Which long gun?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by amelia, Apr 9, 2005.

  1. amelia

    amelia Well-Known Member

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    For all-around protection from predators, both animal land human, and considering ease of use for a woman whose only experience with guns is a little .38 revolver, what kind of long gun would you suggest?
     
  2. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    An over/under .410/22LR proves to be very usefull and easy to handle in a rural area. Light recoil, adequate range, enough firepower to get the job done, low cost ammo, easy to maintain. Versatilable, adequate, appropiate, and danged cute!
     

  3. wy0mn

    wy0mn Transplanted RedNeck

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    If your truly familiar with the .38, then you don't need anything else. Use what your good with. You'll probably be safer with it too, without the need for further practice or training.
    You didn't state a model or make, but with a 4-6 inch barrel and various types of ammo, you are ready for snakes to humans, and deer sized game at reasonable distances.
    They market .38 ammo in soft point, hollow point (more damaging), shot cartridges, and even quad loads (stacked lead bullets, equate to buckshot). There are even +P (plus positive) rounds that have increased velocity & energy, if your gun is a newer model & can handle the extra pressures generated. Sort of like having the lower range of the .357 magnum performance.
    I cut my teeth on revolvers but for now the only handgun I have is a 9mm. Do I feel under powered? NO. I place my shots where the count. Thats all you have to do.
    Enjoy the .38
    Lex
     
  4. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

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    I think 4 guns are essential, for different purposes.

    1. Handgun - for concealable portection and defense, and ease of carry.

    2. .22LR rifle - cheap ammo, usually inexpensive, takes care of most pest problems, useful for slaughter of livestock, and does well for light hunting, such as squirrels.

    3. Shotgun - the most useful firearm around the farm, IMO. Single-shots are super cheap, super easy to load and handle, but are limited to one shot at a time. Autos have their advocates, but I'd rather have a good double, or a pump.

    4. Centerfire rifle - the most ubiquitous caliber being either 30-30, or 30-06. What you want for hunting bigger stuff, like deer, elk, caribou, javelina, or what you want when you want to reach out and touch something.


    In this particular case, I'd recommend a 20 gauge shotgun. My favorite would be a Remington 870 Youth - this gun is built on the LW frame, not the standard one, therefore it is lighter, somewhere around 5 1/2 to 6 pounds. It is chambered for 3" magnum, and has screw-in chokes. With the right combo, you can squirrel hunt, or you have an effective deer killer out to about 60-70 yards.

    If a pump is too intimidating, a double will be fine. Mechanically simple, and the manual of arms is very simple. Savage is bringing in some Russian made doubles, under the Stevens name. Just as the old Stevens, they are decently made, but not too fancy, thereby keeping the cost down. They are not too heavy, and they shoot pretty good, with failry well centered patterns (always a concern with an inexpensive double).

    My .02 cents, YMMV.
     
  5. wy0mn

    wy0mn Transplanted RedNeck

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    Whatever you choose, if it is for self defense. Please, please add a laser sight with a trigger activated switch. They make models for handguns, rifles & shotguns.
    Great for low light or when your in a hurry.
    If the target is a biped, just throw a laser dot on him and aim for the smell... 'cause he WILL have one. lol
     
  6. ozarksnick

    ozarksnick Don't Tread On Me!

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    I also recommend a 20ga.

    But I differ from other folks. I suggest a single shot from New England Firearms (they run about $80). The guns can be safely stored loaded with the hammer down, because of their transfer bar safety system. Extra shells can be kept in one of those elastic cuffs in the stock and with only a little practice the gun can be reloaded very rapidly.

    The guns are simple. You cock the hammer and pull the trigger. Very easy for someone who is not familiar with guns to figure out. And it's less crap to deal with when you wake up at 1 a.m. to the sound of shattering glass.

    People make a big deal about pump shotguns. Three reasons I don't.

    First, you probably won't ever need more than one shot. Most of the time you won't even need the one. Most criminals will turn tail and run when they find themselves staring at the giant hole of at the end a 20ga. If you're anticipating having to shoot it out with multiple adversarys (unlikely till society goes kaput) you'd be better with an SKS, AK47 or AR15.

    Second ... people make a big deal about the deterrent factor of the sound of racking a round in a pump gun. In my mind, I see that sound as giving away your location and giving the perp a target to shoot back at.

    Third ... you can safely have a pump's magazine loaded but not IMO have one in the chamber. When that glass breaks at 1 a.m. to load your gun you've got to push the release button near the trigger guard, rack the action then take the safety off. When you get that rude awakening, between the fog of sleep and the rush of adreneline, I'd bet you won't be able to work the gun quickly. Unless you train extensively for that situation.

    Stay away from laser sights et al. Just another thing to complicate the process. Learn to shoot your gun, that way when the other guys' laser sight batteries die you can still kill him. A shotgun doesn't need to be aimed. A 20ga with a field load of #6 shot at about 5 yards makes a hole in frozen dirt about 3-5 inches across and 2-4 inches deep (don't ask me how I know this ;) ). It's the original point and click.
     
