Firearms!

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Re: Firearms!

Postby Thesh » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:10 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Yawn. I call it whatever a retired Chicago police trainer calls it. So, Magazine and Clip are both legit terms.


Correct, a magazine is a legit term for a particular device holding cartridges to be loaded into the chamber of a firearm, and a clip is a legit term for a particular device that holds cartridges to be loaded into a magazine.

EDIT: I realize I suck at definitioning stuffs, as this would imply that a moon clip is really a magazine.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby meatyochre » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:18 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Not even a little. Mincing those terms is something only WW vets are going to have to complain about. A clip is a device that holds bullets in place for being loaded through a gun. A magazine is a device that forces bullets through the firing chamber of a gun. It's semantics.

He... he was making a joke. Did you see the picture he attached of a binder clip and a picture of a gun in a magazine?
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Re: Firearms!

Postby EdgarJPublius » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:48 am UTC

I've got a Dan Wesson .357 revolver that I quite enjoy shooting. In general, I prefer modern stuff, but something about the simplicity and elegance of a revolver appeals to me, and I've found that the trigger in particular is much more comfortable and easier to use than on semi-auto handguns. I'm currently in the market for an FNP to get my concealed carry permit, because the FNPs grips are quite comfortable and the DA/SA trigger is more similar to my .357 than other options and I'm more at-ease with semi-autos that have a manual safety.

I've also been considering either a Kel-Tec RFB or an FN-FAL when I graduate, I know a guy with an FAL part kit willing to sell it to me cheap, but I'm just not sure how practical owning a meter long rifle is, my friend has a much shorter AR-15 and has plenty of trouble transporting it to the range and back, so the even shorter RFB may be worth the extra cost just for the convenience.

And, somewhere down the road, I'll probably get a shotgun, likely a mossberg, for home defense and sport shooting.

As far as geeks and guns, it seems like lots of 'gun-nuts' have very similar personalities to most 'geeks' just focused in different areas, it just seems natural to me that the two would be related, and 'traditional' geek fare such as computers share a lot of features with firearms from a historical perspective, entrepreneurial engineers establishing corporate empires, clever 'hacks' becoming accepted solutions, brands with extremely loyal followings etc.
And, like computer games, recreational shooting is lots of fun. Also, going out to the shooting range is a great way to spend time with friends outdoors and without dice, so probably something lots of geeks should look into :P
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Re: Firearms!

Postby SurgicalSteel » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:07 am UTC

Been looking into getting a shotgun myself for clays. I've been seeing Remington 800 expresses and Benelli Novas around for 4-5 hundred, which is right in my comfort zone. I'd heard that most people who shoot clays either use an SxS or a semi, but the guys over at shotgunworld.com seem to think that unless you're competing at a high level a pump will still be plenty of fun. I've also been thinking about getting a Trijicon ACOG when I graduate as a kind of graduation gift for myself. I wasn't sure at first, I thought that maybe I wanted one just to be "tacticool" or because "hey they're in CoD4!" But this very helpful guy at Gander Mountain let me check one out and take it out of the box, despite me telling him repeatedly there was no way I was buying one any time soon. At first using two eyes was really weird, but after a short while my vision adjusted and it was really cool. Though whether I get one will still depend on if I still have a job when I graduate.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby Thesh » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:50 am UTC

SurgicalSteel wrote:I'd heard that most people who shoot clays either use an SxS or a semi, but the guys over at shotgunworld.com seem to think that unless you're competing at a high level a pump will still be plenty of fun.


SxS isn't common at all these days. Usually for clays, semi auto and over-under is what is used. I haven't really heard of anyone buying a pump for clays. It may be fun, but you will probably be better off with a semi-auto or an O/U. Like I said in my earlier post, I am getting a mossberg 930. It's semi auto, and not that expensive. If you want pump, I hear a lot of law enforcement agencies prefer the mossberg 500 over the remington 870. I don't know how good benelli's pump shotgun is, but their semi-autos are supposed to be top notch (although overpriced).
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Re: Firearms!

