seeking advise on home defense weapon for lady in her late 70's - Pistolsmith

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Old 08-10-2014, 08:55 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1
seeking advise on home defense weapon for lady in her late 70's

Greetings to all,

I am asking for advise for an effective but controllable weapon for my 79 year old mother-in-law. She lives alone in a rural area; is younger than her chronological age(not frail, but has some arthritis). My first thoughts were of a good quality revolver with at least a 4" barrel to reduce some blast and to add weight to reduce recoil, Paired with a good low recoil ammo. (thoughts on a revolver and ammo)
Secondly, I have considered a Taurus-like "Judge "w/ 410 buckshot but have never shot one personally and don't know if she could handle this load in a hand gun.
Lastly, a good 410 or 20 gauge semi auto shot gun with a shortened barrel paired with #6 or#7 bird shot. Would make a hell of a blast inside her house but could be handy in other ways.
I am expecting varied answers but just want a number of recommendations to help with a decision.

Thanks to each of you who take your time to respond.


Last edited by qga31643; 08-10-2014 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:29 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,801
There's many answers, most depending on her actual ability to use whatever gun.
One answer is to take her to a well equipped gun store and let her pick her own.

A good semi-auto shotgun might well fill the bill, but I would not go with any bird shot. Bird shot is for birds. It totally lacks enough penetration to reliability get to vital organs, especially if the target is wearing a heavy jacket.
You'll be told, "But bird shot tears a big gaping bloody hole".
Yes, but it 's a big gaping bloody SHALLOW hole.

I'd recommend a reduced recoil load of lighter buckshot, #4 if you can find it.
Most 20 gauge buck seems to be mostly #3 full power.
A 410 will have even less recoil and buckshot is available.

If you buy her a semi-auto shotgun don't go too cheap. The cheaper guns seem to have more problems with reliability.

A good addition would be one of the top end Limbsaver recoil pads and an open cylinder choke.

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