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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Gents (and those few ladies we have here),
I've been wrestling with the idea of how to provide myself with self defense capabilities while within no carry zones -- to avoid being completely defenseless. Key to this is that, sadly, as much as I avoid no gun zones, there are some that I am forced to enter -- like the post office, the occasional visit to the sherrif's office, the occasional visit to K-12 schools for functions, and the like.

So, here goes -- because I want any/all feedback (pro or con):
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There are, today, CO2-powered pellet guns in pistol form factor capable of 400+ fps using .177 caliber lead or steel pellets. While nowhere near the effectiveness of a firearm, these will typically achieve 3-4" penetration in ballistic gel … which is certainly harmful enough for a well-placed headshot to cause significant injury to an attacker.


More interesting, still, these aren't classified as firearms … and certain nanny states aside, they're largely unregulated in most states except for minimum age requirements to buy/own … and the occasional state law that precludes carrying them at schools. The best part is that because they aren't firearms, firearm-specific laws just don't apply. Don't get me wrong, they're still weapons ... so weapon-specific laws -may- apply, but firearm-specific laws only apply to firearms ... or things states have elected to treat as firearms even if they aren't (like CA has done to air guns).

Obviously one must check local laws before considering this aproach. I've done so for NC ... as well as checked some NC case law to see whether a .177 caliber pellet gun would or could be considered a 'deadly weapon' (despite not being a firearm). The answer here is, "it depends". In most NC cases, I've found that such a weapon is only considered 'deadly' by the courts at close range, when pointed at a vital organ, etc. -- and in all NC cases I took a look at, it was when aggravated assault/battery had been committed (meaning I found zero cases of this coming up in a defensive context).

This has had me thinking that while crappy for defensive uses, a 400+ fps pellet gun firing .177 caliber pellets is still better than a rock (something even more crappy) … or hiding and praying (the most crappy) … should one find oneself in a no-carry zone where an incident is taking place. Its range and accuracy are superior to those of pepper spray, and all of my current gun skills are largely applicable (unlike pepper spray). The usual defensive tactics would/should apply, of course -- mindful of the fact that effective shot placement is paramount if one is to try to defend with such a weak tool ... but some tool seems better than no tool, even if one doesn't use it. (i.e. Nice to have the option.)


On the flip side, I can see a few no carry zones resulting in a big stink when some officer who is just trying to do his/her job X-rays the pellet gun (or it goes off on a metal detector), searches and finds it, assumes it is a firearm ... resulting in me having to explain that it isn't AND explain the law to enforcement people who know it less well than I do. But you know what, I take my own self defense seriously enough that it might be worth going through that from time to time .. to avoid being toally defenseless. Besides, it's a chance to educate some of our less diligent LEOs, right?

Certainly I DO NOT see such a tool as a substitue for a firearm. Rather, I see it as potentially the best option amid a host of really crappy ones ... for those times when I'm forced to be disarmed because of where I must go to accomplish something I'm obligated to accomplish and can't do anywhere else.

I'd love some feedback on this ... because when I step outside myself and look at it from afar, the other side of me thinks it's totally ridiculous. Is it?
 

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Glock 7. You know what that is? It's a porcelain gun made in Germany. It doesn't show up on your airport X-ray machines here and it costs more than what you make in a month!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Glock 7. You know what that is? It's a porcelain gun made in Germany. It doesn't show up on your airport X-ray machines here and it costs more than what you make in a month!
Not legal here... and I'm the law-abiding type.
 

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Not legal here... and I'm the law-abiding type.

And it doesn't exist anyway. Kar98 is pulling your leg. The 'Glock 7' was a plot device in Die Hard 2: Die Harder, and a Glock 17 stood in the fictitious weapon.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
And it doesn't exist anyway. Kar98 is pulling your leg. The 'Glock 7' was a plot device in Die Hard 2: Die Harder, and a Glock 17 stood in the fictitious weapon.
Heh. I only saw the first Die Hard movie, so I missed the reference. But I remember the whole tuppergun debate and the resulting law requiring a certain amount of metal to be present in legal firearms, here...

Sorry to spoil a chuckle. I clearly live in a tree(stand). But while you're here, I'd love to know your thoughts on this thread's topic. Doug. Brutal, well-considered honesty appreciated; it's why I asked for input.
 

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I do not think a CO2 powered pellet gun would be a suitable choice for several reasons.

1. The gun can be mistaken for a firearm, S we know because LEOs have shot people including children who had them in hand. In an active shooter situation you could be exposed to danger from both the shooter and the police.
2. The gun would very likely be ineffective since its penetration is bare gel is so minimal that even thin clothing is going to reduce the penetration further. Penetration is a critical factor of incapacitating a person. It would take an incredibly lucky shot to hit an area that would allow enough penetration to stop an attacker. More on that follows.
3. The ballistics of a CO2 driven pellet are far inferior to even a 22 short caliber bullet. The velocity decreases quickly with a corresponding loss of energy. That not only affects penetration but also affects accuracy, which would be critical in choosing a CO2 gun.
4. If you are detected carrying it the assumption will be it is a firearm until the gun is examined closely. That will result in a dynamic response, and that could endanger you more that being in a gun free zone.
5. A shooter who saw you with a gun is likely going to focus his fire on you, and being outgunned you are more endangered than others. Also if you shoot the absence of a BANG is going to tell the shooter that he has you outgunned. Never give an enemy confidence.
 

