Tips for Buying your First Gun

by Rob Richardson, Off Grid Survival

For many first time firearm buyers, buying a gun can be an overwhelming experience – one that can often cause people to make the wrong decision.

looking at handguns during the SHOT Show

I receive a lot of emails from readers asking different questions about firearms. The questions I’m asked most often are:

  • What’s the best gun I can buy?
  • What caliber should I buy?
  • What’s the best gun for survival?
  • What’s the best gun for self-defense?

The simple answer to those questions is there is no best gun or best caliber. Anyone who tries to tell you something different is likely just trying to make a sale.

Why are you buying the gun?

Sounds like a silly question, right? You might be thinking to yourself, “the same reason everyone buys a gun”, or “does it really matter?” Yes it matters, and there are hundreds of reasons why someone might buy one.

The most important consideration when buying a gun is knowing why you’re buying it. It may sound simple, but this is actually an important consideration.

  • Are you buying it for self defense? If so, is it for home defense or something you’re going to carry everywhere? And then that brings up the question of conceal carry, or open carry.
  • Is the gun for hunting? If it is, what are you hunting?
  • Is it for target shooting? If it is, what kind of targets will you be shooting?

Do your own research.

When it comes to buying a firearm you really need to do some research. The decision should never be taken lightly; the more you know the better off you’ll be in the long run from a safety and accuracy perspective.

  • Take time to learn about firearms, their parts, and how they work.
  • Take a class. Many guns stores or gun ranges offer training classes; this is something you should take before buying your first gun.
  • Find a gun store that has a range. A lot of gun stores now have gun ranges where you can fire different firearms to see which one feels right to you.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

There is no dumb question when it comes to buying a firearm; reason being, is your purchasing something that might be used to protect your life; and if you don’t know how to use it correctly, it can also take your life. If you don’t understand how something works or have questions about a specific feature, ask!

  • Make sure you know which ammo works best in your firearm. All ammo is not created equal. For example, a small conceal carry 9mm firearm may not except a high grain round, and putting one in your gun can cause big problems. Ask about ammo!
  • If you’re not comfortable with the store, or the sales associates are not willing to take the time to answer your questions, find another store.
  • If a gun store recommends a certain firearm, your first question should be why. Why are they recommending that specific firearm, and why do they believe that gun is right for you?

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