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Newbie needs advice for home defense

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by Skeptuagint, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. Skeptuagint

    Skeptuagint Portland, Oregon New Member

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    I'm new to the forum and new to firearms as well. I very ignorant, and I apologize in advance, haha. There have been a rash of burglaries in my new neighborhood, and I want to get the best firearm for home defense. Keep in mind it is for both my wife and I. It's more important that she feels comfortable with the gun, so if that requires something totally different for her, that's fine. We're not going to be the typical new users and just buy something and put it in the closet. We're going to go to a range and get practice with the weapon, and get comfortable enough to use it if we have to. I've heard that shotguns are better for home defense due to the intimidation factor, the noise, and the lack of penetration through walls. I also like the idea that it's pretty damn hard to turn one back around on yourself or fall down the stairs in the dark and shoot yourself. Please respond with suggestions in brands, types, ammo types, sizes, and anything else you can think of. Thanks a ton!
     
  2. RedneckRampage

    RedneckRampage Newberg Well-Known Member

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    If you and your wife are both going to shoot it, and are new to it, I'd recommend a 20 gauge Remington 870 with an 18" barrel and a magazine tube extention, loaded with low recoil #4 or 00 buck shot. If you'd prefer a handgun, buy something easy and reliable. I prefer Glocks, but XDs or good too, whichever of those fits in your hand best. For a handgun, I would go with a 9mm, low recoil, and plenty of stopping power. In not sure about your wife, but some women can't "rack" the slide on a semi-auto handgun, so you may look into a revolver, maybe an 8-shot .357 magnum and get a speed loader or two. You can practice with .38s in the .357 and your wife won't be scared of it, and you can put some good .357 in it for the dresser drawer. When your adrenalin is going, you'd probably never know the difference between the practice and defense ammo, only the dead guy would. If she is a strong woman, you could step up to a 12 guage shotgun, in the same configuration as the 20 guage, practice with bird shot and keep it ready with some good ammo. It would be a good idea as well to put a flashlight on any gun you choose, although it's kinda hard on a revolver. Whatever you get, practice practice practice!! Good luck.
     
  3. ORBrit

    ORBrit Eugene Member

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    Welcome. Good to see you start thinking about taking your family's safety into your own hands.
    A few questions to begin:
    Do you have kids?
    Do you live in a house or apartment? Two floors (I assume from the "fall down the stairs" comment).
    Are the bedrooms on the 1st or 2nd floor? (If kids are downstairs, and you are upstairs for example). Would a home intruder have to pass your kids rooms before your own?
    We actually considered room layout when buying our home, for two reasons: 1st, no one gets to the kids rooms without getting past ours. 2nd, kids don't get out of their rooms without getting past ours.


    If you are wanting a weapon to protect against a home intruder, you have to first know if you'll be alert to use it in the event that an intrusion happens.

    Do you have an alarm, or barking dog? Are you a light sleeper?
    Having a gun on your bedside table while you snore through a home intrusion is not very useful, and may end up being used against you.
    We have a dog, and alarm system that detects window breaks, and entry door breaches. We also left our "baby gate" in place at the bottom of our stairs as it cannot be opened quietly. It has a very distinctive loud click when disengaged. It also keeps the cats downstairs.
    Consider any type of advanced warning - even an IR motion sensing chime alarm from Harbor Freight is better than nothing.

    Most home burglaries are non-violent and opportunistic - most likely they'll watch your house and wait for you to leave. Nothing you can do about that - get good insurance.
    In the event that someone comes into your house at night while you're there - that's a whole different mentality. It means they are most likely prepared for confrontation, and so more likely to be armed.

    What is your plan should you hear a bump in the night?
    Call 911 and wait it out from your "safe room". Or clear your house to make sure it's safe? Will you make your presence known (lights on, verbal warnings) or sneak around with a handgun/weapon light for tactical advantage? (You know your house better in the dark than a home intruder).

    A lot to think about.

