How to Buy the Right Gun
Worried about finding the right gun to buy? Not sure how to start?
For a comprehensive look at how to buy a gun and/and indentify the right gun to buy read our guidelines below. These are a compilation of information from sources such as the Dept of Justice, the AT&F, NRA and many long time shooters.
How to find the right gun
First - Determine what your needs are. What do you want the pistol for? Target practice, or self-defense? Or both? Do you plan to make shooting sports a regular hobby? Possibly plan to compete in shooting sports? Will you need the firearm to perform multiple tasks?
Think about all the needs you have for a pistol. Once you have identified what you need the gun for then you can narrow down what will work best for those needs. KEEP IN MIND a .22 pistol may be cheap, and can certainly do damage but is NOT an ideal firearm for self-defense.
Second – How familiar are you with firearms? Have you ever had any actual training? How often do you plan to use the gun? Are you willing to practice and get familiar with it? If you plan to use your firearm for self-defense are you really prepared to use it? Are you prepared psychologically to take a human life? In a life-and-death confrontation, you can’t afford to conduct a debate on whether to pull the trigger or not.
You will also need to spend the time to get well acquainted with your gun and be comfortable in its use, cleaning and maintenance, not just loading it and firing it. This includes ammunition as well. Will the caliber of ammunition be easy to obtain in your location? Can you get wad-cutters for target shooting in that caliber? Or glazer rounds? You need to take all of this into consideration before you buy.
Third – Do you know the law? Are you willing to take the time to read and learn the laws in your state regarding firearms? In most states they are rather lengthy and can be tricky to understand. It is important that you know the State and local laws, and abide by them. California requires a Firearms Safety Certificate to pusrhcase a gun as well as a gun lock and/or a gun safe.
Per Federal law you are required to keep the gun “safe” at all times. That means you are liable for the firearm and it’s use by anyone (even a thief) so you had better be prepared to have a safe secure storage system BEFORE you buy.
Forth – Go to a local range or enroll in training that allows you to try lots of different guns. It is not all about caliber, though that is important. You want a gun that fits properly in your hand, has sights you can easily see and align and recoil you can handle. Typically for self-defense you want the largest caliber you can COMFORTABLY handle. Keep in mind also, if you will being using the pistol as a carry weapon, can you holster it easily? Don’t just decide one one caliber either. Keep in mind that not all pistols of the same caliber or even manufacturer are the same. You may love that Beretta, then find a cheaper version and buy it, only to realize that is has a very different feel.
A gun is something that you shouldn’t compromise on. It could save your life or that of someone you love. You want a quality firearm that will last, isn’t prone to jamming and will work for your specific purpose(s). You want a gun you can handle, one you can learn to “dance” with, not fight with or be frightened of. Get it right the first time, and you will be much happier in the long run.
There are many places you can go to get advice on what gun to buy, and to some extent most shooters have a favorite caliber or manufacturer they prefer. While all this advice is valuable, don’t let someone else influence you into buy something you are not 100% comfortable with.
A great place to start is to take a training class. MFI gun training classes give you the opportunity to try various firearms in various calibers on the range and in a classroom setting. MFI can assist you with finding and buying the right gun for your needs! Call us for more inforamtion or sign up for a class!
How to buy a gun in CA
Once you find the gun you want here are the steps to buying it:
Step One: You will need a valid Ca ID card or drivers license and will need to know where you want to buy the gun.
Step Two: You will need an FSC card or need to take the FSC test (Firearms Safety Certificate) to get a card which is $25. You will also need to complete the transfer paperwork including the background check, DROS paperwork (approx $45) and affidavit of a gun safe or lock. Next will pay for the gun. You will get a receiept and a copy of the DROS paperwork.
Step Three: You will then need to return in 10 business days to pick up your gun. At that time you will be required to do a safe handing demonstation for the gun (with dummy rounds) and will need a gun lock or safe to legally and safely transport the gun.
If you fail the FSC you can retake it again for free once;
If your background DROS did not clear then the gun store will refund your money (minus a restocking fee) you can then contact the CA DOJ for find out why you were denied;
If you fail the safe handling portion the dealer should go over it with you and have you try again.