USING HANDGUNS FOR SELF-DEFENSE
(from ATTACK PROOF p. 199)
2013 NEW YORK STATE GUN LAWS
A well-trained person with a pistol in hand, ready for action, is a rarity. All too often, people buy a gun and some ammunition and go to the nearest range or empty lot and fire off a few rounds, thinking they're now ready for anything. Conversely, a person can train for years firing at static targets, get high scores, and still not be ready to defend him- or herself with a handgun. Over 90 percent of gunfights occur within 21 feet. More than half of these occur within 5 feet. Most people, when put to the test, can't even get their guns out in time to defend against a person rushing them from across a large room. You must also know hand-to-hand combat.
The first step toward carrying a handgun for self-defense is to find a competent trainer through the NRA. After you've learned some basic home defense and how to handle a gun safely, you should practice simple marksmanship for 10 to 20 hours. Once you can hit a man-sized target with sighted fire (i.e., using the gunsights), you can graduate to the more serious aspects of shooting for self-defense. At close range (0-21 feet), it's not necessary to bring your handgun up to eye level. Here is where point-shooting, or what's called instinctive shooting, comes into play. This information is not as widely available.
Basic Information on Self Defense for Handgunners
The most basic training for handgunners is simply learning how to safely handle a handgun according to the rules of the NRA. For this information please contact a competent OFFICIAL NRA instructor and learn the basics. Once you are given the proper training and can safely draw from concealment and hit a pie plate at 21 feet one or two handed in less than 2 seconds you are ready for the basics of learning how to shoot under realistic conditions.
One of the first things to think about is what type or specific handgun you wish to carry.
One rule of thumb is this. Make sure that it is a handgun that you will carry and not leave home because it is, for instance, too heavy or too large to carry comfortably.
We are now lucky today in that there are many new, in the last two decades, light, compact and powerful handguns to choose from.
Once you find one that "fits" you you may begin to practice some of my personal favorite drills taken from my Barehands to Handguns course.
You must practice with what you will carry along with the type of ammo you are happy with.
Some ammo suggestions are the following.
For short barrelled 9mm pistols:
3 inch barrel pistols such as Kahr PM9, Kel tec,
4 inch barrel pistols such as most major brands. S&W, Kahr, Taurus, H&K, Sig, Glock, Colt, Browning, Ruger etc.
Ammo 3 inch: personally tested and found excellent
9 mm cal. winchester ranger talon 127 gr. corbon 115 gr., 125 gr.
Ammo 4 inch or more: personally tested and found excellent
9 mm cal. winchester ranger talon 127 gr. +p
corbon 115 gr., 125 gr. +p
speer gold dot 124 gr. +p
federal 115 gr. bple +p
There is much great ammo out there from what I have read about and have heard about. I can only comment on the ammunition that I have personally tested. Some folks like non +p ammo. If you find that it suits you personally and it enables you to shoot better with fast follow up shots then go with what you prefer. A hit with adequate ammo is far better than a miss with ammo that you are not comfortable with. REMEMBER check your ammo with a competent instructor who you trust and who is reputable.
For short 3.5" barrel 40 S&W pistols Kahr, Glock
40 S&W cal. Remington Golden Saber 165 gr., 180 gr.
Speer Gold Dot. 155 gr., 165 gr., 180 gr.
Winchester Ranger Talon 155 gr., 180 gr.
Corbon 135 gr. powrball
For 4 inch barrels Glock, Sig, S&W, H&K, Beretta,
40 S&W cal. All of the above.
Point Shooting vs. 2 Hand Grips
Two points to make about one hand Point Shooting...When a certain "shooting expert" says that police officers that used one hand in shootings are just not trained enough or incompetent in some way he fails to realize (as do MOST handgun instructors) that when under surprise and duress the body wants to find a balanced position and the non-gun hand in many instances is used for balance during a lightning-quick altercation...Getting a handgun on target with two hands when surprised is actually very difficult, almost cumbersome, especially when the attacker is very close...Also...The defender's body will want to move away from the line of fire and subsequently he will try to shoot as fast as possible and not put his own gun in front of his eyes when in close or contact distance....Please remember this...JP
What are the best guns to purchase for basic self/home protection?
Nothing beats a basic 12 gauge pump gun for home protection. Consider: Handguns, approx. 10% of shootings in general are fatal whether one or more shots. Knife, approx. 3% one or more stabs/slashes etc. Baseball bat, approx, 20% one or more strikes lethal. Shotgun or high power rifle, approx. 90% lethal one shot in torso or head.
With a shot gun, you can use bird, buck or ball for all sorts of purposes. Bird shot for in house so as not to penetrate walls and hit others in the home. #6-8 bird shot works well. Use a low power cartridge. At close range 5 to
15 feet it will shred a bad guy. Buck shot #4 to 000 buck is for killing from 5 feet up
to 30 to 45 yards. Ball or Slug is good for killing from 5 feet up to 150 yards.
