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Old April 10, 2011, 02:01 PM   #26
The Real Wyatt
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I see people recommending shotguns of a smaller gauge as being somehow less likely to overpenetrate.

Am I wrong in my assumption that shotshells have very similar velocities irrespective of gauge? In other words, double-aught buck from a 12 gauge, 20 gauge, 28 gauge or 410 bore exit the barrel at quite similar velocities; only differing in the number of pellets.

Seems as if the danger of overpenetration, in case of a miss, is exactly the same.

Or are we saying that you're less likely to hit something on the other side of the wall with 3 pellets from a 410 bore than 9 pellets from a 12 gauge? That does make some sense.

I should think that in the OPs scenario, frangible ammo might be the best choice.
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Old April 10, 2011, 03:25 PM   #27
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They will likely have similar velocities. But fewer pellets and lighter recoil will hopefully keep the lead where he wants it.
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Old April 10, 2011, 03:37 PM   #28
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Far as ammo in an apartment, my choice for ammo out of a 20ga. would be #3 or #4 lead. More than likely #3.
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Old April 11, 2011, 05:49 PM   #29
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Surviving bird shot in the face at 6' is anomolous; it happened but probably once! You should not consider an anomoly when considering a hd strategy. You are in an apartment, not a house. As such there are simply limitations that must be observed. You keep you HI FI at a reasonable volume, you get a dauchshound or a poodle nota pitbull or a rot, and you don't load your shot gun with triple buck or rifled slugs! If it gets you killed, then you should have lived in a single family house! Better you die, then you live, but kill a perp and your neighbor and unlike the fellow that took bird shot in the face from 6' and was not incapacitated, people actually do kill their neighbors with stray lead! Gun ownership and employment comes with great responsibility, you can't just shoot up the building and say "well I had no choice"
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Old April 11, 2011, 05:57 PM   #30
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Ah I just figured out what the disconect is. Most of us have never seen what a shot up person looks like, smells like...taste like, yeah you will taste it too. That is definitely the disconnect here. Let me tell those who don't know; it looks bad, it smells bad and it taste bad...you won't forget not ever. Sorry to be so damn preachy but well it hits home when I hear people talk about killing so casually. Killing is wrong it is always wrong; sometimes it is neccesary, but that don't make it right!
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Old April 11, 2011, 06:10 PM   #31
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The Judge ...
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Old April 12, 2011, 01:34 PM   #32
Bartholomew Roberts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnero
Surviving bird shot in the face at 6' is anomolous; it happened but probably once! You should not consider an anomoly when considering a hd strategy.
Survivor of accidental shotgun blast to face receives face transplant
Woman shot in face by husband from 8' away survives
Mother survives being shot in the face as she slept
Anthony Swinson shot in the back of the head with .410 at contact distance. Survives by wrestling gun away from his would-be executioner
More "I survived birdshot" stories here

But really, is that all that shocking? The whole reason you recommended light birdshot is because it doesn't penetrate drywall. Is it any surprise it doesn't penetrate the skull or other bones either? If it doesn't penetrate the skull, then all it does is make a horrible, bloody, mess which may or may not be deter your attacker, depending on his psychological state.

And even if you still regard surviving birdshot to the head as anomaly, I'd note that it is an anomaly that is reported less and less often as shot size increases.

Quote:
Better you die, then you live, but kill a perp and your neighbor and unlike the fellow that took bird shot in the face from 6' and was not incapacitated, people actually do kill their neighbors with stray lead!
OK, let's look at this from a different perspective. Two people are shooting in your home. One of them is the person who invaded your apartment. The other one is you. Which one of those two people is more likely to be a threat to your family or neighbors? Which one is more likely to stop shooting and presenting a threat to others once the other guy is stopped?

For that matter, do you think your attacker is as concerned with overpentration as you are? How does that safety outcome look when everything in your apartment provides him with hard cover but he can shoot right through the entire place with his ammo?

Quote:
Gun ownership and employment comes with great responsibility, you can't just shoot up the building and say "well I had no choice"
This is a straw man argument that nobody here is making. Nobody is saying "shoot up the building" and nobody is saying that you don't have a very grave responsibility here.

Instead, I am pointing out that any firearm that has a good chance of immediately stopping a deadly threat by physically forcing the body to shut down is also going to pose a risk to anybody standing behind 1" of powdered gypsum and paper. Your body is much tougher than drywall and it is unrealistic to expect something that won't penetrate drywall to be effective in physically forcing someone to stop an attack.

