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How to buy a gun? (Page 2)
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macforray
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Feb 5, 2011, 03:54 PM
 
My opinions:
1) Find a private gun shop or dealer, especially one with a range where the weapon of interest can be handled and fired. There is usually more room to haggle price at a private dealer, but remember that a long term relationship with that dealer is worth a lot. They will help fit the weapon to you, even suggest aftermarket grips and other add-ons to customize it to YOU. Dealers also usually have a good assortment of well maintained used weapons. A well built weapon can fire thousands of rounds before starting to show functional wear. Buy a weapon at a chain or mega-mart and they typically care less about you after you leave with your purchase.
2) A weapon to be used for self defense is one where "deadly force" is intended. In other words you are shooting to kill the perp, not piss them off. A .22 caliber round, unless perfectly placed, will just piss someone off, especially if they are on an adrenaline or drug induced high. Stay with a weapon that fires a round in .38, 9mm, .40 or .45 caliber ranges. For a small, easily concealed weapon, a .380 caliber semi auto is a good choice. Also, there are a lot of good .38 five shot snub nose double action revolvers that can be an inexpensive first time purchase. I repeat, "shoot to kill", if you can't, then stop right here.
3) Any weapon is no more than a tool. The user must be comfortable using it, know every thing about it and be able to use it efficiently, effectively and safely. You need to be intimate with the weapon. If you can't operate it in pitch darkness, forget about it.
4) Practice, practice, practice! If you own a weapon and all it does is sit in a drawer and you do nothing to maintain familiarity and proficiency, then forget about it. You need a place to shoot it at least a few times a year. (see #1 above)
5) This should never be an "impulse" purchase. Think and plan before you commit. Your post here is a good start. Don't buy the first one you like. Take your time.

The above is based on forty years of gun ownership and use. I do my own reloading of spent cartridges and fine tune every weapon to to its absolute best. I do not have a designated "self defense" weapon since I chose to live in a relatively safe community. Actually, my preferred selfe defence weapon is a 12 gauge pump shotgun loaded with 00 buckshot (nine .33 caliber lead balls per round). Looking down the business end of that will stop most in their tracks. If not, all I have to do is point and shoot. I hunt and shoot for sport. I am a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, yet I do not belong to the NRA.

By the way, nice setup Laminar.
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Captain Obvious
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Feb 5, 2011, 05:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
I suggest that you review the process required to be licensed to buy a gun in Massachusetts. You describe a knee-jerk sort of action. That's hardly the case, given the rather arduous process required in The Commonwealth. Further, paranoia implies lack of rational consideration of the actual risk from the object of discussion-which is again not the case, given the (rather public) history our fellow member has with this particular wrong-doer.
No need to review the process as its irrelevant to what I said. I am talking about the motivation behind the purchase which he clearly stated above and it reeks of a fear. OG is feeling victimized and is driven to own a gun by the anxiety of thinking the boogeyman is coming to get them.

Owning a gun is great. Taking a class about gun ownership is prudent, I did it when I was in second grade. Its just not enough. What someone is already so skittish and paranoid they more likely to shoot an unintended target because fear took over their judgement process long before they were put in that situation.

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OldManMac
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Feb 5, 2011, 06:16 PM
 
My $.02

I've purchased 5 guns in the last 18 months. In order of purchase;

Ruger MKII .22 cal (for plinking)
Ruger LCP .380 (for pocket carry)
Springfield Armory XD-40 (for home defense)
Taurus Millenium Pro .45 (home and sometimes carry)
Ruger LCR .38 Special (carry)

Forget about carrying a .22, especially in cold climates, where they have anything on other than a t shirt. If someone's on drugs, or has his adrenaline going, set on killing you, you're just going to piss him off even more, unless you're awfully damn lucky to hit the right spot. You're not at a target range, where you can put the bullet in the sweet spot because you've got time to compose yourself and aim every shot.

Even a .380, which is what I usually carry, may not be that effective under a lot of conditions, and I'm thinking about a 9mm. There are lots of concealable 9's on the market now. Do some research, buy some magazines or go to the library. I bought the Taurus .45 to carry, but even at under 30 oz., it's too big and bulky, and it's one of the smaller .45s around. Ruger has just come out with the new Ruger LC9, which looks to be a variant of the LCP (which has been the best selling handgun in the last two year), and I'm going to investigate that one, as well as a few others. I read most of the gun magazines every month, and I shoot at least once a month.

