HGR 022 - Handguns & Cartridges for Beginners

HGR 022 - Handguns & Cartridges For Beginners

This week, Ryan and guest Matt discuss some of the best handguns and cartridges for beginners and some tips and tricks for starting out the beginning handgun shooter.

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Brownells helps make this show possible. Selection, service, satisfaction. Find it all at Brownells. Please visit www.handgunradio.com/brownells

Week In Review:


  • Did some shooting with the Pietta Colt 1851 Navy reproduction.  I have been unable to find any FFFg powder to properly use in the revolver.  I am using FFg substitute, which works but the grains are too large to allow me to load a really hard-hitting charge.  I also tried loading a shot charge with some #6 birdshot. I did a video on it which you can watch over at my YouTube Channel.
  • Finally found some primers at my local gun shop.  I really like the CCI Small Pistol Primers.  I have had great success with those and I love it when I can find them. I sat
  • down last night and using my Lee Auto-Prime XR which is a wonderful product.  I was able to prime about 200 .38 Special cases in a half-hour last night, so it really helps to cut down on the time you spend at the bench. I shoot .38 Special more than any other round so I go through quite a bit of it.
  • Posted an article over on the Firearms Insider about the history of the metallic cartridge and why I really appreciate it.  Please give it a read and check out all the other great content at the Firearms Insider!


        *  Gathering goodies for next season,new belts,holsters, Apex hammers and ti    cylinders for the 625 & 627. * Checked out a ruger charger. dont need but want * deprimed a bunch of brass * hit several gun shops while running with the wife

Main Topic: Handguns & Cartridges For Beginners

For people who are new to shooting, handguns can be somewhat intimidating. They are small, and can be somewhat more difficult to handle for a beginner.  Starting a beginning shooter out on a handgun needs to be approached carefully to ensure that the new shooter has a good time and that the gun fits for him or her.  The new shooter being comfortable is going to foster a desire to shoot more in the future.


  • Start beginners out on a gun that fits them.  My wife has very small hands, and many guns do not fit her.  I had her try a Ruger Single-Six and she did not like shooting it because it didn’t “feel right” to her. Rather than say she was wrong or anything I handed her a Ruger SR-22 Pistol and she was far more comfortable handling that because it fit her.  Fit is HUGELY important.
  • Don’t start them out on a caliber that is too large for them (Discuss the S&W .500 Magnum Incident.)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4OE78spknk
  • Grips can be changed out. If you cant afford a new gun if one doesnt work for the new shooter, consider a grip change. That can make a world of difference.
  • As much as I love revolvers, I do believe that semi-autos make more sense for a beginning shooter, especially if you are going to be having them start with a centerfire caliber.  Many of the polymer frame guns can fit a wider variety of shooters, ensuring that they have the proper fit and control of the firearm.
  • Take the person you are training and bring them to a range where they can try several different handguns and see what fits for them.


  • .22 Long Rifle is CLEARLY going to be the most popular round for starting beginners. What about when you want to step up?
  • 9mm?
  • .38 Special?
  • .45 ACP?
  • Why not calibers like .357 Magnum or .40 S&W? (Too Damned Snappy!)
  • Reload for lighter rounds?

Tips & Tricks:

-Shoot with both eyes open!

       When I take shooters out, I start out with some of my .22’s then move on to the larger calibers without telling them what it is so their preconceived notions do get in the way.

Brownells helps make this show possible. Selection, service, satisfaction. Find it all at Brownells. Visit www.handgunradio.com/brownells. The holidays are soon approaching. Buy those handgun parts for your gun guy or girl!


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