For all the obvious legal reasons, possible or perceived interpretations etc., we cannot recommend certain brands of weapons, any laws or legal use of a firearm and when to use them or not. The below is for those not familiar with firearms and for general discussion purposes only. We are not professing to be an expert and it is up to each person to do their own research. Respect all laws in your area or to areas you may be traveling and treat every firearm as being loaded and therefore a lethal device.
One very important thing to note here is that any man or women who can lift a child, set of golf clubs, swing a tennis racket or operate a can opener etc., should be able to “work” / operate any firearm. Start slow, take courses, and talk with knowledgeable people and go out and practice. Simply take your time, be safe, enjoy and be prepared to defend yourself.
We will discuss three types of firearms. Handguns, Rifles and Shotguns:
Great item but not always as easy to obtain a permit for. In Canada; they are almost impossible to obtain and each state, province or even city may have their particular laws and application processes so be fully informed! Handguns come in many sizes of caliber (size of bullet) and action (how it operates).
A revolver typically has five to eight plus rounds of ammunition that are loaded into a cylinder and that cylinder “revolves” around loading a bullet each time you pull the trigger. “Automatics” are actually semi-automatic and have a clip / magazine holding 9 plus rounds (bullets). Once the action is slid back, a round is chambered and the gun is ready to fire. Each time it is fired or until it runs out of bullets it automatically and rapidly chambers a new round and is ready to have the trigger squeezed to fire again.
If new to handguns and not comfortable with a semi-automatic, a revolver in 38 caliber is a decent choice and while not a powerful round, it did the job for the military or police for decades.
A semi-automatic would be my choice and it would be in 9MM or 45 Caliber. There are some very nice small semi-automatics in “9mm short” and due to their kick, are less intimidating then the larger caliber handguns. Handguns can be equipped with flashlights, lasers or combo of both and are a great accessory in low light conditions.
Like all ammunition, a high power rifle “cartridge/ bullet” may go through multiple walls! So if you use one in a home, know that whether you miss or hit the person, the bullet can easily go into the next room or beyond.
The AR type rifle chambered for 223 Caliber is one of the most popular rifles out there. It is easy to hold, is usually light and has where permitted by law, the capability of using large magazine clips. Like any firearm or tool, learn how it works and treat it with respect.
Pump action or lever action rifles are alternatives and almost any caliber out there will work for you. Another popular rifle is the Ruger 10/22 and is chambered for the “22” caliber bullet. It provides virtually no noticeable kick back, is cheap to practice with and a great gun for target practice and generally becoming familiar with rifles. As a 22 Caliber round is small in diameter and not very powerful, shot placement is absolutely critical. Again, attachments for flashlights and lasers are a nice accessory to have.
They are used for hunting, self-defence or police type work. They are powerful and can blow a serious hole in a door etc. A 20 or 12 gauge shotgun are common home defence choices and can be a very intimidating looking weapon.
Even when properly placed in a shoulder, the “kick” on a 12 Gauge shotgun can be significant, so using a 20 gauge can be less of an issue for some. Firing it from waist level like you see in the movies can have the gun fly out of the hands of inexperienced users. Looks cool but not the best way for the average person to shoot one and if it “jumps” out of your hands, the gun can discharge / fire a round when it hits the floor or the bad guy can grab it off the floor and use against you.
A man or women can typically handle all of the below but people will have their preferences. The 20 gauge is the smallest gauge shot gun I would consider and the bigger 12 Gauge only for those who can safely manage the kick.
“Buckshot” and “slugs” ammunition are most often chosen in a shotgun for home protection; with buckshot providing for a larger spread or area of coverage. A pump action or semi-automatic shotgun are what many consider optimal for home defence.
Once you have completed your course/s and go join a professional range; get out and practice with any firearm you own. Safely handling a weapon, loading, unloading and firing them are essential to your safety and the ability to accomplish your objective.
Guns, clips and ammo are made like everything else in this world, with good or bad manufacturing tolerances and vary in cost.
Having enough ammunition is also something many people forget about. Some will say you want hundreds or even thousands of rounds in your home and I leave that to you. A full box of ammunition for each type of firearm you have is what should be considered the minimum.
Know the laws and like anything, fully understand how everything works.