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 Post subject: Best Home Defense Gun For Older Woman???
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:03 pm 
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Location: Arkansas
I would appreciate some opinions on the best home defense gun for my 79 yr old mother. She weighs about 125 lbs and is in good health. She lives by herself in a lge house with a security system which notifies police if the house is broken into . The gun would be used only if the person breeched her bedroom.

She has little experience with guns of any type. My younger brother(rocket scientist) talked her into buying a Benelli Super Nova 12ga Pump. Needless to say, the gun didn't work out and he now uses it for duck hunting. My thinking is a hammerless revolver, ???caliber(no risk of a jam) but admit, I do not know much about pistols. Which ever gun we decide on, she will have 500-1000 rds through it at the gun range, take a home defense course and know the weapon inside and out before even thinking about using it in a real life situation.

The plan is, if the alarm goes off, get the gun out of bedside drawer and get on the other side of her bed pointing the gun directly at the door way(about a 20' shot). After demanding the intruder to identify themselves, if no answer and the door is breeched, shoot to kill.

I am a skeet, trap, sporting clays and bird hunter. No knowledge in home defense. Any info on the best gun and techniques would be greatly appreciated. Criticism is welcome.


Thanks,


Kirk


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 Post subject: Re: Best Home Defense Gun For Older Woman???
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:24 pm 
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Location: Michigan
My mother just turned 70 last month & she gave me some info that I would like to pass on. Go to the local store & buy a can of wasp spray. It can shoot up to 20 feet, & will blind you in a heart beat!Try to get the foaming kind , it hurts like hell!

She lives in Florida, and even keeps the critters away!..........Joe


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 Post subject: Re: Best Home Defense Gun For Older Woman???
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:39 pm 
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1. http://www.snopes.com/crime/prevent/waspspray.asp

2. Get her an NEF® Pardner™ Ladies/Youth single shot in 20ga. the Model number is: SB1-250. It has a shorted length of pull, 12½", and a 22" fixed Modified choke. Remove the recoil pad and fill the stock cavity completely full if #7½ or 8 shot; then place the recoil pad back on the stock. This will GREATLY REDUCE THE RECOIL. Load it with Remington® Express™ 2¾" #3 Buckshot. It's a pussycat load and your Mom should be able to handle it easily.

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2. The American Soldier, Sailor, Airman, & Marine
One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

1 Cross + 3 Nails = 4 Given


Last edited by dawei on Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Home Defense Gun For Older Woman???
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:46 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:38 pm
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Location: SC
My mother was 82 when she died. She had a S&W 32 until about 1970 then she got a S&W MD 36 chief special 38 cal. She was 5'2". 98#.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Home Defense Gun For Older Woman???
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:52 pm 
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banjo wrote:
My mother was 82 when she died. She had a S&W 32 until about 1970 then she got a S&W MD 36 chief special 38 cal. She was 5'2". 98#.
Another very sound recommendation.

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David
Only two defining forces have ever died for you:
1. Jesus Christ
2. The American Soldier, Sailor, Airman, & Marine
One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

1 Cross + 3 Nails = 4 Given


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 Post subject: Re: Best Home Defense Gun For Older Woman???
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:17 pm 
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A hammerless (and hence double-action-only) revolver could have a 10-12 pound trigger pull. Not the easiest thing for a small older novice to use. You'd have to make sure she has the hand strength to use it comfortably.

Lightweight snubnose revolvers -- often sold as "women's guns" -- are among the hardest handguns to shoot accurately. They're also the least enjoyable to practice with. For a revolver to be kept at home, I'd go with a medium-frame 4" barrel .38/.357 IF it fit the shooter's hands. Grips can often be changed to adjust fit. The 3" Ruger SP101 might be an option -- it's got more heft than the 2" guns and still works for small hands.

Mild .38 wadcutters in a gun with some weight make for fun practice and learning.

