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Author Topic: new to gun self defense  (Read 2009 times)

crane2

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new to gun self defense
« on: April 21, 2007, 03:35:22 PM »

4/21/07
To All
I have recently begun shooting hand guns. I have very little experience.  This was only the second time I shot a gun and my first time at a range.  So- My goal is to be able to use a hand gun for self defense.  In order to practice, my boyfriend wants to buy me a gun I feel comfortable with.  So- I went gun shopping today with him.  He has been in the army (special forces) has his concealed carry and has more exposure to guns than I.  However, he hasn't taught people to shoot and so we both came away from the gun "shopping experience" with a few questions neither one of us could answer.  So-I am hoping someone with more knowledge than either of us could help me out.  I would gratly appreciate it.
 Here goes:
We went to a gun store that also has a range which was a great experience.

-I shot a 45 Smith and Wesson 1911 but the recoil was too great for me to really control it well.  Next I went to a 380 Baretta-I could hit the target pretty well at fairly close range.  Still some recoil but much more accurate.  One salesman stated that most people start out with a 22 since there is little recoil.  He said using the 22 would train in better habits such as not anticipating the recoil.  Ok, I said but can I use it effectively for self defense.  Will it stop someone?  One saleman said , Yes.  One said, not likely.  I would like to know if it has enough "stopping power" and/or will the 22 be the place to start so as not to develop bad habits such as anticipation and bracing against the recoil.

-Secondly, they had a hand gun made by Bersa.  Neither of us have hear about this company.  At one gun store the guy sang it's praises for accuracy and for not jamming and so on.  The other guy at the store that had the gun range had no comment when we asked him.  He's selling it so I thought it odd that he didn't way in one way or the other.  

Thanks for any help y'all can give me on this
Karen
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TwoGun

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Re: new to gun self defense
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2007, 08:31:31 PM »

Hello, glad to see you making the plunge.  There are a significant number of factors in choosing a pistol for self defense, and this is even more true for the beginner.  I'll expound a bit on the choices you mentioned from my own experince.

First a decent quality .22 pistol is good choice for the new shooter in terms of learning how to shoot.  The lower level of recoil, muzzle blast and noise make it somewhat easier to concentrate on the basics of good marksmanship.  Also the .22 is less expensive to shoot so you can afford to practice more.  Generally after you've have gotten some adaquate instruction and have sent several hundred rounds down range, your comfort level will increse as will you accuracy.  After several thousand rounds are fired, and fired with the purpose of increasing your accuracy, you should be able to consistanty hit a man sized target at a reasonable range.  A lot of this depends on you and how serious are about, as well as the instruction you recieve.

This can be done with a larger caliber weapon as well. But it generally takes a new shooter longer to get the hang of it with a larger caliber gun.  And it will certainly cost more, even if you do reload.

So strictly from the standpoint of learning safe gun handling and marksmaship, I think the .22 is a good choice.

However I have to advise against a .22 as a defensive round.  It is certainly better than nothing and I personally wouldn't want to get shot with one, but I do not believe that the tiny round can be relied upon to stop a determined bad guy.

A .380 is better, a 9MM a bit better yet.  Once you have mastered marksmanship with a .22, learning to shoot either of those calibers adaquatly is only a matter of practice.

I would look at it in terms of not having just a single pistol, get a decent .22, maybe a used one if you can have someone knowledgable check it out for you.  And then plan on moving up to a larger caliber after you feel that you have gotten the hang of shooting the .22 well.

As for the Bersa, it would not be my first choice. They are fairly inexpensive, small and easy to conceal and those are pluses.  But if my life might depend on it, I'm inclined to spend a bit more money rather than going with the lowest bidder.  Consider a Springfield Armory XD 9MM compact for instance.  There are several good, mid priced 9MM autos on the market.  Try to shoot one before you buy it.  The way a pistol fits your hand will have a significant impact on how well you can shoot it.

Learning to safely handle a pistol, and to hit a paper target tends to be only the tip of the iceberg.  Learning the legal implications of using it in a defensive situation, learning tactics, learning to shoot with one hand or with just your weak hand, learning to take cove, learning how to move with a loaded gun in you hand and learning how to properly draw and take that first shot are just some of the things that a person who takes thier personal safety seriously should learn.

Good luck, I'm sure you will find other varied opinions here and you should read and consider all of it.
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threegun

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Re: new to gun self defense
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2007, 04:44:33 PM »

My wife shoots the Glock 19 9mm extremely well. You might want to try it. My suggestion would be to  shoot as much as possible. Play with the gun and make sure you are 100 percent proficient in both safety and shooting. Once you have the basics down start thinking about things like weak hand shooting, fast reloads, jam clearing TRB (tap rack bang drill), and the use of tactics. It will take time but just keep at it. The shooting part is easy. The tactics are always changing. Just train in some emergency drills like drawing and firing. Do this every day twenty or thirty times a day for a few months (dryfire (no bullets)). Basically anything you want to happen automatically if the SHTF.

