You're joking, I am sure, but you did remind me of why I bought my first gun
and moved from my first apartment. It was a 300 pound guy slamming himself
against the front door, breaking a hinge, shouting out "I am going to GET
you Joe!" (My name's not Joe, FWIW.) It took the police 30 minutes to
respond as I wondered how long the door would hold. The next day I bought a
.380 Beretta I nicknamed "Sergeant."
I suppose I could advertise via nym on Craigslist that I looked like
Jennifer Lopez and I loved having simulated break-in sex . . . nah, that
could backfire in any number of horrible ways . . . (-:
What could go wrong?
As to one's initial choice of a firearm for personal protection at home, as
somewhat of a gun maven, I'd suggest a 16 (or larger) gauge shotgun.
A nice compromise is "The Judge," a revolver that shoots .410 gauge shotgun
shells and/or .45 long colt cartridges. Your first shot should be the
shotgun shell. That stuns the assailant so he presents a stationary target
for the bowling-ball-sized bullet that's next in line.
The Judge is a POS. It has such recoil that most people cannot shoot it
safely. It is inaccurate. It is a small hand held cannon for people with
short weenies. A real pump shotgun is a good home defense weapon. You
don't even have to aim, just point it towards the noise. And a round over
their head works wonders. The sound of one being jacked is magnified about
7x in the dark. And shotgun pellets don't travel far and kill someone ten
blocks away. Or three rooms away.Even if you severely screw up and hit the
ground, they will do damage to several people.
MHO, Ymmv, and all that stuff.
My favorite intimidation weapon is my Ithaca Featherlight sawed off 16 ga.
18.5 inch barrel, of course. Lanyard to the pistol grip, hung around the
neck, and easily concealed in a coat. #2 pellets.
A recent news report showed a 5'2" woman (weighing, at most, 110 pounds),
got off several shots from a Judge at some would-be robbers. The adrenaline
surge turned her into Superwoman. - didn't even flinch.
A "round over their heads?" You're worried about killing someone "ten blocks
away?" Or "three rooms away?"
You sound like a victim waiting to happen.
You can be so stupid sometimes, yet lucid at others. Have you ever been
duck hunting, and someone put some shot over your head? The sound gets your
attention. And the shot loses velocity really quickly, hitting you with
about as much force as a common BB from an air rifle at fifty feet. The
"three rooms away" thing was in reference to YOUR mention of using slugs in
the .410, which has to be around a 200 grain slug.
Do try to keep up.
Do you actually own any guns?
PS: Victims are at the barrel end of the gun. I'm on the trigger end. And
there ARE videos out there of little women getting a new part in their
hairline from handgun recoil.
HTH, but I doubt it.
Heart surgery pending?
Read up and prepare.
Learn how to care for a friend.
Download the book.
It's sad that in some states you have to add "and I had no means of escape."
My buddy just had to have one of the Cop .357 four barrel derringer pistols.
Apparently it's a close cousin to the Judge in the "better than nothing"
category of personal sidearms. Accurate to within a foot from a foot away.
The ultimate belly gun for someone with incredibly strong hands. Pulling
the trigger rotates the internal hammer to strike each barrel's firing pin
in turn, so the action is already stiff. The shape of the pistol is such
that it puts your finger at the worst position possible to apply strong
Like a lot of backup guns, it was just too small. Nice stainless finish but
at 20 feet the accuracy was abysmal and nowhere near that of a smaller
automatic pistol. It did have an interesting buzzing noise that it made
with some types of ammo when the bullet tumbled in flight (not enough barrel
length to insure a spinning flight, I would imagine).
He was fortunately able to sell it to another guy who also "had to have" one
for almost what he paid for it. His has a disturbing tendency to misfire
with the hammer not striking the round hard enough and that made it pretty
useless as a backup gun. The guy who bought it was happy to have it,
misfires and all because they've stopped making them. Some people swear by
them. It's likely to be able to take down a drug crazed 300 pounder, too.
