Firearms and all it entails on a budget

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by Motomom34, Jul 16, 2015.

  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Some will swear you get what you pay for. Some believe something is better than nothing. So when looking at purchasing a firearm what is best? Some have budgets and some do not. Firearms are not cheap when you are prepping on a shoestring budget; the purchase of a fire arm is a huge investment.

    Here is an article on Building an Arsenal on a budget. Agree or disagree the author put thought into each suggestion. The whole article can be found by following the link.
    Building A Survival Arsenal On A Budget | Off The Grid News

    Not only is the firearm costly but the ammo, protective gear, lessons and cleaning kits all add to the cost. I have had discussions on CCW classes whether to take the cheapest one you can find vs. one from a reputable gun store. If you are new to firearms in general then store usually recommends a class on the basics. These classes run around $150. Some have said just get a few books and self- teach but is that really the safest way? Protective gear and cleaning kits- what is the minimum needed, what are the best for the best price. What gadgets to avoid. Ear plugs vs. ear muffs.

    What about glasses? Can basic safety glasses be worn or do we need to get those fancy ones? I can get a pair of safety glasses for $3 at home depot.

    So building an arsenal and all goes with it is costly but when prepping on a budget there has to be a way it is obtainable. Let’s discuss what works, what is truly needed and ways you got the best ”bang for your buck”.
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  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Must have, even before the weapon.
    Eye and ear protection.
    I like muffs, mostly because plugs are not comfy to me, and do not attenuate sound as well. Your run of the mill hardware store polycarbonate safety glasses are sufficient as long as they are worn. If you wear glasses anyway like I do, just be sure that the lenses are shatter proofed in some way. With glass "glass" heat treated is usually specified. Alternatively, some hardware store safety glasses can be worn over your seeing glasses.

    One other thing: If you get into a hurry up situation that doesn't give you time to put on the safety gear, you are half done for, so don't stick your neck out. Be alert, so to say. As you go about your daily grind, stop "in the hallway" so to say, and envision what's behind the doors before you pass them. Do the same exercise in the grocery store aisles, too.

    Assuming you are starting from scratch with zero gunny knowledge, go with a 22 rifle and handgun, then take the training. IMHO, anyway, YMMV and probably will.
  3. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    I am 100% for Quality Training for ANYONE, interested in FireArms Ownership..... It has Always been our Family Policy that Dad, and Mom, do the initial Training, of Our Children, as soon as they can Hold the FireArm, and then progress from there. By the time they were 10Years Old, they ALL were FireArm Safe, and they received the OWN First FireArm, on their 12th Birthday. They were then Required to Take, and Pass, the NRA Marksmanship Program, and the State Hunter Safety Program, before they were trusted with the Ammunition for that weapon. At Age 21 Years, they were all given their First Personal HandGun. All my children were Married, by that time, and living on their own.
    I recommend a .22LR Bolt Action Rifle, for a Training Rifle. Leave the Semi-autos for later, AFTER they are Gun Safe. I also recommend a .22LR Semi-auto Pistol as a Training Firearm for ANYONE who is just starting out with Pistol Shooting. It is my belief that a Husband should NEVER give his spouse, FireArms Training, for ANYTHING, passed being Gun Safe. Find a Trusted Family Friend, Relative, or Professional Firearms Trainer, for that. You will get a much happier spouse, and one that can shoot much better, at a faster pace, than if you try and do it yourself. Ear Protection and Eye Protection is MANDATORY, as well as clothing that does NOT allow ejected Brass, a place to next to bare skin. Never push the learner to try a Bigger Weapon, than they are comfortable with. That is a Recipe for Disaster, and if you are foolish enough to do that, YOU should be taken out back, and SHOT, Period... It isn't Funny, it is just DAMMED Stupid.... Ok, Rant Off....
    Garand69, 3M-TA3, chelloveck and 7 others like this.
  4. Kingfish

    Kingfish Self Reliant

    W e followed that exact plan as in main defense, shotgun, pistols and long guns. Then came that day we sold them all to traveling salesman. I didnt ask for a receipt.
  5. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    I would look for a small bore rifle first. They are relatively inexpensive and good to train on. Eyes and Ears, of course and you should attend a good firearms training course. Many do not, ever....

    Secondly, I would acquire a pump shotgun. Yea, the semi's are sweet, but add to the cost. I would not go below 20 gauge, preferably 12 gauge.