Postby SurgicalSteel » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:57 am UTC

Yea, I saw one of Remy's Spartan series (453) at Dicks for around 5 IIRC. Might have been used, cause 5 seems really low for a semi that gets such good reviews. Looking at something like that too. Down the road I plan on getting a house gun too, maybe a mossberg persuader. I've given up on the idea of one gun to shoot clays, protect the home, wash the dishes and also be a delicious dessert topping. Purpose built things are just better than general purpose things.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby Thesh » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:04 am UTC

SurgicalSteel wrote:Yea, I saw one of Remy's Spartan series (453) at Dicks for around 5 IIRC. Might have been used, cause 5 seems really low for a semi that gets such good reviews. Looking at something like that too. Down the road I plan on getting a house gun too, maybe a mossberg persuader. I've given up on the idea of one gun to shoot clays, protect the home, wash the dishes and also be a delicious dessert topping. Purpose built things are just better than general purpose things.


With shotguns, the only real difference between a defensive shotgun and a gun for clays and birds is the length of a barrel (ignoring O/U shotguns). My plan for the mossberg is to get the combo with an 18.5" security barrel and a 28" field barrel. You can buy shotgun barrels separate, but the combos are usually cheaper. Now, semi-autos are always going to be less reliable than a manual action (pump), but they have the advantage of absorbing some recoil. They shouldn't jam if you take care of them, and I am personally a fan of less recoil.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby SurgicalSteel » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:22 am UTC

Hm, I didn't know changing the barrel on a shotgun wasn't a pain in the ass (or is it?). But yea, the differences between my house gun and my clay would be my clay gun is probably going to be semi and have a longer barrel. I want something more maneuverable and in pump action for defense. I'm a firm believer in the idea that the sound of a pump action racking a round has potential to end a situation before the trigger has to be pulled. Speaking of maneuverable, has anyone ever checked out the Cx4 Storm? That is a handy-dandy little gun.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby somedaypilot » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:22 am UTC

Yeah, as OP I could see a split. I appreciate the need for a gun politics thread, but *erngh*, not what I was going for. I'll even put aside the whole "but there are people on the internet and they're wrong" thing to get it back on track. Basically what I'm hearing is that it is, like guns in general, completely dependent on where you live. This makes me sad, but oh well.
As for myself, I have the .22 Remington 597 I mentioned before. In my immediate future I'm looking at the Remington 870, though possibly the Mossberg 500 for shotguns. My choice of pistols is a bit more complicated. The frontrunner for now is the Sig Sauer 226, but I'm also looking at (in no particular order) the Sig 229, Springfield XD series, Smith & Wesson 5906, Browning Hi-Power, and Beretta 92FS. I've been told it's a fairly tactical list, but I like quality weapons, I make more than I deserve getting paid to learn (engineering internships are wonderful), and I want it to work and work well. I've recently been introduced to the possibility of carry revolvers, not a colt from the hollywood old west, but I honestly have no idea where to even begin with that.
Thoughts?
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Re: Firearms!

Postby Thesh » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:36 am UTC

SurgicalSteel wrote:Hm, I didn't know changing the barrel on a shotgun wasn't a pain in the ass (or is it?).


You will remove and replace the barrel of your shotgun every time you disassemble it for cleaning; it's very easy to do.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby SurgicalSteel » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:41 am UTC

somedaypilot: If you are seriously interested in carry I suggest this forum and website. Lot of good info, and a lot of people who know what they're talking about and love to help. Not to add yet another gun to your list, but my dad recently got a Walther PPS, and it's quite nice. Points like a beauty, though the grip is a little short without the extended mag (not really an extended mag, just a regular magazine with a thicker floor plate to lengthen the grip). It also has the nice feature that the grip is kind of modular, so if it's too big put the thinner backstrap on, too small put the thicker backstrap on.

Thesh: That's good to know. I honestly don't know as much about shotguns as I should. I was mostly raised around rifles and handguns.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby Thesh » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:52 am UTC

somedaypilot wrote:My choice of pistols is a bit more complicated. The frontrunner for now is the Sig Sauer 226, but I'm also looking at (in no particular order) the Sig 229, Springfield XD series, Smith & Wesson 5906, Browning Hi-Power, and Beretta 92FS. I've been told it's a fairly tactical list, but I like quality weapons, I make more than I deserve getting paid to learn (engineering internships are wonderful), and I want it to work and work well.


I have fired both a Springfield XD and a Sig 226 and I loved them both. A lot of people don't seem to be a big fan of Smith & Wesson for their pistols; same with the Beretta 92FS. I haven't even heard the name Hi-Power in many years, and I don't know how good they are. I would also seriously consider a glock. They have a great reputation, and I liked the one I shot a lot (although I was a better shot with the XD, which is very similar otherwise). The H&K USP and the Walther P99 are also supposed to be a great handguns, but I haven't shot either. The XD hasn't been around long enough to really prove itself, but in the time that it has been around I haven't heard anything bad about it. I have put about 500 rounds through mine without a single malfunction. It's also fairly inexpensive.

somedaypilot wrote: I've recently been introduced to the possibility of carry revolvers, not a colt from the hollywood old west, but I honestly have no idea where to even begin with that.
Thoughts?


