THANKS for info about wome & guns!! Need further advice. : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Hi, All! I'm new here, but I've been snooping around here for a few days. I've learned ALOT and certainly agree with the seriousness of y2k! I'm a single mom (my son is 17) and I've been slowly preparing for about 6 mos now. Recently, the consideration of owning a gun for protection has been weighing heavy on my mind. I've never shot a gun & have always been afraid of them. Last Friday, I met a man shopping in Wal-Mart (works in hospital emergency)who really stressed how much I need a gun for protection. My son convinced me to purchase a 12 ga. shotgun that nite. In the past few days, some men on this site have offered some VERY valuable info re: women & guns. I've been doing a lot of soul searching in considering all that I read about "blood & brain splattered walls" & the ability to pull the trigger at that critical moment. No, it isn't pleasant, but I am so very thankful that I was forced to consider all the pros & cons. Yesterday I took some advice that was offered here. Not knowing a thing about guns, I went to a shooting range, got some recommendtions re: handguns, then shot a .40 cal pistol & a .38 cal revolver. Gotta tell you--I was nervous as all heck!! I was even shaking!! But, I was thrilled! EVERY shot hit the target in the chest or head!! I have to say, the advice to go to a shooting range to try different guns was ABSOLUTELY the best thing I could have done!! I left there with a confidence that I never thought I could have--not a false sense of security, but a feeling that I was capable of possessing some kind of power to at least attempt to end a life threatening situation. It is truly a good feeling to know that I would have some kind of control in my own home as opposed to none at all. I will no longer have that "It's all over--I'm dead now" feeling. I'm sorry I didn't do this years ago!! Several years ago, I had a man trying to get in my glass slider at 2:30 a.m. I can't possibly tell you how horrible I felt because I knew I was defenseless. I truly believed I was dead! (The jerk turned out to be a drunk neighbor! Obviously, brain-dead, too!!) By the time y2k arrives, my son will be 18 and can use the shotgun so I plan to purchase a handgun for myself & take some training classes. Would any of you good souls have any further suggestions re: concealed handguns for women? The guy at the range says a pistol would be too easy to jam for a first gun. Is that true? Also says, the lighter the gun the bigger the kick. Is that true? What about the purchase of a used gun? Good idea/bad idea? Any suggestions for any specific guns? Also, I thought if things get real bad I would put up my hurricane boards (5/8" plywood). I thought this would leave fewer possible entries into the house (easier to protect) and less chance of someone shooting tear gas thru windows. Good idea/bad idea? THANKS again to all you good souls out there offering so much valuable info to those of us who so desperately need it!!!!!!!!!!!! God bless you all!!

Joan (Florida)

-- Joan Asaro (, March 11, 1999


Go get'em, Annie Oakley!

-- rick blaine (, March 11, 1999.

Just read the book below:

Armed & Female
by Paxton Quigley

-- Blue Himalayan (bh@k2.y), March 11, 1999.

Good for you Joan! What makes this site special is the fact that the majority of visitors here are faced with the decisions regarding unknowns in their lives. And that in and of itself is a scary concept to most of us. I've always felt that one of the benefits (there's really not too many)of Y2K is that it will force people to be more self-suffiecent. As Joan can tell anybody, it's scary for most people (yes, even men) to cross that initial threshhold of gun ownership. That is a good healthy attitude to have. That is where respect starts from-a healthy fear. Accidents, whether gun-related, workshop, ect., stem from an individual's lack of healthy fear and respect. Complacency breeds accidents. If you remember that Joan and pass that on to your son, you'll both be fine. Most gun ranges also offer specialized classes for women to familiarize themselves with firearms. I would strongly reccommend this step for any new firearm owner.


-- steven (, March 11, 1999.

Big head-shot-sailing-greymatter-dittos to your above reply Steve.

'Sides, many women are much better shots then men are. Rifle or pistol. Their forearm muscles are more relaxed and less tight, enabling them to lessen the overcompensation from anticipating recoil.

