Winning Tactics To Avoid Getting Ripped Off at The Gun Shop

There are two types of preppers in the world, those that are gun owners and those that are not. Granted most of us own guns, but from comments posted on the blog and emails I’ve receive some don’t, so obviously, all of us preppers aren’t into guns – yet.

Most of the  comments and emails have asked about choosing the right gun, they want to know what to look for and how to avoid getting ripped off.  The best way to avoid getting ripped off  is to buy smart. Here’s how.

Do your research

A few days spent doing research will help you avoid making mistakes. Know what guns to avoid and shotgun, handgun,  rifle action types before you shopping. Learn about the different calibers and types of cartridges that are available.

Get a copy of “The Shooter’s Bible“, “Boston’s Gun Bible” and Guns 101.  Avoid most of the “this is the best survival gun” type stuff posted on forums and the web, most of the information is dated, wrong and of little use.

Know what you want before you go shopping

Never walk into a gun shop without an idea of what you want, if you don’t have any idea as to what you want, you need to do more research untill you do. Some sales people can be pushy and you don’t want to be crusaded into buying something you don’t want or need because some over zealous sales clerk needed a commission from your purchase.

What do you want it for

Before you can be sure of what you want, you have to know what you want it for. If your intention is concealed carry then your needs would be different than if you wanted a firearm for hunting or foraging. For example one of the best and most devastating close range weapons is the 12 gauge shotgun when properly loaded, but you would be at a distinct disadvantage if hunting on flat open terrain or needed concealment.

You can’t do it all

There is no one do everything firearm, so stop looking. If you want to cover all the bases, you’ll need a minimum of three different guns. A handgun, shotgun and center fire rifle, and even with that three gun battery there are some gaping holes about what you can do.  Of course if you know you could not shoot someone in self-defense then guns for foraging may be all you will need.

Price doesn’t always mean quality

With firearms price doesn’t always mean quality. Granted, some of the best firearms available are costly,  but that doesn’t mean that they are the only quality choices available. For example, I would feel just as protected and well armed with a Smith and Wesson model 10 or Makarov as I would if armed with a custom 1911 or HK45. The key is diligent research before you buy (and skill with what you have).

Fit, feel, recoil and other considerations

Whatever firearm you buy, it should fit your body and grip. A gun that fits your body will be easier for you to use and more accurate than if you have to force your body to conform to the size and shape of the weapon. The gun should be an extension of your body and it should feel natural when held in a shooting position.

This can not be determined by anyone but you – you have to  hold the weapon, point it and aim it to determine how well it fits your body. Guns and Ammo posted a great article that can be read here titled “The Right Fit” that everyone should read. The article is about handguns but many of the principles can be applied to long guns as well.

Take a class

Get training. Most areas offer hunter safety courses that are free to anyone wanting to take part. If you live in a state that issues handgun carry permits, sign up to take the required classes, most are great for learning basic care and safety rules. The NRA offers a number of low-cost training opportunities that you should look into.

Have advice that would help others avoid getting ripped off when buying their first firearm or questions feel free to speak-up in the comments below…

Copyright Information: This article may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to and a link to the article homepage.

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. Boy, I can’t encourage this advise more. Most people that want a gun, start getting advise from people who sell them. Remember their motivation is to sell you something that they have, usually in stock. Visit the local gun range; talk with those at church who shoot. Ask them what they shoot and why. Don’t be afraid to spend them money on a quality gun – not all 9mm’s are the same!

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      I disagree with the idea that the gun shops only job is to take money from you. I worked at (still do a bit) at a gun shop since the mid 1980’s and we always asked what they wanted the gun for.

      Numerous times people ask what would be a good first gun. Once you get an answer to what they want it for many times the answer is a gun to enjoy shooting, other times it was for home defense. We also asked if they were going to be a one-gun ownwe or did they want to end up with more guns. If they were planning on more then one-gun we would recommend a 22 pistol or revolver (22 revolver if they wanted to get a 38 or 357 Mag, and a 22 pistol if they wanted to get a 9-mm , 40 cal or 45 ACP) depending on what future purchase they were planning. The idea was to get them shooting with the same type of gun they were going to end up with and do it inexpensively, and a 22 does that.

