Tips For Choosing Your First Handgun

Posted on: 13 March 2017


If you have been thinking about purchasing a handgun, then you may want the gun for personal defense reasons, or you may want it to target-shoot for fun. Whatever your reason, you will need to think carefully about the type of gun you intend on buying. If you are unsure about the handgun that is best for you, then you are not alone. There are hundreds of options available to you. There are a few tips that can help you to make the decision a bit easier though.

Go With A Low Caliber

You likely have heard the word caliber in reference to guns, but you may not be entirely sure what the word really means. Caliber refers to the barrel size in terms of diameter. The word also indicates the diameter of the bullet that will fit in the barrel of the gun. There are a wide range of bullet calibers, and they are labeled with a distinctive number. These numbers can differ in the way they are represented, and this can be confusing. Specifically, some calibers are measured in millimeters while others are measured in a fraction of an inch. 

Millimeter calibers are labeled with an "mm" and inch ones will have a decimal before the number. For example, .22, .44, and .50 are some common measurements and work out to be 22 one-hundredths of an inch, 44 one-hundredths of an inch, and one-half an inch. These measurements can be directly compared to the millimeter measurements.

A .22 caliber bullet is one of the smallest. This caliber is common for handguns, and it should be considered when choosing your first one. The caliber is advantageous for many reasons. It is extremely common and easy to find, so you should not have any problem finding bullets at your local sporting supply store. Also, lower-caliber guns are typically less expensive than larger-caliber ones. This means you can keep your costs well controlled when buying your first handgun. 

In addition to costs and the ease of bullet purchases, smaller-caliber weapons are easier to control because kickback is smaller with a smaller-caliber weapon. Kickback can be quite jarring, and it can actually cause you some discomfort when you first start shooting. Also, kickback can cause your gun to shift and make some shots inaccurate, especially when shooting many rounds in succession. 

Inspect The Grip Carefully

The grip of the gun is essential to your own comfort and your ability to take an accurate shot. Accuracy is extremely important whether you want to use your handgun for personal protection or for basic target shooting. Grips are also a safety feature that keep your handgun planted firmly in your hands. If you have small hands, then the grip itself can keep the handgun from slipping when you feel the kickback after taking a shot.

There are dozens of different gun grips that are formed from rubber, aluminum, polymer, wood, and other materials. These grips also come with different textures to hold the hands in place. Grips also feature ridges for the fingers or a more slim and smooth surface. If you want a firm grip, then opt for one made from a polymer or rubber.

Besides choosing the material, you will need to simply test out the different grips that are available. Go to your local gun or sports retail store to try out the different grips. Speak with a sales professional who can assist you. As you try out the grips, tell them what you do not like about the grip. For example, it may feel too slippery, gritty, or bulky. This can help to narrow down the one that best meets your needs. Before you buy your gun, you should ask to test it out. This way you can see if the gun stays firmly planted in your hands when you do use it.