Considering a firearm for home defense - revisted

I dunno - you’ve got to consider that most burglars WANT empty houses.

If you’ve got someone who is invading when they know you’re home, or even worse, is STILL invading after you’ve racked that shotgun, you’re dealing with someone who either isn’t after just your stuff, or isn’t firing on all cylinders.

With that comes the very real possibility that they may not be your standard dumbass, they may be a hopped-up dumbass, or someone not quite mentally or emotionally right. Either of those situations leaves the baddie able to deal with a lot more damage than they would otherwise tolerate, and honestly, my live and let live philosophy goes right out the window when I think there’s someone facing me who is capable of hurting my family or myself. I’m shooting them til they run away or stop moving, whichever comes first. To achieve that end a little quicker, I’d go with buckshot and stay very aware of who’s on the other side of your walls.

You forgot “and post it here”.


To patch or Not to patch? That is the question.
Whether tis nobler in the home to suffer
light bird or buckshot protect thy fortune,
…or by center-mass rifled slug, end them?*

*Spackle. During the time period when this poster wrote, men were expected to actually dig their lead out of the moldings afterwards, Spackle the holes, and re-paint the walls with matching paint; usually before Monday.

Lumpy’s point about quick accessibility is one of the most important ones to consider that I have heard of many people failing to do. Many gun cabinets and other places to secure weapons where children won’t be harmed by them do not allow quick access; given the short warning any home invasion situation usually gives you, this is possibly the most important thing to determine about a cabinet/rack/etc.

Once you have a rack, practice getting the weapon out. Over and over. Try to get the time between ‘alert’ and ‘armed and ready’ down as much as possible. By practicing the actions until they’re automatic you minimize the chances that you will panic and screw up should the time come that you need it.

I have no doubt of birdshot’s effectiveness, and will happily fire it at said assailant, when the buckshot runs out, it is for killing birds IIRC. Buckshot is for killing people and deer. :smiley:



I may have to eat some crow

Scroll down to where he is talking about Pigeons and chukars and read the next paragraph, I think we need watermelon video, agreed? :smiley:


One of the most effective child deterrents for firearms is to NOT keep the gun hidden away, where it is a mystery. Should it be locked up? Perhaps. Some states require it, even. With my own children, and with the children of my friends, we found it most effective to allow them mostly unfettered access to them. They were explained the deadly nature, but it was treated no differently than a dangerous tool, like a chainsaw. If one of my children ever mentioned the gun in conversation, or asked about it, we’d go get it out, go over everything about it, including how to load it, safely handle it, and unload it. Awareness and safe handling were stressed. When the children’s friends would ask about guns, the reaction was usually, “yeah, so?” The same as if they were asked about any other tool or item in the house.
What you are comfortable with doing with your children is of course, up to you. I’m merely relaying that in my own experience, as long as it’s not some taboo mystery, and it is explained thoroughtly, the kids will generally leave the gun alone. Lock it up, if you must, but I recommend making them aware of its existence, and be willing to always bring it out and show it and take all the mystery out of it, just as you would any other tool.

I agree, from the time I was small I knew about guns. I gained permission to take the .22 bolt action out on my own(on my Grandfathers 86 acre prop) and shoot the snapping turtles in the watering pond when I was 8 or 9 years old. I killed turtles there until the property sold when I was 24, probably a very toxic place. We bought .22 lr 10,000 at a time. IMHO where you get into trouble is making guns a mystery to children, they are all over TV and popular culture so children are aware of them. If you are an owner you should teach your children about the guns you own. Parent at your own risk :stuck_out_tongue:


This I definitely agree on. You may or may not choose to keep the gun locked up, but DO educate the children on safe use of guns starting at a pretty early age (I think I first started learning about them at 8 years old or before). I forget when I first fired one, but I doubt I was older than 12. I don’t know what the legalities are like now, but if you can find a firing range that will allow that, I would definitely encourage you to teach the kids to fire the guns, while stressing safety at all steps.

This demystifies them which takes away most of the incentive to fool around with them when it is improper. I never found guns particularly curious or interesting once I’d fired them; they’re just guns, they have a purpose, if I’m not using them for that purpose I’m not fiddling around with them.

A bayonet sounds rather unwieldy indoors and in close quarters.

If the sound of racking a shotgun is enough to deter many/most burglars, why not simply record the sound of racking a shotgun and play it if you get woken up by a suspected burglar?

That said, it wasn’t likely a lucky coincidence that your family members were gone when the burglar attempted to rob their house. They were probably cased so the thief knew how many people lived in the home, that they rarely all left at the same time, and watched/waited until they were all gone at the same time. Then ran away when the alarm went off. The good news is that (s)he’s probably not a reckless murderer. The bad news is that (s)he’s sufficiently determined, patient, and intelligent to wait a long time for an opportunity.

Given that this has happened twice in your neighborhood now, cameras and an upgrade in your security system + floodlights would be a fantastic investment. Make sure any cameras are visible but not accessible–you want the perp to know you’re watching at all times, but you don’t want them to have the ability to disable them (all it takes is black spraypaint or an article of clothing or even simply ripping them down). Be vigilant about unknown parked cars (especially occupied ones) that have no apparent reason to be on your street–also loiterers.

I don’t think a weapon is necessary, given that you declined to purchase one in your last thread on the subject, AND that this burglar is only targeting empty homes and was easily scared off by an alarm system already. I grew up in a home with weapons including guns, knives, and bow/arrows (my dad is a hunter), I’ve fired guns on a few separate occasions, and I’m not scared of them. But I truly don’t think you need one.

