One of the questions I get asked the most is, “What gun should I buy?” This is as open ended of a question as, “What shoes should I buy?” The response to each of them is always the same. What are you planning to use it/them for? What is your budget? And on and on. Let’s break down each of these follow up questions into greater detail.
What are you planning to use it for? This is probably one of the most important questions. If your intention is to use this gun for self defense, you are going to want to purchase one that, obviously, works well for this purpose. Just like there are many full size pistols out there, there are also numerous compacts and sub-compacts that are more conducive to concealment and comfort. Those options also come in numerous calibers. If you’re planning to get into competitive shooting, you’ll most likely want one of the full sized varieties or even one specifically designed for competitive shooting. Can you carry a full sized pistol, like a Glock 19 or a Sig Sauer P320? Sure you can. Thousands of people do. You just need to decide if that is right for you.
What is your budget? There are guns out there for literally $200 and some that are over $1200. Each of them have their pros and cons, but at the same time, there are plenty of good options at all price points. Kind of like wines; you can get fantastic wines for as low as 10 bucks, or you can easily drop $110 or more. I carried a 1985 S&W Model 669 for decades, a double stack compact. A few years ago I wanted to go smaller, but budget was an issue. I ended up picking up a brand new S&W M&P Shield 9mm that was on sale and had a rebate bringing it to under $200. A great pistol. Are there better? Sure there are, but this one fit the bill just fine until I was able to find room in my budget for a Glock 43; an exceptional choice in the sub-compact category. Again, it all boils down to what gun meets your criteria within the price point you can afford.
What can you afford to shoot? If your intention is to purchase a gun for self defense, being able to afford to shoot it weekly is essential. The 9mm has been the most affordable caliber to shoot for quite some time now. Get to know the costs of the various calibers available and factor that into your selection process.
In addition to the factors discussed above, the rest of the things you need to consider are pretty straight forward. Make sure you are buying from a reputable source. Buying a stolen gun, even if you don’t know its stolen, is a crime. Make sure you are buying a pistol made by a reputable manufacturer. There are a number of new manufacturers entering the marketplace. Do your research before going with one of them. Make sure the gun you are buying has a decent warranty. Seek knowledgable council before just jumping into a purchase. And, last but not least, make sure you test drive anything before you buy it. This is essential. I had my heart set on a Springfield 9mm XDs; a beautiful pistol in my opinion. I couldn’t wait to buy one. And then I had the opportunity to shoot one. I realized very quickly that I would have made a huge mistake if I were to have bought one. It just didn’t fit my hand well.
Take your time when making a firearm purchase. Do your homework. Following the guidance given here will ensure you make a wise, effective investment that will meet your needs for years to come.
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