Friends want advice, help me out.


Guns and more
March 19, 2009, 11:25 PM
I have some friends in their 50's who want to buy a gun for home defense. She more than he. I've offered to take them to the range and let them try some of mine, and they're okay with that.
But for home defense, I feel like leading them to a 20ga. pump shotgun, short barrel, normal stock.
I've also suggested that they think of some kind of safe to keep the firearm in.
Kids are out, but visit every so often.
The wife likes the idea of a rifle or shotgun because she grew up around hunters in the family. I think they are not sold on pistols.
So, what do you think?

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March 19, 2009, 11:28 PM
I think a shotgun is just about as good as it gets for home defenst... 20 or 12 ga. would be more than enough to stop any would be "breaker inners" in their tracks...

just need a welcome mat that says granny is packing.. and I dont mean boxes.

March 19, 2009, 11:35 PM
A 20 semiauto is pretty much fool-proof, but if she has enough experience to not short stroke a pump that's a good way to go.

Defense Minister
March 19, 2009, 11:39 PM
Considering they aren't avid shooters, heavy recoil might be an issue. And, since mama is interested in a long gun, I'd say a pump or semi-auto 20 gauge would be a great choice.

March 19, 2009, 11:39 PM
Funny, I'm in the same boat as you. The problem I have, is that the wife wants only a .22 rifle. Trying to work on them, as they had a scary incident last year. Sure, I have offered to come over if need be to help, but how often is that a possibility?

20ga. shotgun is a great home defense weapon.

March 19, 2009, 11:42 PM
maybe a 20 ga. sxs coach gun?
Simple, reliable, classic.

March 19, 2009, 11:46 PM
How old are the kids? I would think that a safe for one low cost gun is total overkill. Hide the gun and get one of those silly cable locks if kids are a concern. The gun can be well secured with no safe.
I think the shotgun is an excellent choice and I second the 20 gauge.

March 19, 2009, 11:49 PM
.410 with slug or 0 or 00 buck shot doesn't have the recoil, but is lethal, light and easy to handle

March 19, 2009, 11:52 PM
An autoloader, and teach them how to clear jams. Spend a lot of time practicing that.

March 20, 2009, 12:53 AM
Remington 870 20 gauge. My brother has one, it's a joy to shoot!

March 20, 2009, 01:22 AM
A Judge with the 410 rounds...That's exactly what it's made for...


March 20, 2009, 01:37 AM
20ga. is a great choice . Consider the youth models as they already have a shorter barrel length and the shorter stock for this type usage is a good thing.

They handle like a carbine and have been my choice for years for a HD shotgun.

As far as that wife that only wants a .22 rifle - get it for her . Everybody needs a .22 rifle anyway, and I would sooner see her armed with that, than with nothing, or with something she has no experience with because she won't shoot it. Work on getting her up to something bigger later.

March 20, 2009, 08:08 AM
I have to side with most 20 gauge is the way to go. I keep a nice
side by side stage coach next to my night stand. It's short and even if
they get scared and miss the noise will get whom ever moving out.

March 20, 2009, 08:08 AM
Nobody every got fired for buying a good used Rem 870 or Moss 500 for HD.

Personally, I'd go with 12 over 20 ... the lighter 20 will kick just as much as the 12, and you can get a better range of ammo for the 12, including reduced recoil loads.

Shop carefully and they should be out no more than $250.

March 20, 2009, 09:08 AM
As previously mentioned, if going the shotgun route, go with a 12ga. If you can handle a 20ga., you can handle a 12ga.; especially with lighter loads.

I would go with a pump gun and stick with proven designs: Rem 870's, Mossberg 500's, Benelli Nova, etc.

For ammo, #00 Buck is the way to go.

You can get the 870's and 500's in HD configuration that include extended mag tubes. You can usually find them used as well.

The most important thing, regardless of what type of firearm they choose, is for them to be proficient with it's safe use.

Make sure they know all the basic rules of firearm safety and make sure they can reliably load and make safe the weapon. Two O'clock in the morning is no time to be fumbling around with a firearm.

March 20, 2009, 09:31 AM
.38 revolver.

March 20, 2009, 12:07 PM
20 Gauge Rem 870 or Moss 500 gets my vote.

Stirling XD
March 20, 2009, 12:48 PM
A pump shotgun is always a great option. A 20 gauge may not have the potency of a 12, but its still very effective. Makre sure they are aware that shotgun requires two hands to operate. It will be difficult to hold a flashlight and opperate a shotgun at the same time. If they're new to guns, just keep it simple. Good luck.

March 20, 2009, 02:10 PM
Saiga 12. =)

March 20, 2009, 03:23 PM
I think that your idea of taking them to the range and having them try out a number of firearms, both rifles and pistols, is an excellent one. Let them make up their own minds; ultimately, they are the only ones whose opinions matter.

