1st gun, Home Defense, 12 Gauge or Handgun?


901-Memphis

New member
1st gun, Home Defense, 12 Gauge or Handgun? - UPDATE: Bought SW40VE

I have been debating this for quite some time now. I initially wanted to get a nice little $200 shotgun for home defense, but after looking at a few guns in person the only solid gun i felt was the Remington 870, and haven't had a chance to get to see many handguns in my price range in person yet.

So my debate is shotgun or handgun? If my budget was around $300 i have seen very few handguns in this price range new. The Ruger P 95 9mm is on sale at budsgunshop for $300 this week, but it will go back up by the time i am ready to purchase.

Ruger P95 9mm Blue, w Rail 15 round for Sale at Buds Gun Shop $300.00

The Remington 870 was about $380 at my local shop, which would save me the waiting to buy online, as its $337 at the same shop.

Remington 870 Express Synthetic 20 18 CYL 2RDEXT for Sale at Buds Gun Shop $337.00

The good thing is i live in Northern Kentucky, and buds gun shop is in Lexington, so when i actually get enough cash i can head there to get a better idea of what i want.

But the debate still goes on in my head, 12 gauge or handgun!? My main concern is, are there any quality shotguns or handguns for under $300 new?


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EDIT for those who didn't read thread, i bought a S&W SW40VE handgun in FEB 2010
 

If it is strictly home defense, then the shotgun would be my recommendation. It's not known as the "street Howitzer" for nothing. The shorter the barrel the better.
 
Well i would like to shoot for recreation at the local gun range, so if i want to do that would it be better to purchase a handgun?

My thoughts are just that the shotgun are going to be more accurate when woke up out of your sleep and disoriented.

I have been looking at 18.5 inch barrel length shotguns around $300 and also handguns around the 9 mm size.

Anyone know what the minimum length is for a barrel on a shotgun? And would it be illegal to have a gun shop saw it off to the federal minimum for me? I am having all sorts of trouble finding these obscure laws for Kentucky.

If anyone knows about deadly force laws in Kentucky or any court cases of late, let me know i was googling my ass off.

My Other question.

http://www.usacarry.com/forums/deadly-force-law/10641-use-deadly-force-2.html




EDIT: Btw i found this on the barrel length on my own search but its still not clear to me what the minimum length is when done by a skilled person

United States

Under the National Firearms Act (NFA) it is illegal for a private citizen to possess a sawed-off modern smokeless powder shotgun (a barrel length less than 18 in. or 46 cm and an overall length less than 26 inches) without a tax-stamped permit from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which requires a background check and a $200.00 fee for every transfer. However, if the weapon was manufactured by a licensed builder, with a short barrel and no stock, the transfer fee is $5. [1] (Short-barreled muzzleloading blackpowder shotguns, in contrast, are not illegal by federal law and require no tax-stamped permit, although they may be illegal under state law.) As with all NFA regulated firearms, a new tax stamp must be purchased before every transfer. Inter-state transfers must be facilitated through a Class III Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) dealer while intrastate transfers may be between two persons.[6]
 
For only home defense the shotgun would be best. But it is not something for a fun day of plinking. No matter how it gets there 18 inch is the shortest barrel allowed. Even though I said the shotgun would be best I realized that I don't use my shotgun. I guess it don't give me the control I want. The handgun would be easier to hide(if you had to), more pleasant to shoot, ready if you ever wanted a carry permit, and better at learning sight picture-trigger control etc. Pistol ammo would be more expensive, harder to hit with, much higher chance of shooting yourself due to the short length. Less chance of having to shoot someone with the shotgun as no thinking person would advance on a loaded shotgun that is pointed at them. I would be maybe be thinking of a Ruger 22 auto pistol. It would be weak for home defense but way better than nothing. Cheap to shoot and nothing is more fun than shooting a 22. Excellant for learning. The Rugers are well made, fairly priced and usually quite accurate. Just a thought.
 
