The Worst Self-Defense Advice Ever?

Bad self-defense advice

Between gun stores and the internet, gun owners new and old can learn a lot.  Great information is widely available (including right here at The Truth About Guns!) about gun ownership, maintaining guns and their use in competition, recreation and self-defense.  Unfortunately, the quality of information can vary widely.  Some bits of advice and information are particularly bad.   These can cost your life, liberty and or pursuit of happiness.

As a relative newcomer, I’ve been into guns for only about four decades and an instructor for half that.  I strive to bring the best and latest information.  However, I keep running into some terrible nuggets of Fool’s Gold that keep getting repeated.

These “gems” include:

All you need is one shot.   A handgun fires a peanut-sized piece of lead at modest velocities.   Hollywood does not exist in the real world.  Keep shooting until the threat to innocent life has ended.  Then look around you as you “scan and assess” for additional threats.  As my cop friends say, “There is no additional paperwork for firing at least twice if you have to shoot.”  In fact, typical training has officers firing at least a controlled pair anytime they discharge their handguns.

Birdshot is all you need for home defense.   Birdshot is great…for hunting birds.  If a killer crow attacks you, then yes, use birdshot.  On the other hand, for home defense against Mongo the Mauler who has pumped iron in prison for the last ten years?  Not so much.  Ditto for Mongo’s little brother who couldn’t do a dozen push ups.

Yes, at point-blank range, birdshot works with devastating results.  I personally don’t want a bad guy anywhere near that close though.  You probably don’t want them that close either.   Remember, a bad guy can easily cover 21 feet in 1.5 seconds.  Most can cover six feet faster than a person can react, so maintain that reactionary gap.  Distance is your friend.  Buckshot (or slugs) will work wonderfully at room-length (and greater) distances, where birdshot will not.  Bad boys who take a 12- or 20-gauge load of buckshot or a rifled slug to the chest typically go to the morgue, not the ER Department.

Soil yourself to show you feared for your life – or to make yourself less attractive as a victim.   Yes, you may lose bowel and bladder control during or shortly after an incident.  Relying on that to keep you out of jail is a crappy plan, pun intended.  So too is any self-defense plan that involves soiling yourself to resist an attack.

Not even five years ago, the Illinois State Police under Democrat Governor Pat Quinn recommended women gag themselves and vomit on their attacker.  If that isn’t bad enough advice, it also suggested telling their attacker they had VD or AIDS.  (The original ISP website advice has long since been stricken, but is discussed here.)

Illinois gun rights advocates had a little fun with this back in the day:

The sound of a shotgun racking is all you need to scare baddies away.   Sure, some describe the sound of a pump action shotgun loading as the “Universal Sound of Peace”.  Hollywood has taught everyone world-wide what a shotgun racking sounds like.  Unfortunately, it also telegraphs your possession of a shotgun – and your location to the opposition.  Yes, admittedly, more than one miscreant has been “dissuaded” from their unholy acts in this manner.  However, this tactic that can backfire.  Better to retain the element of surprise than give it away.

For safety, don’t carry a round in the chamber.  Some call this carrying “Israeli style”.  Deadly force encounters usually happen very quickly.  Even the best practitioners need a minimum of 1.5 seconds or more to draw from concealment from a cold start.  Add in another second to rack the slide? Even eighty-year-old men with bad joints can cover 21 feet in 1.5 seconds.  How long will the 17-year-old hoodlum take when he’s charging you with a knife, club or other weapon?  Ditto for the snarling Pit Bull or Rottweiler with bad breath and an even worse demeanor?

You may not even have a spare hand with which to rack your slide if you’re dragging your beloved wife or daughter out of a bad situation and need that gun at the same time.  Then there’s the noise of racking the slide, announcing to the world that you have a gun and have just loaded it.  It makes for good Hollywood drama, but not good tactics.

If you can’t keep your cotton pickin’ finger off the bang switch, then get training or more training.

.22 long rifle bullets will “bounce around” inside a bad guy.   Yes, the venerable .22 long rifle.  It’s outlawed  by the Geneva Convention as too deadly, some have told me.  Why?  Because a .22 bounces around inside a human body/skull, inflicting horrific damage.  Yes, if you believe that, I would like to introduce you to my Uncle Joe for more great advice…

Anything Joe Biden says.  Joe Biden served the role of useful idiot for his eight years as Vice-President.  His self-defense advice?  “Ladies, get a double barrel shotgun.

Here’s a video that shows Biden’s advice works out for novice women.  Try not to let your blood boil from idiot men ruining women on shooting.  These Neanderthals hand the women in their lives an inappropriate firearm as the woman’s introduction to shooting.  (And then bystanders laugh!)  The gross safety issues on display afterwards put everyone at risk, too.

Biden also famously suggested firing a shotgun through a door to keep people away.  He also advocated firing a couple of rounds off the balcony to scare off intruders.

