In the realm of personal protection there are many options. There are a multitude of articles on which option is best and it seems everyone has an opinion and facts to back their choice. So far, we’ve learned that many people feel that the shotgun fulfills their need to deliver a rapid deployment of lead toward an attacker or attackers. It does have several advantages of rapid discharge of rounds with each round containing 9 or more BBs depending on shot choice and over penetration into other rooms or out of the house is minimal. In a tense, high pressure situation, a shotgun is a lot more forgiving when aiming is concerned.
Other options, of course are rifles and handguns. We’ll discuss the AR15, as the AR15 platform is the most popular choice in rifle. America’s gun, the AR15 has become America’s for many reasons. The platform allows for a very adaptable rifle that can be modified to fit a large range of uses. A quick Google search for AR15 parts will bring pages upon pages of websites offering deals on every part imaginable. From pink and purple hardware to barrels that have flutes of various patterns milled into the steel. Parts are available that have laser engravings with popular sayings to hand guards with intricate designs. It’s no wonder the AR15 is so popular. And the AR15 can be chambered in a multitude of calibers to fit every shooters need. The AR platform is one of the easiest to operate. It offers rails to mount practically any accessory known to man. Laser and Red Dot Sights offer rapid acquisition to put shots on target and high capacity magazines gives you the firepower you may need with multiple attackers. Of course, included in this platform there is the SBR and AR15 pistol which are much shorter than the rifle version which gives ease of maneuverability through a dark house filled with your stuff.
Handguns are another popular choice. They also come in an endless supply of styles and calibers. They are convenient. They are often small and light which makes them ideal for concealment. Although compared to a long gun, they are more difficult to learn to shoot well. Since the pistol is probably the most widely used firearm for personal protection, let’s look into the many options.
Striker Fire: Striker Fire Pistols have no protruding hammer or external safety. They do have safety devices in the sense of a special triggering mechanism or in a grip safety. The gun is carried cocked and loaded and most cannot be de-cocked. Each round fired, cycles and cocks the firearm and every trigger pull is the same with every shot.
Single Action Pistols: A single action pistol does one action upon pulling the trigger, it releases the hammer. The hammer must be manually cocked before each shot. The trigger pull is identical for each round shot. If the hammer is in the un-cocked position, you pull the trigger, and nothing happens; you have a single action pistol.
Double Action Only Pistols: Double action does two actions upon pulling the trigger. That means that the initial pull of the trigger cocks the hammer. Continuing the trigger pull then fires the gun. Each time you want to shoot a bullet, you must pull the trigger to cock the hammer and fire the round.
Double/Single Action Pistols: Also know as DA/SA, these Pistols are a combination of Double Action and Single Action guns. The first shot is Double Action. The trigger pulls the hammer back and fires the round. Once the slide cycles, the hammer is automatically cocked and subsequent shots are single action. The first shot has a slightly harder pull and subsequent shots are easier. Often, the first shot can also be manually pulled back by pulling the hammer back or by racking the slide.
Single Stack Magazines: Single stack magazines are thinner because the rounds are stacked one on top of the previous one. Single stack magazines have a smaller capacity usually about 10 rounds or less and are easier to conceal.
Double Stack Magazines: Double stack magazines are wider because the rounds are stacked alternately on top of each other in a staggered pattern. Double stack magazines have a higher capacity usually about 15 rounds or more and are more difficult to conceal.
Short Barrel Rifle: Also know as an SBR. This rifle is a category of firearm that is regulated by the National Firearms Act or NFA. It has a barrel shorter than 16 inches or has an overall length of less than 26 inches. The SBR is a Title II weapon and requires a $200 tax stamp prior to taking possession of or creating the firearm. Violation of the NFA is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
The AR15 Pistol: This AR style pistol does not have a butt stock. It also cannot have a vertical front grip. The AR Pistol was not originally intended to be fired from the shoulder like an SBR but recent classifications now allow you to legally shoulder a pistol stabilizer. To build an AR pistol, you must not use a rifle receiver that has been barreled and stocked as a rifle. The first build of a lower will determine what the lower is from that day forward.
AOW (Any other weapon) Firearm: These pistols have a second vertical grip. The 2nd vertical grip attaches to the rail and constitutes the manufacturing of an AOW (Any other weapon) firearm. This requires a $200 tax stamp prior to taking possession of or creating the firearm. Violation of the NFA is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Next Article: Chapter 6 continued Holsters, Ammunition, & Sights