Not all handguns are equal; not by a long shot (pun intended).
Yes, I know that some of us cannot afford to buy the best, highest quality gun out there. How much is it really going to cost you, when you need to defend yourself and your cheap gun fails?
I've had a few of my students bring a gun to my class, that was just NOT up to safe gun standards. Some revolvers I've seen in my class that are so cheap, the cylinder did not line up with the gun's bore. This defect causes problems, such as misfires, or results in lead shavings being propelled out to the side, actually striking anybody (such as me) standing nearby.
Some semi-auto pistols have been brought to my class that are so poorly designed, they have rough, sharp edges that dig into the users hand, or the “safety” is so small and rough that it is very hard to engage or disengage. A safety that is hard to use is NOT safe! At today's prices, the $400 price range and up is what you need to spend on a well made, reliable handgun.
Low-cost handguns are, in our experience, poorly manufactured, designed and/or made of cheap metal. They are also generally unreliable and unable to endure sustained use. Such cheap firearms often have very poor triggers and/or safety levers and other features, making these guns difficult to use and shoot accurately. A heavy trigger pull found on cheap guns can make shooting accurately almost impossible.
If you have questions about a gun you are considering for purchase, please call me FIRST!
Too often we have seen students bring low-cost handguns to class and then struggle with the guns and endure unnecessary and preventable difficulties during the live fire training. These situations often lead to the entire class being delayed, while the student and/or the instructor devotes precious time and effort dealing with a poorly made, unreliable, unsafe, difficult to use and overly bothersome low-cost handgun.
A low-cost gun might be better than no gun at all when a gun is needed to defend your life. If I need a gun to defend myself, I do not like the idea that it “MIGHT” go bang when I pull the trigger. However, to train and practice seriously a quality gun is required. If you want the training we provide but do not have a suitable handgun, let us know. We can usually provide (rent) a suitable handgun for the live fire portion of the training. We suggest that if you value your life – the only life you have – and want to learn to use a handgun for self protection, please save your money as quickly as you can and purchase a quality, well made handgun.
I have had ladies call me and say they want a small light weight gun so it doesn't kick. WRONG! Small guns of the same caliber will kick more!
A few words about handgun calibers. Not all handgun calibers are equal. The smallest gun/caliber we will recommend in our training is the .380 ACP. We strongly recommend .38 Special and 9mm as a minimum caliber, but if you insist, you may complete our courses with a .380. Shooting their 380, my students could not tell the difference when I let them try my 9mm.
Calibers larger and more powerful than .45 ACP are generally not acceptable for use in self defense training. Larger, powerful calibers can be difficult to shoot for a number of reasons and are best used for hunting or other recreational shooting, not personal defense.
The use of reloaded ammunition is not allowed in my training. Use of reloaded ammunition can, and in our experience, usually does result in malfunctions and delays.
If you use reloaded ammunition, you are probably not only voiding the factory warranty for your gun, but you are increasing the chance of an ammunition mishap of some kind.
Full metal jacket ammunition is REQUIRED for training and target practice. Solid lead bullets do not perform as well, make a dirty mess of your gun and will adversely affect how your gun functions during this type of training.
My advise is to stick with “name brand” ammunition. There is one brand in the stores right now that is manufactured in and owned by the government of Russia. Do you really want to support the Russian government?
Please get trained properly so you can protect yourself and your loved ones.
Have a SAFE and Happy New Year!
By: Paul Foreman