Posts Tagged ‘Self defense’

shoe-shopping

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!

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4_womens-safety

* June 2014 Update: I still this question every so often, so I figured a repost of last year’s post was in order. Enjoy and please share.

This question was put before me multiple times Friday. As the only lady on staff, full-time, at Autrey’s, I get a lot of questions from men about the right gun for their wife/girlfriend/mom/etc… “How to get my wife to carry ?”was a new question for me. The best I could tell them was to have their wife explore websites dedicated to women and self-defense; such as The Well Armed Woman, Mothers Arms or Cornered Cat. As I am able to easily open carry nearly everyday, the question made me curious. What are the reasons women do not carry as often as the men would like? As most of us do today, I took to the internet to find my answers. I explored the previously mentioned websites, forums on carrying and various articles. I concluded that woman do not carry for a number of reasons.

1. Inconvenience

2. Discomfort

3. Insecurity with the firearm

4. False security in the environment

5. Perceived inability to take a life

(If you know of other reasons, please let me know in the comments below.)

Inconvenience

From what I’ve read, this seems to be the main reason women do not carry more. With women’s fashion being what it is, it is a challenge to daily wear a gun. Women have to get creative in order to wear a gun daily. It is difficult but not impossible to dress fashionably and carry. Take a look at TheWellArmedWoman  and TheCorneredCat  for some good tips in overcoming this obstacle.

Discomfort

Highly related to the earlier issue, many women find daily carry uncomfortable.  Clint Smith said, “Carrying a gun isn’t supposed to be comfortable, it is supposed to be a comfort.” This is true, however, I do believe it is possible to find ways to carry that is comfortable. Many manufacturers have developed carry options designed specifically for women’s bodies. TheWellArmedWoman is one website that sells many of these carry options and has video reviews of a number of them.

A woman may also dislike the gun she has. For example many women will buy, or have bought for them, subcompact .380’s due to their minute size and concealability. However, as most have then discovered, they are not easy nor fun to shoot. This discourages many new shooters from practicing with their firearm. Not practicing with their firearm will lead to feeling insecure about their competency with the gun.

Insecurity with the Firearm

Frequently, a woman will not carry a gun because she is not confident she can handle it if the need arises. This is a legitimate concern that we should not take lightly. A great solution to these concerns is to take advantage of one of many gun courses available. If you prefer a local class we offer Ladies Only Classes at our store or there are national organizations that offer training courses throughout the country. The NRA Women’s Programs and Babes with Bullets are two examples. Another possible solution is to find a gun that works better for you. Go to a range that has a large selection of rental guns and try as many as you can. With time and experience you will find a gun that works for you.

False Security in the Environment

Perhaps many women who don’t carry are unaware of the crime in their area or they may naïvely believe crime will never impact them personally. Historically, many of us have grown up in relative safety and security. Society has changed. We no longer live in such a safe and secure world. I will not go into the data and statistics here, since they are readily available on the web. Women are frequently picked as easy targets and guns are the great equalizer.

Perceived Inability to Take a Life

To carry a gun means you must be willing to take a life to save your life or the life of a loved one. We women must overcome any false compassion we may have toward the person threatening us and defend ourselves and our loved ones. I say false, because he/she surrendered any right to compassion when he/she decided to endanger me or my loved ones. Many women do not see themselves as capable of taking a life but I do believe more women would pull the trigger than they give themselves credit for. Massad Ayoob wrote a great article on this topic. My favorite quote is: “The lioness is often more formidable than the lion. No instinct is stronger than that of mother protecting child. There is nothing unfeminine about strength and empowerment.” I would recommend exploring his other articles on that site, especially Armed and Female and Against a Rapist.

While there are definite obstacles women must overcome to daily carry a firearm, I believe with the right equipment, training, support and encouragement women can daily protect themselves, their children and other loved ones.

