October 1, 2014

One In The Chamber

If you have your CCW permit, do you carry with one in the chamber?  When I first got mine I didn’t.  I told myself that, if needed, I would be able to get one in the chamber fast enough to be effective.  Thank you Lord that I never had to find out, but I feel pretty confident that I was wrong.

I had a few reasons but they boiled down to a lack of confidence.  I had been to the range a few times and was proficient in putting holes in cardboard, but the idea of carrying with a round loaded made me uneasy.  It’s not that I thought it might just go off.  I knew better than that.  If the gun is only going to fire when I pull the trigger, then the problem is me.  Once I understood that, I examined why I wasn’t confident and rethought my opinion that I would be able to get a round in the chamber fast enough.

 

Anatomy of a Gun Fight

I don’t know if this is true or not but it sounds accurate to me. I have heard this figure a few times in the self-defense circles; “in the average gun fight there are three shots fired in three second in the space of three yards.”  I have heard both yards and feet, but nine feet seems like a more believable distance to me than three feet.

I wish I could say I was a very quick draw.  In truth, I haven’t spent a lot of time practicing drawing to make it sink into muscle memory.  I also carry concealed, so I always have a jacket or shirt over my firearm.  Add these two things to the mix and a good bit of that three seconds has been chewed up just getting the weapon out of the holster.

It is possible to fire a shot immediately after you draw the gun and before you are in a typical stance.  This could only be done if there is one in the chamber.  If you have to chamber a round, you’re now under immense stress, bringing your weak hand over to chamber a round.  Do you think you can do that fast?  Get some dummy rounds and try it out.

 

Situational Awareness is a Must But it’s Not Enough

While it might be true that the average gun fight last three seconds, my guess is that the clock starts once the first shot is fired.  There is almost always a sign before violence erupts.  If you are using Cooper Color Code, you are actively scanning everyone to determine if they are a threat.  You can then either escalate the code or deescalate, based on your judgment.  While this may be true, that only means you are aware of the danger before it erupts into violence.  Situational awareness is a must, but it is not enough.  It will let you know there is going to be a fight, but won’t put rounds in play faster once you’ve drawn.

 

Good Habits

I have always practiced good habits with any firearm; finger never on the trigger until I am ready to fire, never pointing the gun at something I am not willing to destroy, etc.  I have carried with one in the chamber for some time now and it hasn’t just gone off on its own.  I haven’t shot myself in the leg when I unholster the gun at home.  I do, however, remove the magazine and take the round out of the chamber once at home.

Do any of you who are more experienced with firearms have anything to add?

 

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The War on Guns; Part Two

The President is to announce his plan to tackle gun violence later today, there are rumors it will entail some new legislation and some executive orders.   I’ll probably add my thoughts on it in the comments section later today.

 

The War on Guns; Part Two

 

Gun Grabbers

As I mentioned in part one, there have been people who don’t think civilians should own firearms since they were affordable enough for the average civilian to own one.  Some of these people have evil intent, but the vast majority is simply naive and afraid.  They seem to believe that more regulation will stop gun violence. Making drunk driving illegal hasn’t stopped it.  There are still many thousands of people arrested for DWI and even more who got away with it.  They also fail to realize that those committing gun violence often have procured the firearms illegally.  That same element who commits gun violence now, will still find a way to get guns.

Those in favor of much stricter gun control come from many avenues, some of which you might not be familiar with.

 

Law Makers

Recently Senator Feinstein had a press release of a bill she will propose to the Senate, aimed at Stopping the spread of deadly assault weapons.  The proposed bill would ban the sale of any militaristic style firearm that had a large capacity magazine.  This bill would stop the personal sale of any firearm, the “gun show loophole”, which allows a private citizen to purchase a table at a gun show and sell their own private collection to other civilians where a personal sale is legal.  These sales, to the best of my knowledge, do not require the seller to perform a background check.  This bill would grandfather in any guns owned at the date of signing, but would require they all be registered under the National Firearms Act and registration would require a picture and a finger print.

This bill is obviously troublesome to any legal gun owner, but something about it doesn’t sit right.  I think this is possibly one of two things.  The first is an attempt at Overton Window., which is a political maneuver where a law maker knows certain legislation would not be accepted in the current political climate; they propose something outrageous, knowing it will not be accepted and then they propose something a little more palatable.  The second proposition may still be bad, but people are more willing to accept it as it’s not nearly as bad as the first proposal.

The second possibility is that this bill is just the start.  If it is passed and we still see gun violence there could be harsher and harsher crackdowns.  As I mentioned above, the element of society who commits gun crime now, in large part, illegally possesses firearms now.  If more regulation is added those, the same people will still commit crimes with guns, which will lead to more regulation and restriction.  Layer upon layer of restriction will only cause legal, upstanding citizens to be unable to own firearms.

The most despicable incident was when Vice President Biden said Obama Considering ‘Executive Orders’ to Deal With Guns.  More on this below.

 

The Media

From news agencies to newspapers and untold blogs, the left has gotten behind stricter gun laws than at any time I can remember.  There have also been many celebrities who have filmed commercials asking:

“How many more?  Enough. Demand a plan. Right now. As a mom. As a dad. As a friend. As a husband. As a wife. As an American. As a human being. For the children of Sandy Hook…We can do better than this. It’s time for our leaders to act.”

How many of those hypocrites have done TV or movies where they used a gun and glorified violence? The trouble here is that this is effective and they know it.  We live in a society that pays more attention to what their favorite celeb is tweeting, dating and wearing than any relevant thing going on in the world around them.

 

School and Doctors

I have read multiple reports in the last couple of years about doctors asking children and adults about what firearms were kept in the home, where they were kept etc.  I, myself, was asked a few years ago during a routine doctor appointment.

I have also read of children being probed at school about what firearms their parents had.  I have a relative whose eleven year old child was talking about a zombie apocalypse.  A teacher overheard this and brought her inside, where she was questioned by multiple adults.  They asked her how she would deal with zombies, if her parents owned guns and other related questions.

I don’t know why schools and doctors are asking these questions or what they’re doing with the information, but you should be aware that some are asking it.  We told our kids what to say if ever asked these types of questions.

 

The Truth About Gun Violence

The truth about any “war” on any inanimate object is that they do not work.  In prohibition it was illegal to make, serve or drink booze, yet there was an entire sub culture that sprang to make, sell and drink booze.  The war on drugs has seen millions of people in and out of jail, but has done little to slow or stop trafficking, sale or use of drugs.  In fact some states are now legalizing marijuana.

