As a first-time gun buyer, walking into a gun shop might be a bit confusing. Before your visit, you have to do a little research and find a certain handgun that fits your needs. Ask yourself what you need a gun for. Over 60% of Americans said that they need a gun for their own protection. Considerably smaller amount chose hunting, recreation, sport, or family legacy as their main reason. But, how to make the right choice if you are a total newbie?

There are two basic types of handguns: revolvers and semi-automatic. Revolvers are reliable and have simple operation, but also are slower to reload and have much smaller capacity. Semi-automatics, on the other hand, are faster and easier to reload, have higher ammunition capacity, but sometimes are less reliable than revolvers and have more complicated manuals. A 9-mm handgun, which is available in every gun shop, is great for defense situations and easy to operate. Many sites recommend standard, semi-automatic medium-sized 9mm handguns with simple instructions as an ideal choice for beginners, which doesn’t mean that revolvers are not a good choice at all. Except full-size guns, many brands offer compact and subcompact versions that have basically the same features, but on the other hand are smaller in size, length or weight.

Here is a list of several handguns, including semi-automatics and revolvers recommended for first-time shooters:

1. GLOCK G19X Gen5

This is a brand very well known to everyone. Glock is the most popular and trusted manufacturer of handguns in the US, for a long time. One of the first reasons why this gun should be the best choice for amateurs is its impressive construction and hassle-free handling. Its frame is derived from the full–size GLOCK 17. Its unique constitution enables this pistol to generate decent stopping power and maneuverability. The gun is easy to control and allows shooters to fire accurately. It offers compressive concealment because of its exceptional compactness. This gun comes with a lanyard loop. For some users, it might be uncomfortable, but this additional component prevents accidentally dropping the gun and causing trouble. This gun won’t slip away so easily, even though the finger grooves are removed. It is suitable for both right-handed and left-handed users.


  • Brand: GLOCK
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Magazine Capacity: 17+1
  • Barrel Length: 4.02”
  • Overall Length:7.44″
  • Weight: 24.83  oz (unloaded)


Beretta is also well-known in the world of handguns.  It is used by police and military professionals in many countries. Beretta PX4 Storm is available in four models. It comes in 9mm (17+1 rounds), .40 S&W (14+1 rounds), and .45 ACP (9+1 rounds). Beretta PX4 Storm shares some features with the Beretta 92 and the Beretta 8000 but has a different design and many modern appointments. It’s comfortable to hold, accurate and controllable under recoil. It is also easy to maintain and operate, which makes it a favorite for personal defense. Utter durability, excellent ergonomics, and indisputable performance are just some of its traits. This pistol comes with a 3-dot sight system that allows quick and precise aims. This feature is extremely essential for those who haven’t experience firing guns. Grip is customizable – you can choose between three different rear grips. It has automatic firing pin block, perfect for an unaccustomed hand. It can be utilized as either double-action or single-action model. Beside a full-size model, there are also compact and subcompact variants, if you are a fan of small-size guns.


  • Brand: Beretta
  • Caliber:  9mm
  • Capacity: 17+1 Rounds
  • Barrel Length: 4.0″
  • Overall Length: 7.55″
  • Weight: 27.7 oz (unloaded)

3. Hellcat 9mm Micro Compact

This model is super lightweight and has the world’s highest capacity micro-compacts 9 mm. Its extended magazine can hold up to 13 rounds and it includes a second magazine with an 11+1 round capacity. It is for someone who wants a smaller gun, but still a capacity of a full-size gun. It comes with an adjustable tritium-illuminate night site. Unlike other Springfield pistols, it has no grip safety- but it doesn’t mean that the Hellcat is unsafe. It has mechanical safeties built into the trigger, and the safety comes on and off automatically. This gun is a popular handgun for civilians, as well as a back-up gun for law enforcement forces. It consists of reliable performance, a compact size, high capacity, and a solid grip – everything that you should care about.

Hellcat 9mm Micro Compact

  • Brand: Springfield Armory
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 13+1
  • Barrel Length: 3″
  • Overall Length: 6″
  • Weight: 18.3 oz (unloaded)

4. Smith and Wesson 642 (38 special 1.875 IN)

For those who fancy a classical style, this revolver is one of the best choices. A revolver is a superior weapon for close contact. Smith and Wesson’s revolvers are popular since the 1950s. They are as simple and easy to use as they are reliable. The 642 model is very lightweight, with surprisingly mild recoil, and it might be the best among similar models. It has a punch with a synthetic stock, a durable alloy frame, and a stainless-steel barrel. It is very easy to reload and perfect for concealed carry. This type of gun doesn’t fail to feed or eject. Like most revolvers, it has no safety, so, be careful with the trigger.

Smith and Wesson 642

  • Brand: Smith and Wesson
  • Caliber: .38 Special
  • Capacity: 5 Round
  • Barrel Length: 1.875″
  • Overall Length: 6.31″
  • Weight: 14,5 oz (unloaded)

5. Ruger LCR9

This one is among the most compact revolvers on the market today. Just like the previous one, it has improved recoil, but it uses 9 mm ammo. Ammo for the LCR 9mm is loaded from moon clips – small pieces of sheet metal that clip into the base of the 9mm cartridge. It has a small frame and is a perfect example of a hidden carry. These types of guns are known for their performance and power. It has a snub-nose profile which means it is holding a lot of recoil. It is a double-action-only trigger. It has superb stopping power. It doesn’t have an extensive learning curve like some other revolver models.

Ruger LCR9

  • Brand: Ruger
  • Caliber: 9mm
  • Capacity: 5 Round
  • Barrel Length: 1.875″
  • Overall Length: 6.5″
  • Weight: 17.2 oz (unloaded)


In conclusion, don’t forget the most important rule: no matter what you choose, it’s your responsibility to keep the weapon safe, secured, and properly stored. Always treat your gun as if it’s loaded, even if you are absolutely sure that it isn’t. If the firearm can fire, assume that it will fire, and never point it in an unsafe direction. Stay safe and keep everyone around you safe!