Archive for Self Defense
In light of recent events the discussion of magazine capacity has been coming up alot lately. I have alot of old school friends who believe that 5 shots from a revolver is more than enough for any self defense situation and I think in many cases they’re right.
But what about those few times when more rounds may be the difference between life and death? What about those times when your aim just isn’t what it should be because as much as u train, when its a real situation, you might need more capacity to get rounds on target?
Capacity is something that over the last few years I’ve become more and more of a proponent of just based on my own ideology changing because of my turn towards prepping. Now I won’t get into any prepping tips in this article but one thing that has been impressed upon me because of prepping is that its always better to be overprepared than underprepared and I feel this should be just as relevant for self defense as it is for prepping.
I won’t start spouting off statistics (but I do encourage everyone to do their own research) but after doing my own studying on this topic I’ve found that the difference between stopping a threat and not stopping a threat was more dependent on rounds on target than it was caliber (not that it was the only factor, just a more determining factor). This told me that capacity is definitely an issue that should be addressed and considered when choosing a firearm for any defensive situation.
My recommendations are to carry the largest capacity firearm in a suitable self defense caliber (9mm and up in a semi-auto & .38spl & up in a revolver) in the size your able and willing to carry. So for instance if your willing to carry a full sized firearm then by all means carry a good doublestack .45acp pistol, that should give you at least 14+1 capacity which is a very effective package. If however your going to be carrying something like a compact or sub-compact firearm then your doing yourself a favor by going with a smaller caliber like 9mm that can give u greater capacity than a .45acp, especially in a sub compact where the difference can be 12+1 for a 9mm and 6+1 for a .45acp.
Again I always recommend doing your own research before making self defense decisions but keep these things in mind. I too was a all American .45acp loving Texas boy, born and raised, but after a little studying it became clear that while .45acp will always be #1 in my heart, it might not be right for every situation.
Alot of people are looking towards the shotgun as their “go to” home defense firearm and for good reason. A shotgun has alot going for it in a home defense situation ….. it’s simple to use, uses a highly effective round which is very versatile and just the look and sound of a shotgun is a very menacing thing, sometimes that alone can end an situation.
So it’s easy to see why alot of people choose to go this route. But what are some of the things you should look for in a home defense shotgun? Well the answer to that question varies depending on your personal situation …… things like the size and design of your home along with how close you are to other homes and how much property your home sits on are all things you’ll want to take into consideration since those things can have an affect on things like barrel length and what load your using.
All that being said there are some basics that I’ve found useful and a good place to start when choosing a good defensive shotgun.
First is barrel length. A good all around length for a defensive shotgun is about 20 inches or less. Now if your defensive situation involves you home sitting on a larger area of land that you’ll want to defend then you might go for a longer barrel but most people just looking for a defensive shotgun for in home use will find the shorter barrel just makes more sense.
Next you’ll want to make sure you comfortable with your stock setup. I’ve found that having a pistol grip makes more “tactical” style shooting easier. Now this doesn’t mean you should do away with your shoulder stock, in fact having a setup that uses a pistol grip and shoulder stock usually gives you the most control over the gun.
You’ll also want to make sure you have a reloading system in place somewhere on the weapon. Now what I mean by this is that you’ll want extra ammo somewhere on the gun. Some options for this are stock mounted shell carriers, side saddles shell carries that sit on the left hand side of the receiver and slings or bandoliers that hold several rounds of spare ammo.
Another things you’ll want to look into is getting a good mount and flashlight on your shotgun since just as with any defensive weapon you never know what time of day or night it will be when you need to use your weapon.
You’ll notice that two things that you might otherwise think I’d mention were left out ……. those being choice of Gauge and what particular Brand to look at. The reason those were left out is because I feel they are less of a necessary factor and more of a personal choice.
The question of gauge really comes down to preference and choosing shotgun loads that compliment your weapon in a defensive situation …. an example would be that if your shotgun is a .410 gauge then I’d definitely recommend using proper defensive ammo as opposed to bird shot, whereas in 12 gauge many times birdshot might be enough to take care of the situation.
As far as brand goes …… a shotgun is a shotgun and its petty hard to screw it up, especially if its not a semi-auto. So go for the model and brand you prefer.
