Chuck Baldwin (2021)
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    My Preferences For Defensive Firearms

    Published: Thursday, March 23, 2023

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    As an author, columnist, radio talk show host and pastor who is outspoken in my support of the Second Amendment, I often receive inquiries from people asking for my personal preferences regarding firearms. This column is devoted to answering some of those inquiries.

    I’m sure this column will not provide anything new for the firearms aficionados out there. However, we are living in a violence-prone society, and more and more people (especially ladies) who never paid much attention to guns before are sensing the need to arm themselves but often don’t know where to start. I hope this column helps these folks.

    First, let me emphasize that I am not a firearms expert. And I strongly urge you to receive as much instruction and training from a firearms professional as possible. Second, when it comes to a discussion of which firearms are preferable, the suggestions are as varied as the people who proffer them. So, my opinion is just that. 

    If you are planning to carry a concealed firearm, you will need to carefully consider the kind of clothing you are wearing and how the firearm will fit in with your attire. For most people, concealed carry requires firearms that are—to one degree or another—somewhat diminutive.

    My personal preference for a self-defense handgun is a Glock pistol. Glock pistols are almost as simple as revolvers to operate, reliable and practically indestructible. Plus, they provide increased magazine capacity and are safe. They are also very easy to disassemble and clean. And most importantly, they go "bang" when you pull the trigger. 

    Some ladies might find the Glock grips to be a little bulky for their hands—except for the Glock 42 and 43, which most ladies should find quite comfortable. But most women should be able to safely and confidently shoot the majority of Glock 9mm pistols.

    Popular options in Glock pistols include Glock 42 in .380 ACP; Glock 17, 19, 19X, 26, 43 and 43X in 9mm Luger (also called 9mm Parabellum or 9x19); Glock 22, 23 and 27 in .40 Smith & Wesson; Glock 21, 30, 30S, 36 and 41 in .45 ACP; and Glock 20 and 29 in 10mm Auto.

    When I am carrying concealed, I’m usually carrying the Glock 19. In my younger days, I mostly carried the Colt Officers Model in .45 ACP—in the woods and on the street. The older I’ve gotten, however, the lighter my sidearm has gotten. Ha. 

    My wife prefers to carry a Smith & Wesson .38 Special revolver in the snub-nose, J-frame configuration. This is primarily due to the reduced weight and size of these weapons. Plus, she just prefers the simplicity of a revolver over a semi-auto. And, yes, I sometimes carry a snub-nose as well.

    Snub-nose revolvers generally have a poor reputation for accuracy due to their very short barrels. And the reduced 5-shot capacity turns off some people. However, 70% of self-defense fights take place at a distance of 2 yards. As such, a snub-nose is very adequate for the task. 

    When I do carry a snub-nose revolver, it is usually a Smith & Wesson 340 M&P or a Ruger LCR, which are built for the .357 Magnum and .38 Special cartridges. And when carrying the snub-nose, I’m usually loaded with .38s. The .38 Special and 9mm Luger are comparable in power.

    And, yes, for some people, a revolver might still be the preferred handgun. It has no external magazine to worry about losing; it is very dependable and reliable; it is easy to clean; and it is simple to operate. NYPD expert Frank McGee says the typical police gunfight conforms to a “rule of three”: 3 rounds, 3 yards and 3 seconds. So in most real-life situations, the increased firepower of a high-capacity magazine doesn't even come into play. 

    Of course, if confronted with multiple attackers or a heavily armed would-be mass shooter, the extra capacity of the standard magazines in Glock and similar pistols could be a lifesaver. 

    The most important factor in choosing a self-defense handgun is finding the one that you carry and shoot well. I shoot Glock pistols very well; and I find them comfortable to carry, which is why I carry them. Find the handgun that YOU shoot well and the one that you can comfortably carry. The caliber is not nearly as important as the fact that you have a gun with you and your ability to put the bullet where you want it to go.

    Since I live in dangerous game territory, I will mention the need to defend oneself against a brown bear. In dangerous game territory, you will need the power of a .357 Magnum, 10mm Auto, .44 Special, .44 Magnum, .45 ACP, .45 Long Colt or even a .454 Casull. These calibers are not for the limp-wristed, but when one is facing a brown bear, it is what one will need to survive. (Bear spray is a joke.) When I’m in the woods hiking or hunting, I’m usually carrying a Glock 20 in 10mm. 

    But, truthfully, I would hate to face a brown bear (which includes the Grizzly and Kodiak) with a handgun of any caliber. These creatures are the fiercest and most formidable animals on the North American Continent (along with the Polar Bear, of course). Against a brown bear, I would hope I had a .45-70 Government rifle or a 12-gauge shotgun handy. 

    But I spoke with a man recently who, sadly, has had to kill several Grizzlies in his line of work, and he swears by the .357 Magnum. So there you go.

    But, folks, make no mistake about this: When it comes to defending yourself against two-legged predators, semi-automatic rifles are the most essential tool you can have, which is why totalitarians in government want to ban them. 

