FNS-9 Contest Entry: Learning My Limitations

By Sean N.

Midnight. Dog is going nuts.

I walk outside to pet her, unhook her chain and walk her back to the house. But she keeps pulling towards my workshop, growling. I turn and see a shadow against the side of the building. Absolutely nothing runs through my mind. There isn’t a question of what to do. There is not a question of what might happen if I do not act. None of that matters. There is a man in my yard, hiding near my workshop. He isn’t speaking to me. He isn’t explaining himself. And he isn’t hauling it to the back forty . . .

I release the dog. He takes off with my loyal mutt on his heels. He makes the back forty and vanishes, and I whistle for my dog to come home. I take her inside, make her sit like a good girl, and give her a rawhide treat. I call the sheriff’s office and report it, as any good citizen should. Then it sinks in. There was a man, intent upon robbing me. He was in my yard, and didn’t run, or even say a word. All those questions flood my mind. What if he had been in the shop?

There’s knives, machetes, and the odd crossbow lying around and hanging on hooks. What if he had been armed with a gun? Then, the big one hit me. What if he had chosen to go into my home instead?

The wife and kids were sleeping. I met the deputy at the door. We had a long chat about it, and he advised me to get a gun. (This being South Georgia, he was kind of annoyed at me for not having anything stronger than my trusty Red Ryder.) I asked a few questions about legality, and the realities of shooting somebody in self defense. The kind deputy summed it up pretty well.

“If he runs away, let him go. If he comes at you, do not hesitate to pull that trigger.”

He recommended a defense course, run by the local Sheriff with help from the NRA, of course. I passed on it, mostly because I grew up shooting, and had taken the NRA course a few times in my childhood and teens. My father had raised me shooting. I felt I would be ok, in spite of not having fired a gun in a decade or more. I simply went to the gun store, picked one out, passed my background check, and off I went. Right to the back forty to kill some ammo.

(A short aside here. When buying your first gun in years, GLOCK is an excellent choice. 357 SIG is not. I love the GLOCK 31, but not the ammo prices when I need to practice away ten years of rust. If getting back into shooting after years away, keep it cheap folks.)

$100 and 200 rounds later, I was hitting the silhouette out to 100 yards. This made me happy, and I went on thinking I would be ok. The rust wasn’t as bad as I thought, and I was still a decent shot. And here comes incident number two.

Midnight again. Dog is going nuts again.

Outside, gun in my hand, and clearing the yard, a bit at a time. And I realized, I have no idea how to handle it. Those classes were so long ago. I finally realize I should see what the dog is barking at. Turns out that a dog barking at a bad guy and a dog barking at a rattler sound very similar. It took me 20 minutes of pretending to be a Navy SEAL to figure this out. (Almost got bit as well. Just cause he ain’t rattlin’ doesn’t mean he ain’t a rattler.) While it turned out not to be the situation I thought it was, it did make me realize that I needed to brush up a bit.

I needed to brush up on more than just working the boomswitch. Basic firearms safety, GLOCK and 1911 armorers courses. But these two incidents, with not a shot fired, reminded me of the responsibility we all owe to society. To be safe. To know your weapon.  To know your laws. To know your limitations.

comments

  1. avatar dirk diggler says:

    hitting someone at 100 yds is murder. hitting them at 5-10 yds is self-defense. know the difference. just saying

    1. avatar mlopilato says:

      Not if they shoot too.

    2. avatar Jeh says:

      I think you completely missed the point Dirk, just because somebody says they can hit at 100 yards, doesn’t mean he wants to go shoot somebody at 100 yards. That’s like saying you can eat a large pizza by yourself, it doesn’t mean your gonna eat a large pizza every time. He’s simply stating he can do it.

    3. avatar john says:

      Hitting them at 100 yards can be self defense too. Just saying…

    4. avatar Culpeper Kid says:

      I agree Dirk. Still, it sure would be fun to be able to hit the silhouette at 100 yards, just to master the firearm. It would be great to own a ‘back 40’ where I could shoot at all, never mind the 100 yards.

  2. avatar Ross says:

    Dirk,

    I have to disagree, I worked on a team in the past (Australia) where we practiced hitting 200 yard steel silhouettes with our handguns, we were limited to only handguns and were operating in the outback, flat, brown and goes forever. It’s not aways about “self-defense, there is defense of a third party(s) to consider also.

