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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everybody.

I am researching the best, budget home defense firearm for my situation.


I own a two-story house with a basement and a two-car garage. There are entrances at the front and rear of the house, at the basement, and through the garage. Bedrooms are upstairs, electronics downstairs.

I have never owned a gun, but at ranges I have fired revolvers, semi-automatic pistols, semi- and full-auto rifles, & 12g and 20g shotguns. I did pretty well shooting clays with a 20g, and my favorite all-around has been the Baretta Cx4 Storm - super easy to fire, lightweight, & comfortable to hold.

Anyway, I believe a shotgun will be best suited for my purpose, but I am a little overwhelmed by the varieties available.

I am looking for a pump-action with shoulder-stock & pistol grip and at least two rails (I think?), and I would like to keep it under $500.00.

Here are some questions I'm having:
  1. 12g vs. 20g - will the added stopping power of a 12g be worth the added encumbrance relative to a 20g, if I am only interested in targeting invading humans within a confined space? Is there a distance-to-target threshold that I should consider (maximum possible shot distance would be about 200 feet, across several open rooms)
  2. Barrel length - shorter barrels are more maneuverable and weigh less, but do they have less stopping power?
  3. Ammunition - I am not planning on firing off too many rounds, so I can spring for a higher-end box here, but what specifically should I be looking for? I've heard that buck-shot is less likely to go through walls and hit the people and things I'm trying to protect, but other than "buck-shot", I have no idea what I need...
  4. Lights/lasers - a laser will help me aim, a light will help me see - but don't they make me more exposed at the same time?
Any tips or advise greatly appreciated!
 

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Get a dog. Their the best early wading system ever devised. A Labrador will do nicely and you never have to worry about them being mean because they’re just too nice but will bark and sound real big. Next a 20ga pump would be fine. I bought on for about $125 including shipping. It’s a cheap fed arm from Turkey but it shoots great. Hold 7 rounds and has a 18” barrel with a pistol grip. Get some #4 shot and pull be fine. Lights? Eh not important. The batteries will be dead when you want to turn them on.
C5978271-2595-41CD-A640-9A80D65766ED.jpeg Auction on gunbroker.com.
 

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Live Free
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Personally, I am not one to prefer a shotgun as first line of defense, but only because of their size making them potentially awkward for me. However, the shotgun makes a fine home defense weapon in that it enables a little better potential to get hits on the intruder with a shot pattern than a single bullet (but that pattern is not that big at the close ranges inside a home) and using shot (no slugs) over penetration is minimized and thus safer for your family.

A 12 or 20 gauge would work fine either way IMO.
Within reason, a shorter barrel makes the gun more maneuverable in close quarters...still adequate stopper.
Regarding ammo, I would stick with probably #6 shot to give a nice pattern and reduce possibility of over penetrating a wall and injuring a loved one. Maximum I would go would be #4.
Lights and lasers give you too many things to worry about, and possibly fail with dead batteries. You know your house better that the intruder, use that to your tactical advantage. I always keep a flashlight handy, but not weapon mounted.

Obviously these are just my thoughts, others here may have better insight; lots of good folks here.

Welcome to NGF!
 

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Here are some questions I'm having:

  1. 12g vs. 20g - will the added stopping power of a 12g be worth the added encumbrance relative to a 20g, if I am only interested in targeting invading humans within a confined space? Is there a distance-to-target threshold that I should consider (maximum possible shot distance would be about 200 feet, across several open rooms)
  2. Barrel length - shorter barrels are more maneuverable and weigh less, but do they have less stopping power?
  3. Ammunition - I am not planning on firing off too many rounds, so I can spring for a higher-end box here, but what specifically should I be looking for? I've heard that buck-shot is less likely to go through walls and hit the people and things I'm trying to protect, but other than "buck-shot", I have no idea what I need...
  4. Lights/lasers - a laser will help me aim, a light will help me see - but don't they make me more exposed at the same time?
1 - either will work at HD distances, however there is a much better and readily available of 12 gauge ammo. 200 feet? You really have almost 70 YARDS of line of sight distance in your house? For a mansion that size, hiring armed guards would be easier - seriously, determine your TRUE distance; most homes are more like 20-40 feet in a straight line max
2 - barrel length has NOTHING to do with stopping power; whatever "stopping power" is.
3 - any flavor of buck works, many prefer the greater pellet count in #1 buck over 0 or 00
4 - Yes, both make you a target; you do not need a laser to aim, you need PRACTICE, and preferably some lesson on how to run your gun

Home defense is a LOT more than "getting a gun"
You start with exterior perimeters - dogs, motion sensor lighting, audio/video surveillance; thorny bushes under every possible window that could be breached, things like pea gravel walk paths around your home close to the building (try walking quietly on that stuff)
Then you move onto the building itself with better/multiple locks, replace sliding glass doors with actual doors that can't be lifted off the tracks, really good locks from the garage into the house and from the basement to the main floor; security systems inside (dogs are still the best) design modify a place as a panic room especially if you have little kids and PRACTICE like a fire drill so they know what to do when half asleep.

