Self-Defense Issues

Cheap Riot Guns

Riots are raging across the United States – and have been for days. Consequently, I’ve had a number of emails come in from readers who are looking for the best self-defense pistol on a budget. Let’s not forget that the government lockdowns from the health crisis have left many people in a tough financial situation.

Self-Defense Issues

Self Defense Shooting on Video

Self Defense Shooting

You may have seen a 71-year-old Florida resident shoot two armed robbers in this self defense shooting video.  But it is not likely you have read anything like my thoughts on what happened.

General Information Self-Defense Issues

Stress in Combat

Fighting for your life is likely the most stressful event any person can experience. That stress affects your performance: some of it good, some of it bad. This is the first in a series of articles that will explore what this stress is, and what it does to your body.

Survival Stress

Survival stress is caused by a perception of an imminent threat of harm. The seriousness of the perceived threat causes a proportionate amount of stress on the body. Additionally, if the individual is surprised, or has very little time to react, the amount of stress increases.

For example, willingly entering a MMA competition will likely cause a moderate amount of stress, whereas being attacked suddenly in the parking lot by a knife-wielding thug will probably cause an extreme amount of survival stress.

Survival stress is also referred to as “body alarm response” (BAR) in some of the literature. Regardless on what you call it, it causes some pretty predictable reactions in the body.

Self-Defense Issues

Quality Used Guns on Market

Recently I talked about finding a self-defense gun that fits you.  One of the things I pointed out was to buy good quality firearms, not cheaply made firearms.  Used guns are often a great value, as you can often get a high-quality, “low mileage” firearm for much cheaper than new.

Smith & Wesson 64 NYPD
My used NYPD model 64 revolver I picked up for a song.

At the time of this article, J&G Sales had a stock of used Beretta 92F and 92FS pistols for sale at very reasonable prices.  Conditions ranged from good to very good and prices range from only $299 to $339 depending on model, condition, and quantity ordered.  There is no doubt that these are used pistols.  But for less than $350, you can have a very good quality pistol for your home defense needs.

Recently, I had a friend pick up a very lightly used M&P 40.  The pistol had very little signs of use, cam in the original box, was equipped with night sights, and had three 15-round magazines.  The price?  A mere $299.  (Sorry, they are all gone.  I called to buy one, but too late!)

Self-Defense Issues

Some Thoughts on Choosing a Defensive Handgun

Smith & Wesson SD40 Streamlight laser weapon light

When it comes to choosing the right defensive handgun, there are many “right” answers and a few wrong ones. The best defensive handgun for you will likely be different than my choices. But the criteria in picking a handgun for self defense is fairly universal.

Let’s take a look at some of the things you should consider when buying a handgun for personal protection.

Caliber selection is important, but not that important…

When picking the right handgun, many people obsess about what caliber to choose. Generally speaking, handguns are poor choices for stopping a violent attacker. Handguns launch a fairly small projectile at relatively low velocities, and bullet wounds to areas other than the central nervous system (CNS) generally take time to work.

So, two things are important when considering which caliber. First, bigger is better…to a point. A high-quality .45 hollowpoint is more likely to be effective than a .25 ACP anything. The .45 delivers more energy and momentum, and it makes a significantly larger wound channel.