Home Defense Firearms: A Newly Relevant Blast from the Past.

Well, it’s started. The new administration (hack. spit) is calling for yet more “gun control”, leading the charge for an “assault weapon” ban, magazine size limits, universal background checks (which requires a complete gun registry to be enforceable), and so on.

Today I’m bringing forward a post addressing that so-called “assault weapon” issue. The definition of “assault weapon” is slippery. It mimics the term “assault rifle” but doesn’t meet the definition of one (an assault rifle is a rifle of intermediate power with “select fire”, meaning that it has a full-auto or “burst” capability–that is one trigger operation fires the rifle multiple times). Generally, “assault weapon is a semi-automatic (fires once for each trigger operation) rifle or carbine (overall length being the main difference there, or intermediate power (not the uber-high-power that the media would have you believe), and some various ergonomic and cosmetic features. It is this definition that I address in the post below.

When it comes to home defense, a strong argument can be made that the best, the absolute best, weapon for defense against a home invasion is a compact semi-automatic rifle with certain, particular features.

Despite what Hollywood would have you believe, criminals often continue to function after being shot, often after being shot several times. “The dead man’s ten seconds” is a phenomenon well and long known (the phrase comes from the Civil War). The criminal may be effectively dead from the first shot, but they still have the ability to do a great deal of harm before they’re stopped. Thus, it may take multiple shots to stop them. Maybe they’ll spend their entire “dead man’s ten seconds” staring down at the hole in their chest.  Maybe it’s easy for you to bet other people’s lives that that’s how it will go down but maybe instead they’ll use that ten seconds to hurt or kill the homeowner unless distracted by, oh, other holes being put in their body from repeat shots until they do stop.

We have repeated reports of people in military theaters shooting an individual multiple times and having them continue to fight.

And that’s not even counting that robberies are often committed by more than one person. Again, local news reports suggest that the majority of home invasions involve multiple attackers.

Now, maybe in the “average” it’s over after only a couple of shots. But one can drown in a stream that “averages” 6 inches deep if one happens to step in a hole that’s 8′ deep (the rest of the stream only being 4″ or so, so the “average” comes to 6″). But multiple attackers requiring multiple shots each to put down is one of the scenarios a “civilian” may face.

The person defending his home can’t wait until he’s got overwhelming force, SWAT, and backup before going in and engaging. They have to deal with the problem right. now. with only what they have ready to hand. Firing a shotgun twice into the air may or may not scare off attackers (or might not, despite what then Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden advocated) and shooting through the door is generally a felony (again, despite Joe Biden’t advocation of that very thing).

In high stress and fear situations human beings have certain common issues. One is that fine motor skills go to hell. Simply working the action of a rifle or handgun can become a thing of fumbling when one is in fear for ones life (a necessary condition of use of lethal force in all jurisdictions in the US). Much better a simple action of “aim, pull trigger, aim, pull trigger”. Thus, semi-automatic. (Police and civilian firearms trainer and recognized expert witness on firearms matters discusses the effects of fear on ones shooting ability in his book Stressfire among others.)

When an attack comes, you can’t be sure that everyone in your household is all together. You may, for example, have to go get the kids. This doesn’t involve hunting the “bad guys.” I don’t recommend that at all. Get your family together and defend them if the bad guys come to you, but “get your family together” may require some moving around. Now, when you’re moving around, you may have to do things like open doors or work light switches. Or maybe (it’s dark, say, and this occurred after everyone was in bed) you need one hand free to hold a flashlight. Maybe you have a light mounted on your rifle but, well, you’re looking for your kids. It would be good to have a light you can shine on things without pointing your gun at them, don’t you think? (First rule of safe gun handling is treat any gun with the respect due a loaded gun but the second rule is “never point a gun at anything you’re not willing to destroy.” What that means regarding using a light mounted on your firearm to look for family members is left as an exercise for the student.) A “pistol grip” simply makes it easier to handle and keep control of the rifle in such circumstances. Also, a more “compact” design is easier to maneuver down hallways, through doors, and the like.

