OK - you managed to spend about 10 hours in a
classroom, hit a paper silhouette enough times to accumulate 175 points,
and got at least a 70% on your written exam. It's been almost 60
days since you submitted your application, fingerprint cards, photos,
notarized affidavits, and proficiency certificate to the State of Texas.
Your license should arrive any day. (You did remember to send in the
license fee, didn't you?)
Have you picked out a handgun to carry?
Which handgun will be best for you?
Let's start with the basics:
Don't be impressed by lifetime warrantees.
Putting your handgun back in good working order at no charge will be of
little value, if it failed to function properly when you needed it to
defend your life.
Give more consideration to quality than you give to
price. My [somewhat less than serious] advice to anyone who
wants to cut corners on quality, to save a few dollars is:
If you're going to buy a cheap handgun, buy a heavy
one. If it's heavy enough, a cheap handgun that fails to
function, might still be capable of stopping an aggressor when thrown.
If cost is an issue, I believe your interests would
be better served by choosing a high quality used handgun, over a a
lesser quality new handgun. If you choose to purchase a used
handgun, I would strongly suggest you take the gun to a reputable
gunsmith to make sure it is in top working condition.
Choose a handgun from a manufacturer with a good
reputation. Even then, you should be mindful of the fact that even
the most reputable manufactures have produced handguns that they later
wished had never gotten off the drawing board.
If you decide to get recommendations from your gun
owner friends, keep in mind that your friends might have difficulty with
admitting that they made a mistake when they bought their gun.
Once you get past the two major considerations of
Reliability and Controllability the rest is pretty much "bells &
Revolver vs. Semi-automatic - Choosing
between a revolver or a semi-automatic doesn't make as much difference
as most people would lead you to believe ... Although you could
fill a book with the pros and cons of handgun types, hopefully, the book
will have the following caveat on the last page:
"In the final analysis, the handgun that will work
best for you will be the one you feel most comfortable with. It
will be the one that, through practice, you have developed confidence
My suggestion would be to skip the rest of the book,
read the last page, head for the range, and try some different guns.
External Safety - When you are stressed, one
of the first abilities you will lose will be that of performing "fine
motor movements". In most cases, the release of an external safety
is an example of a "fine motor movement".
If you choose a handgun with an external safety, it
imperative that you always practice your first shot from the "safety-on"
Night Sights - Chances are, if you can
see your target, you can see standard sights. If it's too dark to
see your sights, it's probably too dark to see your target - what will
you aim at?