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Dear Gang,

 

We've had a spate of home break-ins over the last few weeks in my formerly sleepy little hometown. This has led to a run on pistols at our local gun shop by home owners. As I'm a crummy shot with a pistol and because I too now feel the need to get some home protection, I've decided to get a shotgun specifically for home defense. However, I need some advice and I thought ya'll might be able to help.

 

I hunt with Benelli shotguns and I've come to really like the Inertia system. I thought I'd purchase a shorter barrelled Inertia driven Benelli that I could teach my wife to use. I've also contemplated putting a laser sight on it for her. But, after reviewing Benelli's website, I realize that there are many choices to chose from (including a gas operated gun).

 

Assuming a shorter barrelled gun that is light enough for my wife, here are my questions for the group:

-tactical M2 versus M4?

-pistol grip?

-folding stock?

-does the Inertia system consistantly work if gun isn't shouldered?

-do people mount laser sights on shotguns?

 

Any thoughts on these questions or any other advice about home defense would be greatly appreciated.

 

TIA,

Mark

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Mark,

since everyone already knows what advice I'd give you I'll just try to explain reasons why I'd choose the M4 if you are sure a shotgun is the way you are gonna go.

1. the M4 without a doubt has less recoil than the M2 because the M4 operates using a gas system.

2. the pistol grip helps anyone control recoil from any shotgun making you more accurate.

3. M4 comes with a retractable stock that with the stock locked in middle position is perfect for tactical situations or people with shorter length of pull.

4. Inertia system could definitaly malfunction if you did not have a firm hold on the weapon during cycling.

5. people do use lasers, but remember with the recoil that any shotgun has you would have to spend some cheese and get a good laser and mount or this can cause you some trouble that you don't want to deal with on a home defense gun especially in the moment of truth.

 

You see from what you mentioned above you already knew you need an M4 :D but no matter what you end up with man take your lady to the range with you and practice! my wife goes with me all the time, more i take her with me the more she likes to go, the more she approves my gun purchases smile.gif and the better I feel about her being at home with our daughter during the night. also it seems crazy but run a few practice drills with her inside your home on what to do if a intruder was to invade your home. you play the part of the intruder (MAKE SURE YOU HAVE NO LOADED WEAPONS!) do this several times so that it becomes automatic to her on what to do if trouble does come your way. and less chance of her locking up from fear. take into account during this drill on where to fire a weapon and where not to according to where kids rooms in the home are or depending on how close your neighbors house is to yours. also match the ammunition you purchase to these needs, remember copper plated buckshot can penatrate a car door so it will shoot into the next room of your house. I would suggest low recoil unplated lead shot. and I really do hope for you that you would never have to fire a weapon in your own home for self defense but tell your wife if this was ever the case and the last resort for the love of god tell her to NOT to just shoot one time!! train her to fire until she KNOWS the threat is gone!Now for the pistol problem... if you do not have alot of exp. with handguns I would suggest you try a glock pistol, most new shooters can shoot very well with a Glock I'm not sure why this is but it is the truth, I have seen it a hundred times, a exp. pistol shooter either loves a glock or hates them. A person who has little exp. in the world of pistols always shoots a glock very well :confused: AND the slide on a glock is easier for someone with weaker wrists to operate. my wife can charge a Glock pistol with ease and cannot most other semi auto pistols.

 

[ 11-06-2006, 05:50 AM: Message edited by: wingbone ]

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Wingbone,

 

Thank you for taking the time to reply and for doing so in such a thorough way. What would you say is the preferable home defense weapon, a pistol or a shotgun? I've actually done quite a bit of pistol shooting in the past, but usually with revolvers (.357) and I've never been impressed with my ability to snap on a target quickly and consistantly. In fact, for reasons I can't quite explain, expert pistol shooting (much like golf) still aluded me despite lots of practice. As my wife would be using this gun, too, I also figured that a shotgun would be preferable and easier to learn from her perspective. However, your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

 

Mark

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I would very much agree with Wingbone on both the shotgun approach, practice drills and pistol defence. There is a growing problem in my area of crystal-meth use, and someone in the desperate throws of a meth binge will do literally anything.

 

A problem that I face in my house is the layout itself. It doesn't really favor a long gun approach to defence. I have a pair of .45 Springfields that I would grab first. The design of these particular models is much like a Glock. These XD's I have hold 13+1 each, more than enough to stop an assailant. They are fairly light, ergonomically sound and quite accurate.