You don’t even have to aim shotguns.  This one is true – if you don’t care what you hit.  If you discharge that shotgun in self-defense, you stand liable for each and every one of those pellets.  It would behoove you to aim carefully.  Know your target and what is beyond it is the NRA’s first rule of using a gun.

Shoot the bad guy in the leg or arm.  (Or shoot the gun out of their hand.)  Once more, Hollywood training has infected the minds of good people.  The Lone Ranger could shoot the gun out of a bad guy’s hand without even aiming.

The A-Team.

The A-Team got themselves out of trouble by simply shooting in the general direction of the bad actors without ever hitting anyone.  (Some say that’s because of the sometimes notorious inaccuracy of the Mini-14, but that’s another TTAG post entirely…)

Aim for the center of the exposed mass of the target (or if they remain partially hidden behind concealment, shoot through the barrier).  Shoot until the threat has ended.

If they fall outside the door or window, drag them back inside.   Really?  You think today’s crime scene investigators or prosecutors (or members of your jury) are going to buy that?  Tampering with a crime scene will make you look very guilty.

If it’s too dark for you to see the sights, it’s too dark for you to identify the target.  This is why we install luminous night sights on our defensive firearms (including long guns).   People move and lighting changes in dynamic situations.  Have a plan; be prepared.  Most cops put night sights on their guns for good reason.  Well, except the “Hollywood” cops on Chicago PD.

And perhaps the “best” (worst?) for last:

We have cops to protect everyone, you don’t need a gun…

Okay, members of the Armed Intelligentsia:  What are some of the worst tips you have encountered in the wild?


  1. avatar former water walker says:

    I’ll add “don’t have a gun-the bad guy’ll just take it from you!?

    1. avatar Chris Morton says:

      The last time somebody told me the gun “would just be taken away”, I replied, “If it’s THAT easy, just take it BACK.”

      Of course if you shoot somebody twice center of mass and once in the head, the only thing they’re likely to take is their last breath or two. It’s a little known fact that in addition to a proper noun, “Mozambique” can be a verb…

      1. avatar Nigel the expat says:

        “If it’s THAT easy, just take it BACK.”

        LOL. Thanks, I that made my morning.

  2. avatar Southern Cross says:

    Believe or not but birdshot is often used as a supposedly “non-lethal” riot control munition. It’s use is definitely well known in South Africa.

    1. avatar anaxis says:

      I remember on an old “Faces of Death” movie my friend had in high-school, there was a video of some demonstration in S. America. A bunch of riot cops had intercepted a bus of students and were forcing them to run a gauntlet of sticks and boots as they were run off the bus. And for whatever reason, a cop with a shotgun took a shot at the last kid coming off from waist level and missed. The first blast of what looked like birdshot splattered the side of the bus and took off the paint, but the second caught the kid in the belly at about 5ft range. He collapsed and obviously bled out in the video’s last 30 seconds. It was pretty disturbing.

      1. avatar Southern Cross says:

        Like many many riot control munitions, including the often (mis)used PVC baton round (aka the Rubber Bullet) and the plastic projectiles used in 5.56 service rifles, there are MINIMUM ranges for these to be used. Inside these ranges the projectiles can be lethal. But often (as witnessed by cameras) the distances are notably LESS than the minimum.

        The PVC baton round had a minimum distance of about 20 yards and was supposed to be ricocheted off the ground at close distances. But it usually used at direct fire regardless of the distance. The plastic 5.56 bullets have a stated MINIMUM distance of 100 yards, but news broadcasts from Israel and Indonesia show them being used at much closer ranges.

  3. avatar Isaac says:

    The old can of insecticide or oven cleaner as a replacement for pepper spray… or a firearm.

    1. avatar NorincoJay says:

      WASP spray.

      1. avatar Charles says:

        I can testify to the effectiveness of wasp spray on an aggressive coyote. I suspect humans would find it offensive as well, especially if you light it. Haven’t tried this myself, let us know how it works.

      2. avatar Nigel the expat says:

        What do I use if I’m not defending myself from angry white people of a certain faith?

        /runs off stage

    2. avatar Big Lou says:

      Yeah, with a lighter. FLAME ON.

  4. avatar David says:

    I think the best (worst) thing I heard was a salesman at a gun store counter saying to keep a .44 mag around when you’re home, that way if someone shady comes to your door you can shoot them through the door. I never went back to that shop.

    1. avatar JasonM says:

      If you do go back, make sure to announce your presence as a law-abiding customer first. 😉

      1. avatar Kyle says:

        ROFLMAO….(for real!)

      2. avatar Nigel the expat says:

        Heh, winner!

    2. avatar DDay says:

      A friend of mine was boasting about the great advice he got from his gun instructor for his safety course. He said the instructor told him if anyone ever broke in the house, call 911 and tell them someone broke in and you are armed and will defend yourself. Then “put the phone down but do not hang up”, then defend yourself.

