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Thread: Buddy Wants to Start Shooting and Carrying

  1. #1

    Buddy Wants to Start Shooting and Carrying

    A buddy called me and wants to start shooting and carrying. I scouted out the LGSís and will probably suggest he buy guns in calibers he can get ammo for. Pretty narrow pickings out there right now.

    Tough time to get into shooting, I hope heíll be open to reloading.

    Today I scored 900 rounds of .22 LR, a brick of Federal large pistol primers in magnum and a pound of Greed Dot. Thank Iím glad I went out looking today.

    Usually I advise people to get a .22 with adjustable sights, a .38/.357, a case of ammo for each, join a range, take classes and shoot regularly before they plan on seriously carrying.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    If he is a veteran, Glock has a program running,, ends Veterans day (SOON!)
    A vet can buy one Glock,, I got a Glock 19,, to me, that is a "pocket' pistol, I never had one that small.
    The special pricing makes the gun priced like it is 2015,,, and ,, these special guns are readily available.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master
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    ".....I scouted out the LGS’s and will probably suggest he buy guns in calibers he can get ammo for. Pretty narrow pickings out there right now........" I wouldn't make a decision based on the temporary limited ammunition supply.

    The best decisions are careful, well thought out, deliberate ones.

    How will carry the gun? (belt holster, ankle holster, pocket, etc.)
    Does he have concealed carry permit? Will he get one?
    How much shooting skill does he have and how much time is is willing to invest?
    Does he have a preference or prior experience with a particular platform? (DA revolver, pistol?)
    Is this a short term desire heavily influenced by current conditions ? (HIGHLY LIKELY)

    I would NOT base the decision on what is available in the display case of a local gun store. That would be like wanting a pickup truck and going to the local dealership and buying whatever was on the lot. You're likely to come home with a two seater convertible because that's all they had to sell to you.

    If you want to help your friend, slow him down and help him make an informed decision.

    And this is good advice, " .......join a range, take classes and shoot regularly before they plan on seriously carrying."
    Last edited by Petrol & Powder; 11-07-2020 at 09:36 AM.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master


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    Unless he is well off, and prepared to pay stupid prices, now is not the time to buy a carry gun.

    Have him buy a pump shotgun for home defense. It is a gun that everyone needs and it will make him feel he has "done something".

    Get a decent .22 and have him shoot a few thousand rounds before buying a CF pistol. I try to get people to shoot my CF revolvers and semi-auto pistols so they get a feel for what they prefer. Most buy whatever the "expert" at the LGS steers them to. Regrettably, right now, that may be whatever is left over and no one wants. Hope your buddy is patient and will let you help him, but do not be surprised if he comes home with a gun you did not recommend. I have had that happen twice and it can be a bit frustrating.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master
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    I strongly agree with what dverna said.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    As a long time instructor,, I get a lot of "new" gun owners wanting help.
    One of the best pieces of advise it for him to get good, PROPER instruction on the basics of handgunning from a well known instructor. Trying to correct bad habits,, (Uncle Joe held it like this, and that's how I hold it) is HARD for people.
    Next,, start with .22's and work up.
    Let HIM decide what guns & calibers he likes AFTER he has tried them.

    Just yesterday,,, at a customer's house, I discovered my customer is a retired LEO of 30 years. But,, very limited shooting exposure. ZERO single-action experience. He wants some,, and he also wants his wife to get some instruction. He is smart enough to accept the fact that he is not the person to teach her,, and is open to proper instruction. I applauded him & have offered my services.

    So, good instruction on the proper basics of handgunning, followed by sampling of many designs, calibers, and such, all will help him get educated BEFORE he makes any purchases.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master


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    Sometimes, people will take the advise of a total stranger, over family or friends! Never could understand that. Then over time come back to you and say they should have listen to you in the first place.

  8. #8
    Boolit Grand Master
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    New shooters invariably pick the worst possible time to “get into guns and shooting.” And handloading. When ammo and primers are unobtanium and guns scarce and expensive, suddenly they decide because that is so they should look into it.

    I wish him luck. Frequent or even occasional practice is difficult for someone that has not seen this coming.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by SweetMk View Post
    If he is a veteran, Glock has a program running,, ends Veterans day (SOON!)
    A vet can buy one Glock,, I got a Glock 19,, to me, that is a "pocket' pistol, I never had one that small.
    The special pricing makes the gun priced like it is 2015,,, and ,, these special guns are readily available.
    Are these under the blue gun label?

