There are many urban myths and legends surrounding the shooting community. Most of them are from people who are new to shooting, or from people who watch too many Hollywood movies. However, I’m often surprised when I see an otherwise intelligent individual say something that is so outrageous, that I catch myself rolling my eyes and snickering. Since I do not typically consider myself rude, I thought I would politely highlight some common gun world misconceptions that many people have—some of these will make you laugh.
The sound of a pump shotgun will scare off an intruder. Do you think the chambering of a shotgun would have scared off the bath salt guy who ate that man’s face off? This is one of the silliest things I’ve ever heard. If you hear someone coming through the window of your home and loudly chamber a shotgun, you just did two things. You let the suspect know where you are, and if he didn’t have his gun out, he does now. Also you just created a vacancy in the magazine tube, which should have been filled up long before any potential gunfight.
I like shotguns for home defense because you don’t have to aim them. Okay chief, whatever you say. I like shotguns too, but you still have to aim. While this little misnomer is kind of funny, it is almost an understandable misconception. I don’t usually make fun of folks who think this way. True, it is easier for a most people to hit a target with a shotgun than handgun or rifle. With enough distance, you will get a nice pattern of buckshot. However, you still have to aim, those shotgun wads have to get some distance before they open and those pellets start spreading out. You aim a shotgun just like any other gun, but that slightly opened wad may buy you that extra inch you needed to score a hit. You would be surprised how easy it is to miss a close range moving target.
One shot with a pistol will stop an attacker. Some people may think from watching every action movie ever made, that one shot from a pistol anywhere on the body, regardless of caliber will drop a person in his tracks. This is usually not the case. A shot to the brain stem will drop an attacker instantly, but a shot to the chest may take some time. It really depends on the situation. A couple of shots to the thoracic cavity and one to the brain stem is usually a good way to stop an attack, but listen to your firearms instructor, as there on many schools of though on where to aim at an assailant.
Laser sights mean I don’t have to practice as much. This one happened to me recently. A young friend of mine purchased a home defense handgun with a built-in laser sight. He said he rarely had time to go to the range, so the laser sight would help do the aiming for him. Obviously, having a little beam of light coming out of your gun doesn’t mean you don’t have to learn the basics. Laser sights do not fix jerking trigger pulls or clearing failures. In my personal opinion, they really do not help much at all.
If someone shot me with a .22 LR, it would just make me mad. Okay guy, why don’t you go try it. Yes, it would probably make you mad, just before you bled out. While I would not use a .22 LR caliber as my home defense gun of choice, it can still go right through your cranium and stop in the middle of your brain. Any gun can kill a person, especially if the bullet hits in a vulnerable spot. I’ve also killed more wild game with a .22 than with any other gun, trust me—a .22 can kill you.
I don’t like to carry one in the pipe. I get it, carrying a loaded gun in a concealed holster does not feel natural at first. I admit the first time I strapped a chambered handgun on my body; I got more than a little apprehensive. In my opinion, this reaction is healthy. Negligent discharges often happen from experienced gun owners who get just a little too comfortable. Any person who handles a gun should keep safety in the forefront of their mind at all times. However, carrying a unchambered handgun is almost like not carrying one at all. In a life and death encounter, every second counts. There will most likely not be time to reach down, draw your weapon, chamber it, grip it properly, aim, and pull the trigger. Eliminating needless steps will increase your chances of being the one who walks away unharmed.
Do you heard any misconceptions about firearms? I’m sure there are plenty more. Share them with us below and set the record straight!The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!’s blog, “The Shooter’s Log,” is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!