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Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

The simplest answer, by general laws of physics and likely shown in tests here, and verified on my own testing, is that a high kinetic energy roundis better of low weight and high velocity will penetrate far less than one higher weight and equal KE. In other words, a +p 110 grain hp .38 special penetrates far less than other .38 specials. In fact, the low velocity solid semi wad cutter penetrated more than anything else I tested. High KE expends the energy by deforming and breaking things, and loses KE quickly. Where a low speed marble will punch through paper and dent wood, that same marble accelerated to maybe 1,000 fps will shatter on wood, and not do as much damage as expected.

A .38 with 110 grain very soft semi jacketed HP bullet will deform and break up on even light resistance, but no handgun bullet except frangibles will stop on a little vinyl or aluminum and be made safe for the neighbors.

My best suggestion would be to get a .223 rifle and use the ultra frangible rounds, another suggestion would be tungsten turkey loads in say 5 shot in short rounds such as this. Small shot will disperse some after an impact, but will strike full in a short range defense situation. Whereas a full load of 00 will disperse very little, and still present a tight load on target after going through those barriers. Better, IMO, to risk 20-30 hits of tungsten to a person than a full load of buckshot, maybe. If you choose to use lead buckshot use smaller shot and very low velocity rounds to make collateral damage a little less direct in case of a hit on a human. herters sells a mini buck load with only 6 00 pellets, again lessening the chances of a pellet making it into a body outside the home, while still presenting a tiny pattern at short to medium range, ensuring most hits in a short distance situation. last choice, IMO, is a high velocity small expanding bullet in a pistol, or frangible loads. no solid point or large, heavy bullet will be safe in a shoot through hit on a bystander.

In short, IMO, light bullets, frangible bullets, and small loads of buckshot or even just ordinary heavy shot field loads in low pellet counts. You will not ever be able to avoid putting a fatal round into another home with any ordinary firearm round. these may help lessen the concern that a shoot through will present a serious and lethal hit on a bystander after a couple of such light barriers.

http://www.federalpremium.com/products/ ... spx?id=779

http://www.cabelas.com/catalog/product. ... BIK-218557
 

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Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

When talking about penetration with handgun rounds, really, the most important thing is Sectional density. Sectional density is measured by whether a projectile is light, or heavy, compared to the surface area. A 9 mm bullet will have a higher SD if it is a 147 grain bullet, than if it has a 110 grain bullet. the 147 has the same surface area, and more weight, and that is what decides penetration. a 200 grain bullet at 1,000 fps in a 30 caliber round will penetrate far deeper than a 200 grain bullet in a .45 caliber bullet.

The people who are saying that lighter bullets penetrate better are wrong, or you are misunderstanding. There is plenty of research proving that given the same caliber and similar velocities, a heavier bullet with higher SD will penetrate deeper. This is why the FBI dropped the 115 grain hollow point for duty carry and took up the .40; the heavier bullets were needed because the 9mm would not penetrate human tissues well enough. The 9mm in the 147 grain bullet is preferred, because of all of the previously mentioned factors.

So, given the choices, what should you choose? Whichever one you choose, 9 mm, .357, .38, 40, what will be important is using the lightest range of bullets you can find, since the lightest and most fragile bullets will shed the most energy as they go through what small amounts of barriers are between you and bystanders.
 

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Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

This is all agreed with, and covered under the the tag "generally," and I tried to point out how complicated the entire thing is. how many variables there are. And yes, Kinetic energy as measured in ballistics tables is nearly a useless figure, since KE is not really relevant to much of anything. Structure and many other variables cause huge deviations in results.

How many people forget that a bullets Sectional density can change in the first two inches after impact? A solid point retains SD and penetration characteristics, but a nice, mushy, easily expanding bullet loses half the sectional density and may lose as much as half of the penetration, whereas a frangible may lose almost all of the potential expansion.

Too much generalization.

Ed Matunis put together a pretty good equation over 50 years ago. He took KE, score and then factored in momentum, and finished it by factoring in structure. Going from good t
 

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Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

good to bad starting at round nose, flat point, and expanding, based on transfer of KE. It would be reversed to determine penetration qualities.

the best thing, and really only way to get an answer is testing, comprehensive and intensive testing, or long term studying of every possible bullet incident. Even then, all a person can hope to do is take the general characteristics of known ammo samples, and take a best guess. Sometimes that works.

OTOH, I recall a teenager who attempted suicide by shooting himself in the heart with his father's 44 magnum. Heck, it blew a hole in his heart that was sewn shut and he lived. Ain't that a hoot? it could have dropped a grizzly bear with a single shot, but he survived a hit through the heart with a high powered big bore heavy weight bullet because all it did was punch a hole through him and didn't dump significant KE into his system. A different load may have even popped his eyeballs out and exploded his gonads.
 

