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Buckeye Ron

Which hand gun for home defense?

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Disclaimer: I am pretty much clueless about hand guns. That being said the time has come to get one for home defense,but I don't know where to start. I was thinking of going to a local shooting range where they sell different makes,or to a gun shop to ask questions. I'm a big guy and am not intimidated by the size of the larger caliber guns,but is bigger better? I've owned shotguns in the past and always leaned toward 12 ga. guns,but with hand guns there are just so many options out there!

Is there a good online resource to just read and learn about the differences in calibers,models,etc? A quick Google search seems to be information overload.

Thanks for any advice.

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Your right there are a ton of websites, some are make or type specific. One good one that talks about all types of defensive firearms is:

http://www.defensivecarry.com/forum/forum.php

I do recommend going to local shop and range and learning about your options as well as trying different types, manufacturers and calibers to see what suits you best. There really is no one size fits all. There are pros and cons to pistols and revolvers. Also for home defense a shotgun with buckshot may be better than handgun in some situations. Also, do you plan to carry outside home or keep inside. Will spouse have access to it? If so she will need to be trained.

Think about lesson from NRA certified instructor, it's money well spent.

Before I bought my first handgun I spent several months trying out different guns to see what I was most comfortable with and what met my needs. Good luck, it's a fun and rewarding journey. Don't be surprised if you end up with more than one.

Bigger is NOT necessarily better, you are responsible for every round that leaves your barrel, and if you can't control that round you can harm or kill innocent person.  With todays defensive rounds you can get very lethal rounds in smaller calibers, although I prefer 45c I do carry 380 sometimes and use Pow'rball ammo in it which is very lethal.

Finally practice practice practice and let us know what you decide on and why.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Yes, by all means go to a range that not only sells guns but rents them also.  Try the basics...380,9mm, 40S&W, and 45ACP, in several different semi auto brands that are in your budget.  I would also try a couple of revolvers in .38 Special and 357 Magnum.  Ask yourself, will this gun be strictly for home defense or will I want the option of a concealed carry weapon.  Also, if this will be strictly a home defense weapon..don't rule out a shotgun.

Good luck,  I applaud your decision to take charge of your family's safety.

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best handgun for home defense is a shotgun :D

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I've responded to shootings, so I'll toss this in for thought: A .380 WILL penetrate at least two  layers of drywall (interior wall, uninsulated) and the exterior sheathing (5/8" exterior plywood)  without issue. 

In a worst case scenario, what if a target is missed travels though connecting rooms, WHERE will it land?  I own a handful of different caliber guns and, quite honestly, only hope they stay locked up unless I'm going to the club or hunting.

Anything larger than a .22 is likely to do its job, but accuracy might be more important. 

Happy New Year everyone! 

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Handguns are fun, but nothing say's "Alright, we're done screwing around here" like a shotgun.

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I own a bunch of handguns, but my home defense gun is a short-barreled 12 ga. pump...

 

Tight lines,

Bob

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2 hours ago, DogBone_384 said:

I've responded to shootings, so I'll toss this in for thought: A .380 WILL penetrate at least two  layers of drywall (interior wall, uninsulated) and the exterior sheathing (5/8" exterior plywood)  without issue. 

In a worst case scenario, what if a target is missed travels though connecting rooms, WHERE will it land?  I own a handful of different caliber guns and, quite honestly, only hope they stay locked up unless I'm going to the club or hunting.

Anything larger than a .22 is likely to do its job, but accuracy might be more important. 

Happy New Year everyone! 

 

Good advice from DogBone, even if you hit a bad guy over penetration is serious risk, if you totally miss God only knows who is behind that wall or out the window, hence why I recommended possibly a shotgun. If your in an apartment or  close quarters with others I would think about it. 

Bigger slower rounds (like .45 for example) cause more damage than smaller faster (9mm for ex.) by turning inside body and paired with +p ammo over penetration risk is fairly low. But that assumes you hit your target which isn't easy in highly charged emotional self-defense situation.  Its all a trade-off, .45 more stopping power, but 9mm while easier to shoot has much more risk of over penetration (I only picked 45 and 9mm as examples for making point, not saying their better or worse than anything else).

 

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Some pretty good ideas here so far,makes me glad I asked. I do like the idea of a shotgun;simple to operate,definitely lethal,and not all that expensive. On the other hand I like the handgun idea because I can use it as a conceal carry gun should I decide to go that route. Plus it's a gun my wife can shoot too.

I'm going to take my time and do my research and I'll let everyone know what I decided. I've got some real good ideas here to mull over.

Thanks again!

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the more you read the more you'll come across 'center mass'. a few .9mm shots center mass to the lungs (heck even .22)  is better than a .45 in a leg and shoulder. .9mm has very manageable recoil so it's easy to stay center mass, which is most important. there's no point in having a cannon caliber round if you can't hit your target with a good grouping.

find a range that rents guns. nothing better than a test drive:)  

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I have been doing the renting different ones to see what works best for me the last couple months. Start with taking a class or two, the range I have been shooting at offers a beginners course. Good to see the basics, and the particular rules of the range.

