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Old February 27, 2006, 09:48 PM   #1
Doug.38PR
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Who thinks a Magnum round....

Who thinks a magnum round would be an ideal defense round in an enclosed metropolitan area?


While it is more effective...it can be too much of a good thing it seems to me.

1) It is loud. Not something you want in an enclosed area for your ears sake

2) It can penetrate more. Not something you want in a public place with more people and property around. But on the other hand, do the fact that most magnum defense round are hollowpoint help alleviate this problem?
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Old February 27, 2006, 09:51 PM   #2
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What do you mean by 'magnum'? Are we talking .357 mag vs .38 special, or .460 S&W?
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Old February 27, 2006, 09:56 PM   #3
Doug.38PR
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any kind of magnum. .357, .44 or .41. A .357 alone will penetrate more than a .38 special a .44 special or even .45 acp or .40 caliber. It's louder than any of those from my experience at the range
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Old February 27, 2006, 10:56 PM   #4
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I think any round is ideal if you're thinking about the backstop.
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Old February 27, 2006, 11:30 PM   #5
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General rules don't work. A 357 mag with a 125 JHP is going to penetrate less than a 38 with a SWC given the same hit on a human body for instance. Lots of lower velocity JHP bullets penetrate more than a similar weight and construction bullet at higher velocity.

I could care less about going deaf, as long as I live through it all is well.

That all said, I want a 357 magnum or a 40+ caliber gun for home defense. I don't feel at all ill equipped with a 38 though, but if possible I want more powerful cartridges.
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Old February 28, 2006, 02:27 PM   #6
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I'm with HSMITH on this one. A light and fast bullet is not going to over-penetrate. With solid non-expanding bullets a faster bullet will penetrate more. Its not the case with JHPs. A 158gr. JHP is not any louder than a supersonic 9mm load and does not have any muzzle flash whatsoever. As long as I survive the incident, my hearing is of secondary importance. I find that I can shoot my 357 revolvers much more accurately than my semi-autos. I'm good out to 50yds with my revolvers. Its not just the Magnum cartridge itself but also the weapon platform.
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Old February 28, 2006, 02:51 PM   #7
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i would use my .357 magnum for a home defense weapon... i do have some hollow base wadcutters loaded in backwards loaded at around 1200 fps but i'd hesitate to use em on a human target... like they sad a .38 caliber bullet at magnum velocities penitrate like hell so be be sure of your backstop if you have a choice.... i stopped shooting possums in town with bullets and switched to speer shot capsules full of shot for fear of putting a bullet into a neighbors house... not good at all! the shot loads with # 2 shot take out the small critters very well thank you ...........
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Old February 28, 2006, 03:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJB2
i stopped shooting possums in town with bullets and switched to speer shot capsules full of shot for fear of putting a bullet into a neighbors house...
I take it you live in a small town.


If I touched off a .357 in my town, ohhhh boy would I be in trouble... And I even live on the outskirts.
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Old February 28, 2006, 03:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
1) It is loud. Not something you want in an enclosed area for your ears sake

2) It can penetrate more. Not something you want in a public place with more people and property around. But on the other hand, do the fact that most magnum defense round are hollowpoint help alleviate this problem?
Those are only disadvantages depending on how you look at them.

1) It's loud. Good intimidation factor if accosted by multiple assailants (after they hear the report of a .357 or .44 Magnum they might think about changing their plans)

2) It can penetrate more. Might be useful if you are engaging a target in a car (big advantage for police in situations like traffic stops and roadblocks).
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Old February 28, 2006, 07:14 PM   #10
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Penetrate cars?

