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Posted: 1/10/2006 9:32:16 AM EDT
Questions from an inexperienced handgun owner (Ruger P95).

I'm new to the board and this might end up long so I apologize to, and thank, anyone ahead of time that reads through it all and responds.

I’ve recently had a rash of sketchy characters in and around my duplex that has made my fiancé, and to a lesser extent myself, hesitant to even go out in our backyard at night to use our grill or relieve our dog.

No more than two weeks ago was the topper when I walked my dog around the side of my duplex at about 1 AM and startled two young males attempting to break open the back door of my neighbors place. My dog immediately responded with a ferocious barking attack that sent one sprinting away, but the other paused briefly just looking at us, seemingly pondered what he should do about us.

I contacted the local police and they responded immediately and patrolled the area for the next couple nights and I thank them for that, but it doesn’t relieve my concerns as to what might happen if that had instead been my back door and we were in bed.

My fiancé and I went out and purchased a Ruger P95 (9mm) yesterday with the intent on using this gun for self defense if the unfortunate scenario where it is needed should ever come to pass.

We chose the semi auto over revolvers that we are somewhat more familiar with because of the perceived safety advantages of them, both in terms of accidental firing, future children considerations and the ability to insert a preloaded clip more quickly than fumbling around with the revolver in a time of crisis.

Truth is neither of us have any experience with semi automatic handguns and very little (less than 50 rounds shot total in my life, only a few more for her) with revolvers and rifles. I want us to learn as safely as possible, but eventually become proficient with our new weapon.

I’ll now lay out my questions for all of you. I don’t want to obligate anyone to answer all of my questions so only answer the ones you feel like.


  1. We would like to fire a lot of practice rounds obviously since we have such limited experience. Is it ok to keep the costs down by primarily using a different ammo to practice with than the one we’d actually have loaded for emergency use?

  2. Depending on how you answered the question above, can you recommend an ammo for both practice and/or defense use that is known to work well with the Ruger P95

  3. Is there a recommended cleaning kit that we should buy over another?

  4. If we study our owner’s manual and read some additional sources, would we be ok to go out to a shooting range prior to taking an instruction class (there isn’t one offered locally that I am aware of until mid March) given our lack of knowledge of semi automatics and guns in general? Would that be asking for trouble or are the basics of safety, maintaining and firing something that can be learned from diligent book studying?

  5. Can you offer any good paper back or online sources of reading on hand guns and things to be aware of?



Sorry for the laundry list, but we both view this as a big responsibility and want to handle it properly.

I'll be taking off for a few hours so I want be able to respond with any more detail if necessary until I return, but I will get to any and all.

Thanks in advance.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 9:47:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 9:50:16 AM EDT by demigod]
Get a good holster. (not a nylon with velcro strap thing)

You need to be able to secure your weapon on you properly in the event that you will be doing any defensive activity.

Get a good hand held light. (surefire)

If you're bee bopping around at 1:00 am, you need to be able to positively ID what you might be shooting at.


Link Posted: 1/10/2006 9:56:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 10:16:41 AM EDT by glock23carry]
You might want to call the NRA and find an instructor local to you who will do a private session with you.

www.nrahq.org/education/training/basictraining.asp

Post in your hometown forum and perhaps an AR-15 member will also have instructors names for you.

Use Winchester White Box 9mm from WalMart for practice. 100 rd. value packs are cheap.

Carry ammo made by Speer, Remington or Cor-Bon is readily available in gun stores.

G
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 10:05:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TrickyD119:
Is it ok to keep the costs down by primarily using a different ammo to practice with than the one we’d actually have loaded for emergency use?

Most def YES! The only people I know that train 100% with Hydra-shocks are US Marshals. Myself, I get CCI Blazer delivered for about $105 a case for practice and IDPA/IPSC matches, and then pack my 9mm with Winchester RA9T at night.

Depending on how you answered the question above, can you recommend an ammo for both practice and/or defense use that is known to work well with the Ruger P95
I reccomend CCI Blazer (aluminium cased, non-reloadable) and Winchester White Box (Commonly refereed to ON THE INTRAWEB AS "WWB"), both may be available at your local Walmart.

