Skip to comments.(vanity) Yep, it's another "Help me pick home defense guns" thread
Posted on 02/22/2013 9:03:26 PM PST by martin_fierro
POSTED THE OTHER NIGHT ON FB WHILE FR WAS DOWN:
Stopped by my local gun shop tonight for the first time, to see what their inventory/prices were like.
Was surprised by the friendly reception I got. Bunch of good ol' types hanging around.
I'm looking for a handgun + shotgun for home defense. The units would be low maintenance, use comparatively inexpensive ammo and be easy for a man or woman to use.
I looked at a Mossberg 500 (20 gauge) & some Taurus Millenium Series .45 ACPss -- these latter looked to be far too large
What do FReepers recommend?
I second, if the the $ was right. Oh, and make it a 12ga.
12 ga, really?
Our house is very close to neighbors on either side — in the event of an in-house encounter, I’d hate to fire something that could penetrate surrounding homes.
The nice part about a shotgun is that you can tailor the load to the situation. #8 shot for birds or people you really, really don't like, but want them to live to know it, maybe, to #4 shot that puts a stop to lots of problems but won't penetrate a standard house wall from any distance, to slugs, that will drop deer from 50 yards.
I'd go with 12 Gauge, too. I load mine with #2 and #3 shot generally. I'm fairly serious about solving problems. If I shoot that in the house, there's no way it's going to make it to the neighbor's house.
Winchester 1300 Defender (pump, 12 gauge). Anything smaller is a waste of time, and this thing will fire reliably. 12 gauge ammo is plentiful. I keep #4 ammo at the ready for mine; about a 1 foot spread at 20 feet. Don’t use slugs/buckshot in a house unless you *want* to go through walls for some reason.
Revolver, blued (not chrome). Brand etc barely matters, just don’t buy cheap crap. Get at least a .357 if this is the extent of your gun buying and it’s only for the house/vehicle.
In either case, make sure it’s comfortable (fits your hand/shoulder/etc), and practice - a lot. Remember you’ll be using it in the dark, half asleep, probably in a panic. Needs to be second nature to load/chamber/unsafe/aim/bang.
If you’re the slightest bit uncomfortable, or entirely new to this, take a gun safety course. Apparently it helps, but I grew up with them and have never attended one.
Did you look at the Taurus Judge for a handgun? Did you pick it up and hold it? I’m just saying . .
I keep a pair of muffs next to the handy shotgun. I'd like to be able to hear the nice police officers after the event.
The 410 hand-cannon mess-maker? I don’t want to be anywhere nearby when someone gets the bright idea to squeeze off a few rounds.
Go for the 20ga. I prefer the stopping power (relative. Dead is dead) and the availability of various ammo for the 12ga.
No one seems to pay much attention to what is downrange. It may not matter, but if someone is hit next door or next block over, you are in a world of hurt whether you put the bad guy down or not.
I have only one direction I could shoot without worry, so I do worry. Be forced to maneuver to get a shot in that direction if I could manage it. Rather not have to.
If there’s a range nearby, you may be able to rent a few pistols at the top of your list. I don’t have one, but the Judge or the Governor are kind of a twofer that may fill both your needs.
I’ve got real concerns about protecting my home & family for when Obozo collapses our economy, just when Asshat Biden shoots his mouth off about shotguns, and everybody wants to talk about *him.*
Here's an Obama compliant longgun
That’s the whole idea of a self defense weapon. The intruder realizes he’s messed with the wrong person. If you don’t hit them, they will hightail it and run. Drywall is easy to fix.
Yeah, but my understanding is that Glock ammo is all being snapped up by the Gub’mint.
Before considering firearms, be sure to have an early warning system for house intrusion. An alert dog who barks at noises is best. If dog is not practical, install alarms on vulnerable doors and windows. You can buy a cheap GE alarm for under $30 which will cover 4 doors/windows.
The last thing you want is being rudely surprised by an intruder when you are fast asleep. You will not have time to grab the gun, load it and fire it. Early warning is a must.
A 12ga generally packs no more punch than a 20ga, just more shot. For your stated requirements, I’d go with the 20ga. Much less recoil.
I'm going to go against the majority opinion you've been given and suggest the 20 gauge simply because of the criteria you've set. A 12 gauge can be hard for a woman to handle.
And since you're looking for home use I would not recommend the weapon you have pictured.
For tactical purposes (doors, hallways, stairs, etc.) a pistol grip, with or without a folding stock is, IMO, a better way to go.
As far as the neighbors and penetrations goes...how is your house built? All wood? Brick? Combo of both? Distance between them? That matters when considering ammo. The more durable the construction the greater the choice. (buckshot and bb's OK)
Pistols? Hard to give "good" advice. Anything from a .22 to a .45. A lot is dependent on the user. A small woman might not be able to handle a larger caliber so a smaller one is more practical. You get the idea. Find what is comfortable. The rounds you use can help make up the difference.
“.45 ACPss — these latter looked to be far too large”
Too large for what?
Name of the shotgun and link to purchase it?
Wood frame & stucco. About 10-12' between houses here.
For the shotgun, the Mossberg 500, Remington 870, Ithaca and Winchester 1300 are all reliable and low-priced shotguns. I prefer the 12ga, but the 20ga is often better for female shooters due to lower recoil. Your wife should shoot both to see what her recoil tolerance is. A 20 ga is no weakling for a home defense gun. Like others have said, #4 shot in a high-brass duck load would be devestating from across the room, but won’t go through walls with much energy left.