 

I hope you or your wife never have to pull the trigger on someone, but if you do, have something in your hand you can depend on.....shotgun or otherwise.

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Hi Mark,

 

When somebody asks me about home defense shotguns, I always suggest pump actions, especially if a novice shooter will be using the weapon. The Nova Special Purpose Tactical fits the bill nicely. Short 18+ 1/2 inch barrel and a price tag around $ 325 dollars. The Tactical will fire any 12 gauge shell you can find or have on hand.

 

Semi-auto shotguns take special training and a lot of practise not to mention if they're not loaded and chambered correctly, they tend not to fire. With Benelli's semi-auto's, if the bolt isn't seated completely, you may not even be able to load the magazine. My S90M1 will fire all 8 rounds without any shoulder support but many semi-automatics will jam. A pump action can fire upside down or one handed (as if you just tripped and fell down or stumbled over a toy).

 

Before the guys on this site start to beat me to death, please remember I'm talking about a novice shooter, who just woke up and realized some really bad person is in there home.

 

With the Nova Tactical, just press the magazine release button, rack the gun open, drop in a shell, slam the forend forward and your ready. Even better, if there are rounds already in the magazine. Press the magazine release, rack the forend back and forward and your ready. If your scared out of your wits, screaming and crying, you can still load and operate a pump shotgun. Try that with an semi-automatic. During my police days, I've had to draw done on several people with a pump shotgun, and just hearing the slide rack back and forth defused the situation and if an intruder hears the pump and runs out of your home, that's a lot better than having to shoot a human being.

 

Finally, mindset is everything. If you really have to shoot, then don't second quess yourself. Pull the trigger and keep shooting until the threat doesn't exist anymore. If the intruder has a gun or takes yours away from you, they will kill you without any hesitation.

 

Sign up and take a course on self defense using firearms in your home. I use a Smith + Sesson 1911A1 full size .45 automatic for home defense, but I've had a little more practise than most folks.

 

00 or triple 000. If you have an intruder, play time is over. Point at the largest part of their body you can see and pull the trigger.

 

SgtCathy

Cape Cod

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Mark,

 

I agree with a lot of the advice given here. I recently purchased an M4 to anchor my home defense plan. It compliments my Glocks and CX4 carbine. But there were many considerations to my many choices of weapons.

 

I took into consideration my small wife when selecting long guns. The M4 has more recoil than she's comfortable with, so we also went with a Beretta CX4 Storm in 9mm. It holds 15 rounds, a mounted light and she can shoulder fire it without any problems. It is a bit of a compromise as weapons go, but in a good way I think. It has the benefit of an accurate shoulder fired weapon with the lower recoil of a handgun round. The weight also helps absorb recoil, and the sling allows hands free carry if necessary.

 

For hand guns, she carries a S&W J-frame .38 with CTC laser grips and an internal hammer. It's light, simple and effective. Load, point and shoot. It doesn't get any less confusing than that. So much so, my mother and mother-in-law carry the same pistol.

 

We did make sure that we each have at least one weapon with a mounted light. I couldn't imagine trying to control my dog while handling a light and a weapon. Also we don't have kids and neighbors so ammo choices aren't as critical. I load what I need to get the job done without worrying about over penetration. It should be a prime consideration though, depending on your situation.

 

I must say that marksmanship is a lot like golf in one respect. You can practice all day, but if you're using the wrong technique, you'll never become proficient. A competent instructor can help develop your skills in a way you're comfortable with and that work for you. My mom is left eye dominant but right handed. After trying every technique I could think of to help her learn to use her right eye, we came to the conclusion she should shoot left handed. A good instructor will not force you to adapt to their method but help you find something that works for you. Shop around. They're out there.

 

TH13

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Mark D

Okies this is gonna take me a little bit to explain so go grab yourself a beer before reading further... :D

Alright then lets get busy by first starting to think like your neighborhood "crack head". the first thing i'm gonna do is check your vehichles, if you have good stuff laying about in your seats, money in ash tray, doors unlocked, etc. I'm gonna know your security is laxed in your home and know you got even better stuff in your house just waiting for me to take, so I might snatch a few items from your car just to see if anyone becomes alarmed,how long for cops to come,...well you get the picture. during the time after taking some stupid items from your car I'll be watching to see how you react to security, I'll be watching your routine seeing when you go to work and when you come home, what days your wife goes grocery shopping and how long it takes her to return, your basic recon operation. then when I know the coast is clear I'm going to enter via the weakest link in your home's security to gain quick entry, grab as much as I can and get out just as fast!...believe it or not 9 times out of ten I will hit your house during day light hours because I really don't want trouble and the last thing i want is to hurt anyone but do not back me in a corner, if I'm trying to escape just let me go and chances are I'll be caught trying to sell the stuff I took from you.

