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Self-Defense

Self-Defense

Stealth, Strength And Economy

It could be four gangbangers rushing your open garage door, shooting as they come. You could be the lone armed customer caught between the aisles when two bandits begin blasting the convenience store clerk, and you have to act—or die. Or two masked scumbags suddenly appear in your living room because somebody left a sliding glass door unlocked. Maybe it will come as you’re using a well-lit ATM, when thugs attack out of the dark.

Those were the scenes in four surveillance-camera videos I recently reviewed. In cases one and two, the citizens had guns close at hand, and they acted immediately and decisively. The resident in his garage, in fact, sent all four predators running, seriously wounding one. In the third, the homeowner had a gun, but couldn’t retrieve it fast enough to save his life. In the fourth, the victim had no weapon, and no chance.

Assaults tend to be fast, close and violent, and the more prepared you are in head, heart and hardware, the greater your chance of survival. We can only cover a fraction of the latest self-defense products, but here are some selections for your consideration:

A friend of mine was looking for a rugged, accurate, handgun-caliber “truck carbine” which would pack a punch, but be economical to shoot. When he found it, he also found it made a great home defense weapon too; high-capacity, very controllable, operable with gross motor skills under stress, and while it’s very maneuverable, it’s also stout enough for employment as an impact weapon. That’s the G9 carbine from Lone Wolf Distributors, shown nearby, a dedicated—not cobbled-up and modified—9mm semi-auto carbine, which feeds with standard Glock 17-round or 33-round magazines.

All the usual controls are AR-consistent, just like your favorite 5.56mm carbine. Having shot and reviewed one recently, I’m happy to report it is very well made and it functioned flawlessly. Just slap on iron sights or an optic and you’ve got an excellent multi-function weapon. The lower must be shipped to your FFL holder, and the complete upper can be shipped direct to you. Together they cost a bit more than a high-end 9mm pistol, and do a whole lot more.

There’s not much new besides Bells & Whistles in defensive shotguns, but there are tons of new and used 12- and 20-gauge “sporting” Remington 870s, Mossberg 500-series, and other makes ready for retrofitting with high quality, smooth feeding extended magazine tube assemblies by Nordic Components. Lightweight and strong, they’re precision machined of 6061 aircraft aluminum to boost your capacity from +1 to +8 rounds. Nordic’s low-drag followers and barrel-and-tube clamps round out an “enhanced firepower package.” For a shorter, lighter, more maneuverable setup, check out Tapco’s TGA-12, which replaces your standard shotgun buttstock with a solid pistol grip and single-point sling loop, priced at $24.99.

Pint-sized pocket pistols are still selling strong, and now Ruger’s .380 LCP and 9mm LC9 are available with the new LaserMax CenterFire frame-mounted lasers. Weighing only a 1/2 ounce and set close to the boreline, they are slick, smooth and ambidextrous, activated by a simple push producing a 5mW red laser with a battery life of 5 hours constant-on. If you already own an LCP or LC9, you can buy a CenterFire laser directly from LaserMax and install it yourself in minutes. For easy, ergonomic controls and a seamless fit to the contours of the pistols, this is one of the best laser designs I’ve seen.

For several full-size Glock, Smith & Wesson M&P and Springfield XD model pistols, Crimson Trace’s Lightguard 100-lumen, frame-mounted light is a real winner—in fact, it won the 2011 Self-Defense Product of the Year award from the Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence. Ambidextrous and instinctively grip-activated, it’s virtually snag-free and teams neatly with Crimson Trace LaserGrips.

Effective defensive ammo abounds, but Federal Premium offers a different take with their new Guard Dog Home Defense rounds. Hollowpoint rounds penetrating clothing or dry wall can fill with debris, which retards expansion and promotes over-penetration. Guard Dog lightweight, low recoil, high velocity non-hollowpoint slugs are a full metal jacket design filled with expanding polymer, so they feed smoothly and expand reliably, dissipating energy rapidly. They are available now in 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP, and you can bet more calibers are coming. They’re also a great carry-gun choice where hollowpoints are prohibited.
Story By: John Connor

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  1. I don’t think the average citizen should be encouraged to use a long gun for home defense. It is quite easy for them to be taken away from you. They produce tremendous and disorienting muzzle blast in a confined space, which is why you should also stay away from magnum handgun calibers (including .357 Sig) and .45 auto.
    The best gun for self defense is the one you can shoot most accurately. A .22 revolver is lethal enough and can produce one shot stops if you have good aim and know where to shoot.
    I prefer a 9mm for pretty much any conceivable self defense situation, specifically the Springfield XD Sub compact. Its a fantastically good value for money – features galore, more accurate than most pistols its size and have never had failure of any kind in about 10,000 rounds. This includes some really crappy old A-MERC ammo that would jam in my early production Beretta 92FS.
    It’s the gun that Glock wishes they’d made.
    Lastly, one can never stress too much the need for professional training and lots of practice to learn to shoot a pistol well.

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