Austin newbie

Doc Deuce

New Member
Dec 21, 2008
Austin, TX
Hello all. I'm an Austin resident with absolutely no experience with firearms. My wife and I are both looking to learn and purchase but we really don't know where to start. We're also very short on money so we're trying to decide whether we should spend money at a range or save money to buy something. Any suggestions or is anybody willing to help us get into the hobby? Much appreciated.


Active Member
Jul 15, 2008
Red River, Texas
Hand gun tips....

HOWDY and welcome, Doc! you come to the right place, brother.

First off, figure out your immediate goals: home/self defense, plinking, target shooting, hunting, etc.

Then, "bone up" on a few good books at the local Library (very cost effective!)

A very good start is a .22 cal rimfire revolver or auto-loader pistol. Learn gun safety and handling. Aim, grip, sight picture, trigger squeeze, etc.

Shooting a .22 costs you pennies. You can then "up-gun" to a .38 cal revolver (4 inch barrel, thank you very much). Then, it's off to a 9mm and then a .40 cal or .45ACP pistol. You'll be all set.

Start with good quality "re-loaded" or "remanufactured" ammo from a very reliable, local ammo source, sometimes 50% the cost of factory ammo. More to practice with. Then, you can graduate to "factory" loads.

Prices? I always buy good "gently used" hand guns; let someone else take the "depreciation" on a new-priced gun. I have yet to see one "shot out." Pick a good one up from family/friends, or a local funshow. Know what you are looking for. work the action, check for sloppiness, cylinder alignment, timing, firing pin, etc.


After hand guns, you'll be into "long guns" soon enough!


Mar 4, 2008
Welcome to the forum.Are you wanting a gun for defense or just for plinking?


May 9, 2008
North Zulch, TX
Welcome aboard! Find a friend to help you get started and maybe let you try out some of his/her guns. Otherwise ask here and you will receive a wealth of information!


TGT Supporter
Feb 21, 2008
Austin, TX
Hi Doc! Thanks for joining us! I'm here in Austin (south Austin, Manchaca area specifically) and would be glad to help you all out. :) If you'd like, I could give you both some basic hands on training with firearms safety as well. Send me a PM or email and I'd be glad to meet with you both and help you out if you'd like. I try to extend that offer to anyone new to firearms as I feel it's important for those with any knowledge on a subject to help those out that are maybe not as knowledgeable. Plus the whole subject of firearms has a lot of emotion and fear associated with it, so I think it helps to have someone a bit more knowledgeable on the subject to guide you through much of this uncertainty. Anyways, that's why we created this forum, to help people out.

Depending on your intended goal of a firearms purchase, personally I would recommend starting out with a .22lr caliber rifle or handgun first. .22lr is, hands down, the cheapest caliber out there, which would allow you to shoot that much more often. A bulk box of 500-550 rounds typically goes for ~$12-14 and can easily be found even at Walmart! ;) Depending on how much you'd want to practice initially, that $12-14 could last you a long time, like an entire month or so. Here's a ton of info on the .22lr caliber if you'd like to learn a bit more, plus there are some great comparison pictures to other calibers:

.22 Long Rifle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ultimately, I would personally recommend that if the goal is for self defense, you should plan on eventually buying a gun in a larger caliber than .22lr. While .22lr has been effectively used in self defense in some cases, generally it is not considered to be a ballistically effective caliber due to it's small size. There are about a million other calibers that a million different people will have a million different recommendations on for self defense. ;) I thought I'd say that just so you are forewarned. I can go into more detail on what general recommendations I'd have for a self defense caliber at another time. I don't want to inundate you with too much foreign information at one time. ;)


TGT Addict
May 29, 2017
Austin, TX
I would highly recommend a 9mm or something more capable if you are on a budget. In purchasing a .22, while great for training, you are essentially spending money on something that cannot be effectively used for self-defense.

There is a bit more learning curve with the 9mm, but you gotta step up at some point.

I'll be at Red's South on Monday (22nd), bring your wife and she can rent the firearms for free. Buy a single box of 9mm and try out a few of the guns.

Doc Deuce

New Member
Dec 21, 2008
Austin, TX
Hey guys. Thanks for all the responses. I'm actually looking at shooting for self defense. I can understand what Texas1911 says about buying a .22 and not having a real self defense firearm. Though I am new to shooting, I would prefer to start with something more effective in self defense. I would also prefer not to pay for a gun just to learn and then pay for a gun to use. Any advice on where I can find gently used 9mm?


Active Member
Aug 11, 2008
Welcome from another new member Doc Duece.

BeNotAfraid has given you good advice, I think. Learn the basics with a good 22 revolver or semi and go from there.

The joy is in the quest.


Dec 16, 2008
hello wife started out with a Walther P22 she really loves it....I myself got a Walther P1 9mm....I have found semi autos can be a little intimidating for someone not used to using a firearm (my brother is an example, he prefers a revolver always worried about how to handle a jam) there are some good revolvers out there for self defense...oops forgot my manners!! Glad you joined up I am another newbie as well just joined last week....
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