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  1. #1
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    Default The gun thread (plus the Obama effect)

    We had alot of play on some sidetrack gun questions so maybe we need a big gun thread that addresses everything so that members in the future can find all the info that matters in one thread.

    I'll start it off with the subject of sights, specifically handgun sights.

    I am not a fan of laser sites, red dot sights, or optical (scope) sights. I much prefer steel sights with a big front sight picture since that is the only thing that matters. I have used plain iron sights with just painted dots or bars and shoot fine. I've used night sights that glow in the dark and shoot fine. But, everytime I pickup a laser sight and aim at a spot on the wall, my hand is rock solid steady but the laser is bouncing around like a rat on a cheeto. Its the optical effect of close proximity (gun) vs far projection (dot on the wall). I've never shot with a red dot sight but alot of competitive shooters like it. From my understanding, its not optically enhanced, its just a window with a dot in the middle of clear glass and you put the dot on the target.

    Recently, my Trijicon nightsights died on one of my Glocks. They have a life of approx 10 years as its basically decaying radioactive matter that gives the glow. One thing I always made sure of with night sights was to make the front sight a different color than the rear sight. Why? Go in a dark closet and yank up the pistol to eye level in total darkness with both the front and rear sights are green and you may not know whether the front sight is centered or off to the side. But, if you have red front sight and green rear then its immediately obvious that the red must go between the two rear greens.

    Instead of going back with night sights, I went with fiber optic sights of different colors. If there is any ambient light at all (tiny is ok) they glow like they are on fire. I really liked the sight picture and brightness. I am now in need of another set of sights for another Glock and will buy the fiber optics. Nice equipment.

    For older guns with just plain iron sights, you can buy white flourescent paint and paint over the bars or dots to where they glow in the dark. It works fine. I found some at a gun show but you can also find it at craft stores. A cheap alternative to see if you like it is to use paper white out and paint over your sight bars/dots. Its bright but if you don't like it, you scrape it off with a fingernail and no damage done. I know some people actually use the same thinking on their magazines by putting either a dot or arrow at the front of the mag to show which way to load it in the dark. Sounds stupid until you are in a stress fire situation in the dark and then seems smart.

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  2. #2
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    I'm also not a fan of lights mounted on weapons. The reason why is you are supposed to carry your weapon at safe ready mode which is usually angled down slightly so you don't accidentally shoot someone or something. But, if your Surefire flashlight is mounted on your pistol, rifle, shotgun then you have to aim it at your line of sight in order to see.

    There are several different methods of light and gun carry hand positions and I'm not sold on any of them as being the total answer. I tend to shoot Weaver stance so the typical cop/mil double hand--full frontal stance isn't that great for holding a flashlight and a pistol.

    Years ago as a kid, I read a book by legendary lawman Bill Jordan who was in a bunch of shootouts and his light carry method was to hold the light far out to the side of his body with the thinking if a bad buy is shooting at you, he shoots at the light so to have it in front of you makes you a target. Interesting theory.

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  3. #3

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    Good thread. I'm about to turn 21 and get my license. I wanted to know type of handgun should I look for. I want our of it protection, shooting at the range (so the ammo should be inexpensive, no 45's), easy to clean and if possible small enough for me to carry on my ankle under my jeans.

    I don't know a ton about guns but I'm a pretty good shot and I know how to handle them. I will also being taking the 8 hour Texas Handgun Course.

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cameronb View Post
    Good thread. I'm about to turn 21 and get my license. I wanted to know type of handgun should I look for. I want our of it protection, shooting at the range (so the ammo should be inexpensive, no 45's), easy to clean and if possible small enough for me to carry on my ankle under my jeans.

    I don't know a ton about guns but I'm a pretty good shot and I know how to handle them. I will also being taking the 8 hour Texas Handgun Course.
    Excellent post and I have alot of info for you. I have to renew this year so I'm doing the class in the next month or so. If you are doing it in Houston, Carters Country is as easy as anyone but any place certified is fine. Many gun stores, Carters included allow you to rent guns to take on the range to try out and see what you like. Thats a good thing. Or if you know friends who have various models you can just go can poppin with them to get a feel.

