First Time Gun Purchase? Pick Out Your Own Gun

A friend-of-a-friend had a scary experience over the weekend & decided that she would feel safer if she bought & learned how to use a gun. Our mutual friend put us in contact with one another & I offered to accompany her to the gun store to help her pick out a gun that was right for her.  She had never even held a gun before yesterday.

At the store she handled about 8 different pistols, both revolver & semi-automatic, in various calibers. She ended up liking the way a .40 caliber felt most. “Some people” might be surprised at a first time gun owner going with a .40 caliber semi-automatic, but, of all the guns she handled, it was the one that felt most comfortable to her, and that’s very important.

firearms training for womenAfter her purchase I accompanied her to her gun home and gave her a private lesson that involved general firearms safety, how to load & unload her specific firearm, grip, sight alignment, trigger pull, questions, scenarios, and more. We spent almost 2 hours in her house with dummy rounds before I even let her handle live ammunition. The increase in her confidence from the time she was handling the firearms at the gun store and when we went outside for live fire was very obvious. She was no longer acting like the inanimate object, which she controlled, would jump up and attack her on its own.

When we got outside she was still a little nervous, having never fired a gun before, and she wanted me to fire it first. So, after our eye & ear protection was in place, I made a milk jug filled with water explode. We then set up a cardboard box target for her.

The box had several words on it as well as a circle that was about 3 inches in diameter. We picked the circle as her point of aim. After she got in a good stance and got her sights aligned she stood there for quite a while – I’d guess close to a minute. I didn’t rush her. After she finally pulled the trigger we both looked at the target. It was starting to get dark, and we were about 20 feet back from the box and couldn’t see a hole. As we walked closer, I saw the hole…dead center of the circle!

For a first time shooter, that perfect shot would not have happened if she had been rushed in her purchasing decision & chose a pistol that wasn’t comfortable in her hands and not allowed the time to pull the trigger that first time on her own terms.

So, ladies (and gentlemen), do NOT allow yourself to be rushed through the purchase of your first firearm. Get proper training. If possible, private training from someone who will take the time to let you learn at your own pace, give you plenty of “hands on” time, and let you ask tons of questions.


  1. Excellent article with very good points!

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