Choosing a weapon for defence needs, can be a rather perplexing task, for the first time buyer. It is indeed a responsibility in owning any firearm, and which should not be viewed lightly , especially with the legal requirements one must adhere to, before the SA Police will favorably motivate any application. Once the decision has been taken, the first step is to contact any reputable gun shop, to view the price range, and availability to suit your immediate and future needs.
As the application will entail an interview with the Police, fingerprints etc, the process is onerous and time consuming, we would recommend that only reputable brands are considered. It makes little sense in choosing a weapon simply based on price, only to find out in six months or so, a better make should have been bought. A weapon should be a lifetime purchase, and with this in mind, only reputable brands should be considered. As a rule of thumb, the best brands come out of the USA and Europe viz Smith & Wesson, Colt etc from the USA, and Beretta, Browning, H&K from Europe. The second level with regard to quality come from South America ( eg Taurus ) and the last to be considered are makes from China and some CIS countries like Hungary etc.
Pistol or Revolver ? This is a matter of personal choice, and there are pro's and con's for both models. Pistols usually carry more ammunition ( 8 rounds + ) whereas revolvers are normally limited to 5 or 6 rounds . Pistols are flatter and easier to carry concealed, whereas revolvers tend to be bulkier due to the profile of the cylinder that houses the ammunition. Pistols should be double action like revolvers, and single action pistols should only be considered for the more experienced user. Double action means that the first shot can be initiated when the pistol is safe with the hammer down, much like any revolver. For the ladies, we would almost always recommend a revolver. We say this because almost always, any unprovoked attack takes place with such speed, that the person should be able to draw their revolver, and fire almost immediately, whereas with a pistol, if it has not been loaded with a round in the chamber etc. The ideal woman's gun would be a .38 Special Smith & Wesson, which comes in various options ( Blue , stainless steel , Ultralite etc ) For the male gender, any double action pistol with a magazine capacity of 10 rounds + with a minimum caliber of 9mm Short or 9mm Para, eg Smith & Wesson Model 6904 in 9mm Para.
Once the choice has been made, we ( the dealer ) will require full payment. An application form with all the firearms details, serial number etc, will be given to the buyer. This application form, together with a Certificate of Competency will be required by the police officer who will handle your application. NB all applicants must only apply at Police stations , nearest their home.
Certificates of Competency should at all possible, be done with the same type of firearm being purchased. Unless the applicant has not motivated the application properly, there is no reason why anyone should be refused a licence, unless of course there are any previous convictions.The Police will also insist on the applicant having a suitable safe, to SABS specifications. We can recommend various sizes and types, all acceptable by the authorities .
Only once the application has been approved, may the dealer release or send you the firearm (door to door secure delivery ), whereupon ammunition and any other accessories can be purchased.