View Full Version : What is best for home defense in an apartment/condo

March 16, 2006, 12:07 AM
Rifle/carbine, handgun or shotgun?

What is the safest to your home and neighbors, yet the most effective against any bad guys?
What would cause the least damage overall?

March 16, 2006, 12:34 AM
Warning: statements made here below are only my opinion, others may think differently, you make your own decisions.

I'd say shotgun. Short (legal) barrel, 12 guage, 00 buck, and lots of practice. Always remember what is serving as your backstop. Back it up with a pistol in a caliber you can shoot reliably under duress. Get some training when you can. Get a maglight or equivalent. And if you don't have one, get a cell phone with 911 on speed dial. If you can afford it, get an alarm. Have a room in the apartment that can serve you and your family as your "Alamo" until the police arrive. Opinions vary on whether or not to actively 'clear' the home or stay holed up. Me, I'm staying holed up until the cavalry comes.

Rifles can be too long, and overpenetrate (through the target, the wall, the next apartment, the house across the street). Carbines are a little easier to wield but still are likely to overpenetrate. Pistols are a better choice due to confined spaces and relative short distance but don't have the stopping power of a shotgun. Just my two cents.

March 16, 2006, 12:47 AM
Get a Mossberg 500 and some 00 buck. Practice. My second choice would be SA GI 1911 5" with 13+1 rounds. You may have to defend your guns, too at some point.

March 16, 2006, 05:55 AM
CO2 fire extinguishing system. I saw one in a lab designed to flood the room with 100% CO2. Put a manual activations switch in your bedroom along with some scuba gear, and you could give a BG ample reason to leave the residence. The CO2 would eventually dissapate and not leave any lingering odors in the house.

A little expensive. Otherwise I'd suggest a semi-auto 12 guage. 8 Bird in the pipe, 00 Buck in the mag, 4 Buck in the shell carrier on the stock. Handgun at your side.

Retreat to your bedroom. If they start hammering at your door, pop the birdshot high against the door. This will tell them you mean business. Shouldn't hurt anyone, nor cause too much damage. If that doesn't dissuade them, let loose with the buckshot. Switch to 4 Buck if you are worried about hitting your neighbors house from inside yours. If you have kids, load up solely with 7 Birdshot. IMHO

March 16, 2006, 06:45 AM
Last door I shot with birdshot from master bedroom distance put a softball sized hole in the door. I can't imagine it not hurting someone on the other side.

I would use the largest birdshot availible in an apartment.

matthew temkin
March 16, 2006, 07:10 AM
Fast to bring into action and portable.
You can answer a knock on the door while discretly armed.

March 16, 2006, 07:30 AM
I would say use what you are comfortable with. What you know you can control. You just have to be mindfull of what walls are shared and what walls are external. I have my mossburg loaded up with #6 and my taurus in the nightstand. I would plan on staying in the bedroom until they came a knockin. I have insurance so if my, or my family's life is not in danger, they can take what they want...I'll get it back. As soon as they enter the apt. they will hear the rack of the shotgun, that's their warning, they enter my bedroom, lets just say cover your ears.

March 16, 2006, 11:44 AM
Shotgun or handgun with a flashlight. That way you can identify the person your about to fill with holes!

March 16, 2006, 11:59 AM
These guys have about answered the question. I'll just give my .02 as more food for thought. A shotgun is the the most effective HD weapon in my opinion, but should not be the only option. Good point was made that you can answer the door with a pistol in hand and be discreet if it turns out to be the girl scouts selling cookies. I load up with 00 Buck and slugs, every other one. Start with shot, then slug. That's next to the bed (no kids, so no worries). On the nighstand, my S&W 340PD .357 snubby. No decockers, no safeties, just point and shoot. Surefire L4 on nighstand. Surefire also mounted to shottie. I hole up and wait for the cavalry. You come up to the bedroom and you get blasted, plain and simple. All bets, restraint, retreat, etc. are off when your in my home and you come looking for me and my wife and our pit in the bedroom. You saty downstairs, I'm not going looking for you. When I had an apartment the bedroom was at the end of the place, so you'd have to come through the dining room, past the kitchen nd bathroom to get to the bedroom. Left me with a solid line of fire, but even now I would not go looking for a BG. Let 'em clear out the hose of my worthless junk. Save me from throwing stuff out. Nothing of value down there anyway, but come after me and wife. That's it then.

March 16, 2006, 12:31 PM
home defense...............

Get yourself a Mossberg m-500. It holds 8 shells including one in the chamber.

With a shotgun you will not only scare the hell out of anyone trying to rob you or cause you harm. But there will be minimal to no exterior wall penetration putting your neighbors at risk of stray bullets. Plus a 12 guage buck shot will deffinately lay down anyone in one shot.

March 16, 2006, 01:42 PM
From reading this thread, a couple things came to mind.

1) Anything capable of hitting a BG hard enough to cause the damage required to end the threat; WILL PENETRATE MULTIPLE LAYERS OF DRYWALL. It will also most likely go through the OSB, insulation, and siding that the exterior walls of most homes are made of. --> http://www.theboxotruth.com Here is testing to back that up.