    If you are both serious about buying a weapon for personal defense, then start with the safety/handling or concealed carry course. That will start getting you thinking about how you will be prepared to use it.
    After that, the home defense scenario becomes just another place where you choose to defend yourself with whatever weapons you are most proficient with.

    Now onto weapons themselves.
    Shotguns: Advantages - easy to acquire and hit your target. Plenty of capacity - most HD shotguns are 8+1. Relatively inexpensive. Versatile with different ammo types - bird shot for practice and recreation, buck shot for HD, slugs for SHTF!
    Disadvantages - not concealable.

    Revolvers: Advantages - accurate, simple point and shoot, concealable, ammo available for range or max stopping power
    Disadvantages - some may say low capacity only having 6 shots before you need to reload

    Semi auto handgun: Advantages - accurate, concealable, high capacity, variety of ammunition available
    Disadvantages - more complex so requires more training (stoppage drills)

    A lot to consider just starting out.

    If you plan to shoot a lot and become proficient then a semi auto handgun may be your first purchase (I say first, because you'll most likely end up buying more firearms later!)
    If you just plan to shoot occasionally or if you want simplicity, a revolver (especially hammerless) may be the best choice.

    Good luck!
     
  4. RedneckRampage

    RedneckRampage Newberg Well-Known Member

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    I should also add, my girlfriend is about 110 pounds, and shoots my 12 guage 870 with full power 3" slugs and buck shot and my sub-compact (a little harder to shoot) Glock 9mm with +P+ ammo, no issues. I made her not scared of them....
     
  5. Woody

    Woody western Wa. Member

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    best way to start would be to go to your local gun range and rent a number of weapons and shoot them. Eventualy you should find a model that will be good to go for both of you. Don't rush, take your time cause this is a HUGE step. good luck and be safe!
     
  6. billdeserthills

    billdeserthills Cave Creek, Arizony Well-Known Member

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    As Woody says, "Don't Rush" and don't be like one of my customers & wanna buy 4 Hi Point pistols. As I explained to him, "One quality firearm is indeed better than 4 of low quality".
     
  7. shayne

    shayne port townsend Active Member

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    shotguns are good hd and revolvers never fail lol
     
  8. EZLivin

    EZLivin SW of PDX Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Either Remington or Mossberg in 20 gauge for home defense. When most people think "shotgun" they think "12ga," but a 20 gauge is effective, and easy enough on the body that new shooters won't mind getting some practice with it.
     
  9. deen_ad

    deen_ad Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    I have a couple (as of tomorrow) Win 1300 Defenders loaded with the Aguila ½ size rounds. The 1300 is the only pump/autoloader that is OK to use with the Aguila rounds. Yes, they have less power than a standard shell, but for close in, don't overpenetrate action they should do just fine. I'm not killing Zombies here, just stopping people.
     
  10. deen_ad

    deen_ad Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Maybe even a Taurus Public Defender with .410 protection rounds would work. I have one of them with a CT laser.
     
  11. FMJ 911

    FMJ 911 Snohomish, Washington Active Member

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    All I got is a old Rossi Model 68 .38 Special Revolver(5 Shots), and a Mossberg 500 "Security" Model 12-gauge Shotgun(7+1).

    That setup will work, I know a burglar is not going to feel too good after getting hit by a .38 Slug, or a load of #4 Buckshot.

    I have trained with those two guns, and they will work just fine for "Home Defense".

    So, I'd suggest you going along the same lines, Shotguns are a "Can't Go wrong" type weapon, and Revolvers work regardless of what's happening.

    Good Luck on finding some HD Guns! There's many to choose from!
     
  12. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    This is for a NEW shooter and someone who is new to guns in general...right?

    First thing you need to understand,aside from all the "stop the threat" BS is you may KILL SOMEONE with this new gun.
    You and you wife have to decide if that is an option. Some say it is but don't really want to kill someone just make them go away.
    Well if you point a gun and shoot it at someone,there is a great chance that person will die.
    ( BTW if you shoot to 'stop' and not kill,does that automatically mean the person will stop trying to kill you?)

