By Alana Marie Burke
Deciding which handgun to buy is a huge decision, and although in most cases a woman’s life will not depend on it, the reality is that in a self-defense situation, the right gun can be a lifesaver and the wrong gun a hindrance for “girls with guns”.
Girls with guns is a catchy phrase to describe the rise in well-armed women but for the most part, women take their firearms just as seriously as men do. They are willing to do the research and legwork necessary to ensure that their firearm purchase is a smart one that provides both satisfaction and a viable self-defense option.
Here are seven tips for women getting ready to purchase their first handgun:
1. Identify what the gun’s intended use is.
Will it be for concealed carry? Will it be used just for fun on the range or in serious competition? Is it mainly intended for self or home defense? These are important factors that will help determine which handgun is a logical choice.
2. Head down to the local gun range and participate in a basic handgun safety course.
Most firearm dealers rent firearms to try out on their range and this “hands on” trial run can be an invaluable tool in deciding which gun is the right fit.
3. If planning to conceal carry, the size and weight of the handgun has to be taken into consideration.
According to The Well Armed Woman, “The smaller the gun, the easier it is to hide and the harder it is to grab away from you, but the smaller the gun, the greater the recoil and the less accurate it will be, which means they require a lot of practice and training. Hand strength and your tolerance for recoil are other issues to consider.”
4. Price is an issue.
After determining which handgun to purchase, shop around for the best price from a reliable dealer. Numerous internet tools can facilitate this process such as Gunbroker.com and Gunwatcher.com. That being said, sometimes the best resource for reliable information is your local gun dealer who can engage in a one-on-one conversation to answer questions and provide recommendations.
5. Don’t settle for a used firearm unless absolutely necessary.
American Rifleman points out, “Some used guns are pawned off or traded in because they are lemons. Most reputable shops have someone on staff who is qualified to give used guns a function check before taking them into their inventory. But several problems can slip past a visual inspection, including poor accuracy, ammunition reliability issues, and malfunctioning internal components.”
6. Size matters when it comes to handguns and women’s hands.
Girls Guide to Guns points out that grip, weight and the ability to control a gun when firing it are all important considerations on the first, and future purchases of any firearm.
7. Don’t get talked into buying a particular gun just because someone else recommends it.
Expand your knowledge base, try before you buy and trust your intuition on fit, feel, and functionality. “As you consider your options remember that whatever gun you buy, you must be happy with it. If you don’t like your gun or carry method, you’re unlikely to actually carry the gun on a daily basis. What is the point of having the ideal gun, if it’s not practical for you to carry?”
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