Thursday, November 15, 2012


There is an article of The Art of Manliness on selecting a firearm for home defense.  It's decent, but I have minor quibbles.

He stresses training.  I have no problem with that.   Whatever you get, practice with it, too.  and it's important to have a place to practice.  If there are no rifle ranges nearby, an AR, while an effective choice, isn't so good if you have no place to train and  familiarize yourself with it.  

Shotguns, for example, are hard to train with.  There are many restriction at local flat ranges.  Skeet shooting, while good at familiarization, is less effective when trying to learn your gun's foibles with buckshot.  Clay shooting experience is not the same as home defense simulation experience.

The author of the article comes out with a pump shotgun recommendation first thing.  And get's his highest rating.  No mention of it's unwieldiness inside the home.  No mention of the possible problem of short stroking the action.

His next recommendation is the revolver.  Even simpler to use, yes.  But the hardest to get good at, no?  Not a problem if you practice fervently, double action.

His lowest rating is for semi-auto pistols, and this model gets low marks because of its complication.  I posit that this concern shrinks to nothing after a year of faithful range trips and a training class or two beyond basic instruction.  There isn't THAT much more to learn with a Glock over a revolver, after all.

I still go with the tried a true, "shoot a bunch of different types before selecting with an open mind if you are a noob."  Then practice with your selection.  Be prepared to trade it in for a new model after you are no longer a noob and know a little more about what you are doing.  Your revolver selection, initially, may less relevent to your needs after you become more of an intermediate shooter.  


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Old NFO said...

Good point and PRACTICE with what ever you choose to use... And low light/night with flashlight is even better!

Bubblehead Les. said...

Well, keep in mind, that this book goes out to all kinds of different places, and some of them won't let you have much in the way of Firearms.

So, a 12 gauge pump maybe all one LEGALLY has to use. Just look at all the crap it still takes to get a handgun in DC, in spite of the Supreme Court Ruling.

Now, in FREE States, there is a difference. And I'd leave the shotguns for Hunting, unless you have a Indoor Range 8 miles from your Home that allows Shotgun, like I do. And One can Practise as lomg as the Money holds out. : )

snoopycomputer said...

My[current] recommendation to friends is a Ruger 10/22 with folding stock and BX25 mags/CCI Stingers. Possibly outfitted with laser sight, red dot and flashlight.
Cheap practice. Most pistol-only ranges will allow pistol-cal carbines. Low recoil. Less overpentration through walls than 9, 45, 223, 12ga. Just practice pumping out rounds 2/3 at a time.
Later if they want to go Whole Hog and get it SBR/surpressed they can.

Geodkyt said...

Originally posted at SayUncle's place

I love the myth that shotguns are better choices because they are easier to shoot than rifles.

Really? even if you shoot it as if it was a shotgun, at 10-15′, if you could get a solid hit with a shotgun, you’ll get solid hits with a rifle. AND, recoil recovery for an intermediate round and magazine capacity mean you’ll get more effectively fired shots off in a similar amount of time.

Plus, any adult with fairly normal strength and coordination in both arms can one-hand a plain vanilla M4gery to work phones, lights, and doorknobs as need be — a little more difficult with any shotgun I’d recommend to a newb. (Everyone says you should never go looking — but what do you do if your KIDS are down the hall, and you want to consolidate everyone on the same side of your firing line, or when you aren’t sure if it’s a Bad Guy ™ or the damned dog is just barking at the racoons outside or the unlatched screen door, AGAIN. . . ?)

There are OTHER arguments in favor of a shotgun as the “go-to gun” in the home. But “riflez iz hard and shotteez R E-Z” isn’t a valid one. (

I have both — but, given the construction of my house, the density of my neighborhood, the orientation and topography of my lot, and the fact that I have years of muscle memory on an AR, including rolling out of my fart sack into a fighting position on exercises, mean my AR is my first choice.

OTOH, one of my co-workers has zero AR time, but has been hunting (deer, turkey, and waterfowl, with the appropriate barrels and loads for each) with his Remington 870 for twenty years — he was discussing buying an AR specifically for home defense with me, and I told him straight out, “Get a shorter barrel with an cylinder bore, pull the mag plug, put on a butt cuff with your preferred buckshot loads, and call it a friggin’ day. Hell, you can probably ‘Get ‘R done’ with a plugged magazine!” (Our game laws allow unplugged magazines, so long as you don’t load too many shells when actually hunting.)

In both of our cases, our longarm of choice is something we can reliably, safely, and effectively run half asleep and in the dark.

Angus McThag said...

Every time I hear someone say that someone should use a revolver because automatics are too complicated I travel back to my days in the Army.

In less than a week we all knew all there was to know about the M1911A1. More than 2/3 of my unit had never touched a gun before.