How to Get Into Shooting Targets

Hello. I am a citizen of Illinois and have just acquired a gun from my father in law (who frankly doesn’t have the capacity to deal with it anymore). My question is two-fold:

  1. What kind of a gun is it? It says Beretta “New Puma” on it, but I have no idea as to the caliber (it does have the numbers 765 on the slide). Is ammo for this still available, or is this only a collectible?

  2. Where can I go to shoot at targets? I live in the Chicagoland area, and would like to learn how to shoot. I have taken an NRA safety course (I’m a liberal, but I’m not stupid) - I just want to practice.

I’d go back to the NRA and ask both of your questions. Quite a lot of the NRA members are knowledgable about guns, and would be happy to give you hints about shooting ranges. And I’m a liberal, too.

I’ve seen many discussions of guns on these boards, and I hope JosephFinn doesn’t feel discouraged by in his attempt to ask two quite legitimate questions on the appropriate board. And if there isn’t any interest in the subject on SDMB, then a lack of responses will tell him all he needs to know. There’s no need for him or his queries to be directed elsewhere with the implication that they’re somehow officially unwelcome here.


hey, I seem to recall reading that handguns were illegal within the City of Chicago. Depending on where you live, this gun could be a packet of trouble.

      • Beretta Pumas are not antiques, they were produced just a few years back. Beretta only made then for a short time, but I don’t remember them as being particularly rare or valuable. I think 765 is the Euro spec for .32 caliber, which any decent gun shop will have. I dunno nuttin about shooting in Chicago. - MC

I’m not trying to discourage JF from posting his gun questions, I’m just trying to direct him to a place where he’ll likely get better answers. I think that learning to shoot is something that one needs to have a live teacher for.

Lynn is right. If you have a gun, you really should get hands-on training on how to use it safely and effectively. This means spending time on the range with a firearms expert.

What you have is a Beretta Puma built on the Cougar frame, on which production has been discontinued. The 765 on the slide indicates that it is a .380 caliber with a 3 and 1/2inch barrel. In pristine condition, out of the box, its worth about $200. In good condition, about $160-$180. You should still be able to get ammo for it. This link might prove helpful,, about where you can shoot.
Have fun!

It’s really hard to judge a post’s “tone”, so if I misunderstood, Lynne, I apologize. I was just surprised because some portions of the SDMB membership do seem pretty gun-oriented–I imagined that JF would be able to get some kind of response to both his questions.

Hi again Joe! sorry i didn’t hook up with you this weekend- I had the kids till late and then I had an unfortunate experience.

Regarding your weapon; The Puma is a nice little piece. However it isn’t too accurate at target distances.
Chas.E is partly correct. You are legally allowed to own a handgun in the City of Chicago, as banning them is a little difficult but not impossible. HOWEVER, you will not be issued the required permit to possess said pistol in the city.
Defacto ban on handguns!!
%$#@ Democrats!
Call Gunworld in Bensenville (on Irving just past O’Hare) for info on shooting clubs.
Do you have an FOID card? If not, GET ONE!!! it’s required by the state to handle much less own or buy firearms and ammunition. Any gun shop can take the pic and submit the paperwork (~$20-25 IIRC)
The closest gun shop to you is Shore Galleries on Touhy just W of McCormick Blvd. in Lincolnwood. They cater to police and they have great trade ins and used pieces.