Please help me find a gun to get my dad for Chanukah this year.

Hi there folks, please let me lay out my situation and what I need help with, hopefully someone can clear up my ignorance and direct me in the right direction.

Okay, in short, my dad’s had a rough time over the last month or so having worked in a small law firm in NYC, and for the last few weeks, he’s been looking for a new job. That’s hard on a guy, and I’d like to help cheer him up. Tonight we got to talking about how he’d like to get a gun but didn’t currently have the money. Evidently he’s got a few friends here who have the kind of land where they’ve set up shooting ranges on their property, and one of his friends has a person collection of some very cool guns.

Anyways, I recently came into a bit of money and although there are some things I need, I can go without them. And to be honest, with my dad and my sick mom living together, alone, I’d feel better if he had a gun in the house, too.

So, these were the basic conversations/discussions/specs that we had.

He would like a gun that, primarily, is accurate at moderate range and fun to shoot. Rifles are fine, shotguns are out. Whatever it is, he has to be able to bring it over to his friends’ places and shoot with them at their ‘ranges’. He’s also loved the Walther P38 for decades, but I have no idea how much those cost. If the originals would be, say, more than a grand, could you me to any pistols/revolers with roughly the same aesthetic and caliber?

Speaking of which, my father would like to (possibly) have a sidearm of some variety that he could holster it while working to tend to the property, as bears are not unknown in this area and one was recently shot in the driveway of a neighbor’s house just a few doors down as it had trapped a family in their car and was pawing at the windows. On that note, I’d really appreciate if folks could advise on what certain guns’ effectiveness would be against a bear. I confess I’m pig ignorant, and if I get my dad a 9mm, and it wouldn’t do anything other than make a bear mad, I’d want him to be pretty clear on that fact as I doubt he knows much more than me about bringing down game.

The only qualifier would be that he doesn’t want something in a caliber that starts with .4 , and he’d want a gun that he could target shoot with for fun. I don’t know if that’s even a possible combination, but that’s what we’ve talked about.

Now, here are the snags. First of all, I have no idea where the right place is to go looking for a specific gun is. I’ve gone shooting with friends before, but I’ve never bought a gun for myself or anybody else. Can they be ordered online, mailed across state lines, mailed to me across state lines and then carried into another state to deliver it to my dad? I know that Walmart sells some, but I’m inherently nervous about buying such delicate and functional machinery… at WallyWorld. Am I wrong to discount Walmart out of hand? How do I find out whether or not my dad would need some sort of permit to store/use the gun?

I’d also like to get the guns for him and be able to give him some sort of ammunition safe to use in the house, just in case he ever had to use the gun insider with family members possibly being in various rooms (Og forbid). He said he doesn’t want a shotgun, so birdshot is out. So I got to thinking of (I think the name is) Glaser Safety Slugs? But what I’m heard of ammunition like that is that much less useful unless it’s fired from guns with longer barrels, since it loses a good deal of its potential stopping power. Any truth to that, and if not, do slugs like that fire differently enough that I should get him a few boxes to practice firing the gun with that different dynamic?

Thanks much, in advance, for anybody who can help me puzzle this out.

Oh, and: he lives in Vermont, I live in upstate New York currently, just to give you a sense of where we are.

Nothing says Chanukah like a firearm!

First off, what type of bears? Black, brown, grizzly? If brown or grizzly, he’d want a large caliber, but ideally stay away from bears. A rifle would be best in this case, or a .44 revolver or something similar. I know you said he does’nt want that, maybe a .357 would be minimal but passable in this case. 9mm isn’t great here.

You can’t ship firearms to your home unless it is blackpowder or you have a Federal Firearms License. If you want to buy online, you might look for a FFL holder in your area. The seller ships to them, and they give it to you after the background check. Most charge around $25 for this service.

Walmart sells quality guns for the most part, but their selection is extremely limited. I think they only sell long guns.

For home defense, buckshot is probably the best. Slugs might penetrate a wall, and birdshot would do a good job of pissing off an intruder. I don’t know about the Glaser, but he should definitely practice with whatever he plans to use.

