Buying your first gun can be a bit intimidating. If you have never owned a gun before, just walking into a gun store to have a look around can raise more questions than it answers. There are row after row of similar looking firearms, all with different calibers and specifications. You may find that most gun stores will not take the time to explain the intricacies of every gun with all their customers. If you are new to the shooting world, and have decided to take that step into buying your first gun, consider a few conclusions from the experts at Cheaper Than Dirt. We should also mention that these guns aren’t necessarily the least expensive choices, but we feel they are the best, and we will explain why.
Assuming you are buying your gun for home and personal defense, there are several options you should keep in mind. First, consider the cost of ammunition. If you are going to practice regularly, shooting a gun with expensive, loud, hard-hitting ammunition may not be ideal. However, what if you could shoot a nearly identical gun configured the same way, but using inexpensive, relatively quiet low-recoil ammunition? Many popular, large-caliber firearms have versions chambered in .22 LR. This light and cheap caliber is by far the most used ammunition in the world. Several factors contribute to the success of this cartridge. The .22 is affordable, available everywhere, useful for hunting small game, expends little noise, and the shooter feels almost no recoil. This makes the .22 LR perfect for practicing at the range, whether you are a novice, or advanced shooter. The strategy of practicing with a .22 version of another firearm is an outstanding way to shoot far more often, and it will save you money in the end.
Next, there are several handgun options for the novice shooter. Smith & Wesson, the largest manufacturer of handguns in the United States, produces a line of pistols called the M&P line, which is short for Military and Police. They produce a full range of handguns, all with similar feel and controls, from .22 LR, all the way up to .45 ACP. This range of availability means you can practice with an inexpensive M&P22, and carry an M&P9 chambered in the more powerful 9mm cartridge. The ergonomics, look, feel, and reliability of the M&P line are why our experts chose these pistols. The Smith & Wesson guns have an outstanding reputation in the shooting world, and they are popular among law enforcement and military personnel worldwide.
Just to give out more options, SIG Sauer, a firearms manufacturer from Europe, produces a line of pistols that can shoot either full-size pistol calibers, or .22 LR cartridges. All you have to do is purchase a .22 LR version of the pistol, then swap out the slide and barrel with its big brother, which you can purchase separately. This option allows you to own one gun, and shoot two different types of rounds. The SIG Sauer P229 is a trusted handgun with a proven track record. The conversion kit is available separately to enable firing .22 LR cartridges. Shooters know SIG Sauer for producing pistols with tight tolerances and unparalleled performance. The United States Secret Service carries SIG pistols, as well as some British SAS and Navy SEALS.
Another excellent choice to keep in mind comes from an unlikely source. A company in the Czech Republic called CZ makes an outstanding line of handguns known as the CZ 75. More governments, militaries, police, and security agencies use the CZ 75 B than any other pistol in the world. They also produce the CZ Kadet, which has the same ergonomics as the full sized 75, but fires the wallet friendly .22 LR cartridge. The balance, weight, and general feel of the CZ have helped the 75 maintain its popularity for decades. Out of the box, it is one of the most accurate pistols ever mass-produced. In addition, their durability and reliability is immeasurable.
Therefore, if this is your first gun, and you feel it is time to take the steps necessary to become a gun owner, these firearms will fill the role nicely. At Cheaper Than Dirt, we are always available to answer any specific questions you have about any of our products, guns or otherwise. Comment below and let us know what we can do to help you protect yourself, and your family.The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!’s blog, “The Shooter’s Log,” is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!