      What kind of a moron instructor tells someone to leave the phone on to let 911 record everything that happens, which would give cops info to try and destroy your story or if there are delays between shots, etc., they could use all that against you.

      My friend seriously believes that was great information the instructor gave him. Stupid.

      1. avatar JSW says:

        We obviously had the same instructor. Sad to say. It’s some of the last advice I’d follow, perhaps starting with ‘dial 9-1-1 in the first place.

        1. avatar Bruce says:

          Skipping the 911 call can be dangerous. Several interrelated reasons to call 911:
          – The police, when they show up, tend to be predisposed towards whomever made the 911 call. In at least one insistence, the other party called 911, complaining about the guy with the gun, etc., and they apparently arrested him.
          – In order to get a self-defense jury instruction, you need to be able to show some evidence supporting self-defense, and then (apparently) in every state, except for Ohio, the burden is on the prosecutor to disprove at least one element of self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. Merely alleging self-defense in the pleadings is often insufficient – you need evidence, not argument. The 911 tape is invariably admissible, and if your assertion of your need to exercise self-defense is on it, that is typically sufficient. Absent that, you may need to testify on your own behalf, in order to make a self-defense claim, which is something that most defense attys try to avoid, since that allows the prosecutor to cross-examine you.
          – If you don’t call 911, and do engage in a defensive use of force, expect the prosecutor to try to use that failure to call 911 as proof of a guilty conscience.
          – On the flip side, your calling 911 before the DGU can be used as evidence of just the opposite. A classic case of this was George Zimmerman talking on the phone with the non-911 operator shortly before he shot Trayvon Martin in justified self-defense. That call was useful in discrediting most of the prosecution’s theories of the case, and part of why some suggested that Zimmerman’s atty proved his self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt (when the burden was just the opposite, that the prosecution disprove it beyond a reasonable doubt). It is hard to envision a situation where the public opinion is more incited against someone than this, with President Obama saying that if he had had a son, he would have been like Martin, and then dispatching his DoJ to double check the case, and despite all that, Zimmerman prevailed.

      2. avatar Clark Kent says:

        Speaking of stupid, you DO realize the police have NOTHING to do with prosecuting cases and that is the job of the aptly named PROSECUTOR? Take a civics 101 class before spouting any more ignorant bilge.

    3. avatar Ranger Rick says:

      Through the years I can recall little advice of value at a gun store, especially from the chuckleheads that recommended a Glock for all my pistol needs.

      1. avatar Clark Kent says:

        You mean YOU were the chucklehead to ignore good advice……

  5. avatar Rick the Bear (MA to NH) says:

    “Soil yourself to show you feared for your life – or to make yourself less attractive as a victim.”

    That sometimes happens to me when I shoot my AUG: I get residue on my support hand and I have to wash up. Is that not what he meant? 8>)

    “If it’s too dark for you to see the sights, it’s too dark for you to identify the target.”

    I think that this is a valid point. Yes, night sights help you see the sights. They don’t help you ensure that your target is a deadly threat, though.

    1. avatar bobmcd says:

      “If it’s too dark for you to see the sights, it’s too dark for you to identify the target.”

      The problem is when the good guy is in a relatively dark room and the bad guy is in a relatively well-lit room. At that point, the good guy can’t see the sights. (I base this on recently trying out fiber-optic-only sights in my basement.) This is why I am going from fiber-optic-only sights to fiber optic plus tritium.

      1. avatar Dm says:

        Buy the brightest weapon light you can get your hands on, problem solved.

        1. avatar Pax says:

          A weapon light that shines in front of your sights helps you see the sights better how exactly?

        2. avatar Mark says:

          Pax, hold your finger in front of your screen. How are you seeing your finger exactly? Not the brightest bulb

      2. avatar JasonM says:

        Also, the bad guy has a much larger silhouette than the front sight. And the contrast of the view matters much more in low lighting:
        Most of us have light colored walls. Most bad guys wear dark colors. It’s easier to see a bad guy in dark against a light wall.
        Most bad guys wear dark colors. Most iron sights are black. It’s harder to see black iron sights against the backdrop of a darkly dressed assailant.

        I have tritium or reflex sights on any gun I’d use in a self-defense scenario.

        1. avatar Clark Kent says:

          ‘Most bad guys wear dark colors’. Looks like the author missed one of the worst self defense advice ever. How old are you, twelve?

      3. avatar Pax says:

        Exactly. I have security lights that cast light into the yard, but I may be (and probably should be) in a shadowed area. I’m still gonna need night sights to be effective.

    2. avatar JSW says:

      Why not just turn on the house lights?

      And practice Point Shooting in low/no light. Roger Philips has a good instructional book/DVD.

      1. avatar Jean says:

        The problem with that is finding low-light/alternate shooting position friendly range time.

    3. Self defense isn’t a game of Duck Duck Goose. I can’t imagine a scenario where I have had to draw my gun, but now am faced with the problem of multiple figures running around in the dark and I have to identify the bad guy among the good.
      Identifying your target doesn’t necessitate seeing eye color.

