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PhilipMarlowe
Texas A&M Fan
Member since Mar 2013
4607 posts

Thinking about purchasing my first hand gun, and getting a license to carry
I live in TX.

I didn't grow up around guns, and therefore don't really know much about them. But i've decided I'd like to get one primarily to take to the range and shoot for fun, and have at home for safety. I'm wondering if shooting ranges loan out handguns to try before you buy, and what guns I should look at? I'm not sure if i'm required by law to take a basic gun safety class(es) before i can even shoot at a range, but I'd like to do this anyway.

Criteria:
- Something under $1k would be ideal
- A decent size that feels comfortable, i have relatively large hands (XL gloves)
- Reliable
- Requires minimal maintenance

As for the License to Carry, I thought I'd take the class and get the permit just to do it, and to learn more about my rights and responsibilities as a gun owner. I don't really have any intention of carrying a gun on me day to day, but at the same time it wouldn't hurt to legally be able to do so. How long does the class last? Is there a shooting proficiency test associated with it? Is the class difficult in general?

So basically I'm just looking for advice on what guns to look at, and the best way to go about getting into it. I'll definitely be researching more on line, but I thought I'd check in with the fine folks here as well for some advice.

I've had the Glock 19 (or maybe 17) recommended to me by a family member as something to look at, as well as a Sig Sauer p something?
This post was edited on 1/11 at 3:14 pm



Clyde Tipton
LSU Fan
Planet Earth
Member since Dec 2007
29614 posts

re: Thinking about purchasing my first hand gun, and getting a license to carry
Welcome to the world of 1911's...


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50
Riseupfromtherubble
USA Fan
You'll Never Walk Alone
Member since Jun 2011
26716 posts
 Online 

re: Thinking about purchasing my first hand gun, and getting a license to carry
quote:

So basically I'm just looking for advice on what guns to look at, and the best way to go about getting into it.


Go to the gun store and tell the guy to get ready because you want to handle a bunch of then.

You can break it into 3 basic categories to start:

Polymer pistols (glock, SW, taurus,)
Steel/aluminum pistols (1911's, CZs)
Revolvers

Within each category you're going to have subcategories. Subcompact, compact, full size.

You need to handle and point these to narrow down what feels the most comfortable and natural. A lot of people think a glock is too thick, or don't like the grip on a subcompact, or don't like the weight of a 1911. Handle as many as you can so you can narrow it down from there. Consider the comfort of actually carrying one, because when it boils down to it..if it's uncomfortable to carry then you aren't going to carry it.

Glock 19, Commander size 1911, and anything from sig sauer would be a good starting point. I personally like the ergonomics and trigger of a 1911 compared to a glock. That's me personally though.

don't skimp on your first gun. Get a nice one.

I would consider two calibers. 45 and 9mm. My first handgun was a 10mm and I love it, but recommending that to a newbie is going to be frowned upon
This post was edited on 1/11 at 3:25 pm


PhilipMarlowe
Texas A&M Fan
Member since Mar 2013
4607 posts

re: Thinking about purchasing my first hand gun, and getting a license to carry
Excellent and thorough advice.


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CHEDBALLZ
South Central LA
Member since Dec 2009
11151 posts
 Online 

re: Thinking about purchasing my first hand gun, and getting a license to carry
quote:

I live in TX. Sorry to hear that.

I'm wondering if shooting ranges loan out handguns to try before you buy, and what guns I should look at?

Some do, they are limited.

I'm not sure if i'm required by law to take a basic gun safety class(es) before i can even shoot at a range, but I'd like to do this anyway.

No prerequisite to shooting at a range, never a bad idea to take a handgun safety course.


Criteria:
- Something under $1k would be ideal 90% of handguns are under $1,000
- A decent size that feels comfortable, i have relatively large hands (XL gloves) Guns come in all shapes and sizes, many guns with different size grips as well
- Reliable reliabilty issues have more to do with cheap ammo than the actual gun
- Requires minimal maintenance, revolver, but most guns are very easy to field strip and clean

How long does the class last? 1 day
Is there a shooting proficiency test associated with it? yes
Is the class difficult in general?
No

So basically I'm just looking for advice on what guns to look at, and the best way to go about getting into it.
Go to a local gunshop with good knowledgeable salespeople, maybe even one with a range and ask these question




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10
Propagandalf
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since May 2010
1791 posts

re: Thinking about purchasing my first hand gun, and getting a license to carry
Here are some related threads:

Carry pistol for a young lady? LINK
Wanting to buy my first pistol LINK /
Thoughts on S&W? Will be my first LINK /
Gun for home protection LINK /
Recommendations for 9mm all around gun LINK /
My Christmas Present. To myself. First CC gun. LINK /
Advice for concealed carry LINK /
anyone carry a revolver? LINK /
Need recommendations on handgun LINK /
9MM or .40 pistol recommendations LINK /
9mm for shooting and home protection LINK /
Good Handgun For My Girlfriend? LINK /
Afternoon, Gents. Recommend me a Handgun (Final Decision in OP) LINK /
Handgun Recommendation $500-$600 LINK /
Good handgun for under $400? LINK /
Choosing two handguns for the household over the next few weeks... LINK /
Opinions on Smith & Wesson SD40VE handgun? LINK /
Ideal handgun for a woman LINK /
"9mm vs 40 sw" The great handgun debate LINK /
Any suggestions on a handgun for my wife? LINK /
First handgun purchase advice LINK /
Handgun for the Wife recomendations LINK /
Concealed Carry Handgun-Wife has RA LINK /
can I get some help with a choice of a pistol? LINK /
Help me find a concealed carry pistol LINK /
Is this a good pistol and other gun questions? LINK /
Best home defense pistol AGAIN. but a twist. LINK /
Best 9mm pistol? LINK /
The millionth "wife wants a pistol" thread. LINK /


Kino74
Member since Nov 2013
2026 posts

re: Thinking about purchasing my first hand gun, and getting a license to carry
quote:

I'm wondering if shooting ranges loan out handguns to try before you buy, and what guns I should look at?


Some ranges do. Juse give the range you interested in a call you see if they rent.


quote:

I'm not sure if i'm required by law to take a basic gun safety class(es) before i can even shoot at a range, but I'd like to do this anyway.


Texas doesn't require a training class to purchase a firearm.


quote:

Criteria:
- Something under $1k would be ideal
- A decent size that feels comfortable, i have relatively large hands (XL gloves)
- Reliable
- Requires minimal maintenance



I like my Glocks and my HK VP9. I recommend getting night sights on them if you plan on using them for self defense.




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20
bapple
LSU Fan
Capital City
Member since Oct 2010
9539 posts

re: Thinking about purchasing my first hand gun, and getting a license to carry
quote:

I'm wondering if shooting ranges loan out handguns to try before you buy, and what guns I should look at?


Well, I'm in Baton Rouge but there are a few local ranges here that do so I can imagine other ranges in other states do to. Just call around or look online and I'm sure you'll have your answer.

quote:

Criteria:
- Something under $1k would be ideal
- A decent size that feels comfortable, i have relatively large hands (XL gloves)
- Reliable
- Requires minimal maintenance


Here is a basic list of full-sized, striker-fired, polymer-framed, double-stack 9mm handguns to consider. These all fit that criteria easily.

S&W M&P
Springfield XD
Glock 17/19
Ruger SR9
Sig P320
Walther PPQ
HK VP9
FN FNS9

quote:

How long does the class last? Is there a shooting proficiency test associated with it? Is the class difficult in general?


I imagine Texas has similar standards to Louisiana. Here it is a full day (9 hour) course with a very basic shooting standard and no, it isn't difficult. There is plenty of good information regarding lethal force laws and some hypothetical scenarios in most classes.

quote:

I've had the Glock 19 (or maybe 17) recommended to me by a family member as something to look at, as well as a Sig Sauer p something?


That would be the P320 but it's on my list I already posted.

Good on you for going and getting some training. Since you didn't grow up hunting, learn these rules in and out and learn to recite them:

1. All guns are loaded.
2. Never point the muzzle at anything you are not willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target and you've made the conscious decision to fire.
4. Be aware of your target and what is beyond it.

Go test out some handguns and get some training and when one feels right you will know. Later down the road you can get a gun to carry but everyone should start on a full sized gun as they are much easier to shoot and handle.





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30
Kino74
Member since Nov 2013
2026 posts

re: Thinking about purchasing my first hand gun, and getting a license to carry
The mods ought to put all those threads in a "New gun owner FAQ."


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30
AlxTgr
LSU Fan
Kyre Banorg
Member since Oct 2003
50295 posts
 Online 

re: Thinking about purchasing my first hand gun, and getting a license to carry
So the online thing. Not sure I really get it. I get together with a local FFL person first, then buy from site? or other way around?


PhilipMarlowe
Texas A&M Fan
Member since Mar 2013
4607 posts

re: Thinking about purchasing my first hand gun, and getting a license to carry
quote:

Here are some related threads:

Carry pistol for a young lady? LINK
Wanting to buy my first pistol LINK /
Thoughts on S&W? Will be my first LINK /
Gun for home protection LINK /
Recommendations for 9mm all around gun LINK /
My Christmas Present. To myself. First CC gun. LINK /
Advice for concealed carry LINK /
anyone carry a revolver? LINK /
Need recommendations on handgun LINK /
9MM or .40 pistol recommendations LINK /
9mm for shooting and home protection LINK /
Good Handgun For My Girlfriend? LINK /
Afternoon, Gents. Recommend me a Handgun (Final Decision in OP) LINK /
Handgun Recommendation $500-$600 LINK /
Good handgun for under $400? LINK /
Choosing two handguns for the household over the next few weeks... LINK /
Opinions on Smith & Wesson SD40VE handgun? LINK /
Ideal handgun for a woman LINK /
"9mm vs 40 sw" The great handgun debate LINK /
Any suggestions on a handgun for my wife? LINK /
First handgun purchase advice LINK /
Handgun for the Wife recomendations LINK /
Concealed Carry Handgun-Wife has RA LINK /
can I get some help with a choice of a pistol? LINK /
Help me find a concealed carry pistol LINK /
Is this a good pistol and other gun questions? LINK /
Best home defense pistol AGAIN. but a twist. LINK /
Best 9mm pistol? LINK /
The millionth "wife wants a pistol" thread. LINK /





But a sincere thanks to all, I think this board is by far the most helpful and quickest when it comes to solid advice.

