Skip to comments.Self-defense Gun/Weapon Safety and Training Discussion
Posted on 10/14/2012 9:35:04 AM PDT by A Navy Vet
Thinking about all the new gun owners out there, I thought this might be a good time to discuss gun/ammo facts, safety issues, training, and legalities within Fedgov and various State laws.
This thread should also include various other self-defense items, such as: pepper spray, tazers/stun guns, batons (including extendable), other material items, and various forms of Martial Arts (including Krav Maga).
You need not say what you own, but your input regarding self-defense would be appreciated. Thank you.
I would like to sign up for a class to boost my confidence level. I just need to sign up and do it.
The mindset to protect you and yours covers many sins.
Be sure to include the offensive stuff.
The best defense is knowing who to kill first.
Good subject. If I may suggest a book for the thread, that would be “On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society” by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, on what its like to kill some one. Its quite sobering for those who carry. (it’s available in many public libraries)
1. What's my budget because that will affect how much that can be spent.
2. What's my skill level: beginner, average, advanced.
3. What kind of action: Pistols — revolver or semi-auto; Shotgun — pump or semi-auto; Rifle — bolt action, lever action, pump action, or semi-auto.
4. Is this a gun I can shoot well and does it fit me? Does it work for my spouse or significant other? If not, what does?
5. Does it take easily found ammunition and not odd or hard to find calibers? [I recommend calibers that are loaded for both the military and civilian markets.]
6. What's the reputation of the firearm as a “go to war” gun? That is, how well has it stood up to abuse and neglect in the field and still kept functioning?
Short list of “go to war” guns:
Pistols: Revolvers — Any S&W or Colt .38 Special or .357 Mag [lots of ex-police guns to choose from]. Semi-autos — M1911-series, Browning P35 High Power, Walther P.1, Sig Sauer, Glock, or Springfield XD-series.
Shotguns: Pumps — Ithaca Model 37, Winchester 1300 Defender, Mossberg 500-series or Maverick 88-series, Remington Model 870. Semiauto — Saiga 12, Benelli M4.
Rifles: Bolt action — WW2 main battle rifle in .30-06, 7.62x54R, or 7.92x57; Savage Model 10 or 110; Remington Model 700. Semiauto: AK-clone; AR-clone; M1A/M14/M1; FN FAL-clone; HK G3/91-clone.
Suggestions requested.... It’s been a long, long time since I did any shooting. Effectively, I’m considering myself as having never shot before.I’m looking for a good place to take a gun safety course and range to practice on. Not sure what I want to purchase yet, probably a pistol for home protection. Maybe later a shotgun.
Any ideas about placed to learn and practice in Orange County California?
Carrying a firearm is a deep commitment. Some people I know got excited about CCW until they experienced carrying daily.
Now they treat it as an impediment, and throw it under the seat or glove box or just stopped carrying daily.
The criminal scum NEVER take a day off. Your self protection shouldn’t either.
Remember, “I was in fear of my life (or anothers) and I need to speak with my lawyer.”
New handgun owner (less than 2 months). SA XDM 3.8 Compact .40. I am looking at getting the Remington 870 also (if I can figure out which version), and probably a Ruger .22LR of some type.
I'll start off:
1. A gun is ALWAYS loaded! No exceptions! If someone hands you a gun, you IMMEDIATELY check to see if loaded. It doesn't matter if he just did same unless a firing range professional. If you don't know how to check for load, do NOT take physical possession;
2. NEVER EVER put your finger on the trigger until you are seconds away from firing;
3. NEVER EVER point a gun at anyone for any reason, even if inadvertently. Always be aware of the direction of the barrel. If learning, point the weapon down if no other safe direction exists.
There are other rules that the National Rifle Association discusses on their website, but they may not apply to home defense, such as keep your gun unloaded. Check their site for other safety and training protocol.
My next post will be about handling a pump shotgun, arguably the most common home defense weapon.
Top 10 Gun Safety Tips:
10. Always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction. Such as at a hippy or a commie.
9. Dumb children may get a hold of your guns and shoot each other. If your children are dumb, put them up for adoption to protect your guns.
