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Thread: .22 Pistol or Laser Trainer?

  1. #1
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    Default .22 Pistol or Laser Trainer?

    Hello Everyone,
    I am contemplating getting either a .22 semi auto pistol or a laser trainer of some sort? I want to start teaching my wife and daughters to shoot and in giving them something to practice with.

    Anyhow, there are pluses and minuses as I see with both. So your recommendations would be much appreciated. My budget is $350.00 max.

    1. I prefer to get a .22 semi auto pistol as eventually they will go to a .380 semi or a Kahr 9mm for ccp. My first pistol was a Ruger Mark II, so I am considering a used one of those otherwise a new Ruger Lite Rack LCP II. If not a semi auto .22 pistol, would you recommend a .22 revolver? The drawback with a .22 pistol is they would only see very limited range time, for various reasons.

    2. In considering a laser trainer. The benefit of a laser trainer is they could practice quite a bit at home. I could then let them practice with a Bersa Thunder 380 at the range which has a fairly light recoil. I just don't know anything about laser trainers though. Are they effective as a training tool and which one would you recommend? I prefer something that would help with accuracy.

    Thanks,
    Ralph

  2. #2
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    I'll have to check on this but right before I retired we got some Laser trainers at the police department that were really good. They had a switch that activated a second laser that the shooter couldn't see. One showed where the gun hit and the other showed where they were aiming but the shooter isn't able to see the second laser? Did that make sense.
    Probably quite spendy, I didn't order those, the firearms guys went on their own on those.
    I'll try to find out what brand and cost was involved.

    My personal input just to keep the caliber wars alive and well, skip the 380 and get them each a 9. Once they get comfy with a 22 they can handle a 9 just fine. Make sure they are able to handle the slide rack on the kahrs, they can handle that too but they might have to work on technique a little bit.

    I broke my new shooters in on a Ruger Single Six single action 22 revolver. Super safe, plenty accurate and fun. Slower to load perhaps but that gives time for input and discussion.
    In Memory of Paul "Dietrich" Stines.
    Dad: Say something nice to your cousin Shirley
    Dietrich: For a fat girl you sure don't sweat much.
    Cue sound of Head slap.

    RIP Muggsy & TMan

    "If you are a warrior legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that JOCKO will not come today."

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph III View Post
    Hello Everyone,
    I am contemplating getting either a .22 semi auto pistol or a laser trainer of some sort? I want to start teaching my wife and daughters to shoot and in giving them something to practice with.

    Anyhow, there are pluses and minuses as I see with both. So your recommendations would be much appreciated. My budget is $350.00 max.

    1. I prefer to get a .22 semi auto pistol as eventually they will go to a .380 semi or a Kahr 9mm for ccp. My first pistol was a Ruger Mark II, so I am considering a used one of those otherwise a new Ruger Lite Rack LCP II. If not a semi auto .22 pistol, would you recommend a .22 revolver? The drawback with a .22 pistol is they would only see very limited range time, for various reasons.

    2. In considering a laser trainer. The benefit of a laser trainer is they could practice quite a bit at home. I could then let them practice with a Bersa Thunder 380 at the range which has a fairly light recoil. I just don't know anything about laser trainers though. Are they effective as a training tool and which one would you recommend? I prefer something that would help with accuracy.

    Thanks,
    Ralph
    Ralph, you need both but maybe the 22 comes first. If you go with the Ruger which I recommend, you can safely dry fire that gun with no damage. Any of the MK pistols from Ruger are good and if you watch a couple of videos they can all be field stripped in seconds and any parts ever needed are readily available. I have added the Tandem cross Halo cocking ring which really makes racking the gun a piece of cake.


    A laser trainer will help with sight alignment and practicing draw etc., put probably best for more advanced skills.
    For that type of training I teach using a SIRT laser trainer.
    "Never pet a burning dog"

  4. #4
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    Excellent choice, I'd get a MKIV if you can pull it off, way easier to clean and open up. The others are great quality but you have to hold your mouth just right to break em down. Fortunately you don't have to do that very often, hardly ever.
    In Memory of Paul "Dietrich" Stines.
    Dad: Say something nice to your cousin Shirley
    Dietrich: For a fat girl you sure don't sweat much.
    Cue sound of Head slap.

    RIP Muggsy & TMan

    "If you are a warrior legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that JOCKO will not come today."

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 340pd View Post
    Ralph, you need both but maybe the 22 comes first. If you go with the Ruger which I recommend, you can safely dry fire that gun with no damage. Any of the MK pistols from Ruger are good....A laser trainer will help with sight alignment and practicing draw etc., put probably best for more advanced skills....
    Thanks for the input guys.

