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Tips for Choosing Your First Firearm


Getting your first gun is an experience unlike any other, but it’s important to choose one that works for you.  There are a million and one different models, calibers and sizes out there, and none of them are created equally.  Let’s take a quick look at some factors to consider when you’re shopping around.  Remember, there’s no right or wrong answer, and you can always get a new gun later on, so don’t overthink your first purchase too much.

Always Buy New Guns

There’s nothing wrong with picking up a used weapon from a dealer or individual, and there are limitless opportunities to do so.  They can be a cheaper way to enhance your collection, but it’s more important to find one that’s in mint condition to start with.  Experience will tell you what to look for in a gun over time, and you can put that to good use in the future.  For now, stick with a gun that is brand new, comes with a warranty and has absolutely no defects whatsoever.   

You are going to have enough on your plate when it comes to getting used to the weapon as well as how to clean and maintain it properly.  Investing in a new weapon allows you to avoid a host of minor problems that more experienced gun owners are in a better position to rectify.  Spend the extra money to get something that you know works from the beginning, you’ll be glad you did later.

Quality Matters

You can choose to by a top of the line weapon that costs hundreds or thousands of dollars, or you can get a cheap one that isn’t worth the the packaging it comes with.  I’ve seen people get the cheapest gun they could possibly find only to have the weapon malfunction at the worst possible time.  Not only do malfunctioning guns pose a risk to you, but they definitely don’t do a lot of good when you are relying on it in a life or death situation.

Make sure that you have some familiarity with good gun manufacturers, ask other gun owners for some advice and work with a reputable dealer.  Their experience and opinion will be worth their weight in gold when it comes to helping you to make the right choice.  You want your first gun to be the best you can afford, and it needs to put up with a lot of abuse as you learn how to use and maintain the weapon.

Choose Common Calibers

There are a lot of different types of ammunition out there, and they come in all sorts of calibers from the common to the rare.  Consider the difference between walking into your local gun shop or Walmart and picking up a box of popular ammunition.  It will be cheaper and much easier to find than less popular alternatives.  You also want to choose a caliber that is appropriate for its purpose.  You know the expression bringing a knife to a gunfight?  You want a caliber that will get the job done when you are facing an attack or threat.  Common calibers are more familiar to people, and you can use that knowledge and experience to help you narrow your search.

Comfort is Essential

handgun

You can never underestimate the importance of how well the gun feels in your hand and how confident you feel when shooting.  Not every gun is a good fit for every shooter, and you really need to find one that is perfect for you.  Once you’ve narrowed down the caliber and learned about some good manufacturers and models, start to test different guns and see how they feel.  Are the triggers easy to pull?  Does it feel balanced in your hand?  How easy is it to draw, aim and fire in a second?

Think about these factors when shopping for your first gun, and you will end up avoiding making a lot of mistakes that first-time gun owners experience.  Finally, consider asking a more knowledgeable friend to go with you and help you to shop around.  Their advice and ability to talk to dealers or sellers can be worth its weight in gold as well.  Remember that you can always trade up, so don’t stress getting your first gun too much.  However, you also want to make the purchase as beneficial and reliable as possible.

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