The best advice I received was to try out several guns before making a purchase. I'll confess, I bought the same gun as many new shooters purchased because I found it difficult to rack the slide. In hindsight, that was a costly mistake. I realized I liked several others more than my own. Take the time to do your due diligence and research and shoot many guns. When you find the right one, you will know.
Let's break down the process.
What is your reason for purchasing a gun? Is it for home defense or for concealed carry? Your response will determine the features best suited for your specific need. We will focus on home defense in this post.
Try shooting several different guns - Freedom Shooting Center has many guns you can rent for free or at a discount depending on your Freedom Shooting Center membership. Take advantage of this, as they have quite a selection to choose from.
Talk with our W3 members about what they shoot and why. Members will often allow you to shoot their guns or ask about our next "Share Your Gun" night.
Here are several responses from our members on the subject.
"S&W shield plus - good size for womens hands , Well balanced from grip to barrel and comfortable to shoot in regard to recoil. "~ Cat Amory
"First I would say, “Be prepared! Your first won’t be your last! For carry I like the Sig P365 XL. For matches I like my S&W M&P 2.0 5 in barrel. For super easy racking and mag loading I like the S&W M&P Easy chambered in 9." ~ Beatriz Villarreal CoBell
"I really like my S&W MP 2.0 as well! The grip fits my hand really and the recoil is very manageable! I rented a new pistol every week for several months and didn’t find anything I liked better! Besides that it’s my hero, Pam’s pistol of choice!" ~ Lana W. Koontz
Manipulating the gun - Take your time to determine what feels good in your hand. Does your index finger reach the trigger comfortably? Are you able to reach the slide release? Can you reach the magazine release with ease? Is the grip on the gun the right size for you?
What hand is your dominante hand? If you are left handed, does the gun you are considering allow for ambidextrous controls for the magazine release and slide release? Here are a few popular guns for left-handed shooters.
Which eye is your dominant shooting eye? Check out this video to help you determine your shooting eye dominance.