Instead of waging war on guns, we should be taking a look at why and who commits gun violence.  We could also make soft targets harder.

 

Mental Illness and Depravity (the true problem)

If we take a look at those who commit mass shooting, I believe we would see most, if not all, were afflicted with some serious form of mental illness.  There are a couple of problems that don’t catch this before acts of violence occur.  First is that many people in the mentally ill persons life don’t want to bring the issue to light.  Some may even be in denial themselves.  Parents say “not my child” or “boys will be boys”.  No one wants to believe that their child is capable of harming them or anyone else, so they don’t get the police involved.  They don’t bring their child to get therapy and overlook certain behaviors.

Often times there can’t be intervention until the mentally ill person commits a crime.  As I mentioned above, loved ones often overlook small crimes, such as underage domestic violence.

I posted this on facebook the day of the Sandy Hook shooting:

“I do not understand the depth of human depravity, there will be some that come out after the tragedy in Connecticut railing against guns, when in truth they should be railing at depravity. We should all be praying for those who lost loved ones, God is the only one capable of healing pain so deep.”

I think that in many cases, when it comes to youth committing gun violence, we can look to the home.  I’m not necessarily saying it is the parents fault, at least not directly.  I have read about some of the kids who have taken part in school shootings and in many cases, the parents were not aware there was a problem.  Maybe they just weren’t involved enough in their kid’s life.  Maybe, because of the digital age we live in, it’s just easier for kids to hide things.

Some say its video games or violent movies.  I disagree, in part.  Yes there are some games and movies that are too violent, but waging war on the games or movies is not going to be any more effective than the war on alcohol, drugs or guns.  Endless hours of video games, violent or not, isn’t healthy.  Parents need to tell their kids they can’t play that game or can only play games for so long.  Parents need to be parents.  They need to stop trying to be their child’s friend.  They can be friends once they’re adults.

The truth is that if we paid more attention to mental illness and acts of depravity, the lives of those people would probably be enriched, and we may slow down the rate of violence, involving guns or not.

 

Guns Involved In Crime

My beautiful wife, Trudee, recently had a conversation with someone on Facebook who was fully behind banning all evil assault rifles but had no problem with people owning handguns, or so she said.  Trudee tried to use logic, which didn’t make a dent in this woman’s thinking.  This makes sense as this woman and many who think like her generate their opinion from irrational fear.  Here is some truth that you can use to inform yourself and others.

I posted this on Facebook recently: “FBI: More People Killed with Hammers, Clubs Each Year Than Rifles”.  This report shows that from 2005 to 2011, each year there were more people killed with hammers and clubs than with rifles.

“For example, in 2011, there was 323 murders committed with a rifle but 496 murders committed with hammers and clubs.”

While this does not take handguns into consideration, that isn’t the point.  Anti-gun advocates largely refer to “assault rifles”, which, according to the FBI, are less used in crimes than hammers.  This also leads me to believe that it is not just “assault rifles” that they want to take away.  I think they can just make an easier case to restrict “assault rifles” because there has already been a ban once.

Fox News has a story where reformed crooks say::

“the New York newspaper that published a map of names and addresses of gun owners did a great service – to their old cronies in the burglary trade.”

One of the reformed burglars went on to say:

“That was the most asinine article I’ve ever seen,” said Walter T. Shaw, 65, a former burglar and jewel thief who the FBI blames for more than 3,000 break-ins that netted some $70 million in the 1960s and 1970s. “Having a list of who has a gun is like gold – why rob that house when you can hit the one next door, where there are no guns?”

 

Guns Used to Stop Crime

Very rarely will you see the main stream media show a story about someone who used a gun to stop a crime. During research for this article I found two sites that publish every news story like this. One is the NRA and the other is The Armed Citizen.  There is most likely some overlap, but both are good resources to get examples of where a gun actually saved an innocent life.

 

What Can We Expect

I wish I could say I knew what to expect.  I may not know what will happen, but I do believe something will.  People have believed President Obama would go after guns since he made the comment, “they cling to their God and their guns”.  Now we have the Vice President talking about executive orders to deal with guns.  We also have the President saying he is putting his full weight behind dealing with guns.  I suppose they could just re-implement the old “assault weapon” ban, but I don’t think they will.  I think they believe the Overton Window has moved far enough that they can make a bigger grab.

An executive order used to bypass congress and make ownership or purchase of certain guns illegal, or requiring every firearm be registered would be unconstitutional and, thus, illegal.  This President has sidestepped congress and the constitution already.

If there is an executive order, there are at least three possibilities.  First, congress could override it with a vote of 2/3.  I honestly don’t see that happening. This is the same congress that passed ObamaCare after all.  The second option is something that Ted Nugent recently commented on as well.  Local law enforcement could refuse to enforce this as an illegal law.  This is also the goal of The Oath Keepers, who reach out to those active duty military and prior service military as well as law enforcement and ask them not to enforce ten (unlawful) orders if they are given.  The number one being disarming the American people.

If you are unaware, when you join the military you take the following oath:

“I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

Many veterans, myself included, believe that since we have been discharged from active duty, we are no longer beholden to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or obligated to obey orders given from Officers or the President.  We do, however, feel we are still obligated to support and defend the constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic.

If Executive Orders are used, depending on the enforcement of them by local law enforcement, we could see another executive order used to install martial law and suspend Habeas Corpus.

 

How Can We Respond?

I say “can” because I won’t presume to tell you what you should do.  Here are my thoughts on how I believe a follower of Christ can act and not walk in sin.

First, let me recommend two articles written by Pastor Chuck Baldwin.  These are well worth reading.  The first, entitled My Line In The Sand Is Drawn Here!, covers his thoughts on the proposed bill from Senator Feinstein.  He also gives you some ways to fight this and to help you draw your own line in the sand.

The second article is called Revolution?.  In it, he explains how the Revolutionary war was actually sparked by gun control and how Christian leaders of the time took a very active role, defying a ruler imposing immoral laws on them.

Now is the time to pray for our enemies, to pray they act out of wisdom and logic and not out of irrational fear.  This is also the time to take action.  This is the time to let our Congressmen and Senators know that we want them to stand firm and protect the Second Amendment of the Constitution they swore an oath to protect.  You can find the phone number and other contact information for your Congressmen and Senators at USA.gov.

