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I'm wanting to get a handgun of some sort and due to my lack of budget, it'll have to be something second-hand. And something ideally that'll shoot inexpensive ammo. Wanting it for around the house in case of emergency.

I have a significant and persistent weakness in my hands due to a medical condition so the weapon needs to be lightweight and as close to zero kickback as possible. Not very concerned about stopping power but I'd like something bigger than .22 if possible.

I have experience with shotguns and rifles but not handguns. No experience at all buying second-hand weapons and don't know what to look for or try to avoid other than rust. :)

I imagine there's plenty of newcomers here who broke and are pretty much handgun virgins as well
 

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I'd take a look at a .38 revolver and the Ruger automatics in 9mm. Decent,economical guns ,relatively cheap and plentiful ammo.
 

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Revolvers have more perceived recoil than automatics; automatics require pulling the slide back against a spring (especially in cheap blowback automatics). So your lack of handstrength may be a conundrum.

All things considered, a .38 double action revolver may be your best bet, either a U.S. name brand or a Taurus.

For a revolver, you can look down the barrel, look at the overall condition, look for the alignment between the cylinder and forcing cone, look at the amount of drag marks on the cylinder (indicating cylinder timing), and you can cycle it and see how well it turns.
 

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...I have a significant and persistent weakness in my hands due to a medical condition so the weapon needs to be lightweight and as close to zero kickback as possible. Not very concerned about stopping power but I'd like something bigger than .22 if possible./...
You present a physics problem. You want a cheap lightweight gun that doesn't kick much, but is bigger than a .22. And you want cheap ammo, but not a .22.

Unfortunately that's a tough order to fill.

If I were you I'd opt for a .22 (or .22Mag) or if you want something a bit heavier look for a .38S&W, a .32S&W or a .32 H&R Mag revolver. All 4 of these revolvers have negligible recoil. The .32 H&R Mag can shoot .32 S&W short, .32S&W long or the .32 H&R Mag. You would stoke yours with the heaviest round you're comfortable shooting. The .38S&W is the round that preceded the .38 Special and is very pleasant to shoot. It's what the cops carried before the advent of the .38spl. If you opt for .38 Spl (they're a bit more available) stoke it with 148gr LSW (lead semi-waddcutter) ammo or 148gr full wadcutters. These are very light target loads, but are effective as defensive rounds in a close encounter...

You should be able to locate an inexpensive .38S&W revolver in a pawnshop or gunshop. You probably have a bit more leverage in a gunshop than a pawnshop in that if there's a problem any reputable gun shop will make it right, with a pawnshop you're probably SOL.

If you have weak hands/gripping strength, then an auto can be a problem for you. One alternative to that are the Beretta or Taurus tip-up barrel pistols where pushing a lever flips up the barrel to insert a round. These are particularly nice for people who have trouble pulling back the slide. They're available in .22, .25 and .380 (the .380 version is tough to find.)

Allan
 

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I won't bother trying to tell you what kind of gun to buy as far as name brand or caliber because that already seems to be answered. What I would like to say, however, is don't ever buy anything from a pawn shop. The mere existence of such places encourages crime and the general degeneration of society. If you are looking for something second hand I would strongly recommend your local gun shop, they typically take trades and have a good selection of used guns for sale. Aside from that www.gunbroker.com is a good place for used firearms and accessories.

I know that some will criticize me for my lack of respect for pawn shops but after having my house broken into and trying to track down the stolen items I had a gun pulled on me inside this "legitimate" establishment, by the proprietor himself, simply for implying that they may have inadvertently purchased my property. When I returned the following week they did, indeed, have my entire video and entertainment system sitting on their shelves. The police did nothing because I hadn't engraved my name in them and had no other concrete evidence. Some pawn shops are honest, most aren't.
 

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If you go to a pawn shop take a friend that is "gun savy". They will stock many pistols that are just worn out. Find a revolver that is still tight or an auto that the springs arn't warped.
Basically know what your buying .......
 

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Pawn shops may have guns that have been used in crimes. it would not be good to be caught with one of those. Get something from a legit source.
 

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I haven't seen any handguns in the pawnshops around my area.

Rifles and shotguns only, from what I can see.
 

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If you are limiting yourself to handguns only you have got a lot of good suggestions here so far. however if you are keeping the gun in your house only and since have experience with shotguns you might want to consider a short barrel shotgun, I know someone who has an old mossberg .410 for their "house gun", and with buckshot or no.4 shot it does quite well, unless your home has very narrow halls or your condition rules one out it could be an alternative for you. I've seen real nice versions of his gun in my area between $100.00- $150.00... and good luck with whatever you choose
 

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(QUOTE)" Pawn shops may have guns that have been used in crimes. it would not be good to be caught with one of those. Get something from a legit source".