Now for the most dangerous of the home intruder, the one that always comes in the dark. he will recon your house the same as the first guy except he operates much differant. first off household pets come up missing, maybe your car door open but nothing taken, this fella wont pay much attention to your schedule because he really doesnt care. when it comes time to enter your home unlike the first fella he will not take the easiest way in, this guy looks for the spot with the most cover just like an animal he takes his time so that he does not make any mistakes so that no matter what happens he will leave as little evidence as possible. he also takes his time because he is there to find the good stuff and is not on a snatch and grab mission, chances are he already knows what he is after before he entered your home....this is the guy that has the nads to walk down the hallway and peek into bedrooms to see what is is there. This fella most of the time will not enter a locked room inside the house, if he does then he is there for other reasons and the situation just got terminal! and here we are in a situation nobody wants.....what could you do to never get to this point? as the man of the house it is your duty to protect your family and do your best so that your family never has to be put in a situation where shots are fired inside your home.

First anyplace outside your home that has outdoor lights replace them with motion lights,put lights in dark areas even if you have to mount them to garage and point them to your house, keep vehicles locked and stuff not laying in the seats, a good German Shepard is always watching everything, change up schedules every few days, if you have a lot of shrubs and bushes around your house trim them back enough that nobody can hide behind them or take the foliage out all together. plant schrubs with thorns under windows, make sure doors and windows are locked(try to keep storm windows down as much as possible) windows that can easily be seen into from ground level need to have valuable items moved out of sight, or some sheer curtains that let in light but obsecure vision, walk the house every week or so looking for things that might be out of place or cut screens.....etc.....blah!!! I could go on forever on this I'm sure you get the idea by now.

Okies now lets make a plan of what the family does when they think somebody is inside the house! the very first thing i want to do is give my kids a code word to yell if they are scared(do not tell them this is for a home intruder!) make this code word a word for alarm in general the last thing you want them doing in this situation is walking through the house trying to get to you. when they say the code word you know to get up and move to THEM no matter what, by this time you have already started keeping your cell phone on the night stand and your wife is ready to hit the 911 digits as soon as you give the word. now you have your home defense weapon and have taken a position that blocks the rooms of your family from the rest of the house AND STAY THERE! do NOT move twords the sounds of what you think may be a intruder. you take your low position with weapon at the ready and if you are sure somebody is inside you holler at the top of your lungs that you have a weapon and you will fire upon them!!!....((I say again, DO NOT MOVE TWORDS AN INTRUDER)) this will give the theif a chance to get away and if this fella has other plans chances are he does not know your home like you do and you will have the advantage if you make him come to you in the dark.

Now my wife knows that if she hears me say the words that I'm armed and will fire she is alreay calling 911....now lets say the situation is terminal and shots are fired (lord help me this never happens) my family has been instructed to bail out windows and run to the nearest "safe house" the same ones my wife and I have picked out for our daughter in case she gets into any type of trouble. they know not to stay around for any reason!

seems awful complex eh?....well these are some things you need to think about loooonng before weapons, the weapon is the last resort you see and there is a whole lot of other things to take into consideration first. I would never tell you what I think the best firearm for you might be for home defense but I will tell you to keep it as 100% simple as possible because you will have all kinds of things happening at the same time. myself would be a pump shotgun (I do have an 870 for this purpose, I love my Benelli but I have forgotten to hit the mag release button before and never had a round chambered, its been a really long time since I did that but once was enough) as far as ammunition I use #4 buck, it has 27 pellets and less recoil than OO or 000 for if the wife had to use it and enough of a pattern that you do not have to be really accurate, just point in general direction for a pistol my choice is is a Glock .40 cal. with 180grain hollow points made by magtech.