    One thing you definitely want to do is take the test with a semi-auto and not a revolver as passing with a semi auto qualifies you for both, but if you qualify with a revolver its only for a wheel gun and not for a semi-auto such as a Glock.

    You are off to a good start on the reasons why you want a weapon. And yes, its a weapon. A gun is a dumb tool and what your want can be a big factor. Any gun offers protection if you know how to use it. The question is: do you want protection from 50 yards away or simply from 10 feet away if someone is truly trying to kill you up close in Freddy Krueger style. I can hit a coke can at 50 yards with a good semi-auto or revolver but I can't hit the broad side of a barn with a snub nose at the same distance because it isn't made for that. However, a .38 snubbie disappears in your pants pocket for easy carry and a full size revolver or pistol is obvious. The legal idea of concealed carry is nobody can tell you are carrying. For an idea, put a big rock behind your right kidney and you will feel obvious as hell and thats the normal concealed carry position.

    For easiest carry and good stopping power, I've never found anything better than a Smith and Wesson .38 airweight snubnose. Its a "carry" gun and not a "shooting" gun. I haven't fired it more than 50 times in 5 years but its carried alot, cleaned and in working order. Its whats called a belly gun. If someone is breaking into your car to car jack you, you stick the gun in their chest and pull the trigger, but if its a mall freakout shooting from 100 yards away, you run like you should.

    Avoid any crap gun like little .22 pocket pistols as they are a joke.

    I suspect you wil do like most of us and end up buying more than 1 pistol over a period of time. For home I keep a full size pistol such as a Glock 23 in .40 or Browning Hi Power in 9mm with extra mag loaded. In the vehicles I carry a Glock 26 in 9mm with extra mags and usually the .38 in my pants pocket.

    As far as ankle carry, nah. One of the things you practice is walking naturally when carrying so its not noticeable. The weight and knowledge of carrying means many tend to favor that side of their body and limp, making it obvious. Ankle carry is hard to get to, wears blisters on your ankle and looks like you have....a gun in your sock. Put the same pistol in your jeans and its invisible.
    Last edited by Cbear; 06-13-2008 at 06:30 PM.

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  5. #5
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    And no, I don't carry all the time. Usually I don't carry at all on my person but I do in the car. Depending on where I am, I may carry such as in the outback, or stopping at a c-store at night when the shadows of the night are about. Its not paranoid if you have ever faced down a criminal with a knife or gun, its just insurance.

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cbear View Post
    I'm also not a fan of lights mounted on weapons.
    The best weapon light I've seen wasn't much of a light at all.

    It was a replacement forend for AR style rifles. Of course it had the usual super intensity high output light. But it also had a secondary light...a single tiny LED.

    This tiny low output LED was the most practical weapon light I'd used. It put out very little, very "soft" light, just enough to illuminate what was at your feet. Basically it would allow you to see only enough to know what you were about to step in.

    It didn't blow out your night vision, and it didn't say "Hello, look at me, I'm right here!!!" I used that low intensity light 50x more frequently than the bright light.
    Put the boots to him, medium style.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by just Brian View Post
    The best weapon light I've seen wasn't much of a light at all.

    It was a replacement forend for AR style rifles. Of course it had the usual super intensity high output light. But it also had a secondary light...a single tiny LED.

    This tiny low output LED was the most practical weapon light I'd used. It put out very little, very "soft" light, just enough to illuminate what was at your feet. Basically it would allow you to see only enough to know what you were about to step in.

    It didn't blow out your night vision, and it didn't say "Hello, look at me, I'm right here!!!" I used that low intensity light 50x more frequently than the bright light.
    Very good point. I have a couple of those throw away led lights that it would be easy to rubber band to a mag just to throw a tiny light on in total darkness. I had heard stories of people in 9/11 using their watches and phones to get down the stairs in. My own experience was on a hunting trip in a cabin in complete and total darkness. My tiny illuminated watch was sufficient light to see exactly where I was going.