So those are the basics as I see them. Choosing a shotgun doesn’t have to be too complicated and usually doesn’t have to require too much of an investment, just remember to choose wisely.
Finding the right holster for concealed carry can be an exhaustive and expensive process that includes buying and trying out several different style and brands of holsters before eventually find the right one for the right situations.
We all know that depending on what we’re wearing and what time of year it is we’re probably using at least a couple different holsters for our carry pistol.
About 6 months ago I came across a Blackhawk CQC leather IWB holster, one I’d seen many times at various gunshops and sporting goods stores and quite frankly I mostly ignored them in favor of other less expensive or different style holsters.
This particular day though I decided to try it out since I had just picked up a new Glock 26 and I needed a holster for it and thought if I didn’t like it I’d just take it back. All I can say is that I now realize I’ve never made a better holster purchase.
The overall feel of the holster is great, its the perfect thickness to allow for secure retention and still be very comfortable inside the waistband up against the body. I’m a big proponent of having a good sweatguard on my holsters and this one completely covers the rear of the slide to protect the gun. The retention adjustment screw works as expected and allows u to perfectly adjust the tention on the triggerguard to your personal preference. I like the single loop design as it allows for easy one handed removal of the holster. The holster is perfect for any degree of carry, from middle of the back, strongside, appendix carry or cross draw. Also the holster has been a great choice for both cold weather and during this summer while wearing shorts and a T-shirt. It also comes in a very large variety of models to fit just about any pistol or revolver on the market.
Overall, in my opinion the holster is as good or better than some custom holsters at almost twice the price. Needless to say I’ve been very pleased and can highly recommend this as a great choice for a CCW IWB holster.
Carrying a gun, is for many of us, simply our right and needs no further explaination. For some of us, it’s done out of necessity due to wanting to be able to defend ourselves or others in a dire situation. For the vast majority of us, it’s a little bit of both.
But something I think some people (only a very small minority of gun owners and carriers) have a problem understanding is that there are social and legal consequences when we exercize our right to carry a firerm, especially if we ever have to pull that weapon.
There is a degree of common sense that I believe the vast majority of gun owners and carriers have but that a few lack.
I was having a conversation the other day with a gentleman who teaches a CCW class and he got very offended by me saying that common sense should be used in a situation where if u see no direct threat or have reason to believe anyone is in danger, that the appropriate response should not be to interject yourself into a situation if your carrying a fiream, that a person should simply avoid the situation if there is no direct threat to you or others.
Now I personally thought this was simple common sense, that anyone would know that if your carrying a firearm you have to be a little more careful about the confrontations you find yourself in as they can quickly escalate, but the gentleman I was speaking to insisted that as a citizen he has a right to interject into a situation if he wants to and if he’s carrying a firearm it should make no difference.
I posed the question to him “Does carrying a gun somehow give you, or others, a boost in confidence to enter a situation that otherwise you wouldn’t enter? Because if the answer is yes, than I believe there is a problem A gun should not be used as a confidence boost. If you wouldn’t enter a situation WITHOUT your firearm, than you shouldn’t enter it WITH your firearm unless the situation requires the possible use of deadly force to protect a life”.
Well the conversation took a turn and along with being accused of being a liberal sympathizer (among other things) I was told that a gun IS to be used as a confidence boost for everyday life and thats what he uses his firearm for.
This is a scary thought considering this opinion comes from someone who teaches others about carrying a firearm.
The moral of the story is this, use common sense when carrying your firearm, realize that a gun is not the answer to every situation and that if your carrying a firearm, you are held to a higher standard (both socially & legally) of common sense and forethought in any situation you might find yourself in. It may seem idiotic to even say this to most gun owners, but it has become apparent to me that there are a few out there who have lost the ability to use common sense when it come to their guns.
Alot of people think that to adequately defend yourself either in a home defense, self defense or even a SHTF situation that you must have the latest and greatest, high tech, more than likely expensive firearm. That however, this is just not true.
There are many firearm options out there that won’t break the bank and will serve you well. Remember that the most important part of having a firearm is being able to efficiently use that firearm.
Lets go over a few of the options available that while not top of the line or name brand, are good quality and affordable.
