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Thread: Home Defense Weapons for Beginners

  1. #31
    Aka Garrett Gerulf's Avatar
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    Remington 870 shotgun with buckshot. You can even get magazine tube extensions for them to hold more shells. If you want it strictly for home defense, consider getting the youth model. Some may laugh at that, but it's the exact same gun except it comes with a 21-inch barrel and a smaller stock, which makes it better in close quarters in my opinion.

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    Senior Member Anselm's Avatar
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    I have a Fabrique Nationale(Browning Hi-Power) 9mm, and a 1911
    A1 45 cal handgun. If you get a semi-auto handgun, make sure to really learn it. If you don't have the time, or inclination to get familiar, use something simple, like a shotgun or a revolver.

    The BHP and 1911 are very similar in operation, so I, hopefully, wouldn't fumble with their safeties in an emergency.

    Also there's a danger that the kids may be more tempted by the allure of the handgun. The romance of the side arm---like a modern rapier or small sword. Hope that doesn't sound nutty, but that's how I was as a kid.

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    Senior Member Weitgereister's Avatar
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    Honestly, especially for a novice, you cannot go wrong with a Mossberg 12 gauge. They are sturdy, simple, and relatively cheap.

    That being said, any weapon is a very capable tool in the hands of someone who knows how to use it - so start practicing.

  4. #34
    Hundhedensk "Friend of Germanics"
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    Since it's very hard for us Scandinavians to get guns, I have a studded mace, a warhammer and my pocket knife

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    Senior Member Wychaert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hersir View Post
    Since it's very hard for us Scandinavians to get guns, I have a studded mace, a warhammer and my pocket knife
    Maybe it is just the photo,
    Or you have tiny little hands, or that knive is huge!
    ''Ginds de Waal, daar weer de IJssel, dan de Maas en ook de Rijn. Geeft ons recht om heel ons leven trots op Gelderland te zijn.''

  6. #36
    Senior Member TXRog's Avatar
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    Home Defense Weapons for Beginners

    Your best all-around home defense weapon is a pump shotgun with "double ought" buckshot (standard 00 buck shell holds 7-9 pellets). Two types of 00 buckshot are commonly available from suppliers: regular 00 buckshot shells for hunting, and low-recoil shells for law enforcement or home defense use.

    If you live in a house or apartment where buildings are close together a shotgun using this type of ammunition will more often than not penetrate the interior walls and hit your neighbors (handguns are not desirable for this very reason). To shoot at and hit a "target" is much easier with a shotgun than a handgun - simply "point and shoot." Buckshot also does considerable more damage than a single bullet because the shot disperses.

    This reminds me of something that happened to a friend of mine's Dad several years ago...
    His Dad (a lifelong experienced hunter) shot an intruder who had broken into their home and was ransacking the kitchen. His father told the scumbag that if he didn't leave the house immediately he would die where he stood. The intruder ignored the warning, came at my friend's Dad with a large kitchen knife and his father responded by shooting him in the head - however, his father was armed with a 30/30 Winchester (a pretty high velocity bullet used for hunting). The result was the bullet penetrating completely through the scumbag's skull (he was dead before he hit the floor), the bullet continuing on through the kitchen cabinet, through the kitchen wall, across the garage, into the opposite garage wall and was finally stopped in its forward trajectory by the exterior brick facing of the house (this was a very good thing because this took place in a gated community and the houses were not that far apart). Just mentioning this still makes me laugh - the next day my friend asked me over to the house to help him and his Dad patch up the house and we were picking up skull and brain fragments for hours.

    Final Score:
    Scumbags - 0
    Good Guys - 1

    Low-recoil 00 buckshot allows the shooter to make fast follow-up shots, which may be needed in a combat situation, but are not typically required in hunting (where the main goal is to cleanly take out the game with a single shot). It's also useful as a stepping stone for shooters who are not yet used to the recoil of full-power shells.

    As you stated "beginners" in your thread topic, I strongly advise you to go to a gun store and talk to some knowledgeable people about what it is you want and need BEFORE you buy or handle any guns. Then join the NRA - great organization, great people (freedom-loving people) and they offer all kinds of gun handling and safety classes for the novice.

    I strongly urge you NOT to rely on any kind of edged weapons - swords, knives, etc. Unless you have some sort of martial arts training with edged weaponry (and know what you are doing), these weapons can easily be taken away and used against their owner (and often are with "deadly results").

    Bottom line here is learn to use a gun and ALWAYS respect the weapon. It is merely a "tool" like a shovel, a hammer, etc. (and any of these can also "kill').

    My personal favorite gun safe manufacturer is Winchester, but there are several other good ones on the market.

    Not sure if this answered all your questions, but hope it helps.