The attack happens at night? When you fire the muzzle flash blooms in front of you, temporarily blinding you. Who knows what can happen in the couple of seconds it takes your eyesight to recover? A flash suppressor/hider doesn’t actually suppress or hide the flash. It diverts it to the side where it interferes less with your vision allowing you to keep eyes on target allowing you to assess whether the attacker had been stopped or if you need to keep shooting, and if you do need to keep shooting you can aim rather than fire blindly (literally) and trust to luck.

A rifle is easier to aim accurately than any handgun. A centerfire rifle has more stopping power than any handgun.

Now, maybe you’re not the one available to grab the rifle.  Maybe it’s your wife (or husband if you’re a woman reading this–or whatever if you’re in a non-traditional relationship.  I won’t judge) who’s smaller than you (or larger).  Or maybe you sometimes use the rifle out in the cold while wearing heavy, thick clothing and sometimes when its warmer so you don’t have so much heavy clothes on.  A stock that can be adjusted for length helps size the rifle for easy, comfortable, accurate shooting.

Now note what I’ve just described: a compact rifle with a pistol grip, “large” capacity magazine (actually “standard” capacity since that’s what these rifles are designed for), flash hider, adjustable stock, and possibly a rail to which a light can be attached. While there’s no “shoulder thing that goes up” (Carolyn McCarthy can never be sufficiently mocked for that) what I’ve just described is an “assault weapon” per the media and folk like the Brady Campaign. (Not an “assault rifle” as defined by the military since that definition calls for fully automatic capability.)

It also happens to describe the best tool for defending your family against one of the between 4 and 40 thousand home invasions that occur every year.

How many of those 4 to 40 thousand families, many with children, are you willing to sacrifice?

36 thoughts on “Home Defense Firearms: A Newly Relevant Blast from the Past.”

  1. I remember an individual on Baen’s Bar (May It Return Very Soon) who was arguing against carrying hand-guns for self-defense outside the home.

    Apparently he believed that the main “danger” would be from terrorists carrying “assault weapons” and that the only defense against “assault weapons” were “assault weapons”. IE “Hand-guns” would be useless against “assault weapons”.

    Apparently he imagined that carrying an “assault weapon” made you invulnerable except from somebody else using an “assault weapon”.

    While I’m no expert in using weapons, I can imagine several ways that people armed with hand-guns could deal with people armed with “assault weapons”.

    I’m sure that the people with hand-guns would have to fight very smart but “assault weapons” aren’t magic wands that protect the users.


  2. IIRC the military doesn’t define the term “assault rifle” at all. This is an invention of the media. Or if they do, they didn’t do it until after the media made it a thing. I’d recommend just not using the term since all it does is confuse the normies (and not in a good way).

    As far as fighting smart, if you are indoors, I doubt it makes any difference at all. I can point my handgun pretty accurately around the corners of my house and it is unlikely, unless you are Bill Gates, that you will be shooting at someone more than about 10 feet away. Now, house to house, yes I’d rather have a rifle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sturmgewehr is the original WWII German term, indicating a different item from the common Gewehr-98 rifle. Sturm doesn’t mean, bring your umbrella, it means it is to be used when assaulting, aka assault rifle.


    2. To clarify, ‘assault weapon’ was invented by the media and politicians because ‘assault rifle’ meant something.

      ‘assault rifle’ is defined (intermediate round, selective fire), to distinguish it from ‘battle rifle’ that uses a full-size rifle round, as would be used in a hunting rifle. M-14 was a battle rifle because it was in 7.62×51 NATO (full size), where M-16 and M-4 are assault rifles, because they use an intermediate caliber (5.56×45 NATO).

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “Assault rifle” is NOT a military term and there is NO usage of it in the US military. I am a retired US Army officer. I was stationed in the Pentagon when the first “assault rifle” ban was enacted back in the 1990s. I had never heard the term “assault rifle” before so I went to the Pentagon library and looked it up in the DOD official dictionary of military terms. It was not there. The US military has never characterized any of its firearms as “assault” weapons. It is a political term, not a military one, and literally means nothing except, “looks scary.”