I definitely have a lot of research material now.


AlxTgr
LSU Fan
Kyre Banorg
Member since Oct 2003
50295 posts
 Online 

re: Thinking about purchasing my first hand gun, and getting a license to carry
BTW, I'm sorta in your shoes and I'm about to buy a commander length 1911 in 9mm. I just can't pull the trigger.


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10
Floating Change Up
Houston Astros Fan
Austin
Member since Dec 2013
3414 posts

re: Thinking about purchasing my first hand gun, and getting a license to carry
Where in TX?

There are good people working at Red's in Austin. They have a good gun safety course. And they have plenty of guns they will let you try out on the I for range.


SportTiger1
Stonewall, LA
Member since Feb 2007
10678 posts

re: Thinking about purchasing my first hand gun, and getting a license to carry
A home gun and a carry gun are 2 different weapons, for me at least. You maybe able to carry a bigger gun.

If you're not opposed to spending your 1k, you could actually get a glock 19 And a s&w shield for a little less than 1k.

Them you would really be set, and have two great guns.


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30
Riseupfromtherubble
USA Fan
You'll Never Walk Alone
Member since Jun 2011
26716 posts
 Online 

re: Thinking about purchasing my first hand gun, and getting a license to carry
quote:

So the online thing. Not sure I really get it. I get together with a local FFL person first, then buy from site? or other way around?


buy a gun online
have your local ffl fax them their documents
online dealer ships gun to your ffl
pay your ffl a fee for the transfer, usually 20-25$

it's as simple as that. I usually deal with pawn shops. It's an easy $25 for them and only takes them filling out a little paperwork and faxing over their license to the seller


basically just call the ffl you wanna use, tell them you'd like to get a gun shipped in and ask what they charge for the transfer fee and if they can fax a copy of their FFL to 555-555-5555.

Sometimes they can actually get you a better deal on the gun you're looking at buying.

also, always check slick guns when buying online. It lists a lot of the websites selling the model you're looking for and gives the price. I just bought a Kimber for about 200 less than retail doing this
This post was edited on 1/11 at 5:43 pm


AlxTgr
LSU Fan
Kyre Banorg
Member since Oct 2003
50295 posts
 Online 

re: Thinking about purchasing my first hand gun, and getting a license to carry
quote:

Riseupfromtherubble



SportTiger1
Stonewall, LA
Member since Feb 2007
10678 posts

re: Thinking about purchasing my first hand gun, and getting a license to carry
Some online brokers already have the info from a lot of FFLs. Buds for instance, had a big list of places in shreveport that they had everything they needed, all I had to tell them is which one to ship it to.


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00
dawg23
Baton Rouge, La
Member since Jul 2011
3184 posts

re: Thinking about purchasing my first hand gun, and getting a license to carry
GunBroker.com is the online site with the biggest selection -- and therefore gives you good odds on finding the lowest price. They also keep a pretty comprehensive list of FFL dealers in towns all over the US (in case you haven't lined one up on your own).

As was stated, most local shops charge $20-25 for a transfer. Cheapest I've seen in BR is $15. But always ask about the "transfer fee" in advance -- some will try to stick you for $40-50 (or more).

If you shop on GunBroker, be sure and look at the seller's feedback (just like on eBay). If someone has an A+ rating based on 2500 sales, he's probably reliable. If some dude has no feedback, or has only sold 2-3 guns, you're taking a bigger risk.

Also pay attention to shipping costs (some sellers charge extra, some have it included in their price). Shipping costs will be listed on GunBroker for each item that's listed for sale.

And try to pay by credit card (some sellers add a surcharge, some don't). I've never had a bad experience with a seller on GunBroker, but paying via cc gives you the option of disputing the charges if the gun isn't in good condition or isn't "as described."

I'm sure others have more tips re GunBroker, or can recommend other auction sites. I've just had uniformly good experiences with that site.


rebelrouser
Furman Fan
Columbia, SC
Member since Feb 2013
2037 posts

re: Thinking about purchasing my first hand gun, and getting a license to carry
Try to a rent a few and find one that fits your hand. Also, find the type of action you like. I would not recommend the 1911 single action for home defense because you need to keep the hammer cocked or you would have to rack the slide before use. I would recommend a good da/sa pistol like Sig P226, H&K P30, or CZ75 (decocker versions). You can store those with one in the chamber and an initial long and heavy trigger pull for safety. I also really love the H&K w/ the light LEM trigger, which is the tits. The polymers are fine too, but if my budget were up to 1k, i would look at those pistols i recommended.


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AlxTgr
LSU Fan
Kyre Banorg
Member since Oct 2003
50295 posts
 Online 

re: Thinking about purchasing my first hand gun, and getting a license to carry
Heading to BR tomorrow. May have time to look at a few.


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