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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cbear View Post
    Excellent post and I have alot of info for you. I have to renew this year so I'm doing the class in the next month or so. If you are doing it in Houston, Carters Country is as easy as anyone but any place certified is fine. Many gun stores, Carters included allow you to rent guns to take on the range to try out and see what you like. Thats a good thing. Or if you know friends who have various models you can just go can poppin with them to get a feel.

    One thing you definitely want to do is take the test with a semi-auto and not a revolver as passing with a semi auto qualifies you for both, but if you qualify with a revolver its only for a wheel gun and not for a semi-auto such as a Glock.

    You are off to a good start on the reasons why you want a weapon. And yes, its a weapon. A gun is a dumb tool and what your want can be a big factor. Any gun offers protection if you know how to use it. The question is: do you want protection from 50 yards away or simply from 10 feet away if someone is truly trying to kill you up close in Freddy Krueger style. I can hit a coke can at 50 yards with a good semi-auto or revolver but I can't hit the broad side of a barn with a snub nose at the same distance because it isn't made for that. However, a .38 snubbie disappears in your pants pocket for easy carry and a full size revolver or pistol is obvious. The legal idea of concealed carry is nobody can tell you are carrying. For an idea, put a big rock behind your right kidney and you will feel obvious as hell and thats the normal concealed carry position.

    For easiest carry and good stopping power, I've never found anything better than a Smith and Wesson .38 airweight snubnose. Its a "carry" gun and not a "shooting" gun. I haven't fired it more than 50 times in 5 years but its carried alot, cleaned and in working order. Its whats called a belly gun. If someone is breaking into your car to car jack you, you stick the gun in their chest and pull the trigger, but if its a mall freakout shooting from 100 yards away, you run like you should.

    Avoid any crap gun like little .22 pocket pistols as they are a joke.

    I suspect you wil do like most of us and end up buying more than 1 pistol over a period of time. For home I keep a full size pistol such as a Glock 23 in .40 or Browning Hi Power in 9mm with extra mag loaded. In the vehicles I carry a Glock 26 in 9mm with extra mags and usually the .38 in my pants pocket.

    As far as ankle carry, nah. One of the things you practice is walking naturally when carrying so its not noticeable. The weight and knowledge of carrying means many tend to favor that side of their body and limp, making it obvious. Ankle carry is hard to get to, wears blisters on your ankle and looks like you have....a gun in your sock. Put the same pistol in your jeans and its invisible.
    Good stuff CB, that's the most help anyone has been.

    Looks like I will have to try a few different ones out. I always want to have one in my car and I would like to carry one. I might not have the cash for more than one right away but I will most likely have several.

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  9. #9
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    I've never been into small arms but love military history. Are any of you familiar with Gerald Bull, the inventor of the Supergun?

    Here's a brief bio:

    http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=548

    Bull invented some of the biggest, not to mention deadliest, artillery pieces the world has ever seen. He believed he could launch satellites into orbit with a big enough gun. The man is a fascinating character.

    A good book on Gerald Bull if anyone is interested:

    Bull's Eye: The Assassination and Life of Supergun Inventor Gerald Bull
    by James Adams

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  10. #10
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    Cam, since you are a beginner, I'd highly recommend a safety/training class. If they still exist, right out near you is the world famous Thunder Ranch in Mountain Home, TX. It was started by Clint Smith who moved to Oregon or somesuch place so I don't know if he sold the place to his instructors or shut it down.

    On cleaning, its relative though some are inherently easier to take down than others. Also some guns shoot dirty better than others and arn't as finicky.

    Think of pistols like microphones. There are the ultra expensive down to the cheap. The easy to use vs the pain in the ass. And your personal fav is **** to someone else but above another. You might do best with one and someone else another--doesn't mean anyone is wrong. The bottom line is to get the best out of yourself with the tool as possible and not every hunk of metal works the same for everyone. Anyone that tells you that you must have only 1 thing is full of crap.

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