Just ask my wife. Put a whole band of us men during the live-fire test for our CCL to shame. With a .357 no less.

We need more Annie Oakley's Joan. Learn, practice and practice.

It makes one perfect.

To all our benefit.

Got .223??

-- INVAR (, March 11, 1999.

Sounds like you are doing everything right, especially trying them out to get their "feel". To ask for someone to recommend the right guns and ammo for self defense is almost like asking people what Y2K is going to be like -- prepare for an avalanch of very diverse responses. Anyway, let me give you some things to think about.

Firstly, you can't go wrong with the book that Blue recommends. And of course, there are plenty of resources available on the Internet, especially on Y2K forums.

For self defense situations within suitable range (and most are), you can't beat the shotgun. Nice features to look into are: short barrel (by law must be no shorter than 18"), folding stock (so you can swing it around corners; and gives it a sort of "pistol" grip), and extended magazine (so you can pack in more rounds). A shotgun blast is an absolute show stopper, especially at close range, 00 buckshot or #4. And, if it is a pump action, the mere sound of chambering the round often is enough to administer an attitude adjustment to a would be attacker pronto.

Remember that handguns are not really good weapons, and would never be your choice over a shotgun. They are hard to control, very noisy, and cannot always be depended on to stop an attacker, because they lack power. (Note the difference between stopping and killing -- it does no good if you shoot somebody and they die, if before they die they take your gun and club you to death with it.)

But handguns have the great advantage of convenience and concealment, and basically they are the weapon of choice when you don't expect to have to defend yourself, but are caught by surprise. (Because if you did have enough time, you would have gotten your shotgun, right?)

Choosing a handgun that will be a "show stopper" really invites controversy. My two cents is: Go for as large a caliber as you can muscle. People have been riddled with .38 caliber slugs and kept on coming. And remember, even the notorious .357 magnum is nothing more than a souped-up .38 -- the actual size (caliber) is identical. If you can control it, .44 or .45 is as good as it gets. If you get, say, a .44 magnum but shoot the lesser powered .44 special load, then you have the large caliber but in a gun designed to withstand the magnum load, thus giving you a lot more control.

As far as auto versus revolver, once again lots of arguments can be made either way. If you really become proficient, and maintain it, then probably an auto is the better choice because it has so many great features (extended number of rounds, easy re-load). But if you just want a handgun that you don't even think much about, then suddenly reach for it and use it, the double-action revolver is the best bet because its real simple: you grab it, you aim it, you pull the trigger (repeatedly), without worries about whether there is a round in the chamber or not, or without worrying about whether the safety is on.

Hope this helps....

-- Jack (, March 11, 1999.

Ditto the 'good for you Joan' remarks. Keep practicing regularly and be safe, be safe, be safe. Murphy is always lurking so don't give him a chance.

As for a first handgun, my overwhelming recommendation (as an NRA certified instructor and a state certified CCW instructor) is for a revolver, at least .38 Special, of a size that fits your hands or can be made to fit by changing the grips- several varieties and sizes are available. The first order of business is to find a reputable shop which will work with you. There is nothing wrong with a good used revolver which has not been abused. Wear on the finish does not constitute abuse, but looseness in the crane and excess play in the cylinder (especially when cocked) indicate excessive wear or abuse. Never "Hollywood" by roughly flipping a revolver's cylinder open or closed- that is SERIOUS abuse and can easily spring the crane (the arm which carries the cylinder).

Any reputable manufacturer's product is fine- choosing from among the many varieties available is the problem. I often suggest a stainless steel 5-shot Taurus or Rossi with a 2" or 3" barrel, but your mileage may vary. My 72-year old mom has a 2" Rossi which she shoots well (but not often enough to keep me from nagging her to practice more). She keeps it in a steel combination lock box, made by a company called Homak, which I also recommend. She also keeps a Scorpion flashlight there, which is small and intensely bright (but expensive to buy and use).

Good luck to you and your son, be careful, get good instruction, and practice regularly!

-- nobody (, March 11, 1999.

