Purchasing My First Firearm

Purchasing My First Firearm

Purchasing My First Firearm

My first purchase of a firearm was similar to my first time getting to third base with Emily back in the 8th grade. I was nervous, all thumbs, and had no idea what I was doing. That being said I was excited. It has only been within the last year I have developed an interest in firearms. I would say my interest came from a very unlikely source, my pastor.

Pastor Joe has been involved with firearms for quite sometime now. Having served as a police chaplain in Kansas for more than a few years, he would tell me some really interesting stories about different situations he came upon while serving that little Kansas community. As I would listen to his stories I would ask all sorts of questions. In time I found myself looking at different sites online and purchasing assorted gun magazines. As my interest grew I made the decision to purchase a firearm. This decision was not made lightheartedly. I realized with children in my home, (two boys ages 14 and 7) there were going to be certain precautions I would need to take. In my haste to purchase this first firearm there were a few mistakes I made. I am hoping this article will help to keep some of you readers who may be considering purchasing your first firearm from making those same mistakes.

My first mistake was not consulting my wife prior to purchasing the firearm. Let me explain why I did not go to her regarding this matter. She grew up in a house full of hunters. Duck, geese, and deer were shot and killed regularly. She never went hunting but everyone else in her family did. So I just assumed she felt comfortable around firearms. Well she didn’t. There was a lot of concern for the safety of our two boys, and she was influenced by all the liberal, anti-gun propaganda. It took some getting used to but in the time that has passed she has changed her feelings and she has even gone to a ladies night at our local gun shop and range. She now has a pro gun position and in fact is looking to purchase her first firearm. (See the article How to Make Y our Spouse Like Guns)

My second mistake was not listening to the advice of those who have had a long term relationship with firearms. Specifically my trusted friend Pastor Joe. I consulted with him prior to making my purchase but chose not to heed his advice and went about purchasing the wrong gun for me. It was inexpensive and I thought I could make it work for concealed carry, but it has the profile of a brick. Here in South Carolina the summers are not conducive to concealing full size pistols, but in my pigheadedness I thought I could make it work. Low and behold just as my pastor friend told me, it was entirely too bulky for me to carry under a tee shirt. Lesson learned.

Allow me to say here that I am not bashing inexpensive firearms. I am all for possessing a firearm for personal and family protection, even if said firearm must be purchased within a strict budget. I have always subscribed to the saying: It is better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. If an inexpensive firearm is all you can afford, by all means get it and have something to protect your home and family. I am saying for me and my personal needs the firearm was not a good fit.

So I decided to keep the first firearm and look to get another that was more concealable. Here I made another mistake. I chose to get the same caliber I had for my full sized handgun but in a sub compact. Little did I know the difference in firing the two would be as significant as it was. I didn’t realize shooting a .45 out of a 4.5” barrel could be so different than shooting the same round out of a 3.3” barrel. I really liked that sub compact .45. It was brand new, really aggressive styling, and had won 2013 handgun of the year. Truth be told however it was too much gun for me due to my inexperience in shooting. Lesson learned. So I sold the subcompact .45 and picked up a compact 9mm that I am able to better handle.

So I guess some of the lessons I’m trying to share are these:

  1. Seek advice from those you know have been involved with firearms for some time. Make sure it’s someone you trust. And most importantly LISTEN to what they say.
  2. Consult with your wife or significant other prior to purchasing your firearm. Even if she was raised around firearms.
  3. Prior to purchase, try out the firearm you’re interested in. Shoot it more than once and make sure it is a good fit for why you’re buying it. Remember, bigger is not always better.

I am very new to this firearms community, but I am very interested in learning all I can. I hope to be able to share my experiences, both good and bad, here on USA Carry.

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  • dave kenny

    As a new immigrant from a country that does not allow arms I identified with this article
    Major fail for me was you not naming names.
    What cheap firearm bulkier then a brick?
    You don’t say
    Is this all down to not offending potential or existing ad revenue

    • heyrakes

      probably a Hi-point to a Ruger. the point of the article wasn’t on what he bought

      • Chained

        The sub-compact is a Springfield XDs from what I surmise. It has a 3.3″ barrel, comes in 45 and won gun of the year for 2012 & 2013 45 / 9mm. It is however hard to guess his first but I would to say a Ruger SR45 as it comes with a 4.5″ barrel and is not expensive.

    • PaulB

      Hi Dave-I came here from a firearms prohibitioninst country as well. Guess what my fist major purchase was when I got here…..

  • dave kenny

    the title of the piece is purchasing my 1st….
    what does that mean if no names mentioned
    thanks for info

    • BobGoatse

      Giving names wouldn’t matter. The article doesn’t say “Buy a Glock 26 for your first pistol” because gun selection is subjective.

  • Shaynej13

    Even with some info omitted, it’s still a very good article. Point is, talk to people. Go to a local gun store, or two or three. Talk to friends that have owned and carried for a while. Gun stores with ranges are great places, full of info from both employees and other patrons. Handle the guns. Rent and fire them. Find what’s right for you and your planned use of them. Everyone is different!

