What Is The Best Self Defense Training in 2023
When Violence Is the Answer: Learning How to Do What It Takes When Your Life Is at Stake
The Complete Book of Tai Chi Chuan (Revised Edition): A Comprehensive Guide to the Principles and Practice
Basic Wing Chun Training: Wing Chun For Street Fighting and Self Defense
What is Ninjutsu?
Get Savvy: Letters to a Teenage Girl about Sex and Love
Aikido Martial Arts: The Untold Truth About the Art of Aikido
Be Ready When the Sh*t Goes Down: A Survival Guide to the Apocalypse
Marty Martin's Children's Self Defense Training Series "Jr. Self Defense Set Four"
Marty Martin's Children's Self Defense Training Series "Jr. Self Defense Set One"
VIPERTEK VTS-989 - 58 Billion Heavy Duty Stun Gun - Rechargeable with LED Flashlight
- Powerful Stun Gun With LED Flashlight. Convenient Size (6.5" x 2" x 1")
- Snatch Prevention - Should an assailant try to snatch the device from you, the shock plates on the side of the unit will also deliver a high voltage shock.
- Ultra-Sharp Spike Electrodes helps penetrate through thick clothing
- Internal Rechargeable Battery - No expensive batteries to buy. Non-Slip Rubber Coating
- Lifetime Warranty
Choosing the Best Ammunition for Personal Defense
There are many sources of information and opinion on this subject and much of it is misleading and slanted. This article hopes to shed some rational criteria when making this critical decision.
I began shooting competitively 37 years ago and have fired more than 500,000 rounds of ammunition of every caliber from .22LR to 40mm grenades. I've also fired TOW missiles and 2.75 inch rockets but they won't let me park my AH-1S at the mall! I have carried a firearm for personal defense for 30 years (and fortunately have never had need to test the privilege). I have been a police firearms instructor and participated as an instructor in numerous NRA sponsored clinics.
Even after all these many years I would never categorize myself as an "Expert" in personal defense. I'm without doubt an expert marksman and certainly know my way around firearms and ammunition but I have not had the experience in actual personal defense situations that one would associate with an "expert" at anything.
So this is my word of caution to those of you doing research. There are few if any "experts" in firearms for personal defense out there since even most law enforcement officers rarely if ever experienced a real life firearm engagement. There are hundreds of "laptop lunatics" shooting up sides of beef and pig skulls in order to calculate damage coefficients and post their blather on blogs. It's all crap unless they have been involved in more than a few real life situations.
Everything you read is only someone's opinion on the subject and your decision is a matter of personal choice and one that you will have to perhaps quite literally, live with. So, I'll give you some fodder to chew on and hopefully it will be helpful.
There is no "Magic Bullet"
Short of a 12 gauge rifled slug I would not count on any round being a guaranteed "one shot stop" so ignore all the tripe you hear about a .44 Magnum "blowing your head clean off". I've heard all the crap at the range about .40 S W; blasting down brick walls and .357 Magnums going through engine blocks. Who cares?
Without doubt, the more energy a handgun round generates the more "stopping power" is available but there are a number of other factors.
You Need to Conceal the Weapon
In most states that offer concealed carry privileges causing a panic in the bank by having the butt of your Model 1911 flashing around the lobby will land you in hot water. You may even lose your permit. You will certainly be embarrassed.
Don't select a frame that's larger than you can easily conceal while wearing comfortable clothes. I recall sweating my butt off to hide that beautiful Sig P220 in the summer.
Ladies, stuffing your hand cannon in your handbag will not do you much good if your bag gets snatched. Now you have to report a stolen gun and that's not a great conversation to have with the police.
Stopping Power is no use if you can't hit the Target
I have weighed two hundred pounds since birth. With as much practice as I've had I can easily dump all eight rounds of .45 ACP from my P220 into the center of mass within five seconds at a typical engagement range of five yards. By the way, that's on the range when my blood pressure isn't through the roof and my pulse hasn't been elevated to 175 by adrenalin.
As for my 112 pound wife, not so much. Select a round that suits your size and abilities. Since there are no one shot stops out there you will probably need more than a single round in a critical area to stop an attack.
