Need advice on what to buy for Home Defense

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A shotgun would be what I would go with. I would also go with a handgun when on checking the property. a handgun is much quicker to obtain then it would be for the shotgun unless it's pretty much next to you in the next seat.

I own a Mossberg 500AT with. It has a 28 BBL and it is heavy and has recoil. I added a LimbSaver to it and it does help a bit. I would get something with a shorter barrel tho. More in the 18 1/2 - 20 BBL.

Im only mentioning this one because I have personal experience with it. I also have a Mossberg 590. Has a 8+1 capacity. Light but heavier recoil should you need to use it. The barrel is '20. Good for HD if you ask me....

Go to a pawn shop or your LGS. Scan the used area. You can come up with a good shotgun for under $200 -/+. The Mossber 500AT only has a 4+1 or 5+1 cap. I can't say what type of ammo to use as I only use it to bust some clays.

You should also have enough money left over to get yourself a quality gun. Again, Check out the used section for that. I picked up a GP-100 for $285 in .357 Mag 3' BBL. But, There are plenty of autos to be looked for.

Another LGS of mine has a 6906 for $300. Its a S&W chambered in 9mm. Looks like a good gun for conceal with what seems a 11+1 cap. Bit bulky tho.

Just my $0.02
A good 12 g pump with low recoil 00. best choice I carry a ruger .45 p-90 or if you want small my wife has a kel-tec 380 (about $300.00) with hydra-shock I wanted a ruger lcp but it and the smith of the same size say not to usr +P ammo and with a 380 you need it and the kel-tec has a 9 round mag that fits a full size hand better. GET TRAINING with what ever you get for both of you. Just one more opnion. Good luck
You seem to be getting a lot of good information here from experienced people.

I think a shotgun is very good for defending a specified, limited area in which you will have ready access to it. Your situation, however, does not seem to be that. I would vote for a handgun....but with the caveat that you train or at least practice with it.

First and foremost, you are in FL, where you can obtain a concealed carry permit. That would be a good idea. Then, you would be able to carry a handgun with you outside your home, if you so desired....for any reason. You might need to go outside at night to investigate a noise or disturbance. You might feel the need to carry an arm when walking to and from your home and the car. A handgun opens up the possibilities.

With your budget and experience, you want an arm that is not expensive, but is 100% reliable and can carry a good payload of rounds. The Glock 19, which has already been mentioned is a good choice. However, for a new shooter, you may want something in a heavier, all metal frame, but also as reliable and carrying a good number of rounds. You could probably find a used SIG.

I had an old SIG 226 once. It was completely reliable and accurate. Interestingly enough, I found that when introducing people to shooting, especially women who had never fired a gun before, they loved the SIG. It was big enough and sturdy enough to give everyone who used it quite a big of confidence. The slightly smaller sig 228 can still be found at a very good price.

Anyway...just an opinion. I hope I have contributes to the discussion.


..I COULD outfit both of us with .45's and put the rest in a Moss (NOT ENTIRELY LIMITED TO 500 BUCKS) but will it be a waste of money if we transition to hobby/protection? Is there a middle road?

Middle Ground = Mossberg + Glock 19. Both used for $650 total. Then start saving for a second Glock. And you are done. Glocks tend to hold their value pretty well so you won't go wrong.
Since you have the office to protect AND you will be out and about on the typical golf cart doing odd jobs/maintenance - you might want to consider getting two guns - one for each application

this was my first thought as well. a shotgun would be great for home defense (if you are worried about recoil, 20ga would be a good option) but, imo the portability of a pistol is a big bonus. on a budget, the shotgun may be the best option, but my preference is for a good handgun and to keep it on you at all times.

I hesitate to ask this question but does any single individual on this site have the slightest respect for Hi point and their "very affordable" USA made equipment?

i dont own one personally and although they are butt ugly, i have rarely heard a bad thing about them as far as functionality and accuracy is concerned. if you are on a budget, this just may be a very good choice. remember, you can always upgrade later down the road, or you may find that you like it and have no need to upgrade.

