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Everything You Need to Know

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Despite the growing popularity of semi-automatic pistols, wheel guns continue to hold their own in the firearm market. Brands renowned for their top-notch semi-auto pistols, like Smith & Wesson and Ruger, are still manufacturing revolvers, reaffirming the timeless appeal of these classic firearms.

Table of Contents

Is Revolver a Pistol?
Revolver Anatomy: How Do Revolvers Work?
Types of Revolvers: Single-Action vs. Double-Action Revolvers
Revolvers vs. Semi-Auto Pistols
Revolver Ammo & Popular Revolver Calibers
What Revolver Caliber to Choose

Is Revolver a Pistol?

Before we delve into the comparison, let’s clarify some terminology. Handguns are a broad category of firearms designed to be handheld and include both pistols and revolvers. A pistol is a type of handgun where the chamber is integral to the barrel, while a revolver has multiple chambers and a single barrel. When you cock the hammer or press the trigger, the mechanism moves the cylinder one spot, aligning the top chamber with the barrel. Alright, let’s break down the nitty-gritty of how revolvers function.

Revolver Anatomy: How do Revolvers Work?

Loading: The first step in the operation of a revolver is loading the ammunition. To do this, you need to unlock the cylinder by pushing the cylinder release and swinging out the cylinder. It contains several chambers, and each chamber is loaded with a round. A standard revolver has six chambers (that’s why it is often called a 6-shooter), meaning it can fire a maximum of six rounds before needing to reload.

Cocking the Hammer: After loading, the cylinder is locked back into place. To prepare the revolver for firing, you must manually cock the hammer located above the grip area in a single-action (SA) revolver or simply pull the trigger in a double-action (DA) revolver. Interestingly, in SA revolvers, it’s cocking the hammer that rotates the cylinder. In contrast, in DA revolvers, the cylinder rotates during the backward motion of the hammer when the trigger is being pulled.

Indexing the Cylinder: When you cock the hammer or pull the trigger, the cylinder rotates to align the next chamber with the barrel and the firing pin. This process is called indexing.

Firing: Pulling the trigger releases the hammer. The hammer strikes the firing pin, which then hits the primer compound on the rear of the round. This causes a small explosion, igniting the gunpowder within the round.


Ejection: After firing, the spent cartridge remains in the chamber. If you handle a DA revolver, you can eject all the spent cartridges by opening the cylinder and manipulating the ejector rod. The ejector rod, positioned in the center of the cylinder, has the extractor attached to its end. The rim of each round rests against the extractor, and by pushing on the ejector rod, the extractor engages with the cartridge rims, pulling them from their chambers. If you own an SA revolver, you half-cock the hammer, which releases the cylinder to revolve freely, and then you open the gate and push the ejector rod that expels one cartridge at a time.

Revolver Types: Single-Action vs. Double-Action Revolvers

Single-Action Revolvers


Single action is a term used to describe revolvers like the Colt Single Action Army, where the trigger performs one function — releasing the hammer. To fire a round, you must first manually pull back, or ‘cock,’ the hammer. Once the hammer is cocked, you can pull the trigger, which releases the hammer and fires the round. If the hammer is not cocked, pulling the trigger does nothing. Therefore, after each shot, you need to manually re-cock the hammer to prepare for the next one. 

Reloading an SA revolver is a slow process. First, you half-cock the hammer and rotate the cylinder by hand, aligning each chamber with the ejector rod to unload the cartridges one by one.

Double-Action Revolvers


There are two DA revolver designs: those that can be fired in DA and SA modes, i.e. DA/SA revolvers, and double-action-only revolvers (DAO). 

DA/SA revolvers are the most common types found today, especially those designed for self-defense or duty use. In double-action mode, the trigger cocks and releases the hammer, which means a longer and heavier trigger pull. To fire one in a single-action mode, you need to cock the hammer with your thumb and then release it by pulling the trigger. An SA trigger pull is shorter and lighter, allowing for more precise shooting. In a DA/SA revolver, the hammer is always exposed, giving you the option to manually cock it if desired.


DAO revolvers are a favorite for concealed carry due to their design since they feature a hammer that is either internal or concealed, meaning you only need to pull the trigger to fire the gun. This design eliminates the possibility of the hammer spur snagging on clothing during the draw.

In DA revolvers, loading and unloading involves activating the cylinder latch to free the cylinder from the frame. You then swing the cylinder out to the side, revealing the chambers.

The cylinder latch’s operation can vary depending on the manufacturer. For instance, in Colt revolvers, you slide the cylinder latch backward. On the other hand, in Taurus and Smith & Wesson revolvers, you slide the latch forward. In Ruger revolvers, the cylinder latch is a button that you push down.

Revolvers vs. Semi-Auto Pistols

Now that you know what exactly a revolver is, how a revolver works, and what the three main designs are, it’s time to ask yourself, “Do I need a revolver after all?”

Though wheel guns have pretty serious disadvantages, primarily in the context of self-defense, they have lots of unique benefits. Let’s now see what they are.

