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Handguns vs long guns

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by ChronoCube, Feb 22, 2009.

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  1. ChronoCube

    ChronoCube Member

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    I've noticed among people my age (20-somethings), there's a greatly lopsided preference for handguns over rifles/shotguns. Whenever my friends go shooting, they rent handguns when rifles and shotguns are available for rent for the same price. Maybe it's because of Hollywood's influence? I.e. the main characters have handguns, and the no-name extras have long guns.
     
  2. jakemccoy

    jakemccoy Member

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    Regardless of your friends, handguns are practical where long guns are not, and vice versa. In an urban area, handguns seem to be more practical most of the time.
     
  3. Pulse

    Pulse Member

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    ammo prices?

    shooting 200 rounds of 9mm FMJ at a 10-25yard target costs not mutch and gives you a form of gratification.

    shooting 200 rounds of 5.56mm FMJ ammo at a 100-300yard target is neither cheap nor does it give the same level of gratification because it will probably not be as tight as the handgun target.
     
  4. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    Depends on what you are practicing for. A long gun isn't of much use outside the house from a carry standpoint, even though it's much more powerful and accurate.
    It does irritate me how in movies and TV the star will leave the long guns with the vanquished enemies and continue on with his/her handgun.
     
  5. HeavenlySword

    HeavenlySword Member

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    You and your friends should then watch Shooter.

    Hero uses long gun alot
     
  6. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

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    Jake has it IMO.

    The US is increasingly urban and most 20-somethings have urban sensibilities. I grew up in an urban environment and pistols were 100 times as useful as rifles. I still have that bias though I've moved steadily away from the urbs as I've gotten older.
     
  7. Duke of Doubt

    Duke of Doubt member

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    A short, light rifle is quite useful in an urban environment. General Chuikov could have told stories about that.

    I am fortunate to live in a state where concealed carry of long arms is legally permitted. Meaning, with a Permit to Carry Concealed Firearms. A one point sling, a side-folding stock, and a 20 round magazine which won't poke out my topcoat (plus some spares), and me and my SAR-1 are ready to hit the street.

    The neat thing about rifles in an urban environment is the interplay of lines of sight and cover/concealment. You can cover an alleyway or gangway for a good long distance (several city blocks), while remaining mostly covered by a wall or out of sight behind a window opening. It's quite an exercise, scouting an urban neighborhood for lines of sight and vantage points.
     
  8. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

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    Umm... yeah... next time I decide to fight a war ANYWHERE I'll equip my soldiers with rifles. That wasn't really the subject at hand though.

    Rifles are next to useless for city dwellers in a non-wartime environment because:
    A) They are not discreet. A trip to the pistol range can be done with a small hand bag. A rifle range trip involves at least one 20+" long container and everything is bigger.
    B) There are fewer places to practice. A pistol range can be placed in any office building, basement, or industrial park and they are. Rifle ranges are much larger (100+ yards vs 25 yards), much louder, much harder to backstop, and much more likely to cause issues 2-5 miles downrange.
    C) Pistols are more suitable to be kept at the ready. You can answer a door with a pistol. Answer a door with a rifle in most cities and you'll enjoy a no-knock raid within 24 hours.
    D)o I really need to go on? :)
     
  9. Duke of Doubt

    Duke of Doubt member

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    Ed Ames: "Rifles are next to useless for city dwellers in a non-wartime environment because: A) They are not discreet. A trip to the pistol range can be done with a small hand bag. A rifle range trip involves at least one 20+" long container and everything is bigger."

    Folding stocks and suitcases. Or skibags.

    "B) There are fewer places to practice. A pistol range can be placed in any office building, basement, or industrial park and they are. Rifle ranges are much larger (100+ yards vs 25 yards), much louder, much harder to backstop, and much more likely to cause issues 2-5 miles downrange."

    My favorite 200 yard range is ten minutes from my urban dwelling.

