At 04:36 PM 1/12/01 -0700, justin wrote:
>but it seems that some on this list see self defense as impractical
>without one(i originally continued studying martial arts for similar
>reasons..) so it seems i must be interested in defending myself.
Martial arts, especially the combat forms, are very useful for
self-defense *within their envelope*. Firearms dramatically extend the
effective situational envelope for self-defense, particularly in the hands
of a skilled user. Firearms for self-defense are not exclusive of martial
arts, in fact they are complementary.
>and i'm wondering what people in this thread think of whether someone like
>me ought to get aquainted with firearms, and/or purchase one. any
>suggestions would be welcome, with an addendum to my personality that i
>would rather save up and buy a nice solid item, than start with a "newbie"
>item and have to ugrade later. i'm thinking that would hold true for
>firearms as well, but don't know enough about them to make an informed
The baseline properties for a defensive firearm is one with high
reliability and reasonable accuracy that you can shoot well. Given these
things, everything else is gravy. Firearms are extraordinarily durable
goods; they will generally be as valuable in twenty years as they are the
day after you bought them. A well-maintained firearm can easily last a
lifetime of use. My oldest firearm (a Remington Model 17) is about 75
years old and works as well as something I could buy new today.
Cost of entry for a good pistol is about $300. In this price range you
have the CZ-75 (a high-cap military 9mm) or a number of different
revolvers. Most of the popular defensive pistols fall into the $500-700
range. While price is a good indicator of quality, it is not a good
indicator of functionality -- some expensive guns are functionally poor
(e.g. Desert Eagle) and some cheaper guns are functionally excellent (e.g.
CZ-75). Good brands are SIG-Sauer, Glock, Beretta, H&K, Kahr, CZ (some),
and Ruger (some). The first four in the list are the Big Four of combat
firearms and are all premium quality.
And above all else, make sure you get quality firearms instruction
ASAP. Like martial arts, there is a substantial difference in
effectiveness between someone who is exceptionally experienced in the art
and someone who is just starting out. Real life isn't Hollywood and you
likely won't be able to reliably hit a target at rooms length if you don't
have minimal training.
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