      But I ave to tell you almost all the time they would ignore your 22 gun recommendation as they watched way too much TV and wanted a semi-auto 40 ot 9-mm. They would even hold it up sideways like all the fools on TV thinking this is how you use a gun.

      An as far as just wanting to sell them what is in stock we order guns every other day and make just as much money on a gun in stock as one ordered that day. And we know what sells so we have a good supply on to sell them.

      You make it seem like it’s wrong to sell somebody something and make money doing it. If this is wrong (as you seem to say it is) do you go to work and sell your labor for free, or do you profit from your work?

      Making money is not evil (go watch the Atlas Shrugged movies to get some perspective on this) it’s in fact a must for the world to work right.

      • Chuck:

        Again I am talking about generalities. I used to work in a gun shop and tried very hard to put people in the right gun. unfortunately may shops, especially when it is the department at a large store like Wal-mart are only clerks. If you understand “gun speak” they are eaasy to spot.

        Yes, you can get good advise in a specialty shop; my comment was more of a warning to those wih limited experience.

  2. Jay in Kansas says:

    I just wanna re-emphasize the “feels right” aspect of it all. I have and love all kinds of firearms, but my go-to for defense and carry is my Glock 19. The first time I held it, a light shined down from heaven, Angels began singing, and a deep voice pronounced “This Is The One”. Shoulda seen the salesmen face. True Story. Not really. But I did know right away, it immediately felt like an extension of my hand. Keep looking until you find that gun that immediately feels right.

    • I felt the same way about my 23.

    • I didn’t realize glock was the perfect gun till I had purchased several others and they failed, didn’t fit, magazines were faulty, etc…if your not sure about a gun but you think it may be the one go to a gun shop that rents guns and try it out. there have been times when I thought a gun (kahr40) would be a perfect carry gun because of the fit and size and the police were carrying them as backup guns in reviews. but even though everything was right about it when I shot it I couldn’t hit anything because the 40 caliber is just too snappy for that gun for me. my son-in-law loves it and can hit the target every time but it was me that spent the money on it that could have went on the glock single stack 9mm

    • livinglife says:

      Glock’s either feel perfect or not. They fit me fine, others don’t feel quite right.
      Renting a gun at a range or trying out friends is a great strategy. Look on Gun for an idea on used prices.

      • I wasn’t necessary looking for a Glock 19 myself, until I held it in my hand. I know the feeling. It just felt natural to me.

    • & I feel the same about my Sig P 220’s. I have several, all in .45

  3. TPSnodgrass says:

    AbSOlutely dead on the money counsel and advice for ALL those wishing to purchase ANY firearm!!
    I’ve lost count of the thousands of times being in any LGS, when the sales “associate”/clerk tries to get me to divulge exactly what I am looking for, so he/she can steer me to their higher commission items they are trying to foist(did I say that?) on the unsuspecting customer. Research is FAR LESS expensive than purchasing the latest greatest tacti-cool firearm, recommended by a CLERK, who has zero practical knowledge of tactics, strategy or firearms. Case in point: I walked into a new store in my current town of residence. This was another satellite location of a well-known tacti-cool commando store located several miles away. The management of the new location had hired several attractive buxom young women, who knew absolutely nothing about firearms, but did have prominently displayed cleavage. The store manager upon hearing me ask them questions about specific 1911 pistols that were ALLEGEDLY on sale(Hah!) brought over to me, a pile of 1911 parts that he could not re-assemble. I slowly showed him HOW to put the Government model back together. He started to take it from my hands, I pulled back a little, re-field stripped it, and gave him back the “pile-O-parts” to figure it out for himself. Have never returned to that location, never will.

