Handgun for Home Defense


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jwalker497
February 26, 2009, 10:56 PM
I was thinking of a picking up a handgun to compliment my shotgun for home defense but don't know where to begin. In trying to narrow this search down to a few options, here are some of my parameters. Please let me know if there is a make/model that would meet my criteria - I am sure there are many.

1. Caliber - I'd prefer a 40 or a 45 at a minimum, not interested in 9mm for this purpose. So I am not sure which would be better for HD, a 40 vs 45. based on my research, I am leaning towards the .45 to avoid over penetration. PS - should the 50 be considered here? I know nothing about the 50ae
2. Capacity - I guess I would want as much capacity as possible since this will not be carried and weight/size is not an issue
3. Look/Design - I really don't have a bias towards one design over another, ie 1911. I like most pistols. However, I do like Stainless guns and would prefer this one to be stainless and/or polished - something shiny and cool!! Since this won't be carried weight is not an issue.
4. Reliability - Obviously since this scenario would include defending my home & family, reliablity is a top priority.
5. Cost effective - I don't want to sacrifice reliability or performance but I am also not willing to drop 1G on a pistol so I would prefer it to be $750 & under, preferably $600 & under, although I relize I might be strectching.
6. Other Factors? - I would consider adding any other considerations/features that I am missing and/or you think are important to add to my list.

Look fwd to hearing some reccomendations.
PICS WOULD BE A HUGE HELP!!!

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Hungry Seagull
February 26, 2009, 11:05 PM
M&P .45 cal that I picked up recently for about 630 retail.

http://www.freeimagehosting.net/image.php?90e95f30a8.jpg

I felt that the .45 was a common enough caliber that ammo isnt a problem.

Magazines hold 8 round each, I feed em 5 because I dont count higher than 5.

There is a rail and changeable grips in three sizes that may accomodate a trace laser or rail laser in future.

The gun felt good in my hand, your hands are going to be different.

It is a hammerless gun and will fire without magazine inside it it is explictily marked on one side.

I fired some rounds and consider myself the shakiest gun in the USA for medical reasons. My video has it putting a total of 8 hits out of 10 fired at two targets at 7 yards.

By the 10th shot I had a sort of a working image of sight and put one round between two other rounds in the paper cutting out a good section of it.

That was gratifying.

That is good enough for me.

Speer Lawman ammo first then straight to Gold Dot ammo for HD, but continue to use the lawman for range plinking.. call it.. .50 cents a shot.

Shotties are Moss 500 20 ga and Rem 870 12 gauge. Wife has a C2 Taser that also fires as a stun gun after she closes the distance to the attacker if the probes are not effective or miss.

We pretty much covered it all.

My closest second was a XM, but the shine and feel was a bit bigger than I liked and the Colt Combat Commander .45 was too old school for me with all that hammer/safety stuff hanging on it It was time to move forward into a brave future.

I dont regret the .45 I think it fires well and puts em within 6 inches more or less where I aim. That is good enough for me.

Shotguns are nice, but you are not always going to get to one in time.


Finally I testify that the M&P .45 hs a small peep hole in the gun just above the Chamber for you to determine if there is one loaded and ready to fire in the chamber. It has already saved me from serious injury as I went through the though process and human type holding gun close while wondering why the 4th trig pull didnt go. Turned out I didnt pull far enough and saw that there was still a unfired round in there.

When empty the gun locks open.

Cleaning is easy peasy. Took 5 minutes tops with a big brush, pads and some solvents and gunoil.

The shop had stacks of M&P 40's and all sold out so I was stuck sort of with the .45 However it is enough of a fun to shoot to make me want to go to range alot more just to shoot it.

walker944
February 26, 2009, 11:08 PM
I have several .45 ACP handguns. One I recently picked up is the Para P14-45 for $640 (used). As the name implies it's a .45 ACP that holds 14 rounds. The particular one I go is a stainless. It's built off the classic 1911 platform, with a few modernizations. The PXT in the name is for Para's power extractor, and the LDA stands for Light Double Action, which gives a nice smooth trigger feel to each fired round. I have taken it out twice in the last month since I bought it and really enjoyed shooting it. It's a full-sized handgun, which helps to absorb the recoil. I have no problem shooting .45s, and this one was a pleasure. The high round capacity makes it a very attractive home security advantage. Sorry, don't have any pics, but you can look on GunBroker or just Google it and you'll see what it looks like. Good luck with your search. You really should go to a local gun shop or gun show and just look at and hold a lot of guns and start to narrow down what feels right to you and meets your criteria. We can all give you a crap load of opinions, but it all boils down to what turns you on. :D

wrc376
February 26, 2009, 11:10 PM
lawyers like to spin "shiny guns" as man killers and the owner as a nut... if this is for home defense (chance it actually gets used as such) you will want at least a matte finish like brushed stainless get one with a lawyer safety- ie: stainless 80 series colt .45 or the like.

possum
February 26, 2009, 11:46 PM
caliber dosen't matter because all handguns suck regardless of caliber, and the only reason you should use the handgun in hd is to fight your way to the long gun that you should have been using in the first place.

i highly reccomend xd's, and glocks. i am not a fan of 1911's for hd.ccw etc, to me they are range guns, and that is the only time i shoot mine, just for fun and just because i have it. i don't carry or use it for anything else. this isn't becasue it can't perform it definetly can but the limited capacity, and manual safety are negatives in my book for a fighting gun. there are many great options, my hd gun is a sa xd service model with a weapon mounted light. has over 12,000rds and still going strong, highly reliable, and very accurate. 12+1 capacity.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a98/rollins_joshua/myholepuncher.jpg

GRIZ22
February 27, 2009, 01:00 AM
You may want to consider a revolver. If capacity is a big issue there are 7 & 8 round 357s around. A 110 or 125 jhp will probably penetrate less than that 40 or 45 you're considering. The higher velocity of the 357 will cause the bullet to upset and fragment reducing penetration. A N frame gun's weight will absorb plenty of recoil and if it's a HD gun size wouldn't be an issue. A revolver might not meet your looks or design criteria but the manual of arms is easy and might gain some points in the reliability field.

Just something to consider.

the only reason you should use the handgun in hd is to fight your way to the long gun that you should have been using in the first place

This sounds good but handguns are much easier to carry on a daily basis for most people. Most confrontations are usually over pretty quick so fighting your way to a long gun is not an issue. A long gun can be a serious detriment if that is what you're depending on. Ever try to use a long gun when you're sitting in a car? Or lying in bed? In close quarters?

I'll agree if you're going to a fight you should have a long gun over any handgun. Going to a fight is not SD or HD however.

benderx4
February 27, 2009, 09:02 AM
Okay, this may not be what you're looking for but it's what I use to protect my family (1 upstairs and 1 downstairs.)

It's above your budget, but it's being used to protect your family. For me, it was worth the extra bucks and I actually found the gun itself used on HKPro for $750.

IMHO, this gun is about as reliable, accurate, comfortable, and lethal as there is. 12+1 of potent 45acp JHP, adjustable sights, match trigger, and 120 lumens of blinding light. Out of ammo? Stab the BG with your flash surpressor, or gouge out his eyes.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3535/3314109414_abdd2f6f54.jpg?v=0

If you want something "shiny and polished", pick yourself one of these guys:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3569/3305088230_28858b1026.jpg?v=0

Two great guns, same caliber but two different purposes.

Travis Bickle
February 27, 2009, 09:22 AM
The obvious choice to me is a Ruger P in .40 S&W. They're tank tough, reliable as a Kalashnikov and very affordable. The major drawback of the Ruger P is that they're very bulky and difficult to conceal, but concealment isn't an issue in home defense situations.

sm
February 27, 2009, 12:27 PM
Dedicated medium frame .38spl revolver is my suggestion.
Especially a good used OLDer one.

-.38spl is a low pressure round, as is the 45ACP.
I don't do .40, and that .40 has a loud sharp crack when fired indoors.
Many students, chose .38spl, .44spl, 45ACP because they were low pressure, and the 9mm because they could afford to practice a lot, and therefore shot it well.

Bear in mind these students tried a variety of gun platforms and calibers.
The .40 was not popular at all with ladies, due to sharp recoil and many of the guys felt the same way.

Folks did Mr H's drill, 5 shots at 5 yard and the paper does not lie.
The same gun, and folks shot the 9mm better than the .40.



-With the monies saved on a good used K Frame, for instance, monies left over can go for lessons, and ammo in which to take lessons.

-Home gun, the chance exists you will go down. Now can another family member run the gun?
Could your neighbor?
If nothing else being able to keep tabs on BGs while first aid is given to you, and 911 is being called.

Just my thoughts...

David E
February 27, 2009, 12:40 PM
Folks did Mr H's drill, 5 shots at 5 yard and the paper does not lie.
The same gun, and folks shot the 9mm better than the .40.

Sorry, don't know Mr. H or his drill. Could you provide specifics, please?

Thanks !

.

D-Man
February 27, 2009, 12:55 PM
Caliber - Either .40S&W or .45ACP will work just fine (heck, I think 9MM is fine too). You'll need to find which gun works the best for you, and then determine what calibers you can get it in.