Deceptively heavy. He threw his out of a fairly sturdy ankle holster when
running at a good clip. The COP .357 owed most of its success to being a
prop in Blade Runner. I'll bet it's like The Judge. If it's saved your
life in a bad situation, it's your friend for life. Otherwise, get a real
<stuff snipped from the threadlet (threddy?) that's spun off from the
I saw a great snippet on AFHV where a woman fires a big hog leg pistol and
the recoil brings the gun up to her forehead and knocks her down. There's
much sadder recoil video floating around of the kid who killed himself
firing an Uzi at a gun show in New England. Too small a kid for that much
recoil. Gun ran up and over and shot him in the head.
The one time I was cornered (but unarmed) I shouted out (to the neighbors
looking out their windows) "I have no avenue of retreat and have no choice
but to use deadly force" as I reached into my (empty) jacket where a
shoulder rig would be. Did the trick. The asshole with the tire iron
retreated back into his building (he was irate that I took his parking
space - they were open to all, of course, but not according to him!). It
probably helped that he knew I had once had a carry permit (which lapsed
when I changed jobs - which I don't think he knew). Afterwards, I sent the
sheriffs to arrest him for assault (didn't help him that he was smoking
crack when they came for him). Assault charges got dropped but the drug
charges stuck. I put it in the win column. (-; FWIW, he was the local VP
for Common Cause.
All my cop friends are of the same mind as you regarding warning shots,
although I have fired them twice in my lifetime with good results when
displaying a pistol wasn't convincing enough. They also insisted on killing
anyone who has tried to kill you for two reasons. One, to prevent him from
trying again and two to make sure there's only one side to the story -
yours - in any ensuing civil litigation. A dead creep is worth far less
than a crippled one for some reason.
It's regrettable that you live in a jurisdiction that mandates retreat.
Pressure your legislators for a true "Castle Doctrine" statute that
incorporates a "stand your ground" provision. In our last legislative
session here in Texas such a statute was incorporated. It says that you may
use deadly force to repel an attack, without retreating, at any place you
have a right to be: in your home or place of business, on the street, at a
movie, riding a bus, anywhere.
The following states have "No duty to retreat" statutes:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana,
Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi,
Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode
Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah.
Yeah. Blame the Great Crash that we're stuck here. It sucks, but what can
Sadly, the state is moving in the opposite direction and the recent Tuscon
shooting is going to accelerate that trend. Still, there *are* some ways
around the limitations. Always keep a deadly weapon thoroughly cleansed of
DNA and prints handy, for one thing. Make sure to insert it into the hand
of your dead attacker (or drop it nearby if there are witnesses!). We have
an "apprehended danger" statute that while not as strong as "castle
doctrine" does allow you to defend yourself if you can prove that escaping
was as likely to get you killed as standing your ground. It's even been
used successfully by people without a carry permit, as in having to take an
unusually large amount of cash somewhere and having someone try to rob you.
CHL's are hard to come by here and now cost about $5,000 and a lot of luck
to acquire. Across the river in VA, almost anyone can get a permit to
carry. And in nearby DC, no one can get a CHL although the Supreme Court
put the kibash on that BS. The Congress got all excited about guns in DC
when Rep. Stennis was shot many years ago.
But at least half of those states have enough *other* stuff wrong with them
that we wouldn't want to move there.
Consider who recommended it...
Anyone who has contemplated having the proper tools on hand (or has
attended training from a competent instructor) will tell you that a
shotgun is what you want. I have a pump shotgun with a 18 1/8" barrel
for personal protection in the home.
I bought a .380 because I was applying for a carry permit and a 16 gauge
would have been awkward to carry around in a ankle holster. (-: This was
way back in the day when money (for me) was pretty scarce and it was
"either-or." I had to make do with a weapon that could be both carried
discreetly and used for home defense. A couple of well-placed shots from a
.380 will take out a fat man or a thin one unless he's wearing a bulletproof
welder's helmet. One or two shots up through the jaw will do it. Very
little bone between the barrel and the brain.
