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G&A Basics: How to Choose Your First Home Defense Gun

by Richard Nance   |  February 21st, 2013 86

000_Defense-gunGiven this country’s current political climate, it’s really no surprise that gun sales are through the roof. Many would-be first-time gun owners are anxious to purchase a home-defense gun before more stringent gun laws are passed. Most people looking to purchase their first firearm have a long list of questions. Handgun or long gun? Pistol or revolver? Shotgun or rifle? What about caliber and ammunition type? Finally, how can the gun be stored so it is both ready for home defense, and inaccessible to curious children and criminals?

Of course, when faced with a lethal threat, any gun is better than no gun. But what is the best gun for home defense? Unfortunately, there is no firearm that is perfectly suited for every person or circumstance. Rather than purchasing a gun based solely on the recommendation of a friend, family member, gun shop owner or because it was featured in in the latest issue of Guns & Ammo, you should consider the capabilities of those who will potentially use the gun to thwart a home invasion.

Here’s an overview of various gun types as they relate to home defense:

Pistols and Revolvers
Laymen often refer to all handguns as pistols, but this is incorrect. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a pistol as, “a handgun whose chamber is integral to the breach.” Obviously, this definition precludes revolvers.

The overwhelming majority of pistols are semi-automatic, which means after they are fired, a new round is automatically chambered from the magazine. This cycle is repeated with each trigger pull until all of the ammunition is depleted. While there are a myriad of pistol designs on the market, most pistols are easier to shoot than revolvers, thanks in large part to their lighter trigger pull. The lighter the trigger pull, the less likely the gun will move off-target as the pistol is fired.

Although pistols tend to be easier to shoot accurately, they are more complicated to operate than revolvers. To clear a malfunction or reload under stress takes considerable practice. In addition, many pistols have external safety mechanisms that must be disengaged in order to fire the pistol. This too can be an obstacle for an inexperienced shooter or one operating under the stress of a life and death encounter.

For home defense, a full-size pistol is an excellent choice, assuming those who may need to shoot it can comfortably grip the pistol for maximum control. To determine whether your hand is big enough for a particular pistol, grip it so that the slide is aligned with the middle of your forearm. While holding the gun in this manner, ensure that you can comfortably reach the trigger without changing your grip. You should also make sure that other controls—such as the magazine release, slide release and external safety (if applicable)—are within reach while you maintain a shooting grip on the pistol.

While some may dismiss revolvers as mere relics, they are viable home-defense handguns. Detractors will point out that revolvers tend to have a lower ammunition capacity than pistols, which means you’ll have fewer shots before you’ll need to reload. Reloading a revolver is also more difficult—particularly under stress—than a semi-automatic pistol because it has multiple chambers. However, when it comes to reliability, nothing beats a revolver.

Since revolvers are comprised of fewer parts, there’s less chance of the gun malfunctioning. Revolvers are also easier to operate, allowing for virtual point-and-shoot functionality. In the rare case of a malfunction, the shooter need only pull the trigger again. This act rotates the cylinder so that a new round aligns with the barrel.

Shotguns and Rifles
The shotgun is considered by many to be the ultimate home defense weapon. While there is no disputing the effectiveness of a shotgun, there are certainly drawbacks to using a shotgun inside the home.

The shotgun’s extended sight radius—along with the fact that it enables you to have both hands on the weapon while achieving a cheek weld and shoulder mount—makes it easier to aim than a handgun. It’s important to realize when hunting fowl with a shotgun, it’s often said the shotgun should be “pointed” rather than aimed. However, when you are confronting a criminal inside your residence, you need to aim; contrary to popular opinion, you can miss with a shotgun.

Since the shotgun is designed to be operated with two hands, opening doors, turning on lights and other seemingly routine tasks associated with searching your home for a bad guy can be a bit of a challenge. Another concern is the shotgun’s barrel length, which can make it difficult to maneuver around corners without telegraphing your intent.

