PDA

View Full Version : Choosing a firearm/sidearm


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


Tatsukage
09-28-2010, 06:31 PM
I was just looking to purchase a new firearm and sidearm for hunting and self defense purposes, and I was wondering the preferences and suggestions of this community. I personally got attached to the feel of the M-16A2 and the M-4, so I was thinking the AR15 would be suitable, but I'm not a fan of the jam rate, and the stopping power unless using special ammunition leaves something to be desired. (Self defense purposes, I wouldn't hunt with one unless it came to the wire) The Mosburg shotgun looks appealing, and I've always been a fan of the Glock .45, but I don't care for the no-hammer-back design. Suggestions and comments greatly apprectiated.
Arigato gozaimasu

jxa127
09-30-2010, 09:56 AM
Donovan,

I have an AR that I use for NRA high power rifle matches. It has never jammed, but it's also not suitable for hunting or self defense. :-)

I'd suggest two guns: a good bolt action .308 for hunting and a nice handgun in 9mm, .357, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP for self defense.

If you're going to be carrying a pistol, a small Glock or light weight snubbie .38 (S&W, Taurus, Charter Arms, or Ruger) would serve you well. My father has a 3" barreled Charter Arms .38 that I can shoot into 4.5" groups at 25 yards.

I just bought a used Taurus PT99 9mm in very good shape for cheap this weekend. It's my new home defense pistol.

Finally, some unsolicited advice:

1) Know the laws for owning, carrying, and transporting firearms in your area.

2) Get some good training when you can. Even if you're exceptionally experienced, it's always a good idea to get more training.

3) Practice a lot. When you're not at the range, you can practice trigger control and sight picture by dry-firing with an unloaded firearm.

4) If you've got kids or live with somebody else, make sure your ammo and firearms are locked up. I keep my home defense pistol in a safe by the bed.

5) If you do plan to carry a firearm concealed, consider also carrying something less lethal like pepper spray. It's terrible, I think, to have only the options of empty hand technique or a gun when something bad happens.

6) Have fun! Shooting is a lot of fun. Find a league of some sort to join. Shoot in competitions. Go plinking a lot.

Regards,

DonMagee
09-30-2010, 10:27 AM
I'm not a hunter, but for personal defense there are many factors.

What are the carry laws? How does the gun wear? How does the gun shoot and feel?

For home defense, you can do no wrong with a nice shotgun. They are fool proof to use (a point and click interface), hard to miss with, and have a devastating psychological effect. A second to that would be a revolver. They are jam free, easy to maintain, and have very little in terms of point's of failure.

For a personal carry, I like tiny guns as I am not a large man. I have found that the Walther PPS chambered in 9mm is perfect for me in terms of size, stopping power, accuracy, and feel. I used to carry larger guns from a 4 inch XD 9mm to a Walther P99c (which I still wear sometimes in the winter). I finally decided the bulk wasn't worth it and I'd rather have a very light weight, easy to conceal firearm rather than a bigger firearm that was harder to conceal and heavy to carry.

Some of my friends think it is silly for me to wear a pistol that only holds 7 rounds of 9mm JHP. I figure that if I'm in a situation where I need more than 7 rounds I've left the realm of self defense and entered a totally different realm.

Walter Martindale
09-30-2010, 10:38 AM
I was just looking to purchase a new firearm and sidearm for hunting and self defense purposes, and I was wondering the preferences and suggestions of this community. I personally got attached to the feel of the M-16A2 and the M-4, so I was thinking the AR15 would be suitable, but I'm not a fan of the jam rate, and the stopping power unless using special ammunition leaves something to be desired. (Self defense purposes, I wouldn't hunt with one unless it came to the wire) The Mosburg shotgun looks appealing, and I've always been a fan of the Glock .45, but I don't care for the no-hammer-back design. Suggestions and comments greatly apprectiated.
Arigato gozaimasu

Well... The Remington 870 Tactical shotgun is favoured by the RCMP tactical squads (according to a retired member). If you read all the gun magazines, you'll find that they generally favour the stopping power of the .45ACP. But I'd rather be missed by someone shooting a .45 than hit by someone using a .22, so it's a matter of what can you use effectively. (make sure you stick to all the laws of your area, too, as mentioned by another poster)
Walter

Rob Watson
09-30-2010, 11:01 AM
A second to that would be a revolver. They are jam free, easy to maintain, and have very little in terms of point's of failure.

