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kyliesmiley16
11-03-2010, 04:55 PM
Been a while since I've been on here :)

I've just started work on a new manuscript, and to give you a quick rundown, my main character is a wanted man on the run. As a result of his scenario, he instinctively buys a gun without truly expecting to kill anyone with it. I think he's more after it for look/shock-value and protection. That said, later in the novel he will need it to kill an attacking group of fantasy monsters (or evil-magic peoples... haven't quite worked out specifics yet!)

He's never held a gun in his life, so is rather inexperienced, doesn't quite know anything about them. I'm assuming he'll need some kind of simple, basic handgun. I had someone suggest a Colt .45, but they weren't really sure. I also imagine him buying it black-market, being on the run and without gun license and all... but how much would he have to pay/barter? He's not exactly the rich sort and doesn't have a lot to bargain for. (If this is the case is he better off lending it from a friend?:Shrug:)

Thanks for any help! :D

alleycat
11-03-2010, 05:10 PM
What is the setting (location and time period)?

A revolver is somewhat simpler to use than a semi-automatic.

kyliesmiley16
11-03-2010, 05:16 PM
Present day and age, suburbia :) (Maybe out on the streets or empty buildings... although possibility of a forest O_o)

alleycat
11-03-2010, 05:18 PM
US? UK? Australia? Other?

In the US it's relatively easy to buy a handgun; in many other countries it's not so easy (and more expensive).

johnnysannie
11-03-2010, 05:21 PM
A lot depends on your location. Hand guns can be bought many places but in retail stores - everything from discount stores to outdoors oriented chain stores and small gun shops - you can't buy one without a background check.

However, I live in the Ozarks and I've seen hand guns sold at rummage sales (no kidding) and my brother-in-law bought one from a guy who came into a small cafe in a very tiny town wanting to sell one because he needed money. Thus there are other possible options and in fiction, almost anything plausible is possible.

kyliesmiley16
11-03-2010, 05:23 PM
Oops, meant to say Australia! :D

alleycat
11-03-2010, 05:27 PM
Oops, meant to say Australia! :D
I'll have to let others answer your questions. I know the US, but not Australia.

I'm sure someone will be along to help you. Gun questions usually get a lot of replies.

LBlankenship
11-03-2010, 05:34 PM
>I had someone suggest a Colt .45, but they weren't really sure.

It's my limited understanding that a .45 is a fairly hefty weapon... for a beginner, something smaller may work better. Like a 9mm or a .32. Though those are also more likely to be automatics, and more prone to jamming and such problems. Maybe a .38 revolver would be a good compromise? It was a popular police gun here in the US for a long time.

Stanmiller
11-03-2010, 05:43 PM
k,

Gun purchase regulations vary by state and by country. But if he's on the run, he can't hang around for the obligatory handgun background check most states have. In the US, New Hampshire and New Mexico are possible no background check states. Google is your friend there.

If you have him buy it under the counter illegally, he'll pay some dirtbag twice what it's worth, but there's no paper and no waiting period.

As for the type of handgun to get, as alleycat says, a revolver is simpler to operate, but doesn't hold as much ammo as a semi-auto. Semi-autos are more picky about their ammo than a revolver, which will shoot anything that can be stuffed into the cylinder. There are many sizes/calibers of revolvers. Spend some time on the Smith and Wesson, Ruger, and Taurus web sites.

As for semi-autos, the ubiquitous Glock 17 is probably the most common. The manual of arms is as simple as it gets for a semi-auto, slam in a loaded magazine (not a clip, that's a different thing), run the slide and pull the trigger. There's no separate safety lever.

If you want to give him something with a bit more class, the Browning Hi-Power (the original high capacity semi-auto) is a good choice, as would be any of the clones of the Colt M1911 (the famous Colt .45 auto that you've heard about).

I'd recommend some trips to an indoor range that rents handguns (if available in your area) for some basic shooting practice...oops, I see you're in Oz. Never mind.

Anyway, the recoil of a handgun, even a 9mm, will always surprise you the first time. The smaller (and lighter) the gun, the more perceived recoil it will have. The smallest of the S&W revolvers that chamber the .357 Mag weigh about 12 ounces and will beat your hands to a pulp after about twenty rounds or so. Youtube will be your friend here. You can find videos of about any type of handgun or rifle you can imagine. Pull up some videos of the S&W .500 Mag to see some recoil.

