You did it. Signed up, did the course, passed the test, and sent in your application. You waited. And waited some more. Now the day has finally come, you got your PAL! Congratulations! Now it’s time to do what every PAL holder does: buy a gun.

Why do I want a gun?

You probably already knew the answer before you signed up for your PAL, but others might still be on the fence. It usually comes down to the utility versus fun equation. Are you looking to just plink off some cans in the woods? Hunt big game? Or maybe even compete one day? Answering these questions will provide the best insight into purchasing your first forearm. Depending on what and where you’re looking to hunt, a centre fire rifle or shotgun is likely your best bet. Interested in target practice and/or competing? Find a quality rimfire plinkster.  

What am I looking for?

Never buy a firearm just because it’s cheap. Purchasing a used firearm from a reputable brand is generally better than buying a low-end new one. But if you’re unsure of what to look for in a used one, then a new one might be your best option. Above all, you’ll want something reliable so that it requires less maintenance and time in the shop. Most first-time purchasers generally go with something with a modest caliber and light recoil. More comfort, enjoyment, and fun usually leads to more practice. 

How much am I going to spend?

Your budget is completely up to you. Your first firearm is a personal investment. Be prepared to spend at least $500, if you’re looking for good quality and reliability. But be careful not to blow all your budget in one shot. If this is your first firearm, there are also many things you’ll need for your gun, including accessories, maintenance — and of course ammunition! 

We hope this answers a few of your questions and helps guide your gun ownership journey in Canada. Your first firearm is one of the most memorable investments you’ll make in your life. 

This is the second blog in our How To Buy A Gun In Canada series. We’ll walk you through all of the steps, costs, and best practices for your very first firearm. Stay tuned for our next blog about everything you need after you purchase your firearm!

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