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10 Tips For Choosing Your First Handgun

Are you starting to shop for your first handgun and feeling overwhelmed?

Choosing the first handgun

Choosing the first handgun

There are so many factors to consider! In this simple guide, we will give you a few key tips to keep in mind, to hopefully assist you in making the best purchase for you.

For someone new to firearms, handguns can seem extremely complicated. All of the different features can be overwhelming, but over time, they become easier and easier to understand.

1. What purpose will the handgun serve?

This should be self explanatory, but make sure to take into account what the handgun will actually be used for.

If you are looking for a concealed carry weapon, you are likely looking for a much different weapon than if you are looking for a home defense weapon.

2. Quality of your handgun 

Handguns definitely follow the golden rule of “you get what you pay for.” If you buy one of the cheapest available handguns, you are likely to have issues with it at some point.

3, Grip size.

This is one of those things that when you know, you know. When you pick up what will be your new handgun for the first time, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. It’ll fit in your hand just right. Keep in mind that some handguns have replaceable grips and backstraps, so you can adjust the grip somewhat.  Folks with larger hands will struggle to find a smaller weapon that fits their hand.

4. Thumb safety. 

This can be a huge factor for some people. For me personally, I feel much safer and more comfortable with a handgun that has a manual thumb safety as opposed to a trigger safety.

Whatever kind of safety features your weapon has, make sure you feel comfortable with it and know how to operate it.

You should buy the best handgun safe to make your handgun safe

5. Magazine capacity. 

This somewhat ties in to the first tip, but what magazine capacity are you looking for? Keep in mind your use for the weapon.

6. Caliber. 

Also ties into the first tip. If you are looking for a sidearm for big game hunting, you probably want to consider a larger round, such as .45ACP, whereas if you are looking for a pistol that fits in your pocket, you’re going to be looking for a .380.

7. Exposed hammer? 

Some people prefer hammer-fired weapons with an exposed hammer, as you can always see the position of the hammer. The argument against this is always that you should know what state your weapon is, and the hammer is only one more thing to catch on your holser/pants/shirt.

8. Revolver or pistol? 

This has been written about many times. Long story short, revolvers are more reliable and can shoot larger projectiles, and pistols have a larger magazine capacity.

9. Cleaning ability. 

If you’re looking for your first handgun, it is likely that you are relatively new to firearms. Make sure that your new handgun is relatively easy to take down to clean. Don’t forget to buy a cleaning kit or some cleaning supplies to go along with your new weapon!

10. Sights. 

It may seem like a small thing, but those difficult to see sights aren’t going to get any better with time.

Make sure you can accurately acquire a good sight picture with your new weapon.

Conclution

As with anything firearms related, safety is the most important thing to consider.

Before buying your first handgun, do a little research on how to safely operate and handle a handgun. This may save you an awkward minute at the gun store, and will also give you some confidence with your new piece of equipment while ensuring that you and everyone around you remains safe.

What’s Difference Between Shotguns Vs Rifles And Who Should Use It?

To someone new to hunting or firearms, it can be a difficult to decision to choose between a shotgun and a rifle.

Shotgun vs rifle

Army with their gun

In this article, we will go over the pros and cons of each, and make recommendations for when each one is better.

Before starting, we will go over some shotgun and rifle basics.

What's Shotguns?

Shotguns are firearms that shoot shells rather than the traditional cartridge.

Shells are loaded into the shotgun, and are either automatically or manually (pump style) cycled through after shooting the shotgun.

Shotguns traditionally fire “shot,” which is a higher quantity of smaller projectiles, but can also fire a slug. Slugs are one larger projectile, and essentially make the shotgun a basic rifle.

The Pros and Cons of Shotguns

The pros of a shotgun are the versatility, legality, and slug size.

Shotguns are some of the most versatile weapons. With very few changes, you can hunt birds and big game with the exact same weapon.

weapon used has a significant impact on the range

By changing the shell used, you are able to do many different types of hunting with a shotgun.

In some places, you are not able to hunt with a rifle. In this situation, a shotgun shooting a slug is an excellent choice to be able to hunt.

Similarly, a slug that is shot from a shotgun is generally much larger and heavier than traditional rifle projectile.

As a result, a shotgun shooting slugs is much deadlier. 

The cons of a shotgun are the accuracy and the range.

When a shotgun is used to shoot slugs, it is not nearly as accurate as a high quality rifle.

While scopes can be mounted on a shotgun, the accuracy is still limited.

There are shotguns available specifically for slugs with a rifled barrel, but this limits the shotgun to only shooting slugs.

Similarly, the range is limited to 75-100 yards, while high quality rifles can easily shoot out to 300+ yards.

What's Rifles?

While there are countless different types of rifles, they all function basically the same.

Rifles fire a traditional cartridge, which has a projectile located above a propellant filled casing. Rifles fire this projectile downrange at extremely high rates of speed. There are many different cartridge sizes available.

The Pros and Cons of The Rifle

The pros of a rifle are the range, accuracy, and the available options.

Sightmark Ultra Shot Reflex Sight-2

As previously mentioned, many modern rifles can accurately shoot out to 300+ yards.

