I must admit, when I began my preparedness journey hand-guns were like puppies and babies to me – they all look alike.

A family member of mine is a police detective, and he would come walking in and say, "Look at my new firearm.” I’d oblige him and looked at it, but would then say, “It looks like your other one.” I will admit, this kinda frustrated him as he tried to describe to me the new and improved hand grip, site or whatever it was that was improved. This happened time and time again as the newest super-duper firearm would hit the market. I DID look at the gun, honest, every one of them. But they were all black. All had a barrel and a pistol grip. They looked alike.

 When it came time for me to bite the bullet so to speak (no pun intended). I was clueless.

22 pistolI started my search out by doing what I do best - researching. I researched hand-guns, both pistols and revolvers to see what would be the best fit for me. As for noise level, I thought the .22 was a perfect fit.

But when talking with others, I was informed that although the .22 is a good first starter firearm, it may not be the best choice for protection for me. It seems, a .22 caliber pistol does not have the immediate stopping power to halt an assailant in his tracks.

Then at the other extreme are the .45 caliber and the .357 magnum. These guns are extremely powerful and as such they have such a kick that even experienced and strong marksman have a difficult time keeping them on target for successive shots.

This is why, from what I understannd, the military and law enforcement have opted to give up the old standard .45, in favor of the smaller, yet still powerful 9mm. More shots on target in less time, means you live to tell about it.

So, after hours of research, I opted for the Springfield Armory 9mm X-DM (a semi-automatic). As I pick up my firearm at the range, I sensed others standing around me ogling over my new purchase. At the time, I really didn't have a clue what I actually had or what I would do with it for that matter (it was like owning a 1970 Chevy SS 454, revving the engine and then ‘peeling’ out at … 5 mph). xdm

After my purchase, and learning all the what-was and what-was-not on the firearm, I went to the gun range for training by an instructor. As I walked into the enclosed indoor range, suited in my protective ears and eyes, some “hot shot” with a .357 magnum at the other end of the range decides to fire off his weapon - I’m sure it was for my benefit.  When I heard that small cannon go off – it scared the living daylights outta me. Thankfully, I had an understanding instructor who informed me that this was NOT how my firearm would sound when shot.

After instruction on proper handling and technique, I was handed the hand-gun to “shoot” for the first time. As luck would have it, I was a pretty good shot. I was hitting the center of the target 90% of the time. (What I thought was beginner’s luck was actually due to a good fit of the weapon to my hand, as well as having a weapon that was built to reduce muzzle rise/kick, and some great instruction.)

I am now pretty comfortable with my hand-gun and, in fact feel very secure in handling it and pulling it out and using it if the need arises.

For those of you, who are considering getting a hand-gun, whether it is a revolver or a semi-automatic; which are both effective and safe, I would highly suggest you to do your homework. A lot more women are getting firearms theses days as crime continues to escalate. Go to your nearest gun shop/range and talk to the instructors. Ask lots of questions and talk with others who have firearms.  There are classes specifically tailored for women that teach the mechanics of a hand gun, basic care and safety procedures.

You can also try out different hand guns at the range to see which suits your needs and size best. Also, seek out other gun-toters (men and women), and get their opinions on their personal hand-guns and experiences with them.

If you are using the gun for self-defense you may want to consider a .38 special revolver or a 9 mm semi-automatic. Like I said, at first, my choice was the .22 – which is a great gun, but I just felt more comfortable knowing I had a little more fire power for protecting myself against an attacker.

In a survival situation, both men and women are equal. We ALL must protect and be protected. Arm yourself with the proper training and weapon to defend YOU.

Just sayin'.

- Survivor Jane





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