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Monthly Archives: March 2014

How much will it cost to buy and carry a gun?

 

 

The White haired ShooterTHE WHITE HAIRED SHOOTER

This is a continuation of the January 13th post:  Are you thinking of buying/ carrying a gun?

It is obvious that the answer to the question: “How much will it cost to buy and carry a gun?” does not have a single or correct answer. There are way too many variables to consider, and arriving at that figure is a highly individual issue.  It is based on everything from what you can afford to how you want to use and carry the gun.

But no matter how much you actually spend, it’s important to know that the price of the gun itself is only a portion of the total cost you need to consider.  If you are going to own carry a gun, you will need some basic accessories, training, and permits. And if you are going to become a responsible gun owner, you will need to gain proficiency with the gun and that means regular practice.  You will need to factor in the cost of ammunition, protective gear, and a place to shoot. You will also need some basic cleaning supplies.

NOTE:  All of the items below vary widely in price and availability

…depending on location, the current market and availability, and where you can practice. But it is possible to use a “guesstimate” as a starting point to give you an idea of some of the upfront costs of gun ownership:

  • Gun                               $500.00          probably somewhere between $250 to $750…
  • Ammo-1st year*            $200.00          based on 20-50 rounds a month, at $10-30 box…
  • Permit & Classes          $300.00          will vary widely depending on where you live….
  • Accessories                  $100.00          holster, eye and hearing protection, cleaning supplies….
  • TOTAL:                      $1,100.00           this is your guesstimate cost for the first year

 

Graphing these guesstimates gives a very rough/representative look :

GunCostGraph

About Cutting Corners to Lessen the Costs

Mature women, as a group, are generally considered  “experts” at cutting corners and finding less expensive ways to get what we need and want.  Looking for sales is definitely part of buying your gun. But as we have all learned “the hard way” you also can “GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.” Please remember those hard won lessons and make sure you are really getting a genuine bargain.

When dealing with firearms and their accessories, it is extremely important to know what you are getting for your money. While there are a lot of nice, dependable guns out there for sale – both USED and NEW, there are also many cheaply made, broken, poorly maintained, and worn out ones as well. Seek out expert advice and counsel.

When you are getting that “bargain,” make sure it is quality as well. That is especially important when purchasing of ammunition. It may seem economical to use reloaded ammunition, but I believe it is always safest to make sure you know who has done the reloading, or learn to do it yourself.  Beware of ammunition that may be for sale at a garage or yard sale. Not only may that be a illegal in some jurisdictions, but you have no idea of the conditions that it has been stored. When it comes to your gun and ammunition, I believe it is better to “bite the bullet” (pun intended!) and make sure you are getting a safe and reliable product than try to save a few dollars or cents.  It may sound melodramatic, but you are investing in potentially saving and defending your own life and those of people you love.

Following the law when carrying and owning a  borrowed gun

Some people may also consider borrowing someone else’s gun instead of – or delaying – purchasing their own.  In many states there are no legal constraints to doing that. But that can be a very serious offense in other states that require registration of the actual guns that you carry. It is absolutely vital that you get to know the regulations and laws in your jurisdiction. Research on the internet as a start, but check in with your sheriff and/or police chief before you purchase or borrow a firearm for self defense in your home or to carry.

Even if it is a close relative letting you use the gun, also be aware that should you need to fire that gun in self defense, that gun can and may be confiscated by the authorities, depending on circumstances and jurisdiction.

Conversely, if you own a gun and want to loan it to someone else, treat it as you would any valued tool and “then some.” Make sure the borrower can legally have a weapon in their possession, and that they know how to safely handle a gun.

Take your time to obtain a gun

The initial expense of becoming a gun owner is quite steep. For those living on a tight budget it may take quite awhile to put away the money to own your own gun. But there is a lot you can do as you save up for the purchase…  and by taking your time, you will be able to make a wiser choice and get “more bang” for your buck (apologies, there I go again,seems I just can’t help myself!). Eventually you will find the gun that is right for you, and with determination and perseverance you will be able to afford it. Put away a little faithfully, and it will build up.

