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Buying A Handgun for Concealed Carry

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Gun Shop Etiquette and Purchasing the RIGHT Handgun

At the Gun Store

Choosing THE handgun is a bit like buying shoes. Ever bought shoes over the 'net? Yeah, mine didn’t fit exactly right either. In the shoe store you try them on, walk around a bit. You want to adopt a similar approach in the Gun Shop. This is the Real Gun Control check list for a firearms purchase.

Good advise on concealed carry guns!
Thisn here's just whachya want!

A Handgun Purchasing Primer

  1. Know before you go
    • Makes you are interested in (Springfield Armory, Smith & Wesson, etc.)
    • Intended purpose (home defense, concealed carry, hunting)
    • Approximate size (pocket pistol, full sized)
    • Your price range (buck two fifty, a gazzilion dollars)
    • Davidson’s Gallery of Guns is a great resource
      • Check Prices
      • Shop a wide selection
      • Still support your local gun shop (they act as distributors for Davidson's)
  2. ENSURE any gun you handle is clear (empty)
    • Ask the salesman how to clear it, if you don’t know how - Hey, none of us knew how till someone showed us
      • If they act reluctant, or give you attitude - walk out and find a different store - right now!
      • Unfortunately there are still a few gunshops run as a "good-ol-boys club" instead of a helpful retail store
    • I don’t care if he just cleared it, clear it YOURSELF
    • NEVER handle a gun you have not personally cleared!
    • I don’t believe in "accidental" discharges, I believe they are ALL negligent discharges
  3. Keep the muzzle (end of the barrel) pointed away from people at ALL times
  4. Check it for comfort
    • Is the grip too big or small, anything rough against your hand (Some grips are adjustable)
    • Balanced and easy to hoist, or awkward and clumsy feeling
    • Can you reach the trigger, magazine release, and safety (if so equipped) easily
    • If it fits, you will have an, "Oh, yeah!" moment. You'll know it
  5. Does it point?
    • Yes you can point any gun, but does it "help" you
    • Aim at a safe location with your arm(s) extended, should point like a finger
    • Aim, then close your eyes a moment, when you open them you should still be close to your aim point
  6. Check the trigger
    • Ask if you can dry fire it (Pull the trigger on an unloaded gun)
    • Gently squeeze the trigger
    • Should be smooth and easy feeling
    • Heavy trigger pull may be OK (double action revolvers) - but not excessively heavy
  7. Check the slide or cylinder
    • Rack the slide several times - should not feel gritty or be overly resistant
    • Is it comfortable to grip the slide - no rough edges
    • All working parts will smooth out with time and use
    • Drop and close the cylinder - does it move cleanly
  8. Repeat with the next one to catch your interest
  9. Try your three or four favorites back to back
  10. Shoot them if possible
    • Many gun shops have a variety of rentals you might try
    • Beg friends to try their pistols
    • On occasion a friendly stranger may let you shoot their handgun if you express an interest
    • In a perfect world you should never buy a gun without shooting it
    • But often just not possible
  11. What is the procedure to breakdown for cleaning?
    • Ask the sales person to demonstrate
    • Should be simple and straight forward

YOUR Handgun

And just like at the animal shelter, one of them will call your name. "Pick me! Pick me!" You have found YOUR gun!

Be willing to listen to advice. Weigh it carefully. And be ready to dig your heels in and ignore it! This is going to be YOUR gun, not their’s. Do you let your boyfriend, or the salesman, or your friends pick which shoes are the most comfortable?

On the other hand, don’t sweat blood over your decision either. You can always trade it in on a different one if you don’t choose perfectly on your first purchase. And you may find you have picked the perfect gun for all day carry in jeans and a sweat shirt, but it is useless for carrying in shorts and a T-shirt. Or your concealed carry gun makes the ideal home defense gun, and is not so great for all day wear. Well, maybe eventually you might need another. After all, who wears just one pair of shoes?

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