Are you talking concealed or open carry? Revolvers are generally more expensive then semi-autos and don't have much carry capacity but you probably aren't going to be in a major gunfight (and even then, speedloaders/moon clips will allow you to reload quickly). The advantage is that they are pretty much malfunction free, and even if a round fails to fire you can just pull the trigger again. For a concealed short barrel revolver, I would look at a hammerless S&W J-Frame or a Ruger SP101 (.357 magnum may be excessive in a small gun, so you may want to shoot .38 special +P loads). If you are going to carry openly or keep it next to your bed, go with a medium frame .357 magnum like a GP100 or a S&W 686. The S&W has the best trigger, but the GP100 is the toughest revolver out there, with the SP101 coming up close.

EDIT: I want to note that the GP100 is and will always be my bedside gun.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby somedaypilot » Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:34 am UTC

Ok, first off, Surgical gets a beer on me, that link was exactly the kind of thing I hadn't been able to find and was looking for. Unfortunately, Walthers and Glocks don't fit me very well. I actually have fairly agreeable hands, which makes the first rule of selecting handguns- how does it feel?- a bit difficult to answer. Almost everything fits well, and I can get a 3in grouping at 50 feet despite having very little range time and not yet owning any weapons, but Glocks especially are too obtuse for me. I'm not necessarily looking for a "concealable" weapon. I'm broad-shouldered enough that I can conceal most anything in shorts and t-shirts, and I'd rather have the extra accuracy from a longer barrel. Thesh, thanks for the revolver recs, I'll look into those. I really don't know much about choosing shotguns or revolvers, but I do know that I shoot well with the Remington and Mossberg, and many people own and like the Remington. As a clarification, I mean for the shotgun to be my home weapon. Thanks guys, this has been a great help. As a reward, I submit to you a humorous drawing, for the making of merriment:
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Re: Firearms!

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:30 am UTC

As a UK resident, I'd like to own a gun but have no "need" for one, and my landlord won't let me install a gun cabinet (which I'd need to get my licence).

There's a shooting club nearby which has a range in a disused railway tunnel, I'm really tempted to pop down, but I just know it'll be a massive money sink if I get interested. I'd also quite like to go lamping, as it's a good source of free food and fur, some of my friends do from time to time but they're unable to keep their own guns up here with them at uni.

In the event that I do get a gun, It's almost certainly going to be a GRP bodied Sako bolt action, as that's the only affordable model that the local gun shop carries.

I'd like to own a Colt 1911 (possibly the lightweight Colt Commander or RIA's 'M15, General Officers'), and a L1A1 (Royal Enfield's imperially tooled version of the FAL) because they're both tough*, reliable, and really fucking clever designs, unfortunately with a morotorium on both handguns and selective fire over here, I can't legitimately own either.

Out of interest, Do many/any of you who shoot regularly use a supressor to keep the noise down, or is it not worth the cost and hassle to tax them?

*this is something I look for in all my possesions, whilst I care for them and maintain them well, I also tend to give things a real hammering in use.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:33 am UTC

Why would you need a surpressor? You and everyone else at the shoot should have ear protection, and if you're at an urban range, it should have soundproofing built in.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby Dave_Wise » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:25 pm UTC

I've handled airguns quite extenisvely, as there are rabbit problems on all the properties I work on. But as for real guns, not really. I've played with an ancient .22 rifle as a teenager (shhh.... illegalz...) and had a day on shotguns with some mates, but I don't own any as I've no real need to.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby Izawwlgood » Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:37 pm UTC

TheKrikkitWars wrote:Out of interest, Do many/any of you who shoot regularly use a suppressor to keep the noise down, or is it not worth the cost and hassle to tax them?

I've never used one, I thought they were illegal. I don't think they even exist with shotguns without massive modification to the barrel.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:14 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Why would you need a surpressor? You and everyone else at the shoot should have ear protection, and if you're at an urban range, it should have soundproofing built in.