If you load your shotgun with 00 buckshot, it may be difficult to ensure that all eight or nine pellets (depending on the brand) hit your intended target. While it may not take all of the pellets to incapacitate your adversary, stray pellets could injure or kill the very people you intend to protect.

Rifled slugs can be very accurate, but there are tremendous over-penetration issues associated with these projectiles. With slugs you need to worry about your neighbors as well as the occupants of your own home.

The use of birdshot in a home defense shotgun is somewhat controversial. While over-penetration is certainly mitigated, many speculate as to whether birdshot would incapacitate a determined assailant.

There’s no doubt that a rifle is easier to shoot accurately that handgun. Rifles like the immensely popular AR-15 platform afford you increased ballistic performance and higher ammunition capacity than most other firearms. However, they share many of the limitations of a shotgun when it comes to clearing your residence in search of an intruder. Rifles and other shoulder-fired weapons also tend to be less accessible than handguns during a home defense situation.

Caliber and Ammunition
In theory, the larger the bullet you hit the bad guy with, the better. After all, a bigger bullet will tend to produce a more significant wound, which is more likely to stop an attacker. However, a hit with a 9mm bullet beats a miss with a .45-caliber bullet every day of the week.

When you consider most gunshot wounds are survivable regardless of caliber, the importance of shot placement is clear. While being shot with any type of firearm is likely to have an effect on your adversary, shots to the thoracic cavity and cranial vault are most likely to quickly incapacitate the attacker, thus stopping the threat.

Many consider .45-caliber to be the only handgun round suited for personal combat. However, for a shooter with smaller hands, the enhanced control from a 9mm pistol’s slimmer grip and softer recoil may more than make up for its lesser ballistic capability compared to the .45. Also, today’s technologically advanced hollow-point bullets make even smaller caliber bullets capable of stopping a deadly threat.

You may be tempted to purchase less expensive full metal jacket or “ball” ammunition for your home-defense gun. While ball ammo is fine for training, it can be very problematic in a home-defense situation. Ball ammunition is likely to pass through a bad guy, which not only minimizes the effect of the bullet but also increases the likelihood of the bullet striking an unintended target, such as a family member. In fact, it’s not uncommon for ball ammunition fired from a handgun to penetrate multiple interior residential walls.

For home defense, hollow-point ammunition is the only way to go. Hollow-point bullets are designed for optimal expansion upon impact. This creates a larger wound and produces a “parachute” effect, which helps contain the bullet.

The storage of firearms within the home has always been a bit of a conundrum. If you keep the gun loaded and easily accessible, you may be prepared for a break-in, but you may also be setting yourself up for a tragedy. The last thing any responsible gun owner wants is for a child or irresponsible adult to find a loaded firearm.

At the other end of the spectrum, you have the homeowner who purchases a gun for home defense, yet leaves the gun unloaded and secured in a safe. While storing a firearm in this manner is almost certain to keep it out of the wrong hands, it makes it pretty tough to have in your own hand when you need it.

One of the best ways I’ve found to store a home defense handgun is to use a biometric safe. A biometric safe is programmed to open nearly instantaneously when it detects an authorized user’s fingerprint. These safes, which are typically mounted to a nightstand, allow you to decide who has access to the loaded firearm that is almost immediately accessible. Biometric safes often carry a price tag of around $200-300, but in my opinion, they are very worthwhile investments.

  • Robert

    Should haveve mentioned that there are two types of revolvers, not all cycle with each trigger pull. For a novice who does not have the time or money to practice, a double action revolver is much better because it does not require as much skill or practice to operate as a semi-automatic.

    • BJC

      Good point, they didn't mention the disadvantages of a single action revolver. Or even single action's at all.

  • Clickaholic

    I disagree with the biometric safe. Unless it can be opened by your other half if you're not there. If only one person can open it and that person is not there (out of town, not home) then your spouse is out of luck.

    • BJC

      Every biometric safe I checked out have 15 to 30 print memory and a backup key.

    • Richard Nance

      Many of these safes can accept multiple fingerprints.