Hi, Joan,

I'm also in Florida, and I have a number of pieces of advice for you regarding guns. First, get your concealed weapons permit NOW before it's starts to get harder to get. We're probably okay with Jeb in office, since he's a 2nd Amendment supporter, but please don't take any chances. Get legal.

Second, up your homeowner's insurance or purchase a separate rider. Why? Because if you had shot your drunken neighbor trying to get in your sliding glass door, you would have been sued like crazy. And if you shot to kill, with your ability/concentration level, you would have been sued by your neighbor's widow and children. As a friend of mine likes to say, "it wouldn't look nice in the papers...." She also likes to say that when you're sued for killing Joe Crackhead you want to bring your insurance company to court with you.

Third, for gun recommendations, buy the most expensive gun you can afford. I can't emphasize that enough; it could mean the difference between life and death, and you don't want to take chances on it jamming (buy a revolver to prevent this for the most part) or misfiring because of poor workmanship. It should be a once in a lifetime purchase, make it count. I recommend a Smith & Wesson revolver (lots of safeties), .357 so you can also use .38 bullets. Test as many as you can, though. The range I go to has a one-time price that allows you to test as many guns in the case as you wish.

If you are ever in a situation in which you must use your handgun or, preferably, your shotgun to defend your home, please please please keep in mind that a bullet can travel up to a mile and a half. If you miss Joe Crackhead you may hit little neighbor Susie sleeping across the street. Also, brace the butt of the shotgun against the wall when you fire to absorb the recoil.


-- jhollander (, March 11, 1999.


I personally think your gun laws are crazy. If you had a gun when your neighbour tried to climb through the window, in all likleyhood he would now be dead. Or better still suppose it was your son that came home after a party and tried to get in through the window because the door was locked. Good hunting. Stay tuned for the Wild West Show folks and learn how to blow people away. Hey while your at it why not buy a M-16 or a few grenades, you can then wipe out a half dozen at a time. Much more fun. More blood, more guts. You get my drift.

-- Ca (, March 11, 1999.

THANK YOU ALL SO-O-O MUCH FOR THE VERY HELPFUL RESPONSES!!!!! I have alot more homework to do! There's a gun show in West Palm this weekend. I think I'll make the trip & check it out.


I consider myself to be intelligent enough not to shoot a gun wildly, as you implied. Certainly, I would never shoot a gun without positively knowing where my son was in the house. I also would never shoot unless I knew the intruder was intending to harm me or my son, and it wouldn't take an enormous amount of intelligence to come to that conclusion. "You get my drift?!?!"

-- Joan Asaro (, March 11, 1999.


I definatly get your drift. Are You From This PLANET? You have no problem putting a gun (shotgun no less) into the hands of an ***UNTRAINED 18 YEAR OLD MALE*** GET REAL LADY!!!!

-- Fly (, March 11, 1999.


Well, the armed forces don't seem to have any problem with putting a gun in the hands of an 18 year old. A person is only untrained until they get training and that's not terribly difficult to do. Quite a few of the people I grew up with had been hunting long before they were 18.

Are you from this planet? In your opinion how old should someone be before they can learn how to shoot? We all really want to know.

-- d (d@usedtobedgi.old), March 11, 1999.

I am totally AMAZED at the lack of intelligence showing up in response to my post!!!

Thanks, "d@usedtobedgi.ol"!! Very, well said!!

For your info, Fly, my son has previously had numerous hours shooting a shotgun with a very experienced gun owner! As a matter of fact, he even shot the handguns with me yesterday at the range!! (Legal if accompanied by a adult.) And, he will take any training courses that I take!!


-- Joan Asaro (, March 11, 1999.

CCW? we don't need no steenkin' CCW...

I live in New Jersey, where the communist gummint has seen fit to outlaw carrying a pistol on your person, concealed or not. This in a state where violent crime by paroled prisoners is the norm. Permit to carry? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA... only if you're a cop, or prosecutor, or judge, or EXTREMELY well-connected, otherwise NOBODY gets a permit, no how, no way.