I'm lead to believe that it's desirable when shooting full-bore rifles indoors, Definately my experience of aural hazard managment in an industrial setting, tells me that ear defenders are only suitable up to a certain (quite high) sound pressure, and ear-plugs are of limited effectiveness. Supressors have a greater level of noise reduction than either type of hearing protection.

Izawwlgood wrote:
TheKrikkitWars wrote:Out of interest, Do many/any of you who shoot regularly use a suppressor to keep the noise down, or is it not worth the cost and hassle to tax them?

I've never used one, I thought they were illegal.

They're definately ilegal in a lot of places, though they're allowed under federal law, so long as you pay the correct tax to the BATF. Most of the baltic states, and Britain are very permissive of them.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:16 pm UTC

Honestly, I'd just find an outdoor range.

But I suppose not everyone's population densities allow for that.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby Posthumane » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:40 pm UTC

The permissiveness and lax nature of US gun laws sometimes astounds me. In Canada there are three classes of firearms: Non-restricted, restricted, and prohibited. A rifle or shotgun over has to have a barrel length over 18" and has a minimum limit on overall length that I can't remember offhand, and also has a magazine capacity restriction in order to be non-restricted. Pistols are all restricted, and many are prohibited. All full-auto weapons and certain types of ammunition are also prohibited.

So yeah, no carrying of revolvers or anything like that here. In order to shoot a restricted firearm (pistol) you need a restricted license, and then you need to get permission to transport your firearm to the range anytime you go. Oh yeah, and suppressors are illegal here, but you should definitely be using good ear protection when firing anyway. I started my shooting in the military, and after spending a day on the range with a 7.62mm machine gun and just ear plugs, I would definitely recommend a quality set of ear defenders.

I have a big preference for rifles over shotguns. For some reason, shotguns just seem crude to me, although I understand that for some things they are much more practical (i.e. self defence from animals and such). I wouldn't mind having a small, lightweight shotgun to take with me when I go backpacking/camping considering the number of times I've run into bears.

I have a question to those of you in the know: In the army I was always taught to relieve the firing spring by dry firing the rifle after checking that it's clear. They all had fairly beefy firing pins though, and never had any cracking issues. I've been told by numerous people that dry firing is a no-no because it stresses the firing pin and can cause it to crack, which is what happened in my friend's rifle that he's giving me (it's been fixed since then). So, is it better to leave it cocked with the firing spring compressed, or to relieve the spring by dry firing? On this rifle (semi-auto rim fire) you can't ride it down gently...

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Re: Firearms!

Postby somedaypilot » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:54 pm UTC

Post, dry firing depends on the weapon. For rimfire weapons and shotguns, dry firing can damage the firing pin, and on rimfires it can dent the chamber. On most modern (used loosely- read: not antique) centerfire weapons, dry firing does no damage whatsoever, or at the most extremely negligible. Dry firing on one of these weapons is actually a really good way to practice trigger control and firing stance and all the other things about marksmanship that don't actually require ammunition without having to go to a range. If it still bothers you, you can get dummy rounds. One of the bigger gun blogs had a post on this and several other gun myths, but I can't find it right now.

Krikkit, suppressors are highly unnecessary. First, they only bring the noise level of a firearm from "ow my ears are bleeding" to "ow my ears are ringing." The (unsuppressed) gunshots you hear on tv or in the movies are usually quieter than real suppressed weapons. Suppressors do serve a useful purpose, especially on noisy battlefields or from a distance, but for most purposes it's not necessary at all. In the US, most states where suppressors are legal at all require a specific permit or endorsement, and you have to have a good reason. "Hunting" and "because I want one" are not good reasons. If noise is an issue, you're either too close to residences, or you need better hearing protection. Good ears are relatively cheap and help loads. If you have really sensitive ears, you can wear ear muffs and plugs at the same time. A dump truck could sneak up on you at that point, but noise should never be so big an issue that you need a suppressor.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby TheKrikkitWars » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:40 pm UTC

somedaypilot wrote:First, they only bring the noise level of a firearm from "ow my ears are bleeding" to "ow my ears are ringing." The (unsuppressed) gunshots you hear on tv or in the movies are usually quieter than real suppressed weapons.


I'm aware of that. Generally speaking supression ranges between 13-43 dB, reducing the sounds of shots to 130-90 dB... Depending on the gun it may not actually reduce the sound pressure to a level where it wouldn't cause instant ear injury. Very good supressors can reduce the sound further (to the point that it would be in the "safe range"), but those tend to be the big and unweildy "Beer Can" style of supressors.

