This post in it's original form appeared on my Facebook page on Oct. 3 of this year. Some minor editing has been done to bring it over, but the message remains the same.
Once again it's time for a Friday Self Defense post. The past 2 fridays I talked about the most important question in self defense and the need to find a gun you're comfortable with. So now it's time for my personal picks for home defense. First thing to keep in mind here is that I'm talking about guns for use IN the home, not for concealed or even open carry; that makes a huge deference in my picks as you will see. The second point to keep in mind is that what you choose for your personal choice will be greatly influenced by where you live and who you live with. A Bachelor or single woman who lives by themselves are not going to as concerned with the bullet over-penetrating a wall and killing a loved one, where as a father (like myself) with young children will be greatly concerned with that possibility. So, keeping that in mind, my first choice is any good pump action shotgun with a short barrel and no choke, 12 gauge if recoil is not a concern, 20 gauge if the person (or at least one of the people) shooting it is bothered by it. The short barrel will make it much easier to maneuver inside a home, and while contrary to popular believe you DO need to aim a shotgun (especially if it does not have a riffled barrel), it comes as close to shooting from the hip as it gets. Plus you can get low velocity shells in bird shot and buckshot that will minimize penetration of the walls of your house.
The second of my personal choices would be either the Taurus Judge or S&W Governor. Both will shoot either a 410 shotgun shell or a Colt .45, and they both come in a variety of barrel lengths from 2 1/2 inches up to 6 inches. Personally I would go with a 4 inch barrel for the best compromise between maneuverability and muzzle climb from the recoil, but that is a distinctly personal decision that really has nothing to do with how good the gun is.
My next choice would be a good .380 such as the Walther PK380. This gun has an 8 round magazine, 1 round larger than the next largest .380 I'm familiar with, and is also one of the largest .380's on the market as far as I know. This means a larger grip making for more secure shooting, plus a longer barrel resulting in a longer sight picture and increased accuracy. Plus the reduced load as compared to a 9 mm means the bullet is again less likely to over penetrate a wall and kill or injure someone on the other side.
For my forth choice, I would probably go with a Ruger SR9, but that's mainly because I happen to really like Ruger. A Glock 17, a Glock 19, a S&W M&P9, or a a Springfield XD would all be equally good if that's what you happen to be more comfortable with. I'm going with a full size pistol here because the longer barrel and heavier frame makes for more accurate shots even when terrified, and I'm choosing a 9mm because you can normally fit more rounds in the magazine than you can with a .40.
For my final choice, I'd go with a good solid 1911. There's very few guns that speak with more authority, and, at least according to one my friends on the force, it's a slower round so even with it's heavier size it's less likely to penetrate bunches of walls. So there you have my choices in a brief ramble. Your's may vary; indeed I hope they do. Life would get extremely boring if we all agreed on everything.
P.S. Shortly after this ramble appeared on my Facebook page, one of my friends asked me why I didn't include a MSR (Modern Sport Rifle for those new to the term). I didn't for two main reasons.
1) See opening statements about a father (me) being concerned about over-penetration. Any rifle round other than a .22LR is going to be much more powerful than any handgun round out there.
2) Unless it's a SBR (Short Barreled Rifle, which requires a special tax to be paid and paperwork to be filed with the Feds) a rifle of any kind tends to be too long to be maneuverable inside a house or apartment. So the person trying to use it stands a very high chance of not being to swing the muzzle around to fire at any intruder when he or she needs to.