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What would you guys recommend for a first handgun? I'm thinking of getting one sometime in the near future, and I'm open to suggestions as far as caliber, brand, revolver/semi auto, etc. My only requirements would be that it would have to be large en

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  • What would you guys recommend for a first handgun? I'm thinking of getting one sometime in the near future, and I'm open to suggestions as far as caliber, brand, revolver/semi auto, etc. My only requirements would be that it would have to be large en

    What would you guys recommend for a first handgun? I'm thinking of getting one sometime in the near future, and I'm open to suggestions as far as caliber, brand, revolver/semi auto, etc. My only requirements would be that it would have to be large enough to fit my big hands comfortably (no super-compacts), and I would prefer that it be at least .357, to be deer-hunting legal here in IA if should I want to try that. My budget is fairly limited.

  • #2
    What is "fairly limited" in your mind? Being a first handgun I'd look for one that could be converted to a self-defense/cheap target gun once you purchase your second handgun. Something like a .357 would fit the bill for this reason. I wouldn't use your common over the counter ammo though if there was a chance you would be firing at a deer(buy some buffalo bore ammo or something). I'd steer away from some of the bigger calibers such as a .44 mag. Main reason being that you will most likely want to shoot that first handgun quite a bit, and dropping $1/shot adds up quick. It's amazing how fast you can end up spending more on ammunition than you did on the gun itself(it is a possibility that I know this through a personal experience)! Now when it comes to getting your second handgun I'd suggest a .44 mag .

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by JM View Post
      What is "fairly limited" in your mind? Being a first handgun I'd look for one that could be converted to a self-defense/cheap target gun once you purchase your second handgun. Something like a .357 would fit the bill for this reason. I wouldn't use your common over the counter ammo though if there was a chance you would be firing at a deer(buy some buffalo bore ammo or something). I'd steer away from some of the bigger calibers such as a .44 mag. Main reason being that you will most likely want to shoot that first handgun quite a bit, and dropping $1/shot adds up quick. It's amazing how fast you can end up spending more on ammunition than you did on the gun itself(it is a possibility that I know this through a personal experience)! Now when it comes to getting your second handgun I'd suggest a .44 mag .
      My budget is probably under $600 at this time, though if I find something I really like that's higher, I'll just wait and save up for it. But I can't really justify getting anything too fancy for a first one. I am not completely inexperienced with handguns; I've been shooting them ever since I was old enough to hold them safely. Just haven't bought one of my own yet. I've always loved the look and history of 1911s, and some of the lower-priced versions would be in reach. What do you think of them?

      Comment


      • #4
        .357mag is marginal for deer unless you are hunting from a tree stand and taking 20 to 30 yard shots.
        With your budget I would think used. Check Gunbroker.com when you decide on a model.
        I would say a revolver for first gun, but you say you like the looks of the 1911's. I have a 1911 clone and it functions fine but I would not bang away with it all day long - not like you could with a Springfield or Colt. Plus, .45ACP is not the best hunting caliber.
        I would consider a .44mag in something like a used Taurus or maybe a .45Colt in a Ruger that would fit your needs and budget. Then reload for it to keep cost in line.
        Good luck.

