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Old October 6, 2013, 02:49 PM   #1
G1R2
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Which is better to have for self defense,

a gun or a knife at arm's length distance at night?
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Old October 6, 2013, 03:10 PM   #2
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What is it you seek?

If you are asking what self-defense weapon is best in a particular situation, we need more information. Your physical condition, willingness to train, number of attackers etc.

If you are asking about everyday carry, the question in entirely different. The threat to be defended against is variable, but one does have to make certain assumptions. What are they? Are there restrictions on what you can carry? Will you be spending time in a crowded area?

One chooses one's clothes based on the social occasion attended. One chooses ones weapons based on (as far as can be predicted) the threat.

My advice: Ask not what weapon to choose, but ask what factors influence the choice.

Good luck.

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Old October 6, 2013, 03:20 PM   #3
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Which is better to have for self defense,

Given your situation my answer is both. There is nothing that precludes you from having both. Knife clips onto a pocket up front with the gun behind it on the belt.

In an area that a gun is not legally allowed but a knife is your hands are tied and you carry your knife.

I would probably reach for my gun first as whatever the item I still have to draw it. The draw is what takes time. Whether it be knife or gun the draw is the draw. I'd probably be contacting the attacker with my weak arm to keep them at bay no matter which was chosen. With an arms length start you are at a huge disadvantage.
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Old October 6, 2013, 03:28 PM   #4
manta49
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Quote:
a gun or a knife at arm's length distance at night?
Firearm every time. If knifes were that effective at close distance why carry a firearm.
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Old October 6, 2013, 03:38 PM   #5
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Seems as if "Lost sheep" has some good advice for you.

My advice,

Knife= no jams, ammo to run out of & not much training needed to know how to stick someone(but good training IS needed). Bad news if you have more than one attacker OR if the attacker/s is hopped up on something, weather thats adrenaline or whatnot.

Gun= more training required, but the ability to take out multiple attackers w/o the use of seirous upper body stregnth is INVALUABLE. Sometimes just the presentation of the gun will stop one or multiple attackers, i.e. ""threat of force."

Personally i think id rather have the gun if attack is eminent. As if someone even with a hockey stick, golf club or even a rock in a sock can put a Seirous hurting on you before you can use your knife effectively.
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Old October 6, 2013, 04:00 PM   #6
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The gun, never take a knife to a gun fight.
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Old October 6, 2013, 04:29 PM   #7
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Gun always, I carry both a knife and a gun but the gun will always be the first choice, but both are great tools to have on you. But like others have said if you cant carry a gun a knife is still deadly and is better than nothing at all.
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Old October 6, 2013, 06:21 PM   #8
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Within arm's reach, FOR ME, a knife for a single attacker. Quicker, more deadly, with the ability to control lethality to a better level than with a firearm.


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Old October 6, 2013, 06:29 PM   #9
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I seem to remember that guns replaced edged weapons for a reason.

In fact, single shot muzzle loading guns replaced edged weapons for the most part with self contained cartridge guns putting the final nail in the coffin.

Are knives etc. deadly? Sure, absolutely. No doubt. That being said, if you think a decent knife really outclasses a modern handgun in a decent caliber you are fooling yourself.
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Old October 6, 2013, 06:32 PM   #10
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For a single attacker at arms length, I'd probably go for my knife. I can have the knife deployed faster, and more reliably with one hand than I can un-holster a concealed pistol. I figure the off hand will be busy with the attacker.

From my (limited) experience, it is relatively easy to wrestle someone to a draw, but it's hard to win without superior training and fitness, unless you bring in an "x-factor" like favorable position or some sort of weapon. So, my thinking is that getting an advantage into play FAST is the way to go, even if the advantage of a knife may be less than a pistol. Odds are the fight is going to start with the attacker at an advantage (I don't pick fights), so the longer that lasts, the worse my odds are, IMO.
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Old October 6, 2013, 06:46 PM   #11
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Already at arms length, assuming you're armed with both, I'd probably say knife first. You probably don't want to attempt to immediately draw your gun when that close, but may be able to control a knife better. At least until you can get some distance. Or you may opt to keep everything hidden until you get a more favorable position. It really depends on the exact circumstances and your training.