~Ruth

Some other valuable online resources are:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogGBPVk5GQk

http://www.armedinheels.com/concealed-carry-females-tips-considerations-pg-10.html?CDpath=3

https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/ccm-columns/features/concealed-carry-for-the-petite-woman/

http://packingpretty.com/tag/womens-concealed-carry/

http://www.corneredcat.com/article/for-the-men/how-to-make-your-wife-hate-guns/

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=564531

 

By Ruth Goodman

umpire safe

I am declaring it official. The gun-buying panic is over. The mad rush to arms following the Sandy Hook tragedy (and the politicians’ attempts to exploit it) has finally come to an end. In case you were out of the country or otherwise occupied during the last two years, let me bring you up to speed. The gun industry was already experiencing high activity thanks to the reelection of our current president when tragedy struck in Newtown, Connecticut. Immediately following the reports of a school shooting AR’s began flying off the shelves.

While this picture is not of our store (we did not think to take pictures of our empty racks and shelves), it is remarkably similar to what happened to us.

While this picture is not of our store (we did not think to take pictures of our empty racks and shelves), it is remarkably similar to what happened to us.

Most of our inventory of Modern Sporting Rifles was gone within a week, all of it was gone within a few weeks. (On our busiest day, we went from a regular staff of 5 to 9 and still had customers lined up to the door.) Once all the AR’s were gone, attention turned to handguns. Self-defense purposed handguns became impossible to keep in stock. The rapid rise in handgun purchasing led to ammo shortages in nearly all the popular calibers. For most calibers, the supply quickly caught up with demand and the shortage ceased to be a problem many months, if not a year, ago. The notable exception to that is .22 ammo. In our store, the .22 ammo shortage began around the same time the rest of the calibers were catching up with demand and has continued on from that time. The most bizarre thing to many of us in the industry, is how long it has taken .22 ammo to catch up. A full year later and we still have a very limited supply of .22 and impose strict limits on how many boxes a customer can purchase. 

However, as we entered Spring we noted a marked slow-down in our store. As we talk with others from around the country, we are hearing of the return of the normal “summer slow season.” Gun stores and industry reps for national companies are reporting an industry-wide slow-down of purchases and firearms activity (with the exception of states that recently enacted increasingly infringing gun laws). I believe this slow season feels much slower to many, because it stands in stark contrast to the record making sales of the last two years. We have been so busy for so long, that record busy became the new normal. Stores increased staffing and ordered more product, producers ramped up production, etc… 

out of breath

Now that pre-chaos norms have reinstated themselves, this is the perfect opportunity for us all to rest and catch our breath. It’s a chance to look up from the daily activities and see the bigger picture. How many of the recent gun-buyers were first time buyers that now need training, supplies, and support? How can we as an industry meet those needs? Women are steadily increasing their presence in the firearms world. What can we do to encourage and support that growth? Have the local demographics changed in the last two years? Should a store focus more on building their online presence or on their brick-and-mortar functionality? There are countless questions we, as an industry, can ask ourselves at this time. Now is the chance for each of us to really sit down and evaluate ourselves as a store, an industry member, a service provider, and a member of the community. 

Let us all make the most of this time and catch our breath. 

By Tommy Harper

So you ask “why do we need a blog about how to clean an AR-15 style rifle?” Well, my answer is that due to the panic buying that began before the last national election and continued up until recently many of these rifles have found their way into the hands of people who have little or no experience with them. More than a few of these rifles are in safes for “just in case” and have not been shot. Some rifles have been shot and may be waiting on some advice on the proper way to clean them. While the instruction manual that comes with all firearms these days goes a long way toward explaining how to clean and maintain our firearms I think a picture is worth a thousand words!