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Surrealone, I appreciate your concern. But as things go, I would say the pellet gun would not be adequate. Considering what happens during an armed confrontation, I don't believe a pellet gun would help one bit. You might have one or even more bad guys hell bent on inflicting injury/death and carnage. With the adrenalin pumping and possibly narcotics in the system, the bad guy might not even notice. Now it's possible the bad guy might see the pellet gun and flee, but what are the chances of that. Options are limited. Bear spray comes to mind.
 

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But while you're here, I'd love to know your thoughts on this thread's topic. Doug. Brutal, well-considered honesty appreciated; it's why I asked for input.

I'm inclined to think that in an active shooter situation, the perp will be so adrenaline-hyped that he wouldn't even feel it save for perhaps a really lucky shot to one of the eyes. And in an armed confrontation, I believe that pulling a pellet gun is more likely to get me shot just because the perp doesn't want to deal with the skin welt and a bit of pain it might cause. About the only situation I can think of where it might defuse things is a perp who doesn't intend to actually shoot anyone going into the situation, and I'd hate to risk my life on that assumption.

Is it better than nothing? Perhaps. But, then again, perhaps not in that it might escalate a situation that wouldn't have escalated otherwise. I think pepper spray is the better alternative, or one of those projectile weapons that shoots a frangible pepperball. That would both smart and potentially incapacitate, or at least distract, an attacker.

As for Die Hard II: Die Harder, don't waste your time. You didn't miss anything, Amigo. Absolutely pathetic film.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
All valid concerns raised, so far -- none of which are surprising -- and many of which can be offset by not drawing unless I'm 100% sure I have an opening/shot from a position of cover, wherein the lack of bang becomes an asset, not a drawback. The chief concern I had of first responders being an issue when coming through detectors and the like is still, to date, the biggest reason I see for not carrying something better than a rock with me.

Kar98,
I've seen live pepperball tests -- they're woefully ineffective unless you are quite close AND score a shot within mere inches of the eyes -- which is hard to do with pepperball guns given the craptastic ballistics/trajectory of the pepperballs, themselves. Those things make pellets look downright aerodynamic and effective, IMHO.
 

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Kar98,
I've seen live pepperball tests -- they're woefully ineffective unless you are quite close AND score a shot within mere inches of the eyes -- which is hard to do with pepperball guns given the craptastic ballistics/trajectory of the pepperballs, themselves. Those things make pellets look downright aerodynamic and effective, IMHO.

The item I linked doesn't fire pepperballs, but a stream of liquid. At 15 feet it fires about a 1.5 - 2 foot diameter circle of concentrated pepper droplets that mist on impact. You get two shots.
 

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I own a Beretta Px4 model and admit at ranges up to 15yds they have decent penetration. I used fence posts for the harder material and ripe oranges/grapefruit for practice. They shot through the fruit and penetrated about 1/2" into the 4" pine post. My disappointment was the failures due to the magazine design which could easily position a pellet so it would not fire and sometimes cause a jam.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The item I linked doesn't fire pepperballs, but a stream of liquid. At 15 feet it fires about a 1.5 - 2 foot diameter circle of concentrated pepper droplets that mist on impact. You get two shots.
Hmm, I'd need to see the efficacy of that liquid, first-hand. This might be a very viable option if the pepper spray works well AND if the stream is reasonably well-managed. I am, however, a bit concerned that 5 yards with a position facing the attacker is the max range, as this precludes shots from behind the attacker at 10-15 yard ranges. But it's another option worth considering, and that's good feedback and food for thought.

I own a Beretta Px4 model and admit at ranges up to 15yds they have decent penetration. I used fence posts for the harder material and ripe oranges/grapefruit for practice. They shot through the fruit and penetrated about 1/2" into the 4" pine post. My disappointment was the failures due to the magazine design which could easily position a pellet so it would not fire and sometimes cause a jam.
That's fantastic to know, as it suggests a revolver style pellet gun may be the safest bet if one is to be considered/used. The revolver-styles I've seen all have to have the pellets loaded (much like loading a cylinder) into a plastic carrier of sorts … so no chance of feed issues resulting from pellet facing with those, I'd think.
 

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The revolver-styles I've seen all have to have the pellets loaded (much like loading a cylinder) into a plastic carrier of sorts … so no chance of feed issues resulting from pellet facing with those, I'd think.
That's what mine looks like but it is in the shape of a magazine with a "cylinder" on each end and fits into the magazine chamber just as our semi's do.
 

