First Time Gun Buyer? Here Are Some Things To Keep In Mind


We all have to start somewhere. We all have that first time holding a gun, shooting a gun, buying a gun.

And it can be easy for people who have purchased many guns to forget how overwhelming that first gun purchase can be. There is so much information. So many possibilities. Which one should I get? Which one is best for me? Is there even a best one?

Fortunately, not everyone has forgotten what it’s like to shop for your first gun, and they are sometimes willing to share information. For example, Kevin Creighton gives us seven ideas to keep in mind while shopping for your first firearm. Here they are with our commentary:

  1. “BUYING A GUN TAKES MORE TIME THAN YOU THINK.” It’s true. It’s like shopping for a car. There are so many options, so many possibilities to choose from, and you don’t want to rush the process. Do your research, take a look at several models at a retail store, and (if possible) shoot several at a gun range (with proper training and supervision if you are unfamiliar with gun safety principles). And, then, of course, there are the background checks and other administrative processes in many states. In other words, you won’t just be walking into a gun store and walking out five minutes later with a firearm, and, if you haven’t done your research yet, you wouldn’t want to do it that quickly anyway.
  2. “YOU BUY GUNS FOR YOU, NOT SOMEONE ELSE.” This is why there is no perfect gun for everyone in every situation. We are all different. Different heights, different builds, different situations in which you will be using the firearm. For example, if you’re not a hunter and you live in an apartment, then a large caliber hunting rifle is likely to not be the best home defense choice for you. Shop for your needs and not anyone else’s opinion. You’re going to be the one firing the weapon, after all, not them.
  3. “SMALLER IS NOT NOT ALWAYS BETTER.” The smaller is better idea is common, but, again, it comes down to how you’re going to use that firearm. Keep in mind that, while smaller weapons may be easier to conceal, they also tend to be smaller caliber and have fewer bullets in the clip. In other words: less stopping power overall. Also, shooting a smaller firearm may be more difficulty to get accurate shots from. There is a reason that people tend to hunt with rifles instead of pistols: accuracy and power. Don’t buy the “smaller is always better” myth. Make your decision based on your needs.
  4. “PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT, AND YOU’RE NOT PERFECT YET.” Don’t expect to be an expert marksman with any firearm the first time that you take it to the range. The gun can make a huge difference in the accuracy of your shots, but your skill and experience make even more of a difference. Have realistic expectations of yourself, and commit to spending even more time at the range once you have your firearm.
  5. “GUNS ARE NOT TALISMANS OF SELF-PROTECTION.” Just because you carry doesn’t mean that you are safe. I can’t repeat this enough: the gun doesn’t keep you safe. A properly working firearm combined with your skill and experience can keep you safe. Take your firearm to the range and spend a lot more time with it. The gun, by itself, doesn’t guarantee safety.
  6. “SAFETY FIRST, SECOND, AND LAST.” This is pretty self-explanatory. Be safe all the time, every time.
  7. “STOP BELIEVING THE MYTHS.” There are all kinds of myths and opinions about which type of gun is best for everyone and in what situations. What it comes down to, though, is you deciding which will work best for you and, then, spending the time to get proficient with your firearm. Don’t buy the myths. Become experienced.

So, there you have it. It’s not a list of guns that you should consider buying. It’s a list of concepts to keep in mind when buying your gun so that you can get the most out of your purchase. Keep them in mind when you go gun shopping, and you’ll make a better buying decision for you.



  1. Section 2 , uses the term “WEAPON”. Please stop with the “WEAPON”. Rather , I suggest a more reasonable term , a PDF ,”Personal Defense Firearm”. If you are stopped, a policeman will ask if you have “any weapons the car , or on you?”. The answer is , I have a “Personal Defense Firearm”. This suggests a less “reactionary term of WEAPON”. You may consider another term. “Personal Defense Device”, or, “PDD”.

  2. Why is it that you and some other gun aficionados keep calling a magazine, a clip. The clip went out mostly with the M1.

  3. Weapon is a proper term. Many former military are accustomed to that. My issue is the term “clip”. Unless you’re shooting an M1 or a Broomhandle, it’s magazine.

  4. I agree with Peter’s comment. You lost all credibility when you used “clip” in reference to a magazine. If you are going to post an “educational“ article, about buying a first gun, at least provide your readers with the proper verbiage.

  5. Obviously it’s a weapon. But so is your fist. So… if the cop asks if you have weapons, then that’s a broad question. I had my car searched going through the Canadian border and they considered a pitchfork a potential weapon (was an antique I had purchased at a garage sale) as well as my folding pocket knife. So I agree a properly worded response is best- ‘I have a pistol and pepper spray for personal defense’. The border patrol agent was somewhat accusatory after seeing the pitchfork- ‘what other weapons do you have?’. It was all I could do to not laugh, thinking about me attacking someone with a pitchfork!

Comments are closed.