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How to Buy a Handgun & Get The Right One For Target, Personal & Home Defense


  This is a fast-track method to help you get the right gun the first time for target practice, home and personal defense including the correct ammo to purchase for your gun.  Some high-level shooters will balk a bit on the advice, but they won't deny the two guns revealed herein are potent good choices for professional target shooting and for being high quality guns to purchase for self-defense purposes.  Some shooters may desire 40 S&W or 45 ACP caliber and that's okay, if you want this these guns come with those calibers, but the gun's clip will hold less ammo than a 9mm pistol.

1.  Do It All Gun: You want a gun that can be used for professional target shooting, home protection and personal defense.  There is one gun that can do all and it it the Smith & Wesson Military & Police (M&P) 9mm Professional C.O.R.E. semi-auto 5" ported barrel 17 shot magazine hand gun!  Awesome firepower!  It also has accessory mount for a laser under the barrel.  The trigger has a light pull.  The sights can accept optical sights without any drilling out of the box in the event you wish to do competitive shooting.  The sights are also raised and taller than most guns to get a quick aim to your target.   Smith &

Large image of (SKU). Click to zoom.

Can Do All Gun: Smith & Wesson® M&P C.O.R.E. 9mm 17 shot magazine SKU #10098   Price: $812  Other models available at lower cost. 

Personal Carry Gun:  Smith & Wesson® M&P Shield 9mm 8 shot magazine SKU #180021  Price: $449.00  For personal carry use.  Also available with ported barrel or with green or red laser.  Green laser is very bright for daylight and night use.


2.  Why Buy Smith & Wesson?  100% American Made keeps jobs here in USA and the gun quality, reliability and warrantee is legendary!  Of course there are excellent foreign made guns like; Walther, Glock, Beretta but an American made gun has benefits that all gunsmiths can repair and obtain OEM parts with ease at low pricing.  Anything imported from any country including Germany is expensive.  Support America!  Buy an American gun and always shoot American made ammunition.  Also, the Smith & Wesson guns on this Web page have no safety switch/lever, which is the new trend, so the gun is loaded and ready to fire.  This eliminates another step of which you may pull the trigger and nothing happens to your demise.  You can option to not chamber a round into the gun barrel and you have to rack the slide to fire your first shot and this can act like a safety so there's no reason to have a safety lever on the gun.    

3. Why 9mm Gun & Ammo?  As an unprofessional shooter, of which most of us are, we need to realize that in a defense situation we are going to miss a lot of what we are shooting at due to inexperience, fear and delirious confusion in the moment.  We need a powerfully proven bullet of which 9mm is proven to be a strong stopping hollow-point defense round.  We also need a lot of rounds in the magazine, so 17 rounds per magazine is awesome firepower to recon with.  That's 34 rounds if you carry just one extra magazine!  You can easily handle multiple aggressive persons with such repulsive power.  However, if you do your research you will discover that larger size ammo such as S&W 40 and 45 ACP guns carry only about 8 to 10 rounds per magazine and they recoil like hell so it is hard to get your repeat shot back on target quickly.  Ballistics tests with modern 9mm defense ammunition is awesome proof.  The FBI also has switched to 9mm guns & ammunition for their agents.  You won't go wrong buying a 9mm gun!

4.  What is the S&W Shield Gun?  It is a low-cost, high quality with rave reviews in the gun magazines and Websites and people with conceal carry licenses swear by the gun's reliability, ease of use and accuracy.  It come with a green laser beam which allows you to just point the laser without having to take time to aim, like a cowboy quick-draw; remove gun from holster, point laser to target, pull trigger. This laser is great for people with poor eyesight due to older age and find it difficult to refocus eyes along gun sights.  Think about that!  The green laser works in day and night situations and is only activated momentarily so you get to shoot, shut off the light and move away so nobody can shoot you by aiming at your laser beam at night.  The S&W Shield 9mm is the gun to buy if you want to conceal carry due to its small size, but the magazine only has a 8 round magazine.  You can see why the larger size 17 round M&P C.O.R.E. gun is still a better bet.  A lot of people do carry full-size guns due to the enhanced firepower.  You don't want to be running out of ammo and swapping magazines with bullets flying at you, do you?  But the S&W Shield gun is comfortable to carry... no doubt about that!  Now you can get the gun with a ported barrel.  This 9mm handgun is also a winner with females and the elderly with small wrists as the recoil is highly manageable.

