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; Originally Posted by MattInFla Birdshot is for birds. There are precisely zero serious trainers out there who advocate birdshot for defense. Some shot is more ...

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

  1. #46
    Senior Member Array itschuck'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.
    Some shot is more worthy than others..a good goose load would work work nicely, Say BB shot.

    birdshot_bb_rem_lead_a.jpg
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  3. #47
    VIP Member Array Superhouse 15's Avatar
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    If you have a family member downrange, then you might have to go for birdshot and accept the limitations of that round. Find a load around #2 or #4 birdshot in Federal's "Flite Control" line so you can maximize the effect of it. Don't just throw in whatever load of low brass 7 1/2 is on sale at Wal Mart.

    It's not the best option, but the "experts" who preach bonded bullets, ARs, and OO buck aren't shoting in the same direction as your kid's room.


    And you can also arrange furniture to maximize cover. A bookshelf full of books can solve a lot of your problems.
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  4. #48
    Senior Member Array RubenZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad426 View Post
    I wouldn't be maneuvering at all... I'd be lying in wait at the top of the stairs with a 12 gauge surprise party.
    That's nice if you have family in same floor and room. But if they are on opposites side of house you have to go get them
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  5. #49
    New Member Array Ctownbmxr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryball View Post
    Really?????
    The objective is to make your family safe. Bad guy leaves: mission accomplished. He keeps coming: mr. Shotgun will not fail or over penetrate. Again: family safety is the goal.

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  6. #50
    Member Array DrahtDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by itschuck View Post
    Some shot is more worthy than others..a good goose load would work work nicely, Say BB shot.

    birdshot_bb_rem_lead_a.jpg
    In the bottom right corner of this image it says remington bb lead. Remember though goose loads are steel shot and will have trouble getting good enough penetration. So BB hevi or lead shot would be much better. Especially Hevi shot. Dont get me wrong Ive killed deer with neckshots, and hogs with headshots with steel bb's but would nogt trust it in a self defense situation. Hogs pretty much always require 2 or three loads of steel bb's to to the head. Which is tough to do while running them down through the marsh. If need be Id use it in a pinch for people but would not reccomend it.

  7. #51
    Senior Member Array mwhartman's Avatar
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    I've considered purchasing and AR. Currently, I have several semi auto's (G19, G36, Colt Commander LWT XSE, Kimber Tactical II, a DB9) Additionally, I have an 870 and a Judge.

    My concern with using the AR for HD, should I miss, is it ability exit my home and penetrate my neighbors home.

    For those of you that have an AR is that a valid concern?
    Praise the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle --- Psalm 144

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  8. #52
    Member Array cltyus1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwhartman View Post
    I've considered purchasing and AR. Currently, I have several semi auto's (G19, G36, Colt Commander LWT XSE, Kimber Tactical II, a DB9) Additionally, I have an 870 and a Judge.

    My concern with using the AR for HD, should I miss, is it ability exit my home and penetrate my neighbors home.

    For those of you that have an AR is that a valid concern?
    From what I've been told, they penetrate less than my handgun rounds and they make fragmenting rounds

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  9. #53
    VIP Member Array 40Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubenZ View Post
    That's nice if you have family in same floor and room. But if they are on opposites side of house you have to go get them
    The idea is it is easier to maneuver and get to you family with a handgun, that allows for the use of a flashlight, light switches and doorknobs as needed. A shotgun is the ideal weapon for a fortified position. Its best that you seek out training. Sometimes we don't know, what we don't know.
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  10. #54
    Member Array FAS1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40Bob View Post
    The idea is it is easier to maneuver and get to you family with a handgun, that allows for the use of a flashlight, light switches and doorknobs as needed. A shotgun is the ideal weapon for a fortified position. Its best that you seek out training. Sometimes we don't know, what we don't know.
    I agree. Also, when young kids are in the home you need to consider how you store your guns and still have a HD weapon available to you. That's another reason a handgun is a good choice for you. In my home the kids are grown and gone and my handgun stored on my bed frame is still the first gun I would grab. If I thought someone was in my home, I would probably retreat to where my shotgun (12ga w/00 Buck) is stored in the safe and loaded. My handgun would be with me immediately and I am perfectly comfortable with it in case of an immediate treat. There are a few options available to safely secure a long gun for HD but it's a lot easier with a handgun.

  11. #55
    Member Array Buckj's Avatar
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    i am in the country so penetration is not a problem...but since i cut my teeth on a shotgun i would prefer to use it...and when you can put down 4 quail in a single rise with a Pump Winchester Model 12......

