Posts Tagged ‘Handgun’


Now, you may be thinking, “Shoe Shopping??? I thought this was a gun blog.” Don’t worry. It is. However, I discovered an amazing connection between these two apparent opposites. Shoes and guns are astoundingly similar in a one key area: it’s nearly impossible for somebody else to pick out the perfect one for you. 

A Woman’s Advice

shoe-shopping (1)As the only full-time lady working behind the counter at Autrey’s, I am asked all the time: “What’s a good gun for my wife?” Nearly everyday, I hear one of the many variations of this question. Sometimes, the question comes from another lady assuming that she’ll like whatever gun I like, simply because we are both female. The false premise behind these questions is this idea that there is a specific gun or a specific type of gun that is ideal for women. To refute this, I offer up the suggestion that there is one specific car that is ideal for every man. Silly, right? Same thing with guns. Each person, man or woman, must find which gun feels right to them, which gun they shoot well, and which gun they can afford. Individual preferences rule the day when it comes to gun-buying. While I can suggest general things to consider (weight, recoil, size, etc…), these generalities in no way assure success. I can no more tell a husband which gun his wife will like any more than I can tell him which shoe to buy her. And I pity the man who would ask me to pick out his wife’s shoes. 

gun-shopWhoever will be using the gun needs to hold it, feel it, make sure they can operate it, and, if possible, shoot it. From my experience, I say shooting the gun you are interested in buying, or a gun similar to it, is vital to long-term enjoyment of said firearm. For example, those little, light-weight guns everybody loves to market to women are some of the most uncomfortable guns I have ever shot. For the women out there: just because it is small, cute and you like the way it feels in your hand, does not mean you will like shooting it. Those little things pack quite a kick.

Whenever possible, shoot before buying. Going back to the shoe analogy, buying a gun without shooting it is like buying shoes without trying them on. The shoe may be the right size, style and color but still be completely miserable to wear. A gun may meet all your other criteria but still be a literal pain to shoot. (At which point, you have to decide if you will get it and put up with the pain or find something more comfortable.) 


Trying on a Gun:

Right grip1. Fit: For best results, the gun must fit the user. The trigger should be a comfortable reach for their finger, not too close and not too far. The operational buttons (slide lock, magazine release, safety, etc…) should be easily accessed and operated. For semi-automatic users, the user must be able to rack the slide. Some guns are harder to rack than others, so don’t give up on semiautomatics completely if you struggle with the first one you try.

2. Feel: This is the intangible aspect of gun-buying. There are some guns that just feel right in your hand. The contour of the grip, the weight, the texture, and the overall size of the gun greatly influence the feel of the gun but only you can determine what feels right.

basic-gun-safety-course-for-one-two-or-four-people-13699884503. Fun: As a general guideline, I believe a gun should be enjoyable to shoot. I readily admit that concessions to comfort must be made when situations demand a small carry gun as the only option. However, people tend to do things that are fun and not do things that are not fun. With that principle in mind, I will sometimes suggest the buyer might also consider investing in a more enjoyable gun at some point in the future. This will encourage range time and practice. At a minimum, the user must be able to safely operate and control the firearm while shooting; enjoyment is an important, but secondary consideration.


Concluding Thoughts

969572_364713273655812_1015285563_nI do not want to discourage people from asking me, or other women, for recommendations on firearms, but I do want to expose the mythical “Good gun for a lady.”  There is no such thing. Some guns are preferred more by women than men, but your woman may not like any of them. Buying a gun, especially for the first time, is a very personal decision. Such a decision can, when encouraged, truly reveal a person’s individuality. So, I urge all you to never pick out another person’s gun (unless they gave you very clear and precise directions or it’s a collector’s piece), for they may end up not liking anything you thought they would like. I recently encouraged a friend to look at a couple of handguns I thought he would really like. He ended up putting his hand on a completely different one and that was it. That was the one he wanted and no other would do. It just felt right. He would have been very unhappy with my choices and I am just very glad I didn’t get him one of the ones I recommended. So live and learn… and Try on a Gun!



