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Now is a great time to buy a handgun. Many firearm companies are experiencing drops in sales due to the pro-gun administration of President Donald Trump. Consequently, many of them are running sales on handguns, rifles, shotguns, accessories and ammunition.

While sales are down, applications for concealed carry permits are up in many locations, indicating that more people are taking their self-protection into their own hands so they don’t wind up as a statistic. Personally, I highly encourage everyone to own a handgun and obtain a concealed carry permit where required, but there are somethings to consider before you just rush out and buy a handgun.

Here are some tips to consider:

1- Shop around and find a handgun that feels right in your hand. Not every handgun fits every hand. A person with small hands will find it difficult or awkward to wield a big handgun and people with large hands can have equal problems with a handgun that is too small. Think of the handgun as an article of clothing. It’s not just the look, but how it fits is important.

2- When you find a handgun that feels comfortable in your hand, take into consideration the caliber of handgun. Smaller people with smaller hands may have trouble with the recoil of a larger caliber gun. For instance, a .357 magnum has a lot of stopping power, but it also has a lot of recoil that can set a smaller person on their butt. However, a .38 special doesn’t have as much recoil and is easier to handle. A .45 caliber or .40 caliber also have great stopping power, but could be too much gun to handle. Consider dropping down to a .32 caliber or 9 mm. With practice, they can still stop someone in their tracks and they have less recoil and are easier to handle.

3- Determine the reason for buying your handgun and how you intend to use it. If you are a woman and intend to use it for self defense and carry it in your purse, you don’t want a huge handgun, but rather something that is light weight and easily fits and carries in your purse. You also need to evaluate your own ability to shoot someone if the need arises. If you can’t pull the trigger in the time of need, the criminal will just take the gun from you and could use it against you or others. If you plan to ever use your handgun for hunting, you will need a larger gun with more power.

4- Check reviews of the gun and where you intend to buy it. Some stores may have great prices, but have a lousy reputation on handling issues such as repairs or defects. You may find a store with a great reputation that has a gun that fits you perfectly and is the right caliber for your needs, but then that particular firearm company may not have a good reputation of producing a quality product. Sometimes quality is worth a little extra price, especially if you are banking on protecting your life with it.

5- What about accessories for your gun? Do you need a holster or special carrying pouch to carry your handgun in your purse or at your belt or even under a jacket? Think about how much a mobile phone gets scratched up and worn when carried without any kind of protection. How easy is it to find the right ammunition for your gun or a spare magazine? Think of it like buying a car. You can buy a bottom of the line car, but is that what you really want or would you prefer one with some of the extra bells and whistles? Buying your gun should be approached the same way.

6- What about the finish of your gun? Some people like the nice shiny look of a polished gun, but what will it look like after time? No matter how little you use your gun, the finish will begin to wear and get scratched.

7- Don’t buy your gun alone. Get someone you trust and who knows about guns to help you find the right gun for you. Many people check with a mechanic before buying a car, so you should check with or use an experienced shooter to help guide you.

8- If you are a novice to guns, find a gun range with an instructor who can teach you about your gun and how to shoot it. Then practice on a regular basis. It’s not like riding a bicycle in that you can ride it once and then wait till a year later and just hop on and begin riding again. Being accurate with your gun takes regular practice. If you are an experienced shooter, you still need to practice with your new gun. Every gun handles and shoots different and you need to become use to shooting the new gun. Additionally, regular practice will help keep you from hitting things that are not your target – aka shooting someone else by mistake.

9- Learn the local and state laws in your area and abide by them. Many a well-meaning, law-abiding citizen has ended up in jail because they were not aware of the guns laws in their area. Owning a gun is more than just protecting yourself, but it carries with it a responsibility that not everyone can handle. Make sure you are willing to meet that responsibility before buying your gun.





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