5. Why a Ported Barrel? The ported barrel permits explosive high-pressure gases to be exhausted upward to counteract upward force of the muzzle flip when the gun is fired.  It is an opposing force.  It allows you to get back on target quickly to get you next shot off before the other guy can get his gun to fire at you.  You get off more accurate repeat shots at a faster pace than your enemy can.  And if you have a 17 shot magazine you can imagine the firepower you have is a great advantage in any gun fight you may face.  Do not let people tell you ported barrel at night shooting will blind you from the muzzle flash.  This is proven to be not true as the V-shape flash still allows you to look down your gun sights.  The flash from an unported barrel obscures the gun sight on each shot with a light flash with a hazy smoke cloud.  The only drawback is you must be careful not to fire the gun from the hip or next to persons as the ported barrel will spit debris sideways and upward toward faces which can be burned or injured.  Once you practice how to shoot a ported barrel gun, you won't have any problem with it.  What you will get is higher fire rate and more accurate shots.  The porting does not affect bullet velocity or energy as one may think... you will get the same power from your bullets as an unported barreled gun.  Smith & Wesson Website has videos showing professional target shooters rapidly firing ported barrel guns with great accuracy.  Notice how low the muzzle flip and recoil is shown in the video.  To those shooters who do not like to extend their arms when shooting keeping the gun close off to the side of their chest a ported barrel should not be used as the flash will spit debris in the shooter's face.  With a ported barrel you got to extend the gun away from your body before pulling the trigger.  A full-size gun is normally shot with extended arms and a pocket or mid-size conceal carry pistol a ported barrel is not customary and in many cases should not be purchased.

6. Why No Pocket Gun?  You don't really want a gun that has low ammo capacity and has terribly high recoil with such low accuracy they can't hit the side of a barn.  These guns are like the old-time Derringer, good for very close range only.  You would be way better off buying the S&W 9mm Shield gun.  Don't waste your money on pocket guns.  They are difficult to hold in the hand, hard to steady to get an aim, the sight plane is near zero so you can't really aim the thing.

7.  Why No Safety Switch?  The days of semi-auto handguns with safety trigger lock has waned in favor of guns with no safety.  The reason being is the safety switch can jam or fail (rare, but can happen) and what is not rare is the shooter forgets to (or is too slow to) deactivate the safety switch and gets shot or attacked before he can aim and pull the trigger.  Time is of the essence and the safety gets in the way of your safety!  You just have to learn how to handle a gun without a safety.  Both guns above on this page have no safety.

8.  Why No Revolver?  You can carry or use for defense a 38 caliber revolver, but you only get 5 shots before you have to reload.  For bedside use?  The revolver is a good buy as it will not jam.  But fire rate is slow.  Today, quality semi-autos don't jam like they used to as ammo quality control is superior and the gun loading and shell ejection is precise, but there is still that small risk of a jam.  I keep a revolver nearby... just in case!  Size is now not a limitation so you can buy a 45, 357, 44 mag if you wish as you get the same number of shots (5 shots) in the wheel gun.  But consider you don't want missed bullets to pass through walls and enter your neighbors home!  You could be heavily liable for their property damages, disability or lose of life.  So going back to the 38 caliber hollow-point caliber would be your better choice for low recoil and for less ceiling, floor and wall penetration hazard such as in an apartment complex or condominium.  Don't use full-metal-jacket for defense as the bullet will pass through walls!  They have revolvers that also shoot .410 shotgun shells which will not penetrate walls and is hard to miss using hundreds of lead pellets in the shot shell.  So, you can see, a revolver is handy near the bedside as a primary and/or a back-up gun.  Most people will first reach for the fast-firing high ammo capacity semi-auto pistol.  Beware of larger caliber beyond the 38 special bullet as the big rounds kick like hell and if you don't have a great grip on the gun it can leave your hands of which your assailant can grab it and use it against you... very scary!  If you have small or weak hands stay away from the big hand guns.  This is another reason why semi-auto hand guns are popular as there is much less recoil and chamber back-flash spewing hot debris into your eyes blinding you (temporary or permanent) as you won't be using shooting glasses for home defense now will you?  The debris (powder, bits of copper and lead) ejects from the gap between the revolving cylinder and the barrel of the gun.  You won't have this problem with a semi-auto hand gun.

