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Cycrops
January 13, 2012, 02:06 PM
Back in November I read an article (http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-truth-about-violence/) which made me realize that my wife and I need to be more prepared to protect ourselves and our new twin babies. My wife is young and pretty, which makes me worry about about her becoming the target of violence.

I had an instance not long before I read that article where a shady guy showed up at the house with a pizza box in the evening and rang the bell. The instant I answered the door, he said "You didn't order a pizza?" then turned around and left. Maybe the puzzled look on my face as I answered the door tipped him off that he was at the wrong house, or maybe he was casing the neighborhood.

Anyway, I decided to purchase a HD/range handgun, which I'll be picking up next week. I already own a 22 rifle, but decided it's not ideal for HD. My wife has no firearms experience.

After reading the article linked above, I had a talk with my wife where I instructed her to NEVER open the front door for a stranger, especially when she is home alone with the babies during the day.

Today she called me at work and said the bell had rung, but she decided to ignore it because of our conversation. The bell rang again, and then there was a loud banging at the front door. She went to the door and saw a neighborhood teenager, big kid, acts a bit odd, who was going around shoveling driveways. She tried to tell him to go away from behind the door, but ended up opening the door to talk to him and send him on his way.

Two questions:
1. Due to the babies, I doubt my wife will have an opportunity to fire the Beretta for a couple of months. In the meantime, should I show her how to use it in case something happens, or assume that she'll likely do more harm than good if she goes for the gun in a bad situation?

2. How do I train her to not open the door? She knows in principle that she shouldn't, but she has a people-pleasing streak and appears to have a hard time being rude to a stranger at the door by not opening it. Any ideas about how to cope with this?

jimbob86
January 13, 2012, 02:09 PM
Due to the babies, I doubt my wife will have an opportunity to fire the Beretta for a couple of months.

No reliable babysitters there? No extended family? You mean she never gets a break from the kids?

Dude.

A couple hours off is not too much to ask.

Young.Gun.612
January 13, 2012, 02:15 PM
Heavy duty chain on the door. She can open it and see people with less of a risk, also holding whatever pistol you may have out of sight of the person outside.

Cycrops
January 13, 2012, 02:26 PM
"No reliable babysitters there? No extended family? You mean she never gets a break from the kids?

Dude.

A couple hours off is not too much to ask."

Long story, but we don't have anyone local at the moment who we can trust with infant twins for hours at a time. The wife does get breaks from mom duty, but we don't get breaks together unless my out-of-state family is around, which won't happen again for a couple months.

That said, it may be worth the effort to find a solution that can get her to the range with me sooner than later.

C0untZer0
January 13, 2012, 02:37 PM
Your wife's opinions about all this seems to be conspicously absent from your plans.

Buzzcook
January 13, 2012, 02:41 PM
Invest in strong doors and locks.

Ask neighbors and co-workers about trustworthy baby sitters. If you attend church you might ask there as well.

You can and should explain the basic operation of the gun to your wife. Use snap caps etc. Of course you should also teach the basics of firearm safety.

Cycrops
January 13, 2012, 02:46 PM
How do you quote posts? I don't see a quote button.

"Your wife's opinions about all this seems to be conspicously absent from your plans. "

My wife wants access to the Beretta, I'm looking for opinions about whether that's wise until she's at least fired it at the range (or even if a few range sessions are enough).

She agrees that it's unsafe to open the door, but can't seem to help herself when she's in the moment. I'm looking for "here's what she should do when a stranger bangs on the door" types of ideas that I can relay to her.

My apologies if it doesn't seem like she and I are partners in this, I'm just the one taking the lead on the issue (and posting the thread on the forum).

kraigwy
January 13, 2012, 02:46 PM
You need to address your concerns to PAX.

If it was me, I'd take a week or so vacation time, stay home with the babies and send wife to PAX.

I'm a firearms instructor, been one since the mid 70s, I got three girls that I care about, so I'm trying work a deal to have her work with my girls this summer.

She deals with ladies and know their problems and how to get to them.

farmerboy
January 13, 2012, 02:47 PM

BarryLee
January 13, 2012, 03:07 PM
Consider a monitored alarm system. They can be set for different modes and one mode allows you to be home, but still have the perimeter monitored. One option offered by many alarm companies is video, so she can see what is going on outside without opening the door. Anything else that you can do to make the house less of a target would also help like lighting, landscaping, locks, doors etc. Remember you want to “harden the target” so the bad guys will go somewhere else.

C0untZer0
January 13, 2012, 03:15 PM
"stranger bangs on the door" types of ideas is a larger issue than firearms training.

You've got a lot of other components that wrap around that, and maybe look at "low hanging fruit" or simple components to the overall solution before tackling firearms training:

1) A quality locking storm door with some visibilty that also allows the inhabitant to talk to someone outside without completely opening a passage into your house

2) An intercom system w/video

3) A chain on a quality security front door

4) A large dog - especially gaurd dog type breeds

5) Electronic alarm and alerting system

The issue of getting trained with a handgun is on the list somewhere but it doesn't prevent or preclude these other things from being addressed. And since you and your wife seem to have some fairly significant obstacles to her getting training right now, I wouldn't take an all or nothing approach to it and do nothing until she can get trained. There are other things that can be done as early as this weekend.


.

trex1310
January 13, 2012, 03:19 PM
Buy a couple of rubber door stops. Put the stops at the front
and back doors. When your wife goes to the door teach her
to put the door stop about 8" from the door. No amount of
pushing will dislodge the stop. This isn't foolproof, but better
than a chain and will buy precious time. If an intruder reaches
in to try and dislodge the stop, a baseball bat to the elbow
will do wonders to discourage it.

JerryM
January 13, 2012, 03:21 PM
On my outside doors I have metal security doors. They were not expensive at Lowe's. You can see out, but not in. They open out so that they cannot be forced in. Day or night they provide a great deal of security.
Jerry

Cycrops
January 13, 2012, 03:22 PM
I like the locking storm door concept a lot. Allows her to answer the door without the guy being able to simply push his way into the house. We need a storm door anyway, so that's something I'll look into.

irish52084
January 13, 2012, 03:34 PM
My wife and I had similar issues. I had a lot of firearms experience, but she had very little. We made time to get her familiar and comfortable with the operation and firing of our guns. She shoots every so often and is capable with a pistol. There's no reason not to sit down and let her get comfortable with how the Beretta operates and feels. Get some snap caps and let her dry fire a bunch until you can get her some training and range time.

HALL,AUSTIN
January 13, 2012, 04:39 PM

markj
January 13, 2012, 04:54 PM
The count nailed it. The chain lock tho should use long screws, them little ones can be tore out of a door frame easily. A metal frame is better yet.

manta49
January 13, 2012, 05:09 PM
How dangerous is the area you live in ?. Take sensible precautions but do you want your wife to be scared of going to the door.

(How do I train her to not open the door.)

Are you sure you dont mean how do i show my wife its not a good idea to go to the door .

A security camera at the door would be a good idea then she could check it before going to door.

AndersonG22
January 13, 2012, 05:11 PM
I wouldn't trust a door with a chain, if it fails shes dead.

Have her go to a window near the door and talk to people outside that way. Or have her answer the door with a knife at least 1' long and (edited, explicit content) stomach then (edited, explicit content).

I think a knife at least 1' or more would be your best option, you may want to go longer in case the intruder is overweight.

MLeake
January 13, 2012, 05:15 PM
You think an untrained person with a knife will be more effective than an untrained person with a Beretta?

Or you think it's easier to train a person to safely and effectively use a knife than a Beretta?

Either way, I disagree (and I have trained with knives and Berettas...)

AndersonG22
January 13, 2012, 05:35 PM
You think an untrained person with a knife will be more effective than an untrained person with a Beretta?

Or you think it's easier to train a person to safely and effectively use a knife than a Beretta?

Either way, I disagree (and I have trained with knives and Berettas...)

The only way to(edited, explicit content)an attacker is CNS or hitting a major artery. If someone busted through my door I would take a 1' knife over any handgun for the following reasons. A. If someone busted through the door it would IMO very quickly turn into a struggle/fight and I don't think you would get many shots before the struggle/fight. And B. A knife would create far more damage then a handgun in that situation.

For a trained person a gun might be better but I've never trained with either weapon so I can't say for sure. As an untrained person I would take a knife over any gun in that situation.

Why would you prefer a gun?

C0untZer0
January 13, 2012, 05:41 PM
But I can't hold it anymore !

Get a 12ga shotgun !



There...

I said it :)

MLeake
January 13, 2012, 05:43 PM
(Edit: In answer to AndersonG22) Multiple reasons:

1) Some people have a serious aversion to violence. For these types, it's often harder to make themselves use a stabbing, slashing, hacking, or bludgeoning instrument, so they are (edit: even) more likely to hesitate (edit: with a knife, as opposed to pulling a trigger).

2) While a handgun can be grappled (I was teaching somebody how to do that Wednesday night, in fact), the BG has to get to contact range to grapple it, whereas the shooter can fire before that happens; a knife (unless one is really good at throwing it) requires that the BG be in contact range, and a knife can be grappled. (Really, one grapples the knife user's wrist/forearm much more than the knife, per se, but there are also ways to grab the knife itself once motion of the arm has been limited.)

