Congrats, you have decided to exercise your second amendment rights and buy yourself your first gun. Now what? At first glance, it can be intimidating to walk into any old gun shop and see the hundreds of options available. Each with its own set advantages and disadvantages, perks and flaws, pluses and minuses. Hopefully something in this post will help you make that decision easier. Remember that these are just opinions, mere recommendations of what I would tell a first-time buyer. By no means am I trying to convey absolute truths about the world of guns and telling you what you have to buy. 

First things first 

Before you even set foot in a gun store you need to figure out what it is you want to use a gun for. Be it, home defense, self-defense, hunting or just for fun. Knowing what you want out of a gun is the first step into finding the right one. Now these options are not choose one and forget about the rest, lots of gun’s function as three or four of these options. Something like a 20 gauge shotgun could be used for home defense, hunting and for fun, just to highlight one particular option. Knowing what you plan on using the gun for, before you even start doing research, is going to help out a lot in the search for the right option. 

  • For home defense the best option is a shotgun. Primarily because of its large shot pattern, they are easier to hit targets. Now this doesn’t mean you can just point in any given direction and hit what you’re shooting at but it does give you a bigger window. Another perk of the shotgun is due to the numerous small BB’s it fires out of a single shell, there is less of a chance of the shot to go through the wall potentially endangering others. Other types of guns will also work for home defense but shotguns sit on top of the charts.  
  • For self-defense in which I mean needing a gun outside of your house, any pistol will be your best bet. Shotguns and rifles are just plainly to big to be carrying around when going to the grocery store, plus you can’t just walk around with a rifle around your back and expect people not to be afraid. Pistols are by far the easiest to carry around in both an open carry vs concealed carry situation. Now this brings me to another point. I believe that conceal carry is the ideal way to carry a gun in public. While open carry is legal in most states, it can cause people to be uncomfortable. If you wish to carry concealed, at least in Louisiana, you have to get a permit. This isn’t as big of pain as most classes only take one day and most instructors will help you to learn the dos and don’ts of carrying.  
  • For hunting this is the easiest category to explain, if it has wings use a shotgun, if not use a rifle. There are some cases for pistol hunting but if you are a first-time buyer its best to stick with basics here.  
  • Lastly, and my personal favorite category, what to buy if you just want to shoot for fun. The best answer, for me, is anything you want. There is so many options for ways to shoot for fun. Some people enjoy trap/skeet shooting, which will require a shotgun. Some people want train to shoot long distances, which will require a rifle, and some people like running tactical courses to get their John Wick training on, in which case you would need a rifle, shotgun and pistol. I believe that shooting any gun can be fun and if that is why you are getting into guns great!  

Cool… Now What?

Now I’m done ranting on the importance in knowing what you want out of a gun, now you’re wondering what should I buy. Here is where it can get difficult. There are literally thousands of options out there and it can be overwhelming at first. The MOST IMPORTANT feature to any gun, is how it feels in your hands. It could be the most expensive gun in the world but if it feels like you’re holding a brick, you might be better off with an actual brick. Some people will tell you that Option A is the best thing in the world but if it feels terrible to you it will continue to feel terrible, the guns isn’t going to change. There is no best option, rather lots of good options that you can’t go wrong with. Find out the features that matter most to you, look for these features in the guns and buy the one that suites your needs the best. You can talk to 100 different people and get 100 different opinions on which guns are best.  

If you have questions or need some advice feel free to shoot me an email  

Dillon McClain