alright, the fun begins! woohoo now we are going to talk about things that can kill. This is not the preffered outcome, but in many cases when you are protecting your family, it is better to be safe than sorry.
First I would like to talk about in home weapons. The best is the shotgun. The variety of ammo that can be used makes it very versatile, and affordable. I like them because, in the close range senarios that occure in the home, they have devastation results, and there is little to no worry about over penetration. Missing the badguy and having abullet go through a wall and lead to unwanted injury or death.
There are many shotguns available on the market, but for simplicity's sake I will break it down to the two most common chambers, and brands.
Mossberg! probably the most notorious, and affordable of them. You can chose the model 500 in either 12 or 20 guage. Without getting into the big debate, I will say the for home protection, either is equeally sufficient. Or you can get the 12 guage 590 whitch features a shorter barrel and a longer magazine tube. With any firearm I say , go to the range and see what is most comfortable for you.
Next is Remington. Basically the same thing applies, they have field and tactical versions, they tend to be heavier than the Mossberg but that also cuts down on recoil.
When choosing the shotgun guys, keep in, mind whether there is a lady or children in the house who may need to use it, and what will be easier for them.
Next. is pistols, auto to be exact. There are many chamberings available for these but I will break it down to the three that are at every wal mart.
9mm, Well rounded and economical. most full sized pistols can hold near 20 of these baby's and they have little recoil. Not to mention that they are on sale every week at big 5. Problem is I would only use hardball rounds for target, and would not except anything less than full metal jacket hollow points for protection, they lack power and tend to go through the target without causeing as much damage as I would like.
40 cal. S&W. this is what my wife carrys. Has plenty of power, and small enough to fit 13 plus 1 in her FNP-40 plus it is still relatively low in recoil.
.45 ACP I love this. I carry a 1911 and though it only has 7 rounds, I feel very safe with the massive bullet that tends to do what the m16 round does, but for the opposite reason. They tumble through the tissue, this causes great damage and will stop even the most drugged out crazy in their tracks.
There are many other chamberings available. I say go to the range and pick out three of the same models guns in each cambering. If you are hitting eye sockets at 20 yards with the 9mm and go up to the 40 and don't do as good, buy the 9. All the extra power don't mean anything if you don't hit the target.
Now revolvers. there are too many on the market today to say what is good. Again go to the range. Revolvers are slower, but they will never jam, so with them you can rest easy. I suggest overlooking the .38 special and get a 357 as they will shoot the same bullets. Problem with the .357 is that it will go through your enemy, your house, your neighbors house, and so on. You can get something bigger like a .44 cal, or a .45 long colt. Ultimately, go to the range and see what your comfortable with. Every gun is a compromise in some way, see what you like and don't buy anything unless you know for sure, remember your life and your family's life hangs on this decision.