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Discussion Starter #1
Here's something I've turned over in my mind before and I've never seen a good discussion over. This seems like a good of a place as any to ask.

I have adapted some personal security tools and techniques in my life to reflect my status as an apartment dweller, one of which has been to sit down and draw a detailed map of my dwelling place and figure out which lanes of fire are safe and which are likely to injure an innocent bystander.

The wall between these units, although soundproof, is an illusion. Even a .22 would penetrate one of these units from end to end.

To that end I've figured out that there are exactly two directions I could fire and not violate the fourth rule of firearms safety because I know there is no good reason a person would be there, and I know there is a backstop. It's not even safe to point anything straight up as this would violate the second and fourth rule.

Fortunately it works out these are also the directions from which an invader would enter.

I further take the precaution of using JHP 110 grain .357 cartridges. I favor 125 grain loads normally, but I feel stepping it back some is necessary to insure that my backstops (steel storage buildings full of maintenance equipment with wooded lots and then dumpsters behind them) will stop a stray round.

A long gun seems to be out of the question with my current arsenal, and would be difficult to keep in a "ready to go" condition in any event. For the longest time I thought the use of a long gun for my personal protection in my abode was simply not feasible if I wished to remain safe.

Let me be upfront about this: I have made arrangements and have discretely scattered non firearms about my small space for the unlikely event someone would be in a "prohibited space", i.e. a space where I could not ethically point a muzzle.

I've been told that two layers of sheet rock should stop frangible 5.56 catridges or certain 20 gauge loads. To be honest the thought of a shotgun in this situation does not appeal to me, but a light rifle round seems feasible.

See when it's your own house, and you don't literally share walls with your neighbors, you have a lot more control over the situation and you can safely use a very effective firearm. But when you can't know where the people in the next unit over are physically located at all times, you have to plan a little more and look at using less effective tools in the interest of the safety of others. I figure as long as I use a handgun caliber, and use non-FMJ catridges that aren't loaded too hot, I am obeying the four rules.

I probably should get some Glasers, but I don't understand how I can expect them to perform to be honest. I want to stop aggressors not make them angry.

My query is, is there a long gun for this situation, be it a rifle or a shotgun? I have even considered if a carbine in a pistol caliber could be the answer.
 

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I've done the apartment dwelling from time to time and was also concerned about the possibility of having to fire my weapon inside. I've noticed lately that Beretta has a new line of carbines (Cx-4 Storm) that are short, would be easily handled and comes in 9mm .40 S&W and .45 acp. I would think that just based on the muzzle velocities, the .45 could be a potential choice for indoors....yeah, its gonna go thru the sheetrock too.
 

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Glasers work, but are very very expensive, and testing them properly will bankrupt you....
Same with Magsafe.
Keep doing what you're doing - sounds good!
 

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There are some interesting non-scientific studies that some folks have performed that show that 5.56/.223 rounds have LESS wall penetration than even 9mm. It seems contrary to what you might assume, but apparently the light 5.56 rounds destabilize easily and come apart once they start yawing. This is consistent with what I know of the way this round is designed to wound. Here are a couple of links to peruse:

http://www.olyarms.com/?page=223articles (Though the chart in the Gunsite article seems to contradict the text)

http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-21397.html (at the bottom)

Most of the tests seem to be geared toward free standing homes with exterior walls used. Since you are in an apartment, you may want to consider some of the frangible type rounds which shouldn't penetrate much wall material at all. Something like the Glaser Safety Slug or PMC Green might be the answer.

They can be pricey, the Glaser's are around $20 for 6. I suppose if I needed more than 6 rounds in a situation, it's time to switch to more traditional ammo anyway. The PMC stuff is significantly cheaper, but hasn't been around as long.

