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Old June 5, 2012, 08:21 AM   #26
Bartholomew Roberts
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What you have is a skills problem that cannot be completely solved by equipment no matter what equipment you choose.

Since the problem is primarily a skill problem, I would tend towards whatever firearm she is going to actually train with and use.
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Old June 5, 2012, 11:56 PM   #27
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I agree with those posts which recommend training for her, so she can make an informed decision.
Depending on the age of the children appropriate firearms education for them as well.
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Old June 12, 2012, 09:29 AM   #28
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I am a little late but I was reading this and I am in a similar situation. In my home in the city I could have 3 children the oldest being 10 and the youngest being almost 2 years old. This home is a 3 story apartment. I live on the second floor so I have people on both sides and above and below me.

I have practiced a lot with my 12ga pump gun but I am worried about penetration. I own lots of rifles but most are big bore (I like to hunt DG)

Any advise for me?
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Old June 13, 2012, 11:10 PM   #29
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Mleake beat me to the comment. Get her to a good instructor, get good training with several different weapons and let her select her own.

For 25 years I tried to get my wife interested and trained in shooting.

She asked to learn, finally, and I took her to Caswell's in Mesa. I met with the receptionist, clerk. I left to browse the inventory.

She met an instructor who started her off with a basic course. This is a gun, the bullets come out her. Eventually, she completed two other courses and obtained her CCW.

I now have a shooting partner.
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Old June 14, 2012, 10:40 AM   #30
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The .20 gauge shottie sounds like a perfect SD weapon for her ... make sure that whatever she gets, she gets a lot of practice ... buying a gun and sticking it in a corner until she needs it is a recipe for disaster ...
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Old June 14, 2012, 10:11 PM   #31
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CCCLVII, Penetration is going to be a problem with any firearm. You can use reduced recoil rounds and lead shot. Lead deforms more after it hits the first near side dry wall and is somewhat less likely to penetrate the far side.

You could try frangible ammo in a handgun or one of your rifles. Not sure how frangible ammo preforms on intruders.
To the best of my knowledge there isn't frangible ammo for shotguns.
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Old June 14, 2012, 10:24 PM   #32
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I'm not an expert but I'm not sure why people prefer a 20 ga over a 12 ga for HD. Isn't there toned down 12 ga shells that perform the same as 20 ga? One firearm, multiple functions. My 870 express has a mossberg (made for my 870) 18" barrel ready for HD on it right now and in minutes I can install mag plug and the long barrel for outside the home including turkey and goose.
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Old June 15, 2012, 12:50 AM   #33
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The 20 offers lower recoil (unless the 12 uses reduced recoil loads). Or, the 20 can offer a lower overall weight.

Either factor could be a plus, depending on the shooter.

However, I stick by my recommendation that training is more important than any particular choice of equipment, and that training will help the shooter make an informed choice when ultimately selecting equipment.

Recommending a specific weapon at this point is premature.
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Old June 15, 2012, 10:57 AM   #34
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Excellent post, ML.

But what about a pistol grip only 12 gauge shotgun firing magnum 000 for the little lady?

Don't have to aim, just rack!

BTW, I actually know a guy who bought that rig for his 65 year old arthritic wife and was mad that she wouldn't practice with it.

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Old June 26, 2012, 12:51 PM   #35
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Late to the thread, but a few things come to mind.

- train/practice
- always have a gun on you (a small LCP or P-32 is fine)
- always have access to a 2nd gun - in a quick open type of lock-box
- load with some type of compressed pre-frag'd round
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Old June 26, 2012, 08:08 PM   #36
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I think a couple of handguns, say 38 Spl Revolvers, easy to use, holds five rounds. A shotgun has a pretty good kick to it, and the revolvers I think would be easier for her to learn. JMO.
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Old June 26, 2012, 09:19 PM   #37
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The has already been mentioned enough times; as has training. After that, I would start with a good DOG, something the kids can have fun with and a breed that is normally protective. The dog will be her first lone of defense against an intruder sneaking around.

Then she will have the time necessary to retrieve whatever firearm, if any, she decided on, as well as get the kids together, call 911, etc.

German Shepherds make a great family and protection asset
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Old June 27, 2012, 06:06 AM   #38
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whatever you shoot best.... shotguns with 00 buck have a lot of good going for them. I prefer a Glock 23 and a plan.

More important is a plan to keep the family BEHIND the gun if an event occurs IMO
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Old June 27, 2012, 11:54 AM   #39
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12-ga pump or semi-auto with #4 Buck.
M-1 Carbine with soft points.
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Old June 27, 2012, 03:45 PM   #40
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Just a word of caution about the pistol grip-only shotgun (thought I know it was mentioned in a tongue-in-cheek manner) ...

While they might be lighter and easier to maneuver in tight spaces, they are also much harder to control. Furthermore, at self defense ranges, even shotguns require more aiming than you might think. It's really a misconception that they don't. As any other weapon she might choose, it would require a good bit of practice to be sure she could handle the recoil, control the weapon, and hit whatever she's pointing it toward.
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Old June 27, 2012, 04:05 PM   #41
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For past 30+ years we kept a pair of S&W model 12-2 with 4" skinny barrel in the house for my wife. One is in the bedroom and the second one is in another easily accessable place in the house. Both revolvers are stored in a safe with electronic lock that requires pushing couple buttons in a sequence.

