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Old 08-15-2016, 10:21 PM
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rubyyarn Female rubyyarn is offline
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Default Loaded...or not?

Today I became the proud owner of my first ever firearm, so this question may be entirely foolish.

The husband and I decided, rather late in life, that it might be better to be prepared than not, so we got a couple of pistols for home defense. We have lived here for 30 years with no problems, but still...

Anyway, the owners manual for my revolver is full of red letter warnings about the proper use of a gun including "Do NOT load your gun until you are ready to use it!!!" Sounds sane enough until someone breaks the door down at 3:00 AM. Half asleep and scared and I gotta load a gun in the dark?

I do plan to practice and all that, but Rambo I will never be. Those of you who keep a gun for home/self defense, do you keep your gun loaded at all times, or not? I hope to never have to use the gun for this purpose, but still...

I appreciate any and all input. Thanks!
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Old 08-16-2016, 01:37 AM
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backlash Male backlash is offline
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I keep a loaded handgun in my nightstand and a loaded shotgun in my closet.
Unloaded I would be better off with a baseball bat.
I have one of those by the front door.
I do not have kids living at my house and I can't remember the last time a small child was here.
My 14 year old Grandson was here for a week and I locked the guns up.
If a child should come in I will remove my pistol from the nightstand and lock it up.
The shotgun is mounted above the bedroom closet door on the inside and it's not visible unless you lean into the closet and look up.
Very fast to get but pretty well hidden.
My wife knows where the guns are but she leaves them alone.
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Old 08-16-2016, 03:23 AM
Kachad Male Kachad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backlash View Post
I keep a loaded handgun in my nightstand and a loaded shotgun in my closet.
Unloaded I would be better off with a baseball bat.
I have one of those by the front door.
I do not have kids living at my house and I can't remember the last time a small child was here.
My 14 year old Grandson was here for a week and I locked the guns up.
If a child should come in I will remove my pistol from the nightstand and lock it up.
The shotgun is mounted above the bedroom closet door on the inside and it's not visible unless you lean into the closet and look up.
Very fast to get but pretty well hidden.
My wife knows where the guns are but she leaves them alone.
Ditto what Backlash said, almost to a letter.

Loaded!
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Old 08-16-2016, 06:01 AM
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I, too, will parrot backlash. It must be safely accessible and ready to fire.
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Old 08-16-2016, 08:52 AM
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Agree - it has to be loaded to be useful.

But do yourselves a favor and please become familiar with your weapons as much as possible. Shoot them often and practice loading/unloading them. There is some expense at first for ammo but it is just as important to feel comfortable with the firearm as it is to be accurate.
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Old 08-16-2016, 09:05 AM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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yes and no,

I have a few shotguns, and a 22 semiauto (702 plinkster from Mossberg, $110 at walmart 3+ years ago, but have not found any boxes of ammo since). I only have a few boxes of 22 rounds (bought before it became scarce) and use the crackbarrel pellet gun for plinking and squirrel (they have about the same power). I keep the magazines for the 22 loaded but I keep the chamber empty, to use I need to put the mag into it then pull back the bolt. though in a home invasion its more likely that I could fire off the full load into an invader then still have to use the rifle as a club to beat them since a 22 is a little enemic.

the shotguns are single shot, but I am fast reloading them and have a shell caddy on each to carry a few shots. also have a bandolier shell belt. I have no illusions about being a Rambo, this is most likely only going to blast coyote, raccoons, woodchucks, porcupines, etc as pest control and turkey, deer, and grouse in the fall.

at my place it is extremely unlikely that anyone will try anything when I am home, I live in an out of the way place on a dirt road, I am more likely to have bad encounters with wild dogs than people. anyone wanting to get to my place at night has to deal with the gate, the moat, and the fence (there is a nice deep ditch between my place and the road, and a nice 4-5 foot high fence on my side of it, so anyone not wanting to deal with the gate has to go through the ditch then over the wall then cross the woods and yard to reach the cabin, unless they are really determined most people would just go bother someone else).
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Old 08-16-2016, 10:33 AM
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rubyyarn Female rubyyarn is offline
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Good morning, gentlemen!

