Different Trigger Types(September 14, 2012)
In this article we'll focus on something a lot of people new to shooting may not be aware of when looking at firearms to purchase. The different types of triggers that are available to you the shooter. They are most commonly: Single Action (SA) Double Action (DA) combined Double/Single Action (DA/SA) Double Action Kellerman (DAK).
We'll start off by clarifying that how a trigger is classified is by the number of actions that the trigger performs. If it only performs one action it would be as you could most likely guess..... a single action trigger. Same goes for the double action, it will perform two main actions.
That being said a single action trigger is usually going to be your smoothest and lightest trigger to pull. This has to do with the fact that the trigger only has one movement to perform. Your most common single action firearms are single action revolvers like the Colt Single Action Army, or the 1911 style firearm. It is a lot easier for a new shooter to be accurate with these firearms due to the smoother trigger. It leaves less chance of pulling your gun off target as you pull the trigger.
Next up is the double action trigger. The two function that this type of trigger performs is usually to first cock the hammer (in the case of a revolver or a semi auto that has a hammer) and then to release it and bring the hammer down to fire the round out of the firearm. Typically these triggers will be inherently harder to pull then a single action trigger. There are a number of reasons why you might want a heavier trigger pull. One would be your gun may not have a safety. Having a trigger that requires more pressure to pull back and fire the gun will decrease the likely hood of a round possibly going off unintended. For this reason a lot of firearms designed for Police use come with a double action trigger.
Following this there is a combination of the two: The Double Action/Single trigger. This trigger is a combination of the first two we discussed. The first pull of the trigger will be a heavier DA pull while the follow up 2nd shot the trigger will be a SA pull. This allows you to have the "safety" benefits of the first pull on double action with the "performance" benefit of a smoother lighter pull on your subsequent shots. One of the downsides to this is that if your first and second trigger pulls are different, it takes a lot of training to be proficient with having two types of pull on the same gun. Your muscle memory needs to be trained to fire this trigger type properly.
The last type we will look at in this article is a hybrid typically found in the Sig Sauer lineup of handguns. The Double Action Kellerman. This is a typical double action trigger meaning it will have a longer reset however unlike a typical double action, this trigger has an "intermediate" reset, where the trigger will return to a midway point without being fully released and offer a lighter trigger pull then the first. It is not like a DA/SA trigger because in a DA/SA when the trigger is pulled the first time and reset, the trigger returns all the way out, there is no intermediate position for the trigger to return to. It is generally liked for the purpose of in an emergency a shooter may not release the trigger all the way out before pulling it again (often referred to as "short stroking" the trigger) In a typical DA trigger this would leave the gun unable to be fired. In a DAK model the user has better chance of getting off that second shot in a panic. Of course this is not substitution for training and should not be viewed as one.
Hopefully this clears up some confusion for you new shooters out there who are trying to look into the different options you have in firearms when looking at triggers, as well as what role they play in your firearms performance. If you have any questions please feel free to "shoot" us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
.357 Magnum Revolvers(August 30, 2012)
One of the most commonly purchased firearms as a first handgun that I often see is a revolver. For good reason as you would assume. It can be offered in many different frame and barrel sizes depending on your need, as well as different styles of sights. However, there is one caliber that I feel is the best for someone who is just starting out with firearms and looking into revolvers an option, but one that can also be a fantastic caliber to purchase a revolver in for even the most experienced shooters as well. The .357 Magnum.
The amount of damage that a .357 inflicts is tough to match when it comes to handgun rounds. This is beneficial to those who may be purchasing this firearm for personal protection or using it for hunting small game. However, keep in mind that with the amount of power that is involved with a .357 magnum, you are going to get a lot more of a kick then smaller calibers and loads as well. This round should not be confused with the .357 sig round. That round is entirely different casing and load and is only similar in the bullet weight and diameter, it is primary designed as a semi auto handgun round.
