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Convince a Skeptic

2175 Views 15 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  rfurtkamp
Ladies and gentlemen I submit to you a conversation I just had with an old friend.

Now my friend is not a classic "anti gun" person. He has plans to purchase his first handgun soon after he returns home from Germany.

The conversation went something like this:

"... and the Sigs are worth looking at too. You've got a lot of options and you're just going to have to get out there and try to hold some of them in your hand or if possible test fire them at a range."

"Awesome. This'll take care of any problem I may ever need a gun for."

"Actually, you really should have a longarm. If I could only have one gun I'd probably have a rifle."

"What do I need a long gun for? They're expensive."

"Not really. A lever action .30-30, an SKS, a 12 gauge pump shotgun or something along those lines costs less than the handguns you're considering. If nothing else get something in 7.62x39. It's a very cheap round."

And at that point he had to go, unconvinced he needed a long arm. Personally I have a few long guns and I want about 30 more. :tongue: I view them as far more important even though I have to admit I've been all about handguns this past year.

And I do have to admit we do live in the age of the handgun for most people. Rifles are tools for expensive sports a lot of people don't practice as are many shotguns that you see. I mean honestly what use does the average person have for a $1200+ 28 gauge over/under? :confused:

How do you explain to someone why it's important to possess and know how to use a real long arm, be it a 12 or 20 gauge shotgun or a rifle in a real caliber?

The thing that makes it important to me is that in any event, a long arm is a lot easier to use for me personally. I find them easier to use and much more powerful. In a real emergency it's what I'd want to have. Plus they're just so much more fun. As much as I like my revolvers, my Marlin model 60 beats them all. :biggrin: This is part of the reason I have to admit I don't understand paying so much for a handgun when rifles are so much better. But he remains unconvinced.

I then tried the argument that for the money, long guns offer a lot more return on your investment. You can get a really decent rifle for $250; good luck finding that kind of bargain on a handgun. For the $800 that SIG costs you can really get a heck of a rifle. No go.

I tried explaining that I feel like I could stop an aggressor with my .22 caliber rifle much more easily than I could with my handgun in the same caliber, but that didn't work either.

What would you say to this person?
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Euc - it'd seem you have already said about all there is to say! After which - he needs to digest the info and come to his own conclusions.

However - I do think I might, if buying a first gun - be more than tempted to consider my carry piece first - if only because a long arm is not of course a carry weapon - well, not concealed!

many will say and know - the handgun is there to hopefully let you get to your rifle but - more times than not, issues have to be settled with handgun only.

True - re value etc - well possible get something very adequate for reasonable bucks - SKS probably comes to mind for most.

I would hope that once he has aquired a suitable handgun he will then give more thought to a long arm - right now probably his sole goal is the handgun... to exclusion of all else!

I was a pistlero for more than a decade before I bought my first rifle. And I'm not convinced that a combat shooter who diligently practices is at a disadvantage.

Elmer Keith relates stories of downed Civil War soldiers who hid behind their dead horses and used only pistol fire to keep the enemy at bay.

In fact, in my twenties, had I seen the barrel of a Mini-14, I would have gone on the attack.

Take your buddy to a gun club that offers IPSC style matches and find him a mentor.
long guns are easier to shoot accurately, have longer range and easier to control in recoil. Also double as good clubs if ya run out of ammo. Handguns are easier to carry.
I dunno Tourist.

I agree that all tools are situational and that's why handguns exist. Sometimes they are better.

But when it comes to hitting a moving target, be it a deer, a clay, or a rioter, or tacking a bull's eye, a long gun is just a lot easier to use.

I want a lever action .44 Magnum so badly now after getting to play with my 629.
It depends on the shooter in all honesty. I can engage human-sized silhouettes while moving at walking speed at 100m consistently with a handgun. So can most of the guys I shoot with. It'll solve any problem that reasonably is going to exist.

Don't get me wrong - I love my rifles. I love 'em all. I'm ready for Zombie Death Race 2005 and all - but....

....I don't feel undergunned if all I've got is my handy Sig.
$1200+ 28 gauge over/under?
Chris is just one witness...

Steve's rule 47: Never EVER let your wife, daughter, girlfriend, fiance- shoot a 28 ga.