Have fun.

Stan

Summonere
11-03-2010, 09:14 PM
William Gibson used this trick to arm one of his characters in Spook Country. Character located a petty drug dealer, ambushed him and delivered a beating, then stole the gun the fellow had been packing under his hoodie.

Aside from that, I don't know enough about Australia or the private ownership of arms, there, to be helpful. Were the story set here, though (USA), I'd probably have a character break into a few cars parked outside a beer joint before finding a gun under a seat, in a dash compartment, or center console.

Since the character is described thus…



He's never held a gun in his life, so is rather inexperienced, doesn't quite know anything about them.


…he'll be able to figure out a double-action revolver pretty quickly. Maybe not so quickly a semi-auto pistol, especially with a safety.

My tiny amount of completely unvetted Googling yields this trivia:

Rusty revolver from a crackhead: $20
Interstate illegal arms supplier: 150% retail value
Summary: price depends on class of seller and buyer; the petty thief sells it for what he can get, so $50 may suffice (or $10), but even a crummy AK or AR may fetch $1,500.

RJK
11-03-2010, 09:15 PM
I'd stick with a .38 caliber revolver. You get six shots, no safety, just pull the trigger and it goes bang. You reload by flipping the cylinder open and dumping the spend shell and inserting new ones in the holes, one at a time (unless you have a speed loader).
Thirty-eights are deadly, but they don't have the stopping power of heavier rounds, like a .45. With a .38, you could shoot a 200 pound man running at you with a machete and kill him, but he'd still reach you and chop you up before he died. If you hit him with a .45, you'd knock him down in his tracks.

Drachen Jager
11-03-2010, 09:55 PM
>Though those are also more likely to be automatics, and more prone to jamming and such problems.

Automatics are not prone to jamming. That's a fabrication, or a left-over memory of days gone by. Modern automatics are extremely reliable. The dvantages of an automatic are, a more manageable recoil, higher magazine capacity and quicker reload time.

Here is a website that has descriptions on nearly every firearm available in the world.

http://world.guns.ru/handguns/hg00-e.htm

I'd look at Glock, Beretta, Colt and Smith and Wesson, those are some of the most common brands. That website will tell you things like magazine capacity, special features etc.

Hallen
11-03-2010, 10:52 PM
Automatics are not prone to jamming. That's a fabrication, or a left-over memory of days gone by. Modern automatics are extremely reliable. The dvantages of an automatic are, a more manageable recoil, higher magazine capacity and quicker reload time.

Here is a website that has descriptions on nearly every firearm available in the world.

http://world.guns.ru/handguns/hg00-e.htm

I'd look at Glock, Beretta, Colt and Smith and Wesson, those are some of the most common brands. That website will tell you things like magazine capacity, special features etc.

Automatics are prone to jamming -- when compared to a revolver. :D Which I think is the main point here.

All automatics can jam. If the weapon has not been properly cared for or you are using the correct caliber, but the wrong load, then you'll have lots of problems even with a modern weapon. Any weapon that you steal off of a drug dealer or get from a garage sale is going to be suspect. It's easy to deal with if you know what you are doing.

But, you are right, modern semi-automatic pistols are much, much less prone to jamming than early models.

PeterL
11-04-2010, 12:14 AM
Have the character go into the sleeziest gin-mill he can find and ask someone who looks like a criminal. There are ways around the most stringent bans on weapons. The exact type of the thing is not important.

Drachen Jager
11-04-2010, 02:47 AM
Have the character go into the sleeziest gin-mill he can find and ask someone who looks like a criminal. There are ways around the most stringent bans on weapons. The exact type of the thing is not important.

That's a good way to get beaten up or killed. I can't think why any criminal would do that sort of business with some guy off the street.

Hallen: Revolvers jam too, just not quite as often as autos. However, given the statistical probability, it's likely that 99.9% of the time it won't matter.

Rowan
11-04-2010, 02:53 AM
Basic and simple, IMHO = Glock semiauto. It's lightweight, easy to fire, etc.