I thought this was about home defense. I am perfectly happy with the high tech +P loads versus a magnum in the home. That is a specific situation. If it was for hiking or for both 2 and 4 legged critters, I would go with a magnum perhaps. If it was for police to blast thru cars, I would recommend something besides a revolver. Don't try to cover all sits. with one gun or one type of ammo. Unless you are poor, then you can still select ammo for the sit. if one gun.
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Old February 28, 2006, 08:50 PM   #11
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I would have no problem squeezing off a few .41 mags out of my Redhawk - they were designed to be great "manstoppers". But "ideal" vs. a semi with .40 or .45? Naaa...
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Old February 28, 2006, 09:08 PM   #12
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any kind of magnum.
Toss in the .22WRM and rethink your question.
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Old February 28, 2006, 09:12 PM   #13
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yep twycross i do live in a small town... about 1000 souls...... i've killed around 20 possums and a coon in the last few yrs with the blessing of the town cops... however the point i was trying to make when talking about the shot loads was that i do it to help curb overpenitration in a populated environment....... i found this out when i shot a possum on my back patio and it bouced off after hitting the possum and went through my car door (thank god)... i haven't shot a slug since in town.... i do see a difference in haveing an accidental penitration in a self defense situation though......
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Old February 28, 2006, 09:38 PM   #14
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i found this out when i shot a possum on my back patio and it bouced off after hitting the possum and went through my car door (thank god)
A solid non-expanding slug from any service caliber will definitely go through an opossum. If it didn't I would be awfully concerned about using that load for home defense or carry. The only 357Mag loads you might have to worry about are the 158gr. JHPs. Even then they typically penetrate to about 16" and open up to at least 1/2". After penetrating a human torso and opening up it is not going to have much energy left. A miss with a .45ACP is going to be just as deadly to an innocent bystander as a miss with a 357Mag. You always have to be aware of your backstop no matter which caliber you use.

Quote:
If I touched off a .357 in my town, ohhhh boy would I be in trouble... And I even live on the outskirts
.

Why? If you were justified to draw and fire your weapon, you wouldn't be in any more trouble than if you had used another caliber. Of course a 158gr. JSP is going to over-penetrate. That is what it was designed to do. Use an expanding bullet in 357Mag and you have got yourself one heck of home defense pistol. A 125gr. JHP won't penetrate any more than 12" so whats the problem?
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Old February 28, 2006, 09:47 PM   #15
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I think the question about which to use would require some analysis about your housing situation. If you live in an apartment you may want to go with a round that hass a less chance of penetrating and going on to another aprtment. Same if you live in a neighborhood where the houses are close together. If you live in the country then that situation would be different.
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Old February 28, 2006, 09:48 PM   #16
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Think the noise issue is over played...know that I don't plan on shooting anyone in secret, so if I'm shooting, will want the whole neighborhood to know I'm in trouble and to either join in or phone the cops.

Penetration is mostly about bullet selection/construction...it's the missed rounds that seem to be the problem.
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Old February 28, 2006, 09:52 PM   #17
cje1980
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If you live in an apartment you may want to go with a round that hass a less chance of penetrating and going on to another aprtment.
Any round that is designed to provide adequate penetration for defensive purposes is going to go into another apartment. The only rounds that won't would be glasers or mag-safe. Use a round designed for defensive purposes and you will be fine. Its not about caliber but bullet design. As said earlier, a 38Spl SWC is going to penetrate a lot further than a 357Mag JHP. A 357Mag load designed for defensive purposes is going to expand and probably expand more consistently than other service calibers since it has more velocity. You see when we are talking JHPs velocity actually impedes penetration. The round that is likely to over-penetrate are those that lack sufficient velocity to open up.
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Old February 28, 2006, 09:59 PM   #18
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Any round that is designed to provide adequate penetration for defensive purposes is going to go into another apartment.
Yup, I think CJE is right. Especially the soft crappy walls you find in recently-constructed apartment buildings.
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Old February 28, 2006, 10:05 PM   #19
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thats why you need to do your homework.....
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Old February 28, 2006, 11:01 PM   #20
cje1980
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thats why you need to do your homework
Who does? Its a simple concept. A 125gr. JHP that penetrates 12" is not going to penetrate any more than a 180gr. 40S&W JHP that penetrates 13" or a 185gr. 45ACP JHP that penetrates 11". I just don't see where this myth that the 357Mag overpenetrates comes from. Sure in the early days when they loaded 158gr. SWC to 1500fps, they over-penetrated, that was a long time ago. Sure a 357Mag hunting load will over-penetrate but we aren't talking about those here. Dry-wall certainly isn't going to stop a bullet that is designed to penetrate 12" of human tissue and a load that doesn't penetrate 12" wouldn't be my first choice for self defense no matter what the caliber. If using a Magnum cartridge its important to use a round designed for defensive purposes. There is nothing wrong with a 125-145gr. 357Mag load, a 175gr. 41Mag load, or a 180-200gr. 44Mag load for defensive purposes. They certainly aren't going to penetrate any more than other service calibers. Its all about using the right bullet for the job.
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Old March 1, 2006, 03:50 PM   #21
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The notion that a handgun round will 'over penetrate' is largely a myth. The idea is, your handgun round with go through the bad guy then strike grandma down the street. Consider this: in police shootings (where we have good statistics), more than 80% of all rounds fired MISS the intended target altogether.