  6. avatar Cyrano says:

    Bird shot won’t work. Except it will up to 40 feet if you use #4 and a mod choke. I have a full run down by distance with watermelons, gourds, double denim, and insulated clothing. All scenarios were more than minimally lethal.

    1. avatar tdiinva (now in wisconsin) says:

      I think they mean dove load. Turkey loads are plenty lethal at short range.

      1. avatar JasonM says:

        I assumed around a #7 or #8, like the ones Walmart sells for skeet/trap shooting.
        They’d match up with the wounds on that guy’s back.

    2. avatar James69 says:

      Bird shot when fired from a 12ga USING a turkey choke (EX-full) will hold together/w wad 8-12 feet or more so you have a frag slug. Turkey choke will solve any low gas issues you have with semi-auto shotguns too FYI. NO BUCKSHOT OR SLUGS.

  7. avatar Timmy! says:

    “scan and assess”

    I first read that as “scan for asses” and LOL’d

    1. avatar BLoving says:

      No, no….
      You had the right of it… he wrote it wrong.

    2. avatar ORCON says:

      I like how Matt Best puts it:

      “Scan for targets like you just shit your pants and hope no one saw.”

  8. avatar tdiinva (now in wisconsin) says:

    Nutnfancy took a Mini 14 to FLETC. Go watch the video and tell me if you think the rifle is inaccurate. This is just AR fanboy BS.

    1. avatar NorincoJay says:

      I have an 80’s era mini14 stainless folding with bayo lug and flash hider. It’s a great gun, but heavier than it looks because of the metal folding stock. Have to say The A-Team influenced that purchase. It’s just a sweet looking rifle. IMHO it’s an American AK reliable and accurate enough.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        That folding stock by itself is worth at least $300.

        That’s what I sold mine for about 15 years back when life was imploding.

        It really is a neat package, mine was the stainless ranch with scope rings but it didn’t have the bayo lug.

        What drove me to buy it was the last three digits of the serial were 223…

    2. avatar Jason says:

      Apparently there was a patch where Ruger’s tooling was worn and the rifles weren’t up to what they should be, but since they corrected that, and went to the heavy barrel, yes, the Mini 14 is almost as accurate as an AR at 100 yards. Certainly the person being shot by it won’t be able to tell the difference.

  9. avatar Dm says:

    You dont need x number of rounds
    That flashlight has too many lumens
    Dont carry aiwb or you’ll die
    Shot placement doesnt matter
    Rifles are awful for home defense
    Silencers are only for bad guys
    Weapon lights are entirely unnecessary
    Revolvers are the best self defense firearms known to man
    9mm is a dumb choice for self defense
    Aim for the pelvic girdle
    Shot timers make excellent self defense training tools
    I could go on, but you get the idea. Any number of fudd comments and silly sugesstions/myths from those either too lazy to research and train, or too stubborn to set aside dogma.

    1. avatar Ed says:

      Aiwb is an absolutely stupid way to carry.. nothing about muzzling your femoral artery and naughty bits at point blank range is smart, period. Also, before you start with the “finger discipline” jazz let’s keep in mind pistols are machines and all mechanical devices are susceptible to sudden/unforseen failure. If there is even a five million to one chance that while sitting my firearm may unintentionally discharge I DO NOT want it to be towards any of the aforementioned areas, quite the opposite in fact.

      1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

        Amen. I think it’s asinine myself and I don’t know why it’s gotten popular. The only thing I can guess is (seriously) people want to show off the fact that they’re fit enough to pull it off.

        1. avatar Timmy! says:

          Fit hell! I’m a ginormous fat-ass and I appendix carry daily. My dunlop (belly done lopped over the belt) covers and conceals the gun perfectly. When sitting, the muzzle is (at worst) pointed down the TOP of my thigh, or (most often) off to the right. I’m nowhere near muzzling my femoral artery or my junk. Although I haven’t seen said junk in a while due to the aforementioned dunlop, but that’s a different story.

        2. avatar Ed says:

          Also,People who say “ only points at my thigh most of the time really need to see what a temporary wound cavity looks like. 9mm or better out of a sub-compact or full size pistol point blank would make a T.W.C. well over 6 ” so anything more than a slight graze to the thigh puts you in serious danger of hemorrhage. Nope, not this fat guy…desantis mini scabbard holds my pistol nice n tight to my body.

      2. The same guys against appendix carry are the same guys that think NDS are okay as long as no one gets hurt.

      3. avatar VPR says:

        If you think your gun has any chance at all of just suddenly going off by itself… buy a new gun.

    2. avatar VerendusAudeo says:

      A rifle that’s short enough to be maneuverable is great for home defense. And killing your kids or neighbor when you over-penetrate by two or three interior walls.

