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.
This is always a tough one, but since it's mainly home defense you're talking about, I'd probably vote shotgun. Less chance of shooting through a wall and hitting something unintended on the other side, simple "point and click" interface, the ability to load different types of shotgun shells...I feel like for home defense there's not much better. Plus there's the deterrent of "clack-clack" that might even save you the trouble of having to shoot anyone.
At that price, and this is just my opinion, something like an NEF Pardner Protector 12 gauge pump shotgun might make nice choice. Simple, reliable, upgradeable and darn affordable. I have seen them up here in Virginia for around 200 bucks.
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.