3) Depending on the gun, multiple shots can be put on target in the time it would take to get to the second effective attack with the knife.

4) If the BG turns out to have a firearm, he can retreat and shoot through the door, at the knife user.

(Edit) 5) Even trained knife users often find they've cut themselves after a knife is used for SD. Cuts to the fingers of the knife hand from sliding over the guard, to the blade, are common. Sometimes, inadvertently self-inflicted knife cuts are pretty bad, as in ligament, tendon, nerve, or major blood vessel bad. Untrained person with a knife?

In a scenario where a relatively untrained person expects to get into a contact distance problem, I'd recommend a hammerless or shrouded hammer (S&W Centennial or original Bodyguard and descendants) revolver over the knife. The short barrel makes it harder to grapple (although even with guns, my first attack is on the wielder and his hand/wrist, not the gun itself), and it won't get pushed out of battery like a semi will if shoved into the BG.

That is probably the ONLY scenario where I'd suggest a J-frame for a relatively untrained user. For others, I'd recommend a 4" DA revolver, or a service size auto, and at least some training.

(Edit: To clarify, I ALWAYS recommend training; I just realize that in some cases the threat exists before good training becomes available.)

MLeake
January 13, 2012, 05:44 PM
CZ, how do you surreptitiously answer the door with a shotgun?

How do you keep a shotgun nearby, when tending two infants?

Shotguns are great, when used properly; they aren't so good for the two purposes above.

Brian48
January 13, 2012, 05:48 PM
A full size .38 revolver is generally a good choice as a HD gun for someone with minimal experience. Certainly better than any .22lr in terms of power and simpler to use than a full size auto.

C0untZer0
January 13, 2012, 05:49 PM
A normal door and door frame with a cheap chain kit and brass screws is not going to secure anything. It has to be a quality security door and frame and a quality chain or hinged bar setup.

answer the door with a knife at least 1' long and stab the stomach then slice.

^ Ouch.

giaquir
January 13, 2012, 06:01 PM
Invest in strong doors and locks.

Not many doors or locks can keep out bad guys.
They only delay them a bit.

If your wife thinks she has to yell thru the door
to tell someone to go away,you should
prolly move because it sounds like she and you
are afraid of the neighborhood.
Buying a weapon and taking a course is a good
start in the right direction but one also needs frame of mind
and it sounds like neither of you have it.
Owning a firearm especially for self defense is quite
a responsibilty and can be used out of fright in
the wrong situation.
You don't want mommy raising her kids from prison.
I don't know your finances but if'n I was you
I'd pay a technician from a security system to go thru
the house and secure as much as possible and also
have it monitored. A good panic button wouldn't
hurt either nor would a good baton at conveinent
locations.

Young.Gun.612
January 13, 2012, 06:21 PM
I'm still stuck on the aversion to even opening the door. Not EVERYONE who comes to the door is intent on doing harm. While I have no data to back it up, I'd guess that its actually a pretty small chance. This isn't to say she shouldn't be proficient with a gun, but maybe you don't need to be so worried (read: paranoid) that she doesn't even answer the door...

AndersonG22
January 13, 2012, 06:27 PM
I'm still stuck on the aversion to even opening the door. Not EVERYONE who comes to the door is intent on doing harm. While I have no data to back it up, I'd guess that its actually a pretty small chance. This isn't to say she shouldn't be proficient with a gun, but maybe you don't need to be so worried (read: paranoid) that she doesn't even answer the door...

That depends where you live...

MLeake
January 13, 2012, 06:28 PM
Depends on the neighborhood trends.

We are buying a place in a nice, rural area with nice neighbors... who live anywhere from .3 miles to 1 mile away.

They have recently had a problem with a gang of thieves kicking in the doors during the daytime, apparently after knocking. (People who don't answer the door might encourage these types, as they are actually trying to hit homes while people are at work.)

A couple of them made the mistake of hitting one friend's place, where the dog is both outside and not friendly to strangers. He had been out shooting, elsewhere on his farm. Drove his ATV back to find a couple guys cornered on his porch. The guys claimed to be lost and looking for directions. My friend was armed, as he'd been shooting, and between him and the dog, the two guys were eager to leave.

My friend let them do so, but then immediately called his dispatch (he's a retired deputy, and still does some part-time work with the SD). The plate on the van he reported turned out to have been stolen; a sheriff's cruiser caught the guys a few properties down.

Seems there may be an organized gang of eight or more thieves...

And it is a nice area.

Shadi Khalil
January 13, 2012, 07:09 PM
Another argument for my idea of putting day cares every where.

tet4
January 13, 2012, 07:50 PM
Cornered cat.com

Find a range in the area that offers private trainers or women's only classes. Send her there one night with one of her girl friends. Trust me, it's better if you aren't there anyway.

Tell her to shoot as many guns as she wants and when she finds one she likes and the trainer thinks is best for her tell her to buy it on the spot.

Get a quick access safe for the handgun t keep it safe from the kids.

Let her order as many books on firearms as she would like. Lessons from armed America, armed and female, etc.

I'm guessing that you could get her to a trainer in three days tops.

saands
January 13, 2012, 08:18 PM
Since the OP is new here, let me clarify tet4's first suggestion:

Visit PAX's website www.corneredcat.com ... or maybe just tell your wife that the folks at TFL recommended that she take a look at the site.

IMHO, it is never too early to start the process of getting familiar with how to make a pistol ready and then make it safe again. Also, if there is no experience with handguns, then I typically go down to the local sporting goods store and get an airsoft replica that comes close to what you will have and use that to teach the basics of aiming and trigger control. No, it isn't totally realistic, but getting rid of the noise and recoil can be a good thing when someone is getting introduced to handgunning. Besides, you can come back to the airsoft later if you want to run some scenarios in the house after proficiency has been attained.

Mindset has been mentioned already ... but I would not put a fiirearm into play until I was certain that there would be ZERO hesitation in its being used if the situation dictated it. The last thing that you want is for an intruder to all of a sudden be armed with YOUR weapon. Securing this mindset requires a lot of soul searching and some serious conversation. I could be wrong here, but if a person can't bring themselves to tell someone to "go away" when they don't want them there, then they may not (yet) have the mindset necessary to do whatever it takes to stop someone from harming one of their loved ones. That is by no way suggesting that the mindset can't or won't be acquired, just that it may not exist today.

Stay safe,
Saands

oneounceload
January 13, 2012, 08:29 PM
After you read TheCorneredCat and ignoring all the well intentioned posts to get X gun, get her some training, let HER pick the gun she wants. In the meantime, a can of bear spray would most likely be better than a gun she is not prepared or knowledgeable about

ltc444
January 13, 2012, 09:06 PM
I am going to make some assumptions here.

I assume that you are a young family with limited resources.

Have you made a security plan? There has been a lot of discussions about the main door. There are some simple inexpensive things you can do to secure the rest of your home.

Patio door. Cut an old broom handle so that it just fits in the track and will prevent the door from opening. The same can be done on sliding windows. Place noise makers at locations were they will be knocked over when someone is entering the home in an unconventional manner. An empty Coke can with some pennies or flat washers make a tremondous racket when they fall to the floor. I use these to train my dogs not to steal food off the kitchen counter.

All ways have her carry her Cell phone with her. Have 911 on speed dial. It should be position 1 or 2.

Harden an interior room. The babies nursery would be a good idea. A fire door with a dead bolt.

Even if she can't go to the range dry firing will help her and is great training.
My Pistol Coach had us dry fire 10 to 20 times for each round we put down range.

The 12 ga may be to big for her. My wife, even with professional training, is afraid of our Mossburg. A 20 ga or even a 410 is effective at close range. Remember a 410 slug has the muzzle energy of a 44Mag.

Other nonlethal items are also effective. Bear Repellant, ABC Dry Chemical Fire extinguishers (my personal favorite) and any number of common household cleaners and bleaches.

She has to become the she bear protecting her cubs.

Note of Caution: Once she becomes aware of the possible threats. DO NOT GET CUTE AND TRY TO SNEAK INTO THE HOUSE AND SUPRISE HER. You do not need to have and accident which leaves her a widow and your babies fatherless.

.40cal
January 13, 2012, 09:20 PM
Alarm system # 1

Firearm # 2 ( training is a must )- you need to discuss your concerns and get her on board with this. If she has no desire to learn to use a firearm then it will do no good. Just make sure she gets some time at the range at the very least.

Also, go to lowes, home depot, etc. and invest in the alarmed door stoppers. They come two to a pack for about 12 bucks if I remember correctly. It's basically a wedge with a rubber bottom and it takes a 9v battery ( it is alarmed if a door is pressed against it) These little things are amazingly strong and will prevent a door from being forced open without letting out an ear piercing siren.

I have these on all my doors at night in the event that someone tries to breach the door. Hopefully this will wake me and buy me some time to collect myself and react.

Note of Caution: Once she becomes aware of the possible threats. DO NOT GET CUTE AND TRY TO SNEAK INTO THE HOUSE AND SUPRISE HER. You do not need to have and accident which leaves her a widow and your babies fatherless.

I couldn't agree more. this is some of the best advice I have ever heard. When I purchased my wife a gun, I told her that I would never sneak in the house or come home unannounced. I always make sure that I call first for that very reason She knows to shoot when someone has entered the home.