But I will agree that a .380 is not an intimidation weapon, it is a weapon
of last resort. I wouldn't shoot a 300 pound man in a leather jacket in the
center of mass and expect good results. I'd aim for the head and pray he
wasn't a relative of Joe the Boss Masseria, the man who could dodge bullets:
He eventually ran out of luck and died in a hail of .32 and .38 caliber
slugs. As someone else noted, the Mob has historically made very effective
use of the .22 caliber round as a murder weapon. It all depends on how you
Ironically, the only time I had to depend on my .380, displaying it was
enough. The guy on the other end weaved his head from side to side to try
to determine if it was a real gun (it's pretty damn small) and ran away when
he concluded it was. It was good for him that he just moved side to side
because I had already decided he was close enough to grab it from me and if
he moved forward even an inch, I would have shot him. And emptied the clip.
Eventually I graduated from the Beretta to a Browning 9mm HiPower. There's
no way that the Browning was anywhere near as conceable as the Beretta,
although it had tremendously greater power as well as a 13 round clip v. the
Beretta's 7. It had substantially greater intimidation power as well. Now
I have a .40 Glock, a Ruger mini 14 and a few others around the house.
I still prefer a pistol to a shotgun for really tight quarters but for carry
purposes, a Baby Browning .25 with 7 rounds of steel-tipped ammo is enough
gun for most situations. At least for me. As someone else said a while
back, a powerful gun that's too big to take everywhere is no better than a
small caliber gun than can go anywhere. Escape is still preferable to a
shootout, at least for me. The Baby is for when escape is not an option.
Even a justifiable shooting is going to cost big bucks, especially if you're
arrested as a result. But being arrested is still a lot better than being
Your points are all excellent.
I carry two guns. In addition to my regular concealed gun (a CZ-82), I have
a fold-up .22, five-shot, single action revolver that I keep in my back
pocket. It's a "Back Up Gun (BUG)". Our local range has BUG matches, and
you'd be surprised at the devastation some of these BUGs can cause to a
I look at it this way. If you're in serious trouble, what would you rather
have: Your schvantz in your hand or a .22 "ladies gun?" I'm sure I posted
this before, but I had a good cop buddy who kept a 32 in his back pocket and
who shot himself in the butt when he took it out somewhat carelessly. He was
on rubber donut detail for quite some time. His co-workers NEVER let him
forget it, either - they even went so far as to make a paper target out of a
photocopy of someone's butt. That was 20 years ago and I'll bet he's still
getting grief over it. I'll bet they bring it up at his funeral.
I was lucky to find a mint condition Baby Browning while helping a neighbor
buy a .357 Python to use if her ex-husband came around violating her
protection order (after bashing her head in with a hammer - only netting him
4 years in prison). Derringers are illegal to sell new in Maryland (AFAIK)
but old guns are grandfathered in. Got it for a steal. It had no marks
whatsoever - apparently never even been fired. The only problem is that
it's SO damn small that if you don't hold it exactly right you'll skin
yourself but good. Happened the first time I fired it and I didn't realize
I had been cut until I saw the puddle of blood on the range rest/shelf. The
damn slide edge is razor sharp and slit me open quite cleanly. My first
reaction was "what idiot bled all over the damn shelf!?" (-: Oops!
Same thing happened with the Beretta, but never with the Glock or the
Browning HP. They're both hefty enough to keep big hands like mine away
from rapidly moving pistol slides.
The only thing bad about BUGs is that you can almost never count on them to
work through intimidation alone. Racking the slide back on my .25 makes
less noise than flipping a Zippo lighter. The Browning HP has a much more
authorative "snap" to it. Of course, for intimidating pistols, nothing
beats the SW.500. Useful for putting down rogue grizzly bears, werewolves,
elephants, blue whales, dinosaurs, zombies and Mack trucks:
"With its 8-3/8-in. barrel, the overall length of the Model 500 is 15 in.
and the empty weight is 4.5 pounds. The cylinder alone is almost 2 in. in
diameter and approaches 2.25 in. in length. Thumb the cylinder open and five
charge holes await. Each is 1/2 in. in diameter, and the .50-cal. cartridges
they hold are almost 2 in. long. Load five of them and the total weight of
the handgun climbs to 5 pounds."
