Recently, we received a message on the Bearing Arms Facebook page I’d like to address here. The message started out, “Hey I’m looking to get a Kimber 9mm for my fiancé as her first firearm…”
WHOA. Stop right there, mister.
Can anyone tell me what’s wrong with his statement?
That’s right: YOU don’t pick the gun, the gun picks YOU.
My response to the message was simple: “Let her pick her own gun. Get her a gift certificate to a gun range where she can rent handguns before she buys one to test what works best for her”. This stock answer works whether you’re talking about a 63-year-old woman or an 18-year-old man.
Coincidentally, I also got a text from a friend last night that read, “Finally got my conceal carry permit!!!!! Wondering if you had any suggestions on what to buy!?”
While I am completely humbled and excited to be asked to be a part of such an important purchase, my response is some variation of what I said in response to the message on Bearing Arms.
This time, it was: “Go to a gun range where you can TRY guns BEFORE you buy them. Start by identifying how you want to carry, then pick something that will fit your method of concealed carry and your hand: the gun needs to fit you, you don’t need to fit the gun. Think of it like a great pair of shoes: you wouldn’t let a man look at you and hand you something you’re paying hundreds of dollars for without trying it on, would you?”
Ladies; imagine telling your husband, “Honey, I need a pair of black shoes for a dinner I have next week. I usually wear a size 7.5 but watch the width.” What kind of dinner? Will you be on your feet all night? Is it a formal event? Even if he could come close to choosing an esthetically acceptable pair without knowing what you’re planning to wear them with, guess what? Every pair of shoes fits differently. You need to try shoes on, or you’ll live to regret it. It’s the same with guns.
In fact, I once turned down a job offer because in the interview, a firearms instructor demanded I recommend three guns for a woman at the table. I wish more people were adamant about urging each new gun owner to shoot a gun, or handle it at a minimum, before purchasing the firearm.
Of course there are several guns I’d recommend for anyone to start with when trying to identify the best fit for them (Walther CCP or PPS M2, Smith & Wesson M&P Shield, Ruger LC9s), but no specific that I can point to and say, “THIS. This is the gun you should buy.”
How how about you? What advice do you give when someone asks you what they should buy for their first gun?