First guns

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I'm trying to figure out what guns to get to maximize skill progression, fun and stretch my dollar. I travel down to TX for work frequently, and shoot when I can and have realized that while I'm a detail / precision oriented guy who can shoot a .22 all day, I need something that goes Bang every once in a while. A recent experience with a 2-stage AUG seemed to scratch that itch nicely for a moment.

Budget wise, I'd like to start with a pistol and rifle for around $1,500. So far, I'm leaning toward a used SW41 or a Volquartsen Mark IV, and a new CZ 527 chambered in either 5.56 or 7.62 (my range is 200 yards) on iron sights.

With the pistol, I figure that I can get good volume out of the .22, and will never outgrow the gun's accuracy. It will allow me to progress on fundamentals.

With the rifle, I can conserve ammo, while also have some more fun with the louder chambering, and continue to work on irons fundamentals with the intermediate chambering. My range goes out to 200 yards. WIll an FVT with diopters or a 457 be a better buy here? I can see that being a better learner gun, but just less fun. How will you guys recommend this n00b get started?
 

Picton

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Want more noise? Stop wearing your ear pro.

Welcome to NES. I can't help you; I learned to shoot in the Army, so I skipped .22LR.

Evaluate your needs. Home defense? Concealed carry? Folks here will have different recommendations based on what you want to do. If you literally just want to make loud noises and feel your hands vibrate on a budget, I'd suggest a Ruger revolver in .357mag (SP101 or GP100) and some sort of rifle in 7.62 NATO, maybe a C308. Though I'll ALWAYS suggest an AK.

All this depends on what state you live in, too.
 
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Haha, no ear pro, I love it. Thanks for your service. I'm in massachusetts.

I'd like to become a "good shot", and so expect that I'll need to shoot a good amount of volume - in my mind that's easily 10K rounds and since uncle sam won't pay for it, the caliber makes a huge difference per round over 10k rounds. I think my foundation will be a .22LR but every once in a while I just want something a little more exciting.
 
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citoriguy

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If you want to become a good shot and think you're going to be shooting 10K rounds, then I'd pick up a 9mm or 45ACP. Something with cheap source and wide variety of ammo.
 

92G

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OP if you are interested in a model 41, Volquartsen Mk4 clone and a CZ 527 I would say you have very nice taste...all of those are phenomenal firearms. my only gripe with the 527 is the manual safety is somewhat backwards but this is a minor issue. the 527 in 7.62x39 is a gem. however if you intend on running an optic i would consider the ruger american ranch line in either 5.56 or 7.62x39 as they are functionally similar and are much better optics mounting system albeit overall fall less elegant rifle. if you are shooting to 200 yards the .223 will be boring. the 7.62x39 will also be boring but provide a little more challenge. the 223 is a far more capable cartridge but the 7.62x39 is straight up fun and holds a special place in my world.

the CZ 527 in 223 appears to run a 1:9 twist. this will be excellent for 55 - 62 (and maybe 69 gr) projectiles but the longer 77 gr stuff is unlikely to group as well. the ruger american line uses a 1:8 twist which I have found can stabilize the 77 gr projectiles more than adequately. if you plan on mostly shooting 55gr FMJ's it's won't matter. overall a 1:9 twist is overall excellent it's a just a consideration in the choice of barrel. while the 1:7 twists are popular nowadays i shy away from such tight twists as my mileague has been they do not group shorter 55gr projectiles nearly as well as a 1:9 (at least for the most part as every barrel is differnet).

in terms of your specific firearm choices, the model 41 and CZ 527 will hold their value much better than a volquartsen mk4 clone or ruger american rifle...if that's a consideration for you.
 
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enbloc

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I find nothing wrong with your choices OP. Well thought out and excellent "First" guns.
Only thing I might add is a a nice .22LR rifle. It is too versatile a platform to not have one.

I also agree with 92G's opinion on .223 over 7.62x39...

Welcome to NES, and get shopping...
~Enbloc
 
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Thanks 92G, the barrel twist is certainly not a level of detail I had considered in the past but very good to know from a future-proofing standpoint. My read on your suggestion is that if I want to shoot longer distance with a heavier round, i should consider something with a 1:8 twist, rather than the 1:7 in the CZ is this right?

Are you saying 200 yards on the .223 will be boring because it is so flat at 200 that I won't really be learning to compensate for any ballistic characteristics?

