Why do you want a handgun? The answer to this question will determine many of your new gun’s characteristics. If concealed carry is your goal, you’ll want a gun that is short, small and light, while one for home defense may be larger and heavier. It’s best for new gun owner to determine their handgun’s single most critical function.
Choosing Between a Semi-Automatic or a Revolver
Two types of handguns are widely relied upon for self-defense: semi-automatics and revolvers. There are various types of semi-automatics, but all share the same advantages over the revolver: more rapid reload-ability, greater cartridge capacity and, for citizens with carry permits, a thinner, more concealable profile. Semi-autos may be a bit more complex to operate, loading the magazine, and using the slide retraction.
Selecting the Proper Caliber
Now the selection of the caliber of your defensive handgun—that is, the exact cartridge it is designed to fire. This choice is critical, as it determines both the level of recoil you’ll have to manage and the effectiveness of the handgun/cartridge combination in a defensive situation. Caliber choice also influences gun size; a 9 mm pistol, for example, can be made smaller and lighter than one for the physically larger .45 ACP
The majority stores will required a firearm ID card to shop for a handgun. Your state will determine the requirements to shop and purchase in most cases.