    For a semiautomatic rifle, I suggest an AR-15 or Ruger Mini-14 in 5.56 NATO (they also fire the .223 Remington cartridge) or a Springfield M1A or AR-10 in .308 Winchester. My personal preference here is the AR-15. Again, weight is a major reason why I make that choice.

    Daniel Defense makes some of the best AR rifles in the world, but they are quite pricey. Other good AR brands include Armalite, Bushmaster, Colt, Ruger, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson, Springfield Armory, Windham Weaponry and many others. Most ladies will find that the low weight and recoil of an AR-15 or Mini-14 (especially the AR-15) will make the rifle very pleasant to shoot. No home should be without one—or more—of these rifles.


    Of course, a 12-gauge shotgun is the premier close-range weapon. Nothing equals it. In a pump shotgun, I prefer a Winchester Model 1300, which is not made anymore. But pump shotguns are plentiful in many brands. In the semi-auto configuration, I prefer Mossberg. But, again, several brands make good semi-auto shotguns.

    And don’t discount 20-gauge shotguns. The 20-gauge is lighter and has less recoil than a 12-gauge, and at “bad breath” range (where a shotgun shines anyway), the 20-gauge is just as lethal as a 12-gauge.

    It is also critical that no matter which firearm you decide to purchase to be sure and practice with it. The firearm you purchase is no better or worse than your ability to handle it. And be sure to stock up on ammunition. A gun without ammo is reduced to being either an expensive club or a cumbersome paperweight.

    And always be sure to follow all of the safety rules for your firearm. The last thing any of us wants is an accidental discharge of a firearm that results in the injury or death of a loved one or friend. So, always remember that safety is job one. And rule number one is NEVER point a gun at anyone unless you are doing so in an act of self-defense. And rule number two is ALWAYS assume that a gun is loaded, which takes you back to rule number one. Plus, guns should always be kept away from children before they have been properly taught how to safely handle a firearm—which should be done as soon as possible.

    The other common sense essential is, no matter how trained you are, if you are not carrying the gun, it is of no use to you. A gun in your vehicle’s glove compartment is of no help to you when you are being assaulted in the parking lot. 

    As you know, Joe Biden and his Stalinesque stooges in Congress are RIGHT NOW proposing legislation to outlaw hundreds of firearms—including ALL semi-automatics. And this is only the beginning. Their real goal is to completely disarm the American people.

    For these reasons, my constitutional attorney son and I collaborated on a book that takes the Scriptures (Old and New Testaments) to prove that self-defense is not just a right under our Constitution; it is a moral obligation given us by our Creator. In the book, we show that Christians who are unwilling to defend themselves, their families and their communities have actually denied the Christian faith. We show that the Bible nowhere teaches God’s people to remain defenseless or to surrender their means of self-defense to any civil authority.

    In the book, we examine the Scriptures that the “no gun” preachers use to support their lunacy and show how unbiblical these positions are. We go through both Testaments and show that our Creator has given us the obligation to defend the life He has given us. We also put to rest many of the distortions of Scripture that anti-gun preachers use to turn Christian men and women—who are created to be providers and protectors—into sheepish slaves of the state and helpless prey for human predators.  

    The title of our book is To Keep or Not To Keep: Why Christians Should Not Give Up Their Guns.

    It is not only important to be armed; it is even more important to understand the moral and spiritual principles of WHY we should be armed. And that is exactly what our book attempts to explain.

    Christians need to know that keeping and bearing arms is a spiritual DUTY. We disobey Holy Scripture when we neglect our responsibility to be prepared to defend ourselves, family and community. The Second Amendment does not grant us the right to keep and bear arms; it merely protects the right and duty to keep and bear arms that is given to us by the Natural laws of our Creator.

    Defending oneself, family and community is as spiritual as praying or reading the Bible or any other spiritual exercise.

    From the lives of Abraham and Moses to the Books of Judges and Esther to the lives of Samuel, David, Elijah and Elisha to the teaching of Christ in the New Testament, the Bible is replete with examples and admonitions that God’s people must NEVER surrender their means of self-defense, which in the modern world points to the AR-15-style rifle and Glock-style handgun. 

    My DVD-message series entitled Natural Law, Liberty & Government includes a message titled Christ’s Law Of The Sword in which I specifically address what Jesus meant when He told Simon Peter to “put up thy sword” in the Garden of Gethsemane. And I can tell you now that it has absolutely nothing to do with being disarmed. 

    The defensive firearm is an absolute necessity to the maintenance of a free society. Thomas Jefferson rightly opined: 

    The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.


    And, as did our Founding Fathers, we must not let would-be tyrants such as Joe Biden and his gaggle of goose-stepping goons in Congress take them from us. 

    If you are not already an armed citizen and are contemplating arming yourself, I trust some of my remarks in today’s column will help get you started in the right direction. 

    P.S. I am saddened to learn that my friend Dr. Don Boys passed away a few days ago. When I pastored on the Gulf Coast, Don preached for me several times. I was privileged to be in Don’s company on several occasions in different venues around the country. Don was a Christian educator, Indiana State Representative, author and evangelist. He was a courageous and powerful preacher. He was 88. Another choice servant of God has left us. 

    © Chuck Baldwin

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