Top 10 Accessories For Your First Handgun

Are you buying a handgun for the first time? If so, you should know that you should be prepared not just to buy the gun itself, but a number of important accessories that you’ll need to go with it as well. 

Many new gun owners in particular will buy a handgun for home defense, for instance, but completely neglect budgeting for additional items that would be wise to have with that handgun. As a result, they make the mistake of spending the entirety or majority of their budget on the gun itself, only to have too little funds left over to purchase the additional items they need. 

Likewise, if you have any close friends or family members who just bought their first gun but don’t have all of the accessories for it yet, those accessories could make for a good Christmas or birthday gift. 

Here are the accessories you’ll need to make sure you get if you get a handgun:

1. Ammunition 

This may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. Any handgun is borderline useless without the ammunition required to fire it. You also need ammunition to train with your handgun and become proficient with it. 

Did you know that the average person who buys a handgun will fire less than ten rounds out of it before putting it away and never shooting it again?

Don’t make that same mistake.

Try to hit the range at least one each month to keep your shooting skills up and try to put at least fifty to a hundred rounds down range with each session. 

It’s also smart to set aside a small stockpile of ammunition as well to prepare for the event of a future ammo shortage. We saw this in the Covid pandemic in 2020, where ammunition in most common calibers flew off the shelves and remained off the shelves for several months (and then ammo did start to return, it was a lot more expensive than it was before). Try to set aside at least five hundred rounds if you can. 

2. Ammunition Cans

Ammunition Cans

Have you thought about how you will store the ammunition for your handgun? While you can store the ammunition out in the open in the box they ship in, it’s a better idea to store your ammunition in so-called ammo cans that are designed specifically for that purpose. 

There are two kinds of ammunition cans: metal surplus-style ammunition cans, and plastic cans that are usually designed to stack over one another. Either way, storing your handgun ammunition boxes in these cans will help with both organizing them and protecting the ammunition against moisture and the elements. 

3. Cleaning Kit 

Cleaning Kit

A cleaning kit is another highly important item you need to get when you buy a gun. It’s important to learn how to field strip your handgun and clean each of the components in the process of doing so. 

You can either buy a pre-assembled kit, or you can purchase the items individually and create your ‘customized’ cleaning kit. If you go this route, make sure it includes the following:

  • Barrel Cleaning Brush 
  • Cleaning Cloths 
  • Cotton Patches
  • Gun Oil with Cleaning Solvent

4. Dry Fire Caps

Dry Fire Caps 

While a lot of your training will be done on the range, some of it can be done at home as well. Specifically, you’ll want to focus on pulling the trigger to get a feel for when it breaks and racking the slide to clear a malfunction. When training at home, both of these training practices will obviously require you to use dry fire caps instead of actual ammunition. 

5. Eye Protection

Eye Protection

Buy a minimum of two shooting glasses to serve as your eye protection. This way you’ll have a backup in case your primary glasses break or get lost, and you’ll have a spare to lend to a friend or family member who visits the range with you. 

6. Handgun Safe

Handgun Safe

Some jurisdictions require you to securely lock and store your handgun in a safe at home or while transporting it in a vehicle. This is something you’ll want to research depending on where you live, but even if it’s not required, it’s still a good idea to ensure that the gun is secured from unauthorized entry (such as children or burglars). 

7. Hearing Protection (Shooting Muffs)

Hearing Protection (Shooting Muffs)

As with your eye protection, buy at least two sets of hearing protection shooting muffs (so you have a backup for a friend or family member). 

8. Holsters


Many new shooters make the critical mistake of spending hundreds of dollars on a new handgun, only to spend five or ten bucks on the cheapest holster that they can get. This is a big mistake because cheap holsters are often flimsy and don’t last long. Furthermore, the openings to the holsters often close, forcing you to have to manually reopen the holster with your fingers from your non-dominant hand before reupholstering with your shooting hand. 

You shouldn’t spend several hundred dollars on a holster, but a good holster should cost in the vicinity of thirty to forty dollars or higher. Look for a high quality leather or Kydex holster that allows you to holster and re-holster the weapon without needing to manually reopen the holster yourself. 

Think about how you plan to use your handgun and then buy the type of holster you need accordingly. Just make sure you stick to getting a holster that’s high quality and don’t buy the cheapest holster that you can find. 

9. Magazines or Speedloaders 

Magazines or Speedloaders

Plan on buying at least two spare magazines (or speedloaders if you get a revolver) for your handgun. Having spare magazines or speedloaders in addition to the ones you get with the gun is smart just in case if the originals become lost or broken in any way. 

10. Range Bag

Range Bag

Last but not least, be sure to invest in a good range bag. A range bag is useful for organization and keeping all of your shooting materials (such as your ammunition, hearing protection, hearing protection etc.), in the same place. 



Remember that when you’re budgeting yourself for buying a new handgun, you’re not just budgeting yourself for the gun itself. You’ll also need to budget for the important accessories like we’ve described above as well.

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