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  • Gun Question

    Before you respond, please keep in mind that i am semi new to firearms training but have done a lot of research and am asking for Opinions and advice (so don't tell me to shoot around and that its a personal prefrents. because i already know that and have heard it all before).

    I am looking into getting a firearm as a way to practice and qualify with for personal carry (so i can gain confidence before attempting to get a LE position). I know about the different firearm makers, so my question is this.

    What type of round would you suggest for both personal protection (stopping power) and range use (cost) as well as a round that will not reduce the life of the gun (since i will be putting a lot of rounds down range in order to build up my skill and confidence). I have been looking at semi autos but have not completely ruled revolvers out as a second gun later on.

    any suggestions?
    Reply by PM or leave your comments below.

  • #2
    My suggestion, wait until the academy. Many times it's not the 20 year Marine Corps vet who is the best shooter but the guy who has never shot before and hasn't developed bad habits.

    Comment


    • #3
      What the other guy said. Just wait for you to go through a training period. That way you'll know what duty weapon you're issued, what ammo you'll need, and how your department wants you to shoot. If you learn to shoot before then and it's not to their liking, you'll have to retrain.

      Beyond that, if you really feel the need to hit the range before any formal training, I recommend a .22 pistol. Ruger MkII/III seem to be more popular, but any .22 will do (Browning Buckmark, single six even). These guns are 'plinker' guns and don't hold recoil characteristics that can cause bad habits and other quirky issues with the mechanics of firing a weapon.
      "Officer, you are kinda hot."

      "And you are kinda intoxicated."

      Comment


      • #4
        Stopping power and low cost do not go hand-in-hand so it'll be up to you to figure out where in the middle you want to fall.

        You should forget about the life of the gun; as long as you are shooting the caliber intended for the weapon it will be just fine. If you are shooting only factory-loaded ammo and maintaining the weapon, your gun will last for many years.

        Overall it sounds to me like you'd be OK with a 9mm semi-auto like a Glock.

        Comment


        • #5
          Don't try to teach yourself how to shoot. Make sure you have a trained by someone who is trained to train you!

          Comment


          • #6
            40S&W, 9mm is the least expensive & effective & .45ACP is the most expensive & effective of the three.

            Currently, .40S&W has got to be the most issue round in law enforcement.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Methos422 View Post
              I am looking into getting a firearm as a way to practice and qualify with for personal carry (so i can gain confidence before attempting to get a LE position).
              Since you have not yet attempted to apply, it could be years before you actually stand on an academy firing line. While the others are correct in stating that it is better to get professional training it is not better to walk around unarmed for a couple years until you can do so.

              What I would suggest is that you pickup a Glock 19 and enroll in some firearms training. See if there are any NRA instructors near you or go for the big boys like Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, etc. If those are not available or practical, then check if you have a local IDPA or IPSC club. They are usually very welcoming to new shooters, and as long as you know enough to use safe gun handling they can show you how to become proficient.

              Now the Glock 19 may not be the flashiest or the top of the "stopping power" debate. However it is a dead nuts reliable handgun. The 9mm is a less-expensive round to shoot (because you will be doing ALOT of it RIGHT!) but still packs more than enough punch to drop a human target when you do your job. The G19 is large enough to shoot well, but small enough to conceal.

              Get a good holster, belt and mag pouch from Galco, Desantis, Comptac, etc.

              Once you get that Glock, put some night sights on it (or buy it with Glock or Trijicon night sights) and DONT PUT ANYTHING ELSE ON IT!!!!! DO NOT ADD ANYTHING TO IT NO MATTER WHAT THE GUNSHOP COWBOY TELLS YOU.

              I just had to get that last part out of my system.
              "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
              8541tactical.com - Ammo Wallets

              Comment


              • #8
                I don't own a Glock, but my recommendation would be to get a Glock 9mm. It has reasonable "stopping power" in that it serves as an adequate defensive load with the right ammo. It's also the most reasonably priced centerfire handgun round, but it still adds up quickly. I'd also suggest you consider a .22 conversion kit for the Glock. That will allow you to get in a lot more practice with cheap ammo on the same gun frame.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Find a range that has a Novice or beginners class. take the class and try several guns and calibers. Pick the one that feels best.

                  Stopping power does not matter as much as shot placement. I am far more wary of a guy with a .22 or .380 that knows how to shoot than I am of the guy with the 1911 who fires one Mag every year.

                  M-11
                  “All men dream...... But not equally..
                  Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it is vanity;
                  but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
                  for they act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.....”

                  TE Lawrence

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mabbottusmc View Post
                    My suggestion, wait until the academy. Many times it's not the 20 year Marine Corps vet who is the best shooter but the guy who has never shot before and hasn't developed bad habits.
                    Excellent advice. In my academy class the top 3 shooters were those who never owned handguns before and they shot high 290's out of a possible 300.
                    People grow through experience, if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Stopping power does not matter as much as shot placement. I am far more wary of a guy with a .22 or .380 that knows how to shoot than I am of the guy with the 1911 who fires one Mag every year.
                      True, true.
                      Politically Correct? No.

                      Truthful? Yes!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Blackdog F4i View Post
                        Since you have not yet attempted to apply, it could be years before you actually stand on an academy firing line. While the others are correct in stating that it is better to get professional training it is not better to walk around unarmed for a couple years until you can do so.

                        What I would suggest is that you pickup a Glock 19 and enroll in some firearms training. See if there are any NRA instructors near you or go for the big boys like Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, etc. If those are not available or practical, then check if you have a local IDPA or IPSC club. They are usually very welcoming to new shooters, and as long as you know enough to use safe gun handling they can show you how to become proficient.

