Basic defense?


ChiefyMan1234

New member
Hey... so this is the first time ever looking into/considering getting a weapon. I was curious what gun would be suggested for defense of a family - someone basic that someone ranging from 22 yrs to 75 yrs old (the range of age in our household) could handle.

This would be more for defense at home, not a concealed weapon to be carried around.

On a second question, what kind of handgun would you suggest for personal defense that could be carried around for a novice.

Thanks alot!

PS - if you're going to tell me to search, I tried, but apparently the keywords I tried to use didn't work. Thus I'm posting this question.

Thanks!
 

DarrellM5

New member
I'd buy the largest caliber, that all the people who will be using the firearm, can shoot well. AT least a 9mm, but preferably a .357, .40 S&W or .45 acp. Check out a shooting range that rents guns and see what works for you. My primary home defense/carry pistol is a Sig Sauer P229 in .40 S&W. Revolvers make an excellent choice for novice shooters (and experienced shooters, too) because they are easy to operate (just point and click). Regardless of what you choose, seek proper training. Not only on how to shoot, but when & when not to shoot.
 

Sgt. SIG

New member
I'm thinkin' with several different users maybe a .357 revolver loaded with .38 +P hollowpoints. :icon_great:
 

abock33

New member
I Agree

I'd buy the largest caliber, that all the people who will be using the firearm, can shoot well. AT least a 9mm, but preferably a .357, .40 S&W or .45 acp. Check out a shooting range that rents guns and see what works for you. My primary home defense/carry pistol is a Sig Sauer P229 in .40 S&W. Revolvers make an excellent choice for novice shooters (and experienced shooters, too) because they are easy to operate (just point and click). Regardless of what you choose, seek proper training. Not only on how to shoot, but when & when not to shoot.

I Agree. I keep a 1911 in the dresser by the bed for the wife when I'm not there and I keep a Glock 23 on me. but like DarrellM5 said get some training. There's no such thing as too much training.
 

David E

New member
I doubt that all members of the household would be willing to take training or practice more than once, if at all.

That means an easy to shoot, easy to understand firearm.

Some will suggest pump shotguns, but pumping that sucker isn't instinctive to a non-gun person.

Others will suggest the latest/greatest semi-auto, but again, magazine may need to be inserted, a slide may have to be cycled, a safety taken off, not to mention mastering jam clearance protocols.

I suggest a revolver, with either a 2" or 4" barrel, caliber .38 or .357. In case you didn't know, a .357 can safely fire the gentler kicking .38's.

Weight of the gun is important, as if it is too heavy, it'll be hard to hold for some in that house. Too light, and it'll kick like a mule.

Size is important. Too large, it's difficult to hold properly, too small, it's difficult to hold properly and the trigger pull will be harder due to less leverage of the smaller parts.

I'd say get an all steel snub nose (you can control or adjust fit by changing out the grips) or a medium frame with 4" barrel.

A couple specific models that come to MY mind are: A Colt Detective Special, a S&W Model 649, or a S&W 4" Model 10 or, ideally to my mind, a S&W Model 12 with open-back Pachmayer grips. Load any of these with .38's.

.
 
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HK4U

New member
I agree. If you want to keep it simple, stick with a small to medium size revolver.
 

couger8045

New member
What Gun To Purchase

If you are new to shooting, and you want a gun that is easy to opearate and something you can feel confident in, I would go with a 4inch .357 magnum revolver. Is easy to opperate, basic, reliable, awesome stopping power.

If you want to step it up to an autoloader....hands down a .45. There is no point to any other caliber for home defense. People talke about 9mm and things like "its all about shot placement". I agree on shot placement to a point. However....when you are woken up in the middle of the night, and someone is standing in your doorway and you cant see very well, you really may not get the best shot placement...I mean lets be honest...with a 9mm, you will prob. have to take 2-3 shots to take down the introder....with a 230 grain bullet coming out of a .45 1 hit between the head to waist and they are going down. Do I really have to continue? I think it speaks for itself.....
 
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Austin

New member
12

12 guage pump, loaded with OO buck.

Good chance that when someone pulls that and racks it they wont even have to use it (but whats the fun in that I guess). There is no more intimidating sound in the middle of the night.

You mentioned that anyone should be able to use it. And I know that it has a kick. But do you think that someone will really be able to dump 5 - 10 rounds in a tango?



For a carry gun a .40 is always a good round.

Just my 2 cents worth.

-Austin
 

GregRN

New member
Home defense perfection is the pump shotgun. If you feel that all members needing it would not be able to handle the recoil, try 20 gauge. Just remember that there are "low recoil" buckshot loads out there in 12 gauge.