      1. avatar Red in CO says:

        .223 Remington will actually over penetrate LESS than any shotgun or handgun ammo (a tiny, light, ultra fast round that is inherently unstable and has a strong tendency to fragment isn’t going to over penetrate by much). There’s a reason SWAT has largely moved away from SMG’s and adopted .223 carbines instead.

      2. avatar Guardiano says:

        Use .300 Blackout with 220-gr HPBT. No overpenetration, very lethal, subsonic so you can suppress it and have an even better home defense tool.

  10. avatar Hannibal says:

    Glad to see the ‘shoot them outside and drag them in’ is there.

    But then again it wasn’t more than a couple of days ago that an article here seemed to suggest running at a burglar to use a contact shot which I think would qualify under this heading as well.

  11. avatar Ralph says:

    “Charge a bad guy with a gun.”

    Now, where did I read that?

    1. avatar jwm says:

      The DA can charge him.

      1. avatar ORCON says:


  12. avatar JDC says:

    I like the pneumatic recoil assist located on the chest of that one young lady.
    I also disagree with the shot thing. It depends on the shot. If it’s a #7 1/2 shot target load? Sure, I wouldn’t use that. I have my 590A1 loaded with high velocity max weight #4 shot. If anyone wants to volunteer to break into my house to try out the lethality, feel free. Would I use it outside the house for anything large? Probably not.

    1. avatar JDC says:

      By the way, that load is Federal’s 2 3/4″ Pheasant load with 1 1/4 ounce of #4 at 1500fps. If you’re really into #4, there’s a 2 ounce load in a 3″ shell.

  13. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    why the picture of hillary’s measles?

    racking the slide before firing means you have one less round than you should.

  14. avatar kevin says:

    I know a cop who carries on an empty chamber. He claims he can rack the slide and fire just as quickly as someone who carries loaded. He thought this would help him avoid a negligent discharge, or keep a baddie from shooting him if they got ahold of his gun. Seriously.

    And no, I didn’t argue with him. I just nodded at his sage advice and went about my business.

    1. avatar Guardiano says:

      I know a number of people who should know better who do the same thing. I’ve tried to give them the correct advice but they tend to get emotional about it for some reason, so I usually just back off and say “personal preference I guess.” At least I was able to convince my wife to carry with one in the chamber. As a new carrier she initially was uncomfortable with the idea of her Glock 27 being ready to go bang all​ the time, but got used to carrying after a month or so and racked a round into that chamber.

    2. avatar Gunr says:

      Anytime you “rack” a weapon, there is always a slight chance of the weapon having a “once in a lifetime” malfunction. That one time could be the time you are confronting a bad guy in you’re bedroom.
      If you are keeping an empty chamber for safety reasons, and you are using an autoloader, then get one with a hammer, and double action, and keep the hammer down. I have a Beretta 92, and that’s the way I keep it. “Fully loader” and hammer down.
      Comments welcomed.

      1. avatar Denis says:

        I agree completely. My 911 style autos are carried safety on, hammer down, one in the chamber. Life time of experience allows me to be confident this way. To each his own!

        1. avatar Clark Kent says:

          Where can I purchase a ‘911’ style auto?

        2. avatar Chris. says:

          Most 1911’s can not engage the safety when the hammer is down.

  15. avatar Mosinfan says:

    “Why do you think you need a gun? Just call the police!”, while looking at me as if I was the crazy one.

  16. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    Last weekend I patterned my 12 gauge trap gun at 40 yards with 7 1/2 shot. The pattern was similar in size to that guy in the picture.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Forty yards is a tidge bit longer distance than most houses have to offer. I had the opportunity to test a bunch of shotguns and loads in an old farmhouse that was scheduled for demo. Buckshot. #6 shot. No real difference. At any distance and angle we could get the shot load was in a very small and solid group.

      We punched thru walls and solid wood doors. Again, no difference between buck and birdshot. The longest shot I took was from the top of the stairs to the front door. A solid door. At that distance the #6 shot pattern was roughly twice the bore size of a 12 bore. That load tore a very nice hole right thru the door. Anybody on the other side would have had a very bad day.

      1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

        Chokes and wad cups can make a difference too, but I generally agree that bloodshot can be lethal at 30 feet.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          This was in rural Kentucky over 35 years ago. People used their hunting shotguns to do duty as house guns. Modified or full choke on 26-28 inch barrels. Same gun had to reach out to critters messing about the chickens.

  17. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

    Respectfully, the element of surprise doesn’t mean jack in a home defense situation. Yelling at the bad guy to let him know the police are incoming and that you’re not a helpless victim is a great idea. Home invaders are loopy thugs* that don’t want a confrontation, not operationally operating hit squads.

    * As a rule. I realize there are near-hollywood-professional level pros but those guys won’t invade while you’re there anyway.

  18. avatar TexPat says:

    What kind of gun did Barney Fife use?

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Colt. Official Police .38 special. The round of ammo he’s holding looks like a 158 grain lead round nose. Which was pretty much what most of the cops in America used at the time this show was made.