  10. #10
    I did not intend to convey any connection between what is currently available on the market with my buddy’s choice of a carry gun.

    What I meant was -(this should be an acronym) “wimw” -how does a new shooter break into the current market of sold out ammo shelves and practice shooting.

    I too am a firearms instructor, have been certified since 1990. It is our responsibility to facilitate training and to provide information.

    Fundamental to training is shooting. I believe people should own a good .22 and a good .38/.357 to shot high volumes of ammo with frequent range sessions.

    Most people buy a number different carry guns. Most of these carry guns are not the best shooters for extended range sessions.

    There are a lot of guns on the shelves right now. Compact high cap striker fire minor caliber guns without manual safeties are the worst choice for practice and or carry. OK, now bring on the flames.

    I’d love to see my buddy choose something like a Commander as a carry gun. Guns like the Shield are far more common. I can only facilitate training and provide information.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master
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    I think the answer to this, "......how does a new shooter break into the current market of sold out ammo shelves and practice shooting." is: Right Now, YOU DON'T.

    Short of someone helping you out and providing some guns and ammo to try, (which may not be a bad path to take), I don't think this is the time to dive into this issue.

    However, it doesn't need to be wasted time. You can take advantage of the current situation and use the time to think about what path to take when things return somewhat to normal.

    Despite all of the panic, things will get better. Use this time to study options, maybe try out a friends gun if that's available.

  12. #12
    Good advise. I told my buddy to take a basic class or 2. My experience as a firearms instructor is to provide quarterly qualifications to law enforcement officers who had all had the basic firearms class at the academy. Then I was involved in competition. These are opposite classes of shooters. Most of the officers just wanted to qualify and leave, while the competitor shooters were at the range all day practicing and talking about practicing.

    I will offer my buddy my use of my reloading bench. I’ve done this before with new shooters.

    He will also have a chance to shoot with me and shoot my guns to get him started.

    Like anything else, most people get into something new and then lose interest. I hope this doesn’t happen with him.

  13. #13
    Boolit Bub
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    I just saw some .454 Casull ammo for sale - nice little 'started' pistol. Na just kidding,
    Can't beat a .22 pistol/rifle and .38/357 pistol as a starting point - you can still find ammo & have fun time shooting, learning and the pride of ownership.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by contender1 View Post
    As a long time instructor,, I get a lot of "new" gun owners wanting help.
    One of the best pieces of advise it for him to get good, PROPER instruction on the basics of handgunning from a well known instructor. Trying to correct bad habits,, (Uncle Joe held it like this, and that's how I hold it) is HARD for people.
    Next,, start with .22's and work up.
    Let HIM decide what guns & calibers he likes AFTER he has tried them.

    Just yesterday,,, at a customer's house, I discovered my customer is a retired LEO of 30 years. But,, very limited shooting exposure. ZERO single-action experience. He wants some,, and he also wants his wife to get some instruction. He is smart enough to accept the fact that he is not the person to teach her,, and is open to proper instruction. I applauded him & have offered my services.

    So, good instruction on the proper basics of handgunning, followed by sampling of many designs, calibers, and such, all will help him get educated BEFORE he makes any purchases.
    Great points. My wife took a beginners firearms class, from a great female instructor with other ladies. She had a great time. She said the class went into things I wouldn’t think to address. At the time, I was shooting several different categories and competing at national matches.

    I’m not surprised a LEO had no SA experience. We had a gang banger empty a SA at a rival gang member in a crowd. The offender fled on foot and tossed the SA away. Officers arriving were unsure how to recover the SA mechanism.

    While we all smirk at them, I confess when I was rookie I didn’t know anything about the 1911. We had an officer recover one and they were mocked for feeling comfortable unloading it. I went to the LGS and got a briefing on the 1911. That was over 40 years ago.

    A police officer in CA recovered a pistol off a guy visiting a patient in a hospital. The officer accidentally discharged the pistol in the hospital.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Many LEO's only shoot when qualifying. Rarely are they required to discharge a firearm in their daily duties. Some will go an entire career without the need to engage a perpetrator. Some people think that a LEO or ex-military are somehow more qualified to use a firearm than a civilian. Just is not so in many cases.

