Firearms Basics

Most firearms can be organized into two groups: Handguns (pistols) and Long Guns (shotguns and rifles). Pistols are smaller and can be held in one hand, but shoot powerful rounds (enough to stop large game). Pistol size has little to do with the size of ammunition they can shoot. Pistols shoot one bullet (which is part of the “cartridge”, or “round” of ammunition) every time the trigger is squeezed. It must be reloaded–or can have up to 10 rounds loaded for more rapid fire. Revolvers are one type of pistol; they have a cylinder, and chambers that revolve to place a fresh round under the hammer, ready to be shot. Semi-automatic pistols have a magazine that slides into the gun. A spring in the magazine keeps pressure on the rounds, so that when it is fired, empty cartridge is ejected out of the pistol, the next round in the magazine is pushed up into the chamber (Semi-automatic means that you have to squeeze the trigger once for each round to be fired, and the next round is automatically loaded into the firing chamber each time you fire). Revolvers are generally easier to operate, and are much less likely to jam than semi automatic pistols–but they don’t have as many rounds as semi-automatic pistols.

A shotgun is a long gun that is often associated with hunting and sports shooting. Shotgun ammunition is referred to as a “shell”; it holds BBs, larger pellets called buckshot, or slugs that are propelled out of the shell when it is fired. The number can range from hundreds of small BBs–good for hunting birds, which is why it’s often called birdshot–to one big lead slug. Shotguns fall into three types of action: single or double barreled guns that must be manually loaded for each shot; pump or lever action shotguns that hold multiple shells and must be manually operated between each shot; and semi-automatic shotguns which function like semi-automatic pistols.

Shotguns are more powerful, generally speaking, than handguns, and are generally easier to operate. However, it is heavier, and has more recoil (that’s the force that pushes against your body after you shoot a round) than handguns. You must be able to hold the gun steady long enough to shoot to stop the threat, and to take the recoil as it is fired.

Rifles are useful in hunting, and for certain situations (such as defending a home or business from people outside, when accurate long-distance shooting is important). They can shoot small caliber ammunition the same size as handguns, or cartridges so powerful they can disable a vehicle. These guns are very popular in military action, because of their power and accuracy.

Rifles generally aren’t recommended as personal defense weapons; they’re too powerful for the distance that most attacks happen within. The bullet could pass through the bad guy with minimal damage, and continue for long distances, going through other areas and walls, possibly injuring innocent people.

Read articles, watch firearms television programming, talk with educated firearms professionals and trusted friends, and visit your local firearms retailer. They can be great resources in helping you choose the correct self-defense tool or firearm for you. Whether it’s for personal safety, for your job, sport, or recreation, buy a firearm that you can afford to practice with, get some qualified instruction, and store it properly.

  1. Know your Firearms Safety Rules:
    • Treat every weapon as if it is always loaded.
    • Never let the muzzel of the firearm point at anything you are not intending to kill or destroy.
    • Always be certain of your target and what is beyond.
    • Keep your finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard until you are on target and prepared to shoot.
  2. Learn how to use your firearm, when to use it, and where to use it safely.
  3. Become proficient, practice regularly.
  4. Store it safely.
  5. Get appropriate licenses.
  6. Transport and carry it legally.
  7. Get liability insurance.
  8. Use it legally, morally, and ethically.

We believe that most people should own a firearm for personal and home defense. Unless a person has a history of violent or endangering behavior, is mentally ill, or has a criminal background, you have a right and duty to protect yourself, friends, and family. There is a well known truth that when you are in danger, seconds count, and help is minutes away. Your protection is up to you and you should be prepared to defend yourself and others. A firearm, proper training, and responsible use are great ways to maintain your personal safety. There are many reasons to buy a firearm, some of the more common examples include:

  • Personal and home defense
  • Being armed is part of your job
  • Hunting
  • Gun collecting
  • Target shooting
  • Recreational Shooting
  • Competitive Shooting
  • Skeet Shooting
  • Sporting Clay Shooting

Firearms are not the sole solution to personal protection. That is why Eagles Nest Armory also sells non-lethal defense items like Tasers, stun guns, pepper sprays, personal defense sticks, and knives.

Dustin and I believe every person who is legally able to own a firearm and wants to buy a firearm for legal, constructive, and moral purposes should own the firearm of her/his choice. Firearms provide security, recreation, fun, and are tangible investments.

If your gun ownership is for personal protection, the first question every gun owner needs to consider is whether any firearm is a good choice. The gun owner must be certain that if some bad guy came after your family, friend, or you –- threatening their lives, would you be able to shoot him or her? Repeatedly, if necessary? If you can, then a firearm is probably a good choice for you. If you can not, do not buy a firearm for personal protection! Criminals take advantage of fear and uncertainty. If you hesitate in a life or death situation, your firearm may be taken away from you and used to prey on other innocent people or you. Don’t buy a personal protection firearm if you can’t or won’t use it.

Upon reaching the legal age to own and operate a firearm, the decision when to buy a firearm is reached when you can afford to buy and have enough money left over to:

  • Buy a secure storage devise
  • Practice with regularity
  • Get training
  • Acquire appropriate liability insurance

One way to learn the gun laws in your state is to use the National Rifle Association’s search utility for state firearm laws. Local municipalities may have firearms laws, too; check before buying.

  • One that fulfils the purpose of your shooting
  • One that you can shoot with comfort and stay on target
  • One that fits your hand and body type
  • One that you can afford to shoot, practice, and train with

Eagles Nest Armory knows you have many options to purchase a firearm. Purchasing over the internet may be less expensive, but it is fraught with additional risk. Misrepresented conditions, delayed shipping, and mischarges, are among a few of problems. Buying from auction houses and web-sites can see many of the same problems too.

Buying from a local, brick and mortar store has many advantages. For stock items, you can purchase a firearm or accessory and go home with it. As a smart consumer, you can touch and feel the item and receive expert advice in the items pros and cons. Unusual and custom orders are just a few days away.

Additionally, your money helps the local economy and supports your friends and neighbors. Often your local retailer, like Eagles Nest Armory, offers CCW and Basic Firearms training. Make a trusted friend in the self defense industry and shop locally; it’s the best way to protect your family and you.

Where will you use your firearm? If you want a gun for home security, many experts suggest either a shotgun or handgun. Handguns are easier for small children to pick up and play with, an important concern if you have children. Be sure to secure them. If your primary concern is protecting your person, and you want to carry the gun with you, a handgun is really the choice. It is easily concealed, so your gun doesn’t alarm others. If you want a firearm to keep in your car, either a shotgun or handgun may do, depending on the type of threat you think you’re likely to face. Either will do damage to bad guys, but a shotgun with lead slugs is more likely to be effective if the bad guy’s using a car for cover, or as a weapon. If you own a business and want to keep a firearm on the premises, for most situations a handgun is preferred; they’re easier to conceal and to bring to action quickly and unobtrusively, which can be crucial in a holdup. Having a shotgun in a safe, strategic place is a good idea, if that’s possible.

Otherwise, use your firearm where it is permitted by federal, state, and local laws for hunting, sport, and recreational activities. Last paragraph, 2nd sentence:   The carry and use of firearms concealed is permitted change to.. The carry and use of concealed firearms permitted by permit in most states. Laws and legal liabilities are complex and varied. Specific training is essential to avoid legal trouble. Even if open carry is permitted in your area, the laws regarding criminal menacing and brandishing of firearms may apply and can cause significant legal problems. Get training and carry responsibly.