  12. #56
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    Unless you have trained to clear a house with a longun or handgun for that matter you best bet is to hunker down and wait for the cavalry.

    I personally have a specific handgun, M&P .45 with a WML for use in the house. Should I feel the need for a long gun I would grab my AR or other 5.56 variant instead of a shotgun but that is just personal choice.



    Should you choose a shotgun I would recomend sticking with some sort of buckshot in either standard or reduced recoil variety. No offense to anyone but birdshot is not really suitable for home defense. Yes it can be used but simply may not be effective. Would/could it deter a home intruder if hit center mass sure but it is simply not the best choice.
    At room distances the pattern is very small. Generally speaking from a standard 18 inch barrel home defense gun a pattern will disperse approx 1 inch per yard of distance so in a say a hallway 15 feet long the patten would only be 5 inches or so in diameter. I also do not advocate mixing buck and slugs due to the simple fact in the heat of the moment you will not be keeping track of rounds fired or what is up next. If anything mount a side saddle with slugs should you feel the need to use them.
    The other factor with a shotgun is recoil and muzzle blast which in most cases would be a lot to handle in a closed enviroment but that goes for any weapon fired indoors.

    I have used speciality ammunition on entries before such as TAP or Ballistic Silvertips but normally I simply use 55 gr ball or HP in the rifle. All my weapons have a light mounted for simplicity but again that is a personal choice. This is one variation of my AR setup. I use a Redi Mod or Redi Mag setup so there is always a reload available.



    One of my bunker weapons that family members use is a GSG .22. I am not stating that the .22 is the best for home defense but 30 rounds of HV .22 ammo may deter whomever is intent on causing harm. Low muzzle flash, no recoil and high capacity all work in there favor.



    Ultimately the choice is yours but the key is preplanning the event. Go out and look, bunker in with the family each has there pros and cons. Remember the firearm is simply the tool it is up to you to have the mindset and ability to complete the plan.
    "A first rate man with a third rate gun is far better than the other way around". The gun is a tool, you are the craftsman that makes it work. There are those who say "if I had to do it, I could" yet they never go out and train to do it. Don't let stupid be your mindset. Harryball 2013

  13. #57
    Member Array RC12's Avatar
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    If I wake up to the sounds of an intruder, and the house is pitch black, I'd use a handgun, unless I stay in the bedroom, then I'd keep a Mossberg trained on the door.

    I'm not interested in finding out how bad my ears bleed from an interior shot using 556 since hearing is important, same can be said in regards to a shotgun. If you're actively engaging whoever is in your house, too much blast can daze you just enough that you become vulnerable to his accomplice that you didn't initially see off to your side (or behind you).

    Never assume there's just one bad guy inside your home in that situation.

  14. #58
    New Member Array petecamp's Avatar
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    WOW...There is enough misinformation in this thread to keep the gunshop urban myth mill running for decades. A lot of this bad information may be laid to rest by just browsing this site:

    The Box O' Truth - Ammo Penetration testing

    Start with the subjects on the Original Chapters page.

    I won't even go into all the things wrong here. I will say that some folks on here have it right. The rest need to go take a good defensive shotgun, carbine, or even pistol class. It might save your life. It will almost certaintly reduce some of the misinformation.

  15. #59
    Member Array cltyus1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by petecamp View Post
    WOW...There is enough misinformation in this thread to keep the gunshop urban myth mill running for decades. A lot of this bad information may be laid to rest by just browsing this site:

    The Box O' Truth - Ammo Penetration testing

    Start with the subjects on the Original Chapters page.

    I won't even go into all the things wrong here. I will say that some folks on here have it right. The rest need to go take a good defensive shotgun, carbine, or even pistol class. It might save your life. It will almost certaintly reduce some of the misinformation.
    I've also heard the opposite about a lot of information that is here. I just choose to not argue lol

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  16. #60
    Senior Member Array itschuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrahtDog View Post
    In the bottom right corner of this image it says remington bb lead. Remember though goose loads are steel shot and will have trouble getting good enough penetration. So BB hevi or lead shot would be much better. Especially Hevi shot. Dont get me wrong Ive killed deer with neckshots, and hogs with headshots with steel bb's but would nogt trust it in a self defense situation. Hogs pretty much always require 2 or three loads of steel bb's to to the head. Which is tough to do while running them down through the marsh. If need be Id use it in a pinch for people but would not reccomend it.
    That is why you use Remington Hypersonic. 1700 fps.
    Current collection: Too many according to the wife...

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