12 gauge vs .40 cal vs 5.56 for home defense

This is a discussion on 12 gauge vs .40 cal vs 5.56 for home defense within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; 5.56mm through a 7" barrel...

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Thread: 12 gauge vs .40 cal vs 5.56 for home defense

  1. #16
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    5.56mm through a 7" barrel
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  3. #17
    VIP Member Array jonconsiglio's Avatar
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    My go-to home defense firearm. I also keep a handgun very handy. I spend many hours per week dry and live firing AR's and handguns, and spend a bit of time in the shoot house. I'm content with the AR, especially my 10.5". Next to me when I'm sleeping and in the vehicle during work.

    Loaded with 5.56 75gr TAP or 50gr TSX, depending on the situation. Usually only using TAP at home now and TSX everywhere else, especially in and around vehicles.

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  4. #18
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    When your daughter isn't home practice moving room to room with shotgun and AR and see which one is easier to maneuver with - then try one handed like if you have to herd/carry your daughter or open/close doors.

  5. #19
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    I got a mossberg 930 semi-auto shotgun 4+1 00 buck you come down a 4' wide hallway and the first perp gets 9 pellets in the kill zone,if he has buddies the LEO's can find them by following the trail of feces dripping out of their pants
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  6. #20
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    My primary concern with using 5.56mm for home defense is noise and flash, not penetration. The 5.56mm is a lot louder than any handgun I have, outside at the range. I am sure that problem would be magnified inside the house. As such my primary home defense gun is a 9mm AR SBR with a suppressor. With the 5" barrel and suppressor attached it is still shorter than a 16" AR, much quieter, and easier to shoot under stress than a pistol. It also holds twice as many rounds (or more) than any handgun I have.

    My home defense handgun is a S&W M&P45 with an attached tactical light. I might eventually change to a Glock 21 RTF2 once I get night sights for it, and perhaps a threaded barrel and suppressor. I also have a 870 Police loaded with #4 buck available, though it isn't my primary defense gun. Once the paperwork comes back it will go from 18.5" to 14".

    I have a 10.5" SBR 5.56mm AR. I might consider using it for defense (with 75 grain TAP) if I ever acquire a suppressor for it, until then, unless I need a gun outside of the house, or the situation is extremely dire, I won't be using 5.56. I do have a couple of mags nearby loaded with TAP should the need arise.
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  7. #21
    Ex Member Array Bazinga's Avatar
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    I would say your 12 gauge would be your best bet. You are not going to have the presence of mind at 3 AM to pop open your gun safe, grab your flash light, and place an accurate shot with a .40. 12 gauge, pick up, aim at midsection, fire.

    Plus, those biometric safes, ESPECIALLY the "Gun Vault" ones are NOT secure. Google it. Once you pry off the fingerpad on top, you can access all the wires inside and pop the front door open. Google "3 year old opens gun safe" or Unsafe Gun Safes Can Be Opened By A Three-Year Old - Forbes

  8. #22
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    My and my wifes home defense long guns, but it is easier to get to the pistols in the safe when things go bump in the night. Plus they would have to get by the dog first. Our plan is simple, to collect our boys, hold up in our safe room until the calvary arrives.

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  9. #23
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    10-15 feet in the house 12G pretty effective. As others have said hand gun easy to get to. I have both options at hand.

  10. #24
    VIP Member Array JDE101's Avatar
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    My wife and I don't have any kids at home, so I keep my .45 1911 in the night stand and my 870 loaded with 00 buck under my side of the bed. My wife has ready access to her .40 S&W PX4 Storm. I'd probably go for the .45 first, as it has night sights and I've shot it the most and it is the most manuverable. But if I have the time, I might put on my pants and holster the .45 and grab the 870 while my wife is calling 911. I hope I never have to do it, but I think we are pretty well prepared if we do have to.
    Live to ride, ride to live. Harley Road King And keep a .45 handy Kimber Custom TLE II

  11. #25
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    I like 12ga's superior 1 shot stopping ability. #4 buck shouldnt really overpenetrate. Also shotguns dont spread in reality like they do on tv at home defense range. I like my 40 cal glock with wepons light for manuverability.

  12. #26
    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    My HD setup is my 870 and my Glock 31.

    My shotgun holds 7 + 6 on the side saddle. I live in a rural area where we could have Big Cats or bears, both of which would like to chow on the horses. I have no children at home and its just the wife and I. I know that a 12 gauge slug is one mean hombre and its my choice for a weapon of last defense.
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  13. #27
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    We have no kids at home anymore, so there isn't any problem with guns around the place. We also live in a brick house, so I'm not all that worried about rifle rounds exiting the house. I have a Ruger SR556 AR, a 20" 870, a Ruger GP100 .357 revolver, and my carry gun, a Ruger SR9c among other guns around here.

    However, for HD I would prefer my 870 inside the house. I keep five #4 in the magazine with two #00 behind those. In a shooting in the dark situation inside the house, I don't think you can beat a good short barrel 12 ga. Nightstand gun is the GP100. I keep five rounds in that, hammer down on the empty cylinder. Two speed loaders reside next to the pistol in the nightstand. My Ar15 is primarily a go-to-war gun which doesn't really lend itself to inside shooting. Outside of the house though, it would be my first choice.
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  14. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by cltyus1 View Post
    Hey forum, I currently have a glock 23 (40 cal) and a remington 870 12 gauge shotgun for home defense. I am getting an AR 15 in the next couple of months rather I use it for home defense or not. I have heard that the 5.56 is actually a better home defense round that the .40 caliber when it comes to over penetration. I guess there is a better chance at the 40 over penetrating. Also with the shotgun, if you use slugs definite over penetration, if you use 00 buckshot, you have to be able to control all of the buckshots, and the ones that do miss will over penetrate a lot. And if you use buckshot, there are a lot of pellets that you have to control, plus they may not penetrate enough. Just wondering because I have a daughter and her room is across from mine. Is all if this true? How do you all feel with the rifle in 5.56 in a home defense rifle. Again I ALREADY HAVE A 12 GAUGE AND WILL GET THE AR RATHER I USE IT FOR HD OR NOT. thanks a lot, you guys are very helpful to a novice like myself.
    I would avoid the AR for home defense because that round will over penetrate, guaranteed.

    The .40cal is ok with hollow points loaded, and a shot gun is always a good choice.

  15. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad426 View Post
    I personally wouldn't use a .223 for HD in your situation. You have the best option already with the 12 gauge and if over-penetration is your concern use #6 shot.
    Birdshot is for birds. There are precisely zero serious trainers out there who advocate birdshot for defense.
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  16. #30
    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattInFla View Post
    Birdshot is for birds. There are precisely zero serious trainers out there who advocate birdshot for defense.

    There is a thread about this somewhere where people make a case for it. I say in that thread that I'm a buck shot guy, but in the context of what the OP was asking birdshot would be a better choice than 5.56. Context.
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