OP if you are interested in a model 41, Volquartsen Mk4 clone and a CZ 527 I would say you have very nice taste...all of those are phenomenal firearms. my only gripe with the 527 is the manual safety is somewhat backwards but this is a minor issue. the 527 in 7.62x39 is a gem. however if you intend on running an optic i would consider the ruger american ranch line in either 5.56 or 7.62x39 as they are functionally similar and are much better optics mounting system albeit overall fall less elegant rifle. if you are shooting to 200 yards the .223 will be boring. the 7.62x39 will also be boring but provide a little more challenge. the 223 is a far more capable cartridge but the 7.62x39 is straight up fun and holds a special place in my world.

the CZ 527 in 223 appears to run a 1:9 twist. this will be excellent for 55 - 62 (and maybe 69 gr) projectiles but the longer 77 gr stuff is unlikely to group as well. the ruger american line uses a 1:8 twist which I have found can stabilize the 77 gr projectiles more than adequately. if you plan on mostly shooting 55gr FMJ's it's won't matter. overall a 1:9 twist is overall excellent it's a just a consideration in the choice of barrel. while the 1:7 twists are popular nowadays i shy away from such tight twists as my mileague has been they do not group shorter 55gr projectiles nearly as well as a 1:9 (at least for the most part as every barrel is differnet).

in terms of your specific firearm choices, the model 41 and CZ 527 will hold their value much better than a volquartsen mk4 clone or ruger american rifle...if that's a consideration for you.
 
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Cobra, I bet you can shoot your $350 guns better than I can handle mine once I get them. I've got plenty to learn here from you guys!

oh boy, right off the bat we're gonna be of no help to ya. this skinflint group here is more in tune to sub $350 guns. shit, 1500 bucks can get us 2 of each, 2 pistols and 2 rifles. [laugh]
 

greencobra

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Cobra, I bet you can shoot your $350 guns better than I can handle mine once I get them. I've got plenty to learn here from you guys!
my comment wasn't directed at you, just poking fun at the "skinflint" nes student body. yeah, i don't buy junk either like yourself but i do try to get a good value, though.

mr. bangbang, welcome to nes! glad you're here with us.
 
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With a $1500 budge, get a 9mm polymer pistol and an AR15. Yes, it can be done if you look hard enough. Find a club nearby and join pistol and rifle matches. Most people are willing to help and you’ll progress quickly on two most popular calibers that you’ll never grow out of.
 
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It seems kind of tough here in the non-free progressive part of MA with the AWB - am I wrong? Just about the only ARs I can find around here are colt HBARs in the ~2,000 range. I go to KTP up in Maine and just die a little inside every time realizing the difference in pricing. I really like the idea of getting into local pistol and rifle matches. I joined at Mass Rifle Assoc. and want to participate in the club's activities.

What would you recommend on the 9? I've got a few hundred rounds on the ppq m1 5" with the fiber sights but I don't think that's on "The List" for beantown. I think the PPQ AS is and I need to rent one of those. I also want to check out a legion x5.... or if I can find one a P210. What are some of your favorites?

With a $1500 budge, get a 9mm polymer pistol and an AR15. Yes, it can be done if you look hard enough. Find a club nearby and join pistol and rifle matches. Most people are willing to help and you’ll progress quickly on two most popular calibers that you’ll never grow out of.
 
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You can buy pre-94 rifles out of state without paying too much premium. You can get pretty decent deals on classifieds here on polymer pistols. You cannot go wrong with HK, Walther or Sig. I just saw an HK P2000 on the classifieds. I don't own the model but really enjoyed shooting it. Isn't there a pre-Healy AR for 1,100 too in the classifieds?

Yeah, look around. Some people actually list their stuff with intent to sell and price reasonably.
 

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I can't speak to specific models only the types of tools a collection should include for self reliance/training/defense

My advice is you need one fire arm in each of the following categories.....

Self defense handgun for obvious reasons

12 or 20 gauge shotgun can defend a home as well as hunt literally every game animal in North America just by changing the load

22 rifle.....training/range fun as well as small game hunting

Some type of main battle rifle ak/ar/fnfal you know what I mean....and what it's for

Bolt action in 30 something cal with a decent scope .....for precision hunting and honing good marksmanship skills


Once you satisfy one of each of these categories imo you can start doubling up or upgrading
 
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Yes, I thought about that as well but ive learned from many hobbies to just buy the thing I'd like to end up with the first time. Im basically buying for the next few decades. A new 22/45 is around 560 and a used sw41 around 800, and there's a volquartsen in the classifieds for about the same. After buying a mk4 then dropping in parts, I'd basically be at the same dollar expenditure. I'd like to just buy once and not fiddle about.
 

