A Newbie’s Guide To Gun Ownership

Disclaimers: Some of the information in this article may be specific to the U.S. I am not a lawyer. You are responsible for knowing your national, state, and local laws.

I’ve been reading Return of Kings for a while now and have thoroughly enjoyed it. However, there aren’t many articles on shooting. It’s one of my favorite hobbies, and just a manly thing in general, so I’ve decided to put the basics of what I know into an article.

This article is meant to help men who are new to the gun world to gain a better understanding of firearms and ammunition. There’s a lot of misinformation and just plain ignorance that can be confusing to someone who’s new to guns. Let’s start with some commonly used (and misused) terms.



This is a whole cartridge, not just a bullet.

Bore: The inside of the barrel; the part which the bullet passes through.
Bullet: The projectile component of a cartridge (not to be confused with the whole cartridge.)
Cartridge: A complete unit of ammunition consisting of a primer, powder, casing, and bullet.
Casing (or case): The outer shell of a cartridge, typically made out of brass.
Chamber: Where the cartridge is seated before firing.
Clip: A small, bent piece of sheet metal designed to hold cartridges together.
FMJ: (Full Metal Jacket) refers to a type of bullet whose core is completely jacketed, typically by copper, and is not designed to expand.
Powder: Propellant component of a cartridge, modern ammo using smokeless powder.
Primer: Small component on the bottom of the cartridge. When struck by the gun’s firing pin, it ignites the powder.
Magazine: The part of a gun that holds ammunition. Many weapons today have detachable magazines. These are not to be confused with clips. A good rule of thumb to remember is that magazines, or “mags,” have springs, while clips do not.
Assault rifle: A select-fire rifle using an intermediate rifle cartridge and detachable magazine. Contrary to what the media tells you, 99.9% of AR-15’s and AK-47’s in the U.S. are semi-auto only and therefore NOT assault rifles.
Receiver: The body of a gun. In the U.S. it legally is the gun. Usually called a frame when applied to handguns.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff.


gunsfornewbies S&W_M&P

When it comes to buying a gun, the first thing you need to consider is what you are using it for. Everyone needs guns for different things. Hunting, concealed carry, plinking, home defense, and even defending from a tyrannical government all tend to use very different weapons. Some of these however, can be used in more than one setting.

For example, if you buy a pump-action shotgun, be sure to get a short barrel for home defense, and longer barrel for bird hunting. Additionally, some handguns, like the Glock 19, are viable for both home defense and concealed carry. So know of what type of gun and caliber you want, read up on the different guns of that type, and make your choice.

Where to buy is another matter. You can buy online, at a brick-and-mortar business, or buy from another person directly. Buying at a store is probably the most common, and if you buy from a gun range, you may get to try before you buy. Buying online (like on Gunbroker) gives you an incredibly wide selection, but the transfer must be completed through a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder.

This is more complicated – you must send payment, call and ask an FFL-holding business to handle the transfer, send their info to the buyer, and then wait for the firearm to be shipped to the FFL holder. Buying from an individual gives you a pretty limited selection, but is very simple and in many states does not require any paperwork.


gunsfornewbies Simo Hayha

You can bet that most of Simo Hayha’s guns were not safe-queens.

When the great Finnish sniper Simo Hayha was asked how he got to be such a fine shot with his rifle he said only one word: “Practice.” There’s not much point in having a gun if you’re no good with it. I’m sure some of us know a guy who has two safes with 27 different guns, but has no training, very little practice, and three boxes of dusty ammo.

Don’t be that guy. After you get your gun, don’t forget to practice with it. And then practice some more. Don’t be afraid to take some shooting classes, too. These can help you a lot with your form and technique, and therefore accuracy. They are most commonly offered for pistols, but may also be available for rifles and shotguns.

When it comes to ammo, pick a good round for hunting or home defense. Shoot a box or two of that, but then choose an inexpensive FMJ round with similar bullet weight and muzzle velocity that you can practice with. This will allow you to get good and stay good without breaking the bank.

You can go even cheaper with steel-cased ammunition, but I would only recommend that for guns designed for it – namely AK-type rifles and some other Russian- designed guns. Another way to save money over the long term (if you shoot a lot) is to reload the brass casings using new components and a reloading press. This is a bit complicated for beginners, but I may write a separate article on it in the future.

Storing and Owning

gunsfornewbies ammo

Having plenty of ammo is a must.

Be sure to store your gun in a good environment. If you haven’t shot a gun in a long time, check up on it every few months to make sure it’s free of corrosion, and maybe put a thin layer of oil on the bore. Make sure that it’s in a cool, dry place, and stored where someone can’t easily get to it when you’re not around. Store your ammo in a similar environment.

Next, have some emergency ammo stored away, separate from whatever cases of ammo you’re currently shooting through. You never know if there will be a long-term situation where you can’t just drive five minutes to a store and pick up a case of ammo – some new draconian law may get passed, a natural disaster may occur, or there may be massive civil unrest.

You don’t need 10,000 rounds of ammo per gun, but having enough to reload your main defensive weapon 25 times, and any others 15 times, is probably a good idea. Also, assuming your gun uses detachable mags, have an ample supply of these as well.


Owning guns and shooting guns are two of the most fun things I can think of doing. Knowing the right way to go about them can make them even more fun. Know your laws and do your homework on the best guns for your situation. Then pick out a gun and have some fun.

Read More: The Simplest Way To Approach Hot Girls For Newbies 

309 thoughts on “A Newbie’s Guide To Gun Ownership”

    Repeat these until you are saying them in your sleep.

    1. Rule 1: Only load the guns that you will have immediate access to. If someone breaks into your house and stumbles upon your superfluous loaded gun (if you don’t secure them) they can use it against you.

    2. The person responsible for formulating these rules also advised daily dry fire practice – at your television.
      Read Rule 2 again and think about it.

        1. He didn’t consider it a good guideline, he considered it an inviolable rule, which he did not violate.
          Don’t point the muzzle at anything you don’t wish to destroy . . . point the muzzle at your TV. It was not merely his values of shooting safety that he revealed with that.
          I should point out that Rule 4 is given here incompletely and that the redacted bit is every bit as important:
          Be sure of your target . . . and BEYOND!
          Even if you’re only dry firing, make sure that your TV is situated along a safe line of fire, just in case. They don’t make a good backstop.

        1. The rules of firearm safety (as well as the conditions of carry) come to us from Col. Jeff Cooper, a founder of the IPSC, godfather of modern combat pistol technique and founder of Gunsite, the first training facility to teach them to the public.
          He also had a good deal to do with the reverence which the M1911 is still accorded, championing it tirelessly.
          Despite all that, he considered himself a rifleman, not a pistolero. He considered the M1 Garand the finest battle rifle ever made, but advised bolt action for civilian use, claiming he could make an aimed follow up shot just as fast with a bolt as with a semi-auto.
          The key to this is lots of dry fire practice, which he did while watching television so it wouldn’t be a complete waste of time, picking out targets from the show and making a shot and follow up as quickly as he could.

    3. A fifth rule should be that if you are handed a weapon outside of any situation where you are to fire the gun (like not at a shooting range or in the field) YOU MUST CLEAR IT.
      I have seen too many cases of 1) someone having a gun loaded when they should not have and handing to someone who 2) goes and pulls the trigger.
      So always clear the weapon and make sure it’s clear because if someone’s going to be a fucktard, don’t be the one who is a fucktard who shot someone.

      1. Anyone who hands you a weapon should clear it. If you are handed a weapon, you should clear it.
        The business end is only for the bad guys.

    4. Amendment to Rule 1… if the action is disassembled, or the slider/BCG is forcibly held open, then it’s not “loaded”… but honestly that’s kind of an exception that only experienced people understand.

    5. “There is no such thing as accidental discharge, only negligent discharge because the person didn’t follow the above rules.”
      — Some wise person who isn’t me.

    6. Rule I should be sufficient to cover al he others. But, yes, it is good to list the 4 rules. Rule IV should read: BE SURE OF YOUR BACKSTOP.

    7. Also @doktorjeep:disqus RULE VI: Women that pose with guns for pics to try and appeal to men on social media/dating sites or for any other reason are never attractive. Ever.

    8. Rule 4 should be amended to include being sure of what’s behind your target. When you pull the trigger, YOU are 100% responsible for that bullet, including how far it goes and anything it hits along the way. ALWAYS be aware of your backdrop.

  2. There are no black people living in my area, so I don’t feel the need to get a gun for protection.

    1. I live in a predominately black area (Harlem) and I too don’t feel that I need to get a gun for protection. I have lived in a few other black areas (Ghana, Nigeria, Botswana, Namibia, Prince George County) and have never felt the urge to carry a firearm because of a pressing fear of my life.

      1. You’ve lived in PG county and you DIDN’T feel the need for a gun?
        I got shot twice there. One of the most ‘gun neccessary’ places I have ever lived. Even down off of Piscataway Creek which used to be the ‘rich people neighborhood’.