A standard 5 shot pump is adequate or you can get an extension which will add
2 extra shots. Or get a shotgun already made withe a 7 or 8 shot capacity. You can
buy one with a pistol grip only or a combination pistol and shoulder stock or just a
shoulder stock model. I prefer the pistol/shoulder stock model. You can hold the
shotgun in one hand by the pistol grip while the stock is held under the armpit in
case you must point with one hand while using the other.
Firearm Strategies for Defending Your Home
Thanks to Ari Kandel, based on conversations with GM John Perkins
1) If it's strictly an in-home weapon (i.e. no concealed carry
permit), consider a slide-action ("pump") 20-gauge shotgun. Much
easier to learn to hit with and operate quickly than a handgun, more
stopping power, more intimidating, better impact weapon in case of
malfunction or close-quarters ambush, other advantages. . . . 20-gauge
may be better than 12 so that all family members can use it without
getting recoil-shy. Remington and Mossberg are the leading makers, and
both offer reliable models optimized for home protection. Make sure
you get a short-yet-legal 18"-20" barrel and a full shoulder stock,
not a folding stock or no-stock version. The layout and construction
of the home and the proximity of neighbors may dictate which type of
ammunition is optimal (different sizes of buckshot, birdshot, possibly
slugs for certain areas). The slide-action will eat anything with
2) The gun must be part of an overall plan. Are the doors always
locked with good locks? Sturdy doors? Audible alarm system? Sturdy
lock and door to the bedroom? Dog? Deterrent perimeter (may not be an
option in a community)?
3) TRAINING TRAINING TRAINING: All household members must train to use
the weapon effectively. Drills should be worked out and practiced
ahead of time in case of home invasion, starting from different
locations (e.g. the couple is watching TV vs. sleeping vs. eating
dinner vs. showering etc.). The layout of the home can influence how
and where the weapon should be kept. Are there two floors? Multiple
ways to get to various rooms? Is the primary threat a home invasion
during sleeping hours or other times? Are the external doors, windows
and alarms good enough to delay intruders long enough for the
occupants to run a drill and get the weapon into action, wherever it
is? Do all household members know the ruses criminals may use to gain
access (including using "innocent-looking" women or kids, either under
threat or in cahoots)?
A lot to think about. . . . Remember that a gun is not a magic wand,
and is only as effective as the owner's mindset, training and
planning. Having no kids in the house obviously makes things easier,
but do kids ever visit, or other people who may get snoopy?
1) Shotgun under bed (concealed by bedspreads but easily reachable),
loaded magazine, safety off, chamber empty. You're sleeping, alarm
sounds, grab, "shuck-shuck" (one of the most intimidating sounds for
an intruder, right up there with the angry bark of a mean dog), take
cover behind furniture and cover secured bedroom door with weapon,
call police with cell phone kept fully charged next to bed (to bypass
cut phone lines). Problem: How quickly can you get to the gun if
you're downstairs from the bedroom when a break-in occurs? Also, gun
is concealed from view, but unsecured, and a burglar could find it.
Most locking devices and safes are almost impossible to get open
quickly under stress. Some modern exceptions may exist, do some
research. . . . However, it's always a compromise (access vs.
security). It would suck to be killed while fumbling with the lock on
your weapon or the door to your gun safe.
2) Multiple weapons concealed in multiple rooms (or at least one
upstairs, one downstairs). This can help alleviate the access problem.
Remember you already have a lot of good weapons available in the
kitchen, by the fireplace if you have one, etc. May not help you much
against a gun across the room though.
3) Wear a handgun around the house, lock it up when you leave the
house, conceal it near the bed (nightstand drawer, under bed, etc.)
while you sleep. You can do this even if you don't have a concealed
carry permit--as long as you don't go outside your home while wearing
the gun. Using this strategy, the gun is always either under your
direct control, ready where you sleep, or secured. Little chance of
the wrong person getting it. This does require more dedication though,
as opposed to leaving the weapon in one place like a fire
There's a lot more to this topic. I hope some others with extensive
experience will chime in. The book "Strong On Defense" offers some
| RULES FOR A GUNFIGHT:|
My Memories of BCT at Ft. Benning
by Drill Sergeant (E-7) Joe B. Fricks
| "RULES FOR A GUN, KNIFE, BASEBALL BAT OR FIST FIGHT"|
1. Forget about knives, bats and fists. Bring a gun. Preferably, bring at
least two guns. Bring all of your friends who have guns. Bring four times the
ammunition you think you could ever need.
2. Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice. Ammunition is cheap - life
is expensive. If you shoot inside, buckshot is your friend. A new wall is
cheap - funerals are expensive
3. Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.
4. If your shooting stance is good, you're probably not moving fast enough or
using cover correctly.
5. Move away from your attacker and go to cover. Distance is your friend.
(Bulletproof cover and diagonal or lateral movement are preferred.)
6. If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a semi or
full-automatic long gun and a friend with a long gun.
7. In ten years nobody will remember the details of caliber, stance, or
tactics. They will only remember who lived.
8. If you are not shooting, you should be communicating, reloading, and
running. Yell "Fire!" Why "Fire"? Cops will come with the Fire Department,
sirens often scare off the bad guys, or at least cause then to lose
concentration and will.... and who is going to summon help if you yell
"Intruder," "Glock" or "Winchester?"