C0untZer0
January 13, 2012, 10:09 PM
I have 3 kids and I haven't spent the money to make the shotgun both secure and immediately accesable, so it just stays locked up unloaded.

I know there are people who answer the door armed when the FedEx guy rings... but I am guessing most of us don't do that.

Have you thought about where the Beretta go - where it would be when she's home during the day? I think you'll need some kind of accesable safe. They usually go in the bedroom. I don't think the answer is having a gun safe in the living room / foyer / dinning room / kitchen, I think the answer is making your front entranceway more secure with some of the methods listed above.

If someone does start to break in via window or whatever - your wife has time to retreat to a safe room, arm herself, call 911 and do all that. Have a plan as mentioned.

AndersonG22
January 13, 2012, 10:32 PM
Tell her to carry a long and sharp knife when she answers the door and stab someone trying to force his way in.

The other suggestions are very good especially the rubber door stop alarm, but I would carry a knife as a back up plan. If the guy is skinny he might be able to slip in if the door stop isn't close enough to the door, locks may fail or rip off the wall, but a quality knife wont fail you.

C0untZer0
January 13, 2012, 11:02 PM
^ Again with the knives...

What's with the knives?

Onward Allusion
January 13, 2012, 11:14 PM
Cycrops
My young wife home alone...

There are a lot of things you can do to harden your home security-wise, but I'll focus on your current issue - getting training for your wife. Some of the others have already recommended formal training, so I won't mention that.

Here are a few other ideas.

1. Airsoft or a CO2 REVOLVER for practice in the basement with a pellet trap or target setup. I said revolver because it will teach trigger control as well as targeting.

2. Invest in a Kel-Tec P32 and have her wear it around the house and in the yard...etc. This will ensure that the kids will not have access to the guns and that your wife will have a gun with her at all times. A pocket holster or a paddle holster will be very easy to maintain access. I suggest a P32 because of the minimal recoil and light weight. Also, this will give her time to get to the Beretta. BTW a fully loaded P32 is 9.4 ounces or a little less than 2 iPhones.

3. Review security strategy and keep it fresh in everyone's mind.

Frank Ettin
January 13, 2012, 11:22 PM
Tell her to carry a long and sharp knife when she answers the door and stab someone trying to force his way in....Probably not the best idea for a young woman who might well be disinclined to want to close with an attacker.

Onward Allusion
January 13, 2012, 11:23 PM
If someone does start to break in via window or whatever - your wife has time to retreat to a safe room, arm herself, call 911 and do all that. Have a plan as mentioned.

Or, if she's carrying on her person, she can draw and shoot the BG trying to break in. If the OP has 2 babies, it will be pretty difficult to round 'em up and bring 'em into a safe room....etc...etc...

Yeah, I know. It takes a dramatic shift in mindset to carry at home.

TheGoldenState
January 13, 2012, 11:26 PM
Revolver, .38 special.

No safeties, no jams, racking the slide, no magazine.

Simple, plain, point and pull the trigger.

Train with snap caps/dry fire.

Seems to be the best option in your case.



Can't keep her from answering the door or talking to the public for the next 18 years.

What happens when she's out, alone with the babies?


EDIT:
Again with the knives...

What's with the knives?

LMAO

dyl
January 14, 2012, 12:09 AM
+1 about corner'd cat's web page. I recently read the article about the polite/societal rules and I couldn't agree more.

Our latest house is not the most secure (a lot of windows/doors) but the previous owner did put in motion-sensitive outdoor lights all around and a solid wood front door. I wouldn't know how to install those myself (yet). So my contribution has been battery powered devices from Walmart. I found these cheap (but useful) door/window alarms that go off when the magnetic portion of it is separated from the main body. I put them on our most vulnerable windows, and set some to ring a friendly but loud chime on all of our doors that lead to the outside. Also from Walmart (or was it lowe's?) I found some sliding locks that were easy to install. It took a tiny bit of getting used to but now my wife and I are accustomed to sliding the bolts closed/open every morning. Those went on the front door and the bedroom (also our fall back room). If it came to a chain vs. a decent sliding bolt, I'd choose a bolt. The sliding bolt is closed at the same time the doorknob is engaged which would combine their strengths or at least overlap a bit better. That is unless the knob is turned (but ours is kept locked) - and even then that would mean whoever is battering the door would have to keep one hand on the doorknob which would limit momentum. With a chain a potential habit would be to open the door for everyone and only have the chain as protection. Or if the door were being pushed/battered, the doorknob would fail and then the chain would have to work alone. A sliding bolt directly into the floor is typically stronger than one that engages a metal loop screwed into the door frame. I wasn't able to do that with my sliding bolt (metal plate was in the way) but it's easy to engage/disengage with a foot before going out. But yes, these just buy time. Maybe that rubber door stop isn't a bad idea even if you do other things as it would engage if the door were still to open and buy you even more time. (these ideas of course or just in theory, who knows how it will pan out in real life)

This is just an opinion, but I still feel it's better to speak through the door for the first part of a greeting if anything is in question. It's only as rude your voice is - no more so than speaking through an intercom at an apartment complex. Doors aren't soundproof - they can probably hear you just fine. Any family/friend probably wouldn't mind, and they already have your phone number and wouldn't have a problem identifying themselves. If it's a friend you next fling the door open wide and it's all smiles. But if it's a stranger the closed door gives you time - to think, be mentally prepared and make a decision. Even if it's just to say "sorry I think I'll pass on the Super Concentrated Enzymatic Cleaner today (for $80 cash), but thanks and good luck!" :D The habit of flinging the door open first thing (some still choose to because of odds or they're armed) - puts you behind the curve as you'll have to identify who it is/isn't and what's going on, and then decide what to do. And if they can see you they know exactly who/where/how many you are and what you've got.

Think of it like being able to screen phone calls with caller ID - same principle and enjoyed by many. But with a more serious second function too.

I was going to suggest roleplaying but that might feel a bit too condescending. A milder version would be to ask her to help you with an experiment - something like:you're curious to see how well people can hear from outside the front door. Start a back-and-forth conversation about something as you go outside and while still talking shut the door and continue the conversation with her. She'll at least have had an exposure.

It sounds like you have a Beretta handgun already.

If that's true you can purchase snaps caps and get her started practicing safe gun handling, function, loading/unloading, and dry firing (and safety again). Even malfunction drills. She can pretty much learn everything short of experiencing the recoil/blast, looking at the groups to verify good sight picture, and re-acquiring the target. You may have already started on this. But even if the range were available to her, it helps a new shooter to learn everything first without the confusion of the explosions going off all around and trying to hear instruction through ear muffs+plugs. Then later just add ammo (at the range of course). To an extent you can even check her trigger control by watching for front sight movement towards the end of the break. One drill I've heard/tried is to balance a quarter/penny/dime on the front sight and dry fire without it falling. (except the front post on my revolver is massive so it's not very hard)

It can be a fun time together. Even though I had been shooting quite a while I went to a short NRA pistol course (just a few hours long) with my wife and we had a good time. (well, I did for sure :D)

That's just about everything I can think of.

dyl
January 14, 2012, 12:18 AM
Okay, I just wrote all that gibberish then I saw the thing about the knives. :D

(I only say that because I'm not skilled with them)

Man that is Medieval!

Justice06RR
January 14, 2012, 12:43 AM
Please NO KNIVES for HD unless she has had proper training with them.

As we all know knives are mostly short-range weapons and can be hard to use for an amateur/inexperienced person. it should be used as a last resort IMO, either if you run out of ammo or just don't have a firearm.

Plenty of good advice already given. Install heavy-duty door chains on your doors; that should be rather cheap and easy to install. Install 2 of them on each door for added safety and extra time. Also Those rubber door stops that other people suggested may be a good idea too, i've never heard of them but they seem to be a good idea.

If you can squeeze in even 1 or 2 hours a week without the babies then take her to the range or have her take a class of some sort. Then buy a revolver and keep it at home loaded and ready to go, after teaching her how to use it of course

BillCA
January 14, 2012, 01:25 AM
Regardless of what kind of firearm you get, make sure she has input on it too. Some women will learn the basics then never touch it again for a year or two. With a semi-auto, that lag time can translate into "which thingie do I have to push first?" Revolvers are simpler, but slower to reload which is an area for practice. And with two young'uns it won't be too long before you'll need to secure any handgun in a secure place.

Re: Opening the door.
I don't know why no one suggested this.. Wireless Intercom
Any intercom system will work - wired or wireless - it depends on how much work you want to do to install one. This allows normal conversation between the occupants and the visitor. It's best if the indoor unit is not very close to the door so you can be safely back from the door while talking.

Combine with a larger wide-angle viewer lens on the front door (one with a cover inside or use a small cork) or an inexpensive video camera that can feed a computer or TV screen.

Shadi Khalil
January 15, 2012, 01:37 AM
For a trained person a gun might be better but I've never trained with either weapon so I can't say for sure. As an untrained person I would take a knife over any gun in that situation.

Why would you prefer a gun?

Do you have an idea how difficult it is to defend yourself with a knife? That right, you don't because you have no training or experience.

