It's taken 10 years, but I've finally convinced the wife on home defense

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I also have problems with my hearing, and shooting without electronic muffs and ear plugs actually hurts. (yes, that includes sub-sonic CCI .22 short compitition target rounds) I like your suppressed idea, if you can afford it. Don't discount a suppressed pistol too. The suppressor will lower the recoil and flash, as well as the noise as well in a pistol as in a rifle.

As to a larger capacity pistol, maybe she might want to try a suppressed FN FiveseveN? Without a suppressor, the FiveseveN is a fire breathing dragon that is very loud, but if? there is a tactical version available that you can fix a suppressor to, that might make it acceptable. It is a high powered .22 (5.7X28) and really does not kick much at all, but you have the performance of a centerfire handgun with 30 round magizines available. If you cannot suppress a FiveseveN, forget it...way to loud.

Here in WA we could always own suppressors, but could not legally use them...until this year. So why did our antigun liberal female Democrat governor sign the bill that allows WA residents to actually use a suppressor? The LE community begged... your hearing is hard to replace. It was presented as a health issue, and it passed.

It is a health issue, now all we need to do is get the fed to acknowledge the same and remove that restrictive tax.
your wife doesn't have to like the shotty, just be familiar with its use as this would mainly be a HD gun.

I disagree with that. It should be something she's familiar with, but also likes to shoot because that's what she'll grab in the event that she needs it if she has an opportunity to get it. Liking the gun often translates into confidence with it. For HD I'd grab my sks before I'd get the 870 because I like the gun better, I've used it more, I'm more confident with it. Same with the OP's wife. She'll likely end up grabbing the .22 that she's confident with instead of a gun she's afraid of using, doesn't like, or can't use well.

That's why it's so important to pick a gun you're comfortable with. The principle applies to about every aspect of guns. If you're not comfortable with a certain carry gun, you're not going to carry it as much as one you're comfortable with. If you're not comfortable with and confident with a certain SD gun, you're less likely to deploy it in self defense in the event that you need it.
If she likes the gun, she is more likely to take it out, and that means more experience. Let's say she gets a gun she doesn't like. She takes a couple courses with it but that's where it ends. At that point it sits ready to go but she doesn't do anything for two years and when a bad guy does try and get in the house she is either not going to grab it and get something else (then what was point in the first place?) or she'll use it but be rusty with it and not nearly as effective as she could be. You say she likes a suppressed ar, that's your answer right there.
The bad thing about useing the 223 for Home-Defence is that it could go through the bad guy, and a bed room wall, to potentially hit someone in the other room.
zbird - with the right ammuntion a 5.56 is less likely to overpenetrate than a handgun round.
What about a Hi-Point carbine in 9mm? That sounds about perfect for what you are looking for and you could probably get for about $200. Also a Marlin Camp 9 or 45 would be pretty awesome also.
The bad thing about useing the 223 for Home-Defence is that it could go through the bad guy, and a bed room wall, to potentially hit someone in the other room.
Nah, it usually shatters inside the body due to the velocity upon impact.

Careful using a suppressor for HD. You still run the risk that if the shooting is declared a negligent homicide, and say the judge were to let you off on probation given the circumstances, the addition of the suppressor can invoke a 5 year mandatory sentence due to NFA laws (use of an NFA weapon in a crime). That really sucks because this is where the suppressor is needed the most.

My wife finally turned onto the idea too. Like yours, she only likes the .22's, but hey, who in their right mind doesn't like a .22? If you own nothing else, right? Anyway, she wants to go to a rental range and try some stuff out, in particular a carry piece. She isn't too keen on my collection, which leans toward large heavy handguns or small, light, high recoil ones.

As a last resort, the FN 5.7 is what we will go with --the .22 just doesn't cut it. The 5.7 is roughly equivalent at the muzzle (without me figuring) to a 5.56mm round fired from an M4 at about 600m. Trust me, it still cracks when it goes overhead. I'm not a fan of it, but if she can learn the Mozambique drill, it'll be okay.

For indoors, nothing beats the M4. The shotgun is more lethal at those ranges on a percentage basis, but I never know when I'll wake up with arthritis in the shoulder so the M4 is a better choice for me. Plus she can fire it just fine too, and she can use it as good as the 10/22 (her favorite). I'd steer clear of the .410. A 20ga. would be fine though, and I know of several folks that swear by them for HD.

