Chooseing a gun for home defence

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by monkeyman, Dec 16, 2005.

  1. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I have had a lot of folks asking recently what is best for a home defense gun and so I decided to start this thread to give an overview in a more organized way.
    OK, let me start by saying that everyone will have their own opinion as to what is the best choice for a home defense gun and what is the best ammo for whatever guns they can agree on. So I'm not really going to focus on which one is best because that depends largely on personal opinion since the best gun for defense is the one you have when you need it and any gun beats the hell out of a golf club. Instead I'm just going to offer some info for those who have limited experience with firearms on the pros and cons of the various choices.
    The first thing you have to decide on is what category of fire arm you want, a rifle, a shotgun or a handgun.
    A rifle has the advantage of having the option of more powerful ammo that can penetrate so that even an intruder with body armor can be taken down and that high capacity semi autos are easiest to find in rifles, the down sides are that that same penetration drastically increases the chances of shooting through an intruder three walls and killing someone else especial if you miss. There is also the size, they are longer and a less maneuverable in close spaces like hall ways and so on, the ammo is also generally more expensive.
    A shotgun has the advantages of being probably the most affordable, ammo is easy to find and reasonably priced, a shotgun has multiple projectiles that spread as they go out from the barrel and make accuracy less imperative, and that NOTHING has as much stopping power at close range as a shotgun and that most loads of shotgun ammo while delivering maximum energy have minimal penetration so shooting through multiple walls and killing someone unintended is not as likely. On the down side they are a 'long gun' just like a rifle and so are not as maneuverable in close spaces as a handgun, and there is considerable recoil from a shotgun.
    Handguns have the advantage of size first and foremost. They are easy to maneuver in close spaces, easy to store in places where they are at easy reach if needed and can be easily carried on ones person if desired. On the downside handguns in general have less penetration than a rifle but still plenty for most rounds to pass through multiple walls and still be fatal and deliver far less energy than a shotgun.

    There is the most basics on deciding what to get and I will add more later.
  2. magnus392

    magnus392 Field Marshall Mags Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I like the 18" barreled shottie with high brass #4...EVEN if an intruder is whereing body armour it will knock them down. But how many thugs have kevlar vest?
  3. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Yup, and if they do it may not penetrate but would still be like smacking them in the chest with a sledge hammer even with field loads. That said, since this is mostly for folks at least somewhat new to firearms I will point out (and I would imagine you have yours over) that it is ill advisable to have a shotgun that has the barrel at exactly 18". Leave at least 1/4 to 1/8" beyond since 18" is the minimum under federal law (which is for the barrel only and dose not include the chamber so that length must also be calculated) and if the gun were to be measured a bit differently or scraped along a sidewalk on the wat to evidence then 1/16 or1/32 inch may be removed and then you have federal firearms charges to deal with which would definatly hurt any case for self defence.
    I figure I will take this further later on to discuss lengths, actions, a bit on loads and so on, just hadnt gotten that far yet.
  4. magnus392

    magnus392 Field Marshall Mags Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Yeah this is a factory 18 and 1/4 I think? Maverick 88:D
  5. Cousin Jack

    Cousin Jack Knifemaker Founding Member

    My personal favorite is my Mossy 500. I alternate my loads, so that my first round is a magnum 00 buck followed by a slug, and repeated two more times.

    It will knock 'em down, kevlar and all. ;) Yeah baby! take that!!
  6. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I kind of figured it was something like that but didnt want anyone lurking or comeing in new decideing to modify one themselves and get in trouble by forgetting the width of the saw blade and a little fileing to smooth it and so on or a cop who had it in for them scraping off a mm or so and getting in trouble due to not realizeing it. ;)
  7. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Well now you've decided on which category of gun you want for the house the next thing is what kind of action you want for the gun. The common actions along with a basic discussion of what they are is as follows;

    *Hinge action-this is a single shot gun mostly long guns like the shotgun and rifle that folds at the back of the barrel to load and unload the gun. This is one of the simplest actions and has very little to go wrong but is slow to reload if a second shot is needed (a double barrel shotgun gives the second shot before having to reload so is a step up)

    *bolt action-while some shotguns have a bolt action this is mostly found in rifles where the peg sticks to the side and is moved up, then back to unload or open it and forward then down to close and or load it these may have a magazine holding more shots so you just work the bolt to reload it or may be single shots where you have to put in another bullet each time you shoot. This is a pretty solid and simple action but while faster than the hinge action to get a second shot is still slow.

    *pump action-most common in shotguns but also in some rifles. The pump action has more moving parts and thus more that CAN go wrong but with any reasonably decent pump they are reliable and very rarely have problems. The pump is one of the fastest and most reliable actions there is for shotguns and respectable for rifles.

    *leaver action-this is the old cowboy style rifle and is also available in some shotguns. The leaver action is reliable and fairly quick.

    *semi-automatic- this is the one where you put in a clip, cock it once then pull the trigger once every time you want it to shoot until it is empty. This is common in both rifles and handguns and fairly common in shotguns as well. The semi-auto has a distinct advantage in being the fastest in getting a second and third shot as needed, the down side is that this action has many moving parts and the most things to go wrong. Especially in any but the highest quality semi-autos they do malfunction from time to time and this becomes more common if not properly maintained or if using poor ammo. While VERY popular this would NOT be my top suggestion to a person not familiar with guns.

    *revolver-these are almost exclusively handguns and are like the old cowboy pistols or Dirty Harry's gun. These have anywhere from 5 to 7 shots generally, most commonly 6, before you have to reload and while a bit slower than the semi-auto on follow up shots the difference is minimal and malfunctions are very rare and maintenance is simpler. Revolvers come in 2 basic types, single action and double action. With a single action you have to pull the hammer back to cock it between each shot, with double action you can pull the hammer back between shots making it easier to pull the trigger and helping accuracy or you can just pull the trigger for each shot until the gun is empty.
  8. Valkman

    Valkman Knifemaker Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    For me it's my carry gun which goes on my nightstand at night - Kimber Compact CDP I in (of course) .45acp. House layout is very important and we have a extra room on the other side of the master bath and that's where the safe is. In case of trouble the wife keeps her cell phone in there and would go in there and call 911. I would follow her in and probably get the AR carbine out, but I'm not willing to leave it out all the time so I'll start with the pistola.
  9. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

  10. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    That 20 dont exactly look like it would be legal, hows it get around the 18" min?
  11. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    AOW pay the tax and its all yours serbu sells therm
  12. martin97

    martin97 Fuel busted Trucker. Founding Member

    Its a handgun with a vertical foreword grip, therefore AOW. weapon cost plus 200.00 tax stamp and dealer fees and she's yours!
  13. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    It is a potent looking handgun. :shock:
    I assume that the AOW/tax stamp takes the normal time (6 + months) that other tax stamps take such as SBRs/silencers, etc.?
  14. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    IIRC, AOW tax Stamp is $5 rather than $200

    Yes EL, same wait
  15. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

  16. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Sweet. Thanks for the info! I am looking for a good deal on a A3 5.56 11.5 upper. Looks like I will be joining the SBR ranks.
  17. Galactus

    Galactus Monkey+++ Founding Member

    If I am not mistaken the law states that if you make the SBR or AOW there is a $200 tax, however a transfer is just $5?
  18. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Manufacture is $200 for each...
    Transfer on a SBR is $200 and Transfer on a AOW is $5

    makes no sense but I just hope they don't 'adjust' the tax for 72 years inflation....
  19. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

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