Recommendation? gun recommendations

honorearth

Gold Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2016
Messages
619
Ok so I am looking to get a few guns for family protection and hunting. I haven't ever owned a gun as I have always been a knife and bow type of guy. The problem is that my wife and kids would never be able to pull back let alone shoot any of my bows and in a emergency a gun would be a much quicker go to weapon.
I have read alot online and have ideas on what I want but i thought i would ask you all since this is the only online community i am part of and seems like alot of you know your guns.
I do know that i want a 9mm hand gun or 2 and a 10/22 rifle. probably a shotgun as well, plus a powerful long range rifle.
my questions are...
-what models and makes do you recommend?
-what hand guns woild be best for my wife who has never shot a gun?
-12 or 20 gauge shotgun?
-is there a good rifle that shots 9mm rounds?
-also what optics and other accessories should i get?

I want to have to buy only a few caliber sizes that can be fired from either hand gun or rifle. I am considering the fact that the world may be falling apart at some point and easy shopping a thing of the past so im not interested in less common
calibers. Also quality and durability are extremely important to me thats why I prefer Busse knives.
Another factor is that i live in California and I am not sure what restrictions that puts on me as far as choices.
So let me know your thoughts and reasons
 

Warbow150

Gold Member
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
332
Basic hunting rifle = 30-06. Any one of the major manufacturers make pretty nice ones. Budget ranges from a few hundred if you buy used to as much as you want to pay for one. 30-06 is good for anything in this hemisphere, ammo is effective, available, and reasonably priced. If I were limited to one rifle caliber this would be it. Go with a bolt action.

Optics = something in the 2.5-8 up to 4.5-14 range. I like Leupold, Zeiss, and Swarovski. SPEND MONEY AND GET A QUALITY PIECE OF GLASS. It'll be worth it in the long run. Also SPND MONEY AND GET A SOLID SET OF RINGS AND BASES FOR THE OPTIC. Leupold, Warne, Badger Ordinance, etc. Avoid turn in rings and bases. You'll want a good rifle sling.

9mm is fine for people problems. Lots of good 9mm handguns, standard Glocks are great. A bit light for furry fury problems. For critters think 10mm, 357 mag, 41 mag, 44mag, etc.

Shotgun = 12 gauge, a bit more versatile than 20.

If you like 10/22s they're fine. There a many, many other good options as well.

There are plenty of carbines that shoot 9mm. Many are of the tacticool variety. You can get into a 5.56 carbine at much the same size and I'd recommend this route.
Happy hunting!
 

3fifty7

Gold Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2016
Messages
2,268
Before we start, I assume your wife and family are all on board. Great to hear everyone shares the same vision.
First and foremost please get Everyone who may come in contact with these or any firearms instruction on safe handling and further classes on use of said firearms. Muzzle direction must ALWAYS be at the forefront of everyone's mind when handling a firearm.
I understand the idea of caliber consolidation but each has a specific roll to fill. When you attempt to crossover you tend to compromise more than you should.
Handguns, 9mm will generally do all you need and can be fired controllably by almost anyone with proper instruction. Sig, HK, Glock, S&W, Springfield, Ruger, Kahr and others make reliable handguns. I'd suggest going to a range and renting a few for you and your family to test drive. Generally speaking full size pistols are easier to handle and softer to shoot. Your local gun shop will be up to speed on state laws.
Shotgun 12 or 20 ga are the standard. Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 are the general go to.
Rifles .223 and .308 are the equivalent of NATO calibers. Depending on if you want a bolt action, pump, or semi auto there are many options. Remington and Ruger as well as others make great bolt action rifles. AR pattern semi auto rifles are too many to list but Ruger & S&W have good introductory level rifles for the price and companies like Daniel Defense and BCM are considered near the top end production rifles. Again your local gun shop will be up to date on local laws and restrictions, but do your own reaseherch, and if they aren't find another shop.
Rifle optics are dependent on intended use, but current low powered variable scopes cover a wide array. Something in a 1x6 or 2.5x10 will get you a long way. Vortex and Leupold are great companies to start with.
Again get everyone on board, get everyone trained and be safe.
 