    C) Pistols are more suitable to be kept at the ready. You can answer a door with a pistol. Answer a door with a rifle in most cities and you'll enjoy a no-knock raid within 24 hours.

    Not in any city I've lived. Answer a door with a pistol in Chicago, for example, and you'll be arrested. Answer the door with a rifle or shotgun and you're fine.

    D)o I really need to go on?

    Yes.
     
  10. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

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    Yep, folding/takedown stocks are how I got to, "at least 20 inches." Compare that to 7-10" for a pistol. As for ski bags, golf bags, baseball bags, etc...that'll work in some circumstances but in practice it isn't as good as you might hope.

    As for your favorite range, that's cool. Enjoy it. I used to live three blocks from an indoor range. It is nice when that works out. Compare that to some of my rural friends who can literally step outside their house and shoot 200+ yard targets. The reality is that urbanization causes ranges to start (as the area gets urban enough to need dedicated ranges) and then to close (as the neighbors start to complain and get the cities to zone them out of business).

    The trick with answering doors while armed is that you shouldn't reveal that you are armed unless you have a very good reason. Revealing that you are armed without cause is just stupid. It is easier to conceal a pistol so you are less likely to reveal that you are armed. People who answer their door armed tend to be nutcakes in the eyes of the public.

    Your game is to take general statements and try to find specific cases where the general rule doesn't apply. That's useful when the exceptions are generally relevant. In this case, however, WWII Stalingrad, Modern Chicago, and your ability to find a range near your home that hasn't closed yet, are not generalizable to the normal American urban experience. Most cities are not battle grounds. Most US cities are not totally anti-handgun. Most urbanites can't find a nice range 10 minutes from home.

    So, what's new?
     
  11. usmc1371

    usmc1371 Member

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    As I recal john wayne wore a pistol. But he had a rifle in his hands.
     
  12. LightningJoe

    LightningJoe Member

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    As the US continues its slide, we'll find the need to be armed becoming greater and greater. Also, attacks by numerically superior criminals will become more common. The cities will be worst, then the suburbs, then rural areas, least of all remote areas. People in the cities will need high-capacity weapons to break contact with gang attackers at short range. Rifles are good and legal to carry (in Texas) but they virtually necessitate off-body carry and may tend to get left at home or in the trunk.


    By all means have a rifle available and plenty of ammo, but my guess is the action will be over for better or worse before you or anyone in your party can get a rifle into operation.
     
  13. qwert65

    qwert65 Member

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    except when he played a cop in the city, he used a snubbie and an smg
     
  14. Duke of Doubt

    Duke of Doubt member

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    Ed Ames: "Your game is to take general statements and try to find specific cases where the general rule doesn't apply."

    You're the first person here to point that out. You're right -- I'm uncomfortable making general statements, as there are always exceptions, sometimes the exceptions swallow the rule, and in a given situation the generalization may be wrong. When I make a general statement, I often hedge by saying, for example, "as a general thing, revolvers, particularly the double-action Colts shot single-action, are more accurate than autoloaders" as opposed to "autoloaders are useless for accurate shooting." And if someone said that to me, I'd counter not with "no, it's revolvers that are are useless for accurate shooting," but instead by pointing out specific examples of accurate autoloaders and inaccurate revolvers based on my own direct personal experience. I know that my experiences are true and can prove them, as opposed to general statements which may be true or false, and incapable of proof one way or another.

    That doesn't mean you have to do any of that; it's just my own personal style and I don't mind in the least that you noticed.

    "That's useful when the exceptions are generally relevant. In this case, however, WWII Stalingrad, Modern Chicago, and your ability to find a range near your home that hasn't closed yet, are not generalizable to the normal American urban experience. Most cities are not battle grounds. Most US cities are not totally anti-handgun. Most urbanites can't find a nice range 10 minutes from home."

