I have owned guns for as long as I can remember. I had my first gun given to me when I was 10 years old. It was a .410 break-over shotgun and it was the end of many squirrels and rabbits. That was over twenty years ago and I have long since sold that first gun of mine. Since that time I have bought and sold many more. In recent years guns have become more and more in demand and as such prices have risen. There are still cost effective guns to buy but, compared to twenty years ago, the same gun is now worth a lot more.
So how much does a gun cost? You can expect to spend anywhere from $300 to $700 to buy a gun. This price range is what the beginning gun owner can expect to shell out for a new gun. It doesn’t really matter if you want a shotgun, pistol, or a rifle, you can get entry level firearms all for this price range.
Buying your new gun is only the first step. There’s a lot more money that goes into owning a gun that we’ll discuss later. Depending on what you want from your gun it’s going to affect how much you spend.
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How Much Does a Shotgun Cost?
Nothing is as versatile as a shotgun. Shotguns come in a wide variety from single shot break-overs to semi-automatic pieces of art.
Shotguns are a great way to get a new hunter into the sport. They can be used for small game and larger quarry such as wild turkey and deer where legal. Shotguns also make a great home defense option. And shotguns are widely used in sport shooting from skeet shooting to three-gun competitions.
A big plus side is that currently ammo is readily available and affordable as compared to other centerfire cartridges.
As a beginner, shotguns don’t require many modifications unlike AR style platforms.
One of the most common and iconic shotguns is the Remington Model 870, I have one myself. You can purchase one of these for about $350.
It’s a pump action and comes in common gauges .410, 20, and 12. It can be used for everything from home defense to hunting squirrels and shooting clays.
A simple pump action shotgun can be well maintained with a cheap $20 cleaning kit from your local gun store.
How Much Does a Pistol Cost?
Next, let’s look at pistols. As with anything there is a big price range based upon customer preference, brand, caliber, and action.
Revolvers are typically more affordable but have less round capacity than semi-automatics. Pistols are not used much for hunting, although there are people who do use them.
Pistols are mainly used for personal and home defense or in competition.
Currently there is a shortage of common pistol calibers such as 9mm, .380, .357, .40, and .45 calibers. This shortage has led to increased prices when you do find them.
The most commonly bought pistol is the Glock 19. You can purchase this pistol for around $650 without any modifications. However if you are military or first responder you qualify for Glocks blueline discount.
How Much Does a Rifle Cost?
The last category of firearms we have to talk about is rifles.
As with the other categories, they vary widely and so do price points. AR style rifles are in high demand right now and as such are hard to find and pricey when available.
The AR platform is all about customization. Entire industries are built around making AR components from sights, grips, and the list goes on. That being said, the AR and similar platforms allow for complete customization by the customer, if you have the money.
Hunting rifles, such as single shot break overs, semi-automatic, and bolt action are easier to find and somewhat more affordable.
Brands like Remington are staples in the industry but don’t overlook cheaper, entry level models like those from Savage.
Like pistol ammo, there is a severe ammo shortage for the foreseeable future. Ammo in common rifle calibers is very expensive compared to 10 years ago. It is better to buy in bulk if you can to save some money per round.
Where to Buy Guns & Get the Best Gun Price
We’ve looked at the three main types of firearms, let’s talk about where to buy. Obviously buying new from a reputable and legal firearms dealer is the safest. A few ways to save are if you are Military or a first responder. Glock has a program that gives discounts to service men and women as well as Police/Fire/EMS.
Buying new is the safest way, but not always the cheapest. Some dealers also sell used firearms but the inventory is not as consistent as new items. Guns can be bought and sold at pawn shops legally and you can find some real deals if you know what you’re looking for.
My recommendation is to determine what kind of firearm you want and then look up information on what to look for in a used firearm. There are plenty of articles online and videos on YouTube that can teach a novice gun buyer the things to look for (and avoid) when purchasing a used firearm.
Buyer beware should be on your mind when purchasing a used firearm as company warranties are usually not valid after the firearm has transferred from the original owner.
How Much Does a Gun Cost (Other Gun-Related Costs)
Now I know we’ve talked about guns and ammo but there is another cost point to consider and that’s the lifestyle you want.
What do I mean about this?
How are you going to use your firearm, and how often and in what capacity?
Are you going to be someone who goes to the gun range weekly, putting thousands of rounds through the barrel?
You need to consider gun club and range membership fees. Membership fees to a range vary widely based on the amenities provided.
Do you want your concealed carry license?
Usually a concealed carry class is going to cost around $125 to $200 in some cases.
Are you going to be traveling with your firearm?
You’ll need to buy TSA approved firearms carriers.
Ask yourself what kind of lifestyle you want when considering costs. You are going to spend a lot more money if you go to the range twice a week, than someone who never takes their gun out of the safe.
Through my years of owning and selling firearms my best piece of advice is to do your research when buying either new or used, but especially used.
One thing you should keep in mind is that when you purchase a firearm realize it is an investment.
One thing has remained constant through the years: gun prices have only increased.
As long as you maintain the firearm, it will retain its value, possibly even increasing.
My last piece of advice to you is rent the gun you are interested in before you buy. The last thing you want is to purchase a new gun only to find it is uncomfortable to hold and shoot. That’s a lot of money to spend on something and not like the way it feels.
Hopefully you have a better idea of what to consider when purchasing your next firearm.