First post have mercy :) Which Handgun?

Handgun, Pistol and Revolver topics

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First post have mercy :) Which Handgun?

Post by From0toHero » Sat Oct 03, 2015 5:58 am

I have to decide which handgun i want to buy. And the problem i can only buy one firearm so it must be a wise choice. At first i was considering a carabine. I looked at a ruger scout in 308.Winchester. Than there was also a M-4 type rifle in 223.Remington. Both where quite big and bulky. And while looking at those rifles i saw something that immediatly catched my eyes. It was a Heckler & Koch P30 in 9mm.
This was a handgun not a rifle but it looked freaking awesome. It has a 15 Shot magazine and a special trigger called HK LEM Trigger. Its a kind single action trigger in double action form. After some test shots i was sold and ordered the gun for me. Now my question. Was this a good decision? Should i have better gone with a carabine? My idea was this. The HK can always be with me. In a backpack or in a holster under the jacket. While the carabine would have been 95% at home. So the best gun is the gun you have in a shit hit the fan situation. Right? And would a 9mm be enough to splatter a fresh zombie head? Many people say 9mm is a beefed up 38.Special but i have to disagree. The 9mm has served good since WW1 and have a good track record. Is my decision good or would you have got something diffrent?

PS: sorry if my english grammar is not the best. Normaly i speak german.

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Re: First post have mercy :) Which Handgun?

Post by woodsghost » Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:11 am

1) The P30 is probably fine. The number 1 quality you look for in any gun is reliability. If it is reliable, then it is good to go. Look up reviews and experiences with the P30 and find out if people have had any reliability problems.

2) As you said, the best weapon is the one you have with you. For the vast majority of people and the vast majority of real-life SHTF situations, a pistol will be just fine.

3) A 9mm is not perfect, but no pistol is. Now, it helps to know what your concerns are. If you are focused on real, literal zombies, then I would go with a rifle. If focused on more metaphorical zombies, or just the idea of a Zombie Apocalypse, then you did well! 9mm in modern defensive loads will put people down. However, there are plenty of stories of people being hit with 12 of the biggest defensive bullets in America and surviving just fine, or even being shot in the heart with one of the more powerful bullets in America and not only surviving, but killing the person who shot them. Bullets are not magic. Pistol bullets are the least likely to kill someone or stop them. If you want to know why, start asking around or do some research.

4) Training. Get training. You can put 15 rounds of 9mm, or any other pistol round, into a person and they will have plenty of strength left to kill you. But stress based training will teach you to focus and you are more likely to hit the important parts of a human when you are under stress, and that makes it more probable that they will go down. Only an central nervous system hit is guaranteed to stop a person. You will need to get good training, then practice and practice and practice. Both with ammunition and dry firing.

5) If planning for actual, literal zombies, I would go with a rifle. Rifle bullets are more likely to actually punch through the head rather than skip off the skull. Not every pistol bullet will skip off a skull, but the human head is hard enough that penetration from pistols is not necessarily reliable. More importantly, it is easier to make accurate hits with a rifle and easier/quicker to train a become a good shot with a rifle, and under stress it is FAR easier to use a rifle well than it is to use a pistol. If you can only put down a zombie with a head shot, then you want a rifle (probably something in 5.56x45). Further, rifles are going to carry more ammunition in the magazine. Yes, you can get higher capacity mags for pistols, but they are more widely available for rifles. 5.56 bullets weigh the same as 9mm bullets, so for the same weight you can carry more powerful, longer range bullets if you choose 5.56. And that brings up the next point: a rifle is effective at longer ranges than a pistol. If I was worried about actual zombies, I would want to deal with them at farther range rather than close range. And if there are literal zombies walking around, nobody is going to care if you openly carry a rifle rather than concealing a pistol.

6) Consider this: for most people, a pistol is a 5 meter or closer weapon. Some people can effectively use a pistol at 10 meters, and some can even push the range beyond that. Most people who can use a rifle can be effective out to 100 meters, and many can be effective out to 300 meters. In fact, a fair number of people can use rifles out past 500 meters and a few people can use rifles out to 1000 meters.



Summary: I feel you made a terrific choice! But know the strengths and limitations of your weapon choice. Know that nothing is magic. Know what you plan to use your weapon for and make sure it can perform that task. Get stress based training, then practice practice practice.
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Re: First post have mercy :) Which Handgun?