After my trials I have decided to go with a 9mm Sig P226, just have to finish the required license class which I am taking this sunday.

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To start off with, you are correct in visiting a range to try various types of handguns, as well as calibers. 68camaro above stated a very important consideration. You are responsible for where that bullet goes, once it leaves the muzzle of whatever weapon you choose.

Personally, I prefer wheel guns. And none better than the reliable Ruger SP-101 in .357 magnum caliber. However I do not load it with full power .357's in the home. Instead, I use it with Federal Premium .38 Special, 110 gr., Hydra-Shocks. These low recoil rounds will certainly do the job at close range, stressful, poorly illuminated conditions. And you have less to worry about with them penetrating interior or exterior walls within your home.

And the one thing you can count on is that with a wheel gun, it will go bang the first time and every time. And it highly improbable that you will need more than 5 rounds to de-escalate a situation. Although the grips on the Ruger may be a bit small for large hands, custom stocks are available to alleviate that concern. The best part of the SP-101 is that it is a heavy tank of a gun. You will not be able to "shoot it out" in your practice time at the range. But many folks are partial to auto loaders. You just have to see what feels right to you.

 

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1 hour ago, Crestliner2008 said:

And it highly improbable that you will need more than 5 rounds to de-escalate a situation..

 

That's an incredibly dangerous assumption

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I do not believe that to be the case. Shooting a short barreled weapon within confined spaces will not allow much more than a round or two.....before you no longer can hear or think clearly enough for a full magazine of anything to be effective. Muzzle blast from a snubby is tremendous within confined spaces. Sight and sound will immediately be significantly reduced.

Not many shooters can do better than a round or two, under these conditions, before stress and diminished physical capacity overwhelms them. Ask a professional range master about this. This is not just my opinion, but also of a lot of good shooters as well. Better to make the first round or two count, than to rely on sheer firepower. JMO!

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Okay I am all for guns but, if you don't know which hand pulls the trigger than a gun is not your answer.  

You should be asking for classes from qualified persons.  Learn how to operate a firearm.  Then learn to use one.  Also you should look into your states laws.

I would opt for a shotgun.  With #4 buck shot.  Three a plenty of models specific to this application and they are more practical in my opinion.   

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A shotgun is just as bad for shooting threw walls.  00 buck will go threw a wall and kill on the other side.  The amount of bullets  flying in the air that don't meet target is a big risk.

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Well I've decided on a 12 ga. shotgun,primarily because I'm familiar with shooting shotguns(even though it's been a while),and at close range it is extremely lethal.

I still plan to buy a handgun in the near future but for now the 12 ga.will do just fine. Thanks for all the discussion as it sounds like I'm not the only one with questions about this.

Ron

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I attempted some humor on the title of this post But my lack of typing skills on iPad made it translate to text poorly.

In all seriousness I would look into your local laws regarding the use of force to defend your home.  If for nothing else but peice of mind.  Also classes from reputable teachers of using a firearm as protection.  Former law enforcement officers are often good instructors.

My my choice remains my 20ga. Rem 870 with #4 buck.

 

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I'm honestly glad that you opted for a shotgun over a handgun. You don't appear to have much experience with handguns, so I don't think it would have been your best defense option. 

(imo) at the end of the day, a handgun just isn't an optimal defense weapon in a situation where you could have a long gun. 

in my opinion, an ar platform is the optimal home defense tool. 30 round magazine (depending on where you live), light recoil, and endless ways to customize the weapon to your own specifications. With that being said, it would really depend on your state laws, but I feel that if you took a person who has never handled a gun before, and put a 9mm hand gun, a 12 gauge shotgun, and an at-15 in front of them they would have the best chance at using the ar both safely and efficiently. Again, that's just my opinion. 

 

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On December 29, 2015 at 2:36 PM, ClackerBuzz said:

best handgun for home defense is a shotgun :D

With "00" buck 12ga 3" mag. Maverick or mossberg with a riot 18" barrel and a 28" barrel for hunting. A pump with that scary ratchet sound.

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I agree shotgun is the way to go.  I have a Mossburg 500A 12g with 18.5 barrel and tube extension. I use "00" or "000", with that your can shoot through most doors if the intruder is trying to kick it in.

 

If your worried about using 00 or 000  you can use bird shot, I know everyones thought of using birdshot but being a firefighter/paramedic Ive seen/heard stories from others of gun shots and one of them was a 12g bird shot to the back, it's very disturbing what it will do in close range. All you need is a few pellets going between the ribs and hitting a lung and collapsing it. I promise u when someone can't breath they panic.

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On January 9, 2016 at 9:23 AM, C0lt said:

That's an incredibly dangerous assumption

Not if you know how to shoot.

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