More women than ever before are stepping foot into gun stores to buy their first firearm. Whether it is a handgun for personal protection or a rifle or shotgun for sport, purchasing a firearm can be intimidating for any first time gun buyer and especially for a female with no previous gun buying experience.
Finding the Right Gun
There are a lot of knowledgeable salesmen who offer great advice for women regarding firearm purchases; then there are those who have no idea how to help a woman purchase a firearm. Take it from me; I have encountered both types at gun stores while looking for a firearm.
I remember being completely overwhelmed by a fast talking salesman trying to sell me what he called “a sexy little sidearm.” The problem with that was I was not looking for something sexy.
And then there was the salesman who thought I should be packing a large frame .50 caliber handgun for the sole purpose of intimidating any would-be-bad-guy who might try to harm me. The “Dirty Harry” salesman as I called him, had one thing right, this handgun would have certainly intimidated people, including me who, at the time, was a first-time gun buyer.
Luckily, I figured out “Harry” was banking on the notion that it would not take long for me to figure out the handgun was not practical for my needs and I would most likely end up asking him to sell it on consignment. This gave him two chances to make money off me, all because I would have let him talk me into purchasing a gun that was not practical for what I needed at that time.
The key word to remember when shopping for a personal gun is the word “me,” after all that is who will be doing the shooting.
Nowadays when I look at buying a firearm, any firearm, I try to keep the five C’s in mind and use this system as I navigate through the maze of firearms.
Of course there are other things I may need to look at when making a purchase, and I almost always stick to these five points to help me determine if a particular firearm is a good fit for me.
The five C’s are …
- Consumer savvy
Let’s take a look at the first one: caliber.
If you are purchasing a handgun for personal protection, caliber may make a difference in three other categories, so it is important to consider the options.
- Which caliber do I want — 9 mm or .40 caliber?
- Can I easily buy ammo in the caliber I am checking out?
- Which caliber has more knockdown power?
- How much knockdown power do I really need?
There is a “Dirty Harry” salesman around every corner trying to convince women they need to buy bigger calibers. Doing some research ahead of time to determine a few optimal caliber choices for the intended use helps you avoid falling for “bigger is better” sales pitch.
Caliber choice is one of the first things I look at and consider when shopping for a gun.
In Part 2 of “The Five C’s of Gun Buying,” we will look at the rest of my basic gun buying guidelines.
Do you have a suggestion or tip when buying a gun? Share it with us in the comment section.
Lisa Metheny is a published award-winning outdoor writer, photographer, speaker and outdoor skills instructor. Lisa holds several instructor certifications and conducts a number of women-focused outdoor seminars on topics such as archery and hunting throughout the year. She regularly teaches hunters education and archery classes and has become an advocate for promoting traditional outdoor recreation to families across the United States. Lisa is also an avid and accomplished hunter with many big game species to her credit. She is a member of POMA and former Board of Directors member as well as a member of the NRA, RMEF, MDF and DU.
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