Choosing Your Pistol - Guest Contributor Jager
I would like to welcome another fellow Patriot, Army Veteran (Retired), and good friend, Jager. He offers some good guidance and information below on your personal handgun. I encounter so many folks who buy, want to buy, or buy a spouse, the wrong handgun. Simply put. Just because it's cool and what one sees on television or carried by a local cop does not mean it is the right handgun. I know someone who purchased their spouse a 45 caliber. The wife had small hands and couldn't pull back the slide to chamber a round, Why? Because the husbands friend, a state trooper carried the same weapon and said it was reliable. No arguments on reliability, but functionality for a 5' 5" 120 pound woman was impossible. I didn't ask how well she could throw the weapon to hit a target. Any hoot, enjoy Jager's message below.
Choosing Your Pistol - Jager
For the purpose of this article, pistol includes semi-automatic magazine fed weapons, revolvers, derringers, and trendy pocket guns. I have a background in weapons that dates back 58 years. My grandfather owned a pawn shop where I spent as much time as allowed while growing up. In later years I joined the Army spend 24 years total equally divided between active duty and guard/reserves. Several years I worked in the family pawn shop and instructed at the local gun range. I moved to Tennessee 4 years ago and worked at a local gun range as a range officer.
That said I am addressing this article to men and women who are not familiar with firearms.
I have seen well meaning family members, husbands, boyfriends etc. push a gun on someone who really doesn’t want to own one or fears it. A firearm is a force equalizer. A pistol in the hands of a 100-pound woman makes her equal to a 250-pound man regardless if he is armed or not. Putting a loud firearm with heavy recoil into the hands of a novice shooter will cause a multitude of problems. The problems may include flinching, jerking the trigger, closing your eyes, and the inability to work the action of the gun. My recommendation is to start shooting with a 22-caliber pistol. Cheap ammo, less noise, and minimal recoil are some of the reasons to start here.
I’m not going to go with the bigger is better argument. It is not. The correct way to look at a pistol is to shoot what you can handle and hit your target with. The lonely 22 is much better than a 9mm or a 45acp if you hit your target. I do not recommend a 22 to be an adequate self-defense round but it can be in the hands of a competent shooter. Once you master the 22 and do so without adopting bad shooting habits you can move up in caliber till you find the gun that fits you best.
Many gun ranges rent guns. Go to the range after reading available articles on the internet that might suggest some makes and models to try. I bought my wife a Ruger SR-22. She loves it. It is easy to load, and the slide is easy for her to operate. It has many safety features like a de-cocker and loaded round indicator. Once you have mastered the 22, rent some larger caliber weapons. Please note that larger caliber pistols have stronger recoil springs that compensate for the recoil of the round but also make it harder for some people to work the slide which loads a round from the magazine. If a semi-auto pistol has a malfunction the shooter must have the hand strength to clear the jam and put the pistol back in battery or ready to shoot. It doesn’t matter how well you can shoot a given pistol, if you can’t operate the slide and clear a malfunction then the pistol is NOT for you.
My advice to the novice shooter is to take a pistol that you can operate and purchase some snap caps. Snap caps are dummy shells that are the same physical size as a regular shell but won’t fire and allow you to practice safely. While sitting around the house watching TV, load your magazine with the dummy rounds (snap caps) and practice putting the weapon in the magazine and dropping the magazine with the magazine release. Next work the action to load a round into the chamber of the gun. Practice squeezing the trigger with the tip of your finger. An added benefit that will lower your blood pressure is to shoot the tv screen when a democrat/socialist appears. This is a stress reliever and may lower your blood pressure. LOL
Next I want to touch on revolvers. A revolver is a pistol that has multiple cylinders that hold the ammo. They usually hold 5 or 6 rounds but may hold as many as 10 in a 22-caliber pistol. Most revolvers are double action. That means you can manually cock the hammer with your thumb then pull the trigger to fire. When you do that the cylinder containing the ammunition rotates and aligns the cylinder with the barrel and allows you to fire the round. This is what is called single action. Some revolvers that are the older cowboy style guns are only single action. A double action revolver can rotate the cylinder by pressing the trigger which will fire the pistol once the cylinder is lined up with the barrel. The revolver is much simpler to operate than a semi auto weapon. No need for a safety and no slide to operate and usually do not malfunction. The drawback is the double action trigger is harder to pull and often a person doesn’t have the strength in their trigger finger to fire the gun. If this is the case, you DON’T need that weapon. As with the semi-auto pistol you can buy snap caps and practice loading and unloading your revolver and shooting it with the dummy rounds. Democrats beware.
In closing I want to leave you with one thought, Practice, Practice, Practice. Sitting around the living room, going to the range for live fire, and reading expert’s (not me) articles about shooting techniques will make you able to defend yourself and your family if the need arises. A pistol is good for fighting your way to your rifle but that is a subject for another day.
Bravo Echo Out