I think most people would be better off putting their energy into training and preparation. Learn to use and manipulate the weapon well so that fewer rounds are necessary to begin with. Secure your apartment so that you have ample warning of threats and time to react. Look at your layout now and learn what directions are "safe" backstops and which aren't so that you don't have to make that call under pressure.

If you decide you are willing to risk greater injury or death in order to limit the penetration of misses, then realize that even limited penetration loads can still seriously injure and maim people and don't have unrealistic expectations that because you loaded your pistol with Glasers, you can now safely fire at will without regard for backstop. And realize that if you reduce your ammo to the point it won't penetrate two 1/2" pieces of sheetrock, well, chances are very good that your effective range is around 6-8' and even then you may need to shoot repeatedly to stop the attack.
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Old April 12, 2011, 03:26 PM   #33
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Without reading all the things that have been said (Deja vu), a good light load 38 should be good. I for one believe in the prefrages in the apartment thing.
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Old April 13, 2011, 02:10 PM   #34
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My bedside gun is a 357 loaded with 158 gr LSWC 38 specials. That is for my bed to my bedroom door distance. When I get to my feet it is a 20 gauge shotgun loaded with #4 shot. Farthest shot possible in my house is 8 yards and that is close enough for a serious hurting. If I lived alone my choice would be different but wall penetration is an issue for me so this is my choice.

For inhouse distance in an apartment any of these will do but in a revolver. I have had problems getting them to feed in a pistol. http://www.ammunitiontogo.com/index....frangible-ammo
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Old April 13, 2011, 02:17 PM   #35
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Shotgun with a light shot will get the job done and penetrate less drywall than the average pistol round. Then there's the whole "scare" factor of the shotgun. The average thug gets docile with any gauge shotgun pointed at them.
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Old April 13, 2011, 02:30 PM   #36
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I usually would say use 00 Buck in a pump shotgun, but frangible ammo sounds darn good in this situation. I like .357 magnum
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Old April 13, 2011, 03:38 PM   #37
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As usual grump makes good sense. A few incidents amongst hundreds of millions of americans is not an argument against bird shot to the face at 6' not incapacitating the victim. I will take my chances, besides my .38 is my first choice. At 6 or 10 feet I wouldn't miss, but if I thought different i would grab the twelve loaded as I said earlier.
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Old April 14, 2011, 02:08 AM   #38
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#4 Buck or heavier, Don't be like Dick Cheney
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Old April 14, 2011, 10:23 AM   #39
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I agree with all the others that suggest a 20g. Hopefully just the sight of a gun will have the BG running and save you having to fire.

I'd say a dog is the best security system but a small apt is no place for a big dog.
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Old April 20, 2011, 08:33 PM   #40
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acid test

One shot of .38 to center of mass= almost no chance of one-shot stop.
One shot of buck to center of mass= almost 100% chance of one-shot stop.
Is your perp a serious threat or are we just fooling around?
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Old April 20, 2011, 08:44 PM   #41
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what Johnksa said

reference post#6 with any questions
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Old April 20, 2011, 09:23 PM   #42
mnero
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Bubba a .38 pistol at close range to the torso will stop almost any man; even if he is wearing a vest he will probably be knocked down. If a 9mm can do it certainly a .38 will work and the police carry 9mm's mostly. I like .357 but I only have one in a lever action rifle; guess I could always grab the henry
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Old April 21, 2011, 07:32 AM   #43
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A .38 to the vest is not going to knock anybody of normal human size down. You may fall down, or hop about and swear for a bit, but you are not going to get knocked down. Rumor and myth. Not a 9mm either.
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Old April 21, 2011, 09:04 AM   #44
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This discussion is very helpful, as it makes me think about how I would handle a defense situation. That being said, the comment from mnero that "when the shooting starts and it is your cherry experience, you are in full panic mode (almost everyone)" is something to consider. Practice helps, of course, but when the situation actually arises I wonder how well I would actually perform. Probably not as well as I would like!

I keep a Glock 36 (.45 acp carry model, for those who don't know) in a drawer near the bed, with 185gr frangible bullets in the rounds. But nothing in the chamber: I don't want to accidentally pull the trigger on a round while retrieving the gun. I do worry about how well I could cycle the slide to load a round.

My pump shotgun, on a rack in the bedroom, has the following sequence of shells:
first: blank
second: #4 birdshot
third: 00 buck
fourth: #4 birdshot
fifth: 00 buck

I like the idea of a night light, to have some chance of identifying the person(s) in the room.
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Old April 21, 2011, 07:47 PM   #45
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Madlink-Just my opinion, but what about replacing that blank with a non-lethal round? I just think a blank is like a bluff, and if the situation is serious enough to grab a shotgun I don't want to try to bluff.