Now, why are we so much more concerned about a round that passes through the bad guy then down the street than we are about the rounds that completely miss the target and go down the street? Which one poses the greater threat to nearby people?

Seriously, the solutions here are "train" and "don't miss".

A loud round, even inside of a confined space, will not damage your ears when the body is subject to the physiological effects of fear or hormonal induced stress. Target practice inside the same room and you better wear the muffs.

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Old March 1, 2006, 04:31 PM   #22
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thats why you need to do your homework
Let me begin by stating that I am not asserting that a handgun/rifle/shotgun load which penetrates through the soft drywall of a typical apartment building constitutes "overpenetration." And I'll reiterate that I've never shot an apartment wall.

But I'm pretty sure that (for example) a .38 Special round fired at an apartment wall will probably penetrate the wall, regardless of whether it is a FMJ, SP, or JHP. If I'm wrong, please educate me.
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Old March 1, 2006, 04:32 PM   #23
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A loud round, even inside of a confined space, will not damage your ears when the body is subject to the physiological effects of fear or hormonal induced stress.
Hearing damage is physical, not psychological. 'Hormone induced stress' does not affect that. Even if you don't hear the gunshot, damage can still be done.
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Old March 1, 2006, 07:14 PM   #24
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Hearing damage is physical, not psychological. 'Hormone induced stress' does not affect that. Even if you don't hear the gunshot, damage can still be done.
Has this ever happened to you?

You are at the rifle range and forget to put on your hearing protection before firing a round from your high-power hunting rifle. Of course, you immediately realize what it was you forgot to do and your ears will 'ring' for some period of time to serve as a reminder. With me so far?

Have you ever worn hearing protection while deer (or other big game) hunting? No?
Do you normally hear the shot you fire at the deer or other animal? Yes, you should - it will be greatly subdued though. Now, the important part - does the report from that shot you took at an animal without wearing hearing protection make your ears 'ring' like it did when on the rifle range? No? Why is that?

In other words, if it were just a psychological effect, your ears would still 'ring' after shooting the animal (killing) just as they did when shooting on the range without hearing protection, but they do not. The ears will 'shut down' almost completely, but only when you are delivering a 'death blow'. It is a fighting/survival response that happens regardless of what the 'death blow' might be - shooting, punching, etc...

Man is not alone in this regard - a couple examples in nature are the lion and the hippo. Each are capable of producing a 'roar' around 115 decibels. If this 'gating' mechanism weren't present, they would suffer hearing loss as well.

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Old March 1, 2006, 08:09 PM   #25
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But I'm pretty sure that (for example) a .38 Special round fired at an apartment wall will probably penetrate the wall, regardless of whether it is a FMJ, SP, or JHP. If I'm wrong, please educate me.
I think you're on the right track. Personally I wouldn't trust a round for self defense that won't penetrate a wall. Another thing that is important is that the faster you push JHPs the more fragile they become. Take a SJHP that has exposed lead. Load a 125gr. SJHP to 1400fps and now you have a bullet that is going to instantly deform on anything it hits. I don't know of any cases of a 125gr. SJHP failing to expand and over-penetrating. With exposed lead and such high velocity, expansion is a sure thing.
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