Firearms newbie...

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Puck T. Smith
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Firearms newbie...

...sort of.  

I had military training many, many years ago but have not touched a firearms since.  Mainly this is because in the intervening years I was a bit of a fuck up and find myself in the position that it would be impossible for me to obtain a firearm legally--at least from the perspective of the central government in DC.  I'm not asking anyone's help in breaking the law, i.e., helping me obtain a weapon or weapons, but I am interested in recommendations for starter weapons and basic instruction for a fellow in his late fifties who barely weighs 140 lbs. soaking wet.  I'll be more detailed once I get home from work, but I wanted to get this thread started while I'm thinking about it.  If you feel inclined, go ahead and start responding to what I've said so far.  I'll dig more deeply into it when I get home.

Peace.

Edited by admin on 11/08/2014 - 06:05

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Seithen
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wow DC that's tough

Since you are former military I'm sure you could handle an AR just fine. I would suggest just getting an AR and a Glock17 pretty much all you would need. Training is tough because I don't know the east coast very well but there are some great outfits down in the Carolinas I think.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
murphy
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Here's a forum from way

Here's a forum from way back.

http://www.tfmetalsreport.com/forum/guns-people-who-want-one-protection-...

I think the consensus was a shotgun for home defense and a hand gun to fight your way there, in order to get to it.

Size of the hand gun dependent on whether you are a concealed carry holder. Which in DC is not even possible.

Loud Noises
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Shotgun

While its not the sexiest choice, a 12 gauge pump is still the best choice for defensive firepower.  There really is no comparison when you look at what's available on the civilian market.  Obviously it doesn't do everything, but you'd be emptying an pistol or rifle mag to get the same sheer force that a tube of 12 ga buck gives you.  If recoil is an issue, switch to 20 gauge and you still have a superior weapon.

After covering the initial bases of primary defense and sidearm (shotgun and handgun), then you can certainly expand your toolbox but those two take care of business best.  One to carry and one to defend the castle. 

IMO, AK's and AR's are for other situations.  I do know the scenarios where I would not bother picking up the shotgun and go right for the AK.  But those are FAR less likely to happen.  God willing, I'll never need to grab any of them.

I personally got a great deal on a Maverick 88 (made by Mossberg) and it is the best price/performance ratio on any gun I own.  I highly recommend checking those out first.  You should be able to get the gun and a starter stack of ammo for under $300.

Mr.Grey
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So you're a fuckup!

It's a characteristic I find admirable in a man, those perfect people are so fuckin boring.  1st I have to say a mans right to defend himself and his family is a God given right and not some privilege handed out by some stinking bureaucrat. secondly I would remind all that Justice Joseph Story plainly states that any law that is in conflict with the constitution is NOT a law, it is nothing, does not exist. Now that I have that off my chest it is important to know what role the weapon is to fulfill, Defense, Hunting, Target Shooting,Investment.  If a man wanted to stay within the parameters of these so-called laws there are options.  In 1892 our military adopted the 30-40 Krag rifle.  Any of these rifles or carbines produced before a certain date in 1898 (I'd have to look up the specific date) do not require a form to be filled out and can be shipped direct to your residence as they are considered antique.  While originally it was a 30 cal bullet loaded with 40 gr black powder, modern loads with modern powders make this a very effective deer rifle very comparable to a .270.  You can cut the barrel down and make a carbine  or simply swap barrels with a 1903 springfield. with aftermarket scope mounts it is very effective in any role.  If I was thinking home defense There are the single shot black powder 54 cal handguns.  My younger brother once loaded these with glazing points (for holding glass in windows) the result is a pattern that shreds everything in front of the end of the barrel at close range(think doorway)

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lakemike49
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PUCK

I do not know how you would get your hands on one, but a nice little starter gun for home protection,would be a BONDS ARMS SNAKESLAYER. Two shots either a 45 cal. colt round, at close range would stop about anything, or fires a 410 shotgun shell and belive me if you ever fired that the noise alone would make anyone think twice about being in your home.

lakemike

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Gun Law Expert

http://www.gunlaws.com/

Thanks for setting up this forum Puck.  I just finished listening to an interview by the author of this site and for those interested it can be found here (3rd hour).

http://www.freedomsphoenix.com/Media/116847-2012-08-16-08-16-12-pete-eyre-brock-lorber-alan-korwin-mp3.htm

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Puck T. Smith
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Thanks folks...