  7. JoyKelley

    JoyKelley Well-Known Member

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    Amelia, I am female and like to shoot guns. I think you'd do best with a 22 lever action and get really good at it, then maybe get one with a scope but learn to be good with your own eyes first, I think the 38 is great but you said "little" you need a gun that you can hit your target without being right on 'em, so if it is a 2" barrel item , get a S&W ladysmith or airlite and I absolutly agree on the shotgun, I keep a pistol grip by the bed, It kicks like a mule but if I need it, it will take out home invasion creep with out really aiming and it won't shoot throught the walls and kill a kid 2 rooms away.

    PS, If you pull it out on a human being, ....shoot,... don't threaten, don't point it at them to intimidate, any man can take a gun from you and use it one you, if you aren't going to shoot first, ask questions later then don't pull the gun out .
     
  8. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

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    The part about using your weapon is very good!
     
  9. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    The "Freedom! Self Reliance" forum also functions as the default firearms forum as well. A recent thread there addresses your question, and refers back to another one as well. Read "Guns for Women" at http://homesteadingtoday.com/showthread.php?t=77146

    Also, if you're out of practice, consider taking a hunter safety course or some such - not so much for the "hunter" part of it as for the fact that it's the commonest available package that addresses safe handling of longarms. It would also be a source of information to help you make decisions out of knowledge and hands-on experience.
     
  10. BASIC

    BASIC Well-Known Member

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    amelia,I don'y know much about homesteading but I do know about firearms.I've managed/worked in gun stores for about 20 years.The first think you should do is find a NRA(National Rifle Association)certifided instuctor and take some training.The best single firearm to have is a shotgun.I would prefer a pump but ozarksnick idea of a single shot or Jolly's of a side by side,would still be a valid choice.I'd also prefer a 12 ga.with the choice of ammunition avalible,bird shot,low recoil buckshot and slugs,I don't think recoil is that much of a factor.Finding a shotgun that will fit you(depeding on your size) might be the only reason to go with a 20 ga.I don't recomend lasers,there a gimmick,spend the time and money on training.If you do buy a pump shotgun,I would suggest either a Remington 870 or a Mossberg 500(12 ga or 20 ga.) or a 590 (12 ga.only).Also stay away from pistol grip shotguns,the only thing they offer is to make the overall size of the weapon smaller but recoil is much greater and the pointability of the shotgun is lost.The only good reason for a handgun is you could have it on your person at all times.Handguns are harder to shoot well and much less efective than a shotgun.Whatever you end up with you have to be very conscientious of the ability of the projectile to penetrate unwanted opjects, ie.walls,doors,etc.When someone buys or thinks about buying a firearm they have a responsibility of getting the best training they can find.Good luck,if I can help you,please let me know,BASIC.
     
  11. wy0mn

    wy0mn Transplanted RedNeck

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    Still gotta love the handgun.
    I know I've spent my nickel on this topic but...
    I spent 11 years in the military AND behind a badge.
    Unless you can get some training with a Tactical unit, you are better off NOT trying to negotiate a doorway with a longgun, at all. Daytime or dark.
    Try this.
    Toss a rubber ball into a nearby room, grab your broom & charge in there seeking the target. Repeat the process at a walk and at a tip toe motion.
    You enter a doorway with the barrel pointed up and its useless, it isn't pointing at anything dangerous. Or, you enter the room with a foot of barrel preceeding you. Nice way to have a gun taken away from you.
    A handgun can be held close to the body, which leaves the other hand free for whatever, and makes it harder for someone to take away from you.
    Lasers? Some are junk I'll admit. But a quality piece of equipment can mean the difference in seeing your next sunrise ESPECIALLY if you do have to shoot from the hip. Far too many people think they can, like John Wayne, blaze away from this position. It ain't true, it ain't easy.
    The best thing to keep from ever having to use a gun inside your home? A dog. Big, or small, just so long as it can yap or bark. Early warning system.
     
  12. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    wy0mn, as much as you love handguns, they are of limited use. They are short range, and depending on the model and calibre they lose accuracy beyond 30 yards. I would never limit myself to one gun, at the very least on a homestead I would keep a 22 rifle, and some sort of shotgun.
     
  13. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    First get some GOOD training. The NRA could probably hook you up with a QUALIFIED instructor. I'm not sure if WA has a CCW law but if they do take the class and get your permit even if you don't intend on carrying. You learn all sorts of legal and other information that is very useful.

    What gun? I'd start with a .22 rifle to get yourself accustomed to basic marksmanship and safe weapons handling practices. The ubiquitous Ruger 10/22 would be a excellent beginner gun. That or one of the inexpensive marlin lever or bolt actions. Be advised that the .22 isn't a defensive weapon unless you can dump multiple rounds into the assailant. It is good for killing rabbits and varmints who are turning your garden into their own personal salad bar however and every homestead should have one.