When paired with modern optics, shooting to 300 yards is not even a stretch for the experienced marksman.

Due to the rifling in the barrel, rifle projectiles are able to travel much further and much more accurately.

With modern rifles, there are many options available. There are seemingly endless cartridge sizes and ammunition types.

Choosing the exact cartridge size you would like to shoot and pairing it with a hand chosen ammunition will help to ensure your exact needs are met.

However, even with the multiple cartridge and ammunition possibilities, rifles are still extremely limited compared to shotguns.

If you are having an ar15, you should choose the best optic for your ar15.

The cons of a rifle are its limited uses and potential legality issues.

Despite the fact that there are so many cartridges available, once you select your rifle, that specific cartridge is all that the weapon will be able to shoot.

With a shotgun, you can shoot multiple different loads of shot as well as slugs. The other con, as previously mentioned, is that in some areas it is not legal to hunt with a rifle.

Recommendations

  • If you are planning on doing nothing but hunting for larger animals, such as deer, elk, and hogs, I would recommend getting a fine tuned modern rifle
  • If you know for a fact that you will be taking similar shots over and over again, a rifle is going to be your best bet, as long as it is legal in your area.
  • If you live in a flat area, where you will likely be taking long distance shots, you absolutely need a rifle.
  • If you plan on doing multiple types of hunting, but don’t mind buying multiple weapons, I would still recommend a rifle due to the increased accuracy and range.
  • However, if you plan on doing multiple types of hunting, but only want one firearm, a shotgun is the way to go. Choosing different loads will allow you to do many different types of hunting with this one versatile weapon.
  • If you plan on only hunting for birds, a shotgun is definitely your best bet.
  • If you live or hunt in a heavily wooded area, I would recommend a shotgun. As a result of the terrain, it is unlikely that you are going to take any shots at long distance. The added size and weight of a shotgun slug will be deadlier, but will also cut through foliage better.
  • If it’s illegal to hunt with rifles where you’re from, a shotgun is your best bet. If you’re looking for a home defense weapon, a shotgun will function admirably.

Conclusion

As you can see, both rifles and shotguns serve specific purposes.

While there are definitely circumstances where one is better than the other, they are both very useful weapons.

Shotguns are some of the most versatile firearms out there, and modern rifles have come a long way in terms of effective range and accuracy.

All said, decide what you need your firearm to do, and decide from there whether a shotgun or a rifle better suits your needs.

What Is Shotgun Slugs And When Is It Better To Use A Slug?

To first understand the basics of shotgun slugs, you must understand what exactly a slug is and how a shotgun works.

How a shotgun works

A shotgun is a firearm that shoots shells rather than the traditional rifle cartridge.

So what's the shotgun shells?

  • Shotgun shells are generally plastic and are filled with their intended projectiles
  • Shotgun shells are commonly filled with smaller projectiles, called shot, but can also have one singular piece of metal, called a slug
shotgun slug

Shotgun Slug

The traditional rifle cartridge is generally some type of a metal filled with a propellant and the projectile on top of the cartridge. Both are fired by a firing pin striking a primer.

After the shotgun is fired, many shotguns are pump action. When the pump is pushed rearward, it ejects the spent shell, and loads in the next shell.

What exactly is a slug

As previously mentioned, a slug is one solid projectile, rather than smaller projectiles, such as birdshot or buckshot.

When a slug is fired from a shotgun, one larger solid projectile is fired, making it similar to a rifle firing a bullet. A shotgun firing a slug can be viewed as a simple rifle.

Pros and cons of using a slug

Strength of Slug

When compared to a similar hunting rifle, a shotgun slug is much heavier. source

Generally speaking, a rifle slug is at least twice as heavy as a comparable rifle bullet. I have a article to compare shotgun with rifle, you can read it in here.

While an advanced rifle fires its projectile nearly twice as fast, the sheer weight of a shotgun slug makes it extremely deadly. 

The cons of Slug​

However, the range of a shotgun with a slug is much less than that of a rifle.

A general rule of thumb is that slugs work within 100 yards. Modern advanced rifles can accurately shoot out to at least three times that far.

Another con of using a slug is that they cost slightly more than rifle ammunition.

Man is holding his Shotgun

Man is holding his Shotgun

When is it better to use a slug?

There are multiple situations in which using a shotgun firing slugs would be better than using a rifle. This is some situations:

  • Legal issue: In some states and areas, you aren’t able to hunt using a rifle. In an area like this, using a shotgun shooting slugs will allow you to continue hunting legally
  • About weight: If you are hunting large game, due to the weight of the shotgun slug, you will have a deadlier shot. While there are also bigger rifle cartridges, these come with larger weapons. Shotguns are generally easier to carry around than a much larger comparable rifle
  • About performance: In heavily wooded areas, using a slug may also be preferential. As a result of the added weight and size, a slug will be able to penetrate through brush easier. Similarly, in any situation in which your expected shot is within 100 yards, a slug will be better than most rifle cartridges, because it is more deadly.

Conclusion

Shotguns are an extremely versatile weapon. Slugs are just another facet of their versatility.