    So you and the wife have to decide if you could actually kill someone
    If not get some pepper spray and maybe a dog.Dogs are great deterrents. Dogs and bad guys don't seem to get along.

    So if you do decide to go through with buying and having a gun for home defense,a shot gun is a great first gun for this.

    Please weigh your options on this matter
    Be safe
    Mike
     
  13. billgrigsby24

    billgrigsby24 Beaverton, Or Active Member

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    For being a new shooter, a shotgun would be great. The intimidation factor will deter many and you don't have to be an awesome shot to hit your target. As you shoot more I would suggest a pistol in .40 or .45 and would steer clear of 9mm. Possibly giving your wife the shotgun and you with the pistol. Just remember, if you shoot a burglar make sure they are facing you and they fall inside the house.
     
  14. drew

    drew OR Well-Known Member

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    So what we've shown in this thread is that everything is both great and bad for a person new to firearms looking for home defense.

    Both the OP and the wife need to try out some weapons at HD distances to see what they prefer whether it be handgun, shotgun, or rifle. It's nice to be able to choose. There's reasons and prejudices associated with most recommendations.

    I'd suggest trying out a few different handguns in caliber and style. If you consider a shotgun, try one out. Same with a carbine style rifle. If you're getting one firearm, you'll might come to a compromise but it will be one both of you can live with.
     
    mjbskwim and (deleted member) like this.
  15. billgrigsby24

    billgrigsby24 Beaverton, Or Active Member

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    Take into account you will be shooting at a short distance. If you can handle a long gun quickly, I agree with titsonritz, an AR will do. I myself can move my pistol around quicker than I can my shotguns or rifles. I get more accurate shots at short distances as well. Good luck in your purchase(s).
    I don't pretend to be a pro, just someone who has shot quite a few guns and has my own opinion.
     
    mjbskwim and (deleted member) like this.
  16. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    If you go pistol, consider a Glock... accurate, dependable, and no safety lever(s) to fumble with in the dark and under stress... as with ALL firearms don't put your finger on the trigger until you're ready to pop-off rounds.

    ;)
     
  17. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    What ever you decide to get you need to practice with it. You need to know how the chamber a round, find the safety, etc in a high stress situation. Go to a range and rent some different guns and try them out before you buy. You may find a medium frame .38spl revolver feels best or a 9mm or .45cal auto. I've used a lot of different long guns and short guns for HD and think a short gun is your best starting point.
     
  18. PDXSparky

    PDXSparky Keizer / Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    And I completely disagree with the that advice. I'd steer them toward choosing a 9mm if for no other reason than range ammo is cheaper. Cheaper ammo should mean more practice and it takes continued practice to remain proficient with the weapon.

    For me, I'm going with my AR and the right ammo based on this .223 Drywall Penetration: Introduction
     
  19. chemist

    chemist Beaverton OR Well-Known Member

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    Shotguns are less expensive than pistols, easier to aim because of their long sight radius, and much, much more lethal. Pistols are for concealed carry IMO; they're not ideal for home defense.

    The 12 ga. is so universal a platform, and as others have pointed out they're not that bad to shoot, especially with the right low-recoil ammo. I bet you both will do fine, especially if you put one of these on it:
    Amazon.com: Knoxx SpecOps Stock™ Black: Sports & Outdoors

    But don't even consider buying a firearm for self defense unless and until you've decided that you'd rather KILL than DIE. In the gravest extreme, you'll likely have only one chance to act with no room for hesitation.
     
  20. nitestocker

    nitestocker woodland washington Well-Known Member

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    i myself pack a few different type pistols a kahr p380 a kahr pm40 and a glock 23 with lazermax at night i put a TLR-1 light to it the problem for home defence for my wife is that she is nt strong enough to pull the slide back on any of these with dependability she has weak wrist when i came accross a colt diamondback 38 snub she fell in love with is real smooth action six shooter . i got some buffalo bore 158 gr. +p lead hollowpoint wadcutter loads . the old FBI load . for her it works 6 times:D all she has to do is pull the trigger ther is other guns around the house but she likes this one so i cant sell it:paranoid: