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Old June 13, 2018, 08:41 AM   #1
ATN082268
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Firearm for new shooter for home defense

I know there are a lot of variables in this but, in general, what firearm and ammunition would you recommend for a new shooter in terms for home defense. I appreciate any useful input.
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Old June 13, 2018, 09:03 AM   #2
Hal
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A little more info would help..

Is this for you or are you just wanting to gather some info on what people recommend and why?

Obviously, with 5 years of experience here & almost 800 posts - you're not a raw rookie.
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Old June 13, 2018, 09:16 AM   #3
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A little more info would help..

Is this for you or are you just wanting to gather some info on what people recommend and why?

Obviously, with 5 years of experience here & almost 800 posts - you're not a raw rookie.

No, it's not for me It's for my stepdaughter. She has shot a firearm before but not much and certainly not on a regular basis. I was thinking about a full sized .38 Special Revolver and a small handheld flashlight for target identification. She would probably be more accurate with a striker fired 9mm but if there was some malfunction, she might not be able to clear it quickly.
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Old June 13, 2018, 09:19 AM   #4
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First, I’d establish a realistic budget of what they can afford to own and train with (i.e. not just the gun, but ammo cost, securing it, slings, holsters, cases, etc.)

Second, are they going to carry it? Because the main point of a handgun is to sacrifice power and accuracy for convenience. If you aren’t going to make use of the convenience then why sacrifice? Likewise, long guns are usually right out the door if you plan to carry them.

Once, you’ve got that sorted out try out as many different firearms as you can within your budget/use parameters and let the new shooter picks what works for them. If we all had the same needs, we wouldn’t have several thousand different firearms.
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Old June 13, 2018, 09:29 AM   #5
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Maybe take a look at the RIA M-200. It's full size, but, not overly large. 4" barrel, SA/DA, six shot. About $200 from Budsgunshop. A friend's wife has one and really likes it. Reviews are very good. Just a thought.
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Old June 13, 2018, 09:36 AM   #6
Hal
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Stepdaughter --- is mom on board with this idea?
(just wondering)
My daughter in law is pretty firm on the idea that her kids (she's got 4 sons & my son has a son and daughter) and guns ain't gonna happen...
My son and I agree with her 100% on this. Her sons are,,to be kind...goofy.

But - I digress and veer off the path here.

Assuming it's a go on everything, I'd take her to the store and have her browse through what's there and handle as much as she can.
You can explain the pros and cons of each.

Heck, she might even show a preference towards a long arm. Nothing wrong at all with a .22 rifle. Every month there's stories in the NRA magazine where someone with a .22 rifle foils a home crime or drives off an intruder.
If push comes to shove....10 to 17 rounds of .22 CCI Mini Mags can put a world of hurt on someone real quick..
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Old June 13, 2018, 09:56 AM   #7
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First, I’d establish a realistic budget of what they can afford to own and train with (i.e. not just the gun, but ammo cost, securing it, slings, holsters, cases, etc.)

Second, are they going to carry it? Because the main point of a handgun is to sacrifice power and accuracy for convenience. If you aren’t going to make use of the convenience then why sacrifice? Likewise, long guns are usually right out the door if you plan to carry them.

Once, you’ve got that sorted out try out as many different firearms as you can within your budget/use parameters and let the new shooter picks what works for them. If we all had the same needs, we wouldn’t have several thousand different firearms.
No, she won't carry the weapon for the foreseeable future. My impression is she'll stick in the sock drawer or closet and it won't see the light of day unless it hits the fan or I make her practice My main concern with long guns is there are a few spots in her place where wielding one would be difficult. Another concern is maintenance. Although I will try and practice with her, I don't want a long period of time to lapse with respect to maintaining the weapon which is why a revolver made some sense to me.
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Old June 13, 2018, 09:59 AM   #8
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The women in my family hate DA revolvers. I know they are recommended all the time for women because of their simplicity, but there is nothing about a semi that a woman can't understand as well as a man. I reject the idea of a "woman's gun," because their needs and preferences vary just as much as the other half of the population.

For house defense only, there is no reason to go small. A full sized or near full sized semi in 9 mm would be a good candidate. My ladies are particularly fond of a PX4 Compact in my safe. (It actually belongs to one of my daughters, but she lives in a handgun-hostile locale and keeps it with me.) That is more an example than a recommendation, though. 9 mm, smooth trigger, fairly easy to work the slide, with changeable back straps to adjust to hand size. My daughter also prefers a thumb safety. Those are the features she is going to have to consider, and make her selection.
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Old June 13, 2018, 10:07 AM   #9
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S&W Model 66 loaded with .38 +P
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Old June 13, 2018, 10:24 AM   #10
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Glock 17 or 19

I recommend Glock. Malfunction is not much of a concern. The manual of arms is as simple as can be.