I have been doing a little research and I have discovered that I was mistaken about a few things.

Without going into details, I cannot buy from a federally licensed dealer as I will fail a Brady check.  I had always misunderstood that to mean I also could not possess firearms--other than antiques.  Unless I have misread a few things that is not the case.  I live in Maryland and, according to the NRA-ILA's reading of the law, Maryland only has restriction on handguns.  [http://www.nraila.org/gun-laws/state-laws/maryland.aspx]  Shotguns and rifles are unregulated at the state level.  I am also aware that there are nearby states where private gun sales are not covered by Brady--not sure about Maryland on that so at this point I'm not going to take the risk.  So it turns out it is legal for me to own a shotgun or a rifle, manual or semi (as long as it has a 5 round magazine or less).  

Bottom line, it appears I can acquire handguns, rifles and shotguns legally through private sales, but where I currently live I can only legally possess rifles and shotguns.   I was pleasantly surprised to learn that as I was afraid I was going to have to go completely outlaw. 

With that being the case I will soon be getting a shotgun and when I can afford it a rifle.  Mossberg has a few that look to be very nice weapons at a reasonable price.  For the rifle at this point I've only as far as thinking a .223 would be what I'm looking for since I  have trained on an M-16 and it is something a person with my small frame could handle easily enough.  I am going to eventually get a pistol, but I'm not ready to go there yet unless I move to a state that does not require registration

A friend at work tells me there is a range near him that only charges $15 for the range time and $7 dollars to rent a weapon, though if you rent you have to buy the ammo from them, but he says they don't rape you too much on the price.  I will be going there soon to start getting the feel for different makes and models.

Another issue I have to consider is that I am left handed.  That alone is not a big deal.  I play the guitar right handed so I'm sure I could learn to shoot right handed, but I am also almost blind in my right eye, so left handed it will have to be.  That was problem is the service--not the vision part--back in the Vietnam era they were not particularly concerned about my monocular vision--but as an M-16 ejects to the right having the hot brass flying past my face was not fun.  For that reason I'll be looking for weapons that either eject up, down or to the left.  To the left probably would be more expensive as I'm sure they are produced in smaller numbers.  Any suggestions on left handed weapons would be greatly appreciated.

As to the purpose?  Primarily home defense.  My stack is still small enough--barely--that I can keep it where I live, but I will soon me splitting it up and storing most of it offsite.  The other reason is for SHTF.  Should order break down I am too close to DC and it's surrounding suburbs to ride it out in place.  I have places I can flee when that time comes, but I am aware I may need to fight my way out if my timing is off.  And my final purpose: guns are fun.  I'm looking forward to recreational shooting--not necessarily hunting--but just enthusiastically hurling lead down range for the hell of it.

I look forward to any responses you folks may have.

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Puck T. Smith
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Left handed AR-15

http://www.gunsamerica.com/922411914/Guns/Rifles/Stag-Arms/Complete-Rifles/Stag_4L_Left_Hand_AR15_HB_rifle_223_Rem_5_56_NEW_LH.htm

It's nice to know they are out there and reasonably priced.

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Be Prepared
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@Puck - Thoughts

(1)  A Shotgun is always a great choice.  For a left hand shooter, I would suggest you look at a Browning BPS.  It ejects the empty shells from the bottom.

(2)  A .22 rifle would be a great investment as well.  The ammo is cheap and you can always pick a little game with it.

(3)  A Glock 17/19 is a great choice for a handgun.

I could write a book, but I have tried to keep it on point.  Hope its helpful!

Oh, one last thought.... stack ammo like you stack silver.  You can never go wrong with having a good supply.  :-)

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Karankawa
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My opinion on shotguns regarding price.

As in most things you get what you pay for.  I've read several accounts written by instructers that include the weapons in their courses.  The two brands most often used are Remington and Mossberg.

The conclusion I've reached is that a Remington is a much better value for dove hunting where you are going to do a lot of shooting at those crafty fliers.  (And by the way, you ain't going to ever get enough meat to offset the ammo cost, but it is a lot of fun.)

