Guns for Protection

My Perspective

 I support second amendment for protection, but at the same time, I am equally as strong in my opinion that ALL with firearms should be properly trained through firearms courses or programs like hunter’s safety to ensure proper storage and use of firearms. I also believe that lethal force should only be used when there is no other realistic option in preventing death or serious bodily harm.  

Is a GUN the RIGHT protection for me?

To determine if a firearm is the right protection for you, you must answer “yes” to the following: 

  • Have you gone through firearms training? 
  • Have you gone through using a firearm in self-defense training? 
  • Are you comfortable with all of the functions of your gun? 
  • Can you consistently group your shots within a sheet of paper (8”x12”) at 15 feet? 
  • Do you have the safety precautions (safe, trigger locks) available to keep your firearm away from children or others who should not have access to your firearm? 
  • Are you willing to shoot and kill an attacker to protect yourself or others from death or serious bodily harm? 

Gun Rules (adapted from NRA and Hunter's Safety Programs)

  • ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction 
  • ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot 
  • ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use (concealed or bedside guns are in use) 
  • Know the target and what is beyond 
  • Know how to use the gun, take it apart, and clean 
  • Use correct ammunition 
    • bullet type is on the gun barrel
    • ammunition type is on the ammo box and often on the bullet 
  • Use eye and ear protection during practice (backfire can cause eye injury) 
  • Alcohol and drugs hinder judgment and awareness; don’t use them when handling firearms 
  • Store guns so they are not accessible to unauthorized people 

Shooting Fundamentals

Only use as a supplement to live firearms training and instruction


Video coming soon. Subscribe below for access and updates on content.

Self Defense with a Gun at Home

  • Keep firearm in a safe that allows quick access in the dark with a code that can be quickly punched in through touch or by biometrically reading your finger print (example) 
  • Personally, with young children, despite teaching them to respect guns, when using a semi-automatic with a lighter trigger pull, I take an extra step to maintain their safety by not having a bullet chambered when the gun is not on my person.  It only takes one quick motion to pull back the slide, but it gives me peace of mind.  All of my older children from ages 10 and up go through Hunter’s Safety and have experience around guns and gun safety, following the “Gun Rules.” 
  • In addition to the firearm, have a flashlight (I use a headlamp) to allow clear identification of the potential threat before utilizing your gun in self-defense, ensuring that shooting accidents do not occur by mistaken identity 
  • Be VERY vocal in warning the potential threat that you will shoot if they do not leave/stop. Give clear directions to control the situation (i.e. drop the gun, move to your left, on your belly, hands out, palms up, cross your feet - video coming soon!
  • Visualize what you would do when encountering a threat that could cause you or your family serious harm.  When you pull the trigger, do not shoot to injure.  Shoot to kill.  Center mass (chest area) would generally be the first shots fired.  The head, when hit in the right spot, will immediately fully stop the threat, but is much more difficult to hit. 
  • Consider over-penetration into rooms, where other family members may be located, when selecting a bullet and when pulling the trigger in self defense.  

Self Defense with a Gun Outside the Home

  • First Rule: When the firearm is not on your person, ensure it is inaccessible to those who should not have access to it.  I utilize a steel locked box (key, combination, or biometric), with a cable or bolts to secure it in each of my vehicles, recreational vehicles, and boat. 
  • CCW (Concealed Carry) Laws  
  • Obtaining CCW permit  
  • Defensive Use: 
    • Brandishing a firearm should be the last resort when you fear serious bodily injury or death 
    • Deciding to carry a firearm, means that you need to diffuse situations, as compared to instigating them or “adding fuel to the fire.” 
  • How do I Carry? 
    • Outside the waist band: 
      • Pros: ability to carry larger guns comfortably; easily accessible; optional lock system to prevent others from gaining control of the weapon. The ideal carry is on your strong side (right hip, if right handed), to allow easy quick access and maintain strong firearm retention ability 
      • Cons: difficult to conceal without a coat or jacket 
      • In the wilderness or when wearing clothing that allow concealment, this is my preferred carry method, while utilizing a Galco holster with serpa lock system 
  • Inside the waistband  
    • My preferred method for quick access, while restricting access to those attempting to grab my gun with multiple attackers is appendix carry (in front, just to the right of the belly button for a right handed person); I utilize holsters similar to Galco Triton Kydex. On long car rides, or where comfort is a necessity, I carry on my strong side hip.
    • Pros: Totally concealed and quick easy access, even with a mid-sized gun 
    • Cons: No lock system; may be less comfortable than outside waistband, however, nicer models can be worn fairly comfortably
    • This is the way I most commonly carry my Glock 32. I will also usually carry my Ruger LCR this way when wearing lighter, less concealing clothing. 
  • Inside the pocket 
    • Pros: Easily accessible and concealable for small framed guns 
    • Cons: Can be bulky or heavy in your pocket; may have difficulty accessing while sitting 
    • I will occasionally carry my Ruger LCR this way, while wearing shorts and t-shirts during Phoenix summers. 
  • Fanny pack 
    • Pros: Comfortable way to carry a concealed large revolver, you can also fit extra magazines and other personal items 
    • Cons: You are wearing a fanny pack; not as quickly accessible as IWB/OWB carry. 
    • I occasionally utilize this method when going for walks and hikes when wearing exercise clothing that does not allow for my weapon to be concealed.  
  • Ankle 
    • Pros: Great ability to conceal for small and some midsize frame handguns 
    • Cons: handgun can’t be drawn as quickly as IWB/OWB carry.
    • While wearing tight or tucked-in shirts with pants, I will occasionally carry my Ruger 357 LCR this way 