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Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

I personally feel that the shotgun is among the worst choices for a home defense weapon under many, if not most circumstances. Carefully choosing loads and deliberate aim so that the full charge strikes the home invader make it safer to use. Many people believe that "point and squirt" is adequate, and no, it's dangerous and ineffective. A shotgun is practically useless in a home defense distance if it isn't aimed.

I personally agree with using a semi auto 20 gauge, but remember that a long shotgun is difficult to use and maneuver in tight places. It can be snatched from your hands if a bad guy gets right into your face.

It is, if handled properly, it is also one of the best. a direct hit with a shotgun will not overpenetrate. It will cause the most possible damage to a thug. it may minimize collateral damage. Using a shotgun slug? Holy crap, the magnum shotgun slugs are equal to many of the historical elephant rounds.

Keep in mind that there are many, many idiots online who repeat stupidity until it is believed to be absolute truth. The shotgun debate is one of those issues. Hearing that one thing or another is absolutely the best is a clue that it's bull patties. I once read that the .454 casull was the best home defense weapon available. Right. Not even worth arguing about.

Frangible loads at some point can fail. In general, rounds like the glaser are effective. they may not cause instant incapacitation, but there is nothing that will be guaranteed to do so. You pick and take your chances. I still recommend frangible loads in this sort of situation, simply to protect background,. I agree that a light, high velocity round with good expansion characteristics can be the safest round to use. Please, during all of this discussion, remember that there is a pretty slim chance that a lost round will actually hit a bystander in most cases, such as a neighbor. A big trailer 50-100 feet from your muzzle may have as small as a 1-10,00 chance of a person being hit. your round can go wide, passing maybe even hundreds of feet past a bystander. It may go short or long, digging in or ricocheting off of ground, or go high, missing everything.

Do you want to know what will do the best job of keeping your child safe? Get book cases and fill them with books from floor to ceiling, and, set them in an area that will block bullets and shot. It will probably not protect absolutely, even a .22 rifle can get thrgough, but it is better than nothing.

I really hate making sweeping declarations about these things, because there is so much involved. I always believe that the list of compact AR, safely chosen shotgun, and then pistol is a fine progression.

If you have the choice, I suggest a double action revolver, and practice with it until it works. Why? a revolver is either loaded, and ready to fire without any other interventions, or it's empty.

Even handguns like the glock that have no safeties to set off or hammers to cock, and in some cases a loaded magazine without a round in the chamber, may be in the wrong condition when you are presented with a threat. Only a revolver has only one condition. Ready to fire when you pick up a gun and pull the trigger. Otherwise, you should keep speed loaders where they are handy, and be prepared and skillful with dropping a load of ammo into the handgun in the dark.

The other fella seems to be a pretty savvy shooter and a smart guy who doesn't pass on bull snorts and personal prejudice. Yes, there has been a lot said between the two of us. that's because there is a lot to be told, and a lot to learn, right? and eventually, you will make a wise decision, and you will have to just believe that you have made the right one. Don't spend forever second guessing what you have done. You make the best choice you can with the information you have. and that is the best you can do. If there is a failure, you made the best decision you could have made,
 

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Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

BTW, regarding books? Go anywhere, even a recycling center, and you will be able to find hundreds of books that can be had for free, if you just ask for them. fill the cases with junk books if you don't have enough real books to fill them. it wouldn't hurt to back the books up with scrap lumber, either.
 

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Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

no .22 long rifle. A .22 magnum is even deficient.

A carbine as said, basically means a shorter, compact rifle, light weight, easy to handle, short enough to not knock around most barriers, harder to grab, so forth.

You don't have to spend $1,000 for a semiauto AR type. Myself, just like apple, I own a rossi .357 magnum carbine. I keep 125 grain soft points in it. If I wind up outside my home defending my neighbor, I have absolute confidence in hitting a human target even out to 75 or so yards, clear down the block. A rossi or other .357 carbine is far cheaper than an AR clone at maybe $3-500. It isn't difficult to learn how to use it. one of the most important things to understand is that it is also a very powerful weapon. In fact, as it is listed as being capable of reaching 2,400 fps with a 158 grain bullet, it is very powerful. It is approximately as powerful as a 30-30, a bit less. Also obviously, to those of us who are really involved in this, it is very different than a 30-30. the 30-30 is meant for deep penetration and medium to big game. A .357 at those velocities and light bullets will not penetrate much beyond a perp, and will cause hellish damage in the first 10 inches or so. It still presents a serious threat to bystanders, which makes it less than idea. The only rifle I suggest still remains the .223 round, for the reasons you are discussing. Lowered risk of collateral damage in case of misses, and using very fragile bullets to maybe even break the thing up on simple barriers of plywood and siding.