  4. Amen to all this. I’d like to add a bit of advice too. Get reviews of gun stores before going into one. Many have either the guy who acts like he doesn’t give a s$&@ or the loudmouth who knows it all and spews healthy doses of Bravo Sierra with no basis in reality. Avoid these stores at all costs.
    I was a weapons and tactics instructor in the Army Infantry. I’ve taught raw recruits, Military Police, Seabees, officers and enlisted. Foreign troops and weapons too. If you’re lying, I’m going to know it. It’s going to be very uncomfortable for everyone so don’t do it.
    Two weeks ago, I walked into a gun store. I smiled and said hello to the Tom Sizemore lookalike behind the counter. My first trip there. You’d think he might acknowledge me. Barely. I got the vibe that I was interrupting his not at all busy day. He stood behind the counter just kind of disinterestedly. Had he been the least bit friendly, I might have at least bought something. Nope. I’ll spend my money at a shop that’s more customer friendly.

    • Axelsteve says:

      That is a good thing about google and etc. You can google a lgs and get some reviews. Avoid the gs comandos and upsell hypsters. I worked in a couple of Auto dealerships over the years it doesn`t matter if it is a lexus or coffee pot. Salesmen sell and they want to sell you something if you need it or not. I have learned how to pickup on the vibe of salesmen or woman. As far as price goes , You can get a smith 357 mag and a 911 for the same price as a Python. If you want a Python so be it But for a 357 and a 1911 you get more guns for the money.

    • Encourager says:

      Gosh, I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to us! Or if I went in by myself (a woman) and the man behind the counter sneers and talks down to me. I spin around and walk to the door, then say loudly “Too bad for your attitude. You just cost the owner another customer!” Then leave.

  5. mossberg .410 pump a good inexpensive starter, especially when an owner should have 2 or 3 + cleaning kit + extra hoppes + ammo + storage space. A pump comes w/a ‘telling’ sound effect, too! Not the tactical beast an AR is, but a great versatile starter….

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      I disagree on the 410, a 410 shotgun has a very low amount of shot it throws out the barrel making it harder to hit a target, and a box of 410 shells is $10.00 ish for 25. 20 or 12 ga shotgun shells are 1/3 that price.

      A 20 ga is the better choice as it throws a lot more shot per shot fired and the ammo price is so much lower.

      • thanks for update, Chuck…. I am thinking affordability, so cheaper ammo price VERY important.

      • also, I have a hand cannon derringer, shoots .45 or .410….made choice 4 a .410 some yrs back, hence that influenced my recommendation.The .45 has more kick, the .410 I like as ankle gun, next to last resort scenario….TY again. 1 last thought, .410 may be easier for newbies, especially ‘seasoned’ newbies to handle. To me a shotgun should be first firearm acquired…’s appropriate in a # of scenarios. Alas, not all scenarios, so further acquisitions/research necy to become ‘well versed’.

  6. riverrider says:

    you can do a google search with “problems with….” insert firearm you are looking into. surf through the links that come up and you get an idea of any issues people are having with the gun in question. it has saved me a lot of money, not just on guns. also do a youtube search. there are vids on just about any weapon you can think of, but beware of posers who review a gun b4 they ever shoot it. and some folks never met a gun they didn’t like. i work with a part time gunsmith so i bug him about what guns are most often brought to him for repair. its enlightening to say the least. unlike yesteryear even the name brand guns are breaking in large numbers. the rush to meet current demand has makers taking shortcuts and skipping on quality control. we got in a new famous maker rifle with no rifling in the barrel. new high dollar shotguns that were inoperative from the factory. some folks have had good luck with canik pistols but he has had to send every one he has ordered back within days of shooting. so google it, forum it, youtube it, go to the range and ask the range operators what guns have problems, and then pray. i like to stick to older designs that have stood the test of time instead of the latest and greatest. these sometimes have flaws that will not be immediately noticed. good luck.

    • Axelsteve says:

      Like the safties on the Remington 700.

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        Look for problems with the safeties on Rem 700’s going off when the gun was on safe. It has been a problem for YEARS and Remington has been ignoring the problem.