Shooting slugs from a shotgun give you a basic rifle. While the range is greatly decreased, it fires a much larger and heavier projectile than most rifles, making it a much deadlier projectile. (You should choose the best scope for ar15 rifle to make a perfect shot)

While the slug is by no means a one size fits all answer, there are definitely specific circumstances in which shooting a slug is more than likely better than most rifles.

While it will ultimately come down to personal preference, a shotgun shooting slugs is a formidable weapon for hunting.

What’s Better Between Single Action Vs Double Action? (Pros And Cons)

Feeling confused about the difference between single action and double action?

By the end of this article, I will teach you the primary differences between the two, tell you the pros and cons of each, and say in what situation I prefer each.

What's Better Between Single Action Vs Double Action (Pros And Cons)

What's Better Between Single Action Vs Double Action (Pros And Cons)

To understand the difference between single action and double action, you must first understand exactly how a handgun works.

When you pull the slide of the handgun back, it allows for the magazine spring to push a bullet into the chamber. It also cocks the hammer of the firearm back.

Then, when you pull the trigger of the gun, it causes the hammer to snap forward, which pushes the firing pin inside the gun into the primer of the bullet cartridge.

When the firing pin strikes the primer, it ignites the propellant that will send the bullet flying down the barrel at a high rate of speed.

Make sense?

What the hell Single Action and Double Action is?​

What is Single Action?

Single action is the exact chain of events that was previously described.

what is the single action gun (1911 Pistol)

what is the single action gun (1911 Pistol)

When you pull the handgun slide back, the hammer is cocked and locked back.

When you pull the trigger of the gun, it drops the hammer, and the bullet is fired.

Many revolvers are single action, meaning you have to cock the hammer each time you shoot it.

What is Double Action?

In some semiautomatic pistols with an exposed hammer, you are able to decock the hammer.

What is double action weapon

What is double action weapon thespecialistsltd

In essence, you are able to ride the hammer forward slowly with your finger, without firing a bullet.

Similarly, some revolvers do not have an exposed hammer, and are double action each time you shoot it.

When you pull the trigger of a double action weapon, it serves two purposes. First, the trigger pull will cock the hammer. Second, the trigger pull will also drop the hammer.

As a result, double action weapons have a very long trigger pull.

Comparison between Single Action vs Double Action

Both single and double action weapons have their pros and cons.

So what is pros and cons of Single Action weapon?

  • The biggest pro of a single action weapon is the shorter trigger pull. A shorter trigger pull will feel more natural to someone who is new to shooting. In my opinion, it is also a smoother shot, and you will be able to shoot more accurately.
  • The biggest con of a single action revolver is that you have to cock the hammer between each shot. This will increase the amount of time it takes between shots. However, in a single action semiautomatic pistol, you only have to cock the hammer one time.

Pros and cons of Double Action

  • The double action weapon are increased safety and faster shots in revolvers. Some people will argue that double action weapons are safer, as a result of the longer trigger pull. Because the trigger pull is longer, it is therefore more unlikely that you will inadvertently shoot the weapon.
  • Double action revolvers will shoot faster than single action revolvers, as you don’t have to cock the hammer each time. However, double action semiautomatic pistols will shoot at the same rate as single action semiautomatic pistols.
  • The con of a double action weapon is the long trigger pull. With some experience, it is easy to get used to, but at first, the long trigger pull will feel uncomfortable to most people.
  • In striker fired double action semiautomatic pistols, such as a Glock, you will not feel this long pull. However, in hammer fired semiautomatic pistols, the long trigger pull is easily felt.

When Each Type is Best

In semiautomatic pistols, the difference between single action and double action is almost negligible.

Once you pull the slide back, it will usually cock the hammer. Then, it’s just a matter of whether you decock the hammer or not. At that point, the two weapons are extremely similar, in that all you have to do is pull the trigger. For that reason, I think the two can be used interchangeably.

Both single action and double action semiautomatic pistols can be used for hunting, casual shooting, and self-defense.

However, the difference becomes magnified when using a revolver.

In my opinion, single action revolvers are BETTER for hunting, and double action revolvers are better for self-defense.

For general shooting, either will work, but I would recommend single action. I prefer double action revolvers for self-defense since you don’t have to worry about cocking the hammer each time you shoot.

I prefer single action for general shooting, because it requires you to pay better attention. Since you have to cock the hammer each time, you are unlikely to make any careless mistakes.

Conclusion

Overall, the biggest difference between single action and double action weapons is what the trigger does when you pull it.

When you pull the trigger of a single action weapon, it simply drops the hammer. In a double action weapon, pulling the trigger both cocks and drops the hammer.

Both are effective mechanisms, and each of them have their pros and cons.

Glock 18- Some Important Thing You Need To Know

The Glock 18 is among the most popular handguns on the market for its purposes.

The weapon was originally developed in Austria and introduced in 1982. I first bought a Glock in the early 1990s, after persuasion from a friend whom I’d been visiting the shooting range with frequently.

Glock18

Glock18

Granted, it wasn’t an 18, because they’re near impossible to get.

But it was a Glock, and my buddy had been using one for a few years and loved it. He noted that I would see an increase in enjoyment and accuracy during my shoots.

