Broad questions from a to be renewed weapons owner...

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by jeffrey, Aug 29, 2007.

  1. jeffrey

    jeffrey Guest

    My questions should probably go into a few of the different forums, but in reality they're all related so I felt this may be the best place to ask them.

    I'm a former Marine who lives in Florida. I haven't owned any firearms since I was a kid and had a shotgun, .22 rifle and a .22 pistol.

    I'm considering buying an AR-15 or similar as well as either one or two pistols for my wife and I.

    The rifle is primarily because I'm starting to have concerns about the long term security of our country. Maybe because of our politicians and/or the shifts of power around the world. Our military is too small and not as well trained for close combat.

    The pistol(s) are as a backup for the rifle and for personal security and property protection in case of a devistating hurricane. Our house has been hit by 3 of them and I expect things to get worst. Also, we're boaters and may be in some remote locations.

    We went to a gun show over the weekend and I was amazed by the options in AR-15s and similar style weapons. My plan was to get an AR-15 because of my familiarity with it and I was originally thinking of a Colt .45 for the same reason even though it would be heavy for my wife.

    In speaking with one of the dealers, he pointed out that a revolver with a laser sight would be better because in my situation, the weapon may not be cleaned as much as it should and a revolver is less likely to jam. I think that's a good arguement but my wife is 'woman sized' and I'm afraind that if she had to use it, she would be lucky to get one semi-accurate shot in. I like the idea of a semi-automatic at close range because subsiquent shots would more likely go up-or-down. My recollection with a revolver is that you get some twist. I also don't like too small of caliber. I don't like the thought of shooting someone but If I have to, then I want the person to be in pieces. Bullets are cheaper than lawyers.

    I'm not a weapons enthusiast so (I hope) they will only be used once or twice a year at a range.

    I'm open for all kinds of advice and opinions. What types of weapons should I look at and why? How long will ammo last in humid Florida? Considering my purpose for the rifle, I would want to keep a lot of ammo, but I may need to have it for 10 or 20 years.

    Any advice or direction would be appreciated.

  2. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter


    IMHO a standard A-2 rifle is a great starting point. 20", fixed stock. More accurate than most carbines and higher velocity. You will be able to clean w/o difficulty because of your Military service (Thank you for that service).

    A 16" carbine is an option. More portable, easier to maneuver in close quarters but, you give up some degree of accuracy and power.

    Stay away from anything shorter. The 14.5" carbines (M-4 type) with non removeable flash hider/muzzle brake (to make the 16" minimum) CAN be less reliable.

    Find a handgun that fits your wife's hand. Make sure it is at least 9mm or .38 spl. Make sure she practices regularly but, do not pressure her to go shooting. She must embrace the concept herself.

    Revolver twist? I know what you are referring to but it has nothing to do with a revolver. All handguns recoil to the path of least resistance. I have heard people say it will recoil and "Twist" in one direction or another depending on the rifling twist direction. WRONG! When shot in the right hand it will "twist" to the left. The same gun will "twist" to the right when shot with the left hand. The weapon is simply moving to the path of least resistance, the fingers and away from the more solid palm of the hand.

    Laser grips. I do not like them. Just another gadget to seperate you from your hard earned $'s. There is a use for them, however. When teaching someone basic marksmanship. It is easy to see if they are aiming properly if the dot is centered on the target.

  3. jeffrey

    jeffrey Guest

    Thanks Robocop

    I see your point about the twisting. I've only shot revolvers as a kid and remember it twisting to the left. My guess is that when I shot .45s, I was simply older, stronger and better trained.

    I liked the idea of the laser because if our power is out (from a hurricane) I could see it coming in handy, but I also question its accuracy at a distance. My wife agrees with my growing concerns and is looking forward to learning how to shoot but I don't know if she could stay concentrated on the sights while and if she had to be moving.

    Thanks again for your fast response.

