I want to learn to shoot, where do I start?

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TallBill

Lifer
Apr 29, 2001
46,044
62
91
Don't get an airsoft gun, don't get a bb gun. Retarded avice, those are not firearms.
 
Aug 23, 2000
15,511
1
81
You can get a Armscor/Rock Island Arms 1911 for $400. It will be a good/reliable 1911 that shoots .45
Don't forget though, no matter what firearm you get, you need to get Eyes and Ears (shooting glasses and ear protection).
a .22 is ok to plink with, but if you want a mans gun you need at least a 9mm. 9mm, is still cheap and is almost never out of stock, unlike .45 and some rifle rounds.
If you want a rifle, you can get either a .22lr for around $100 at Academy for a basic one up to $300. If you're going to spend $300 on a rifle, I would suggest getting an Romanian WASR-10 AK clone. I got mine for $330 and it's a blast to shoot.
If you live in a rural part of the state, check the laws about firing on public land. I know in Texas you can shoot outside of incorporated cities and in small towns as long as you are not firing across a road way. We go up to the Red River and shoot into Oklahoma, and shoot logs that float by in the river.
 

slsmnaz

Diamond Member
Mar 13, 2005
4,018
0
0
I actually taught the g/f how to shoot this weekend. :D It was an old .22 that my dad learned on and then he taught me with it years ago. She had never shot a gun before so it was the perfect one to start with. I doubt she'll ever want to shoot my rifle or shotgun but the .22 was perfect.
 

jlee

Lifer
Sep 12, 2001
48,511
219
106
Originally posted by: JeffreyLebowski
You can get a Armscor/Rock Island Arms 1911 for $400. It will be a good/reliable 1911 that shoots .45
Don't forget though, no matter what firearm you get, you need to get Eyes and Ears (shooting glasses and ear protection).
a .22 is ok to plink with, but if you want a mans gun you need at least a 9mm. 9mm, is still cheap and is almost never out of stock, unlike .45 and some rifle rounds.
If you want a rifle, you can get either a .22lr for around $100 at Academy for a basic one up to $300. If you're going to spend $300 on a rifle, I would suggest getting an Romanian WASR-10 AK clone. I got mine for $330 and it's a blast to shoot.
If you live in a rural part of the state, check the laws about firing on public land. I know in Texas you can shoot outside of incorporated cities and in small towns as long as you are not firing across a road way. We go up to the Red River and shoot into Oklahoma, and shoot logs that float by in the river.
IMHO, a Ruger 10/22 is the best first gun out there. Incredibly reliable and ammo is cheap.
 

JulesMaximus

No Lifer
Jul 3, 2003
74,448
826
126
Originally posted by: Jeffwo
If you never shot anything b4 start with a BB gun. They are just about as fun as a .22 and operate just alike, except that you can shoot them in your backyard. I own 2 myself that I use to stay in practice.
A bb gun is a toy. I think he's talking about a real gun.
 

JulesMaximus

No Lifer
Jul 3, 2003
74,448
826
126
Originally posted by: CadetLee
Originally posted by: JulesMaximus
Originally posted by: Jeff7181
So I've been trying to find a hobby that's not as expensive as buying crap for my car or constantly upgrading my computer and buying the latest video games. I've decided shooting would be a fun hobby, I just don't know where to start.
Should I take some kind of gun safety class before heading to the shooting range?
How would I find out where local shooting ranges are?
Would they have guns for students to learn with or would I need to buy my own first?
What kind of gun would you recommend I start with and what kind of price tag are we looking at?
I got news for you. Guns aren't cheap and neither is ammo or range time.

You're looking at $500 at least for a decent handgun plus ammo and range time. Everytime I go to the range I probably drop at least $40-50.
Ruger 10/22

Aaaaaand the solution presents itself. :p
Meh, once you get one gun you'll just start wanting more of them and the Ruger will collect dust in the corner. I have a Ruger 10/22 and I never shoot it anymore. When I go to the range I usually bring 2 or 3 handguns and 6-8 boxes of ammo.
 

pontifex

Lifer
Dec 5, 2000
43,806
45
91
Originally posted by: Quasmo
I think you picked the wrong hobby if you dont want to spend alot.
LMAO! exactly.

you can get decent new handguns for about $300 and up. You can get used guns for less sometimes.

I'd start out with a .22. The guns can be had for relatively low cost and the ammo is really inexpensive.

check out Bud's Gun Shop for price comparison. Your local dealer will probably be a little bit more than Bud's, but it shouldn't be by too much.

also, as JulesMaximus said, once you get started, you'll want to buy more.