Let’s take a look at why the Glock 18 is such a legendary piece of equipment, and what separates it from guns that are actually available in the US.

What is the Glock 18?

The Glock 18 is a 9mm chambered gun. Made to be full size, these babies are fully automatic and thus fully illegal for the average citizen to buy.

The full-auto component is the main thing separating the Glock 18 from the Glock 17. Anyone who tells you they’ve shot an 18 is probably full of it and has probably only shot a 17. Unless, of course, they’ve got military or police experience.

Basically, the Glock 18 is one of the most badass pistols ever produced. If you’ve never seen one fired before, check out this video. It will get your heart pumping!

What are the Glock 18’s characteristics and purposes?

The Glock originally was built to meet the needs of the Austrian army after World War II.

Glock 18 Semi Automatic

​Photo from video of TheFirePowerSolution

They were looking to upgrade their standard issue pistol to be self-loading and have a capacity of eight rounds.

The Glock, as it is commonly referred to as, is specifically designed to be one of the safest pistols available. It can be dropped from a height of over 4 feet without firing.

Additionally, the gun is built to resist just about any type of accidental fire. If you are have a glock, i recommend you buy the best gun safe for the money to keep it safe.

The 9mm Glock 18 automatic can fire 1200 rounds minute – not going to be easy to acquire that one! There have been different models and multiple generations of Glock guns produced over the years, none as legendary as the 18.

  • Recoil. As far as recoil, Glock 18s are the best pistol for a short-recoil operated semi-automatic. The barrel is hammer-forged and offers one of the past behind-ammo gas seals ever developed. For quick fire and ease of use, I’ve found my Glock 18 to be an absolute stunner. When I first started using it, it only took one trip to the range for me to feel comfortable with the process of prepping, loading, shooting, and handling the weapon. Because of its size, storage is no problem either
  • Feed. The gun feeds double stack magazines. The magazines used can be swapped out with just about any of the same caliber
  • Sighting. The sighting arrangement on the Glock 18 is a combat ready fixed polymer piece. The front is ramped, the rear is notched, and I have found windage adjustment is much less of an issue here than with other pistols
  • Fire. 1200 rounds per minute, fully automatic. Here’s a video of a kid shooting a Glock 18

Glock 18 add-ons and upgrades

Because of its popularity spanning four decades now, Glock 18 shooters have the luxury of being able to modify their gun rather easily. I’ve got a tactical light on mine that was easy to put on the front rail and has made accuracy and line of sight a non-issue in most situations.

My buddy that got me into the Glock 18 has upgraded his magazine capacity. All this took was a trip to the gun store and a quick consult with the guy behind the counter. He’s also got a real nice pouch that he bought at the shop which fits the increased magazine capacity with no discomfort.

The manufacturer has released upgrades for release levers, trigger upgrades, and even spring cups that prevent the day being ruined by water getting into the firing pin assembly channel. Not a bad list of ways to ensure you’ve got the best pistol available. Most of this stuff is a bit much for simple range practice. But us gun fanatics can never have enough toys to complete the setup and increase our leg to stand on in weapon conversations.

How easy is it to buy a Glock 18?

The simple answer here is: not very easy, at least for the Glock 18s of lore. Here is a quick rundown:

  • Glock 18s that were registered before May 19, 1986 are very rare, so I wouldn’t encourage you to count on finding one of those that is actually legitimate, for anything less than what you’d pay for a timeshare
  • Most Glock 18s automatics made after that date are only available to the military, law enforcement agencies, and specified dealers

The moral of the story here is that you’re not going to get one. Unless you’ve got a lot of money, power, or are in a law enforcement or military profession. But hey, we can all dream. Right?

Conclusion

I’m guessing that this article has you pretty excited about the prospects of shooting a Glock 18.

If you ever get the opportunity to do so, definitely take advantage of it. I’m a Glock enthusiast and can’t recommend it any higher.

Please help us share the stoke – share this article on your social media channels and encourage people to check it out.

Do you have a story to tell about shooting a Glock 18? Go ahead and leave a comment below and tell us all about it. I bet we can get a diary’s worth of stories here. Bonus points to anyone who has a story of using it professionally in the field – thank you for your service and we look forward to hearing your story.

What Is The Diferent Between Full Auto Vs Semi Automatic Gun?

.50 caliber machine gun

What separates a semi-automatic gun from a fully automatic machine gun?

Both of them reload automatically, hence the ‘auto’ label.

The main difference between a semi-automatic and a fully automatic machine gun is that on a semi-automatic, the user must pull the trigger each time he or she wishes the gun to fire.

But let’s dive a little deeper into the two types of weapons and uncover other similarities and differences, as well as uses for both semi-auto vs full-auto guns.

Semi-auto vs full-auto: Breaking it down

What it all comes down to is the ‘action’ on the gun. This refers to the operation of how a gun fires a bullet, ejects the cartridge, and reloads the next round.

Both of these types of guns handle the reloading part in an automated fashion. But the firing is where the difference is.

By definition, a machine gun refers to the fully automated version, which will continue to fire bullets until empty. Therefore, a semi-auto cannot technically be labeled as a machine gun.

