Best inexpensive home defense weapon (again, i know).


September 23, 2008, 11:37 AM
Hey Guys,
I know this is close to the trillionth post, however my brother is in the market for a home defense weapon!

We used to shoot a lot when we were younger but he hasn't owned a gun in probably 13 years. Just after a long discussion with him, and where are country/economy is heading he is very interested in getting something to protect him, his wife, and his new born little girl.

He doesn't have much money, so I was wondering if you guys could give me some affordable ($200 or so) reliable weapons that you are familiar with.

I thought about a hi-point 9mm carbine, but I think we are heavily looking at a 12ga of some sort w/ extended 8 round tube.

If you guys could throw some brands/models to look at I would greatly appreciate it. This is going to be an early x-mas present from me :)

Thanks a ton!

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September 23, 2008, 11:46 AM
Checkout a Mossberg 500. I have bought them for around $200 before. Reliable, cheap, and found all over.

September 23, 2008, 11:48 AM
The Maverick is even cheaper.

September 23, 2008, 11:51 AM
I was going to say Mossberg Maverick 88, too. You see them everywhere, with a built in extended tube (not sure what capacity - 7? 8?) for around $200-$250. They may not be the best shotguns in the world, but it's definitely better than nothing... and probably better than a HiPoint 9mm carbine, too, at least in my opinion.

September 23, 2008, 11:52 AM
I would suggest a mossberg 500 as well and I found mine for about 150.00 a few months ago. He can use the extra fifty bucks for a stash of ammo and tell him to practice. I get alot of looks but I love shooting skeet with my 20in barrel home defense shotgun.

September 23, 2008, 11:56 AM
A hipoint is a great gun, reliable as can be and very accurate, but it's limited capacity of 10 rounds and the high likelyhood of overpenetration in a suburban or urban setting makes mine nothing more than a fun range toy.
I would also recommend a Mossberg Maverick. They are functionally outstanding, very few have ever had issues, and I think you'd be hard pressed to find one that's broken on someone. Mine has thousands of rounds thru it. They are available with 18.5" barrels with a 5+1 capacity or a 20" barrel witha 7+1 capacity.
Loaded with #4 buck to limit penetration or 00buck if this isn't a concern where you live would be the best and most logical choice for home defense while staying on a budget.

September 23, 2008, 11:58 AM
Again, a recommendation for the Mossberg 500. There is not an easy way to add a mag extension to the standard 500 so the persuader with an 8 (?) round tube would probably be what you want to look for. I got mine for ~$180 at a gun show...

September 23, 2008, 11:58 AM
This is just the opinion of a guy who is in the same situation as your brother.

I have a little girl who is turning 2 soon, and #2 is on the way. Children are very inquisitive, get into everything, learn much faster than we do, and are able to solve problems (like how to get on a counter) much faster than we generally believe. Last night, I took a bag of cookies out of her hand three damned times!

The shotgun is not an option for me. I live in a starter house. Our master suite is 9'6" x 10'. We sleep in a full sized bed. There is no room for a cabinet to store the shotgun. Leaving it out is not an option.

Plus, my wife has never shot a shotgun. We'll get to it at some point, but as hobbies go it is much more expensive than pistol. I don't know if we'll ever get to it because she has a medical condition which makes her wrists consistently very sore.

What I can lock up easily, and what she can handle is a revolver. I got a used 4" GP100 for exactly this reason. She can't handle more than one of the magnums but the +p's are just fine. And I'm ok with that.

I paid $300 for mine, which is more than you're looking for, but I realize that this was a fantastic price for it.

I've heard elsewhere that the 4" 357 is pretty close to the perfect gun. I tend to agree. It doesn't spit bullets as fast as a Glock, it doesn't shoot ashtrays like a 1911, it doesn't carry concealed, and it doesn't get you out of a 10-on-1 firefight. But for ease of use, effective firepower, reliability, and storage ability, it can't be beat.