That having been said, a shotgun is an excellent solution for home defense.

March 20, 2009, 11:21 PM
12 ga pump. but not 00 buck. fisrt two rounds out should be bird 7 or 8. after that- 4 buck. medium to no choke. 7 or 8 blinds and disorients allowing for third shot. if close enough range 7 or 8 kills. you're gonna have enough problems in a lot of states shooting someone in your house. if all you have for ammo is 00 buck the grand jury may indict. also with 7 or 8- if it goes through a wall the person in the next room most likely lives. 00 not so much. I believe in defending my home. I keep loaded guns throughout the house and every one in the house knows how to use them. I live in Texas and wouldn't expect too much trouble if I had to shoot someone in my home. Other states are not so forgiving. And no one knows what kind of people may end up on a grand jury.
Just things to think about.

March 21, 2009, 10:01 AM
Run #7 or #8 in front of #00 buck? In an HD shotgun? For home defense? NO WAY!! Maybe if I was BIRD HUNTING and wanted a mix of birdshot and #00 buck for coyotes, but not in my HD shotgun. #7 birdshot won't reliably bring down 4lb. pheasant at 20yds., let alone a 200# thug.

If an armed intruder is coming at me or my family with intent to kill, I want them stopped and down imediately, not "blinded".

Would a jury convict someone of manslaughter for using hollow points in their pistol instead of FMJ? Birdshot is for hunting birds. #00 buck is used for stopping threats. I will use what law enforcement and military use for shotgun ammo....#00 buck.

Ed Ames
March 21, 2009, 10:24 AM
How big is she? How active? His size/weight is probably less of a factor.

In a perfect world of tall strong women with the ability to laugh off a bruised shoulder the 12ga would be a no-brainer. This is not that perfect world. In this world many women are best served by a 20ga youth model semi-auto. They tend to be a pound or so lighter (very important with limited upper body strength) and still kick less (a LOT less when you get into higher performance slugs and buckshot).

If they go pump it might make sense to get one of the dual-barrel set-ups.

March 21, 2009, 10:34 AM
Agree - 20 ga or a Judge 410 if a handgun is preferable.

March 21, 2009, 10:38 AM
Why not this?

In all reality a .20 gauge pump is a good idea.

Even a .20 gauge side by side. Less complicated to load then a pump, and easier to know if it's loaded or not.


Jeff F
March 21, 2009, 10:59 AM
20 ga youth model is one of the best home defense weapons out there.

March 21, 2009, 11:24 AM
joefriday said,

12 ga pump. but not 00 buck. fisrt two rounds out should be bird 7 or 8. after that- 4 buck. medium to no choke. 7 or 8 blinds and disorients allowing for third shot. if close enough range 7 or 8 kills. you're gonna have enough problems in a lot of states shooting someone in your house.

I agree with your thinking on this, but I discovered long ago that if I advance that very practical notion, for some reason people jump all over me. As far as I'm concerned, it's just "orthodoxy," with no real basis in logic.

I think an ounce of birdshot at household ranges will punch one heck of a nasty hole and act like a highly frangible slug once it gets in there.

Try it on a 2X4 some day. You'll see.

And I'll go along with two ideas in this thread. (A) get her a .22 if that's what she wants, is familiar with, and can shoot it --leave the heavier artillery for later, and (B) a 20-gauge pump or double would also be a good starter --if you can get her to shoot it. Bear in mind that when you and I shoot shotguns, we are generally fully clothed and the clothing absorbs a lot of the recoil.

Try it in your PJs some day. You'll see.

Terry, 230RN

Aside: Aguila produces little itty-bitty short shotgun shells which are only 1 -3/8 inch long, which are kinda fun, have low recoil, and you can stuff something like eight or nine (I've forgotten how many fit in my 500) in a tubular magazine. However, sometimes modification to the elevator in the pump is necessary. Should the discussion come up, I would not recommend these for pumps or autos, but they might be OK in a double. I never tried that part of it. They are "cute-looking", though--TAT

March 21, 2009, 01:16 PM
I think a shotgun is just about as good as it gets for home defenst
...depending upon the configuration of your home.

I live in an apartment with narrow halls and a lot of stuff in it. A non-NFA long gun is pretty much worthless in here. It's virtually guaranteed to bump into or get hung up on stuff, and to not be easily used. I keep my long guns locked in the safe.

A long gun CAN be a good defensive tool. Don't assume without appropriate knowledge of the environment in which it'll be used that it WILL be.

Duke of Doubt
March 21, 2009, 01:19 PM
Smith & Wesson Model 10.

March 21, 2009, 04:17 PM
Or a .30 Carbine for the lady.

Easy handling, reasonably powerful for the situation, and..., fun, fun!

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