I have enough ambient lighting from outside street lights and motion-sensor night lights and the "voltage vampires" (LED lights on appliances, etc.) that I do not need a light on my shotgun.
Mine is a very basic Mossberg 500 with a side saddle - add too much crap on the barrel and gun becomes VERY muzzle heavy and is not as easy to swing and move on target

Good luck
 

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Why a pump? That sound is recognizable and gives away your position as well as the light.
 

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Ancient Gaseous Emanation
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Greetings and Salutations

What shotgun do the police in your area carry? Get one of them. No lights. No lazers. No pistol grip. No bayonet lug. No automatic transmission. No tow bar. No audio. No video. This is a firearm to be used for serious business. Geegaws and doodads get in the way and reduce the firearm's efficiency. Eschew them.

LEOs in my area carry a Remington 870 with an 18" barrel. One sits beside my bed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thank you all for the welcomes and replies.


Preliminary Defenses


I have a couple smaller dogs. One of them has a loud bark but neither would attack unless the intruder walked right up to one and stuck a hand in its mouth.

I really like the spiky bush defense idea, and I'm going to try to clone some of my holly bushes this week.

Perimeter pea gravel and interior A/V may be a little expensive for my situation, and of course they won't deter a determined intruder.

My attitude towards locks is that they are only as strong as the door frame. All doors are already dead-bolted, and I have no sliding/glass doors.

I started looking up some interior motion sensor lights, but then I realized that they could end up compromising me more than helping me, depending on the situation.

The 200 foot estimate is an eyeball, but it's probably pretty close to that. The ground floor is an open layout with practically no walls separating the rooms.


The Shotgun

Ease of use is the reason why I'm thinking 20 gauge & pistol grip. I'd also like a vertical fore-grip and a ghost ring sight. I'm not trying to be extra with it, I'm trying to account for pucker and inexpert use - I can't put up a sign saying "don't invade until I've had some more time to practice".

Why pump? First, I'm reading that semi's have jamming problems, especially at my budget. Second, I consider the cocking noise to be a final warning and a reality check for whoever's decided to give my property a try. Third, I believe the effort required to pump will lower the risk of accidental fire.

I really appreciate the referral to the Turkish 7+1. If I can get this box checked for less than $100, I might get one for each level of the house, but looking at the photo I don't think I can attach a vertical fore-grip to it.

ETA - I have no idea what the local police carry, and I'm not sure if this is the kind of thing I should call them to ask about.


Ammo

I had not even considered the size of the buckshot, so thanks again there. I'm reading that #4 is a popular balance for home defense. Maybe I'll build a small wall and shoot at it to test penetration.

Are there other ammo specs I should be considering?
 

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I have a security shotgun in the bedroom. And 2 hand guns. My wife has one on her side of the bed. And i on the other, The guns are ready to fire if needed. So no racking slide or pump sounds to give us away. Also have a pistol stashed under my keyboard tray ready to go. And always have one on me as well.
 

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remington 870
maverick 88
Mosberg 500
Winchester sxp defender.......

the above have a proven design and track record.......vs the unknown.

i believe in the KISS principle when it comes to riot guns.......slim, trim, quick handling.........no clutter......

as far as the ammo debate, there are many articles out there... but here is one.... https://www.chuckhawks.com/home_defense_shotgun_ammo.htm
 

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Criminals usually look for the victim of least resistance. Meaning the criminals will target the home that they think they can easily steal from, without getting caught. You want it to look like your neighbor's house is an easier target than yours.

Besides what has already been said ......