Happy feet

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I agree with the previous poster a ruger Mark IV is a great starter 22, and with a few volquartsen parts it has a lot of potential. I prefer the 22/45 version as the grip angle is similar to a 1911
 
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This very much appeals to me. I'm thinking 200 is too short for the 527. The list is narrowing. likely:

To start:
Sw41 used
Cz 457 new

Then later:
X-five used
5.56 mbr down the line preban

If you shoot steel at 200 yards with a .22lr and electronic earmuffs turned up all the way to hear the 'tink' of 40 grains hitting at about 10 mph ;) after dropping about 3', you will find that is the most aurally stimulating sound 3 cents can buy.
 

citoriguy

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I think any of your choices are good - but do you want to shoot pistols or rifles? I have several rifles for some reason as I’m a shotgun guy (kidding - many of them are for collection purposes), but it’s much easier for me to get motivated to shoot pistols than rifles.

If you want to get into IDPA or USPSA, then I have heard great things about the Sig X-Five.
 
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I speak from little experience but enjoy both and I think the variety will keep things interesting. On the one hand, I find pistols to be a little more challenging and a little fun. I've never observed it in person but I think I'll enjoy the dynamic nature of action shooting / ipda uspsa more than static shooting. On the other hand, I think I will really enjoy what Matsono describes above - taking a simple platform to it's limit.

When I was selecting clubs, I my priorities were longer range outdoor range near boston, the capacity for larger calibers indoors (in case I wanted to use a PCC or 5.56 indoors), and an active action shooting community. I ended up with Mass Rifle vs Braintree Pistol for these reasons (200 vs 100 yard outdoors, up to but not including .50bmg indoors vs 9mm out of pistol only, on the last point, both seemed active). I want to take advantage of the variety of flavors provided so to speak.

So... all of it?

Why do you think you're more motivated to shoot pistols?


I think any of your choices are good - but do you want to shoot pistols or rifles? I have several rifles for some reason as I’m a shotgun guy (kidding - many of them are for collection purposes), but it’s much easier for me to get motivated to shoot pistols than rifles.

If you want to get into IDPA or USPSA, then I have heard great things about the Sig X-Five.
 
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Happy feet

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If you are looking at action sports you should consider your options before spending $800 on a 22 pistol. the S&W 41 is well reguarded as a bullseye gun and I believe MRA has a team. (Bullseye is typically shot one handed hence the grip on the 41)
If you are looking at action sports steel challenge is a good place to start and the volquartsen, ruger or buck mark are very commonly used. The 41 not so much. The above with a red dot also do very well in bullseye if that's your thing.
 
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Let me start by saying that I am glad to hear that you are looking for a quality .22 target pistol. I think a good .22 is key for learning fundamentals. And all of the ones you are considering are quality choices that will serve you well.

With that said, I will offer another vote for the basic Ruger MK IV over the 41. Don't get me wrong, I like the model 41. But the buy once cry once motto only works if you know enough about what you want to do it right the first time. And in this case, no one I know is shooting a model 41 for any serious purpose any more.

For most purposes, a basic Ruger with a few Volquartsen parts is a very satisfactory gun. It will serve for the first few years of bullseye competition, and is great for practicing handgun fundamentals and plinking. For more advanced target competition, everyone I know has upgraded to a Pardini. This includes several people who upgraded from a Ruger to a 41, and then to a Pardini. Now the Pardini goes to competitions, the Ruger goes to the range for fun, and the 41 sits in the safe.

Model 41's also tend to be picky about ammo and overall harder to maintain than a Ruger. I am not saying you should not get a 41 if you can get a reasonable price on one. I am just saying that the value proposition might be more complex than it looks.
 

citoriguy

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I speak from little experience but enjoy both and I think the variety will keep things interesting. On the one hand, I find pistols to be a little more challenging and a little fun. I've never observed it in person but I think I'll enjoy the dynamic nature of action shooting / ipda uspsa more than static shooting. On the other hand, I think I will really enjoy what Matsono describes above - taking a simple platform to it's limit.

