Many of the first-time gun buyers that come to Nashville Gun & Knife are purchasing a gun for home defense. They have seen guns used on television or discussed their needs with a neighbor or friend. Often they have no desire for a handgun carry permit; they just want some protection in the event of a robbery or other home invasion.
These are usually average folks that really don’t plan to receive much, if any, training and don’t plan to practice target shooting. Their vision of the damage a gun will do is gathered from the misinformation from their favorite television show. To them, all guns are the same and all guns do the same damage and require the same skill level.
Unfortunately, these misunderstandings are not realized until the need for a gun arises and then it is too late to select the correct weapon or to train and practice. My first advice to anyone is to develop your emergency plan, whether it is a house fire, heavy smoke, or a home invasion. Where are the family members? Who is responsible for calling 911 and who is responsible for the weapon that will be used for defense until the police can arrive? Unlike television, our mission is not to be a hero; our mission is for our family to survive the ordeal unhurt.
Often, the customer will say that he travels on business and wants a weapon that his wife and family can use for home defense during his absence. The majority of the time, they will ask for a handgun.
I had a friend that said, “The only reason I keep a handgun in the house is to give me time to get to my shotgun.” This friend is a highly skilled competitive shooter. He practices and trains frequently. These wise words should be meaningful to those looking for a form of home defense.
Put yourself in the moment. Imagine you are out of town and your wife and family are fast asleep. The security alarm goes off, or the dog barks, or something goes bump in the night. Your wife is awakened out of a deep sleep to realize she has to do something. Her heart rate will shoot up to 160 beats per minute and with it her manual dexterity will deteriorate. If proper planning and emergency practice has prepared her for this situation, she will have her cell phone on her bedside table and will punch a preprogramed 911. She will alert the family who will meet in a defensive location (between a bed and a wall) and grab the gun. She will not chase the sound or seek to confront the intruder. She will take up a defensive position and wait for the police.
Yes, but what gun? A semi-automatic handgun? Is she going to train and practice until the gun becomes a part of her? If not, this is a wrong choice. If she chooses a 9mm, is she confident that if she shoots and misses and the bullet goes through a wall she will not hit an unintended person on the other side? (Muzzle velocity of a handgun must be a consideration.) Remember, her heart rate has soared and her motor skills are inhibited. Can she rack the gun, manipulate the safety, and put the gun in service?
Remember my friend’s comment about the shotgun. For home defense or in poor lighting conditions, a shotgun is always a better choice than a handgun. “Oh, you already have a shotgun that you use for duck hunting.” But can your wife, who is under stress and probably has never shot your 12 gauge semi-automatic before, handle this gun?
So, what is the solution? Remember when you were a kid watching the old cowboy shows on T.V.? Remember the guard that always accompanied the stagecoach driver? He always carried a short double-barreled shotgun. It was effective in the 1800s and it is even more effective today for home defense.
Stoeger Industries makes what they call a Coach Gun. It is available in a 410 gauge, a 20 gauge and a 12 gauge. It weighs only 6.5 pounds and with the 20 inch barrel has a total length of only 36.5 inches. The Supreme model is available with a single trigger (less confusing) and on most models the safety automatically sets when the gun is loaded and cocked. This leaves only one slide to push in a difficult situation, the safety. It is as close to a point and shoot weapon as it gets.
Unless you are shooting slugs, a shotgun is less likely to go through a wall and hit an unintended target.
We believe this is the ideal home defender and at a price of less than $550. It is simple, safe to use and deadly if loaded with buckshot or personal defense ammunition.
Although the Stoeger Coach Gun is the perfect home defense gun for the undertrained person, we recommend a familiarization in the field with the gun. Take some cardboard boxes, a stapler and some newspaper and just shoot paper and boxes. You will learn to respect the gun and learn the shot pattern at various distances. Take a couple of quart bottles of orange soda for targets and you will learn how devastating the Coach Gun can be at close range (inside 10 to 20 feet). As you practice, remember, you will rarely have a shot of more than 20 feet.
Stop by Nashville Gun & Knife and take a closer look at this affordable little home defense tool.