Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Training Series

Lessons From the Gun Range - Lesson #5

Lessons From the Gun Range - Lesson #5

I don’t own a gun yet; yet, being the operative word. And its only because I can not decide which gun I want to call my first. Now, you may have seen our Infographic from last week: The Facts your should know before buying your first gun, while very informative on whats going on there was only one question, to buy or not to buy. When what I really needed help with was, what to buy? So the real question was and became Lesson Five –  Always ask the important Questions before you consider buying your very first gun. But what Questions are the important Questions to ask? I went to my source, my source who is so reliable, she makes Google look bad, good o'l Coach.

1.Evaluate the intended use of the firearm?
How will you be using the firearm? What is it for? Personal protection? Recreational shooting? Hunting? I intend to use mine for basic training at a gun range and eventually for concealed carry. 

2. Have you had hands-on experience with the firearm? (Fit and Ergonomics)
Find which model/type fits comfortably in your hand. It is very important to test out different guns to ensure that you buy the right one for you. Not all hands are created equal! What fits my hand well may not fit well in yours.

3. Can you handle the …?
  • Caliber? What caliber can you consistently and safely handle? What caliber is adequate for your purpose?
  • Availability and ammunition? Some calibers are hard to find and can be expensive. You don’t want to purchase a firearm chambered for a caliber that you can’t afford ammo to practice with!
  • Recoil? Recoil is determined by not only the caliber but also the weight of the firearm. The lighter the gun, the more recoil the shooter will encounter. What can you handle consistently and successfully? (This will change as your shooting skills progress)
  • Size and weight? For concealment you want a smaller firearm that won’t print under clothing. Also lighter firearms won't weigh as much on your waist, if you choose to carry there, and be comfortable to carry for longer periods.
  • Do you know the operation and process of cleaning the gun? Some firearms may require more maintenance (more frequent detailed cleaning, parts replacement, etc.) Some firearms disassemble in 4 parts for cleaning others may have 15 parts. Do research to find what will work best for you and your level of     commitment to upkeep!

4. Do you know the reputation of the manufacturer and price? 
Even non-shooters have heard of common reputable firearms manufacturers. Also if you have $4k custom 1911 taste but a $500 budget, you will need to look at what you can budget for!

5. Have you taken an NRA Training Course? 
It's important to take a training course, whether its for pistol, rifle or shotgun, because they offer you the fundamentals and foundations of each type of firearm. It is important to understand the different types, features and functions. You will also get the opportunity to handle them and test them, so you know what best suits you. I took an NRA FIRST Steps Pistol Course and passed with flying colors! Okay, I passed, colors were not flying. 

And as you can see from the images of the two guns side by side. I am still in my deciding phase. I have shot both the Glock 43 and the Smith and Wesson M&P Shield. Only when I tested them one after the other was I really able to decide the right one for me. But the right one for me might not be the right one for you. 

So whether you are buying your first gun or adding another to your collection it never hurts to ask the important questions first!

From The More You Know Girl (ba-da-da-daaaaaaaa!)
Lesson Five: Always ask the important Questions before you considered buying your very first gun  

Shield Smith & Weston Glock 43

More Like This From Around The NRA