9. Why No Rifle?  The rifle is so powerful at and above the .22 magnum size that it is too big to be used in the home for home defense unless you live in a Beverly Hills style mansion and even then you are inviting trouble as the bullets will fly 5 miles or more!  The rifle has way too much energy and firing it will likely cause you grief with collateral damage to your neighbors.  Rifles are good for military like assaults, but not for home defense, generally speaking. 

10.  How About A Shotgun?  For home defense, yes, by all means a 12 gauge pump-gun loaded with Double-0 Buckshot shot shells.  But the handgun gives you way more mobility.  Automatic shotgun is not recommended for home defense as they do jam like a bad habit. 

11.  I Can't Afford $800 for a Handgun.  Buy a used one.  You can also check the Smith & Wesson Website for models with less features.  You can buy new Smith & Wesson M&P semi-autos for $500 or less.  If you go to a 10 shot 9mm pistol you give up some firepower for a lower price gun, but you may be able to recover that loss with a aftermarket magazine that holds more rounds (if legal, of course).  There are a lot of good used handguns available.  The gun's price is suggested retail.  Many gun dealers will discount for you.  You may get it for $75 to $100 off the retail price if you shop around.  Another good new gun that can fire routine +P 9mm ammo is the Ruger American semi-auto pistol.  Model 8605 has a 17 shot magazine.  See photo below.  It's not as good as the Smith & Wesson's on this Webpage, but its not a bad gun by no means.  It can be used for home and self-defense and with extra equipment installed may be used in competition shoots, but the price rises up to and beyond the S&W and will never be as good as the S&W so you need to be aware of this limitation.  You can add a under-the-barrel aftermarket laser to the Ruger American pistol.

Ruger ® American Model 8605.  Retail price is $579

12.  Why Buy both Smith & Wesson Guns?  Familiarity is crucial.  You don't want to grab your gun and start wondering how to operate it, or wonder which brand of gun you have in your hand or it it has a safety switch or not.  If both of your guns are M&P (Military & Police) style Smith & Wesson guns you can pick them up and fire them as both guns will operate the same as the other.  The problem with switching brands of guns you often switch ammo type and ammo brand which now adds another level level of confusion for the unprofessional shooter.  Admit it, you will be so scared and confused if an intruder enters you home to do you harm you don't have time to think what is in your hand and how to use it.  That's why I believe to simplify everything and just stay with the same manufacturer for at least two handguns for personal and home defense, both of the same caliber ammo, 9mm hollow-point, especially.  Make life simple.  Make life easy.  You won't go wrong with a Smith & Wesson M&P quality 9mm semi-auto pistol.  You will have one of the best guns made in the world!  You will also appreciate the fine feel these M&P guns have in your hand, solidly planted, very well balanced and easy to operate and fire.  The main spring is strong when pulling the slide to load the first shell in the chamber, but you will get the hang of it.  Other brands of guns can be worse or better, nothing is perfect.  A strong slide spring insures accurate shell feeding and ejection to reduce the chance of a bullet jam.

