When you're on the hunt for a new firearm, you're going to come across a healthy variety of calibers. There are quite a few out there, ranging from the little 22LR, all the way up to the significantly larger and more expensive 50BMG.
But when you're on a budget and want to shoot frequently while throwing more bullets down-range, you'll probably want to avoid buying a gun that will cost $1 to $2 per shot.
Here's some advice to keep in mind before you make the big purchase.
1. Know why you're shooting
If you're planning on shooting hundreds of rounds down-range every weekend, then pick a gun in a caliber you can afford to buy frequently. If you have a pistol you conceal-carry, choose a caliber you're comfortable shooting but can also afford to practice with on a regular basis.
2. Pick a few calibers to stock
If you're just starting your shooting hobby, don't jump into too many different calibers right off the bat. Try shooting different guns at the range first, and then pick out the calibers you prefer. Once you know what you like, go ahead and start stocking up at your leisure.
3. Vary it up
If you haven't purchased a gun yet and are open to buying pistols and rifles over time, consider purchasing these affordable styles:
- A pistol in a 9mm (fairly affordable)
- An AR- or AK-style rifle (most use intermediate calibers, such as 5.56x45 or 7.62x39, respectively)
- An AR-style rifle in .308/7.62 NATO (a bit more kick, so better at longer ranges)
It can't hurt to add a shotgun to the mix, too. This way you cover a nice blend of calibers and capabilities. But if you're more of a single-caliber kind of shooter, more power to you.
Before you go...
Take a look at AmmoSeek, an excellent directory for finding websites to buy ammo from and look up prices. And price out the ammunitions on AdvancedTactical to get a sense of what your caliber choice is getting you into.