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Choose the Right Gun
King Features Syndicate ^ | 11/12/03 | Charley Reese

Posted on 11/09/2003 9:08:06 PM PST by WoofDog123

Choose The Right Gun

If you saw the recent video of "Old Mr. Grump" shooting the "Lucky Lawyer" in Los Angeles, you can learn a valuable lesson about which firearm to choose for self-defense.

The press rarely reports what kinds of guns are used in crimes, and usually gets it wrong when it tries. Nevertheless, I have concluded Mr. Grump used a .22-caliber pistol. Otherwise, the Lucky Lawyer would not have remained on his feet for so long.

Now, a .22, a .25 and a .32 will kill you, provided the bullet strikes a vital organ. Sometimes the person will bleed to death if the wounds are not treated promptly. But in a self-defense situation, you will not be comforted by the fact that your assailant bled to death an hour after he cut your throat or blew your brains out. And, as Mr. Grump demonstrated on camera, hitting a vital organ is not that easy for an untrained pistolero.

By the way, the numbers used to describe bullets refer to the diameter of the bullet. We use the English system, the Europeans use the metric system, but the diameters are the same.

Most people who know anything about guns recommend as a minimum the .38 special, preferably the .38 Plus P with hollow-point bullets, for self-defense. I have always personally favored the .45, either the .45 ACP or the .45 Long Colt. Of course, the .40, the .357 Magnum, the .41 Magnum, the .44 special and .44 Magnum will also more than do the job, but there are disadvantages to those weapons.

Firing a .44 Magnum in a close room is likely to make your ears ring for weeks. There is also the danger that the bullet will pass through the assailant, through a wall and into some innocent person. After all, most of us no longer live in stone castles, but in places built with cheap wood and plasterboard.

I am not recommending that you run out and buy a hog leg for self-defense. That's too important a decision to be made on the basis of a newspaper column. If you are, however, thinking about it and you are not familiar with firearms, you must first do three things.

One, you have to prepare yourself psychologically to take a human life. It's one thing that can't be undone. As my father said repeatedly when he was teaching me to shoot, "After you kill somebody, it's too late to be sorry." And so it is. In a life-and-death confrontation, you can't afford to conduct a debate on whether to pull the trigger or not. So, if you can't visualize yourself killing a human being and then living with it, you're better off buying a can of pepper spray.

Two, you must learn the laws in your state regarding self-defense. They are both easy and tricky. It's easy in that the law states that if you, as a reasonable person, believe that you and/or another person are in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm, you can use whatever force is necessary to defend yourself. If you are inside your own home, you do not have to retreat.

Now the tricky part. Outside your home or place of business, if there is an escape route, you must take it. Even if someone walks up to you and spits in your face, slaps you or even punches you, you cannot whip out your gun and shoot the person. Killing for the sake of honor is no longer allowed in our decadent society — more's the pity, as it would greatly improve manners. Nor can you claim self-defense if you initiate the confrontation. For example, if you start a fistfight and your opponent whips out a knife or gun and you shoot him, that's not self-defense. Even in your own home or business, if the assailant turns tail, you cannot shoot him in the back and claim self-defense. If you plan to use a firearm for self-defense, you had better know the law, or you'll see the inside of a prison.

Third, you have to buy your gun and then practice diligently to become really proficient in its use, so proficient that you can use it in the dark when you're scared and caught by surprise.

And finally, a politically incorrect word of advice passed along to me years ago by a veteran cop: If you have to shoot somebody, make sure the judge will hear only your version of what happened. In other words, kill; otherwise, your assailant will probably sue you.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: bang; banglist; guns; reese
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I wonder if Charley's gun columns this week (see his 11/14 column too) are inspired by the West Palm Beach resident shooting the kid who rang his doorbell after midnight as a prank.

Freepers who dislike CReese for his Middle East political views flame away on this one...if you can.

1 posted on 11/09/2003 9:08:06 PM PST by WoofDog123
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To: WoofDog123
Actually, some of this is pretty sound advice.
2 posted on 11/09/2003 9:12:19 PM PST by basil
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To: WoofDog123
Anything less than a 10 guage loaded with #4 buck is kinda wimpy. If you must have a hand gun to keep in your coat pocket, try a .50 AE with decent hollow points; it'll usually get the job done with a few well placed shots.
3 posted on 11/09/2003 9:19:38 PM PST by templar
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To: WoofDog123
One, you have to prepare yourself psychologically to take a human life.

This is the point that gets missed by many gun buyers; when the time comes, they hesitate and wind up having their own gun used against them.

As my Daddy always said: "I'd rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6."

