We often hear, “what’s the best gun?” That’s like asking who has the best food or the best dad jokes. It’s simply a matter of personal preference. But we can help you narrow it down.

1. What is the purpose of the firearm?

Most guns are build for a purpose: concealed carry, practical shooting, or recreational shooting. Some manufacturers have attempted to combine concealed carry and practical shooting, but few have succeeded.

Concealed carry guns are typically smaller guns build for the purpose of being easily hideable. While these guns are extremely easy to conceal, very rarely are they “enjoyable” to shoot recreationally. The most common calibers for carry guns are .380ACP and 9mm.

Crossbreed guns are typically compact or subcompact guns, but they’re usually still too big to comfortably conceal (especially on small bodies). For bigger people, they may work just fine, and they hold more rounds in their magazines.

Practical shooting and recreational shooting guns are generally larger than concealed guns. They’re also more enjoyable to shoot, since the mere weight of the gun helps manage the recoil. Good luck concealing one, though.

2. Semi-Auto or Revolver?

Semi-auto and revolvers each have their pros and cons. Again, it’s up to the user to determine which one is right for them.

Semi-automatic (semi-aut0) guns fire one shot per trigger pull. They typically house their bullets in a separate piece called a magazine. Semi-autos are popular simply because of quantity— they’ll usually hold twice the amount of bullets compared to a revolver. However malfunctions are more common, and sem-iautos have many more kinetic parts, which means more stuff that can go wrong.

Revolvers operate from a cylinder that houses the bullets (as opposed to a magazine). Typically, a revolver will house 5 to 6 bullets. Compared to semi-autos, they are generally more reliable and more accurate, but don’t house as much ammunition.

3. One Size (Doesn’t) Fit All:

Guns are all different shapes and sizes. There simply isn’t a, “one size fits all”. Some guns are too wide for some, too skinny for others. It doesn’t matter what gun it is — if it’s not comfortable, you’ll always suck at shooting it.

4. Try Before You Buy:

Try out all the guns you want before you invest several hundred dollars. Find a shooting range with rentals and shoot as many as you can until you find the right fit. In most cases, people are buying guns for personal protection. Why would you trust your life to something you’ve never used?

5. Train, Train, Train

After you’ve purchased, you need to train. Attend courses, go to the range — it doesn’t matter, just use it. You are not safer just because you bought a gun. You’re not a carpenter just because you own a hammer. You must have training. Lots of it.

Nobody can tell you what gun is best for you. Only you can decide that, we cannot hold a gun for you and make it comfortable, we can just point you in the right direction.