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      A Quick Guide for Beginners on Types of Firearms

      You’ve made the decision to purchase a firearm and you aren’t taking this choice lightly. Research has been done, friends have been consulted. Maybe you’ve even watched YouTube videos, read articles, or checked out your local range to get a feel for a few of your top picks. Now it’s time to decide which gun is right for you.  Manufacturers design each type of gun with a specific purpose in mind, from self-defense, to range enjoyment, to hunting in the woods.  Many firearms can be used in a variety of ways, but in general this is how they break down:


      Primarily designed for self defense and offered in two basic styles, revolver and semi-automatic.  While one is not necessarily better than the other, you may find that one is a better option for you. Both come in small, easy to carry versions to large options with lots of capacity and in lots of bullet sizes. After years of experience, we find that most people buying a handgun for self defense break down into two different types. The person who wants to carry their firearm all day everyday, and the person who wants a handgun to defend their home.

      The person who wants to carry their firearm considers size, weight, and stopping power to be the most important factors in their buying decision.  These firearms usually need to be small enough to fit into a pocket holster, handbag, or waistband and should be light enough so that the owner doesn’t feel dragged down. The most popular options for stopping power in this size category tend to be .380, 9mm, and.38 special. With countless other options available, these tend to be the most popular by far.

      For the buyer looking for a handgun for home defense, the needs can be quite different. Since these firearms are stored in your home and not on your person, size and weight become less of a factor, while stopping power and capacity tend to be much more important.  The most popular options for stopping power for home defense tend to be much larger- 9mm, .45acp, and .410.

      There are many handguns that present a compromise for the owner that might want a firearm for both home and self defense, the most important factor here is that you find something that suits your needs.


      The shotgun buyer is generally looking for a firearm for home defense or hunting game, and there are specific shotguns for each need.

      Self defense shotguns tend to have a higher capacity and shorter barrel length.  A shorter barrel makes for easier indoor maneuverability while a higher capacity reduces the need for reloading in an intense situation. The most popular options for stopping power in this category tend to be 12 gauge and 20 gauge.

      Hunting shotguns usually have lower capacity to aid in compliance with hunting laws as well as a longer barrel to improve accuracy at long distances. Hunting shotgun gauges range from 1028 gauge depending on the intended game with 12 gauge being the most popular by far.

      Rifles /Carbines

      Rifles and carbines are typically purchased for property defense or for game hunting.

      The purchaser looking to defend their property tends to have a larger area to defend, such as a ranch, farm, or rural homestead as rifles are designed with longer distance accuracy in mind.  Property defense rifles and carbines come in many shapes and sizes, with the most popular choices being 9mm, 5.56, and 300 blackout.

      Hunting rifles are designed for accuracy at greater distance than other firearms, and come in a wide variety of calibers from .17hmr to .45-70 govt and beyond. The most popular calibers for hunting rifles tend to be .223 Remington, 6.5 Creedmoor, .308 Win, and more.

      All of these statements are generalizations based on our customer’s buying habits, and there is a wide variety of other options not mentioned here for the sake of writing an article and not a novel.  We would love for our experienced customers to chime in and offer any tips or advice they have found helpful for our new users!


      Find your perfect fit below:


      We Are G4G

      We get a lot of assumptions about the G4G customer- she's an expert shooter, he’s an avid hunter, they're a marksman!  She's rad, bad, and powerful. He really knows his stuff! Truth be told, we do get a lot of folks in our shop who fit that description to a T, but...

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