Short answer though, whichever you have available and are most comfortable/trained with.
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Old October 6, 2013, 06:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
but it's hard to win without superior training and fitness
This is key. You simply can not rely on a weapon alone. Even a civilian should be in good, and preferably great condition.
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Old October 6, 2013, 06:59 PM   #13
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Im in the "both" camp as well, and carry and practice with both. Having both gives options, and options are good.

I think many dont really understand just how dangerous a knife can really be, and with just a little basic training with one. If you know your anatomy, and a few basic targets, you can quickly take away a persons use of their hands/arms, and their mobility. Add to that, many, if not most of those "cuts", start the countdown clock to unconsciousness and death, which, without immediate attention, comes much quicker than you might think.
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Old October 6, 2013, 07:27 PM   #14
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I would rather have a gun than a knife as I feel at my age I would have a better chance with a gun.
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Old October 6, 2013, 07:44 PM   #15
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This question makes the assumption that there is virtue or ability in a weapon, which is an erroneous assumption.The weapon is 1% of the equation
The warrior is 99%

To illustrate my point, if you could bring a true Samurai warrior from 600 years ago into a fight , and arm him with a 5” bladed knife, he is probably going to win a fight against an untrained man at arms length, armed with an AK47.
The untrained man is likely not to understand the proper carry of an AK at contact distance. Also he is untrained in weapons retention and in muzzle/breach relationship for Close Quarters battle technique.

But if you gave the Samurai warrior a firearm and gave him NO training at all on its use, many good deer hunters from the USA would defeat him by staying out of bayonet range and shooting coolly and carefully.

Ridicules illustration? Well, only partially-------

There are no “time machines” but we need not go to that extreme.

It’s safe to assume that the average man in Singapore today has NO firearms training. If you go to school of knife fighting and study the use of a knife as a weapon for a year, and then had a man from Singapore “fight you” when he had a gun, and that fight started at 2 feet distance, it’s likely that the man armed with the knife is going to win handily and quickly.

If however you gave the Singapore man a good handgun and a 1 year long course in gun fighting at Front Sight or Thunder Ranch, and had him “fight” a knife wielding enemy, it’s unlikely that the knife fighter would ever get close enough to the gunfighter to use his weapon, so the question becomes moot.

There is no inherent virtue in a weapon. The virtue and abilities are in the man or woman.The knife or the gun are just tools. Tools don’t do work, they are worked with.
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Old October 6, 2013, 10:42 PM   #16
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If considering a knife you might as well add a Tomahawk to the list of tools. Maybe good for the car too for breaking glass. During Katrina some folks drowned in their attics due to rising water. Some had the forethought in such cases to chop a hole in the roof in order to climb out. Fleet Farm has the Tomahawk for $39.89 online. Solid one piece steel with rubber grip.
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Old October 6, 2013, 10:57 PM   #17
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If you can't see well enough, it doesn't really matter, or reduces to who sees better at night.

If its a gun with a light, take that.
If the knife weilder has night vision, the gun guy may have a big problem.
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Old October 6, 2013, 11:22 PM   #18
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Deadly is not a criterion

Most civilian encounters are with the aim of stopping an activity as quickly as possible, not killing anyone.

In this regard, pepper spray, billy club or other such tools have a place in the discussion.

raimius, Psychedelic Bang, Rikakiah and Wyosmith (please forgive any omissions), though foxytwo provides a good (counter)point.