In USA, they're generally one of the more less expensive firearms (as opposed to Kimber, Sig Sauer, H&K, etc.).

http://www.glock.com/english/index_pistols.htm

As for how he'd get one? I'm not familiar with Australia. Do you have firing ranges and concealed carry permit laws, etc.? Does your character know any shady people? :)

Just read the posts and it appears I agree with Stanmiller:


As for semi-autos, the ubiquitous Glock 17 is probably the most common. The manual of arms is as simple as it gets for a semi-auto, slam in a loaded magazine (not a clip, that's a different thing), run the slide and pull the trigger. There's no separate safety lever.

Chase
11-04-2010, 04:27 AM
Automatics are not prone to jamming. That's a fabrication, or a left-over memory of days gone by. Modern automatics are extremely reliable. The dvantages of an automatic are, a more manageable recoil, higher magazine capacity and quicker reload time.

The only item true above is magazine capacity. Many circumstances jam semiautomatics from poor care through holding them wrong. Most prevalent is failure to feed with the right ammo -- just not "right" for that particular autoloader. The fabrication is by manufacturers who fudge their reliability data.

Training is absolutely necessary. Safety is the big problem. Since law enforcement has almost totally jumped on the auto-loading bandwagon, cops have doubled the incidences of accidentally shooting themselves, each other, and innocent bystanders.

Rowan
11-04-2010, 04:32 AM
The only item true above is magazine capacity. Many circumstances jam semiautomatics from poor care through holding them wrong. Most prevalent is failure to feed with the right ammo -- just not "right" for that particular autoloader. The fabrication is by manufacturers who fudge their reliability data.

Training is absolutely necessary. Safety is the big problem. Since law enforcement has almost totally jumped on the auto-loading bandwagon, cops have doubled the incidences of accidentally shooting themselves, each other, and innocent bystanders.

You have any stats to back this up?

Hallen
11-04-2010, 09:15 PM
You have any stats to back this up?

Yeah, I'm with Rowan on this one. It sounds like a bit of a stretch to me.

Semi-automatics do have specific features that you must be aware of to use them safely. It is true that those features are critical. But any trained officer is going to know all about those features.

Specifically, when you load a fresh magazine with a semi-automatic, the hammer will be cocked as soon as the slide is released. The weapon will be ready to fire. All semi-automatic weapons are double action, just squeezing the trigger will cock the weapon and release the hammer. Once fired, the hammer will be cocked and you will be in single action mode. The trigger pull is much lighter and the pull is shorter in this mode so accuracy increases. Yes, this could lead to accidental firings too, but no more so than with a revolver that has been cocked.

But, you don't have to walk around all day with a chambered round either. A revolver always has a round chambered (so to speak) unless you leave one chamber empty.

Anyway, there's a bit more to all of this, but the upshot is that there is no reason why a semi-automatic would cause an increase in random innocent bystander injuries.

Stanmiller
11-04-2010, 09:40 PM
All semi-automatic weapons are double action, just squeezing the trigger will cock the weapon and release the hammer. Once fired, the hammer will be cocked and you will be in single action mode.

Ahh...hold on there, pardner. The Hi-Power, the 1911, and many others are single-action (they fire only when the hammer is cocked manually or by the slide.) So they have a consistent trigger pull first shot to last unlike the double-action with it's heavy first pull and light pull for every shot after that (as you described).

There's another category called Double Action Only (DAO). The Glock is in this group. Police depts like 'em because the long, heavy trigger pull for every shot is considered to reduce the likelihood of negligent discharges. (Though the Glock rates pretty high in that regard, which is why there's a thriving aftermarket business in add-on thumb safeties for Glocks.)

But we're getting pretty far from the intent of the thread, so I'll shut up now.

Chase
11-04-2010, 09:54 PM
You have any stats to back this up?


It’s not so much my own statistical research, as it’s been that I’m unable to screen out law-enforcement officers’ chatter on ranges where I’ve instructed or served as range officer for years (49 years and still serving).

In addition, I’ve served as a civilian firearms expert on at least a dozen shooting hearings involving LEOs. They were most enlightening in terms of individual -- and on occasion departmental -- attempts to minimize officer responsibility at shootings gone bad.