Is there a recommended cleaning kit that we should buy over another?
I don’t think so, parts of the cheap ones just wear out sooner than some of the others. If you resign yourself to having to buy a new one every other year for $10 it shouldn’t be much of a worry.

If we study our owner’s manual and read some additional sources, would we be ok to go out to a shooting range prior to taking an instruction class (there isn’t one offered locally that I am aware of until mid March) given our lack of knowledge of semi automatics and guns in general? Would that be asking for trouble or are the basics of safety, maintaining and firing something that can be learned from diligent book studying?
Just follow the big 4 safety rules, go slow, and you should both be fine! If the range offers rental guns, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to start out with a .22lr pistol for your first visit. The recoil and noise from a 9mm can be a little tough for complete beginners. Also, if this is an indoor range, I like to double up on hearing protection; foam plugs under my muffs.

Can you offer any good paper back or online sources of reading on hand guns and things to be aware of?
For the “when” to use a gun part of the question: In the Gravest Extreme by Masaad Ayoob. For the “how”, check out the NRA “Personal Protection in the Home” handbook, it would be a good place to start.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 10:26:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 10:26:55 AM EDT by sum-rifle]
Originally Posted By TrickyD119:
Questions from an inexperienced handgun owner (Ruger P95).

We would like to fire a lot of practice rounds obviously since we have such limited experience. Is it ok to keep the costs down by primarily using a different ammo to practice with than the one we’d actually have loaded for emergency use? Again start slow maybe 100-200 rounds in a day then see how you feel and your girlfriens feels the next day. Your hands may be a little sore. Using less expensive ammo to practice makes good sence but fire at least a few magazines of the good stuff through the particular firearm to make sure it is going to funtion reliably.

Depending on how you answered the question above, can you recommend an ammo for both practice and/or defense use that is known to work well with the Ruger P95 Winchester, Federal, Remington and many others make good quality ammunition for practice as well as self defense.


Is there a recommended cleaning kit that we should buy over another? Outers, Birchwood Casey and others. A bore brush, cleaning patches, solvent, toothbrush and some rags are a minimum starting point. Go easy on the oil! Most firearms just need a little in certain places.


If we study our owner’s manual and read some additional sources, would we be ok to go out to a shooting range prior to taking an instruction class (there isn’t one offered locally that I am aware of until mid March) given our lack of knowledge of semi automatics and guns in general? Would that be asking for trouble or are the basics of safety, maintaining and firing something that can be learned from diligent book studying? Reading is great but I would reccommend going out with someone you trust and at the very least have them give you some pointers.


Most important ask yourself and your girlfriend seriously "Can you point a firearm at someone and pull the trigger" If it is to protect yourself or a loved one I think most can and would. Some would not. I do not fall into the bullshit "A gun in the house is XYZ times more likely to be used against you or your family" but if you are unwilling or unable to actually pull the trigger it is of no use to you and could be taken away and used against you. If you are self defense minded and are willing to defend yourself and your family a firearm is one of the greatest tools ever invented.

Good luck and welcome to AR15 and the firearm owning community!


Link Posted: 1/10/2006 11:06:42 AM EDT
+1 on the Winchester white box ammo for practice. Just stop by your local Wal-mart. I like Speer Gold dots for carrying.

If you are going to keep your pistol loaded while stored, I would rotate through three or four magazines so that you don't wear out the spring from having a magazine loaded for 6 months straight. For spare mags, I usually stick with factory standard mags or MecGar sp? I had a bad experience with ProMags.

The flashlight is another big winner (just as important as the gun). A Surefire G2 will run you $35 or G2Z will run you about $70. These are good xenon bulb lights that can blind an attacker. Make sure you practice shooting with the light in your hands.

If you go to a range with a range master, let him/her know you are new. They will usually help you with range procedures and safe handling of a pistol.

