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Old 05-29-2014, 01:20 PM   #1
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Recommend a newlywed gun

Young men who are familiar with real firearms are fewer these days. A soon to be newlywed asked for advice on what kind of firearm he should buy to protect his new bride. He'd already been sold life insurance, health insurance, renter's insurance, a retirement scheme, a water purifier, burglar, smoke and co2 alarms, and I don't know how many other kinds or forms of "insurance" but it occurred to him that if came down to it, he wanted to be able to have a fighting chance to protect the lady who lasso'ed his affections from home invaders or other miscreants.
From an anti-gun family the lad has no experience outside of Scout camp (shotguns and .22 rifles) With the current situation it isn't likely he'll be getting a CCW any time soon so this will have to be a house gun.

I'll offer to take him shooting and let him shoot a variety of firearms I have available (none of which are currently manufactured ) but my off the cuff advice would be to look for a .38/357 DA revolver--a Colt or S&W K frame with a 4 or 6" barrel, and if he had the $$ maybe a .22 target pistol to learn to shoot with first. But Colts and K frames are scarce and commanding collector prices around here and .22 ammo is non existent right now and has been for over a year. Keeping a shotgun "secure" under current state law is problematic---"behind the door" where a guest or workman could find it is the issue, while a pistol could be stashed in a filing cabinet, drawer, or hidey hole (at least until they are blessed with children.) I have suggested asking relatives if they have any war trophies he might give a home to (a 1911, HP, or P-38 perhaps?) Since assisted living places don't normally permit keeping weapons, but because of the "anti" background of much of his family, that's not a likelihood.

Any suggestions?
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Old 05-29-2014, 02:28 PM   #2
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I hate when folks like this (haven't shot much or know much about guns/shooting) ask me this question. If it appears that they really don't have much interest in shooting or learning to do so and aren't likely to, as this guy seems to be, I generally say get a pump action shotgun. They're fairly simple to operate and most folks have a general idea of how they work, from movies if nothing else. Also just working the action on a pump makes a sound like no other so that alone could make a bad guy think twice. Would a trigger lock on one take away the "problematic" issue with a shotgun in your state? I'd steer someone like this away from semi autos.
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Old 05-29-2014, 03:41 PM   #3
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I agree with Les, John. If the kid isn't going to learn to shoot, then a pistol is a poor choice. If he's only going to familiarize with the gun well enough to get off a panic-stricken round or two, then 9 pellets of 00 buck is the best choice regardless of any restrictions on keepery.

I recently worked with a lady coworker of my wife's and she wound up with a pump gun stored in a single gun safe inset into the wall between studs beside her bed. All she has to do at night is unlock the safe before she goes to sleep and she's GTG. Maybe this setup would work for your young friend. FWIW.

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Old 05-29-2014, 03:42 PM   #4
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I wouldn't doubt the groom's sincerity about being prepared to defend his bride (Boy Scout and all that) but I doubt he's going to be a "Terminator-droid" about it. A big issue I see is him listening to all the yahoos on Calguns and ending up with five different calibers and sizes of Glocks with more attachments than a Kirby vacuum cleaner. He's too level headed for that, still...
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Old 05-29-2014, 03:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayPee View Post
I agree with Les, John. If the kid isn't going to learn to shoot, then a pistol is a poor choice. If he's only going to familiarize with the gun well enough to get off a panic-stricken round or two, then 9 pellets of 00 buck is the best choice regardless of any restrictions on keepery.

I recently worked with a lady coworker of my wife's and she wound up with a pump gun stored in a single gun safe inset into the wall between studs beside her bed. All she has to do at night is unlock the safe before she goes to sleep and she's GTG. Maybe this setup would work for your young friend. FWIW.

Jer
One of the positive points I stress is committing to learn and maintain competence with whatever firearm he ends up with. If he does get a handgun it will get out for regular (though probably not weekly) exercise.
Finding a range was a concern and fortunately my Association's range has modest yearly guest memberships available. Unfortunately non-LEO's aren't permitted to shoot long guns at our range.
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Old 05-29-2014, 04:21 PM   #6
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Well a pistol it is then. Your K-38 idea sounds good since it doesn't have quite the offensive aura about it among anti-gunners that certain other pistols do, (especially the evil black ones) and it's easy to master. It might be a good way to stay in the good graces of his family and still get involved with guns in an effective way. Just a thought.
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Old 05-29-2014, 04:47 PM   #7
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If lack of ability to keep the firearm inaccessible but also ready in the home is a problem, a handgun is the only option. There are folding clam shell locking hard sided gloves, for lack of a better word, that open easily with a key. There are also the single pistol safes of the key lock, combination lock or the fingerprint recognition variety. He is unable to protect his wife 24/7 so they should both make a commitment to learn. I would suggest a minimum required investment in ammunition to demonstrate their commitment to actually get some trigger time.

Folks from anti-gun family backgrounds sometimes exhibit a bigger fear initially and may actually aim in, close eyes and pull the trigger. I know that sounds laughable but I have seen it. It will take experience to overcome that if present.
Good luck! I do not miss those kinds of training scenarios at all.
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Old 05-29-2014, 05:46 PM   #8
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John, my prospective father-in-law bought me a snubby, Iver-Johnson .32 when I married his daughter. A whopping 63.00 in 1962. It was small, and easy to shoot for both of us. I grew up in a "gun family" as well as being military, not so much the in-laws. Of course I acquired other arms as finances allowed---but the revolver served well for years.

I think your idea of a 38/357 is a good option. I haven't bought 38/357 rounds in a while so not sure of its availability in your part of CA. Locally here in San Diego County both are pricy and hit and miss for availability. (Maddening to have an arm and no cartridges to practice with).

Good luck to the newlyweds---

Oldster
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:24 AM   #9
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Your friend needs to go find a range with rental firearms so he can try a few different designs and find out what works for him, as well as a basic gun safety class. I'll go against the grain here and say the best alternative in a handgun is probably going to be a Glock, or some other ploymer framed pistol. A DA revolver is much harder to shoot accurately for someone who's an occasional shooter, and the manual of arms is actually more complex with a revolver. Here in the second decade of the twenty first century time has moved on, as much as we old curmudgeons hate to admit it. Modern polymer pistols are as relible as anything else and more so than many. When I'm asked this kind of question I make a concerted effort to divorce my own biases from the situation and give advice on what a person needs based upon their context, most don't.
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Old 05-30-2014, 01:47 AM   #10
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Trooper:

Reading your comments brought back some memories. About 1998, a female asked me to instruct her specifically in the use of the revolver. Her only experience with firearms was as an employee in a pawn shop. I condensed about four hours of lecture down to one and we took to a range I knew of in her county. I required that her first rounds be of the rimfire variety. She demonstrated pretty quickly she paid attention to the lecture and we moved on to centerfire. The girl was probably the best student I ever had. I let her shoot a 1911 and a 1935 that day. At the end of the day she decided on the revolver for her needs.
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