The Definitive Firearms Thread
Thank you for chiming in! I’m indeed still here, and very much appreciate the feedback. I figured this thread was pretty well put to bed so I haven’t updated it, but I’m glad to see it’s still having a positive effect all these years later.
If you’re interested, most of my efforts on this topic can be found at:
Our work is heavily influenced by Chris and the 3E’s, but the ephasis is more about becoming as well rounded and skilled as is possible.
If there is renewed interest here, I’m happy to work with the Peak Prosperity crew to cross pollinate a bit!
Thank you again,
Thanks, Aaron, for this great posting. I found it surfing the web in 2018 and read through all 3038 entries. Wow! Found some fantastic info along the way. So, I joined the group just to make this post to thank everybody.
Not sure if anybody is still around, but for what it’s worth I would like to answer everybody’s question ever posted, imho. The answer is…drum role please, “It all depends”.
I’m 63 and have been shooting something since I was 5. My all time favorite is the sling shot. I have read so many, many articles of “how to” or “what is the best” that there is no counting and from that I have concluded that while everybody has an opinion most often they disagree. So… it all depends.
My 3 weapons for defense are a J frame, concealed hammer 5 shot 38 for ccw. I carry it with the first chamber empty, so really it’s a 4 shot. (reference Plaxico Burress) I use a custom Houge grip that I highly recommend for retention and just downright pointability. Also, I have a MAK 90 with synthetic stocks and a Maverick 12 gauge pump with an 18 1/2 inch barrel. My prefered load for the 12 gauge is the reduced recoil, Remington 00 buck. I have more firearms, but these three cover my defensive needs “for me”.
With that said, dang it Aaron, you have me wanting a Glock 19, 9mm. The Gen 5 is out now and it is calling my name. You and FerFal make a pretty good case.
For historical reference now, it’s September 2018 and Bret Kavanaugh is having his nomination considered for the SCOTUS and has just slammed the door to Senator Diane Feinstein when she asked him about “assault” rifles and the 2A. Brilliant, they are in “common use” and they are “not unusual” therefore they are constitutionally protected. I bought my MAK 90 back in the 80’s to send a message that there is one more patriot with a rifle and there is my reward! Common use, not unusual!
So, I’ll close here now with, be safe, peace to all and God bless ya! p.s. it’s not an assault rifle, it’s a defense rifle! 😉
First, I agree that Aaron’s site is well done and wealth of information. Kudos!
Second, I’ve had a Glock 19 since…let me see here…I was living in NC at the time…so it must have been since 1996 or so.
Over those 20+ years I’ve put at least 20k rounds through it. Works as good as the day I got it. The only time I ever ‘jammed’ it was when I was experimenting with loads and there’s a narrow band of light load plus heavy bullet that magically puts the recoil and the spent shell ejection on the same plane at the same time and so I found myself catching brass out of the air.
Not every time, but often enough that I gave up that particular load.
Live and learn.
My (new) carry piece is the Ruger LC9s in 9mm. Very light, a breeze to conceal, especially in my Alien Gear IWB holster (that you Rector for that recommendation!). If it’s a chore (heavy, uncomfortable, “prints” too much) I won’t carry it regularly. So this works for me. Not terribly accurate, like my Glock or 1911, but plenty good enough.
Probably like most, I wrestle with “the best” gun to have around.
A little gun, like a Glock 43, Sig P365, Ruger LC9, Smith & Wesson MP Shield, Springfield Armory XDs are small enough and light enough to put on and wear regularly. Even in warm weather and a light T-shirt they hide pretty well. So, they are there when needed. (You have to buy pants that are 2″ larger in the waist to accomodate the Inside the waistband holster and wear an untucked shirt.)
So the little, light weight, small capacity, easy to conceal and easy to carry gun has great advatanges on the days when you don’t really think you will be in a gun fight. It is there and easy to tote about on the 9,999 days when you don’t really need it, and is pretty good on that surprising 1 in 10,000th day when you unexpectedly do.
This is similar to the “space saver” spare tire in your car trunk. Not great for driving a long ways, but it is there for the unexpected flat and doesn’t take up much room in the trunk.
However, if I suspected that today was the day that I would need to shoot for survival, I would choose a bigger, heavier, higher capacity gun on that day.
So I have compromised with a small concealable gun IWB for “safe, routine situations” and carry a larger Sig P239 in my car in a hiden lockbox and another secreted at home. (no kids at my house).
I drive home from work in the middle of the night and come into hostility from some of the less savory elements of society, unfortunately, fairly often. I slide the heavier Sig pistol onto my belt with an OWB holster and cover it with a shirt or jacket when out late at night or if I’m feeling nervous.
And everything at our house is 9mm. I only have to stock one caliber and am never confused about what bullets go in which gun, even in the dark.
