Shopping for your first handgun can be overwhelming. After all, there are hundreds of choices and different variables to consider. We’ve rounded up some tips to carry with you as you begin the process of looking for your first gun and determining which type of gun is right for you.
Gun experts say that you should look for the following criteria in your first hand-gun:
- Has some type of safety feature
- Known for accuracy
- Easy to clean
- Available in 9mm
Step 1: Determine your reason for wanting a handgun
Gun experts across the board agree that the first step in choosing a handgun is determining its purpose. Some common reasons for wanting to own a handgun are:
- Being able to practice shooting at the range for fun/ to build skill.
- Carry your gun, either open or concealed, for self-defense
- Home protection
While one gun could technically serve you in all of these scenarios in an emergency, handguns are not one size fits all. Just like you wouldn’t purchase a pair of shoes expecting to wear them to formal events, the gym, or casual scenarios, you shouldn't buy a handgun and expect it to serve you perfectly in all of the above scenarios. Some handguns are a breeze to shoot at the range, but a pain in the neck to carry, and vice versa. Before you start shopping, determine the one main reason that you would like to own a handgun, and narrow down your choices accordingly.
Step 2: Research your options
Now that you know what purpose you want your handgun to serve, it’s time to narrow down your choices. The two most common types of handguns for first-time owners are the pistol and revolver. Both of these models have their pros & cons, and which of the two is the best, has sparked considerable debate amongst gun enthusiasts for decades.
Generally, pistols have a steeper learning curve while revolvers are more straightforward to use. Pistols also hold more ammo than revolvers. The usefulness of either handgun dramatically depends on your purpose for the gun.
- If you want a handgun for home defense
Many first-time gun owners purchase their firearm to have protection during that dreaded “what if” moment. What if an armed intruder breaks into your home? Are you prepared to protect your family? A handgun for home protection will rarely be used, hopefully, but will provide immense peace of mind for you and your family. So which gun is up to the task?
For first-time handgun owners, we recommend a revolver. A revolver is a solid and reliable handgun for home protection, because they are simple to operate and easy to load, which is especially helpful in stressful situations. If you are a handgun owner with less operating experience, then a revolver is a great option for you. Revolvers are also typically more weighty, giving the user more confidence in their gun. The main con of a revolver is that it usually holds about six bullets, half that of a semi-automatic pistol. Once you build confidence in your skills as a handgun owner, you can graduate to a pistol, but a revolver is a more than adequate start.
- If you want a handgun for self-defense (open or concealed carry)
For comfortability and sleekness alone, a semi-automatic pistol is a resounding win. Due to the thinness of a pistol, they are easier to conceal or carry more comfortably in a holster, for open carry.
Revolvers are still great handguns, but due to their round cylinders, they are uncomfortable to carry and awkward to conceal.
Step 3: Get to the range
Before purchasing a handgun, we recommend going to a shooting range and testing out the different types of handguns you are interested in. A gun might sound perfect to you on paper, but be a horrible fit for you in real life. Going to the range allows you to physically hold the gun, shoot it, and practice loading, all in a safe and stress-free environment.
Some things to consider when are shooting at a range is grip comfortability, ease of operation, and recoil.
Step 4: Teach Your Family About Gun Safety & Store Properly
When bringing a firearm into your home, educating those living in the house with you on gun safety should be a top priority, especially if there are children in your home. Create hard and fast rules right away, make a plan, never leave your gun unattended, and make sure that you are following safe storage best practices.
For first-time handgun owners, using concealment furniture is a great option. Concealment furniture can keep your gun hidden in plain sight, so you have protection readily available when you need it most.
If you have any questions about concealment options for handguns, contact Liberty Home Concealment.