Fit, Quality & Value of Guns Over Caliber, Options & Power

Posted by Team Springfield

Jul 15, 2014 9:00:00 AM

Whether looking for concealed carry pistols or the best 9mm, these four qualities emerge as the most important when shopping for the best guns.

At Springfield Armory®, we’re often asked questions lke, “Are small pistols better for women?” or “I want a gun with power, which one should I get?” While these issues are important, many available calibers are capable of meeting your needs. The most important factors when selecting firearms are reliability, shootability, accuracy, and durability. 

11 Things To Consider When Buying a Firearm        


Whether you’re using a pistol for self-defense, sport, or recreation, you want it to shoot every time the trigger is pulled - every single time. If it doesn’t, you could lose a competition, miss your chance at hitting a target, or - even worse - lose your life in a self-defense situation. A reliable firearm can mean the difference between life and death, so your personal handguns need to be extremely reliable.


Contrary to popular belief,  bigger  doesn’t always mean better. Also called human engineering, a gun’s “shootability” refers to your level of comfort when holding the firearm. Does it fit well in your hand? Is it easy to control? Is it suitable for your purpose? These factors are second only to reliability. If you plan to purchase, it’s a good idea to practice regularly at the range. Your overall comfort level with a firearm will help determine the best model. Remember, the more you practice and use it, the more comfortable you will become. 


Firearms must also be accurate. Depending on your intended use, the accuracy of a gun will vary, based on a number of factors. For example, a larger model designed for competition may shoot tighter groups than a pocket pistol. Though perhaps not as “impressive” as larger models, small handguns are more than effective in a self-defense situation. The term suitably accurate comes into play. The precise design and manufacture of a firearm will contribute to its accuracy and most are far more accurate than is necessary.


Durability is a measure of your firearm’s ability to “take a licking and keep on ticking.” A combination of quality, maintenance, and use can contribute to a handgun’s longevity. Even with the best of care and proper maintenance, some guns last longer than others. Before making a purchase decision, carefully review durability comparisons between different models.

Choosing the Best Handgun

Regardless of what a salesman might say, choosing the best pistol is about reliability, human engineering, accuracy, and durability as opposed to caliber, power, and custom options. When shopping for the right gun, these four attributes are the most important to consider and with proper maintenance and care, the right pistol will operate optimally for many, many years to come.

Are you looking for a product with all four qualities? Use our Explore by Purpose tool to find the one that fits your needs. 

Springfield Armory® recommends you seek qualified and competent training from a certified instructor prior to handling any firearm and be sure to read your owner’s manual.  These articles are considered to be suggestions and not recommendations from Springfield Armory®.