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poopgiggle
Feb 7, 2006

it isn't easy being a cross dominate shooter.

Welcome to the newbie thread v2.0. You can see the original newbie thread here: https://forums.somethingawful.com/s...hreadid=3221380
This post was originally made by I like turtles, then handed off to me for some additions and editing. It contains healthy doses of my opinions and values.

First off:
Trolling, this thread, and keeping it accessible:
Newbies: You have a responsibility to read responses to your question, answer any follow up questions directed at you, and think about any new questions you have. Also, please do not come in here seeking validation for your preconceived notions.

Not-newbies: We occasionally get trolls pretending to be newbies. Assume the best about posters unless it's super blatant. And please, keep your mouth shut if you're not qualified to answer the question. If you find yourself quoting other people's advice, when you don't have any first-hand experience yourself, maybe that's a sign that the newbie thread doesn't need your input.

How this thread is structured

This index post contains general information that all gun owners need to know. It includes safety information, how to lawfully purchase a gun, cultural info, etc.
At the bottom, there will be a series of links to information related to specific types of guns. Read the generally applicable stuff first, then click through to the specific kind of gun you're interested in.

The four rules of firearms safety
This is the most important in this thread. That's why it's here at the top. Many years ago, an influential gun guy named Jeff Cooper codified the Four Rules of firearms safety. Pretty much everyone who has had an accident with a firearm did so by breaking one or more of these rules:
  1. All guns are always loaded. I don't care that your friend says it isn't, even if he just checked it. Check it whenever you pick it up, even if you just put it down. "I didn't think it was loaded" is no excuse after you negligently shoot someone.
  2. Never allow the gun to point at anything you are not willing to destroy. Keep your gun pointed in a safe direction at all times, whether you're on the range, at home, loading, or unloading. "Safe direction" means "if a bullet shot out of the gun right now, it wouldn't hurt anyone or anything." Make sure to read the section on over penetration.
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target and you have made the decision to shoot.
  4. Be sure of your target and what's beyond it. Know what it is, what is in line with it and what is behind it. Again, see the section on over penetration further down.

In addition to the Four Rules, here are some additional safety items stolen from the NRA's gun safety rules*:
  • Know how to use the gun safely. Know how to safely load & unload the gun, operate any safeties, etc. This will help you follow the above Four Rules correctly.
  • Be sure the gun is in good, safe operating condition. Did you just buy a new Glock at the store? You're fine. Did you just buy an ancient revolver at a gun show? Maybe have a qualified gunsmith look it over before shooting it.
  • Always ensure that ammunition is the correct type for the gun. We'll get into cartridge naming conventions later. For now, if you're not sure what type of ammunition goes in your gun, ask a qualified expert like a gunsmith. The guy working the gun counter at the local big box sporting goods store may or may not be a qualified expert. And as a rule, stick to factory new ammunition. Factory remanufactured ammo should give you pause. Ammo reloaded by an individual, who isn't you, is a straight no-go.
  • Wear eye and ear protection. Many hunters don't wear ear pro while hunting. Many hunters are also deaf as a post, but it's up to you. At a range, always wear eye and ear protection. See the PPE section below.
  • Never handle firearms when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This is a no-brainer.
  • Store guns so they are inaccessible to unauthorized persons. Unauthorized persons include, but are not limited to, small children, thieves, and your dumb rear end friends.

*Yes, the NRA's political activities are...controversial, but they also do valuable work in promoting firearms safety, competition, and conservation. Me citing the NRA's safety rules shouldn't be taken as an endorsement of the NRA-ILA's political activities.

Which brings me to "the gun culture."

Note about "gun culture"
There can be a lot of toxicity in US gun culture. Undertones, or even downright explicit examples, of racism, xenophobia, sexism, Nazi iconography, all of the Not Cool Things. TFR does not tolerate that poo poo. TFR is probably a little more on the right on average than the rest of SA, but we're downright commie pinko leftists on average compared to a lot of other gun forums and gun shops. Just remember that despite the subject matter, this is still SA.

Great, let's get to the gun content.

What are guns?
Broadly, a gun is a tool which propels a projectile of some variety towards a target down a barrel by imparting a large amount of energy to it. This might be by burning gunpowder, air pressure, electromagnets, etc.
There are specific legal definitions about what is and is not a firearm in the United States. That may be a little complicated this early in.

What kinds of guns are there?
Broadly speaking, TFR focuses on three types of firearms that use gunpowder to propel their projectiles. There's also the pellet palace subforum which talks about guns using compressed gas to propel the projectile.
Handguns - We can distinguish between "standard" handguns like a Glock, a 1911, a Smith and Wesson revolver, and a single action army revolver (cowboy guns!), and what are legally considered pistols in the US but don't fit into the traditional picture of what a handgun is - things like a CZ Scorpion pistol. In the US, a pistol may not have a foregrip, and may not be designed to fire from the shoulder. Generally speaking, handguns are far more difficult to shoot accurately than a rifle or shotgun.
Rifles - These are firearms with barrels 16" or longer, and an overall length of 26" or more. They have rifled barrels, grooves formed into the barrel that spin the projectile at a particular rate. They are designed to be fired from the shoulder. Classic examples include an AR-15 and a 10/22.
Shotguns - These are firearms with barrels 18" or longer, and an overall length of 26" or more. Generally these smooth bore, meaning there is no rifling in the barrel. The "shot" in "shotgun" refers to the projectiles commonly fired from these guns - more than one metal sphere that fly in a pattern. These are commonly used for bird hunting, and shooting clays. It is also possible to fire slugs. Those are just what they sound like, one large solid projectile. Classic examples include pump action shotguns like the Remington 870, double barrel coach guns, semi auto shotguns like the Benelli M4.

But but but there are so many other things you aren't covering - what about semi automatic revolvers like the Mateba 6 Unica or the Webley Fosbery revolver, or NFA items, or, or, or
Settle down, yes, you know a lot about guns. We're all very proud of you. Yes, there is a wide world of firearms and odd little niches. That is out of scope for significant in depth discussion in the first post of a newbie thread.

What kind of gun should I buy?

A better question is, what do you want a gun for?
Hunting?
loving around at the range because they're neat?
Competition?
Self protection?


Hunting - Generally speaking, birds are hunted with shotguns and mammals are hunted with rifles. However, what you're hunting and where will affect what the best choice is. For example: quail, turkey, and duck are all birds that you hunt with shotguns, but the specific shotgun that's ideal for each will be different. Your local laws might affect this too; for example, when I was growing up in IL, it was illegal to hunt deer with a rifle. It's best to ask in the hunting thread to get specific recommendations: https://forums.somethingawful.com/s...hreadid=3474554

loving around at the range - This one has the most latitude. As long as the gun is safe to operate, and you have a range that allows you to shoot it, this can be anything that strikes your fancy. A rifle or pistol chambered in .22 long rifle is a great range gently caress-around gun because the ammunition is inexpensive and it doesn't kick much. Classic examples of these are the Ruger 10/22 (rifle) and Ruger MK IV (pistol). .22s can also be shot pretty much anywhere; most pistol-only ranges will allow rifles chambered in .22 long rifle.

