This is a discussion on Just for Home Defense. within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My two cents: I don't care what size shot you have in a shotgun, it's gonna blast right through sheetrock walls. Shotguns and rifles are ...
My two cents:
I don't care what size shot you have in a shotgun, it's gonna blast right through sheetrock walls. Shotguns and rifles are awkward to handle at best in close quarters, especially for someone unfamiliar with it. At indoor, close-up range, the pattern will spread open very little. Very lethal, even with birdshot!
The easiest and most dependable firearm is a revolver, and a .38 Special has stopped many a bad guy without killing him. It takes no special operation or training to fire a revolver, which makes it simple for the wife who grabs one in an emergency.
Sounds like instant "dead on impact" stopping power is NOT a big issue with you, so a .38 or 9 mm should do just fine.
Consider the Taurus "Judge" which handles .410 shotshells, slugs, and .45 Colt. That would be more than adequate for home defense. Being so short-barreled, its pattern would be wider. than a shotgun's. And a face full of .410 shot would definitely discourage someone from getting closer.
A flashlight with a revolver works just as well or better than a pistol-mounted light, and is a lot cheaper. A Maglite makes a pretty good up-close weapon as a back-up.
A revolver is just as fun to shoot, and .38 ammo is relatively cheap also.
Having said that, I keep a Glock 30 handy. But there's a shortened 3" 20 ga. single-shot with #2 buck in reserve.
Okay, maybe that was a nickel's worth.
Retired USAF E-8. Official forum curmudgeon.
Lighten up and enjoy life because:
Paranoia strikes deep, into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth
wow...weve gone from caliber disagreements to choice of weapon...
theres gonna be a bunch of different opinions and there certainly are quite a few choices for home and self defense firearms...youre the only one who can make that decision and live with with it...
taking a course sounds like a great idea in your case...do yourself a favor...take a handgun class and a shotgun class...learn the skill sets involved in both along with the effectiveness of both...
to clarify the point and shoot comments...anything you use is going to have to be aimed...a long gun is generally a bit more point and shoot friendly because by design it has a long sight plane...a pistol has a very short sight plane and a small margin of error could mean a large miss...even a 4" pattern of shot has a better chance of hitting its target than a .355" single projectile...
take some classes...they are relatively inexpensive and will give you the information you are looking for...google "hangun or shotgun class" and your city and look through some websites....
I've never aimed a shotgun like I do a rifle I just point in the general direction as
I have a 30 inch box with number 6 birdshot will do the trick and you don't have to worry about over penatration in the building.What I do worry about using any
long gun as a self defense gun inside a house is losing control of it as you come out of rooms or go around corners.My self protection choice is glock 17 as pistols
FNP-9 9mm pistol with 16 inside the magazine, and a Mossberg 500 12 gauge leaning in the corner of my bedroom, ready to deliver justice and doom with a BOOM! BOOM! BOOM BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! If they are really fast and mean, they may dodge all sixteen, but good luck dodging those six loads of double-ought buck.
I would rather die with good men than hide with cowards
If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans
Don't ever think that the reason I'm peaceful is because I don't know how to be violent
M&Pc .357SIG, 2340Sigpro .357SIG
Wow, thanks for all the input. I'm looking into classes and apparently have more thinking to do. I suppose I could have re-worded my question a little differently and lost a little criticism, but thanks everyone!
Well, you're hearing some good advise here and some unbelievably poor advise.
Long guns; (AR or Shotgun) better stopping power however depending on your layout they can be awkward to use in hallways, doorways, etc. And you have to aim with a shotgun. Can't believe how many I'm seeing agree with the statement that you don't. Any long time hunter knows you do.
Handgun; Easier to manuver with in a home and can someday be used for CCW depending on what you buy.
No matter what you need to....
1. make sure a gun fits you. You'll hear recommendations but when you go hold that gun it won't fit right.
2. A .45 will stop a threat better than a 9 all things being equal but the recoil ISN'T equal. You (not me or anyone else) have to be able to put your rounds on target. Maybe .45 is no big deal for you, maybe it is. You'll need to figure that out buy trying different calibers if you can.
3. Cost is a factor; if the ammo is too expensive you'll shoot too little.
Starting out I'd recommend you begin by considering .38/.357 in a revolver and 9mm in a semi. Both are more economical than alternatives. A 9mm is VERY controllable, even with hot defensive loads and yet it's the cheapest of them all so for the first gun, a 9mm is a VERY good place to start. .38's are more expensive by a LOT. If you do decide on a revolver I recommend a .357 because you can shoot .357 AND .38's which gives you a lot of options. If you ONLY get a .38 then you ONLY shoot a .38.
As for lights; I'd recommend you keep it simple. Use a hand gun and buy a very good quality LED light. Then learn how to use it in conjunction with a handgun.
A weapon mounted light is almost essential on a long gun to enable you to use both hands on the long gun. On a pistol it's less desired for civilians. If a light is on a gun then you're pointing your gun at whatever you're lighting. As a civilian I'd rather not do that. For military and LEO scenarios it's quite the opposite.
As for which handgun, stick to the main names you're always hearing about like S&W, Springfield Arms, Glock, Sig, Kahr, etc. Go slow if you're tempted to buy some of the less expensive models like Tarus and Keltec's. They can be fine choices too but it's better to buy the best quality you can when it comes to any gun, even if you have to save longer.
Another point about shotguns, they do kick quite a bit. Some will tell you you can load them down and that if you use proper technique they're no problem and there is some truth in that but I've been shooting shotguns of all kinds for 30+ years and the truth is the only shotguns I've ever fired that didn't hardly kick was a huge 12 ga auto with light field loads
Don't go overboard and get swayed with a lot of internet hype. And don't buy into the garbage about starting with revolver first. That's bunk. A semi isn't that much more complicated to operate. Having said that, there are upsides and downsides to both. Revolvers are simple, don't chuck brass all over the place and some people find they shoot them better but the reload is slower.
Also, I wouldn't be worried about capacity. You'll see a lot of advise on capacity, capacity, capacity. Yet when you look at the statistics, almost all civilian defensive shootings average about 2 rounds, last a few seconds and take place under 7 yards. Still I like the ability for a fast reload and more rounds.
Some say revolvers are more reliable. That's true but semi automatics have come so far that they're just about as reliable if you get a good one, break it in, and maintain it. I have several Kahr 9mm's that have never done anything other than what they're supposed to but I had a Ruger SP101 revolver lock up on me at the range one time. Go figure....
The one thing you have heard over and over again is to take some training. If you can find some and afford some it'll be the best money you ever spent and if you take it starting out, you'll be less likely to pick up bad habits.
Welcome to the world of guns and if you don't do anything else, memorize the 4 key safety rules and NEVER make an exception to following them.
My first home defense weapon was a S&W model 65.
Revolver, stainless, shoots .38 or .357, 4" barrel.
Reliable as a crowbar. I still have it. I did a lot of research, and I think I was right.
I now have more sexy guns, but that revolver just fit the bill.