Brick outter walls do tend to stop a lot of stuff however.

2) At short ranges, and indoors is a short range, shotguns shoot small patterns. Think softball sized holes at room length distances. You still must aim a shotgun. But a shotgun hit is a good stopper.

A couple other things to think about...

Might you have to shoot around a corner? Or how about someplace inconvenient? Look into a laser sight for whatever you choose. It will let you make fairly accureate shots, without forcing you to take the time to get the sights lined up with both the target and your eye.

A flashlight is also a must-have. The only problem with weapon mounted lights is that whatever you illuminate is also swept by the barrel. Good when used on badguys, but bad for just about everything else you would use a flashlight for. I would personally have both a separate light and a gun mounted one there, and use the gun light after the BG is identified.

As to the orginal question, I would personally prefer to avoid rifle calibers where over-penetration is a problem. A pistol on my belt; and a semi-auto shotgun that I can manuver and fire one handed, or semi-auto pistol caliber carbine in my hand would be what I would ideally choose. (with ninja lasers and lights and stuff :cool: )

March 16, 2006, 05:11 PM
Maybe invest in some NVG's. Eliminating the need for a flashlight. Flashlight could be used to blind BG.

Blackwater OPS
March 16, 2006, 05:21 PM
A shotgun with #1 or 2 shot, pump action like a 870 firing 3in shells with a 7 round capacity. This is for an APARTMENT/CONDO ONLY.

The reason is even 00 buck can over penetrate, a pistol is even worse and a rifle round such as .223 might be stopped by one wall or go through 10.

#7 shot is simply not enough to stop a determined adversary.

Anything that will go through enough of a person to force them to stop will probably go through a wall as well.

Also with an 870 you can(and should) carry slugs on a butt clip so that you have an OPTION for accuracy and penetration.

March 16, 2006, 05:31 PM
Like Blackwater said, use smaller buck shot or large turkey shot. A shotgun is the best aparment defense weapon: a handgun will over penetrate badly enough to still be lethal. I wouldn't fire a carbine or such in an apartment no matter what. There is no excuse to risk that many lives. Use your shotgun, it'll pack the most punch yet still be safe for those around you.

March 16, 2006, 06:13 PM
One more for 12 ga bird shot

Years ago I shot a squirrel with #6 from a distance of about 15 feet all I ever found was a foot.

Apartment distances will be similar and probably less.
The impact should be enough to stop the threat without unduly creating another one for your neighbors..

My apartment gun was an 18" coachgun which I could discreetly answer the door with if I needed to.
Never really felt the need because I had a peep hole and never opened the door if I felt the need to be armed to do so

March 16, 2006, 08:45 PM
An apartment or condo will always require more thought input than for example, my place: 1000 feet ENE to the nearest neighbor, . . . across a field and through a tree line.

In an apartment or condo, one must determine fields of fire, . . . and fields of no fire. This can help you select your weapon. Any field of fire that has an exterior wall as background can be a good field, . . . but any wall that is shared with a neighbor is a no-no, a non field of fire wall, . . . one exception being if you absolutely know it is a poured concrete fire wall (they are sometimes used in apts & condos, . . . and a concrete block wall would be a field of fire wall only if I were using #4 buckshot or smaller).

You also want to definitely use the "alamo" room concept, . . . call 911 and let the cops clear the place, . . . they are trained and there is more than one of them. That said, . . . build your defensive position around having a useful field of fire should the bg breach your "alamo" room's door.

I never had kids when I had an apartment, . . . but my alamo room would have been their bedroom, . . . my wife goes in first to get the kids down behind cover, . . . I position myself inside that room with them to my flank and so that anyone breaching the door, . . . is in a clear field of fire, . . . and will be fired upon.

Fact is, . . . I moved out to the country, . . . now I have virtually no non fields of fire in my house, . . . even with my son upstairs asleep.

Walk through it with your family also, . . . so they know what you are doing, . . . why you are doing it, . . . and what they are expected to do also.

May God bless,

March 16, 2006, 09:22 PM
I agree that the shotgun would be your best option, the turkey shot would be my load of choice. Also as has been pointed out before, stay away from shared walls.

March 16, 2006, 09:32 PM
with 2 bird shot and the rest 00.
THats REM 870

Big Calhoun
March 16, 2006, 10:28 PM
Personally, I rely on multiple pistols. One under the pillow, one in the kitchen, and one in the second bathroom. I move them accordingly as I move through the house. In the bedroom, I also have a 4 D-cell mag lite. On the wifes side of the bed (she still won't go shooting), there is a Tippman A-5 paintball gun with paint and CO2. As the crumb snatchers (children) arrive and we move into our permanent residence, there will also be a pair of Akitas.

March 16, 2006, 10:36 PM
make sure your pump can be fired reliably from the hip or non shoulderd fire . some pump actions require some resistance to function properly.