First Firearm

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by Lekdro, Jul 23, 2016.

  1. Lekdro

    Lekdro Monkey

    I was poking around the forms and didn't see much for a first firearm purchase.

    I have my FOID card. And i've been been looking a few guns for first purchase. Please take into consideration that i've never shot a gun before and I want to get proper form and aiming down before picking up higher caliber, and .22LR is inexpensive ammo. Some of you may even suggest I take a class at a local gun shop before even purchasing, which i'm strongly considering. Gun safety is important.

    Anyways... Here is what i've been looking at.

    Smith & Wesson® M&P .22 Compact Rimfire Pistol

    Smith & Wesson® M&P 15-22 Sport .22 LR Semiautomatic Rifles

    Fire away at me. I'm looking for yes and no, why and why not.
  2. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    I like Ruger semi autos.. they are "Bullet Proof" I have owned several they are accurate easy to maintain and can take a lot of abuse and keep shooting... YMMV
    Sgt Nambu, Motomom34, Lekdro and 2 others like this.
  3. MountainMariner

    MountainMariner Clearly Ambiguous

    Ruger 10/22 or Marlin Model 60. Flip a coin.
    Pax Mentis, 3cyl, GOG and 4 others like this.
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    My opinion, and very likely I'll be the only one that has it. Look for a bolt action rifle as a starter, there is nothing simpler to learn with, and until muzzle discipline becomes second nature, a long arm is apt to keep your focus. I'd avoid semi autos as starters, simply because they are more complex and will draw some focus away from the basics.

    But if ya gotta go semi, you won't go wrong with a Ruger 10/22.
    oldawg, Sgt Nambu, Ganado and 5 others like this.
  5. gundog10

    gundog10 Monkey++

    I agree with ghrit. If you really want to learn to shoot a rifle and shoot it well, get a good quality bolt action rifle. Instead of blasting 50 rounds in 50 seconds, you will learn to shoot slow and accurate. A 22lr is a great first gun.
    oldawg, Sgt Nambu, Meat and 1 other person like this.
  6. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

    I agree with @Witch Doctor 01 with Rugers.

    My suggestion would be a Ruger Mark III Target pistol. Very accurate and will help hone your accuarcy cuz if you are not hitting ¢25 to ¢50 groups at 15 feet, your technique needs work.
    Ruger MK III Target Semi-Auto Rimfire Pistol | Bass Pro Shops: The Best Hunting, Fishing, Camping & Outdoor Gear

    But @ over $350(used) to $450+ new for a Mark III, you are into the full size 9mm or better pistol price range for something like a Glock 19.

    Ammo price is 3X for 9mm (¢10/rnd for 22 LR(current hi prices)and ¢30/rnd for 9mm($15/box of 50 FMJ)), but you have a great pistol that is more than adequate for personal protection.

    Glock 19 For Sale – Buy Glock 19 Online at

    Soooo you have to shoot to improve your skills, but depending on how much money you have to spend now and in the future, you may be best served by going to a quallity 9MM platform so you set for personal protection.

    Most full service gun ranges will have rental pistols and and most all will have a 22 LR available. So if your negotiation skills are good, make a deal for a new Glock 19 and have them toss in free 22 LR Pistol rentals and a 1 hour private instruction class to get you up to speed.
    Witch Doctor 01, Meat and Lekdro like this.
  7. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I like that you are a safety first person. I also believe you should know a gun and the mechanics. Some people believe shot it and figure it as you go but a mistake with a gun could be deadly. So you are thinking properly in my opinion. I like .22's and they are the perfect place to start.

