By Frank Semeraro – AKA “Big Gun”
As the year winds down, I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
If you are new to firearms and considering purchasing gun I hope this will give you the information you need to make an intelligent decision. Purchasing your first firearm is a major decision and should be taken very seriously. There are many considerations to take into account. As a certified NRA Instructor, I highly recommend taking a basic Home Firearm Safety class before purchasing your firearm and introducing it to your home and your family. I also suggest purchasing a gun safe or cabinet where you can safely store and lock your firearm to prevent access to unauthorized users.
A firearm is not a “One-Size-Fits-All” item. What works for one person may not be right for another. Many times a person new to firearms will ask their friend what they should purchase. This is a big mistake because most likely they will recommend the firearm they own even if it may not be right for you. I normally carry a 10MM or 45ACP. It works well for me but not for everyone. If you are asking for suggestions the person you ask should be asking you questions to help you decide what will work best for you, but they usually just tell you to purchase the firearm they have.
What will the firearm be used for? Will the firearm be used for Home Defense, Hunting or just shooting at the range? Will you be carrying the firearm for personal protection?
What Caliber should you get? Depending on how you plan on using your firearm dictates the caliber you should get. For example, if you are using a firearm for husting you may choose a .357 or .44 Magnum. Keep in mind that if you are carrying a firearm for personal protection you will need to consider over penetration with large calibers like that. For Home Defense or Personal Protection a 9mm or 45ACP are great calibers. If you are just using it for shooting at the range, a .22 caliber is great for that purpose. I always recommend new gun owners to start with a .22 caliber since there is no recoil and very easy to handle. You can always get a larger caliber when you are more confident and develop your shooting skills.
Revolver or Semi-Automatic? There are advantages and disadvantages to both.
Revolver – A revolver is a very safe firearm for a new gun owner since you have to fully pull the trigger for it to fire. A revolver is also much simpler than a semi-automatic and almost fool proof. I have never seen a revolver fail or jam. The disadvantage is that a revolver typically only holds between 5-7 rounds and takes more time to reload under duress than a semi-automatic. Revolvers can also be more bulky to conceal if carrying.
Semi-Automatic – A semi-automatic is very popular among shooter since they are available in sizes from compact to full size and conceal very well if you plan on carrying. They also hold more ammunition, typically between 10-15 rounds and can be loaded very quickly. All semi-automatic do not have a physical safety and may fire is dropped. Typically, one would carry a semi-automatic with one round in the chamber. A new firearm owner may not feel comfortable carrying that way. A semi-automatic is also more prone to jamming than a revolver. I would personally recommend a revolver for a first firearm.
Visit your local gun range and ask if you can rent a firearm to shoot. If a salesperson keeps pushing a specific firearm without asking you the above questions, leave and go somewhere else.
Don’t purchase a firearm because it looks nice. Fit and comfort is very important, what feels right in one’s hand may not feel right to another’s. If considering a semi-automatic it is important to rack the slide to determine if it is comfortable to you. My wife loves my 1911 45ACP but she can’t rack the slide.
Take a firearm safety class to learn how to safely handle a firearm and how to clean it. It is very important to keep your firearm clean for reliability. You will also need to know how to properly secure your firearm.
Other equipment you will need includes eye and ear protection and a cleaning kit.
No matter what firearm you decide to purchase, Remora has a holster that will fit it.