It seems many people today acquire guns for all of the wrong reasons. Many factors include: price, look/style, inheritance, suggestions from friends and family, and sometimes even from television and movies. Initially, nothing is wrong with any of these as a foundation for firearm ownership; however, one must study, handle, and practice in order to decide which is the best fit for you. Listed below are a few suggestions to keep in mind when deciding which is the best weapon choice for you.
As individuals we all have different preferences to account for, and fortunately the market is flooded with weapons to choose from. One of the first decisions to make would be weapon size. This includes the actual dimensions of the firearm, size and ability of your hands, caliber, and purpose. Functionality/purpose is simply what is the reason for the weapon? Is it a service weapon used for work, personal protection, home protection?
Some employers have specifications on the type of weapon that must used on duty, many have different options and models based on varying needs of individuals.
In addition, a weapon used as a service weapon for employment would typically be larger than a weapon carried for personal protection. Even though Texas has an open carry option, many choose to carry weapons concealed. So it may not be the best choice to buy a large framed pistol you may see a police officer carry if you personally will have a hard time attempting to carry it concealed on your body or person.
Many people get a feeling of security in carrying what they see law enforcement with, but, their your individual purpose may not be the same as the law enforcement professional. So it may not be the best choice for you, regardless of how well it serves them. Many firearms have the same caliber weapons in a large/full, medium/sub-compact, small/compact size. Go into your local gun dealer and actually hold the weapon to get a feel for it in YOUR hands, with YOUR grip style. This is a simple yet necessary step; it doesn’t matter how cool it looks, how expensive it is, or if it’s the top selling weapon. If you are unable to perform with and manipulate the weapon properly, you are defeating it’s purpose and limiting your survival chances in the event of a deadly encounter.
Secondly, the size and ability of your hands is a key factor in weapon choice. Do you have any injuries and/or medical issues to consider? Weapons have many different grip styles, some thicker/larger than others to help compensate for individuals with smaller hands, and of course, some with a slimmer and more narrow grip for those with larger hands. Do you have arthritis, are you missing any fingers, are you left handed or right? These are just a few questions to consider. These simple answers to these questions may point you in a certain direction for weapon choice. The same gun a friend or family member may recommend may not work for you because it may be too large for you to accurately shoot and hold. Also, some weapons are NOT ambidextrous. So what you want may not necessarily be what you need! Fortunately, many weapon manufactures are now accommodating more consumers needs and producing ambidextrous gun features for left and right handed shooters. If you have large fingers, is the magazine release button too small or rigid for you? Is the slide release too big, small, or hard for you to manipulate?
Next, which caliber is the best option for you? There are several different ammunition calibers available for gun owners. They range in functionality based on preferences for hunting, military/police operations, personal protection, penetration, power, etc… Educate yourself on ammunition grains and traveling speed. As gun owners we all are responsible for each round we fire. Having a bullet too powerful may travel through your intended target and penetrate persons or objects behind them causing personal and/or property damage. This opens individuals up to criminal and/or civil litigation. Shooting at large distances away from your target would require a different round possibly than a close quarter combat situation. For example, a sniper shooting 300 yards away has a different weapon and ammo than a gun fight you may have while walking out of the supermarket to your vehicle, within the parking lot. Different scenarios and environments require different tools. Weapons are simply tools; no one tool works for every job.
There are many different topics and concerns to consider, I have touched upon a few above. Please feel free to post any questions or comments you may have. This is an on-going blog, so I will go into even more detail on my next post.