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What to do with $1200?

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by wags_01, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. wags_01

    wags_01 Monkey+

    Ok folks, I'd like some of your input for this. I recently cashed out my (meager) 401k from an old job, and after taxes and such, should have ~$1200 to spend.

    Some background information:

    1. I live in PA but hope to move to New Mexico. That means I can buy long guns and hand guns from private buyers, but handguns must be transferred at an FFL, so I'd like to avoid that till I move.

    2. I have only ever shot a .22 plinker and currently do not own any firearms (yeah yeah, I know). On the plus side, I'm a decent shot with it, and so is my wife.

    3. I fully intend to take all pertinent training in the safe use of any gun I acquire, and eventually will take more advanced training as time and budget permit.

    4. Assume I am not sacrificing in other areas of my preps. This money is more or less separate from food/land/tools budgets.

    Ok, so what I would like to eventually acquire for my battery are (doubling up where appropriate):

    .22lr rifle
    .22lr pistol
    9mm pistol (Springfield XD or Glock 17)(I;d go for a larger caliber, but the SO isn't comfortable shooting much bigger calibers).
    7.62 AK clone or 5.56 AR clone or (preferably) a .308 FAL clone (I have no particular feelings either way, but the SO will likely prefer to shoot the 5.56, and a lot will depend on budget restrictions)
    .308 rifle (perhaps a Savage 10 series)
    12ga (Mossy 500 or Rem 870) with riot and hunting barrels

    So, where do I put my first $1200?
  2. fedorthedog

    fedorthedog Monkey++

    Rugar 10-22 200 4 25 round mags with steel lips 100, AK 47 clone 400 8 30 round mags 80 1200 rounds 762 39 300 .22 at Walmart 525 rounds a box about 20 bucks 1000 rounds that would be a start

    As for a pistol 9 will due just fine Smiths are cheaper than glock or xd's and work fine
  3. wags_01

    wags_01 Monkey+

    True enough, I do not have my heart set on the Glock/XD, especially having never fired either one. I do plan to test them for feel before committing though.
  4. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    You are about 4 hours from here. Take a day hop, see the scenery and come up. We can arrange for you to shoot a couple of those you've named and quite possibly a few others, and maybe change your mind one way or another.

    I'm a bit hesitant to make recommendations without knowing a lot more of what you intend. One thing is for sure, you need to follow up with testing out several. What fits my hand likely won't do for yours.
  5. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    With $1200 and living in Philly, I would forget about the 22 rimfires as food guns for now and buy items for 2 legged varmints. With that amount of money you will have a hard time buying a quality pistol, rifle, shotgun and ammo for them essentials.
  6. wags_01

    wags_01 Monkey+

    Wow ghrit, that is a mighty generous offer! I may just take you up on it as well...I'll pm you soon.
  7. wags_01

    wags_01 Monkey+

    I'm really banking on the transfer to New Mexico, and the wife and I really enjoy shooting the .22. But you do have a good point; it may not be the ideal place to start if that deal falls through.
  8. NVBeav

    NVBeav Monkey+++

    There are a huge number of permutions combining different elements of what you may find useful. I like how fedorthedog broke it down, but you'll do good to keep a spreadsheet open and make some comparisions. The old proverb of "One in the hand is better than two you can't reach" is pertinent; you can always upgrade later if necessary.

    You'd do well to take up Ghrit's offer - take a lot of notes!
  9. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    Even if you make it to NM your primary item is self defense. Think about it!
  10. wags_01

    wags_01 Monkey+

    This is why I came to you guys with my question. You're right, of course.

    Also, my $1200 turned into $1600.
  11. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    At least the kitty is growing so you can look at something besides Saturday night specials. (y)(Save some of it for practice ammo. You are gonna need it.)

    PA is mostly a gun friendly state, Philly being the glaring exception. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a gun club or range. You might be able to arrange a club visit where members have a selection they'd be more than willing to let you shoot. I'm not backing off my offer, not by any means, but if you can connect closer to home, it'll save you a tank full of gas (even if you miss some scenery.)

    Have a google for PA gun shows, and go to one or three (or five, they can get addictive.) There's a biggie in Allentown a couple times a year. Usually you can handle almost anything under the sun at the shows, even if you can't shoot them there. If it doesn't fit you right, there's no point in trying one out. There is NO substitute for hands on.

    There really isn't much thinking about the shottie selection, you can buy that now. Either the mossy or the 870, buy for price and condition, the rest matters little. Used is plenty good enough, if in decent shape. With the 870, barrel swapping for hunting vs. riot duty is a one minute matter, but there are two flavors that do not interchange. (It takes longer to change chokes than to swap barrels.)

    +1 on the Ruger 1022. The rifle is preferable to the carbine, at least so says me. I don't have either, so don't take my word for it. (I have a Hammerli. Clumsy but accurate.)

    +1 on the spreadsheet, especially after the blinding selection at the gun shows.

    I like wheel guns from a reliability standpoint, don't throw the idea away just yet. Autoloaders surely have their place, I'm not convinced the bedstand is the right one. YMMV on that.
  12. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    I have one question- what can you legally hunt with in PA? Even if you don't hunt now, this purchase can open up options for you in the future. Preparation leads to eventual weaning off the grid. Part of that is eventually hunting. Just a thought.

