There are various handgun options available to give you personal protection and peace of mind, when on the road or at home. However, if you’re new to the handgun purchase process, the options can be a little overwhelming.
The first step to take is to determine what the firearm will be used for: concealed carry or at-home protection. If the weapon is for concealed-carry, it would be wise to look for something on the smaller and lighter side so it doesn’t become cumbersome for travel. For at-home protection, a larger, heavier option would work since it will likely be stored.
From there, you’ll need to look at whether a revolver or semi-automatic handgun would work best. A semi-automatic -also known as self-loaders – utilizes the pressure release from a fired round to load the next. Also with a semi-automatic, you’ll get a load size of anywhere from six to 20 cartridges, however this type can be a bit more complicated to operate than a revolver, so additional training might be required. Revolvers, conversely, have a round, spinning cylinder that is released to the side of the firearm, where the rounds are loaded. Most revolvers have a standard capacity of five or six rounds.
Once the firearm type has been selected, the very important choice of caliber comes into play. Caliber is the size of cartridge the handgun will fire, and with that comes also the amount of recoil – or kickback – the gun will produce. This choice should come with a discussion with your firearm salesman, as they’ll be able to provide guidance on this based on your size, strength and experience.
After finding what you think is the best handgun, the decisive step is to test it at a firing range. This can be a very exciting part of the process, but safety is paramount and priority. If the buyer is new to firearms, a basic handgun training course will help provide some initial information. From there, examining the weapon and how it fits the user is key. Checking where the trigger finger sets on the trigger, location of the safety, and if it fires reliably are all factors to consider when testing. Consult an expert if you have any questions or concerns about the firearm.
By answering some decisions, like purpose, firearm type and caliber, new firearm users can successfully – and most important, safely – purchase the best firearm. With so many options and types available, research is your best friend, so choose wisely!
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