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We are looking into "Home Protection" and came across this in our research. We expect that there are some current opinions amongst the FReepers that could assist us in our decision, as well.
1 posted on 01/30/2003 4:49:20 AM PST by condi2008
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To: condi2008
Don't obtain a concealed-carry permit

Here in CT you MUST have a CCW in order to purchase a handgun. There are no exceptions here. Long guns, i.e. shot gun, rifle, can be purchased w/o a CCW however, there's a 2 week waiting period.Most ant-gun people I know say that the Police will come to their aid, however these very same people have fire extinquishers in their home....hmmm, shouldn't they just call the Fire Dept. to come to their aid then?

2 posted on 01/30/2003 4:59:27 AM PST by Puppage
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To: condi2008
Don't obtain a concealed-carry permit.

The article isn't arriving at this suggestion out of some deep-seated Constitutional conviction, so I don't know where this is coming from. Why deny yourself the opportunity to legally carry for personal defense unless you are trying to make a Constitutional point? Seems kind of silly. Unless you are the ultimate stealth gun owner, you're probably on several "lists" already, so it can't be concern over "registration".

3 posted on 01/30/2003 5:04:29 AM PST by RogueIsland
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To: condi2008
Are you considering buying a firearm for the first time? Primarily for defense? Not sure what your goal is from your post, but keep in mind several things.
  1. The most single critical factor in a defensive firearm is reliability. It should fire every time the trigger is pulled and conversely it should never fire unless the trigger is pulled no matter what. Some guns will fire when they're dropped just right.
  2. A close second is usability. It should not be too complicated with multiple safeties, selectors, etc. Going along with this it should not be so powerful that the recoil causes you to flinch or hurts your shoulder or causes you to take a long time getting your second shot.
  3. Cost is a factor, but consider what you're buying may save your life (or not if it fails either due to inherent flaws or the fact that you forgot to work the proper lever at the right time) you should not make this a major factor.
My personal preference for people puying a defensive gun for the first time is a revolver. They have the advantage of simplicity of operation. I like the Taurus titanium .357. It's light, very corrosion resistant, and you can fire .357 or if the recoil is too much .38. It's also relatively inexpensive. I have one for my carry gun. I am somewhat of a gun entheusiast, and my home defense weapon is currently an Uzi. It cost $2800 plus another $200 for the federal transfer tax, but I feel that it is just about right for home defense. Not too powerful, not too big, but plenty of firepower and not complicated at all to work. Even my wife doesn't flinch when she fires it.
4 posted on 01/30/2003 5:04:31 AM PST by from occupied ga (Your government is your enemy, and Bush is no conservative)
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To: bang_list
5 posted on 01/30/2003 5:04:48 AM PST by RogueIsland
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To: condi2008
Don't buy a small caliper gun ( 22,25,32,etc.). You want something that has stopping power. A S&W 380 semi-automatic is good. It is small, light weight but it will stop someone.
6 posted on 01/30/2003 5:05:07 AM PST by Conservative Kay
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To: condi2008
The following assumes that we're talking about in-home defensive situations, not concealed carry outside of the home:

Pointing a shotgun at typical in-the-house engagement ranges 'in the general direction of the intruder' pretty well guarantees a miss. The shot pattern will have only expanded to a few inches in the house by the time it gets to the target. Other than that, shotguns are a pretty good choice. Whatever weapon is chosen, it should be practised until you *know* that you can efficiently handle it when you have been awakened from a dead sleep at 2:00 AM and you are shaking like a leaf. Simple and reliable is better.

I disagree that a different and smaller caliber should be selected for the lady of the house. If stopping power is a criteria for selecting the husband's defensive firearm, it should be for the wife's, as well. The situation doesn't change just because it's her that is doing the shooting. In handguns, get something simple to operate (middle of the night shaking like a leaf factor) and quite powerful, like a revolver in .357 Magnum. Go to the range with her, and start her out with .38 loads if necessary and work up to heavyweight .357 loads. I have taught several women to shoot and they are comfortable with the recoil- it really isn't that bad.

