Guns 101: Barrel Length

Barrel length will affect many aspects of a gun.  The right barrel length for any given purpose will depend upon a variety of factors.  This article discusses barrel length considerations for firearms.

“Spontaneous Discharge of a Firearm in an MR Imaging Environment”

A while back, a reader sent me a link to an interesting article in the American Journal of Roentgenology, entitled “Spontaneous Discharge of a Firearm in an MR Imaging Environment.”  The article discusses a case in which an MRI machine’s powerful magnet apparently pulled a pistol from an off-duty police officer’s hand and caused the pistol to discharge despite

Reuse of Desiccants (moisture absorbers) to Protect Guns and Ammunition

A while back, I wrote a couple of articles that addressed the problem of humidity insofar as guns and ammunition are concerned, and how desiccants can solve that problem.  The first article, How to Protect Your Guns from Humidity, provided a brief overview of common humidity-mitigation approaches.  The second article, Long Term Ammunition Storage, addressed my preferred method of protecting ammunition during long term storage.  In response to these articles, a reader named John recently sent me an email, suggesting … Continued

Am I Hoping to Ever Use a Gun in Self Defense?

I was recently asked whether I hope that I’ll ever get the “opportunity” to use a gun in self defense, be it my concealed carry pistol or a home defense gun. The person who asked this question did so in all sincerity, and I gave the following sincere answer in return:

Concealed Carry Options while Riding a Motorcycle?

A visitor to this site recently asked me about concealed carry while riding my motorcycle.  My approach for motorcycle CCW can be seen below, and those who also carry while riding are encouraged to share what has worked for them:

My Response to the Anti-Gun Article “Ready, Fire, Aim II…….” (Second Part)

I recently responded to an anti gun article entitled “Ready, Fire, Aim…….” The author of that article published a second article, entitled “Ready, Fire, Aim II…….” This second article is not as blatantly anti-gun, but still contains an abundance of misinformation and anti-gun rhetoric.  Quotes from that article, along with my responses, can be seen below:

Why I Own “So Many” Guns

A friend recently asked me why I own “so many” guns.  (This friend is a gun owner himself – although he owns only a couple of guns and hasn’t fired one in years.)  So, I took a few minutes to explain to that friend why I own over a dozen guns.  Although I’ve already addressed why people own multiple guns in the abstract, I’ve decided to post the specific examples that I gave to that friend, in the hope that … Continued

A Must-Read Aricle About Guns and Race

I would like to direct everyone’s attention to a truly excellent article by Marcus Cole, entitled A Word of Thanks to Four Black Men and A Gun.  It addresses that author’s family’s experience with a violent racist attack, their resulting decision to buy a self defense gun, and historical and recent events centering on gun ownership and race.  Also included is a summary of the history of the privileges or immunities clause in the federal constitution, and Justice Thomas’ use … Continued

Guns 101: Shotgun Shells

This Guns 101 article addresses shotguns shells.  Included are three basic types of shotgun shotgun loads (slugs, buckshot, and birdshot):

My Response to an Anti-Gun New York Times Editorial

The New York Times recently published an anti-gun editorial, entitled “The Gun Lobby’s Long Shadow.” In that editorial, the author engages in the sort of anti-gun fear-mongering that has become all too common in the mainstream media, and also attempts to portray the “gun lobby” as a few aloof individuals, rather than a group of millions of law abiding, gun owning Americans.  Quotes from that editorial, and my responses, can be seen below:

If You’re Not Already an NRA Member, Please Join Today

I’ve previously discussed the importance of avoiding complacency and standing up for our gun rights by joining the NRA, so that American gun rights don’t vanish like British gun rights.  I would therefore like to ask that those who are not currently NRA members take a moment to join the NRA.  If you’re already an NRA member, then please consider giving an NRA membership as a gift.

“Fables, Myths & Other Tall Tales about GUN LAWS, CRIME and CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS”

I would encourage everyone to check out either the online version or the downloadable (PDF) version of the NRA’s “Fables, Myths & Other Tall Tales about GUN LAWS, CRIME and CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS” pamphlet.  It debunks many anti-gun myths, and should be of help when debating gun rights with those who take as fact the anti gun and anti self defense propaganda which saturates the mainstream media.

My Response to an Anti Gun Article from a Feminist Website

In an article entitled “Women pack gats,” a feminist writer makes a variety of anti gun statements while lamenting the fact that more and more women are becoming gun owners.  In the process of doing so, she displays blatant racism and a lack of knowledge on the issue of guns.  Quoted sections of that article, and my responses, are below:

The Importance of Always Carrying

Concealed carry enables law abiding citizens to legally carry a gun for self defense against violent criminals.  As case after case shows, having a gun puts a crime victim in the best position possible to defend themselves and their loved ones.  However, in order for concealed carry to be effective, one must actually carry their gun.  A recent case from Indianapolis, IN highlights that point:

Help Promote Self Defense and Gun Rights

Each week, I discuss a few of the many self defense cases that have occurred.  In each of those cases, a citizen has defended themselves against an act of violence, often defending their loved ones at the same time.  Society benefits as well, since a criminal who has been fatally shot, shot and apprehend by the police, or held at gunpoint until the police arrive will be taken off the streets. Sadly, there is no shortage of cases where a … Continued

Having Children is a Reason to Own Guns – not a reason to get rid of guns

I’ve heard of gun owners who decided to get rid of their guns when their children were born, on the theory that the guns were a danger to the children.  I find myself in wholehearted disagreement with such a decision, as it renders one’s household more vulnerable to criminals, and since proper gun storage and gun safety education virtually eliminate the risk that a child will find and misuse a gun:

The AR-15: The Modern Sporting Rifle

Below is a great video clip about AR-15-pattern rifles, which is produced by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.  The video clip does a nice job explaining how an AR-15 is properly called a “modern sporting rifle,” rather than an “assault weapon.”

Bullet Impacts at 1,000,000 Frames Per Second

Below is an interesting video clip, showing the impacts various bullets against paper, metal, and ballistic gel. I’ve seen slow motion bullet impacts before, but never at 1 million frames per second.

Anti Gun Rights Dictionary

Those opposed to gun rights frequently misuse seemingly simple words, in an effort to advance their agenda.   Some of these terms, along with an explanation of how they are misused by anti gun rights groups and individuals, are listed below:

Please Be Kind to Non Gun Owners Who Ask Gun Questions

I recently received an email from a woman who is not a gun owner, but who has attended gun education events and teaches womens’ self defense classes.  She asked a rather well respected gun educator a simple question about laser sights, which he could easily have answered.  Instead of answering, he rudely and dismissively told her that laser sights are something that he neither used nor recommended, then ignored her question.  This woman emailed me to ask that same question, … Continued

Ballistic Gel Testing Results

Ammunition used for self defense purposes must be carefully picked to ensure optimal performance.   A bullet that performs properly can be the difference between stopping an attacker in time, or dying at the hands of that attacker.  I’ve discussed, in general, my thoughts on the proper ammunition for such defensive purposes.  However I don’t have the time/resources to provide specific information about the performance of various different self defense round.  That is why I’m mentioning The Brass Fetcher website:

Misrepresenting Gun Statistics

When researching a self defense gun use case on a major news outlet’s website, I noticed a statistical graph discussing gun related deaths.  It is entitled “Who’s At Risk,” and states that it “Compares Firearms-Related Deaths Among Men, Women, Blacks And Whites in 2000.”  I see serious misrepresentation of fact in this graph:

Guns Are Not That Dangerous (relative to everyday tools we all use)

Anti gun rights groups will claim that guns are ultra dangerous items.  The fact is that guns are less dangerous than many of the items we all interact with on a daily basis.  Furthermore, even taking the misuse of guns by criminals and negligent individuals into account, fewer lives are lost due to gun misuse than are lost due to car misuse.

Teaching Children to Shoot at a Young Age

I’ve seen that some people, most of whom have never fired a gun, are opposed to parents teaching their children to fire guns.  I disagree, and feel that children who are interested in firearms should be taught to shoot under responsible adult supervision, once they are mature enough to do so safely.

Buy a Gun Now – since when you need one, it will be too late

Purchasing a gun now is a prudent choice, given the fact that when you actually need the gun, it will be too late to buy it. I am not speaking of the world ending or other unlikely events (no, I don’t believe society will collapse any time soon) but rather about events that can and do happen, when it helps to have a gun:

Gun Control and the Urge to “Do Something” in the Wake of a Tragic Shooting

Often times in the wake of a particularly horrific shooting, politicians and even ordinary citizens feel compelled to “do something.” Gun control advocates seize on this urge to act, since it is human nature to want to take action in the wake of a tragedy. This tends to lead to wasted effort or actions that actually make the situation worse. Sometimes the best course of action is no action, or at least action after considerable thought is given to the … Continued

Selecting a Shotgun Barrel Length

Different shotgun activities require different barrel lengths. This article addresses the recommended barrel lengths for various purposes, and the pros and cons of these barrel lengths.

Anti-Gun Indoctrination Happens from an Early Age

I have noticed that there is insidious anti-gun indoctrination experienced by many people, and that it happens from an early age.  I believe this to be a serious problem, not just for the future of the 2nd Amendment, but for society’s ability to solve its social problems, such as violence.  I’ve seen this anti gun indoctrination from first and experience, through the attitudes of many otherwise reasonable people, and from the news.  Allow me to elaborate:

Gun Control Makes Knowing and Obeying the Law Exceptionally Difficult – If Not Impossible

Gun control laws, especially the bans on so called “assault weapons“, tend to be highly technical in nature.  Such laws include arbitrary limitations on the length of barrels, the number of round a magazine can store, cosmetic features of the gun, etc.  This leaves the average law abiding citizen unaware that they might be violating the law, until they are  arrested.  Worse yet, some laws are rather vague, leaving even the most diligent and well educated citizen unable to determine … Continued

Getting Used to Recoil: It just takes practice

In response to my articles on selecting a gun for home defense, taking a friend shooting for the first time, and facts about recoil, I have been asked how one can get used to the recoil generated by more powerful guns. Getting used to recoil is not too challenging, as this article explains.

Personal Responsibility is Lacking in Our Society

Personal responsibility seems to be something that our society is lacking these days, especially insofar as guns are concerned.  Rather than blaming negligent adults who didn’t store their gun in a safe and responsible manner when a small child shoots his or her self, we blame guns.  Rather than blaming the adults who did not follow the basics of gun safety and unintentionally shoot themselves, guns are the scapegoat.  Instead of blaming criminals, we pass gun control laws that the … Continued

Fact: Criminals use “Assault Weapons” in less than 1% of All Gun Crimes

I have previously discussed how the bans on so called “assault weapons” only ban cosmetic and safety features of guns that are not true military style guns anyway, while not reducing crime or even being rationally related to crime.  Now I’ll address the fact that criminals simply don’t tend to use these so called “assault weapons”, which makes banning them even more pointless.

Influential Chicago Alderman to Craft Gun Amnesty for Himself

Chicago Alderman Richard Mell owns a variety of shotguns, rifles, and pistols, but forgot to re-register them, which makes the handguns permanently illegal and unregisterable under Chicago law.  Since he wants to keep his handguns, he is proposing a 1 month registration amnesty period.  The catch?  It would only apply to people who happened to have failed to re-register in the same time frame as him.  Chicago’s Mayor Daley endorses this plan, which is designed to benefit an influential alderman, … Continued

If We Treated Other Basic Right Like We Treat the 2nd Amendment…

Recently, I have heard politicians talking about what they consider to be “reasonable restrictions” on gun rights. These restrictions are often anything but reasonable, so I thought it would be a good exercise to compare what society would be like if we treated other fundamental rights the same way that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution’s right to keep and bear arms is treated

Shooting is a Great Sport for Everyone – Even those with Disabilities

Shooting is a great sport for everyone.  I say that not just because it is fun, but because it does not have to have the same physical requirements as many other sports.  This allows a lot of people to participate and excel at shooting, even if they could not do the same in other sports.  Shooting is also great for the most physically fit among us, who are seeking a new challenge.

Making Guns Taboo Won’t Reduce Violence

In the US and the UK, there are attempts by anti gun groups to make the ownership of guns seen as taboo, from both a legal and moral perspective. These attempts at eliminating “gun culture” are doomed to backfire, as history and human nature teach use. Allow me to explain:

Racial Tolerance at the Chicago Area Gun Stores and Gun Ranges

As stated in my biographical and demographical information, I am an African American male, in my mid twenties.  Because of this, some of my friends have questioned whether it is wise of me to go to gun stores and ranges.  These friends were concerned that, due to my race, I would face discrimination or violence in these gun-related locations.  Since I have heard so many people voice this concern to to me, I thought I would describe my experiences as … Continued

The Effects of Porting a Shotgun Barrel

Porting, which refers to the addition of holes near the end of a shotgun’s barrel, can be a good addition to your home defense or sporting shotgun.  There are some drawbacks as well, and this article addresses both.

Guns are a Special Hobby Like No Other

Guns ownership and sporting use is a special hobby like no other.  And I’m not only speaking about the unique fun and physics that go along with responsible firearms use –  Whether you are interested in hunting, target practice, or collecting, firearms as a hobby require something that almost no other hobby requires:

The Taurus Judge – A Revolver that can Fire Shotgun Shells

As I mentioned previously, I received an email from a reader of this site, discussing the Taurus Judge. The Taurus Judge is a unique revolver which can fire either a .45 Long Colt cartridge, or a .410 shotgun shell. I have handled the Taurus Judge, and it seems to be a well constructed revolver. I won’t go into a full review of it, since my main focus is its ability to fire .410 shotgun shells in addition to the .45 … Continued

Pros and Cons of Using Birdshot for Self Defense

I received an email from a reader of this site, telling me about the Taurus Judge, which is a revolver that can fire either the .45 Long Colt, or a .410 shotgun shell (often loaded with birdshot).  By chance I happen to have handled a Taurus Judge right before I read that email.  Below is is the email I received, along with my thoughts on the use of birdshot for home and automotive defense.