Ten Things You Need to Buy With Your Handgun

buying a gun listMany people put so much effort into getting their first handgun, that they forget about all the other important stuff that may be needed. In addition to budgeting for the firearm itself, you also need to consider the ancillary expenses that are critical to success with that firearm. Here are 10 things you need to buy with your handgun:

1. Gun Safe:

When you get home from the store where are you going to put that gun? It's not usually a good idea to buy a firearm unless you can lock it up in a secured gun safe.

2. Ammunition:

You always want to have ammunition in the house for every firearm; especially a firearm you intend to use for self defense. Buy at least a hundred rounds to have in the house and another hundred rounds for your next two training sessions. Remember to always rotate your ammunition, using the oldest ammo first.

3. Holster(s):

If you intend to use this firearm to defend yourself you should invest in at least one quality holster. Most concealed carry permit/license holders have a box of holsters we have invested in that we no longer use. Sadly it is the kind of thing you have to try for awhile to know if it works for you. Shop around and get one that is high quality. Be prepared to find something else if it doesn't work for you.

4. Cleaning Kit:

Every time you shoot your firearm you should clean it. You should also clean it (regardless of use) about every six months. It's a good idea to get a kit that has the right stuff to clean multiple calibers of firearms, making it easier as you expand your gun collection.

5. Storage Case:

There will be days when you want to transport your firearm. Perhaps from the home to the range or in your checked bag on an airline, or through a state that doesn't recognize your permit. In these situations you will want a good and strong portable case in which you can transport the firearm. Most, but not all, firearm manufactures sell the firearm in one of these cases. However, a lot of the time the ones that come with your handgun are not strong enough for travel, and you should have a sturdier one for this purpose.

6. Spare Magazines / Speed Loader:

Both for convenience in training and sport, as well as for self-defense situations, you will want extra magazines for your semi-automatic. Most handguns only come with one. If you are purchasing a revolver see if you can purchase a speed loader for it.

7. Light:

I always recommend a good light as a near required accessory to any firearm. The need to identify your target and to actually be able to know where the target(s) are is so critical that a good light is super important. Handguns often have rails that fit universal accessories like lights. Some firearms require a more custom product.

8. Safety Gear:

If this is your first firearm purchase you may also need some other required gear like safety glasses, ear protection, and a range bag. It is absolutely essential to have eye and ear protection, to the point that many gun ranges won't allow you to shoot without them.

9. Training:

When you buy a firearm you need to budget for and plan to obtain some training. Firearms training turns into a lifelong endeavor for most of us who take self-defense seriously. Seek out a local course near you. If you have already taken a course consider the next step by researching available NRA courses in the area, and even taking an advanced course in self-defense.

10. Time:

Perhaps the most important part of purchasing a firearm for self-defense use is the need to budget one's time to train with it. Commit yourself to a schedule to train regularly and block the time out on your calendar. And remember, each time you go to the range to train, could be the last time you do so before you need to use your weapon in self-defense. Therefore, train appropriately.


To offer our readers a one-stop shopping solution, especially if you're getting home from your FFL with your new gun and forgot some of the things we mentioned here, we stock most of the products mentioned on this list in our online store, with the exception of time, of course.

What do you recommend first time gun buyers get in addition to their gun? Let us know, in the comments below.

About Jacob Paulsen

Jacob S. Paulsen is the President of ConcealedCarry.com. ConcealedCarry.com provides in-person and online firearm training for American gun owners. The Company is currently teaching in-person classes in 25+ states with a team of more than 55 instructors. Jacob is a NRA certified instructor & Range Safety Officer, USCCA certified instructor and training counselor, Utah BCI instructor, Affiliate instructor for Next Level Training, Graduate and certified instructor for The Law of Self Defense, and a Glock and Sig Sauer Certified Armorer. He resides in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado with his wife and children.


  1. Harry Williams on May 4, 2017 at 5:02 am

    Thank you

  2. Old Professor on May 5, 2017 at 9:16 am

    What good is a gun if you have it locked up in a safe that is in another room?? You need one in every room in the house that is loaded and ready to go!

    • Johnny on May 14, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      I’m with you 100%

  3. Old Professor on May 5, 2017 at 9:23 am

    What good is a gun that is LOCKED up in a safe in the other room?

    • Joshua on May 5, 2017 at 11:25 am

      Thank you for the comment. We are strong advocates of carrying a gun in the home and always have a gun on our hip or within arms distance. In fact, as I type this up, on my desk is an FNS9-C in its holster. That way, when I move on from this location, I can simply attach the holster to my body, and move on. This is speaking of guns that are not in use or for people who refuse to educate their children about firearms.