In case you’re wondering here is the oath they take.

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

If and Executive Order to go after guns is used, or if Congress and Senate overreach in regulating firearms, they will go against the Constitution and against what our Founding Fathers saw as God-given rights to all people.

In God’s Law vs. Man’s Law I explain that when Man’s law contradicts God’s Law, we can be morally correct and violate man’s laws.  I also give examples of this from scripture.

There have been several people saying there will be blood in the street if they come after guns.  I pray not, but  I have to say, I do see it as a possibility and I would not have said that even three months ago.  Each one of us will have to pray for guidance and draw our own line in the sand.  I caution you from posting anything inflammatory on this or any other site on the Internet.

May God bless us each with His guidance.  Lord please give us wisdom so we may see how You would have us act.  Let us stand firm in Your Word.  Bless those elected to lead us with wisdom and courage to uphold the oath they took to defend the Constitution.  Father, I ask that this fight end peacefully and that the outcome not infringe on the rights You have given to all people.

 

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The War on Guns; Part One
The War on Guns; Part Two

Review of the Glock 19

Before I purchased my first firearm, I did a lot of research.  I went to a few gun stores and held them to make sure I liked the feel.  Doing these two things helped me narrow down the list of guns I was interested in.  I then found a range that rented guns and rented my top three choices.  I chose the Glock 19.  I thought I would share some of the reasons I bought a Glock.

 

Specifications

Caliber:                9mm
Barrel:                  4.02 inches
Overall length:    6.85 inches
Weight:                 20.99 ounces empty
Grip:                      polymer
Action:                  Glock Safe Action
Capacity:              15+1
Price:                     $599-$699

Trustworthiness and Reliability

As I mentioned, I did plenty of research before I decided on a Glock 19.  What I found was that Glock is the most commonly issued pistol in law enforcement (most law enforcement carry a .40 rather than the 9mm Glock 19).  I also found that the Glock 19 is used by Israeli special forces.  Glock, in general, and the Glock 19 specifically, is used by countless police and security organizations around the world.  These agencies have strict standards and put potential firearms through stress tests. Knowing this and knowing that they use Glock speaks volumes to me.  In the complete Book of Autopistols, August 2010 edition, the author called the Glock 19 the “Quintessential combat handgun”.  James Yeager, the CEO of Tactical Response, a firearm training company that provides tactical training worldwide, has a saying that goes something like; “All handguns should be Glocks, all Glocks should be 9mm and all 9mm should be Glock 19’s.”  I do understand that some of the above is due to personal preference, but that preference is developed from shooting hundreds of thousands of rounds.

 

Concealment

I carry concealed for a reason; I don’t want anyone to know I am carrying, especially Joe Dirtbag.  For this reason, I chose the compact Glock 19.   With the polymer GLOCK Sport Combat Holster you cannot easily tell I’m carrying.  Depending on what I am wearing you might be able to tell from behind me, but you would have to be looking for it.

 

Stopping Power

Some might say a 9mm doesn’t have enough stopping power.  If you are trained and can hit what your aiming at, and are using self-defense loads that dump their kinetic energy into the target so the round does maximum damage and stays in the target, then a 9mm has plenty of stopping power.

 

Maintenance

The Glock is, by far, the easiest handgun I have disassembled, cleaned and reassembled.  We own a Walther .22 handgun and, while it’s a decent gun to shoot, it requires a special tool to disassemble.  Once you learn how to take the Glock apart, you can do so in seconds.  Once apart cleaning and greasing it are also very easy.

 

My Take:

I really like this firearm.  I have put thousands of rounds down range and have not had a single failure.  My wife also has a Glock 19 and has only had one failure.  Liking them is one thing, but we and so many others trust them with our lives.  That might sound a little dramatic, but I mean it.  If I am ever in a situation where I need to use a firearm to defend myself, I will be glad that I have my Glock 19.

If you don’t like the feel of the polymer grip, you can fix that with a bicycle inner-tube placed over it.  I was shown this by a firearms instructor and have since done it to all my handguns as it really helps.

 

I happily give the Glock 19 four stars.

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Review of PMC Bronze 9mm Luger from Lucky Gunner

ammunition

I had first heard of Lucky Gunner earlier this year when a reader made a comment in another article. I decided to go and check them out. I was impressed enough with what I saw, to become an affiliate of theirs.

For full disclosure, that means that if you click on any of the links or images to Lucky Gunner, I will receive a small commission. Also for full disclosure, they provided the ammo I am going to review today PMC 9mm Luger, free of charge.

First let me tell you what impressed me enough about their site to become an affiliate. Searching is made very easy. Let’s say you’re searching for 9mm. The information you are given is the price per box, the price per round and how many they actually have in stock. If they’re out, it shouldn’t be shown on their site. The other thing that impressed me was that they guarantee same day shipping if you order by 3pm EST and next day shipping if you order after 3 PM EST, or you’ll be refunded 110%.

Now onto the Ammo Review!

I received a box of PMC 9mm Luger. PMC is a South Korean owned company. I have never fired any of their ammo and was looking forward to it. I took my stepson with me to enjoy some guy time and waft in the smell of gunpowder (insert Tim the Tool Man caveman grunt).

I fired all 50 rounds of the PMC 9mm Luger flawlessly, with the exception of one casing bouncing off the range dividers and smacking me in the face, which my stepson found humor in.

Afterward we shot a box of Winchester ammo that I had picked up at a local store. It might just be me, but it felt like it had a bit more recoil than the PMC 9mm Luger, but we didn’t have a single failure with either.

I had the targets set to 10-15 feet. It turns out that my stepson is a better shot then I am, though I think he moved the target closer while I was reloading. In any case, we both made plenty of holes in targets that would be center mass at handgun self-defense ranges.

I would happily buy from Lucky Gunner and shoot with this ammo again, even if I was not an affiliate. I give the PMC 9mm Luger four stars.

Building a Defensive Battery

Please bear with my soapbox for a moment.

With all of the talk about the small arms treaty and the comments from the President on guns after the recent tragic shootings, I decided it’s time to write this article while there is still time for you to legally build your defensive battery.

Does this mean that I think the UN small arms treaty will pass or that the President will come after arms if he gets reelected?  The truth is, I don’t know.  What I do know is that our liberties have slowly been stripped away for decades, much more rapidly in the last four years.  I also know that the left hates private gun ownership.  Enough soapbox, on to the main article.

 

What is a defensive battery? 