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8ell, just carry a sharp pencil....poke em' in the eye.:D
I actually carry a Fenix Halberd T5Ti tactical pen for just that purpose...basically a combination pen and titanium stabbing tool

https://www.fenixlighting.com/product/fenix-halberd-t5ti-titanium-tactical-pen/?attribute_pa_color=space-gray&msclkid=7707763401a61b9ce0c02b48e7866ca6&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Shopping&utm_term=4575136604939738&utm_content=Shopping

One can also get a telescoping baton which is another option which will pass muster at most places with the exception of some court houses ( I know). The major drawback is that you'll need good training and extensive practice for it to be useful (and yes it can be a distance weapon) again I know...but this time not from a stress situation thank goodness.

I'd leave the pellet gun at the store for all the reasons already mentioned. It just isn't a good option.

1. Run
2. Hide
3. Fight
Fight is your very last resort, always!

Since you presuppose an area where you must be unarmed, most with the exception of the PO already have heightened security but even so have your escape plan in mind...
 
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All valid concerns raised, so far -- none of which are surprising -- and many of which can be offset by not drawing unless I'm 100% sure I have an opening/shot from a position of cover, wherein the lack of bang becomes an asset, not a drawback.
And what cover in an average indoor space do you expect to find that will stop a rifle bullet or even a pistol bullet? A chair, a sofa, a table, a door are not going to offer good protection. A brick wall, a steel door, a marble column would, but you have to reach it and not reduce your distance to target because of the ballistic drop of of a CO2 pistol. Or are you talking about concealment not cover. Concealment is always an advantage, but it will not overcome the deficiencies of a CO2 pistol.

Let me make an analogy. A fire team (4 riflemen) encounters an enemy squad (12 rifleman). What does the fire team do? It does anything it can to get out of the field of fire because it is outgunned. And when you are outgunned the worst thing you can do is go on the offensive or engage in a static defense because being outgunned cannot be overcome by cover or concealment.

Of course, it is your decision to make. I just felt like I ought to caution you based upon my thinking and experience. And my thinking is what are other alternatives? That would be major thread drift so I will disengage. Stay safe.
 

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Interesting question.

So, the first thing I would say is this: If you are carrying TRULY concealed, and there is no metal detector/imaging device (like Courthouse or airports), why worry about the little sign? Yes, technically illegal, but if chance of getting caught is minimal, why worry about it? Yes, this is a controversial perspective, because we are “good guys” and good guys follow rules. However, consider what is safer for you and the community:

A. Getting out of your vehicle, removing your weapon, unloading it, securing it in the trunk/other secure storage, leaving it there out of your control for possible theft, and, if that doesn’t happen, reversing the process upon leaving the “safe space,” or

B. Keeping the gun out of sight completely and securely, going about your business (knowing this isn’t exactly the target-rich/helpless victim location any bad actor would assume), and then leaving without any gun retrieval/manipulation?​

My fellow LEOs have discussed this at length, and they all agree “B” is the smartest course of action.

Now, if your “good guy” constitution runs too deep, or you aren’t willing to take that risk, your next best option is a knife. Trouble is, many places with searches and metal detectors prohibit those too, but Wal-Mart and such will not. Get a very-strong blade (thick and tanto point) with super strong lock and ability to keep an edge. (Don’t skimp). Check laws for size limits; in my state it’s 3.5”. Also study how to use it. Taking out ligaments is the best defensive attack.

If a knife is not available, you are scraping the bottom of the barrel. A flexible web belt with a metal buckle makes a good swing/stand-off weapon and will get through virtually any security, but it is not effective against lethal threats.

Thus, your greatest weapon is the one you have 24/7/365, including when you have a firearm: your brain. Situational Awareness, Mindset, understanding the OODA Loop, and considering the location you are at and any limitations in your party (kids, elderly, etc.), will help you pre-plan how close to the exits you want to be, etc.
 

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One problem I do see with a hand held weapon (non firearm) is getting close enough to the bad guy to use it. With everything going on during the incident, you would be very lucky to deploy a knife, baton or some other device against the bad guy. These are up close and personal weapons.
 

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In Texas I can carry ALMOST anywhere including the State Capitol building. But cannot carry in US Post Office or Federal Court building. Its a pain to disarm in the parking lot and rearm when returning.


I asked a friend on the city PD if he would arrest someone in the PO with a concealed gun. His answer was:
"1. You are 83 years old, have you EVER been searched by a policeman?
2. If its concealed, how would I know he had it?
3. I enforce city and state law, I do not enforce federal law. I have never seen a federal law enforcement officer in the PO, have you?


Unless you have enemies that want to "get you" dont worry about it."


I am in politics so, yes I have enemies that would like to "get me" So I slide it under the front seat when I get out to go into the PO. In Texas, that is legal and you dont even have to have any license if its in your car concealed, on your property, in your house, boat, airplane or RV, so unless you transfer it between such places IN A PUBLIC PLACE, you are legal without a ANY permit.. The county airport is legal as are both my banks, one of which recently took down the restriction signs under public pressure.



Only problem I have is forgetting to get it out from under the seat when I leave the PO..........
 
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