For a handgun to carry, look at the lightweight revolvers. Most people overlook them in favor of a semi-auto at first (I know I did). However, I don't think there exists an easier to carry, simpler piece of protection. What good is a handgun for protection, that you can't, or won't, carry? They aren't extremely fun to shoot, but they go bang with only a trigger. And weighing less than a pound, they are pretty easy to carry. The revolver shape seems to hide better IMO than a flat semi-auto. Just stay away from .357 Magnum in such a light revolver. I know that some prefer it, but the recoil can be too much.
 

STILLdKING

New member
Agree mostly...

While I agree that a shotgun is one of the best home defense guns around, I personally load mine with Bird shot (upland game loads). And before the flaming starts, let me explain...
Firstly, Birdshot has stopping power. Try this for yourself, take a piece of plywood at 25-30 feet and shoot it with 7-1/2 or 8 birdshot. All of the pellets go into the board and most go through. For me, this is near equal to the longest straight distance inside my home so it has enough penetrating power to really mess-up a BG.
Second, being in a city setting I don't want missed rounds going through the walls of my house and into the houses of my neighbors. There's where the bird shot works great too. It loses a LOT of energy with distance and probably won't go through my outside walls. If it does it'll, more than likely, just bounce off the neighbors outer walls leaving nothing more than a small mark.
What I'm trying to get at is Buck shot will penetrate TOO MUCH and I don't want to hurt anyone else in my neighborhood while trying to stop an attack inside my home.

Ok, that's my reasoning and if there are any dissenting opinions, I'd appreciate your thoughts.
Thanks
JC
 

HK4U

New member
Thee reasons why I would not chose a shot gun as a home defence.

1) To long and cumbersom. If you have to move from room to room it is easier to grab than a had gun kept close to the body.
2) It can be heavy for a woman to shoulder.
3) If you have to make a percise shot and a love one is near the BG it is almost impossible to fire and not hit the loved one you are trying to protect.
 

Hoot

New member
Chiefyman, I have the same situation at home as you mentioned. I've been an active shooter for many years, but my wife and her mother are not shooters. They are interested in having protection but they aren't interested in doing much in the skill building department beyond familiarization.

For people such as these the weapon needs to be one wherein they need do nothing more that identify the target, point the gun, and pull the trigger.

Caliber should be no greater than .38 spec. or 9mm. I don't want them to be in a state of semi-shock from the noise, muzzle blast, and recoil so that they can not fire a second or third shot if need be. A weapon fired inside a room multiplies all of those distractions by three. (non-scientific)

Finally the weapon should be easy for them to shoot. It should fit nicely in their hands. It should point naturally.

I selected S&W K frame revolvers. I have a model 10, three model 15's, and a Colt Police Positive (all are .38 spec., and all have 4" barrels.) that are each stashed in a different part of the house so that wherever they are, the women have instant access to a gun.

Personally, I think the smaller J frame .38/357 revolvers are a little too difficult for a novice to shoot well. I like the J's, and I have several. But my wife couldn't hit a five gallon can at ten yards with a J frame, yet she had no trouble hitting with the K frame guns.

A double action only semi-auto would probably serve just as well, but they tend to be more expensive. Besides, I already had the revolvers.
 

PascalFleischman

New member
While I agree that a shotgun is one of the best home defense guns around, I personally load mine with Bird shot (upland game loads). And before the flaming starts, let me explain...
Firstly, Birdshot has stopping power. Try this for yourself, take a piece of plywood at 25-30 feet and shoot it with 7-1/2 or 8 birdshot. All of the pellets go into the board and most go through. For me, this is near equal to the longest straight distance inside my home so it has enough penetrating power to really mess-up a BG.
Second, being in a city setting I don't want missed rounds going through the walls of my house and into the houses of my neighbors. There's where the bird shot works great too. It loses a LOT of energy with distance and probably won't go through my outside walls. If it does it'll, more than likely, just bounce off the neighbors outer walls leaving nothing more than a small mark.
What I'm trying to get at is Buck shot will penetrate TOO MUCH and I don't want to hurt anyone else in my neighborhood while trying to stop an attack inside my home.

Ok, that's my reasoning and if there are any dissenting opinions, I'd appreciate your thoughts.
Thanks
JC

Personally, I disagree with your ballistics assertions re: the plywood and BG stopping power. But I'll let the guys at the Box o' Truth try. All I have are words...they have photos to back it up with. Try checking this out, and let us know your thoughts on birdshot after you've seen their work.

***WARNING***
This website is not condusive to productive work. It's fun to go through all their demonstrations. The next thing you know, you have just killed 2 hours. DO NOT VISIT UNLESS YOU CAN DEDICATE YOUR TIME TO WASTE.

www.theboxotruth.com

For their shotgun demos, click here:

http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot3.htm
 

STILLdKING

New member
Hmmm...