While you are still in the beginning stages, here are some ideas:

  • Research and become more familiar with the “language” and terminology of guns and ammunition. But please, use caution and your common sense when wading through the internet. Try to stick to MAJOR reputable sites and forums.
  • Visit gun shows and gun shops, ask to handle the guns (ALWAYS ASK and check to see if it is okay before dry firing) and ask questions about ammunition.
  • Rent a gun at a range, get to know which gun feels best as you shoot it.
  • Take a basic pistol course, the instructor can supply a gun for your use and you can get the qualification you need for a concealed carry permit.  Ask the instructor if he can give you a “senior discount” –  many do (my husband certainly does)
  • Find out what it takes to get a concealed carry permit in your state and county.
  • Apply for your concealed carry permit after you meet all the qualifications.

A few links and resources:

Please note: Current (2014) availability and pricing is very volatile, and the following links are only meant to give general and comparative informational views on the subject. Please check out current pricing and availability as this changes quickly…

http://www.handgunlaw.us/   cost estimates of permits, and state legal information summary and links

Guns and Ammo forum         Discussions on what ammunition should cost. information from 2013…. prices have increased

A Girl and a Gun Club      Some information about different calibers and types of ammunition available

Maryland Shooters Club    A comparative discussion and look at ammunition pricing… from 2011…. prices have increased

The Well Armed Woman     where to start guide, including terminology

Women and Guns           choosing a handgun

Texas Gun Talk        How to choose a hand gun guide for new gun owners

The Truth About Guns      Choose carefully when buying your first pistol

 

Happy and Safe shooting  –  Peggy

 

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“Snap Caps” – What are they? When are they used?

The White haired ShooterTHE WHITE HAIRED SHOOTER

Snap caps – what they are, when they are mandatory, and where to get them

(Whitehairedshooter related post for snap caps: “Strengthening Your Grip”  )

What they are:

Snap caps are “dummy rounds” that can be loaded into a firearm. They have no projectile, no propellant (gun powder, primer) and serve to protect the firing pin and mechanism from damage when a gun is “dry fired.”  They also are used to “safe” practice loading and unloading the magazine, chambered rounds, or cylinder; practicing trigger control; improving grip and hand strength, and in aiming/sight control/alignment exercises that involve firing at a target. They are also used sometimes when storing a firearm, so that stress on a firing pin can be relieved.

from Wikipedia:

A snap cap is a device which appears similar to a standard firearm cartridge but contains no primer and no projectile; it is used to ensure that dry firing firearms of certain designs does not cause damage. Snap caps contain a spring-damped false primer which absorbs the force from the firing pin, allowing the user to safely test the function of the firearm without damaging the components of the firearm.

A small number of rimfire and centerfire weapons of older design should not be test-fired with the chamber empty, as this can lead to weakening and possible breakage of the firing pin and increased wear to other components in those firearms. In the instance of a rimfire weapon of primitive design, “dry firing” can also cause deformation of the chamber edge. For this reason some shooters use a snap cap in an attempt to cushion the weapon’s firing pin as it moves forward.

Snap caps and action-proving dummy cartridges also have usage as a training tool to replace live rounds for loading and unloading drills, as well as training for mis-fires or “jams”, as they function identically to a live “dud” round that has not ignited.

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When they are needed for dry firing:

There was a time when determining when it was safe to dry fire a gun without having a load (whether live or dummy round) chambered was easier than it appears to be today. “Back in the day” and pretty much as stated by Wikipedia, the simplest way to determine: if it uses a rimfire (like a .22) cartridge, or some – including “antique”-  centerfire cartridges, or is a hunting rifle, and apparently some military weapons, don’t dry fire for practice. Otherwise, it’s fine.

Anecdotes abound on the internet of “thousands” of dry firing practice sessions that have never harmed the practitioner’s gun.  However, changes in design, materials, and of course the increase and sheer volume of information exchange on the internet, have led many to believe it is just not all that simple to determine WHICH guns should NEVER be dry fired, and which you can “on occasion.” Many believe a little prevention and small cost of dummy/snap caps is well worth the time and effort to help prevent damaging their firearm and incurring costly repairs .

