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

But if you really, really want to know, keep reading . . .

I was debating starting with a .22 pistol to get our feet wet. After trying a few .22's at the store, they all felt like crap toys to me, and were too small. The sales guy recommended a Sig 1911 .22 for my larger hands, and I totally loved the feel and look of it. The solid metal (though it's alloy and not steel), the heft and weight, and it looks cool as all get out. I wound up getting what I thought was a pretty ridiculous deal on a GSG 1911 .22 online. Haven't shot it yet, but I love it. It's hefty, fits my hand great, has a rail for light/laser mounting, and looks great. The one I got also has a wood "target grip", which is larger and longer, better for my large hands. I hope to get to the local "sportsman's club" and shoot it soon.

From what I've read online, lots of folks use the 1911 .22's to practice their 1911 .45 form/technique/drawing, because the ammo is so much cheaper. I really like the 1911 platform thus far. The plan is to use the .22 to get comfortable shooting and introduce my wife to shooting, and then get another 1911 soon. Either a .40 or .45acp. Maybe a shotgun down the road. I'm going to get a utility belt with a holster for the 1911 and some mag pouches, so that when I hear that proverbial "bump in the night" I can just throw the belt on and be ready to rock, since it only has a 10rd clip.

I know the .22 is not ideal by anyone's measure for home defense, but I figured it's a good place to start, it's cheap (and money is also a factor at the moment), and we can go up from there, staying with guns that are essentially the same style, feel, size, and work essentially the same. Plus, there's so much flexibility and accessories for 1911's, it can be a lot of fun to play around with.
 

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

I guess I can understand why you made the choice you did, and in the final analysis it's your skin, and your family.

I recommend learning to put a bullet in a soda can at 25 feet from holster as quickly as you can, because the effectively lethal zone on a man for a .22 isn't much larger. Not just one shot, but five soda cans at varying positions, quickly.

Make sure that your wife can do the same. Then get bigger guns.

Also, make sure you understand the difference between a clip and a magazine. A clip holds bullets, but doesn't move them by itself. A magazine contains a spring or similar delivery system to set up the next bullet for feeding into the chamber. A 1911 style firearm does not have a clip, but does have a magazine. Some revolvers have clips. Some rifles have clips to help with quick loading. You'll avoid a lot of confusion and annoyance by getting the difference sorted out.
 

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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

briandg said:
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.
Brian, sorry to hear about your health issues. But there is absolutely no reason that JHPs would not hit to nearly the same spot as ball ammo in a Glock. Especially if they are both the same grain weight.

The problem is not the ammo. Do not depend on ball for home defense. Find a JHP from this list that will feed reliably and use that.

http://www.ar15.com/ammo/project/Self_Defense_Ammo_FAQ/index.htm

Do not depend on "feelings" about this subject. Base your decisions on FACTS.
 

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

Briandg, sorry to hear about your health issues. I have a natural tremor which makes it hard for me to draw a bead on anything, and it's been with me my entire life. I don't know how bad yours is, but I feel at least some of your pain, and I've had to develop coping strategies to overcome it.

That said, I agree with Old_Painless here. Assuming you have a JHP load which feeds reliably, you're still better off with it, within 75 feet (because at that range the point of impact is still probably minute of goblin).

The problem, as I read it based on your description, is location, pattern, and trigger control.

When I have those problems, I start with an old carboard box about two feet across, stood up at a range of five feet from me, then gradually, slowly, work my way out with shrinking targets and increasing distances. It also gives me a chance to work on my trigger control. Often trigger control means taking a deep breath before I squeeze the trigger, because missing faster never helps.

Eventually I end up with a result which isn't perfect, but is still good enough to knock down bowling pins at 25 feet.
 

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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

Yup. Higher mass means slower movement leaving the barrel, and higher bolt thrust means more muzzle flip during that period. Shooting high is expected. Thank goodness that explains your missing.

I know what you want to do with your idea of nonlethal rounds, and I respect your idea, but quite honestly when dealing with serious gangsters - well, I have known some, and I would go straight from zero to lethal, because in my experience that is how they run.

