The handgun market is currently nuts, so I would stick with a shotgun or a carbine that you already have. There are some decent Internet videos on the proper battery for a long arm in structures and consider your ammo choices.
If you have a game camera, set it up to cover your back door. The front door/back door game is usually used to steal something from the opposite yard.
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I'll second or third the shotgun. Nothing wrong with a pistol, but you've already got the shotgun and it is definitely not a buyer's market right now. As for a pistol, It's true that bigger is better (hence the shotgun recommendation). However, if you're gonna drop the cash, I'd get one that you would be confident carrying (like a compact or subcompact 9mm or .40) if you ever decide to get a license. It's a lot of cash to get two different guns, one for home and one for carry. Just mho.
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I have to agree on the shotgun, the purpose of the firearm is defense not shooting someone. with a pump shotgun when you rack the slide the sound is a message that is hard to miss. If you do have to pull the trigger you have one of the best firearms available for the purpose. Mossburg makes a two barrel set up in 20 guage with a short 18.5 inch barrel and a 26 inch barrel your wife can take up trap shooting to keep in practice. It is what I gave my daughter when she moved out of the house.
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Thank you all for the answers! I'm going to discuss some of the things mentioned here with her. I have a browning semi-auto 20 gauge but man that barrel is long. I just inherited a 12 gauge pump from my grandpa. It's a Mossberg 500 A. Haven't had much of a chance to look it over and see how it compares. But for what I found out that night, in the house my Browning was just way to long.
Also, to clarify, I wasn't standing right at the door, literally, I meant that I was still up and was right there to witness it.
We are leaning towards the handgun more for a couple reasons. There are a lot of kids in the house so I keep all of my guns locked up. With my upgrades it would take a minute to get in the house if they really wanted too and it would be extremely difficult to do so without setting off alarms. But it could be done. I can keep a handgun locked up on the headboard of our bed. I think we are going back and forth between a .357 revolver and a Glock.
Bush Class Basic Certified
Either of those handguns will do the trick with proper ammo and training/ practice for you both.
Don't forget a flashlight...and good advice above about using it for identification not a search.
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I've been in security since I was in high school.
1) First thing is make sure you have enough lighting around your home. Thieves fear light.
2) This may not be practical, but a dog is a huge security plus. Thieves are afraid of big mean barking dogs.
3) A handgun is great but you have to learn to use it properly and safely, as any other gun. Meaning hours at the range practicing safe weapon manipulations. A very hard, gross motor skill.
4) Get some cheap motion detectors, (under $15 dollars a piece at harbor freight) and camouflage them and place them at strategic spots around your home.
5) Look at the inside of your home very closely. Make sure all doors, windows and any other ways in are secure with at least one deadbolt on each door and a way to keep windows locked other then the cheap locking mechanism on most.
6) Since you plan on using a weapon you need to choose a room that will be your "SAFE ROOM" in the house. (usually the master bedroom) The door here needs to be a solid core door in a very sturdy frame, preferably a steel frame with at least one deadbolt. (2 would be better) This is the room you will default to if someone gets inside.
7) From the doorway of this room you need to look for SAFE shooting lanes. Imagine you are shooting at someone from this position. Where will the bullets hit if you miss your target?? Will they hit you neighbors home???
Think collateral damage. Saving your family but wounding or killing an innocent person is what we are looking to avoid here.
8)Always keep a phone in this room so you can call for help. (even an old cell phone with no plan will dial 911)
9) Talk to your wife about these "SECURITY ISSUES" and make sure you are both on the same page. You may have to change your mindset to a SECURITY mindset. Learn to be more observant of things you have never thought of as being security issues. Being aware is a large part of being safe. If you see trouble coming you can better react to it when it rears its ugly head.
10) Come up with a simple phrase or word that you and your wife know means to get to the "SAFE ROOM" immediately.
I could go on for hours but this should be a good start. If you have any questions feel free to PM me and I'll try to help as much as possible.
Security is more of a mindset then things you do. Get your head thinking in these terms and you might start to see thing in a different light. Hope this helps.
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But remember this is true IF! And only IF! the battery is charged.
Originally Posted by injun51
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I would stick to 357/38 for now. I like 45 but it's expensive to shoot. I also like 9mm but at the moment, there is NO 9mm ammo to be had around here.
I have a 380 as well for carry but while it will work in a home defense situation I'd really rather have a bit more firepower if carry weight and size isn't an issue.
If you can borrow a friend's gun to try (both you and your wife) that would be ideal. Some gun shop-ranges will even rent guns. It will not only give you an idea what you and she like to shoot, but getting the ammo for it will give you some idea what it's like to find (and be able to afford) said ammo.
The 38 caliber has failed US soldiers several times history and each time was replaced by a 40 plus caliber. Only common sub 40 caliber I really trust is 357
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One major concern for a family dwelling and a handgun for defense will be over penetration. You could easily shoot through multiple interior walls and injur a family member. A .45 ACP is a good compromise because it is low velocity and don't penetrate as much material.
The .357 is a higher velocity and will penetrate more. Keep this factor in mind when pistol shopping. Another big one is to try the pistol out for yourself and your wife, shoot several and understand their mechanisms. A complicated auto may not be a good choice. While Glocks are enourmously popular, I cannot shoot one. I have to actually use an unnatural technique (for my hand) to disengage the trigger safety. So, be sure you can shoot the gun and can operate whatever safety mechanisms are on it. Some are more simple than others.
Any pistol of a caliber large enough to stop an intruder is going to be loud and have some recoil, be sure to familiarize your wife and yourself with whatever you go with. I would go .45 in your situation. A proven tool. You can try out Glocks, Sigs and others in .45.
Good luck, I hope you never have to use the pistol.