I feel absolutely comfortable with my .357 carbine. It has a very good chance of a solid anchoring shot and maybe even a one shot knock down or kill. I keep it at my front door, with a pistol inside the room by my front door. Either one is easily reached, depending on the need.

I do wish I could answer everything for you, but nobody can do any more than suggest one after another alternatives that fit the needs of the individual. The information contained in the posts here and on the website pages are great, and can guide you.

Choosing a weapon for any of the hundreds of possible uses is a complicated process and you cannot find a single do it all weapon. Just hundreds of specialized weapons or a few compromise weapons. IMO, a .44 magnum bolt rifle with subsonic 300 grain ammo with suppressor will make an awesome short range sniper rifle, but it would be practically useless beyond a hundred or so yards. the suppressed round with that much weight would demolish a human target, but not as well as a full powered rifle. So many choices, so many concerns, so many risks and benefits.

Owning a firearm for self defense is very similar to being ill with cancer. with cancer you must take control of your treatment, research it, and know what is being done and if it is the right thing to do. Sometimes, it is even the right thing to toss in your cards and resign yourself to fate. For example, if a horde of zombies has driven you to ground and you have only one bullet left, throw in the cards and don't let them eat your brains.
 

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Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

BTW, it has been a greatly enjoyable thread. It's given us the opportunity to share information with a willing and active learner. It's a pleasure to go through these things and work out good choices. that is why painless does what he does, the learning is exciting.
 

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Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

Ditto the ear protection. My dad didn't believe in them. God knows how many hundreds of high power rounds I fired without protection. My ears ring constantly, but I have no other hearing problems.
 

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Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

Painless, your linked items are almost all bonded bullets, or partition or other styles meant to retain weight.

How will these bullets help him, when he is trying to keep the bullets from penetrating a couple layers of aluminum siding? He's living in a mobile home with aluminum and probably paneling and bystanders nearby, and concerned with misses going through the walls and injuring his neighbors. Doesn't he need something that isn't built to enhance penetration on barriers?

My thoughts have been that a varmint round intended to break up in a prairie dog would be nearly appropriate for the situation, but not a dust or sintered round.

Not much is going to break up on the flimsy barriers he has, but would present at least some damage and distortion, while still being dangerous to the main target.

It still remains, in my thoughts, that he needs to just hope that anything that gets through both walls goes through the thousands of square feet available that doesn't contain an innocent bystander's kill zone.
 

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Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

Wow, I stopped visiting the forum for a while, and I'm surprised to see this still running. I thought that most everything possible had been discussed, and it seems almost as if we are overthinking everything.

A couple of facts remain. The actual odds of a fired round reaching a bystander are very, slim. It can happen, but even in a very compact living situation, the probability of a stray round covering maybe up to even hundreds of yards, going through one or more barriers, and still striking a human being in a kill zone of only a few square feet are small, especially at night, when people are likely presenting horizontally. (In my room right at this minute, over a 180 degree line, I count less than a dozen actual people who would be placed in harms way if I lost a round out the window/walls. Any others would involve going through not only my house, but another house. Maybe ten bodies covering the thousands of square feet of landscape is not a horrific risk. Out of the millions of rounds expended during wartime, you realize that sometimes even a thousand or more shots are fired without a hit?

Look up the principle of the golden BB, and consider a little chaos theory. Any time you fire a weapon, you might as well be tossing dice in a game of dungeons and dragons. No matter what you are firing, from a .22 lr up to a .700 NE, you may disable your opponent with a hit, or hit so poorly that you won't. You may end the encounter with just the threat, Every cartridge arm fired has a range of probability from zero to instant incapacitation. Juggling weapons and rounds does very little except alter the probabilities a bit.

Four hits from a .22 lr may have a probability range between 3 and 10, a single shot with a rifle or a high powered pistol may range from 0 (miss) to instant incapacitation. In reality, the best thing to do, is just turn off the constant second guessing, and buy whatever you are comfortable with, and learn how to use it. Then trust to luck, or "chaos" to make your neighbors safe and your bad guy dead.

I place a .22 lr at the very bottom of the tier for probability of success. Not useless, but certainly not a serious threat without a lot of luck. It goes up all the way, to crazy powerful rounds like a 12 gauge slug, and god knows, even those things fail quite frequently.

Sum it up like this. Buy any centerfire round above a .32 acp, IMO. with that and a lot of training, you can very likely disable an opponent with as few as one shots, Then, every waking minute with your firearm with you, you need to look around, and ask yourself, "do you feel lucky, punk? Well, do ya?"