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Joined
Mar 5, 2009
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2,200
I agree with the info above, one thing I would strongly recommend, is making a list and narrowing it down based on specs, then renting and shooting them at a gun range, you may find that the pistol at the top of your list rubs your knuckle raw from recoil, and the one at the bottom is very comfortable and your very accurate with it naturally.
 
Joined
Jan 5, 2016
Messages
240
Usually I would advise against getting gun recommendations online. The research is usually solid but the endless fights from fan boys is just counterproductive. That aside I really think this group of guys can handle it without a big flame war.

I do agree with the above comments, I would go with NATO rounds as well. For the shotgun I would defiantly go with the 12 ga the ammo selections are far superior for home defense. Low recoil 00 buck and slugs for defense use are harder to find in any other gauge. Not to mention ammo prices are usually lower for 12 ga in general and the 870 is a classic IMHO.

For handguns all of the above manufacturers make good guns with many more out there. I am all about finding the gun that you like personally, especially if you feel you have a connection to it. The more you like it the more you will shoot it and be proficient with it.

As for the carbine issue I have spent some time in search of one myself and never have been fully satisfied. There has been talk of Glock making one for years but nothing has ever materialized. If you run across something that you really like I'd love to hear about it.

I always recommend a 10/22 for first time shooters, so that one is easy IMHO. They are reliable and easy to use with a huge selection of accessories.

As for optics those other guys have covered it fairly well I would add Nightforce to the list but agree completely with quality.

Good luck with choosing some firearms, and make the wife happy let her pick out something. Just make sure she isn't looking at junk because of the flashy colors.
 
Joined
Jul 20, 2016
Messages
1,019
Like many are saying, prior safety training is of the utmost importance. After that...

My opinion probably is the least popular. A 22lr rifle and pistol is great to learn the fundamentals on. The ammo is usually inexpensive and readily available (except for those last few years where the shortage turned into a scam). If you get a .22 with the same controls as the primary, it makes training easier, less expensive, and makes for an easy transition.

Not only is the 22 fun, but it helps separate issues with trigger pull and handling from issues related to flinching. Similarly, a .22 rifle also helps with the things like scope to bore height, bullet trajectory, cheek rest options, breathing, wind deflection, etc.

Other things to factor in are prices for: ammo, range time, cases, ear protection, eye protection, and targets. Lastly, if you have multiple firearms, know how you are going to transport, if the range allows more than one firearm at a time (where to put unused firearms at the range), and whether the range allows for cases that hold more than one firearm. They can get heavy too if a lot of firearms are stored in the same case.
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2016
Messages
426
im more of a gun guy than a knife guy so i guess ill chime in since i "think" i know what im talking about.


For a 9mm handgun the glock 19 is the do all 9mm. its good at a lot of stuff, not really great at anything. I tried to hate them for a long time for no reason until i tried one, now im at 7 glock 19s in various forms. the sig sauer p320 comes in a second close for me personally, but i only have 1 of them.

For a rifle its hard to beat an ar15. Being in california i know you have all kinds of restrictions on what you can and cant do to a rifle and i live in a more...free... state so i cant get too specific on an ar15 or i might be suggesting things that break california law. check out ar15.com for a lot of great info(the forum i frequent the most)

for a shotgun i personally go for a 12 gauge but thats because i know my wife can handle a 12. If you have doubts of your wife being able to pick up a 12 and go with it then a 20 gauge is still more than enough to make mr bad guy think twice.

For home defense gun set ups i think it is an absolute must to have a weapon mounted light on whatever you have. If you cant see your target then how can you identify if its a threat or not, how can you tell who or where to shoot. Above all other fancy gizmos and doodads that you might be tempted to put on a gun, please please pleaseeeeee put on a light first. Fancy optics and triggers can come later.


for HD guns i would suggest a red dot over a variable power optic such as a nightforce or kahles etc etc. A good aimpoint red dot will serve you much better in close quarters, however a low power variable optic is another good choice, something with a 1-6 or 1-8 magnification so you can be on 1x power for close up and 6x for farther out if you decide to hunt or whatever. ive moved most of my rifles to 1-8 power LPVOs.

