Defensive Gun in an Apartment

Defensive Gun in an Apartment

This is a discussion on Defensive Gun in an Apartment within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I am going to be moving into an apartment next month. It is a 3 story Town house. The Bedrooms and a bathroom are on ...

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Thread: Defensive Gun in an Apartment

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array dsee11789's Avatar
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    May 2008

    Defensive Gun in an Apartment

    I am going to be moving into an apartment next month. It is a 3 story Town house. The Bedrooms and a bathroom are on the top floor. My Problem lies in planning for a home invasion. I don't know what the two walls that connect my unit to the other two surrounding mine are made of. I contacted the landlord to find out but he wasn't sure. He said he'd try and find out. Best case scenario is that there is a Concrete firewall separating the units. Worst case is that there is 4 to 6 layers with a possible sound deadening material. From looking at the Box 'O Truth Website, I don't know what kind of ammunition I could use without possibly injuring a neighbor. The rooms are not very big and I would very likely hit a sleeping neighbor.

    I know that Bird Shot and Frangible Rounds are very very frowned upon as Defensive Loads but I don't see many other options.

    I'm looking for suggestions pertaining to the Wall being made of 6 Sheets of drywall. I had someone in the next unit bang on the wall and I don't think there's concrete.

    Weapons to choose from are an AR-15, 12 ga, 20 ga, or a 9mm

    Thanks in Advance!
    Exodus 22:2 "If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed"

  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    It sounds like you have a pretty good sense of the issue. All the calibers you mentioned have the risk of serious over-penetration. Hollow points tend to fill their tip with drywall and act more like FMJ. I have read some articles that .223/5.56 tend to fragment when they go through walls and it reduces over-penetration danger. Even buckshot is dangerous through walls...

    For those who have never seen it, it is a fun site:

    The Box O' Truth - Ammo Penetration testing

    Some well placed bookshelves (full of books) will give some backstop. Best advice is to be judicious with the shots and make sure they hit their mark. You will be able to take other non-firearm measures to help make your home safe. (motion lights, deadbolts, alarms, dogs, ect...)

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array raevan's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    They must build apartments different back there. Out here in Washington I think the walls between apartments are the same as between each room. The ones I have lived in don't reduce sound. You can hear everything that goes on next door.

    Just count on whatever you shoot passing through the walls, so put some sort of furniture barrier on the adjoining walls.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array dnowell's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    I think the problem comes down to a bad decision. Rounds that won't penetrate drywall probably won't penetrate a badguy. The only exception I'm aware of is the frangible rounds, and even those I wouldn't want to try against a BG with a heavy coat on. Frangible will definitely do better than birdshot from everything I've read.

    If you're terribly concerned you could keep a high capacity firearm with the first handful of rounds loaded frangible and the rest loaded hollowpoint. An AR-15 with a 30 or 40 round magazine gives you plenty of followup in case the frangible doesn't work.

    And... hopefully by the time you figure out the frangible doesn't work... the neighbors will have figured out that it's a good time to lie flat and low.

  5. #5
    EW3 is offline
    Senior Member Array EW3's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    I am in a condo with some block walls, but not all of them. Both of my home defense guns are loaded with .45 ACP Glaser Silver Safety Slugs. I have a couple with a young child to the side of me and an older lady to the front of me and I cannot bear the thought of hurting someone with a missed shot. While the Glasers may not be as optimal as a good HP round, I am not comfortable with using them in my unit.

    For over 30 years, Glaser Safety Slug has been the perfect choice for use in populated, urban areas. Glaser's composite design uses a special thin-wall jacket, and precision compressed lead shot core with a soft polymer tip. This construction provides optimum balance between penetration and fragmentation. These round nose profile guarantees feeding reliability. Stopping power is maximized by the complete dispersal of the bullet energy into the intended target with immediate shock and trauma.

    This rapid fragmentation delivers the energy to a large area. Reduced recoil allows a fast recovery for follow up shots if necessary. This makes Glaser the best choice for defensive situations.
    Glaser Blue penetrates five to seven inches in International Ballistic Wound Association protocol testing, while silver penetrates eight to ten inches in the IWBA testing protocol.

    "Naked and Starving as They are We Cannot Enough Admire the Incomparable Patience and Fidelity of the Soldiery" George Washington, Valley Forge, 1777.

  6. #6
    Member Array Astute's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Twin Falls, Idaho
    I would recommend a 45ACP handgun with MagSafe Swat loads or Glaser Safety Slugs.

  7. #7
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Fayetteville, AR
    I am now living in an apartment on the second floor. All due to my work schedule change earlier this year. I'll be here at least six months. I sort of like it.....only one way in for entry. Still carry all of the time with my G19, and it's basically my HD pistol as well. Still use the 124gr+p GDHPs I've always carried in it.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array Saint77's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
    Our Apartment is in the middle of two others, on the top of a two story building. I use the Mossberg 590 for defending it. I have .45s and 9MM for pistols, and unless im facing the front door or back door/balcony areas of the apartment, there is high risk going through walls. Good news is, that where the apartments are next each other, the rooms are not frequently occupied.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array aus71383's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    I'd choose the AR-15 if it was me - loaded with some 5.56 55grain loads or 75 grain Hornady or Black Hills.


  10. #10
    Member Array rmxer85's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    Pennsylvania's Backwoods
    I use these loads for turkey hunting. After seeing damage done with these at 60 yds on a turkey. I use these in my 12ga in my Apt. with no worries.
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    I thoroughly disapprove of duels.
    If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand
    and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.
    -Mark Twain

  11. #11
    Senior Moderator
    Array RETSUPT99's Avatar
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    Central Florida
    My shottie is only going to see 00 buck, but if you were somewhat concerned...#4 buck might just be the ammo best suited to your apartment living.

    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

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