Any thoughts on Kel Tec as well?

i would consider them to be of higher quality than hi point. they have many modles that are much smaller/thinner that will make constant carry more comfortable. i would suggest that you steer clear of the pocket-sized pistols like the p3at or the LCP. they are easy to carry, but much more difficult to shoot well and recoil can be rather harsh. i would recomend somethign more in the p11 pf9 size range. large enough to get a full grip on, but still not a fullsize.

also, dont get to hung-up on ammo/caliber selection. if you go for the shotgun, anything from no. 4 buck to OOO buck from a reputable manufacturer will be just fine. if you get a pistol, pick a quality hollow point from a namebrand manufacturer. hornady XTP, speer gold dot, federal HST or hydra-shoks, remmington golden saber, etc.. all good choices.
owners of the 608 have good things to say. Its inexpensive, 400-450. 8 rounds of 357aint bad. Its mobile and if you pick up a shotgun down the road you will be all set as far Home Defense goes.
My wife and I do the same thing, (manage rental properties), and we both are permitted to carry, and do. We also have shotguns and rifles. But HD is left to handguns and shotguns. We have had to also dispatch aggressive and dangerous animals.
Shotgun or handgun(s), what price range, pitfalls?
Any help is appreciated!

I'll err on the side of cost given your budgetary needs, but you could go a couple of routes.

  • Pro- Does pretty much anything you want it. Hunt foul, woodland animals, home defense.
  • Con- Tend to be heavier, cost a bit more to feed if you intend on using it to plink, practice, etc. Generally not recoil friendly
  • Notes - Believe it or not, shotguns come in flavors other than 12 gauge, which may improve handling and recoil tolerance.

  • Pros - Pistol caliber rifles that can hunt light game, serves as close/medium range defense. Lighter recoil, Higher capacity, Cheaper to feed on average.

  • Cons - More complex than a shotgun to operate, relies on pistol caliber.

  • Notes - Longer barrels = higher velocities, even utilizing a pistol caliber bullet.


A revolver. A lot of people here will have more knowledge than I on specific models so I'll leave that to them, but if you're looking for anything that you'll be fumbling around with at 2am, you want it to work when you pull the trigger. Even if the round fails to fire, you pull the trigger again. It will go bang without any complex clearing procedures.

  • Pros - Likely to go bang all day every day. Almost foolproof, see above.

  • Cons - Lower capacity, longer proficiency curve in order to hit stuff, shorter effective range. Cost of entry for a decent revolver approaches $400 minimum (above .38).

Hope that helps.
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It isn't my job as the resident manager to protect the property...
It is my job to protect the four of us

I have to commend you on understanding something that is extremely difficult for many people to accept.

Shooting someone is the second worst outcome of a violent encounter. When you pull the trigger (sometimes even from the moment you pull the gun) you are at the mercy of the opinions and decisions of others (police, District Attorney, jury members), and will have to defend your absolute necessity of taking that action.

The only thing worth such a risk, and all the negative consequences of taking a life, is the imminent death or serious grievous bodily harm of yourself or a loved one.

Kudos to you for understanding this BEFORE you even accepted the need to arm yourself.
A shotgun is great, but I would recommend a hand gun so that you can keep it with you, weather your watching tv, eating dinner, taking a shower, or sleeping.
The Smith and Wesson 5906 is a great bargain now. Ya should be able to pick one up for around $350
I agree with the people who suggest a two-pronged approach. You need a handgun AND either a rifle or a shotgun. Personally, I prefer an AK-47 to a shotgun. If you want to avoid the stigma of possessing an AK-47, then go with a Ruger Mini 14. The new ones really aren't too bad.
I agree with Sheepdog1968. A 12 gauge shotgun is potent felon-medicine, and the Remington 870 and Mossberg 500 are both very user-friendly, outrageously popular, and extremely reliable choices. Both shotguns have a plethora of accessories available, from 20" barrels, pistol grips, fore-grips, heat shields, etc. In addition, both platforms are available, new, for under $500 in a home-defense configuration.

I prefer the Mossberg 500, but I think the Remington 870 is more popular. I wouldn't steer my own mother in any direction but one of these two. Any dog living inside the house with you will be your best alarm system, but get a shotgun first.

