Need advice

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Need advice

Postby BKinGA » Sun May 23, 2010 6:11 pm

Hi Ladies,
Two of my young friends were discussing getting a concealed weapons permit and carrying a gun. This is foreign territory to me. I listened and asked some questions but I was not convinced they knew that much about the subject. From reading here I know some of you carry. Can you recommend a gun for me? I'm not a petite person and of average strength for an over 50 yr. old. I'm looking for something for protection from marauding critters and humans. I have a 15 yr. old that I need to keep safe from the critters and humans AND the gun itself. I'm a total newbie in this area. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks, Becky
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Postby hiker chick » Sun May 23, 2010 7:00 pm

For a newbie to guns, I'd recommend checking out the resources for women that the National Rifle Association offers (I'm an NRA member because they are the leading defender of 2nd Amendment freedom. Although -- perhaps because -- I live in the anti-gun capital of the country, I value the 2nd Amendment very highly).

http://www.nrahq.org/women/index.asp

Have you studied the gun laws in your area? For instance, some guns are legal in DC but must conform to certain restrictions (such as ammunition clip capacity, tubular magazine and not bottom-load rifles).

Most of my gun knowledge and experience are from growing up in California and Oregon and shooting my father's, brother's, uncle's and grandfather's handguns and rifles. In DC, I rely on bear spray and a dog because I haven't jumped the myriad hoops to gun ownership here.

For home security I'd recommend a shotgun. Opinions vary (surprise!) but that's mine. You don't have to be as accurate and just the sound of the pumping action could cause an intruder to have to change their underwear. Also, handgun bullets travel further than shotgun pellets so I've always understood that shotguns are safer for the neighborhood.

For auto safety and walking around, I'd be inclined toward a 9mm handgun with as big a clip as your jurisdiction allows. My brother had a Ruger 9mm that I enjoyed shooting. The kick was mild and the gun was comfortable. You should "try some on" for size but you'll have to shoot them to know. (how are you going to conceal it? Purse? Leg-shoulder or belt holster?)

Have also enjoyed a .38 revolver. Whatever caliber you settle on, you have some latitude in grips (bigger or smaller).

You also have choices in ammunition (such as "hollow point" bullets). Larger caliber ammo costs more so factor that into your shopping if you're going to be doing a lot of target practice (which I recommend).

Here's a woman perspective you may want to consider (the merits of a .22):

http://thesurvivalmom.com/2009/12/14/9- ... arry-a-22/

Also, an argument for as large a caliber as you are comfortable with:

http://www.shootingtimes.com/handgun_re ... ed_200811/

And points to consider on concealed carry:

http://www.usconcealedcarry.com/public/1319.cfm?sd=45

If you have no experience shooting, plan on spending a lot of time at a firing range. Firearms training would also be a good investment. The NRA website can point you to some options. If your 15-year old is going to be around the gun, firearm instruction for them would be wise, as well.

If you are going to travel out-of-state with it, be sure you know what the gun laws are where you are traveling. Many people have found out the hard way that their home states' gun freedom is irrelevant when they enter DC.

By the way, the NRA sells some concealed carry accessories - such as purses and holsters that attach to your car seat.

Good luck. You are wise to be seeking counsel.

P.S. Where do you expect to be encountering "critters" and what kind of critters concern you? While you're figuring out the best gun, you could go ahead and buy bear spray from REI. It would protect you from 2-legged and 4-legged predators.


:thumbsup:
Last edited by hiker chick on Sun May 23, 2010 7:48 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby eatatjoz » Sun May 23, 2010 7:40 pm

I'm not a lady, so I hope you don't mind my answer in here.

My lady friend has become accustomed to me carrying a 1911 everywhere I go. She thought it was strange at first (and probably still does) but decided to go shooting with me one day.
Of all the firearms she handled that day, she liked the LCP, the .38 wheel-gun (revolver) and the SKS (you can't conceal one of those, but she loved it).
I suggest finding a range close to you that rents the equipment. You'll be able to find a pistol that fits you and have a better Idea of what to expect from your own once you decide to purchase.
Take the 15 year old with you, and make sure to explain that a firearm is lethal. You can't take the bullet back after it leaves it's case.
1. guns are ALWAYS loaded.
2. know what's behind your target.
3. never sweep the muzzle in front of anything you don't intend to kill.
4. Keep your booger picker off of the trigger.
Don't shield him/her from the gun. Both of you can bond while practicing safe handling techniques and learn something at the same time.

