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Old 08-11-2009, 10:03 AM   #11
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Personally, I don't subscribe to the thought that the sound of a racking 12 gauge is enough to stop any criminal and make him give up his first born and everything he owns to you. Infact, I believe it can actually be detrimental to the good guy, "Hey, I racked this, I scared him away, not I can get complacent when I search my house... BAM".
When faced with having to search your home for a bad guy... to have your space invaded like that, I believe you will find complacency is the LAST thing to worry about. You'll find you'll search your house HOPING you ran off the BG, but you'll EXPECT that you haven't. The bigger concern would be the startle factor... which, with good training (ie. keeping your finger off the trigger until you're on target and ready to shoot) will keep you from blasting your reflection in the dining room mirror as you round the corner.

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In addition, racking it could serve as a warning to a possibly armed enemy that you are in fact armed and I'm a big believer in letting the enemy know as little as possible about me for as long as I can.
Usually, your "enemy" will EXPECT you to be armed (in the case of night burglars). In most cases, burglars aren't armed. What they don't know is that you're HOME. If they find you ARE home, or that they've been detected, most of the time, they'll run. In the rare cases they ARE armed, they certainly don't want to be out gunned.

Think about it, would you want to get in a CQB gun fight with someone armed with a shotgun rather than a pistol?? Not me. I'd rather battle it out with someone armed with a handgun vs. a shotgun ANY day.

I don't want to TOTALLY discount the effectiveness of a handgun in a self defense situation... but I am a big supporter of superior fire power.

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When it comes down to self defense I like my handgun, its a compact Springfield XD 40 that I can fire both left and right handed, one handed, 2 handed with a light without a light in my other hand or on the rail, and at the close range of home (or in my case apartment) you shouldn't have any trouble hitting your target if you've trained your muscle memory to draw and go directly to center of mass without having to line up your sights.
Excellent choice! However, living in an apartment, I hope you're using frangible ammo!! If not, I hope you have, at least, determined your sectors of fire for safety before the need to protect yourself in your apartment arises.

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Reguardless of your decision the one thing I (and everyone else probably) can't stress enough is training. Even when you're done with the class keep practicing until you don't even have to think about it anymore, it just happens.
Ditto!
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Old 08-11-2009, 02:13 PM   #12
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Canis, I think you made a wise choice going with the shotgun. You have gotten some good opinions pro and con shotgun vs handgun from some of our most knowledgeable members here. I think once you purchase the shotgun of your choice (Mossberg 500, the one I recommended to you originally in another thread) and get some range time in with it, that you will be completely satisfied.

You can always move on up from there with other handgun or shotgun choices and preferences, as suggested. Like Lays tater chips, once tasted, you just can't have one! Good luck with you purchase and I hope we hear in the future how your range breakin goes with your new family member.

Jack

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Old 08-11-2009, 04:21 PM   #13
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Canis,

You've gotten some good advice already.

Since you are in Kentucky, you should have very little trouble finding a range that will rent guns so you can try different ones including pistols. Most ranges have people that will have training classes. The Yellow pages should yield some names and locals for you.

As for the 12 ga and the wife. Maybe try a 20 ga first at the range. The recoil from a 12 ga can make some people not want to ever shoot again. The first gun my wife ever shot was my single shot .410. It was managable enough that she did not shy away. She still has not fired my 12 ga, and she does not want to. So, if your wife is interested, find out what she is comfortable with.

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Old 08-11-2009, 04:24 PM   #14
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Some really excellent information contained in this thread so far, and I take no offense to any opinion written opposite me, in fact I relish it to see what others feel. Thanks to Uber and Hydra for stepping up to the plate here.

As for Canis, the idea that a shotgun is going to unleash this massive, whole doorway spraying pattern is a little unrealistic.

If you take a look at some youtube videos, you will see that shotguns, for the most part, group about 2" to 3" of buckshot, or so, at about 50 to 70 feet. How many rooms do you have that are that large?

So yes, you are getting a larger pattern of spread, but not enough that the shotgun is just a "point in the general vacinity and pull the trigger weapon".

A real key with home defense, in my mind, is creating and knowing where choke points are in your house.

In my house, it's a two story. Now, I have a monster of German Shepard that will let me know LONG before anyone gets inside. The UPS guy doesn't even come all the way to the door anymore, he stops at the entrance to the walkway and puts the package behind the potted plant and then leaves.

BUT, the stairway coming up from downstairs is a great choke point. It's 14 stairs ( or fifteen depending who's counting ) and it offers a great down angle shot, with good overhead lighting that doesn't silhouette me at the top of the stairs and offers cover from both sides of the landing.

