You’re in the market for a gun safe. But have you really considered everything before buying? Ask yourself these nine questions before spending your hard-earned money on this investment.
The topic of self-defense is hotly debated among gun enthusiasts, and there are countless options when it comes to the best self-defense choice for you. The model and caliber that you choose will vary according to your personal needs and experience.
Careful consideration is crucial when selecting the handgun that you will rely on for protection. Take time to research the best options for you before making this potentially life-saving decision. After deciding, it is important to outfit your gun with the perfect concealed carry holster and other accessories that complement its use.
The caliber of a firearm determines which type of rounds can be used with it, and the construction of a bullet determines what a round will do to achieve its purpose. In self-defense situations, the purpose of a round is to stop an attack, and there are various rounds available that are tailored to this purpose.
Lead bullets, though common, are not the best choice for a self-defense weapon because they will not penetrate the target as well as their copper-jacketed counterparts. In a self-defense situation, however, there is also a high risk of collateral damage if the bullet penetrates too well.
Full metal jacket (FMJ) shells are an ideal defense ammo option. They typically consist of a lead core encased in copper, which enables them to penetrate well. The softness of the lead then prevents an excessive transfer of energy, in comparison to other round options.
Many gun enthusiasts agree that the jacketed hollow point (JHP) bullet design is highly effective for defense situations.
The JHP is an advancement on the FMJ, with the copper jacket partially extending to cover the lead core, which leaves the nose exposed. This portion of the lead has a hollow tip, and this enables the ideal balance between energy transfer and penetration.
Bonded bullets inhibit the jacket and core of a bullet from separating upon impact. They are produced through both electrochemical and mechanical bonding, and both options ensure that the copper and lead components do not detach from one another, which lets the bullet maintain its weight for penetration. This makes bonded JHP bullets the premier choice for self-defense purposes.
Several important factors play into making one bullet and caliber a more attractive choice for self-defense than another. These are power, speed, and capacity.
A bullet’s power, or effectiveness, refers to its ability to stop an attacker as quickly and effectively as possible. Various formulas have been developed that attempt to calculate the stopping power of a handgun, but, because the conditions of emergencies vary so significantly, this is difficult to do.
For example, a bullet that would have a detrimental effect on the chest cavity might have little to no effect on a dense, bony area. Because the chest cavity represents the largest mass of a target and has the highest contact probability, this is the area that emergency responders are trained to aim for and where a bullet’s stopping power is typically calculated.
This implies that the best stopping power is afforded by bullets that affect debilitating pain to an attacker.
The faster the bullet, the quicker it can neutralize a target. Advances in the development of Kydex holsters allow for reduced retrieval time and, coupled with high-velocity rounds, eliminating a threat has never been faster.
The speed of a bullet will affect the penetration of a target. The higher the rotational velocity of a bullet, the further it can penetrate the attacker. Speed also plays a role in how much a bullet expands, which determines the amount of damage that is inflicted and whether collateral damage will be a concern.
Those who opt for a lighter, faster bullet will find that they offer reduced recoil, which is essential for carriers who cannot withstand heavy recoil.
The capacity of a handgun is a final and straightforward factor to consider. The smaller the bullet, the more rounds a handgun can carry.
A Glock 17 will always hold more 9mm Lugers than a Glock 21 holds .45 AUTOs. It is important to consider that, though a 9mm pistol may hold more ammunition, it is still a lighter firearm than any .40 S&W or .45 AUTO when loaded.
One go-to choice for personal self-defense is a revolver. A revolver will carry either .38 Special or .357 Magnum calibers. The advantage of a revolver is that it is easy to operate and learn how to shoot, making it an ideal choice for high-stress situations.
Revolvers do have limited capacity, which may be a disadvantage for some. With proper training, however, this is not likely to be an issue.
Some semiautomatic handguns can hold up to seventeen rounds of 9mm ammo, as well as .40 S&W and .45 ACP. This type of firearm is easily reloaded and allows users to keep their eyes on the threat. However, semi-automatics must be cocked to fire, which may be inconvenient for some.
A user’s experience and comfort level in handling firearms will likely determine what type of gun or caliber they decide to use. For those with less experience, a revolver with .38 Special bullets is an ideal option. A more experienced carrier may find that a semi-automatic handgun, such as a Glock 17 or Glock 19 with 9mm Luger bullets, is the most suitable option for their skill level.
Deciding on a firearm for self-defense requires a compromise between size, speed, and capacity. Larger bullets will never have a higher velocity than smaller bullets, and a handgun with more power will almost always have more significant recoil. The best choice for a self-defense weapon comes down to your personal preference and the factors that are most pertinent to your concealed carry use.
Being an accurate and practiced shot is more important than what type of firearm or bullet you choose to use. Once you have made your decision, it is essential to test the feel of different rounds at your shooting range.
