The thought is born with the press of the trigger, “I want my own gun.” There must be something addictive that happens in the press of a trigger. I saw online recently that when you shoot, it is the same as a passionate kiss. I believe it!
What to do now? How will I pick the right gun for me? I think the next step is not to look at guns, believe it or not. Watch out, I am putting on my responsible hat. The first step should be to consider the responsibility of owning a firearm and the cost involved. Boring, I know but a gun is not a one and done purchase.
Now before you walk into a gun store and start drooling and pondering over each brand, please consider a gun like a pet: one that needs to be fed, cleaned, and nurtured:
1. How will I store a gun in my home? How else will I need to store it, locked?
2. What will I use this gun for?
(Answers to this question are varied and personal, as is the final choice of which gun to purchase.)
3. What else will I need to use my gun the way I want to? For example: concealed carry may include obtaining a permit, multiple holster options, costs of training, etc.
4. What caliber of ammo should I start with? What are the costs of the ammo?
5. What other costs are involved? (Cleaning supplies, targets, memberships, etc.)
No, I didn’t answer ALL of these before my gun purchase. I was aware of each point and had an idea but let’s move to the fun part, the gun!
At first I couldn’t decide on what kind of gun would be right for me. I wanted it to do so much! I was eager to learn marksmanship, to conceal carry, and start in competition with the same gun. What a joke that was!
You CAN conceal carry a gun you would use for competition, but why would you want to? Yes, please let me carry about 3 lbs. of firearm on my person every day for no reason.
I took my decision very seriously, especially for my first gun- this one gun would be the only gun purchase I would make in the next year and it needed to be one that I wouldn’t regret. I decided to take my time with my decision, to explore all the options and know the what and why of my decision. THIS woman was going to choose her own firearms and know why!
Let me share with you my gun buying adventure. The first thing I did was go to a big box store and look at ammunition. Ammo? My super-amazing-supportive husband asked me why, I told him “I will be buying a lot more ammo than I will guns.” Seems logical to me, I will invest in ammo 100x over the cost of a gun. What caliber should I choose, is it readily available, is it reasonably priced?
I chose 9mm ammunition. This was when .380 was put to the wayside in my mind, it was not readily available, it was 25% more expensive than 9mm ammunition. The same with .40 and .45 and what the heck is 10mm ammo? Ammunition has been the largest expense and will continue to be.
THIS woman was going to choose her own firearms and know why!
The decision between revolver and semi-auto was already solved for me, I knew I wanted a semi-automatic. For conceal carry purposes, I chose to start with compact 9mm guns on the market. A thinner profile gun would conceal easier, especially on my curvy body. These were all just logical decisions for me at first, now comes the fun part. I realized I do not know enough about the market to make a good choice right out of the gate, so I decided to look at each manufacturer. My passionate kiss had better be a consistently good kisser!
My first step was to hold as many guns as I could to find the best grip for my hand. I found out I have small hands, go figure! I was reading all I could online about compact guns, thinking these would be the best bet.
Directly from my first list, the following beaus:
- S&W MP9C in carbon fiber. Longer magazine available. Barrel 3.5, 21.7 oz, 2 mag. Capacity 12+1, 17+1. Width 1.2. $579.99
- Ruger KSR9C. 2 mags 10+1, 17+1. 23.4 oz. Barrel 3.4, width 1.3. $499.99
- Springfield XD(M) 3.8 compact. 2 mags 13+1, 19+1. Chrome barrel. Width 1.18. Free gear offer. 28 oz. (Heaviest) Grip safety.
- Taurus 24/7 G2 9SsC-17. 2 mags 17+1, 13+1. Barrel 3.5, 27 oz. $389.99
- Taurus PT809C. Hammer. 2 mag 12+1, 17+1. Barrel 3.5. 24.7 oz.
- Beretta M9A1. 31.6 oz, 13+1 mag, 4.25 barrel.
- Bersa Thunder Pro HC 9mm. Mag 17+1. Barrel 4.25. Width 1.45. 30.7 oz
- CZ 75 Compact 91190 SKU. Mag 14. Barrel 3.8. Width 1.38. 2.03 lbs
- Glock 19 G4. Mag 15 with optional 10/17/33. Barrel 4.01. Width 1.18.
- Glock 26 G4. Mag 10 with optional (15/17/33). Barrel 3.42. Width 1.18. 21.71 oz
- Walther PPQ. Barrel 4.6. Mag 15. Width 1.3. 25 oz
- Bersa Thunder High Capacity. Barrel 4.25, mag 17. $511.00
- Glock 17 G4. Barrel 4.49. Mag 17. 22.04 oz. $599
- Heckler & Koch VP9. 3 mags 15. Barrel 4.09. Ambidextrous release. 29.84 oz. $700
- Ruger SR9. Ambi. Barrel 4.14. 26.5 oz. Mag 17. $529
- Sig Sauer P250. Compact Barrel 4.6. 26.5 oz. $628
- Sig Sauer P250 Barrel 4.7. 29.5oz. $570
- Sig Sauer P320 Full size. Barrel 4.7. Mag 17. 29.5 oz $678
- S&W M&P Pro Series. Barrel 5. Mag 17. 26 oz. $689
As you can see, I was highly concerned with width, magazine capacity, and barrel length. Weight was for concealed carry concerns. These guns made the list because of product research I did online, the next step was to hold each one and take a closer look. The list became much smaller after that.
The online research consisted of manufacturers websites, user reviews at big box stores, articles, and YouTube videos. I prefer Hickok45 over most, just remember everyone has a preference. I also looked for competition ready pistols and their reviews.
The search and story continues…see My search for the do it all gun.