4 Factors to Keep in Mind When Buying a Handgun

There are many reasons you may be interested in purchasing a new handgun. Often, this purchase is one someone will consider because they want to feel confident in their ability to defend themselves, their family, and their home should a wrongdoer ever target their residence.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all handguns are the same. You need to consider a range of factors when making a purchase to ensure you buy a gun that suits your needs and preferences. 

Factors worth keeping in mind include the following:

Your Needs & Goals

The type of handgun you decide to purchase should be based on how you plan on using it. For example, perhaps you have a concealed carry permit or license. If you want to purchase a handgun that will allow you to actually make use of your concealed carry privileges, you should look for one that is relatively small and can be hidden from view in most environments and situations.

On the other hand, if you’re buying a handgun to defend your home, you might not need to concern yourself with whether others can see it on your person. As such, it may be more appropriate to buy something larger that will effectively ward off potential criminals the moment they see it.

Ammunition Cost

Not all handguns use the same type of ammunition. The type of ammunition that one handgun requires may be costlier than the type of ammunition that’s right for another handgun.

Your main goal when choosing a handgun is to ensure you pick one that will serve your needs in the moment should you ever need to use it in self-defense. However, you can only use a gun if you can afford the ammunition it requires. 

This may seem like a minor detail, as it’s unlikely you’ll be using a gun often enough to need to buy ammunition on a regular basis, but it’s still a factor worth keeping in mind if you’re on a budget. 

For example, using a gun for sport does actually involve using up a lot of ammunition often.


This is among the most important factors to account for when buying a handgun. In fact, it may be the number one most important factor.

Quite simply, depending on your experience level, some types of handguns are easier to handle than others. For example, perhaps you’re buying your first handgun ever. If so, you should strongly consider buying a full frame model. This type is the easiest for beginners to use when they are first learning how to properly handle this kind of firearm. 

On the other hand, if you already have experience with handguns, you may feel confident enough in your abilities to handle them properly to justify opting for a compact or subcompact model. These have more recoil but are potentially easy to handle for someone who has been using handguns for several years.

Reliability & Maintenance Needs

This is an important factor to consider that’s nevertheless easy to forget about when making a handgun purchase. You need to be confident that your gun will be reliable and function as intended when you need it to.

For example, perhaps you’re buying a gun simply as a collectors’ item. If so, you don’t necessarily need to concern yourself with how reliable it may be, given that it’s unlikely you will ever actually use it in any practical situation. However, if you’re buying a handgun as a form of protection, you must be sure it will perform as you expect it if the need to use it ever arises. Additionally, you should also consider the degree to which some guns require more maintenance than others.

The main point to keep in mind is that there isn’t one particular handgun that’s universally ideal for everyone. However, by remembering to account for these factors when making a purchase, you’ll be more likely to buy the right gun for you.

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