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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 1999 1:01 am 
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To All: I started the 'Concealed' thread as I was interested in the experiences of others. The thread has been very valuable to me but was getting long so I am restarting it with a few comments on my 1/20 hand gun permitting course and, more questions.

The course I took was led by a full time firearms instructor. In addition to NRA certification (which he says really does not mean much) he had something like 20 years in various areas of law enforcement.

The course was a full four hours of enjoyment for me. Though four hours are not required by Virginia law, he felt that to be the minimum to get key points across. He broke it down into several areas: mindset, safety, Virginia and some neighboring state laws, and legality/consequenses of an actual dicharge of a firearm for any reason.

Van sensei: I could hear you speaking when mindset was the topic. Reality of a confrontation, loss of fine skills required to load or aim a weapon, two shots to the center of mass (unless thereare multiple attackers - then just one for each before you shoot anyone a second time). He also challenged everyone to consider what they were getting into and offered a refund at this point for anyone not willing to accept the responsibility of carrying a handgun. At this point I felt he was for real.

Safety issues were covered next, the most important issue being to not point a gun, loaded or not, at anything that 'you cannot write a check for'. Keep your finger away from the trigger until ready to fire. Also, purchase a good lockbox with a pushbutton combination lock as under the stress of a breakin a keylock or revolving combi lock is too hard to open.

On to state law. Virginia is an 'open carry' state as well as a 'right to carry' state. However, neighboring Maryland is neither. Good to know. The VA permit is reciprical in other states, and in VA cities with 'no gun' ordinances, the circuit court issued permit overrides the locality. also, stay out of schools, courtrooms.....This and other info is extremely important but not easily found.

He finished up with legal issues, civil law, common law and lots of Q&A.

The course was $49.95 and worth every penny!

After class he displayed many handguns for people to see, feel, ask about. He had on hand the hammerless 'Centennial', .380 Mustang, Colt '1991' .45, PPK, .38 Special, .357 Mag.,and many more. He did not bring a Glock .45. but has one. He offers a 2 hour private class for $75 to try out any and all to see what you might like best before you make a purchase, and to get some minimum training in your gun of choice. Also, for $25 more a second person can attend. Question to all: I'm planning to do this plus perhaps bring my 15 year old son along. Any thought on that? The next 2 hour course is weapon specific and deals with working in close range. He considers 'close' to begin within 25'.

Now specific handgun questions. He has fired the titanium 'Centennial' and chose not to buy one as it hurt to fire it much. Van? Why the focus in the prior discussion on semi autos? The Glock at this moment appears to be the best choice. However, a .357 mag revolver looks very simple, reliable, durable, powerful. Mind you, this would be the 'second' handgun. Like you Van, he said not to bother with any .22. When I questioned him about the .380 he said from autopsies he has attended, the .380 does almost the same damage as a .38.

All in all, I felt that I could safely carry and applied at the courthouse today. BTW, a condition of a permit request is fresh fingerprints.

Van, Allen, all of you, please add your thoughts.

Rich

[This message has been edited by RACastanet (edited 01-23-99).]


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 1999 11:44 pm 
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Hi Rich,

Good idea to go for the additional two hour class with your son and to try out different types of weapons ! But be careful on choices ! If you are to carry a gun , you want the most reliable , the lightest and the most stress proof and court room proof one you can find ! Here the centennial titanium is king ! The recoil factor is secondary because you will not fire that gun that much , you will carry it more than fire it ! When you do fire it in self defense , it will be at very close range and not more than a couple of rounds or so ; and you will not feel any recoil under the chemical dump ! The important point is to have the gun with you instead of leaving it at home . You cannot make an appointment with an emergency ! And the .38 +P is an adequate round for stopping power !

A semiauto is preferred by lots of people ; usually it will give you an extra round or two in a small package , but then you have to worry about carrying with chamber loaded /unloaded , safeties , malfunctions , cleanliness , etc. You can buy small 9mm double action only pistols [khar] , excellent , but still not as simple and reliable as a revolver ! Also , the small centennial hammerless, can be fired from a jacket pocket in total surprise to your enemy ! With a semiauto it is a no-no! Also with a semiauto there is always the chance that you may forget to clear the chamber after taking out the magazine and you will have a dangerous situation on your hands ! And you will need to rotate magazines and ammunition often to prevent feed failures !