That said simply looking at pressure readings ignores how supression interacts with the peak pressure duration, a gun which maintains it's peak pressure for longer when fired will be more noticably affected by the smoothing effects of a supressor.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby BigBoss » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:59 pm UTC

I only own a shotgun right now. Mostly for target practice, but also for home defense. I plan on getting a revolver when I turn 21 and a cc permit. Not so I can carry a gun around all the time, just for when I go hiking/hunting with my dad.

I haven't taken the hunter's safety course, so I can't legally hunt. I help my dad scout for deer, and I'd like something in case a deer or a coyote decides to attack me.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Sep 29, 2010 7:33 pm UTC

BigBoss wrote:I only own a shotgun right now. Mostly for target practice, but also for home defense. I plan on getting a revolver when I turn 21 and a cc permit. Not so I can carry a gun around all the time, just for when I go hiking/hunting with my dad.

I haven't taken the hunter's safety course, so I can't legally hunt. I help my dad scout for deer, and I'd like something in case a deer or a coyote decides to attack me.
Depending on the state, you may not need to worry about getting a Concealed Carry if you just plan on using it while Hiking. Though, given your Location, you'd need to be doing all this in Missouri... and it'd also be a good idea to double-check the state/county laws first. And possibly carry it printed out with you, just in case.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby Thesh » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:01 pm UTC

somedaypilot wrote:Post, dry firing depends on the weapon. For rimfire weapons and shotguns, dry firing can damage the firing pin, and on rimfires it can dent the chamber

This is true for many rimfire guns and some shotguns (it generally only applies to break open shotguns like SxS and O/U), but not all. For example, my Ruger MarkIII requires it be dry fired for disassembly and the manual recommends it for function testing when it is reassembled. You can dry fire all day without harm. Rule of thumb, always check with the manufacturer before dry firing.

I agree that this is a great way to learn trigger control, and I do it on all of my guns. As for keeping the spring at rest, this is really unnecessary. Springs wear out as they are compressed and decompressed, they do not wear out by being stored compressed.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby Posthumane » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:31 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:I agree that this is a great way to learn trigger control, and I do it on all of my guns. As for keeping the spring at rest, this is really unnecessary. Springs wear out as they are compressed and decompressed, they do not wear out by being stored compressed.


This is what I wanted to know about the springs. I know that dry firing the rifle that I currently have access to it is not a good idea since, as mentioned, the firing pin broke once already on it. I agree about using it to train trigger control and stance though, where possible. Used to train with a penny balanced on the barrel in the army to show signs of jerking. One practice that I've heard of but haven't tried is having the shooting coach slip a few dummy rounds into the student's magazine at random. This shows if the student is flinching or anything like that prior to the shot when on the range. This is frowned upon though, as mixing live an dummy rounds is generally considered a no-no in case someone accidentally does the opposite (slips a live round in with a bunch of dummies).

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Re: Firearms!

Postby SurgicalSteel » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:15 pm UTC

A former room mate of mine went through a tactical course and they used clearly marked dummy rounds (I think they were bright red or something). They used them to simulate duds, the instructor would load your magazine without you looking and slip a couple dummies in, you wouldn't know where they were once they were in the magazine even though normally it would be easy to tell.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby Thesh » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:32 pm UTC

Posthumane wrote:This is what I wanted to know about the springs. I know that dry firing the rifle that I currently have access to it is not a good idea since, as mentioned, the firing pin broke once already on it.


For those guns that you can't dry fire, you can still pick up snap caps. Rimfire snap caps don't tend to last very long, but centerfire snap caps generally have a long lifetime.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby SurgicalSteel » Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:31 pm UTC

I'm resurrecting this thread to ask some opinions.

I recently moved out of the not-so-great state of New York and am looking to get a pistol. It will be largely for target shooting, but may also become a carry pistol. I've taken a look at the S&W M&P40, the Beretta Px4 and the Ruger LC9. I think the Ruger was too small, it felt like I couldn't get a positive enough grip on it. The Px4 and M&P felt great in my hands though, very comfortable. I only got to hold the guns, didn't get to shoot them. Anybody have any opinions on the Px4 or the M&P? I may go back to the shop and see if they have an M&P9, the 40 is a little large dimension-wise for carry it seems.