        • Chuck Findlay says:

          Sorry I meant the trigger not the saftie. but either way the 700s have a nasty habit of firing when they aren’t supposed to.

          • riverrider says:

            all, yes there was a recent class action that remington settled with a recall of nearly every 700 ever made. they have a very poor tracking system so the same gun may be “fixed” several times while others go untouched.

            • I will say this about Remington 700’s.

              1. I’ve owned them since the late 70’s.

              2. I have never had one “go off” when it wasn’t supposed to.

              3. To my knowledge they have never been able to replicate the “accidental discharge” on the 5 reported cases.

              4. The only time there was a fatality (to my knowledge and it was up here), the owner had the rifle pointed horizontally, and when it want off the bullet passed through their horse trailer and killed their son. A tragedy yes, but there are 10 safety rules on gun handling, published on EVERY owners manual and they violated at least 2. Then it became the gun’s fault and they tried to sue. The gun was sent to Remington and they were unable to replicate the problem.

              Remington recalled some of the 700’s (I believe the ones with the smooth trigger, vs. the grooved one). This was more of a lawyer driven issue than a real safety issue … IMO.

              • riverrider says:

                true many thousands are just fine, but my gunny has found ones that aren’t. agree that it was much overblown, but that does affect value when buying a gun.

  7. JeffintheWest says:

    And, really, don’t pay attention to any article that starts off with “the BEST gun for…” anything. Especially if you are a first time buyer or shooter. Those articles are designed to either a) showcase the author’s personal faves, or b) to allow the author to pontificate about what a wonderful person/shooter/expert the author is. The first category are at least honest, and might even highlight a weapon that someone else thought was good for something, which might get you looking at something you hadn’t considered before. The second type are a blatant waste of everyone’s time. (Fortunately, generally on here, we don’t get too many of the second type…though some do slip through from time to time.)

    As the article says — DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH, and then go somewhere where you can actually HANDLE the gun — maybe even shoot a dozen or so rounds through the same model. Then and ONLY then come to a decision about whether that weapon is the one for you. Spending a few days on basic research and familiarization can and will save you hundreds of $$$ on something you won’t or can’t use effectively.

  8. Thomas The Tinker says:

    Good affirmation of the ‘facts o life’ MD.

    You tube the make and model… cal. gauge. … watch listen laugh learn. stroll the gun shows and talk with some folks. Learn the diffs tween a blowhard, old salt, and clueless. Pick up and pet a lot. Compare stories. Discard most. Find the good fit no matter the cost … unless that is the over riding issue… find the ‘fit’ you can pay cash for. Solid is cheaper at twice the cost of a broken cheap one.

    End homily………..

  9. I looked at this way. Hunting for medium to large game requires a good center-fire rifle with enough lethal fire power from it to down the animal with one well placed shot. Today – most hunters also want their hunting rifles fitted with a decent scope. Hunters know their game and what it takes to kill it. So they also know what caliber rifle they’re going to need to get the job done effectively. GREAT! I needn’t say more on that one…

