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Are you familiar with the Ruger 57? It’s a semi-auto pistol that is chambered in a 5.7 by 28mm cartridge. Would this be a good self-defense pistol?

-From Vince S.

Answer: The Ruger 57 comes with a fiber-optic front and adjustable rear sights. As you mentioned, one of the biggest reasons for the 57’s popularity is the fact that it uses a very unique bullet.

The 5.7x28mm pistol cartridge is a small-caliber, high-velocity pistol cartridge, which is based on the 5.56x45mm NATO round. The ammo is fast, delivering about 2,000 feet per second when it leaves a 5-inch barrel.

With that being said, some folks will argue that the 5.7X28mm round is more effective than a 9mm. The round has a long and slim design and is almost 4 times longer than its diameter.

So, when the 5.7 round hits the target, the bullet tends to tumble or pitch forward, making for a much larger wound cavity.

Take into consideration that the ammo tends to be more expensive, similar to .45 caliber, and may be difficult to find. The bottom line is that it can be effective for self-defense, I certainly wouldn’t want to be shot with it.

 

Thank you for all the information you provide, especially the videos. I’m buying my first AR-15 pistol. Do I need a federal license to buy one without any modifications?

-From Jacob R.

Answer: The short answer is no. AR pistols are AR-15 rifle platforms that have a shorter barrel and a “pistol” buffer tube that does not allow for the attachment of traditional stock. Essentially, they’re a pistol built on an AR-15 receiver.

The National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) defined any rifle with a shoulder stock and barrel less than 16 inches in length and 26 inches in overall length to be a “short-barreled rifle” and required a citizen to fill out a Form 4 and pay a $200 NFA Tax Stamp.

However, an AR pistol allows the shooter to have the size, weight, and maneuverability of a short barrel rifle but without the NFA regulations.

Basically, an AR pistol can have a brace, but cannot have a regular stock. If it has a regular stock, it would be illegal based on how the ATF defines an AR pistol vs rifle.

 

Have you ever used tear gas? I know police use it for crowd control. Is it legal for civilians to use?

-From Harry M.

Answer: The Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993, signed by almost every country in the world, banned the use of tear gas in war but allowed the practice by domestic law enforcement. With that being said, tear gas is not legal for civilians to use.

The thing is, tear gas and pepper spray are often confused with each other.

However, tear gas is classified as a chemical weapon, where pepper spray is manufactured from man-made ingredients.

Pepper spray is not made from chemicals and is legal for civilians to carry in most states.

 

Do you recommend any pre-made or put-together bug-out bags?

-From Anna A.

Answer: At this point, I would put one together yourself. A lot of the pre-made bags are cheap junk from China.

One critical thing I will say is, don’t make it too heavy. I see a lot of people put together their bug-out bags that weigh a ton and they can barely carry them.

 

My wife and I recently moved into a new home. The front doors of the house are glass French doors. My wife says that she could kick through them. Do you know of a way to secure them that’s not overly intrusive?

-From Gilbert R.

Answer: Many folks like the look of French Doors but there is no doubt they are less secure. The problem is French Doors are weak in the center so they can easily be kicked in.

To help with this, I recommend a product such as NightLock. This is a metal plate-looking device that you drill into the floor. Then, you slide on another metal piece and the brace will prevent the door from being kicked in.

It’s not a 100% guarantee that it will stop an intruder, but it will at least slow them down enough for you to defend yourself.

As for the glass, you can install security window films such as one from 3M that will help hold the glass in place. Again, this won’t stop the glass from breaking but it will make it more difficult to do so.

Lastly, I would install a security system with a glass break sensor. This sensor should be located near the French doors so it can alert you if the glass is broken.

 

I’m a 68-year-old elderly petite woman. Is it better for me to conceal carry a revolver rather than a semi-auto?

-From Beth D.

Answer: I think everyone who carries a concealed weapon should carry whichever pistol is the best fit for them. What I mean is, when it comes to pistols there are no one-size-fits. (Don’t let the salesman at the gun range tell you any different.)

The best thing to do is to go to your local gun range and rent a few different guns. This should include semi-autos and revolvers if that’s what you think is best.

Personally, I prefer to carry a semi-auto pistol over a revolver because they hold more rounds.

However, some folks suffer from arthritis and they are unable to rack the slide on a semi-auto pistol.

If you are unable to clear a jam on a semi-auto or can’t manipulate its functions then it’s not the pistol for you and you should go with a revolver.

If you do go with a revolver, both Ruger and Smith & Wesson make the best revolvers.

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