Taurus makes some bigger 357's like the Tracker, and Charter makes some as well but they tend to be smaller. Unfortunately, $200 for a revolver is going to take much, much shopping around.

You should look at end costs as well - $200 for a decent 12g plus the money for a cabinet is going to even out with a decent used 6-shooter plus a $25 lockbox.

September 23, 2008, 11:59 AM
The only drawback on the Mossberg is the price of good HD ammo might bankrupt your buddy. The advantage of the highpoint is that you can still find 9mm for under $.20/rd. Even the cheapest slugs are about $.50/rd and buck shot is normally more. This adds up fast, especially if he is going to spend the minimum 200 rounds practicing ($40 vs. $100+)

But for HD the Mossberg has an edge, just not as much of an edge as over say a 9mm pistol.

September 23, 2008, 12:00 PM
He should look into an NEF Pardner Pump shotgun; they are basically identical copies of the Remington 870. The quality is very good and they are very affordable. I picked mine up at Fleet Farm with walnut stock for $169 new, but they have synthetic and home defense versions as well.

September 23, 2008, 12:04 PM
The ratio of effectiveness/bucks is at its highest with a pump shotgun, no question. Couldn't tell you what's smoother/more dependable feeding/more resistant to breakage among Mossberg and other makes, but that's the only remaining question.

Anyone for 20 gauge?

September 23, 2008, 12:05 PM
A 12ga. by Mossberg (including Maverick) is a good choice. They can be had anywhere from 120-180 used, with 500s going only about 280-300 new. A 590 is good as well, but will cost you a little more.

You can also find used Springfield XDs, Rugers, and some SIGs for as low as 350 bucks if you look around hard enough (or at least I can - saw a 9mm XD for 325, if only I was 21...)

then for rifles, a WASR-10 AK or SKS arent bad choices either. WASRs will go a bit over 400 bucks, and SKS for a bit over 200. A little less HD-practical, but are handled better than your shotguns due to less recoil.

September 23, 2008, 12:06 PM
Mossberg 500. You can practice all day with cheap target loads, .20 a pop. The recoil difference, while noticable, isn't enough to justify training with expensive ammo. Just shoot a couple buckshot each time he goes shooting so he gets a little used to it.

September 23, 2008, 12:07 PM
My HomeLand Security*** shotgun is a Maverick 88 with the 18-1/2" Cylinder bore barrel.
The Maverick (made by Mossberg) Combo packages with the short barrel and a 28" "Woods-N-Water" hunting barrel can frequently be found "on sale" new for around $250.
6-shot Maverick "Security" model, 18-1/2" cylinder barrel MSRP $199 #31023
8-Shot Maverick "Security" model, 20" cylinder barrel MSRP $206 #31046

***Secures my Home & Land from those of felonious intent.

September 23, 2008, 12:07 PM
I didn't see it specified, is this strictly home defense, or would he also consider carrying? If carry is an option, you could split the difference and go with the Hi-Point pistol.

September 23, 2008, 12:08 PM
i would definite ly look into a mossberg 500 or maverick 88. you could even get a remington 870 for that price if you look hard enough.

lee n. field
September 23, 2008, 12:15 PM
Checkout a Mossberg 500.

Ditto, or the Mossberg Maverick.

September 23, 2008, 12:27 PM
Hey guys!,

Thanks for posting up. I am going to look into that maverick, sounds like a good deal. I am going to have him practice with less expensive rounds and keep the 00-buck for sd only (maybe a few practice rounds).

He can't own a pistol, so that is out of the questions (he is... sad to say, a citizen of the country of california :( ).

I am changing them one californian at a time. It feels really good to have my very liberal brother leveling out a bit! And yes I stressed to him PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!! And he already knows the 4 rules, and is very gun aware (a big plus).

I have a favorite gun shop down where I am originally from (6hrs south of where I live now). But I don't know the next time I will be down there.

Atleast with getting some models from you folks I can call to get some prices.

