Home Defense for New Shooter

Discussion in 'Self Defense Tactics & Weapons' started by brewcityc, Dec 13, 2006.

  1. brewcityc

    brewcityc New Member

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    My wife and I are expecting our first child any day now. That's got me thinking about home defense. I am an experienced shooter, but my wife on the otherhand, is not. I own a Taurus .454 Raging Bull with an 8" barrel for hunting. This gun is no good for home defense unless I plan to scare an intruder to death or throw it at him and it's certainly too big for my wife to handle. My question is, what is the best gun for first-time home defense?
    I'd like to go with a semi auto. I know they're a little more unsafe for the inexperienced shooter, but I've always wanted one. I also think that it would be an advantage if you had to rattle off more than one shot. I plan to thoroughly train my wife how to handle and shoot it safely.
    The next thing I'm looking for, is something with enough stopping power that will not pose a threat to the neighbors or have too much kick. I was thinking of going with a .357. Is that a good choice?
    Lastly, I'm looking for something that is affordable, yet dependable. With a semi auto I worry about the action jamming up. What would be best brand to get without losing an arm and a leg?
  2. southernshooter

    southernshooter New Member

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    Most rifles are out of the question due to overpenetration thru the walls killin an inocent. If you wanted a semi auto rifle for home defense I would say something in either 9mm or 40 S&W like a Ruger PC9 or PC4 or if your budget will allow it a AR-15 in 9mm or so on

    Handguns I would reccomend the good old 45 their less of a chance of over penetration in the 45 versus higher velocity rounds like 41 Special/ 44 Mag / 357 Sig / 357 Mag and stuff like that.

    The best home defense weapon in my choice beggining shooter or not is a shotgun with a 18.5 inch barrel and with either bird or buckshot less chance of over penetration and with the scatter affect aiming is a LITTLE more forgiving than a pistol.
    No caliber is good for home defense unless you practice even if it is only once a month somethin is better that nothin.


    Just my .02
  3. Ursus

    Ursus Active Member

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    I'd pick the shotgun too. If a handgun is a must and your inexperienced wife is gonna use it, I'd pick a revolver. You should encourage her to practice anyway. Glad for you jonning us. See you around.
  4. JohnK3

    JohnK3 New Member

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    Shotgun.

    A police officer once told a friend of mine, after she had been robbed in her house, that the scariest thing in the world to a burglar is a woman with a 12-gauge.
  5. jmz82

    jmz82 New Member

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    Ill second what they said, a shotgun is the way to go for the unexperienced. Its alot easier to hit something with a shotgun at close range than any other gun in my opinion.
  6. I'd have to go with a short-barreled shotgun too, Brew, preferably a pump action. Normally I would suggest a 12 gauge, but in your case, with a wife who might find it necessary to use it, and who is relatively inexperienced with firearms, you might want to consider a 20 gauge. A 20 is almost as effective as a 12 at close range, especially with a full cylinder barrel, and is much easier to handle. The four reasons I would suggest the shotgun over a handgun are:

    1. A good one may be purchased much more cheaply than a handgun (as you are already finding out, babies cost LOTS of money! ;) ).
    2. A shotgun has--as others have suggested--a certain advantage when it comes to the intimidation factor.
    3. NOTHING is more devastating and effective at close range than a good shotgun if, God forbid, you ever find it necessary to shoot.
    4. Generally speaking, it is much easier to learn to use a shotgun at close range than to use a handgun effectively.

    If you should decide on a handgun though, I would suggest a good 9mm, especially if your wife will be using it. It is quite effective with good ammo, and very mild in recoil. If you want to avoid too many "whistles and bells," you might want to look at one of the striker-fired autos like the Glock or the Steyr.

    Just my $.02 woth. :D
  7. pickenup

    pickenup Active Member

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    Thanks for saving me some typing. :D
  8. Enzo_Guy

    Enzo_Guy New Member

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    If you must get a semi-auto handgun, then I would suggest a Springfield XD 9mm. It's light, cheap, reliable, and not too bad on the kick.
    For shotguns, you can't go wrong, nor break the bank, with a Winchester or Remington.
  9. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    So is the weapon intended for you or your wife?

    I'm passing on advice to you that was given to me: Try not to let your preference get ahead of what best suits your wife.

    A revolver is safer and easier to keep functioning. A semi-auto has more firepower but is harder to bring into action and keep running under stress...and easier to have negligent discharges after being used (forget to decock). No gun is "safe" but double-action revolvers have a very large margin of forgiveness for operator error. A semi-auto seems simple enough on a range...but before, during, and after stress there are several things that can lead to an accident. Becoming competent with a semi-auto requires several times as much more time intensive training than a good revolver.