Now *that's* intimidation. I guess I won't be strapping that puppy to my
ankle, either. I have a bad feeling that some psycho will one day take a
.500 to Red Lobster on a Saturday night to see how many people he can shoot
through with one bullet. At 2600 ft-lbs, it's gotta to be at least four or
five. They used to make it with a short barrel for carrying but it wasn't
very popular so they discontinued it.
Maybe next Christmas if I can convice SWMBO that we need another gun.
That's gonna be a hard sell, even though she's a retired Army colonel.
She's a crack shot with a .45 but it's just a qualification thing with her,
not a passion. There's clearly a gender component to gun love. (-:
Now that I've read the specs again, I really, really want one. Just for
bragging rights. And for keeping escaped circus animals under control.
(Shades of an old Gahan Wilson cartoon.)
Yes. And a most excellent gun for killing Communists (they like to get up
close, as in "in your face").
Sure. Look here:
The folding grip I have doesn't have the clip to attach to your belt, but
Heh! At the range three weeks ago, my Glock 19 fired out of battery. Blew
the shit out of both sides of the weapon!
Glock says they'll fix/replace the gun under their lifetime warranty. I've
had it with guns made of Bakelite. Soon as this one gets fixed, I'm trading
it for about a dozen CZ-82s.
Search for "Glock+Kaboom" and you'll get, oh, 26,000 results. Here's the
search with pictures:
And no, I didn't get hurt. My current squeeze was firing the weapon, but
thanks for your concern.
Why would you be racking the slide on a pistol? That's pure Hollywood.
Love, possibly. Practicality can make a difference though. My current
squeeze is a mental health diagnostician at a psychiatric hospital and works
the 4:00 p.m. to midnight shift. It didn't take much convincing that a CHL
was in her best interests.
In fact, she's going for the mandatory class and range qualifications today.
With two master's degrees, she won't have any trouble with the classroom
part. Earlier in the week she shot a 225 out of a possible 250 on a
* This is not a particularily outstanding score. Our BUG matches often
include shooting the course blindfolded! 200+ is typical - out of 50 shots,
20 are at SEVEN FEET against a man-sized target (20 shots are at 75 feet,
but we usually turn the targets around inasmuch as your typical bad guy, at
that distance, is running away).
And yes, in Texas, you can use deadly force against a squint, mope, 'roided
up primate, or any other malefactor who is departing the scene at high
Well, I've got a commie starlight scope for my Ruger and it's pretty
serviceable except the rubberized coating is now as sticky as if it had been
honey-coated. Cheap too, just like the CZ's. No auto-shutter so one aim at
a bright light will likely kill it, but so far, so good.
Looks sweet but it's probably illegal in Maryland unless I come across a
used one. What f''ing sense such a law makes is beyond me, but that's what
my gunsmith said. Of course, he also said the S&W .500 was just an urban
legend about two hours after I had handled one at a gun store up the road.
Since I've never seen small guns and derringers new in the display cases, I
assume he's right on this one.
Maryland has a "bullet database" which means all new guns sold have to be
test fired and a bullet sent to the State Police for logging. AFAIK, not
one prosecution has resulted from the massive and intrusive effort. It just
means remembering to use an older gun or a shotgun if you're going to kill
someone. (-: In a case we had here a while back, someone killed a two
people with bullets that had no identifying barrel marks. Turned out they
were firing 9mm shells from a .40 gun and the bullet didn't contact the
barrel completely, although it clearly had enough oomph to be lethal.
Someday I will build a ballistic water tank to check it out.
Gack! That's certainly not what you want to have happen in a showdown with
a psycho. How old is the Glock? I know they were plagued with problems
early on but I thought they had eliminated them. From what I recall, Glock
blamed a lot of KB's on reloaded and/or non-jacketed ammo and lead buildup
in the barrel leading to overpressuring. It's why both ranges I use will
ban shooters that bring their own ammo (50 year old Korean War era surplus
was what one guy tried to sneak in!) What were you running through it?
