View Full Version : I have a home defence question

September 25, 2002, 12:16 PM
Current plan includes large dogs(120lb) as early warning system/first line defence. Second line is loaded revolver with 2 speedloaders. Third is 12 gage shotgun(mossberg 835 pump) 5 rounds 6 more on stock(walmart economy loads) I have recently moved from the inner city to the burbs (and changed states in the process) From a duplex home to a single house abit with a second apartment unstairs. I have the ground floor to myself. running is not an option, while I can still walk not very far nor fast.
So I was considering upgrading the third tier weapon. The options are a Mossberg 590 extended magazine to a 8 shot capicity perhaps with a lasor or flashliht mount(i keep a 4 cell maglight in the bedroom as well as in the kitichen and livingroom)
or a winchester 94 trapper carbine 16" barrel 357 magnum loaded with 125 grain magnum hollowpoints. third option would be a ruger or kel teck 9mm carbine with pre-ban 15 rounders.
In my situtation what would you recomend? any other options you would prefer or add?
so what say yee?

Ben Shepherd
September 25, 2002, 12:49 PM
I would reverse the hangun/shotgun order of importance.

Shotgun loads should be 00 buck.

What you have is close to my own set up. The shotgun has 4 00 buck loads, last one is a slug. I feel if I've gotten to the last shell in the shotgun, I need more penetration.

I've seen 2 individuals shot at close range with birshot/skeet loads at almost point blank range. In both cases max. penetration was only about 2 inches. On anyone over 200lbs., unless you've got the muzzle against their stomach, you'll just make them mad.

September 25, 2002, 01:26 PM
I know that everyone's reality is different...

But if you're gonna go to all that trouble and expense, why not just position Claymores at the the entrance to all interior doors and set up a wireless remote detonator on your keychain for them?

What part of the Gulag are you guys living in? ;) :D

If a home invasion ever gets THAT bad, I figure I'd better be puckering up and bending over to kiss my a&% goodbye.

As always, YMMV.

September 25, 2002, 01:48 PM
Skip the laser. Weapon mounted light on the shotgun is fine with me (allows target identification), but a lot of folks will disagree.

The shotgun has a lot more stopping power than a .357 lever gun, and with slugs has a similar range.

Extended mag is fine.


Double Naught Spy
September 25, 2002, 05:07 PM
As noted, your tiering is all wrong. The shotgun should be before the handgun. Why? Simple. You get more effective range out of the shotgun in your 'burbs environment, better cover with shot, more stopping power even with #4 shot out as far as 20 yards or better and a helluva lot more with 00 buck or slugs, but you don't get a spread with the slugs. Besides, people tend to shoot shoulder mounted weapons better than hand held. So, use your shotgun first and then revert to your revolver only after you have no other choice.

September 26, 2002, 07:15 AM
i figure i have more chance of an accurate shot with reguardcto the dogs with the revolver. if it comes down to the shotgun then one or both of the dogs has been killed/disabled. at this point all bets are off and i unlease hell on earth. thanks for the comments on the field loads vs buckshot. i did want to lilit penatration (so as not shoot the next door neibors) when in the city. i will change loads to #0 or 00 buck asap. thanks for your opinions on the matter.

September 26, 2002, 09:03 AM
I think you would get a more accurate shot with the shotgun. It's easier to aim a firearm you can put on your shoulder and align the beads.


September 26, 2002, 12:12 PM
I agree with Michael. Any long gun is easier to shoot accurately than a handgun. And the spread of 00 buck at the distances inside an average room is minimal. Take your shotgun to a range and pattern it at the appropriate distances.


September 27, 2002, 12:12 PM
I've seen 2 individuals shot at close range with birshot/skeet loads at almost point blank range. In both cases max. penetration was only about 2 inches. On anyone over 200lbs., unless you've got the muzzle against their stomach, you'll just make them mad.<<

Stop the music!!!!

You have seen someone shot with a 12 gauge shotgun with birdshot/skeet loads at point blank range and it didn't penetrate them??

I find that extremely hard to believe.


Jeff White
September 27, 2002, 07:04 PM
A layered approach is the way to go, but don't forget the physical security aspects. Security light in the yard, motion sensor lights around the house, good locks on doors and windows, maybe an alarm. Dogs back up the alarm. Pick one room in your house (master bedroom maybe) and put on a good solid core door with a dead bolt lock. Keep a cell phone in there.

Drill the family to move to the "safe room" and hole up when the alarm goes off. If you have young children, you may have to work out a drill with your significant other to clear the house from the safe room to the children's room and back. Practice this, don't just talk about it, have a drill just like a fire drill.

Keep your defensive weapon of choice in the safe room. Pistol, rifle, shotgun whatever you prefer and whatever you can handle the best. I'd also recommend a fire extingusher, a good flashlight and spare batteries and a land line phone.