13.  What Ammo Should I Use?  9mm hollow-point is the personal defense round to use.  The hard part is finding the right brand of ammo to use in your gun.  Again, buying all the ammo on the market (stay with American made ammo) to find the right ammo for your gun can be expensive and outright frustrating.  Each brand of ammunition will have different Point of Impact characteristics and some will jam your gun.  I will make life simple for you.  Winchester has ammunition called Train & Defend® Full Metal Jacket bullet of which you use to train and practice with and after you have sighted in your gun or adapted to its performance quirks so you can gain good shot groups on the practice target, then you buy their hollow-point defense rounds which perform just like (or very near to) your practice rounds.  This is a solution perfect for the average home defense handgun owner.  A defense round you can use is Winchester PDX1 Defender® Bonded Jacketed Hollow Point 147 grain bullet.  Now you can still, if you wish, try other ammunition brands for the fun of it, I recommend you first begin with and try to stay with Winchester's Train & Defense® ammunition system for your handgun.  And by the way, it is high quality, made in the USA ammo.  Practice with ball ammo (Full Metal Jacket = FMJ) but never use it for general self-defense use (unless total war is being waged in the neighborhood) as the ammo will not mushroom and it will pass through a person or a wall and injure/kill innocent people like your good neighbors.  You got to remember to install into your magazines hollow point bullets (Jacketed Hollow Point bullets = JHP) so they will mushroom and not pass through people and walls.  In the Winchester photo below the left is FMJ practice bullet and on the right is the self-defense JHP bullet.  It is too expensive to use JHP bullets for routine practice or target shooting.  What you also need to do is practice with at least a couple boxes of the more expensive JHP defense ammo to make sure they cycle in your gun without any jams.  Some guns just do not like certain ammo types or brands so make sure the ammo you use is the ammo your gun prefers.  If your gun jam?  Try another brand or type of ammo.  It's just the way it is.  If you are getting multiple jams on many ammo types or brands the gun may be defective and in need of repair.  






9mm Winchester ® Train & Defend Ammo.  Train with the full metal jacket box of ammo on the left, hollow-point Defend is on the right.

Winchester ® PDX1 Defender® Bonded Jacketed Hollow Point 147 grain bullet is a tad better choice for self-defense.  But don't get me wrong, the standard Defend round is nothing to sneeze at... as it too is very high quality!

14.  Why Buy USA Ammo?  It's not just to benefit America, it is to prevent the destruction of your gun.  There are some brands of ammo being sold that will plug the barrel of your gun and the quality control being questionable that can overpressure your gun and blow it up injuring you and others nearby or just break the gun.  And if you think you can sue to recover?  Forget it.  Foreign countries are not liable to be sued by individuals.  That alone is a good reason to not buy foreign products.  Years ago, I bought a Canadian pellet stove that was loud and defective and the Federal Trade Commission informed me I can not complain to the FTC or sue the Canadian company.  From that moment on I only buy American made products.  Why buy ammo from Yugoslavia or China or Russia or Turkey or Iran?  What are doing for us?  In most cases they are hostile to Americans and America.  You pay just a little more buying American made ammo, but you get the high quality and safety that comes with it.  Just say no to foreign ammo!  Read the ammo carton as it tells you the country the ammunition was made.  It will say, "Made in USA"

15.  Old Eyes:  As you age your eyes will not focus quickly or as sighting down a short-barreled gun like a pocket gun your eyes refuse to focus period which makes the gun useless.  This means to stay away from "Pocket Pistols" because they are horribly inaccurate, have less ammo in the clip and you can very easily shoot yourself turning the barrel inwards at your arms, legs or torso.  They are like little Deringer's.  For personal carry get the S&W guns displayed on this Web page.    

16. Why Buy A Handgun Anyway?  The world is getting increasingly hostile.  Our tows and cities are being flooded with illegal aliens of all nationalities who can not be trusted and have never sworn allegiance to the United States of America under oath.  Many are criminals and gang members.  We are surrounded with these untrustworthy invaders and with Muslims operating armed-conflict warfare jihad against all non-Muslims around the world we have a recipe for disaster.  Chicago in just 4 months in the year 2016 had 1,000 gun-related murders... and that's just one city in America!  Clearly, we are all in danger of being attacked by the criminals with guns.  Home invasion robberies often end up in torture and murder... if you had a gun you could repel those demons!  Protect yourself, protect your family... invest in buying a gun.  Don't wait to be a victim!  Take action today... your life and those you love are worth the money invested!

17.  Training:  Don't worry if you have never shot a hand gun, it is easy to learn and there are excellent shooters at local ranges (indoor and outdoor) who can train you.  Visit a large gun store and look for business cards and bulletin boards for gun instruction training.  They don't charge a ton of money and many range shooters will help you for free.  You can also purchase instructional videos, but a personal trainer for the first time is your best bet.  You don't want to shoot yourself or anybody else loading or unloading the gun improperly.

