3 Gun Debates That Will Never Die

Clickbait about clickbait. How meta is that? But again, these posts serve an important purpose. Not only are they entertaining (if we do say so ourselves), they also stimulate debate and discussion. In other words, they’re raw meat for TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia, as well as educating charter members. So here they are . . .

1. Caliber wars!

The general consensus amongst caliber warriors: shot placement is the critical variable for any defensive firearm (and hunting and target shooting come to think of it). After that all hell breaks loose.

I wouldn’t carry a .22 caliber pistol for self-defense! Yeah? How’d you like to get shot by a .22? I won’t shoot anything that doesn’t being with a four. Hello? It’s easier to place a modern 9mm JHP than a snappy-ass .40 S&W round or a .45. And you get more of ’em!

Tell you what: let’s all shoot 10mm and be done with it. Unless you prefer .357. And if you’re going that way, .357 SIG is better for shooting through auto glass (great for crowded bars). And let’s not even get started on AR and shotgun calibers for home defense, hunting, long range shooting and bragging rights. Or should we?

To tell you the truth in all this excitement I kinda lost track myself. But being as you can buy a handgun chambered in .44 Magnum, once considered the most powerful handgun in the world, a gun that would blow your head clean off, you’ve gotta ask yourself one question: do I want a larger caliber? Well, do ya, punk?

2. The 1911 for Self-Defense!

I own three 1911’s: a Cabot, Wilson Combat and some weird-ass custom thing built on a Clark Custom Colt that had a bent barrel. I carry the Cabot and the Wilson and constantly SMH at WTF I was thinking with the Colt. They’re tiring to carry on my hip, but not as tiring as defending my decision to carry John Moses Browning’s meisterwerk.

There are gun owners who’d carry nothing but a 1911 (which doesn’t include me). They can explain their decision in both practical and emotional terms (don’t get me started). And then there are those who’d rather carry a hammer- or striker-fired mouse gun than any 1911. Or a hammer. Or a box of matches (to strike). And never the Twain shall meet.

In fact, I’ll let Mr. Clemens have the last word from his book Roughing ItI submit this pre-1911 passage to remind gentle readers that a 1911 remains a whole lot better than what came before it. FWIW.

I was armed to the teeth with a pitiful little Smith & Wesson’s seven-shooter, which carried a ball like a homeopathic pill, and it took the whole seven to make a dose for an adult. But I thought it was grand. It appeared to me to be a dangerous weapon. It had only one fault–you could not hit anything with it.

3. The Second Amendment!

“A well-balanced breakfast being necessary for the start of a healthy day, the right of the people to keep and eat food shall not be infringed.” Who has the right to food? A well-balanced breakfast or the people?

Wait. Isn’t breakfast the most important meal of the day? And doesn’t a militia eat breakfast? Or at least run on its stomach?

Regardless of their dietary habits, the left will never surrender their belief that there’s no such thing as an individual right to keep and bear arms. And even if there is — sorry “was” (the Constitution being a living document and all) such a right — there are some individuals who shouldn’t have guns.

Like . . . all individuals! Except the police. And the military. And the bodyguards protecting celebrities and politicians who campaign for civilian disarmament in all its loathsome forms.

But definitely not crazy folks, like, say, the 30 – 40 million Americans taking the edge of life in a statist society with anti-depressants. Or NRA members, OFWGs who are so paranoid about people taking their guns away that someone should take their guns away.

Good luck with that. [/sarc] Meanwhile, these three debates will rage until the planet gets so damn hot all the guns in the world melt. You heard it here first.


  1. avatar Vhyrus says:

    Anyone else imagining them singing ‘endless love’ in that picture?

    1. avatar Bosko says:

      Well, maybe like Sonny & Cher singing “I Got You Babe”

      1. avatar pieslapper says:

        More like Ugly Kid Joe’s ‘I hate everything about you ‘.

    2. avatar strych9 says:

      In retrospect Ludcris seems more apropos:

  2. avatar Alex Waits says:

    don’t forget AR vs. AK 😛

    1. avatar Vhyrus says:

      Tavor. That was easy.

      1. avatar MLee says:

        Can I play the AK vs AR?
        After a long period of research, considering possible use vs overall prices vs the ability to withstand the rigors of a societal meltdown due to a natural disaster or otherwise, I chose a high-end milled AK platform in 7.62 Really, in the end, it comes down to heads or tails, left or right and sometimes rock or scissors. A person makes a choice and sometimes the determining factor can be nothing more than color.

        When a persons head hits the pillow at night and closes their eyes and begins to drift off into dream world, nothing else matters other than the person is happy with the choice they made. What everyone else thinks or says in entirely inconsequential.

        1. avatar Norincojay says:

          Except it’s easier to get parts for an AR. All different brands of .223/5.56 use the same parts. With the AK the parts from different countries of origin can’t all be switched. I say get two of each or 2 Bulgarian ak47s, 2 bulgy 74s and 2 ARs. Maybe an SKS for those just in case times. So 7?

      2. avatar MLee says:

        @ Norincojay
        That’s what I have, is a Bulgy AK47. It’s the milled Arsenal, the SAM7R Since I have never owned an AR pattern rifle but I have previously owned the Galil ARM .308, it made more sense for me to go with the milled Bulgy as that what I have experience in. I LIKE IT! 🙂

    2. avatar California Richard says:

      1st rule of governmant spending: why settle for when one, when you can have both for only twice the price.

