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Old 09-14-2013, 06:10 PM   #1
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Need advice (badly) re: home protection

Hello everyone. To cut to the chase, I've done everything in an odd order regarding preparations. In 2009 (knowing little of finance) I devoted all my time paying off all debt/mortgage etc. Then step 2, which was the beginning of the stacking. During this time I learned 1st aid and how to operate radio- the kind which works without the Internet. I'm single and live in the suburbs. I (think) I'm decent with PMs and got a (read the article) TL-15 safe (weighs 900lbs and bolted to wall+floor in concrete). Here's where I need your help!

When I was a kid my dad got me a .22 single (load?) rifle. Rarely- I've gone to a range (and a friends farm) and shot a shotgun and up to a .45 caliber pistol. This is the extent of my XP with firearms. My state has some of the best leg. when it comes to 2nd amendment rights.

I can't leave my area (a few older fam members).

The topic of firearms is as nuanced as PMs- and I know so little about it, I've been putting it off. People talk about having X amount of ammo, which seems like the equivalent of 10 monster boxes- It's just intimidating to me. Spending so much time learning the other things, I think I may of messed up by avoiding this essential part of being prepared.

Here's what I know, kinda. Lots of this is confusing. (please correct me)

The 1 is none (need 2 firearms). Makes 100% sense.

Because I live with people around, it's VERY important which ammo/firearm to have- last thing anyone would want would be a hi-power bullet to go through a wall(s) and injure/kill someone. Training is of paramount importance- I wouldn't bring a firearm home unless it felt like an extension of myself.

What confuses me is seems to be the subject of endless debate. I hear "get the most powerful (as in stopping power) firearm you can handle". Things like "1911(?) .45 is worst/best...A .38 will bounce off anything...nothing beats a .22LR...shotgun is the best/worst"...all confusing.

From what "feels" right- (based on nothing but my limited knowledge) a shotgun and a handgun seems like a very good combo.

Is a 12 gauge many times better then a 20?

Is a handgun the best choice? I've heard/read many compelling arguments for (sorry, don't know the name of the type) the "in between"- like a handgun/long gun hybrid.

And then there's the ammo issue- if none to be found, then what's it worth.

I've saved up a decent amount of dry powder for this and like everything else I assume you get what you pay for, until one hits diminishing returns. Shotguns seem very inexpensive.

For the handgun(?), reliability trumps everything else. My friend, who was a Ranger told me that when it comes to "brands" H and K was the tops. Their expensive- but the way I see it (or anything costly) an extra 500$ for something which is so important seems worth it.

Aside from that, There seems to be a lot of serious opinions /w glock vs sig sauer vs (enter brand name).

That's about it. Any advice would be appreciated...tremendously.

Thank you!
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Old 09-14-2013, 06:49 PM   #2
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Great first post Stax.

First of ll, you're on the right track, so stay on it brother, 'cause it's all good and can only help your stability.

Second of all, as goes weapons, a .223/5.56 is the most widely purchased defense weapon. In addition, the 7.62 X 39 is a great weapon with good accuracy and significant power and ammo is still cheap. For shotguns, I suggest a 12 gauge for protection and a 410 for small game. For pistols, I have several Mark II Ruger .22 competition pistols that can drive nails at a decent distance. For close order personal protection I recommend a 9mm Sig/Sauer or a 9mm Glock. I have a Glock 17 and swear by it. I also have a couple of eastern bloc 9mm Makarovs that are really nice. The ammo is more expensive, but the guns are usually great for concealed carry.

Food.

Six months is good, a year is better and two or three years is.......you get the piucture.
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Old 09-14-2013, 07:45 PM   #3
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Those all seem like good questions. I kind of like the idea of 20 gauge shotguns. They are small enough for women, adolescents, and creaky old folks. You can also shoot dinner if you see some small game around. There are junior models that come with fairly short barrels (so they are light and small) and the ones I have seen online are pretty inexpensive (check out Walmart).
If the world really does go to hell (and I sure hope it doesn't) you just shoot over the heads of the mob and say "get the hell away from me" and hope they move on and rob the family that doesn't have a gun. A 20 gauge should be loud enough to make the point. You don't want to get into a shooting match with well armed gangs (AK-47's and who knows what). I don't think that is going to be a good idea. You want to hide. You probably want to have a place to bug out to. You want a 6 month supply of Vodka somewhere.
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Old 09-14-2013, 08:30 PM   #4
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It sounds like you're at a starting point, equipment and training wise. Handguns have their place where concealment and portability are needed, but it sounds like you may not need that the most. I would suggest a shotgun in 12 gauge, pump action, high magazine capacity (number of shells it holds), such as a mossberg 500 or remington 870. I would suggest a "security" or "defensive" type that would be designed with a shorter barrel and larger magazine capacity than a traditional hunting shotgun. These are a cheaper option compared to fighting rifles, and can be used more effectively with less training than a rifle. Eventually a rifle may be an attractive option for engaging targets effectively at greater distances. The sound a shotgun shell being chambered with the action of a pump shotgun is the single most recognizeable sound any firearm makes and serves as the most effective deterrent short of firing. Keep asking questions as you think of them. I'm sure there's a vast amount of firearms knowledge around here.

P.S. Going back rereading your post, I'd like to clarify some things. I suggested 12 gauge over 20 gauge mostly because it's more common, but also because it's more powerful. Shotguns are multi-purpose as hunting birds and small game with the addition of a barrel that you (not a gunsmith) can switch out in a matter of a minute.

All of what I've written is my opinion to get someone effective at self protection quickly. Bottom line with firearms is the most effective is what you can shoot well. A powerful bullet that you can't hit your target with doesn't matter. If you have the time and resources to try different types of firearms, and then train to use what you chose effectively, do it. You'd probably end up with a sporting rifle such as an AR15.

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Old 09-14-2013, 09:00 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Aubuy View Post:
Those all seem like good questions. I kind of like the idea of 20 gauge shotguns. They are small enough for women, adolescents, and creaky old folks. You can also shoot dinner if you see some small game around. There are junior models that come with fairly short barrels (so they are light and small) and the ones I have seen online are pretty inexpensive (check out Walmart).
If the world really does go to hell (and I sure hope it doesn't) you just shoot over the heads of the mob and say "get the hell away from me" and hope they move on and rob the family that doesn't have a gun. A 20 gauge should be loud enough to make the point. You don't want to get into a shooting match with well armed gangs (AK-47's and who knows what). I don't think that is going to be a good idea. You want to hide. You probably want to have a place to bug out to. You want a 6 month supply of Vodka somewhere.

I agree with Aubuy. Everyone in my house has a Mossberg 500 20 gauge, and likes to shoot (with the exception of my wife, who was in the war for seven years and is not interested in shooting for sport, although she's a dead shot). Some of my neighbors are ex-LE and Blackwater and far better trained/armed than we are, so I don't see any firefights at my house. Enough to keep the starving FSA at bay, I hope. There are 1.75 million people an hour and a half south of me, three quarters of a million people 45 miles southeast of me, and the largest military base in the world one hour north. If it goes to hell, it won't be boring here, I'm sure. Aubuy, lots of AK's and AR's in this neighborhood.

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Old 09-15-2013, 03:19 AM   #6
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Thanks all for the thorough and expedient advice! I did some refresh/catching up e.g; youtube+Wikipedia- based upon suggestions given which (of course) opens up the dialogue for more questions.

I apologize- I can't scroll up and address everyone by their name and what everyone suggested. My queries will most likely be mushed up!

Concerning the .223 and 7.62; I remember this being a divisive subject among many ppl. Referring back to friends of mine with combat experience, as well as the general consensus- .223 firearms require a lot of maintenance, so much so that it's a deal breaker for many. Stories from people having lock-ups etc are common with those of whom I've known /w combat experience. I've read that [the] the rifles which use .223 (AR/M16<-I hope I have this right, the 5.56 confuses) have been refined since Vietnam. Still, it really seems like most ppl would rather have an AK type setup for the simple reason being it's robust performance in non-paper real life scenarios. As a side note, personally I do prefer accuracy over power- being a dude who teaches music, I see many parallels with firearms, the skill/fundamentals needed, as well as that temptation to go crazy with gear-talk. Fortunately, after 18 years of teaching, the "more more stuff now!!!" mentality is over with. I hear things from firearm instructors which are 100% familiar: "it's not what you have/what's in front of it all, it's everything behind it"...".45, .44, .43, .5616635, all the gear in the world is moot unless you possess mastery of the basics". Of course, the beginning student wants to rush rush rush, worst case is sloppy technique (and lots of $ and time fixing an "ok" recording). It's the ol' can't polish a turd thing!

Methinks this general understanding of fundamentals applies to most skill-crafts.

There is (IMHO) at least in the instrument world, no 1000% perfect gear- I always thought of it as the highest quality (construction/company etc) parts can be better than great for the individual- but the individual makes "it" their own. They grow into it. After playing a well made spruce acoustic for a few years, the guitar bends and bears ones weight in a certain way, kinda molding itself to the player (think Willie Nelson's guitar with a big hole in it). I hear similar thinks from people who have their favorite firearms. I'm getting a bit off topic here!

The 7.62 seems more reliable(?)- I like the idea of the accuracy of .223 better, but these are just ideas, need to try them! The AR is a non-fully auto M16 correct? What is a civilian version of an AK?

Shotguns! The suggestion of the defense shotgun is a good one- My house has some close spaces, a big ol' hunting shotgun would be knocking pictures off the wall! Also, I have no idea what a moss 500 looks like but that name comes up again and again. Do these models all come in different "styles" i.e; "moss-short barrel/moss long barrel"? Or is a Moss 500 simply a "Moss 500"?

The person who sold me the safe owns a used safe company, has made his living, a decent one, by collecting/selling rare firearms. He's one of those super genuine nice guys- retired now. He mentioned the importance (many times) of having a .22, I don't remember if he mean't "22LR" or otherwise, he was adamant about it.

Any thoughts on this?

I did go into a gunshop a while back. Their advice was "what feels good in hand". In my (unknowing) head, I thought "hmm...a handgun and a rifle or shotgun...better decide on the handgun first because of the cost". Knowing very little, for some reason a .40 cal (non CCW) seemed appealing. I shoot with my left hand- which severely limited my choices. After holding/cocking/feeling the weight (range was closed), lo and behold, the most expensive one (I asked not to see price to eliminate bias) felt best, which was a Sig. It was ambi as well. I didn't buy it, I decided more research. 1 year later...can't wait 1 more year with so many tell-tale signs/fault lines proliferating like crazy.

Is the consensus that a handgun (non CCW) would be a bad idea? Is .40 ammo hard to come by? The empty shelves I read about in Texas and other places kinda scare me a bit. For reasons unknown, ammo and the LCS here are plentiful- I feel lucky, ESP. with the LCS- cheaper then AMPEX/Tulving etc, never out of stock, been in business since the hunt-bros!

As for CCW, that will come last. The shops (all the instructors of the places I've called are LE) encourage everyone to get a CCW permit. The area I'm in (non shtf scenario) is very safe- but as with most metros /w major Urbana- we're (unfortunately) always on the top part of the list for homocides.

What seems most important now, is for me to get training and practice. Hard choice: given that each type of firearm is a universe unto itself, any recommendations for the big "first purchase"? I feel like I did when after reading and seeing pictures Ag coins, that moment when I walked into the LCS and saw an ASE in real life. Heh. First thing I ever purchased was a no-name 10oz bar. Heheh.

1 more (I'm sure I'll think of many later) question. What's everyone's opinion on carbines?

On the list (so far)
Def. a shotgun (main differences between the two recommended?)

.22? (I like the idea of a well crafted .22, maybe because it's often referred to as "a step above a BBgun"- Being proficient with one seems appealing. "The little (big) one that could" (heheh).

a quality 7.62 (seems like a go. When I think 7.62 I think "AK". Are their American-Brand/any highly recommended models?)

unsure about handgun=.45 .40 9mm

CCW- prob. Last purchase. Need XP b4 that!

Anyway, I know this is a loooong post. I haven't anyone (my mom? Or sister? Oh boy. It would be like PMs all over again) to discuss this with.

I truly appreciate your kind responses & wish all of us the best during these disheartening times, that we weather the storm with dignity, having a part ushering in brighter days ahead.
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Old 09-15-2013, 08:50 AM   #7
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Hi SS, welcome to the forum.

I know you started this thread primarily for advice on firearms, but since you mentioned a mortgage, and assuming you are in a house (vs. a condo), you might also consider a few improvements to the house to prevent break-ins:

http://patriotcrimedefense.com/

http://www.shattergard.com/home.html

You might also find this firearm discussion interesting:

http://www.pmbug.com/forum/f6/all-pu...ollection-132/
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Old 09-15-2013, 12:13 PM   #8
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I'd recommend a Mossberg combo package that I see at the local Big 5 all the time on sale cheap. These are as reliable as it gets and easy to use effectively with the least amount of training of any firearm. With the two barrel choices, maneuvering in tight quarters should be comparable to a fighting rifle.

http://www.big5sportinggoods.com/pro...gun-combo.html

The AR15 is reliable with normal cleaning and maintenance. The AK is not very accurate past 100 yards in general. I'd pick an AR myself and learn the maintenance.

What they said at the gun store is right. Handle and shoot as many different types as you can and get what you can hit the target with the best. Many ranges have different guns you can rent to shoot. Try that.
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Old 09-15-2013, 01:52 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by tomswifty View Post:
I'd recommend a Mossberg combo package that I see at the local Big 5 all the time on sale cheap. These are as reliable as it gets and easy to use effectively with the least amount of training of any firearm. With the two barrel choices, maneuvering in tight quarters should be comparable to a fighting rifle.

http://www.big5sportinggoods.com/pro...gun-combo.html

What they said at the gun store is right. Handle and shoot as many different types as you can and get what you can hit the target with the best. Many ranges have different guns you can rent to shoot. Try that.
It comes in pink. If the sound doesn't scare them the color will!

http://www.armedinheels.com/mossberg...un-p-1724.html
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Old 09-15-2013, 04:30 PM   #10
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Oh oh, someone got Fusor started, again.

For ref, I'm a gunsmith, competitive shooter, and own a firing range (handy for practice). So not only do I know my guns (many) but those people bring to the range. I also teach the CCW cource in VA.

But let's talk about not-guns first. There are some good reasons to start here. One is that simply pointing even an unloaded gun at someone is "brandishing" and illegal, and that someone might press charges. Second, you really don't want to kill anyone if its avoidable - even if you claim self defence - you've just admitted to a homicide, and now the only question is whether it was justifiable.
So you'd rather have them run away, or get them gone in some other way if possible, and often it is.
Killing someone is always a huge mess, psychologically, legally, and well, just a mess. Some if it can take a lifetime to recover from.

A friend recently (almost) suffered a home invasion - some drunk thought his room mate had locked him out (wrong house) and he broke into the basement door. My friend met him with a million candle power flashlight - the kind that weigh ~~ 10lbs. That did the trick, it's legal, no one can come at you with the skin peeling off their closed eyelids (they usually have to put their hands over their eyes as well), and if that doesn't work, the thing makes a real decent club. Keep one at hand and in working condition. I also have a pair of sawed off pool cues, but that's a special skill (Japanese short swords, or real fat drumsticks, and yes, I play drums too, so I know how to work sticks quite well). One strike, one broken bone. They stop pretty quick at that point. You can throw one, then break bones with the other while they put up their hands to stop the thrown one - and close the distance while that's happening. A hard throw will also break bones, particularly fingers. It's a real fight-stopper. Hint - breaking the smaller bones hurts more...ask anyone who's been shot in the hand or foot.

Anyone who has "seen the elephant" will tell you - your handgun is how you fight your way back to your rifle. Any expert will also tell you that almost any revolver is FAR more reliable than almost any pistol, and this wisdom is borne out at my range all the time. The downside is that a revolver is in general harder to conceal (if you have the permit). Further, short (snubbie) revolvers and pistols just don't have enough barrel for commercial loads (speer makes an exception to this) to get any decent performance - no velocity, the bullet is gone before the powder is burned...real low velocities, and even especially with +p loads that tend to use even slower powder. We're talking stupid low muzzle velocities here - often < 500fps, unless a custom built load is used with a heavy bullet and a small amount of fast burning powder (I reload, so no troubles there). Else what you have is an impressive boom, an huge muzzle flash, and a bullet you can almost catch out of the air with a mitt. Not very useful unless you just want to set their hair on fire and deafen them (but that deafens you too).

There is only one pistol here that has only misfired/jammed once, and that was in the hands of a beginner who "limp wristed it". It was a CZ-97B in .45 ACP. That thing seems to shoot bulls-eyes for almost everyone I hand it to.

I can't say the same for the endless 9mm's that have come through here (and don't even ask about .380s, which are in general, a joke in bad taste, though they are easy to conceal). IF you can stick a .380 into contact with someone, it'll do the job, but that's damn dangerous - they might be strong, or know that you can stop almost any pistol from firing by pushing back the slide just a little, turn it around and shoot you with it - with your own trigger finger. Keep some distance!

One guy - a fastidious type who always keeps his gear "perfect" has had good luck with a Glock 9mm - it shoots quite well for me too. Being a lefty (I am too but mostly shoot right handed for reasons that will become obvious, including right-eye dominance), he got a special barrel for his that twists the other way so the rotational recoil (that other kind than straight back or kick up) slaps the handle into his palm, rather than jerking it out. He has a 9 and a .40 that both shoot well for lefties.
In fact, I tried it with both hands, and can't shoot either one well with my right hand, with those special barrels with reverse twist - grip really matters on a handgun, since recoil begins the instant the firing pin drops, and at the slow speeds of things, the gun moves between when you think you pulled the trigger and when the bullet comes out - which is the ONLY TIME IT MATTERS.
I can attach some NRA diagnostic targets that show where the bullets go if you flinch, anticipate recoil, don't hold tight, "rub wood" and so forth, if asked. They help with training.

You really need a tight grip on a handgun, of any kind. One instructor demo's this by holding a shovel - and pushing it into the ground at arms length. There is a reason that all the winning handgun competitors have forearms like popeye. There's just too much motion between the time you think "shoot" and the actual bullet leaving.

All of the other 9mm's that have come here, including Glocks - rarely hit even the correct piece of paper on the backstop at 7 paces (the so-called self defence distance). Even if I shoot them, much less their owners. I have no clue why they all stink so badly, but experience says - most of them do.
And most are worse than glocks, even high-dollar names like Sig. An exception to that is the S&W M&P special in 9mm - that thing works like it should, period - it belongs to a shooting buddy and I wish I had it. It's the only 9 I can say that about.

I have two "carry" guns. One is a snubby .38, Taurus ultralight. It hurts to shoot it with the desired heavy bullet/fast powder load, which gives decent performance, but if you need a gun...you don't care about that, and this one fits in a pocket without "printing", and has crimson trace laser grips.
"Do not look into laser with remaining eye". That's the point - they run, you don't have to shoot.

The other I don't actually carry, and it's the CZ which weighs even more than a 1911. Just too heavy for me (I only weigh 107 lbs) and too big, but it stays in reach in my truck. It's very intimidating, as you can see down the barrel and see that chambered round that's gonna kill you.

Note - the .38 need not be too wimpy, and has some psych advantages. Most self-defence instructors will tell you to for sure kill the guy. The reason is, if someone needs killing, you don't want to face them and their lies in court - they are generally expert at the court system for some reason, and make up the most fantastic stories...urban myth says a .38 won't always stop someone, yet a .45 always will. Well, that's myth, and if the cops I train here are any indication, the issue is shot placement, and missing. The ones who carry the biggies know how to shoot - which is a bigger factor than the size. The upshot is - you hit someone even in the arm with a .45, and the courts will say you should have stopped right there - it really is a fight-stopper. But a .38 you can empty into the perp without anyone thinking anything special if you say he kept coming....ain't it crazy how the legal system works? A .22 isn't really that great unless it's high cap - I'd rather have my lighter 5 shot .38, even though I do have both.

The above advice on how it feels in the hand is actually critical, but incomplete. As a shooting coach, one of the things I do is have the student pick an aimpoint, close their eyes, draw, and then either shoot w/o looking or just look at the resulting sight picture (it's easy to cheat, so I usually do this with an unloaded gun with a laser on it so we can all see the dot). It's a funny thing - I went through 5-6 guns before I found one I naturally pointed right at the target under those circumstances, and that's the kind of thing that matters when you're not at the range - where the targets can't shoot back. In real life, the stress level means you need to have it just work, muscle memory, because if you miss, it doesn't matter what the gun is, and you've given the other guy time and warning.

Shotguns, particularly pump actions, are nicely intimidating but not that useful at range. If you're going to hoist a long gun, I think there are better choices, but that's me. I know that sound of racking a pump has been known to end the fight with no shots fired - that's always good - but you might face a charge of "brandishing" if the guy has the guts to bring that charge. And some do.

For rifles, well, I'm an AR guy, and have two 15's and a 10 (in .308). I love them, they are reliable for me, and accurate enough that I sometimes use one in long range competition - it took some tuning and good ammo, but it's nice. Ammo is ubiquitous, but milsurp isn't accurate by design.

7.62x39, as shot in AK's and SKS's (and that's all there is in this country legally - SKS looks the same but is semi auto and can't be converted without more work than its worth to an AK), are OK, but "miniute of milk jug at 70 yds - about the effective range, even with a scope. They are just not very accurate, or very reliable unless you get a high quality one made in eastern Europe. The asian ones - don't waste your money, they shoot every which way, and jam all the time. While ammo is all over, the quality tends to add to the in-accuracy and some is so dirty burning that it will require cleaning before you even run a full clip. Stay away from the steel case stuff... I do most shooting long range, and live way out in the sticks, so for me, an old .308 (single shot) or the equal bolt .223 is my choice if I want to keep my distance for a zombie apocalypse situation. But that's me, and my situation. Bolts are always far more reliable than other types, period. And pretty fast if you practice.

And you MUST practice. Shooting is a very perishable skill, and this is your main chance to win over the average perp - he doesn't practice, and you did. It's the first hit that wins. Sometimes taking that extra 0.1 second to really aim is the key.

One thing I do as a teacher is to use a gun with a laser or red dot, and show them how the dot is bouncing all over the place when the iron sight picture looks fine - you have to be unbelievably picky about that sight picture with irons, and for most, there just isn't time in a "situation" for that - it has to be muscle memory. Students are uniformly astonished at seeing that dot go on and off the target with almost no apparent change in sight picture, even at a single digit yard range. And when they think they're holding still as is possible. They all find they've got a lot to learn.

Note, if there are kids or irresponsible types around, it's kind of a hassle to keep a gun safe, yet ready. An unloaded gun is a poor club - you're better off with a real club (but not too heavy - those movies where someone swings a 20+lb wrench are a joke - you see it from a mile away and can dodge easy). Some states have laws about leaving a gun loaded. Mine doesn't appear to, but if someone got injured at my place due to that, I can bet I'd be in trouble, and I'm well respected by the LEO's I teach here.

In fact, don't go by anything you see from TV or hollywood. A gun doesn't make you bullet proof, in fact it makes you a priority target. And in fact, the bad guys don't auto-magically miss, and you auto-magically hit. It just isn't like that in the real world, and I have a scar to prove that.

With any gun, don't use "hold" or "kentucky windage". Concentrate on small groups (always aim at the exact same place), then adjust the sights so the bullets hit where intended - once your group size is acceptable.. Any other way won't work for real. Any for-real 'smith can adjust even "not adjustable" sights with files and weldups. With irons, well, it seems everyone sees them a little differently - so there's no one perfect setup - it has to be custom to the user.

One often taught but utter fallacy in shooting is "hold the sights on target, and pull the trigger without moving the gun". Let me tell you- it's total bullshit, and even guys who win 10's of times in national competition (like say, David Tubb) agree. You're always moving, you can't help it, though you can get somewhat better with practice. The idea is the same as with drumming - I don't start moving my arm when I want to hear a drum hit - it starts moving before that, so it lands at the right time. Same thing - you fire when the sight picture says you're moving to the target - letting anxiety pull the trigger after you've passed the desired aim-point is a bad idea and never works. You'll learn your pattern - mine is a figure 8 around the bull - and shoot just before you're about to be on the target precisely, because by the time the bang happens - you are. That hold still and be suprised by the shot might work for dumb kids in military service, but even there - they are more concerned with firepower and keeping the enemy's head down than actually hitting per shot.


The other not-gun thing is what we call OPSEC. Why would someone break into your house in the first place? Have you been telling people about your stack? Living ostentatiously compared to others in the 'hood? All bad opsec. Lights, cleared out places of approach where you can see them coming - all good opsec - and keep your mouth shut because word spreads.
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Old 09-15-2013, 07:01 PM   #11
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its only an opinion- but a 45 wont work for me.(too heavy) /my 2 cents
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:00 AM   #12
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Same here, Penn. It's a truck gun, not a carry - the CZ especially, they didn't skimp on the steel, so it's real heavy and big. I even tried a shoulder rig - walked crooked. So I put extra ammo on the other side (10 rd clips are standard) and that just made me lean forward all the time, and messed up my shoulders (rash, rub, blisters). So I actually conceal the tiny titanium .38 when I feel the need, which isn't that often.
Else my automobile guns go in the door pocket, usually under an umbrella, where I can get to them fast but no one else can see them at all.

I went through so many potential carry guns - pistols (even that one Bond used in the movies), revolvers, you name it, high dollar stuff, low dollar stuff - and wound up with that Taurus, as it both shoots well and reliably, isn't messed up by dirt in pockets, and errrmmm...doesn't get detected by most metal detectors. The laser is really hot, though expensive. It's also a great teaching tool. I use wadcutter bullets, 148 gr, and a mid-band load in it (sometimes you can find this at the store, but I make my own too). That's what gives me the best performance out of it, but it does make your hand sting. Funny thing is, that same load, used as a target load in my larger S&W and Colt (6" barrels) is not-bad recoil, accurate as heck, and if you're 30 feet away - no need for hearing protection. In the little gun, it stings to shoot, loud as heck...but it works better than any other commercial load - accurate and plenty of energy on target. The soft lead bullets expand nicely in ballistic gel.

+P "personal protection loads" in general don't work well in a snubbie, no matter the caliber. They barely make it out of the barrel. Powder burn rate is too slow for a 2" situation.
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Old 09-16-2013, 02:53 PM   #13
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What do you need this firearm for? Conceal carry, open carry, hunting, home defense, long range fighting, a hypothetical wild west end of the world scenario? The answer to this question is going to reallllly affect which firearms you should consider.

.223/5.56 versus 7.62 versus whatever else rifles: What do you need it for? Try out numerous rifles in each caliber and find out which you like better before purchasing.

20 versus 12 versus whatever else shotgun: What do you need it for? How big is the person that will be using this firearm?

Revolver versus semi-auto pistol: Accuracy/simplicity versus sheer round capacity, which is more important to you?

9mm versus .38 special versus whatever else pistol: What do you need it for? How big is the person that is going to be using this firearm?

Training: Get a good instructor to start off with. Breathing control, sight picture, trigger squeeze, ect ect ect. After you get the basics, practice practice practice practice and practice.
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Old 09-19-2013, 01:11 AM   #14
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Whoa, thanks again for the information- it's a lot to digest! I'm going to go the shop probably with in the week- enough time for me to familiarize myself with all the excellent advice given. There's a few (um, more than) terms I need to understand- most confusing is everything related to various loads and ammo types.

Very cool- another drummer who uses the sticks as an effective weapon. I went to drum school post high school in LA- practicing 8-10 hours a day, I happen to use vater nightsticks and trained my chops using (can't find them anymore) brass drumsticks which would destroy a drum in a moment. I am trained in stick-fighting. Actually, one night when I was walking down Hollywood blvd (2 AM), 2 ppl tried to jump me from behind. I had those brass drum sticks with me and managed to hit the first guy on the knuckles and then collar bone. I don't know what would of happened, but from behind they were yelling that they were going to shoot me (maybe bluffing). Short story, the whole thing latest for a second, the one guy fell to the ground, other guy kinda stood their but I was hoofing it by then!

Thanks again, time to read up some more then go talk to the ppl at the shop.

Awesome adivce/info everyone!

-regards!
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Old 10-19-2013, 02:40 AM   #15
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Hello! Whew, it's been a while. An update.

It took a long time to procure said dry powder for home defense. I realize I'm cutting it very short but by-golly, better now then never. In a few days I have the first of many 1 on 1 lessons with a firearms instructor at a reputable store. I feel terrible for many of you out there with crazy ammo shortages. There seems to be plenty (aside from .22) of supply, albeit at ridiculous prices. As for firearms, no short supply either. I do see a dark side to this availability- it demonstrates (in my geo-loc) how unaware the public is. Case in point- there's a major (several) amount of nuclear waste sitting atop the metro water-aquifer, 900>ft away from an adjacent landfill which is burning. The maths: in 1.5-2 years landfill fire will reach 8,700 (known) tons of nuclear waste...a "dirty bomb" scenario is most plausible. I've tried/done what 1 person can do and sadly no one cares (normalcy bias/dunning-Kruger effect etc). It's really bad...I'm a part of the radiation network and on the US map there is 1 radiation station (myself) for 2 states. Depressing.

(Sigh). In 2009, to my surprise, I began trying to tell my friends/family about the incoming econ collapse...I went as far as taking the (ugh) series 65/3 test, thinking that being an "official (laugh) financial adviser" would help ppl take me seriously. I loathe fin-advisors...maybe not all are bad ppl, experience says otherwise.

From 2009-Now, like many here i've lost all my friends. Unbelievable and just plain ol' sad.

Moving on topic- I'm not going to buy any firearms until I meet up with instructor- have him hear my specific situation and take a gander at my weaknesses/strengths at the range.

That said, I have enough FRNS to purchase 2 firearms (plus a decent amount of ammo) and have a few questions for the experts here!

I was thinking moss 500/590 for a while and came across some info (YouTube) which I would change my decision if true. Is it true that an AR-15 (colt) /w .223 "fragments" upon contact with sheet-rock? Or in other words- do shotgun slugs penetrate walls compared to .223?

The .223 seems much more practical (less recoil, less loading etc).

The other choice is a handgun. Given the price and wide availability of parts, I was thinking of the 4th gen Glock 17 or 19.

Also, I'm left handed (which is no problem with the Glock) and the moss- as for a colt AR variant, is this a major problem?

Ultimately, the instructor will have the last word, but the advice here has been excellent & I'd appreciate any comments on the matter.

I haven't ruled anything out of course but eyeballing the cost of .45 FMJ for practice compared to 9mm has me leaning big time to the 9mm side of things. The .45 FMJ was 2x 9mm, 9mm defense ammo was .70-1$ vs 1.20-1.50$ .45

Thanks everyone,
Godspeed.
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Old 10-19-2013, 08:47 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by StressedStax View Post:
...
I was thinking moss 500/590 for a while and came across some info (YouTube) which I would change my decision if true. Is it true that an AR-15 (colt) /w .223 "fragments" upon contact with sheet-rock? Or in other words- do shotgun slugs penetrate walls compared to .223?

The .223 seems much more practical (less recoil, less loading etc).
I own a Mossberg 500 and it is very easy to use. By that I mean, I have absolute confidence that in a stressful situation, I can hit a perp at 10 yards without even thinking. I've done many simulations/tests at my local outdoor gun range to validate that confidence.

I added the Blackhawk Knoxx/SpecOps Recoil reducing (adjustable/collapsible) stock on my Mossberg and it makes a HUGE difference on felt recoil. I'm not a huge guy (~6' and 150#) and I can easily empty the shotgun of (6) 3" 00 magnum shells without bruising my shoulder.

The Mossberg has a safety located on the top of the receiver where it's easy to flick with a thumb. It makes the shotgun lefty friendly compared to firearms that have safety mechanisms on the right side of the receiver near the trigger.

As far as the wall penetration issue is concerned...

Quote :
...
Frankly, I was surprised that the shotgun did not penetrate more than it did. I had been led to believe that they penetrated more than a .223 rifle or a 9mm or .45 ACP. Such was not the case.

Amazing what you can learn by doing a little testing.
...

But doesn't 00 Buck penetrate too much in interior walls to be a "safe" load in a home?

Yes, it does penetrate a lot. But any load that is going to be effective will need to penetrate walls to have enough power to penetrate bad guys. If our only concern was to be sure we didn't penetrate walls, we would use BB guns. However, BB guns will not stop bad guys.

Therefore, we must use loads that will STOP bad guys, and this means that they will also penetrate walls. So, be sure you hit the bad guy and do not shoot into walls where loved ones are on the other side.
http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot3_2.htm

^^^ The Box O Truth is a great website. The owner (retired LEO) shares the results of many field tests he's performed with a wide variety of firearms.

Originally Posted by StressedStax View Post:
...
The other choice is a handgun. ...

Ultimately, the instructor will have the last word, but the advice here has been excellent & I'd appreciate any comments on the matter.
I've got several semi-auto pistols, but if SHTF and I had to grab one quickly to defend myself against someone breaking into my home, I'd grab my .357 revolver. The revolver is a much simpler (and reliable) mechanism. You pull the trigger, it goes bang. It also doesn't have a safety, so it's fine for lefties. Also, my revolver is a (relative to modern carbon fiber/plastic semi-autos) big, heavy hunk of metal. It's got a long, thick barrel and it's super accurate and easy to handle (the weight helps offset the recoil).

I've also got several semi-auto pistols and (*aside* from the Ruger Mark I .22LR pistol) I have to take great care when practicing at the range to be deliberate with my trigger control or I tend to pull my shots. I'm not confident at all in my ability to shoot them accurately in a high stress situation (yet!?).

YMMV!
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Old 10-19-2013, 10:41 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by StressedStax View Post:
Hello! Whew, it's been a while. An update.

Case in point- there's a major (several) amount of nuclear waste sitting atop the metro water-aquifer, 900>ft away from an adjacent landfill which is burning. The maths: in 1.5-2 years landfill fire will reach 8,700 (known) tons of nuclear waste...a "dirty bomb" scenario is most plausible. I've tried/done what 1 person can do and sadly no one cares (normalcy bias/dunning-Kruger effect etc). It's really bad...I'm a part of the radiation network and on the US map there is 1 radiation station (myself) for 2 states. Depressing.
Your story is interesting, but as they say in the media business "you buried your lead" There is a fire going on somewhere that can lead to sending nuclear radiation up into the air? Holy Cow! Could you post a link? Thanks! (bad puns come naturally to me)

(oh, and good luck with your shooting lessons. Sounds like fun )
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Old 10-19-2013, 11:35 AM   #18
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http://www.ksdk.com/news/article/398...-Lake-Landfill
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Old 10-19-2013, 12:21 PM   #19
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I like the ar-15, Mossberg 500 and Glock 17 set-up. I happen to own all three and you can't go wrong as a gun newbie for their simplicity and ease of care.
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Old 10-19-2013, 10:08 PM   #20
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I agree with ancona, AR/Moss/Glock would be a fine setup. It perfectly covers the fundamental self-defense trio of semi-auto rifle, shotgun, handgun.

Stag Arms makes left handed ARs. They have a pretty solid reputation from what I have seen and are reasonably priced. If you can't find a lefty gun, you could buy the complete lefty upper and assemble the lower yourself; it is not super hard.
Stag lefty ARs
Stag lefy uppers

As for the Glock, the 17 and 19 are both great choices, can't go wrong. Personally I prefer the 19 since my fingers are slim enough that the extra grip length of the 17 would not be utilized. Since the extra grip is no use for me I would rather have the more concealable 19. Obviously this is totally personal and you may very well appreciate the extra grip length ofthe 17 (longer sight radius is nice too).

Once you get some guns, instruction, and concealed carry permit if required in your state (gun doesn't do you any good sitting the sock drawer), start getting involved in shooting games.

You can find a local gun range that hosts various matches such as IDPA, USPSA, 3 Gun Nation, and IPSC. Not only are these games a lot of fun, but you'll get practice engauging multiple targets, moving targets, shooting while moving/uner pressure/in weird positions, magazine changes, etc. It is a good way to get comfortable manipulating your weapon, hitting targets, and enjoying yourself.
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