Above all other advice you ever get on the internet, dont choose a gun for your wife just because someone told you it was good. Let her handle them at a shop or range and find something that fits her. What good is a glock 19 if she cant actually rack the slide because of weak hands or whatever. Maybe she shoots better with a Kalashnikov variant over an AR15, or the other way around.

Get out to a range and spend the money renting different things and find what you both like.


I used to know nothing about guns but now i have a good 40+ of different kinds, mostly ARs and glocks but thats because muricaaaa, we have the freedom to do what we want with our money here.


to give you an idea of my "go to" guns -

here is my current favorite AR15 -

DympTgU.jpg


and my current favorite handgun

ed4447cf_20170618_152140.jpeg




oh god the pictures are huge, ill edit them to be smaller in a sec.
 
Joined
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Messages
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When friends and family that aren't gun guys ask me this question my response is usually this:
For handguns I recommend 3. Glock 43 for concealed carry, a 19/17 (mid or full size)for home defense SHTF type stuff both are chambered for 9mm and a ruger mk IV 22-45 in whichever variety you like for plinking, hunting and varmints. That's every situation I can see needing a handgun for, unless you live in bear country then I'd replace the full size 9mm glock with a full size 10mm glock.

For rifles I recommend a quality m4 with a red dot, plenty of mags ammo and some training. This will cover your SHTF type self defense type scenarios. Secondly 308 bolt gun, I usually suggest the ruger American predator, great accuracy, and comes with a threaded barrel so you can upgrade to a suppressor in the future if you get more into guns. Lastly a 22, either a 10-22 takedown or ruger American 22, you will just have to weigh the pros and cons between the two.

As for shotguns I suggest twelve gauge but which ones and how many depends on what you plan to do with them. They are so versatile it really depends on your needs but I definitely suggest sticking to 12 gauge.

As for the pistol caliber carbine folks could make a good arguement for a short 9mm AR "pistol" and Kel tec sub 2000s but I am a big fan of the CZ scorpion evo.


NOW FOR THE MONKEY WRENCH IN MY STANDARD ANSWER: CALIFORNIA

Living in California presents some challenges and I'm not familiar with the laws other than knowing they are ludicrous and strict. So after reading this I re-evaluated my standard answer for a bit before replying.

Pistols: in cali I believe concealed carry is a no go so how about a S&W R8 chambered in 357 mag for home defense with a good weapon light, it's one of the only revolvers I know of that has a light rail, then you could get a s&w 22 revolver to train with since ammo is expensive and I believe rounds limited per month in cali. You could also shoot 38 special in the R8 for cost savings with a little more bang.

Onto rifles: the AR rules the show these days but for years and years a lever action carbine was the best thing in town, you could pair a marlin 357 lever action with the R8 and have a pretty formidable home defense combo, the marlin is light and wieldy and packs 10 rounds of 357 mag. I still suggest a ruger American predator chambered in 308 if california allows the threaded barrel if not they have another 308 variant that isn't threaded. That will cover your hunting needs past 100 yards and he 357 can do double duty hunting under 100 yards. For your 22 I'd go with the ruger American 22 and it's a perfect trainer for the 308 and great for small game, the 10-22 looses a lot of its winning attributes in a ban state like cali.

Shotguns for me go the same as in my standard answer, they depend on what your going to be doing I personally am not a big shotgun guy but I have a Benelli m4 and I love it because it is a tactical shotgun that has chokes making it much more versatile than a cylinder bore Defense shotgun, I'd check out the benellis, mossberg 930 automatic, beretta 1301 and fnh automatic model for home defense and get a variety of chokes for hunting and using different loads so you can maximize the 12 gauges potential. If you want to buy a second shotgun I'd look as over and unders for clays, wing shooting and small game. I hope all this helped.
 