  3. avatar Powers says:

    I am not a lawyer, but even if it is 100 yards, or whatever the distance, if the individual is a acting out to harm you, with a weapon that could reasonably be used at whatever the distance, and you think you are in danger of injury or death, I think it would be self defense, not murder. If someone runs away from my property, turns and point his firearm at me I believe it would be reasonable for me to defend myself. If he had a slingshot, nope. But a rifle, or even handgun..I am sure lawyers could have a field day with it all..but I think that ” reasonable fear for your life” is the term that is thrown around. There are so many variables that would come into play with many scenarios, but I think it would come down to was it reasonable to fear for your life at the time you acted. Maybe a lawyer could chime in here. But no matter, if someone points a rifle at me from 100 yards away, if I can’t find something to duck behind for cover, I will shoot. Even after I have cover, if there is no other avenue of escape, I will shoot back. I will not wait for him to close in on me.

    1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      if you can’t even see the guy at your shed, how can you tell he has a weapon unless and until he opens fire on you?

      1. avatar Matt in SD says:

        I guess thats the risk the guy took when he decided to snoop around someone else’s property in the middle of the night.

      2. avatar gyrfalcon says:

        “if you can’t even see the guy at your shed, how can you tell he has a weapon unless and until he opens fire on you?”

        Maybe his weapon is bigger than he is? 😉

  4. avatar Markc says:

    21 feet in Louisiana.

  5. avatar Gyufygy says:

    I think y’all are missing the point: he could hit a target at 100 yards… practicing. Calm. Quiet. Slow. He had the marksmanship down. That’s all. He wasn’t saying to was going to shoot an intruder at 100 yards, he was saying he needed to brush up on what to do beyond “sights on target, squeeze, follow through”.

    1. avatar S.CROCK says:

      good accurate interpretation. i would venture to say that most of us practice at further than normal self defense distances. then back to the 7-15 yards.

      1. avatar GI_JoJo says:

        S. Crock has my agreement on this one. I rarely ever practice at “self-defense” distances unless I’m at a range that allows me to do a mag-dump.

        My thinking goes like this; I can manage consistent hits on moving targets at around 30 yards with my full carry gun by going slowly and deliberately while concentrating on the fundamentals of marksmanship.
        By training this way I improve the skills neccessary to make ANY shot dramatically, therefore the closer a target is the faster I am able to move while maintaining the same “minute of bad-guy” accuracy that I have at longer distances. I am also able to shoot accurately WHILE “getting off the X.” I believe this is in large part because of the way in which and distances at which I train. So the closer the target and the less ideal the conditions I remain confident and capable.

        Make sense?

  6. avatar E. Jones says:

    Being able to hit paper at 100yds (an impressive feat with a pistol) makes it a heck of a lot more likely you’ll be able to hit a moving bad guy at 5 or 7 yards with adrenaline flowing.

    1. avatar gyrfalcon says:

      “Being able to hit paper at 100yds (an impressive feat with a pistol) makes it a heck of a lot more likely you’ll be able to hit a moving bad guy at 5 or 7 yards with adrenaline flowing.”

      Not really. It’s a completely different technique with stress, speed, and other challenges. It’s probably just as likely that someone who’s good at shooting skeet will be able to hit a moving target at 5 or 7 yards with a pistol.

      1. avatar S. Nolan says:

        Right.. both of you, sorta.

        My thoughts were along the first.. if I can hit at 100, I can hit better at 7. Not exactly true. Reality is closer to the second.

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      Shoot sporting clays or trap and see what moving looks like. It’s amazing how hard it can be to acquire, sight, and execute the shot in 1 second. And actually hit the target.

  7. avatar Dave says:

    Maybe a flashlight would help you peer into that darkness? A good SureFire or Streamlight would help cut that darkness.

    1. avatar Bob says:

      Or a $10 flashlight from the hardware store, too. Call me too frugal. Call me too sensible. Call me too normal. I just don’t get the appeal of those ultra-expensive flashlights.

      1. avatar N703 says:

        Bob, you just responded to a burglar in your garage. Nobody’s home, just you. You have your $10 handheld light shining on the guy who’s looking around nervously. How do you call the cops?

        My point being, a dedicated weaponlight for your nightstand gun frees up your support hand for opening doors, calling the cops etc.

        Just be aware that you might want to take some courses or do research on utilizing a light correctly. Leaving it on the whole time while searching just let’s the bad guy(s) know exactly where you are.

        1. avatar gyrfalcon says:

          “Bob, you just responded to a burglar in your garage. Nobody’s home, just you. You have your $10 handheld light shining on the guy who’s looking around nervously. How do you call the cops?”

          Shoot the guy, then call them? (this is sarcasm if you couldn’t tell)

          Holding someone at gunpoint and making a call/screwing with the phone is like texting and driving but worse… you can deal with contacting authorities after you’ve dealt with the threat.

