Thursday, September 15, 2011

My two cents on guns

There have been a lot of posts about guns lately on the blogs that I read. My understanding of guns is pretty basic. Guns are not toys. Treat every gun as if it is loaded. Never point a gun at anyone in jest; in fact, don't even lay a gun in your palm with the barrel facing out at anyone. Don't carry a gun if you don't know how to use it, and don't pull a gun on anyone unless you're prepared to shoot.

But the actual mechanics of guns can be confusing. Some have safeties and some don't. Some you have to cock before you can shoot them, and others can be shot without cocking. Some have a big kick and make a loud noise. Some have moving parts that will hurt your hand if you hold them incorrectly while firing. Different calibers fire different size bullets and leave holes of varying sizes in the target. And then there's bullets: hollow point, full metal jacket, buck shot, bird shot, etc. I'm becoming more familiar with these terms, but mostly they don't mean much to me.

I'm leery of posting how many and what kind of guns we have. I want to keep any ne'er-do-wells guessing. We don't spend a lot of time or money on all the extras you can buy for guns; just occasionally we might have better sights added or get larger magazines. But it seems like every gun we have, has its own special points that you have to remember. In a situation where I was forced to pull a gun to defend myself, I'm not sure I would remember which gun has to be cocked, and which gun has a safety and where it's located, etc. I'm not sure I could reload under pressure.

I wish I had learned more about guns when I was younger and my mind more supple. I would have grasped it all better. Living in the city, I don't have much opportunity to practice. The hubster is not a fan of indoor shooting ranges. We occasionally get invited to some private outdoor ranges. That's pretty neat; I've gotten to fire quite a few different guns that way. 

In a situation like a home invasion, I would probably reach for the Magnum 357. I have fired this gun on a few occasions. It's not too heavy and I'm prepared for the kick after firing. It has no safety and doesn't have to be cocked before I can fire it. The top part of the gun doesn't come flying backward after I fire, to hit my supporting hand if I forget to keep it low enough. It will stop a man in his tracks. It seems like the easiest gun to use that we own, at least for me, at least until I have all the features down pat about the other guns we have. The only thing I don't like is that, being a revolver, it can only hold six bullets and then I'd have to reload. But I doubt that in a home invasion-type scenario, I would need or have time to fire more than six bullets. Unless it was a horde of zombies.


  1. and i hope you never have to use it (and certainly not reload!)

  2. That's definitely what I'm hoping for too!

  3. Guns are like women. Each is an individual and you have to tailor your treatment to suit individual needs. For instance, if you live in a house with pine studs, and light siding, you can shoot a .357 round, miss the bad guy, go through your wall, through the neighbors wall, and get a direct hit on someone in that house. Frangible bullets, which shatter on impact, are good for a .357 in a built up area.

    I guess it's nonsensical to say you need to shoot a lot more than it sounds like you have if you are already doing the best you can do in that regard. However, under stress, if it isn't second nature to you, you may not be able to make the gun work like you want it to. My wife was trained, and trained, and trained, by me, at the range on a pump shotgun. When a bear tried to get in the house at night and got in a big fight with our dogs on the porch, she forgot how to load the shotgun as the door creaked and bulged inward. Pick one, learn it well, and practice. You've got the right mind set.

  4. I agree with my friend, Arsenius, you have the correct mindset, yet I believe you do need more practice. A shotgun loaded with birdshot will take care of the 'shot thur the wall' problem.

  5. True. I don't think #7 or #8 would go through the sheetrock and the siding. Turkey shot out of a 12 might.

  6. Arsenius and Stephen, our house and the others in our neighborhood are all brick homes. There's windows though, of course.

    We definitely have plans to get me some more practice. The hubster whines a little about the price of bullets but I think I've convinced him that it's a worthwhile expense. The bear story is exactly why I like having a gun like the .357 that I don't have to think about loading, cocking, etc. Just point and shoot. But I get your point; at some point the gun has to be reloaded and I need to know how to do it confidently. Heck, I can practice that while sitting in my living room.

  7. I'm happy to feel I have no need for a gun. That may change but I hope not. I did have to use my big stick once though; it worked. My mouth is a fairly powerful weapon too. Maybe I've yet to meet a really dangerous enemy, hmm?

  8. Anon, sometime I will tell you about the time I stopped to help a guy broken down on an isolated mountain road in the snow. I had my wife and two babies with me. What I didn't know was that there was another guy hiding in the bushes with a wrench. They had escaped from a prison in Tennessee. If I hadn't had my gun , I doubt it would have ended well. You never know what will happen in the next few minutes of your life, and there are some things you can't talk your way out of.

  9. Kris - great post. i understand about not wanting to share what weapons you have on the internet. we have several. hubby is most comfortable with his ben pearson cougar rec-curve (bow) at long distances. his next fave is the marlin .444. i am more comfortable with the mossberg .22. however, i spent a little over 10 years in the military, and even though i was not in a "dog-soldier" or infantry trade - we were still required to qualify at the ranges every year.

    i agree with my good friends Stephen and Arsenius - weapons are like anything else - take knitting or cooking for example - you have to practice. it is not easy to get comfortable firing a weapon, especially when you are doing it for protection purposes. get hubby out on the range and make it a "hobby" or "activity". do it for fun and get comfortable.

    my hubby took the RCMP (here in Canada) firearms course and loved it. he learned so much about basic and advanced firearms and encouraged everyone that we knew to take that course. maybe there is a course that you and hubby can take?

    anyway - just wanted to let you know that i found you through Arsenius. and am adding you to our blogroll. i like the way you think and i like the comments you have left on other people's posts. you seem like good people. i will go back through all of your previous posts.

    it is nice to meet you Kris!

  10. Which bullets will go through what walls various tremendously with angle of penetration, hardness of surface, type of bullet in cartridge, load weight, etc. Bird shot from a shotgun will go through sheetrock if fired dead on.

    However, if you have a need to shot, you need to aim. I recall a study I saw somewhere (I think I posted on it a long time back) where people who WIN the gun battles they are in hit sixty percent of the time on their first shot.

    It also noted that people who used revolvers often commented that in the heat of the moment they were able to see their sights so that they were able to hit the target.

    Unless you have time to become very familiar with your firearm at the intuitive level, revolvers are also the easiest to point-and-shot. The advantage of the single-action is that it makes the trigger pull easier. A lot of double action revolvers do allow for single action usage.

  11. Kymber, thanks so much for your kind compliments. Yep, I still have a ways to go before I'm comfortable enough with handling our guns. I'm going to have to start pressuring the hubster for more shooting time.

    Russell, I know what you mean about revolvers having easier trigger pull. We have a couple other guns where on the the first shot it is more difficult to fire. I've got a lot to learn, but the hubster knows his stuff. I just have to get him to impart the knowledge more often, and get some practice time in.