Because as a general rule, if you make a threat (i.e., racking noise), you’d better be prepared to back it up.

I think I’ve found a new favorite home defense shotgun: Mossberg 500 Chainsaw. ARROOOOOOO!!

Now that we have the inevitable “just cock the shotgun and bad guys pee themselves” idiocy out of the way, let’s look at some facts that can really help you.

In my 20+ years of teaching people to shoot, I would submit to you that a shotgun is not a good choice for a woman who is “mildly anti-gun”. They’re very heavy. They’re extremely loud. The muzzle flash will scare her. She won’t like the pump action necessary to reload. It’s not a gun to start anyone with.

I love 'em. I have one in my closetand [del]Annie Oakley[/del] my wife is great with one, but it’s not her go-to gun should something happen.

I’m not saying don’t get one, but let’s think of what your wife is capable of and willing to do.

For absolute ease of use, a 4 inch barreled revolver in .357/.38 is fine.
There is no safety to remember to flip off, there will be no jams due to holding the gun too softly -many women do this- and the recoil is manageable. The.357 is a devastating round, and what my wife carries.

My other suggestion is a 9mm semi-automatic pistol. My only reason to suggest this as well is the higher round count. You can find one that will hold up to 20 rounds. I’m not suggesting she just lay down suppressive fire when the back door opens, but she may feel more comfortable knowing she has more than enough to handle a couple of bad guys with no reloading. Having her feel comfortable is key to her agreeing to learn, to practice, and pick the thing up when something bad is going down.

Before you even buy anything, take her to a range, rent a .22 pistol, and start from there. It’s just like driving. 15 year-olds are nervous and have no idea what to do. We don’t buy them Corvettes and say good luck. We start slow with a regular car, build some skills and move on from there.

Same thing with guns. When she sees that she can be firmly in control, she’ll be able to step up in caliber comfortably and feel at ease with the whole gun-as-a-tool concept.
Proper training is the key, so find a range that offers instruction. I’d even go so far as to suggest you find a female instructor. I’ve met many “ew-a gun” people in my life, and I understand they require a different touch than most folks.

Safety around kids - frankly that’s the easiest part. As mentioned above, teaching kids early on takes the wonder out of a gun and removes 99% of the problem of “kids and guns”. A gun on my kitchen counter is not an object of awe. It’s in the way of making a PBJ sandwich and will be moved to my desk without anyone shooting the neighbor kids accidentally.

There are many solutions, but my favorite is a Gunvault. I haveseveral around the house, including in my trucks. There are a few places even I can’t carry, but that’s no reason to leave a gun unsecured in a vehicle to be stolen by some punk.

Therefore, your intelligent course of action is thus:
Find an instructor and start off easy.
Determine which gun and type she’s most comfortable with. Why her? She’s the lowest common denominator if you will, and what she uses will work for you.
Buy it and practice with it.
Research frangible ammo or discuss with your instructor. This is ammunition that will not penetrate walls and hit Buffy and Jody, but will be trouble for the bad guy you hit directly. We’re all about safety here at Camp Ducati.
Obtain a fast-access gun safe that keeps kids and burglars out, but gives you your gun instantly.
All that said, a good monitored alarm system, big dog, HD cameras at eye level to capture great images of your visitors, and locking the doors and setting the alarm day and night should be your first layers of protection.

Should all this fail, and momma don’t want no guns around, consider a replacement model, preferably from Texas.

I must admit I bought the first one of those I saw, but what you really want is volume

I second this.

A buddy of mine has three children and has always locked up his guns. He is *very *fearful of leaving his guns outside of his control, else one of his children might get curious and begin to handle it.

Is his policy safe? I suppose so, if he never accidently leaves a gun unattended.

We have three children, and I have taken the opposite approach. Since they were babies I have routinely left unloaded guns lying around the house. They’re never locked up. And guess what? They’re not curious about them. They never touch them (unless we are in the backyard to do some shooting). They completely ignore them; they’re like furniture. The policy has worked great for us, but I do not suggest others do it… it takes a certain kind of parent to pull it off.

I was really hoping that it was a combo chainsaw and shotgun, now that is self defense :smiley:


What kind of parent?

The kind of parent that is willing and able to both bark, and bite (in other words, not afraid to apply corporal punishment when appropriate - if I’m reading him correctly.)

Shotguns are a great home defense tool, but I suggest that you also invest in a small revolver like a .38. Besides the benefits Ducati mentioned upthread, it has the advantages of being easier to “grab and go” in the middle of the night. It can be holstered easily in any number of styles made, or (less safe) jammed into your pocket or waistband should you need your hands free suddenly. The small size makes it easy to conceal if you find yourself outside late with the neighbors and don’t want to cause a fuss, and due to the mechanical nature of the action, misfires are exceedingly rare. They are easy to empty safely, and hold plenty of rounds. My philosophy is that for home defense, you shouldn’t have any need of high capacity firearms anyway. If you cannot drop the assailant in two shots or less, you had no business firing that weapon in the first place. You need to be SURE when discharging at a human.

I heard a shotgun with this kind of action is called a “streetsweeper.” I believe it was in The Anarchist’s Cookbook where I first read about it. They recommended welding a handle on the pump perpendicular to the barrel, bracing the shoulder pad against your hip, and holding the trigger down while pumping the handle as fast as you could and moving the barrel in a sweeping motion across the line of jack-booted goverment thugs coming your way.