The knife idea is awful and the last question is just absurd.

giaquir
January 15, 2012, 02:59 AM
Remember, any door device is only
as strong as the jam of the door,
the floor or anything you attach it to.
If you have a steel door, now you have to
deal with the "pullout force" of the
screws unless its bolted all the way thru.
But there are so many windows, living space and cellar.
The cellar door/bulkhead.
If somebody strong enuff wants to get in
for some reason.
They will.
ps I like the idea of the window alarms and
intercom but also an untrained woman or man
could defend themselves better with 2 tasers,(the intercom
and the window/door alarms ) because they know, they're not lethal but effective.

Buzzcook
January 15, 2012, 03:13 AM
If somebody strong enuff wants to get in
for some reason.
They will.

That's the second time someone's mentioned that. All I can do is point out that there are doors strong enough that the cops will arrive before they get broken down.
Of course now somebodies going to say "but what if the bad guy has plastic explosive"?

giaquir
January 15, 2012, 03:18 AM
Buzz, you have too much faith in cops

Pond, James Pond
January 15, 2012, 03:33 AM
Couple of points:

I did read a post about getting a dog as part of the list of defences in the home. Don't.

Not unless you actually want a dog in the first place.
Dogs are a big expensive, an added responsibility and getting one purely as a biological alarm system is not ethical in my view, unless you are going to give them the care and time they deserve.
If you are prepared to do so, then they are, of course, a great addition to any family...

Meanwhile, there are plenty of man-made alternatives if you are not, many of which have already been mentioned.

As far as I can tell no one has mentioned pepper-spray yet.

Surely, at least in the interim where training is not yet available, that is going to be effective against most people and can be held in in the hand very easily...

Just my 2 €c

MLeake
January 15, 2012, 10:10 AM
Pond, good point on the dog, but I have much less faith in pepper spray.

Buzzcook, have you ever heard of windows? Or hammers and crowbars? Most homes have the former, and many would-be intruders have the latter.

And sometimes the cops take over 20 minutes to arrive - look at the OK single mom incident last month.

In that same example, she had an infant, plus minimal training with the pistol and none with the shotgun, and he had a hammer (for forcing entry) and a knife.

With regard to training:
A. There have been no significant differences reported in results between states where a CCW requires training, and states where it doesn't;
B. It takes a while to train a good shooter, but it takes maybe an hour to train a safe handler and good-enough-until-time-allows-more-training shooter; and
C. OP, who decided YOU had enough training to handle a gun? If your wife wants familiarization and access, who are you to deny it to her?

Pond, James Pond
January 15, 2012, 10:33 AM
but I have much less faith in pepper spray.


Mleake: may I ask why?

To my mind, it is much, much easier to use than a gun for the untrained. It will incapacitate someone, unless they are high as a kit on uppers.

By all accounts we also know that such people won't always respond to a gun shot wound, unless it actually kills them, and I think someone is less likely to miss with spray: for one thing you can see where it is going.

It is not absolutely guaranteed, but for me I'm weighing up the likelihood of someone untrained, and under stress, missing with a handgun against the likelihood of someone aggressive being so high they would not feel being sprayed or shot. Then there are the legal ramifications, risk of stray bullets etc.

So, could I ask: Why do you not have faith in spray?

MLeake
January 15, 2012, 10:38 AM
Because of all the documented cases where it has not stopped a person from fighting multiple cops, let alone pressing the attack on a lone female.

Because if it doesn't stop the guy(s), it will really annoy him (them).

Because if the person turns out to have a gun, too, one has brought spray to a gunfight.

Spray is good to have in addition to a gun, for handling lesser threats. It is not a good replacement for a gun.

Edit: A potential example, Pond... I am a trained grappler (wrestling, jujutsu, and aikido). I have been exposed to CS spray in military training. Miserable, and it seriously impairs vision. But, if I get a hand on you, I don't have to see you. I know where you are, and now I am that much more motivated to inflict some damage.

hangglider
January 15, 2012, 10:39 AM
What about tasers?

MLeake
January 15, 2012, 10:43 AM
In the OK case, with two attackers, how would a Taser have worked out?

Guy two ran off when there was a loud bang and his buddy's head sprayed some blood and gore.

Would he have run if his buddy had just absorbed the Taser needles for him?

pjp74
January 15, 2012, 06:12 PM
The OP said he has new twin babies at home, not a good combination of babies and pepper spray.

Buzzcook
January 15, 2012, 06:47 PM
Buzz, you have too much faith in cops

I have faith in engineering.

There is a tendency in threads such as these to impute to the bad guys special powers and or to equip them with all the tools necessary to do anything they want.

Don't you folks realize that people have been working for thousands of years to develop doors that can resist just the kinds of attacks you describe.

Google security doors. There are doors that you could attack with a sledge hammer all day long without breaking through.

"Oh wait..what if the bad guy has a bulldozer". Geez

KC Rob
January 15, 2012, 06:51 PM
If your wife uses pepper spray on someone pushing their way into the house, you can be assured that she will suffer the effects as well, not to mention the two babies in the house. Pepper spray has some applications in police work ie crowd control or a barricaded BG, but I don't see it having much utility in SD situations.

MLeake
January 15, 2012, 07:51 PM
Buzzcook, so far you have introduced plastic explosives and bulldozers, which are absurd, but you have chosen not to address the issue of windows.

Security doors are good, if they have security frames. They are only as good as their weakest point.

The same is true of the house as a whole.

Windows, sliding doors, basement or garage access...

I have one friend whose stalker ex-husband somehow broke in via the ventilation ducting.

And yet we all are ascribing superpowers to anybody who can do a simple break-in.

Perhaps you are ascribing superpowers to the OP's home improvement budget...

garryc
January 15, 2012, 11:34 PM
1. Due to the babies, I doubt my wife will have an opportunity to fire the Beretta for a couple of months. In the meantime, should I show her how to use it in case something happens, or assume that she'll likely do more harm than good if she goes for the gun in a bad situation?

Stay home and watch the kids while she goes and takes training from a professional independent of you. Guess what, you are not the one who should be teaching her. Likely you will coddle her too much.

BillCA
January 16, 2012, 04:07 AM
Cycrops,

The article you linked (http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/the-truth-about-violence/) is interesting and thought provoking. Mr. Harris is correct on many points. However, I think his emphasis on escape trivializes the natural intent of a parent to protect their children. In the event a threat to the children (and/or their parents) materializes the parent(s) should do as he suggests -- an explosive reaction to protect and defend the children and themselves. But not with the idea of escape, but of vanquishing the threat entirely.

You mentioned obtaining a Beretta pistol. Hopefully that is a major caliber (9mm or .40 S&W) and not a pocket pistol like the .380 or smaller. Most of the Beretta pistols are good choices. It could be beneficial to familiarize your wife with the function of the pistol - how to load/unload, operate the safety, use of the hammer, squeeze the trigger, etc. Doing so with a handful of snap caps will give her the basic concepts.

If you want to worry about stoppages, I suggest you both watch Thunder Ranch's Clint Smith (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfyULpEhmug)demonstrate clearing a stoppage on YouTube. Then use an empty case with snap caps to ensure the lesson is understood.

Mindset: Remind your wife that if someone is trying to break in or succeeds in breaking in, there is a real and imminent threat to her children. There is no need to be polite. No reason to "play fair". She should believe that said intruder(s) are there to eat her children like vicious animals because the outcome could be the same. If they seriously injure her or kill her, they can kill her children or the children die from neglect if you're not coming home that night. Worse, they could take the kids leaving you forever wondering if they are still out there. Tell your wife the Beretta has 15 rounds (10 in some states) and if she has to use it, use as many shots as it takes. Ammo is cheap, lives aren't. Holes in walls and appliances can be fixed a lot easier and cheaper than damage to your family.

Having an intercom at the front door will allow her to answer someone at the door while safely in the house. Ask friends and neighbors to phone before dropping by as a courtesy (if she's put the twins down for a nap she may want to rest then too). Any unexpected person at the door gets to talk over the intercom.

Over the intercom, someone claiming to be with UPS, Fed-Ex, Airborne, etc. can be told to leave the package on the step. Before opening the door for a "signature required" package, visually check from a window. They should be in uniform and have a company truck parked out front. If not both, then phone police. Similar rules apply to utility personnel. They can wait while she phones the police to check them out or calls to verify with their company. Even if you lack the intercom, this can be done through the door.

This may sound like paranoia to her, but assure her it is not. It's the safety of her children that come first. Anything happens to her, it affects the children too. She's a busy mom with twins so service people can wait.

kjm_rebuild
January 16, 2012, 09:04 AM
Best case scenario, just don't open the door to begin with...she needs to get over being rude to a stranger on her door step. Even the teen age kid can be a potential threat. An intercom would be a good choice here.

I have seen alot of B&E doors. Most of the time the wood jamb splits apart allowing the door to open. The wood side jamb should be metal or at least have a metal "brass" bracket encasing the wood jamb at the door knob/striker/deadbolt area to reinforce the wood. The door slab itself needs to be of high quality too. If the door jamb is solid, usually the door slab will peel apart on the rolled seams allowing it to collapse on it self and disengaging the locks from the door frame.

The screws being used for any of these security applications should be strong and long enough to penetrate into the frame of the house, not just into the door frame.

A standard storm door lock is not enough to keep anyone out. It needs to be a metal or iron security door. These types of doors will stop em' in their tracks. It will actually drive a would be burglar/intruder to a window or slider door instead, but at least they will not be able to bum rush her if she does open the door...giving her the precious seconds she would need.

