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DamnYankee 06-18-2010 03:15 PM

My first firearm...what should I get?
This has probably been asked before, I'm sure. I would like a gun for home defence. I'm trying to keep the budget below $400. What would be my best choice... handgun or shotgun? I live in a single family home and have two small children. My wife is not really crazy about guns so she will most likely not want to shoot. Thanks in advance for the input.

NGIB 06-18-2010 03:29 PM

A nice pump shotgun. Cheap, effective, available at Walmart, won't over penetrate, and requires little practice to be "on target"...

CHLChris 06-18-2010 04:46 PM

Hey, Yankee! I've been seeing this question in many different iterations for the year I've been here. A lot of us agree with NGIB. Get a pump 12 gauge shotgun first (may it not be the last!).

Not many sounds quite so definitive as the chook-chook of a shell getting loaded into a shotty. The BG definitely is at a crossroads in his life when he hears that sound.

Jo da Plumbr 06-18-2010 04:50 PM

You have this double posted so here is my double answer.

Whatever you choose you have to keep it locked away from your kids. I usually recommended a shotgun for the only firearm to be used as home defense. But with kids a revolver locked in a bio safe may be a better choice. As for what revolver, go to a range that rents and try out a few. I would go for the largest caliber you are comfortable shooting. You may also want to look into home defense loads. They knock down bad guys but won't go through walls and hurt family members.

WannaGator 06-18-2010 05:09 PM


Originally Posted by NGIB (Post 302026)
A nice pump shotgun. Cheap, effective, available at Walmart, won't over penetrate, and requires little practice to be "on target"...

I'm with NGIB here.

Check around and look for a shop that will transfer a gun to you, then check out the deals on Buds Gun

That's my $.02.

CHLChris 06-18-2010 05:13 PM


Originally Posted by Jo da Plumbr (Post 302115)
Whatever you choose you have to keep it locked away from your kids. I usually recommended a shotgun for the only firearm to be used as home defense. But with kids a revolver locked in a bio safe may be a better choice.

When I bought my first firearm (a Mossberg 500A 12 gauge), I bought a full-size fire safe at the same time. I chose a keypad entry so I could open it at night in the dark. Granted, it made a $350 purchase into about $900 because of the safe, but my home is safer, I can keep it loaded, and I have a place for important documents and the wife's jewelry.

With my first handgun purchase I bought a GunVault Deluxe 1000 for under my bed.

BigO01 06-18-2010 07:34 PM

First off DamnYankee it doesn't matter what your wife is "Crazy" about this purchase isn't being done as a hobby/past time for you it is a serious matter of buying a serious piece of machinery to quite possably save the life or lives of every member of that house hold . With crime and violence becoming more random these days it realy is no different than any of the other devices that you would buy to save a life like a Fire extinguisher or a home portable heart difibulator that some people have these days , if it is in the home she should acting like a responsible adult and stop acting like a frightened child and learn to use it and use it correctly .

It isn't a toy Nor is there any more reason for her to have any more unreasonable fear of it than she would have of any simple piece of machinery if she can drive a car and use household appliances like a washing machine and dryer etc etc . ther is no reason she can't use a gun .

With your situation a shotgun is the worst choice of a weapon you could make with small kids you could have to hold a child in one arm while taking them to a safe room and have to deal with an attacker with the other firing a long gun one handed can be done but it would take a ton more practice than using a nice simple revolver in a good caliber like 357 that can use 38's that are ideal for training .

This isn't some game and if things go bad it isn't going to run through a TV choreographed script and forget all the crap about not being able to miss with a shotgun or it wont overpenetrate through walls and kill someone on the other side etc etc add gabage from uninformed clowns that will get you thrown in jail or worse .

A shotgun is a fine weapon but it isn't for the guy who never uses it it will sit around forever and IF you need it in the middle of the night you'll be lucky to be able to remember how to load it in a hurry and operate the action if need be and if it is a semi auto and it sits around forever collecting dust you'll be lucky if it doesn't jam after 1 shot then you're realy screwed with a jammed gun you haven't touched in two years in the dark with perhaps the wife screaming her head off at the sound of breaking glass while you try to think what to do to get the gun working again !! Like I said it aint a game and when all hell breaks loose you wont magically become John Wayne saving the day you will fall back on whatever training you may have and for those that just buy a shotgun and stick it in the closset or a safe with a box of shells that training as a rule wont be diddly squat !!

I have been shooting for almost 50 years and I have yet to see anything close to a civilian combat course to run through on every few weekend with your shotgun . Most places to shoot a shotgun are trap and Skeet ranges and that kind of shooting is close to useless for a person who only owns the gun for Home defense .

Gojubrian 06-18-2010 07:46 PM

Desert Eagle .50. Nothing says stay away bad guy like a DE. :cool:

utf59 06-18-2010 09:52 PM

If the only factors are the weapon and home defense, a shotgun is the answer, hands down. Of course, those are never the only factors. You've already mentioned two small children and a wife who will not be one of the shooters. There will also be the layout of your house to consider.

Before making your choice, I suggest you make a defense plan. You don't need anything elaborate. But start by considering a few basic questions:
  • Where someone is likely to enter your house which doors and windows offer the easiest and/or most concealed entry?
  • What are the natural "funnels" in your house places where you can sight in on bad guys the easiest while exposing yourself the least. Where are your kids' rooms in relation to your bedroom?
  • Can you get to your children quickly and easily without exposing yourself to potential bad guys?
  • Do you have a dog? Will the dog bark at strangers? Attack BGs in the house?
  • Will you go over and even rehearse your defense plan with your family, or will this be something you will have to execute yourself? (If your family knows the plan, you can work out signals for things like gathering in a prearranged defensive strongpoint.)

Knowing your own home and family will lead you to more questions and answers.

One of the biggest things to consider is how you will identify targets to keep from shooting your wife and kids. Will you use a flashlight? Will you mount the light on the gun? There main advantage to mounting a light on a gun, BTW, is exactly the same as the main disadvantage. Wherever you point the light, you also point a loaded gun. If you plan to carry the flashlight in one hand and aim with the other, the shotgun isn't going to be a good choice.

I poked around on the Internet for a few minutes before replying. You can find locks, safes, wall mounts and bed mounts for a shotgun. And there are plenty of options for locking up a pistol as well. How you are going to access whichever gun you choose should also be part of your plan.

Personally, I think your defense plan may determine your choice of gun type. If you are prepared, either type of gun will serve you well.

spittinfire 06-18-2010 10:45 PM

I think before you bring a weapon into your home you need to go to a range and learn about them, practice with them and become somewhat more knowledgeble. The shotgun suggestion is great as is the revolver but whatever you decide, KNOW how to use it and keep it away from your children.

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