    Yes, I'd love to get both a .22 and some sort of laser trainer but my budget won't allow it. I'm really leaning toward the .22 pistol because for me nothing can beat live fire, so your input has helped. I learned how to shoot pistols accurately with my Ruger Mk II as a teenager but I'm really leaning toward the Ruger Lite LCP after watching a few YouTube demonstrations. It's just a more similar pistol to what they may end up with.

    I was just curious to see if any of you emphatically and enthusiastically recommended a laser trainer. That really doesn't seem to be the case so I will be looking to pick up a pistol. We will just have to make the best of range time and I can let them dry fire at home.

    God Bless,
    Ralph

  6. #6
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    I hear the new Keltec .22 is both very reliable and accurate, and under $200. Id check those out.

    I agree the laser trainers are great for more advanced practice, like close range point-shooting. I have the device that you insert into hthe muzzle of your favorite gun.
    A corrupt government tends to be well protected by a thin white line of bureaucracy.

  7. #7
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    Advantage of a laser trainer, or at least some of them is that you get to use your gun, with its trigger.

  8. #8
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    My 2 cents is this, for a brand new shooter forget lasers and semi auto pistols and start at ground level....I bought a Ruger Bearcat .22 single action to teach my kids how to shoot, it's a very accurate gun for the sights it has and now Ruger has the Wrangler .22 for around $250.00 and is a real nice starter gun to teach with....You have to uncomplicate things for new shooters and keep things as simple as possible to make it a fun thing they want to continue doing....Get a single action revolver and some snap caps to teach grip, sight alignment and trigger press, then go to the range and use a simple bullseye target and pull it up really close and let them see where their shots go then once they see that they can hit what they are pointing at then move the target back a little until they feel confident in their ability to shoot a handgun accurately and you will have a life long shooter....The wrong way to teach is to give a new shooter a handgun they are intimidated with and don't understand how to operate.....Keep it as simple as possible, Grip, sight alignment, trigger press.....no more, no less
    Last edited by getsome; 10-04-2020 at 10:51 AM.
    My wife says that I never listen to her or something like that

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by getsome View Post
    My 2 cents is this, for a brand new shooter forget lasers and semi auto pistols and start at ground level....I bought a Ruger Bearcat .22 single action to teach my kids how to shoot, it's a very accurate gun for the sights it has and now Ruger has the Wrangler .22 for around $250.00 and is a real nice starter gun to teach with....You have to uncomplicate things for new shooters and keep things as simple as possible to make it a fun thing they want to continue doing....Get a single action revolver and some snap caps to teach grip, sight alignment and trigger press, then go to the range and use a simple bullseye target and pull it up really close and let them see where their shots go then once they see that can hit what that are pointing at then move the target back a little until they feel confident in their ability to shoot a handgun accurately and you will have a life long shooter....The wrong way to teach is to give a new shooter a handgun they are intimidated with and don't understand how to operate.....Keep it as simple as possible, Grip, sight alignment, trigger press.....no more, no less
    Thanks for the tips getsome. I do not have the reservations about starting them on a semi auto .22 as you do having learned on one myself and having been shooting for nearly 50 years now. I have no problem with a revolver, own and shot many, but it would be better to get them a similar gun as to what they will eventually use for self defense, IMHO.

    In regards to teaching grip, stance, sight alignment and trigger pull, as well as safety; that is something I stress and allow them to practice long before we go to the range. My wife has experience shooting guns but she hasn't had a lot of practice or truly proper instruction. I started teaching my 17 yr old last year with a .380 and recently with a 9mm. She was a little scared of the 9mm at first but settled down after a bit and then shot fantastically. Her last outing was a lot of fun because it was outdoors with various targets/distances. I indeed start them at a short distance and then prior to leaving I challenged her to lastly shoot from 80ft away (Kahr S9). I always end with that. She actually put every round into the 3ft x 3ft target and one round within our 8in bullseye.

    I'd still prefer she practice a little more with a .22 and then the 9mm. The .22 would most definitely be preferred for my 11 yr old daughter though as she has never shot a gun.

    Take care,
    Ralph

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by getsome View Post
    My 2 cents is this, for a brand new shooter forget lasers and semi auto pistols and start at ground level....I bought a Ruger Bearcat .22 single action to teach my kids how to shoot, it's a very accurate gun for the sights it has and now Ruger has the Wrangler .22 for around $250.00 and is a real nice starter gun to teach with....You have to uncomplicate things for new shooters and keep things as simple as possible to make it a fun thing they want to continue doing....Get a single action revolver and some snap caps to teach grip, sight alignment and trigger press, then go to the range and use a simple bullseye target and pull it up really close and let them see where their shots go then once they see that can hit what that are pointing at then move the target back a little until they feel confident in their ability to shoot a handgun accurately and you will have a life long shooter....The wrong way to teach is to give a new shooter a handgun they are intimidated with and don't understand how to operate.....Keep it as simple as possible, Grip, sight alignment, trigger press.....no more, no less
    Agree. Love the 22.cal for training.

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