A Glock, M&P, or similar semi is almost as easy to use. Don't underestimate what she can learn. Many newer semis have adjustable grip sizes.

A good step would be to take her to a good store to see what fit her hands. A range that has a good rental selection would be another good step.

Maybe start with a basic handgun class that offers a variety of guns for the students to try, and the self-defense class after she chooses what she likes?

This is a great site for women -- or anybody -- interested in using a handgun for self-defense:
http://www.corneredcat.com/TOC.aspx

Remember, she doesn't have to carry or conceal it -- she has to shoot it well. There's no need for something tiny. Think about what you'd look for if you were helping her choose a shotgun for clay sports -- would you suggest a 5-pound field gun?


Last edited by NHrural on Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Home Defense Gun For Older Woman???
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:47 pm 
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http://www.palmpistol.com/
if it ever gets produced...

outside of that, what has she shot in the past?
A revolver would be more reliable for her.

Have you considered something like an AR? load it with a laser
the recoil isn't bad, the controls aren't rough to operate or need much strength to operate.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Home Defense Gun For Older Woman???
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:25 pm 
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NHrural, THANK YOU!

Please don't do what every gun store clerk does and guide new female shooters to the small DA revolvers. They have short sight radii, are relatively light weight (snappy recoil), HEAVY trigger pulls (my GF can't pull through the DA trigger on my PT92 without moving the muzzle a half inch), minimal stopping power (compared to even a light long gun). Hell, any handgun is going to be harder to learn, harder to aim, and be less terminally effective.

Really, just stay away from handguns in general. She won't be moving through her house, so she will have no need to open doors or hold a flashlight, and coupled with all the above reasons not to get her one, you would be putting her at a major disadvantage.

A single-shot will be OK, but see the other thread about it. But in any case, if someone is kicking through her bedroom door, wouldn't you want her to have more than one shot at protecting herself (pun intended)?

It sounds cliche, but for the money it's hard to beat a good pump gun in terms of terminal effectiveness.

You can spend more and get something like a Saiga in .410, which could give her up to ten shots of .410 (four .36" diameter pellets each) about as fast as she could pull the trigger, and would require no manual manipulation before that.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Home Defense Gun For Older Woman???
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:19 am 
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"She has little experience with guns of any type."
"Which ever gun we decide on, she will have 500-1000 rds through it at the gun range, take a home defense course and know the weapon inside and out ...."
At 79 years old she is going to go from a to b above? I just had to ask.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Home Defense Gun For Older Woman???
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:12 am 
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Might be a good application for a pistol-caliber carbine. Much easier to shoot than a handgun.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Home Defense Gun For Older Woman???
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:11 am 
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Recoil tolerance varies a lot from person to person regardless of age. Whatever she has should be something she chooses. A handgun requires a greater commitment to practice than a shotgun. As stated above, since she isn't going to carry it, there is no need to get a small revolver. A 4 inch .357 with 38+p would work well if she can handle the trigger. A full size 9mm would be a better choice, especially one of the polymer guns with no external safety, a just point and shoot kind of solution. Most of the newer polymer guns have interchangeable backstraps or grips to fit the gun to smaller hands. If the 9mm is too much, the Bersa Thunder .380 would be a good economical choice. It fits a woman's hand well and is a reliable bargain.
A pistol carbine might be a good choice also, the Hi-Point carbines are priced right and the 9mm has almost no recoil. Regardless of what is said about the pistols, the carbines get pretty universal approval. My girlfriend adopted my 995 and loves it.
A shotgun would also be a good idea, but I would stay away from single shots. A 20 gauge gas operated semi auto has reduced recoil and is easy for the inexperienced to operate. 20 gauge buck is a devastating round at house distances. A pump would work as well if she takes the time to learn it, but it does take time and training for the beginner The last suggestion I would offer if a 20 gauge is too much, is a .410 pump. Mossberg used to market a small .410 for the home defense market. With all of the new .410 self defense loads coming out because of the popularity of Taurus's bagel shooter, it is a viable option. It is a bagel shooter because of the patterns of shot through a rifled barrel.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Home Defense Gun For Older Woman???
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:22 am 
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Deleted.


