First Time Gun Buyer? 4 Tips On Choosing The Right Gun

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Man looking on handguns on showcase in gun shop. Euqipment for hunters on stand in weapon store, hunting and sport shooting hobby

Choosing a gun is no easy feat. If you are new to the world of firearms, then it can be very confusing since there are so many different kinds.

Factors such as, what you’ll use the gun for, what your body type is as well as your age and if you are going to be using concealed carry all weigh in on the decision-making process.

Of course, when you go to a gun store like Shoot Point Blank, the salesperson there will be more than willing to help you. But you should go armed with some information before you go so you know what questions to ask so you end up with exactly the right gun for you and your needs.

In this article, I will give you a brief buyer’s guide on how to choose your first firearm to get you started.

1 – Know what the gun is for

There are a lot of different reasons for wanting a gun and a gun for every one of those reasons. Will it be for self-defense? Do you need to protect your house? Or, are you looking for something fun to bring to the shooting range?

All of these activities or uses will need a specific set of criteria that the gun in question should have. For instance, if it is for self-defense and you plan to conceal carry then that gun will be different than one you plan to keep at home to defend your house and family.

There is also going to be a difference in whether you want to use a handgun or long gun for the purpose of protecting your home.

The key factor in choosing a gun based on how you will use it is the caliber. This is how big the destructive power of the bullet is to the target. So, now you can see that if you are looking to do some target practice at your local range, then a low caliber is more than enough for the job. Of course, you won’t get the heavy recoil and thrill of using a serious weapon. But when you are shooting paper targets and like hitting bull’s eyes, then you can get away with a low caliber gun.

If you are looking at personal defense and want to stop a target cold, then a higher caliber is needed. 9mm is considered the minimum for a self-defense firearm.

Hunting is another caliber altogether as you are talking about rifles to get the job done. And also how long the range is that will be needed to effectively take down your target. Though, there are people who do hunt with pistols where it is legally allowed. A .45 caliber firearm is as low as you would go for this purpose.

2 – Your experience level

If you are an absolute beginner then ease of use of the gun is essential. To be an effective firearm for you, it needs to be comfortable. It shouldn’t be too heavy and the recoil shouldn’t be too strong.

Of course, any gun has the potential to be uncomfortable when you are first firing it. It takes time and patience to get to the point of it being actually comfortable to use.

There are different frame types with the different types of guns. Each type is going to feel different and factor into how comfortable it is to use. The types are full frame, compact, and subcompact with full frame being the most common and is recommended for people new to firearms.

Though you may feel like a compact gun is good for beginners because it is small, that might not be the case. They are small so they can be concealed but the size makes them harder to handle and gives off a big recoil as a result.

A full frame gun gives you the ability to use a firm grip with both hands for more control. When you are aiming, you will have easier to see sights for a more accurate shot as well.

3 – Accessories

Whichever gun you decide to buy, there are accessories available to make it easier to use.

For instance, you can have a tactical light that attaches to the gun. If you are afraid of somebody breaking into your house at night, then this is good to have as you may not have time to turn on a light. And when you can see what is coming it avoids a missed shot, or, even shooting at somebody who shouldn’t be an intended target like a family member that is fleeing an intruder.

You can also add to the ability to work your gun better in the dark by adding night sights. Typically, night sights are mounted to the end of an AR 15 handguard. If you are outside in the dark and want to accurately see your target then these night sights will help you line up your sights so you know you are aiming straight ahead.

Here are the other gun accessories you might want to have to promote seamless gun use and safety:

  • Rubber Grips

Rubber grips will give you a firm hold on your gun so you aren’t likely to drop it or misfire due to a poor grip. If your hands are sweaty this can help you quite a bit. However, you do lose a bit of movement with the rubber grips as changing your hold on the gun is more difficult to adjust on the fly.

  • 80% Lower Receiver

For those who like to build their own firearm, they need to source the right gun materials and accessories, such as an 80 lower receiver to build a pistol or black rifle from scratch. An 80% lower refers to an unfinished firearm without a serial number. Users cannot operate this firearm without additional fabrication. It can’t accept a hammer, trigger, or safety, making it impossible to fire it.

  • Gun Holster

Gun owners can benefit from using a holster to hold and restrict a gun’s undesired movement for safety. A gun holster is usually attached to a waistband, belt, or other body parts, like the ankle for an ankle holster, wherein the owner can easily withdraw the gun as needed for immediate use.

When choosing a gun holster, it’s important to consider the retention system. Many gun holsters rely on friction to hold them in place, such as concealed carry holsters. On the other hand, traditional military holsters come with a flap to cover the weapon’s base and keep it secure, protecting the gun from dust, mud, and rain and preventing it from falling out.

4 – Get lots of practice

The best way to find the right gun is to head to your local shooting range and try a variety of guns to see which one feels the most comfortable for you to handle. There is a lot of information out there that makes it difficult to decide and you won’t really know how much gun you can handle until you actually fire it.

Many ranges have open houses for people to go by and see what they are all about and there is always somebody there to talk to that could help you understand what it is that you need.