Post by doc66 » Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:26 am

This is what I would tell someone in the States.

Don't buy a fucking H&K.

They hate you, they don't care if you buy their product because they hate you.

Before you buy it check the aftermarket for accessories, holsters, the price of the magazines, if it does break can you get H&K to fix it? (No, because it's your fault and they hate you.)

That's what I'd say to someone in the States.

Since you already bought it, well, there you go.

The 9mm is best defensive choice in calibers out there. It does everything any other defensive round will do and sometimes better, depending on the round and the ammo you use. Use good, quality ammo, from a reputable manufacturer and you should be fine.

All the other things were said by woodsghost.

If you're asking if you should have bought a rifle, the answer is always, yes.

Have fun with the HK, they are dependable firearms and you should good to go with it.
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Re: First post have mercy :) Which Handgun?

Post by jor-el » Sat Oct 03, 2015 1:13 pm

Many, many magazines.

Without a magazine, what is your pistol? A single shot, and a bad hammer. As long as you have loaded magazines, your pistol continues to function.

Ammo. What is available where you are? A general recommendation is to use the same ammo that your local LEOs use. In the CONUS, that tends to be one of the big three ammo makers Hollow Points. In some locales, that is not allowed, like NJ.

Myself, that's the Speer Lawman GDHP in +P 124 grain flavor.
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Re: First post have mercy :) Which Handgun?

Post by jor-el » Sat Oct 03, 2015 1:18 pm

You also mentioned only one gun. I typically carry a backup gun because

1) My department allows it. Unfortunately it limits the choice to my old 640 Centennial or two 9MM compacts.

2) Murphy insurance. Once in a blue moon I still got a jam in my 5946 not from regular cleaning, but from primer sealant gumming the firing pin.
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Re: First post have mercy :) Which Handgun?

Post by ManInBlack316 » Sat Oct 03, 2015 1:45 pm

As much as I love carbines and shoot them way better than a handgun, I feel it you're gonna have one and only one, make it a handgun. As has been said, reliability is the most important thing, I have no knowledge of HKs so I can't comment. Depending on your location, start carrying daily if possible, get used to the pistol being a part of your wardrobe, this way it will be there if you ever need it. Consider carrying two magazines, malfunctions happen, and so does murphy.
If you do ever get another firearm, I would consider the rifle, but go for an AR15 in 5.56, not .223, you'll be able to shoot more ammunition that way.

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Re: First post have mercy :) Which Handgun?

Post by From0toHero » Sat Oct 03, 2015 2:19 pm

jor-el wrote:Many, many magazines.

Without a magazine, what is your pistol? A single shot, and a bad hammer. As long as you have loaded magazines, your pistol continues to function.

Ammo. What is available where you are? A general recommendation is to use the same ammo that your local LEOs use. In the CONUS, that tends to be one of the big three ammo makers Hollow Points. In some locales, that is not allowed, like NJ.

Myself, that's the Speer Lawman GDHP in +P 124 grain flavor.
Some years ago i could buy good HP ammo. But meanwhile we have more tight gun laws. I can only buy non deforming ammo. So im using at the moment normal FMJ 9mm ammo. I would love to have some Federal HP but swiss law says no.

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Re: First post have mercy :) Which Handgun?

Post by From0toHero » Sat Oct 03, 2015 2:22 pm

ManInBlack316 wrote:As much as I love carbines and shoot them way better than a handgun, I feel it you're gonna have one and only one, make it a handgun. As has been said, reliability is the most important thing, I have no knowledge of HKs so I can't comment. Depending on your location, start carrying daily if possible, get used to the pistol being a part of your wardrobe, this way it will be there if you ever need it. Consider carrying two magazines, malfunctions happen, and so does murphy.
If you do ever get another firearm, I would consider the rifle, but go for an AR15 in 5.56, not .223, you'll be able to shoot more ammunition that way.
You mean two magazines plus the one in the firearm or two, one in the pistol and one on the belt? And im a little confused, is 223. not 5.56 ammo?

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Re: First post have mercy :) Which Handgun?