Well, I guess I'm gonna have to do a bit of testin' on my own. Besides, it gives me a reason to make a(nother) BoT and try some different rounds.
I remember being suprised myself when the #8 shot I used penetrated the 3/4" plywood at around 25 feet, so I'll have to try & recreate that.
As a side note, the BoT tests talk of the spread being 2-1/2" to 3-1/2" at 12 feet. What I remember when I tried this was the holes were about 1-1/4 to 1-3/4" across. The lack-of-spread may have been a factor in the pellets carrying enough energy to effect a bit more damage.
IDK... Again, it's an excuse to drag out the SG's and fire-off a few this weekend.

Thanks for the link (back) to the BoT. Nice to see they've still been keeping busy.
JC
 

SigFan229R

New member
I agree. If you want to keep it simple, stick with a small to medium size revolver.

I agree.

In the event they need to use it, it needs to just work. Point and shoot (just like the fully automatic cameras). No external safeties, no need to remember to work the slide or pump a round into the chamber.
 

doublenutz

New member
Hey... so this is the first time ever looking into/considering getting a weapon.

Just a word to the wise and for future reference... the NRA frowns on the use of the word weapon to describe a rifle or pistol. Weapons are used for military purposes or, in other cases not military- a weapon is often times used for things not associated with a legal citizens right for the the purpose of bearing arms (self defense, sport, collector, etc.).

Call it a gun, firearm, pistol, heater, gatt, call it anything you like but unless you are in the the military and using it for that purpose- call it anything but a weapon.:idea:
 
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Just a word to the wise and for future reference... th NRA frowns on the use of the word weapon to describe a rifle or pistol. Weapons are used to for military purposes or in other cases not military a weapon is oftentimes used for things not associated with a legal citizens right for the the purpose of bearing arms (self defense, sport, collector, etc.).

Call it a gun, firearm, pistol, heater, gatt, call it anything you like but unless you are in the the military and using it for that purpose- call it anything but a weapon.:idea:


+1 for doublenutz!

It's difficult enough defending our 2A rights, lets make the task a little easier by taking the negative image out of the minds of folks who may be "anti" or "undecided". It's not a very difficult thing to do, but you'll be amazed at how folks react differently to the word "firearm" vs. the "w" word.



gf
 

firescout

New member
Basic home defense gun

I'm new here, but not new to the shooting community. I agree with those who recommended a medium frame, 4 to 6" barrel .357 Mag or .38 Spl revolver (6-shot) loaded with .38 Spl +P hollowpoints, especially the 158 grain lead HP round. This type of gun is easily handled by those who are not especially adept with handguns, and it is very effective in the hands of an experienced person.
I keep my Ruger GP-100 .357 revolver available as the *house gun*, at my residence. My wife is not into guns, and is reluctant to even go the the range with me (she has her pepper spray and remote panic button for the monitored alarm system). But if she was pressed into using the revolver, it is the gun I'd feel the best about her using.

I do not feel that a shotgun is the best home defense gun. As mentioned earlier, you can easily be disarmed of a longarm in close quarters. It is difficult to effectively hold an intruder at gunpoint with a shotgun AND call 9-1-1 on your telephone (cordless, I hope). I also feel that a 12 ga pump or autoloading shotgun, loaded with 00 buck, can be difficult to master for those persons of small stature or with physical limitations.

Lastly, a SureFire incandescent tactical light (w/ high-power lamp), is an important bedside tool to have available.
 

whiskey

(echo_5)
I've said it before and I'll say it again: "Nothing beats a shotgun up close." Considering the age range of potential end-users, check out PascalF's avatar. Pistol caliber carbines make great defensive tools. For a simple yet effective CCW go for a Glock 17 or 19. Both are 9mm, easier to handle than 40S&W.
 

festus

God Bless Our Troops!!!
A Zillion little Wound channels

While I agree that a shotgun is one of the best home defense guns around, I personally load mine with Bird shot (upland game loads). And before the flaming starts, let me explain...
Firstly, Birdshot has stopping power. Try this for yourself, take a piece of plywood at 25-30 feet and shoot it with 7-1/2 or 8 birdshot. All of the pellets go into the board and most go through. For me, this is near equal to the longest straight distance inside my home so it has enough penetrating power to really mess-up a BG.
Second, being in a city setting I don't want missed rounds going through the walls of my house and into the houses of my neighbors. There's where the bird shot works great too. It loses a LOT of energy with distance and probably won't go through my outside walls. If it does it'll, more than likely, just bounce off the neighbors outer walls leaving nothing more than a small mark.
What I'm trying to get at is Buck shot will penetrate TOO MUCH and I don't want to hurt anyone else in my neighborhood while trying to stop an attack inside my home.

Ok, that's my reasoning and if there are any dissenting opinions, I'd appreciate your thoughts.
Thanks
JC

The wound you are talking about is called a rat hole. Each pellet makes an independent wound channel that tends to bleed profusely. Considering how many pellets there are in 1 and 1/8 oz's of #8, no surgeon in the world can fix that kind of wound properly.

Canis Lupus can probably explain this a lot better with his military medical background.
 

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