That is a subjective question.  It’s subjective because it depends on what you think you’ll need the firearms in your battery for.  Since I can’t answer that question for you, I’ll just cover some popular types of firearms to have in a defensive battery.  This article might sound a bit similar to Finding the Best Home Defense Gun to Meet Your Needs
Finding the Best Home Defense Gun to Meet Your Needs but a defensive battery isn’t just for home defense.  It could and possibly should include firearms that you would never use for home defense.

 

Handguns

I covered some things to look for in a handgun in Buying Your First or Next Handgun , so I’ll not go into detail here.  If you’re in range to use your handgun, your training is more important than your caliber, so to me that argument is mute.  I have consistently seen three brands that are always highly recommended.  They are (in no specific order), Glock Smith & Wesson and Sig Saur.  I’m not saying other brands aren’t as good.  I’m just saying that I see these three rated higher more often than others.  Do your research and shoot it before you buy it.  I’ll leave it at that.

 

10-22 Rifle

In a defensive battery?  Yep.  Remember, a defensive battery isn’t just for protecting the homestead.  It could be used in providing for the homestead as well.  There have been many pots filled with a 10-22.  These are usually $150-$200 new.  I got two for the family to learn to shoot with.  Ammo is cheap enough that you could shoot all day for very little. I wish I would have purchased Ruger 10-22’s as they have set the standard, so-to-speak.  I have heard many survival experts, when asked the “If you could only bring one gun, what would it be?” questions, say they would bring their 10-22.  It can take small and large game with a carefully placed shot.  It can help you stay in practice.  For these and other reasons, this one is a must in my opinion.

 

Shotgun

I covered shotguns in some detail in Finding the Best Home Defense Gun to Meet Your Needs, so I’ll just glaze over it here.  For sheer versatility, this is a must.  You can take small game and birds with birdshot or larger game with buckshot and slugs.  I mentioned this in the other article, but it needs to be said again.  If you only buy one shotgun, the smallest framed person in the home that might be called upon to use it, has to be able to handle it.  That might mean you need to go with a youth model 20 gauge, but it will still do the job.

 

As for brands, I have heard good things about Benelli but don’t know much about them.  I have also heard good things about and have fired a Mossberg 500.  My favorite thing about this gun was the safety placement in the top, which is very easy to reach with your thumb.   The shotgun that I have seen the most praise for and my personal choice is the Remington 870.  It’s not as easy to find a range that will let you rent a shotgun, so if you don’t have one, see if you can find a friend that hunts.

 

 

Rifles

 

I’m going to break this up into two separate classes; hunting guns and long guns. The reason I am separating the two is because, to me, they have different jobs and also because one of them is going to be in more danger of being regulated than the other.

 

 

Hunting Rifles

 

Hunting is a skill set I don’t have.  My dad wasn’t a hunter and I didn’t have anyone else to teach me.  Even if you’re not a hunter, it might still be a good idea to have a rifle capable of taking game in the state you live.  From Semi-auto, bolt action, lever action and more calibers than I can name off the top of my head, there are many options.  What might be good in one state, where average ranges are a mere thirty to one hundred yards, is nothing to states where ranges could go a few hundred yards.  If you’re not a hunter, this information can be quickly gathered in an internet search.

 

 

Long Guns

You may have heard these called “black guns”, “assault rifles”, “machine guns” or other silly names.  These are the guns that fell under the Assault Weapons Ban and are in danger of it again.  These are semi-automatic rifles that can have high capacity magazines.  I have said that, to me, long guns have a different job than hunting rifles.  While some are very capable and often used to hunt with, let’s call a spade a spade.  These are the firearms used to fight wars.

I’m not saying that as detraction, so why then would I say this is a viable option for one’s defensive battery?  There are a few reasons.  The first is that the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States says I have the God given right to.  Now, some might say “the Founders never meant for the average citizen to own an AR-15 or AK-47” but I disagree wholeheartedly!  If those platforms would have been around then, you can bet the revolutionary war would have been fought with them.

My second reason is that there is no better weapon to defend yourself.  They have the range, stopping power and capacity to stop an enemy and keep him at a distance.  Hence the reason they are the firearms used to fight wars with.

My third reason is, look at places like Mumbai or even the bank robbery in Los Angeles County in 1997.  In Both cases the criminals had far superior firepower then the police.  Or in the case of Mumbai, any nearby gun store or civilian.

There are, again, many platforms and calibers, too many to list.  I will just touch on two popular choices that I am semi familiar with.  They are the AR-15 and the AK-47.  Again, let me say that I started out as a prepper with no firearms experience.  I was in the Navy but we were not required to shoot a firearm to be enlisted.  I fired both an AK-47 and an AR-15 without having a clue how either worked, and got no training on them before using them.  I was easily able to figure the AK-47 out.  It was designed that way, to be reliable and easy enough to teach “peasants” quickly.  I am embarrassed to say that when I tried to “rack the chamber” of the AR-15, I ejected the magazine.  That was entirely my fault, not the guns.  It does take more training than the AK-47.  I’m not  saying one is better, then the other, that might be for another article.

Long guns will be the first gun to be regulated.  If you want one, now is probably the time to act.  If you want more high capacity magazines, the same holds true. The President’s comments that “I think a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals,”

Oops, I keep bumping into this dang soapbox. Yes he was wrong on the type of gun our soldiers are issued, but he means all long guns, not just AK-47’s. I have read reports that every household in Iraq is allowed to have one fully automatic AK-47 for home defense. I have also read that as part of conscription, every Swedish adult serves in their Army and is allowed to bring their fully automatic rifle home. American’s are required to have a special permit to own a fully Auto rifle. But I would happen to agree with the Swedish and Iraqi Governments, that yes, they in fact do belong in the hands of the citizenry.

 

Ammo

You may have heard the saying that “without ammo you just have an expensive club”.  How much you store is up to you and what you can afford.  I have seen many recommendations that you should have 500-1000 rounds for each firearm you own.  I guess the thinking here is that if it did hit the fan, you might find it difficult to restock easily.  I have also seen plenty of stories where someone was arrested for something illegal, and it mentioned that he has “thousands of rounds of ammunition.”  I also just read that there is a bill being proposed now that would require any purchase of 1000 rounds be reported to Homeland Security.  Depending on where you live, it may be easy to purchase ammo, though for some, purchasing any volume online might be the only option.