    If I was limited to $1600 and with ^ in mind, I would get a centerfire rifle that would meet my hunting and defensive needs. A .22 rimfire will pot small meat. Its better than nothing for defense, but something bigger gives a little confidence against big game or two-legged animal varieties. A centerfire handgun may be a good idea as well- especially if you plan to carry anytime soon (EDC). So, I would go with a centerfire rifle and centerfire handgun.

    I would look at what is easily repairable. What has plenty of spare parts available. I would look at availability of domestically produced ammo. If SHTF tomorrow, domestically made ammo will be available long before any import. Look at availability of ammo components. You may not reload now, but that could change. Think through that growth.

    Based on ^, I think you could narrow your search to NATO calibers- 9mm, 7.62x51, and 5.56. In platforms, the AR platform offers ease of repair over the AK (unless you invest in a hydraulic press from Harbor Freight). I'm not sure if you can hunt with 5.56. If not, look at AR10s (my hunting rifle is an AR10). I would go short- 16"-18". Looking at longevity, you want a chrome-lined barrel. You also want either a 5.56-chambered or .308-chambered carbine. Either will shoot the mil/commercial counterpart. I wouldn't worry about other accessories. Buy ammo first. Lots of it.

    For the handgun, I would go Glock- Gen 3. Glock 17 or 19. Plenty accurate enough, stupid simple, and great parts availability. Used variety are easily under $500 (as low as $350 for police trade ins). Glock is sort of my default for when a non-gun person asks "what gun should I get". There are a ton of Glocks out there with unbelievable amount of rounds through them with no breakages or replaced parts. They will chew about anything. Don't toss revolvers either. Good deals can be had in that regard. Most will be larger than a Glock or similar handgun, but if you can't ever see yourself CCW, its a non-issue. I prefer S&W. Maybe a 586 with a 6" barrel. It can double as a hunting gun. It is a large gun, though.

    ETA: I just realized you said you don't own a .22LR. I will add that. A ruger 10/22 is the way to go. They can be had used at less than $200. New as low as $215 (I think that's the cheapest I've seen lately).

    AR= $700 (5.56), $1,500 (.308) + Glock or S&W 586= $400 + Ruger 10/22= $200
    Total- $2100 with .308 or $1300 with 5.56....

    Oh my.... I've gone over. A substitute would be a 7.62x39 AK at about $400-$500. That would put you in there at $1100. Or you could sacrifice the handgun.

    I dunno... I think I've been very little help here.
    Guit_fishN and chelloveck like this.
  13. wags_01

    wags_01 Monkey+

    hehe, your post is almost exactly what goes on in my head when I get to thinking about this subject...
  14. wags_01

    wags_01 Monkey+

    Any thoughts on starting out with a Maverick 88 12ga for home defense (can sometimes find these right around $210 with the 20" bbl, 7+1rnd), then picking up a hunting 870 later on down the line?

    I figure nearly half of my budget will go towards ammo, cases, holsters, slings, etc. as I have none of that now.
  15. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    I had a buddy with a long barreled Maverick 88. Its essentially a Model 500 Mossberg. It was a good gun. We would shoot cases and cases of shells through it for fun. Just stupid things like cutting cedar trees in half. (We were kids at the time... not much to do in town)

    Never had an issue with it.

    How good are you with a handgun?

    ETA: From Wiki:
  16. wags_01

    wags_01 Monkey+

    Honestly? I have no idea.
  17. bluedog

    bluedog Monkey+

    With that budget in mind, I would think half for ammo. You can blow through a lot of $ on holsters etc but might be able to make do with a reworked old boot for pistol case and a blanket for rifle protector. 22 probably top of list. ruger 1022 is great but used tube loader can be had for less than $100. Semi auto pistols are nice but considering budget and no weapons now, I would think revolver for dumb sheet reliabilty, probably 357 for personal defense. Ruger is good used for maybe $350+. MBR for that budget would have to be AK47 @ $400 +/-. Remember ammo budget must be for training and practice, not just for stash when you may really need it.
  18. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Agree. Get the hardware first, accessories later.
  19. Hispeedal2

    Hispeedal2 Nay Sayer

    The reason I ask is because a quality magnum revolver with a 6"+ barrel is a 100 yard (sometimes more) weapon. I wouldn't go assaulting any machine gun bunkers, but it will take care of *most* bad interactions with thugs. Especially if you are practiced enough to have them rethink the cost of aggression.

    Given the budget, I would go with that S&W 586 I mentioned earlier. A used Ruger DA with a 6" barrel may come in a bit cheaper used. A Ruger 10/22 and maybe the Maverick 88 you mentioned. Later you could expand, but that will take care of your minimal needs and leave room for ammo.

    I'd say you could get that package around $900. That leaves more than enough for ammo.

    Check Gunbroker and Armslist.

    I think this post may be a bit more help than my last ;)
  20. wags_01

    wags_01 Monkey+

    I'm a bit wary of the larger revolvers, as I intend to eventually use the pistol for CCW. So something more like a compact 4" XD might fit my needs better. I could always pick up a magnum wheelgun down the road (i'll get to shoot one later this month with my uncle).
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