Firearms training is a must, it does not stop at the range though...it is a start. Being mentally prepared to deal with a situation is more important than anything else.

JerryM
January 16, 2012, 10:40 AM
The metal doors I have also have metal frames. I do not think anyone can slam or break the doors without tools, and a lot of noise. They open out and not in.
I also have a canister of Fox CS spray by the door. l disagree that such could not be well used even with twins. Windows are another matter, and if I were concerned I would get bars on them.

I think some of you are over reacting in your thinking. Get metal outside doors with metal frames, OC spray, and yes, I think a gun is also necessary for bulletproof safety.

Jerry

hikingman
January 16, 2012, 11:15 AM
First question, is your wife okay with having a gun in the house? Is she willing to train to use it safely, and effectively to increase her comfort level? Do you have an ironclad plan for the twins to have zero access to the gun now, and when they start toddling, or walking around?

Remember, if you get into the revolver business, a revolver's gasses will hurt someone if their fingers extend to the working end of the cylinder. This area of "no man's land" is important to understand.

http://i247.photobucket.com/albums/gg130/Hikingman/Hobbies/Fire.jpg

dyl
January 16, 2012, 02:04 PM
About OC spray and Tasers.

They are both temporary / intermediate measures. Aside from the OC spray being used in close proximity to the children (not all confrontations happen at the front door) it is in part a very strong pain compliance tool. Joggers and commuters can use OC spray and escape to safety after use but being cornered in a house with a child in each arm changes things. I have bear spray for hiking and have no doubt it would feel horrible but further action might be needed even after it's use. After being sprayed the attacker can either stumble out of the house or stumble around inside for who knows how long with whatever he brought with him/her. There are sinks in the house.

Tasers are short acting too. Police carry/are trained in restraints and take that opportunity to cuff suspects. If they don't, the tased individual recovers and causes trouble again. The officer may depress the trigger again but the goal is apply restraints. Civilians use that time instead to escape to safety. To pull the trigger again it requires that you remain close to the target. And to use restraints you'd be zero feet away. All the tasers I know of (except for the new wireless shotgun projectiles) are good for only 1 use at a time. So say I miss or there happens to be 2 attackers involved - I'll be wishing I had other options available.

In short, both are intermediates which could be very useful but less so by themselves when trapped with children. Out in the open time would allow for escape. And in contrast to a gunshot wound, after the initial insult the attacker gets closer to recovery with time rather than progressing to incapacitation.

Buzzcook
January 16, 2012, 03:55 PM
Buzzcook, so far you have introduced plastic explosives and bulldozers, which are absurd, but you have chosen not to address the issue of windows.

I chose not to address windows because it was just more escalation of the bad guys abilities, tools, and intent.

After all to OP scenario is about entry through an open door.

What I said about doors is also true of windows. They can be fortified as well.

NCIC105
January 16, 2012, 04:44 PM
We have a video and audio camera at both door. My wife will never answer the door. She will pull up cameras on TV to see who it is and what they maybe saying....You would not want to break down a door with her here.....She is very good with the riot shotgun..

m&p45acp10+1
January 16, 2012, 05:09 PM
For those of you mentioning pepper spray, do not forget there is a newborn infant in the house. Pepper spray in a house with an infant is a big NO-NO in my book in that case. It can cause respiratory failure to infants in the same house it has been used in.

I know this due to the fact that when I was working as a fire medic I was in the scene of three calls where a small child was in respiratory distress due to pepper spray being used in the house. One child very nearly died as a result exposure. What makes an adult teary eyed, and gag makes a newborn's throat swell shut.

Just thought I would mention it.

garryc
January 16, 2012, 11:28 PM
I'm a corrections officer and probably used pepper more than 80% of cops. I can't tell you how many guys full of the adrenalin of anger walk right through that stuff. They last long enough to do damage, which is usually only seconds but may take minutes. In a cell we fog it, have to let it cook a few seconds. In the case of the guy being mental, a good bit more and it's still a fight.

It is not a squirt flop situation. Criminals do not fear it like most people do, especially if they are doing drugs or are in a mental state. Never assume that a criminal will respond to a threat like you would, his mind is not like yours.

If a guy forces in don't screw around with the less than lethal stuff, her only opportunity to use force must count. Straight to lethal as long as he is a threat. The disparity of force justifies it.

Other things are:

1) Never take a child to the door. Knocked from her hands or needing to flee, her focus will be on the child instead of the threat, then he's got her.

2) Have an obstacle near, something you can step around to delay his approach.

3) Learn just what his "Line of Power" is and stay the heck out of it.

4) Understand that she might still get hurt pretty bad, but not as bad as if his lungs and heart are shot all to heck. Can't do that with pepper! The gun is not magic.

B.N.Real
January 17, 2012, 12:23 AM
First off,your wife does NOT have to answer the door.

There is no law that says you have to answer any door unless it's the police,and I mean in uniform with a cruiser outside the house or apartment.

Secondly,if you have ground floor windows (or any windows) that can be seen from the street ( or an ajoining apartment),they all need to have blinds on them.

At night,anyone from the street can see inside any house from a block away or more and see anyone and anyhting inside the house whose windows do not have CLOSED blinds.( even from a slow moving car passing by)

As others have said,you need to beef up the doors security options.

A chain of any kind is really no good.

It's much better to have a peephole with a bright light on the front porch and to never unlatch the only security she has at home alone,that door latch.

Get a quality deadbolt installed-double sided lock if the door has windows-front door and back door too-even if it's a second story porch door.

Regular door handle locks really are very weak.

Some how,your wife is being seen from the street or men in the neighborhood are commenting on how nice she looks and that you are never home.

That's why you've had two instances of men coming by the house unannounced and unwanted.

The guy with the 'pizza' is of real concern.

He might have been casing the neighborhood by car one night and seen right in your house and right in at your wife at some time.

Get the phone set up so she can call 911 right away but she defintely needs a firearm and not a 22 handgun.

As others have said a 38 revolver-Bud'sgunshop.com is selling Model 10 Smith and Wesson's right now used for around $265 in good shape.

But really,if you and her can get together and she can train to use a shotgun,a shotgun is preferable.

And don't train to shoot just once and wait-train to fire until the guy goes down and to counter any stupid friend he has that wants to make some point about seeing his stupid friend just get himself killed trying to rape your 'defenseless ' wife.

What we are talking about JUST happened and thank the young lady that she saw a threat coming and got herself prepared for it becuase she saved her own life and that of her small child as well.

Get prepared and change how you present your home in the neighborhood.

People should walk by and see closed blinds,lots of lights and feel like-what happened? Looks kind of like someone's waiting for me if I do something stupid there.

Then the criminal element USUALLY moves on.

Sometimes they don't and that's where your wife stands away from the door so that if some idiot crashes through it,the door won't hit her and she defends herself and the home too.

A woman with a shotgun who knows how to use is no one to mess with.

One last thing-you will never know who is talking to who- is talking to who- and just how the information about your wife being alone is getting spread around.

DO NOT make what you are doing public information.

And when people start asking weird questions about -does your wife have a gun? Are you guys getting guns or alarms or stuff like that?

You might have your answer about who is the loudmouth who is threatening your wifes safety and your peace of mind.

Tell your wife to be careful what she says to her girlfriends as well about when you are not home or the like.

And just because a guy looks harmless and normal-even if you know him as a friend-if he has no reason to be at your door while you are not home THAT YOU ALREADY TOLD HER ABOUT--tell your wife to not open or answer the door.

Whoever it is can leave what they are dropping off just out the door and leave.

Your work schedule and when she is alone is your and her business ALONE.

For all intents and purposes,I try to make my house look like you will get killed right away if you try to break into it.

Lots of lights-some motion activated-no bushes next to the house to hide in,cars parked so I can see around all of them from my kitchen window,my grill and my trailer are both chained down and both have been targets of thieves who failed-three times with the trailer,once with the grill.

My two little Pomerainian dogs have helped too.

Little suckers can hear cats walking on concrete sidewalks for Christs sakes.

Anyway,you get the drill.

Prepare and tell NO ONE what you are doing.

I always know where my Model 10 is and it's loaded and I can shoot it very well if need be.

But I prefer to convince the idiot thief to move on.

Less mess to clean up.

hangglider
January 17, 2012, 02:46 AM
An idea I've had is to start working personally with my neighbors in a "mutual assistance" scenario. Exchange numbers, and try to have somebody around to look after the homes in the immediate area if possible. Since I work out of my home, walk my dogs several times a day through the development (and some of my neighbors know I'm armed, as do the police) I believe this makes a real impact in gang activities--though they still "probe and test" periodically and still hit houses nearby--can't be everywhere all the time. Even criminals like an easy job, and I've noticed they like daytime and holidays to hit the local homes, but daylight can be used to your advantage as it easier to keep an eye on things from a distance--that range spotter scope is great for watching drug deals go down in the park. I've attended several "neighborhood watch" organizational meetings with neighbors and police--in general everyone is enthusiastic at the meeting--but soon after most everyone will drop out and end up doing nothing. I've found you have to form your own personal network and put time into it.

Sparks1957
January 17, 2012, 05:33 AM
An idea I've had is to start working personally with my neighbors in a "mutual assistance" scenario. Exchange numbers...

We have something similar in my neighborhood. I started talking to people a few years ago after I saw footprints in the snow going around our house looking in all of our windows one day.