Some websites to look at for info are www.packing.org this one covers concealed carry and self defense pistol laws and weapons tactics, equipment, and procedures. www.gunnersalley.com has some good holsters at reasonable prices. I'm not sure if you need the holster if you mainly want to keep the pistol in your home. However, you might want something you can clip on for when you go out to the backyard at 1am Finally, where are you at in Alabama?
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 11:23:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 11:25:59 AM EDT by GenghisKhan]
I use winchester white box but my favorite is independence which is about the same price and I carry 124gr+p+ hydrashocks or Corbon or Golddots. I prefer my D cell maglight for a flash light since I can use it as a club also. For cleaning I prefer klean bore products but what ever walmart sells will work also and klean bore 3 in 1, rem oil, tetra grease, and the outers foam bore cleaner are what I use as far as chemicals. On the books, videos I am one of those guys that still likes what Jeff Cooper and Ayob have to say so I would get there books or a Gun Sight DVD on handguns. I do not know if Thunder Ranch has videos you can buy or not. My advice is get another pistol so you each have one even if it is the same model and do not go out without one and move if you can to a safer complex.

Edit: As far as the light goes I do like the little surefires also since I would not want to walk around the complex with my dog and a big mag light. Night sights or a frame mounted light for your pistol if it is a model that has rails would be a good idea also.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:21:31 PM EDT
You need MUCH MORE than a Firearm and some Target practice.

Judging only from your post , I can only guess , because you are focused on a TOOL of
Self Defense , and not on how to make your surroundings secure.

Security: Do you have outside lights , good door and window locks , a cellphone for each
person?

Situational awareness: Do you know how safe or dangerous your neighborhood is , how many
rapes-robberies-and burglaries have occurred in the last year?
Do you know who your neighbors are , and whether they are law abiding and
responsible citizens? Are your local Police an effective force?

Training: Do the police - local University , or Private firms offer any courses for civilians in regard to
home safety? Is there now, or could you start .a Neighborhood Watch type program?

MindSet: Are you and your fiance willing and able to change some things in your lifestyle? ,
and is Survival more important to you than Convenience ?
Can you accept the fact that Violent Conflict with other Human beings usually
results in injury or death to Both sides , and often has Psychological effects later on?

You need to consider all these things.

Link Posted: 1/10/2006 4:09:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 4:10:53 PM EDT by ALPHAGHOST]
first off, Welcome to the site!

good choice on the P95--all that is required is: know-how on the safe usage of that (and any other) firearms, training, RELIABLE mags, good, quality ammo, a good holster (+1 on it not being nylon--get a good kydex or qulality leather holster--compact makes some great ones), flashlight and perhapse night sights

perfectly fine to practice w/ cheap FMJs (WWBs, etc) and carry good ammo (Win Ranger, Speer Gold Dots are some of the best--as long as the run RELIABLY, 100% (which it should as the ruger will digest almost anything--including +p/+p+, no problem)) --i usually use: 100rnds of FMJs and 20 carry ammo every range session to keep em in check
i practice w/ wolf/CCI/WWB and carry Win 147gr FMJs in my 9mm G17

train and practice; accuracy first, speed second (cant stop what you cant hit--shot placement is everything)--if you have trouble w/ recoil or price, practice w/ a .22lr; distace: start off at 5-7 yrds, slow, accurate shots tight groups, work your way back to 15 yrds and so on....

a wally world cleaning kit is fine--i use CLP (on everything, ARs, AKs, etc) overall; dont overclean, but make sure that you at least wipe it down after every range session and at least once a month

knowing the manual is a good thing--h/w, nothing beats proper training and hands-on guidance on learning how to handle the firearm

like i said, you can learn better from people than manuals, but some good resources are online (cant provide the links right now...)
4 gun rules: www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=118&t=190118

h/w i must disagree w/ AKAlabama on the mag springs: keeping em loaded will NOT harm the springs (unless they are over compressed, which will weaken em)--h/w, constant loading/unloading (compression/release) of the springs WILL wear em out faster

i would keep a a couple for carry (loaded w/ your carry load), and not practice too much w/ em to keep the springs in good shape, and have a few other "range" mags that you will constantly use and keep track of thier wear and tear and fix accordingly

h/w, if your carry ammo is exposed to water, moisture, sunlight, etc, ROTATE (shoot em) out of your mags and put fresh ammo in; also, rotate at least 1-4 times a yr to ensure good carry ammo
+1 on MecGars, promags are ok for the range, but suck for carry (too unreliable)

surefire is a good brand (if you carry the G2, i would recommend a shock isolated bezzel as my bulb blew out unexpectedly after 2 weeks--i switched back to my Inova X03--bright as hell)

try to resolve all potentially danerous situations without escallating the situation first (like by drawing the firearm...)