Capacity - in .45ACP you may be limited a bit by grip size. For example, the H&K USP45 sounds great, but you may find that the grip is too large for you to handle. Sticking with the H&K family, the new HK45 is easier to hold, though capacity is reduced to 10. The XD45 feels much slimmer with the higher capacity. Another good choice would be the M&P45 which 'only' holds 10. The .40S&W grip sizes usually aren't that bad for most people.

By the way, are you in a state limited to a certain amount of rounds in a magazine?

Look / Design: Looks should probably be at the bottom end of qualities you need (though I know where you are coming from). Design is important - do you want a safety? What kind of trigger do you like (DA/SA, Glock-like)?

Reliability - Huge factor. This is where a revolver becomes highly regarded, though I believe most semi-autos cared for properly would be OK.

Cost - For $750 you will be able to get something that has everything you want.

Recommendations - I'd have you take a look at the M&P45, XD45, Sig P220 (.45) and P226 (.40S&W). The Sig's might be at the limit of your price range new. The H&K45 is going to be a bit higher.

I'm not anti-Glock by any means, but believe that the M&P and XD are much more ergonomical.

W.E.G.
February 27, 2009, 12:57 PM
http://i227.photobucket.com/albums/dd7/rkba2da/pistol%20pics/Glock/kool_aidGlock.jpg

mbt2001
February 27, 2009, 01:35 PM
Glock foetee

broken
February 27, 2009, 03:36 PM
3rd generation s@w .40 or .45 many choices,fullsize compacts,built well,great deals,even tsw series.good luck.

Jed Carter
February 27, 2009, 04:12 PM
Personally, if my life depends on a pistol, it will be either a SIG 226 in .40S&W or an H&K USP Expert in .45 ACP. Add night sights for home defense, with Hornady TAP or XTP ammunition. If either combination fails, God wanted you dead.

Hungry Seagull
February 27, 2009, 04:14 PM
That's ok. If HE calls, you go with jubilant feet.

What is not ok is the trauma, screaming and other associated mortal messes associated with a death.

pogo2
February 27, 2009, 06:14 PM
I've used a variety of handguns over the years for home defense, but currently I use two S&W .357 magnum revolvers, one upstairs and one downstairs. They are a 686 and a 66, both with 2.5 inch barrels. Sometimes I will carry one while at home. I like these because:

1. They are very reliable and simple to operate, in case my wife has to use one.

2. They don't have safeties to think about when half asleep or stressed. Just pull the trigger.

3. I think 6 shots will be enough in 99% of cases.

4. The caliber has a good track record of stopping somebody.

5. They look very intimidating from the muzzle end, and might discourage somebody without having to fire.

6. A short barrel is harder for an attacker to grab.

7. No worries about having a semiauto slide pushed out of battery in a close quarters fight.

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o25/pogo2/SW686and6621.jpg

Jbabbler
February 27, 2009, 06:19 PM
I would get a 12ga BUT... Any of these will fit your HANDGUN needs nicely and give you plenty of money to buy ammo for practice.
These are all $349.00 each at http://www.centerfiresystems.com/allguns.aspx

http://www.centerfiresystems.com/ProductImages/handguns/AC-MAPP1MS-B.jpg
http://www.centerfiresystems.com/ProductImages/handguns/AC-MAPP1FS-B.jpg
http://www.centerfiresystems.com/ProductImages/handguns/AC-MAP1MS-B.jpg
http://www.centerfiresystems.com/ProductImages/handguns/AC-MAP1FS-B.jpg
http://www.centerfiresystems.com/productimages/handguns/SW99-B.jpg

rockheadd
February 27, 2009, 06:22 PM
For home defense I'd get the loudest, biggest and cheapest one you could find to distract the intruder on you way to your shotgun...
Sorry, I'm totally unqualified to answer this question....

Anna's Dad
February 27, 2009, 06:30 PM
I would highly recommend the Smith & Wession M&P 45. I actually own the 9mm, but I would have preferred the .45--it just didn't exist when I bought.

You should also consider the Ruger P345. It is well within your budget. I have owned one for years and it has been an excellent performer. It has its detractors, particularly becuase of some of its mag safety, but I've never had a problem.

I'm not a "cocked-and-locked" kind of guy so I'll let others recommend the 1911 platform. Also not a Glock fan, but I'm sure others will praise them as well.

There are really just so many choices out there.

You could probably get a used or CPO Sig 220. Sigs are fine guns. Even a used H&K USP in .45 would probably slip under your price restrictions.

If you know anyone near you, endeavor to try a few out before you buy.

Good luck.