Post by ManInBlack316 » Sat Oct 03, 2015 2:53 pm

Apologize for the confusion From0toHero, I meant two magazines not counting the one in the pistol. At least carry one extra magazine, but two gives you more protection against murphy's law.
223 and 5.56 are very similar, but you cannot/should not fire a 5.56 out of a 223 rifle, it's a difference in pressures from my understanding. You can fire 223 out of a 5.56 rifle though.

Edit:Some more info: http://www.luckygunner.com/labs/5-56-vs-223/
It's not a 100% concern, but it's just far easier to go with a 5.56 chambering and have no concerns.

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Re: First post have mercy :) Which Handgun?

Post by gunsandrockets » Sat Oct 03, 2015 5:36 pm

From0toHero wrote:I have to decide which handgun i want to buy. And the problem i can only buy one firearm so it must be a wise choice. At first i was considering a carabine. I looked at a ruger scout in 308.Winchester. Than there was also a M-4 type rifle in 223.Remington. Both where quite big and bulky. And while looking at those rifles i saw something that immediatly catched my eyes. It was a Heckler & Koch P30 in 9mm.
This was a handgun not a rifle but it looked freaking awesome. It has a 15 Shot magazine and a special trigger called HK LEM Trigger. Its a kind single action trigger in double action form. After some test shots i was sold and ordered the gun for me. Now my question. Was this a good decision? Should i have better gone with a carabine? My idea was this. The HK can always be with me. In a backpack or in a holster under the jacket. While the carabine would have been 95% at home. So the best gun is the gun you have in a shit hit the fan situation. Right? And would a 9mm be enough to splatter a fresh zombie head? Many people say 9mm is a beefed up 38.Special but i have to disagree. The 9mm has served good since WW1 and have a good track record. Is my decision good or would you have got something diffrent?

PS: sorry if my english grammar is not the best. Normaly i speak german.
First off, Welcome! :clap:

Now to your question. Obviously you are fishing for reassurance over your choice. But to properly answer your question you need to supply some more information, otherwise I have to guess the context of your question. Why are you limited to only one firearm? Is it a legal issue? Or a financial barrier? If the limit is a legal one, I am surprised that you will be allowed to carry a handgun in public under the same laws.

Aside from those issues, you did at least two things right: you fired the pistol before you bought it, you bought it because you liked your test experience.

Though I would have advised handling and test shooting many other handguns before deciding which one to buy.

Now that you have your pistol, you should frequently practice dry firing it.
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Re: First post have mercy :) Which Handgun?

Post by Hermit » Sat Oct 03, 2015 6:28 pm

From0toHero wrote:The HK can always be with me. In a backpack or in a holster under the jacket. While the carabine would have been 95% at home. So the best gun is the gun you have in a shit hit the fan situation. Right? And would a 9mm be enough...
You went with a choice that made the most sense to you based on what you consider practical (and aesthetically pleasing to some degree). I can't see how anyone would argue that you made a bad decision in that regard. It's always a journey - as you practice and (hopefully) get training, you'll further master your HK and you might love it more, or at least adapt to its quirks in a way that educate you on future buying decisions.

9mm is an excellent handgun caliber, in my opinion, but ultimately you have to make up your own mind on this after putting the time in using your HK and tailoring that training/practice toward whatever ends you see yourself using it for.
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Re: First post have mercy :) Which Handgun?

Post by jor-el » Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:42 pm

From0toHero wrote:
jor-el wrote:Many, many magazines.

Without a magazine, what is your pistol? A single shot, and a bad hammer. As long as you have loaded magazines, your pistol continues to function.

Ammo. What is available where you are? A general recommendation is to use the same ammo that your local LEOs use. In the CONUS, that tends to be one of the big three ammo makers Hollow Points. In some locales, that is not allowed, like NJ.

Myself, that's the Speer Lawman GDHP in +P 124 grain flavor.
Some years ago i could buy good HP ammo. But meanwhile we have more tight gun laws. I can only buy non deforming ammo. So im using at the moment normal FMJ 9mm ammo. I would love to have some Federal HP but swiss law says no.
This could be a big issue as to ammo effectiveness. In the CONUS, much of the debate on handgun calibers is predicated on the availability of recently designed hollow points. As it stands today the modern designs of hollowpoints make 9mm hollowpoints as effective as .45ACP hollowpoints. With only hard ball ammo as the choice, the debate defaults to World War II versions of the arguement. Namely, big bullets make big holes, more likely to damage organs or cut blood vessels.

