Buying a defensive handgun is like buying a pair of shoes you wouldn’t let someone else do it for you. The handgun has to fit you and you have to be able to work the controls. You also have to be able to put shots on target when it counts. When buying a defensive handgun you should buy the largest caliber gun that you can shoot and hit the target with.
Buy a gun from a dealer that will help you when you need it. Recently I have had several students’ guns break right out of the box. Some stores’ return policies are”don’t bring it back here”. Always clean and grease a new gun before firing it for the first time. Some places will not take guns back even right after you’ve bought them.
If You Order a Gun
If you order a gun on the web or buy at a gun show then what are you going to do? The dealer that you ship the gun to for the background check may help you but they are under no obligation to do so. Remember you bought the gun online to save $20. Guns are hard to ship back to the manufacturer you should deal with a dealer that is a locally-owned full-service dealer until you understand all the problems associated with buying a gun.
Pick a reliable name-brand gun when buying a defensive handgun. Saving money at this point is not the best idea you have ever had. You want the gun to go bang when you press the bang switch. There are several top gun manufacturers in this country and these guns are not that expensive that you can’t afford to buy a quality one. Remember you get what you pay for.
Caliber size is not the most important factor when buying a defensive handgun but it always helps to have a caliber size big enough to actually stop the threat. .22 .25 .32 and .380 are not good defensive handgun calibers just look at some of the tests. Sure you might stop a threat with a small gun if you get lucky but when- 3 days from now. If I’m gonna take the time to learn how to defend myself and carry a handgun I want to defend myself. Having a small gun so it is easy to hide should not be your biggest concern. Small guns have less power, are hard to control (more recoil), have more safety issues (hands in front of the muzzle), and generally, do not shoot well because the sight radius and barrel are so short.
In the United States, ammo manufacturers are making five times the amount of 9mm (Luger, 9mm Para, 9×19) ammunition as they are any other round. This means less expensive practice ammo and good availability of ammo when you need it. Law enforcement has recently started to move towards 9 mm rounds the military and the FBI are already using them. I don’t think the .380 round is a good self-defense round and neither does law enforcement. A minimal self-protection round should be 9mm.
Work on a safe and efficient draw and presentation of the handgun from its concealed-carry location. Remember if you choose a handgun with a safety then you must learn to use it. Some ranges have limitations as to how or even if you can draw from a holster. Practice in the clothes you will wear daily. If you ever need that gun to save your life or the life of a loved one you will need it fast. You will have a very short amount of time once the bell rings. The faster you can access your gun the more time you have to make good decisions, get to cover or if necessary put those hits on target where they count.
Learn to keep your gun running. If it’s empty, feed it. If it malfunctions, fix it.
Practice getting solid hits from 3 to 7-yards, quickly and reliably. Do some handgun training at 15-25 yards, just enough to get hits at those distances. Concentrate your handgun training on those skills you will most likely need in a self-defense encounter. The FBI states that most self-defense gunfights end in 3 rounds or less and happen within 10ft (3 yards).
Buying a defensive handgun
is like buying a life jacket to go whitewater kayaking. I don’t think you want to trust your life to the blue light special when buying a defensive handgun.
I am usually available to go gun shopping with my students, all you have to do is call me and make arrangements.
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