In that situation, a shotgun or a pistol is fine, because I can hold that position until the cops come with just basic covering procedures. Plus the dog will probably already be chewing the bad guys throat out by the time I get into position, so that adds to my feeling of joy-joy wellness.

If you feel that you would be better suited with a shotgun, then by all means get a shotgun. The most important thing is that whatever you buy, you have to be willing to train with it. Take it to the range and practice. Having the best weapon on the planet doesn't do you any damn good if you can't release the safety and put the weapon on target in the dark without fumbling around like your playing with your first bra clasp.

Are you willing to practice with the shotgun? Like 2 times a month?? If so, I am sure a shotgun would end up being just fine for you.

JD

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Old 08-11-2009, 04:43 PM   #15
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I must have overlooked the sentence about his wife agreeing with him. I too would get her a .410. The big loads like 000 buckshot are very little recoil, well compared to the 12ga I've been shooting. If you want her to have her own gun, pick up a .410. Ammo is a little expensive but a blast to shoot.

As for practicing, I'm a pretty fast learner. If I do something a few times, I usually get the hang of it. So, practicing with my shotgun didnt take long until I felt comfortable with it. Shooting for a couple hours a day for 2 or 3 times a month will go a long way, compared to shooting for 10 minutes once every few months.

S.S.

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Old 08-11-2009, 07:02 PM   #16
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As for Canis, the idea that a shotgun is going to unleash this massive, whole doorway spraying pattern is a little unrealistic.
I thought that might be the case. Thanks for setting me straight on this.

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A real key with home defense, in my mind, is creating and knowing where choke points are in your house.

BUT, the stairway coming up from downstairs is a great choke point.
I see what you mean here. I have a stairway with a 90 Deg. angle in it right outside the bedroom door. I can even flip the foyer lights on from the top and project a nice shadow of anyone on the lower part against the wall.
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If you feel that you would be better suited with a shotgun, then by all means get a shotgun. The most important thing is that whatever you buy, you have to be willing to train with it. Take it to the range and practice. Having the best weapon on the planet doesn't do you any damn good if you can't release the safety and put the weapon on target in the dark without fumbling around like your playing with your first bra clasp.

Are you willing to practice with the shotgun? Like 2 times a month?? If so, I am sure a shotgun would end up being just fine for you.

JD
LOL! I mastered bras a long time ago. I hope that guns go as well for me!

Are you saying that shotguns require more training than handguns to attain proficiency? I would have guessed the opposite. How often would you train with a handgun?

Are you saying that people who do not Practice 2-3 times a month should not own a gun? I am not disagreeing, only asking. A firearm is a big responsability, and if someone is going to own one, they need to live up to that. Is two to three times a month really the minimum amount of practice required to maintain your skills?

Whatever the case, I have been contemplating this move for some time, and have resolved to do what it takes. I expect that it will require some extra effort on my part at first, and then once I am up to speed, less practice will be required to stay in good form. Is that correct?

Also, what do you consider to be an acceptable practice? Ten rounds? Fifty? Does anyone here ever run drills in their home with an (carefully checked) unloaded gun? It seems that I could practice working the safety and targeting in the dark better at home than at a range. Am I taking a foolish risk by practicing in my home? What about loading drills? Is there a safe/unsafe way to carry those out?


And....

To all that have taken time to give me your best advice here, I thank you from the heart. I do not have time to answer all of you personally, but I have read every word that was written here carefully and your help is very much appreciated. I will be counting on your continuing good will and advice as I progress towards my goal of being a 2nd ammendment participant.

Sincerely, Canis
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:24 PM   #17
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LOL! I mastered bras a long time ago. I hope that guns go as well for me!

Are you saying that shotguns require more training than handguns to attain proficiency? I would have guessed the opposite. How often would you train with a handgun?

Are you saying that people who do not Practice 2-3 times a month should not own a gun? I am not disagreeing, only asking. A firearm is a big responsability, and if someone is going to own one, they need to live up to that. Is two to three times a month really the minimum amount of practice required to maintain your skills?

Sincerely, Canis
Canis, you are going from a point of having no familiarity with the weapon, to trusting your life on it. I think 2-3 times a month is a must to get up to speed with what the weapon can do, atleast to determine what is going to happen, and how you both will react, when you pull the trigger.

For me, I'd never trust my life to a weapon I haven't put at least 100 rounds through WITHOUT INCIDENT. And for us, in our house, a range session for pistols is about 150 to 200 rounds. For a shotgun or rifle range trip, where the shooting is more static, it's at least a box of shells per visit, but usually 2 boxes.