But a Remington doesn't develope problems anywhere as quick as a Mossberg does.  Repeated use by both guns will show that a Mossberg will require maintence (gunsmith or parts) before a Remington.

But the Mossberg offers a lot for home defense and a large magazine tube to hold the 12 ga options.

I think for hunting purposes a Remington is a better value, but for home defense a Mossberg is absolutely adaquate and preferable.

JMT

Karankawa

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Karankawa
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One more thing to think about when it comes to shotguns and ...

being left handed.

For hunting, I think it's and important consideration.  For home defense and close range, I don't think it's an issue.

When you go to the range, practice shooting from both sides.  And remember, you don't AIM a shotgun, you Point it.  Practice tells you how effective this is.

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Keg
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Left handed

I am left handed and shoot a variety of pump shotguns and semi auto rifles and shotguns without any issue.  I don't even notice the ejection.  While I would have a problem quickly reloading a Garand, semi autos with a magazine would not be a problem.  The only left handed gun I own is a Remington 700.  I am kind of slow with a right handed bolt rifle, unlike the left handed sniper in Saving Private Ryan.

I will quibble a little about the post that Remington makes a longer lasting shotgun than Mossberg.  I have a 35 year old Mossberg 500 that has fired thousands of rounds and never ever miss fed or any other problem.  All I have done is keep it clean and oiled.  For pumps, I rate Remington and Mossberg equal.  I prefer Remington over Mossberg for semi autos.  I do like the thumb safety on Mossberg 500s as it is much easier to confirm if your gun is on safe or not than the push button safeties on the trigger guard. 

Since you are smaller framed, you might do better with a youth model shotgun.  And they are cheaper.  Arm length is the key to fitting a shotgun.  Look up length of pull.

I would stay with 12 guage.  Most common ammo.  For self defense inside a house, use #6 or #8.  Less recoil and plenty of stopping power at short range.   My home defense shotgun is loaded with 3 rounds of #8 followed by 2 of 00, just in case I run into a particularly tough zombie. 

For a .223 rifle consider a Ruger Mini 14.  Simpler than an AR.  A little cheaper.  The older ones were not great with accuracy but the newer ones (starting with 580 serial numbers) are OK.  My mini 16 matches the accuracy of my S&W AR15. 

Loud Noises
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22

I also second BP's suggestion of a 22 after you get your main firearms.  They make practice very affordable and are fun to shoot.  It's also easy to stock multiples more of 22 ammo than other calibers.  I figure it makes sense to grab it while its cheap; someday it probably won't be.

murphy
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agree as well

Can't go wrong with one of these. Great cheap fun on the range.

http://www.ruger.com/products/22Charger/models.html

9m - springfield xdm - check

45 - kimber ultra carry - check

Mossberg - check

Dyna mo hum
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Consider one of these too

http://www.businessinsider.com/americans-cant-get-enough-of-russias-ak-47s-2012-8

Puck T. Smith
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Thanks everyone...

...you've given me a lot to consider.  I'm going to be doing my homework over the next few weeks and I will be referring back to this thread often.  

For now I'll leave it with this thought: community is everything, it's what will get us all through to the other side.  If any of you are ever in my neck of the woods--don't know why you'd wanna be, but if you ever are--give me a nudge, I'll try to make your stay a little easier.

Peace.

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From a 'not a gun guy'

For what it's worth, I recently went through this decision, and I chose a 9mm pistol, a 9mm carbine, and a mossberg shotgun.  I chose the first two intentionally to share ammo so I would need to stack less variety and quantity of ammo.  I didn't have a lot of fiat to spend, and decided to have the assortment rather than the best in any one category.  I got a S&W Sigma (new), a lightly used Ruger PC9 (the rare 9mm carbine that is both legal in California AND has a detachable magazine), and a old but lightly used shotgun.

Dyna mo hum
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Hey Puck

I tell ya a good revolver to get. Make it a Smith and Wesson 38 snubie . But dont take my word for that choice. Go to youtube and watch the Jack Ruby vs. Lee Harvey Oswald clip. I pack one regularly. One word....Training is Key!!

Ojibwemowin
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shotguns

I have a Mossberg 12ga New Haven model 500 pump shotgun that I bought with my first paycheck ever over 33 years ago.

