Americans own roughly 434 million firearms and there are thousands of types and brands on the market. Choosing which one is best for you can feel a bit like finding a needle in a haystack. Making the right gun purchase doesn’t have to be a formidable task.
Before you walk into any gun shop to make a purchase, there are a few things you should research and think about. These gun purchasing tips will help make the process of choosing a gun much easier.
There are thousands of firearms on the market and the one that is right for you will depend primarily on how you plan to use it. For home or self-defense, you’ll want something that is compact, so a pistol or revolver would work well. If you’re a hunter, a rifle or shotgun will most likely suit your needs best.
At this stage in the process, it’s important to take your time and really think about how you plan to use your gun. In many cases, new gun owners make a snap decision while in the gun shop and end up with buyer’s remorse.
If you’re researching what you need to know when choosing a gun, odds are this is your very first firearm purchase. That doesn’t have to mean you’ve never fired a gun, but how skilled you are when handling a firearm and how much experience you’ve had will play a part in deciding what gun to purchase.
Apart from actually firing the weapon, where this will become apparent is how much maintenance is required to keep the gun in working order. All guns will require some level of upkeep to ensure it fires properly. Some guns just require more care than others.
Knowing how easily a gun can come apart for cleaning and be reassembled will save you an unexpected headache down the road.
Also, the grip size is an important factor if you’re just learning to shoot. For instance, a full-size handgun is much easier to grip if you’re not an experienced marksman.
Once you’ve decided how you intend to use your firearm, you’ll need to determine how much you can afford to spend.
Buying the gun itself isn’t the only cost you’ll need to consider. Safety is paramount when owning a firearm so you will possibly need training to learn how to properly use and maintain your gun.
Aside from training, you will also need to consider what permits you will need to use and transport your gun. Whether hunting or for home protection, there may be specific permits you’ll need to obtain from your county or state so you’ll need to factor in those costs.
Safe storage is also a cost you will need to add to your budget. Keeping your weapon secured when not in use is essential for any responsible gun owner. Storage doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but you definitely need to account for this expense.
Other accessories like holsters, ammunition, and cleaning supplies will also add to the cost of purchasing a gun, so take a look at everything you will need when coming up with your budget.
What’s in a Name?
Even if you’ve decided that you don’t have an enormous amount to spend on a gun, that doesn’t mean you have to settle for an inferior gun. While you do get what you pay for, the most expensive guns aren’t always the absolute best.
Tried and true brands have been around for a long time and purchasing a gun made by a well-known manufacturer can take a lot of the stress out of buying your very first gun.
Reliable brands that have been in the industry for a long time like Glock and Smith and Wesson really know the ins and outs of making a superior weapon. Knowing that your gun has been made by a high-quality manufacturer will give you peace of mind.
Try It First
If at all possible, it’s a good idea to try out the type of gun you’re looking to purchase before you actually buy. Local firing ranges and gun clubs should be able to help you out with this. You can read all day long about grip texture and trigger construction, but that won’t mean a lot until you’ve actually held the gun in your hand.
In some cases, the type of gun you thought would work best for you ends up not being a perfect fit. It’s a good idea to get the feel of how the gun sits in your grip and how it feels to fire.
Also, spending time in gun clubs and firing ranges gives you time to talk to experienced gun owners about what has worked best for them and what has not worked so well.
Where to Buy?
There are many options when it comes to finally make your purchase. While big-box stores may seem like a good choice, you’ll get far more one-on-one assistance from a specialized gun shop or gun club. Not only will the gun selection likely be broader, but the knowledge of the staff will also be exactly what you need when taking that important step.
It is also important to know the gun laws in your state before you try buying a gun. If you’re looking to purchase a gun for concealed carry, you’ll need to know if that is legal in your state. Knowing all the policies before you attempt to purchase will help manage expectations about the process and possibly keep you from getting into trouble by unintentionally breaking these laws.
Making a Gun Purchase
Buying a gun can be an exciting endeavor. Once you’ve done a bit of research based on how you plan to use your gun and how much money you’re able to spend, you’re well on your way to making a gun purchase you can be happy about.
Being a part of a gun club can help you make a purchase that perfectly suits your needs. With a club, you can also get training, take part in competitions, and practice your aim with a firing range. Join a club and let the community walk you through this process.