    BE SAFE!!
    Last edited by TXRog; Thursday, April 7th, 2011 at 07:11 PM. Reason: spelling

  7. #37
    Senior Member OnePercent's Avatar
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    I agree with most of the people here that for a beginner you really can't go wrong with a shotgun. Besides home defense, the great thing about a shotgun is all of the different types of ammunition and barrels that are available, everything from bird-shot for small game to slugs with a rifled barrel that could easily take down a bear Switching out barrels is usually pretty easy on a pump-action shotgun, and for most standard gauges (12-gauge, 10-gauge) it is really easy to find all different types of loads.

    I have seen some people suggest loading 00 buckshot for home defense purposes but I have to say that you need to be very careful about over-penetration with a load like that. If you live in a typical modern home or apartment with thin walls you could very easily shoot directly through a wall or even the ceiling and hit someone on the other side. I have heard that in cases like this #4 shot is a good alternative as it doesn't have the same penetrating power as buckshot but it still packs enough force to be lethal.

    The decision as to how to keep the weapon secure is something that really must be looked at on a case by case basis. If you have young children in the home it is very important to make certain that there is no way they can accidentally fire the weapon. I have a young child and I live in an area that is pretty safe so I keep my weapons unloaded in the bedroom where I sleep, well out of the reach of my child, and I have ammo stored nearby. Loading a shotgun or automatic pistol is an easy process, at least as easy as unlocking a trigger lock in the dark and a much safer alternative in my opinion. Obviously, once a child gets older this is not as safe an option, though if your child is old enough to load and arm a weapon on his own you should really consider getting them some gun safety training ASAP.

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    Senior Member Cygnus's Avatar
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    I say that the shotgun is a bad beginner's weapon. It is heavy, bulky, most commonly found with only a front bead sight (which is imprecise at long distance) and recoils heavily.

    A fast-handling, light carbine in an appropriate caliber, like a Ruger Mini-14, M1 Carbine,or a 16-inch .357/.44 Magnum lever-action would be more suitable, I think. The latter two would have much less muzzle blast than the shotgun, too. With good loads the magnum pistol-cal.s (especially out of carbine-length barrels) and the .30 Carbine are proven to be ballistically excellent at realistic civilian defense distances.

    I think a novice shooter would immediately gravitate towards a light carbine over the cumbersome shotgun if it were not for the almost religious dogma about the shotgun being the best gun for the untrained. Shooting them side-by-side, to me, makes it clear that the carbine is better for this role.

  9. #39
    Senior Member OnePercent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cygnus View Post
    I say that the shotgun is a bad beginner's weapon. It is heavy, bulky, most commonly found with only a front bead sight (which is imprecise at long distance) and recoils heavily.
    These things are all true, but in a home defense situation long-distance isn't usually a big issue, and it is a lot easier to hit and stop a target with a shotgun than it is with a rifle at close ranges, not to mention over-penetration as I mentioned earlier. Most rifle rounds will go right through concrete; they won't even be slightly slowed down by drywall. I certainly wouldn't want to risk shooting a family member through a wall in my home while I am trying to protect us. The size and weight are significant drawbacks admittedly, but it is possible to get a shorter barrel and polycarbonate stocks that really reduce the overall weight. Another big advantage to a shotgun is price, for less than $300 you can usually buy a brand new Mossberg 500 or Remington 870 while your average carbine like a Mini-14 will easily cost twice that if not three times. If someone is looking for a "just-in-case" weapon and isn't looking to spend a whole lot of time becoming a marksman I think that a shotgun is easily the best choice.

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    Well said.............

    Quote Originally Posted by OnePercent View Post
    These things are all true, but in a home defense situation long-distance isn't usually a big issue, and it is a lot easier to hit and stop a target with a shotgun than it is with a rifle at close ranges, not to mention over-penetration as I mentioned earlier. Most rifle rounds will go right through concrete; they won't even be slightly slowed down by drywall. I certainly wouldn't want to risk shooting a family member through a wall in my home while I am trying to protect us. The size and weight are significant drawbacks admittedly, but it is possible to get a shorter barrel and polycarbonate stocks that really reduce the overall weight. Another big advantage to a shotgun is price, for less than $300 you can usually buy a brand new Mossberg 500 or Remington 870 while your average carbine like a Mini-14 will easily cost twice that if not three times. If someone is looking for a "just-in-case" weapon and isn't looking to spend a whole lot of time becoming a marksman I think that a shotgun is easily the best choice.
    Even a pistol caliber carbine will easily shoot through several walls, composed of drywall & insulation, even an outside wall, covered insiding of the usual sort. And heavy buckshot will generally do the same. your earlier recommendation of #4 shot or even #6 shot would be safer to your neighbors
    in an urban or suburban environment.

    I live Rural, a quarter mile across the valley, to the nearest neighbor. Buckshot is safer here. but I certainly would not want to be responsible
    for launching any rifle rounds, out through our walls. They just might carry far enough to hurt some innocent folks........
    You just need to be mindful of your location and surroundings in choosing your appropriate Home Defense firearm.

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