Much love to all of you, Thanks for all your input (feel free to keep it coming).

September 23, 2008, 12:37 PM
I believe you can own a pistol in Cali, albeit one with specific safeties and limited magazine capacity.

That said, +1 for the Pardner Pump.

September 23, 2008, 12:50 PM
I would get a good quality, perhaps USED but good, lever action rifle in 22LR.

He could practice with it and 22LR would go a long way.

Put x amount of rounds in a good lever action rifle and I feel that it would still stop someone. LR and/or WMR ammuntion.

There is a used Marlin lever action that is pretty good from what my husband told me here @ our local gun store. No, it is not my Marlin for sale.

If you need more information - PM me or maybe someone else will put the link up here for it.

The Marlin Papoose is a nice semi automatic rifle in 22LR but the break down version does not hold as many rounds. Not too bad of a price - new or used. Between the two of them and I own a Marlin and various lever action rifles... I would pick the lever action one.

Best wishes.


September 23, 2008, 12:53 PM
Mossberg 500.......all day.....all night....great guns...can't beat a 12...

September 23, 2008, 12:56 PM
lever action rifle in 22LR. While a lever action rifle isn't a bad idea, I'd never suggest, recommend, or consider 22lr as a home defense round, (unless you were most likely to be invaded by gnomes or squirrels.) Just not quite enough gun when you have more options available, IMO.

Put x amount of rounds in a good lever action rifle and I feel that it would still stop someoneIt would, sooner or later. I usually go for sooner.

September 23, 2008, 01:03 PM
She does have a point, though. The wife and someday the daughter could more easily utilize the .22.

September 23, 2008, 01:05 PM
We can agree to disagree on some of the self defense issues in 22LR.

I own various calibers and styles of guns but if I was on a budget, wanted to practice often, could use 22LR and 22WMR, with a rifle not just a handgun... I would choose a lever action rifle in a Marlin, Winchester, Browning and even a Henry which I do not own a Henry but I have shot a few of my friends. Placement of shot and all of the other factors... I think that it would stop someone but I do not want to get into an argument.

Take care.


September 23, 2008, 01:19 PM
For a while I had a 20ga Mossberg setup that was relatively inexpensive, it came with a 26' vent rib barrel and an 18' rifle sighted one, for under $250. So basically it brings a little more to the table if there are hard times down the road and maybe you want to use your birdshot on some birds... Also, clays are still fun with a short barrel, but they're more fun the more often you hit them, and the more fun you have practicing, the more you'll practice. I'd have a look around for a kit setup with a couple of barrels.

September 23, 2008, 01:23 PM
It does NOT matter what we would want/be comfortable with. Its what YOUR brother is comfortable with. (normally what he had 13 yrs ago)
IF he used a Rem 870 THAT is what I would suggest (about same price as Moss on sale)
Of more importance IMO is get him some training, practice,planning. You don't HAVE to have extended tube. Put on a buttstock shell carrier.
Now it also depends where he lives/what he thinks MIGHT be threat. You really can't go wrong with shotgun tho.

September 23, 2008, 03:54 PM
Like you said, ONE MORE TIME! Get a used 12 gauge pump. Don't worry about extended capacity, home defense is almost never about going to war.
"Store" brands are even cheaper, yet are made the the big name companies. For instance, Mossberg has build guns for Sears, New Haven, Western Auto, and Western Field.

September 23, 2008, 06:34 PM
this should do the trick

Eric F
September 23, 2008, 06:55 PM
A hipoint is a great gun, reliable as can be:scrutiny: well I guess if there was nothing else, but I would go cap and ball first based on my fun experience.

What am I missing here? So many recomendations for a Maverick and Mossy 500's What happened to the ever reliable 870 express? I can still find them used here and there for $150.

And not disuadeing you at all but I got ADT installed and the first month for $150 too. It can only help..........

or buy this(heres to you Mr. 1 upper) its automated

September 23, 2008, 07:34 PM
JC Higgins Model 20 12 gauge pump shotgun, about $100 all over the place, pawn shops, Gunbroker, etc.