These folks make great (IMO) IWBs.
The “Public Secret” incorporates a leather tongue that keeps rear sights from digging into your sides. Most comfortable I’ve come across.
IMHO the secret is to pick the weapon you want first thing in the morning while standing naked in your bedroom. Next, dress around the gun. Being a police officer I haven’t been very concerned about concealment (a little printing isn’t the end of the world), and since I’ll soon retire to NH (a “Constitutional carry” state, and open carry state) I don’t expect that to change much. However I do want to be concealed to preserve my element of surprise with criminals. That being said my personal preferences are:
1. October to April: mid sized Glock 23 (.40 cal.) This is my favorite all around handgun with about 30,000 rounds through it. I’ve replaced the worn out recoil spring as a precaution and replaced the locking block which broke at the range one day. I’ve also fitted it with an extended slide stop lever and magazine release button to make taking high round count classes easier and performing fast reloads and malfunction drills (you’ll see what I mean if you’re coming to Front Sight).
2. May to September: subcompact Glock 27 (.40 cal.)
3. Any time wearing a winter coat: in ADDITION to the Glock 27 in a pancake holster, a S&W .357 magnum revolver (5 shots, 2” barrel, stainless steel) in the strong side coat pocket for a quick draw. If you don’t get this, show us a video of you drawing from your holster in winter clothing and making two center mass hits in 1.5 seconds at 7 yards.
4. If deep concealment in light summer clothing is absolutely essential (not often): a tiny Glock 43 (9 mm) in a strong side pants pocket holster and two 6 round spare magazines.
5. Hiking with large, dangerous wildlife: wife carries the bear spray and I carry a S&W Model 629 in .44 magnum, 4” barrel, 6 shots, in a pancake holster plus two 6 round speed loaders.
6. Home defense: instantly available, unlocked (no kids), 4 rounds in the tube magazine, 1 round in the chamber, semiautomatic Ruger rifle in .44 magnum. Given 30 seconds to prepare I can choose between a Rock River Arms AR-15 or a Remington 870 12 gauge shotgun.
7. Every Day Carry (in addition to the above weapons): always at least one spare magazine or speed loader, smart phone, pen, pocket knife, handcuffs and cuff key, multi tool, lighter, latex gloves, and small very bright combat flashlight.
To Begin: Thank you, Chris! I’m glad you enjoy it. Hopefully, it’s a small return on the effort you’ve put in here. I’ve certainly learned a lot from you.
On guns more generally,
Over the last few years I’ve been testing a few different platforms, and should probably confess, I’ve been carrying a Smith and Wesson M&P for the last 6 years. I have the utmost confidence in the Glock and it’s still my ‘general’ recommendation, but these days there are quite a few good quality, striker-fired handguns out there. The H&K VP9, the M&P lineup, Sig, and a few others are making pistols to the same standard as Glock. Admittedly without the lengthy pedigree, but they’re good choices.
As to rifles, I’ve established a healthy respect for the “bad guy’s” gun: The AK platform. The rifle’s versatility, simplicity, reliability, and mix of firepower and barrier penetration is probably far closer in line with what most people need than they would like to believe. I’ve consistently been able to hit man sized targets out to 300 yards and had boringly consistent results in the 100-200 range. Especially for the Urban Environment, it’s not quite the underdog it once was.
My EDC has changed a bit as well. There’s been a huge push among those who train seriously to start carrying some medical gear and I’m one of them. A couple methods of bleeding control are every bit as important as a pistol, and more likely to be used. Some of the other stuff is a bit more esoteric, but If you’re interested in reading, I’ve really refined the “lines of equipment” I used to talk about here, as well as the template for Understanding Emergencies.
The framework for these things, I think, would really appeal to the thoughtful PeakProsperity crowd. Essentially, we’ve defined three types of emergencies:
1. Immediate, short duration, high intensity Emergency. Direct threat to life and limb.
2. Moderate duration, moderate intensity Emergency which generally interrupts access to critical resources, and increases the likelihood of being caught in a Type I, and;
3. A protracted, low intensity emergency that fundementally changes life for an indefinite period of time.
We integrate our equipment in such a way that the Type I is met with our “EDC” – the things we have on us and can access immediately.
The Type II is met with an approach of “Sustainment“; we’ve made the case that the idea of ‘bugging out’ is kinda silly. What we want is equipment that sustains our ability to perform deliberate actions. That means equipment to stave off the threat in the “rule of 3’s” (Air, Shelter, Water, Food, Security) without panic. My personal choice is still a backpack, because you can wear it down the street, or out camping. Most of the training you could ever need could be had doing things that are actually pretty fun, like camping and hiking (which also have fitness benefits).