    I have read that in WW2, some German armaments designers used the term, “Sturmgewehr” to describe a select-fire weapon with features similar to the US Tommy gun. Because it used a modified pistol round they called it Sturmgewehr, or “storm weapon” to impress Hitler, who was initially cool to the whole idea. “Sturm” means “assault” in German military contexts, hence “assault weapon” in English.


  4. A 2o gauge with #4 buckshot and a 1918 vintage Remington 51, are my go-to guns.
    House-to-house I’ll take an AR or AK variant or my 20 gauge with slugs.


  5. First, a modern weaponlight mounted to a long gun (rifle/carbine/shotgun) does not require the firearm be pointed at anyone to use the light for identification purposes. Any quality 300-lumen-or-higher-power light will allow positive ID due to spill or reflected light with the weapon pointed at the floor or ceiling as you move through a dwelling, and most WLs nowadays are in the 800-1000 lumen range.

    Second, if you’re using a flashlight or weaponlight to move through the house, ID intruders, look for the kids, or any other use, your objection to muzzle flash blinding the user is moot. If you use your light ONCE, for anything, you are now night-blind. In comparison, muzzle flash is very brief (videos indicate it lasts less than 1/30th of a second, as it only appears in one video frame), is MUCH dimmer than any decent flashlight, and contrary to your assertions, a flash suppressor does exactly what the name implies — it suppresses muzzle flash by “breaking” it into smaller “pieces”, making it far less visible. Muzzle flash may startle you, but when you hit the button and your light comes on, you’ll be able to see just fine.

    Finally, the “stopping” efficiency of non-expanding military ammo in combat vs. commercial defensive/hunting loads with expanding bullets that a home defender SHOULD be using, is night vs day. Civilians do not have to worry about using less-effective ammo due to old wartime treaties — they should use the most effective ammo they can find.


  6. A valid concern in some apartments and some houses (vinyl villages) is overpenetration of missed shots and pass-through shots.
    Frangibile ammunition may be available (maybe), and if available may be a good choice.
    My go-to is a 3″ 12 gauge with #6 shot. It will likely stop anyone at an in-the-room distance, but pose much of its’ energy after passing through 2 layers of drywall.
    Consider your location and the likely threats, and choose an appropriate weapon/ammo combination.
    John in Indy


    1. Ay firearm with sufficient penetration to reliably stop an intruder will also create a potential for overpenetration of residential walls. The best way to avoid overpenetration is to actually hit the target. Some people like shotguns because they improve the chance of getting shot actually into the intruder. So you can get some shot to “hit” where a single slug would have missed by whatever your pattern size is. But conversely you’ll also get some shot missing (and thus risking overpenetration) if a single slug would have hit within by whatever your patter size is of the edge of the target.

      I’m also somewhat skeptical of #6 shot being that reliable a manstopper. There was an FBI study of penetration of shotgun rounds using ballistic gelatin which has its limitations but, well, there are ethical objections to more “realistic” tests. Results were #1 buckshot was about the smallest that would penetrate deeply enough to reliably stop a human threat. I’ve also seen a number of cases of people shot with birdshot who were peppered with lots of little holes but were not stopped. Maybe the pain of having a bunch of individual wounds and maybe they’ll do enough damage to prove fatal sooner or later, but I’m not really willing to bet my life on that. And that #1 buck that is a reliable stopper is basically a cluster of .30 caliber projectiles at 1250 ft/s and any shot that misses the target does present an overpenetration risk on residential walls.

      Better to reliably hit your target so that the projectile stops in the target and doesn’t go any farther.


    2. I assume that by ‘3″ 12 gauge’ you mean shooting ‘magnum’ shotgun rounds from a shotgun with a 18 inch barrel. Otherwise you might have an illegal shotgun if it’s got a 3 inch barrel (or a really sore hand and wrist if it’s a pistol). 🙂


  7. A lot of good info, Black, but not necessarily gospel.

    5 feet, 10 feet, 20 feet hitting the center of a man sized mass with a pistol is not a problem and its far easier to maneuver around couches, chairs, lamps, etc. with such in hand rather than a long gun.

    I live in the middle of Alaska. My .308 has put a lot of moose and caribou on the table, but for protection I’m far more comfortable with a 12 gauge pump in a cabin or canoe.

