Buying your first firearm is a big step for some folks, namely for those new to guns in general. Some of these folks are finding themselves changing their opinion on guns, and so it can be a very tough thing to do. This blog post is aimed at those folks. For people raised around guns, this will be a bunch of stuff you likely already know.
For people just getting into guns, walking into that gun store to make your first purchase can be intimidating. The huge selection of guns, the different types of guns, the brands, the calibers, then throw in the scary propaganda that has been spread relentlessly by the mainstream media. It can be overwhelming, especially if you are unsure about what you want. Thankfully most of the people I have run into in gun stores over the last several years are there to help. The old school gun store employees, the type that look down on people for having questions, have gone the way of the dinosaur. Hopefully you won’t run into one of them, but if you do, leave and try another store.
A good gun store employee is there to help you make the right decision, the right decision for you that is, and should be willing to answer your questions. They should offer advice, but not be pushy. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Bear in mind though, in addition to buying the gun, a new buyer should be aware that the gun is not the only thing you are going to need to spend money on. The gun is only the first part of the big picture.
What Kind Of Gun To Buy
So, you are ready to take your first step into the role of “gun owner,” but where to start? The first thing you need to decide on is for what purpose you are buying the gun. Are you looking for a gun to take to the range just to plink with? Are you looking for a concealed carry gun? Are you looking for a gun for home defense? Or are you looking for one gun to fit all those roles?
Like any other type of product made today (cars, bicycles, appliances, computers, etc), guns will have some aspects they are better at than others.
Micro-compact handguns are phenomenal for concealed carry, but they are less adept at home defense and many are not the most fun to shoot at the range. On the opposite end of the spectrum, some high end race guns are an absolute blast at the range, offering little recoil and very high capacity, but they are not remotely well suited for concealed carry. In terms of home defense guns, some will swear by a shotgun, but many including myself prefer a short barreled AR-15. Both of these are also fun at the range, but are hardly concealable (absent special clothing).
Then there are some guns that can do a little bit of everything, some things well, some not as well, but well enough to be acceptable. So if all three of the categories are important to you, this is probably where you want to focus.
How Much To Spend
I don’t know about you, but my life is worth more than $200. I would NEVER trust a brand new gun that only cost $200 to save my life. Could it, yes, but it could just as easily cost me my life.
If you are buying a gun for self or home defense, please do yourself a huge favor and buy a good quality firearm. Yes, there are some guns out there that are very affordable (cheap), but many of those cheap guns are cheap for a reason - lower quality components and cheaper manufacturing processes used. I don’t know about you, but my life is worth more than $200.
There are plenty of good guns out there, ones I would trust with my life, that cost only a little more. Remember, there are used guns too, and a used Glock is 100 times better than a brand new pile of junk.
In part 2, I will discuss the various categories, including pros and cons for each.