        2. avatar N703 says:

          Gyr,

          Nope, you bring up an excellent point. (That’s what happens when you type a response while rushing out the door to work)

          I’d like to hope I (and everyone other responsible gun owner) would PID their target before shooting. To clarify, what if it was a 14 yr old kid standing in your garage looking to score items to fence. Maybe you’d shoot him, I’d like to think not (unless he was a clear threat).

          My point being, a weaponlight frees up a hand for other tasks.

      2. avatar WLCE says:

        because that 10 dollar piece of shit will fail you.

        if your life is worth extra money saved by getting a flashlight that is guaranteed to fail, then knock yourself out.

        For a weapon light, Ill challenge anybody to find one better than surefire.

        1. avatar gyrfalcon says:

          “For a weapon light, Ill challenge anybody to find one better than surefire.”

          You can also challenge them to find one more expensive. 🙂

      3. avatar Dave says:

        Bob,
        To each their own. I’m not saying you have to go buy a SureFire or Streamlight, but it’s what I used in the military and what I still trust if my life came down to it. I’m not saying you should go buy the most expensive flashlight out there, but there is a reason the military and most law enforcement entities have switched to SureFire, Streamlight, Pelican, Inforce, etc… They project a tighter and brighter beam of light over greater distances.

        1. avatar 2hotel9 says:

          Maglite, 3 cell.And yes, I have knocked a person to the ground with it.

          Exterior lighting is the best bet, tends to make scum slide along to someplace else.

        2. avatar Gadsd N. Flagg says:

          @2hotel9, Yes, but swap out the xenon bulb for one of the replacement LED bulbs available online. I have done this for all four of my MagLite 3 D-cell flashlights, and I’m not kidding they appear 10x brighter. Did the same for my 2 AA-cell MagLites, too.

        3. avatar 2hotel9 says:

          Done did dat! Although, the first new bulb I tried was less than worthless, gave out a blue haze of light and would not throw a beam more than 5 feet(it works excellently in my GI style angle head flashlight). Told my tale of woe to a friend who is a sheriff deputy and she went to her truck and handed me her backup bulb from her Maglite and it rocks, nice, strong tight beam well beyond 100 feet. I bought new AA style Maglites and they come with LED bulbs and are much better than regular bulbs.

    2. avatar Don says:

      How about installing motion activated lights around your workshop and house. Plus if going to check on the dog barking you take two lights, one is a backup in you pocket. They can be 10$ or 1000$ just have two minimum.

    3. avatar Rich Grise says:

      Or a yard light. It’s your own home! Why go skulking around with a flashlight when you could flip a switch and light up the whole place? Or, even better, a motion-detector light.

  8. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    When I bought my M&P it came with the S&W light on the rail. I liked it so much that the last time I investigated thudding noises that my wife heard (I don’t hear a lot with tinnitus) it lit everything up in the downstairs like it was daylight. I wouldn’t have a home defense pistol without a light.

    1. avatar gyrfalcon says:

      ” I investigated thudding noises that my wife heard (I don’t hear a lot with tinnitus) it lit everything up in the downstairs like it was daylight.”

      So what did you find?

      1. avatar Sixpack70 says:

        It’s a new house with new noises that my wife we wakes up to every hour or so. On this “what was that?” trip I found the water heater makes noises when it is heating that sound like someone is banging around outside of my basement office area. I thought it was nothing but I bring my pistol with me in case it’s something. I would rather have it on me and find nothing every time than have that one time when I find someone or something unfriendly.

        1. avatar gyrfalcon says:

          Glad to hear you didn’t shoot that water heater dead. I hear they bleed real bad, and are hard to drag out of your house when you try and dispose of them. 🙂

        2. avatar 2hotel9 says:

          Thanks!! That was a good one.

        3. avatar jwm says:

          Shovel. Mop. Beg the wife to never speak of it again.

  9. avatar juliesa says:

    My husband knows this fellow, who hit a bad guy about 150′ away with his revolver.

    http://www.khou.com/news/Armed-good-Samaritan-praised-for-shooting-suspect-in-trailer-park-standoff-165655456.html

    Mr Stacy received a medal from the town for shooting that crazy murderer from a distance.

    1. avatar Andrew Snyder says:

      I think everyone so far has missed the point of this post.

      Let me spell it out for you all.

      Get a dog!

      A gun too, but a good dog is the only early warning system that switches to hostile deterrent when the time is right.

      And my big question is why didn’t you shoot the snake?

