New TFB Series: FIRST FIREARM, Introduction

    first firearm series

    TFB's First Firearm Series.

    Welcome to TFB’s new series – “First Firearm”. In this series, we’ll cover topics that apply to choosing your first firearm. Most of our faithful readers have already started their path to gun ownership and gun collecting, but we don’t want to leave out those that haven’t and are perhaps considering buying a gun for hunting, target practice, home defense, self-defense outside of the home or a mix and match of those uses. As responsible gun owners ourselves, we want to help others with questions they may have and to provide solid knowledge with regards to what someone hopes to get out of their first (or perhaps only) firearm and to provide options that span the various budgets that people have at their disposal. Stay tuned for upcoming articles on specific firearm types, such as; semi-auto pistols, revolvers, rifles and shotguns as they pertain to how you may want to employ them.

    first firearm series, author's first AR15

    Author’s first AR15 rifle. Also featured in TFB’s Photo Of The Day series.


    Whether you’ve become interested in firearms through media such as film, gaming, history books, or you’ve been intrigued by political or social environments, you’ve probably come to realize that there are a LOT of different guns to choose from. Many guns also have different caliber options, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming, especially if you want to go with a very common caliber for your first firearm. Common calibers are readily available online, at your local gun store and even at Walmart, so that’s one thing to consider. As mentioned above, we’ll be covering specific types of firearms in each article that will hopefully give you things to consider when choosing the type of gun you want for your first. As an example, several articles to look for in the near future will be “First Firearm: Handgun Caliber Selection,” “First Firearm: Semi-Auto Pistols For Self Defense,” and “First Firearm: Rifles For Target Practice.”

    first firearm common calibers

    Commonly used calibers in the United States.


    A good place to start when looking for a first firearm is to think about what you want to do with it. Knowing how you want to use your gun can help narrow your search. Some guns can serve multiple purposes, while other guns fill a certain niche. A large handgun may be hard to carry concealed but would be fine for keeping it available for defending your home and taking to the range for target shooting and perhaps hunting, depending on caliber. A small handgun could be easy to conceal, but most likely wouldn’t be suitable for hunting. Shooting competitions have exploded in recent decades and have set rules and classes based on caliber and gun accessories. Our First Firearm series is meant to dive into some of these nuances to arm you with knowledge before spending your hard earned cash.

    first firearm, hunting as a common usage

    Hunting is one of the common uses for firearms as well as for putting food on the table. This is one of the author’s shotguns bought at an estate auction for $50 and it is fully functional.


    Digging into the legalities of numerous firearms between each intended use is where things get a little stickier for us to cover on TFB. Our readership is global, and as such, keeping every state’s and nation’s laws in mind for every potential gun owner is more than we can manage in each article. However, the principles and considerations we’ll cover will be a good baseline for choosing your first firearm. It’ll be your job to check the firearm laws in your locale. is a good consolidated place to start. They try to stay as up-to-date as possible, but it’s not fail-safe and the criminal code should be double checked directly to be sure.

    Know the laws you're under before buying your first firearm

    When it comes to firearm laws, “I read it on the internet” only counts if you get it directly from the state/country you’re referencing.


    As most are aware, firearms can be dangerous. Driving can be dangerous as well, but once you know the rules of the road and know how to operate your vehicle and stay vigilant, you can get to where you want to be. Whether you’ve just gotten your first firearm or your 99th, there are FOUR MAJOR FIREARMS SAFETY RULES that should always be followed.

    1. Always treat each firearm as though it’s loaded.

    2. Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.

    3. Always keep your finger off the trigger until you’re pointing it at your target.

    4. Always be aware of your target and what is beyond it.

    The National Shooting Sports Foundation has added a few more that are also helpful rules and each is easy to follow. By starting these safety habits early, you and others around you at the range will have a more enjoyable time and be safer for it.

    safety is paramount when purchasing first firearm

    Games, movies and comics are rife with unsafe weapon handling. Note Frank Castle’s finger on the trigger and pointing the muzzle in the air. Cool artwork to be sure, but not something to replicate with real firearms. Image from


    For those of you that are new to TFB, we hope you will see us as a helpful firearms resource, free of political topics, but chock-full of firearm information. We are dedicated to bringing you the latest firearm news from around the globe, product announcements, firearms and gear reviews as well as other ongoing columns such as Concealed Carry Corner, Friday Night Lights and Silencer Saturday, that we hope you’ll find helpful. Speaking of helpful, our faithful readers are also experienced and knowledgeable and can help with any questions you may have in the comments section. It never hurts to ask questions, it’s how we learn. There are also many gun forums online with members that are eager to help new shooters.

    If you know any gun owners at work or in your neighborhood, feel free to ask them to take you to the shooting range. Handling firearms can also help you narrow your own search based on your experience at the range. You may also be able to rent guns if you have a shooting range nearby with those services.

    To our regular readers, if you know of anyone that’s interested in buying their first firearm, feel free to share the series with them if you think they’ll be helpful to them.

    Doug E

    Doug has been a firearms enthusiast since age 16 after getting to shoot with a friend. Since then he’s taken many others out to the range for their first time. He is a husband, father, grandfather, police officer, outdoorsman, artist and a student of history. Doug has been a TFB reader from the start and is happy to be a contributor of content. Doug can be reached at battleshipgrey61 AT, or battleshipgrey61 on Instagram.