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Went to the firing range for first time this weekend... TWICE!

Stuxnet

Diamond Member
Jun 16, 2005
8,403
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My wife and I went to a firing range for the first time this weekend. It was out anniversary and we came up with some thing to do around town for the weekend while her mom watched our kids.

One of the things we've talked about doing was learning to handle a firearm. Also, recently I've decided to officially begin the transition of getting OUT of software development and into Law Enforcement. I'm going back to school, I've intensified my excersise program by adding weightlifting and Krav Maga, and I'm getting acquainted with firearms.

We went to a so-so range on Saturday. They were real chummy and welcoming, but their safety practices didn't sit well with me. My wife and I immediately explained that neither of us had so much as held a gun before. The guy took out a Reuger .22, showed as how to load it, operate the slide, etc., and asked that we not shoot each other with it. We were turned loose about 10 minutes later.

We were both pretty nervous but faired pretty well. The gun was cake to shoot and neither of us had any trouble hitting the bullseye at approx. 15 yards. The gun did, however, jam/misfire quite a bit. It was shooting multiple rounds and not firing when there was a chambered round. This made me pretty nervous so I told them it was time for us to "move up". They had us shoot a couple Glock 9mm's. They were more fun than the 22, but much more difficult to shoot for first-timers. We went through a box or two and called it a day. LOTS of fun.

Yesterday I went to another range that was a little further away; REAL nice place. They made me watch a safety video that lasted about 10 - 12 minutes (worth every second) and started explaining some of the various firearms. I explained that my ultimate goal was LE and that I'd like to eventually get a gun that was similar to what I'd be trained on and issued. I started with the Glock 22 (.40SW). I hated that gun (which sucks, seeing as how it's one of the most commonly-issued firearms). While my shooting certainly sucks, this thing was all over the map. I also have slightly smaller-than-average-hands, which makes this thing feel like I'm shooting a brick. I tried the Glock 23 (slightly smaller, same caliber), and it actually felt even more uncomfortable. Each shot caused the butt to really dig into my right hand.

So I started talking to one of the guys behind the counter and he totally agreed. I understand why the Glock is so popular among LE, but if I can learn to shoot on something with the same power but is more comfortable, I'm all over it. He handed me a Smith and Wesson Gibbiddlyboobloo and a Sig Saur P226.

The Wesson was nice... much more comfortable; but that Sig was practically MADE for my hands. The only thing I didn't like was the slide lever, as it's positioned relatively far back on the gun and requires a fair amount of force to actuate.

But other than that, it was sweet. I had some good shots on target, but most are going slightly low and left. I've read that this is a common problem with new shooters and I'm committed to correcting it.

The Point

So the point of all this is that I think I'm going to pick up a P226. I thought about trying a couple Taurus guns, but I've heard of issues with customer service. I know the XD's are nice, too, but I just never got around to trying one out. I was going to try a Kimber, but the few that I saw looked like fairly large guns. I'm not interested in concealed carry, but I do want a relatively compact gun. I just like the feel of them in my hand. I also looked at a few HK's (2000's, USP's), but didn't actually get to fire them.

Cliffs
1. Went shooting on Saturday for first time. Went to another place on Sunday.
2. Want to get into Law Enforcement; want to learn how to shoot and care for a firearm proficiently before training.
3. Thinking about a P226 or HK2000. Want a 40SW handgun, but not a Glock (yet).
 

pontifex

Lifer
Dec 5, 2000
43,806
44
91
it seems that .22 ammo is usually like that, in my experience anyway. i don't know if its how its made or what.

also, getting something that fits in your hand comfortably is big factor. you could go out and buy the most expensive, "best" gun ever, but if its not comfortable to hold, you just wasted your money.
 

Stuxnet

Diamond Member
Jun 16, 2005
8,403
1
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Originally posted by: acemcmac
Everyone should know the basics of firearm use and saftey IMHO.
I agree. I think people should know how to at least handle a firearm, even if they never plan on buying one. You never know when you might be in a situation where you need to be able to safety a gun or take aim.

Originally posted by: pontifex
it seems that .22 ammo is usually like that, in my experience anyway. i don't know if its how its made or what.

also, getting something that fits in your hand comfortably is big factor. you could go out and buy the most expensive, "best" gun ever, but if its not comfortable to hold, you just wasted your money.
Exactly. I'm not sure how most LE agencies are regarding their issued firearms. Do they require their officers/agents/etc to use their standard issue, or is there a little freedom allowed as long as it's at your own expense and it meets certain guidelines (cartridge, etc)?
 

pontifex

Lifer
Dec 5, 2000
43,806
44
91
Originally posted by: jbourne77
Originally posted by: acemcmac
Everyone should know the basics of firearm use and saftey IMHO.
I agree. I think people should know how to at least handle a firearm, even if they never plan on buying one. You never know when you might be in a situation where you need to be able to safety a gun or take aim.