I have 4 pistols and 1 rifle that I've bought myself and I still want more...it's definitely not a cheap hobby.
 

Lalakai

Golden Member
Nov 30, 1999
1,634
0
76
search in your area for a gun store that has been there for awhile (hopefully will have experienced staff). talk with them and explain what you want to. as others mentioned, shooting is not going to be a real cheap hobby, but it can be done. I would also recommend starting with a .22 rifle or pistol; decent used .22 rifle will run $100 - 150, and used pistol will run $125 - 200. Ammo is very inexpensive for the .22, and if you decide to move up, then you will have more experience and personal knowledge to help you with next step. The semi autos are more fun to shoot, but will burn through alot of ammo in a hurry; bolt actions and single shots are good to start little kids on, but i think you would get bored with them in a hurry.

while at the gun store, ask them about local shooting ranges, gun clubs, safety classes, ect. most gun stores keep lists of local places and know the schedules of classes. some ranges are public and free to use, others will need membership requirements. As another person mentioned, if you have a friend that has guns and is "safe" in their use, that would be one of your better routes.

unfortunately i live on other side of state, or would help out. keep us posted.
 

JulesMaximus

No Lifer
Jul 3, 2003
74,448
826
126
Originally posted by: upsciLLion
Originally posted by: JulesMaximus
Originally posted by: Jeff7181
So I've been trying to find a hobby that's not as expensive as buying crap for my car or constantly upgrading my computer and buying the latest video games. I've decided shooting would be a fun hobby, I just don't know where to start.
Should I take some kind of gun safety class before heading to the shooting range?
How would I find out where local shooting ranges are?
Would they have guns for students to learn with or would I need to buy my own first?
What kind of gun would you recommend I start with and what kind of price tag are we looking at?
I got news for you. Guns aren't cheap and neither is ammo or range time.

You're looking at $500 at least for a decent handgun plus ammo and range time. Everytime I go to the range I probably drop at least $40-50.
Let me guess. You love the Koch.
The Koch? As in Heckler & Koch? No, I don't own any HK guns.
 

jlee

Lifer
Sep 12, 2001
48,511
219
106
Originally posted by: JulesMaximus
Originally posted by: CadetLee
Originally posted by: JulesMaximus
Originally posted by: Jeff7181
So I've been trying to find a hobby that's not as expensive as buying crap for my car or constantly upgrading my computer and buying the latest video games. I've decided shooting would be a fun hobby, I just don't know where to start.
Should I take some kind of gun safety class before heading to the shooting range?
How would I find out where local shooting ranges are?
Would they have guns for students to learn with or would I need to buy my own first?
What kind of gun would you recommend I start with and what kind of price tag are we looking at?
I got news for you. Guns aren't cheap and neither is ammo or range time.

You're looking at $500 at least for a decent handgun plus ammo and range time. Everytime I go to the range I probably drop at least $40-50.
Ruger 10/22

Aaaaaand the solution presents itself. :p
Meh, once you get one gun you'll just start wanting more of them and the Ruger will collect dust in the corner. I have a Ruger 10/22 and I never shoot it anymore. When I go to the range I usually bring 2 or 3 handguns and 6-8 boxes of ammo.
Oh, I know. However, it's tough to beat for cheap plinking, pest control, etc.

Unless he wants to carry, I'd recommend a 10/22, then a Remington 870 (or a Mossberg if the 870 is too pricey), then a handgun..
 

TallBill

Lifer
Apr 29, 2001
46,044
62
91
Originally posted by: JulesMaximus

You're looking at $500 at least for a decent handgun plus ammo and range time. Everytime I go to the range I probably drop at least $40-50.
Yikes, I wish it was that cheap.
 

JulesMaximus

No Lifer
Jul 3, 2003
74,448
826
126
Originally posted by: TallBill
Originally posted by: JulesMaximus

You're looking at $500 at least for a decent handgun plus ammo and range time. Everytime I go to the range I probably drop at least $40-50.
Yikes, I wish it was that cheap.
I haven't bought ammo in quite a while. In fact, I haven't been to the range in a while.

I can shoot through 3-4 boxes of .45 in an hour and a box of .44 magnum. Guess that's a bit more than $50 though huh? Range time is $15/hour.
 