Consider factors like level of comfort in the hand, recoil control, and capacity. There are also various options for how to conceal and carry your weapon, the most popular of which is an in-the-waistband or IWB holster.
A firearm is a serious tool that is used only in the most critical of situations. Because of this, it is paramount that any carrier is fully comfortable and capable of using their weapon of choice for their own and others’ safety.
Concealed carry license requirements vary throughout the 50 states and U.S. Territories. While the Second Amendment grants all citizens the right to bear arms, some states require more training, background checks, and safeguards to ensure that guns remain in the hands of law-abiding, dutiful citizens.
Obtaining a concealed carry license can be a little trickier than merely getting a permit to carry, depending on the state. However, the payoff is worth the time spent and being able to carry concealed is an excellent way to ensure you can protect yourself and your family should you need to.
The first step to getting your concealed carry license is to determine what kind of state you live in: a shall issue, may issue, or constitutional carry state.
Shall issue states are states that will issue concealed carry permits to applicants that meet all of that state’s qualifications. Some shall issue states only issue to residents, so it’s important to look into your state’s laws.
This can become complicated for people who travel on long-term assignments for work or for business owners who work in one state but reside in another.
States that are may issue look to see if the applicant meets all the qualifications for a concealed carry license and may ultimately make a judgment on allowing for that permit.
Typically, these decisions are first made at the local level, such as the police chief of a town, and then sent up to the state police division for approval. Some may issue states also exclude non-residents, so it is essential to check your state’s requirements.
Constitutional carry states allow eligible citizens to carry a concealed firearm without the need for a license. These states can then be further sub-categorized into those which allow only residents to carry versus those that will issue to both residents and non-residents.
There are currently two U.S. Territories which do not allow concealed carry licenses: The Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa, which fall into the category of rights denied states.
While many may issue states require applicants to take a course first, it is still a good idea to brush up on the laws in states which are shall issue or constitutional carry, but which do not require prior educational courses.
These laws vary widely in regard to concealed carry licenses and the use of deadly force in a public place. For instance, having alcohol in your system can invalidate the justified use of a concealed carry weapon in some states. In other states, there are strictly prohibited areas for carrying any concealed weapon.
Even if your state does not require a course, find one anyway. These courses cover some of the more complicated aspects of legal statutes. Ignorance of the law does not make you innocent; educate yourself as much as possible before purchasing any weapon.
Most may issue states require a class and live-fire training to grant applicants their license to carry. One of the most beneficial training seminars you can take to acquire a concealed carry permit is the Utah Multi-State Concealed Carry license, also known as the Utah Permit.
There are currently 33 states that accept the Utah non-resident permit for a concealed carry license. The requirements for getting the Utah non-resident permit include completing a firearms familiarity course certified by the Utah BCI and taught by certified instructors.
While some states have reciprocity with one another, it is worth researching the reciprocities of different permits and their requirements, especially if you plan to travel with your concealed weapon.
Most weapons training courses include a few hours of class time, which cover topics such as types of guns and ammunition, state laws, gun safety, and choosing the best-concealed carry holsters.
There are also in-class demonstrations for loading and unloading a weapon, which ultimately leads to live-fire range time with your instructor. The certificate you receive at the end of the course is required for submission with your application.
Some may issue states require a rigorous background check and up to three letters of reference before they will decide to issue a concealed carry license.
The background checks typically consist of a questionnaire about your criminal history and a comprehensive fingerprinting, which is run against the state and national criminal databases.
The letters of reference cannot be obtained from family members. Writers should be members of the community with upstanding reputations who know you well and can attest to your character, such as a teacher, a police officer, or a city councilman.
It is important to note that some states, even if you pass the background check for your license, still conduct a new background check whenever you purchase a firearm.
Most states that require an application for a concealed carry license also require a fee at the time of application submission. These fees can range from anywhere between $50-$100, so check with your local jurisdiction’s application fee policies.
Once you have received your concealed carry license, it is important to make safety and comfort the top priorities for your chosen concealed carry pistol.
The most important piece of equipment, other than your gun and ammo, is your choice of concealed carry holster. There is a variety of ways to carry concealed, and it will vary according to the pistol you choose, where you want to carry it on your body, and how you want to carry it.
Not all holsters are alike. When choosing a concealed carry holster, it should not catch on the gun, it should offer quick draw-speed, and it needs to fit your chosen firearm well.
Inside-the-waistband holsters, or IWB holsters, are some of the most popular choices for concealed carry pistols. IWB holsters are easy to access quickly, sit snugly against the abdomen, and are simple to conceal for both men and women. Many IWB holsters have accessories for carrying additional ammunition, as well.
Muscle memory is a huge advantage for learning how to carry and protect yourself with a firearm. In high-stress situations, your body will remember what to do even if your mind is focusing on what is happening around you.
