Buying your first handgun is a decision not to be taken lightly. First, you need to decide what you want to do with the handgun. Is it for home protection? Will you need to conceal it? Do you just want to shoot paper targets? If so, will you be shooting at 5-7 yards or do you want to be accurate to 25 yards?
After considering the answers to these questions then you need to decide on what type of gun, pistol or revolver. Each offer their own pluses and minuses.
A revolver is limited on capacity, but it is extremely reliable and does not have a safety, but that might be handy if you plan on carrying it. If you choose a revolver for carry, I would recommend one that does not have an external hammer, as it might get caught on something when retrieving it. A revolver has a long and heavy trigger pull on every shot. That might not be for everyone.
A pistol comes in two styles, hammer fired or striker fired.
A hammer fired pistol has an external heavy hammer pull, the same as revolvers. However, it has an external safety that you will need to disengage before the gun will fire, but only the first shot has a long and heavy pull. After this, the trigger is extremely light. So, if you plan on carrying it, you will need to practice as the first shot will not be like the second one.
A striker fired pistol has a longer and heavier trigger pull on every shot, just like a revolver, but capacity is not an issue. Most do not have an external safety that needs to be disengaged. It is built into the gun.
Once you have decided on what type fits you the best, find one that fits your hand most appropriately.
If you plan on carrying it you will have to think about how you dress and find a gun that you can conceal. You will have to think about your style of clothing and this may change with the seasons, depending on where you live. If you live in the Midwest you can conceal a double stacked .45 from November to March, but not so much from March to November.
If you are looking for one for home protection and you do not plan on carrying it you do not have to worry about frame size. If it fits your hand and is in a caliber you are proficient with then all should be fine. The ability to add a flash light might come in handy.
If you plan on shooting paper at 5-7 yards you can save some money on getting a shorter barrel. However, if you want to be accurate at 25 yards then spend the money on a longer barrel.
What are your thoughts? Please comment below. We are always interested in hearing from you.
And, as always stay safe and practice.