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Looking To Buy Your First Gun? Here's The 7 Step Guide

by Daniel @HolsterCentral on December 03, 2019


Hey there and welcome to today’s blog!

So you want to buy your first gun? 

No need to stress, we are here to help, hopefully by the end of this article you have all the info you need to go and make an informed choice.

We didn't all grow up around guns and maybe if you are reading this you are a bit confused as to where to begin and how to go about selecting the best gun for you? 

As the saying goes, if you give a man a fish he eats for the day, if you teach

a man to fish he eats for a lifetime…..

The same goes here, I could recommend a bunch of guns like every other gun blog - or I could teach you how to buy the right gun for yourself!                                   

When you start looking for a gun you will find there are tons of great, reputable gun manufacturers to choose from.

However, with so much information and advice available it can be overwhelming!

Blogs, Social Media posts, Gun Gossip Forums, Youtube Videos, with all the accompanying comments and opinions, not to mention the ever helpful gun store sales person, who may indeed be armed with their own personal biases!

So how do you work out who to believe? 

In reality the only person who has your best interests at heart is you!

There are some great gun sales people out there, don't get me wrong, but sometimes they may not guide you to the best purchase decision for you. It may just be a gun that they need to sell, whether that’s to you, or the next person who comes in!

Remember also there is a lot of personal brand loyalty and bias out there, and everyone has their own opinion on the best gun to start with. But opinions are like ‘you know what’, everyone has one!!! 

So I am not going to recommend a specific gun brand for you in this article.

Instead I am going to give you a decision making process that you can utilize so you can make the selection for yourself. This process can be used not just for your first gun, but for any gun you buy in the future so you will always make an informed purchase decision!

Stay tuned I have a Free Gift to help with the process, so read on....

Before we get started there is one recommendation I would make - just stick with a 9mm for your first gun - There’s a multitude of reasons why, but I am not going to go into here.. Perhaps a topic for a future blog?

So here it goes! Here are the 7 Steps I would recommend you take when buying a gun. 


Step 1: Safety First!

If you are completely new to guns it’s a good idea to take a basic handgun class - learn the basics and get the feel of handling a gun and in particular learn how to safely operate a handgun. 

An instructor will guide you and ensure you have a safe grip, and don't get some nasty slide bite the first time you shoot a gun. They will be there to guide you on how to safely operate a handgun for the first time. 

This isn't a safety article but I must reiterate, take a class if you haven't shot before, or haven't shot for a while, a refresher on gun safety is never a bad idea. 

Here are some rules of gun safety to always keep in mind:

  • Always keep the muzzle pointed down range
  • Do not point a gun at anything which you don't intend to destroy
  • Know your target and what’s beyond it
  • Finger off the trigger at all times until you are on target and ready to shoot 
  • Always treat every gun as if it is loaded at all times

Step 2:  Try before you buy!

The Golden Rule is - Don't buy a gun until you have shot it!

You wouldn't buy a car without driving it first would you? The same goes for guns! Window shopping is ok, but don't just take the salesperson’s word for it when they say "She's a sweet shooter" !!

So after you have taken some classes at your local range look at what options they have in the rental case.

I am fortunate at my local range they have approximately 50 of the most popular pistols and with a membership all rentals are free -  just pay for the ammo - sweet deal! 

This gives you the chance to try shooting a number of models before you buy.

TOP TIP - Don't forget to read all the way to the end as we will be giving a way an awesome FREE 30+ point gun buying checklist explaining how to evaluate each gun which you don't want to miss out on!!!

Step 3:  Decide what type of Gun you are looking for.

Now that you have had a chance to learn a bit about shooting and have the opportunity to try some guns out, it’s time to start thinking about what type of Gun you actually need?

In order to answer this question you need to decide -what is the purpose of the gun?

  • Home Defense?
  • Concealed Carry?
  • Both?

This will help you decide the type of Gun to look for.

For example, a Home Defense gun doesn’t usually need to be concealed, so you can run a bigger gun, with a bigger grip and slide and perhaps even a higher caliber round.

