Thursday, February 23, 2012

Defensive Firearm Choices

By no means do I think this list will be all-inclusive, but I wanted to call out some popular choices in defensive firearms as a follow up to this post.  Which one best meets your needs is up to you.

An effective choice for a century
There are a variety  of good options at various price ranges.  If you're on a tight budget you can find a used Remington or Mossberg pump action shotgun for $200 or less.  Other options would be a semi-automatic 22 like a Ruger 10/22, the most common 22 rifle sold today.  There are few handguns that come highly recommended in this price range, the only choices are surplus eastern bloc handguns, like Polish and Hungarian Makarovs.  These handguns tend to be durable but not finished to a level we've come accustomed to today.

Raise the budget to $300 and you can find a used .38 revolver from Taurus or a well-used Smith and Wesson or Ruger.  Right now you can find surplus CZ-82's for $250 and they are well-made firearms.  This is about as cheap as you can expect to find a quality handgun.  You can find Hi-Point carbines in this price range, these are getting a reputation for being reliable and are chambered in common pistol rounds, like 9mm and 45acp.  If you are lucky you can find a used SKS rifle in this price range as well.  You can often find used lever action rifles for less than $300 as well either in the very common 30-30 or pistol calibers like 357 or 44 magnum.  A used Kel-Tec Sub-2000 is another pistol caliber carbine that can be a good choice.

The Saiga series of rifles are a bargain
When we extend the budget up to $400 we get more interesting choices.  You can start to find rifles in calibers more powerful than the pistol caliber carbines, such as the Saiga which is available in 3 or 4 chamberings including 223.  You can get a new S&W Sigma pistol, or a used Glock or any number of other quality handguns.  You have your choice of brand new shotguns designed for home defense that have short barrels and long magazine tubes.  If you can work this into your budget you are going to get a lot of options in this range. 

The AR-15. You totally need one.
If you move up above $500 the world is your oyster.  New Glocks, Sigs and S&W handguns become available.  Semi-auto AK-47's can be had.  You can find semi-automatic shotguns so you don't have to worry about short-stroking your pump action.  It also brings the most popular rifle sold in 2010 and 2011 into range, the AR-15.  AR-15's make great tools to defend your home, whether it is an apartment or a range.  If you are concerned about shooting through walls I recommend reading this article on drywall penetration. You can get a quality AR-15 for just over $600 today by building it on your own.  Just get one of these and add this.   Slap your red dot or holographic optic on it and you have a class-leading tool.  If you are not handy you can find a variety of good-quality used ones at shops in your area.

These are just some ideas.  Lots of people buy their first gun and find out it's ill suited to their purpose or desires.  Ask a lot of questions before you choose.  If there is a range that rents guns try out a few before you decide.  Go to different shops and see what they keep in stock.  Keep in mind that in most of the country we pay 70-80% of MSRP, so don't be scared off by prices on manufacturer websites.  Take a class and listen to the instructor's recommendations.  Go shooting with friends.  Ring me up if you're in my neighborhood, I love taking people to the range.

I've been pushing rifles and shotguns here, but if you desire a single gun that you want to fill multiple roles that could point you at a handgun.  If you desire a gun that you can carry concealed and use for home protection than a handgun is the best choice.  But if you want a firearm that's dedicated for home defense a rifle or shotgun will likely serve you better.

As always if you think I've missed some obvious choices or have any questions or suggestions please let me know.

No comments:

Post a Comment