I’ve been wanting to purchase my first handgun for a while now. While I firmly believe it is prudent to have some form of lethal self-defense, I never seemed to “get around to doing so” because of money, a lack of knowledge, and my wife.
Obviously, I’ve never been into guns (until recently) and I never grew up around them. As such, I really don’t know what I’m doing… but I have been learning. The problem I’ve run into now is the simple fact that purchasing a handgun requires a lot more than just buying the gun. In fact, there’s a lot more to do and buy. Here’s what I’ve found:
The Gun and Accessories
The gun I’ve been considering is the Kel Tec PF9, a 9mm pistol, because it seems to get fairly good reviews ( watch Nutnfancy’s wonderful YouTube review below), is very cost-effective (below $300), and may end up being an ideal concealed-carry weapon. While there are more popular and perhaps better weapons out there, for the price this weapon seem to be what I’m looking for.
The thing is, there’s a LOT more to consider!…
- Ammunition (~$50-200) – The cost of ammo will vary a lot depending on what type I buy, the manufacturer, quantity purchased, and so on. I figure I’m going to start with a large box of cheaper FMJ ammo to practice with and purchase a small box of hollow point ammo as well.
- Extra Magazines (~$20-30 each) - A new PF9 is only supplied with one magazine from the factory. I’m probably going to want an extra magazine or two for ease of use. The cost varies based on magazine capacity.
- Holster (~$30-50) or Frame-mounted Clip (~$15) – If I’m going to eventually carry it with me then I’m going to need a way to hold the gun such as a belly holster. As another option, Kel Tec has designed a frame-mounted clip that can use used instead of a holster and at less cost. Maybe I’ll start with the clip and move to a holster if need be.
- Laser Sight (~$100+) or Nitesites (~$15) – I know I need to learn to shoot the weapon well with the sights provided but I imagine I would also want the added assurance that a laser sight provides. The PF9 Nutnfancy reviewed included Nitesites that I thought were interesting and may be what I start out with to improve the sights.
- Magazine Extension (~$10 each) – Since this is a small handgun I think I’m going to want to extend the length of the grip using a magazine extension (I think I need to purchase one for each magazine I have) because I like the feel of my little finger holding on too. The other option is to purchase extra capacity magazines which are longer and provide this functionality.
- Cleaning Kit (~$15-30) – I need to be able to keep the handgun properly maintained.
- Snap Caps (~$15) – I assume I will want to practice dry firing the gun too. In order to do this safely and prevent any damage to the gun I would want a few snap caps that can be inserted into the gun in place of ammunition.
Unfortunately, there’s even more to the story…
- Handgun Safe (~$70-$150) – I haven’t decided exactly which handgun safe I’ll purchase, but I definitely need one because I have young kids that do not yet respect what a firearm can do. When I feel confident in my knowledge and abilities I intend to train them as well… when they’re old enough, of course.
- Training (FREE?) – I also know I need to take a safety course. Eventually, I would like to take advanced courses (that will cost $$) but for now this is what I can do.
- Practice ($??) – I also know I need to practice with it. Doing so will cost the price of whatever ammo I use as well as range fees, which are usually inexpensive.
- Concealed Carry Permit (~$75-150) – Eventually I’m going to want my license as well so I’ll need to take an appropriate class.
As you can see, it all adds up very quickly. If I went as cheap as possible I could probably get by with spending just $200 or so on the basics (ammo, safe, cleaning kit, and a few trips to the range) and wait on training. In reality, I’m probably going to spend at least double that amount. If go all-out then I could easily spend triple the cost of my first handgun.
What do you think? Did I miss something or maybe underestimate costs?
Nutnfancy’s Kel Tec PF9 two-part Review