As for a shotgun versus a pistol and which is easier. Most pistols that aren't super pricey are going to have one safety catch. A simple flip, point shoot. That's about as basic as it gets, especially when you consider how easy it is to point your finger at something.

With a shotgun, especially a pump shotgun, you have to either rack the slide, or be prepared to rack it after you let loose one round, and you have a safety that is frequently located on the trigger guard.

Training is needed to be ready to make that a natural motion. Trying to rack a shotgun, that either has a shell in place, or the safety on, is going to distract you. Distraction leads to doubt, leads to you doing two things at once, looking at your gun and not paying attention to what is happening in your house.

Having a pistol in Condition One ( round loaded, safety on, ready to rock ) is a simple matter of thumbing the safety ( most models ) and pointing the weapon.

For people that I have taught, including my fiancee who had never really fired a weapon before, she took to pistol shooting MUCH quicker than she did to shotgun shooting because of the sheer size and cause-effect of the weapon.

But, you and your wife might instantly take to the shotgun. Where do you life? Back east somewhere I seem to recall. Perhaps there is another member in your area, or a family friend who is an avid shooter, that can take you out and let you experience the differences.

Just a thought...

JD
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:57 PM   #18
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My ole mossberg pump 12 is beside my bed, like a cold metallic teddy bear. I have been very happy with it. I did change out the hunting barrel to a 18.5" one for the HD role; that makes it a bit easier to get through a door. I also switched out the stock to one with a pistol grip added to a semi-normal shaped stock to get a bit better control & the ability to shorten the overall length by not shouldering the butt of the gun. There is something hard to quantify about a pump shotgun; it reminds me of a revolver; they function so simply that it is somewhat assuring.

One thing, if you do end up with a shotty, buy a box of the cheapo (like $30/100 shells) target loads & shoot a box (25) every month to keep yourself used to the BANG.

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Old 08-11-2009, 08:29 PM   #19
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Canis, you are going from a point of having no familiarity with the weapon, to trusting your life on it. I think 2-3 times a month is a must to get up to speed with what the weapon can do, atleast to determine what is going to happen, and how you both will react, when you pull the trigger.

For me, I'd never trust my life to a weapon I haven't put at least 100 rounds through WITHOUT INCIDENT. And for us, in our house, a range session for pistols is about 150 to 200 rounds. For a shotgun or rifle range trip, where the shooting is more static, it's at least a box of shells per visit, but usually 2 boxes.

As for a shotgun versus a pistol and which is easier. Most pistols that aren't super pricey are going to have one safety catch. A simple flip, point shoot. That's about as basic as it gets, especially when you consider how easy it is to point your finger at something.

With a shotgun, especially a pump shotgun, you have to either rack the slide, or be prepared to rack it after you let loose one round, and you have a safety that is frequently located on the trigger guard.

Training is needed to be ready to make that a natural motion. Trying to rack a shotgun, that either has a shell in place, or the safety on, is going to distract you. Distraction leads to doubt, leads to you doing two things at once, looking at your gun and not paying attention to what is happening in your house.

Having a pistol in Condition One ( round loaded, safety on, ready to rock ) is a simple matter of thumbing the safety ( most models ) and pointing the weapon.

For people that I have taught, including my fiancee who had never really fired a weapon before, she took to pistol shooting MUCH quicker than she did to shotgun shooting because of the sheer size and cause-effect of the weapon.

But, you and your wife might instantly take to the shotgun. Where do you life? Back east somewhere I seem to recall. Perhaps there is another member in your area, or a family friend who is an avid shooter, that can take you out and let you experience the differences.

Just a thought...

JD
Sounds like good advice JD.

Everyone, Please do not think I am arguing in any way with all these questions. it is just at this point, every piece of info raises questions in my mind. I want to make sure that i get the full bebifit of the advice you are generously giving me.

I need to take responsibility for myself and do some reading to get caught up on the basic principles here. I have read that that there is a book called "the Shooter's Bible" that is very good. Would that be a good place to start?

I live in western KY. Henderson, to be exact. It is located right across the Ohio River from Evansville Ind. If there are any generous & patient forum members in the area that are willing to work with me in person, that would be very welcome.

I have read that the Mossberg 500 has a safety that is reasonably easy to work. I was initially set on getting the Maverick 88, but I read they have a difficult safety. Of, course, this is all subject to change. It is concievable that I could go with a handgun after I try shooting some rentals.

Regards & thanks, Canis
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:34 PM   #20
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I own a Maverick 88, so if you have questions on it let me know.
I prefer the safety on the Maverick over the mossberg 500 safety. I wouldnt turn away from the Maverick without trying it out first. Great price for it, too.

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