And empty your bottom drawer on the dresser. You'll need the room for all of the holsters that you end up not using.
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Postby stumphugger » Sun May 23, 2010 8:59 pm

I have a 12 gauge pump. Should you decide to get one of those, get a shoulder pad or wear a life jacket for padding when target shooting. Mine is hard on the shoulder.

Clay pigeons are fun to shoot. A cop friend of mine agrees that just the sound of a shotgun being pumped is fearsome to any bad guys. I got it for bird hunting, not defense.

I rely more on a big dog. A big friendly dog, but others don't know that. Nor do I know what he'd do if we were threatened.
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Postby iplay10us2 » Sun May 23, 2010 9:21 pm

My best advice is to check the CCW laws in the state where the permit will be granted. I have a CCW license in Arkansas, and I tested with a semi-automatic. This means that I can "downgrade" to a revolver without re-testing. However, if I had tested with the revolver and wanted to upgrade to a semi-automatic, I would have to re-test with the semi.

Things like this can be important.
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Postby doug hodder » Sun May 23, 2010 11:33 pm

Owning enough firearms to be considered a "compound" by any media outlet...I'd recommend taking a firearms class from a qualified instructor, lack of knowledge is your worst enemy. An instructor can let you know about the proper use, care, maintenance and safety regarding one, + can probably give you the best information to purchase what is going to work for your needs. This applies to both gun and applicable ammo.

Asking what to get on a forum will give you tons of answers based on personal preferences, which may not be applicable to your situation.

If you do get one...come out to Nevada at the Glyphs....some of us went out and drilled plenty of cans and a Johnny Depp captain Jack stand up...Doug
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Postby Eunice » Mon May 24, 2010 10:21 am

doug hodder wrote:Owning enough firearms to be considered a "compound" by any media outlet...I'd recommend taking a firearms class from a qualified instructor, lack of knowledge is your worst enemy. An instructor can let you know about the proper use, care, maintenance and safety regarding one, + can probably give you the best information to purchase what is going to work for your needs. This applies to both gun and applicable ammo.
Doug

Doug gives good advice. take a class. I did years ago and they had several different guns for us to shoot. I was able to try them all and see what I liked best. 357 mag works for me. The #1 rule they stressed for protection is DO NOT POINT IT IF YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO PULL THE TRIGGER. Not everyone can do this but you dont want to try and fool someone, they can see the fear
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Postby rbeemer » Mon May 24, 2010 11:17 am

I ran the firing range for the Air Force( Mather AFB) and one of my teachings was.

1. do not pull your weapon unless you intend to fire it immediately
2. We teach you to fire in 2 shot intervals at the persons chest(shoot to kill).
3. There is no such thing as a warning shot - NEVER fire into the air

The above 3 rules are what you have to consider if you want to carry a weapon.

If you want to carry one I suggest a 32 cal automatic. they are small but carry good stopping power for their size.
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Postby steve smoot » Mon May 24, 2010 12:19 pm

I suppose what bothers me, and it's just my thoughts here, If you take what Rick says and what Doug says and think about it. You need some expert training before you even buy a gun.

I can see some poor soul coming over to say hello at the campgrounds, and gets his ass killed with the two shots to the chest. That would spoil the rest of your life as well.

Please think about it first.

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Postby Miriam C. » Tue May 25, 2010 8:25 pm

I will give you the advice I gave my sister: absolutely no one can advise you here........

We talked about how she felt about killing someone who was not touching her, how she would feel if she shot to kill, if she wanted to just wound someone enough to escape.....

Sometimes a good defense class works well, other times, like in the woods alone, a gun will be more helpful. I have only used mine for running off wild dogs...... had it for more than 30 years, and do not carry it often.

