Fears In a Gun Fight. A Poll!


August 19, 2007, 05:26 AM
So, whats your greatest fear in a possible gun fight, aside from getting shot? This poll question can also apply to a gun vs. knife encounter, gun vs. mob, gun vs. gun. Thanks.

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August 19, 2007, 05:28 AM

August 19, 2007, 05:47 AM
Neither concern me but for the sake of the Poll I'll choose the one that I can't control. I'm not worried about running out of ammo because I don't practice spray-n-pray. I carry a J frame revolver with 1 reload. If I can't get the job done with 10 rounds of .38 Special I have no right carrying a gun. Shot placement is everything. ;)

Joshua M. Smith
August 19, 2007, 05:53 AM

Josh <><

August 19, 2007, 07:29 AM
getting thrown in jail afterwards ala great britain

August 19, 2007, 07:49 AM
Uuuhhhh...Getting shot would be my biggest concern. My gun has never malfunctioned and if I can't do what I need to in 15 rounds (get away), somethings wrong.


August 19, 2007, 08:58 AM
That is Y I carry a G brick, but anything mechanical can fail

August 19, 2007, 09:10 AM
The handgun I would carry, if I could carry in NY, has never failed in any way so that I would worry about its reliability - Dan Wesson CBOB in .45 ACP.

For some reason my dreams of confronting armed guys nearly always involve 3 bad guys. Guess that is my subconscious kicking in the wanna be a super ninja James Bond type urges while I sleep. ;)


August 19, 2007, 09:28 AM
Neither is a big fear for me. My biggest fear is of course having to be faced with such a situation to begin with. I don't want to be shot, stabbed, clubbed, etc etc.

That said, my biggest fear in an actual fight would be not being able to react quickly and decisively enough to meet the threat.

August 19, 2007, 10:03 AM
Neither to any degree.

August 19, 2007, 10:08 AM
most home invasions with shots fired have a total of 1-5 shots. I'm worried about pulling the trigger and hearing "click" instead of BOOM:eek:

August 19, 2007, 10:27 AM
I trust my guns to fire reliably, and my aim to make the shots count, making capacity (15rds of 9mm or 30rds 5.56) a non-issue. What I fear the most is MDs fine tradition of gunny bashing. Some starry eyed DA looking for another feather in his cap, being forced to support the perps family for eternity, and the financial and social ruin that can and has happened surrounding a "good" shoot and 12 hoplophobes on the jury. MD also does not issue CC permits to protect the lives of common folks, only the elite, or their money, so if the incident did not happen at my home, well then my fist is fairly reliable, and I have a spare if I need the extra capacity.

August 19, 2007, 10:50 AM
jad0110 : ...my biggest fear in an actual fight would be not being able to react quickly and decisively enough to meet the threat.

That would be it for me as well. That and getting arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned for defending myself and/or my family by politically correct law enforcement and a DA looking to earn some brownie points.

August 19, 2007, 10:54 AM
Neither to any degree.

Agree with Doc, I will fight like a Comanche regardless of the condition of my gun.

August 19, 2007, 11:39 AM
You don't list enough choices.

Tully M. Pick
August 19, 2007, 11:42 AM
Getting gut shot.

August 19, 2007, 12:17 PM
Neither -- my biggest fear would be GETTING SHOT. :uhoh:


August 19, 2007, 12:36 PM
I have a first hand experience with this, about five years ago, watching the tube a knock at the door, after opening it was an ex employee I had let go some months before, he immediately became beligerent and threatened me, i back up to the hall table where i keep a welcome committee, by the time i cleared the drawer with my s&w 38, he'd come thru the screen security door with a 10# log splitter hammer type tool, his buddy right behind him
I got one shot off,hitting him in the hip before the sledge hit me in the shoulder on his way down, it broke my collar bone, I hit the tile floor with a thud, never lost the pistol, brought it up on the buddy holding a big pry bar staring at me with huge eyes, probably as surprised as I was at the turn out. Before I could get in position to shoot at him but he turned and ran like hell, the entry dude was all over the floor screaming and yelling, by this time my wife called the cops, 10 minutes later or so they showed up,
Ambulance beat them.