The key here is mindset. You'll be better served by thinking things through, coming up with some contingency plans for various situations and rehearsing them, then you will be by spending megabucks on the latest home defense wonder weapons. Doesn't matter if you're armed with a good handgun .38 caliber or larger, a shotgun or evil black assault rifle. Find what works for you, get one and practice with it.

It's not as much fun talking about planning and prober mindset as it is talking about which is the more effective weapon to defend your home with, but it's mindset and preparation that will win the fight should it happen. Keep your head about you and know how to use your weapon of choice and you'll most likely prevail against most home invasion threats you might face. Even if your only firearm was a NEF single shot 20 gauge.



Peter Gun
September 27, 2002, 07:16 PM
I have a friend who was shot w birdshot. She doesn't know the distance, but judging from the very clear pattern on her back (about 12" spread) I would say about 25yds? The doctor told her less than an inch of penetration. Did not penetrate spine even though she was hit dead center. She ran away. I don't trust birdshot as a stopper.

September 27, 2002, 07:22 PM
You forgot static defence arrangements. Bars on the windows. Solid steel doors. Escape tunnels. Automatic tear gas spray mechanisms. Compressed air, poison dart guns, wall mounted and remote controlled.

Golly, the possibilities are endless.............

September 27, 2002, 07:44 PM
If you have live savers in a 12 gauge shotgun and shoot the person at close range in the chest, the person is dead.


Ben Shepherd
September 28, 2002, 01:04 PM
No agression intended here.:) Just stating facts.

Fact 1:
Yes I saw 2 people shot with 1 oz. of #8 shot. One at room distance, one about 15 yards.

Fact 2:
Niether case had penetration over 2 inches.

One was my uncle on a camping trip with the wrong people.

The other was a co-worker in a home defense situation. His was actually a double barrel. After he let the first one go(it hit the BG slightly left of COM), the dude went down but started to reach for his pocket. At this point my co-worker actually had barrel #2 pointed right at his head. He told the BG if he continued to move at all he would pull the other trigger. The BG complied. When the police arrived they found a pistol in the guys pocket.

In BOTH cases the individuals shot were walking around under thier own power, fully capable of a hell of a lot more fight.

Al Thompson
September 28, 2002, 04:05 PM
Hey Ben, thanks for the first person info. That tends to track with what Peter said and a project that I'm working on. What's your estimate on the shooting distance in the house?


Ben Shepherd
September 28, 2002, 05:05 PM
Distance in house was between 10 and 12 feet.

September 28, 2002, 07:12 PM
Go with the Mossberg 835 as your first choice of a firearm. That's the gun that is my first choice, and I am totally confident that it will get the job done, no matter how deep trouble I'm in.

If you really want to, you could consider getting a magazine extention for it, and even putting a tactical light on the end. Forget about the laser. Save some money and go with a flashlight.


September 29, 2002, 06:40 AM
A hardened door to your bedroom with a solid locking system would be a good addition.

Everyone is in Condition White when they're asleep. If the dog barks and wakes you to the fact that there's an intruder, the hardened door will buy you the time you need to access, ready and barricade yourself in your safe room.

If he's already broken in and neutralized the dog, then the door will still provide you with time to awaken and react. Assuming it's locked, of course.

September 29, 2002, 07:38 AM
In all the years of training, and providing training by professionals, I could not agree more with Jeff White. A layered defense is the only way to go, unless you're looking to kill someone, which you do not want. Security lights, Security windows and doors, a security system (even a fake one works), one or two dogs (which you have covered), a security door in your bedroom, a shotgun with reduced buck (it does not have to be an extended magazine either, five rounds and a Tac Star will do it and is handier in my opinion, just learn to use it), handgun with Cor-Bons, not the least important by any means are flashlights (Streamlight, Asp, Surefire) not ever-ready, get something that "works".

I have shot woodchucks in Upstate Ny as a kid with a 20 ga and #6 birdshot. Killed them deader than a doornail with good penetration even on the big ones. But they weren't wearing clothes, leather or denim which has a stopping effect on bird shot. The smallest "bird shot" used for your purpose should be "BBs", or buck is the optimum. Any one of my riot guns places the 9 Remington reduced buck in a pattern the size of the palm of your hand at 25 yds. You had better learn to aim your "scattergun" or you'll miss or hit an innocent.

Remember the "good ole days" when we could leave our doors unlocked and money on the table, come home a couple days later, everything intact?

Good luck!

September 30, 2002, 10:19 AM
The only real advantage of using a revolver instead of a shotgun is that it's easier to take around hallways.

That said I would rather have the superior firepower of a shotgun than a revolver.

I am still quite skeptical that shooting someone at close range with birdshot in the chest isn't going to kill them.

The force it comes out of the shotgun is tremendous. I would imagine it would make a hole the size of a large grapefruit.

Obviously if it's longer range the force is deminished. But at close range shot by a shotgun with a 12 gauge I simply don't believe it wouldn't penetrate.