        1. I have lived in very, very white towns in NJ (95% white in Ocean County and Monmouth County) and 99% black places in Africa and have never felt that I needed a pistol. I currently live in Harlem, a predominately black place; I take walks at 3 or 4 in the morning without fear in one of these supposed black violent ghettos. Most of the violence in black communities involves gangs. Something like 75% of all shootings and 80% of all violence in America are gang related. The odds of me succumbing to violence is null because I am not a part of what is euphemistically called “that life”.
          In regards to Prince George County, I felt perfectly safe walking around at night. I am a part of the demographic that is most likely to be killed (young black male) and I was devoid of any fear. PGC has a violent crime rate of 510 per 100000 which is fairly low relative to other areas with similar demographics.

        2. Ahh, I hate to have to mention this, but in predominantly black neighborhoods young white males have a far higher chance of being a victim of random violence than black males have in predominantly white neighborhoods.
          You get stopped by cops. we get shot by gang bangers looking to score a white rhino.

        3. So find some. I learned this through decades of experience. But there are no real statistics on ‘why holding an m80 in your hand is a bad idea’

        4. “The odds of me succumbing to violence is null because I am not a part of what is euphemistically called ‘that life’.”
          Criminals are typically horrendous shots and people get killed all the time by their stray bullets.
          No arrests in death of Chicago girl hit by stray bullet at slumber party:
          Wearing red? The Crips may take you out. Wearing blue? The Bloods might take you out. What are you going to wear today, feel lucky?
          Was that teacher living “that life”? Or did “that life” find him and make him change his behavior to conform with their gang turf anyway?

        5. You are right, all men should be in a position to defend themselves. Luckily, in vast swaths of the USA, you can carry a gun for the once in a lifetime instance when you will need to either flash a pistol or fire a pistol in defense of your life, your property or your family. Regardless, you are correct about blacks committing more crime than whites (without counting state violence of course).

        6. You are correct, but the vast majority of people killed in gun homicides are drug dealers fighting over turf. The odds go down drastically if you don’t live in an urban area, aren’t young black and male, and don’t patronize groups that are violent.
          I will always be amazed when gang bangers pull guns on police officers because they are TERRIBLE shots and have never mastered looking down the sights and lining them up. It might as well be suicide because the cop has at least once used his pistol one time to qualify.

        7. Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
          Survivor of NOLA and BRLA for 18 years.
          I learned that lesson the hard way.
          But I don’t think anyone should be force by law to own a firearm, nor do I think states have the authority to deny me my inalienable right to defend my life and liberty.
          Hence the reason I will never live in the blue hives or ever visit there again.

        8. Well, Like I have said before. I don’t take the whole ‘it’s poverty’ seriously. I grew up in poverty. Vast stretches of America are enmeshed in ongoing poverty, and while the drug rates are fairly high especially for ‘cheap drugs’ like alcohol and huffing, the crime rates don’t even approach places like Santa Monica.
          It’s the dependent culture which we encourage with welfare, Affirmative action, and a deep and abiding ‘benevolent racism’ which, like feminism, assumes that your average black is too stupid, useless, and worthless to pull himself out of the septic hole of American black thug-culture to get out without tons of help.
          I figure it’s time to push the baby birds out of the nest… They have been in it for nearly 200 years, and the results speak for themselves. Let them sink or swim on their own merits, and prove to the rest of the country and the world that they are capable of being self-sufficient without the federal gov holding their hands… or let them fail spectacularly, and finally prove whatever proof that brings.
          In the process, we fix the immigration problem, the finance problem, the single mother problem, the basement dweller problem.
          “Work or starve”. Fucking ‘a’ shut down welfare. Shut down social security outlay for anyone who hasn’t paid in. Shut down wic, and section 8 housing, and especially food stamps (a HUGE grocery price driver to everyone else).
          But keep the soup kitchens going. Maybe having to wait in line for a bowl of soup will prove humiliating enough to force people to learn to make do.

  3. Very cool article. I think guns are a great way for a dad to bond with his son. Great way to get kids out of the room away from the world of screens. Shooting is fun and self-defense is important, but there are other things also worth thinking about. Learning how to take apart a firearm and clean it is a great skill also. Great way to pass some time with other dudes, cleaning weapons. (Youtube is great to see how to dismantle and re-assemble just about anything.) Once you have a gun, you can always make sure that people do not buy you useless stuff you do not want. If someone asks me what I want for Christmas, I just say ammo. For those of you on a limited budget, I highly recommend the Russian Mosin Nagant. A WW2 weapon that the Russaians are unloading for cheap on the world market as they empty warehouses full of this overproduced weapon. Great first weapon and wonderful power rifle. Not highly practical however unless you are interested in marksmanship. Could be good for hunting big game though.For home defense, a good .38 special revolver is a good choice. I lot of people do not like revolvers, but I admire the simplicity. Everybody needs a good shotgun also. On this, once again, I like the simplicity of the old style single shots. I have multiple shotguns of varying quality, but my starter gun , a small single shot .410 is one of my favorites to keep handy on a country walk in case I see a small rabbit or squirrel. But don’t forget the humble pump action pellet gun. Great if you are into trapping rabbits and squirrels (I recommend grilling). It is generally easy to catch small game even in suburbia. With a small pump action pellet gun, it is possible to take out humanely the caged rabbit at point blank range prior to skinning and grilling. Without disturbing the neighbors with a loud firearm. Once again, on you tube, there are plenty of videoes on skinning small game. I personally recommend honing your skills in areas of gardening, catching meat and home defense if the economy continues to weaken and we become more 3rd world. I predict that we may live to see the day when the ultimate game is ……..game. Small game and big game that can be tastefully prepared. Growing up, my grandfather always shot and skinned the meat with the boys. We would carry it in where the women folk would cook it up. I still get my wife to do the seasnoning for squirrel, but I like to grill it myself. While the US dollar still maintains purchasing power, I recommend starting your fireARM collection now. A great fATHER son hobby and a wonderful way to keep tradition alive and families happy, healthy and balanced.

    1. ” . . . don’t forget the humble pump action pellet gun.”
      I have an inordinate fondness for the Crosman 1377. It’s a nice little piece out of the box, but is also a modding favorite. YouTube has a number of videos on this.
      A simple springer rifle in the 12-16 ft/lb range, with a bit of fine tuning and fair amount of practice, is good for hunting squirrel out to about 25 yards and rabbit to 30. Something usable can be had at Wally World for $90-150.
      I hardly ever touch a firearm for anything rabbit sized or smaller these days.
      And the best part right now is, there is no bullet shortage, only cartridges. Air gun ammo is cheap and available in virtually any quantity, in any caliber.

      1. For me, trapping is the way to go with squirrels. Can get them every day you try. Gotta check traps daily though, or you just find a carcass. That’s when pellet guns come in. Cheap hunting.

    2. You know what else is fun? Paragraph breaks. Try hitting your ‘enter’ key occasionally. This is unreadable.

    3. I like that your comment touched on craftsmanship. A core factor needed for masculinity.

  4. Great info. Do you have any recommendations for further reading?
    This article is all I know about guns so anything else targeted for newbies would be appreciated.

    1. I would recommend you spend some time on youtube watching some of our “gun celebrities”. This is where you will find lots of great reviews and methodologies and you can draw your own conclusions.
      1. Colion Noir…lawyer and gun nut so you get alot of great legal commentary. He didnt grow up with guns so hes one of the few that remembers what its like to be a new gun owner. Great stuff.
      2. The military arms channel…this man is the only guy that gives 100% legit reviews. Very detailed and articulate.
      3. Travis Haley…red pill as can be. He tends to explain how use a gun better than anyone.
      4. James Yeager…red pill as fuck.

        1. Jerry Michulek does make great videos. Another guy I like is hickok45. They both do really well at showing the fun side of shooting.
          Instructor Zero has a god given gift for shooting shit. I didnt mention him because he doesnt really do reviews and hes kinda hard to understand. I also wouldnt want a newbie trying to do the advanced stuff he does.

        2. Hickok45 is great fun, and covers a wide range of guns – quite historically informative as well.

    2. Not any books off the top of my head, but the Iraqveteren8888 channel on Youtube has a lot of great gun videos, and their “Firearms Facts” videos are specifically meant for newbies.

  5. Memorize your local laws. Gun laws vary considerably from state to state, even from county to county or city to city.
    Don’t buy a more powerful gun than you can handle. If you can’t handle a .357, then its no good because you won’t be able to hit anything if you need to.

    1. The recoil of a gun is proportional to its weight. A heavy 357 with a 6″ barrel has less recoil than a small framed plastic 9mm.

      1. Just from personal experience, my 5″ GP100 has a whole lot more recoil than my dad’s little S&W M&P. Of course, it also depends on what kind of loads you’re using, but I don’t use anything hot.