OP- The first thing I would do is look into the construction of the building. Brick? Firewall? Which walls are they?
You could have a defensive plan where your lines of fire are at those walls.

Also, I think a shotgun in addition to being more intimidating, would give you more load options to reduce overpenetration.

Last, what ranges are we talking? The farthest I can shoot in my house realistically is 23'. My load choice for a shotgun would be different than if my distance was (like my parents house) 35' or (in my friends appartment) 12 to 15'.
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Old April 22, 2011, 08:28 AM   #46
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BfloBill - What would be a non-lethal round, other than a blank? The blank is there to make lots of noise, to intimidate a "casual" intruder. Of course a drugged-up BG probably wouldn't be intimidated by it, but there is a real (#4 birdshot) shell right after that one, and a 00 buck just after that!
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Old April 22, 2011, 08:45 AM   #47
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Check these out. http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/AMM831-5.html They fire a 40 gram bean bag projectile designed for "animal and riot control" for "behavior modification at close range".

I have no personal experience with them, but they could serve the same purpose as what you intend the blank for, but if the intruder is a determined attacker it will at least slow him down so you can jack one of your real rounds into the chamber.

I also saw (although I'm sure they would not be available to the public) an experimental round that was a taser round. It was a self contained taser that fits inside a 12 ga shotshell and is activated when fired. Obviously this is not the option I was referring to, I just thought it was cool.
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Old April 22, 2011, 09:29 AM   #48
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Quote:
They fire a 40 gram bean bag projectile designed for "animal and riot control" for "behavior modification at close range".
Those rounds are capable of, and have, killed people - and that is when used by law enforcement officers who were trained in their use. They are a poor choice for home defense for the following reasons:

1. In many states, they are limited by the same laws that govern the use of lethal force - meaning if you can't legally shoot them with the buckshot, you can't legally shoot them with this either.

2. If it is a deadly force situation, then you face an immediate threat of death or serious injury that needs to be stopped quickly. In that scenario, shooting at someone with a round that isn't designed to either injure or kill but occasionally does is the worst of all possible worlds.

3. When police utilize these kinds of rounds, they do it while wearing body armor and with other officers wearing body armor backing them up with lethal force. Doing it in your pajamas by yourself might not be as successful.

This subject has been discussed in more depth here:
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=445382

While I'd agree that having the first round loaded with a blank is a bad idea on a number of levels, I'd say that on the sliding scale of bad ideas, it is still a better idea than using a less-lethal round.

Last edited by Bartholomew Roberts; April 22, 2011 at 09:34 AM.
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Old April 29, 2011, 02:55 PM   #49
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Really Henry? I have never actually seen it, so you may well be right. If you actually look at the amount of momentum the average 38 special +p has at 10' I think you are. Bubba suggested that it has a low chance of incapaciting one even with a torso hit; now that is certainly not true. Most men shot with a .38 round in the torso are going down. Certainly he is right that a 12 gauge shot gun with OO Buck will do better, but so would a bazooka or a grenade launcher. I saw that in the remake of the movie Scarface; how cool was that
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Old April 29, 2011, 03:35 PM   #50
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Quote:
Let me tell those who don't know; it looks bad, it smells bad and it taste bad...you won't forget not ever. Sorry to be so damn preachy but well it hits home when I hear people talk about killing so casually. Killing is wrong it is always wrong; sometimes it is neccesary, but that don't make it right!
This may be true for most of us, that we don't know what it's like. But when it comes down to me and my family's safety I'm pulling the trigger. I live in Las Vegas where they seem to think home invasions are a weekend hobby. They were hitting houses as close as 2 1/2 miles from my home. The latest attack, a little over a week ago, was just 1/4 mile away.

I (now) own a G27 .40 and was thinking the same thing, that it may pass into my neighbors house. So I'm going to get a Mossberg 12 gauge for a couple reasons. I don't want to aim in the middle of the night. It will be pistol grip and have a front grip as well. I'm not concerned with 5, 6, or 7 +1, if they stick around after the first couple of shots they are some gutsy SOBs.
I would also feel more comfortable about the buck shot hitting various objects/furniture around the house and not penetrating the wall like the small powerful round from the G27. Even in an apartment there must be something in the way of you and your neighbor than just the wall. I can't imagine you pointing dead square at their wall, it should go through a door way/next room then into the wall? But if that is the case you can always go next door and find out exactly what room of theirs you're aiming at. You may get lucky and discover it's just their refrigerator and kitchen cupboards.
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