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Ladyhay

Can I ask a momma question? Coupled with a what gun/will this gun work ?

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A lot of good advice from the others, I don't have much to add. I have a 5 shot 38spl J frame Model 36 LadySmith by the bed, excellent home defense nightstand gun in my opinion. It is really my wife's gun, she does not carry and does not shoot very much, just not really her thing. Our kids are grown up now but still live at home, 17 & 19, so our situation is a little different than yours. They grow up fast.

 

+1 for flashlight, outdoor motion lights, security system, dog, rosebush, training. Home defense is not only about the weapon but it is a frame of mind. Planning, strategy, practice, etc go along way.

 

It's great that you are seeking advice and reading up on things. Don't worry about the deadline of the trip, just work at your own pace and things will come together.

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Regarding adjustment of outdoor motion lights... If you crank the sensitivity up, a windy night will have them coming on regularly. Make sure that won't be too annoying.

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I just wanted to let you all know that I am reading long, just busy with the children the last couple of days.

 

Thank you all very much for your kindness and knowledge. 

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Regarding adjustment of outdoor motion lights... If you crank the sensitivity up, a windy night will have them coming on regularly. Make sure that won't be too annoying.

Yea, the buddy of mine that put them up for me is coming out today to adjust me the sensitivity and critique them some for me. I want them to reach out and wind turning them on is not an issue with me. I would rather they work and be sensitive than not work when I need them to.  Thanks for the advice though. Didn't know about the wind issues.

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Yea, the buddy of mine that put them up for me is coming out today to adjust me the sensitivity and critique them some for me. I want them to reach out and wind turning them on is not an issue with me. I would rather they work and be sensitive than not work when I need them to.  Thanks for the advice though. Didn't know about the wind issues.


One thing to keep in mind regarding the wind setting it off, you will most likely become jaded to them coming on if it is a frequent occurrence. It would be just my luck that the one time a bad guy was prowling my property it would be a windy night...

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this stuff is important.  What is being said without being said is that your gun is your last line of defense, always.   When the gun comes out, things already went very, very wrong.   Out and about, carrying,  you try to stay alert and safe by having good awareness, not going to dangerous places if you can avoid them,  and such.  At home you have an alarm, animals, lights, tech and all sorts of toys that can be used to warn you of an intruder or scare one away.   You can do a lot for just a little money, and the stuff not only helps when you are there, it helps when you are away from home too.    The one break in I have had, guy ran away after setting off the alarm, which saved me who knows how much aggravation.  All I had to deal with was a broken window,  not too bad considering.

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Something that hasn't been covered. It sounds like your kids room is on the first floor. If you own your home I'd recommend planting a rose (or some other prickly type) bush beneath their bedroom window. Thugs won't enter or hide there.

 

The alarm system is another good idea, it doesn't need to be 'monitored' by a company, just make noise and maybe turn on a light.

 

Rose bushes for sure, but that will happen in the spring, I suppose.  Not much of a green thumb here.  I do sod and call it a day. :)

Good advice on illuminating the area from Bersaguy. Additionally I like the idea of rose bushes outside of windows.

Ladyhay, I had a thought this morning, have you tried going down to the local PD station and asking for training recommendations? Odds are high that whoever is in charge of officer training also works with civilians. You may or may not get a bit of resistance from the desk officer ("buy a dog", buy a baseball bat", "call us") but if you are polite yet firm that you have decided your course of action, you will most likely walk away with some good info.

The majority of police officers I've dealt with (and with one former, one retired, and one active in the family that's been more than a few) are very pro gun and want people to be able to defend themselves. A minority are not and will try to bully you into thinking that being able to safely defend yourself is beyond you. "A bad guy might take it away and use on you" "your opening yourself up to lawsuits" etc.

Odds are your interaction will be a smooth, positive one. Don't be discouraged if its not though.

 

 

this stuff is important.  What is being said without being said is that your gun is your last line of defense, always.   When the gun comes out, things already went very, very wrong.   Out and about, carrying,  you try to stay alert and safe by having good awareness, not going to dangerous places if you can avoid them,  and such.  At home you have an alarm, animals, lights, tech and all sorts of toys that can be used to warn you of an intruder or scare one away.   You can do a lot for just a little money, and the stuff not only helps when you are there, it helps when you are away from home too.    The one break in I have had, guy ran away after setting off the alarm, which saved me who knows how much aggravation.  All I had to deal with was a broken window,  not too bad considering.