8. No matter how responsible he seems. Never give your gun to a monkey.
7. If guns make you nervouse. Drink a bottle of whiskey before heading to the range.
6. When unholstering your weapon. It’s customary to say “Excuse me while I whip this out”
5. Don’t load your gun unless you are ready to shoot something or are just feeling angry.
4. If your gun misfires, never look down the barrel. Have someone else do it for you.
3. Never use your gun to pistol whip someone. It could mar the finish.
2. No matter how excited you are about buying your first gun. Never run around yelling “I HAVE A GUN. I HAVE A GUN.”
1. And the most important rule of gun safety. DON’T MAKE ME MAD!
I did such recently and feel much more confident. Like they say, "practice makes perfect" unless you can't shoot the broad side of a barn...haha!
After completing the basic CCW class, then I think the Tactical level training course would really boost & benefit my confidence level.
I think finding a place such as the link below would be a great place to start with multiple courses available to take your training to a level you feel comfortable with.
I'm still trying to figure out what make/model of rifle I want that handles 5.56 ammo. I don't need extreme accuracy, just something I can put an average scope on to reach past my 870 and Sig. Got cost effective suggestion? I'm thinking an AR-15 variant.
I live in CA and they require a bullet button to release the magazine. I've seen legal get arounds for the pin that can be installed, but still limited to 10 round mags (sigh). Is bolt better for defense or is that mostly sniper stuff, which I'm not?
Does anyone know how to check for left or right eye dominance when you shoot? I heard some guys talking about it at Boy Scout camp this weekend and thought it was an interesting topic since I have never heard of it before.
Getting back to your rifle, you might consider an SKS [fixed magazine] in 7.62x39. Ammunition is both cheap and plentiful. The SKS is fast to reload with stripper clips, accurate, and the 7.62x39 is more of a stopper than the .223 Rem/5.56 NATO, plus the SKS does not look like an evil black rifle (EBR). [Civilian-type replacement furniture (stock and handguard) are available to make it even less threatening looking.]
I have a Russian SKS and I love it. You'll have to check what the law is as to what features are CA legal on the SKS, but because it is more “conventional” looking than either the AK or AR, you should be better off. There are also extended mags designed to replace the untegral 10-round magazine of the SKS. Removal of the 10-round magazine and follower and replacement with the 30-round magazine is easily done.
Hold your arm straight out in front of you at head level. Stick your thumb straight up. Close your left eye and use your right eye to look past your thumb at something across the room. Without moving your head or thumb, close your right eye and open your left eye. If your thumb "jumps" when you switch to your left eye, you are right eye dominant. If not, switch back to your right eye. If the thumb "jumps" you are left eye dominant.
Most people are right eye dominant.
Re: 8. No matter how responsible he seems. Never give your gun to a monkey.
Especially if it is a Rage Monkey!!
Also, wanted to let know others there are less lethal and legal means out there to protect themselves for those can't conceal or open carry.
Check out: Stun Guns, Tazers, Pepper Spray
I own a couple of legal stun guns, but thinking about getting a tazer as I get older. Just don't care for their size. The Knuckle Blasters sit in your fingers like brass knuckles and pretty much impossible to dislodge from you hand. Once in hand, you push a lever up and when ready squeeze with your index finger. Very handy (pun intended) and reliable and small. The site has other pen sized stun guns and other...
I will walk away if confronted, but if the dipshit keeps coming, he's getting some 900,000 volts. Yup, that's the correct amount. For those who are concerned about feed back through the attacker's body, it doesn't happen no matter what Hollywood says. Although, since it's so close to your body it has the disadvantage of you touching yourself.
Further, while talking with friends at a party of older folks about self-defense, I pulled my Knuckle Blaster out of my pant pocket, pushed the safety lever up, and let it blast. They old jumped back! People have come to hear stun gun crackling and the site of the arc like they hear a pump shotgun being racked.
The mindset to protect you and yours covers many sins.
Dude, are you from Cali? Links for Freepers who reside in Mexifornia would be great who intend to purchase firearms as I have east coast relatives who think we can’t own guns here..
No worries. He already has his own.
-If you are going to concealed carry, carry in a method you can live with.