We all have each other's phone numbers and a general agreement to keep any eye on each others' places. If I have to go out of town, I let a couple of them know so vigilance can be doubled. Seems to work. I have good neighbors, and we aim to keep it that way.

jrothWA
January 17, 2012, 10:01 AM
1) make a "panic / strong room" that the family can occupy, this is not the movie style thing, but just a strengthen room that is readily occupied, and contains cell phone, inter-comm to all doors, battery powered lights & strengthen doors. Baby needs as needed , formulas, diapers.

2) You should on exterior doors improve the locking areas, new deadbolts using same key as regular locks, may need to harden the jams to resist break thru,

3) motion sensor lights on those doors/porch, backside of house & exterior buildings to silhouette motion makers (adjust sensitivity to ignore small lab type dog), make sure that you are not illuminated by theses lights.

4) Talk with your wife to understand when she is ready for handling and learning firearms. Something not to ignore but not to rush.

Good luck, stay safe.

BarkSlayer
January 17, 2012, 10:17 AM
Not to make light of anything here, but I'm confused. You live in Illinois...and there are threats to personal safety? I would have thought Senator Obama left that place in better shape. :rolleyes:

Cycrops
January 17, 2012, 10:26 AM
Hi All, OP here.

Thanks for all of the carefully thought-out replies and all of the advice!

I picked up my Beretta 92A1 last night, I'll be taking it to the range for the first time this evening. Very excited to try it out!

My wife immediately told me that she wants to learn how to shoot it ASAP, and was only slightly nervous about having it in the nightstand last night. She's already memorized the 4 basic rules of safety and exercised muzzle awareness and trigger discipline when I had her handle it last night.

I'm keeping it loaded, round in the chamber, de-cocked, safety off so all she needs to do is point and pull the trigger. I'm hoping her hands aren't too small to handle the double-action pull, it would be a shame if I had to buy another gun so soon :)

I bought snap caps for training and practice, I intend to get her comfortable handling the weapon right away and I'll figure out a way to get her to the range with me as well.

I'll also be considering professional training (I could use it myself as I'm not a highly experience shooter).

Securing the house is a good idea but I've got 4 entry doors and lots of windows on main floor and basement. An alarm system would cost me a fortune. We do have several small dogs who should serve to alert her to somebody trying to get in.

Navy joe
January 17, 2012, 10:35 AM
Most folks are best served having a gun that is not trigger pull ready. Life comes at you fast as the commercial says. I once nearly shot my ceiling because of a bad dream. Personally I have no problems with a loaded gun but I do not have any gun condition one unless it is in my direct control. Maybe a quick access safe, or at least condition III. It won't be long before those cute kids touch things they shouldn't, prepare your habits now.

Just a quick read of this thread gave me annoyed vibes. You sound about as inexperienced as your wife, so why not make getting trained a job of equals? She's not some pretty little lady who needs your protection, she is a mother and human with just as much on the line as you. For all we know she is on prettypinkguns.com right now posting about how to best protect her fragile husband. :D

Probably just a byproduct of too many what guns for the little lady threads, but seriously, let her make her decisions and approach it together, don't propose to be the authority when you aren't. Get thee to a trainer, one that treats women like adults. And have fun at the range together, a pleasure long denied me, none of my female acquaintances liked guns thus far.

checkmyswag
January 17, 2012, 10:37 AM
^this^

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk

SWglockmagnum
January 17, 2012, 11:17 AM
i have to admit that i haven't read through all 4 pages of this thread and have no idea where it has progressed. (maybe i should) but, as stupid as this may sound, a lot of airsoft pistols look and feel REMARKABLY close to the real thing.

before you jump to conclusions, let me explain.

a $15 airsoft pistol that looks and feels and operates much the same way as a real pistol CAN BE AN AMAZING TRAINING TOOL. it can help you practice drawing, aiming, stance, shooting etc, in your house or apartment. Granted you can also do this with your unloaded and secured pistol, and SHOULD, but, when it comes to practicing getting quick shots off, an airsoft pistol is ideal.

anyway, that's my thought about it. i practice with both personally. would be good for your wife to do the same. or anyone else for that matter so you aren't endangering anyone or yourself

JerryM
January 17, 2012, 11:26 AM
[For all we know she is on prettypinkguns.com right now posting about how to best protect her fragile husband.]

Not only not helpful, it is insulting. That is not necessary.
Jerry

garryc
January 17, 2012, 11:55 AM
Most folks are best served having a gun that is not trigger pull ready.

True, gotta learn how to rack the slide properly, something many people screw up. When I can't seem to get it across to a student I'll have them rack the gun like many do, with it out in front of them, then I'll step in and take it from them.


You sound about as inexperienced as your wife, so why not make getting trained a job of equals?

NOT! in the same class. When management schedules two officers who are married to the same class, something I wish they would stop, I always put them on the opposite ends of the line.

Onward Allusion
January 17, 2012, 12:09 PM
Cycrops
Hi All, OP here.

Thanks for all of the carefully thought-out replies and all of the advice!

I picked up my Beretta 92A1 last night, I'll be taking it to the range for the first time this evening. Very excited to try it out!

My wife immediately told me that she wants to learn how to shoot it ASAP, and was only slightly nervous about having it in the nightstand last night. She's already memorized the 4 basic rules of safety and exercised muzzle awareness and trigger discipline when I had her handle it last night.

I'm keeping it loaded, round in the chamber, de-cocked, safety off so all she needs to do is point and pull the trigger. I'm hoping her hands aren't too small to handle the double-action pull, it would be a shame if I had to buy another gun so soon

I bought snap caps for training and practice, I intend to get her comfortable handling the weapon right away and I'll figure out a way to get her to the range with me as well.

I'll also be considering professional training (I could use it myself as I'm not a highly experience shooter).

Securing the house is a good idea but I've got 4 entry doors and lots of windows on main floor and basement. An alarm system would cost me a fortune. We do have several small dogs who should serve to alert her to somebody trying to get in.

A full-size semi-auto chambered in 9mm is not a good thing for anyone without some training and absolutely crazy for someone who has never fired it. Snap-caps are one thing, but when the thing is hot and goes bang that's an entirely different situation. Seriously, I'm not trying to be rude, but I'm nervous for you and your family. Please get some professional training.

As for an alarm system costing a fortune, have you actually looked into it??? You said that you have 4 doors and a bunch of windows. Did you know that for $99 you can get an ADT system with 2 door sensors and 1 motion detector? I'm also pretty sure that you can swap the motion detector for a door contact, so that leaves one additional door to cover and I believe it's less than $100 for that to be installed. Most break-ins occur through a door. Even if a burglar (not home invader) gets in via a window, they will in almost all cases leave through a door.

For what you'd paid for a 92A1 (guessing in the neighborhood of $600 to $700 retail in IL), I would have gotten a revolver in 38 Special or 327 Mag AND the security system.

saands
January 17, 2012, 12:18 PM
Jerry:

If that was the sum total of NavyJoe's post, I'd agree with you ... but the way I read it, it was simply a tongue-in-cheek emphasis to a very valid point that was being made. It even had the little emoticon at the end. Just my opinion, but I do normally err on the over-respectful side, myself.

Saands

saands
January 17, 2012, 12:21 PM
To the issue of leaving a firearm around with one in the chamber, just remember that in a house fire, that round will "cook off" and it will leave the barrel with at LEAST as much energy as it would if it were fired normally. This is just one more reason to have the standard storage mode be "chamber empty" ... just to be clear, this would not be my preference for a weapon that is under your direct control, just when it is in semi-ready storage.

I also second the suggestion of a rapid access safe ... the GunVault safes seem pretty good (and all the complaints I've read seem to be defects pretty early in the unit's life). Mine has been rock solid for many years and it is FAST to access. You will need something like this in the not too distant future anyway, and these are good safety insurance in the case of an unexpected visit from your cousin with his wild, unruly, and curious 10 year old triplets :p

Saands

JGC
January 17, 2012, 12:27 PM
The guy that knocked on the door was scoping out your place to come back, he wanted to see more or less how many people and living conditions-if nice stuff then worth it...thats how these bozos think, if it looks dirty and trashy then they dont bother.
IF she dosent practice with the beretta its useless especially being that it has a safety she has to remember to dissangage and under stress it happens to experienced shooters so its a must that she practices loading and firing at the range till its second nature and you see her dumping ammo into the target like nothing:cool: i would suggest a good revolver for her, its basic and just plain works, would much rather have a xdm 45 for various reasons including its reliable and as simple to use as a glock, or a glock, simply rack-point-shoot, dosent get easier but trigger control is a must for safety reasons, if your going to have one loaded i would at least keep it in a holster somewhere high away from the kids but easy for you to get too!!! in case you need it and hell always answer the gun with your gun, when i dont know who it is my barrel is on the door as i open with my other hand...theres been instances were people would just bulge in and take you by suprise,be careful!;)

JGC
January 17, 2012, 12:29 PM
Forgot to mention a DOG! a good medium sized dog would be great, barking is always a way to deterr bad guys they rather not bother with that house and move on to the next...

MLeake
January 17, 2012, 12:46 PM
Since the OP says, Securing the house is a good idea but I've got 4 entry doors and lots of windows on main floor and basement. An alarm system would cost me a fortune. What is your estimate for adequately securing such a house?