I appreciate your advice and will follow it. It does seem counter-intuitive to own a self-defense weapon and then keep it unloaded. We almost never have kids up this way, so keeping a loaded gun by the bed shouldn't be a problem. Once I have gotten used to the revolver, I will feel better about it all.

Thank you again
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:50 AM
ScrubbieLady ScrubbieLady is offline
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We keep ours loaded. And the handguns are on the nightstands. But, the best advice I have heard came from Mas Ayoob (Backwoods Home contributor), that is that he keeps his gun on when worried about someone getting their hands on it (actually I think he wears it all the time he is up and dressed). Children don't play with a gun if Mom or Dad (or Aunt, Uncle, etc) are right there to correct and instruct.

Besides, if you live out in the boonies and might need it for a snake/wild dog or whatever, it doesn't do you much good on the nightstand, loaded or unloaded.
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Old 08-16-2016, 09:08 PM
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ScrubbieLady, that is good advice. We haven't had any wild dogs, but there was a coyote once, and recently, a rattlesnake! I ran the coyote off with a mop (!) and the husband dispatched the snake with a rake and a hoe. The snake was on the porch which really alarmed me. A gun would have been a comforting thing.
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Old 08-16-2016, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubyyarn View Post
...the owners manual for my revolver is full of red letter warnings about the proper use of a gun including "Do NOT load your gun until you are ready to use it!!!"
As an engineer I'm here to tell you that is there as a CYOA for the gun manufacturers. It's all about liability and them trying to cover their butts in any and all ways from being sued. open up the front of almost any owners manual and all of those warnings, which sometimes seem to defy all common sense is because they think someone could, or someone more than likely has done it and filed a suite against the company. so u see the amount of warnings on say a cordless drill that is only intended to say drive a screw, Now imagine something like a gun that is actually designed to kill.

An empty gun is a useless gun when you need it. "Oh, excuse me murderous rapist that just broke into my home at 2AM, please give me a moment to remove my gun from the safe, another to remove the trigger lock, another minute to go to the other room to unlock my ammo and lastly to load my gun... OK thanks I'm ready now... Stop or I will shoot you!!!...

doesn't make much sense. I'd recommend taking a lot of time to get comfortable with your weapon in an unloaded and safe condition to fully understand the mechanics and then spend time on the range and if you don't have any knowledgeable family or friends on safe handling and use, spend the money to take an approved course or NRA course.

I have 5 kids from 13yo to 3 weeks old. I've trained and drilled into the 13 & 10 yr old the 4 rules for safe gun handling and have taken them to the range to shoot. the 4 year ols has been shown and talked to about never touching a gun but also told that if he has any questions to just come ask me and I'll share with him. same goes for the older ones. Last year for her 12th birthday the oldest got her first rifle, a Ruger American compact .22lr. Kids must be educated and exposed to firearms to remove their curiosity. Also they aren't as dumb as adults want to seem to believe. Who's better using u'r smart phone, u or your 10 yo? My home defense pistols is loaded but locked in a small hand safe that sits on top of my dresser up and out of the way of the smaller kids.

Last edited by CountryGuy; 08-17-2016 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 08-17-2016, 03:01 PM
jvcstone jvcstone is offline
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those 4 rules country guy referred to are essential--things like--treat every gun as loaded (wither you know it is not or don't), never point at something you are not ready to shoot, being fully aware of your target (bullets can go through walls, and travel quite a distance), keep your finger off of the trigger except when ready to fire. And always triple check the chamber when getting ready to clean the gun--stuff can and does happen.

Like some of the others, I keep my pistols and a pump shotgun loaded and handy--always have one on my hip for just in case. Just never can tell when the need might arise, and as an old eagle scout, I'm prepared.