Last edited by deafrn on Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Home Defense Gun For Older Woman???
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:24 am 
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NHrural wrote:
Might be a good application for a pistol-caliber carbine. Much easier to shoot than a handgun.


This.

If there's any application for a Baretta Storm with a Streamlight M6, this is it.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Home Defense Gun For Older Woman???
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:18 pm 
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I was also going to suggest a pistol-caliber carbine, however as most of my shooting background is Cowboy Action, I tend to think of a lever action carbine with a 20" barrel. A nice Browning B-92 in .357, or a Rossi 92 in .357 or .45 Colt maks a light, easy to use and minimally recoiling alternative to a handgun in the same caliber. You can also get the Rossi in a 16" model. Oh, I forgot to mention the Marlin 94 as well.

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I recently read a good analogy that compares self defense to hunting deer. Would you use birdshot on deer? Why then, would you rely on it to protect yourself?


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 Post subject: Re: Best Home Defense Gun For Older Woman???
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:29 pm 
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If she can handle the recoil, a 38spl is still an effective home defense and backup gun.

The Ruger LCR is extremely well built, comes with CLT grips (optional) and is light and can shoot 38spl +P all day long.

Other than that, a can of pepper spray and a REALLY bright flashlight and some training would be a wonderful gift.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Home Defense Gun For Older Woman???
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:54 pm 
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100W_Warlock wrote:
The Ruger LCR is extremely well built, comes with CLT grips (optional) and is light and can shoot 38spl +P all day long.


The laser grips make sense, but a 13-ounce snubby is a poor choice for a beginner who's not going to carry concealed.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Home Defense Gun For Older Woman???
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:24 pm 
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A glock is no more difficult to operate than a DA revolver, except you get 18 shots instead of 5 or 6, and the trigger pull is half as hard...

A pump gun with a round chambered is no more difficult to shoot for one shot than a single shot. except subsequent shots only require two gross motor skills (rack back and forth), while reloading a break-open requires careful manupulation of individual shells.

A pistol-cal carbine is also a good choice as well. Especially something like a KelTec sub2000 with a single glock 33rd mag would give her a lot of shots with essentially no manipulation.


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 Post subject: Re: Best Home Defense Gun For Older Woman???
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 4:52 pm 
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Not exactly on topic but this reminded me of my grandmother. She died about 5 years ago at the age of 92. She had shot deer with a .30-30 Winchester for about 60 years when the recoil got a little too stout for her so for her 70th birthday her kids all through in on a Winchester Model 70 in .243. She killed deer with it well into her 80s.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Home Defense Gun For Older Woman???
PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 6:39 pm 
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I think a 16" barrel AR-15 with a collapsible stock is the best choice. Very low recoil and it still packs a punch. If an AR is too expensive I would recommend some other semi auto 223 like an SU-16.
A pistol caliber carbine is probably the second best choice, a beretta storm was mentioned earlier and I think that would work well. I think a PS90 might be something to look at because of its 50 round capacity and almost no recoil.
I would avoid revolvers simply because of their low capacity. If she decides to get a pistol make sure she can manipulate the slide with no problems.
I would stay away from a pistol because if she is going to stay put behind a bed a pistol has no advantage over anything with a stock.

It might be a little wierd to think of an 80 year old lady with a p90, but modern weapons are generally lighter weight, easier to use, and manage recoil better than their older wooden cousins.

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 Post subject: Re: Best Home Defense Gun For Older Woman???
PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:35 am 
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Quote:
My younger brother(rocket scientist) talked her into buying a Benelli Super Nova 12ga Pump. Needless to say, the gun didn't work out and he now uses it for duck hunting.



Sounds like the gun worked out just fine! He might be smarter than you give him credit for... :lol:


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