Personal Defense Network Editors

Buying Your First Defensive Gun

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Duration:   2  mins

Are you looking to buy your first defensive handgun? Ernie Traugh of Cedar Valley Outfitters has some advice for first-time buyers. So many good choices are available today — where do you start? Should you listen to what friends and family tell you is the best handgun? Maybe it’s the best for them, but that doesn’t mean it will be the best for you. Do you need to pay to rent ten or 12 different handguns at a range?

Go to a Professional

On the contrary — Ernie encourages you to seek out a professional defensive firearms trainer. You need instruction to learn how to shoot in defense of your life, and every reputable trainer will have multiple handguns available that you can test to see which one fits your hand best, which is easiest for you to operate, and which just feels best to you. For the reasonable fee you will be paying for training, you can test name-brand handguns and get a better idea of what you want.

Buyer’s Market

In today’s market, you have many opportunities to buy a good defensive firearm from multiple well-known manufacturers at a fair price. Ammunition is also at its lowest prices in ten years.

When trying handguns, keep in mind that the most important factor for a defensive firearm is reliability, followed by efficiency and then fit and feel — how well you can operate it. You’re looking for a tool to defend your life, not a hobby gun for shooting tin cans. A professional trainer can give you the instruction you need, as well as the opportunity to try out multiple handguns.

PDN can help you find a reputable instructor, with our list of professional firearms trainers all over the United States. And if you want to start with some online instruction before taking a live-fire class, our “Choosing a Defensive Handgun” class is available to purchase and watch any time and as often as you want.

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