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Selecting Guns for Personal Protection
Old 09-05-2005, 02:09 AM   #1
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Selecting Guns for Personal Protection

I'm sure there are other places on the internet where I could find this, but I'm here and we've started talking about it and there are knowledgable people about, so here goes.

At this time I'm not going to carry a gun and would have a gun unloaded and locked (trigger lock, cable through chamber or similar) while in my apartment. I would want to target shoot the guns at appropriate places and take classes on safety and use.

As I mentioned in other posts, the NOLA situation is what got me thinking about buying guns again, so my interest is self protection in the event of widespread loss of civility.

I'm thinking a handgun would be good to carry in a belt or shoulder holster for most situations, and I'm thinking a larger weapon like a shotgun or rifle slung over my shoulder would be good for traveling and as a general deterrent while at rest in the open.

For handgun selection I really like firing semi-automatics better (for trigger feel & reloading), but I like the simplicity of a revolver especially since I don't tend to take care of things (as in cleaning and maintaining) as others do.

For a large gun selection I don't imagine myself firing at distance since this is for protection from opportunistic outlaws, so the accuracy of a rifle probably isn't needed. On the other hand if I could find a rifle and handgun that used the same ammunition that could be really convenient in a disaster and at the firing range. Do any rifles and handguns share the same type of ammunition?

If a shotgun is the better large gun selection for me then what kind of action should I consider given that I probably won't clean it as much as I should and will probably store it for years at a time between trips to the firing range after the newness wears off?

And since I'm buying guns that I'll probably almost never use, should I consider trying to buy a gun that may rise in value?
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection
Old 09-05-2005, 08:46 AM   #2
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection

Sure, if you can buy a gun that will rise in value while it serves your purpose- - go for it.
I've kind of had my fill of guns, but my weapon of choice for the self protection bit is a plain vanilla .38.* Easy to clean and if you never clean it, abuse it, do anything to it, it will probably fire when you need it.* If I ever need more than a couple of rounds to take care of a problem-* -well then I guess I've got a problem.
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection
Old 09-05-2005, 08:55 AM   #3
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection

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Easy to clean and if you never clean it, abuse it, do anything to it, it will probably fire when you need it.
Yes, unfortunatly plain vanilla .38's like my father's police gun are hard to find and actually cost more than many comperable semi-autos. Hard to belive but true

One bug a boo with the autos is that if you keep it loaded the spring in the magazine can succumb to fatigue and it will jam up when you need it. You can simply keep swapping mags and using the gun often but now you ANOTHER peice of stuff around the house that needs constant attending to

The revolver can sit there forever and still work when needed.

And I think gun threads here are on the borderline of 2 differnt situations. Having *A* gun around the house in case of an extereme situation to save your life maybe ONCE in your lifetime is one thing.

Having a small multi-purpose arsenal in case of breakdown of civilization...THAT is a totally different thing.

I would focus on the former. Really. That is the likely threat. If and when there is a true calamity guns will be easy to pick up. Just take one where you find it.

Now if you live in a New Orelans and have a clue that big catastrophic stuff really might happen someday... you can buy extra guns "just in case". Or do like I would and just move to a better place where that crap is less likely to happen
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection
Old 09-05-2005, 09:11 AM   #4
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection

Look at the glock 26 & reminton 870 shot gun - should fit your needs.

Someone once said that you only use your handgun until you get to your rifle.

I am not an expert on guns. I do shoot the IDPA - international defensive pistol association. I recomend good training and the IDPA. One thing you learn is that it is extreamly difficult to shoot accuratly under stressfull situations.
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection
Old 09-05-2005, 09:18 AM   #5
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection

Although I own both a handgun (semi-antique .22 dating from WWII) and a shotgun, my advice for anyone wanting personal home protection is a pump action 12 gauge shotgun. Dex makes a good point about the difficulty of shooting accurately in a stressful situation.

Never advocated nor carried a concealed weapon, but have fired a pistol in anger, although not at a varmit of the two legged variety. After trying to hit something at night with a pistol, I came to fully appreciate the meaning of the term "shot in the dark" and bought the shotgun. My aim and the result were much improved and my old lab is no longer bothered by javelina (collared peccary) attacking her in the back yard. The only negative is the vet misses the opportunity for another $600 bucks he charged to sew up the damage they did to her up and nurse her back to health.

And I prefer a pump action to any other type. Nothing like the "thwack - thwak" sound of a round loading to convice someone that you just might be serious when you say "stop or I'll shoot!"

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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection
Old 09-05-2005, 09:24 AM   #6
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection

My choice was a Sig P239 in 9mm. Compact (6.6" long), light (25.2 oz w/o mag), 8 round mag.

I chose 9mm as a compromise between "stopping power" and weight as well as the lower cost of 9mm ammunition (a concern if you spend much time at the range).

However, I agree with previous posts about the simplicity and reliability of a good revolver.

I installed rubber grips for comfort which is probably a mistake. The rubber tends to get caught on fabric like pockets. I also tried several very high quality leather holsters which were a disappointment. I now use, and am very satisfied with, a plastic injection molded holster. A good quality, heavy duty belt is essential.

Dex's advice is excellent! Good training and practice is essential. I don't personally participate in IDPA but it is outstanding.
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection
Old 09-05-2005, 09:59 AM   #7
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection

And then only use your rifle until you can get to your automatic weapon and only use that until you can call 911.
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection
Old 09-05-2005, 01:19 PM   #8
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
And I prefer a pump action to any other type. Nothing like the "thwack - thwak" sound of a round loading to convice someone that you just might be serious when you say "stop or I'll shoot!"
Agreed. Pump action shotgun is your very best bet. Excellent short range weapon, very little aiming required, and that sound is most likely to leave you with nothing more to do than clean the intruders feces off the carpet.

Plus #8 shot mostly bounces off of parallel sheetrock walls, and the most you're going to have to do is wipe off the blood and do a little spackling. Handgun rounds can go a long way and do a lot of damage.

But then again, theres something to be said for the .88 magnum...it shoots through schools!
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection
Old 09-05-2005, 02:38 PM   #9
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection

With only a little imagination, I can see your statement working its way into a TV commercial any day now
Yup, and when your done spackling you'll still have time for a cool Corona before the coroner arrives.
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection
Old 09-05-2005, 07:44 PM   #10
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection

Theres a reason why I keep a 40lb box of drywall mud in my garage.

But no corona please. Thats soap flavored rat urine you have to stick lime in to be able to drink. Maybe while also holding your nose.
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection
Old 09-05-2005, 08:33 PM   #11
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection

Once again, more commercial material.* Perhaps for Budwieser this time.*
You've missed your calling.
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection
Old 09-05-2005, 10:00 PM   #12
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection

BMJ- I agree that a pump 12 gauge is probably best for the shotgun. A semi-auto removes the possibility that you will short-stroke when trying to rechamber a round and it is faster for most people, but it is also more complex. Give thought to the high capacity short barrel police type gun.

I bought my first handgun at age 16, and have owned and shot quite a few since then. For handguns, if you do not plan on legal concealed carry, and you have at least 1 morning or afternoon every month or 6 weeks to go to the range, I would buy a semi-automatic like a Glock 17. There is a reason why almost all cops carry Glocks. When Israeli commandos rescued hostages off the plane hijacked to Entebbe, Unganda, they got some key headshots with Glock 17s. If you want a smaller gun, go with the Glock 19. I would avoid the models smaller than this. They are essentially concealed carry guns, and punishing to shoot and mostly impossible to shoot accurately.

If the Glock doesn't feel good to you when you try it out-always rent a gun at the range before buying- then I would look at Sig/Sauer 226 or 228, or the HK USP.

If you can't give some regular time to practice, realize that you will not be familiar enough with your semi-automatic pistol to operate it under stress.

In this condition, I would buy a stainless double action .357 magnum in a medium frame, with a barrel no longer than 4", and not much shorter either. Both S&W and Ruger make stainless 357s with 4" and 3.25" bbls. Shorter is a bit handier, longer is easier to aim and gives more velocity.

Many of these very modern guns are not even chambered in .38spl, because you can always shoot a .38spl round in a .357, but not vice versa. I have several older .38 spls, and they are essentially obsolete because to use .38spl+P ammo is either unsafe or will destroy the guns prematurely.

Good .357 revolvers at moderate but not cheap prices are the Ruger GP100 series, the S&W 686 and S&W 386. I am not sure of the Ruger, but the Smiths mentioned have a 7 round cylinder, which gets you an additional round over the traditional 6-gun.

These require some care but not much, and you will always remember how to shoot them. The tradeoff is that most people find it a bit easier to shoot accurately in DA mode using a semi-auto; and most full size semi-autos have larger magazines.

Ha
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection
Old 09-05-2005, 10:19 PM   #13
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection

Thanks for all the info so far. Looks like a 12-gague pump action is the way to go. Why is a short barrel desirable?

I've rented and fired a few Glocks including the 17, and later I rented and fired some revolvers. A large heavy .357 firing .38 ammo was surprisingly (to me) less tiring than firing the lighter guns...makes sense after I think about it. I still like the trigger feel and the "neato"-ness of the semi-automatics but am fairly sure any gun I buy is going to spend months or years at a time in my closet after the training classes are done and the novelty wears off.

Last time I rented a .22 automatic just because it looked different. My accuracy went up greatly, and it was much easier to load the magazine. (Loading a Glock 9mm or .45 magazine can be painful to my thumbs!)
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection
Old 09-05-2005, 10:23 PM   #14
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection

Quote:
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Looks like a 12-gague pump action is the way to go. Why is a short barrel desirable?
You lose nothing in the defense situation, and you gain maneuverability and handiness.

Ha
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection
Old 09-06-2005, 06:07 AM   #15
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMoneyJim
Thanks for all the info so far. Looks like a 12-gague pump action is the way to go. Why is a short barrel desirable?

I've rented and fired a few Glocks including the 17, and later I rented and fired some revolvers. A large heavy .357 firing .38 ammo was surprisingly (to me) less tiring than firing the lighter guns...makes sense after I think about it. I still like the trigger feel and the "neato"-ness of the semi-automatics but am fairly sure any gun I buy is going to spend months or years at a time in my closet after the training classes are done and the novelty wears off.

Last time I rented a .22 automatic just because it looked different. My accuracy went up greatly, and it was much easier to load the magazine. (Loading a Glock 9mm or .45 magazine can be painful to my thumbs!)
Just a quickie..even though I haved owned guns since I was about 12,
I have not actually fired a gun in about 5 years, since I quit hunting.
This issue remains my No. One political hot button though. BTW, the .22
is fun but practically worthless for self defense purposes. Better than
nothing however.

JG
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection
Old 09-06-2005, 07:29 AM   #16
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection

Hmmm, perhaps I could offer a dissenting view here?

I am no stranger to firearms (and I am a reasonably accurate marksman), but I have zero interest in haviing one in my home. Why? It is far more likely that you will do something that you will regret for the rest of your life than anything else if you ever actually use a weapon. In contrast, what is the likelihood that you would actaully "need" a firearm for self defense? Pretty damn unlikely.

BMJ, if you are that worried about your safety, you need to change neighborhoods/locations, not buy a gun.
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection
Old 09-06-2005, 08:59 AM   #17
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
BMJ- I agree that a pump 12 gauge is probably best for the shotgun. A semi-auto removes the possibility that you will short-stroke when trying to rechamber a round and it is faster for most people, but it is also more complex. Give thought to the high capacity short barrel police type gun.
Good info on guns in that post. I agree that Glock makes a great gun. I had tried a colt defender at one point, but it jammed a few times and at 45 caliber, it was a little too overpowering.

What would you recommend for a hunting shotgun?
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection
Old 09-06-2005, 01:36 PM   #18
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection

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Good info on guns in that post.* I agree that Glock makes a great gun.* I had tried a colt defender at one point, but it jammed a few times and at 45 caliber, it was a little too overpowering.*

What would you recommend for a hunting shotgun?
This is a harder question than BMJ's. It depends on what you are going to hunt, what the conditions are, your attitude about and tolerance for recoil and noise, your ability to carry a fairly heavy gun all day, etc.

If you are used to semi-autos, there is a lot to be said for the Remington Model 11-87 in 12 gauge. You can get extra barrels if you want, so you could have a shorty for home defense or deer hunting, and longer bbls for birds or ducks. Likewise this gun will operate well with 2.75 or 3 " shells, since the gas mechanism was designed to compensate for powder charge. Gas operated guns must be kept clean; but they give a softer push on the shoulder. Check before you buy that any extra barrels or features you want are currently available and reasonably priced.

If you are just hunting ducks and geese, there are even larger chamberings in very heavy guns, but I don't know anything about these.

I am kind of safety crazed, so I hunt with doubles only. It is easier to unload when crossing fences, climbing etc. Of course as important or more so than your own safety routine is that of your hunting companions.*

Finally, the same Remington Mod 870 pump that several posters mentioned for home defense is also available with hunting length barrels and muilti-chokes. To me, a pump gun is harder to shoot straight than a gun with a solid fore-end. Unless you wrap your hand all the way up onto the barrel, there is play at your left hand. If you are shooting clays, that barrel gets hot!

Ha
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection
Old 09-06-2005, 05:58 PM   #19
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection

HaHa said:
Quote:
In this condition, I would buy a stainless double action .357 magnum in a medium frame, with a barrel no longer than 4", and not much shorter either. Both S&W and Ruger make stainless 357s with 4" and 3.25" bbls. Shorter is a bit handier, longer is easier to aim and gives more velocity.
I bought one of those babies when I lived in a not so nice area that was constantly being broken into. The bad guys were none to nice to the renters and several breakins resulted in rape and sodomy so I decided I need to get myself a little help. I have a SW stainless with a 4 inch barrel. It has magnum loads in it and was kept nearby while we lived there (no kids in the house then). Now I have a .38 short barrel with a shrouded hammer that is close but not visible and would be very difficult for a kid to find. No kids in the house now either. The other hardware is in the gun safe.

I used to do a lot of target shooting. .22, .25, .38,. 357, .45, and a 9mm. Also have some rifles from WWI and WWII that my father had and a cheap 7.7mm SK from the Vietnam era. While not an arsenal, it is of some comfort knowing it is there.

For the average person I would suggest a revolver in a lockbox with fingerprint access. Put a laser cope on it and have a 12ga pump in the closet. Use the revolver to get to the shot gun and also install a security system.

Guns are uselful only when in the right hands and those hands have to be trained. If you don't keep up on your skills then put the gun where it cannot be found by kids or the bad guys. Otherwise, they will use it on you or you might shoot your own family members.
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection
Old 09-06-2005, 06:14 PM   #20
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Re: Selecting Guns for Personal Protection

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR

For the average person I would suggest a revolver in a lockbox with fingerprint access.* Put a laser cope on it and have a 12ga pump in the closet.* Use the revolver to get to the shot gun and also install a security system.*
Pretty good advice.

JG
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