-Make sure your guns are clean and in working order- I know of at least one man whose gun stopped after the first shot because it was quite literally clogged with pocket lint- fortunately he was shooting at a dog who sneered and ran away.
-When choosing working guns, be sure to select them based on 1. Their intended use; 2. Their reliability; 3. Ammunition availability.
- If a fight comes, be as calm, deliberate, and implacable as possible. Be full of a terrible resolve, engage and kill the enemy. Make your peace with God and the law afterward.
- Don’t go looking for a fight just because you have a gun. It doesn’t make you bulletproof, immune to being killed, or smarter than other people.
- If you have kids, teach them to use the guns you own, the proper context for doing so, and the ethos of gun ownership/use that you adhere to. If they are worthy to bear arms, then they should do so when you deem them ready- I’d say about age 12 or so.
Big fan of the Remington 1100 20 Gauge. Easy for women with small fingers to load the shells, and a fun gun for us guys to shoot cans, skeet, etc. outdoors.
Also a good gun to teach other household members how to shoot. It is not as likely to leave a bruise on your shoulder (less recoil than 20 gauge), or leave your ears ringing - although I would practice with ear-plugs anyhow.
Sometimes the “boom” of the 12 gauge frightens the first-time user and they become afraid of ever using a gun again. Not good if you are not home and they need to feel confident about defending the family.
My dog will not flinch when I shoot the 20 gauge but does not like it and barks when I fire the 12 gauge, if that helps anyone shopping.
Now before you tell me about stopping power of a 12 gauge versus 20 gauge, I suggest you do some modern research online. I prefer my wife hit the perp, not the doorway, dog, or bookcase behind the burglar. And do you really think a home invader is going to care what size pellets just ripped through his flesh?
Finally, the 20 gauge is great at putting food on the table if you ever needed to be self-sufficient. Not much meat gets damaged if you hunt for quail, turkey, similar game.
Just a viewpoint and by no means is a 12 gauge not a fine shotgun. Buy what you have confidence to use with accuracy, not what is considered cool by the gangsters.
If you are going to carry, you should consider one of the pocket pistols, like the Ruger LPC, so that the gun is not a large, heavy burden to carry.
You might want to consider the S&W Military & Police 15/22 for the 22. It’s enough of a bad-looking gun that it might save you from having to actually shoot it in anger.....
Maybe the trunk monkey could use it....
As far as “Martial Arts” is concerned. Kelly McCann has a unique take on it. A martial art is something you do with someone, self defense or self offense as he calls it (combatives) is something you do to someone. Mindset is everything. Situational awareness and pre-emption will take you a long way
Unlike the M1 Garand with its enbloc clip containing the ammo that is inserted into the rifle, the SKS is loaded from a 10-round [reusable] stripper clip into the rifle's integral magazine. On the last shot, the bolt carrier locks to the rear and a new stripper clip of 10-rounds is inserted into the clip guide for reloading the magazine. Once the magazine is loaded, the empty stripper clip is removed and the bolt is closed to chamber the top round in the magazine.
The SKS was designed to operate with minimal care and to resist the effects of ammunition with corrosive primers. The bolt carrier, bolt assembly, barrel chamber and bore, and gas piston and tappet are all chrome plated. This adds a great deal of reliability to the rifle under extreme field conditions.
Iron sights on the SKS are primitive by modern standards. The rear sight is adjustable for range only and incorporates a 250-meter battle sight setting. Fine elevation changes are accomplished by screwing the front sight up or down; windage by pushing the adjusting slide right or left.
Mounting optics on the SKS is a challenge. There are replacement rear covers with blocks attached for scopes. I have one of these but the eye relief is too short for me and attachment is not secure enough to retain the scope's zero in my opinion. The best way to mount optics is replace the upper handguard with a aftermarket rail. You can use a long eye relief scope or a red dot sight. [I think the red dot is superior, but that;s just my opinion.] Alternatively, there is a rail system that replaces the rear sight, but now you're stuck with no backup sight if the optic is damaged.
Rule #1 - gun beats no gun
If you left it at home, it is no use to you. Carry means you need to actually carry. A .50 hand cannon might be fun to shoot but it sucks as a carry gun.
