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Tips For First-time Gun Buyers

Buying a gun can be intimidating. You may feel like you're making a big mistake by spending your money on something as expensive as a gun. However, there's nothing to worry about because you'll know exactly what you're getting when you buy a gun. With these tips, you should be able to make an informed decision without feeling overwhelmed or intimidated.

There is, for better or worse, there is a lot of info on-line. Some of it is Sound, and some of it isn't. Using trusted online resources for information is a step in the right direction. You can also pick up one of the many books (or ebooks) to learn more. You don't necessarily need to know the model you want when you walk into the gun store, but you should have some idea of the type of gun (revolver or semiautomatic pistol, shotgun, or rifle) and the caliber you're looking for.

Consider the purpose of your gun purchase. Do you want a gun for self-defense, hunting, or sport? Some may be purchasing a gun because the world seems crazy at this time. People are calling for defunding law enforcement only to see crime and murder rates rocket to new highs. Understand we are a business and therefore not being political. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and thoughts. However, if response times keep climbing, it does start to make more sense than ever before to have a gun for home and self-defense.

Each year, over 240 million calls are made to 911. Some of those calls should not go to emergency numbers, and some are for things like medical emergencies. In 2017, the average law enforcement call response times nationally was over 11 minutes. Now, in 2022, just 5 years later, in many areas, the response times have more than doubled. In most parts of the country, it is not the law enforcement's fault. Instead, it is the consequences of many political and financial actions.

Some areas are reporting the longest response times ever. Others are saying they will not even respond to non-violent crimes. So it just makes sense that reasonable people are considering purchasing a gun for their own safety.

Remember Guns are Tools

Guns are very useful tools. People use them to protect themselves, their families and others. There are many types of guns. Some are used by police officers, some are used by soldiers, some are used by hunters, some are used by civilians. Guns are also used by criminals. Criminals often steal guns from homes and businesses. No matter where you stand on guns or gun ownership, understand that there are over 300 million guns already in the hands of owners in the United States. Guns are not going away, so having a firearm for self-defense can be a sound decision.

Just remember, gun safety means not only learning to use your gun safely but also storing your gun safely to prevent misuse, or theft as well. Every gun owner should have a gun safe and trigger locks for their gun (s). If you have children or young adults in the home, you must also consider proper gun safety training for them to address the mystery of a gun in the home, and proper respect for gun safety.

Choosing the right gun store

Choosing the right store is important if you want to get the most value for your money. But it is more than pricing. Having a caring and helpful staff makes all the difference. When you can go into a local store on your first gun purchase, that is an excellent choice. However; right now, that might not be an option for everyone. So finding a reliable and trusted gun store online maybe the key to your purchasing success. Top Gun Supply has been online for many years and has two retail locations as well in Ohio and Florida.
Choosing the model of gun


There are many types of handguns available today, including revolvers, semi-automatic pistols, and even submachine guns. Each type has advantages and disadvantages. Some people prefer revolvers because they're easy to use, while others prefer semi-automatics because they're more accurate. A person can learn about handguns by reading magazines or watching videos, but there's no substitute for hands-on experience.

Self-defense handguns are the most popular type of firearms used by civilians. The.380 caliber pistol is the most common handgun in the United States. The 9 mm caliber is also very popular. The.40 S&W and.45 ACP are two of the most popular calibers. These three calibers are often referred to as "pocket pistols" because of their size and lightweight. Handguns are usually carried in holsters or shoulder bags. A holster is an item worn around the waist that holds the weapon securely. Holsters come in various styles, such as belt, ankle, inside the pants, etc. Some people prefer to carry their guns in their pockets. This method requires some skill to draw the weapon quickly without having to fumble with clothing. Many people use a combination of both methods.


There are few sounds like hearing a 12-gauge shotgun being cocked and loaded. Unless a criminal is on drugs, this sound alone may lead them to flee from a property. Also, the stopping power of a shotgun is almost unmatched. At close range, they can deliver a great deal of stopping power, and do it without much skill or previous practice.

With shotguns, you should consider your ammo loads carefully. If you live in a duplex or apartment with walls that connect to neighbors, you may want to choose a lighter ammo load. Buckshot is the load many recommend because it offers good penetration of a target and stopping power without overpenetration through multiple walls. According to gel test ballistics, #1 buckshot can achieve a penetration of 16.5 inches, which is in range with FBI recommendations.


The majority of time you do not hear people talk about using rifles much for home defense. However, it is something to consider if you are just talking about long guns that may shoot the same size ammo as a pistol but allow an amateur more accuracy, and a better rate of fire.