Mike
 

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Euclidean

Unfortunately you will never be able to pre~predict from exactly direction your aggressive threat will come once the SHTF. It is impossible for you to know (in advance) exactly what direction you will need to shoot toward.
Rule #1 then becomes to throw out Rules # 2, 3, 4, & 5.
Buy Glaser Safety Slugs. They are EXTREMELY INEXPENSIVE compared to court costs, medical bills, lawyer fees, & an impending civil suit.
I've tested them myself years ago. It cost me a pile of my own money to test them. They do work very well for their intended purpose.
Please feel free to benefit from my personal pile of expended Hard Earned American Dollars.
To this day I carry a spare mag loaded with Glaser Safety Slugs in the event that I find myself in a situation or environment like yours.
Living in an abode with occupied thin walls ~ it's your moral & human obligation not to penetrate those walls & harm innocents even if the potential risk be greater to yourself. You will be well protected with GLASER.
I honestly believe that you have very few realistic choices ~ indoors surrounded by occupied thin walls, floor & ceiling.
They are as follows:
(1) ~ Move
(2) ~ Buy a pellet Gun
(3) ~ Switch to Pepper Spray or a Taser
(4) ~ Harden YOUR interior walls, floors & ceilings
(4) ~ Buy Glaser Safety Slugs.
 

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Glasers

QKShooter said:
Unfortunately you will never be able to pre~predict from exactly direction your aggressive threat will come once the SHTF. It is impossible for you to know (in advance) exactly what direction you will need to shoot toward.
Rule #1 then becomes to throw out Rules # 2, 3, 4, & 5.
Buy Glaser Safety Slugs. They are EXTREMELY INEXPENSIVE compared to court costs, medical bills, lawyer fees, & an impending civil suit.
I've tested them myself years ago. It cost me a pile of my own money to test them. They do work very well for their intended purpose.
Please feel free to benefit from my personal pile of expended Hard Earned American Dollars.
To this day I carry a spare mag loaded with Glaser Safety Slugs in the event that I find myself in a situation or environment like yours.
Living in an abode with occupied thin walls ~ it's your moral & human obligation not to penetrate those walls & harm innocents even if the potential risk be greater to yourself. You will be well protected with GLASER.
I honestly believe that you have very few realistic choices ~ indoors surrounded by occupied thin walls, floor & ceiling.
They are as follows:
(1) ~ Move
(2) ~ Buy a pellet Gun
(3) ~ Switch to Pepper Spray or a Taser
(4) ~ Harden YOUR interior walls, floors & ceilings
(4) ~ Buy Glaser Safety Slugs.
I like Glaser SILVER but have my doubts as to the efficacy of Glaser Blue. I always carry a full mag for my Sig P245 of MagSafe (Super SWAT load) in my primary mag as well as a mixed bag of Glaser Silver or MagSafe in the backup mag. If I feel the need to carry another backup mag (like if I'm on a long distance trip) those are all Federal Hydra-Shok. I also like RBCD ammo. Ever hear of a round from a 45ACP moving at over 2000fps? Whoa.
 

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Seems 5.56mm rounds tend to deflect uncontrollably after passing thru 2 layers of sheetrock. A pistol caliber carbine would probably work better. As it has more mass to the bullet and less deflection. Ruger makes a carbine, I think Marlin does too. I like the carbine idea for the fact it would be more accurate. A shotgun with #8 shot might be a best bet for less over penetration.
 

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Rifle or Shotgun?

Euclidean said:
Here's something I've turned over in my mind before and I've never seen a good discussion over. This seems like a good of a place as any to ask. My query is, is there a long gun for this situation, be it a rifle or a shotgun? I have even considered if a carbine in a pistol caliber could be the answer.
Well established defensive doctrine says that you use a handgun to give you time and space to get to something more powerful. Yet I would counter this by saying that use of a long arm in a home environment is more of a danger in that while moving from room to room, you may encounter dangerous choke points like corners or doorways. Use of a long gun here might telegraph your presence by leading with it thru that point and that might give the BG the opportunity to ambush you by grabbing the barrel or taking a better position of cover himself and just popping you when you stick your head through the choke point.

