questionswhat kind of handgun should i purchase?


@duckcake: I agree. For target shooting, especially for noobs, a BB or .22 would be good. Small caliber, cheap ammo; good for getting the hang of everything.


The kind with a cork on a string at the end of the barrel.


Try going to a range, supervised, before buying....SAFETY is paramount for a noob. You can probably try several to get a feel for comfort level.


Ok first things first. Since you're asking what gun to buy on woot and said "noob" in your post.. Please go ahead and take yourself a gun safety/hunters safety course. It's always good to have one under your belt anyway. Also if you want to learn the fundamentals of firearms and firearms safety I would advise you to not start out on a handgun. You are very limited to what you can do with them and they are quite a bit more dangerous to handle especially for someone who is a "noob" as you put it.

I would recommend buying yourself a shotgun to start out with learning the basics. Take a hunters safety course with that shotgun and get familiar with it. A Remington 870 Express is a solid shotgun and you can pick one up at WalMart for under $300. Once that is done you can actually head down to the sport shooting range and shoot yourself some clay pigeons. This is much more fun then shooting at some paper. Then once you're confident with your gun safety you can move on to other things.


I agree with the posters above. A Ruger 10/22 is a tried-and-true .22 to get comfortable with a firearm. .22 ammo is dirt cheap, vs just about anything else.

Safety, safety, safety. Treat every firearm as though it is loaded. Never point it at anything you don't intend to shoot. Take safety classes - the NRA offers some good classes. The instructors can be odd, but the content is good - you don't have to buy into their politics.

Generally, stick with the brand names when looking for a firearm. There are some cheap pieces out there that will come apart in your hand, with dangerous or fatal consequences.

Before purchasing a handgun, go lurk on shooter forums. Everyone has their favorite caliber and manufacturer - just like buying a car. Think about what you want it for. If you just want to shoot, go with a 9mm - it's cheaper, and you can get more rounds into a magazine. If you're worried about stopping power, go check out said forums. Lots of discussion there.



If the only purpose is for target shooting, then I agree with above mentions of a .22. I learned on a single action .22 revolver with a 4" barrel. With the single action you had to be very deliberate in firing a shot. Find a nice Ruger .22 revolver with either 4" or 6" barrel and enjoy.


I took a gun safety class at an indoor range and they let you shoot all kinds of hand guns. Great way to see what you like before buying.


I should clarify I am only a n00b regarding what kind of gun to get. I have taken a hunters safety class awhile back and have shot many guns and own a few long guns. I am thinking about getting a 9mm or .22 just wondering what brand and model people like.


Since your question asked specifically about handguns, and the need for safety courses has been mentioned. I would go with a model 1911 from a well known manufacturer. I am partial to Ruger, but I like remingtons 1911's a little better. If you have the cash and want to go top of the line Kimber is the way to go. The 1911 will come in various calibers. For just plinking and light self defence a 9mm is great and the ammo is cheap. If you feel you may need to rely on stoping power a .45 will do better but its ammo will cost a bit more. Also don't forget, safety glasses and ear plugs. Have fun, shooting is a great sport!


I agree with above, a nice Ruger .22 sounds perfect for what you wanna do without being too expensive or fancy pants.


I bought a Kel Tec P-3AT Freedom 380 ACP w/CTC. The sight is really helpful, especially if you are a new gun owner. My grandson recommended this, and I have been very happy with it. I bought it to learn how to shoot and for safety. I'm glad I have it.


@meh3884: This.

Go for something in .22 with a 4 or 5ish inch barrel length. I've been looking at the Ruger SP101 for my SO for a carry gun in .357, but I believe they make it in a .22 also. Nice simple SA/DA revolver. And don't worry about buying new- find something used at a in-state gun-swap or check out and have it shipped to a local FFL.


@pshutt: With that being said go with something cheap. Ammunition will start getting expensive after a while. Right now you can buy 9mm ammo at a reasonable price. So go with that. .45 ACP is pretty expensive now. If you want something in the middle of stopping power and magazine capacity go with a .40. Ammo is relatively cheap for .40 now due to law enforcement switching over. The Smith and Wesson M&P lines are great buys right now. You can try getting a compact too to leave open your options for conceal-carry in the future! Glad to hear you're not a gun noob, jut a pistol noob! :)


I started with a .22 rifle then 9mm glock. I second and third the safety classes.

Go to a range that offers gun rentals, shoot and handle as many guns as you can. We can't really tell you what kind of gun you should get since it's more personal preference. Find a caliber you like, find a couple guns you like research them and decide from there.

I wouldn't suggest a shotgun as someone else here has (though the 870 is a wonderful shotgun) if you are new to guns the kick might scare you away from them and shotguns are more for hunting, home defense, but they are a blast using slugs at the range.


