Caliber:
cal in mm
22 .22 5.56
25
30/06 .30 cal
introduced in 1906
32 .308 7.8
9 mm 9.02
38 .356 9.04
38
special
.357 9.07
357 .357 9.07
44 .429 10.9
45 .452 11.5
You can shoot a 38 special cartridge in a 357 magnum but not the reverse because the 357 magnum is slightly longer.

See: Bullets

The 9mm Luger cartridge (also known as the 9mm Parabellum, 9mm NATO, and 9x19mm) is actually the oldest of today’s mainstream semiautomatic pistol rounds (it was introduced in 1902), but because of its comparatively recent surge to popularity in this country, most American shooters think of it as relatively “modern”.

Handguns:
Handguns have evolved from:

- Revolvers (six-shooter, 38 Special and .357 Magnum)
- 1911 type guns - Based on colt autoloader (semi-automatic) introduced in 1911
- Gluck Polymer-framed handguns with lighter weight.
Overall, compact concealment-size handguns account for more than 70 percent of all current civilian handgun sales, and autoloaders account for approximately 75 percent of that number (according to the most current BATF statistics). In terms of caliber selection (not counting the sub-effective .22 and .25 chamberings), the two most popular choices within this dominant portion of the overall handgun pie are the .380 ACP and the 9mm.

In Europe the .380 Auto/9mm Short has at various times been an official military cartridge, and it is much favored by police agencies in many nations as a primary duty round.
9mm is prefered in personal-defense for its higher energy and stopping power.

Production '91-'93
.380 20%
9 mm 19%
.22  17%
.25  13%
.50   8%
Length:
standard    > 6.8"
compact     6-6.8"
sub-compact 4.2-6"
Types:
  • Semi-automatic pistol (Sometimes called automatic)
    1 shot for each pull of the trigger
    First shot may require manually cocking

    Cleaning a semi auto is much more involved requiring much more time. There are also more functioning parts to fail and maintenance should be constant.
    Have a tendency to jam.

  • Revolver
    1 shot for each pull of the trigger
    Easier to operate and care for. Easier to see if it is loaded.
  • Derringer (1 shot)
See glossary:

.22 Caliber
A 22 is primarily a target gun. Most self defense experts claim you a .45 to stop an assailant with one shot. However, some say accuracy is more important than caliber. A .45 will have a large kick and requires a strong wrist.
Gun type length cost Pop Rating
hgr Usr
compact/Sub-compact
Baretta 21 Bobcat p 4.9 $300 15 3.5 4.1
Walther P22 p 6.3 $300 20 4 3.7
Standard
Ruger Mark II p
Smith & Weston M-41 p 10.5 $1,100 10.5
Smith & Weston M-22 rev 10.5 10.5
Baretta U22 p 8.8 $335 1 4.5
Berrnardelli P90 p
AMT
Type: p - Pistol, rev - Revolver
Pop: - Popularity rank
Rating: hgr- Handgun Review, usr - User Reviews

Bullets:
SWC   Semi Wad Cutter RNFP  Round Nose Flat Point TC     Truncated Cone
HBWC Hollow Base Wad Cutter RN      Round Nose FP     Flat Point
BBWC Bevel Base Wad Cutter DEWC Double End Wad Cutter JHP  Jacketed Hollow Point
FMJ   Full Metal Jacket

Purchasing:
Gun Shows The gun show loophole refers to the ability of participants at gun shows to sell firearms without conducting the background checks that licensed gun dealers are required to make under the Brady Law.

The 32 states that have failed to close the gun show loophole as of 2005 are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Partial loopholes in Florida and Iowa.


At gun shows you must be a resident of the state to purchase a handgun and a resident of a contiguous (neighboring) state to purchase a long gun. If you don't meet this requirement you can still purchase a gun at a show but they have to send it a registered dealer in state where you live and you would have to meet the requirements of that state to pick it up.
An private seller at a gun show (not a dealer subject to the basic requirements of the federal gun law) indicated that if he got to know you and could determine you were not an ATF agent or radical/criminal/terrorist or anti-gun person trying to prove a point, you could buy a gun.

Pros and Cons of firearms in the home:
Summary:
A 1986 study "Protection or peril? An analysis of firearms related deaths in the home." reported in the New England Journal of Medicine,by Dr. doctor Arthur Kellermann stated,: "for every case of self-protection homicide involving a firearm kept in the home, there were 1.3 accidental deaths, 4.6 criminal homicides, and 37 suicides involving firearms."
See below.

However, this does not take into account how many murders were prevented without killing the perpetrator.

A 1998 report 'What Are the Risks and Benefits of Keeping a Gun in the Home?' in the Journal of the American Medical Association by Gary Kleck concludes:
"Defensive uses of guns are both effective in preventing injury and more common than aggressive uses, in the home or outside it. The average American household is unlikely to experience a serious gun victimization or to use a gun defensively, but the latter is far more likely than the former. In light of the flaws and weak associations of case-control research, currently available data do not provide a sound empirical basis for recommending to the average American that he or she not keep a gun in the home."

Statistics:
In 2001 there were 19,727 homicides and 26,751 suicides.

In 2002, 30,242 people in the United States died from firearm-related deaths - 11,829 (39%) of those were murdered; 17,108 (57%) were suicides; 762 (3%) were accidents; and in 243 (1%) the intent was unknown.
In 2003, there were only 163 justifiable homicides by private citizens using handguns in the United States.