SO with that being said, I never dreamed it would happen to me, I always assumed that I would be able to put'm down before they got to me, Well now I have a weapon in my hand on a surprise knock, and step back after opening the door, my good friends know the story but new friends are sometimes a little freaked at me holding a 1911.

Malfunction, never crosses my mind, and now fear feeds me.
I always thought I was one of those guys always prepared, well I can say I am now.

August 19, 2007, 03:11 PM
1) Actually getting into a gunfight!

2) Not getting my gun into action soon enough.

August 19, 2007, 03:15 PM
Getting shot.

August 19, 2007, 03:22 PM
I'll bet if you only asked revolver users the same question, you would get very different answers. I would guess the main concern would be having the time to reload. I would rather have 5 or 6 certain rounds available in my various S&W revolvers than to worry that even round #1 might cause a malfunction in my semi. Other than my Ruger P97 I have not had a semi that was consistently reliable enough for me to trust in as a carry or home defense gun.

August 19, 2007, 04:43 PM
Getting gut shot.

Well, if we are going there I think many of us guys would replace the "g" in gut with another letter. :eek:

What I fear the most is MDs fine tradition of gunny bashing.

Trust me, it's not much better in NC (depending on where you live) from what I hear.


Glad to hear you are fine, more or less, but like you said I'd imagine something like that stays with you forever. When I'm home, I always have my trusty S&W 642 in my pocket for those rare knocks on the door late at night. When I peer through the side window, I've got my hand on the butt of that little J in my pocket. Very convenient. Luckily, all those knocks have been family and good friends.

My wife on the other hand used to have a terrible habbit of simply opening the door without even looking :what: :eek: . I was at Wal-Mart one night (a place I rarely frequent at night, creepy parking lot). She called me, saying that some guy she did not recognize kept walking around the circle, looking about in an "odd" sort of way. She described him and I immediately knew who she was talking about, as I had recalled seeing him once late in the afternoon. Didn't think anything of it because I only saw him that one time, briefly. Before I could get a word in, he knocked at the door and she put down the friggin phone to go open it :banghead: . I stood still in terror for the next several moments, listening to the door unlocking. Nothing bad happened. Turned out he was a house-to-house saleman of some sort; so he claimed. At 9 pm though :confused:? Yeah, right. She said he left rather hurredly and we've never seen the guy again. I still think he was up to no good, I just think my wife is very lucky in that something spooked him. Someone walking a dog perhaps. That was about a year ago. Goes to show that even the nicest, safest neighborhoods like mine aren't impervious and you can't be too careful.

After fussing her out, she does not do that anymore. I would prefer that she answered the door with a 1911 in her hand, but keeping the door shut until she verifies who is at the door is a BIG improvement.

Sorry if that's a little off topic.

Mikhail Konovalov
August 19, 2007, 05:12 PM
My biggest fear once I'm already in the fight?

Killing the six year old girl who will always be standing behind the crook at the critical moment.

Failing that, looking said crook right in the eyes while I pull the trigger on a contact-range head shot.

August 19, 2007, 05:22 PM
acording to my dreams it would be a FTF but I say it would be not being able to protect those I had to, or myself for that matter.

August 19, 2007, 05:27 PM
Close-in a malfunction would scheiss on my day. If I am somehow ever involved in a MOUT-type shindig, I would worry about ammo and why I am there to begin with.

August 19, 2007, 05:39 PM
My greatest fear: hitting the innocent by-stander either by over-penetrating my target, or missing the target all-together.

August 19, 2007, 06:12 PM
None of the above.

August 19, 2007, 09:12 PM
A jam is something I can't control. :uhoh:

Running out of ammo is something I can control. :D

The Lone Haranguer
August 19, 2007, 09:32 PM
Of the two, I chose the malfunction. However, my biggest fear is missing, followed closely - or even tying with - being wounded (bludgeoned, stabbed, cut, shot, etc.) first.