Another thing to be aware of, is the noise of a gunshot in a house. It will be much louder than expected. If you are lucky enough to live in a rural area where you can get away with it, you might consider finding some property in a safe area with a solid backstop for the fired rounds, and an available derelict building where you can pop a few rounds off to experience the noise and get used to it. No more than a few, it *will* damage your hearing.
12 posted on 01/30/2003 5:21:25 AM PST by Riley
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To: condi2008
My house gun is a Remington 870, #4 buckshot with a HeviShot Modified choke........The wife prefers a Security Six .357 with a 5 3/8" Magported barrel and 125 grain Gold-Dot's
Outside carry is a Kimber .45.....with 158 grain Golden Sabers........and 2 back-up clips......
In ND we really don't have much varmit problems, but you can never know with everything that is going on.
15 posted on 01/30/2003 5:24:50 AM PST by Bodacious
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To: condi2008; SLB
My advice is to go to a gun range which rents guns and try a number of different calibers and styles. Then one makes one best judgement as to what one can afford and what the suitablity is for the intended use. If concealed carry on one's person is not one of the requirements then larger framed guns might well merit more consideration. In general one should purchase a gun of a make model and type that one can shoot comfortably and accurately. Caliber selection should be based on what one can accurately shoot. In general by choosing .380 or above one has given oneself a higher probability of stopping an assault with one shot than if one chooses a smaller caliber round. There are many opinions about what is the best caliber for stopping an individual with one shot. Personally I think the .45acp gives the best overall performance this way although the .357 magnum may be as good or better.

A revolver is probably the simplest sidearm to operate point and click and the job is done. A semi-automatic has the advantage of usually more shots and quicker to reload. Although some revolvers have eight or nine shots these days, some semi-autos have up to 17 in the magazine.

Just remember a .22LR slug in the brain of an assailant will do a whole lot more to stop said assailant than a .44 magnum bullet in the wall.

Another consideration is the cost of practice ammunition. A .357 magnum allows one to use relatively inexpensive .38 spl ammunition rather than the more expensive .357 ammunition. These considerations very much affect such calibers as .40 S&W, .357 Sig etc. For full bore defensive sidearms the .45acp and the 9mm Parabellum round seem to have the most relatively low cost ammunition available.

What do I carry usually? The answer for me usually is a ten shot magazine .45 acp. I have also at times carried a 9mm, a ,38spl, a .357 magnum, and some other sidearms.

27 posted on 01/30/2003 5:56:13 AM PST by harpseal (Stay well - Stay safe - Stay armed - Yorktown)
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To: condi2008
Don't obtain a concealed-carry permit

Do get your permit if your state allows it. If not move to where you can carry a sidearm.

I don't leave home without mine.

30 posted on 01/30/2003 5:59:13 AM PST by WhirlwindAttack (run hitlery run, vote from the rooftops in 2004...honey i'm buying a .50 cal with the tax refund.)
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To: *bang_list
36 posted on 01/30/2003 6:05:41 AM PST by xsrdx (Diligentia, Vis, Celeritas)
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To: condi2008
One of the problems I have with this article is the statement:

Actually just racking a pump-action shotgun might be enough to scare him away.

Getting ready to confront a home invader is not the time to chamber a round. I notice they never seem to mention doing this with any other gun. It must be something they saw in a movie.

The next thing I noticed was this:

Don't obtain a concealed-carry permit.

The goal of every person who fought for a Concealed Weapons license is a "Vermont Law". By increasing our numbers, that goal becomes closer. If this writer is so frightened about being on a list, they probably don't support any gun group.

43 posted on 01/30/2003 6:34:21 AM PST by Shooter 2.5
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To: condi2008
HOW to buy a gun:

It is perfectly LEGAL to purchase from a private person (non-dealer) in your own state with NO record keeping or government knowledge. It is nice to have a firearms-familiar friend to help you, but not necessary. Here is what I advise:

First, find a range near you that rents guns (I'd guess you plan to start with a pistol) and offers courses. Rent something ordinary for the course (like a Glock). You will learn enough to get comfortable with shooting, safety, etc. I'd guess that you will want an autoo-loading pistol, and not a revolver, but don't rule anything out.

Second, go to the range and practice with different guns. Rule out the ones that feel wrong in your hand, and don't be surprised if you find that you prefer ones that are different from what you imagined. Keep an open mind.

Third, buy the one you LIKE (see below for the purchasing process.) Don't get too analytical, don't be paralyzed by the differences in expert opinions. If you stay within the good brands, you can't go wrong with the one that you that you simply think is the "nicest" or "coolest." Trust your gut, and buy the one you will practice with most, and be most proud of.

Fourth, practice and take courses. You never know when THEY decide that civilians should not be allowed to receive firearms training.

Fifth, think toward buying a rifle (like a .308, such as a military style "sport-utility rifle.") Handguns are for defending your life against crooks. Rifles are for defending your liberties against tyrants. A wise man once said that a pistol is "what you use to get back to your rifle."