A Violence Policy Center (VPC) analysis reveals that, in the first half of 2005, there were 591 murder-suicide deaths in the U.S., of which 264 were suicides and 327 were homicides. 92% involved firearms. The most common type of murder-suicide was between two intimate partners, with the man killing his wife or girlfriend because of a breakdown in their relationship. In this study, 74 percent of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner. In this study, 75 percent of murder-suicides occurred in the home.

Kellermann report:
A 1986 article titled, "Protection or peril? An analysis of firearms related deaths in the home." (New Engl J Med 1986. 314: 1557-60.) written by doctors Arthur Kellermann and Don Reay, found a homeowner's gun was 43 times more likely to kill a family member, friend, or acquaintance, than it was used to kill someone in self-defense. Kellermann stated, "for every case of self-protection homicide involving a firearm kept in the home, there were 1.3 accidental deaths, 4.6 criminal homicides, and 37 suicides involving firearms." Kellermann tabulated gunshot deaths occurring in King County, Washington, from 1978 to 1983 and classified deaths as follows:

Type of Death No.
Unintentional deaths 12
Criminal homicide 41
Suicide 333
Unknown 3
Total 389
Self-protection homicide 9
A followup study, (Kellermann AL. "Injuries and Deaths Due to Firearms in the Home." Journal of Trauma, 1998; 45(2):263-67) reported you are 22 times more likely to kill somebody you know than to kill in self-defense.

A anti-gun control site article A Gun in the Home disputes Kellermann's logic.

I heard one man who used to carry a hand gun because of a job that put him in harms way say that pulling out a cell phone and dialing 911 (or even pretending to dial 911) was just as effective as pulling out a gun.

What's impossible to measure is how many murders are prevented with handguns in the home.

Kleck Report:
In a 1993 report, Gary Kleck, a Florida State University criminologist, found there were two million defensive gun uses (DGU's) per year.
A 1993 National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), estimated 108,000 DGU's annually.

In "What Are the Risks and Benefits of Keeping a Gun in the Home?", (Kleck - JAMA.1998; 280: 473-475.), Kleck states:

"The vast majority of both harmful and beneficial uses of guns occur outside the home. For example, of 11,984 gun homicides committed in Chicago, Ill, between 1965 and 1990, only 2962 (24.7%) were committed in a home and not all of these occurred in the victim's home."
"Only 18% to 37% of defensive uses of guns occur inside the home of the victim/defender."

"Current evidence suggests that DGU is effective in preventing injury, and that defensive uses of guns in the home are substantially more numerous than criminal-aggressive uses in the home. This does not, however, conclusively prove that the net effect of keeping guns in the home is to make residents safer, especially with respect to the risks of a resident being murdered."

One problem with the data is a lot of people who have guns are also involved in criminal activity and murders are more likley a consequence of the latter.

Kleck's conclusion is:
"Defensive uses of guns are both effective in preventing injury and more common than aggressive uses, in the home or outside it. The average American household is unlikely to experience a serious gun victimization or to use a gun defensively, but the latter is far more likely than the former. In light of the flaws and weak associations of case-control research, currently available data do not provide a sound empirical basis for recommending to the average American that he or she not keep a gun in the home."

See also: Defensive Gun Uses: New Evidence from a National Survey, 2004 (Text not available online)


State Gun Law Grade:
Source: State Gun Laws at the Brady Campaign.
The state report cards addressed the following:
  • The status of state action on:
    • Sale/transfer of guns to juveniles
    • Safe storage and gun owner accountability
    • Childproof guns and gun safety design standards
    • The Brady Background Check at gun shows
    • Carrying concealed weapons (CCW)
    • Local government authority to regulate guns
  • Rates of child gun deaths
  • Gun trafficking: Problem states that affect the rest of the nation.
  • Actions that each state should take to prevent gun violence and improve its grade.
State Gun Law Grades - 2005
State Grade State Grade
Alabama F Montana F
Alaska D- Nebraska B-
Arizona D- Nevada D
Arkansas D- New Hampshire D-
California A- New Jersey A-
Colorado D New Mexico F
Connecticut A- New York B+
Delaware C North Carolina C
Florida D+ North Dakota D
Georgia D Ohio D-
Hawaii A- Oklahoma D-
Idaho F+ Oregon C-
Illinois B+ Pennsylvania D+
Indiana D Rhode Island B-
Iowa C+ South Carolina D+
Kansas C+ South Dakota D
Kentucky F Tennessee D+
Louisiana F Texas D-
Maine D- Utah D-
Maryland A- Vermont D-
Massachusetts A- Virginia C-
Michigan D+ Washington D+
Minnesota C- West Virginia D
Mississippi F Wisconsin C+
Missouri D+ Wyoming F

Types of guns:
For self protection a large caliber gun which will stun the atacker is recommended.
A 22 cal. gun does not have enough stopping power and reqires a fatal hit to the head, neck heart.
For home use a shotgun would be the best.


Glossary:
ACP - Automatic Colt pistol
ATF - Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
center fire -
CCW - Concealed Carry Weapon/Handgun DAO - Double Action Only
GSR - Granite Series, Rail
rim fire -
Saturday night special - Cheap handgun easily obtained
SAAMI - Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute

Links:
Worldwide Murder rates
Death rates (all causes)
HandgunReview.com
www.GunDirectory.com
www.RimFireCentral.com
Choosing a handgun
buying a gun
Buying your first gun
Bullets
State Gun Laws at the Brady Campaign and StateGunLaws.org with grades A thru F.
Gun (Firearm) laws in the United States (by state)
Guns in America
Defensive Gun Uses: New Evidence from a National Survey (Full text not available online)


last updated 29 Dec 2007