To achieve this, spend time at the range firing your chosen concealed carry weapon. Don’t just target practice; get a sense of how long it takes for you to unholster your weapon and get into a firing stance. Many gun ranges have different holsters you can try out with your pistol to see which is the best IWB holster for you.
While the requirements for getting your concealed carry license vary from state-to-state, having your license means you can confidently protect yourself and your loved ones. Become informed about your weapon and the laws pertaining to it and practice often. You never know when you will need to take action and save a life.
Shooting accuracy is vital when you want to hit the target every time you aim. At times, as you train, it is not possible to do that without some guidance – the red dot sight. We have seen them in movies and in practice too helping the users aim better at moderate ranges.
It is a simple optic instrument that uses an LED light to point where you are aiming. In simple terms, it uses the red dot as the reticle.
The dot can be green or red depending on the model you are using. They are however all referred to as red dots to avoid complication. Once you learn how to use the red dot properly, it becomes of the best companions as you train to shoot on the target.
As long as you have a gun with a mounting rail, check what works with your weapon and then follow the mounting considerations below. For example, if you compare vortex venom and viper red dot sights, the venom series is bigger which makes it mountable on rifles and pistols. The Viper model is suitable for pistols and smaller guns due to its small size.
If you need magnification, then you will need a scope that will help you do that since red dot sights do not magnify. They were invented in the 70s to help people aim while they use the gun. Since then, the modification has seen them achieve more regarding the quality and longevity of use before changing the batteries. That is why you are now seeing smaller ones, mountable on handguns.
How you mount the aiming instrument is upon you. The pistols will keep it straight while larger guns may require some inclination depending on how you hold while using it. What will work for you will not work for your partner.
Guns were there since before this generation, but technology has made most people to consider the flat-top Picatinny railing. Models from the Vortex brand, for example, will use that properly.
However, you are at times given the gun available to work with. At that point, the only thing to do if you need proper mounting is getting a cheek weld to hold the red dot sight as you shoot. There will be some limitations though.
It is not always an easy decision when figuring out the best position for your dot sight or scope. If that does not seem evident to you depending on what you are using, look at the where you don’t need it first.
The first thing you need to avoid is mounting on the handguard. Some guns have been modified to make that possible and unless that is possible on your weapon, don’t do it.
The typical types have the handguard surrounding the chamber and barrel, and these are the areas that get heated up as you shoot. That means the metal on guard will expand due to heat subjection, and that will affect your zero if the scope is attached to it. The degree of zero shifting will, however, depend on how much the handguard will be affected by the heat.
The rule to follow is mounting on top of the receiver. Are you including a magnifier, then choose a mounting style that will match that if you don’t have space or get a smaller sighting scope. The only exception to consider mounting on the handguard is if the gun incorporates a monolithic upper where the receiver and handguard are one piece.
Since we are using the long guns and short ones too, we are going to see how you can do it on AR and smaller guns option. The instructions will vary depending on your gun but here is the generalization on what you need to consider.
They come with a Picatinny rail, so mounting is easy. Once everything is in position, you need to check the zeroing distance. Some of us will use 50 yards zero point since it is also applicable at 200 yards.
If you think about the bullet’s arc, it will go up at 50 yards before going back to your zero at 200 yards. Others will go with 25 yards, but whatever choice you make, the method does not change.
Now, if your rifle has that iron sighting fixture, then you are better than the rest of your peers in the group.
Just adjust the elevation and windage on the sighting optics until you get the dot sitting straight at the top of the iron sight’s front post. After you center the dot, it’s now time to shoot a few rounds with both eyes opened.
If you are not yet on target, then adjust the optics properly and do it one more time until you are happy with the results.
Now, if you don’t have the iron sight advantage, there is still the old-fashioned way of going the boresight method.
Place the upper on a steady platform after removing it from the lower, and dispatching the charging handle and bolt too. Once you have done that, it is now possible to look down the barrel as you aim at the target.
After achieving the distance needed, move the upper until you get the dot centered on where you are aiming. Look again down the barrel to see if the upper moved as you were working on the sighting. If they are not in line, you need to readjust the barrel and target then go back to the sighting.
When everything is assembled, and you have already taken a deep breath, send a few rounds down and then adjust accordingly depending on the point of impact.
Mounting on handguns is easy since most of them come with the necessary mechanism to make that possible. Once the mounting is successful, all you need to do is adjust the dot until it seems to sit on top of the iron sight’s front. With your paper target in position, move back at 5 yards and shoot three or four rounds. Are you on target? Go back to your adjustment knobs and sight again. Now, fire again until you hit the impact point.
Once you get it right at 5 yards, now move to a further distance, say 15 yards. The zeroing at such a point will differ from five yards. After you have the proper sighting, shoot again and confirm your target. Repeat the adjustments you made at five yards and shoot again until you have the desired results after shooting.
