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Old 06-30-2011, 08:38   #1
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Giving pistol as a gift

I'm planning on giving my son in law a pistol as a gift this summer and I'm trying to decide which gun to give.

He's an inexperienced shooter and this would be his first gun. I'm torn between giving him a Ruger MKII or a Bersa Thunder .380.

The Ruger would be a great trainer, accurate and cheap to shoot. (I know that he probably would probably not want to spend much money on ammo.)

The Bersa has defensive capability, but once again, if he doesn't spend money on ammo, at around 30 cents a round, he may never get to be a decent shooter.

I am also insisting on my daughter and him taking a good pistol safety course, in addition to taking them to a range myself, when I visit this summer.

Any thoughts on this?
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:01   #2
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Probably the best solution is to ask him what he'd prefer....after educating him on the pros and cons of each. If the pistol course offers a .22lr and a .380, that might be a great way to help him decide.

Obviously, if he's interested in CCW or defensive use, the answer is the Bersa hands down. My father-in-law has a Bersa Thunder .380 CC that's a dream to shoot. Personally, the Bersa would be my choice out of those two 9 times out of 10.
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Old 06-30-2011, 18:37   #3
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I'd want the Mark II but either would be a great gift
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:22   #4
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for a new shooter nothing teaches the basics trigger control breathing and sight picture than a .22 super low recoil wll make for more accurate shots which build confidence cheap ammo is a major plus the ruger is a classic american firearm that is known as a great target weapon and small game killer
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Old 06-02-2012, 13:53   #5
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none of the above...


if you are thinking it's to do duty as a defensive tool...

perhaps a compact 9mm would be a better choice - 9mm is pretty easy to get used to even for non shooters, and is pretty cheap.

IMHO .380 is for ankle holsters and last resort - not as a "go to"
especially for non shooters - while yes it's pretty controllable - it would take a relatively skilled shooter to get the shot placement needed to really do the job with the round, especially since most .380 pistols are not high cap.


if you are talking strictly target shooting... the .22 would be my choice
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Old 06-04-2012, 18:05   #6
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Let him start with the .22lr to learn the basics and he'll move to a carry piece of his choice on his own.
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Old 08-25-2012, 17:04   #7
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A .22 would be a good choice as he can practice often without spending a large cost for ammunition. Likely it would later be used in the future to teach children marksmanship skills. His choice of a carry pistol would be difficult before he learned basic skills.
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Old 08-27-2012, 10:39   #8
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Originally Posted by metalhead View Post
let him start with the .22lr to learn the basics and he'll move to a carry piece of his choice on his own.

that is the way to go.
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Old 09-12-2012, 16:18   #9
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Between the two I'd go with the Mk II. A blowback operated 380, while adequate for self defense, tend to have a lot of recoil for the caliber. The Mk II will be a great inexpensive trainer and so much fun it should hook him on handguns. While .22's for social purposes tend to be experts tools, ten rounds placed in the right location will save a life.
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:28   #10
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Go with the. 22 as a Beginner's pistol. Easy to learn trigger control, sight picture, grip, an cheap ammo to use.

I have been through several handgun training courses over the years. I have been instructing CCW classes since 2004.
I have owned an operated my own gun shop since 2000.

The best advice is go with the MK II as a learning pistol.

Think of it like this. If you had a new driver, with little or no experience driving, that was going to take their driving test. Would you suggest to them that they use a small car for the driving test, ....or maybe use a dump truck instead.
what do you think would be easier for a novice shooter, or novice driver to learn on.
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