More range time...
Visualize what's behind the shot.
Life is full of choices.
This is a discussion on I live in a "stuck together house" within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Well a townhouse... Lol. My old high school buddy called them "stuck together houses". Well townhouses, apartments, they are basically built the same way. Sometimes ...
Well a townhouse... Lol. My old high school buddy called them "stuck together houses". Well townhouses, apartments, they are basically built the same way. Sometimes there is only dry wall separating you and your neighbors or in my case, me and my neighbors. I have my bedside handgun loaded with 124 grain Speer Gold Dots +P, I know this will penetrate dry wall. My Remington 870 is loaded with 6 shells of 00 Buck 9 PLT and I know this will penetrate dry wall.
So what should I change my handgun or shotgun loads too so that a missed shot meant for a home invader doesn't end up in my neighbors living room or worse?
More range time...
Visualize what's behind the shot.
Life is full of choices.
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In all seriousness: there's not going to be an effective SD load that won't penetrate wallboard. You should be thinking layout. Most likely, your bedrooms are upstairs and your stairwell is against the shared wall, right? If so, that could be an advantageous layout, as the only way up to where you are is in a corridor where you would have the upper hand and no at risk of shooting into your neighbor's house. Even a missed shot would likely end up in the floor...
Planning your strategy is going to be your safest bet. In the end, though, if you find yourself in a situation and things are going to plan, you just have to do your best. :(
No guarantee, but use frangible ammo AND do what Retsupt said.
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If its a condo you can add brick or stone to the inside walls or if an apartment try big bookcases. There are some fragmenting rounds that you could use. Glaser Safety Slugs come to mind. Other than that high angle shots might help. Shooting from prone on the floor or from the stairs down. DR
they make bean bag and i think rubber slug shotgun shells for 12 gauge. ive found them on some sites. maybe you can consider a less lethal option.. shoot em with a bean bag if no effect toss it and start taking shots from your handgun at them. or you can load one bean bag round and then one birdshot them the rest 00 buckshots
There is no magical round that seeks out bad guys only. I once heard Mas Ayoob describe your situation this way (and I'll have to paraphrase since I don't have the quote):
"Have you ever punched your fist through drywall? Now have you ever punched through a man? You are talking about something that has enough energy to penetrate a human being, NO load is going to not penetrate drywall"
I suppose you could load the gun with snake shot or something for the first few rounds. If that doesn't scare the threat away, you'd have some hollow points as reserve.
As Benjamin Franklin left the hall in Philadelphia, he was asked, “What kind of government have you given us, Dr. Franklin?” He replied: “A republic, if you can keep it.”
You have to balance what you can do to minimize what you fear with making sure you have not diminished the effectiveness of your self defense. I've thought a lot about my bedside gun ( a 12ga shotgun) and decided that buckshot was really going overboard a bit at the range I would use it for self defense in my home; I now have it loaded with hunting loads of #6 birdshot. I did a pattern test at any range that I would really need to shoot and while it blew a 6" hole (there was more spread but it was still pretty concentrated) in a target at approximately 20 feet (a reasonably realistic maximum range in my home) I don't feel that it would be as likely to kill a family member 2 rooms away like 00 buckshot or a slug which defeats the purpose of the scattergun and is even worse for overpenetration.
The only reason anyone needs a rifle is for range and does not lend itself to this situatiion.
My handgun is another matter but it is a backup to my shotgun and in that scenario I feel that I want as powerful expanding round as possible because when I empty the shotgun and throw it down all bets are off and I will let the "chips fall where they may" if I survive.
I honestly don't expect to ever need the handgun in a home defense situation. A handgun IMO is for self defense where I can't have access to a shotgun. I know it might be taken as a shocking thing to say but I'll take a 12ga loaded with anything over any other weapon in any SD situation. I don't want range so I don't need a rifle. I want to deal massive trauma, its the only real solution once you pull that trigger.
"come and take them"
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I don't think there's a viable option for 9mm, but you can move down to #4 Buck for the shotgun and still have a good effect on target. That's about as small as I would go for a defensive shotgun.
Thought townhouses had to have a firewall between residences. Should be cement or cinderblock...?
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Ben Franklin
I would not change anything other than getting some professional training to minimize the chances of missing. You would be surprised how the real thing is so unlike what you picture in your mind or how you shoot at the range. Also know that according to studies done, one by the NRA, 98% of civilian gun encounters end without a shot being fired. My experience backs that up because in my two civilian encounters I just had to show my gun to end the encouter and I am happy for that.
Just a few months ago our gun club set up a mock living room to use for a gun competition. We did things like grab a gun sitting on a coffee table, opening the front door after the door bell rang and presented with a FedX guy with a gun in his hand. Other stuff was seeing your wife held in front of a bad guy through a window and all sorts of similar household situations using cardboard targets dress in clothes. After the competition, I took the Silver in my age group which is not saying much, we decided to see how our ammo penetrated in a room. To my surprise my Gold Dot 124 +P 9mm only penetrated one sheet of dry wall after passing through a foam filled easy chair. I was surprised as heck when I went to the other side of the two sheet rock wall and did not see an exit hole. We also shot through other objects one may find in a home and most times the bullets never exited a room. Interesting but far from conclusive as we were purposely shooting through objects. I do know for a fact that if you just shoot at a wall the round will penetrate several walls and exit your house unless it hits some wood beams. However even then the round has to hit someone outside and there is more open space than space with people in it even in a townhouse. :)
I have taken several training courses and am pretty confident that any shooting in a house will be at short distance unless you are rich and have a larger house. If you are trained and do not over react and start blasting away because you are scared or pissed off, your target will be easy to hit. However, the smart thing to do is barricade yourself in your room and call 911 because even if you justifiably shoot someone, your life will be hell. You will be surprised at how quickly your legal fees mount up. Can you afford to pay for expert witnesses to confirm what the jury will be told was justifiable? Then the realization that you killed someone will sink in. Once things get back to normal after the adrenaline rush you may second guess yourself or feel remorse. We are kind of wired to abhor killing believe it or not. Just ask a returning Vet suffering from PTSD. My point is to worry more about how to stay safe and avoid shooting rather than over penetration because over penetration or not, if you shoot someone, whether the right person or innocent bystander, you can kiss your existing life goodbye. Just ask George Zimmerman.
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When I was a kid growing up in the 50s-60s there was a BB gun machine gun you could get thru the US Mail. Some years later I read an account of a woman being attacked by a burglar. The woman ran up to her bedroom to get her BB machine gun. As she began firing the BG was halfway up the stairs. As the BB's impacted he lost his footing and tumbled backwards down the stairs. She fired the entire time he was going backwards down the staircase, emptying the gun. Later at the hospital the doctors dug more than 400 BB's out of the BG. We had better stuff in the olden days.
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