Buying your first gun is a lot like buying your first car. It’s exciting and there are a plethora of options to choose from that can make a decision difficult.
And just like there are a multitude of factors that influence what kind of a car you end up getting, from your intended purpose to the extra accessories you’ll need to go with it and so on.
If you’re currently strongly contemplating buying your first gun and are close to pulling the trigger (pun intended), then this article is for you.
Why Are You Buying a Gun?
This is the first question you should have asked yourself if you haven’t already. There are many reasons for someone to buy their first gun, including:
- Personal Protection
- Concealed Carry
- Home Defense
- Big Game Hunting
- Small Game Hunting
- Bird Hunting
- Clay Pigeon Shooting
- Starting a Collection
Your intended purpose for buying a gun should be the number one factor regarding the specific type you choose to get.
For example, you may want to get a gun that can serve the dual roles of concealed carry and home defense, in which case a handgun is an obvious choice for a shotgun or a rifle.
But then you need to narrow your focus down further.
Since you’re purchasing a handgun for concealed carry, you’ll need to make sure it’s a gun that’s compact enough to easily conceal on your person.
Related: Concealed Carry
But since you also expect this gun to serve the rule of home defense in this example, it may also be of value to you to get a gun that’s also not so small to the point that it’s difficult to shoot or has low capacity.
A compact pistol that’s still large enough to control would likely be the best choice in this example.
The point of this example is that simply asking yourself your intended purpose for buying a gun is what will help you narrow down your focus more.
If your mindset currently is “I just want to buy a gun because it sounds cool” then you’re a ways off from making your first official purchase.
There are a multitude of people who have not been taught proper firearm safety before buying a gun.
It’s not the gun itself that’s dangerous, but rather how it’s wielded. Accidents can easily happen without proper training and understanding of firearms safety measures.
Here are the golden rules of firearms safety that you should follow at all times:
- Always check to confirm if a firearm is unloaded when you pick it up
- Always act as if a gun is loaded even if it is unloaded
- Always point the firearm in a safe direction (i.e. not at anybody else)
- Always keep your finger off the trigger until you intend to fire the weapon
- Always practice situational awareness and be fully aware of your surroundings when handling a firearm
- Know what your target is, what is in front of the target, and what is behind the target
- Don’t shoot your gun into the air (the bullets will eventually fall back down because of gravity, in which case you’ve violated the above rule)
- Always keep the safety engaged until you are ready to fire (if this is applicable to the gun you have)
Memorize the above tips and always follow them when handling a firearm. Eventually, it will become a habit.
Laws and Regulations
Firearms are regulated to some degree in most regions of the world and it’s important to know each of the laws and regulations that pertain to firearms handling and ownership before you purchase.
Depending on where you live in the world, there may be special laws regarding the concealed carry of firearms, how they should be stored in the house, how they should be transported in a vehicle, and so on.
It would be smart to take a firearms training class if there are any in your area. Your class should teach you firearms safety as we discussed above as well as any relevant laws.
Try Before You Buy
Do your research to see if there are any local gun ranges that will allow you to rent and shoot firearms. You won’t be able to take the firearm back home to try out, but you will be able to handle and shoot them at their range.
This will also be a good opportunity to receive professional advice in person in regard to which type of firearm you should buy.
At the very least, you should physically handle the gun you’re considering buying before you actually buy it.
Even if you end up ordering a gun online, you should still go into a local sporting goods store to see if they have the make and model you’re considering so you can see if it feels right in your hands.
Invest in Accessories
Many people make the mistake of buying a gun without thinking about the extra accessories and items that they’ll need to go with it.
When you buy a gun you’ll need to also invest in the following accessories and budget yourself accordingly:
- Holster (for a handgun)
- Case (for a shotgun or a rifle)
- Hearing Protection
- Shooting Glasses
- Range Bag
- Gun Safe or Storage Cabinet (if required by law)
Make sure you invest in high-quality models of the above accessories.
For example, don’t spend a lot of money on a handgun only to go cheap on a holster, and make sure that any ammunition you purchase is high quality and designed for your weapon as well.
Buying a gun is like buying a car in many ways. When buying a car, you need to think about your intended use for the car, learn proper vehicle safety, follow applicable laws, test drive the car when you buy and invest in high-quality accessories for the vehicle as well.
As you can see, the methodology you’ll need to follow for buying your first gun isn’t all that different.
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