    Fishing or just a walkabout, a pistol on my hip or in a shoulder holster, especially a Desert Eagle adds some security without the weight or inconvenience of pushing, pulling a long gun through the brush.

    Of course what one considers good bear protection is often good villain protection as well.


    1. At the range, I can reliably hit a man-sized target in the torso (“minute of bad guy”) easily out to 25 yards with a decent handgun (I like my CZ75B for that). However that’s at the range, with all the time in the world to get a good shot. It’s not when I’m in fear for my life, facing potential multiple threats to me and mine and I’m really, really rushed because the bad guys aren’t giving me any time. Again, I strongly recommend Massad Ayoob’s “Stressfire” which goes a lot into adrenaline reactions and what it does to things like one’s fine motor control which means, among other things, accuracy. Some people may be fine in those circumstances. Others, not so much.

      As for maneuvering around couches, etc., note that I do not recommend going and hunting the bad guy. Minimum moving around necessary to get any family together, then hunker down in a defensible place to let them come to you. This limits approaches, reduces the risk that you might take a wrong turn moving around and end up with a threat behind you, and by having your family in one place you reduce the risk of a “friendly fire” incident or hesitating too long to ensure that the person in front of you is actually a bad guy and not a family member.

      In the end, a person has to choose what suits them and what they feel comfortable with given their situation and confidence level. The point of the post is that there are entirely valid reasons why one would want, even need a so-called “assault weapon” for home defense, all Gropey Joe’s claims to the contrary notwithstanding.


      1. “In the end, a person has to choose what suits them and what they feel comfortable with given their situation and confidence level. ”

        Quite agree, and that was the idea I was trying to get across, however poorly I was phrasing it, when I noted good points but not gospel.


      2. FYI, to improve your “combat readiness”, even at ranges where any sort of “draw and fire” is frowned upon, you can put some aerobic exercise into your routine. While firing in your lane, take a moment to jog in place before firing. Do it long enough you feel a little winded or a tiny adrenalin spike. THEN shoot at your target. In more permissive environments, do some push-ups before you fire.

        It helps a little, too, if you have an indoor range with crappy soundproofing (or, better, plexiglass between the stations; oy vey). The other shooters firing off their weapons can certainly prove distracting and disruptive to your concentration. Especially when the one next to you switches from their .38 to a carbine in the middle of your magazine. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. You said, “when one is in fear for ones life (a necessary condition of use of lethal force in all jurisdictions in the US)”. I suggest you read Idaho Code 18-4009. “JUSTIFIABLE HOMICIDE BY ANY PERSON. (1) Homicide is justifiable when committed by any person in any of the following cases:
    (a) When resisting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a felony, or to do some great bodily injury upon any person;”
    If they broke into your house, they committed a felony….. But below is the clincher…
    “(b) When committed in defense of habitation, a place of business or employment, occupied vehicle, property or person, against one who manifestly intends or endeavors, by violence or surprise, to commit a felony, or against one who manifestly intends and endeavors, in a violent, riotous or tumultuous manner, to enter the habitation, place of business or employment or occupied vehicle of another for the purpose of offering violence to any person therein;”
    Why Idaho has low rates of home invasions and riots….


    1. I was, perhaps, less clear than I might have been, in not also covering defense of others (the “clincher” in your commment) and a person can, certainly be calmer when defending others, when the fear is for another’s life, than when the threat is to them themselves. However, that’s not really applicable in the “homed defense” when the fear is for the life and safety of oneself and one’s family.

      The defense of others would involve carry firearms rather than “home defense firearms” unless a person uses the same firearm for both (a defensible choice (and the post is intended to show the value and “need” someone might have for so-called “assault weapons” for home defense and not to denigrate different choices people might make for their own reasons–it’s a rebuttal to the canard “nobody needs an AR15 for defense”). Indeed, carry firearms are going to be influenced by such things as local laws, whether a person is willing to deal with the attention drawn by carrying a long arm around in public, risk getting shut out of places they’d like to be because they make people “uncomfortable”, and a whole lot of other things that affect the practicality of such carry. Those things do shift the equation, the “cost/benefit ratio” a bit and for carry firearms most people are going to go with some form of handgun, usually concealed (depending a lot on local laws).


