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Dr. Strangelove
May 6, 2009, 12:56 AM
Due to some recent home invasions, one which resulted in the death of life-long friend of my parents, my father has a sudden interest in purchasing a pistol, specifically a 9mm. Great, I told him he can have my Ruger P89. He currently keeps a .22/.410 over/under loaded under the bed, and has a 20ga H&R which could be pressed into service. The home invasions referenced were not random, and my parents live in an area that does not lend itself to crime. I know it's possible, but we aren't talking about defending the Alamo here. For the most part, this is about making my dad feel better, and he's welcome to any gun I have. My parents are both 64 years old.

I don't like the shotgun under the bed scenario because my father has had two knee replacements and I question his ability to access it quickly. My mother, while being raised around guns and having respect but no fear of them, hasn't fired a gun in 50+ years. Dad served in Vietnam and has some combat experience, but as he admitted, that was 40+ years ago. He has very limited shooting experience since then. He was pleased that the Ruger functions for the most part like the Colt .45's he used in the army.

So we have the following firearms to choose from: (that are suitable for home defense, he can have my rifles also, but they aren't so good for close quarters)

.22/.410 break barrel
.20ga single shot break barrel
.12ga Mossberg 500 28" barrel
.22 Ruger MKII
9mm Ruger P89

Given their age, and the fact that my mom is the one likely to have to use the gun, since attackers are more likely to engage the male first, I'm curious what the board thinks would be the most appropriate. We will of course go to the range to see what they like the most.

Please refrain from caliber/gauge arguments, I'm interested in ease of use, not starting a discussion of "stopping power".

Also, while I am interested in everyone's thoughts, those from folks in my parents age group (64+) are particularly welcome...

Kyo
May 6, 2009, 01:28 AM
Take them both to the range is my advice. 50+years doesn't make me feel comfortable about the skill sets she has, although I am not denying she can't do it, she needs to brush up. Same with dad. If he likes his colt models, pick one up for him because he already has the confidence with the 1911.
Instead of under the bed, keep the shotgun beside the nightstand. Easier access, problem solved.
The 20 gauge might be better because it is significantly less recoil than that 12.
If I had to go with the list you gave I would do the 12 gauge, with the 20 gauge as a back up for dad, the 9mm for mom, with the 22 as a backup.
You should consider the 45 like I said before. 40 years is 40 years but training is still training. If he remembers fighting he remembers function. In the end as you already stated, range time is the best option right now regardless. You should get them to fire the shotguns to understand what recoil will feel like.
If it is just them living together, I would say stay in the room with the 12 gauge and have her hold the 9 in case the 12 gauge don't work. ;)

snevensmores
May 6, 2009, 01:29 AM
If your mom is likely to have to use it, I'd say the .410 with buck. Your dad could hopefully handle something a bit bigger. In my mind, a long gun is the way to go. For those who haven't currently been practicing (ie: your parents), I don't think a handgun is the best choice.

The key is to make sure that they know WHEN to pull the trigger and to not let the aggressor get close enough to take it away from them.

Best of luck to you and your fam, and hopefully they won't have to use it!

Dr. Strangelove
May 6, 2009, 02:40 AM
More information:

Shotgun leaning by the nightstand ain't gonna happen. No way, no how. In a closet, perhaps. I know my mom.

Yep, they live alone, no kids, pets, whatever in the house.

Two or three loaded guns as backup scenarios won't be happening either. Again, I know my parents.

The key is to make sure that they know WHEN to pull the trigger and to not let the aggressor get close enough to take it away from them
This is my main concern, introducing a firearm into a situation and not being willing to use it is worse than not having one at all. I'll just have to talk to them about it...

pax
May 6, 2009, 06:25 AM
http://www.the-backup.com/ should take care of the knee problem for a long gun.

Be sure to take them to the range -- or at least get one of them out if both won't go. If you go with the shotgun, taking it out to pattern it is a good excuse to be sure they know how to use it if necessary.

pax

Keltyke
May 6, 2009, 06:32 AM
From your list - the Ruger is the wasy to go. A long gun is too awkward and can be taken away too easily. With some basic training, they can both handle the Ruger 9mm.

Get them enrolled in a basic firearms handling safety course, and get them plenty of range time practicing.

Housezealot
May 6, 2009, 09:42 AM
Yep, they live alone, no kids, pets, whatever in the house.


If there is NO concerns about the gun getting into the wrong hands mabey your mom could be convinced to let you hang up a nice gun rack for easy access. that might not come across as quite so "hillbilly" as a gun leaning in the corner. (no offense to hillbillies, I count myself as one of there number:p)

KingEdward
May 6, 2009, 09:59 AM
consider a couple of used Smith and Wesson Model 10 .38 revolvers.