The real beauty and benefit from purchasing a .357 magnum, especially for new shooters on a budget is the ability for a gun chambered in this caliber to also shoot the .38 special load. It's like having two calibers available in one gun. Keep in mind though, if you purchase a gun to shoot both calibers you MUST purchase a gun chambered in .357 magnum. You can not purchase a firearm chambered in .38 special and shoot the .357 magnum load. It only works one way around and not the other due to the overall length of the cartridges. By being able to shoot those two different loads you can shoot the cheaper .38 special loads at the range, and then carry the .357 magnum loads if you choose to keep your firearm for personal protection. You can also shoot a round that is called a .38 special +P. A +P round is a round that is over the standard pressure for that round and therefore will have a little more power then a non +P load. CHECK YOUR FIREARMS MANUAL TO MAKE SURE YOU CAN SHOOT +P LOADS BEFORE DOING SO. If your gun is not rated to shoot the over pressure loads you can cause damage to the firearm or yourself.
Some purchase a firearms that you and your spouse might both use. While one of you may be able to handle the larger recoil of the .357 load, your spouse might not be. Again, this is another situation where a lighter recoiling .38 special load would come in handy. In short the real beauty of purchasing the .357 magnum in any size revolver is variety. You will be able to select a round and caliber that will best suit your intended purpose for the gun.
Keeping Shooting Fun(August 22, 2012)
Something that I feel a lot of people who are outside of the shooting world looking in do not understand is just how much fun shooting and firearms can be. As a new shooter it may be tough to imagine but just simply going to the range and standing at a static target time and time again may not be the most fun thing in the world. It may becoming boring over time as well. There are a few ways to keep shooting fun if it isn't already of course!
One way is to get into a competitive shooting sport. Skeet shooting is something a lot of people think of, but there are many other types of competitive sports where shooting is involved. IDPA (International Defensive Pistol Association) and IPSC (International Practical Shooting Confederation) are some of the larger competitive pistol shooting organizations and let you practice your defensive handgun skills in a match. There are also leagues that utilize a competition known as 3-gun. Where you shoot Pistol, Rifle and Shotgun during the course of a match so that you can compete and practice with all three at the same time.
A lot of ranges around the country host these events and also will often times have tournaments or competitions of their own. For example, my own range hosts an action pistol and action rifle match once a month where you are put through a course with several targets and timed as well as scored on your hits. It can be immensely fun as well as an immensely great opportunity to train and hone your skills that you would otherwise not be able to do standing static on a firing line.
Often times there are shooting clubs that you may be able to find at your range or even checking out sites like Meetup.com. For you women shooters out there, often times leagues and ranges will offer women's only league or women's only competitions as well. Your best bet is to head to the range and ask around, your almost certain to find someone who can help you get into your local league and start having fun!
Lastly one way at keeping shooting fun while at the range may simply be in keeping your targets interesting. I've seen Battleship targets where you will basically play a game of battleship trying to hit your opponents target and sink their ship, just like the game from when you were a kid. A dart board target printed up can also offer lots of fun while you are at the range with a friend or family member.
For most of you out there, especially as you just get into shooting you may be bewildered as to how its not exciting to head down to the range and just try something new. But trust me, as time goes on you will come to a point where you may need some more encouragement or something new to get out of the normal range trip and re-ignite that spark. My hope is that this article may pop into your head and keep you shooting. One of our biggest goals here besides safety is to make shooting enjoyable for you and some of these ideas may just be the ticket to keep you in it!
The Carry Mindset(August 16, 2012)
A lot of you who are new to guns may be buying your first gun for personal protection. Today we'll look at what it means to own a gun for this purpose and make sure you go about it the right way.
I've heard countless times the stories of someone purchasing they're first gun because someone broke into their house, or threatened them along with other reasons of similar cause as to why they now own or are considering owning a firearm. These are all extremely great reasons to own and carry a gun about your person but you need to make sure you have your marbles straight in your own mind before you do so. In our very first article we told you that a firearm is simply a tool, albeit a tool that has a large amount of power and responsibility that goes along with it.
