Quick References

My First Handgun Purchase May Cost Triple the Price of the Gun Alone!

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…

Everything Else

  • 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

3 comments to My First Handgun Purchase May Cost Triple the Price of the Gun Alone!

  • Mr. Anderson

    Gun purchases are very personal decisions so all of what I say you may want to ignore!

    I’m not a fan of purchasing a compact for your first handgun. I see why you want to but please know that it’s not too difficult to conceal a medium or full size frame. Concealment isn’t my primary cause for what I say.

    A full size weapon will shoot easier and be easier to handle. For instance, many times a compact gun will leave your pinky dangling off the bottom of the grip. It can (will?) also provide you with more options for accessories and training.

    For a first weapon, I’d have a hard time not recommending a Glock 22 or 23. I don’t own either yet, but I have a very similar and popular competitor in the S&W M&P .40 which is an excellent choice, too.

    I’d take the 23 if I had smallish hands and could maintain a great grip on it. Otherwise I’d choose the 22 for a full size gun.

    Eventually, you may want to add a compact version of the same gun (a Glock 27) which will also share accessories (full size magazines will work with the concealed size!) and many holsters will work for both full, mid, or concealed sizes.

    The advantage of the S&W M&P series is that it has interchangeable grips that come with the gun to adjust to your hand size.

    I like .40 caliber b/c it doesn’t kick much more than a 9mm and even with the lighter loads of .40 you have better stopping power than with lighter loads of 9mm.

    .40 is also very common for local law enforcement. Someone once recommended purchasing the same gun, defense, and practice ammo as the local LEO orgs b/c in the most terrible situation where you may have to defend yourself you potentially eliminate prosecutor questions like, “why did you use such a cold-blooded hollow-point killer weapon.”

    • Thank you for your thoughts. My two biggest reasons for the Kel Tec PF9 was first and foremost cost and, although I need to put my hands on one again, I figured that a smaller framed handgun would be ok for me since I’m not a big guy. I do agree that the concern of my pinky finger hanging off the handgun is definitely there (I know I didn’t like it on the guns I’ve put my hands on) but I figured I could get around it with the the mag extensions. Of course, the last concern was being able to conceal it in the future. Lots of questions and things to consider that’s for sure!

      • Mr. Anderson

        I highly recommend shooting one before you buy if at all possible. The “snappiest” and probably most uncomfortable hand gun I have shot was an LCP (mini .380).