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Hello,

I have several handguns on my "want list." However, funds are limited at this point and I can afford one perhaps every 6mos with all else that's going on.

I'll find one that I want, but it's not "the ONE." Every now and then however, one will call out to me. It may be identical to the one I looked at an hour ago, but something is subtly different about it- perhaps something as simple as a holster wear pattern, or something that says that the previous owner knew what he was doing, or something I can't even name. That's the one that gets bought. It doesn't matter if I go out and look for an 1872 Open Top clone. I might walk away with a Smith and Wesson Model 10. Who knows?

So, how do you choose yours? Do you go out deliberately, or wait for one to call to you?

Josh <><
 

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Josh, I'm one of those annoyingly decisive types. I say "annoyingly decisive types" because I can't understand why one needs to read the menu of a restaurant he's ever eaten at before. People who spend ten or fifteen minutes perusing the menu board in the fast food drive-thru REALLY brown me off.

So, it goes without saying that when I walk into a gun shop I know what I want, and what's going home with me.

Although, there was this one time about 15 years ago that I went in to my favourite shop to buy a SIG P226. I'd wanted one for about three years, but the money just wasn't there (illnesses, job changes, re-location, etc.). In I go. The money is in my pocket, and I'm determined I'm FINALLY going to get the long coveted SIG. Well, I ask to look at the P226, I fondle it, examine it in detail, and I'm all set to say, "Write it up." when another salesman puts a brand new BHP Mark III in the case.





I bought the Mark III!



I finally bought the SIG about 10 years later, only after I bought another four BHPs.
 

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Hello. Most of the time it has been pretty well decided before I get to the shop.

On the other hand, I've gone into a gun shop with nothing more in mind than get some solvent or other minor purchase when I see something in the used gun display. It might be a Series I Kimber (that happened to come in on the VERY day I was getting and paying for an STI), a like-new S&W or some such and I wind up making more than a "minor purchase."

(In the case of the Kimber, I knew I couldn't afford both and a good friend came in and bought it.)

Now and then, I've gone in with every intention of buying a particular pistol and after handling/examining it, didn't; turned out I really didn't like it as much as I thought I would.

Best.
 

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I am normally already decided on what I want when I go to the gun store. A quality handgun is a fairly expensive item so I try to make sure that gun X is what I really want before I lay out my cash. This way I am usually not disappointed. However, there are those times when I have some extra cash that I will peruse the gunstores without any particular gun in mind looking for something interesting. I also have a want list of certain guns that are not "burning desires" but if a happen across one that is a good deal I'll buy it.

Shawn
 
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My viewpoint and experiences pretty well mirror those of Mr. Camp. For the most part I mull over a gun purchase for some time. If it's a firearm in current production, I'll visit a number of stores to handle as many individual examples as possible. I'll look for one with a bit smoother action, tighter cylinder gap (in the case of revolvers), or better finish than the rest. When it comes to guns no longer in production or in limited production, sometimes you have to grab them when you can.
This is particularly true at gun show with out-of-area dealers I may see once a year.
 
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For me,more often than not,the thing just jumps out from the rest for some reason and if the gun fits my hand...I'm screwed. :(
Bills wait til next week. ::)
That's not to say I'm entirely impulsive,but some things you have to jump on.I was at a gun show not looking for anything in particular when I saw this nice business-like matte black revolver.I just caught my eye for some reason,I looked it over and found it had this quality of balance and just plain felt like a good handgun should.$260 later I had my 28-2.
I wasn't really looking for it....it found me.
 
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Usually I do the research (both my library and internet) and make a few stops at shops or shows to fondle before I drop the cash. I have been know to just go in and buy something if I have the money and a percieved need for it (44 mag before going camping for a week in northern Mn, then next day shipping a holster
). The impulse buys aren't always the most thought out but life goes on. As I've gotten older I tend less towards the impulse buys.

Steelheart
 

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Well I have a careful process.

First I decide the mission (Defense, Hunting, Fun?).

Then I lay out a spreadsheet program I made called a "decision maker" in which I weigh important characteristics for the mission (reliability, necessary accuracy, ergonomics, cartridge effectiveness, etc.) When I run this it gives me a numerical score for each candidate

And lastly I ignore all of that and buy what I like


I thought that's the way everyone did it.