After you buy the gun , you should invest some money into the ' LFI' one course at Lethal force institute , best investment ever for anyone carrying a gun !

Good luck ,

Van


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 1999 4:20 am 
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Thanks Van. My intention is to get two handguns. The titanium 'Centennial' and a larger, heavier type for practice and to have a more powerful stay at home handgun. Reading back over the other thread the Glock 17 .45 cal. double action would appear to be the best choice. I hope to have time the first week of February to schedule range time and try out the various revolvers and pistols available. Then I will decide on the larger gun.

The instructor likewise told us that if we were planning to carry, do it all the time.

Regards, Rich


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 1999 3:23 pm 
Hello Rich,

You have to watch out for the gunfire in the shopping malls of Boston these days...

Glad you took a firearm course, although not required? Reads like you assimilated much savvy already. If you keep going, the firearms courses of interest to you may cost you as much as or even more than the actual handgun you finally purchase. All of a sudden a $400.00 gun increments up, commanding a price tag of maybe even $800.00.

Is it worth it? May keep you from going off 'half-cocked.' Actually, what price would you pay for this sort of knowledge? Knowledge that you may be fed for free on the internet, but can only feel and appreciate with a face-to-face with an instructor. ...And if you are involving your son, the small dollars is very inviting. One four-hour course by itself is a good start. I feel that $100 for the additional course-for-two that you mentioned, plus being 'armed' with opinions from this forum will go a long way in helping you make the right decision for yourself. Is it worth it? To me it would be. Go for it.

There were so many choices of firearms presented to you all at once, that it must have been confusing. What to carry, what to carry? For close-up personal self-defense I'd consider the .45, for its stopping power, the 9mm for the number of rounds you can throw out there from one magazine then the popular .38 Special for its simplicity -- Autos can jam although the better ones may never while revolvers don't. The .357 is powerful, and to me it is too powerful for 'the street' and is meant more for distance -- It can go right through someone at close range without even mushrooming. A good black bear hunting tool is the .357 at ranges maybe up to 50 feet. The 380 is a shorter low-power scaled-back miniature version of the 38, and if small is on your mind then it is worth considering ONLY for weight and concealability. If you get someone right between the eyes with it it'll work (I still think of those (OW) hot casings. I hated it when that happened.).

Again, I am only relating personal thoughts and am NOT suggesting in any way, shape, or fashion anyone should go out and purchase and/or carry a weapon. To be trained and/or armed is a personal decision that only you and the Lord can or should make.

Allen
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[This message has been edited by moulton (edited 01-24-99).]


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 1999 6:42 pm 
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Thanks Allen sensei. Good additional input.

Virginia requires a certificate of trainiing from an approved instructor. It does not specify how long a course is to be, only what it covers. Two hour courses are available but I do not think two, let alone four hours, is enough. The county I live in is quite populous and requires that the training be handgun specific. Rural neighboring counties accept a hunter safety course as adequate. And, the state requires fingerprinting. One set to stay at the local courthouse, one to be sent to the FBI. I hope there are no warrents out there for me from my misspent youth.

Cost? Yes, this will get expensive to do properly. But I tend to be very thorough in anything I decide to do. This particularly commands good training and equipment.

The instructor included some good U.S. stats (1997) on crime, handgun accidents and fatalities, and also what is counted in stats which can skew appearances. One area in particular, rape, showed that in over 80% of the time, if an intended victim had a gun, the rape ended before it began. However, the balance of the group ended up worse for having the weapon. So, carrying a weapon does tend to polarize the event and one must decide if the increased risk to 20% is outweighed by the 80% chance of stopping the crime.

Another point came up. Interviews with felons in the city jail indicated that the thing feared most was that a potential victim might be armed. In fact, although only a small percentage of people are armed, the perception by the bad guys is that many are.

