Re: Help me chose a self/home defence gun
Great advice Carver, I agree completely. Many small things such as locking windows/doors, using lights, motion lights, cameras (game cameras are great for this too) and awareness, etc will get you about 99% of the way. The firearm will be to take care of the determined or unexpected 1%
For the home my recommendation is something like a Mossberg 590, 20" barrel and 8 +1 capacity, hard to beat, especially with a tac light/surefire. But assuming you want something that you can have on you all the time, you can't go wrong with a good 1911 or a glock even. Either is at the upper end of your price but anything will be. Don't forget you need ammmo, magazines, holster, mag holders, cleaning kit, etc. when you are factoring true cost.
XD's, M&P's, Glock are the mainstay polymers out there these days and a good place to start. Very simple to use and easy to upgrade/modify as needed. But I love a good 1911, you will likely need to spend a bit more for one of those though, won't regret it either.
Given your location, a rifle is not what you should be using if you had a choice due to penetration. 7.62 and many others will go through entire houses/buildings and cars. Shotgun with #4 buck, #1 buck or OO buck is a good load and won't overpenetrate too bad.
"Loud noises don't end gunfights.... well placed shots do."