Now, on the purchasing procedure. There are several ways to find guns for sale in your state. The want ads in the paper are fine, but as with any sales transaction with a stranger, be security conscious, go with a friend, and meet in a safe public place. You can also post a "wanted to buy" card at your local shooting ranges, since you know exactly what you want. You might even try to find a way to post a "WTB" at the local police station, since cops sell nice duty guns quite often.

But the best selection is on the net. Here are some of the options:

1. Go to and enter your state abbreviation on keywords line.

2. Go to and select your state at lower right (you will probably want to limit the search in other ways to avoid sifting through hundreds of gun parts.

3. (My favorite) Go to and search by state.

4. (Not many options, but one that deserves to catch on)

5. Visit one of the specialty-fan sites (,,, etc.) and check the for sale listings (and search the past listings to see what your desired model sold for, even contacitng the past sellers to see what they were paid.) This option will not be useful to find many in-state guns for sale, but the sites are great educational tools where you can get some advice before deciding what to buy.

Basically, if you are willing to spend $400-700 for an auto-pistol, you can get a great, reliable gun. The name brands in this range are so good that "lemons" are essentially unknown among the used ones. Buy with a several day return period, or meet at your range where you can test it out or have the armorer look it over. To be perfectly legal, don't buy from someone who might be from out of state (check the license plates, and the driver's license, if you have reason to doubt.) There are lots of nearly new guns out there for sale by private sellers. They're not much cheaper than brand new, but having one unknown to the gun-grabbers may prove to be priceless.

To determine if you are getting a decent price, search all of gunsamerica or another site for that model (not limited by state) and you will get a rough feel for market prices. Don't worry about getting a great deal, just get a fair deal. (When you get more expertise, you may be better able to spot the great deals, but that's not what you're looking for at this stage.)

Please, try to buy without getting on the government confiscation registry. Every time a formerly-"registered" gun is bought this way, our prospects of maintaining our liberties increase, as one fewer gun is available for ready confiscation. As long as our government faces the reality that vast numbers of firearms ("liberty's teeth") are in unknown hands, they will have some restraint, and not dare try.

If you can't find a "mentor" to help you through this process, email me, and I will help off line. We're all in this together.

I also advise you buy a great book to tell you even more about all this, from safety, to buying a rifle, to gun laws, to what you should buy before the next things are banned: Boston's Gun Bible. You can get it at Amazon, or you can benefit the author even more buy buying it publisher-direct at Their other books are universally good as well. The book has a good chapter on how to negotiate gun sales.

Good luck, and enjoy starting down this path!

53 posted on 01/30/2003 7:34:02 AM PST by Atlas Sneezed
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To: condi2008; harpseal; SLB; Fred Mertz; glock rocks; wardaddy; TEXASPROUD
A shotgun is preferable because if it is aimed in the general direction of the criminal you will hit your target

Inside your home at the normal ranges afforded a 1200 to 2000 square ft dwelling this statement is so incorrect that it invalidates the authors "knowledge" of the subject matter presented IMO .

At the ranges inside your home you will miss if you just use a compass to aim a scattergun . At those ranges consider the impact pattern of a 12 gauge ,even with an 18 inch barrel, about the size of a silver dollar versus the dime and nickel size holes a handgun or rifle will make.

With no knowledge of your personal experience or background with regards to firearms and physical abilities I will suggest .....If you have but one single firearm for your families defense in a suburban home a simple pump shotgun from either Remington or Mossburg with an 18 inch barrel might be a primary choice for you to consider.

If you plan on going with your CHL/CCW permit with your single choice of a firearm then I will suggest a small light (all good mfgrs make the titanium series ) snub nosed or 3 inch barrel 357/38 revolver. Loaded with modern , well designed ammunition , speciality ammo such as Glaser Safety slugs or Magsafe or just simple jacketed hollow points makes a small, conceilable handgun such as I have described is a viable choice for a first time buyer.

If you follow the basic rule of a handgun guru named "Cooper" then nothing less than a caliber that begins with a four (4) will do. With this information at hand Charter Arms makes an excellant , cheap and reliable revolver called the "Bulldog Pug" with a 3 inch barrel in .44 special. NOT .44 magnum but .44 "special" that closely mimicks the performance of the 45 ACP in velocity and diameter. Very accurate and easy to carry, light and available for around 250 to 300 dollars.

If you are well schooled or intend on taking the time and training and "practice" to master a semi-auto handgun then the possibilities are too vast to even discuss in one post. Weight, size, reliability, availability of spare parts, caliber, finish, ability to function all the possible bells and whistles (less is more in this case) that come as standard on some versions safely are considerations that "must" be addressed before you choose.

