How Much is a Gun: More Than the Purchase Price and Cost of Ownership

How much is a Gun: Cost of Different Handguns

For those people who are planning to buy their first firearm, it is very common to ask about how much is a gun. This shooting gear is an investment, and for some, it is considered as a luxury. This means that buying a gun is a serious thing that you should think about.

Hand-held guns are the most common firearms that can be owned even by civilians, as long as they are complying with the laws and other documents that are needed for the ownership. This type of firearm is very useful when it comes to protecting yourself and your family in case danger comes unexpectedly. Since it comes with compact design, you can easily be concealed, carry it anywhere without exposing that you are carrying a weapon. However, if you are looking for the best handgun for you, it can be confusing because thousands of firearms are being offered by different manufacturers. Very confusing that even for gun enthusiasts.

Different Types of Handguns

When we say hand-held guns, we refer to firearms that you can conceal, carry, and operate with a single hand. This unique weapon is one of the most popular firearms in the United States. In fact, from the 193 million firearms owned in the United States, around 38 percent of them are hand-held guns. Because of this popularity, a handgun is considered as the most violent firearm in circulation. Around 75 percent of murders in the United States were committed using hand-held guns. That’s 7,575 counts for every 10,000 deaths.

Today, there are five different classifications of hand-held guns, and they all come with different characteristics when it comes to the rate of fire, caliber used, and loading technique. In this review, we will discuss every type of handgun in a more detailed way. We hope that this will support you as you find the best hand-held firearm for you.

Single Shot Pistols and Multi-Barreled Pistols

These are no longer in use today as modern weapons. Anyone who owns these types of guns is most probably a collector.

Single Shot Pistol

Single-shot pistols are the earliest form of hand-held guns, and they come with the most basic form. This type of firearm looks like a small hand-held cannon, and it will discharge one round of ammunition that will be followed by a manual reload. Since single-shot pistols are easy to turn as concealed carry, they are often called “pocket pistols.” With multi-barreled handguns, you can fire more than one shot without the need to reload your firearm. This makes it better than single-shot pistols because you can take multiple shots with a single reload.


These products were first manufactured during the 19th century, and they achieved the task of multi-loading the gun via a rotating cartridge-filled cylinder. These cylindrical chambers can contain the range of five to eight rounds, depending on the firearm model. Every time the trigger is depressed, the cylinder will rotate, filling the chamber with a new round. Revolvers are known to be more accurate when compared to other types of handguns, and they have a powerful form of ammunition.


There are different forms of revolvers when you get the chance to visit a gun store: the single action and double action. The single-action form is a western-style, and it needs a thumb cock before it can release a shot or be fired. While the double action form is known to be a typical police style weapon, these revolvers can be fired in succession using a harder trigger depression. Double-action revolutions come with long as well as a rich history in wars, wild west, and crime-fighting.

Semi-Automatic Handguns

Semi - Automatic Handgun

Semi-automatic firearms are the next innovation of handguns, following the revolvers in the line. This type uses the energy of discharge to reload the chamber to achieve a subsequent shot automatically. If you choose to have semi-automatic handguns, you will either have a model that is using recoil energy or gas-powered so it can reload the next shot. Semi-automatic pistols are being used by infantrymen in the U.S. military as a sidearm since they can be utilized easily and quickly.

Automatic Handguns

Automatic Handgun

With an automatic hand-held firearm or machine pistol, you can perform rapid and consecutive fire with a single depression of the unit’s trigger. Usually, these machine pistols come with selective fire, which can be alternated between 3 round burst per trigger squeeze and fully automatic shots.

Handgun Guide for the First-Time Buyer

For the past years, we have seen that the fastest-growing demographic of new gun owners are women. However, many of them, even some me, do not have a network of personal and close contacts that are knowledgeable enough to support them in acquiring the information they must choose for their first hand-held firearm. For this reason, we have managed to create a rational process that every first-time hand-held firearm buyer can follow when selecting for the hand-held gun to shop. This guide has considered the needs, budget, and familiarity level of the buyer.