      • marktopic

        Youve got 5 sets…ive got the gun in my hand…nuff said

    • J Dean

      Most biometric safes allow the storage of up to 5 sets of fingerprints to open it. At least mine does…

  • Dennis Grinnell

    I would disagree with the opinion about using a biometric gun safe. I purchased one for my pistol. I. Have programmed it and reprogrammed it, but it will open one in twenty attempts to my fingerprint. I could open it with a key or combination much quicker.

    • Spike1Point5


      I bought one a while back for mine, and it opens perfectly every time. Haven't needed to fix anything since I programmed it the first time.

      Who did you buy from? Mine is the SpeedVault SVB 500 Biometric, mentioned on here last August. Cannot recommend it highly enough.

      • marktopic

        ‘It opens perfectly every time’ well ‘mine fires perfectly every time’ ..the difference? you lose time with the safe…the result?…you no longer have a need for the safe..

        • smithj33

          Some people have kids and don’t want them having access to something that can quickly and easily lead to a tragic event.

          • marktopic

            Thats fair..I can accept that, and If I’m ever lucky enough to have a family, that would certainly be a concern for me..thanks smith..maybe I went a little ‘off’ on that one.

          • marktopic

            Yes of course..and I agree that I were lucky enough to have kids this might be different for me

          • marktopic

            Hi, I m sorry Smith j 33..your absolutely right, sometimes I can come across as a bit uncaring, but really I m not, i wish i was lucky enough to have a family, you make an excellent point..thanks for your reply.

    • Here’s why you’re wrong

      I imagine this varies greatly by brand and model. Like anything some are probably reliable, others not.

  • JohnMN

    I was sure hoping that the good folks at would know that a pistol has the chamber integral to the BREECH, not the BREACH. I looked it up, and it turns out they define it as "integral to the barrel." That way they don't have to bother figuring out how to spell breech!! :)

    • Richard Nance

      MY bad! Should've been "barrel". Thanks!

  • sbalonso

    Biometric safes are not reliable. Many older folks have cracked, scaly fingers; prints swell during a bath or shower, oil. lotion or other contaminants mask the readings. If you do go this route, the safe should recognize at least 4 hands – both of your hands and your backup person (spouse, adult child, etc). Having your other hand is critical if the first hand isn't recognized for whatever reason. You will most likely never need the safe in an emergency. And
    if you do, it will only be used once.

    Depending where I am in my house, I will use my .45 or M-1 carbine as I am most able to handle those from my muscle memory when awakened. The carbine is a good spousal weapon – little recoil, limited collateral penetration, 13 more rounds than Joe Biden's double barrel, and little chance of a jam or feed failure. Just fire a couple of rounds into the door and 90% of intruders will leave. You still have 13 rounds for the stupid ones. Yes, I know there are 30 round banana mags – the 15-round mags feed well, don't snag and are just plain handy.

    • Scott

      Personally, I don't think the M1 has enough know down power, especially with military ball ammo. Maybe the civilian expanding softpoint hunting round would help.

      • Scott

        I mean "knock" down, not "know down.

      • jiminga

        There are a lot of Germans and Japanese who would disagree, if they were weren't killed by an M1 in WWII.

    • Mick

      I am an ER nurse who has to access the narcotic drawer; it has a biometric with a code-ener option for those whose fingerprints won't scan– like mine. Our plan while raising kids was to teach from early age how to shoot, what happens when things are shot (apple w/ .22 HP), where guns were and that they could handle them any time they asked. One has no interest, one is a Gunner's Mate 2nd Class, one is proficient with all and a 4.0 college student. Your results may vary.

      • Mick

        Forgot: .38 +P S&W revolvers all around; K and L frame. They work every time they're tried, with variety of different ammo. No magnums due to blast noise; speedloader-proficiency for whole household. One floor has K-frames, the other L, so loaders don't get mixed.

      • joisster

        I totally agree with you I have 4 boys from 27 to 11 they know how to shoot where the weapons are and what they do, when they were curious about it I took the time to show and let them handle it, shoot it they now what they do they know that there are loud and can kill some one, never had a problem in my household.