Do you think most people would be able to afford that?

Or do you think a gun and some training might be more realistically affordable?

Note: I do think that in the long run, making the house more secure is a good investment. I just don't think most people could afford to do it with cash available (or without abusing a credit limit), and even the ones who could afford it would still have to wait for the work to be done, which is often not all that fast, depending on contractor availability. Of course, if money is no object, anything can be done...

MLeake
January 17, 2012, 12:48 PM
JGC, the OP says he has several small, warning bark type dogs. A larger, bite-deterrent type dog might or might not be a good addition, with the pre-existing dogs and two newborns, and would also depend on whether the OP and his wife like larger dogs.

I think dogs are great; I have a bull/pointer mix and a bull/shepherd mix, along with a Jack Russell. People generally don't bang on the door more than once at our place. However, my wife and I love dogs, and grew up around them.

People who don't like dogs, but get a dog, are not doing themselves or the dog a favor, as another poster already pointed out. (Edit: That would have been Pond, James Pond in post #52.)

TDodge7
January 17, 2012, 01:18 PM
A no soliciting sign will actually cut down on random door knocks by a lot. My neighborhood was getting door to door people almost every day, about 8 months ago I stuck a no soliciting sign on the door and they stopped like that. I still see them knocking on other houses but not here. Best $3.50 I ever spent.

hangglider
January 17, 2012, 01:45 PM
I've got a no trespassing sign right on my sidewalk leading up to my front door--hasn't seemed to slow down the solicitations, holy-rollers and flim-flammers much--but at least it establishes a legal precedent if something bad should happen to them on my property.

hangglider
January 17, 2012, 01:47 PM
My dogs ARE my family--messing with them is messing with my kids! : )

Cycrops
January 17, 2012, 01:48 PM
I have not investigated the actual cost of an alarm system. I forgot about the door to the garage (and the garage man-door), which brings my total number of doors to secure up to 6. There are something like 15 windows an intruder could potentially use to gain access. It is certainly worth investigating and weighing the cost/benefit of an alarm system, along with several other of the suggestions that have been made.

I do intend to invest in a quick-access safe sometime soon. I have infants right now so I have some time to research before I purchase.

I'd rather not do too much debating about whether to have a round chambered, safety on, etc. It seems like everyone has their own opinion and there seem to be plenty of threads about it. The 92 series seems to be built such that you can carry it cocked/locked with safety on, which emulates 1911 style, or as I have mine, with a round chambered, safety off, decocked, which resembles a loaded DA revolver. Obviously you can configure it plenty of other ways that require additional steps before a trigger pull yields a fired round. I'm not saying my way is the right way.

I once read a book about Eisenhower's planning of the Normandy invasions that made a big impression on me. It seemed to me that his philosophy was that you need a good plan, but you also need to understand that things rarely go according to plan. The people responsible for executing it need to understand the underlying goals of the plan so that when things go awry, they are capable of reacting in an appropriate manner. I try to apply that style to my personal and professional life.

What I've realized from this thread is that my underlying goals may have been half-formed, so let's start there:

Original Goals:
- Work with my wife to avoid her giving easy entry to an intruder via the front door.
- Buy a gun that I can have a ton of fun shooting at the range! (mission accomplished, I can't wait to take it shooting tonight!)
- Have a nightstand gun that I can use to defend the family should a break-in happen at night.
- Have a gun that my wife can handle to thwart [edit: by "thwart" I mean "kill." I appreciate the advice that she needs to decide how confident she is that she could be the mother lion and take a life if the family is threatened] an intruder while she's home alone.

New Goals:
- Evaluate my general level of home security. Without going overboard, are there smart ways to make the house safer for my family?
- Firearms training. Determine how far to take this (formal training courses vs. range time, reading materials, in-home dry-fire exercises, etc.) for myself and my wife. Also need to decide with the wife whether the handgun should be accessible to her as a line of defense before she's had a chance to do live-fire training with it (seems like the prevailing opinion here is 'no').
- Plan for home defense. Develop some different scenarios for intruder situations and determine plans that will give us a better chance of survival than hoping the bad guys decide not to harm us.
- Shoot the hell out of my new gun! I doubt many of us would be here if firearms weren't a fantastic hobby. There's a very small chance I will experience violence in my home, but 100% chance that I'll be enjoying my guns, enjoying teaching my wife to shoot, shopping for her first gun, teaching the kids to shoot someday, etc.

Thanks again for all of the replies everybody!

hangglider
January 17, 2012, 01:52 PM
May want to rethink the attitude on round in chamber--I've heard parents were legally liable if the weapon is even momentarily left unattended and a child somehow gets a hold of it and someone gets hurt or dead as a result.

Cycrops
January 17, 2012, 01:57 PM
Can somebody teach me how to quote a previous post? Other forums I've been to have a handy button.

Regarding "one in the chamber" and access by children in general. By the time my children are old enough to be mobile in any way (they are currently stationary, cooing, cuter-than-anything-you-have-ever-seen infants), my firearms will be secured to prevent their access.

Any time guests (especially those with children) are in the house before that time, the guns will be secured during visits.

chadstrickland
January 17, 2012, 02:31 PM
When the both of y'all go out to buy guns make sure that when it comes to her, you let her choose what gun she likes and fits her well. ( assuming its not a .25 )

Learned that lesson the hard way when my old lady wanted a gun. Got what I wanted her to get....not what she wanted to get or what fit her best.

I then gave her a list of calibers to choose from...and of course a budget of 1k :(.

Expensive maybe, but I don't skimp on guns.

Navy joe
January 17, 2012, 02:44 PM
If you can't afford an alarm system, see if you can legally aquire an ADT yard sign from somewhere. That and making the house look lit and lived in can deter a lot. And as said, dog, dog ,dog.

manta49
January 17, 2012, 03:10 PM
Lots of good advice. Some not so good IMO knifes ect. What incidents have happened in your area that its not safe to go to the door. Is it a particularly dangerous area. A lot af advice given would be illegal here. Pepper spray cs spray tazer ect. are all illegal firearms for personal protection is not seen as a good reason to own a firearm with some exceptions.
This has being a very dangerous place in the past with thousands of terrorist murders. But most would have no problem answering the door. My point not to overreact if some are worried just take sensible precautions.

hangglider
January 17, 2012, 08:32 PM
Chattanooga is a never-ending source of information on shootings, here's a case in point: http://timesfreepress.com/news/2012/jan/17/new-trial-date-set-parents-charged-chattanooga-chi/?breakingnews

MLeake
January 17, 2012, 08:50 PM
A few thoughts, Cycrops:

1a) If you've gone over safety with your wife, then the odds are she would not harm herself or the kids with the 92. I can see nothing gained by denying her access until she gets some live fire training. In the event something did go bump in the day, while you were out, you would prefer her not to have the option of using the weapon? Does that really make any kind of sense to you?

1b) Is it really even your decision to make? Is this your wife or your child?

You may not realize it, but some of those arguments you are making come across as chauvinist/condescending. That may not be your intention, but I can't imagine telling my wife "I will not let you touch the ______ gun until you train to my standards."

1c) If you are really concerned for her safety, and you really think she should not handle a gun until she gets live fire training, then you babysit the kids tomorrow and let her go meet an instructor at the range. You seem to feel you know enough about the gun to be safe, and you're the man... so let the woman get herself equalized a bit.

1d) Some guys who try to teach women to shoot.... Let's just say I had to intercede quickly the other day at the range, because one guy didn't notice his trainee was crossing her support hand thumb behind the slide of the 1911 he was going to teach her with... And he couldn't hit a B-27 at 10 yards, using a laser... It took me about three minutes with her, and (although granted it was at the 5 yd line) she had put five rounds in the X ring, and one just under the X in the 10 ring, using 158gr SWC .38 Special out of my 3" S&W 65. She went from being scared of guns, to debating between a S&W 60 or an SP101.

(Edit: She and her husband were out of time, so she had to quit after six rounds fired. Most of the time I spent with her involved getting her to adjust her grip, switch to a Chapman so bone structure would make up for poor arm strength, get her feet to shoulder width, bend her knees, shift body weight forward to absorb recoil, and focus on the front sight. Oh, yeah, I also showed her how I set up my initial aim with my feet and body, kind of like one sets up a shot in tennis or racquetball, so all the arms and hands have to do is fine tune. Really took about three minutes...)

A lot of guys think they can shoot, and a lot of guys think they can teach... and many of them are wrong, on both counts.

2) The 92 can not be carried cocked and locked, a la the 1911. It can be carried with a round chambered and the hammer down, safety on; round chambered and hammer down, safety off; round not chambered, hammer down, safety on or off. In theory, you could carry it round chambered and hammer cocked, but you could not engage the safety, as engagement of the safety also de-cocks the 92.

You may be thinking of the HK USP line, or the CZ75. (Although the CZ's that can be carried cocked and locked don't have de-cockers, and one has to lower the hammer with one's thumb under the hammer, until it reaches half-cock, to carry chambered in DA mode.)