AKs Rule also makes some good points; having a phone to call for help is essential--the more people who know the problem, the more potential folks that may help

have a good sense of situational awareness--not necessaily suspecting everyone or appear paranoid, but have a good sense of whats going on around you

nice start on a mean dog; good to have neighbors that you trust to watch out for each other

as to mindset--there will be consequences after every kind of conflict (violent/death related or otherwise), but remember: YOU have to be ALIVE to expiernce those consequences

train, learn (the right things), and practice

good luck, stay safe
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:26:04 PM EDT
First off thank you all for the helpful, to the point, replies. You've given me a lot of information to file and I've enjoyed going through it.


sum-rifle
Most important ask yourself and your girlfriend seriously "Can you point a firearm at someone and pull the trigger" If it is to protect yourself or a loved one I think most can and would. Some would not. I do not fall into the bullshit "A gun in the house is XYZ times more likely to be used against you or your family" but if you are unwilling or unable to actually pull the trigger it is of no use to you and could be taken away and used against you. If you are self defense minded and are willing to defend yourself and your family a firearm is one of the greatest tools ever invented.

That is a question we both talked about and I feel confident that if it ever came down to a choice we would both be able to respond with lethal force.

Of course this is something I hope I am never faced with, but I'd want to be properly prepared if I ever do.

Making the purchase probably sounds like somewhat of a rushed decision based on the fact that I'm asking these questions after making the purchase, but it actually was something that we had contemplated prior to the events a couple of weeks ago. We also discussed the pros and cons with our family to see how they felt about us having a gun in our home and they were supportive. I actually chose the Ruger after deciding on what we could afford right now and reading the recommendations on this forum and others.


AKAlabama
Finally, where are you at in Alabama?


We live in Auburn. Whereabouts are you? You can fire me a PM if you'd prefer to divulge that elsewhere.


GenghisKhan
My advice is get another pistol so you each have one even if it is the same model and do not go out without one and move if you can to a safer complex.

We won’t have the funds available in the very near future to purchase a second pistol, especially given that we will need to further outfit this one based on the helpful tips from this thread, but that is certainly something that we'd like to do as soon as it is possible.

I hope to be moved out of this area by next August as we are in a lease that expires then. We unfortunately discovered facts about this neighborhood too late in the game to make a change.


AKsRule
You need MUCH MORE than a Firearm and some Target practice.

Judging only from your post , I can only guess , because you are focused on a TOOL of
Self Defense , and not on how to make your surroundings secure.


Thank you for this post. I have inquired about taking the NRA sponsored courses for Home Security and Personal Defense which I am hoping will offer more insight into some of the topics that you mentioned as well as properly training us to use our tool.

We do leave both our front and backyard lights on all night long and both doors are double dead bolted. The windows are double locked and secure as well. Unfortunately the backdoor does have 9 small windows that, if broken, can allow easy access of the deadbolts. I am unaware of what my best solution for that would be, but I know the sound would certainly alert my dog and me to danger. My fiancé and I both have cell phones as well that we keep at our bedside every night.


AKsRule
Situational awareness: Do you know how safe or dangerous your neighborhood is , how many
rapes-robberies-and burglaries have occurred in the last year?
Do you know who your neighbors are , and whether they are law abiding and
responsible citizens? Are your local Police an effective force?

Auburn, Alabama isn't that large of a city, but as you are probably aware, there is a major university here. We are both recent graduates with jobs in the area and that is probably our biggest problem.

Our adjacent neighbors are good kids that we are familiar with. The problem is that they are all college students and anytime there is an extended break (with our last encounter it happened to be Christmas break) this area turns into a ghost town.

Local thieves thrive during these time periods and while the local police are highly aware of it, with 20k + students in a 40k person town, there is just too much housing for them to effectively patrol. All of our problems have come during those times.


