Buying Your First Handgun

So, You want to buy your first handgun. You have tons of questions…. What kind of handgun?, what size of handgun?, what caliber should I get?, where should I buy it? what are the legalities involved? Where do I start?

Well, hopefully this blog will clear some of these questions up for you. I am not a professional firearms instructor, nor do I play one on TV. I am not a lawyer and please don’t construe anything I say as law or legal advice. What I am is somebody who has been in your shoes. This blog is going to be based on my experience and beliefs. I strongly suggest you use this article as part of your research and not the gospel on purchasing your first gun.

The first thing you need to do is understand why you are buying a gun and what your intended uses for it are? The second thing you need to do is be completely honest with yourself concerning your capabilities in handling a hand gun. Maybe you have been rifle or shotgun hunting all of your life? Heck you may even be Daniel Boone with a long gun. I am here to tell you that shooting a handgun is a lot different.

I am going to tell you quite a bit throughout this blog to try before you buy. Most indoor gun ranges (not clubs, there is a difference) will let you rent guns so you can find one that you like.

Please read along and enjoy.

Revolver Vs. Semi Automatic?

1st off, Do you know the difference? I do not mean to be disrespectful, but it is a legitimate question. If you don’t, please search it out or go down below and ask me questions in the comment section.

Basically a revolver has a cylinder that revolves around inside the frame as the bullets are fired. A semi automatic feeds the bullets from a magazine, usually in the grip.

OK so now which should you purchase as your first handgun? Well, this really is going to be personal preference. I am obviously going to talk about each of them and I will give you my opinion.This is a revolver

The one thing that is going to constant throughout this article is I am going to tell you to go to a range and try different guns before you buy anything.

Revolvers typically are more reliable. If you have a misfire, you just keep pulling the trigger until it goes bang. It actually makes sense as there are less moving parts in a revolver.

Now for the cons…. Revolvers are typically more expensive than a semi automatic. Revolvers are typically harder to shoot due to typical aiming systems(sights) being inadequate out of the box, Heavier initial trigger pull and some times less grip surface. The last detriment to a revolver is capacity. They average a 6 round capacity. Some of these drawbacks have been addressed by the various manufacturers. I am just giving a very broad overview here.

My personal recommendation is to buy a semi automatic.

What Size of Gun Should I Buy

Seems like a weird question seeing how you already know we are going to be talking about calibers in the next section.

Because I recommended a semi automatic for your first gun, that is the type of handgun I am going to be referencing throughout the rest of this blog.

The choices available in semi automatics are getting nuts. They have, Micros, Sub-Compact, Compact and full size and probably some new ones I haven’t heard about yet. The 1st three are usually for concealed carry. Some people can conceal carry a full size, but not all.

Being how this is your first handgun and you haven’t shot a handgun of your own before, I recommend the full size. The full size will be easier to grip(unless you tiny hands) and will definitely tame the recoil.

I am not going to tell you what purpose you should buy your first handgun for, but if I could do it over again…things would be different. I would buy a full size gun and master the fundamentals with it before I bought a smaller gun for concealed carry.

Here comes my favorite piece of advice… Go to a range that rents guns, rent a bunch and shoot them. You need to find what works for you. This is a fullsize gun


What Caliber Gun Should I Buy?

Aha, The age-old debate. This is real easy…go to a range, rent a bunch of different caliber guns and see which you are the most comfortable with.

You are going to hear the same tired argument over and over again…bigger is better. Let me tell you, the way the technology is with ammunition it really doesn’t matter.

For your first handgun I would probably start out with 9 mm. That is my go to and my opinion. Shoot what you are comfortable with.

On an unrelated note concerning caliber size. When it comes to conceal carry and you actually have to pull your weapon out and using it… Two things to keep in mind. A lot of would be attackers will turn tail and run if they see a gun pointed at them. Do you think they will say “Oh that’s a .22 it can’t hurt me”. Heck no, they are taking off., If you have to actually use your gun in a defensive situation, your adrenaline is going to be pumping and you are going to lose a lot of your motor control skills….better to have a smaller caliber gun that you can handle in this situation. But this isn’t a blog about concealed carry…..this is about buying your first handgun.


Where Should I Buy My Gun?

Well, I am not sure what your choices are where you live. Here in my neck of the woods we are fortunate enough to have some choices. We can go to a place like Cabella’s(Ourtdoorsmen’s Big Box Store) or our local gun store. We can even order guns online have them shipped to a local Federal Firearms License Holder aka local gun store. I myself prefer supporting local business and have developed a very strong relationship with the family that owns the gun store I shop at.

Again, you have to do you research. I would visit several places and see which one you feel comfortable shopping with. Chances are you are going to end up building a long relationship with the place you purchase your first handgun.

Remember me mentioning going and renting guns to see which one you were comfortable with? Chances are they sell new guns, you might end up buying from them.

You already know what my preference is… local business!

My Favorite Gunstore

What Are The Legalities Of Buying A Gun?

I don’t  know, I already told you I am not a lawyer. 🙂

Seriously you need to check your local gun laws. I know in this area you have to be 21 to purchase a handgun. Trust me, the establishment that you purchase from won’t be doing anything to risk their license. They will advise you as far the purchasing legalities are concerned. You also have to worry about transporting it, I.E. how are you getting it home or to the range, etc. Go to your state’s website and search firearms transporting to find out what the proper procedure is. Actually, you should have already been on that website checking out the legalities for owning a gun in your state.

To Wrap It Up

OK, if you are still with me – Thank You.

Did you notice that I never once mention a particular brand to purchase? I don’t care what manufacturer you like as long as you are comfortable with it. This is absolutely the most important aspect with buying your first gun. Once you have some experience and have the fundamentals mastered, then you can try different guns out. I hope this blog helped you out in researching your handgun purchase.

For the last time I am going to tell you to go try some guns out before purchasing one. Once you buy one, learn how to use it safely and responsibly. Get Training!!

Thanks for reading and if you have questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out.

Have a Great Day!five-charlie-bullet


9 thoughts on “Buying Your First Handgun”

  1. Very good breakdown of peoples questions and concerns. You have addressed the process in a systematic way and I believe it will be beneficial for those who have decided to purchase a firearm. Great Job!!
    Looking forward to following the development of Five Charlie.

    • And that right there is the whole purpose of this website. To educate people and get them interested in owning a firearm. Thanks for reading and replying.
      Have a Great Day!

  2. For someone who lives in England, this was a really good read. As Were so out the loop with purchasing a gun. I could easily make a decision based off this post.

    So thank you for the great info mate.

    • Thanks for reading and replying.
      Are residents in England even allowed to own a gun? The information presented to us in the US is that even your police don’t carry a gun which I find ludicrous.
      Have a Great Day!

  3. This is a very great, detailed article on guns. I am going to get my license sometime this year, so I saved this post for future reference. Thank you much appreciated.

    • Hi Joshua,
      I appreciate you taking the time to read my article and reply. I am glad that you found my article helpful. Please keep an eye on the site as I will be writing article about conceal carrying a firearm in the very near future.
      Have a Great Day!

  4. As someone who is actually searching and doing some research on getting my first handgun, I found your article to be very helpful. I have visited a few gun shops and have in mind the type of gun. The next step for me would be to go shoot a few. Thank you for filling in some gaps for me.


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