    Lastly, a rifle in .308, 30-30, .30-06, or 7mm and a handgun in 9mm, .357, 40S&W, or .45ACP

    My personal choices...

    .22LR Rifle, pump, lever action, or semiautomatic - Ruger, Mossberg and Henry
    12 gauge pump shotgun - Mossberg, Winchester or Remington
    .308 bolt action - Savage, Weatherby or Remington
    9mm semiautomatic - Glock, Ruger, Taurus

    AR15 chambered for 5.56 and .223

    Manufacture's are mentioned only because they generally have serviceable models at good prices.
  6. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Wish I could afford something like this, Guy call's it a Thunder Lizard what ever that means ?

    Lucille 004 (1024x683) (2).
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  7. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    It is a reference to the Weapon, owned by protagonist in the Book Series "Out of the Ashes" by William W, Johnstone.... Only that weapon was a Thompson M1A1 SubMachine Gun in 45ACP.....
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015
  8. MountainMariner

    MountainMariner Clearly Ambiguous

    A bow isn't a bad thing to have either. Add some snares and traps while your at it.
  9. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    The old saying "you get what you pay for" is especially true when it comes to firearms and firearms training. Get the best you can afford.

    If you are a novice do yourself a big favor and sign up for a basic firearms safety class. Check into what kind of price break(if any) you can get for two people and take your 18 yr old if funds allow.

    Eyes and ears- the Almighty gave you a pair of each, but that doesn't mean you have one to spare. Again, buy quality protection for them. That doesn't mean you have to have 100 dollar glasses and ear muffs, but not the el cheapos either. You have to remember that you will be using this protection every time you shoot, and to get proficient you will need to shoot on a regular basis. Crappy, uncomfortable glasses and/or earmuffs will not only become a PITA, but will distract you from your practice.

    Cleaning kits
    You can pick up a cleaning kit at WallyWorld that will cover the calibres you need for 20-30 dollars to get you started.

    I'm of the single shot /iron sight only until you learn to shoot properly school of thought and taught all of my children that way. However in this case, I would suggest that you look hard at the Ruger 10/22 for the1st rifle and the Ruger MKII pistol for the 1st pistol. Both are semi auto, but this way you don't have to worry about selling/buying another .22 rifle later on. IMHO the above are the best overall in their class, and as a survivalist mindset goes, there are 1,000's of replacement parts and add ons out there for both.

    The next purchase (IMO) should be a pump action shotgun. Like @Dunerunner said, nothing smaller than a 20ga. @Sassenach is a smaller framed lady and while she can handle a 12ga with full house loads, she prefers the 20ga. The Mossberg 500 series is a good solid platform and probably the cheapest of the big 3- Mossberg/Winchester/Remington.

    Centerfire rifle
    The AR15/AK47 are the two biggies in the prepper world and while either would suffice, on a budget I'd look hard at a good bolt gun or maybe a lever action like a .30-30win. In a bolt action give the Savage 300 series(I think that's the model #) with the accutrigger a look. I bought one for my kid brother in .300 Win mag a few years back and it's a nice rifle. One chambered in .308 win would take care of pretty much any critter you'd come across-two and four legged. Remington and Winchester both make nice bolt guns, but are higher priced.

    Centerfire Pistol
    If you decide on a revolver, I'd go with a Taurus or a Smith &Wesson. Nowadays,again IMHO, the Taurus is cheaper and every bit as good as the S&W. I think a 4" barrel is a good size for both concealment and accuracy. Gives you a little of both. Chambered for .357mag. You can shoot .38 special through it until you are ready to move up to the .357 round, and again as a prepper you have one pistol that can use two different cartridges.
    If you go with a semi auto pistol, there are a boatload to choose from. Go to the gun shop/range that you took your classes from and ask to try several different ones to see what fits you the best. One of the best for Ladies IMHO is the Browning High Power in 9mm or .40 S&W. Sig-Sauer, Glock and Smith &Wesson all make good semi autos. The Colt 1911 is a fav of many but if you have small hands it can be a challenge to master.
  10. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    For ear protection at first I picked up those disposable orange foam plugs. They were horrible. I ended up getting a few nice pairs of ear buds. The gun shop showed me some that looked like what the kids wear and they seem to work okay. They are not as good as high quality ear muffs but they are much better then the disposable plugs.

    I like how everyone has agreed that a .22LR is a good gun to own. I have often wondered how many .22's there are in this country. I have considered a .22LR pistol but have not heard either way yea or nay on investing in one, thanks @Tully Mars & @BTPost.
    Tully Mars and Dunerunner like this.
  11. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    Just FYI...

