Finding the right tool to keep you safe is essential to today’s lifestyle. Owning a gun comes in handy especially if you’ve gone through home break-ins and vicious physical assaults. I was hesitant to get a gun before knowing what essentials were necessary before heading to a gun shop. I did some research on what was required and here’s what I found.  

However, what do you need to buy a gun? You may need to get a safe, holster, ammunition, storage case, light, safety gear, and speed loader. 

Buying a gun may be a thrilling experience, but it may be confusing to know what essentials to get before owning one. In this article, we evaluate some must-have gun gear.

​Gun Storage Case

Man firing a black gun

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What do you need to buy a gun? Sometimes you need to carry the firearm to the range or when traveling on an airline. You need a sturdy and excellent storage case to transport the gun. Although most firearm manufacturers include a case with all their firearms, some are not durable for travel. Find a sturdy case if you plan to carry the gun with you. 

Most cases are affordable and are lockable, something that may come in handy if you need to meet the local regulations on transportation of a firearm. 

Gun Safe

It’s essential to understand where you plan to store the gun before heading to the shop. You don’t want a gun around where kids can easily reach it and start experimenting.

Gun safes are crucial if you need to keep your gun in a secure place. The right gun safe should have enough space for your firearms. Buying a safe is an investment, and you don’t want to keep replacing it every time you add to your gun collection.

You also need to check the lock which could include a digital keypad, dial locks, or biometric. With digital keypads, you need to put in the combination to open the safe. It uses batteries, and at some point, you may need external batteries. Biometric locks are simple and fast, but you need to ensure that it supports external battery backup. 

Check the fire rating when buying a safe. Find a safe that can hold fire for an hour or longer. However, you need to remember that the right safe should offer fire protection and protect you from burglary. 

The best part is that you can find a gun storage fit for every budget. Ask if the safe comes with a warranty as this could be essential when you need to repair a safe lock. 

Gun Cleaning Kit

Guns like other tools require proper maintenance for them to function well. You can pick a simple universal cleaning kit that is affordable if you’re buying your first gun. Some manufacturers sell a caliber-specific cleaning kit to make your cleaning easier.

While you can clean recreational firearms when you need, defensive and concealed-carry guns need you to clean them after each trip to the range. Also, you need to check them regularly.

Cleaning a gun helps to perfect accuracy and provides excellent performance. Remember that moisture could render your firearm useless. You may go shooting in cold weather and get back indoors where it’s warm. It’s essential to ensure that your gun doesn’t collect moisture long enough as this could interfere with its performance. 

However, as a first-time gun buyer, you’re likely to come across hundreds of gun cleaning kits. You need to do your homework and evaluate specific factors like ease of use, case quality, tool quality, and caliber size.

The best gun cleaning kit should clean most caliber sizes. You don’t want to have a set that only cleans one out of five guns. A basic cleaning kit should have cleaning tools, cleaning swabs, chemical solvent, a case, cleaning brushes, and lubricant to keep the firearm smooth. 

Firearm maintenance is vital as it extends the longevity of the firearm, helps to prevent malfunctions, and ensures reliability if you get into self-defense situations. 

Quality Holster

The right holster is as important as the gun you decide to buy. Holsters are not only essential when you need to carry your firearm around. A holster protects the gun from wear and tear. Moreover, it protects you from loss of control of the sidearm or accidental discharge. 

You need to get a quality holster if you plan to use a firearm for defense. Remember you don’t want to end up with multiple holsters that you won’t use. Get a high-quality holster that serves the purpose. 

Always include a proper holster in your budget when planning to purchase a firearm. Choose a holster with durable material like thermoplastic acrylic-polyvinyl chloride. You can be sure of the durability and perfect concealment. Also, the material maintains shape unlike leather, which may lose its form, making it useless. 

Remember that the holster should be comfortable to wear throughout the day. Find a holster that distributes the weight of your gun. It should not allow your body to be in contact with the firearm. The best holster needs to protect your gun from external factors like oil and moisture.

For example, a gun that accumulates moisture may be unreliable when it comes to shooting, not to mention it could affect its appearance due to rust.  

Gun on a sand near a bullets

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Every firearm requires its ammunition if you need a gun for self-defense. Rotate the ammo. Starting with the old ammunition first. 

Safety Gear

Getting the first firearm requires you to invest in safety gear like a range bag, ear protection, and safety glasses. 

Once you’ve gathered all your gun gear, you need to decide where you’ll put it. A quality range bag comes in the right size for ammo boxes, magazines, handguns, and more. The bag keeps your items secure, protected and separated. Ensure that you get a bag that can handle the weight to avoid split seams. 

For example, you can get a Tactical Range Ready Bag from Amazon if you plan to transport gun accessories and firearms to and from the range. 

Safety shooting glasses protect your eyes without interfering with your vision. When starting, you can get simple glasses with polycarbonate lenses. You can find glasses without plastic parts to interfere with your field of view. However, high-end glasses have interchangeable lenses and quality frames that are durable. 

Don’t forget to get hearing protection. Traditional hearing means that the less you hear on the range, the better it works. However, this can be a problem in the field. You need to hear the people around you including the range officer.

Modern hearing protection is reliable, affordable, and effective. They come with inside electronics that shut out shots and amplify commands and conversation from your range officer. What’s more, the latest earmuffs have an auxiliary jack that allows you to plug in an MP3 player and listen to your favorite music through the headset. 

Shooting is all about your hands, but sometimes you can sweat a lot when in a crowded range. You need to get quality shooting gloves to make sure you get the most out of every shooting round. You can get gloves with a suede material to provide a solid grip. Gloves that are lightweight and are washable make your shooting experience enjoyable. 


An excellent light quality helps you understand where a target is, something essential in self-defense situations. 

You need a tactical light if you plan to go in low light situations. There’s an option of either getting a mounted light or handheld light. Mounted lights come physically attached to the gun. However, some manufacturers now have duck-tape or jerry-rigged solutions. 

Mounted light enables easy access and needs fewer motor movements like handheld lights. 

Speed Loader/ Spare Magazines

You need an additional magazine if you have a semi-automatic gun, this makes it convenient when handling self-defense situations. 

Having a spare magazine helps in case of malfunctions. Most semi-automatics malfunction when you least expect. The only way to clear this problem is with a spare magazine. Also, carrying a spare magazine ensures that you have enough ammo if you accidentally get attack by multiple people. You don’t want to end up helpless and vulnerable because you failed to carry extra rounds. 

While you may have to undergo the inconvenience of carrying spares, in the end, you could save a life against multiple attackers or an active shooter.


Man holding a black gun

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As a new handgun owner, you require training and shooting skills. When starting, you may not have money you get a professional instructor to take you through the process in a one-on-one class.

For example, the National Rifle Association has certified instructors who provide classes that target gun safety, handling, operation, and basics of firearm and ammunition storage. You can choose to participate in NRA first steps as a beginner. 

In firearm training, you also get to learn the importance of treating all guns as if they’re loaded, why you should never point the muzzle to anything you don’t intend to shoot, and the basic rules of the range. Alternatively, you can buy training videos and book that give you tips on gun handling. 

If you’ve been wondering what do you need to buy a gun? We hope that you now have an idea of the essentials you require before heading to the shop.

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