18.  Magazine Loading:  The springs in the modern magazines are much too strong so you need a loading device that will make it easy to do.  Uplula 9mm to 45 ACP is made by  Watch the video.  Believe me, you do want this and you will not be happy loading your magazines without it!  In fact, I found it just about impossible to load a 17 shot magazine with any sense of ease.  I split the skin on my fingers and when I found the Uplula device and tried it... I can load magazines quickly with no sore fingers whatsoever!  Well worth every penny spent.  When you buy your gun, get the Uplula at the same time.  I admit the name of the device is a mystery and it sounds strange, but the Uplula product really does work perfectly.  I found it most difficult to load 9mm magazines and I hurt my fingers perpetually, but no more thanks to Uplula!  


Above Photo: Uplula ® Magazine Loader is great for 9mm and 45 ACP. and other calibers too!

19.  What is a Double-Stack Magazine? The Smith & Wesson M&P semi-auto hand guns come with double-stack magazines.  What this means is it can hold more bullets as it staggers the bullets side-by-side generally in the magazine.

20.  I Don't Want a Smith & Wesson Gun.  What Else Can I Buy?  Look into other American made handguns such as Kimber, Ruger, Wilson Combat, Hi-Point, Colt Springfield (not XD models), Charter Arms, Remington, Springfield Armory.  See list below of USA Handgun Manufacturers.  Check the advertisings in gun magazines as the majors all display their goods.  Magazine articles will also help you decide which gun may be good for you or not.  Make sure you get a gun that has an accessory rail or two.  You may want to install a flashlight or a laser and if you have no accessory rail you will be out of luck.  The Smith & Wesson M&P guns as shown on this page has a rail under the barrel.  I don't recommend you buy foreign made guns no matter how good they may be.  We need to put America first and foremost.  It appears the world wants our money, but they give us little in return for the privilege of doing business in America.  Sig Sauer and Beretta were prestigious European brands, though both are now built in the United States so these are options to consider.  Also keep in mind that there are foreign "junk" guns being sold in America with American-sounding names.  Visit the gun manufacturer Website and look for the Made in USA statement.  Beware they may be a USA Company Distributor of imported guns which is not the same as buying a Made in USA quality gun.  And there are some USA manufacturers that also sell an import gun, so make sure the gun you buy is truly made in the USA.  Many import guns also have a USA city and state stamped on the gun, so beware of this trick to fool you into thinking the gun is made in that city and state for it is only their USA marketing address.  See the list of USA handgun manufactures in this article below.

21.  What Ammo Can I Use?   Never use reloaded, remanufactured, or handloaded ammunition. Ammunition that does not meet SAAMI, CIP or NATO standards could cause death, serious personal injury, or property damage. Only use high quality commercially manufactured ammunition in the same caliber as your pistol. (Note: Use of reloaded, remanufactured, or handloaded ammunition may void the warranty.)  +P ammunition is used for personal defense use only, but it has more power, so should not be used for target practice as it will wear out or damage the gun prematurely.  Some guns are designed to routinely shoot +P.  The M&P guns mentioned on this page can shoot +P ammo, but use it only for personal defense purposes, not for target practice (cost of bullets is high anyway).  Of course, with a new gun, you got to practice 20 rounds to make sure the bullets don't jam and group on the practice target to examine the gun's point of impact.  Some ammo just won't like your gun and vice versa your gun won't like all ammo, so some practice is required with all ammunition you plan to use in your gun. 

22.  What Barrel Length Should I Get?  The Smith & Wesson Shield has a 3.1" barrel and the C.O.R.E. has a 5" barrel.  Some models do vary the barrel length so beware of this.  I would not go smaller in barrel sizes as accuracy will decrease.

23.  Where Do I Buy The Guns?  Visit a gun dealer in your state of residence as there are rules and certain handguns are unlawful to own.  Example:  Massachusetts sets limitations on gun features of which Smith & Wesson has handguns that do comply with state law.  Your local gun dealer can also inform you on how to obtain a conceal carry permit and where a shooting range is nearby so you can learn how to shoot the gun. 