Funny thing, though. The gun stores all do brisk sales of holsters, hmmmmm..... not throw-em-in-a-drawer holsters, either, but concealed-carry gunleather. Could all those law-abiding gun owners be raising a collective finger to the law-enforcement types, and be carrying concealed without Big Brother's permission???

F*** CCW - I have the right and I'll use it without anyone's permission.

Oh, and f*** law-enforcement types too - if they insist on denying me my rights.

-- carry (it@anyway.thesedays), March 11, 1999.

Oh, and Ca - f*** you, too, and whatever jerkwater country it is you come from. I hope your chains chafe you.

-- carry (it@anyway.thesedays), March 11, 1999.

My son is 11' Shoots shotgun, 22 rifle and 9mm pistol....Very good shot I might add too. Training, safty, safty and more safty....Never to young or old to learn to shoot....

My advise on handgun is the Beretta 92fs, Army issue, 15 round clip, very nice and rated at 35,000 rounds fired without a jam....I like the fact that I have 15 rounds and 2 extra clips! Cost 750.00 Well worth it in my opinion, tried 7 different handguns and this was my choice.

Good luck

-- Cavewomen (, March 12, 1999.

There have been several excellent discussions on this topic over the past several months. Most are in the archive under Survivalist Issues. Heres one:

insert display text here

-- Lewis (, March 12, 1999.

you know what I mean..

As Diane would say: *big sigh*. Not enough coffee in the world to make me coherent THIS morning...

-- Lewis (, March 12, 1999.

The advice "Just read the book below: Armed & Female by Paxton Quigley " from Blue Himalayan is right on! You should also read the books by Masaad Ayoob on self defense, they are worth buying.

I would strongly suggest purchasing plenty of ammo, a quality cleaning kit, extra lubricants, extra cleaning patches, and cleaner. Particularily the ammo, Y2K is NOT going to make that go down in price! May people even feel that ammo might become a "money". I'll trade silver coins rather than my ammo thank you.

One other item worth considering is a laser aimer for either or both guns. I'm not thinking of marksmanship here, but deterence. As mentioned in a previous thread, two people armed with .22LRs at the entrance of a apartment complex (trailer court?) were adequate to scare off potential thugs. If somebody is sneaking around at night, they really can't tell if you have a $100-200 laser aiming device on a gun or a $29.95 meeting pointer. Either one might act like a strong lock, they go down the street for easier pickings. Just stock plenty of batteries.

Depending on where you plan to be 1-1-00 you might consider safety ammunition for the pistol. There are several brands, instead of a solid lead bullet, they have a capsule of small shot or powdered lead. The idea here is that a solid round can go through your wall of two layers of sheetrock and still kill somebody across the street. The encapsulated round will do tremendous damage if it hits somebody, however if it first hits paneling, glass, or sheetrock it will fly apart and disperse its energy. Safety ammo is VERY expensive, but not when you need it.

On shotgun ammo if you are at close quarters (in a room length) there is not that much difference between the amount of damage from 00, #4, or even #7 which is a round for birds. At a distance there of course is. Now if you have a short barrel (please make sure it is at least 1" over - remember the Weavers?) it will spread a lot. Get some picnic table paper 4' wide, hang some up and then shoot it at different distances to get an idea of the size of the pattern of the round you intend to use.

-- Ken Seger (, March 12, 1999.


Intelligence has nothing to do with accidental shootings. When you are afraid for your life, under tremendous pressure, stress etc. logic and clear thinking is not part of the equation. Training will help, but it can never prepare you for that ultimate squeeze of the trigger that will end someone's life. IMHO it will be a gut reaction, spur of the moment decision.

-- Ca (, March 12, 1999.


Sorry, I beg to differ with you! Intelligence has everything to do with what you call "accidental" shootings. The sort of incidents you are referring to are not accidents but intentional decisions to pull the trigger.If it is intentional, it cannot be an accident! I can't figure out if you are very young or simply not a realist.

In the first place, you simply can't make assumptions about someone who intends to use a gun for protection, based on whatever horror stories you have heard (or maybe even experienced).

About a year or so ago I remember a story about a father who shot his daughter when she came home from college in the middle of the night because she wanted to surprise her mother on her birthday the next day. This brings me to my second point. Intelligence has everything to do with using a weapon for protection.

For the life of me, I don't understand why the man didn't yell to the intruder to leave because he had a gun, long before he was in view of shooting someone. This would give the intruder the option of running out of the house, therefore avoiding any shooting. In this case, the daughter would certainly have had the chance to inform her father that it was her.

And, thirdly, anyone with intelligence knows that you cannot leagally shoot an intruder (and wouldn't) unless they are IN your home showing the intention of harm. Therefore, in the case where you assume that I would have shot my drunk neighbor coming thru the glass DOOR, I wouldn't have fired a weapon until I, first, yelled a warning and, second, could see the person IN my home. (By the way, I also have 2 inside dogs that never hesitate to inform me of any outside noises.)

Don't forget, I've been at that frightening moment (have you?) and I wouldn't say I failed to be logical or to think clearly. I was, though, totally afraid because I knew I was at a dead end if a man came in. I didn't have any protection & I'm certainly no match physically for a man.

I realize that my views may jeapordize my safety in some situations, but I also realize that a gun is not a "cure all," but it will sure improve my odds. Seems to be a wiser decision than "sticking my head in the sand." Also, I realize I need training & lots of practice, but that won't change what I feel to be an intelligent way to use a gun.

By the way, when my son read in your response about the supposition of him climbing thru a window, his response was, "Who in their RIGHT mind would climb thru a window in the middle of the night?!" (In other words, there are other options!!)

Ca, intelligence has an awful lot to do with everything! If nothing else, please stop making ASSumptions about other people who you know nothing about! Why not check out the stats on the drop in crime nationwide due to personal gun ownership. Or, use your efforts to educate people about FACTS on something you know something about.


-- Joan Asaro (, March 12, 1999.

And lets all remember that many lives have been saved thanks to firearms! It is tough to get a newspaper writeup on something like this: "Man breaks into house to attack a woman, woman pulls firearm, man runs away." Noone hurt, nothing sensational, but it happens.

Anyone who thinks that a gunless society would be a safer society does not understand what s/he is asking for. Without "the equalizer", it would be a society where only the most strong and brutal would rule. (Of course, since firearms cannot be "un-invented", the most that gun control laws can ever do is deprive law abiding citizens. Criminals, by definition, break laws, including if not especially gun laws.)

-- Jack (, March 12, 1999.

Joan, I just have to add a few more cents here. First, your son is absolutely right about who in their right mind would crawl through a window in the middle of the night; just goes to show that criminals are not usually cream of the crop in the intelligence arena (especially since a great number of our FL population are becoming armed). Second, to the poster from NJ; head down to FL for your hollow points, they're legal here. Third, everyone remember Archie Bunker's solution for airplane hijacking? As the passengers board, everyone is handed a gun. Can we say detente?

Also, Joan, please don't feel that I was being patronizing in any way when I emphasized safety. From your original post it was difficult to know how experienced you were or would be as a gun owner and I was just passing on the same nagging I receive constantly from other shooters and family members.


-- jhollander (, March 12, 1999.

JACK -- Excellent, excellent points!! And, the unwritten news articles are equivalent to the the number of reduced crimes!!! Wow!! I think that's REALLY sensational!!!!!

JEANNIE -- No, I never for a second felt that you were being patronizing! My "dander" only went up beginning with Ca's first post. I guess it was his/her ignorance, the equating of my son's intelligence to a brain-dead drunk, and ..... "Good hunting"?!!!! Hu- u-h?? Who's going out looking to kill?!!

Guess I'm guilty of lacking sympathy!

Anyway, Jeannie, I truly did appreciate all your input! It was loaded with very valuable info!!!!! And, if you consider your emphasis on safety as nagging, then it's healthy nagging! Keep passing it on!! I think it's well worth it!!


-- Joan Asaro (, March 13, 1999.

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