Dr_2_B
February 27, 2009, 07:31 PM
Jwalker, I've gone with a Glock 21. But I recently made one modification. In stead of the 13-round magazines, I've upgraded to the 30-round magazines manufactured for use with the KRISS submachine gun you may have heard about (http://www.kriss-tdi.com/products/kriss-smg-45-acp.html)

Now be careful: The Scherer extended mags are readily available but you want to avoid those.

So with two of those, I now have a bedside gun with one reload and that provides 61 rounds of a potent 45 caliber in a reliable system.

bondmid003
February 27, 2009, 08:20 PM
HK USP, it comes in various calibers (mine's .40) and also comes in a Tactical version. The USP can be a bit pricey but you can't beat the quality of an HK

FMJMIKE
February 27, 2009, 10:12 PM
Get a Glock G-21 .45 ACP with night sites..................I did.........:D
http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e350/mbmphoto/G21A.jpg

sig228
February 27, 2009, 11:44 PM
Any decent quality plastic pistol will do. Most have high capacity magazines. As far as price and reliability, your best bang for the buck in your price range with sacrificing quality is either the S&W M&P or a Glock. Both can be found in .40 and .45 for around $500 and are extremely reliable. Glock trigger is better and smoother than the M&P, that's a given. Both come in compact sizes also in case you want to carry. Compact Glock accepts the high cap magazines, not sure about the M & P. Since $ is an object now, later get yourself a good quality laser from Crimson Trace, such as the LG-660 for the Smith or the LG-436 for the Glock.

Stay away from ANYTHING with a safety. When you are fumbling for your gun in a crisis situation, you want to point and shoot, not point and squeeze the trigger and have to start over again after you realize the safety is on. Safeties are great on cocked and locked single action carry guns that you have practiced and practiced with, not on your primary HD weapon.

Did I say Stay away from ANYTHING with a safety?

Good luck.

Justice5
February 28, 2009, 06:53 AM
I also like the idea of one without a manual safety. As mentioned above, less to think about when you hear your door kicked in, in the middle of the night in a dead sleep. I have mostly Glocks, and love them. Not nearly as accurate as my 1911's at the range, but I'm more comfortable with them. Point and shoot is all you have to think about to get it to go bang.

From all of the posts I've read recently, the XD's are sounding pretty dang awesome. I haven't shot one, but I hear nothing but good from them.

As far as caliber, I think more importantly in a handgun would be your choice of ammo. I'm no expert and I shoot what I'm issued, which are always hollowpoints. I'm happy with .45 cal. I guess the only problem there for shooting indoors, is lack of penetration (through walls and such) if you need it. Some of the actual experts on this site could give you recommendations on choice of ammo, any caliber that you choose. And most importantly, you are getting SOMETHING to protect you and your family!

moooose102
February 28, 2009, 07:09 AM
a 45 is a good choice, so is a 357 magnum with hollow points. either would do nicely. whatever you dicide on, you should at least think about a laser and / or a flashlight mounted to the gun. that way, you can see what you are shooting at, and the laser will tell you where you are going to hit. the last thing you want to be doing is walk around your house turning on lights. if you can rig it, and "instant on" switch for both the laser and flashlight would be a nice feature. and remember, walk around corners on the wide side, not the narrow side.

crebralfix
February 28, 2009, 08:38 AM
Just remember, pistols suck at terminal ballistics. Quality 9mm is just fine, as is 40 and 45 ACP. Choose the caliber that you can shoot fast and accurately. 40 S&W will be a bit snappier than 9mm and 45 ACP, so choosing the correct gun is important. I have noticed, that for me, the S&W M&P 40 and Springfield XDs are a bit easier on the joints and are easier to control under rapid fire. My Browning Hi-Power 40's were a handful, but not as bad as the Glock 22 and 23. The trick is to test fire at least 100 rounds through any guns you are considering.

Regarding the EXTERNAL safety issue: to each his own, but...keep in mind the points mentioned above.

In the panic of the moment, it's very, very possible to fumble the safety. A friend of mine is a 15k a year shooter and was dedicated to the 1911 platform. He fumbled his draw and failed to deactivate the safeties on the 1911 during a Tueller Drill (21' knife wielding maniac charging the shooter). That really threw him for a loop...and that's after a decade of practice. Now he's gone to "fantastic plastic".

Our ancestors knew something when they went to the double action revolver. You may find Ed McGivern's Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting useful in this respect. They had a very similar war of words in the '20's and '30's: single action versus double action revolver! McGivern's reasons for spurning the 1911 are interesting. Additionally, Fairbairn and Sykes in Shooting to Live recommend pinning the 1911's thumb safety...the resulting gun sounds a lot like the Springfield XD.