(-: I have to admit that the Glock and the Taurus (both with a lot of
plastic) are a hell of a lot easier to lug around than the all steel and
wood Browning HP. I'll have to weigh them all later today when I clean them
Yes, I've seen exploded Glocks but the most impressive display I've seen is
at the local skeet range where they have a display board with the sawed off
ends of shotgun barrels that were fired after the shooter managed to plug
them with dirt. Unless you see it close up, it's hard to believe that
hardened steel would shatter, bulge, ribbon and bend that way. There are at
least 20 barrels ends on the board now. A testament to stupidity.
Jeez. If that happened to my wife I could never get her to the range again.
The HP is single action and after my bud shot himself in the ass, I got
hinky about keeping a round in the chamber. Thus the need to rack it. Now
I trust it enough to keep one in the chamber and the hammer back with the
A lot of women are preprogrammed to fear firearms but once you get some of
them down to the range and they do well, that reticence tends to disappear.
The only problem I see with that is that some patients now know where to get
a gun. I hope she's "strapped" and doesn't keep it in her purse.
Here in Maryland, if someone shoots a fleeing perp (even a cop!) bad things
happen. It's already happened twice to Baltimore cops. There was even a
big stink raised because a cop shot someone armed with a Bowie knife as if
it were a foul in a jousting contest instead of a life or death situation.
People are stupid and this state attracts them like a magnet.
That's definitely not the rule here. We have lots of wealthy enclaves where
people lead lives so sheltered that they have no idea what it's like on the
streets. Five years as a police reporter gave me the typical cop's outlook
on the world: "Trust no one and you'll stay among the living." As a
reporter I mostly interacted with the "white shirts" (Lt's and above) and we
would always laugh at how green and naive rookies could be for the first few
years. That changed after enough exposure to the scum of the earth or when
they got their first serious service wound. That's when they grew eyes in
the back of their heads.
Under the chin. The jawbone is shaped so that a gun barrel will "center"
itself if pushed hard enough. Also a good place to stick an icepick or a
long-bladed cabinet screwdriver. (AHR topicality!) (-: There was a mobster
whose name escapes me (something to do with tooth) who managed to avoid
being murdered by deflecting a .22 round with his front tooth. So yes, you
have to know where to put it. The secret to so many things in life.
I was reading last night about gangster Roy DeMeo who perfected what became
known as the "Gemini" system for mob hits. He would invite the victim to
his nightclub, the Gemini, which was connected to an apartment building in
the back. As they walked into the apartment, someone would be waiting with
a .22 and would shoot the victim in the head. They immediately wrapped his
head in a towel and then stuck a kitchen knife in the victim's heart to stop
the blood from gushing. Then they would dismember the victim in a kiddie
pool and take the various pieces to restaurant garbage dumpsters. Some
estimates place the number of people who were completely "disappeared" at
close to 200. But as HeyBub has said, they were mostly other gangsters
whom not many people missed. IIRC, it was Paul Castellano who eventually
put DeMeo through his own murder assembly line. Poetic justice. A short
while later, Castellano was gunned down by a small army of Gotti button men
outside of Spark's Steakhouse in NYC at the height of the Christmas shopping
season. As you might expect, "Big Paulie got shot, but nobody seen
You can't do that. Don't tamper with electric or gas or water. I
like cutting off the cable idea though. Also, non paying tenants will
not move because of no heat or electric, they will call the housing
Don't let your tenants keep getting away with bad behaviour. If it
violates your terms of lease, throw them out sooner than later. Once you
cut them slack they will take advantage. Be nice, but very firm.
You may wish to find some company to manage the property for you.
They know the ropes and since you will be far away, double so.
I owned and rented a 2 apartment home in the GTA. The basement tenants
complained of water dripping from the ceiling in the livingroom area.
This was a constant issue for him - not a one off. Upon investigation
the east indian family renting upstairs had a tarp on the floor, 2
swimming pools filled which contained rice patties. As well in one of
the bedrooms there was what I can only consider to be a commercial
deep fryer - no vent / ceiling driipping with grease. This rental
agreement indicated 3 people (wife, husband and kid). In one bedroom
there was a 3 three teir x 2 of hammocks. Soon after that I got out of
the rental business.
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