Pros of a Revolver

🟢Ease of Use

Wheel guns are straightforward and user-friendly. Unlike semi-automatic pistols, there are no safety levers, de-cockers, or slides to rack to make a revolver ready to shoot. You don’t need to worry about a weak magazine or recoil springs, too. This makes a 6-shooter an excellent choice for new and inexperienced shooters, especially if we talk about using a gun in high-stress situations.

🟢Ease of Maintenance & Durability

With fewer moving parts than their semi-auto counterparts, revolvers are robust and reliable. This simplicity means less chance of malfunction, reducing potential frustrations for beginners who may struggle to diagnose and fix problems.

🟢Reliability & Safety

Revolvers are safe and foolproof firearms. The loaded status is easily observed at the rear of the cylinder when it’s closed. Gently shake a revolver, and it will give you audible proof of rounds loaded. Again, revolvers are less complex than semi-autos, so you don’t need to deal with all the buttons, levers, and parts, which lowers the chance of a mistake. 

With a wheel gun, it’s easy to avoid the problem of misfires. If you happen to have a defective cartridge, you simply pull the trigger again, and the revolver advances to the next cartridge. It’s called a second-strike capability.

Revolvers also don’t have an issue of being taken out of battery. If you’re in a physical struggle, your attacker’s body could press against your semi-auto’s muzzle. This could move the slide out of its normal position, stopping the gun from firing.


S&W J-frames, Colt D-frames, Ruger LCRs, and other small-frame revolvers are easily concealable in a pocket holster. If a revolver sports a hammerless design, this and a generally smaller grip profile make the draw from the pocket quicker than some semi-autos.

🟢No Need to Rack a Slide

For those who struggle to physically rack the slide of a pistol under pressure, such as the elderly or injured, a revolver is easier to get into action.


As we’ve mentioned, revolvers have fixed barrels, which makes them inherently more accurate than most semi-auto pistols. On the other hand, even with tight lockup, there’s still a small amount of play in the firing cycle of a semi-auto pistol.

🔴Revolver Limitations

Despite their many advantages, revolvers do have some drawbacks. They have limited capacity, typically holding only five or six rounds compared to the double-digit capacities of many semi-auto pistols. Additionally, even when using a moon clip, reloading a revolver is slower and requires more effort than changing a magazine in a semi-auto pistol. Plus, the rate of fire of semi-autos, like single-action-only and striker-fired pistols, is higher than revolvers.

Considering a Revolver for Different Applications

Revolvers for Concealed Carry


Concealability and draw speed are two primary considerations when it comes to CCW. If you’re looking for a simple firearm, aren’t too concerned about capacity, and can effectively conceal a slightly rounder shape of a snub-nose revolver with your clothing and holster, a revolver could be a great choice. Unlike pistols sitting flush against your body, a revolver’s grip slightly protrudes. This means you won’t have to dig as much to get a firm grip while drawing it.

Revolvers for Self-Defense


When it comes to self-defense, the most popular wheel guns are those chambered in .22LR, .38 Special, and .357 Mag. The .22 LR is a controversial self-defense cartridge due to its lack of power. Sure, a .22 LR revolver can inflict damage and potentially stop an attacker, but it’s not the best option for colder climates where the bullet may get stuck in heavy clothing.

On the other hand, the .38 Spl and .357 Mag are viable self-defense options, and many revolvers are compatible with both. However, keep in mind that a short barrel of a snub-nose revolver may not allow the ammunition to achieve the required velocity for defensive loads. Therefore, ideally, your revolver for self-defense should accept +P loads.

Revolvers shine as backup guns. So you may put your backup revolver in a quality ankle holster while carrying your semi-auto pistol IWB.

Revolvers for Home Defense

In a home defense context, choosing a revolver is easy. You’re not limited to a certain size, so a heavy-frame revolver with a 4–6 inch barrel is preferable. Plus, this type of revolver provides additional gripping surface and weight, minimizing felt recoil.

Revolvers for Hunting & Shooting


And what about hunting or shooting? Revolvers can handle high-powered cartridges, such as .44 Mag and .45 Colt. Additionally, they are generally more accurate than semi-autos due to their fixed barrels, which can be as long as 10 inches or even longer. That’s why revolvers are superior handguns for applications where long-range accuracy and power on impact matters.

Yes, 6-shooters have serious drawbacks, especially in the defensive context, but not all people need a cool, high-capacity pistol. Some people are just comfortable with revolvers, and that’s totally fine.

Revolver Ammo & Popular Revolver Calibers

Now, let’s get things clear with all the calibers, revolver ammunition, rims, primer compounds, and the rest.

Rimfire Cartridge & Revolver Ammunition

When it comes to firearms, understanding the ammunition they use is just as important as knowing the mechanics of the gun itself. Now, let’s explore the differences between revolver rounds and pistol rounds and the most popular calibers for revolvers.

Rimfire vs. Centerfire


The names of these two types of ammo refer to where the primer (the component that ignites the powder to fire the round) is located within the cartridge.

In rimfire cartridges, the primer is contained within the rim of the base, hence the name ‘rimfire.’ When the gun’s firing pin strikes the rim, it ignites the primer, which in turn ignites the powder and fires the round.

On the other hand, centerfire cartridges house the primer in a small cup in the center of the base, hence ‘centerfire.’ The firing pin strikes this central primer to ignite the round.

Why Revolvers Use Only Rimfire Ammo

Revolvers are typically designed to shoot rimmed cartridges due to the construction of the cylinder. The rim machined around the bottom of the cartridge, allows the extractor to hold the cartridges securely in place, preventing them from moving back and forth inside the cylinder chambers.

Rimless cartridges lack this flange, meaning they can’t be held by the extractor. However, they do have a groove that aids ejection in semi-automatic pistols.

Are There 9mm Revolvers?

Yes, there are! Though revolvers aren’t traditionally designed to accept rimless rounds, there are 9mm revolvers available in the market. To chamber rimless cartridges into a revolver, you simply need a moon clip, a tool usually designed to act as a speed loader. It prevents cartridges from sinking too deep into the chambers.


Some of the best 9mm revolvers include:

  • Ruger SP-101
  • Ruger LCRx
  • Ruger Blackhawk
  • Smith & Wesson 929
  • Smith & Wesson Performance Center 986
  • Taurus 692
  • Taurus 905
  • Charter Arms Pitbull

What Revolver Caliber to Choose

The caliber of a revolver defines its application. Here’s a brief overview of the most popular revolver calibers and their performance:

.22 LR

The .22 LR, despite being nearly 150 years old, remains one of the most popular cartridges. It’s underpowered, with a short effective range, but it offers the lightest recoil and chambers into revolvers as well as semi-automatic pistols, rifles, and shotguns. It’s also the cheapest handgun ammo available. While it lacks the power for efficient self-defense, it’s an excellent introductory cartridge for beginners.

.38 Special

The .38 Special holds a .357 bullet and has dimensions similar to the .357 Magnum, except for the case length. That’s why many .357 revolvers accept .38 Spl ammo, but not otherwise, as the .38 Spl is far less powerful chambering than the .357 Mag. The .38 Special cartridge also offers a milder recoil, and the .38 Spl ammo is cheaper than .357, making this caliber a good option for plinking and practice. For self-defense, consider using more potent +P ammo, as an increase in power improves terminal ballistics.

.357 Magnum

The .357 Magnum is a powerful round that shouldn’t be fired from a .38 Special revolver due to the high pressures it generates. Lighter loads are used for self-defense, while heavier loads can take down deer or other similar-sized game animals. Keep in mind, even when loaded lightly, a .357 revolver will kick pretty hard. 

.44 Magnum

The .44 Magnum is renowned for its stopping power, making it a popular choice for hunting. Some say that .44 Mag is a good defense cartridge, but while it certainly works for self-defense, we consider it overpowered, although it does give a bit of a margin of error. Additionally, its high recoil can be challenging for some shooters to manage.

.45 Colt

The .45 Colt, also known as the .45 Long Colt, is well-regarded for its accuracy and stopping power, making it a favorite among many revolver hunters and long-range shooters.

Other revolver calibers:

Big game hunting: .454 Casull and .460 Smith & Wesson.
Self-defense and concealed carry: .22 WMR, .22 Mag, .32 H&R, and .327 Federal Mag.


Now, let us guide you through the best revolvers for beginners, self-defense, home defense, hunting, target shooting, and plinking.

Best Revolver for Beginners

Ruger Wrangler

  • Caliber: .22 LR
  • Capacity: 6 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 4.62″
  • Weight: 30 oz

The Ruger Wrangler is an ideal handgun for beginners, boasting affordability, light weight, and a small size. It’s chambered in .22 LR, which is easy to handle due to its minimal recoil. Designed in the style of Colt’s old single-action army revolver, it offers a crisp, light trigger pull for accurate shooting. While reloading may take some time due to its one-round-at-a-time loading and ejecting mechanism, this isn’t a major issue as the Ruger Wrangler is primarily a plinking or pest control gun rather than a weapon for combat.

Taurus 627 Tracker

  • Caliber: .357 Magnum
  • Capacity: 7 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 4″
  • Weight: 28.8 oz

If you’re considering trying out a budget-friendly .38/.357 revolver, the Taurus Tracker revolver is a competitively-priced alternative. It’s less expensive than many similar medium-frame rivals but still offers quality features, such as a 7-round cylinder, a fully adjustable rear sight, and a factory-ported barrel to reduce recoil. By the way, if you’re looking for the best .44 Magnum revolver under $500, the Taurus Tracker 44 is a great deal, although a .44 Magnum revolver isn’t the best beginner gun.

Best Revolver for Concealed Carry

Ruger LCR

  • Caliber: .22 LR, +P .38 Special, .327 Fed Mag, .357 Magnum, 9mm, etc.
  • Capacity: 5-8 rounds (depending on caliber)
  • Barrel Length: 1.87″
  • Weight: 13.5-17.1 oz


The Ruger LCR is a legendary snub-nose carry revolver that is lightweight and compact and features an innovative design that reduces recoil. The model is available in various calibers, allowing you to choose what suits you best. The Ruger LCR series offers budget-friendly options with great value for money, including a top-notch double-action revolver trigger that operates smoothly with minimal resistance. If you choose the 9mm version, know that the recoil from a 9mm LCR is less intense than a .357 Magnum, but a 9mm packs more punch than a .38 Special. Additionally, 9mm ammo is cheaper, making it a solid choice for both range shooting and concealed carry.