  3. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    4. Revolver vs. semi-auto
    5. Pistol vs. rifle vs. shotgun for home defense.
    6. Perazzi vs. Krieghoff

    1. avatar Alex Waits says:

      Krieghoff.. don’t be a heathen. 😛

  4. avatar Me says:

    AR vs. ? Well I’ve never laid hands on an AK that was truly comfortable to me, if I can’t take any pleasure from shooting it, well, why own it? Pistol calibers, well, I’m getting to the point where I almost have one, or three of each, though I tend to favor the .45acp, had so many problems with the only .40 I’ve ever owned, it turned me against the caliber, and any s&e auto pistol. Shotguns, I have a few, in 12ga of course. As to what my home defense is, well, whatever I pick up first, most of them stay chambered and fully loaded. So I’ll end my rant with a solution, if I don’t like a particular gun, for any reason, I don’t buy it. If you don’t like my choice in ballistic leverage, look the other way and feel free to piss off. That is all.

  5. avatar strych9 says:

    The thread that ties all of these things together, and is the root of the reason they will never die, is because a fairly large number of people are flat out stupid. Yeah, I said it. If that fact offends you, well you might just be dumb. There always have and always will be people a few standard deviations from the norm and not in the right direction (see what I did there?).

    1. Dumb. Shoot what you shoot well and tell anyone who says otherwise to fuck off. If you have an injury or due to old age .22 is what you can handle, well it’s better than nothing and plenty of people have been dirt-napped by that humble little cartridge. No one’s going to just stand there and let you shoot them with it so I’m guessing that even the dumbest folks on Earth understand it can seriously screw up your day.

    2. Dumb. See #1.

    3. Well, some people are just overly emotional and emos gonna emote. These folks are also dumb. Personally, I have a completely irrational fear of spiders but that doesn’t result in me crying that my neighbor can’t have a collection of pet tarantulas (although it does lead me to sometimes, in my darker moments, think that every storm cloud has a silver lining and extend that line of thinking to house fires).

  6. avatar DrewR says:

    1) (to be read in the Cinema Snobs voice) Clearly the only acceptable caliber for personal defense is the .357 MAXIMUM.

    2) If your 1911 is younger than your dad, and made by a decent company, you are probably good to go. CNC machines have allowed a lot more companies to make decent guns for much less money.

    3) Seriously, how can anyone misinterpret “shall not be infringed”?

    1. avatar Norincojay says:

      Courts use three different ways to interpret amendments. Strict, intermediate and loose. They decide which they want to use so they can get the answer they want not what the founders intended. So the 1st is strict and the 2nd loose interpretation. It’s ridiculous that they can use different methods depending on which amendment it is.

  7. avatar GS650G says:

    Or if the .9mm is better than the 40 mm for home defense.

  8. avatar Zeke says:

    Han shot first!

  9. avatar ORCON says:

    “Clickbait about clickbat. How meta is that?”


  10. avatar Skoon says:

    I was hoping this going to be a debate about three gun… Bummer. Id love an article about how to get into it

    1. avatar Jm says:

      Best advuce. Google a match then email a d ask any questions you have. Only stupid questuon is one you dont ask. Then be prepared to spend $ cause its frickin addicting and you will always want to upgrade SOMETHING.

  11. avatar James69 says:

    No, he’s singing “I’ve got 99 problems but a bitch ain’t one”

  12. avatar James69 says:

    AR vs AK…. own both. Caliber wars get em’ all! 2nd amendment use it daily.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      I would love to own an AK if I could get one at a reasonable price in 7.62 NATO. IMO the real reason to own an AR15 or AR10 is that in the unlikely event you actually need it for militia-type work the NATO calibers are universal in this country and could/would be supplied by whatever organization you allied with. East bloc calibers, not so much.

      Historical note: there is a good reason why opposing political/national groups designed and built weapons in calibers incompatible with those of their potential enemies – you can’t raid the enemy’s ammo dump and supply your own troops with captured ammo. Duh.

  13. 4) Terminology. For example:
    “Is it a silencer or a suppressor?”
    “It’s 45 Colt, not 45 Long Colt!”
    “It’s a magazine, not a clip!”
    “It’s a muzzle brake, not a muzzle break!”
    “5.56 NATO and .223 Remington are not the same thing!”
    “What’s the difference between a so-called ‘assault weapon’ and an ‘assault rifle’ and a ‘battle rifle’?
    “What’s the ‘Shoulder thing that goes up’ and why does Diane Feinstein hate it so much?
    “Why must the preferred term for causing a gun to fire change every ten years from ‘PULL the trigger’ to ‘SQUEEZE the trigger’ to ‘PRESS the trigger’? What will we say ten years from now, ‘PUSH the trigger’ or ‘MASSAGE’ the trigger or ‘MAKE LOVE TO’ the trigger???”
    “Why must we call every idiot who asks a question on a gun blog ‘The Op’, as if he’s a Special Forces operator?”
    “SMH, why do OFWG and other POTG love acronyms so much? FWIW, IMHO acronyms can be a PITA for even an OFWG POTG to read, SMH, although YMMV.”

    1. avatar James69 says:

      I believe the usage was common since Colt had factory cartridges like the .32 Short Colt, .32 Long Colt, .38 Short Colt, .38 Long Colt, .41 Short Colt and the .41 Long Colt…… and they did make a short colt the .45 Colt Government. A rimmed cartdridge Longer than the .45 acp but “shorter” than the .45 colt

    2. avatar Cliff H says:

      What will we say ten years from now?

      “What trigger? Just point the damn thing downrange and THINK about making it go bang. The smart interface attuned to your brain waves will do the rest.”

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