Why You Should Exchange the (wrong) Gun You Got for Christmas

by Rob Morse

Our friends meant well when they got us a gun for Christmas, but lots of Christmas gifts don't fit their recipient. I've several sweaters that are the wrong color and wrong size. Like a sweater, a firearm has to fit you, so don't be shy about returning the gun you got for Christmas if it isn't the right gun for you. A firearm is as personal as a pair of shoes. Finding the right fit is hard to do. Sometimes we are partially to blame.

People often give us the gun they wish we needed, rather than the gun that best fits our needs today. Sometimes we do that to ourselves as well. We tell ourselves we'll grow into that pistol someday. Fortunately, there are enough choices out there that we can probably find something that suits us today.

How can you help the "Secret Santa" in your life get the right gift the first time?

If you're in the market, you can help your "Secret Santa" by shopping for him and then telling Santa the correct make, model and color. It's a good idea to shoot it before you decide, so you might as well start your shopping at the shooting range. So which gun do you want? It can be confusing, so take a picture of the gun you've chosen and send the photo to your "Secret Santa."

Where should a new shooter start? Most of us want a 22-caliber handgun for training new students who have not shot a gun before. If you are that student, then that is a good place for you to start as well. This is your first gun, not your last gun, so if you're slightly intimidated by guns, by the noise or by the recoil, then start with a 22. That caliber is also great fun to share with your friends who don't get to the range very often.

If you are already an experienced shooter, but you don't think the gun you have now is the right gun for concealed carry, then you are in the world of the perfect gun compromise. You read that right. You can't have the perfect gun, but you can have the compromise that best fits your interests today.

What should a new shooter consider when looking for a new gun?

  • A heavy gun is tiring to carry.
  • A light gun is less comfortable to shoot.
  • Small guns are easy to conceal, but large guns are more accurate.

"Oh! You mean that kind of gun!"

There are other compromises you make as you choose your next gun, but let's compromise and stop there. No matter what, we all want a gun that is tailored to fit our hands.

We are the problem. We want one tool for many uses, and I'm as guilty as the next person. There are too many applications for any single gun to fulfill them all.

If, despite your best coaching of your "Secret Santa," you get a gun that just isn't going to work for you? Exchange the wrong gun, and get the right gun for you.

I know handguns the best, but there is a similar argument for both rifles and shotguns. Trade the gun you don't want for the one that you can use today.

We must drive sales people crazy as we sort out our wants across their counter.

Rob Morse works and writes in Southwest Louisiana. He writes at Ammoland, at his Slowfacts blog, and at Clash Daily. Rob co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast, and hosts the Self-Defense Gun Stories Podcast each week.