    Then there is the need to KILL a Man from a distance who is also well armed and shooting back at you! He too – wants to Kill You! So it is a HUNTER -KILLER game of marksmanship – training – tactics – wits – tenacity – ferocity – nerve. The Military has honed it’s arsenal of issue weaponry via combat and decades of reports coming from the conflict zones by troops on what works well , could use a bit of tweaking to make it better and what is crap and they don’t want it. For the Survivalist, whether it is a battle front moving through your area, or perhaps civil unrest and anarchy in a city, other survivalists in the open bushy fields , woods, mountains, is the same thing as WAR. The others are after the same things you are and if it comes down to it – they will kill you to prevent you from getting what they perceive is rightfully theirs first and not your’s. So – you need to be armed with combat weaponry with powerful accurate optics. Then it is up to you to train with those weapons to be able to use them to their full potential. City fighting requires a different weapon than open long range tactical fighting. A Sniper does not use a choked shotgun! Combat Troops do not carry 22 cal. Ruger revolvers as side arms. This is WHY I decided a urban survivalist with many years of Military firearms training – achieving Marksmanship ribbons for both small and large arms – therefore being knowledgeable about them and comfortable with them as well – I went with the three standard issue firearms – the: .223, 308, & 45 cal. ACP. I also looked at the possibility of encountering a dead soldier or cop who would might still have some ammo on them – and I could then use it. Any 9mm stuff could be harvested and perhaps traded later. As a hedge I also decided the AK47 Rifle would be another less expensive carbine to have – as there might be some foreign goon squads using that round. This weapon is not something to under-estimate its killing potential. It is ubiquitous and in the hands of ZOMBIE Forces everywhere. However – the AK47 would not be my primary carry weapon. It is solely a down and dirty last resort firearm for the off grid bug out site. As other weapons to suit hunting AND defense needs – I chose – a 22 cal SLR semi auto rifle, a 22 cal. bolt action blinker kids gun, a 12 – 20 & 410 ga. pump shot guns, and a 30.06 bolt action w/ scope. ( I love the 30.06. It is an fearsome deadly weapon – and the Military wants to bring it back again as the 308 just isn’t cutting it in the same way as the 30.06 did in WW2 )
    We have some archery gear and lots of fishing gear too.
    If any combination of these weapons cannot defend me -us, and take occasional game, then I guess We’ve Screwed the Pooch!

    We’ve set things up to survive off of Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Goats, Rabbits, Fish, and a wide variety of vegetable plants and fruit bushes and trees. Just planted some fruit – nut trees this past spring. All plants are from heritage seeds and plants- so the seeds can be reused endlessly. Anyway – that my input.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      The only difference between a 308 Winchester and the 3006 is about 200 feet per second more speed with the 06. A difference for sure, but not really all that much. They both use the same bullets, that being .308 dia (30-cal) bullets.

      I would say for the prepper the extra 200 fps is meaningless as being realistic preppers are not going to be shooting people at 600-yards.

    • accuracy, like beauty, is in the ‘eye/hand’ of the beholder…. different chokes 4 different folks…TY & TCGB!

  10. Chuck Findlay says:

    Guns don’t kill people, bullets do.

    People look at buying a gun the wrong way in my opinion. They decide what style of gun to buy based many times on what they see on TV. I have some shocking news for you, TV is not real. On TV you get shot in the shoulder and in 10-min (after a commercial telling you to buy something you likely don’t need) they are walking around like nothing happened with full range of movement. It doesn’t work this way. Even non-killing bullets change people’s lives forever. Just ask Gabby Gifford’s how a non-killing bullet changed her life. On a TV show she would have been shown alright in 10-min instead of maimed for life like she now is.

    And did you ever notice how many bullets they fire on TV that never hit the intended target. Most TV shows show them shooting mag after mag of bullets never hitting anything. In the real world of SHTF there is not going to be a lot of ammo to burn up in this way. Heck even now with the price and shortage of ammo it’s not realistic to just throw bullets down range and not hit anything. Each bullet must do it’s job, not just fly off to not hit anything.

    The bullet, not the gun is the important thing to look at as it actually does the job at hand at the target.

    How I decide what gun to buy is to first decide what bullet will do what I want done and only then go look for the gun that can deliver the bullet to the target at the range, speed and number of bullets downrange to do the job.

    Only after this do I decide what gun to buy.

    And many times I don’t pick the fastest firing gun made. I would rather have a bolt action 223 Remington then an AR-15 (both fire the same cartridge for all practical purposes.) as the bolt action is going to allow me to deliver my bullets with much more precision and I’m going to take time to make each shot count more.

    In every war ever fought where firearms were used a sniper (mostly a bolt action rifle) was feared more then a guy with a full auto gun with a mag full of bullets. Why was this? Because the sniper made the bullet (and like I said the bullet is the important thing) do what he needed it to do. A normal enemy was just a guy on the other side doing his job, but a sniper was an viewed as a cold-blooded killer and did not do well when captured. His bullets were evil killers because he knew how to place them where as a normal grunt was just a guy with a gun like you are.