        • Here’s why you’re wrong

          While I applaud preparing your boys to know how to handle guns and be responsible, are you saying your 11 year old has access to loaded weapons? Surely you mean they “know where they are” but don’t have access.

          • Armylife

            My 5 year old not only “knows where they are” but has access to them all day long. If someone came in the back of the house while his mom was in the shower you better believe he knows how to get to it. And just as sbalonso mentioned, mine is taught to fire two rounds into the floor and if it doesn’t get the intruder to leave it sure will get moms attention.

          • Gil

            Why teach a bad habit like “warning shots”? If your old 5 year old is to be trusted with the handle of loaded weapons then when why not let him use them for their intended purpose? There’s a reason warning shots with live rounds arent used by the military or law enforcement. It does nothing to dissuade an determined attacker or opponent, and wastes both ammo and an opportunity for you to kill or disable. I fully support teaching weapon safety and handling to children, but I wouldn’t trust any five year old to be the first responder to a break-in.

          • Guest

            Warning shots are also illegal. They raise a lot of questions in court too.

    • Here’s why you’re wrong

      Do you have many intruders or this all theoretical?

      • marktopic

        It will be theoretical once I fire…that much I can promise you

        • Brandon

          Biometrics are extremely overrated. I have a degree in Cyber Security and during my education they taught us how to bypass all kinds of security devices so we could know the attackers were doing it. The biometric devices were the easiest to fool. Fingerprint scanners especially. All you have to do is press a gummy bear to the reader and it will read the last person’s print. Once I was able too beat one just by breathing hot air on it. In this method the condensation from your breath sticks to the oils left from the last person’s fingerprint and fools the scanner. I would go with a keypad entry system if I were you.

          • marktopic

            I will take that advice, used to have confidence in them though…what about the I wrong?

          • D

            Unless you wipe the scanner plate clean with the cloth you keep on top of the safe because you’ve obviously researched the pros and cons of your chosen gun safe?

    • Travis Reid

      I agree that biometric safes are BS. However, I bought an electronic safe of sorts from Bass Pro Shops, and it works like a champ and costs around $100 if I remember correctly. It has three push buttons, so you make a combination out of those three (ex. left, right, right, center, left, left) and viola! I have never had it fail, which is a lot more than I could say for a biometric safe (because they always seem to fail)!

    • Travis Reid

      I agree that biometric safes are BS. However, I bought an electronic safe of sorts from Bass Pro Shops, and it works like a champ and costs around $100 if I remember correctly. It has three push buttons, so you make a combination out of those three (ex. left, right, right, center, left, left) and viola! I have never had it fail, which is a lot more than I could say for a biometric safe (because they always seem to fail)!

      • marktopic

        Go fuck yourself !!! my gp100 sits on the night stand….

  • Spike1Point5

    My primary home-defence gun is a P30L loaded with Glasers. I know there's a lot of debate as to how effective they are, but I've tested them on "dead meat" targets and they seem like they would do the trick. I've fortunately never had to use it, but of course it gets regular trips to the range.

    I live in a decent-sized apartment, but the thing I would be hellishly worried about is over-penetration. It's too big a risk, in my opinion. My argument would be that sure, it maybe won't go through and through, but even if it loses effectiveness against bone, it's hardly a love tap. Multiple impacts should do the trick.

    A friend of mine actually has an interesting way of doing it: 2 Glasers, one JHP. I'm unsure as to how good an idea that is, but his thinking is that if a Glaser double-tap doesn't make them drop or leave, the third round will put them down. Any thoughts on that?

    I don't like shotguns for HD, because as far as I'm concerned, they're just too unwieldy in the confines of a home. I like pistols, I feel at home with them. If it was legal, I would get a shotgun with a VERY short barrel. Something in an Ithaca 37 sawn-off, mostly because of the proven psych effect of the racking noise. But, as is, I'll stick to my pistols.

    As far as Biometric safes go, I'm all for. I bought mine as a result of it being featured here, actually, last August. Works like a dream.