Step 1: Determine your needs. You must know the reason why you want a hand-held firearm. Do you need it for work? Or you just need it for self-defense? If you get the answer to this question, it can be easier to know the different characteristics you must look for in your hand-held firearm or pistol. If you want a hand-held firearm that you can conceal and carry, you should go with a small, short, and light gun. We recommend a larger and heavier unit for those people who want a gun for home defense. You should always remember that no single gun can do everything well for you. Although you can find some double-duty handguns that you can utilize for both concealed carry and home defense, you should know the single most critical function of your hand-held firearm and let that guide the selection.

Step 2: Choose between a semi-automatic or a revolver. Two types of handguns are popularly used for self-defense: the semi-automatics and revolvers. Between these two, the most commonly used type is semi-automatics or referred to as self-loaders. This type is using gas pressure that will be generated each time a cartridge is fired to cycle the gun’s loading mechanism. This is how a semi-automatic handgun works – first, the slide will mode rearward, and then it will eject the empty case and cock the firing mechanism. After a spring returns the slide forward, it will feed a new cartridge right away into the chamber of the handgun from a detachable magazine. This magazine can hold between 6 to 20 rounds. When you start looking for semi-automatics, you will find a lot of types in the market. These types share similar advantages over the revolver – greater cartridge capacity, more rapid reload-ability, and a thinner, more concealed carry profile for citizens who have to carry permits. However, when we compare these two types, we can say that semi-automatics are more complex to operate than revolvers. For beginners, they must seriously practice if they want to gain and maintain proficiency.

If we compare the reliability of these two types, we can say that semi-automatics are potentially less reliable than revolvers. At the same time, those people who have limited hand strength may struggle with slide retraction as well as magazine loading. Lastly, though the semi-automatic functions are best with ammunition of a specific power level, the revolvers can digest everything, such as heavy defensive loads and light target loads.

When it comes to the look of modern revolvers, you will find a cylinder that is swinging out to the side of every unit. This cylinder comes with 5 or 6 chambers, and this is where the cartridges will be loaded. During every shot, the cylinder will rotate so it can deliver a fresh cartridge in line with the barrel. Firing can be achieved in either single-action mode or double action mode. For single-action mode, the hammer is manually cocked, then it will be released through a short, light trigger pull. For double-action mode, there is a single long as well as a relatively heavy trigger that will pull both cocks and release the hammer. When you are using a revolver, defensive firing is always done in double-action mode.

Step 3: Select the right caliber. The next thing that you must do is to choose the right caliber of your preferred defensive handgun or pistol. When we say caliber, this is the exact cartridge that is designed to fire. Choosing the caliber is critical since this will tell the effectiveness of the handgun/cartridge combination during a defensive situation and the level of recoil that you require to manage. Your choice of caliber will as well influence the size of your handgun or pistol.

When the bullet diameter, velocity, and weight increase, the recoil, cartridge power, and useful in a defensive situation also increase. Additionally, we should mention that every cartridge offered in different loads features different bullet weights as well as types of different velocities. For beginners, they can shoot faster and more accurately when using a gun that comes with lower-recoil cartridges that are suitable for self-defense than with more powerful options. When looking for the best handgun or pistol for you, keep in mind that shot replacement is more important than sheer cartridge power.

Step 4: Hands-on shopping. As soon as you have set a preference for a specific gun type with a specific caliber, your best option is to test-fire the firearms that you are interested in shopping. Different models of firearms that are under the same type – let’s say medium-frame 9mm semi-automatics – will have a big difference with how they feel, operate, handle, and shoot. The most important part of buying a firearm is to experience the model with your hands.

Unfortunately, not all gun stores can offer a test-firing, and if you don’t have personal or close contacts who can support you in this situation, it will be a difficult proposition if you go with hands-on research. However, since this is an important step, we would say that you must make some effort when it comes to this concern. And there are some ways to do it.

As much as possible, determine a nearby gun store that has in-house ranges. A popular store or one frequently visited by customers offers tests or rental units of popular firearms. Most of these indoor ranges offer gun rental to their customers. These rentals provide some examples of firearms that may look interesting for first-time buyers or home-defense or concealed carry hand-held guns.