Some articles and posts to forums, have expressed their opinion that dry firing is just fine for most modern handguns, and many people are overreacting to the possibility of damaging their gun, or experiencing catastrophic failure of their firing mechanism due to broken firing pins or breech damage as a result of frequent dry fire practice.

One way to approach this subject is to thoroughly read/research the manufacturer’s literature on dry firing the specific gun you own. Talk to knowledgeable people –  a gunsmith or instructor – and do some digging into the many resources available online.

I have suggested – for a variety of reasons – that you, the mature woman, try to ALWAYS use snap caps when practicing dry firing. To date I have never heard or read where “overuse” of snap caps has harmed a firearm.

Where to get them:

Snap caps are found basically wherever gun accessories are sold – sporting goods stores, online stores, Amazon and eBay.  Buy the same caliber as the pistol you intend to dry fire, they are NOT one size fits all!


Happy and Safe Shooting!

— Peggy

 

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Hoplophobia – New Word of the Day

The White haired ShooterTHE WHITE HAIRED SHOOTER

I came across the word “hoplophobia” in a news article about gun control this week.  I really love discovering “new-to-me” words, and I typed it into the internet search bar and came up with the basic definition  “fear of guns.”

This condition has not been recognized (as yet) by the medical/psychiatric community, and I found nothing I would call an unbiased scientific study, so here is a quote from WIKIPEDIA – which was pretty much the “source” cited by many of the articles:

“Firearms authority and writer Jeff Cooper claims to have coined the word in 1962 to describe what he called a “mental aberration consisting of an unreasoning terror of gadgetry, specifically, firearms.”[5] The term was constructed from the Greek ὅπλον – hoplon, meaning, amongst other things, “arms,”[6] and φόβος – phobos, meaning “fear.”[7] Although not a mental health professional, Cooper employed the term as an alternative to other slang terms, stating: “We read of ‘gun grabbers’ and ‘anti-gun nuts’ but these slang terms do not [explain this behavior].” Cooper attributed this behavior to an irrational fear of firearms and other forms of weaponry. Cooper’s opinion was that “the most common manifestation of hoplophobia is the idea that instruments possess a will of their own, apart from that of their user.”[5] Writing in an opinion piece, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review columnist Dimitri Vassilaros asserted that the term was intended by Cooper as tongue-in-cheek to mock those who think guns have free will.[8]

So now I have a name for the terror that used to grip me at the thought of picking up a gun (and sometimes still unsettles me when handling sharp blades). At first I was a wee bit giddy with what approached delight having found a label for it, but my fervor was dampened as I continued wading into the subject.

I soon was floundering in the “deep end” of politically slanted rhetoric and pseudo intellectualism. Many of the articles implied that anyone who disagreed with the “2nd amendment” – er’s position must be emotionally disabled or ill.

I have addressed the tendency we have to dehumanize people so that we can act with impunity in ways that may be cruel and demeaning  in my post “Pride and Prejudice.” I find it disturbing that both sides are attempting to make positions on guns a mental health issue, rather than keeping it in its correct place as our Constitutional Right.

I hope this word will not experience a popular resurgence.

After today’s wandering through the internet on the subject, I conclude citing and sharing sources of what I uncovered there would be of little value.

What emerged and was clearly evident in what I read, is an undeniable climate of FEAR about fire arms, both on a primitive level (a “true phobia” ) or the generalized level (a social phenomenon).

Also interesting to me is that “both sides” were in favor of desensitization for the person labeled hoplophobe. The methods varied from showing pictures of guns and firearms to the “patient,” or undergoing neural conditioning/hypnotherapy and/or taking drugs to reduce anxiety, to having the person study and take a course at a range to learn more about the focus of their fear – firearms.

I believe great CAUTION is necessary in applying words like “hoplophobia” randomly or because you don’t agree with someone else’s position. Labeling and what amounts to name calling your “opponent” (by either “side”) does nothing to reduce the widening gap in this heated arena. Keeping FEAR embedded in your life, and projecting that out onto others who may disagree with you, will keep you – and them- trapped in a vicious downward spiral.

