re-posted from J4G’s
Alright, by now you have your pocket pistol and you are looking for the next step up. Pistols aren’t particularly lethal and you want a better option for you home. Well now, we have some options.
Before you get into long guns, you might want to check into that concealable body armor I mentioned. It will save your life. Or maybe think about adding a crimson trace to your pistol. That’s a laser aiming do-hickie. They work. Improved accuracy can save your life, but they also make target acquisition faster and speed is deadly.
We are going to start with shotguns. I recommend a Maverick 88. These are 12 gauge pump action shotguns and around here you can get one for $230 out the door. Add 100 rounds of birdshot for practice and you’re up to about $260. 10 rounds of decent deer slugs for when it counts and you’re up to about $275. Shotguns with deer slugs are the closets things to a hand held death ray out there. Entrance wound is a half inch in diameter, the exit hole somewhere around three quarters of an inch. Big holes mean quicker bleed out. But it’s not an instant kill. Deer slugs will knock the snot out of someone wearing body armor and penetrated pretty much whatever the bad guy is hiding behind. Use deer slugs when the shooting counts. Way back in the day, I watched various outfits and swat teams try to figure out the perfect shotgun ammo load, lock shredder, buckshot, buckshot slug. slug and endless combonations. Most folks settled on deer slugs. Deer slugs do it all. Any rate, that’s a lot of home defense for $300, but shotguns have liabilities too. #1 is low round capacity. The Maverick 88 with the 20 inch barrel has an 8 round capacity. This is sufficient for any man whose concerns end with typical breaking and entering type crime, but it’s still a smaller number of rounds compared to 30 in an “assault rifle”. Ideally you would reload the shotgun as you fire, or dump the 8, then reload while behind cover. This is somewhat trickier then you think under high stress, but a learn-able skill. Hit up You Tube and practice. If you are being cautious regarding typical street crime, bring your pocket pistol with you and drop the shotgun/ grab the pistol when the shot gun is out of ammo. Rounds are more costly, weigh a lot thereby limiting the number you can carry and you have limited range. Also, someone will short stroke the pump action when under stress. You see it pretty often during tactical shotgun class.
My go to home defense shotgun is a Maverick 88. Goes back to cost. I am going to be less upset about the cops taking my $230 shotgun vs a $600 weapon. At this point, with a KelTec in your pocket and a Maverick 88 by your bed, you are good to go.
There are other problems in the world besides some guy who wants your wallet or new flat screen. Those who live in large urban areas should also consider problems like large scale rioting and general lawlessness due to natural disasters. For this type of situation I am going to recommend old Russian battle rifles. They are readily available and same with the ammo, have proven track records, proven to be reliable without a lot of maintenance and care and generally are less costly than other battle rifles.
Another workable solution is the Mosin Nagant. There are three variants you see regularly and the start off around $130. This is a bolt action rifle with a 5 round capacity. They are relatively easy to load, again hit YouTube. The M44 version runs closer to $200 but has a shorter barrel and a better reputation for accuracy. The shorter barrel makes it a better option for indoor use, but long barrels are a pain in the ass outdoors also. A mosin in good condition should be able to hit a man-sized target out maybe to 150 yards. You load these rifles via stripper clips or one round at a time by hand. I think most folks will find them easier to reload by stripper clip. Again hit the You Tube. It shoots the 7.62x54R which is a hard hitting round, bigger then a .308. The last time I bought stripper clips it was about $60 for a 100 of them. Ammo is reasonable as well. A 440 round spam-can will run you right over $100. This rifle saw a lot of combat. They were used in WW1 and WW2, which is also their biggest liability. Its old and outdated. However if you want to keep your property safe during lawlessness like Katrina aftermath or the LA riots for less than most folks car payment…. it will get the job done. Recoil is stout, but not as bad as folks like to play up. Spray it out with hot water, then spray on WD40 and its clean enough. That’s a combat tested rifle for under $400. It is my less favorite option but it’s an option.
AK 74’s are next on the list. These shoot 5.45×39 and the Russians called this bullet the poison pill. With a small amount of Google-Fu you can pick these up in the $500-$600 range. Ammo is $250 for a can of 1080 rounds, 30 round mags run $12-$15 each. Get yourself 15 or so. I have never gone through more than 15 mags in a fire fight. If that works down range it’ll work stateside. I love these rifles for non-gun guys. Changing mags is somewhat difficult but agin, hit the YouTube and practice. The recoil is easy to manage, you should be able to hit a man sized target out to 300 yards with one. If not, have a gun smith look at it, or hit the YouTube to see how you can tighten the rifle up. They require close to no maintenance to keep going. Hot soapy water and WD40. $1100 investment and there isn’t much out there I wouldn’t take on with that set up. I also think this might be a better option for women who cannot mange 12 ga recoil. I hesitate to suggest such things because my daughter can handle a 12 ga. Past that I don’t know much about lady shooters. If money isn’t an issue, I recommend the AK 74 over a shotgun. More rounds, less opportunity for you to mess up and foul the weapon, greater range equals better weapon.
AK 47’s…. everything about the AK 74, but more recoil and more money to get started. Still a great option. Just add about $200 to the overall cost.
Now…. Someone is going nuts about me suggesting you use rifles and deer slugs for home defense. They are about to shit kittens about over penetration and rounds going through walls and killing some kid 3 doors down. Well calm down sparky. Not going to happen. How do I know that? Because the FBI doesn’t have one instant of it on record. No one has been sued or prosecuted for it. Stop worrying about nothing.
Some other cat is screaming ladies should use a 20 ga shotgun…. Wrong again sparky. The terminal ballistics on 20 ga’s suck. Women and very small framed guys who cannot or don’t want to deal with 12 ga recoil should save up for the AK 74.
Just like with pistols, I suggest you use a better quality ammo in the mag you keep in your rifle. Better ammo improves accuracy, reduces the already small failure rate for these weapon systems and increases lethality.
There are a lot of great WW2 and WW1 rifles on the market. German Guns, Swiss guns, you name it. However I don’t recommend any of them for the newbie owner. They cost more than their Russian counterparts and ammo can be more difficult to find.
Well there you have it. The most economical way I know for a person to be gunned up.