While there are many talking heads blathering on about who “should” or “should not” be allowed to own a gun, this article isn’t about government regulations. This article is designed to help a mature, responsible adult decide if gun-ownership is right for him or her. Many people across this nation are growing ever more concerned about the direction this country is going. This concern is part of the dramatic rise in gun sales over the last few years. However, instead of a knee-jerk, gun-buying reaction, potential gun-owners need to ask themselves some hard questions (Main questions borrowed from Kathy Jackson at before purchasing a firearm for self-defense.

1. Is it Ever Permissible to Kill a Human Being?


Is there any situation in life that makes it OK to kill a person? If you answered Yes, please proceed to Question 2. If you answered No, carrying a lethal weapon of any sort is probably not a good idea for you. Mace is probably a better idea.

2. Are You Willing to Take a Life to Save Your’s or Your Loved One’s?

self-defenseWill you do whatever it takes to live? Are you willing to fight with everything in you to protect yourself or your loved one’s? Are you mentally prepared to pull the trigger and take the life of another? That attacker is somebody’s son, somebody’s father, somebody’s loved one. And the family will grieve upon his death. You must know down deep in yourself that the as soon as an attacker produces a lethal weapon (a gun, knife, bat or fist) he has decided that somebody is going to die. The only variable is the identity of the body. Will your family be grieving a lost brother, sister, wife, mother, father, or grandfather or will his? The attacker decided the possible reward was worth a human life and by that decision he forfeited the value of his life. “Not Me. Not Mine. Not Today.”


Part of the decision to fight back stems from realizing what you would lose if you do not. You might lose: your life, family, health; a fighting spirit; getting married; having children; your family might lose a sister/brother, father/mother, or husband/wife; seeing your child’s first steps; all your dreams and callings; and so much more. What are you willing to fight for?

3. Under What Circumstances is it Permissible to Kill a Human Being?

Rape prevention tipsOnce you have wrestled Questions 1 and 2 to the ground, it’s time for the next soul-piercing question. When do you shoot or not-shoot? When does the situation justify lethal force? The standard answer in Georgia is: if you are in imminent threat of great bodily harm or death you can shoot. But what does that really look like? The situation you face could be one of a myriad of scenarios: it could be a forceful entry in the middle of the night, it could be a group of attackers on the street, or it could a mugger in the parking lot. For other possible scenarios, simply pull up the local news of a major metropolitan area. There is an abundance of examples we can learn from. Due to the inexhaustible list of possible scenarios that evil men create, it is impossible to mentally run through and train for each one. What we can do is pick out some key principles from the crimes and develop a list of personal boundaries that we will not allow the criminal to cross. For example: I will not go with anyone to a second location. The second crime scene is nearly always more gruesome and heinous. Right then, right there is all I’ve got. Better to be shot down in the parking lot than tortured for days in a hidden location. Fight, and fight hard! My second rule is: I will not be tied up. The only reason to tie me up is to make me more vulnerable. My best chances are right then, right there. Odds of getting untied and escaping are slim to none. Criminals want easy victims. Make it as hard as possible on them. Fight back with everything that is in you.


4. What Are the State and Local Laws Regarding Lethal Force?


Make yourself very familiar with your state and locals laws. After you are academically familiar, I recommend you find a local lawyer who deals with lethal force cases and talk with him or her. Should you be involved in a defensive gun use scenario, not knowing what you legally can and cannot do may cause you to freeze up at the most inopportune time. Confidently knowing what you are and are not allowed to do will also make the aftermath less stressful and intimidating.

 Concluding Thoughts

I write all of the above from the natural man’s perspective. However, there is more to life than this natural body and I must add a caveat. As a Christian, I must temper my innate desire and natural-born right to defend my life and liberty with total submission to the Holy Spirit. There are times to fight physically and there are times to fight spiritually. At times He asks us to lay down our lives and other times He asks us to stand right in the face of the enemy. I do not find self-defense to be contrary to the teachings of Jesus, after all He told His disciples to go buy a sword (an illegal weapon, at the time) and spoke of a strongman defending his house from a robber, yet I also see a Christian history full of martyrs. Men and women who did not fight back but laid down their life for Him, as He also did not fight back but laid down His life for us all. My only conclusion is that in this area too, I must be completely governed by His wisdom and love. Besides, He does a much better job protecting me than I ever could.