If you belong to a shooting league, you can go through a thousand rounds in a weekend.  This would really hamper them.  If you’re someone that just likes to enjoy range time with friends, you can go through rounds fast as well.

In both the case of the shooting at the screening of the Batman movie and the shooting at the Sikh reports have come out that suspects were on law enforcements radar.  Adding new legislation isn’t the answer, using what is already there is.

 

Is the Second Amendment in Danger From The UN?

In the article The Future of America, a commenter posted a link to the UN Conference on Arms Treaty and commented about how the UN wanted to use this treaty to strip American’s of our guns, to which I remarked (tongue in cheek) that the UN states the following and should of course be trusted.:

“The ATT will not:
• Interfere with the domestic arms trade and the way a country regulates civilian possession
• Ban, or prohibit the export of, any type of weapons
• Impair States’ legitimate right to self-defence
• Lower arms regulation standards in countries where these are already at a high level.
An Arms Trade Treaty will aim to create a level playing field for international arms transfers by requiring all States to abide by a set of standards for transfer controls, which will ultimately benefit the safety and security of people everywhere in the world.”

For years I have seen many people on forums claim that the UN is trying to take our guns. Someone always replies that the UN can pass all the treaties they want but that won’t mean anything on US soil. While true, that is unless the Senate ratifies it. It then becomes law.

There was an article published in 2011 from Forbes called U.N. Agreement Should Have All Gun Owners Up In Arms that somehow got put on the Drudge Report. It painted a very concerning picture of how easily this could be done.

The article lists five key things the senate ratifying this treaty would do, they are:

“1. Enact tougher licensing requirements, creating additional bureaucratic red tape for legal firearms ownership.
2. Confiscate and destroy all “unauthorized” civilian firearms (exempting those owned by our government of course).
3. Ban the trade, sale and private ownership of all semi-automatic weapons (any that have magazines even though they still operate in the same one trigger pull – one single “bang” manner as revolvers, a simple fact the ant-gun media never seem to grasp).
4. Create an international gun registry, clearly setting the stage for full-scale gun confiscation.
5. In short, overriding our national sovereignty, and in the process, providing license for the federal government to assert preemptive powers over
state regulatory powers guaranteed by the Tenth Amendment in addition to our Second Amendment rights.”

Before the Obama Administration I would have said passing this type of UN treaty stood no chance. But since the Senate used some slimy tactics to shove obamacare through, now I am not so sure. The left hates private gun ownership, and if this President is reelected, I do believe he will make a power grab much bigger than that of his first term as he will have nothing left to lose. I believe that our second amendment would be a part of that power grab.

If this were to pass, I shudder to think what enforcement of this would look like. It could be the catalyst that pushes the country into marshal law and pits Americans against themselves.

 

Finding the Best Home Defense Gun to Meet Your Needs

Everyone has their opinion on what the best choice is for a home defense gun is and they could all be right. This topic, like many others, isn’t one-size-fits-all. There are cost factors, training concerns, legal restrictions and even the area in which you live to consider.

Instead of giving my opinion, I’ll give you some general guidelines and my take on different platforms so that you can find the perfect home defense gun for you. I’m going to speak in generalities in this article. I don’t know your local laws, please look to them for your firearm regulations.

What Makes a Good Home Defense Gun?

 

These are the factors I use for CCW or home defense guns.

  1. It has to work every time I pull the trigger or misfires have to be so seldom that the number might as well be zero.
  2. It has to be a common caliber; the more common the caliber, the more common the ammo. This is for people building their primary defensive battery; if you have go to handgun, by all means get something nonstandard.
  3. I have to like the gun; how the grip feels and how it feels when shooting it. I was talking to someone who said his dad owned a Glock for many years. His dad was involved in a car accident that caused some nerve damage to his hand. Afterward his dad could no longer shoot the Glock because of the way the polymer grip vibrated. If you don’t like the feel of it, you won’t shoot it, if you won’t shoot it you won’t be proficient at it.

 

What is your budget?

I could say that the hands down best home defense firearm is a $1000 carbine, but if you only have $200-$300 in the budget, nothing else matters. I’ll speak in generalities because it will always be possible to find a firearm that is more or less expensive. That being said, rifles and carbines are usually going to be the most expensive, followed by handguns and shotguns being the least expensive.

 

Will each adult have their own firearm, or will there be one home defense gun?

If this firearm is going to be the only home defense gun in the home, the adult with the smallest stature has to be able to fire it efficiently. Gentlemen, if you only have one firearm and your wife cannot fire it effectively, she might as well be without a firearm. This is not a knock on you ladies. Some women do not have the upper body strength to wield a loaded 12 gauge or the like. Some women just don’t like the recoil. There could be another suitable option available that is easier to handle and has sufficient stopping power.

 

Where do you live?

There is a huge difference between living in an apartment versus your nearest neighbor living a half mile away. If you live in an area that has neighbor’s very nearby, penetration is a concern. This all but rules rifles out. With handguns you can limit this some by choice of ammo. You have more options with a shotgun but you have to be sure you aren’t compromising on stopping power. More on this later.

 

What do you have the most practice with?

Let’s say you have a 12 gauge loaded with buckshot for home defense but you have only shot it a handful of times. Let’s say you have the gun you wear for conceal and carry that you have fired hundreds of rounds downrange with. Which of the two is the better choice?

There is a caveat here. Since this is a gun for defense, it must have stopping power. If you’re in a .22 league and have the most practice with a .22, enjoy the league but practice with something that has more stopping power for home defense.

 

Platforms

Speaking in generalities again, when it comes to stopping power, rifles are better stoppers than shotguns, which are better than handguns. Rifles and shotguns don’t conceal well without the police being called (haha). When out in public the handgun is the best option. For home defense, penetration is often a concern, whether a round goes through interior walls or exterior walls, you have to think about others in your house and your neighbors. Shooting through walls is an article from The Box O’ Truth. In it, he shows that most handgun, rifle and many shotgun loads will penetrate walls.

 

Handguns

I have seen all kinds of arguments for and against using handguns for home defense. Some will say that the handgun is what you use when you can’t carry a shotgun or rifle. There is a similar argument that the handgun is what you use to fight your way to your rifle. Both are very valid points. Handguns do not have the range or stopping power like the other options. If it is what you are trained with, it could be the best option for you.