    See my long-winded paragraph above. My opinions are formed by my own observations and experiences. I don't claim they are true in all cases, but in my experience, rifles definitely have a role in urban combat. I have some footage from Bucaresti, 25.XII.1989 which I'd love to share, someday when I figure out the technical means. Were I tasked with defending a loft apartment against a gang of assailants, a rifle and some pre-sighted, scouted vantage points and lines of sight beat a handgun hands down.
     
  15. qwert65

    qwert65 Member

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    so duke if you lived in a city and were limited to ONE gun(for arguments sake) what would it be?
     
  16. Duke of Doubt

    Duke of Doubt member

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    My answer would depend on a lot of things, including whether and what I could carry concealed.
     
  17. qwert65

    qwert65 Member

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    wherever you are currently located as long as it is urban
     
  18. Duke of Doubt

    Duke of Doubt member

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    Well, I currently live in a small city (by my standards) located in a rural region. I am legally permitted to carry my SAR-1 rifle concealed, though doing so on-body is easiest in winter (which admitedly is about half the year). So I'd go with the SAR-1, fitted with a folding stock and, of course, at least several detachable magazines.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2009
  19. Pistol Toter

    Pistol Toter Member

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    As a young man, I had few to no handguns; however I hunted for the pot and fished (different subject) for the pan. I'm older, health not to good and unable to do as I once did; so I gave all my long guns to sons. Also, I might add that a couple years ago my wife and I traded that big ole two story house for quarters that do not require so much labor, an apartment has no yard to mow, no gutters to clean or shutters to paint. So my requirement for a long barreled weapon / firearm is virtually non-existant. Now with that said, if I knew that I was going to face an opponent in mortal combat, there is little to beat a traditional 12 ga pump shotgun or even a singleshot for that matter. Loaded with the correct chose, that thing rains death and destruction. The same is true with any good rifle; even a 22lr at a modest distance does a fine job. Oh no! I didn't trade my long guns in for any other reason than I no longer could utilize them. I have a small collection of revolvers but carry only two handguns and almost never both at the same time. One is a snub nose .357 and the other a .45 Glock; to me, they simply offer the best in portability and pretty much optimum in what I deem as required if ever needed. Again, my life style no longer requires the, in my opinion, better chose of guns. Television portrayes a make believe world that at no point touches reality. The younger generation is often fooled by pictures of a gun sweeping the bad guy from his feet with one shot to his little toe with the gannsta elevated above the head sideways hold. It is clear to those old flatulants like me who came up shooting small game or even larger game at distance and often on the run, that the new crop who could shave with a teaspoon of milk and a tom cat need some old fashion back woods training and trigger time. My sons (now grown men) can not fathom the ability and speed to raise rifle, shotgun or pistol either one in low light; aquiring the target, making a solid dead center hit on that running bunny or anything else for that matter. It's, "dad how in the world do you do that?" The response is, nothing to it if you have a lifetime filled with experience. I tell you something else, I don't need to go to a range every week and burn up untold dollars in powder and lead; if you ever rode a bicycle you can all your life. There is no one teaching the younger generation how to "aim small, hit small" at the mocking bird who is sitting in the top of the cherry or apple tree ruining the crop of fruit or any of a dozen other exercises. There is nothing wrong with either platform mentioned; each while simuliar, is different and requires the skill that must be learned or gained thru time. I shutter at the thought of the lack of abilities and skills that young men AND women will not possess in the years to come. That my friends will extend in MANY directions. P.T.
     
  20. qwert65

    qwert65 Member

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    So, you'd willing go half the yr unarmed even though permitted to carry?
     
  21. Hungry Seagull

    Hungry Seagull member

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    Back home plenty of handguns and even a few submachines here and there. Rifles? Sure. Keep in mind the rowhouses we had certainly had the interior room to swing a rifle as long you were not in a door of a room proper, and the windows afforded a good clear sweep of the alley, both crossstreets and the front a good shot of the avenue left to right and back again with all thier blocks. We happened to be on a sort of a hill where downtown was downhill.