So if I were going to "fort up" and wait for somebody to come to me while I awaited the arrival of the cavalry, then I'd go with a Benelli Shotgun (I rather LOVE my M121). But if I have to move about to say..... rescue a family member and return them to the "safe room" or such then I'd move with my dedicated "Home Defense Handgun" in my case a Sig P220 45 with a SureFire X200 gun light and a set of CT Lasergrips. At least that's my next purchase. Until then I'll be my Sig P245 with a SureFire 6P in a Harries grip configuration.
 

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ExSoldier762 Nice addition Thanks!

The only reason that I did not mention any of the other frangible type ammo is that I have not personally tested it. When it comes to ammo choices ~ I try never to suggest anything that I've not ever tested myself.
 

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Ammo Testing

QKShooter said:
The only reason that I did not mention any of the other frangible type ammo is that I have not personally tested it. When it comes to ammo choices ~ I try never to suggest anything that I've not ever tested myself.
I agree, that's why I have compiled over a long period of time a fair amount of Glaser Silver and MagSafe and some RBCD to test in the 45's I do purchase. I need to know if they feed & extract flawlessly and where they print on the target at various ranges before I start to carry them full time. There ARE some good deals to be had on both Glaser and MagSafe out there. I have found them for $12 for 8rds. NOT cheap but not a killer either, especially if you're going to just test fire and carry.

Try these links: http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=55751
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=55753
 

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Another possibility, if you're concerned about the expense of testing the high dollar frangible ammo in your auto, is to use a revolver. There's really not much that the ammo can do to make a revolver malfunction, so I would be pretty confident in a particular round after only a small amount of testing to verify POI and such.

Of course, this only makes sense financially if you already have a revolver in a reasonable defensive caliber.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I use my 686 as my residential defense gun. My worry isn't the ammo cycling (one reason I like revolvers), my worry was "How can a round purpose built to NOT penetrate feasibly work?"

I mean come on, a real handgun catridge has a lot of trouble taking someone down, how can I reasonably expect a Glaser to be any better than whacking someone over the head with a WA-1 stick?

What I'm doing actually seems adequate, and I've taken reasonable precautions by making a drawing and a plan and arranging things in my living space to hinder a would be invader. I put a heavy piece of furniture and a safe in front of my bedroom window so the first thing encountered is a series of obstacles, and I cut a 2x2 to the appropriate length and wedged it between the frame of the sliding glass patio door and the wall. The frame of this door is surprisingly strong so you'd have to break the glass to get in. The front door is hollow core and can't really be helped but the 5-10 seconds it would take to break down would be noisy and would give me more than enough time.

Plus I live in the most expensive place I can afford in a very safe area with very low crime rates. The likelihood of needing all this in place is very small to begin with.

Apparently it would indeed be wise to look at Glasers however. It seems I've dismissed them prematurely.
 

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Euclidean said:
Plus I live in the most expensive place I can afford in a very safe area with very low crime rates. The likelihood of needing all this in place is very small to begin with.
Better rethink that logic, Euc, BGs have figured out that the more expensive the neighborhood, the better the "stuff". If you live in a "crack house neighborhood" you would certainly get some burglaries and robberies, but statistically they hit the middle to upper middle class that can afford good "stuff" but don't always have alarms and such....
 

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Euclidean said:
I use my 686 as my residential defense gun. My worry isn't the ammo cycling (one reason I like revolvers), my worry was "How can a round purpose built to NOT penetrate feasibly work?"
Ha, I should have looked at your avatar before suggesting a revolver as an "alternative" ;)

Yes, as with any round, you would have to gather enough data to feel confident that it would perform for your intended purpose. If that data is readily available, or available data is not satisfactory, you would end up having to do that testing yourself, at considerable expense with the frangible ammo.

Using a revolver just saves you from expending the 200+ rounds that a lot of folks feel is the minimum to trust a round's function in an auto.

Here's a bit of existing info:

http://yarchive.net/gun/ammo/glaser_ss.html (mixed results)
http://www.firearmstactical.com/briefs5.htm (this one is not favorable)
http://www.impactsites2000.com/site3/magsafe.htm (favorable, but I think it may be biased)

I guess, just like anything else, you have to do a risk assessment. Are you more likely to fail to stop an attacker by using the frangibles, or are you more likely to injure an innocent by not using them? Of course, there's no way to really answer that, you just have to make your personal decision.

