There are several factors in selecting the correct firearm, especially if this is your first firearm and it's a handgun. Here's some of the criteria:
You must consider the cost, reputation, caliber, looks and size of the handgun. But the two (2) most important factors are the size of the handgun, does it fit your hand comfortably and securely and what is your intended use for the firearm.
Size: If the firearm doesn't fit your hand so that your grip isn't good and fuctional, go to the next firearm. All of the other above factors are un-important.
Cost: You really get what you pay for. You don't have to break the bank, but going a little extra may pay off if your life depends on it.
Reputation: Check out the manufacturer and speak with your local firearms dealer to insure the firearm and their company are reliable.
Caliber: This one is my favorite and I could write volumes on it. See my page on "Links" for the one on "Stopping Power". My minimum would be .380cal hollow point; the maximum would be determined by, "Could you shoot it and hit what you're shooting at! Again, consider its use.
Looks of the firearm, this is personal and doesn't have any affect on any importance (although, I like a good-looking gun).
Usage: This is one of the two most important features that should help in your selection; the other is the Size to fit your hand.
What will be the intended use for the firearm? Conceal Carry, Target Shooting, Competition Shooting, Personal Defense in the Home?
Do your homework, talk to a professional and then try out some before you buy.
Long guns are a topic for another day.
Please give me your thoughts.
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