Buying your first handgun can be quite a daunting and overwhelming task for any first-time buyer but don’t worry we’ve collected some tips that’ll ease you through the process.
Buying the right firearm for you is important in making you feel comfortable with handling it. Most people don’t find the right gun in their first purchase so don’t panic if you’ve bought a handgun that doesn’t seem right for you. Most first-time gun owners will quickly move onto a second or third firearm now knowing what they need from it which leads us to our first tip.
Try Before You Buy
A large number of ranges will let you rent a firearm similar to the type you’re considering purchasing so spend some time visiting multiple ranges and get used to how different types of handgun feel.
Decide On Its Role
When purchasing a firearm it’s very important to decide what its primary role will be, whether a home defense weapon, concealed carry or something to just visit the range with. This decision will heavily influence your final decision.
Allocate A budget
It’s very easy to spend more than you originally set out. Your budget is directly linked to comfort, if a handgun is a little more expensive but you feel more comfortable handling it then it’s going to be worth the extra investment. This also goes for more cost-effective guns, while higher-end guns may offer more features or perks if you find a gun that you feel comfortable with and falls within budget then perfect. Don’t less the price put you off.
Take A Firearm Training Course
Not only will this help you get a feel for a variety of guns but most importantly, it’ll teach you how to safely handle a weapon. This will also lead to you feeling more comfortable with firearms. Firearms training is a worthwhile investment in both your safety and that of those around you whether in a defensive measure or simply handling the firearm at home.
Practice Practice Practice
It’s all well and good when you have a firearm and know how to use it correctly but if you don’t get familiar with your weapon there’s almost no point in having it. It’s important to visit a shooting range on a regular basis, even if for just a few rounds. Becoming proficient with your firearm will help with confidence in using it, especially in a defensive situation.
Things To Consider In A Handgun
Some specific factors to consider when buying a handgun;
Revolver Or Semi-Automatic
This is one of the most defining features you’ll need to decide upon when purchasing your first handgun. Again, this predominantly comes down to personal preference.
Revolvers are typically easier for new owners to both understand and operate, as it’s simply a case of opening the cylinder, loading the bullets, closing the cylinder and pulling the trigger. This is a huge appeal to most as it gives the impression of greater reliability with the firearm. Revolvers typically weight more than most semi-automatic pistols which help with recoil absorption and shot accuracy. The most significant disadvantage for revolvers is their bullet capacity, typically just 6 rounds.
Semi-automatic pistols firstly offer a greater round capacity with magazines typically holding between 10-15 bullets. They are also more lightweight making them more ideal for conceal carries due to typically slimmer profiles. Semi-automatics pistols can also be reloaded significantly faster than revolvers as the empty magazine can be easily ejected before inserting another 10-15 rounds back into the pistol’s grip in a full magazine. The main disadvantage faced by semi-automatic owners is the need to cock and lock, this may not be an ideal situation for homes with children meaning when it comes to using the pistol in an emergency the user will have to remember to rack the slide before being able to fire.
This is completely dependent upon the intended purpose of the firearm. Concealed carries will need to be slimmer more lightweight guns, this may affect how comfortable the gun feels in your hand. Home defense weapons can be a size that the owner is most comfortable in using.
This depends upon the caliber of round that your pistol fires, a larger caliber will result in a smaller magazine capacity. Don’t overthink caliber too much as stopping ability is more heavily influenced by penetration power and shot placement. Finding the right magazine size to the right caliber will most likely require a compromise on one or the other. Most semi-automatic owners like to shoot 9 mm, .45, or .40 rounds.
A heavy firearm will help with increased accuracy and dampened recoil but may not be practical for certain situations, i.e. concealed carry. You want a firearm that both feels stable but you’d also be confident in handling quickly and effectively.
Whilst it’s great if you find a firearm with a stock grip that comfortably fits your hand, this isn’t the case for most gun owners. Don’t worry though as it’s a very simple process of purchasing a new grip through to assembly. You can even take the firearm down to a gun store or range where they’ll most likely be able to fit it for you. The most important factor here is finding a grip that best fits your hand, as this will have a big impact on how you handle the weapon.
Hopefully, our buying guide and tips will help you feel more comfortable in your firearm purchase. Don’t forget to try as many types of handguns as possible before making your final purchase and even if you do decide the gun you bought just isn’t right, you’re not alone, as many first-time gun buyers quickly move onto their next purchase. Also, remember not to let price be the defining factor in a firearm purchase, this should be how comfortable you are handling the handgun. The more comfortable you are, the faster you’ll become proficient in the use of the firearm.