      Non-poisonous snakes you leave be, the dangerous ones you kill. Copperhead in my yard caught 3 loads of 08 birdshot just today. Made a bloody mess, but i have zero concerns of him comming back around when my kids are playing now.

      1. avatar Andrew Snyder says:

        Sorry, I intended for this to be a Jew post, not a reply.

        1. avatar Don says:

          I think you meant “New” post but that made me laugh.

  10. avatar WLCE says:

    Personally, I say get a shotgun. A mossberg 500 or Remington 870.

    Get a sling, XS big dot front sight, and a Surefire flashlight (I recommend the integrated hand guard light).

    You will have a awesome home defense platform.

    1. avatar Andrew Snyder says:

      I learned the hard way that 12gauge and electronics don’t play nice together. Took me two red dots and a surefire flashlight to learn this lesson. light made it the longest at about 20 shells.

    2. avatar gyrfalcon says:

      “Personally, I say get a shotgun.”

      Personally I say get a tank. Nothing is more terrifying to a bad guy than hearing the sound of heavy metal rolling in their direction.

      1. avatar Lolinski says:

        Personally, I say get a suppressor.

        It ain’t fun to be blinded and deafened when shooting at night.

    3. avatar Don says:

      Why didn’t he go out on the balcony with a double barrel and fire two rounds in to the night?

        1. avatar S. Nolan says:

          The newest direction from that source recommended firing through the door. This is not an option for me, as Edgar, our pizza guy, does not wear Kevlar.

    4. avatar WLCE says:

      congratulations on making me feel stupider everybody

      1.) My surefire fore end light has worked impeccably on my Mossy 500. It has seen three shotgun courses and has not failed. Far more than “20 shells” (Try over 2000 assorted 00 buck and slug). The only lights I have seen fail are OTS brands (other than surefire). Before you accuse me of selling Surefire flashlights, name another light with the same survivability that is cheaper. Ill gladly jump onboard.

      As far as optics failing goes, yeah if you use a 25 dollar red dot from walmart. Aimpoints and Eotechs work on shotguns.

      2.) If you want to ditch shotguns, arguably the most devastating close combat weapon in the armed citizens’ arsenal, then that is your business.

  11. avatar S. Nolan says:

    Gonna address a couple things.

    1. It wasn’t about shooting somebody at 100 yards.
    2. My dog is awesome. She was going all “matrix” on that rattler.
    3. Rattlesnake died by shovel. Didn’t wanna risk the neighbors lives.
    4. I was looking for a man, not a snake.

    On weapon lights.
    That night, I was worried about a human. There was enough ambient light for me to make out a human. No need to reveal myself if I do not have to. I also don’t like a light mounted in front of anything vital, like my head. I hold my pistol in front of my head while aiming.

    I mentioned hitting a silhouette at 100 yards, not as a “Shooting the perp” range, but as an example of my overconfidence in my own skills, and how range skill would not exactly translate into personal defense. (100 yards isn’t hard. It was slow fire, resting on a fence post.)

    And yes, get a dog if your lease/HOA allows it. Creaky floors won’t wake me up, the dog does.

  12. avatar KevinMA says:

    Sean, love the airmchair commando commments here. You can hit a target at 100 yards with a Glock 31? That’s fraking awesome! Wish I could. That said I also saw you understood combat is far different from punching paper. It’s all about training; bashing someone on TTAG doesn’t count as training. Sorry guys.

    The .357 SIG round is great, but you’re right, stupid expensive. That said, look into Lone Wolf converson barrels. I have several. I can shoot .357 Sig from a Lone Wolf Barrel from my .40 Glock 22, and another to shoot 9 from the same gun (the 9 requires you use 9MM G17 mags. The G31 and G22 mags are identical, though for just plinking/training the G31/G22 mags will work with 9MM but not always totally reliably, expect some very occasional misfeeds/double feeds. Remember, the difference between 9MM and .40 (Sig is just a .40 case with a 9MM bullet) is only .045″. ). The barrels were $100 each. I’ve even put several rounds of defensive 9MM ammo through my 22 with the Wolf 9MM conversion barrel in place and thousands of rounds of FMJ through it. The barrels are as reliable as the factory Glock mag. Hope this helps you not spend $100 on your next 200 rounds! That is when the current sh$t storm is over and you can actually buy 9 for a reasonable price again.

  13. avatar gregolas says:

    Great post Sean. If I could add one suggestion: get some training on GA self-defense laws. I believe your state requires it in the CCW class, but get with a gun savvy lawyer and spend $100 bucks or so to get the straight dope and caselaw. (Not the”If they fall outside the window, drag ’em inside and put a butcher knife in their hand!”crap) You have a great dog and I agree and have same division of labor with mine:she raises the alarm and I do the defending. Learn and train my friend.