    So first decide what bullet you want to do the job and buy the gun to deliver it to the target.

    And then get out and shoot it till you are good at it.

    OK rant over…

    • Thanks for re-stating my once-offered opinion about being shot. As I stated in another thread here, I’ve been shot twice(military), and it SUCKS. kneecapped with a .22lr will have you screaming in pain in about 10 minutes, let alone being gutshot with ANY centerfire weapon. The TV shows never show these things. Very few people shot just fall over and check-out…..lots of bleeding, screaming, and panic in war and being shot. BEST GUN?????? jeeze, the most worn-out subject ever approached

  11. Axelsteve says:

    Start with a budget. Maybe start with a 22 lr . Then get a shotgun . Or vice versa, if you have 500 or so you can get a pretty nice shotgun and 22 rifle at the same time. You can also get a real nice used shotgun and 22 rifle if you look around. Then save up maybe 1000 dollars or so for a handgun and A hi powered rifle.While you are saving up for the rifle and handgun take some time to learn how to use the shotty and the 22 rifle. Watch some u tube videos on how to clean and maintain the guns you have now.Watch some videos on reloading ammo . Get used to the procedures and steps on how to make safe quality ammunition .Reloading is a nice quiet downtime thing to do. Base your decision on where you live or plan to live. When I lived in Washington state I owned a 300 weatherby magnum for elk hunting. I sold the Weatherby when I moved back to Komradfornia. Sometimes I wish that I still had it , A 06 is a bit more practical for where I live now. They will be your guns so don`t let anyone try to sell you something that you clearly do not want.

  12. Having owned guns since I was 10 years old, I agree with your recommendations.
    Some gunshops have onsite ranges, take advantage of the ranges even if you decide to buy elsewhere.
    If you are going to be using a weapon in less than ideal conditions, you may want to learn how to reload the calibers you choose, as well as learn the mechanics blindfolded.
    Guns are machines that could save your family’s lives used properly. Used improperly, you can’t save your family.

  13. If you buy a gun, a rule of thimb is 1000 rds before you are good to go. Practice Practice Practice!

    Also, JMHO, a good bolt action 22 is a great TEOTWAWKI gun. You can shove 200 rds in your front pocket and a bolt action is damn near failsafe. If I could only have one gun, that would be the weapon of choice – even over my AR platform. Because once ammo is gone, even the best gun is useless. Also, do not discount the 22. In a pinch, you can drop a deer with a 22.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      Pretty much every gun I have owned I had lots of ammo before I actually got the gun

      • Whoops. What I was trying to say is that you need to shoot about 1000 rds for each gun you own before you get truly comfortable with how she reacts and you get proficient. With my M16, I killed a barrel, from the number of rounds. But that was in the mil and I wasn’t popping for the ammo.

  14. I would say when possible,build your own.Tis easy these days even for those not too mechanically inclined and at moment,still legal.Some options are all the AR/AK variants,1911’s,shotguns/10/22.Tis easy with jigs and while mini mills(and full size)are cool do not need one to do a good job.Try and shoot many types of firearms,different folks like/feel better with different firearms,you like the feel and it will accomplish your goals with it’s performance that is the one you want.A example for me is,I can’t stand Glocks,yet millions use and love them,I love 1911’s(70 series),many folks just hate em.Tis OK,like foot gear what works well for one is a fiasco for others.A side note,building your own avoids FFL registration records ect.,hence,buy build kits cash/prepaid debit card and have come to a different name,paranoid,perhaps,but keep em working for firearm records.You cannot legally build/ for others or sell this firearm with out numbering/registering it,but then,why would you do that?!

  15. I think most of the information above is given from
    people who know allot about guns. In response to the main post?
    I am not worried about me or you with guns.
    But what about the (Newbies) there are a lot of them.. 8 years ago some of the people could not even load there guns in my concealed carry class? Scary they passed I hope they practiced.
    Like the instructor told them..