    If I had only used firearms as required in my military training I would be the last person you would want advice from. I only shot a sidearm or rifle a handful of times in my 20 year career and most of those times were when I was still at the company level (first 5 years of service). I think I fired more tank canon rounds than rifle rounds. Lots of .50cal and 7.62 machine gun (both from turret mounts).

    99.99% all of my small arms experience is due to my interest in shooting, reloading and casting, not from my military service.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Forgot, to the OP.

    Suggest you continue to encourage interest in shooting by sharing your hobby with your buddy. These days ammo is hard to come by and there is not a huge selection of handguns to choose from. But, you can help him figure out what kind of gun he might want to buy. Then it will take a bit of shopping to find the type of gun he chooses as well as ammo for it.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petrol & Powder View Post
    I think the answer to this, "......how does a new shooter break into the current market of sold out ammo shelves and practice shooting." is: Right Now, YOU DON'T.

    Short of someone helping you out and providing some guns and ammo to try, (which may not be a bad path to take), I don't think this is the time to dive into this issue.

    However, it doesn't need to be wasted time. You can take advantage of the current situation and use the time to think about what path to take when things return somewhat to normal.

    Despite all of the panic, things will get better. Use this time to study options, maybe try out a friends gun if that's available.
    This, 100%. At my part time gun sales job, I've lost count of how many first time gun buyers I have encountered after each election, social upheaval, or natural disaster. They are like flowers that pop up in the spring. Dealt with a bunch of them today, as expected, and of course they just can't believe that we don't have a normal selection of guns and ammo.
    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, 6.5 Creedmoor, .30 WCF, .308 WCF.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Silver Jack,, it sounds as if you are on the right track of things.

    I didn't delve into my complete background,,, but I'm a 20+ year competitor of USPSA,, a handgun hunter, a Hunter safety instructor, I own a gun range, certified range officer, WOT instructor, as well as many other minor things involving shooting & instruction.

    The LEO I was enjoying talking to the other day,, was actually quite knowledgeable in many aspects,, but even with our short visit,, he learned a few pointers,, AND admitted it, as well as thanking me for them. He related a story about when he was a rookie & started with a DA revolver. And also how he had observed over the decades how many LEO's were NOT gun people.
    With my youngest son currently a LEO Detective,, I'm around a lot of LEO's and I have seen a lot of "interesting" things.
    Too many to use this thread for,,,,,,,,,,!

    Your friend,, offer your help. But,, become the instructor,, NOT the friend. Often, machismo can prevent a person from admitting something they do not know,,, or worse, trying to fake it,,, for fear of feeling stupid,, or looking bad.
    This is why I often take any of our WOT clinic instructors,, and remove them from any familiar female in class. And by also removing all known male presence in the class, the ladies relax & do not worry about those folks whom they are familiar with, & seeking their approval. Ladies do not have machismo,, (well most don't),, and will open their minds, listen & learn.
    Guys,, often have a problem thinking they will look bad if they appear to not know something that's common knowledge to others.

    I always start any class that has a guy in it with the following;

    " I'm an instructor. I do not know how much you know, so I'm going to present things as if you know nothing. I will do my best to convey proper instruction, and help you understand it and why it's necessary. If you have any questions,, ANY questions,,, please do ask. No question is too small, trivial, or anything. There are no stupid questions,,,only stupid people for not asking their questions!"
    I actually use this statement in all my classes, not just for the men. It's just that the men are often the ones who NEED to hear it more.

    Over the decades,, I've taught many beginners, and all the way up to combat veterans. (One lady Vet emailed me from Afghanistan, after I'd worked with her, and thanked me profusely, because she said my training helped her survive an engagement.) THAT'S why I do it.

    There are a lot of people out there currently looking into firearm ownership & carrying,, due to the current climate. Hopefully your friend can & will become serious enough to become a firearm friend & supporter. Proper instruction, geared for his purposes,, can bring him into the fold.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    How many non gun owners are surprised that they can't order on line and have guns and ammo delivered to their home by their postman the next day..........
    JMHO-YMMV
    dd884
    gary@2texastrucks.com
    Gary D. Peek

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    All those who don’t understand the word infringed.

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