Trying to figure out what's the best firearm/caliber for my home defense situation

Trying to figure out what's the best firearm/caliber for my home defense situation

This is a discussion on Trying to figure out what's the best firearm/caliber for my home defense situation within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'm single and live alone in an apartment building (so potential for overpenetration of drywall must be factored into the choice). My current options: 1. ...

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Thread: Trying to figure out what's the best firearm/caliber for my home defense situation

  1. #1
    Member Array beararms's Avatar
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    Trying to figure out what's the best firearm/caliber for my home defense situation

    I'm single and live alone in an apartment building (so potential for overpenetration of drywall must be factored into the choice).

    My current options:
    1. Glock 19 + JHP (regular power)
    2. 12ga + #4 buckshot
    3. 12ga + 00 buckshot
    4. M4gery + 5.56 ballistic tip

    The order I listed them in is my preferred order, but I'm open to good arguments for a different ordering. Again, specific to my situation.


  2. #2
    Ex Member Array wolverine181's Avatar
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    I'm in the same situation. I'm thinking the first thing I'll get is a semi-auto .45/9mm as long as it is high capacity and very very reliable (still need to feel some of them out). I'm only thinking this because I'm low on cash and would rather buy a concealed carry/home defense weapon in one than get a rifle/shotgun and still be sol when it comes to concealed carry. Strictly home defense though, it's definitely between a 12 gauge and an ar-15 with .223 because I've read that .223s are among the best when it comes to not-so-much penetration. I shot a 12 gauge for the first time Sunday and damn is that recoil a $%#$& compared to an ar-15. Of course, the power is definitely different. It would probably depend on your plan too, eh? I plan on finding my son and setting up camp in a safe room with the gun pointed at the door. If you wanted to clear your house :-/, it seems like the shorter the barrel the better.

    I'm not very experienced with guns, so don't take me too seriously. I'm just trying to bounce around some ideas also.

  3. #3
    Member Array beararms's Avatar
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    Rationale for ranking the 9mm pistol as my first choice:
    1. Easiest to get in hand - it's on my nightstand, and I can have it in my hand and shoot while still in the bed
    2. Can operate a flashlight or open a door with my other hand
    3. Can keep in condition 1. I wouldn't keep either the shotgun or the rifle chambered.
    4. Preserves hearing. I really don't want to fire a 12ga or an AR in an enclosed space.
    5. Maneuverability, though this is a weak rationale for me as my place isn't that big and I probably wouldn't be doing much moving.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array sensei2's Avatar
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    get the Glock, and load it with a frangible ammunition like Magsafe or Glaser. these rounds are designed to start breaking up when they strike any solid object, so they will generally NOT penetrate two layers of drywall. be certain to test these rounds to make certain that they'll feed, fire and cycle in your gun - these light-for caliber rounds do not always cycle semi-automatics. they are very expensive compared to hollow points ($12-$15 for six rounds, and you'll need 16 rounds.) reloads can be conventional hollowpoints, but these can go through several layers of drywall.

    all of your other choices will over-penetrate, and drastically so. they're just too powerful.
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  5. #5
    Member Array _Hawkeye_'s Avatar
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    I would choose whatever you shoot the best. If someone breaks into your apartment, and kills you while you fumble with a weapon you are not good with, over penetration will not be a concern to you.
    English is my second language, I have been told my use of it is harsh, apologies if this is the matter.

    You know what stops a bad guy with a gun? A good guy with a gun

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by beararms View Post
    Rationale for ranking the 9mm pistol as my first choice:
    1. Easiest to get in hand - it's on my nightstand, and I can have it in my hand and shoot while still in the bed
    2. Can operate a flashlight or open a door with my other hand
    3. Can keep in condition 1. I wouldn't keep either the shotgun or the rifle chambered.
    4. Preserves hearing. I really don't want to fire a 12ga or an AR in an enclosed space.
    5. Maneuverability, though this is a weak rationale for me as my place isn't that big and I probably wouldn't be doing much moving.
    1. A shortie shotgun isn't difficult to maneuver while sitting in bed.
    2. A barrel-mounted flashlight won't do?
    3. What's wrong with a chambered rifle/shotgun? That's what safties are for.
    4. A shotgun isn't any worse than a 9mm, probably less so.
    5. same as #1.