4 posted on 11/09/2003 9:22:41 PM PST by clee1 (Where's the beef???)
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To: WoofDog123
recommend as a minimum the .38 special

Reminds me of a book I read where a big man was confronted by a smaller man with a small pistol. He told him, "If you shoot me with that little thing and I find out about it I'm gonna get mad."

5 posted on 11/09/2003 9:23:31 PM PST by Holly_P
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To: WoofDog123
I got shot at the boxing matches in DC by what was probably a .25.

Went in one side came out the other; I spent four hours in the hospital, due to a blizzard and my sisters car breaking down on the way to pick me up.
6 posted on 11/09/2003 9:25:31 PM PST by opbuzz
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To: templar
A 10 gauge?

Most of those are antiques. 10 gauges only came back briefly a few years ago for waterfowl hunters who had to use steel shot per environmental regulations. Updated 12 gauge shells changed all that and sent the 10 gauges back to the museums.

7 posted on 11/09/2003 9:25:52 PM PST by The KG9 Kid (Semper Fi)
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To: WoofDog123
If you have to shoot somebody, make sure the judge will hear only your version of what happened. In other words, kill; otherwise, your assailant will probably sue you.

Same holds true for car accidents. "Wrongful death" is a lot cheaper than "pain and suffering".
8 posted on 11/09/2003 9:26:40 PM PST by July 4th
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To: July 4th
If you got to shoot, aim strait stand tall and keep a good lawyer available.
9 posted on 11/09/2003 9:31:11 PM PST by teancumspirit (Stand up for what you belive, or you will fall for anything.)
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To: WoofDog123
http://www.remington.com/ammo/ballistics/ballistics.htm

Above URL has good info on many types of bullets.
It includes rifle, pistol and shotgun shells.
10 posted on 11/09/2003 9:31:41 PM PST by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (CCCP = clinton, chiraq, chretien, and putin = stalin wannabes)
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To: The KG9 Kid
Updated 12 gauge shells changed all that and sent the 10 gauges back to the museums.

Not. Still quite popular and a variety of loads, buckshot, birdshot, slugs, are readily available. I Keep my 10 guage beside my bed with 3 1/2 inch #4 Buckshot loads in it. Been looking for an 8 guage (picked up some slug loads for one cheap a while back), but they seem to be pretty much obsolete. And I'd really, really like to get my hands on a 4 guage (I've only seen one and I've wanted one ever since. Looks a bit like a small recoilless rifle that needs to be mounted on a jeep or something). Now, a 4 guage is my idea of adequate home defense.

11 posted on 11/09/2003 9:35:14 PM PST by templar
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To: clee1
"This is the point that gets missed by many gun buyers; when the time comes, they hesitate.."

I am a instinct shooter with a pistol, I shoot better when I give no thought to the matter, point it, and blaze away. When it comes to aimed slow fire with a handgun, I am not that hot, but for quick reflex popping, I excel. And for that kind of work, nothing in MMHO can compare to my 1911A1 .45 ACP.

As my mind is made up beforehand on what to do when it comes to a confrontation with a perp, so I shall not be burdened by uncertainties of the conscience if such an occasion should arise.

12 posted on 11/09/2003 9:47:13 PM PST by Ursus arctos horribilis ("It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees!" Emiliano Zapata 1879-1919)
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To: templar
Weren't most 4 gauge guns punt guns? I thought they were used by market hunters to shoot rafts of ducks. Should you find one, I suggest not shooting it from the shoulder due to the recoil. From what I read, they caused the punt to move backward under recoil.

Happy hunting, and remember, beware the quantum duck - Quark! Quark!
13 posted on 11/09/2003 9:54:28 PM PST by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon liberty, it is essential to examine principles - -)
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To: WoofDog123
Freepers who dislike CReese for his Middle East political views flame away on this one...if you can.

Even a blind PIG finds an acorn now and then.....

14 posted on 11/09/2003 9:55:52 PM PST by glasseye
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To: WoofDog123
Nevertheless, I have concluded Mr. Grump used a .22-caliber pistol.

BS. Suddenly deciding a firearm had a distinctly different caliber in order to bolster an opinion isn't very bright.

15 posted on 11/09/2003 10:06:49 PM PST by Shooter 2.5
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To: *bang_list
Bang.
16 posted on 11/09/2003 10:09:38 PM PST by Shooter 2.5
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To: Ursus arctos horribilis
I am not so great w/ aimed pistol fire either, but I don't think any average citizen is any better. I am convinced that if a target is farther away than 15', you shouldn't be using a handgun anyway.

