…for crappy magazines. That’s something that you’ll hear me say from time to time if you ever shoot matches with me, or even if you read this blog for any extended period. It’s not just magazines though, because I believe that life is too short for crappy gear, period. In the comment section at my co-blogger’s excellent post about the difficulty of managing a DA revolver trigger we’ve been following a rabbit trail off the main subject an in to The Woods of Crappy Guns. For those that haven’t been following it, here are the broad strokes:
- Team Gun Nuts believes that a revolver is a fine defensive firearm if you’re willing to invest the time necessary to master the DA trigger.
- I personally believe that every law abiding citizen has a right to own a gun for self defense, and has a right to defend themselves.
- It then follows that I believe that everyone should be given the option to have the best tools possible to defend themselves.
The counter arguments run as thus:
- Lots of people just want a gun for protection and don’t want to practice with it at all
- 90% of DGUs don’t involve a shot being fired, so it’s not actually important if the gun works or if the person is skilled in the use of the gun
- With the 90% statistic in mind, people are better served buying cheap guns than spending the money on a “good” gun.
Point by point, let’s examine those. The first point, that lots of people want a gun for protection and don’t want to practice with it is true. I think that as professionals and enthusiasts in the industry, we have an obligation to encourage people to get training and practice with their defensive firearms, as having educated and competent gun owners is a benefit for everyone.
The second point I find rather alarming. In all likelihood, my co-blogger will never need to draw her carry gun to defend herself. However, if that 0.1% situation actually happens and she needs to use her gun to defend herself, I want her to be as well prepared for that moment as possible. It’s the same reason why I attended a defensive driving class – and those are skills I’m much more likely to need.
The third option is pure madness. Let’s take a look at one of the cheaper guns on the market, the Bersa .380. Quality ranges from good to unreliable owing to poor QC at the factory, so one of these could either be dead reliable or a complete dog. I owned one of these guns, it was actually my first carry gun before I switched to a 10mm Glock and then to a revolver. My particular Bersa was okay, but I also didn’t shoot it very much. On Gunbroker, the average price for a new Bersa is around $250-300.
For the same $300 you could get a Gen2 Glock in .40 S&W, the same gun used by police departments across the nation. Or for less than the cost of a Bersa or a Taurus you could get a used S&W K-frame revolver, which was essentially the Glock of the 1960’s-80’s. Even with my objections about the DA trigger for newbies, I’d rather see a thousand used K-frames sold before someone buys something that’s not reliable.
A gun is a very simple tool to use, but unlike a vaccine which is just injected in the end user and then does its own thing, a gun requires the end user have a modicum of skill to use effectively. Stray rounds and misses are legal liabilities that we don’t want to have, which again is why I feel strongly about encouraging people to seek training and practice. The same goes with getting good gear – the last news story I want to read is about some 80 year old woman who was beaten to death in her own home because the cheap gun that someone sold her because “she’s not going to practice” failed her in her time of need.
At the end of every episode of the Quest for Master Class, I admonish people to carry their guns. But life is too short for crappy guns and crappy gear, and if you’re going to buy a gun simply for peace of mind of having a gun, why not make sure it’s the best gun you can buy?