May 6, 2017 at 12:32 am #11255SimplythewildParticipant
May 6, 2017 at 7:47 am #11256Charlotte FParticipant
Most, if not all, ranges offer rental guns, for just that purpose. A range near us has 94 rental guns! When you work with an instructor for an hour, range fees are waived as are rental fees, so for $100 you try as many weapons as you wish for just the cost of ammo.
Personally, I tried 7 pistols after my 2nd conceal weapon permit class (first was decades ago and all about revolvers where today’s CWP classes explain the mechanics of semi-automatics) offered by the instructor, hired an instructor a week later after extensive on-line research, the instructor pulled more than a dozen weapons and discussed where/how we intend to carry/use the gun, narrowing it down to 8 weapons to try before I made my choice to buy.
Let me say, when it’s right and meant to be your gun, you’ll know it. You’ll be able to rack the slide (if you’re getting a semi-auto), the gun will feel the right weight in your hand (even if you have to get a different grip or have it customized, as I did for small hands), and the ‘boom’ will be what you expect/want. For example, I was sure I’d go for a Sig Sauer P238 or 938, however both either jammed during trial or felt too small/flimsy to me. I was sure I wanted a gun with a safety (which I don’t, now that I know!). I knew their great reputation, however the Glocks (17, 19, 23, 42 and 43) all felt too big/scary except the G42, which I found I kept going back to, while trying a Beretta, several Smith & Wessons, etc.
So, I slept on it, realized the G42 was ‘my’ gun, shopped the price and purchased the gun the following week. Put over 500 rounds through it to be able to take a ladies advanced conceal class (7 hrs!) 2 weeks later (that level experience with your gun was required), and have since joined a ladies shooting league, taking an additional private instruction with my chosen weapon and participated in my first competition!
I’d grown up around long guns (shooting skeet, etc with shotguns as a kid; 22 long in summer camp), owned 2 revolvers, a decade each, so this was my first semi-automatic. Everything is different with this gun, from grip to which hand I shoot with (I’m right-handed but shoot this gun w/left hand), so the learning curve is extensive.
But hopefully this provides you some ideas! Start by asking your local range about gun rentals/instruction or look on this site for a WAW instructor near you! Take your time researching and trying guns, deciding along the way why/how/where you want to carry or if you want a home defense weapon, for example, and go from there. Enjoy the process! And let us know how you do!
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