  • On a semi-auto, once you pull the trigger to fire a bullet, the expelled gas from the round’s cartridge will eject the bullet casing automatically. Following this, a new round from either an internal or external ammunition magazine will be loaded into the firing chamber
  • For full-autos, this same practice happens. However, a full cycle is completed by pulling the trigger only one time. The first bullet is fired, spent casing ejected by the expelled gas, and a new round is dropped into the firing chamber. If the user continues to hold the trigger, the process will repeat itself indefinitely until the internal or external magazine is out of bullets
  • Think about some of the action and military movies you’ve watched in your life. It is pretty easy to tell when a full-auto gun is being used because of the rapid fire of the weapon with minimal effort from the shooter. Bullets are sprayed thoroughly, even as the shooter adjusts the aim of the weapon or of his/her personal stance. Semi-autos have a slower firing rate, noticeable by watching the pull finger on the shooter

Here is a great video on the differences between semi-auto and full-auto.

Semi-auto vs full-auto: When both are commonly used

In the United States, full-auto weapons are typically only available to the military and law enforcement agencies.

The typical armed citizen cannot walk into a gun store and buy a full-auto machine gun.

The process of obtaining one requires extensive permitting and background checks, typically in line with the needs of the police or military.

Boy with ar 10 semi-auto gun

Individual citizens can attempt to obtain the permitting necessary to purchase a fully automatic weapon, but there is certainly no guarantee of success. Semi-automatic guns can be purchased by citizens who pass the background check and process for obtaining one, and cooperate with any waiting periods or restrictions in the area where they live and are purchasing the gun.

This video explains how a semi-automatic gun works.

Semi-auto vs full-auto: Types of guns

Commonly, semi-automatic guns are shotguns, pistols, and rifles.

These types of guns work well with the automated reload and have a trigger conducive to quick pull and fire. Some will be recoil operated.

This refers to guns that have a locked breach, and are auto-loading. The automatic loading cycle is powered by the recoil.

The force of the shot recoils, emptying the chamber of the used casing and allowing the new bullet to load.

Others are powered by gas instead of recoil. The gas yoked from the fired round drives a piston into the weapon’s barrel. This pushes out the used shell, making room for the new one, which is automatically loaded from either the internal or external magazine by pressure.

No matter which type of power a shooter has in their semi-auto gun, no cocking or additional effort is needed to load the new round.

Here is a video on how a full-auto AK works.

Semi-auto vs full-auto: The debate between the two

There has been much conversation back and forth about whether machine guns, fully automatic, have a viable role in society. If so, what is that role?

Outside of law enforcement and military, there isn’t much of an argument that can succeed at a legal level, at least not right now. But gun hobbyists and fanatics don’t need to get all up in a tiff about it. Semi-automatic guns are honestly pretty impressive these days.

What’s wrong with a little trigger finger exercise? As fast as you can pull, you can shoot round after round until the magazine is empty. Plus, unless you’re in California or another spot that outlaws them, gun owners can employ a multi-burst trigger activator to make the shooting process even faster. With these handy gadgets, recoil is a breeze and shooters notice a significant improvement in shooting speed without much effect on their accuracy – provided they’ve got the shoulder for increased pressure.

Plus, the skill of mastering a semi-auto is something that’s definitely worth bragging about if you can back it up at the range. Trigger masters command a great deal of respect in gun circles.

Many of today’s finest shooters use semi-automatic weapons with the speed and finesse of a machine gun – to the point that it takes a keen eye to tell the difference.

Conclusion

Semi-auto vs full-auto is going to be an ongoing conversation in gun circles.

Hopefully this article has given you a better understanding of the difference between the two, and of their important place in society. If you’ve enjoyed this article, please share across your social media channels.

Remember that next time someone at the range starts rambling about machine guns, they are probably full of it. You now can correct them on the fact that a semi-auto is not technically a machine gun. The more knowledge in the gun community, the better.

And i have write a post about best gun safe for the money, you should choose the best for your gun. ​

I’d love to get some fresh takes on people’s favorite semi-autos as well as machine guns, so feel free to drop a comment below with what you’re shooting. Also note what you hope to be shooting next time you get a nice bonus at work.

SP101 And GP100 Ruger- Which Is Better For Personal Protection?

Which pistol to carry for defense purposes is an important question. Over the years, I’ve switched between a number of different guns for carry purposes and to use at the range.

Two of them have stood out above the others as the most appropriate for general carry – the SP101 and the gp100 Ruger.

sp101 vs gp100 ruger

sp101 vs gp100 ruger

I spent about ten years with an SP101 type model after it came to market in 1989 before recently switching to the GP100.

Today, I’ll tell you what I liked and didn’t like about both and we’ll compare the SP101 vs gp100 Ruger. Let’s get started.

The breakdown

The SP101 maintains the feel and functionality of classic concealed carry guns. It’s small, in the featherweight class, and easy to draw. 