Competition - There are so many different types of firearms competition that it's tough to write a catch-all guide for it. The only general advice I can give is to talk with people who ACTUALLY COMPETE in the sport you're looking to participate in, and ask them what equipment they use. A friend of mine once spent like $1000 having a custom shop build up a fancy Glock to shoot in matches, only to find out that it was all wrong for the equipment rules of the sport. As with many things, the guy at the gun counter of your local sporting goods store is probably not a good source of information here. You can ask competition questions here, or in the dedicated competition thread: https://forums.somethingawful.com/s...hreadid=3285367

Self protection - First off, before you start trying to pick a gun for self defense, you need to understand the law governing use of lethal force in your state. Any use of (including brandishing) a firearm, or anything that looks like a firearm, is lethal force. I highly recommend the book The Law of Self Defense by Andrew Branca. You also need to understand that, if you shoot at someone, it is entirely possible that you've conducted yourself 100% morally and lawfully and yet you will still go to prison, and/or go bankrupt from legal fees. It is also possible to cross the line and conduct yourself unlawfully and/or immorally, which will be a tragedy even if you don't face legal or financial consequences. Therefore, it should be understood that shooting (or even pointing) a gun at a person is your last resort. I strongly encourage you to invest in some quality OC spray, as well as some quality training related to verbal deescalation skills and empty-handed self defense skills. Having options other than lethal force is an Unquestionably Good Thing.

As far as the actual guns, it comes down to your use case and your budget. Generally speaking, handguns are worse than rifles and shotguns in every conceivable way except that a handgun is portable, and can be operated one-handed. An obvious example is for protection outside the home: carrying a rifle or shotgun around, even if legal in your area, is both physically and socially awkward. However, even in your home, a handgun might be optimal. Do you have a small child that you'd need to run and grab? Do you not have a safe (and discreet) place to store a loaded rifle or shotgun near your bed? A handgun might be for you in those instances. However, if practicable, a shotgun or rifle is generally better. I won't get too far into rifles vs shotguns for defense in this post, other than: all else being equal, an AR-15 is superior to a shotgun for home defense, but a defensive-grade AR-15 is significantly more expensive than a defensive-grade shotgun. Can you afford $800+ for a quality AR-15? Get that. Otherwise, consider a shotgun. And no matter what home defense gun you get, PUT A LIGHT ON IT. You need to be sure of your target, which means you need to be able to SEE your target.

Now, for some other general gun topics.


My petite partner would like a gun. They're little and cute, so the gun I get them should be little and cute too, right?
Please don't. Mass has a significant impact on felt recoil. An 11.4oz scandium framed .357 magnum revolver is going to hurt like hell to shoot more than a few rounds or cylinders out of. That'll make it suck to train with, and unfun to shoot. Get them something that you'd actually want to shoot more than a couple rounds through. Or, you know, involve them in the process. Just an idea.


Over penetration
Huhuhuhuh he said penetration.
Guns make metal go fast. Fast moving metal tends to go through things. Including walls, into your neighbor's fridge. Or your neighbor. In a self defense scenario, your goal is to dump as much energy into your target as possible while avoiding sending rounds into the parakeet three doors down because they went through your target, or you missed. There are far, far too many factors to say definitively "use this, or terrible things will happen". Shooting somewhere that isn't a controlled setting meant for shooting is inherently dangerous because there are now one or more chunks of high velocity metal doing unpredictable things. If you pull the trigger, you are responsible for that round.
Research such as box o' truth https://www.theboxotruth.com http://how-i-did-it.org/drywall/index.html and http://how-i-did-it.org/drywall2/ indicate that .223/5.56, while a rifle caliber, is a decent choice for a self defense situation as its high velocity and low mass mean it tends to fragment or dump enough energy going through walls that risks to your surroundings are reduced. This is why TFR recommends AR15s for home defense guns. Will this stand up in court because you shot your roommate in the leg from your room into his room because there was a spider? gently caress no. "The internet said it was a good choice" will not save you.


What are the mechanics of buying a gun in the US?
There are often state level laws that come into play.
In the most permissive states in the US, it works like this:
Is the seller a private party that is a resident of the same state you are in, and that is where the transaction is taking place?
Give them money. They give you the gun. Optionally bullshit about the weather or something. Go home, that's it.
Is the seller in another state?
Give them the money. They will ship it to a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder in your area. That FFL will work with you to fill out the appropriate forms. You'll pay the FFL for their time and effort, and you'll take your gun home. There are probably multiple FFLs in your area. It is worth some research to figure out who has that perfect mix of accessible hours, not batshit crazy personality, and affordable transfer fees. Also make sure if they are willing to accept guns from private parties directly, or if they prefer to only work with other FFLs.
It's a gun shop in your state?
They're an FFL. Give them the money. They'll do the form things and send you home. There's usually not a transfer fee for these transactions since you're buying the gun from them.
You're in CA, NY, MA, DC, Chicago
lol, sorry, good luck. You can get into the hobby, but know that your political leadership would really rather prefer that you didn't, and will make it as arbitrarily difficult, convoluted and expensive as they can without getting everything torn down by a successful lawsuit. People here can help.

Don't buy guns for other people
Your cousin Fast Jimmy just got out of jail and wants a gun to protect himself, but can't buy one because of that pesky "felony record"? If you do him a solid and buy the gun for him, that is called a straw purchase. It's also a federal felony. There is a question on the 4473 about if you are the actual purchaser of the firearm. This needs to be true. The only exception to this is when the firearm is intended to be a bonafide gift to another person. Still don't gift it to Fast Jimmy though, as he is a prohibited possessor! If your wife buys you a gun for your birthday, you're probably good. If Jimmy gives you a gift of $500, and you give him a gift of a Glock 19... That's not going to stand up. Especially with that prohibited possessor thing.
Even if Jimmy is a squeaky clean minister who would have no problem legally purchasing a gun on his own, you purchasing it for him is still a federal felony. That's right, two people who can legally purchase guns on their own MAY NOT transfer a gun for the other person.
I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice. Don't get your legal advice from Something Awful Dot Com Forums
In general, try to avoid pissing off the ATF. Your dog will live longer, and you'll avoid felonies and prison time.

PPE, or how I stopped worrying and learned to love health and safety
Guns are loud. Like, really loud. They're also little explosions in your hand that send crap flying. Mostly in one direction, maybe two - but sometimes, and unpredictably, stuff will go in a new and exciting direction. Or you'll catch shrapnel/ricochets. Wear eye protection. Wear hearing protection. Consider doubling up on hearing protection (muffs over plugs). Use your hearing protection properly.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPNPZJingZA
Consider gloves. Consider sun exposure if you're outside. Passing out at the range because it's 110 and you've been out there for 4 hours with no cover or water isn't a good day.

Guns are dirty and can introduce unpleasant chemicals and heavy metals into your life. Wash your goddamn hands after shooting before you eat a burger or pick your nose. Lead removing soaps and wipes (D-Lead brand or similar) are available, too, and should be strongly considered.