Lost Sheep

Last edited by Lost Sheep; October 7, 2013 at 12:16 AM.
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Old October 6, 2013, 11:47 PM   #19
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It takes more training and strength to be proficient with a knife than with a gun.
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Old October 6, 2013, 11:49 PM   #20
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Knives are more effective @ that range. But they are harder to use, without training you can injure yourself just as lethally as your attacker. But i suppose that could be said about every weapon.
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Old October 6, 2013, 11:51 PM   #21
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Gary Kleck did a study that compared the chances of emerging from a criminal encounter uninjured based on the methods used for self-defense/to resist the criminal.

Resisting with a gun was the most effective and offered the best chance of remaining uninjured.

Resisting with a knife was one of the least effective methods of resisting if the goal was to remain uninjured. The only two strategies that were worse in terms of getting the defender injured were to resist with force but without having any weapon at all, or to try to frighten the criminal away without having a weapon.

Resisting with a knife was nearly twice as likely to get the defender injured as when the defender didn't try to protect himself at all.

http://www.firearmsandliberty.com/kleck.study.html
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Old October 7, 2013, 06:51 AM   #22
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Staying with what JohnKSa said for a moment: 1) with a gun, you have the opportunity to stop the attacker before he gets to within arms length whereas with a knife, . . . it won't be arms length, . . . it will be much closer and 2) you can count on getting hurt if you are in a knife fight.

You will be cut, . . . you will bleed, . . . and you may be the winner only because he bleeds out first. Which means you may only survive the knife fight so you can die in the ambulance.

Knives are for spreading peanut butter, . . . cutting bread, . . . or carving turkeys (no pun intended), . . . guns were originally intended for defensive purposes.

Make mine a 1911, . . . thank you, thank you, thank you vurry much !

May God bless,
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Old October 7, 2013, 08:00 AM   #23
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1) with a gun, you have the opportunity to stop the attacker before he gets to within arms length...
Maybe, maybe not. Tueller pointed out, that even when youre armed with a gun, your opponent doesnt have to be "arms length" away to be a threat. Based on the above, you do practice drawing your gun and moving off the line of attack and shooting in under a couple of seconds, right? I would say for most, and even those who do strive to make that goal, theres a very good possibility, your gun will never clear the holster before the threat is on you.

If that occurs, whats your next plan?

Quote:
2) you can count on getting hurt if you are in a knife fight.
Same can be said for a "any" fight, even a gun fight. That gun isnt a magic shield.

I know this is a "gun" board, and the solution to all problems is likely to be "the gun" over most other tools, but believing only your tool is the best, and by just having it along you will be protected, is a really poor mindset to get into.

Ive seen a lot of people at the range "practicing", who base their skills on shooting tight little groups on bullseye targets, but have never drawn their gun from a holster and shot quickly while moving off line. How well prepared do you really think you are against a target that is proactive and aggressively moving on you, if you dont regularly prepare for that?

Like a map, compass, and GPS are a well rounded navigation set, your "martial" skills and practice need to be as well rounded (and realistic) as possible as well. The gun is only one part of that set. If its all you got, youre likely to come up short when things go bad.


Quote:
Knives are for spreading peanut butter, . . . cutting bread, . . . or carving turkeys (no pun intended), . . . guns were originally intended for defensive purposes.
As weapons, I believe if you look into it, knives predate firearms by a good bit, and have proven to be quite deadly.
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Old October 7, 2013, 08:15 AM   #24
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Gun for me, but I have a knife resistant prosthesis on my left arm!!!

Sorry, I had to say it! I could also shoot though it, if required!
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Old October 7, 2013, 08:20 AM   #25
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Posted by AK103K:Maybe [(with a gun, you have the opportunity to stop the attacker before he gets to within arms length)], maybe not. Tueller pointed out, that even when youre armed with a gun, your opponent doesnt have to be "arms length" away to be a threat.
Then let's turn it around.

With a knife, you do not have the opportunity to stop the attacker before he gets to within arms reach,

Quote:
As weapons, I believe if you look into it, knives predate firearms by a good bit, and have proven to be quite deadly.
As has already been noted, that is not a criterion in self defense.
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