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

jacoby75 said:
She has said that she highly doubts she would ever be able to pick up a gun and shoot somebody. That is a tough decision to make, and I'd wish it on no man.
I would ask her this question: she sees a strange man in her daughter's bedroom at night, heading for the bed with a knife and duct tape in his hands.

Would she shoot then?

One mother I asked that question immediately got so enraged she couldn't answer, and I thought she was going to tackle me - but her answer was yes. She just wasn't ready to even contemplate that idea, she wasn't ready for her own reaction to it. She actually ranted for about five minutes about how she'd put every bullet in the scumbag's body and jump up and down on his corpse. She's looking into getting armed now that I opened her eyes to the possibility. (The poor woman lives in an anti-gun state.)

If your wife would stand by under those conditions, I respect her self control, just the same as I respect the quaker women I know who said that they would do no harm, but plead for their daughters' welfare. It's not how I live, and it's not how most people live. I guess it takes all sorts to make a world.

If your wife would shoot and keep shooting until she ran out of ammunition - then suggest to her that it's time to at least find out what the options are so that if the unthinkable ever happens, she has a gun which she can shoot like an extension of herself, rather than trying to wrap her shaking hands around the stock of a revolver which is comfortably sized for you.

In the final analysis, I'm a big fan of having options. A woman with a pistol has the option to keep it in the holster. A woman without one doesn't really have much choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·

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

jacoby75 said:
Old_Painless said:
Good stuff. Thanks. A lot of that I've heard before (much of it on this site), but I've never seen someone put a carbine at the top of the list, usually due to penetration. But there are some good facts there in his debate.
I'm him. ;)
 

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

applesmasher said:
A woman with a pistol has the option to keep it in the holster. A woman without one doesn't really have much choice.
Well said. Mind if I take credit for thinking of this when I tell her? : )
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

So forgive the next stupid question, but what defines a "carbine" for home defense purposes? Is it ammo caliber? If I search for carbines on sites, they're a heck of a lot more than I can really spend right now. But there are some .22 carbines that are under $500. Would that be any more efficient/powerful/effective as a home defense gun than a .22 pistol? Or is it just another way to deliver a relatively ineffective .22? I hadn't considered carbines. Now you just opened up a whole new can of worms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

But I sure like the Colt M4 Carbine. I'd feel like GI Joe, but a GI Joe shooting .22's. Is there a carbine that you'd recommend for my situation? Something under $600 ideally?
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

A lot of the reviews I'm reading thus far on the carbines state that they're great at creating tight groups at 50, 75, 100yds, but I'm only talking about shoot a bad guy 30 feet away. Is it overkill?
 

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

When we say that a carbine is better than a pistol, we mean a carbine in a rifle caliber. A carbine in a pistol caliber is just a long pistol. A .223 carbine is MUCH more powerful than any normal pistol.

Rifles > Shotguns > Pistols regarding effectiveness in Stopping a bad guy.

And regarding cost, how much is your life worth?
 

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Broadening options

If you want to consider a wider range of options, we can definitely revisit long arms. I didn't say a lot about them because of the context you offered.

I'm still not a fan of shotguns for the purpose, for all the reasons I've given above, but I'd never deny that they can be very effective defensive tools. Some of the complications were well explained here:
http://www.theboxotruth.com/the-box-o-t ... -buckshot/

I am very happy with rifles for home protection needs. I can't carry them conveniently about town - in town I carry a handgun. On the farm they're my preferred tool for wiping out varmints because of accuracy and lethality. It's a simple fact that a longer barrel (within the ballistic limitations of the round) will get you more muzzle velocity from a given bullet. Even a pistol calibre carbine is a vast improvement on the same round from a handgun. I have a lever action carbine chambered in .357 Magnum, and it can send hot lead down range 400fps faster than my revolver. In fact, a hit from that carbine at 100 yards is roughly like a close range hit from the revolver. I did some calculations, and I figured out that my .357 Magnum carbine actually delivers a nastier punch within the first 100 yards than an AR15 carbine platform. Go ahead, do the math. Slightly more muzzle energy (slower velocity, but a much heavier bullet), more muzzle momentum (vastly more), wider bullet profile (.357 > .223). Hollowpoints out of that carbine expand savagely and tear up a lot of tissue.

