Saturday, May 16, 2009

The first gun you should buy should be a handgun

This was my reply in a forum to someone that claimed that your first gun should be a bolt action gun for hunting, and that that alone was enough for defense too, because you could shoot bad guys 400 yards away…
The first gun you should buy should be a handgun
And the second one an Ak47. After that you can buy a bolt rifle if you want.
I’m posting this after reading the “Why your first gun should be for hunting”, thread, and thought it would be better to start a new one instead of hijacking a thread.
No one in his sane mind will argue that having means to defend yourself and your family is of greater importance than hunting. You can live all your life without hunting, millions do so. Now self defense situations you don’t choose, they just happen.
Problems start when people think a bolt action rifle is an adequate self defense weapon, since nothing is farther form the truth.
It bluntly violates the first law of firearm self defense which is “Have a gun”. You don’t carry around your bolt rifle or any other long arm for that matter, so that’s why as underpowered and inaccurate as it may be, your handgun is your main firearm, because it’s the one you will likely have with you… if you are consistent and carry on regular basis.
A few more points:

1) You don’t “pick” your fights, they choose you. Someone in the thread said that his priority was to keep his girl and himself safe, so he simply plans on avoiding dangerous situations… DUDE! its not you call. You’re not God. And you’ll certainly wont get no gunfight invitation so you can pick your bolt action rifle, place a few sandbags, and start shooting bad guys 100 yards away.
2) Saying you’ll just avoid gunfights is like saying “I don’t need a first aid kit because I don’t plan on getting wounded… ever” or “ I don’t need insurance or a fire extinguisher because I don’t plan on burning down my house, why would I?”
3) You wont be shooting people 100 yards away, you’ll shoot them more than likely at less than 10 yards, most probably at contact range with a bit of wrestling, weapon retention and hand to hand combat involved.
4) The average engagement range in modern warfare is less than 50 yards, if I’m remembering well at least 50% at less than 25 a yards. An L.A. SWAT sniper with + 20 years of experience mentioned that his longest shot was at 25 yards. And we’re talking sniper here guys, in an offensive role, not self defense role.
5) This may be mind numbing for some, but having a detachable magazine fed semiauto rifle or handgun doesn’t hack into your brain and turn you into a useless fool. You don’t HAVE to “spray and pray” just because you have a standard capacity magazine in a semi auto. You can still aim before shooting and use ammo with discretion if your situation requires it.
6) What you have is all you have. If you have a bolt action rifle and 20 rounds, that’s all you have. If you have a Glock with 50 rounds, and an AK with 200, that’s all you have as well.
Planning on “scrounging” the battlefield… or your neighborhood block expecting to find MBR and cans full of ammo is ridiculous. I think it doesn’t even happen in videogames any more. Seriously, you might as well expect for bags full of gold to drop from the sky, it wont happen, and even if that could happen, its such a far fetched possibility that you can’t make that part of a serious plan.

7) Someone said, you fight like you train, so if a bolt action is your entire self defense weaponry, I wouldn’t want to be you when you need to defend yourself. Not only will you lack the basic tool, you’ll lack the training with such tool as well.
8) The tread starter mentioned that “Once you learn to shoot a full power bolt action rifle at long range, ie beyond 400 yds you may find that a battle rifle is not needed.”
This is wrong in so many ways. Assuming that because you manage to shoot longer distances, you have shorter distance self defense already covered. It’s different skills, different weaponry, it’s got nothing to do with self defense shooting. According to that statement benchrest shooters don’t need fighting rifles, or even fighting skills, when the truth is a guy that can shoot a MOA at 600 yards can be taken down like a child, since one thing doesn’t imply the other.

Just wanted to mention those things. If things keep getting worse up there, self defense will no longer be something certain folks do just because they feel they may need it one day, but it will become a basic survival skill.
If you hunt by all mean own your hunting rifle, just don’t think you have self defense covered because you don’t.
I’d hate to think what would happen to some folks if they follow misinformed advice.

FerFAL

12 comments:

theotherryan said...