Also, I know this is a hot topic, but what do people think of ARs in .223 for home defense? I used to be pretty against it, but then I picked up a copy of The Book of the AR-15 by Patrick Sweeney. He presents a pretty good case for why an AR in 223 shooting non-AP bullets is a good HD gun (and even better than a handgun in 9 or 40), and why a lot of the bro-science about the penetrative abilities of the .223 are crap. He's written other books and articles about different platforms and cartridges, and he's generally well respected in the gun writing world, so it seems unlikely he's just being an AR fanboy claiming it's the perfect gun for every job.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby Spambot5546 » Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:49 pm UTC

SurgicalSteel wrote:I'm resurrecting this thread to ask some opinions.

I recently moved out of the not-so-great state of New York and am looking to get a pistol. It will be largely for target shooting, but may also become a carry pistol. I've taken a look at the S&W M&P40, the Beretta Px4 and the Ruger LC9. I think the Ruger was too small, it felt like I couldn't get a positive enough grip on it. The Px4 and M&P felt great in my hands though, very comfortable. I only got to hold the guns, didn't get to shoot them. Anybody have any opinions on the Px4 or the M&P? I may go back to the shop and see if they have an M&P9, the 40 is a little large dimension-wise for carry it seems.

The only sidearm I've ever used to any significant degree is the Beretta 9mm I used when I was in the service. It's supposed to be one of the safest firearms there are, but it has a problem with stove-piping. The research I've done seems to indicate that a revolver is better for home/personal defense. They're less likely to jam, and when are you going to need more than six bullets?
SurgicalSteel wrote:Also, I know this is a hot topic, but what do people think of ARs in .223 for home defense? I used to be pretty against it, but then I picked up a copy of The Book of the AR-15 by Patrick Sweeney. He presents a pretty good case for why an AR in 223 shooting non-AP bullets is a good HD gun (and even better than a handgun in 9 or 40), and why a lot of the bro-science about the penetrative abilities of the .223 are crap. He's written other books and articles about different platforms and cartridges, and he's generally well respected in the gun writing world, so it seems unlikely he's just being an AR fanboy claiming it's the perfect gun for every job.

I'm sure there are ways to make an AR less crappy as a home defense option, but I'd bet non-AP rounds still penetrate more than hollow-points. If you need a long-gun in the house a shotgun would probably be the better way to go. I wanted to get a Mossberg a while back, but never had enough saved up.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby EdgarJPublius » Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:54 pm UTC

M&Ps are very popular these days, so probably a solid choice.

The best option though is to go to a range that allows you to rent various pistols, or go with some friends that have different guns and try out as many different options as you can.
A comfortable grip goes a long way, but trigger feel, controls (mag release, slide catch, safety if any, etc.) and recoil are also good things to get a feel for before choosing.
Also try different styles of handgun. Single action vs. double action, striker fired vs. hammer, autoloading vs. revolver etc.

As for the other question. I would say it depends on your situation to an extent, but a shotgun is the generally recommended home defense weapon. A good pump shotgun will be cheaper, more reliable and easier to maintain than an AR. Shotguns are also mostly designed for reflexive shooting at close range, which is generally going to be the situation in any home defense scenario.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby SurgicalSteel » Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:41 pm UTC

Thanks for the thoughts guys. I've never really considered a carry revolver, but I might look into them. I never liked the idea of always having a round under the hammer, but I guess I could just leave one chamber empty. I've never actually seen a range that rents pistols, but I've never lived in this area of the country either, I might look to see if there's one around that does. I'll probably be making the purchase with my next paycheck, I'll let you guys know what I end up doing.

I know a good pump shotgun will make a fine home defense weapon, I was mainly asking what people thought about the AR as one though, not what is best. I'm planning to get a pump gun soon anyways. I also already own an AR, so them being more expensive than a pump isn't an issue. I've also never had any problems maintaining it, it's stupid easy to take down for cleaning. But you are correct about the pump being more reliable, though I've never had any problems with the AR. I chalk that up partly to it being a Smith and Wesson and not some AR version of a Saturday night special.

Thanks for the opinions guys, keep 'em coming if anyone else has 'em.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby Thesh » Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:04 pm UTC

There are good defensive loads for .223/5.56mm rifles (Hornady TAP comes to mind), but I would still go with the shotgun over it and load it with #4, #1, or 00 buckshot (regular 2 3/4" shells). If you ever need to use it, you have a higher chance of hitting vitals with the spread from the buckshot. I don't think you will go wrong with either with the right choice of ammo, but if you do want to use your AR for home defense, I would recommend not having a muzzle break on it just because of the noise level.