What sort of alarm system do you have? A big, mean dog? Five little yappy ones that raise hell? My basic system is a flock of geese, and no power on earth can make them shut up if something approaches my place. Plenty of varmints have learned that one the hard way.

When dealing with gangsters, you could do worse than investing in a couple of mastiffs. Expensive to feed, but if they pick up on your not liking a gangster, they will crush bone. Four hundred pounds of loyal carnivore is a good start.
 

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

FBI ballistics report #1 buck with the best penetration. However penetration can be an issue if you live in a apartment. I personally like the Winchester PDX-1 home defense round which is a slug with 3 rounds of 00 buck packed behind it.

I also keep some 00 buck , #1 buck and some slugs on a belt next my weapon in case it's needed.
 

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

Carrylim said:
FBI ballistics report #1 buck with the best penetration. However penetration can be an issue if you live in a apartment. I personally like the Winchester PDX-1 home defense round which is a slug with 3 rounds of 00 buck packed behind it.
The Original Poster lives in a manufactured home, so penetration is a big issue for him.

In shotguns another issue is that, according to my research, steel shot can penetrate more than lead because while its density is lower, it gives up less energy to inelastic distortion post penetration. I don't know whether #2 buck would be adequate with steel - it might well be.
 

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

I still recommend environmental control to match the ammunition, rather than the other way around. Know your environment, and determine which direction is least likely to lead to collateral damage if your firearm of choice is discharged. Factor that into planning of a fixed location where you can remain stationary, and shoot an intruder. It's a better idea than trying to go with minimum penetration ammo because you might wind up shooting into your neighbor's wall by mistake.
 

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A strong argument for hippie style earth bermed homes.

Earth berming homes. Hippies love it because of reduced heating and cooling, and of course you can grow your grass (of whichever variety) all over your house or at least the walls.

We should do it too, because of fire control, both incoming and outgoing.
 

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This may be a case for a quality revolver loaded with Glaser safety slugs. I know that they have many limitations but so does any round. In a 5.56 rifle 40 grain hollow points like those designed for varmint hunting earned a decent reputation in the 80's.
 

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This may be a case for a quality revolver loaded with Glaser safety slugs. I know that they have many limitations but so does any round. In a 5.56 rifle 40 grain hollow points like those designed for varmint hunting earned a decent reputation in the 80's.
First off, welcome to the forum.

Second, sorry but OP tested the Glaser safety slugs already, and found them to be unsatisfactory for defensive purposes since they don't meet FBI minimum standards of penetration and performance.

The 40 grain hollow points in the AR-15 aren't much better either. Too much premature fragmentation.
 

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Sorry fr the delayed response. Given the
First off, welcome to the forum.

Second, sorry but OP tested the Glaser safety slugs already, and found them to be unsatisfactory for defensive purposes since they don't meet FBI minimum standards of penetration and performance.

The 40 grain hollow points in the AR-15 aren't much better either. Too much premature fragmentation.
Sorry for the delayed response. Given the original needs cited by the writer; no over penetration in a lightly constructed trailer. It is highly unlikely any round approved by the FBI would meet his needs. I will also state that police shootings often involve extended ranges, and intermediate targets seldom found in civilian shootings.
 

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Sorry fr the delayed response. Given the

Sorry for the delayed response. Given the original needs cited by the writer; no over penetration in a lightly constructed trailer. It is highly unlikely any round approved by the FBI would meet his needs. I will also state that police shootings often involve extended ranges, and intermediate targets seldom found in civilian shootings.
Actually we're not talking ammunition approved by the FBI. We're talking ammunition that can consistently and reliably penetrate a minimum of 12" of flesh or a similar medium, ensuring that vital parts of the body are reached if the threat is shot from the side, or is the bullet has to travel through an arm to reach the chest.

If overpenetration is a serious enough concern that it hampers the effectiveness of protecting one's life, there are two solutions available. The first is don't miss your target, and make the threat's body stop the bullets from going any further. The second solution is to use a crossbow instead of a gun.
 
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