Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Home Defense

It is virtually crime free where I live. It's one reason I chose to live here. Maybe a murder every other year that is domestic related, a bar fight here and there, stuff stolen from open garages, teenage drug use and minor vandalism but burglaries and home invasion are unheard of.

One reason is that Porter County has many gun dealers and many gun owners. In Valpo alone we have two and Wal-Mart makes three. It's hardly the wild-west as the anti-gun folks would have you believe. There are two indoor shooting ranges within ten miles of me. The locals like to hunt too.

Out here it’s a rural area with a rural sense of mutual respect. The State of Indiana offers concealed carry permits to non-felons for purposes of self defense. I have one. Most folks understand if you are a stranger and you threaten another's life or invade someone’s home you may be assuming room temperature rather quickly. We all respect the second amendment in these here parts.

In my fourteen years living here there has been no local criminal activity I know of.

Last weekend I heard some disturbing news from a neighbor. Three burglaries occured last week. Two were very close to my residence. There are conflicting stories. One witness claimed she saw a young white male bounding out of one of the residences carrying a package. This is unusual. Details are sketchy. I'm not sure but I’m ready.

This is my Glock. There are many like it but this one is mine.

I don't pretend to be a firearms expert or collector. I am a gun user. My guns are all scratched due to field use.

I do know that handgun owners have personal preferences. There are revolvers, semi-autos, combat pistols, small concealable pieces and even old-west style derringers to choose from for self defense purposes. A hotly debated topic is between those who prefer revolvers over semi-automatics. Call me a semi-auto kind of guy. While there are many fine beautiful guns out there I prefer the Glock.

Then there is the “which semi auto is best” debate that goes on forever in gun shops and ranges. Many prefer a 1911 style in .45cal used by the military in WWll. I like my Glock model 22 in .40 cal Smith & Wesson thank you. For me, my Glock .40 is a fine piece. It is preferred by law enforcement over all others according to my cousin who is a policeman, a member of an urban swat team and he takes pleasure going into a crack house with his Metropolitan Drug Task Force buddies after tossing a concussion grenade through a window. Talk about home invasion. For that he carries his Glock .40 on the side and a full-auto HK MP5 in his hands.

I may not be a champion marksman but I’m good enough. When I first picked up a Glock and pulled the trigger it just felt right for me. The Glock 40 is lightweight, slender, well balanced and the clip can hold 15 rounds of .40cal business. They’re incredibly easy to take down and clean.

Glocks are combat pistols, they do not have a traditional safety mechanism. There are three. From the Glock website - "When the trigger is pulled, 3 safety features are automatically deactivated one after another. When doing so, the trigger bar is deflected downward by the connector and the firing pin is released under full load. When the trigger is released, all three safety features re-engage and the GLOCK pistol is automatically secured again". As any responsible gun owner knows you do not put your finger on the trigger of any weapon until you are confident of a safe, true shot. If you drop a locked and loaded Glock it will not go off.

There is the story of a Glock test where they ran over one with an Abrams tank on concrete. They picked up the gun and emptied the clip. They are nearly indestructible.

When it comes to dealing with a home invader I prefer something a bit more serious. And more forgiving. Like this.

Say hello to my 12ga short barrel side-by-side shotgun. It is one cm beyond legal. This one belonged to my grandfather. He used it to protect his business, which was located in a high crime area of Northwest Indiana.

Being short this piece can be easily handled in tight spaces and narrow hallways. And it more than capable of maximum damage. No need for marksmanship with one of these babies. I can honestly "shoot from the hip" to get the job done.

About a year ago in the town of Wilmette Illinois a man shot an intruder in his house. The intruder was shot twice with a handgun but he was able to escape and showed up at a hospital emergency room later on. The homeowner was later charged with possession of an illegal weapon. Wilmette had a handgun band. I would have done the same but not with a handgun. After a double blast of 12ga high brass #2's that intruder would have been sent flying through the drywall. Then I would have called 911.

Would I shoot an intruder who broke into my home? All I can say is I hope that time never comes. But I am more than ready.

The war is coming to the streets of America and if you are not keeping and bearing and practicing with your arms then you will be helpless and you will be the victim of evil. -Ted Nugent


Dan from Madison said...

Dang! Nice stuff! I am an HK guy myself, but I quit arguing over the "best" semi auto long ago. The best one is the one you feel comfortable practicing with and shooting. For home defense I am a revolver guy, my Smith 13-2 .357 sits by my side.

Dan from Madison said...

The only thing I would challenge in this piece is the notion that your shotgun is the end all. If at all possible you should still aim it with the sights. Yes, it does leave large holes, but especially when close your "cone of destruction" is minimized. If you only make a grazing hit with a few balls the intruder still comes at you, especially if they are amped up on drugs or whatever. That said, I absolutely love that shotgun - I would like to know the make and model, and what size shell it uses (I assume 2.75). That thing must be a bear to shoot and make quite a bang, to say the least.

Annie said...

Gerry is my new hero.

I've actually been eyeing the Glocks of my cop type acquaintences, but have yet to cross over to the dark side.
If I do, I'll never be able to let the Kimber smell Glock on me. :o

Good post!:D

gerry from valpo said...

Shotgun is a sawed-off Parkhurst. 12ga. 2 3/4". When I get home I will look for the model #. It's over 100 years old.

I was only using the phrase "shoot-from-the-hip" to illustrate why I choose a scatter gun over a pistol for home defense. The only thing better would be a 12ga. 3"magnum sawed-off semi-auto with a 5 round mag. =)

An ex-Marine friend of mine has a sweet pump action sawed-off 12ga. that fires on each pump after the first trigger pull. He says there's no need for waste time with a trigger when you're cleaning house

Dan from Madison said...

I have to admit I would choose the short barreled shotgun over a handgun for self defense if offered the choice. I am not proficient enough with my shotgun for that purpose, so use my revolver.

I would be interested in the model of shotgun that fires on the pump. I saw Schwarzenegger do that in a movie once (maybe Raw Deal?) and was wondering if it was possible. Maybe only allowed for law enforcement and military.

I was looking closer at your shotgun and it is truly beautiful. Wonderful detail and craftsmanship.

gerry from valpo said...

UPDATE: No model # on the Parkhurst.

His pump gun is a military model. Allen claims it just followed him home one night. I respect all guns but that one really scared the hell out of me.

Annie said...

Every time I intend to purchase a shotgun, I keep second guessing myself so I end up with nothing. Everybody has an opinion about what they think I need and no two are the same (although everybody has good points). The one I've really leaned toward is a Browning Gold 20g, but the thing stopping me there is my wallet. Same for the Benelli. The main use would be for trap, but I'd want it for home defense as well.
Sometime I'll blog about the research I've done with it (and the pros and cons of pump or lever for me) and take an impromptu poll. Maybe you good peeps have an insight that others have overlooked.

Dan from Madison said...

Well, I don't think you can have your cake and eat it on this subject, Annie. All of this is my personal opinion, so take it for what it is worth. If you plan on buying a shotgun for trap, you will want a longer barrel - for home defense I would prefer a short barrel, as short as is legal. This makes movement easier in your domain. You know enough about guns to know that the longer barrel will provide better accuracy, and will need that accuracy for trap.

That said, there is no reason you can't use a trap gun for home defense, it just won't be as easy to maneuver in closed spaces as a short barreled shotgun. I am not proficient with a shotgun, but am very good with my revolvers and semi auto pistols so choose those for my home defense weapons.

Lastly, I have read enough internet pissing matches to know to always recommend to someone to do WHAT FEELS BEST FOR THEM. If you decide to get proficient with a trap shotgun and like a pump, for gods sake use that. If you end up preferring an over/under or some other style, please use that. The best home defense weapon is the one you are the most comfortable with and the most proficient at using. Hopefully you will never need to use it in a self defense situation.

gerry from valpo said...

I recommend a shotgun with interchangeable screw in choke tubes for huntng and competition. Full choke being the tightest pattern and cylander bore being the loosest. There are about four different choices inbetween.

Most manufacturers offer this system in newer models. A good gunsmith can retrofit older scatter guns with modern screw in choke tubes if you are so inclined = )

Dan from Madison said...

Did you mod your grandfathers gun for different chokes or leave as is? (I hope the latter)