They can be had at gun shows for around $300

Shooting them at the range with .38 specials is not too expensive.

these can be kept in a soft side case in any drawer or on a table in the house.

your mom could keep one in the kitchen or den or wherever she is.

your dad likewise. The other guns are great and long guns to hunker down
in a safe room are great.

under pressure, clips/mags, is one in the chamber, etc. I don't know if their age and semi autos are the answer. They can grab the smith and point and it's ready to go.

comn-cents
May 6, 2009, 10:26 AM
go with the p89

Delaware_Dan
May 6, 2009, 10:46 AM
I would say the P89 for your father and the MKII for your mom.

Daugherty16
May 6, 2009, 11:42 AM
Sorry to hear about the death due to home invasion. Honestly that kind of crime is what finally drove me to obtain my CCW too. Contrary to being a scared reaction, I view it (CCW) as an empowering decision, an acknowledgement of the value of life and family. Kudos to your parents for taking a positive step toward home defense. They are lucky to have you as a resource.

Aside from new knees, which are probably lots better than the old ones, do either of your parents have physical conditions/strength/mobility issues?

If hand strength isn't an issue, firing the first round from the Ruger P89 in DA shouldn't be a problem. That is something that can be practiced at the range, obviously. i am a big fan of the decocking lever, particularly for anyone whose hand strength may not be great - don't want any accidental discharges when trying to safe a weapon. It also makes carrying with a chambered round safer, something your parents both may be concerned with.

I know this sounds trite, and it won't work in my house with youngsters still around, but i've seen these cool hollow wall clocks - actual working clocks, built around a cavity sized just right for stashing a pistol. Might that work for your folks - if they don't / won't carry - somewhere close by in the TV room or kitchen - wherever the most time is spent?

markj
May 6, 2009, 12:48 PM
Go and buy them a large dog and get it trained up to at least bark at strangers if not outright bite em. I say the 12ga with slugs or 00 buck. Hard to beat that combination.

Mannlicher
May 6, 2009, 02:47 PM
I would not be loaning guns to folks, no matter how much you love them, unless they have had training.
I'd sign Dad up with a local source, and get him CCW qualified, and trained in the basics of gun mechanics and mind set.

You are right though, in saying that home invasions are not random. Just the other day, 4 college boys living a few doors away were targeted with an armed home invasion. One of them was beaten severely. Turns out that they had been selling weed by the pound out of house. They were robbed by one of their 'regulars'.
They are in a bit of a jam now, themselves.

Smallfrye
May 7, 2009, 11:24 AM
Consider reality: without training, regular practice and some level of stress/ tactical training, the chances are real high your family would not have the ability to hit an intruder if required. If they miss, they may become a casualty. A handgun in the wrong hands is a liability in such situations. Accidental shootings, mistaken identity, self inflicted shootings .... are all significant considerations with inexperienced gun users, particularly with a handgun.
The most effective deterant is an alarm system, either electronic or any medium sized dog will do. It is the sticker on the window or bark that will send the invader to your neighbors house instead of yours.
If the machismo is to strong; go for the long gun. At least it's much harder to shoot yourself and at 15', you only need to aim in the general direction to hit something. Let's hope it's not a friend.

GeauxTide
May 7, 2009, 11:29 AM
My wife is 59 and recoil sensitive. She doesn't like the 20ga or 12ga, .45acp, or 38/357; however, she likes the 9mm Taurus PT-111. Get her what she likes to shoot well and enroll her in police-sponsored training.

moga
May 7, 2009, 11:57 AM
From your list - the Ruger is the wasy to go. A long gun is too awkward and can be taken away too easily. With some basic training, they can both handle the Ruger 9mm.

Get them enrolled in a basic firearms handling safety course, and get them plenty of range time practicing.

This. Although the M10 sounds ideal if you are interested in acquiring an additional firearm for your parents' use.

I would not be loaning guns to folks, no matter how much you love them, unless they have had training.

I'd sign Dad up with a local source, and get him CCW qualified, and trained in the basics of gun mechanics and mind set.

CCW qualified for a night stand gun? How much CCW training does the average home invader actually have? We are beginning to sound just like the Brady's and the VPC people that would have training as a prerequisite to good people exercising our rights. Nonsense! They don't want anyone to exercise the right to bear arms, thus their position to support as many obstacles to that end that they can muster. The man is a combat veteran. He may not have the ability to hit a target with a M14 at several hundred meters using his BUIS but I'm sure he can defend his life at cross-the-room room distances if it comes down to it.

Just my two cents. YMMV.

DKJBama
May 7, 2009, 09:49 PM
I'm thinking I would have them go with the Mossburg loaded with "Managed Recoil" 00 buck. If it's legal in your state, pull the plug out of it for more capacity and put a short barrel on it to make it a little less unwieldy inside the home.

Just this newb's $0.02.

Mannlicher
May 8, 2009, 06:53 AM
Moga
Quote:
"I would not be loaning guns to folks, no matter how much you love them, unless they have had training."

"I'd sign Dad up with a local source, and get him CCW qualified, and trained in the basics of gun mechanics and mind set."