A red dot sight will help you more in shooting on target, and the modern ones will typically fit on any new gun in use. Whether you have a handgun or rifle, the mounting mechanisms are there to aid you in better sighting and to shoot at the aimed point. Most of them do not have magnifiers since they are made to help you get your target and not magnifying your view.
For those of us with advanced ones that have a magnifying glass, such versatility helps those who are shooting at longer ranges – 50 or 75 yards. On the other hand, if you are not doing the long distance shooting, then having a red dot will help you hit your targets more and waste less ammunition.
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There are an abundance of articles that cover the best types of guns to have and use during an SHTF disaster such as a power grid down scenario where chaos results and angry mobs and looters take to the streets.
Is this an important subject? Absolutely.
Nonetheless, equally as important as your weapons choices during a major disaster will be knowing how to carry and use those guns. Many people have this idea that a major disaster or catastrophe is going to result in a ‘Wild West’ scenario where no rules apply and where everyone is walking around with a pistol on their hip and a rifle slung over their shoulder.
While that’s certainly one possibility for what may happen, the truth is that you will actually need to be more careful about how you carry and use firearms during an SHTF disaster than you may realized.
Here are the top five considerations for carrying and using a firearm during an SHTF disaster.
Guess what: the authorities and law enforcement most likely aren’t going away when disaster strikes, and that means that the laws are not going away anytime soon after. This means that any laws that currently apply to you at the Federal, state, or local levels will still need to be followed by you. Otherwise, you can run into serious trouble with the authorities.
For example, what are the open carry laws in your area? If open carry is currently not allowed, just because a major disaster occurs doesn’t mean that it’s suddenly going to become legal or acceptable.
Here’s another question to ask yourself: in your state or city, under what circumstances is it legal to use a firearm in lethal self-defense? Even if your home comes under attack, for instance, you may have a duty to retreat before you can fire a gun in lethal self-defense.
In the midst of an SHTF disaster, it will always be wise to keep a handgun on you at all times (assuming it’s legal, because as we just went over you will still need to follow law) so you always have a defensive tool on your person that you can draw and fire if need be.
That being said, it will also almost always be preferable to conceal carry this firearm rather than open carry it. This is because open carrying a firearm is going to draw to you lots of attention, not only from other people around you but from any military and law enforcement units nearby as well.
This isn’t something that you want because one of the keys to survival in a disaster scenario will be to ‘fly under the radar’ and blend into the crowd rather than stand out like a sore thumb.
Even though you would be wise to carry a sidearm on your person at all times for quick and easy access during an SHTF disaster, at the same time, it should be noted that a handgun should never be considered a primary combat weapon.
A handgun can be an effective defensive tool, but at the end of the day, it’s really a last resort weapon or the gun that you use to fight your way to your rifle.
In other words, in an SHTF disaster, don’t treat your handgun like it’s the primary weapon you’re going to use to defend your home and family with, because it’s not.
You need to have a defensive long gun (preferably a semi-automatic rifle) that you can use for this task, and you’re going to want to keep that rifle loaded and within relatively easy reach while also keeping it out of sight from other people.
This will largely depend on whether or not martial law is declared. However, martial law being declared as a result of a significant enough disaster is a very real possibility that you may face.
When Hurricane Katrina struck the coast of Louisiana in 2005, the government declared martial law, which essentially means that ordinary law is suspended as the military and/or law enforcement takes direct control over local civilian affairs.
As a result of martial law, the government will take action to control the civilian population, and part of what they will do to aid in that control is to confiscate as many firearms as they can. This is exactly what happened after Hurricane Katrina when military and law enforcement units went from door-to-door confiscating all kinds of firearms – rifles, shotguns, handguns, you name it.
The lesson learned here is that your firearms may not even be legal, meaning that you could be taking a major risk just by conceal carrying a pistol. It also means that you will likely need to take steps to keep your firearms hidden as well.
Last but not least, maintenance of your firearms will be of the utmost importance following disaster to keep them in good working condition over the long term.
Keeping a firearms cleaning kit with all the essentials – such as cleaning rod, gun oil, and cleaning patches – will undoubtedly be an absolute must.
But at the same time, you will need to actually take action to ensure that your firearms remain in good working condition. Inspecting your firearms carefully and conducting detailed maintenance will be important.
Keep in mind, some of your firearms can and will take a serious beating, especially if you have to pack them consistently and perhaps even use them. You’re going to be using them a lot more than simply taking a trip or two a month to the shooting range.
All in all, these will be the top five considerations for you to follow with carrying and using firearms following a major disaster.
If there’s anything that you learn from this article, it’s that whether it be an EMP attack, an economic collapse, or a natural disaster or whatever else, you need to be very careful and cautious about how you go about packing heat.
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