My wife is a great shot, she just does not enjoy the range much. The Glock does nightstand duty.

Remove from holster, point at BG and pull trigger. Repeat as necessary.
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Old June 13, 2018, 10:27 AM   #11
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No, she won't carry the weapon for the foreseeable future. My impression is she'll stick in the sock drawer or closet and it won't see the light of day unless it hits the fan or I make her practice My main concern with long guns is there are a few spots in her place where wielding one would be difficult. Another concern is maintenance. Although I will try and practice with her, I don't want a long period of time to lapse with respect to maintaining the weapon which is why a revolver made some sense to me.
This is my daughter in law's gun. She wasn't comfortable with a semi-auto yet because she was having trouble racking the slide. I showed her a technique that made it much easier and when she has the confidence I think she will go with a G43 or similar.

She bought this Airweight and installed the ErgoGrip and shoots it very well. If not intending to carry the gun, I would look at a Ruger SP101 size revolver. Whatever you do, don't just let her put it in the sock drawer and think it's secured.

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Old June 13, 2018, 11:28 AM   #12
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I recommend Glock. Malfunction is not much of a concern. The manual of arms is as simple as can be.

My wife is a great shot, she just does not enjoy the range much. The Glock does nightstand duty.

Remove from holster, point at BG and pull trigger. Repeat as necessary.
Couldn't agree more, depending on what the price range you are looking for I don't know if a glock 19 with a light on it can be beat for a nightstand gun.
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Old June 13, 2018, 11:42 AM   #13
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My main concern with long guns is there are a few spots in her place where wielding one would be difficult.
Why would she be doing that instead of hunkering down behind the bed, calling 911, and pointing the muzzle of a shotgun at the door?
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Old June 13, 2018, 11:51 AM   #14
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If it won't be carried, then I wouldn't buy a pistol. Have her get a pistol caliber carbine with a red dot sight and she'll be good for home defense with minimal practice. Pistols require more training and practice than anything else, and if one will never be carried there's little point in getting one. There are lots of different PCC options in the marketplace now to choose from.
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Old June 13, 2018, 11:57 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by ATN082268 View Post
My main concern with long guns is there are a few spots in her place where wielding one would be difficult.
Arms extended with a pistol will be the same as a PCC, and one can go shorter with an MP5 sized one, while maintaining strong control of the weapon.
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Old June 13, 2018, 12:03 PM   #16
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Why would she be doing that instead of hunkering down behind the bed, calling 911, and pointing the muzzle of a shotgun at the door?
Good point. It depends on the situation but if I heard a noise in the late hours of the night, for example, I might be prone to investigate before calling the police. I don't think she has overnight guests over often but if she did, she might be forced to check on them at night to see if they are all right. If its just her and it sounds bad, I'm all for hunkering down and calling the police
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Old June 13, 2018, 12:05 PM   #17
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A pistol or revolver both have pros and cons. I would generally recommend a 9mm but the only two issues I have with a pistol for new users are these. One, while 9mm doesn't recoil much, any pistol can be prone to malfunction with limpwristing. Two, if it's got manual safety, are they knowledge enough with the gun to know, when under pressure, to disengage it? Point and squeeze the trigger should be all that's involved here.

A revolver isn't prone to these things, but they're bigger and heavier (usually) and have terribly low capacity. I woudn't recommend a small revolver, as small ones aren't fun or easy to shoot well, especially the really lightweight S&W J-frames. Something like a 4" GP100 would be just about perfect. However, a full on 357 Mag is very loud outside, let alone indoors.

Overall, I'd recommend something like a Glock 19 (or S&W M&P 2.0) for a pistol, no external safeties to worry about and has good capacity and low recoil. For a revolver, something like a 4" GP100 is good, loaded maybe with mid-range 357's, maybe not full magnums.

Last edited by Ruger45LC; June 13, 2018 at 12:12 PM.
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Old June 13, 2018, 12:12 PM   #18
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My daughters both went thru firearms training, when they...

youngsters.

When the eldest headed to college, she & I went to the store and she handled a couple of snub-nose. and decided on a Charter Arms, Undercover revolver.