My concern with using a handgun for home defense is over penetration. Most rounds will penetrate multiple interior walls and punch through an exterior one as well. With frangible ammunition this can be mitigated to some extent. This type of ammunition is made to expand upon impact and limit penetration. This isn’t to say they are not man stoppers. This type of ammo is more expensive but you should shoot with it to ensure it works well with your gun. While it is expensive, it is not nearly as expensive as a funeral.

One plus that the handgun has over other platforms is that it can be shot with one hand. If you have a child that you have to carry, or have a disability that would make using the larger framed platforms prohibitive, a handgun might make a good choice.

 

Rifles/Carbines

Having the longest range, the most rounds per magazine and the best stopping power, these are the most expensive option. As with handguns, over penetration is a concern. Frangible ammunition does not work well in rifles in most cases and is only available in a few select calibers. If you live in an area that penetration is not a concern, this is a great option.

 

Shotguns

Most often the least expensive option, a brand new shotgun can be purchased for $200-$300 and I have seen them at pawn shops for less than $200. In home defense ranges, a shotgun with the right ammo can be an effective man stopper. Shotguns come in a variety of gauges, The most common are the 12 gauge and the 20 gauge; the smaller the number, the more powerful the shotgun. Many people will say that a home defense shotgun should be a 12 gauge. If this is the only firearm in the home, I’ll go back to the point I made about the person with the smallest stature being able to handle the firearm. If that person still has trouble with the weight of a fully loaded 20 gauge, youth models are available. With the smaller frame, maneuvering through the home might be easier and with the right ammo, the youth model will still be an effective stopper.

Shotguns have a variety of ammunition available; birdshot, buckshot and slugs. Slugs, while a very effective stopper, are not a great choice for home defense due to over penetration. Buckshot and birdshot come in varying shot sizes. Birdshot is not defensive ammunition and should only be used on, well, birds. Here is a link to The Box O’ Truth where he shows just how effective 20 gauge #3 buckshot is. For home defense loads, #3 or #4 buckshot would be sufficient to stop Mr. Dirtbag and will have far less penetration than bullets.

Shotguns have less capacity than the other platforms. You can compensate for this with a stock shell holder. There is a belief carried by some that shotguns don’t have to be aimed. This is simply untrue. Practice and training are still needed in every case.

Another plus too shotguns is that they are multi-lingual. The person breaking into your house might not speak English, but everyone speaks shotgun.

 

Things you should have with your home defense gun.

  • A light. Whether mounted or not, you need to be able to see your target and make sure it’s not one of the kids sneaking in at 2 am. You can kill them (figuratively) in the morning (haha).
  • Training. Save up and spend money on good quality training. I know there multiple places within an hour of me that offer training specifically on home defense.
  •  Night Sites. If your firearm can have night sites I would recommend getting them. It will help you with target acquisition.
  •  If you have older eyes or problems with target acquisition, a laser might be a great option.
  • Did I mention training? TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.

Your firearm is useless for home defense if you cannot get to it quickly, here are some of my thoughts on Being Armed at Home.

 

Trudee’s Tactical Purse

(Today’s article was written by my wife Trudee.)

I have been discouraged by the gun holster options available to women.  The purse idea works best for me but if Mr. Dirtbag steals my purse, he gets my gun too.  Not to mention the awkward drawing from a purse.  It’s something we have to train for should that be where we decide to carry our firearms, ladies.

All that being said, I decided that a cross-body purse would be my best option for retention.  Yes, the straps can still be cut but I’m likely to feel that fairly quickly, since my situational awareness is engaged and I’m alert.  Much more of the strap comes into contact with the body in a cross-body purse as well, creating a more secure option.

I had been carrying concealed in a regular purse, purchased at JCPenney.  I had been using an inside pocket for concealment.  After repeated drawing drills, I realized that this was just not practical.  There was NO way I was getting my gun out quietly or quickly if I needed it. 

Sears.  That’s where I was.  I stopped there to pick up a new grill cover since ours didn’t do so well over the winter.  While I was there, I decided to browse their cross-body purse options.  I found one.  I had my regular purse with me.  And my gun was in it.  I don’t know about your state but here in Minnesota, there isn’t ANY way I’d have gotten away with taking my gun out of one purse and putting it into one I hadn’t paid for yet.  I had to use my imagination to decide if I thought one of this purses’ outer pockets would conceal my Glock 19 well enough.  I decided it was worth a shot.

I paid for the grill cover and this new “gun holster” and headed home, excited about what I might be able to accomplish with this purse that I hadn’t been able to with any of the others. 

I’m no seamstress.  I can fix a button and have recently learned to darn wool socks.  I cross stitch and crochet, sometimes latch hook.  That’s the extent of my “yarn and thread” experience.  I was nervous about how I’d get my purse holster attached.  It has hook and loop (Velcro) on either side of the holster itself, so I knew that it would involve somehow attaching more hook and loop to the inner lining of the purse.  I was prepared to 1earn how to sew the hook and loop into the purse, regardless of the work it might be for such a novice.  It turns out that 3M makes an adhesive hook and loop “tape” that actually sticks to cloth!! Imagine my amazement and excitement!!

I experimented a little bit, hoping not to waste very much.  It worked!!!  My holster now sits in an open pocket of my new cross-body purse!  One of the two front pockets holds my pepper spray and my tactical flashlight.  The pepper spray is attached to the purse via the paracord keychain I made.  These things are designed to distract while I draw.  Chris tells me he’s impressed with my “tactical purse”.  That’s a big deal to me, since he’s the preparedness guy around here. 

You don’t have to go to Sears to find the purse, I found the Relic Organizer Crossbody Purse available at Amazon in multiple colors, much to Chris’ chagrin.

The flashlight is a 5.11 Atac Plx Pen Light Blk and the pepper spray is Cold Steel Inferno .38 oz pepper spray

Buying Your First or Next Handgun

Whether your purchasing your first handgun, or just the next in a collection, there are certain things to keep in mind. There may be more in this article for the newer shooter, but I’m willing to bet there is still something of interest for the veteran as well.

I’m not going to tell you what kind of handgun to purchase but I will give you some ideas on figuring out which gun you want to purchase. I do not know your local laws. Please refer to them to make sure you are not breaking any laws in your area.

When it comes to hand guns, there are at least two never-ending arguments, caliber and brand. I’m not going to get into either argument. In my opinion much of this is subjective. Your hands might not be as big as mine or you might just not like the way the grip feels. However I will give you some things for you to consider before you purchase.

First let me give you the qualifiers that I used when I began to research handguns. I use the same requirements for all firearms.

