We highly recommend trying out any handgun before you purchase it. Guns cost a lot of money, for one thing, and upwards of a few or several hundred dollars is a lot to shell out on something you aren’t totally familiar with. Maybe you’ve handled your friend’s guns and you know you like them or you’ve tried some guns out at the range and you know what you’re getting. We’re not talking about guns you already know. We’re talking about guns you may never have shot, never handled and aren’t totally sure about. Buying like this is not recommended.
Read over this post on Gun Store Etiquette before you go to the gun store and start trying out guns. The guy who wrote this article, Donovan Beard, is a firearms instructor and owner of Defensive Firearms Instruction in Eugene, Oregon, so he knows what he’s talking about. There is nothing wrong with checking and double checking that any gun that the gun store clerk hands you is not loaded! Do it! Even if you feel self-conscious about doing it. Read through the end of that Gun Store Etiquette post for a video on what happens when gun shop safety rules are not followed. (Don’t worry it only involves some blood on a hand, luckily in this case.) You feel self-conscious about checking after a gun shop clerk hands you a gun? Think about how self-conscious you’ll be after the whole world sees a video of you shooting yourself.
Here’s what we recommend.
- Familiarize yourself with how to act in a gun shop, as stated above.
- For brand new shooters, brand new gun owners, take an online class to familiarize yourself with the weapons, handling and safety of firearms in general before you go to the gun shop.
- When you’re in the gun shop, check by site and feel that the gun is unloaded. Visually check the chamber. Roll the cylinder out and count the holes.
- Wrap your hand around the gun without pulling the trigger to get a good feel for the gun in your hand. In one hand.
- Consider the gun’s weight.
- What kind of holster do you want to use?
- Make sure you can flick off the thumb safety with your firing hand thumb. You might not be able to do this on gun that is too big.
- Can you drop the magazine with your firing hand without losing your grip?
- Sliding the lock back should not be too hard.
- Fire the gun if possible, before you purchase it.
- Ask your gun store or gun range if they have a rental gun of the gun you are considering buying.
What other tips would you add to this list for a newcomer to the gun store