When shopping for a gun for the first time, it is imperative that you consider the additional costs that you will see in ADDITION to the firearms you choose to purchase.   Before you go to the local shop with a plan to buy a gun and a box of ammo, we suggest that you set your financial expectations at a level that will be more in line with what your overall cost of gun ownership will actually be.

What are the other costs you can expect?  Keeping in mind that like anything else, you get what you pay for, here are the basic costs you can expect when entering into the realm of gun ownership:


TRAINING – If you are going to buy a gun, you should have a professional instruct you on the basics, at a minimum.   Many stores have trainers on site, and the internet is a great  place to research local trainers in your area.  This is a MUST for any new gun owner, you absolutely need to take a class to learn all of the safety and gun handling rules before you take a gun into your home.  ($100 – $500)

HOLSTER – proper storage of a gun on your person or at home starts with a quality holster.  Most shops will have a variety to choose from , and most likely the one you choose on your first day WILL NOT be the one you use…..many gun owners have a drawer dedicated to holsters and gear that they thought would “be the one”.  Go online and see what people universally praise, it will become clear what the good choices are.  ($50 – $150)

A SAFE FOR HOME STORAGE – Keeping your gun safe from children and other unwanted access is paramount.  Consider going beyond the safety lock that comes with the gun, and look into all of the different safes that are available for home use.  You will find the simple to the exotic, from keyed lock boxes to biometric reading safes that open with your fingerprint.  Tactical Walls also makes some great “conceal in plain sight” options that may suit your needs and home decor. ($30 – $250 or more)

GOING TO THE RANGE TO PRACTICE – Once you have your gun, you are going to want to become competent and proficient shooting, and the only thing that gets you there is PRACTICE PRACTICE, PRACTICE!  Range fees vary, but most that we have seen offer reasonable rates.  They will charge you by the hour, per lane.  Some ranges offer unlimited time, and some require reservations, we suggest you check the website or call the range prior to going to get an idea of how they operate in your area.   ($20 / month)

EYE AND EAR PROTECTION – In addition to fees associated with the range itself, you’ll need some basic range gear – Eye Protection, Ear Protection, and targets.  The range on pricing and quality is vast here, basic eye and ear packages can be less than $20.  Go to the range and look at what people are wearing these days and you will notice high quality eyewear along with ELECTRONIC EAR PROTECTION – earmuffs that actually amplify sound EXCEPT for the actual gunshots!  These can get pricey – over $150 in some cases, but the comfort and quality of many models out there come in below $100 and even $50.  ($20 – $200)  Click here to buy quality ear and eye protection.

TARGETS are available at all ranges, but you can save by buying online, printing your own  ($25- $200)

EXTRA MAGAZINES – we recommend that you get several magazines in addition to those that you actively carry or have staged at home.  This is especially critical at the range or during private lessons, you will be doing magazine changes and going through plenty of ammo.  You do not want to be the one guy that is always reloading the 2 magazines (or one) that came with the purchase. ($50 – $200)


AMMUNITION – this beaks down to 2 types that you should have on hand – personal defense ammo, and range ammo.  Defensive ammunition is more expensive as most are designed and created to fragment, spread, and cause damage as they hit human  tissue.  You should carry this type of ammo, and it is wise to shoot it with your carry weapon, and to have an extra box on hand.  Range ammo is what you will feed your pistol as you become accustomed to shooting it.  It is less expensive and best to buy in bulk.  AMMO LINK TO PARTNER HERE  How much ammunition should you have for your firearm?  That is a subjective question, but most people like the round number of 1,000 rounds per firearm.  That covers practice and SHTF for most!  ($100- $400)


CCW LICENSE – When you make the decision to carry daily, you’ll want to be legal within the state you live in.  MOST CCW permits require a fee, FBI Background check fees, and proof of attending an appropriate safety class.

TIME – From online research, to watching videos and attending classes, practice days at the range, and dry fire practice at home, it is important to remember the TIME commitment that you are making in order to become a proficient, SAFE gun carrier!  Being  gun carrier is your right and your responsibility, but also requires an incredible amount of time to do it the right way.  We are talking life and death here, cutting corners is not allowed!

This is in no way the comprehensive list of things you will need!  If you plan on carrying daily, you should also consider a proper carry belt and the right CLOTHING that will suit your need to conceal your pistol. Lastly,  you want to consider accessories to hold the magazines, an EDC knife and or keychain, etc. etc.

The bottom line is that a $500 firearm will cost you at least $1000 if you are committed to doing it the right way.  Having this list of additional costs in your head before you buy should help you be better prepared for what lies ahead.

What did we miss?  Is there anything else that you can think of that is a cost when buying a gun?  Let us know below!