What will help is being a responsible, respectful advocate for gun ownership.  If you have overcome your FEAR – hoplophobic or otherwise – share that with others in a positive manner.  As you have taken steps in transforming that negative paralyzing state through knowledge and understanding, you have allowed yourself, and hopefully others, to move forward with empowerment.

Happy and Safe shooting  –  Peggy

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2014 in FEAR Factors

 

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Strengthening your grip.

The White haired ShooterTHE WHITE HAIRED SHOOTER

Today’s post discusses strengthening your hands, wrists and fore arms to prepare you for shooting a firearm and is a continuation of “Getting a GRIP” posted in February 2014, a brief excerpt:

“The strength of your grip on the gun is crucial when it comes to managing and controlling your aim while shooting. A weak grip will magnify the impact of recoil and the muzzle of the gun will jump more erratically. This makes “follow through” – which is part of maintaining a good grip following a shot and a big factor in your next shot, extremely challenging. Your hand will also tire more quickly – which cuts down on the amount of practice you want to endure, because it can also hurt! It is very possible that without an adequate grip you may also exacerbate problems you already experience with your hands, wrist and forearm.”

In that post I mentioned there are various types of equipment that can help increase your hand strength, and there is an enormous wealth of information available. But before we get into that, let’s look generally at what you do each day already.

The Mature Woman’s Daily Activities, and Strength and Flexibility

Whether you suffer from arthritis or some other serious medical condition or not, facts are women tend to have a weaker grip than most men, and older women have usually lost some hand strength as they have aged. It takes more regular effort and attention to maintain a healthy body that is flexible, strong and able to endure strenuous activities as we age.  Our generation – the baby boomers – may have rewritten the book on elderly physical fitness, and if you frequent a gym, do “Curves” or other exercise programs, hooray!  You are already well on your way to move into more specific exercise for your hands, wrists and forearms that will make you a great shooter!

But I’m “betting” that the average mature woman does not make working out and weight training the highest priority in her schedule.  I know that I don’t.  It is important, but time is filled with so many demands and so much variety, that often times I neglect working at staying strong and fit.

It is shocking to me how quickly muscle tone starts to decline when I have laid off exercising for what I would consider short periods – maybe a couple of weeks to a month. I get out of “training” usually because of travel, not feeling well, or a need to pay attention to something/somebody else that just “gobbles up” my time. And winter is the biggest challenge for me. We live in very hilly terrain, and the winter snow and ice and fewer daylight hours here in the Northwest take a huge toll on walking and hiking.  That leaves me inside with its lowered activity levels.

If you are like me, many of the hours you used to spend in the kitchen kneading bread, hanging laundry to dry, carrying “tons” of grocery bags to feed the “hungry hordes” , and other weight bearing and hand strengthening activities have diminished or are things of the past.  While I still garden, it is only seasonal exercise, and technology has provided new equipment that no longer has me wringing out mops manually or carting around very heavy vacuums. Progress and an “empty nest” has not served my hand strength well!

Without spending a lot of time at the gym or buying specific equipment, your daily life can provide lots of opportunity to exercise your hands, wrists and forearms. Dexterity can be increased and maintained with various craft activities including knitting and crotchet, embroidering, scrapbooking, gardening, and so on. Unfortunately, the activity I still engage in for the most hours: keyboarding/typing,does not increase my finger and wrist strength or flexibility.

All it takes to make quite a difference, is to spend just a few extra seconds (and repetitions) while you lift that big jug of whatever liquid you just bought at Costco; hold that cast iron pan out in front of you as though you were holding your gun for as long as can without shaking; wrap your hands around that soup can and do a curl or two as you walk from the pantry to the counter; and while you are vacuuming, change hands and redo that bit of the floor a little more than necessary!  It doesn’t take much to start building strength.

I know my hands are stronger after just a remarkably short period of time when I make it part of my daily routine.