  14. avatar Dave says:

    S. Nolan,
    I wasn’t advocating the use of weapon lights. I was recommending the use of a good handheld light, and to me that means spending a little more than $10 at your local hardware store. Check out the FBI technique; the light is held in your weak hand and extended away from your body. This way there isn’t a light mounted or held in front of your hand. I realize there may have been enough ambient light to see a human, but could you see what he was doing or holding? I am a huge believer in stacking the deck in my favor, and in a low light/no light encounter that includes a quality light (or weapon light if that is your preference). Again, just my two cents.

    1. avatar 2hotel9 says:

      And could always go nightvision. Under $100 you can get a not too bad IR illuminated monocular. Technology is our friend, even if I detest change.

    2. avatar WLCE says:

      you can find a used surefire for under 100 bucks. you can find the previous generation nitrolons for 30-40 bucks. Theyre awesome lights.

      Like i said before, if people want a 10 dollar ace hardware light to fail them when the time is “right”, then they can go on ahead.

  15. avatar 2hotel9 says:

    Good post. Far too many people think simply owning a firearm makes them proficient in its use under all circumstances.

    Get the firearm course the deputy recommended, simply because you will be personally meeting some of your local leos, always a good idea. Find out where they go to practice and make a habit of using same. Also, no matter how much wifey/friends/neighbors point and snicker you MUST practice, in daylight, the actions you will need to take to clear your home and property. You need to wargame exactly what movements to action you need in an intruder scenario, interior and exterior. Just winging it on spur of the moment is a good way to get injured or killed. And make wifey participate. Get her a piece and get her trained and thinking.

    And lastly. Exterior lighting. Motion activated has its pluses, only problem is bad guys watch for responses to lights coming on. No response? They work around it. Also, being rural you got other trips, deer, the occasional dog and whatnot. Switch controlled is my preferred. You also don’t want those lights illuminating the door you will be coming out. Bright, focused and aimed at your potential problem areas. And don’t start flipping on every light in the house, excellent way to let bad guy know exactly where you are.

    That is a few of the basics, just one last point. You got neighbors within sight of your house? You should coordinate with them. Potential burglars/attackers at your place=potential burglars/attackers at theirs! Would far rather people laughing at my paranoia than crying over my body as the county coroner hauls it away in a rubber bag, bro.

    1. avatar S. Nolan says:

      This was all in the past. I have taken the courses again, and the more modern pistol defense course really helped to open my eyes back up to the realities.

      We live elsewhere now, no neighbors within 500 yards. No more random folks in the yard, but more snakes. And I still go for 100 yard practice, but am working more on reactive shooting. Making waterjugs dance around the field is great fun, and a little more on point for possibly having to defend the home or family. Silhouettes don’t move and all that.

      One of my nieces has come to stay with us, and decided she wants her own gun. We went to the funstore, and it turns out she has expensive taste. (Read: HK P30). I am working to get her down to GLOCK/M&P price range, and reminding her of the classes she needs to take. And while I love teaching her, as well as my own children.. another reality, is that I know I will forget things, and I am not a teacher. Some things are best taught by pros.

      1. avatar 2hotel9 says:

        Good deal. And it is always good to get the younger generation in and properly trained.

        As for that starter piece, a used handgun is never a bad idea. Plenty of Walther, Beretta and Taurus pistols out there people trade in to get one of those sexy poly frames. And don’t over look revolvers! Not all glamorous and whatnot like a Glock or HK, yet effective and reliable all the same and in many cases a better choice for people with smaller hands.

        For your proficiency shooting practice Do-All Outdoors makes several different jitterbug type targets for pistol and rifle, they move unpredictably when hit and are a load of fun.

        Stay safe and have fun.

  16. avatar ensitue says:

    I always enjoy the Treepeeing contests on TTAG

  17. avatar Ardent says:

    Cutting though the clutter:

    More shooting generally equates with better shooting. If you only shoot 100 stationary silhouettes perhaps this could become a limitation, however doing some work at that range isn’t harmful at all.

    To legalities

    100 yards isn’t that far. I think that generally in a DGU or HD situation I’d prefer to break contact and await the cavalry rather than engaging at such ranges for a variety of practical and legal considerations. However in many parts of the country 100 yards is less than the distance from one’s front porch to the barn or other outbuilding that may attract intruders. If one is fired upon at such a range under such circumstances I find it difficult to believe that returning said fire wouldn’t be considered self defense. Would a reasonable person be in fear for their life if someone were to shoot at them from 100yards? Perhaps considerably less so that if the person were firing from 3 yards, but fearful they may be killed none the less.
    Moving from the unlikely to the seriously paranoid, what if one BG attempts covering fire from 100yards while another attempts to maneuver nearer. Would it be murder if the now arguably trapped homeowner in a residence that is under fire to kill the BG providing the covering fire for his partner?

