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Old September 17, 2014, 11:17 PM   #1
Ruger9er
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Feedback, Criticism, Hysterical Laughter On My Home Defense Plan?

I'll try to make this as short as possible. I had a Deputy come to the house the other day to evaluate my security. Have a security system. He said he wasn't sure their SWAT teams could get in the front door. Which realistically leaves 3 windows and the back door. He likes the back door, it's stout, but it's also our main door. One window is my bedroom, the other two feed into the same room the back door is in. So I concentrate on the farthest point, the back door, 36 feet from my room.

Here's the real issue. My wife is completely bedridden and has dementia. She is in the living room in a hospital bed - between me and the back door.

I have a Ruger SR9C and a Mossberg 12G. The Deputy's advice was keep the SR9C for fun and as a great backup, get rid of the shotgun and get a good revolver. So I bought a Ruger GP100 in .357/38. Will have that tomorrow. He thinks the possibilities are just too great to harm her with the shotgun with her being in the middle. And he likes the pickitupandshootitnow potential of the revolver versus the semi.

I would appreciate any feedback of any kind on this plan.
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Old September 17, 2014, 11:33 PM   #2
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Not sure I get his reasoning on why you'd be more likely to accidentally injure someone with a long gun vs. a handgun. Most folks shoot a long gun FAR better/more accurately than a handgun.

If you're concerned about your wife being between you and the point you consider the most likely break-in point, I'd consider moving her. Not necessarily to another room, maybe just to another point in the same room. Just enough to get her out of what you consider to be the likely line of fire. After all, you may not be the only one shooting and I doubt that the attackers will be concerned about where their shots may go.
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Old September 17, 2014, 11:56 PM   #3
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The answer to your dilemma has nothing to do with they type of firearm you choose to deploy.... with the potential of your wife being between yourself and an attacker I would rethink your strategy of deployment before I would switch to a new gun your unfamiliar with. There is absolutely no way a revolver is going to give you a tactical advantage over a semi or a shotgun with your wife in the way... (or not) I'd find a new deputy to take advice from.
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Old September 18, 2014, 01:39 AM   #4
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If you train with the shotgun, and learn the shot pattern spread, you can take head shots if needed even with 00 Buck. That would be good a few yards. You will have to figure that out for your shotgun depending on the choke and barrel length. It can certainly be done across an average sized room with no problems. I definetly would not toss the shotgun in favor of a handgun unless you train, train and train some more. Often the sound of a round being chamered in a shotgun is enough to make the bad guys think twice.
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Old September 18, 2014, 02:04 AM   #5
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And he likes the pickitupandshootitnow potential of the revolver versus the semi.
That's great, if he's going to be doing the shooting for you. I'd stick with a firearm I liked, was comfortable with, and already had training with.

Having loved ones in the line of fire doesn't sound like a good idea to me. I would look into changing the sleeping arrangements if at all possible. 36 feet is a tidy way when seconds count.

Do you have motion-activated lights outside the house? Most burglars and even some bent on domestic invasion and mayhem will turn back if lights start turning on.
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Old September 18, 2014, 03:56 AM   #6
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All in all, I imagine you're pretty well set up as it is. Kick down the door home invasions are pretty rare, and your current set up would discourage the average crime of convenience.

However, if you're looking for improvements:
Have you considered getting security bars for your windows?

If windows are what you're worried about, I'd invest in security bars before a new gun.
A camera (even a fake one) can be a pretty strong deterrent as well.


I do have a couple issues with the advise you got from the deputy.
First, if you keep your sr9 chambered it's just as "pick up and shootable" as a revolver.
Second, my shotgun has maybe a 6-8" spread at 36' with 00 buck and a modified choke, so it should be pretty easy to miss a person you don't want to hit.
That being said I love the GP100 and if you shoot it well it can be as good a choice as anything else. It's hands down my favorite handgun to shoot.
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Old September 18, 2014, 06:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruger9er
And he likes the pickitupandshootitnow potential of the revolver versus the semi.
It would be interesting to know if the deputy was carrying a revolver or a semi.

Based on the advice from him quoted above, if I were you the first thing I would do is get an opinion from someone else.

After that, rather than spend $500-$600 on a different gun, spend a couple of hundred dollars on a REAL handgun class and learn the capabilities of your firearm. You'll be MUCH more effective and MUCH less susceptible to bad advice.

Last edited by 45_auto; September 18, 2014 at 06:10 AM.
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Old September 18, 2014, 06:11 AM   #8
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One weapon is as safe as the other if you THINK about your fields of fire, and angles of attack.
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Old September 18, 2014, 07:43 AM   #9
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Hard to criticize some one who did an "on sight analyst" when all we have is three short paragraphs of the situation.

