You Want to Learn About Guns?
by Greg Perry
Recently by Greg Perry: Dear
Government: Don’t Hate Me Because I Am Handicapped!
at the numerous beginning questions I get from new gun owners and
wanna-be gun owners. In the past few years, people have rightly
concluded that freedom in America is eroding faster than communism
great articles for gun owners who want to advance their skills.
I've now spent months in gun-training courses over the past
few years so I love the advanced articles showing me new tactics
and advanced arguments we learn from this site that teach us to
paint gun control advocates into corners.
number of questions I get from newcomers grows weekly.
That is why
I want to address some of their issues in the next few columns.
I'll make them all question-driven. I have saved some of the best
questions from newcomers and I'd like to explore the answers here
will seem extremely basic to the old gun handlers who've been around
a while. But we often forget that newcomers are the long-term lifeblood
of any group. We should encourage, educate, and train newcomers.
That is one primary reason the Appleseed
Project has grown geometrically in the past 5 years.
I want to eliminate
all barriers that newcomers and those hesitant to own a gun might
have. If you ever have the opportunity to take brand new gun owners
shooting for their first time, watch their faces as soon as the
first shot is fired. They take on quite interesting expressions
indeed! No matter how hesitant and possibly fearful they are before
pressing the trigger the first time, all that goes away after the
first BANG. Their expressions take on a combination of quiet surprise,
a slight smile, a slowly-creeping confidence, and the beginnings
of an expression that clearly says: "That was… sort of cool!"
And they are
So have patience
if the next few articles appear to be sort of basic. They are intended
to be basic.
Will a Gun
Go BANG If I Drop It?
wrote to tell me she wanted to know more about guns. Her problem
was that she was clumsy and has always worried about dropping a
gun. She told me that was a big reason why she never got a gun and
learned to use it properly.
My first thought
was this: "If that is all keeping you from protecting yourself,
then you're close to getting a gun!"
Always, It's All About Me
all of you, I want to talk about me!
I don't. But let me say for those who know about me, they know that
my ability to handle a gun without dropping it bodes very well for
most people! In spite of the differences my hands as opposed to
all you normal people's hands, I have never dropped a gun in my
life. Not a handgun, not a shotgun, not a rifle.
that, you know today I will probably drop one...
If I Did?
But what if
I did drop a gun, would it go BANG? The answer, as most answers,
is not completely Yes or No. (But in almost every case the answer
me get something out of the way If you are shooting a gun, perhaps
target shooting or practicing your draw or whatever, if you do start
to drop your gun let it fall! Whatever you do, never try
to grab a falling gun or in any way keep it from falling.
This is where
problems occur! People chase after their dropped gun and a finger
finds itself in the trigger guard as the weapon falls, and nothing
good can come of that.
So let it
fall. That is safest.
Combinations of Possibilities: Drop with Safety On and Hammer Down
I will walk
you through the possibilities of dropping a gun in various states
of gun readiness. All of the following possibilities assume that
a round is in the chamber for a semi-automatic gun or that a revolver
has a round aligned with the barrel.
If you drop
a gun whose safety is on and whose hammer is down (not cocked),
the gun just will not go BANG.
Is this guaranteed
100%? Basically. I suppose if you drop one from high enough, and
it bounces off a cliff and hits rocks on the way down, gets bumped
over and over, I suppose it's possible one of the bounces turns
off the safety and another bounce cocks the gun and another bounce
perfectly hits the trigger... but really, in reality that is not
going to happen.
By the way,
a gun whose safety is on and whose hammer is down is said to be
in Condition 2.
You Drop a Gun whose Safety is On and the Hammer is Cocked?
result is the same as before. A gun's safety is extremely disabling
to the weapon. Again, a bounce could push off the safety lever and
the next bounce could cause the hammer to fall but in reality, that
handgun whose safety is on and the hammer is cocked is technically
said to be in Condition 1. This is the state most 1911s are carried
By the way,
revolvers have no safeties or levers to worry about or to protect
you. Revolvers are not as trigger-light as semi-autos. In general
if you have not cocked the hammer, you can carry a revolver in a
purse, pocket, wherever without too much worry.
You Drop a Gun Whose Safety is Off and Whose Hammer is Cocked?
the condition of a gun whose safety is off and whose hammer is cocked
is ready-to-fire! (This is known as Condition 0.)
guns have another safety in the grip. 1911 guns are like this. For
such a gun to fire, even if you press the trigger if the grip safety
is not pressed in which it always is in when you hold it for firing
but never otherwise as it is spring loaded to stay out even if
you press the trigger that gun will not fire. The grip safety must
be pressed in to go BANG. So dropping a 1911-style weapon is extremely
safe. To go off, even with the safety off and the hammer cocked,
both the grip safety and the trigger must be pressed at the same
time before the gun fires.
guns such as Glocks have no safety switches but they have little
levers on the trigger. To fire the gun, whether cocked or not, you
must first press the little trigger lever and then pull the trigger.
Such a gun just won't go BANG when you drop it. The drop would have
to somehow push the little level in and then pull the trigger at
the same time.
no safeties but they are much harder to pull the trigger (relative
to a semi-auto). If the hammer is cocked and you drop a revolver,
it could very well go BANG if the drop knocks the hammer closed.
Revolvers are often recommended for people who want a gun but do
not know much about guns.
I believe people
who want to carry guns for protection and to shoot them for target
practice should learn how to use them, even if only in an afternoon
class or two. A semi-automatic is more reliable and safer once you
learn how to use the gun than a revolver is. If a semi-auto misfires
and has a malfunction, you can almost always clear the malfunction.
When a revolver malfunctions, you almost always have to take it
to a gunsmith.
I have never studied weapons manufactures' drop factors; I only
know that they exist.
All makes and
models of guns have "drop factors." That means what height the gun
can be safely dropped onto a hard surface before it goes BANG.
is not always readily available from all makers for all models of
guns. Fortunately, though, manufacturers do not want lawsuits and
they are very good about making the drop factor as high and reliable
as possible for their own financial good and for their customers'
I cannot tell
you about specific gun drop factors other than the drop factor is
higher than normal drop conditions. Dropping guns from the height
we would typically drop them even with all safeties off and hammers
cocked is not extremely dangerous. The only exception, again, which
never dawned on me before writing this, would be a revolver with
a cocked hammer. That could get tricky if it drops on the hammer
no matter what their drop factor may be for that gun.
Hits the Front Pages, Rest Easy
you super-glue your gun to your hands, in general, your fears about
dropping your gun is not a big issue. Think about it If dropping
guns caused major problems often, or even once in a while, we would
hear about those issues more often in the news.
much as the media hates guns and gun owners, stories of dropped
guns shooting people would be on all the front pages if it was common.
But this is something you just don't hear much about. Fortunately!
Absolute Beginners Only
If you don't
even know enough about guns to spell g-u-n, here's a recording
I once recorded for a family who were absolute beginners to guns.
I think your family might learn a lot from it, especially if you're
brand new to guns. I may not be an excellent teacher but you'll
find that the material is quite good and it provides anyone a short
intro to gun safety and what you can expect: http://bidmentor.com/wordpress/gun-rules/
If you're new
to guns, but you know your family needs to know how to use them,
you need to start immediately. Are your freedoms getting more or
less plentiful? We are fortunate that in the 47 or so fairly-free
states that remain in the USA, we can still legally protect our
Perry [send him mail]
is the pistol-packing author of more than 75 books. He loves to
combine his favorite hobby – guns – with his second favorite – online
auctions – by teaching others how to buy and sell firearms, knives,
and ammo in online auctions legally and easily! eBay may not respect
your freedoms but the free market does. You can comfortably buy
and sell weapons-related items in a simpler-than-eBay environment
by getting his profit-boosting book, Guns
Galore! How to Buy and Sell Guns, Knives, and Ammo in Online Auctions
Easily Without eBay!
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part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
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