You are Accountable for Every Round you Discharge
Life has dealt you a bad situation and you are facing a bad guy so you do what you need to protect yourself and your family. That situation is difficult enough but what happens if that .40 S W; goes through the bad guy and hits the cart boy at the Piggly Wiggly? Or, what if you miss completely and the round flies through a front window striking grandma in the forehead? There's a million dollars in your hard earned money out the window. But forget the liability how the hell would killing grandma make you feel?
Lighter, smaller caliber rounds may have less stopping power but cause far less collateral damage.
Your Choice of Ammunition will follow you to Court
After a self-defense shooting you will almost certainly find yourself in court, if not criminal then civil. There's a good possibility you'll end up in both. The lawyer on the other side of the bench will undoubtedly paint you as some blood thirsty predator for carrying a massive "killer" round. Probably the best round I've ever seen for personal defense was the .45 ACP Black Talon. It was ultimately discontinued after the media hype about how lethal it was. I took it out of my magazines as soon as I read the first newspaper article on this "terror weapon".
You'll read all the brave words along the lines of "save yourself and face the music" but I'm not sure that's great advice. You have a taken on a huge responsibility, you should act responsibly.
Keep your Situation in Perspective
If my typical defensive environment was kicking down crack house doors and patrolling the mean streets of West Philadelphia the .45 ACP would be my back-up piece and the 12 gauge rifled slug would be my primary!
The best personal defensive strategy is to stay out of areas that will place you in a bad situation. Remember, use of your personal firearm is absolutely the last resort. The consequences of shooting someone in self-defense are quite steep, but that's another subject entirely.
So I've learned that I carry my handgun in the event I get caught taking the late train out of the city and there is someone who is looking for someone else to rough up. If they want my money they are welcome to it, I'll get more. There are many reasons one could find oneself in trouble, I can tell you smart people never look for it.
It is rare that you will find yourself in a situation where you will be required to defend yourself with lethal force. It is rarer still that you will find yourself besieged by multiple gunmen intent on ending your existence. For the average "Joe" this situation would probably be beyond his skill set and the outcome would be grim in any case. If you owe money to my Uncle Vinnie you're on your own!
There is one argument I've heard that has some truth and that states that "You pay for life insurance hoping you will never have to use it." In other words, "Sure the Sig P220 is big, heavy and difficult to conceal but if you only need it once in 35 years you'll be glad you had it."
I can't argue with that but my personal feeling is that when four stupid, methed-up teen-agers feel like whomping the snot out of the middle aged guy in a suit at Suburban Station as soon as my 9mm clears leather they will disappear. If they don't clear out before I get the front sight on the first one, they will soon after he hits the station floor perforated three times in the chest. The other three guys stand a good chance of crashing into the transit police who will be running towards the loud bangs.
What is the best Ammunition for Personal Protection?
My recommendation is to carry the largest round you are comfortable with. By comfortable I mean being confident that you are able to control the recoil of the firearm. Add to that the requirement to conceal the firearm. The weapon must become a part of you as natural as your wallet or cell phone. You will stop carrying a handgun that doesn't fit and then the ammunition you have decided on will become moot.
Try shooting many different rounds before you make your decision and once you've made your selection don't carry the gun until you've fired at least 250 rounds through it.
My all time favorite handgun round is the good old .45 ACP. I prefer a heavy bullet and a low velocity powder charge. The accuracy is great and I wouldn't want to get hit with one. I haven't carried a .45 in twenty years because I grew tired of dressing for the massive handgun and walking around with a brick strapped to my waist.
My son just came of age to get his permit. I have had him on the range since age seven and he is also fond of the venerable .45 ACP. He weighs in at less than 135 pounds and has a relatively small frame. While he would prefer carrying his Kimber or Browning Hi-Power he finally settled on the time tested Walther PPK in .380 Auto. He can make it disappear under a tee shirt and it barks loudly enough to break most contacts he may find himself in. I pray that he has the same luck as I have in that respect.
This choice is highly personal and serious so consider all the advice out there and don't take anyone's but your own.