The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > General Discussion Forum

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old November 2, 2004, 12:42 PM   #1
Join Date: September 20, 2004
Posts: 50
20 gauge shotgun or S&W Model 60 Revolver

I am looking to get my wife something for home defense while I am traveling. She has never fired any type of gun in her life (so regardless of decision, we will be taking a safety/instructional class at a certified range together). What would be better, a 20 gauge shotgun or a .357 Revolver (S&W Model 60 with 2-1/8" barrel) with .38's loaded? I have been told that a shotgun is great for home defense, but I am worried that the shotgun will be more complicated and intimidating for her when compared to a small revolver. Any advise?
MCF is offline  
Old November 2, 2004, 12:53 PM   #2
Junior member
Join Date: September 26, 2004
Location: Northern Indiana
Posts: 1,881
a 20ga like a mossberg is great for home defense. a revolver chambered for .38spl+p works just as good! i suggest either a mossberg pump in .410ga or a smith k-frame with a 4in barrel. i also recommend looking at the ruger sp101 with a 3in barrel in .38spl+p.
WillBrayjr is offline  
Old November 2, 2004, 06:44 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: October 20, 2004
Posts: 293
Shotgun or revolver

I would go with the revolver, the shotgun can be cumbersome and awkward in the house and requires two hands at all times. The revolver can be more readily available and subtle, you can carry it on you at all times. It's more practical in the house.
Detective_Special is offline  
Old November 2, 2004, 07:07 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: August 16, 2004
Posts: 437
Well lots of it depends on her. I would get her to fire both the pistol and a 20 gauge shotgun. See what she thinks then.

Some women are intimidated by the blast of the shotgun.

Some think it would be intimidating and therefore have much more confidence in it if they need to use it.

Same with the pistol, some think they aren't proficient enough to have faith in their use of it. Others find it easier than expected to use, and the idea can give them comfort.

Go from there as either can be effectively employed for defence.
esldude is offline  
Old November 2, 2004, 07:44 PM   #5
SemperFi Wireguy
Join Date: October 20, 2004
Location: Land of the Free
Posts: 40
You might be suprised about your wife being intimidated. I'm gonna make allot of guys mad, but women tend to shoot better than men do, especially their first time out. Women listen and are more relaxed. Where us guys tend to be self sufficent (proud) and try to muscle the weapon.
It was hard for me to take when I saw my wife shoot. She put 8-10 out of 10 rounds in the center consistantly after her first few times shooting.

Find a range that rents guns (most do) and let her try different calibers.
Size does matter when it comes to take down power, so she needs the largest caliber she can comfortably shoot.

As your wife's skill improves she will probably be hooked! You won't be able to keep her away from the range.
"We're surrounded, that simplifies our problem."
Gen. Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller - USMC
SemperFi Wireguy is offline  
Old November 2, 2004, 08:06 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: August 16, 2004
Posts: 437
Same experience here. Most women shoot better than men. And do so easily.

Still some have this notion of what it is like, until they actually give it a try.
esldude is offline  
Old November 3, 2004, 03:07 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: June 23, 2004
Location: Ohio
Posts: 5,647
Get a grip

If you are gonna use the 60 at home and not for conceiled carry, you should consider getting a pair of grips that are larger than the usual conceilment types. I have some old Uncle Mikes that wrap around the back of the frame and hang down enough to support all fingers. This will give better support and more comfortable shooting for practice. Check out the Pachmayrs too. Concentrate on best hand fit for house gun grips. Maybe consider a 3 inch barrel on the 60 if you can find one, too, for a home gun. Mossberg made a neat 410 defense shotgun for home use and may still. That could be an option. It was not expensive, but would kinda be useless for sport shooting I guess. Probably better hits beyond 7 yards too. Setting off a 20 guage inside could be very "stunning". I guess you can get lights and lasers to fit the Moss. too.
Tom2 is offline  
Old November 3, 2004, 04:48 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: April 28, 2002
Location: West Texas
Posts: 152
20 ga vs S&W m 60

A 20 gauge behind a Locked door is the best choice IMHO. The sound of a shotgun being "racked" has discouraged many, AND a shotgun IS more intimindating.
Safe Shooting !
Haycreek is offline  
Old November 4, 2004, 03:29 AM   #9
Junior member
Join Date: May 14, 2002
Posts: 2,251
Either choice could be better suited in her case. But it is difficult suggesting one of two distinct choices for someone else without some understanding of the physical and psychological traits and quirks of the party concerned.

The 20 gauge is no doubt a more decisive weapon; but from a practical standpoint I would have to agree with much of what Detective_Special said.

Personally, I would get her both of them, whereby she will have the best of both worlds. The 20 gauge, a decisive weapon should she be aware of an intrusion with time to take a position with it - and a handy little revolver that she can keep on her person around the home and yard at all times in case a confrontation comes with less warning.
LAK is offline  
Old November 4, 2004, 05:57 AM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: May 18, 2004
Posts: 309
Either are good choices.

Just keep in mind, if this is just for HD, the amount of noise a shotgun makes indoors versus a .38 +p.
Magnum88C is offline  
Old November 4, 2004, 12:28 PM   #11
Junior member
Join Date: October 3, 1999
Posts: 910
Let YOUR WIFE make the choice - much safer

While it MAY seem like either choice is a good one, allow me my boondoggle for a moment.

I used to think that shooting a 20 was 'childs play' and everyone could handle the recoil.

From a womans standpoint, this is normally NOT TRUE. Their center of balance is lower than mens. Meaning that when firing the shotgun, it is a little more difficult to come back on target after the first shot.

If a shotgun is a must, consider a .410. Keep slugs and 00 buck around. WILL make a mess of any intruder, and recoil is less than the 20.

Having said all that, MY WIFE CHOSE a Taurus .357 4" comped revolver several years ago. Yes, she shoots .38's out of it. YES, she is a much better shot that I am, by a long shot.

Women don't have all that macho stuff running around inside them. You know, 'The Dirty Harry syndrome' or what ever you wish to call it. Us guys have 'performance anxiety' compared to women WHEN SHOOTING.

The first time I took my wife to the range, twenty plus years ago, she picked up my Dan Wesson 6" .357, loaded with mags and pumped all six in the X ring at about ten feet. Then asked me, "What else you got for me to shoot?"

Over the years, after her trying .22's through .45 auto, SHE CHOSE the Taurus. I just took her to the gun shop and stood back. With .38's she is down right DEADLY.

So, don't make the mistake of YOU choosing your wifes personal protection weapon. Take her to the range. Let HER try out all the choices and then LET HER CHOOSE the weapon she wants to use to defend herself, home and hearth while you are away. You will be much happier with her choice AND so will she. Consider it 'Mutual Respect'.

Oh, and pass along the idiom, "If you HAVE to shoot a bad guy and he falls out of your house, drag his @ss back inside". One more. When asked why she shot the bad guy six times, the response was, "That's all the bullets that were in the gun".
Wallew is offline  
Old November 4, 2004, 12:31 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: May 24, 2004
Posts: 3,888
The two hands on the shotgun is not a bad idea. She will have better control than trying to hang on to a small revolver. Also the shotgun can double as a blunt weapon. A solid hit with the buttstock can do considerable damage.
Majic is offline  
Old November 4, 2004, 04:43 PM   #13
Geoff Timm
Senior Member
Join Date: May 18, 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 472
Psychological factors.

Will the lady in question discharge a shotgun in her house? There is a tendency to avoid bloody messes. A revolver is effective at contact range and likely to fire if twisted in her hand.

Who notes this is highly theoretical.
Geoff Timm is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:11 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2017 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent:
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.07749 seconds with 9 queries