Choosing a Handgun

Handguns on display

Handguns, also called pistols, are almost exclusively used for self-defense. Consider where and how you intend to carry your gun. There's a big difference between choosing a handgun you plan to keep at home and carrying one with a concealed carry permit.

When choosing a handgun, new shooters are sometimes overwhelmed by all the decisions and choices to be made, such as:

  • Size
  • Weight
  • Capacity
  • Trigger Systems
  • Recoil
  • Load Type
  • Controllability
  • Reliability
  • Durability
  • Serviceability
  • Ease of Operation

Many of these choices are determined by the intended use for the gun, personal preferences and the physical size of the person shooting the pistol.

Small Handguns

  • Lighter to carry
  • Easier to conceal
  • Easier to aim for smaller shooters
  • Less power and accuracy

Large Handguns

  • More stopping power
  • More accurate
  • Reduced recoil
  • Difficult to aim/maneuver for smaller shooters


One of the most important factors when choosing a gun is how it feels in your hand while you're shooting it. Practice at a local range with several different sizes and types of handguns to determine which feels right to you. A handgun should fit comfortably in your hand and offer a natural position while aiming and shooting.

Size, Caliber & Capacity

The size of the gun you want to shoot and the caliber of your bullets are two of the biggest factors when choosing a handgun. These are typically determined by your gun's intended use. Choose a compact, lightweight gun for concealed carry or a full-sized, high capacity gun when you're primarily keeping it at home. A multi-purpose gun will blend various factors to strike a balance between both ends of the scale. Selecting the right caliber is one of the most debated topics among firearms experts, but in most cases, capacity shouldn't be a principal concern. More important factors are controllability and trigger manipulation.

Ease of Use

The gun you choose must also be easy and safe to operate. This not only includes shooting but also routine cleaning and maintenance. If these duties are difficult, you won't maintain your handgun properly and even the highest-quality weapon won't work when you need it most.

The final factor of purchasing a handgun is affordability. Dad's Super Pawn stocks an amazing variety of new and used handguns and a wide assortment of accessories. Whether you're looking for your first pistol or seeking to upgrade your current gun, we carry trusted brands including Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson, Springfield, Kimber, Ruger, Glock and Mossberg.