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 By Mike Coviello (Tanner)
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SELECTING A FIRST GUN FOR HOME DEFENSE - I began to research the Internet for information on which is the best type of firearm for self protection in the house. After spending many hours reading about the advantages and disadvantages of various types of firearms the consensus was that a shotgun with twelve gauge shot shells was the best form of self defense for home protection. I found that shotguns come in many forms and sizes. I determined that the shortest pump action twelve gauge shotgun was the best for me. The shotgun that I selected was the Mossberg maverick model 88 twelve gauge shotgun. With a new cost of $210.00 you can't beat the price. This shotgun holds six shelves in the magazine plus one and the chamber and is small enough to maneuver in the hallway and rooms of my house. Ammunition for that shotgun is plentiful and in his cheap.

Glock 17



Having never been in a gun shop before it turned out to be quite an interesting experience. It was somewhat intimidating to enter a shop or store that contained nothing but firearms and accessories of which I knew nothing at all. When I got to the counter I asked the girl to show me what they had in the way of shotguns. They asked what I was looking for an I told them a shotgun for Home defense. She handed me the Mossberg maverick model 88 for my inspection. I looked at it and played with a little bit not knowing what I was really doing and told her I would take it.

I figured for $210.00 what the heck. I also purchased a carrying case, the cleaning kit and some twelve gauge ammunition. I was surprised to find out that I could take the shotgun at home with me the same day. The three day waiting period. That I've read about was just four handguns in Florida. On the drive home I felt a little uneasy, knowing that I had a firearm in the car, even though it was still in the box. I didn't really know what the rules were regarding transportation of a firearm and Ammunition In a car, but I figured it was all right if I kept them separated during the drive home.

When I got from the first thing that I did was read every word in the manual. I then researched the specific make and model of the shotgun on the Internet and read all of the available information that I could find on it. I disassembled and cleaned every part of the shotgun permitted for field stripping. I took photographs of the disassembly and assembly process each step of the way. I even wrote a procedure for disassembly an assembly for myself so that the next time I did it I would have written instructions and photographs to go by in case I forget.

The next question is what you were to keep the shotgun. More research on the Internet. I found that many people keep them in their bedrooms, some people keep them under their beds, other people keep them in their closets and so forth. I decided to keep mind mounted on the wall in my bedroom closet. That way my bedroom would be buying "safe room".

The only problem that I have with my shotgun is that the only place I can shoot it is about an hour's drive away which makes it inconvenient to Train and practice with. Additionally I determined that if an intruder broke into my house while I was asleep it would take me a little while to get up and get the shotgun and loaded shotgun to have a ready for use to protect myself.

I then decided that perhaps a hand gun in the night stand next to my bed might be a good idea. Now I have to decide what is the best type of handgun to buy for self defense.



Thank goodness for the Internet. After spending many more hours researching what is the best hand gun for self defense as well as what the best first gun to buy is I decided on a revolver. Many factors were involved in the decision. I had to choose what caliber I wanted, whether to buy a revolver or a pistol, how many rounds of ammunition the handgun would hold, the simplicity or the complexity involved with shooting it, the reliability of the gun, the size of the gun, the weight of the gun and so forth. I finally decided on a 357 magnum Smith and Wesson model 60 revolver. I selected this revolver because a revolver is one of the simplest and most reliable forms of a handgun. All you do with a loaded revolver is picked it up and pulled the trigger. Of course that after you've had adequate training. I chose Smith and Wesson for their brand name recognition and reputation of the company for building reliable and dependable firearms. Edition only the 357 magnum revolver can use three different types of ammunition. What I mean to say is three different calibers of Ammunition. It will shoot to 38 special, 38 special plus P and 357 magnum ammunition. Each of this type of ammunition is readily available at any gun shop. Additionally these calibers are more than adequate for use in self defense situations. Of course the debate on which caliber of the ammunition is the best is often the topic of hot debate.  

During my research I found out that the average gunfight usually ends with a maximum of three rounds fired. My revolver holds five rounds in the cylinder. I figured that was enough to do the job.

That I went to my local gun shop and purchased my Smith and Wesson model 60 revolver along with an assortment of the ammunition including 38 special, 38 special plus and 357 magnum. I also had to purchase a hand gun cleaning kit. The good thing about a revolver is that there's nothing to take apart For cleaning and maintenance.

I took it home, read the owner's manual and again read all the information that I could find on the specific model on the Internet. I read all of the blobs and forms and everything that I could find.  Now all I had to do was learn how to shoot the darn thing.



Now that I had my new handgun I was determined to learn how to properly shoot it. I was fortunate to find a gun range twenty minutes from my house with the fulltime instructors. I checked them out on the Internet into my surprise found that they offered free instruction to beginners as well as fulltime Supervision of all shooters on the range. I gathered my new gun and the assortment of ammunition and put them in an old duffel bag that I had and drove to the range.

Go into the range for the first time was again rather intimidating. Going by myself with little or no real knowledge of how to act and what to expect once I got there. Was like sort of going to a dentist office for the first time.  

Once at the range I had to fill out a form providing my name and address, whether I was a U.S. citizen and whether I was ever convicted of a crime and had to show them my driver's license.

Since it was my first time at the range they asked about my familiarity with handguns. I explained to them that the last time I shot a weapon was about 30 years ago and was a rifle. They seemed quite surprised that I had purchased a handgun without first going through the training process. Nevertheless the instructor took me to a booth and instructed me on the proper way to hold and fire my new revolver.


Authored By Mike Coviello (Tanner)


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