This has had a strange effect in the Richmond area. Street crime is way down. However, bank robberies are way up, over 50%. The reason? Banks instruct employees to not resist, give up the cash even if no weapon is displayed. The bad guys know this and view the banks as easy pickings. This was the feature article in yesterdays newspaper. In fact, one bank displays a "NO GUNS ALLOWED" sign on the entrance. Well, I would not carry one in there but does the bad guy really care?

The stats I have are worth reading by all. Unfortunately they are hard copy. Van: Do you have access to crime data electronically that you could share with us on this site? At camp, a class room session on violent crime and stats to back it up might be popular. Any thoughts on that?

Rich


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 1999 7:52 pm 
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Hi Rich,

You wrote < One area in particular, rape, showed
that in over 80% of the time, if an intended victim had a gun, the
rape ended before it began. However, the balance of the group
ended up worse for having the weapon >

True ! According to Lt. Strong , guns cannot in themselves protect people from violence any more than they can initiate violence ! Does someone really have what it takes to kill a man ? It will go like this :

< real close , five feet , but maybe only inches, the fight one on one , -possibly to the death for one or both of you .To stop him , you will probably have to shoot him more than once because he'll be close enough to use his weapon on you , even while you are shooting him . Don't expect him to turn and run after one shot , whether you hit him or not .Don't expect a clean one hit stop . Expect screaming , for everything to be blood soaked , including you , your own blood and likely his too .Even if he is badly wounded , expect him to get to you or perhaps a family member , maybe with his weapon still in his hands . > { Strong} !

Because of upbringing , most women are not prepared to face death , mentally and physically , and survive ! The decision to pull the trigger must be made in plenty of advance or they will hesitate , the gun will be taken away by the enraged assailant and he will be more cruel , even to the point of using the gun itself as a tool of penetration ! Pretty scary stuff !

Having a gun in your hand and pointing it at an intruder , rapist, will only make a difference if you have mindset to use it ! Most people don't and can't , even after extensive training !


You wrote < Interviews with felons in the city jail
indicated that the thing feared most was that a potential victim
might be armed. >

It is for this reason that even antigun people benefit , increased safety wise , from
The minority carrying /owning weapons !

I want to stay away from the gun issue at summer camp for now ! Someday , if we get enough interest , I will invite an expert safety / combat instructor for a professional seminar !

Van


[This message has been edited by VAN CANNA (edited 01-24-99).]


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 1999 10:36 pm 
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Van sensei: Statistics are really in favor of the pro gun lobby.

Another interesting story from Richmond. A few years ago the city Chief of Police (since retired) was on a local talk show with a handgun advocate doing a point/counterpoint session. This particular Chief was not in favor of citizens carrying weapons as the police were there to protect them. After some heated debate, the advocate asked the Chief bluntly 'does your wife carry a concealed gun?' (pause) Well,'yes'. Hmmmmm......The debate calmed down after that revelation.

Personally I think the Chief's wife should. But so should the rest of the public be allowed to.

This afternoon I visited the major gun shop in the area. They had a titanium 'Centennial' but it was the hammer version. Wow, is it light. They took the time to lay out many semi-autos for me as well. I had the chance to compare three separate Glocks - the .45, .40 and 9mm alongside a 1911 Colt .45, SigSauer and an HK. No question about it, the Glock .45 is nice. Also, back to revolvers I compared the S&W.357 in Stainless, and a hammerless 'Centennial' in .357. The store likes revolvers because of simplicity but the 'Centennial' is heavy, and the S&W in single action has a very light trigger pull. Too light.

The Glock .45 is my choice as of now, but until I get to a range and try it I'll hold off on purchasing one.

Rich


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 1999 10:10 am 
Hello Rich

With a light handgun, you may want to consider a device that helps prevent the basrrel from climbing when you fire it. It works by redirecting some of the gasses when you fire it. They didn't exist when I was into handguns but I saw one once demonstrated about ten years ago when they were first coming on the market and was impressed.

Allen

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 1999 2:04 am 
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Location: MARSHFIELD, MA. USA
Hello Allen:

"Compensators" were relatively common on Custom 1911's when I had competition guns.