    2. avatar KCK says:

      you would think a 38Sp but does that cartridge look a little 357ish

      1. avatar Tile floor says:

        I grew up watching Andy Griffith with my dad and still watch it. I work PD now and keep a .38 round in my front left pocket as an homage to Barney and for good luck

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Barney was a bad ass. He Israeli carried a revolver. With only one bullet in his shirt pocket.

  19. avatar Accur81 says:

    Good article covering most of the bad advice I’ve heard.

    I was told to never shoot JHPs at paper. Never mind checking POA / POI or reliability, just never shoot JHPs at paper because it’s wasteful. I still do 200 rounds of my SD JHP from my platform before I declare it reliable.

    1. avatar Charles says:

      Perhaps my brain just broke. What? Seriously? Still trying to process the stupid.

  20. avatar UpinVT says:

    So TTAG just copies posts from

  21. avatar AlexInOR says:

    In response to my request for a box of .45 Gold Dots, the fella at the counter informed me, “You don’t even need hollow points with a .45. These will do just fine.” He set a box of American Eagle 230gr FMJ on the counter. I’ll never understand why he was using stupid advice to talk people out of spending more on defensive ammo, in favor of range fodder.

    1. avatar Mort says:

      “All will fall before the ball,” eh?

      C’mon… evvverybody has met that guy who says: “I heard it’s best to only use Full Metal Jacket, because you’re more likely to be charged with murder if you use hollow points… because they’re like, so deadly and they show that you obviously don’t care about human life… and because like, the Geneva Convention….”

      …and so on wretched nonsense, until you slap the the guy and say, “Dude… stop, please.”

      Be safe, especially with them nasty hollow points.

      1. avatar Big Bill says:

        He sounds like an “old school” .45 user, from back when HPs would reliably refuse to open up. No sense, back then, of paying extra for something that worked the same as ball.
        While the Geneva accords do say HPs aren’t for use in warfare (in general), they don’t even mention home defense, yet I often hear the canard that the Geneva Accords prohibit their use against people.
        And .50s are only for use against equipment, not people, so aim for the belt buckle.

        1. avatar Clark Kent says:

          First of all, it the HAGUE convention, not the Geneva convention. Secondly, it only applies to military personnel, not civilians. So disregard….

        2. avatar Big Bill says:

          Clark: Even I can learn something new! Thanks.

          I will stand by my comments about “old school” 1911 users, back when hollow points failed to open more than not.
          Newer metallurgy and design has resulted in much more positive opening of hollow points.

    2. Don’t have the link but there is a video of an ER doctor explaining the lethality of gunshot wounds. He showed an x-ray of a hollow point .45 shot close range into the chest. The bullet penetrated the sternum but stopped short of the heart. The patient survived.
      Underpenetration is a thing too.

  22. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Snick the safety off every time you unholster a 1911, even when placing the gun on your nightstand.

  23. avatar Jason says:

    The most stupid advice you’ll see about self-defence?

    Probably, “You don’t need to know the laws around self-defence, they’ll just cause you to hesitate.”

    Well sure, if your life ambition is to be locked up with your new best friend, Bubba, then by all means take that advice. If you have other plans then know the laws, know them like a lawyer would if possible, and don’t deviate from them.

    And when dealing with the police after such an event don’t blab. “I’m sorry officer, I’m fully willing to cooperate once I’ve talked to my lawyer,” is all you should say. Also, keep a good lawyer on retainer.

  24. avatar Jeff in Oregon says:

    Glocks arent safe, they have no safety, what you need is a double action revolver…

    1. avatar Big Bill says:

      “Glock” is Austrian for “unintentional discharge.”

      1. avatar James69 says:

        no GLOCK means “ass shot” ……. DA REVOLVER is THE best choice if you have the means to conceal it. K.I.S.S. I’ve been looking at the 85 poly as a SD carry weapon. Ultra light and small.

        1. avatar Clark Kent says:

          There are ZERO unsafe modern firearms. There are unfortunately some unsafe firearm USERS. Firearm safety resides BETWEEN THE EARS, not upon ANY mechanical ‘safety’ device, period, end of story. P.S. There is no such thing as an ‘accidental discharge’; just NEGLIGENT discharges.

    2. avatar Gunr says:

      I have a couple of D.A. revolvers, both 38 spl. One has an aluminum frame, the other, titanium. Both, super light. And no, I don’t carry them with an empty chamber, 5 rounds is a bad enough handicap, without make it one round less.
      Oh yes, I carry a NAA 22 holstered magnum in my pocket 24/7 These little guns have a very efficient safety. The hammer can be lowered and rest in a retaining groove, between each cylinder.

      1. avatar Clark Kent says:

        Hate to burst your bubble, but the 22 LR, 25 ACP and 32 ACP are all WORTHLESS for self defense purposes, period, end of story. Those rounds will not reliably STOP THE LETHAL THREAT PRONTO.

