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.