S&W 642 J-Frame

  • Caliber: .38 Special +P
  • Capacity: 5 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 1.875″
  • Weight: 14.5 oz

The Smith & Wesson 642 J-Frame is one of the best revolvers with a snag-free design – perfect for quick draw from concealment. Moreover, it’s probably the lightest CCW revolver. And while its light weight might make recoil feel somewhat intense initially, this drawback is offset by the convenience of their compact size.

Colt King Cobra Carry

  • Caliber: .357 Magnum
  • Capacity: 6 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 2″
  • Weight: 26 oz

The Colt King Cobra is another great revolver for concealed carry. Its key features include a bobbed hammer and a two-inch barrel, enhancing ease of concealment. The barrel and frame are made from stainless steel and boast a brushed finish, making it durable for daily use. Though it’s a .357 revolver, it can also fire .38 Special rounds.

Kimber K6s

  • Caliber: .357 Magnum
  • Capacity: 6 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 2″
  • Weight: 23 oz


The Kimber K6s, a lightweight revolver designed for carry, features a 6-shot .357 magnum cylinder and weighs just 23 ounces when empty. Notably, its cylinder is slimmer than most, claimed by Kimber to be the narrowest six shooter currently available. The frame and 2-inch barrel are durable stainless steel, and the K6s includes black three-dot sights, a match-grade trigger, rubber grips, and a textured cylinder release. Available in both DAO and DA/SA models, this revolver is excellent for close-range use.

Best Medium-Frame Revolvers for Home Defense

Ruger GP100

  • Caliber: .357 Magnum
  • Capacity: 6 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 6″
  • Weight: 45 oz

The Ruger GP100, renowned for its durability, is a heavy-duty revolver weighing 45 ounces due to its all-stainless construction and full underlug. This weight allows it to handle .38 Special and .357 Magnum rounds effortlessly. It comes in both blued and stainless steel finishes, each featuring a fully adjustable rear sight.

S&W 686 Plus

  • Caliber: .357 Magnum
  • Capacity: 7 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 5″
  • Weight: 42.6 oz

The Smith & Wesson 686+ is a medium-frame wheelgun that offers excellent balance and handling. It’s a 7-shot .357 revolver with a 4-inch barrel. Built on S&W’s L-frame for durability, this DA/SA revolver features a robust unfluted cylinder. It comes with black synthetic grips with finger grooves, a red ramp front sight, and an adjustable white outline rear sight. If you want a lighter or a more massive version, the 686 Plus offers a variety of barrel lengths, including 3 and 5 inches.

Ruger Single Six

  • Caliber: Convertible .22 LR/.22 WMR
  • Capacity: 6 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 5.5″
  • Weight: 33 oz

The Single Six is a single-action, .22 LR/.22 WMR convertible revolver that’s large enough for adult hands yet light enough for all-day carry, becoming the preferred companion of hunters, fishermen, trappers, and outdoor enthusiasts. Not only is it light and portable, but it also boasts excellent accuracy. If you want a .22 revolver for shooting competitions, hunting, low-cost plinking, and defense, the Single Six is an excellent option.

Best .44 Revolvers for Hunting & Long-Range Shooting

Ruger Super Blackhawk

  • Caliber: .44 Magnum
  • Capacity: 6 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 7.5″
  • Weight: 48 oz

The Ruger Super Blackhawk is the best single-action .44 revolver, a top choice for those who need heavy-hitting long-range performance. It’s resilient as a rock, even under heavy use in competitive shooting. Having proven its worth in the hands of deer hunters and bear country adventurers, the Ruger Super Blackhawk stands unrivaled as the best .44 Magnum revolver for self-defense or hunting whitetails.

Taurus Raging Bull

  • Caliber: .44 Magnum
  • Capacity: 6 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 6″
  • Weight: 53 oz

The Taurus Raging Bull stands out for its potent .44 Magnum chambering, making it a favored choice for hunting and self-defense due to its stopping power. Its unique design features a dual lockup cylinder for better stability, a large, ventilated rib atop the barrel, and a full underlug beneath it, aimed at reducing recoil and muzzle flip for improved accuracy.

Colt Anaconda

  • Caliber: .44 Magnum
  • Capacity: 6 rounds
  • Barrel Length: 6″
  • Weight: 53 oz

The Colt Anaconda is known for its high-quality craftsmanship, smooth trigger pull, and excellent accuracy, and, chambered in .44 Magnum, it’s a great magnum revolver suitable for hunting medium to large game. Its reliability and performance earned it popularity among law enforcement officers, competitive shooters, and collectors, enhancing its status as a classic, highly collectible firearm.


What is a revolver cylinder?

The cylinder is a crucial part of a revolver. It’s the rotating part that holds the cartridges or rounds ready to be fired.

Where can I find a 9mm revolver for sale?

You can find 9mm revolvers for sale at GRITR Sports. We offer the best 9mm revolvers, such as Smith & Wesson 929, Ruger Blackhawk, Ruger LCRx, Taurus 905, and more.

What is a wheel gun?

