My first firearm...what should I get?

Discussion in 'General Handgun Discussion' started by DamnYankee, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. DamnYankee

    DamnYankee New Member

    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.
  2. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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

  3. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

    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.
  4. Jo da Plumbr

    Jo da Plumbr New Member

    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.
  5. WannaGator

    WannaGator New Member

    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.
  6. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

    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.
  7. BigO01

    BigO01 New Member

    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 .
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2010
  8. Gojubrian

    Gojubrian New Member

    Desert Eagle .50. Nothing says stay away bad guy like a DE. :cool:
  9. utf59

    utf59 Member

    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.
  10. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

    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.
  11. BigO01

    BigO01 New Member

    O and DamnYankee if by "single family home" you mean you live in a house rather than an apartment may I suggest getting the one single thing that goes farther toward keeping you family safer than anything else you can have and it usually loves you and the kids as much as you love it and will shower you with love every day .

    That wonderful little item is


    Meet Missy she is now 1 1/2 years old and about 70 lbs and a true bundle of joy , energy and love and will be more than glad to let you know if there is a noise that shouldn't be out side you home at 3am and as a rule the breed will love their family to the point of sacraficing their life to protect them .
    She beats shotguns handguns and ADT hands down !!
  12. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

    Yup..A 12 gauge is a great HD weapon. There's several out there that will fit your needs very well. Look for something that's set up for home defense. You usually get more capacity and a shorter barrel.
  13. PIMking

    PIMking New Member

    I have a mossberg maverick 88 .20 gauge. I use it more to shoot skeet but I have five in the tube none in the chamber. I have taken the fiance shooting so she knows how to operate the weapon and is willing to use it to defend her/mine our dogs life with it. We don't have kids so that's not a big deal.

    Our dogs are long hair whippets. Loving dogs but will bark and alarm us if anything is going on while we are sleeping. The only issue is they will bark and run to the bg and lick him to death.
  14. Mark F

    Mark F Active Member Supporter

    +1 for MISSY!
  15. luckyg

    luckyg New Member

    I agree.

    Unlike the majority here, I think the shotgun is a rather poor home defense weapon.

    Here's why:

    It's not a weapon that you will have on you all the time.
    It's not a weapon that you will likely have quick access to while sitting around the dinner table or when watching TV in the living room or when using the bathroom.
    A long weapon is much more difficult to wield when moving from room to room and checking doors, windows, closets, etc....especially when possibly also managing children.
    Ammo is bulky and carrying extra ammo can be difficult.

    A handgun is a much better home defense weapon IMO.
    It's the weapon that you can have on your side at all times....whether you're using the bathroom, walking the dog, sitting on the front porch swing with your wife, lounging by the pool, or just checking the mailbox.
    You can answer your front door while discretely holding a handgun behind the door, and the visitor will never even know that you're armed.
    And you can take it with you when you're out of town and staying in a hotel or motel (your home away from home could need defending too).
    And with the handgun on your side, you will know that your children can't fool around with it.

    The bottom line is that if someone kicks in your door and rushes in, you're simply will not have time to run in to another room and get the shotgun.
    So forget a rifle or shotgun as your primary home defense weapon.

    Now, what handgun to get....

    Revolvers have a few advantages over autoloaders:
    Overall, they are less likely to have a "jam" or a failure to fire.
    They can be loaded and then forgotten about for decades but will still work just fine when needed.
    They are very easy to load and unload.
    If you like revolvers, but are on a tight budget, then I recommend you check out Ruger.
    Specifically, a 3" or 4.2" Ruger GP100 or a 3" Ruger SP101, both in .357 magnum.

    On the other hand, autoloaders have a few advantages over revolvers:
    They typically have a greater number of rounds that can be fired before reloading.
    With a second full magazine they are very quick to reload, even for a novice.
    The trigger pull of most autos is much lighter than the heavy double-action trigger pull of a revolver....which equals much better accuracy for most novices just learning to shoot.

    But are much more likely to "jam" than a revolver.
    If you carry one you must practice clearing a failure-to-feed and a failure-to-eject and a failure-to-cycle.

    If you like autos, and you're on a tight budget, then I recommend that you check out CZ pistols and the Springfield XD pistols.
    Specifically the 9mm CZ P-01 or the 9mm CZ 75D PCR Compact, or the Springfield Armory 9mm XD9 or the 9mm XD9compact.

    No matter what you choose, teach your wife to shoot even if she doesn't want to.
    You could somehow become incapacitated and then the defense of you and your family would be in her hands alone.
    And when you're not carrying the weapon on your side, keep it LOCKED up.

    Good luck and safe shooting.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2010
  16. DamnYankee

    DamnYankee New Member

    Since you live so close to me, can you recommend a range to visit?
  17. DamnYankee

    DamnYankee New Member

    The Springfield XD is just what I was looking at. Very reasonably priced and reliable, from what I've been reading. I will look into the CZ an Rugers too. Thanks.
  18. DamnYankee

    DamnYankee New Member

    Missy is beautiful. We already have two dogs. Both are small breed mutts but they will bark at any noise at night and any knock on the door.
  19. Flintlock

    Flintlock New Member

    Yes, but a round being racked into the chamber by a pump action shotgun is the true and universal sign of GET THE F OUT...
  20. Pat-inCO

    Pat-inCO New Member

    I hear what you are saying about home defense, but as your first gun (especially since you have two dogs) I suggest a .22lr. NO, it is not much of a home defense weapon. It IS a good platform to learn shooting and safe gun handling from.

    While your wife is not too happy about a gun in the house, she may be won over by a .22. If you can get her shooting, then you can go to larger calibers that - are - appropriate for home defense. She may even suggest it. :D

    P.S. Be VERY careful about getting a 1911. They tend to multiply. :D