For many first time firearm buyers, buying a gun can be an overwhelming experience – one that can often cause people to make the wrong decision.
I receive a lot of emails from readers asking different questions about firearms. The questions I’m asked most often are:
- What’s the best gun I can buy?
- What caliber should I buy?
- What’s the best gun for survival?
- What’s the best gun for self-defense?
The simple answer to those questions is there is no best gun or best caliber. Anyone who tries to tell you something different is likely just trying to make a sale.
Why are you buying the gun?
Sounds like a silly question, right? You might be thinking to yourself, “the same reason everyone buys a gun”, or “does it really matter?” Yes it matters, and there are hundreds of reasons why someone might buy one.
The most important consideration when buying a gun is knowing why you’re buying it. It may sound simple, but this is actually an important consideration.
- Are you buying it for self defense? If so, is it for home defense or something you’re going to carry everywhere? And then that brings up the question of conceal carry, or open carry.
- Is the gun for hunting? If it is, what are you hunting?
- Is it for target shooting? If it is, what kind of targets will you be shooting?
Do your own research.
When it comes to buying a firearm you really need to do some research. The decision should never be taken lightly; the more you know the better off you’ll be in the long run from a safety and accuracy perspective.
- Take time to learn about firearms, their parts, and how they work.
- Take a class. Many guns stores or gun ranges offer training classes; this is something you should take before buying your first gun.
- Find a gun store that has a range. A lot of gun stores now have gun ranges where you can fire different firearms to see which one feels right to you.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
There is no dumb question when it comes to buying a firearm; reason being, is your purchasing something that might be used to protect your life; and if you don’t know how to use it correctly, it can also take your life. If you don’t understand how something works or have questions about a specific feature, ask!
- Make sure you know which ammo works best in your firearm. All ammo is not created equal. For example, a small conceal carry 9mm firearm may not except a high grain round, and putting one in your gun can cause big problems. Ask about ammo!
- If you’re not comfortable with the store, or the sales associates are not willing to take the time to answer your questions, find another store.
- If a gun store recommends a certain firearm, your first question should be why. Why are they recommending that specific firearm, and why do they believe that gun is right for you?
Be wary of online reviews.
You need to be careful about reviews that you find online; even reviews that you find at this site. Listen, just because I like a gun, doesn’t mean it will be the right one for you. While reviews can be helpful – especially in helping you keep away from bad products – the truth is I’ve shot guns that people I really trust love; but in my hands that same gun that they loved just felt wrong.
Don’t be cheap.
I love saving money just as much as the next guy, but when it comes to the firearms industry you really do get what you pay for. It’s fine to have a budget, and once you’ve found the right gun, by all means search around for deals. But don’t ever go into a gun store asking, “what’s the cheapest gun you have”, because I can almost guarantee you’re going to walk out with something that isn’t right for you.
Learn the ins and outs or firearm safety.
I highly suggest you take the time to read our article on firearm safety. As firearms owners, we bear a responsibility that needs to be taken seriously; it’s literally a matter of life and death.
If you decide to skip our article on gun safety at least remember this one rule, THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS AN UNLOADED GUN: Drill that saying into your head, because it’s probably the most important safety advice that you’ll ever receive. Every firearm you touch should always be considered a loaded weapon; therefore, it needs to be given the respect due a loaded gun.