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Old July 19, 2014, 01:07 PM   #1
Machete
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"Thank God I Had a Gun" Book

Has anyone here read the book "Thank God I Had a Gun"? I ordered it off of Amazon after hearing Tom Gresham interview the author on Gun Talk. After getting it I couldn't stop reading it. I even caught my wife reading it and she doesn't care about guns. One interesting thing I took away from the book is just how horrible FMJs are for self defense. The book has like 16 stories in it, and in almost all the cases where the intruder was shot with FMJs he managed to fight on even after multiple hits. Plus I remember in a story about two guys robbing people in motel rooms at gun point, the victim shot the intruders but some of the bullets went through the bathroom wall where the intruders locked his daughter, and some into the next motel room where a maid was cleaning.
I knew FMJs were bad for self defense, I just didn't realize how bad.

http://www.amazon.com/Thank-God-Had-...od+I+had+a+gun

Last edited by Machete; July 19, 2014 at 06:46 PM.
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Old July 19, 2014, 01:24 PM   #2
230RN
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Choice of ball v HPs is, to my mind, largely based on particular circumstances, and I would not advise anyone to strictly keep to one versus the other, experts and anecdotes notwithstanding.

I tend to switch ammo around depending on season and weather. FMJs in winter-ish, HPs in summer-ish. I have used "Dutch Loads*" (alternating or otherwise arranging different bullet styles in the magazine or cylinder) to compensate for unpredictable needs for penetration.

In my .45 1911, the carry mag is usually filled with +P HPs, the spare mag is filled with 230 gr. ball ammo, but not for penetration reasons, strictly for reliability reasons.

For HD, I simply keep a handgun "handy," but not on my person. I also keep a centrally-located autoloading rifle with FMJs ready-to-hand in either clips or magazines. The layout of my domicile has several <ahem> "safe" directions for defensive shooting.

(I also deep several inexpensive 10 inch "Dollar Store" kitchen knives squirreled away here and there.)

However, in certain ignorant and backward States, HPs** are illegal.

Quote:
I knew FMJs were bad for self defense, I just didn't realize how bad.
So it is said by some... but perhaps not by others.

Terry, 230RN


* There are various names for this technique.

** AKA those terribly devastating Dum-Dum bullets which will rip an arm off if one is hit in the pinky toe and are banned for use in military conflicts.
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Last edited by 230RN; July 19, 2014 at 02:01 PM.
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Old July 19, 2014, 03:05 PM   #3
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Spare magazines....

I agree with post #2.
To carry a spare magazine(or speed strip with a revolver) is a smart move.
Id pack FMJs or ball profile rounds in spare magazines.
Corbon's PowRball is impressive. Milspec or NATO ammunition could work too.
I plan to buy some PowRball or maybe some Winchester 1911 FMJ 230gr for my Glock magazines(Glock 21 gen 04). The EFMJ "Guard Dog" loads seem ideal but I've seen online reviews(TNOutdoors9) that say the 9x19mm isn't that hot.
As noted, the reason(s) for ball/milspec is for 100% feeds/cycles & knowing the spare magazines can work.
Most armed citizen lethal force events are over in 1/3 rounds but having at least one spare mag or strip with factory made, high quality rounds is good.
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Old July 19, 2014, 03:29 PM   #4
Machete
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I don't know? Reading that book which basically just documents cases of self defense. Almost all the cases where someone was shot multiple times with FMJ the perp ran off or kept coming. I had hollow points for all my pistols but my XD45 and after reading that I ran out and bought some hollow points for that.

Referencing the book:
The guy in that motel room story had a Colt Combat Elite .45. He shot the one perp in the chest rupturing his aorta, and the other guy in the stomach, shoulder, shin, and the last knuckle of his middle finger. The guy with his aorta ripped apart managed to fight the victim for a little bit even after being shot. The other guy managed to drive home and pass our from blood loss and his daughter called 911. He survived.

