ProudBoy’s Guide to Building Your Arsenal: Handguns

The ‘ProudBoys Guide to Building Your Arsenal’ is an ongoing series by Darrel Arnold. This first piece looks at handguns, and later pieces will discuss shotguns, rifles and more....

The ‘ProudBoys Guide to Building Your Arsenal’ is an ongoing series by Darrel Arnold. This first piece looks at handguns, and later pieces will discuss shotguns, rifles and more.

Uhuru, ProudBoys. Obama, Hillary and the rest of the Democrat thugs that currently run our country have been very persistent with their attacks on the 2nd Amendment. Tragedies in Sandy Hook, Aurora, San Bernardino, and most recently Orlando have been exploited by the left over and over again. The progressive playbook for mass-gun murders is to blame guns, blame Republicans, and blame the NRA.

The left is smart and they know that the constitution makes it difficult for them to increase gun control legislation, but their secondary goal is to drill anti-gun attitudes INTO the culture. We must fight back. Our fight cannot be limited to having the correct argument against gun control; we must breed a culture in which guns are more accepted and prevalent in our lives. This means learning more about guns, developing our shooting skills, and then spreading that knowledge to our family and friends.

Many ProudBoys are already heavily armed and incredibly knowledgeable of our American gun culture. This is a guide for newbies or anyone looking to either buy their first firearm. There are many nuances of gun ownership that should be considered: legal restrictions based on the state (or country) of residence, purchase price/resale value, and of course the operational differences between different types of guns.

No ProudBoy Arsenal is complete without a handgun, shotgun, and high power rifle. Over your lifetime, you will probably own a few of each. But which category should you check off first?  How much are you looking to spend? What brand and model should you buy?

Remember that firearms are financial assets that are highly liquid with minimal depreciation. If you are struggling to make ends meet, you can sell one of your guns for cash or go out and shoot a deer to live off venison for months. Buying a top brand firearm will not only bring top performance, but increase the resale value and liquidity. Many firearms, like those with historical significance, actually appreciate in value. The gun market is one of the rare places that offer many fantastic American-made options including Ruger, Smith & Wesson, Kimber, Springfield Armory, Browning, Winchester, and Remington.


Handguns are the most effective for home security and stopping random crime in public but they also happen to be the type of gun that is most heavy handedly regulated by state governments, so you must know your state’s laws regarding “Open Carry” and “Concealed Carry”. About half of the states in the union allow you to carry your handgun anywhere on your person as long as it is “in plain sight”. Many states allow open carry via license while others like New York and Illinois are strictly prohibitive of open carry.

Open carry is very dicey in California – you are basically required to prove your necessity of carrying openly and the state has a lot of discretion in terms of what they consider acceptable. For carrying concealed, some states like Arizona, Kansas, and West Virginia require no license whatsoever. A good majority of states “shall issue” a concealed carry permit as long as the applicant meets all legal requirements on the books. Other states, which regularly ignore the constitution such as New York, New Jersey, California, Maryland and Massachusetts, “may issue” concealed carry permits at their discretion (Meaning your chances of carrying concealed in these states are slim to nil). If you have the opportunity to get your concealed carry permit, I would highly recommend it.

A very small part of the class is actually “qualifying” (demonstrating shooting skill); most of what you discuss are legal scenarios to help you fully grasp the consequences of drawing your weapon with the intent to use it. For example, let’s say you are carrying concealed and get into a confrontation which you fear will soon escalate into a fight. Do you pull your gun out in order to show your adversary that you are armed and that he should back down? If you did, that action could be seen in a court of law as an assault committed by YOU. Legally, you should only draw your gun when it is absolutely clear that you or someone else is in imminent danger.

So if the law allows, you should probably own a handgun first. The only exception is if you have less than $400 to spend; if so get a shotgun which can still defend your home and allow you time to save a little more dough to buy your handgun, which will be a much more important purchase. The biggest operational considerations for handguns are trigger action, caliber, and concealability. But you also want a gun that looks fucking cool. A popular myth is that revolvers don’t jam up like slide-operated pistols do. Frankly, that’s bullshit.

A cheap revolver will jam (or misfire) just as easily as any other cheap pistol, which is why you shouldn’t be spending any less than $400 on your handgun. A decent entry-level handgun is more likely going to be between $500-700; a top notch name brand is going to cost $800-1200. Then there are custom and antique handguns that can be worth anywhere between $2-10k.  When you have your price range, now consider trigger action, caliber, and concealability.

All handguns have an “Action” which describes how the trigger works. There is a simple, but subtle difference between Single Action (SA) vs. Double Action (DA). Many handguns come with both. Single action means the trigger does the sole job of releasing the hammer (the hammer hits the firing pin, which strikes the primer in the bullet cartridge igniting the gunpowder and discharging the weapon). Samuel Colt’s first revolver was SA only, meaning the hammer had to be pulled back or “cocked” before each shot. About four decades later, Colt developed a Double Action handgun, where the trigger mechanism cocks the hammer and fires the weapon in one pull, dramatically increasing the speed in which one could shoot successive shots. The main difference between these actions in modern handguns is the amount of force required to pull the trigger.  Single-Action is a hair trigger, while Double Action will require a few pounds of force and each trigger pull will be LONGER in physical distance.  The difference can be huge in an actual firefight, so give it some thought. There’s no right answer, and there are plenty of options available with both.