Rule #48 is the same - applicable to hubby, son, boyfriend, fiance.

Rule # 49 - Blame Steve.

It is always my fault when folks end up with a 28 ga of any flavor. Always my fault when someone gets a new gun. I am "banned" from going shopping or assisting some folks...not allowed to be with some folks unless a "responsible adult" is present.

Personally: I am more concerned with leaving and entering premises - hence the CCW.

I have way more trigger time on a shotgun. One of mine alone has over 200k rds thru it.

A Shotgun such as a 870 Express is very affordable. Shotguns are one of the most versatile firearms. From slugs to target loads. Deer, quail, varmits ( 2 or 4 legged).

I load mine with slugs only for HD. Slugs work from contact distance to "out yonder at bit". When matters get serious, I ain't gonna be changing loads, I'm shucking , shooting and stuffing more shells to keep fed.

I know what a slug will do thru some materials, I may need to shoot through glass, I may need to shoot thru the curtain, the chair, the other side of a door where the BG is partially taking "concealement".

IN a more Rural area, used lever action 30-30 are very affordable , ammo is inexpensive, handy - easy to carry and again like the shotgun - not magazine dependent.

Sometimes "serious" means putting down a rabid raccoon attacking the family pet, a rouge dog chasing a child, putting down a deer hit on the two lane hwy out front, fox in the henhouse.

I prefer wood stocks. Wood stocks allow cutting if need to better fit gun to shooter,synthetics limits one. Wood is denser and IMO less percieved recoil. Wood also packs more wallop if you have to buttstroke something.

Two hands allow one to shoot better, two hands plus a shoulder is "gooder".

It depends on the person and level of training and commitment to personal safety. Commitment to staying trained and getting trained.

Local and personal situations also make a difference.

As stated before, I was more concerned with entering and leaving premises.

A farmer/ rancher may be more concerned with "varmits" out on the property - 2 or 4 legged. Furry, no fur, feathered, weathered, stoned or escaped.
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I can see getting into a fist fight, I can even see a knife attack, or walking into a late-night 'Stop n' Rob' when the Cripps decide to go out for snacks.

But I cannot envision an assault rifle jihad skirmish in my neighborhood or a lever-action war for water rights in guernsey rich outer Dane County.

"Well, it might happen."

Yeah, and if my Aunt Clara had a (bigger) moustache she would have been my Corsican Uncle Frank (ptoy, ptoy, no disrespect).

I do like to get my stainless Marlin Guide Gun out once in a while and sing "Happy Trails To You."
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Tourist, imagine, if you will, you live in a beautiful sub tropical climate in a life of excess. You are so affluent you can afford ridiculous creature comforts, and so sheltered from reality you embrace leftism at its fullest. You are rich, you are pampered, or maybe you just like to pretend you are.

Then suddenly a police officer is acquitted lawfully in a court of law and no one's happy about it. In short order a cinder block is thrown through your window and a horde of crazed looters demands your money, your valuables, your dignity, and possibly your life. It is days before order is restored.

Or if that's too much to swallow think about what might happen if suddenly a great storm came through your area, closing off all roads and any means of travel. You're stuck. The destruction is so bad bands of rabble rousers drive around in pickup trucks tearing up anything and anyone they see. The National Guard is brought in, but it's the longest 24-72 hours of your life.

Or if that's still too hard to swallow, imagine you live next to a government building and there are plenty in and near the capital of Texas. Suddenly one day a radical, fed up with a hatred of corportations or who knows what else, decides it's time to strike a real blow against the oppressive government. He rents a truck and fills the back with a crude home made bomb. Maybe it causes a lot of damage, maybe it doesn't, but at any rate it will of course cause panic.

Things like this happen daily on a smaller scale. I guess I owe this bit of paranoia to my father. He's an electrical engineer. His job is and always has been to keep the power on in rural areas. He has some stories too. Even in the most pristine, quiet places, something so small as the power going out for 48 hours leads to people getting hurt as a result of the panic and hysteria that sets in, and it's the people who don't panic who wind up on the wrong end of it.

That's why he takes his job so seriously. The way he looks at it, the longer the lights stay out, the more he's asking for it.

These things don't happen very often thankfully, but when they do it's in the least likely places at the most unlikely times. THAT is an emergency even if it passes. That is when it's time for a rifle.

For people who live in hurricane country or near a great potential target for a whackjob to blow up, 3 days worth of spare food and water and a long gun are prudent investments. Heck for anyone that's a prudent investment.
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Well, truthfully a handgun and practice will trump the long gun and lots of ammo.

If the guy wants a handgun, and enjoys it, sooner or later he'll get a rifle. Let inertia take its course.
Get him shooting. It is the easiest way to convince someone.

We ran an NWTF Women In The Outdoors event last year. We let the women shoot a .22 bolt, lever action .38 special and an AR15. They loved it.

So the guy gets a handgun. My first gun was a shotgun, but I didn't shoot it much. My first shooter was a S&W 686 4 inch. I now have more long guns than handguns. I am working diligently to correct that problem, but it is still the case.

If he starts shooting and gets hooked he will get long guns, not to worry. Just make sure he gets to try some of yours or anyone else in your shooting group.

Its a simple matter of priority for most folks.

Id rather have a long arm for defense.
Handguns are a compromise.

However, in many peoples situation of living in a city in close quarters and the fact that they probably will never hunt game, a handgun for self defense has a much higher priority than a long gun ever will. It gets more use. It has more potential value if they are able to carry it every day for their protection.

I've instructed many people that bought their first handgun and it was their first and only. Given time and education, they'll almost always get a longarm if they are in an rural setting, but not so much if they are in an urban setting.

Its an unfortunate fact of life that sometimes it takes something like being defenseless against looters after a hurricane or civil unrest to get the point across to some people.

Starting with a handgun is definatley a step up.
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Lots of good info here.

I think rfurtkamp pretty much defined the continued interest that most folks have. If they enjoy the sport, they want to not only get better, but expand their collection and expertise.

But, son, you're a younger man. Instead of fantasizing about hate, death and war, can't you drift off thinking about a new, cherry red CVO Fat-Boy and Kelly Rowland? She could be holding a lever-action if it helps.

Surely you don't think this is the sum of my interests and desires?

Ms. Risko is a particularly nice looking ELA instructor who's going to be next door to me all summer long... :biggrin:

Of course the last time I went this route I wound up having a bottle of Evian dumped over my head as I was ceremoniously declared the poster boy for abortion.

Even at all this, I still have more money tied up in consumer electronics than I ever will in guns, knives, etc.
rfurtkamp said:
It depends on the shooter in all honesty. I can engage human-sized silhouettes while moving at walking speed at 100m consistently with a handgun. So can most of the guys I shoot with. It'll solve any problem that reasonably is going to exist.
What kind of grouping can you get at 100m and what kind of pistol? Sounds like you are a way better shot than me although honestly I can't remember trying to engage anything at 100 yrds with a pistol other than rocks on a high wall. Think I hit some, will have to check this out on the next range trip.

With my eyes I'm probably better off sticking with my AR and the aimpoint :biggrin:
Monty said:
What kind of grouping can you get at 100m and what kind of pistol? Sounds like you are a way better shot than me although honestly I can't remember trying to engage anything at 100 yrds with a pistol other than rocks on a high wall. Think I hit some, will have to check this out on the next range trip.
Mostly I shoot my Sigs (226 9mm, Pro Compact 9mm, 226 357) when I'm at the range these days. Group-wise, 6-8" is doable if I'm in the right mindset. We practice with clay pidgeons at 50 and 100 and mulch them down to nothing, and by comparison, the full-sized blue men are much, much easier.

With 9mm, it's good to 100m and a little more work to 150. .357 Sig and I are just starting to get along and I put 4 of 5 in the black on a 100m rifle target at 200 the other afternoon. It's a hair flatter than the 9 and that makes a real difference pushing out there.

I'd suggest starting out with staggered targets - 25m, 50m, 75m, 100m. Pop cans for the first two, two liter bottles for the second. Get a spotter if it helps - the range I use is in the high desert and you get convenient dust clouds on impact and can see the small crater, so correction is simple.

At the longer distances, you're trusting a little more on faith, but some of it may be the weapons in question as well. A friend of mine who had never handled the 357 Sig blasted a clay at 50m on his first shot when we were out this morning.
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