On safety and security
I'm going to do my take on boxes with locks on them for storing guns. I see questions about this from time to time, and I've purchased a new one recently and wanted to share what I've learned.
First things first:
Literally anything is better than nothing, if properly attached to something immovable.
Literally anything can be broken into, with enough time and tools.
There is no perfect security.
Addressed in the first point, but bolt your box down.

Mass market "safes" have a lot of very impressive sounding and very impressive looking security features. They have fancy looking vault door handles in the middle of your door, they have a door that is 10" thick, they are fire rated to survive 48 hours on the sun, they have upwards of 24 3" locking bolts to ensure that the neighborhood miscreants can't steal your Rough Rider BB gun.

Except, that door handle just makes sure you have more mechanical linkages inside the door that can be attacked. That door, while 10" thick overall, is light gauge steel wrapped around a piece of drywall, the rest of it is just covering the mechanism and provides no security factor. The "fire ratings" are tests designed by the manufacturers and performed themselves, or they give the test parameters to a third party who run the test and "independently certify" the safe. Those impressive locking bolts are held on with 1/4 bolts through light gauge steel linkages. There are also often significant gaps around the door, making it easy to get pry bars and crowbars in there. That light gauge steel doesn't hold up very long.

What are the important factors when choosing a safe/box/rsc/whatever?
How thick is the steel? The thicker, the better, and the heavier.
How heavy is the safe overall? If you look at it when it comes off the truck and realize you have 80%+ chance of being seriously injured or dying by trying to move it by yourself, you're on the right track.
How heavy is the door? It doesn't matter how thick the door is, it matters how thick the outer layer of metal on the door is. Does it take noticeable effort to start the door moving, and stopping it, due to the weight? Great!
Are the linkages made of decent, thick steel?
External hinges are not a weakness on a properly designed security container. It should be possible to literally cut them off completely and the door would not come off, because it is secured in place with internal bolts. Internal hinges take up room in the safe, and prevent the installation of fire protection at those spots.
Can you find independent verification of the fire hardiness, and/or does it come with some actual fire protection beyond drywall and concrete board?
Can you bolt it down where you want to install it? If you can, do it in a place where trying to maneuver tools, vehicle access, etc, is extremely difficult.
What are the tolerances on the door and frame? If you can't fit a business card between the door and the jamb when it's closed, there's no way for a pry bar to get purchase.

The downside of all of that? And to real UL rated safes, which operate on much the same principal as the discussion above, just more so?

Let's talk about a firearms security continuum of "how safe" a storage method is. This is my opinion, and I've skipped some things and/or am wrong about some things including ordering.
  • Leaving a gun at a supermarket and hoping it will be there when you get back
  • Keeping your gun in your car, in one of those stupid loving car magnet/holster things.
  • Keeping your gun in your car, under the seat
  • Keeping your gun in your car in a lock box secured to the frame of the car/seatbelt rails, etc
  • Keeping your gun on your nightstand
  • Keeping your gun in a lock box secured to your nightstand
  • Keeping your gun locked in a pelican case secured to something immovable
  • Keeping your gun in a stack-on box (they're basically your high school locker)
  • Keeping your gun in a cheap mass market safe
  • Keeping your gun in an expensive mass market safe
  • Keeping your gun in a cheap boutique maker safe
  • Keeping your gun in an expensive boutique maker safe
  • UL rated safe (aka a "real" safe)
  • Bank vault
  • Bank vault under a volcano
  • Add a team of gently caress off huge ravens to eat the bad guy's eyes
  • Under the ocean? gently caress, you're still reading this, the list is over

What are your risks? Do you live in a lovely neighborhood and you've been broken in to three times previously?
Do you have kids? Do you have friends or family members who may not be entirely trustworthy (drug problems, etc)? Do you want to stop the meth head that kicked in your back door and will be there for three minutes before he runs? Do you have a security system? A dog? Do you want to keep a professional burglar out? For how long?

How do you choose? Well, a decent approach might be to think about the things you want to store in the box, think about the value of those things, and figure 10-15% of that should go to the security of your safe/container/whatever. If you've got a Mosin and a 10/22 with no significant security threats? A stack-on might be fine for your purposes. You've got a few transferable machine guns and a smorgasbord of other expensive stuff totaling $100k+? Maybe look at the $10-$15k range.
Another angle on it is that spending that money on your security should hurt a bit, but not put you in any actual financial trouble. I'm not going to say that everyone needs to have $15k safes or it isn't worth it.
Spend as much money as you like, though. If you want to keep your Hi Point in the deposit safe from the bank down the road that went out of business and you got it for $50 at the auction, go for it.

Also, get safe interior lighting, they have kits/etc on Amazon. Really nice the be able to see into the far recesses of your safe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RlwGkO0hxE#t=147s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltK-bDbADa8#t=112s

Keep an accurate and updated inventory off site of any valuables. Also any items that aren't specifically something with sentimental value and minimal monetary value. Great grandma's silver christening spoon (that's a thing right?) may be worth $5 in silver, but is clearly much more important than that figure implies. Keep a record of that too, of course.

Anyone storing paper documents or paper money in a safe, store them as close to the floor as you can. I've seen some interesting pictures of safes where the pistols on the upper shelf have been really cooked, to the point of melting polymer guns, but the rifles below are just sorta singed looking. You could conceivably put a smaller fire safe inside the big safe for the truly important stuff. Or you could store the really important, irreplaceable, etc, stuff in a safe deposit box at your local bank. Your stuff isn't perfectly safe there either. There are robberies, fires, etc etc that could all hit a bank.

I ended up going with a Sturdy Safe, and I'm pretty happy with it. I upgraded the sides and jambs so the overall thickness is 7/16" steel, and the door is 3/8" steel. I went for the fire liner too, which is a significant amount of ceramic fire wool (like kaowool, the sorts of stuff they use to line forges, kilns, etc).
I also looked at Drake Safes out of NC but liked the features from sturdy a bit more.

There are a lot of gimmicks out there, but when it comes down to it, making a safe is a fairly straightforward proposition. Make a box big enough to hold the stuff you want to hold. Bolt it down. Make the steel as thick as you can afford, in as many places as you can afford it. Good continuous strong welds. Have a good lock. If you want fire protection, put in some stuff that's actually rated at burning house fire type temperatures, like firebrick, or kaowool, etc.
Just because it's straightforward doesn't mean it is easy or cheap, though. All of those things cost money, the labor to assemble big heavy metal boxes is higher than sheet steel getting cut and rolled around drywall.

I don't really want to buy a gun, but would like to try one out
Cool - there are often rental ranges near you. Call around. Go try poo poo out. What looks interesting?
Alternatively, someone you may know could be one of those filthy gun havers you've heard so much about. If you trust them and they're not assholes, ask to go shooting. Chances are they'd be excited to take you.