1. It has to work every time I pull the trigger or misfires have to be so seldom that the number might as well be zero.

2. It has to be a common caliber, the more common the caliber the more common the ammo. This is for people building their primary defensive battery; if you have go to handgun, then by all means get something nonstandard.

3. I have to like the gun; how I grip it and how it feels when shooting it. I was talking to someone that said his dad owned a Glock for many years and had a car accident causing some nerve damage to his hand. Afterward his dad could no longer shoot the Glock because of the way the polymer grip vibrated. If you don’t like the feel of it, you won’t shoot it, if you won’t shoot it you won’t be proficient at it.

There are a wide variety of handguns. I did a lot of research and came up with a list of guns that I wanted to put my hands on. I went to a couple of gun stores and held them, felt the weight, worked the magazine release and the safety, etc. This helped me narrow the list down some. From here I went to a local range that rents guns and rented a few. This was, by far, the most important step (I think) as well as the most fun.

Some Evidence for Being Well Trained

Florida School Board Shooting

Today’s Survival Show with Bob Mayne; episode 124, is an interview with John Hodoway. In it he covers the Florida school board shooting in great detail. He makes a very good point. The gunman, named Clay Duke, had a 9mm semi-auto handgun. He fired a total of 15-16 rounds and missed multiple targets with each round. Mike Jones, the security officer that responded and returned fire, had a .40 caliber. He hit the gunman at least three times yet did not bring him down.

Mr. Hodoway, albeit a bit sarcastically, makes a couple of good points, first the gunman had a 9mm which has less kick and therefore is “easier to shoot”, so the gunman should have hit whatever he was aiming at. The security officer had a .40 caliber and shot the gunman three times. This should have brought the gunman down. As Mr. Hodoway puts it, “People should just drop out of respect, when you pull that (.40 cal) out of your holster.”

After firing 11 more shots, the gunman eventually took his own life.

Why do I bring this up?

I believe that training is more important than caliber, with a caveat that I’ll cover below. My wife and I have had some two-on-one training at a local range. It was a bit expensive but highly worth it. I recommend you get some training in the beginning before you build any bad habits. He tweaked our stance, grip, helped us learn what to do if there is a failure (misfire, stove pipe etc) and much more. Once you have the basics down; grip, stance etc, spend time practicing your good habits.

In the comments Dave makes a good point about training “under stress we always default to our LOWEST level of training, not our BEST.” He is exactly right, I respond that I couldn’t agree more on practice, I’m all for range time, but I also think people need to get training from an instructor as well, one who can put you through some paces and show you your weaknesses.

My reasoning is this, many of us drive, multiple hours a week, but we’re not qualified to drive in a NASCAR. Plinking targets is great, but if you carry for self-defense, I believe you should take some quality training from a qualified instructor. Learn some drills that you can do one your own, learn to clear a misfire, to “get out of the box” among other things.

I personally, wouldn’t carry a .380 or .22 if I have any other option. I have listened to a couple of Podcasts with doctors saying that the .380 kills over time via blood loss, not immediately from the trauma of the gunshot. The reason I carry is to immediately stop a threat, so I want something capable of doing so. But like I said, if I had no other option, I have thought of getting one so that I can carry in the summer and not print. (Print means the gun showing via the bulge on your hip or where ever you are carrying it.)

Revolver Versus Semi-Auto

There are pluses and minuses to both; I’ll just give my $.02. A revolver doesn’t fail; it guarantees when you pull the trigger, it fires. The down side is that there are only six shots, this can be mitigated a bit with a speed loader, but you’ll need to practice speed loading to build the muscle memory, so you can do it quickly. A semi-auto has up to 15 rounds (+1 in the chamber should you choose), but they are more prone to failures. In the training I took, the instructor helped us practice how to clear failures by loading dummy rounds in the magazine and having us fire at the target.

Buying Online

Check your local laws to be sure, but in many cases you can purchases firearms online. You’ll need to have it sent to a local gun store with an FFL (Federal Firearm License). The gun store will run the necessary background checks. You can find some good deals online. Keep in mind some FFL’s charge much more than others. I recommend finding the FFL first so you know what the total cost will be.

Ammo

I have purchased ammo online a few times and would continue to if it weren’t for the comment from the person who delivered it. I decided that it was best to keep my gray and buy locally, for a while anyway. To purchase online, you’ll usually need to send them a copy of your driver’s license. The delivery company may not leave the package if no one is home. They are aware that it’s ammo.

Also keep in mind that there is practice ammo and there is defensive ammo. One difference is that the defensive ammo mushrooms more to cause maximum damage with less penetration. Here is a great breakdown of the types of defensive ammo. It is more expensive but you should practice with it to be sure of how it will function with your gun. You are trusting your life to this ammo; you and your family are worth far more than the $50 it takes to be sure it functions well in your gun. I use the cheap ammo at the range and keep Hydrashok for carry.

Magazine or Clips

The correct term is magazine and there are those that will correct you if you use the term “clip”. There is an argument that keeping magazines loaded can damage the springs over time. I read that when magazines were first used, the material used to make the springs developed memory and would fail to push the ammo into the chamber. From what I have read the material used now will not develop a memory. I’m not concerned and have yet to have one fail, or even hear of a modern failure due to memory. If you are concerned, you could unload and reload every month or two.

There are other things that you’ll need to purchase. Here are a few of the main ones.

Eye and Ear Protection

When I started shooting I went to the local hardware store and bought a cheapish pair of safety goggles, and some earplugs. I used these until I went shooting with a friend and he had the shooting glasses shown below.

I was blown away by the difference. They make things pop out. I promptly bought two pairs. Another nice thing, other than making things crisper, is that they come with four interchangeable lenses, yellow, clear, red and black.

I also discovered that the earplugs were not enough protection for me and now use them in combination with earmuffs. There are a wide variety of earmuffs. I bought the ones with the highest decibel rating I could find.

Cleaning Kit

I recommend a basic cleaning kit that will clean handguns and rifles. You likely can find videos on youtube of how to disassemble and reassemble your handgun, as well as how to clean it. I recommend cleaning your firearm after every shooting session.

Greasing

Check your manual for where grease will need to be applied. You might also be able to find videos on youtube. I did some research and found that any high temperature grease can be used for this, I purchased a can for $5 from an automotive store and it will probably outlast me.

