Self-defense Firearm Selection for a Non-Shooter: new on AllOutdoor

Optimizing defensive weapon selection under specific constraints.

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6 Responses to Self-defense Firearm Selection for a Non-Shooter: new on AllOutdoor

  1. Lyle says:

    This harkens back to the old saw, “give the little lady a 38 snubbie”, but you make the best case for it that I’ve seen.

    S&W, I find, doesn’t offer one with a hammer spur, visible sights and a laser grip. You can get any two, but not all three.

    The DAO I have works for me, but several women I’ve had try it were almost totally unable to cycle the trigger using all their might.

    A young lady I recently took shooting was totally unable to rack the slide on a 9mm automatic which has a rather mild recoil spring. She’s interested in self defense, but a DAO 38 and an easy-to-rack 9 mm are both out of the cards.

    At some point there comes the question; is he or she committed enough to self defense that he or she is willing to do the minimum practice and exercise necessary to make it feasible?

    Tam makes the case that a full sized 380 auto has a lighter recoil spring and would be suitable for people with weak hands. But then there’s that carry size issue. So there’s that need to buck up at some stage, on some issue, stop making excuses and make the necessary accommodations.

    • JHat says:

      Does anyone have any firsthand experience with shooters who can’t operate a conventional DAO trying the Ruger LCR trigger?

  2. Lyle says:

    There was a time when “Conventional DA” or simply “DA” meant double/single, meaning you could thumb cock it or trigger cock it, and “DAO” meant DAO. In these enlightened times though, hardly anyone remembers. I’ll allow for the possibility that there is such a thing as a “conventional DAO”, being different from both a DAO and a conventional DA, but I’d need it explained to me.

    Meanwhile all the poor beginners are asking; “What the what and who the how? (as we can’t figure out what to call those things we all know well) You mean it doesn’t go bang when you pull the trigger, or it does, or whatits? This is all too much…”

    So yeah; I know what people are saying, sure (usually) (I think), but without sticking to the standard terms, no one else knows crap about what we’re saying and they’ll get confused and walk away. And if they’re disgusted with us then we deserve their disgust.

    SO OK, CLASS, how many experienced shooters can properly define;

    Single Action
    Double Action
    Conventional Double Action
    Double Action Only

    …as pertaining to both revolvers and semi automatics, in such a way as a newbie will easily understand the differences, and without starting an argument? I bet none, mostly because of the understanding and the argument clauses in the question. I’ve read well-known gun writers who couldn’t do it, at least partly because there’s been some disagreement in the past about what should be called what and why and partly because of inattentiveness while reading other peoples’ works.

    I don’t mean to distract from JHat’s question because it’s a good question and needs answering. But jeeze.

    • Flint says:

      Single Action- The trigger performs only one action: releasing the hammer to fire the cartridge, so the hammer must be cocked before the firearm will operate. In a semi-auto pistol, the slide cocks the hammer after the first shots, so all subsequent shots are SA without any need to cock the hammer manually. A revolver behaves the same for all shots, whether they are the first or subsequent.

      Double Action (aka DA/SA)- The trigger performs two actions: it both cocks the hammer, and then releases it. Alternately, the hammer may be manually cocked, but this is not required. In a semi-auto pistol, the slide cocks the hammer after the first shots, so all subsequent shots are SA. A revolver behaves the same for all shots, whether they are the first or subsequent.

      Double Action Only- The same as DA, but manually cocking the hammer (or striker) is impossible, and it does not stay cocked after the first shot, so all shots are DA. This could also be called “conventional DAO” to differentiate it from systems which half-cock the striker between shots, as in Glocks.

      That’s roughly how I’d describe them to a newbie class. But I tend to include gestures and such, as well.

  3. Paul Koning says:

    The bit about complex manual of arms etc. strikes a chord. I own two SA/DA revolvers (one S&W 66 .357, one Orbea Hermanos .38). The former was the carry weapon of my late sister in law, all 100 pounds 5’0″ of her. And I own two Boberg DAO pistols.
    The nice thing about all of these is ease of operation. The revolvers most of all — no slide to rack. DA operation is pretty decent. And the S&W has good sights; I assume you can put laser grips on it, so that satisfies the “three requirements” Lyle mentioned.
    I looked at the manuals for the 1911 and the Ruger Mark n .22 pistols. Both leave me wondering about all that complexity. External safeties, carry with hammer cocked and safety on, strange sequences of steps for various operations… I can imagine dealing with that; I can’t imagine trying to explain to my wife about all that stuff. Why is it necessary to stray so far from “pull the trigger and it goes bang?”

  4. Jeff Dege says:

    “We have an inveterate dislike of the profusion of safety devices with which all automatic pistols are regularly equipped. We believe them to be the cause of more accidents than anything else. There are too many instances on record of men being shot by accident either because the safety-catch was in the firing position when it ought not to have been or because it was in the safe position when that was the last thing to be desired. It is better, we think, to make the pistol permanently “unsafe” and then to devise such methods of handling it that there will be no accidents.”
    – Captain William Ewart Fairbairn and Captain Eric Anthony Sykes

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