A Simple Guide to Buying a Handgun

There are a lot of reasons why people buy handguns. Some will use them for sport, some for target shooting, and others for protection. For whatever reason, there are countless gun owners in this country alone. And if you are thinking about buying your first handgun, here is a simple guide to picking the right handgun for you.

This is geared more towards the beginner, but will still be useful for those with more experience. If you don’t know much about handguns and have not yet purchased one, this guide is for you.


Invest in Research First

Buying a handgun can be a confusing and engaging experience for many people. The options out there can make it difficult to decide how you want to deal with your new purchase.

You might find yourself asking questions, deciding between models or accessories based upon aesthetics or price.

A gun is a personal piece of equipment that should be treated like any other. Make sure you get the information you need to make an informed decision.

Before you can start looking for deals on guns, you have to know what a good deal is. You need to understand if it's a good buy which will ultimately affect how much you spend. It’s actually very easy to find out what a good deal looks like when you do your own research.

By looking through different websites you can quickly and easily identify areas that may be overpriced or (bad) deals that don’t quite live up to the hype.

Understand Your Needs

To start the buying process, you first must figure out why you want a gun. Whether you’re protecting your family from harm or hunting in your free time, there isn’t a wrong answer.

If you're a gun owner, it's important to understand that the vast majority of customers are not buying firearms for self-defense or recreational use. Rather, many gun owners purchase their weapons for protection.

Some people buy guns because they're cool, not because they want to own them.

It's important to determine what your main use for your firearm is going to be so that you can purchase the best gun for your specific situation. For instance, a gun for use at the range is going to be different from one for home protection.

Choosing Between Semi-Automatic or Revolver

In today’s world, you’re faced with a choice between a semi-automatic handgun and a revolver. We’ll quickly explain how these two types of weapons differ, but first, let’s get a bit more familiar with semi-Revolvers.


Revolvers are the most common type of handgun, with a chamber that opens to the side when loading. This is because it's easier to load the gun this way.

Once you've decided to pull the trigger and to fire your gun, you need to know that a cylinder is going to rotate, thus the next bullet is going to be ready to fire.

Revolvers are available in both single-action and double-action.

  • Single-action revolvers are easier to handle than double-action revolvers. They are easier to carry and much more affordable. Their main drawback is the need to cock the hammer before each shot.
  • Double-action revolvers are more expensive and heavier than single-action revolvers. They are also more complicated to use. They require a heavy trigger pull to cock and release the hammer, allowing the weapon to be ready for a shot.

It’s a good idea to use a revolver for home defense, because it’s easy to get off multiple shots without having to cock the hammer each time. If you plan on using a revolver to defend your home, you’ll need to determine if you want a revolver with a double-action or single-action mechanism.


The magazine is a small container at the bottom of the gun that contains bullets for the weapon. Most handguns carry a maximum of 6 to 18 bullets (they vary in size based on the weapon).

Semi-automatic pistols are the ideal firearm for those who want a large amount of ammunition in a compact firearm. The slides of the guns can be manually retracted, which means you need your hand strength to operate it correctly. They are also ideal for shooters who do not want to carry something heavy and bulky with them at all times.

Semi-automatic pistols can only use certain calibers of ammunition. Higher calibers tend to be more powerful and more expensive.

Always Check The Caliber

The size of the bullet is called caliber. The larger the caliber, the more damage the bullet can cause. As previously mentioned, not all guns can fire the most powerful ammunition. So, each gun has a maximum caliber it can handle.

The term .45 refers to a .45 caliber pistol, which is a firearm that can hold .45 caliber bullets. It’s important to note that the caliber of a gun directly influences its stopping power and recoil. Pistols with less recoil are ideal for those with less training.

You need a gun with great power and range of fire. A home defense weapon's purpose is to stop intruders. A gun with great power is ideal for home defense. A gun with a low caliber is ideal for home defense.

Although caliber is important, there is something to be said about shot placement. A well-aimed shot from a small handgun will accomplish more than a haphazardly fired round from a large handgun.

Guide to Buying a Handgun

What Is The Gun’s Role?

Consider what you want out of a gun. Am I going to use it for sport? Will you bring it around to defend yourself or others? Will you get a use out of it at the gun range? There are many variables, so many decisions to be made, when researching for the best gun for you. If you think about all the things that go into choosing a firearm, the choices seem almost endless.

A good range gun is a usually a large firearm; bigger guns tend to have less recoil, greater accuracy and better comfort.

The important point to remember: there is no one handgun to rule them all. 

There is a very general set of rules when buying a handgun that seems to work best for most people. Just stick to them and you should be able to find something that fulfills your needs for most purposes no matter what type of shooting or hunting you do.

It is also essential to consider size for concealability. With a good sight picture, large handguns are seldom in awkward spots when you need them to be.

Your first handgun should not be just any firearm. It should be one that is good for you. Its size, weight, model and barrel length are some of the considerations you need to keep in mind. You re going to be shopping around for hours before you get to find the right one.

Shop Where You are Safe and Comfortable

If you’re planning to visit a gun shop or dealer, here are a few things to consider.

  • Are there employees friendly? Make sure they are courteous and knowledgeable about the gun store’s wares.
  • Are your expectations realistic? If not, walk away. It’s better to let someone else do the researching than be disappointed.
  • At the very least, check out reviews from other customers in case there are any red flags. Once you have made it to your chosen place, sight through the catalog and take home your new purchase.

When buying a gun, it is good practice to visit several stores before buying. 

Your safety should be paramount and it would be an absolute nightmare if you were shopping nearby, and the dealer gave you the run around.

It Should Be Task-Specific

The first handgun you buy should be task-specific; the kind of gun that will help you achieve your goals.

For most people, this means self-defense or a target shooting competition. Other people will buy guns to use as an avid outdoorsman and/or professional marksman.

Regardless of who buys your first handgun, make sure it's a task-specific gun—one that will help you accomplish your specific objectives with one shot each.

Visit A Gun Range And Try Our A Few Guns

If you’re purchasing a gun, visiting a gun range near you is a great way to do it. You can get an idea of the different kinds of ammunition available to buy and also talk to gun enthusiasts. When you’re planning to buy a gun, there’s a lot you need to think about.

How much will this weapon weigh? How heavy is it? Will the gun be easy to carry?

Are there features you’ll really want or be interested in? What kind of Smokeless Powder it needs?

Buying a firearm is not something to be taken lightly. For most individuals, the process of buying a gun can be a difficult one.

You really need to spend time at the firing range before making a purchase or looking into a gun shop where you can do some research and ask questions if you really want to make sure that this is the right purchase for you.


If you're looking to purchase a gun for protection, it's important to understand the products on the market and what they have to offer. As an individual, it's your responsibility to learn about all of your options and make an educated decision.

If you're comfortable purchasing without fully understanding all the available options, we recommend that you do so.

When it's time to pick out a product and purchase it, there's no better way to do it than by reading our simple guide to buying a handgun and educating yourself about what each product can do.

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