How to Choose Your First Gun
The decision to own a gun is very personal. The choice to be a gun owner is a choice to carry a significant responsibility. You must understand guns and learn to use them correctly.
If you don’t know someone who owns a gun, it can be very difficult to find out what kind of gun you need. The first question you should ask yourself is whether you want a gun for hunting, self-defense, or target shooting. We will show you what a gun must accomplish in each category, giving you the basic knowledge to find out more information about which gun is right for you.
The goal of each type of shooting determines the type of gun you want to buy. For hunting, you want to kill fast moving animals with as few shots as possible. You want a gun that is accurate and reliable, with enough power for a humane kill. The right gun for you depends on the type of game you will hunt.
For smaller game, simple small calibre rifles like the .22 have sufficient accuracy and stopping power to do the job. Birds require the spread of a shotgun to get a hit. It’s important to remember that while these weapons seem easy to shoot, they require practice to use correctly. You still have to aim a shotgun, a skill that takes practice to acquire.
Larger game requires larger bullets that travel further with power and accuracy. This usually requires 7 mm or .306 caliber rifles, for example. At a closer distance you can also use larger pistols with equal effect.
Another important factor is the type of action. Rifles can be semi-automatic (guns that shoot and reload a cartridge every time you pull the trigger), bolt actions, lever actions, and even single shot. Depending on your preference, you might want the ease of a semi-auto to start out or perhaps challenge yourself with the bolt action. Some hunters choose the slower reload time to emphasize the need of one-shot kills.
The goal of personal defense is to protect against an intruder. The goal is not necessarily to kill the intruder, but rather to prevent harm to you or your family. Thus, there are limitations for gun owners wanting to defend their homes.
One example of this is picking the size of your gun. The advantage of a heavier pistol, a rifle, or a shotgun is that they are more likely to stop an attacker with one or two hits. However, these weapons also have the chance of going through walls and potentially hurting someone else. The increased power also leads to a heavier recoil that makes engaging an intruder more difficult (especially for people with smaller builds).
Lighter 9mm pistols are powerful enough to hurt an attacker with less risk of hitting someone else. In addition to the smaller bullet, a 9mm handgun can be easier to use in the close quarters of your home. Rifles and shotguns are harder to use around corners than pistols. In the end, you should decide on the weapon that makes you feel safer and more comfortable. Remember, the idea is to deter an attack, not have a gun battle in your house reminiscent of a scene from Die Hard.
Some people choose to shoot competitively, which can be very rewarding. Gun sports have a variety of events, so you have complete freedom to choose the gun that matches your interests. If you want to be an accurate shooter, then pick a good rifle. If you want to become a fast shooter, then get a smaller pistol. There are always clay shooting and similar events that would require a shotgun.
When buying a gun, it’s best to work your way up. Try contacting a local gun dealer or find gun ranges that would allow you to rent a gun. This allows you to find the gun that is the best fit before you commit to a sale. Also, you should find a gun that has a good resale value, in case you decide to get a better gun in the future.
It’s important to become extremely practiced with your weapon. Guns require skill and muscle memory to use safely and correctly. Skill will make you a better hunter and keep your home safe. Having a gun and ammunition that enables you to practice often is an essential calculation as you prepare to purchase a gun.
Note that Canadian law is very strict on how to secure your guns. Having a proper gun safe for rifles, shotguns, and pistols is an easy way to follow the law and prevent accidents in your home. You can purchase smaller safes to hold a home defense weapon in your bedroom where you can have easy access in an emergency situation.
Owning a gun can be both fun and satisfying. If you purchase a good first gun, you have taken a crucial step in becoming a responsible gun owner. Make sure you decide on a gun that best meets your needs and practice to become an experienced shooter.