What gun should I buy?

Posted: May 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

I hear this a lot.

Let me re-emphasize this… A LOT.

Let me state here, right off the bat, I am NOT an expert.

I am a guy who loves firearms and has a little more experience with them than the average person.

However, since people know I am a “Gun Guy”, I do get asked for my opinion quite a bit.

I will talk with them, as questions, make some suggestions… which usually includes “go handle a LOT of guns then try to narrow it down”, then try to work with them on what may work for their wants and needs.

When all is said and done, they are then surprised, shocked, occasionally appalled… that what I suggest to them doesnt match what I own.

Sorry guys, everyone is different.

Thats why we have all these different guns, cars, houses, clothes, foods, out there.

Over the years what I like has evolved, changed, refined… as have my firearm purchases.

I am asked… “what handgun should I buy?”.

“I” own, and carry, big bore handguns.

.44 caliber snubbies, 1911s…

I am not going to spout off to Joe Blow… that he needs one of these.

Joe looks at what I have… decides he wants that. Buys a .44 magnum snubby.

Takes it to the range… what are the chances that he is going to enjoy that as his first handgun?

Slim to none, and a potential shooter is turned off to the hobby, sport, lifestyle.

I get strange looks for suggesting that people look at .38 specials and .22s.

Everyone knows you need a 9mm or .40 cal semi auto that holds 13+ rounds of ammo.

Ummm… yea, sure they do.

Many people are looking for something to take to the range and have fun with, something to get familiar with the process of using a handgun.

Joe gets something like a Ruger GP100, he now has a revolver that almost anyone can use.

With .38s it is SOFT shooting and pretty unintimidating.

He can focus on the act and art of shooting.

He doesnt have that 15 round mag that is SO tempting to just blow thru.

I will admit it,  LOVE to do the occasional mag dump… send all kinds of lead flying downrange.

Load 6, aim, squeeze, repeat till empty… reload.

Joe increases proficiency, has a good time, doesnt blow his whole paycheck, and is likely to come back out and do it again.

He can step up to .357s, where the real fun begins, and has a rig that can do about anything he will need a handgun for.

If he decides to buy a .22,he can have lots of fun for very little money in ammo.

I also suggest they look at glocks, XDs, M&P semi autos.

Some people just dont like revolvers, and well… there are semi-autos that are as reliable as revolvers, if not more so.

The handgunning world is also geared more towards bottom stuffers also.

The main thing…  is for them to get something that fits their hand well, is reliable, they will like to shoot, and that they can afford to practice with it.

A handgun for home defense and/or carry is a whole new discussion.

Choosing a rifle or shotgun is just as involved.

It needs to fit, be something they will be willing to shoot for an extended period of time, be able to feed, not be beat into flinching every time they squeeze the trigger…

.22s and .223s are generally my suggestions for new rifle shooters. I choose Savage for my bolt actions… they may like something else.

Shotguns? I prefer Mossberg… in 12 gauge.

They may like a Remington, they may like a 20 gauge.

Its about THEM, not me. I try to keep any and all personal bias out of it.

If asked why I prefer something, I will answer the question truthfully.

I will then explain that its MY preference, and has little to nothing to do with them.

What is important is that they get something that THEY like, trust, and will not let them down.

As gun people, we will get these questions.

I think it is our duty, and privilege, to start people down the proper path.

Take them out with what we own.

Teach them safety before anything else.

Get our fledgling shooters out of the nest properly.

Then sit back and enjoy it as we see them blossom.

I would love to be a licensed instructor, maybe I will look into it one day.

Till then, I will just do what I can. It is easy for me to share my love of what I do.

I hope it is for you also.

Jim

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