Another way that you can try is by signing up for an NRA Basic Pistol or Personal Protection Course. Under this course, you will have an instructor who can assist you arrange to test-fire different types of firearms that are most popular in the industry. Whether you are planning to purchase your first handgun/pistol or you already own one or more firearms, this course is considered to be very beneficial and highly recommended to take.

If you have a family or close friend who owns a gun, this could be your last option. Try to ask if they will allow you to utilize their gun for a fire-test since you are planning to purchase your own for some personal reason. Those people who currently own firearms understand the importance of gun ownership and how it can support the owner whenever unexpected incidents happen. That’s why they will be glad to assist by mentoring you about gun ownership.

Step 5: Test-fire potential candidates. Safety is the very first thing that you must consider during the fire-test. If you have learned some lessons from a basic pistol course or your contact, you should apply them in this step. Can you say that the gun is easy to operate and safe? Are the unit’s safety or decocking levers positioned within your finger reach?

Additionally, can you manipulate them easily? You should as well consider the integral safety locks that can be found in some firearms. Though they can foil curious children, the integral safety locks of your gun can be a hindrance when you need immediate access during the threat.

The most important factor that you need to consider with a self-defense weapon is reliability. If you have the list of potential firearms that you would want to purchase, you need to test them for at least 50 rounds of defensive ammunition. If you have the semi-automatic model, you must scrutinize it for its ability to fire, feed, and eject with many varieties of loads. Additionally, you should load the magazines securely and drop them freely when released.

Other important factors for defensive firearms are ease of use and ergonomics. These two things would be easier for you to handle and fire naturally. Do you have a gun that can fit your hand comfortably as well as point naturally? Do you have a handgun or pistol that comes with a trigger that is appropriately engaged with your trigger finger? Do you have a unit that features controls that are very smooth to operate and can be released by your fingers easily? Do you have a gun that is very easy to load and unload? These are just some of the things that you should consider when it comes to ergonomics and ease of use.

Lastly, when you have a gun that you intend to carry anywhere, you should get a unit that can be easily concealed carry inside your pocket, holster, or fanny pack. Guarantee that your gun will never catch on your clothing when you must draw it. Additionally, consider the weight of the gun. Since you wanted to concealed carry this weapon, your handgun or pistol should not turn your clothes bulge or droop so you can move around without thinking about it.

Step 6: The final decision. When you end up with multiple choices after considering those factors that we have mentioned above, you must consider other factors such as finishes, the reputation of the manufacturer, options, and the specific model so you can have the final choice. Price is another important factor, especially for those who are not willing to risk everything they have for a gun. For a new, high-quality handgun, the cost may be around $350 to $750, or even more.

How much is a Gun: The Cost of Owning a Gun

When you are buying a gun, we can compare the process of purchasing a car. Once you have decided to buy a gun from a certain physical store or online store, you would consider your needs, do your research, ask friends, pore through reviews, and go for some tests. Then you would be walking inside a showroom with the thought of buying a specific bundle of goods, and you are expecting to pay the fixed price that you have in mind. After a while, you leave the store with a gun, plus some of the other stuff that you never thought of buying in the first place – some of these are mandatory, while others are optional – and none of them were included on the original amount that you have set to spend for your handgun.

Now, if you are wondering about the realist cost of owning a gun, here is our honest guide for those who would be buying this kind of weapon for the first time.

Gun - $350 to $650

Since every person’s choice varies with buying a gun, we can expect to pay the price between $350 to $600, or even higher if you would go for the most high-end model. But for the average hand-held firearms, you can expect this price range. However, if you have personal contacts, you would find that most of them bought a 9mm handgun for their first time since this model is easier to fire and lighter compared to their larger-caliber counterparts. If you go to any gun store, the salesperson will show you some models that may catch your interest, and explain why you should go for this model. To avoid confusion during this process, you must know your needs and budget before you visit any physical store.