October 2, 2002, 06:58 AM
i live alone except for rthe dogs so no non-combatants are in my home. second bedroom door is old solid wood. no deadbolt through will work on that one through. 5 shot revolver will probablt be replaced at some future date but not immedately.
mossberg has no magazine extention avaiable for the 835. they do have an 18.5 " cylinder bore barrel which i am buying for it.
i like the idea o tatcial buckshot. perhaps federal? ammo in 38 revolver is winchester 158 gr swc-hp +p (fbi load)
i do have alarm stickers as well as beware of dog sighs in my windows. (30 % of breakins here are innercity "youths" traveling over the bridge). many thanks for all the advice.

October 2, 2002, 09:25 AM
No mag extension for the Mossberg 835? I thought I've seen them somewhere. If I find one, I'll let you know.


October 4, 2002, 11:02 AM
Not slamming shotguns here cuz I like them too but there seems to be a lot of evidence that light shotguns loads are extremely ineffective. Jim Cirrillo of NYPD Stakeout fame wrote that he never saw anybody go down from one shotgun blast (and also saw people take multiple slugs and keeping fighting). I believe Mr. Stephen Camp on this board has also recalled that he never saw anyone go down with anthing less than #4s during his law enforcement career (don't want to put words in his mouth, though, I'm sure he can elaborate).

October 4, 2002, 12:57 PM
Jim Cirrillo of NYPD Stakeout fame wrote that he never saw anybody go down from one shotgun blast (and also saw people take multiple slugs and keeping fighting). <<

That is a good point. The reason he probably didn't see anyone go down is most likely because there body parts were stuck to the wall ;)

At my gun range there is an ex police officer who is now in a wheel chair.

He said that some time ago someone pointed a shotgun at him. He tried to move it away with his hand.

The shotgun went off. It went through his hand, hit his shoulder, literally lifted him in the air, and out his back.

A shotgun is the most powerful close range firearm there is. If I was up against an assailant I would rather have a shotgun than some piss ant handgun.

I use #4 and I have 00. However, I am concerned that if I shoot it at someone it may go through the wall and hit my neighbor on the other side. A shotgun is that powerful.

I know that bird shot is more than sufficient to stop an assailant. However, it's cooler to have the more powerful stuff.

I wonder if those who don't think that a shotgun can stop an assailant have actually shot a shotgun and understand the power involved in one?


October 4, 2002, 08:30 PM

You must be right about the magazine extention for the 835. I've looked all over the net, and I haven't been able to find one. There are plenty for the 500, but none for the 835.


the blind lefty
October 5, 2002, 01:53 AM
what kind of dogs?
have they been exposed to explosion sounds?
i'm very happy with my dogs:an american bulldog(110#)and an english mastiff(198#). i lost another mastiff to cancer a year ago(176#).
my house is so small, i depend on my revolvers,and a cold steel recon scout. i can't see drawing the attention of a determined criminal of the level some have mentioned,but i'm prepared to shut them down. i have barred windows,a security system,and a back yard security light.

October 6, 2002, 02:22 PM
Shotguns and carbines are wonderful tools for close quarters when a fight is imminent, unavoidable and expected. Handguns are portable--you carry them when you don't expect to be in a fight.

You can also miss with a shotgun at close quarters (inside the A Zone from 0 to 7 yards--the specific range will vary for each individual weapon) the shot column is travelling as a solid mass. You can miss with a carbine at close quarters in a structure. It's easy to miss with a handgun at damn near any range (especially under the duress of Joe Crackhead trying to kill you in your own home).

There are no guarantees in a fight so you are best served by developing the skill to rapidly and accurately place rounds from whatever weapon system you use where they will most effectively stop the Bad Guy.

The advantage to a pistol is that it lets you use your other hand (to open doors, to corral the kids into the master bedroom, to feel your way along the hall).

October 7, 2002, 07:08 AM

Dave R
October 7, 2002, 02:48 PM
jmlv, re-read Jeff White's post. He got it right. You have the weapons part and the dog part in great shape. But your first layer is deterrence. Making your home harder to burgle than any other nearby.

Motion detectors with floodlights are CHEAP. Like $50 or so. Get 2-3 for the right places.

Analyze your house from the burgler's standpoint. Where would they enter? What are the best approaches? Harden those points, or add additional deterrence.

Example: when I did this there were a couple of places that I would clearly prefer to enter, as a burgler. My wife wanted to plant some rose bushes. They went against the "best entry" window. Roses are PC barbed wire.

Bars on the most likely points will help, too.

My opinion is, if you have motion detectors/floodlights properly positioned, and harden your entry points, and have the dog thing worked out, you will never have to depend on the firearms.

October 8, 2002, 12:25 PM
Hmmmm.... great discussion! A .223 loaded with softnoses would be good, too.
One solution could be to go in with the shotgun if the dogs, with
DR-200 or AK handy in case the shotgun fails.