Saturday, March 3, 2012

Firearms for Preppers, ... Handguns

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Before I begin, I have to mention my biases.

First, I believe that everyone has the right to self-protection (even convicted felons)

Second, the most effective weapon for self-protection is a firearm.

Third, a handgun (revolver or pistol) is the easiest type of firearm to carry for self-protection

Lastly, a M1911A1-style handgun in .45 ACP is the BEST handgun for self-protection ; - )

Now that I have stirred some sh*t, let's begin.

Pistols and revolvers are collectively known as handguns, and handguns come in three different actions. They are single-action (SA), double-action (DA), and double-action only (DAO)

A single-action handgun's hammer must be pulled back, cocking the weapon, before the handgun is able to shoot. On a double-action handgun the trigger needs to be squeezed, to cock the weapon, for it to shoot, additionally; a double-action can also be cocked by pulling back the hammer, just like a SA handgun. A double-action only handgun can only fire by pulling the trigger thus cocking the hammer.


Taurus 669
Philippe Kurlapski

Revolvers are a good choice for the prepper because they require little equipment and minimal training to be effective, especially the double-action or the double-action only revolver.

The only equipment, a revolver will need, is a holster and a cleaning kit. The holster can be made from nylon, leather, or another material like Kydex; it just needs to fit the revolver.

Some nice to have equipment, for a revolver, are speed loaders, speed strips, or 1/2 moon/moon clips; these allow the revolver to be loaded faster. Speed strips hold 6 rounds, but a speed strip only allows inserting two round at a time, into the cylinder. Moon clips are circular; they hold 6 rounds (3 rounds for a 1/2 moon clip), by clipping the round to the moon clip. Needless to say, a prepper, once the spent cartridges are ejected, can insert six rounds into the revolver's cylinder with a moon clip. Speed loaders also hold six rounds, but the rounds are held by a mechanism. This mechanism is similar to a moon clip, but the cartridges are released, by the speed loader, by turning a knob after inserting the cartridges.

Two Speedstrips

Ma917 Revolver with Two Moon Clips

HKS model 29 speedloader,
for 6 shot .44 Magnum revolver

Oh, I almost forgot about the ammo.

You will need ammunition for your revolver. Ammunition comes in many configurations for handguns. One of the pluses for revolvers is their ability to shoot a variety of ammunition.

Basically, if the ammunition goes bang and leaves the barrel, it will shoot in a revolver designed for that ammunition.


U.S. Army M-1911 (ca. 1912)
Sam Lisker

Pistols are a good choice for the prepper, but they require a little more equipment and training to be effective for the prepper.

Just like the revolver, a pistol will need a holster and a cleaning kit. Plus, a pistol requires magazines. Magazines come in a variety of capacities, normal capacity and reduced capacity. Of course, you will want to stock up on magazines from a quality manufacturer. (Here's one you might want to avoid)

For most preppers, magazines allow a quicker handgun reload, but it takes training.

Needless to say, like any other tool, you and your family will need training. I believe, basic safety training is mandatory for everyone in the family, including the children. There are many fine organizations (NRA and your states conservation department) and private instructors to teach you and your family, locally.

After, basic safety training, you and your partner will need to decide how much further y'all will go with your firearms education. It's fun and can be addictive.

Ammunition for Pistols
I apologize. I almost forgot to mention about ammo for a pistol.

A pistol is more finicky about ammo then a revolver. You will need to make sure the ammunition that you buy for your family's pistols will function in the pistol because the ammo 'makes' the pistol work.

Yeah, I know that explanation's vague, but that's why you and your family get training.

Say Uncle - Bashing v. Reasoning - Double Action Only versus Double Action/Single Action

From The Heartland - They are "Normal Capacity" Magazines

Zombie Squad - ProMag Pistol Magazines

National Rifle Association - NRA Eduction and Training

Video Link:
YouTube: Gun Websites - What Pistol to Buy? Single Action, Double Action or DAO

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