From our Printed March 2019 Edition:
There’s a lot of chatter back and forth about what is right and what is wrong.
How to carry, how not to carry. What type of firearm, what type of bullet,
what type of training.
We started Gun Talk to showcase
readers’ views and responses to
a number of topics which affect
our 2nd Amendment rights.
READER CONTRIBUTION: No to Empty Chamber Carry
Regarding your last “Gun Talk” column on an empty chamber, I say “nay.”
If someone is uncomfortable with a round in the chamber in their pistol, they should choose another gun.
I can’t wrap my head around the safety of a striker-fired pistol with one in the chamber, so I don’t carry one. My research tells me that most armed conflicts unfold in a very short time frame. I want the smallest number of things between the need and the firing. I carried a Ruger DAO or a Sig DA/SA pistol for years: just draw and press. I’m now carrying a 1911-style pistol. Even though it has a manual safety to swipe, I shoot much better than with the DAO or DA/SA.
Just my thoughts after 50+ years of shooting and carrying. I’m also an NRA pistol instructor.
I’m a new subscriber and I enjoyed your column.
READER CONTRIBUTION: Traffic Stop & Doctor Questions
Love the Gun Talk page in the BB! I’ve been a subscriber to the paper for a little over a year. It’s a real breath of fresh air here in Mass. where freedom is stifled by one-party rule for way too long. They even have a RINO puppet in the corner office to validate their destruction of all that makes America exceptional.
Regarding the Gun Talk page, I’d like to comment. Guns are my lifelong passion and I have enjoyed the shooting sports for over 50 years.
First on the subject of empty chamber carry: Absolutely not! If a person is squeamish about it, they should be carrying a sidearm that is either DAO (double action only) or DA/SA (double action for the first round and single action for subsequent shots). There are plenty of choices in either configuration.
Second, on the subject of traffic stops: Let the police officer ask the questions and you answer them. There is no duty under Mass. law to declare you’re carrying, but if he asks, the advice given in the article is correct. The information an officer sees when he enters the plate number will show that the owner of the vehicle holds an LTC or FID. He also knows it might not be the owner driving the vehicle. As the article said, remain calm and do whatever the officer tells you to do.
Third, on the subject of doctor inquiry about gun ownership: Politely reply to the doctor that that information is none of anyone’s business and you would like to stick to medical issues. As far as coaching children what to say, the best reply to tell them to give is “I don’t know.”
Fourth, on Paul Young’s advice about shotguns for home defense, I wholeheartedly agree. I’m thinking he must have had limited space because, I think, he should have gone into buckshot size selection a little more. A 12 gauge 2 ¾” shell holds 9 pellets of size 00 buckshot of approximately .30-caliber. Tests have shown that that load can indeed penetrate interior walls. Number 4 buckshot is a much better
choice and is what’s standard in most 20 gauge shotgun shells.
You asked for feedback and I was compelled to give you some.
Love the paper and keep up the good work. I look forward to every issue.
George D. Taksery
NRA Certified Instructor (Home Firearms Safety, Basic Pistol)
NRA Certified Range Safety Officer
Holder of a MA LTC since 1976
Member of NRA and GOAL since 1984
Holder of Curio&Relic FFL
Which Handgun Ammunition Do I Use?
By Paul Young
There are so many choices, how do you decide which handgun ammunition to use? Ammunition is listed as Lead Round Nose (LRN), Semi-Jacketed (SJ), Full Metal Jacket (FMJ), Semi-Jacketed Hollow Point (SJHP), Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP), and many more descriptions. Are you confused yet? I will touch on two types: Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) and Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP).
The Full Metal Jacket ammunition can and should only be used for target practice and not for self-defense. The ammunition is designed to hit the target, go through the target, and keep going. The penetration of this ammunition is maximized. The head of the bullet is designed to stay intact. That is why it is so important to follow the rule: “Know your target and what is beyond.” Think about it. If you shoot an intruder with target ammunition and you don’t know what is behind the intruder, the round will tend to go through the intruder and hit what is beyond, which could be an innocent person. So, keep target ammunition at the range and not for self-defense purposes – unless, of course, you like the possibility of a liability. The price of 9mm Full Metal Jacket ammunition is approximately $8.99 per fifty rounds. It is a lot cheaper than Jacketed Hollow Point ammunition which is used for self-defense purposes.
The Jacketed Hollow Point ammunition is designed to hit the target, open upon hitting the target, and stop within the target, expanding on impact. The penetration is minimized and pass-through is not in the design of the bullet. The head of the ammunition is designed to separate. The price of 9mm Jacketed Hollow Point ammunition is approximately $19.99 per fifty rounds. You can shoot Jacketed Hollow Point ammunition at the range, but it will become very expensive and I feel it is not necessary.
So, whatever ammunition you choose, just remember what you are using the ammunition for. I personally stockpile a lot more target ammunition than self-defense ammunition, as I practice more at targets than I shoot intruders. I also rotate every three months my self-defense ammunition that I have been loading daily in my self-defense handgun by shooting all those rounds at the range, and then I replace them with brand-new, self-defense ammunition. I do this because I want to prevent the chance of a malfunction, especially when the day comes when I need the handgun for a self-defense event.
Peace and stay safe.
Paul Young is a certified NRA instructor. He is the owner of Rather Be Shooting. You can contact him at: 508-989-5679. Email: email@example.com or visit