That depends. Proper regular cleaning and care is required. Some higher pressure loads (sometimes favored for SD needs) can result in the primer backing out of the case a bit which can lead to a jam. Also the extractor rod can work a bit loose and cause binding during reloading (cylinder gets stuck and won't swing out).

In general I think that unless one is open/concealed carrying the choices are not so important compared to being aware and other preventative measures. Around these parts (mandatory trigger locks, etc) when the stinky hits the fan there is no time to get a firearm at the ready. One needs to be honest and make a realistic security/risk assessment to gauge the high probability events and manage those accordingly.

SD vs hunting is almost moot because the specific tasks are so completely different except that a shotgun is so danged multipurpose. Again, what hunting - quail versus ducks versus varmits versus deer all call for different selections as do goblins of the various flavors.

Better to opt for one reliable selection and get very familiar with it and practice regularly. Keep it clean and in good repair at all times.

DonMagee
09-30-2010, 12:27 PM
That depends. Proper regular cleaning and care is required. Some higher pressure loads (sometimes favored for SD needs) can result in the primer backing out of the case a bit which can lead to a jam. Also the extractor rod can work a bit loose and cause binding during reloading (cylinder gets stuck and won't swing out).

In general I think that unless one is open/concealed carrying the choices are not so important compared to being aware and other preventative measures. Around these parts (mandatory trigger locks, etc) when the stinky hits the fan there is no time to get a firearm at the ready. One needs to be honest and make a realistic security/risk assessment to gauge the high probability events and manage those accordingly.

SD vs hunting is almost moot because the specific tasks are so completely different except that a shotgun is so danged multipurpose. Again, what hunting - quail versus ducks versus varmits versus deer all call for different selections as do goblins of the various flavors.

Better to opt for one reliable selection and get very familiar with it and practice regularly. Keep it clean and in good repair at all times.

What I ment was that revolvers are typically easier to care for and have less things that can cause failure.

For example, limp wristing a revolver is not going to cause a stovepipe because obviously there is nothing to stove pipe. A failure to fire just requires pulling the trigger again instead of racking the slide, etc.

Obviously any firearm not taken care of can fail. The simpler the firearm is, the less that can fail.

ninjaqutie
09-30-2010, 01:56 PM
Also, try different brands of the same caliber. Some people prefer S&W while others prefer the feel of the Glock. Our police force is actually going switching to S&W because they really like the feel and accuracy better then the Glock's they are using now.

Marc Abrams
09-30-2010, 02:43 PM
I prefer my AC-130U !

http://www.fas.org/programs/ssp/man/uswpns/air/attack/ac130.html

I find that the variety of caliber munitions available, delivery rate, and accuracy of fire makes it an indispensable choice :D !

Sorry,

Had to add some humor to this one. Choice of firearm/side arm is a very complex subject where no size fits all, due to the variety of parameters that the poster has put forth. Then again, who would not want to be able to call in a buddy from above :cool: .

Marc Abrams

Rob Watson
09-30-2010, 02:47 PM
What I ment was that revolvers are typically easier to care for and have less things that can cause failure.

For example, limp wristing a revolver is not going to cause a stovepipe because obviously there is nothing to stove pipe. A failure to fire just requires pulling the trigger again instead of racking the slide, etc.

Obviously any firearm not taken care of can fail. The simpler the firearm is, the less that can fail.

That depends. A recoil/inertial mechanism does not suffer a limp wrist but a gas blowback system could care less. I think Hipoint makes some blowback operated models in .45 cal but the options are few in the larger calibers.