1. Hide any valuables out of sight. If a repairman or delivery person comes to your home, make sure they don't see anything worth stealing.
2. If you can't afford security cameras, install the faux security cameras. No criminal wants his photo plastered in the paper/nightly news.
3. A security system will give criminals a reason to pause, even if it is one of those cheap "out of the box", "plug into the wall" systems.
4. Get a security system company sign and put it in your front yard, even if you don't have a security system.
5. Leave one vehicle outside at all times, and move it to every day or two, to make it look like someone might be home.
6. If you have an automated "smart" home, via z-wave/zigbee/etc., have lights/radio turn on/off randomly. So it will look like someone is home.
7. Let your dog roam the house at night. Hopefully they will bark and wake you if a criminal tries to break in.
8. Make sure any family members knows to "shelter in place" instead of wondering the house, if there is trouble.
9. Make sure any family members knows to turn on lights, if they go to the kitchen at night. You don't want to shoot a family member by mistaking them for a criminal.
 

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Welcome from Kentucky. 20 vs 12 ON Stopping power eh I will admit both stop pretty well, If one need to rely on say wife, son or daughter to respond the 20 all day long everyone in the house can manage the recoil, If I am Not at home, injured or on the look with my hand gun and they see them/him/it before I do. So which one we have a Jr. Partner Pump 20 (household gun).
 

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Greetings and Salutations

What shotgun do the police in your area carry? Get one of them. No lights. No lazers. No pistol grip. No bayonet lug. No automatic transmission. No tow bar. No audio. No video. This is a firearm to be used for serious business. Geegaws and doodads get in the way and reduce the firearm's efficiency. Eschew them.

LEOs in my area carry a Remington 870 with an 18" barrel. One sits beside my bed.


What he said right here and a cheaper alternative would be a mossberg 500. They make a million different configurations but the persuader is the home defense style gun. Shorter barrel and longer ammo tube. Only thing i might disagree with is the pistol grip but i wouldnt get one with just a pistol grip. They make stocks with pistol grips that are a little easier to handle. Just a pistol grip a wrist breaker. As far and the difference between 12 and 20 the 12 will have a little more power but you also want to choose what you can best handle.......also think of your spouse if you have one in case she wants to learn how to use it as well.
 

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I always have to throw my two bits into the mix.

For the novice gun owner, a double 20 ga with 22+" barrels using #4 shot (or thereabouts) will take care of most home defense situations.

My reasons.

*A double is easy to operate especially in a high stress situation, especially for the novice.
*2 quick and easy shots. By the time you've touched off two shotgun rounds, the problem is going to be solved or be lighting a shuck.
* A double lends itself to point and shoot by its design.
* If one barrel malfunctions, the other is ready to go. It's like having two guns.
*a 20 ga makes plenty of noise in a confined space and will do anything a 12ga will do at garden party ranges.
* Exhibit "A" at your trial is an old double burled farm gun(you know, the one Joe Biden said to blast out the back door), not a tacted out black gun.
* there's an excellent probability that it will never be used for home defense against human intruders, so you still have a good hunting gun if you ever choose to pursue that.


I'm not getting rid of my 870 but the double is my recommendation for a novice shooter.

Alan
 

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:popcorn2: wsv52p.jpg ................... 9MM SHOTGUN :thumbsup:
 

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I tried to stay off this post because every once in a while this same question gets asked. I agree with most disagree with some and want to qualify responses from others. The fact that you said "Here to optimize home defense in Georgia (USA)" made me stay away. I'm in GA and the way you stated the question just made me think it was a little aggressive. Maybe you got a deal on your house in a less than desirable area I don't know. As tempting as it is I learned paying less for a place to stay is not worth it if it's in a high crime or even low income area.

The fact that you live in GA means the castle doctrine and stand your ground laws apply. Do you have neighbors? Live on a busy street? There are other considerations to make in conjunction with a choice and decision to use firearms for home defense.

Before you have to shoot anyone you can fortify your house. Lights, cameras, fortified doors, jams and dead bolts. Dogs and alarm systems. I will comment on someone that said don't get any cheap alarm in a box systems, I agree. Don't confuse "SimpliSafe" with one of those. It stated as a portable 'boxed' system but I believe it to be a robust reliable system.

I had my rear door kicked in before so I put a note on it. It basically says:

I have been broken into before and have taken added security measures like your picture already being taken and so far you have not committed a crime. Leave now and continue your miserable life elsewhere and I will leave you alone. I may or may not have harmful booby traps set up. I live alone so the only one in danger is you. If you do decide to break in please make sure I am not at home. One of us will get hurt or killed. I will do my best to make sure it's you. Is your life really worth anything you may find in here? If you still decide to break in please, please, pretty please make absolutely sure I don't find out who did it. I do not want to go to jail if they find out what I did to you or someone you care about.

That was supposed to be a synopsis but it may have been longer than the original.
 
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