Good luck.
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crane2

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Re: new to gun self defense
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2007, 03:48:26 PM »

4/23/07

Thanks very much two gun and three gun.
I appreciate your advices and the information you provided.  It will really help me in choosing a gun...I believe the .22 will be the place for me to start. 
Thanks Again, Karen
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shastana

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Re: new to gun self defense
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2007, 12:38:35 AM »

I have shot most my life, many different types of handguns and I have to say a revolver seems to be a best choice for a first timer self defense gun.  Women tend to have a different liking to grips and triggers that are bit smaller.  You might want to read articles on the web before buying "a practice gun" like the 22.  I think revolvers are very reliable in all weather and terrain so I have one.  Think about where you are going to keep it, how it will be accessed and the scenarios you are likely to use it in defense for....at home asleep, in a hotel while out of town, in your purse or conceal carry.

If you own just one gun, then fine, make it fit in your hands, see how easy the trigger is to pull without the gun canting off the target. 

Take a look at what other women are buying and why. Read...http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3197/is_3_49/ai_114786628 by Massad Ayoob a gun expert.

Im no gun expert and I think 22 would be a great place to start (cheap too), I recommend the Ruger http://www.ruger-firearms.com/Firearms/FA-Type-PI.html
They make em so you can swap out barrels from 22 to other calibers.  Super reliable.  h

Then buy yourself an auto of sorts, Glock, Sprinfield XD, etc.  Just try the grips and feel the pull of the trigger and slide action. Some springs on auto slides are hard for women to pull back, so keep that in mind too.  My fiance has small very feminine hands and the 38 special revolver fits her perfectly.  Me, I like the 45ACP Springfield XD and I have medium sized hands.

Good luck and have fun shopping around first!
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An armed citizenry fly their colors, an unarmed citizenry wear their colors.

rutleddc

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Re: new to gun self defense
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2007, 07:08:18 AM »

I was at the range this weekend with friends (husband and wife) who brought their first pistol - a Springfield XD 40 caliber. I showed them how to shoot but encouraged them to seek out training from someone with more experience than me.

The funny part was that even though I shoot a pretty good group with my 1911 A1, I could immediately shoot a better group with their pistol, a type I never fired before. The same is true for another friends Glock 9mm last year. What I re-learned was that stopping power versus hit probability is a tradeoff, and that each of us has to experiment to find the best solution for them. While I love my 45 I plan to eventually move to a smaller caliber once I find it in my budget.

My Point: while stopping power is great, don't get a caliber too big to get hits with.
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"Ruttles"
David Rutledge

threegun

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Re: new to gun self defense
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2007, 12:20:54 PM »

Shot placement is critical in handgun calibers.
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ghostrider

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Re: new to gun self defense
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2007, 07:08:30 PM »

Would such information about the kind of handgun apply to men as well? I've only had a .22 semi automatic rifle to practice with in my youth but its been a couple of decades since I've last practiced any type of firearms shooting. Would the same advice apply to me as well? Starting out with a .22 pistol to practice with first? Then moving up to a 9mm? I would like to begin from the ground up in terms of learning all I can about safety, care of the weapon, shooting, defensive tactics and so forth. Any advice would be helpful.
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A people should not be afraid of their government, a government should be afraid of their people- V

michael

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Re: new to gun self defense
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2007, 05:52:50 PM »

Would such information about the kind of handgun apply to men as well? I've only had a .22 semi automatic rifle to practice with in my youth but its been a couple of decades since I've last practiced any type of firearms shooting. Would the same advice apply to me as well? Starting out with a .22 pistol to practice with first? Then moving up to a 9mm? I would like to begin from the ground up in terms of learning all I can about safety, care of the weapon, shooting, defensive tactics and so forth. Any advice would be helpful.

A .22 is good to learn trigger control/sight alignment with, but I have never had a problem starting anyone out with a 9mm or .38 for a first time shooter. The main thing is that you have someone teach you that knows all of the nuances of shooting and is a good teacher. Patience is a virtue. Shooting is a very easy thing to learn to do well, and is not overly complicated. Most folks can be up and running in a 3-4 hour class and getting hits out to 15 yards or so.
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**To be a warrior is not a simple matter of wishing to be one. It is rather an endless struggle that will go on to the very last moment of our lives. Nobody is born a warrior, in exactly the same way that nobody is born an average man. We make ourselves into one or the other.** Carlos Castaneda
 

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