SlowSpyder

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
17,305
1,001
126
Shooting can be expensive, but it doens't have to be. A .22 won't set you back much and ammo is dirt cheap. I bought my Mossin for $100 at a gun show, surplus military ammo is pretty cheap for it (I got 780 rounds delivered for about $160). A 12 gauge pump shotgun doesn't have to be super expensive, and generally you can find ammo pretty cheap for trap/skeet (the local Gander Mountain usually has boxes of 25 shells for $3-$4 on sale). Join a local range, and have fun. The local range here has an annual $75 membership then to shoot is just $4 per round of skeet/trap or you can spend all day on the rifle/pistol ranges for $4.
 

tfinch2

Lifer
Feb 3, 2004
22,114
1
0
It's cheap to shoot my Beretta U22 pistol. I buy a box of 525 rounds at Cabela's for $9, and a 12 pack of big paper targets at Walmart for $2. That will last about 2 trips. It costs $13/day to shoot at the range I go to here in Austin.

<flamesuit>Get a Hi-point C9 9mm if you want something bigger than a .22 and don't want to spend a lot of $$.</flamesuit>
 

yuppiejr

Golden Member
Jul 31, 2002
1,318
0
0
For someone new to shooting, the first dollars you spend should be on a firearms safety and familiarization class. Just because someone you know shoots doesn't mean they are safe or know the first thing about proper shooting techniques (grip, stance, breathing, trigger control, sight picture, etc...) that will make you a better marksman in the long run. Learn from a pro first and then compare what they say when some jag-off at the range who "taught" themselves how to shoot has to say.

I think a .22 is the only way to start since it's cheap to shoot and will let you learn good habits though repetition. If you start with a larger caliber handgun and are recoil sensitive it's much more expensive and difficult to train with.

If you are going pistols, I suggest the Ruger Mark III over the Browning Buckmark. I've owned both and found the Ruger held up better without needing to be cleaned compared to the Buckmark. I traded my Ruger Mark II in for a Buckmark long ago and still regret the decision. The Browning is a fine pistol but is much more cumbersome to field strip and needs cleaning more often to keep shooting without malfunction (primarily because of a poorly finished feed-ramp that's common in this design).

As for rifles, the Ruger 10/22 is an ok choice if you are small statured - however I find it's a little small for my tastes. You could always pick up a barrel = stock upgrade kit (they are really easy to work on) however this will add greatly to the initial investment. Marlin and Remington make an number of good full size .22 rifles in semi-auto and bolt action configurations that are worth considering in their "out of the box" configuration as alternatives. I would avoid the airsoft/BB gun route if at all possible, if you are serious about wanting to learn how to shoot there's no substitute for the real thing. Also, most mid size-large cities/counties have ordinances that forbid the discharge of firearms which, in their definition, includes air powered rifles/pistols (including paintball), etc...
 

JulesMaximus

No Lifer
Jul 3, 2003
74,448
826
126
Originally posted by: yuppiejr
For someone new to shooting, the first dollars you spend should be on a firearms safety and familiarization class. Just because someone you know shoots doesn't mean they are safe or know the first thing about proper shooting techniques (grip, stance, breathing, trigger control, sight picture, etc...) that will make you a better marksman in the long run.

I think a .22 is the only way to start since it's cheap to shoot and will let you learn good habits though repetition. If you start with a larger caliber handgun and are recoil sensitive it's much more expensive and difficult to train with.

If you are going pistols, I suggest the Ruger Mark III over the Browning Buckmark. I've owned both and found the Ruger held up better without needing to be cleaned compared to the Buckmark. I traded my Ruger Mark II in for a Buckmark long ago and still regret the decision. The Browning is a fine pistol but is much more cumbersome to field strip and needs cleaning more often to keep shooting without malfunction (primarily because of a poorly finished feed-ramp that's common in this design).

As for rifles, the Ruger 10/22 is an ok choice if you are small statured - however I find it's a little small for my tastes. You could always pick up a barrel = stock upgrade kit (they are really easy to work on) however this will add greatly to the initial investment. Marlin and Remington make an number of good full size .22 rifles in semi-auto and bolt action configurations that are worth considering in their "out of the box" configuration as alternatives. I would avoid the airsoft/BB gun route if at all possible, if you are serious about wanting to learn how to shoot there's no substitute for the real thing. Also, most mid size-large cities/counties have ordinances that forbid the discharge of firearms which, in their definition, includes air powered rifles/pistols (including paintball), etc...
While this isn't bad general advice I can't say that if you didn't follow this that you'd end up being a bad or unsafe gun owner. First handgun I ever shot was a .38 special and it was with a friend of mine at a shooting range. He explained the basic rules of gun safety (something I already knew from my childhood when my step-dad tought me to shoot a rifle) and then we went shooting. I bought my first handgun shortly thereafter, a Taurus PT92 9mm (IIRC-I don't have it anymore).

I've owned several different handguns, shotguns and rifles over the last 17 years and currently own about 12 different guns. Never had any safety issue with any of them.