CCW qualified for a night stand gun? How much CCW training does the average home invader actually have? We are beginning to sound just like the Brady's and the VPC people that would have training as a prerequisite to good people exercising our rights. Nonsense! They don't want anyone to exercise the right to bear arms, thus their position to support as many obstacles to that end that they can muster. The man is a combat veteran. He may not have the ability to hit a target with a M14 at several hundred meters using his BUIS but I'm sure he can defend his life at cross-the-room room distances if it comes down to it.

Just my two cents. YMMV.

The CCW training suggestion was to give Dad the basics of gun handling and safety, and some thoughts on mind set, and usage. Skills not exercised for years, won't be sharp, and America as we know it now, is not Viet Nam of the 60's.
I think that getting some professional training with guns is very important for a person that has not handled guns in some 40 years.

I see your mileage varies.........

mp25ds4
May 8, 2009, 07:39 PM
I would say the ruger p89 9mm would be the best of those

m&p45acp10+1
May 10, 2009, 05:53 PM
I would recomend the mkII for mom since she has not shot in so long. Especialy if taking her to the range. It is perfect for older women with arthritic hands and osteoperosis. Also not so much recoil and bang to intemidate. For dad let him decide after a day at the range. My grandmother at 70 had not shot in well over 40 years picked up a mk II that was grampa's and did remarkably well with it. While not holding sub inch groups she put all of the shots into lethal areas of the target at about 20 feet in short order. Due to the fact that she had arthritis in both hands and osteperosis any larger caliber like 38 or larger possibly would have broken her wrist or thumbs.
Just a point to consider when arming an elderly woman.

dalegribble
May 10, 2009, 06:24 PM
buy him an 18 1/2" barrel 4 the mossburg. tell him to keep it loaded with some 00 buck and an empty chamber. racking the slide of a 12 ga pump has probably ended more situations than pulling the trigger but the trigger is there if he needs it. he is less likely to miss is a high stress situation than using a handgun. given an option a shotgun is always the best choice.

Frank Ettin
May 10, 2009, 11:50 PM
It doesn't matter much what gun as long as it is reliable and as long as they can manage it and train and practice with it. Pretty much any gun will do if one can use it skillfully.

cracked91
May 11, 2009, 12:14 AM
If the attackers are going to engage the male first, your dad should engage them right back, with your 9mm. I don't know any specifics about your mom but for a 64 year old woman I would say 9mm is the upper limit, and definetly handgun, no long gun.

onthejon55
May 11, 2009, 10:07 AM
If they live alone and its just them in in one room at together at nights id go with the long gun. They arent going to be clearing the house or chasing anyone so having compact gun that easy to maneuver isnt necessary. It doesnt require as much practice and form to shoot properly also.

guntotin_fool
May 11, 2009, 11:11 AM
One, the 12 gauge should be the first line of defense. find a short barrel for it, or find a used 30 inch barrel fixed choke around town, and cut it back to 19 inches from the closed bolt face to the end of the barrel. (I know the law is 18, but 19 gives some leeway in cleaning up the cut. and the one inch won't matter)

Two, get them shooting. get them used to the gun.


three, if there is no one else in the home, the gun goes in the corner nearest your dad's side of the bed, mom gets the 9 and the phone. No reason to hide a gun if you have no little kids around, if they are worried about appearances, hang a shirt over it.

how big is the house? how close are the neighbors? I would find a box of T or F shot. 2 3/4 inch steel. or 4 buck or BB in lead. anyone who says that is not enough inside a house has not seen first hand the effects of it. PERIOD.

Dr_2_B
May 14, 2009, 09:39 PM
The Ruger 9 and a trip or two to the range.

skydiver3346
May 14, 2009, 09:49 PM
Mossberg 500 with reduced recoil 00 buckshot would be the choice in my opinion. Multiple follow up shots are available if needed and its pretty hard to miss with 00 buck. Bottom line, he needs to leave it near the head of the bed (in a corner, etc) but where it can be accessed immediately. Your Mom will just have to get used to it if she wants to be secure/safe. No kids, no worry. If company comes over, she can put it in the closet. The rest of the time, keep in the bedroom near the bed, (loaded)...

Xwrench3
May 27, 2009, 08:07 AM
well, first off, take them BOTH SHOOTING. after having both of them shoot at least 3 magazines full out of your gun, take them home and let them think about what just happened. specificly, tell them that you want to talk to them in two days about their shooting experience. then, after you find that out, tell them you want to think about one more question. ask them both to think about it and let you know. ask them to honestly answer if they could take another persons life if they were forced to defend them selves. if they answer no. the discussion is over. if they could not use it, all they are going to do is arm a person who would use it against them. if one, or hopefull both of them think they could use it, then take them shopping for one that they feel is comfortable to them. just becasue your gun feels good to you, their old hands may need something else. good luck with your situation. i hope you can help them help themselves.