Ok, so you have decided that you would like to get a firearm for whatever reason. This is your first (or one in many) firearm purchase. What should you buy? That seems to be the magic question for a first time buyer. Let’s look at some facts.
- Why do you want to purchase a firearm?
- What caliber will best fit your needs?
- Will this firearm be an “active carry” firearm?
- Will this firearm stay in a drawer, purse or under a bed (non-active carry)?
- Are you particular to a certain brand of firearm?
Let’s take the first one. Why do you want to purchase a firearm? We have had various answers from the persons we train, but the most common answer is “I just do not feel safe any longer, and I feel a firearm could change that”. Some of the other responses were “my Brother-In-Law said I needed one”, “the house down the street was broken into last week”, and “I want to be able to protect my family”. Whatever your reason, not that you need one, just remember, it should be your reason. Not someone else’s.
Next. What caliber will best fit your needs? This has always been a big debate. Some say “the bigger, the better”. Here is what I say. Not true. I have a friend who was a Navy Seal, and I asked him one day, “as a person who has seen war and all the fire power involved, what is your firearm of choice to protect your home and family?” He smiled and said “you probably think I was going to say something like a .45, 9mm or .357, but I tell you the truth, the best firearms to have in your home are a good shotgun, and a .22 caliber pistol”. Here is the reason. He said “if something happened to me in the middle of this break-in in my home, my wife or either one of my children could easily pick up the .22 caliber pistol and defend themselves safely. That would not be the case if it were a larger caliber handgun. I know my families limits, and they would not be able to handle larger calibers at this point”. Please do not just go buy a .45 or 9mm handgun because someone said “that’ll stop em’”. Go to the range, rent the various firearms they have, and find out which one you can handle safely, and is easiest for you. Period.
Next. Will this firearm be an “active carry” or a “non-active carry”? Here is the difference. “Active carry” is a firearm that you have on your side or in your purse at all times if possible. “Non-Active carry” is a firearm that you have in your glove compartment or in a drawer in your home for “just in case”. Everyone has their reason for either, but please understand. You do not get to pick the day or moment you will need your firearm. The “active carry” gets into the “concealed carry” or “open carry”, but that is another topic for another day.
Next. Is there a particular brand of firearm you are looking for? You have listened to every conversation on which brand, and caliber is best. I have personally trained with someone who was recommended to purchase a “Taurus Judge” by a customer that comes in her store. That is the combination .45 and .410 caliber hand-canon. She purchased it, and requested I teach her how to shoot it. This young lady is about 5’- 5”, and weighs next to nothing. This was not the best firearm for her by any means as she soon learned. Bottom line. Try various makes and models, and calibers. Whatever feels comfortable in your hand when firing, whatever does not scare the begezzus out of you, whatever does not leave your hand, wrist, arm feeling like they have been through a meat grinder after a hundred practice rounds, is the firearm you should consider.