New to Guns? A Guide to Choosing the Right Handgun

The endless handgun options in the market can make it confusing to choose the right one. If you are a first-time gun owner, you need to be careful in your purchase of the appropriate handgun. Remember, the type of gun you choose should match the purpose for which you intend to use it. This article will give you a guide on choosing the right handgun. 

1. Determine Your Needs (Why are You Purchasing a Handgun?)

When you think about owning a gun, you need to have a valid reason or things you want to use the gun for. Some of the reasons why you need to purchase a handgun may include:

Personal and Home Defense

Arguably the most basic reason for purchasing a gun is getting yourself armed against any intruder. You have to protect yourself, your family, and your home from any unwanted visitor. A gun may be the most effective tool for keeping criminals away from your home. 

Sporting and Hunting

Hunting is a major recreational activity in most places, and it’s vital to follow hunting regulations. You can opt to purchase a gun for hunting purposes. During this recreational activity, you might meet new friends and people and together participate in hunting shootouts.

Lifetime Hobby

Joining the gun community can be one of the reasons you want to purchase a firearm. You can make a lot of friends during shooting activities, firing practices and in gun shops who share a similar passion. In addition, it’s a matter of pride to purchase guns and hand them over to your children later when they become adults.

2. Choose Between a Semi-automatic and a Revolver

When you begin your search for the best handgun in town, there are various choices. Before choosing the best gun for you, it is essential to know the different types. Thus, it is vital to understand the differences between a revolver and a semi-automatic gun. The following offers helpful information on both the semi-automatic and revolver: 


A semi-automatic allows you to make one shot with each trigger pull. The gun holds the rounds in a magazine, not a one-time cartridge. Provided extra magazines are available, these guns are easy to load.

Semi-automatic guns have both double and single action in them. Unlike the revolver, you don’t have to manually cock these guns. It’s also easier to operate a semi-automatic gun than a revolver. However, their accuracy isn’t as good as that of revolvers while in an expert’s hand.


  • The gun magazine can hold many rounds.
  • It is easier to pull the trigger.
  • They have the ability to shoot multiple rounds quickly.


  • These guns are susceptible to malfunction.
  • They are also more likely to jam, presenting a problem if you don’t know the unjamming process.
  • They are costly.


This gun gets its moniker from the revolving cylinder found at the center of the gun, with various chambers holding the ammunition. Some of them are double-action; a single trigger pull will be able to cock the hammer, thus, firing the round. This property makes the gun longer and heavier. 

Revolvers are easy to operate as they have magazines or racks to insert. However, these guys can’t hold more rounds than semi-automatic guns of the same size. 

Revolvers are less likely to experience malfunctions. However, they take a longer time to recover than semi-automatic guns. Lastly, it also takes more time to reload a revolver than it does to just slap a loaded magazine in a semi-automatic. While choosing a handgun, remember to choose the type that will suit your needs.


  • Revolvers are easy to operate.
  • They are also less likely to experience a malfunction.
  • When you compare them with semi-automatics, they are less costly.


  • Revolvers tend to take a longer time to recover after a malfunction.

3. Select the Proper Caliber

Caliber refers to the basic width and diameter of a bullet measured in metric units. When purchasing a gun, most shooters consider the caliber that will serve them best. When selecting a proper caliber, you need to consider the following things:


Many states have different regulations on the caliber sizes to be used for hunting. For example, in some states, the recommended size for a hunting gun is 6mm.

Ammunition cost:

You need to select the best ammo but within your budget. Thus, the amount you can afford is a major consideration. 


You might need to stay away from big caliber guns. However, weight should not be the primary target when choosing the right caliber.

4. Hands-on Shopping (Test-fire Different Guns)

When purchasing a gun, you shouldn’t get it before test-firing. Test-firing will ensure you select the gun that meets your needs. 

If you are an experienced gun owner, the company can allow you to test-fire the gun. Firstly, you need to check the mechanical functioning and the other key accessories. Then the company should provide a live-fire shooting zone to test out the gun before purchase. 

5. Test-firing Potential Candidates

After you have shortlisted the guns you want to purchase, it’s best to test their functionality and test-fire them again before leaving with the right one. This process is essential for you to arrive at the best decision among the options chosen. 

Regulations to Remember:

States have various criteria in place to determine if a person is allowed to be a gun owner. They include:

  1. Minimum age: The minimum age for gun owners is usually 21 years. 
  2. Felony convictions: Individuals with prior felony convictions might not be allowed to own guns. They might need permission from the state to be allowed to purchase a gun. 
  3. Sound mind: This is an important determinant in whether a person is allowed to own a gun. 

Purchasing the right handgun is an exhausting yet satisfying task. It’s best to consider the 5 factors listed above to get the right gun to meet your needs. After all, the first handgun you purchase is one you’ll remember throughout your shooting journey. So take your time and make the right decision.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *