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

Since you're a musician, you probably don't need to be told to protect your ears.

But I'll say it anyway.

When I go shooting, I doublebag my ears. Standard reusable earplugs inside, and a set of shooting earmuffs outside. I have a nice pair from Howard Leight, their Impact Sport line. Lots of people have them, and they work great for hunting as well because you can turn the sensitivity way up on them.
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

briandg said:
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.
That's the thing. I know no one gun is going to meet all my needs, but the budget at the time only allows for one, and I'm trying to find the best all around gun for my situation (which I know is relative, to some extent). I can certainly see the merits of a .357 or .223 carbine outdoors, but at living room distances? Am I "best" served by a .223, 9mm handgun or carbine, or .38sp? I know "best" is all relative, and we're still sort of where we started with questions upon questions, and every answer only leading to more questions. At some point I hope to own more, than one gun. But for the time being, I think I'll start with one.

I've decided. I'm going to get a 9mm. Or a .38? Orrrrrr, maybe a .223 carbine? Dangit! Oh well. As somebody said earlier, I'll just pick one and trust my guts. Any of them will make a bad guy regret breaking into my home without hopefully taking out the whole neighborhood if I miss. It's a win-win-win situation.
 

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

For the money you mentioned, I would strongly consider getting two cheap but reliable firearms. One for you, one for your wife. I wasn't joking about Hi-point's reputation. It's good. I've shot them and while they feel a little strange, they work.

If your wife can handle it, I recommend it. There's always time to save up for bigger and better later. And you can get two Hi-point handguns for the price of a GP100.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

I have looked at the hipoints, and respect the advice. If I can find one around I might check it out. You're absolutely right. I could get two guns for the price of one. His and hers. My only concern would be if the grip is big enough for my hands, as it looks a bit small-ish in pics. But we'll see.

If I start with an AR (because, why not? Go big or go home, that's what I always say), what about this one?

http://www.impactguns.com/sw-model-mp15-sport-811036-022188145663.aspx

And now you know. And knowing is half the battle. GI Joe!
 

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

You usually won't go too far wrong with S&W, and the good news about the AR15 platform is that you can replace bits until it works for you - but in a way that makes it a very expensive gun, or a very cheap whole family of guns. It all depends.

The problem I mostly see is whether you're only thinking about being armed at home, or elsewhere as well. In that sense, handguns are more flexible.

As for Hi-point, their .45ACP has a beefier feel in your hands so don't ignore that possibility entirely based on the size of their 9mm.

A secondary problem is the question of how well the carbine will fit you. With a telescoping stock you can probably get a decent length of pull on it, but that's not the only factor in fit. Then again, you might want to get your wife a carbine and get yourself a gigantic hand cannon. The possibilities are numerous.

I still advise not buying any firearm before you've had your hands on it. If it doesn't fit, it'll just make you unhappy, you won't shoot well with it, you won't practice enough with it, and therefore you won't be able to rely on yourself when you need it. The same goes for your wife. If she doesn't like the gun she buys, she won't use it, and it will be a waste.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

Indeed, thanks. The idea of the telescoping stock is appealing because when I first started this little journey of mine to find the right gun, I came across a mossberg pump with a telescoping stock. It fit well, but I didn't like the idea of a shotgun with a telescoping stock for fear of its lack of recoil absorption. But that (I'm assuming) would be far less of an issue with the AR platform, so it might work well for us. We could both adjust the stock to our liking and use the same gun. Regardless, I'm sure I will eventually wind up with at least one of each of the three major guns (AR, pistol, shotgun) because once I start buying them I won't want to stop. And I will always be curious about the other kinds until I get one, and will always want the flexibility that each kind offers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

Okay. I think I've narrowed it down (again), to two guns that are completely different from the two that I started this thread asking about. (as has often been the case when I start threads in forums).

If you had to pick one for your first all around home-protection firearm, bearing in mind my original concerns about over-penetration living in a manufactured home with neighbors on 2-3 sides, would you pick:

1) Smith and Wesson M&P 15 Sport .223 with frangibles?

2) Springfield XDM 9mm with hollowpoints?
 

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

The 9mm. I wouldn't even hesitate. The second firearm for you might be an Evil Black Rifle, but the first one should be something you can carry with you. Remember, you can have a bigger arsenal than the army, but if it's not with you it's irrelevant.