On "how a gun feels" and whether that should be a concern for new shooters:

BrianM87 posted:

Poopgiggle and Internet Wizard have pretty much said everything I could have. Like them and several others, I started out by buying what I thought was neat. My first modern (Manufactured after WW2) handgun was a Hi-Power, followed at some point by an XD, CZ Phantom, and Glock 19. I have probably 30-40 different handguns at this point but the only ones I shoot consistently are that first Glock 19 and my Gen 5 17. I don't even own the XD or CZ anymore. While owning different guns has given me an appreciation and understanding of how the different actions function, if I could go back in time I would have started with the Glock 19 and just stayed with that for the first several years of shooting handguns. I didn't just arrive at this position either. This came from years of competition, firearms schools, attending and running training classes, and just continuously trying to improve and understand what works and what doesn't. I'm not an expert, I will never claim to be, I just happen to have been given the opportunity to try a lot of different guns in a lot of different situations and environments.

Some of the things that really influenced my first handgun purchases were gun stores saying things like "Glock grip angle is bad/wrong/uncomfortable," "try what feels right," and being harped at that Browning designs were the only true handguns to consider. At this point, any time someone asks me for advice for a first-time buyer I immediately tell them to get a Gen 5 19 with the Ameriglo Agent sights. How it feels to them is irrelevant if they can physically reach the controls and manipulate the firearm as it should be. Some people will argue that if it feels wrong then they wont practice. From teaching police academy recruits, veteran officers, friends, and the general public, I have absolutely not seen this to be true. Someone either has the mindset to practice and improve or they don't. Captain Log, if I recall when you started using a bicycle again it practically brought you to tears from the pain. But you persisted and now you bike what, 1.5 hours a day? So that certainly didn't feel comfortable and yet you did it anyways because you wanted to improve. You had the willingness and motivation to do so. If someone isn't going to practice because the gun feels uncomfortable then there are a million other things that would have stopped them from practicing anyways.

How a handgun feels is objectively not important.


Links to topic specific posts below

A newbie's guide to handguns:Until I get around to writing something up, this blog post from Lucky Gunner should get you going, along with their "Shooting 101" series. That first post isn't especially complementary to "pocket" pistols, so read this later article on them for a more nuanced view.

Actually, Lucky Gunner is a pretty good source of information on a range of defensive shooting topics. They do a good job of a) getting information from recognized experts, and b) presenting it in an accessible way. They also put the info up in both video and text form.

An intro to blackpowder shooting

A highly opinionated list of quality defensive shooting info sources

MantisClaw wrote this great effortpost on how to grip a pistol. Gripping the thing right is key to shooting fast and accurate.

If you are a knowledgeable person on a specific firearms topic, please feel free to write an effortpost about it and I will link to it here.

poopgiggle fucked around with this message at 00:21 on Apr 14, 2020

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Cyrano4747
Sep 25, 2006



Awesome, thanks for this.

taqueso
Mar 8, 2004









Fun Shoe

Thank you pg!

BeAuMaN
Feb 18, 2014

I'M A LEAD FARMER, MOTHERFUCKER!


Oh that is a nice new OP. Thanks poopgiggle!

poopgiggle
Feb 7, 2006

it isn't easy being a cross dominate shooter.

Cyrano4747 posted:

Awesome, thanks for this.


taqueso posted:

Thank you pg!


BeAuMaN posted:

Oh that is a nice new OP. Thanks poopgiggle!

I want to be clear that I like turtles did at least 75% of the work so I want to be sure they get at least 75% of the credit.

CoffeeBooze
Aug 4, 2007

Nuh Uh!


For the hunting section you might want to consider including a link to the hunting thread. Hunting rules and regulations define so much of how the hobby works and they vary a ton from state to state. A brief post on the topic is probably just going to get confusing. Anyone thats interested can find pretty good help in that thread from general info to details about their local laws and customs.

BeAuMaN
Feb 18, 2014

I'M A LEAD FARMER, MOTHERFUCKER!


poopgiggle posted:

I want to be clear that I like turtles did at least 75% of the work so I want to be sure they get at least 75% of the credit.

Thanks i like turtles!

poopgiggle
Feb 7, 2006

it isn't easy being a cross dominate shooter.

CoffeeBooze posted:

For the hunting section you might want to consider including a link to the hunting thread. Hunting rules and regulations define so much of how the hobby works and they vary a ton from state to state. A brief post on the topic is probably just going to get confusing. Anyone thats interested can find pretty good help in that thread from general info to details about their local laws and customs.

good point.

done.

I like turtles
Aug 6, 2009



BeAuMaN posted:

Thanks i like turtles!

Thermopyle
Jul 1, 2003

...the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt. —Bertrand Russell



As mentioned at the end of the last thread, I got a Glock 45 on the way after many, many years of being gunless.

Of course, it's hard to find ammo nowadays.

I'd like to have something to just start out the gun with...Is any of the stuff that buds has in stock something I should avoid or specifically chose?

Or somewhere else I should look for ammo?

Craptacular
Jul 11, 2004



Thermopyle posted:

As mentioned at the end of the last thread, I got a Glock 45 on the way after many, many years of being gunless.

Of course, it's hard to find ammo nowadays.

I'd like to have something to just start out the gun with...Is any of the stuff that buds has in stock something I should avoid or specifically chose?

Or somewhere else I should look for ammo?

Well for starters don't get the 9x23 ammo. You want 9x19. Try looking here https://ammoseek.com/ammo/9mm-luger and for practice ammo just get whatever 115 grain FMJ is cheapest. For self-defense ammo, get something in this list.

BadgerMan45
Dec 30, 2009


Thermopyle posted:

As mentioned at the end of the last thread, I got a Glock 45 on the way after many, many years of being gunless.

Of course, it's hard to find ammo nowadays.

I'd like to have something to just start out the gun with...Is any of the stuff that buds has in stock something I should avoid or specifically chose?

Or somewhere else I should look for ammo?

The Winchester is the wrong caliber, 9x23 mm. You need 9x19 mm aka 9mm Luger. I don't know anything about DRT, but weird ammo (less than 90 grains or heavier than 147 grains), frangibles, odd profiles, may not feed well. It might though, no way to know without trying, though I'd look for some reviews before buying that stuff. I don't know anything about Legend, but I've never heard of them until now which is usually not a good sign so you may be rolling the dice on them.

When I'm looking for ammo, I usually by from https://www.sgammo.com or https://www.targetsportsusa.com unless there is a good sale elsewhere, otherwise I use https://ammoseek.com/ to find the best prices on what I'm looking for, but you may end up having to pay a bit of premium these days. Generally, I'd stick to brass or steel-cased ammo 115-147 grains, the aluminum stuff sometimes doesn't work well. Most big brands are fine, including the foreign stuff like PPU and GECO. the main stuff I'd avoid is re-manufactured ammo unless they've been around a while and have consistently good reviews, and Tula steel-cased ammo because it sucks.

my kinda ape
Sep 15, 2008

Everything's gonna be A-OK


Hair Elf

In addition to those I'm also a big fan of https://www.outdoorlimited.com

Thermopyle
Jul 1, 2003

...the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt. —Bertrand Russell



Haha, I didn't even pay close attention to what was there before linking it. I just knew I didn't know enough about brands/quality to feel comfortable buying anything.

Craptacular
Jul 11, 2004



Thermopyle posted:

Haha, I didn't even pay close attention to what was there before linking it. I just knew I didn't know enough about brands/quality to feel comfortable buying anything.