      1. I think he was also making the point that in some states it is legal to shoot without “fear of life” being necessary. In Idaho and at least one other state, you can shoot someone to prevent felonious theft. The addition of “almost always” in front of “a necessary condition” would satisfy him, I think.


      2. I understand your point on the fear of someone that is in their home during an intrusion by a undesirable party. What the law in Idaho does is take away the fear of being charged with a crime if some prosecutor decides he does not think you were in fear of your life. You can focus on the task at hand and not be second guessing yourself. I did not include the whole law. After section (b) is this; “For purposes of subsection (1)(b) of this section, a person who unlawfully and by force or by stealth enters or attempts to enter a habitation, place of business or employment or occupied vehicle is presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit a felony.”
        There is NO ambiguity in the law that if you enter a house uninvited, you can be legally killed for it in Idaho.
        I agree that an AR-15 platform in .223 is a light, maneuverable, highly effective weapon that can carry plenty of ammunition for several bad guys. But when the laws tell them that nothing will happen to homeowners that kill them, it seems to give them pause.


        1. Most places that have an explicit “fear of death or serious bodily injury” use a “reasonable man” standard. If someone has a psychological terror of redheads, thinking that, being soulless, they will drain his life force away killing him. Such a person might very much fear for his life on seeing a ginger. This, however, does not make for a “self defense” legal justification (although perhaps an insanity defense) because a “reasonable man” would not fear for his life simply from seeing someone with red hair. (This is where anti-gun-freedom-deniers fail when they try to turn “stand your ground” around with “so I see someone with a MAGA had, I can fear for my life, stand my ground, and shoot him?” It’s not a situation where a “reasonable man” would fear for his life. The possibility of hearing things one disagrees with is not “fear for one’s life” worthy.

          Mind you, a person might be one of those individuals with ice water in his veins, who can stand calmly with bullets flying around without even a blip in his pulse rate. That person doesn’t lose right of self defense simply because they don’t feel fear so long as a “reasonable man” would feel fear in that situation. But it’s not that person laws are built around (or at least it shouldn’t be). Nor is this paragon who I’m talking about in the above. If said person wants to use a Walther PPK as their personal and home defense weapon, well, more power to them. Us ordinary mortals, however, have to deal with adrenaline reactions (which was the point of that part of the post).

          The problem arose that many prosecutors are eminently unreasonable men. They argue no “fear for one’s life” where anybody in their right mind would be terrified. Half a dozen people break into someone’s house with baseball bats, lengths of pipe, and brass knuckles. Prosecutor “They said they weren’t going to hurt you so you couldn’t be in fear for your life.” My thought: “They break into a house with deadly weapons–and all of those things count–and you don’t think they might also be willing to lie to me?”

          And so we get “Castle Doctrine” and “Stand your Ground” which specify situations where one can be legally presumed to be in fear of death or seriously bodily injury. The situations that tend to be called out are ones where a “reasonable man” would be in fear of death or serious bodily injury. Break into somebody’s dwelling or business, and they can be presumed to mean harm to those within. Indiana (a situation I’m particularly familiar with) specifically calls out “occupied motor vehicle” in its castle doctrine. Attempt to break into my car while I’m in it, or worse, while my daughter is in it, and I’m going to presume you mean harm. And I’m not that guy with ice water in his veins so…yeah.

          Rather than eliminating the “fear for one’s life” aspect of self defense those laws generally define situations where said fear can be legally presumed.

          Now, it looks like, from what you cited above that felony theft (property crime, as opposed to robbery which is a violent crime) extends use of lethal force beyond actual threats of death or serious bodily injury so, again, I stand corrected on that issue.


  9. Most, if not all, of the comments are from people with no actual experience. A rifle is a long-distance weapon. Most gunfights, and certainly almost all justifiable self-defense engagements, take place at inside of 10 feet. Masaad Ayoob, who has taught thousands of police and private citizens, points out that you can’t maneuver a rifle or a shotgun in a house, someone can grab the barrel as you come around a corner or through a door, and a rifle or shotgun will blind and deafen you at night.