The best case for the AR-15 is the shear amount of customizations you can do to it. It's probably the most modular weapon on the planet, and can be customized to suit whatever needs you might have.

As for revolvers, they are very safe. The hammer doesn't strike the firing pin directly; it has to first hit the transfer bar, which is attached to the trigger with a very simple mechanism that is very unlikely to fail, which then strikes the firing pin. If the trigger is not pulled, they cannot accidentally go off. The reliability of a revolver is second from none. It's the only handgun that can recover from ammunition failure with only a second pull of the trigger.

For concealed revolvers, I would look at a Ruger LCR. Compact, good price. If you are going to go for it, keep it loaded with .38 special +P loads. I would personally go with a 125 grain .38 Special +P Golden Saber in that caliber.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby whatshisfoot » Sun Sep 04, 2011 4:18 am UTC

OBrien wrote:None, as I live in Britain where our laws are sensible about this sort of thing.

Man, say what you will, but guns are fun. I don't want to say the situations for which handguns and assault rifles were designed are fun, and personally handguns piss me off, but in general guns are fun. As for the idea that you need a gun for defense, that's kind of ridiculous. Frankly, I don't ever count on being in a situation where I would need 8 12 gauge rounds, and having a gun in my house unlocked would put me under a hell of a lot more risk. Also, I've never understood concealed carry. I can be a very paranoid person, but I've never once thought "boy, he looks shady. I wish I had a gun strapped to my side pointing at my balls right now!"
Any way, I've got a Beretta 303 in 20 gauge for Chukar hunting, a 10/22, and an old Winchester 95 from '25 in .38/40. I would love to own an AR, but I would probably have it in .308 as a deer rifle, with a heavy barrel.

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Re: Firearms!

Postby pizzazz » Sat Sep 10, 2011 3:57 am UTC

I do not currently own a gun because I go to school in Chicago, and the school's rules are even stricter than the city's. But I plan on getting one once I graduate and get a job. For whatever reason, the M1911 really appeals to me; maybe it's just the history buff in me. Anyone have any experience with one?

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Re: Firearms!

Postby Thesh » Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:19 am UTC

I love 1911s, they are beautiful guns, and you can't get them customized to whatever your taste. I eventually plan on building a custom 1911 (not any time soon) from the ground up. They are fun to shoot, but might not be as reliable as some of the newer designs like Glocks, HKs, and Sigs. 1911s can be hit and miss depending on who built it and many won't feed hollow points, so I wouldn't use it as a self defense weapon, but it's still a great range gun if that's what you're looking for.
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Re: Firearms!

Postby pizzazz » Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:39 pm UTC

Whether I get one for self-defense probably depends on where I live, primarily the crime rate and how hard a CC license is.

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Re: Firearms!

Postby Jacque » Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:52 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:I love 1911s, they are beautiful guns, and you can't get them customized to whatever your taste. I eventually plan on building a custom 1911 (not any time soon) from the ground up. They are fun to shoot, but might not be as reliable as some of the newer designs like Glocks, HKs, and Sigs. 1911s can be hit and miss depending on who built it and many won't feed hollow points, so I wouldn't use it as a self defense weapon, but it's still a great range gun if that's what you're looking for.

I'd imagine being shot with a .45 even sans hollow pointedness would be a pretty good deterrent.

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Re: Firearms!

Postby stevey_frac » Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:08 pm UTC

My thoughts on the idea of the redneck geek can be summed up as follows:
Spoiler:
221434_881394232939_120812321_47418282_695012_o.jpg

222913_884981509009_120812321_47505738_7196536_n.jpg


That second rifle is a Russian SKS. Made in 1953. Beautiful piece of equipment. Elegant and simple. It may be able to shoot the broad side of a barn, provided you are shooting it from the inside. Illegal in the states, for some reason. I guess we gotta be careful we don't let those ruskies flood the market with cheap inaccurate carbines??

It might have something to do with the bayonet, which is illegal in the states. I guess we have to do SOMETHING to reduce all those drive-by bayonettings?

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Re: Firearms!

Postby Thesh » Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:17 pm UTC

The gun itself isn't illegal, but we have restrictions on importation (I don't know the exact details).

Jacque wrote:I'd imagine being shot with a .45 even sans hollow pointedness would be a pretty good deterrent.


Well, if you ever have to actually use a gun in self defense, you want every advantage you can get.
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