In America, 52% of current non-gun owners say they could see themselves owning a gun in the future.
If you are one of these people, you face a dizzying array of choices. If you’re relatively new to the idea of gun ownership, where do you start?
Read on, and I will familiarize you with the different types of guns and talk about which types would be best depending on the intended use.
Quick Breakdown of Basic Types of Guns
These are the most common categories of guns. Each category has a sub-set of different sized calibers that each category of guns uses.
- Rifles / carbines
- Assault rifles
- Automatic Pistols
- Revolver Pistols
- Machine guns and sub-machine guns
There are other types of firearms, such as guns made for the military, but those are not appropriate or even available to new gun owners.
Shotguns work best for birds. Bird hunters prefer birdshot, which is a cartridge of BB-sized shot which spread out into an expanding cone when the gun is fired, making a kill shot more likely.
For game animals such as deer, a powerful rifle in a 30-06, .223 AR-15 caliber, or the 243 Winchester work best. You want a heavy, powerful bullet to take down large land animals.
For a squirrel-sized animal, a .22 caliber would be a great choice. They’re light, accurate, and ammo is inexpensive.
Long Range Guns
If you are taking down game animals from a distance, such as a bear, you will need a special rifle designed for this application.
Long-range rifles have certain things in common:
- Longer barrels
- Thicker barrels
- Adjustable stock
- High-quality trigger.
A heavier gun with a thicker barrel heats up slower and vibrates less. A stable, quality trigger projects less vibration and jerkiness into the shot when fired.
Guns for Target Practice
For most types of pistol practice, accurate pistols are preferred. 9mm and .45 ACP caliber pistols tend to be very popular. Automatic and revolver pistols work equally well, and it becomes a matter of personal preference.
An exception would be shooting skeet or sporting clays, where you use a shotgun. Clay/skeet shooting is a target practice that simulates shooting birds in flight.
Auto-loader shotguns are best for beginners, as they tend to have a dampened recoil making them comfortable to shoot. The other shotgun choice for clay and skeet is the over-under. These are otherwise known as double-barreled shotguns.
For rifle practice, you would research and then buy the most accurate model available in your price range.
Guns for Personal Protection
A pistol is your gun of choice. Pistols offer more portability than rifles and are easier to use in close quarters.
Pistol cartridges contain less powder than rifle cartridges, making them less likely to go through walls and harm innocent bystanders.
Most people choose an automatic pistol (using slide-in magazines) due to its quicker loading. With automatic pistols, you can carry extra magazines, which you can easily swap out in seconds.
I do not recommend Revolvers due to reloading delay and the bulge from the revolver portion of the gun.
When buying a gun for the first time, visit Dan Wesson for a wide variety of guns, ammo, and accessories.
A Gun For Every Use
Guns have specific purposes, and you will be able to choose wisely once you identify your specific needs.
With a basic idea of the types of guns available, you are ready for the next steps: research the different calibers, gun safety, and the laws of the state where you live.
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