On Beyond the Dailies:

Developing shooting specific exercise regimens can make a huge difference in your shooting.  Whether you intend to take up shooting as sport or rely on it for personal and home defense – particularly as you initially enter into shooting make some time to improve grip strength, endurance, and flexibility.

One of the recommended strengthening methods is to “Hold and Dry Fire” your gun, and that will be a subject of another post.  But PLEASE USE:

* * * C * A * U * T * I * O * N * * *    Please read before

DRY FIRING OR HOLDING A PISTOL for exercise. 

Safety First.

Make this your Rule #1    Always assume a gun is loaded until you have checked it out.

I handle guns daily in our business, and EACH TIME I pick up one I check that it is clear and empty, even when I have set it down for a little while in between pictures.  On a semi auto: drop the magazine, pull the slide back and inspect there is no bullet in the chamber or barrel. Some people advocate getting in the habit of using a finger to double check the chamber manually. On a revolver:  Doubleaction:  Swing out the cylinder, rotate the cylinder to check that there are no cartridges. SingleAction: Open the loading gate and rotate the cylinder to check that there are no cartridges.

Optional Rule #2    LOAD “snap caps” EACH TIME you are ready to practice holding and/or dry firing.

Snap caps – what they are, when they are mandatory, and where to get them – will be discussed more fully in a future “Dry Firing Your Handgun” post. But I suggest, especially for the “more mature” ladies, that adding in this step will doubly insure that you have no live ammunition in your gun when you are about to practice: whether holding your pistol for “weight training”, or dry firing it.  I know at times I am more absent minded than I used to be, mostly because I am no longer REQUIRED to be on my toes 24/7 with kids – and have relaxed my work schedule, but also recognize it is a factor of  my aging. While these golden years are very active,  I sure don’t want to EVER have an accidental discharge because I failed to check my pistol. It is my opinion that by instilling the habit of loading in snap caps for dry firing, you are giving yourself just that little extra edge of attention to safety.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Some ideas for exercising:

Some Quotes from a couple of “Forums” on the topic of strengthening your grip:

There are many wonderful sites and forums on line. You don’t have to be a member of a forum to browse there. Each major gun manufactured has a forum online, and shooting enthusiasts have created general and special topic threads as well. For starters, you can enter something like  “strengthening exercises for shooting” in  Bing, Google, Yahoo, Ask….  and you’ll discover many topic threads in many different forums.

Here are a few, mostly “older” quotes on the topic from the forum  “The High Road” which is a marvelous resource and place to learn and share about responsible firearm ownership!

Falconeer      January 23, 2006, 12:26 PM

I always found that, in the absence of actual trigger time, practicing holding the pistol on target would help.
Thanks for the idea. Is this something that would help even sitting down? It would be nice to watch a movie and work on it. I suspect it wouldn’t be quite as good as standing.

Pcf     January 23, 2006, 12:27 PM

You can do these sitting or standing. Open your hand fingers spread apart, palm facing the deck, close palm into a fist, open hand again, repeat, do as quickly as possibly. Do 100 repitions

Jim Watson   January 23, 2006, 11:33 AM

Dryfiring will train the exact muscles employed. Wrist weights and/or an old magazine poured full of lead will help as you get steadier.

mete      January 23, 2006, 11:18 AM

You can get a grip strengthener or use a tennis ball.You can do that excercise with weights on your wrist too.

And an excerpt from “The Ruger Forum” – another great resource:

“When I first made the decision to start carrying I considered many guns and decided on carrying a revolver. I purchased a scandium Smith and Wesson J-frame. Very light and short which made for difficult mastery.

What I wasn’t aware of when I made my choice was the very hard triggers on J-frames.

Between light weight, small grip, short sighting radius, .357 magnum recoil, and the 18 pound double action trigger stoke on the gun when I first got it – I found it a very hard gun to master. I was determined to do so, however. I do pretty darn well now, if I do say so myself. I wouldn’t trade for anything.

One of the prime avenues to my success (along with a laser for dry fire practice at home) was working diligently on strengthening my forearms, my grip, and mostly my trigger finger strength.

