According to the respected Pew Research Center, approximately 30 percent of American adults - or 3 out of every 10 people - own a personal pistol or handgun.
With crime on the rise in many areas, people want to have a handy way to protect themselves and their families.
But one obstacle that stands in their way is so simple it is often overlooked. How do you make sure you are choosing the right pistol for you? There is a lot to think through when selecting a personal pistol which this article will help you think through.
1. Choose your pistol based on your top priority.
As NRA Family points out, there hasn’t yet been a gun invented that can serve every purpose and suit every need.
But luckily, there are many different types of pistols that can meet different needs and serve different purposes.
For example, a conceal-and-carry firearm should be small, light in weight, low profile and easy to tuck away.
A firearm designed to be stored inside the home for self-defense can be larger and more powerful, since you won’t be traveling with it on your person.
2. Make sure your strength and your pistol are a match.
As Gun University highlights, you don’t want to purchase more pistol than you can readily operate.
Every person has their own comfort level with the way different pistols handle. Some will require more sheer physical strength to hold, aim and fire.
It is important to test out any pistol before making a commitment to be sure it is a match for your strength and dexterity. This includes the size of the grip, the trigger, the safety and the magazine (if applicable).
If you have very small hands, you may prefer a more compact pistol where all the relevant mechanisms are close together. Similarly, if you have large hands, you don’t want to discover post-purchase that your thumb barely fits into the trigger area!
3. When choosing a pistol, caliber and size both matter equally.
As The Well Armed Woman points out, you want to be sure the gun you are picking will be able to do the job you need it to do.
This involves both the caliber of ammunition and the size of the pistol itself. Here, sometimes a larger, sturdier pistol can deliver more firepower than a smaller, lighter weight weapon.
Ultimately, you want both a handgun you can easily handle and operate and enough firepower to combat the threat you are most concerned about or the target you have your eye on.
4. Balance safety with self defense.
Gander Outdoors makes an excellent point about choosing a pistol for beginning gun users.
While safety should always be a priority when you are operating a pistol for any purposes, in a case of acute self-defense, you don’t want safety to be a self-limiting obstacle.
In other words, if you are fumbling around to remember where the external safety release mechanism is, you may not have enough time left to use your weapon effectively in your own defense.
Pistols today come with a rich assortment of extra bells, whistles and features. Just be sure that the extras you select won’t end up being an obstacle if you need to access and use your pistol in a hurry.
5. Pay attention to maintenance needs.
One area many first-time gun owners forget about all too easily is regular maintenance. The last thing you need is a gun that is difficult to dissemble, clean, maintain and reassemble.
As Concealed Nation explains, you also want to be sure you can easily reload the magazine when the time comes.
Another option is a revolver pistol, which doesn’t require reloading a spring-loaded magazine like a modern pistol. This can be safer and easier for users with less upper body or arm strength.