Get a gun you'll actually be able to use for self defense so there is some benefit to learning to use it properly. I would suggest any Sprinfield Armory handgun, they are AMAZING. Fit in the hand like a glove, very safe, and 100% reliable. Personally, my favorite caliber is the .40, and as far as I'm concerned, there are no others!


@pshutt My recommendation is a Sig Sauer Mosquito

[Mod-edit: Please feel free to Google a link.]

My suggestion, go into a smaller gun retailer and ask to hold and look at many different styles of guns. If the gun doesn't feel comfortable in your hand, don't buy it. Since every hand is different, my preference will be different than yours.

The Mosquito has the look and feel of a larger caliber firearm with all the necessary safety and securities. It fires a .22LR round with a 10 round magazine. It also has a decocker, which I personally like.

This was the first pistol I purchased so I could get my wife used to handling and firing a pistol before going into the larger caliber pistols.

I personally do not recommend purchasing a larger caliber pistol until you are 100% comfortable with a 22.


I have a .40 Smith and Wesson M&P that I like a lot. I have friends that have Glocks and Springfield XDs in .40 that they also enjoy. It really just comes down to trying each of them and seeing which one feels the best while you're shooting. I don't think you'll go wrong with any of those.


@bogie21: My wife has a Mosquito and i'm really impressed with the safety features. My Glock has little safety in comparison. It should be noted that she picked it mostly because it comes in purple.

A 22 is definitely a good starter gun (especially for target practice) and will also certainly do fine if you are worried about defense. The only problem is that you may soon want something with a higher caliber depending on the type of person you are. I am a big guy and when I shoot a 22, it feels like a BB gun. When I shoot a .40, it feels substantial. I am not sure I would want a 22 anymore. Maybe it's just a macho thing...

Lastly, if your main concern is home defense, a shotgun might be the best thing to go with.


@johnnys13: I like the .40's too I have a glock and taurus that shoot .40's.

Even during the ammo shortage I didn't have an issue finding .40, it was hard to find .380 and 9mm for a while though.


@pshutt: I would recommend the Beretta Neos .22 pistol with 6" barrel - awesome gun for target shooting, very accurate - it's not too expensive and very easy to strip and clean. It has nice Glock-ish sights and has a weaver rail on top to add optics if you want to. Semi-auto with 10-round drop-out magazines makes it a pretty fun shooter.


I am partial to a Ruger stainless steel GP100 .357 w/ a 4" barrel. I can shoot .38 wad cutters for target practice or .357 ammo.


If you are just looking to have a good time, you can't go wrong with a name brand .22.

.22 long ammo is dirt cheap. I just bought another brick of 525 Federal rounds for $20 last weekend (shot probably 250 rounds through my Ruger 10/22 rifle). I'm pretty partial to Ruger for semi automatic .22s. I don't think I have ever had a jam in my rifle with thousands of rounds through it. I don't own a .22 pistol, but I wouldn't think twice about picking up a Ruger.


@pshutt: Well had I read this earlier my post would have been more helpful...sorry.

I have a Ruger mark III that shoots VERY well, but the field strip takes some learning and getting use to.

My glock 9mm is the easiest to take care of and will shoot forever (I've had it for 11 years never had a single issue with it)

I also have a Walther 'P22q' that's fun to shoot field strip isn't bad, but could be better. As a bonus with this one it has a threaded barrel so if you wanted a silencer ever it would be very easy to fit. They have also fixed the issue where the p22 was fussy with ammo (it takes EVERYTHINg I have thrown at it, including tracer rounds)


I have a Ruger 10/22 with wood stock, great plinking rifle. Also, love my Springfield Armory XD 9mm. Great weapon with lots of built-in safety features. Impossible to accidently fire.


love my glock model 22 (.40 s&w)
it's over 20 years old now, and has never had any problems.
.40 ammo can get pricey, though.

if you want to stay away from the little 22's, go for a 38 revolver. Usually they're very reasonably priced, reliable, and ammo is reasonably priced as well.


@kamikazeken: or .357 so you can choose .38 or .357 ammo (Love my revolvers)


@pshutt: There're a lot of things to consider (which is probably why you're asking this), but most importantly, what all do you plan on using it for?

If you're 100% just going to the range plinking, hands down 22lr is the way to go. It's 1/10th the cost of any other ammo.

Now.. if you plan on piggy-backing a little home/personal defense into the equation, that changes things completely.
9mm is about the best middle-ground of power, capacity and price.

And since you didn't say "What's a good shotgun?" I'm guessing you probably aren't looking for a good shotgun lol.. are you?