As with most preference questions there are many considerations and opinions..
It depends on if you have kids in the house, etc..
I would say a handgun.. The sound of a shotgun "racking" is enough to make most burglars run in an instant..
The issue I have with a shotgun is there is so much area for a bad guy to get a hold of.. You hear a noise, you go to investigate with shotgun in hand (You should really stay in your bedroom and call 911, but if you have kids in the house, maybe you should go...) You go to turn a corner in your house and the bad guy is right there.. Now you have very little room to swing the shotgun and the BG has a lot of surface to grab and maybe take the shotgun away from you..
With a pistol, swing room is not an issue and there is much less for the BG to grab..

Like I said, lot's of opinions, you have to decide what's best for you..

Assuming you have a wife, which would she be more comfortable with, IF you are not at home???

Pistol is also good to go to the range with and get some practice and have some fun..
 
Pistol

Get the pistol. You can find the Ruger P95s used under $300. Also look at the Bersa line in 9mm. If you can find one they are usually in the $300 range new and are solid. A used Taurus PT111, 140, 145 can be had for under $300 and the Taurus/Rossi revolvers can be found new under $300.

If you want a good & inexpensive shotgun pickup a NEF Pardner Pump Protector. It is an exact copy of the Rem 870. I have one and it is great. The finish is like a thin parkerizing job, but for HD who cares. I bought mine at D*ck's Sporting goods new for $179.
 
If I am at home, in the middle of the night, with an unwanted visitor wanting to barge through my doors and/or windows -- the Mossberg 500 will be waiting for him -- after my dog finished him off.

Otherwise, Mrs. G is chambered ready to go on my hips while I am awake.

.
 
I have been debating this for quite some time now. I initially wanted to get a nice little $200 shotgun for home defense, but after looking at a few guns in person the only solid gun i felt was the Remington 870, and haven't had a chance to get to see many handguns in my price range in person yet.

So my debate is shotgun or handgun? If my budget was around $300 i have seen very few handguns in this price range new. The Ruger P 95 9mm is on sale at budsgunshop for $300 this week, but it will go back up by the time i am ready to purchase.

Ruger P95 9mm Blue, w Rail 15 round for Sale at Buds Gun Shop $300.00

The Remington 870 was about $380 at my local shop, which would save me the waiting to buy online, as its $337 at the same shop.

Remington 870 Express Synthetic 20 18 CYL 2RDEXT for Sale at Buds Gun Shop $337.00

The good thing is i live in Northern Kentucky, and buds gun shop is in Lexington, so when i actually get enough cash i can head there to get a better idea of what i want.

But the debate still goes on in my head, 12 gauge or handgun!? My main concern is, are there any quality shotguns or handguns for under $300 new?

New isn't always better. Check around and you may be able to find a used 870 for cheaper. Lord knows that there's been enough of them in use by American police departments over the last 5 decades and they are on the used market. Every pawn shop I've ever been in that handled firearms had a pump shotgun in it and most of the time it was an 870. Just look it over and make sure there's no obvious defects in it.

I haven't had a bit of problem out of my 1100 and I only paid $200 (tax and fees included) for it in a pawn shop. Of course, I went looking for the cheapest shotgun I could find that still functioned and then replaced everything but the internals, receiver and mag tube. When I bought it, it had a bulge in the barrel, the muzzle was dented and the wood was cracked and covered with camo duct tape and the internals looked like it had never been cleaned in it's life but the only 'internal' part I had to replace was the gasket thing on the mag tube (a $3 part if I remember correctly). I swapped over to a 21" barrel with rifle sights and is set up for choke tubes, a Speedfeed III stock, a Scattergun Technologies mag extension, 6 shot side saddle carrier AND a Surefire Responder forearm. It holds 8 rounds and has 10 more hanging on it. The sights are zeroed with slugs for 50 yards and the 90 lumen flashlight on the forearm seems light up the whole world.
 
Shotgun, but learn how to use it. There are classes devoted to home defense with a shotgun. It will teach you how to manuver with it, when to use it, how not to kill your neighbors, etc......

no matter what you get, train, train, train.
 
I hate to jump to conclusions, but I have..

I'm assuming that you're new to firearms in general. If not I appologize.
I'm assuming that you've never fired a shotgun or a pistol. If not I apologize.
I'm assuming that you're trying to base your decisions on youtube videos, the media, and forums.

