By Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

We have written several articles on benefits of having a firearm for personal protection and family security.  While we think having a firearm can provide an increased level of safety and security, it’s not the firearm per se; but the attitude and training that go along with it that increases the level of security for you and your family.

However; if you’re new to the idea of using a firearm for defense or just new to firearms in general, how do you decide what is the best handgun to buy?  Conduct a Google search on handguns for sale and you’ll see that you have hundreds of options.

In part one of this series; we are going to review some of the primary comparisons of various handguns available to purchase today.

We’ve talked with instructors, gun store counter personnel, law enforcement professionals and regular gun owners about “the first handgun” and some of the responses include: “You can’t go wrong with a (insert manufacture name here)”; “this is what your husband, boyfriend, brother has”, “you need at least a (insert caliber here)” and this one we just can’t understand “it’s pink, girls love pink!”.

On the surface, a handgun is nothing more than a hand held firearm.  But; there are various categories of handguns.  The primary variables are:

  1. Revolver or Pistol (magazine loaded, slide action).
  2. Full size, compact, sub-compact or Pocket
  3. Barrel size (caliber)
  4. All metal or composite
  5. Hammer (Double action or Single action) or Striker Fired

And there are almost a hundred different manufactures to add complexity to your decision.

We have outlined various categories and suggested a few recommendations to ignore.  Now let’s consider some guidance in selecting a handgun that you’ll enjoy shooting.

If you are buying your first gun, or looking at a second or third; here is what you need to consider:

  1. Ask yourself how you’ll be using this handgun.  Buying a gun to take to the range once a quarter and keep in a quick access vault next to the bed will be different that buying a gun to carry concealed while you meet with clients as a custom jeweler.
  2. Ignore everything else until you find a gun that fits your hand.  Can you comfortably place the back strap of the grip in the webbing between you index finger and thumb and get the second through fourth fingers around the grip while positioning the tip of your index finger on the trigger.  Before you shoot your first round, hold a dozen or more guns in your hand and check for the “fit and feel”.
  3. Consider the weight of the gun.  You’ll want to be able to hold the gun at arms-length for a duration of time to allow for around ten shots.  You don’t want it so heavy as to cause you to drop your aim after each shot, but heavier handguns help absorb the recoil.
  4. Ignore the caliber..

Find a gun store and a clerk that will help guide you to the right gun, not someone pointing you towards what they like.

As soon as you make your purchase, bring your gun to the range, hire an instructor and have some fun; and welcome to the world of “SHOOTING”.

Be Aware, Be Safe.

© Copyright Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch 2017