You can shoot a 9MM round with much more accuracy with a longer barrel, stock, and in many cases a front hand hold position that is built in than almost anyone but experts with a pistol. This means if you feel that a shotgun is not the best choice for your location and needs, you may want to look for a modern rifle for home-defense use.

As you continue your journey on your first firearms purchase do consider working with Top Gun Supply for all of your needs. We are happy to work with you online or in our two retail gun store locations. We are in Chesterland, OH, and in St. Augustine, FL.

Check out many of the free videos at our sister site Top Gun Videos Online to learn more about your options as a first time gun buyer.




First Time Handgun Buyers Guide

If you're looking for a home defense weapon, you should consider a smaller caliber weapon. Smaller rounds are easier for inexperienced shooters to keep on their target, deal with the sound of the weapon and more.

Most new gun owners who fire a handgun from inside of a car or home will regret if they purchased a powerful caliber of handgun. Regret based on the power of the sound alone. I fired a 357 on an indoor gun range (one designed to absorb sound) and I had earplugs in. Still, my ears rang for a few moments. If you were shooting from a car, you might permanently lose some hearing. I can only imagine a 44 and the sound that might generate.

You also need to consider how far bullets will travel through walls and other obstacles. If you live in an apartment building or duplex, you must consider how your guns rounds may travel through surrounding walls.

A 357 can go well into the engine block of the car, and will speed their way through most walls and even firewalls between rooms in homes, and apartment buildings.

If you choose something like a 9MM and pick the right ammunition, the rounds are many times less likely to travel through walls and hurt others. Modern ammunition designs offer many great options. I personally like hollow points. A hollow point round spreads fast as it first hits anything. This not only increases the stopping power when used for self defense, it slows the rate of travel through walls and other objects.

It is true that the stopping power of a 45 is twice that of a 9MM or 38. A 45 is.45 inches in diameter round. With a full metal jacket round point, it will travel through walls and common structures with ease. Which makes the caliber of a more risky choice for home defense. The last thing anyone wants to do is try to defend themselves and harm an innocent in the process.

If you are in need of a self-defense handgun with a good deal of stopping power, a 45 can be a great choice. So you should choose a caliber based on your body type and the environment you're in. When you are purchasing rounds for your new handgun, consider hollow point rounds for self-defense. They are very effective at stopping criminals, and less effective at traveling through walls.

Consider the type of handgun

Semi-automatics are faster to reload than revolvers. Being able to reload a prepared clip saves time when you need to use more rounds at a faster pace.

Revolvers are better suited for heavier defensive loads. If stopping power is your ultimate concern, then revolvers are the proven choice. Also, many new gun owners and first time shooters like the feeling of more control and safety that revolvers provide. Reliability is something that also tends to make revolvers a choice. They have much fewer moving parts.

Calibers determine how much recoil you feel more than anything else, but the use of internal pressures as gasses by semi-autos does seem to reduce the feeling of recoil to some degree.

Popular calibers in the gun industry are very different from handgun selection for grizzly bear defense. Larger handguns may be the best choice from some responsible handgun owner, but for defense guns intended to be used for home or self-defense, most are served by a more accessible firearm. The firearm type you choose should fit your needs well. Take some time to learn a little handgun terminology as you start to shop for your handgun.

The size of the caliber matters 

Shot placement is more important than cartridge power. It is more important to hit your target than it is to destroy the target utterly. Stopping power is certainly a consideration when the other party is armed, or when they are in an altered mental state that allows them to ignore pain and reality. Even criminals tend to retreat when they hear and experience gunfire, especially when they are hit with the first bullet.

SemiAutomatic or Revolver

Semi-automatics use a single action to load and fire each round. Revolvers use two actions to load and fire each shot.

Revolvers are easier to operate because there are fewer parts.


Semi-automatics use gas pressure to load the next round into the chamber.

Most pistols hold six to eighteen rounds.

Semi-automatics require some manual effort to reload.

They don't work well with high-caliber bullets.


Revolver is a type of firearm used to shoot multiple rounds at once.

Single-action revolvers require you to cock the hammer before every shot.

Double-action revolvers use less effort to fire.

The Caliber

Caliber determines how much force the bullet exerts on the target. The larger the size of the round, the more force that can be brought to bear on your target.

Bullets with greater calibers are stronger. Just remember to consider the location you intend to use the weapon in most, and your purpose. This will help you choose the best handgun and the best ammunition for that weapon.