        Comment


        • #5
          IMHO, consider 2: start with a .22 to give you the opportunity to shoot a lot, carry it on the trap and small game hunt. Most of us are not natural hand gunners, lots of practice helps. I like Rugers.
          Then save up for a Sig p220 Hunt ready 10mm. It's new for this year so unfortunately not used ones on the market yet. As JHP recommends used is a good viable option. Ruger Super Redhawks in .44 are widely available used in the $600 range. .357 is too light for any big game hunting.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by JM View Post
            What is "fairly limited" in your mind? Being a first handgun I'd look for one that could be converted to a self-defense/cheap target gun once you purchase your second handgun. Something like a .357 would fit the bill for this reason. I wouldn't use your common over the counter ammo though if there was a chance you would be firing at a deer(buy some buffalo bore ammo or something). I'd steer away from some of the bigger calibers such as a .44 mag. Main reason being that you will most likely want to shoot that first handgun quite a bit, and dropping $1/shot adds up quick. It's amazing how fast you can end up spending more on ammunition than you did on the gun itself(it is a possibility that I know this through a personal experience)! Now when it comes to getting your second handgun I'd suggest a .44 mag .
            I love the 1911...have an original WWI version that I bring out of the safe about once a year. I also own a Remington R1(for the other 364 days) and love it. I think it was around that 600 limit you have. Not the best gun for hunting deer though...I did kill a smaller doe at around 40 yards and that was definitely pushing it. Not enough power in a .45, and not enough accuracy with the short barrel. If you actually think you might hunt deer with it I'd look at a Super Blackhawk in .44 mag. I have mine sighted in at 100 yards(mounted a scope on it) and would guarantee I could kill a deer and more at that distance.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by JM View Post
              What is "fairly limited" in your mind? Being a first handgun I'd look for one that could be converted to a self-defense/cheap target gun once you purchase your second handgun. Something like a .357 would fit the bill for this reason. I wouldn't use your common over the counter ammo though if there was a chance you would be firing at a deer(buy some buffalo bore ammo or something). I'd steer away from some of the bigger calibers such as a .44 mag. Main reason being that you will most likely want to shoot that first handgun quite a bit, and dropping $1/shot adds up quick. It's amazing how fast you can end up spending more on ammunition than you did on the gun itself(it is a possibility that I know this through a personal experience)! Now when it comes to getting your second handgun I'd suggest a .44 mag .
              ...I would not take that 40 yard shot again with a 1911 after seeing how little damage it did.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by charlie elk View Post
                IMHO, consider 2: start with a .22 to give you the opportunity to shoot a lot, carry it on the trap and small game hunt. Most of us are not natural hand gunners, lots of practice helps. I like Rugers.
                Then save up for a Sig p220 Hunt ready 10mm. It's new for this year so unfortunately not used ones on the market yet. As JHP recommends used is a good viable option. Ruger Super Redhawks in .44 are widely available used in the $600 range. .357 is too light for any big game hunting.
                Hi...!!


                The .22 as a STARTER seems like good advice...getting used to that should be very helpful when you are introduced to larger calibers...!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by charlie elk View Post
                  IMHO, consider 2: start with a .22 to give you the opportunity to shoot a lot, carry it on the trap and small game hunt. Most of us are not natural hand gunners, lots of practice helps. I like Rugers.
                  Then save up for a Sig p220 Hunt ready 10mm. It's new for this year so unfortunately not used ones on the market yet. As JHP recommends used is a good viable option. Ruger Super Redhawks in .44 are widely available used in the $600 range. .357 is too light for any big game hunting.
                  Hi...!!


                  Another option regarding a starter hand gun would be a .38...recoil is minimal...cost should be minimal...ammo is not too expensive...but could NOT be recommended for use on big game...!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by jhjimbo View Post
                    .357mag is marginal for deer unless you are hunting from a tree stand and taking 20 to 30 yard shots.
                    With your budget I would think used. Check Gunbroker.com when you decide on a model.
                    I would say a revolver for first gun, but you say you like the looks of the 1911's. I have a 1911 clone and it functions fine but I would not bang away with it all day long - not like you could with a Springfield or Colt. Plus, .45ACP is not the best hunting caliber.
                    I would consider a .44mag in something like a used Taurus or maybe a .45Colt in a Ruger that would fit your needs and budget. Then reload for it to keep cost in line.
                    Good luck.
                    Hi...!!