ALPHAGHOST
h/w i must disagree w/ AKAlabama on the mag springs: keeping em loaded will NOT harm the springs (unless they are over compressed, which will weaken em)--h/w, constant loading/unloading (compression/release) of the springs WILL wear em out faster

i would keep a a couple for carry (loaded w/ your carry load), and not practice too much w/ em to keep the springs in good shape, and have a few other "range" mags that you will constantly use and keep track of thier wear and tear and fix accordingly

h/w, if your carry ammo is exposed to water, moisture, sunlight, etc, ROTATE (shoot em) out of your mags and put fresh ammo in; also, rotate at least 1-4 times a yr to ensure good carry ammo
+1 on MecGars, promags are ok for the range, but suck for carry (too unreliable)

My Ruger came with one Ruger 15 capacity mag.

What would be the best source for me to obtain a few new mags for our pistol? I'm not that familiar with the local shops so online sources would work as well.

If any of you had to pick one or the other, would you select the MecGar mags or the Ruger mags for this particular pistol?


Thanks again for all of the feedback everyone. I know I will have more questions along the way and please feel free to add anything more to this thread that you feel we might be overlooking.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:57:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 9:08:50 PM EDT by Moe-Ron]
For magazines either factory Ruger or Mec-Gars are good. Mec-Gar supplies magazines for more than a few manufacturers. Frankly I would just say NO to "Pro-mag" or "USA" mags: no need to complicate your situation with "range gear" vs. "go to" gear at this stage.

I would try to keep it simple: buy 3-4 more quality magazines, a holster, and hit the range as often as possible with goals for your practice- don't just blaze away. Practice will bring more questions specific to you.

A link to magazines. MidwayUSA Midway is a good place, but there are loads of others as well.

Cheers
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 9:50:24 PM EDT
The Ruger P95 is an excellent handgun. Its extremely rugged and reliable and where Im from, you hardly see a LEO with anything but a P95. The Army recently awarded Ruger a contract for a few thousand or so P95's to supplement/replace the M9 in certain situations. In addition to the purchase of your gun, buy a decent holster. I use a Fobus paddle holster and corresponding dual magazing carrier. If you elect to use a Fobus paddle holster, make sure its a model which has full belt loops, not a clip as they are a tight sqeeze and if not secured to the belt will be attached to your weapon at the moment of truth. I never leave the house without less than 3 magazines, one in

the weapon and two reserve. Magazines fail, ammo supply quickly depletes in a gun fight, you will want to make sure you have enough to defend yourself. You don't have to train with your carry ammo, but you will want to shoot at least 60 rounds of your selected bullet to ensure proper functioning. Each weapon has unique tolerances which prohibit reliable functioning with some bullet profiles. Ruger P95's aren't all that picky, but you will want to make sure just to be safe, after all your life may depend on it. As far as selection, thats a function of research/testing and personal preference. As far as I am concerned, you have two choices: 147grn Winchester Ranger or a 125grn +P load. I cant think of a 115 grn bullet that has passed IWBA tests, its to small for me. I lean towards the +P 125 grain bullets, primarily the BH 124grn +P Gold Dot. The Gold Dot

is a bonded bullet and provides excellent penetration and controlled expansion, plus it has a very "chamber friendly" profile. Also consider the 125 grn +P+ Hydrashok or 127grn +P+ Ranger which are also excellent. CorBon also makes an excellent 125grn +P bullet, but the Sierra bullet is very blunt which can cause FTF's and is prone to damage during cycling. I personally carry the BH Gold Dots in my Beretta and would reccomend the same. Go to Border's and check the hunting/sports section for a book called the Concealed Handgun Manual by Chis Bird. There is a lot of good information in this book. Also, read up on the statues surrounding justifiable homocide in your state, and adhere to them closely. Beyond that, famliarize yourself with your guns features