BEFORE YOU START…

imageTo begin, you will of course need the proper equipment and cleaning supplies. A ten-dollar rifle cleaning kit is all that is really needed to complete the task but there are a few extra items that will make the task much easier. The first is the hinge pin link that will hold the separated halves open and keep them from closing while you clean the rifle. Next is a bore guide that will allow you to add solvent to a cloth patch and guide your cleaning rod from the chamber end of the rifle. The chamber is the preferred end to clean from so as not to nick the crown of the rifle muzzle. Next is a specialized chamber brush. This brush is only used to clean the chamber area of the rifle. It helps to use the chamber brush on a pistol rod instead of a long rifle rod. The last special item is a gas tube pipe cleaner. These are extra long pipe cleaners made for AR15 rifles and can be found at most gun and gear web sites or at local gun shows. You can also find them in the craft section at Wal-Mart.

CLEANING THE RIFLE (see below for pictures)

Now to get started. First thing is make sure that your rifle is unloaded!

Then locate the rear hinge pin(1) and push it out from the left side of the rifle and open the halves. Then if you have a hinge pin link(2) add this to hold open the rifle.

Pull back on the charging handle and remove the bolt carrier and handle(3). Lay aside for cleaning(4). Insert the bore guide in place of the bolt carrier and handle and clean the bore using solvent, patches, and bronze bore brush until clean(5).

Now you need to disassemble, clean, lubricate, and reassemble the bolt and bolt carrier assembly. Pull out the cotter pin on the side of the bolt carrier(6&7). That will allow the firing pin to be removed from the back of the bolt carrier(8&9). With your finger push the bolt back into the carrier(10&11)). Then turn the rectangular bolt retaining pin so that it aligns with the carrier(12). You may now pull this pin out, which will allow you to pull the bolt forward and out of the carrier(13,14,15). Following that, you must clean all carbon build-up from all the parts. Once clean, a small dot of a good lubricant on all parts is needed. Before reassembly, note that the rear of the bolt has three silver metal rings that serve as gas seals(16). These rings are not solid but have a gap so they can be replaced. You must make sure that the gaps are not aligned with each other to prevent gas loss. Leaving the gaps aligned will cause malfunctions. Take a pointed tool and space the gaps apart by rotating them around the bolt. To prevent you from putting the bolt back in the wrong way, the hole in the bolt that the rectangular retaining pin goes through is larger on one side than the other. After getting the correct side toward you reassemble the bolt and carrier by simply reversing the disassembly process. Before you can replace the bolt carrier back into the rifle you must extend the bolt out to the front by pulling on it until it stops.

hinge pin pulled out to open halves

(1) hinge pin pulled out to open halves

 

At this point, I recommend that you remove the link and bore guide and push out the forward hinge pin and separate the upper from the lower. This will allow you to clean the trigger group inside the lower much easier. Clean it with solvent and a brush. Remove any solvent with a dry rag and lubricate the trigger group. Now depress the buffer spring retaining pin and remove the buffer and spring from the buffer tube(17,18,19).

After that, clean inside the buffer tube and wipe dry with a rag. Wipe down the spring and buffer and lightly oil with a rag. Replace the assembly back into the buffer tube. At this point, you should be finished with the lower. Wipe out the mag well area and dry. Lube the mag release button and the bolt locking lever.

Now turn your attention back to the upper. Clean inside and around the chamber, gas tube, and upper where the bolt carrier rides. Here is where you want to use the gas tube pipe cleaners. Place a small amount of solvent on a pipe cleaner and insert it into the gas tube. Needle nose pliers are a great help! Push all the way in and out a few times to remove all carbon build up inside the tube and run a dry one in and out to remove any solvent(20).

clean inside upper and inside gas tube

(20) clean inside upper and inside gas tube

Finish Up..

Now all that remains is to put the halves back together using the forward hinge pin. Reinstall the charging handle and bolt carrier. Close the two halves and push the rear hinge pin back into place to lock the halves together.

Always do a function check at this point! Charge the rifle by pulling back on the handle and let go. Place the rifle safety on. With the rifle pointed in a safe direction try pressing the trigger. It should not release the hammer. Now take the safety off. Again in a safe direction press the trigger. It should allow the hammer to release. Check to make sure a magazine will insert into the mag well and that it locks up and releases. If all is good, then you can wipe down the rifle’s outside with a rag and store away. You are finished!

