No Excuses Guide Brought To You By /k/
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All prices typical (stable, not absolute cheapest). Including online prices after shipping costs but not including transfer fees or the usual $5 NICS check fee.
Call your local Federal Firearms License Holders (gun shops) to learn their fee (generally $30 or less).
Handguns suck for home defense! They are hard to use under stress and very weak compared to shotgun and rifle rounds.
The average break in has two criminals (i.e., there are often 3 or more) and those that don’t flee/surrender at the sight of an armed resident shining a bright light in their face are likely on drugs or very aggressive.
Ignore what movies tell you: Single shots will frequently fail to neutralize targets, especially if they are intoxicated or on adrenaline. Further you WILL miss under stress. Capacity and capability for followup shots are important for a home defense firearm.
Shotguns are very cheap and effective longarms with good accessory support. Despite what video games tell you, Shotgun spread will only be about the size of a baseball across your living room.
Under stress pump-action is susceptible to short-stroking, which induces malfunctions. This can be fixed with practice on a timer.
The tube magazine and heavy ammo means these will weigh more than a rifle and as Congress is determined to have US gun laws make no sense, these legally must be longer than rifles (Barrels must have a minimum length of 28 inches instead of the 16 inches for rifles.) so they are harder to use in close quarters.
Avoid stockless shotguns as these are hard to use. Standard stocks are non-adjustable which can be an issue for shorter people.
Shotgun Part 2
Avoid anything from companies owned by Cerberus Capital/Freedom Group, as cutting quality control is their first priority after acquisition.
This includes all products by Bushmaster (after 2006), Remington (2007), H&R (2007), DPMS Panther (2007), and Marlin (2008).
If you want to spend several hundred dollars for something that’s only maybe going to work, buy some lotto tickets: They have better odds. Used guns predating these dates are OK. This applies to rifles as well
Shotguns intended for home defense should have an extra portable source of ammo with the gun to counteract their low capacity. Options include shell sleeves, cartridge bandoleers that can quickly be thrown on your body, and side saddles, all of which are cheap and only the side saddles are gun specific. You’ll also want a light and something to hold it on (see down).
For shotguns with magazine tubes shorter than the barrel, you can install a tube extension to increase capacity at the cost of weight. If you’re really fancy you can get a good red dot from Vortex for ~$180 for faster low light aiming (also good on a rifle).
Your gun is only as good as your ammo! Use oo (“double ought”) or #1 (“Number One”) buckshot for home defense. oo is deadlier but has better barrier penetration (bad for home defense), Ps has slightly less lethality, but much less penetration power. Federal buckshot with Flitecontrol Wad is a solid brand.
Ignore anyone who suggests birdshot for something other than learning controls or hunting. A 78 year old caught a face full of it when he ran in front of Dick Cheney, yet survived without lasting injury. How will it stop a young, likely intoxicated, attacker who’s actively trying to harm you? Also avoid ‘reduced recoil” loads for home defense as this reduction is achieved through lower power.
You’ll want good rifle ammo to maximize stopping power, but more importantly avoid over penetration and to ensure it goes bang.
Speer Gold Dot, Hornady TAP, Federal Fusion MSR and Federal Trophy Bonded Bear Claw are good brands for rifle ammo.
Next to ammo, the magazine is the most common failure point for any firearm, so get good ones.
For metal: Brownells, D&H, and OKAY Surefeed.
Polymer: Magpul, Lancer and Daniel Defense
Rifles are more expensive than shotguns, but they’re lighter, have a higher capacity, substantially less recoil (if you’re using an intermediate cartridge, which you should be for home defense), quicker follow-up shots, are more reliable and have much longer engagement range which is good for anti-looting post-disaster/mid-riot (Nobody in Ferguson or Charlottesville thought riots would happen there either).
5.56 is cheap to practice with and an excellent home defense round that is less-likely than 9mm to over-penetrate walls and hit an innocent. Lots of ranges don’t allow shotguns so it can be easier to find a place to practice.
AR15 mags+parts, even good ones, are cheap and easy to get. All rifles made in USA because of import restrictions (925(d)).
Remember the first rule of gunfighting… ‘have a gun.Jeff Cooper
Concealed Carry Handguns are for when you can’t carry a long arm (i.e, in public). Know your state and local regulations for concealed carry.
All concealed handguns should be carried inside a quality holster. For leather use Desantis Gunhide or Galco Gunleather. For Kydex holsters, it’s hard to screw up Kydex holsters and any Kydex for your gun that isn’t obviously garbage from the pictures should be fine.
Hoppe’s No. 9 Lubricating Oil $10 total
Guns, like most machines, need cleaning and lubrication. Hoppe’s is a proven and affordable brand for this.
Non-mandatory but useful and cheap cleaning tools are a boresnake for your caliber (Can skip if your gun came with a brush), a tray for small parts, cleaning patches, microfiber cloth, and bulk toothbrushes.
Allen Fit-Over Shooting and Safety Glasses $6
Wear safety glasses when shooting to protect your eyes from hot brass, exhaust, burning particles and various other range hazards.
For those who use prescription eyeglasses these will fit over most standard eyeglasses
Howard Leight MAX-2 $0.14/ pair
Do you want to go deaf? No? Then wear ear protection when shooting firearms.
For best results double up and wear earplugs+ear muffs.
Wheeler Hammer and Punch Set $23
A cheap punch set useful for (dis)assembly and maintenance of various guns.
Gun Jesus approved!
Howard Leight Impact Sport $35
These protective earmuffs are equipped with microphones and speakers that amplify stuff you want to hear (e.g., people talking, footsteps that shouldn’t be there) and are easy to put on in the middle of the night.
Be aware that Amazon has a problem with counterfeits from third party retailers contaminating their first party warehouse supply, so buy on another website (see down).
Rules of Gun Safety
Rule One: All guns are always loaded. The only exception to this occurs when one has a weapon in his hands and he has personally unloaded it for checking. As soon as he puts it down, Rule 1 applies again.
Rule Two: Never let the muzzle cover anything which you are not willing to destroy. You may not wish to destroy it, but you must be clear in your mind that you are quite ready to if you let that muzzle cover the target. To allow a firearm to point at another human being is a deadly threat and should always be treated as such.
Rule Three: Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target. This we call the Golden Rule because its violation is responsible for about 8o percent of the firearms disasters we read about.
Rule Four: Always be sure of your target. You never shoot at anything until you have positively identified it. You never fire at a shadow, or a sound, or a suspected presence. Finally, you shoot only when you know absolutely what you are shooting at and what is beyond it.
Good YouTube channels
- National Shooting Sports Foundation
- Reid Henrichs
- Military Arms Channel
- Mrgunsngear Channel
- Brownells, Inc.
- Paul Harrell
- AK Operators Union
- Forgotten Weapons
- InRange TV
Finding good prices
The easiest way to find the best price for an item is to search by UPC on the website gun.deals. This also enables tracking price history for items.
The most effective way to find an item’s UPC and to tell all the various similar models apart is to check the product maker/importer’s website, which will generally include this or an MFN, which is almost as good.
Failing that the description page on most online retailers will include the UPC (some only show when in cart) and gun.deals is capable of finding UPC based on search from a product’s name.
gunbot.net and gunwatcher.com are also worth using.
For general practice you’ll want the cheapest brass case, non-corrosive ammo you can find (gun.deals has a tool to find this, but double check shipping costs. Ammo is heavy.), with only a handful of brands to avoid (Magtech), ideally with the same bullet weight as your defensive ammo.
Once you hit steel case, quality control goes out the window for non-Soviet calibers (and even with those Tula is pretty shit). Steel case also increases wear on the gun so it needs replacement parts sooner.
You’ll want to run a magazine (ideally 2) of your defensive ammo through your gun at a range before using it for defense to make sure it works in your gun.
Finding Used Guns
Used guns are an excellent way to save money, but are highly variable on availability and quality.
Firearms, especially modern ones, are durable goods and it’s unlikely a civilian will use them enough to wear them heavily. Some are better quality and value than others though.
LEO trade-ins are generally good quality because cops will only fire it once a year to qualify.
Prices on used guns are generally negotiable. Check the internet if you don’t know how to do any of these.
Our Guide To Home and Personal Defense On A Budget
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