*Once you've bought your first handgun*
Now what?
By: Brian
10 October 2007

Congratulations on your new firearm! But you are not done just yet with the purchasing. While a firearm is useful on its own they become far more useful if you accessorize them correctly. Some people may disagree with what I say but this is the way I do it and what works for me. Because I own mostly semiautomatic had guns that is what this article is geared for.

The first thing that I make sure to buy is additional magazines for the firearm. Personally for hand guns I buy factory magazines as I have had a lot less trouble over the years with them then with some of the cheaper brands. For quantity I like to maintain an inventory of ten magazines per pistol. This may sound like a lot to some but under stress if someone is shooting at you do you really want to worry about retaining your empty magazines? I sure don't.

The second purchase that I usually make is a holster and spare magazine carrier for the pistol. Even if a pistol is never intended to be carried it gets a holster because we can never be sure of what role we may need it to fulfill in the future. There are many types of holsters out there and your choice will depend on a variety of factors. The firearm you have chosen, the intended use, and personal preference to name a few. The key is to try it out and make sure it works for you. If you are just starting out and need some advice I would be inclined to recommend a strong side (your writing hand side) belt/hip holster as your first try. They are straight foreword, can be used concealed or open, and I have found very few people that object to them over the years. The only other thing that I will recommend is buy quality! You do not want your pistol to fall out at an inopportune time, or be stuck in the holster when you need it. Some companies that I have had good luck with over the years are Blade-Tech, Galaco, Safariland, and DeSantis.

The third thing that I would purchase is a cleaning kit and the required cleaning solvents and lubricants. There are many schools of thought out there on what works best. There are enough that it would make a very large article on its own. The key is to know you need to keep the firearm clean and lubricated and this can be done with a cheap kit available at your local Wally world or you may opt to buy one of the more expensive and diverse kits by companies like Otis. The important thing is to make sure that you buy a kit that is appropriate for the caliber of firearm that you have chosen or buy one of the universal kits if you intend to add more firearms to the collection later.

The fourth thing that I add to the new firearm is night sights (glowing sights). This aids in lining up the sights in low light situations allowing you to react more proficiently. I have personally found that I do not like to have to have illuminated rear sights on my firearms as I find that the rear lighting is more of a distraction than a benefit.  So I personally choose to only have the front sight replaced. I have predominantly used two brands over the years and can not think of a complaint about either. The brands I have used are Trijicon and Meprolight.

The fifth and final thing that I buy to go with each pistol I buy is a tactical flashlight. This will help you to identify a threat and aid in aiming of the weapon. It can also be used to disorient an attacker which could give you the needed time to use your weapon. While it is not required to be one for each pistol I like to take a modular approach so I can just grab a set up and go and know I have what I need with me and donít waste time looking for something. There are a wide variety of companies that make tactical flashlights, and within these companies there are different models to choose from. Their prices can range from about $30 all the way up to about $300. I generally end up somewhere in the middle of the range. This is another subject that rates an article of its own as there are so many choices available that it can be a bit overwhelming. But if you are willing to read and do a little research there is plenty of information out there to help guide your decision. I generally stick to one brand when it comes to tactical lights and they have served me well for many years (I still have the first one I bought 10+ years ago) The company being Surefire Inc. A little side note on the light is to make sure that you get extra batteries! Tactical lights are not designed for general work doe to being too bright, and this brightness level causes them to burn through batteries pretty quickly.

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