So: Are you planning on using this for defense?
..if you are, do you plan on carrying it concealed?
Are you ONLY looking for a handgun?
And is there any SIZE you would prefer?
[edit] OH! And I can't believe I forgot this but: Semi auto or revolver?

And let me throw one last question in so we don't keep referring you do guns you have NO interest in: DO YOU WANT A SHOTGUN/RIFLE? :)


@75grandville @rockytrh @mgalexa and anybody else who likes the 10/22

Have you guys seen the takedown version? Ruger JUST released it.. it's pretty cool - awesome backpacker.

Dunno how much you guys care, but I had to share :)


Choose the gun that will best strike fear into the hearts of your enemies.

My wife won't let me get a handgun because she thinks I'll brandish it too much. (brandish is a fun word, no?)


The answer to this question lies in what you want it for. If you plan on strictly target shooting there are many cool/fun toys available. It also depends on how much you want to spend. A Kimber .45 1911 style may run you over a grand while an ATI .45 1911 is around 400 bucks. That being said someone mention ammo costs. Ruger makes some great .22 cal plinkers.
Go shooting with friends and find out what you are comfortable with and what you like. Also remember that some guns are very finicky about what ammo they like. I have one that will jam with ANY ammo expect Aguila (mexcian ammo that is dirt cheap). And another only likes Federal. Find what works and stick to it.
I will list some I use below in next post.
"A concealed carry gun is only a tool to get you to the gun you should have been carrying in the first place." - TV


Taurus .45LC/.410 Judge: This is a great gun. Reliable with a ton of variety in ammo. They make PX ammo in .410 caliber that will cut a 2x4 in half at 25 feet. For added bonus find a second and two-fist them. Didn't hit much but man was that fun as heck.
Taurus 608 .357 w/ 8 3/4 barrel: Can fire .38 special too. This is a fun and intimidating gun. Plus it holds 8 rounds. I consistantly hit a man-sized target 6 of 8 at 100 yards with this.
Calico Liberty III 9mm: OMG this is fun. 50 or 100 rd mag on top. Ejects casings straight down for easy collection.
ATI .45 1911: for the cost ($404)this is fantastic! Accuate and it hasn't jammed yet with over 500 rounds put through it.


Sig Sauer .22 Mosquito: Accurate reliable plink gun. Cheap ammo.
Kimber .45 1911: A sweet gun! Especially with the reflex sight on it.
Glock .40: great gun. However, I would not recommend the steel cased rounds. Seems to catch the casing alot and frequently jams. Running brass ammo I haven't had a problem.
Hi-point .45: Everyone here will laugh at this one and say things like it will blow up on you. It feels like your holding a brick (very heavy)but for $138.00 bucks I love this gun. It is accurate and has never jammed on me regardless what ammo I feed through it. I will say again though, it's a brick. Also Hi-point has a life-time warranty. And the same mag for this will work in the .45 Hi-point carbine.


A .22 is a great starter weapon. Lets you learn how to handle a gun, while not jumping out of your hand. Then you can work your way up to whatever feels right in your hand.


woot policy being so anti-gun that a mod actually edits a user's post to remove a link to a firearm manufacturer's site makes me embarrassed to call myself part of this community. #notjoking


If you are new to handguns, a .22 is the best choice.

Its very easy to develop a flinch if you learn handguning with a gun that kicks. The 22's lack of recoil will help ensure you develop good habits, and don't develop a flinch. Additionally, the cheap ammo means you can get a lot of practice in for less money.

You didn't specify if you are looking at a semi-auto or a wheel gun.

If you are thinking semi-auto, I'd recommend a Ruger.

Ruger makes some really solid semi-autos. You really simply can't go wrong with a Mark III or a 22/45. They are basically the same gun, with different grip angles. If you think you might want a 1911 at some point, go with the 22/45. The grip angle is supposed to mimic a 1911 (hence the 45 in the name)

Both models have been around a long time, so its not hard to find a used one.


@rustybender: A good trick to cure yourself of flinching is to have a friend load 5 rounds in a 6-shooter revolver, and then hand the gun back to you. You start shooting, and once you find the empty chamber, your flinch will be all too obvious.
I used to shoot USPSA matches and was an instructor for several years, that was a tried and true trick to help new shooters.


@drchops: Have you seen this for the Ruger 10/22

To mods: no guns or ammo sold on the above site.

If you only want for target shooting, though Mr. Smith might disagree, the Browning Buckmark Camper may just be the ticket for you:


@wootmeharder: I've helped people cure flinches with semi-autos by doing something similar.

Load the magazine with a "snap-cap" randomly placed. When they pull the trigger on it, you get the same effect as an empty revolver cylinder.


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