I was trained to instinct shoot, and I have been thru many LEO shoot/no shoot training sessions. I will not hesitate to use deadly force to protect innocent lives or my property.

I use a 16 gauge Browning autoloading shotgun loaded with #00 3" Mags for home defense, and my CCW piece is a .380 auto loaded w/ Black Talons staggered w/ Glaziers. I really like the .45 ACP, but I am a smaller fella, and the .45 is just too hard to conceal.

Yea though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no Evil, for I (or maybe my wife) am the most heavily armed SOB in the Valley!
17 posted on 11/09/2003 10:28:53 PM PST by clee1 (Where's the beef???)
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To: WoofDog123; MeeknMing; Mia T; PhilDragoo; ntnychik; potlatch; nopardons; dixiechick2000





18 posted on 11/09/2003 10:36:47 PM PST by autoresponder ( http://0access.web1000.com/seeBS.gif - NEW URL! : http://0access.web1000.com/h-i.gif)
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To: clee1
I have an EAA Witness in 9mm. I use Glaser +P with Cor-Bon +P hollowpoints behind them.

Your .380 with the Glaser and Black Talons should be OK, but here's a story about a .380 to keep in mind:

My (superb) CCW instructor considers anything below a .38 to be sub-caliber. He was on the fence about the .380, until a former student of his was assaulted. The perp stuck a gun in his face and demanded money. The guy couldn't draw his own pistol, so he handed over his wallet. The robber pulled the trigger to kill him anyway, but the pistol didn't fire! He racked it and pulled the trigger again, and the pistol still didn't fire. This allowed the fellow to draw his own weapon, which was a small .380 auto. (I don't know what kind of ammo.) He emptied it (7 rounds) at point-blank range into the robber's chest. The robber took off running, and only after covering about 40 yards did he slow down, slump to the ground, and die.

This convinced my instructor not to recommend the .380.

Again, I think with the loads you have you're OK, but bigger is always better, provided you can comfortably handle it.
19 posted on 11/09/2003 10:58:35 PM PST by gbunch (Go Jindal! (http://www.bobbyjindal.com) God bless our President and our troops.)
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To: The KG9 Kid; backhoe; Chapita
A 10 gauge?

Most of those are antiques. 10 gauges only came back briefly a few years ago for waterfowl hunters who had to use steel shot per environmental regulations. Updated 12 gauge shells changed all that and sent the 10 gauges back to the museums.

Not entirely.

Ithaca Roadblocker:

-archy-/-

20 posted on 11/09/2003 11:18:02 PM PST by archy (Angiloj! Mia kusenveturilo estas plena da angiloj!)
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To: WoofDog123

Gratuitous "Shoot your lawyer" photo.

21 posted on 11/09/2003 11:21:21 PM PST by martin_fierro (_____oooo_(____)_oooo_____)
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To: gbunch
I agree in principle. The .380 is marginal, but I am confident with the loading I use. It is not a question of "handling" a larger pistol, it's a matter of concealing it. I prefer to carry in an inside-the-belt holster in the small of my back so I can get to it quickly. I frequently carry it in places where you're not supposed to, and nobody knows it but me.

I get 7+1 rounds in a slightly larger than PPK package, w/ DA first shot for carry safety. I have been looking for a good 9mm/10mm/.40S&W in a small frame, but am unwilling to give up two rounds for a slightly larger bullet.

BTW, I consider .38 spec as sub caliber as well, if shot from a snub barrel. If I fire 7 shots at point-blank range, at least two of those will be head-shots: I doubt seriously that a perp is gonna run very far after that, regardless of bullet diameter. :)
22 posted on 11/09/2003 11:30:33 PM PST by clee1 (Where's the beef???)
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To: Ursus arctos horribilis
Refuse to attend a gun fight unless yhou have a weapon with a caliber of .40 or larger. A .45 ACP will do the job quite well. If you hit the center of mass the "Bad Guy" will go down and the energy of the bullet will be totally absorbed by the "BAD GUY"

This is good!

PS
Big fat slow bullets do it better!!!!
23 posted on 11/10/2003 12:15:47 AM PST by cpdiii (RPH, Oil field Trash and proud of it)
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To: cpdiii
yhou = you.
Jim Rob how about spell check for us key board impaired????
24 posted on 11/10/2003 12:20:31 AM PST by cpdiii (RPH, Oil field Trash and proud of it)
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Comment #25 Removed by Moderator

To: cpdiii
"how about spell check for us key board impaired"

http://www.iespell.com/
ieSpell - A Spell Checker for Internet Explorer

i donut uze them mysef-- two much overhed on my old pc...
26 posted on 11/10/2003 1:45:23 AM PST by backhoe (Just an old Keyboard Cowboy, ridin' the trakball into the Sunset...)
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To: Ursus arctos horribilis
And for that kind of work, nothing in MMHO can compare to my 1911A1 .45 ACP

If I had bought my Colt 1911A1 first, I would have a dozen fewer guns. I rarely even take the others to the range, any more. I used to think they were cult items.."What's the fuss about?".