  • The best thing about it in this case is that the gun handles like a high-performance weapon. It’s powerful, relatively easy to aim and shoot, and certainly is tough to detect before you draw
  • It comes as a 5-shot, 6-shot, or 8-shot
  • It has a strong recoil, though, and it does take a moment to position yourself before shooting. Those action shots in the movies where the character runs while drawing and shooting aren’t really that realistic with the SP101 – in actuality, there’s a good amount of kick and continuing to run in a straight line would be near impossible

The GP100 is actually a modernized version of what was known as the Security Six. Physically, the newer model is much cleaner and fires better. It is highly preferable to me in day-to-day situations. I keep urging my wife to get one too, because she is now jealous of mine. 

  • It has a comfortable feel to it and is certainly a featherweight at 2.2 pounds. It is popular with a handful of law enforcement departments around the world because of its versatility
  • Depending on the catalog number, this gun handles anything from the .357 Magnum to a .44 Special. It’s got a wide range of caliber fittings and barrel lengths, coming as a 5-shot, 6-shot, 7-shot, or 10-shot.
  • I’m not as big of a fan of the after-market support and add-ons for the GP100, this is one thing I really do love about the SP101.

Which is better for personal protection GP101 or SP101?

In short, the GP100 is a better gun for concealed carry and personal protection. The gun itself is an evolution of previous hand-held revolvers, marking an improvement upon them, and it has been modified even since as it fits different caliber and barrel lengths. The gun is more versatile and can be better fitted to your personal preferences.

I find it more comfortable in concealed mode, in fact I hardly even notice that it is there. I love .357 Magnums, and the flow of this gun throughout the loading and shooting process is very smooth.

The SP101 is more of a heavy-duty type small revolver. Over the years, it’s been used by police departments as a quick-grab backup weapon, and is designed for situations where it will be used by a highly trained professional.

I used it quite a bit at the range to get a good feel, and I’ve got to say that I was able to feel comfortable with the GP100 much faster than the SP101.

They are both great guns. But let’s say that you are carrying a gun for the instance when a bad guy pops out of nowhere and you (as a common citizen, not a police officer) have to react quickly and depend on your gun to perform every time. The GP100 is easier to handle and easier to shoot.

Amenities, action, and sights: Oh my!

Both of these handguns come in multiple versions, barrel lengths, and caliber, fit to taste.

What I really like about the GP100 is the shot capacity and variety of calibers. Almost all, with the exception of the GPF-840 and the 1757, are full shroud, which is a huge plus for me. I prefer one of the variations with adjustable sights, because I’m old school and like to try out many different options before settling on my emergency go-to.

Ruger GP 100 Match Champion (.357 Magnum)

Ruger GP 100 Match Champion (.357 Magnum). Image from hickok45

The SP101 is a bit heavier than many other revolvers (not enough to cause a major disturbance, but if weight is your biggest factor, this is another reason to go with the GP 100). This gun does have a smooth double action, along with a bobbed hammer, two things I really like and that kept it at my waist for nearly ten years. It offers large, high-visibility sights, which I also loved. However, during rapid fire, I found I had a harder time tracking the sights than I have with the GP100.

Ruger SP101 .357 Magnum. Image from hickok45

Scorecard

As a review, let’s take a look at the points each gun has in its category here at the end of the comparison:

GP100

  • More options for customization
  • Better sight tracking during rapid fire
  • Variety of calibers is a big plus
  • Shot capacity is a big plus
  • Definite proof that it has gotten better over the years

SP101

  • Better after-market support and add-ons.
  • Smooth double action and bobbed hammer making the shooting fun and painless.
  • Very consistent, but with a higher recoil issue and (I felt) tougher to master.

Conclusion

Both the GP100 and the SP101 are fine small size revolvers to keep by your side in concealed carry mode.

Both can get the job the done.

But what has really drawn me to switch from the SP101 to the GP100 is the ease of comfortability I felt when learning the gun that was new to me. It takes a lot to get an old timer like me to change his ways, but the GP100 is the best revolver I have ever shot. I’ll keep it by my side until I die.

If you have enjoyed this article, please share on social media. I’d love to see how far we can push the word of the GP100. Feel free to leave comments below, let’s get a discussion going!. Oh one thing, if you need the gun safe for this ruger gun, you can take a look my post about best handgun safe for the money

Which Shotgun Choke Is The Most Open?

Which shotgun choke is the most open? For those of us in the firearms community, the term ‘pattern’ is something that arises frequently. This refers to the column of round shot pellets leaving the barrel of the gun. As they move further away, they begin to spread out. Towards the end of the shotgun’s range, targets will be missed by the pellets as they spread further apart.

The shotgun choke is the response of gun designers in their attempt to combat this effect. Choking means that the bore is restricted, which will keep the pattern closer together for longer distances.

Which shotgun choke is the most open?

The most open shotgun choke is called a ‘cylinder.’ The easiest way for you to analyze this is to look at the muzzle end of the barrel. You’ll notice that with cylinder chokes, there actually isn’t any constriction at all. The diameter of the choke is the same as the inside of the shotgun barrel. There is the lowest amount of bore reduction.

Restriction is essentially non-existent here, which causes the pattern to spread out much more so than with higher restriction chokes.

The tightest kind of shotgun chokes are called ‘extra tights.’ These are basically the opposite of a cylinder choke. Restriction of the pattern’s spread is maximized, for increased long-range target accuracy.