If you want to Concealed Carry, a smaller size more concealable gun like a subcompact pistol may seem like a better option but be aware it isn't going to be as easy to shoot as a full size pistol so it may not be the best choice for a newbie.

In my opinion a compact pistol is the best of both worlds. It’s not as tiny as a sub compact or micro pistol but it handles fairly well and most people can get a full grip on a compact pistol. 

Therefore I would suggest to ask to see compact options if you want to concealed carry or ask to see full size pistols if it’s for home defense and you never plan on carrying it. 

And yes I know we have all heard stories of good ol' Bill who carries his full size 1911 for concealed carry every day, if you can do that more power to you, but generally speaking most people don’t tend to do that. If it is comfortable to conceal you are more likely to carry it, which is the whole goal of a concealed carry pistol.

Step 4: Handle some Guns

Next step is to handle the guns in the rental case and see what feels right in your hand. After all, we all have different sized hands!

A common misconception people have is ”small girl, small hands, small gun” ..not necessarily!

The smaller the gun the more "snappy" it tends to be, so it will have a bit more recoil than a larger gun with more mass to help absorb some of the recoil.

Equally if you do have small hands you might not want a massive pistol even if it does recoil less. You need to try out various options and find a happy medium.

Me personally, I went for a compact gun, the Sig P320 Compact. It's not a sub compact tiny gun and equally it’s not a full size pistol, I am able to get a full grip on the gun, shoot it pretty well  and it is still concealable with manageable recoil. It also happens to be modular so with a change of a slide and grip module I have the option to switch it to a subcompact or a full size if I choose to do so - Sweet!

A lot of people like a Glock 19 for those same reasons, I am not saying get a Sig P320 or a Glock 19, I am just illustrating the reasons why those pistols are popular, at the end of the day it all comes down to what works for you!

So maybe take a look at the compact guns since they are kind of the best of both worlds in that regard. There are a few great options in this category from all the top manufacturers..

(Hey again just to reiterate- I am not saying to get a P320, follow the guide to find YOUR gun, my choice and preferences may be completely different than yours) 

Step 5: Practice Shooting at the Range

So now, after handling a few different guns and seeing what you like the look and feel of it's time to test them out!

  • Narrow down to about 4 pistols.
  • Put at least 100 rounds through each of them.

Maybe you put 100 rounds through each gun on 4 separate days, or shoot 2 guns one day and 2 the next.

This way you have time to digest what happened and reflect on how you liked the guns.

If you fire 4 guns back to back, you will probably begin to forget what you liked and didn't like, they will all blend together in your mind!

What did you like? What didn't you like? 

Take your time, it’s not a rush!

Download the FREE Gun Buying Checklist PDF and use the checklist provided to help you evaluate each gun you try as you go along! 


Step 6: Choose your Favorite!

After shooting the 4 pistols and reviewing all the notes you made using our Gun Buying Checklist you are now able to narrow down to your favorite gun.

#Bonus Tip 1 - How popular is the gun? If it's selling well accessories should be readily available, you don't want a gun that is difficult to get a holster for and if you want to upgrade the trigger, buy extra mags etc you may be out of luck if it's an obscure gun. Remember - Popularity helps! 

#Bonus Tip 2 - Does the gun have a reliable reputation? Also does the company have a good reputation for good customer service if any issues were to arise? 

But remember the only opinion that truly counts is yours! 

So now you are ready to pull the trigger on your new gun!!! Congratulations!

Step 7: Safety Last!

Just as we started on safety we will end on safety too!

I recommend you take a 1 on 1 Private Instruction Class with a qualified instructor. Put a couple hundred rounds through your new gun with their supervision to make sure you are operating it correctly, and don't reinforce any bad habits early on!

Get some good time behind the trigger putting rounds down range! 

Enjoy your new gun!

Don’t forget Click here to download The Ultimate Holster Central Gun Buying Checklist Ebook with all of the things to check before buying!

Just before you go: -

  • If you are planning on concealed carry it is a great idea to do a concealed carry class, even if your State doesn't require it.
  • For complete peace of mind consider taking out some concealed carry insurance so that if you do ever have to use your gun in self defence you have the funds to stay out of jail defend yourself - check out our blog on CCW insurance.




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