    2. Good advice on gun laws. Fortunately many states, and I mean almost (but not quite) all of them have state pre-emption now. Meaning local ordinances are a thing of the past in most places. Having to know carry laws from county to county was absurd.

    1. Absolutely. Get a good pair of noise-canceling earmuffs AND a good set of earplugs. Having already ruined my hearing on far to many rock concerts, I wear both when shooting a really loud gun like the Mosin-Nagant.

      1. My active ear pro is right next to my handgun when I go to bed. If I have time the earpro will be worn in a self defense situation.

  6. Good article. Nice east European weapons. Really great guns. Just make sure they are factory foreign guns not u.s rebuilds which my be problematic

    1. I did a lot of shooting with the AKs. They’re great.
      Also, shooting a 50 cal pistol is awesome. I highly recommend.

      1. AK’s are fun and cheap to shoot, but its not what I would call a precision weapon. Anything past 200 yards and Ill take an AR.

        1. I’ve hit man sized steel targets out to 500 meters with 74s 47s and ar-15s. Past that give me something in 7.62 nato or 7.62x54r. ars are generally more reliable than people say if milspec. Aks are generally much more accurate than people say. And the reliability isn’t a lie

        2. It’s plenty precise. A range I go to has 1 foot steel plates at 300, make them ring all day with iron sights.

        3. That can happen. Unfortunately AK’s are “individual” type weapons in that regard. Some can actually shoot decently, many on the other hand, well…they make great clubs!

        4. Indeed, they’re a little loose, but they feel great.. The recoil, the sound… I’ve also did RPGs.. now those are loud.

        5. And the reliability isn’t a lie
          They’re very simple weapons. That’s their strength..

        6. They are used as a platform for sniper rifles, so they can’t be all that bad – totally agree with you.

        7. True of most Russian weapons. 91/30’s are out in force and most of them have outlived the people that built them.

        8. Did you ever shoot a 50 cal. pistol Ghost? That is awesome. You get gun powder all over your face.. a round was $5 15 years ago… No idea how much it is today.

        9. Did a couple of magazines through a Desert Eagle back in the late 1990’s in .50 AE. Lots of flame and noise, that much is certain. Haven’t tried the new S&W .50 yet, and yeah, that shit is super expensive. The entire point of the Model 500 is lost on me, since it is prohibitively expensive to shoot. I think a box of ammo is somewhere around $90 around these parts. 20 rounds. Fuck me running.

        10. What I call a barbecue gun.
          You pull it out at the barbecue and everybody goes “Oooohh, aaaahh”.
          I shot my step-brother’s S&W 500 Magnum at just such a barbecue.
          Awesome gun, but not my choice for home defense.
          A carbine with a 30 round magazine is my first choice… I do live in the country so over penetration is not a big concern for me.

  7. ““Practice.” There’s not much point in having a gun if you’re no good with it. ”
    Posers buy guns. Shooters buy ammo. -Okie John
    “I’m sure some of us know a guy who has two safes with 27 different guns, but has no training . . .”
    Beware of the man who only has one gun. He probably knows how to use it. -Clint Smith

  8. Excellent article. Good job mentioning training. Its better to be good with one gun rather than shoot like crap with 15 of them.
    Some advice…
    Buy a damn AR15. When every feminist and liberal tries to ban something…you know its something worth having.
    Ive own/owned about 10 AR15s in the last 15 years. Some full auto, with the proper legal trust and paperwork established. For $800 today, you can get what was $2500 just 5 years ago. Gun prices are the lowest they have ever been and the quality today is amazing…so buy one.

    1. Build it. Even cheaper. Get to know the mechanics and operation intimately. If someone is is completely new to a build research it, YouTube it. Then again you’d need tools, torque wrench, castle nut wrench, roll pins and guides.

      1. Yeah building is way cheaper. For a new gun owner it can be an intimidating task but a good gunsmith can make it easier for you.

        1. Agreed but a worthy endeavor and the sense of accomplishment is well worth it. Like brewing beer.
          There is that stupid lower issue, needing to be shipped to a dealer.

    2. I wouldn’t spend more than $600.00 on an AR 15. You can get a del-ton ar 15 for less than $500.00 if you are willing to go without a dust cover and a bullet button. For $499.99 you can get a Bear Creek AR15 that has a bullet button, dust cover, a hard case and a magazine at classicfirearms.com.
      An ak 74 can be had for a less than $600,00 as well.

      1. My 800 price point would be my last budget build I made. Thats why i used that number as a reference. I wanted a little better quality barrel and I slightly customized the rifle for my needs. You are correct, it can get even cheaper…just make sure no corners were cut from the milspec. Some mfg cut costs by using cheaper barrels, not performing a mpi on their bolt carrier groups, using non milspec parts, ect. My last budget build was…
        1.Spikes tactical stripped lower
        2.Palmetto state armory build kit with magpul str stock and pistol grip.
        3.Palmetto State 16″ midlength complete upper assembly with the fn CHF barrel.
        4.strike industries keymod rail
        5.haley strategic thorntail light mount with surefire g2x.
        6.a set of magpul irons.

        1. Yeah…palmetto is my standard budget build. Shipping sucks but Ive had zero reliability issues with their fully assembled uppers.

        2. I have mine stock in storage (I am in NYC now so I can not have a gun). I have a Bear Creek AR 15 that cost me $529.99. It eats whatever I put through it without any feeding issues. I have only been shooting with the stock iron sights that came with it and I can attain reasonable accuracy out to 200 yards.

        3. For self defense situations, 99% of the time the target will be within 7 yards. When im at my ranch and just feel like shooting a random hog or whatever beast walks into view, its always at around 75 yards.
          Heres a link to a good video. If your hitting 200 you can easily do 500 on a man sized target.

        4. I’m in NYC as well, and while it is near draconian in regulation, it is not impossible to own and operate a gun. I am an applicant for a premise carry.
          Btw, thoughts on a usp-45 full size?

      2. Good call on the ak74. I have a plum one I purchased for $600 at classicfirearms and it is my favorite rifle I own.

    3. Ar-15s are decent guns. Definitely build one. Cheaper and you can use only mil spec parts. Aks are still a much easier and less cleaning intensive. Aks are almost always hated by the gov. Why there are so many import regulations against them

      1. ak vs ar-15 is a hot debate. I do not have either but am leaning toward getting an Ak.

        1. Some of the old WW2 era things are nice also. Plus, the SKS is worth looking at as a back-up for AK as both use the same ammo

        2. If you are leaning ak, buy an ak. Then just spend $80 for a stripped ar15 lower and buy a few ar15 mags. The lower and the magazines of an ar is what is critical. It is what they try to ban. If you have a stripped lower and magazines, you can always buy the rest of the parts over time.

        3. Best deal around…the czech Republic is dumping all their vz 58 rifles on the american market.

        4. ARs are more reliable than people say but not as reliable as a ak. Aks are much more accurate than people say 74s can be on part with milspec ars

        5. They aren’t completely Czech rifles. They have a poorer quality century arms barrel and receiver. If you want a vz58 look at czechpoint.

        6. This is why my AK gets shot more often. I have no qualms about feeding it cheap steel case ammo I wouldn’t feed my AR. I also clean it a lot less. It’s my dirty Romanian side bitch.

    4. I’ve come full circle on the AR15. They’re worth owning if for no other reason than the ammo, mags, and spare parts are readily available, and are the preferred “well regulated militia” firearm 😉

    5. Not a fan of .223. Doesn’t have the stopping power I prefer. Men have died using .223 in self defense because it didn’t put down the bad guy, even with good shot placement.
      That said, it’s the rifle and caliber of choice for these united States, so having one gives you a leg up on replacement parts and ammo, so you have that going for you.
      I own one .223 rifle, a Mini-14. It’s basically for plinking and for the wife if we should ever have to hunker down.

        1. Ha Ha. Yes. Ultimately it is still 22 calibre. if you want to get more out of 22 calibre you need to go 243 (.308 cartridge base) win or 270 win (30-03 cartridge base). Even then you’re limited to weight of bullet. Although 270 win is pretty devastating, and I’ve seen these rounds leave rifles – pretty fast.

        2. If I recall correctly, 5.56N will penetrate 2 feet of soft wood. But 7.62N will penetrate 4 feet of soft wood. I am going from memory (I spent 10 years as a military engineer). Basically, if some asshole is hiding behind a tree, you shoot the tree with your .308 FMJ.

        1. What I thought about that, was that the AR15 seemed very lightweight. For my own part, I was trying to decide if the fact that I can get off a lot of rounds quickly and accurately made up for the lack of stopping power. You think not?

        2. No. I’d prefer to put the person down with as few shots as possible, preferably one shot if I can. If you’re in a situation with a rifle and you’re returning fire there’s a fair chance that you’re shooting at more than one person. Spraying ammo might well be the last thing you want to do, except as a last measure OR if they charge you as a wall.

