sure you DON'T want a rifle or revolver."

+1 on SIG if you are looking for a premium handgun. If you are looking for a more practical "beat on it" type of gun, then Ruger or Glock. If it's only for home defense and the range then premium is probably a better choice. For example, I have a SIG P226 that is for home and the range. I carry a Ruger LCP because it's light, cheap and gets worn just from carrying it around (think like your wallet or keys). You probably don't want to wreck the finish on a premium gun unless you're made of money.

The first steps I recommend are to take the class, rent a gun and get some range time. Gun culture is generally so intense that when I was starting I found the opinions on the Internet to be a little overwhelming. It's way worse than Mustang culture.

One thing that doesn't get mentioned often is physical security for the handgun. It's something to think about because generally the more secure it is the less accessible it is, and the less accessible it is, the less useful it is in a conflict.
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Old 11/26/15, 08:20 AM
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As a 12 year USAF Security EST operator and 25 Year State Trooper...Firearms, SWAT Instructor/SWAT Sniper/Team Leader, S&W/Glock/Remington/Winchester/Colt armorer I have shot about everything with a trigger and trained thousands of students.

As someone new to firearms you should get as much formal training as you can afford. To become proficient with firearms it takes literally thousands of rounds of training. I would suggest that the best way to decide on a weapon is to find an indoor range that rents handguns and try as many different makes as possible. Most of the popular makes (Glock/S&W/Springfield/Sig/FN/etc.) are reliable and accurate. I myself after firing about everything on the market have been carrying Sprinfield XD's exclusively.

Once you get trained their is NO substitute for practice...even if you don't have money for thousands of rounds at the range you can dryfire train anywhere. I use a "Air Soft" blowback Springfield XD in my home to train, shooting about 5000 bb's a month (I could not afford to do that firing live 45 ACP).
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Old 11/26/15, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by tacbear View Post
As a 12 year USAF Security EST operator and 25 Year State Trooper...Firearms, SWAT Instructor/SWAT Sniper/Team Leader, S&W/Glock/Remington/Winchester/Colt armorer I have shot about everything with a trigger and trained thousands of students.

As someone new to firearms you should get as much formal training as you can afford. To become proficient with firearms it takes literally thousands of rounds of training. I would suggest that the best way to decide on a weapon is to find an indoor range that rents handguns and try as many different makes as possible. Most of the popular makes (Glock/S&W/Springfield/Sig/FN/etc.) are reliable and accurate. I myself after firing about everything on the market have been carrying Sprinfield XD's exclusively.

Once you get trained their is NO substitute for practice...even if you don't have money for thousands of rounds at the range you can dryfire train anywhere. I use a "Air Soft" blowback Springfield XD in my home to train, shooting about 5000 bb's a month (I could not afford to do that firing live 45 ACP).
Training is key to everything. Money spent on a gun used for defense should look like this:

1) the actual gun
2) 1000-2000 rounds of ammo
3) enough training to burn through said ammo

Wash, rinse, repeat. Through in a holster in some extra mags as well, although at the classes I've been to if you have a popular handgun holsters will be available...it's REAL nice to try out a few and see which work best...especially drawing from cover. Yes that ultraconceal-9000 holster that you tape to your ***** so nobody knows you're carrying hides the gun real well, but how are you getting it out when things go down?

If you have an extra couple hundred $$$ laying around, and you're thinking what to buy, go sign up for another training course. It will do SOOOOOO much more good then whatever piece of crap you're about to bolt to the side of your gun. Once you're proficient and at a level you're comfortable with...start bolting crap on to your heart's content.
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Old 11/26/15, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Joeywhat View Post
Yes that ultraconceal-9000 holster that you tape to your ***** so nobody knows you're carrying hides the gun real well, but how are you getting it out when things go down?
Yeah, you might grab the wrong thing and wouldn't you look silly then.
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Old 11/26/15, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by tukatz View Post
Yeah, you might grab the wrong thing and wouldn't you look silly then.
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