    The second part of that advice would be to let her handle a variety of roscoes until she lands on one that gives her a warm 'n fuzzy. You may be surprised what she chooses.

    I intended for my future wife to start out with a snubby revolver. I wanted to keep things very simple. However, she jumped head first into semi-autos and with enthusiasm (Which shows our inherint differences. Example: I like American cruisers; she likes import crotchrockets.) She was willing to spend the extra time learning to defend herself with a hi-cap auto. The extra steps to getting the auto to fire...overcoming the weaknesses of the auto...the remedial action drills...the safety drills...the extra steps to render it safe after action...after action walk throughs too etc etc. Starting someone out on a revolver is truely less work and they get the same fundamentals for self defense. So in a pinch....

    As far as jamming in semi-autos.....you get what you pay for. And any semi-auto may jam in the hands of an inexperienced shooter...limp wristing, shoving muzzle against the threat etc etc.

    Good luck.
  10. ShadowHunt

    ShadowHunt New Member

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    The short barreled 12 gauge is my favorite also. You dofnt have to be exact with your aim and you'll hurt him if not you'll scare the **** out of him for sure.

    If you're looking at handguns, a .22 Ruger is a fine weapon and it definetly doen't have too much power but it'll hurt like all hell at least.

    Good Luck Hope this helps.
  11. Popgunner

    Popgunner New Member

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    Cheap option:

    not as fun as getting a new gun (go for the 12 ga pump) but in the interim you could buy a box of 45 long colt "cowboy" ammo for your Casull. It'll have lighter bullets & lots less power than the Casull but it'd have plenty of power for defense. Take your wife to shoot a few of these. In that heavy gun the recoil should be very light. 45LC birdshot loads? it might be fun to blast off a few to see if they might work. If I had a woman point something like that at me I think I'd turn & run:)
  12. afdrookie

    afdrookie New Member

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    +1 shotgun
  13. jggonzalez

    jggonzalez New Member

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    I agree that for a novice shooter a revolver is best, but if you really want an auto take a look at the Kahrs. If its going to be a home defense gun, I'd recommend one of their all-steel K or T series guns. Double-action only and no safety levers or decocking thingies to worry about. There's a mag release button and slide release lever, but those are easy to use and your wife probably won't even have to consider them since she doesn't have to manipulate anything to fire the first few rounds. Just like a camera-point and click. I've got an MK9 and really like it.
  14. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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    Brewcity, all: I've been lucky enough, most of my life, to have worked in places that were 'gun friendly', or more; consequently, I have been able to shoot, often at company expense, a lot!
    I have walls full of paper, and silverware, to attest that I did it fairly well.
    My 6'5" Son in law, a State Trooper, asked the question you did, and 'bout fainted at my answer, initially, until he thought about my answer, for a while, then questioned me some more, about 'why?'
    He asked about a 'house gun' and I showed him three Ithaca 37's, in different places in my home, all of which I would trust with my life.
    He questioned why, when I shot as well as I did/do, with pistol, revolver, and rifle, would I choose such a weapon, over those other options, and my answer was probably too short, but mirrors my feelings: "because I likely will not have to fire this one, and, if I do, only once", my response.
    The serious side of this issue is twofold; effectiveness, and retention. If you love this lady enough to make babies with her, give her the tools to survive, in any situation!
    A shotgun is a two handed tool, harder, by the extra hand, to take away, than a pistol, and far more powerful; the reality is, nobody will volunteer to be a 'test dummy', when confronted with such an arm, so, likely, will not have to be fired, at all.
    I never met your lady, and if she wants a handgun, by all means get her one, or two; Lord knows, we need more shooters, but when the SGD, my choice was, is, and ever will be, a shotgun, in the hope that I will not have to use it!
  15. SouthernMoss

    SouthernMoss *Admin Tech Staff*

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    First of all, brewcity, congratulations on your impending fatherhood! We expect lots of pics when the little one arrives! :)


    As to the question at hand ... how inexperienced is your wife? "Inexperienced" can mean anything from "only shoots a few times a year" to "never touched a gun in her life." The answer can make a difference in what gun you might want to start out with.

    How small/large is she? Make sure that the gun you choose "fits" her size. If it's a shotgun, make sure the stock is not too long for her to shoulder comfortably. If it's a handgun, make sure the handle and grip are small enough and thin enough that she can comfortably hold the gun and reach the trigger.

    Something that guys often don't think about is trigger pull. With a woman's smaller hands, we don't have as much leverage in our fingers to pull the trigger. And if she has to struggle with the trigger, that will make her less accurate in placing the shot.

    You've already said you plan to train her thoroughly, and that's good. But the training will only "take" if she's comfortable with the gun she's shooting. So have her handle and shoot as many different firearms as possible, until she finds the one that fits.
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