      1. The pros of the ar is ammo availability and spare parts. I have no military experience so all my knowledge is from growing up on a ranch, having access to more guns than most people, and learning the hard way by shooting and running drills and gutting hogs. The ar is a great platform to learn on but if you only have a 556 you are limited in what you can do. Forget about hunting with one. I always recommend an ar or ak for beginners due to the low price point and cheap ammo which allows new shooters to practice more often.
        If you buy an AR, a 300 blackout sbr upper is a game changer. It destroys hogs and you still have the parts availability of the AR platform. An SBR is really what you want in a home defense situations anywsys. If you’re in a vehicle and getting out of town it is a must have. So if you buy an AR, get that extra upper.
        If I could only pick 3 guns out of my 200k in guns it would be…
        1. Ar15 sbr in 300 blk.
        2. A good 308. Fal or scar 17.
        3. A handgun.
        I run a flashlight on every gun I own. Only surefire or inforce.
        Aimpoint red dot on the sbr. Mid range milrad scope on the 308. And a supressor that can be placed on either rifle.

        1. Is the M14 legal for civilian use in the US? I have heard that it is (or was) essentially superior to the M16.

        2. Yes. And yes.
          Not all states though. The M1A1 (the semi auto version of the M14) is legal everywhere except, I think, D.C. and…not sure, that may be it. But the select fire M-14 can be bought and had, for a price, at least in Ohio.
          Personally I prefer the M1A1. Auto fire with a standard issue rifle in .308 is wasting good ammo and hitting very little target wise. I love full auto, but it’s better suited to smaller sized rounds, or squad weapons (machine guns) I think they got it right with the M-16A2 and higher, which is three round burst.

        3. M14 is the full auto version of the civilian m1a. M16 is the full auto version of the civilian ar15. You can buy the full auto version if you have a good lawyer and you can afford to spend 20k to aquire a machine gun made prior to 1986.
          In america the m1a is available for about $1500 USD.

        4. Nah, we don’t need lawyers here where I live (Ohio), the Sheriffs all basically sign automatically if you have a clean background. The cost of course is as you say, stupid high. Thank you 1986.
          We can also buy silencers directly in our gun stores and we just legalized them for hunting as well.
          Ohio has a lot of problems, but our fast removal of most gun idiocy is not one of them.

        5. In texas nfa is very difficult. You really have to establish a trust over here to bypass the sheriff signature. A trust also is great because it gives legal protection to all family members. The 86 rule is absurd. I have access to machine guns…its fun but not any more dangerous than a regular gun. I actually prefer semi autos.

      2. This is what I hate about Canada. The gun laws are so extreme. If you have a handgun, or anything that RESEMBLES an assault rifle, you have hoops on top of red tape hoops to get the gun. THEN you have to pay through your ass for that gun. Rugers or Sig Sauer pistols are at least $700 new up here.

    6. A Ruger Mini-14 (post 2008) is also a good alternative.
      I like the Ruger due to it being based on the action of the M1 Garand, the rifle our grandfathers used to subdue the Nazis and the Japanese — one of the greatest battle rifles ever built according to some people ‘in the know’.
      Anyway the Ruger can be had for less, is a simple and extremely reliable weapon, and fires both the .223 and 5.56 Nato rounds safely, can take 30 round magazines, and you can accessorize then with optics and other stuff.
      I also recommend the SKS. I have a Chinese model that I’ve fired thousands of rounds through. It jammed one time, and that was with an aftermarket POS 30 round magazine.
      Rugged, simple, and reliable will win the day if the SHTF.
      Nothing against the AR though. Fine weapons to be sure.
      Most of all, you should be comfortable with your weapon.
      I fear the man who is really good with one firearm more than the man with 15 firearms.
      Finally, I think it is the duty of every man to protect his loved ones from harm whenever he can. The gun is the ultimate equalizer. It IS CIVILIZATION.
      It is also important that your female family members be able to use firearms safely and accurately, in case something happens when you’re not home.

    7. Pistol-caliber carbines are also a good choice. Cheaper ammo, reduced recoil, and reduced muzzle report (an absolute godsend if you are forced to defned yourself indoors, because a rifle’s report might burst your eardrums without hearing protection)
      MechTech makes great drop-in carbine conversions for GLOCK and 1911 pistols. And of course Hi-Point makes good carbines, even if their pistols are a bit on the cheap side.

  9. m1 Garand, one of the finest rifles ever made, cheaper than heck as army surplus, uses cheap rounds.
    m1911 pistol. One of the finest handguns ever made for the same reasons as the M1. a LOT more expensive (They are considered collector’s pieces instead of firearms) but durable, accurate, easy to ammo, easy to clean, and have been tested in some of the worst fighting conditions on earth.

    1. M1 garand…and only through the civilian marksmanship program. You get a really winner at a great price through the cmp.

      1. Do tell? I could use a couple of dry and training pieces. Got mine in the navy back in ’90, not sure where to get the best deals on ’em now.

        1. The civilian markmarksmanship program is a government sponsored program to encourage shooting. The cmp has rules to join but when you join they allow you to purchase garands at a considerable discount. Most shooting clubs and gun ranges know how to set you up. Its very common to buy a garand through the cmp.

    2. M1’s arent cheap anymore. Used to be, but you are looking at +$1300 for a decent one.

      1. Heck is any gun cheap anymore? Mosins Nagants are about the only cheapie left. SKS/AK/M1/everything is inflated these days.

    3. The 1911 packs a whallop but the magazine is limited. John Moses Browning designed the Colt but the better weapon is the HP35 9mm.

        1. Stupid cunt Slager needed 7 rounds to put down William Scott. A complete, fucking disgrace IMHO.

        2. 2 in the heart, 1 in the head. Anyone that could live through that could give Rasputin a few lessons.

  10. A very well written article.
    The two guns I’d want whether I was going to Mars, for a zombie apocalypse or WTSHTF are an AK-47 and an M1911 .45.

      1. Oh good lord no. That mushy trigger puts me off. I prefer single action in semi auto, and if not that, then a Ruger suffices quite well in my opinion. A crisp break, 4 pound pull on a 1911 is a thing of beauty.
        I’m not a Glock hater, they’re fine, I just would want something else if it was “if I only had”.

        1. Basically close to impossible to have a handgun in Australia, but if I could………….Ruger New Model Super Blackhawk…….44 Remington Magnum. Single action.

        2. I actually own a Ruger Super Blackhawk in .44 mag/sp. Fine weapon. 10.5″ barrel, 16.5″ overall length. It’s a deer hunting pistol basically.
          If you ever get to own one, replace the grips on it immediately with something comfortable, like Hoag. The stock furniture on it absorbs *nothing* from the recoil.

        3. Thanks. Will never get to own one – too hard here. Ever since the Port Arthur massacre they clamped down, and it was hard enough before that. Rifles isn’t that much of an issue though – more of a paperwork hassle. Apparently there are more gun owners now than before the buyback after the massacre, allowing for population increase.

        4. Its not that I’m a Glock fanboy, but I’ve carried one for years and nothing beats its reliability.

        5. I have heard of guys who hunt bear with that sort of hand cannon. You have to get up close and personal, however.

        6. Yeah, it’s a beast to be certain. It is purely a hunting pistol, highly impractical as a self defense piece. Unless you were defending yourself against attack helicopters I mean.

        7. Not sure what you’re asking. Ohio has “state pre-emption” with regards to firearms laws. Meaning, localities cannot make laws regarding firearms contrary to state law. So the days of municipalities forbidding carry are long gone.

        8. Ok. Check on that. Some city council members here and there want to make their place a “gun free zone”. Good thing your state put an end to that nonsense.

      2. I love my G19. It’s as reliable as a framing hammer.
        I test fired a number of pistols in different calibers prior to purchasing, and I was most accurate with that one.
        I figure it’s more important where you hit the target (accurately) than stopping power per se.
        Here’s a good illustration of the different pistol calibers hitting ballistics gel:
        Not a huge difference. Just hit the center of mass until the threat stops.
        Then call 911 to help clean up.
        Or, as we say in the country: SSS
        Shoot. Shovel. Shut up. (that’s a joke until it isn’t)

    1. Any gun is better than no gun; the best gun is the one you have, as they say.

    2. Two guns for Zombies?
      Hmmm…close or semi-close range then?
      I already own my two choices if that’s the case. A KSG and a Colt Series 80 1991A1 in .45 acp. If I need range beyond 100 yards, then substitute my StG-58 in .308 (basically an Austrian FN FAL).

        1. It’s my go to round of choice. I stocked up on it from the mid 90’s forward. NATO battle packs in .308 were dirt cheap, back in the day.

        2. Do you reload at all? .308 is probably one of the most cost effective rounds to reload for. I do realise there is a difference between .308 and 7.62 NATO brass after they have been fire formed.

        3. I do, yes, but with an old RCBS single stage press, which is a pain in the arse. Great for custom loads of course, but trying to chunk out a case is an exercise in masochism.

