This is a Guest Post by Jeremy Hopper from Best Home Defense Gun
Compact handguns are great for protection. But what should you look for when buying a handgun? Most people think that you just go and buy a handgun and that’s it. They don’t consider that there are more questions to be answered before your first purchase. Can you pull the trigger quickly? Is it comfortable for your hands? Can you handle the recoil?
These are just a few important points to consider. When you go to buy your first gun, you should always buy from a customer-friendly gun store, but depending on where you live that may not be an option. Handguns are the best guns for home defense, so you need to take care when picking one. Below you’ll find 10 tips on selecting the right handgun for you.
1. Go to a Friendly, Knowledgeable Gun Shop
Buying a handgun can be time-consuming and nerve-wracking. This is where professional advice counts. A concerned and dedicated gun shop sales person is what you’ll want to look for. The salesman’s role is to tell you about the varieties of handguns available and how they operate.
A good salesperson or instructor will want to keep you as a customer. They shouldn’t push you to buy a particular gun because it looks “cute, sleek, shiny, etc.” The gun’s defensive capabilities should not be sacrificed for how it looks. The salesperson should be able to help you make an informed decision.
2. Try It Before You Buy It
When shopping for a compact handgun, find a range facility that lets you try different models. The facility should also offer basic gun and personal protection classes.
As you shop, educate yourself by learning about the different types of handguns, makes, and models available. Next, make a list of objectives based on your personal attributes and needs to make an informed and appropriate selection.
3. Know the Attributes of a Good Carry Gun
A light and thin compact handgun equals a comfortable carry. You should also consider how you dress. Will it be easy to conceal a compact handgun with your every-day wear? Be sure to try it before you buy it. A customer-friendly gun store will let you hold a handgun you are considering. They may even let you try it in a holster on your hip to see if it’s a good carry gun.
4. Above All Else, Reliability is King
All of the above criteria are important, but don’t sacrifice reliability and durability in a compact handgun. Be sure to try the gun out at a range. How does it fire? Can you handle the recoil? Does it seem like a quality gun? If you’re going to carry and practice with it every day, it needs to hold up if something actually happens and you need to use it!
5. Find the Best Fit Possible
When choosing a carry handgun, judge if it’s a good fit for your hands. Does the gun point naturally? Can your trigger finger comfortably reach the trigger without distorting the grip? Unless the gun is a point-and-shoot gun, are the sights usable? Can the front sight be seen clearly without corrective lenses on?
Just because two guns are of the same brand and same type of gun you’re looking for does not mean they will both work the same. Be sure to try out each and every gun to be sure you find the best fit possible.
6. Get a Manageable Recoil
As previously mentioned, a gun’s recoil is very important. The gun should be comfortable to shoot and must have a manageable recoil. If you have even the slightest doubts about it you should consider shifting to another model. It’s better to shoot with a handgun accurately than erratically.
7. Get a Compact Handgun With a Good Trigger
You don’t want the trigger to be too heavy or too light to pull. The whole experience should be natural and the trigger should feel right for you. When examining a trigger here are some questions you should consider:
Can you use the trigger without getting finger cramps?
Can you feel when you actually pull the trigger?
A light-weight trigger can equal an accidental pull of the trigger. Can you dry fire repeatedly without making squiggly shapes with the front sight?
8. Look For Reasonable Accuracy
The gun should be reasonably accurate wen shooting at 10 yards and closer. Does the gun forgive the arc of movement created by your shaking hand? Can you place accurate follow-up shots? Your assailant may not always go down after the first shot, so a good second shot recovery is essential.
9. Being Easy to Operate is a Demand
The handgun you pick should be simple and safe to operate. Can you muster the strength to pull the slide back on a semi-auto pistol to fill or clear a gun chamber?
So you can operate the slide stop or lock the slide back with the release lever? Can your thumb operate the magazine catch to drop a mag? If a revolver, can your thumb easily reach and operate the cylinder release hatch? When under stress, you’re most likely going to forget the nimble movements you need to operate a gun.
Ease of operation also includes choosing a gun that’s simple to clean and maintain. Pick a handgun’s that’s difficult to use and the end result is you won’t maintain it, and it won’t work when you need it.
Also consider that as you age, arthritis can develop. This can make it difficult to disassemble and reassemble guns. For those with weaker hands, it’s important to choose a gun that doesn’t need Herculean strength to disassemble and reassemble.
10. Do Not Overpay!
Your gun should be affordable to purchase and use. If practice ammunition is too expensive, then you’ll be reluctant to practice. Choose a handgun for which there’s plenty of cheap target ammunition and hollow-point ammunition.
When deciding what compact handguns to look at, remember the following tips above. To know that you’re getting the gun that’s right for you and the best deal possible, you should do your best to find a customer-friendly gun store that will walk through the process with you on selecting a handgun.
They shouldn’t try to sell you something based on just how it looks, they should recommend handguns to you based on your personal needs and preferences. A place that also lets you hold the gun and try it with a holster would be great as well. Don’t forget to try it out at a gun range.
Keep those tips in mind and you should be fine. Aim well, and take care.
Jeremy Hopper is a home & safe defense specialist. He was always fascinated by guns and he has chosen this career path to share his knowledge with other gun enthusiasts in order to help them stay safe and make the best choice when buying a firearm. He has a project called BestHomeDefenseGun that specializes in comprehensive gun reviews.