    One could say ‘that’s never going to happen’ but that’s irrelevant to a hypothetical. I think such a situation illustrates that a self defense shot can be performed at 100yds and beyond given the right circumstances.

    Consider this:
    A man arms himself with a shotgun and releases his dog upon detecting that there are men unknown to him apparently burglarizing his pickup truck approximately 65 yards from his doorstep. The BGs take the dog under fire which prompts the man to return their fire. Ultimately the dog is killed and both BGs are wounded.

    The man argued both that it was his belief that if/when the dog was killed the men would attempt to close the range, thus making their handguns more effective and that he was convinced some of their fire was directed at him. Despite the more questionable first argument but perhaps on the strength of the latter no charges were filed against the man. This is despite the fact that no bullet damage was discovered on his house/porch where he was positioned, and that both BGs insisted they fired only on the dog and were unaware of the man until he fired on them. Could it have gone differently in the legal arena? Sure! But in at least that one case such a long range shooting was considered justified.

    Remember the standard is that if under the circumstances, knowing only what they could or reasonably could be expected to know, a reasonable person would have been in fear of imminent death or serious bodily harm then that person is justified in using lethal force in self defense.

    Knowing that someone has intruded on your property, are attempting to shoot your dog, and being unable to determine if they are also firing at you would, I submit, create a situation in which one could reasonably be in such fear. As for imminence. . . remember the old adage: If the enemy is in range, so are you.

    Note that I’m not recommending shooting under such circumstances, each situation is unique and that decision has to be based on what you perceive your options and justifications to be. I’m only pointing out that the range of the conflict isn’t a hard and fast dividing line between legitimate DGU and murder.

  18. avatar WLCE says:

    Hitting paper at 100 yards is impressive marksmanship. Unfortunately, marksmanship makes up approximately 10% of the total percentage of requirements for prevailing in a gun fight.

    A person needs to take force-on-force training or anything beyond just shooting paper. Usually shooters balk at this because they dont like their illusions dashed, their petty egos squashed when they realize that drilling paper with their 1911 means dick when it comes to engaging moving targets and making critical decisions.

  19. avatar Ardent says:

    Whole bushels and lots of both good and bad advice.

    On lights

    Having a ‘good’ light is invaluable, it inspects, it blinds and disorients, and it need not be used at all if you prefer concealment. My light and pistol are a team.

    On shotguns

    They are perhaps the most devastating weapon in any arsenal, within their range and properly loaded. I don’t think enough can be said for the shotgun within it’s range and so I agree with the get a shotgun argument. However if a pistol is what you have and with it you’re experienced then it too serves as an excellent personal defense weapon.

    Force on force

    This is the holy grail of firearms tactical use training. It is desirable that all the good guys have it. However it is expensive difficult to find/travel to, and wholly unnecessary in HD scenarios. The defender has what is often said to be a 3-1 advantage already. Use those advantages (cover, concealment, knowledge of the battlefield and prior preparation and consideration of the likely aspects of engagement) and one is very apt to prevail.

    Finally, how many here are offering advice in an attempt to impress others with their ‘knowledge’? Seriously, sometimes it’s as if the argument is in favor of a .22 with no sights and one round as a legitimate defensive platform and at other times nothing short of pre plotted artillery is acceptable.

    SD/HD is a continuum. If you intend to enter a combat zone against a determined enemy of unknown force in a free fire zone armed only with a pistol and with training consisting of informal plinking you’re a fool.

    If you insist one requires a tacti-cool long gun, years of expensive and elusive training and a lawyer in ones stick in order to reliably defend ones home from common criminal threats you’re also a fool.

    More gear and training tip the odds in your favor, and are desirable, but only in relation to trade offs of money, time and actually living life. I happen to love tactical training and would stop what I’m doing now to learn more if it were available across the street. I have no doubt that a lifetime of training have stacked the odds heavily in my favor, but I’m not so foolish as to think that the average person with the average gun, defending their own home with limited training isn’t in a good position to prevail over a burglar. Seriously, sometimes this bunch is as bad as the antis for insisting that the level of training needed to prevail against a criminal threat is so high that the average citizen is incapable. These are burglars intent on an easy round of stealing, not commandos intent on killing. Let us please be reasonable lest we put off ‘normal’ citizens who’s wish is home defense, not repulsing a squad sized dedicated attack.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      I wonder how many tacticool training course Hickock, Earp, Thomas etc. had? And I wonder how many of those tacticool course instructors have ever been in a one on one gunfight? A military firefight as part of a platoon of grunts has nothing to do with a citizen self defense shooting in anytown usa.