I'm not saying FMJs don't have there place, but after reading this book with stories of actual self defense and almost every person that used FMJs had trouble stopping the perp even with a .45 I'm convinced that using heavier grain HPs is more beneficial. Just my opinion.
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Old July 19, 2014, 03:55 PM   #5
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Editor 1: "Say, Terry, I don't think FMJs are worth crap. Why don't you write something up on HPs versus FMJs for publication?"

Guess what anecdotes I am going to use.

Editor 2: "Say, Terry, I don't think HPs are worth crap. Why don't you write something up on FMJs versus HPs for publication?"

Guess what anecdotes I am going to use.

Give me an axe to grind and I'll figure out some way to sharpen it.

Terry, 230RN
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Old July 19, 2014, 06:46 PM   #6
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The author doesn't say anything about hollow points being better than FMJ in the book that I recall. That is just an overall observation I made from the 16 incidents documented in the book. Reading the book you can come away with a lot of conclusions. It makes sense to me, personal protection ammo is always HP at least from what I've seen. Plus it's a fact that hollow points cause a bigger wound channels, that's why hunting rounds are HP.
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Old July 19, 2014, 06:54 PM   #7
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I wonder what the one stop rates are between FMJ and everything else? Is there such a study? Not Internet lore, but real life events with some type of documentation.
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Old July 20, 2014, 10:52 AM   #8
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Is this thread still about the book?

If so, I read it in the bookstore, in two visits or so. Like you, I couldn't put it down for quite a while, but ended up reading the whole thing before I felt like ponying up the money for it.

Now, if the is a HP vs. FMJ thread, I apologize. I'll step back now..
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Old July 21, 2014, 11:39 PM   #9
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HP will blow thru wall pretty easy also .A miss is a miss no matter the type bullet.

You must place bullet in right place but even a heart shot not a instant stop. Subject and still fight for several seconds.
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Old Yesterday, 12:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MedWheeler View Post
Is this thread still about the book?

If so, I read it in the bookstore, in two visits or so. Like you, I couldn't put it down for quite a while, but ended up reading the whole thing before I felt like ponying up the money for it.

Now, if the is a HP vs. FMJ thread, I apologize. I'll step back now..
did you buy the book?

I have never heard of it, I get my stories from American Rifleman.
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Old Yesterday, 06:30 AM   #11
pockets
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When I read the thread title, I saw 'Thank God I Had a Gun Book'.
Thought it was another case of an errant bullet being stopped by a bible, or perhaps just a tale of someone bored in the bathroom.



.
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Old Yesterday, 07:58 AM   #12
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Good book. The story about the woman defending herself in a Ft. Worth nursery with a shotgun against multiple intruders is amazing. It examines some of her mistakes but also touches on the "fog of war." She did well in spite of not really understanding all that was going on.

Regards,
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Old Yesterday, 08:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Editor 1: "Say, Terry, I don't think FMJs are worth crap. Why don't you write something up on HPs versus FMJs for publication?"

Guess what anecdotes I am going to use.

Editor 2: "Say, Terry, I don't think HPs are worth crap. Why don't you write something up on FMJs versus HPs for publication?"

Guess what anecdotes I am going to use.

Give me an axe to grind and I'll figure out some way to sharpen it.

Terry, 230RN
This.

16 cases is a very limited data set from which to draw any conclusions on a subject with so many variables as terminal effectiveness of bullets, especially when the data is not laid out in any kind of scientific format but rather a compilation of stories.
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Old Yesterday, 09:26 PM   #14
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lxd55, no, I did not buy the book.

It reads way better than the little anecdotes in The American Rifleman, especially since some of the accounts are told in the first person.

But, I had read it in the store. I have at times regretted not bringing it home to re-read, though.
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Old Yesterday, 09:49 PM   #15
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I just ordered it based on your recommendations. I've been looking for something good to read next.
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Old Today, 12:49 AM   #16
lxd55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MedWheeler View Post
lxd55, no, I did not buy the book.

It reads way better than the little anecdotes in The American Rifleman, especially since some of the accounts are told in the first person.

But, I had read it in the store. I have at times regretted not bringing it home to re-read, though.
interesting.
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