I've put a similar number of rounds (~10,000) through revolvers vs autoloader and found about the same 'failure' rate although the modes are different. I was keeping track pretty closely because I can be anal about things at times (and then I was).

All in all I do tend to favor revolvers but for more romantic reasons. I'd be loathe to give either one up for the other so I'll be content to waffle.

Back to the OP I think there needs to be more info on exactly why the need and that will help guide the selection. If there is no real need but simply a desire then that is different. Right tool for the right job and all that.

Has anyone seen the Derringer chambered for 45-70 gov't? Need vs desire in a nutshell that one is.

Of course, few are the firearmers that have only one.

DonMagee
09-30-2010, 03:16 PM
That depends. A recoil/inertial mechanism does not suffer a limp wrist but a gas blowback system could care less. I think Hipoint makes some blowback operated models in .45 cal but the options are few in the larger calibers.

I've put a similar number of rounds (~10,000) through revolvers vs autoloader and found about the same 'failure' rate although the modes are different. I was keeping track pretty closely because I can be anal about things at times (and then I was).

All in all I do tend to favor revolvers but for more romantic reasons. I'd be loathe to give either one up for the other so I'll be content to waffle.

Back to the OP I think there needs to be more info on exactly why the need and that will help guide the selection. If there is no real need but simply a desire then that is different. Right tool for the right job and all that.

Has anyone seen the Derringer chambered for 45-70 gov't? Need vs desire in a nutshell that one is.

Of course, few are the firearmers that have only one.

For the record, when you say failure, are you meaning that the weapon required user interaction to continue firing. This is what I mean with failure. Failure to feed, eject, fire, etc.

I've never had my revolver fail to rotate to the next round and 'fire' when I pulled the trigger. I've had bad ammo that failed to fire, but the difference between my auto and my revolver is that I don't have to clear that bad round with my revolver.

I'm not trying to challenge you, just interested. I've only put about 1000 rounds though my revolver. I've put probably closer to 1500 though my current carry. I've had more then just poor ammo causing failures to fire. I've had failures to feed (like when my magazine spring failed), during the break in of the first 200 rounds I had a few failures with firearm not feeding as well (leaving the slide half open and the round halfway in).

To me, I have a shotgun at home for any intruders. But I always worry (and drill to prevent) squeezing that trigger and finding a click where I expect a bang and trying to clear it under duress.

Rob Watson
09-30-2010, 03:36 PM
For the record, when you say failure, are you meaning that the weapon required user interaction to continue firing. This is what I mean with failure. Failure to feed, eject, fire, etc.

I've never had my revolver fail to rotate to the next round and 'fire' when I pulled the trigger. I've had bad ammo that failed to fire, but the difference between my auto and my revolver is that I don't have to clear that bad round with my revolver.

Mainly the cylinder ends up getting jammed so ejection/reloading is impeded. 3 times out of 9,786 (I checked my notes) cylinder advance was impeded by primers pushed out too far by moderately high pressure loads. DA trigger could not advance so a 'manual' assist (thumb on the hammer) was required.I expect different models will have different failure mechanisms and some expert gunsmithing certainly could 'fix' all my issues. I'd call that a failure but I'll not quibble the point. To be fair I had way more 'dud' rounds than other failures but that would be all my fault since handloads were the order of the day.

Out of the box the autoloader needed some 'adjustments' and I would recommend all to have a good gunsmith take a good hard look and then do what they suggest. Modern factories are amazing but a subtle hand tuning can work miracles. Don't forget to have the magazines looked at as well as some of them are really slapped together or at least easily damaged but rough handling.

I'm just a dilettante so I'd pay more attention to the pros. I'm only talking about my one auto and one revolver so sample size does not carry over to all revolvers vs autos. YMMV as they say.

Rob Watson
09-30-2010, 03:51 PM
To me, I have a shotgun at home for any intruders.

