Q-What is the best gun for home defense?
A- 12 gauge shotgun; preferably a double-barrel or pump action. A shotgun is a two handed weapon making it more difficult to wrestle from the user’s hands. 12ga. ammunition is about the most commonly available ammunition there is. The shot pattern of a shotgun with 20" barrel/s and a cylinder choke disperses quickly making it much easier to hit a target under low-light or stressful conditions. Loaded with #7 1/2, 8, or 9 trap/target loads, a shot load will not penetrate two layers of common house drywall; this attribute makes it safer for home defense purposes because others in adjoining rooms of the house are less likely to be injured. And a 12ga. shotgun packs more punch than most handgun rounds.
Q- What is the best "beginners" handgun?
A- .22lr double-action revolver. Everyone should own at least one gun; and that first gun should be a .22. A .22lr firearm facilitates: ease of use, even young children can handle a .22; good marksmanship habits with proper instruction; economical ammunition cost facilitating frequent practice sessions; and generally low initial investment. A revolver is simpler to use opposed to a semi-auto pistol. A revolver is easier to clean; no disassembly required.
It would be best that this "first handgun" have adjustable sights as well. This aids the beginner in learning how to make sight corrections on all firearms.
Q- How do I know if the barrel on my rifle is "shot out"?
A- Typical barrel life can be anywhere from 3000 to maybe 5000+ rounds depending on the type of barrel i.e. stainless-steel vs. chrome-moly and cut-rifled vs. button-rifled or hammer-forged. Stainless barrels will last a little longer on average and a cut-rifled barrel will last longer than a button-rifled barrel. There are two sections of the barrel that effect accuracy: the throat and the crown. The throat is the portion of the barrel immediately forward of the chamber and the crown is the muzzle end of the barrel. A "shot out" barrel refers to when the throat is eroded to the point that the bullet no longer engages the rifling immediately upon firing. The bullet will have a tendency to "wobble" before engaging what is left of the rifling. This mitigates shot-to-shot consistency. The most common symptom of a "shot out" barrel is vertical stringing on target. While a stainless barrel may have the potential for longer life, the accuracy of a stainless barrel will deteriorate faster than a chrome-moly barrel; to the point where loss of accuracy may be virtually instantaneous. The accuracy of a chrome-moly barrel will deteriorate gradually. Completely erratic shots on target are indicative of a damaged crown; or poor marksmanship.
An historical note: When the M1 rifle was the issue rifle for the Army & Marines, armorers carried two gauges to measure throat & crown erosion. When an M1 measured "9" on the throat gauge or "5" on the crown gage, the barrel was deemed unserviceable and replaced. Each notch on the throat gauge, 1-9, corresponded to approximately 1000 rounds being fired through the barrel. Therefore by arsenal standards, a barrel would have had 9000+ rounds through it before it was deemed unserviceable. Wear on the crown was more due to cleaning than shooting the weapon.
Q- Why don’t you like Glock pistols?
A- I covered this to a certain extent in "Defensive Handgun 101" but I will cover it in more detail here.
I do not like Glock pistols for several reasons.
#1- All firearms have two primary "user interfaces" (to put it in ‘geek’ terms); the sights and the trigger. Then, there is the secondary user interface; the grips on a handgun or the stock on a rifle or shotgun. First the sights; the sights on Glock pistols are rudimentary at best; almost all Glocks have fixed sights and these sights are not that large. While the sights on a defensive pistol do not need to be adjustable, they should be large enough to facilitate instantaneous acquisition. Therefore, I think the sights on a pistol primarily intended for defensive purposes should be larger than what is found on Glocks.
#2- Then there is the trigger on Glock pistols. A trigger on any firearm should break cleanly; there should be no creep, slop, or play. This is not the case on Glock pistols; at least the ones I have handled. The trigger pull on Glocks is heavy; this is due in part to the fact that it is striker fired. It is also due to the safety; which is the ignorant knob on the trigger.
#3- This brings me to my biggest problem with Glock pistols: the safety. The only safety is that ignorant knob on the trigger. The problem with having that knob on the trigger as the only safety on the gun presumes that no one will ever violate rule #3 of safe gun handling "keep your finger off the trigger until you are 100% sure that you are ready to shoot". For that reason I think Glock pistols are unsafe.
#4- As I stated, I have handled Glocks and I have shot one twice. I don’t like the way they feel in my extra large hands; they feel "clunky" to me. Furthermore, to my knowledge there aren’t any aftermarket grips available for Glocks either. If there were that situation may be rectifiable.
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