For More Information…


With this most recent Arctic Blast of frigid cold (at least by Georgia standards) I find myself facing new challenges. How do you conceal carry in winter? A heavy coat can obstruct a draw from the waistline and carrying in the coat pocket is great until you walk inside a warm building and need to take the coat off. I’m almost always cold and thus bundled up. All that bundling makes it quite difficult to access my carry gun at a leisurely pace, let alone in a hurry. As so many of us do today, I turned to the internet for answers. I discovered a well-informed and well-written article that addresses these issues and many others that I had not even thought of. While I found many other articles that addressed some of the issues, I found none addressed the winter carrying challenge as thoroughly and honestly as the US Concealed Carry article by John Perez. If your daily routine includes putting on a warm coat, I highly recommend you read his article.

Stay safe and think warm thoughts.



Everyone who has ever shot a handgun, rifle or shotgun has faced a dilemma. You shot your 5, 6, 17 or 20 rounds and now your gun is empty. Now what? What do you have to do in order to continue shooting? Reload. The way you reload the firearm depends heavily on the type of firearm you are using, but it also depends on your preferred technique. With a revolver you can use a speed loader or manually load round by round. Rifles may be single-shot, requiring constant reloading, or they may have a magazine that can be loaded manually or with stripper clips. Shotguns come in a variety of shapes and sizes but most require individual rounds to be loaded manually into chambers or tube magazines. Semi-automatic handgun magazines may either be pre-loaded or continuously reloaded after each series of shots. The techniques involved in the insertion of a fresh magazine into a handgun, currently in use, will be the focus of the rest of this article.

To accomplish the goal of feeding your handgun more ammunition there are a number of options:

Emergency Reload

fast-reload-lede-354x200A properly functioning, semi-automatic handgun slide will lock to the rear once the last round is fired and the magazine is empty. Once that happens to reload the gun you need to follow a series of steps; press the magazine release button, insert a new magazine, and release the slide forward. Now there are two, much debated, methods of releasing the slide. One, pull the slide stop down to release the slide. Two, bring your support hand to the top of the slide, quickly pull the slide to the rear and release the slide. The latter is better known as the slingshot method. Each option has it’s pros and cons. I recommend you practice both and find what works best for you.

Speed Reload

MG_1150-2To accomplish a Speed Reload, release the magazine and let it drop to the ground while the gun is still in battery (loaded) and insert a loaded mag. This is the quickest way to reload a semi-automatic as you do not need to manipulate anything other than the magazine release button and the spare mag. The downside is you lose the few rounds left in the magazine for the rest of the firefight.

Reload with Retention

To reload the gun while retaining the magazine, eject the magazine into your support hand, stow it somewhere on your body, grab your spare mag and insert it into the firearm. The general idea here is to not lose those few extra rounds left in the magazine. If the firefight continues, you may need those few rounds. However, it is also simpler to handle one mag at a time. Hence, the Retention Reload.

Tactical Reload

TacLoad_07_phatchfinalFor a Tactical Reload, grab your spare magazine, hold it in your support hand, drop the nearly empty magazine into you support hand, and insert the spare magazine into the firearm. This was originally designed to be used with 1911 single-stack mags but with much practice it can be done with double-stack mags. A Tactical Reload is generally expected to be performed during a lull in a firefight. The idea is to retain the few rounds left in the magazine while getting a full magazine as quickly as possible.

Administrative Reload

An Administrative Reload is generally described as exchanging an (nearly) empty magazine for a fully loaded magazine while the gun is holstered.


Which option you choose may depend on what situation you find yourself in. There are pluses and minuses to each one. Which ever method you use, make sure you position your index finger on the front of the magazine to assist you in aiming the magazine into the mag well. Also, give a tug on the magazine after seating it into the pistol. This ensures the mag is properly seated and doesn’t drop out after the first round is fired. While it is time-consuming and embarrassing (I speak from experience on this one) during a competition, it could be deadly in a firefight.

Which ever option you choose, practice, practice, practice.


Further Resources…