You probably have to abide by NY law if you purchase it yourself there. You personally probably can’t buy handguns in Vermont or any other state besides NY, but if you were visiting you could pay for his purchase with him present.

If I were him I would find out what I like that his friends own, and make a similar purchase. Is he worried about ammo cost? Does he prefer rifle or pistol? Semi-auto or bolt/lever action?

A year or two ago I saw post-war P.38s selling for $269 (plus shipping and dealer transfer fees).

Here is a P1, which is a post-war P.38 with an aluminum frame, with a Buy It Now price of $360. Shipping is $20, and your local dealer will probably charge $25 to handle the transfer.

Awesome… only I haven’t deposited the checks I’ve got into my account, and this ends before I get back home to my bank. Ah well. Is that website generally a good resource for finding deals?

And, by the way, do you (or anybody reading this thread) know how to advise me on getting information about various models/incarnations of the gun, and if they have any special ammo/cleaning requirements? I know that some older guns are best with specific brands/vintages of ammunition, and I’d rather get him a good gun that can hold up well if properly maintained. I’m also curious as to whether or not there’s any significant change to the gun’s weight/accuracy/kick/etc… depending on what incarnation of the model it is. (e.g. the link P1 has an aluminum frame, does that effect the shooting profile or durability of the mechanical aspects of the weapon?

My dad grew up in the country, his dad was a doctor back in the day when doctors earned a bit better than they do now. He was fortunate to live on a great, large plot of land that happened to be right up against a state park. His dad taught him to shoot when he was five, or something.

So in a way, it would be a cool enough gift as to be perfect for chanukah.

To be honest, with that link to the P1, I think I’ve found the perfect gift (that is, if another person lists something like that). For what it’s worth, I also don’t know the type of bear it was, as I was told the story, and my parents didn’t mention what type it was.

Although, if I can get a P1 or something of the sort, it might make sense to also get a decent long gun if I can find a good one that isn’t too dear…

Thank you. I might look for one to ship it to Vermont, and I can bring my dad to pick it up and sign for it while I pay it, or something. I"ll try to find out more information now that I know how it works.

Yeah… he just doesn’t want a shotgun. I’ll do a search on glaser rounds online, and if I can’t find more info, I’ll stop over to GD.

Well, the problem here is that I’m normally a horribly blatant gift giver, and I end up ruining the surprise long before I give gifts. Now… that’s shitty for the people I"m trying to surprise. So I’m going to do my best to not mention it around my dad before I take him to pick up his new gun.

He did say that, in general, he’d prefer a rifle to a pistol. But he also said he’d been in love with the Walther since he was a young kid, so that wins on nostalgia points. I’d wager that he would be slightly concerned about the cost of ammunition, and I’m sure he’d prefer cheaper stuff to more expensive since he’ll only be target shooting.

Here’s a start for information on the P.38.

Ammunition shouldn’t be a problem. Just plain old 9mm Parabellum, preferably full metal jacket (FMJ). Some people don’t like aluminum receivers, but I’ve fired thousands of rounds through AR-15s with no sign of wear. I (personally) wouldn’t have a problem owning a P1, though I’d be aware it’s not really a ‘collectible’ like one with Nazi proof marks. Remember that they were designed to be used by people who trusted their lives to them.

Deals? I’ve bought a few guns from sellers there. Some were ‘deals’, and one in particular I paid way too much for. But that one was perfect – 90 years old Webley Mk.VI and practically brand new.

Blow yourself out. :wink:

You might contact the seller to see about timing the payment.

Aye, there’s the rub. You can’t buy a gun for someone else; i.e., make a straw purchase. If you did, you’d have to buy it in New York for yourself and then give it to your dad in Vermont. But AFIAK that’s illegal. The proper way to do it would be to buy the gun and have it shipped to your dad’s local dealer and then have your dad fill out the paperwork for the background check. AFAIK there’s no law saying you can’t pay for it, but the person you’re buying it for will have to be able to pass the background check and fill out the paperwork and receive the gun himself.

