Firearms Recommendations

My qualifications to offer an opinion:
  • Police officer since 1980

  • Georgia P.O.S.T. Council general instructor certification, 1986

  • Georgia P.O.S.T. Council firearms instructor certification, 1992

  • Glock police firearms instructor certification, 1996

  • NRA police firearms instructor certification, 1997

  • Several other police firearms courses.

  • I’ve defensively used firearms successfully on duty.

  • I used to teach firearms to civilians too!


The universal, general purpose, all purpose, ideal, firearm does not exist.  It is a concept that exists solely in the minds of those who do not know firearms.  ALL firearms have strengths and weaknesses; advantages, and disadvantages; pros, and cons.  The following is intended for those with little or no knowledge of guns and shooting.  There are no absolute answers.  It’s ALL opinion.  These are mine at this time.


What follows is all that I have to say about this topic.  It is simply a point of departure and consideration for you, the reader.  Please do not write to me with questions.  I don’t have better or more specific answers.


Shotgun - 12 or 20 gauge, pump action, cylinder bore


The shotgun is the primary defensive weapon.  However, it cannot be kept at hand at all times, and it is not easily concealed.  When a threat presents itself get the shotgun.  It will readily defeat a threat, in the hands of a practiced shooter, at distances up to 40 yards when loaded with buckshot, and up to 100 yards when loaded with slugs.  Most (not all) criminals flee when confronted with a shotgun.


Shotguns are legal to possess in almost all states and localities without restriction.


Pump action shotguns are very reliable, and easy to use and maintain.


Ammunition - Practice with birdshot.  Load it with 2 3/4 inch 00 buckshot for defense.  Magnum shotgun ammunition is unnecessary for self-defense.


A carry strap (sling) is necessary to facilitate carry and retention.


Both of these shotguns are excellent choices.  Each is inexpensive, high quality, and very reliable out of the box.










Revolver - .357 Magnum/.38 Special caliber


Handguns are secondary defensive weapons.  They can be kept at hand for immediate use and are easily concealed on the person.  Although one may be carrying a handgun, when a threat presents itself take the time to get the shotgun if possible.  It is very difficult to hit a target while under stress, even at close distances, with handguns.


Handguns are legal to possess in most states and localities.  Licensed carry is required in most states.


Revolvers are easy to use and maintain.


.357 magnum revolvers will chamber and safely fire BOTH .357 magnum AND .38 special ammunition by design.


Ammunition - Practice with .38 special full metal jacket (FMJ).  Load it with .357 magnum jacketed hollow point (JHP) for defense.


A holster is necessary to facilitate carry and retention.  Buy two; a belt holster, and a leather pocket holster (if the revolver is sufficiently small) to keep the grip upright while the gun is carried in a jacket or trousers pocket.


Both of these revolvers are relatively inexpensive, high quality, and very reliable out of the box.





Charter Arms




If I were choosing among these four guns, I would go with the Mossberg in 12 gauge and the Ruger.  The other two are good choices also.

Do not listen to gun shop salesmen's recommendations.  Most of them know nothing about using guns, in a civilian environment, in an actual fight.  Their opinions are based upon, stock on-hand, hearsay, sales training, sales targets, and personal gain.


Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is just that, a suggestion.  ALL firearms prices are negotiable.  Retail sellers expect to negotiate price with savvy buyers.  The best price can be had by price shopping and buying both shotgun and revolver in one transaction as a package deal.


These guns can also be found in excellent condition, second hand, in gun shops and pawn shops.  However, be aware that very often uninformed buyers in the second hand market pay more for a used gun than they would otherwise have paid for a new gun after negotiating price.  Do your homework.  Have a good idea what a new gun, in the model you want, is actually selling for after negotiation.  Prices on second hand guns are also negotiable.  NEVER pay full price for a firearm.  Know the MSRP for the gun you want new.  Have a good idea what retailers are actually selling them for.  Then base what you're willing to pay for a used gun on that informed knowledge.  As always, condition affects price.


Individuals can successfully teach themselves to use firearms.  Carefully study the manual that comes with the gun.  Practice handling the unloaded gun at home to learn how it operates.  Then purchase ammunition and targets, and go to a firing range, or the woods, to shoot.  Practice until you're confident in loading, making the gun ready to fire, aiming, and shooting it.  Skeet and trap shooting are the best ways to get good with a shotgun.  Yes, pump action shotguns can be used for skeet and trap.  If you can hit a clay pigeon on the fly with your shotgun you're good enough with it to defend yourself.  As a bonus, skeet and trap shooting is a lot of fun.


The right of self-defense is God given.  It is part of Natural Law.  The government does not bestow this right upon us, nor can it take it away.  Weapons are necessary for this purpose.  The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution simply acknowledges this fact.  Amen.

Many people in America today, particularly within government and politics, regard the above statement as subversive; on several levels.

And remember:  When seconds count the cops are just minutes away..


Copyright © Charles Bruni