Ammunition - $150 to $200 to start

When it comes to ammunition, you must get two kinds. The hollow points can be expanded to diameter upon contact during self-defense, and the practice rounds that you can utilize for the range. When you are talking to popular online retailers, you will be offered with 100 hollow-point rounds for the price of $40, while the 100 rounds of practice ammunition can be purchased around $25. Again, we must mention that enough ammunition will vary, but in this review, we would consider that your first-buy handgun will run around $100.

Most hand-held guns have one or two magazines that can hold multiple rounds, which are the removable contraption that holds ammunition, and they are inserted on the grip of the unit. Every piece can be purchased between $30 to $40, and every gun owner is recommended to grab one or more extras so they can reduce the time of reloading during the range. If you want, you can spend around $15 to $30 for a speed reloader so you can save yourself from the achy-fingered radius of manually loading the rounds into empty magazines.

Accessories - $200 to $250

The list can be long if you are willing to make the best out of your weapon when it comes to added accessories for your handgun. For basic cleaning supplies, you must spend around $20, while the holster would cost you about $20 to $40. But if you prefer a leather one, then you will spend more than that. Additionally, you need a hidden car gun safe, or you should get one of the truck safes if you are planning to bring your handgun inside your truck. These types of gun safes are way cheaper than best long gun safes, but they can make sure that your weapon is safe and protected from those people who may be interested in getting it. The costs of gun safes vary with each type, but if you only want a safe where you can place your handgun when you are not using it, you can have a unit that will cost around $40.

Aside from those products, you would as well want to purchase one or more detachable accessories. When some intruders break inside your house at night, a high-lumen light that is mounted on your firearms’ rail system will be a huge support in identifying the direction where you will point your gun. The person will be blinded temporarily, giving you precious seconds to think about what you must do with the situation. Some gun owners consider this accessory as a must-have, though this is not cheap. A good model will cost you around $150.

Lessons and Range Fees - $300 to $500, ammunition not include

If you belong to one of the families who own firearms for generations, then you are lucky enough to benefit from your relatives’ wisdom since you don’t have to pay for the lessons. However, for those people who did not, then they have to learn it on their own. Enrolling on a basic course about gun ownership will help a lot in getting started with precise handling of a handgun. These introductory classes can be availed for $90, and they cover different topics such as vocabulary, safety, storage, operation, and marksmanship. Also, if you want to get the eye and ear protection bundle, be prepared to pay an additional of $30.

You will also have an option to get the annual range membership, which will include daily usage fees, and the cost can be between $275 to $350. The actual fee for membership will depend on the market as well as the frequency of which you visit. As a gun owner, we recommend that you do the shooting once every month to guarantee that you are not losing your skills.

Administrative Fees – can be hundreds of dollars, and it varies by state.

A handgun is most useful for your self-defense. Since this is a privilege that not everyone can avail, every state will require gun owners to pay for their ownership. However, there are no fixed costs when it comes to the administrative fees of every state. Some states will only charge you around $50 for the license, and other bigger states will require you to pay more than $300 before you can enjoy the privilege of carrying a handgun into the drug store.

Another fee that you may have to be aware of is the 7% tax charged to every gun owner. If you own multiple firearms, then you have to pay the 7% multiple times.

Grand Total

You may choose to have one of the cheapest hand-held guns that will cost around $250, and there is nothing wrong about that since your sole purpose is to have a weapon you can use to defend yourself and your family during emergencies. However, these are half-measures. If you may want to take account and become one of the responsible, safe, and well-trained firearm owners, the cost of owning a handgun is over $1000. A person should be ready to exercise his right to self-defense to the fullest, whether it is amid mass shooter at the mall or from an intruder in your home

How much does a handgun cost?