For a rifle, you can’t go wrong with a Ruger 10/22. They’ve been around for a few decades and are very reliable. Twenty-two Long Rifle ammo is cheap and pleasant to shoot. You get no ‘macho’ points, but it’s perfectly good for punching holes in paper. Sounds like he’d rather have the Walther though.

Whoops. That doesn’t bring up the results. Type P-38 in the search box. You should get about four pages.

While getting my dad a P-38 for Chanukah would be cool, getting him a Nazi P-38 for Chanukah would probably not be cool. :wink: If all of the post-war models are made of aluminum, then aluminum it is. Thanks for clearing some stuff up for me.

Actually, since the gun would be used most likely, I’d probably like to call ahead first to some gun stores in Vermont and find out if there was a way that I could have them hold on to it for a few weeks, or what have you (depends on when I find a good deal between now and Chanukah, I guess), as well as maybe having it taken to a professional gunsmith to get it examined and given a clean bill of health, so to speak.

I’ll call around and see which places could work with me on that according to Vermont law and customary business practices.

Heh… reminds me that my fiancee and I have been talking about making sure we own and are practiced in the use of firearms ourselves. Wait for part two of this thread in another six months or something :smiley:

But yeah, I had no idea that I could get an oldish walther for less than a grand. I’m sure that’ll make my dad happy and I’m sure it’ll cost enough when all is said and done, anyways.

Thanks, I was probably pretty lazy and slow for not looking it up myself before whining about not being able to find it. Thanks for helping out, though. I’ll watch the trends and such for a week or two and then decide to put money on something.

Speaking of which, I know that buying things through ebay/paypal, there are certain buyer protections. Do I have anything of the sort with these sorts of websites, or should I make sure that I use a credit card to pay instead of a debit card?

If you can’t decide between a rifle or a pistol, why not get him both at the same time?

This is a pretty good price on this S&W 9. This model had some issues in the early days but have been resolved since. The trigger is tight but any gunsmith can adjust it.

Maybe some incendiary rounds for the bears!:smiley:

Re: That Webley. Here’s the first of eight photos.

Re: Other guns I’ve bought at Gunbroker. All of those except the Colt 1991-A1 I bought from dealers there. (Counter-clockwise from top-left: 1917 S&W Hand Ejector Second Model, modified from .455 Webley to .45 ACR; 1917 Webley Mk.VI, .455 Webley; post-WWII S&W Hand Ejector, .38 SPL; Colt 1991-A1, .45 ACP; Mauser C96 ‘Red Nine’, 9mm Parabellum.) In addition I also bought another S&W HE2, but still in the original .455 Webley/Eley chambering, and a 1917 civilian Colt Government Model 1911 .45 ACP.

Doors:Good lord… that actually looks like something that Lunar and I could use! Thanks I may have a gift to get for our home too. I need to read up on that 22, but it looks like it should be a fun gun to shoot with and maybe something I could hunt with as well.

Speaking of which (since, fuck, I already have this thread open), would a 22 be able to cleanly kill the type of deer you might find in upstate New York or in Texas? Lunar is a good shot with one and I’d be happy to learn, and I think she might even be interested in going hunting with me, so a decent and inexpensive gun that I could buy a pair of at some point, would be very good.

Anybody got any suggestions?

Although that looks like a gun I might like to try shooting, I do think that my dad would prefer the aesthetic of the P-38 with the extended thing barrel. Thanks though.

Johnny: Nifty, looks like it’s a fairly reliable way to get stuff, then.

It’s always a good practice to have a used gun checked out by a gunsmith. However, guns tend to be fairly rugged. As long as it hasn’t been abused it should be OK. That Broomhandle Mauser though, had a weak spring. Easy fix, but not safe to shoot as it arrived.

Lots of P1/P-38s were imported fairly recently. Use the search and you’ll find several with original packaging and papers. I think it very likely you could find a local dealer that has one or who can get one.

