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How to Tell if You’re Choosing the Perfect Handgun

There is always going to be a debate about which handgun is best, and no matter what you own someone is likely to declare which guns are better. The truth is that the best gun is the one that suits your needs and preferences. It’s always a good idea to listen to recommendations when deciding on a new handgun, but the brand, caliber, and even pistol or revolver design to choose is up to which one you feel most comfortable with.

These are the factors to consider when you’re picking up a new pistol.

Weights, Sizes, and Use

The first factor to consider is how you intend to use the gun. Shooting targets at the range is different than what you might need for home defense, and if you plan to carry concealed you may choose a different weapon than what you would take on a hunting trip. The weight and size of the gun is another practical consideration. A gun that is uncomfortable for you to hold and use, whether because it’s too heavy or too small, is not going to inspire you to practice as often and therefore not be as efficient when used for its intended purpose.

Training and Hands

The grip of the gun is another important consideration. People have different hand sizes which may determine the firearm they decide to purchase. There is also the matter of training. Ideally, gun owners go to the practice range once a week, or at least once per month, but not everybody does. Someone who rarely practices and doesn’t have military training can feel timid about shooting the heavy recoil of a higher powered handgun, and would be better suited by a lighter weapon which won’t cause them to hesitate when the time to use it comes.

Specific Differences

The Sig Sauer has a modular handle system to accommodate hand sizes and so is able to suit most shooters. The Glock and Beretta, both proven efficient, have different handle angles relative to the gun’s receiver and barrel. Although with practice and training you’ll get used to either, one typically feels more comfortable than the other to most new shooters or people who have only previously fired one or the other. Certain lightweight guns designed for concealed carry might also be more suitable for someone with smaller hands, whereas a large man might be more comfortable with the size and weight of a Colt 1911 or a revolver chambered for .357 Magnum rounds.

The bottom line is that you need to choose a handgun you like and feel comfortable with. Any reputable dealer will understand your concerns and work with you rather than trying to sell you a gun that is less than perfect for your needs. If you have a coach, they should likewise understand you have your reasons for making the choice and help you become as efficient as possible with your weapon.

Remember, when the need arises any gun is better than no gun and should you need to defend yourself. The criminal isn’t going to care whether or not you have “the best” gun once you start shooting — they are going to stop their attack once your gun starts sending lead in their direction.

~ Firearm Daily

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