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Old 01-30-2013, 04:09 AM   #1
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Default I would appreciate some expert advice.

I have never owned a gun. I was in the Navy 25 years ago, we fired the 1911 in boot camp as I remember I did not do really well with it. My wife has no experience with firearms either. The people who live in and around our community are and have been getting robbed and beaten at gun point for nearly a year now. My wife and I have decided to be proactive and protect ourselves. I have done some research and have talked to some people and have decided on a mossberg 20 cal pump action shotgun and a Springfield arms XD9. Unless, someone with more experience than me can give me a better option for my wife and I. Moving to another neighborhood is not an option for us. Thank You very much to anyone who takes the time to help us.

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Old 01-30-2013, 04:17 AM   #2
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The shotgun in 20 gauge loaded with buckshot and a barrel of 18 inches in length will do great. Also load the xd with Speer gold dots or Hornady critical defense. Fire some at the range to insure reliable feeding. Sounds like a good plan to me. Good luck and be safe.

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Old 01-30-2013, 04:29 AM   #3
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Great selection. The only thing I would consider is going ahead and getting a 12ga. With all of the choices available in 12ga, you can get loads that have very manageable recoil.

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Old 01-30-2013, 04:32 AM   #4
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I believe bird shot is the best for home defense as far as shotguns go. Depending on how you want the story to end, that just depends on how far your standing away from the assailant. Either way it ensures that whatever comes out of the barrel hits the target and stops, rather than traveling through walls. This becomes a very important factor when a threat is standing between you and a wall,and that wall has loved ones directly on the other side of it.

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Old 01-30-2013, 04:33 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by TheGunNovice View Post
I have never owned a gun. I was in the Navy 25 years ago, we fired the 1911 in boot camp as I remember I did not do really well with it. My wife has no experience with firearms either. The people who live in and around our community are and have been getting robbed and beaten at gun point for nearly a year now. My wife and I have decided to be proactive and protect ourselves. I have done some research and have talked to some people and have decided on a mossberg 20 cal pump action shotgun and a Springfield arms XD9. Unless, someone with more experience than me can give me a better option for my wife and I. Moving to another neighborhood is not an option for us. Thank You very much to anyone who takes the time to help us.
first of all, Welcome to the forum! stop over in the Introductions section and say hello!

okay, very good about being pro-active in your decision of not being a victim. your choices are sound and the 20 ga would be a good choice and as KY said load it with some buckshot and your good to go. 20 ga. would be recoil friendly for your wife while still being a good solid choice for HD usage when loaded with buckshot. also as KY said and i agree, limit the barrel length to about 18-20" for ease of use in the house.

now onto the choice of pistol. not bad, but have you fired one? i own a XDm40 and really like it. but how many pistols have you tried? is the pistol mainly for you or your wife? reason is, the pistol that fits your hand is the one you usually shoot the most accurately. if both of you are going to rely on the pistol, then you need one that fit both of you. sometimes revolvers are a good compromise here as a choice. my suggestion is to start hitting the gun stores and pawn shops and handling different pistols.

then onec the both of you have made your choices, practice, practice and practice some more. both of you need to practice with the pistol and the shotgun. also practice on a regular basis, say at least once a month to stay in top form. learn to clean and lube both firearms as well. good luck to both of you.
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:48 AM   #6
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Nothing wrong with your choices though I would second Scott's suggestion of the 12 guage, not only is it larger but there is usually a bigger available selection of the bigger loads like buckshot, at least there is around the retailers in my area, far more 12ga buckshot options. What axxe says about the pistol is good advice too, make sure you handle the xd before you buy it and have the wife handle it too, if you buy it and then decide it is uncomfortable or akward in the grip you may not be able to shoot it well. There's a ton of pistols out there handle as many as you can before buying.

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Old 01-30-2013, 04:48 AM   #7
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The shotgun sounds fine. What makes you want the XD? If you have not is there a range that rents that you can try one? I strongly advise that you and your wife put as many different pistols in your hands as you can to see what feel best for you. THe "best gun" for one wont work for another. And I don't care what it is if it's not a good fit you may get to where you can shoot it pretty well you will never see your or your pistols potential.

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Old 01-30-2013, 07:05 AM   #8
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The shotgun sounds fine. What makes you want the XD? If you have not is there a range that rents that you can try one? I strongly advise that you and your wife put as many different pistols in your hands as you can to see what feel best for you. THe "best gun" for one wont work for another. And I don't care what it is if it's not a good fit you may get to where you can shoot it pretty well you will never see your or your pistols potential.
Thank you I will take all of the advice given and try to find a range that rents in the area. See if we can find a handgun that fits the both of our hands. The 12 gauge on the other hand. I' ve never shot one but my wife shot her fathers about 10years ago and it knocked her on her ass, kind of funny at the time, Don't know much about shell loads. I do know the 12 gauge scares the crap out of her now as a result. Got to admit kind of scared me too. I should have shot it at the time, didn't want to make a fool of myself after that though. Again I appreciate all of the advice.
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:06 AM   #9
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The little bit softer load of the 20 gauge over the 12 sounds like an excellent choice for you - and me...

About the XD - it is a good gun and 9mm is a fine caliber and cheap to shoot for practice.

My thought though concerns it being a semi-automatic for the two of you - as new shooters. Semi-autos have several characteristics that must be mastered and mastered well in order for the gun to be a safe reliable defense gun.
The working of the slide must be mastered - and done properly or there is a chance the gun will not chamber a first round - rendering the gun useless. The gun also must be held firmly while firing for the auto mechanism to work properly - if not, the gun can fail to eject and load properly - resulting in a jam.
Semi-auto's occasionally will jam - and the shooter must have the training and presence of mind to be able to properly clear the jam - or the gun will not fire.

I'm pointing out these limitations in case you are not aware or have forgotten since your service time. They are important. Important enough to take a class or two to master. I've pointed out a couple of semi-auto limitations but there are others that must be recognized and mastered in order to be safe with a semi-auto.
An additional point is that some women do not have the body strength to properly operate a semi-auto slide. I have a friend like this. This can make a semi-auto a very bad choice for that woman.

A good alternative to a semi-auto for beginner shooters or someone that has trouble with semi-auto's or who does not feel they can remember all the peculiarities of semi-auto's - is to look into revolvers. Revolvers are very simple, very reliable, have no safeties to switch on, or off, or forget, they always fire (if the ammo is good) and they will continue to fire even if you come across one bad cartridge - but a semi-auto will not. It will jam if it encounters a non firing cartridge.
There are many positives for revolvers for newer more inexperienced shooters.... and for experienced shooters who appreciate the reliability and simplicity.

I agree with previous comments about the fit of the gun for both you and your wife. Chances are the same gun will not fit you both, though.

Welcome to the forum. I hope it will help you. Please stay safe, my friend.

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Old 01-30-2013, 10:23 AM   #10
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As said, good choices. For the shotgun, the mistake that many new shooters make- fearing the shotgun, it is held in a...... gingerly manner. When fired, the gun is able to move freely before it is stopped by your shoulder- and it picked up speed and slapped the poopy out of you.

Shotguns (and rifles) should be pulled FIRMLY into the pocket of the shoulder. When there is not free movement, it turns into more of a push than a collision. My 16 yr old granddaughter shoots a 20. DO NOT go get a Ramboed pistol grip only tacticool shotgun.

Whatever you buy, get some GOOD instruction, and practice practice practice.

PS- birdshot for birds. Buckshot for larger critters.

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