#5- Firearm selection criteria
So, let’s break down a way for more beginner shooters to select a firearm, without wasting money by purchasing something that is far beyond the point of diminishing return OR buying something that’s utter trash and having to pay AGAIN for a gun to do the same job.
Is it going to be a fun gun?
These are pretty simple, as at the end of the day the primary purpose doesn’t involve something trying to kill or injure the user. I think there’s really only 2 criteria here:
1) Can you afford the gun?
2) Do you like the gun?
Other than that, anything else is really just a nuance if it doesn’t work out, as not being able to find support gear or ammo for a gun act isn’t being carried to save a life simply isn’t a big deal.
Or, this a defensive gun? It gets a little bit more involved, but it does have some overlap. This is a bit more important of a situation, so the criteria is a bit more precise as well.
1) Does the gun AND company have a long standing reputation of reliability?
By choosing a gun make and model that BOTH have a long standing reputation for reliability, we’re hedging things our way that our particular model of one will work. We still need to verify that our shooter/gun/ammo combination works properly, but we’re trying to limit variables that prevent it from working.
2) Is support gear readily available?
Our support gear includes more than just “I got a holster” but spare magazines, quality holsters from high quality suppliers, spare magazines, spare parts, replacement sight options, ammunition, etc.. If you have the best blaster in the world, but don’t have a truly concealable comfortable holster for your normal life and clothes, you’re simply not going to carry it. Or a small part breakage causes the same gun to be broken for…..months, or if the gun is no longer made, then it’s simply done.
3) Can you effectively operate the pistol, clear malfunctions, and shoot the gun well?
The third point is pretty simple - if you choose a semi auto, but can’t rack the slide, lock it to the rear or load the magazines yourself, even after being shown methods to make it easier, then maybe that’s not the right gun for you at this point in time. Quality revolvers are still way more relevant than what most people think. Keep in mind that this does NOT mean being able to hit every single control without shifting your grip on the gun, or having extended controls and releases everywhere.
4) Can you afford the system without sacrificing other things in life?
Once we have looked at the cost of the gun, support gear, and ammo, we can think of it more like a system (like a car). The gun is the car itself, the ammo is the fuel, the magazines are the tires, etc.. - if we can’t afford the things that allow us to feed, maintain, and carry the selected gun there ARE other options for your situation. A big thing folks forget about is other financial obligations in life, such as taking care of the roof over our heads, food in our bellies, and our family - don’t forget to account for those when starting to look at what the total cost can add up to.
5) Do you like the gun and training with it?
The last one is still really, really important. We don’t want to have buyer’s remorse because we hate the gun, or how it recoils. We want to enjoy the gun, which also means we’re more likely to actually practice with the gun, seek out training for it, and maybe even dry fire with it.
So, in my humble opinion, those are the broad spectrum things to consider when purchasing a handgun, given the two most common reasons for doing so.
“Like everything else, the Mission Drives The Gear Train.” -Pat Rogers