Buying a gun bleg

I’d like to buy a gun for home defense. I was thinking of getting a pump-action shotgun, but I’d be open to suggestions.

I’ve never owned a gun before. What do I need to get one and get it registered, etc.? I live in DC.

11 Responses to Buying a gun bleg

  1. Gf says:

    Pretty tough to beat a home defense shotgun. They are safe as they do not penatrate numerous walls, you don’t have to be a good shot, and they scare the hell out of would be crooks. It’s holds enough ammo to be very dangerous. No clue on the rules in DC though.

  2. Buckethead says:

    The process is, I am told, rather byzantine and expensive. But the thing I read about the process post-Heller focused on handguns. I don’t know what the process might be for shotguns, if it’s different. From what I heard, it will take you weeks to get physical possession of your gun, and cost a couple hundred more dollars beyond the price of the gun.

    I’d recommend a Remington 870 – dependable, well made, relatively inexpensive. A 20 gauge is handy, low recoil compared to the 12, and more appropriate for indoor use. Also, your wife is more likely to be comfortable firing a 20 than a 12.

    Though I still haven’t managed to get my wife to shoot ours.

    Really, you should move to Virginia. It’s much more gun-friendly, even in Arlington and Alexandria.

    If you’re looking at handguns, I love my Kimber .45. But choosing a handgun depends a lot on subjective details – how it feels when you shoot. A lot of pistol ranges have guns of various types that you can rent, and get a feel for what you like. Some also have shotguns. I’d recommend checking those out. Gilbert range in Springfield is straight south on 95, and has knowledgeable staff.

  3. Isegoria says:

    Buckethead gives the “correct” answer: Remington 870 pump-action shotgun — in 20-gauge, or in 12-gauge, but loaded with low-recoil ammo, if you want your wife to shoot it.

    I wouldn’t recommend a handgun unless you want to make it your new hobby, because tactical pistol shooting is much, much harder than shotgun shooting — and reliable revolvers are even harder to shoot than semi-autos.

  4. SnakeEater says:

    I would try to do an honest threat assessment before I purchased any weapons. Who/what are you defending against? Is it someone with a particular grievance? A local gang of kids? One needs to balance the likelihood of a threat against the force required to repel it and the time that is required to bring that force into action. A home defense situation will almost certainly have you in the situation where you will not have the advantage of having the initiative in the situation and that generally favors the aggressor. Short of very rapid and accurate tactical shooting, firearms are not really favored in what will turn into close quarter combat.

    I am a huge gun advocate and a former Army Special Forces operator. I have a number of weapons (including the Rem 870) in my home but I don’t consider any of them to be immediate options in a home defense situation because of the time that would be required to bring them into action. One reason is that I have a kid in my home and am unwilling to keep ammo and weapons close enough together to make them practically useful in that kind of situation. If you’re really concerned about defense then prevention should be your first option. Good locks, intrusion alarm, noisy dog, etc… go a long way. I don’t want to dissuade you from the idea of a personal weapon (870 20 ga is good advice) but just be aware that you will need to make some commitment to seeking out some specialized training to be really proficient.

  5. Victor says:

    Foseti: “What do I need to get one and get it registered, etc.? I live in DC.”

    An act of God.

  6. Borepatch says:

    Don’t know about DC registration (other than it’s essentially the same as if you lived in Mordor).

    However, I’d recommend #2 buckshot, rather than #00. Smaller shot, less likely to penetrate walls, big enough to have the anti-goblin authority you want.

    20 Gauge is likely to be a plus for the Missus, but you have to take her to the range to practice. Having a gun no more makes you defended than having a camera makes you a photographer.

    And a pump action is preferable. The sound it makes as you chamber a shell is absolutely unmistakable, and lets the goblin know that you mean business. The best home defense gun is the one you never have to fire.

  7. Genius says:

    I’m insanely jealous of all of you. Despite there being firearms all over the place because of the military, it’s essentially impossible to get one legally for personal use or self defense in Israel. I do have a hunting knife for protection, though.

  8. Mr. Roach says:

    I’d recommend a Mossberg 590A1. They’re about $400, work great, I think are a little easier to use than the 870, and are more robust than the standard 590. Bead, ghost ring, or trudot sights are a personal preference thing. Consider spending a few hundred on an NRA course up the road in Virginia.

    To register in DC here is a link on the info:

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