I hope this helps! Know that this my way and not the only way do accomplish this task. It works for me and has for many years. If I have missed a step I am sure that those of you out there who are accomplished at this will add to this basic instruction to aid the beginners! Thanks in advance!

 


Over-Penetration-1024x471

I intended to start a series on the best personal defense ammo, but once I dug into that topic I realized there is no such thing. I found a myriad of opinions, countless arguments and occasional facts but solid, undeniable evidence for one specific type of ammo was not to be found. One “expert” contradicts another and us lay readers are left confused and frustrated. Overall, I did manage to reach a few general conclusions:

home_defense_shotgun1. Shotgun for in the house

As I considered over-penetration in a home, the shotgun won hands-down. The debate still rages between birdshot and buckshot, but overall shotgun pellets went through fewer walls then handgun rounds. Regarding rifles, there were completely contradictory statements made about 5.56/.223 ammo and over-penetration/tumbling. Without testing it personally, I’m not comfortable designating it as safer than handguns in the house. However, it was intriguing to see the bullets start tumbling after traveling through just a few “walls.” Overall lesson learned: know your target and what’s beyond it. Anything strong enough to incapacitate a human is strong enough to travel through walls.

2. FMJ’s are best reserved for the range. D7K_4785-1024x678

Full metal jackets are not good rounds for home defense as they punch through the bad guy and walls far too easily. Hollowpoints are preferred for home defense as they are designed to transfer their energy into the tissue of the aggressor and thus are less likely to cause collateral damage upon exiting the body. It must be noted, however, that many hollow points will act like FMJ if they do not impact soft tissue and instead hit a wall. Hollow points can easily fill with drywall and not expand.

3. Hollow Points are Hollow PointsHandgun_gel_comparison

While there are certainly variations between brands, and vociferous defenders of each, the overarching theme was the majority performed similarly. While differences are demonstrable, I do not find the minor differences to be enough to warrant such intense scrutiny. My time is better spent on the range ensuring I can put whichever ammo I choose in the target.

basic-gun-safety-course-for-one-two-or-four-people-13699884504. Short of becoming intimately involved in the testing of various rounds, the best use of my time is to simply choose one of the top 5 hollow points and practice, practice, practice. Studying and analyzing the ballistics of a round is completely useless when you cannot put that round on target. Hours or researching and analyzing 147 vs 124 grain is completely useless if you are only capable of missing the bad guy. I would recommend we spend more time training with quality instructors and less time arguing over ammo.

Conclusion:

While I do believe it is beneficial to understand ballistics and the technicalities of the ammo you have chosen to trust your life with, I am baffled by the intense debate over ammo choices. I say research it until you are fairly knowledgeable on the ammo you need for your gun and then go practice on the range. All these arguments are useless if people spend so much time in the esoteric world of ammo options that they are out of practice when their skills are called upon. A FMJ center mass is better than a 147 gr +P Speer Gold Dot in the wall.

aw

For More Information (in no particular order):

http://www.chuckhawks.com/ammo_by_anonymous.htm

http://www.homedefensegun.net/home-defense-ballistics/

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/theboxotruth.htm

http://www.ar15.com/content/page.html?id=176

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot14.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zhW9E3PDUk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97sjv11yesc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gq3RVvL9ZjU

http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/node/7866

http://www.guns.com/2013/02/27/self-defense-inside-the-home-avoiding-over-penetratio/

http://www.ballistics101.com/personal_defense.php

http://www.ar15.com/ammo/project/Self_Defense_Ammo_FAQ/

http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs10.htm

http://www.ar15.com/ammo/project/Exotic_Ammo_FAQ/index.htm

http://www.brassfetcher.com/OJ%20gunshot%20thread.pdf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAxkVMQHGpE

http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/ayoob108.html

http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/ayoob93.html

http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/ayoob130.html

gun-shop

I came across an intriguing question the other day. Why do people buy guns? It got me thinking; what is the motivation for people to buy guns today? Is it just for fun? Is it for defense? Just to have for “just in case”? Why was there such a surge in gun buying over the last few years?

