BUYING YOUR FIRST GUN
Buying your first gun is not something that should be taken lightly. Like most purchases, people tend to make their decisions partially on emotion. This holds very true for those entering the gun community. Often there is something aesthetic about a particular firearm that appeals to the potential buyer, and very little else is taken into consideration.
BUYING FOR THE WIN!
Another mistake new shooters make is buying based off of price. Everyone loves a good deal, and getting the most for their money. This is where guns are different from most other items you might purchase. When you buy a gun, and it is a name brand that is well known for reliability and appeal, you will rarely lose much money if you go to sell it private party. On the contrary, if you buy a gun that is cheap, or not well known, you stand to lose value from the moment you take possession of it. For example, let's say you buy a Hi-Point C-9. It seemed like a great deal because a retailer might charge somewhere in the ballpark of $179. However, the resell value is abysmal. You will most likely end up selling it for somewhere in the range of $100 to $115. That's not exactly the 10% you would expect to be out on a higher quality pistol.
Now that you have an idea of what NOT to do, here are some recommendations to point you in the right direction. First of all, don't get your heart set on one gun too fast. It is worth the time and expense to go to a range that rents a variety of guns, and try out the ones you think you might like the best, as well as ones that are designed for your application. If your plan is to conceal carry, you probably don't want a full sized frame with a five inch barrel, unless you are rather large and can get away with it. However, that full sized gun will come in handy for home defense. Regardless, fire as many guns on your maybe list as you can. Find out how the gun feels in your hands. Does it work with your hand size? Are the controls where you can comfortably reach them? Is the recoil and slide manipulation something you are comfortable with, or do you find yourself struggling with it?