 

 

Does anyone have a recommendation for an alarm system?  

 

I spoke with my husband in a nice heart to heart. Now, he knows this more than I gave (give) him credit for, and he is teaching me.  Target shooting really isn't the biggest issue.  I shoot well at the targets.  I shoot a .22LR mostly, and the Glock recently and today.  He humors me.  His take is not that I would miss, or shoot myself, or the wrong person. He thinks I will freeze and give someone a nice weapon to use on me. I fear he may be right.  Of course, one can never know, right?   

 

You get to a point in all the reading and research, that you find how much power and responsibility one holds in their hands. The weight of considering the aftermath...  I am sure you have all been there.  And at this point I am stuck.  All I am doing is working with him target shooting (at home again, the neighbor lady should be over soon to complain) and continuing to read, hopefully something will change my mind.  The guns are still here, should something occur. 

 

I would like a recommendation if anyone has one on the alarm system.  We basically have one small house down stairs and one small house upstairs.  No one lives down stairs, it is a garage w a living quarters. LOTS of floor to ceiling windows, and then the upstairs.  

 

I have considered and he has offered to buy me a Taser for when away from home.  Is this anyway an alternative? 

 

We are not ready for a full time dog, I was hoping to wait until the kids were older. But I may borrow one for his trip!

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The taser would be one option, but you might consider getting a bear sized can of pepper spray for a less than lethal option. Of course spraying pepper spay indoors can be a problem for anyone in the room but there are ways to minimize that. And when you do feel as though you are ready for a dog, a male lab would be a great choice. They are wonderful with children and can be very protective. I, personally, have a pitbull mix and a lab mix and they bark at every little noise that they hear. I would be hesitant to suggest a pitbull with small kids even though I know most of their reputation for attacking kids is unfounded. My pitbull absolutely loves kids and would protect my daughter or me with her life. And any large dog will give you the few seconds of warning that could save your life.

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I would say that you will shoot when the time comes. If someone breaks into your home and you feel danger to you and your children I have no doubt you will pull the trigger. With a taser you will need to be to close. Use the gun and get an alarm system that is monitored. That will give you peace of mind and protect you and your children.

Just my humble opinion.

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Ladyhay, security systems aren't all the same; recommendations would depend on where you live (you can PM me if you wish, and care to share your city or town), and what, exactly, you are looking for -- a PM to Dralarms might be in order, too, if he doesn't weigh in ... but a good system needs to be designed after an on-site evaluation; you can get a pretty decent idea of what you will need from a phone call, though.

 

And as far as your "freezing," I'm with joe45 -- mothers -- good mothers -- will do pert near ANYTHING to take care of their children.  I have no doubt that you will respond appropriately (especially with training).  Another option to the taser is a good 'ol can of wasp and hornet spray.  You don't have to be as close (some of those hornet sprays will reach 15 to 20 feet), and a shot to the eyes will *temporarily* disable/blind someone.  You may have to hit your local Farmers Co-op or a similar type store for some of that stuff.

 

Again, good luck -- and the suggestions for motion-sensor lighting, etc., is spot-on, along with dead-bolt locks, etc.

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I just went out and checked my sensor reaching and I had to adjust both of them because they were coming on two close to the house and I wanted to to reach out farther. Now I went and tested them again and they will now turn on when anyone gets with in about 40 feet of the house which is perfect for me. I don't want that at my door before the lights come on. I do want to give them a chance to run before they are trying to out run incoming hot lead. I had to laugh when neighbor in Duplex came home a few minutes ago. Our carports are right next to each other and it scare her as she began to walk towards the house and the lights came on all at once. I asked her if she wanted me to adjust them so she did not trigger them on her walk from her car to her door and she said no and appreciated the lights and now she does not have to walk between her car and house in the dark any more.

The deer keep tripping mine...

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Joining in late in the conversation, but in running thru firearms selections with my wife, a double action revolver would be the best weapon of choice for you.

