There is a reason why military recruits and police cadets learn to shoot a 9mm handgun during boot camp and police academy – and it is the same reason the 9mm is such a popular handgun with all kinds of civilians. If you are looking for a good handgun for home protection, the 9mm is a good weapon to start with.
It is light enough and has a small enough grip to be handled by even small statured women and kids who are learning to shoot their first handgun, and it is powerful enough to stop an intruder. It is easy to find an affordable 9mm, and rounds are common and reasonably priced.
While the 9mm is easy to find, it is important to get a good, serviceable weapon that you can count on in the event you need to use it for more than target practice. Buy a quality weapon, not a cheap imitation, and, don’t hesitate to take it out to shoot. Like we learned in the movie The Patriot, “Aim small, miss small.” Shoot a lot, and be sure everyone who is old enough to be responsible with a weapon knows how to use it.
Don’t be afraid to teach your kids how to use and handle your weapons as well, with plenty of supervision, of course. Children can learn responsible gun ownership and use, despite what our squeamish society might believe. Enroll them in a child safety course, like the NRA’s Eddie Eagle Gun Safety Program. Living off grid means being prepared for the unexpected, and believe it or not, your kids can learn to be prepared for the unexpected as well as any adult. Now that I have put in my two cents worth, let’s take a look at some 9mm’s.
I happen to like the Beretta 92 quite a lot, and maybe that’s because it was the first 9mm I ever shot. Made in Italy, and service weapon of choice for many police departments and the U.S. military (who use a specialized version of the 92 called an M9), the Beretta 92 comes in several calibers. There are various Beretta models nicknamed “Beretta 92,” but they all have some things in common. First, they are semi-automatic. In case you’re not familiar with gun terminology, semi-automatic weapons are designed to shoot rounds one after another – one round per trigger pull. In an emergency situation, you don’t need to do anything but keep on pulling the trigger until your attacker is rendered harmless.
Second, the Beretta is equipped with an open slide design for easy ejection of spent ammunition. This design allows for smooth feeding and makes clearing any obstructions easier. Finally, the barrel has a hard chrome barrel bore that helps prevent corrosion. Beretta makes good guns for the price and they are accurate at longer ranges, which is one reason law enforcement professionals like them. Older models were heavier, but the newest are a bit lighter and more corrosion-resistant, thanks to polymer parts. You can buy a brand new Beretta 92 9mm for a little more than $400 in sporting goods stores.
MRI Baby Eagle 9915R
The semi-automatic MRI Baby Eagle 9915R is a smaller relative of MRI’s popular Desert Eagle .44, .50AE, and .357 magnum pistols. It is heavy for its size, and is all steel with a 4.52” barrel. Made in Israel, the components are built to last – Magnum Research Inc. builds solid weaponry designed for combat under harsh conditions. One thing I really like about the Baby Eagle is the adjustable palm swells that can be customized to fit the hand. The gun feels stable and secure in the hand, and it is super accurate thanks to interchangeable front sights. A basic Baby Eagle costs between $550-$650 new.
Sig Sauer Pro SP2022
Sig Sauer is famous for manufacturing excellent weaponry, and the SP2022 is no different from the rest of the manufacturer’s line. This gun is extremely accurate, has light recoil and comfort grips, and weighs more than most 9mm pistols. As 9mm pistols go, this is top of the line and is the personal weapon of choice for many seasoned police officers as well as the US Army’s Tank Automotive and Armaments Command. Expect to pay between $800-$1000 new.
Just like every other gun, a 9mm handgun needs to be fired regularly, and breaking in a brand new weapon is important. Most 9mm weapons need to be fired between 300-500 times for a good break in. While the Sig Sauer Pro’s specifications claim it to be accurate “right out of the box,” it’s still a good idea to familiarize yourself with your new gun and practice often – no matter what kind of handgun you choose.