Having the right equipment goes a long way so for those who have asked for this here it is.
These save your thumbs and hands during those long day at the range.
Hand wipes for removing lead from your hands after shooting:
Knee pads for saving your knees from the ground
Electronic hearing protection
Markers for shooting positions
Quick cleanup of your firearm after shooting
Save your fingers and use one of these to reload
A very common question for people is what kind of firearm should they buy for self-defense. Is a Glock better than an M&P or should it be a revolver or a semi-auto? How many rounds should the firearm hold and what is the best caliber.
These are all great questions but I want to try and help people understand all the information available to them.
Bottom line the absolute best firearm to have for self-defense is the one that is currently in your hand. The caliber, number of rounds, and action type absolutely doesn’t matter if you don’t have it when you need it. So if you have no desire to purchase anything else you can stop reading now. If you are interested in spending money on a new firearm read on.
Revolvers are simple firearms that come in a variety of calibers and they come in a variety of sizes from small pocket revolvers to large frame 500 S&W hand cannons. The most common calibers in self-defense revolvers are 38 special and 357. Larger calibers like the 41 magnum and 44 magnum come in revolvers but are not common due to their stiff recoil. Capacity of revolvers are also limited to 5 or 6 rounds in their cylinder. Reloading a revolver is time consuming process where you need to eject the spent shells and load new rounds in either through a speed loader or individually. If you experience a misfire all you need to do is squeeze the trigger again and the cylinder will rotate to a new round until you fire all the rounds in the cylinder. There are a lot of good revolver manufacturers out there from Ruger, S&W, Dan Wesson, and Taurus.
Semi-automatic pistols are all the rage now in the firearm industry. You have Glock, S&W M&P line, Ruger, Remington, Beretta, Sig Sauer. Colt, Springfield, and others. You can divide these semi-autos into the striker fire and hammer style of pistols. Striker style have a striker that is under tension with a spring until the trigger is pulled. They normally have a low number of parts and are highly reliable. The hammer style of pistols have either an external or internal hammer that strikes a firing pin when the trigger is pulled. They normally have more parts to make them fire but are still very reliable. In my opinion I like a striker fire for an everyday carry gun versus a hammer type of pistol. One of the biggest differences between revolvers and semi-auto are in capacity and reloading. Semi-autos have 7-18 rounds in their magazine normally and when that’s not enough you can quickly eject the magazine and load a new one very quickly. One downside to a semi-auto is that when you have a misfire you need to train how to properly clear them, you can have stove pipes, double feeds, and misfires. Another downsize is that the slide on a semi-auto must slide back and forth in order to load another round. If something prevents the slide from doing this or something gets caught in the slide while it’s move you have a problem that you need to know how to properly fix. Except in a limited number of semi-auto can you just pull the trigger again and hope the round fires. If you don’t know how to clear misfires or can’t operate the slide properly a revolver may be a better choice.
Now for the biggest debate in firearms. “What caliber is the best to carry” Well if you do you research you will find many hunters use 22LR to hunt with for small game. By using that as a basis if a 22LR is all you have and you know how to use it then it will work. Since a 22LR is rim fired it does have a higher failure rate over a center fire ammunition. When looking at center fired ammunition most minimum ammunition for self-defense is 380 which is a 9×17 or short 9mm. Most 380 handguns are very compact and easily handled by most shooters. Your 9mm (9×19 parabellum) is very popular and you can find pistols with 6 to 18 rounds capacity. When you start moving up in to larger calibers 40cal, 10mm, or 45ACP you lose capacity and you also experience more recoil when firing.
As you can tell there is a purpose for every type of pistol and every caliber. What you need to do is go out and find a firearm that fits your hand and also one that you can properly handle. Visit a range and rent the firearm before you buy your firearm and you’ll be happy with what you purchase.