Busto

Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
Joined
Jul 26, 2011
Messages
4,011
From a Dealers perspective I have found that many women are not capable of pulling the slide on many semi-automatic weapons. I have laid out as many as a dozen makes and models from small 380's through the 9mm's nothing as large as a 1911 .45 auto and found that although they like the idea of large capacity they were unable to make them function. The second problem they had was under stress not being able to remember what all the routine was to actually make the firearm function. With all that in mind I strongly
suggest that you have each family member who is going to be trained with the firearm handle it since we all have different size hands and what looks nice and has a great consumer rating and fan appeal may not fit your hand. Ultimately those that chose a firearm and went on to practical instruction wound up purchasing a double action revolver. The revolver is not as COOL as a semi-auto pistol but there are not safety levers no slide to actuate to chamber a round and it is ready to fire when you pull the trigger so in a panic or defense situation there was no hesitation to fire.

When it comes to Rifles I would take into consideration how often do you intend to use it to hunt? Many times a rifle just sits around because the owner does not hunt(went out once with the work buddies got cold gave up hunting)for the years meat on the table. What is the largest game animal you will hunt or have to fend off as a predator that may be the deciding factor on caliber. If you just intend to hunt small game for eating like rabbits a .22 caliber is adequate. If you intend to hunt Elk and Deer for the freezer you might be better suited for a 30-06 or .308 (7.62X51 NATO)both rounds capable of bringing down game and fending off predators. If you're intentions are to become an avid hunter then Optics will be expensive however if you are going to be a casual hunter less expensive Optics are your best bet. I have suggested to many a customer and friend to check the local Pawn Shop for a Clean Used Rifle with a scope that will just gather dust when they explained they would not be using it all that often to target shoot or hunt.
 
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A small addendum to what I said above:

I'm a gun guy, I have or want a gun for every little niche situation there is but if I were to go bare bones basic and was going to cali I think what I said above is how I would do it.
 

RedbeAR15

Platinum Plucker
Platinum Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2008
Messages
6,092
Picking the guns is the easy part

You may want to see if there are any Hunter Safety courses you and your family could take together. These are typically free or low cost courses that will be great to teach a beginner

Check CA DNR to see what is offered
 

TommyGun56

Gold Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2014
Messages
7,003
Since you have never owned a gun and I assume your wife and children have little or no experience shooting firearms, I would recommend you purchase weapons that have safeties on them!

For a 9MM Pistol I would recommend the FNH (Fabrique Nationale Herstal, FN America) FNX 9mm! 17 Round Capacity (probably 10 or less in California) Double Action/Single Action trigger with a manual safety-lightweight and great shooter
(If your set on a striker fired pistol-NO Safety, Walther PPQ and HK VP-9 (living in Cally the mag capacities will obviously be less) High End Pick-The FNH Five-Seven has a 20 round magazine and has the recoil of a 22! Also has a safety and 20 Round Magazine

Shotgun-12 Gauge definitely! Beretta 1301 Competition! Automatic 12 gauge with Manual Safety and 21 Inch Barrel! The 21 Inch Barrel will reduce weight and allow for more maneuverability indoors! This is a Shotgun that can also be used for Hunting very effectively! In an emergency situation you want your wife to concentrate on the threat, not (Pumping) injecting another load into the Chamber! Release the safety and go Boom!! High End Pick- the Benelli M4

High Power Rifle, Ruger Gunsight Scout Rifle with 18 1/2 inch Barrel in 308 Caliber! 308 does not have the Kick a 30-06 does and provides almost as much Knock Down power, will also provide Better Ballistics (Range)! This comes with a 10 Round Magazine (again probably less in CA) Bolt Action with Open sights (A Big Plus if something happens to your Scope) Compact and effective, many agree this is a great all-around rifle capable of harvesting any North American Big Game!! High End Pick-The FNH Scar Heavy! 308 Caliber with 20 Round Capacity

The Ruger 10/22 is a great, and very reasonably priced 22! Rotary magazine for fast reloading

Did not Mention the AR-15, but I cannot recommend the Colt enough!

MY advice would be first learn to effectively shoot with Open sights, and then look at purchasing sights, suppressors etc!