A wheel gun is another term for a revolver. The name comes from the rotating cylinder that resembles a wheel.

What are the popular revolver calibers?

Most popular revolver calibers include the .22 LR for plinking and target shooting, 38 Spl and .357 Mag for self-defense, and .44 Mag and .454 Casull for revolver hunting.

How much does a typical handgun cost?

Handgun prices vary based on brand, model, and features. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to over $1,000.

Where can I find a .44 Magnum revolver under $500?

Finding a .44 Magnum revolver under $500 might be challenging as they are typically priced higher. However, used firearms or sales might offer lower prices. Check out the Used Guns section on as well.

How do revolvers work?

When the trigger is pulled in a revolver, the cylinder rotates aligning a cartridge with the hammer and barrel. The hammer strikes the cartridge, igniting the primer, which then ignites the gunpowder, propelling the bullet.

Is a revolver considered a pistol?

No, a revolver and a pistol are types of handguns. The term ‘handgun’ refers to any handheld firearm.

Why are revolvers considered more reliable than semi-auto pistols?

Revolvers have fewer moving parts than semi-auto pistols, reducing the risk of malfunction or jamming.

Are revolvers better for concealed carry?

Some smaller models of revolvers are easily concealable and can be a good option for concealed carry. DAO revolvers have an internal or concealed hammer, reducing the chance of snagging on clothing during the draw, making them the best concealed carry revolvers.

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Predator Hunting

Beginner’s Arsenal: Best Guns for Novice Shooters

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Stepping into the world of firearms is no small decision. You’re not just picking out a tool; you’re selecting a companion for your safety, your sport, and in some cases, your survival. We’re here to break down for you what makes a solid beginner gun as well as recommend the best starter models.

Here’s a quick summary:

  • 9mm pistols are the best for EDC, vehicle security, and home protection. The best starter pistols are Glock 17 or Sig P320.
  • An AR-15 rifle chambered for 5.56 NATO/.223 Rem cartridge, like the S&W M&P15 Sport III, is a great option for home protection and target shooting. Rifles are generally easier to shoot accurately and generate less felt recoil.
  • Ruger 10/22 chambered for the .22LR low-power rimfire cartridge is a great way to start your shooting journey if you want a rifle that is soft-kicking and quiet and has more classic ergonomics.
  • Shotguns in the Mossberg 500 or 590 series are great for beginner shotgun hunters or those looking for a home defense gun that doesn’t require good marksmanship.

Ideal Beginner Gun – What Should It Be?

Pistols: If you’ve found yourself here, chances are you’re on the fence about which type of firearm fits your future needs best. Handguns, especially semi-auto pistols, are prime picks for everyday carry and situations requiring agility, like home defense, vehicle defense, and close-quarter battle (CQB). That said, handguns do have their limitations. Their shorter barrels limit the effective range and make accurate aiming a tad more challenging due to the short sight radius. Additionally, handguns designed for more powerful rounds like .45 ACP, .357 Mag, and 10mm can be challenging to manage because of their recoil.

Rifles: Rifles offer a significant step up in power and accuracy, with effective ranges extending to 300-600 yards and beyond, thanks to longer barrels that help with bullet stabilization and building up pressure. They’re generally easier to shoot accurately and manageably. For home defense, rifles with barrels around 16-18 inches are spot on. And if you’re thinking about hunting or precision shooting, you need to go longer.

AR-pistols and short-barreled rifles (SBR) offer a middle ground, mixing the maneuverability of handguns with the power of rifles, though legal hurdles can complicate ownership.

Shotguns: They are kings of versatility, useful in a range of activities from home defense to hunting various types of game. Planning on hunting? Make sure you’ve got your shot pattern right, so you don’t ruin your game. As for home protection and target shooting, accuracy isn’t as critical with shotguns, making them a solid choice for beginners.

Best Guns for Beginner Gun Owners

At this point, you might now have a better grasp of what suits your needs best. Next up, we’re going to provide recommendations for the best starter guns ideal for beginner shooters.

Best Beginner Pistols: Glock 17 or Sig P320

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There’s always a heated debate between two camps over which brand is truly the best. However, it’s clear that both Glock and Sig Sauer produce pistols that are reliable, durable, and highly customizable.

The Glock 17 (or G17) and the Sig Sauer P320 are full-size pistols, each offering significant advantages for beginners. Full-size pistols are easier to control because the mass of the pistol absorbs a good bit of the recoil. They are easier to be accurate with thanks to longer slides, not to mention both models offer 17 rounds of capacity with a standard magazine. A longer barrel means more power and better accuracy over greater distances. Plus, both the G17 and the SIG P320 are chambered in 9mm Luger – the most balanced and versatile cartridge out there.

Curious about choosing the right beginner handgun? Check out our guide on Choosing the Best Defense Handgun for a Beginner. It dives deeper into pistol frame sizes and other essential factors.

Now, comparing the G17 to the P320, you’ll find each has unique advantages and trade-offs. Glocks are the workhorses of the pistol world – rugged, reliable, and with rather simplistic aesthetics, all at an affordable price range. They’re known to handle thousands of rounds without a hiccup and can take a good amount of abuse. Another advantage is the vast aftermarket for parts, upgrades, and customizations. Here’s an example. Glocks are known for their mediocre trigger feel out of the box. So when you get the basics down and figure out what you’d like to improve, there are plenty of aftermarket options available to you.