Had you mentioned this handicap from the beginning, you might get different answers.
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Re: First post have mercy :) Which Handgun?

Post by doc66 » Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:50 pm

jor-el wrote:Had you mentioned this handicap from the beginning, you might get different answers.
Yep.
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Re: First post have mercy :) Which Handgun?

Post by jor-el » Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:00 am

When the LAPD, Chicago, and many other LEO agencies first switched to 9MM service pistols, the first duty load was 115 or 124 grain FMJ. Many knowledgeable officers and gun pundits at the time decried this choice for reasons that should be obvious; over-penetration.
From a military standpoint, you want ammo to penetrate barriers and body armor. If a round passes through an enemy soldier and hits another, that would be desirable collateral damage.
From a LEO standpoint, it is a nightmare to shoot an intended target but hit a bystander. In many cases, this very thing happened and departments found themselves getting sued out of existence, not to mention the bad publicity.
Every LEO agency today uses some sort of modern hollowpoint ammo, even the ones that still use the venerable .38 revolver, like myself.

As an armed citizen of any country that permits such, you are in the same shoes as a cop. You need to effectively use force on assailants, and no one else. You do not need to shoot an attacker under lawful circumstances, but hit a child or pregnant woman downrange you certainly did not want to hit. It's very bad form, to say the least.

I believe Switzerland has gun rights organizations much like the USA. You should probably engage them on this matter.
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Re: First post have mercy :) Which Handgun?

Post by jor-el » Sun Oct 04, 2015 12:11 am

Does this hollowpoint restriction extend to rifles and shotguns as well?

That would alter nearly every recommendation going in. With M193 or most of its variants there is some fragmentation of the bullet that gives the round its reputation.

I'm kind of at a loss for words. My entire arsenal and combat tactics revolve around some sort of expanding rounds for every gun I own, even my .45/70. I don't even think they make a solid bullet cartridge for that caliber. I do have FMJ, but its practice ammo to me, not primary service.
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Re: First post have mercy :) Which Handgun?

Post by Kutter_0311 » Sun Oct 04, 2015 1:04 am

I'm certain you can get solids in .45/70, don't they use it for dangerous game?

Overpenetration is not a concern when trying to take a Cape Buffalo, just try not to get penetrated by him...
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Re: First post have mercy :) Which Handgun?

Post by jor-el » Sun Oct 04, 2015 3:20 am

Kutter_0311 wrote:I'm certain you can get solids in .45/70, don't they use it for dangerous game?

Overpenetration is not a concern when trying to take a Cape Buffalo, just try not to get penetrated by him...
Buffalo Bore, maybe, but locally not carried.

Like I said before, with FMJ, bore or bullet diameter is probably a better factor of performance.
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Re: First post have mercy :) Which Handgun?

Post by doc66 » Sun Oct 04, 2015 9:37 am

Of course they make solid bullets for the .45-70 and they have cool names!

The Barnes Barnes Buster, a 400 grain solid bullet, the 480 grain Hornady Dangerous Game, are just a couple of the solid bullets out there for the .45-70.

You want to stop a truck? Those will do it for you.

But back on topic, the OP got a 9mm and can't use HP, go with the 124 grain bullet for best performance in the 9mm as a FMJ.
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Re: First post have mercy :) Which Handgun?

Post by woodsghost » Sun Oct 04, 2015 3:02 pm

jor-el wrote: From a military standpoint, you want ammo to penetrate barriers and body armor. If a round passes through an enemy soldier and hits another, that would be desirable collateral damage.
If I am not mistaken, militaries use FMJ because it complies with the Hague convention and because they work more reliably in full auto weapons. For armor and barrier penetration they can use hardened steel core AP. They have no problem obtaining that stuff.

I believe the Hague convention weighs more heavily in the decision to use FMJ, though I saw a rumor the US military is considering switching to hollow point pistol ammo. Who knows if it is true. Time will tell.
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Re: First post have mercy :) Which Handgun?