 

 

stay tuned! post not finished but I gotta get some sleep! :D my last day of vacation and I'm going hunting in the morning

 

[ 11-06-2006, 11:56 PM: Message edited by: wingbone ]

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And exactly how much coffee have you had to drink today, wing? :D

 

I have a M4 Carbine in the safe as well, but I do live fairly close to neighbors. I would consider it if there was more than one person, but otherwise not. I'm sticking with the .45's :cool:

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Wingbone,

 

Thank you so much for taking the time write your thoughts on a fairly morbid, but important, subject. And, please do continue with your "take" on the subject of home defense as I am going to continue reading this thread (and re-reading it), and I'm going to direct some of my friends to this thread (remember, my buddies have all recently contemplated this topic owing to some of the home break-ins that have occurred around here).

 

What I don't particularly need, but thought I'd probably get by posing my original question in a Benelli forum, is a gun nut's pontification on the arsenal that I need to protect myself. Obviously, I had a specific gun-related question, but fortunately after having my question answered, I've received a very even-handed assessment that actually hasn't emphasized guns so much as other things I can do to protect my family.

 

I'm a product of the South so I grew up around guns and I have good guns that I enjoy using for hunting. However, I've never gone overboard with my gun collection as guns simply don't blow my skirt up in that way. Yet, I have many friends who have incredible gun collections and I have no problems what so ever with that. Heck, with some of the stuff that's happening worldwide, I'm gradually becoming a little paranoid about things and it's not inconceivable that I could become more of a gun collector. But, I didn't really want that "take" (otherwise I would have posed the question to one of my buddies with a home arsenal).

 

Wingbone and everyone else; thank you again for taking the time to write here, and I look forward to your future postings.

 

Mark

 

P.S. I didn't mean to dissuade those of you who would like to pontificate on various gun models that you like for home defense. I had my original question answered and I've obviously enjoyed the subsequent postings so please fire away if you have thoughts on the subject (even particular advice about types of guns) as I'm sure that there are others that would like to hear this info.

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Mark

glad to see I can offer some advice to you on this subject, this is a subject most people do not want to get into too much because home defense is way more then going to your local gun shop and buying the largest handgun they have, loading it and and never shooting it or doing anything else thinking everything is okay now. these are the same people that will build a 6 foot privacy fence all the way around their home that has gates with locks to keep bad stuff out and do not realize that same fence will keep them in just as easy if the family needed to flee from the house (by the way these fences make great spots for somebody to case you out without being seen)

Bottom line is bro is you have to decide that you are not now or will never be a victim. I do not mean this in a bad way at all so let me explain ....I guess it would be like a bully in school, he finds a kids weakness and exploits it to his gain. I use this because a theif will always start by messing with your car first if that was easy and you didnt do anythig about it he will become braver and decide he is gonna come inside your house. So with that said you need to step outside your home and try to think like him, walk around your house in the dark and see what kinds of cover you have to hide in. See how easy it is to look into your windows, is there valuables that can easily be seen? Where would be the places you would break in your house from that would be the easiest or where you would not be seen. now I'm not saying you need to be paraniod and turn your home into a fortress(besides bars on windows keep you in as well as keep others out smile.gif ......just use good judgement, and never become complacent, if you hear a noise outside or a dog bark get up and just look out the window or just turn a light on, most of the time this is all it takes to scare off a would be theif.

The next big hitter is the plan, you should have a plan for severe weather, fire and other major disasters so why would it be automatic to have a plan in this day and age of what to do if somebody gets into your home during the night? I suggest you use something like I described above with code words and such this will help keep your family a bit calmer if the situation ever gets bad. modify it to fit your personal needs. about the only thing i do not have a plan for is a zombie attack but I figure that can be a new topic later smile.gif

now lets get to weapons again: first off I'm positive that put in that situation and your family was in danger you could do what ever you had to do to protect them....but if you was not there could your wife? if she went for a weapon but could not use it when it counted that same weapon could be used against her and the rest of your family, she will require alot more training then you will while you prepare your home defense plan. next the cell phone! a very powerful weapon, move its charger to the nightstand so that you never forget to bring it to the bedroom every night for in case phone lines are cut or storm takes them out?? I have to say this again because this is very important make sure everyone stays put!!!! you do not want your family walking around the house in the dark if you think there is an intruder!!! they could become a hostage or you could shoot them on accident this is very important!!!!! now in 99% of cases and the guys from here can tell you that the wife will prefer a diff. weapon than you in a situation like this, mine has one that will stay with her in case something would happen to get past me, I would be in a hallway to cut off the advance to the family sleeping quaters, she is in charge of making a call to police and making sure her and kids are out window freely and at the rally point together. now lets get to the next weapon, the flashlight! go spend the cheese and get you a good surefire light, these are small and very powerful and very important in a dark home during the middle of the night. I would advise you on what ever choice of weapon you make to install a good set of night sights because the flashlight will cause you to lose most of your night vision which I will get into more in a second. you will see alot of shotgun in this forum with lights and lasers mounted to the gun and for somebody with the proper training on how and when to use these devices are cool but the average guy this is a big no no!.....you are at the end of the hallway with the laser and flashlight mounted to your gun (pistol or shotgun) and you have both on constant you have just made yourself an outstanding target, all i have to do is shoot for the lights and chances are I'm gonna hit you! lasers can be followed by the solid beam all the way back to the source. this is why I would recommend night sights for all situations. now for the use of the ever important combat light, no matter what you have been told before if you are using a pistol lay the forearm of the pistol hand over the forearm of your other arm that the light is in to stabilize pistol, now 90% of your body is not directly behind the flashlight(if you are right handed the light will be just off your right shoulder when looking down the sights of the pistol) NEVER leave light on continous, this will kill your night vision and it gives the other guys eyes a chance to adjust to the light. you want to flash the light at intermidiate intervals and just for a second now here is the key, if you are holding the light as I advised a second ago you will see that you are naturally pointing your pistol at where the light is pointing this is a very good thing because if you flashed your light for a second and there is somebody in front of you with a gun you are already to get dirty before the other fella has any type of chance to respond. you have to use logic to think about this, put a ink pen in your hand like it was a pistol and try walking around your house in the dark now if you was an intruder and you didnt know your way around the house you wouldnt have your gun up in the ready position, it is human nature to have to use hands to feel your way around in the dark....so what I'm telling you is if that light comes on and a man is in your home and the gun is at his side spit two at him and dont hesitate because you can bet the next time that light flashes the gun that was at his side will be pointing at you. now when i say spit two at him I mean two things here so lets make sure we are clear, remember a long time ago when i described my plan I told you I would have hollered that I was armed and would fire so I have no other choice but to assume the strange man in my home with a gun is not there to visit and thus there would be no reason for me to fire a "warning" shot. although I would have to make double sure it was not a family member who has strayed from the plan. and the other thing i ment by spit two is if I would have to ever fire my weapon in this way(I pray I do not) it will not just be one round if it has come this far I would not take any chances. that and I have an M1014 and a M4 now, one for each hand :D :eek: ;)

 

well I guess I'm done with late night ramblings for now since I have to return back to work tomorrow night now :mad: if you got any other questions give us a yell and if none of us have it on hand we'll do what it takes to find you an answer

 

[ 11-07-2006, 11:01 PM: Message edited by: wingbone ]

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Mark, I agree in practice with a lot of what has been written here regarding the use of a shot gun for home defense. That being said, I won't go into a big diatribe explaining this post. If you and the wife feel comfortable with a shotgun, then go for it. That is what you should use. Now as far as the pistol recommendations that were made, I strongly disagree. No handgun novice or poor shooter of a handgun, should pick or be recommended a semi-automatic as a choice for self defense. I think I can speak from experience in this arena since I have been carrying one on my job for the last 30 years. I am also a NRA Firearms instructor and a department Range officer for the last 25 years. I have also worked part time in several gun shops over my 53 years. There are a truckload of good name brand gunmakers out there who make excellent wheel guns that are virtually point and shoot. Why put your life or that of someone else in danger with a pistol such as a Glock. First off, they have absolutley no visual feedback. Don't get me wrong, Glocks are great guns. I carry one on duty and off-duty. I practice all the time, I respectfully touch it every day putting it in and out of the holster. I am FAMILIAR with this gun. Get the picture ? If a handgun is your choice, go with a good quality revolver that both you and the wife can handle and be comfortable with.

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Buy a Benelli Pump shot gun!

 

When asked, criminals will tell you flatly:

 

There is no more heart stopping, frightening sound than that of shot gun being pumped! Criminals will RUN out of your house. A Fact!

 

You can argue ballistics, recoil, or the merrits of this or that, but the psychological effect of that Sound is undeniable.

 

My 2 cents-

 

Glenn

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