Home defense: Shotguns, pistols and revolvers

From the founding of our nation, defense of one’s home and family has been paramount. Get the gun that best suits your skills training and ability that will allow you to keep your family safe.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 19, 2017 – Differing skill levels should dictate the type of weapon you would use to defend yourself or your family. What constitutes the best gun for you is dependent upon what the user prefers and whether or not one has expertise or is an in training novice.

Guns are not toys. As a protection device, the intent of owning and using a gun is to either wound or kill an assailant. Before decisions to buy a gun are made, it is strongly urged that you engage in gun safety and training and mentally prepare yourself to defend and protect yourself and your loved ones, realizing you might be forced to take another’s life by using these weapons in the protection of your family.

Once you have the knowledge to be a responsible gun owner, the number one questions is which is the right firearm for you?

The shotgun


For new gun owners, men, women or children, a shotgun is highly recommended for home defense. The real benefit of a shotgun is for those who may not be skilled target shooters, which should not be confused with individuals who have the necessary training to be safe shooters.

Before you pick up your new shotgun, it is absolutely vital that you obtain the necessary gun safety training from your local police department, through your state natural resources and wildlife organizations or by attending classes given at a hunting-oriented store like BASS Pro, Gander Mountain, Cabela’s, Dicks, Academy Sports, Sportsman Warehouse, or others.

Shotguns range in varying sizes and calibers and disburse shells filled with pellets ranging from small bb’s to rather large triple OOO buckshot, marble size metal or lead pellets.

Shotgun loads with shells

When shot, the pellets exit the shell in a circular pattern that can spread from 2-6 feet across. As most home defense shootings occur within a 10-40 FT DISTANCE, a shotgun can be an ideal defense weapon as it does not require pinpoint accuracy.

For smaller women or young kids, there are youth shotguns. These come in 10, 12 and 20 gauge, single barrel, double barrel, pump and semi-auto models.

A little research, including conversations with a knowledgeable gun dealer, will help you determine which is the best gun for your needs.

For a lethal weapon, a semiautomatic shotgun will give the firepower necessary to protect your home and family. If you are facing an intruder with an intent to do harm—and anyone in your home uninvited is looking to do one harm—an automatic will fire between 3 and 5 shells without reloading.

If hit by 1-3 shots from a semiautomatic, with double or triple 000 shells, expect the intruder not to escape before the police arrive.

Winchester® SXP Black Shadow Pump-Action Shotguns

A pump shotgun will alert an intruder to your presence due to the distinctive racheting sound it makes when chambering a bullet. That alone should should scare an intruder off, and it hits as hard as the semi auto. But the noise generated requires a cautionary or a stationary approach, allowing the intruder to come your way.

For new gun owners, a Browning, Mossberg, Benelli, Berretta, Remington or Winchester are all good shotguns.

Your choices again are a single barrel, a double barrel, a semi-automatic, and a pump shotgun. With a double barrel, one may shorten the barrel and stock and widen the blast area as the pellets exit the barrel.

As with all gun purchases and modifications, check with your local police before you make a mistake.

Prices for a shotgun are wide-ranging, and they can be priced from a high-end $40000 and above to a more modest $1,500.00 and below for previously owned weapons. Specialty and custom weapons can become pricier. However, if your goal is family and personal safety, spending money on inlaid woods and special metals are beyond what’s needed for your family’s defense.

The gauges to look for are the 10 or 12 gauge models that use double or triple 000 buckshot. Why the larger pellets? Because you want to stop the individual with 1 shot.

Being hit from 10-40 ft by one of these models will ensure the intruder does no harm. Please identify the intruder first and just don’t shoot at a noise. Again, the shot gun sprays buck shot across a wide space – and you want to be absolutely sure only the intruder is in that space. These shooting safety topic will be discussed in more detail in a later article.

Pistols and Revolvers

For a more skilled shooter who practices at the range and has a steady hand, consider a handgun. Be sure you take handgun training and shooting classes to obtain proper information on gun safety and usage in addition to furthering your shooting skills.

Handguns are more pinpoint weapons, versus the shotguns’ wide spray.

The following is an excellent video from Shoot 101 explaining the difference between pistols, which are one-shot guns, and revolvers, so named for their revolving cylinder with multiple bullets. This video’s narrator also offers information on using auto loaders.

The .22 caliber handgun is the smallest and they range upwards to a 50 caliber. The .22 may come as a single shot derringer, a German Lugar shape or a semi-automatic handgun.

A popular gun is the 6 shot 22 caliber Western revolver. This 22 revolver comes with barrel lengths that range from several inches to 8 inches.

(L) Hogue SIG Sauer P228
(R) Smith & Wesson® Governor® Revolver

Never keep a handgun, shotgun or rifle loaded when not in active use, hunting or being used for protection. If the gun is being used for protection, and is therefore kept loaded, it is imperative that the firearm is stored in a manner that is easy to access for an adult, but hidden from children.

If you have not seen them, tactical walls concealment shelves that use easy to access magnetic locks are a great way to keep guns stored safely, out of little peoples’ reach but accessible to adults. There are many vendors and DYI videos available.

From the founding of our nation, the defense of one’s home and family has been paramount. Get the gun that best suits your skills training and ability that will allow you to keep your family safe.

Gun safety dictates if the parents of young children own weapons, protocols must be followed. Children must be educated about weapons and the damage they are able to do to others. They must be taught a real gun is not a toy, but a defensive weapon that should only be used by mom and dad.

At an early age that parents must determine, children should be taught both gun safety—which instills in them the fact these are not toys or playthings—as well as how to use  them for either hunting or protection.

Make sure your family is educated to always use proper gun safety when around weapons. While this is common sense, we are all shocked when a child does die from a gun accident. That’s because they are almost always preventable if gun owners properly educate their families in the use of guns and use proper storage techniques.

The guns identified in this article reflect the authors’ opinion as to what would work best for mostly untrained individuals who want to protect themselves and their families.

Next week: Rifles and automatic guns. Until then, be safe.

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