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Old 12-06-2010, 05:19 PM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 14,746,851 times
Reputation: 10227

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I've been browsing this forum, some very interesting and helpful discussion!

I live on a quiet, semi-rural dead-end street on a very large fenced lot. It is well-lit by the township, but quiet and I have no immediate neighbors. I am a single, small, middle-aged woman with three dogs; two large scary-looking ones, and one smaller noisy one. They are house dogs, they have the run of the property but are inside with me at night, or when I'm not home.

I do all the common-sense things like keep the house locked and secure, have porch light and back yard motion-detector floodlight, I know my neighbors (we watch out for each other.) One neighbor has a house key and will come over and let my dogs out if I have to work late.

However I live just north of one of the most high-crime cities in the country and recently there have been problems; crime has skyrocketed. One neighbor had his house broken into one night recently and stuff stolen. I figured, won't happen to me - the cowardly little thugs aren't going to even try, with the dogs inside. However, last week an elderly man who lives down the end of my road was sitting watching TV and was shot THROUGH HIS FRONT WINDOW. One bullet went through his cheek and took off part of his nose, another hit him in the arm. He bailed out the back door and ran to the neighbors who called the cops, they never found the guys, he didn't even see them.

So, suddenly, I am feeling vulnerable. If the little ****es are willing to fire multiple times through a window, the dogs aren't much of a deterrent. Plus I don't want them harmed. I went to a party and came home very late one night last week and felt really nervous...all I had was a can of (don't laugh) foaming wasp spray to defend myself with between my driveway and my front door. I refuse to ask friends of neighbors for an escort after dark, and refuse to feel vulnerable in my own home.

I have never fired a handgun. I have fired M16s in the Navy Reserves, ages ago, and an ex-boyfriend was a serious collector so I got to play with automatic weapons a lot on the range. But other than that I am clueless. I am thinking a 9 mm handgun? I don't want something wimpy...if God forbid I ever really need to point a firearm at a human being, I want it to be reliable and do damage. I also want to be able to carry it easily.

What's my best option? I'm going to call a couple of local ranges and find out about training and to see if they rent guns...I live in a restrictive state and have to jump through hoops to be legally armed (which is my intent.)

Recommendations? Browsing gun forums and online gun stores is a bit overwhelming.
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:26 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
1,569 posts, read 1,999,014 times
Reputation: 1617
j frame 38 special. simple and effective.
be sure to take a safty course!


http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/w...layErrorView_Y
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:33 PM
 
Location: central Indiana
220 posts, read 378,884 times
Reputation: 162
I've had a .38 for a while now. Simple; easy to use. Not likely to jam at the wrong moment.
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:01 PM
 
Location: FROM Dixie, but IN SoCal
3,491 posts, read 5,302,343 times
Reputation: 3737
The answer is not within us; it is within YOU.

So, let me turn the question around: With what firearm(s) do you feel the most comfortable (or least nervous)? Shooting accurately with a .22 is FAR better than spraying rounds all over the place with a .44 magnum (and missing your intended target with all of them...).

If you cannot as yet answer the question, perhaps your next stop should be a shooting range that rents out a variety of guns. Shoot several, find out your likes and don't-likes, and let these inform your decision.

Not a definitive answer, I know, but I suspect its the best one for you.

Regards,

-- Nighteyes
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:09 PM
 
792 posts, read 1,058,364 times
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if used strictly for home protection, the most effective weapon is a 12 gauge shotgun. No CCW classes and very effective from close range.....simply point and shoot.

If a handgun is your poison consider a Walther PPK 380...light, concealable and effective.
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:45 PM
 
Location: AZ
1,981 posts, read 3,068,657 times
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Handguns are not a 1 size fits all. You'll get plenty of input here but you'll really need to find a range that rents different calibers and types. A 9mm Glock will not fit the same in your hands as a S&W,Kimber or Colt. Personally I cannot stand the way Glocks feel or fit in my hands,to bulky for me. Many love them and wouldn't carry anything else.

Another thing you can do is go down to your local gun shop and check out the different makes and styles and see what feels better for you. I'd suggest looking at the 380,9mm and 38 calibers,you don't need anything bigger. The S&W 38 is a great revolver,less moving parts than a semi-auto and a great ccw. Ruger also makes a nice LCP 380 thats small enough to carry in your pocket or purse but still powerful enough to put someone down.

Also like nighteyes stated you're better off with a firearm you can CONTROL rather than a large caliber that you cannot hit the broad side of a barn with.4 head shots from a .22 are much better than 4 misses from a .45.

