How to Choose a Handgun

Handguns are the most popular self defense weapons in the world. However, with so many models, caliber options, and styles available, selecting the perfect handgun can prove to be a daunting task. Let’s first talk about why we choose a handgun in the first place.

Why Choose a Handgun

Handguns lack the range and stopping power of rifles but are also portable and are perfect as concealed weapons. Therefore, if you want a weapon that’s small enough to fit inside a briefcase or a glove compartment and provide decent level of protection, handguns are your best bet. Here’s our list of 3 things you need to check that will ensure you select the best handgun every time.

Selecting a Size

The size of the handgun totally depends on the way you are going to carry it around. If you are looking for a gun that will always be concealed you might want to go for a smaller frame. There is a wide range of 9mm compact pistols and .380 super light pistols available in the market. Anything heavier and bigger might make it uncomfortable to carry it for long hours in a pocket or a bag.

However, if you are selecting a gun for your home and have no intention of concealing it, then it’s advisable to go for the larger framed models. Select ones that can fire larger caliber rounds and have longer barrel length. This will make sure your gun has more stopping power and accuracy.

Selecting A Caliber

This is one of the most crucial decisions when selecting any gun. To be sure, go to the firing range and fire handguns with different calibers. You might be tempted to go for the larger calibers but be sure you are comfortable holding and firing the handgun you select.

There is no point in selecting a hand-cannon if you fail to hit the target when you need it the most. The 9mm and .380 pistols are easier to control as they have less recoil and barrel jumps when fired. Once considered to be large calibers the 357 Sig ammo or the 357 magnum is now considered to be intermediate calibers. They have more stopping power but has slightly more recoil than the 9mm and .380 pistols. The large caliber handguns which fire .45 rounds and more have the best stopping power. However, a shooter needs to train himself or herself to deal with the recoils and barrel jumps.


A reliability of a handgun is a matter of life and death. You need to be sure that every time you take it out of the holster and pull the trigger the gun is going to do what it’s meant to do. Unfortunately there is no set parameter to measure reliability. Therefore, it’s best to avoid experimentation and go for reputed brands. You can also read user reviews before deciding on a particular model. There are plenty of review videos available on YouTube so check them out before making that final call.