Will that .22 be in your holster when you are carjacked? Will you have your large frame revolver with you? only if you are "lucky." will you stop the bad guy wherever you are if you shoot, no matter what you have just fired? Only if you are lucky, and you have prepared accordingly.

This is similar to the ongoing argument about combat ammunition. This is best, this is better, etc. The reality is that even the $3 a round combat ammo is going to still be bound by natural and physical laws, and even chaos. Bill hickock dropped a duelist with a .44 round ball, DRT. There are thousands of people who were instantly incapacitated by just blunt instruments. A .45 with hardball or a .45 with the greatest hollow points available is still beholding to all of those factors, and you may walk away from the black talon, and drop like a hammer with a hit by the FMJ.

The ammunition companies and firearms makers would love to make everyone believe that without technology and money, failure is certain. Even a few minutes examining history back a few hundred years will show that it's all bullshit. Guns kill people. Reliably. If primitive weapons had been as unreliable as the authorities want you to believe they were, they would have been abandoned as toys back then. The thing to remember is that even up until the very recent past, a firearm was, in fact, first line of combat by a small margin. in the black powder era, the sword and bayonet were used as often as the firearm. We had bayonet charges as recently as the world wars. Up until the late 50s; i believe, they bayonet was still issued with the ar rifle.

My thoughts are, quite simply, get a firearm that you can count on, one with enough power to be reasonably sure of a serous wound, buy what is known as a reliable ammunition, prepare yourself well, and PUT YOUR FAITH IN GOD. God, or fate, whatever you choose, will decide whether you should have tried harder.
 

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Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

I just went out for the first time in a long, long time, I took my new Glock 19. the range was set up for 75 feet, and I learned a few things.

I had a brain abscess form in march, spent most of the next two months in and out of the ICU and stroke wards, had three operations, and four months later, I'm still on antibiotics and the lesion still shows on the MRI scans.

I had tremors, and my trigger control was not as good as it could have been. My shots were very chaotic, and that's not normal. My vision wasn't that great, thanks to damage from the lesion. Worst of all, the new hollow points I bought were not on paper at all. High, above target, I believe.

When I got home, I unloaded the combat ammo and put in ball. If I don't even know where the rounds are going, it would be a whole lot safer to fire ball ammo at a bad guy, knowing that I'll reliably inflict maybe 80% damage where it needs to be, rather than gamble on HP rounds that may or may not fail, and may, or MAY NOT, even go where they are aimed and hit the intruder at all.

Reliability is more important than anything else. By reliable, I mean a weapon that will be with you, that can easily be brought into action, and will fire every time, with ammo that will go true to target. For anyone other than an alaskan homesteader, a .500 Smith isn't reliable. It won't go to the liquor store with you.

I'd really prefer that more people look at their weapons as a system, rather than a single item.

I got a glock. Nuff said. nobody gonna break down my bedroom drawer.

The sysematic thinker has a full setup that allows him to do anything with it, including CC.
 

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Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

The problem with high point of impact was taking fixed sights set for 115 grain ball and feeding 135 +p through it at 75 feet. It just shot high. I checked it out again later, and it was appr 6-7 feet, and at 25-40 feet, just a litttle compensation downward put it right into the area needed. Shoot at the bottom of sternum intead of center mass.

Until I got out and retested, I just loaded up my 115 silvertips that I used in my high power. I had decided to move up to heavier bullets for the new one. Thursday two weeks ago, I had an encounter with four thugs. I made a gang member angry, and he got friends. It ended well, I guess, I drew on the dangerous one, and they all eventually backed down.

The last thing I needed was to get the crap beaten out of me with damage to my parietal lobe. The funny thing is that I wasn't afraid in the least, but damn, the adrenaline sure got to me. Confidence and competence are what make courage.

I am picking up a coach gun that will go out the door with me in some circumstances, maybe with rubber buck shot, so that I can fire without all of the ramifications of deadly force, while still having the waist gun. If I had any sort of weapon that was less than lethal, I would not have been in the situation of the stand off. I would have been safe to bag him right there on the sidewalk and detain him, and still had the lethal force weapon in case his "boyz" (yes, his very words...) took offense.
 

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Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

No dogs, no alarms.

The only reason for the non lethal, and trust me, it's still in the thinking stage and very far from decided to go that route, I am just going to find it hard to create the trouble for myself. My biggest fear? Creating a crippled loser who takes half a million dollars to save his life, and then takes a hundred grand of government funding per year to keep in his wheelchair.

No matter how simple it seems, there are lots of ways to lose. My luck has always been to fall right into the barrel of doodoo.
 
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