Onward,
Jim
 
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I research the gun I want then when I finally decide I need it, I gather funds and start searching for it. Right now I am on a quest for a Springfield Armory GI. I sold my CZ 75 P-01 for money to go towards the GI then I had to use some of the money on something else and now I am saving up. After Christmas though I will have my first 1911.

clipse
 

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Make alot of impulse purchases. Just today sauntered into out of the way gunshop (same place got the Webley Mark I navy model for $90). Owner likes me, as he realizes another chance to sell oddball firearms, that no one else wants. For this gracious service i provide, he also does transfers for nominal fee.


Finally , there are some different items in stock. Carefully check over a S&W M18 4 in, but the price seems a tad high for the limited surface wear ($360). He also has a Ruger security six 4 in , with adj sights. Looks brandy new and is about $260 . Open up the cylinder and see serious signs of face of cylinder scraping rear of barrel. Put it down, don't need no more "projects".

After shooting breeze for awhile, figure i should at least check out the single action section. Looks like yet another Ruger 22 SA has appeared since last visit. Take a closer look and the tag says 32 mag. Ask to see it. It is 61/2 inch? blued 32 mag with adjustable sights. Very slightly used. Look at the price tag and get exited. Trying not to give myself away, put it down and check out box of used holsters. Best to stay cool and try my usual game of bargaining. Pick out a vertical leather shoulder holster for 6 in DA revolver (Safariland or some other passably familiar name), and offer to buy both if he gives me $10 bucks off the holster. He relents, after several minutes.
Almost new blued Ruger 6 1/2 in 32 mag adj sights=$280
Slightly used holster=$10

Am pleased i stopped by. Been looking for this model of 32 mag almost 10 years, never could find one i could see before buying. The holster will probably fit the M24 heritage.

Can't even rember the model of pistol, perhaps a super single six or such?
 

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Hello. Sounds like a good arrangement for both you and the dealer. Congratulations on finding one you'd been wanting at a good price...and a steal on the holster.

Best.
 

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I went to the gunshop yesterday to buy a used Glock 21, check on the price of S & W Model 10 (delivered from SOG) and wound up buying a Colt Peacekeeper .357 magnum with a 4" ventilated barrel in a matte parkerized finish.
My reasoning? The colt was a collectable and wouldn't be there long, it was at about 99% condition and was priced at $300.00 out the door.
To my suprise, the book value was $350.00, there was one auctioned on gunsamerica at $500.00 and I have a bit of nostalgia for older wheel guns.
So much for planning ::)
P.S. the dealer threw in a used Bianchi Holster for free!
 
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I've been known to be an impulse buyer in the past, but I've learned that I really need to know what I'm buying before I buy it. I had a S&W Sigma, 2 Glock 23's etc. that I bought on Impulse and wasn't happy with. Those are all gone now. I try to research before I buy now. I've been wanting a 1911 but now I'm having second thoughts. I'm a 9mm type of guy and I really don't know what I want next. CZ keeps popping up in my mind, as does Ruger, but I'm still not sure what I want. I love my XD9 but, it's not the "perfect" 9 for me.

Jeremy
 
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I just bought a handgun, and my purchase was, in part, due to reading about the Makarov in Camps Corner over at Precisionshooters.
When I'm looking for any kind of gun, pistol or rifle, I look at how much it's gonna cost me to shoot it. I've had a 336C for years that I never shot much because $15 for 20 rounds just cuts into my wallet a little too deep. I shoot for pleasure, and I've found that cheaper ammo contributes to that pleasure. For getting rid of that Marlin I got a Makarov and a Mosin 91/30. As a result I'll be shooting more.
I've noticed that when a caliber is in military use, the cost of that ammo is low. I'm supposing that it is because the ammo is being produced in such high quantities. In the instance of the Makarov, I can get a box of 50 rounds for anywhere from $5.50 - 10.00 for a box of 50. I can live with that. A 500 S&W Magnum costs a little over $2.00 every time you pull the trigger. I can't live with that.
I also want reliability in the gun and caliber, so I don't want something unproven. A model will have been around awhile for me to be interested, and I pay more attention to the preferences of soldiers and cops than any advertising hype.
 

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I'm past the phase when I have to have this month's ultimate handgun off the front cover of the latest gunzine.

