Miscellaneous (Sort of) Deep Thoughts About Guns

26 Sep

Stumbling around the Internet, I came upon this interesting post by Massad Ayoob. He talks about reverting to carrying the 1911. Ayoob is one of the leading authorities about defensive pistol shooting. I highly recommend his self-defense books.

A few comments were made (by people commenting on that article) that I thought deserved attention. One was the use of side-by-side shotguns for self defense. Preppers who want defensive shotguns probably should avoid side-by-side shotguns. It’s true, in many confrontations, you’ll only need one shot. The problem with a side-by-side for defense is how to keep the weapon at the ready.

If you have a shotgun with internal hammers, breaking open the gun and loading it means the weapon is now only relying on its safety. That’s not the ideal way to keep a shotgun stored. If the safety fails and something jars the gun or trigger, it could fire. Compare this to keeping a pump action shotgun with a loaded magazine, but an empty chamber. That gun could bounce around all day in the back of a Jeep and it wouldn’t fire.

If you can load the side by side quickly, you could keep it unloaded and quickly load it when needed. That’s not ideal, because maybe you’ve just woken up or are under stress. Pumping an action is easier.

Recognizing this and loving the good old side-by-side shotgun, some like “coach” style shotguns with external hammers. For a modern defensive gun, this is a horrible choice. After loading the shotgun, you now need to manually cock the hammers before you can fire. That’s time wasted.

Another poster mentioned the Dan Wesson revolver. I had one of these, a model 15-2 357 Magnum. I thought the interchangeable barrels was a cool idea. The action wasn’t as nice as a Smith & Wesson. The gun had a unique cylinder latch in front of the cylinder.

The two things I remember most about this gun: A few times, when I drew it from a holster, that silly cylinder latch opened. It didn’t actually spill the bullets onto the floor, but I imagine that might have been the next step.

If you can defuse a bad situation with non-aggressive humor, that’s great. But having the bullets fall out of your gun like some sort of Western comedy is going overboard. Because of this, I wouldn’t carry that gun for defense. It would be fine to keep as a “nightstand” gun. Perhaps, I just needed to get a better holster.

The other thing I recall about the 15-2 was once when I pulled the trigger, the hammer jumped straight up. I don’t know if the hammer actually broke or if it just lost is moorings. But it didn’t go bang.

My point is that not all weapons of a certain type are equally reliable. When somebody talks about the reliability of revolvers, this doesn’t apply to all brands all the time. In fairness to Dan Wesson, I do like the 15-2. I just wouldn’t carry one for defense. I don’t think it’s the best gun coming out of a holster. That’s only my opinion, of course.

Another poster wrote, “The Seal who shot OBL should have carried…” I must admire the guy. I’m a pretty egotistical fellow, but I won’t tell Navy Seals what weapons to carry. They’re far more adept at that sort of thing than I am. But the poster made a great point. The 45 ACP has less muzzle blast at night. This is a real downside to full power loads in the 357 magnum and one more advantage to the 45 ACP.

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As part of my prepper homework, I watched Revolution last night. Not too bad. Small groups of good-looking people walking around thinking about the past and talking about the mysteries of life while seeking out danger. They explained that yes, by golly, people should be able to restore power. There must be some malicious group of people trying to keep us in the dark.

I guess the one possible use of an EMP attack would be as a false flag attack. No sane country in the world would dare attack America with a nuclear bomb. If they wanted to spread terror and had the ability to make and deploy a nuclear bomb, they’d probably just nuke a city. But if malicious forces inside a country wanted to scare the bejesus out of their citizens, turning off the power and chalking it up to some enemy probably would do the trick. But, how then, would they make use of the mass media to further their agenda? Oh, well, the best laid plans…

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Back Woods Home magazine has a nice article about small-scale solar power for preppers. If you’re just getting into solar, using a 25 Watt solar panel to charge some small batteries is a good place to start.  NorthernTool.com is one place to get solar panels.

Here’s an interesting discussion of EMP. It mentions the risk of “fly-by-wire” planes which aren’t protected from EMP. “Fly-by-wire” means that computer electronics control things between the human operator and the physical device, like a wing flap, that does something mechanically. Even though I don’t worry too much about EMP, I don’t like drive-by-wire cars where a computer and electronics system controls acceleration and braking. How often has your PC frozen up? There’s an expression “Drive by wire, die in a fire.”

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