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Choosing A Handgun

The decision to buy a handgun is not one to be taken lightly, especially if it is your first handgun. Not all handguns are created equal and not all handguns are created for the same purpose.

First thing we need to figure out is what is the primary reason for purchasing the handgun?

  1. Personal defense?
  2. Combat shooting?
  3. Plinking at the range?
  4. Hunting?

Of course many of the handguns available can be used for more than one purpose. In some cases the handguns made for hunting work well for home protection in other cases they do not. Most handguns designed for combat shooting can easily double as a personal defense weapon and let’s face it, most any gun can be used for plinking.

Automatic or Revolver

There are pros and cons to both automatic and revolver style pistols. Automatics offer a larger capacity of rounds and a higher rate of fire while a revolver offers simplicity and reliability. The biggest pro on the revolver is you could stick it in a drawer, pull it out 50 years later and nine times out ten it will fire every time you pull the trigger. On the other hand with the automatic there is a good chance that that over the years the magazine spring will collapse and you would only get the first round off. When it comes to putting a wall of lead up there is no other choice but an automatic. With the availability of high capacity magazines now days you can easily have 20 or more rounds loaded and ready to go.

Proper Fit

No matter what you are buying a handgun for, you want to make sure it fits your hand properly. Without the proper fit you could possibly injure you hand or hinder you from getting on target when you could need it most.

When you hold the gun your hand and forearm should be straight and your trigger finger should comfortably engage the trigger. You should be able to draw a straight line down the barrel of the gun that will follow all the way down the center of your forearm. If you are looking at an automatic pistol make sure you can actuate the slide all of the way back without hitting your hand.

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If you have already found the gun that fits your hand properly ask what caliber that model is available in. When it comes to what caliber there are many different choices. The most common are 9mm, .40 and .45. Most gun manufacturers offer a lot more choices than just those three in multiple models

Before choosing what caliber handgun you get, it is a good idea to see what calibers you are capable of handling. Most ranges offer guns for rental to help you in this area. Test yourself on what the highest caliber is that you can handle. Check with your range to see if they rent the exact gun you are considering buying and what calibers they stock.

After Your Purchase

Once you purchase your handgun it is a must to spend range time getting you and your gun tuned into each other. A well placed shot with a .32 is more effective than a not so well placed shot from a .45. When you can make every shot count you have a much better chance of coming out on top if your life ever depends on it.

If you are new to shooting many ranges offer classes to teach you all you need to know about handling any firearm. It is of utmost importance that anyone that picks up a firearm handles it properly and safely.


Happy shooting, God bless America and God bless you and yours


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