I think you said something about inheriting a Mossberg 500. A short barrel for that gun won't set you back very much, and will provide you with a marvelous home defense tool (assuming it is chambered in either 12 or 20 gauge). Save the longer barrel for using the same gun in the field. I think G1 has a sticky with a lot of helpful information about shotgun loads for defensive purposes. If I had a choice of firearms for the circumstance you shared, I'd MOST like to be holding a trusty scattergun loaded with appropriate ammunition.
The primary value of a handgun is...well...handiness. It's something you can actually wear on your person. One noted firearms authority says, "The purpose of a handgun is to fight your way to a long gun", or something to that effect. I also like a double action revolver for simplicity and reliability. As for the .38 Special being too wimpy...well, ALL the service cartridges are pretty wimpy by shotgun or centerfire rifle standards. Modern self-defense ammunition for handguns from .38 Spl-.45 ACP leaves very similar wound patterns. Being able to hit the desired target accurately (preferably multiple times) is more important than any difference in ballistics. Medium framed revolvers (usually Smith & Wessons) have been traded in large numbers for upgrades to semi-auto pistols. They can often be found at bargain prices in perfectly sound, mechanical condition. A simple 4" .38 Special loaded with any of the traditional +P "FBI" loads (158 gr.Lead Semi-Wadcutter, Hollow Point) is pretty good medicine for self-defense. Lots of LEOs who've been "over the mountain and seen the elephant" may chime in.
Lastly, and most importantly, there are ways to have firearms BOTH prepared for action AND secure from little ones. Each of these issues is critically important. We all want firearms to be a threat to the bad guys, not our own loved ones.
You certainly did not. I greatly appreciate the time you took to make sure someone else is careful. I am an EMT so I am all to familiar with what can happen. Also, I'e had some defensive training from the state patrol. I just know almost nothing about pistols. After the other night I decided that my 20 gauge is just too unweildly for anything as close quarters as inside my house. Its loaded with birdshot that I'm not really worried about over-penetrating. Really old house with lots of hardwood. Built pretty well. With whatever pistol we decide to go with we will be practicing with "normal" rounds but in practice, if it ever happens, we will be using these. http://www.shopcorbon.com/glaser-saf...g/500/500/dept They are safety glaser rounds. Can put a hole the size of your fist in a bad guys chest but won't go through a wall. They were invented for use on air planes.
Originally Posted by Scroggins
If you're dead set on a hand gun, why not the Taurus Judge--->http://youtu.be/jl-ZIo-Wztc
+ on the shotgun
Having been a police officer for 25 years and a SWAT team member I also say a 12 ga. shot gun with a legal length short barrel and magazine extension. I have numerous guns but the main one I keep in my home for defense is a 12ga pump. I have mine loaded OO buck, slug OObuck , slug, OO buck, slug. I also have a light and laser on it. It is plenty manuverable and if all else fails can also be used as an impact weapon. I haven't seen to many people that don't back down when they hear that slide racked. It's pretty much understood what damage is about to be unleashed. Bird shot is not a good defensive round but if its all you have it's better than nothing
If your dead set on a pistol I recomend taking a weekend and visiting a gun range that will let you fire different models and calibers so you can get something you are both comfortable shooting. I own handguns but for home defense I prefer a 12 gauge pump and that is what I reach for on those ocasions. Exact tactics I use for dealing with such sorry to say is OPSEC.
I should say all discussion of which gun would be best for you and your wife to shoot should should be cast in some light:
Recoil: Big bullets are usually harder to deal with, both for the shooter and for the bad guy(s). A lot of us like to put down the bad guy, so we put up with the recoil. Not every shooter is fond of recoil. If you or your wife are 6'4 and 240 pounds, you will probably handle recoil just fine. If either of you are 4'11 and 100 pounds, it could be rough. If you decide you don't mind recoil, then cool.
The point I want to make is heavy guns make for light recoil. I have shot a .454 Casull, and loved every moment of it. That thing (loaded) was about 3.5/4 pounds of HANDGUN! I am someone who can run a .357 through a 1.5 pound snubnosed weapon, but prefer .38s. My favorite is my 2 ponder medium frame with .38s. I had more fun shooting the .454 than I do shooting .357s. I LOVED that .454!
Big heavy guns can be good target and HD guns. I am not saying you need a .454 Casull for HD. I am just saying if anyone is recoil sensitive or wants a faster follow up shot, a larger framed pistol is something to consider. The drawback is that large framed pistols are not always fun for small framed people to have and hold (not talking about shooting, just holding). That is my general experience, and there are lots of exceptions to that general statement.
Since you and your wife are interested in a pistol, let me give you some advice I should have given in my fist post: go to a gun store, find something that both you and your wife like the feel of, and get it. It is important to like the "feel" of whatever you buy, and it is really important for your wife to like the "feel." Yup, caliber and action are important, but if you don't like your new pistol, you probably will not practice with it enough. You will not enjoy shooting it, and that will show itself in your ability to hit things with it.
What I do is handle a weapon until my body learns to like the "feel." I do this with both long arms and pistols. It has worked for me so far, but you will do well to get something you like right off the bat. I buy guns because they are reliable and cheap, not because they fit me ergonomically. Do as I say and not as I do, pay attention to ergonomics. :)
I think I might actually be out of advice now. :)
I do not know what state you reside in but here in the republic of Kalifornia if you use any type of firearm and persay you miss and scare off your intruder but the round travels into another house on your block you can be held liable for any damage with that said I myself have shotguns rifles and a handgun but what I reach for my 20 gusts low base bird loads also another thing to keep in mind your family that may be in bathrooms getting a drink of water. What di do know a good friend of mine who's father is a retired police officer told me was was a old police issue 38 with snake shot works great without penetrating walls and accidentally hurt other family member just my two cents
A handgun is for getting your way to a shotgun and a shotgun is for getting to a rifle and a rifle is for clearing the way to getting more friends with rifles.
My rule at home is if the bad guy has a handgun which they most likely will, use a rifle. that being said i would use an AR fitted with a flashlight and a decent red dot sight. also proper training. i also carry my handgun on me most of the time Im at home. call me paranoid but the day a home invader kicks in my door i don't want my handgun to be in my dresser drawer. the handgun will keep me alive til i can get to my rifle. then i hold down the fort til the cavalry arrives. 9mm is a good option for you and your wife. its enough to stop the threat and if need be get back on target fast enough for follow up shots. 45 may be a little much for her starting out. plus its not about bullet size its about shot placement.
1+ Look into safety classes in your area. The one I took had us at the range for several hours. We were able to shoot any of their rental guns, from .22 to .44, wheel and semi automatic. I shot every 9mm they had and kept coming back to the Glock. My Sweetie preferred the Ruger, which I really didn't like. It was a great class, but I really appreciated have the opportunity to handle all the various styles and calibers.
Originally Posted by pure_mahem