Post by jor-el » Mon Oct 05, 2015 12:45 am

woodsghost wrote:
jor-el wrote: From a military standpoint, you want ammo to penetrate barriers and body armor. If a round passes through an enemy soldier and hits another, that would be desirable collateral damage.
If I am not mistaken, militaries use FMJ because it complies with the Hague convention and because they work more reliably in full auto weapons. For armor and barrier penetration they can use hardened steel core AP. They have no problem obtaining that stuff.

I believe the Hague convention weighs more heavily in the decision to use FMJ, though I saw a rumor the US military is considering switching to hollow point pistol ammo. Who knows if it is true. Time will tell.
I'm not sure our military follows that idea so much, unless you believe MK262 does not qualify as hollowpoint. About as likely as the reliability aspect of FMJ is it's CHEAPER.

Back to the OP. I'm not grokking 9MM as the optimum pistol with the FMJ restriction. I would argue a .45ACP or similar cartridge under those circumstances.
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Re: First post have mercy :) Which Handgun?

Post by From0toHero » Mon Oct 05, 2015 2:33 am

jor-el wrote:Does this hollowpoint restriction extend to rifles and shotguns as well?

That would alter nearly every recommendation going in. With M193 or most of its variants there is some fragmentation of the bullet that gives the round its reputation.

I'm kind of at a loss for words. My entire arsenal and combat tactics revolve around some sort of expanding rounds for every gun I own, even my .45/70. I don't even think they make a solid bullet cartridge for that caliber. I do have FMJ, but its practice ammo to me, not primary service.
Yes ALL deforming bullets are illegal. But by surprise i went true old equipment i hade and found a old box of federal hydra shock ammo. This will be my premium choice if shtf. The problem for each handgun or rifle you need to get a so called Waffenerwerbschein. Every swiss citizen with a clean history can obtain this legal document. The problem is, before, this legal paper made it possible to buy 3 firearms including rifle and handgun. But meanwhile each firearm needs a individual form. And ontop of that its expensive. But my main reason for only having one firearm is my wife. She freaked out when she saw i was planning on buying a gun. The media portrait us as children eating maniacs. So i hade to promise her only buying one handgun. And she even wanted me to buy max. a 22.cal handgun. But i went with a 9mm.
Before the HK P30 i hade a small weapon collection but after we got our first baby she made me sell everything. I hade a Steyr AUG A1, COLT Carabine in 223.Rem, Benelli M3 PumpGun\half auto, Mossberg 590 short pump gun, Berreta Pump Gun, Glock 17C, USP 45,Walther PPK and masses of ammo. I hade many month nightmares and missed them like crazy. It was like i have lost a family member. Call me crazy :)

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Re: First post have mercy :) Which Handgun?

Post by jor-el » Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:51 am

OK, Crazy.
I'm not going to berate your life choices, but you should have had ‘the conversation‘ long before you allowed another to make your decisions for you and your family. When I met Lara we had that convoy to assure we shared the same world view.
Without having common goals as your spouse I predict never ending battles.
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Re: First post have mercy :) Which Handgun?

Post by woodsghost » Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:17 am

jor-el wrote:OK, Crazy.
I'm not going to berate your life choices, but you should have had ‘the conversation‘ long before you allowed another to make your decisions for you and your family. When I met Lara we had that convoy to assure we shared the same world view.
Without having common goals as your spouse I predict never ending battles.
We all make life choices, and if the rest of their values line up, they will be fine. More importantly, if they are both open to compromise, there is a real potential for a future for them. She is willing to let him have 1 gun. Maybe in 3-5 years she will be ok with him having more than 1 gun. Maybe in 3-10 years she will try shooting and get to liking it. That depends on how they go about things, but very few things are "forever." A lot can be discussed and changed, but it can take 3-15 years.
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Re: First post have mercy :) Which Handgun?

Post by jor-el » Mon Oct 05, 2015 11:14 am

Lara was originally resistant to being trained, believing my powers could always protect her.
Standard superhero trope is to attack a family member when the hero is distracted or otherwise engaged.
When I lived on the Brooklyn/Queens border, Lara was mugged twenty minutes before I got home. We both had day jobs in different parts of The city and this is prior to Cir-Ex's arrival. She caught black eyes and lost teeth.
Lara is far more aggressive about training and practice in weapon arts these days, enough she was the one to insist Cir-El be trained at an early age (within NYS limitations) so that she would be better prepared for such a crisis.
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