    Anyone have any info on how to store ammo and how long it can last? I would keep it in ammo boxes.
    Also, are there powder options that I should consider?
  4. 1984cj

    1984cj New Member

    When you pick a pistol for your wife, Don't! Let her go to the gun store and pick out her own pistol. That way she can verify that she can operate the pistol. Better yet find a range that will rent you handguns so that she can try them and find one she likes. If she likes it then she will be more likely to go out and play with it.

    For ammo storage, Milsurp ammo can be up to 60 years old and still be viable. If I were going to store ammo for a while I would put it in Milsurp ammo box with a couple of dessicant packs.

    I would suggest that If you are joining the ranks of gun owners again, you should try and shoot more frequently than 2 a year. You will meet people at the range and make friends. You will also be able to hit what you shoot at.
    For a Boat gun a 12 gauge shoot gun with a large magazine capacity is a very helpful tool when someone decides that he wants your boat.

    Laser sights just seem like a bad idea to me. I want the muzzle flash to give away my position, not a laser beam. Lasers work like tracers. You know where your bullet is going but the target knows where you are standing.
  5. jeffrey

    jeffrey Guest

    Good points

    Very good points CJ - Thank you.

    I've also thought of another question...

    I now wear glasses. This has dramatically damaged my pool game (sounds funny, but the glasses cause the same problem with a rifle site) because of the angle of my head and use of the glasses. I've I find it much harder to identify the far sight. Is this a common problem and what may be able to be done?

    Again thank you. There's nothing like a GOOD forum to get fast and helpful advice.
  6. Catfish

    Catfish Member

    If you wanting them for self defense in the home you would be better served with a 20 ga. pump shotgun with with small shot. They are devestating at very close range and you don`t have to worry about hitting someone 3 houses down the street after you shoot through the wall of a couple of houses. A rem. 870 or a Mossburg 500 would be a better short range stopper and less likely to hit an inocent person.
  7. Southern6er

    Southern6er New Member

    For your boating needs, keep in mind that if you go offshore into international waters or other country's waters, the rules change. Be aware of what those laws/rules are.

    If you will be using in a humid area like FL or on your boat, be sure to keep them well oiled. As a former Marine, I'm sure you're already aware of that, but reminders never hurt.

    I have a 1911 (Kimber) but my wife won't shoot it. Consider something like a 9mm for her. Try to find a range that rents pistols out and start her shooting a .22 for a while and work your way up the calibers from there. Have her shoot all the differing calibers and let her choose which one offers the best bang for the buck that she can handle reasonably well. At that point, find a gun store with LOTS of pistol options and let HER pick one.

    Maybe even consider a C&R type pistol like the Makarov CZ82. As you probably know, a .22 won't do too much damage, but they are a good standby weapon to have.

    Home defense, shotgun and a pistol that will stop somebody. While a revolver may be more 'reliable' it will also be louder and your wife may not want to shoot something THAT loud.

    For your vision, just concentrate on the far sight and its alignment with the target. The blurry rear sights are just for alignment with the front, so as long as you can see them, you're probably fine. Also consider going with a bigger dot night sight. My Kimber has Meprolights and are VERY easy to see, day or night.

    Storage - get a dehumidifier in a gun safe and you should have great long term storage. If you can, keep the safe upstairs so if you DO have hurricane waters, the firearms won't get drowned out with the brackish waters.
  8. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