August 19, 2007, 10:08 PM
I'm afraid of clowns, circus clowns, midget clowns especially. Clowns in a gunfight would be really scary.

August 19, 2007, 10:39 PM
None of the above . . . #1: someone I love being hurt; #2: being faced with such a situation.

August 19, 2007, 10:53 PM
Not worried about ammo as far as things go I use a tried and true 1911 for the home but if the 7rd mag goes empty that's when you follow the duty to retreat doctrine. If it can't be handled with that quantity of ammo its time to go and call in backup.

August 19, 2007, 11:06 PM
If it jams, you can probably clear it. If you completely run out of ammo, I guess all you can do is throw the gun.

Jim K
August 19, 2007, 11:26 PM
Just FWIW, when I answer the door to someone I don't know, I have a gun in my hand, most often a .45 auto. It will not be obvious, or showing, but it will be there.


August 19, 2007, 11:45 PM
Running low on ammo. My Glock has never jammed on me after 5K rounds, I trust it with my life.

August 19, 2007, 11:52 PM
I am more concerned with whats beyond my target and how we got to the point where it was necessary for me to draw a weapon.

malfunctions can be resolved by thouroughly testing regulary of your weapon. Ammo can be resolved by shot placement.

*opinions of course*

Big Az Al
August 20, 2007, 02:53 PM
Gator 1) Actually getting into a gunfight!

2) Not getting my gun into action soon enough

I would change 2 into Being so stressed out that I can't find the front sight! Or twisted a little being LATE on the front sight!

The sooner you fix on the front sight the faster and more accurate your shot is!

August 20, 2007, 03:01 PM

Hitting the wrong target.

In a gunfight, if trained, you really don't have time to think about much.

August 20, 2007, 03:03 PM
My greatest concern other than firearm reliability, lack of sufficient ammunition, overpenetration/risk of innocent bystandards, is of course the greatest fear of them all:

August 20, 2007, 03:25 PM
I would fear neither, but be aware of both. For me, reliability in my firearms is paramount, so I wouldn't be worried, per se, of a malfunction, but aware of, and capable of handling, it on the off chance that it occurred. Also, as for malfunctions, I would hope to be behind some kind of cover (if what I assume you mean by gunfight is correct), so clearing a jam would not be as life threatening as if I were in the open. Again, I choose my weapons with reliability as a prime factor. If the weapon I was using was not my own (i.e. a battlefield pickup or something), then I would be concerned more about a malfunction, but still far more worried about hitting my target and not getting hit.
As for capacity, I think I'd be more worried about that inasmuch as I would have to reload. Every bullet is, to me, precious: any one can save your life. So, I'd be concerned, certainly, of making them all count.
So I suppose, I come closest to worrying about capacity. Sort of.

Also, I have to wonder what kind of gunfight you are envisioning here.

August 20, 2007, 05:06 PM
Coming in second place.

Double Naught Spy
August 20, 2007, 06:49 PM
I figure I can fix a malfunction. I probably can't make new ammo on the spot.

August 20, 2007, 07:07 PM
I put malf because it was more appropriate, and I really don't work on clearing drills as much as I should. But I keep quality handguns in good order, so I'm really not all that worried about it.

The only thing that really worries me in a gunfight is losing.

August 20, 2007, 07:14 PM
Losing a loved one, or accidentally killing an innocent.

Read a story in last month's CCM about a man who successfully defended his family, but killed his own firstborn son in doing so. That haunts me.

Jams and malfunctions, no worries (I carry a Glock! ;) ) Reloads, no fear, I carry a spare magazine. But every bullet you fire ... goes somewhere. I fear them not all going where I want them to go.

And that is why I take my training seriously.


August 20, 2007, 10:21 PM
My greatest fear is not recognizing that I'm IN a gunfight until I'm waaaay behind the ooda loop, because up to that point, I'm on the wrong side of a one sided gunfight.

