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  1. #1

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    Questions from a firearm n00b...

    I'm working towards applying for the Police Force, and so was considering going down to the local firing range to get a feel for firing some of the handguns (never fired a gun in my life). My question is, what handguns should I focus on, that will most likely be similar to what is used in Law Enforcement? Or am I better off starting with some of the lower calibre ones first, to get a feel for firing first? (Lots of 'f's there haha)

    Figured this place was a good one to ask as there seems to be folk who are in the know...

    Cheers. :copdance:

  2. #2
    tgace's Avatar
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    Its my opinion that the "start with a .22" school's only real advantage is cost. Its also good for teaching children or adults of smaller stature who have a fear of noise and recoil (which in the average carry pistol isnt really all that much).

    If you are an average sized person with average hand size and strength I would just go with what your target department carries. probably a 9mm or .40 cal.

  3. #3
    Ka-Bar's Avatar
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    Start with a GLOCK. They're as easy as firing a handgun gets. Point & shoot, basically. Plus, you will quickly learn to be safe, as there are no external safeties to use as a crutch. If you keep your finger off the trigger when you're not trying to shoot something, you won't have any accidents.

    As far as caliber, for police service weapons, there are 3 primary calibers: 9mm, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP. Some will say start small (9mm) and work your way up. Others will say start big (.45 ACP) and if you can handle that, you can handle a 9mm or .40 easily. I would say start right in the middle, with the .40 S&W.

    As far as makes, the big two in law enforcement are GLOCK and Sig Sauer. Some agencies issue Beretta, Heckler & Koch, Smith & Wesson, or Kimber. Some will let you carry whatever you want, as long as it's approved by the Sheriff or Chief of Police and you can qualify with it. I dislike Berettas and S&Ws, except as paperweights. H&Ks are overpriced, but beautiful weapons. I don't care for 1911's, but if you like them, Kimber makes the best one available. Sigs are also excellent, my only complaint being the differences between the double action and single action trigger pull. As you can see from my signature, I am a dyed in the wool GLOCK guy. They are cheap, reliable and tough as hell. My first handgun was a GLOCK and if I'm going to be putting my life in the hands of an arms manufacturer, it's going to be GLOCK.

    Whatever you decide, get something you're comfortable with and shoot, shoot, shoot. Learn the gun safety rules (and NEVER disobey them), get comfortable with a weapon in your hand, learn the fundamentals of shooting, learn how to load, reload & unload, develop the discipline to disassemble and clean your weapon after every trip to the range.

    Once you've gotten these habits down cold, switching from one gun to another or one caliber to another will be easy.

    Rudy Reyes > Bear Grylls

  4. #4

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    Thanks guys, as far as I know our Police standard issue is the Glock 9mm, so that's probably good to get comfortable with. Initially I would just be using the ranges' weapons, and the .22 is the cheapest with the 9mm and .40 S&W only a bit more, so probably might as well start at the 9mm and .40S&W and go from there by the sounds of things. Much appreciated!

  5. #5

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    I agree that you should practice with what you will use on the department you are applying for. If you are a total noob I would also recommend that you take a safety class or take someone with more experience with you to the range.

  6. #6

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    Yeah they provide a safety class and supervisor for beginners initially, along with the gun and ammunition if you're not a member.

  7. #7
    Mtripp's Avatar
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    Find a place where you can rent them. If you have never fired one before; then I am one of those "start with a .22 people." It is cheap and once you have all the basics you then can move up to larger calibers. Rent different ones, find one that suits you, and master it.

    Good Luck.

  8. #8
    IMightBeWrong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtripp View Post
    Find a place where you can rent them. If you have never fired one before; then I am one of those "start with a .22 people." It is cheap and once you have all the basics you then can move up to larger calibers. Rent different ones, find one that suits you, and master it.

    Good Luck.
    I'd side with this as well. I just started teaching a buddy how to shoot, and thank God I started him off on my Ruger Mk II because some people really pick up proper gun handling slowly, and had I started him off with something like my Glock he'd probably have some ADs by now.

    Also, the renting thing should be number 1 on your agenda right now. There's nothing worse you could do for yourself as a shooter than listening to what other people suggest and just buying something. Chances are, you'll pick something out because somebody else was comfortable with it even though there's something else out there that might be better suited to you. Rent a few models and try a few calibers to narrow it down to a type and caliber that work well for you.

  9. #9
    tgace's Avatar
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    Just to be clear, I'm not "against" learning pistolcraft with a .22 per se. It's just my opinion that a .22's only real advantages are cost and the fact that it is "less scary" in terms of noise and recoil. If you are "flinchy" or scared of the thing than I would suggest starting out small caliber. My first pistol experience was with gvt. model 1911's and I had no problems learning the fundamentals at all. You can have handling issues like AD's with a pellet gun all the way up to a .50 cal. if you don't know what the hell you are doing with the thing.

  10. #10
    tgace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaohu View Post
    I'd side with this as well. I just started teaching a buddy how to shoot, and thank God I started him off on my Ruger Mk II because some people really pick up proper gun handling slowly, and had I started him off with something like my Glock he'd probably have some ADs by now.

    Also, the renting thing should be number 1 on your agenda right now. There's nothing worse you could do for yourself as a shooter than listening to what other people suggest and just buying something. Chances are, you'll pick something out because somebody else was comfortable with it even though there's something else out there that might be better suited to you. Rent a few models and try a few calibers to narrow it down to a type and caliber that work well for you.
    Good advice. But if he happens to get a job in LE chances are he is going to be assigned a weapon, like it/comfortable with it, or not. Thats why I purchased a G27 as my off-duty gun. Same make, same caliber, same operation parameters as my duty gun. I would really have preferred a sub-compact 1911, but decided to keep it simple.

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