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I’m Unarmed — What Gun Do I Buy?, by Frog

You’re sitting at home with your family in a suburb at what is normally a comfortable distance of 30 to 60 minutes from your nearest major city. Life feels as normal as it can — quarantine being considered — and your dinner is interrupted by the news that there is is rioting in the adjoining city. Then, the country is rioting; finally, international cities are rioting. You’ve been aware of the need preparedness for some time, but you find yourself without a firearm. What do you do?

This article will be intended for survival-minded folks living in the ‘burbs who either have no experience with firearms, or very limited experience. As a blanket statement to get out of the way right now: ANY safe, functional firearm is better than none. Doubly so, any firearm you are comfortable and confident with is (generally) better than one you don’t know how to use. I do not claim any kind of authority over the knowledge being presented, and even if this only prompts people to buy firearms I’m not recommending, I can sleep soundly knowing it helped somebody take the plunge to protect their family and property.

Also please note that, of course, firearm choice for somebody in a deep-urban versus rural setting would of course have different priorities. As someone who grew up and remains a suburbanite (though, thankfully living farther out than I used to be), this is simply the area I feel I know best.


In general, if somebody can only purchase one firearm and lives in the suburbs, my first recommendation would be for them to acquire a high-capacity semi-automatic handgun of their preferred flavor. Before anybody shouts through the keyboard, I wholeheartedly agree that it would be preferable to start with a .22; however, if somebody has a small budget and truly can only afford a single weapon while the country is in or on the edge of true unrest, I believe a centerfire option is permissible. That being said, if you can afford multiple guns, then GET a .22 FIRST!

In absolute no particular order, here are a few brands that you may wish to consider: Smith and Wesson M&P Series, Glock (19, 17, 22, 23, etc), Springfield Armory XDm, FN, CZ, HK, the list goes on. Most of these will be approximately $400-to-$550 depending on what level of dealer markup is occurring at the time you buy. Less expensive options of reasonable quality certainly exist, but if you’re only going to have one firearm, I suggest doing all you can to purchase a mainline brand to have the best parts and magazine availability possible.

Why a handgun? Succinctly: I’m a family man. If I’m called upon to defend my home, there’s a very high probability I will need to move or direct my wife and children, open doors, issue commands, or otherwise make use of my hands. A pistol with modern ammunition will offer relatively high capacity, adequate terminal ballistics, and an acceptably low risk of over-penetration through drywall. While becoming skilled with a handgun takes more practice than some other firearms, at home-defense distances, my experience lends me to believe it is intuitive enough to use for novices to achieve acceptable results – though this is, obviously, no excuse not to train! Practice every aspect of loading, unloading, pointing, drawing, reholstering, andsafely [1]dry firing [1] the gun.

Under normal circumstances, I would recommend a new shooter start with a 9mm chambering. Why? You’ll be offered high capacity, relatively low recoil, and cheaper ammo than its main competitors. That being said, I recently had an experience I want to advise prospective buyers of: While visiting family, the riots kicked off. I had all of 100 rounds of 9mm with me, half of which I’d fired while shooting with my father a few days prior. Upon going to two different local big-box outdoors stores, I was not able to find ANY 9mm ammunition. I had to travel to a gun store elsewhere, which had about ten boxes total right as the doors opened; I am certain it’s all gone, by now. However… there were still literal buckets and cases of .40 S&W and .45 ACP available at each store. In a “panic” situation, or perhaps a panic-adjacent one, it would absolutely be worth choosing the cartridge that has ammunition available. While I love my Glock 19 and my Browning Hi-Power, if I found myself without guns and only .40 S&W on shelves, you’d best believe I’ll go with the .40.

[JWR Adds: One low cost option that provides flexibility for times of ammo shortages is to buy a police trade-in Glock Model 22 or Model 23 chambered in .40 S&W, and also immediately buy a second barrel in 9mm for it, with a set of magazines, to match. That would not be much more expensive than buying a new Glock Model 17 or Model 19 chambered in 9mm. So you are in effect getting two guns for the price of one.]

To go along with your handgun, I recommend purchasing as many OEM magazines as you reasonably can, along with a quality weaponlight (I like Streamlight and Surefire), and a kydex or reinforced leather holster. You may also wish to purchase a second holster dedicated to concealment, which should also be kydex, reinforced leather, or a hybrid of the two; nylon and similar holsters are affordable, and certainly better than no holster, but I prefer the draw of holsters with reinforced mouths and no snaps, buckles, or other items. Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV). Magazine pouches are also worth purchasing, if budget allows.

Refer to the ballistic tests on various ammo from Lucky Gunner [2].

For my personal, perhaps non-objective preference, I like to have 18″ of gel penetration or more to ensure well-placed shots will go as far as they need to. Most minimum recommendations seem to be in the 12″ range.


If your budget and market availability allows, then the next firearm I would recommend to somebody in the suburbs staring down unrest would be a high-capacity, intermediate cartridge, centerfire rifle. In general, your most cost-effective option would be an entry-level AR-15, but several other options include: AK variants, Mini-14/30, the Kel Tec SU-16 series, and others.

Why a rifle? In my opinion, which appears to be echoed in the woeful mainstream media and social media alike, these rifles are one of the most intimidating options available to deter would-be looters and criminals from entering your neighborhood. Of course, it’s also one of the most effective and versatile firearms a free man can own; in many states, you’ll also be able to legally hunt with them, though that topic is suited for its own article.

Since this will usually mean an AR-15, here are a few items to watch out for that I would generally not recommend: Polymer and hybrid lower receivers (beware – these are often the cheapest!), because the code does not appear to be cracked as of yet on making them acceptably rugged, outside of the GWACS/CAV Arms style one-piece lowers; railed sight blocks (you will find it very difficult to both find a quality iron sight that is the right height, and also to zero said sight); and, excepting cases where no other option is available, AR-15s chambered in rifle cartridges other than .223. Again, availability dictates what you’ll have access to; .300 BLK is certainly a fine round, but more expensive and uncommon than .223 under normal conditions.

To go on your rifle, I would recommend iron sights and a sling as minimum requirements. A sling is to a rifle what a holster is to a handgun – and of course, you need to be able to fire accurately, so a sighting system is a must. As of writing, the most affordable iron sights I feel confident recommend are MagPul’s MBUS sights, though many entry-level AR15s will come with a permanently affixed front sight, saving you a few bucks.

For slings, I recommend either an inexpensive 2-point sling, or the MagPul MS2/3 type slings (though using them as intended will also require you to purchase and install a “sling plate,” so you may save this upgrade for later). I also strongly recommend a weaponlight for the rifle; the Streamlight Polytac is affordable and durable, and I have owned several of these without issue. Of note, even the standard mil-spec handguards on baseline ARs can have inexpensive rail sections added to accommodate a weaponlight.

If you can afford an optic to place on it, I recommend a red dot for beginners. There are many good brands available; I would implore you to choose one that has good battery life (meaning you can always leave it on), or one that doesn’t require batteries at all. Of course, you’ll also want as many magazines as you can get your hands on; for AR-15s, I prefer MagPul PMAGs, though many other good options exist.

Regarding ammunition: However much you think you need, get more. I would recommend getting at least 250 rounds of handgun ammo and 1,000 of rifle ammo to start, though your budget will dictate what is realistic for you. Purchase a proper ammo can or two to store the rounds and keep them safe from the elements. For handguns in particular, try to get enough high-quality self-defense ammunition to load all of your magazines.


