Re: Help me chose a self/home defence gun
Those pistol grip shotguns may not be legal in Illinois. Check first. For your price range the Taurus Judge is a perfect choice even though it not a semi auto. You can practice with it using .45 ACP at a range and load it with 410 for the home. It really is one of the finest home defense pistols.
If you go with a semi auto you may as well go with a 1911 - enough safeties on it to make it more difficult for kids to have an accident. Enough stopping power to take any intruder down. You don't have to buy one new to get one for 500 or less in excellent condition and the 1911's by Rock Island though made in the Phillipines are excellent pistols and accept pretty much all 1911 standard parts also.
Just my humble opinion.