How to Choose the Best Gun for Your Needs

Gun ownership has been on the rise since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Between January 2020 and April 2021, 5 million Americans became first-time gun owners.

With all these first-time buyers, many wonder what the best gun for them to buy would be.

That depends on the buyer’s needs. Many individuals saw a rise in hate crimes and assaults and decided to buy a gun for personal defense. Others wanted to take up a new outdoor hobby like hunting or target shooting.

So to help you make an informed buying decision, here’s how to buy a firearm that will meet your needs.

Selecting the Best Gun for Your Situation

The types of firearms most Americans can buy fall into one of three categories: handguns, rifles, and shotguns. Each has its purposes and may be better suited for a given situation than another.

Here’s a quick breakdown of these three categories and their uses.


The smallest of the three, handguns are the only viable choice for personal defense outside of the home.

They come in a wide variety, from oversized hunting revolvers to easily concealed subcompacts. But for handguns for either personal or home defense, you want to look for three qualities: comfort and ease of use, reliability, and stopping power.

In short, you want a handgun to be small enough can conceal and carry on your person, powerful enough to stop an assailant, and sturdy enough for you to trust with your life.


In practical terms, rifles are reserved for hunting and target shooting.

With a full-length barrel, they’d be too unwieldy to use in a home invasion scenario. And a full-powered rifle cartridge can punch through the walls in most homes, increasing the risk of causing collateral damage.


Instead of a single bullet, shotguns fire a spread of pellets in a conical pattern. Like rifles, they’re often used for hunting. But they’re also popular in home defense.

They usually have shorter barrels than rifles, so they’re easier to maneuver indoors. And they can be loaded with shells that have a reduced risk of over-penetrating. 

Do Your Research

Once you’ve narrowed down what type of gun you plan to buy, you can start researching individual models. A handful, like the M1911 handgun and Model 870 shotgun, are classics and accessible for most first-time shooters. But they only represent a fraction of the options available.

Scrolling through YouTube videos can give you a glimpse of the kinds of guns people are shooting. Not only that, but you can see them in action rather than reading about them in print.

Failing that, you can consult the clerk at your friendly neighborhood gun store.

A quality gun dealer can help the inexperienced buyer make an informed decision. And you can often find exclusive deals that can save you money.

Many stores even offer free shipping, so if a location in another state has a special deal, there’s no reason why you can’t take advantage of it. For an example of one such store, visit

Do Your Due Diligence Before You Buy a Firearm

As we see, there’s no singular “best gun” for every scenario. Think of guns as you would any other tool. Some jobs require a wrench, while others might need a screwdriver.

But if you do your due diligence, research a firearm, and get some hands-on time with it, you can be sure to make a satisfying purchase every time. But we’ve only scratched the surface today. To learn more about proper gun care and use, be sure to keep up with our latest firearm tips and guides.


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