Buying your first gun is a process that should not be taken lightly. Whether this is a right of passage into manhood buying your first hunting rifle or a handgun to protect your family, this is something that should be treated with care, caution and respect. While shooting sports can be a lot of fun, gun ownership is a serious role that you need to be prepared for and ready to execute safely. Although some people may think it's easy to find the right gun to own, it can require a lot of research to find the best fit for your needs. If you want to learn how to get started shopping around for the right firearm, there are a few important steps to take.
Know Why You Want A Gun
This is the first and most important step in the process of buying a gun. As a first time gun owner, you need to know why you want to buy a gun. That answer will help guide you through the rest of the process including what type of firearm you need, what type of ammo you will want to use, and ultimately a whole bunch of other questions.
This first question is also a filter where you might be forced to take a step back and decide that gun ownership isn't right for you at this time.
Here are some questions that you should ask before setting foot in a gun store.
How will I be using this gun?
How will I keep this weapon safe and are there considerations such as kids in the house that I might need to take into consideration for safely storing the gun?
What are the laws in my city or state regarding firearms ownership?
Am I prepared to seek proper training to ensure that I am a safe firearms owner who can use his gun properly?
Is this gun purchase because the gun is "cool" or will it be a tool used for hunting, personal defense, collecting, or something else?
Am I ready for the responsibility of owning a gun, or does it make financial sense as well as other reasons to rent one at the range until I am more comfortable operating a firearm?
While there is no wrong answer here, some reasons might triggers that make you consider postponing your choice to buy your first gun. I am a strong supporter of responsible gun ownership and I enjoy shooting. However, for me personally, I'm not prepared to own my own gun, though I have considered it many times. This is especially true for when I go offroading and I am far from help should something go wrong.
Here are some things you should consider if the answer is yes, you are ready to buy your first gun.
Smaller Isn't Always the Best Option
It can be easy to assume that purchasing a smaller handgun is the best option when you want a concealed-carry pistol, especially if you need something easy to handle as a beginner. Unfortunately, small pistols are hard to handle for first-time gun owners and may not be easy to shoot if you lack experience. They can be hard to hold and control, especially if you have larger hands. They can also be harder to shoot when you use them consistently, which can make them difficult to use when you want to practice.
Consider a larger gun in the same caliber to ensure you still get enough power but can have more accuracy with your shots. If the gun is easier to control, you'll have more confidence in using it in an emergency.
Visit the Right Store
Although there are many types of gun stores available, not all are equal. Look for an establishment owned and managed by someone who has grown up around guns and has a passion for them, which will allow you to learn more during your visit. Consider reading online reviews to ensure you visit a location that is recommended by other gun-enthusiasts. You don't want to visit a location where the staff doesn't have a lot of knowledge or experience handling guns.
Make it a point to ask the individual about their experience with firearms. You also shouldn't feel pressured to buy a gun during your visit. Take your time asking questions and learning until you feel confident making your selection.
Conduct Enough Research
Doing your homework is key to knowing what gun is the best option to purchase. Consider visiting a local gun store that has been in the area for several years and has a selection of options available. The best gun stores will take the time to answer your questions and will have your best interest in mind.
Communicate what you plan to use the gun for, whether you want to use it for self-defense or as a hobby. You also want to communicate if you plan to carry the gun to ensure it's easy to fit on your waist. As a first-time buyer, don't be afraid to ask the wrong questions. Discussing what you seek will allow the salesperson to give you a few options and find something that fits well in your hand and is the right weight.
Practice holding the firearm in your hand to get a feel for it. You should be able to comfortably reach the trigger with your index finger without stretching your hand too much.
Understand That Opinions Aren't Rules
When you're getting advice and learning from other gun-enthusiasts, keep in mind that their opinions aren't necessarily rules. Each person has an opinion when it comes to their favorite type of gun to use or what the best model is to carry. If you're looking to purchase your first gun, it can feel like any selection that you make will be wrong.
Although you may hear what type of brand is the best from different people, what really matters is how comfortable the gun feels in your hand. You should be able to fire it comfortably when pulling it out of the concealed area. The main priority is that you feel confident using it and it feels comfortable to carry.
Practice Shooting Before Making a Purchase Decision
Before you choose to buy a gun, you'll need to spend a lot of time at the shooting range to get enough practice and develop your skills. Don't be afraid to purchase a membership at a local range before you officially become a gun owner. The more time you take to practice shooting guns, the more you'll learn what type of guns you prefer. Make it a point to handle different types of guns and take note of what you like about each option. Becoming more familiar with the different guns available can allow you to narrow down your top choices.
Knowing the right tips to follow when you're preparing to buy your first gun is crucial to making the right selection to ensure you can use the firearm long-term. Not only will it come in handy for self-defense, but you can own something that offers peace of mind for the safety of your home and family.