 

When we started trying to find HER a suitable weapon, I ran her thru an old "stress drill" that was taught to me. Made her run a hundred feet or so, pick up the pistol, and try to shoot a man size target on a sheet of plywood that is 15-20 feet away. This is with me yelling/screaming while she is trying to shoot. Gets the blood and adrinaline pumping.

 

1st was a single action revolver. on the 2nd or third shot, she forgot to cock it.

 

 Second was with one of my 1911s. Unknown to her, the 3th rd in the mag was a snap cap. When it snapped, she fumbled. She did get the 1st 3 rds on the plywood.

 

 Third, was a S&W 586, loaded with .38s and a snap cap. When the gun snapped, she continued to pull the trigger and continue firing. She got 4 of the 5 rds on target, the one after the snap cap was on the plywood, but that proved to her that she was anticipating the recoil.

 

My wife was VERY familiar with all three pistols before we ran thru the drill, having shot all many times before.

 

 Most people in a stressful situation will probably not know what to to on a FTF (failure to feed) or FTE. (failure to extract)  If you can't clear it in a situation, it is a club.

 

A double action revolver, for the most part, you pull the trigger, it fires.

 

 Whatever you use, be it the 38 or the Glock. SHOOT it ALOT. get familiar with it. Make sure whatever you chose IS reliable. And you can operate it. If it is not reliable, or you can not operate it properly in a stressful situation, find something else.

 

Hopefully, ( and I pray) the time will NEVER come when you have to see if you will pull the trigger.

 

Another thing I have taught is the same as safeandsecure mentioned: wasp spray.

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A basic alarm system goes off if a door or window opens,  might have a motion detector or two in key locations,  probably uses a cell phone to call the service.  Its important to have it monitored,  so the police are alerted --- usually they are set off, the service calls the home, and if no one answers or the person answering does not have a password, they call the police.  In the meantime it makes noise, alerting you and scaring the thug.   You can get fancy from there, whatever your comfort level is.  

 

If someone is IN YOUR HOME, its not time to be spraying them with hornet spray or conking them on the head with a rolling pin or hoping your one shot with a tazer works.   The time for playing nice ended when they came inside.

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Yep, a gun's probably better than bug spray, but a face full of Shooters Choice Quick-Scrub, or brake cleaner, would sure ruin somebody's day. I got a tiny bit of quick-scrub splash back in the eye one time, and it was BAD.

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Just a few additional points. Our home also has a lot of big windows.  Our security system has a glass break monitor, but we get a lot of bird strikes that set off the alarm. Of course, this would not be a problem at night, but it is something to consider when installing alarms to protect your home when you are away.

 

Here's my suggestions on freezing up. 

 

We practice so we don't have to think. In a crisis, you resort to muscle memory to react without needing to take the precious seconds to think. I suggest you visualize a number of scenarios and decide in advance how you would react to them. Start with the worst possible scenario and work down. Ex: An armed person has broken into your home, shot or cut you with a knife, hurt your children or worse, but you have escaped to the location of your firearm. You retrieve the weapon, aim center of mass, fire twice. Continue firing until the threat is neutralized.

 

Now, move to a less extreme scenario: You're home alone. You hear the sound of someone breaking in, so you.... 

 

You get the idea. This is training so you don't have to think as much in a fluid, dangerous situation. I'd second the suggestion to find and attend a good self defense training course.

 

Once you develop a mindset of "I definitely would shoot someone in this situation," then the barrier has been broken.  

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The peace of mind I have with our security system is worth every penny. I travel a lot and leave my wife with our two kids, so we have multiple layers of security and deterrence. Simply having a firearm in your home isn't enough. The idea would be to prevent them from ever entering.

So the passive measures of deterrence, for example, would be the motion lights, security sign in the front yard and the loud barking dog. Motion lights aren't there to alert me of anything, they're there to scare bad guys from attempting to gain entry to poorly lit areas which are not easily seen from the road or neighbors' houses. If someone attempting to gain entry ignores these three things and proceeds anyway, the ante is upped and the next layer of security is enabled.