24.  Gun Laws State-by-State Wikipedia

25.  What about the .380 Caliber?  Too small, but modern self-defense .380 is making it better, but most professional shooters consider the .380 inadequate for personal protection.  What a shooter needs to know about the .380 ammo is that is is often confused with 9mm ammunition.  The ammo box may say 9mm Ultra or 9x18 Makarov or 9mm Corto which all are 2mm "short" size which is not a true 9mm Lugar or NATO round and should not be fired in your 9mm Lugar/NATO class pistol.  Keep life simple, make sure you buy a 9mm Luger class of gun.  The 9mm guns on this page are true 9mm Luger guns that can shoot both Luger and NATO 9mm rounds.  Also, do not confuse .380 as a .38 ACP caliber round as they are different ammunition.  This is an example of how awfully confusing it can be to buy handguns with different calibers and why I recommend you buy your home and personal defense pistols in the same 9mm caliber and stay with the same gun manufacturer and models.  This way you don't have to buy and stock different size ammo which can get expensive and increases the size of your ammo purchases.  Imagine having a 9mm, 40 S&W and a 45 ACP semi-auto pistols and the guns, to fire, have their own particulars adding levels of confusion unnecessarily for the beginner shooter.  

26.  Can a 22 caliber be used for all-around self-defense?  The 22 magnum, yes.  Many gun magazines do state the merits of using a 22 magnum for self-defense especially for the very young, frail ladies and the very old who can not accept recoil from larger guns.  Just make certain you use high quality 22 magnum hollow-point ammunition in a handgun designed specifically to shoot 22 magnum Jacketed Hollow Point ammunition.  If you ever fire a 22 magnum you will see just how powerful these little JHP bullets can be and the magazines carry a lot of shots that add up quickly to a massive take-down punch.  It is also a known fact that 22 caliber bullets spin head-over-heals upon impact which makes wounds awfully devastating.  Of course, if you can shoot a 9mm or 38 Special, do so.  But if you can't handle recoil you should then consider the 22 magnum as a solution to your problem.  Image of a Ruger ® (made in USA) revolver that fires 22 magnum ammo.    Never use a 22 LR (long rifle) size ammo/gun for self-defense, you need the higher power and bullet velocity of the magnum.  When you see the tall size of the magnum shell you will understand.  When you fire the magnum ammo you will believe!



Ruger Convertible ® six-shot.  Extra cylinder allows shooters to quickly change from shooting .22 LR (Long Rifle) to .22 WMR (Winchester Magnum Rimfire).  

  Some revolver models may fire 8-magnum shots.  A semi-auto 22 magnum handgun would hold way more ammo and fire much more rapidly than a revolver.  There are not many 22 magnum handguns because the demand for them are lower than for 9mm and 45 caliber sizes.  The revolver will never jam so its reliability is never questioned.  Tip:  Get a double-action trigger for rapid fire by just pulling the trigger repeatedly otherwise a single-action requires you pull back the hammer each time you wish to fire.

  Another 22 Here's a great semi-auto 22 WMR magnum pistol $455 with a 30 round magazine!  This Kel-Tec PMR-30 is a serious contender for pure firepower.  With two spare magazines you'll have 90 shots that will likely outgun anybody you find carrying a handgun... it means you can out-shoot and out-last your opponent as they run out of ammunition... you won't run dry at all a you're just beginning the fight!  The gun is very light weight even with a 30 round loaded magazine.

 Untitled2  Watch YouTube Video

Kel-Tec PMR-30 fast-shooting semi-auto handgun shoots 22 magnum ammo with a 30 round magazine!

  In any case, these 22 caliber magnum guns have no obstructive recoil.  Yes, they do have a tiny muzzle rise when firing, but it is negligible.  Yes, they are loud as hell so firing one for the first time will be a shock to your senses, but you will get over it very quickly.  These guns are also great for target shooting, all around plinking and a good handgun for the beginner.  And they will detonate a milk jug like a hand grenade.  22 WMR JHP bullets are powerful.  To get maximum power power and bullet velocity use Winchester PDX-1 22 magnum ammo specifically designed for pistols because most magnum rounds off the shelf are designed for long-burning powder rifles.  To those who won't recommend a 22 magnum handgun I say it is better to have a gun, any gun, than no gun at all to save your life from harm.