As you become more inundated with firearms you will come to have a greater deal of respect and comfort with them. You need to do the same with your mind if you choose to carry the firearm. You need to realize that you are carrying the firearm for personal protection and you must be willing to use the firearm for that purpose if the situation ever warrants itself to do so. You will find yourself in much greater peril if you choose to carry the weapon and be caught in that situation and then have doubts in your head if you are doing the right thing or not at that moment in time. Second guessing yourself in that moment may cost you or a loved one their life.
This is not to scare you, it is to let you see that a clouded mind does you no good. If you draw your firearm and fail to use it at the correct situation, it can just as easily be turned and used against you. Just as you train to use your firearm you must train to use your mind in such a situation.
One of the best things that I like to do and recommend, is to constantly assess your situation and surrounding. Play the what if game. For example, you decide to drive on down to your favorite fast food chain, you order your meal and sit down. All of a sudden someone walks in (we'll call him bad guy #1) and stands in line and after a minute decides to start shooting up the place. What would you do? How would you do it? Could you do it? Now bad guy number 2 walks in another door. How does your situation change? Can you effectively flee? Do you want to flee?
All of these questions will help shape your mind and make it a more decisive machine able to think quickly and challenge situations and will give you a good mental check on your carry mindset. That mindset and your thought process is going to be your most vital resource when carrying a firearm for protection, be it at home in the middle of the night, or out in public. The decisions you make will always have a large impact especially when firearms are involved so make sure to keep your decision making skills sharp, know your abilities and limitations and put them to work for you.
Backcountry Guns N' Gear(August 13, 2012)
Today I'd like to welcome our newest partner to New Shooters Resource: Backcountry Guns N’ Gear. Backcountry Guns N’ Gear is run by Elizabeth Gee and is located in Olive Montana. Her company's mission as well as her own is to "Bring women and guns together".
Elizabeth started Backcountry Guns N’ Gear about a year and a half ago. She is a licensed FFL dealer and has an online store that boasts over 18,000+ products that range in everything from firearms to hunting and camping gear. The site will offer a lot of you new to the shooting world a great place to go to check out some products that we sometimes discuss on here and recommend. Elizabeth does an outstanding job of providing fair prices for her customers and is always there to help if you have a question on any of her products.
Another great offering by Backcountry Guns N’ Gear is something we preach about all the time here at NSR, is training. Elizabeth is an NRA certified pistol instructor and offers a concealed carry/ basic pistol class that is "specially designed for women who have always wanted to learn the basics on handguns and the sport of shooting". This is a really great class for those of you in the Montana area that are looking for some hands on training by an instructor who really cares about her individual students.
Elizabeth is also currently obtaining her instructor’s certificate from the NRA in home protection and will be able to offer this invaluable class to her students as well. Backcountry Guns N’ Gear as well as Backcountry Girls N’ Guns is really doing a fantastic job of helping you females out there who are new to shooting embrace firearms and help you empower yourselves with these tools. Their site also offers some definitions, as well as a blog that Elizabeth will be updating with topics that will help you learn more about firearms and how things in your life, especially as a female can be different or how things can specifically benefit you when dealing with firearms.
I am very happy and proud to be working with Backcountry Guns N’ Gear because I know it will help our great readers like you further your education and understanding about firearms and make you a better shooter. So take some time and check them out by hitting the link on the right side of our page for more info and join me in welcoming Elizabeth and Back Country Guns N Gear to the NSR family!
Firearms Storage(August 10, 2012)
Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos
A very important topic today especially for those of you buying your first gun. One thing a lot of people tend to forget about as soon as they leave the store is, "Where am I going to keep this thing when not in use?"
This will often strike first time shooters as soon as they walk in the door to their home and get done oogling over the gun and reading all the manuals. One of the biggest considerations in storing your firearms around your home is whether or not you have children present or if the possibility may occur. If you do, simply keeping the gun in an out of the way place is not the best solution. If you have kids you'll be sure to know that they will get into just about anything their curiosity tells them to. A locking device of some sort that we will look at next will be your best bet.
