In recent years, the ranks of first-time handgun buyers have grown dramatically. Thousands upon thousands of Americans are purchasing their first-ever pistol. With so many handgun options available these days (from derringers to Desert Eagles) many first-time buyers have trouble making a choice.
A close relative recently contacted this Editor. Wanting to get started in handgunning, he sought my advice on purchasing his first handgun. “Should I get a Glock?”, he asked. “No” was my response. “Well how about an M&P?” he inquired. “Better ergos” I said, “but ‘No’ is still my reply.” “OK, how about a KelTec, they’re cheap…” “Absolutely not”, I replied.
I could tell he was getting annoyed, when he said “OK, Mr. know-it-all, so what handgun should I get?” Calmly, I replied: “Get a .22-caliber rimfire revolver. You will never out-grow it. You will learn sight alignment and trigger control. You can practice with inexpensive ammunition. A good .22 revolver will be considerably more accurate than 90% of the self-loading pistols you could buy. If you get a Smith & Wesson, you will keep the gun for the rest of your life and pass it on to your kids. If you or your heirs ever wear out the barrel or cylinder, Smith & Wesson will replace the parts for free, forever.”
First Handgun Choice — A very good choice for a first handgun is a Smith & Wesson .22 LR revolver, such as the S&W model 617. The model 617 is extremely accurate, with a very crisp trigger (in single-action mode), and good sights.
You can learn all the fundamentals with this ultra-reliable handgun, shooting inexpensive .22 LR ammo. The model 617 is rugged, durable, and can give you a lifetime of shooting fun. Once you have mastered the basics of shooting with a .22 LR, you can move on to larger caliber handguns suitable for self-defense. Below is a slide-show illustrating a S&W model 617 ten-shot, with 6″ barrel. S&W also makes a 4″-barrel version of this revolver. (See: Shooting Demo Video with 4″ model 617.)
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In another month or two many Eastern and snow-belt shooting ranges halt operations for the winter. If you’re an avid rifleman who enjoys shooting regularly, the dark days of winter can bring withdrawal pains. The closure of outdoor ranges can mean months of forced inactivity… unless you have an all-weather indoor shooting solution.
Some clubs maintain their own indoor air rifle ranges where you can continue to shoot and train throughout the winter. If there are no such facilities nearby, Creedmoor Sports now offers a great solution for those who want to shoot indoors — even in your own basement or garage.
Creedmoor’s patented 10m Air Gun Range provides a target holder and a curtain-type backstop capable of stopping pellets with a muzzle velocity up to 600 fps. The target boxes can be positioned at various heights for prone, kneeling, and standing. Creedmoor says the hardened steel target boxes provide 100% containment for any pellet passing through the target.
The 10M Air Gun Range is available either in a 3-station configuration for $1514.00 (item 3AGR), or as a one-station (single-point) range for $325.00 (item AGR-SINGLE). Creedmoor’s Air Gun Range is a proven, heavy duty product — the only Air Rifle target system ever tested and approved by the U.S. Military. This system is currently being used in more than 600 schools nationwide, as well as the new CMP shooting facility in Alabama. The 3-station range easily dis-assembles for transport and storage, fitting inside a 34″ x 10″ x 8″ carry duffle.
The Portable Air Gun Range comes with a durable curtain/ backstop that sets up quickly and easily. The curtain provides ample stopping power for air pellets. However, this is NOT to be used with high-energy pneumatic hunting rifles (such as the .357 Benjamin Rogue) or rimfire or centerfire rounds. This is for standard airguns only. That could be a $100 Crosman, or a $3600.00 Model 9003 S2 Anschutz:
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Looking for an up-to-date, comprehensive resource on “tactical” bolt guns, AR-platform rifles, and defensive-style shotguns? Then check out this 500+ page book by “Blue Book” author S.P. Fjestad. The new 5th Edition of the Blue Book of Tactical Firearms Values is the most complete reference book for tactical rifles, handguns, and shotguns. The 5th Edition, published in April 2014, features both new and older tactical guns with detailed model descriptions and current MSRP. All values have been updated to reflect current market conditions.
Book Has Glossary and Manufacturers Index
This unique resource includes an updated tactical glossary defining tactical terms with helpful links and illustrations. The book also includes updated directories of firearms, gear, optics, and accessory manufacturers with complete contact information. Almost 200 AR-15 manufacturers and trademarks are covered. Most of the information contained in this 5th Edition of the Blue Book of Tactical Firearms Values is not available anywhere else. Author/publisher S.P. Fjestad is an expert on collectible antique and modern firearms. His best selling Blue Book of Gun Values, the industry standard reference source, has over 1 million copies in circulation worldwide.
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We wish you have the chance to spend this Easter Sunday with your family and loved ones. Perhaps take the time to contemplate the blessings we all have, despite the many challenges in today’s world. In Christian theology, this day marks resurrection and rebirth.
For all of us, regardless of creed, this day carries a message of hope and the possibility of a better world in the future. In an Easter Sunday message from the Vatican some years ago, Pope Benedict XVI declared: “At a time of world food shortage, of financial turmoil, of old and new forms of poverty… of growing fears over the future, it is urgent to rediscover grounds for hope.”
Here’s something we haven’t seen before — shatter-proof, reusable bottle-shaped targets that you can blast over and over again (unlike real glass bottles). These would be fun for pistol plinking, and would be pretty challenging for rifle shooters at 300 yards and beyond.
Shatter-Proof, High-density, Recyclable Polymer Target Bottles from NRA Store Report by Lars Dalseide forNRABlog.com.
Super Bowl Sunday has come and gone, and all that’s left now is a heap of glass bottles ready for target practice. Unfortunately, real glass is only good for one shot, and the shards can be dangerous. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a bottle you could shoot repeatedly, WITHOUT any of the mess? Well, the NRA Store has exactly that!
The NRA Reusable, Shatterproof Bottle Targets are just what the name implies — tough and reusable. Whether you’re plinking with your .22 or packing a punch with a .30 caliber rifle, these targets will survive hundreds of direct hits.
Built from high-density, recyclable polymer, each target in the six-pack is rated to withstand around 300 rounds. That’s 1,800 rounds for the whole set! Every pack include six polymer bottles in various bright, vivid colors. Each set of bottles includes nine feet of rope, allowing you to stage these targets in countless different ways.
You can order these polymer target bottles online. Visit the NRAstore.com to pick up a set of NRA
Bottle Targets. The price is $39.95 for six bottles, carrier pack, and rope.
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