Skip to comments.Soon to be first time gun owner (newbie questions)
Posted on 01/08/2013 10:49:42 AM PST by stuck_in_new_orleans
Wife and I are looking into buying a gun for the sole purpose of self defense/home safety. Neither of us has owned a gun nor know anything about guns. Silly question but do gun shops usually have ranges to rent/test guns? Also, any recommendations for guns for home safety? Thanks
For home self defense I like a shotgun with a load that will not penetrate a typical wall in the home. there is less chance of getting someone in the next room. pump action is scary sounding to.
Lots of shops have ranges where you can rent weapons to try them out.
People seem to like shotguns for home defense. I don’t actually have a shotgun, though.
For an all-purpose handgun, get a 9mm — Glock, Walther, S&W, Heckler & Koch. My personal choice is the HK P30. A little expensive, but extremely reliable.
I like .45s a lot — particularly 1911s — but, since you’re getting one for the both of you, get a 9mm instead. The .45 is just not a womens’ caliber — too much bang for her small frame. My wife doesn’t like the .45 at all.
Don't know if the chaos of the past few weeks have effected revolver prices as most experienced shooters are going the high capacity semi-auto pistol route.
Every gun I used to own got stolen too.
Some gun stores will have ranges but most do not. Get instruction first and then rent some different guns to see what feels comfortable. I think a long gun, especially for a new shooter, in a house is not the best idea in a house. They can be hard to swing in hallways and other confined areas. I would recommend a Glock G19 in 9 mm. The manual of arms for the Glocks, once a round is chambered, is the same as a revolver: Point gun at target and pull the trigger. I have had 6 Glocks and all of them, except one I bought used, have been completely reliable. The gun is also small enough to carry concealed if you go that route eventually. My daily carry is a Glock G23, .40 caliber version, in an in the waistband holster and it’s comfortable enough I can forget it’s there. Whatever you get practice with it all you can and get instruction.
Two shotguns for close-up (in or near home) defense. One for you, one for her. Blast does damage to target, but is less likely to go through walls and harm your neighbors. Aim for center of mass. Go with 12 gauge, a common size.
Two hand guns for close-up tactical defense. One for you. One for her. Easier to conceal and carry if you have to be on the move. Go with 9 mm, a common size.
Make sure that both you and your wife practice with each firearm.
Do NOT get a concealed firearms permit. You do NOT want to inform your enemy that you have firepower.
Store the firearms in separate locations. Primary and backup. Split up your ammunition as well.
Buy as much ammo as you can afford. You can use it for barter is necessary.
My soon-to-be 16 year old daughter begs to differ. She knows her way around a 1911.
Thanks for asking this I find myself in the same situation.
Every time I see this I giggle like a school girl.
I agree with these choices, but with the caveat that you need to make sure your wife can handle them, too.
That means the shotgun might be a 20 gauge instead of a 12 gauge, and the revolver might be a Ruger SP101 instead of a GP100.
The post about getting some good training is excellent advice, too.
Almost every person you meet at a gun store will bend over backwards to help you get comfortable with using a gun safely.
Just go, tell them exactly what you told us (that you are newbies) and you will get all the help you ever wanted or needed.
There are ranges which will allow you to rent and fire a variety of guns. I would also recommend a class on basic firearms for both of you. Also consider, if you are not ready to shoot someone and kill if you have too don’t buy a gun.
As for a firearm, if it is solely for home defense and there are no children in the home I would recommend a S&W or Ruger .357 magnum revolver with a four inch barrel. Don’t let the term magnum scare you. You can fire P+ .38 spl. rounds from this gun and with it’s heavy weight it will take away most of the recoil from the .38 rounds.
If there are children and you want an semi-automatic pistol any 1911, Beretta 92, or Ruger P series. I didn’t mention a Glock simply because of its unique safety which might be an issue for a new shooter, but if you intend to train a bit go for it on a Glock.
You might also consider a potent man stopper for home defense as well the pump shotgun. I would suggest a limb saver accessory and a 18 to 24 inch barrel would be my suggestion. A Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 will do nicely.
Above all learn and practice the four rules of shooting and you will be fine.
The only thing better is to have your local newspaper print a list of armed homes so criminals know who isn't armed.
If you must have a pistol, go with a standard size revolver (not a snub or "airweight" with a 4" barrel in .357 Magnum. The kick isn't bad in a standard frame gun and it hits much harder than .38 Special. Taurus and Ruger make inexpensive revolvers. Smith & Wesson makes expensive ones. They all work well. Fixed sights are preferable for home defence.
I personally recommend 9mm. Big enough for stopping power and still controllable for a woman.
I have a Mossberg, bolt action, 410 I got as a young lad in 1965. I will not be using it for hunting. I have been thinking about cutting the barrel and stock down, but since it is bolt action don’t know is this is a good idea.
What do the experts here think?
A couple of good rules derived from my experience and others:
1. If it feels good in your hand it is a candidate.
I have never handled a revolver that did not fit my hand. The conical grip is designed to fit your hand as well as your wife’s hand. Semi auto fit to my hand is not good as most of the grips are too large.
2. Recoil is subjective and it is also affected by the position of your hand. .38 has pretty low recoil and is a good learning tool.
3. The gun you buy now will probably not be the gun with which you finish. Your needs will change as you progress in your skills.
4. Revolvers can use wax bullets (google it, very cheap ammo) semis can’t. They probably can but getting the wax out of a semi auto would be problematic to say the least.
5. Used revolvers may be a good deal for you. They are generally well maintained and will continue to shoot well.
Never said they can’t use them. Most women just find the 9mm a lot easier to handle than a .45. That’s especially true for the uninitiated, like the wife of the guy asking the question.