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Try Before You Buy!

Try Before You Buy

There are a lot of firearms out on the market these days. This can be a little over whelming. What’s worse, few gun shops and ranges have a large selection of firearms that allow to you to try them out before you buy them.  Would you go to a car dealer ship, sit in a car and then just buy it? Probably not, you’d most likely want to take the car out for a test drive, and get a feel for it before deciding to purchase it.  Kodiak Firing Range & Training Facility provides a large selection (currently over 100 guns and growing) of rentals to do just that.


Choosing the Right Firearm for you.

So how do we choose the right firearm? The guide below can help.

What is the purpose of the Firearm?

Why are you buying the firearm? Is it for personal protection, home defense, a range gun, a competition gun, or for hunting?  There are many reasons to own a firearm.  Figure out which goal or goals you are looking to achieve.

Do the Research

Read reviews, watch YouTube videos, and see what the experts are saying about the guns that are designed for your purpose. You can also ask local instructors or gun shops on their opinions on what guns they like or use the most. If you do ask a gun shop, be careful that they are not trying to push you into a gun that makes them the most money. One of the things that we pride ourselves here at Kodiak is honest advice on what fits the needs of the shooter. The best thing to do is to get your information from a variety of sources. This will help filter out biasedness and paid for advertising on a particular firearm.

Get Training

I cannot stress this enough. If you have never taken a class, I’d highly recommended doing so before you purchase your first firearm. If the firearm is a range gun, take a Basic Pistol, Shotgun, or Rifle Course. If the firearm is for personal protection, take a Home Defense, Defensive Pistol, Defensive Shotgun, or Carbine Course. If the firearm is for competition shooting go to an IDPA, USPSA, or 3-Gun match and see how it’s done and what competitors are using.  This will help to educate you on what gun is best for your purpose.

Try Before you buy

There is nothing worse than buying a firearm you don’t like because of the way it shoots. You’ve invested your hard earned money only to be disappointed. Instead, visit a gun range that has the firearms that you have found in your research and/or training. A lot of times we like the look and feel of a firearm but hate the way it shoots. Get out and shoot some rounds down range and get familiar with the firearm before buying it.


After following these guidelines you should be able to find the firearm that is suited to you.  Head over to your favorite gun shop/range and pick it up. Ask the gun shop about warranties and see if the gun shop is willing to help you with the firearm if there are any issues with it.


“We Sell Education, Not Just Guns!”

About the Writer

John E. Pemberton
Manager/Chief Instructor





John has taught tactical and personal defense skills for over 10 years. He is currently the Manager and Chief Instructor for Kodiak Firing Range. He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps with over 5 years of service in which he served as a Team Leader for Signals Intelligence and as a First Degree Black Belt instructor for the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP).  John also holds Black Belts in Karate-Do and JuJitsu.

He is also the Owner and Chief Instructor for Spartan Dynamics LLC, a company dedicated to providing realistic and practical personal protection in unarmed and armed defense. He is open-minded, and constantly evolving to more efficient and more effective methodologies for personal defense.  John is also a graduate of several tactical and personal defense programs some of which include, MAG-40 with Massad Ayoob, Extreme Close Quarter Concepts (ECQC) and Edged Weapons Overview (EWO) with Shivworks’ Craig Douglas and Paul Sharp and is an NRA Instructor in multiple disciplines.

Posted by John E. Pemberton

John E. Pemberton

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