Handguns are powerful, yet easily portable weapons that can be used for hunting, target practice, and even self-defense. They’re not particularly expensive; in fact, most people can afford to buy one with little financial strain. But if you’re interested in saving money and getting the best possible deal, there are some important tips you’ll need to follow when buying a handgun.
Factor in All Costs
Before you get too deep in the handgun buying process, make sure you’re factoring all costs of owning and maintaining a weapon. For example, you won’t be able to use your handgun unless you also buy ammunition for it. You may also want additional items like a gun safe to store your weapon, a storage case for portability, a holster to carry it around, a cleaning kit to clean and maintain your weapon, and safety gear. If you’re new to the world of firearms, you might also need to pay for safety training – and no matter what, you might want to pay to use a firing range.
Prepare a Budget in Advance
Prepare a budget to see how much you can afford to spend on a firearm – both in terms of initial costs and ongoing costs. Fortunately, handguns tend to be inexpensive, and even if you have a budget of just a few hundred dollars, you’ll have plenty of options available to you. If you’re interested in something rarer or more powerful, you might need to save up to ensure you can afford it.
Choose the Right Caliber
One of the biggest choices you’ll need to make is the caliber of your weapon – which will have a major impact on your long-term ammunition costs. For example, .22 caliber bullets range from $0.05 to $0.07, but for a .44 Magnum bullet, you can expect to pay between $0.54 and $1.05. Over a lifetime of ownership, these costs can mean a difference of thousands of dollars.
Don’t commit to a handgun the moment you see one you like. Take your time and shop around. There are many places where you can shop for a weapon, including:
- Gun shows. Gun shows are one of the best opportunities to see a range of firearms on display and talk to different vendors. You might also get the opportunity to negotiate prices and find a great deal.
- Online dealers. Online stores are excellent sources to finalize your purchase. They tend to have robust selections and amazing prices, so once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, try to find an online store that carries it.
- Physical stores. In physical stores, you can talk to a sales rep in person – and you might be able to try out a handgun before buying it.
Wait for a Sale or Special
If you know what handgun you want to buy and you’ve shopped at a handful of stores, it’s a good idea to wait for a sale or special. Most establishments offer temporary discounts and slashed prices – so be patient and jump on a good deal whenever one becomes available. You may also consider signing up for a newsletter for this purpose.
Get a Bundle
Oftentimes, you can net a lower price if you buy a bundle of items all at once. For example, you might see a steep discount if you buy a handgun complete with a holster and a cleaning kit.
Watch for Extra Costs
Be wary of extra costs that can jeopardize the value of your deal. For example, if you’re buying online, you don’t want to be caught with extra shipping costs.
Depending on where you buy your handgun, you might be able to negotiate the price. If you’re buying from a local dealer, at a gun show, or from an individual you know, a handful of shrewd negotiating tactics could help you score a better deal. Sometimes, you can get a lower price just by asking for one – if not, you can bring up prices from competitors or push for free add-ons to your bundle.
Get Your Ammo in Bulk
One of the biggest costs of long-term gun ownership is the cost of ammunition – and if you shoot your firearm frequently, you’ll end up paying a lot for bullets. Ammunition doesn’t go bad or deteriorate if stored properly, so wait for a sale and buy in bulk; you can save a lot of money this way.
If you follow these pieces of advice, you should be in a position to get a good deal on a handgun that fits your intentions and your lifestyle. The more you learn about firearms and the more immersed you are in the community, the better deals you’ll get on firearms in the future.