  12. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I am more focused on military habits regarding firearms, and the types of people who carry them from this field more than civilian types. I can only relate to civilians when it comes to them having a proper firearm education from an early age, not so much when it comes to an adult who has never handled firearms before. Therefore, training is absolutely critical for first time adult gun owners. One should not place a price tag on safety courses, but if that's the route to take -take it. I can surmise that plenty of local fire departments and gun shops can offer inside help to accommodate every need imaginable.

    Ideally, the best training is at an early age, guided by a qualified adult, with pellet guns and small caliber .22 rifles. My first rifles and hand guns were well broken in before I even reached my teen years. My father carried a gun on his hip from an even earlier age, but times were different then.

    As far as ear and eye protection goes, anything is better than nothing. Just be certain you use eye protection which is certified ANSI Z87 (or better if you get specific ballistic eyewear, which can exceed ANSI standards). I like Oakley glasses myself, but also used Wiley-X, Revision military, and ESS eyewear.

    Guns. I won't get into this too much because there are a ton of manufacturers out there who make great firearms and it's too much to cover in a single post. I would recommend staying away from semi-auto handguns as a first purchase, and go with a revolver. Not only do you benefit from learning at a slower pace with a revolver, since you must reload more frequently and therefore make each shot count, you also benefit from the ease of use and maintenance, but also the simplicity of the design. If one decides to go for a semi-auto, then make certain it has standard safety mechanisms and not too many redundant or passive safeties. The very best example I could give is the model 1911 handgun being a traditional or standard type versus a Glock, with a triple passive safety system relating to its trigger alone. Essentially, the difference is, the Glock is always ready to be fired but the 1911 safety must be manually tripped before firing. None of this means either handgun is better -only one is better suited in my opinion from a safety standpoint pertaining to training new gun enthusiasts. Absent all of the above, there are plenty of handguns out there with manual safeties, and some with passive safeties which may serve well. One example of a handgun in the semi-auto genre with acceptable passive safety features I would recommend for new gun owners would be any of the Springfield XD models, since these handguns have a palm safety. Some models even come with a thumbs safety, too. The trigger and palm safeties are passive and disengage as the gun is used normally. More advanced gun owners have their own opinions about what is best for themselves based on their skill and preference, but I think we can all agree that your finger is the best safety of all.
  13. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    Foam plugs under the ear muff worked well for me.
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  14. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++


    Oakleys and Wiley X's for me as well.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 17, 2015
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  15. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    LOL! wow, such a simple little tool and I got it incorrect. Mine stuck out but then I got a little uncomfortable when the plugs were inserted properly (in the video). They were way in there. I am a Mom so I have dealt with things getting shoved into places and having to drag the victim to the Drs to get it fished out.

    @Dunerunner they come out okay when they are that far in? No rubber breaking off?
    Hanzo likes this.
  16. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    Oak's for me as well
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  17. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    From someone that has used them for 40 years, they will come out fine and I've never had one "break off".
    If you use them on a regular basis, you can be prone to ear infection if you don't clean your ears regularly or if you are a person who happens to generate a lot of ear wax-like me.
    I used to use both plugs and muffs when target shooting but now I only use the muffs. Buy a clip on belt clip for your ear muffs. Very nice to have. That way you aren't setting your muffs down and forgetting where you left them-like me..;)
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
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  18. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    "Just because" I went back to the first post and re-read the link. The link is budget conscious to a fault, and is making recommendations as tho' the idea is to fill your gun locker in a rather hasty way. That ain't preppin' folks, that's a consumer driven way to spend. FWIW, a more staged approach makes sense, just as in planning for the unknown future we all face in trying to take care of ourselves if/when TSHTF.

    Before the boat sank, I had what, for my purposes, was a decent set of arms. It took years to get that all into place, and along the way there were some bad ideas, most of which were the result of trying to cheap out. Those mistakes are not going to be mentioned specifically, simply because several of them could have had sample defects, the type of which you don't see in better quality stuff. The lesson is to spend once, regret never.

    So here's what I had as my basic armory, presented here in the order I would have bought them if I'd had a clue when I started.
    22 rifle (almost any will do, were I to do it again, I'd save for a 10/22 instead the one I have. As good as starting out with a bolt gun may be, I don't see the downside of a semi as a starter as long as some training happens ahead of the buy.)
    22 pistol (Ruger revolver)
    12 ga pump gun (870)
    AR 15 (There are so many out there that will work for the purpose, that mentioning the brand isn't worth it.)
    357 revolver. (Ditto the brand mention here, mine is DA.)
    380 semi for carry after mastering the others.