Well, the fuss was about them being a classic, foolproof design combining accuracy, perfect functioning, and effectiveness.

27 posted on 11/10/2003 2:19:47 AM PST by Gorzaloon (Contents may have settled during shipping, but this tagline contains the stated product weight.)
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To: clee1
"I get 7+1 rounds in a slightly larger than PPK package, w/ DA first shot for carry safety. I have been looking for a good 9mm/10mm/.40S&W in a small frame, but am unwilling to give up two rounds for a slightly larger bullet."

Glock 26/27/33 with Milt Sparks Versa-Max II IWB, completely conceals and you get 10 rounds, 11 with one in the chamber.

Ed
28 posted on 11/10/2003 2:36:40 AM PST by Sir_Ed
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To: WoofDog123
"The press rarely reports what kinds of guns are used in crimes, and usually gets it wrong when it tries. Nevertheless, I have concluded Mr. Grump used a .22-caliber pistol. Otherwise, the Lucky Lawyer would not have remained on his feet for so long."

Bzzzzzt. Bad news Mr. Reese. The Mossad prefers the .22 and they are quite effective. It's the shooter that determines effectiveness, not the weapon.
29 posted on 11/10/2003 3:12:07 AM PST by Beck_isright (Socialists are like cockroaches. No matter how many die, 300 more are born under every cowpile.)
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To: WoofDog123
The shooter in LA used a .38 special.
30 posted on 11/10/2003 3:35:13 AM PST by CGTRWK
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To: templar
#4 shot is too small.

Use 0-0 Buck
31 posted on 11/10/2003 5:22:34 AM PST by Maelstrom (To prevent misinterpretation or abuse of the Constitution:The Bill of Rights limits government power)
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To: WoofDog123
If you have to shoot somebody, make sure the judge will hear only your version of what happened. In other words, kill; otherwise, your assailant will probably sue you.

This is actually a good article. I teach personal defense and will use this piece as one more item of information for my students.

These threads follow a pattern of becoming personal preferences per weapons best suited for self-defense. There is so often little realism in comments by gun enthusiasts who typically have no experience in confrontations and/or no meaningful training.

I like and shoot a 1911 A-1 in 45 ACP as much as the next enthusiast but I don't carry it concealed. Remember, the gun you have with you is worth far more than the 45 ACP you left at home.

Pick a small, lightweight gun and carry it concealed all the time. If you are on the street much, you WILL be glad for that 32 or 380! Also be sure you learn to use the gun you do carry.

32 posted on 11/10/2003 5:43:54 AM PST by toddst
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To: clee1
If I fire 7 shots at point-blank range, at least two of those will be head-shots:

This sounds good but rarely works out. Your attacker isn't likely to just stand there while you draw and fire. Based on work with students in self-defense situations where they face a moving opponent, few get any hits at all, let alone head shots.

If you haven't been through a demanding pistol training program, do so at your earliest convenience. I recommend Gunsite in Paulden, Arizona. Go, learn and increase your chance of surviving a confrontation unharmed.

33 posted on 11/10/2003 6:01:10 AM PST by toddst
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To: WoofDog123
A .44 might make your ears ring for a week, but my snub nose .357 rattles your teeth at the gun range. Even with ear protection it's LOUD.
34 posted on 11/10/2003 6:13:51 AM PST by stevio
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To: WoofDog123
This statement, which appears in the article, is true but not the whole truth:

In other words, kill; otherwise, your assailant will probably sue you.

What is left out is that it is not unheard of for the dead assailant's relatives to sue you.

And for goodness sake, never tell the police that you intended to kill your attacker. You only shot to stop him. Hopefully, none of us has blood lust.

35 posted on 11/10/2003 6:43:12 AM PST by OldPossum
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To: OldPossum
"In other words, kill; otherwise, your assailant will probably sue you."

CC: Tony Martin
36 posted on 11/10/2003 7:09:40 AM PST by WoofDog123
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To: Gorzaloon
If I had bought my Colt 1911A1 first, I would have a dozen fewer guns. .........classic, foolproof design combining accuracy, perfect functioning, and effectiveness.

Indeed!