We all know that the cost of a handgun varies with their type, models, manufacturers, features, added accessories, and some other factors. But if you may want to get an idea of the cost of a handgun before you visit a physical store, you can get a decent one with a price range of $350 to $500. With this budget, you can guarantee that you will have a handgun that you can conceal and use when needed. However, aside from buying the gun, you will also have to purchase the best small gun safe to make sure that your weapon is protected from intruders as well as those family members who are not allowed to access your handgun. This kind of weapon can be very dangerous if they land on the hand of criminals, burglars, or intruders. That’s why you need your handgun to be concealed carrying as well as the other weapons as possible. Getting a wall gun safe is also a great idea if you only intend to leave your gun at home. Burglars and intruders will find it impossible to determine that you are hiding a safe in your wall unless they are already aware of it before they break inside your house. You will have a lot of choices when it comes to gun safety, but if you may want to find the right safe, you should consider your needs and budget.

Choosing a Handgun

While it is a good idea to ask many experienced people when it comes to buying hand-held guns, it can also become a dilemma since it can overwhelm and confuse you at the same time. Since there are many types, calibers, and models that are being offered in the market, getting different answers can confuse you with the right decision to make.

If you want to purchase a handgun, but you don’t plan on taking any course or do a periodic practice of shooting, then you should reconsider buying a gun. Owning a rifle or any weapon is not a one-time investment and responsibility. You need to be ready to do more and shop more to maximize the use of your handgun. When you are in the process of buying your first handgun, here are some of the tips that can help you.

  • You should never shop for a handgun just because it is cheap. Many manufacturers can offer you a unit that is cheaper than those firearms that came from know brands. But a reasonable price should never be your main consideration when you want to buy a weapon. You need to get a handgun made by a known or trusted brand to make sure you invest your money on the right product. If you want to save money, you can consider buying a used name-brand gun in good condition. However, you should find a gunsmith who will check the unit if there is any sign of a problem to be sure that it is safe before you use it. But if you are a first-time buyer who doesn't have enough idea what you are looking for, we recommend getting a brand-new handgun.
  • Never purchase a small-caliber gun just because you want to scare away or hurt an assailant. If you're going to own a gun, make sure you get it for lethal, worst case, last chance, assault response. If you see an armed bag guy, the idea of "stop or I'll shoot" will never work. And the worst thing to happen is getting yourself killed just because you did not use your handgun in the best way.
  • There is no single handgun that can do everything for you. What do we mean by this? To make it simple, if you want a compact gun and can carry it anywhere while concealed, carry it inside your purse, and then it cannot be the same gun that you hide under your bed while you sleep in an upper-level bedroom. A concealed carry handgun must be small in size, and you can comfortably bring it anywhere. While a larger, more accurate model is highly recommended when you want to access it immediately upstairs when someone breaks in downstairs. This way, you can protect anyone, even yourself, without losing precious seconds just because you cannot grab your handgun right away. Also, this is the gun that must spend some time when practicing at the range so you can improve your skill, confidence, and proficiency when handling your handgun.
  • First-time gun owners can use not all firearms. This is the reason why you must be careful when you are hunting for your first weapon. Some firearms can be complicated to use, and you would not want to get stuck in the corner just because you cannot handle your weapon. You must do your research before you begin your search for a handgun. As much as possible, ask some advice from the expert, and attend courses that will widen your idea about gun handling. Having a gun in your possession is a heavy responsibility, and you must do everything that you can to make sure that you can be called a responsible owner.
  • You may prefer to have a semi-automatic handgun, but sometimes, even the best model can fail to chamber a round or jam. However, this will never happen if you are using a revolver. Since this incident commonly happens with inexperienced shooters who are not holding the gun firmly, you must learn how to rapidly clear a jam because gun ownership is of fundamental importance.
  • Some people may opt for revolvers, and even you may consider this one. However, revolvers come with a big disadvantage, and that's limited shoot up to 6 rounds or even five rounds. This capacity can be a major disadvantage if you are under a situation where you must shoot multiple times. Besides this little capacity, revolvers also lack rapid bullet reloads unless you can consider yourself an expert already. While for semi-automatic products, they can hold up to 9 rounds – one is inside the chamber, while the standard rapid change-out magazines are holding the other eight. Also, you can purchase additional standard or optional magazines that can hold up to 18 rounds. There is no limit with the magazines that you can utilize for your semi-automatic hand-held guns, which means you can fire many rounds as long as you want.
  • This capacity, as well as reload differences of revolvers and semi-automatics, can be critical in situations where there are many assailants, and where accurate sightings are hindered by poor lighting conditions such as night time. You will never know when an intruder will get inside your house or have some company that can make their mission easier to achieve. That's why you must be cautious enough when choosing a handgun that will protect you and your family when the situation needs to.
  • When you are choosing your first gun, you must find a model that you are comfortable to utilize. Your comfort is very important since you will use your weapon during practice to improve your shooting skills, and you will learn how to react quickly and effectively, even under stress and pressure. Don't ever go with a model that is cheap but cannot provide the comfort that you need as you fire. This will greatly affect your performance during your practice, and it will never help you when you must protect yourself from assailants.
  • Lastly, firearms are an investment. They come at heft price, and if we also consider the fees, tools, and pieces of accessory that you must purchase aside from the gun itself, we can say that this is not a light investment. With this, you must be careful when you are buying the first handgun that you can utilize, whether at home or traveling. You will find a lot of firearms in the market, and they can appear to be good for your eyes. However, before you decide which one to purchase, make sure that you try the model during the fire-test. You must know how it feels to hold and pull the trigger of the gun before you let go of your hard-earned money. It is not every day that you can purchase a handgun. So, whenever you get the privilege to get your gun, make sure to make it worthwhile.