26.  What about a 17 HMR Handgun?  You can, but the ammo is expensive and demand for the gun and ammo is low and like the 22 magnum you can't reload the shell casing as you can with 9mm and above sizes.  If the 22 magnum is too low power for you, then just take the leap to the mighty 9mm semi-auto handgun and be done with it.  You have arrived!  Now go back to the beginning of this article and read again about the 9mm guns recommended by this author.  

27.  How about a 40 S&W or 45 ACP?  You can use these larger caliber handguns, but the amount of ammo in the gun will be less than a 9mm and the cost of practicing and shooting such ammo is much more expensive.  I am talking about quality USA made ammunition.

28.  What is your opinion of shooting bulk-discounted ammunition purchased online?  You run the risk of serious damage to yourself and your gun as often the name of the manufacturer is not given and often can be reloaded or fresh-new casing reloaded by individuals with hobby-level ammo hand-reloading equipment.  And, you don't know what pressures the ammo produces or the type of primers and gun powder was used.  You can learn to reload your own handgun, rifle and shotgun ammo.  It's easy and fun to do.  However, it is just best overall to buy new USA name brand ammunition for reliability and safety sake.  Start with factory fresh Train & Defend Winchester ® ammo listed in this article.

29.  How fast should I shoot?  The professional shooters say you should first learn proper gun handling and gun draw technique, then learn to shoot slowly with great accuracy then naturally you will see your speed increase as your training progresses.  So developing accuracy first, and then accelerating the skillset to enhance speed, is the more effective approach.  In self-defense accuracy is more important than speed, while both skills are at best desirable. 

30.  Are their techniques to increase accurate shooting?  Yes, many.  A good shooting coach is recommended for the type of shooting you will be doing; competitive target shooting, conceal carry, home defense or law enforcement.  You can also teach yourself by reading shooting books, magazines and videos.  One tip;  Make your body, when standing, lean forward a bit when firing each shot as this will push the gun to the target and counteract the gun's recoil so you can reaquire the target faster to get the next shot off.

31.  Why does the 9mm kick the barrel upwards?  The 9mm bucks like a mule while the larger 45 bullet does not.  The answer is speed.  The 9mm uses a rapid burning powder with high velocity while the big heavy 45 has a slow burning powder with sub-sonic bullet.  You just need to adapt to the muzzle rise as the recoil is not large, but it does kick upward, not a backwards "push" like the 45 does.   You have the right gun and the right 9mm ammo it's just that you never had a 9mm before and the loud crack (even with ear plugs) also creates a shock to your system as the gun powder is more explosive and the bullet flies out the muzzle at a fast speed creating recoil, but nothing like a 44 or 357 magnum as they will hurt even a big man's wrist in just 25 rounds... way too much force in the recoil.  The 9mm has a different type of recoil that make the gun's barrel jump upward when fired.  With a proper grip you can learn to reduce and control that muzzle flip.  Try shooting one hand and the gun jumps up, but it does not leave the hand, it just loosens your grip on the gun.  If you have a small hand(s) and thin arms makes shooting more difficult and getting older and weaker is another problem to find your work around.  After shooting your first 100 to 200 rounds and especially after shooting 1,000 rounds from your 9mm hand gun you will become well-adapted to the muzzle rise and the loud noise that 9mm round makes.  The Germans developed the 9mm before World War II and today it is wildly popular as it is an effective round with a low cost for ammo makes it a winner and you get more rounds into the handgun than you would a 40 or 45.  I see 45's with 12 rounds in the magazine, but the 9mm fits five more rounds per magazine.  Those five extra rounds in each magazine will come in handy if you ever need them for personal protection.

32.  What if I don't want a handgun for home defense?  You can't beat a 12 gauge shotgun with double 00 buck shot for sheer destructive power, but using smaller size shot won't penetrate walls to injure neighbors next door.  You can't miss with a shotgun and that huge explosive sound they make scares everybody away once the first shot is fired.  Perfect for home defense.  They are cheap to buy and easy to shoot.  Check out our shotgun Trap Shooting Articles.