  25. avatar samuraichatter says:

    The Worst Self-Defense Advice Ever?

    Don’t fight back. Be a victim.

  26. avatar Racer88 says:

    Paralleling the mythology of shotguns (racking sounds and not having to aim)….

    “You can’t miss with a laser.” (I watched a guy miss the paper at 5 yards more than he hit it… with a laser… at the range a couple of weeks ago.)

    “A laser will intimidate the bad guy and make him run away.” (Maybe if he looks down at his chest, as that’s the only way he’ll know you have a laser, unless there’s a lot of airborne particulates. Never minding that a gun is lethal force, not “intimidation force.”)

  27. avatar Roy says:

    To be fair, Hollywood does exist. It’s a place in southern California.

  28. avatar Charles says:

    Guy tried to sell me one of those tiny .22 revolvers. Said you don’t need some big round, all you need is something to make a loud bang, the bad guys will run away.

    I doubt he could spell meth, much less methamphetamine. Maybe he has never been on the road and had to pull in to a sketchy gas stop in nowhereville and noticed the creatures hanging around. SMH.

    1. avatar Gunr says:

      Those “tiny” revolvers make for a nice little back up weapon. If the bullet doesn’t stop them, the muzzle flash will burn all their off their head, and make them poop their pants!

      1. avatar Clark Kent says:

        Those ‘tiny’ revolvers are WORTHLESS for self defense purposes because they don’t STOP THE LETHAL THREAT PRONTO. Sure, the suspect might die two hours later at the hospital (after he has stabbed/knifed/choked/beaten you to death while you are pooping YOUR pants).

  29. avatar strych9 says:

    “.22 long rifle bullets will “bounce around” inside a bad guy.”

    I’ve never heard that they cause “horrific damage” but I heard this statement from the surgeon who operated on my buddy after he got shot. The doc said that the damage .22 does isn’t the problem but rather the unpredictability of where it does that damage.

    He said he’d personally seen people shot in the leg with the bullet in their chest and vice versa and that it makes his job very, very difficult because he doesn’t actually know where the damn thing went and what damage it might have caused. You have a guy with a GSW in the leg you don’t think to start looking up in his chest for where the bullet might have clipped an artery. Or you have a guy with a shot in the gut and you don’t think it might have nicked an artery in his leg.

    He was certainly not of the opinion that .22LR did massive damage but rather that it did damage in places you might not expect based on the external wounds it caused and therefore it was easy to miss something.

    1. avatar Red in CO says:

      Indeed; that fits with what I’ve heard as well. Additionally, I’ve heard that the .22lr can cause significant internal damage (for exactly that reason) but the damage is done over a large period of time relative to a DGU. It can do a lot of damage, but it’s not a fight stopper. If you need to stop the threat immediately (so, every DGU ever), it’s a very poor choice, though better than nothing.

      1. avatar Mister Fleas says:

        Yes, that is the fly in the ointment with .22 as a self defense round; it is quite lethal, but not so incapacitating. See this article:

    2. avatar Big Bill says:

      Maybe that surgeon should leave that hillbilly hospital and find one that has x-ray machines.
      Sorry, that hillbilly remark was out of line; they have x-ray machines now.
      We have passed that era where the doctor gives the patient a bottle of rotgut (after taking a slug himself), tells the onlookers to hold the victim down, and goes in after the other slug with long forceps.

  30. avatar Erik says:

    The whole Israeli carry comment in the article was lacking. Don’t tell someone not to do something and then name a country that is very effective at doing what you say not to. No proof or examples or anything makes me think you said that based on feelings rather than logic. Share your feelings with your pillow and let’s keep this logical.

  31. avatar Trudy for life!! says:

    I do the 2 handed shooting with a Ruger GP100 357 in 1 hand and my Colt Trooper MKIII 357 in the other hand and then I have my Dirty Harry 6 inch model 329 44 Magnum as my ankle holster gun. I also cut power out & throw on my night vision goggles. Since there is only 1 way into my man cave I stand behind the wall and when I know time is right I do the famous Hollywood forward roll that way if they have gun they shoot over me then I come out of the roll with Hollow Point 357 rounds flying. Then if they still coming I have my 44 loaded with Hornaday Critical Defense ammo. Then if they are still coming I pull out my Gerber Gator Machete because they must be a zombie and I chop their heads off! Actually I don’t have to wrry about Zombies cause my neighbors already turned and I cut there bottom jaws off & luckily they were meth heads so they couldn’t hurt when they first attacked they just gummed my arms. Now I have dog chains around them. So it keeps other zombies away. I hope they hurry and pass law to make it legal to marry a zombie. I have fallen for Trudy! That’s best advice anyone can use! Zombie love is forever. They are not gold diggers or cheat on you. Plus she doesn’t complain when I decide to watch NASCAR and Wrastling!! She sure is special!!

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:


      Hey, whatever you’re smoking, can I have some from your bag?

