Favorite gun to let the first time shooter use?

I LOVE taking newbies to the range - I mean :heart: it! There’s nothing quite like getting them through their apprehension/fear/hesitation/excitement and watching their reaction after that first shot! It reminds me a lot of someone getting their drivers license - it’s a new sense of accomplishment!

There are go-to rental guns I start new people out on when I take them to the range as I don’t own a .22 and I like how gentle they are for new shooters.

What gun do you like to have new shooters try? And do you remember what handgun you first shot?

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BTW - the first handgun I shot was a 9 mm Glock 19 with the Citizens Academy I was attending. I was terrible with it. :frowning: I mean, I was bad!!

The police officer I was shooting with offered to let me use his gun, a Sig Sauer P229. I was hooked! The rest is history…I still love my Sigs to this day. :wink:


Ruger 10/22
Walther 380

My first pistol shot was a beretta in a qual shoot.


I like the Ruger Mark IV for first time pistol shooters. Then I like to move to a 380 to give them a bigger report without a monster kick. Helps work on the problem of flinching.

My first gun was a Smith model 10. While I have had several other guns I have as big a soft spot for Smiths and Dawn has for Sigs I am sure.

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My first gun was a S&W 38 special. I would start a newbie on a revolver. They are very simplistic. Semi-auto’s are great but can be frightening to someone who never shot one, especially a 1911.
If you did have to go with a semi-auto, then any DA only striker fire one would do… like a Glock.

Interesting, @Brian - I was terrified of revolvers when I started. That whole part that moved was really intimidating to me.

Ruger GP100 with.38’s in it.
Marlin 795 .22lr

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Really? I would think having that slide fly back at you would be scarier than a revolving cylinder. The first Semi-automatic I fired was a 45 cal 1911. When I wasn’t prepared for that 2nd easy trigger pull, I was a little freaked out. lol Of course the Glock 19 is a nice gun to fire. It didn’t exist in 1974.

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Both great guns!!

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You’re a Sig girl huh? What can I say? A Sig P229 is smoooooth! Which one did you get?


I haven’t gotten a P229 - yet.

I started with a 238 (my ex’s influence). Now I carry a P320. Time to get a few more. :slight_smile:

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The first hand gun I shot was a Smith & Wesson stub nose 357 mag. I was around 10 at the time. Damn thing almost jumped out of my hand. After the shock wore off I was given a chance to shoot it again (with 38 special reloads) and fell in love with handguns.

My go to gun for a first time shooter is always a .22lr. I let them work up from there (I have a few between that and a 44 Mag.) until they tell me that’s too much but I liked the XXX. We then go back to XXX and let them shoot until I run out of ammo (only happened once, I bought more to finish out our time) or our range time is up.

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S&W Shield 9mm is good and less intimidating for new shooters, in my opinion.

The Beretta 92FS was my first love, I still have a spot for that gun in my heart and collection. As far as newbies, it really depends. A 22 revolver is good for building confidence, but if it’s a service caliber they want to try I’ll break them in with the 92, CZ-75 or P226. Big guns for 9s and they usually find recoil very manageable, gain confidence and become comfortable more quickly than with a compact pistol.


My CZ75B is always a hit…

All steal frame makes recoil a non issue fir most new shooters.

I let a classmate use it during our CCL class and she passed with flying marks.


Depends on whether the shooter is male or female or is someone who might be recoil averse.

If it’s a male I let them shoot my P320 compact. Solid gun very easy to shoot.

If it’s a female then my wife will let them try her P238 .380

If they have issues with recoil I borrow my sons 10/22 rifle.

My first hand gun was a CZ-83 (.380) Every first time shooter I’ve taken loves it. Now that I have a .22, that might be the first.


This .22LR Ruger 10/22 in this Arch Angel Maurader frame/stock kit is very fun.

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SR22 to keep from intimidating anyone from the sport.
10/22 if they want to shoot long distance
Mark III if they want to feel good about themselves!

If a novice student doesn’t have their own I will start them with my 9 shot Taurus .22wm. We’ll go from that to my XD subcompact .40 S&W, or to a larger revolver depending on the students comfort level, competency and their goals.

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