For a handgun there are many more choices. Revolvers are more reliable for people who don’t shoot much or don’t do maintenance on guns much. But, revolvers have more felt recoil because there is just the sudden impulse instead of being spread over the duration of a semi-auto slide operation. Also, on most revolvers there is much more muzzle flip because the hand is so much lower than the barrel than a semi-auto. Hand guns are much harder to give advice on. I would go to a range that rents guns and you and your wife should try to find something you both agree on. Many people say that you should not go smaller than 38 special in revolvers or 9mm in a semi-auto, but I think that some smaller rounds such as the revolver round .327 magnum would be good, plus you can use lower powered 32 rimmed ammo for cheaper practice and less recoil. A downside to something like the 327 magnum is that it is much less common and more expensive than something like 9mm which (usually) can be found easily. Read up on defensive and practice bullet types, but practice enough with the more expensive defense ammo to be sure it works reliably and is accurate in your gun.
That pictured is the Mossberg 500/590-12 Gauge Pistol Grip.
I used it more for an illustration/example than anything.
I pulled the image from...here...not from a dealer site.
Here is the 500 Cruiser - 20 Gauge, 6-Shot, 18.5" Barrel, Pistol Grip Stock, Bead Sight
...from Mossberg's own site.
Geez, I just want to stop an intruder, not vaporize him.
Thanks. That looks like a great home defense, shoot from the hip, weapon.
I've heard anecdotal evidence lately of all such ammo being snapped up by government agencies (ICE, SSA, etc).
Me likee pistol grip shhotgun.
smallest BB's - #8 (birdshot)...wide spread (I use #4 myself)
the smaller the number the bigger the BB's inside.
buckshot - 00 (largest) to 04 (smallest) (20 gauge rated highest is 02...no 01 or 00)
Me likee mine for a long time.
Me likee mine with extended magazine tube, shoot long time :)
The feds are mainly buying up 9mm & 40 cal pistol ammo and .223 rifle ammo. But it is drying up primers, brass production, bullet production and powder production that would go to other calibers. I think the government contracts were just IDIQ option contracts. The standard military or police calibers have historically been much lower cost, but we are living in different times.
Try touching that pistol grip rig off when your hands are wet and slippery then come back and tell us about the big knot on your forehead.
Anything you fire and miss can penetrate your house.
I don’t know about you but I am probably likely to be in my bedroom if a villain intrudes in the dead of night. He is likely to come up the hallway. At the end of the hallway behind him is my garage with the big pick up truck and the hot water heater and the garage shelves full of junk. On the odd chance that a bullet or two passed all of this stuff after missing said perp, it would penetrate the flimsy metal garage door.
It is dead of night? Nobody should be on the street.
Now what? Hits a car parked on the street? Hits the neighbor’s refrigerator and book shelf?
I think over-penetration is over rated.
A lot of in-home stops are psychological from brandishing. If you have to shoot, any bullets or pellets you hit the perp with are going to lose a lot of steam. It is the misses you have to worry about, but most of our homes are filled with TVs and kitchen appliances and bookshelves and furniture. Anything that exists the exterior siding after passing through some of this stuff is going to lose a lot of momentum and isn’t likely to be too lethal.
Now if you miss a perp who just kicked in your front door, those any missed rounds are problem.
I just think over penetration is too oft worried about as a self-defense topic.
The takeaway is not to use that WWII Garand in .30-06. But any hand gun up to .44 Mag is going to lose a lot of steam after bouncing through all the stuff it is likely to see in your house. It could go right down a row of studs if you are shooting a shallow angle to a wall.
If I had to shoot in self defense, I am more concerned with having enough penetration to insure stopping the threat, than I am about over penetration of the rounds that go through the perp.
A good option from The Cajun, martin_fierro.
Extra rounds at the ready is a good thing...especially for those not yet proficient at reloading.
Renting and borrowing is the ONLY way to go. There is just no other way of insuring fit and function. The surest way to end up with a gun collection is to buy something you never shot, find it comes up short, rinse and repeat.
I don’t think there are any bad choices today. I would just say go with a full size gun for home defense. The bigger the better - longer site radius, more capacity, less recoil for whatever round you are shooting. There is no reason to get a CCW mouse gun for home defense.
There are no bad shotguns, just name your price.
I just wrote a long post about how I wouldn’t worry about over penetration. OK. You use a .270 for home defense? Now it is time to worry about over penetration. Any misses now have a substantial risk of danger. You hope it splatters on something, but those long bullets with their relatively high ballistic coefficient launched at 3,000 feet per second.
Yes, over pentration. I would never use a high powered rifle for home defense in a suburb. Out in the stick with a mile between neighbors, sure. In the suburbs? Absolutely no way. I think any high powered rifle cartridge is a bad choice to use in the suburbs. Not even the .223.
How often are your hands wet and slippery in the middle of the night?
I won't "go there" with a joke about "lotion on your bedside nightstand"...
All I was trying to do was remove a tree limb that was brushing my shortwave longline antenna. I got the limb, and my forehead.
It was probably better than climbing a wet ladder with a wet chainsaw in the dark, but not by much!
Mossberg-Maverick 88 12 Gauge Shotgun with an 18.5” Barrel.
The Maverick is made by Mossberg but assembled in Mexico - it is virtually the same as the Mossberg 500 but costs about $100.00 less and I’ve seen them for around $200.00 - if you can find them these days.
If you can deal with a pistol grip, the overall length is less than 30”
If a 12 Gauge is too much for you, get the 20 Gauge with the same 18.5” barrel and pistol grip if you want a compact shotgun.
With the standard stock, the overall length is 39.5”
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