    Want the real facts? Take a self-defense course from an experienced expert, not advice from Internet cowboys.


    1. Most, if not all, of the comments are from people with no actual experience.

      And how many home invasions have you dealt with?

      Most gunfights

      See the part about the average number of rounds expended in a gunfight? It also applies to distances. And, as addressed in other comments, accuracy goes to shit when one is afraid for one’s life. That’s a result of loss of fine motor coordination due to adrenaline response. Again, see the hit ratio of actual police gunfights. These are supposed to be “trained professionals” (yeah, right; but that’s a topic for another day). Still, why in the world should one expect, let alone require, the “average citizen” to have better response, including accuracy while under extreme stress, than the police? Recognize the problem and be prepared to deal with it.

      someone can grab the barrel

      Snarky answer: That’s what the bayonet is for.

      More serious answer: Get a friend and give them a paintball rifle. Start with them holding the rifle in either “high ready” or “low ready”, whichever they’re more comfortable with. You’re going to give them $20 for every paint mark they put on you between the time you grab their barrel and you “strike” them with a notional weapon. And they know this in advance. (That’s to make sure they have an incentive to “shoot” you as much and as fast, as they can.

      Have your ATM card ready.

      a rifle or shotgun will blind and deafen you at night

      So will a handgun. Really, unless you’re wearing good quality earpro (did you think to grab it in the middle of a home invasion? Was it ready to hand? Did you have time?) you will be at least temporarily deafened and probably suffer at least some permanent damage to your hearing, particularly indoors with walls to reflect the sound. Handguns have bright muzzle flash at night too and most don’t come with “flash hiders” to at least spread it around into a scattering of smaller flashes rather than one big one.

      Take a self-defense course from an experienced expert,

      I’ve taken a lot of self defense courses. Let’s just say that the main difference between some of them and “Master Ken” is that Master Ken is explicitly humor (“Restomp the groin”) while being no more of a joke.

      And strangely enough, many of the folk I’ve talked to are military vets who have experience in CQB. And strangely enough, the most common weapon used in cases where they have to deal with both hostiles and friendlies in the same area are carbines and rifles–usually select fire weapons since that’s what the military issues. The main disagreements they’ve had with the post is that they “bias” a little bit more to other factors than those I cite here–perfectly valid response; you might call it a homeowner’s right to choose–rather than any fundamental disagreement. I guess they, and their military instructors, are just “internet cowboys.”

      And unlike the folk doing CQB, I am not advocating a person go through the house hunting badguys and “clearing” each room. It’s get together in a defensible position and hunker down.

      This brings up the differences between a homeowner (or renter) defending his home and government officials (military doing CQB or police). Because of those differences you cannot just mindlessly apply military or police training and doctrine to the homeowner. You have to look at the different operational conditions and the different mission parameters.

      The government agents have to come into the scene. They are tasked with going in, apprehending or killing the bad guy or guys (apprehend if they can, kill if they must). They don’t get the option (or shouldn’t anyway) of just hunkering down and waiting for the bad guy to come to them or to just go away. On the flip side, they can wait until they have overwhelming force (vs. the homeowner having just himself and those other members of his family that are present and can handle firearms), they often have body armor (much, much rarer among homeowners). All of these amount to the fact that the “threat” to the police is smaller on balance than that to the homeowner. And none of them nullify the things you cite as arguments against using a rifle or shotgun for home defense. Indeed things like “unfamiliar territory” (they don’t know the layout of your house, where the furniture is, where the kids are most likely to have left a skateboard, oh, and just who the “friendlies” and “tangoes” are) would make the things you cite even more applicable to police. And yet, police departments keep insisting they have a “need” not just for semi automatic AR15’s and AK clones, but the full auto military versions of the M16 and M4 Carbine. And long before that the police were wont to have available their trusty Remington pump action 12 gauges.

      Perhaps you can explain to them why those are actually a bad choice?

      Every threat the police face, ordinary people face first. They face it without body armor, without backup on call, with only what they have ready to hand.

