GUN can someone tell me what caliber means?

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by aznWOOHOO, Sep 7, 2002.

  1. aznWOOHOO

    aznWOOHOO Guest

    like .40 S&W? what are the differences??

    and what should i look for in buying a gun?

    this is a hobby i'm going to get in to starting the end of this month :)
     
  2. kellyclan

    kellyclan She only loves you when she's drunk.

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    Caliber is the measurement of the bore diameter of the gun. (The bore being the inside surface of the barrel.) Calibers are normally expressed in inches as in 0.40S&W or 0.45ACP.

    They are also commonly expressed in millimeters as in the 9x19mm and the 10mm Auto cartridges. (As in, 9x19mm, the caliber is 9mm and the 19mm is the length of the brass case.)

    There are some that are known by both names. Example being the popular commercial .223 Remington rifle round that the M-16 rifle fires is also known in the military as the 5.56x45mm NATO.

    In buying a handgun you should be familiar with safe and correct handling, such as from a NRA pistol safety course and then you'll have a better idea what to look for.

    There are ongoing feuds about what's best, just like Ford vs Chevy or import vs domestic and EVERYONE has an opinion. You should first decide what you intend to use this for? Do you just want something to keep at home just in case, maybe take it to the range for target shooting now and then? Or do you plan on getting a permit to carry it on your person? A balance of both?

    i promise you that no matter HOW small a gun you pick, it will start to become a PITA to carry if you carry it often enough, so don't ever catch yourself saying "Oh, it's not too big.." ;)

    With the intended purpose in mind, you should then be looking for something that feels comfortable in your hand. Local gunshops or ranges are good places to fondle some grips and i'm sure you can find a range that has a few pistols available to rent so you can try them live, also recommended.

    SIG Sauer, Heckler & Koch, Glock, Beretta, and Smith & Wesson are pretty much the most popular manufacturers. There's plenty of other great ones as well, far too many to list, but if it has one of those names on it, you can be fairly sure it'll go bang when you want it to.

    As for caliber, the 9mm, .45ACP, .40S&W, and .357SIG are the hot stuff for general/defensive pistol calibers right now. The 9mm would likely be the best to learn on if you're new to shooting, the .45 wouldn't be a bad choice either. The .40 and .357 may complicate your learning process as they tend to be a little snappier in recoil than the 9mm and .45. Try and shoot something of each one at a range and see what you think.
     
  3. aznWOOHOO

    aznWOOHOO Guest

    thanks

    i'll be at the range sometime soon with some friends to try out some of their guns

    main purpose for this is to mainly pick up a new skill and hobby. but it also comes in handy for self defense.
     
  4. aznWOOHOO

    aznWOOHOO Guest

    say i purchased a gun, should i also buy a safe or one of those gun lockers?

    which kind of safes are good for guns?
     
  5. el gayvo

    el gayvo Active Member

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    for one gun, I personally wouldn't buy a safe... if you started collecting guns, then yes I would buy one. There are little lockers you can get for a single gun, but PERSONALLY I would rather just keep it up high on a shelf or in a closet... being in a locker all locked up won't help you when it comes to a situation when you need to kick into "self defense mode" ya know?

    kellyclan explained everything very well. A 9mm would be perfect to learn with, not to mention 9mm ammunition is cheap.
     
  6. kellyclan

    kellyclan She only loves you when she's drunk.

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    i'd say go with some sort of lock box, myself. It's a good idea and may even be required by law, depending on where you live. In my state, if a theft breaks into your home and steals an unlocked, unsecured weapon, YOU can be held liable. :ugh: If it's locked up and he still steals it, well, at least you've covered your legal obligations.

    If you're just going to have one or two pistols, you could look at something like this

    http://store.yahoo.com/cdnn/tzharcas11si.html

    They're made in a variety of sizes and are fairly cheap. Unless you have really valuable pieces, i don't see a need to go crazy with the top brands, fireproof, etc. As long as it's locked in some sort of metal container, it should be protected enough from stray hands.

    You can always take it out at night and tuck it in a drawer, under the bed, or somewhere accessible as long as you're close enough to be considered "in control of the weapon".
     
  7. aznWOOHOO

    aznWOOHOO Guest

    what about the barrel length? what are the major differences between barrel lengths? what does it effect?
     
  8. kellyclan

    kellyclan She only loves you when she's drunk.

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    Barrels on pistols could be anywhere from 0.5" hideout guns to 8" hunting revolvers, pretty much anything you can imagine. The most common sizes would be 3"-5"

    Barrel length effects the velocity of the bullet. The longer the barrel, the longer the exploding gases are compressed behind the bullet, driving it forward, so the higher the velocity. A longer barrel will also impart more of a stabilizing spin to the bullet, making it more accurate as well.

    To a lesser degree, longer barrels will result in less felt recoil, for the same reason. More of the energy is transfered to the bullet instead of wasted in a ball of flame bursting out the barrel.
     

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