    The rental of guns to test out and lane fees do get pricey. Instructors are expensive also. I know this first hand (I do not have good negotiating skills) but I did buy one gun and the shop gave me one hour of free lane time. Also, some places if you pay cash will give you a few percent off.
    Lekdro likes this.
  8. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    lol .... boy we all have our opinions don't we. First gun, well I am a firm believer in a long gun for the first gun. For me it is a toss up between suggesting a shotgun or a 22lr rimfire rifle. I have no clue as to your stature, and I just checked your profile and noted you are a 29 year old male. Going on averages on size and being the contrary olde fart that I am, I will suggest a Remington 870 express 12 gauge shotgun. Why, I bet you ask. Well simple, It can be a do everything gun! With slugs and or 00 Buck rounds it can stop anything from a charging wild boar or even a lion. Hunting guides in Africa often carry them for just that reason. Shotguns do not spray their shot in such a wide swath as movies would have you believe. The can be used to hunt quail (small birds), pheasants, ducks, geese, turkeys, cranes (medium and large birds), and to not belabor this, squirrels, rabbits, deer, to moose and bear. ...... almost anything that walks or crawls or flies on the whole continent to include man as a self defense weapon. You can get specialty barrels for the 870. Base gun goes for about $300 even on sale often.
    If you are stuck mentally on going with a rifle. I am sold on the Ruger 10-22 semi auto being the BEST. It could be used for self defense at your home in a pinch once you become proficient with it. It will never become a closet or gun safe queen like most 1st guns are. It is reliable and cheap to shoot, is available in nearly maintenance free stainless steel. I would pass on the S&W MP15-22 as once you acquire more firearms it is going to be difficult not to be drawn to and impressed by the AR-15 in it's basic configuration and many many variations to include having a dedicated complete 22 upper. Complete Uppers swap out willy nilly on most any milspec AR lower. nuff said, you gotta make yer choices and take yer chances. Have fun.
    Ganado likes this.
  9. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I got my firearms training when very young from my father. Handling mistakes were dealt with swiftly, and for good reason. He took firearms safety quite seriously.

    Lacking that, spend the money for a class or a trainer. It may be a little costly, but it's far cheaper than a ride in an ambulance or a civil lawsuit.

    Bolt action .22 rifles are a good first firearm and maybe one you'll want to keep. I owned a Marlin bolt action years ago and wish I still had it.

    My father taught me on a Ruger Single-six .22 revolver (around 1960). Maybe a little safer than a semi for a first handgun IMHO.
    gundog10 likes this.
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Agree, that's a excellent choice for a first handgun. I still think a long arm is a better starter gun.
    Altoidfishfins likes this.
  11. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    I think that a bolt-action .22 rifle should be your first choice because they tend to teach not only safety and accuracy but shot placement as well .

    A bolt action will keep you from instantly joining the Church of Spray & Pray.

    I favor semi-automatics because I'm not a very good shot--so sending five aimed shots downrange with my usual lack of skill will probably result in me hitting something, if only by accident. That will work for me until the day it doesn't.

    But I also understand the limited budget that usually constrains us, so I would either advise either buying the cheapest .22 rifle available, ignoring all issues of quality and accuracy, or go with a good semi-auto.

    About two years ago I bought a .22 bolt-action rifle that was older than dirt for $19.00. It works fine.

    A year ago I bought a very nice .22 revolver (plus $75.00 worth of ammo) for $50.00. A week later I turned down $125.00 for just the revolver.

    Inexpensive guns are out there, if you are not hooked on the idea of perfection as a functional minimum.

    Buy the best semi-auto you can afford if you don't want to buy (and later re-sell) a temporary bolt action.

    You can still learn shot placement by the simple stubborn determination to shoot the first 100 rounds one bullet at a time. Load one round in your semi auto, aim & fire. Then load one more.

    It'll drive you nuts, but by the end of the day you'll be making every shot count because every shot you make will be, in essence, your last shot.
    Ganado likes this.
  12. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    I wouldn't go handgun for your 1st gun. Some good suggestions above, 22, any bolt action.
    gundog10 and Sgt Nambu like this.
  13. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu RIP 4/19/2018

    Much excellent advice above! I also like Rugers, on a value for cost basis.
    I'll throw in that a class is good! But, even before the class, do you have a competent friend that could take you out plinking? I recommend actually firing a gun before walking into a class cold!
    Best of luck to you on your quest. One of the most pleasurable learning experiences you will ever enjoy is before you!
    gundog10 and Ganado like this.
  14. TXKajun

    TXKajun Monkey+++

    Daisy Powerline 35 (~$33 on Amazon) with 4X scope (about $9) which shoots 625 fps or the Powerline 880 with included scope for !$60 (shoots 80 fps). Yeah, it's "only" a bb/pellet rifle. Yeah, it won't stop a charging rhino. Yeah, you have to pump it between shots. But it's cheap.....and the ammo is cheaper. It's a single shot, like the folks above recommend, and it is pretty darn accurate (I've shot nickel size groups with my 35 at 15 yards using scope and a rest). If you decide you like shooting, then you can go with one of the recommendations above (I really like my Ruger 10/22s).