  32. avatar BIG Lars says:

    The good sheriff at the time I took my CCW class recommended that if pulled over by LE to take the firearm out from wherever you have it in the vehicle, make it safe, and set it on the dash. Thankfully, he left right after his little speech and the local marshal cleared things up.
    This was in a gun friendly state/county, too.

  33. avatar Don1974 says:

    Gun store employees selling women little pink guns.

  34. avatar neiowa says:

    Joe Biden served the role of CRYPTONIAN BODY ARMOR during his eight years as Vice-President.

    Did anyone take a shot at Barry? I rest my case.

  35. avatar Mikial says:

    Biden is a mongoloid, and only slightly less stupid than the people who vote for him term after term. Think about it . . . the human race is doomed as these idiots continue to pollute the gene pool.

  36. avatar miforest says:

    for 24 / 7 / 365 home carry I like the baretta 25. small, rounds , ready to go without a SA hammer movement. an the 25 has center fire reliability. It is not an EDC gun . but I think it beats the mini revolvers. a kal tec 32 or LCP might also be better, but are all bigger.

    1. avatar Clark Kent says:

      Where can I purchase a ‘baretta’? By the way, throw the 25 ACP in the toilet and flush until it goes away. It is WORTHLESS for self defense purposes.

  37. I have never heard most of these in the article.
    Some of the more common yet just as foolish advice is:

    Don’t put a light on your gun because that will give the other guy something to shoot at.

    The best gun for self defense is the one you have.

    Most gunfights are over in 3 seconds, with 3 shots, from 3 feet, so capacity is not important.

    You need an SBR for home defense because a 16″ carbine is not maneuverable indoors.

    Never draw on a drawn gun.

    Women can’t handle the recoil of an air weight .38.

    1. avatar Clark Kent says:

      Well, you got some of them right. A light on your firearm WILL give the suspect something bright to shoot at. That is why you correctly only use same intermittently. Most gunfights ARE within short range and involve a limited number of rounds fired so IF you decide to abide by the statistics you don’t need to carry a 17 round pistol. As far as ‘never draw on a drawn gun’ the late Bill Jordan correctly claimed ‘action beats reaction’. If you decide to draw on a drawn firearm you need to be mentally aware you might be hit by rounds before yours (hopefully) hit the suspect.

    2. avatar Big Bill says:

      “The best gun for self defense is the one you have.”

      Actually, that’s pretty good advice.

  38. avatar Charlie says:

    A couple more:

    “You don’t need a mouse gun. Just throw your shirt tail over a full size 1911. This is an open carry state, so if the wind blows your shirt, no problem.” Um… That might technically be true in rural parts of the state, but in the big city that gust of wind could end very badly for you – if a cop is watching. Open carry is ultimately decided at the county level here.

    “NAA mini?!? You should go ahead and file the front sight off. That way it’ll hurt less when you piss off the bad guy and he grabs it and shoves it up your tailpipe. Har har har.” Yeah… While mister assailant is in great pain, bleeding profusely from at least one hole in his gut a quarter inch wide and 8 to 10 inches long, and struggling to pull my pants down, I’ll be completely incapable of doing something unspeakable to his gonads and kneecaps. Somehow. Seriously, what part of “back up gun” and “extreme low threat environment” do these comedians not understand?

    1. avatar Clark Kent says:

      Seems you are the top comedian. What part of STOPPING THE LETHAL THREAT PRONTO don’t YOU understand? And since when do you know if you are in a ‘low threat environment’? Talk about famous last words! Mouseguns are WORTHLESS for self defense purposes, period, end of story. By the way, many modern 9mm pistols are the same size as 380 ACP auto pistols of days past and are quite concealable. Try to keep up.

  39. avatar Adam says:

    That video was cringe worthy. They need to teach those women how to lean into their gun as opposed to leaning back and maybe start they with a smaller caliber.

    That kind of stuff more just proves that people are idiots as opposed to that shotguns aren’t useful defense weapons.

  40. avatar James says:

    You only need a 5 shot revolver. If you can’t hit/stop the threat in 5 shots your dead anyway.

  41. avatar adverse4 says:

    Don’t need firearms, violence begets violence.

  42. avatar Marcus Lecroy says:

    I use a squirt gun with vinegar in it. Makes bad guys smell so bad they run away in shame.

  43. avatar Bill says:

    The best advise I have ever been given dont lock yourself up with a senario. You really cant for see what will happen. I have defended my self twice with a firearm neither time did things happen the way I thought. Once was a wild dog in Colorado years ago, Lucky I carry when Im in the wild. the other time I spent most of a night when all the windows in the back of my house was blown out, with a shotgun in my lap waiting for the sun to come up. My family was behind me safe and nothing could get past me. Never pulled the trigger on that one. ( gas leak building blew up half block away). Oh the dog , For those of you who think you have time to take alot of shots at an attacker, try a dog. I strongly suggest you kill him with the first shot.

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