My first gun
So you wanna buy a gun. You see what your buddies have, you ask a few friends, and you probably even asked them "Which gun should I buy first?". Great question. I hate to sound like a therapist but you have to answer that question with a question; what do you want to do with it? That's really a crucial question.
Buying a gun is like buying a car. You dont just run out and buy whatever is on the lot because you want a car. You probably need a car for something very specific. Maybe you're having your first baby and need a safe people mover or you have your own handyman business and need a pick up truck. All good vehicles, all with different purposes.
A handgun and a shotgun are good guns but with very differnt purposes. So instead of telling you what gun you ought to buy, here are three questions that will help you determine which gun is best for you:
1. What do I want to do with my gun?
Do you want to hunt, competative shoot, plink, or just start a collection? Think long and hard about what it is you really want to do or accomplish. If you want to hunt then focus on the right rifle or shotgun that will meet your hunting needs. If you want to start competative shooting, learn about the sport and what the different options are for you.
2. What is my budget?
Spend as much as you can afford. Never cheap out because you want it more than you can afford it. There are alot of knock offs out there that will "meet" the need of having one, but as with any investment, cheap up front won't pay dividends over the long run.
3. Have I done my research?
Have you? There is SOOOO much inforamtion available to you over the internet that you really can walk into your local gun shop knowing as much as you can about that gun before you pick it up for the first time. Ask around, maybe a friend or a friend of a friend owns one, ask them what they think. Don't be in a rush to buy. Chances are you'll have that gun for a long time, put in the leg work before you buy.
Once you've done the first three things on this very short list, go to your local gun store. These guys (and gals) are often friendly and full of information and will be happy to show you the gun and answer your questions. Also, nothing beats handling the gun before you buy it. Pick it up, feel it, examine it. You can only learn so much before you get to the store
Whatever you do, asking the right questions up front and putting in a little legwork pays off big in the end. Good luck and good shooting!