As far is caliber is to be considered, the great debate is between stopping power – the effectiveness of the bullet to drop a target, and bullet capacity or how many rounds a gun holds.  Many 9 millimeter (9mm) handguns hold between 14-17 bullets which is very high compared to the larger caliber guns which regularly hold 6-8. The 9mm happens to be a very popular round in the urban ghettos amongst the drug gangs where they are looking to spray a barrage of shots into a corner full of rivals. Unfortunately, these homies don’t realize that the stopping power a 9mm is relatively poor and unless it’s a headshot or hits another vital organ, the chances of surviving a 9mm gunshot wound is pretty good.

There have been reports of U.S. Military on the front lines who regularly testify as to the inadequate stopping power of the 9mm. The 9mm round also has the common occurrence of over penetration which means the bullet travels through the intended target and poses a danger to other bystanders. My advice is to forgo capacity in favor of stopping power. Imagine yourself in an adrenalin packed, life and death situation where you are forced to pull your gun and fire at an attacker. Controlling your adrenaline is one thing, but will you realistically have time to fire off 16 rounds? By then you would either be dead or have killed your adversary multiple times over.

So you should want a larger round with more stopping power, but the higher in caliber you climb, the more you sacrifice in bullet capacity. Do yourself a favor and stay away from 9mm, .380 ACP, .32 ACP, or .22 as the stopping power is simply inadequate – at least in terms of home defense. If you desire higher capacity, go with .40 S&W. For maximum stopping power I would recommend .45 ACP or .357 Mag. Any caliber larger than 44 Mag is overkill and will cost more to shoot because of higher priced ammunition. If you are more of a revolver type of guy, remember that many .357 revolvers can also fire .38 Special which is a slightly smaller round (i.e. cheaper) but still has decent stopping power.


Concealability is the final handgun consideration and has a close relation with the caliber and bullet capacity of the gun. Generally speaking the larger the caliber and the higher bullet capacity of the gun – the bigger and more difficult to conceal it will be. Some might not be looking to conceal their handgun. There are situations where having an 8” Magnum revolver strapped to your thigh and visible to the general public is much better than having a .32 ACP pussy popper hiding on your ankle and invisible to the world.


  1. The 1911 (.45 ACP)

Designed by American Hero John Browning, the 1911A1 is more than a century old and is still arguably the best handgun design ever. For proof just look at the 1911’s rich history of service in the US Military (which continues to this day) or the fact that nearly every major gun manufacturer sells a 1911 model. When Browning first designed this weapon it was considered a technological breakthrough and many of the groundbreaking innovations with the 1911 have since been incorporated into almost all modern pistols. The 1911 is the handgun embodiment of Occam ’s razor.  It is akin to an old fashioned American muscle car: built well and built to last. The 1911 is easy to disassemble and clean. It makes a great concealed carry (and even comes in a smaller, “compact” version) while still packing a punch with great stopping power. The cost can vary greatly depending on the brand and features with basic bare bones models running about $500 and top brand models that are tricked out with all the bells and whistles can reach the $2-3,000 range. Though 1911’s are made by many different companies, I would recommend: Kimber ($800-1500+) , Springfield Armory ($700-1200), or Ruger ($800-1100).


Ruger SR1911; Springfield Armory Lightweight Champion 1911



  1. Heckler & Koch USP

(.40 S&W, .45 ACP recommended). H&K is a German company and generally considered to be a prestigious firearm manufacturer.  The USP model is extremely popular amongst elite law enforcement and military groups around the world.  It comes in a variety of calibers and offers both Single and Double Action (SA/DA) and can be fit with a suppressor (silencer). The USP shares many design features of the 1911 (for good reason) but has more modern features such as a mechanical recoil reduction system and a nitride finish which protects against corrosion making the gun easier to maintain. H&K USP’s will generally run between $700-1000, again depending on the features.


  1. Smith and Wesson .357 Revolver

I would recommend either Model 27 or 19 (both are SA/DA) but definitely chambered for .357 (and .38 special, by default). Go with the “blued steel” finish over the chrome as the S&W Revolver is the quintessential “cop” gun. These revolvers are true standard bearers in looks and performance. If you desire concealability you can roll with the 2.5” snub nose but they’re also available with a 4” barrel or 6”- Dirty Harry style. You may be asking “Why not go with the .44 Magnum like Mr. Callahan in the movies?”  Well the jump in stopping power from .357 to .44 Mag. is marginal at best and you will sacrifice a good deal of control as .44 has a stronger recoil. You will also spend a lot more buying ammunition.  There is high variability among features with S&W Revolvers including trigger action (most are SA/DA) and the price range can run from $600-1200.


Model 27


Model 19








Honorable Mentions

Smith & Wesson M&P (.45 ACP) – DA only, another model that is very popular among law enforcement (M&P stands for Military & Police) and offers a rail for tactical attachments such as flashlight or laser sight.


Sig Sauer P226 (.40S&W) Classic Sig design, another Law Enforcement/Military embraced model, also has quite a unique look to it. The P226 is available in SA/DA as are many Sig Sauer pistols.


Colt Python (.357Magnum) DA/DA. Wanna get your Rick Grimes on? This weapon looks totally badass and does wonders for intimidation.  I think the chrome finish looks much better on this revolver (as opposed to the S&W) and if you get a python you MUST go with the 8” barrel.


As editor-in-chief, I’m assuming the right to butt into this article and tell readers how fucking awesome this gun looks. And I’m a gun-hatin’ English boy. – Jack Buckby



Darrel was born in Santa Rosa, California in 1984 and currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona. He earned a Bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of Northern Arizona in 2007, starting 3 seasons at Left Guard for the NAU Lumberjacks Football Team. He would later earn a Master’s degree in Business from University of Phoenix.

Darrel has a passion for scholarly pursuits such as economics, politics, and law; but is also an avid outdoorsman and loves to hunt and fish.


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