One of my absolute favorite things to do is to shop for guns. No, I am not a gun fanatic. I have a friend that has an armory in his home with over 100 firearms and god knows how much ammunition. That’s not me. I don’t have that kind of budget, nor do I have the time to put so much effort into firearms. However, when I do get to buy a gun I really do enjoy the process. I like everything from doing my research to selecting a specific gun at the shop.
There is no right way and wrong way to buy a gun. However, there are strategies you can use to ensure you get a good value for your dollar. You not only want to like the gun you buy, but you want to feel like you got a good deal. You also want to feel like you did enough research to make an educated choice.
My father retired a few years ago, and I decided to buy him a turkey gun for a retirement present. I started looking over options and considered probably 30 different models. After finishing my research, I settled on a semi-automatic camo pattern Franchi 12 gauge.
When I got to my gun shop and held the gun, I liked it so much that I bought one for myself as well. You know you are confident in your purchase when you double down!
In this article, we will cover a few mistakes you may be making with your firearm purchases. Hopefully, we can help you correct these mistakes to give you more confidence when you go shopping for a gun
Buying Only on Price
It can be exciting to be looking at guns for $600-$700 and find a “deal” for $450 at your gun shop. Remember the saying that you get what you pay for? It has never been truer than with firearms. The cheapest option is rarely the best option. It is important that you get the gun that is going to work best for your needs.
If you can’t afford that gun, save up for a little while longer or consider financing part of it.
If you get your new purchase home and realize it is not reliable or does not have the features you need, the money you saved won’t matter. Firearms are not the type of purchase you want to regret.
Cheap guns are often not as functional as moderately priced guns, and sometimes they are even dangerous because of jams or misfires. If you are getting a rifle for $400, you should question why. Instead, save up to spend $600 to $800 and get exactly what you need.
Buying on a Whim
It can be tempting to walk into a gun shop or a gun show, do some looking, and walk out with a new gun. It is quick, it is easy, and it can be a bit of a rush. However, it is a gamble every time. You are much better off to research specific manufacturers and models before you ever set foot in a gun shop.
Reviews are one of the most important sources you have for evaluating firearms. Don’t just look at the overall score a firearm gets, but also read the specific reviews and how the company responds to them. This will give you more insight than the scores themselves.
For example, if a firearm has a 4.2 out of 5 stars and the negative reviews are little nitpicking complaints then you are probably okay. If the negative reviews say the gun is a worthless piece of junk and the company does not offer to try and make it right, you should probably move on.
You should also read buying guides for that type of firearm and ask questions in firearm forums. When you do go to see the guns in person, you will then know exactly what to ask for.
Thinking All You Need Is the Gun
While you can get by with just purchasing a firearm, most people are going to want some kind of accessories to make the gun more functional.
For example, AR-15 owners love the fact that they can be completely customized to your specific needs. However, add ons or swap outs like a scope or a better handrail do not come with the gun. They cost extra.
It may be that you want a different grip for your Glock or a different set of sights. Maybe you want a second clip or a larger clip. If you are going to carry your handgun, you will probably want a holster of some kind.
None of this comes with the package. If you want to be happy with your purchase, you should plan out and budget for accessories.
Not Knowing the Law
One of the most frustrating parts of gun laws is that they are different in every state.
Some states require a waiting period. Others require the length of your barrel to be 16 inches or shorter. Some will only allow your magazine to hold so many rounds. The list goes on and on.
It is very possible for you to purchase a gun that is illegal to use or own in your state.
The only way you know for sure is to do the research to know the law ahead of times.
Jumping the Gun
I know. Awesome pun, right? What I mean by jumping the gun is buying a gun before you have the proper training to use it.
You should never just go out and buy a gun expecting to learn how to safely use it afterwards.
I suggest you take a general firearms safety course before buying any guns.
Then try out each model at the range before you buy it.
That way you are ready to head to the range straight from the gun shop.
Not only do you need to know how to clean your gun, but you need to be sure to buy a gun that is easy to clean. Any gun will have issues over time if it does not get cleaned, so make that a priority. If you do not already have it, buy the tools and products you need and try to clean your gun after every use.
Buying guns can be a blast, but you want the fun to continue. It is never any fun to regret a purchase. Just take a few minutes before you start shopping for a gun to run through this list.
Check each one off to be sure you are ready to go out and make that purchase. With just a little extra effort, your gun will be just as fun years from now as it is today.
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