Many Gunbroker sellers are rabidly anti-eBay and anti-PayPal, due to those companies’ anti-gun policies. That’s why many won’t take credit cards. But many dealers will accept credit cards over the phone (for a 3% additional fee) even if they won’t accept PayPal. Read the feedback to gauge the dealers’ reliability. The Mauser came from a guy who had some negatives, but I was looking for a nice-looking shooter instead of a collectible. As I said, it needed a new spring. In addition to the feedback, read the ads. An alarming number of these guys don’t know how to spell, but you can get an idea of the actual condition. Lots of photos is a good thing. Check out some of the Webley pics. (One example.) That dealer took close-ups of all of the proof marks and other details. If a seller takes the time to take good, detailed photos you can probably trust him.

Airman Doors: That is an incredibly UGLY firearm!

Wait… I thought that guns were pretty much metal/moving parts surrounded by “furniture”, and that a gun like that would be a short 22 and the wood/plastic (whatever that is) could be changed out for something else. Am I mistaking how easy it is to customize a gun, or how cheap?

Oh, and thanks for the rest of the information. Maybe I should just call around and take a drive into the next city over to go check on what sort of services the local authorized dealers have.

It can be cheap or expensive; depends on what you want to do. Just looking at that .22 Charger, it looks like you could pull the receiver and barrel out and put them in another stock. I’ve taken the receiver/barrel assembly out of 10/22s, and it’s very easy.

But you have to be careful. A rifle must have a barrel length of at least 16 inches and an overall length of 26 inches or greater. So if you took the receiver/barrel out of the 22 Charger, cut down the fore-end of a standard 10/22 stock, and put the receiver/barrel in it, you’d have a ‘short barreled rifle’ under the National Firearms Act of 1934. Yes, they will make a federal case out of it.

And now it’s past time for me to hit the sack.

He’ll put his eye out!

Everything you said here is true. The reason the Charger is not considered a rifle is because Ruger declared it to be a pistol. For all intents and purposes it is a rifle, but it does not have that legal status. If you go changing things and accidentally make a short-barreled rifle, if the ATF finds out they will be all over you for a NFA violation.

I think it’s cool looking, myself. It’s far better looking than that Broomhandle Mauser you have, and I think those look cool, too. Oh, well. There’s no accounting for taste.

There’re a couple guys at my gun club who have Chargers. They shoot groups with them that are about what you’d expect from a 10/22. Overall, the Charger strikes me as neither fish nor fowl. If it had a proper rifle stock, you’d be able to fire it from the shoulder, but it doesn’t. Due to weight and the way it balances, it doesn’t lend itself to be fired offhand like a conventional handgun. So, what you have is a sort-of pistol that is best fired from a bench using its little bipod; and that’s how the guys who have them are seen firing them.
I’d rather have either a regular 10/22 or a MkIII if I was going to buy a Ruger .22 autoloader right now.

It is my understanding that guns can be purchased and gifted to a family member and this is not a straw purchase. My googling is failing me but links seem to agree. If the OP bought the gun using his father’s money, intending to give it to his father afterwards, then it would be a straw purchase. State law may be more restrictive, NYS especially in this case.

The 10/22 is one of the rifles readily available at Walmart. I think they sell 2 models, a basic for <$200 and a bull barrel for $240 or so. The 10/22 is extremely modifiable and has a lot of support online. You can’t go wrong with .22 or 9mm, two of the cheapest calibers around. Especially .22.

I have never seen a Menorah shaped firearm. :wink:

How about a Cowboy Rifle? This is the model I have, in .357 magnum (also handles 38 special!). Really nice gun, easy to shoot, almost no recoil, very quiet. I like having a rifle that shoots the same caliber as one of my pistols.

It’s also legal to use for Deer hunting here in Minnesota. I tried to do a little research about NY laws on the subject, but it’s not well organized on-line.

Menorahs have eight holes, right?


Am I the only one who was slightly creeped out by the juxtaposition of the first three sentences in the second paragraph of the OP?
No offense, Finn, but have you discussed exactly what type of “target shooting” Dad has in mind? :cool: