Should I Get a Gun? Handguns!

Oct 3, 2012


Glock Model 23 in .40 Smith & Wesson Caliber

This is the last installment in this series on firearms and personal defense. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.


In talking about options for Home Defense, I talked about shotguns and rifles in the last post. Now, I am going to talk about the most popular defensive firearm, the handgun. There are many different types so there is no way I am going to be able to discuss them all. What I am going to do is break them down into two categories: Revolvers and Semi-Automatics.


Smith & Wesson Model 686 in .357 Magnum


Revolvers are an excellent choice for home defense, especially for someone who does not have a lot of experience with guns. The example shown above is a Smith & Wesson Model 686. The caliber is .357 Magnum but it will also fire .38 Special rounds for someone who is concerned with recoil. This gun was a standard police service weapon for many years. Revolvers are easy use and have a short learning curve.

The revolver’s primary drawback is that most of them are chambered for only five or six bullets. That becomes an issue if you have to face multiple assailants. Another drawback can be the revolver’s recoil. Some people feel the need to get a small revolver (a snub-nose) for home defense. Those are great as carry guns, but the “kick” in those small revolvers is pretty substantial. A larger gun, like the one pictured, is going to have much less recoil. A good rule of thumb is a bigger revolver (like the one above) for home defense and a smaller one (snub-nose) for a carry gun.

Semi-Automatic Pistols

Semi-automatic pistols are by far the most popular firearm used for self-defense. There are many different types and models The one shown below is the Glock Model 19. The caliber is 9mm and it holds fifteen rounds of ammunition. I gave one of these to both of my daughters. This pistol is both a good home defense gun and a good carry gun. The model pictured has a flashlight attached to it. This is an optional accessory but it is a handy add-on.

Semiautomatic pistols can be a bit intimidating for the new shooter. With a little practice, however, they can be easily mastered. This is where having a good firearms instructor would be beneficial. They can work with you until you feel comfortable using the gun. The reason I picture the Glock pistols is that I carried one for a living. About seventy percent of all police departments issue them to their officers. They are a good gun and a Glock is still my personal carry gun.

Having said that, you will have to do some research to decide what is best for you. As I have said, there are many different kinds of guns on the market, just like there are many different makes of cars. How much money can you spend? What options do you want on the gun? Are you willing to practice with it and become proficient? If you are considering purchasing a gun for self-defense, this is not a decision to take lightly.


Glock 19 in 9mm with a flashlight

Since I retired from the police department, my wife, Annie, and I have been serving the Lord in Brazil. We are training leaders and helping plant churches. Would you consider becoming a part of our support team? Just click here to get involved. Obrigado!

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