Tip 1: Evaluate your lifestyle
When considering the type of defensive weapon you must first evaluate the type of lifestyle and work life that you lead. Do you work from home? Do you work in any office or hospital or construction site? Are you on the road a lot? How much time do you spend at home? Where are you most of the day? Consider the foot traffic and amount of space you have for most of the day. Do you work in a cubicle or a space with little moving room or do you spend most of your time in an open area? Maybe you work in the corporate world with your own office? An AR-15 would not work in an office with little room, but a hundred acre farm may call for that choice. Maybe you work from home but you live in a condo. You may choose a 12 gauge but only carry bird shot instead of slugs. Consider the environment you spend most of your time in. Now the next step.
Tip 2: Research your local laws
Next you must look into the your state and city laws to see what regulations they have over ammo, open and concealed carry, ammo capacity, caliber size, what guns are legal to own and fire, what constitutes necessary force, burglary, assault. If you work at a jobsite or office be sure to research and get approval from any of the appropriate management or landlord sources. Your boss may be okay with you carrying your firearm concealed but if your company leases the office it’s not his call. Be safe and smart. Confidence that you are in the right can be lifesaving.
Tip 3: Try Various Weapon Systems
Whether you are a beginner or veteran with firearms it’s never too early or late to try a multitude of different types of firearms. Maybe you’ve just been using your Glock 17 and taking it to the range because you heard it was the best and that’s all you’ve ever tried. Do your research. Read magazine and online article’s. Ask the clerk at the firing range what might be good fit for you. Test no less than 10 types of firearms – whether it be shotgun, handgun or rifle – before making a decision. Send 100’s if not thousand of rounds downrange. The weapon you choose must feel natural. If you live in a small apartment with thin walls, work in an office, and have small hands then maybe a 50. Desert Eagle isn’t the best choice for your self defense weapon.
Tip 4: Simulate
It may seem ridiculous but this may be the most important part of choosing a self defense weapon. Consider all of your environments then safely simulate needing to manipulate the weapon and preventing a lethal encounter. Someone comes into your office, or grocery store, or breaks down the door of your home. Practice getting to your weapon. Dry fire. Load and unload with practice rounds. Go from your seat, couch, desk, ladder, farm and see how fast you are able to be ready to protect yourself and others.
Tip 5: Take a Firearms Course
You need to not only be familiar with manipulating your weapon in the space and environments that you are commonly in, you need to practice over and over with live ammo. Your self defense weapon will be no good to you without taking a course that induces stress, making you think quickly, and repeats the process to build strong muscle memory. If you work from home and have chosen a shotgun then choose a course that goes through multiple drills, includes movement, evasion, quick loading. If you work in a secure office but you commute long distances than take a defensive handgun course that practices manipulation from a sitting position. Maybe you thought your best choice would be a shotgun but after a few courses you realize that a handgun is your better choice.
Be Prepared Sheepdogs.