      1. avatar WLCE says:

        JWM, thats bullshit.

        Hmmm, lets see: Larry Vickers, Travis Haley, Mike Pannone, and even James Yeager have been in gunfights. I can name plenty more if you care.

        I know Im not mentioning at least 20 names but those are a few examples.

        Yes, a firefight in a infantry unit or in law enforcement has plenty to do with home defense. The same fundamentals apply, other than you being alone surrounded by multiple attackers if the shit really does hit the fan.

        The fundamentals are the same though.

        I’ve heard your perspective before. It comes from the same group of people that somehow try to justify not going to training.

        Ardent, you couldnt be more correct.

        The rest of you should serve yourselves best and pay attention to what he wrote.

        This lack of mindset and gear-oriented training is really starting to chafe my ass.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          At what point did I say I lacked mindset for a DGU in an American city? As for tacticool training I sure would not pay money to Yeager to learn how to stall a car in a convoy and the clusterfvck that resulted.

          We are private citizens. Not sworn cops or soldiers. First and foremost we need to know how to safely handle our firearms in a crowded city environment.

          If you wish to spend large sums of money and time flocking to the latest school on combat training, by all means feel free. Will you be any more successful in the very rare instance of a DGU than the 92 yo guy in Ky. firing his .22 from an easy chair? The old guy in the cyber cafe? The old broad in the jewelry store in SoCal?

          Let me hear from any DGU survivors that have had advanced force on force training or any of the How To Run Your AR like an operator courses. Any at all?

        2. avatar WLCE says:

          Nowhere did you say you lacked the mindset. Im telling you that you lack the mindset.

          Jesus christ. I used Yeager as a example of someone that was on the receiving end of enemy fire. Have you been? if not, then STFU. You have no leg to stand on.

          I have seen you and others here pull the “were civilians, not cops or soldiers” card. Bullshit. You are a member of the able-bodied militia. You are a member of america’s intelligentsia. Its time you start taking responsibility for some training and stop making excuses for why you don’t go.

          You dont have to spend large sums of money and time, but if money and time are a issue, then DONT F^CKING OWN A GUN. They take time and money to be proficient.

          And yes, I will be more successful because I have the training, experience, and mindset. Its not that hard of a concept to understand. No tyranny was ever overthrown from the comfort of a easy chair.

          Get f^cking real.

          Yes there are DGU survivors that have taken advanced training courses. Enough said.

          and that is profoundly idiotic logic. “A majority of DGU survivors havent had advanced training, therefore, I dont need advanced training”

          Check your mindset before you get someone killed.

        3. avatar 2hotel9 says:

          Actually, JWM’s bucket don’t hold no water. All the names he mentioned had extensive training, from living in a time when young men were taught early how to use weapons, fight bare handed and to use aggressive action to defend against enemies, both directly seen/declared and perceived.

        4. avatar jwm says:

          WLCE, yes, I have been under fire and have returned it. You’re not the only one with military training. Nobody can own or should own a gun until they’ve gone to Gunsite? You’ve just eleminated 95% of gun owners in America.

          2hotel9, another military call sign. I’m a West Virginia farmboy. What you describe is pretty much the way we were raised. I mostly answered to Baker 72.

        5. avatar 2hotel9 says:

          Ah! Sorry, missed that, did not realize that was a direct response to another commenter. I was raised in Pearl River County, Mississippi in the ’60s-’70s, so my upbringing was much the same. Was out in the world for quite a few years before I grasped the “reasoning” that allowed people to live with so much crime around them. Spent time in several 3rd world countries and still don’t understand why people did not pick up weapons and fight back. 2 separate issues that are connected by the same psychological problems/causes. I’m not built right to be a serf, peon or refugee. Robert Heinlein said it all.

        6. avatar 2hotel9 says:

          As to the “proper”training meme, I received my introduction to weapons and tactics at the hands of a Mud Marine, a veteran of the Pacific Campaigns, Korea and VietNam. He had little patience with screwing up, that earned you the back of his hand. Not gentle like, either. He hammered into all of us he taught that when the sh*t hits the fan you can only depend on yourself, and those you train with. That was followed by US Army Basic and AIT. I have maintained my training myself. No tacticool seminars. No big money gun clubs. No “cutting edge” books, other than LTC Grossman and Mr Christensen’s excellent work.