August 20, 2007, 10:42 PM
Gunfight, how do I fear thee? Let me count the ways:

Getting into a gunfight.
Getting ambushed by multiple assailants.
Having a malfunction with my primary.
Having a malfunction with my secondary.
Running out of ammo.
Getting shot.
Getting killed by a criminal.
Getting killed (accidentally, one hopes) by a LEA.
Accidentally shooting an innocent bystander.
Getting charged with murder.
Getting sued by scumbags or their families.
Having scumbags and/or their families/gang friends try to get retribution on me and my family.

Man, I just can't decide.:confused: Well, #'s 9 & 12 are pretty awful.
You know, this discussion should be read by those ignorant antis who think gun people actually want to get assaulted.:cuss:

August 20, 2007, 11:04 PM
For the sake of discussion,I'll clarify my thought process. The poll is entitled "Biggest Fear In a Gunfight". So I'll assume this means during the gunfight,which assumes that I've been aware enough to have my pistol out before I was jumped. And since this was posted in the Handgun forum,I will assume that this poll rules out rifles and shotguns.

So of the two options listed,I'd be more concerned about a malfunction,even though I would not carry a pistol that gave me 1/10 of a second pause for wondering if it's gonna choke when the turds hit the fan.

Ammo...well if 8+1 rounds of 230 grain hollowpoints doesn't get the job done then somebody(or Somebody:)) really wants your ticket punched.

However,my biggest fear about having to use a gun of any kind at any time would be before the "gunfight" or after. Before,because I might not be aware enough to have my pistol ready when I need it and that would place me in a gunfight with a holstered weapon. And after,because in IL who knows what kind of legal battle I'd have ahead of me,especially if I had to shoot someone outside of my home.

August 20, 2007, 11:24 PM
Uuuhhhh...Getting shot would be my biggest concern.
Yeah, that would be bad. I'm a bit fearful of gunfights in general. If you get into one, that's already a bad situation. How bad is just a matter of degree.

August 20, 2007, 11:35 PM
As Above....not enough choices!

And my #1 concern is, or could be harming innocent bystanders regarding a firearm encounter.

In concerns of too much power I choose to carry .380 , however a through shot is possible and probable even with down to a .32 in a close quarters defensive situation

August 20, 2007, 11:35 PM

I have never been able to shake the obsessive fear that the last round I shot broke my firing pin

August 21, 2007, 12:06 AM
Biggest fear?

Either one, or a combination of these,

1.) Mentally unprepared to take action.
2.) Physically unprepared
3.) Equipment unprepared.

August 21, 2007, 10:25 AM
Yeah, I'd say having more holes in ME than when it started...

August 21, 2007, 03:12 PM
I know im too late but,

getting shot


August 21, 2007, 03:35 PM
The only fear is an innocent by-stander getting hurt...I carry a revolver, malfunction is not a big issue...5 rounds is more than enough for a civilian SD situation, running out of ammo is not a big concern, but I do carry a reload for the highly unlikely event that 5 won't do the job.

Navy joe
August 21, 2007, 04:35 PM
I think my biggest fear would be some THR'r finding the news article and astutely pointing out that I was not using the required minimum defensive caliber of 10mm, did not have my .357 BUG, did not have 3 spare mags, no body armor, only fired 2 shots, coulda used the front sight, woulda died if he used the front sight, sucked so bad he must have trained at Front Sight, etc.


August 21, 2007, 04:46 PM
Its why I carry a snubby.

August 21, 2007, 07:56 PM
i would say shooting a mag into the BG at close range and have him still keep coming. and of course, me dying.

August 21, 2007, 11:03 PM
my fears are rather different from everyone else.

1. that 3 dollar a round super-duper hollow point fails to open up and just plays fmj

2. I somehow manage to load my gun with an unknown production error of dud caps or no powder charge.

3. the attackers weapon turns out to be a novelty cigarrette lighter that looks like gun or knife.

August 22, 2007, 12:05 AM
1. Not shooting quickly enough when it's come time to shoot

2. Missing

August 22, 2007, 10:55 PM
I think I am afraid of missing my target , hitting someone i didnt mean to hit !

