How much is too much?

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Often, when I go to the range or conducting a class, I see someone shooting a gun that is in less than desirable condition.  Be it rust, loose parts, continual malfunctions or other issues.  When I see this, I can’t help but ask myself, “why?”  With so many choices available to us in firearms, why is this person relying on a POS to defend their lives with? 

When you are selecting a firearm for use as a defensive firearm, it is true that you may not want to use your Grandfather’s gold-plated, commemorative 1911 that he got to remind him of the days he was given the Medal of Honor for his actions oversees, because we all know that if we use our gun in a defensive shooting, it will be confiscated until the case is resolved; in some cases, even longer.  However, you also don’t want to carry your Grandfather’s ol’ reliable .32 that he carried everywhere, never cleaned and tossed around in the woods when he was cutting firewood because it may not be reliable enough to save your life.

One of the primary things we do when we have a family and are searching for a new car is to check each potential vehicle’s safety rating.  Does it have passenger and side airbags?  Anti-lock brakes?  On-Star? Does the back, center seat have a shoulder belt or just a lap belt?  When it’s all said and done, we sacrifice some of the creature features we want for the safety we all know we need, and we pay more for it….. substantially more!  It’s not uncommon to spend $400.00 - $700.00 each for a side airbag.  Same price tag can be put on knee bags.  Items we hope  we never use, but nonetheless, we pay for them, just in case. After all, we need them, right?

Consider the last time you went to the gun store to buy your newest addition to the family.  You picked up a gun, felt its curves, played with the slide/cylinder, maybe even racked the slide back and forth and accidently aimed it at unknowing clerks behind the counter as you checked out your new baby.  Then you saw another gun that looked just like it.  Different manufacturer but the ideas were the same.  The second gun you looked at however, had a price tag $75.00 less than the first.  That would allow you to buy an additional couple boxes of ammo for your day on the range.  Which gun do you choose?

Choose the firearm that you have researched.  There are several websites and magazine articles written by people who know guns well enough to make informed evaluations of them to help guide you in your purchase.  Just because a gun has a well-known name on the side, doesn’t mean it’s going to be reliable. Furthermore, just because your friend or neighbor has one also doesn’t mean a thing.
I’m not going to start debates with this article, but understand that every gun manufacturer has had a series that has had reliability problems in either feeding, ejecting, or firing.   This could be the difference in life or death if you are using the gun for a defensive tool.

How important is reliability, safety and quality in a defensive gun vs. a car?  Well consider the statistics below and you will see that the odds of you becoming a victim of a violent crime is almost the same as you becoming a victim of an injury related motor vehicle accident.  So if we are willing to spend thousands of dollars more on a car in order to protect our families, shouldn’t we also expect to spend a little more for a quality firearm to protect our family with?   Is $500 too much to spend on safety?



Forced Rape


Aggravated Assault









Persons Killed

Fatal Collisions

Injury Collisions

Total Injury/Fatality col.






As vehicle owners, we drive through town not knowing when or where an accident might occur.  If we did, we would simply avoid that area, right?  Because of this, we get automobile insurance.  As a gun owner the same option is available through several companies.  One of which is USCCA.  This insurance can help you if you ever need to use your gun to defend yourself, your family or someone else.

Tips for selecting the right firearm for you.

  1. Don’t impulse purchase a gun. EVER! Allow yourself plenty of time to research the gun’s safety and functionality record prior to buying.  Let other people be Guiney pigs for you.
  2. Just because it’s safe doesn’t mean it’s right.  Fit, control and ability to conceal are still huge factors that you need to consider.  If you can’t hold and control the gun you’re shooting, you shouldn’t be shooting it.
  3. A .38 revolver ISN’T always the  best choice for a small framed woman.  I’ve seen them out perform big men with .45 caliber pistols at the range all day.  Training and confidence can pay off bigtime!

Now that you have your gun, you should consider training.  Owning a gun is only half the battle.  Being properly trained on that particular firearm by a certified instructor can go a long way in helping you save money otherwise wasted on poor shooting techniques.   I’m a firearm instructor but I continually seek more education to better myself.  Not only that, but if you do use your firearm in a defensive situation, having a certified instructor on your witness list can go a long way in helping you stay out of jail.

Countermeasures Firearms Training offers no-cost firearm selection assistance to any of our students.  If you would like to attend one of our comprehensive courses to better yourself in firearms handling and better your chances of survival in a life or death encounter, visit our courses page at

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