The 4 rules of gun safety

*The 1st Law of Gun Safety - The Gun Is Always Loaded!

*The 2nd Law of Gun Safety - Never Point A Gun At Something You're Not Prepared To Destroy!

*The 3rd Law of Gun Safety - Always Be Sure Of Your Target And What Is Behind It!

*The 4th Law of Gun Safety - Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until Your Sights Are On The Target!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Searching and selecting a gun.

Well, when we left off, I had my 2 permits and was starting the search for a gun. I knew I wanted two types of guns and my budget was roughly $500-600. I knew I wouldn't get two excellent guns for that price, but figured it was a good starting point. From going to the range and my past experience, I knew I wanted a .22lr target pistol. The reason I wanted one of these is that they are dirt cheap to shoot. I can get 500 rounds of ammo for less than $20 and sometimes when on sale, for around $13. The other gun I wanted was a 9mm as again, the ammo was much cheaper than a .40, .45, .380 etc. You can get cheap 9mm ammo for about $13-$16 and Walmart has Winchester White Box (WWB) for around $22 for a box of 100 rounds.

I started my search for my guns online doing research. I found a whole lot of sites specializing in gun sales and was able to comparison shop. I found sites like Buds Gunshop, Davidsons, Firearms4you, and Hyatt guns which had a lot of online inventory where I could compare prices. I also sent emails to several local shops to get some price feedback. Your mileage will vary here. I had some shops that were very helpful and others that acted like I was asking for their first born child. I also had some shops take a negative view of some of the guns I was looking at and were trying to push me into higher priced guns.

In the end, I selected the Smith and Wesson model 22A for my little target shooter. The price on it wasn't bad and I liked that it mimic'd the grip angle of the 1911 .45 version pistol which I hope to get sometime in the future. I picked this up at my first gun show. I'll talk about my experience there in another post. I really like this pistol. I was picking between it and a Ruger MkII or MkIII pistol, but price won out in the end. I was able to get this pistol for less than $250 at the gun show. Couldn't wait to get home and go through the instruction manual. That is the first thing you should do with any gun after a thorough visual check for deficiencies. I read the manual front to back, paying close attention to the breakdown for field stripping. I took the gun down and gave it a good cleaning. This needs to be done as a lot of guns can sit on a shelf for a while and to prevent rusting, the manufacturer will load it up with oil or grease. This leads to dust and dirt being attracted to the oil/grease and can affect the performance of the gun. So, I did this on a Saturday and planned to go to the gun range on Sunday to shoot it.

Sunday arrived and I and my boys were at the range shortly after it opened. We had picked up a bunch of ammo from Dicks Sporting Goods and planned to shoot a couple hundred rounds. I loaded up the magazines and fired first. The .22 is a very light recoil weapon suitable for starting children and women into shooting. My groups at 7, 10, and 15 yards were pretty good and would get better as I trained more. My boys and I went through about 250 rounds that afternoon. For about two hours of shooting, it cost us a little over $20. That included the range time and a couple of targets. It was a lot of fun to shoot that little gun. Still need to work on my breathing and trigger control to make my groups smaller though. My boys were really into it early and were really trying to get good groups, but after a while, you could see the excitement wear off and they were just throwing lead down range. You could see their groups get better for a while and then get worse as they got tired, both of shooting and working muscles in your arms, shoulders, back, and neck that you aren't used to using.

Overall, I can't say enough good things about that little 22a pistol. Lots of fun shooting it, nice grip, good trigger. Great gun to learn on.

My next blog, I'll talk about my 9mm pistol search, what I decided on, and my first experience with having to send a gun back to the manufacturer for repair.

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