4 Things Every New Gun Owner Should Have
Written by: Zac Campbell
At one point or another, every gun owner was a “new” gun owner. Most of us remember the day we first got a firearm with great excitement. Some of us researched day and night for weeks leading up to our first purchase. We labored over internet forums, online reviews, and old dusty Guns and Ammo magazines. We carefully considered calibers, frame sizes, manufacturers, and possible accessories. Did we want a shotgun or a pistol for home defense? Which guns would serve a dual purpose, both as a self defense weapon and perhaps a sporting firearm? We price shopped, bouncing from store to store, sometimes devoting entire days to traveling to different shops to get the feel for each and every option. Those lucky enough to live near a range with a variety of rentals probably spent numerous hours handling and firing different options.
Conversely, many of us knew we wanted to purchase a firearm, and simply went to the nearest shop or perhaps a shop selected by a friends recommendation, and bought whichever firearm “felt good” in our hands. Some customers simply feel the need to have a firearm to protect themselves immediately.
The chances are you in some way, shape, or form, fit into one of the aforementioned categories for your first gun purchase. Or, perhaps you fell into a third category. Maybe you, like I did, grew up around firearms. I remember as a child, watching my father handle his old .38 special revolver, my eyes growing to the size of grapefruits in awe of the majestic beauty of that high polished, blued, 5″ barrel glistening in the light of an old lamp. You probably were taught how to handle a firearm with care, and knew the proper safety etiquette. You still probably researched, but went into your first purchase with a better general understanding of what to expect.
The fact is though, we now live in a different era than our parents did, and the shape of the firearms industry has changed drastically. Even the responsibilities and legalities of owning a firearm have changed a considerable amount. In case you are, or are soon to be, the proud new owner of a gun, here is 3 things that you should have.
1. Proper Training
Proper training is essential. Every new gun owner should understand the heavy burden of responsibility that comes with owning a firearm. This is, most often, not a time investment. While essential training such as that provided in a Concealed Carry course may prepare you for the legalities you need to be aware of, they often require very minimal range time. While every gun owner should labor to know their local laws and regulations regarding the use of firearms, they should also have ample time logged running their new gun.
Generally speaking, the break in period for a new firearm is 200 rounds +. Most all handguns are manufactured to extremely tight tolerances, and can not be relied upon to function properly with having been broken in, or “loosened up”. The initial break in period is a great excuse to get out and spend some time at the local range, learning to master your new firearm.
2. A Plan on How to Store Your Firearm Safely
Many considerations come in to play when a gun owner makes plans to store their firearm. While this is a personal choice that has to be made by the individual, we feel it is incredibly important to take into consideration.
For gun owners with a family, safety becomes an added priority. Owners will want to consider if they want to store the weapon with the factory standard locking mechanism (usually a pad lock type device), a safe with a digital lock, or a safe with a manual lock. Each has their own benefit and drawback. For gun owners who have purchased their firearm with the intent to use it for home defense, the speed in which they can access their firearm becomes a major factor as well.
Another main consideration in storing your firearm will be knowing your local laws and regulations regarding firearm storage. Laws for firearm storage vary wildly from state to state, and even amongst county laws and town ordinances. Knowing these laws is key to being a responsible gun owner.
3. A Good Cleaning Kit
Properly maintaining your firearm is another hallmark of responsible ownership. Whether you purchased your weapon for self defense, or shooting purposes, you will want to make sure it is taken care of. Properly maintaining your firearm also gives you valuable hands on experience with it, and is instrumental in learning how it functions.
For those relying on their firearm for self defense, cleaning your weapon is essential to ensure it is functioning properly should you ever have to defend yourself with it. Proper maintenance will reduce the likelihood of jams and failures that could prove to be fatal.
If you’ve simply purchased your first firearm for sporting purposes, cleaning is still important. Your firearm is an investment, and keeping it cleaned is one of the best ways you can help protect that investment. Cleaning is also an important part in pride of ownership.
While cleaning your firearm for the first time can be intimidating, there is also a plethora of information now available on the internet to guide you through the process. The overall steps for dis-assembly and maintenance will be different for different makes and models of firearms. However, it’s very likely that you can find a quality youtube video showing the dis-assembly, re-assembly, and cleaning instructions for your exact firearm.
Guns don’t run without ammo! You’ll want to make sure you have some quality target ammunition for your new firearms break-in period along with some extra for continued practice. If you’ve purchased a firearm for self defense, you will want to make sure you have a good selection of self defense ammo for your firearm after the break in period. For self defense ammunition, you will want to ensure you test fire some through your weapon before starting to carry or rely on it, on a regular basis. Not all guns like the same ammunition. Think of your gun as a small person, each of the different manufacturers and models like to eat different food. Ammunition of different weights (or grains) will travel differently, and have a different amount of recoil as well. It is good to be familiar with the ammunition you plan to use to protect yourself.
You should know that there is a big difference between range ammunition and self defense ammunition, both in performance and price. However, if you are lucky, you will be able to hold on to your self defense ammunition for a long time!
These are just some examples of things first time gun owners should have. Nothing replaces the knowledge that you acquire through diligent study. Take some time to speak with friends and family members who may be able to provide valuable insight.
About The Author
ZacZac Campbell is the Marketing Director for Tombstone Tactical’s Phoenix, Arizona location. With 5 years of military service and 4 years of industry experience with firearms, the author enjoys nothing more than ensuring customers of Tombstone Tactical experience the best customer service on quality firearms at the most affordable prices. Make sure you check out Tombstone Tacical’s Blog HERE.