        4. If you are shooting a lot of rounds, then yes, especially for pistol, a single stage is sadistic – probably more masochistic really. I’m taking a guess here, but you would shoot well in excess of 5000 rounds a year?

        5. Yes, that’s correct, and club membership to keep the range time reasonable. After my funeral, my family is going to go through my arsenal and ammo storage and discover that basically they are the most heavily armed family on the planet.

        6. Yes, that’s correct, and club membership to keep the range time reasonable. After my funeral, my family is going to go through my arsenal and ammo storage and discover that basically they are the most heavily armed family on the planet.

        7. No comment. I can only laugh at that one…….”OK, so dad didn’t leave us any money…..but”. Man, you ain’t that old – you’ll probably still have to go through the apocalypse yourself.

        8. No comment. I can only laugh at that one…….”OK, so dad didn’t leave us any money…..but”. Man, you ain’t that old – you’ll probably still have to go through the apocalypse yourself.

        9. Unfortunately I think you’re correct. Fortunately I’ve spent my life shooting and doing “survivalist” stuff just because it was part of my lower middle class culture growing up, plus Scouts and then the military, so I guess if it’s going to happen, better to me than to my children or grandchildren.

        10. Don’t disagree there. I think it is sad that a lot of boys, and girls as well, miss out on the outdoor experience these days – that self reliance thing. How many can shoot a gun or bow? How many can start a fire? Can they fish? Or ride a horse?

        11. I think we’re going to live through some seriously bad times to come. The world is just downright heading for it.

        12. We refused our two kids phones until they hit high school, so they actually were “tortured” and had to endure things like Scouting, shooting, horse riding, fishing, all that you mention.
          Strangely enough, many of the young men up here where I live hunt and shoot. I’ve made rifle slings and holsters for many of my son’s friends actually, and when they get together they all compare notes on their various rifles.

        13. I like your style. I’ll just go off on a tangent here. As I am in Australia, not a lot of the population own guns, not to mention that we have quite a strong left wing culture here, and you know what that means. So when guys find out I own guns, their eyes light up – they are fascinated. When you show them they are in awe. Words like ‘beautiful’ are actually uttered. It’s in the blood. Men and weapons are made for each other, and they are being denied contact.
          My wife’s good friends husband would love to shoot and learn how to do it properly – but there is no rifle range near him – they were all shut down by the government.

        14. Given its ballistics, if you shoot someone with it, they don’t get up. The only problem is over penetration. It will go through walls and such. When I did room clearing drills, the C7 (M16A2) was handier once you entered the room. However, the .308 can punch through a wall and ruin their day: you don’t need to enter the room to clear it.

        15. If you’re going to clear a room you might prefer a pump action shotgun, if anything, I would suppose, but I’m not an expert (I know the M16 is not a shotgun). .308, as you are obviously aware, is not a room clearing round. It sure is a head clearing round though – of all its contents. You’re right though – with .308 they’re not going to get up.
          Such a great round though, and with a hot load and heavy bullet (Berger Hybrid), will kill someone, accurately, out to about 1200 yards.
          And I have used ‘though’ a lot.

        16. The thing is that a shotgun load does not have much spread at less than 40 yards. It will certainly make a mess of someone who you can clock on the dial but IMHO it is over rated as a room-clearing weapon. I would prefer an MP5, a UMP or a P90. The nifty thing about the .308 is that you don’t have to go into the room to clear it, lol.

        17. I know a guy in SWAT and he said the MP5 works like a charm,very accurate, even on full auto you can keep a fist sized group at 10-20 yards, I’ve shot one on Full auto before, it’s impressive.

        18. I had a Century Arms HK91 clone that I Shot at Mud patches from 200 yards, it was really impressive , that .308 can move some dirt. Course I sold that gun and the Saiga-12 I owned to buy an AR 15, but I don’t use it much since it’s been Disassembled in keeping in accordance with the good ole NY Safe Act, you know the law that prevents Law Abiding Citizens from legally purchasing “Dangerous Assault Guns”, course I’m not sure how this law affects the Citizens who aren’t Law Abiding….

        19. Lots of folks on this site live in big nasty collectivist states/cities. Y’all need to get out of those hellholes and move to flyover country. I promise you, it’s a whole other world out here. C’mon out and sit a spell!

        20. Yeah I visited my cousin for a Month and a half in Florida, walking into gun stores in that state helped me remember that some of the Country is still very Free.

        21. Florida has good gun stores. Try the midwest sometime, outside of Illinois. I bought my Tommygun in Ohio. Try that shit in Maryland.

        1. Nothing wrong with an 870.
          But me, nah, I prefer higher capacity in my 12 gauge.
          This is my shotgun. 15 rounds of 2 3/4″ or 13 of 3″ magnum. Bullpup stock so it’s easy to move around in close quarters. Bottom ejection. Fun as hell to shoot.

        2. Nothing wrong with an 870.
          But me, nah, I prefer higher capacity in my 12 gauge.
          This is my shotgun. 15 rounds of 2 3/4″ or 13 of 3″ magnum. Bullpup stock so it’s easy to move around in close quarters. Bottom ejection. Fun as hell to shoot.

  11. As a part time firearms instructor I beg and plead with any new shooter to takes some god damn lessons! Dont learn bad habits and get them into muscle memory!!!! I cant tell you how many people I see at the range blow through $150 in ammunition and their targets look like a shotgun pattern shoot at 150 feet Spend a $100 and go get a basic pistol certification.

    1. Part-time lol.
      Sorry, I apologize. I just thought that statement was hilarious.
      I am ex-military.

    1. Criticism without examples is pointless.
      And it was for beginners.

  12. Word to the Wise-choose your women VERY cautiously if youre a gun owner.Females as it stands enjoy great powers over a man’s freedom; and the presence of firearms in the house means The Man WILL come running if she says those Seven Deadly Words;
    “Im Afraid,And He Has A Gun.”
    Ancillary note;In most every Western territory,a Domestic Violence arrest means an automatic cancellation of your gun owning days.A DV charge in court , pled down or sentenced, makes said cancellation lifelong without the possibility of parole. Thats a career killer if youre in the military or are a cop,because you cant touch another weapon no matter the reason.

    1. Amen. When I dealt with a nutso stalker… she loved to threaten to go get a restraining order saying I had guns and would hurt her. Be careful ya’ll

  13. I’m less worried about draconian rules than the inevitable “erhmagod they’re gunna take my gunz!” mentality. I had a heck of a time buying 9mm pinker ammo for months, not because the gubbermint made it illegal. No, every idiot and his brother bought 5000 rounds apparently and cleared the shelves. Then some guys started reselling it for double or triple the price and people bought it. This meant those guys kept buying it up and reselling it, prolonging the empty shelves.
    Fortunately my 7mm ammo wasn’t affected, so I could still shoot my rifle until got a 1000rd box of plinkers.

    1. It was actually more than a run on ammo that caused that, though it was a factor.
      People who run to the stores at the last minute for “emergency!” things are silly. If you don’t have it before an emergency then you’re doing it wrong.

      1. I never really worried about it until then because a couple hundred rounds of 115gr FMJ usually lasted me a while. I should’ve remembered from the last time. With the intarwebs this time, it just led to a lot of people buying bulk to sell on gunbroker.

  14. “Guns are just metal penises. War is just the manifestation of latent homosexuality.”
    -Stupid women who are able to run their stupid mouths because men with guns protect them

    1. Women mouths are their other vaginas they work it up by binge eating and screaming out of it to make out their sexual frustrations.

    2. “A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity.” Sigmund Freud.

  15. Wish this article touched upon more on how to carry/conceal firearms and knowing when to use them discreetly like at what point is it self defense vs. paranoia. Also how to make sure law enforcers like cops don’t get edgy around visible firearms in citizen hands. Basically how to protect you from the law and stupid wimpy people that think just because you have a gun you are a maniac.

    1. A concealed carry class will cover the legalities and the situational conditions you mention, e.g. – how and when to draw and the consequences of doing so.
      As to officers/law seeing a sidearm, it varies by state. Since Youtube there has been a growing number of open carriers challenging law enforcement, which has directly impacted officer training in a positive way. In Ohio (my state) the general rule of thumb out in public is:
      Concealed And Open
      1. Don’t draw it from the holster except in self defense. Ever.
      2. Know the law. Know the law. Know the law. And the place to learn the law is NOT by talking to cops, they are usually utterly ignorant regarding carry.
      3. Don’t provide ID on demand for the cops “just because”. If they stop you only to ID you, you do not have to provide identification no matter how much they stomp their feet and threaten you. (if you open carry). This does NOT apply if you require a license to open carry in your state of course, they may well have that power in that case.
      4. Carry a voice recorder (if you open carry)
      5. Dress like a normal person and not a thug. Hoodies and jeans below your crack and a gun WILL get the attention of Officer Friendly.
      6. Be polite. Contrary to popular perceptions in the leftist media, people do not run screaming when they see you with a properly holstered sidearm. Most people don’t even notice, the few that do, 99 out of 100 times, will smile, nod or otherwise give you a positive encounter. Most will want to talk to you directly.