    Necessary accessories:
    Eyes and ears. (I have battery operated sound cancelling muffs. They aren't necessary, simple muffs that work for garden engines will do, have several sets of those, too. Do NOT cheap out on these.)
    Cleaning gear for all calibers.
    Range time, as much of it as possible, with "enough" ammo.

    Yes, there were other things that went down with the boat, but not of the type I'd want my life to depend upon.

    Side note, I am self taught in all respects regarding manual of arms and safety. A LOT of reading and practice went into that, and looking back I have to say that taking some training would have saved me lots of mistakes in learning to shoot safely and accurately. I was lucky, there have been no incidents resulting in material or personnel damages. I do NOT recommend that path for anyone. In my case, there was no competent coach to look over my shoulder and thump me upside the head for errors. Wish that were not so, but it was.

    YMMV, of course, and there is literally and figuratively no substitute for doing the research and price shopping.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
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  19. vonslob

    vonslob Monkey++

    I have been bird hunting for years now and consider myself good with the shotgun. Did not know much about pistols until I purchased one several years ago. After instruction from friends that had weapons training did I realize how bad a shot I was. Many years of hunting gave me the wrong impression of how well I handled a gun. My thoughts were that I routinely drop doves and quail so something as easy as a ten yard target would not be an issue. Boy was I wrong.
  20. Pax Mentis

    Pax Mentis Philosopher King |RIP 11-4-2017

    OK, as usual when it comes to guns on an internet forum, I disagree with most of what is written (though much of it I would have agreed with as little as 10 years ago).

    First of all, while one USUALLY gets what one pays for, there are exceptions. When it comes to first guns and being armed on a budget, I am not a proponent of saving up for a high end handgun (or shotgun). Over the past 5 or 10 years, I have found that the Kel-Tec brand is generally accurate, reliable and inexpensive. There are exceptions, so I say practice quite a bit with it when new and, if needed, take advantage of their excellent return policy. I have owned about 10 of their guns and have never had one that needed to be returned.

    I am also not a fan of the idea that the first gun you buy should be a .22. I like .22LRs and own a number of them for (very) small game and plinking...but recommend a reasonably priced 9mm for learning "real" shooting. I have known far too many people who bought a high quality .22 as their first gun learned to shoot it well and were then surprised when that skill did not carry over to an effective defense caliber. One of the Kel-Tec 9mms or a good used Ruger P series (the choice being whether someone wants a carry gun or a home defense type, since the Ruger is too bulky and heavy for most people to carry easily...especially concealed) are, in my opinion, excellent starter guns...they won't be as easy to quickly master, but are easy to shoot and when mastered one does not need to reinvent the wheel when they want to "move up".

    The other disagreement is with regard to training. While good training is very helpful and I believe that everyone should have a basic safety and legalities course, it is my experience that this is one area where you do NOT generally "get what you pay for". Over the past 10 years, with the growing popularity of carrying, a lot of people have proclaimed themselves experts and started teaching defense courses and have learned that the more one charges for their course, the better people will believe that it is. For a person with a decent functioning brain, a combination of (get ready for it) You Tube videos and a lot of practice time trying the things one sees in order to determine what works for them is equally as effective as the majority of $200-$300 per day instructors. The key for me is practice, practice, practice. I have carried for 40 years (not counting military) both for work (where I was forced to use my gun more than most) and for personal security (where I only used my gun once..and that was as a club) and still do not go a week without putting a magazine of ammo through the pipe.

    I do agree with everyone else on safety equipment, though I use foam ear plugs and basic safety glasses and still have both eyes and hear as well as I did at 25 (I already had tinnitus from spending my time in close proximity to a minigun while firing an M60 in my misspent youth...without ear protection to speak of) so I am not a big proponent of early money going for high end protection if one has budget issues. I also recommend SOMETIMES practicing without ear protection (gasp!!) so that one gets used to the way it will be if they are ever forced into emergency use of their weapon...just don't do it a lot if you want to be able to hear when you get old.

    These are all only MY opinion, based on MY experience and should be taken with a grain of salt (hell, use a whole shaker if you wish)...they are given only as a different perspective than that which is usually expressed.

    As always, YMMV

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