Considerations For First Time Guy Buyers

Walking into a gun store without having a solid idea of what you want is not a good thing.  Who knows what the guy behind the counter will offer you to help clear out his inventory?  You may not get what you truly need unless you have a previous understanding of what you want.  With that in mind, let’s take a look at some things to consider:

  1. What are you going to use this gun for?
    • Home Defense
    • Personal Defense (carry or truck gun)
    • Target Shooting
    • Hunting
    • Hiking in dangerous game areas
    • Trap/Skeet Shooting
    • Competition
    • Zombie apocalypse (lol)
  2. What is your ideal price range?
    • I advise figuring out a budget but not being overly strict about it.  If the gun you really want costs $100 or $200 more than you desired to spend, I say go for it.  It is better to get a really solid tool that is exactly what you want.  Guns are a lifetime purchase and can eventually be passed on as heirlooms.
  3. How often do you plan on shooting?  Consider ammo cost.
    • If you want to go to the range every week and shoot 100+ rounds, you should consider the cost of ammo.  Some ammo like 22LR and 9mm is relatively affordable while others like .308 can be quite pricey.
  4. Capacity (amount of ammo the gun holds).
    • In nearly every case higher capacity = better.  Unless you are looking to get into black powder muzzle-loading, you should look for higher capacity guns or guns that have the option to add a higher capacity magazine.  If you are looking to hunt with a bolt-action rifle this may not matter as much, but generally you can never go wrong with higher capacity.
  5. Multi-function VS single purpose.
    • You may want to consider getting a tool that can accomplish several jobs.  Ex:  You may buy an AR-15 for having fun shooting out to distances of 300 yards, but you can also set up your AR-15 for home defense or hunting (check local hunting laws).  Same goes for pistols; you may find a cool pistol for target shooting that will double as a home defense, carry or truck gun.  It is always nice to get a multi-tool.
  6. Country of origin.
    • There are many prominent gun manufactures right here in the good old USA. Check out companies like Ruger and Smith & Wesson.  Some manufactures like Glock offer certain models made in the USA.  It is always nice to buy American.
  7. Warranty and customer service.
    • Most reputable manufactures offer a lifetime warranty for repair or replacement.  Look up their terms and conditions.  It is nice to know that if something goes wrong with your gun you can get it fixed quickly and easily.
  8. Resale value.
    • It may be of interest to compare the resale values of guns you are debating over.  Some guns hold their value better than others.  It is nice to know that if you ever decide to sell or trade you can get a solid chunk of your original investment back.  In general, guns hold their value much better than most things you will ever buy.
  9. Feel, fit, comfort.
    • Hold the gun and see how it feels.  Just like trying on a pair of pants, you need to make sure your gun suits you personally.  Make sure the grip feels comfortable.  Make sure you can reach critical things like the mag release, safety, and slide lock release.  Make sure you like how the mag seats and drops free.  Make sure the sights are to your liking.  Consider the weight.
  10. Test it out if possible.
    • If you can find a shooting range that will allow you to rent the gun you are considering buying -do it!  There is nothing better than actually using the gun and feeling the action, recoil, and how well you shoot it.  You may think you love a gun and then try it out and decide you hate it.  It is entirely possible.  Also, do remember that guns you rent tend to be dirty so if you have a failure to feed or malfunction keep that in mind, maybe ask the store clerk when the gun was cleaned last.
  11. Look up videos and reviews online.
    • There are a ton of videos and blogs online about nearly every gun made.  Check out videos of actual owners (not the manufacturers advertisement) shooting the gun and giving their feedback.  The owners will tell you if they are having any problems with the gun and also the things they like about it.  This is a great way to do recon and know what you are getting into.

If you take all of these things into consideration before going into the gun store or ordering your gun online, you will be in better shape.  Take your time deciding what gun suits you best, don’t feel like you must buy the day you go into the store.  Gun shopping is fun and exciting so enjoy the process.  Here are a couple of good websites to look at where you can order guns to be delivered to your local gun store.  

Once you get your new gun the next step is to learn how to use it safely and efficiently.  That is where Oregon Firearm Defense comes into play.  Contact us and take our Pistol Basics 101 course to get a solid foundation on your shooting skills.  See you at the range!