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What’s The Best Handgun For Beginners?



Feature | Automatic handgun with black holster on a wooden background | What's The Best Handgun For Beginners?

What is the best handgun for beginners? Find out as you read on below!

RELATED: The Best Revolver For Concealed Carry Handguns | 5 Top Handguns

In this article:

  1. How to Pick the Handgun for Beginners Like You
    1. Your Experience with Guns
    2. What Is the Handgun For?
    3. The Budget
    4. Final Point

Handgun for Beginners | Choosing What's Best for You

How to Pick the Handgun for Beginners Like You

In reality, there is no shortcut to finding the right firearm for you, especially if you are new to the world of gun ownership. While there are so many firearms you can choose from, choosing the perfect handgun all depends on a number of factors.

Now, if you are ready to bear all the responsibilities of being a gun owner, let’s get started with finding the best handgun for you by considering these factors!

Your Experience with Guns

Hand holding gun | What's The Best Handgun For Beginners?

All of us have our own individual experiences with handling a gun, and the type of weapon you will buy is largely dependent on your specialty. If you are new to the biz and you want to explore firearms, don’t be afraid to pick a nice and comfy .22 caliber.

Although this may not be the top pick of experts in the field, it is actually a recommended buy for those wanting to get the feel of handling a firearm. Aside from being inexpensive, it is fun and easy to use, making it a great handgun for beginners.

Likewise, it is best for new gun owners to begin with smaller calibers before moving on to larger ones. If you have used a .22 caliber before and you think you have already gained enough experience from it, you might want to look into the best 9mm handguns for beginners.

This caliber is most popular amongst concealed carry permit holders. There are so many options to choose from, like the Glock 19 handgun, Smith & Wesson M&Pc, Springfield XD Sub-Compact 9mm, and Taurus PT111G.

If these names don’t ring a bell, it is best that you review their individual features first because they all boast differences.

RELATED: Selecting Personal Defense Weaponry: Handgun

What Is the Handgun For?

Walther semi automatic handgun | What's The Best Handgun For Beginners?

Without neglecting the first pointer, you need to ask yourself why you are buying a handgun in the first place. If you need a range gun, then go on and buy whatever suits you the most.

Nonetheless, if you are looking for a concealed carry, you also need to take the overall appearance into account. Can it easily be hidden under your clothes? Does the handgun fall under the top concealed carry buys?

What is the feedback from other gun owners? Reflect on all of these pointers and you will be well on your way to finding that perfect gun. Think about all of these factors when trying to find the best handgun for beginners like yourself.

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The Budget

A gun with bullet and US dollar banknotes | What's The Best Handgun For Beginners?

Your budget plays an important role in identifying the most suitable handgun for you. In case you are not aware, maintaining a gun can be very expensive.

The ammunition and the cleaning supplies can definitely burn a hole in your pocket, especially if you always practice—and yes, you should never ditch practicing because not having the skills to pull that trigger defeats the purpose of you even owning a gun.

While it is important for you to buy the handgun that best fits your budget, please do not neglect the importance of buying a quality gun. Otherwise, you might only be placing yourself in grave danger.

Final Point

Before buying a gun, always inspect its overall condition and the way it feels in your hands. Even if it is affordable and looks good on paper, if it doesn’t feel right for you, walk away because there are so many guns out there that you can choose from.

All in all, the handgun you’d buy would depend on you and the other factors that affect gun ownership. Never rely on other people’s experiences because, at the end of the day, it is you who is going to pull that trigger, not me… not them… not anybody else!


Watch this video by NSSF about the basic of handgun shooting and handling:

You should take into consideration to first own a gun you can practice with. A .22 caliber handgun is a great way to start as you practice and familiarize yourself with the handgun basics.

Certain things like gun recoil and the difficulties of big caliber guns might surprise you while still in your learning phase.

So, start with a low caliber handgun and master the basics of shooting and safety, first. After which, you can decide which powerful handgun is best for you.

Do you consider yourself a beginner in handguns? Tell us about your experience with firearms. Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 15, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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  1. Rahel

    January 30, 2018 at 8:28 PM

    I am a “newbie”. I just took an NRA course on basic pistol shooting and safety and I have been looking for a gun that will fit my hand. I have a relatively small hand and I have found it difficult to release the safety with my thumb. I’ve had to put my left thumb over my right thumb to press down on the safety. Any suggestions?