The information is out there in hundreds of isolated newspaper accounts I’ve read. It’s also available in leaked videos, such as this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_DTRwEsasw (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_DTRwEsasw)

The following is an early study by Stewart Meyers, an alarmed police officer:
http://www.optacinternational.com/officersafety/pdfs/WhyAreWeKillingOurselves.pdf

If truly interested, people can Google it for themselves. But as Stan has said, "we're getting pretty far from the intent of the thread," so I'll shut up, too.

OneWriter
11-04-2010, 10:10 PM
So I googled. It seems to me it's a global problem. If nothing, LEOs get training. So many people in the US can get a weapon...

"In the U.S. for 2006, there were 30,896 deaths from firearms, distributed as follows by mode of death: Suicide 16,883; Homicide 12,791; Accident 642; Legal Intervention 360; Undetermined 220. This makes firearms injuries one of the top ten causes of death in the U.S."
(from http://library.med.utah.edu/WebPath/TUTORIAL/GUNS/GUNSTAT.html)

More stats here:
http://www.famaas.org/stats.html

also, if you read:
http://www.vpc.org/studies/wher2cri.htm

you'll see that officers are victims too. I would look at the global stats, it's too easy to point fingers at one group alone.

Rowan
11-04-2010, 11:16 PM
Ahh...hold on there, pardner. The Hi-Power, the 1911, and many others are single-action (they fire only when the hammer is cocked manually or by the slide.) So they have a consistent trigger pull first shot to last unlike the double-action with it's heavy first pull and light pull for every shot after that (as you described).

There's another category called Double Action Only (DAO). The Glock is in this group. Police depts like 'em because the long, heavy trigger pull for every shot is considered to reduce the likelihood of negligent discharges. (Though the Glock rates pretty high in that regard, which is why there's a thriving aftermarket business in add-on thumb safeties for Glocks.)

But we're getting pretty far from the intent of the thread, so I'll shut up now.

Was issued a Glock in Academy (HATED IT). I think, and please correct me Glock aficionados if I'm wrong, the trigger pull is around 5 lb. I immediately transitioned to my Sig Sauer (P-220), which on the other hand is DA/SA with a 10 lb DA and 4.4 SA trigger pull. Less likely to have a problem here, as Hallen pointed out (same goes for the firing pin/grip safety, etc. common on most 1911s).


Posted by One Writer: So I googled. It seems to me it's a global problem. If nothing, LEOs get training. So many people in the US can get a weapon...

"In the U.S. for 2006, there were 30,896 deaths from firearms, distributed as follows by mode of death: Suicide 16,883; Homicide 12,791; Accident 642; Legal Intervention 360; Undetermined 220. This makes firearms injuries one of the top ten causes of death in the U.S."
(from http://library.med.utah.edu/WebPath/...S/GUNSTAT.html (http://library.med.utah.edu/WebPath/TUTORIAL/GUNS/GUNSTAT.html))

More stats here:
http://www.famaas.org/stats.html

also, if you read:
http://www.vpc.org/studies/wher2cri.htm

you'll see that officers are victims too. I would look at the global stats, it's too easy to point fingers at one group alone.

My problem with Chase's post is a lack of citation--which makes it an opinion. It's "possible" there's been an increase in shooting incidents but need some stats to back that up. Also, was there a coinciding increase in the number of cops on the street as well, etc.? I think if cops were shooting themselves, each other and innocent bystanders at an increased rate, the "think tank" would be all over it. ;)


Posted by Chase: (snip)..cops have doubled the incidences of accidentally shooting themselves, each other, and innocent bystanders.

Yeah, it's a global problem but I would expect stats in US to be higher if one considers the number of firearms per capita. This is somewhat dated but: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL2834893820070828
:)

Sorry, OP, for getting so far off-topic. Guns have a way of doing that... I'll shut up now too. :D

Chase
11-04-2010, 11:40 PM
"In the U.S. for 2006, there were 30,896 deaths from firearms, distributed as follows by mode of death: Suicide 16,883; Homicide 12,791; Accident 642; Legal Intervention 360; Undetermined 220. This makes firearms injuries one of the top ten causes of death in the U.S."

This is the problem with throwing out random statistics. It seriously begs the question. I wasn’t talking about suicides or homicides. I wasn’t even talking about the number of civilian accidental deaths.

The statistic under discussions was the 360 annual "legal interventions" and many of the 220 "undetermined" deaths from shooting incidents.