August 22, 2007, 11:49 PM
I keep good care of my weapons so I have the upmost confidence they will not fail...I have had many dreams however of running empty.

August 23, 2007, 06:53 AM
my guns do not jam.
i keep them clean,
use proper ammo,
and when/if a part starts to wear down a bit...time for a new part.

maybe even a good reason to just go buy another gun:what:

as i do not carry much ammo this is were i would have a problem, hard to carry a couple hund rounds of .40 or .45 on you. so i stick with only two or three single stick mags. (max 30 rounds total in ca)

August 25, 2007, 12:32 AM
My only fear is that I might miss and therefor lose, or hit someone unintended that I didn't see. That's why I practice so much. I shoot enough, I don't worry about reliability -- I miss a lot more often than one of my guns failing. I'm not talking bullseye slow fire, but timed speed drills.


August 25, 2007, 01:10 AM
...running out of ammo! BC I'll hit what I'm aiming at, my gun is going to work, and after putting 11rnds of 45ACP in to the BG(s) I'm going to have to run like hell.

August 25, 2007, 01:39 AM
With my revolvers, my biggest concern from your choices would be running out of ammo.

For my auto, having a malfunction.

Reality is, I worry about having my snub when I want my 625. I think I'll shoot some matches with my snubby and fix that feeling.

August 25, 2007, 04:17 PM
I carry a 1911 with CMC 8 round magazines, no spare. If I unload into a BG, then I am confident I can take him hand-to-hand while he bleeds out. What I worry about more is a knife he may perforate me with in the mean time.


August 25, 2007, 04:19 PM
Of the two choices offered....

I doubt very seriously that an ammo shortage would do me in, however a malfunction at just the wrong time could spell disaster.

August 26, 2007, 09:33 PM
interesting replys. My gun dreams always involved a gun that wouldn't work for some reason. That was my biggest fear, trying to shoot but not being able to.

I am not so worried about malfuction now that I carry a S&W M-38. I am pretty sure it will work. Now my big fear is that it won't be powerful enough or that I wil run out of ammo before the threat has been dealt with.

Knowing that my carry gun is limited to close range and only a few shots makes me think of it as a purely defensive weapon. Like a porcupines quills, it won't hurt you as long as you keep your distance and leave me alone. If you mess with me, you won't even see the gun that shoots you in the gut because my gun shoots from inside a pocket.

August 26, 2007, 10:45 PM
Fear in a gunfight?

1) that I'll get dead

2) that I'll get wounded

3) that I'll **** myself

August 28, 2007, 09:53 AM

August 28, 2007, 03:00 PM
My biggest fear is shooting without earplugs... :neener:

August 31, 2007, 01:36 PM
Does surviving the gunfight only to find I soiled myself count? :eek:

Aka Jack Lemmon in My Fellow Americans, after surviving a surprise appearance by the crazy Col. Tanner: "I gotta go change my shorts!" Eeeeewww!!!!!

On the other hand, I bet the detectives wouldn't take too long getting my statement :p


September 1, 2007, 09:49 PM
Missing... and/or not being missed.

September 1, 2007, 11:45 PM
In recap of this thread.....I believe what we have to fear....is fear itself!

To coin a phrase! :rolleyes:

September 9, 2007, 09:13 PM
Either would suck. A jam would probably be worse

September 9, 2007, 09:34 PM
biggest fear about a gunfight is that 1) i wont be able to get it out in time to protect my loved ones, or 2) if i am justified in shooting that i will still be prosecuted...if it is my loved ones and a bad guy it's shoot first ask later, and i'm prepared to accept all that comes with it.

Deaf Smith
September 9, 2007, 11:30 PM
I'd fear I might get his blood on my good cloths.

September 10, 2007, 12:34 AM
having been a gun fight .i can say that getting over being told all of my life to not kill and waiting to long to pull the trigger almost got me killed.ammo and gun malfunction is not much to fear.but mind set is a major concern.

September 10, 2007, 01:40 AM
the paperwork.

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