by Judi Anderson

  1. Do you have the required permits to purchase in your state?

    • (In Minnesota, you must have either a permit to purchase - obtained from the county Sheriff’s Department where you reside or a permit to carry - classes offered at Osakis General Store and Guns galore, then apply for permit with Sheriff’s Department.)

  2. Are you old enough?

    • (In Minnesota, you must be at least 21 to purchase a handgun.)

  3. Revolver vs. Pistol?

    • There is less of a chance for misfires or jams with revolvers than pistols, however, if you clean and maintain your pistol appropriately, misfires and jams are not typically an issue.

    • The rapid-firing ability of a semi-automatic pistol may be a trade off depending on the purpose of your purchase.

  4. Caliber?

    • Are you buying for home defense? Hunting? Do you plan to carry the firearm?

    • Caliber will affect the physical size of the firearm, take-down ability, weight and recoil of the firearm. Not a big deal if its in your bedside table, but definitely a consideration if you will holster or otherwise carry the handgun.

  5. Grip?

    • How does the grip fit your hand?

    • Does it have interchangeable grips?

    • If it doesn’t fit well, it may be more difficult to control the gun and manage recoil.

  6. Cost of ammo?

    • You may love the gun, but your love may fade quickly if the ammo breaks the bank!

    • Again, consider the purpose. Defense vs. target practice?

  7. Capacity?

    • Pistols and revolvers have varying load capacities. Some pistols are single load, while others have magazine’s allowing for multiple loads from four to twenty-two rounds.

    • If higher capacity is important to you, check to see if extended magazines are available. Typically sold separately.