One thing none of us are aware of is how tall is the hospital bed vs. your line of sight.

I can only relate that when my mother was in a hospital bed it was quite tall, she rested just above belt level.

I'm going to assume (since we have no evidence otherwise) that the deputy knows what he's talking about. Some departments have officers trained just to make such analyst.

As to the choice of weapon; I do training for self defense in the home. I do not recommend guns except to suggest students don't choose a gun until they try several to see what works for them. A huge majority do choose the revolver for the reason the deputy gave you. A revolver is a "don't have to think" defense weapon.

I'm not saying its for everyone, but for many it works.

The only thing I would suggest is to measure the hospital bed. Get the measurements of the height you will be shooting, such as from your bed, chair or what ever. Then go to the range and set the target at 36 feet with a bench or table the height of the bed, and from your shooting height, engage the target. Try it with different guns, including shotguns and rifles and see what happens. Best to use a shot timer and see how long it takes to get from a laying position/setting position, to a firing position an engage the target without endangering anything on the make shift bed.

Some one said that home invasions are rare. Not sure I can agree with that but I do know that when one has loved ones that are sick and or disabled it also means that there is a likely hood of drugs and medicines in the home that increases the chance of being a target. So it seems to me on in that situation should be more concerned with preparation.
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Old September 18, 2014, 08:35 AM   #10
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Folks, this is JUST what I was looking for! Thanks.

I am almost completely new to all this. I bought the 9mm in June after not firing a weapon for some 30 years. I got the bug bad. We have what I've found out to be a very good LGS 4 miles away and I took the 1st Steps class there and shoot about twice a week. Love the SR9C and bought the shotgun on impulse (the bug). I've never fired a shotgun. Not really interested in clays etc, the LGS will let you shoot 5 shots at a time. The GP100 was coming anyway. I went to the range and they let me shoot it, a S&W 686, a SP100 and some little S&W 357/38.

I live in the semi-boonies. 5+ acre wooded lots. Not much crime in our general area, but slowly increasing. We have a new fairly young Sheriff who met with our loose neighborhood watch (now an official one). He is more into community policing. I met the Deputy by happenstance, nice guy, and he volunteered. He is actually the one who suggested I post this here. Not a home defense expert, but a 17 year veteran and someone I can talk to. I now consider him a friend. He carries an issued semi but it's the revolver that's on the nightstand.

I'm not real worried, but I've always been aware of being pretty isolated. I do have motion lights. Our living room has a bank of windows looking out back on the woods where the nearest house that direction is well over a mile away.

I'm fairly comfortable with the 9mm. I'll have to see what happens between it and the new gun.
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Old September 18, 2014, 08:37 AM   #11
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The hospital bed is normally, as said, just above belt level.
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Old September 18, 2014, 09:48 AM   #12
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You indicated that you have a security system, I assume you mean an alarm system in the house. This is good but can be defeated by loss of power or mechanical failure. My first line of defense and warning system is and would be my dogs, they will warn me even before a door or window can be breached. They would also help keep your wife safe while you are out of the house. (go with 2 dogs not just one)

As to the shotgun, 1.5 oz lead slugs are extremely accurate in a rifled shotgun barrel so I would change to those or foster slugs for a smooth bore. Which would make it less likely that anyone other than the person I was shooting at would be accidentally hit.

As to the windows, a hole drilled into the window and frame and a large nail can be used as a locking mechanism to insure that the window can not be pried up and opened. It will not stop someone from breaking the window, but would provide additional security on them, most window locks are just pieces of junk with very small screws and do not work effectively.

Now the GP100, nice choice, I would use 38 Spl's +P in it instead of the 357 mag rounds, it would make follow up shots much easier. And having two guns at different points in the house makes for easier access.

Good luck and stay safe.
Jim
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Old September 18, 2014, 09:52 AM   #13
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The fact is that unless you are in a certain small class of people, home invasions (more than one person) are extremely rare; simple burglaries and B&E are more common.

Perhaps it is not something you like to think about, but are you concerned about your wife having access to your gun(s)? If so, or if there are children in the home, an auto pistol may be better; you can leave the chamber empty and trust that unauthorized people can't or won't know how to chamber a round or take off a safety.

If there are no such concerns, IMHO, (and I know the flak will fly) a revolver, simple to "point and shoot", is usually better than an auto pistol for home defense. You are unlikely to need high capacity or fast reload capability (more than 6 people at a time charging into your home?).