You could compromise and load the first 2 or 3 in the cylinder as frangibles. Then, you can move up to traditional ammo if those fail, and then call in air support.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Bumper said:
Better rethink that logic, Euc, BGs have figured out that the more expensive the neighborhood, the better the "stuff". If you live in a "crack house neighborhood" you would certainly get some burglaries and robberies, but statistically they hit the middle to upper middle class that can afford good "stuff" but don't always have alarms and such....
Bumper I agree and I disagree with you again.

I agree it's folly to think you're "safe" anywhere. I have no way to objectively quantify this, but it seems that in areas where crimes are less common, they are instead more severe.

However I moved out of a ghetto about 9 months ago. I couldn't walk to my mailbox without someone trying to sell me pot. Police sirens wailed all day and all night. I think I'm much better off where I am.

Avoidance is what I'm all about. Moving out of that place was the best thing I ever did for my personal security, much more valuable than any self defense tool I might buy or any technique I might learn.
 

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don't waste your money on wonderammo, glaser will still penetrate a half dozen sheets of sheetrock. The only reliable way not to put a bullet in the next apartment is to hit your target. Bodies stop bullets. When i selected my apartment i kept this in mind. I'm in a quad, on the upper lefthand corner. The structure is brick. There is a firewall between me and the apartment next to mine. Not only does this mean i can play music louder, but bullets won't penetrate a firewall.
 

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Wonder Ammo

clubsoda22 said:
don't waste your money on wonderammo, glaser will still penetrate a half dozen sheets of sheetrock. The only reliable way not to put a bullet in the next apartment is to hit your target. Bodies stop bullets.
Actually I'm less concerned on the street about the legendary thru-n-thru (TNT) gunshot wound than I am a clean miss and the much more likely richochet that hit's an innocent bystander. Glasers and MagSafe are MUCH less likely to "bounce" and if they do, it will more likely be in fragments than as a solid chunk and therefore less likely to be fatal. In fact in my home (built in 1936 of POURED concrete) it's bunker-like construction would lead me to use a more standardized JHP round like a Hydra-Shok.
 

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Missing the shot at 5 feet

Euclidean said:
Come to think of it, people who have never shot a gun in their life are not going to miss in a space where the longest possible shot is 22 feet. But still...
Not true. I have had gun students who are complete novices miss a man sized silouhette target at a range of FIVE FEET. This usually occurs because the student tries to dramatically over compensate for perceived recoil approaching....even with a small caliber firearm.
 

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Euclidean said:
Bumper I agree and I disagree with you again.

I agree it's folly to think you're "safe" anywhere. I have no way to objectively quantify this, but it seems that in areas where crimes are less common, they are instead more severe.

However I moved out of a ghetto about 9 months ago. I couldn't walk to my mailbox without someone trying to sell me pot. Police sirens wailed all day and all night. I think I'm much better off where I am.

Avoidance is what I'm all about. Moving out of that place was the best thing I ever did for my personal security, much more valuable than any self defense tool I might buy or any technique I might learn.
Well, I agree and disagree with you as well. What I was trying to pint out is that statistically, because you live in a safe neighborhood, does not make you safe. You may be safer in that the severity of crime may be less, but may more likely be hit by crime. But, your statement that your area has "very low crime rates" is most important. Don't, however, let your guard down or get lured into believing you re safe. Get good locks (deadbolts), an apartment alarm, possibly a timer for turning on a porch light and or lamp visible through a window, small radio near the door when you are away. You might also consider, if you are in a ground floor apartment, some dowel rods to cut and put in the tracks of your windows. Take care of those details first and you will have plenty of time to respond to the threat and get to an area that is easy to defend and has a good backstop in case you do have to shoot. Odds are though that the BG will move on to someone else's apartment and leave yours alone. Prevention is more important than hiding weapons in your apartment like Easter eggs. :smile:
 
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