I tried several finger strengthening devices and finally settled on a squeeze ball to go with my regular grip exerciser (which I shift around in my hand just as I do with the ball to exercise the fingers individually as well as general hand grip).

Within a few months my shooting improved 100%. Strengthening my trigger finger abilities was the prime help of all my chosen tools.

The LCP was a later purchase. So I don’t know that the improvement would have been as profound with just it as my gun. But there are several similarities between the LCP and a lightweight snub. They are both light weight, have short grips, and a very long hard trigger pull.

It seems to me that the same methods I used with great success for my snub training would be wise for new LCP owners to adopt. I highly recommend that new shooters increase their strength in the above areas (particularly the trigger finger stroke) to keep the gun from wandering around during the trigger stroke.”

Whatever method of strengthening you settle in on, start it as soon as you can.  You don’t need a grand plan or well designed program to make improvements in your strength and dexterity. But you do have to DO IT!

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Happy and Safe Shooting!

— Peggy

 

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What if I decide a gun isn’t the right answer for me ?

The White haired ShooterTHE WHITE HAIRED SHOOTER

You may very well decide that you do not want a gun for self defense. Owning and carrying a gun isn’t the right choice for everybody. A firearm is only one of the tools available. There are a wide variety of options available to you, but none as powerful as knowledge, preparation and planning.

Learning how to defend yourself is something every woman needs to be actively pursuing. Hopefully you will be one of the fortunate women who does not experience a devastating attack. But FBI statistics show one in every four women will experience a violent assault in her lifetime.  That is based on reported crimes against women. Estimates vary that 27% – 46% violent crimes against women go unreported.

Violence is a fact of our lives, and becoming a victim will absolutely affect you for the rest of your days.

It is OUR responsibility to become educated and share our knowledge with our daughters and friends. Self defense plans always start with prevention. Learning what types of behaviors put you in more danger; being aware of places you should not frequent – particularly alone; keeping alert and prepared; and very importantly acting with confidence in your ability to protect yourself.

I  recently discovered a site by Cathy Steinberg. She shares tips on becoming a “Fearless” woman based on her extensive experience and study.  I’ve just ordered her book:  “The Fabulous Girl’s Guide to being Fearless.. What Every Girl Should Know.” From excerpts I have read, it is very down-to-earth and practical. I look forward to sharing more of this book with you.Cover_-178x268

She understands that no matter how well prepared or capable you are, life can throw you into dangerous situations. Your best defense is your trained ability to respond. The simplest and first response most often suggested by experts is to get away from the threat. Make a lot of noise to attract attention. Yell, scream, use whatever tools are at hand –  your keys, fingers, feet, or if you planned in advance – pepper spray, a kubaton, or taser. But GET AWAY!

Click here to visit self defense products and books by Cathy Steinberg:  http://fearlessnfab.com/

Bottom line, you are responsible for your safety. “Help” may or may not be timely or available.The “answers” to self defense cannot just be purchased and carried around without training, a plan, and practice.

No matter how you choose to go about it – do not allow yourself to remain in fear or denial. Living in a “fairy tale” that everyone is good and no harm can come to you, or someone else will save you,  will not protect you or your loved ones. In the reality of today’s police protection, with budget cuts and constraints, we are being urged by sheriffs and police to realize WE need to be prepared. Whatever the method and tools you choose, develop a plan of action.

Arm yourself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually and proceed to live your life fully and confidently knowing you are able and ready to respond to the challenges that come your way.

Carrying or not carrying a gun is really only a small part of self defense, afterall.

–  Peggy

 

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How do you choose your first firearm?

The White haired ShooterTHE WHITE HAIRED SHOOTER

This is a continuation of the January 13th post:  Are you thinking of buying/ carrying a gun?

In that post I shared my opinion that a decision to own/carry a gun should NEVER be acted on from a “knee jerk” reaction to something that has happened to you, someone you know, or someone you have read or heard about.