    • Here’s why you’re wrong

      Interesting points.

  • Calibrator

    For novices, I would recommend a revolver over a semi-auto pistol. If you have a semi-auto pistol stored in a biometric safe (or other safe) by your bedside, a novice under duress will most likely forget to cycle a round into the chamber. It could be stored locked and loaded but for a novice that could pose a serious safety issue. Train, practice, train, and practice again. I’ll take my semi-auto pistol any day but the novices out there looking for their “First Home Defense Gun” should stick to the revolver. It may save your life!

    • Stephen

      a semi like the springfield xd would be a good home defense weapon even for a novice…with it's grip safety it's just about as safe as any revolver and faster to reload. the only problem would be if one would encounter a squib or dud round. but if you are even considering the purchase of a firearm for defense, you should go out of your way to practice with it and become very familiar with firearm and know it's stengths and weaknesses…and racking the slide on a pistol is one of them.

  • Mr. Himis

    wait,let me find my shooting glasses!

  • jiminga

    The author poses lots of questions but no answers. First timers need guidance, including recommendations like only using high quality, factory made HP ammo for self defense. And renting and firing lots of guns before choosing the one best suited to the buyer (grip size, trigger pull, recoil spring resistance, safety or no safety, etc., etc.). And cleaning and maintenance ….simple breakdown or complicated?

    And after the choice is made…….practice, practice, practice.

    • Rico

      It's a short 1 page article. NOT a complete "how to book." Sheesh!

      • JiminGA

        I didn’t realize articles here were limited to one page. Sheesh!

    • Holt

      Exactly what I was thinking. :)
      It needs a link to a “part 2″ that contains those answers… and maybe a questionnaire or checklist. Hmm… I wonder if they’re hiring…

    • marktopic

      or in other words…like it…pick it up…shoot it…

  • David

    Way too much of the same old disproven mythological claptrap. The 9mm does NOT have lesser ballistic capability, the .45 is NOT the only way to fly, bigger is NOT better, and so on. And while one version of Merriam-Webster defines a revolver as different than a pistol, plenty of other well-recognized sources consider a revolver as a form of pistol, such as the American Heritage dictionary. If you load your shotgun with anything it is difficult to insure that all pellets hit the target. That is why you need to aim your shotgun.

    Soryy, but I expect G&A to be better than this nonsense.

    • Richard Nance

      Wow. Tough crowd…

      • Alex


        Extremely late in responding to this thread – however, unlike the above comment – I have what I believe to be “constructive criticism”.
        I’d like to see an article that touches on points for more experienced shooters. My concern is not, if I hit the assailant but what ammo and weaponry used to stop the assailant is not considered in the eyes of the court as, “excessive force, assault weapon/rifle (news channel’s favorite poster child for blame) and any ammo that could be seen as bringing a gun to a knife fight.

        Good article – but let’s talk legal implications rather than hitting the target. I feel if you own a gun – it’s your responsibility to know how to handle it safely and effectively, otherwise get ADT.

        • Damon

          Legal implications…? If someone is in my home i assume that they are there to hurt myself and my family. Wouldn’t get too hung up on what ammunition will keep you out of legal trouble if you actually have to defend your home. Stop the threat. 1st objective. Whatever ammo or firearm does that the best for your surroundings is what you should choose. Better to be tried by 12 than carried by 6.

      • Ryngeaux

        Typical B.S. from professional “experts” that have nothing to offer except in response to good articles like yours. You article was very good, and while the folks with profile pics of themselves with a vest and AR stock will blabber on and on about the little details, whatever… ignore them. Good job.

    • punisher0276

      I use 147 grain 9mm to prevent over penetration in walls. I used 9mm in Somalia effectively with head shots on drugged up enemy combatants. No substitute for marksmanship and shot placement. In fmj the 45 is unequalled in military applications for chest cavity shots.