Again, I apologize for assuming, but its just what I see.

My best recommendation is for you to take a FIREARMS SAFETY course. This will familiarize you with different types of firearms, and help to ensure you don't shoot yourself, a loved one, or put a hole in your wall.

Talk to GlockFan he's an instructor and could probably give you some great advice, and an idea of what course you should take.

After your safety course, you should rent a handgun/shotgun from a range and shoot them. Decide what you feel more comfortable utilizing, and then take the appropriate operator course:

IE: Handgun course or Shotgun course.

You can be 'self taught' if you'd like, but NRA prices are fair and extremely valuable IMO, and they will help you develop a safe skill much faster than trial and error on your own...

My 2 cents...
 
Mossberg has some great shotguns in your price range. And, some of thier guns come with a long (for hunting) and short barrels (better suited for HD). I would suggest the shotty would be an ideal first gun. My first gun was a single shot New England 20 gauge. I used it for bird hunting mostly... but for the first couple years of my marriage, that gun also served as our HD gun. #4 shot makes a pretty nasty hole in things! Even after I bought my first handgun, I loaded snakeshot in the first 2 rounds for several years. Now it's a fully loaded mag of JHP with one in the chamber!

But, it's my belief that everyone should own at least one shotgun! :)

Best of luck in finding your first gun!
 
I've been leaning towards the S&W Sigma Series .40 caliber SW40VE

S&W SW40VE .40SW Black/Stainless for Sale at Buds Gun Shop $299.00

Right now its on sale for $299 plus a $50 MIR or 2 Free Magazines. I live about an hour away from budsgunshop so i could order online and pick it right up from the store and be back home in no time.

I went to a pawn shop and held one today, it felt good i would say, about right for my hand size, but i don't like the texture; it needs a rubber grip.

I've read too much about them and have heard very little bad about them, with many good things. Any thoughts on this?
 
Since its my first gun and shooting it for recreation would be its 2nd use, would buying something like a like a .22 LR handgun be an option for home defense? I have seen them kill, but obviously they lack the stopping power of something like a .45 ACP.

Sure would be cheap to shoot on the weekends at the range though.

Walther P22 .22lr 3.4" Black for Sale at Buds Gun Shop $314.00

Great assassin bullet.. right to the back of the head... However, in most home invasions, your not going to be sneaking up behind the target.. I wouldn't bet my life on it for home defense .. Better than nothing, but wouldn't be my 1st choice.. IMHO..

I do find it humorous that you went from a Shotgun to a .22 LR.. You hit both end of the spectrum on barrel size! :laugh:
 
I was just kidding a bit. I am sure it would be fun to have a cheap gun to shoot but i am looking to get something with a little stopping power. I pretty much determined i will need at least a .380 but am trying to find 9mm or .40 S&W.

Like i said before, am leaning towards the S&W Sigma series 40VE
 
... like I said before, am leaning towards the S&W Sigma series 40VE.

I texted my buddy last night... he has the Sigma SW9VE. He said, "I've shot all my life and it shoots better than anything I have ever owned (including the Colt Commander that I owned). Shot one inch groups at 15 yards; my brother's Sig P226 shot a little over three inch groups! None of us could believe how smooth it was! No jams, even with hollow points. It’s the best Pistol I have ever owned! Let's go shooting!" :)

... in most home invasions, I wouldn't bet my life on a 22 for home defense .. better than nothing, but not my 1st choice.. IMHO..

And, I definitely agree with Hoot! 22's are fine for target practice at the range and saving money on ammo—but, probably not the first choice in self defense!
 
I agree with what Hootmonsccy said. If you need to clear your house a shotgun is to long and is easy to grab by the BG. A handgun can be held close to the body in the high ready position making walking from room to room easier. Also if the BG is holding a family member close it will be next to impossible to hit him with a blast from a shot gun with out hitting your loved one. With a handgun and proper training you can be more "surgically" accurate with your shot.
 
on the .22 question, in most self defense situations, killing power isn't that important, stopping power is. You want a weapon that puts the BG on the ground fast. It doesn't help much if your assailant dies 10 min after he is finished removing your liver with a spoon........
 

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