    But wasn’t the main post directed at people with NO knowledge
    (Where and how do they get it?. A book, not! I think it need to be hands) OK U tube, gun stores, there are cases where I live many wives, ladies go to these. But they cost $.
    But what does not cost us any more.
    I really do not know I was brought with a bb gun 22 hunting and it gun have alway been part of my life.
    It is not as easy as picking out a car and learning how to drive.

    I don’t know maybe I am way off base I usually am.
    There is need to teach the basic like you do to a child but to (adults.) And I do not know the answer. off my soap box
    whoops it is now called a rant.
    Later all

    I think there is a group of people that really need the
    (Very Basics.) Not what we prefer.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      As far as a new gun owner, when you get a gun you need to join a gun club or go to a range and put ammo through the gun often to have any chance of getting any kind of skill with it.

      The best way to get use to a gun is to shoot it often, there is no short cut to this. Video games don’t help, U-Tube doesn’t help. Sending lead down range is what it takes.

      I like outdoor ranges as they give you freedom that an indoor range doesn’t give you. But the important thing for a new shooter is to get out and shoot. This is why we (at the gun shop) many times recommend a 22 as a first gun as it’s affordable to shoot and builds skills that naturally transfer to larger caliber guns.

      A 40 cal semi-auto that you can’t afford to shoot is not a good thing. But a 22 semi-auto you can afford to shoot and practice with and the 40 at home by the bed is a much better way to go.

      But when people ask what is a good first gun and we say a 22 they give us weird looks and buy 40 cal semi-auto, a box of ammo and take it home and stuff it in the night stand never to shoot it because ammo cost too much.

      When an expert (from a real gun shop, not Wally-World clerks) gives a person his advice (asked for advice) and the person ignores it (as most people do) I have little sympathy for them when they don’t know how to hardly load it, let alone fire and hit a target with it. And can’t afford ammo to feed it even if they were to somehow actually decide to practice regularly.

      Guns are life altering things, when used to defend yourself it’s likely somebody may die or be seriously hurt for life. It should be taken seriously and be practiced often.

      Sounds cold, but why ask for expert advice and then ignore it? Just all kinds of stupid if you ask me…

      • Agree 100%. My rule of thumb is 1000 rounds down range to really “know” your weapon.

        • Chuck Findlay says:

          When my son and I go out we easily burn 400 rounds each time with the center fire guns and more with the 22s.

          I have a swinging target I welded up, it’s called a dueling tree. You shot the metal plate and it swings around to the other side. But at the same time the other guy is trying to swing the targets around to your side.

          Whoever clears their side first wins. You have to balance speed of quick shots with the better hit ratio of a slower aimed fire, but not too slow as the other person is shooting to clear his side. It’s a heck of a lot of fun and forces you to get good at snap shooting. It really sucks when your mag runs dry…

          But it also eats a serous amount of ammo as one of us always wants a rematch (and another rematch, and another rematch) to reclaim our pride.

          Look on U-Tube to see what a dueling tree is and how they work.

  16. I would say the appleseeds courses offered country wide a good start for beginning shooters.

  17. Mountain Trekker says:

    I own guns in various calibers and gages and all different types of actions, and in a price range from $70 to over $2000, no brag just fact. But if I was a newbie and could only own one gun in a Schumer Hits The Fan senario, it would probably be the lowly SKS. For defending the homefront and taking game the SKS will fill the bill. Bad Guys get the solids, and Deer get the Soft Points, I’m old and can still layem in there at 200 yards without glass, so most preppers could probably do the same. Ammo is fairly cheap in 7.62×39 so you can stockup and with the SKS you really don’t mind shooting the steel case ammo. Some how I even picked up some 154Gr soft point which would probably work good on Antelope or Deer even though I have never shot either with this load. No! the SKS would not be MY first choice because I have other choices, but I would not feel under armed if that was all I had. Trekker Out.

    • I agree with the sks. In my area I could hunt deer with and hogs.
      I could also use it for public relations work. I wont look like Johny Rambo with it and it is kinda common. The price is up on those things and a cowbay assualt rifle may be a bit more realistic in my neck of the woods.