If you've never been around guns though I'd recommend a safety course. Definitely not a bad idea.
 

alkemyst

No Lifer
Feb 13, 2001
83,967
18
81
Originally posted by: Quasmo
I think you picked the wrong hobby if you dont want to spend alot.
QFT...even with a .22 you are looking at probably more than the car or PC upgrades since with shooting it's usually done a few time during the week, but with a car/PC you are usually doing things monthly or less often.
 

alkemyst

No Lifer
Feb 13, 2001
83,967
18
81
Originally posted by: Jeff7181
Originally posted by: Quasmo
I think you picked the wrong hobby if you dont want to spend alot.
Are guns that expensive? I honestly have no idea... I've never priced a gun before.
It's usually the ammo, not the gun that adds up. Expensive is subjective though. For around $500 you can buy a pretty decent handgun. Customization and specialty weapons could push that to multiples.
 

bignateyk

Lifer
Apr 22, 2002
11,288
7
0
Originally posted by: JulesMaximus
Originally posted by: upsciLLion
Originally posted by: JulesMaximus
Originally posted by: Jeff7181
So I've been trying to find a hobby that's not as expensive as buying crap for my car or constantly upgrading my computer and buying the latest video games. I've decided shooting would be a fun hobby, I just don't know where to start.
Should I take some kind of gun safety class before heading to the shooting range?
How would I find out where local shooting ranges are?
Would they have guns for students to learn with or would I need to buy my own first?
What kind of gun would you recommend I start with and what kind of price tag are we looking at?
I got news for you. Guns aren't cheap and neither is ammo or range time.

You're looking at $500 at least for a decent handgun plus ammo and range time. Everytime I go to the range I probably drop at least $40-50.
Let me guess. You love the Koch.
The Koch? As in Heckler & Koch? No, I don't own any HK guns.

Actually, I think he was talking about this kind of Koch:

***NSFW*** cock ***NSFW***
 

alkemyst

No Lifer
Feb 13, 2001
83,967
18
81
Also gun ranges and just about all gun topics are under 'Gun' in the yellow pages.

Sometimes 'Shooting Ranges'.
 

pontifex

Lifer
Dec 5, 2000
43,806
45
91
Originally posted by: alkemyst
Originally posted by: Jeff7181
Originally posted by: Quasmo
I think you picked the wrong hobby if you dont want to spend alot.
Are guns that expensive? I honestly have no idea... I've never priced a gun before.
It's usually the ammo, not the gun that adds up. Expensive is subjective though. For around $500 you can buy a pretty decent handgun. Customization and specialty weapons could push that to multiples.
true, unless you get the gun bug and want to buy more guns.
and when you buy more guns, you tend to want to try out different calibers. different calibers means different ammo types.

if you want the gun for self defense, you usually want hollow points, which are almost, if not, double the cost of FMJ.

A case of 500 9mm Remington FMJ (10 boxes of 50) at Dick's in the Harrisburg, PA area costs about $74 when it's on sale (which is quite often, unless thats just the normal price?). Usually the more you buy the less the cost per box is. I think Dick's charges 11.98 or 10.98 for a box of 9mm. if you buy a case (10 boxes) they lower the price to 6.98 a box. I'ev seen it at 7.98 too though, so price varies.
 

Triumph

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
15,031
13
81
Originally posted by: yuppiejr

As for rifles, the Ruger 10/22 is an ok choice if you are small statured - however I find it's a little small for my tastes. You could always pick up a barrel = stock upgrade kit (they are really easy to work on) however this will add greatly to the initial investment. Marlin and Remington make an number of good full size .22 rifles in semi-auto and bolt action configurations that are worth considering in their "out of the box" configuration as alternatives. I would avoid the airsoft/BB gun route if at all possible, if you are serious about wanting to learn how to shoot there's no substitute for the real thing. Also, most mid size-large cities/counties have ordinances that forbid the discharge of firearms which, in their definition, includes air powered rifles/pistols (including paintball), etc...
If you don't like how the 10/22 feels, try buying a conversion kit. :)
 

upsciLLion

Diamond Member
Feb 21, 2001
5,947
1
81
Originally posted by: JulesMaximus
Originally posted by: upsciLLion
Originally posted by: JulesMaximus
You're looking at $500 at least for a decent handgun plus ammo and range time. Everytime I go to the range I probably drop at least $40-50.
Let me guess. You love the Koch.
The Koch? As in Heckler & Koch? No, I don't own any HK guns.
$500 is a lot of bones unless you buy exclusively new (or H&K guns :p). My Colt Python was $500, but well it's a Python. My CZ-75 was $375 and came with six magazines.
 

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