    For a shotgun I'd might start with a .410 or 20 ga. depending on your recoil tolerance. A 12 ga. would be great if you can handle it. A simple pump gun such as the Remington 870 would be a good choice. I know a couple of ladies who swear by their .410 shotguns loaded with slugs and heavy bird shot as a defensive weapon and garden gun.

    I don't like a shotgun or any long gun for "inside" the home use unless you have a very open floor plan. It is far too easy for an assailant to grab the muzzle and immobilize your weapon. I'd stick with a handgun. Your little .38 with the proper ammunition is just fine for a house gun.

    When you are ready for a centerfire rifle there are a multitude of choices. I wouldn't get one right away. You have to walk before you can run.

    If I had to choose a basic 3 or 4 gun rack for the homestead I would choose a rifle in 30/06 or .308 for larger game and varmints. A winchester or Remington bolt action or maybe a semi-auto depending on your tastes. Around here a Remington 7400 autoloader topped with a 3x9 scope is about as common as carhardt chore coats. A Remington 870 or Mossberg 590 12 ga. shotgun. A pistol of the largest caliber you can shoot accurately and comfortably. For me that is a Glock or Sig Sauer in .45 as I've never messed around with revolvers much. I'd have to toss in a Ruger10/22 in there too. Everyone needs a .22 or some sort.

    Quality laser sights are great. The universal clamp on affairs are junk but quality units such as the laser grips are great. I've got them on one of my Sigs. It has made me a better shooter even when I use a handgun without them. Not something I'd start out with though. A good high quality small flashlight would be a good idea for a beginner however.

    Another thing about weapons is don't buy junk. Especially for a weapon you are going to trust your life to. Buy high quality and take care of it and it will last for generations. Make sure you buy high quality defensive ammo for it and run enough ammo through it to see what it likes and to check how it functions with different ammo. The last thing you need is a gun that doesn't go bang when there is a 350 pound rapist on angel dust crashes into your bedroom at 3 am.
     
  14. gilberte

    gilberte Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Although I could add my own advice here I won't, you've already gotten enough to confuse Socretes. I would like to add that whatever you choose, make sure you secure your weapons so others can't access them without your permission.

    I go so far as to keep mine in a locked gun safe with the key on a chain around my neck. I don't want anybody reading about somebody getting my guns and going on a shooting rampage.
     
  15. ozarksnick

    ozarksnick Don't Tread On Me!

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    Well, you won't have to read about it. Because you'll be dead when someone breaks into your home and kills you while you're fumbling to unlock your gun safe.

    Sorry if this seems harsh.
     
  16. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    sometimes the truth is harsh
     
  17. centexguy

    centexguy Well-Known Member

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    It looks like you have gotten some good advice here already but I couldnt resist putting my two cents in so here it is. I have to agree with Jolly on this. a gun is just a tool. (a dangerous one no doubt). Its kinda like " whats the best shovel to have around the homestead", I probably have a least 10, round,flat, sharpshooter... not trying to be smart. It really depends on the person and what you need it for. sm. revolver .38 (say your home alone and some stranger pulls up outside asking directions,you want to sell that old tractor etc') he may be sincere he may not, having a pistol in your pocket will even the odds without being threating. .22 rifle for varmits or small animals. 20g or 12g for home protection.30.06, .270 etc only if you want to hunt deer, bear, or need range over100yards. If your on a tight budget and can only afford one, I would say get a 20g single shotgun or maybe a pump action. Find a friend or take a course and shoot that thing regularly, so you know how to use it. ;)
     
  18. gilberte

    gilberte Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My Shepherd, Molly, gives me more than ample warning when there is something or someone around. I wouldn't want to be the one to test my system, but if you want to go ahead :)
     
  19. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes threads get a little tangled as they wind along....I like revolvers and pistols - I've got a half dozen of them, but we're talking long guns here.

    Now I'll be the first to agree that the untrained person can easily lose a long gun in CQC, but if a handgun was the best offensive and defensive weapon, the army wouldn't issue all those M16s and combat shotguns.

    No, a long gun can be quite effective. I mentioned specifically the 870 Youth, because of weight, and length. Ditto the double. I can see a good case made for the single, although IME multiple shots are many times involved in close encounter shootings.

    One gun never does it all, but I'm a big proponent of the shotgun being the most versatile around the homestead....
     
  20. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    For home protection, the 12 guage is under the bed. 3 am the window breaks, husband's out of town, dogs going nuts, can't find my glasses, adrenaline is just pumping - I can point the shotgun at the doorway and take out anything in it. Including the door itself.

    For varmints, problem coyotes, and hunting I like the Winchester '94 30/30.

    Those are the guns I have used over and over and am comfortable with. I'd really recommend you go to a range and rent every long gun they have so you can try them out. Everybody is built differently and has different preferences, you won't know what fits you well until you try the things out.