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in-home self defense

bullriderbullrider Member Posts: 14 ✭✭
edited July 2008 in Ask the Experts
I am looking for a handgun for self-defense. Leaning toward a 45 for the big boom effect at the shooting range. What would be a good choice and what should it cost? I would prefer a used price.

Comments

  • UncleFuddUncleFudd Member Posts: 146 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Bullrider;
    First, welcome to the forum. Second, your handle indicates participation in another fun sport. I did it also for about 12 years.

    Anyway to your question why not a shotgun for the most effective home defense weapon and one your wife can also handle?


    Having said that, and before you decide, what is your experience with handguns in general at this point, how much have you shot them, which ones and either revolver or auto?
    The big boomer at the range may not be of any help in the home in an actual SD situation. If you are forced to use deadly force the noise will not stop your attacker, only hits will make a difference in the outcome.

    As a range owner and firearms dealer and full time instructor, I help people with this decision almost every day and perhaps I can help you save some money and at the same time make a good choice in firearms.

    But as I said, more info about your experience will certainly help.
    45ACP is a great caliber but not necessarily the one to begin shooting with for several reasons, expense of ammo, recoil, noise and initial expense to name a few.

    So without further info on your part, try this if you can and this is critical no matter what you do.

    Find a range near you with a rental program and get there to try as many guns as you can before you put any money down on any gun recommended by anyone.
    If there is no range as such, then the next best thing is to go to a dealer with a large inventory to actually handle a bunch of guns to see which fit you physically the best.

    We all want to help others pick a gun and of course our favorite will always be our first recommendation. But what is good for us may or may not fit you physically or Psychologically. You need to first find out which guns best fit your hands, then look at the calibers and models to see which ones you are the most comfortable with. Once these things are decided, we may be able to make more informed decisions while attempting to help you.

    Please come back to help us help you.

    Good luck and you have come to the right place IMHO.

    UncleFudd
    www.caswells.com
  • FatstratFatstrat Member Posts: 9,147
    edited November -1
    I agree w/.45 ACP. BIG fairly low velocity bullet w/proven knock down power. But not so hot that you have a better chance that a miss won't plow thru several walls and hit unintended persons.
    Ammo's IMO not really THAT expensive. Wal Mart has the Blazer 230 Grain FMJ at just under $15. per 50rds.
    And the Armscor Rock Island Armory clone of the Colt 1911 are priced at less than $400. new.
    Some people knock the quality of these guns "as compared to the much more expensive Colt". But good luck finding a used one. Quality is good enough that people who buying them are keeping them.
  • RobinRobin Member Posts: 1,228 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If you like the .45 ACP there are plent of choices. The 1911-A and clones are almost everyone's favorite. For home defense, a reptutation for dependability and decent accuracy you might want to check out the Ruger P-90. I have been very pleased with my KP-90-DC model. The double action trigger pull is a bit rough and long but in single action its not too bad. It shoots where you aim it.
  • TfloggerTflogger Member Posts: 3,056 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If you are not already a pistol shooter, buy a 12 gauge pump. If you already have a pistol, go with a heavy bullet.
    I am a firearms cave man!
  • leeblackmanleeblackman Member Posts: 5,683
    edited November -1
    I recommend a handgun with a light rail, especially over a shotgun, just for the sole reason that you can operate it with one hand and have another hand free to operate a phone. I'd recommend something along the lines of a Glock or a Springfield XD40, without a manual safety. They are available in just about every common handgun cartridge, so whatever your comfortable handling with various barrel lengths and grip sizes. They are realiable, simple to operate, accurate, and ergonomic. Next thing I recommend is a light module or laser light module, depending if your comfortable with aiming via laser dot. I find the red dot easy to find even when I'm not wearing my contact lenses.

    There's alot of stuff out there, but when something goes bump in the night, or your car alarm goes off after hearing breaking glass, you want things as simple and relaible as possible.

    Having a flashlight on your gun isn't just some gadget. We've all heard the horror story of the man who shot his pregnant wife who was going for a midnight snack who he thought was a burglar because all he saw was a shadow in the hall when he squeezed the trigger.

    And don't rely on the myth of a "one stop shot." It doesn't matter if your shooting a 9mm, a .40sw, a .357sig. You just keep squeezing the trigger till you stop the aggressor and neutralize the threat.
  • rsnyder55rsnyder55 Member Posts: 2,626
    edited November -1
    For a defense handgun, I would recommend a medium frame revolver such as a 357 with a 4" barrel. My personal preference is a S&W 586/686.

    Unless you want to spend much time practicing and keeping your skills honed in clearing stovepipes, misfires, and the like, a revolver would make a better choice. Usually a second pull of the trigger takes care of any problem.

    I've witnessed Murphy's Law too many times.
  • Moe1Moe1 Member Posts: 73 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    My first choice is also the shotgun for in home self defense. I prefer a 20 guage shotgun with the 45 911 as a backup. Just my 2 cents.
  • nmyersnmyers Member Posts: 16,121 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    When folks ask me about a gun for home defense, my first response is, "Get a dog &/or an alarm system." Having a gun in the home, & using it in a Close Encounter of the Worst Kind, is serious business. Uncle Fudd gave a great introduction; you would do well to read & follow his advice.

    I suggest that you first read a book on the subject (if everything you know came off the internet, you have a problem); I suggest "In the Gravest Extreme" by Massad Ayoob. Also, start reading gun magazines, as they regularly have self-defense articles. I read the American Rifle & Guns & Ammo, but there are other good ones.

    Above all, consider what would happen if something went wrong. Folks accidentally shoot friends, family members, & sometimes even the next door neighbor; that sort of thing will haunt you the rest of your life.

    Maybe a dog isn't such a bad idea....

    Neal
  • cpermdcpermd Member Posts: 5,416
    edited November -1
    Get a Serbu Shorty with a light.

    CP
  • Don McManusDon McManus Member Posts: 21,507 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by rsnyder55
    For a defense handgun, I would recommend a medium frame revolver such as a 357 with a 4" barrel. My personal preference is a S&W 586/686.

    Unless you want to spend much time practicing and keeping your skills honed in clearing stovepipes, misfires, and the like, a revolver would make a better choice. Usually a second pull of the trigger takes care of any problem.

    I've witnessed Murphy's Law too many times.
    Agree 100%. Ours is a 686 with .38 spl JHP. The heavier frame and .38 spl loads reduce felt recoil to a point the wife is very comfortable with it. Obviously comfort and confidence with the pistol is much more important than the big boom.
    Freedom and a submissive populace cannot co-exist.

    Brad Steele
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