KaliS-Pugilist
February 28, 2009, 08:42 AM
the gun you are looking for is the FNP-45!!!

it carries 14 rounds in the mag +1 in the chamber...and comes standard with 3 mags!

this gun fits all the categories you outlined. give it a serious look. it can also be worn concealed using the proper holster. i carry mine in a blade-tech UCH.

perfect for the home or on your hip, this is the gun you are looking for without question. give it a serious look. i bought mine NIB for $575, stainless bi-tone version.

u can find a full review by jeff quinn here: http://www.gunblast.com/fnp45.htm

Leaky Waders
February 28, 2009, 10:04 AM
...you'll probably end up getting one eventually anyways. They are a classic revolver in .357 that can shoot .38's too.

Your family can practice with cowboy rounds until they become proficient at the gun.

There are no safeties to fumble with, the revolver can be shot in single action or double action.

If for some reason, it doesn't go bang, then you don't have to fumble with a magazine or stove pipe. Just pull the trigger again.

If you really want too, you could have a speedloader sitting next to it for 6 or 7 more rounds depending on the model.

Later, you can buy a 617 or k-22 and have the same frame in .22 for plinking, practice, hunting at a fraction of the cost.

Auotmatics are fun...I own several and favor the 1911 - regardless of what an above poster said - a reliable platform that has proven itself through 2 world wars and many other conflicts...but, the manual at arms for ANY auto is intimidating for an infrequent shooting spouse, son, daughter etc. Many times, just changing, loading a magazine starts a 5 minute conversation.

Hungry Seagull
February 28, 2009, 10:09 AM
All good guns go bang when pull trigger. It's best to get a gun that is as idiot proof as possible. Im not saying my spouse is a idiot, far from it. But if she is alone and there is either the taser or pistol, bang, done. Not too many things to worry about.

I love the shotguns and the cycling, checking safety, loading etc. But the auto reload is quite fast and fun on a auto pistol. That only works as fast as you can pull trigger (To a point.) Best to pull all the way back; hold, ride the recoil then pull again after the weapon settles back down.

Jbabbler
February 28, 2009, 12:23 PM
Did I say Stay away from ANYTHING with a safety?

I must respectfully disagree. While this may be sound advice for you, I don't think that this is true for everyone. I prefer a gun with a well-designed and easy to use safety. My Steyr M40 has a safety that is disengaged by lifting up on your finger in the trigger guard. Until this gun, I felt the same way but the Steyr changed my mind. I feel much more confident when carrying IWB with the safety on.

As long as you practice with what you carry with the gun in the condition you will carry it in then a WELL DESIGNED safety can be an excellent option.

searcher451
February 28, 2009, 01:05 PM
I have a 9mm, a .380, and a .25 in close proximity, hidden but easy to get to in an emergency. I also have a 12-gauge handy as well. Doesn't everybody?

Deanimator
February 28, 2009, 02:46 PM
Carefully examine your environment.

My home pretty much makes a long gun worthless. It's guaranteed to bang on or get hung up in things. There's no maneuver room AT ALL. Your home might be entirely different.

As far as handguns go, consider your own level of skill. Do you shoot a lot? Have you shot a lot in the past? Have you had training?

I've got a variety of semi-auto handguns for defense, but I've been shooting since the 1970s, and shooting a lot. Glocks are simple, but like the C programming language, they will do whatever you tell them to, no matter how stupid. Trigger discipline is critical with any firearm. It's doubly so with a Glock type gun. Pull the trigger and it's going off. If that bothers you, you might want to consider the Springfield XD series. They have a grip safety like an M1911.

No matter what you get, learn how to use it without fumbling. Learn how to clear stoppages.

If you need it, get training.

And have a simple plan for how to deal with trouble. It's easier to remember a simple plan under stress than it is to think one up cold.

sm
February 28, 2009, 04:32 PM
Preface:
I do not recommend folks buy a gun, until they have actually tried a variety of gun to see what fits them.

Private places were I have assisted new shooters, including CCW we felt very strong about gun fit to shooter.
Very strong about gun fit to shooter for tasks and environment.
Yes, one might say we were old school, then again we are right.

Guns? WE had guns.
We started all new folks on .22 revolvers, then went to dedicated .38spl. revolvers.
Then we did .22 semi-auto pistols, and then went to 9mm semi auto.

We feel learning to shoot a revolver in double action, teaches and instills so much of the correct basic fundamentals , which will transition to semi auto.

Gun fit is important! Correct basic fundamentals are important.
Shooting a gun differs from just handling one to see if it fits.
Doing anything when one is Halt, Angry, Lonely, Tired , such as driving a car, or shooting a gun impairs ones ability to do well.
Simply put, add any stress to one's life and they will not perform at their best physically or mentally.
Motor skills erode, the brain gets fuzzy...