Simply put, a gunsmith would replace the existing 1911 barrel with one with the Compensator attached. (or built on if you will).

IPSC shooters favor this type of arrangement on 1911 types in .Colt .38 super Auto. Or I should say they did at one time.

I am not aware of people gunsmithing Glocks, SIG's or other autos in a similar fashion. Maybe someone else can help.

.44 Magnums (and other revolvers?) are/were often effectively affixed with the same arrangement by "milling" ports of a certain configuration on the upper side of the existing barrell, hence the term "magna-porting"

Big game bolt guns soemtimes are customized in this fashion.

M1A's (M-14 clones)have a "flash hider" ported only on the top for this effect.

Perhaps someone will know a source or smith for the weapon chosen when Rich chooses same.

"Cutts" type compensators were common on shotguns and ubiquitous on Thomspson Submachine guns. (I forget the US Mil. Designation for the "Tommy" gun.)

My only owning experience of such things has been on long arms. Hopefully someone will know more.

JOHN T

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 1999 7:40 am 
Hi JT.

Pretty neat to rapid-fire something like a .44 mag and the barrel just stays right on target.

I guess compensators were around 20-30 years ago but didn't pay any attention to them then.

Aren't flash-suppressors on new weapons illegal these days?

Allen

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 1999 3:38 pm 
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Comps are great for sport but not really ideal for carry weapons. Springfield armory has a new .45 (ultra compact) for carry called the V10. The V10 has ports milled into the slide and barrel that vent gasses up and out in the form of the letter V. The system works to reduce recoil. However, if you look at photos the muzzle flash is also directed up. I suspect this would cause more night blindness than normal. Some of this can be taken care of with good selection of ammo (you can buy ammo that has a reduced muzzle signature particularly if you shoot .357). In the case of the V10 (and other pistols that use this method of compensation such as the glock) the compensator adds no length or weight. The general concensus is not to carry a weapon that you cannot control. I would advise one to move to a larger framed pistol or different caliber/loading before I would advis someone to carry a comped defensive pistol. Again, just my opion and you know how they vary...

later


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 1999 4:04 pm 
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Allen:

After 1994 the "flash hiders" could no longer be built into "Assault Rifle".

Rich's answer in informative as I have not reviewed a Springfiled Armory Catalogue in recent memory.

I know "Kimber" now does 1911 clones, and I am curious as to what they offer for "compensator" options if any.

As to .44's. I haven't fired mine in so long I forget how much the muzzle jumps. I haven't forgotten the hand pain though.

Got to get back to the range more often.

JT

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 1999 9:57 pm 
Hi JT.

One of these days I'm going to beg or borrow a .45 and take my boys down to the woods somewhere and let them feel what it's like to fire a high-power handgun. I don't think they have ever seen a handgun up close even. Sometimes I think I am depriving them of knowledge and fun.

Allen

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 1999 12:01 am 
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Like it or not, shooting is an "Art".

Every shootist has his or her favorite sub-discipline.

There's a lot of stuff to me learned making your own ammo, if you don't blow yourself up.

I think I almost managed that once.

If you wish to take a trip down to Monument Beach or Old Colony, give a holler.

JT



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 1999 3:12 am 
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Tracy-san is correct on this one ! Compensated guns [ compensator added] , or ' barrel venting systems ' should not be carried for defense , although some are so made and sold ! In addition to more blinding muzzle flash ,{The V10 claims that target acquisition is retained through the V with flash out at 45 degree angles ] , such guns will vent gases powder up out of each hole in turn as the bullet travels down the barrel ! In a self defense shooting , you may have to fire with the weapon close to your chest , with the result that hot powder residue will hit you in the face and possibly blind you ! Not a good court room proof gun ! On the other hand , a competition pistol with a comp , is fine to shoot ! I have a Springfield .45 colt so equipped , full size , which I use in combat shooting matches !

JT , I have a 'dirty Harry' S&W .44 MAG. And yes , it kicks like hell , but the fun is in ' taming the beast ' Shooting gloves help !

Van


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