No you linked the right page at Bud's. They just have a dumb web designer who put all 9mm cartridges in the same query, so 9x19 and 9x23 (and presumably anything listed here) will all show up together.

Fearless
Sep 3, 2003

DRINK MORE MOXIE



Do you want a general "How it works" post for black powder firearms?

Somebody Awful
Nov 27, 2011

Don't let Lowtax go down with the ship. Do your part for these dead gay forums.


As the saying goes,

CoffeeBooze
Aug 4, 2007

Nuh Uh!


Fearless posted:

Do you want a general "How it works" post for black powder firearms?

Yes please. I purchased my first muzzle loader for Christmas and still havent had a chance to take it out yet. Ive done a lot of reading on the topic but would appreciate even more.

Fearless
Sep 3, 2003

DRINK MORE MOXIE



CoffeeBooze posted:

Yes please. I purchased my first muzzle loader for Christmas and still havent had a chance to take it out yet. Ive done a lot of reading on the topic but would appreciate even more.

Sure. Any particular questions you would like to see addressed?

CoffeeBooze
Aug 4, 2007

Nuh Uh!


For me at least getting into muzzle loading has felt like learning firearms all over again. The huge variety of powders and pellets, bullet selection, etc can feel pretty overwhelming. A brief list of powders/pellets and bullets that a beginner should be aware of would be really helpful. Also a list of gear for getting started. I have the rifle with ram rod, measure and flask. Should I be picking up anything else?

tarlibone
Aug 1, 2014


Am I a... bad person?
AM I??


Fun Shoe

Fearless posted:

Sure. Any particular questions you would like to see addressed?

Cap and ball revolvers? (I'm not being an rear end in a top hat. I wouldn't mind reading something about these.)

Somebody Awful
Nov 27, 2011

Don't let Lowtax go down with the ship. Do your part for these dead gay forums.


Purchasing tips for P53 Enfields and Snider-Enfields? Kind of want to pick up one somewhere down the line.

Fearless
Sep 3, 2003

DRINK MORE MOXIE



CoffeeBooze posted:

For me at least getting into muzzle loading has felt like learning firearms all over again. The huge variety of powders and pellets, bullet selection, etc can feel pretty overwhelming. A brief list of powders/pellets and bullets that a beginner should be aware of would be really helpful. Also a list of gear for getting started. I have the rifle with ram rod, measure and flask. Should I be picking up anything else?

Do you have a starter? BP rifles often have a slightly tapered bore, so getting a patched ball or a particularly close fitting bullet down the bore can be a challenge with just the included ram rod. BP shooting is very different from more modern expressions of the practice, so I can easily see how making sense of everything is kind of like drinking from a fire hose.

tarlibone posted:

Cap and ball revolvers? (I'm not being an rear end in a top hat. I wouldn't mind reading something about these.)

Not an SME, but I can put something basic together.

Somebody Awful posted:

Purchasing tips for P53 Enfields and Snider-Enfields? Kind of want to pick up one somewhere down the line.

These... these I know well

Cyrano4747
Sep 25, 2006



This is maybe a bit advanced for that thread, but I know a fair number of BP cartridge shooters who load with smokeless but light enough charges so that the pressures don't exceed BP pressure. If you've got any insights into calibrating that so you don't explode your gun that would be cool.

Fearless
Sep 3, 2003

DRINK MORE MOXIE



Cyrano4747 posted:

This is maybe a bit advanced for that thread, but I know a fair number of BP cartridge shooters who load with smokeless but light enough charges so that the pressures don't exceed BP pressure. If you've got any insights into calibrating that so you don't explode your gun that would be cool.

I'm aware of people doing this, and also running duplex (smokeless rifle and FFG black) and even triplex (smokeless rifle and pistol plus black powder) loads but this is something I've got no experience with and a shitload of reservations about doing. It's very risky for obvious reasons as black powder firearms were not designed with the pressure characteristics of smokeless powder in mind and many (read: most) cannot handle the greatly increased pressures generated.

CoffeeBooze
Aug 4, 2007

Nuh Uh!


Fearless posted:

Do you have a starter? BP rifles often have a slightly tapered bore, so getting a patched ball or a particularly close fitting bullet down the bore can be a challenge with just the included ram rod. BP shooting is very different from more modern expressions of the practice, so I can easily see how making sense of everything is kind of like drinking from a fire hose.



Nope, but I will! This type of stuff is exactly what Im looking for. With all the ranges closed we are probably going to do a weekend camping trip to a National Forest to hunt, fish and shoot. Itd be kind of a bummer to hike out a ways to shoot and find out I couldnt fit a bullet.

Applesnots
Oct 22, 2010

MERRY YOBMAS



Can you use pyrodex in a BP revolver?

Fearless
Sep 3, 2003

DRINK MORE MOXIE



Black Powder: Shooting Yesterday's Guns Today



Black powder was invented in China sometime in the 9th century, but it wasn't until the mid 13th century that Europeans became aware of it and it was still nearly another two centuries before black powder firearms and artillery began to appear regularly on European battlefields. Contrary to what the name suggest, black powder has resembled sand for at least the past six centuries-- it has not actually been a powder since at least the 1300s. Unlike modern powders, black powder is not a propellant but rather a low explosive and special considerations need to be taken in its use because it behaves rather differently from more modern rifle, pistol and shotgun propellants. If you were to lay out equivalent weights of, say, a modern rifle powder and black powder and then ignite the two, you would notice that the black powder flashes violently and converts to a large amount of smoke and soot almost instantaneously-- if you were dumb enough to use a lighter to ignite the BP, you very likely will have burns on your hand! The modern smokeless propellant would burn noticeably slower and far, far cleaner.

Don't just take my word for it. This video clearly demonstrates the differences in burn time between black powder, pyrodex (a modern BP substitute which will be discussed a bit more later) and modern smokeless rifle powder:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGyhsQug03o

Black powder is sorted according to the coarseness of its grain, from coarse Fg powder used mainly for artillery charges, to FFFFg powders suitable for priming main charges, or for pistols. Finer powders have, by virtue of their small grain size, a far greater surface area to facilitate deflagration at a significantly more rapid rate than the coarser powders and thus should not be used for the main charges in long arms like muskets, rifles or shotguns. In broad terms, FFg and FFFg are the granulations for long arms, though pay attention to what manufacturers recommend (where applicable) for your safety.

Historically, black powder was composed of varying mixtures of charcoal and sulpher for fuel, and potassium nitrate (saltpetre) to act as an oxidizer. These materials could be derived from a variety of sources-- the nitrates in particular could be derived from livestock urine or guano but all of them directly connect to burnt BP's distinctive egg-fart smell and immense amounts of smoke. Traditional black powder is still in production, though it can be prohibitively expensive to ship and is very much recommended for flintlock arms as these require a more sensitive powder for their crude ignition systems.

It is also hygroscopic, meaning that it readily absorbs moisture from the air and this can make it quite corrosive or prone to misfire-- alternatively, its low ignition point means it also has to be handled with some care. Other modern BP substitutes are out there and fairly closely mirror BP's behaviour while minimizing most of its more negative traits (namely the distinctive smell, sensitivity and explosive tendencies). Pyrodex and Triple 7 are examples of black powder substitute, but these tend to have a somewhat higher ignition temperature than traditional BP and are more suitable for percussion cap arms than flintlocks. Substitutes can be used in place of traditional black powder though some (Triple 7 springs to mind) need to have their charge weights adjusted as they are not 1:1 substitutions. These types of black powder are suitable for use in percussion or cartridge arms.