For really securing your firearm your going to either want to go one of three ways most commonly used:
- Trigger lock Like the one seen here. It simply fits over the trigger guard and locks with a key so you can not pull the trigger unless the device is removed. This is a very common, very easy and very economical way to secure your firearm around your home.
- The next way is to purchase a hard case, or a lot of times when buying a new gun, manufacturers will throw in a free hard case. These are typically lockable with a simple padlock to make access to the gun restricted.
- Gun safe: This is about the most secure way to know that your firearms are inaccessible to unwanted persons in your home. These can range in size from very small only able to fit one small handgun to turning an entire room into a vault with a safe door. Your budget will be your biggest determination when researching gun safes. A lot of time you can also find fire-rated gun safes to protect your guns in case your home catches on fire as well.
Children are not the only reason you'll want to consider storing your firearm properly. You'll want to make it more difficult for anyone who may break into your home as well. Rather than just walking into you room, grabbing your firearms and leaving, a safe or trigger lock will make access to them severely limited. Another good point is that if feasible or desired you can store your ammunition in a different location all together if you feel this is necessary. When doing so however, realize that if a situation arises where YOU will need access to your firearms in a hurry, you will be slowed down in doing so.
There are a lot of things to consider when storing your firearms including price, space available, and access needed, to your firearms that will all need to come into play when making the best decision for yourself.
The Whole Package(August 7, 2012)
One thing I think people, especially new shooters, often don't realize when they purchase a firearm is the total cost of the whole package. A lot of times when you go out shopping, looking for that first gun you only look at the price tag of the firearm itself. While this is an important step, it should not be the only price tag you look at. In order to come up with a total cost for what I like to call "the whole package" you need to look at the following in particular:
- The Firearm itself
- Training Costs
- Ammunition Costs
This goes without saying I think, but this will most likely be the single most expensive item of the whole package. Let's say theoretically you have $500 to spend. Does that mean you should go out and spend the whole $500 on the firearm? Most likely the answer I'd recommend would be NO. But you do need to keep the cost of the firearm in the forefront of your purchase as it will take up the bulk of your budget and a lot of times you get what you pay for. Always try and stick with a reputable brand and also when your looking at brands see if you can find reviews on their customer service. Should an issue arise with your firearm, its comforting to know that the manufacturer will be there to help you. For example, I am a HUGE fan of Smith and Wesson and I will say that the one instance I had to deal with them their customer service was definitely top notch, and a quick search around the internet of other owners dealings will most likely turn up the same conclusion.
A firearm that you purchase, load up and leave in a safe is almost useless. You need to practice with your firearm. Whether it's simply getting down to the range to do some drills on your own time or you sign up for a formal training class, your going to need to budget some range time and training time with your firearm. So, while this may not necessarily be a monetary cost if you can train on your own property, it is something you need to invest in.
We touched on this briefly in one of our other articles but ammunition costs should be factored into your purchase as well. With doing all that training your going to burn through ammo faster than most think. A common price for a .22 long rifle brick of ammo (around 500 rounds) can run you about $20. Whereas a box of .357 magnum rounds could run you close to $20 for a box of 50 depending on brand and where you buy. As you can see if you plan on shooting up a lot of ammo and just for practice that larger caliber that you don't practice much with because you can't afford the ammo, may not be the best choice.
Lastly, this category may be optional for you depending on your needs and purpose of the firearm. But this category includes holsters if you plan on carrying, extra magazines so you don't have to reload at the range as often, or extra magazines to carry every day. Aftermarket parts like custom grips if you need them or special sights will add to your total package cost as well so keep these in mind. While they may not be necessary to start, it might wind up being something you need later.
With all these factors in mind you will be able to budget better when you go to purchase your next firearms and really make a more informed decision about which is the right firearm for you.