1) Hi-Point – Now I personally think these things look like a brick strapped to the top of a watergun but the fact is that they work, I’ve put many rounds down the barrel of a Hi-Point and never had any issues, and with an average price of under $150 you’ll definitely get your money’s worth.
2) Phoenix Arms HP-22 – Now alot of people will cry foul because of the .22 caliber, but I dare someone to want to take 10 shots center mass of .22lr or even one shot for that matter. The HP-22 is a great little firearm, I’ve put well over 2500 rounds through mine with no issues. Add to that its small and concealable size, the lifetime warranty that comes with it and a price of around $120 and you’ll be hard pressed to find a better deal for a new gun.
3) Mosin Nagant rifle or carbine – Now many people are aware of these rifles and chances are you may have one already or know someone who does. The short and sweet of it is that for around $100 or so you can own a 30 caliber rifle with great accuracy out to about 300 yards that’ll be a man stopper if you ever needed to use it, nevermind the hunting applications. Sure its a little big for a typical home defense situation but it sure beats a baseball bat because you didn’t have the money for a Glock.
4) Single Shot Shotgun – There are many models and makes of single shot shotguns and they come in many calibers, but these things are great. They usually run well under $150 even for new ones and I’ve seen used ones go for as little as $50. Sure they’re only a single shot action but with a little practice and a buttstock shell holder you can get pretty quick at reloading. Not to mention if you buy something in a 12 gauge you hopefully won’t need more than one shot anyway, and when everything is said and done you’ve got a great hunting tool.
So those are just a few ideas on budget firearm options. Sure there are many other affordable firearms out there and we could spend all day talking about them but just use this as a guideline and figure out what works best for you. Remember that it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to get the job done.
For the first time buyer choosing a pistol can be quite a chore. You might spend hours online researching certain models on forums and blogs, or you may just be talking to friends with firearms experience in the hopes that they’ll lead you in the right direction.
Whatever way you decide to go, I’d like to throw out a few guidelines for choosing a pistol that might help you out along the way.
1) Purpose – you need to decide what you plan on using this pistol for. Will it be for home defense, concealed carry, fun at the range, a vehicle gun or hunting. Figuring this out will help you to figure out what will and won’t work for you. A good example is if your looking for a good concealed carry pistol you might want to stay away from larger full sized pistols.
2) Type – This refers to choosing between a semi-auto pistol or a revolver. Both have their pros and cons but both will work for just about whatever you may be looking for. A semi auto has the advantage of having a larger capacity (usually) and will be quicker to reload while a revolver is much simpler and easy to operate and generally speaking is a more consistently reliable handgun because of its simplicity.
3) Caliber – This is important for a couple of reasons. First you want to make sure you choose a caliber that you can comfortably handle otherwise you might not practice with the gun as much as you should and become proficient with it. Second you don’t want to choose a caliber that may be expensive to stock up on and may cost too much to really shoot.
4) Personal Preference – This may be your first gun but you may be already familiar with certain firearms and already be comfortable with certain brands or calibers. This definitely should be taken into consideration as you don’t want to purchase a pistol that you’ll later regret.
5) Feel in the hand/Shoot it – Many first time gun buyers tend to underestimate the usefullness of just holding a pistol in the hand when it comes to making a decision about buying, and getting a chance to shoot that gun is an even better option.
So thats it, those are the basics of buying your first, or even tenth pistol. Remember that a little time and effort before hand can save you alot of time spent trading off or selling the gun down the road.
The reasons for wanting to choose a Primary Weapon can be anything from a home defense situation to a full blown SHTF situation like riots or extreme natural disasters where rule of law may not have a strong hold. In these situations having a “Primary Weapon” or “Go To” weapon is a good idea.
Now although in some places owning a firearm may be hard or even impossible, for the purposes of this article we’ll assume your primary weapon will be a firearm.
Now lets take a look at some things to keep in mind when choosing a primary weapon system.
1) Personal Preference – This refers to being comfortable with whatever your chosen firearm is, don’t go out and buy the latest and greatest tactical firearm if your not comfortable with it. Whatever you choose it should be something you can operate efficiently by instinct.
2) Caliber – This is a very important part of choosing a primary firearm, or any firearm because in essence it is the heart of your weapon system. There are a few guidelines I like to go by to help choose a firearm caliber.