      One police officer who was serving as “security” at a supermarket carried, on his belt, 8 16 round magazines. That’s more than half the standard combat load of soldiers in Afghanistan. If he “needs” so much ammunition to stand guard at a supermarket, I want people to shut up about my 30 round magazines to protect my home.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Again, see the hit ratio of actual police gunfights.
        Oh my, a topic near and dear to my heart. Most of my favorite go-tos aren’t even gunfights if you assume the cops’ target(s) must be fighting back for it to be considered a fight.

        My favorite is the rogue ex-cop in California who had all the police forces there tense as long-tailed cats in a room full of rocking chairs. In “guarding” a neighborhood, they spotted a “blue pick-up” which was part of the description given of the bad guy’s last vehicle. Of course, the actual description was of a much different pick-up (it was what we called, growing up in Texas, a “real” pick-up, as opposed to what the ladies in this scenario were driving, which we would have termed a “pretend” pick-up or a “baby” pick-up). These ladies were delivering newspapers in the wee hours of the morning. And the police went nuts. They fired a total of over 100 rounds. And they never hit either woman in the truck. They hit the back window with a total of 2 of those 100+ rounds. And flying glass from one of those injured one of the women. Not more than 2 dozen of those 100+ rounds even hit the truck.

        Then there’s Amadou Diallo (41 shots, 19 hits, near point blank). And the NYC cops who shot 9 innocent bystanders while firing 16 shots at a bad guy (they hit the bad guy 10 times; you do the math on “over-penetration”).

        None of that is to directly denigrate police officers (though most could use a lot more training with their firearms), but to reinforce that when badness happens, you might not be the best shot in the world.


      2. Also, one point on the police/military “coming into the scene.” The one difference between them and a home defender is that they might require the use of their weapons while still outside the place being entered. In the case of, say, someone inside shooting out at them before they can make entry, the long arm is much more effective at returning fire. It’s not a negligible difference, but I don’t think it’s enough of one to disqualify those long guns for home defense.

        Counter to that, the long gun is much more effective if you’re, say, under siege from a torch- and molotov cocktail-wielding mob or some other dystopic scenario (which isn’t as far-fetched an idea as it used to be). You can often be more discriminating in your choice of target in such a scenario, on top of the improved range.

        And, again, the point being that some apparatchik shouldn’t be making that choice for me. To do so involves tyranny.


    2. “Masaad Ayoob, who has taught thousands of police and private citizens, points out that you can’t maneuver a rifle or a shotgun in a house…”

      Whut?! Citation required, please. Because you very much CAN do so. There are classes in this EVERYWHERE. Police train in it. Militaryntrains in it. CIVILIANS train in it.




  10. How many of those 4 to 40 thousand families, many with children, are you willing to sacrifice?
    To make the Progressive utopian omelet? Well, all of them, of course. As long as none of them belong to the Progressive elite.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. To the people objecting to “assault rifle” not being defined by the US Army…. So what? They don’t define “latrine”, “rifle”, “pistol”, or “machine gun, either, in the DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. (Though the “Big Red Battalion Handbook” for the Nebraska ROTC does define “latrine” in Appendix C, none of those other terms are mentioned there.)

    The term “assault rifle” is NOT just a politically purposed made-up term. It is exactly as David defined it. And, yes, it comes from the German Sturmgewehr 44 (which looked an awful lot like a later Kalashnikov). And it sort of defined the concept of a “battle rifle” from there on out for some people.

    The term “assault weapon” came about partly because of the objections of more knowledgeable folks (I know, that’s setting a low bar for most Progressives and firearms) who kept tearing them up when they would speak of “assault rifles” when that wasn’t what they meant at all. So they swapped out words to cover their posteriors AND to slide the occasional pistol and shotgun under that limbo bar, too.

    And, yes, some characteristics of what they call “assault weapons” are the very features you want in a home defense tool (among other uses for a lightweight, medium caliber carbine). Some are similar to features in most pistols. And in DA revolvers. The key is that they should not define what you “need”. YOU should, based on inputs from self-defense instructors, firearms or combat experts, or even “Internet cowboys”. I have some of each available to me for various purposes, and I’m glad I (mostly) have that choice to make for myself, not because some government toady wants to tell me what’s good for me.