Someone posted here that the big chains aren't likely to negotiate. IME, that's not true. I frequent Cabelas and Gander Mountain (and occasionally Bass Pro Sport), and I've gotten Gander mountain to come down on the 2 Rugers I bought from them, simply by telling them that Cabelas had it cheaper (they will call their competition to verify price and stock). If you're not willing to haggle, forget about Gander Mountain, as their prices are routinely considerably higher on the same gun as Cabelas. I work across the street from a Gander Mountain, and the only Cabelas in MI is 60 miles away, so that's usually a day off trip.

Gun show dealers are more likely to haggle, as someone said, because they want to take less stuff home than they brought (It's also a good place to buy knives, but again, if you know pricing). I bought a SOG knife at a gun show in OH last fall, visiting my brother, for $25 off retail, and he wanted $5 off retail at first.

The most important advice is buy something that you're comfortable both carrying and shooting. The gun does absolutely no good if it's in a safe (or worse yet, a drawer) at home. There was a home invasion on a street I travel over going to work, recently, and one of the burglars, being chased by an officer, through the back yard, killed the officer with a gun he had just stolen from the house. The officer did manage to kill the burglar as well, but it's a tragedy that could have been prevented, had the homeowner locked up his weapons while he wasn't home.
     
bstone  (op)
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Feb 5, 2011, 06:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by Captain Obvious View Post
Nice, a fear driven paranoia fueled gun purchase.

You are so the guy who is going to end up on the firing end of an accidental shooting.
I carried an M1 while part of a police force in Israel. I have extensive weapons training and actual experience in defending people. Still under the impression that this will occur?
     
bstone  (op)
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Feb 5, 2011, 07:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by Captain Obvious View Post
No need to review the process as its irrelevant to what I said. I am talking about the motivation behind the purchase which he clearly stated above and it reeks of a fear. OG is feeling victimized and is driven to own a gun by the anxiety of thinking the boogeyman is coming to get them.
Do you have proof he is not? He has already beaten his wife and tried to murder his child. What is to think he won't go after the person who got him arrested?

Owning a gun is great. Taking a class about gun ownership is prudent, I did it when I was in second grade. Its just not enough. What someone is already so skittish and paranoid they more likely to shoot an unintended target because fear took over their judgement process long before they were put in that situation.
I've taken two 8 hour classes. It's a start and I firmly plan on taking more classes. I also carried an M1 while in Israel. I think I would be a responsible gun owner.
     
ghporter
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Feb 5, 2011, 08:42 PM
 
I cannot disagree with Captain Obvious' points about the seriousness of owning and carrying a firearm. I do, however, disagree with his armchair psychoanalysis. Many of us have military experience, some with actual combat experience. Having an idea about one's own capacity with a firearm is about as far as most people get-for which I'm very thankful. However, this thread is still NOT ABOUT THE ADVISABILITY of the decision to buy a gun, merely the process.

I suppose I wasn't clear enough earlier: if it's not about how to buy a gun, it's off topic. Clear enough now?

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bstone  (op)
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Feb 5, 2011, 08:53 PM
 
Very clear.

This thread has given me a lot of insights as to the process of buying a gun. Also some good advice as to which gun to choose. I'll certainly be spending a lot of time on the range with the guns I am thinking of. Once I decide which to get I'll do a lot of shopping around and looking at all manners of legal sellers.
     
ghporter
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Feb 5, 2011, 09:00 PM
 
Final note: don't feel committed to Glock, XD or any particular brand. Find ways to feel how different brands fit your hand, how they shoot, what their sighting is like in a variety of lighting. Having some military experience, especially with the superb sights on the Garand, will help you with things like managing the sights (and of course safety), but real practice beats basic rules every time.

I love to shoot my Garand. Too bad I have to save up for a while to be able to afford the ammunition. Fortunately, practice handgun ammunition can be had fairly inexpensively, and since handguns are typically harder for most people to master, think of this like the old joke about how to get to Carnegie Hall: "practice, practice, practice." My CCW instructors couldn't emphasize that enough, especially that you should practice with what you carry-both the gun and the ammunition.

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Feb 5, 2011, 11:28 PM
 
You want comfort, go shoot an HK P30. They also have the benefit of offsetting the added weight of carrying a gun by making your wallet much, much lighter.
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SSharon
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Feb 6, 2011, 11:48 AM
 
Interesting stuff. Good luck with the process bstone. I didn't know you had experience with the M1. This thread really makes me want to get a permit here in NJ, but I haven't even looked into the process because I don't intend on buying anything. I want the permit because I want to be able to practice as I enjoy shooting as a sport and the last range I was at (in NY) would only let me shoot rifles.

I wouldn't worry about the amount of damage each round does either. My guess is that you won't find yourself in a one on one duel. I've seen the damage that a round from an AK-47 does to someone's head and body and it isn't pretty, but I think a smaller caliber at close range will do the job.

Do you have a budget for this purchase?
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bstone  (op)
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Feb 6, 2011, 11:49 AM
 
SSharon, yeah I do have the budget. Or rather, I will make it available.

The M1 is a good weapon and I liked it.
     
iLikebeer
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Feb 6, 2011, 01:01 PM
 
If you have experience with a rifle, you should look into getting a pistol and a rifle. CCW the pistol and use the rifle for home defense. When it comes to guns, some people say "2 is 1 and 1 is none." It's good to have a backup if you have a malfunction you can't clear right away. The best use of the pistol at home is to get to your rifle.
     
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Feb 6, 2011, 02:51 PM
 
Friendly tip that I've learned in my Krav Maga gun classes.

Be sure to tuck the gun into you, the shyt shown on tv/in movies with the guy holding the gun out while in close range of the one being shot at, blah, it's practically giving your gun to the attacker if quick.
     
macforray
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Feb 6, 2011, 05:38 PM
 
Become familiar and proficient with the "Weaver" or "Cooper" stance when firing a handgun.

Weaver stance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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ghporter
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Feb 6, 2011, 10:31 PM
 
The Weaver stance (and Jeff Cooper's variation on it) are not "holding the gun out." Instead, they provide a combination of dynamic stability and flexibility to allow the shooter to react to changes in the target presentation. Now "straight out from the shoulder" is a stooopid way to hold a gun-almost as stupid as the "gangsta sideways" hold. But a secure, braced triangle stance with the strong side pressing the strong hand into the weak side hand provides more than just a cool looking image.

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bstone  (op)
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Feb 6, 2011, 10:37 PM
 
Stances was a big part of the practical training both times I went for the classes. Triangle, breathing, aim, where to place the thumb, etc. I hit the target with every shot and was always pretty close to the center.
     
finboy
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Feb 8, 2011, 12:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by bstone View Post
It was done at a local gun shop with a range in the basement. I just don't know what the protocol for going in and purchasing a gun is as I've never done it before. Does one negotiate the price? Haggle? Ask for extras? How?
Negative on the haggling, usually. You might be able to finagle some free range time ("Do you guys give any range time with that?") or a free year of range membership (if they do that kind of thing).

As someone else said, get training ON THAT TYPE OF GUN first. Crucial.

If it's one of those uppity places where they don't put the prices on things then you might be able to haggle. Go to cheaperthandirt.com or one of the online gun places (academy.com has some prices I'd bet, or used to) and get prices there.

For concealed carry you want a hammerless revolver, like the Ruger LCR or one of the stainless Rossis, Taurus or S&W. Charter makes a good revolver in .38. The bobbed hammer is less likely to snag on clothing. Double-action only is much less likely to go off by accident.

A Glock 22 is a good choice, but 40 is a hot cartridge in a light framed gun. And it would be hard to carry with you, hard to conceal relative to a 5-shot .38 revolver.

As for the M1 (carbine, I assume): Perfect home defense gun, in good condition. They're pricey these days though. Skip the banana clip - 10 rounds is much more reliable.
     
ghporter
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Feb 8, 2011, 08:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by finboy View Post
As for the M1 (carbine, I assume): Perfect home defense gun, in good condition. They're pricey these days though. Skip the banana clip - 10 rounds is much more reliable.
Odds are he meant the Garand-I don't think Israel bought any carbines. I concur that the M1 Carbine is a nice little rifle but EXPENSIVE ammunition does make it pricey to shoot. Sticking with GI magazines rather than cheap (though not inexpensive) aftermarket magazines ensures reliability.

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bstone  (op)
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Feb 8, 2011, 09:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Odds are he meant the Garand-I don't think Israel bought any carbines. I concur that the M1 Carbine is a nice little rifle but EXPENSIVE ammunition does make it pricey to shoot. Sticking with GI magazines rather than cheap (though not inexpensive) aftermarket magazines ensures reliability.
They were Carbines.
     
Doofy
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Feb 8, 2011, 11:04 AM
 
I'm not really understanding a part of this thread.
Namely, how does one go about retrieving one's gun (from pocket, holster, glovebox, etc.) while a carjacker has his gun already pointed at your head?
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bstone  (op)
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Feb 8, 2011, 02:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
I'm not really understanding a part of this thread.
Namely, how does one go about retrieving one's gun (from pocket, holster, glovebox, etc.) while a carjacker has his gun already pointed at your head?
I am confused as to how your post is within the scope of this thread.
     
The Final Dakar
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Feb 8, 2011, 02:18 PM
 
Presumably the gun is for self-defense. Doofy is curious as to how that would function within the scope of being at gun point.
     
bstone  (op)
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Feb 8, 2011, 02:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
Presumably the gun is for self-defense. Doofy is curious as to how that would function within the scope of being at gun point.
What does that have to do with how to buy a gun?
     
The Final Dakar
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Feb 8, 2011, 02:23 PM
 
It's a tangent in a conversation.
     
bstone  (op)
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Feb 8, 2011, 02:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Final Dakar View Post
It's a tangent in a conversation.
Probably belongs in another thread. The moderators have already said to stay on topic.
     
The Final Dakar
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Feb 8, 2011, 02:27 PM
 
It belongs in another thread if you're pedantic about the focus of any thread. Considering the Lounge is an area of conversation, its a natural progression with the subject matter.
     
bstone  (op)
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Feb 8, 2011, 02:27 PM
 
I am happily pedantic. Also happy to follow the rules.
     
The Final Dakar
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Feb 8, 2011, 02:31 PM
 
What rules?
     
bstone  (op)
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Feb 8, 2011, 02:40 PM
 
Other rules
Don't hijack or derail threads. Stay on topic. If you want to discuss a detail or offshoot, start another thread.
Source: MacNN Forums - Announcements in Forum : MacNN Lounge

and from administrator ghporter

However, this thread is still NOT ABOUT THE ADVISABILITY of the decision to buy a gun, merely the process.

I suppose I wasn't clear enough earlier: if it's not about how to buy a gun, it's off topic. Clear enough now?
Source: http://forums.macnn.com/89/macnn-lou...2/#post4049468
     
Doofy
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Feb 8, 2011, 02:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by bstone View Post
Probably belongs in another thread. The moderators have already said to stay on topic.
I assume that "the moderators" (admin actually) who've said that in the thread will now explain how the weaver stance is involved in buying a gun.

As will you, since you also engaged in conversation about stance.
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bstone  (op)
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Feb 8, 2011, 02:43 PM
 
The discussion about the rules and the debate surrounding the topic is most certainly off-topic. If you have something valuable to add about the process of buying then please post it there. Otherwise, have a great day!
     
The Final Dakar
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Feb 8, 2011, 02:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by bstone View Post
I think you'll find that rule isn't enforced to the degree you're expecting.
     
finboy
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Feb 8, 2011, 08:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Odds are he meant the Garand-I don't think Israel bought any carbines. I concur that the M1 Carbine is a nice little rifle but EXPENSIVE ammunition does make it pricey to shoot. Sticking with GI magazines rather than cheap (though not inexpensive) aftermarket magazines ensures reliability.
Oh, I just figured we showered Israel with M1 carbines, like we did with Korea, Taiwan, and a bunch of other countries. A lot of those came back to the US in the 80s and 90s. But you're probably right.

M1 Garand is NOT a good home defense weapon, regardless of Clint Eastwood movies you might have seen. A 30-06 tends to go through walls too easily.

Best home defense rifle, IMO: Marlin lever-action 30-30.
     
ghporter
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Feb 8, 2011, 10:07 PM
 
Israel bought arms (for cheap) from Europe, and various US supported European countries. We equipped Korea and Taiwan to build their own weapons and in the process provided a lot of rifles as "until your factories get going" equipment. Today, the State Department is blocking the reimportation of M1 rifles from Korea because they say that doing so will "endanger Americans." Way to think things through guys... It's not like a 43 1/2" rifle is concealable, or particularly handy in menacing people...and they're too cumbersome to spray bullets at the wrong house in drive bys. But I digress.

A .30-30 goes through walls and more walls almost as well as a .30-'06. Rifles are generally not good for home defense. Shotguns are touted as the best thing to try, but buckshot goes through walls really well too. As it turns out, basic 5.56mm ammo from an AR-15 over-penetrates LESS than a 9mm round (20cm of ballistic gelatin versus almost 40cm...). But home defense, as such, isn't really what bstone is talking about. He's talking about self defense in general. For that, a 9mm pistol is about the most flexible, most generally appropriate firearm around.

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Feb 9, 2011, 07:11 PM
 
The first and most important decision you have to make is the chambering. At the low end of power, don't choose anything less than a .380 ACP for an automatic or a .38 Special for a revolver. These are generally considered the minumum acceptable stopping power for self-defense. At the high end, don't go heavier than a 10mm Auto or a .357 Magnum. Where you fall within this range will depend on your physical size and strength (which imply your ability to manage recoil), and I'd say also the size of your antagonist. If he's 6'6" 280lb, I would argue that you should favor a more powerful cartridge. But, in a self-defense situation you need the ability to quickly fire accurate follow-up shots, so the recoil must be managable. In addition to what I already mentioned, 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, .357 SIG are all reasonable choices. With a small-caliber high-energy cartridge like the 9mm or .357 SIG, be sure to use high-expansion hollow-point rounds, and if you do, you shouldn't have problems with over-penetration or lack of stopping power.

Other factors that might affect caliber choice are practical and financial. It is important to shoot regularly for practice, especially if you plan on carrying frequently. I'd say you should shoot at least 1-2 times per month. You need to be safe and instinctive when handling the weapon, because if you ever need to use it, half a second can make a huge difference. Some calibers are more conducive to practice shooting than others. For example, a .357 Magnum revolver can also shoot the cheaper and lower-recoil .38 Special, so in effect you get two guns in one. 9mm ammo is also especially cheap and very easy to find, not to mention low-recoil. A cartridge like 10mm, on the other hand, is relatively expensive and hard to find, and that will be a problem if it's a dis-incentive for you to practice regularly. You can also considering buying a second pistol primarily for practice, which will give you extra flexibility in what you want to carry.

Once you've decided on a chambering, the rest is mostly personal preference. Glock, SIG, S&W all make decent products. Colt and Kimber make decent 1911's, and there are other manufacturers as well. Just make sure it's the size you want, and you like the features and the way it operates. If you can test-fire a few different models, all the better.

Good luck.
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Gankdawg
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Feb 10, 2011, 06:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post

A .30-30 goes through walls and more walls almost as well as a .30-'06. Rifles are generally not good for home defense. Shotguns are touted as the best thing to try, but buckshot goes through walls really well too. As it turns out, basic 5.56mm ammo from an AR-15 over-penetrates LESS than a 9mm round (20cm of ballistic gelatin versus almost 40cm...). But home defense, as such, isn't really what bstone is talking about. He's talking about self defense in general. For that, a 9mm pistol is about the most flexible, most generally appropriate firearm around.
Here's some food for thought:

The Box O' Truth #1 - The Original Box O' Truth - Page 1

The Box O' Truth #3 - The Shotgun Meets the Box O' Truth - Page 2
     
iLikebeer
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Feb 10, 2011, 08:59 PM
 
.223 Drywall Penetration: Introduction
Inspired by box o truth. There have been quite a few good videos lately showing that .223 is better for preventing wall penetration.

I would disagree with finboy on haggling at a gun shop. I recently moved from gun happy Prescott, AZ. I was doing some gun shopping there before I left. Prescott and Prescott Valley have quite a few gun shops. The price difference on the same gun between the different shops was crazy. It wasn't just that large stores like J&G can charge less because they do so many sales. Some places try to charge MSRP, some are more in line with gunsamerica.com, many are somewhere in between. It never hurts to offer low and ask for some freebies thrown in like a holster or a couple boxes of ammo.
     
ghporter
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Feb 10, 2011, 11:25 PM
 
I stated penetration in ballistic gelatin, implying that you would hit the target bad guy rather than Aunt Bessie's portrait. The Box O' Truth is an excellent source for real world, empirical data. In The Box O' Truth experiments posted, bullets passed through wall component obstacles easily. The same is not true of the way bullets penetrate tissue. This is a separate question that Bo'T authors do not address.

Unfortunately I can't find a good "source identifier" for this chart, which comes from a member on a firearms board I frequent...

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
 
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