From what I see on a daily basis, I’ve deduced there are typically 4 main reasons a person will purchase a firearm:

1. Self Defense1348599034949gun

2. Sport (hunting, competitive shooting, etc…) th

3. Investment (collecting)guncollection3

4. The Love of Firearms

What is a Self-Defense Gun?

th

A competition gun

Of the four reasons, numbers 1 and 4 are the most common in our store. While recreational firearm use, collecting and simply enjoying firearms are certainly valuable components of the firearms industry overall, I find the majority of our customers are looking for self-defense firearms. What is a self-defense gun? I define a self-defense gun as a firearm specifically designed to aid the user in utilizing it effectively, efficiently, simply and quickly in an immediate threat situation. Self-defense firearms do not need a lot of the bells and whistles that most competitive firearms have. Normally, they aren’t covered in camo like most hunting firearms. Nor are they as finely stylized, refined and expensive as a collector’s piece. Keep in mind however, there can always be some crossover between these different subsections of the firearm industry. I have used my carry gun in shooting competitions and history is full of people defending their lives with their hunting rifles. I find, however, a gun specifically designed for a purpose will fulfill that purpose far more effectively and efficiently than a gun designed for another purpose. For example, the long-barreled hunting shotguns are great in the field but would be awkward as a home defense gun. I can just picture knocking over a lamp as I swing to face the door. Home defense shotguns typically have 18.5 inch barrels to avoid just that scenario.

 Reasons for Buying a Self Defense Firearm

As I dig deeper into my customer’s motivation for buying a self-defense type of firearm I typically encounter one of the following concerns:

Fear or an Awakened Sense of Vulnerability

criminalThis is, by far, the most common reason I hear. “My neighbor down the street was broken into… I have to walk a distance to get to my car at night… Our country appears to be on the verge of societal collapse and I want something to defend my family.” At the root of each reason is the innate desire to defend one’s person and loved ones. Frequently, that instinct has been dormant for years, only to be awakened by a violent encroachment into a person’s sense of normalcy. Many customers come in fresh from that defining moment, others wait and expand their knowledge before coming into our store. Some think about it for a long time and others go immediately and purchase a defensive tool. While I label this motivation as “Fear,” many others would label it as: “Preparation,” “Doing Your Duty,” “Precaution,” “Planning Ahead,” etc… I label it as “Fear” simply because that is the way it is most often presented to me, in the eyes of my customers.

freedom slaverySupporting the Constitution

Some of our customers feel it is their constitutional duty to own a firearm. With key voices in government speaking in terms that threatened the very possibility of firearm ownership last year, countless thousands purchased firearms as a peaceful protest. To many Americans, the ability to own arms is what separates free citizens from subjects, masters from slaves, and differentiates a free people from an enslaved nation.

640_011013_fx_judge_guns

A Sad Awakening

While I find it intellectually stimulating to analyze the motivations of our customers, the results sadden me. The predominance of fear and vulnerability as a motivation for purchasing firearms is an indictment of the state of our country. When so many of its citizens are feeling so threatened by both street thugs and government actions that their only perceived recourse is to take up arms, a country is far farther down the proverbial slope then we all realize. Yes, firearms are, among other things, a great equalizer of force, an invaluable tool, and a worthy investment. After all, a gun is the quickest way to empower a 120 pound women to ward off a couple 250 pound thugs. Yet, what kind of society have we become that we knowingly allow such thugs to walk the streets? The thin veneer of peaceful society is wearing through and many people are waking up to realize it. These are the ones walking through our doors.

declaration_bible_gun_xlarge

Wow. Incredible interview with EJ Owens revealing the truth about dealing with death and self defense. Only available until 9 am PST.

http://thesurvivalsummit.com/the-darker-side-of-self-defense-protecting-your-mind-from-the-effects-of-traumatic-violence/