25 Feb 2020

One Expert’s Personal Defense Recommendation

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SIG makes more than one model chambered in .45 ACP, but Lance is probably referring to the SIG 220.

Spectator jounalist Kapil Komireddi looked for advice on choosing a self-defense firearm. A retired FBI agent sent him to the horse’s mouth for the answer.

I consulted with a friend, a retired FBI special agent who teaches firearm safety. ‘What will you be using the gun for?’ he asked. ‘Self-defense,’ I replied. ‘Then the .45 Sig Sauer is the best,’ he advised. ‘But the problem with that gun is confidence. People are intimidated by its recoil, muzzle flash and noise. Shooting it often becomes spray and pray.’ He suggested I go meet a man called Lance Thomas for insight.

‘The .45 Sig Sauer is the best gun to have in a gunfight,’ Thomas concurred. I believed him. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he faced off against 11 armed gunmen in four separate gunfights. Thomas shot six of them and killed five. He became known as ‘the urban gunfighter’ and appears in Paul Kirchner’s 2001 book The Deadliest Men: The World’s Deadliest Combatants Throughout the Ages, alongside Geronimo, Andrew Jackson and Wild Bill Hickok.

Thomas owned a watch store and back then jewelers in LA were plagued with armed robbery. ‘It was not if, but when, I was going to get robbed,’ he recalled. He arranged an assortment of pistols under the counter for the fateful day. He’d never been to a shooting range or fired any of them. Nor did he know if they would actually fire.

In the first attack, a gunman aimed at Thomas’s face. He responded as planned, pulling a gun from under the counter and shooting his attacker, who survived and went to prison. Later, two brothers came into his shop and threatened him at gunpoint. Thomas shot them both. My FBI friend visited him after those incidents and suggested Thomas get rid of most of his guns, adopt the .45 and practice using it. ‘You want a weapon that will absolutely incapacitate the person you’re defending yourself against,’ he advised.

I was surprised to find a kinship in Lance Thomas. But, like me, he wasn’t comfortable with guns. He wasn’t a hunter. In fact, he recalled his one experience shooting a bird with remorse. And he would much prefer to go after poachers than big game.

‘My self-defense started when I was alone and had a gun pointed at me,’ Thomas said. ‘It wasn’t an issue of robbing me or the watches. Those robbers were seeking to negotiate my life. My life is not negotiable.’

He told me I should have a gun I’m comfortable with and learn how to operate it. ‘Any man with any strength should go to a .45,’ he said — it has a large capacity, excellent sight radius, exceptional accuracy and reliability, and a high incapacitation factor.

I decided then and there that my favorite gun is the gun that will save my life.

RTWT

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NYM mentioned Lance Thomas back in 2011. link

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3 Feedbacks on "One Expert’s Personal Defense Recommendation"

OneGuy

This is a silly argument. Does he really believe that if he had used a 9mm that he would not have shot six and killed five? He used the gun he had. His bias was a 45 so that was the gun he had, And now we are to believe that proves it is the best gun/caliber? It is silly and makes the proponent look silly.



Fusil Darne

The first rule of gun fighting-Have a gun.
I remember a time, when revolvers were standard police issue, when the caliber considered best to end a fight in the first shot was .357 magnum. Times change, calibers change, but, the first rule of gun fighting has not changed.



Guesty McGuesterson

Find a gun you can properly use, train with it, and become proficient at quickly putting shots on target under duress. I myself streamlined all my handguns down to two calibers – .22LR for plinking and 9mm for defense/EDC.

Caliber wars are silly. If I were to jump into that fray, I’d present the 10mm as the “one handgun caliber to rule them all”. But who cares? I sure don’t want to be shot by any of them.



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