Guns?
i.e. Ten Model 10s just alike, except the stocks were different. The same darn gun, shooting the same load and the students actually shot these guns and found out for themselves how important gun fit is.
While they thought those stocks were "pretty", the gun fit was not right and they did not shoot the gun well.
While some guys thought those stocks were "bad-boys", they could not hit the the broad side of a barn standing in it.

Reality is Real.

So the students shot a variety of guns, choosing platform and calibers, and narrowed down selections.

Drill.

Take a piece of typing /printing paper, and fold in half, then fold again (1/4 sheet), and put a dot in the center.

At 5 yards, place this target.

5 rounds only.

From concealment is best, still low ready works. At the buzzer aquire target and shoot 5 rds "quickly".

The paper does not lie.
It will reveal what platform, in what caliber, with what ammo a student shoots best.

i.e. Hands down, most will shoot 185 gr Win STHP in 45ACP out of a 1911 more quickly and effectively than a 230 gr load.
Ditto for standard pressure 158 gr .38spl LSWC, and for sure standard pressure 148 wad cutters.

This drill not only works for new shooters, it also works for those with arthritis, or recovering from surgery.

While one might have shot extremely well a Model 19 using .357 loads as a Cop, add age, and Arthritis and that same cop shooting this drill realizes he needs to back down to 38spl load.
The paper does not lie.

Drill.

WE added to this.
You see my concern has always been entering or exiting a structure and answering the door.

Now honestly, we do not like Buzzers, or timers. Just sometimes "time" is a useful tool in assisting others.

We set up things such as answering the door, and the door was "shoved into" the person answering them and the 5 shots at 5 yards was done.

There is no Buzzer in the Real world. We might signal the "start" with a gun shot, or glass breaking.

i.e. Set it up where a lady is at the front door, with door chain and all of a sudden the shattering of glass to replicated BG #2 breaking the back kitchen door glass...and add a child screaming, crying "Mommie!".
Then BG 1 taking advantage of his accomplish breaking glass to distract, confuse, scare...exerts pressure and that door chain does not hold.

Gun fit, correct basic fundamentals are that important. Because students found out adding some "stress" really does affect how one shoots.

We did things like having folks shoot this drill while lying on the sofa, kicked back in a recliner, standing at the kitchen sink...
Why?
Simple. Kids don't mean to, still they might run out and leave the door open, or answer the door.
A Spouse might get surprised to find Spouse , teenagers, or kids were caught off guard in the driveway, or carport.

Lying in bed, under linens, we replicated that too.

We started with simple, to build a foundation. It is that important to have correct basic fundamentals and is best to have a gun that fits the user.

Investigate & Verify.

Oh, after the "new" wore off so to speak. Students rarely shot a target face on.
Targets were angled, or 3 D, even moving.
In the real world there is no PACT Timer with a buzzer and it is rare a target is going to be flat, face on, and stationary.

We did not want our students to be programmed shooters.

Home Defense...define your home and defense.
One older gentleman practiced from shooting in bed and being in a recliner.
He was going to have hip surgery and wanted to have some Mindset and Skillsets ingrained before he had that surgery.

He chose a Model 10 snub nose revolver with standard pressure 158 gr LSWC.

Same gun and loads he had been carrying concealed , still he wanted to investigate and verify this was still the best gun for him, with the surgery coming up.

We also fixed him up with a Youth, single shot, 20 ga shotgun.
He went through drills with this too.

His wife uses a Model 10 snub nose as well, just her HD shotgun is an 1100 in 20 ga.
She shot skeet back in the day, and knows that shotgun very very well.

rebobo2
March 1, 2009, 01:17 AM
Greetings All:

Just joined in here and appreciate the answers to the OP's question. A special thanks to SM for his very helpful summary of effective armed defensive training. Your brief posting is excellent, and I will pass it on to those folks I run into seeking information on real-world self-defense.

Best,

Steve A.

Kind of Blued
March 1, 2009, 01:45 AM
It may not be for you, but here's one I like a lot for this setting:

Smith & Wesson Model 327 TRR8 with Corbon DPX 110gr. .38 Special +P.

Eight rounds is plenty to either end the situation, or give you enough time to get to a proper long gun. That load has admirable velocity, a great bullet, and isn't likely to over-penetrate. It's also low-pressure, so you won't be deaf once it's over. You've got a rail to dangle a light/laser, which I think is important for home defense. The icing on the cake is that it's a revolver, and personally, I trust a revolver more than an autoloader. Period.

kilo729
March 1, 2009, 02:26 AM
caliber dosen't matter because all handguns suck regardless of caliber, and the only reason you should use the handgun in hd is to fight your way to the long gun that you should have been using in the first place.
Give this man a medal! 9 is fine guys, 9 is fine.