This is actually critically important. I have too many kids floating around the house so I'll opt for a nice piece of hickory (one of my fav Clint Eastwood quotes) over any firearm. Stumbling around in the dark with kids about ... the scenario just does not play out well in my head. Multiple armed intruders do not fit into that scenario either. But there has been a rash of armed home invasions around these parts of late ... these kinds of scenario based thought experiments are not a waste of time as they give one a chance to leisurely work out the 'bugs' and come up with a reasonable plan for the most likely events. Ninjas in the bathtub versus drunken wayward neighbor require totally different solutions.

Camping is another venue that worries me as I've had 'interesting' events occur on family outings. Facing 25-30 (hard to count in the dark, in the moment under duress) liquored hooligans with only a piece of hickory (no matter how nice it might be) is not my idea of good tactics. Luckily the sheriff showed up and there was no true drama that night. Interesting to think about those that suggest beating a hasty retreat when the situation is such that one cannot simply run away (too many kids to carry, surrounded, etc).

Aikibu
09-30-2010, 03:59 PM
Choosing a Firearm has little bearing on "self defense" It's like saying MAC's are better than PC's or vice versa and yet you still don't know how to format a document or create a slide show using the software the "platform" you chose.You've got the cart before the horse IMHO.

If you purchase a firearm you must make a commitment to learn how to use it, and practice with it just like any other weapon...That means taking it apart and cleaning it...Attending a shooting safety course....Getting to the gun range at least once a month and putting a box or two of ammo down range at a target, and expanding this experience to include perhaps a combat pistol course or learning to shoot under duress.

Now you don't have to do this if you don't want to because chances are you'll never ever have to use a gun and simply showing folks you're armed is a great deterrent.... However... any weapon that has the power of life or death IMHO needs to be given respect, and you give that respect by learning how to effectively use it.

That goes without saying be it Bokken... Jo... Brooomstick or Katana ect ect. Nothing Drives me more crazy that hearing students say but why do I need practice cutting with a sword? I'll never cut anyone with it? :rolleyes:

If the Martial Arts are teaching me only one thing... It is to understand and greatly respect... The power of life and death over the "other"... For "they" are no different than "me"

William Hazen

jxa127
10-01-2010, 10:40 AM
If you purchase a firearm you must make a commitment to learn how to use it, and practice with it just like any other weapon...That means taking it apart and cleaning it...Attending a shooting safety course....Getting to the gun range at least once a month and putting a box or two of ammo down range at a target, and expanding this experience to include perhaps a combat pistol course or learning to shoot under duress.

That's what I said too (points 2 and 3 in my post)!

:)

Training and practice are very, very important.

Regards,

lbb
10-01-2010, 12:19 PM
Choosing a Firearm has little bearing on "self defense" It's like saying MAC's are better than PC's or vice versa and yet you still don't know how to format a document or create a slide show using the software the "platform" you chose.You've got the cart before the horse IMHO.

Or, perhaps, like walking into a hardware store and saying, "I want a tool to shingle my roof and paint my house! Which tool should I get?" My choice for a firearm for hunting would be quite different from my choice for a firearm for self-defense. Double-duty gear has a way of doing a poor job at both.

Aikibu
10-01-2010, 01:25 PM
Or, perhaps, like walking into a hardware store and saying, "I want a tool to shingle my roof and paint my house! Which tool should I get?" My choice for a firearm for hunting would be quite different from my choice for a firearm for self-defense. Double-duty gear has a way of doing a poor job at both.

A 22 Varmint Round can kill just as easy as a 12 Gauge Slug...Though Granted It would be a waste of ammo to hunt squirrels with a 12 Gauge Shotgun. :D

Which reminds me of a quote that I thought I enjoyed in my much younger days

Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter.
Ernest Hemingway, "On the Blue Water," Esquire, April 1936
US author & journalist (1899 - 1961)

William Hazen

Mark Kruger
10-01-2010, 02:15 PM
Remember that the primary goal is to _stop_ the assailant from doing whatever it is that is forcing you to shot him or her. Killing them is not the goal. The damage the projectile does to the assailant must be balanced with your ability to hit with it. Too small and the assailant may take too long to stop doing whatever it is they are doing. Too large and there are problems with over-penetration, recoil management, and flinch responses on subsequent shots.