Just some thoughts.

Jim
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Old September 18, 2014, 10:13 AM   #14
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From your description, the back windows appear to be the weak point, so security bars would close off that avenue to intruders.

Like you, I use a revolver for HD and keep a full speedloader, just in case. No safeties, slides or magazines to fumble with. I also keep a powerful spot light on the nightstand, figuring the action would likely be at night.
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Old September 18, 2014, 10:25 AM   #15
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Jim243 - I did mean alarm system. My dog is my Security Director. He is 17 pounds of solid dynamite! Seriously though, he is extremely good at not barking at nothing. If he's barking there's something there.
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Old September 18, 2014, 10:28 AM   #16
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Jim K - My wife can't leave the bed without major assistance and no children.
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Old September 18, 2014, 10:55 AM   #17
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I'm fairly comfortable with the 9mm. I'll have to see what happens between it and the new gun.
^This.

A great idea would consist of training with all three platforms - pistol, wheel gun and shotgun - until you are very comfortable with each. Then pick the most comfortable.

My bedside banger is a bottom feeder because...I'm most comfortable with it. It has more rounds, reloads faster, no safeties to manipulate, has been shot more and I use it more for training.

Looks like you're well on your way to a good overall plan. I just started reading Defend Yourself: A Comprehensive Security Plan for the Armed Homeowner by Rob Pincus, and it is good stuff thus far. Might be worth a look for you.
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Old September 18, 2014, 11:07 AM   #18
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If he's barking there's something there.
The little one will bark at the drop of a hat, if the big one (75 lbs) barks, I reach for a gun, I do (LOL).

Jim

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Old September 18, 2014, 11:18 AM   #19
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Let me guess...the little one is in charge?
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Old September 18, 2014, 11:31 AM   #20
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Feedback, Criticism, Hysterical Laughter On My Home Defense Plan?

Hardening your home as much as possible is always better than planning "safer" ways to shoot someone.



I have several windows that are out of sight from the road and they are all covered with fence. I can't remember what it's called but it's about 4" squares and sold at any farm supply store. It's lag bolted to the building and the edges of the bolts are ground off to make removing the bolts very difficult.





The door, I would have one with no windows or at least very small windows high and small enough that reaching the knobs (and preferably barrier) was impossible.



At the very least, harden the door with metal inserts around the knob and deadbolts. Better is to have a bar or board (the barrier I mentioned) that goes across the door making it impossible to kick open. When I install a new door, I always cut out a section of the wall/frame where the knob and locks will be and lag in a piece of 1/4" steel or aluminum. The barrier is an easier solution for an existing door.



To me, making plans about how best to stop an attack that's already under way is akin to making plans to put on your seatbelt when you see the accident about to happen. Criminals are looking for an easy mark. Much better to make your house too much effort than to stop them in the act.

Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; September 18, 2014 at 03:29 PM. Reason: wall/frame
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Old September 18, 2014, 12:02 PM   #21
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move wife

Sorry for your problems.Move your wife and keep the shotgun.A shotgun is the absolute best HD weapon for virtually everyone.
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Old September 18, 2014, 12:11 PM   #22
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A short coming with bars over windows is not being able to exit through the windows if needed.
Might be a problem under certain circumstances, like a fire that blocks the doors.
Just a thought.
Also, shooting across an occupied bed has dangers, even if the bullet misses them.
There a lot more nasty stuff coming out of a firearm barrel than just the projectile.
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Old September 18, 2014, 12:50 PM   #23
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This is all good stuff. I've got a lot to think about. Thanks to everybody!
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Old September 18, 2014, 07:20 PM   #24
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Wow, you have your hands full. Thoughts and prayers out to you and your wife. I wouldn't worry about providing access to a SWAT team, I'd imagine that things would be way beyond your control if they're needed.

Others have pointed out that a home invasion is unlikely. However do you have regular visits from vehicles that advertise healthcare services? If so that makes you a bigger target because criminals could target your house as a source of opiate related prescription drugs. That's a problem in my neck of the woods, and I'm on a few acres in the boonies too.

If you don't have a solid dog now then that isn't IMO that isn't a solution. Dogs are great, but also a lot of work on top of what you're already facing. Your alarm can wake you up and alert you, your outdoor lighting can do the same.

Try to make your place look like someone is awake and active 24/7. Alternate leaving lights or even a television on from different rooms. Put yourself in the head of a junkie who wants a quick and easy robbery, make it seem like you aren't one.
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Old September 18, 2014, 09:39 PM   #25
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Thank you, I appreciate that.
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