That being said, can't go wrong with a glock or XD/XDm!

kilo729
March 1, 2009, 02:56 AM
Late Double Tap, my apologies.

sohcgt2
March 1, 2009, 09:43 AM
Based on your specifications I think a Glock G21, full size frame, 13rd +1capacity .45 acp, ultra reliable, $600.00 range w/tritium sights, Unfortunately not shiny/cool just an ugly ol black gun.

punkndisorderly
March 1, 2009, 01:17 PM
Handgun for Home Defense

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I was thinking of a picking up a handgun to compliment my shotgun for home defense but don't know where to begin. In trying to narrow this search down to a few options, here are some of my parameters. Please let me know if there is a make/model that would meet my criteria - I am sure there are many.

1. Caliber - I'd prefer a 40 or a 45 at a minimum, not interested in 9mm for this purpose. So I am not sure which would be better for HD, a 40 vs 45. based on my research, I am leaning towards the .45 to avoid over penetration. PS - should the 50 be considered here? I know nothing about the 50ae
2. Capacity - I guess I would want as much capacity as possible since this will not be carried and weight/size is not an issue
3. Look/Design - I really don't have a bias towards one design over another, ie 1911. I like most pistols. However, I do like Stainless guns and would prefer this one to be stainless and/or polished - something shiny and cool!! Since this won't be carried weight is not an issue.
4. Reliability - Obviously since this scenario would include defending my home & family, reliablity is a top priority.
5. Cost effective - I don't want to sacrifice reliability or performance but I am also not willing to drop 1G on a pistol so I would prefer it to be $750 & under, preferably $600 & under, although I relize I might be strectching.
6. Other Factors? - I would consider adding any other considerations/features that I am missing and/or you think are important to add to my list.

Look fwd to hearing some reccomendations.
PICS WOULD BE A HUGE HELP!!!

Just my opinion, but I think you're going about this a little backwards. There are an amazing number of good pistols out there. The best way of finding out which one for you is to actually go out and try as many as possible. Try to find a range that will let you rent or a range buddy/instructor that will let you run some of their guns. That should give you a fair idea of what you can handle in terms of caliber and what you want in terms of size, action, features, etc.

I'd look heavily at the Glock, M&P, and XD. Take the $400 you'd save over buying a more expensive gun and spend it on training and ammo. There are very few guns out there that won't shoot better than 95% of shooters are capable of shooting and almost all will deliver totally sufficient accuracy for any self defense situation that's likely to come up. I've seen proficient shooters with inexpensive firearms totally outshoot people with top of the line custom firarms costing 2 or 4 times as much. The difference, practice and experience. Money also doesn't always get your reliability either. The pistols I mentioned above all have a reputation for reliability even when not diligently maintained. On the flip side, I've seen $1,000 and up firearms that wouldn't go through a magazine without stoppages.

As far as caliber, get the biggest major caliber you can handle well. That is going to depend a lot on you. A .45 that you can't shoot quickly and accuratly is a poorer choice than a 9mm that you are competent and accurate with. I've seen more than a few people out there shooting too much gun for them. Pretty much everyone that's able bodied CAN learn to shoot a .45. However, many are not willing TO learn to shoot a .45 well. If you're married and have a family, you might also consider what caliber THEY are able to shoot since a defensive situation may happen when you are not around.

Also, consier the increase in recoil you are going to get when you're using hot defensive rounds. That .45 stoked with light kicking target rounds may be perfectly acceptable, but loaded with 230 grain +P Hollowpoints may be enough to push you past your comfort zone. My tame 9mm Glock 26 turns into a much harder to handle gun once I stoke it with Speer Gold Dot 124gr +p's as opposed to 115gr range fodder.


Another bit of advice, invest in a .22lr similar to your pistol or a conversion kit for your pistol. In my experience, the guys who run a brick of .22 every couple of weeks in addition to some centerfire trigger time shoot much better than the guys who shoot their 50 rounds a month of .45 and then pack it in. A .22 will allow you to practice more and also has a side benefit of making it less likely to develop bad habits like flinching and anticipation of recoil. Another benefit is that it's a perfect gun for breaking in new shooters. Taking buddies out for some informal plinking is a much easier way to get "range buddies" than handing them a gun that's intimidating or uncomfortable to shoot.

I have a light/laser combo on my house gun. One thing to consider about a mounted light though is that you have to point the gun at a target to identify it. If you live alone, you can be pretty assured that anything you point your light at at 2AM is going to be a threat. However, if you share the house with others, the possibility of that "intrudor" ending up being little Johnny getting a glass of milk or Little Jane coming in late from a date. I don't like the idea of pointing a gun at them to determine they are or aren't a threat. I live with my wife who sleeps next to me, so anyone I'm pointing my light at is going to be a threat.