    Defense guns

    As a firearms instructor,I feel that a small frame revolver would be best for your wife. I love semiautos however a woman just starting out would be better off with a revolver. Before yall tear me apart let me explain.
    A revolver is always ready and will not fire without a deliberate pull of trigger,she won't have to worry about lacking strength to rack slide as compact pistols with shorter barrels by design have to have heavier recoil springs. She won't have to check to see if there's 1 in chamber,safety on or off,and the cylinder is easy to operate. Also a small frame revolver can be equipped with laser(lasergrip) same as semiauto. There are basically 2 brands of currently produced of top notch quality revolvers. Smith and wesson and taurus. Both offer a 5 shot .357 magnum and lasers are available for each.
    As we all know,no matter how much training we get,it'll never be enough.
    If she has to think about any of above it's already too late-just draw,point or aim,and shoot. Some of the taurus models also offer factory ported barrels and soft "gripper grips that reduce felt recoil drastically.
    For a defense rifle,I would prefer more energy and knockdown power than 5.56(.223). The new 6.8 is a giant step in the right direction and also is powerful enough to hunt deer or practice without excessive recoil.
    For yourself,the proven .45 is impossible to beat in it's class. There are literally hundreds of different .45s being made from compact 3" barreled models to full size models. My own personal all time favorite defense gun is my para ordnance C6LDA. It's more costly than the plastic guns and some 1911s however you CANNOT put a price tag on confidence of protecting your life and loved ones lives.
  9. pioneer461

    pioneer461 New Member

    No pun intended, but that is an old wives tale. With professional instruction, anyone can learn to shoot a full size semi-auto right out of the chute. I know, because I've instructed precisely that.

    Jeffrey, you're going to get a lot of advice. Like anything else, you are going to get some advice that may not necessarily benefit your situation. Others will tailor their advice around their pet firearm, or theory. If nothing else, remember what works for me and my situation, will not necessarily work for you and yours.

    See if you can find a place where you can fire a variety of firearms and decide what works best for you. I would recommend you not go cheap on your firearm selection. Your life and the life of your family is worth every penny they are asking for a quality firearm.

    Once a firearm is selected, keep it loaded with premium self defense ammo. Use the cheap stuff for practice and training, but for combat use the good stuff. Price should not be a consideration for ammo.

    Another consideration is how to carry the chosen firearm. I'd bet that most of the folks on this forum have a box at home with a collection of holsters. Some that work well can be very affordable. Just because it is expensive, doesn't mean it will work for you. As I type this, I'm carrying my duty pistol in an Uncle Mike's nylon belt holster. Light weight, secure and very affordable.

    Then there's other stuff, like quality high intensity LED flashlights, which should always be nearby. Other gizmos and gadgets you can pick up along the way as your experience grows.

    Finally, practice, practice, practice. If you can afford it, enroll you and your wife into self defense shooting school. Not a CCW class, but a tactical shooting school. Civilian self defense shooting is different than what is taught in the military, but the basics are the same.

    Good luck and Semper Fi.
  10. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

    woman's defense gun

    Begging your pardon pioneer but as far as it being a "old wives tale" I've seen combat,had to defend myself and others in civvie situations,and been nra and state certified for 25 years. I realize you have quite a bit of experience as well however from collected data over the years,a revolver is simpler to operate and "no think". I'm sure you are familier with "no think" or basically revert to instinct/training because in situation where adrenilin is flowing like niagra falls,normal thought processes are blocked. As a matter of fact,my wife and I both carry a matching pair of taurus titaninum .44 specials loaded with max reloads and preminum bullet.
    I also carry a .45 compact as well as a "jesus" gun. A jesus gun is small backup gun for when main defense gun is lost,disarmed/taken away,or jammed and inoperable. The reason I call it a jesus gun is because by the time I have to draw it-SOMEBODY'S going to meet jesus.
    Semper Fi !
  11. Bolt Action

    Bolt Action New Member

    Personally,I were to go with a Semi-automatic assault rifle. I would prefer the Ak-47/74 Varients.
    They are cheap,rugged,mods out your wazoo,and the ammo is inexpensive. Personally I would go with the longer version,without the folding stock,but,thats just me.
    As far as your wife goes,I agree alot with what earlier posts stated..She has to go to the store,choose a weapon that she likes,and let her practice with it on her own. Reguardless if it is a revolver or not. She has to enjoy the weapon,she'll be the one firing it.
    As for a pistol as a side arm to the rifle,I'd go with something small,pistols in general are designed to be a last ditch weapon,so I'd keep the calibre small and the weapon itself small. Not Derranger small,but say...a 38 special,or,if you're a WWII buff,a Walther P-38 or a Makarov...Small and effective.