    I dont recall ever once anyone answering the door armed. Perhaps it was the neighborhood we were in, our block were of a certain ethnic group and several blocks down was another group and so on all across the city. Peace usually prevailed where we were.

    These were a people what were through world war one and also world war two. Life was much peace ful back then. Sure you had your big trench brass knuckle with a 14 inch blade on one end and a bunch of surplus weapon to grab and it will be even stevens on who gets out of home.

    One thing we did watch out for, little old ladies with very small handguns. If they didnt swing the purse at you, they shot you. =)

    That was until when the drug trade took hold in the late 60's. All that changed.

    I dont particularly do movies as much as I used to, it is one thing to watch Arnie go through the mall with a shottie which seemed to fit the tatical sitaution at the time. Or perhaps Bronson (Spelling?) going through with his very big cannons... whew... THe western films tended to focus on rifles.

    Today's people in small groups have a sort of a (What is the word...) no disclipline when it comes to handguns and I fear that if I have one swung my way the way they do sometimes, they will probably be dead or wounded. It's not a threat, it's just the way my mind works, weapon coming around and not at a range or store.... well...

    James Bond is always alot of fun. And many others.
     
  22. Ed Ames

    Ed Ames Member

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    Doubt,

    Mistrust of generalities is good. :) OK, generally good. OK, in my experience, mistrust of generalities, specifically generalities which are used to restrict action or deny opportunities, is helpful in avoiding acceptance of general statements at face value, at least where obvious exceptions can be found and articulated.

    At a certain point, though, you've got to be realistic about the value of your words. It is silly to think anyone takes my (or your, or anyone else's) forum posts here as the final word on anything. We are all giving our opinions based on our experiences. That goes without saying. Most people here are pretty bright and it would be arrogant in the extreme to think I needed to waste a lot of words making it obvious that my statements are my opinions based on my own experience. It crosses the border of arrogant elitism to think that others must be protected from the power of our words as though they are mindless sheep who will believe anything we say. Well, in my experience, which includes dealing with a lot of people but certainly doesn't include dealing with every person ever born, people generally figure out soon enough that a post is a post.
     
  23. Duke of Doubt

    Duke of Doubt member

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    quert65: "So, you'd willing go half the yr unarmed even though permitted to carry?"

    I didn't say that. First of all, I'd likely move away from a jurisdiction which restricted me to one gun. Second, I could carry concealed off-body during those few months when an overcoat, a topcoat, a trenchcoat or a raincoat was impractical or would draw too much attention. A side-folding AK can fit into a rucksack, a small dufflebag or even a large briefcase, especially with magazine detached. Canvas Freeport shopping bags are large and sturdy enough to be fitted for internal sleeves for rifle and magazines.
     
  24. Duke of Doubt

    Duke of Doubt member

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    Ed Ames: "We are all giving our opinions based on our experiences. That goes without saying. Most people here are pretty bright and it would be arrogant in the extreme to think I needed to waste a lot of words making it obvious that my statements are my opinions based on my own experience. It crosses the border of arrogant elitism to think that others must be protected from the power of our words as though they are mindless sheep who will believe anything we say."

    Some good points there. I work in a profession where my clients rely on my opinion to determine their decisions in matters touching and affecting their personal freedom, and where jurors hang on every word to decide who to believe or support, so I am careful with my words. It may be arrogant on an internet forum to speak as if I am in a courtroom, a boardroom, or a holding room, but it has become longstanding ingrained habit, and a matter of personal style.
     
  25. qwert65

    qwert65 Member

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    Duke, my position is that in an urban setting handguns are more useful then longguns, Now, everyone here, myself included would rather have a longun in a fight however, handguns were invented for a reason and that is portability. If you want to carry around a brief case 6mos a yr, and keep your coat buttoned the other 6 have at it.

    But this
    is incorrect for 99% of the urban population. I attemped to illustrate this with my one gun question. Would you honestly say that you would reccomend folding stock carbines to your average city dweller if they could afford one gun?
     
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