Not long ago, the conversation turned to shotguns at the gun shop. While even the folks that are not the ones we call “gunny” know the merits of a shotgun for home defense, there are many opinions on the proper load and the best shotgun. The shotgun is primarily a projectile launcher and it is best to use what you are comfortable and familiar with.
Posts Tagged ‘Personal Defense and Protection’
There has been a tremendous amount of development in ammunition during the past few years. Among the most interesting of these has been the advances in nonexpanding ammunition. These loads are intended to produce good wound potential for personal defense without the problems of jacketed hollow point manufacture and performance.
Purchasing an AR-15 rifle was far simpler when the only choice was Colt. Later, we had Armalite and a few others. Today, I cannot count the makers. Some are genuine manufacturers and others are small operators putting together rifles from outsourced parts. As long as the parts are high quality, that is fine. There is a lot of talent in the business. Diamondback’s DB15 exemplifies such talent.
For those serious about safety, a good supply of personal defense and training ammunition is vital. I practice rapid, aimed fire, and do not aim for the whole target. Instead, I aim for a small area on the target. Precise fire is important, and getting the bullet to where it will do the most good is vital.
Snubnose revolvers are a favorite of armed professionals and have been for many years. The balance of lightweight power and maneuverability are excellent. About the only thing about these revolvers we may change are the grips.
The primary requisite to hitting the target is being able to identify the target, acquire the target with the sights, and hit the target after getting a good sight picture and properly pressing the trigger. It is simple, but it isn’t easy. Crimson Trace Lasergrips go a long way toward closing the accuracy gap.
I think, in practical terms, I have learned more concerning the world around me, and how to work through an emergency, than most. My father taught we how to manage my finances, maintain vehicles, and be a man. My grandfather had a genuine love for animals and taught me to care for them and also taught me how to hunt successfully. My grandmother taught me to prepare food. Today, many are concerned with being prepared. We call them preppers. I think they are simply self-reliant folks who do not wish to stand on the corner and beg for help with the sheep when things go wrong. Firearms are a critical part of the plan too.
If there is anything I have learned in 40 years of shooting, it is if you buy cheap, you buy twice. When it comes to optics many that are OK for informal target practice and others are suited to some forms of competition. However, if you need a quality holographic sight for critical use, few if any, have stood the test of time as the EOTech sight has.
For some time, American Tactical Imports has offered affordable firearms giving everyone a chance to get into the shooting game. These 1911s may be diamonds in the rough, but they are single-action 1911 handguns, and they are .45s. These GI-type guns have given many shooters on a budget the opportunity to try their hand at Old Slabsides at an exciting price.
In the 1970s, SIG Sauer introduced one of the most reliable handguns the world has seen. The P220, and its later variants, gained an excellent reputation for accuracy, reliability, and durability by passing many difficult institutional test programs. The P220 sprang off the P225, P226, P228, P229, and other handguns. The original .45 caliber P220 remains a popular handgun. While SIG offered a handgun with comparable capacity to the 1911 .45, the pistol was eventually perceived to be at a disadvantage compared to the Glock 21 and HK .45s with their high capacity magazines. SIG introduced the P227 to counter this shortcoming.
Cartridge testing is complicated by any standard. Research and development must end at the ballistic lab with bullets being fired into gelatin when personal defense and service use is the goal.
After training hundreds of individuals and doing considerable research on handguns and cartridges, I have come to realize that many shooters do not realize the work a handgun cartridge must do. There has been considerable research and intensive testing during the past two decades—more so than the previous 100 years. The FBI set the need for penetration, expansion, and diameter forth after expensive and extensive testing, but how many shooters truly understand caliber, ballistics, and bullet choice?
A few years ago, the Canik TP9 pistol was introduced in America. A product of the Turkish arms industry, the pistol was a credible, but not exact, clone of a Walther design. The pistol has proven reliable and accurate enough. The price point is attractive and the pistol is well established.
Preparing for personal defense scenarios on a brightly lit range, and firing against one-dimensional targets that are squared to you, isn’t combat practice. At best it is a beginner’s exercise in controlling the trigger and sight alignment. However, gunfights occur in dim light. Are you ready for action?
Marksmanship can make up for power, but the reverse is seldom true. In a gunfight, shot placement is everything. Unfortunately, when choosing a handgun for combat, we risk becoming too interested in absolute accuracy and forget combat accuracy. A fascination with firing small groups on the target, even in combat courses, is counter intuitive to true combat practice.
Ruger has expanded its line of 1911 handguns considerably since the introduction of the original SR1911 a few years ago. There is a steel frame Commander version, lightweight Commander .45, and now an SR1911 9mm Commander. These handguns have proven to be reliable, accurate, and a good value. They are service grade and deserve the attention of anyone interested in a quality 1911 handgun.
The most common question presented to trainers, writers, and the family ‘gun person’ is, “Which handgun should I purchase for personal defense?” The bottom line is dependent upon the shooter and how much or how little time, effort, and training will go into the final choice. There are many firearms that are well suited to personal defense. But the student differs mentally and physically, and so should the choices each individual makes. The first step is individual research and study.
What is a riot gun? It is a 12 gauge pump-action shotgun with an open cylinder choke and 18-inch barrel. It just may be the best all-around personal defense firearm in the world. The short barrel and typical high magazine capacity—compared to sporting shotguns—gives the riot gun an edge in personal defense.