and practice dilligent gun safety and hit the range. Practice makes perfect and it will be something fun for you both to do together. As far as practice ammo goes, I use Winchester White Box from Wal Mart. Stay away from Remington UMC yellow/green box. I watched a Glock KB from UMC yellow box, real trash. Anything else, should be okay....but try to stick with WWB, knowing that it won't blow your gun up is worth the extra dollar or two it costs over Ultramax or other trash ammo.
Good luck, and hopefully you never have to shoot anything not made of paper.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 12:55:50 AM EDT
+1 on midwayusa and CDNNinvestments.com for mags and accessories; also, the EE also has lots of deals here and there, as long as you look

mecgars and factory rugers are great mags--stick w/ em--they run for ~$20-25 a piece

i cant recommend the fobus holster, expecially the older generations as they had problems w/ the rivets tearing off--bad, expecially if someone is going for your firearm

if you want a budget holster, try a Uncle Mike's

carry ammo: search for this man on the EE "5532JWK"--i have bought Winchester Rangers from him and he is great to deal with and has great prices; the rangers are also the only brand of JHP ammo that i have 100% reliablity in all of the ones i have tried (1911s, ruger, glock, HK)--but the speers and hydra shoks are good too

UMC use to have problems, but i think that its been corrected....go ahead and try to stick w/ the WWBs

do you plan on getting a CCW licence? dont worry about getting another firearm right now--worry about moving out

if you stay, your 9 windows on the door can be solved by changing the door, or adding steel bars/ steel mesh over the windows...

if at the least, shooting is just plain fun
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 2:06:29 AM EDT
1st, welcome aboard TrickyD119 .

Next, I use a P95 too and these things will eat any ammo you buy. Prior posters have already advised you to practice with cheap WalMart stuff (excellent advise) and Ryno_the_wyno gave you a great list of "serious" ammo choices.

Don't fail to actually practice some with the expensive "serious" ammo too though. It will be loaded hotter and there is some difference in the recoil you will want to be aware of. You can probably wait until you're more accustomed to how the pistol behaves with practice ammo but eventually, do run a mag or two of the good stuff through once in a while.

Finally, stay cool and get pro training (like the others have said).

Steve
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 3:33:17 AM EDT
Welcome
ruger p-95 is good !
With rugers I like to stick with the factory mags. Do not worry about leaving them loaded.You absolutely need a second mag, a total of 3 would be the absolute basic amount,more is better.
Yes, shoot cheep practise ammo but I like to shoot at least 1 mag of "better" ammo before leaving fireing range.
Find a place to shoot. Local range,local gun club,or possibly just a place out in the country. Be safe!
Check local laws before you carry the gun loaded outside the home,many places you are required to have a "Concealed Weapon Permit" . The amount of paperwork/bs/time varries widely from place to place. You might want to get the paperwork started .
Try to take some courses,they might be required for the permit,but are a great idea at any rate.
Hitching up with someone (hometown forum is your best bet) to get some basic help and some shooting is a good idea untill you can get to a course. Look at local gun clubs,they usually have someone around that is certified to give courses even if they don't publisize.
Regardless of your politics or your feelings about their politics the NRA is "the" source for firearms training
They have a bunch of publications available to members and the general public.
I sugest THE BASICS OF PISTOL SHOOTING,HOME FIREARM SAFTEY,PERSONAL PROTECTION.
These are simple paperback books ,fairly cheep,and also textbooks of the saftey classes of the same name. See NRA sales 1-800-336-7402 . About $4.00 each,there are many other books,pamplets,and videos to be had from them .
Again- welcome NHSPORT
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 4:41:12 AM EDT
First of all congratulations! You have made a an important choice, to be aware of the possibility that you could be attacked and preparing to deal with it. You're asking the right questions as well.


We chose the semi auto over revolvers that we are somewhat more familiar with because of the perceived safety advantages of them, both in terms of accidental firing, future children considerations and the ability to insert a preloaded clip more quickly than fumbling around with the revolver in a time of crisis.