There are also pellet versions of these substitutes (in which the charge is composed of a few small pucks of substitute rather than powder) that are intended to be used for in-line rifles (more on those later).

Types of Black Powder Firearms

In terms of common black powder arms, some of the most common ones encountered and fired today are modern reproductions of historical flintlock and percussion arms. Both of these types of arm are named after the method of ignition used in their operation. In flintlock arms, a piece of flint is dragged down a piece of steel to generate a shower of sparks that serve to ignite a waiting portion of black powder to in turn ignite the main charge in the firing chamber. The flintlock was the most popular, reliable and easily manufactured form of firearm from the early 17th century to well into the 19th. Here's a video showing the operation of such a type of firearm:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSbY7BRrIQg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=insxddY6ZmE

And here is a video about the creation of an American long rifle from the Colonial period, using period techniques and tools:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTy3uQFsirk

In percussion arms, the flint, pan and frizzen are replaced with a hammer and nipple: a priming cap containing some sort of fulminating is placed on the nipple of the arm and ignited when the hammer drops. This method of ignition became common and popular in the first half of the 19th century and is generally a lot more reliable than earlier flintlocks. Here is a video of a percussion cap arm being operated:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNIt8RvGP5M

(If you are unfamiliar with the Britishmuzzleloaders channel on Youtube, I suggest you give it a good watch. If you were aware of it and haven't subscribed, go sit in the corner and think about your actions)

In both of these videos, one can clearly see the powder and projectile being loaded through the muzzle-- you will sometimes hear muzzle loading arms referred to as "front stuffers" as a result. You will also note that both shooters make a point of ensuring that the projectile is seated firmly against the powder during the loading process. Air pockets between projectile and powder can create very dangerous pressure spikes that can cause a barrel to bulge or violently burst-- even with the benefit of modern metallurgy.

Black powder cap and ball revolvers deserve special mention. These are commonly available, and are most readily found as replicas of the first commonly available repeating firearms. Care must also be taken when loading and shooting these: if the cylinder of a cap and ball revolver is improperly sealed at either the nipple or the mouth, it can result in multiple chambers going off at once-- potentially causing catastrophic damage to the revolver and even the person holding it. You can see a video of cap and ball revolver operation here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GV38iQwySCs

Finally, early breech loading, black powder cartridge firing arms are commonly available as well both as replicas and as antiques. Where earlier arms were manually loaded with powder and projectile directly into their firing chambers and externally primed, in this case primer, powder and projectile are all contained in a metallic cartridge for ease of loading and enhanced reliability. This type of ammunition became common in the 1860s and still enjoys an avid following today, though many of the firearms that utilize black powder cartridges must have their ammunition specially loaded by the shooter as commercially available ammunition is either prohibitively expensive, or went out of production many decades ago. Here is an example of a black powder cartridge arm in operation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJ-f11hM4Sk

And here is a thread on the care and feeding of the Martini Henry rifle, another representative of this type: https://forums.somethingawful.com/s...hreadid=3850226

Why shoot one of these things?

Black powder shooting is generally a more relaxed and sedate activity than most modern dynamic shooting sports. It also tends to be far less regulated from a legal standpoint-- in many jurisdictions anything up to and including flintlocks (even modern replicas) do not require any kind of license to own or use. Black powder firearms often enable hunters access an earlier or broader hunting season as well (depending on jurisdiction, once again). But for a lot of people, it's just fun as heck to connect with history in a more vivid way than reading about it.

What's it like to shoot one of these?

Black powder long arms tend to shove rather than kick, mostly because of how black powder works, and the sheer mass of many long arms and the massive projectiles being lobbed down range. My .75 cal Brown Bess fires a .69 cal round ball that is somewhere north of 600 grains. The 13 lb weight of the musket dampens the recoil-- in a lot of ways, it is gentler than the much lighter .50 cal flintlock rifles that I own. However, being thrown around by that kind of mass can leave you a bit stiff and sore after a full day of shooting (my Mk IV Martini Henry is a cantankerous beast and has left bruises after 40 rounds). With flintlocks, there is a great flash a few inches from your face when the lock activates-- it takes a lot of skill and practice to overcome that flinch and a noticeable lag before the main charge ignites with a boom... and when this happens, a massive cloud of grey smoke obscures the target. As the smoke clears, one can even sometimes hear the shooter giggling like preschooler on pudding day.

I want to shoot one! What do I need?

VERY IMPORTANT: Some folks have been known to use smokeless powder in firearms intended for black powder. This sort of practice is possible, but dangerous. In the case of modern reproductions, there's a reduced chance of a catastrophic failure because the metallurgy of the barrel is far better than an historical example-- but it is not eliminated. In the case of historical firearms, with less certain integrity, one is truly gambling with their safety and that of the people around them. I strongly recommend against the use of modern smokeless propellants in firearms intended for use with black powder.

You're going to need a black powder arm to begin with. There are some great starter kit options out there for both flintlock and percussion arms. Fintlock arms require flints that fit in their locks-- in some cases, these are literal chips of flint, but some modern makers (Thompson/Center in particular) build their guns around a weird proprietary not-quite-flint and don't do so well with real flints. Regardless, a patch of leather or lead sheet will enable the jaws of the flintlock (called the dog) to firmly grip the flint without shattering it when it strikes. You'll also need powder-- FFg/FFFg for rifles, muskets and shotguns and FFFFg for pistols (or their equivalents)-- and projectiles. Round balls are exactly what they sound like. Bullets are another option for some black powder arms-- generally, these are not used as frequently for flintlocks as they are for percussion guns, revolvers or cartridge arms. A measuring flask or tube of some sort is an important tool for measuring out your charges to ensure you're not over or under loading your arm. Generally, balls need to be a bit undersized for the bore they will be coming out of-- in my .75 cal Brown Bess, I run .69 cal round balls covered with the remains of a paper cartridge that allow the ball to fit snugly in the barrel. You want this extra bit of slop because of the immense amount of fouling that black powder generates. Repeated firings will result in a noticeable coating of fouling inside the barrel and this can make reloading more difficult as the fouling builds up. If you are running balls out of a flintlock rifle, some sort of patch material will be needed to engage the rifling. Thin fabric works well for this purpose, especially if it is lubricated with saliva just before loading (but for the love of Christ keep lead balls or bullets out of your mouth). Percussion arms will need percussion caps sized to fit their nipples. Black powder long guns include ram rods, but these are not the ideal tool for loading oversized balls into the muzzle of a rifle. Instead, consider getting a starter to get the ball seated in the muzzle, then driven down the bore the first few inches so that the ram rod can take care of things the rest of the way. It can also be very helpful to have a worm screw and ball puller that can attach to your ram rod-- these will allow you to remove patches or balls stuck in the barrel (there are two kinds of black powder shooters: those who have put a ball down a barrel without powder, and those who have yet to).