Youngest moved out she asked for a sidearm, so I handed a M60 and went to indoor range for practice. Now, she has a LCP first generation.

My general reply to this question is a 4" .357 Mag revolver, and start shooting with wadcutters to lessen recoil and understand the fundamentals of SIGHT ALIGNMENT and triggger control. as they get comfortable, then use good quality hollow-point ammo and practice the S.A. and trigger control.

If they really are comfortable to try .357 ammo, just repeat process.

If they decide to forget it, then they can sell it as a .357Mag and get a better return from buyer.

Also, if they have never shot a sidearm, thne get some NEW tennis balls and
start squeezing them, with thumb and next finger opposite to get fingers and wrist muscle id tone.

Good luck.
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Old June 13, 2018, 12:59 PM   #19
Bartholomew Roberts
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No, she won't carry the weapon for the foreseeable future. My impression is she'll stick in the sock drawer or closet and it won't see the light of day unless it hits the fan or I make her practice My main concern with long guns is there are a few spots in her place where wielding one would be difficult.
Well, convenience isn’t just for carry. She may want a hand free or she may have limited space to store it or wield it. However, if she isn’t going to carry it, that opens up some options like pistol caliber long guns, bullpups, or pistols with arm braces that are smaller than a traditional long gun. I will say the women I’ve shot with seem to find bullpups easier to use than most long guns (too heavy or bad balance for their upper body sttength). They’ll pick an FN2000 over my lightest AR, even though it is heavier. M1 Carbine is another popular one with the ladies.

Quote:
Another concern is maintenance. Although I will try and practice with her, I don't want a long period of time to lapse with respect to maintaining the weapon which is why a revolver made some sense to me
One nice thing about military-derived firearms, especially the modern ones with nitride and ceramic finishes, is they will tolerate a lot of minimal or no maintenance.
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Old June 13, 2018, 01:37 PM   #20
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Well on one hand....no, no, better rethink that....
still on the other hand what might best is......
oh wait....so many other factors in this question.....
better decide on....no, no, no, that's too
definitive....uh, oh, I'm overthinking this like
everyone else.
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Old June 13, 2018, 01:47 PM   #21
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Used S&W Model-19 /4" or the like.

Safe
Reliable
Easiest to intuitively understand/feel comfortable with for 1st-timers
Wean from 38 Special target/wadcutters --> full-up 357 Mag
Default storage w/ 38Sp+P
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Old June 13, 2018, 01:59 PM   #22
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"...she'll stick in the sock drawer or closet and it won't see the light of day..." If she's not going to get training and practice with it regularly, she might as well not have the thing. Makes no difference what it is either. She'd be better off buying a dog.
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Old June 13, 2018, 02:36 PM   #23
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12g pump shotgun. -- shuck and pull the trigger. Best home defense firearm ever.

.02. David.
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Old June 13, 2018, 03:05 PM   #24
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Quote:
Why would she be doing that instead of hunkering down behind the bed, calling 911, and pointing the muzzle of a shotgun at the door?
Checking on kids? I can think of a lot of reasons.

Just wants a gun.
Not going to train or practice much.
Low maintenance.
Home Defense.

$300- HiPoint Carbine
$400- Keltec Sub 2K


A PCC:
- Easier to shoot than a pistol, rifle or shotgun
- More accurate than a pistol or shotgun
- 30-50% More powerful than a pistol, plenty of stopping power
- Easy to mount a light

I try to avoid suggesting handguns with novice shooters for home defense. A lot more things can go wrong with poor muzzle discipline. I am not a huge fan of PCC's and prefer rifles in rifle calibers but... it makes sense when looking for a light recoiling weapon that is easy to operate.

I prefer .40 in PCCs to take bigger advantage of the barrel length but there is nothing wrong with 9mm or .45ACP.
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Old June 13, 2018, 03:32 PM   #25
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Why would she be doing that instead of hunkering down behind the bed, calling 911, and pointing the muzzle of a shotgun at the door?
Good point. It depends on the situation but if I heard a noise in the late hours of the night, for example, I might be prone to investigate before calling the police. I don't think she has overnight guests over often but if she did, she might be forced to check on them at night to see if they are all right. If its just her and it sounds bad, I'm all for hunkering down and calling the police
You might because I will bet you have had some training. From the little we have been told, she does not seem to be one to go "all in" in that regard. So, either a 20 gauge or a pistol carbine would be good choices - if nothing else, their size seems more intimidating to a bad guy than a small handgun - and as mentioned, they are easier to control and shoot.
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