PERSONAL DEFENSE FIREARMS
PERSONAL DEFENSE FIREARMS
By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP
Freelance Journalist and Author
August 5, 2020
© August 2020 All Rights Reserved
GOVERNMENT BACKGROUND-CHECK DATA SHOWS STRONG AND GROWING DEMAND DRIVING NEW 2020 FIREARM SALES.
The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are reporting: As of July 13, 2020, or in the first six months of 2020, 19 Million firearms have been sold in the United States. The Brookings Institute reports: “There are more guns than people in the United States ( 400 million are in circulation for a population of 330 million people.) This represents, 1 firearm for every 20 Americans.” The types of self-defense weapons designs include: Long guns (rifles and shotguns), revolvers, and semi-auto pistols. Basically, any weapon type which can be used for self-defense purposes. Black powder weapons, were excluded.
As the run on firearms purchases continues and increases – ammunition, on dealers shelves is either non-existent or in short supply. The vast number of firearms and ammunition purchases are directly attributable to the uncertainty of individual safety existing in our society, and the fear gripping the average American due to the Covid 19 pandemic. An uncertain future, is being driven by the news media’s ever constant - daily and hourly reporting, of anarchy and instability in the United States. Rioters, looters, and anarchists, are burning buildings, taking over government buildings – including Police Precincts, and assaulting, maiming, and killing American citizens and Law Enforcement officers.
Extremist groups like Black Lives Matters (BLM) and ANTIFA as well as their members are terrorizing the general populous of the United States under the guise of protesting racial inequality. An example of BLM’s violent extremist intentions can be realized in one of their promoted slogans: “KILL A WHITE ON SIGHT, THEIR SILENCE IS VIOLENCE,” However, their actions and violent extremist slogans are having a reverse effect. Instead of cowering in fear, American citizens are arming-up to protect themselves, their property, and loved ones.
AMERICAN CITIZENS FEAR FOR THEIR SAFETY AND THE SAFETY OF THEIR LOVED ONES
Another factor driving the upsurge of firearms and ammunition sales can be contributed to various government members, in control of the Democratic run cities and towns, who are unwilling to control its lawlessness by refusing to arrest rioters, looters, and anarchists. Instead of enforcing the rule of law, politicians are instructing law enforcement personnel to stand-down, during rioting and looting events. Citizens are no longer resolute, law enforcement can protect them. In simple terminology, these criminal actions can only be described as “mob rule” and are nothing more than domestic terrorists activities. It’s also being reported, these individuals are being paid for their lawless actions, by individuals, and organizations with an ominous agenda for the USA. The emerging sad commentary is: common criminals are martyred and revered while law enforcement personnel are vilified.
The daily news cycles are filled with Democratic politicians and members of these domestic terrorists groups, INCLUDING MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, demanding the defunding of police agencies across America and siding with lawless anarchists. In major U.S. cities; like Portland, Oregon, large swaths of real estate are being over-run and taken over by these self-proclaimed anarchists. Makeshift self-established rogue governments are replacing existing legal authority with anarchists, to occupy and govern these areas - known as, autonomous zones.
In reality, autonomous zones are nothing more than anarchist operated crime infested areas where the rule of law is ignored, business owners and residents are being extorted and citizens are being assaulted, raped, and murdered. Today, our country more aptly resembles a third world country than the United States of America. Democratic leaders identity the anarchists as peaceful protestors and elevate their stature to “hero status. However, rioters, looters, and anarchists promoting violence aren’t – peaceful protestors, no matter how hard Democratic politicians and the news media promotes this false narrative.
SELF-DEFENSE FIREARMS CLASSIFICATIONS
Self-Defense firearms come in a myriad varieties: Double and Single Action Revolvers, Double and Single Action Semi-Auto Pistols, Single Shot, Semi-Auto, Pump Action, and Fixed Breech shotguns, and bolt, pump, single shot, and semi-auto rifles. Revolvers are chambered in either rim fire or center fire ammunition. Centerfire revolvers are capable of being loaded with 5 or 6 shots. Rim fire revolvers and semi-auto pistols are capable of holding significantly more rounds.
The black rife or the AR 15 is the most popular rifle in America and is a favorite among citizens, for self-defense.
SELF-DEFENSE AMMUNITION TYPE, CALIBERS, AND GAUGES
Revolver and pistol calibers range from the diminutive 22 caliber rim fire cartridge, to the centerfire pistol cartridges capable of firing a myriad popular calibers ranging from: 5.7 X 28, 25 ACP, 380, 9MM, 32 Special, 38 Special, 357, 41, and 44 magnum cartridges, 10 mm auto, 44 special, 45 ACP, and the time tested 45 Long Colt. Other, more powerful cartridges are available but they are hard to shoot and may not be practical self-defense choice. In addition to the foregoing, some revolvers are also capable of firing 410 shotgun shells.
The difference between a rim fire cartridge and a centerfire cartridge is: the primer to ignite the powder charge in the case, of a rim fire cartridge, is located in the rim. The primer to ignite the powder charge in a centerfire handgun cartridge is located in the center of the cartridge case itself. Overall, the center fire ignition system is more reliable than the rim fire version.
The rim fire is capable of firing a lead projectile of either the hollow point or solid lead configuration. Centerfire handgun cartridges are capable of firing lead, jacketed or semi-jacketed hollow points, wad cutters, or soft nose projectiles. Shotgun gauges range from 410, 28, 20, 16, 12 and 10 gauge configurations. Shotgun shells are designed to propel lead, steel, or rifled slug projectiles. Shotguns and buck shot are a favorite among self-defense users, law enforcement, and the U.S. Military. A single load of buckshot is designed to propel a myriad shot pellets with a single firing. At close range a shotgun loaded with buckshot is devastating. In the law enforcement community it’s known as, the “Fight Stopper.”
MILITARY, LAW ENFORCEMENT AND SELF-DEFENSE AMMUNITION VARIATIONS
Ammunition for law enforcement is vastly different from ammunition for civilian self- defense purposes. Ammunition for military purposes is vastly different from either law enforcement or civilian self-defense purposes. Military ammunition is designed for tracer capability as well as piercing armor, barriers, and individual protective vests with steel plate inserts – body armor. Law enforcement ammunition has to perform a myriad functions. It must have barrier piercing capability while maintaining a sufficient amount of mass and energy to successfully dispatch a bad guy on the other side. Personal protection or self-defense ammunition is designed to protect an individuals health and welfare by quickly dispatching an aggressor, at close range.
In the Military and Law Enforcement, I was designated a small arms expert and I served as a sniper on a law enforcement Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team as well as the pistol team. On the pistol team, I specializing in fast draw and multiple target acquisition and engagement. Between the military and law enforcement, I’ve fired just about every conceivable small arms combat round ever designed and in use today.
In law enforcement, I carried the 38 Special, 9MM, and 45 ACP along with a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with either number 4 lead shot, 00 buckshot, or rifle slugs. The required shotgun round depended on the environment I was working in. In the Military I carried the M14 and the M16. The civilian version of the M16 is the AR 15. During my professional career, and as a combat veteran of many gunfights, I’ve witnessed individuals shot with a myriad ammunition types.
Today, in the private security sector operating as a Certified Protection Professional (CPP), or (Body Guard) I carry a variety of self-defense weapons to include: A Sig 226 15 shot 9MM, a Kimber 45 ACP, A Smith and Wesson 9MM Shield, and a 12 Gauge Benelli semi-auto shotgun. Each firearm is loaded with quality ammunition for its intended purpose. The pistols are loaded with Sig Sauer V Crown hollow points and the 12 gauge rounds are either 00 buckshot or rifled slugs.
SELF-DEFENSE CARTRIDGE KNOCK-DOWN POWER
One of the misnomer’s promoted about various self-defense handgun cartridges is: most shooter are under the impression that one shot from a handgun will completely incapacitate an aggressor. This is another fallacy. The human torso is in the same class as a deer, i.e., a light thin skinned animal. In order to completely incapacitate an individual with one shot, the shooter must hit the brain or the spine. If a brain or spine shot isn’t accomplished, the shooter must have a handgun cartridge which carries enough energy to create hydrostatic shock. Hydrostatic shock is the concept that a penetrating projectile (such as a bullet) can produce a pressure wave that causes “remote neural damage,” “subtle damage in neural tissues” and/or “rapid incapacitating effects” in living targets.
Therefore a projectile with enough velocity and energy to produce sufficient expansion to creat a hydrostatic shock, makes the hollow point varieties the most preferable and desirable in self-defense handgun use.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SELF-DEENSE FIREARM
Choosing the right firearm, for self-defense is an individual preference. My best advice is to go to a firing range where the shooter can rent self-defense firearms to try them out. Caliber is also an individual choice. Over-all, the best philosophy to adopt is to shoot a firearm and caliber the shooter is most proficient with, and has the most confidence in. There’s really no need in buying a 45 caliber pistol, if the shooter can’t handle the recoil and isn’t proficient with the firearm. After all, if the shooter is afraid of the firearm or can’t hit what he or she is shooting at, it’s a waste of money buying it in the first place.The apprehensive shooter won’t practice with the weapon enough, to become proficient.
For senior citizens and small stature shooters without a lot of hand grip strength, I always recommend a revolver. Pushing a button and opening a cylinder is a lot easier that pulling back the slide on some semi-auto pistols. Another reason I recommend a revolver over a semi-auto is: a person shooting a semi-auto has to possess the hand grip strength necessary to pull the slide back and clear a jam in an emergency situation.
Whichever, firearm a shooter chooses for self-defense the main recommendation is for the shooter to practice with the firearm enough to become proficient.
Each State as well as the Federal government has laws governing firearm purchase, possession, storage, and transportation. Before purchasing a firearm for self-defense the rule of thumb is to familiarize yourself with the firearms laws in your State of ownership. If the firearm owners intent is to qualify for a concealed carry permit, this information and requirements is readily available on the the internet. One mistake I see being made with firearm owners is mistaking owning a self-defense firearm automatically provides an individual to brandish a firearm and threaten a citizen with it. This philosophy, is a total fallacy. A rule of thumb to remember is, never pull your firearm unless your life, or the life of another is in eminent danger. And only pull it, when you intend to use it for self-protection or the protection of another.
“UNTIL NEXT TIME, KEEP EM BETWEEN THE BRIDLE”
Richard E. "Rick" Dennis
Freelance Writer and Author