    Have fun, and be safe.

    Motomom34 likes this.
  15. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I have started a lot of people on shooting but we began with air guns for 2 reasons .
    the same safety rules apply to a fire arm
    the action and trigger practice is the same and ammo especially for learning how to shoot is much cheaper and quieter and more convenient to shoot in the long run.
    They lack the noise and recoil ,something you need to get over, when firing a fire arm.
    After almost 60 years of shooting I still practice with air guns. (co2 BB/pellet guns)
    Many of these too are capable of taking small game as well , hence gun safety is still an issue. they are not toys
    During the first WW many men had never seen a gun much less shot one so the army used BB guns to get their training down first.
    As for our first fire arm . why do you want one ?
    Hiking , hunting , self defense , popular new trend , target shooting , competition, unsure ?

    Personally , when I train some one to finally shoot a fire arm, ( hand gun ) I start with a double action revolver, this way in the same spirit of learning to deal with recoil ,I can at random load one cylinder with a spent shell ,so the student can see their action while firing against an empty cylinder which usually demonstrates the tendency to draw the barrel downward in anticipation of the firing and recoil .
    This event needs to be a surprise as it were, in the same spirit of shooting the air gun which has almost no recoil.
    GOG, Altoidfishfins and Motomom34 like this.
  16. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Ruger 10/22 and if I was you I would spend the bit extra and buy the TAKE DOWN model so that you can break it down and stick it into a ruck. The Ruger 10/22 for the money is rock solid. I have one of the all weather models, will probably get the Take Down sometime in the future. Having said that, a single-shot bolt action really does teach one to shoot better simply because you have to stick in each round and work the bolt. I know it sounds silly but there it is. But, even so, I would go with the Ruger semi-auto 10/22. Why buy a firearm then turn around and sell it (makes no sense) so buy something you can keep and use forever and use discipline to learn to shoot it correctly. Purchase metal jacket .22s and save them so you always got a stash. Purchase the cheaper non-metal jacket ones for plinking and training. You will get more misfires, jams, and fail to eject (FTE) etc. with them but that is good training too. I definitely would not get a pistol first, no way. The .22LR rifle is definitely the way to learn to shoot and shoot safely. And, the Ruger 10/22 for the price and reliability cannot be beat - period. Link for the Take Down is below. They got a new Lite model that looks interesting but I didn't have time to look at the differences and determine if worth it...

    Ruger® 10/22® 10/22 Takedown® Autoloading Rifle Models

    @AD1 "Ruger Mark III Target pistol." I had a Bull Barrel version and loved it. My only complaint with that pistol was it was a pain in the rear to was in stainless, fit my hand perfectly, great gun, put many a round through it, never a problem... I am starting to tear up so I'll leave now...
    GOG and AD1 like this.
  17. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    technically I started with BB guns but I don't think that is what he needs.
    Altoidfishfins and AD1 like this.
  18. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    @Ganado "technically I started with BB guns..."
    I think most of us did as children. And, you do learn firearm safety from them. But, @Lekdro is not a child....
    My wife learned on a Kalashnikov in school when she was 15 in the Soviet Union because BB guns were a luxury and there were no money for such luxuries and at 15 she was considered old enough to learn on a real firearm. .22LR rifle is the firearm to learn on...
  19. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    haha...started with a 7.65 Argentine mauser...[eek3]

    But you have me at odds with your choice of the S&W 15-22 in a locale that requires an FOID. Makes you a target for leos (evil black assault rifle, you know). Henry makes some nice .22 lever actions and don't look so militarized. As mentioned bolt actions are great learning platforms and many have the potential for greater accuracy than semi autos.

    Good luck!
  20. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    @Lekdro I'm with the others suggesting either a bolt action .22 or a Ruger 10/22 as your first firearm. This is also a critical part of your firearm strategy, because these are excellent for small game. If you go the 10/22 route I suggest you start with just one round at a time in the magazine. I also suggest going to an appleseed clinic. This is an organization devoted teaching new shooters and helping existing shooters improve their skills.

    Project Appleseed Home

    Other resources are to locate a firearms forum. Each region typically has one dominant forum, where you can interact with other shooters, find places to shoot, understand local laws, purchase used firearms, etc.. You should be easily able to find one through an internet search, or if you give us a general idea of your area someone here may already know.
    Yard Dart, AD1 and Motomom34 like this.
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