Rifles also tend to make it easier to mount accessories. If you're worried about being charged or jumped, there's a lot to be said for a bayonet. Say you shoot a bad guy, and while your shot will kill him in ten minutes, but it didn't stop him and in the mean time he's charging you. If the first thing that answers his charge is the point of your bayonet, this improves your negotiating position. Rifles also go well with lights and scopes. The scope might not seem that important in a house, but if it's a red dot sight which you've used a lot, it's a very quick way of putting a bullet right where you want it. Since any useful round will penetrate your walls, you might as well have a harder punch behind it. A .30-06 or a .308 at close range will anchor pretty much any bad guy with a central shot. It's up to you to make sure that you can deliver it.

With all that said, if you still don't want a long arm owing to expense, fit to your body, or any other reasons which make sense to you, a lot of people successfully defend themselves with handguns and that option is not to be casually rejected.

If you want to consider a carbine, mine is the Marlin 1894c. It's a bit over $500, but it's a practical shooter. I've shot it standing, supported, lying down, I've shot it in rain, I've shot it in snow, I've shot it in daylight and night, and I like it. The lever action is a pretty fast action to work, and it carries a bunch of rounds in the tube magazine.

Broadly speaking, a carbine is a rifle with a barrel on the short end of the spectrum. Under 20 inches is often considered carbine length. If you're looking into the AR15 family, it gets a bit more complex with gas block measurements and so on, but it's not easy to put together a cheap AR15 at today's prices (though somebody might be able to give you good tips).
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

Sure, why not? Every time I think I get it nailed down somebody opens my eyes to new possibilities. You see how this thread started. "SA-20 shotgun or Taurus Judge?" Then 9mm or .38. Now we're talking carbines. I've learned more about guns of all varieties in the past few weeks of research than I care to think about. Might as well add carbines to the list! : ) I don't even know what it is, but it sure sounds fun. Plus, if it had a cocking lever, I'd feel like Ralphie in "A Christmas Story", minus the sequin cowboy getup. I'm just looking for the best gun for my situation. But I know 'best' is all relative. I appreciate everyone's input. Maybe I'll pick up a carbine or two at Gander Mtn next time i stop by. ("Pick up" as in hold.").
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

Any thoughts on a Smith and Wesson M&P 15-22? I know it's still just a .22, but if your previous statement holds true, it would have more muzzle velocity than a .22 pistol, and maybe that would be a good compromise for my situation and concerns about over-penetration. Plus, it looks cool as heck, if I may say so.
 

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

Rimfires are low pressure rounds, and not very good choices. I would not sneer at a .22 rifle if it's all I had, but it wouldn't be my first choice. At a minimum, I'd prefer a .22WMR (also commonly known as a .22 Magnum).

Really, I recommend something with a centrefire cartridge because you can reload those to fit your own needs, and deliver more energy out of the package because they tolerate higher pressures.
 

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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

I want to chime in and agree with briandg: there is no perfect gun, otherwise we'd all have that gun. There are compromises for circumstances.

When I'm dealing with customers for my farm's goods in Portland or Seattle, I carry concealed because there's no point scaring my customer base.

When I'm on the farm I have a longer barreled, convenient and reliable handgun which I carry openly.

When I'm staking out a varmint, or going looking for where one went to ground, I carry a carbine.

When I'm worried about the possibility of a big pest, I carry a serious rifle capable of dropping anything which walks the earth, if I do my part.

If I were in your position, which I'm obviously not, I would probably get affordable handguns for both you and your wife - not the same, because you're obviously physically different, but ones which suit both of you. Then, I would plan to get pistol calibre carbines for both of you as the next step up, ideally in matching chamberings. So if you have a .357 revolver, get a .357 carbine. If she has a 9mm pistol, get her a 9mm carbine. That's already a big step up in utility and if you know what your load is you may well be able to go hunting. Meat ain't cheap.

And budget for ammunition. And a reloading kit. Lots and lots of ammunition. The gun you never shoot is going to be no help to you when it's 11:59 PM and you hear a scream in your daughter's bedroom.
 

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

briandg said:
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.
From Rudyard Kipling: (http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-youn ... h-soldier/)

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

Thanks briandg. I have enjoyed it immensely as well. I'm sure for you guys, who know a great deal about guns, this experience is akin to the feeling I get when newbies ask me about guitars and basses. I was a professional bassist for a stretch and know a great deal about that stuff, and really love talking about it. It encourages me and inspires me to play more and learn more as I share more with others. I hope the experience is beneficial in a similar way for you guys as well.
 
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