A Nurse with a Gun

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Mauls and Mallets

I really enjoy your posts, and learn a lot. Recently I encountered a gentleman trying to break into my home. Fortunately nothing happened to me. I was in a T-shirt, shorts, bare foot, with no cell phone on me when I walked outside and interrupted his entry into my home with a half-log-splitter-half-mallet.
As a 48 year old with limited gun use, what gun would you recommend as a good entry level gun?
Thank you, and I look forward to your reply.

I have always considered a .22 pistol to be the best entry level handgun. The reason is simple. It helps in building marksmanship. Without marksmanship, any handgun is a useless noisemaker.

For home protection, I recommend a 12 gauge shotgun with a 18.5 inch barrel. The effects are devastating and quick, although there are a lot of myths about the shotgun for home defense. Just do a search here to find my thoughts on that issue.

For a first time home defense HANDGun, assuming marksmanship is not an issue, it's hard to beat the venerable S&W Model 10. It's dead reliable, portable, and with +P rounds, quite effective. They can be found used almost anywhere for around $200.

Of course, a log splitter/mallet is quite effective in most instances as well. It's the willingness to use the tool effectively that makes the difference, not the tool itself.




Blogger Edwardo said...

I love my Mossberg Maverick model 88. It's a 12 gauge pump shotgun. It has an 18.5" barrel and comes with the optional pistol style grip. I keep mine loaded with 00 buckshot. It's a steal for around $200.00 brand new.

10:57 PM  
Blogger phlegmfatale said...

Holy crap, that's chilling! Interrupting an intruder.

11:12 PM  
Anonymous Joseph said...

I also have a Mossberg model 88, loaded with Fiocchi reduced recoil 00 buckshot..bought at a gunshow for about 189.00. I'd stay away from the pistol grip, though.

11:58 PM  
Blogger Justin Buist said...

I'm with Xavier on using a 12 gauge (or even a 20 gauge) shotgun with a nice short 18.5" barrel for home defense.

Without looking at his archives the myths he speaks of are most likely:

1) That you do not need to aim. That's bunk. You need to aim a shotgun. Within the home you should expect your shot to spread out no more than a hand's width apart. Shotguns are not area weapons, they simply put a good number of round on target at one time. They are not a Claymore mine.

2) Not everybody runs when they hear a pump-gun chamber a round. Be preapred to use it. Likely a moot point if you're willing to investigate a bump in the night with an axe in hand.

Best of luck.

12:03 AM  
Blogger Matt G said...

I agree with your concise recommendations.

I would strongly encourage a neophyte to consider getting that shotgun in 20 gauge, however. Still highly devastating, but amazingly easy to deal with.

In the Model 10, I would encourage looking for a bull barrel, between 3" and 4" long. They point very well, but have short enough barrels that weapon retention is not as big a concern.

For the .22, I would probably consider getting a M17 or perhaps an M18, in the same length barrel and stocks as the M10.

8:02 AM  
Blogger BobG said...

"Of course, a log splitter/mallet is quite effective in most instances as well."

To tell the truth, I think a slug from a 38 would be preferable to getting your ribs and/or pelvis bashed in by a maul.

1:24 PM  
Blogger Rabbit said...

Part of that depends on the size of the homeowner holding the maul.

Of course, a pump 12 gauge has a much more pleasing initial audio alert than the crack of a skull under a 12 pound sledge, but hey, you use what you have at hand.


4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you very kindly for your recommendations. I greatly appreciate it. I think I'll start with the shotgun, and look into the 22 and the S&W Model 10. I have a shooting range not far from my home.
Please let me know if you ever sell any of you guns. I would feel more safe buying from someone with integrity.
Drop me a note if you can.
Thanks again.

5:24 AM  
Anonymous triticale said...

Anyone who doesn't back off upon hearing a pump action cycled is someone who constitutes a threat you should (IANAL) consider it appropriate to shoot.

7:05 AM  
Anonymous Mark in AZ said...

Mossberg 500 here, in "cruiser ready" condition. Maverick shotguns are ok, I just dislike cross-triggerguard safeties.

Nothing wrong with a 20 gauge as some have mentioned, but a 12 probably has less kick with the reduced low recoil or tactical loads than an equivelent laod in a 20. Due to 1) lower working pressure due to the larger bore, 2) greater weight of the firearm.

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Cranky said...

...Or someone who's deaf, or, too drunk to realize this isn't their house.

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Will said...

If a wife or juvenile/teen children might use it for home defense also, consider the 20ga. Also, if you and/or others in the household are not willing to spend the time to become well versed in the various functions of the action of the pump/auto shotgun, get something simple. A coach gun, ie: short double barrel with external hammers. This was the recommendation by Chuck Taylor, for untrained personnel. The external hammers are excellent status indicators, and the chambers can be left loaded for years without a cocked hammer, for safety. They can be had in 12 and 20ga.

4:48 AM  
Anonymous Keith said...

When I was about 10 years old I shot a rabbit with a .410 at about 10 feet. it was totally shredded.

A .410 might not kill someone with the certainty of a 20 or 12 guage, but for a youngster, a lightly built female or older person, that .410 fired at a mutant's face from close quarters will take it right off.

Personally, I dont think I've ever fired a 20 guage, nor do I want one.

I've seen to many 12 guage barrels with a burst just in front of the chamber, and I don't want one of my own.


11:47 AM  

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