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  1. #1
    reaper239's Avatar
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    buyers guide

    over the past several weeks, we've talked about guns on this site. a lot. today, i thought i'd post something a little more useful than polarized psuedo-pundits screaming at each other over the internet, fun as that may be. here are some general guidlelines for buying a gun.

    before you ever set foot in a gun store, you need to ask yourself a couple questions. the first is: what purpose will this gun serve? this is an important question, especially for first time gun buyers. there are several reasons to buy a gun, and they all will have drastic influences on what you will buy. you could buy for home defense, concealed carry, general shooting, the zombie apocalypse, the coming second american revolution, any purpose you can think of. i'll be examining the three most probable causes for buying a gun: home, carry, range. then you need to ask yourself, what are you comfortable with? this question is a little more loaded (pun intended) as you can't answer it without handling a firearm. my suggestion is that you find a range that does gun rentals (there will probably be one closer to you than you think) rent several different guns in varried calibers, and start your gun experience with a fun trip to the range that doubles as a good learning experience.

    a lot of people want a handgun for home defense, but this isn't actually the best home defense weapon. of course, i think everyone should own a handgun, but it's probably not hte best for defending the home. the best general purpose weapon, and the best home defense weapon, is the shotgun. the shotgun is versatile, powerful, and dynamic. for my home, i keep a mossberg maverick 88 with an 18" barrel and a 5 round tube giving it a 5+1 capacity (5 round magazine plus one in the chamber). screw a double barrel, we ain't duck hunting. i have an ATI over folding stock, with a five shell saddle giving me an extra five shells attached to the gun. if it takes more than 11 shotgun shells to stop the threat, i probably have bigger problems. like a riot.i have also attached a vertical grip to the pump to make it easiers to hold and operate, and a light to the tube to give me an advantage in the dark. i keep it loaded with #7 bird shot. so let me break this down a bit. the 18" barrel is the shortest allowed by law, nicknamed the street sweeper, it allows for the widest spread in the shortest distance, this increases my chance to hit my target in the chaos of a home invasion, but, as i'm sure many of you will note, also increases my chance to hit an innocent bystander. for this reason i use #7 bird shot instead of buckshot, as some people insist. birdshot will stop the threat that is directly in front of me, however, it does not have the power to go through multiple layers of dry wall. it may go through one wall, but will lack the force required to inflict sever trauma. at worst, the person will suffer superficial wounds requireing a trip to the hospital, but they will, except in extremely rare cases, survive. the only real exception to the handgun for home defense is the Judge. the judge fire a .45 long colt, but can also fire a .410 shotshell. this makes it actually one of the best weapons i can think of for home defense since it's small but can fire birdshot. a major concern with any gun fireing a round of any girth is the possibility of it going through walls. my .45 would have little trouble finding it's way into my neighbors apartment, and my sks would put a round into the next building, this is why i use a shotgun for home defense.

    next we need to talk about carry. some so called "gun experts" you meet in a shop will tell you, "is it ain't a .45, it ain't a real gun!" they're full of crap. let me load up a .22 and run 30 rounds into you and see how much you like it. no one wants to get shot. with anything. not a .45, not a .22, hell, not a bb gun, they don't like it, so if a crook sticks you up, and you pull out a .25 acp pocket pistol, they'll move on. you're not worth getting shot over. that's your average criminal, now your cracked out zombies will take a mag of 9mm to the chest and keep coming, but those are farther and fewer between. i'm not advocating a caliber here, i'm making the point, no one wants to be shot. there are a few things you need to keep in mind when selecting a carry gun. 1) size matters, just not like you think. you cannot effectively put rounds on target with a gun that is too big or small for your hand. forget caliber for a minute, if you can barely hold the gun, you can't hit your target. hold every gun in the store, take a shooters stance, dry fire at the wall a few times, make sure it's the gun that feels right for you. you want a gun that is comfortable to hold. more than in any other situation, this is most important when selecting a gun for carry. 2) don't load for bear, load for asshole. this goes back to no one likes to be shot. carry the biggest caliber you can control, this is where the range day comes in. i can control a .45, so i am comfortable carying a .45, but i'm also comfortable with anything smaller, that might be lighter and easier to carry. when you go to the range, shoot multiple calibers, and time how quickly you can line up your next shot accurately. if your gun flies across the room after your first shot, it's not going to do you any good. i would rather carry a .22 than shirley, why? because i can put 30 rounds from a .22 on target faster and more accurately than i could a .50 ae, and no one likes to get shot. 3) an ugly gun is better than a pretty brick. do your research, look up consumer reports on different guns. look up reviews. save your pretty gun for the range, unless your pretty gun is the most reliable gun. if it has more than one faliure per 100 rounds (and i'm being very loose with this number) it's not the gun to trust your life to. at all. there are some who would say 1 failure every 200-300 rounds, but i think with good regular maintenence, 1 per 100 is a manageable number. this is one area you don't want to skimp. 4) no fancy phrases, just a very wise piece of wisdom i heard once that's stuck with me: amatures practice until they do it right, professionals train until they can't do it wrong. carrying a gun is serious business, and not something to take lightly. if you are going to carry, you need to train with that gun constantly, until everything from the draw, to aiming, to putting four or five rounds into the enemy is pure muscle memory. this actually feeds back into considerations for buying, i promise. if you want to be a professional, you have to train like one, and if you wan't to train like one, you need bullets. bullets cost money. you need to get a gun that you can afford to take to the range on a regular basis.

    finally, a gun for the range. no advice here, go nuts. a range gun can be your most rediculous and impractical gun ever. my only advice is to make sure you have your other bases covered before you start in on the just for fun guns.

    and for the zombie apocalypse, i'd kind of like this added to my arsenal.
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  2. #2
    reaper239's Avatar
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  3. #3
    REZombie's Avatar
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    Very good topic!!!! I agree with the shotgun is overall best for home defense in general. I keep a mossberg 500 with an 18" barrel 5+1 on a rack above my bed and loaded with #5 shot. I dont have any close neighbors, and the way my house is set up, i dont have to worry about wall penetration. The #5 gives me a boost of penetration over #7, and still a slim margin for accidental over-penetration injuries.

    I have people with the ".45 only" mind set come into the store all the time. My reply is always that same "Ok, are you welling to stand at 10ft and let me shoot you with a 9mm?" the answer is always "no"

    As you said, everyone is different and they need to pick the gun that is right for them. For me, it is as follows:

    Home: Mossberg 500. This is the gun everyone in the house knows how to handle and shoot. Its easy to use, has massive knock-down power and if nervous its easier to shoot. My personal home defense weapon that goes in my night stand each night is a Heckler and Koch USP40 with a SureFire tac light. If i have to go in search mode, i feel much more comfortable with my sidearm and light, than a long gun.

    Open Carry: My H&K USP40 with two spare mags

    Concealed Carry: Smith & Wesson M&P40c with spare mag or S&W Bodyguard .380 w/spare mag(also my back-up weapon sometimes)

    Range: I'll shoot anything....honestly their isnt a weapon on this planet that i dont want to shoot, lol.
    "You may find me dead in a ditch one day...But by God you'll find me in a pile of brass!"


    The hardest part about the Zombie Apocalypse will be pretending that i'm NOT excited!


 

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