A good defensive weapon should have a reasonable amount of recoil and stopping power. This is a matter of personal choice, your intended use, and your environment.

Ease in Maintenance

It's important to clean and oil your gun before shooting, and after target practice or use.

Some guns are easier to maintain than others. Revolvers are easier, but with today's modern gun cleaning kits and tools, all are easy to do.

Try before you buy

You should try out multiple guns before buying one. This sounds crazy coming from a company that sells guns online. But we do want you happy with your purchase. Find a local gun range that rents handguns and try a few out. This can help you choose between semi-autos and revolvers. Once you have that decided, it makes your gun purchase easier, and more informed.

Test your gun with 50 rounds of defensive ammo. Or share 25 rounds in each handgun type if that is helpful. 

Semi-automatic handguns should be tested for reliability. Some have a tendency to give owners trouble, especially when not well maintained and cleaned after every use. 

Revolvers tend to feel more comfortable to clean, and from a safety standpoint to me. Maybe it is because semi-autos fire rate is so impressive. Or it may be because when opened to clean you can see that the revolver is clear of ammunition. In something like a 9mm, you need to check the chamber to assure that all is clear after removing the clip.

Safety should always come before shooting. Make sure you know how to use the weapon safely. This may mean taking a gun safety class, and gun safety should always include a trigger lock and proper storage of your new weapon.

Owning a defensive handgun is a huge responsibility, but it can give you peace of mind. Just knowing that a handgun is there in case you need it can literally help you sleep at night. Life can bring us many surprises sad to say that violence is one of those. So having a handgun can provide you with a great deal of peace of mind, especially when you practice and train with the handgun often.

Considering the price for your first handgun

Consider the price of the firearm before buying it. Shopping at Top Gun Supply is a popular choice because we offer great prices, and the best customer service.

When buying a handgun online, remember to read the product details carefully. Understand how the handgun calibers will impact your buying decision.

Also, know that when you purchase a handgun from Top Gun Supply, we follow all Federal firearm laws. We will need to send your newly purchased handgun to a licensed firearms dealer through the FFL transfer process.

As a new Gun Owner you need to learn the firearm fundamentals and practice gun safety. Whether you purchase a handgun online or offline at one of our local stores in Florida or Ohio, you should receive some level of training and spend time on an indoor range, or outdoor range practicing with the new handgun.

Having an effective firearms training regime is as important as your safety selection, the safety mechanisms of the gun you select, and the bullet weight or caliber of the weapon itself. Understanding the basics of your gun, like the firing mechanism, firing pin, and how to prevent accidental discharge, are critical for you as the gun owner. 

Whether you choose a 6-shot,.357 Magnum revolver,.45 auto, 9mm, or another handgun, do consider receiving professional training from a proper agency firearm instructor. Searching for the term Firearms Academies in Google or your favorite search engine will produce local results near you for training. 

Before carrying your handgun in public, handgun owners should familiarize themselves with the handgun laws in their area. A great free online resource for local handgun laws can be found here.




Firearm Safety

Teaching Gun Safety

Everyone should learn gun safety. Like many things in life, it is better to learn gun safety when you are young. My journey with guns really started when I was a young preteen at camp during the summer. My father owned guns and would on occasion show one to me, or talk about the one he won in a raffle that was a very fancy shotgun. We would also take time and look at the guns that he had inherited from my grandfather and from his uncles. However, we never went shooting really, and he did not take me hunting as a child.

At camp there was a gun range and you could go there and shoot small 22 long rifle guns. The camp was a YMCA run camp, and they had their act together when it came to controlling the gun range and promoting gun safety. The only direction you could even point your gun was down range at the targets, and you were shown how to load, fire, and handle the guns before you ever received your first round of ammo.

Teaching Your Children About Gun Safety

Teaching your kids about guns is important because it helps prevent accidental shootings.

You should start talking about guns when your kid is young.

Children should learn how to use guns responsibly.

You should start teaching kids about guns when they first notice them or hear about them.

Children should know that guns are dangerous and not toys.

You should teach your kids how to handle a gun safely.


Children should learn about guns at an early age. The age for your child will vary based on the child. Some children can start learning very young, while others need more time to mature and understand their surroundings.

It's important to consider the child's personality before deciding what to teach them. As with other lessons in life, you should adjust the lessons you share to the child. Just make certain to always hit the key points of safety.

