Before you go out and buy your first gun, there are a few things you need to considered.
Why do law abiding people buy guns in the US? Having a home gun for a personal protection self-defense, and maybe conceal carry. How about recreational shooting and competition shooting? Owning and carrying a gun is your constitutional right, why not practice it? Here are some key points before making that first purchase and the after.
- Do your home work. Before shopping for a handgun it’s best to do a little research to help you make a better decision on what firearm best fits your unique circumstances and needs. Don’t pick your so called “best gun” because your favorite actor/actress or movie uses it. What’s the differences between a revolver and a semi auto handgun?
Generally speaking for self-defense, the pistol is usually a better choice. For hunting and range use, revolvers are good options.
I personally would prefer semi autos over revolvers, especially if you are going to conceal carry in the future. I’m not going to dive in to this since that’s another article on it’s own.
Revolvers and pistols require different grips. Choose one and stick with it. When drawing your gun under stress, muscle memory will pick the grip you been trained with. Wrong grip on a revolver and you fingers will be badly hurt. 😳
Stick with well known brands such as Smith & Wesson, Glock, CZ, Sig Sauer, Beretta or Springfield. Don’t go cheap and low quality. Your life depends on these tools.
Choose a gun that shoots common ammunition, 9mm, 40 S&W or 45 ACP. Don’t get something rare, expensive and hard to find such as the 5.7×28 and 9×18 Makarov. Also don’t pick an over power unpractical (especially for first timers) such as, 44 mag, 500 S&W or 454 Casull. Don’t choose some under power gun and caliber such as a .22. Some people start with a 22 and they get attached to it due to the light recoil which can negatively effect their decision in getting a real defensive gun. I recommend to start with a 9mm.
- Take a basic pistol course if you never shot a gun before. Learn to shoot first! Firearms safety is a top priority, so get this embedded in your head. Familiarize yourself with different types of semi-auto pistols. Learn the terminologies. Understand the difference between a striker fired vs hammer fired. Know how to clear common malfunctions. And learn how to effectively operate them
- Try out different guns. Your cool looking favorite gun might not feel that comfortable in your hands after all, you might not be able to grip it well vs the other one you didn’t know about that didn’t look as nice as your favorite gun but it fits like a glove in your hands. Everyone’s preference will be different. The gun of your choice is personal.
After taking your first handgun course, you will get to handle and shoot one or more guns part of your basic pistol course. Now go to the range and rent a few brands and models, full size, compacts and sub compacts. Stick with the known brands I mention above, don’t waste your time and money renting a Taurus or Hi-Point. There is no such thing as one gun fits all. You might have to own two when you start carrying.
- Buying When you made up your mind on one particular gun, next is to find the best price. Just about every city in the United States has gun shows at least 4 times a year. I recommend gun shows. Why? Because at gun show you can shop around. We consumers love competition.There might be 6 vendors that sell the same gun that you want, check them all and see who offers the lowest, Maybe even bargain with them.
Another option would be private sales. You’ll find a seller walking/standing outside the gun show or inside. Private sales are usually used guns. They are cheaper than buying brand new if money is an issue. Here is a good guide on how to buy a used gun. The seller needs to be a resident of your state.
Just make sure you get a bill of sale for the purchase, and that you get the person’s driver’s license number. A Concealed Carry permit will be preferred. Even you don’t have one, the seller might have a permit. Please check your state laws for full details regarding private sales, what I provided is a general outline.
And of course we got gun stores and online purchasing. Don’t get confuse by today’s news media and the current BS president that buying guns online don’t require background checks and guns don’t get deliver straight from the online gun store to your door steps. All legitimate online e-commerce gun stores are FFL (Federal Firearms License) dealers. You will have to pick your local FFL dealer when purchasing. When your gun arrives, your local FFL of your choice will call and tell you that your gun has arrived. You will drive over and require to pay a FFL transfer fee and they will run a background check. Once that’s clear you can take your gun home.
- Storing unused guns and preventing access to those who are not authorized such as kids and those with mental health issues.
- Know the federal and your state gun laws and join your state’s grassroots pro-gun organization. Learn all your state laws regarding the use, possession, carrying, discharging, and any other laws regarding firearms and self-defense. If you are planning on traveling to another state with your gun, study that state/s laws. Find your state pro-gun grassroots organization, become a member and be proactive. They can also answer many of your legal question since they have lawyers to refer to. In Virginia we have Virginia Citizens Defense League, Pennsylvanian is Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association, West VA is West VA Citizens Defense League, Arizona is Arizona Citizens Defense Leauge and in Florida is Florida Carry. Get active and involve with them, most gun laws are made by the state. We can influence this for a positive outcome. These local grassroots organization fight hard for our gun rights and put us where we are today. Because of them we have such rights. Last but not least, don’t forget to join the NRA.
- More training and practice. Once you got your first gun, don’t just let it sit collecting dust. Take some more course and get your concealed carry permit. Incorporate this useful tool in your life. Educate others. If you don’t shoot often then your skills will become rusty. And when the time comes that your life depends on it, you want to be efficient in getting the gun out and putting shots on the assailant as quickly as possible. Find a local gun club or range.
- Buy ammo before you start customizing your gun. Buy ammo while they are cheap, buy in bulk. Don’t wait for the panic to start. Use Gunbot.net and Ammoseek.com ammo search engines.
Notice I focus pretty much only on pistols as a first the gun and not rifles or shotguns. It’s my personal recommendation. This is because if you didn’t own any or no one in your household has a gun, that first gun will be your only one. Pistols are excellent to start with for numerous reasons. Not to mention you can efficiently maneuver in the tight space of your dwelling and concealed carry. Rifles are your next option due to their true stopping power, longer range, magazines hold more rounds and precision.