Do check your local laws. Some cities don't allow concealed carry even if the state does.....The penalties are quite high to even travel through them.
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Postby BKinGA » Wed May 26, 2010 12:36 am

Thank you all so much for the helpful information and thoughtful replies. Steve, I hear you. As I alluded to in my question, guns are foreign to me. My dad went deer hunting a few times when I was a little girl so there were shotguns or rifles (I don't know the difference) in the guest room closet but that's my total exposure. In fact, I've always been somewhat opposed to guns and also against hunting as a sport. (Needing to hunt for food is a completely different thing.) However personal safety has always been a concern since I'm single and now I have a teenage girl. I have the dogs, the alarm system, man's shoes outside my front door, dog house conspicuously displayed in the back yard so that it shows from the side yard, and I used to sleep with a can of mace under my pillow until I decided some years ago that it was so old it was likely no longer effective! Readers are probably thinking "overkill" but what can I say. In addition, recently I had the opportunity to visit with a group of cousins and my brother. I was startled to hear that one of them had a gun collection in a locked cabinet at their home. The comment was that one day you wouldn't be able to buy a gun. It was sort of along the lines of when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. I do believe that is true. Then when my friends were discussing gun ownership last week I thought it's time to look into this. The gun laws in my state seem almost too easy, no hoops to jump through. By looking through the resources you provided Hiker Chick, I found classes by the NRA for women in the next town over and discovered there is a gun club/classes/range in my town. To clarify, I don't plan to carry a gun. I'm thinking of a gun in my home or camper for personal protection. I don't anticipate camping in bear country so it's probably the human critters I'm concerned about. I'm a fraidy-cat yes, not reckless, nor a closet rambo or show-off, but if someone seeks to harm my family I'll be up to stopping them. While I'm considering all these thoughts and everyone's input, I'll be ordering the REI bear spray. I've thought that was a good idea since I read it in your earlier threads Hiker Chick. So thanks again for all the feedback and excuse me for rattling on for so long. P.S. My intent is not to offend or stir up any controversy so certainly hope I didn't.
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Postby stumphugger » Wed May 26, 2010 7:50 am

I took a karate class years ago. They had what they called "Adult Night" which was real self defense last chance methods. Like where to jamb your thumbs into bad people. It sure helped with my confidence.

I broke my toe after a month, and since I work on my feet, couldn't afford to do that. But I wasn't as fearful after that class. I took on a big drunk guy who was stealing my sun glasses and he backed down. Stupid of me but I have a terrible temper when it comes to thieves.

By the way, I work in the woods here, and have for 30 years. I'm alone working a lot of the time. I don't carry a gun or pepper spray. I've never had a problem with people, almost with a bear but he must've been deaf and near sighted.

Perhaps both of you could take a self defense class.
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Postby hiker chick » Wed May 26, 2010 10:52 am

BKinGA wrote: P.S. My intent is not to offend or stir up any controversy so certainly hope I didn't.


BK -- sounds like a smart plan. I lived in a small Oregon town for years and for four summers worked in remote campgrounds. Never felt endangered, until I moved to Washington, D.C. Atlanta certainly isn't Mayberry, either.

So you are very wise to be mindful of security at home, in your car and walking around. For yourself and your child. And I look forward to hearing about your continuing journey in this arena.

I believe the Constitution's 2nd Amendment is every bit as vital as the 1st Amendment and that we would have neither without both.

And that's why I support the NRA and the ACLU (even though I don't agree with them on everything they do -- these groups have their own vigorous internal debates over their issue agendas from time to time and have actually joined the same coalitions on occasion).

This inspires me to don my NRA hat at the next neighborhood BBQ. I live in a very liberal enclave -- an ACLU fundraiser knocked on my door last night, a departure from the usual Greenpeace solicitation.

God bless America -- all of it.

:thumbsup:
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Postby rebapuck » Thu May 27, 2010 8:48 pm

I don't think you sound like you'd be comfortable with a gun. They are, afterall, a lethal weapon.

And what's the deal with concealing? As a bystander, I think it's my right to know you are carrying.
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Postby hiker chick » Thu May 27, 2010 10:49 pm

There is a difference between being comfortable with a gun and being comfortable shooting someone. Who can really know the latter unless the situation arises?

She's looking into classes precisely so she can see if she'd be comfortable owning a gun and which guns, in particular.

That's wise and rational.



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Last edited by hiker chick on Thu May 27, 2010 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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