Hope this Helps and Good Luck
 
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Aug 31, 2013
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For a rifle, bang for the buck, it's hard to beat a Savage bolt action. They aren't pretty but for a regular off the shelf rifle not many can touch their accuracy. The Tikka T3 Lite would be another good one. I love mine and they actually come with an accuracy guarantee. As far as calibers go, you can never go wrong with a 30-06 but they do kick a bit for people that aren't used to it. A .270 is a bit more pleasant and a bit flatter shooting out at longer distances. During the big run on ammo a few years ago the shelves in my area were empty of .223, .308 and 30-06 but there were always a couple boxes of. .270 to be found. The 7mm-08 would be another good choice for a first big game rifle.

Shotguns. I may catch some guff for this one but I would not trust my life (or even an out of state duck hunt) on a new 870. Their quality went out the door when they got bought out in the 1990's. Do a Web search of 870 Express problems and you can read for days about rough chambers and shoddy machine work causing guns to lock up with a spent round in the chamber. If i were set on an 870 I would either spend the money on an upgraded version (Wingmaster) or find an older Express. To me a SHTF shotgun should be able to shoot any load with a 12 on the head stamp, so to me the gun would have to be capable of shooting 3.5" shells in an emergency. This pretty much narrows it down to Mossberg, Winchester and Browning for me. Nice thing about the Winchester pump is that the safety button is in the same location as the one on the 10-22. The Mossberg and Browning have a thumb safety so they will be more like the big rifle.

Handguns. Hard to say. Lots and good arguements for and against any type you may choose. I myself keep a Beretta 92 for a defense gun because it holds lots of ammo. My wife did not like the complexity of an auto so she picked a small .357 double action revolver and we keep it loaded with .38 Specials.
 
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tinfoil hat timmy

Gold Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2014
Messages
10,133
what models and makes do you recommend?
GLOCK. ANY.

-what hand guns woild be best for my wife who has never shot a gun? SEE PREVIOUS

-12 or 20 gauge shotgun? IF YOUR WIFE AND CHILDREN WILL BE SHOOTING IT, 20. WITH SLUGS. BUT, BUY BOTH.

-is there a good rifle that shots 9mm rounds? NOT THAT I KNOW OF. BUY A .308 BOLT GUN. SAVAGE, REMINGTON, CZUSA ARE ALL GREAT CHOICES.

-also what optics and other accessories should i get? FOR A PISTOL, LEARN TO USE IRON SIGHTS. SHOTGUN SAME. RIFLE, A NICE LARGE OBJECTIVE LENS 3-10 POWER SCOPE FROM LEUPOLD OR VORTEX WILL HAVE A LIFETIME WARRANTY. STEEL SCOPE RINGS ARE A MUST.

HAPPY HUNTING.
 

Garth Reckner

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Joined
Dec 13, 2004
Messages
8,566
Having been a firearms dealer for years I would echo Busto in his thoughts on a revolver for a first time shooter. They are not "Cool" I get that, however in a high stress situation the last thing you want is to have too much thought going into it. "Do I have a round chambered", "is the mag seated properly", "is the safety on". All of these little questions can be the difference in handling a threatening situation efficiently. With a double action revolver all of these questions are eliminated. Pull gun, squeeze trigger, that's it.

If you a set on semi auto handguns then I would agree with the above statements. Shoot every one you can get your hands on before buying something. There are so many makes and models that feel so different. I always told my customers that handguns are like shoes. Just because two different shoes may be the same size they can feel totally different. Some will feel ok, some will feel terrible, some will feel good but there will be some that feel great. Remember if it is not comfortable then you won't want to use it. If you don't use it to practice then it will be ineffective when it comes time that you need it. Also keep in mind with any handgun be it a revolver or an auto that the holster you chose must be comfortable. You want to find a holster that is comfortable to the point that you don't realize it's there. Back to the shoe analogy, if your holster is uncomfortable you wont wear it, and if you aren't wearing it then you won't have your firearm when you need it. I have tried to find a handgun that is comfortable for my wife and me. Trying to find the caliber and magazine redundancy. So far I have not found it. What is comfortable for her feels terrible to me and vice versa. The most important part of it is safety and comfort.