  • Starky

    When choosing a weapon for home defence two considerations are choose one you will practice with to become proficent. Often this is dictacted by the caliber and the cost of ammo. Dont rule out .22 LR. Two or three well placed shots from a 22 are every bit as good as one so so shot from a 9mm or 40 S&W. Second choose one when under high stress you wil be able to function. In high stress simple is better. For securing it choose a method which keeps the kids out but under stress allows you fast access to it.

  • Aussie Josh

    Watch who you call laymen, your definition of pistol is the American definition. Most of the world subscribe to different dictionaries and we all differ in spelling, pronunciation and meanings of a multitude of words. The Oxford Dictionary definition- noun – a short firearm intended to be held and fired with one hand.
    1560–70; < Middle French pistole < German, earlier pitschal, pitschole, petsole < Czech píšt’ala literally, pipe, fife, whistle (presumably a slang term for a type of light harquebus employed during the Hussite wars), akin to pištět to squeak, peep
    No mention of barrel, breech or chamber. It can be argued who's dictionary is right or wrong, but ultimatly who cares. My definition is not wrong, just different to yours. As for which gun is best for home defence, be thankfull you can own a firearm for that purpose. Don't follow the UK or Australian example. Instead all firearms owners must stick together and fight for our fundamental right to self defence and firearms ownership as law abiding citizens. You are on the verge a worst case senario for US gunowners. Good luck and may Glock be with you.


    Will birdshot incapacitate an intruder? Well, sadly, from first hand experience as a kid, I know that 12 gauge birdshot will pass through a metal heating duct, floor board, carpet, ceiling drywall and still do damage to the plywood roof of our house. I’m sure human flesh is less sturdy than than all that combined. However, this also dispels the myth that birdshot won’t go through walls and hurt your loved ones.

    • Sunoco 260

      And #6 shot from a 410 will go through a back of a couch and put a nasty hole in the wall.Boy was my Dad mad…lol


    Will birdshot incapacitate an intruder? Well, sadly, from first hand experience as a kid, I know that 12 gauge birdshot will pass through a metal heating duct, floor board, carpet, ceiling drywall and still do damage to the plywood roof of our house. I’m sure human flesh is less sturdy than than all that combined. However, this also dispels the myth that birdshot won’t go through walls and hurt your loved ones.

  • Asp Elexxa Rodriguez

    I like my Ruger LC380.

    • marktopic

      nice choice..I like my ruger lc9…

  • scott will

    a revolver chambered for 45 acp

  • Riley

    First of: Less makes more sense than “lesser” in this situation.
    Ok grammar lesson over and aside, I agree that bigger is not always better: In open fields. When it comes to home defense, you can really use anything from 9mm – .45 ACP, it doesn’t matter as far as accuracy is concerned due to the fact that you are not going to be shooting more then 30-40ft away in your home, if so your freaking rich bro and should just hire body guards. What really needs to be thought about when it comes to size is how much damage do you want to be done. You have your shot gun blast with bird shot, its basically like shooting 8 bb guns at the same time with a bout 12x more power. You are basically putting 8 bbs into somebody and if you think about it, yes it is devastating, but they are going to have so much adrenaline running through them, its not really going to put them out of commission unless you hit the heart or head, or happen to blow off a limb. When it comes to calibers of pistols and rifles, the same rule applies. Everyone talks about the differences between 5.56/.223 vs. 7.62×39. It is basically the same scenario with the 9mm vs. the .45 ACP. The 5.56/.223 and 9mm are both smaller, lighter rounds, that travel at higher speeds then their counter-parts, the 7.6×39 and .45 ACP. This gives them more of a chance to pass right through their target cause a hole to appear basically right through the body and more of a chance to cause collateral damage, meaning injuring other people because it is still traveling at a high speed. Many at this point would be thinking, hey, great! This would certainly put them out of commission! Well, not quite. These hole cause very little damage in the big picture and can cause the perp to still get away with what is call a “Clean wound” or a wound that is easily fixed. Now if you go with the 7.62×39 or the .45 ACP, these are obviously much larger rounds, meaning that they are heavier and will be traveling at slower speeds. This is the crucial part. Yes it is traveling at slower speeds, but however this is actually better if you are looking to put the perp out of commission. When that round hits the body of the perp, the round will enter and start to tumble because the round is heavier and traveling at slower speed. When the round tumbles, it is seriously messing up that persons insides. For example, you may hit them at center mass, which is basically the center of the chest, and it would come out about 6-8 inches lower on the back side of the person with a gigantic hole about 4-6 inches in diameter. But when that round hits, it will travel downwards causing it to pass through the stomach and intestines. you hit that person anywhere in the body, they will not be getting away if you hit them with that bigger round. Another point is, if you hit someone in leg bone with the smaller caliber round, the round will actually get stuck in the bone. If you hit the person in the femur with the larger 7.62×39 or .45 ACP, not only will the femur snap in half from the impact, but pieces and chunks of the bone will exit the other side of the leg with the round itself. Basically with the smaller round, the bad guy has more of a chance to get away if you don’t hit him in the heart or the head, compared to if you hit him with the larger caliber, he will be able to walk maybe 15-25 ft before he can go no more, if he can even move at all if you hit him ANYWHERE in the body.

