Buying a personal firearm for self defense is an important decision and not one to take lightly. Focus on a caliber of weapon that you will feel comfortable handling, and one whose kick when firing is something your arms and shoulders are strong enough to absorb. A 110 lb. lady who is new to hand guns will have a difficult time handling the kick of a .357 magnum for example. She might be better off starting with a .22 handgun, or rifle, or a small easy to handle .38 special. Likewise a 300 lb linebacker of a dude will feel like he’s using a cap pistol when he fires a .22 caliber handgun. He might want something a little bit more substantial and he would have no problem absorbing the shock of firing a .357 magnum pistol or a 30 / 06 hunting rifle, which carries quite a little kick when fired. Use common sense and learn everything that you can BEFORE you buy.
Don’t be shy about seeking out more experienced gun owners and asking for advice. Don’t bit off more gun than you can chew. Many households now include in their arsenals more than one self defense weapon, especially if they enjoy hunting or sport shooting. I found the article below helpful and I am passing it along for my readers.
If you have children or teens in your home you will need a good gun safe or gun cabinet with a padlock on it and you are the only one holding the key. Any other approach is foolhardy. Begin teaching your children about gun safety when they are 16, but I personally would not allow a child younger than 16 to handle or shoot a gun. That’s just me. I know of rural families who allow their 10 and 12 year old children to target shoot and hunt, but if you are a brand new gun owner that is NOT recommended. Extra links and resources will be added to this page weekly, so be sure to bookmark it.
What do I own? I like Ruger, Smith and Wesson, I like .22 rifles, and a good .45 caliber pistol.
The article below is re-posted courtesy of the Connecticut Preppers Network at http://connecticut.preppersnetwork.com/2012/05/what-cailber-do-you-need-to-defend-yourself.html
Tags: self defense firearms, buying a personal firearm, self defense hunting firearms, buying a gun, handguns rifles caliber, .22 long rifle, .45 handgun, .357 magnum handgun, 30/ 06 hunting rifle, choosing a firearm, buying a gun, first time gun owner
What caliber firearm do you need to defend yourself?
If law abiding citizens don’t arm themselves with the tools and knowledge to defend themselves, their families, and their friends, they leave themselves vulnerable to those who are armed and will gladly do them harm.
There is much discussion lately about what gun to buy for self-defense. Most people want “one stop shot” capability, but often don’t know what it takes to accomplish that feat. Those of us who are trained well can comfortably make a “one shot stop” with a .22 caliber bullet. Of course this is without the surge of adrenaline and the chaos involved in any situation that would require us to use a firearm in self-defense . Others insist that they must have a .45 ACP. To fully understand the implications of each round and figure out which one suits your needs best, you have to have a basic understanding of the rounds themselves.
There is a modest selection of calibers to choose from when looking at a self-defense handgun. You can start as small as the .22 and go as high as the .50. For the purposes of this discussion we will stick with the calibers between .22 and .45 as the handguns chambered for these rounds can be reasonably concealed. I will be addressing only the most popular calibers for those of you who know there are a few missing from the following very basic descriptions.
The .22 LR (or Long Rifle) is a rim fired round used most often in target practice, plinking, and small game hunting. The round causes very little recoil and is often used to teach shooting fundamentals. The round is .22 inches in diameter. It is very small. It has been used quite successfully in self -defense situations. The round tends to penetrate two legged targets and deflect off of bones and create nasty wounds. To those who say it is too small, I say, it would not be my choice for primary carry, but I would not hesitate to use one if it was handy and I needed to defend myself.
The next round I will cover is the center fired .38 caliber series. I say “series” because for our intents and purposes, the .38 caliber bullet is used in the .380, 38, 9mm, 357 special, and .357 sig cartridges. For purists, I know you will talk about the difference in case and bullet sizes among these calibers, but the bullets are all the same basic size. The difference lies in the velocities these cases are able to create for the different rounds. A .380 is the slowest of these calibers and is quite popular among today’s concealed carry license holders. This is because the guns can be made in the “micro” size and they fit neatly in a pocket making them ideal for personal protection. The rounds cause a small amount of recoil which is easily managed by even the smallest hands. Because the casing for these rounds is so small, not much powder propels the round to the target, making it the slowest of the rounds in this series.
The .38 is generally a revolver (or wheel gun) cartridge. It has a much higher velocity than the .380 and therefore creates more damage in two legged targets. It has long been used by wheel gun enthusiasts for personal carry and has an impressive track record for self- defense shootings. The recoil created by this round is moderate and very manageable.
The 9mm is a popular round and many autoloaders can be found in this chambering. The round is basically the same as a 38, but cased differently for auto loaders. It can be found easily and generally cheaply. It is a medium velocity round and due to its size many compact autoloaders can carry a large quantity of them in their magazine. In most handguns this round creates moderate recoil which is easily managed.
The .357 magnum and the .357 sig are both high velocity rounds. The magnum is most often found in wheel guns while the sig is made for autoloaders. The .357 sig was created in an effort to replicate the performance of the .357 magnum in an autoloader.
Because of the high velocity of these rounds, targets of the two legged variety often have devastating wounds. The recoil generated by each of these rounds is sharp and requires practice to control for accurate consecutive shots which may be required in self-defense situations. As with any firearm, the heavier the gun, the lighter the recoil. This means that the popular sub-compact sized pistols chambered in .357 sig will be lighter and have heavier recoil. If you acquire one, practice well and often!
The .40 caliber round is .40 inch in diameter. Because of the diameter, it is a larger heavier bullet that travels at a medium to high velocity. It is ideal for personal defense due to its speed and ability to penetrate heavy clothing and still penetrate deeply into a target. Again, the amount of felt recoil varies on the size of the gun.)
The .45 caliber is the “go to” caliber for many who carry concealed. This round has a medium velocity and hits hard. It was made popular by soldiers in World War Two who swore by its power to stop the enemy. Because it is a slower, heavier bullet, it works much like train – the bullet will penetrate and smash and create large wound tracks in targets. The handguns chambered for the .45 are often heavier and therefore decrease the amount of recoil to a very manageable level. That being said, there are several manufacturers that are marketing sub-compact models (some of which are lightweight polymer) which have sharp recoil. Practice, practice, practice. I prefer the .45 but I also practice well and often.
The ultimate goal when firing a weapon in self- defense is to persuade an attacker to stop attacking. The truth is that all of these calibers are capable of making an attacker refocus his or her attention. The difference lies in how many shots on target it will take to either re-focus that attention, or incapacitate your attacker. With practice, no one will deny the “stopping “power and efficiency of larger caliber rounds. Practice will increase your accuracy and shot placement is the king in any self -defense situation involving firearms. If you have small hands and recoil is an issue for you, a smaller caliber will suit you better than a larger one. You may just have to make your gun sound like a jackhammer before your assailant is thwarted. At any rate, the first rule of a gun fight is to have a gun. The gun you will carry all the time is better than the one you left at home because it was too heavy and too bulky for what you were wearing. Pick your poison and practice with it until putting well placed rounds where you intend them to go no longer surprises you…. Then practice a lot more!
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See also http://www.firearmsforum.com/