Being certified firearms instructors means always having to answer one question from those seeking advice: “what gun do you suggest for me?” Although this is the most common question we get from students, customers, and everyone in between, this is probably the most difficult question for us to answer. Growing up, my dear old granny gave me the perfect answer for these types of questions……IT DEPENDS!
Opinions about the best gun for this purpose or for that purpose will be a never-ending argument, and many pundits will most definitely tell you that they have the answer…and it’s probably located in a golden egg!!!! Needless to say….we at PSA strongly believe that this question cannot be answered by anyone….but YOU! The best gun for you can only be determined by you. No expert on the face of this planet can tell you what is best for you. When choosing the correct firearm for your own needs, several factors should be considered, and we will discuss some of them with you here.
For gun lovers, we are in amazing times!!! The types, calibers, and kinds of firearms available to us is astonishing!!! No longer are we relegated to simply having a 9mm, .45ACP, or .40 S&W in handguns. What’s more, the choices in rifles vary even more. No longer are we bound by the 5.56 NATO and 7.62 rounds. Handgun, rifle, and shotgun owners alike are all faced with a myriad of choices when we are looking to build our arsenals.
If you are new to the world of gun ownership and you feel that you are ready for your first firearm, the first thing PSA wants you to think about is purpose. Why do you need this firearm? What will you be using it for? The purpose of your firearm will eliminate a plethora of choices off the bat. For instance, if you are looking for a concealed carry firearm, there is NO reason you should be at the AR or the shotgun counter!! The vice-versa holds true too. If you are looking for a long gun, why in the world are you looking at Kimber or Glock?!?!? Neither of these companies will be able to help you serve that purpose. Determining the purpose for your firearm will help you focus and concentrate on solving the problem.
Once you have determined what purpose you are trying to serve, its time to hit the stores and put some guns in hand. Determining the perfect fit and feel in the hand is one of the most important aspects to effective shooting. Making sure that the firearm fills the palm how you like it, making sure that the beaver tail (if there is one) allows for a high enough hold, making sure that the grip panels ensure a proper purchase, etc. all matter when looking at the fit and feel of the firearm in your hand. Try as many as you can stomach. Determining the perfect fit will definitely bode well when you actually get on the shooting line.
Next on the list is to determine if you are able to handle the actions on the firearm. If it is a handgun, can you effectively rack the slide? Can you effectively load the magazine? Can you effectively handle the recoil from the pistol? All of these questions should be asked before a decision is made. These questions directly relate to how well you can safely operate this firearm (and that may be THE most important factor in consideration). If it is a rifle, are you able to effectively activate the charging handle? Are you strong enough to hold the rifle up in an appropriate shooting position? Can you handle the felt recoil? Being able to safely handle the actions on a firearm is an immensely important factor and should NEVER be taken lightly.
Lastly, it is important to remember….budget makes a difference. If your budget is to stay under $600, then it is highly advisable to skip the H&K and the Sig Sauer counter! You may not have much luck! There are quality firearms that are not $1000 a handgun. Likewise, there are quality rifles that aren’t $2500 a piece. Firearm shopping is an art. Shooters have to look around for best prices, best guns, and best options. Your first firearm SHOULD NOT break the bank!!!
***If you are unfamiliar with firearms, their accessories, or you just want to learn more, PSA strongly suggests that you find, enroll, and attend a comprehensive and reputable firearms safety course. Firearms safety is all of OUR responsibility.
We want to thank you for taking out the time to stop by our lane at the shooting range!! We hope that you enjoyed your stay and hope that you stop back by early and often to catch up on all PSA updates! We truly hope that we were able to hit the target, and if you ever have any questions please don’t hesitate to shoot them our way!! We look forward to shooting the breeze with you soon again!!
And as always….remember to watch your six and stay low!!!