Rule #2 - bullet that hits, beats bullet that misses
Only carry the gun you can shoot accurately. A .22 that hits beats a .44 magnum that misses.
Rule #3 - He who shoots first usually shoots last.
Carry only in an accessible manner. If you cant get it out and aim accurately and fire in less than 2 seconds you will likely loose in a gun battle.
Rule #4 - A stationary target is easy to hit. Learn to shoot and move, shoot and move
Rule #5 - The best guns and ammunition will eventually fail. Learn to clear stoppages rapidly.
Rule #6 - Even the best gun fights go bad for someone. Learn how to respond to gun shot wounds
“Monkey. Rage Monkey.” - with apologies to Ian Fleming.
Except for a few "lucky" ones like me that are right handed (partly) and left eye dominant. It can get a little confusing.
I switched to shooting left handed with long guns about a year ago & got an improvement, but I still devote some practice time right handed.
Marksmanship with handguns seems pretty close to equal between R & L, although I have to close my left eye to shoot right handed.
My daughter said when she was in the police academy they were expected to become reasonably proficient with the non dominant side as well.
Being proficient shooting with one’s non-dominant hand and eye is of value to police officers. We had to practice it at every range qualification (monthly) back in the day.
Kahr CW9 (or P9 if you have a little more cash to spend). A very nice concealed carry for a man & also easier to shoot for a woman with smaller hands.
It is very light (15 oz with empty mag). The CW9 is a single stack 9mm pistol with a polymer frame and stainless steel slide and barrel, and considered quite accurate for a 3.5" barrel.
Youtube is a good place to see professional reviews of various guns.
This seems to be how to do it: [I just checked with my son who trained for the US Olympic rifle team and he said this is how they did it]; To check your eye dominance, with both eyes open, point a finger at an object in the distance. Close first one eye then the other. The one that stays in line with the finger is your dominant eye.
Most people who are right-handed also have a dominant right eye, but not always. Some people are cross-dominant, meaning they are left-handed with a dominant right eye or vice-versa.
I silver soldered a rear peep sight onto my SKS. It shoots as well as I do.
It shoots better than I do if one of the young second cousins with good eyes and a steady hand is shooting it. ;)
Will it have similar accuracy and add-on ability as the Ruger?
Yes. What I have for a stuffinthepocket is an Astra in 380 - a bit fatter than a walther but still good.
But if I was buying an alltime carry gun today, I’d probably have a look at one of the really small 38 snubs.
I really want Texas to get open, Constitutional carry.
Williams Gun Sight Co. makes W/E adjustable aperture and square notch replacements for the standard SKS. There is also a fiber optic Fire Sight front sight blade for the Williams rear sights. A W/E adjustable ghost ring rear sight called the Mojo Sight is available to replace the standard SKS rear. Last, there is the Tech Sight TS200 that attaches to the back of the SKS receiver using the take down lever holes for the attaching bolt for the sight bracket. The problem I see for this sight is you're likely to change the zero if you remove/install the sight to strip the rifle.
Bottom line: an aperture sight is a very desirable improvement for the SKS iron sights.
The peep sight makes the SKS much better. If the dead feral pig in the freezer could testify, he would agree. I'd rather take the SKS for pig plinking than my sweet tack-driver .22-250. I don't have to worry about the finish, bumping the scope, or do mil-dot calcs in my head.
I find the rifle good to 300 meters on a man-sized paper target, most of the pigs I've taken have been within 50 meters.
My young cousin, the competition shooter, can do much better with it.
I sold my AK style to help pay for culinary school. I'm still happy with that sale.
I am entering this thread as a ‘60-ish’ military veteran, with medical caveats, that I will insert as I go.
Home defense: Check your state laws, to see if they reflect the current trend of “Castle laws”, or that require you to ‘retreat to the last defenseable position’, before using a firearm, inside your home, BEFORE, you purchase a firearm.
For this purpose, some say a shotgun. It has been proven at home defense operating distances, a 20 gauge shotgun can do as well as a 12 gauge shotgun, preferably a pump design ... most reliable, and good for both left or right handed folks. Mas Ayoob has a video demonstrating this on YouTube.