If you go with the M4, keep it simple and ergonomic. Get a fine simple one (like a plain jane Colt) vs. a tacticool junker with lots of goodies.
What about a Hi-Point carbine in 9mm? That sounds about perfect for what you are looking for and you could probably get for about $200. Also a Marlin Camp 9 or 45 would be pretty awesome also.
Hi-Point still makes junk, right?

The Marlin camp rifle is okay, but I don't know about their reliability. Now one I forgot to mention is the 10/44. If she is familiar with the 10/22, it is just a little jump in recoil, but a huge jump in ballistics.

Now if the recoil is still unpleasant for some reason, just carefully drill a long deep hole into the stock and fill it with lead shot. The lead adds weight obviously, but also impedes energy transfer as the recoil passes through it. I had to use it on my first 12ga. when I was 8 or 9.
Personally i think people underestimate the penetrating capability of .223. If used for HD, i suggest a very light HP or SP round.

Another option is a 5.7 FN P90 or or FN 57 pistol. Light recoil with an effective round at close distance.
I also had a similar problem convincing my wife to be armed and learn how to defender herself. After getting some highly discounted Front Sight lesson certificates we both headed off to Nevada a couple of weeks ago and went through their 4 day defensive hand gun course. I also did the 2 day practical rifle course while I was there. I think you should look into one of the specials on their website that is ending (supposedly) this week. I know their advertising is over the top but the training was exceptional and very professional. You can rent different guns from them and she can decide which is best for her.
stay away from Pistol Grip Only shotguns...they are hard to shoot and aim and are just about useless

Hard to shoot - for most people, yes.

Hard to aim - for most people, probably.

Useless ???? NEVER refer to any gun as useless. Even a Jennings or Davis can kill. Better to say NOT a good choice for most people and definitely not a good choice with anyone that dislikes recoil.
We've been out playing with several different firearms the past couple of weeks.

She likes the feel of the Beretta 92fs that belongs to a buddy of mine.

I've still got a couple of other days scheduled for some of my buddies to come over with their arsenals for her to pick and choose from.

Hopefully, she'll find something she absolutely loves pretty quick.

The Beretta is here at the house for now loaded with CorBon 115gr. I'm hoping she decides to go with it, if she decides on it, my amigo said he'd sell it to us for 300.

So not a bad deal, but it's still completely up to her.
I have zero experience w/ ARs but I won't argue that in HD situations where a long gun is preferred, they can excel. A couple thoughts on why not to go NFA with one:

1. As stated in previous posts, legal issues can complicate things if it ever has to be used.
2. The addition of a suppressor adds length and weight - possibly to the point of diminishing returns.
3. The cost of the tax stamp and suppressor are significant - but it does seem possible within your stated budget.
4. Someone more knowledgeable may correct me here, but I believe that, unless you get a trust ($600 for one you can believe in) I *think* only she would be able to use it legally in any situation.
5. If you go for the suppressed SBR, now you have two tax stamps - and we're pushing the limits of your budget. (An integrally suppressed rifle is an option but you may pay more for this than the additional tax stamp.

I hope she likes the Beretta - its an excellent choice. If she has to have a should mounted platform, you may want to consider a pistol caliber carbine. (I happen to be biased toward the Marlin 1894;). Loaded w/ .38spls, there is almost no recoil and it's not that loud either - though others will have to tell you how it compares to a .223. Any of the carbines mentioned in previous posts will also suffice.

I have a 6" GP100 loaded w/ .38spls on my nightstand because of noise / flash / over penetration concerns in my particular situation and do not feel under gunned at all. It's also the first step up from the .22lr for any new shooters I have the pleasure to teach.
She likes the feel of the Beretta 92fs that belongs to a buddy of mine.

Framed against the earlier argument for lower decibels, the 92f seems to indicate there may be some wiggle room for calibers greater than .22lr.

The 92f has a raft of pros, most of which are well-known to all, and the recoil is mild, thanks to its size and heft. And the price seems right.

Good luck! Many prospective buyers would do well to be as thorough in their choice as you've been, so far.

What I did for the former Significant Other was a 5.7x28 FN PS90. It's light, compact, holds a lot of bullets and doesn't get off target when pressing the trigger as quickly as possible.

Getting a can wouldn't be a problem, but if I was going to do that I'd also SBR the durn thing.
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