How To Buy a New Handgun and What To Do When You Get it Home

Buying a new handgun can be a daunting task. If you don’t know what to look for, or what your gun needs to have, you may end up with a sidearm that isn’t the best. The last thing you’d want to have happen is to spend the money on one of our holsters, only to put a gun in it that malfunctions when you need it most.

Believe it or not, even at this current time in history, there are still gun manufacturers that sell guns that malfunction more than they should.

This article is meant to show you how to buy a new handgun, so you don’t end up with a lemon.

A lot of Handgun Options

First up, is that you must understand that there are a lot of options out there for you to choose from. While some guns are similar to each other, they can be totally different. You must figure out what you’re looking for in a gun, how much you want to spend, and what features it has before you start to narrow down your search.

Here are just some of the different options you can find on various handguns currently for sale:

  • Revolver or semi-auto
  • Manual safety VS no safety
  • Hammer fired VS striker
  • DA/SA VS Double Action Only or Single Action Only
  • Pic rail VS no Picatinny rail
  • Night sights VS standard sights VS optic cut
  • Trigger shoe safety VS no trigger shoe safety
  • Plastic guide rod VS metal guide rod

All of the above can be found in any number of options, and you have to figure out what you’re looking for in your pistol that is in your price point.

how to buy a new handgun


The most important part about carrying a firearm for self-defense is that it works when you need it to. So, you should always only buy a gun that has a proven track record. So, this begs the question then, how do you know if the gun works? Well, the best place to start is with gun reviews that you’d find in magazines, blogs, and YouTube.

Checking out several reviews of the handguns you’re looking to narrow down is one of the best ways to go about this. I’ve been working for the industry and creating my own reviews for about a decade. During that time I can say that most of the reviewers I’ve met (and I’ve met many of them) are honest people who won’t shill a product for pay.

Most of them are trustworthy folks, which is why this is a great place to start since you don’t have to spend any money, just some time spent consuming information.

shoot ability

You don’t want to stop at the gun reviews before you buy a gun. You’ll want to make sure you can actually shoot it, that it shoots well, and that it works for you with your chosen ammo. The best way to do this is to find someone with the gun you want, or to go to a gun range that rents guns along with range time, and put some lead downrange with it.

Your goal here is to see for yourself that it shoots well, is ergonomically correct for your own hands, and that you are confident with it.

Even after you get your gun home, you’ll want to keep shooting and practicing so you get better. You’ll also want to test your chosen self-defense ammunition to make sure that they actually cycle.


Next up on the list is accuracy. In other words, can you hit your target with your handgun? This is something that you should figure out when you rent or borrow the pistol before the purchase and should continue after the fact to continually get better.

You’ll want to practice drawing the gun from your holster to make sure you can get a combat grip at the draw and make sure your accuracy doesn’t suffer when it counts. Add the stress of time with a shot timer to your practice to test your accuracy under pressure.

At the end of the day, if you can’t hit your target it puts others at risk if you need to stop an attack.

Carrying the gun

Finally, we have to carry the gun. What I mean here is that shortly after your purchase you’ll need to find a holster to carry it in, and actually start to carry it. You’ll potentially be uncomfortable at first, but it is worthwhile to stick with it. It may be a good idea to practice carrying it around the house to get used to the gun, so you’re not constantly fidgeting around with it while out in public.


Picking out a good carry gun for yourself is essential. If you ever do need to protect yourself, you’ll be glad you took the steps to make sure you were sufficiently armed with an accurate, reliable handgun that you can shoot well. Hopefully, our guide on how to buy a new handgun got you pointed in the right direction. Next up, find your new holster, here.