S&W Governor for HD?

This is a discussion on S&W Governor for HD? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I live in a townhome, so my neighbor lives on the other separate side of my house, a few layers of sheetrock and a firewall ...

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Thread: S&W Governor for HD?

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    Member Array ddclancy's Avatar
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    Question S&W Governor for HD?

    I live in a townhome, so my neighbor lives on the other separate side of my house, a few layers of sheetrock and a firewall away. I also live in a family oriented cul-de-sac with lots of small kids, so I'm basically surrounded 360° by other people. Using a Glock for HD scares me because I could accidently hit my neighbor or something. I hate the thought of a bullet exiting my house with all of these people surrounding me. I'm thinking the .410 shotshell is a good choice for me because the pellets won't go too far if they exit my house and they could still probably stop a BG at close range.....what do you guys think?

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    You're thinking straight from the standpoint of avoiding any projectiles exiting the house.

    It's that "could still probably stop" in your post that bothers me so I keep non-magnum revolvers on hand along with a couple of intermediate-powered rifles. I don't live in a townhouse however.

    Good thread starter!
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    Had one when they first came out. Think they are OK for home defense when loaded with some of the new HD ammo, not the PDX1 stuff though as it has too many small pellets that disperse too much at distance. The HD ammo with a few big pellets will make a group the size of a hand at HD distances according to my tests. I did not do any penetration tests but from what I saw in Ballistic Gel tests on the internet, the right ammo will do the job.

    My only complaint with the gun was that it was muzzle heavy and did not feel natural in my hands which is important to me. However, in the end I realized that a .45 or 9mm would give me more shots and be just as effective or more so I sold it. The Governor has to be aimed like any other handgun and has a short barrel which will not give you the full potential of whatever you shoot through it. So basically, it is not going to be a cone of death that allows someone with no shooting skills to hit and stop a home intruder. BTW, using the moon clips is not fun. Hard to do by hand and the devices that make it easy to do are expensive. Why use .45 acp when you can get .45 LC loads that are even better from Buffalo Bore. A speed loader is about just as fast as a moon clip. Anyway, if this type of gun appeals to you I would get the less expensive Judge. Holds one less round but these are not the type of guns you use for a running gun battle anyway.
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    VIP Member Array Secret Spuk's Avatar
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    ddclancy... hello sir and welcome to the forum.

    I think your train of thought and logic are spot on. The concerns you express are things we all should consider. My opinion is the Governor and it's poorer cousin the Judge are exelent firearms for home defense. So much so that I believe thats their most useful purpose. The only question in my mind is what ammunition would be most effective. If you have the time, inclination, and place you might take the gun to a friendly range, and shoot various rounds into a couple of sheets of sheetrock. ANYTHING... coming out the barrel will stop a bad guy. The beauty of using a revolver is that you can mix and match your loads. I also use a revolver as a dedicated home defense gun. Mainly so's I can mix loads. My first round is snake-shot. The thing about a home defense weapon is that it's in the home and subject to an N/D within your home, a mistaken identity in the home, or a case of domestic rage in the home. People will say "That wont ever happen to me because bla bla bla bla!" Well I believe that it can happen to anyone as were all human. For this reason my first shot is always something benign. Snake shot wont stop a bad guy? maybe yes, maybe no... I dont know anyone willing to allow me to shoot them with it. The Governor can fill this role. My second, and third shot is frangible ammo. I've tried shooting it a sheetrock and got some penitration but not much. You can do that with a Judge as well... .45 acp frangibles. The next three rounds are JHP standard velocity... Just in case ya know? OK so in the Governor you get two standard velocity rounds...

    The Governor is a revolver and some may consider it more reliable than a modern auto. I think thats a load of hooie. But as a revolver it requires much less maintenance, It's easier to keep locked while it's loaded. (I put a thick combination lock behind the trigger) In a home the space is limited. There is really no where to go and the chances of the doer being on top of you or in very close proximity is not just good, but probable. Fighting with a revolver is different than with an autopistol. Some revolvers are called belly guns because they are easily pushed up against your assailents belly and pull the trigger. I like that advantage.
    Last edited by Secret Spuk; July 13th, 2013 at 09:56 AM.
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    Distinguished Member Array phreddy's Avatar
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    How about a 12 gauge for home? It would lower the risk of over-penetration while giving you a more powerful load.


    Otherwise if you we were stuck on the governor, you could load the first couple of rounds with .410 and then follow with 45lc for any cases where .410 did not work.

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    VIP Member Array Easy8's Avatar
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    12 gauge will penetrate a wall easily, I would suggest some magsafe or corbon rounds in .45 or 9 mm should do the trick

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    Now that you can find some dedicated HD ammo for .410 it might be better than using just 000 buck out of a tiny barrel.

    If you are concerned about over penetration you can try to find a high velocity rapidly expanding round like some of the 110gr .357 magnum rounds that were all of the rage a decade or so ago. I think that Winchester had one the would come apart in the first couple of inches in gel.

    This was when the Glaser safety slugs were the ultimate zombie killers (when zombies were crackheads) and everyone wanted rapid expansion and energy transfer over penetration.

    You can still find most of these rounds still in production for the major calibers and they might be better at stopping a threat then a .410
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

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    Member Array wondering's Avatar
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    You may want to consider looking at the Guard Dog expanding rounds. They are FMJ, but filled with a gel and scored around the bullet that that they expand by compressing. they are designed for home defense and to deliver high impact energy but not to excessively penetrate sheetrock etc.

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    VIP Member Array 357and40's Avatar
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    Mossberg 500c 20 guage is my HD shotty. Loaded up with Turkey Shot. They gunna act like a turkey, I'm gunna load up for turkey...
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    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    Go on YouTube and watch tests of this gun. Beyond a few feet, it is not very effective with 000.

    If you are going to use a slug, you might as well use a regular handgun.

    I would a .22 before I would use this. Just my .02
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    VIP Member Array glockman10mm's Avatar
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    I wouldn't use a Judge or other such contraption to guard the chicken house, much less my house.

    I'm not joking, I'd just as soon have a 22 rifle loaded with Stingers as the 410 revolvers.
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    Distinguished Member Array Nmuskier's Avatar
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    I agree, this is not an effective HD gun. If you're loading shot, a 20ga. (or 12) is far better. Light weight buck (or #2 bird at the very lightest). If you're loading slugs, a traditional handgun is better. Sheetrock is cheap. Have fun testing it.

    Top priority is setting your defensive plan which includes a cell phone and a retreat plan. Know your safe shooting lane. Have a safe backstop, and rehearse emergency plans with family members.

    Sorry, I have to leave a link re: alternating ammo. First, why can a revolver do this, but not an automatic? Read this to see why it doesn't make sense:
    Alternating SD ammo in mag?

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    Member Array ddclancy's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the suggestions.
    I don't always carry two concealed S&W 500's.........JUST KIDDING!

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    Distinguished Member Array matthew03's Avatar
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    Not a fan of the .410 for self defense, not out of a long barrel and certainly not out of a HG length barrel.

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    I think the Governor is an excellent HD revolver. With the new 410 loads being made today that are designed specifically for handguns, the options are quite good. Here's a short YouTube video I did highlighting the Federal 000 Buck load.
    S & W Governor .....Federal 000 Buck at muti ranges.MPG - YouTube
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