Most "good" firearms dealers that have a range attached to their business will have a selection that you can fire on the premises called range guns. This is a good thing as for the price of ammo, range time and rental you can try before you buy. With this in mind you'll learn early that the latest and greatest is not always the answer. KISS principal applies with regards to self defense.

You will also see in most cases the firearm of your liking in it's advanced stages of use and with lots of rounds through it. How well did it survive this hard use as a range gun. It was shot a whole lot, by different people. How well is it holding up to such extensive use. Finish worn ? Rattles like two bolts in a coffee can ? Accuracy ? Jams ? Failure to fire ??.....all that great information and data is free when collected from your use of a range version of the gun you intend to buy and take home.

If (initially) the "only" handgun you can hit the target with is a .22 caliber handgun then by all means that is or should be your first choice for developing skills and self defense. Whole lot of folks have died from the little .22 caliber rimfire to dismiss it . By all means not a suggested caliber but as a criminal or agressor I'd rather be missed with a 45 than hit with a .22 if you catch my drift.

Just my back alley suggestions per my experience..........Stay Safe !

55 posted on 01/30/2003 9:31:56 AM PST by Squantos (RKBA the original version of Homeland Security .....the one proven method that works !)
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To: condi2008
Everyone else has gun advice, but I wanted to refer
you to Matthews 10:34.
56 posted on 01/30/2003 9:36:09 AM PST by upcountryhorseman
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To: condi2008
Time for my truly humble opinion. I cringed when you said you prefer the automatic, as it seems safer. I have used automatics for decades, and am known for it. As is always learns through experience.

I now contend that autos are mostly for military-type high rate of fire situations, in long term disaster survival and resupply considerations, and serious concealment, since they are flat. Not for defending one's life suddenly, if there is another choice. I have always exclusively favored single-action automatics, in Condition One. The first shot in being the most important. No second-place winners in a mortal fight. I favored military-proven calibers/cartridges...the .45ACP and 9mmP.

Of late, my experiences have been in less formal circumstances, rather than on-duty readiness. Post-9-11, I have been giving the whole matter of practical self-defense much consideration.

A few weeks ago, while working in the "Security" trade, I fell asleep at night, as I was allowed to do, during an extended a very large room filled with very, very valuable inventory. One of my well-placed alarms sounded, and I lurched into action, grabbing my equipment. I suddenly realized that I was not quite coherent enough to swiftly clear a jam in my M1911-style Colt manufactured smaller caliber handgun should it occur, and in those fractions of a second would quite probably die. A double-action revolver would have worked, and kept on working. I learned. When a handgun is one's ONLY ready means of defense..."Six for Sure" shines like a beacon ! The weapon I was using had a back-up magazine nearby, which I purchased and tested the day before. On the 3rd. round fired, every time, it unlocked and came out of battery. Useless, until shoved back in. This was my first such failure experience, and it deepened the pit gaping beneath me, as I knew my equipment would let me down. It enhanced the practical utility of a good revolver. Even the Single Action Army is famous for still somehow working with many of its parts broken. Other than the trigger, the safety on a revolner is the exposed hammer. A thumb-break holster keeps it in place, as a leather cord did on the 1873 peacemaker for all those cowboys...who weren't stupid.

Automatics are really for trained and ready professionals, and especially those in posession of rifles, shotguns, associates, and more. These Squantos, Harpseal...and the usual crew around here, were trained in youth, reinforced in combat, drilled frequently in their hobby, and downright determined, I am sure. Most "regular people" are not...and especially when suddenly awakened and pressed into performance. Even with pre-planning, autos are problematic. Ask Squeaky Frome, who squeezed off a shot at the president, with a magazine-loaded .45...and was immediately apprehended. No round in the chamber. This could happen during shooting too, as sometimes was the case with the famous Luger...which could fail to pick up a fresh round and reload. Click.

Also, unless it's a .45, police engagements have shown that even successfully emptying a magazine of 9mm's into an assailant when under mortal pressure is far from a guarantee of a stop.

Therefore, I very humbly suggest that you select a well-made .357, either snub or up to 4", and head for the range. Pass the word.

BTW...just to reinforce the point that y'makes yer choice an' y'takes yer OWN chances...what will I be packing on my next such engagement, before my planned healthy retirement ?....

...a Belgian made Browning High Power, loaded with Cor-Bon bonded JHPs. It usually flat, and in this circumstance..5 or 6 of anything may not, tragically, be enough. No war...just survival, and work. Preparedness for personal survival goes well with my suit, too.
75 posted on 01/30/2003 11:49:23 AM PST by PoorMuttly ("Ask not for whom the Muttly digs under the birdbath in the backyard...he digs for thee.")
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