Take the Mystery out of Firearms

Teaching kids to respect guns is important because they don't understand the dangers. This is not the teenage 10 feet tall and bullet proof feeling I am talking about. It is the nave nature of children I refer to here. When appropriate for your child, going on a hunt can be useful because you can share the consequences of firearm safety mistakes very clearly when they see and experience the death of an animal.

Guns are dangerous things, and they need to understand that concept as a reality. If hunting is not an option for you for whatever reason, there are many other things you can do with your child to help them develop a strong respect for firearms.

You want children to always respect firearms and the danger they can bring in the wrong hands. This way, if kids see a gun in someone's house, they won't want to touch it.

Incorporate Visual Aids

Bloody animals are used to teach kids about guns.

Your child should learn gun safety from you, not from TV shows. There are great videos that can help you with your conversation about firearm safety, but TV shows and movies are the source of a separation from reality for children.

The message you should share is that guns are dangerous if not handled correctly.

Emphasize Safety Above All Else

It's important to teach kids about guns at a young age. This way, they are not experimenting on their own unsupervised during their first encounter with a weapon.

If your kid finds a loaded gun, tell him/her to leave and find an adult immediately.

Children should know about guns before they see violent movies. Whether you let your kids see certain types of films or TV shows is a parent's choice. What you should always do is teach a child about guns before letting them watch guns being used on the big screen.

It's important to talk to children about gun violence. Part of your conversation should include how guns are misused. You adjust this conversation to make it age appropriate, but it should still occur early on and be discussed many times during their early development.

The 4 universal rules of gun safety. Always, always follow these rules!

  1. Treat all guns as if they are always loaded.
  2. Never let the muzzle point at anything that you are not willing to destroy.
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target and you have made the decision to shoot.
  4. Be sure of your target and what is behind it.

Parents, what is the Safest Way to Store a Gun?

Keep the gun unloaded and locked away. A gun safe and a gun trigger lock should both be used. Gun cabinets are not as secure as gun safes for many reasons.

Lock the bullets separately from the gun. This helps protect your children, and also may protect you as the homeowner from criminals turning your own guns on you.

Consider using a gun lock. I use separate gun locks on the triggers of everyone of my guns. I will not even leave the gun store without a new trigger lock.

Why Is Proper Gun Storage So Important?

Gun storage prevents accidents, crime, and keeps children safe.

Teens should never be able to access a gun and bullets alone. We have all seen stories of teen violence and situations where one or more teens have taken guns to school and started shooting. Often these teens have mental issues that were known to the parents and others in the community. If the guns and ammo they used to attack others had been properly secured, we would not have to see these situations unfold.

If you have a gun in your house, make sure it's unloaded and locked away.

If someone in your family has depression, remove all guns from the house. Just locking a gun away may not be enough. You must control access to the firearm and the ammunition. The easiest way to do this is to secure your firearm.


Teaching your kids about gun safety will make them safer around guns.

If kids see an unsupervised firearm, they should stop, don't touch, and leave the area.

Find a trusted adult figure and talk about what you saw.

As your child gets older, he/she should start learning how to shoot guns. This should be in the form of a proper gun safety training course by a certified instructor. I think it is great for parents to reinforce what the child learns in class, and even take that class with the child. Just do not set yourself or a child up for failure by teaching them the wrong things. Enroll them in a proper class at the right age.


Consider the size and weight of a firearm before buying it.

Semi-autos are the easiest guns to use.

Rifles are better at learning how to shoot because they're long and have a larger sight radius.

Use a bench with a bag to make carrying easier.

Bipods help stabilize the gun.


Shooting games help kids learn about guns and aim properly.

Bullet holes are made by shooting guns.

You must aim carefully if you want to win.


You should teach your child how to shoot safely.

Your child will develop confidence, discipline, and shooting skills.

Watch the Eddie the Eagle gun safety video with your child and then when appropriate enroll them in a gun safety class.

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Are you a hunter, competition shooter, law enforcement officer or concealed permit holder? Our site puts you on target for superior supplies. Look through our comprehensive range of in-stock parts, ready to ship. In addition to selling tactical AR-15 rifles and top-of-the-line pistols, we stock gun barrels, tactical scopes, guide rods, gun springs, firing pins, connectors, gun parts kits, and an array of other tactical parts. If you want factory replacement and upgrade parts from premier providers, visit us first. Our vast inventory of shooting supplies includes products from manufacturers such as: Glock | Sig Sauer | Wilson Combat. We carry an extensive line of Sig Sauer Gun Parts. You can rely on us for Sig Sauer P320 Parts along with all of the classic P Series pistols.

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