  16. I am a Canadian, which is to say I will never own a decent firearm. Worse is that I now live in China and these sorts of weapons are out of the question.
    Having said that, here are my four choices:
    1) FN CI. 7.62N Accurate to 1000 yards. I worked with this when I was in the military. I could bulls eye a silver dollar at 100 yards. If you are particularly tenacious, it can defeat cinderblock. It is completely reliable: you can drive a truck over it and it will still fire.
    2) C7 – This is military grade so you can’t get it. Maybe you can get an AR-15. It is lightweight and low recoil. Accurate to 300 yards. Not particularly durable: you need to keep it clean.
    3) Browning 9mm HP35. Single action pistol that has been in service for 80 years. Moderate recoil and ok stopping power. Again, drive a truck over it and it will still fire.
    4) FN 5-7 I have not used this weapon but I have looked at its statistics. Its stopping power is as good as a .45, and it has a 20 round magazine. Additionally, its armour penetration is impressive. If I was in an open-carry state, this would be my choice. Unfortunately, it is military grade and might not be available.

    1. fiveseven is legal in most states here. It’s on par with shooting a 22 magnum (like AMT automag 2)

    1. Vermont has been full constitutional carry since the days of the Vermont Republic, by the state, not the federal, constitution. Any arm that is not prohibited by federal law is legal and you may carry as you wish. There is no waiting period for the purchase of a firearm.
      The downside is that as they issue no permits, they cannot participate in reciprocity agreements with other states, which means that Vermont citizens can only carry in other constitutional carry states.
      Whether you can deal with the granola crunchiness of the place is another matter. Stay out of Burlington, Rutland, or places where New Yorkers tend to congregate and liberalness is more old fashioned, live and let live Yankee farmer than it is progressive.

      1. An Arizona CHL takes care of a lot of that problem for Vermont-ers.

    2. Wyoming, Vermont, West Virginia, Kentucky, Alaska, Arizona, Montana, South Dakota, Idaho. Even Ohio is doing good, we have a bill up just introduced this week to make us Constitutional Carry (no CHL’s for concealed carry) and we have unlicensed open carry.
      Surprisingly, Texas sucks. They have good laws regarding self defense, but you cannot open carry sidearms there.

      1. Your correct. People think texas is an anything goes kind of place but they are behind on gun rights. We are expecting open carry by the end of this year. We are far from constitution carry.

        1. As I recall, it’s going to be “licensed open” right? While not optimal, at least it’s an improvement. Once you get that, go straight for the jugular with unlicensed open/concealed carry.
          No idea how Texas has lagged so much regarding carry.

      2. I suppose I am a firearm tourist. I need a secure gun club to hold on to my firearm. I have no desire for a long arm but I would like to have a 5-7. . . .just because.

      3. Surprisingly, Texas sucks.

        And as we saw, none other than their former governor got dicked over because of the same laws when he was handed a bogus indictment.

  17. Guns are not for everyone. Its fine to target shoot, hunt and collect. Carrying guns for “protection” is dangerous , silly and should be illegal(it is in most places already).

      1. There should be reasonable restrictions on firerams. Its not a liberal vs conservative issue. Im not against responisble and trained men having firearms.

        1. No, there shouldn’t. And yes, it is a liberal vs. conservative thing. You have no say in the exercise of my rights. None.

        2. There should be reasonable restrictions on firerams.

          Be careful for what you wish.
          Every “reasonable restriction” on any right can and will be used against you personally at some point.
          Ever wonder why so many minor crimes have been upgraded to felonies? Because of that “reasonable restriction” against felons owning firearms. That’s why.
          Another “reasonable restriction” means that a vindictive woman can file for a restraining order against you, regardless of merit, and because you followed the “reasonable restriction” and registered your firearm, guess what? Now the cops are at your door demanding you hand over all your firearms.
          Another “reasonable restriction” means that if you are a veteran, and you see a V.A.-approved counselor to help you cope with PTSD, you are now declared “mentally unfit” to own firearms. No trial, no nothing. But no guns for you either, even though the same government had no problem with you using military-grade firepower to serve your country.

    1. Guns are not for everyone.
      This isn’t Obamacare, no one is forcing anyone to either get a gun or pay a tax.

  18. Pistol Recommendations – 9mm. FBI is moving back to 9mm, the article below justifies why.
    In short, handguns do not provide stopping power.
    Modern hollow points provide sufficient penetration in 9mm
    Bigger calibers only result in more recoil and less capacity.
    Glock 17/19
    HK VP9
    SIG P320
    FNS 9
    S&W M&P
    Glock 43
    S&W Shield
    Further Resources:
    Appendix carry for concealed carry:
    Why an AR-15 is an excellent choice for home defense:
    Training suggestions/road map. If you are going to buy a weapon, train with a reputable instructor, ESPECIALLY IF YOU WILL CARRY!

    1. 9mm over penetrates and likely will not drop a bad guy even with decent shot placement (outside of a head shot or direct heart shot I mean). I know, I know, the “old debate”, heh. My SR45 holds 10+1, which is fine by me. Instead of recommending a specific caliber, I’m more inclined to recommend going with the caliber that the shooter is most comfortable with. You don’t need 20 round magazines in a sidearm, almost all engagements with a sidearm are at less than 15 feet and utilize less than 3 shots according to studies related to us by Mr. Ayoob. This is not to say that I favor magazine capacity restrictions, I don’t.

      1. You also need to be careful with hollow points do you not? I recall the police shot and killed one guy in NYC and injured nearly 20 innocents with the fragments.
        Question. If you are at point blank range in a gunfight with someone shooting back at you how accurate would you expect to be? Also, would your technique be different (firing single handed from a holster, etc.)

        1. Point blank?
          Reflex and muscle memory. No time to aim by eye whatsoever, you essentially hunch down and over, extend arms fully, point center mass and pull the trigger. If you look up “tactical defense shooting” that’s basically the technique I’d use.

        2. The reason I asked, is that I saw a police training video (would 15 feet count as point blank?) where they were shooting from spitting distance. Their technique was fast draw shooting from the hip. What’s your advice on this?
          Btw, I have also seen an amusing video where a guy “fast drew” and shot himself in the leg. Oh how I laughed…

        3. Draw from the hip works if it’s how you train, but it’s not optimal. 15 feet is actually the standard range of engagement in real gunfights, and yeah, point blank in my book. All that said, any kind of return fire will generally get the bad guy at least ducking and looking for cover, unless he’s a complete blooming idiot or on meth.
          The Single Action Shooting Society is an entire group who train the draw and fire from the hip thing and many of them are *very* good at it. I don’t train that way so I’m not going to advise it or advise against it. My “combat” training was received from an early age by my Marine father and Marine uncle, and was basically tactical defense shooting before it had a name. Of course also practiced the fine and impractical “aim, steady squeeze, breath control” methods as well, which is fantastic on a range when nobody is charging you or shooting at you. heh

        4. Draw from the hip works if it’s how you train, but it’s not optimal. 15 feet is actually the standard range of engagement in real gunfights, and yeah, point blank in my book. All that said, any kind of return fire will generally get the bad guy at least ducking and looking for cover, unless he’s a complete blooming idiot or on meth.
          The Single Action Shooting Society is an entire group who train the draw and fire from the hip thing and many of them are *very* good at it. I don’t train that way so I’m not going to advise it or advise against it. My “combat” training was received from an early age by my Marine father and Marine uncle, and was basically tactical defense shooting before it had a name. Of course also practiced the fine and impractical “aim, steady squeeze, breath control” methods as well, which is fantastic on a range when nobody is charging you or shooting at you. heh

        5. I have heard that the best way to win a gunfight is to shoot before the other guy knows you are there 😀

        6. Well yeah, heh, that’s true. But I’m not an assassin so the chances of that are pretty slim.

        7. I am ex-military and the really weird shit is that hollow points are forbidden on the battlefield. Soldiers try to wound their enemies but cops shoot to kill.
          In term of technique, I use “instinctive shooting”. I only use the front sight. If the target was 50 or 100 metres away then yes, I use both sights (and I am pretty good with that).
          There is a mental game. If you have fear then you won’t hit shit. Examine the gunfight from Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven. He is not the fastest gun but he shows no fear and is able to cut down half a dozen other men.

        8. “Point blank” is an artillery term and it doesn’t have much application to pistol fire. I suppose the equivalent would be if I had the choice to punch the guy or shoot him instead. If you want to see a completely nonsensical example then watch JOHN WICK.

