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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am personally a fan of .45's, but I am helping family friends pick out their first pistol to be used for home defense. I don't think that he will want or need to carry concealed but may decide to later. I am asking for peoples' advice on what would best suit his needs.

.45 or 9mm? or maybe .40S&W

There are some basic considerations that the man of the house will be the primary shooter, but his wife may also need to be able to fire it. Recoil should not be much of an issue with him, but she is very little and may have troubles with the recoil of a .45

Any recommendations and advice would be appreciated, and if you have a good idea for not only caliber but also gun manufacturer and model, please send it my way.

For a final note, not to say that cost is not an issue (he doesn't need a custom 1911) but he is willing to spend good money for a good gun so he doesn't need to go cheap.
 

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How much is planning on shooting? Why is a 12ga not a consideration? Why not .38 or .357? How big are her hands? How often does she plan on shooting? Too many questions left unanswered.
 

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If he wants a .45, I'd recommend the Glock 36. Very nice .45 caliber and with a slimmer grip for the ladies over the normal Glock. For a 9mm, The Glock19 is another quality pistol. You can't go wrong with a Glock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
How much is planning on shooting? Why is a 12ga not a consideration? Why not .38 or .357? How big are her hands? How often does she plan on shooting? Too many questions left unanswered.
He is not planning on shooting often, and she will rarely shoot more than just trying the gun out at the range. A 12ga could be a good solution with the possibility of a backup pistol. I don't know exactly how big her hands are but lets just say small.

I am not against a .357, but the recoil may be to great for her to handle. A .38 is just not powerfull enough in my opinion.

A combination of 12ga, larger caliber for him and smaller caliber for her could be a good solution.
 

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If he wants a .45, I'd recommend the Glock 36. Very nice .45 caliber and with a slimmer grip for the ladies over the normal Glock. For a 9mm, The Glock19 is another quality pistol. You can't go wrong with a Glock.
Sorry, this is just plain not good advise. The Glock 36 is a great "carry" gun, it is small, light and thin. It is also a low capacity gun, that will kick lick a mule in the wrong hands (like a small woman with poor shooting skills)...this makes it a poor home defense weapon when compared to other/larger weapons of similar caliber. *edit* I should add, I have personally carried a g36 for a few years (no longer do) and it made a good carry weapon. **

I would be a BIG advocate of a shotgun for them if they are open to it. I would consider a 20 gauge if she can not handle the size/weight of a 12 gauge. Or check out Junior size 12 ga.

As for choosing 9mm, .40, .45, ... They MUST go to a gun shop and at least hold different models...most preferably they should each shoot multiple models and calibers.

nosights
 

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I think the answer is the same for every new shooter. Go to the range and rent a couple of guns in each caliber and let them make their own decision.
 

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Remington 870, in 12ga, or 20 ga for the lady HD, and a backup pistol as youcalled, I would go for a Glock 19, in 9mm. Both are the over all best deals in their IMHO.
 

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My wife's is also very small. She isn't comfortable with my G19 or G26. The width of the grip makes it necessary for her to turn her hand in order to reach the trigger, causing a bad shooting grip. The only guns she has been happy with so far are a S&W 642 and a Kahr CW9. She has no problem handling the 642 with +P loads. She'll shoot mostly std. .38's for practice and end the session with a cylinder full of +P's. She says they hurt her hand, but if someone's trying to hurt her, she won't even notice it.

As for shotguns, she is able to handle a youth model 20ga. 870, better than the 12ga.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I forgot to mention that I will be taking them to the range and letting them fire my .45, .380 and 22lr and renting a 9mm from the range to give them a chance to feel the various recoils.

I will also have them try out many models in gun stores and get a feel for various models in their hands.

Thanks for all the advice so far and keep it coming.
 

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I'd stick with a 9mm personally. Less recoil would help with the accuracy. Also helps with follow up shots. Looking at the statistics, a .45 doesn't offer THAT much more stopping power. Shot placement is key, not caliber.

You said cost is no issue on buying the gun, but what about shooting? Everyone who plans on using it should be practicing regularly. 9mm is cheaper where I live than .40 and .45.

Also, you'll get more rounds per magazine with a 9mm. If they aren't sharp shooters (especially in a panic) then you'll need as many rounds as you can.

Just my opinions. My g/f and I both enjoy my SA-XD9sc.
 

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Oh, boy! Just like clockwork: another caliber war!


 

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Choice is a very personal thing while I won't enter the type of revolver/pistol or cailber debate... this time... I would recommend an easy gun to point and shoot for both, perhaps DAO, just point and pull trigger, may even consider SxS/OU shotgun with one trigger. (kids in the house may alter this...) A small / midsized gun may entice CC one day also...
 