As mentioned earlier: black powder, black powder substitutes and their residues are all hygroscopic-- they attract moisture from the air and hold it next to metal. This means that BP fouling is a significant cause of rust and so BP firearms must be cleaned after every range day to ensure that they do not rust up. For cleaning there are a whole host of weird and wonderful cleaning compounds out there, but I've done just fine with appropriately sized brushes, brass wool a ram rod, paper towel patches, oil, dish soap and hot water. My cleaning routine is pretty simple: wipe down the external surfaces to remove any residues, dismount the barrel, run a brush down a few times to loosen up the fouling and then flush with hot water and soap until the water runs from the vent or nipple clear as opposed to black. If your bore is large enough and you brew beer, one of those faucet mounted beer bottle cleaners works beautifully too! Regardless, the next step needs to be to dry the barrel or any other metal parts that got wet and then lightly oil the surfaces. Let this set for a few minutes, then wipe off any excess before returning the musket or rifle to its rightful spot over the fireplace.

It can feel like getting started in traditional shooting is akin to drinking from a firehose, but it's what I got into first after I wanted to move up from air rifles. Do your research, and always ask for advice or help if you are unsure of something-- the community as a whole tends to be pretty friendly (if a bit eccentric).

I want to shoot cap and ball revolvers!

Most of what was posted above holds true here, but with one important addition. It is absolutely imperative that you maintain a tight seal over the ends of a cylinder of a cap and ball revolver. Thus, you must ensure that the percussion caps you are using properly fit the nipples of the revolver, and that they are properly seated, and that the mouths of the firing chambers are all properly sealed-- very slightly oversized bullets that are swaged when rammed into the chamber are an option, as is using a dollop of shortening to seal the mouths against sparks.

I want to buy a Snider Enfield/Martini Henry/Trapdoor Springfield/Swiss Vetterli and shoot it!

If you are really interested in shooting one of these, take some time to learn the fundamentals of reloading-- you're going to need to know how to do that if you want to economically shoot truly obsolete ammunition from obsolete guns. Once you have a good handle on that skill, it is quite easy to get many old black powder cartridge guns shooting again but this process does involve quite a bit of research and sometimes delving into some truly obscure references. Some, like certain types of Vetterli or Francotte Martinis, should never be shot and it's important to know what you have before you try to shoot it.

A Caveat

This post is intended to be a basic introduction to BP shooting-- it is not authoritative in any way and I am sure that things will be added as other enthusiasts chime in with their knowledge or I remember something important to share.

Fearless fucked around with this message at 05:29 on Apr 22, 2020

Android Apocalypse
Apr 28, 2009

The future is
AUTOMATED
and you are
OBSOLETE





Illegal Hen

Thank you so much for that writeup.

Somebody Awful
Nov 27, 2011

Don't let Lowtax go down with the ship. Do your part for these dead gay forums.


Good poo poo.

poopgiggle
Feb 7, 2006

it isn't easy being a cross dominate shooter.

Added to the OP, thank you!

tarlibone
Aug 1, 2014


Am I a... bad person?
AM I??


Fun Shoe

Great post.

When this crap all ends or whatever, I might have to look into shooting a black powder rifle.

biosterous
Feb 23, 2013





two questions!

1) i'm right handed but my dominant eye is my left one. how does that affect aiming? is it different with a scope vs sights?

2) (this is much less important) so is there any real benefit to center axis relock besides looking really loving cool in video games and movies?

keep in mind that i have never touched a gun, and only have nebulous plans to "go to a firing range and shoot some guns for fun" eventually

Android Apocalypse
Apr 28, 2009

The future is
AUTOMATED
and you are
OBSOLETE





Illegal Hen

biosterous posted:

two questions!

1) i'm right handed but my dominant eye is my left one. how does that affect aiming? is it different with a scope vs sights?

2) (this is much less important) so is there any real benefit to center axis relock besides looking really loving cool in video games and movies?

keep in mind that i have never touched a gun, and only have nebulous plans to "go to a firing range and shoot some guns for fun" eventually

1) Only really an issue when using a scope. At that point you'll either want to shoulder your rifle on your non-dominant side or train a lot more to work with your non-dominant eye
Otherwise you'll likely be shooting with both eyes open. There are ways to work around being cross-eye dominant.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqqW9JbSVDA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DV_WTsF_7kM

2: The idea of center-axis relock is retention of your pistol in really tight quarters, like CQB (close quarters battle). Realistically, point shooting from retention (from your hip/torso) is just as good when you're so close that you're not even aiming, and the manual of arms is closer to how most shooting schools are teaching so center-axis relock is an extra technique that doesn't seem necessary. Center-axis relock looks good in movies/tv/games because the pistol is close to the actor's face (kind of how old media showed people back again at the wall, pistol up near head before rounding the corner).

plester1
Jul 9, 2004

I am NOT a merry man!

biosterous posted:

two questions!

1) i'm right handed but my dominant eye is my left one. how does that affect aiming? is it different with a scope vs sights?

2) (this is much less important) so is there any real benefit to center axis relock besides looking really loving cool in video games and movies?

keep in mind that i have never touched a gun, and only have nebulous plans to "go to a firing range and shoot some guns for fun" eventually

Regarding #1, this is called 'cross eyed dominance' and isn't a big deal. You will need to make some minor adjustments when learning, but the fact that you're aware of it already puts you ahead of the game.

This page from optics manufacturer Bushnell explains how it affects the way you use different sighting methods: https://www.bushnell.com/blog/what-...ow-to-solve-it/

e: beaten by a better post

MantisClaw
Jun 3, 2011


biosterous posted:

two questions!

1) i'm right handed but my dominant eye is my left one. how does that affect aiming? is it different with a scope vs sights?

This depends on the individual. For pistols, it doesn't matter, put the gun in front of your face and let your body figure it out. You'll either line the gun up with your dominant eye or turn your head to line your eye up with the gun. We can argue which is better but that gets into whether torso cross rotation is preferable to positional asymmetry. Some people have no real eye dominance and need to close one eye otherwise they get double vision, ideally you want to use both eyes open but you do what you need to get your hits.

Long guns are a little different. You can either train yourself to use either your nondominant hand or your nondominant hand. Try both methods and see which feels better. My shooting buddies and I each came to conclusion to use our nondominant eye independently of each other. I know other high level shooters who have chosen the opposite. If you put in the time and practice, your brain will associate mounting the gun with using that eye and will switch automatically. I can actually control which of my eyes is the dominant one. Using fiber optic sights, red dots, and illuminated reticles can give the brain something interesting to help focus on while its developing that skill. Another training tool is using painters tape or card stock to block the non shooting eye to force the brain into using the other one.

biosterous posted:

2) (this is much less important) so is there any real benefit to center axis relock besides looking really loving cool in video games and movies?

keep in mind that i have never touched a gun, and only have nebulous plans to "go to a firing range and shoot some guns for fun" eventually

If I remember right Center Axis Relock (CAR) came about from law enforcement working in confined spaces. In that context its no different from any other collapsed ready position such as short stocking. Any other benefits there might be in regard to indexing or recoil mitigation are secondary. It is very distinct and allows for the gun to be used visually like a punch out which can be beneficial to the actions scene (one of the John Wick directions specifically states this as the reason why it's featured so heavily there).

poopgiggle
Feb 7, 2006

it isn't easy being a cross dominate shooter.