        9. When adrenaline floods your body all logical reasoning and fine motor skills shut down. It is very common for accidents to happen under stress. You get tunnel vision and literally become a caveman.
          This is why training is necessary. And not just practicing at a range but training understress. You need somone to yell at you, slap your face, and throw dirt at you. You need to run half a mile then do a crossfit workout…then practice your shooting. This is why a quality instructor is so important.

        10. Situational awareness is what wins all fights. I can shoot 15 bullets in 2 seconds and put them right where I want them. 2 seconds is a lifetime in a gunfight. If I dick around and let the bad guy suprise me, i better hope he isnt as good as me. My 2 seconds are nothing if im not ready.

        11. That scene in that movie is *highly* instructive. The cool head prevails in any kind of combat situation.

        12. That’s similar to some of the tactical defense classes up here in my neck of the woods. Yelling, lights flickering on and off, etc. The difference it makes is startling and anybody who hasn’t done it MUST do it in my opinion, because it’s a game changer.

        13. I found that gunfight very interesting for the reason you say. It also brings to mind some footage I saw of a gunfight in a convenience store. The store-owner and the robber were maybe 10 feet apart and neither of them could hit the other, even after emptying at least a magazine each.

        14. Indeed. If you think about what you are going to do, you are probably already dead.

        15. Situational awareness is key. I also like to make potential threats (in the street) aware that I am aware of them. They usually adapt their movement when they know I am watching them.
          I have also heard it said that it is good to make the assumption that the threat has the same training as you, i.e. assume he can get off that many rounds. This will likely change your approach to the fight (i.e. to get the drop on him).

      2. Off the top of my head, the stopping power of a 9mm is about 70%, which is why various police forces are moving to .40 caliber, which ups that to about 90%. I think you are correct in that you don’t need 20 shots unless you have very bad aim.

      3. Summary from the FBI article:
        Caliber debates have existed in law enforcement for decades
        Most of what is “common knowledge” with ammunition and its effects on the human target are rooted in myth and folklore
        Projectiles are what ultimately wound our adversaries and the projectile needs to be the basis for the discussion on what “caliber” is best
        In all the major law enforcement calibers there exist projectiles which have a high likelihood of failing LEO’s in a shooting incident and there are projectiles which have a high ting incident likelihood of succeeding for LEO’s in a shooting incident
        Handgun stopping power is simply a myth
        The single most important factor in effectively wounding a human target is to have penetration to a scientifically valid depth (FBI uses 12” – 18”)
        LEO’s miss between 70 – 80 percent of the shots fired during a shooting incident
        Contemporary projectiles (since 2007) have dramatically increased the terminal effectiveness of many premium line law enforcement projectiles (emphasis on the 9mm Luger offerings)
        9mm Luger now offers select projectiles which are, under identical testing conditions, I outperforming most of the premium line .40 S&W and .45 Auto projectiles tested by the FBI
        9mm Luger offers higher magazine capacities, less recoil, lower cost (both in ammunition and wear on the weapons) and higher functional reliability rates (in FBI weapons)
        The majority of FBI shooters are both FASTER in shot strings fired and more ACCURATE with shooting a 9mm Luger vs shooting a .40 S&W (similar sized weapons)
        There is little to no noticeable difference in the wound tracks between premium line law Auto enforcement projectiles from 9mm Luger through the .45 Auto
        Given contemporary bullet construction, LEO’s can field (with proper bullet selection) 9mm Lugers with all of the terminal performance potential of any other law enforcement pistol caliber with none of the disadvantages present with the “larger” calibers

        1. Still not a big fan of 9mm, dude, sorry. It is baby duck syndrome and I realize that. I do find the assertion that “stopping power of a round is a myth” funny. The U.S. military had to search across rounds for one with better stopping power than the .38, because when they shot people with .38 bullets, the people kept coming. Went to .45, the problem disappeared. This can mean one of two things:
          1. One round stops enemies better than another or
          2. All of the entirety of the forces using the .38 all went to the range and became much better marksman just at the exact moment that the .45 acp was deployed.
          There’s a dissertation in Unintended Consequences that talks about government testing and certification of rounds. While it’s a fictional work, the actual dissertation is knowledgeable and accurate. It basically calls them incompetent in the TL;DR version.

        2. I’m familiar with what you’re talking about in terms of the 38 and the 45. Of course this was early 20th century and we’ve since had almost a century of changes and data to look at.
          When comparing modern hollowpoints, there seems to be no tangible evidence that a calibre bigger than 9mm will stop a threat. Shot placement is king.
          The Miami FBI shooutout was the driver for the creation of 10mm and later 40 S&W with the idea that a bigger calibre pistol would provide more stopping power/benefit. 30 years after the fact and shoot out after shoot out, and a review the data doesn’t show this.
          If one were to purchase and carry a pistol, there is no benefit to be gained from a caliber bigger than 9mm when using modern hollow point ammunition.

        3. I don’t necessarily disagree with you, but the 38 and 45 thing was very clear.
          Now with modern powders and higher velocities and delivered energy, you might be right. And I DO agree that shot placement is king, even if you’re using a .22 LR. That being said, there’s no *disadvantage* to using a .45 instead of a 9mm either, in a self defense capacity I mean. If you’re shooting all 8 rounds from a 1911 in a self defense capacity you’re *really* doing it wrong and would likely die no matter how many rounds you had at your disposal. Plus many .45’s now hold 10 to 13 rounds (Glocks, or the SR45 for example). For me, it’s a push. I own .45’s and have used them all my life, have dies for them, powder for them, primers, etc so at this point there is absolutely nothing to gain by going 9mm.
          Plus, and this is just my vanity speaking at this point, my tricked out Series 80 looks cherry sweet when I carry it.

  19. This was actually a great article for beginners. As the resident open carrier on the board, I cosign the entire article.
    For beginners I generally recommend starting out with a pistol that shoots the .38 special cartridge. The reason I don’t go with .22 LR is that it gives you a very inaccurate “feel” for how any other cartridge fires, e.g. – it is quiet enough to shoot without hearing protection (if you’re a masochist) and it has zero kick. A .38 special on the other hand has a decent report and kicks enough to help you learn to respect the firearm, without being so loud and hard on your hand that you come to fear firearms. My general recommendation in this category is the Ruger line of .38/.357 sidearms, the GP 100, GP 101, etc.
    The only addition I would make is that if you are buying a gun for self defense, and you live in a suburban or urban area, or even if you live in a rural area with neighbors close buy, ensure that the ammo you choose to use in your home (not range) is frangible. Most people don’t realize that when you shoot a firearm in self defense the bullet may well not stop inside the bad guy. The 9mm is especially good at penetration, for example, and you can end up not only downing the thug you’re shooting at, but also shoot through him then through your walls then through the walls of your neighbor’s house and then through their kid’s head. Frangible ammo delivers all of the energy directly to the target and generally doesn’t pass through him.
    If you are going to carry, ensure that you not only get your chl training (mandatory in most states) but that you also follow up with optional tactical defense shooting training (ideally) and make sure you also frequent the range. Keep abrest of your local carry laws, they can and do change rather frequently, though thankfully these days it’s usually for the good (unless you live in New England or California).
    Also, while I’m thinking about it, if you already carry or are a big 2nd Amendment fan, you can ensure that you do not give your money to anti-2nd Amendment businesses by checking out http://friendorfoe.us and seeing who is and is not friendly to your rights.

    1. Good advice Ghost. It would indeed be a horrible thing to inadvertently kill a friendly.

    2. Haha, the paragraph about .22 LR is so true. Whenever I would take girls I was dating shooting, I would give them my Colt .22 LR to start. Then bump it up to the Ruger Security Six with .38 special and then give them a single round of .357 and laugh my ass off as they nearly clock themselves in the face. Good times.

      1. I actually love .22 LR, it’s just not what I’d start somebody shooting with who was looking to buy and use a gun for self defense. It is a great round for killing small game though, and a much better choice if you want to stay “silent” in the countryside (relatively). Plus if you slip a suppressor on a subsonic .22 it does become “movie silent”, unlike other rounds.

        1. I learned to shoot by plunking with .22 LR. It’s a great round.
          Curious as to what the .22 LR situation in your neck of the woods? You still can’t buy it here unless you go to the store within hours of it being put on the shelves.

        2. Pretty plentiful now, but wasn’t always this way. Lots of ammo prices are plummeting around here and supplies are building back up again. I can shoot .223 for something like 35 cents a pop. Haven’t priced .22 LR in a while, I have (literally) cases of it so the whole buyout shortage never really phased me. I do know however that it’s back on the shelves.
          .308 prices are dropping like nobody’s business, as is .223. The only price that’s stayed rock solid, that I shoot, has been the .243 (and .45 Colt). It’s such a “fringe” round around these parts (can’t rifle hunt deer, except for straight walled cartridges, which the .243 is not) that there was no uptick in demand, and now no downtick in demand.