And your wife can have a 9mm which fits her, you can share ammunition, and reload to save money. And have fun together!
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

Uh-huh! I did my homework! : ) Maybe I've read too many things too fast in the past 72hrs and I got confused. I thought frangibles are what I wanted because they break up on impact and obliterate the bad guys, but won't go through the whole house. Now that I go back and look at the ammo link you sent, it just says .223 loses velocity and penetrates less than a pistol round, but doesn't say anything about frangible in that picture demonstrating penetration. Sorry. This is a lot to wrap my head around.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

If Barrier penetration IS an important factor (most of these should work with 1:9 barrels, but use common sense in regards to twist rate requirements)
##62gr Federal Trophy Bonded Bear Claw (TBBC) bonded JSP (XM556FBIT3)*
##64gr Winchester solid base bonded JSP (Q3313/RA556B)*
##50gr TSX loaded by Black Hills*
##Speer 55 & 64gr Gold Dot JSP (5.56)*
##Federal 62gr Mk318 Mod0 (T556TNB1)*
##62gr Federal bonded JSP Tactical (LE223T3)
##55gr Federal bonded JSP load (Tactical--LE223T1 or identical Premium Rifle--P223T2)
##Swift 75gr Scirocco (usually requires 1:7 twist)
##60gr Nosler Partition JSP
##Remington 62gr bonded JSP
##Federal 55gr TSX (T223S)
##Speer 55 & 64gr Gold Dot JSP (.223)
##Federal 62gr Fusion JSP (Same construction as the Gold Dot)
 

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

jacoby75 said:
If Barrier penetration IS an important factor (most of these should work with ....<snip>
You will notice that none of those are frangibles.

Frangibles were designed to use against steel targets at close range. They are designed to basically turn to dust when they hit steel. They are not made for use against humans.

Use one listed on that site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

So I'm guessing with your initial hierarchy of AR > Shotgun > Pistol, you would recommend the AR over the 9mm? (Given I use the proper ammunition)
 

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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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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

Brian, that was my thought as well (albeit highly uneducated and inexperienced on my end). What does that mean to you? That I should look into fragmenting rounds? I want exactly what you described. Something to knock out a bad guy, but also something that won't go screaming through our trailer and our neighbor's if I miss. Of course the best defense is a good offense. Meaning don't miss. But if I do . . .
 

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

I've said it before, and I'll say it again:
  • anything which you can rely upon when the bad guys show up you can also rely upon to zip right through the manufactured home walls and damage a human on the other side, quite severely depending on hit location
  • anything which you can rely upon to break up to the point of being largely harmless after contact with a manufactured home wall will not be reliably effective on bad guys, especially not if they are wearing heavy clothing

While I appreciate your concern, the most constructive suggestions I have seen on that point are:
  • don't miss (i.e. practice, practice, practice and then practice more)
  • use expanding bullets which will expend energy in bad guys rather than sailing through them and hurting someone on the other side
  • line your precious spaces with bookcases

A 9mm Luger is just a weaker round than a 5.56 NATO, even out of a carbine. A hollowpoint 9mm Luger will penetrate less than a 5.56 NATO spitzer. On the other hand while it will do less immediate damage to a thug with similar shot location, it is a broadly adequate round in the sense that it should penetrate deep enough to reach vital organs.

Sintered or other fragmenting rounds are not designed to be used on bad guys. As was pointed out by Old_Painless, they have a different mission. Even varmint rounds can't be relied upon to punch holes in important organs because of how shallow their penetration can be. They're like birdshot - great on sassy squirrels, not good on sassy angel dust freaks who want to squeeze your eyeballs into their earholes.

In a sense, what you're asking is what the least gun is that you can get away with.

The answer to that is the smallest, weakest round which can make 12 inches of penetration in ballistic gel as per an FBI test, and to the best of my current knowledge that is a .380ACP. The closest thing to that which you have asked about is a 9mm Luger. There are some fine, reliable, rugged pistols which fire that cartridge. Pick one up and do your thing. If you want broader capabilities, you can even pick up a 9mm Luger carbine.

You want to do it all on a very limited budget (which I completely understand - I'm not a rich man). To that the best answer appears to me to be Hi-point.

http://www.hi-pointfirearms.com/Hi-Poin ... rbine.html
http://www.hi-pointfirearms.com/Hi-Poin ... ndgun.html

One each for him and for her, and you can both shoot and share ammunition and even take part in shooting sports. A great foundation for a healthy relationship. And when the unthinkable happens, you can be a well-oiled team defending what is nearest and dearest to you both.

It might even be a good idea to take some red cross first aid courses, if you haven't yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
Re: Best gun/ammo for home defense with least over-penetrati

I believe you, and it sounds like a good idea. But I've read several places that a .223 will over-penetrate, or "unintentionally non-bad-guy penetrate" less than any handgun round.
 

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

briandg said:
How will these bullets help him, when he is trying to keep the bullets from penetrating a couple layers of aluminum siding?
He is asking for the impossible. ANY round that will effectively penetrate a bad guy enough to STOP him will penetrate several walls.

Until someone invents a phaser, like on Star Trek, any round that will stop a bad guy will penetrate several walls.

Hit the bad guy. He will stop the bullets.
 
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