If the Glock’s aesthetic and ergonomics don’t appeal to you, the Sig P320 might be more to your liking. Right out of the box, it’s a solid full-size pistol with an appealing design and reliable performance. Like the Glock, the P320 boasts strong aftermarket support. Plus, it offers a modular design that lets you easily switch frame sizes to suit your preference.

Both the G17 and P320 are DAO (Double Action Only) pistols, meaning they have internal safeties and no external safeties to fuss with. This design choice means there’s nothing to forget to disengage in a tense moment or slow you down. Still, if you’re set on having a manual safety, Sig Sauer also provides the M17, a military version of the P320 with that feature.

Why We Love the Glock 17:

  • Reliability and Durability: Known for being able to handle thousands of rounds without any issues, making it a reliable choice for both beginners and seasoned shooters.
  • Simplicity and Affordability: With its no-frills design and affordable price range, it’s an accessible firearm for those new to shooting.
  • Customization Options: A vast aftermarket allows for numerous upgrades and customizations, catering to the user’s preferences over time.
  • No External Safety: DAO design with internal safeties simplifies use.

Why We Love the Sig Sauer P320:

  • Modular Design: Allows for easy transition between frame sizes, making it versatile for different hand sizes and shooting preferences.
  • Out-of-the-Box Performance: Delivers reliable performance and an appealing design, providing a solid starting point for any beginner.
  • Aftermarket Support: Like the Glock, enjoys strong aftermarket support for parts and customizations, enhancing its longevity and adaptability.
  • No External Safety: DAO design with internal safeties simplifies use.

Other Options:

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SIG P320 Starter Pack





P320 OWB Holster

Holosun 507K

9mm Cleaning Kit

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Best Beginner AR-15: Smith & Wesson M&P Sport III

When you’re starting out in the gun world, you’re probably looking for something that won’t break the bank but still has all the right stuff to get you going. That’s where the third-gen M&P15 Sport from Smith & Wesson shines. Priced comfortably under $1,000 — actually, you can grab one for around $650 to $700 — it’s a solid pick without feeling like you’re cutting corners.

Sure, there are other rifles like the PSA M4 Carbine from Palmetto State Armory that come in even cheaper, under $500. But the M&P15 Sport III has a couple of tricks up its sleeve. For starters, it’s got a mid-length gas system. This is key for a 16-inch barrel since it not only makes the rifle last longer but also gives you a smoother shooting experience. Plus, the 1:8 twist rate is versatile enough to handle loads as light as 55gr M193 bullets and as heavy as 90gr, making it great for experimenting with different types of ammo.

This AR-15 rifle also boasts a 15” free-floating M-LOK handguard, which means you can attach all sorts of accessories. Plus, it’s got a full-length pic rail on top for when you want to add optics — especially handy since it doesn’t come with iron sights. And with a 6-position collapsible stock, you can adjust it to just the right fit. Sure, you might find cheaper models out there, but the M&P15 Sport III’s blend of softer recoil, versatility, and must-have features like the M-LOK handguard and adjustable stock makes it an awesome choice for anyone just getting into shooting.

Why We Love the S&W M&P15 Sport III

  • Affordably Priced: At under $1,000, often between $650 to $700, it’s a high-value option for beginners.
  • Mid-Length Gas System: Enhances durability and provides a smoother shooting experience.
  • Versatile 1:8 Twist Rate: Suitable for a wide range of ammunition, from light 55gr M193 bullets to heavier 90gr rounds.
  • Other Features: 15” free-floating M-LOK handguard, full-length Picatinnyicatinny rail, 6-position collapsible stock.

Other Options:

  • PSA 16″ M4 Carbine
  • Aero Precision Aero AC-15M
  • IWI Zion-15

AR-15 Starter Pack

S&W M&P15 sport 3

S&W M&P15 Sport III


SIG SAUER ROMEO5XDR Gen II Red Dot Sight with Juliet 5

Red Dot Combo

MAGPUL AR/M4 PMAG 30 GEN M3 5.56x45 Magazine With Window

30rd Magazine

UTG AR15 Cleaning Kit

AR Cleaning Kit

Best Beginner .22 Rifle: Ruger 10/22


If you’re looking for a classic semi-auto rifle that’s perfect for beginners, the Ruger 10/22 is hard to beat. This rifle is a legend, making it an awesome choice for teaching both kids and adults the ropes of shooting sports. The Ruger 10/22 fires the .22LR round, which is super cheap and has almost no kick, plus it’s really quiet. However, keep in mind, that the .22LR is a low-power cartridge, and its effective range tops out at about 150 yards. While it might not be your go-to for self-defense, especially compared to rounds like the .223 Rem or 9mm, it’s still not something you’d want to be on the receiving end of.

With the .22LR, you’re all set to join rimfire competitions, go after small game, or just have fun plinking in the backyard. Ruger offers a bunch of different 10/22 models so you can find one that’s just right for you. Whether it’s the 10/22 Carbine with its classic looks and versatility, the 10/22 Target for hitting bulls-eyes, or the 10/22 Tactical for competition use, Ruger’s got you covered.

