.38sp > .22 for protection any day. Hope you decide to pick up a nice .38. I carry a Ruger LCR (.38). The recoil is very mild with the stock Hogue grips, my gf shoots it and does fine and she's not a shooter, your wife should do fine with it. Just my $0.02. Good luck with everything, and sorry to hear about the break in.
Recognize that your place was broken into while you weren't home (based on your original post), so arming yourself is not a foil against that kind of violation.
As other posts have suggested, establish layers of defense/protection. Good locks on doors and windows are the first place to start, then proceed to alarms and dogs. Don't forget that if you leave a firearm at home when the house is unoccupied, that becomes a prize if the home is burglarized again.
And meanwhile, get some insurance!!!
We will be leaving for two weeks. In the past we left dawg with a friend, but he has cancer and can't take her. So, 20 bucks a night and that is the low ball amount for dog boarding. It runs as high as 42 a night around here.
Good alarm systems are available now for just a couple hundred bucks or less--- on up, depending on amenities and fancy stuff added such as fire alarm, freeze alarm, water alarm, window glass breakage, pet immune motion sensors, auto dial etc.
The thing is, most of us need both the dog and the ALARM system. They are not substitutes for each other.
I wouldn't be without dogs, and I wouldn't want to not have an alarm system as well --for example, when away and dawg is boarded, who is watching the house? If you have an alarm system it can auto dial you or a company.
If you live in a small apartment and are willing to dispense with the monitoring an dial up, there are many inexpensive systems that consist of one or two door monitors, and a motion detector or two. Personally, I like glass break detectors. I want warning before someone is in and able to trip a motion sensor.
Alarm systems are a joke... the BG breaks in and the alarm company calls YOUR house to verify:rolleyes:. IF no one answers, they call the cops. Cops take.... at best 7 minutes to respond. By this time, 15 minutes has gone by since the snake slithered in. It's LONG gone before you'll ever know it. The average burglary only a takes about 3-5 minutes. These guys do this stuff for a livin' and they'll have a gun in your face while you're asleep, in your jammies:blink:. If it makes ya "feel" better, get one:bier:
A noisy dog is a good idea for first line of defense, second good locks, an alarm system, motion activated flood lamps, weapons are the last resort, hope you don't have to kill someone.
I sympathize with you. It happened to us many years ago when we were in MD. Went to NY to visit folks and came back to find the apartment had been broken into. Lost some money and a TV and many a night of sleep.
Education/training is a very good idea.
For someone new to firearms maybe consider a pump action shotgun. Pumps have a universal sound. If after racking a round the bad guy keeps coming he deserves to be shot and he has been warned. With the shotgun you don't have to be percise - just close. And there are various types of shot shells that could be more safely used depending on your envionment. I'm thinking of getting the Mossberg youth model in 20 gague with the 18" barrel (about $275.) I have a 12 gague but that's a bit heavy on my arthritis.
Go to a range.... one that also hopefully sells guns. Talk to them, learn to shoot and handle a gun safely, try some out that they have and that you are comfortable with along with an instructor ...and "listen " to them. Take a self-defense shooting class as well.
This is all for very good reasons :
1. So you become "competent" and "safe" in handling the gun and don't harm yourself or your family & friends.
2. You become skilled in shooting the gun.
3. You realize the difference between self-defense and shooting anything that moves.
4. You get a gun appropriate for your particular need and skills.
For home :
1. Get alarms tied to at least 135 dlb horns... they will wake up the dead and make any burglar need to change his pants.
2. secure windows, doors, etc. as well as you can .......
3. put in an inside and outside camera..... to video anyone messing around your house for the police.
But seriously, thanks to everyone for all the information and time provided....
I have another question, like everyone said, I'd like to protect my home - especially when I'm no there. I was thinking of bars for the windows (ones you can open from the inside if needed) but the wife prefers hurricane impact windows. I do live in Florida so I wouldn't mind them but are they secure enough for what I want? The little research I did on them mentions security as a selling point but I would like some input if anyone has any dealings with them. Thanks in advance.
Watch the videos on the lower right.
You've been given some good advice, but what you do with it is up to you.
I will reinterate the training aspect, and that home defense is a layered system. I'm also in favor of dogs. Note the "s" for multiples. Two seems sufficient for most folks. Before the gun I would be looking at the doors and windows, locks, alarm system, dogs, shrubbery around the house, and various other things. Accessability and visability too.
You might want to check out Massad Ayoob's book:
The gun should actually be the last thing on your list, and you also need to think about how you will secure it when you're not there. Otherwise you just put another gun on the street for the badguys to use. That is not something I look kindly at.
Impact resistant windows (AKA "Hurricane windows") are very effective - to the point that Fire Departments have trouble breaking into them during fires. Audible alarms, motion activated lights, monitored systems, dogs, landscaping (don't conceal the thieves, but put plants with sharp thorns under the windows), reinforced doors and doorjambs, quality locks, a bolted down fire resistant safe for valuables, recording serial numbers and descriptions of major purchases will all contribute to "defense in depth". Get a 22 to learn how to shoot, then take classes, and THEN get a home defense gun.
I can promise you...... you can put all the windows in you want, you can bolt your door, you can do all types of things.... and I'm betting I can be inside your house within 5 minutes with no issues. Some burglars will literally just cut a hole in your roof and drop in.... and you only have sheetrock on your ceiling... kick a hole and drop down into the house, unlock the door and let your buddy in. Most door jams are pretty useless and can be kicked in.
I've seen it where they just took some siding off of a house , made a hole and went on thru the wall. There are tools to "unlock" your window from the outside unless you have straight lockdown latches.
But, none of them like a very loud alarm ... and no matter how they get in, they like to haul the goodies out the door..... hint, hint,..... where door and inside motion detection alarms do their best work.
That's why they also don't like big dogs.