Self-defense experts say that the purpose of a handgun is…

Self-defense experts say that the purpose of a handgun is to allow you to fight your way to a long gun. Those are wise words. Almost anyone can shoot a long gun better than they can shoot a handgun, especially in the high stress environment of a gunfight or a late night home invasion. But not every long gun is a good choice for a fight in the close confines of your house. Your scope-mounted .308 deer rifle has obvious disadvantages in that role. Shotguns are effective, but many sporting shotguns are too long and hold too few rounds to be solid defensive choices.

What has proven to be effective in those situations are short rifles chambered in pistol-caliber rounds with a high magazine capacity. Here in America, since 1866, that role has usually been filled by lever-action carbines. Though the term Personal Defense Weapon may have been coined in World War II to describe the M1 Carbine, there’s no doubt that generations of shooters equipped with Winchester 1873 and 1892 carbines were thoroughly familiar with the concept.

I grew up on a farm in northern Vermont in the 1950s where these carbines were simply called truck guns, and no one would have thought about driving around the property without one behind the seat of the pickup truck or tied behind the seat of the tractor.

Here in the twenty-first century, lever actions are still surprisingly viable as personal defense weapons for either home or vehicle use, but today we have more modern choices as well. I have two of these carbines, one for the house and another for the truck. Either one could handle both roles, but I like having each gun where it belongs rather than schlepping a gun from house to truck throughout the day.

For most of the 20th century, guns like the 1892 Winchester (right) filled the role of high-capacity, pistol-caliber personal defense weapons, but now twenty-first century carbines like the Hi-Point 4595 (right) and the JR Carbine (center) are more versatile platforms.

Load Comments
  • JR has a kit for the 45 ACP that includes another magwell, buffer, and extension on tube. I was jamming every 3rd shot in my ACP,but with this mod, NO PROBLEM. Just let them know and they will send you the parts.
    Great carbine in 45 ACP IMHO

  • Tom

    I have had the opposite luck….fired over 1000 rounds and never a misfire, misfeed or the like. Everyone I have taken to the range that has fired my 4595 has loved it and ended up getting one….

  • joe

    Just Rights home web site tells how to modify glock mags ..check it out

  • the .45 cal j@r carbimne has done nothing but give me problem not one clip will cycle right i wana throw it out its wack shoulda got a regular ar 15