  4. Doug on May 5, 2017 at 11:03 am

    With the holster, you absolutely need a good gun belt. Even if you carry IWB. That’s my 2 cents. Good article.

  5. Roger on May 5, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    My out of safe gun &ammo are on my person until I go to bed and then its on my night stand for instant use.

    i go to

  6. barry beadles on May 6, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    You forgot Gun Insurance!

  7. Gary braff on May 10, 2017 at 8:05 am

    A lifetime membership to the NRA

  8. Saxdm on May 10, 2017 at 11:12 am

    #4. unless it’s a Glock. Although I do clean my Glock mags almost monthly.

  9. JohnB on May 10, 2017 at 11:44 am

    What good does a Personal Defense Weapon (gun) do you locked up in a safe? If you are realistic in your evaluation of the likelihood of a home invasion you should have the weapon to hand at all times.

  10. PJ on May 10, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    I Noted a lot of people asking “what good is a gun when in a safe?”.

    Consider this, what good will a gun be if a criminal manages to get to it first..? You may end up being shot with the very same firearm that is supposed to give you a sense of safety.

  11. Kim on May 11, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    To PJ’s note
    I would rather be shot by my own gun taken away from me and if my family shot because I couldn’t get to the gun locked up in the safe. At least I would have a fighting chance is better then being ignorant.

  12. A J Folger on May 28, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    On #9, I would also suggest you keep documentation of your training as well.

  13. jim Edwards on May 29, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    Left out one important thing: membership to USCCA org.

  14. John on July 22, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Don’t forget the tactic training with about 450 rounds.

  15. John on November 1, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    Invest in the best training possible, and continue to take classes

  16. BC on December 31, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    The only thing I would add to the list is KNOWLEDGE. Know the local laws concerning lethal self-defense. You have but a split second to know if your in the right or wrong before you pull that trigger. There will be a number of cell phones recording the shot. Know yourself, what you can and can’t do in any given situation. Your limitations will be your undoing if your not careful. Stay safe out there!

  17. Ellie Davis on March 9, 2018 at 5:46 pm

    Thank you for pointing out that not all manufacturers sell a case with the firearm. My husband wants to take me shopping for a gun. I for sure want to get a case for my new gun. I just don’t want a manly case. I’ll have to start looking into feminine cases.

    • ANITA RAY on December 8, 2018 at 4:42 pm

      Ellie Davis, Check out Kimber’s 5.11 Tactical Range Bag and Tactical Range Purse. It’s functional but takes a little of the masculine edge off.

  18. Dan Luna on September 23, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    Here’s an invaluable lesson every first time gun buyer should learn, and that’s how to NOT to get into any confrontations at all, meaning, of you’re gonna carry, as I have been safely for over 21 years, mind your business, keep your mouth shut, don’t flip people off in traffic, and NEVER start a fight. It’s no longer self defense if you’re gonna be the one starting a potentially lethal situation by telling someone whatever they’re doing is annoying you, and so forth. Carrying is for stopping an immediate threat to you or others, not as a “backup” to your bad decision to get involved in something that’s not your business. If someone comes at you unprovoked, that’s a different story altogether. Also, if you see someone being attacked violently, again, a different story. If you have a hard time keeping your opinion to yourself in public, maybe you shouldn’t carry. It’s all about avoiding confrontations, period. If and when you have to shoot, trust me, you want it to be CRYSTAL CLEAR to the justice system that not only was your life in danger, but also that you were NOT the one who started it.

    • Blues Bland on December 28, 2020 at 2:26 pm

      Excellent post. If one hasn’t the maturity or level headedness to walk away from a potential situation they shouldn’t own a firearm. I’m never in such a hurry that if someone cuts me off on the highway I have to retaliate. There are parts of the cities I try to avoid because we know there is potential danger there. I also can say “I’m sorry” even if I feel I’m in the right if it will avoid a violent confrontation (fortunately I haven’t been in that type of situation in decades). A firearm is the ultimate resolution, and a violent one, to a confrontation and should NEVER, EVER be used except as the final last result.

    • Rod on February 19, 2022 at 12:17 pm

      Thank you! Excellent need to know advice!

  19. Mia Stewart on May 22, 2019 at 11:54 am

    I like how you explain you should get safety gear for your gun. I own a gun and it can be very loud and hurt my ears sometimes. I will make sure to get ear protection before I go shoot my gun again.

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