Which gun should I buy? I get asked that question and there is no right answer. To the gun junkie, the answer is “The next gun you want!” It is harder to answer the first time gun owner. What would you say if your boyfriend did this –?
“Here, honey. I brought home some shoes that I won in a raffle. They are too small for me, and they are pink, so they must be for you.”
You can flip the stereotypes and make the shoes big and brown, but the correct answer is the same in both cases. You smile, say thank you, and you make very sure to pocket the sales receipt. You’re going to take the shoes, or gun, back to the store and get something that fits. Your guns have to fit your body and your needs…just like your shoes.
You mean there are different kinds of guns? Of course there are different kinds of guns. You knew that there are different types of gloves to fit different purposes and different size and shape hands. Different people also want to do different things with a gun. I’m going to talk about handguns, but the same can be said of long guns and shotguns.
The introductory gun for the first time shooter — This gun is big and heavy enough to be comfortable to shoot while being small and light enough for small hands. Yes, it has to be a compromise. It shoots 22 Long Rifle cartridges. Look at the Buck Mark, Ruger 22-45, the M&P22 compact, and the Ruger Single Six.
The home defense or sport shooting gun — This gun shoots a centerfire cartridge. It is heavy enough to be comfortable to shoot and large enough to be accurate. It has more recoil than the introductory gun. It is heavier and the slide is harder to operate. It is also much noisier. Shooters need a little practice to manage all that. Shoot the XDM Tactical, and M&P 9mm, and the Glock 17 and 34.
The concealed carry gun — This gun is smaller than the home defense gun, but also shoots a centerfire cartridge. It has more felt recoil and carries less ammunition. Look at a Glock 19, the Honor Defense Honor Guard, and the M&P Shield.
The pocket gun — This gun is carried in a small holster in your pocket or purse. It gives up comfort and accuracy to achieve small size and light weight. This isn’t a beginner’s gun. Look at the Ruger LCR, Glock 42, the Walther PPS M2, and a J-frame Revolver.
You can’t have everything in one firearm, but you can have a great compromise that fits your needs. The gun also has to fit your hands.
The only way to know if a gun fits your hands is to hold it. Go to gun stores and pick up a lot of guns. At first they will all feel the same, but you’ll soon notice differences. The good salesman can help you find a gun that correctly fits your trigger finger.
You need to shoot before you buy. Standing at the counter, your eyes tell you to get the little pocket gun, but your hand tells you to get the introductory gun when you’re shooting on the range. There are always some guns that are too large or too small. Some will rub you the wrong way. Find the one that fits and feels like an extension of your arm when you point it down range at the target.
I think finding a new gun it is way more fun than shopping for shoes, but that’s just me.
What firearms would you add?
A tip of the hat to George Hill, David Cole and Ben Branam.