Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (please click) 

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 What do you feel is the best handgun caliber for general self defense?

  • .45 ACP
  • 10mm
  • .40 S&W
  • .357 magnum
  • 9mm
  • .38 Special
  • .380
  • .25
  • .22

Answer to Question: The debate over “the best fight stopping handgun caliber” will never end as long as there are ammunition manufacturers willing to pay for advertising in gun magazines and the “vanity articles” for their products that are written to encourage more advertising.

I go to much greater lengths to explain handgun stopping power and caliber selection in my Gun Training classes. But, let’s say for right now that ALL handgun rounds are woefully inadequate stoppers compared to a shotgun or rifle. We carry handguns because we can conceal them and maintain an emergency defense weapon on our person.

The best answer of the choices given you above is the .45 ACP. Our grandfathers knew it in World War II and our grandfathers’ grandsons are figuring it out again in Iraq. A .45 ACP stops ‘em best.

There are a number of factors that I cover in My  Pistol Training Course, to further explain the best caliber, bullet weight, bullet shape, etc., to look for in your particular situation.

Again, the answer is: .45 ACP

 Which of the following handguns would you consider the best for general self defense?

  • Single Action Revolver, example: Colt Peacemaker
  • Double Action Revolver, example: Smith and Wesson Model 29
  • Double Action Semi-auto, example: Beretta 92F
  • Single Action Semi-auto: example: Colt 1911
  • Safe Action Semi-Auto: example: Glock
  • Action Adventure Hero Auto: example: UFP2000

Answer :  — Your firearm is just a tool. You don’t need a new gun or a specific model of gun to attend a course with us. Bring what you have and we will train you to use it.

Any gun will do — if you will do… but there are some choices in handguns that are better than others.

What you want in a defensive handgun is reliability and simplicity. Why? Because in a real gun fight you will only be about half as good as you are on your best day at the range, simply from the stress of a lethal encounter. This is due to the adverse effects of adrenalin on your dexterity. Gross motor movements become stronger, but fine motor coordination deteriorates. Manipulating your gun and hitting your target require fine motor coordination.

Most of the major gun manufacturers produce reliable guns, meaning they go “bang” each time you press the trigger. So, we don’t need to discuss reliability. What we do need to discuss is simplicity of use because when your dexterity deteriorates from the adrenaline surge in a lethal confrontation you want a simple gun to shoot.

With nothing more to manipulate than the trigger, slide release and magazine release, the “safe action” semi-auto pistols is by far the simplest to use, and therefore is what I consider the best choice in a defensive handguns.

The Single Action Semi-auto (1911 Style) is in second place because it has a safety lever to contend with.

The Double Action Semi-auto is in third place because of its decocking lever and both single action and double action trigger.

The Double Action Revolver is slightly behind the Double Action Semi-auto due to both single and double action trigger and the additional dexterity and time required for reloading.

Single Action Revolver can be mastered but takes so much time you would only carry it if that was all you had to choose from.

The "Action Adventure Hero Auto" is the gun we all want (UFP2000 means Unlimited Fire Power 2000). Never needs reloading, never misses, and never malfunctions. You have to be a Hollywood action adventure star to get one.

Again, the correct answer is: Safe Action Semi-auto Pistols

 Which gun would you consider the best for immediate general home defense?

  • Handgun
  • Shotgun
  • Rifle

Answer to Question

: The best gun for general home defense is the one you have in your hand at the time you need it. If your guns are so inaccessible as to take you 30 seconds to 1 minute or more to access them when you hear breaking glass in the middle of the night or someone pounding down your door, it really doesn’t matter what gun you call your home defense gun because you won’t have the time to get to it.

There is also the question of maneuverability with a gun. The longer the gun, the more difficult it is to use in the close confines of hallways and doorways.

Most of you answer “shotgun” because of the impact of the sound of racking the shotgun action in scaring away an intruder. A better reason to chose a shotgun for home defense is because the pattern of the shot doesn’t require as precise an aim as a rifle or handgun, especially in low light conditions. Also, the stopping power of the shotgun is significantly greater than the handgun while not presenting the problem of over-penetration that the rifle creates.

So, “shotgun” is a good answer if you can safely access it immediately. However, most gun training experts first reach for a full-size, major-caliber handgun with a dedicated light attached so they have something of power and target identification immediately in their hand, then they move to secure their shotgun, submachine gun, or rifle.

Again, the correct answer is: Handgun                                                


 What handgun would you recommend for a woman who wants protect herself?

  • Pocket Pistol
  • Small Revolver
  • Single Action Semi-auto
  • Double Action Semi-auto
  • Safe Action Semi-auto

Answer : This is a trick question for all you macho male chauvinists who feel a woman can’t handle a full-sized semi-auto handgun and need to be relegated to a “Lady Smith” revolver, or .25 Auto pocket pistol.

Reliable and simple to use are what you need in a lethal encounter, whether you are a man or a woman. Although a revolver is "dummy proof" after I've had women successfully shoot and become confident with a semi auto pistol, the women who have never shot a gun before are remarkably proficient in their ability to present the weapon and deliver two quick, fight-stopping hits. They would be insulted at anyone suggesting that they try a small revolver or pocket pistol.

Again, the answer is: Safe Action Semi-auto.




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  • "I took the NRA firearms Instructor course with Mark. He added a lot of personal experience and was a pleasure to work with. His humor and class presentation were outstanding. Go..."
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