Hello from AZ

Back when I was about 17 my much older brother, actively competing on civilian shooting teams, bought me a 22 semi-auto. When I produced the predictable six or seven target hits out of ten, he generously suggested that the sights needed adjusting. He put the next ten rounds in a 2-inch group, as a lefty holding my right handed grip no less. I got pretty discouraged and gave up on ever getting any good at it.

Five years forward, the Air Force decided I needed to learn how to shoot the M16. I never got a marksman award, but I qualified every year, except for my last year, just before I got out, and too soon after returning from three TDYs to Vietnam. I fixed electronics systems on cargo aircraft, but still the thought of someone I’ve never met and probably never will meet wanting me dead was slightly unnerving. I decided I had no use for a gun.

Forward fifty more years, with all the mass shootings in the news, I got paranoid to the point of signing my wife and I up for an intro course at a local range. She was better than I was but she wasn’t really interested in it. I did feel good about both of us knowing enough about guns to handle them safely so it was money well spent. If I was going to take any advanced training I’d need a gun of m own, but which one?

Many hours of reading and watching online videos later, I decided on a Ruger SP101 snub nose revolver. No switches or buttons to fiddle with, just draw, aim and shoot. Most of the online pundits recommended that I shoot 38 Specials instead of the 357 Magnums it was chambered for, and keep a small box of 38 +P hollow points for defense. Good advice, it seems.

I used to wonder why anyone would own more guns than they could carry. Now I find myself in exactly that situation. When I told my local FFL guy that this was the last one I’ll ever need, he smiled and said that’s what he tells himself every year or so.

I doubt that I’ll ever need the protection offered by the USCCA but it’s better to have it than not, and these forums are a wonderful place for a newbie like me to learn from more experienced members.

Happy to be here!


Happy to have your here Alex.

Take a look around and jump in the conversations! :+1:


Welcome @AlexV to USCCA and the community. I have had lots of guns over the years and have downsized significantly since I left law enforcement. But I’m always still admiring and I’m sure there will be more in my future again.
As for never needing USCCA, I always hoped I would never need car insurance, homeowner’s insurance and definitely life insurance and even health insurance. So far, the only one i have not needed is life insurance but I know that day is coming.
But USCCA is much more than insurance. USCCA provides information consolidated in an easily accessible format and an enormous bank of training material. You nay not need the “protection” of USCCA but I am absolutely sure you can use many of the other benefits.
Happy shooting!

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Welcome to the community. IF you do decide you need just one more gun than you want to carry… get a nice .22 LR about the size you have in that SP101.

It is an even less expensive shoot for training and getting your groups snugged up. Also, will help get past flinches and polish your trigger pull. Maybe, with a bit of familiarity your wife might find the range time enjoyable and if she ever feels the need you can get her something better or she can carry it.

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Funny you should mention, @chris4. I did get a Ruger SR22 for my wife because she had trouble with the SP101’s trigger pull (about 14# from the factory). Later, once I had the spring replaced, she liked the SP101 a lot better. I’ve still got that SR22 but I don’t get nearly as much use out of it as I should. Your comment suggests that I should have gotten a 22LR revolver, and I agree. After your prompt, maybe I’ll spend a little more time with it anyway. :slight_smile:

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Hey, no, not at all! Enjoying a semiauto is just fine!

Where I was really going was the idea of keeping your manual of arms consistent, if you have revolvers for defense, it’s good to keep using revolvers so everyone is on the same page. That way you do the same things aiming, pulling the trigger, the feeling of the pistols kinesthetics as it recoils and returns to rest, the feeling of the cylinder as it rotates with your trigger pull, the feeling of the trigger through its range - there may even be natural points during the pull where you can repeatably pause and hold it. The blast of combustion gases and where they come from. Oh, protect your hand/fingers keep them clear of where the cylinder mates to the barrel!

That you were interested in a slab of pistol vs revolver is a good indication you may be looking at another semiauto sometime in the future. Again, the use of 22LR as part of your regular training program helps develop good habits, increases your comfort using weapons, and is less expensive per round than your self defense loads.

If you get to the point many of us have; you may well have a semiauto as your main and a smaller revolver as a backup gun. It’s all good!

Most of all, enjoy!

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Hi @MikeBKY,

I never meant to imply that USCCA was just insurance. In fact I’ve gotten several of their publications, both digital and hard copy to date and have enjoyed them very much - very informative material. And like you,. and I’m sure many others, I too pay a few more insurance premiums than I’d like every month.

Thanks for the reply,


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