Did you know about 46% of worldwide civilian held firearms belong to US citizens? That’s a lot of firepower in one place!
If you’re looking to buy a gun, then congratulations. With great power comes responsibility, so you’ll want to have a gun that fits your needs, and the knowledge to back that up.
That’s why we’ve come up with a few tips you can use on how to choose a gun. We have almost everything you need to consider when choosing, as well as the best gun for beginners.
Remember, be careful, stay safe, and use your weapon wisely. Keep on reading and find out how to choose the right gun to fit you.
What’s Your Gun For?
When deciding how to choose a gun, you probably have a specific goal in mind. This is one of the biggest deciding factors as all guns have a certain purpose.
Whether for fun or sport at a shooting range, self-defense in your home, or for hunting, you have to have a clear purpose. If it’s a combination of reasons, you’ll want something that accommodates all of them.
Knowing your intended use easily narrows down your choices. If you aren’t sure, research the common kinds of guns and their specific use. That way, when you walk into the gun store, you know what to look for or expect.
How Much Experience Do You Have?
Another important deciding factor when choosing which gun to buy is your level of experience. If it’s your first time owning a gun, you’ll want something simple and relatively easy to use. Choose something you’re comfortable with so to level up your learning.
This isn’t simply for accuracy but also for gun safety.
Owning a gun is a huge responsibility so make sure that before buying one you’ve done all your research. Not only with what kind of gun to get but the safety precautions and measures that come along with it.
If it’s your first gun, choose something easy to control and with minimal recoil. Practice makes perfect for any gun, but first, remember to take it easy.
If you do have some experience with owning a gun then you should know what you can and can’t handle. You should know what range of guns you can comfortably use. This way when you buy a new gun it isn’t too unfamiliar, and you can get used to it easily.
Which Type Of Gun?
The most common kinds of guns owned in the US are handguns, shotguns, and rifles. As mentioned, they differ based on use. Handguns and shotguns are mostly for self-defense and rifles are hunting.
If you’ve been following along then you should already have a purpose in mind. The next step is to choose which type of gun you want.
Handguns are either the semi-automatic or the revolver type of handgun. These are the most popular ones used for self-defense and are widely relied on. They are often cheaper and easier to find available when compared to shotguns and rifles.
A semi-automatic has a faster fire rate, self-loads, has a greater cartridge capacity, and is easily concealable. Compared to a revolver, however, they are much more complex to handle and use.
You’ll need a good amount of practice before buying a semi-automatic. The rapid-fire option can prove dangerous, especially for people not accustomed to
A revolver on the other hand is very beginner-friendly and much more reliable. The revolver also has a wider range when it comes to the power level for ammunition compared to a semi-auto.
We classify shotguns into the break action, the pump action, and the semi-automatic. The break-action shotgun is either single or double-barreled and is the simplest to use. While they’re the simplest type to use, reloading them is also limited and time-consuming.
A pump-action (or slide action) holds more rounds compared to the first type. These types of shotguns are very reliable and a popular choice, although you can only fire as fast as you can “pump.”
The last type, semi-automatic, is once again the more complex type. It does however have less recoil and fires round faster. But because it’s more complicated, it’s more prone to jamming and needs more maintenance.
Choosing from each type all depends on your need and level of expertise with the guns. For beginners, you’ll want to go for the first options mentioned for each kind.
The rifle is most commonly used when going hunting and is much more advanced compared to the first two mentioned. It’s designed to fire from the shoulder to help and steady recoil when firing.
With rifles, there are the bolt action, lever action, and semi-automatic types that are most used. The bolt action and lever action are similar in terms of having to manually load in the new cartridges. Both are easier to use compared to the semi-automatic but take more time when firing each shot.
Rifles are the biggest and most powerful guns most people own and carry. They’re formidable equipment and require more maintenance, more care when handling, and a lot more training to use. However, if you qualify for them they can prove to become the most reliable guns in your repertoire.
The next thing you’ll want to factor in is the caliber of your gun. The caliber is the cartridge fired from the gun and it determines the level of recoil and the effectiveness of the gun. For handguns, the most recommended calibers are the 9mm vs 45 ACP.
The .9mm offers greater capacity and has less recoil. It also has more velocity, making breaking through barriers easier compared to the .45 ACP which fires a larger projectile.
For rifles, the most popular one used is the .22 long rifle. Shotguns meanwhile use the 12 gauge or the 20 gauge. Choosing a caliber is all dependent on what you’re looking for your gun to do.
Whether you want it to pierce through a target or offer less recoil; know the amount of power you want, especially if you’re using the gun for defense. This helps determine the best gun to buy for you.
How Comfortable Is It?
Remember that hand sizes vary and therefore not every gun fits the same way. Depending on the size of your hand you may want something with a recessed magazine or a certain pistol grip. All of this factors into how stable the gun is and how confident you can shoot it
It’s important to ask yourself questions such as: can you hold the gun without losing control? Can you easily eject the magazine or reach the magazine without difficulty? Does your support affect your aim or how well you shoot?
All the questions above help you determine whether you’re holding the right gun for you. Along with making it more comfortable to use, it also helps you shoot more effectively.
Yes, firepower also matters. Are you comfortable with a weaker gun but it’s easier and more comfortable to carry with you? Do you prefer a more powerful gun but you need to store it high in your closet or in a heavy case, locked underneath your bed?
Not sure how comfortable you are with certain guns? Take the time to go to the shooting range and try out different options. With the right trainer and some experience shooting, you’ll easily discover which ones click the most with your style and preferences.
Ease Of Maintenance
As discussed, each gun has a level of maintenance that you need to keep up with. Maintaining your gun prevents it from becoming ineffective or jamming when you need it the most. You should know that certain guns need to follow a certain routine to keep it at peak performance.
A well-cleaned, lubricated gun performs way better than one that isn’t. If you don’t have too much time, you’ll want something that’s low maintenance. For example, handguns are easier to maintain compared to shotguns or rifles. With rifles, you’ll need to use a gun bluing kit and get specific gun oil in order to keep your gun clean and rust-free.
Remember that you should buy a gun you regularly clean. It’s always better if you know the gun parts inside and out. If you know how to assemble pistols, it’s better to buy a pistol instead of trying to readjust to a long gun or a rifle.
Now You Know How to Choose a Gun
Use this article as a guide to finding the best gun that suits you.
We hope that after reading this article, you have a better understanding of how to choose a gun and what goes into that choice. It may not seem that important if you’re content with something to store in case of emergencies. But even then, the kind of gun you have has a big impact on how effective and easy it is to use for you.
Don’t stop learning here! If you enjoyed this article and want more gun guides or other general tips and tricks, don’t hesitate to check out the rest of our posts today!