  18. This is an excellent article. I was green as grass when I bought my first firearm. They saw me coming. My father had given me an old 22 pistol, and a S&W 38. I could shoot both. Then I was robbed (Christmas day) and you guessed it, both were taken.

    Long story short, they have never been recovered. They did however find the snot wad that robbed me. He was on parole at the time of the robbery, so he got some more time behind bars. I went to the trial and he told the judge that he had a drug problem and wAs high at the time and didn’t remember what he had done with a lot of the items he took. He had robbed no less than 8 homes over the holiday weekend.

    After the robbery, I felt very unprotected without any firearm in the house, so off to the gun shop I went. No research or nothing, so I wanted an AR, but thank goodness, the sales person talked me into something more to my skill. I left with a 38 feather lite. It has served me well, and after a time I learned to shoot, bought a gun safe and love my Glock 19. Glad I didn’t leave with the 19 on that day, as I wasn’t ready.

  19. The only thing I would add would be a fourth .22 LR rim fire gun for small game. I certainly believe that everyone needs to own a gun and if you don’t think you do you are kidding yourself!

  20. I used to shoot 1911s with the standard arched mainspring housing, and wondered why I was slow on target, and tended to shoot to the right.

    Then I tried one with a flat mainspring housing. It made all the difference in the world: suddenly, whatever I was looking at, the gun was pointing at. The extra length of the arched housing had pushed the muzzle to the right, and it took time and effort to bring the gun on target. Flat housing : automatically right on.

    A gun which fits makes all the difference in the world.

  21. Crazy Joe in South Jersey says:

    CREEKMORE WROTE ” Know what you want before you go shopping ”

    ……. Therefore ……….. with a qualified , experienced shooter / instructor go out and try 5 different , 7 different , 15 different weapons . Not all weapons are made the same , shoot the same . Sorta like going to an all you can eat buffet . Try as much as you like and find what fits .

  22. Have NEVER bought a gun at a gun shop–the markup IS ridiculous, at times greater than 50%. I have friends that have FFL’s and order thru them. Even kickin them a modest tip to help keep up their FFL, saves enormous amounts of money. Recent example–bought a Zastava m77 (AK Action) in .308 (EXCELLENT rifle) and a pph43c (7.62 x 25) pistol–7 bills for BOTH–look them up–and the cost they get ammo at– PLEASE–I don’t mind paying for what I buy–and I understand they have overhead–BUT–I’m not payin for their Bahama vacation. The M77 at the gunshop–average $650 (my cost $399)–the pph43–well, we can order it for you for $450 (my cost–$299). My .44 super redhawk–40% less—I do like to support my local businesses–but damn–I gotta eat.

  23. It’s difficult to go wrong if you look up your intentions in Gun Tests. Unless you are a total novice, you have met people at gun shows who can lead you to reputable gun shops or to others who can be trusted. Real gun people will snooker each other occasionally in a deal for the entertainment found therein, but most will play it quite straight with you. Most will admit a 9 mm is sufficient to do anything you think you need done with a handgun, and for the price it’s hard to beat a used Sig or Kahr. Since I don’t believe a handgun should be throwing bricks, I recommend anyone try a Sig P6 9 mm if you are lucky enough to locate one.

  24. All right. Most of us own more than one. I don’t care if a Kahr or Glock is your favorite. If your topic here is to avoid getting ripped off at your local shop here is the following:
    Be nice. If their a jerk its not your fight. If your a jerk buyer beware.
    Check the internet. Gunbroker,armslist etc. If you don’t its your fault for not knowing prices. If your dealer is selling a jhp for $300, walk.
    Wheel and deal. Cash is king and many will at least drop the tax cost.
    Buy used. Bargains galore out there. If you have basic firearm knowledge you know what to kind of avoid.
    Help the newbies! If you at least give a crap about your 2A right, you should know your friends opinions etc. Knowledge is power.
    Join the nra!!

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