Why not a shotgun in my number one spot? Simply put, I think most novices will have a hard time using it well under stress, excepting simpler single-shot or double barrel guns. Additionally, my experience with panics is that because most stores only stock a small amount of buckshot, it’s generally all gone during unrest. That being said – a decent, used pump-action 12 or 20 gauge shotgun can be as little as $150 from a pawn shop, and will be absolutely lethal. If available, I recommend 00 buckshot, though #4 may be easier to find once the buckshot is picked through. Please note that 00 buckshot goes through a significant amount of drywall, so check your backstop – and PRACTICE!


Anybody who can afford it should begin shooting with a .22LR, or air gun. That being said, I feel comfortable in saying that the firearms recommended here will serve most suburbanites well in defending their families and communities in the event of unrest. I pray that this community is taking the proper steps to keep themselves safe, and wish all of you the absolute best – especially those newcomers trying to find their first firearms.

Stay strong, and stay safe!

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Comments Disabled To "I’m Unarmed — What Gun Do I Buy?, by Frog"

#1 Comment By Ani On June 26, 2020 @ 8:25 am

Thanks for this. I’m sure there are other out there that have also left this part of preparedness out, due to both cost and also lack of knowledge. I had been planning on rectifying this once I had a permanent address again but that exactly coincided with the pandemic and the panic buying of weapons and ammo! It’s still a dilemma for me as gun and ammo prices have skyrocketed so buying anything is going to be costly now. I end up weighing what that cost would buy me in terms of food, firewood, garden supplies etc versus buying the gun(s) and ammo. It’s a tough choice as on the one hand, you can’t eat your guns and ammo(and I don’t eat meat so hunting isn’t on my “to-do” list anyway). On the other hand, if someone shows up to take possession of your house, garden and supplies, well the cost of the gun and ammo would have been well worth it.

#2 Comment By Michael On June 26, 2020 @ 1:03 pm

Ani I enjoy your posts, you sound like a reasonable and gentle person. However you have no problems with troublesome critters in your garden? No offense intended but you sound a little like my anti-gun neighbor who calls me when she has a trouble in her chicken coop. She wants me to make it GO AWAY so I do because she is a useful neighbor with good gardening advice and she that pays well in eggs and dressed out chickens for trouble resolution.

Every effort I make to get her to accept a single shot 22 rifle and learn to shoot is rebuffed with some reason like I cannot afford it or when pressed I hate guns.

Firearms are still available but it’s getting to be Hobson’s Choice of take it or leave it as the better choices are as you mention GONE. I had an offer for a 16 gauge bolt action shot gun with a few boxes of shells but I begged off as broke right now. More than a few seniors have an old shotgun and need cash.

Self defense, Shelter, Water, Food, skills, tools, trusted friends are all things that make getting past this time of trouble doable.

#3 Comment By Ani On June 26, 2020 @ 5:25 pm

@ Michael

So I once owned a shotgun which I hated as I wasn’t shown how to shoot it properly, if you can imagine trying to sight with ones right eye if one is left-eye dominant! But when a racoon invaded the chicken barn and was ripping apart my chickens it wasn’t a place for a shotgun anyway so I grabbed the closest weapon to hand which was a compost fork; plunged that right through the racoon and he was never seen or heard from again! So yeah, it’s not as if I have a hard time dealing with varmints that attack or demolish my stuff. So I don’t think I’m anything like your anti-gun neighbor, not anti-gun at all. Just saying that I’m not a hunter so having a gun to hunt has never been on my list.

#4 Comment By RKRGRL68 On June 26, 2020 @ 9:08 pm


You’re the best!! I can just imagine you going after that chicken killer! 🙂

Rock on

#5 Comment By alfie On June 27, 2020 @ 12:28 am

Hmm, my wife of 48 yrs shot rifle right handed but was left eye dominant and she would out shoot me more times than I care to admit too.

#6 Comment By Ani On June 27, 2020 @ 8:35 am

Did she try to sight with her right eye or her left though? I’m pretty sure I could shoot right-handed(or left-handed) but would need to use my left eye to sight with or else it’s way off. Learned this finally when I did archery.

#7 Comment By Michael On June 27, 2020 @ 1:21 pm

Ani the slayer 🙂 Has a nice ring to it! The last time I had a varmint problem it was an oddly acting non-local Dog (I know all my neighbors dogs, pet them and treats) that did not respond to yelling, not to thrown rocks, kept drifting nearer.

I was concerned about dumb rabies and was happy I didn’t have to use a Garden Fork to slay it. Several good 40 grain hits stopped the problem and then the shovel was employed. I was actually concerned that took several hits to stop it. Thinking of upgrading my garden “Tool” as a Dog pack would have been far worse.

A useful “Tool” in the garden apron is better than the one still by the kitchen door. Just a thought.

#8 Comment By Tunnel Rabbit On June 26, 2020 @ 5:05 pm

Ani said:
“On the other hand, if someone shows up to take possession of your house, garden and supplies, well the cost of the gun and ammo would have been well worth it.”

And there you have it. You said it. Prepping is a balancing act. At the end of the day, it is not what we got that counts as much as what we can keep that counts. If I had no defensive plan, I’d put all my time and and money into building up my ability ASAP.

I believe for around the house and yard, that a 12 or 20 guage semi-auto or pump shotgun is the most fire power for the least expense, and would be my first choice over a hand gun. The handgun however can be with you at all times. If you cannot afford a revolver, then look at the Taurus GC2 9mm. Although not the best, they are lower in cost and good enough. The GC2 fits medium to smaller sized hands, and are easier to conceal than most Glocks, and have 12 rounds instead of 6 rounds offered in the compact Glock. It is a good balance of size verses fire power. A larger and higher capacity handgun is not as good a choice if it is inconvenient to carry. It defeats the purpose of owning a handgun. It would be lighter and may fit into a purse. Amazon sells the holster.

Police trade in’s (Glocks) as JWR recommends, may be a more appealing choice over the lower quality Taurus if these fit your hand. But they are not as compact. Go down to the local store and try one our for fit. But a revolver requires the least amount of training, and can be the most compact. A .38, or better yet, a .357 that also shoots lower recoiling .38 would work nicely. I can shoot a .38 wheel gun more accurately than a Glock or Springfield XD9, but that is probably just me. Probably because it fits better. The whole idea is to hit what you are aiming at.

#9 Comment By Francis Marion On June 27, 2020 @ 6:51 pm

Revolvers are also lower maintenance and more reliable. They are also a good option for people who may have problems maintaining a stiff wrist (due to arthritis or similar issues) with a semiautomatic, which can result in cycling problems. Like TR, I would recommend a .357, since this offers an increased choice of ammunition, as a .357 can also safely shoot .38. This makes them an excellent choice for folks for whom a quality semiautomatic may not be feasible.

#10 Comment By Wobbly On June 27, 2020 @ 11:00 pm

What about the design of a revolver makes it more reliable or requiring less maintenance? And, is that worth 1/3 of the capacity? How much more reliable would you consider them in general compared to modern autos?