I have model 19's in 2&1/2, 4, and 6 inch barrels. A 4" 28, and and half a dozen 38's. I'm working on getting more 38's in 2, 3, &4" bbls. Used Colts and Smiths, from the 70's and back as a rule.

I have nothing against a good 9mm, but I've gone through Glock, Beretta, and Smith double-stacks without finding one for me. I did have a Hi-Power, but had to sell it before getting to shoot it. The only 9mm left is a S&W 39-2, rock solid and dead accurate.

I got a CZ380 and shot it. Then I heard prices were going to go up, so I got another - $450 for both. Nice package of power and size. Then recently paid $350 for a satin nickeled one. You don't need to give serial numbers for Nevada CCWs, just Make, Model, and Caliber. I'm set for autos. Now to get 3 38's the same Make, Model, and Caliber.

My last purchase was a 3&1/2" Charter arms 22 LR. I'd put a Police Positive on layaway, came back the following month to pick it up, did so, and while they were completing the paperwork I saw the Charter for $150 in the glass case. They came back and I pulled out my credit card.

I maybe should add that I know how to inspect a revolver, and do so for every purchase, brand new out of the box or used. Can't say the same for autos. That's why when I found something that worked for me I got three of them.
 
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I have a little different take on this as have been at this stuff a couple of years and am probably in the winnowing-out phase. I have let go of guns I should have known better than to sell, and bought lots more because I persuaded myself that they were Excalibur. It's educational, but a darned expensive education with a lot of side roads. There are more than a few of those guns that I got more pleasure from finally selling than when I first bought and owned them.

Even with those detours I have accumulated a few worthwhile pieces that do a very good job for me year after year. Usually it was less a matter of the guns getting pulled around than it was of me getting squared away...



I no longer look for the Magic Thunderstick that will cure all my problems. I occasionally try a pistol to see how it will work out for me (most recently a Glock 17, a SIG 220, and a P97) and the upshot is that I already have what works best for me personally. My good pieces all shoot better than I can and have no quirks--which makes me very fortunate.

What really does attract me is a project gun--something fundamentally solid but in need of TLC and rebuilding into something special. I have probably had more fun with some of those than anything straight from the factory.
 

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For centerfire target competition I like a fine tuned 1911 .45acp. For rimfire competition I go for a top of the line .22LR like the Beretta 87T with reddot scope. For personal defense I look for a pistol I can pocket carry. Since I'm not in LE and rarely go into really serious BG territory, I just want something that will go bang everytime and get a BG off me if needed.
That's what happens when you get old, you don't like to carry IWB, shoulder rig, ankle rig, or any other rigs to carry a heavy gun.
Cheers,
og
 
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How do I choose.

Well, first, for a duty gun, I do a whole bunch of research and testing. Then I search around for the best price, then I go to my favorite store, and tell the guy there what the best price I can find is. He then splits the difference with me between his price and my best price (this process takes approximately 20 minutes of bickering) then he orders it, and everybody is happy.


Non duty guns, these are mostly revolvers, mostly 357's and 38 specials, and are almost universally bought on impluse when I see one which I think is interesting at a reasonable price. (usuallly the conversation starts with, "oh, look at that, I've always wanted one of those") The last one of these that this happened with was a 3" colt detective special (DSII)
 

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Made my monthly 260 mile round trip to Carson yesterday to get the 3 of us our monthly prescriptions, drove up to Reno and spent an hour with a special friend dying of cancer, and poked my nose into one gunshop.

There was a blued Charter Arms Off Duty in tight shape for a few cents under a hundred dollar bill. Plus $7 odd bucks sales tax. With a CHL, no instant check fee.

Under 5 minutes flat:

1) Spotted it ( stopwatch starts running )

2) Getting the clerks attention

3) Doing a quick check-out of it's shape

4) providing DL, CHL, and credit card

5) Signing the 4473 and cc authorization, and I'm gone!!!
 

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First criteria, it has to be concealable. I have to be able to use it for either winter or summer CCW carry.

Right now, I don't have any guns high on my list as "need to buy". But if I eventually get motivated and sell my POS Colt Defender (3" 1911 .45 - yuk) then guns I'm interested in right now would be:

1) Springfield Champion
2) Sig 239
3) S&W Mountain Gun in .45 LC

Hows that for variety!!
 
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