How to help your man buy his first gun

Nationally recognized competitors such as Dave Sevigny make great role models, and are a good reminder to us all that MEN SHOOT TOO!
Nationally-recognized competitors such as Dave Sevigny make great role models, and are a good reminder to us all that MEN SHOOT TOO!

It’s finally happened. Your husband/boyfriend/life partner finally agreed to come to the range with you and try their hand at shooting, and they loved it! Now they want to know what gun to buy. How can you help him through the process of selecting his first handgun, without all the information becoming too intimidating?

Start by finding out what he likes. Let him try a few different firearms out, maybe taking advantage of the rental counter at the local range. You may want to take note of any difficulty he has with certain firearms, some men are just too strong and might break a slide while trying to lock it to the rear, and others may be confused by the many moving parts of a semi-automatic pistol. If either of these are a problem for your man, a nice, big revolver may be the perfect gun for him.

Remember that your man has bigger hands than you, and may have difficulty holding smaller firearms. Steering him toward larger guns may help him avoid the feeling of frustration from small grips or controls that just aren’t built for his meaty paws.

To help him know he is not alone, and there are plenty of men out there on the range, you should point out local male trainers, show him male-oriented gun blogs, and be sure to let him read the “Men’s Section” in your favorite firearm magazines. These are all designed for men to feel more comfortable while shopping for a firearm, and will provide valuable information for him that we, as women, may not be aware of. There are also plenty of male competition shooters out there that are strong, responsible role models for our sons as well!

At the end of the day, remember the most important thing is to let him choose, and let him choose something he enjoys to shoot. With the right firearm selection, and some good training, the two of you will have plenty of happy range dates in your future!


  1. Haha, made my internet surfing for today. But how does one decide on caliber?

  2. Also keep in mind that a lot of new guns can be purchased with special finishes that cater to the male market. If the gun doesn’t come in a color he likes, like black or blued steel, you can always get it hydro-dipped in attractive male-appealing finishes like diamond plate, snakeskin, or carbon fiber!

    1. Beat me to it. My wife says those finishes are silly and they’re just catering to stereotypes, but I think it’s nice to have a gun that’s a little more masculine. I mean, come on, boys, it’s 2014.

  3. You forgot to mention that some models of guns come with black grips, that some men seem to gravitate to.

  4. I Never HEARD of anyone breaking the slide on an autoloader by jacking it too hard. The chamber pressure exerted against the slide on firing a round is way higher than you could possibly incorporate into that with your lower arm or wrist or fingers. Allthough; I did recently retract the slide on my 1911 series 70 Colt to softly and got an in-between jam whereas I couldn’t retract it or dis-assemble it. Eventually I was able to manipulate it back into battery by unknown means. I never heard of that happening either. Anyone else have that happen?. But that aside; buy a better gun that doesn’t break when you use it.

  5. Martin, you’re a sexist, completely out of tune with the needs of male shooters.

  6. Speaking as a father of a sharp-shootin’ daughter… WHY ARE YOU DATING OR MARRYING A MAN WHO DOESN’T SHOOT OR OWN A GUN???

    (Well done, Shelley!)

    Dann in Ohio

  7. Well done Ms. Rae.

    You forgot to mention that we often have big sausage like fingers which may not fit all trigger guards (without a premature ignition).

  8. Comedy gold. Especially the couple of oblivious comments 😉

  9. My favorite part of this post has become the comments making fun of other people’s comments…

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