Both are loaded with 148gr button nose wadcutters doing 750 fps out of them. It's a very mild load and my wife shoots it well. Before you laugh at the load, let me tell you that that combo put down a very aggressive 80lb. GSD/mutt with one shot to the back of the shoulder. Second shot to the head ended his suffering.

She also has a Stevens SxS 20 gauge with the barrel cut back to 20". It's kept in the bedroom closet and hung where small children can not get to it.

BTW all my kids are older now but we taught them to shoot when they were about 5 y/o and were out hunting with dad or grandpa when they reach around 9 y/o.
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Old June 27, 2012, 06:24 PM   #42
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I am not arguing with anyone here. Lots of good advice.

But refer her to Cornered Cat for lots of good stuff.
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Old June 29, 2012, 06:45 AM   #43
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It's really a misconception that they (shotguns) don't
+1. At social distances the pattern of a cylinder bore shotgun is only a few inches in diameter. Only when you've got a decent round count over a lot of different training sessions will you be able to "point" and get good accuracy cold. Even then, you're really actually aiming, except your aiming device is muscle memory and your training instead of the rib on the barrel.

Avoid slow and heavy projectiles - or fast heavy ones. You'd be surprised how much wall a pistol round will punch without destabilizing. Either will go through tons of dry wall readily. Go with a .223 in 40gr - part of the reason M4 style ARs experienced massive adoption rates in the last decade with SWAT teams is that the projectiles tend to break up when hitting a barrier. In a good, mid length gas system M4 clone.

A 12 gauge loaded with some high brass turkey shot would do the trick. As for people recommending the 20 gauge, only if you're planning on the women or kids using it. Any grown man should be able to manhandle a 12 gauge unless you're shooting 3.5inch shells.

In general, long guns in a carbine length would also be best. It is not just longer sight radius that makes them more accurate than a handgun, they point a lot more naturally and rapidly due to multiple points of contact (chest/shoulder, strong hand, weak hand). In other words, even without using the sights you'll be more accurate. Your first shot will be more accurate and your follow up shots will be more accurate with less split time.

I hope there's someone else in the thread who has done training in dynamic entry, battle drill 6 or reflexive fire who will back me up on long weapons. I can't emphasize enough how much better a long weapon is in every way whenever you can have one.

Last edited by Burner; June 29, 2012 at 07:00 AM.
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Old June 29, 2012, 01:29 PM   #44
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The common counterargument to long arms for home defense is you can't use it with one hand, which may be needed if your other hand is busy calling 911, using a flashlight (could be mounted on the gun, that's another debate), carrying a child, dragging an injured family member, grappling with an intruder, etc etc. They are also easier to maneuver around corner and through a house.

The long arm is great if you can dig in with it until the police arrive. But if you need to move about the home for any reason, I think the handgun is probably better for MOST people. Otherwise I am hiding behind the bed with the 870 until I hear sirens.
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Old June 29, 2012, 03:34 PM   #45
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In addition to all the good advice mentioned, I'd also recommend the .410 shotgun. You can get effective SD loads that kick less in a handy package. It even makes a fun plinker for the family.
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Old June 29, 2012, 05:52 PM   #46
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My knee jerk response was a 12ga pump but after thinking about there being kids in the home I was leaning more toward a rifle or a handgun.
With kids in the house, why are you more concerned about the shot gun than the rifle?

It's a matter of preference.

You can't answer the door with a shotgun, but a handgun can be out of sight and quickly brought to bear.

Sometimes we address the subject as though we can only have one or the other. I have both, as do many.

A pistol may be all that's handy in some emergencies (but only if you see that it is). When we retreat to our bedroom, it may be shotgun or .223 time.

Last edited by Nnobby45; June 29, 2012 at 05:58 PM.
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Old June 29, 2012, 06:07 PM   #47
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Just me of course.

My suggestion is to find a quality instructor, with a variety of handguns, both semi-auto and revolver, in various calibers.
Get the safety down pat, then find what SHE likes and shoots best.

i.e 5 shots at five yards on 1/4 sheet of typing paper.
The paper will not lie at to what platform she shoots best with what loads.

-One should have a gun they can carry 24/7/52
-Handguns work effectively for answering the door and getting to and fro structures ( be this home, work, stores...)
-Handguns are better able to keep "safe" from kids than long guns, when not carried on person.

Just how raised, what you do.

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Old June 30, 2012, 11:17 PM   #48
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I feel like the best type of gun around kids in general is any thing that you keep safely out of their grasp. That being said I would keep a 20ga shotgun loaded with bird shot. It wont go threw a will with much force yet it will stop an intruder.
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Old July 2, 2012, 11:03 AM   #49
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Interesting observation. At our last Carbine/IPDA match - I noticed that the long time practitioneers of the handgun art were as accurate on targets as the AR shooters. The ranges were short - probably within most home self defence distances.

Note this was for folks who shoot lots of handgun. Not handgun newbies as in the video test that Bart Roberts posted awhile ago.
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Old July 3, 2012, 06:46 AM   #50
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I'd buy a 20 gauge single shot and have the barrel professionally cut back to 18.5 inches. Plan to offer training and practise to learn how to shoot accurately and reload quickly.


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