First of all the first rule of gun safety is that the gun is always loaded. Therfore it follows that it is inherently dangerous..which is a good thing! It wouldn't be of much use if it wasn't! That doesn't mean that it should be feared any more than a can of gasolene or a knife, just that we need to be careful and take precautions. You can definately accidently shoot yourself or someone else if you don't follow the basic rules of gun safety regardless of whether it is "loaded" or not. For future children considerations i would suggest you look into something like a "GunVault" to secure your firearm. Do not keep your firearm "unloaded"! It will likely get you into a mindset where you are dealing with 2 types of guns the "safe/Unloaded" kind and the "dangerous/loaded" kind which can result in an accidental discharge. Plus it is unlikely that if you need to use it you will have time to grab the mag (not clip) insert it into the weapon, retract the slide smartly to the rear, point and shoot a guy in the seconds you may have.


  1. We would like to fire a lot of practice rounds obviously since we have such limited experience. Is it ok to keep the costs down by primarily using a different ammo to practice with than the one we’d actually have loaded for emergency use?


  2. Yes it is fine, providing that you have shot enough of your defensive ammo to both acclimate yourself to its recoil and flash characteristicss and, more importantly, have shot 300 or so rounds minimum through your pistol to verify that it will function properly. However you should consider professional instruction before putting a lot of rounds downrange as it is likely that you will simply reinforce some bad habits.

  3. Depending on how you answered the question above, can you recommend an ammo for both practice and/or defense use that is known to work well with the Ruger P95


  4. See my comment above about testing the ammo with YOUR gun, what works well in mine may not work as well in yours. I'be been using Winchester SXT or Ranger in mine i can't remember what weight. A wise instructor once told me to use the heaviest weight bullet in whatever caliber you shoot which i've come to believe. Federal and Hornady also make very good defensive ammo.

  5. Is there a recommended cleaning kit that we should buy over another?


  6. A basic Outer's kit should be fine. You might also want to consider a boresnake.

  7. If we study our owner’s manual and read some additional sources, would we be ok to go out to a shooting range prior to taking an instruction class (there isn’t one offered locally that I am aware of until mid March) given our lack of knowledge of semi automatics and guns in general? Would that be asking for trouble or are the basics of safety, maintaining and firing something that can be learned from diligent book studying?


  8. Well, i know that i shot my first handgun without any instruction. However, I would recommend that you at least hook up with a buddy that you trust the first time out, it is amazingly easy for a beginner to put various body parts in front of the muzzle.

    The 4 rules of gun safety are:
    !. The gun IS ALWAYS LOADED
    2. Never let your muzzle cover anything you aren't willing to destroy
    3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are on target and ready to shoot
    4. Be aware of your target and what is downrange or in the vicinity of your target

  9. Can you offer any good paper back or online sources of reading on hand guns and things to be aware of?


  10. Online discussion forums are the worst place for anyone to learn something until they have a basis for sorting the BS from the good stuff. There are several good books by Jeff Cooper and Msaad Ayoob (sp?) as well as instructional manuals from respected firearms trainers such as Louis Awerbuck, John Farnum and others (with a possible exception of Gabriel Suarez).

    But you cannot learn defensive shooting from a book any more than you can any other martial art. Nor will you learn what you need from a 6 hour basic firearms course other than how to punch holes in paper. You really need to take 3 days or more and take a course.




Best of luck to you and your lady.
Link Posted: 1/12/2006 10:36:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/12/2006 12:09:51 PM EDT by AKAlabama]
I'm in Montgomery. If Auburn is like here, you will be out of luck for a good quality indoor pistol range. If you find a good range in Auburn, shoot me a PM, I'd make the drive.

There is an unsupervised range in the Tuskegee National Forest. You can google it for directions and parking pass info. It has benches and known distance points, but nothing fancy.

Others may be right on keeping magazines loaded/unloaded. My info came from Uncle Sam Ain't Released Me Yet. And as we've all heard "There's a right way, a wrong way, and the Army way."

Wow, after looking at many of these responses, we could condence this thread and sticky it as "a basic guide to home security."





Check local laws before you carry the gun loaded outside the home,many places you are required to have a "Concealed Weapon Permit" . The amount of paperwork/bs/time varries widely from place to place. You might want to get the paperwork started


Alabama is a simple state to get a CCW permit. The permits are controled by the county sheriff's office. In Montgomery, classes are not required. They also did not require a fingerprint card. The required paperwork was a personal information form and a green picture of Andrew Jackson for a one year permit.
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