Ladies, as a female who once knew nothing about guns or shooting, I’ve been in your shoes and I understand how confusing and intimidating buying a handgun can be. If a woman has little to no experience with handguns or shooting, shopping for and purchasing the right handgun can be a challenging task. If this is a new endeavor for you, you may go into a gun store and not even really know what questions you should ask about what to buy. You may receive lots of well intended advice about what’s best for you from the sales person, your neighbors, your co-workers, your brother/son/husband, etc. All of this advice is definitely good to take into consideration but don’t be sold or persuaded into making a purchase you don’t feel is right for YOU. You may also already have a preconceived notion of what you believe would be best based on magazine articles you’ve read, what you’ve seen on television, or internet research you’ve done.
However, if you have not already done so, please take into consideration a few things:
What is your PRIMARY reason for wanting to purchase a handgun? Is it for concealed carry, for home defense, for backyard plinking (where it is legal and SAFE), or to get involved in target shooting or competition, etc? Do you live alone? (ALWAYS take safety precautions into consideration if you have small children or minors in your house!) If you are new to shooting, are going to make a future handgun purchase, or you intend to take a class to get your North Carolina concealed carry permit, I STRONGLY recommend you take the Step 1 Class: Buying a firearm with John and myself. We provide you an opportunity to shoot at least 12 different handguns of different sizes and calibers so you know what you like and don’t like before you actually purchase your own gun. It also gives you the chance to become comfortable with shooting before you must perform your shooting qualifications test for a concealed carry class.
What is YOUR level of experience?
Do you understand the different calibers of ammunition (.22, .380, 9mm, .40, .45, 38, 357 – to name a few) and what are the benefits and drawbacks of each in relation to recoil?
Will you commit yourself to PRACTICE with your handgun? Practice = competence = confidence!
How much are you willing to SPEND on this investment? Remember, after you purchase your handgun, consider the cost of ammunition (some calibers are more expensive than others), extra magazines, a holster, paying for range time, and other additional items you may want such as a sturdy gun belt, a pistol bag or pistol box, buying and having installed different front or rear sights, a gun safe for your home, etc.
Do you prefer a revolver or a semi-automatic handgun? Both are excellent choices depending on your need and your comfort level in manipulating and shooting a pistol. Revolvers are easier to manipulate but will limit your ammunition capacity to five or six rounds. Semi-automatics handguns, depending on the size (subcompact, compact, full size), can increase how many rounds you have available but take more practice and understanding to load and get to a ready condition depending on whether it has external safeties.
Purchasing a handgun is an important decision and it’s best to make the right decision the first time. John and I are both avid competition shooters, NRA Certified Instructors, USPSA Range Officers, IDPA Safety Officers, and co-founders of ZSA. Let us help to give you the knowledge you need to make an informed, confident choice and teach you the fundamentals of gun safety!
Learn more about training with me and John in and around the Raleigh NC area at JohnZSR.com, or call us at 919-397-3960 or 252-292-5076.