Regarding a rifle (AK47 or other) - no offense to those who suggested it, but my 2 cents on it... the problem with a rifle for home defense is a stray bullet is very likely going to penetrate the sheetrock your walls are almost certainly made of, and will severely damage belongings/people in other parts of the house. Also, no rifle round will stop an intruder as quickly and effectively as a chest full of buckshot.
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Stoeger Coach Gun (double barrel, side by side), 12 gauge. I think they're around $350 new nowadays. Use the rest of the money on ammunition; light birdshot for practice, and buckshot for defense [and the occasional practice round to feel a full power load].

Simple to use, especially for new people to firearms, and it'll work for all realistic situations.
I can't believe that I hadn't thought of these earlier:

M1 Garand
I am very aware that it is old, but seriously, they aren't all that pricey and they are great for fighting and for fun.

This is a 9mm carbine. For less than $600, you can get one, a few mags, and a good stockpile of ammunition.
A good German Shepherd will cost 3 times your budget ($500) to buy and at least your budget to maintain per year. If you aren't a qualified dog trainer multiply all these numbers...
Buy a used Remington 870 Marine Magnum and practice with it and you are 95% good... but take it out and practice!
A good combat shotgun course will get you the rest of the way.
I know you said shotgun or pistol but....

I saw a few people mention Kel Tec as having many possibilities as far as a home defense weapon. One of my favorite guns i have is a Kel Tec sub2000 in .40 S&W, it takes glock 22 mags so if you ever got a glock 22 you could interchange mags and ammo could be shared. The 40 round is powerful and affordable and the kel tec sub2000 can be easily folded in half and stored out of reach of children. I would recommend looking into it Kel Tec has many accessories for it and it could be played with to suit your taste.I have a small rail on mine with a flashlight on it. Its also available in 9mm if .40 S&W isnt what your looking for. Other than that Mossberg has a new pump shotgun for home defense called the watchdog, it is a 12 gauge and come with a barrel mounted flashlight.

price for a new kel tec sub2000 in glock config is about 369.99 shipped on gunbroker right now.
There are lots of fine used weapons out there, especially well made ones like the 870 and 500. I would buy a used one for around $200 and use the rest on a pistol for the little lady. Let her choose it! I cant state that enough, because she has to have confidence in her ability to use and carry it. It doesnt have to be new either, most modern firearms will outlive us. Take her to a range that rents guns and let her try as many as your budget allows.
As to which guns I would agree with the Moss Mav 88 crowd, its practically the same shotgun and at $199 its the way to go.
You can get a used revolver for $300 of the Ruger GP 100 pretty much anywhere. I would also highly recommend a S&W mod 10 in .38 spec, although these are beginning to dry up but stick pretty well to the $250 price point.
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Sounds dumb but one of the first things I would buy is a very very good FLASHLIGHT. Identify your intruder before you take action you may regret.
Thanks whaler I have a 500 mil CP spotlight that is constantly charged. It's necessary for a nearly thousand unit property. We have absolutely NO family in this area and no person should ever be accessing our domicile without our knowledge.

GSDs can have health issues. For Orlando FL a Belgian Malnois would be a better choice. Mals can better deal with heat and humidity and its easier to find a good lines then with GSDs. You might to drive across the state to the Tampa area or find out how you can get Military Working Dogs who flunked out of training. You want bark and intimidation not bite work or Schutzhund unless you have the time to properely train the dog during its lifetime. Training for protection and security work never ends for either the dog or handler. two dogs would be a better option then one. Next look at your property and ID weak points from a security prospective and possible entry points. Also check out sight lines for hiding places. Look at your lightning on the property. Is it creating shadows at night where bad guys ahve the advantage? Does it light up your vulnerable areas. Before you get a dog or firearms you need to do some grunt work and eliminate problem areas and strengthen weak points. How reliable is your security system? Google it and see if there are any posting on the internet on how to defeat it. Make sure your communication lines and electrical wiring are protected and cant be cut.

For firearms again look at your property and where the threat will be coming from. Then read up on the advantages and disadvantages of each type of firearm. Pump shotguns sound great but a reliable semi auto maybe be a better option. ARs or AKs maybe overkill. A reliable semi auto handgun maybe your best option. Most important you and wife have to comfortable using whatever firearms you purchase and you ahve to train with them. In your situation going cheap or inexpensive may not be your best option for Operations and Physical Security.

Another resource maybe your customers are anytime in LE or security? They maybe able to give you some advice.
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