Great Post! You inspired what I will write later today, THANKS!

Joseph said...

I recall reading that most rifle engagements in WWII took place at 30 yds or less.

Pistols are not the equal of range or power in rifles. That being said, pistols are much easier to handle in most self defense (and urban close quarter) settings. Remember that you are a civilian in a self defense situation, not a soldier with a platoon of rifleman, artillery and close air support.

Anonymous said...

Why is the AK listed, even though you clearly subscribe to the FAL (as in FerFAL)?????

FerFAL said...

The AK is a great rifle. The FAL is a finer weapon. But the AK is popular enough in USA, parts and magazines are plentiful and ammo is cheaper than the 7,62x51 the FAL fires.
For a basic and affordable battery, a couple Glocks and an AK will do.
Then yes, you can add a FAL PARA like the one I have, but today that costs something in the vicinity of 1500 USD. It’s a terrific weapon though. :)

FerFAL

Anonymous said...

FERFAL, to each his own. It's obvious you love Glocks and AKs, but let each person decide what works. I think AKs are junk-yard dogs and prefer ARs chambered in whatever. Yes, I shoot, and yes I know ARs need to be kept clean. For in the house defense, you'll eat shotgun rounds, or something that fits more comfortably in my hand like a Beretta, Ruger, or a 1911. Sigs and Glocks just don't fit my hand.

The moral of the story is that your readers need to get out and see what works for them... ergonomics, accuracy, etc., and then train as much as possible. I really want to like Glocks, and put one in my hand at every opportunity, but I still don't like them. Rant ended. Keep up the good work.

FerFAL said...

No rant, just another opinion.:)
I started shooting with a Norinco 1911, and for many years it was the only gun I had and I absolutely loved it. I still have it and hell, it’s a great design.
I recommend the Glock fervently because every time I take a shooter out for the first time, they all shoot better with the Glock.
As you say, the AK is a junkyard dog, and that’s why I recommend it. :)
Of course, people should go out and shoot several models. One thing though, while comfort and checking what fits you best is important, you still want to stick to proven models, preferably ones’ that have history, the more the better.

FerFAL

tjbbpgobIII said...

The Ak might be a junkyard dog if thats what you think, but you can drop them in the mud and sand and it will still fire when you need it. Most of the enemy weapons we saw in Viet Nam in the 60's were SKS's and old single shot bolt action rifles and most of the gunfights were easured in feet not yards.

tjbbpgobIII said...

P.S. most people I have seen shooting couldn't hit consistently at 100 yards much less 2 or 3 hundred.

Anonymous said...

tjbbpgobIII said...

most of the gunfights were easured in feet not yards.

P.S. most people I have seen shooting couldn't hit consistently at 100 yards much less 2 or 3 hundred.

--------------------

Yes, and a shotgun will work just fine since, as you've pointed out, most engagements are measured in feet.

tjbbpgobIII said...

A shotgun would have been a nice weapon to have but in the early days they weren't issued weapons unless the Marines carried them. I still thought of the M-16 as the finest weapon in the theater. My personal weapon to carry these days is a Llama in .45 cal. but I have carried a .38 Mod 10,.25 Titan and .32 Yugo as a pocket carry pistol. Whatever I have that fits the bill, but I love My Llama.

Tayous1 said...

A pistol is great to have but much rather have a rifle,shotgun or my baby a 240G. This comes from doing a few CQB missions over in Iraq. Yes if SHTF most of us will not be doing house to house fighting.

I'd like to know from you FerFAL in Argentina where were most of the self defense situation happen at? In the streets or at homes?

Joe Green said...

I live here in Arizona with very liberal gun and self-defense laws. I am now getting my consealed weapons permit. If I shoot someone in self-defense it's up to the police to prove it wasn't self-defense. In most states it up to you to prove you shot someone in self-defense.
You need to own a variety of guns and know how to use them.
The next big push of the Obama Admin. is going to be to put a large federal tax on guns and ammo(which is still somewhat hard to find).