As far as a shotgun goes I would recommend 12ga all the way. With the vast array of ammo choices that are available you can do just about anything with a good shotgun. I do tend to lean toward pump shotguns for versatility as you can get reduced loads for shooters who are not up to heavy loads. Many semi auto shotguns will not handle reduced loads because the recoil actually drives the action back and many will jam if you are not using a high enough powered load. I have a 7 year old that can handle a Remington 870 12ga with reduced recoil buckshot loads that will still put a heck of a hurt on any target he needs to engage. I also recommend the same setup as a home defense gun. Reduced recoil buckshot will handle anything in your house that needs to not be there and you have the added security of not sending a high power projectile through multiple walls of you home and having a potential for someone getting hurt in a different room. Shotguns are (in my opinion) the most versatile of all firearms if you are looking for the one size fits all type gun. You can get game loads that will take down birds, squirrels rabbits etc. Buck shot for defense and larger game up to deer size animals at closer ranges. Slugs for big game. There aren't many creatures on this continent that a 12 ga slug can't handle if placed properly. Yes, you do lose some range capability over a larger caliber rifle but you do have a very versatile gun.

For rifles I would recommend something in a NATO caliber. 5.56 (.223) or 7.62 (.308). Ammo is readily available now. (I tend to stock up on ammo when I buy a firearm so I know I have that particular caliber when I want it.) Rifle wise I am a bolt action guy. I have found that when inexperienced shooters know that they have to make one shot count they take their time and focus more on making one good shot. I have seen hundreds of good shooters miss with semi autos because there is this weird mentality of "so what, if I miss with the first shot I have lots more to follow up with". Remington 700 is my go to platform in a bolt action. If semi auto is a must then an AR platform is the way I would go, however I am not in any way up on California laws other than AR15s are evil in California.

For a 22 rifle there truly is nothing better than a Ruger 10/22 in my opinion. Easy to load, easy to shoot, and just plain fun. In a extreme situation a 22 is no slouch. It can put food on the table if needed and can be used for defense as well. Not the ideal caliber necessarily but it can get job done. One great feature of a 22 is the amount of ammo that person can carry compared to other calibers. I can carry 500 rds of 22 ammo in the same space that it takes to carry a box of 20 rds of higher caliber ammo. Carrying 500 rds of .223 or .308 is heavy and takes up a lot of space.

Optics- I am a firm believer in you get what you pay for with optics. The above mentioned brands are all good. Personally I like Leupold, Burris, and Nightforce.

This is all of course just my opinion. The most important part of owning any firearm is to learn, teach and live gun safety. There may be no coming back if you mess up. After safety then its practice, practice, practice. Whatever firearm you choose practice until it becomes second nature. It should be an extension of your body. Understand how it works, how to load, how to unload, how to shoot it accurately and how to maintain and clean it. Learn and teach shot placement. Remember a well placed shot with a 22 is better than a miss with a higher caliber. Learn to accomplish your goal with one well placed shot as opposed to having to rely on numerous follow up shots.

Good luck with you search and enjoy one of the great American past time,

Garth
 
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Jun 10, 2014
Messages
216
If price is and issue sometimes it is. Ruger 10/22 is always good choice I picked up my wife one for Christmas last year for 170 bucks and she loves it. Mossberg 500 is still my favorite choice for shotgun reliable and you can find them from 150 to 300 bucks maybe little less if you look around I love mine and it was first gun I ever got. As far as pistols spring fields new xde looks pretty cool I plan on getting one for me and one for my wife once they release it in sw.40 its a single stack 9mm hammer fired has a external safety and supposedly the slide is very easy to rack. I haven't had a chance to handle one yet but the idea of it sounds great to me and I bereave there going for less the 500
 

evltcat

Gold Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2011
Messages
5,876
Having been a firearms dealer for years I would echo Busto in his thoughts on a revolver for a first time shooter. They are not "Cool" I get that, however in a high stress situation the last thing you want is to have too much thought going into it. "Do I have a round chambered", "is the mag seated properly", "is the safety on". All of these little questions can be the difference in handling a threatening situation efficiently. With a double action revolver all of these questions are eliminated. Pull gun, squeeze trigger, that's it.