  2. Steve

    January 30, 2018 at 12:14 AM

    My absolute best advice is, go to a range with a trusted (and knowledgeable) friend. Begin with a rental glock 19; fire an entire box of ammo into paper to get the basic feel of the whole proposition. If possible, get the rangemaster involved, to provide feedback and pointers. Go home after cleaning the weapon and policing your brass and talk with said friend, over several beers if need be, about the experience-the good, the bad, the ugly, the scary, and what was or is uncomfortable. Following week; return to the range. using your feedback from before, chose a different handgun to try. This is where the rangemaster and your trusted friend are going to be really valuable to you. When you come to agreement about the next handgun to try again shoot an entire box of ammo-you are building skills while finding the right fit. Eventually, you will get the choices down to one or two models and then it is time to try different grips. Very soon, there is going to be a standout in your mind-and that is most likely your ideal handgun…..right now. You are going to evolve as a shooter, the ideal gun for you may change. If that were not the case, we would all still be shooting the Sam Colt .44 Peacemaker.

  3. john

    January 29, 2018 at 8:15 PM

    sometimes a beginner with a pistol is not a beginner with guns… and the pistol is purpose driven…. I hated to shoot an animal that was down with a big gun when all you were doing was finishing a hunt,,, I have had a few pistols now and the best was a ruger mark III 22 with a 5 3/4 bull barrel… very effective at close range very accurate nice trigger (adjustable) and did not jump when you shoot so it was still on target after the first shot….

  4. Joseph DeMartino

    January 29, 2018 at 10:57 AM

    Take a handgun class that includes firing at least 20 or 30 rounds with a couple of different guns BEFORE you buy anything. I was a gun novice when I starting thinking about concealed carry and I did just that. Tried a .22, a full-sized 9 and a compact 9 and found I was comfortable and not a bad shot with all three. Budget and concealed carry being major points for me, and assuming this would be my ONLY gun for some time to come, I ended up with a subcompact – the SCCY CPX-2 9mm. A bit snappy because of the size, but accurate, comfortable and with 10+1 capacity. I’ve since added an S&W 9 SDVE as my nightstand gun and will add others as the budget allows, because I’ve gotten hooked on the sport element of shooting. The history buff in my NEEDS a 1911 in 45 ACP, I’d like to learn skeet shooting, so that means a shotgun, and I’d like to learn how to shoot a rifle again, so that will probably mean an AR at some point. (Last rifle I fired was a .22 with the high school shooting club. Yes, we still had those, even in NY, back in the 70s.)

  5. Bill Hays

    January 29, 2018 at 9:44 AM

    If the first handgun is for self defense, then it’s a no-brainer: a .38-Special, no-hammer, revolver. Semi-autos are great for experienced shooters, but too complicated and difficult to manage for beginners. I’m an experienced shooter, former military, and I am growing weary of dealing with semi-autos, considering going back to simplicity, i.e. a S&W 642-small, safe, effective, simple, reliable.

  6. Jerry Darriw

    January 29, 2018 at 9:22 AM

    I think as a beginner, they should be shooting a revolver. This way, no jams to scare them off with. After getting used to that, then they could if they wish, go to the pistol. Found it is much easier to teach this way.

  7. Matthew J Van Camp

    January 26, 2018 at 3:41 PM

    I love the simplicity of a revolver. Especially a light caliber (like a 38) small frame, double action, snub-nosed revolver. If you buy a 357 then you can practice shooting 38’s, which aren’t as obnoxious, and then carry it loaded with magnum rounds. If you buy quality grips (like Pachmayr grips) a small-framed easier-to-conceal gun will fit better, point better and recover for follow–up shots better even for smaller, not-so-strong-handed folks, like women!

  8. junglecogs

    January 26, 2018 at 9:32 AM

    My view… if you are a true beginner, the first firearm you purchase will likely not be your last. So, don’t ‘over invest’ on your first purchase as you will probably decide to trade it as you gain shooting experience. To a fresh shooter, “quality” is something yet to be learned and will differ with every shooter.

    With shooting experience you will learn to appreciate the crisp break of a fine trigger, the smoothness of a well milled and fitted slide and even a magazine slipping gracefully into the well like a fine piece of jewelry. These are things you will learn to “feel”.

    On the other hand, the first firearm you purchase (usually on the word of another) may be the one you keep and may even become your favorite… it could happen. I’m simply saying that from where I sit and based on my years of shooting, I have never seen it happen.

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