It’s strange that so many choose to deem an observable fact to be "anti-cop" or pointing fingers at them. Every time I served on a shooting board, I searched for reasons to justify the often vilified officer on duty. Indeed officers are the victims of switching to guns more accident-prone than they had before. I plainly said as much.

If my assertion points a finger, it’s certainly not at police officers but at their weaponry that many have no say in what they must carry. It's far better than attempting to confuse facts in a flurry of data.

Tiger
11-04-2010, 11:54 PM
I think he's more after it for look/shock-value and protection. That said, later in the novel he will need it to kill an attacking group of fantasy monsters (or evil-magic peoples... haven't quite worked out specifics yet!)

I'd go the 1911 route ("Colt .45"). There are probably more 1911s out there from various makers than any other handgun. Not only are they very effective fighting weapons, but they're fairly large. That half-inch bore should be pretty intimidating.

OneWriter
11-05-2010, 12:04 AM
It's far better than attempting to confuse facts in a flurry of data.

Data are usually pretty dull and sterile. They are numbers.
Facts are the words we attach to them.

Point taken, though. In fact, that's what the docs I work for always tell me.
They keep changing the data until they get the facts they want... (talking about which confuses what)

Stanmiller
11-05-2010, 01:11 AM
I'd go the 1911 route ("Colt .45"). There are probably more 1911s out there from various makers than any other handgun. Not only are they very effective fighting weapons, but they're fairly large. That half-inch bore should be pretty intimidating.

If max shock value is the criteria, the other candidate would be the S&W .500 Mag. Especially the Performance Center version.

http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Category4_750001_750051_757771_-1_757767_757751_image


Hey guys, we've been having a great time with this thread, but the OP hasn't been back.

Oh well.

Georgina
11-05-2010, 12:02 PM
Gun politics in Australia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politics_in_Australia) is a good place to begin.

It's going to be pretty tough for an everyman protagonist to get hold of a gun without a license, so I don't think cost is really a concern. Unless he already knows some serious criminals, nobody's going to sell him one anyway. He's either going to have to steal one somehow, or borrow one from a licensed recreational shooter.

If you go the latter route, you may like to look into what happens when somebody is shot with a licensed recreational shooter's registered gun. I imagine the penalties are steep indeed.

Cheers.

kyliesmiley16
11-05-2010, 03:09 PM
I'm here I'm here, sorry! :P

Haha woow O_o guess guns are a pretty popular topic of which I know little :P Some great suggestions all around. Think I'll have to start a list and do some comparing.

Georgina, in regards to him knowing serious criminals, I can't imagine him personally knowing them, but I can imagine friends of friends and might be an area I have to go into instead...

Seriously thanks for all the help though guys :) It's doing good! Just need to thoroughly sort through it!

Drachen Jager
11-05-2010, 08:44 PM
The only item true above is magazine capacity.

Show me video of someone reloading a revolver this fast. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ls4Uq1aCiTA

Automatics are faster to reload. (why would anyone think otherwise? I wonder about your credentials to be saying these things.)

They are not PRONE to jamming (yes they do jam sometimes but it is NOT common and usually involves a cheap handgun and cheap ammo often in combination with poor maintenance).

dclary
11-05-2010, 09:28 PM
That's a good way to get beaten up or killed. I can't think why any criminal would do that sort of business with some guy off the street.

Hallen: Revolvers jam too, just not quite as often as autos. However, given the statistical probability, it's likely that 99.9% of the time it won't matter.


"G'day, Mate! You look a regular divvy van passenger. Where's you suppose I can find a battler with a gun looking to flick it on?"

Tiger
11-05-2010, 11:31 PM
If max shock value is the criteria, the other candidate would be the S&W .500 Mag. Especially the Performance Center version.

http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Category4_750001_750051_757771_-1_757767_757751_image


Hey guys, we've been having a great time with this thread, but the OP hasn't been back.

Oh well.