#11 Comment By Francis Marion On June 27, 2020 @ 11:42 pm

There are fewer moving parts and a simpler design, which means less to malfunction and much easier to clean and repair. I’ve put a lot of rounds through a variety of revolvers and semis, and had a lot fewer malfunctions from the revolvers. For a novice, that can be important.

That being said, my personal preference for EDC is generally a semi. I’m certainly no Jeff Cooper, but I’m not a novice either. I do enjoy revolvers…there’s something atavistic about shooting them…but I normally only carry one as a snake gun (.410 revolver). A modern semiautomatic is certainly, generally speaking, preferable over a revolver. But there are always exceptions, such as the medical conditions that I mentioned. And therefore, revolvers still have a place in shooting society, and I think a well-rounded battery should include at least one.

#12 Comment By Wobbly On June 28, 2020 @ 4:14 pm

I can agree that they’re easier to clean, but as long as we’re talking about double action revolvers in comparison to modern autos – they actually have more moving parts, on average.
Regarding repair, though, this is where I’ll have to deviate the most; working on a DA revolver trigger is an absolute nightmare, whereas detail stripping a Glock or similar takes all of one or two minutes. Depending on the gun, too, a revolver can have over double the parts count of a Glock.

#13 Comment By Dee evan On June 28, 2020 @ 8:09 pm

Just throw wood at them

#14 Comment By anonymous On June 26, 2020 @ 11:26 am

If only a single gun, the handgun has to be it. You may need to later go out for needed supplies to retrieve them. Then again, that leaves anyone at home (if there are signifcant others) unarmed. Maybe move Heaven and Earth to purchase TWO of them so parts and ammunition are common.

A single shot break open shotgun is about as simple to teach a complete novice how it works. Consider the smaller 20 gauge to reduce recoil as the single’s design enhances recoil.

#15 Comment By B Rhoads On June 26, 2020 @ 11:28 am

While this is a good article I would like to point out 2 things.
First is weaponlights , They have their use’s but why on earth does just about everybody put them on their gun’s ?
Have you ever thought about when you are walking around with it on you are giving away your position and making yourself an easy target ?
Second you said to buy self- defense ammo I get it but yet again that type of ammo is costly, I have seen 9mm as high as $26 dollars for a box of 20.
I don’t know about you but for that kind of money I would rather have two fifty round boxes. In a attack against me and my own over penetration is the last thing I’ll worry about, heck you might get two for one.

#16 Comment By ThoDan On June 26, 2020 @ 1:55 pm

Do weaponlights automatically give light?

You might get two for one, like some innocent neighbour, guest, Family member might be one

#17 Comment By Duane F Donovan On June 26, 2020 @ 2:28 pm

When you are involved in a defensive shooting, the detectives will ask you what you were shooting at. Did you id your target. If you were in low light conditions and did not turn on the light how did you id the target? That sound you just heard was the cell door closing

#18 Comment By Survivormann99 On June 26, 2020 @ 3:47 pm

B Rhoads,

Ask yourself why every member of a “tip of the spear” unit in the Army or Marine Corps in Iraq or Afghanistan who was carrying an M4 or its like would always have a light mounted on his weapon. They didn’t walk around with their light always illuminated like they were taking part in the London Blitz, but target identification was critical at times.

And because the light used was powerful enough, it was extraordinarily useful in blinding the bad guy and rendering him ineffective.

+P and +P+ ammo generally costs around $1/round. It is not used for plinking by the Average Joe. It does, however, elevate the 9 mm, in particular, to a much different level of lethality, which is one reason that the 9 mm has taken over the market today. My advice: don’t go cheap for home defense. That $10.00 you saved on a box of ammo will seem like a poor choice if you are lying on your bedroom floor and bleeding out with a sucking chest wound.

About the choice of caliber, most readers who are familiar with firearms have heard about the development of the .45 ACP, and how, during the Philippine Insurrection the Army’s .38 caliber round was deemed to be a poor “manstopper,” thereby resulting in the development of the .45 ACP. The story always stops there. The truth is that the .45 ACP isn’t a manstopper either. Only the monster pistol rounds developed for hunting fall within the class of “manstoppers” but they would be a poor choice for home defense.

For the other pistol rounds, bullet placement always trumps caliber, and the “double tap” concept is seen as much more effective, which is why so many police departments are moving away from the .40 S&W and returning to the 9 mm. This helps explain why there are so many .40 S&W trade-ins on the market.

#19 Comment By Tunnel Rabbit On June 26, 2020 @ 5:29 pm

Just a note then I gotta get packing up food. The Lord has provided abundantly as per a request.

Not all +P or even +P+ ammunition produces more velocity. The definition of what is +P is not an industry standard, and is more a marketing tool that manufacturer’s can claim, than actual enhanced performance. +P, if indeed ‘hotter’ as some manufactures honestly advertise, is also harder on some actions not designed for increased pressures. I would rather have accurate ammunition that uses a hollow point bullet known to have good terminal ballistics. I use Spear Gold Dot bullets. Top speeds are not my primary concern. Run it over a chronograph if it is. There is now likely better, but not by much. Federal brand generally puts out consistently, good quality ammunition for all firearms. Buffalo Bore once produced a +P+ 9mm with a Spear Gold dot bullet. But I cannot necessarily recommend it. They claim near 9mm Sig performance, but that may ruin a handgun that shoots it constantly.
As stated, shot placement, and then what I believe, bullet construction are the number one, and number two most important factors.

#20 Comment By Survivormann99 On June 27, 2020 @ 2:17 am

I have a Ruger LCP. Ruger recommends against using +P ammunition in it due to the stress on the pistol from the high velocity ammo.

I remember reading a few years ago a Wikipedia article concerning 9 mm loads and the foot pounds of energy delivered. I recall reading that some 9 mm +P rounds delivered more foot pounds of energy than the military .45 ACP FMJ load, a load many mistakenly called “a manstopper.”

While trying to find that article, I found this in a different Wikipedia article:
“Attempts to improve ballistics of the cartridge came in the early 1990s with the widespread availability of high-pressure loadings of the 9mm cartridge… Ballistic performance of these rounds was moderately improved over the standard loadings. In addition, improvements in jacketed hollow-point bullet technology have produced bullet designs that are more likely to expand and less likely to fragment than earlier iterations, giving a 9mm bullet better terminal effectiveness.”

My father used to sniff at the 9 mm round, believing instead in the .45 ACP. He said that he saw no reason to use a cartridge that was almost ballistically identical with a .38 Special. This was before the advent of +P ammunition.

+P ammunition has changed the game. It’s “not your father’s Oldsmobile.” Cheap FMJ rounds can be used for practice (mostly) and more expensive +P can be used for when it really counts. (Always fire at least a few bullets of each +P brand in order to make sure that there are no feeding problems with your pistol.)

Faster recovery from recoil, and a second (or third, or fourth) shot is one of the reasons the FBI went back to 9 mm.

#21 Comment By Telesilla of Argos On June 27, 2020 @ 2:55 am

Wonderfully said, Tunnel Rabbit!

From your post: “The Lord has provided abundantly as per a request.”

#22 Comment By B Rhoads On June 27, 2020 @ 12:46 pm

I have asked that question and in a combat situation with your squad it, is a give in. Light or not no one want’s to die and one bad guy is not going to attack a squad unless he has a bomb strapped to his chest.

This part covers the other comments as well , in my home there is just I and my better half . No one has a key not even our children, meaning if some one is in my house they are not the good guy. So id is not much of an issue and that sound I hear is the cell door opening.
I have many retired police and military friends in my circle, very few have lights on their weapons, like I said they have uses but when your in your home they give away your position even if your turning it on and off. You are also messing with your night vision in the process.
Survivor man you are correct for the most part No bullet in small caliber is a man stopper , So expensive ammo or cheap the best you can hope for is blood loss so the attack stops. I say this because drug are prevalent in my area and a amped up druggie will take several rounds easily. Just so you know no tul ammo here, but you don’t have to break the bank for ammo.

#23 Comment By Survivormann99 On June 27, 2020 @ 3:20 pm

B Rhoads,

About police in your area not carrying lights on their “weapons,” weapons, of course, cover a broad category. Pistols? Rifles? Shotguns?

Note that cops who don’t have lights on their pistols, the majority, always have a duty flashlight with them.

Many cops are woefully untrained in weapons use in general. After the academy, a trip to the range once a year is the extent of their training in many departments, and many don’t keep a weapon in the house other than their duty pistol.

Their duty pistol is all-too-often regarded as that thing that they are required to carry on their duty belt, and many don’t take very good care of it. Just because a person is a cop doesn’t mean that they know much about firearms or can hit the 10 ring very often. This is often a factor when an amazing amount of ammunition is expended in taking down a “citizen” in what afterward turns into a high profile incident.

Those in the rank-and-file infantry who also carry pistols don’t have lights on their pistols either. Yet, no tip-of-the spear infantry unit will ever be committed to combat today without a powerful light on their M4, or its equivalent.

Some people are satisfied defending their home with a double-barrel 12-gauge, and some with their granddad’s worn out “thuhty-thuhty.” How you defend your home is entirely up to you. Your approach, however, indicates that you have no military experience. You are hardly the exception. The vast majority of those who are interested in preparedness don’t.

My view is that if you have purchased an AR, you have taken defense of family and self to an altogether different level. If so, put a light on it in the unlikely case that you will have to defend your home. “Better to have and…”

#24 Comment By Matt in Oklahoma On June 26, 2020 @ 4:31 pm

Respectfully you need training on weaponslights with that statement. Unless it’s a known raccoon you are dealing with you do not walk around with the weapons light on. There are times for it and times not to use it. The majority of things that happen are in low light in my world. It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s in a 3rd world or on the farm.

If all you are doing is preparing for SHTF in quantity then ball ammo is fine. If you are actually carrying your gun on a daily basis then the last thing I want is over-penetration at church or in a crowd at a restaurant. Also I want quality ammo for hunting. The last thing I need is extra exposure while tracking an animal after a shot. Much of my quality ammo such as BTHPs are much more accurate than a box of TULA and I can extend the comfortable range of well placed shots too. Gutting a head shot doe is a much nicer job than a body shot one.

#25 Comment By CORD7 On June 26, 2020 @ 12:15 pm

The topic of an additional barrel for the Glock 23 tweaked my interest. Is there a best barrel choice? There’s quite a few manufacturer’s options available.

#26 Comment By Tom in Oregon On June 26, 2020 @ 2:02 pm

Yeah, it’s pretty neat to be able to change calibers either permantly or temporarily.
For practice time, you can even use a .40 mag to work with 9mm. (I wouldn’t rely on them for daily carry as malfunctions can occur).

Here’s a web page for some inexpensive swaps. For $150, I changed my Glock 27 to a Glock 26.


#27 Comment By wwes On June 26, 2020 @ 2:39 pm

There is a company called Bear Creek Arsenal in NC that sells Glock conversion barrels for $35+shipping if I remember correctly. I have shot several of their barrels extensively and so far have had zero malfunctions, and they are just as accurate as the factory barrels on my glocks. I’m sure they’re not the best option out there, but they are affordable and they have worked well for me.

#28 Comment By SH in TX On June 26, 2020 @ 1:09 pm

Regarding JWR’s comment about interchangeable barrels for the Glock 23, you can also add a .357 Sig barrel and instantly convert it to a Glock 32. Though .357 Sig is usually expensive and not as plentiful, it provides another, high-velocity alternative, and, since the case head is the same diameter in .357 Sig and .40 S&W, you can use the same mags, and the extractor fits perfectly. Since the 9mm case is of a smaller diameter than the .40, the extractor doesn’t perfectly fit the rim, and may cause extractor wear over time. Having said that, I put 100 rnds thorough my G 32 with a 9mm barrel (and 9mm mag, of course) without any problems whatsoever.

In answer to CORD7, I’ve been happy with my Lone Wolf 9mm barrel, but have only 100 rnds through it. It seems as accurate as the stock .357 Sig barrel, but only tested it out to 15 yds.

Because of this interconvertability (and the fact that I like the “mid-size” glock frame), I’m always on the lookout for good, used 23s or 32s!

Best Regards!

#29 Comment By Roadkill On June 26, 2020 @ 1:11 pm

I would think someone who does not have a firearm at this point is way behind the curve. They had no interest in training at all for self preservation. Having had an epiphany they are now playing catch-up in a drastic manner.
I agree with the handgun. I am a Glock person. I would however have to recommend a revolver. If this person hasn’t trained and may not have the opportunity to get professional training in the near future he/she needs the simplest weapon available, hence revolver. I would probably say an 8 shot .357 Taurus. They are sturdy and not as expensive as the top two other top brands.
Remember the reason for the nudge to arms is crowds may be coming down the street tonight.
Simple in this case may be the best option.

#30 Comment By OneGuy On June 26, 2020 @ 2:52 pm

I agree, possibly for a different reason. The Glock, and many semi-automatics, have no safety. A loaded Glock is more likely to shoot you in the groin or leg than a loaded revolver.

Regarding the comment that when looking for 9mm none was available all that the store had was .40 etc. Yes, I experience exactly the same thing in clothes. I wear the average size clothes and it is what most men buy so the stores sell out quickly. Would I then buy the readily available XX large or small? No! I would buy earlier and buy as much as I needed before it was sold out.

#31 Comment By Dan On June 26, 2020 @ 5:00 pm

How in the world is a glock going to shoot you in the groin or leg? It is a piece of plastic with some steel. No brain, needs a finnger to pull the trigger. I love revolvers, great guns very simple to use but telling tales does nothing but instill unwarranted fear.. I currently have no holes anywhere on my body, other than those I was born with and i have been carrying for many years, including Glocks.

#32 Comment By OneGuy On June 26, 2020 @ 7:24 pm


[Some unkind words deleted.]

There are more youtube videos. Interestingly most of them like this one are police or trained professionals shooting themselves in the groin or leg. Obviously if you do everything right it won’t happen. But when confronted and scared/worried will you do everything right? You can reply snarkely but if you carry your Glock cocked with one in the chamber all your all your snark and love of correcting others English will not help you if you inadvertently pull that trigger.

I carry a Glock too. I am very aware of the very real danger it represents to me because of this fault/feature. Anyone buying a semi-auto handgun as their first gun needs to know this before they buy it. Training will help but nothing is perfect and accidents can happen. Just be aware of the risks.

#33 Comment By Seymour Liberty On June 26, 2020 @ 9:00 pm

Dan, Search “Negligent discharge Glock” and you will find many instances. Even with LEO’s, training pullovers (drawstrings on the side) get into the holster as they are re-holstering their weapon. Strings pull on trigger safety and … Bad day ensues!

#34 Comment By Survivormann99 On June 26, 2020 @ 4:17 pm


What you said about the revolver is the “conventional wisdom.” It is the advice given the average person who will never become proficient in firearms use, who complains that firearm’s “kick,” and who complains that they are “too big”–which is to say, a great many of the spouses of readers here. (Before I become accused of being misogynistic, please note that I said “a great many.” I am sure that many spouncan shoot the eye out of a squirrel at 100 yards.)

Consider this, however. If no children are in the house, and if proper precautions are taken before children visit, leaving a loaded firearm on the nightstand is not going to pose a risk to anyone. A Glock 17 uses a 17-round magazine. That is just short of two reloads with the standard revolver. All a novice shooter needs to do is to pick it up, point, and squeeze the trigger.

If a person is going to need more than 17 rounds in a fight, something that would be extraordinary for a homeowner, there would likely be time for the novice to fumble with reloading a magazine. Trying to reload with a revolver in the dark of night would require even more fumbling, whether the novice was using speed loaders or not.

My son-in-law has a Springfield XD40. Racking the slide is a problem for her. (My son has an XD45. He says that racking the slide of his pistol takes much more effort than most pistols do.) I told my daughter that if she keeps the XD40 loaded, safe off, and ready to go in the pistol safe on the nightstand (in order to keep it away from her small children), that the pistol will hurt no one. When she removes it, there will be no fumbling and it is ready to go.

#35 Comment By Dlew On June 26, 2020 @ 11:03 pm

“Racking the slide is a problem for her.” My wife learned a new method that works for her.
First, grab the slide (hard) like you normally would when you are racking it.
Second, Don’t move the slide, just push the pistol grip forward (hard). This will pull the slide out of your hand and the weapon is will be ready.

#36 Comment By Survivormann99 On June 27, 2020 @ 2:26 am

Yes, I am aware of that method, Dlew, and I have recommended that to her. Whether she has actually tried it, I don’t know.

In reality, for her (or you, or me) to use more than 17 rounds defending a home would be an event more likely to happen to John Wick.

#37 Comment By Roadkill On June 27, 2020 @ 12:14 am

Survivor man. I totally agree, but, In the context of the authors reasoning, This person needs it today because rioters are coming now. No training. Way behind the self defense curve.

#38 Comment By Survivormann99 On June 27, 2020 @ 2:47 am

If the concept is to be able to choose a firearm that can be fired within the confines of a home and hit a target across a dark bedroom or living room, I don’t see much difference between a revolver and a previously loaded Glock in terms of function, and I would prefer to have the Glock’s additional additional ammunition capacity.

The novice simply needs to assume a simple isosceles position, lock elbows, point the pistol while looking over the sights and down the barrel, and fire. (For a novice to try to carefully use sights in a dark bedroom under intense pressure is, IMHO, a fool’s errand.) While most of his rounds may not wind up in the “X ring on the perp’s chest,” it is “so simple a caveman could do it.”

#39 Comment By Ani On June 27, 2020 @ 8:55 am


“I would think someone who does not have a firearm at this point is way behind the curve. They had no interest in training at all for self preservation. Having had an epiphany they are now playing catch-up in a drastic manner.”

I think it’s probably best to not make assumptions as to why someone doesn’t have a gun at this point; the reasons will vary and may well not be what you suppose they are. If you don’t make assumptions and keep your mind open to these people then you can be of more help to them when they do decide to get a gun. When I posted above that I didn’t have one now and also that I didn’t hunt(or eat meat), someone made some assumptions about me that were totally incorrect. In my case I used to have a shotgun but sold it as I wasn’t taught properly how to use it so it was not a good experience. I’ve been a nomad for nearly 3 years so couldn’t have one given where I was traveling and living, often overseas. Getting a gun was high on my list for when I acquired a permanent address once again but that unfortunately coincided with the pandemic in March and there was a run on the local gun stores. It wasn’t a good idea for me to crowd into a store filled with hordes buying up guns and ammo and attempt to figure out a gun that would work for my budget, hand and frame size and lefty issues. I needed to spend some time with a knowledgeable gun store employee and that was clearly not going to happen in that environment at this time. I decided to just wait for the buying frenzy to be over(guns, TP and hand sanitizer) but then the BLM riots happened and it all began again(the guns, not the TP and hand sanitizer). So that’s my individual story but like I said, making assumptions as to why people don’t have a gun at this time is probably unwise.

#40 Comment By Krissy On June 28, 2020 @ 9:35 pm

Hi, Roadkill, You mentioned you were a Glock person, and I wondered if you had an opinion about the 41? I remember a couple of things from different people here on the blog in the past.
One, whoever strikes their opponent first usually wins.
Second, the Glock 41 is the most accurate model.

I was surprised that in all of the comments, a Glock 41 wasn’t mentioned.

#41 Comment By Ken Friedman On June 26, 2020 @ 1:20 pm

I suggest you buy your AR chambered for 5.56 rather than .223. A rifle chambered for 5.56 will still shoot .223 but the reverse may not hold true due to the higher pressure of the 5.56 round. Similarly, if you’re looking for a .308/7.62 get it chambered for .308.

#42 Comment By Just Some Guy On June 26, 2020 @ 3:45 pm

It isn’t an expensive upgrade but if I were to buy a new AR I would get it chambered in 223 Wylde. The reason being it solves a lot of issues with .223 and 5.56. As Ken said you can fire a .223 out of a 5.56 barrel but not the other way around. That being said a .223 out of a 5.56 barrel isn’t very accurate. The solution is the 223 Wylde. It can fire either .223 or 5.56 but the chamber dimensions allow both to be used accurately. If you have an AR already it is an easy barrel swap that isn’t that expensive.

#43 Comment By Chris W On June 26, 2020 @ 3:46 pm

A .223 Wylde chamber will solve any potential issues with switching back and forth between .223 Rem and 5.56 Nato ammo. [Barrels and complete uppers with] this chamber are fairly common in AR accessory land.

#44 Comment By Wobbly On June 27, 2020 @ 12:06 am

All modern 223 rem chambers can handle 5.56 pressure. Unless you’re buying a vintage mini14, you won’t have any problems.

#45 Comment By Randy in SC On June 26, 2020 @ 1:41 pm

A good 20-gauge pump is pretty close to foolproof and very versatile. You can shoot birdshot, buckshot or slugs. A 20 is almost as effective as a 12, but lighter and easier to handle, with much less recoil. At close range, use bird shot. It’s as effective as buck but is less likely to blow through walls. Ammunition is relatively inexpensive and available everywhere. Shotguns are legal in more jurisdictions than handguns and ARs. Shotguns are also more affordable. Look for one with a short barrel (often found with rifle-type sights as a deer gun) and screw-in chokes. The chunk-chunk sound of chambering a round is a potent deterrent when things go bump in the night!

#46 Comment By Dee Evan On June 28, 2020 @ 8:56 pm

The first thing they should hear is the click of the trigger, a millisecond before the round goes off.

#47 Comment By alfie On June 26, 2020 @ 2:10 pm

Just another suggestion if your budget can go for it, concerning the AR15 is consider a .22 adapter for your AR. Also on the subject of buckshot, the subject came up at a local gun shop recently, goose loads comparison to buck shot size. triple BBB is larger than double BB is the same size as #4 buck shot. Then looking for Triple BBB at the local big box store, I found it in 3 in, but not 2 and three quarters inch. Most of the shotguns out there are chambered for three inch, but there are also a great number of older shotguns that only 2 and three quarters, you would have to check to be sure which is which. Just thought I would bring this up

#48 Comment By Tom in Oregon On June 26, 2020 @ 2:10 pm

Great primer on firearms.
Hopefully, this will tickle some folks to look into the subject and add a bit of security. If for nothing else, peace of mind.

If you do get a firearm, and it’s your first one, find a “gun guy” who would be willing to teach you on proper handling/use.
If you can afford it, take a class. Or two. Or a dozen. You’ll meet some of the nicest, giving people.
Proficiency will eliminate some of those fears or misgivings and hopefully give you a bit of that “peace of mind”.

#49 Comment By TominAlaska On June 26, 2020 @ 2:35 pm

This subject has churned on forever and the realty is that firearms are like golf clubs, there is a different club for each shot. With that said, if we are pinning down one firearm for a newbie I think a revolver still trumps the field.

A revolver is simple to operate and doesn’t require much forethought (racking the slide, take down cleaning, etc..). I purchased a nice S&W .357 for my adult daughter and immediately re-trained her (we are a shooting family) and that firearm will be sufficient for anything less than a full scale invasion.

As far as budgets are concerned, there are many quality revolvers available at moderate cost such as the Ruger line.

The realty, however, is to consider protection as a well rounded package and that requires more than one weapon. Maybe the next discussion would center on the best combination of weapons. But I think we have covered most of that in the past.

#50 Comment By skeptic On June 26, 2020 @ 4:05 pm

As this article was directed to the first time gun buyer motivated by threats of civil unrest, I think this new gun owner will have an interesting effect on the upcoming election. Will new gun owners vote in November for those who want to take away the gun they just purchased, leaving them and their family without protection?

#51 Comment By Idahoser On June 26, 2020 @ 4:14 pm

My preference is to recommend a medium-frame, steel, 3-4″ barrel, .357 Magnum revolver from a reputable maker. This obvously means S&W 19/66 or 586/686, and the copies thereof.
Where I think this is superior to the 9mm is for the user who realistically is not going to spend the effort to learn the procedures by heart, who therefore is at great risk of leaving a round in the chamber, and those who either can’t or won’t learn to rack the slide of an automatic.
For these people, and for the random neighbor or relative you may need to arm, who’s knowledge level can’t be known or trusted on short notice, the revolver is the best choice for a first/only weapon.
All other criteria are similar to yours, it’s concealable, it’s possible to load it very light for training or sufficient for combat, etc.

#52 Comment By Tunnel Rabbit On June 26, 2020 @ 4:27 pm

Agree wholeheartedly.

#53 Comment By Seymour Liberty On June 26, 2020 @ 5:08 pm

Idahoser – Great logic (and I like your handle), can’t fault anything you said. If anyone thinks a wheel-gun is not as good as a semi-auto, I would refer them to Jerry Michulek. I dare anyone to match his skills or times, even with a pistol. Training, training, training! And a wheel gun is almost impossible to jam or have a failure to feed/extract. They go bang! I have different tools for different jobs and a solid revolver is part of my toolbox also. They come in handy on the trails – ’nuff said. Another solid recommendation besides the S&W’s is a Ruger .357 Magnum (allowing practice with .38’s, wadcutters, etc).

That said, buy whatever you shoot well after trying a few at a range. My EDC is a P220 Carry, and also have a duty size P220 because 2 is 1, and use the duty size on the property. I picked the first one because after shooting about a dozen different pistols, and half dozen revolvers, it’s what fit my larger hand/eyes best, but more importantly it’s what I shot best (and that included SA Kimber 1911’s). I also liked the DA/SA action which lets me carry condition 1 without the hammer cocked. My wife carries a P226 Navy on the property & on the nightstand, and a .38 S&W for her purse (her first foray into hand nailers 13 yrs ago).

Watch a lot of QUALITY gun reviews like Hickok45 and others. There are quite a few quality guns these days and if you try them out, read the reviews and do your due diligence you will absolutely find a great gun that fits your abilities and needs out there. Knowledge is power and sites like this one provide lots of useful knowledge! Thanks again AL & JWR!

#54 Comment By Tunnel Rabbit On June 26, 2020 @ 4:25 pm

I believe a shoulder fired weapon is easier for most to shoot accurately if they are not proficient with a handgun, especially under stress. And we should not forget that the idea is to stop the fight as quickly as possible. I would use a semi auto, or pump shotgun, 12 or best yet, a 20 ga., buck or slug, with a handgun as a back up. A shotgun will stop the fight quickly with a less than accurate shot to the vital area of the torso. When it hits, it is devastating, even when the hit would be to an arm or leg. It destroys lots of tissue, and the trauma is immediate and overwhelming. 9mm and 5.55 are weak in comparison. Some bad guys will not only be pumped up on adrenaline, but also meth and other drugs. They will be more athletic and tougher than most. They would need to be hit harder than most people before they are too weak to shoot back.

12ga is less expensive and more available than 20 ga., but 20 ga is lower in recoil allowing faster, and more accurate follow up shots with out much loss in effectiveness. Use managed recoil 12ga 00 buck for similar results. The pattern will be much tighter even out of a riot barrel, typically what is a 18 inch ‘cylinder bore’ (no choke) barrel. Many departments use it, and for good reason. Ammo management, or reloading a shotgun is more difficult and requires much practice to perform flawlessly under stress, yet I do not need much ammo to get it done, and we would have a handgun in reserve as well. Transitioning to a handgun is faster than reloading any weapon, including a handgun. So plan on 5 rounds out of the shotgun, and then transitioning to a handgun. Or with lots of practice reloading a shotgun quickly, we can continue to use it. A side note, but an important one. A shotgun makes a much louder noise than a handgun. Anyone being shot at with it will instinctively know that they are outclassed, and desire to leave the area. One way or another, the shotgun can end the fight faster. Same goes for .308 verses 5.56. The louder the noise, the greater the danger.

There is nothing all that difficult about a shotgun. I learned how to operate and to shoot one as a 10 year old all by myself on Grandma’s farm. First shot took a pheasant, and the second shot took a squirrel. It is that simple. If I am dealing with an aggressive human pupped up on adrenaline, I want as much deadly force as can be brought to bear to be able to immediately stop the threat. Most people, including trained police officers will empty handgun magazines and miss entirely, or just wing them. A shotgun will be more accurate and only one or two rounds is needed to end the fight. It would likely be over within 2 to 3 rounds, and no more than 5. IHMO, handguns are important, because they can be carried on the person, but it is not the best choice in a fight. Soft points, if they are reliable in your AR, should be used, but if ammo is shared, then use FMJ, as that will be reliable in all rifles. An Army manual recommends double taping with an AR. On average, it will take 5 rounds of 5.56 FMJ to make sure they stay down. A .30-30 that uses soft point ammunition that is less powerful than .308 soft point ammunition, would likely end the fight with only one round. Spray and pray techniques are not productive. Focus on hitting the target, first time, every time.

I have no formal training with firearms and no self defense training. This just what I figure would work best for me. A smart police officer, anticipating a fire fight will grab his shotgun. So would I. In a rural setting, I’ll take the rifle. If I did not have a rifle, then I would take the 12ga with the bird barrel on it because it swings and tracks a target well enough to hit fast moving clay pigeons at a distance. (Clays at a trap range are very fast, faster than humans. But they are predicable. Humans are not.) With it’s modified choke it produces a tighter pattern. It can extend the range of some 00 or 000 buck ammunition out to 50 yards. 100 yards with a slugs if a only a bead sight it used. Get rifle, or ‘ghost’ sights if you can. Pattern and get to know your shotgun. I would much rather get hit with any Glock than my old Wingmaster (1970’s Remington 870, smooth as butter.). Because I know my shotgun, I might do better with that than some people who do not know their rifle, and who blindly sprays and prays. I know that from playing Paint Ball.

Paint Ball battles are somewhat realistic and instructive. And they are an intense experience. As an old man new to paint ball, and up against young, fit and experienced paint ball enthusiasts, who always had all the tactical advantages during each engagement, I won, but only half the time. That is not good enough. But I did learn to stay cool, to anticipate and force their movement, and to cause them to needlessly expend ammo. Invest in AirSoft or Paint Ball rifles, and learn lots real fast. AirSoft allows one to practice handling, reloading, and shooting safely, and without much noise. I may not have training, but I got’s some invaluable, albeit, limited experience. It’s better than nothing.

#55 Comment By Seymour Liberty On June 26, 2020 @ 6:40 pm

TR- As always, good points! A good home defense shotgun is a wonderful thing! Don’t overlook #3 or 4 Buck for 00 Buck. A trainer once told me #3-4 Buck will get the job done & here’s why: You’ll get 20-21 1/4″ pellets (depending on 12 or 20 gauge) vs 8 pellets for 00 or 000 Buck. You could even opt for #1 Buck which has 11 .30 cal pellets, but I always think “more is more”. Especially as we get older. Considering the spread on a home defense shotgun at increasing distance, more perforations are a good thing. Try breathing or moving with that many perforations, even hopped up on drugs.

Another thought for readers, and I can’t take credit for it; someone once said (can’t remember who) “I have a handgun to help me get back to my long gun”.

Lots of options out there. No one says you have to settle for just one!

#56 Comment By Tunnel Rabbit On June 26, 2020 @ 7:55 pm

Thank you. It is now hot outside, time for a break. BTW, although my tomato plants are doing horribly, one Giant Swiss Chard plant is nearly 6 feet tall. Hopefully it will go to seed soon.

#4 buck can also be used. Get buck of any kind if OO Buck is sold out, but if there was no more buck, I’d be happy with slugs. Slugs can leave a larger than 60 caliber hole going in, and massive hole going out. I roll my own loads, and even have made up a version of O? buck, four 110 grain buck shot. The reason is the heavier shot will penetrate adequately at 50 yards, whereas #4 may not. Yes, it is about a .22 caliber projectile, but it is round and has a very low sectional density. Therefore it needs more velocity to penetrate as does a 40 grain .22 long rifle bullet. At night, and given a fast moving target, #4 might be preferable as there are fewer gaps in the pattern. One is likely to get several hits out at 50 yards without a choke, whereas with OO buck, you’d miss. I might use a shotgun for within 50 yard engagements if that is all I had, but I’d would want a bird barrel and a modified choke that get it hits at 50 yards. A full choke gets a single (one pellet) OO Buck hit out at 75 yards. It would get more with #4. If it is all I had, preferably, I’d rather have the shotgun supported by a rifle, than another shotgun. Ideally I’d have 1 oz foster slugs to chuck in if it went beyond 35 yards. If the shotgun were the only long gun available to defend the ranch where typical ranges would be beyond 35 yards, then put rifle or ghost sights on it , and learn to hit well with 1 oz foster slugs. The drop at 100 yards using the less expensive 2 3/4 12 ga shells is usually around 6 inches. 100 yards is about the practical range with a bead sight unless you know how to adjust for the trajectory. I have learned since childhood to hit rabbit size targets with cheap and horribly inaccurate daisy BB rifles out to about 50 yards. A BB gun forces one to compensate for the inaccurate sights, and mortar like trajectory, and to lead a moving target. A BB gun can be a good training aid for a slug gun, especially when there are lots of fast moving and small targets. It is a good way to defend the garden from pests of all sizes. A 60 to 70 caliber mini cannon, ala; black power rifle, is what a slug gun is. It will punch through heavy brush, and lots of different kinds of cover and concealment that would deflect high speed rifle bullets.

If one has many golf clubs in the bag, it is good to know how to use them. We just might have to.

#57 Comment By Seymour Liberty On June 26, 2020 @ 9:07 pm

“If one has many golf clubs in the bag, it is good to know how to use them. We just might have to.”

True words! Knowing how to use your tools is always more important than just having them.

Slugs, & also Sabots! Big holes are always good! Shot placement and large holes are even better!

#4 Buck is also handy to have around for other varmints like coyotes and such.

#58 Comment By BWL On June 26, 2020 @ 7:00 pm

Get TR, I agree with you about paintball. I got into it back in the early 90’s and played for ten years. Small games with a handful of people to battles with several thousands. Many of the people i played with has military/police experience. You can get at least some experience in a variety of shooting environments such as sniping or suppression firing. Shooting at other people in a non life threatening while your adrenaline is high and you are trying not to get hit yourself is also fun.

#59 Comment By K On June 26, 2020 @ 4:57 pm

John Carughi’s EDC is a 100% stock 9mm Glock 19 so that he can “source off of something else or someone else”. By “sourcing” he means he wants magazines and ammo readily available around him.

John Carughi (aka @_shooter_rughi) is the hero from a few weeks back who disarmed two Seattle rioters of the AR-15s they stole from abandoned police cruisers.

His reasoning makes a lot of sense to me, particularly during a riot.

Here is John’s recent interview about disarming the rioters with his Glock: [5]
He talks about “why a 9mm Glock 19” at the 16:57 interview mark.

He also has a gofundme page if you’re interested: [6]

JWR called attention to John in his June 21, 2020 “Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods”:

#60 Comment By K On June 26, 2020 @ 11:50 pm

I just re-read my own comment above and it is like something out of Mad Max. Two Seattle rioters stealing AR-15s from abandoned police cruisers. If that isn’t the definition of civilization unraveling then I don’t know what is. Thank God for these great SB articles.

#61 Comment By Telesilla of Argos On June 26, 2020 @ 6:08 pm

The Sig Sauer M11-A1 is well worth consideration if it’s a good fit in other regards.


Also… Finger print access to a gun safe is a great idea. This is familiar to many SB readers, but there may be people new to the idea of personal defense firearms and the safety measures that should surround ownership of these. Storage in addition to good quality training, of course!

#62 Comment By Just Some Guy On June 27, 2020 @ 4:23 am

I would only go with a finger print safe for storage of guns you do not need quickly. Too much could go wrong if you need to access them in an emergency.

#63 Comment By Kb On June 26, 2020 @ 6:49 pm

I relate to the opening scenario in this article. I’d love to see a similiar article for those folks, who, for various reasons can not own a gun.

What’s the defensive weapon of choice in that situation?

#64 Comment By K On June 26, 2020 @ 7:37 pm

The Byrna HD is not a firearm, but is an incredibly powerful and effective self-defense weapon for men and women of all ages and abilities.


I saw this featured in a Fox News segment a week or two ago.

#65 Comment By RKRGRL68 On June 26, 2020 @ 9:32 pm


I saw that segment on Fox also. I’m seriously thinking of adding two of these to my defenses.

P.S. all, I just checked and the lead time on these are now 12 weeks. It seems that the segment they aired spurred a lot of new buyers.

Rock on

#66 Comment By Ani On June 27, 2020 @ 8:58 am

I used a compost fork! 😉

I also have bear/pepper spray. A gun is on my list though.

#67 Comment By ThoDan On June 27, 2020 @ 12:48 pm

Isn´t the use of poison weapons forbidden under the Geneva Conventions?

#68 Comment By Francis Marion On June 27, 2020 @ 7:47 pm

Pepper spray is not poisonous. It is in fact made from food grade ingredients. For those who may be wondering, it has a slightly minty flavor. I do not, however, recommend using it as a regular food topping. And the Geneva Conventions do not apply to individuals defending themselves against criminal attacks.

#69 Comment By ThoDan On June 28, 2020 @ 5:43 am

I meant the compost fork

#70 Comment By Paul On June 26, 2020 @ 6:54 pm

Thanks, James, for getting the conversion barrel option out there.
I’ve shot the Lone Wolf conversion in a G23 for three days of training and it never missed a lick. I am told that 9mm cartridges will feed from a .40 magazine, but I haven’t tried it yet. Better to have the dedicated magazines. Police buy-backs are cheap and work JUST FINE. I have a half dozen.
A Glock rep lamented the extractor thing when shooting Nines in a Forty, but the LW barrel just spit lead all weekend. Love it.
The idea that a 9mm or other service handgun round won’t penetrate drywall is a myth. Ask me how I know. About five walls seems to slow them down. A .308 will shoot through several HOUSES. So get training. Please.

Lots of great commentary by the folks. It would take a week to read it all. If one is not grounded in the gun thing by now, catching up with acquisition, training, is going to be tough.
Visited Gallenson’s in Salt Lake this week. Plenty of 12 gauge 00 buck on the shelf. No one else in North America has any. Cases of Federal 9mm HST on the floor. Best round for social work I know of. Remington 870 shotguns…..sold out. A few rifles and handguns remain, plenty of trap guns. Eh. Powder, bullets, primers.

#71 Comment By Huckleberry Mama On June 26, 2020 @ 7:10 pm

I personally carry the Ruger SR .22, holds 10 rounds, came with an extra magazine. It fits nicely in my hand and is easy for me to use. I really like this little pistol!

#72 Comment By Seymour Liberty On June 26, 2020 @ 9:16 pm

And that’s what counts! You have it, you carry it, and it works for you. That and practice!
Practice, practice, practice until everything is second nature. Practice malfunction clearing, practice potential threat scenarios, practice drills. But you have already conquered the toughest part, getting started!

Someone once asked me which one I liked best. I said “the one I have in my hand when I need it”!

#73 Comment By Francis On June 26, 2020 @ 9:27 pm

There is a book about Glock entitled “Glock: The Rise of Americas Gun”. It is not complimentary to Mr Glock but very interesting.
He made door hinges for the Austrian military and was invited to develop a good semiautomatic pistol by a friend in the military. He purchased every semiautomatic pistol on the market, took them apart, then interviewed soldiers in WWII and current police and concluded that PANIC sets in so the best is no external safety.
He was not interested in the US market until his US distributor pushed him.

I prefer the Springfield Armory’s XD in 9 mm. It has no external safety (they offer some with and without) but it has a “grip safety”, it must be held properly or the trigger will not work, it has a “loaded chamber indicator” and a small shiny protruding piece that shows if the gun is “cocked” or not.

That said, sometime ago I realized the America I loved is no more. Remember, with firearms, “two is one and one is none”, and the two should not be the same. All mechanical things break. I’ve had the XD for over 10 years now, practice regularly and have had no problems. In several years I’ll need a new barrel.

My son-in-laws love Glocks!

#74 Comment By ThoDan On June 27, 2020 @ 12:45 pm

He made and make the Glock knifes and OBH Knife as well as a very good entrenching tool a long time before Glock started to make guns.

The knifes would be my very first choices for a fighting only knife, as long as i couldn´t get my hand on a modern remake of a medieval fighting men´s dagger.

And in Europe they´re dirt cheap, and if you need a tough beater knife you couldn´t get to wrong with one

#75 Comment By alfie On June 27, 2020 @ 12:34 am

Hmm, my wife of 48 yrs shot rifle right handed but was left eye dominant and she would out shoot me more times than I care to admit too.

#76 Comment By Survivormann99 On June 27, 2020 @ 3:29 am

About the general subject of choosing a firearm, finding either a suitable revolver or suitable pistol now is not easy. Two sayings come to mind: “Beggars can’t be choosers,” and, “If you snooze, you lose.”

I was in the gun shop I usually frequent, and the owner told me that his distributor could not provide him with anything larger than .22LR. No ARs are available around here, of course. With a smile, he asked, “Can I show you a Browning Buckmark?”

#77 Comment By Seth W. Anderson On June 27, 2020 @ 6:25 am

With the recent riots, having a pistol with plenty of high capacity magazines in a caliber that can be easily found is important.

I like Glock 9mms (G17, G17L, G19, G26, and G34) can all shoot the 33 Rd Korean magazines. Another idea is a Pistol Caliber Carbine that accepts Glock magazines. No need for multiple caliber bullets, simplifies things. The Police trade-ins are a good idea with swapping out the barrels and magazines.

Taurus G2 9mm pistols are pretty inexpensive and there is a high capacity magazine available for them. This has a selectable safety, which may be a selling point to some.

For a newbie to guns, the Walter P22 is a great little .22LR pistol, easy to shoot, and with subsonic ammo and a threaded barrel, can be quiet to shoot, especially with a suppressor. Just remember, head shots…….

#78 Comment By Jeff in Colorado On June 27, 2020 @ 6:26 am

Do not buy 9mm magazines for a 40sw, or 40sw mags for a 9mm pistol. I read online where this magazine hack could be useful and should NOT have believed it. My function testing at the range revealed the truth of it.

The results are that 9mm cartridges “burp” out of the 40sw mag after 5 or 6 rounds of pressure build up AND the bending the feed lips on the top of the mag. In a doublestack magazine the cartridges bind up inside the magazine preventing good feeding pressure from the follower. Unless there is a severe situational condition requiring this mismatch, Don’t do it.

#79 Comment By Wheatley Fisher On June 27, 2020 @ 5:42 pm

I prefer a 45. Have used 9s a lot. The 40s were OK.

But in a crowded riot? Get the KEL TEC PMR30 with an extra mag. The whole objective is just clearing an escape path.

God Bless

#80 Comment By Ohio Guy On July 2, 2020 @ 2:57 am

Me too, Wheatley. Truck gun equipped PMR with 3 mags = 90 rnds of 45 grain 22 mag. Also have the CMR which zings that lead much faster. Kel Tec has some really good stuff out there that has held up pretty well for me the past couple years, practicing weekly with no malfunctions speaks to quality IMO.