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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

I am a total newbie to firearms. All told, I've been involved for just about one year. In that year I think I’ve become addicted to guns. I’ve been lurking here for a couple of weeks now, and figured it was time for an introduction. Before I get to my question, let me give you a bit of information about me.

Although I've had an interest in firearms for some time, I never quite got around to purchasing. I figured that I'd buy something someday, but had no real plan in place. Well, when the Government suggested that I go get some duct tape and plastic to protect my family, I was spurred into action.

Anyway, my first purchase was to be primarily for home defense. I did some research on what would suit my purposes best. I also enrolled in some basic firearm/ hunting classes. Since it seemed to have the smallest learning curve, I started out with a 12-gauge shotgun. I opted for a short-barreled 12 gauge.
Long story short I got a shotgun. I took safety and hunting classes to help familiarize myself with my new purchase.
My next gun was a muzzleloader kit found in my parents’ basement unfinished. I took it home, sanded, fitted, cleaned, and shined. Once I had it sighted in, at 50 yards I managed a <4-inch group with iron sights and my less than stellar vision.
So here I am, almost a year in, and I’ve got one 12 gauge, a .45 Kentucky caplock rifle, a .54 flintlock kit that isn’t quite finished yet, and I’ve got the itch to get more.

Next on my list was a handgun, I was really interested in firing/owning a handgun; something I had never done before. So, a couple of weeks ago I went to a range for instruction on pistol shooting. The pistol I got trained on was a Ruger 22/45 at 15 feet.
Here’s how I did

I thought I was doing ok, considering I had never fired a pistol before. Apparently the instructor liked my progress too, because a clip or two in with the .22, he offer me a chance to shoot his 1911. First a single shot, then three. :D The hook had been set. I had to have one.

Since then, all I seem to do is scan this site, and all of the different manufacturers sites trying to decide which 1911 will be my first. As of last week, I thought I had it all figured out. I was going to spring for a SA Loaded PX9109L. Then I started looking at Kimber’s TLE II and Royal II. Next were guns in the Dan Wesson line up. The Panther caught my eye. Then the black stainless loaded model the SA offers made me take a second look at all of the other SS models out there. Of course now I had started widening my search criteria instead of narrowing it. I started thinking about a minimalist approach since this was a first handgun and mil-spec became an option. The Mil-spec also became an option because for the price of one SA loaded, I could purchase a .45, and a .22.

What I’m trying to do is separate my needs from my nice to haves. What features are worth getting? Fixed sights, or target sights. What are the major differences between target grade, and match grade? For a first gun, is match grade components overkill? I guess it’s a quality vs. quantity question. Or is it?
Any insight would be greatly appreciated. My total budget for whatever I get should be right in the 7-800$ dollar range. My immediate plans for the gun would be punching holes in paper on the range. I don’t intend to carry. Not just yet anyway.
Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.
Keith
 

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Welcome to the forum. My best suggestion is to read up on particular models that your interested in. have you checked out the manufactures web sites. You will find them on the links page. I'm particular to Colts myself www.colt.com

You will hear good and bad about each manufacturer. My advice is to weed through the negative comments and concentrate on the positive. As for the Springfield loaded model you're looking at, I had one a couple of years ago and it was a nice shooter, I wish I still had it.
 

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WELCOME!!!

Glad you decided to join us. Read and learn, we'll try to answer your questions.
 

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Welcome to our addiction! I was laughing while reading about your confusion on what to buy - there seems to be a million .45's out there when you can only afford one! :D

I think the the SA Mil-Spec would be an excellent choice for your first gun. You can satisfy your desire for a .45 yet have the money for a .22 also. Plus it's reliable and has a lifetime warranty. I got mine for $399 so keep an eye out for sales. Have fun!
 

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Welcome aboard! You're going to find a wealth of info here that will come in handy all day long. As for which one to buy, get one of each:D that seems to be the simplest and most popular way to go. Enjoy yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks for the welcome.
Honestly, I've been waffling over which gun to choose for about two weeks now.
For arguments sake, lets say I'm gonna stick with SA full size. The next question is(would be) Mil-spec or loaded. What I be missing out on that I really should have if I went with a Milspec gun instead of a loaded?
 

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Welcome aboard.

The most fun of gun ownership is researching what you want. Let me toss in the suggestion of a NRM Colt :D

Happy shootin'!
 

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nice shooting. i have a PX9608L. i'd say try shoot different manufacturers before you decide. i justed ordered a ruger 22/45 because it was on sale(davidsons gun distributor has them on special for the month so any gun dealer using davidsons can get the special price). while i was at the gun shop i noticed they finally got in a 9mm springfield XD-9 so i picked one of those up as well. i should mention that if money is an issue, you can shoot alot more 9mm than .45...and a ton more .22.

-kotonk
 

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Welcome.
You'll find a lot of knowledgeable and nice people here.

'Course, you'll probably be influenced a bit to consider a 1911-pattern gun as your first pistol, too.:D
 

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I'm with the Mil-Spec crowd...

I own a SA 1911A1 Loaded model and a Ruger 22/45. The Ruger's tons of fun, and you can shoot TONS more 22 for the same amount of money.

I handled a Mil-Spec WWII model at the gun store fairly recently. I was impressed. That's a heck of a lot of gun for 4 bills. Plus, it sounds like you are the kind of guy who enjoys projects, and the Mil-spec makes a nice starting point for a project 1911.

The 22/45 you got trained on is, IMHO, the best 22 pistol out there for 1911 fans. It 'points' similarly to a 1911, and that lets you use it for training. You could also get a .22 conversion kit, but they're as expensive as the Ruger.

In short, a S.A. Mil-Spec and a .22 is the way to go. You are going to want to put in a lot of time at the range... and .45 isn't exactly the cheapest around.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I went looking this weekend.
I've pretty much decided that I will be getting either a Kimber or a SA loaded and a ruger 22/45. I had to adjust my spending limit a bit, and put off my purchase a couple of weeks/months but in the end I think I will be happier.So I accomplished at least one of my objectives; narrowing the field.
I'm still unsure which model(s) will come home with me. What I did find, was a lot of dealers talking up the Kimber line (I'm partial to the TLE II, and Custom Target II) and trash talking Springfields(9109L, 9130 and 9132 are in the running), and most everything else to some degree. Is it warrented? Are the Kimbers that much better? Or, are they just the "hot" gun at the moment?

the TLE II I can get for 725 (internal extractor)
the Custom Target II for 714
the 9132 can be had for around 730
the 9109 is right around 700
 
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