With the nature of this business, we come across a lot of first timers. People who are just coming of age and are looking for their first handgun or ever people who are over 21 just getting into it. The same questions is almost always asked, What gun should I buy? Well you’re in luck because we are going to answer that right now.
First let’s start out with caliber of gun. As we get started there is something that needs to be address, stopping power is a myth, it’s something that someone made up so they could justify buying a Desert Eagle and only owning 45 and above. I will pose a simple question to explain why. Think for a moment about the idea of being in a gunfight. Are you really going to stop and ask what size round they are shooting? No, because you should be far too busy getting the hell out of the line of fire! No one wants to get shot, not by a .22 or a 50 Cal. So long as the weapon has a functioning business end, any weapon is going to get the job done.
The caliber of firearm you carry is divided into two different major categories. The first is what you plan on doing with it. Having a weapon for only conceal/carry and for only home defense drastically changes the entire nature of the questions that follow.
For a home defense weapon, it should be whatever caliber you feel most comfortable shooting, end of story. If you can shoot a 9mm, it doesn’t hurt your hand, you can maintain a good grip and keep rounds on target then that is the firearm you should go with. Full size weapons are always the best for home defense, there is absolutely no reason to sacrifice grip and hold on a weapon that is not going to be for concealing. (Plus if you turn that bad boy around, you now have an impromptu hammer).
As for capacity, the simple answer is it depends on how accurate you are, but it should be stated that having extra bullets after a gunfight usually means you’ve won. For a conceal/carry weapon it’s really about preference, people love to reference stopping power for a concealed weapon but we already know that’s not real. The whole point of a concealed weapon is to conceal it, which means that if you are 5 foot nothing and 100 lbs. you probably should be trying to keep a 3in 1911 in your pocket.
Small calibers are great, that’s because it usually means smaller weapons. 22LR, .32, and 380 are all great options that offer usually different sizes of compact firearms. You need to also remember that you are going to be sacrificing some grip to get a decent concealed weapon. That doesn’t mean all of it, just as little as possible! Find something that fits your hand but is still a reasonable size for concealing on your person or in a bag because it will be with you most of the time.
Testing different firearms is always the best way to go about it, you can read forums until your eyes bleed but those people are all going to have their personal opinions and are going to have different body structures. You should never just go with what someone else just tells you to get, it should be something that you have made an informed decision on.
Initial firearms training and home defense training is key. We all had to pass a test and practice before we got to drive, it’s the same thing for shooting. Learning the proper ways of cleaning, shooting, holding, standing and everything else that goes into the use of a firearm is important. So make sure before you purchase your first handgun, go get yourself trained so that you can keep yourself and your loved ones safe in the best way possible.