If you a set on semi auto handguns then I would agree with the above statements. Shoot every one you can get your hands on before buying something. There are so many makes and models that feel so different. I always told my customers that handguns are like shoes. Just because two different shoes may be the same size they can feel totally different. Some will feel ok, some will feel terrible, some will feel good but there will be some that feel great. Remember if it is not comfortable then you won't want to use it. If you don't use it to practice then it will be ineffective when it comes time that you need it. Also keep in mind with any handgun be it a revolver or an auto that the holster you chose must be comfortable. You want to find a holster that is comfortable to the point that you don't realize it's there. Back to the shoe analogy, if your holster is uncomfortable you wont wear it, and if you aren't wearing it then you won't have your firearm when you need it. I have tried to find a handgun that is comfortable for my wife and me. Trying to find the caliber and magazine redundancy. So far I have not found it. What is comfortable for her feels terrible to me and vice versa. The most important part of it is safety and comfort.

As far as a shotgun goes I would recommend 12ga all the way. With the vast array of ammo choices that are available you can do just about anything with a good shotgun. I do tend to lean toward pump shotguns for versatility as you can get reduced loads for shooters who are not up to heavy loads. Many semi auto shotguns will not handle reduced loads because the recoil actually drives the action back and many will jam if you are not using a high enough powered load. I have a 7 year old that can handle a Remington 870 12ga with reduced recoil buckshot loads that will still put a heck of a hurt on any target he needs to engage. I also recommend the same setup as a home defense gun. Reduced recoil buckshot will handle anything in your house that needs to not be there and you have the added security of not sending a high power projectile through multiple walls of you home and having a potential for someone getting hurt in a different room. Shotguns are (in my opinion) the most versatile of all firearms if you are looking for the one size fits all type gun. You can get game loads that will take down birds, squirrels rabbits etc. Buck shot for defense and larger game up to deer size animals at closer ranges. Slugs for big game. There aren't many creatures on this continent that a 12 ga slug can't handle if placed properly. Yes, you do lose some range capability over a larger caliber rifle but you do have a very versatile gun.

For rifles I would recommend something in a NATO caliber. 5.56 (.223) or 7.62 (.308). Ammo is readily available now. (I tend to stock up on ammo when I buy a firearm so I know I have that particular caliber when I want it.) Rifle wise I am a bolt action guy. I have found that when inexperienced shooters know that they have to make one shot count they take their time and focus more on making one good shot. I have seen hundreds of good shooters miss with semi autos because there is this weird mentality of "so what, if I miss with the first shot I have lots more to follow up with". Remington 700 is my go to platform in a bolt action. If semi auto is a must then an AR platform is the way I would go, however I am not in any way up on California laws other than AR15s are evil in California.

For a 22 rifle there truly is nothing better than a Ruger 10/22 in my opinion. Easy to load, easy to shoot, and just plain fun. In a extreme situation a 22 is no slouch. It can put food on the table if needed and can be used for defense as well. Not the ideal caliber necessarily but it can get job done. One great feature of a 22 is the amount of ammo that person can carry compared to other calibers. I can carry 500 rds of 22 ammo in the same space that it takes to carry a box of 20 rds of higher caliber ammo. Carrying 500 rds of .223 or .308 is heavy and takes up a lot of space.

Optics- I am a firm believer in you get what you pay for with optics. The above mentioned brands are all good. Personally I like Leupold, Burris, and Nightforce.

This is all of course just my opinion. The most important part of owning any firearm is to learn, teach and live gun safety. There may be no coming back if you mess up. After safety then its practice, practice, practice. Whatever firearm you choose practice until it becomes second nature. It should be an extension of your body. Understand how it works, how to load, how to unload, how to shoot it accurately and how to maintain and clean it. Learn and teach shot placement. Remember a well placed shot with a 22 is better than a miss with a higher caliber. Learn to accomplish your goal with one well placed shot as opposed to having to rely on numerous follow up shots.