How much does a pistol cost?

Pistols are a compact gun that you can bring anywhere. Police officers and other law enforcement individuals commonly use this type. A pistol can also be an ideal option if you are planning to garb the first weapon you can use for self-defense. When it comes to the cost, there is no big difference when we compare it with the cost of the handgun. If you want to get a new, modern pistol, the price is around $400 to $600. Also, you must acquire a license if you’re going to own a pistol. The requirements and fees vary from one state to another, so it is best to inquire about your state when it comes to gun ownership law. Aside from your license, pistols also require pieces of accessory so you can maximize their use and keep them safe from unauthorized people. As much as possible, get an under seat gun box if you are planning to concealed carry your pistol as you travel. With your weapon securely sealed inside the box, you don’t have to worry as you take your road. Your valuable gun will be safe from bumps and scratches while you are traveling to your destination.

Average Handgun Price

If you will buy a new handgun, whether you want it for self-defense or a firearm is required for your work or service that you offer, you will find a lot of types and models that are being offered in the market. They come at different sizes, caliber, features, and prices. If you are one of those who are looking for the average price, you will get a decent handgun for around $500. With this amount of investment, you will have a weapon that you can utilize any time so you can keep yourself protected as well as your family. However, you must keep in mind that this amount is only for the handgun alone. The added accessories like safe, license, and other requirements that you need as a gun owner are not included in this cost. You must pay separately for the license, gun safes, and other accessories that you would want to have with your handgun like a safe. So, if we will include these, the average cost is around $1000. Yes, that is double the price of the unit alone. But there is nothing that you can do about that because you must comply with these things if you want to become a responsible gun owner.


The question “How much is a gun?” is a very common question, especially when buying a firearm for the first time? When it comes to the cost, a lot of things can affect the price of the gun. The type, caliber, size, and many more factors will determine the price of the model. If you think that all hand-held guns can perform the same performance, you must rethink it again. This is not the case, as well as with the other firearms. That’s why you must be careful when you are buying your new handgun if you want to save while you get the great one. If you don’t have any idea about where to start, you can do your research about the different types of hand-held guns and the various factors that you should consider when buying one.

You should also remember to budget your expenses. Hand-held guns, and any other types of firearms, are not cheap. They don’t come with a low price. So, you have to be financially ready if you want to own a gun. Set your budget, but always give some allowance because there are other things that you must spend with aside from the handgun. There are many accessories that you may want to purchase to maximize your weapon’s performance, like a safe, and you must get a license so you can conceal and carry your handgun anywhere as part of your self-defense. Firearms are luxury, and only a few were given the right and privilege to own it. If you get that privilege, guarantee that you are a responsible gun owner and utilize this weapon in the right way and at the right time.