I was recently offered a good deal on a .45 Glock ( but never materialized:()
so I called our local county sherriffs office and told them I was considering a used gun from someone I really didn't know. I told them I had no reason to suspct the deal wasn't kosher, but that I'd like to be sure, and asked if it was possible to call in a serial number to be checked. She told me it would be no problem, no charge or delay, just call it in and they'd run it for me. I'm assuming this will work with other departments.:thumb:

P.S. I'm almost positive pawn shops are required to do this with all guns, you've very unlikely to get a hot gun from a pawn shop.
 

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The above suggestion for a .38 S&W is a good one (negligible recoil, much more stopping power than a .22, ought to be able to find one cheap) with one caveat: make sure you have a source for ammo. I traded one last week in part because of ammo scarcity. I couldn't get it at my local Wal-Mart, ****'s Sporting Goods, or even Sportsman's Warehouse. Bass Pro Shop does carry that round, but selection is limited (typically 2-3 small boxes on the shelf at most) and the .38S&W is expensive compared to some of the more common rounds. If you buy a .38S&W, I recommend ordering the ammo in bulk while you still can. These same factors likely hold true for any of the .32's as well.

I'm not one to engage in the debates over the relative merits and deficiencies of particular calibers and firearms, but I wouldn't knock the .22. I've got larger calibers, but I also have an inexpensive single-action .22 revolver that can shoot both .22lr and .22 magnums. The .22 magnum is not a .357 or .45colt, but it beats throwing rocks. I wouldn't want to be shot with one.
 

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If you don't have experience with a handgun, and don't have the budget to afford training ammo, don't buy a handgun. I suggest a Hi Point 9mm Carbine. It's lightweight, very reliable, and can be an effective manstopper. You really cannot expect to get even a POS pistol for $200, but you can get a really good carbine for that much.

Hope this helps.
 

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There may be a gun shop near you with an indoor range. If you find such a shop, they probably rent guns. You can try different styles and calibers of guns at their range for little investment.

Pawn shop guns should be "on the books". That is, a pawn shop dealer will be a FFL holder, and all of his or her firearms will have had a serial number check. It is EXTREMELY unlikely that a long-standing, reputable shop will have a stolen gun for sale. Selling such a gun is the type of felony that ruins lives. Few will deal in stolen guns for this reason.

I've never found a good deal on a gun at a pawn shop. Or anything else, for that matter. Their used guns are usually junk, and their new guns are usually overpriced.
 

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That S&W Sigma 9mm or .40 for $250 new after rebate?

http://www.academy.com/index.php?pa.../hunting/firearms/pistols_centerfire&start=18

http://www.smith-wesson.com/wcsstore/SmWesson/upload/other/SW_HH08_coupon.pdf

Or you could find a Hi-Point promoter type person selling Hi-Points out of their house at cost or nearly at cost:

http://www.hi-pointfirearms.com/dealer_locator/dealer_locator.asp

The 9mm goes for what? $130 or $140 new?

http://www.hi-pointfirearms.com/handguns/hi_point_handguns.html
 

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I would not buy a .22 rifle if it was me, not when there are so many high velocity air rifles on the market now.

I am more of the mindset to buy a .22 high velocity pellet rifle, and the tools I need to cast my own pellets than buy a .22 fire arm. You can have a perminant supply of ammo that way, even of you need to melt down car fenders in a home forge.
 

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Pawn shops may have guns that have been used in crimes. it would not be good to be caught with one of those. Get something from a legit source.
I know that in this state, the Pawn shops are required to obtain a Valid State Issued Drivers license and give the License info and a full description and serial number on a list to the Sheriff and local Police. They also have to hold the gun for 30 days, to allow the Police to check serial numbers, etc. They even have detectives that are assigned to deal with Pawn Shops and make sure the rules are followed. Not to mention the ATF and the State Department of Lending Institutions making regular inspections.
As for your choice of gun, I have taught many classes where a person had hand problems and limitations form injuries, arthritus, etc. By far, most of them settled on a full size four inch barreled 357 Magnum, usually a S&W Model 19, 66, 686, etc. The recoil is light with 38 special ammo, or if you're able to handle more recoil, you can move up to 38 Special +p's or magnums. COLOR]
 

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I agree MIL-DOT, Pawn shops in CA & WA run checks on guns. The only thing you would have to worry about a gun from pawn shops is the "condition" of it.
 

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I'm wanting to get a handgun of some sort and due to my lack of budget, it'll have to be something second-hand. And something ideally that'll shoot inexpensive ammo. Wanting it for around the house in case of emergency.

I have a significant and persistent weakness in my hands due to a medical condition so the weapon needs to be lightweight and as close to zero kickback as possible. Not very concerned about stopping power but I'd like something bigger than .22 if possible.

I have experience with shotguns and rifles but not handguns. No experience at all buying second-hand weapons and don't know what to look for or try to avoid other than rust. :)

I imagine there's plenty of newcomers here who broke and are pretty much handgun virgins as well
makarovs dont have a whole lotta kick
 
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