For pistols the reasonable compromise range is something in the 9mm, 40 s&w, or 45 acp range. For a carbine, 5.56 is a reasonable choice. For shotguns 12ga. with low recoil slugs or buckshot.

The choice between longarms and pistols is determined by usage. Daily carry implies a pistol, longarms are really only a possibility for most private citizens in a home defense role.

At room distances the shot pattern from a shotgun does not expand much. (When I patterned my M1S90 at 7 yards with 00 federal low recoil buckshot, I had a 1" pattern.) This makes them no easier to hit with than a carbine and you have the problem that a low recoil 12ga. load recoils more than 5.56.

Once you have a firearm, get training. Don't rely on what you see on television, most folks on the internet, or the folks at the gunshop. Once you have some training, practice what you have been taught. I'm not sure I can stress that last point enough.

Most modern pistols require little tuning. Glocks, S&W M&P's, Springfield XD's, etc. usually work well with factory ammo and magazines. Most of the malfunctions with these type pistols I've seen at matches are due to the owner making "adjustments".

To give you an idea of where I'm coming from:
I've taken firearms classes with InSights Training Center, 10-8 Consulting, LMS Defense, Shivworks, and Vickers Tactical. I shoot USPSA ('A' Limited, 'A' Single Stack), IDPA (Master - CDP, Master - ESP), and speed steel. 2-3 matches a month. Between classes, matches, and practice, I shoot between 10-15 thousand rounds a year.

Hogan
10-02-2010, 04:53 PM
I was just looking to purchase a new firearm and sidearm for hunting and self defense purposes, and I was wondering the preferences and suggestions of this community. ...

The most accurate & perfectly balanced pistol out of the box I ever shot was a CZ75. Per wikipedia: "Jeff Cooper [one of the 20th century's foremost international experts on the use and history of small arms] a long-time advocate of the Colt 1911, hailed the CZ 75 as the best-designed double-action autoloader available at the time."

Highly recommend it.

Lan Powers
10-06-2010, 07:27 PM
a factor to consider is your home invironment....if you live in the country and there arent many houses around is a good time for the "bigger is better" approach.
In an aprtment, crowded houses in a neighborhood....
not so much. Consider the penetration of the bullet(s)
I added the (s) since I think a shotgun cant be beaten in home defense. (short barreled, open bored, of course)
I skipped down, so someone may have made this point before, of course.
Best,
Stay safe

Kevin Leavitt
10-07-2010, 02:12 PM
I prefer my AC-130U !

http://www.fas.org/programs/ssp/man/uswpns/air/attack/ac130.html

I find that the variety of caliber munitions available, delivery rate, and accuracy of fire makes it an indispensable choice :D !

Sorry,

Had to add some humor to this one. Choice of firearm/side arm is a very complex subject where no size fits all, due to the variety of parameters that the poster has put forth. Then again, who would not want to be able to call in a buddy from above :cool: .

Marc Abrams

lol..well Marc, funny you should mention that choice (AC-130). It is one I am very familiar with and like to have around these days.

M4/AR 15 jamming. Never had a problem with one. Fired about 1000 rounds through my M4 in the last month...not one jam ever. No weapon is jam proof and they do jam, so you have to drill your immediate actions for those situations.

Marc Abrams
10-07-2010, 03:20 PM
lol..well Marc, funny you should mention that choice (AC-130). It is one I am very familiar with and like to have around these days.

M4/AR 15 jamming. Never had a problem with one. Fired about 1000 rounds through my M4 in the last month...not one jam ever. No weapon is jam proof and they do jam, so you have to drill your immediate actions for those situations.

Kevin:

It is really good to hear your "voice" on this board!!!! I can clearly understand why you appreciate my choice of "firearms." I look forward to your SAFE return to the States. I will be in Japan next weekend with Ushiro Sensei and will send him a hello from you. Stay Safe!

Marc Abrams

Ps- Could you pm me the proper info to see to it that a care package gets to you from my dojo.