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Sorry, this is just plain not good advise. The Glock 36 is a great "carry" gun, it is small, light and thin. It is also a low capacity gun, that will kick lick a mule in the wrong hands (like a small woman with poor shooting skills)...this makes it a poor home defense weapon when compared to other/larger weapons of similar caliber.
And you think a little woman can handle a larger heavier higher capacity pistol better? Why, cause the recoil is less due to weight? If the little lady can't hold onto the thinner but full grip of the G36, what makes the larger one any better. And as far as "kick like a mule". The .40 cal kick is equal or even worse. IMO the worse thing anyone can do is buy a pistol for the wife and not take her out and fire the thing and become accustomed to the recoil and become proficient with its use. IMO, recoil is worse with the smaller pistols but I wouldn't consider the G36 a small pistol either. At best I would call it a compact model with a thinner grip. 26oz loaded isn't that light and IMO, with a little training anyone can shoot a .45. As far as not a good home defense gun, I say BULL .40 or .45 is by far a better round for SD, and capacity shouldn't be your main concern, knowing how to shoot and put the rounds where you want um is, especially in a home with walls and other homes beyond your interior walls.


I would be a BIG advocate of a shotgun for them if they are open to it. I would consider a 20 gauge if she can not handle the size/weight of a 12 gauge. Or check out Junior size 12 ga.
IMO, that's far worse that anything I suggested. I can't see a small lady under duress trying to defend herself or her family in a house with a 30" barrel over a fit in your hand point and shoot hand gun of any make and model. In the hands of an experienced shooter sure, but then again we're not talkin experienced are we. And I'd say, anyone that can handle a shottie can handle a .45


As for choosing 9mm, .40, .45, ... They MUST go to a gun shop and at least hold different models...most preferably they should each shoot multiple models and calibers.

nosights
Ahh, something we can agree on... :bier:
 

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If this is strictly for home defense, forget a pistol. Use a simple pump action shotgun with "low-recoil defense" loads, and any adult will be able to handle it.

Like other posters, I strongly disagree with the Glock 36 recommendation, which is a powerful caliber in a small (than thus harder to control package). It's about the last .45 I would give to a small inexperienced shooter.
 

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from the OP.... "There are some basic considerations that the man of the house will be the primary shooter, but his wife may also need to be able to fire it."
A long gun in tight conditions, inexperienced shooter, good luck with that. :rofl:

Like other posters, I strongly disagree with the Glock 36 recommendation, which is a powerful caliber in a small (than thus harder to control package). It's about the last .45 I would give to a small inexperienced shooter.
Some trips to the range are in order I'm thinkin.... .45 recoil more than a 9mm sure, enough to scare the ladies off though, get real. Plenty of ladies out there big and small using the round everyday. If the lady is so inexperienced that she cant fire the weapon, for gods sake keep it and all guns away from her before she kills one of the ones she's tryin to protect.
 

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A long gun in tight conditions, inexperienced shooter, good luck with that. :rofl:
No one is suggesting a 30" trap gun. I would think we are all considering a 18-20" HD gun.

Now the pistol backup is a bad plan because of the training required to switch platforms efficiently, but for strict HD... You can't so wrong with an 870.

Plus a pistol is far harder to aim than a long gun, especially under duress.
 

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Whatever caliber you choose you want a full sized pistol for any pistol in a home defense scenario. The full length of the barrel makes all the difference in the ballistics of your hollowpoint of choice. It isnt so much an accuracy issue as it is a recoil and ft/lbs of energy dumped into target issue.

Magnums and 10mm will over penetrate and if you live in an appartment that could be deadly to a neighbor. .45 tends to have low muzzle velocity but gets amazing ballistic performance out of guns with 5" barrels. 9MM loses on ballistics but gains on capacity. 9MM also tends penetrate farther than .45 and has much higher muzzle velocity.

My advice is to MASTER home defense with a .45 and ALSO get a 9MM. The 9MM might need to be your friend's first weapon so that he can get his wife involved. If his wife cant handle a Glock 21SF then get a Glock 17 and get a couple of 33 round clips for home defense.

As noted above your primary home defense weapon should be a Remmington 870 (18")or a Mossberg 590 (20") with extended magazines, sidesaddle and a tactical flashlight attached. No matter what he chooses, he AND his wife need to train extensively with the weapon
 

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No one is suggesting a 30" trap gun. I would think we are all considering a 18-20" HD gun.

Now the pistol backup is a bad plan because of the training required to switch platforms efficiently, but for strict HD... You can't so wrong with an 870.

Plus a pistol is far harder to aim than a long gun, especially under duress.
With training, I 100% agree... Not experienced though I think the hand gun would be easier to deploy. I can't understand why folks think, to a inexperienced shooter, that a larger more difficult pump action shot gun would be a better choice. Again in the hands of an experienced gun person yes, but to a none gun using female I say no way... I am using my own personal experience here. My wife has tried the two and by far would rather have the handgun, for sheer weight and ease of use, is what she said to me. Oh, and my wife has a .40 cal at home in her safe on the nightstand. I not only recommend it, I live by it.
 

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Ignoring the shotgun foofooraw, and focusing on the pistols, yes, absolutely, take them to the range and let them shoot.

For .45, and for a HD pistol, I'd recommend the 1911 platform, 5" Gov't model to be exact. The slim grips tend to be a good fit with smaller hands, the weight keeps recoil down, and they tend to be accurate and reliable pistols.

For 9mm...if a Glock 17 or 34 works for her, you really couldn't go wrong. If not...my recommendations would lean towards a Hk P30, P226, or M92. All reliable, proven perfomers.



(BTW--my recommendation for a HD long gun for someone who is recoil sensitive is a M1 carbine...flame away)
 
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