’s Guide for First Time Gun Buyers

There are lots of reasons why new shooters get into guns. Sometimes it’s because of economic uncertainties or changes in society, such as rises in crime rates or wanting to get into hunting. It can also be because someone showed them how useful and fun guns can be. For whatever the reason, there a lot of people trying to become first-time gun buyers. Many have someone helping them figure out the numerous choices of brands and calibers. Others, however, are walking through this maze alone completely unsure of how to buy their first gun.

Tips for First-Time Gun Buyers

Purpose of the First Gun

The initial step in buying a first gun is determining its purpose. Those looking to conceal carry shouldn’t purchase a Remington 700 in .308 Win. At the same time, don’t go out and buy a Glock 9mm to get into wingshooting.

A shotgun makes an excellent all-around gun, as it can be used for both hunting and home defense. However, since it is pretty much impossible to conceal a shotgun on the body, it’s not a good choice for concealed carry. Handguns are easy to carry, but shooters shouldn’t use one to take a deer at 100 yards.

The fact that it takes different guns to perform different tasks is the No. 1 reason that folks own multiple firearms. There is no perfect gun that can be used for everything, so most people purchase a gun for each needed purpose.

Of course, the recent trend of new gunowners leans heavily toward defense. Most new shooters are buying handguns for protection. As such, folks must take a realistic view of what they can handle. The Dirty Harry Special (Smith & Wesson Model 29) is heavy to carry and hard to conceal. On the other end, a Ruger LCP is light and easy to conceal. These are excellent firearms, however, both require a certain amount of skill to use properly due to recoil. Most new shooters should consider easier to handle handguns.

Fit & Features

After determining the purpose, the next step is figuring out the fit. A gun is going to fit a 6-foot man much differently than a 5-foot woman. This is regardless of whether looking for a long gun or a handgun. Smaller-statured people might not be able to handle a Desert Eagle or a Weatherby Mark V in .300 Win. Mag. Instead, they should probably look at obtaining a rifle in .243 Win. or a compact 9mm handgun. When handling any gun, it should feel comfortable in the hands and arms, allowing the sights to line up naturally. The finger should also be able to comfortably reach the trigger without going too far.

Trigger weight also factors into the equation. Some shooters have problems pulling the standard 12-pound trigger of a double-action revolver. However, those same people often have issues racking the slides of semi-auto pistols. Those with hand strength issues might want to consider one of the new easy-rack handguns, such as the Smith & Wesson Shield EZ in either 9mm or .380 ACP. Being able to pull the trigger on a long gun isn’t a problem for many.

Recoil is another consideration. Even if the gun fits perfectly, some people can’t handle certain calibers, particularly in smaller guns. Someone who can easily handle the recoil of a full-size 9mm might flinch with that same caliber in a sub-compact. This is even true in long guns. The kick of a 20 gauge might be fine, while a 12-gauge shotgun could be too much against the shoulder.

The best way to determine what gun works best is by trying out a variety of styles and calibers with a knowledgeable friend. Barring that, internet research and going by gun stores might be the best options. provides a variety of tools to find and purchase the right gun for the need, in addition to a few other features for gun buyers.

Budget, Savings & Discounts for First-Time Gun Buyers

In a perfect world money wouldn’t be an issue, but it is for most folks. As such, budgets, as well as finding discounts and savings, matter. Firearms can be expensive. In fact, gun buyers can spend as much or as little as they want.

There are companies that build custom firearms that can cost thousands. However, other companies produce budget guns costing much less. Some folks even purchase high-quality used guns. Just because a firearm is considered used doesn’t make it bad. There are countless reasons why someone sells a gun, including it just doesn’t suit them. The goal is to find the best firearm within a specific budget. Sorting through listings on can make this easier and less expensive.

In addition to being able to compare prices on different models, numerous sellers on offer deals on guns and accessories. Some even provide discounts and coupons providing percentages off or free shipping on purchases. Other sellers eliminate credit card fees.

These discounts help people save money when purchasing firearms. All buyers have to do is have guns shipped to local FFLs and fill out the same background check paperwork required by federal law. Product Spotlight Videos

Get Some Training

Few people want to admit they don’t know how to use a gun. This is especially true thanks to movies and shows exhibiting “gun handling” to the masses. However, training is an important part of owning firearms. Movie gun handling is horrible and defies reality.

Sure, putting rounds downrange with buddies can be helpful but most benefit from an organized gun safety class. Those interested in hunting should also take a hunter education class. In fact, many states require this class before issuing a hunting license.

When it comes to self-defense, training is crucial. Shooting at a range is nothing like an attack. The stress involved in a defensive situation can be overwhelming, causing inaction and mistakes. Well-designed training classes teach students gun skills, as well as how to think tactically.

Don’t Lie for the Other Guy

While helping a friend buy a gun seems like a good idea. It can also get a person into trouble. It is illegal to purchase a firearm for someone who cannot legally possess a firearm. This is called a straw purchase and is highly illegal. Federal law prohibits convicted felons, minors, persons determined to be mentally defective by a court and certain others from buying guns. Those who help these people purchase a gun can receive up to a 15-year sentence if convicted.

However, gifts are allowed, as long as the person isn’t prohibited. Buying a gun as a Father’s or Mother’s day present, or possibly a Christmas gift, is allowed to a certain degree. However, gift givers must also follow gun transfer laws, which can vary by state. It might be a good idea to transfer the gun through an FFL as a precaution. Just be sure to never lie so another guy can get a gun when he is not supposed to have one.