  • Junior Chase

    Kind of off-topic, but these RFID guns or ‘smart guns’ are absolutely anti-2A and highly dangerous to rely on. Just a few of the problems; they are GPS tracked, they automatically turn off in the oh so dangerous DemoRat run ‘gun-free zones’, they are HACKABLE, the manufacturer & government can turn on/off as they please, and EVERY shot is reported to law enforcement, so good luck practicing. This RFID/Smart gun movement needs to be stopped dead in its tracks! NEVER EVEN THINK OF PURCHASING ONE, let’s put these libtard, anti-2A companies out of business! DO NOT PURCHASE A ‘SMART GUN’!!!!

  • Leon Foonman

    “Considering the political climate…”
    What the hell does that mean? That a buttload of teabagging anarchists are going to overthrow the black president?
    Plastic patriotism wrapped in the 2nd amendment is nothing but the childish crap spewed by morons like Palin et al.

    • punisher0276

      you are an ignorant fool

      • siggy57

        Right On punisher!!!

    • Ravi32

      What a childish rant. I see you have posts saying confiscation would never occur yet confiscation has begun in NY and California.
      And the political climate is problematic for the bill of rights. Mr. Obama greatly increased the reach of the patriot act, has wiretapped reporters more often than all other presidents combined and is serious about his attempt to shred the second amendment.
      You are the one being childish. Just thank gun owners for making you safer and for providing a good part of the deterrence against tyranny.

      • martiniolives2

        Having lived in California my entire 64 years, I’m curious about this gun confiscation you mention since I’ve never heard about it. Can you cite your source?

    • Common Sense

      You sound like the left wing liberal who is actually just as bad as the imaginary Tea Bagger you are complaining about. Chill out … we are all in this together.
      And by the way – just because I am against Obama because of his liberal and anti-American ideology does not mean I am a ra-cist. I would think you might be a black ra-cist based on your outburst of hatred!

    • marktopic offence..but why do you need to mention that the president is black?

      • JohnnyCuredents

        My bet? Like for most liberals, this is his pet “let’s change the subject” line. (“If I can get them to talk about Obama’s race, they may forget his puerile performance in office, all his bad appointments, how foolish he looks compared to Putin, his screw-up of the ACA, etc.”) But let’s give Leon a little slack. After all, it’s tough defending one of the worst presidents in American history, one who tends to make even W Bush look preferable!

      • JohnnyCuredents

        My bet? Like for most liberals, this is his pet “let’s change the subject” line. (“If I can get them to talk about Obama’s race, they may forget his puerile performance in office, all his bad appointments, how foolish he looks compared to Putin, his screw-up of the ACA, etc.”) But let’s give Leon a little slack. After all, it’s tough defending one of the worst presidents in American history, one who tends to make even W Bush look preferable!

