Friday, April 13, 2012

Time for a rant

I went to the range today, to get a little more practice in before I head up to Dallas next week to certify as an NRA pistol instructor.  (I'll post more about that next week after I'm back, but don't expect a blog from Sunday-Thursday next week.).  Now, anyone who's used a public range has seen the fun variety of people you have the privilege of interacting with in such settings.  Heck, even as a firm and staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment, some of the stuff I see at public ranges makes me feel just the tiniest of a "twinge" of understanding for the Brady nutjobs, which I then purge quickly by doing a mag dump into center mass of the target with whatever pistol/rifle I'm shooting that day.

I may have to blog later about some of the absolute winners I've  seen at the range, but I'm going to try to stay on a single topic today:

A Bersa Thunder .380: NOT a good "first pistol" for Granny

Now, nothing against Bersa, or .380s, or Granny. In fact, I'm mentioning the Bersa because I saw not 1, but 2 women at the range today escorted by their proud husbands who picked out this great gun for their gal, only to watch them have a pretty dang hard time shooting it.  I think that a light .38 revolver, .380 pocket pistol of any variety, or a Desert Eagle in .50AE are about on par as far as "really bad choices for granny" go. 

I know there are people out there who's wives love their little .380 Bersa, or LCP, or .38 revolver.  That's fine, and I understand why people would like these guns.  I also think a small, snappy .380 pistol is a freaking awful choice to learn to shoot with whether you're a man, woman or child. In my mind, a .22 semi auto rifle, followed by a .22 pistol, are the only acceptable "first guns" to teach anyone to shoot well.  Their cheap cost and minimal recoil make them excellent candidates for learning how to shoot with.  That last part in bold?  Yeah it's actually far more important than the cheap cost part. 

The Bersa Thunder is a straight blowback gun, built on a polymer aluminum (hat tip to A-R of for correcting this for me) frame.  They made this thing light, with a double action first trigger pull so its an ok concealed carry choice.  Unfortunately, its lighter weight, long trigger pull and snappy recoil make it a TERRIBLE first pistol choice, especially for older women who don't have great hand strength.

 In fact, I would argue that allowing people to think granny HAS to have a pocket sized pistol, even when she's only planning on keeping it around the house, is turning people off of guns, and preventing some women from being able to effectively protect themselves.  For a woman with minimal shooting experience, I personally prefer a pistol caliber carbine, which I've blogged about before, but any rifle/shotgun is more than adequate, and easier to use than a pocket pistol for home defense, especially for people with weak hand strength and an aversion to practicing at the range.

Save your granny the sore hand and bad experience, and don't make a bad choice.  In fact, we as men shouldn't be choosing guns for the women in our lives anyway.  Try to get them interested, let them shoot a .22, offer to sign them up for a class......

but when our female loved ones are getting dressed, do we run into the closet and start telling them what they should wear?  If we're smart, the answer is a resounding NO.  The gun they choose to protect themselves should be their choice as well (though preferably in a reliable caliber/gun). 

/rant off for the day.

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