I have shot numerous pheasant, ducks and geese with it - along with many assorted other critters, including squirrels, rabbits, a turkey and few deer with slugs.

I also have a Remington 870 Wingmaster pump in 20ga that I have shot just as many critters with, including upwards of 1500 to 2000 ruffed grouse, and a smattering of other critters with over the past 30 years. 

They are both serviceable firearms and I like the top safety on the mossbergs, but the Remington is far superior in terms of reliability, materials and workmanship to the Mossberg...no question in my opinion. All the jams on ejection, or failed ejections requiring me to manually remove a spent shell, in thousands of rounds through both came with the Mossberg and not a single one through the Remingtons, no matter what the ammo. Granted I could count the failures on two hands, but a few of those jams came at critical moments in the field that probably cost me some game. I wouldn't want that to happen to anyone in a more critical situation. 

My brother has the BPS 12 gauge with bottom ejection and that has been a very reliable weapon for him. 

I shoot left handed as well and have never been bothered with shooting right handed firearms of any sort, even a few bolt rifles that I have gotten used to shooting follow up shots well with. 

I would always include a good assortment of 22 caliber weapons in an arsenal for both game getting and practice, including a revolver like the S&W 617 10 shot revolver and a good rifle like the Henry Lever or CZ bolts. 

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Good advice above.  My top 4

Good advice above.  My top 4 recommendations are below and #5 is a serious consideration.  I would double check on your legal status before making any purchases. I lived in MD for a year, and they don't fool around with gun possession.  There's a reason I don't live in the NE USA.  Gun control and liberals :).

1.  An AR - either the AR-15 or AK-47 works well since there are so many on the market and in new/used condition.  We like Ar-15s, but have acquaintances who absolutely love the AKs.

2.  Shotgun - 12g has the most versatility and is perfect for defensive use.  I prefer semi-auto that can handle 2.75"/3.0"/3.25" shells, but pumps work just fine too.  Great for hunting.

3.  Handgun - Glock is at the top of my list, although Springfield Armory is good too.  I like brands that have enough spare parts on the market to make repairs fast and easy.  Half a dozen other brands would do nicely (Sig, Smith & Wesson, Ruger, etc.).  9mm is the smallest round I'd use regardless of whatever brand of handgun you choose.  I much prefer .40 or .45, and we really lean toward the .45 at this time - although it's the most expensive to shoot.  We have slowly been buying 9mm, but I still have reservations around the effectiveness of that round compared to .45.  I don't know much about revolvers so I won't comment on those (although if I could find them used and chambered in .45 ACP I'd probably pick one up).

4.  .22 Rifle - we have an ongoing love affair with the Ruger 10/22.  Highly accurate and customizable.  We also have a Marlin and a couple of Remingtons.  Would choose the Ruger any day over the Remingtons.  Our Marlins are the Papoose break downs, and they are a hoot to shoot and they fit into storage areas nicely.

5.  High quality hunting rifle for larger game - .308, 30-30, 240, etc.  Try to stay away from oddball calibers where ammo supply is questionable.  I really like the new Remington R-15 and R-25 models.   Kind of a AR and hunting rifle hybrid.  Looking to buy one in .308.  If I lived in a remote rural area and had access to hunting grounds, I'd probably go with a best of breed hunting rifle over the AR as my first choice.  But I don't live there, I live outside of Atlanta.  Enough said.

Stacking ammo is a good idea and prices continue to climb.  We shoot at ranges, and you don't realize how quickly you'll go through the stuff.  All sizes and types of ammo seem to be readily available these days, except for bulk quantities of 5.56 steel penetrator and .223 - basically AR-15 stuff.  It's out there, you just need to hunt for it.  Buying AR/AK ammo it in 20 round boxes is cost prohibitive.  420 rounds in an ammo can or a 1,000 round case is much more economical. 

Handgun ammo can be bought in box quantities for a decent price, and we are the type of family that will buy a box of .45 whenever we shop at Walmart.  It builds up over time.

Lots of people don't realize that ammo is a good barter item, even today.  In the South, ammo trades just like 90% silver if you can find the right deal.

And don't forget about pick up a good solid knife or two.  You'll use a knife 100x more for every day tasks than you would ever have for a handgun.

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