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Today it is my pleasure to share a question and answer session I recently had with BadVooDooDaddy at The Retreat Blog. For those of you that are not familiar with this site, The Retreat features Bush craft, Survival Skills, Preparedness.
As I mentioned in my post on Getting Prepared Week 17: Protecting the Homestead, I am a firearms and self-defense newbie and therefore a bit anxious and fearful when it comes to guns of any sort. And even though Survival Husband and I now own a shotgun, knowledge is power and so I wanted to learn more.
Shall we begin?
1. Q: What do you consider to be a good starter weapon for someone with little or no experience with firearms?
A: Well for a person with little or no firearms experience I would suggest something like an SKS rifle or a Mosin Nagant rifle. Both of these weapons are very simple in how they are built and they are virtually indestructible. I would also suggest a 12 gauge shot gun if home defense is all you need a weapon for.
2. Q: What about ammo? Are there differences and how does a novice determine what to buy?
A: Yes there are many different types of ammo out there. Depending on what the weapon is going to be used for will determine what type you need to get. There are several types that are pretty common such as: FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) which is primarily used for defense or hunting, and JSP(Jacketed Soft Point). JSP has a lot more stopping power than an FMJ. It is good self defense ammo. There is also JHP (Jacketed Hollow point). This is a much softer ammo and used primarily on unarmored targets.
3. Q: How do you suggest that a family with balance the need for firearm accessibility with safety – especially if there are children living in the household?
A: I am a huge advocate of having a gun safe in the house. I also believe that even if you have a gun safe that there should be a trigger lock on it also. Safety is paramount with guns in the home. Having your children go through a gun safety course when they get old enough is super important. They teach children the do’s and don’ts of weapons and their use. Always, always keep them locked up and empty when at home or traveling in a vehicle.
4. Q: How much can someone expect to pay for a firearm to be used for home defense?
A: An economical home defense weapon is usually going to cost around $300 to $400 dollars. This will allow you to get one that is of medium quality and that will last for quite a few years. Both shotguns and pistols will cost about the same in this range.
5. Q: What about something for the ladies? Or do you recommend a one-size-fits all?
A: Well for the ladies I think it is best to get something specifically for them. There are guns that have a smaller grip and the weight is less on these models. One big thing to consider when buying a weapon for a woman is to get a caliber that they can handle. If you go out and get a small woman a .45 acp she will shoot it once and never touch it again. It will kick far to much and accuracy will go down quickly.
I would suggest a woman get something like a .38 or 9mm, or .32 cal. Remember its not the caliber of the weapon it is how accurate you are with it.
Survival Husband has some questions too
6: Q: I am interested in a handgun. Do you recommend a revolver or and automatic? And what about ammo?
A: Tell S.H. that the best bet is an automatic handgun. I would suggest if he is getting it for home defense that he stick with a 9mm, any bigger and it would be to loud to ever shoot inside the house and when you are at such short distances the caliber really does not make that much of a difference.
For ammo, tell him that full metal jacket or jacketed hollow point is going to be best.
7: Q: In addition to a shotgun and handgun, is a rifle necessary? If so, what kind?
A: I feel that it is very important to have a rifle of some sort for protection because shotguns and pistols only work for shot distance shooting. If you ever had to defend yourself from people that are coming up the road or out in an open field you need the distance that a rifle gives you. I am a huge fan of the SKS or the ak-47. The AR-15 weapons are just way over priced and they are really hard to keep maintained. Ammo for the AK and the SKS are much cheaper too.
8: Q: is there anything else you would like to add?
I hope all of this makes sense and helps out.
What can I say? Thank you thank you thank you.
BadVooDooDaddy was in the army between 1980 and 2006 and retired as a CW2. Prior to becoming a warrant officer, he was a Sargent Major. As a Special Operations operator he became a small weapons specialist on an alpha team. BadVooDooDaddy served four combat tours and was also involved in Operation Iraqi freedom and also the Kosovo conflict.
Now retired, he has always called Utah home and has had a lifelong love affair with the mountains and desert here. His passion is spending time in the mountains and with his 3 sons. An of course, he enjoys teaching them survival skills!
Enjoy your next adventure, wherever it takes you!
Backdoor Survival Tip of the Day: Sticky rice is perfect when eating with chopsticks. But how do you make it sticky yet not mushy? The secret is to pre-soak the rice for up to six hours before cooking. Really – it works! And don’t forget, you can save a few bucks if you make your own rice at home to go with your Chinese takeout.
From the Bargain Bin: If you are looking for a well thought out, sturdy, and attractively priced survival and bug-out-bag, jump on over to the The Retreat Blog and check out the “The Retreat Tactical Survival Gear Bag” that BadVooDooDaddy has put together for his readers. A 5% discount is available by using the code RETREAT5 when you place your order.
Be prepared with emergency supplies from Emergency Essentials. If you have the bucks and the space, I highly recommend a water barrel.