Center Axis Relock is stupid and, to my knowledge, no one credible teaches it anymore.

NickBlasta
May 16, 2003

Clearly their proficiency at shooting is supernatural, not practical, in origin.


I have used it a few times shooting from very tight spots where I had to have the gun right in front of my face and it worked well. I don't know why you would use it otherwise.

poopgiggle
Feb 7, 2006

it isn't easy being a cross dominate shooter.

Good information sources for defensive shooting

This started off as a post called "Defensive Pistol Shooting 101," but I realized that I was just linking videos that well-known instructors had put on YouTube. I thought it would be a better use of everyone's time to link good information sources.

A plea to get training and practice

Please get professional instruction. Please. This isn't like The Matrix where you download technique from blogs and youtube and "I know Kung Fu." There is no substitute for having an experienced professional demonstrate good technique to you and then give you live feedback. There is also no substitute for practice.

The information here is intended to be a supplement to those things, not a replacement for them.

A word about education vs infotainment:
The list of youtube channels, blogs, etc below are heavily weighted towards folks with verified shooting/teaching credentials. I don't really give much consideration to entertainment value. For example, I find GarandThumb to be entertaining but I haven't found his channel to give me any information that's improved my shooting.

  • Mike Seeklander: Mike is a USPSA Grand Master, professional shooter, and well-known instructor. His videos are short, to the point, and clearly convey good information. They are also completely un-entertaining, so they get comparatively little attention from the Internet at large. If you want quick videos about how to grip a pistol or how to pull a trigger, Mike's your guy. His "Your X Training Program" book series is also very good if you want a ready-made training program to get gooder at pistol shooting.
  • Lucky Gunner Lounge. Here's Part 1 of their "How to shoot a semi-automatic pistol" series. Chris Baker has a solid base of shooting technique, but his real gift is making quality shooting content that is also accessible. One of their best-known contributions is their handgun ballistic testing data, which is about as good as YouTube-tier ballistic testing gets.
  • Scott Jedlinski, aka Modern Samurai Project. Master-class USPSA shooter, known for techniques for shooting pistols with slide-mounted optics and appendix carry. I personally found his AIWB draw videos helpful. His poo poo is also short, to the point, and relatively devoid of fluff.
  • Ernest Langdon: another pro shooter and noted Beretta fan. IIRC he was the first USPSA Production national champion; he's also won IDPA nats a time or two. Good instruction on the hows and whys of DA/SA triggers generally.
  • Claude Werner, the Tactical Professor. I am well aware that the folks I'm listing here cater towards people who are willing to devote a lot of time, effort, and money to developing a high level of shooting skill and acquiring high-end gear. Not everyone has the resources or inclination to do that. Claude Werner's niche is finding guns and gear that are workable, and affordable, to average people, and releasing skill-building material for people with access to common indoor range facilities.
  • ShootingTheBull410 is a ballistic testing channel. You, as a new shooter, will spend ENTIRELY too much time worrying about which defensive ammo to use. You will spend too much time looking at gel test data, comparing expansion diameter, penetration depth, etc. Compounding this problem is that there are a bunch of yahoos on the Internet who either make up their own bullshit testing protocols (like Paul Harrell) or who have single-round sample sizes and unknown gel calibration (tnoutdoors9). ShootingTheBull410 at least calibrates his gelatin and has a sample size of 5 or so. He's about as good as the "backyard ballistic testers" get.
  • Primary and Secondary: if there's a polar opposite of Claude Werner, it's Primary and Secondary (though Claude has been a guest on at least one modcast). P&S is aimed squarely at people who have no problem buying a $180 Keepers Concealment holster to conceal a Roland Special with $1800 sunk into it. The Modcasts are several hours long and contain a lot of good information on guns, ammo, and shooting technique (if you can find it). Some guy on the P&S Discord has a site that tries to organize the information but most of the episodes aren't on there.
  • Aaron Cowan is known as an authority on weapon-mounted lights and pistol-mounted optics. IMO, if you're watching his videos, stick to those topics. He (again, IMO) kinda strays outside his lane a little bit when talking about other stuff.

Honorable mention: Ben Stoeger, known for winning USPSA Production Nats a bunch of times and being a dick on the Internet (though he's toned the second part down since getting a sponsorship). He's only an honorable mention here because his stuff is probably mostly above your head if you're brand new, but his dryfire drills books are valuable to anyone.

A word about what makes for a quality source of information

You'll notice that my preferred info sources tend towards action shooting competition. The reason for that is that action pistol competitors have known, verifiable skill at the kind of marksmanship that defensive shooting requires. Many gun youtubers are known to speed up their footage to make themselves look faster (T-Rex Arms), use a fixed delay on their shot timer to give them an artificially fast reaction time (Baret Fawbush), or shoot several takes until they get a really good run, or just not use shot timers at all (again, Paul Harrell). Winning USPSA nationals, or winning a FAST Coin (look it up) requires the ability to perform shooting tasks in an on-demand, repeatable fashion, which is what we want.

I don't have much time for channels that do mostly gun reviews. That's because, as long as you stick to a quality brand, it's harder to find a pistol that doesn't work nowadays than one that does. To paraphrase Caleb Giddings, if you threw a Glock, S&W M&P 2.0, Walther PPQ, CZ P10, Beretta APX, SIG P320 (post-drop-fix), and HK VP9 into a bag, and told me that whichever one I picked out of the bag was the pistol I'd have to use forever, I would be OK with whichever one came out. I make an exception for Aaron Cowan, because slide-mounted red dots and weapon-mounted lights are still under active development and some really are better than others.

You said mean things about an Internet personality that I like!

It was probably Paul Harrell. I loving hate Paul Harrell's videos. They appeal to low-information, low-effort gun owners who don't know any better. His competition record is a bunch of restricted service competitions from decades ago. His ballistic testing methodology uses non-repeatable test media and flies in the face of accepted industry practices. His FBI Miami Shootout video does get good reviews, and I'm sure he has some good information in his videos, but he puts out enough bullshit that it casts doubt over everything else he puts out. I fully expect to get hate mail for this paragraph.

Lucas Botkin (T-Rex Arms): he finally entered a 3-gun match, not even a super competitive one, and zeroed it. Came in like 200th place. Do not look to him as a source of shooting technique.

E: I changed "I loving hate Paul Harrell" to "I loving hate Paul Harrell's videos." I have never met Paul Harrel, and never talked to him online. I'm sure he's a nice enough guy IRL. The real issue I have is that his videos are a poor source of information. I edited this post to reflect that.

poopgiggle fucked around with this message at 16:25 on Apr 13, 2020

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Thermopyle
Jul 1, 2003

...the stupid are cocksure while the intelligent are full of doubt. —Bertrand Russell



Hey, thanks for that effortpost.

As a new owner who isn't going to be able to go to any classes or the range for awhile at least I can learn something.

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