For the rest of the folks, they, and I, would choose a handgun. Now, herein lies the quicksand! I accept that there are all sorts of calibers, in either revolvers or semi-automatics, (almost as many as a full deck of cards), and it is a matter of personal choice. I have both semi-automatics, and revolvers. Some new, and some I happened upon at a very good price, for me. I have both 9mm Luger (there are other 9mm’s in existence), and .38 Special chambered firearms. As they are designed, both calibers perform ‘as advertised’.
Now, semi-automatics have a few more ‘bells-and-whistles’, compared to revolvers. The ‘manual of arms’ is a little more intricate, and ‘oopsy’, for new shooters, than for revolvers. (BTDT!) They are wonderful pieces of machinery, and some have an intrinsic beauty to them. The newer generations of blocky black plastic, er, polymer framed semi-automatics, do not have the appeal of a nice looking Colt 1911A1, or it’s brother, the Browning Hi Power, to me. Different guns designed in a different age and time.
Revolvers ... you shoot one, you can any other manufacturer’s revolver, unlike a semi-automatic. Sleepy head GI’s have grabbed their issued Smith and Wesson or Colt revolver, while on perimeter, in years past, and were at the ready, as would anyone in a house that was just broken into, from a sound sleep would be. There is a saying that a revolver was an original point-and-click device. I was one of those GI’s long on sleep walking the base perimeter with a Smith and Wesson issued to me. Revolvers can hold 5, 6, or 8 rounds in the cylinder, depending on the design and caliber. Those chambered for .38 Special are either 5 or 6 round design. Revolvers come in a 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 inch barrel length. The Colt Python (not a ‘budget gun’) can be found with an 8 inch barrel. Snub nose revolvers can be found from quite a few gun makers. They are handy, kick real good in some calibers or gun weights, and are employed as house guns across the nation. If you choose a snub nose revolver, spend a little more time at the range since they take a little more than a ‘standard length barreled’ revolver.
Why a 9mm, Terry? Why a .38 special, Terry? Why not a magnum caliber, or a ‘simple .22 caliber’, Terry?
I started with 9mm, because I bought a snub nose revolver chambered for 9mm Luger, that was manufactured in 1993. I qualified with that revolver for my CHL, too. I, then, found a few semi-automatics, some brand names I knew, also in 9mm Luger. They shoot well, and work flawlessly, when the ammunition of choice is correct. That is something you will have to figure out. Each firearm reacts differently to all the choices of loadings within caliber! That can be a Murphy Moment when you need it least!
For .38 Special, i was in my local armorer’s shop, and saw this Smith and Wesson revolver. I found out it was the same kind that I had carried on perimeter duty. I bought it, and like all things of kind, somehow ‘another one or two followed me home’.
As to .22 caliber handguns, they have their place, other than when I read in The New York Post of the Gambino Wars. Maybe that’s why they are low on my list?
Take any NRA-sanctioned class that a local gun range is offering, or what the Sheriff’s Office advertises. Knowledge is life, in these regards.
For any books, I would recommend reading anything that can be found by the late Col.’s Applegate, Cooper or Fairbairn, or Bill Jordan.
For videos, look up ‘Clint Smith’, or ‘Hickok45’ on YouTube.
I would suggest that you also read these gunboards - The Firing Line and The High Road. A lot of knowledge to pick through in their archives.
For any “newbies” if you get a hollywood style shotgun, like shown in the picture, Never attempt to shoulder and aim it...you’ll literally knock your eye out. Call me old fashion but get a shotgun that you can properly shoulder and aim correctly. With a shotgun, you can use all kinda of ammo. Birdshot, buckshot a slugs...good all around weapon. Go take professional lessons and practice, practice, practice.
I’m fortunate that I have a friend who has a machine shop in his garage and we can build just about anything. However, for guys who don’t have this luxury, it’s good that there are inexpensive aftermarket sights available.
I’ve always been a fan of the aperture sight for precise shooting over the conventional open hunting sight. A good aperture focuses the eye to make a better and more precise shot. Hits are what count and not near misses.