n my opinion, anybody who does not currently possess a handgun would be well advised to start with a .22LR revolver or auto-loader. As I have written before, a .22 is the most economical (I hate the word: “Cheap!”) gun to shoot. There is plenty of .22 ammo around for less than $20 per 500 rounds. This means that there is no reason not to go out and get plenty of practice. I think that there will definitely be a place in a survivalist’s battery for a few .22LR handguns. And, it is a good place to start.
I always have felt that a revolver is a better choice for a first time gun owner. You can load it and leave it that way. It is always loaded and ready to go. All of the springs are “at ease." Then all you need to do to fire it is pull the trigger. In my humble opinion it the best gun to start with. Later, after lots of practice, the new shooter can consider semi auto handguns--again in .22LR.
There are a number of well made .22 revolvers available. Makes such as Ruger, Smith and Wesson, Charter and Taurus-among others-are readily acceptable for the beginner. There are only two types of revolvers-single action that must have the hammer cocked manually every shot, and double action, where you can just pull the trigger, OR, cock the hammer by hand to shoot it. I prefer the double action for serious business, but the single action (generally based on the old cowboy Colt Army revolver of 1873) is fun to shoot. The single action would be adequate to hunt and practice with, but for self defense, the double action is better.
Revolvers generally are made to hold 6 shots. However, some are made to hold more-some as many as 9 or 10. The higher capacity guns are generally double action.
I often have people ask me “What is the most accurate ammunition?" Actually, there is no way to answer that. Every gun is slightly different. With any firearm, it is necessary to try a number of different types of ammo to learn which is best for your individual weapon. Once you figure out which ammo works best in your particular gun, then stick with that brand and load up with it. .22 ammo is cheap enough that everybody should be able to accumulate several thousand rounds. I believe that the .22 will be the most used caliber if TSHF.