    Any SD caliber is capable of penetrating sheetrock walls, even the misicule .22 LR. Either you make the decision to defend yourself with a firewall (it's your life) or you use something else.
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    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
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  7. #7
    Ex Member Array NotMallNinja's Avatar
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    Depending on your living situation you may want to consider Glaser or Magsafe rounds.

  8. #8
    Member Array RichB70's Avatar
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    My night stand has a New SuperBlackhawk 44Mag. I load it with 44spec. I have a long hallway to my bedroom one shot up that hallway with a 3' muzzle flame is enough to deter just about anyone. Blind and deaf with a big hole in your chest will change your priorities very quickly.


    Rich

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    Member Array beararms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    1. A shortie shotgun isn't difficult to maneuver while sitting in bed.
    2. A barrel-mounted flashlight won't do?
    3. What's wrong with a chambered rifle/shotgun? That's what safties are for.
    4. A shotgun isn't any worse than a 9mm, probably less so.
    5. same as #1.

    Any SD caliber is capable of penetrating sheetrock walls, even the misicule .22 LR. Either you make the decision to defend yourself with a firewall (it's your life) or you use something else.
    1. By shortie, how short are we talking? I'm at legal minimum of 18" barrel and even with the collapsible stock I have on there, I'd hardly call it maneuverable while laying or sitting in bed.
    2. Yep, barrel mounted would do. Just not something I have yet. I was listing the options currently available to me.
    3. I've read that old shotguns (which is what I have) aren't drop safe. I've also seen somewhere or other the same about AR's.
    4. Ah, I learned something new. I'll have to read up on noise comparisons.

  10. #10
    Member Array beararms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NotMallNinja View Post
    Depending on your living situation you may want to consider Glaser or Magsafe rounds.
    How does this stuff compare to JHP in terms of flesh/gelatin penetration?

  11. #11
    Member Array Skookum's Avatar
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    For home defense (assuming you are not going to carry), consider a fuul-size pistol, rather than a compact -- more rounds, longer sight radius, and less recoil.

    I wouldn't use frangible ammo -- insufficient penetration in human tissue to guarantee effectiveness. A JHP round in 9 Luger should expend most, if not all, of its energy within your target. If the penetration possibility still spooks you, consider a high-capacity .380 Auto -- JHPs are available that meet the FBI's minimum penetration criterion, but the energy is almost half that of a 9mm Luger. With lower recoil you should be more accurate, and any miss that penetrates into a neighbor's space shouldn't have much energy left.
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  12. #12
    Ex Member Array NotMallNinja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beararms View Post
    How does this stuff compare to JHP in terms of flesh/gelatin penetration?
    It depends as each offers different versions of their frangible rounds. Do some research to make an informed decision. These rounds are only advisable if you are worried about rounds missing your intended target.

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    Distinguished Member Array phreddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beararms View Post
    I'm single and live alone in an apartment building (so potential for overpenetration of drywall must be factored into the choice).

    My current options:
    1. Glock 19 + JHP (regular power)
    2. 12ga + #4 buckshot
    3. 12ga + 00 buckshot
    4. M4gery + 5.56 ballistic tip

    The order I listed them in is my preferred order, but I'm open to good arguments for a different ordering. Again, specific to my situation.
    How old is the building you are living in? Most apartments built in the last couple of decades have firewalls between units. Usually the firewalls are concrete or cinder block. They could be behind sheetrock so you wouldn't see the firewall. If you live alone and live in an apartment with firewalls, overpenetration should be less of a concern. You would be pretty safe with just about any common handgun or shotgun.
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  14. #14
    Member Array beararms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phreddy View Post
    How old is the building you are living in? Most apartments built in the last couple of decades have firewalls between units. Usually the firewalls are concrete or cinder block. They could be behind sheetrock so you wouldn't see the firewall. If you live alone and live in an apartment with firewalls, overpenetration should be less of a concern. You would be pretty safe with just about any common handgun or shotgun.
    Excellent point. My building is relatively new (<10yrs). I'll ask if it was designed with firewalls.

    Did some reading on frangible rounds - what I came away with is that these are inferior to JHP for defensive use.

  15. #15
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    Glock 19 with regular defensive JHP rounds. Even though I have long guns set-up and ready for home defense my go to HD gun is a .357 revolver
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

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