When I was selecting clubs, I my priorities were longer range outdoor range near boston, the capacity for larger calibers indoors (in case I wanted to use a PCC or 5.56 indoors), and an active action shooting community. I ended up with Mass Rifle vs Braintree Pistol for these reasons (200 vs 100 yard outdoors, up to but not including .50bmg indoors vs 9mm out of pistol only, on the last point, both seemed active). I want to take advantage of the variety of flavors provided so to speak.

So... all of it?

Why do you think you're more motivated to shoot pistols?
I can appreciate that. I‘ve shot a couple of IDPA matches, and, at least in my experience, my bowling pin shoots and target shoots aren’t the same as running through a course with targets popping up! I had a blast though, and I’ve met some of the nicest and most generous people you’ll ever meet at an IDPA match. People of all levels are always willing to give tips and pointers. They are the true enthusiasts that want the sport to grow and I’m grateful for them, much like my skeet/clays/trap enthusiasts.
 
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I think at this point the draw to an SW41 is a little beyond the scope of practicality. Perhaps it's an emotional draw. They're just beautiful in my opinion between the checkered grip, cast steel, blueing, and proportions. They feel to be of heirloom quality. I can see myself sneaking it out of the locker to stroke it.... erm... does anyone here do that? Practically, I've read some accounts of extraction issues, or issues with mini-mags in some forums, but then accounts of rock-solid reliability in others. Ease of maintenance and parts definitely should play into my decision as you suggest and I'm guessing the Ruger likely wins out in both aspects.

I also don't have anything against the Mk4 from a practical standpoint - when I started shooting I almost exclusively rented variants of the ruger (mk2-4) and variants of the G19 (gen 3-5). Somehow these do not tug at my heartstrings as much. It's rare that the "grail" option is only marginally more expensive than the "practical" option based on what's on the market these days. I also think that if I get the IV, I might still remain on the lookout for a 41 and end up spending more, while the other way around I likely won't be searching for a Mk4. I know in both cases the nut behind the gun will have a lot of room to grow. I'm pretty sure I won't go all the way down the rabbit hole to a Pardini.

Still, again I speak from a position of very little experience. Based on your comments here and the others who are suggesting the MkIV I will try to go to a local match and speak to the folks there to get a better sense of their progression, and hopefully fire a few rounds out of the various setups.


Let me start by saying that I am glad to hear that you are looking for a quality .22 target pistol. I think a good .22 is key for learning fundamentals. And all of the ones you are considering are quality choices that will serve you well.

With that said, I will offer another vote for the basic Ruger MK IV over the 41. Don't get me wrong, I like the model 41. But the buy once cry once motto only works if you know enough about what you want to do it right the first time. And in this case, no one I know is shooting a model 41 for any serious purpose any more.

For most purposes, a basic Ruger with a few Volquartsen parts is a very satisfactory gun. It will serve for the first few years of bullseye competition, and is great for practicing handgun fundamentals and plinking. For more advanced target competition, everyone I know has upgraded to a Pardini. This includes several people who upgraded from a Ruger to a 41, and then to a Pardini. Now the Pardini goes to competitions, the Ruger goes to the range for fun, and the 41 sits in the safe.

Model 41's also tend to be picky about ammo and overall harder to maintain than a Ruger. I am not saying you should not get a 41 if you can get a reasonable price on one. I am just saying that the value proposition might be more complex than it looks.
 
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Listening to the suggestions above, I put out an "apb" on NE Shooters for guys with SW41s and got a chance to shoot a few of them. Various great folks of NES reached out to let me try "flights" of 22s. I got a chance to compare rugers II/IV and various grip angles, 617, SW victorys, SW22s, and of course the M41 against each-other. In exchange, rather than bring pizza and Ammo I brought the other thing that complements firearms... alcohol. (to be enjoyed after shooting of course). Thanks for helping this n00b get on his feet. This is a great community.

On the one hand, the guys I met echoed some of the sentiment above in terms of "why get an $800 gun when a lower entry cost gun will shoot the same to you as a new shooter".
On the other hand, all of the people I met bought several .22s, and then stopped by the time they got the SW41. So that also says something.

Like you guys have suggested I went into this thinking more about "purpose" rather than "what's the best .22". My takeaways surprised me. I posted my take over on the other thread I started asking for folks with SW41s, HERE
 
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I bought a Mark IV, a 9mm Steyr, and a Sig 556. I will pick up a CZ 455 to round things out. I think I will stop here for the foreseeable future.
I liked your post because there are many things I like about your initial selection of firearms. The like does not apply to your plan to stop here, but if that is your choice, I do respect it.
 
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