All in all, the Ruger 10/22 is a solid, well-balanced rifle that packs reliable performance and up-to-date features into a classic design.

Why We Love the Ruger 10/22

  • Perfect for Beginners: With minimal recoil (.22LR round) and a quiet operation, it’s an ideal firearm for teaching new shooters the basics.
  • Versatility in Use: Whether you’re interested in rimfire competitions, small game hunting, or backyard plinking, the 10/22 serves all purposes well.
  • Affordability of Ammunition: The cost-effectiveness of .22LR rounds means you can shoot more for less, perfect for extensive practice sessions without breaking the bank.
  • Variety of Models Available: Ruger offers multiple versions of the 10/22 to fit every shooter’s need, from the classic Carbine to the precision-focused Target model, and the competition-ready Tactical version.
  • Unmatched Durability and Performance: Known for its reliability and solid construction, the Ruger 10/22 ensures a long-lasting shooting experience with consistent performance.

Other Options:

Ruger 10/22 .22 LR Rifle Starter Pack

RUGER 10/22 Takedown 22 LR

RUGER 10/22 Takedown


PROMAG Ruger 10/22 22 LR 55rd drum mag

55rd Drum Mag

VORTEX Crossfire II 2-7x32mm rimfire scope

Rimfire Scope

universal gun cleaning kit

Cleaning Kit

Best Beginner Shotgun: Mossberg 500/590


Talking about shotguns and not bringing up the Mossberg 500 and the Remington 870 series is nearly impossible. They’re both standout choices for newbies and honestly, picking between them often boils down to which brand you vibe with more rather than a clear winner in performance. Lately, though, a lot of shooters are leaning towards the Mossberg, saying it’s more consistent in quality. Plus, Mossberg 500/590 shotguns sport a couple of user-friendly features like the more convenient location of the safety and slide release as well as a skeletonized always-up shell lifter that allows you to load shells and clear malfunctions easier.

The Mossberg 500 and 590 shotgun series are loved for their straightforward, pump-action design. It means they’re easy to use thanks to fewer moving parts, weigh less compared to semi-autos, and are pretty darn durable. Both series come decked out with features that make life easier, like ambidextrous safeties and anti-jam elevators.

When it comes down to what you’ll use it for, the Mossberg 500 is your go-to for hunting. It comes in a bunch of camo options plus wood and black synthetic stocks, and its lightweight build and longer barrel make aiming and control easier.

If you’re gearing up for home defense or tactical purposes, the Mossberg 590 is where it’s at. It’s decked out for customization, built to take whatever comes its way, and boasts a higher shell capacity. And if a compact, easy-to-maneuver shotgun for tight spots is what you need, the Mossberg 590 Shockwave is legendary. Though it might take some getting used to, it’s surprisingly manageable once you get the hang of it.

Why We Love the Mossberg 500 and 590 Series

  • Consistent Quality: Many shooters express a preference for Mossberg over other brands for its consistent quality across models.
  • User-Friendly Features: The conveniently located safety and slide release, coupled with a skeletonized always-up shell lifter, make the Mossberg series exceptionally easy to load and clear.
  • Pump-Action Design: This design ensures fewer moving parts, lighter weight, and remarkable durability in both the 500 and 590 series.
  • Versatility for Hunting and Tactical Use: The Mossberg 500 is ideal for hunting, available in various camo, wood, and black synthetic stocks. In contrast, the Mossberg 590 suits home defense or tactical scenarios, boasting customization options and a higher shell capacity.

Other Options:

Considering a shotgun for home protection? Read our guide on the Best Home Defense Shotguns.

Mossberg 590 Shockwave Starter Pack

MOSSBERG 590 Shockwave 12Ga 14.3in

MOSSBERG 590 Shockwave


Mossberg 590 light mount

Forend Light

Side Saddle, 9 Shell

Side Saddle

Shotgun Sling

Shotgun Sling


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The fit of a gun is determined by how well your hand can grip it, your ability to reach the trigger comfortably, and how natural it feels when aiming. The right gun should feel like an extension of your hand; it shouldn’t feel too heavy or awkward.

Yes, it is highly recommended to take a firearm safety course, even if it’s not legally required in your area. These courses provide essential information about safe handling, storing, and operating firearms. They also often cover local gun laws, which is crucial knowledge for any gun owner.

The 9mm Luger is a popular choice due to its balance of recoil, size, and power. It’s manageable for most new shooters, widely available, and is used in a variety of handgun sizes. This caliber allows beginners to practice effectively without being overwhelmed by recoil. 5.56/.223 as well as .22LR are good rifle calibers.

It’s advisable to clean your gun after every use to ensure it operates correctly and safely. If you’re not using your gun frequently, a thorough cleaning and inspection every few months is recommended. Regular maintenance prevents the buildup of residues and corrosion, prolonging the life of your firearm.

Yes, you can purchase a gun online, for example, on, but it must be shipped to a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder, usually a gun store, where you can pick it up. You’ll need to complete the necessary background checks and paperwork at the FFL, just as if you were buying a gun in a store.

