In the video below, a female gun seller tells the female God family and guns vlogger her top tips for first-time female gun buyers. Just amongst us girls, Maggie at Blue Steel Guns & Ammo says ask a lot of questions (e.g., “what makes this a good gun?”), check out the handgun controls for user-friendliness (including slide rackability), don’t worry about caliber and think about the whole ownership process (including cleaning). All good points, but I’m not sure that’s really female-specific advice.
Here are my top three tips for first-time female handgun buyers . . .
1. Shoot first, shop later
I would advise any first-time handgun buyer — male or female — to go a gun range, rent and shoot a variety of handguns before darkening the door of their local federal firearms licensee. That’s the best place to discover what handgun does or doesn’t work for you. But I think this try-before-you-buy advice is especially valuable for women, some of whom consider gun ranges female-free ballistic mancaves.
To get truly female-specific, don’t shoot with your man. Take the time, spend the money and hire a professional firearms trainer — even if only for an hour — to guide you through the familiarization and selection process. Not only will you get more objective information on what gun to buy, but you’ll start your shooting life without bad habits — which take thousands of rounds to cure.
2. Don’t shop with your man
Gun purchasing tests even the best relationship. The female shopper’s [ostensibly] gun-savvy male significant other has a natural tendency to want to “protect” his female companion from the gun salesperson’s potentially predatory practices and personal pistol prejudices. What usually happens: the male SO gets into it with the salesperson, who starts targeting his spiel to the male decision maker.
If a first-time female gun buyer has sorted out her handgun preferences at the range — which I can’t recommend highly enough — she doesn’t need a male intermediary (or anyone else) in the gun purchase process — which I can’t discourage strongly enough. The first-time handgun purchase is a big deal; there’s no need to add to the pressure.
3. Buy a gun like you buy shoes
There’s no One Handgun to Rule Them All. That understanding — heresy to millions of GLOCK aficionados — isn’t gender specific. But my friends in the gun business tell me that women are more prone to believe it than members of the twin testicle set. It’s important for women to jettison that “one-gun-and-done” mindset before buying their first gun, and adopt the “guns are like shoes” mentality.
If a woman buys a handgun for a specific primary purpose — concealed carry, range fun, marksmanship, competition, home defense, etc. — she’s more likely to buy the right gun. More likely to be comfortable with it. Better at shooting it. More likely to be able to do whatever it is she wants to do with it.
And yes, it’s OK to factor in style. Men who claim they don’t care about their handgun’s appearance — “it’s just a tool” — are lying. Most of the GLOCK hate you see here and around the intertubes is primarily based on appearance. Some tools look better than others, even if it’s an anti-style style. As the makeup people say, first impressions last. Or something like that.