    Personally, I do draw the line at anything above 40mm in the home. You should have to store those bad boys in the neighborhood armory.


  12. It would be very helpful if you would specify the exact brand (or brands) of weapon you would recommend purchasing, including the model number(s). Ditto with ammunition. Being really explicit about which exact weapon you would recommend would be a big help to someone looking to buy their first weapon.


    1. Oh dear no. Aside from David not actually recommending you buy a carbine for home defense*, as he mentions, what works for you will depend on a LOT of factors. Those could include: your familiarity with firearms, ability to handle recoil, strength of grip, apartment/house/large property, family members, their familiarity with firearms, availability of firearms and ammunition, personal preferences, whether you’ll carry outside the home on your property, whether you’ll carry everywhere else, etc.

      My advice in the past has been generally to start with a revolver if you’ve never handled a firearm before, transitioning to a semi-auto pistol. Somewhere in there, also picking up a “sporting carbine” – an AR-15 style long gun – primarily because they are easy to shoot and have limited recoil, while also shooting a caliber that is useful for more than plinking. (If you have a child to introduce to firearms, a pellet rifle is first choice, followed soon after by a .22 LR, to teach the fundamentals of shooting.) Right now, my answer for a beginner with firearms would be to get a 9mm Hi-Point, as they’re still cheap, and people are making and selling 9mm ammunition.

      If you want advice, find someone close to you who is knowledgeable, discuss it with them, get with them on the range to have an idea what you’re getting into [rent or borrow various firearms], and make a decision. You can always go buy something else if you change your mind or your situation changes. (Which means you either start a collection, or you sell your previous weapon to someone else; I doubt you would lose much value by selling it, given the scarcity right now.)

      (* His point was that someone else shouldn’t be allowed to restrict your rights based on their opinion of your need, and that home defense carbines are a valid choice. So are shotguns, revolvers and pistols. If you’re good with the weapon, I suppose blowguns are a valid choice, too – though a prosecutor would probably rip you a new one because I think they require poison to be effective. A sword is a valid choice, though it might not be the most effective one (though I never would have tried to rob Errol Flynn’s house). Hand grenades would NOT generally be a valid choice, nor are goldfish.)


  13. “We have repeated reports of people in military theaters shooting an individual multiple times and having them continue to fight.”

    Lotsa reports like that from the Philippine Insurrection, including from my grandfather. From this came the M1903 Springfield & M1911 pistol. Then there was my personal experience in Vietnam: .38’s did not do the job.


  14. I think the accurate approach to the term ‘Assault Weapon’ is to realize it is a legal term, not a technical one. So, it is a meaningless term in a jurisdiction which has no laws regarding ‘Assault Weapons’, and it takes on a very precise meanings in jurisdictions with ‘Assault Weapon’ laws. For example, put a barrel threaded to accommodate a suppressor, flash hider, compensator etc. on a bog standard 1911 in California and you have just created a banned ‘Assault Weapon’ under the law.

    Another advantage to a short carbine is the ability to put a sling on it, allowing you to move through the home to gather folks, use a telephone etc, without having to put the weapon down and making it less likely one would lose control of the weapon in a struggle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not even a legal term. It’s a propaganda term. The primary purpose of the term “Assault weapon” is fearmongering to sell the idea of a banning “these excessively dangerous weapons”. Any legal definitions come after-the-fact.

      Depending on jurisdiction, a bog-stock “plinking” rifle like the Ruger 10/22 can run afoul of the bans sold as making a firearm an “assault weapon” (removable magazine that holds 10 rounds, thus falling afoul of NY’s “SAFE act”). Put on an adjustable stock (so 6′ father and 5′ 2″ daughter can both use it comfortably) and now you’ve got “two features” (removable magazine and adjustable stock) which can meet some other legal definitions.

      The use of the term is fearmongering, pure and simple to scare people into passing bans even though more people are killed with knives, or “personal weapons” (i.e beaten or choked to death with hands and feet) than are killed with long arms (rifles and shotguns) of all types let alone whatever they’re calling “assault weapons” this week.

      Liked by 2 people

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