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Shopping for my first gun

During my conversations with the G.R.I.P. class ladies, one of the reoccurring questions was, "what kind of gun should I buy?" After all, it was only a month ago that I was wondering the same; And every time I did, I received a different answer. Everyone wanted to sell me on their favorite brand, caliber and so on, but in the end, I had to come to my own conclusions.

Here is the process I went through. It lead me to a weapon I love so much, I might wax poetic about it (or just post on a blog.) However, I'll reveal my decision later.

The first question I had to answer was, how will this gun be used? First and foremost I wanted a gun I could take to the range and enjoy. With my long fingers, holding most small grips feels awkward, so it was easy to rule out most of the compact and small handguns. This helped me decide that my first gun would be meant for home defense rather than a carry/conceal weapon. Lastly, I questioned what caliber I needed. As much as I had been enjoying plinking I decided that if this gun were ever needed for security, .22 may not have enough stopping power. (I should mention that the question of using a .22 for protection was part of numerous conversations that will be added to & discusses in my "Random advice" section.) While I was beginning to feel comfortable with calibers as large as .45, I considered the cost of 100+ rounds per range visit and decided on 9mm.

To narrow my options, I handled and shot almost every brand recommended. (You may not always get to shoot the exact model you are looking to purchase, but by test driving the brand you will often be able to get a decent idea of the gun you are considering.) Two friends loved their Glocks, another friend was a huge fan of the Sig, my pedicure guy wanted me to consider Ruger. (Yes, the guy who paints my toes, is a gun guy.) I read up on all of these brands, rented and shot with them and then went to my range's sales counter and touched as many as I could. (Of course, price was also a consideration during my selection process, but depending on whether you are open to guns that are new, used or both, you could potentially find any model at just about any price.)
When I finally held the gun that would eventually be mine, it was the grip that first won me. (After my purchase, I changed the stocks to the manufacturer's rubber option and now the grip is so delicious, it's pretty hard to put down.) It was not a brand I had ever heard of, so I started to do my research. I read magazines and articles on the web, followed message board threads and watched YouTube reviews. When I found that this brand was as trusted in Europe as those commonly used by American police and military, I was as good as sold.

ArmedCandy on ODT

Another item that I'll delve into in the "Random Advice" section, "buy used...". I agree that buying a new gun is like buying a new car, the first person to drive it off the lot, pays the most depreciation. However, I bought new, and I defend my choice for the following three reasons:
  1. I am too new to guns to be able to inspect a used gun and decide if it is in good condition or not.
  2. Watching the private sale message boards to catch a great deal on my preferred model would take more vigilance than I have time.
  3. My sales person made me a deal that essentially brought the price of my new pistol to within a few dollars of buying a "great condition" used model (at a great price) from an out-of-state store, shipping it to my FFL & paying that FFL do all the paperwork.

AC also Recommends:

Advice for Gun Shopping Women...


Gracie said...

So WHAT was the gun?? I'm all excited to find out ;-)

Gabby said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rebootd said...

Any chance you could make the font here a bit larger? My eyes are crossing trying to read it....

keep up the good work on the content however!

GunNoob said...

I find that pressing control and the plus keys make it large enough for me to read her articles.

bogopogo said...

you never mentioned what you purchased!

ArmedCandy said...

Keep reading the blog. I mention my CZ 75B all the time! :)

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