33.  I found the gun I want to buy, but I am still hung-up on the caliber size;  9mm 40S&W or 45ACP?  You should just start with the 9mm simply because your gun will accept a larger number of bullets per ammunition clip.  You may miss a lot in a scary firearm emergency situation, so having the most firepower is to your advantage.  Consider that 9mm ammo is less costly to purchase for both practice and self-defense.  You will not be making a mistake buying a 9mm hand gun.  The FBI has switched back to all agents using 9mm and many police use the 9mm, so you won't be alone in your decision.  If you are an excellent shooter with nerves of steel under pressure and do not mind less shots before a magazine change is required then a 45ACP will give you a bigger punch.  But remember, you got to hit the target and having a lot of rounds in the magazine is always a huge advantage over a larger caliber with less ammo to send downrange.  When you add it all up, the 9mm is a excellent choice.  If you are still undecided?  You are one of the many shooters who need to buy more than one gun with different calibers.  That's okay if you don't mind the larger inventory of ammunition, larger size cleaning brushes, patches and more spare parts and the memory recall on how to fire the guns.  I say beginners should start with one or two guns of the same manufacture with both using identical caliber 9mm bullets.  Things can get confusing if you take on too many hand guns at the same time.   

34.  I need a holster for the S&W 9mm C.O.R.E 5" barrel.  BladeTech has one for left or right hand.  Here's the info for the right hand: BladeTech IDPA competition shooters pack S&W M&P Pro Core 5” 9mm – BLK. Product #HOLX0086IDPAPKO1494BLKRH, cost $89 for the package.  Can be used for IDPA competition shooting and daily carry use.  They have holsters for the S&W Shield hand gun shown above for personal carry use.

35.  Where can I begin competitive pistol shooting?  Here's the links.  The NRA also has a searchable map to help you find shooting ranges.  NRA Competitive Pistol Shooting, International Defensive Pistol Association, International Practical Shooting Confederation, United States Practical Shooting Association.

36.  USA Handgun Manufacturers Links: Beretta, Bond Arms, Charter Arms, Colt, Diamond Back Firearms, Double Star, Gary Reeder Custom Guns, Honor Guard, Kel-Tec, Kimber, Les Baer Custom, North American Arms, Ruger, Remington Handguns, Rock River Arms, Sig Sauer, SCCY, Smith & Wesson, STI Guns, Taylor's & Company, Wilson Combat.  Many guns with American-like names advertised in magazines and Websites are imports.  Some may even say "God Bless America" and yet still not say, Made in USA" on their Website, so beware of the trickery to get money from you.  Make certain you buy an American made gun Made in America.  Some like Springfield Armory are not listed due to some of their guns are made in Croatia and who knows where else!

37.  What about gun carry insurance?    Second Defense covers you for criminal and even civil lawsuit if you use your gun in a self-defense situation.  They have three different plans that range from $10, $20 and $40 a month plan.  Better to take a look at this and get yourself covered.  They offer amazing coverage for such a low cost.

38.  Another 9mm Benefit:    Realize the calibers 40 and 45 have heavy recoil and unless you have very, very big and very strong hands you can not shoot these handguns with any repeatable accuracy with one hand.  However, the 9mm can be shot with one hand like an outlaw cowboy, shoot from the hip if you wish, and fire shot after shot in this mode with great accuracy and control.  You never know if you will need to shoot with one hand.  You may not have time to grip the gun with two hands before firing.  A 45 can flip right out of your hands if you are not careful but the 9mm will stay in your hand and you can fire off all 19 shots in the magazine single-handed.  For those with thin wrists, the elderly, disabled or thin ladies get the 9mm.  By the way, the Navy Seals also use the 9mm handguns along with the FBI including the Israeli army Uzi shoots 9mm rounds along with many USA police departments.  If you watch TV news you'll hear of the guns being used and the 9mm has the stopping power when needed.  

End of Article.  Copyright May 02, 2016 by Author James Russell - All Rights Reserved.