View Full Version : Im thinking of going to my first Gun Show this weekend.
April 2nd, 2009, 01:23 PM
What should I be looking for?
I havent shot a gun since I was in Rifle Club back in Junior High in the mid-70's.
I think I want some sort of shotgun for home defense and maybe some kind of handgun, but I have to admit that Im essentially clueless.
I guess what I would like is some kind of 'starter kit'.
Home defense your best bet is a shotgun. You can see the more tactical types of weapons. Mossberg is what I have. They are fairly cheap as well. The one I have holds 8 rounds or so.
I also have a Glock that I just shot recently for the first time in about 8 or 9 years at the range. I would not recommend a handgun for home defense especially at night in the dark. Of course there are advantages to having a handgun as well if you need to have protection in a mobile situation it is not feasible to carry around a shotgun and it is harder to transport. With a shotgun you will not need to worry as much about aiming the thing and you will have a much better chance of hitting your target. Being accurate with a handgun over 20 feet requires a significant amount of skill and practice, especially in a real life situation where the target is not a piece of paper with excellent lighting ect... The first thing I would reach for would be the scatter gun.
Many ranges have a process where you can pay a fee and try out several handguns to see which one you like.
April 2nd, 2009, 01:30 PM
Yeah. Ive pretty much decided that a handgun would be a bad idea right now.
Tactical shotgun seems like the best first choice.
The 'world crisis' notion is a consideration too. Something more general purpose for small to medium game and 'civil unrest' issues.
I may skip this weekend's show until I learn more. Im beginning to realize just how much I dont know on this subject.
Now that Im a subscriber to a gun mag and am recording the Best Defense show, I expect to learn more over the next several weeks.
That being said, the shotgun seems like a no-brainer. Ill start looking for one soon. Probably the Remmington or Mossberg that everyone seems to like.
April 2nd, 2009, 01:38 PM
Can someone be very specific about what models/features I need in a tactical shotgun?
THat way I can start on my shopping list.
April 2nd, 2009, 01:49 PM
I not sure what you mean by a Tatical
Do you mean compact or military - mil-spec?
Compact can be as simple as buying an economical 870 and putting a pistol grip in place of the butt-stock. Or getting a pre-ban folding stock.
mil-spec is a more expensive custom type - like a Bennelli semi-auto with a full pistol grip stock, barrel shroud, magazine tube extension, camo/black, picatinny rail for scopes/ flashlight-laser light attachment.........$$$$$
April 2nd, 2009, 01:54 PM
I not sure what you mean by a Tatical
Do you mean compact or military - mil-spec?Compact. Wrangling a long gun at night under stress doesnt seem like a good idea.
Compact can be as simple as buying an economical 870 and putting a pistol grip in place of the butt-stock. Ive heard that pistol grips werent a good idea, but I dont actually know...
mil-spec is a more expensive custom type - like a Bennelli semi-auto with a full pistol grip stock, barrel shroud, magazine tube extension, camo/black, picatinny rail for scopes/ flashlight-laser light attachment.........$$$$$That wooshing sound you just heard was half of that going over my head. :heh
April 2nd, 2009, 02:05 PM
I'd rather a woosh over head that a DINK bouncing off. :lol2
I'd keep with the "slug gun" I mentioned - a normal 870 12 gauge pump with a smoothbore carbine barrel. Very nice for home or truck. Mine is typically unloaded for safety, but with shells in the elastic bandolier on the buttstock. All are slugs as it is a rifle. If needed I would load the gun as our dog gives us enough response time. (one night I am going to hurt that cat that keeps taunting our dog).:hehee
Here is a goofy thing, if you shoot shot out of a short barrel - that makes it an illegal sawed-off (you need 18 minimum for a shotgun barrel). Go figure.
Yes there is alot to learn just to handle a simple single shot gun. Check with local gun clubs for NRA safety courses.
April 2nd, 2009, 02:26 PM
I'd keep with the "slug gun" I mentioned - a normal 870 12 gauge pump with a smoothbore carbine barrel.That's the sort of detail Im looking for.
Yes there is alot to learn just to handle a simple single shot gun. Check with local gun clubs for NRA safety courses.Planning on it.
April 2nd, 2009, 02:41 PM
Very Good Hootmon.
Remember, of you find a used 870, make sure the chamber is 3 inch (this is marked on the barrel close to the receiver). You can easily shoot 2 3/4 shells which are common.
If you by an older gun with the shorter chamber, 3 inch shells will not fit.
The extra length allows for more powder and a higher velocity which is better for hunting. I'm not positive, but I think 3 1/4" shells/chambers are available now.
A MAttR of Time
April 2nd, 2009, 02:49 PM
A couple well informed/researched/trained opinions:
1. Do NOT use birshot. Birdshot is for birds. It will NOT penetrate enough to stop a human attacker, especially if they are wearing heavy/leather jackets. #4 BUCKSHOT is deemed the minimum for defensive use by lots of well credentialled trainers. 00 is the most common. I use Federal 9 pellet 00 plated Buckshot in my Mossberg 930. 00 buckshot will penetrate thru fewer walls than any 9mm/.40/.45/.223 slug.
2. The shotgun is not a rifle. It is best used inside 25 yards. If you need longer range, get a rifle. A good Marlin .30-30 is economical, powerful, and ammo can be found everywhere. My sole rifle is a Marlin 336W in .30-30. I feel well armed with it.
3. If you have young children, a handgun is, IMHO, a necessity. Why? If a home invasion occurs and you need to venture out of the master bedroom to collect your kids, you may need to carry them. If they are that size, you can carry them one handed and still fire a handgun one handed if need be. Keep the shotgun in the MB/saferoom. Use the handgun to fight your way to the kids and back to the saferoom, then barricade yourself in there and level the shotgun at the door. Now that my kids are too large to carry, my primary HD weapon in the Mossberg 930. A double barrel coach gun will work, too.
4. Home invasions are RARELY done by a single perp. They usually run in packs. This means high capacity in your handgun. Think a 9mm with 15+ rounds. The new Springfield XDM holds 19+1. More rounds in the mag means less reloading during the fight. My HD handgun is a Beretta 92 with 17+1 of 9mm +P+ JHP.
5. A good flashlight is a must! You are responsible for identifying the target. I recommend a SureFire G2-LED for starters.
6. Do not count on the racking of a pump shotgun's action to scare off any attackers. It will more likey give away your position in a darkened house thus negating the advantage of the ensconced defender.
7. Get some reputable training. Preferrably a school that teaches one to shoot while moving off the 'X'.
8. Practice. Practice. Practice.
PM me if you have any other questions.
April 2nd, 2009, 03:17 PM
Im 35 years old now and ive had my mossberg 12 gauge since ive been 15years old. Its been used and abused and still performs well enough to keep it around. They are also the shotguns we used in the Marines without a whole lot of problems with it.The Remington 870 express is also a reliable choice. As for handguns, Ive put hundreds of rounds through the Beretta 9mm in the service with little difficulties and found it to be accurate to at least 25 yards which we qualify. Just a tip, we do not load ANY of our magazines to their full capacity. It eventually produces weak springs and issues you dont want. As with any weapon, care is essential to its operation. These are a few of the weapons I can personally relate to and find them reliable and they wont break the bank.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.