This is a gun question on what to buy. Please don't get into gun rights and other political issues or this thread will get killed.
I'm targeting this question to those that already keep guns aboard. I used to keep a handgun with me on camping and boating trips but haven't in a very long time.
This particular weapon would be for self defense only. What I think I need is:
1) Something with as little swinging room needed as possible. The old Kentucky Long Rifle would not work for me on a boat.
2) Easy and non-intimidation for a female to operate - I'm speaking of my wife, not my feminine side.
3) 'Relatively' inexpensive ammo. The more a weapon is used the better it becomes. I'm of 'the most familiar weapon is the best weapon' school. I've known people that could carve you up with a knife well before you even realized you had to defend yourself.
4) Something that would not draw any attention on the boat. Like in, easily stored and easily available.
I know there is no one weapon that will fit all of the categories like a fully automatic shotgun the size of my walley - which is really small. I'm sure I will think of more stuff. If nothing else, tell me what you have on your boat and why you selected that weapon.
One more very important thing: I will only be cruising in the US so foreign laws will not apply. My cruising will be primarily on the eastern inland waterways.
Again, please keep this non-political.
Thanks in advance.
The laws from state to state vary and this may preclude handguns. Your job to find out.
In my more paranoid days I carried a Mini-14, a Winchester Marine 12 ga and a .357, all in stainless. Never had occasion to fire any of them.
These days I have a Ruger semi-automatic .22 pistol and a 10-22, both stainless. The pistol has 14-round magazines and the 10-22 has 25. While a .22 doesn't have much knockdown power I figure a whole clip would get the job done. AND they're cheap to shoot, not much recoil, and fun for practice. You can get .22 revolvers with up to 9 shots.
For sheer knockdown power you can't beat a 12-ga, and there is lots of different ammo for it, from light (easy) target loads to buckshot and slugs. Not too expensive to shoot, AND it's probably more intimidating than anything else you're likely to find. At close range even bird shot will make a BIG hole. But shotguns ARE big, even the short-barreled ones.
For a defense handgun (if legal) especially for someone that doesn't shoot much I'd go with a revolver, probably a .357 with a 4" barrel. It's more intimidating than a small .38 and can fire light .38 target ammunition as well as high-powered .357. A .38 snubbie is small and handy but it has a nasty recoil.
Revolvers are pretty much idiot-proof; I'm not too confident with semi-automatic handguns as I'm always afraid I'll forget to chamber a round, or throw off the safety. Some of the newer 9mms have gotten around that problem I think, but I simply don't have any experience with them. Someone else will chime in.
I know you can get reloaded .38 target ammunition and probably 9mm as well. It's a lot cheaper for practice.
IMO rifles are pretty much useless on a boat, even the .22 except for fun. IF I were cruising AND worried about it I think I'd have a 12-ga "riot" gun and either a .357 or one of the new double-action 9mms. If I could only carry ONE, it would probably be the .357 (if legal) otherwise the 12-ga.
Bearing in mind that IF you get boarded by bad guys it will probably be in the middle of the night when you are asleep. I'd also have a small, yappy dog to give me some warning.
I like the idea of a short barrel shotgun but I'm more concerned about middle of the night and a hand gun is no doubt the most likely time. I'm thinking about anchoring out or tying up somewhere and a burglar not expecting anyone home, surprising both of us.
The only time I carried a weapon was when I lived in Arkansas and went camping with a female in the Ozarks. I don't have any guns now, but I always preferred a 22 magnum - 'the assassins weapon of choice." If I ever needed it, which I probably never will, it will likely never be more than 10' away. This time I am thinking something larger, like maybe a 9mm. The bad guys are getting larger. I also wont get anything but a revolver. I found that when I played with automatics that don't get practiced with often, it's easy to pop off an extra unintended shot especially if startled and half asleep.
I am not normally a gun person, as you might have guessed by now but the world in some places is getting crazier by the day. I live in a nice area, but in Houston it seems like 3 or 4 murders a night is the norm. Home invasions have replaced burglaries. Boats being burglarized is way up. I know it's not that way everywhere, but no telling where I might settle for the night.
Thanks for the info. I was told that 9mm shells are fairly cheap so practicing would not be an issue.
What stimulated this thinking is that we have been living on the hard for the last several days. We are the only ones here - literally out in the middle of nowhere about 200 feet from the road. Traffic is very light on this road but there are still cars going by all night. My wife enjoys sitting on the back deck and refers to it as the penthouse in the hood. It's not her that's thing of a gun, it's me. She would learn to use it and she is the type that would if she had to. I realize that a gun is very dangerous if the owner has any hesitation or qualms about using it.
I was just wondering what others do. I think once I get through Tx. and La. and especially N
ew Orleans area, I probably wont think about it again.
Anymore anything that goes bang would do the job. I would look at a 380 or small 9mm semi auto. Higher cap magazine but all small in size. The 380 has very little recoil for the mrs but will still do its job. A sig sauer P938 is a 9mm that is the size of a 380. 9mm is still pretty cheap and I know 380 has been fairly difficult to come by as of late.
"I also won't get anything but a revolver" pretty much precludes the 380 and 9mm.
The 22mag might be a good compromise, I think some will hold 9 shots and you can practice and plink with the less-expensive 22LR.
I like the .38 Special. You can get on a small frame.
Speaking as an ex-cop and a gun owner with a houseboat.
Normally I would recommend a 12 gauge pump shotgun for someone not familiar or experienced. However given the confined spaces of a houseboat I would recommend a small hammer-less double action only revolver like the Ruger LCR. http://www.ruger.com/LCR
Use .38 special ammo and recoil will be minimized.
Take a gun course and if you can a judgmental shooting class.
Interesting thread. Thanks! I know that overall, violence isn't what it once was in a rude and ugly world, but with the 24-hour news cycle, if-it-bleeds-it-leads, politically polarized world, it is hard to ignore. So, the idea of owning and learning to use a gun has more and more appeal. I might refer back to this information.
You have to be very careful with pistols even if they are properly Licensed/ Permitted. Not all states may recognize or accept your states License potentially leaving you in possession of an Illegal firearm.
I have something like this folding stock shotgun. It's not that big(with stock folded 29"), easy to use, big intimidation factor, true point and shoot(hard to miss), Cheap plentiful ammo and most important LEGAL IN ALL STATES.
OK. so what is it?
Originally Posted by boatlover