I am often asked by family and friends to recommend or suggest a first firearm. And while I am honored to be trusted enough to be helping, I usually respond by asking, “What are you going to be doing with the gun?” The reasons for my question are several, and that usually provokes soul-searching and added thought by the person I’m helping.
I enjoy (and have gone through many times) the process of helping first-time gun buyers / first-time gun owners select the “correct” gun for them. The most interesting thing that I see when helping someone select their first handgun is that they usually end up with something completely different from what they initially thought.
I’ll tell you a story about a good friend of mine, who in her early 50s decided she wanted to get a gun. Again my first question to her was, “What are you going to be using it for?” And she said, “Honestly, I’m not sure.” While I appreciated her honesty, I told her she needed to think about what she primarily wanted the gun for.
Over the next few days we chatted a few times about exactly what she wanted her first gun to be. After our discussions, she finally decided that she wanted it to be a handgun and that it needed to also be easy to shoot / operate. She thought she was leaning towards a full-size service pistol.
So, I told her I had a variety of pistols that she could try and I would be willing to help out anyway I could. Over the next month or so, we went shooting with many different types of handguns, from revolvers, sub-compact and compact semi-automatics, up to full-size 1911s.
First Firearm Findings
After my friend had shot a wide selection of my handguns and was also shown the features of those guns, she finally ended up selecting the Springfield Armory XD-S in 9mm. I was slightly surprised that she picked this particular pistol, as initially she thought she wanted a full-size service pistol. After all the test firing of over a dozen different guns, my friend told me that the XD-S 9mm fit every requirement that she was looking for. The XD-S was a do-it-all handgun for her particular situation.