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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Home Defense For Hunters

Everyone should think about home defense—not just hunters—but as sportsmen and sportswomen we’re different than non-gun owners in this country. Because we already have firearms in our homes, we have the choice of relying on our own hunting rifles or shotguns for protection, or buying a gun specifically for home defense.

For many years I counted on my trusty pump-action shotgun for peace of mind at home. Thank God I never had to use it for that purpose, but I slept better at night knowing my 12 gauge and turkey ammo were readily available under my bed.

However, I began to re-think my plan after having children. No longer was it responsible to have a gun in the house that wasn’t under lock and key. Yes, I could have moved my gun safe next to my bed, but could I really get the safe opened quickly and my hands on my shotgun in an emergency? Not likely.

After talking with numerous shooting sports industry professionals and doing extensive online research, I decided to buy a handgun. I weighed the pros and cons of a semiauto vs. a revolver and then finally purchased a revolver. Specifically, I went with a Ruger KGP-141 (GP100 series; .357 Rem. Mag.; stainless, 4.2-inch barrel with adjustable rear sight). Why a revolver? Bottom line: I simply felt more comfortable in my ability to handle a revolver in an emergency.

Initially I considered a smaller sized handgun, thinking it would be better for my 5-foot 4-inch wife to handle, but after 30 minutes at a gun range testing small-framed handguns vs. medium-framed handguns such as the KGP-141, it was clear she could shoot more accurately with the heavier firearm. When I asked why, she simply stated: “It kicks less, so I’m more steady when pulling the trigger.” I also shot best with the medium-framed handgun because its bigger grip felt better in my hands. (Important note: I had no plans to conceal and carry this handgun.)

Super Sights
My next dilemma was what to do about sights. Although I could shoot fairly well with the revolver’s factory sights, I decided to have my local gunsmith replace the silver-colored front sight with a high-vis orange one. The adjustable rear sight is black, and I preferred the contrast of an orange/black sight picture.

More online research had me considering some form of laser sighting device as well. Something I read from Crimson Trace made a lot of sense: “If you ever need to defend yourself with your revolver, chances are it won’t be from a perfect shooting position. And it will all happen lightning fast. But on your side, you’ll have Lasergrips’ dependable speed and accuracy. Whether it’s the amazingly quick targeting, or just the overall instinctive simplicity of use, Crimson Trace helps you survive.”

The Lasergrips were easy to install on my own, and my wife and I had a lot of fun at the range becoming familiar with laser aiming and shooting. Night-time tests of the Lasergrips convinced me I’d make the right decision; I wouldn’t have to raise the gun to eye-level to make an accurate shot. Instead, I could hold the handgun from many different positions and deliver deadly force if necessary.

Supreme Elite Ammo

Keeping gun recoil in mind—remember, I want my wife to handle this firearm with ease—I settled on loading my .357 Rem. Mag. revolver with Winchester’s Supreme Elite Bonded PDX1 personal protection ammunition in .38 Spec. +P.

According to Winchester, the Bonded PDX1 line uses the same technology the Federal Bureau of Investigation uses as its primary service round. The Bonded PDX1 is engineered to maximize terminal ballistics, as defined by the demanding FBI test protocol, which simulates real-world threats. I don’t know anything about “FBI test protocol,” but I do know the 130-grain jacketed hollow-point bullet was super accurate and did devastating damage to all types of wooden target backing at my gun range.

Lightning-Quick Storage
I found the perfect solution to on-hand firearm storage in a GunVault Multi Safe (model GV2000C - STD). I like the convenient No-Eyes Keypad with user-selectable access codes, as well as the audio feedback that confirms each correct keypad entry. One test-run of the vault in complete darkness at home proved to me I’d made the correct choice. I anchored the safe to my bed frame with a GunVault Security Cable. This 6-foot-long cable is made of high-strength steel and gives me additional peace of mind.

Chances are good I’ll never have to use my revolver in an emergency, but it’s comforting to know I have it close by should the need ever arise.

POSTED BY: NAH Managing Editor Dave Maas                

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