By Vic Laboy

With interest in the firearms industry at an all-time high, gun shops and ranges have experienced an influx of buyers from all around. Ranging from first-time buyers, to those with a greater skillset, it has become easier to make a selection with a wide array of options available. While some are able to visit their local dealer and seemingly make a decision effortlessly, it can be a daunting task for a newcomer that is not too familiar with what is in front of them. This guide will assist in pointing you in the right direction and provide insight on how to buy a firearm.

What to Look For

When searching for your first firearm, it is important to take note of a few factors that will lead to your selection to differ from those around you. First, you must decide the type of firearm you intend to carry. This may be split into two decisions, semi-automatic, or revolver. While there are pros and cons to both platforms, one may seem to be a better fit than the other. One main benefit to a revolver is its simplicity, inability to jam, and easiness to carry. Unfortunately, the smaller platform comes with a few cons that may lead you to stray towards a semi-automatic platform if this does not fit your personal criteria. While the smaller stature makes concealability easier, you are limited in round capacity, either 5-6 rounds depending on make or caliber. With a semi-auto, it is easier to find a small, easy to carry firearm with a higher capacity, giving you the benefit of the doubt in the case of a defensive scenario. A common statement from all concealed carry permit holders is that they would rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. No matter what you decide, it is imperative that your selection is based off what you are looking for and what is most comfortable.

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What to Avoid

Though we live in an era where infinite information is available at our fingertips, it is easy to find yourself the receiver of false information that may cause you to make a purchase that should have been avoided. If you are unsure if the information you are receiving from a video review or article you are reading has any factual credibility, take note if it seems opinionated. One giveaway is the reviewer claiming that a specific model is either the best or worst thing on the market. This has taken the review from a fact-based comparison, to a more opinion-based review regarding their personal likes and dislikes. While this may not provide all facts necessary to ensuring your purchase, it is recommended to use their statements as notes to consider when you decide if you agree with their thoughts.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for consumers to be swayed from a purchase upon being informed that they are unable to handle a firearm due to the size or caliber. A common misconception from first time buyers is the larger the firearm, the more recoil will be felt; however, it is quite the opposite. If you stay within the same caliber, a subcompact 9mm will have more felt recoil than a full-size. If you find that a full size is slightly larger than what is comfortable for you, yet the subcompact is engulfed by your hands when gripping the firearm, you may note the compact is an ideal fit.

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The Importance of Taking Your Time

Certified instructors typically recommend that you must take your time, find the right fit, and choose what you are most comfortable with. While the person next to you may seem more comfortable carrying a full-size 1911 on their hip, you may prefer a compact 9mm tucked away under a shirt or jacket. Firearms are quite possible the most personalized item on the market, second to clothing, and, with the wide array of options available on the market, it is important to slow things down, study what is available, and choose what feels right for you.

Once you have spoken with an associate behind the counter or over the phone, the next step is to take what you have learned, which firearms you liked the most, and test fire them at the range if possible. You may also ask friends and family if they have something similar to test fire. While a firearm may feel as though it was molded for your hand specifically, you may not be keen on the way it fires. A trip to the range will allow you to experience the firearm, recoil, and handling firsthand to ensure you are ready to make the purchase. Once you have conducted a thorough study, and are sure this would be a great addition to your everyday carry, visit us in Arlington, TX or contact us at 1800GunsAndAmmo.com to get started.