A) Commonality – How common is the ammo in case you need to get ahold of some quickly.
B) Availability – How available is it now to make stocking up something that is easy to do.
C) Personal Preference – If you don’t like a certain caliber, then stay away from it.
D) Price – The less expensive the caliber, the easier it is to find and stock up on.
Calibers that fit nicely into these catagories are – .223 – .22lr – 12 gauge – 9mm – .40 – .45 – .308 – 7.62×39
3) Capacity – This is important because a Primary Weapon should primarily be used as a defensive tool and in a defensive situation you want as much capacity as possible because you can’t predict the situation. This would put things like the AR & AK platforms over bolt action rifles or shotguns. While both bolt action rifles and shotguns are incredible tools they do not have the defensive capabilities that a 30 round capacity modern battle rifle has.
4) Reload Speed – This is something to keep in mind because in the event that a defensive situation requires you to reload your weapon you want something that requires as little effort as possible to reload so as to not take too much of your time or attention away from your primary goal of defending yourself or others. Again this consideration would leave out firearms like the pump action shotgun or bolt action rifle in favor of something with a detachable box magazine because even a novice could more than likely reload an AK faster than a well trained operator can reload 6 rounds in a shotgun.
5) Multi-Purpose – This is by far the least important guideline but still one you might want to take into consideration. Do you want a primary that can serve purposes other than just as a defensive tool, things like hunting or breaching. If so then choose your weapon accordingly. But keep in mind that a Primary Weapon should be primarily a defensive tool.
6) Long Gun or Pistol – Last but certainly not least is wether or not your primary should be a pistol or long gun. At first this may seem like a stupid question because long guns are far superior when it comes to stopping power but keep in mind that pistols are an ideal defensive tool because they are easy to conceal, easy to manuver, can be had with good capacity and are magazine fed, all great things to have in a defensive situation.
So there you go, just a few things to keep in mind when choosing a Primary Weapon. Remember whatever you choose you should take the time and effort to train on your weapon and become as efficient as possible.
First off, what is a Go Bag? The basic concept of a Go Bag is simply a bag or pack of some sort loaded with the necessary gear to get you out of a bad situation quickly.
Most of us would probably use this tool in a home defense situation where we would want to be able to grab something quickly to have all the needed gear to defend our home and our family, wether by defending an area of our home or by fleeing the situation as safely as possible.
Now lets talk about what a Go Bag isn’t. It isn’t a Bug Out Bag. This isn’t something you’ll want to load with a bunch of useless equipment geared at helping you bug out. You simply want the essentials needed to get you out of a bad situation quickly.
Sounds pretty simple, but there are a few things you’ll want to take into consideration when choosing a bag or pack to fill this roll and what gear to put in it.
First off is the bag itself. There are several options that we’ll go over that will give u an idea of what will work best for you. The most common option are …….
At first glance this seems to be a great choice for a go bag as it can be easily carried on the move and usually has plenty of room for gear, but it is not in fact a good choice. The key reason is because it is a BACKpack and therefore can not be easily accessed with out removing it from your body.
Tactical Vest (LBV or MOLLE)
A great option as it can carry everything you need and nothing you don’t and can be customized to suit your specific needs as far as gear placement. The only down side is getting it on in a bad situation, it could be a bit cumbersome to get on and keep a hand free for a weapon or other defensive tool, but overall still a great option.
This is perhaps one of the best options as it is just big enough to carry whatever you might need and small enough to stay out of your way. The only downside is having to wear what is basically a Fanny Pack even if it does say Maxpedition.
This is what I personally use. It works well because its easy to get off and on with one hand while keeping the other free for whatever you might need and its more than big enough to carry whatever gear you need. The only downside is that most satchels are usually fairly big in that most are designed to handle paperwork and things like laptops, so you will have excess space.
Now lets get on to what gear you should think about putting in your Go Bag.
The basics should be ……
Holster for your pistol
Extra magazines or ammo
Small First Aid kit
Spare keys to all vehicles and locations
So thats it, not really too much need for anything else, although everyone will have their own opinions on what may work best for them.
Just remember to keep it simple to avoid confusion in a bad situation.