This depends on your comfort level and the intended use of the firearm. Some people prefer the added precaution of the manual safety, especially if they are new to handling guns or if there are children in the home. Others prefer firearms without manual safeties for simpler operation.

Safe gun storage is essential for preventing accidents and unauthorized access. Options include gun safes, lockboxes, and safety locks that prevent the gun from being fired. It’s also advisable to store ammunition separately from the firearm.

The cost of a reliable beginner firearm varies widely, typically ranging from $400 to $800. While it might be tempting to go for a cheaper option, investing in a good-quality firearm from a reputable manufacturer ensures reliability, safety, and a better shooting experience.

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The fit of a gun is determined by how well your hand can grip it, your ability to reach the trigger comfortably, and how natural it feels when aiming. The right gun should feel like an extension of your hand; it shouldn’t feel too heavy or awkward.”}},{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”Is it necessary to take a firearms safety course?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:”

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Tennessee Teen Catches Four Foot Gator


In a bizarre turn of events, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officer Rick Roberts found himself embroiled in an unexpected encounter when he received a peculiar phone call one evening. The caller, Tower Wyrick, relayed a seemingly incredulous tale: his younger brother, Justin, had reportedly hooked an alligator from a lake north of Knoxville. Roberts, initially skeptical, soon found himself racing to the scene, only to discover that the improbable story was indeed true.

A Surprising Discovery

Arriving at Norris Lake, Roberts was greeted by the astonishing sight of 16-year-old Justin Wyrick holding a four-foot-long alligator pinned to the ground. Despite his initial disbelief, Roberts soon realized that this was no prank. The young angler had managed to subdue the reptile, which appeared lethargic due to the cold weather.

An Unlikely Catch

According to the Wyrick brothers, they had been bass fishing from the shores of Norris Lake when Justin unexpectedly hooked the alligator using a swimbait. What ensued was a remarkable 30-minute battle as Justin fought to reel in his unusual catch, eventually triumphing as he landed the reptile on the bank.

Swift Action

Roberts wasted no time in alerting fellow wildlife officer Jason Lankford to the scene. Together, they carefully secured the alligator, which was identified as an exotic species likely released into the lake illegally. With the assistance of another game warden, the reptile was safely transported to a nearby zoo for temporary housing until a suitable relocation plan could be devised.

Legal Ramifications

The presence of an alligator in Tennessee highlights the complexities of wildlife management and underscores the importance of enforcing regulations governing exotic species. In Tennessee, alligators are classified as Class 1 wildlife and can only be possessed with the appropriate permits due to their potential danger to humans.

The curious case of Justin Wyrick’s alligator catch serves as a testament to the unpredictability of nature and the remarkable encounters that await those who venture into the great outdoors. As wildlife officials work to ensure the well-being of both humans and animals alike, this extraordinary tale will undoubtedly be remembered as a testament to the resilience and adaptability of wildlife in the face of human intervention.

What do you think of this wild story about a gator catch? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Can You Hunt Enough To Feed Your Family For YEARS?

Survival Cave Food is here.

As masters of the hunt, you understand the thrill and satisfaction of providing for your family through your skills in the wilderness. However, relying solely on hunting and trapping may not be enough to ensure your family’s well-being in times of crisis. The stark reality is that whatever you’re able to hunt may not be sufficient to feed yourselves and your loved ones. At Survival Cave Food, we recognize the importance of having a reliable backup supply to augment your hunting efforts and provide peace of mind during emergencies.

Why Survival Cave Food?

Our commitment to providing the best survival foods is driven by a deep understanding of the challenges hunters face. While your hunting skills are impressive, unpredictable circumstances such as extreme weather, dwindling game populations, or even natural disasters can significantly impact your ability to procure food. Survival Cave Food offers a range of premium emergency food solutions meticulously crafted to augment your hunting efforts and provide long-term sustenance for you and your famil

A Reliable Backup for Your Hunting Success

Survival Cave Food stands as your dependable backup supply for the best survival foods. Our freeze-dried meals and high-quality canned meats are carefully crafted to provide essential nutrients and support your family’s well-being, complementing your hunting skills. Don’t let uncertainties in the wilderness leave you and your loved ones hungry – our products offer a reliable solution to ensure your family’s needs are met, no matter the circumstances.

Supporting Your Hunting Lifestyle

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Made with Care, Trusted by Hunters

At Survival Cave Food, we take pride in our products, which are made with care and integrity. Our canned meats and freeze-dried meals are not just provisions; they’re essential components of your hunting lifestyle. Whether you’re stocking up for emergencies, planning hunting trips, or simply seeking convenient, nutritious options for your family, our products deliver on quality and reliability.

Join Us in Securing Your Family's Future

Join countless skilled hunters like yourself who prioritize preparedness and self-sufficiency. With Survival Cave Food, you’re not just purchasing survival foods – you’re investing in the security and well-being of your loved ones. Take the first step towards a more secure future by exploring our selection today.

Order Now and Augment Your Hunting Success

Don’t let uncertainties in the wilderness leave you vulnerable. Take proactive measures to ensure your family’s well-being with Survival Cave Food. Explore our range of premium survival foods and experience the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re prepared to provide for your family, no matter what lies ahead.

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