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Many people also like to collect firearms for their historic or cultural values. Others take great pride in collecting and repairing/restoring unique or historic firearms as a way to show their skills or special interests.

There are many different types of firearms. Some are designed for specific purposes, while others can be used for multipurpose shooting or hunting. Collectible firearms can lose value after being shot, or antique firearms may be in a state or condition they can not safely be fired. If there is any question about the condition of a firearm, it should be examined by a gunsmith.

Consider the stressful atmosphere of a self-defense situation and the need for accuracy at close range—some firearms are a better choice in this situation. For instance, for home self-defense, a primary pump shotgun that uses birdshot may be a wise choice. For personal defense outside the home, a beginner may choose a revolver, as many feel it is easier to handle safely than a semi-automatic that takes much more training and practice to handle safely in a stressful situation.

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