This would be the alarm screaming a 135 db. That is a pretty good deterrent for several reasons. They now know that the house is alerted to their presence and now they have lost some degree of situational awareness since they can't hear movement. Also, now they know the police are on the way. We had a false alarm once and the PD made it out in less than ten minutes.

Next they have to deal with the attack dog which is looking for someone to eat. Since we have kids, our plan is to consolidate in their room and wait for police, so movement on my end is required. If, after all that nonsense they are dumb enough to still want to tussle they would have to deal with getting shot, but the mindset of a criminal is not as such. They want a quick and easy score. Why risk death or jail time when you could just retreat and go after a softer target?

Thing is, most criminals will case their victims. Get an alarm; put up motion lights; put a dog in your yard, or at least a 'beware of dog' sign. It's better to prevent it ever from happening than worry about having to shoot someone in your home.

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I just reread this entire thread. I see you have arthritis and several shotguns. Don't get stuck in the "I have one gun for defense" line of thinking.  You could buy any most quite a few of the handguns in the classifieds here and resell them in a few months for within $50 of what you paid. Handguns hold their value, so unless you overpay, you'll be fine.  Don't feel like you're wasting $500 to get another gun, if you decide to do so. 

 

My point is that you should have more than one firearm for home defense. 

 

I'd suggest that in addition to your revolver, you modify one or more of your shotguns for defensive purposes. Everyone recommends pump action, but an automatic will kick less and you don't have to learn how to pump it. You can have the barrel cut to 18" or replace it with a shorter barrel. You can shorten the stock and add a recoil pad.  You can hang it horizontally on the wall so high a 4-year-old can't reach it. Loaded with birdshot, it will not pass through a bad guy to hurt someone else. (I'd suggest #4 shot, but someone else with more knowledge than me can comment on that.)  We have a Taurus Circuit Judge 410 shotgun by the bedside with #4 defense load in it. The action is just like a revolver so my wife doesn't have to learn how to pump a shotgun.

 

In your situation, you should get a bedside safe with a fingertip security lock so the kids can't get to it.  Keep the handgun in the safe or in a holster on your person at all times. 

Edited by jgradyc

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Hi Lady-Hay,

 

I am a newcomer here, and this is so late in response to your posts.  Wondering how things are working out for you.  I was at one time in a similar position as you were.  Limited use of both thumbs and wrists, spending time alone due to husband's travels.  About 10+ years ago, when I lived in Ohio.  I had something of a general gun background, having been a trapshooter supported by trapshooting parents.  But never even tried a handgun for years and couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a bow.  I did enjoy deer hunting with hubby.  Back then I was concerned about losing the opportunity to become a licensed concealed-carrrier while it was sitll available.  So, dear hubby suggested that I pick up a S&W 38 special stubbie on sale over at Gander Mountain.  I later picked up some Crimson laser grips which seem like a good help to me.  I signed up for their CC class and have carried ever since.  When we retired to Tennessee I took the Tenn. class and test (I got a 100% on the shooting test - couldn't believe it!).  Have tried some other handguns since then but stick with my 38.

 

I'd much rather a person over-think a serious issue than to under-think it.  There is a lot to consider!  The biggest questions for me were, "Will I really be able to pull the trigger if, God forbid, I'd ever need to?  And could I live with myself if I did?"  I decided that yes, I could  And that I couldn't live with myself if I failed to do everything within my power to protect my loved ones and even myself if it came down to it.

 

My advice is to be pro-active about checking out various guns (how they fit your hand, how much recoil, how best to keep things safe) - you can rent guns to try at the range.  I took my grandson to the range for his first time shooting a real gun (he is a natural, probably due to all those video games).  Your solution may not be 100% perfect in every situation but after you get used to carrying, you'll find that you feel "naked" when you're not carrying.  Do this in your own time, and feel free to get advice and help, to help you make your own decsions.  I knew absolutely nothing about so many things (especially about handguns themselves) and there is still a LOT I don't know.  Fortunately I refused to let ignorance hold me back (as usual) and now I know i did the right thing. 

 

There is a really great website called "corneredcat."  It's from a woman's perspective, she is nice and helpful and knowledgeable.  You might check it out.  Hope to hear how you are doing.

 

Gumby from Middle Tennessee

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