Take the NRA course and get your CCW then join a range and practice as much as you can. Most ranges have training classes there too for all levels and there's always someone there willing to help out outside of the classes.
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:50 PM
 
131 posts, read 82,465 times
Reputation: 70
Default 2 Guns Needed

Hi there Chiroptera!

I think that you will need 2 guns.

For home defense:

A Weatherby PA-459 TR Shotgun

This is a pump shotgun with a pistol grip. When would be thugs hear you pump it, there's no other sound quite like it for threatening. You might want to blast one in the air, just to scared them as you put the dogs on the chase!

Train your dogs not to go any further than a certain point when chasing. They should be able to stop and return upon command.

For personal defense:

Get a Beretta Tomcat .32 caliber semi-automatic pistol.

It's smaller and more concealable than the other handguns mentioned here so far. If your hands are small, you should be able to palm this handgun and still have it concealed.

It's perfect for walking at night and having it ready to go. Nobody will ever be the wiser. I know because I once saw a person do just that!

If you're at home and you feel threatened, immediately put your home self-defense coat on and grab your shotgun. Your HSDC should have your Beretta already in it, with an extra clip, filled to capacity, with one ready to place into the chamber . It should also have 4-5, 12 gauge shotgun shells, and a cell phone. Keep all your ammo in one pocket and the cell phone in the other. Also have a pen light in your HSDC.

Everyday, train your dogs to be aware of sounds both in and around your house.

Be Safe!

Take A firearms course so the you can learn to handle your guns safely!

Good Luck!

Last edited by Farrowlane; 12-06-2010 at 08:38 PM..
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:00 PM
 
29,988 posts, read 35,897,362 times
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PM sent.
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Old 12-07-2010, 06:06 AM
 
Location: SE Michigan
6,191 posts, read 14,746,851 times
Reputation: 10227
Very sound advice to "try before I buy"...I found a range about 20 miles away attached to a gun shop where I can rent and try different firearms. I'm going to try getting there this weekend. I absolutely plan on taking classes!

Small noisy dog is a JRT x cattle dog, who is no more than a great deterrent.
Also a large male black lab, who I am sure would be useless except as a visual deterrent.
Young Rottweiler from very impressive old working lines, I'm having his drive evaluated for Schutzhund sometime this month. From what I've seen so far in this pup he is high in fight/defensive and prey drive so when he matures will probably be a force to be reckoned with.

I train and compete with my dogs so they are all very well trained although quite honestly at this point they're just good watch dogs...they'll bark, then watch while someone ransacks the house LOL.

I like the idea of two firearms...a friend mentioned having a pump shotgun in the house and said she figured the racking sound is enough to send most people running. The criminals here are mostly teenagers who prey on helpless or elderly people...a 14 year old shot and killed a 73 year old woman in her home a few weeks ago. They are cowardly little thugs.

Thanks for the PM MOgal.
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Old 12-07-2010, 01:08 PM
 
2,014 posts, read 1,190,628 times
Reputation: 1920
Quote:
Originally Posted by chiroptera View Post
Very sound advice to "try before I buy"...I found a range about 20 miles away attached to a gun shop where I can rent and try different firearms. I'm going to try getting there this weekend. I absolutely plan on taking classes!

Small noisy dog is a JRT x cattle dog, who is no more than a great deterrent.
Also a large male black lab, who I am sure would be useless except as a visual deterrent.
Young Rottweiler from very impressive old working lines, I'm having his drive evaluated for Schutzhund sometime this month. From what I've seen so far in this pup he is high in fight/defensive and prey drive so when he matures will probably be a force to be reckoned with.

I train and compete with my dogs so they are all very well trained although quite honestly at this point they're just good watch dogs...they'll bark, then watch while someone ransacks the house LOL.

I like the idea of two firearms...a friend mentioned having a pump shotgun in the house and said she figured the racking sound is enough to send most people running. The criminals here are mostly teenagers who prey on helpless or elderly people...a 14 year old shot and killed a 73 year old woman in her home a few weeks ago. They are cowardly little thugs.

Thanks for the PM MOgal.
Find a pistol that feel good in your hand and points naturally. I wouldn't go with a caliber less than .38 or .380 and a 9mm or .38+p would be even better. My wife finally settled on a Ruger SR9 which she shoots well and is happy with the ergonomics. For the house a Remington 870 Youth model in 20 gauge will do everything you need to do and is easy to handle as well are being pretty low cost. No. 3 Buck is a very good load for home defense.
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