                    The .44 mags and the Colt .45 would be better handgun choices for big game...but either one will take some getting used to...especially for accurate shooting/hunting...!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JM View Post
                      What is "fairly limited" in your mind? Being a first handgun I'd look for one that could be converted to a self-defense/cheap target gun once you purchase your second handgun. Something like a .357 would fit the bill for this reason. I wouldn't use your common over the counter ammo though if there was a chance you would be firing at a deer(buy some buffalo bore ammo or something). I'd steer away from some of the bigger calibers such as a .44 mag. Main reason being that you will most likely want to shoot that first handgun quite a bit, and dropping $1/shot adds up quick. It's amazing how fast you can end up spending more on ammunition than you did on the gun itself(it is a possibility that I know this through a personal experience)! Now when it comes to getting your second handgun I'd suggest a .44 mag .
                      Yeah, my brother has a .45 auto (not a 1911), and he's taken deer with it. I wasn't particularly impressed with the terminal performance, but he didn't make great shots either. It certainly wouldn't be my primary hunting gun, so I wouldn't have a problem keeping shots under 40 yards. I'll keep a 1911 in mind; I do find them very appealing. Was that WWI model used by an ancestor of yours?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by charlie elk View Post
                        IMHO, consider 2: start with a .22 to give you the opportunity to shoot a lot, carry it on the trap and small game hunt. Most of us are not natural hand gunners, lots of practice helps. I like Rugers.
                        Then save up for a Sig p220 Hunt ready 10mm. It's new for this year so unfortunately not used ones on the market yet. As JHP recommends used is a good viable option. Ruger Super Redhawks in .44 are widely available used in the $600 range. .357 is too light for any big game hunting.
                        That is an option I've considered, but I am not a complete handgun rookie. I've used a .22 pistol on all my traplines since I was 12 years old (I think the statute of limitations has expired on that. Lol), and I've small-game hunted with it as well. Still use one frequently for pest control around the farm. I've also shot target air pistols (no, I'm not trying to compare an air pistol to a .44 mag, but the fundamentals are basically the same) a lot for years. So that's why I'm thinking of jumping straight to a centerfire. I will check out your suggestions. I've always been a little leery of buying used guns though, so I'm not sure I would go that route. I'd rather save up and get a new one.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jhjimbo View Post
                          .357mag is marginal for deer unless you are hunting from a tree stand and taking 20 to 30 yard shots.
                          With your budget I would think used. Check Gunbroker.com when you decide on a model.
                          I would say a revolver for first gun, but you say you like the looks of the 1911's. I have a 1911 clone and it functions fine but I would not bang away with it all day long - not like you could with a Springfield or Colt. Plus, .45ACP is not the best hunting caliber.
                          I would consider a .44mag in something like a used Taurus or maybe a .45Colt in a Ruger that would fit your needs and budget. Then reload for it to keep cost in line.
                          Good luck.
                          The .44 mag is a little heavy for a first "serious" handgun. Have you had good luck buying used guns? That's always made me a little uneasy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JM View Post
                            What is "fairly limited" in your mind? Being a first handgun I'd look for one that could be converted to a self-defense/cheap target gun once you purchase your second handgun. Something like a .357 would fit the bill for this reason. I wouldn't use your common over the counter ammo though if there was a chance you would be firing at a deer(buy some buffalo bore ammo or something). I'd steer away from some of the bigger calibers such as a .44 mag. Main reason being that you will most likely want to shoot that first handgun quite a bit, and dropping $1/shot adds up quick. It's amazing how fast you can end up spending more on ammunition than you did on the gun itself(it is a possibility that I know this through a personal experience)! Now when it comes to getting your second handgun I'd suggest a .44 mag .
                            No, it was given to my great grandfather as a gift(he was in the war but did not carry the gun). I believe the original owner died in the war but not certain. I was told my great grandfather was able to hit soda cans even in his 90s with the thing at 20 yards.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by charlie elk View Post
                              IMHO, consider 2: start with a .22 to give you the opportunity to shoot a lot, carry it on the trap and small game hunt. Most of us are not natural hand gunners, lots of practice helps. I like Rugers.
                              Then save up for a Sig p220 Hunt ready 10mm. It's new for this year so unfortunately not used ones on the market yet. As JHP recommends used is a good viable option. Ruger Super Redhawks in .44 are widely available used in the $600 range. .357 is too light for any big game hunting.
                              What do you think of a 10mm for deer hunting charlie? Seems a little light to me...

                              Comment

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