Originally posted by: pontifex
it seems that .22 ammo is usually like that, in my experience anyway. i don't know if its how its made or what.

also, getting something that fits in your hand comfortably is big factor. you could go out and buy the most expensive, "best" gun ever, but if its not comfortable to hold, you just wasted your money.
Exactly. I'm not sure how most LE agencies are regarding their issued firearms. Do they require their officers/agents/etc to use their standard issue, or is there a little freedom allowed as long as it's at your own expense and it meets certain guidelines (cartridge, etc)?
i'm not sure, but i think there is a little freedom to choose your own gun as long as it meets certain requirements.
 

Specop 007

Diamond Member
Jan 31, 2005
9,454
0
0
Alot of people complain about the Glock grip angle, which can cause you to not shoot very well.
I'm with you on the Sig, those are like butter man. Love'm.

Digging into your palm? I assume you take you dominant hand on the grip then use your other hand as a cup over the bottom of the magwell no?
Keep both hand on the grip. No cupping the bottom.

Heres a quick instructional video.
Learn it, live it, love it. It WILL make you a better shooter and since your new you might as well learn the proper way now instead of heaving to re-train yourself, which is a real pain in the ass to do.
 

Stuxnet

Diamond Member
Jun 16, 2005
8,403
1
0
Originally posted by: Specop 007
Digging into your palm? I assume you take you dominant hand on the grip then use your other hand as a cup over the bottom of the magwell no?
It was actually digging into my hand's "grip", aka: the inside knuckles of fingers 1, 2, and 3. I think it was a combination of the block style grip and the size of it.

As far as holding it, I actualy grasp the gun first with my right hand and then wrap my left hand around the left, as opposed to what I've seen in the movies (cupping the right hand from below).

Originally posted by: Specop 007
since your new you might as well learn the proper way now instead of heaving to re-train yourself, which is a real pain in the ass to do.
ABSOLUTELY. I want to learn this right the first time. As soon as I've settled on a firearm, I'm going to take some safety courses and some shooting courses.

My longterm training consists of 3 main areas:

1. Education (Criminology or Security/Intelligence - haven't yet decided)
2. Physical training (aerobic 3 times a week, anaerobic 2 times a week, Krav Maga 2 times a week)
3. Firearms (range twice a month + classes over the next couple years)
 

misle

Diamond Member
Nov 30, 2000
3,371
0
76
I'm glad you found a range that was able to help educate you on firearms and firearm safety. Good luck with your purchase and LE training.
 

Stuxnet

Diamond Member
Jun 16, 2005
8,403
1
0
Originally posted by: misle
I'm glad you found a range that was able to help educate you on firearms and firearm safety. Good luck with your purchase and LE training.
What surprised me with the first range was how cavalier they were. The first words out of my mouth were literally "we've never held a gun, let alone fired one". Ten minutes later, we're strolling out to the range - gun and ammo in hand - ALONE. They were friendly, but not very thorough. What's worse is that the range itself had as many impacts BEHIND the line as it did in front of it! Even the wall behind us was swiss cheesed. There was also zero air filtration (lead dust FTW).

The second range I went to (sans wife) was sweet. Not quite as "friendly", but very knowledgeable and a much better facility. They had a great air exchange system and the particles/dust were constantly pushed down the lane. I don't think I smelled gunpowder once.
 

Stuxnet

Diamond Member
Jun 16, 2005
8,403
1
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Originally posted by: phantom309
You won't go wrong with either one of those pistols. I prefer the Sig.
Yeah, I've yet to fire the HK (saw a couple USP's and 2000's), but so far I really like the Sig. As soon as I fire the HK's (and possibly a few Kimbers), I'll make a decision.

Definitely going to be tough to talk me out of the 226, though.
 

Specop 007

Diamond Member
Jan 31, 2005
9,454
0
0
Originally posted by: jbourne77
Originally posted by: phantom309
You won't go wrong with either one of those pistols. I prefer the Sig.
Yeah, I've yet to fire the HK (saw a couple USP's and 2000's), but so far I really like the Sig. As soon as I fire the HK's (and possibly a few Kimbers), I'll make a decision.

Definitely going to be tough to talk me out of the 226, though.
There should be no reason to talk you out of the 226, its a beautiful piece.
 

franksta

Golden Member
Jun 6, 2001
1,967
6
81
The P226 is really nice but I think it is also the largest of SIGs pistols. If you're looking for something a little smaller from SIG they have a P229 and a P239. Both of them are available in the same chamberings as the P226 (9mm, 357SIG, and 40S&W). Really the best way to decide is to try as many as you can. I was set on a P229 until I tried a 1911.
 

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