First a correction to Part 1. I proof-read it and added my own bits to this. I added the part about shooting a gun sideways and said you would shoot the person beside you or behind you or maybe even yourself. I do NOT know what I was thinking when I wrote that. It is totally WRONG!! In fact, I’m going to change that after I post this. What you will do is completely miss the person you are aiming at and maybe shoot the person standing next to them. I am so very sorry for my Airhead Moment and the really stupid information I put out there. I told you all I am NOT an expert on this subject and that pretty much proved it. Again, I am very sorry for that.
For those of you who haven’t read Part 1, go here please: Firearms 101 Pt. 1 by Bear
So let’s start off VERY basic. Guns are basically in two categories: Rifles and Pistols. Each one has its own purpose and each has their good points and their bad points.
If you don’t mind, I’ll take a minute and talk about Ammo. The type of ammo you use will make a big difference on the type of gun you get. There are 3 basic types: Shotgun, Rim Fire and Center Fire.
Shotgun: A shotgun is usually a Bird hunting rifle and in some areas will use slugs that I will explain in a minute to hunt deer. Basically a shotgun is a tube that shoots out a pattern of BB’s. Usually the BB’s are either Lead or Steel. Steel shot is usually used for hunting, where lead is used for target practice. Most people don’t want lead in their meat. These BB’s can go from very small to fairly large in the case of what they call Double Aught (AA) buck. Each one of those BB’s is about equal to a .38 caliber pistol round. A shotgun will also shoot what is called a Slug. Basically this is just one big wad of lead. If you hit a fence post with one of those, there is a good chance you are going to cut it in half. Or in the case of the “Terrorist Watermelon” Ametrine shot the first time she fired a shotgun, the Double Aught buckshot pretty much vaporized it. There wasn’t a piece of it left big enough to even try and pick up. Some of the Personal defense rounds will actually have a combination of the two. They will have a smaller slug with a few AA buck rounds.
While we are discussing shotguns there is one point that you may not have thought of. The racking of a shotgun (working the mechanism that loads a shell into the chamber so you can fire it) is one of the most distinctive sounds in the world. Even in pitch black where you cannot see your hand in front of your face, if you hear someone rack a shotgun there is no doubt in your mind what that is and what it means. Just that sound may defuse many situations without anyone actually getting hurt. Shotguns are heavy and only good for very short ranges. They may also not be the best choice for home defense because many of them are very long and it is going to be hard to go around a corner with one and not give away that you are coming around long before you do it. They are a good all-around gun as long as you are aware of their limitations.
There are basically 3 types of shotguns. You have the old single or double barrel style (can be either side by side or what they call over and under) the basic pump style that we are all familiar with. There are, also, semi-automatics. This means it will keep firing each time you pull the trigger till you run out of ammo. This is where the main shortcoming of the shotgun is. Most only hold 3 rounds because of the hunting restrictions in most states. Most will hold more but you will have to take out what they call the Plug. This is basically a wood or plastic dowel that keeps you from putting more rounds in the gun. Most will hold 5 or 6 if you take out the plug. This usually isn’t very hard. The plug is usually just a wood or plastic dowel in the tube where the rounds go. Usually you just unscrew the tube, the spring cap and spring will come out. The plug will usually come out with them. I have never seen one that was attached to anything. It just acts as a spacer to keep you from putting too many rounds in the tube. There are also kits to extend the tube to add more rounds. Kel-Tec does have a shotgun that has two tubes to hold rounds. I have never touched one so can’t give an informed opinion on one, but they are fairly expensive. In my opinion unless you have a huge trust fund and money isn’t an object you could probably come up with better uses for your cash.
Shotguns come in various sizes. The 12 gauge is what we are most familiar with. This will be too large for smaller women. Don’t give up hope though there are 2 more mainstream choices. There are more calibers but they are hard to find. The 20 gauge is a good size for smaller women. The .410 is for very small women or children. With shotguns the higher the number the smaller the gun and the smaller the caliber. A New England Firearms .410 was my very first gun. I received it for my 12th birthday. I had to be able to cock and uncock it 50 times without the hammer snapping the firing pin before I was given my first round of ammunition to fire. Now at 50 I have upgraded to the double barrel 12 gauge with just the 10 rounds of ammunition Crazy Uncle Joe Biden says we should have to shoot up in the air if someone tries to break into the house. We took the other 15 rounds up to the police department to have them dispose of for us. That is ALL we have “HONEST”. That is what Crazy Uncle Joe said we should have, so that is all we have! Ametrine has also learned to urinate, defecate and vomit at will to deter rapists.
There is one pistol out there that will shoot .410 shells called the Taurus Judge. Unless you are 300 lbs., I would not suggest trying to shoot one. I am 300 lbs. and have no interest in shooting one. It is going to hurt if you do. Just trust me on this one. It comes back to Physics and the equal and opposite reaction I talked about in Part 1.
This leads me into what I think is the most important point of this whole thing. If you take nothing else from this it’s this: don’t start off with a cannon size pistol or rifle. If the gun hurts to shoot you are not going to be able to control it and you are not going to enjoy practicing with it. So when it comes time to use it you are not going to have the muscle memory you are going to need and you are not going to hit squat.
Now there are two more types of ammo to talk about. You have Rim Fire and Center Fire. With a couple of minor exceptions rim fires are limited to one caliber. That would be the various types of .22 caliber we all know and love. Ever since Sandy Hook .22 ammo has been in very short supply. You are starting to see it out on the shelf behind the counter but it is rationed. Usually you can only buy one or two boxes. Prices have also gone up tremendously since Sandy Hook. Before that happened you could easily pick up a box of 525 rounds at Wally World for under $20. Now at least in our area you are going to pay that for a box of 325 if you can find it. The Hyper Velocity Stinger rounds some guns need are nonexistent. I have not seen a single box for sale yet. Most .22 is what they call the .22 long rifle or .22lr. Even though it says Long Rifle it is used in both rifles and pistols. There used to be a .22 short and I’m sure someone still makes them, but if they are I have no logical reason why. You will see a lot of variations of the .22lr. One thing you will want to be Leary of if looking for .22lr is that there is Hyper & High Velocity, standard velocity, and sub sonic. Some guns need the Hyper and High velocity to have enough kick to properly work the actions. Again in my opinion there is only 1 reason to use sub sonic ammo and that is if you have a silencer for your gun.
Please pardon the tangent I am about to go on. Let’s take a side road on silencers since we are talking about sub sonic ammo. There is only one gun that is going to be as quiet as they show in the movies and that is a.22lr with sub sonic ammo AND a good silencer. That combination isn’t much louder than pulling the trigger on an empty cylinder. Once you go to standard ammo you have just wasted all the time, money, and paperwork you went thought to get the silencer. The reason is even standard ammo breaks the sound barrier. The crack of the gun is the sound of the ammo breaking the sound barrier as it flies. At that point it is well past the silencer and is going to make the same noise weather it is there or not. About all they do is bring the noise down enough that some people say you don’t need hearing protection. Some people say, Please insert all the “don’t try this at home” and “we are not suggesting this” that you see and hear all the time. With a silencer it is still going to be loud just not as loud.