Why a $500 pistol really costs you $1,000 or more!

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What other costs can you expect when buying a pistol? Owning a gun is a big responsibility and you have to consider other expenses to become a legitimate gun owner.

Pistol Expenses | Possible Extra Costs When Buying a Gun

When shopping for a pistol for the first time, it is imperative that you consider the additional costs on top of the price of the firearm you will purchase. Before you go to the local shop with a plan to buy a gun and a box of ammo, we suggest you set a budget first and try to keep your purchase around that. You also need to consider how much you'd spend on gun accessories as well as training on how to properly use a gun. The bottom line is a $500 firearm will cost you at least $1000 in total if you are committed to doing it the right way. To help you out, here are the possible extra costs you will pay for when buying a new pistol:


1. Training  ($100 – $500)

Training | Why a $500 pistol really costs you $1,000 or more!
If you are going to buy a gun, you should have a professional instructor to teach you the basics, at a minimum. Many stores have trainers on site, and you can search the internet for local trainers in your area. This is a must for any new gun owner. You absolutely need to undergo training for safety and gun handling before you take a gun home.

2. Holster ($50 – $150)

Holster | Why a $500 pistol really costs you $1,000 or more!
Proper storage of a gun for personal or home use starts with a quality holster. Most shops will have a variety to choose from, and most likely, the one you choose on your first day will not be the one you use for the long haul. Many gun owners have a drawer dedicated to holsters and gear that they thought would “be the one.” Go online and see what people universally praise, it will become clear what the good choices are.

3. A Safe for Home Storage  ($30 – $250 or more)

Keeping your gun safe from children and unwanted access is paramount. Consider going beyond the safety lock that comes with the gun. You may also want to look into all of the different safes that are available for home use.

You will find safes that range from simple to exotic, from keyed lockboxes to biometric reading safes that open with your fingerprint. Tactical Walls also makes some great “conceal in plain sight” options that may suit your needs and home decor.

4. Going to the Range to Practice ($100 – $300)

Going to the Range to Practice | Why a $500 pistol really costs you $1,000 or more!
Once you have your gun, you have to become competent and proficient in shooting, and the only thing that gets you there is practice. Range fees vary, but the most that we've seen offer reasonable rates. They will charge you by the hour per lane. Some ranges offer unlimited time and some require reservations. We suggest you check the website or call the range prior to going to get an idea of how they operate in your area.

5. Eye and Ear Protection ($20 – $150+)

Eye and Ear Protection | Why a $500 pistol really costs you $1,000 or more!
In addition to fees associated with the range itself, you’ll need some basic range gear – Eye Protection, Ear Protection, and targets. The range of pricing and quality is vast here, basic eye and ear packages can be less than $20.

Visit the range and look at what people are wearing these days and you will notice high-quality eyewear along with electronic ear protection – earmuffs that actually amplify sound except for the actual gunshots. These can get pricey – over $150 in some cases, but the comfort and quality of many models out there come in below $100 and even $50.

6. Extra Magazines ($50 – $200)

Extra Magazines   | Why a $500 pistol really costs you $1,000 or more!
We recommend you get several magazines in addition to those you actively carry or have stayed at home. This is especially critical at the range or during private lessons, you will be doing magazine changes and going through plenty of ammo. You do not want to be the one guy who is always reloading the two magazines (or one) that came with the purchase.

7. Ammunition ($130 – $160)

Ammunition | Why a $500 pistol really costs you $1,000 or more!
This breaks down to two types you should have on hand – personal defense ammo and range ammo. Defensive ammunition is more expensive as most are designed and created to fragment, spread, and cause damage as they hit human tissue. You should carry this type of ammo, and it is wise to shoot it with your carry weapon and to have an extra box on hand.

Range ammo is what you will feed your pistol as you become accustomed to shooting it. It is less expensive and best to buy in bulk. How much ammunition should you have for your firearm? That is a subjective question, but most people like having 1,000 rounds per firearm. That number covers practice and SHTF situations for most!

8. CCW License ($40 – $340 depending on which US State you belong)

CCW License   | Why a $500 pistol really costs you $1,000 or more!
This is non-negotiable when purchasing a firearm. When you make the decision to carry daily, you’ll want it to be legal in the state you live in. Most CCW permits require a fee, FBI Background check fees, and proof of attending an appropriate safety class.

9. Time (at your own expense)

From online research to watching videos and attending classes, practice days at the range, and dry fire practice at home, it is important to remember the time commitment you are making in order to become a proficient, safe gun carrier. Being a gun carrier is your right and your responsibility, but also requires an incredible amount of time to do it the right way. We can't cut corners when talking about guns and the dangers alongside owning one.


Check out this video by Personal Defense and Firearm Education about dropping ammo prices:

This is in no way the comprehensive list of things you will ONLY need. If you plan on carrying daily, you should consider getting a proper carry belt and the right clothing that will suit your need to conceal your pistol. You also want to consider accessories to hold the magazines, an EDC knife and or keychain, etc.  Having this list of additional costs in your head before you buy should help you be better prepared for what lies ahead.

What can you say about these additional costs when buying a pistol? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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