Hungry Seagull
March 1, 2009, 01:23 PM
I have bad eyes but keep that laser dot down to center mass away from the eyes, It could be my spouse forgetting to challenge me or remember the counter late at night while at the fridge for a hydrate or snack.

If Im with the spouse at night, anything moving inside the house is fair game. That Laser lights up the immediate area in a sort of soft green light enough to make facial recognize at 20 feet or less. If it is a intruder, I hit em with the strobe and sprout words such as HALT! while spouse swings into her 911/alamo drill and getting armed also.

Mister V
March 3, 2009, 05:51 AM
A lot of more knowledgeable people than I have given a lot of good advice but I would add a few motre things to think about. Depending on your state's laws I'd suggest thinking about things like the construction of your home and how it's positioned in relation to your neighbors, where other people live in the house and where any bullet you fire, that misses, will end up. In other words will that 40 or 45, regardless of whether you hit the intruder, go on to penetrate interior walls into your child's bedroom? It's a serious consideration.

In my state (Virginia) if I fire a bullet I am responsible for what that bullet does. The odds of me firing a bullet that goes through 8 or 10 layers of drywall and the exterior siding, missing all the studs before winding up in or on something on my neighbor's property may be slim, but I know how bad my luck can be. And even if that doesn't happen the bullet could still penetrate some of the walls and the plumbing, causing a flood, or slice through the wiring to cause a fire. All this means my HD gun has changed from a Beretta 9 to a short barrelled Mossberg 12 gauge. It's effective and easy to maneuver if needed.

sohcgt2
March 3, 2009, 09:54 AM
Mister V is right on the mark, a short HD shotgun with #4 shot will be unlikely to penetrate a 3rd layer of drywall and Dick Chaney's buddy will tell you it will rearrange your schedule.

ZO6Vettever
March 3, 2009, 11:12 AM
The Sigma works for me, a 40 runs under $350. Reliable, hi cap and born in the USA.

CoRoMo
March 3, 2009, 01:00 PM
+1 on the XD!!!

My 12ga. and AR15 are supplemented by an XD45 5" Tactical model that I got for $499 out the door. Holds and reliably eats 13+1 of whatever I feel like feeding it.

black bear
March 8, 2009, 12:05 PM
ABOUT THE LASER



I will NOT be without one.

I have a laser grip on my .45, it is my primary home defense gun, together with a Borealis 1050 lumens flashlight.

After the alarm sound...
My tactic is to get to the bedroom door and from there control the passage way and the living room, with the body protected by the frame and with only my half face exposed, one hand holding the pistol and the other hand the Borealis flashlight.

With a laser is not need to line up your face with the pistol, no tunnel vision, no exposing body parts to get into a shooting position.
If you are going to have a gunfight, this is the best way!

This, for me is the most valuable feature of the laser.

The flashlight with the 1050 lumens (two millions candlepower) will cook the eyes of an intruder.

Colt .45 with laser grips and the Borealis 1050 lumens flashlight.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v111/blackbear11784/govtlaser.jpg

Cheers
Black Bear

Wesson Smith
March 8, 2009, 06:24 PM
I'll toss in a vote for the Glock 21. I keep one by the bedside, with a Glock Line laser on the rail. My home defense ammo of choice is Glaser Pow'RBall.

357sigRog
March 8, 2009, 10:59 PM
Glock 357sig with 125gr gold dot hollow points or 125gr Rem. golden sabers.

iyn
March 9, 2009, 06:14 AM
I'm a 1911 guy that has a sw 625 in my bedroom.

TurboJeff
March 10, 2009, 05:21 AM
I have a Glock 21sf with a TLR-1 weapon light.

In addition, I have a variety of revolvers and pistols in various places.

Sapper771
March 11, 2009, 08:55 AM
Glock 21 SF with night sights and two arrendondo +4 magazine extensions. I would add a Streamlight TLR-1.

Then you would have a 45 calibers pistol with a 17+1 mag capacity, night sights, and a flashlight already attached to it. I dont recommend, nor train, the use of a weapon mounted light (but there are exceptions), but it is there for you if you need to take it off the pistol and use it as a standard flashlight.
Good Luck.

Hungry Seagull
March 11, 2009, 09:26 AM
Frank Drebin, After careful thought I think your point is a good one about Safetys on handguns.

Just One Shot
March 11, 2009, 10:49 AM
Dependable, accurate, plenty of rounds and the passive safeties in the trigger and the grip means you can be on target and firing before they realize you mean business. ;)

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