Paul Bonnici, CEO and head instructor of Elite Spartan Tactical Concepts, shares important tips on how to choose your first handgun!

What to consider for starting your fundamental firearms training!

When to take the next step into advanced drills and tactics!

Real-life experience of a tactical trainer with more than 20 years of SOF operational experience.

Having a handgun means training

This post is just my opinion, so other input is welcome, of course.

Before we start, first things first.

Most people buy guns for protection.

If you don’t know how to use your gun, you might could try to defend yourself with a rock as well.

There is not much of a difference, then.

The odds are not in your favor.

Let’s be clear: Having a handgun means training.

© Paul Bonnici

Choosing a Handgun

If you ask a group of firearms experts about what type of handgun and calibre to purchase, you are likely to get lots of different answers.

Buy a handgun that will fit to your body characteristics!

For example, your body stature and hand size.

Are you left handed or right handed?

Do you have any firearms experience at all?

Do not rush into a buying-decision just for the sake of having a gun.

Find out what fits and what works for you.

The only personal advice that I can you give here: Never, ever buy a gun because it is cheap!

Pick a well-known and trusted brand.

It is worth the extra money.

About Training

If you don’t plan to take a firearms training course with regular follow-ups of target practice, and lots of dry practice drills, you should really think twice about even owning a firearm.

When you apply to participate in a shooting course, don’t think that you have to be the best shooter in the class.

You are going for this course to get better.

And that’s what matters.

Performance anxiety can turn even a fun and good learning experience into bad shooting habits.

A basic shooting class is a good place to start.

All “advanced” stuff is based on your safety, and being able to shoot accurately, later.

It is much easier to learn the basics first and doing it right, than trying to un-learn bad shooting habits for years.

© Paul Bonnici

Training by Yourself

If you want to train by yourself here are a few practical tips:

Start shooting from close distance to train a proper sight management, your shooting platform, draw, malfunction drills, reloads, etc.

Remember, safety and accuracy first, then speed will come.

Start off slower – then incorporate speed.

Slow it down, clean it up – then speed it up again.

If you are making mistakes, slow down.

Take a good look at what you do, start to identify your problem areas and work on them.

Start training yourself with both eyes open.

When shooting one-eyed, shooters don’t get the full picture.

As a matter of fact, without the use of both eyes, many visual functions are limited.

Buying the Right Holster for You

This is where a lot of gun owner become cheapskates.

If you want to train properly you need to carry your gun in a secure way.

That means:

Get yourself a good leather or Kydex-type holster that is specifically made for the gun you own, attaches firmly to a belt, and is designed for proper retention.

© Paul Bonnici

A Proper Gun Safe

You probably want to buy a safe for your firearms.

Small handgun safes are not expensive and can fit in a drawer or under the your bed.

Larger safes can hold more guns and can be bolted to the walls or floor to deter thieves.

So, you have a gun now… get training, practice regularly, and be prepared, your self physically and mentally to use it.

Also keep in mind: It doesn’t matter, how well trained you are, if you aren’t aware of what is going on around you.

Your first line of defense is your situational awareness!

Train Hard… Train Smart… Stay Safe!

Article by Paul Bonnici
CEO and Head Instructor
Elite Spartan Tactical Concept


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