          Think.

          Prepare.

          Train.

          If you do not do these simple things you and your cause are lost.

        7. avatar WLCE says:

          “Nobody can own or should own a gun until they’ve gone to Gunsite? You’ve just eleminated 95% of gun owners in America.”

          /facepalm

          Where have I suggested such lunacy?

          Nowhere.

          I said it is the duty and responsibility of gun owners to obtain training and become proficient. Its time for a lot more self regulation among gun owners.

        8. avatar jwm says:

          Wlce, how do I read your remark that if money and time are a problem we shouldn’t own a gun? I know an elderly lady living in Oakland. When they were first married her husband bought a Colt .38 for the house. He taught her to load and fire it safely. He has since passed and she’s all alone and has been for many years. About once a year I take her fresh ammo for the gun and give it a once over. That gun has only been fired about 60 years ago when it was new. Should she not have a gun to protect herself with because she doesn’t devote time and money to training? And I’ll bet that 90% of the people running out to take tacticool classes have less legimate reason to fear violence than she does. She’s an elderly white woman living in a low income area of Oakland.

          I’m talking about ordinary people protecting themselves and you’re talking about overthrowing tyranny. You’ll grow old and grey training for an event that will never come.

        9. avatar WLCE says:

          “Wlce, how do I read your remark that if money and time are a problem we shouldn’t own a gun?”

          Thats not the same as what you suggested that I said. A little attention to detail would go a long ways.

          I know many people that spend the money on ammunition, targets, and associate themselves with knowledgeable people while having families or while making under 25,000 a year. They know how to budget and buy practical arms instead of joining the AR15 rush.

          I even know people that make less than 25K a year that pay for training. Im not saying you should, but Im saying people do it because their priorities are different.

          I get sick and tired of hearing people bitch and complain about money and time. Grow the f^ck up and take some responsibility.

          “…Should she not have a gun to protect herself with because she doesn’t devote time and money to training?”

          That is a question answered by her, not me, you, or the state.

          Im saying that just because her needs are different, doesnt mean that everyone should conduct themselves in the same manner.

          “Less legitimate reason” is entirely determined by myself and those that take “tacticool” classes. Sure, where I live is very safe and has a comparatively low crime rate. That doesn’t give me a excuse to not train or become more proficient. To me, training is obtaining more tools to put in my toolbox. I dont understand how anybody could be opposed to getting more tools for the toolbox. 😐

          “I’m talking about ordinary people protecting themselves and you’re talking about overthrowing tyranny.”

          Yes, that is the purpose of the 2nd amendment 😐

          Self defense is a perk, alongside hunting and sporting. That is the root of your problem, as I predicted from the last previous post: Mindset.

          “You’ll grow old and grey training for an event that will never come.”

          Except when they do. That is the same bullshit spouted by anti-gunners.

          It is the duty of everyone in the able bodied militia to be prepared and adequately trained to oppose foreign invasions and throw off tyranny. I can’t believe how f^cking soft and weak willed some people have gotten /shakes head.

          Do whatever you want. We have a responsibility to encourage people, especially new shooters, to make the right decisions, not pick the easier path.

        10. avatar Rich Grise says:

          Ben Shapiro nails it at 11:37 here:

  20. avatar 2hotel9 says:

    Ard. Dude. Chill. Just folks having a discussion on a Sunday afternoon. You make a lot of good points in your comments, people need to study and train, pointing out some of the basics they should consider is just smart. The 7 P Principle is not just a funny poster. Most citizens have no idea how unprepared they are for a lethal force situation until they are in it, then that booming voice in their head declares”I am not prepared!!!!”. Bit late then, they just got to bull their way through it. A little proper prior planning WILL prevent piss poor performance. Or at least get them through it alive.

  21. avatar Pat says:

    That Glock was a great pick. Buy a conversion barrel and its like two (or three) guns in one.

    1. avatar S. Nolan says:

      The 31 was a lot of fun, and I loved it.
      But the ammo costs were just a little up there. And I had a 9mm LWD for it, but I liked the snap and BOOOOOOOM that rolled through the back forty every shot in 357 SIG. I ended up selling the GLOCK because of ammo costs..

      Then, a couple months later, Sandy Hook cleared the shelves of every pistol caliber.. except 10mm, 32NAA…. and 357 SIG.

      One LGS had 357SIG on CLEARANCE…

      1. avatar 2hotel9 says:

        “One LGS had 357SIG on CLEARANCE…”

        Did you buy it?!?!? That is a solid investment, right there, especially after DHS bought up several million rds straight from production.

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