    I made my first handgun purchase last March. It was the 3.3″ .45. I love it!

  • PaulB

    Thanks Joe, as always your stuff’s great! I picked a Glock 23 as my first concealed carry/general pistol, and still have her-will never sell either,lol. But for CCW here in the WA desert, I soon learned i had to downsize for a lot of the year. So, next up was a Glock 26, then 27, and now Ruger and Kahr subcompact 9mm arms. All these will serve you well. I happen,btw,to be a southpaw, so that too influenced my choices to some extent.

  • Allen Benge

    Excellent article. I have been shooting since childhood, having been raised on a farm in Indiana, and ending up in security and police work. Your advice is spot on. I would recommend someone planning on buying their first firearm go to a range where they can rent guns and buy the ammo. Try several guns, to get a better idea of how a gun fits you. Stay strong, stay safe.

  • bluwaterkayaker

    Thanks for the advice, but I really don’t need to know your sexual history. Please rethink this when you write again.

    • Joe Riollano

      Sorry. Didn’t mean to offend. Simply meant to make my situation relatable to everyone. Will refrain from doing so in the future.

      • schmoey

        Ignore him. Joe.
        He’s a eunuch.
        I remember Emily as well.
        Ahhh, those were the days.
        Good article!

  • 2ThinkN_Do2

    Only Hi-Point comes to mind when someone mentions a brick. Best advice, try them, as many as you can, hold them a lot to see how they feel in your hand (both hands even); never know when you might need to shoot with the opposite hand. Some guns may feel bad to hold, but shoot great and vice versa. I find that Larger calibers and longer barrels 4″ up, are fine for jacket/coat weather, but the smaller calibers 380, 38/357, 9, 40 and pocket size 3.5 barrel or less are best for warm weather. Some folks I’ve spoken with feel any gun that is all steel is too heavy to carry all day. I mention that, because many short barrel, larger caliber guns in all steel are not too harsh on recoil versus the same caliber in a polymer or light alloy frame. I personally prefer all steel guns for cc most of the year, except the few warmer months. Remember that the availability and cost of ammo is important as well. The most economical of the centerfire calibers is of course the 9mm.

  • PreacherPauly

    We have all had a learning curve in purchasing firearms. Much of what you noted is common sense. I tend even with a new purchase to spend time looking at reviews and talking to other shooters. After weeding through so many opinions, you can usually find what’s right and best for you. Keep learning like the rest of us, your kids will thank you some day.

  • Tiberius

    Very good article for those who have little or no experience in firearms. I carry a Glock G30SF, which is a small frame .45. I was in the military and I always had a .45 on me. Before I was in the military, I had mostly .45’s and my main one was a Colt Gold Cup Series 70. I do agree that a small frame .45 might be a little much for a novice, but later on, I think it’s the best to have. But that is my opinion. The .40 is an excellent round and has been adopted by a lot of agencys. It hold more rounds than the .45, has better ballistics, and muzzle kick is less. A 9mm has been proven by a lot of magazine aditors, as being to small of a caliber. It doesn’t have the stopping power you need. I am telling you a 9mm has all the stopping power needed if placed in the right spot. After all, a .22 can kill. But, the .45 is a well proven man stopper. People say that they need more rounds in the magazine than what a .45 holds. Well, if you are in a situation where you need 16 – 18 rounds, or more, maybe you should not have pulled your gun, or maybe you need more range time. All in all there are pros and cons, comments, user insight, and down right stubborness to every side of guns and ammo. Check out all of the feedback on which type of carry holster to use. It’s endless. Like you, I think it comes down to what you are comfortable with. My wife carrys a Springfield XD .40, and is very happy with it. I think it’s an excellent shooting gun, but I like my Glock .45, and yes I am stubborn about it.

  • schmoey

    What’s Emily doing these days?

  • drbobpt

    Great Read! I could relate to my first experiences with my Brother-in-laws 9mm. Now I own several guns and have taken oh my girls to the range to learn, use, operate both pistols and rifles. Thank you for sharing.

  • Congrats Now Train Monthly

    Jesus. Get properly trained. That means do not use Jason Hanson.

  • KTG

    Good article. My beliefs on children and gun safety is take them shooting. It is the curiosity factor that will get them hurt or in trouble. If you don’t teach them about guns someone will. They may be at a friend’s house and it goes something like this…” Hey, I know where my dad keeps his gun”. You can guess where it goes from there. Next is take them to a gun or hunter safety course. Now buy the gun an rest in peace knowing that you kids will respect it and know it is not a toy.

  • MarthaJernigan

    My Aunty Elizabeth got a up-to-the-minute black Nissan 370Z Convertible impartial
    By working from a notebook… My sources, BIG44.­c­o­m

  • jaimie bisbee

    my Aunty Emily got Volvo XC60 SUV by working part-time
    at home. recommended you read J­a­m­2­0­.­ℂ­o­m

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