9. Accuracy is relative: most combat shooting standards will be more dependent
on "pucker factor" than the inherent accuracy of the gun.
10. Someday someone may kill you with your own gun, but they should have to
beat you to death with it because it is empty.
11. Always cheat, always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.
12. Have a plan.
13. Have a back-up plan, because the first one won't work. "No battle plan
ever survives 10 seconds past first contact with an enemy."
14. Use cover or concealment as much as possible, but remember, sheetrock
walls and the like stop nothing but your pulse when bullets tear through them.
15. Flank your adversary when possible. Protect yours.
16. Don't drop your guard.
17. Always tactical load and threat scan 360 degrees. Practice reloading
one-handed and off-hand shooting. That's how you live if hit in your "good"
18. Watch their hands. Hands kill. Smiles, frowns and other facial expressions
don't (In God we trust. Everyone else keep your hands where I can see them.)
19. Decide NOW to always be aggressive ENOUGH, quickly ENOUGH.
20. The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.
21. Be polite. Be professional. But, have a plan to kill everyone you meet if
necessary, because they may want to kill you.
22. Be courteous to everyone, overly friendly to no one.
23. Your number one option for personal security is a lifelong commitment to
avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation.
24. Do not attend a gunfight with a handgun, the caliber of which does not
start with anything smaller than "4".
25. Use a gun that works EVERY TIME. "All skill is in vain when an Angel blows
the powder from the flintlock of your musket." At a practice session, throw
you gun into the mud, then make sure it still works. You can clean it later.
26. Practice shooting in the dark, with someone shouting at you, when out of
27. Regardless of whether justified of not, you will feel sad about killing
another human being. It is better to be sad than to be room temperature.
28. The only thing you EVER say afterwords is, "He said he was going to kill
me. I believed him. I'm sorry, Officer, but I'm very upset now. I can't say
anything more. Please speak with my attorney." [It's actually better to just say
"speak with my attorney." --editor's note]
Finally, Drill Sergeant Frick's Rules For Un-armed Combat.
1: Never be unarmed.
2: If you have your hands, your feet, your mind and your Spirit as an American
Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine or Coastie, you are never unarmed.
[And of course we must add #3: "Learn to fight bare-handed because a gun is useless if you can't get it out!"]
"John Perkins is an expert in the dynamics of violence"
--Dr. Peter Pizzola, Director, NYPD Crime Lab
|From the ages of sixteen to eighteen, John Perkins trained with U.S. Marshall Thomas Loughnan, the fastest man in the world with a Colt 1911. Loughnan taught Perkins how to shoot under combat conditions before entering the police academy.|
|YOUR RIGHT TO DEFEND YOURSELF: VIDEOS AND THOUGHTS ON LIBERTY|
|SOMEONE GETS IT...THIS SAYS IT ALL|
GOOD GUYS WITH GUNS SAVE LIVES
Whenever I have a conversation with some anti-gun folks one of the main questions they ask me about is can I give them actual instances where people saved lives using guns....Below is a couple of places to click on which will show examples of this...There are thousands of times that legal handguns and long guns are used in America each year that gets no press from a seriously biased media...If a story does not fit with the way the gun grabbers like they don't print or show it....Remember the rapists, murderers and other evil doers don't need guns to commit their atrocities....JP. Click below to see some examples of Good guys/girls with guns...
You can also just google NRA examples of people using guns against criminals...
CCP Holders Live In a Dream World
The controlled study documented in these videos show that concealed carry permit holders are fooling themselves if they think they will be able to react effectively to armed aggressors. Most CCW holders won't even be able to un-holster their gun. They will more likely be killed themselves or kill innocent bystanders than stop the aggressor. For more details, see "Unintended Consequences: Pro-Handgun Experts Prove That Handguns Are a Dangerous Choice for Self-Defense." http://www.vpc.org/studies/unincont.htm.
...and Why the Above Article is B.S.
Cops: Mother of Two Surprises Intruder with Five Gunshots
“He opens the closet door and finds himself staring down the barrel of a .38 revolver. said Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman, who relayed the woman’s narrative to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He asked that her name be withheld.The woman fired six bullets, five of which hit Paul Ali Slater in the face and neck area..." Read more.
The Theater Shooting story you DIDN'T hear about...and WHY
"On Sunday December 17, 2012, 2 days after the CT shooting, a man went to a restaurant in San Antonio to kill his X-girlfriend. After he shot her, most of the people in the restaurant fled next door to a theater. The gunman followed them and entered the theater so he could shoot more people. He started shooting and people in the theater started running and screaming. It’s like the Aurora, CO theater story plus a restaurant!
Now aren’t you wondering why this isn’t a lead story in the national media along with the school shooting?
There was an off duty county deputy at the theater. SHE pulled out her gun and shot the man 4 times before he had a chance to kill anyone. So since this story makes the point that the best thing to stop a bad person with a gun is a good person with a gun, the media is treating it like it never happened."
A World without Guns
“People seem to forget just how many were murdered by agents of their own government last century. We like to pretend that what happened to Polish Jews in the middle of last century or to Russian political prisoners shortly thereafter can’t really happen again.