Traveling with a Gun

 

  • Have a hard lockable case for firearm and ammunition
  • Keep guns/cases out of sight to prevent theft. Steel cables or attached safes also make theft more difficult

Flying:  

  • Call or check airline website for firearm regulations 
  • In general, you must transport the unloaded firearm in a hard case that locks.  The key or combination is retained by the passenger.  Ammunition must also be carried in a hard container for ammunition or in the original manufacturer packaging. For other carriers not listed below, look at the airline website or call for information. 

Vehicles: 

Laws vary by state. Some allow loaded firearms, others require the firearm to be in locked containers for transport. Click HERE for more information on transporting firearms


Concealed Carry, Reciprocity, Purchase, & Possession:

Click HERE for State by State Summary. 

FAQs

What Gun and Caliber should I use for Self Defense?

There is not necessarily one BEST gun or caliber to carry. Get one you will carry and can shoot comfortably. A gun does no good while you are out and about if it is in your safe at home. Likewise, the gun’s power makes no difference if you cannot consistently shoot it with accuracy (at minimum, all shots within an 8”x12” target at 15 feet).  A 22 caliber gun with a well placed shot to the head will kill a threat just as dead as a larger caliber weapon.  With that said, the larger the energy transfer (bullet type, weight, speed, & diameter) the greater the damage, which gives you more leeway with shot placement and greater “knock-down” potential.   

Recommended Calibers for Concealed Carry

Caliber: 38 special (revolver)/380 ACP (semi-automatic) 

  • Bullet Diameter: 9.1 mm 
  • Velocity: 850-950 ft/sec 
  • Weight: 158-110 grain 
  • Notes: minimum caliber recommended for self defense; minimal recoil 

Caliber: 9 mm 

  • Diameter: 9 mm
  • Velocity: 1000-1200 ft/sec 
  • Weight: 147-115 grain 
  • Notes: Commonly used in law enforcement; minimal recoil 

Caliber: 357 mag (revolver) / 357 sig (semi-auto) 

  • Diameter: 9.1 mm 
  • Velocity: 1200-1450 ft/sec 
  • Weight: 158-125 grain 
  • Notes: Renowned for one shot kills at 125 grain; moderate recoil 

Caliber: .40 S&W 

  • Diameter: 10.2 mm 
  • Velocity: 1200 ft/sec 
  • Weight: 155 grain 
  • Notes: Very common law enforcement round; moderate recoil 

Caliber: .45 ACP 

  • Diameter: 12 mm 
  • Velocity: 800-1000  ft/sec 
  • Weight: 230-185 grain 
  • Notes: Slower with less penetration, but strong knockdown ability; higher recoil 

Important to note 

  • The smaller and lighter the gun, the greater the recoil felt 
  • Revolvers are simple and reliable. If the trigger is pulled and it does not shoot, pull it again to move to the next bullet. On the down side, revolvers generally do not carry more than 6 bullets 
  • Semi-automatics increase bullet capacity, ranging between 6 and 16 bullets. They are more likely to jam or miss-feed than revolvers. When this happens, you must “tap and clear” the gun before firing again, to ensure that the clip is seated correctly and to remove the bullet or casing from the action. (subscribe for video coming soon)
  • A revolver that fires 357 mag will also shoot 38 special, but the reverse is not true 
  • Personally, I commonly carry both revolvers and semi-automatics, generally in 357 mag, 357 sig, or .40 cal 
  • Home Defense – All concealed carry calibers and guns can be used.  Home defense allows for larger gun options, including larger calibers (i.e. 10mm) and rifles or shotguns. 
  • Important to consider: Rifles and larger caliber handguns include a risk of over penetration, which is an important consideration if houses are nearby or if other people are in the house 
  • Shotgun has been touted as a great home defense weapon, due to the large shot zone and the lower risk of over penetration into nearby rooms or houses.  A large safe or a shotgun lock can be used to stop unauthorized access.

Subscribe