  20. The thing about practice is that is can get prohibitively expensive when shooting a rifle at a $1 per shot and 50 cents per shot with a pistol. That is why much of my practice is with a .22 rifle and pistol.
    If you are completely new to shooting, find a class or make friends with somebody who knows what he’s doing. Knowing correct form and technique makes practice a lot less frustrating.

  21. Once you’ve gotten the basics of gun ownership down, and want to go next level, you can build your own firearms if you have some garage space to spare and are good with your hands. Both AK and AR style rifles have vibrant communities that will show you your options and can assist with questions.
    It’s very satisfying to use something you’ve put together with your own hands.

    1. FN FAL is also another good platform to start when building your own.

        1. It’s my battle rifle of choice. Simple design, adjustable gas so you can shoot any kind of ammo and not just top shelf quality ammo, plentiful parts and rugged as fuck.

        2. They would sell like wildfire here in Australia if we could have semi automatics. The Australians used them in Vietnam, manufactured under the name Lithgow. I believe they were pretty much all destroyed – absolute tragedy.

        3. If I’m not mistaken, there are still some units in Australia that utilize the Enfield .303 aren’t there? Fantastic long gun, imo.

        4. Good question, not sure about that. .303 is still used a fair bit. It’s still sold a lot as .303 British. Always used a lot for pigs and Kangaroos. As far as military sniping goes I believe it is predominantly .308 and 338 Lap. I don’t think the Australians ever took to the 300 Win Mag, but I could be wrong. Having said that, I don’t understand why the 300 RUM has not become utilised as a sniper round – it’s a sensational long range round.

    2. Is there anyone here who is a gunsmith? I am somewhat entrepreneurial and have a concept gun that I would like to design.

  22. What would be a good sidearm for my girlfriend? My instinct tells me1) .357 COP or 2) 380 ACP

    1. Most chicks seem to do good with .380 ACP or .38 Special, even through the P+ load outs. 9mm most of them seem to handle as well.
      My daughter was plinking without flinching or having her hand hurt when she learned on my S&W 66-2, which uses .38 special (and .357 magnum), and she learned from a very early age, around 7 or 8 or thereabouts. The .357 however still makes her flinch and over pull on the trigger.

      1. Recoil and muzzle blast are always the wildcard for any new shooter. One can be an ace with an air rifle or pistol or a .22, but once you give them something that makes some noise and kicks the bar lowers a bit.

    2. Definitely go revolver. Women don’t do that well with a semi-auto slide. They can’t handle the recoil and end up jamming the gun more often then not.

  23. What would be a good sidearm for my girlfriend? My instinct tells me1) .357 COP or 2) 380 ACP

  24. Not to restart an old debate, but I love the .45. My grandfather was an active duty Marine for 28 years and the M1911 was the standard issue side arm up until the 1980s I believe. He taught my uncle and later me how to shoot using that pistol. I know it’s probably not the most practical weapon for concealed carry, but it has a lot of sentimental value for me.

    1. As a single stack it’s actually quite easy to conceal carry. I carry my full size 1911 concealed, but in the small of my back and not on the side. Agree with everything else you say.

      1. It strikes me as being a bit of a hand cannon. For a concealed carry I think a 9mm Kurtz would be more appropriate.

        1. I’m a big guy (in a good way). Not a fan of 9mm either. Besides, I only occasionally conceal carry, mostly do open carry so it’s not really a big issue for me.

        2. Ohio. Unlicensed open carry and licensed conceal carry. New bill introduced this week is looking to do away with licensing for concealed carry. Open carry is accepted without flinching by most everybody and the cops leave you alone, as it should be. Cleveland is the only place where there are still some wrinkles we’re ironing out, as they have historically pretended that they are not part of the state and subject to our laws. But their asses have been sued three ways to Sunday and they appear to be coming around, finally.

        3. I don’t think concealed carry is possible for you if you don’t have an Ohio CHL or a reciprocal CHL from another state (which would mean automatically, not Canada), at least until we do away with it. Open carry I don’t think is specific to you being a citizen here or not, unlicensed means no qualifications basically. Nobody stops you for ID, they have been trained out of that, so really there’s no way they’d know, short of you drawing and shooting somebody. At that point who knows?

        4. I have no intention of shooting anyone. I am more interested in honing my marksmanship skills. Canada’s laws are so fucked up I can’t do it there. An open carry is a bit of a novelty. I will be returning home in August; I might have to pay a visit to Ohio. Do you know of a good gun club in Toledo?

        5. Sorry, my knowledge of Toledo is sparse. Been there once, and that was all I needed to know I didn’t want to go back.
          If you get to central Ohio however, Columbus and vicinity, then I can be of much more assistance.

        6. I might have to take you up on that. I was just thinking of the border and what is closest.

  25. Definitely KNOW THE LAWS IN YOUR STATE plus those of any close by border states. What is legal in one state may be very illegal in the next one over. Know what kinds of permits, registrations, etc. you need to legally own, carry, and transport your firearms. Also, know the law for all types of guns. Long guns usually have to be transported much differently then say a pistol does in most states. Violating a gun law in most states is a serious criminal offense. There are ample resources online about various state laws concerning gun regulations. Discussion forums are a great resource. People that love talking about guns love answering questions for newbies. Also, call your local gun club and ask him they have training classes.

  26. Reloading is not an article – way too dangerous for an article. Provide a list of books to read etc. Not to mention that it is highly specific, and that there is a whole list of equipment that needs to be considered.

  27. This article has piqued my interest. I need a new hobby and macramé just doesn’t do it for me.

  28. In the Netherlands you can’t even own a gun unless you are a member of a shooting club. That means storing in a safe, obligatory training and visits of the police to check on your storing. Strict gunlaws are such a pain in the ass, a friend of mine gets checked at the most inconvenient times. Say no and your weapon gets confiscated immediately. In the end only this paranoid government and criminals have guns here. More or less. Strict Gun laws are a socialist/fascist thing I think, yet our armslaw was introduced in 1914 because of the (at that time) rise of communism. Scared governments are the worst governments, that’s for sure.
    I’m sure that when it would be possible to buy a gun hundred thousand people would go out to get a gun….tomorrow. Those bbguns most robbers used a decade ago are now becoming the real thing more and more. So don’t think that strict gunlaws will protect you no matter what. It won’t.

  29. Buy one versatile firearm (and get the proper license first, if you live in a fag state like me) and plenty of ammo for it. Then become an expert at shooting it—-take lessons from a certified instructor. Practice practice practice. Go at least once a month. Clean it every week. I suggest either a .22 rifle or a common hand gun. Get to the point you know how much ammo for it you could use in a year, then buy that amount.
    The move on to whichever of the two options mentioned above you didn’t choose first. Same process.
    Congrats. You are now prepared better than 80% of America for a disaster.
    To reach 90%, join a local gun club and shoot with them at least once a month. Congrats, now you have a group of dudes you like and trust, who shoot real well, and at least half are preppers who will invite you to their compound when the SHTF.
    Also, if you’re a lawyer, you meet some good clients who pay you to fight for the 2nd Amendment.

    1. 90% of Southerners do it differently. First, it doesn’t matter what state you live in because all governmental agencies hate guns in civilian hands so fuck licensing. Licenses and permits are PERMISSION to do something regularly regarded as illegal. The 2nd Amendment is the only “License” you need. Second, every weekend you load up your dog, pick up your best buddy, swing by and purchase a case of beer and go out into the boonies and blast every fucking thing in sight! If you survive you are better prepared than the vast majority of Americans, and will have the scars to prove it.

      1. True. We aren’t all blessed with the Southern man’s training when it comes to our 2nd Amendment birthrights. And as a Yankee who fights ardently as part of his law practice to overturn the restrictions here in blue state heck, I admire the Southern laws general pro-freedom stance on firearms.
        But then again, we Yanks don’t have quite so many darkies around as y’all do, so I guess it’s a trade off.

  30. Also remember that guns are LOUD AS FUCK
    a shotgun blast without hearing protection could make you permanently deaf.
    even a .22 is loud enough to be heard for a 1km radius at least.
    Guns are extremely loud, extremely deadly and need to be respected.

    1. Guns are for those who are too scared to get in close, do the dirty work and get their hands bloody.
      Check out this video and tell me if you would be more terrified if they were holding guns instead inplements of butchery.

  31. Personally I am a blade person. Up close and personal is my way. That doesn’t mean I don’t have guns. I like my GP-100 .357 Magnum, my 12-gauge pump and my AK. These three will do just fine and will light up the nastiest of crack heads if need be. For women who want protection without having to worry about an automatic there is the hammer-less snub nose .357 magnums that can be loaded with .38 rounds to be a little less hard on those sexy little wrists 🙂

  32. Thank you for bringing up about the guy with 27 guns that never get used, one of my biggest pet peeves. You’re better off having a few guns that you shoot regularly than having a zillion that just adorn the gun cabinet. Invest the money were going to invest in full gun safe into ammo or a reloading setup and then get your butt out and practice (after learning what to practice from someone knowledgeable)

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