Good luck with you search and enjoy one of the great American past time,

Garth

^--- Excellent post Garth! Been shooting since I was 8, (44 years) and this is the kind of advice I WISH I had gotten when I started. :thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

zombieassassin

Gold Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2015
Messages
4,420
Oh my God look at the long posts.
I'll keep it short and sweet
9mm Glock or Beretta
Colt AR 15
Rem 700 30-06
Rem 870 12g
Ruger 10-22
And that JUST about covers it all.
 

u812

Gold Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2002
Messages
13,134
Ok here are my top choices.
Glock 23 or 22,buy the 9mm and .357 conversion barrels. The Glock is ugly but will fire every time the trigger is pulled. This set up gives you three different calibers all using the same gun and mags.

Ruger 10/22. Can't say enough about this rifle. I own 4. I like the stainless ones.

Remington 870 12ga with 28in and 18 or 20in barrel. I have the 18 on mine but want to replace it with the 20in rifled barrel. Oh and you may have a dealer try to talk you into a Mossburg 500. Don't do it,they are good shotguns but the recoil difference between it and the 870 is a good bit. I am a big boy and the 500 hurts me after several rounds.

High powered rifle. Many good choices but if I was only going to have one it would be an AR15. Serves more than one role and right now you can buy or build a really nice one cheap. Ammo cost is also a big plus.

To go along with these I would add a good .22 pistol to the mix such as a Ruger Mark 3,great gun and if you replace the mag disconnect and loaded chamber indicator it makes it about perfect. The S&W Victory and Browning Buckmark are also very nice. Not many other .22 semi autos that I would trust to be reliable.
 
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AZTimT

The Stripetition Finish Guy
Joined
Oct 15, 2009
Messages
4,450
CA rules could be more limiting for you.
Revolvers or single stack semi auto pistols would be a relatively safe and future proof choice.

For myself I like the Coonan .357 magnum/38 special 1911 style along with a good lever action .357 rifle for a pistol/rifle combo.

I do also have a Sig P226 and Kel-tec Sub 2000 that both use the same .40 P226 mags. Great combo for hiking the back country and the P226 can barrel swap to a 9mm if you wish.

Neither of those work well for my wife. She prefers a Bersa Thunder 380 single stack (I have a double stack Thunder Plus version for me, great pocket pistol that is built to be ultra reliable and surprisingly accurate) or Glock 17 for higher capacity options. She also likes a .38 special revolver like the Ruger GP100 which she can use Magnums in too. My aunt likes that one too.

I also love 45 ACP in the 1911 format. It's time tested, battle proven, very reliable and accurate too. Being low capacity, it should not cause you too much trouble, same with the Coonan.

As for .22, I much prefer .22 Magnum over .22 Long Rifle in today's market. You literally get more bang for your buck (yes, pun intended, as you can take deer with them easily), and I could always find it in stock where .22 LR was always sold out. Match that with a good .22 Mag rifle like the 10/22 Magnum or a Henry lever action. It also puts you right in betwen 22 LR and .223 performance so you can kill two birds with one rifle. That just leaves your shotgun and larger/longer rifle to fill out your needs without breaking the bank. Oh and if you really want to be efficient, you could get a .22 mag pistol like the Ruger Single Nine 9 shot single action revolver (should be CA friendly) or Kel-tec PMR-30 (probably not CA friendly) and you have a pistol/rifle combo that packs a decent punch yet allows you to carry several hundred rounds in the space of two AR magazines. My wife shoots these just fine too and has no trouble racking the slide of the PMR-30. ;)

Everyone has their favorite in longer range rifles. I like the short action .308, 7mm-08, .243 calibers better than the longer -06 cartridges. My favorite rifle in this range can shoot all three by changing out the barrel on a Robinson Armament XCR-M and use the same AR-10 mags without having to have an AR-10. They also make an XCR-L that is a sweet option to an AR-15. Lots of guys love AR style rifles, most of them don't spend much time in the back country where dirt, dust, mud and other realities reveal the AR designs finicky weakness. A good adjustable gas piston design for semi-auto is very helpful for different scenarios. Especially the gas off, do not eject, single shot mode that is all you get with a bolt action. Bolts are nice too, I love the Ruger Scout rifle in .308 and their American rifle is a nice lighter weight option too. A Vepr .308 is also a solid choice too. If you ever find yourself near Missoula, Montana, look me up and you can take them all for a test run and you can throw some of my knives too. :)
 
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