Best Handguns for First-Time Owners in 2023

Handguns for beginners -- cover
Handguns for beginners -- cover

For the novice, venturing into the vast realm of handguns can feel like stepping into an endless labyrinth. The intricate dance of material, caliber, grip, and safety features may seem bewildering at first glance.

As a certified Chief Range Officer, I’ve spent years teaching firearm safety to men and women and individuals ranging from youngsters to Grandparents and gleaned a deep understanding of the beginner’s needs and their unique requirements.

Why Start with Handguns?

For many seasoned gun enthusiasts, our journey often begins with a rifle, especially a rimfire variant. This trend, however, is witnessing a shift.

An increasing number of individuals, unacquainted with the rustic charm of plinking with a rifle as a kid, are now gravitating towards handguns later in life, largely driven by personal protection needs. The modern era has seen a surge in concealed carry permits and a diverse population exploring firearms for self-defense.

Contrary to popular belief, not every new gun owner wishes to delve deep into firearm intricacies or debate the distinctions between a 1911, 2011, and Sub-2000.

For many, the primary objective remains self-defense, and for these buyers, the direct route to finding the right handgun is all that really matters. Let’s start at the beginning.

By Kenzie Fitzpatrick

Kenzie Fitzpatrick is a professional 3-gun competitive shooter, an NRA-certified Pistol Instructor & Range Safety Officer, a certified AR-15 Armorer, an NROI-certified Chief Range Officer, & host of the Reticle Up Podcast.

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