Originally Posted by slo_guy
Answers to questions I don't think people addressed:
If it's for self defense and for your home, nothing beats a shotgun. The noise of hearing someone rack one is a deterrent enough. If you had to use it, no aiming is involved other than point and shoot. With a handgun, you're heart pumping like crazy because of an intruder, there's a good chance you can miss your target because all it takes is a little flinch.
If you live in CA, you can't legally carry a gun in your car unless it's locked, in the trunk and separate from the ammo.
A lot of recommendations will be based on what you're using it for. Self defense in the home, I agree with a shotgun. A handgun takes experience and practice under pressure to control properly.