JVC
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Old 08-17-2016, 04:23 PM
MtnManJim Male MtnManJim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubyyarn View Post
ScrubbieLady, that is good advice. We haven't had any wild dogs, but there was a coyote once, and recently, a rattlesnake! I ran the coyote off with a mop (!) and the husband dispatched the snake with a rake and a hoe. The snake was on the porch which really alarmed me. A gun would have been a comforting thing.
Hi Rubyarn,
Please don’t try to dispatch a rattlesnake on your porch with a gun. The very least of the bad things that might happen is the bullet ricocheting off in a direction you didn’t plan on, but there’s nothing important that it can hit in that direction anyway. And those “snake-shot” cartridges someone is sure to recommend for dispatching rattlesnakes with your handgun? Not for use close to your house or anything else you don’t want to damage. Those tiny shot pellets will ricochet and bounce around all over the place. They will even bounce back in your face if you shoot at a vertical surface (like a tree trunk) and you’re standing too close. I’m glad I was wearing safety glasses the day I learned that lesson.

I carry a handgun whenever I’m outside, away from the house. If we’re out in the hills hunting, fishing or whatever, we just leave rattlesnakes alone. But for killing the occasional rattler we find around our property here, I prefer a shovel anyway. I’ve probably seen a hundred cowboys in movies and on TV quickly draw their revolvers and blow rattlesnakes’ heads off. But I got my first revolver when I was sixteen, that was 52 years ago, and I’ve never been able to master the trick of quickly drawing a handgun and hitting something no larger than a fifty-cent piece. And if you don’t blow a rattlesnake’s head clean off, he’s still going to be dangerous for a long time.

But getting back to you original question, I too echo almost everything Backlash wrote. Except my wife is as much into guns, shooting and hunting as I am. She carries daily too, and is, in fact a little better shot with a handgun. She’ll never match me with a rifle or shotgun though.
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Last edited by MtnManJim; 08-17-2016 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:40 PM
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Round in the chamber, except when cleaning it, or showing it to another person, or handling it. Most of my handguns do not have a safety (DAO). For the few that have a safety, I use it.
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Old 08-18-2016, 11:31 PM
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The guns in the safe are empty. Anything being carried or at the ready is loaded and ready to fire.
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Old 08-19-2016, 10:11 AM
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Round in the chamber, except when cleaning it, or showing it to another person, or handling it. Most of my handguns do not have a safety (DAO). For the few that have a safety, I use it.
With my revolvers (with exposed hammer) I leave the chamber that sits at the hammer empty. Much less chance of an accidental fire from dropping it or the hammer catching on something.
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Old 08-19-2016, 10:45 AM
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This is what I do, also.
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Old 08-19-2016, 06:20 PM
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Pretty much likes everyone else. Revolver in nightstand. Loaded shot gun in closet. Others scatterEd around the house - all loaded for various purposes. . Only one not kept that way are the hunting rifles.


Rattke snakes very rare but copperheads are plentiful and I carry snake shot all summer when out. Other weapon is the brush cutter/weedeater.
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Old 08-20-2016, 10:19 AM
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Rattke snakes very rare but copperheads are plentiful and I carry snake shot all summer when out. Other weapon is the brush cutter/weedeater.
I grew up in an area that was infested with copperheads. No guns then (my father didn't have any for some reason). You never took even one step off the porch let alone go for a walk without your snake stick and knife on your belt. Even with paying attention to where you put each step you would still step on one occasionally.

Nasty, aggressive, and perfectly camouflaged.
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Old 08-20-2016, 11:10 PM
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I grew up in an area that was infested with copperheads. No guns then (my father didn't have any for some reason). You never took even one step off the porch let alone go for a walk without your snake stick and knife on your belt. Even with paying attention to where you put each step you would still step on one occasionally.

Nasty, aggressive, and perfectly camouflaged.
I guess that's one advantage to living in an area where there are rattlesnakes, but no copperheads. No matter what the movies and TV depict, rattlesnakes are not aggressive. They'll get away from you if they can. Even while coiled and buzzing, they are usually backing away.

Not to change the subject, but our stupid cat dragged home a little grass snake yesterday. She's the best vole catcher we've ever had, and I shudder to think what would have happened if that would have been a baby rattler she decided to drag up on our front porch.
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Old 08-20-2016, 11:52 PM
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Good evening, everyone! I am glad to hear about the dangers involved with shooting a snake on the porch, I'll be sure not to do that. I would rather leave snakes alone, but the idea of a poisonous one near (or in!) the house just creeps me out. The husband usually deals with them with a rake and a hoe. I guess the snake stick and knife is a similar idea.
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