37 posted on 11/10/2003 7:15:18 AM PST by Mr. Mojo
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To: gbunch; clee1
I believe the sights should always be used. If a person is far away, the sights should be used because no too many people havn't practiced for the years it takes to be able to hit a A zone without them.

If an armed person is close, that means that it's just as easy for them to hit you as it is for you to hit them. That means they have to be stopped immediately. Now. Not a second later. That means it's imperative that the central nervous systme has to be hit and hit hard. That still calls for the sights to be used. Especially if a minor caliber is used. The only target would be the eye sockets. That's grim but the truth. A minor caliber can't be trusted to penetrate the breast bone and then the spinal column.
38 posted on 11/10/2003 7:15:29 AM PST by Shooter 2.5
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To: Shooter 2.5
"Early morning spelling" bump.
39 posted on 11/10/2003 7:19:40 AM PST by Shooter 2.5
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To: Shooter 2.5
The only target would be the eye sockets. That's grim but the truth. A minor caliber can't be trusted to penetrate the breast bone and then the spinal column.

Generally I agree with you. However, even with a "minor" caliber I would first fire two shots to center-of-mass to be sure I've gotten hits. Either of the initial two shots may clip an artery or get the heart, in which case my attacker will go down pretty quickly.

Only after the first two center-of-mass shots would I go for head shots, hoping for the eyes. Stress, time and movement of my attacker make any head shot pretty iffy, in my experience.

40 posted on 11/10/2003 7:58:24 AM PST by toddst
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To: WoofDog123
Re your post 36, yes, it is true that the unfortunate Tony Martin was sued by at least one of the thugs who assaulted him, but even if he had killed all three, his troubles would not have ended there. It seems possible to me that if these criminals had relatives and if British law permitted and they had standing, they would have sued him.

The lawsuit(s?) were the least of his problems. His main problem was the government.
41 posted on 11/10/2003 8:01:52 AM PST by OldPossum
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To: cpdiii
A .45 ACP will do the job quite well. If you hit the center of mass the "Bad Guy" will go down and the energy of the bullet will be totally absorbed by the "BAD GUY"


You don't want to perpetuate the myth that a handgun bullet will "knock down" its recipient. The energy of impact is no greater than the energy the shooter absorbs on recoil.
42 posted on 11/10/2003 8:48:06 AM PST by Atlas Sneezed
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To: toddst
Pick a small, lightweight gun and carry it concealed all the time. If you are on the street much, you WILL be glad for that 32 or 380! Also be sure you learn to use the gun you do carry.


Indeed. That 32 still fills my pocket even when I am carrying a real gun on my belt.
43 posted on 11/10/2003 8:50:33 AM PST by Atlas Sneezed
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To: WoofDog123
10mm Sig-Sauer is my choice.
44 posted on 11/10/2003 8:53:34 AM PST by richtig_faust
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To: templar
Now, a 4 guage is my idea of adequate home defense.


I actually got to see one of those beasts about 20 years ago at a range, I thought the damn thing was a surface to air missle laucher. The shells for that damn thing were HUGE!!
45 posted on 11/10/2003 8:58:07 AM PST by richtig_faust
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To: Maelstrom
#4 shot is too small.

Use 0-0 Buck

#4 shot pellets are .129" dia., 135 count

#4 Buckshot pellets are .24" dia., 21 count

00 Buckshot pellets are .33" dia., 8 count

Lots of people prefer #4 Buck because of the pellet count. Energy bleeds off more rapidly with the lighter pellets, but at typical "social encounter" distances the smaller buckshot is quite lethal indeed.

46 posted on 11/10/2003 9:11:23 AM PST by Charles Martel (Liberals are the crab grass in the lawn of life.)
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To: Beelzebubba
Indeed. That 32 still fills my pocket even when I am carrying a real gun on my belt.

10-4. I carry my Kel Tec 32 constantly. Has been a deterrent in a couple of "warn the aspiring mugger" incidents. Both turned and ran immediately.

47 posted on 11/10/2003 9:18:23 AM PST by toddst
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To: templar


48 posted on 11/10/2003 9:28:47 AM PST by ASA Vet ("Right-wing Internet wacko")
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To: templar
LOL! Before I would ever consider firing a 4 gauge I woul dmake damn sure it was on wheels and had a lanyard for firing.
49 posted on 11/10/2003 10:28:29 AM PST by ought-six
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To: Ursus arctos horribilis
.45 ACP is a wonderful defensive round. However, although I do have some semi-autos in my collection, my home defense guns are a .357 magnum wheel gun and a 12-gauge pump with OO-Buck. They will accomplish what I want them to.
50 posted on 11/10/2003 10:31:05 AM PST by ought-six
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