For larger game, tighter chokes can help with targets on the move and further away. But for me, it’s been many years since I’ve used a tight choke. I don’t do much other than duck hunting anymore. I’ve got a buddy who is a diehard fan of turkey hunting, and he prefers to use a tight choke. Here is a great video explaining shotgun chokes with visuals.

Why do I want to use a looser choke?

The biggest advantage to using a looser choke is seen particularly by duck hunters. With waterfowl, a super tight choke can have two effects when using steel pellets (lead pellets were outlawed by the federal government for waterfowl hunting in the nineties):

  • Potential damage to the barrel. Steel can damage the barrel because it isn’t as malleable as lead. It doesn’t cooperate as well with tight chokes.
  • It can harm the meat on the animal. Obviously, if you’re hunting for food, you don’t want the meat to be tarnished by the shot.
  • I really like the way these guys explained why they use certain chokes on duck hunts.:

So, to prevent these two things from happening, waterfowl hunters began using more open chokes. Hence, the rising popularity of the cyclinder.

I first began to prefer an open choke shortly after the regulations took place in 1991. By the following season, I began noticing severe distress to the barrel of my shotgun. This began to have a great impact on my hunting, so I started using the cyclinder choke.

Ever since, I’ve been working on ways to maximize my shooting accuracy with the most open choke, and have gotten a lot better. It takes an immense amount of practice, but at the end of the day I have better meat resulting from my increased shooting skill level. All without damaging the barrel of my gun.

The bottom line

When selecting the best choke for your shotgun, the most important factor is to consider what type of game you are hunting. For turkeys and larger game birds, a tighter choke is going to be the better option.

For those of us duck hunters, the cyclinder is the most open shotgun choke and therefore the best for us. I always recommend heading to the range and spending ample time on the patterning board prior to hitting the field. Notice how the pellets strike the target, and adjust your shooting technique as necessary.

Many new hunters don’t realize the advantages of using an open choke on their shotgun when waterfowl hunting. I’d appreciate it if you shared this article on social media so that more new hunters can learn of the pros and cons of different chokes. Do you have any techniques you’d like to share? Go ahead and leave them here in the comments, and we’ll get a discussion going.

What Is The First Step In Cleaning A Firearm?

Perhaps your firearm has been on a good adventure with you, or maybe you just bought it and want to make sure it is ready for the field.

So what is the first step in cleaning a firearm?

You’ll want to make sure the process is done correctly so as not to damage the weapon or cause rust. It took me several cleaning processes before I really felt comfortable with cleaning my firearm. Today, I’ll show you my process and the best practices for keeping that gun clean.

Buy a cleaning kit.

These can be pretty simple. You’ll want to make sure that you have these items:

  • Bore brush
  • Oil
  • Rag
  • Cotton swabs
  • Ample lighting in the leaning area
  • Patch holder with patches

Have a good commercial solvent

Basically, a solvent is a substance that has the ability to dissolve something else. This is incredibly important when cleaning a firearm. Unlike washing dishes or cleaning most other things, a simple rub down with some soap isn’t going to cut it here.

  • Use a garage or other area with open doors/windows to keep fresh air flowing in.
  • Clean all metal parts of the firearm thoroughly with the commercial solvent. Make sure the barrel is getting a good clean as well.
  • Clean the bore up through the breech end, wherever possible. Spend ample time here making sure that the bore is as clean as the barrel and rest of the metal parts on the weapon.
  • Run the dry patch through to double check for cleanliness. Let the area dry before proceeding.

Stick an oily patch into the barrel

The goal here is to get it nice and lubed up. Apply a liberal dose of oil onto the patch and slide it back and forth in the barrel of the gun, ensuring the entire area is reached. Any parts of the gun that are metal should receive a light coating of oil. Here is a great video on how to clean a firearm. It should go without saying, but always make sure your gun is unloaded before starting this process:

  • This is when you use the patches inside the barrel to get it clean

Store the firearm in a horizontal position

This will help it dry and keep the oil on all parts that need it. If storing firearm horizontally is a challenge, face the muzzle down so that any run-age will come out of the barrel instead of clogging the back end. If you have a gun rack, I always suggest designating a specific place for firearms that have just been cleaned. The best gun safe is my recommend

  • Do not leave the weapon laying on its side on a table or counter.
  • Do not store vertically with the butt of the gun facing down.

Prior to firing the gun, run a clean patch through the barrel

This removes any excess oil or dirt. It makes sure that everything will go smoothly when firing, and that there aren’t any clogs or backlogs within the barrel. Here are a few tips I have for streamlining your firearm cleaning process:

  • Keep oil on hand at all times. Have it designated as only for cleaning your firearms, that way you won’t use it for anything else. Storing it in the gun safe or in the same general area as your guns will make sure that you always know where it is, and no one else is using it for other purposes.
  • Get into the habit of cleaning your firearms regularly. When starting the first step in cleaning a firearm, always follow the same procedure. There shouldn’t be any variations when cleaning the same gun. Consistency is key!
  • Dedicate a rag for the task. Always keep it on hand with the oil.

