SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER '11
Self defense ammunition can be divided into two categories, home defense and street defense. The purpose of both is to stop the bad guy, but in the home you want to protect family members in other rooms or neighbors in adjacent apartments or condos from errant shots penetrating hollow walls. The most common choice for street defense are hollow-points that expand in tissue and usually stay within the body, although with smaller calibers (.22, .22 Mag, .25, .32 and .380) many choose FMJ (full metal jacket) ammo to ensure adequate penetration. For home defense, many opt for frangible ammo designed to disintegrate on hard surfaces but penetrate and disperse in tissue, creating a traumatic wound channel. Glasser rounds have around for years but a couple of newer companies are interesting. DRT has a compressed powder bullet and Extreme Shock has a round designed to not penetrate aircraft exteriors (or wallboard).
Louise & Irene Mandrell have an interesting video although it
For the past couple of years the .380's were the hot guns, this year the
pocket 9mm is king. Two of the most popular are the Ruger LC9 and the Kel-Tec
PF9. The Ruger is basically a copy of the Kel-Tec with a few changes.
Ruger added a manual safety and a loaded-round indicator. The Kel-Tec is
17% lighter (and 17% more recoil).
Gun Tests magazine gave the Kel-Tec an A and the Ruger a
C. The primary reason for the A was: 1/ Kel-Tec was about
$100 less expensive and, 2/ The Kel-Tec had a much better trigger pull.
The Ruger pulled at 4 lbs vs. 2 lbs for the Kel-Tec, also, the Ruger stacked
Comment: This is the same problem with the Ruger LCP, the trigger pull is long and stiff to the point where a couple of women I've taken to the range were unable to fire it. J.P.
If you're considering purchasing a new gun, before shopping, go to the magazine section of your newsstand or supermarket and in the gun section, look for a 2012 buyers guide (there at least 2 or 3 different ones). They list most of the handguns on the market with list prices and specifications. If you go to gun shops without an idea of what you want you may get side tracked.
The Beretta Tomcat was my occasional carry gun a few years ago. Last month at the range part of the frame broke off and the slide blew halfway off the frame (fortunately it didn't fly completely off since the ends are very sharp). I returned it and Beretta is sending a new one with a heavier slide which they claim will address the problem.