Three Things To Know When Buying Handguns

Alyssa Murray

Whether a gun means protection or recreation for you, there are plenty of choices available for people looking to make a purchase. Arm yourself with information prior to physically arming yourself, and you're far more likely to check all the boxes with your decision. Below, you'll learn what to consider when you're in the market or a handgun. 

#1: Decide on your purpose for buying and using handguns

Your choice of handgun will depend a lot on your lifestyle and how you plan to use it. For instance, a 6-shooter revolver might be preferable for a collector, while a person with a family might prefer a more high-tech handgun with multiple safety mechanisms. Likewise, a person looking to buy a handgun for security or law enforcement needs will need their firearm to meet a certain standard or criteria. 

Equally as important, you have to recognize your state's gun laws to learn what kind of handgun you can legally own. States have different age, caliber, and ammunition requirements, in addition to limits on automatic and semi-automatic weapons. 

#2: Shop based on the caliber and other characteristics

Once you've fleshed out what you need from a firearm, start considering the different characteristics you should pay attention to. The caliber that you choose is important because it dictates what kind of ammunition you have to buy for it, the penetration rate, noise, and ability to aim and control the gun. Some examples of handgun calibers that you might try include .22, .32, .380, .38 Special, 9mm, and .45 ACP. 

Put together a list of the best five handguns based on caliber and model prior to shopping with a gun store. 

#3: Test out and buy the handguns and accessories that you need

Find a gun shop that has plenty of options in full supply. A typical handgun purchase might cost $500 or more. You can get a good deal by also shopping at a gun show or making an offer to a private owner. Always buy whatever handgun accessories you need, such as additional ammunition, holsters, cleaning supplies, gun safes, and carrying kits. 

Test the handgun before buying, when at all possible. Many gun shops have an accompanying range that you can use for this purpose. Consider getting your firearm safety certification through a National Rifle Association (NRA) accredited instructor so that you feel comfortable loading, aiming, and using your handgun. 

Use these three tips as you shop for the best handguns on the market.