3) A true "safe" will cost in the thousands of dollars. However, you can get a steel lock-box, with key or three-digit combo lock, and a cable for securing to heavy furniture, for around $30. If you want one of those, it's pretty easy to set aside the money to get one. You can get them at the LGS or sporting goods store, but you can also get them on amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/GunVault-NV300-NanoVault-Combination-Lock/dp/B003841ZBS/ref=pd_sim_sbs_sg_1

http://www.amazon.com/GunVault-NV200-NanoVault-Style-Pistols/dp/B00384755S/ref=pd_sim_sbs_sg_2

WyMark
January 17, 2012, 09:41 PM
Look on the brighter side of things.



She's probably not really alone, and chances are her "friend" is carrying anyway. So it's safe.

Onward Allusion
January 17, 2012, 10:28 PM
hangglider
Chattanooga is a never-ending source of information on shootings, here's a case in point: http://timesfreepress.com/news/2012/.../?breakingnews

^^^^
THIS is why I am such a huge advocate of carrying at home, especially if you have little ones (under the age of reason say 8, 9, 10 YO depending on the child). Lock everything else up but have one on your person in a pocket holster or a passive retention holster. This will go a long way to avoid the above types of tragedies.

Cycrops
January 17, 2012, 11:07 PM
Hi MLeake, thanks for setting me straight about not being able to carry the Beretta cocked and locked, I obviously have a lot to learn.

Is it really even your decision to make? Is this your wife or your child?

You may not realize it, but some of those arguments you are making come across as chauvinist/condescending. That may not be your intention, but I can't imagine telling my wife "I will not let you touch the ______ gun until you train to my standards.

I'm not sure how you go from what I posted: Also need to decide with the wife whether the handgun should be accessible to her as a line of defense before she's had a chance to do live-fire training with it (seems like the prevailing opinion here is 'no').

and arrive at your imagined words from my mouth, but I suppose this is where I should point out that I don't know if you're aware that you come across as failing to thoroughly read what people write before you make judgement. That may not be your intention.

I'm sure my marriage dynamics are not the same as everyone's, nor would I expect them to be. I don't believe I am chauvinist, but I do believe that I have my realms of authority and my wife has hers. I bow to her expertise in several areas and vice versa. I'm not in the habit of issuing orders to my wife (your imagined quote from me don't reflect my style), but I believe I am capable of convincing her one way or another in terms of our approach to gun handling, especially in the early stages of ownership. I'm glad to hear everyone's opinions on the subject, including hers.

BTW, I ended up working late tonight, so no trip to the range :(. Hopefully tomorrow!

KC Rob
January 17, 2012, 11:34 PM
I'm hoping her hands aren't too small to handle the double-action pull, it would be a shame if I had to buy another gun so soon

Just FYI, I bought a Beretta 92 as my first "home defense" hand gun only to find out to my dismay that my petite wife could not pull the DA trigger. The reach for the trigger was too long for her small hands and she could not exert the 10-12 lbs of force needed pull the trigger. It is a fairly large gun. I sold it and bought a Glock 17 which my wife had no trouble operating and she still to this day, 15 years later, has that gun as her "nightstand" gun.

As far as quoting text, you have to copy and paste the text, then click the "quote" button on the tool bar at the top of the text box.

*Edit* Never mind, I see you figured it out.

Cycrops
January 17, 2012, 11:47 PM
*Edit* Never mind, I see you figured it out.

Haha, thanks for trying!

My wife is on the tiny side and I suspect that she will have the same issues yours did with the DA trigger length/weight. Someone suggested in another thread that a spring can be replaced to make the weight of the DA pull more manageable? Regardless, we'll find out soon when she attempts to dry fire it with a snap cap.

I can't imagine selling the Beretta, I love the way it feels and the thing is so good looking! I'm sort of hoping it motivates the wife to decide she wants to shop for her own gun, nothing would make me happier than staying home with the babies while she takes a trip to the range :)

garryc
January 18, 2012, 12:00 AM
My wife is disabled in her left shoulder and has a weak hand. She can pull the trigger of my SIG P250c (Which she has stolen for her night stand by the way!) And my CZ82 (Which she has stolen for her desk drawer by the way!!) But not may DA revolvers. She is not allowed to shoot my XD40 sub compact, for obvious reasons.

dyl
January 18, 2012, 12:59 AM
Wow. LOTS of input on this thread.

I forgot to mention another important security feature we recently installed.

Sheer + Opaque curtains. I originally had wanted metal mini blinds - it's what I grew up with but my wife was used to curtains. We'd talked about them before so we went to get curtains and she chose a few favorite colors/designs and we decided out of those. We use the sheer curtains during the day, and close the opaque ones at/near dark. Just to test how it looked without them I went outside at night when just the sheer curtains were drawn shut and I could count the number of people in the painting hanging across the room. You could pretty much see anything. With the opaque curtain visibility was down to nothing. This was for the big living room window which is a plus during the daytime. The house also came with old nasty opaque dark red curtains for the bay window in the den that we flipped (we see the white side) that we draw shut during the night time. Otherwise anyone can see everything.

I don't know how things are over there but there is a lot more privacy after we installed those. The previous owner had an awning but no curtains.

You're off to a great start.

About the 9mm being a poor choice for a beginner - the first handgun I shot was a CZ75b. I hadn't had any formal handgun training previously and neither had my friend whom I had shot with. I think had both shot rifle/shotgun before (don't remember). Nothing went full-auto on us. I (with my paper plate size groups low + left) was quite jealous of my friend's saucer size groups... at 7 yards :D which were also low + left. Bless his soul. (he's still alive).

As far as formal safety training goes:
The NRA instructor was even more stringent about safety practices than I was. He removed all ammo from the room before dry fire practicing - which I wasn't doing at the time. He was very vigilant in watching our trigger finger discipline and muzzle direction and was set to alert us of any dangerous habits. I recommend the NRA first steps course - I thought it was great. I don't know what's available in your area but we had a variety of firearms to choose from and practice familiarity with, did dry-fire practice with/without lasers, dry fired and live fired on the range. Learned a couple stances, and I could go on...

Looking back at myself when I first started, I knew and followed the safety rules but slowly acquired how it would look like applied to situations as they came up (or when I saw others' failures). I'd like to hopefully shorten that time for you on just 1 point: (forgive me if you know this already, I don't know if you have many shooting buddies to learn from)

Keeping the gun pointed in a safe direction:
When something goes wrong with the gun (squib load, failure to fire/feed/eject) a common pitfall is that the shooter will turn to the buddy/instructor with their attention focused on the malfunctioning gun which is typically held about chest height...which points wherever they turn. So everyone down the line has been muzzle swept and their buddy is looking down the barrel. (and sometimes a finger is still on the trigger). You may have the privilege of witnessing /experiencing this so watch out. watch for this when you or your wife practice - it's easier to be complacent in the comfort of home. You can turn the head and even the torso if you must as long as the arm/firearm is still pointed in a safe direction (and finger off the trigger). Now what about if you're pointing North, and need to point South, but someone is to the East/West? You could point at the ground (watch for feet/toes) as you turn and then bring it back up when you're looking at the destination. Or you could point up at the sky (I usually don't do that) but the gun should be raised above your head in that case (just bending the elbow would put the muzzle about chin height)

And you'll see this one a lot on Youtube firearm review videos: as much as possible even if you "know" the gun is unloaded avoid putting a hand in front of the muzzle. Unless it is field stripped/disassembled, it's not a good thing to do nor a good habit to form. And be careful of those youtube videos. I've seen some unsafe practices demonstrated, and it seems just about everyone is trying to give instruction. (apparently, me included. that's my cue to quit :eek:)

Cycrops
January 18, 2012, 08:33 AM
Interesting point about visibility into the house. We are at the top of a hill, which means from the street even with window treatment wide open, people can only see top of the wall and ceiling. That said, we have the ability to block visibility into the front of the house.

Don't ask me how I learned the lesson that neighbors can see through sheer curtains. Let's just say that in my younger days I put on a show without intending to...

I don't think one can give/get too much advice about gun safety. It seems that the firearms community is very safety-conscious, and with good reason. I've been a member of several automotive forums, and even though avoidable vehicular accidents cause far more deaths than firearms do in this country, there are relatively few threads on car forums where people stress the fundamentals of driving safely.

MLeake
January 18, 2012, 09:30 AM
If your wife's hands are small, the problems the 92 could pose probably won't be with the weight of the trigger pull. I'd imagine her hand strength probably isn't bad, toting newborns around all day. The reach is probably going to be the issue, especially the DA reach. The 92 has a big grip. A long reach can force the shooter to rotate the gun, muzzle to the outside, relative to the shooting hand in order to engage the trigger. This tends to pull shots, and amplify perceived recoil.

She should pick out her own gun, when you buy the next. It should fit her hands, so she can get the pad or first joint of her trigger finger on the trigger while keeping the gun aligned with the long bones of her forearm. This will help with trigger control, sight alignment, and recoil control.

Not sure where the nearest range that has rental guns is, relative to your location, but if possible, it's always good to let people try a variety to find out what fits best, and what works best for them. If it's painful to shoot, they generally won't put in the practice time.

Expense is another factor. A .22LR, similar in operation and feel to the centerfire primary, can be a very good idea. So can conversion kits (the Kadet for the CZ75, for example), which let you practice with the same frame and trigger, by changing out the slide, barrel, magazine, and recoil spring. Conversion kits run in the $300 ballpark in many cases, so they are in the same price range as many regular .22 pistols, but I actually prefer the conversions on guns for which they are available. (Using the same grip and trigger really does help.)