                        Now the Glock 19 may not be the flashiest or the top of the "stopping power" debate. However it is a dead nuts reliable handgun. The 9mm is a less-expensive round to shoot (because you will be doing ALOT of it RIGHT!) but still packs more than enough punch to drop a human target when you do your job. The G19 is large enough to shoot well, but small enough to conceal.

                        Get a good holster, belt and mag pouch from Galco, Desantis, Comptac, etc.

                        Once you get that Glock, put some night sights on it (or buy it with Glock or Trijicon night sights) and DONT PUT ANYTHING ELSE ON IT!!!!! DO NOT ADD ANYTHING TO IT NO MATTER WHAT THE GUNSHOP COWBOY TELLS YOU.

                        I just had to get that last part out of my system.
                        This is a really good post. I quoted it in hopes you'd read it twice.

                        bc

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I would have to agree with most the posts here. I would add this. Everytime you pull the trigger on any weapon, you're going to reduce the life of the weapon. Nothing lasts forever, however, how you treat and maintain the gun will depend on how long it will last you.

                          My advise is to purchase a Glock. Any glock you're comfortable with. Shooting centerfire ammo is going to be costly, 9mm is the cheapest, but still costly if you're doing a lot of it. But you also stated stopping power, and that's going to be either the .40 or the .45 round.

                          So how do you get around that? For a couple hundred dollars buy a ciener conversion kit in .22 caliber for your glock and shoot to your hearts content, for practically nothing. Not only do you train on the weapon you'll ultimately carry, as a new shooter, you're learning on the best caliber to learn with. When you get proficient with it, you easily remove the conversion kit, put your upper back on, and now you're ready step up to the big league. Additionally all the rounds through the conversion kit, means no wear and tear on the main barrel/slide/springs/firing pin, etc.

                          Here is a link to ciener http://www.22lrconversions.com/glk-pg.htm

                          The NUMBER 1 mistake for new shooters is to pick up a magnum or high caliber pistol and try to learn on it. Go with the .22 for beginning and you can step up when you learn the basics. And, you can keep the conversion kit for plinking or starting out your kids with when they get old enough.

                          After almost 50 years of shooting, I still like to pull out the .22 pistol and send a few thousand rounds down range.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I've got to chime in here and offer my opinion from 2 different perspectives...

                            First as a firearms instructor ...
                            I agree with the previous responses. IF you're going to attend a law enforcement academy, then wait until you start and learn the right way from the outset. It is much easier to teach someone to shoot who doesn't have any bad habits to break. Typically, they turn out to be much better target shooters than those who already "knew" how to shoot. Tactical shooting is a different skill set you'll need, but you have to have the fundamentals first. It doesn't matter what type of gun you have, the basic skills are the same. Each weapon you shoot will have its own characteristics and will respond differently. IF you learn with your duty weapon, all the better.

                            Second as a student in a law enforcement academy...
                            I'm half-way thru an academy here in west Texas and we just finished our week long session of firearms training. We shot all day, all week, and into the evening once. Each student probably shot 1200 or 1300 rounds this week. Before this week, we'd had classroom and dry-firing practices on weapon manipulation, safety procedures, magazine changes, etc... After all my years of shooting, I learned a lot this week and corrected some flaws in my own shooting. The science of shooting continually evolves and it's different for police work than it is for the military. The department I'm working for issues a 1911 style gun (.45 ACP) for their duty weapon and I've not shot this type gun for many, many years... I was used to shooting the Glock (model 19 and 38). So it took me some time to get used to this gun and to comfortably manipulate it in all phases of shooting - both on the range and in tactical scenarios. IF you decide to go ahead and take lessons now (and as someone else said, do NOT try to teach yourself), then make sure you keep an open mind when you go to the academy. The instructors there will teach you the right way for law enforcement work - and yes, it is different in some respects than that you'll learn in a commercial firearms course. This week, I saw someone who could hardly hit the paper at the beginning of the week end up shooting a qualifying score of 80% on Friday. Before this week, he'd only shot a handgun once before.

                            Good luck to you...

                            Jack

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Blackdog F4i View Post
                              Since you have not yet attempted to apply, it could be years before you actually stand on an academy firing line. While the others are correct in stating that it is better to get professional training it is not better to walk around unarmed for a couple years until you can do so.

                              What I would suggest is that you pickup a Glock 19 and enroll in some firearms training. See if there are any NRA instructors near you or go for the big boys like Gunsite, Thunder Ranch, etc. If those are not available or practical, then check if you have a local IDPA or IPSC club. They are usually very welcoming to new shooters, and as long as you know enough to use safe gun handling they can show you how to become proficient.

                              Now the Glock 19 may not be the flashiest or the top of the "stopping power" debate. However it is a dead nuts reliable handgun. The 9mm is a less-expensive round to shoot (because you will be doing ALOT of it RIGHT!) but still packs more than enough punch to drop a human target when you do your job. The G19 is large enough to shoot well, but small enough to conceal.

                              Get a good holster, belt and mag pouch from Galco, Desantis, Comptac, etc.

                              Once you get that Glock, put some night sights on it (or buy it with Glock or Trijicon night sights) and DONT PUT ANYTHING ELSE ON IT!!!!! DO NOT ADD ANYTHING TO IT NO MATTER WHAT THE GUNSHOP COWBOY TELLS YOU.

                              I just had to get that last part out of my system.
                              +1.
                              "A fanatic is one who won't change his mind, and won't change the subject." -Winston Churchill

                              "I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts." -Will Rogers

                              "To desire to save these wolves in society may arise from benevolence, but it must be the benevolence of a child or a fool" -Henry Fielding

                              Comment

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