Fear, while a strong motivating force that may have helped you make your decision, must be “laid aside” and careful and critical thinking needs to be applied before acting on your decision. Owning and carrying a gun is a serious matter and needs to be given appropriate respect and consideration.

Like other important decisions in life there are some basic factors to consider as you begin the process of becoming an empowered, responsible gun owner.  Today’s post suggests a way to help you get started on that journey.

There is a lot of information published on the subject of “choosing the right gun,” and I will add some links that may be of assistance at the end of this post.

But first:

Choosing “YOUR” firearm

In my husband’s NRA Basic Pistol classes, I have seen quite a few women carrying around very nice firearms they are not comfortable with and/or have not been able to control or operate safely and effectively. Typically they have been provided/advised to get “w-a-y too much gun” by a well meaning husband, male relative or salesmen.

While you wouldn’t dream of walking up to a salesperson and blindly letting them pick out a purse or pair of shoes for you, a large number of first time (and particularly mature) gun owners want or expect someone else to make this very important and personal choice for them.

In this strange new world of firearms, most often “you” don’t have a clue about what “you” need. The very first step – before approaching someone to help you pick out a firearm- is realizing it is your responsibility to think through what your needs and abilities are FIRST.

A salesman at the gun counter can be very helpful, as can your husband, friends, firearms instructor, internet articles and magazines.  But basically it all needs to start with you understanding what “YOU” need.

What is your Primary need?

The first and MAIN factor in choosing your first – or fiftieth – gun is: what will be the purpose of the gun? You need to think about your life situation, the neighborhood you live in, where you go when you leave your home, and the situations you are likely to encounter.

Reducing the immense amount of information available down to a basic definition of the situation(s) where you most need a firearm will give you a solid starting point. In simple terms, do you need/want to:

A) Carry a firearm with you outside your home?

B) Maintain a firearm primarily to protect yourself in your home?

C) Both A and B?

Once you have made that determination, it is time to do some homework! You will need to research the different types of firearms best suited to your basic situational need. Afterall, once you remove the “fear factor” attached to guns, the purchase of a firearm is really no different than purchasing any other personal and/or major item. As women we have honed that skill.

Take some time to reduce the “mystery” of this subject, to learn the “language” and you will start to gain confidence and be a much more savvy shopper!

Remember to take into account your lifestyle: your choice may be very different if you drive your own vehicle or ride on public transit; do you live in shared quarters? an apartment? a house in the suburbs? or in a rural setting?

What are your physical abilities? What type of firearm would fit you best for your size, and if you have decreased hand strength, mobility or vision issues?

After taking an inventory of your situation, needs, strengths and limitations, and familiarizing yourself with some of your options, you will find yourself a bit more “grounded” and ready to begin your active quest to choosing your first firearm. Don’t rush it. Guns are a major investment, and ridding yourself of obvious and hidden fear factors- by gaining information – is a solid first step.

Financial considerations

As you continue on this journey, you may learn that one firearm cannot fit all your needs. That lightweight gun to carry with you will undoubtedly have more recoil to contend with than you want for target practice, but the heavier practice gun will not travel well with you.   Depending on where you live, you may be able to rent a firearm for practice. You may determine that a shotgun may be the safest and best choice for your home defense need. Ultimately, only you can decide which “need” is the greatest, and make the decision on what will be YOUR best first purchase.

Quite a few of the older women in the classes are on fixed incomes, and money can be in short supply. Past the initial purchase, there is ammunition, cleaning supplies, accessories to carry/store the firearm, range and training costs.   The decision to purchase a firearm is an investment.That will be the subject of another post…. until then….

Just a few links that may be helpful:

http://www.thewellarmedwoman.com/where-to-start

http://womenandguns.org/shoot-like-a-girl/how-to-choose-a-handgun/

http://girlsguidetoguns.com/2011/03/21/guest-post-how-to-choose-a-handgun/

http://www.texasguntalk.com/forums/beginner-articles/2972-how-choose-pistol-handgun-guide-new-gun-owners.html

http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2012/02/jim-barrett/choose-carefully-when-buying-your-first-pistol/

Happy and Safe shooting  –  Peggy

 

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