  • punisher0276

    My preference for the 45 cal has to due with over penetration of +p 9mm/38/357 rounds. Always think of the back drop of your shot in urban combat. Your family could be in the next room. I also prefer using a weapon light for positive id of target. I only use fmj at the range. JHPs for combat. I use +p outside in the event I have to shoot a vehicle. 24 years infantry.

  • Common Sense

    My wife is very petite and has smaller hands. We are in our late 60’s and think it may be time for a weapon in our home since we live in the illegal immigration corridor in southern Arizona.
    I am thinking 9mm with larger hollow point ammo. Any suggestions?

    • marktopic

      Im petite and myself have smaller hands..its what you can shoot with..not the caliber…

    • allent66

      I suggest the Ruger LC9s. It is a smaller striker fired 9mm with controlled recoil, which makes it easier to handle for smaller hands. I am 48 years old and use this as my everyday concealed weapon with hollow point ammo. Good luck and God Bless!

  • Sam Margulis

    This article I feel is pretty good for someone, say, who has zero knowledge of guns…it does pose a lot of questions with few answers…which is what a new person needs. It’s like going on a job interview in a new career field. You need to trigger thought to know what sort of questions to ask…for me, this article does that. It’s a trigger point (pun intended), to get you thinking about what questions to ask yourself.

  • Larry

    I prefer an automatic myself but having been in the “lucky situation” of someone attempting to shoot me with a jammed auto who had no clue how to clear a jam, I’d recommend a revolver … size and caliber depending on the user … for a casual shooter for home defense. Five or six shots may be less that of a high capacity auto but revolvers hardly ever fail to fire.

  • ghost

    Girls girls you’re all pretty but that stuff is just over thinking a situation the shotgun is meant to take down big game I love my gun and I want to say is this I’m a carpenter by trade and in a one story house the common floor plan will allow you to sweep very easy 8/10times you’re going to fire down a hall or entry way keep in mind what a situation calls for in the moment remember what’s behind and around your target basics are the same as anywhere I could go but I’m lazy night

  • BillyinGeorgia

    Pistol vs. revolver vs. various dictionaries? Dictionaries are not authorative. They simply try to capture the meaning of various words we use. In my estimation, all hand-held revolvers are pistols while not all pistols are revolvers. Opinions may vary…

  • BillyinGeorgia

    Current political climate? That’s a politically motivated scare tactic!

    • Kenny

      I agree. There is nothing wrong with people wanting to learn more about how to protect their home from potential intruders. Just because someone might be liberal does not mean they do not wish to protect themselves or their family.

  • Phil P

    I am a gun owner and carrier. And every time I read the 2nd Amendment I notice that it begins with the phrase, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state…”. This suggests to me that this particular amendment applies to the arming of keepers of law, such as police and the armed forces. I am neither, but I live in a state that allows adults to carry weapons, and I do carry mine. So it seems logical that individuals who do not have the right to carry should work with government at the state level to get that right.

  • Luke

    The best home defense round is the one that can transfer as much of its kinetic energy into the target as possible. I’ve spoken with my uncle, who is a coroner, and also a law enforcement mortician about this. According to them the absolute best man stopper is the jacketed .357 magnum hollow point. I already owned a snubbie at the time, but have since bought a Smith & Wesson M&P R8. Larger frame, but I have big hands, and the rail under the barrel is great for a good light. Not to mention the 8 rounds it holds. One well placed shot in the chest cavity and you’re set. Or if you’re a skilled shot, the bridge of his nose, and he’ll be dead before his body hits the floor…

  • ttxceo

    Richard, you make some obvious glaring oversights….the shotgun when correctly configured is unquestionable the best. Pistol grip and short barrel on a pump shotgun is unstoppable…no need to target in and in a dark room is unstopable

  • RGB

    Try a 9mm or .380. Use top of the line ammo like Hornady Critical Duty or Defense. Have her handle as many guns as possible for fit and comfort level for her.

  • KittyCat

    Looking to purchase my first hand gun. I need protection from my lunatic ex-husband. Any suggestions?

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