The Type III requires community, family, resourcefulness, and stopgap measures. Essentially, it’s where diverse and elaborate skill sets become mandatory.
Anyway, this is long and link filled, but it should catch up anyone who’s interested in some of the conclusions I’ve learned in the last few years.
I’m always happy to come back and talk with you all here! PeakProsperity is a uniquely great spot of the internet.
Well, Aaron…After years of research this revolver guy finally decided to get a Glock 19, Gen. 5, 9mm. That is until you through a monkey wrench into it with your current M&P carry. After all is said and done I went with the S&W M&P 2.0 9mm. The final choice was decided because of the 18 degree grip angle instead of Glock’s 22 degree.
But, now for the fun part. I had no idea that it takes two gorilla’s and a jack hammer to load a magazine. Crazy and rediculously stiff follower spring. I don’t have that trouble with my MAK 90. Maybe it’s because the 9mm cartridges are so small. I went to Academy and bought a loader by Uplula. Works great! So great that I gave it to my brother and have to get another. 😉 Dead without it though. Need more mags!
Now I’m looking for an OWB holster. Pretty sure I saw some recommendations go by in the last 3000 posts but can’t remember. I liked the leather Galco paddle holster I got for my J frame. Any thoughts?
p.s. I got this pistol to fill the gap between my 38 and 12 gauge. Not so much for ccw, but for FerFal’s situation in Argentina for “when” it all comes down here. Better to have it than, well you all know.
I think you’ll enjoy the M&P. I’ve tried several times to convince myself that I should go back to the Glock becuase it’s just… everywhere… but I don’t enjoy shooting it as much, and it doesn’t carry as nicely.
As to holsters, OWB is a bit out of my main channel, but what are you looking for? Retention? No retention? Duty type holster? Concnealed carry?
For my money, I’ve had good experiences with Raven Concealment, Safariland, and Dale Fricke’s holsters. That said, I’ve been carrying “vasectomy carry” for about 9 years now, so most of my recomendations would be for AIWB arrangements.
That’s a rabbit hole, but I certainly understand someone not being comfortable with that method of carry.
Also, a final bit of advice: If you don’t already have one, get a good carry belt. A good belt (and conversely, a bad one) will make a major difference in the comfort of your carry arrangement. You’ll need to match your holster to the belt width, with the most common being 1.5″ for non-duty carry.
Thanks again, Aaron, for you considerate advice. I also am enjoying reading your thoughts at the Integrated Skills Group. You are a very talented writer!
So, there I was, (they say that combat helicopter pilots also start their stories of adventure with that phrase), out for a walk with my dog at the park. The sun was shining and we were enjoying a perfect day. Perfect until my belt buckle broke. I was at least 1/4 mile from my car and people were everywhere. My shorts dropped, weighed down by the J frame in my pocket. (I carrry it concealed with an Uncle Mikes holster clipped in the front pocket and my T-shirt over it.) Now picture this, I have the dog leash and walking cane in one hand and holding up my shorts in the other while trying to remain concealed and inconspicuous. It was an odd sight to the passer’s by and a very uncomfortable position to be in!
Let me say that you can’t buy a decent belt at Walmart, Target or Kohl’s. Same old $12 stuff every where. Well, (ahem), genius that I am, I googled gun belts. Oh, happy day. I found Hank’s belts and ordered their “Gunner” belt with the eagle design on it for 49 bucks. It is the real deal. It’s so thick I believe that you could pull a car with it. Your advice for a good belt is spot on and I hope everyone gets the message and never has to go through my experience.
I’ve been to the range just once so far with my new M&P. I would like to debunk the theory that 9mm is cheaper. Those high capacity mags suck up ammo like a kid sucking on a juice box straw. (insert smiley face here) I had a good time though. It shoots where I point it and I like that very well.
I ordered an OWB leather holster by Galco, their Combat Master, from Optics Planet for my M&P. I have a Galco holster for my J frame that I like. It is very stiff and well made. I’m hoping for more of the same.
It’s my day off tomorrow and it looks like rain/range time! See ya’ll there?
God bless and peace to all
Several years ago I asked Aaron Moyer for his advice about which one battle rifle I should get for a SHTF situation. He recommended an AK-47. (I didn’t follow his advice.)
This topic has come up again several times for a SHTF rifle that functions well even when dirty and poorly cared for, is powerful enough to shoot through car doors, masonry walls, has abundant cheap ammo, is accurate out to 250 yards, and is inexpensive so that a household could be armed with identical (and hence, interchangeable) weapons.
It sounds like Century Arms has come out with a high quality AK-47 called the VSKA (pronounced “vis-kuh”). From the review, it sounds like a quality rifle with high grade steel and excellent manufacturing.
Cost is excellent at about $750.