group of civilian practice gun shooting on outdoor shooting range
  • New to Range Shooting? 5 Steps to Finding Your Ideal Firearm

Featured Image Caption: Group of Civilian Practice Gun Shooting on Outdoor Shooting Range

Gun ownership is one of the trickier things to estimate in the U.S. You don’t need to register every firearm and people inherit guns from older family members. Estimates, however, put the rate of gun ownership in the country at around one-third of American adults.

Of course, most people don’t start out as gun owners from the get-go. Many people start out by visiting a gun range with a friend. If you’re new to the range and want to own your own firearm, though, how do you find the right one? Keep reading for five steps that will help you find your ideal piece to suit your tastes, needs, and lifestyle.

Borrow Firearms

While you may not own a gun, there are most likely people in your circle of friends or family members who do. You can ask them if they’re willing to go with you to the range and let you test-fire their guns. Some will say no, but many will say yes. This will allow you to try out a variety of guns and see which models, sizes, and types you like. In addition, trying out range shooting is a fun way to get introduced to the sport itself, as well as creating a potential new hobby for yourself. Check for local firing ranges in your area and see what days and times would be best for you to do some test-firing. Some ranges even have discount days and deals for first-time shooters, or for ladies’ night.

Rent Firearms

It’s not universally true for every establishment, but many ranges will rent you a firearm from their stock for the duration of your visit. Again, this will allow you to try out several different calibers and brands of firearms on for size. This kind of testing helps you learn what kind of grip you like and how much power you want in a firearm. Finding out which make and model best suits your grip, your height, and even your preferences is especially true here, and can make the difference in your purchasing decision.

Read Reviews

Sometimes, a gun goes into production with a design flaw that makes it unreliable or compromises its performance. Before you purchase a gun, you should ensure you’ll get a piece of equipment that will hold up and perform well over thousands of rounds. Look for reputable gun sales sites and shops, and maybe even look into firsthand testimonials from people you know who have used the specific gun you are looking into before. Whatever you do, make sure to do your research on any and all firearms you are interested in. Making an informed decision is half the battle of gun ownership.

Consider the Cost

While it’s not the main concern for most people, the cost of owning, caring for, and storing a gun is a factor in whether or not you have one for personal or recreational use. You should consider not only the cost of the firearm but also of the ammunition. Expensive ammunition makes for expensive practice shooting. Check pricing in your area for ammunition costs, as well as general wear and tear maintenance for any gun you’re interested in. You should keep in mind any cleaning and lubrication materials, as well as any costs for screws, accessories, and storage systems, such as a good, sturdy gun safe.

Customize for You

Once you know what you like in a firearm, you may find that the ideal firearm for you doesn’t come in any standard stock model. This is when you look for other options, such as custom tactical rifles for sale online. Custom models often come with different stocks or different paint jobs you may prefer. Customizing a firearm can be just as fun as using it on the range.

Whatever you end up doing to customize your firearm, always ensure that any accessories will not interfere with the safety of the system. The last thing you want is for a cool design to make a gun less safe to anyone to be around.

Picking your ideal firearm isn’t something you can do by just looking. You need in-person range time with a variety of different firearms to figure out what works best for you. Sometimes, a firearm looks great on paper, but it doesn’t fit your hand well. Other times, you may discover that the recoil on a firearm is more hassle than you prefer. If you keep trying out different firearms, though, you will find the right one for you in no time.

By Dixie Somers
who is a freelance writer based in Arizona.

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