Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
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    Question Interested in purchasing my first firearm but I have questions

    I have never fired a gun and i wanted to know a few things before i purchase one.

    1) does anyone recommend a place to take a safety course or something so i can get used to firing a gun
    2) I am 19 and heard that it is not possible for someone under the age of 21 to buy a handgun in PA, is this true?
    3) Im undecided about what i want to get. A friend of mine just recently bought a AR-15 (he is former USMC) and something like that interests me. I dont want to go hunting, i just want something to shoot for recreation
    4) since im a virgin to guns, should i start with something small and work my way up, or grow a pair and go big?

    thanks in advanced for your advice....
    -srt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
    (Adams County)
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    Default Re: Interested in purchasing my first firearm but I have questions

    First...do everything legal, and safely.

    If a AR15 interests you......do it. Thousands of individuals show up to Boot Camp never even having touched a firearm before. The M16 (AR15) is incredibly easy to learn how to use accurately. Have your USMC buddy show you "how to" at a range......tell him you want to "triangulate" with him....
    “IF THE DEVIL COACHES NAVY ORDNANCE, THEN HELL IS THE ORDIES HOMEFIELD”

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    New Castle, Pennsylvania
    (Lawrence County)
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    Default Re: Interested in purchasing my first firearm but I have questions

    Well, the gun/tool depends a lot on what your intended usage is......and that will dictate what you need to learn.

    I recreation gun has different aspects than a defensive gun.....and may be different from a competition gun......and then there are guns just for fun....or collecting.

    Get the idea?

    First, start here:

    http://www.thegunzone.com/therules.html

    Learn those. Memorize them. Do it again for good measure.

    After that.....what do you envision yourself doing with the gun? Plinking/skeet/Sporting Clays/Trap/CMP/USPSA/IDPA/Bullseye/shooting targets at the range? There is likely a whole world of activities you can do with a gun that you aren't aware of. I'd hate to see you drop large coin and find out you really wanted to do something else.....you just didn't know it.

    And....we haven't even talked about fitting the gun to you yet........

    Tell us some more.

    Lycanneedstheinfothrope

    I taught Chuck Norris to bump-fire.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Elkland, Pennsylvania
    (Tioga County)
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    75
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    Default Re: Interested in purchasing my first firearm but I have questions

    For the Beginner I suggest a 22 rifle. Go with a bolt action you will learn better as a semi you will just want to punch rounds down range and not learn the skills necessary for good marksmanship. try to find a NRA Basic rifle course in your area. You can check the NRA web site for instructors. also check out the local ranges and gun stores. With a 22 you can do a lot of ammo for a lot less money. As your under 21 you will find transporting a pistol can be a real PITA.

    You can also show up at the Next PAFOA shoot in your area. I whole lot of people there will help you.
    Last edited by rwilson452; April 9th, 2008 at 11:42 PM. Reason: more good stuff

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Oil City, Pennsylvania
    (Venango County)
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    Default Re: Interested in purchasing my first firearm but I have questions

    most importantly, use the search feature, and then ask away, we're all here to help
    Last edited by markheck1; April 9th, 2008 at 11:51 PM.


    Glock Pistols.......So simple a Caveman could fix them!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Squirrel Hill, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
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    Default Re: Interested in purchasing my first firearm but I have questions

    Get a bolt .22 rifle. Its cheap to buy, cheap to shoot, and forgiving. Where in Pittsburgh are you? I go to school here.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Middleburg, Pennsylvania
    (Snyder County)
    Posts
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    Default Re: Interested in purchasing my first firearm but I have questions

    First thing. Learn the safety rules. Read them, memorize them. Know them by heart.

    After you know all the safety, try to go shooting with some friends. Go to a gun shop and try to make friends. The easiest way to find out what gun you like to shoot is by shooting them. Or, check out the next local PAFOA group shoot. Many people there will let you borrow their firearms so you can decide what you like and what you want.

    But I would also suggest to start with a .22 rifle. These are cheap to buy (can be had from many Wal-marts, Dicks, etc) and the ammo is dirt cheap. You can get good shooting 500 rounds for $12. 500 rounds of .223 for that AR15 is going to run you close to $200. So you can shoot A LOT more for A LOT less.

    Not to mention a good shooting .22 rifle will run around $200 new. A good shooting AR15 will run around $800-$1000. So start small, start slow, shot a lot, talk to lots of people, and you will progress just fine.

    But as I said, start with a .22 rifle. One of the cheapest, and most fun to shoot firearms that I can think of.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania
    (Wayne County)
    Posts
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    1186

    Default Re: Interested in purchasing my first firearm but I have questions

    Go to http://materials.nrahq.org/go/products.aspx?cat=G-Books

    It's an NRA training material site and order the Basics of Pistol Shooting and Basics of Rifle Shooting books. They're $7.00 each plus shipping. They're cheap enough and have a lot of useful information for the beginning shooter.

    As has been said, .22 cal is a good place to start for both the pistol and the rifle.

    Good luck and stay safe
    Last edited by sgser; April 10th, 2008 at 10:56 AM. Reason: spelling

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City, Pennsylvania
    (Chester County)
    Age
    50
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    Default Re: Interested in purchasing my first firearm but I have questions

    I gotta echo most everyone here. You can't beat a good .22 rifle for cheap fun shooting. It's perfect for learning the basics on too.

    Take the NRA basic rifle course too. You'll be surprised at how much you will learn.
    Μολὼν λάβε

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Duncannon, Pennsylvania
    (Perry County)
    Age
    35
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    Default Re: Interested in purchasing my first firearm but I have questions

    Quote Originally Posted by srtgt500 View Post
    I have never fired a gun and i wanted to know a few things before i purchase one.

    1) does anyone recommend a place to take a safety course or something so i can get used to firing a gun
    2) I am 19 and heard that it is not possible for someone under the age of 21 to buy a handgun in PA, is this true?
    3) Im undecided about what i want to get. A friend of mine just recently bought a AR-15 (he is former USMC) and something like that interests me. I dont want to go hunting, i just want something to shoot for recreation
    4) since im a virgin to guns, should i start with something small and work my way up, or grow a pair and go big?

    thanks in advanced for your advice....
    -srt
    I'd say that for number two you're correct. Licensed dealers are NOT allowed to sell handguns to anyone under 21. However it is legal for anyone over the age of 18 to own one. Lame I know, but it's the law.. it's not supposed to make sense.

    Three and four kind of go together. I like the advice that others gave about the .22, but it can be expensive to buy a rifle to learn on and then one to use for recreational purposes. I'd probably start and learn with the AR if that's what you're leaning toward.

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