Travis McGee
September 23, 2008, 11:59 PM

September 24, 2008, 12:01 PM
Mossie.No, I'm pretty sure the OP's brother isn't a 5 year old. So I think it's ok to call it a Mossberg.

September 24, 2008, 12:08 PM
I know my name kinda says it all...but I would highly recommend a Norinco 982 12gauge:) They are a heavy duty copy of the Remington 870 and I picked mine up new (scratched up a little but new) for $120 at a gunshow. It holds 6 +1 is all black, short barrel, shoots great! I keep mine in the closet and my CZ-75b in 9mm by the bed:)

also, he need not necessarily practice with HD rounds...I picked up 5 rounds just to keep in my gun (00 buck, police issue, blah, blah, etc) for $4 when I bought my gun. I practice with the Federal rounds from Walmart.

Area 52
October 9, 2008, 01:55 AM
Yes you can own a handgun in California. It needs to be on the DOJ approved list of handguns, and you can only use 10 round or less magazines. I'm pretty sure face to face sales are illegal, so your bro would need to be 21 or older, but I have been wrong once or twice. There is a ten day waiting period on all firearms. I'm not 21 and I've never bought a pistol here, but I heard something about needing a permit to buy a handgun. Maybe somebody else from California could tell me if that's true.

Kind of Blued
October 9, 2008, 02:06 AM
The first thing that came to mind was the Maverick 88 as well... Mossberg 500 if that's still "cheap".

20" 8+1 capacity 12 gauge (

18" 5+1 capacity 12 gauge (

Both under $200.

October 9, 2008, 02:09 AM
Maverick 88 - it has treated me like a king
heat shield and side saddle not included.

October 9, 2008, 11:45 AM
The Maverick is even cheaper.

And made by Mossberg.

October 9, 2008, 12:08 PM
Kind of blue, Thanks for the helpful links!
I will fwd them his way.

I am looking to keep it under $200

how much was yours with that stock style?

October 9, 2008, 01:06 PM
it cost around $250, i paid a little bit more for it, but it came with the pistol grip, and i was desperate for a gun (it was my first time). the heat shield and side saddle cost a little over $20 each. Anyways stover, it is well worth it

October 10, 2008, 07:20 AM
If you need more than 3-6 rounds for HD you should Get the F%^& out

October 10, 2008, 07:55 AM
I'll join the pile up; Pump Shotgun. Sounds like the banking crisis... one dang pump shotgun holding up commerce for the rest of us. Get a dang pump shotgun.

October 10, 2008, 08:13 AM
Used Remington 870.

October 10, 2008, 08:14 AM
used 12 gauge. cheap, and extreemely effective. find one that is kind of ugly, but still functional. shorten the barrel to get rid of the choke. and keep it as a dedicated home defense weapon. you will not have to be a marksman to use it. that is why they call it a "scatter gun".

October 10, 2008, 01:30 PM
Aaron12 ...... Nice mature and well reasoned post....... Just go ahead and limit yourself Barney. (Ok I am joking there about the one bullet in pocket just couldn't resist)

If out in public and attacked it is commonly said if you need more then a rd or three you should (have already) been moving to cover/rifle/escape (and not in that order)
Home defense you do NOT have to lug a 9lb rifle and 3lbs of ammo day after day. You can set that 9lb shotgun next to bed and have some extra shells on sidesaddle,buttstock,sling,etc
Thing is running from my own home hits me wrong in so many ways. Mainly that I would (most likely) be endangering myself/family. In my house I can limit the number of areas that danger can come from (unless they run a dozer thru house) Outside the threat can come from anywhere. Including far away. Inside on second level I have many areas of cover (from handgun/pistol ammo) and at least concealment from rifle.

October 10, 2008, 01:53 PM
Glock. Its the cheapest gun I own and works well.

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