There comes that delicate moment in every couple’s life where they make the big leap together. Sometimes it takes years and others just jump right in after a few weeks, but you’ll always remember going to the gun store to purchase handguns together.
1. Look at how you two use guns differently
You may need a full-size handgun for open carry purposes. Your spouse or significant other may really want to keep the fact she’s armed hidden from others. Look at how you two work with guns and that will tell you where you both need to start shopping.
2. The gun store clerk is a salesman. Always has been, always will be.
A gun store will sell guns. That’s a “no brainer”. However, sometimes there’s more incentive in selling one gun over another. It could be a competitive commission program or just a bonus but gun store clerks have a reason to steer you in certain directions. Now, some will take that opportunity to show you something new. Others will just take your money and laugh. In either case, you need to hold up that man or woman’s words with a grain of salt.
3. Colored hand grips don’t improve anything.
Just because the handle is hot pink doesn’t make that gun a lick better than some old, rusted out steel pot shooter in the bargain bin.
4. Some folks will swear by steel but polymer is lighter.
In this modern age of fanciful gadgetry and polymer, we tend to forget that plastic doesn’t hold up to brake cleaning fluid very well. It also doesn’t do too well in absolutely freezing conditions. Old handguns like the single-action 1911 and old S&W revolvers all feature steel and lots of it. This makes a handgun heavier. It also makes the gun easier to repair. Guns weren’t made to be tossed out after 10,000 rounds. They were meant to be upkept and passed down.
Polymer guns are lighter, can feature newer safety features that make them safer to carry everyday, and may indeed last just as long as steel guns over the lifetime of the gun. Because polymer-handled guns like the Glock 19 are so new to the market, we just don’t know yet.
5. Is your significant other not a right handed shooter?
Most people are right handed. People who grew up right handed won’t usually stop to think whether or not they are right eye dominant. Some pistols are geared specifically to right handed shooters. Find out whether or not your significant other is right eye dominant before getting him or her geared up with another pistol.
6. A pistol that just sits in the safe or a pistol meant to be carried?
For those with disposable income, buying another handgun to join a collection in a safe is nothing. Take it out to the range once a month or so, clean it and put it back. Is your next handgun purchase for your significant other going to be that or one she will carry with her everyday?
7. Buy for function, not for price.
Too often we’ll rationalize a price for a trusted tool. Not every gun in our collection has to be a collector’s item. Function over form can and will hold true. That said, don’t price yourself out of a pistol just because you think it’s too expensive.
8. Used pistols are just fine.
The gun market is silly right now. A brand new pistol and its used counterpart are nary a few bucks off from one another. That said, where you can save a few bucks by buying used, you may as well. If the pistol is worth it and your significant other is hot to trot on carrying it, check out the used section of the gun store.
9. Buy for the situation or buy for everyday.
Do you want a gun that handles any given situation to some degree or do you want a gun that excels in one particular arena? Those are decisions you and your significant other can make while shopping for guns. It’s too easy to get distracted by the way a gun looks and then imagine, “oh, in this situation, this gun would be perfect.”
That’s rationalizing your emotions and while sales people love it, it’s not helping you that much.
If your significant other already has an everyday carry handgun, then perhaps the next question to ask is in what situation would he or she need a different gun. If you can’t answer that, maybe neither of you needs a new gun! In that case, be honest with yourselves and say you’re getting a new gun because you like how it looks and you want a new toy. That’s fair, it’s honest, and it’s accurate.
10. Always shoot first, buy later
Do not buy a gun unless you’ve had a chance to shoot it. How the heck can you know whether or not a gun is the right fit for you much less someone else if neither you nor your significant other have shot it before?
Don’t let fancy hand grips and aesthetics fool you out of your money. Go to a range that lets you rent a handgun and fire it. For more info on this, check out Ben Findley’s Handgun Testing Protocol.