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Gun questions (newbie)

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by Oneday, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. Oneday

    Oneday Karting

    Dec 19, 2003
    139
    Colorado
    Guys (and gals),

    Last weekend I had the opportunity to go clay pigon shooting out a friends farm. Spent the afternoon getting to know a 12 guage Beretta and had a great time. Now, I'm 30 years old and a complete newbie to the world of guns. However, I am a firm believer that knowing how to safely handle and use firearms is a basic skill set that everyone should have (kind of like knowing how to drive a manual tranny). So given that, I have a couple of questions for those with more experience than I...

    1) Is a firearms safety class worth it, or will the instructions of a VERY experienced friend be suitable? If the former, any recomendations on where to find good classes? Do local police departments typically offer such classes?
    2) I'd like to purchase both a shot gun, and eventually a hand gun. Any recommendations on each? Looking for something that's reliable, but not terribly expensive, suitable for target shooting, pigons etc. I really enjoyed the Beretta, but I really don't have anything to compare it against as this is the first 12 guage I've fired.


    Thanks to all in advance!
     
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  3. 2NA

    2NA F1 World Champ
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    #2 2NA, Mar 1, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2009
    Absolutely you should take an actual firearms safety course. It is a requirement before getting a hunting license in many states and is a very good idea even if you don't hunt.

    Try the local American Legion or VFW post, they may have organized classes there or will know where to send you. Most of the students will likely be kids but don't let that stop you. Safe firearms handling is serious business and you will likely meet some new contacts and learn of new places to shoot.

    Beretta makes a nice shotgun, you've already stepped to the front of the line.
     
  4. GatorFL

    GatorFL Moderator
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    Nov 18, 2005
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    +1 on what Tim said, Excellent advice.
     
  5. Buzz48317

    Buzz48317 F1 Rookie

    Dec 5, 2005
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    +1 to what Tim said. If you come up empty at the American legion or the VFW posts just try the local gun ranges. There are generally lots of organized classes that are put on that are for all different levels of experience. I just took a home defense and defensive shooting class in order to qualify for my Concealed Pistol License (should get it 2 weeks from this Friday) and even though I have been around guns my entire life I learned a lot. Great way to spend a Sunday and I am planning on taking more classes from the same instructor (he offers a combat pistol class that makes use of Airsoft guns that sounds like it would be a good time and would be another class that I feel I could take something away from.)

    As far as shotguns go Beretta is one of the leaders in the shotgun industry. They also happen to be a little more expensive than what you would pay from some other manufacturers. My first shotgun was a Remington 870 pump action 12 gauge, you will find that there are a LOT of folks that own this same shotgun. Since then I have added a Weatherby Orion D'Italia and a Browning Silver Lightning. I like all of the shotguns that I own, and there is not one that is over $1,700, but they are made for different purposes. If you are looking at an autoloader there are a few models in the Beretta lineup that you can get into for under the $2k mark...if you want an over/under you are going to be hard pressed to keep it in that ballpark and stay with Beretta.
     
  6. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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    Dec 1, 2000
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    If you have no previous experience I would take a Hunter's Safety course even if you don't plan on hunting. It gives you the best fundamentals for gun safety. For the handgun I would take a Concealed Handgun course, which doesn't focus as much on safety, but covers all the regulations and legal aspects. If you don't have a buddy that shoots, then maybe think about some lessons at a local range.

    You would think gun safety is common sense, but it isn't. I see many people that are careless and do unsafe things without intending and otherwise smart people (i.e. Cheney).
     
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  8. 8 SNAKE

    8 SNAKE F1 Veteran

    Jan 5, 2006
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    Mike
    Do you know which Beretta model you shot? For clays and upland birds, an over/under is my personal favorite. I've got a Beretta o/u that I use for this purpose. I also have a Benelli semi-auto that I use for most other types of hunting (turkey, duck/goose, etc). The semi-auto is the most versatile (a pump action would be just as flexible and cheaper), but I like the way an o/u swings more.

    With shotguns, fit is extremely important. Make sure you buy a gun that fits your physique and have someone who knows what he's doing verify that for you. You point a shotgun, instead of aiming a rifle/handgun. Consequently, the fit becomes very important as you instinctively point the gun at moving targets. You want the gun to line up with the rest of your body, or you'll either: 1. miss and/or 2. develop bad habits to compensate for a poorly fit gun.
     
  9. GatorFL

    GatorFL Moderator
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    Nov 18, 2005
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    I would like to add a comment. Shop around. Last weekend I took the Concealed Carry Weapons class at a local gun shop. It was $60 including the 25 rounds required for the shooting test. What I got for $60 was instructions on filling out the paperwork and the shooting test. I was pretty disappointed, I had hoped for some instruction on the practical application of laws relating to concealed carry. In hindsight I got what I paid for. Since I like being informed, I will be taking another CCW class that concentrates more on the practical application of CCW instead of completing the paperwork properly.

    Rob brings up a good point also, a hunting safety course is a great way to learn. I've had a couple of those and they are always informative and fun.

    Check out the local section of AR15.com to see what is available near you in terms of classes and quality gun shops.
     
  10. rob lay

    rob lay Administrator
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    how long was your class? ours was 10 hours and spent a bunch of time on the laws.
     
  11. 2NA

    2NA F1 World Champ
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    Tim Keseluk
    This is all good advice, just remember that the OP is an admitted beginner and would be well served with a basic safety course. Concealed Carry or Practical Shooting is a bit more advanced.
     
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  13. Oneday

    Oneday Karting

    Dec 19, 2003
    139
    Colorado
    Thanks to all for the advice, much appreicated.

    I'm not sure what model Beretta I fired, but it was from their semi-auto range.

    I found a local rifle club that was recommended by the county Sheriff and got signed up for a 4 hour "home firearms safety" class. They offer a program that starts with this class, followed by rifle/shotgun and handgun specific courses, as well as personal protection classes.

    Thanks again for the advice, good stuff!
     

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