Not sure the OP wanted maximum shock value--so much as a "flash" piece that would be good for protection. I think the .500 mag wouldn't be very practical. 1911s are very common and they cover all price ranges.

quicklime
11-05-2010, 11:38 PM
Have the character go into the sleeziest gin-mill he can find and ask someone who looks like a criminal. There are ways around the most stringent bans on weapons. The exact type of the thing is not important.


exactly....and if he has $$, someone has product

Cathy C
11-05-2010, 11:59 PM
If the person is completely inexperienced and just wants a "point and shoot" gun that's small (hence, easy to hide) and consistent good shooting, I recommend a Taurus .38 with a 3" barrel and 5 rounds (http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/31339-55.html). It's Brazilian and is sold in most countries (or at least can be GOTTEN in most countries.) Sweet shooting right out of the box. Double action, so you don't even have to pull back the hammer first. For panic situations, it's ideal because once the safety is off, there's little to prevent "accidental shootings" and that could work into your plot. ;)

I don't really recommend a semi-auto for a beginner. They're more complicated than they look like at first blush. A lot of people I know sold theirs almost immediately as a pain in the tail.

JMHO, as always :)

Chase
11-06-2010, 12:08 AM
Automatics are faster to reload. (why would anyone think otherwise? I wonder about your credentials to be saying these things.)

Someone who has seen speed-loaders in action would think otherwise. I don't have to wonder at the lack of credentials of someone who hasn't attended (much less participated in) mixed competition matches to see there are those faster and slower with both methods.


They are not PRONE to jamming (yes they do jam sometimes but it is NOT common and usually involves a cheap handgun and cheap ammo often in combination with poor maintenance).

You just named two reasons auto-loaders are more prone to jam. Expensive ammunition of type which doesn't feed well will jam just as tightly as cheap ammo. I think those in denial about failures to feed, grip problems, stove-pipe jams, worn and broken parts, etc. live in a mythical world of fiction where clichés reign.

The sheer number of parts needing smooth cooperation is another factor in load-and-fire problems. Yes, problems are minimized by training, a good armorer on the payroll, and proper maintenance, but the predilection--proneness--is always a factor.

Tiger
11-06-2010, 01:06 AM
Someone who has seen speed-loaders in action would think otherwise. I don't have to wonder at the lack of credentials of someone who hasn't attended (much less participated in) mixed competition matches to see there are those faster and slower with both methods.



You just named two reasons auto-loaders are more prone to jam. Expensive ammunition of type which doesn't feed well will jam just as tightly as cheap ammo. I think those in denial about failures to feed, grip problems, stove-pipe jams, worn and broken parts, etc. live in a mythical world of fiction where clichés reign.

The sheer number of parts needing smooth cooperation is another factor in load-and-fire problems. Yes, problems are minimized by training, a good armorer on the payroll, and proper maintenance, but the predilection--proneness--is always a factor.

Speed loaders or, better yet, full moon clips. Saw a clip of a guy putting 12 rounds down range with a S&W 625 in just under three seconds. But, he was a world champion and I'm sure his weapon was built at least partially for speed. Found it
here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLk1v5bSFPw).

I agree with you, by the way. Autos can be fickle--and they don't necessarily have to be cheap or dirty to be so. Some come out of the box unreliable while others do not like certain types of ammo or the way that certain people grip them...

But, I think the OP just wanted to know what kind of weapon someone might get to get undesirables to back off, or protect herself--and maybe fight off a few monsters. http://absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon10.gif

Unpublished
11-06-2010, 02:15 AM
I like the idea of the character obtaining the gun in an unusual way. Weeding through gun laws sounds like a distraction. Finding the ubiquitous lowlife who sells guns, well, we've all seen this.

What about that neighbor down the street? The one that's just a bit off? He brandished that firearm out on the lawn during a drunken celebration a few years ago didn't he? I think I remember him leaving the screendoor open on hot days when he runs out for liquor.

What about the main character's sister? Didn't she have an abusive ex who's been away for some time but is constantly threatening to return? Good thing she's secreted that gun in her nightstand. I wonder if she'd let your character borrow it? I wonder if she'd miss it at all.

And of that firearm? How will it be used? Rapidfire? Closerange? Does it need to kill decisively? Will it be hidden?

Revolvers are simple. Simple is good.

Is your character brilliant? Maybe this character can fashion a single-use zipgun? Could be he doesn't a need a formal gun at all - just a crude firearm.

Or maybe grandpa's old shotgun hanging at the cabin is worth the drive after all. Didn't grandma hide the shells from him somewhere but told your character not to tell?

Have fun with it!