There you have it. If someone asks you what is the first step in cleaning a firearm, you can point them to this article. I hope you found this informative. If so, we’d appreciate it if you shared on social media. If you have any tips for cleaning a firearm that we didn’t mention here, feel free to leave a comment. Let’s get a discussion going.

Which Scope Should You Choose Fixed or Variable

Choosing the best riflescope can be a difficult task if you are a new to the game.

The first thing that comes to mind is that you are in need of the best scope that suits your budget. There are thousands of options available and finding one to suit your budget leaves you with several factors you need to consider before buying one.

The first and most important questions are for what purpose are you going to use the scope and buying one based on other shooters experience is not always the right choice for you. An optic that works for one shooter may not work for you as one’s eyesight is different to another shooter’s eyesight. If you are using Ar10, you can check the best scope for AR 10, I have review 4 of them.

As you know there are two different types of scopes a variable tactical scope and a fixed scope and today the RifleScopeGuy is going to show you the differences between the two, leaving you to decide which one is best suited for your needs.

Two Types of Magnification

The Fixed Powered Scope

The fixed powered scope has a unique design as it only uses one specific power and you cannot change it. For example, the magnification can be set to 6 x 42. These scopes are more reliable than your variable type of scope. However, they do have some disadvantages you cannot change the power when needed. The advantage is that the fixed scope gives you a brighter and clearer view. The reason for this is that it does not have different lenses for the light to emit through the scope.

The Variable Tactical Scope:

When it comes to shooting the variable tactical scope is more versatile to use as the scopes designed with variable power. You can change the magnification settings to suit your different situations from hunting or shooting for fun at the shooting range.

The Basic Terminology Found In Both Scopes

The only difference between a fixed and variable scope is the magnification settings. The rest of the terminology is basic for both scopes as the following is important when choosing either one.

1. The Objective Lens

The objective diameter is the measurement of the lens found on the end of your scope. They can vary in size from 32 – 50 mm. The only thing that the objective lens does is to gather the image of your target and allows the light to transmit through the scope. The larger the objective lens the more lights transmitted to your eye. The only disadvantage is that the bigger the objective lens is the heavier the scopes designed and needs a higher position.

The objective lens works as follow: a standard 40mm objective lens at 5-x power gives you an exit pupil of 8mm when viewing your target through the ocular lens. This means that the objective lens diameters divided by the magnification and equals the diameter of the exit pupil.

2. The Reticle

The different brands available have different reticles and each shooter has their own preference. You can buy a scope with a mil-dot, MOA, Bullet Drop Compensate for long-range shooting, and standard duplex reticles. The main purpose of the reticle also known as the crosshair is to provide you with a centralized aiming point as each one caters for different shooting purposes.

When you look at the hunting crosshair they are made of wire, but the glass-etched ones are also becoming very popular, as they are precise and durable.

3. A Critical Measurement is the Eye Relief

When deciding on your scope the eye reliefs critical. A handgun scope only has a 20-inch eye relief and suitable to use for short distance shooting. While shooting with a rifle or shotgun that has a powerful recoil needs and optic that gives you a longer eye relief range.

4. The Field of View Varies From One Brand to Another

If you are planning to hunt you, need a wide field of view as you will able to pick your target quickly? If you plan to shoot long distances, the F.O.V is not that critical. The field of view varies from one brand to another and best to read the available specs when buying your scope.

5. The Importance of Light Transmission

Light Transmission is the amount of light transmitted through the scopes lens. Some of the best riflescopes can give you a light transmission of up to 95%. This means that the scope transmits through 95% of light without reflecting it away from the lens. Here magnification plays an important role, as a scope with a good light transmission is easier on your eye to focus when used during the day.

6. The Importance of Parallax Adjustment

When you look at your target at a distance greater than 100 yards parallax occurs either in front or behind the reticle. Once you move your eye from the optical axis of the scope, parallax occurs. This is an important feature to have when buying a long-range scope, as they are equipped with either an adjustable objective or a side focus parallax. With an adjustable objective, you can focus down closer when shooting at short distances. With a side focus adjustment, you do not need to move your head or rifle too much.

7. The Turrets

You can buy a riflescope with exposed or covered turrets. You can buy them in ½ MOA up to ⅛ MOA adjustments. Each adjustment is suitable for different needs and you use the exposed turret for target shooting, as it’s easier to change the distance of the target. Closed turrets are great for hunting as once the scopes sighted there is no need of changing it.

8. The Exit Pupil

Exit pupil measurements important when shooting, especially when the light begins to fade as the higher the exit pupil it allows you to see through the scope for longer. You can measure the exit pupil as follow: you take the objective lens and divide the power magnification. When buying a 3-9×40-magnification scope you take the 40/9 and this equals to 4.4mm of light.

Final Thoughts

As you can see there, are different factors to consider when buying a fixed or variable scope? Another topic that many people argue about is the brand. At the RifleScopeGuy, you can buy different famous brands such as Leupold, Nikon, Vortex, Burris, and Bushnell. By knowing what you are, going to use your scope for is the first step and the second step is to know your basic terminology. When buying the best riflescope whether it be a fixed or variable one the choice is still yours.