Remington has a very convenient tube. I purchased one and will refill it with the high temp grease when it’s empty. A word of caution; I remember hearing that the main reason a Glock is sent in for repair is due not being greased enough, the second highest reason is too much grease. This may have been said about Glocks, I’ll bet it’s the same for other manufacturers.

Gun Safes

My wife and I each have a different model of pistol safe. I don’t like either. Hers is a model called Stack-On that quickly responds to a code being entered and opens slowly once the correct code has been given. Mine is a Winchester and it doesn’t respond for a second or two after the first number has been entered, so I have to hit a number, wait for a couple of seconds then enter the entire code. Once the code has been entered the door flies open. Both are plugged into an outlet and have battery backup. I have given thought to the biometric safes. They are a bit more expensive but not waiting for the buttons to respond or door to open might be worth it.

Red Lasers (not a need, may be a want)

If you have been a shooter for a long time you might not need a laser. One tip I have heard is that a red laser can be a great help to anyone over 50. Picking up a site picture is a skill that develops over time and a red laser can ensure you hit what you’re aiming at.

Edit 06-02-11
In the comments Dave makes an important point on red lasers:

“Great article as always. Look forward to seeing you guys this weekend. One comment on the laser sights. They ARE great for target acquisition, as long ads that target is YOU. The thing I noticed during my training is that those lasers are like little red arrows pointing right back at yourself. Not only does the bad guy know EXACTLY where you are, but what you are aiming at and looking at. He can also tell a GREAT deal about your level of training based upon where that laser is pointed etc. A good substitute for a laser would be night sights. Ultimately there can be no replacement for practice practice practice. It’s been drilled into my head that under stress we always default to our LOWEST level of training, not our BEST. ”

My response:
“Thank you. I’m looking forward to Saturday as well. I haven’t personally ever used laser sites, but was recently talking to a friend that had some training. His instructor made a comment that the lasers are great for the inexperienced shooter with older eyes. That the laser helped them pick up the target much faster. I think I’ll edit the article to make the points you mentioned, in case someone skips reading the comments. I couldn’t agree more on practice, I’m all for range time, but I also think people need to get training from an instructor as well, one who can put you through some paces and show you your weaknesses. ”

The last item I want to address is actually a tip I was shown in the training class my wife and I took. The man that gave us the training was a policeman for 20+ years, much of it in SWAT. He said that one way to greatly improve the grip on any handgun was to put a section of inside out bicycle tire inner tube on the grip. He was right. My wife and I liked it so much that all of our handguns have it on them, as well as a couple of friends’ guns.

Introduction to Firearms

I grew up in a house that didn’t own guns. It’s not that my parents were adverse to them, they have just never owned one. As an adult I was always pro second amendment but never owned a gun, that is until I got interested in prepping. The first few times I went to either a gun shop or an outdoor store that sold guns, I felt pretty foolish because of my lack of knowledge. Here are the steps I took to become informed and also some helpful tips that might be of interest even to those of you that have been shooters for years.

Training

The National Rifle Association
The NRA has a huge selection of training classes, ranging from the novice shooter to women’s and youth programs, as well as some more advanced courses. For more information please see the NRA’s Education and Training Headquarters.

Handgun Training
My wife and I found a class at a local gun range called First Shots. This is a beginner level handgun class that covers things like the four rules of gun safety, eye dominance, proper grip and types of handguns. We got to shoot a .22 revolver and a .22 semi-auto. There are First Shot classes in multiple states. Check the link to see if there is one near you.

Rifle Training

Hunter Safety
I decided to sign our kids and I up for a hunter safety class. This was a huge help for the three of us. It covered basic gun safety and also covered hunter safety, how to walk with a rifle and how to pick up a target. During the final class we all got to shoot a .22 rifle and a black powder rifle. You can probably find information about a hunter safety class from your states DNR.

Project Appleseed
I have not attended a Project Appleseed event, but I would like to in the future. Here is whet their website says about them: “Project Appleseed is an activity of The Revolutionary War Veterans Association, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to teaching every American our shared heritage and history as well as traditional rifle marksmanship skills.”

Procedures and Other Tips:

Four safety rules
First and foremost, here are the gun safety rules:
1. Treat every gun as if it were loaded.
2. Only point the gun at things you are willing to destroy.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your eyes are on the target.
4. Know what lies beyond your target.

Eye Dominance
Most of us have one eye that is dominant over the other. If you want to hit what you’re aiming at, you’ll need to use your dominant eye for target acquisition. There are a few different ways to tell which eye is dominant. The following is the one I use; pick an object at least a few feet away and cover that object with your index finger. Close one eye at a time; the eye that is still covering the object is your dominant eye.

If you’re right handed and left eye dominant, you can still shoot handguns right handed, to be accurate with rifles you’ll need to shoot them left handed.  It’s unnatural for me, so I got a .22 rifle to train with. 

Some people have a tendency to close their weak eye, to force the dominant to takeover. You lose your peripheral vision by doing this. If your dominant eye and dominant hand are opposites, here is a tip that has helped me and might help you as well; I am right handed and left eye dominant, so I leave both eyes open and turn my head slightly to the right, this lets my dominant eye pick up the target and keeps my right eye open to pick up any other movement. 

Correct Grip
In this video Todd Jarrett will show the proper grip technique, stance and a few other tips. For those who have a hard time with videos, I’ll show some pictures showing the proper grip and finger placement, both on and off the trigger.

If you’re right handed and left eye dominant, you can still shoot handguns right handed, to be accurate with rifles you’ll need to shoot them left handed.  It’s unnatural for me, so I got a .22 rifle to train with. 

Some people have a tendency to close their weak eye, to force the dominant to takeover. You lose your peripheral vision by doing this. If your dominant eye and dominant hand are opposites, here is a tip that has helped me and might help you as well; I am right handed and left eye dominant, so I leave both eyes open and turn my head slightly to the right, this lets my dominant eye pick up the target and keeps my right eye open to pick up any other movement.

Keep your finger off the trigger
Most beginners tend to put their finger on the trigger as soon as the gun is in their hand. I think Hollywood can be blamed for this. The correct finger placement can be seen below. This is where your finger belongs until your ready to shoot.

Once your finger is on the trigger, use just the tip of your finger, where the nail bed is, not the finger to the first knuckle.

The first picture is the correct placement, with just the tip.

This picture is the incorrect placement, with the finger up to the first knuckle on the trigger. Placing your finger in this far will pull the gun in the direction the tip is pointing, when the trigger is squeezed.